Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I think I'm getting old.
For my birthday I didn't have the usual treasure hunt for my presents. When I told my mom, she freaked out and made one out of all the socks she was going to give me that led to a box of chocolate. I also got some mp3s. I didn't get anything big and it was okay.
This year for Christmas, instead of having the usual surprises under the tree, I know exactly what I'm going to get because my mom made all her children write a Christmas list.
Today, after what seemed like hours of hearing sirens in my neighborhood, I finally heard some that were close. I had already gone outside in my pajamas to check to see if it was Santa, and I didn't want to do it again. As it turned out, it was just the truck just before the firetruck with Santa on it announcing to the cul-de-sac that Santa was coming. Since I was given proper time to get my shoes and coat on, I decided it would be worth it to see Santa one final time.
This wasn't the first time this year I had this dilemma. On Halloween I was torn up until the last minute whether I would attend trick-or-treat or not. My class on that Wednesday didn't end until 6:45 pm, and Halloween around here starts at 6 pm. I asked my mom when my siblings stopped doing Halloween, and they stopped when they were like 12. I couldn't help but feel torn. It was a decision to have one last year or not and regret it.
I didn't even have a costume, but then I had sudden inspiration. I got a black dress with spider web designs on it, a cape my mom made when I was a witch many moos ago, some black arm warmers I wore with my costume two years ago, and some black tights. I told my dad to pick me up from class rather than my mom so I could leave on time. I did a quick smoky eye for my makeup, packed my clothes in my dad's car, and told my friends that I was going to be late for trick-or-treating, but at least I was going to be there.
The members of the usual trick-or-treating party had been halved this year. As it turns out, one of my friends was also running late, so we were all able to leave at the same time at 7. I even had time to put on some black lipstick before we left. I had a great time, got a lot of candy, and regretted nothing.

Monday, December 3, 2012


This morning seemed to start out great. No one was home, the house was nice and quiet, my brother didn't leave one of his friends to sleep on the couch. Of course that ended quickly when my dad came home to tell me my brother got into an accident and totaled our minivan. That minivan was my one transportation to the community college.
I got really mad and upset. I couldn't help but blame my parents for being so lenient with him. This is the third car that he has wrecked and the second one that he didn't even own. My dad left to go to the hospital and I sat and stewed in my own anger.
And then I cried.
And then I baked brownies. This was my rebel yell. I declared that no one but me eat these brownies. Despite not knowing how I would get to school when my parents aren't home, despite all the time I spent driving with a learner's permit  was worthless, despite the fact that my brother has an obvious problem that no one but me sees the severity of, I baked brownies.
I didn't even want brownies. I just wanted something mine, something all mine that my brother can't ruin. Something I didn't have to share.
It was great to look my mom in the eye and tell her no, you can't have any brownies and no, I don't want to practice parallel parking. Driving sucks, mom.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


At the urging of my mother, I'm current taking a course called Maps and Mapping. I said "why not" considering it was a social science credit I could get out of the way. When I went to the Chesapeake Watershed Forum, my mom eagerly shoved me towards classes who's man topic was maps. I attended two classes on websites with maps that included information on certain areas of land and searching features. I also attended two about community participatory mapping applications.
All that aside, lately I've noticed I've been using maps more. On the way home from the forum it was my job to navigate us home. During hurricane Sandy, I was watching an online map that showed how many people in different zip codes in Southern Maryland didn't have power. It refreshed the map every 15 minutes and I would fervently refresh the page in the hope of predicting when I would lose power (I never did).
Right now I'm staring at an online electoral map. This one refreshes every 30 seconds, making it ideal for getting the latest results. At the moment, Romney is ahead 163 to 158. Polls in Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, and California haven't close yet. Polls in Oregon, Idaho, and Nevada have yet to report the results. This could be a nail biter.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

College, College, and More College

My classes at the community college are going well. I'm trying for my driver's license next month, so I won't have to depend on my father and brother as much. If a class is cancelled or ends early I have to wait 20 minutes for my ride to pick me up. Since I only go to class for 3 hours 3 days a week, I've been having fun doing things over the weekend. One weekend I went to the Big E in New England and saw my sister. Another weekend I went to the Chesapeake Watershed Forum in West Virginia and learned mostly about maps thanks to the urging of my mom.
One thing my dad made sure I did with my time was college things. I've done some college tours at state universities. I personally hate college tours. They're awkward and they make me feel like I'm being fed overly sweet syrup. One of the schools was medium-sized, which I liked, but the campus seemed cramped and in the middle of nowhere. They loved to talk about how it's so close to Baltimore, but when someone asked if there was a shuttle to go to Baltimore, the tour guides said it's really unreliable. The other school had a huge student population, but had a big campus to balance it out. Unfortunately, it seemed too big, and the surrounding area seemed unattractive and not the type of place I'd like to hang out. The upside their computer science program is supposed to be really good.
My college applications are coming along, although I have to admit my essays still need work. I'm trying to get everything done by November 1st, so I'm cranking out short answers before the "Frankenstorm" hits the East coast and I lose power. I never understand the word limits they have on these things.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Summer's End

Well the first day of school for me this year is in two weeks, and frankly I'm a bit disappointed in how little I've done this summer. I would have liked to explore my home state a bit more, but I think I'll blame my online class for keeping me busy (which I got an A in, by the way). I have done some great things though.

My mom has been dragging me on driving trips throughout my county so I can get driving hours in. I like to see the farmlands around where I live, and we play the game "what are they growing?". The answers range from corn to cows. We've stopped at some parks too, like little hidden beaches and trails. One place we stopped at was like a boat graveyard. There were sunken ships everywhere from World War I.

Some other quintessential mid-Atlantic things I've done include eating crabs and kayaking. Crabs has to be my favorite thing about summer. I've been working on my technique to open them and get all the good stuff out. Kayaking also has a special place in my heart during the summer. Although I've only kayaked once this summer, last summer I kayaked almost every weekend. When I did it this summer, I wasn't as used to the constant paddling and woke up the next morning with pain in my shoulders and elbows.

Speaking of boating, I had loads of fun on the St. Lawrence river in New York in June. I visited Boldt Castle, an unfinished mansion on one of the thousand islands. The next week I visited Ottawa, the capital of Canada. We celebrated Canada Day, which is their independence day. It was a sea of red and white. We tried to eat traditional Canadian things, like beavertail and poutine. We also visited their parliament building and lots of interesting museums.

When I look back I guess I have done more than the average lazy teenager.

Friday, June 1, 2012


I haven't posted in a long long time. It's May, which means the winding down of the school year. I've turned in all my textbooks and taken all my finals. I'm taking the SAT tomorrow and the ACT next week. The seniors have already left and are doing graduation practice until they finally graduate on Tuesday.

One thing that I've done is prepare for next year. I've filled out all my paperwork to go to the community college for my senior year. I'm taking four classes: English, calculus, computer science, and maps and mapping. It seems odd that I would choose a class like that to take, but the admissions adviser recommended it because it would be easier to take a humanities course my first semester there.

Another cool thing I did was go on a trip to Europe for my spring break. I went to Berlin, Munich, and Krakow. It was great to see my cousin in Germany and eat pierogi ruskie to my heart's content in Poland. Krakow was definitely my favorite place. I would love to go back and explore Wawel castle more and see the entire Rynek Główny from the balcony of the Sukiennice.

In other exciting news, my sister and I are trying to convince my dad to take us to Canada sometime over the summer. I suppose I should do more college tours, but colleges are usually dead-looking this time of year and it wouldn't really be fun.