Thursday, December 1, 2011


Ever since Thanksgiving weekend ended I've been watching holiday-themed rom coms on Lifetime and Hallmark. Right now I'm watching The Santa Clause on ABC Family, which is the first movie in a month long event called The 25 Days of Christmas. I just absolutely love Christmastime movies. It's all we could talk about at school today.

Another thing I love is Christmas songs. I listen to a Christmas music station on Pandora. The only thing I don't like is how every pop singer has to make their own Christmas album. I often skip past songs by Michael Buble and Mariah Carey because I like the classics, like Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Nat King Cole.

My favorite Christmas tradition is going around to historical houses in our area with my mom. These places usually have a Christmas event, and I like seeing extravagant Christmas decorations hung up. We also go walking through our neighborhood so see the lights strung up on the houses, and maybe catch Santa Claus on his firetruck and get a candy cane from him.

I know I'm buying into the commercialism of Christmas, but I can't wait to buy Christmas presents for my friends and hang out on New Year's Eve drinking three bottles of sparkling cider between us.

Monday, November 21, 2011


Sometime in the past month a new bookstore has invaded our town and set itself in the shell of what was Borders: Books A Million. My first impression of Books A Million wasn't great; the only Books A Million I've been to was the one in Dupont Circle. It was a tiny place with not a big selection of books.

The other day I found myself walking into the new bookstore that had roosted itself where my former hang-out spot was. My expectations were low. My friend who I met in there texted me earlier that she could cry from the unfamiliarity of it all.

As I found my friend in the back, I noticed the placing of the different sections. Borders had it's quirks with its design. The college books were right next to the cafe, which was perfect for us. My friends and I would joke about how the romance section was taking over the science fiction section. Here the sci fi was separated from the romance novels. From where the sci fi section is now used the be the World War II section, where we would sit in the chairs and spy on the piano teacher from our school who we would see from time to time perusing the Harlequin novels. Next to the WWII section was the religion section, which were shelves of bibles with one row dedicated to such heathen pursuits as the Kama Sutra.

Our favorite section to hang out in was definitely the psychology section. It was 3 tall shelves set closely together forming a horseshoe. On one side were the self-help books, another side had gender studies, and the third side had books about relationships. They had 2 chairs placed next to each other.

The cafe area was filled with junk had yet to be configured. Instead the college books were in the back. The WWII books were now a single row on a mainly empty bookshelf in the back. The non-Christian texts were replaced by bible covers. The psychology section was no more. The only chairs to be seen were 6 neatly arranged next to the music section.

When I looked for a book that I swore I saw in the sci fi section, I realized sadly that I was thinking of Borders. But this was no Borders. The people here weren't the same people who came to Borders. At Borders I once helped a man with his algebra homework. Another man once trusted my friend with plugging his iPod into her laptop.

I suppose I'll learn to love it as I must in order to keep the memories of Borders alive. But I'll be frank, they better have good chai tea latte once they get their cafe together.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Happy Halloween

This past week was quite eventful with the combination of spirit week, my birthday, and Halloween.

The first day of spirit week was nerd day. I wore a t-shirt with the numbers of pi shaped into the letter pi while everyone else wore suspenders and glasses without lenses. The second day was decade day. I went as the 60's and wore corduroy bell-bottoms that were striped dark green, orange, and brown with a Beatles shirt. Halfway through the day I changed into a blue skirt suit I bought at Goodwill for my Halloween costume. A lot of people went as the 80's. Third day was mix-match day. I didn't do anything for this except not brush my hair in the morning. Meanwhile people went all out with different shoes and layering shorts over pants. A lot of people looked they did for decades day. Thursday was character day. I had no set character in mind but I went as someone out of character as me. I wore a short dress with fishnets and heels. By the end of the day my feet were killing me.

Finally it was spirit day. Freshmen wore white, sophomores wore yellow, juniors wore red, and seniors wore black. Throughout the day you could see girls applying eye black with black eyeliner or writing their graduation year with red lipstick. We dismissed two hours early to attend the pep rally in the stadium. There were floats by the separate classes, different sports and clubs walking with banners, and performances from the cheerleaders, poms team, and marching band. There was beauty pageant between the teachers where male teachers dressed as women and vice versa. There was also a battle between the classes, where the freshmen won against the seniors in the tug-of-war because the seniors celebrated a bit too early so they ran from the rope cheering while the freshmen kept pulling. Although in the end the seniors still won the most spirited.

On Sunday it was my birthday. It wasn't the best birthday I've had since I was suffering through a combination of a bad reaction to something and a sunburn on my face. The day started with a treasure hunt to find my first present, which was My Little Pony toy. Later I got the most awesome sweatshirt ever with a man carrying a Victrola on the back of it. My grandparents came over and gave me a steamboat necklace and a ring of mine they fixed. My mom made lasagna and blueberry pie and I opened more presents. I got a pair of headphones, a new mp3 player, and a card I can insert into it so it will have more space.

On Monday I went to my friend's house after school and put together the final touches of my costume. I was a Pan Am stewardess, and had the blue skirt suit and the heels I bought from Goodwill, nylons I borrowed from my mom, white gloves that were my great-grandmother's, and a paper hat and wings that I printed off of the internet. I even had "Persian Melon", the official lipstick of Pan Am. My friends were the witch from Left4Dead, a lumberjack, a nurse, a soldier, and a creepy jester. After trick-or-treating I tried to watch The Blair Witch Project, but had to stop it once the people heard noises in the woods.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


October is by far my favorite month. The colors of the leaves changing and crispness of the air that signals the coming of winter is sublime. The other day my dad ordered firewood, which means we'll use our fireplace soon. Here's a list of somethings I love about October

Lately I've been getting into sweaters: pullovers, cardigans, knit tunics. And fall weather is perfect for sweaters. The air has a hint of frost, but not too much that I want to a huge coat.

Corn mazes
I've been trying to get my friends in a corn maze for the past week. Corn mazes are the perfect autumn activity. the more complicated the better. I especially love the maze that are on farms with other activities, such as hay rides, pumpkin patches, and farm stores. I tried to go to a corn maze last week to ring in the season, but it rained too much. I went last night with friends where we got lost and celebrated with apple cider afterwards.

Pumpkin carving
I have fond memories of going through pumpkin patches, choosing the perfect pumpkin (round, but not too short), and being elbow-deep in said pumpkin's guts. I've bent a few knives in my time trying to cut the perfect jack-o-lantern face. And when all the carving was done, my dad would take the pumpkin seeds and toast them in the oven. Although this year there probably won't be any carving going on because of the cost of a perfect pumpkin, my dad bought a small pumpkin yesterday for a pie.

Rocky Horror Picture Show
Although not the most appropriate movie, I've been watching this movie every year for as long as I could remember. Hopefully one day I'll get to watch it one day in a theater with other fans. I'm planning on seeing it at a local amphitheater, although I don't know the level of participation they accept there.

Spirit Week
At my school, spirit week is actually pretty fun. There's mix-match day, hat day, character day (which is basically like Halloween), and other cool themed days. It ends on the Friday of the homecoming with a pep rally.

The only day a year where you can dress however you want and get free candy from strangers. I always love the hour before my friends and I start trick-or-treating because getting ready is always so much fun. I'm a little worried because Halloween is on a Monday, but hopefully people will feel generous this year.

My birthday!
This will be my sweet 16, the day before Halloween. I'm going to celebrate it in the classiest way I can by going to a tea room with friends. Although my celebration choice may seem sophisticated, I absolutely refuse to grow up.

Monday, September 12, 2011

County Fair

Words cannot express how much I love my county fair. I love the 4H building. I love the free pens they give you in the commercial building. I love the flower arrangement contest. I love the produce contest. I love the cages full of bunnies and chickens; the pens of pigs, cows, sheep, and goats. I love the man who plays folk songs and has a rack full of hats. I love the man who talks about reptiles with a monotone voice. I love the one room schoolhouse. I love the carnival rides held together by duct tape. I love the beauty queen named after a certain chemical found in tobacco. It's like everything I love about my county put in one place.

It's been a tradition that schools close on the Friday of the weekend of the fair, because Friday is the day that school kids get in free. Unfortunately with the two hurricanes that hit us this month, our school has used up 3 snow days because of flooding and power outages. They canceled fair day this year, which, according to my chemistry teacher, is the first time they've done that in a loooooong time.

My friends and I were talking about what day to go to the fair and one of them said he wasn't going because he doesn't like the fair. In a rush, I basically spouted everything I said in the first paragraph really fast. I hear kids complaining about having to go to school on Fair day but then turn around and say they don't like the county fair. Personally, I don't see how you couldn't love the fair. When I go away to college, what I worry most about is if I'll be able to go to the fair. I definitely won't take it for granted.

Monday, September 5, 2011

New School Year

So the new school year started on Tuesday last week (due to not having power on Monday), and I feel like I had a productive summer. I had my first second earthquake and a nice hurricane that never even turned off our power. I went on trips to upstate New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. I went to a training camp for environmental activists and tested dissolved oxygen in the Mattawoman Creek for DNR. I went to a baby shower, I went to a funeral, I hung out with friends. I even managed to squeeze in two college tours.

This year I got all the classes I wanted. This year at my school they're really pushing doing activities during lunch so they issued ID cards that you scan and one of the administrators said that if she never saw your name scanned in she'd hunt you down and choose something for you to do. Thankfully I won't have that problem this year because my first meeting for the National Honor Society this year is tomorrow.

For my spring break my parents and I are planning a trip to Germany and Poland. We're going to visit my cousin Hallie who's studying in Berlin, and then go to Krakow where I can tour Auschwitz and go to the hometown of my great-grandmother who I'm named after. I'll have to miss at least two days of school but I'm assuming (and hoping) that my teachers will be forgiving of an international trip.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Tudors

Some of my favorite blogs are about one of my most favorite topics: The Tudors. And I'm not talking about that historically inaccurate show on Showtime. I'm talking about England's most infamous family. And the one Tudor that I am most enamored with is Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII's second wife and mother of Elizabeth I.

The only thing I love more than Tudor fact is Tudor fiction. I own seven novels on Anne Boleyn, plus every book Philippa Gregory has written on the Tudors and "The Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII" by the renowned David Starkey. I think that the reason I like them so much is they're like fiction, but it all really happened!

The first time I read about the Tudors was in sixth grade when I borrowed "Doomed Queen Anne" by Carolyn Meyer from the library. After reading it I thought it was the most amazing story until one day I found out it all happened.

Anne Boleyn, a nothing in the court of England, was the sister of Mary Boleyn, who was the mistress of King Henry VIII until he tired of her. The king was famous for having many mistresses while still married to Queen Katherine. While the king was so worried about not having a son (all he had was princess Mary), Anne Boleyn beguiled the king and held his affection for six years while he worked out his divorce and separating from the pope to lead his own church, even without being his mistress.

Unfortunately, the honeymoon ended soon after they got married, for Anne had a daughter Elizabeth (who we all know now was one of the greatest monarchs of England). She had three miscarriages after her and the marriage only lasted three years. The king was ready to get rid of Anne, so he had someone devise a plot. Anne was accused of having carnal knowledge of six men, including her brother, which is treason. She was arrested and beheaded. The king went on to have four more wives after her.

I still can't put my finger on why Anne Boleyn intrigues me so, but I think she was a strong woman, who wasn't afraid to risk anything to be powerful and spoke her mind. She was very intelligent and got an education most women didn't get back then. Unfortunately a strong-willed woman is what the king wanted in a mistress, not a wife, and Anne wasn't able to have children after her Elizabeth.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

As I creeped out of my room this afternoon, I had today's Washington Post shoved in my face by my dad. On page A9 was the news we all secretly knew was going to happen but never wanted to think about: Borders closing.
NEW YORK — In a story on July 19, The Associated Press, relying on a company statement, reported erroneously that Borders was expected to ask a federal bankruptcy court to allow it to be sold to liquidators. Borders plans to ask the court to appoint liquidation firms to conduct going-out-of business sales. They will not buy any assets of Borders.
To me and my friends, Borders was way more than a book store. Every Friday after school we would go and discuss colleges, what happened during the week, new hairstyles we were considering, and just joke around until it closed at 10pm.

As my dad said, bookstores are for books you didn't know you wanted. I doubt I would've bought a book on double standards between men and women or a one where the revolutionary war had been fought with dragons had I been perusing Amazon. And I'm glad I found those books, especially the many college books I looked in at Borders. You can't just look through books in an online store, but at Borders my friends and I would gather them and bring them to our table in the café and point out interesting ones and talk about what we liked about them. When we went through a bridal gown phase, we would get wedding magazines and share the dresses we loved and laughed at the ridiculous looking ones.

After we ate lunch at a restaurant today we walked to the grocery store, passing an empty storefront that used to be a Blockbuster. My dad said people don't use DVD's anymore since they get everything off the internet. Although I admit there have been times when my sister and I or my mom and I have huddled around a monitor to watch a missed episode of Glee, watching things on a TV is just better. One day after a rough week at school, my friend came to my house with a DVD of the seventh Harry Potter movie and microwavable popcorn, which kind of goes along with my ramble in the second paragraph. It's all about sharing. My friends lend their books all the time. I don't know of anybody who would give away their Kindle willingly, but you already know what I think of Kindles.

All in all, I think the situation that's going on is ridiculous, since it seems people would rather stay in their houses than venture out into the world to get a book or a film. It's either that or people aren't reading anymore, which is worse. When my Borders closes, there will be no bookstore in the county. I would have to go to Baltimore to get my fix in the Barnes & Noble (which I hear is going down too).

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


For the past 12 days I was on the Erie Canal in New York on my grandparent's steamboat. I was with my grandparents, my sister Andelle, my cousin Hallie, and my aunt Innes. It took us two days to get to Little Falls, which was the first stop for the Great International Steamboat Flotilla. Little Falls was a cute but dead town, which was what I found in common with Canajoharie and Amsterdam, which were two other towns we stopped in along the way to our destination.

Our final destination was Waterford, where they had a weekend full of activities planned for us. We got there on Wednesday, and Thursday was our chill day. Hallie, Andelle and I noticed that other boats had wooden signs that they had on the dock, either for show or to hold their place. Earlier that week a lockmaster gave us Erie Canal coloring books so Hallie bought crayons in Schenectady and we used the crayons and colored on two by fours that we got off our boat. We made one for our boat and for two other boats whose owners we're friends with. Then we started making them anonymously for boats that didn't have any. Soon people who already had signs gave us some of their wood to make them signs on, and two people said they would varnish theirs.

On Friday we called my mom and told her to go to a website that had a live feed of a camera that pointed towards our boat. We all waved to the camera and even pulled in some other steamboating friends. We also had a "parade", where the boats went a few miles down the river and followed behind an old tugboat called the Urger, which dates back to 1901. When we got back to the docks, we had pizza and wings in the visitor center. My grandmother, Hallie, Andelle and I (my aunt left on a train in Amsterdam) were wearing matching French sailor shirts, which impressed everybody. We also got free t-shirts of the Sayonara, whose captain basically commanded the entire trip. For Saturday we got food vouchers to pay for our meals.

On Saturday there were vendors selling just about anything on the docks. The was a lot of people walking around, checking out the boats. The steamboaters congregated in this one area under a shady tree with small fold up tables and lawn chairs. The adults drank gin and tonic while my cousin, my sister, and I played cards. This one boat was firing a cannon and we got to take turns firing it. At night we sat on the boat and watched the fireworks across the water.

On Sunday there was a farmer's market, where my sister bought berries and a strawberry rhubarb pie with the remaining food vouchers. We steamed down to a lock where we parked the trailer in the pouring rain and we were on our way. Two days later we were home where I am now.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

HSAs -> Internet

So this past week was pretty hectic with two HSA's (High School Assessment, a 3 hour test required for graduation) and the fact that teachers put caution tape everywhere, blocking off half of a wing so as not to distract the test takers.

When HSAs roll around, my web design class gets kicked out of the computer lab. I find class enjoyable even when we aren't using the computers because the teacher shows us cool videos about things aren't directly related to our lessons. In the lab we're learning about tools in designing web pages, like Flash or Dreamweaver; but in the random classrooms we're moved to we learn about the future of the internet and what it means for us.

Personally I find the internet astounding. So much knowledge and information that can be utilized almost instantly. It's so helpful too, connecting people around the world. Looking at my stats page, I'm still surprised that 22 people in Iran, 9 people in Ukraine, and 6 people in Indonesia visited my blog in the past month. Donovan Leitch, one of my idols, said that the internet is the new 60's.
"The dream of the ’60s, of me and John Lennon and the others, was: How do we speak to everybody on the planet at the same time? The first answer was via satellite, but that didn’t connect to everyone. Then John would say, ‘How about telepathy?' Then we forgot about it until now we realize that the Internet fulfills that dream of communicating with everyone. I’m not afraid of the Internet because it’s that the dream we had. The Internet is the new ’60s as far as I’m concerned."

The Internet has produced many an amazing thing, like WikiLeaks, the hacking organization known as Anonymous, and Facebook which helped the protesters in Egypt. And god knows I'd be lost without Google (I wouldn't even have a blog!). And lately Chrome, the web browser owned by Google, has been putting out commercials that highlight the many fine qualities of Chrome and other things Google owns (Gmail, YouTube, Picasa)

I use Chrome and I love it. It's super fast and the address bar doubles as a Google search bar. And Gmail is awesome too. I can chat with my friends and add cool labs, like one where I can undo sending a message up to 5 seconds after sending it.

Without the internet we wouldn't have been as connected as we are now in the world. The HSAs would take forever without the internet. When I talked to the admissions counselor at the community college, he said computer science has many areas and you got to find your niche. I think I've found my niche right here, with the internet.

P.S. I'm not writing this just because I'm so happy my internet came back on. I'm writing it because I'm angry I missed my web design class because of HSA testing.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It's amazing what fun you can have without the internet.

Yesterday the internet was gone for the whole evening, and since I had no homework I had nothing to do. When I got home I took a 3 hour long nap and ate a whole pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream with my mom after she woke me up.

I typed up a spreadsheet for my dad and downloaded a bunch of music to my mp3 player. My mom and I tried a "face smoothie" to hydrate our skin. We mixed together a banana, a cup of yogurt, a tablespoon of honey, and two tablespoons of rolled oats in a blender and let it soak our faces for 15 minutes before we rinsed it off. Our skin seemed more irritated than hydrated, but you live and learn.

After I played tetris on my cell phone for what felt like hours, I had an idea to install some floppy disks I found of Richard Scarry's Busytown. Unfortunately they didn't work too well and my mom and I were disappointed. Also, she noticed me scratch a red spot on my arm and said it was poison ivy. I insisted it wasn't since it wasn't itchy anymore, and I even put some poison ivy cream on it. Sure enough, today it is way small, less red, and not itchy at all.

Monday, May 2, 2011


So I've been looking at my stats for this blog after I discovered I could do that (Thank you Google empire!), and here's what I found:

  • The most page views I got in the past year was in January of this year with 204.
  • The most viewed post of all time is Adorez with 193 views. Runner up is New Book with 43.
  • The biggest referring sites are Lona's blog or Google.
  • Most of the page views come from America, but the second amount is from Russia with 89.
  • 64% of the viewer's browser is Internet Explorer (for shame, internet users!)
  • And of course, 94% use windows.
In other unrelated news, I have taken to the couch again since a spider appeared on my ceiling last night. Armed with anything I could find on my bunk bed, I threw odd projectiles at it, ranging in size from cough drops to college books. I finally gave up the fight and retreated to the living room.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Recently in my French class we learned about Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, so hearing about a crazy lady attacking a Gauguin painting really rustled my jimmies. She called it evil and called the two topless women in the painting homosexuals. Don't even get me started on the whole "radio in her head" thing.

It's acts like this that makes me feel sorry for our country. Blatant acts of homophobia and prudishness that could damage what others would call culture and history are uncalled for. Speak your mind, write a letter to the editor, blog. Don't attack it!
And the women in the painting weren't even doing anything vaguely homosexual. One was carrying a platter. The other one wasn't. It's obviously symbolism. And the way she seems to connect homosexuality with evil is heartbreaking.

Now I'm not surprised at how the news shows reported it. They want viewers like any other show and don't want to deter anybody. What shocked me was what they mentioned about the reactions of the 2004 summer Olympics opening ceremony in Athens, where they displayed bare-breasted statues of Greek goddesses.
First we had to be subjected to the breast of Janet Jackson in the [Super Bowl and] now an even more gratuitous display of pornography an [sic] indecency during what was suppose [sic] to be another family viewing event.
Wait what?

How can people be so disgusted and/or offended by seeing a naked breast? One person just outright said “My children saw an exposed breast during the opening ceremonies” as if they hadn't seen one before.

What these people don't seem to realize is how insulting they are to others and their cultures. At the Olympics, they were displaying artifacts of their great history. In Tahiti I wouldn't think it would be too uncommon to be half-nude. And there are many other French paintings that could be considered more "evil". Manet's Olympia anyone?

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I don't know when my stalker count went from 12 to 34, but boy, does it raise one's self-esteem.

One thing that had happened in those two months that I haven't blogged was course selection for next year. I'm taking AP Language and Composition, AP World History, Chemistry, Physics, Pre-Calc, Web Design II, Java Programming, and French IV. I've planned some college tours for my spring break, where I'll visit University of New Haven, Quinnipiac, Tufts, and WPI. I also took a placement test at CSM so I can take some summer courses there. This should be fun :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011


I have decided to put in my two-cents of what I think about the kindle and other e-reader type electronics:

If you like 'em, great. Personally I wouldn't want one (though it would be handy to get books faster and cheaper). I wouldn't be able to bring it to school, and the squareness of it would be uncomfortable.

You see, the way I read at home is I curl around the book. My favorite reading spot is on my couch upstairs. I don't lay back, instead I sit up with my legs bent so the spine of the book fits perfectly on my legs. I usually lean my head against the back cushion of the couch with my chin down the read the book and my arms slung over my knees. Doing that with a solid rectangle would be uncomfortable and weird, especially since I'd have to move every few minutes to change pages.