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

Sunday, March 22, 2015


"What are you gonna do when you grow up?"

If there's one question I abhor, it's that one. I understand that askers of this atrocity are just attempting to make conversation, but first of all, it is none of your business what I am doing in my future, and secondly, do you honestly expect me, with my meager fourteen years of worldy experience, to know what I want to do for the rest of my life?

Lately, everything's been looking forward. We've registered for next year at school, I have an audition for a ballet class coming up, and spring break is on it's way (thank god.) I've been enduring constant fear that my rond-des-jambes aren't turned out enough, struggling through sixty-term Quizlet sets, and encountering nasty looks from school counselors who don't approve of art classes. All for what? To get into a selective, overly difficult ballet class? To get into college, where I will find an even more difficult course load? To be honest, it makes me pretty unenthusiastic for next year and the rest of high school. But we can't let negativity rule our lives, so today I will be sharing some goals and ideas and that make me excited about the future that do not include colleges that won't except me because I didn't take AP Physics.

First of all, I highly doubt will go to college immediately after high school graduation. I'd like to spend time abroad in other countries, drive across the country on a hippie road trip, and visit Canada. I'd like to get a bit of break after twelve years of school before I go back for at least four more. I'd like to get jobs to see what I like and what I don't.

Secondly, I will live in the west when I grow up. In Idaho or Utah or Wyoming, because this is where I belong, and it will always be my home. It makes me really excited to think that someday I'll have my own house that I can paint whatever color I want and redecorate and rearrange whenever I want, and not just my own room, the whole house.

Thirdly, summer is coming in just two months and and you can swing and go on adventures and look at the stars and go camping and sleep outside and start a community garden.

Fourth, maybe someday I will own a tea shop and I can serve scones and sell crafts and donate money to charity and hold fundraisers.

Fifth, tonight I am going to go to bed early.

Sixth, tomorrow morning, I will wake up to this new Pandora radio station that I really like.

Seventh, next weekend, we probably won't have so much homework because it's the end of the quarter.

Eighth, when I am finished with this post I am going to go make lunch and maybe I will make pancakes and defy social norms.

Ninth, I have something exciting coming to this blog very soon:)

So the moral of the story is that even though sometimes you have four finals in one week and sometimes AP Geography makes you cry but also sometimes you get to lie next to your friends and stare at the stars and sometimes you do a really good saut de chat jump. As long as you appreciate all the good things then the bad ones don't seem so terrible.

Queen Svetlana doing a saut de chat (possibly a grand jeté  but it's the same idea)
credit to National Theatre

A literally translated saut de chat - jump of cat
image creds to The Poke

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Mini Post - Full Moon Soup

If your parents are like my parents, sometimes they make me cook dinner. (Technically I'm supposed to do one dinner a week but that doesn't actually happen.) But when I am forced to cook, 85% of the time I make black bean soup, which is super straight forward to make and also just so happens to be one of my favorite meals on the planet. So, because I like to share good things with you, here's the recipe.

Ground Cumin
Olive Oil
About 1 c. chopped carrots
About 1 c. chopped onion (around a half an onion)
Two or three cloves pressed or chopped garlic
Three cans black beans
Any other vegetables you think might be good in it
Sour cream, salsa, corn bread, crumbled tortillas, and/or cilantro for garnish.

Makes about five servings.

Chop your carrots.
Put enough olive oil to cover the bottom of your pot in your pot on medium heat. Add some dashes of cumin.
Chop your onion quickly because you don't want the cumin to burn in the oil, you just want it to get a little flavorful.
Put your carrots, onion, and garlic in the pot and let them sit there until they get mushy-ish, about ten minutes, stirring once or twice.
Add all three cans of undrained black beans. Recycle the cans. Let mixture boil and simmer for another ten minutes.
Put on dishwashing gloves.
Get out the immersion blender and stick it in the pot and mash everything all up together. (The dishwashing gloves are in case some of the scalding hot liquid bubbles up and hits your arms or hands while you're blending.)
Serve with any of the above garnishes. Sour cream and corn bread are my favorite. But you do you.
This is an immersion blender
Photo creds to: St. Joseph Hospital

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Finally! (Part two)

Okeydokey buddies, here is part two of my long-excused Beatles post. (Or more appropriately, the BAEtles.)

13) Lady Madonna: To be honest I have no idea what's going on this song but it's catchy.

14) Hey Jude: One of my other first favorite Beatles songs, thanks to my summer babysitter Josie who would blast this song in the car with the windows down and we would all scream the "na na na na na na naaa" as loud as possible. Additionally, the only real song I can still play part of after five years of piano lessons.

15) Something: Written by George. Romantic.
 Paul McCartney's Ukelele Tribute to George here
Something in the way she moos

16) Come Together: When we had to dance in PE last year, I convinced my group to dance to this and let me tell you it's extremely hard to count all those "shoops" if you were wondering.

17) Let It Be: Written and sung by Paul, in a time when he was the only one of the band who really wanted to stay together. He had a dream that his late mother, who's name was actually Mary, came to him and told him that it would be alright, and he wrote the song based on the dream. (John wrote a song for his deceased mother as well, Julia.)

18) The Long and Winding Road: It's just one of those absolutely gorgeous songs you play when at the end of movies when you want to make people cry.

19) Strawberry Fields Forever: Feel good playlist! Also there's probably about a 96% chance the guys were a bit impaired when writing this one... Among others. (P.S. I do not encourage or partake in illicit activities)

20) Happiness is a Warm Gun: Also probably about illicit drugs and it will never not be stuck in your head. But I just love it and it's grunge-ness a lot.

21) Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds: So, as someone noted after the song was released, the letters spell out LSD. But I'll let John explain this one:

Since this version is a bit odd, here's another.

22) In My Life: Sing along, please! Probably the only song I will be willing to sing karaoke to... If I am ever threatened by death to sing karaoke.

23) Ob-la-dee Ob-la-da: This just makes me smile.

24) Across the Universe"Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup"

25) A Day In the Life: Can songs have schizophrenia?

26) Blackbird: Proof that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. (I think I saw that in someone's Instagram bio.)

27) I Am the Walrus: Who even knows.

P.S. Af you have a spare two hours you should really really watch Across The Universe (the movie)
 Mamma Mia : Abba :: Across the Universe : The Beatles
Here is Bono singing this song in the movie with wierd inverse colors and such.

Alrighty friends. Thanks for reading!
See you later!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Finally! (Part one)

So first of all, I need to apologize. This is a hippie-60's-era blog that had been around since last September and I still haven't done a real Beatles post. (Not counting John/George birthday posts) I'm appalled by myself. So, guess what I'm doing today!!!
Omg if you guess writing about The Beatles, you're right! Did you know that The Beatles had twenty seven number one hits? 27! So I'm gonna be talking about some of them today plus some of my other favorite Beatles songs. (And because all of their songs are absolutely wonderful, this is going to have a part one and part two because the entire thing ended up being about 900 words. And I didn't even do all of the really good ones!)
Okay, let's go!

P.S. Click on the title-links to get to youtube videos

1) Love Me Do: I'd never heard this song before writing this post and at first I thought I was listening to the wrong song because it sounded so much like country (no thanks.) but it turns out it's really catchy because it's still playing in my head.

2) She Loves You: High school gossip 101

3) I Wanna Hold Your Hand: Honestly all I can think of when I hear this song is my sister getting really hyper on a car trip and singing "I want to hold your foot - and drag you halfway across Kentucky" to this tune.

4) A Hard Day's Night: It will never not be stuck in your head. Ever.
(P.S. This is also the name of one of the movies they made which is pretty much entirely based around the shenanigans of Paul's felonious grandpa)

5) Eight Days A Week: The way-more romantic predecessor to 5-ever.

6) Help!: More like Help! We're wearing oversized rain-coat things and gesturing wildly and incomprehensibly with our arm flaps!

7) Yesterday: The anthem of broken hearts. Sing along. You have to.
Listen to the song and you'll get it;)
Image cred to instagram user @live_love_beatles

8) We Can Work It Out: So the video that plays if you click on the link is of Stevie Wonder (who's super fabulous) playing at the White House, and you can see President Obama sitting next to Paul McCartney as they listen to him and oh my gosh it's great.

9) Yellow Submarine: I'd like to thank my 2nd grade teacher, Mr. Call, for having the entire class sing along to this song while playing along on the guitar. Unknowingly, this was the beginning of my hippie carrer.

10) Eleanor Rigby: tears and pretty violin harmonies and tears (another one you have to sing along to)

11) Penny Lane: Feel good, happy music and trumpets

12) All You Need Is Love: true.

Alrighty! Thanks for reading:) Part two coming soon! See you all later!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Mini-Post: George Harrison and Typing Issues

So I obviously had to do a post because I did one for John and they are the two cutest Beatles so...
Also I'm sorry I'm a bad person because I don't know the Beatles' birthdays without friendly people on instagram to tell me.

Anyways, George Harrison is like the coolest ever. Did you know that after the Beatles, he started a band called The Traveling Wilburys (with other cool people like  Bob DylanJeff LynneRoy Orbison, and Tom Petty) and they all went by pseudonyms to avoid attention just for being famous already? Like how cool is that. Anyways, here's to you, George. You are truly missed. Happy 72nd year!

Paul's supposed to be the cute one, but I think we all
 know who the true cute one is...
image cred to:

image cred to: VIPwiki

image cred to: Russell Lindsey

also the other day I was playing volleyball in PE (ew) and I hit the ball funky and now I might have broken my second to middle finger on my left hand and this post took so  much longer to write than it should have because I have literally had to chicken peck the whole thing and occasionally I forget and hit my hurt finger down really hard and it hurts soooo bad. Okay bye 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Jonathan Livingston Seagull - A Book Review

Hello friends!
How're you doing today? 
I'm doing pretty well, thanks. 
Okay so today I'm going to be reviewing a book called Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. It was published in 1970 and became a national best seller (#1 on the New York Times list for 38 weeks) and a cultural icon. I mean, it's about seagulls, but it's cool.


Part One: Jonathan Livingston Seagull loves to fly. Unlike most seagulls who believe their sole purpose on earth is to eat, (this may be a very accurate metaphor for teenagers) he spends days out at sea, practicing flight. He practices glides, dives, aerobatics, and invents new ways to go faster, higher in more control. However, one day his tricks get out of control, and Jonathan accidentally tears through a crowd of feeding gulls, leading to his exile from the flock. Alone, he continues his studies until old age and two mysterious angel-like birds take him through a short, surreal experience to a new flock of gulls.

Part Two: In this new homeland, Jonathan is surrounded by others who understand his desire to fly. Here, he meets his instructor, Sullivan, and the elder of this flock, Chiang. Jonathan continues to build his knowledge of flight, but also his knowledge of his being and existence. Eventually, Chiang, teaches him a new type of flight, in which you just disappear and reappear somewhere else. "The trick was to know that his true nature lived, as perfect as an unwritten number, everywhere at once across space and time." Jonathan masters this art, but begins to think of those back in his old flock, wondering if there are any like him, who also want to fly.

Part Three: In this section, Chiang moves onto his next life. His parting words to Jonathan are, "Keep working on love." Jonathan now passes from student to teacher, returning to his home flock to find students in the outcasts. Jonathan and his students return to the obstinate flock and demonstrate their abilities. Though rejected at first, the other gulls can't help but be amazed by their talents. Finally, as the flock is finally accepting them again, Jonathan's age catches up to him again and he leaves his principal student, Fletcher Lynd Seagull to become a teacher himself.

Alright, so I read this book last year and I didn't really get it but after being inspired again last night by looking though my dad's hippie yearbook, I read it again this morning. It's really short, about 120 pages but with very little text and five pages of pictures spaced about every ten pages apart. This time, I can see why it was such a hit in the 70's. It's all a metaphor about spirituality, what we learn, how we perceive ourselves and our surroundings. Precision flight, for the seagulls, is a gateway to perfection, not by breaking speed limits or creating new tricks, but by reaching heaven, perfection, perfect speed. "'Perfect speed, my son, is being there." It's sort of like Harry Potter's apparation, for my potterheads out there. If you concentrate enough on being an idea instead of a thing, and being in the place you wish to be, you will be. "Overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now." And once you've overcome those, you can work on love and kindness and compassion. Seeing everyone (everybird) for the goodness in each and everyone of them. So, as you can tell, it's a pretty hippie book. Although it could be called light reading, it's not really light on the whole easy-to-understand thing. But if you're up for a surreal, feathery experience, you might want to live it a whirl.

Image credits to: Aamilsyed

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Mini Post: Cough Drop Wisdom

Hey y'all (I'm sorry) so I'm finally getting over this cold/virus thing that I had and I just wanted to share some of my wisdom from this experience with you.
1) Did you know sometimes when you're trying to fall asleep but you have a cough and you are really trying not to cough so you can go to sleep and you're just trying to like breathe through the coughs, instead your voice makes a little involuntary whimper? Well, neither did I until the other night when I sounded like a very sad sheep with a nasal infection.
2) Wearing the same sweat pants, tee shirt, and sweat shirt for two days in a row is nothing to be ashamed of.
3) Sometimes when you wear the same sweat shirt, tee shirt, and sweat pants for two days in a row and you don't feel like doing your hair, you look like a possibly homeless, male, college-dropout even though you're a teenage girl.
4) NyQuil, throat numbing cough drops, fuzzy socks, humidifiers*, and naps will save your life.
5) Little sisters who use hairspray as air freshener do not help with the air quality in the house so you can't breathe and end up cough-hacking all over the place.
6) The Fosters is a really good binge watch TV show. (2 seasons... 3 days... 45 minute episodes... almost 24 hours)

* Shoutout to the Morrises for letting me borrow their humidifier and in effect saving my life and also for being the best neighbors ever in the universe

best. ever.
Image credit to: Spoilers Guide

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Go Soak Your Head

Hey, so I'm sick.
Which kinda sucks cause it's Valentines Day (Happy Valentine's Day, by the way)
and I had a thing planned but now I'm sick so I don't want to really do anything.
Except take a bath.
And you know what kind of bath is the best bath?
Bubble baths, duh.
So, I encourage you, nay, I strongly encourage you to go take a bubble bath.
There are so many great things about bubble baths, it's hard to list them all. To start, it feels like you're laying in bed because you're warm and comfortable and the bubbles are like a way-more-fun blanket. Secondly, you're getting clean at the same time. Who wants to take a shower when you can sit in a personal mini hot-tub? It's the easiest multitasking you'll ever do. Thirdly, there are so many things you can do in the actual bath, including:
1. Read (currently reading The Fellowship of the Ring)
2. Look through Instagram/Tumblr/Social Media (Snapchat not recommended)
3. Watch Netflix (especially The Fosters and New Girl)
4. Use a kitchen whisk/egg beater to make a lot of bubbles, use these bubbles to:
Make a hat:
balloon hat
bucket hat
ear flap hat
Try a new hairstyle:
teletubbie (no idea what the singular of teletubbies is) horn/headpiece thing of your choice
ringlets (figure it out)
experiment with facial hair
Make some new clothes:
prom dress
mermaid tail
put them in your hands and blow them all over everywhere
make a little cloud puff in your hands and squish it around
become Rudolph the Bubble-nosed reindeer
build a bubble snowman
make yourself an award for being the best bath-taker of the century

See? Can you make yourself a bubble prom dress in the shower? How about journey to Middle Earth? I didn't think so. And even though an average bath uses about 35 gallons, while a 10 minute shower uses about 25, you're in the bath for way longer. Let's say you are in the bath for a half hour. 35 gallons. But if you're in the shower for a half hour, you just used 75 gallons of water. So really, if you're going to spend some time relaxing in hot water, baths are totally a better idea.

If I haven't convinced you yet, I'll bet Lush will. All of their bath things are so delightful smelling, moisturizing, and lovely it will make you want to permanently become a bath convert and swear against showers for the rest of your life. And even though their stuff can be a little pricey, for an occasional treat it's totally worth it. Especially the bubble bars. Plus, there are a ton of recipes you can find online to make your own Lush products for less money. Or just buy your bubble soap from somewhere less expensive. Like from Aura Cacia because they're all natural and just great overall.
My personal bubble bath recommendations: Balsam Fir Bubble Bath from Aura Cacia. Also the A French Kiss bubble bar from Lush so great.

Alright, that's all I have to say today.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Oh also, wash your hands so you don't get sick like me!
<3 Faith

One time, on iCarly, I remember Carly saying, "Why would you take a bath? You just sit there in your own wet dirt!"
Well, Carly, I bet you want a bath nowˆˆ
Image Credits to: iCarly Wikia

Teletubbies = childhood
Image credits to: BBC

Monday, February 2, 2015

Mini Post - Yes, the Fishies Again.. Also Utahns are ridiculous

Hello Friends!
So last night I was thinking and I couldn't remember what my last post on here was... (that's awkward) so I decided I should do another, but since I swear teachers gang up on students and assign all the giant projects at one time, I currently have no time to write a full post (although one's coming soon and I have another in mind)
the main subject of this mini post is to thank the four of you who voted for the fishies' names (actually very pleased with this turnout) and to announce that the names of our five fabulous fishy friends are:
(only two people voted for Toby but I think it's cute so)

And the second main idea (what a oxymoron) is to talk about the Anti Clean Air Rally that went at the Capital of Utah...
Read it again.
I mean, it is on Huffington Post so you never know how reliable that is but honestly.
Just think about it.
Apparently it was a pretty small crowd that parked their big, gas guzzling trucks around the capital building and revved their engines. (Completely off topic - isn't revved a great word?)
But they caused a traffic delay for a bit. Also they made complete idiots of themselves and are now receiving a lot of criticism on Facebook from environmentalist middle-aged mothers. As they should.
The third main idea is that tea soothes your soul. Go make some tea.
(and also that I'm obsessed with parentheses - Blame Mr. Parker, the parenthetical citations have warped my brain)
And finally:
A thank you to Oregonian-at-heart Karsten for telling me about the most inane rally ever that it's almost laughable
To the HuffPost for telling the world about it
and to Celestial Seasonings for the best tea on earth and if you want to buy some it's called Tiger Tea (actually it's called Bengal Spice but when me and my sister were little we called it tiger tea cause there's a tiger on the front of it and coincidentally, it looks like Raja from Aladdin) (sort of)
Image credits to : Amazon

Image credits to Wikipedia

This mess of misused parentheses and grammatical errors is over.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Suicide Education in Utah

So I thought it was time for a little more activism around here, so here we are. (Warning, this post is like 400 words over the limit. I'm sorry, I just felt really passionately about this and feel like it was a deserving subject to go so much over on.)

So sometimes people get upset, and sometimes people get depressed, and sometimes people use these words interchangeably. But let me tell you, they are not the same. Upset is sort of temporary, like, "Wow, I didn't win the science fair. I'm upset." But depression is an illness, and it doesn't go away so easily. When people say, "Aw, I didn't win the science fair, I'm depressed," I tell them that they should stop saying that because depression is an illness.

In Utah, we have some of the highest rates of suicide in the country. Due to this, all of the Utahn school districts are required to give at least one hour of suicide education (at least in middle and high schools.) While at first glance, this could actually solve the problem and help the issue, but in fact, the presentation we got was pretty jarring. I've had some experience with depression and suicidal people, and I felt that this presentation would have been unhelpful, maybe even detrimental, even though it meant well. I got so upset about it I even went to the counseling office and talked to them about the issues with it. But since I wanted to get it out there a little more, I'm posting here too.

The presentation included a video, which portrayed two teens who both had depression. One ended up killing herself, the other had a friend who told a teacher, so he lived. There was also a narrated slideshow, and a fact sheet handout.
Issues with this presentation:
1) Gender stereotypes in the video
2) Unrealistic characters
3) Lists of huge statistics of suicide rates, but also emphasized how suicidal thoughts are "not normal."
4) Gave very few resources for either someone who is having suicidal thoughts or someone who knows someone else who is
5) Did not encourage telling parents or help on how to do it

What I think would be much more helpful and effective would be to first of all, have no video, or at least not one with a story. This is so that there isn't even the possibility to have unrealistic characters, gender stereotypes, or "trigger" images or motions. If a video had to be shown, I think it would be better to have an interview-type thing, where real-life people who were suicidal, but lived through it, talked about how they did so. It is infinitely more helpful to know how others got better than how they got worse. This could also emphasize the importance of therapy, and other options for recovery. (Anti-depressants, group therapy, etc.)

Additionally, this presentation gave very few resources, really only giving us the national suicide hotline number and telling us to talk to teachers and counselors. It also emphasized that if you know someone who feels like this, you need to tell an adult. However, telling anyone you are purposely hurting yourself or are depressed is rather touchy subject, and usually the last thing a suicidal person feels like doing. Even if this person has told a friend, they may say things to that friend like, "If you tell someone (ie. parents, counselors, hotline) it will get worse," so the friend feels like they can't tell anyone either. And just telling teenagers to talk to adults is not all that helpful or realistic. What would be better is if the presentation made it more approachable, by having people who students have personal connections to (like teachers) announce that students can talk to them about anything.

Furthermore, I felt the presentation needed to have a lot more resources. I had a couple paragraphs on this, but since I'm already about 100 words over my word count, I'm just going to make a list. These are not only for suicidal people, but also for friends who know someone who is. It can be incredibly difficult and stressful to see someone who is, to you, a wonderful person feel so badly about themselves, not so cut-and-dry as portrayed in the video.

1) Parents. It's imperative to tell parents, whether they have a good relationship with their kids or not.

2) School counselors. They can listen, give advice, don't cost money, as opposed to a therapist, and can help students in telling parents how they feel.

3) Suicide hotlines. Again, not only for suicidal people, but for others who are worried friends are in danger.
Salt Lake City hotline: (801) 261-1442
Summit County hotline: (435) 649-8347
more Utah numbers here.
National lifeline: 1 (800) 273-8255 (TALK)
The Trevor Project Hotline (specifically for LGBTQA+ suicidal youth) : 1 (866) 488-7386

4) Friends. If you are feeling this way and haven't told anyone, you need to. Please, please tell a friend. And if a friend has just told you they're suicidal, don't go running to a counselors unless you think they're in immediate danger. Just be there for them, listen to what they have to say, and encourage and help them to tell an adult. Most importantly, take care of yourself. Don't be afraid to talk to a counselor or hotline. They can give you advice, and won't require you to give a name of the person you need help for.

5) 911. If you get into a serious situation in which someone's life could be at risk, or already is, call 911.

6) Me. Watching this presentation made me genuinely scared for everyone in the school. I really truly care about all of you a lot, and especially everyone in my grade. If you're reading this and you need help, please, please, please talk to me. I will listen and I will try help even if I've only ever passed you in the hall. Email me (if you're in the district you know what it is.) If you don't know me, or don't feel comfortable talking to me, talk to another friend, please.

I just wanted to say that I care about every single person in this school. Every single one of you.
I love you,

PS: About the LGBTQA+ deal, Holly wrote a really, really fabulous post and you can read it here.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A Very Long and Somewhat Confusing Post about The Universe

Hello Again! I hope your breaks were lovely.
Here, finally, is my post on spirituality. I'm sorry it took so long!
 Note: I know you're not really supposed to talk about religion cause it's such a personal thing for some people and wars have been (and are currently being) fought over it and such, but I'm going to anyway. I have no intention whatsoever to offend anyone or their religion or beliefs, and as I will respect your beliefs, I simply ask you will respect mine as well.

I grew up Wiccan/Pagan. I was taught that when people die, they go to The Island of the Apples. Your spirit, consciously, goes and meets the Holy Mother. In a lot of religions, your person goes to heaven or hell. But I think that you would end up with too many people. It's not personal, it seems like there's not enough room to keep all the dead people around. I mean, there's seven billion of us on earth right now and that number is constantly growing, and every single one if us is complex and intricate and has ideas an an accent and a different dental record. In two hundred years, all of us will be dead. To me, saving the personalities of every single person seems like a pretty quick way to use up the universal hard drive. Unless it doesn't have an end, in which case we could just spread our idiosyncrasies all over the cosmos, but A) that seems like intruding on the something that might not want to be intruded upon, and B) when I die, I do not want to be lightyears away from Earth. And even so, if you could hang out forever, would you want to? I don't think I could live with myself. I'd drive myself insane just from being myself for so long. I think anyone would. 

Although this is all very literal. Personally, I don't believe there's any place, heaven or hell or Nirvana (not the band) or the Island of the Apples that you go at all. In my mind, your body and your memory and your personality dies. That part of you, your thoughts, have gone, except, of course, for in the minds of others. (By that logic, though, you live forever through others. Ex: If you die, and people remember you, and they die, and other people remember them, through translation, they remember you. So you could just hang around as long as humans do.) But I think the earth recycles your body. I think the universe recycles your soul. I do not want my soul to be used only once, and I do not feel like this is is it's first time being used. How else do I know so deeply this earth is my home?

Now, I'm not saying that there's not some greater something. I'm not sure that it's actually a god or goddess, as a sentient divinity, so I suppose in that respect I'm somewhat agnostic. I can't see something with humanoid emotions being solely concerned with the affairs of human beings, with the power to affect us, that would create us or permit us having such differentiating and clashing opinions, and make people so devoted to something they would kill one another, kill another human, just for a different opinion or belief. 

On the other hand, though, it's frankly terrifying, in many ways, to just imagine that it's just us. Only us and our stupid emotions and ideas and each other flying through the vast, empty expanses of nothing. It's scary. So I believe, if you could call it believing, in the universe. I think that it's inside of us and outside of us, objectively, creating us and then leaving us to our own, crazy devices. I don't, however, think it cares about us. I don't think it can, as I don't think it has emotions, only power to create them in others, and that's why we can murder each other, because the universe doesn't care what we do here as people, only that our souls are real.

 Whether we like it or not, we are all linked and despite the evil things we do sometimes, we all have souls, for there is something that keeps us hopeful, that gives us a drive to exist when nothing else we know is permanent, and there is such darkness encompassing and surrounding this earth. We must care about each other, because if we do not have each other as a species we have nothing but an endless expanse of something that doesn't care. And I believe that when we die, I think the universe touches our souls and revitalizes them, and returns them to our home again.

Image Credits to: Powercall

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Times They Are A-Changin (Plus some Odds and Ends)

Hello Dear Readers!
First of all, Happy New Year! Shall we celebrate this momentous occasion with some good old Bobby Dylan?

Secondly, this post is going to be a compilation of things that are going on and things that I've been meaning to write but aren't long enough to be posts of their own.
The agenda:
1) New Years Resolutions
2) Body scrubs DIY
3) Tie-Dye Candle
4) Succulent News

Section 1) New Years Resolutions

My parents are health nuts. My mom has always been a little off the edge with all-organic everything everywhere, but since my dad has joined the rebellion, they've gotten worse. They're so far off the deep end, they practically need scuba tanks. But all the chia seeds, health food magazines, and all-natural protein shakes have got me thinking, and I've realized I eat a ton of sugar. Of course it's all-organic and preservative free, but it's sugar all the same. So that's New Year Resolution #1: Eat Less Sugar. 
What to do when you're home alone for two entire weeks and you've just seen the last installment of The Hobbit? Marathon watch nine hours of Lord of the Rings, obviously.  And while watching, I got inspired to read the books. So that's New Year Resolution #2: Read all three Lord of the Rings books. (I read The Hobbit in 6th grade.) And as an add on, I want to watch the extended editions of each of the movies. Twelve hours of pure enjoyment!

Section 2) Body Scrub DIY

These are really great Christmas presents, and I made them for my mom, my friends, and my dance class secret santa. Sorry it's a little late for Christmas. But hey, New Years Gifts are a thing, right? Or, you could just do yourself a favor and make one for yourself.

Scrub #1: Coffee Coconut
The recipe was originally from Free People Blog but I adapted it a little by adding some shredded coconut on the top. Also, I used plain white sugar instead of coconut palm sugar cause who even knows what that is? Basically, I heated up some coconut oil, added 1/2 decaf coffee grounds and 1/2 caffeinated, put it a little dash of cinnamon, and enough white sugar to absorb most of the coconut oil, and put it in a jar. Actual recipe here.

Scrub #2: Piña Colada Scrub
I can't remember where the actual recipe came from, but I just put lemon juice, coconut oil, shredded coconut, and white sugar in a little bowl and voila: a fancy sounding scrub that's the simplest thing ever.

Section 3) Tie-Dye Candle

Don't you hate when you have a little votive candle (because you're too cheap to buy the kind in jars) and it seems like all the wax drips out of the candle and just makes a mess of everything? So do I. So I collected a bunch of dried wax drips, melted them in a jar, and added a wick. Plus, the drips were different colored so it looked cool when they all got melty together.

 Warning: DO NOT PUT THE WICK IN THE MICROWAVE because it's metal and that does not work. Melt the drips first, and then wiggle the wick in. If the not-melted chips are an obstruction, don't hesitate to get your fingers in there. It's just wax!

I didn't let all the chips melt all the way cause they mix into a purple-y brown, but you can if you want. Tada!! Tie-dye candle! Plus it smells delightful!
Maybe you could put a cute little scrapbook paper wrap around the jar if you let it melt all the way, and/or if you don't like the color it turns out.

Section 4) Succulent News

I regret to inform you that our beloved friend, succulent, and sibling Jane has passed away. She had been ailing for a while now, and was overtaken by her illness last week. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers in these troubled times.

On a happier note, we have an addition to our flora family! We'd like to formally welcome Ian into the clan.

Due to Jane's passing, we have moved Tabitha and Toby Martin out of the terrarium the three used to share together. Tabitha has moved into a lovely mug on the bedside table I received as a Christmas gift, and Toby Martin has moved into a beautiful giant seashell with newcomer Ian.
Tabitha in her new home
(with the best book ever)

Toby Martin (left) and Ian (right)
 in their seashell home