Wednesday, November 14, 2012

That is Me (Wide Sargasso Sea Write-Back)

A/N: This story (written in a modernist style for an AP Lit assignment) is a response to the book Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, filling in a solution for a "problem" found in the original text, as Rhys herself did with Jane Eyre. If you've not read Wide Sargasso Sea, this story may or may not make sense. I'm not entirely sure.     
--

That is Me

      He doesn't remember meeting her, but there was always the day it seemed that she had flitted back into his life for good. They were both very young. Her family had for years lived in a relatively small estate by the sea, and they visited now and then, but for Edward those visits were a whirlwind of unfamiliar relatives, and he did not like strangers very much. Strangers, he called them, because he knew who they were, and he knew they shared something of the same blood, but he did not know them. Not like he knew his own father and mother and brother.
      Everything began to change when Uncle Robert decided to move his wife and fast-growing brood to a larger estate further inland and closer to Edward’s family. Then one day she came to him with flashing grey eyes and a smile that seemed to swallow her face (he thought he’d never seen anyone smile so much, not even his mother), and didn’t leave again.
      “I am going to be here always,” she said.
      He was glad of that because he liked the way she smiled. It made him feel as if someone had lit a fire in the hollows of his chest, where he was so often cold.
      “Which one are you?” he asked her bluntly. “I don’t remember your name.”
      “I am Bertha, and you are Edward,” she said, laughing.
      She was not completely right—he was not Edward and would not be as long as she stayed with him—but neither knew it yet.


* * *

      She is standing alone near the edges of the room, letting bolder women take up the center, but he sees her instantly because she is stunning, just as they told him. She is tall for a woman and almost too thin. She has big eyes glistening black in a small, pale face, and her hair is long and beautiful. Her dress is vibrantly blue and shimmers in the soft light.
      He bows to her, kisses her hand. Paints a perfect smile on his face, a mask he has learned to hide behind. They dance once, but when she moves it is with a liquid grace that unnerves him, and he cannot bring himself to dance again. He is stiff, a wooden puppet for his father, and he wonders, briefly, if she is the same for hers. She never returns his smile, but he thinks: Why would she, when we are strangers sent to dance together and all that is real in me has been locked away. She would be smiling at a ghost.
      The night wears on drearily, and though she is very beautiful and they have not stopped talking, there is a chasm between them. It is tiring to stretch words across, exhausting to span with meaningless glances. He begins to feel like a candle burned low, flickering whenever she looks at him with those dark sad eyes.
      “Antoinette,” he says, and the name is too big for his mouth. He does not like it.
Her expression bends from startled, to bewildered, to hesitantly amused.
      “Yes,” she says. “That is me.”

* * *

      He never enjoyed anyone else’s company as much. They spent every day together if they could, and Bertha liked to tell him stories that he was sure could not be true, all about talking mice and people in the sky and sea, but he loved them anyway. She did everything he would never—followed her impulses, laughed or cried aloud when adults were near, brandished the phrase ‘I love you’ freely.
      They used to play by a small creek that ran behind his house. She always muddied her skirts and got her sleeves wet, but he was careful to keep his trousers clean, fearful of what his father would say—
      'No son of mine shall appear before the servants looking like a common vagrant. Never do such a thing again.'—and the tone was cold, like he'd rather have a stone for a son instead of this small restless boy. A stone, at least, could be kept clean and quiet and still.
      They liked to play anything, but she liked best to play at sailors.
      “Imagine that this is the ocean,” she would say, lowering her voice as if telling him an important secret. “We are in a ship, and you are the captain.”
      “Why am I the captain?”
      “Because you are a boy, and the captain must be a boy. Now, Captain, here is the wheel,” she said with a wide grin, giving him a large stick, “and you must steer the ship.”
      “Where are we going?”
      “Ireland, or the Continent, or the West Indies. Wherever you want to go.”
      Edward (Captain now) had heard of those places, but did not know what they looked like, and did not want to go anywhere he did not know—
      “Let’s go home,” he said, and he ran up the hill from the creek into his house.


      The room was darker and warmer than he thought it should be, and Mother still wrapped up in thick blankets, her skin paler than he last remembered.
      “Eddie,” she called, seeing him in the doorway. “Come here, sit with me.”
      He ran to her bed and pulled himself up. Mother smoothed out a space for him, dropped a kiss on the top of his head. He leaned against her, curling his legs beneath him and sinking into pillows that comforted and cradled. A hundred silent flames filled the fireplace, yet Mother still shivered. He pressed himself closer to her side.
      Don’t be cold, Mama.
      Mother’s hand reached out and tilted his face towards her own. “Oh, Eddie,” she murmured. Her fingers brushed lightly over a bruise on his cheek.
      “Rowland told me I was bad,” he said. “Am I very bad?”
      When he looked at her, there was a frown on her face that he mirrored. He missed her smile. He had not seen it in weeks. She did not answer but wrapped her arm around him, pulling his head to rest on her shoulder. There was comfort in her quiet embrace, in the continuing murmurs above him that he could not hear distinctly—the sounds which his imagination carefully crafted into a chain of I love you’s, over and over and over. It was not long before he slept.
      Woke once when Mother’s body shook with coughing. Held on tightly until she was still and her breathing steady.
      Slept again.


      Edward was not Captain was not Eddie. Edward—the silent son who did not talk back to his father, the silent brother who did not cry out when Rowland hit him. Captain—Bertha’s best friend, Bertha’s favorite cousin, Bertha’s laughing playmate whose imagination ran free in her company.
      Eddie—his mother’s beloved child, who died when she did.
      He did not weep when it happened. Later, Captain would crumple and cry into a comforting shoulder, but Bertha was not with him at first. At first he was alone, with only Edward left inside him, and only silence kept Edward strong.
      He is such a good boy, but something is strange about him, they murmured when they thought he could not hear them. So cold, not like a child at all.
      Yes, he thought. That is Edward. Not a child at all.

* * *

      She comes to the door as he passes her room, huge dark eyes swallowing her face—pleading for him to stop and talk to me, talk to me—and immediately a fire is rising at the back of his throat, burning his mouth dry. He plants his feet reluctantly. Clenches his teeth and slowly turns to face her.
      “Wait, Edward,” is all she says, and her voice is measured and soft like sand.
      He looks at her then, looks for black ocean eyes and black waterfalls of hair, and does not find them. Instead there is a beautiful laughing mouth and sparkling grey spheres gazing at him, cool like a rainy sky. The head tilts up at him sweetly. For a moment his heart pauses, his hand trembles, he can't breathe. He blinks and stares, but the golden vision refuses to fade. It smiles at him, speaks his name again. Finally he draws in one shaky breath.
      The words force themselves out of his mouth: “Good night, Bertha,”—He flees before anything else can slip out of him. His masks have all fallen in one instant and he cannot let her see and he wonders who is the ghost now, you or me? Captain’s heart jerks back to life and thrashes violently in his chest.
      A door whispers shut somewhere behind him, hiding the shrinking figure within.


      He keeps calling her that name because he hates Antoinette. Hates her songs and stories because he is sure they are not true, because he does not understand them, but also because they are so sad. He wants a wife who smiles without hidden sorrows in every curve. He wants a girl whose face is bright when she tells him happier stories of happier things. He wants—
      Laughing, open-hearted Bertha. Her absence still claws inside him. She haunts him from the hollowing eyes of his wife and he tells himself he must, he must have her back.
      “I hope you will sleep well, Bertha,” he says, and watches as Antoinette shrivels into herself, says nothing in reply. She lies frozen in her bed like a dead woman. He is irritated at her silence, but satisfied for now. Silence, at least, he is familiar with.


      (She speaks as herself one more time.)
      "Why do you hate me? Why do you never come near me, or kiss me, or talk to me?"
      Because you are not and never will be the one I want.
      "Why do you think I can bear it, what reason have you for treating me like that?"
      Because you lie to me, woman, and besides you are so sad nothing could make you happy again. There you go again, telling me another sad story, this one the saddest yet, and you are talking too quickly but I still don’t know what you are talking about at all. When you laugh, it makes me shiver all over. Don't laugh like that, Bertha.
      "That is not my name; why do you call me that?"
      I want you to be silent now. No, I want you to stop lying to me. But there—now you will not talk because you cannot talk without lying. Look, I am near to you, I have kissed you, but you are not happy.
      "Will you come in and say goodnight to me?"
      Certainly I will, but only if you will be Bertha tonight. I must have Bertha tonight.
      (A long silence.)
      "As you wish," she says.
      In the sharp shadows it is easy to imagine her hair golden-red and her eyes a lighter color. The last drops of Antoinette dissolve into the ghost that is Bertha for the sake of one dark feverish night. His mouth is still cold when he kisses her the last time.

* * *

      He never shared her thirst for the ocean, which arose from her early years spent by the seaside and never lessened since. They went to the shore together twice: once while they were still children, and another when both were on the threshold of new adulthood. The first time, she was almost wild with delight, darting everywhere along the rocky beach and sometimes venturing further to stand in the path of the dying waves, though she was told not to.
      "Hey, Captain!" she shouted to him, perched tall on a slippery rock. "Come play!"
      But his father was there, frowning disapproval at them both, and he dared not go to her.
      The second time, she dragged him out in the first hours of dawn, just the two of them, to sit on the cliffs above the beach and watch.
      "What are we watching?" he asked, tired and confused.
      "Everything, Captain," she said, eyes shining. "It’s so beautiful. The sky, the water—and the sun is just rising."
      He watched it all, but thought nothing out there was so beautiful as the girl beside him when the faint morning light reached out to stroke her long, unbound hair.
      "Do you remember I used to tell you about the mermaids who lived in the ocean, next to my house?" She laughed and pointed to where the water rippled and flashed silver. "There they are, do you see them?"
      "Yes," he said, though he was only looking at her.
      She let out a rapturous sigh. "Sometimes I wish I could be the ocean. I wish I could let it swallow me and just be."
      "Me too," he said, though he did not.


      It seemed perversely fitting that she should be on a ship to France a year later when a violent storm dashed it to the bottom of the sea, when the water wrapped its arms around Bertha and did not let go. He wondered if that was the kind of embrace she had wanted all along.
      Edward felt a creeping chill settle in his ribcage.

* * *

      “You are trying to make me into someone else, calling me by another name,” she says wildly, as if Antoinette might still live, as if Antoinette was not already a shadow lurking at the corners of her downturned mouth. Her spirit, though in its death throes, still writhes and bites him viciously. She curses him, cries like a river, calls him a stone.
      Yes, he thinks. Edward is a stone. Always has been, since his father wished him to be. What did you expect? What did you want?
      “Don’t you love me at all?”
      “No,” he says, because he does not, cannot. “Not at this moment.”
      A tiny voice cries at the back of his head: I don’t know how. But if you gave me time, maybe I could try to learn. I could try, if only there was time.
      He pushes it roughly aside because it is too late, and there is such hatred in her eyes as he has only ever seen in mirrors. It scares him—so he hides himself in blind rage, hoping to drive away the fear.
      He drives her away as well. Leaves her to drown in the flood of her own tears.


      These days guilt pools at the bottom of his stomach when he looks at her, at the silent broken figure that once rose quickly, adoringly, to meet him. He tells himself he has done no wrong, that everything is her fault, everything is his father’s insidious scheme and the cruel magic of this place that mocks him with its deceptive loveliness.
      He dreams once of Bertha lying asleep on the rocky ocean floor, the light shifting between dark, murky purples and mottled blues. He tries to pull her body to the surface, but his arms are so weak that he cannot even lift her from the rocks. He wakes crying with frustration. Sets his face in stone when he gets up, so nobody will know.
      The pool of guilt deepens. He can do nothing to stop it.


      He watches closely for a tear, just one, and then he will know she is alive. Then, he thinks, he will try to start over: hold her close, say her name one more time. But there are no tears left in her. Antoinette is a dried-up ghost he created, Bertha a ghost he can no longer find.
      Her eyes are black like charcoal, her hair rough and tangled. She is stiff, a wooden puppet.
      He turns away, disgusted by his handiwork. Locks it up safely where nobody can see.
      The guilt has turned to acid and devours him from the inside.


* * *

      Time will play the surgeon: cutting deep, but soothing old wounds.
      Edward was never a child, but he never grew up either. Another decade will pass before he does. He will strip off his mask, bit by bit—a slow, wearying process through the years—and bare himself to Time’s bone-shifting scalpel. He will begin to ache at night for every mistake he knows he has made. He will search long and hard for happiness, for something (someone) to right all his wrongs, but ten, fifteen years of smaller mistakes will only build up and weigh heavy on his chest. Many times he will not be able to sleep for the aching.
      When she finally flickers into his life, her name will be short and sweet and will fit perfectly on the tip of his tongue. He will notice the quiet, steady flames behind her eyes and laugh in unchecked delight when they flash out to reignite his coal-black heart. He will let her move the most stubborn parts of his being, and watch in fascination as he remains himself but more alive, not like a ghost at all. The other ghosts will burn away, will haunt him no more—will leave him crippled in body, but freer in spirit than he has ever been.
      “Edward, sir,” she will say to him, radiating joy to know he loves her. (And he will love her, fiercely and with an unparalleled passion, more than he has ever loved anyone.)
      She will mean to say more, but he will interrupt in his happiness, take her impulsively in his arms and bury his wide smile in her hair.
      “Yes,” he will whisper. “That is me.”

Friday, October 12, 2012

DFESA 6 - Artist Dump 1 (Jon, Keane, and Sara)

Davina has many, many favorite English-speaking artists.
Davina doesn't have very much time for blogging nowadays.
The previous format for DFESA was pretty comprehensive, but incredibly time-consuming.
Therefore: I'm putting a few artists into one post here, with shorter descriptions and stuff, because I don't want to discontinue the series. (Although, I have no idea if people even read DFESA. Heheh.)

~~~



Jon McLaughlin
A singer-songwriter from Indiana, Jon has been sharing his music with the world since around 2003. He plays the piano phenomenally well and writes lyrics that sound like he actually thought about them. Also, his songs are ultra-catchy. Also, he sings "So Close" from the movie Enchanted, which is totally awesome.
Check out: ^ that, all of the album Indiana, "Beating My Heart," "Four Years" (this one is about high school and I love it so much), and "We All Need Saving."
I am still in the process of listening to all his music, so I may add to this favorites list in the future.




Keane
These guys are a British alternative piano rock band, formed in 1997. They're pretty darn popular--Strangeland, released in May of this year, reached No.1 on the UK Albums Chart, following the trend set by their previous three albums--and for good reason. The piano-driven rock is such a delight to listen to, and the beautiful music and lyrics give off this surreal-ish dreamy feeling that I love.
Check out: "You Are Young," "Silenced By The Night," "Disconnected," "A Bad Dream," "The Frog Prince" (this is probably my absolute favorite), "Somewhere Only We Know" (if you haven't already heard it), "Bend & Break," "Everybody's Changing," and "Bedshaped."





Sara Bareilles
Another American singer-songwriter and pianist, Sara is most well known for her 2007 hit "Love Song," which you've probably heard at some point in your life. The rest of her music is equally excellent, or more, though that does depend on your tastes. But yeah, aldkgabbldkfhg I love her so much she has such a good voice and writes such beautiful songs and is just so wonderful maqlwekrh okay recommendations before I fangirl too much--
Check out: "Uncharted," "Gonna Get Over You," "Hold My Heart," "Let The Rain," "Breathe Again," "City," "Gravity," "Love Song," "Once Upon Another Time," and "Bright Lights and Cityscapes."





ALSO, if you like them, check out "Summer Is Over" by Jon McLaughlin ft. Sara Bareilles. I almost died of joy when I found out this song existed. (Plus, it's finally applicable to the season. I've been listening to it all summer and felt kind of guilty every time, but no longer!)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Typical Conversations #18

I am working on a computer with two monitors.

Dad: Wow! Look at the girl with her two screens. Her friends would be jealous.
Nathan: There'll be three monitors soon.
Dad: When you give her two screens, she will be bipolar. If you give her three, she'll be schizophrenic.

Silence.

Nathan: What?
Dad: Don't you get it? Two is bi, so bipolar, and then--
Me: But schizophrenic has nothing to do with three!
Dad: It's more than two, so it's like wooo... (makes wavy motions around his face)

Silence.

Dad: Never mind. I guess you two don't get pharmaceutical jokes.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Thoughts on John 6:60-71

Like Peter, I do not want to leave my Lord.

The world I see around me is dark, frightening, and powerful. In looking at myself, I have come to understand my own weakness--my helplessness to control anything around me. How, then, could I venture into that place without the protection of my Father's mighty hand?
The thought terrifies me.

The pleasures of this world are plentiful and persuasive in their promises. It would be easy to submit to their allure and let myself be drawn in until I hardly know myself. But I know from the stirrings of my soul that it will not be satisfied with such meager fare. I have tasted of a greater joy than the world can offer me. I will not leave the source of living water to drink at broken cisterns.

The Creator of the universe does not disappear simply because I turn away from him.
I am not guiltless. I am not shameless. I deserve eternal punishment.
To flee from the arms of my Savior is to expose myself for the judgment my sinful soul requires. Without my Redeemer, the knowledge of a holy God's existence is the most horrifying thing I can imagine.

Like a lost child come home, I do not want to leave this shelter my soul has found.
I am not afraid that I will. I know this:
Like steel melted onto steel, my Lord will never, ever let me go.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Frogs and Christians


Letter to an Incomplete, Insecure Teenager
by John Piper
click me!


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Almost Forgotten

Worn wooden table. Chairs scraping against the floor, children's chattering, laughter. Hot chocolate in old mugs, cupped by little hands.

We made the hot chocolate with microwaved milk, instead of using boiled water like I did at home.
It was never quite as hot, but always warmer on my insides as we sat there, cheeks pink from the snow outside and all of us thinking hard what to do next.

Tents, or houses, made from blankets. Some of them were so heavy, we had to use our schoolbooks to pin them to the couches. There was barely enough room underneath for even our smaller bodies to crawl, especially after we padded the carpet with cushions. It was okay because we were being Cats, and cats don't stand up inside anyway.

Sometimes we made hot chocolate with only half the powdered packet, and ate the other half, which I never did at home. It stuck to my teeth in little gooey lumps, and I thought that was funny.

When we got tired of talking, we lay down and tried to read in the dimness of those quilted shadows. Eventually we took the books and migrated back upstairs to where the winter sunlight poured in through the window.

Sometimes we didn't make hot chocolate at all. If we had played long enough, if the house was warm enough that we didn't care about the cold, we had cups of apple juice instead.

We asked to sleep under those blanket-houses, so we could keep playing even in our dreams, but ended up in proper beds anyway.


Still it was the roads that
caught our attention and
my recollection: there, 
reality blurred, and we found 
a doorway into our own world.
On the roads, we were
adventurers, explorers,
or warriors as we wished--
what exciting journeys
to remember! and how
simple to forget the quiet
comfort of the house that
waited, waited patiently
until the weary travelers
returned.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

oh, journals

I found this in my notes today. It's something I wrote back towards the end of June, a brief descriptive journal of the summer thus far. I made myself laugh a little.

--

The wind outside is blowing enough to toss the tree branches from side to side, and it looks like they're playing with each other. The sun is brilliantly gold on every bit of green and not too hot today. All the same, I shall probably soon be called to water the flowers outside that my mother has been planting in recent weeks. There are daisies, lilies, and many others of various shapes and colors whose names I do not know. They are beautiful as long as the sun does not shrivel them and the deer and beetles do not eat them up. Both situations are in constant danger of happening, which makes my mother upset.
If it happens that all the flowers should die, we shall at least have the tomato plants still living, as long as the rabbits and groundhogs do not dig under the fence and eat them, and as long as the ants do not go around building anthills nearby and getting ideas. The ants really have quite the audacity. A few months ago we found an anthill actually inside the house, which was appropriately horrifying to everyone. Thankfully, there are also lots of spiders in the house, so the ants are mostly dead now. I like spiders as long as they are not crawling on me, biting me, or sitting in forbidden places like my clothes drawers.
That is basically the sum of my current summer existence--sunlight, flowers, and insects.
No, I am probably lying. There are other things happening as well, but they don't matter so much to me right now.

--

I particularly like the line about spiders. It's true.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

eep

I've neglected this poor little blog for more than a month. I feel terrible.
However, the neglect is about to end! A new Blog Challenge is starting up in September, so Rainstorms is probably going to get some posting nuggets of joy soon.
I say 'probably' because I've decided to challenge myself further and try to accomplish The Challenge primarily on my other blog, but I may still post on Rainstorms from time to time (especially because I foresee myself running out of inspiration for poetry at some point or another).

And now, I have chores to do, so farewell, my dear followers and blog-stalker! I shall return, I promise.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I am in New Jersey

There wasn't a single cloud in the sky tonight, so I could easily see the way the different blues arched overhead: bright and vibrant straight above, then fading to near-white at the very edge of the horizon. It looked sharp, as if the circle of the sky rushed down and sliced through the sea right there.

We didn't stay long enough to watch the sun reach out and play across the water, so I can only imagine how beautiful that must have been. I rather wish we had.

Tomorrow, maybe.

~

A very young boy in stars-and-stripes shorts stood by the sea with a shovelful of sand. He looked as triumphant as a two or three-year-old boy could look.
"Look at America," said one of my brothers. "He claims this land for himself!"
America held his shovel up with both hands and awkwardly tossed its contents at the waves. They mostly plopped at his feet.
He bent down for another scoop of sand and did the whole thing again.

When we were preparing to leave, America walked past us towards the boardwalk, wailing as he clung to his father's hand. He pointed somewhere and sobbed harder. He was obviously trying to get something.
(Whiny child.)

When we were walking back to our house, we passed a family: mother, father, and young son. They were fully dressed now, without their bright swimsuits, so it took a second look for us to recognize them.
"Hey," said Jeremy. "Is that America?"
It was.

Maybe we'll see him again tomorrow.

~

Fireworks are booming from somewhere beyond the other side of the street. They're mostly red and gold, and I have no idea why they're being set off at all. Maybe a clear summer night is a good enough reason to celebrate.

One golden firework lingers in the sky after it explodes into a thousand tiny sparkles.
I imagine this might be what it looked like if it rained light instead of water.

~

The seagulls were massive in number. You couldn't look any direction without seeing one, or twenty. They were also massively obnoxious, constantly stalking as close to you as possible and swooping low over your head, not to mention swarming at the merest hint of food. It would be easy to hate them, or at least resent their presence.

Instead, I mostly envied them.
I envied the way they could spread their wings and beat them till their bodies rose.
I envied the way they could streak through the air just as fast as they wanted to.
I envied the way they could soar upon the strong, cool wind, confidently tilting here and there as they rode the shifting currents of the vivid sky.

These rugged scavengers are as loud as they are bold. They'd answer me, no doubt, but I don't know how to ask them if they'll teach me how to fly.

I'd ask tomorrow if I could.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

"The Prayer"

I'm sure many of you are familiar with this song. Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli sang it. Charlotte Church sang it. Josh Groban sang it. Celtic Woman sang it. Everyone wants to sing "The Prayer." Not that that's a bad thing, of course--it's a very pretty and inspirational song, much like "You Raise Me Up."
I am not sure how many of you are familiar with this song's origins. It's from a movie called Quest For Camelot, and is sung by the main character's mother as said main character races off from her village on a horse, presumably towards Camelot (presumably, because I haven't watched the movie, so I don't know). I didn't look up the actual clip until today.


Um. 

Nobody mentioned that it was a chase scene.
Nobody mentioned that it was a chase scene involving monster things with metal arms.
Nobody mentioned that it was a chase scene involving monster things with metal arms riding on warthogs.


Monday, July 9, 2012

GUEST POST BY NATHAN


2. The eastern winds were a bit unfelt today, since i was inside.

3a. Spiderman or Scrabble Cheezits have the same flavor but not the same mouthfeel or texture as regular Cheezits, and are therefore less enjoyable. The aerodynamics really do mean something.

3b. We need to decide if the Fn key is going to be universally on the LEFT or the RIGHT of the Ctrl key. Incredibly frustrating.

18. Not all foods are created equal. Most banana foods are delicious: banana cream pie, banana chips, banana milkshakes, banana bread, banana muffins, banana cupcakes. Most pea foods are not: pea cream pie, pea chips, pea milkshakes, pea bread, pea muffins, pea cupcakes.

R. Those who try to be poetically deep are often obvious.

Sii. Who is more important, the blademaster or the blacksmith?

Answers due in two weeks. Thank you class. Remember you can always reach me during office hours or at terrible.anger@gmail.com. Watch the stray asteroids as you exit the building!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Picture of A Summer Evening


Thunder grumbles in the distance like a giant restless river. The air and clouds hang heavy with the promise of rain, but rain doesn't come. The scorched, thirsty ground remains dry.

--

The bird's sound is not like any kind of music that I know, but rings clear in trills and rounded notes, smooth and loud and lilting. I wonder at the rippling sound bursting from the bird's throat, surely shaped so differently from my own. It is not so much a song--(if some wild melody is promised, it fades too quickly, only completed, perhaps, in the human mind)--but what else can we call it?

--

Sunset glows warm through the thinning cloud-veil;
gentle colors gather in the west, saying
farewell to the day.
No ray of light can needle through the heavy air
and brush across the leaves to set them ablaze--
the evening trees of green and gold
are only green tonight.

--

I saw a firefly. Couldn't tell if he was green or yellow, but the light was very bright. He blinked with his whole body, and fifteen others followed him at once.

--

It's dark now, so the windows become mirrors, and I can only see outside through my own reflection. My body is too narrow to watch the whole night wrap its arms around the house, but the night doesn't mind. I think the bird sleeps with the sun, both of them silent as the crickets take up the song of summer, and the moon thrusts its silver light against the other side of the inky clouds, hoping that a sliver will peek through. Perhaps, here and there, it does.

It's still dark.

Thunder grumbles again, and again the ground and I will hold our breaths for rain. It is only a promise. Perhaps it will come when I, too, lie down and sleep.

Two fireflies are left blinking above the grass. They surge up, up, higher and higher, their light twinkling in bright streaks behind them.

They are my stars against the murky sky.

DFESA 5 - Mew


I am posting this nearly a month overdue and two days late. Sorry about that. To make up for it, this DFESA installment deals with Mew, which I have liked for a very long time and treasure as one of my favorite-favorite artists. Pay close attention! if you care, that is.

Brief Description:
Mew is a three-member indie Danish band that was formed in 1994 and has achieved much commercial success in the UK since then. Their sound has been called "alternative rock," or just "indie," or "stadium rock," among other things. Apparently it's difficult to classify the precise genre. In my opinion, the best approximation that I found was "progressive rock electro shoegaze alternative dreamy indie-pop."

What I like about this artist:
I've always found it hard to put my fondness for Mew into words, but I'll try.
It's really quite a bizarre style (or unique, I should say), with an ethereal feel that's half-grounded in a bit of rock, but sometimes doesn't make much musical sense at all--at least, when you first listen to it. Everything makes more sense with each subsequent listen. Part of what I love about Mew is the songwriter's ability to mix sounds and rhythms that I'd never have thought could go together, and in some strange dimension they work surprisingly well. For me, listening to Mew is akin to reading a particularly good poem: it stretches my brain to consider new possibilities.
I also love the ridiculously long title of their last album (pictured above): No more stories// are told today// I'm sorry// they washed away// No more stories// the world is grey// I'm tired// let's wash away.

Some of my favorite songs:
Since this is late, I've included more than the usual four:

"Introducing Palace Players" - One of the weirdest tracks in its composition, but also one of my favorites.

"The Zookeeper's Boy" - Gorgeous.

"Snow Brigade" - Probably the oldest Mew song I remember listening to.

"Hawaii" - SO HAPPY.

"Comforting Sounds" - Nine minutes long, but ridiculously relaxing.

"Sometimes Life Isn't Easy" - This one's weird too.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Typical Conversations #16 and #17

DAD: Ugh, I am so dizzy. Going around and around the trees, around and around the yard...
MOM: Can't you mow the lawn in straight lines? People mow their lawns in straight lines.
DAD: That's too boring.
MOM: Then don't complain!

~*~

DAD: You know, that'd be like, like two stones, uh...two stones with one bird.

Pause.

DAD: Whoops.
ME: LOL LOL LOL
MOM: Riiiight. You throw the bird at two stones, and it dies.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Typical Conversations #14 and #15

GRANDFATHER: Do you have any raisins?
ME (busy with something): I don't know.

A pause.

GRANDFATHER: *sigh* ... *sigh* ... *sigh* ... *sigh... *sigh*
ME: What are you doing?
GRANDFATHER: I'm sighing until somebody finds me raisins.

~ * ~

MOM (very loudly from the window): NINA NINA COME HERE IS THAT A DOG A CAT OR A SHEEP? I CAN'T TELL!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

chinese tongue twister

chang cheng chang, cheng chiang chang, chang chang chang cheng chang cheng chiang, cheng chiang chang chang cheng chang chang


I HAD TO RECORD THIS ABSURDITY.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Typical Conversations #13

Jeremy sees a glass of orange juice on the floor by his feet.
 
JEREMY:  Dude. Baaaad placement. 
NATHAN: Oh, I was wondering where that was. Hand that to me, will you?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

6-15-12 Miscellaneous

(Because I felt like I needed to post on this blog, and I'm too lazy to come up with some cohesive idea right now. Text below has been taken from all over the place, certain bits having been jotted down in my Simplenote notes from quite a while ago.)


  • I like this quote: "The people talking about the weather had no intention whatever of of really exchanging meaningful information on the subject; they were merely using language to fill the emptiness between them, to conceal the fact that they had no desire to tell each other anything at all." ~ Martin Esslin
  • I enjoy drawing in a realistic style because then it feels like I'm simply copying the strokes of a greater artist. He sure knew what he was doing.
  • I kind of dislike "that moment" things, but seriously, that moment when you go to type "face" and it comes out "foam"? What. Maybe that just happens to me. Fortunately, I love foam. 
  • I watched Snow White and The Huntsman a week ago with Colleen and Emily. My conclusions: it was a gorgeous movie that was sadly lacking in the plot department, and the acting execution ranged from excellent (Charlize Theron) to eh, okay (Kristen Stewart, for whom heavy breathing apparently = every single emotion. I think she smiled like, twice.). I would go into more details, but that would probably end up in spoilers. I will say, though, that with the measly amount of time that was spent on the huntsman's character, the movie might as well have been titled Snow White and the Evil Queen.
    • By the way, Evil Queen was awesome. And even though Ravenna is such an obvious symbolic name for a queen with raven-minions, I  like the name a lot. Ravenna Ravenna Ravenna.  
    • OH OH and they got Florence and the Machine to sing for the end-credits song! That may have been my favorite part of the movie, accompanied as it was by slow-mo close-ups of a figure dressed in intricate obsidian armor. It was cool yo, totally cool. 
    • Should I put up a full review on this blog or not? I might. I can't seem to stop analyzing this movie whenever my brain has a free moment >.o
  • Word-magnet poem thingy from a few weeks ago:
Over a thousand lakes of wind and time
moon light whispered through diamond mist
as a boy played his dreams to sleep
beneath a still blue sky.
    • I love making sentences with those magnets. It's such a creative challenge.
  • Oh, I should probably comment on the fact that school is over. Yay. But sad too, because I miss the teachers and the friendses. 
    • Well, school's kind of over for me. I still have two units of Mandarin to work through. Urgh.
  • Hm, it thunders, but the sky is still blue? Or am I imagining the deep growls coming from behind those fluffy, sunlit clouds? o.O 
  • I promised myself I would write lots of poems once the summer began...but inspiration is strangely lacking. Ideas, people? What new forms shall I tackle? What new topics? Suggestions would be much appreciated.

Okay. That's it.
I'll write some better-focused blog posts in the near future. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

DFESA 4 - Of Monsters and Men


This band is a pretty new discovery for me, but have risen so quickly in my list of favorites that I simply must write about them.

Brief Description:
Of Monsters and Men is a six-member "indie folk/indie pop" band from Iceland (which really should be enough to convince you of how awesome they are) that was formed in 2010. Their debut album, My Head Is An Animal, was released just last year, but they've already won a lot of awards and titles and such.  Here's the full list of their names:
  • Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir (co-lead singer)
  • Ragnar "Raggi" þórhallsson (co-lead singer)
  • Brynjar Leifsson
  • Arnar Rósenkranz Hilmarsson
  • Kristján Páll Kristjánsson
  • Árni Guðjónsson
I've been trying to read them out loud and enjoying the sound of my failures.

What I like about this artist:
Um. Everything? I guess we can start with the voices: Nanna's high and airy voice is beautiful, reminds me of Ellie Goulding, and blends really well with the richer, more unique texture of Raggi's voice. Sometimes they sing together without doing any harmony, but the contrast in their voices alone makes for a really cool sound, which I love. As for the tracks themselves, the instruments can vary from brass and accordions to simple guitar, and I really like how dreamlike it sounds sometimes. And the lyrics, well, the lyrics are cool too. The topics range from loneliness and insanity (Little Talks) to "a whale that has a house on its back, on which people travel across the ocean, exploring different places and having adventures" (From Finner), but all written in the most beautifully poetic ways.
So yes. These people make awesome music, and they seem to be getting quite a bit of recognition nowadays. Goodness knows they deserve it!

Some of my favorite songs:
They only have one album out, so...all of them.

For those of you with Spotify (this launches the program):


For those of you who like Youtube playlists:


And for those of you who prefer Grooveshark:
Of Monsters and Men by Emmalee M. on Grooveshark

Thursday, May 10, 2012

In My Room

I’m proud and
standing tall because
the rain is pounding
at my window but
it never will come in,
so I am standing tall and
proud.

A wind is shrieking
at my window but
the glass is strong and
thick, so I cannot be
hurt.

I’m standing tall and
cold because
the sun is streaming
towards my window but
the glass is strong and
thick so it cannot
come in, and I
am standing tall and proud but
cold

I am so cold.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

hi guys sorry kind of okay bye

Those of you dedicated enough to continue stalking reading my blog may have noticed that I've missed like three weeks of DFESA, and I'm here to inform you that I will very likely miss a fourth and a fifth. It is full-blown AP test season, and I have not had time to write up any sort of blog post for a while now.
In the best-case scenario, I'll get right back to posting after my last exam on the 18th of this month. In the worst-case scenario (which is unfortunately more likely), I won't really catch up on blogging until the school year is completely over.
Either way, please excuse poor Rainstorms' lack of new activity for a while.

Monday, April 23, 2012

yey

So I have this graphic drawing tablet that I got for Christmas last year, and I've been finally using it. Woo!

...but as it turns out, I spend my time doodling and drawing flatworms in Paint.

(I recognize lyrics from "Storytime" by Nightwish. I don't remember what the rest means.)








Thursday, April 19, 2012

AA

For those of you who think Lamby has always been my favorite stuffed animal, let it be known that before Lamby, there was AA.
AA, the small pink bunny with a bowtie (though I insisted she was female), whose name stands for Adventurous Adventurer, who has three older brothers that belong to my three older brothers, who eventually got played with so much that she turned slightly gray, earning her the nickname Gray-Gray. AA, who eventually got played with so much that I--under the influence of my brothers' urging--gave her to my mother for safekeeping some years ago, lest her head fall off with too much affectionate attention.
Being the immature fifteen-year-old that I am, imagine my delight when I found this in the bathroom a few nights past.


(The note says: "Nina, SURPRISE! Mommy wants me to take a spring break from the (cup)boarding school...How I missed you! <3 <3 <3 <3 AA)

There was a joyful reunion.

They used to be best friends, you know.


AA IS SO CUTE


(And another joyful reunion)


Monday, April 16, 2012

Typical Conversations #11 and #12

DAN: (screeches from bathroom) There's a spider in here!!
MOM: Haha. Did you hear that? He has to deal with a spider.
DAD: Let's see what he does.
ME: (yelling from other room) SQUISH IT WITH YOUR FINGERS.
DAN: (another screech, louder)

Silence.

DAN: (coming out of bathroom) I emerge victorious.

~•~

STEVIE: Can I have a knife?
ME: Here.
STEVIE: Thanks. I was just thinking, like, I have this pork chop and no knife...
ME: You could have just torn at it with your teeth.
MOM: Yeah, just hold it in your hands and go nawnawnawr. Like eating a squirrel.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

DFESA 3 - Ellie Goulding


I discovered this awesome lady a little while ago (last summer?) when one of my brothers started playing "Lights," and I was immediately hooked by the sound and style. Heh, I guess you could say that my musical tastes are kind of really influenced by my brothers.

Brief Description: 
Ellie (Elena) Goulding is a 25-year-old singer-songwriter from England whose debut album came out in 2010. That album, Lights, was No.1 on the UK Albums chart shortly after its release. Her style has been described as electro-folk-pop. She works with another musician/composer/DJ called Starsmith who acts as her producer. It's pretty cool. That's all I have to say.

What I like about this artist:
"[It's] pop, but a bit more emotional," Goulding once said of her music. Yes. Emotion. Dripping everywhere from her delicate, almost fragile voice. Piano. Electro-stuff. Drumbeats that hit me deep inside. (I don't know what exactly that means. It feels strange. It's hard to describe. I like it, though.) Lyrics that take a bit of effort to figure out. It's a lethal combination for me. I love it ALL.

Some of my favorite songs:

 "Lights" - Of course I have to include this one. It's still my absolute favorite.


"The Writer" - I sing the chorus of this song over and over, all the time.


"Home" - Addicted to the drums here.


"Black and Gold" - I think this one's a cover, but I love the way she sings it.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Did you use Google Translate?

 Directions for a practice activity in my Chinese course:

"Watches each kind of clothes. The description of the clothes writes after listening to the recording."


Yes. I can do that. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

OMELET

Nathan and I made omelets for ourselves on Wednesday.
Ingredients: eggs, "Mexican Blend" shredded cheese, diced barbeque chicken, and some green salad stuff we found in the fridge.
Seems like it should have gone well, right?

It turns out we are not that great at the whole cooking part.

Had too much salt (mine)

Had no salt at all (Nathan's)
---


However, despite the, uh, less-than-perfect presentation and salt discrepancy, they ended up tasting pretty good.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

DFESA 2 - Nightwish


Nathan introduced me to this band a few years ago, and I've liked them ever since. Nightwish is probably responsible for giving me the taste for metal that I have. (Understandably, this confounds my mother and delights Nathan. "You're such a metal-head like me," he told me today.)

Brief Description:
Nightwish is a Finnish/Swedish metal band that's about as old as I am, having debuted on New Year's Eve of 1996. It's gone through a progression from folkish-ambient mood music with metal elements to more exclusively metal to metal with a bit of orchestral sound. Nightwish has had two lead singers. The first was Tarja Turunen, who has this powerful classical voice that can be kind of scary sometimes, but she was dismissed in 2005 and replaced with Anette Olzon, who has a good-but-not-so-powerful voice. That switch of main vocalists naturally influenced their style, so the metal is a little lighter in their recent work.

What I like about this artist:
Nightwish is headbang-worthy. I don't really headbang, but I enjoy music that makes me want to. Metal stuff kind of has a weight that other music doesn't have (maybe that's why they call it "metal"?), and when all that weight is thrown on top of songs that have very little melodic variation and lots of screaming, I don't like it so much. However, when that weight is put into songs that have very singable melodies and lyrics that I can hear--as Nightwish usually does--I tend to like it. (*Note: There are exceptions to this. Occasionally I like songs that are completely screaming and growling and really heavy metal, but I haven't exactly figured out why I like them.) I quite enjoy the imagery in Nightwish's lyrics too: phrases like "the dark rain from her eyes" and "land of the daybreak" and "into a child-man's heart."
PLUS THEY DO ORCHESTRAL VERSIONS OF THEIR SONGS AND I LOVE ORCHESTRAS.   

Some of my favorite songs:

 
 "Nemo" - One of the first I ever heard. (Tarja's the vocalist here)


 "Creek Mary's Blood" - Instrumental orchestral version. It's very long :P

"Eva" - This is one of their prettiest songs--and very tame. (Anette sings here)


"Storytime" - From Nightwish's most recent album, called Imaginaerum. It's kind of creepy :D


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Typical Conversation #10

NATHAN: Hey Nina, Dragonforce is coming out with a new album.
ME: What's Dragonforce?
NATHAN: Brt-nan-na-na-na-brt-na-nan-ba-ba-nan-na-nan-na-na--
ME: Ohhhhhhh.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

*facepalm*

Tinkly music.

DAN: (on the phone)  What? Oh, that's just my sister's stuffed lamb. It has a button...you press it and it, like, sings...

A pause.

DAN: No, my sister's fifteen. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

I'm left alone...

WITH TWO MEN TO TAKE CARE OF. Well, just one now, but that's beside the point.

Mommy and Jeremy left for Boston early on Saturday morning, and until today, both my dad and Nathan were home--which meant that I had to be domestic and clean the house and cook for them and stuff.
I'm not very domestic naturally. I will confess that it felt (feels) odd to me. Mom is the kind of mom who does everything while hardly talking about it, and Jeremy is the sensitive brother who takes care of almost everything else that Mom might have missed. So...I'm the spoiled youngest child who usually just sort of sits there and expects to be served. Most of the time, I take initiative to do something if I'm absolutely sure that no one else might just maybe in the near future do it instead of me. Otherwise, I only do stuff that I'm explicitly told to.
Bad, I know. I have to change that mentality. (Pray for me in this area. My family will love you.)
However inexperienced I may be, this weekend went pretty well. We ate a lot of leftovers, but there was some successful cooking involved. The kitchen hasn't caught on fire. In fact, it's quite clean right now, because I was provided with this nice little checklist of daily chores that I have dutifully followed. Never mind that I lost it on Saturday afternoon and freaked out for a few hours before Nathan found it again.
I've even done laundry by myself, which I never do, which is kind of pathetic. If you feel inclined to scoff at me right now, feel free. 
But besides all that, my brother and father make great company. Dad has watched like four different documentaries in this weekend alone: something on Yellowstone, something about Martin Luther, something about the history of jazz, and another one that I forget. It may actually have been a movie. I watched some of them with him. That was fun.
Nathan and I went out to practice frisbee on Saturday, when the ground was soaking wet. Lovely. He made me practice lay-out catches (I CAN'T DO THEM RIGHT), then practice sprinting, then practice long, accurate throws. That was fun too.
Other than those highlights, we mostly wandered around the house, occasionally bothering each other.

We also had brownies and ice cream.



"Davina," says Nathan, "I want you to scoop the ice cream with this."

That didn't work out so well...
We also watched two episodes of 24: Season 2.
I like it.


Unfortunately, I'm really alone this afternoon, as Nathan is back in the city, and Dad's at work. Fortunately, Kelly is coming here in less than an hour to break my loneliness.

Well, I should probably go put in another load of laundry. Bye.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

DFESA 1 - Celtic Woman



I think this group deserves to be the first post of this series because I was legitimately obsessed with them for at least six good months (though that was two years ago already). They're still some of my favorite singers now.

Brief Description:
Celtic Woman is a New Age/Celtic/Adult Contempary/Classical singing group made up of 4-6 members at any given point in time. They've had ten or eleven members total since their debut in 2005, though they started out with five. The music is usually either Celtic-with-a-modern-twist or modern-with-a-Celtic-twist. Usually. It's a little hard to define their genre. Some people don't like Celtic Woman because they're not Celtic enough. Basically, it's a few Irish women singing, one fiddler--and behind the scenes, an ultra-talented music director named David Downes.

What I like about this artist:
This Downes guy is a musical genius. He was the one who assembled Celtic Woman in the first place, and he's the guy who chooses all the new members when old ones leave. Because of this, not only are his arrangements absolutely beautiful, but he's familiar with all of the singers' voices and uses that knowledge to his advantage. Sometimes their voices blend so well in harmony that I can't distinguish them at all (which actually throws off a few people, but I like it a lot). Add to this the fact that the members are top-grade professionals when it comes to singing--or fiddling in the case of Máiréad--and you get some really good music. Also, they usually have an orchestra playing with them, and I love the full sound of an orchestra.
Plus, I'm a big fan of Celtic music, no matter how watered-down it might be. There's just something about the melodies that makes my heart ridiculously happy, and the lyrics tend to be about more than love-and-breakups. I mean, I'm fine with love-and-breakup content to an extent, but songs about yearning for home or nature or prolonged separation just interest me more. And the songs that are about love, they do hilarious things like refer to men as seaweed.

Some of my favorite songs:

Oh my. There are a lot. I will post four. 

 
The live recording of "The Sky and The Dawn and The Sun," which may be my absolute favorite song.  

I went to see them live. Máiréad actually plays like that. o.o

ACAPELLA.

And this one's a little more Irish-y. Yay for drinking songs! (I like their dresses.)



Thursday, March 22, 2012

i do not only listen to asian music

Here is a snippet from a chat that took place a while ago:


Stevie: you officially need to
listen to more English music.
lol

...



LOL INDEED BECAUSE I LISTEN TO A LOT OF ENGLISH MUSIC.

Just in case you don't believe me, I'm henceforth beginning a series of blog posts called Davina's Favorite English-Speaking Artists (DFESA). If all goes well, I'll post every week--maybe every Thursday--highlighting one of my favorite English-speaking artists, and you will see* that I do not, in fact, only listen to Asian music.

*or hear

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thoughts on Harvey

[My goodness, the performances of Harvey were about two weeks ago already. I am terrible at posting in a timely manner. Anyway.]

Harvey is my favorite drama club production as of yet. Perhaps that's a self-focused comment, as this has been the largest role I've had so far, but I think it has to do with more than that.
There were a lot of things that made this year's play so memorable:
There was the influx of ultra-talented newcomers--among them Emmie, Liz, and Peri, who all did wonderfully in the play. There was the excitement of performing on our very own stage, and the unexpected ability to begin practicing onstage as early as the beginning of February. There was the stress-relieving presence of an actual stage crew. And much, much more, of course.
Speaking personally, I think that working on Harvey with this year's drama club really challenged me and pushed me forward. I definitely grew as an actress in order to step into this major role, and I probably grew a little bit as an artist when I took on the project of creating the Elwood-Harvey portrait. (I guess I can say that I know how to use oil pastels now.) This year, Mrs. Z twice called me out as an example for the rest of the club, which was definitely a pleasant surprise. Agonizing--albeit mentally and silently--over practical things like keeping my face and body turned out to the audience had a very rewarding result: they eventually became mostly unconscious, and I was able to focus more on delivering my lines with the proper emotion, facial expressions, and gestures.
Acting, in its essence, is sort of remarkable. It is taking on the character of someone else in order to tell a story. And to become this other person, you must change your appearance, change your mannerisms, and sometimes even change your voice. You must study the things they say to find out how they say it, and you must study their words so well that you know how they'll react to anything another person says--not with the words you've been given in the script, but with actions you have to come up with on your own.
It's not all about the laughs you get, though a laughing audience is probably one of my favorite things in the world. It's also not about the comments you get later about what a great job you did, though those are high up there in my list of favorites too. It is about the story you're telling through your character. I only came to this realization this year because of our two performances instead of one. Here's how it came about:
On the first night, there were more people in the audience that I didn't know than ones I did. On the second night, my family was there, along with like twenty people from church. My performance was more real on the first night (not that the second night was necessarily worse, just less real). I didn't expect it to be. If anything, I expected to be more into the play because all these people I knew were watching, but it didn't turn out that way.
I then realized that on the second night, I was more focused on what my family and friends were thinking than on what Veta was thinking. Thus, I became less Veta and more Davina-playing-Veta. It's a very subtle difference. I don't even know if it was visible, but I definitely felt it. I think it had to do with knowing that the people laughing on the first night were laughing because Veta was funny and I was playing her well, as opposed to the uncertainty of whether people on the second night were laughing because of that, or because it was funny to see Davina with lots of make-up-wrinkles, flailing with a purse.
Or maybe it doesn't matter so much. I don't really know.
I'm not very experienced an actress (I haven't even cried fake tears yet), and I assuredly haven't mastered the art, but Harvey showed me something new about myself. I now love performing. Love love love. It has this addictive quality that I sort of felt before, but never as strongly as the moment I stepped onto the stage on Friday night, March 2nd with my long blue dress and like thirty bobby pins in my hair, and said,

"Yes, dear?"
"Telephone."
"Oh no, dear, not with all of them in there..."



Friday, February 24, 2012

2-24-12 Miscellaneous

Because I am terribly lazy.
  • The precalc test today was not worthy of the worry I gave it beforehand (thank you, Lord!). I did find, however, that I am terrible at multiplying beyond the twelves without a calculator. It took me a good minute to figure out 13 • 13. Sigh. 
  • We have begun to play the evolutionary-model games in Bio. "The Finches of Candyland" was a lot of fun. I was a chopstick finch and had to move various pieces of candy from one table to a cup on another. M&Ms are hard, Nerds are ridiculously difficult, and gummy bears are the best. They are just so delightfully squishy that I could grab them even when they made me use the chopsticks with my left hand. Looking forward to playing GlumpGlumpTime (my group's game) on Monday.
  • I spontaneously developed a rivalry with Marina while playing Frisbee, which entailed a lot of yelling "NO!" and half-tackling. If I can't catch it, neither can she!! (That was fun.)
  • The difference between shame and guilt: I believe guilt is a state of being--as in, you are innocent or guilty of doing something wrong. Shame is an internal feeling that can be independent of real guilt. For instance, you could do something and be guilty, but feel no shame for it; you could also be wrongly accused of something and still feel shame for the perceived guilt. It turns out that many people disagree with my definition. Thoughts?
  • Tim has this awesome connect-the-dots coloring book of legendary/mythical creatures, and he let me use it. I spent all of last period connecting 459 dots to make a Pegasus. I NEED ONE OF THESE BOOKS. 
  • Alix and the rest of my robotics team departed for Williamsport this afternoon, as there's a competition there tomorrow. (I couldn't go because I'd already signed up for the Praying Life conference.) Best of luck to them!
  • I have been working hard on the Elwood-Harvey portrait, and I'm almost done. All you drama peeps will see the finished product on Monday. The rest of you will have to wait until the play. 
 "This portrait over your mantel. Who painted it?"
"Um...me." << Haha. As if I'd actually say that.
  • A very small spider descended from the ceiling on an invisible thread. Nathan and I blew it back and forth a few times before killing it. Playing catch with miniscule spiders? New favorite game. 
  • It's been gloomy or raining all day. I really enjoy these kinds of days once in a while, mostly because the sky becomes this lovely grey color, and all the tree branches are outlined so strikingly against it in black. Also, rain = mud = fun.