Thursday, October 30, 2008


"Don't try to do anything about this. Don't try to make anything happen. Surrender all of your confusion to me and rest assured I will bring you peace. Can't you see I am God? Nothing is impossible with me or in me. It is only when you attempt to do things without me that those things become impossible."

But I'm not trying to do it without you! I want what you want in my life!

"You do not realize it, but you are trying to do it without me. You are worrying too much about who I've chosen for you and how your romantic life is going to happen. In doing that you contradict yourself because you always end up trying to solve the questions and uncertainties yourself now, and you aren't letting me take over and work my wonders on my time......"

YOUR time?? You have all of eternity, and I only have 100 years!

"Don't you think I've carefully thought out your 100 years on earth? Besides, it is not about how your earthly life will turn is how your life will turn out for all the rest of your eternity."

*grumble* I know....

"Now, surrender it all. Be completely honest with me and yourself. When has giving it all to me hurt you before? Something as simple as getting lost in the tried to find your own way back and you couldn't. But once you put your face down, didn't strain to look ahead and let me lead you home, you got there quickly. Why can't you have that faith in all areas of your life?"

Monday, October 27, 2008

Video of the Week they are. Keith and Kristyn Getty performing my new favorite song of theirs.....*tear* *sigh* It's about how they would walk the Ribbon Roads of Ireland together, long before they even started really courting, and how they still love to do it's just so beautiful there. It's just such a sweet song.....*goes off to get some more tissues before she watches it again*

The Ribbon Roads keep rolling
By castle and shore
I remember every rhythm
Of wild ocean roar
There we have wandered
As dream dwellers roam
The Ribbon Roads keep rolling
From long, long ago

The Ribbon Roads keep rolling
Unbroken and free
Full of hidden memory
That calls you and me
If footsteps could whisper
They surely would tell
The Ribbon Roads keep rolling
With songs they know well

Oh my love and friend of mine
Walk with me till the end of time
Hold my hand mile after mile

Oh the Ribbon Roads keep rolling
They’re heavy with sighs
They seem like shining rivers
In rain-blackened skies
But here comes the morning
In crimson and green
The Ribbon Roads keep rolling
As they’ve always been

Oh the Ribbon Roads keep rolling
From dusk until dawn
The road that we have taken
Has taken us on
We see where we came from
And see distant bends
The Ribbon Roads keep rolling
Till our journey ends…

Sunday, October 26, 2008


The meadow was green, full of beautiful weeds, wildflowers, wisteria and unkempt shrubbery. A miniscule waterfall poured delicately off a brown stone ridge. Moss lay in patches around the flat rocks by the shore of the stream, the sun shined as it was meant to. It showed off the radiance of all things green which were in the meadow; it shimmered on the stream, darted and danced between the waves of the waterfall.

A small girl sat on the water’s edge, feet in the water, pen in hand and a book of blank paper on her lap. Her long, wispy dark brown hair rippled as a gentle breeze whistled through the leaves of the brush. She wrote fast, intensely, and powerfully. A whippoorwill called from the top of the stone from which the waterfall descended, but this was a quiet she craved.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Blog Response

This is in response to Chris's blog entry, "Why I am Agnostic."

So the good ones die young? Firstly, that is a generalization. Secondly, death is most certainly not an end-all. Death is a gift, really, because though man has screwed the world up, God has kept heaven beautiful. While life here may seem great, heaven is a wonderful place that just gets forgotten about because people are so concentrated on life here. As for letting "bad people" live longer, we are on earth to learn to love God. Ozzie learned to love God, so God took him to with Him in heaven. He may have died tragically, but that's only as we shortsighted people here on earth see it. We don't see the big picture. So perhaps God is giving the "bad or at least not-so-good guys" more time here on earth so that they may learn to love him as much as Ozzie did. Of course, time does run out eventually.

The man who murdered John Lennon had serious problems. Lots of Christians don't like certain lyrics...but I think most of us see it as "that's the way that person is" and we can either try and help them...or if they are formerly a member of the Beatles, then we can just not listen to their music and get over it. Of course, I still listen to John Lennon, but I just don't take the lyrics seriously. But killing someone is just...absurd. Anyways, it's breaking one of the ten That guy had problems.

Why prepare for your "journey into the afterlife" when you are in old age or getting terribly sick? You may walk outside your door tomorrow only to have a stampede of rhinoceroses trample you to your death (try not to think about it...but it could happen). In my opinion, you should always be preparing for your afterlife. Okay, so that sounds a little silly just saying it like makes me think of how the Egyptians buried all their cherished worldly possessions with their dead bodies so they could have all those things in the afterlife. But God says, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moths and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be." Basically...while I suppose it's a good thing to be working here on earth, we shouldn't place so much importance on things that aren't going to benefit us in the long run. While it's good to enjoy the moment, we shouldn't live solely for the now and not care about any consequences, whether those consequences are suffered here or elsewhere. All of that to shouldn't try to save your soul when you know it will be too late very soon. I think that it's better - for me, anyways - to devote myself to God now. Anyways, I'm going to need Him a lot during my life.

Sin is at the bottom of everything, and man brought sin into the world. God never intended for the world to get as corrupted as it has become. But He already flooded the earth once and He promised He wouldn't do it again. In the old testament God was very judgmental...if that's the right word...well, justice was served quite a lot. Adam and Eve were banished from Eden, Cain was cursed and sent away, the earth was flooded...bad people died left and right, and the good people prevailed onward ho. But since Christ came and died for us, taking all our sins upon him, God hasn't just struck anyone down with lightning anymore. Christianity is all about loving and forgiveness and gratitude. People forget that, though. If anyone watched that video on Chris's blog...what a waste of a nice song. It was incredibly sad and I wish I could do something to help the guy understand...but I am almost afraid of him. I don't know if I would want to encounter him on the street or anything...

If anything has any comments on this, I encourage you to please do so on either my blog or Chris's blog...this isn't just some lighthearted issue here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Video of the Week

So, by the time I finally found a version of this scene that played what I actually wanted it to, I can't embed it, because the person-who-put-it-on-there disabled that feature on that particular thing. SO I shall prevail onward ho and simply do like I did in the old days when I just had a link from my blog to youtube. I am going to preface the viewing by saying that I know none of this ever really happened in the books. I guess for a movie, you need more than 11-year-olds playing in a clearing all day to make it exciting. Despite all that, Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story is still a good movie on its own, and this is my favorite scene *sniffle*

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Television's Negative Effects on Young Minds

Our present society consists of children who are constantly being entertained by images played across screens. Once a child reaches the end of his or her senior year of highschool, on average he or she has spent 11,000 hours in school and 15,000 hours in front of the screen (Costa 55). T. Berry Brazelton and Stanley I. Greenspan state in their book The Irreducible Needs of Children that “there’s a need to protect children from the overuse of TV. … When people worry about TV, the focus is on content, which is a problem, but the greater insult is the passivity” (128). Melissa Ruth, a developmental psychology professor at McMaster University, explains that “it’s not about what’s happening when a kid is watching television—it’s about what’s not happening” (qtd. in Muhtadie A1). States Jane E. Brody, “Watching television fosters development of brain circuits, or ‘habits of mind’, that result in…aggressiveness, lower tolerance levels and decreased attention spans, in lieu of developing language circuits in the brain’s left hemisphere” (F7). The brain is not making the connections it needs to while watching television, and as a result, children who watch an excessive amount of television can have lower grades, less of an imagination and can even run the risk of becoming unhealthily overweight. Parents need to monitor and regulate their children’s television watching habits so as to enforce and encourage cognitive abilities, motor skills, and learning motivation in these growing beings.

To state the obvious, thinking is critical for everyone. Furthermore, how an adult thinks generally relies on how he learned to think as a child. What type of schooling did he have? It makes a large difference in what a child is interested in, as well as how he behaves and thinks, depending on whether the child attended public school, private school, a Montessori school or if he was home schooled, among other options. The same statement goes for how a child chooses spend his free time, or how his free time activities are chosen for him. While an activity like reading promotes literacy, critical thinking, and imagination, watching television promotes nothing. A child does not think while watching TV. Instead, he absorbs.

To summarize Mary G. Burke, television is a passive experience, and while children’s eyes are fixated on the screen, countless things are not achieved cognitively. Children are not solving everyday problems because they are not interacting with any causes of the problems, such as other children whom they must get along with, sticky situations that they must get out of, or instances that call for the child to be calm and confident. Burke also touches on the idea that children are barely engaging in enough conversation with their parents, and what conversation there is is rarely deep or significant (50).

“Good learning and good problem-solving require active involvement and persistence,” explains Jane M. Healy. “Many people intuitively feel that exposure in early childhood to a great deal of television may create passive learners” (201). In this case, children will expect information to be presented to them but will not be very familiar with other learning essentials such as critical thinking and active problem-solving. “Children with less developed cognitive skills may prefer passive, nondemanding forms of entertainment to active, demanding ones. Television presents vivid, moving images; books and newspapers demand reader-generated imagery and are sketchier in terms of visual detail.” The more television that is watched by children, the more addicted they get to the passive state their brain assumes. Also, the children will be less likely to want to read, do puzzles, or put much effort into homework, as those sorts of activities require the brain to be actively applied (Krosnick, Anand and Hartl 89).

Obesity is presently at an all-time high and steadily rising. One of the main reasons for this most likely is television watching in excess. According to Jane E. Brody: “A child glued to the tube is sitting still, using the fewest calories of any activity except sleeping. Such children get less exercise than those who watch less television, and they see many more commercials for unhealthful foods and beverages. They also have more opportunity to consume such foods than do children who are out playing” (F7).
Unregulated television time means more time that the child spends sitting and eating and less time engaging in physical play, so the he runs the risk of becoming overweight. Also, while watching television with commercial breaks, children are seeing advertising for unhealthy food, which they then beg their parents for. The parents purchase the food, and children consume it while watching still more television. This is a serious health issue. Most parents say they want to help their children overcome or avoid this problem, but few do anything about it.

While in front of the television, children spend their time watching others perform physical tasks while they themselves learn nothing except how to sit and stare. Television is not an environment, it is not even an environment stimulus, so children cannot be expected to be able to explore and learn.

According to Mary G. Burke, “Children watching TV aren’t using their hands in three dimensions,” and they need to learn how to do many different physical, hands-on activities ranging from “clapping games to building, banging, weighing, molding, digging, stirring and simply touching, with a variety of materials.” She goes on to say that “these activities are necessary to sensory-motor integration. … TV and computer screens restrict development to a flat, two-dimensional surface” (50). If children, to address the extreme, do not know how to move, then they simply sit there. We can expect nothing but for them to join the obesity epidemic.

Excessive television watching decreases curiosity and learning motivation. Paraphrasing Mary G. Burke, children lose sense of their own imagination and creativity because of so much TV exposure, and resort to acting out scenes or potential scenes from their favorite shows rather than creating their own characters and situations (50). S. Eckstein states, “New electronic toys encourage children to get back to their screens by moving or ‘talking’ in response to what’s happening on their tied-in TV shows or DVDs” (qtd. in Alliance 22). Imagination has become foreign to children, and they above everyone else desperately need it, as imagination assists in their thinking and problem-solving skills that carry on all through life.

Parents need to moderate television watching. It is important to do so because children have very little self-control. It is a high recommendation that televisions are not placed in children’s bedrooms, to say the least. Additionally, Jane E. Brody says: “Half of American households have three or more [televisions]. In addition to the family or living room, there are often televisions in each bedroom, the kitchen, the basement and even the bathroom and garage. With access to television wherever children may be, it is hard for parents to control the amount and content to what they watch” (F7).
However, there is still hope. Parents have the power to set rules in regard to television watching. They have the power to put time limits on day-to-day viewing, lay boundaries on what and when their children watch, and even eliminate extra unnecessary televisions. T. Berry Brazelton and Stanley I. Greenspan announce that “an hour [of television] a day is realistic. But if we’re talking about an ideal amount, I would try to reduce TV to half an hour a day during the school week and an hour a day or maybe two hours on the weekends” (129). Television, in curbed amounts, can actually be quite harmless. Very few people in this world are willing to completely give up the television(s) in their homes. Nonetheless, while totally going cold-turkey is understandably unreasonable for most, cutting down on the time that children—or whole families—spend watching television is not.

What television does to the bodies and minds of children is a serious issue that is commonly addressed but also commonly ignored. It is very important to see that childhood is a time when children are growing, both cognitively and physically. Television seems to put this growth on hold, and in excess can even stunt it. It appears that television also rids children of the imagination, creativity and curiosity that are such a marvel of childhood. If children cannot control themselves in their watching, then their parents need to step up to this task. The effort will be for the good of not only the children, but the whole family as well. “Our time isn’t organized around TV schedules,” says John Bank on his family’s decision to toss the TV ten years ago. “We spent more time talking, exercising, playing games, and doing hobbies, and there’s no more frantic rush to finish homework ‘before my show is on’” (5). Children’s corporeal state, problem-solving skills, school performance and imagination will all benefit greatly from a reduction of television time. They may whine and complain about the new rules at first, should parents decide to set them but, in the long run, will be grateful and more happily balanced.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Dream

The Dream…
A Poem by Jessica Claire Barker

A dangerous dive into harmony so faint
Strong whispers plummet hoarsely into oblivion
The mystery of a still-lying, melancholy ocean
Where an empty echo hardly resounds

The apathetic sky allows itself to be alive
An old fence caringly stands
A new gate daringly grants you entrance
Where an abridged river longs for freedom

The shrouded symphony feels regret
As the water stirs meaninglessly
To fully abandon the attractive novel
See the audacious dawn weakly abate

The cricket’s music sadly abbreviated
See the hidden source of the borne chaos
Searching for your crying eyes in a photograph
At last, the colorful flame aborts…

Monday, October 13, 2008

Video of the Week

Okay, here's another edition of, "you watch these two videos and then watch the actual Video of the Week." Fun, right? But this time, you don't get to cheat. Watch both trailers through and then the spoof trailer. It's even funnier if you've read the book...but I won't make you do that...

Friday, October 10, 2008

It was the Best of Times, it was the Worst of Times...

I had a bad day sandwiched by two really good days, so I guess it got a little outweighed, don't you think? Yes, I am actually going to write about a few days in my life now, rather than just my thoughts on life. Enjoy, as this doesn't happen often. You know why? Because it takes forever to write everything down. So, since I'm supposed to be sleepy and going to bed and nice things like that, I'll try and condense it as much as possible...

WEDNESDAY: I woke up, fell out of bed, and dragged a comb across my head....okay, no. Paul McCartney did THAT. I woke up, stumbled out of bed, hit the alarm, and stumbled back into bed. I do that so often now that I don't even notice. I do it in my sleep. I don't even remember doing it. I just know I did because my alarm was set for six and I woke up at nine. Not that it bothered me. I ate my breakfast, forgot to drink coffee again, and probably...I don't remember what I did next. I think my mom took the boys to get hair cuts, and I sorted laundry or something. When they got back, we all ate lunch (about two hours after breakfast for me...but that's not as strange as last Saturday when I woke up at 11:30, ate cereal, and immediately after ate cream of broccoli soup). Then we drove to the Y's to pick Hannah and Noah up for swim/water polo. After everyone went inside, I drove to my friend's house thinking I was just picking up him for water polo, but then I ended up taking his brother and sister as well. And we kind of left about 15 minutes later than we meant to, so nobody got to swim beforehand. Water polo went well...Lizzie and I were on the same team, and Alex S. and Kara were on another... :( Someday we'll all be on the same team again.

Okay, now here's the good part (I mean, it seemed good). One of my friends wanted to go to the NC State water polo clinic/scrimmage thing that night at TAC. Nathan and Matt couldn't go because they had obligations to be all "Radical"-ish and stuff, Noah had some other Bible study/prayer meeting HIS parents were doing, and I had Sociology (*sighs out of utter and complete boredom*). I asked my parents if I could just go for the first 45 minutes of Sociology in order to get my name on the roll and have some class time, and then leave for water polo, but they said I couldn't (that made me mad). was all going to be okay!! I went to class, and there was a note on the door...there was not going to be any class that night!!!!!! I was very excited. It was if I was just destined to go to the water polo thing.

So, I went, and for a while my friend and I just stood around wondering if anyone else was going to get there. I knew that it usually takes a little while for the whole gang to get over there and to start doing anything, but it was 15 minutes later than the starting time, nothing was set up and nobody was there. Finally, I mustered up the nerve (having my friend along helped) to ask some tall guy standing around wearing a red warm-up suit and carrying a red backpack if he was there for the water polo thing, and if he was confused too. He said he was there for water polo, but that he wasn't confused, only disappointed. But, to our luck, four more people actually showed up!! We didn't get to scrimmage...we only worked on shots and some offense/defense stuff, but my friend got a lot of one-on-one advice from that guy that's there who always gives you water polo tips. I think his name is Bobby or something like that. After water polo, I drove my friend home, went home myself, and may have gone to bed some time, but I don't remember. But when I woke up it was...

THURSDAY: I woke up at 7:30, one hour before I was supposed to leave to get a hair cut. I didn't want to take a shower, because I knew that I would get my hair shampooed at the salon, but because I had been swimming a lot, I had not had an official shower since Tuesday morning, so I thought it was a good idea if I just took one anyways. So I did. Then I drove to the hair salon-place, and from there on it was down hill. I asked her to re-give me layers, long bangs, and to cut my dead ends off while still retaining most of the length on my hair. Now, normally this particular hairstylist is the only person I trust with my hair, because she has curly hair too. But either she was having an off-day or my off-day just cursed me with other people behaving off-ish, but now I have not-as-long-as-I-meant bangs, I really needed one extra, shorter layer in my hair, and I don't think it's any bit longer than it was last December when I got it cut. I mean, I understand that I had a lot of very long, ugly dead ends, probably two inches of them. So if, in the course of a little under a year, my hair grew 2 1/2 inches, then she cut the 2 inches of dead ends off, I am left with only a half inch of actual growth on my hair. And if it grows another fourth of an inch by December (if I'm lucky), then all my hair would have grown this year is 3/4 of an inch!! I know that seems a little petty, but I really like long hair, and I really, REALLY regret cutting it chin-length in 2006. before then it was down to the small of my back, and I didn't even appreciate it. ANYWAYS, I was a little frustrated over that.

But now I can't remember what my darned problem was, but I was an emotional mess all the rest of that day. I won't go into the dirty, gritty details, but it seemed like everything bothered me. All I wanted to do was either yell and scream, or go play something very angry-sounding on the piano in the hardest, fastest way I could play whatever it happened to be. Although now I do recall putting on my Braveheart CD and attempting to be serene for a moment. But then I felt the inspiration to play Camille Saint-Sans' Cello Concerto (I think that's what it's called, but I don't know...) on the piano, which has a lot more notes in it than I noticed, and I had happened to put that on a CD with the Scheherazade (spelling suggestions, anyone? I think it's right, but what doth I knoweth?) on it, which I had been picking out on the piano for a while, but when I put that on and tried to play along with it, I realized I had been playing it flat, all this time! And while I normally wouldn't care, it just made me more mad. So I gave up on trying to play the piano, because after a while I just couldn't play it hard enough. Then, I knew what I wanted...I wanted to swim, and swim as hard as I could, forever! But then I thought that I should probably get the dishes and laundry done. This was in the evening, and my parents had gone out on a date, and I needed to get stuff done. But by the time I did, and got my stuff ready for swimming, I checked the was 7:53, and TAC was going to close at nine. Of course, that threw me into a fit of rage, because there wasn't anything else I could do with my pent-up energy. I was basically miserable the rest of the night. I just went to bed after a while...

FRIDAY: Um...I woke up at nine again. Maybe nine is my magic number. Anyways, I ate breakfast, took a shower, and tried to take Kara's advice on straightening my hair by blow-drying it straight first and then using the straightener, perhaps using some gel to help along the way. Note to self - never take hair care advice from Kara. She was just born with perfect hair that looks good no matter what she does with it, and if she does nothing, it looks even better. It looks the best of all when she takes a shower at night and goes to bed with wet hair, because she wakes up and it's straighter than her normal princess-like wave. I am NOT lying or exaggerating, ask anyone (the Mattrix [her brother], Lizzie, or Sarah [mutual friends], for example). And of course, like anyone, she assumes that everyone's hair is just like hers. But my hair is the kind of hair that most humans have, and it has tighter curls and more frizz. In all my 18 years I still have no idea what to do with it, probably because I've never met someone with hair just like mine (and for the first 11 years I didn't really care about my hair [and none of you will be seeing pictures of me during that period]). I can brush it only when it's wet, and then I must leave it alone. Even after the hairstylist straightened it, I can't brush it. So I think that it's not the curls that cause the frizz, it's just the texture of my hair. And that's very depressing. I always have wished I had the beautiful black, straight, silky, and shiny hair like Asian people have. I don't think it would look right on me, but I love it. Maybe I'll marry the Japanese sushi-making guy at the sushi bar that I went to and then all my daughters...

Oh, that's right. So I tried to do my hair, and in the end it looked like my hair, only the curls were a little more wavy, and it was significantly more poofy, neither of which I was really going for at all. I was doing all this, because my mom was taking me to a nearby sushi bar for a belated birthday present. I really wasn't eyeing the sushi-making guy, I just thought he was good-looking and tall, and that his sushi was very yummy. I had never had raw fish sushi before, because mom said I can only have it when it's fresh. So I tried it today, and I didn't like it very much, because raw fish tastes just like when you're at the beach, and a wave rolls over you and you get a mouthful of salt water. Yeah. Nothing exceptional in taste, and it's very slimy, but that was the fun part. :D The cooked sushi was delicious, though, and I ate way too much. Fortunately they also had some Miso soup that I could have to balance it out. But just talking about it is making me thirsty...*takes a water break*

Okay. After we got back, my dad called to give us some details about my great-aunt Mot, who was at the rehab center and apparently passed out some how, and was rushed to the hospital, where my dad and my grandma had been for the past little while. I answered the phone next to the couch, and after my mom and I talked to him, I forgot to get back up, and I fell asleep for about 40 minutes. In case you're wondering how that happened, my mom's mom took my brothers up to Creedmoor on Thursday and they are staying through Saturday, and I guess my mom was so caught up in all her cleaning she's finally getting to do that she forgot to wake me up. But I woke up myself anyways, and cleaned my chinchilla cage before a change of plans occurred. My dad needed me to go with him over to my great-aunt's apartment and get my grandma's car, and drive that and my dad's car to the hospital so that my grandma could go home when she needed to. During that trip, my dad tried to convince me to come to the Cary High School Homecoming football game with him, but I declined (nicely, of course). I didn't really want to get all caught up in all that public school mumbo-jumbo going on there, and please--if you are or were public schooled, don't take that the wrong way. I just know I would feel really really extremely out of place at something like that, and even if I knew people there, they probably wouldn't be close friends and would all just hang in their own groups anyways. It would be like going to church at Colonial Baptist, but seven thousand times worse. I really didn't want to go.

So after not going, I was home again and did some more chores before finally setting off to conquer my inner raging demons or whatever (unreleased toxins are more likely). I went to TAC and swam. I knew I needed to just swim mindlessly and think over all my issues of time wasting and what to do about making money and accomplishing goals and other problems I just swallow and forget about but that keep coming up, no matter how much I continually force them down...yeah, I think Thursday was like a "Problem Vomit" day or something. But anyways, I started out in the warm water pool, thinking I would swim mindlessly, but then I kept counting my laps, and by the time I got to 450 (yards, not laps, for all you non-swimmer people), I decided it would be a 500 yard warm-up, and then I would move onto something else. Well, when I stopped, I realized how warm I already was, so I moved to the cold-water pool (okay, it's really just called the "competition pool", but it sure is cold). I meant to swim mindlessly again, but this time I started doing a 200 IM, and while that's slightly mindless, I have to concentrate on actually surviving and things like that. I mean, it's usually pretty effortless, but I think I am still really out of shape. I haven't done any real work out for about two weeks, and then I just swim with masters, and they mostly just do freestyle. I made myself do a 100 butterfly, and it was very hard. This is just wonderful. On average in a Masters practice, I'll do maybe a 100 butterfly all total, and that's on an interval of some sort for 25s or 50s. When you're me, that's pathetic. Butterfly is supposed to be my best and most favorite stroke, and now I'm beginning to favor breast stroke, and that's just not right (again, if you're me). I've hated breast stroke ever since I started swimming on a team, which really was only about 3 years ago, but still...wasn't fun. Recently, though, I've developed the theory that I have been doing the stroke in a non-efficient way, and now that I've changed that, I don't have to put as much effort into it, but I have no idea if it's really faster because I hardly get to practice it or race Kara or anything...

I think my problem is that I really miss the Seahawks and I want to go back very extremely bad. Well, we're just going to have to do something about that...but I don't know when. :(


P.S. I really did mean this to be short, but how can I cover 3 days in a short entry? So if it takes you 3 days to read this, it's understandable. ;)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Honest truth: does this sound ridiculous?

The wind beat hard on the windows. In the distance, a confused beagle bow-wowed as the fierce breeze whipped and whirled through the trees. That night, the bluster was nearly continuous, as if a giant were inhaling and exhaling, attempting to blow out all his birthday candles.

Caleb Larson scowled out his attic window. He knew she was out there. The strange girl across the lake. He could not see her now, for it was dark and rain droplets were beginning to be thrashed across his windowpane. He had seen her many times before, though, doing many strange things. Caleb knew she was on the edge of her dock, standing there. He imagined her smiling and sighing as the current of air rippled through her skirts and long, wavy, light brown hair. It bothered him. He did not know why. He only knew it was bothersome.

Perhaps it was because he did not know why she was this way. He had thought many times of how awkward and stupid it would be for him to canoe across the lake to say, “Hi, what’s your name? Mine’s Caleb. I was just wondering why you always stand outside on clear nights and why you enjoy absorbing the wind and why you sometimes lay outside reading and soaking up the sunlight for hours and sometimes like to dance in the rain?”

It wasn’t more than 60 yards across the lake, but Caleb had never met the girl who lived across there in his whole two years of living in the big cabin with his mom, younger sister and younger brother. His dad had passed away a year before the move, and left the remaining Larsons a significant amount of money. Emma Larson had always wanted a lake house, and so, after recovering from their loss, Emma and her children, Caleb, Lynn, and Josiah had packed up and left the suburbs of Cary for the calm, peaceful lake house life in Creedmoor.

Caleb was homeschooled, as were his siblings. Lynn was 17, and in her junior year in highschool. Josiah was six, and just beginning kindergarten. Caleb was 18, and about to graduate. Caleb looked down from the window to a paper on his desk. The acceptance letter from the University of South Carolina Upstate grinned back up at him, for Lynn had drawn a gigantic smiley-face in the blank area underneath the signature of the dean. This was it! April, May, then summer, and in August he was off to study History for pre-law. It did not matter that perhaps it was not what he wanted to do. It was something to do, and a career path approved by his mother, as well as his late father.

Caleb wondered about the strange girl. What would she think of him going to law school? He would not be here anymore to see her strange behavior. How depressing. Perhaps she was graduating too. She would also probably be leaving for college in August. Maybe she had also gotten accepted to USCU. She might possibly be in some of his classes. They could be study buddies. He was sure she would make an interesting study buddy. She would have many strange opinions.

She was also homeschooled, he knew, because she was often outside gardening or reading during school hours. Why had Lynn never gone over there to introduce herself? They were both probably around the same age. It would not hurt. But Lynn was too introverted. Lynn kept to herself, as the strange girl did, but she preferred the indoors.

Was the girl really out there? Caleb had to know.

With that determination set, Caleb picked up his shoes in his left hand and crept down the attic stairs slowly, dodging all the creaks. His mom was in her room reading, Josiah was asleep, as was Lynn. Lynn always went to bed early.

Caleb softly padded down the hallway on a long, thin green shag rug that ran along the wood-paneled and wood-flooring corridor. He descended the next stairs less carefully, as the master bedroom was now the furthest away. He found himself facing the living room, and immediately repented into the kitchen. He walked around the kitchen table to the back door, where he put on his shoes. He had to know if she was out there, and, further, he had to know why she was. What was it she felt in the wind?

Once outside, Caleb scrambled to the end of the Larson’s own dock. He peered over the lake as the wind wildly pulled and yanked on his hair and clothes. There she was, doing precisely what he imagined her doing. Maybe he had known because he had seen her unconsciously in a split second through a raindrop. It could happen. Anything could. Caleb was about to make one of those anythings.

Without thinking he walked back off the dock, kicked over the canoe, secured the oars, pushed the boat into the water, climbed in and furiously rowed across the lake. Fortunately the wind was in his favor; it almost caused him not to have to row at all at some points, for the water would carry him. As he got closer, he saw her standing there on the dock with her eyes closed. She was stunningly beautiful. Her hair was longer than it looked from the Larson property. She was wearing a single white tee shirt, a long, baby blue flowing skirt, and had no shoes on. Her muscular arms hung at her sides, palms facing the lake and fingers spread out, as if to take it all in with all her senses. Caleb was sure he would startle her, and attempted not to get too close, in hope that she would see him from a distance first, and perhaps beckon for him to come closer. But the wind blew him too hard. He was probably five feet from the dock when she must have heard his oars slide through the water (in vain of going backwards a bit), and opened her eyes. They were the most beautiful, radiant green eyes, and they stared right back at him in a slightly shocked manner. The eyes softened almost immediately, and the girl smiled.

“Have you come to join me in taking in this sensual weather?” She asked, to his surprise. “I don’t mean to be provocative in saying it’s sensual, but that is really the only proper way to describe it.”

Caleb was rendered speechless, and to his dismay the girl laughed.

“You are the boy from across the lake who is always fixing things,” the girl went on softly and pleasantly. “Why have you come here?”

“I wanted to know who you are,” Caleb finally said, realizing a moment afterwards that this sounded stupid.

“I am the person who is standing before you. My name, if it makes any difference, is Aimee, and I would like to know why you have come over here at ten in the night to ask me who I am?”

“You fascinate me,” Caleb confessed, “and I want to know everything about why you do what you do.” He thought a moment. The wind was dying down. He patted the seat in front of him in the canoe. “If you want, you can get in and I can row around our little area while you tell me about yourself.”

Aimee looked hesitant, but Caleb must have let off a very acute air of sincerity that convinced her, for she carefully climbed into the boat and sat facing him. The moon was two days from being full, and shone bright over the lake. A breeze blew which was of a much more forgiving nature than any preceding it; the giant must have been running out of breath.

Please...I need your honest opinion. I tried to start this certain story, and this is the way it came out, unintended. I couldn't help it. If you don't understand you'll just have to believe me. Anyways, I just want to know if this is good for anything...I'm not being as serious as I sound, but I do want the truth, because I am certainly not sure myself. :)


Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Well, I am going to pull a "Lizzie" on you. YOU know what I mean. However, I actually did this firstly for extra credit for my British Literature class I'm taking at Wake Tech, so I'm not just taking my frustration out only on the blogging world. :)

The latest released movie version based on the poem Beowulf is a movie directed by Robert Zemeckis and, though animated, has an ensemble cast of big names with Robin Wright-Penn as Wealthow, Anthony Hopkins as Hrothgar, Angelina Jolie as Grendel’s mom, John Malkovich as Unferth, and Ray Winstone as Beowulf.

Sorry to be cynical right off the bat (hey, at least I'm apologizing...tee hee), but I absolutely hated it. The CGI animation was a cheesy way to portray it; the movie resembled a video game in a bad kind of way. But that doesn’t even begin to touch on why I didn’t like it. The movie wasn’t just a case of “oh, they changed the original story here and there to make it fit within the time slot or whatever.” The creators basically changed the entire story and the characters. I can honestly say that the only similarities I can remember is that there are characters named Beowulf, Hrothgar, Wealthow, Grendel, and Unferth. Perhaps the creators intended to give Beowulf more human-like traits, but seriously. In the real story, Beowulf is a hero. He is admirable in all respects. He isn’t just strong in the body, he is strong in the mind. Therefore he wouldn’t be going off being perverted and sleeping with every good-looking woman/sea beast/dragon he came across. Also, according to the Pagan values at the time, Beowulf would not go around lying his whole life about killing Grendel’s mom. So…he wouldn’t have given in to her seductiveness, he would have killed her and he wouldn’t have to lie about it. But it was the other way around. He lied his whole life about it. What a jerk. Another difference is that, instead of going back home victorious, Beowulf was crowned King in the place of Hrothgar, the latter of whom then goes and jumps off a cliff. That was the point where I decided that everyone in the movie was drinking WAY too much mead and it had gotten to their heads and beyond. Anyways, from there it got pretty complicated, because it turned out that Hrothgar was Grendel’s father, and then Grendel’s mom had another kid who Beowulf fathered, who turned out to be a dragon. You know, if they were siblings, you would think they would look a little more alike, but nothing else in this overrated movie made sense, so why should genetics? So Beowulf, a few years older but nothing close to the 50 years supposed time span (otherwise his side-kick, the supposed-to-be-much-younger-than-Beowulf Wiglaf would probably be needing a walker by then), Beowulf is miserable instead of successful and happy, when the dragon comes attacking, looking for his dad. Well, Beowulf is more guilt-ridden than ever, so he sets out to right his wrongs, but in the process only kills off his son. So, Grendel’s mom prevails forevermore. Also, at the end it looks as if Wiglaf may be tempted to sleep with Grendel’s mom as well. It cuts off right as it looks like he’s either about to follow her or slay her, so we’ll never know. I’d like to think that at least Wiglaf would do the right thing. But, in going with the general theme of the story, he probably does sleep with her, magically some other fowl beast is born (maybe a Balrog or something), which someone must kill, who ends up sleeping with Angelina Jolie again, and the nation just continues in this pattern for all eternity until the whole world dies of stupidity.

All of that to say, I absolutely detested this film and cannot see why everyone said, “Omigosh, it was sooooooooo good!” If I had my way I’d go give the creators a piece of my mind. In the meantime I am currently composing the soundtrack for my own version of Beowulf that will be coming out in a few years to rightfully portray the story this movie so terribly screwed up.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Video of the Week

They can't act worth anything, but I love it..."Ask the Homeschoolers":

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Different Song

Love stopping the magic
Of the day slipping by
You’re not the one for me
Is that something I can accept?

The time ticking by
Ruining the meter
Of the song we once sang
Is that something permanent?

Ever willing to hope
For your return
The fire burning
Flames licking my heart

I cannot feel any love
But the love I imagine
Can I go on
Write a new song

A melody devoid of emotions
No feelings as I once had
Channeling my senses
Into someone else

But will that someone
Do me the same as you did
Can I go on and sing my song
Loud and appassionato

You cannot see
How much you meant to me
And I won’t tell
How much you’ve made my life hell

But I’ll paint a picture
I’ll write a new song
Take off my shoes
Walk away


Wednesday, October 1, 2008


There are certain things I love doing, that I just cannot bring myself to put on my “interests” or “hobbies” list. I’m not embarrassed. That’s ridiculous. But…there is some reason or another. Things like: clipping my nails, blow drying my hair, driving, dancing outside in the middle of the night, and being alone in complete quiet.

Ultimately I suppose it comes down to mindlessness. I really appreciate it. That sounds bad…shouldn’t I really like stretching my cognitive abilities? Well, I do. There’s no doubt about that. I enjoy feeling like the gears in my brain are really chugging away (if gears do that…you know what I mean…perhaps I am getting my imagery mixed up, but whatever). But I feel like my brain is like that all the time. It’s as if I’m running endlessly, never taking a break to just sit down and catch my breath, to let my muscles rest. Sure, if I sit down for a long enough time, I get antsy again, and get up and run. But rests are wonderful things.

Clipping my nails, filing my nails…it’s the epitome of mindlessness, in my opinion. I just do it. I’m doing something physical, working on something, and thinking about nothing. I wish I had more nails, or just more activities that were like clipping nails. Watching TV or playing video games just don’t do it for me. I get really wrapped up in television or movies, and when I play video games, I constantly am feeling like I should be doing something else. Clipping my nails is of such benefit to me and others…makes it easier to play guitar and piano, preventing myself from bending the nails back when they’re wet, makes them nicer-looking, and puts a stop to any lethal scratching I may inflict during water polo (you can thank me in the comments section).

I also like things like showering and shaving my legs. Sorry if that’s TMI for some people, but you must understand that I just like that mindless time. Because doing stuff that takes no brain leaves my brain to be opened. I come up with my best ideas for songs, stories, businesses, et cetera, while lathering my hair, getting soap in my eyes, or making funny shapes with my shaving cream (I am really a pro at making many different sculptures as I squirt the shaving cream out…I entertain myself very well). The problem with coming up with such a huge wave of ideas is that you can’t really document any of them in the bathtub. I suppose I could take all my hair that falls out and twist them into a musical staff and music notes, and write down ideas with my shaving cream on the walls…but that would take a lot longer than it would if I just finished the shower, wouldn’t it? Yeah. *sigh* Plus not being able to really read music, as well as my hair having a tendency to just curl up after a while, present problems. Shaving cream likes to melt.


I like dancing, that’s a given. I don’t think I’ve met a girl who doesn’t. I really like it when guys like dancing, too. It was pretty awesome to see all the guys who showed up at the cotillion-style dance class at the homeschool conference. It was even more awesome to see the very few guys who were AMAZING. It let me hope for my generation. Perhaps I will marry a guy who will go dancing with me!

As for dancing outside in the middle of the night, I’d say it is the epitome of freedom…so I don’t know why I just told the whole world I do it. Might as well, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. But I do it because the night is stimulating; the air is clear, crisp, and electrifying. No human is watching. The moonlight shines down like a single spotlight…the stars are my audience, the cool grass is my stage, the crickets and the frogs are my music. I dance without a care in the world. I get warm and breathless, my muscles begin to feel strained, and the beads of sweat begin to surface on my brow. The soft breeze cools me, and I want nothing else but to stay out there forever…

Death is just the easy way to escape. The weather recently has reminded me about this story about a boy and a girl. Simple enough, I suppose. They grow older and fall in love. The boy is poor, the girl is rich. While she goes away to school for her later teen years, the boy, a couple years older, determines to spend the time when they are separated in hard labor, working to make enough to support her. Of course, he knows what she’s used to and is willing to do whatever he can to get as close to matching it as possible. When she comes back from school, three or four years later, he is proud of himself. They meet, and she seems preoccupied. He plans to come over to her house later and propose. He does, but he finds her in the parlor talking with another man—a rich one—who has his arm around the girl. The girl announces, slightly embarrassed and grimly, that she and the rich man are engaged. The boy falls into devastation, and that’s a very understate-ish understatement. He had worked all these years, FOR HER. And now what? She rejects him. Unintentionally, but he can never have her now. He never even tries again. He just crawls into a hole, gives up. However, he’s developed a habit of working hard. In ten years, he’s pretty well off. He’s been keeping track of the girl now. She married the other man and they moved to a house on the lake. One night, the husband leaves for a business meeting. The girl is at home alone. She goes out to enjoy the moonlit night, and comes back into her dark living room. Something in the shadows moves—it is the boy, now fully a man, dressed nicely. His eyebrows are turned down. In his hands is a pistol. The girl is shocked. Her voice trembles as they talk. His is calm and confident. He thinks he wants her love…but in that conversation, he realizes that all he wants is for her to know what he did for her, what he always wanted, and how she carelessly and heartlessly ripped his chest opened, pulled his heart out, and threw it out the window where it was driven to the bottom of the river. The husband comes back home. The man confronts the husband and shoots him soon after. The girl screams, asking what the man wants from her. Now the man comes to his senses…he’s only hurt her more. She hurt him, but he swore long ago he would never hurt her. He’s gone back on the promise. His life is turmoil, and the moment is happening so fast around him, he feels dizzy. With quaking hands he turns the gun on himself. It would make things better for the girl if he was gone as well. He shoots himself in the head. What he doesn’t know is that he’s hurt the girl even more than he could ever imagine. The girl is confused, bewildered…this was not what was supposed to happen this evening! All she can see, though, is what is right in front of her, and that’s any meaning in her life now has surely vanished, and vanished tragically. Impulsively, she grabs the pistol from the man, lets out one last sob…and shoots herself.

It’s not supposed to be that easy. That is not bliss; that is not escape. It’s just tragedy. Naivety, short-sightedness. People commit suicide every day, feeling surely that once their souls have escaped the world, everything will be okay…

I don't mean to leave you on such a negative note. No, I'm not feeling suicidal. Far from it! I was just illustrating something with my little story. Now I shall go and love my life some more!

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