Monday, November 23, 2015

A Walk Home - a poem

I am delirious because I am so tired. I was walking home, words came into my brain, I wrote them down, I put them on the blog. I like their feeling. No editing at all. Whoops

A Walk

 i sit and watch the world until it moves. 
Up and down
We have no ocean but the tide is strong
The flow of people,
Flying up,
Swooping down like birds of pray
Too often a rush 
A cry for help
A study of new things 
Aren't we all bent at the spine 
Like dead leaves and bananas
And Symmetry- like roads and spines and teeth
Cigarette butts like magnets
Pine needles like bows
Tongue fighting to escape my mouth
Pomegranate Chapstick holding it together 
My front yard is paved with marbles

And fallen missiles from heaven above

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Fake Eyelashes

I've never felt that on my birthdays I suddenly have exclusive knowledge privy to only 11-12-13 year olds. I feel taller. Obviously, I haven't actually just sprouted up a couple inches (no matter what my grandmother claims,) but on the day of my birthday, it feels like the theory of gravity has a flaw. However, upon turning fourteen, I sort of thought everything would change. As a kid, when my neighbors and I would play games, I was always fourteen. It seemed like just the right age - not too old to be a dangerous, snappy, eyeliner wearing teenager, but old enough to be able to take care of the myriad of other siblings and animals that my neighbors morphed into. And in a way, my fourteenth year has been a like the games we used to play: a whole lot of keeping my eye on things. From managing school, dance, friends, and family, this year has been a crazy ride. Just like our games, there have been laughter and tears and good days and bad days.
 This year at school, I took two honors classes and one AP course. For most of the year, I've been able to handle it just fine. But there are always those couple of weeks where there's an English essay due, the science fair's coming up, and I've got to memorize all of Asia's countries, their locations, and their capitals. What I've learned from weeks like this is that: taking walks is a fabulous way to clear your head, to-do lists are life savers, and there's no shame in crying when it's 10:30 PM and you've stuck your hypothesis onto your science fair poster board lopsided. And next year, in an attempt to not have to deal with the same sort of trauma I dealt with this year, I'm taking two courses online over the summer so I can have early release and more time to do homework and make DIY succulent containers.
Secondly, I've improved at dance. I performed for the first time on pointe, achieved a lead role in Park City Dance Academy's performance of the Nutcracker, and got even closer with my dance class, who were some of my best friends at the beginning of the year anyways. I've gotten better at pointework thanks to different brands of pointe shoes that are way better for my brick-flat feet than others. I've also gained a new respect for soloists, having competed one myself, and learnt that performing alone in a small-ish gym in the middle of a suburban high school in front of less than fifty people is one of the most terrifying things one can do. And probably most substantial of all, I've learned how to put fake eyelashes on myself without glueing my eyes closed.
Everyone always says that the social aspect of high school is truly awful, and it totally can be. But when your PE team scores a goal and gives each other high fives even though you'd never talk to each other if you saw one another in the hall, it's not so bad. I feel like I've found a spot in the hormonal chaos of high school social lives. I'm not the most popular, but people know who I am, and I know who they are, and it feels like I fit. 
Lastly, I've realized that I have got to find time to create. It restores me to make things, to build and decorate and paint and just writing this gives me a sort of crazed zeal to go make a tremendous creative mess at this very moment. In those weeks where I had no time to do anything aside from schoolwork, I found myself longing to make anything except more pie charts. It's become very clear to me that I am my first priority, and if I am not happy, or in other words, if I don't have time to create, then something needs to be realigned. 
I'd like to thank you for being here and listening to my opinions and ideas and occasional rants. For putting up with me when all I write about is my succulents or virtual fish. Although it's small, you give me a platform to express my ideas and thoughts and dreams. So I'd like to thank you. 
Thank you.
Now I'm off to go make something!

P.S. I think I will continue this blog, at least for a bit, so see you soon:)

This is the first time I tried editing a picture of myself
and I'm very proud of it

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

I Have a Disease

*This is sort of my Earth Day post that is only 14 days late but time is relative.

Environmental Guilt is everywhere. You know you've felt it: when you don't recycle every piece of paper from your last semester comp-tech class - or worse, when you throw out a re-sealable plastic bag that could have been washed and re-used. It's that nasty sensation in the bottom of your stomach that occurs when you have to run upstairs to get a clean towel while the hot water's running in the shower. Even using plastic spoons and straws at restaurants makes me feel like I'm ruining the earth even more than I do just by living in a developed country. So to help you all offset your years of murdering our environment thanks to every paper napkin you've ever used, I have some easy peasy tips to help us all become hyper aware of the long term affects of not recycling that yogurt carton AKA how to avoid a severe case of enviroguilt. And maybe all of our combined biodegradable lunch containers will actually make a minuscule difference. Anything helps, right?

So first of all, who doesn't like to listen to music while they're in the shower? So, to conserve water as well as restrain yourself from spending hours in your own personal downpour, create a playlist on your phone/computer with one or two good songs that together will play for about five minutes. Right before you get in the shower, press play, and then you have a automatic timer and your favorite jams, plus you're probably providing your great great grandkids with more clean drinking water.
Secondly, I'd really love to have a recycling bin in my room, so you know if you also have the same aspiration, I say 100% go for it. For one, I feel like it will fit right to the practically-a-John-Lennon-shrine theme.
Secondly, I'll have somewhere to put the links I pull off my days-until-school-is-out paper chain. It's 21 days, if you're wondering. And thirdly, it'd be way easier to just dump all my old papers in a recycling bin that having to carry them haphazardly out to the kitchen every time I reorganize my room, which is a lot. So if you want a personalized recycling bin like me, let me know and maybe I can get it for you for your birthday.
You know what's more annoying than little siblings? When people's sprinklers aren't aimed well and they end up watering the pavement which wastes water and makes a mess. You know what's even more annoying than badly positioned sprinklers?  When people leave the lights on when they're not home/don't need them. Especially while you're out during the day, or if you're home and it's light out, keep those babies switched off. We have windows for a reason.
Next, because Americans can't seem to figure anything out, we don't let people go home for lunch. So we bring them with us and we use endless plastic and paper just for convenience. But, there's a light in the wasteful darkness! It's glamorous: wax paper. It's absolutely great. It's biodegradable and superduper handy for those groggy early mornings. You can wrap your sandwich up in it or buy pre-made bags at the store for snacks and littler things. It's happy crinkly and it gets bonus points cause you get "my lunch is biodegradable" bragging rights.
Lastly, you can share these splendid tips for saving the world with other people so we can all contribute to saving the world in small and somewhat efficient ways that we do mainly to make us feel like not such terrible people.
See you all soon.

Think of how many of these things you can keep out of the landfills!
Photo creds to: Serious Eats

Monday, May 4, 2015

Plants are Friends and also Food

Rhode Island in August: nights that knock on your windows and demand that you open up to let the crickets sing you a lullabies. Light sweater breezes on some days and swimsuit and tee shirt sunshine on others. Damp and cool bedsheets each night. The trees are still green and full and clovers clutter the ground for rabbits to come visiting. Sunsets sink into hazy hills over slow-flowing bays and cattails. Screened porches light up with lamplight and laughter.
And all around me, my family rips the limbs off of rust-colored crustaceans.
I help myself to my fourth cob of corn.
As an 85% vegetarian, lobster does not qualify for the selective 15% that I do eat.
Today, however, I won't bore you with all those gory, ethical questions of why I don't like meat (aside from the texture.) Instead, for those of you who are anywhere on the vegetarian gradient, I've got some for healthy meal ideas, certain dilemmas us veg-heads encounter and what to do about them, and just how to deal in general with being a selectively picky eater.

1) Granola!
I had been inspired by one of those "eating habits for healthy dancers" presentations. I attempted homemade energy bites. After mixing in haphazardly measured ingredients, it looked nothing like it was supposed to (sticky and adherent) but rather, dry and crumbly. Discouraged, I tried a bite to see what went wrong. Instead, I found something had gone quite right. It's nutty, sweet, crunchy, and super healthy.
So, to make your new favorite breakfast, mix flaxseed (tons of omega 3), honey (natural sugar), quick uncooked oats (may reduce cholesterol), peanut butter (protein and yum), vanilla extract (essentially angel tears), raisins, chocolate chips, shredded coconut (or any other mix-in of your choice - gummy bears maybe?) into a bowl and stir it till it looks dry-ish. Because it's extremely onerous to mix up certain kinds of peanut butter, you can use a pastry blender if you just happen to have one floating around. And viola! You have breakfast for the next week. Just put it in a preferably glass, eco-friendly tupperware and refrigerate until you're ready for breakfast. You could add frozen fruit, yogurt, or really anything else you want to make it more your taste. If you want the full recipe for the actual energy balls, it's here on Mia's lovely blog.

2) How to Not Look like a Farm Animal while Eating Salad
I have lately encountered a significant issue with salads: I can't eat them. At least not with table manners that my grandmother would be proud of. It's easier to win a game of bridge at an old person's home than eat a salad with halfway decent etiquette. So, after many a stained outfit, I have a couple of helpful tips for you all so that you don't suffer the same dire consequences I have.
Firstly, not that I've been on any, but don't order a salad if you're on a date. It's just a recipe for disaster. Secondly, take small bites. Like, one or two leaves at a time, and make sure they're all folded up on your fork at that. Because although it might take you an awkwardly long time to finish your meal, it's better than spending hours and multiple stain removers getting the oil and vinegar out of your favorite blouse, or having to put your hand to your mouth each time you take a bite to avoid looking like a cow who literally bit off more than it could chew. Thirdly, and lastly, especially if you're making it yourself, don't soak the salad in dressing. This way, your spinach doesn't taste like it's had an acid wash, the bottom of the bowl is not a soggy-kale graveyard, and the possibility for drips is reduced by approximately 45%.

3) The "No Thank You Bite"
I have to thank my parents and their creative ways to get me, the most picky child on earth, to eat whatever was served for dinner. I present to you: the perfect way to avoid the awkward "I'm 78% vegetarian" talk after you've been served a rack of ribs at a friend or relative's house. Here's how it works: if you're served something that looks suspicious, just take one or two small bites while they're looking. Then they know you've tried it and just don't care for it. Step two (optional): quietly offer the rest to another friend, sibling, parent, passing-by pet, or stray dog, depending on your surroundings.

Well, I hope this may be somewhat useful. Fellow veggie-mates, thanks for commiserating with me. See you all soon.

I want this on a shirt
Photo creds to instagram user @livy.johnsonn

If rainbow chard is not enough to make you convert to vegetarianism and pledge your allegiance to
plants forever, I don't know what will.
Image credit: Naturally Nourished 

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Metaphorical Tale of Public Transport, Bad Timing, and a Squirrel

I was waiting for the bus.
3:16. Someone carrying three shopping bags enters the bus shelter. 
3:19. A dog barks across the street. 
3:20. The blue bus puffs up, three people (including grocery bag guy) get on, two others get off. 
3:22. A group of high school cross country runners jog by.
3:25. The red bus pulls up to the station, exhaust floating out like breath. I get on, sitting closest to the window on the third row of second story seats. It pulls out of the station. 
I watch out the screened window at people biking, walking, running, driving, carrying, waving. 
There's no one else on this bus except the driver, a dirty-blonde-haired woman wearing sunglasses too big for her face. 
Two stops before mine, a squirrel runs into the road in front of the bus.
I see it just before it disappears out of sight from the windshield. The driver slows down a minuscule amount. 
The bus bumps over something in the road.
I'm not sure what it is. 
I study the driver's face in the mirror, trying to make out if it's guilt or sorrow or relief, but they call them "shades" for a reason.
In that moment, I considered going back later on that day to find out the fate of the squirrel. But I get swept away, in tides of homework and dance and chores. 
I don't think about the squirrel again until I'm lying in bed that night. It occurred to me how the driver slowed down. She showed that squirrel the tiniest bit of mercy, and it might have saved it's life. So that's all I'm saying today. Remember your empathy. Show your kindness. Because it's a big, scary world out there filled with unexpected busses and bad timing and sometimes, sometimes all it takes to save a life is a smile, a hug, a friendly word or two, or however minuscule, a tap on the breaks. 
You don't know what grand effects your actions will have until you try them.
Do unto others as you would like to be treated.
Believe there is good in the world.

More great inspirational kindness quotes here (Will soon be all over my room by the way)
Photo credit to Susan's Books and Gifts

Friday, March 27, 2015

Come join the Circus

(By looking at these rad blogs)

Can I Eat That? - Mia

The Candy Factory - Anna

Tights and Tiaras - Claire

The Treasure Mountain Undercurrent - Karsten

These people are rad, bro

P.S. This was written by the amazing Mia, who is the focal point of the picture above.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

An Attempt to Live in the 21st Century

Despite all the love I have for The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, and Little Feat, I actually do like some music produced in the twenty-first century. So to prove it to you, here are some sensational songs and their best lyrics, all of which have been released after 2000. Maybe even 2010.

Some notes on the artists:
Lorde - I know she gets a lot of hate for being overrated and apparently bratty and all, but her music makes me feel edgy and pumped up and sassy.
Sia - I understand why she doesn't like to show her face. I've read her Wikipedia page and she seems like a sort of tortured creative genius who manages to find happiness. Also the music for Elastic Heart is a little odd and got a bunch of mean comments, but I linked it below anyways, so you can watch it if you want.
Glass Animals - They have such unexpected sounds and lyrics, it's mesmerizing. My dance teacher is convinced that they will be the next big thing and I agree, but just as a warning their music videos are pretty wild.
Vance Joy - I've only heard two of his songs but I didn't like the other one.
Hozier - Another dance teacher find when we did a combination to Work Song, this past week I've been completely obsessed with his soulful, rock and roll, haunting melodies. And also with his Irish accent.

I have Youtube videos for each song linked in each title.

Ribs - Lorde "Laughing 'till our ribs get tough"
Glory and Gore - Lorde "Tired little laughs, gold lie promises"
The Love Club - Lorde "I'm sitting pretty on the throne, there's nothing more I want, except to be alone"
Yellow Flicker Beat - Lorde "I never watch the stars there's so much down here"
Elastic Heart - Sia "You did not break me I'm still fighting for peace"
Gooey - Glass Animals "You just want to know those peanut butter vibes"
Riptide - Vance Joy "This cowboy's running from himself"
Work Song - Hozier "She gives me toothaches just from kissin' me"
To Be Alone - Hozier "I feel like a person for a moment of my life"
From Eden - Hozier "Idealism sits in prison, chivalry fell on its sword
Innocence died screaming, honey, ask me I should know"
Like Real People Do - Hozier "I will not ask and neither should you"
It Will Come Back - Hozier "Don't give it a hand, offer it a soul"
Foreigner's God - Hozier - "All that I've been taught And every word I've got Is foreign to me"
Cherry Wine - Hozier "Open hand or closed fist would be fine"
Someone New - Hozier "There's an art to life's distractions"

Okay, I hope you guys enjoy these songs cause I do immensely. If you have any songs that you like by these artists, other songs like it, or just general comments, you know where to put them!

Image creds to The Line of Best Fit
Image creds to Irish Times

Image creds to TrendingMp3
Image creds to Sunset in the Rearview
Image creds to Wikipedia