Thursday, April 1, 2010

Life Without College

Well, folks, I don't know whether this is the end of an era and the beginning of a new one, or simply a redirection of focus for the time being. I have been contemplating starting a new blog for a while now, about my "life and adventures" of being an autodidact and not choosing the traditional college path. I was considering for a while simply changing this blog up to suit that purpose, but in the end I made the official decision to start a brand-new blog.

It is with great excitement that I announce my new blog: Life Without College. So far I have two entries and more feedback that I could have hoped for in the span of 5 days, and I am very excited to see where this new pursuit will go.

The blog that you are looking at right now will still be up and running, perhaps at the pace it already was; I fully intend on writing the book reviews I promised. So this blog will probably primarily be used for book reviews, poetry, and other similar non-related topics to Life Without College.

So, check out my new blog, enjoy, and be sure to tell your friends!

Yours Truly,

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Only When

A poem by Jessica

If love was only a dream
Sunset never sought
December without moonlight
And children who forgot their names
Who gather in spots of rainbow
To show the swirls of prism...

If only a story was just so
And I found ginger in your soul
Sweet crystals in my hair
Only send you to find
Another mind to strip of all
The petty lullabies...

And the second we await
The mountains of clouds
Which dance in the sky
When you breathe and send
The fine rumble of footsteps
Carefully chosen, though never known...

Just wait until your muscles
Start to burn and you'll
See when life transcends the
Rest of the world
And thorns hold the sweetest melodies.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Pictures from November 2009 Oregon Trip

Hello everyone, guess what? I finally put my pictures from Oregon on Picasa, so everyone who doesn't have a Facebook can now see them!! Huzzah.

Here is the link:


Friday, February 19, 2010

A Morning in the Finch Household

You may or may not be familiar with my dear Finch family. Whatever your case, I highly recommend brushing up on your knowledge of them before reading on:

I shall begin this next segment with the second-to-last paragraph of the first segment. So, don't be confused.

The Finch family lived in a modest home right in the very middle of Fanghorn Avenue. The downstairs consisted of a parlor, kitchen, dining room, powder room, and a small cupboard for the placement of articles of warmth from the cold in the winter, which was located in the passage. Upstairs (the steps leading to and from which were located next-door to the aforementioned cupboard), were four bedrooms. One for Mr. and Mrs. Finch, one for Greta and Evelyn, one for Edward and Victor, and one for guests when guests came, but otherwise for collection overflow on behalf of Mr. Finch, Mrs. Finch, Greta, and Evelyn (all of whom would have rather kept all of each collection in his or her room, but ran out). Edward and Victor, wanting to share in the equal subdivision of the spare room, collected odds and ends precisely for the purpose of storing when no guests were around. Edward heartlessly collected many ounces of dust lying around the house (causing Mrs. Finch to keep her sanity in check in the most mundane respects of furniture dusting), and Victor had the clever idea of cutting out encyclopedia articles which he thought he might read in the future when he got around to it, (of course, Mr. Finch was not of the knowledge of this defacement) and putting them in spare jars which Evelyn discarded when any particular culture grew too big for it. This resulted in Victor not wanting to actually read the articles because to pull them back out again would render the entire time reading a time spent smelling nothing short of the most awful stench in the world, which was impossible to wash out of the jars. There was also a bathroom up stairs which everyone shared, though everyone complained considerably of everyone else taking much too long in the bathroom doing various and sundry preparations and primpings which were necessary to the party concerned with doing preparations and primpings, but were absolutely ridiculous to all who were affected by not being able to use the bathroom at the time they wished to.

It was on one such a morning that Greta was taking an especially lengthy time in the bathroom, because she felt she must brush her hair out as long as possible in order for it to be as long and silky as possible. The day before, her friend at school had let her borrow a very expensive hairbrush, telling her that the only way for her hair to be perfect was to brush it consistently for at least an hour. The three other siblings were outside the door as well. Edward was wrestling with Evelyn, asking her why and for what absurd reason she should think that girls need to be first.

“Why, they take longer to get ready, of course! Boys can do it in five minutes flat,” she reasoned, stamping her foot in front of her to hold her place in line. She pulled the rest of herself up in front of Edward.

Edward glared. “But that is the whole point! Why can’t we just get ready first, since we take such a short amount of time, and then you girls can take your sweet time afterwards, minus the banging and nagging.”

“Because,” Evelyn stuck her nose in the air, “when you go first, you DON’T take five take hours!!”

Victor piped up, “Why, Evelyn, we are only showing you what it feels like to wait. If you didn’t take so long, this demonstration would certainly not be necessary.”

Evelyn was shoved back by Edward, and then shoved back farther still by Victor, so that she was at the back of the line. She scoffed. “You boys are just wasting time in there??”

Victor shrugged. “I usually read; quite often one of my Guinness Book of World Records or something of the sort.”

Edward added, “One time I opened the window, climbed down the side of the house, went for a relaxing swim, played in the mud, and then I climbed back up and took a real, well-deserved, lengthy bath because this time I was really messy. I should do that more often...”

Evelyn’s jaw dropped. “You...!” she squeaked presently. “I’m telling mum on you!”

“I had to clean the floor, of course, too,” Edward continued. “That was a bit of a downer; anti-climactic and whatnot. But other than that, it was quite fun. And when I came out, you and Greta had fallen asleep in front of the door with your towels as pillows!”

Evelyn’s eyes widened at the memory, and she quickly dropped to the floor, crawling between her brothers’ legs to get to the front of the line. Victor cried, “No!!” and crawled likewise to the front. Edward, appalled at being pushed to the back so quickly, tried to repeat the action. Though he ended up toppling his brother and sister over, rather than making a clean sweep of things, he resumed his spot as first in line.

“I don’t want to be after you if you are going swimming again!” Victor pouted.

“Well, I don’t want to be after YOU if you are going to read a giant book full of nonsense!” Edward shot back. “I mean, you do it anyway, but it is an unacceptable bathroom behavior.”

“My hair takes longer to dry than either of yours!” Evelyn continued to protest from the back of the line. “I simply must go first, or I shan’t survive the day.”

Edward rolled his eyes. “What has hair-drying go to do with anything?”

“A lot.”

“What, then?”

Evelyn wasn’t sure, but it was certainly a lot.

Edward and Victor were laughing so hard at Evelyn’s failure to come up with a good argument that they did not hear or see Mrs. Finch ascending the staircase. She only wore her hats in company or out in public, and without them she actually resembled a normal human being. She glided over to stand, looking down upon her children (except for Edward, who was a little taller than she was).

Mrs. Finch did not demand to know what the trouble was. Instead, she said: “Your distant cousin Robby Arbuckle is coming to see us, and stay in the spare room.”

Upon hearing this, the three children froze, and even Greta (who always listened in with great ears for doing so, but never acted like she heard anything) poked her half-brushed head out of the restroom. “What??” The four demanded in unison.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Kind of Like Blogging!

So I got this little page-thing on this website-place. It's called Form Spring. I don't know why. But it's an interesting little cubbyhole where people can ask each other questions, and then answer them. I'm seeing it now as some sort of blogging, but a little easier to handle, because they are little blurbs. I might combine some into a blog entry later or let them inspire me into one.

It's an interesting little hub. Check it out:

And do not worry, people - I have not forgotten about writing about the books I read last year!!! Okay, I have forgotten once or twice, but every time I sit down to write another blog entry, I DO remember. Feel free to spam me with reminders. I will get to it sooooon!!!


Saturday, January 16, 2010

To Know

Thanks to my buddy Forrest, in November I acquired an interest in slam poetry. Stemming from hip-hop music, slam poetry is recited in a rhythm mimicking rapping with memorized hand gestures, and most often has an important message to deliver or shows a perspective not normally seen. It is a very fascinating art form and I highly recommend watching some videos on YouTube. It blew my mind.

Last night I sat down to write what I was intending to be lyrics for a song on piano I am in the middle of; but when I began to write something else came out. For a few months now I have been mulling – more than usual – over many, many questions about truth, right and wrong, life, God, eternity, etc. And I really had gotten in a state where I was so confused I was avoiding thinking at all; I felt like there were so many perspectives justifying themselves in my brain that it was impossible to be sure of anything anymore. I don’t know if any of you have ever felt this, but I am sure you can imagine how miserable it is. When one doesn’t know exactly what one thinks, one loses touch with one’s identity and starts to feel like a spirit flitting from one body to the next but never having one’s own feet touch the ground.

This poem, such as it is, finally helped me figure out what I believe. Uncertainty has left me and I can walk self-assuredly on my own two feet again. Most importantly, I feel filled with “the peace that passes understanding.” I feel not only like a giant burden has been lifted, but that I now have wings.

The form/rhyming/etc. could always use improvement, so anybody is welcome to make suggestions of any kind. This does not have to be the final product.

So, without further ado...

To Know

What logic?
Logic is only a game
Think your perception is better, clearer
But rationalization is the key
Fake reason isn’t the answer
When used so high and mightily
Wrong answers are found
By looking in the wrong places
Don’t bother looking elsewhere
You won’t, and you won’t see

What time?
Time is simply now
Stop pretending to balance records
Against something you have no
Knowledge of – and whoa –
Don’t go there and base your case
On what newfangled know-it-alls
Have declared to know all of
When philosophers, scientists, artists
So “primitive” to progress today
For thousands of years
Have said something else

What fate?
Fate is just a name, supposed
Substitution for careful planning
Good fate is luck, or universal balance
Bad fates just suck
Or maybe God has turned against us
But have you ever thought
We ought to have a better outlook
See past our petty sorrows
See tomorrow – we never do
Someone has a plan for this – and us
Maybe bad happens now
For the greater eternity that lies ahead
But you don’t see the big picture

What truth?
Truth is all there is
Without it we are lost and don’t accost
Ourselves to consider the price
We all pay for an individual’s fascism
So many disagree on the nitty-gritty
Details; itty-bitty issues of what is true
But do you not see past your fine long nose
You look down in disdain
At people just the same as you
And see as humanity – as one – we all agree
That God says to love one another
And hating is murder

What God?
God is a big guy in the sky
Laughing with glee when we skin our knee
And eagerly awaiting the day he can
Toss us all into the furnace
No. God is love. God of all people
Should know the art of mercy, compassion –
Forgiveness for us all, for whether we
Know it or reject it, we are all his
Children, and we all do the same things
None of us deserve his love; the entire race of man
Screwed up this beautiful world so much
That God died.

Every one of us is at fault
He not only forgave us, but he saved our very souls
If it’s too crazy to believe, I don’t blame you
Because I’ve been down that path
But let me ask – this act of ultimate love:
Where did it come from?
From he who IS love – the creator of love himself
How else do you think we know love?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Note: An entry on the books in more detail is coming soon. Until then, enjoy some flash fiction.

The lights were out and we could see only because our eyes had adjusted and the full moon beamed sleepily through the thin curtains. My eyes stung but my heart’s angry palpitations were slowly soothed by Temple’s soft humming as she ran her fingers through my hair. I felt sorry my tears had fallen down beside my head on her lap, but she didn’t seem to mind. Temple’s other hand held mine, stroking my palm with her thumb as I lay it on my shallowly breathing abdomen.

I took in a deep breath and it came in shakily. It felt good. Temple said nothing and I loved her all the better for it. For a moment I wanted to be silent as well, but in my mind thoughts screamed and scratched for release.

“Is it possible to be sure of myself?” I asked in a cracking tremor. “Am I destined to go through life, never quite certain of what I believe?” Temple’s humming had stopped, but I dared not look into her lovely melancholy face. I had yet to know what lay beyond. I was afraid to know, and perhaps she guessed it. Another tear escaped as I blinked. I yawned, breathing deeply again and feeling the emotional exhaustion pressing down on my heart. “Temple, who am I?”

When Temple finally answered, I could not detect emotion. “You are who you are on the outside, and who you are on the inside.” I almost asked her what she meant, except that after a moment’s pause she began again in her calm and calculated manner. “You are what you do – every little thing. And that is all influenced by what you think. You can think all you need to, but who you are is defined by what you end up doing. An ultimatum is an ultimatum. Once met and dealt with... there you are.”

I could not feel myself tremble any more, and finally dared to look up at Temple. I was met with a small smile that changed her whole face. She squeezed my hand and I squeezed back. I felt more tears coming as in the glassy blue of her eyes I knew I had finally found a sister.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Books Read in 2009

So this is a first in a series of New Year posts I spontaneously decided to... um... plan. I shall first do a general re-cap of books, then perhaps a couple more entries specifically about the books and why I rated them what I did. Then, I want to do another entry or two about what I did in 2009 and what I want to do in 2010. This will probably end with the resolution to "blog more." ;-)

So, I am stealing Natalie's format and rating system this year:

5-I REALLY liked it!
4-Also very, very good
2-Okay, but not necessarily worth the time
1-Wouldn't recommend it

Now, just because I rate something a 5, 4, or 3, doesn't mean I didn't like it. I just had to be positively addicted to the book for it to get a 5 and/or just keep singing its praises after I finish reading it; for it to get a 4 it still has to be a very excellent book I would most certainly recommend, and for it to get a 3 I would still recommend it, but I'm not jumping up and down excited about it, nor will I really find much to say about why you should read it, other than that it was definitely good. As for 2... it goes for books that were, in general, interesting enough, but I was eager to just get them over with and if anybody asked me if they should read it, I would say probably not, unless you're really interested in _____. As for 1: IT SUCKED. Hands down, don't read it. I'll tell you why, too, if you really want to know. Just don't read it. Please.

So, here we go. I read 21 more books than I did last year! Each year I am going to try and increase the number of books I read. Hopefully. *drinks to more reading* Mmm... Martinelli's.


1. How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor by Robert S. Mendelsohn - 5
2. The Mystery of Iniquity by Michael Rood - 1
3. Let me be a Woman by Elizabeth Elliot - 4


4. For Young Women Only by Shaunti Christine Feldhahn and Lisa Ann Rice - 3
5. For Young Men Only by Jeff Feldhahn - 3
6. For Women Only by Shaunti Christine Feldhahn - 3
7. Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis - 5


8. Everybody's Guide to Homeopathic Medicines by M.D. Stephen Cummings and Dana Ullman - 4
9. Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto - 5


10. Not Even a Hint by Joshua Harris - 3
11. Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens - 5
12. Persuasion by Jane Austen - 4
13. Authentic Beauty by Leslie Ludy - 3


14. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies "by Jane Austen" and some IDIOT - 1
15. A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle - 3
16. Writing Life Stories by Bill Roorbach - 4
17. Living the Cross Centered Life by C. J. Mahaney - 4


18. Across the River and Through the Trees by Ernest Hemingway - 4
19. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen - 4
20. Whatever Happened to Justice? By Richard Maybury - 5
21. Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose - 5


22. Every Young Woman's Battle by Shannon Ethridge - 3
23. The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - 3
24. The Complete Guide to Homeopathy by Andrew Lockie - 3
25. The Dependent Gene by David S. Moore - 4


26. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux - 5+++!!!!!!!!!
27. No Plot? No Problem! By Chris Baty - 3
28. House by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker - 2 (I hate to say it, but I just didn't like it that much!)
29. The Lost Virtue of Happiness by Klaus Issler and J. P. Moreland - 2


30. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - 4
31. Kiss by Ted Dekker and Erin Heely - 4
32. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini - 5
33. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield - 5
34. Keeping a Journal You Love by Sheila Bender - 3
35. Human by Robert Winston - 2


36. The Kingdom of Strange by Shula Klinger - 3
37. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen - 3
38. Story by Robert McKee - 5


39. "The Weight of Glory" and Other Addresses by C. S. Lewis - 4
40. "The Earthquake in Chile" and "The Marquise of O-" by Heinrich von Kleist - 3


41. Are You Liberal, Conservative, or Confused? By Richard Maybury - 5
42. A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott - 4
43. College Without Highschool by Blake Boles - 4
44. When God Writes Your Life Story by Eric and Leslie Ludy - 3

Feel free to ask any questions about these books that you want! I will hopefully elaborate on them soon. :)


Blog Widget by LinkWithin