Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Bloody Mess.

Strap yourselves in. This is a good one.

(Side note: I haven't written this post yet, so I have no way of knowing whether or not it will, in fact, be a "good one." However, I'm taking this new approach where I actually have something to write about before I start writing. So we'll just see where this takes us.)

Today, I gave blood for the very first time.

I know, you seasoned blood-givers might shrug off this personal mighty feat. But, let me tell you, I took great strides in life today. I will procede to assume that you care about this achievement and I will blog about it. Feel free to leave at any time.

I suppose this story begins yesterday, when I signed up for the blood drive out of nowhere. So I drank a lot of water. And ate a hamburger.

(Side note: If that's the beginning...let's skip to the middle of the story. That was going to get boring pretty quickly.)

I had to be at church at 7:45 this morning to play in the orchestra for the Christmas drama/sermon/beauty. It went pretty well; I know you were wondering. The point of this part of the story is to tell you that I didn't exactly eat all that much today. Which, incidentally, is not a wise decision when you are about to have an eighth of your blood siphoned from your body.

My appointment to donate was at 2pm. I walked in, read the brochure, did a few pull-ups, pet the llamas, and went to do my background check...with this guy with a receding hairline, a stringy white beard, and a semi-permanent scowl. (Every time I looked at him, I envisioned him brandishing a cane from a dusty old porch and hollering, "Hey, ya daggum kids, get off mah lawn!") He looked all too ready to stick somebody with a needle. And that somebody was going to be me.

So he started in with the questions, stabbed my finger, drank the sample...what? Just checking to see if you're paying attention. (There wasn't nearly enough to drink. Or even sip. At that point, anyway.) I asked what blood type I am and he said, "Red."

(Side note: By this time, I had shifted my perception of him from cranky old loner to tired, witty grandfather.)

So then it was time for the real fun. Nothing to report, really. I looked at the needle before he jammed it into my wasn't too imposing. I guess. Yes, it was uncomfortable to have a small, metal pipe stuck in my arm. (Surprise.) I got done pretty quickly--having hydrated myself most adequately over the past couple of days--that was a horribly worded interruption--this is definitely not grammatically correct--I'm going to keep doing it just to spite everyone--and, anyway, I got up and followed the nurse's instructions. I also asked to poke my blood bag.

(Side note: It was warm.)

I kept telling them I felt "awesome," and, truly, I did. I chugged some apple juice, swallowed six Oreos, and couldn't stop bouncing around. I mean, I had just saved three lives! I was ecstatic, and for good reason.

I was chatting with my sister when I started to feel really tired. So I sat down: a fairly logical response. I told her not to worry, but I was just going to put my head down on the table. There were a few people hanging around. I listened and tried to rest my eyes.


Then, slowly, I felt a dull dizziness creep all through my head...and there was this weird heat clinging to my skin...and my mouth went all dry and my head got really heavy and I felt like everything about my body was getting revenge on me for taking it for granted. Like my lungs, for example. And my entire central nervous system. Except for my hyperactive imagination--which depicted the late-night news story of the girl (me) who died from giving blood, after assuring everyone that she was feeling "awesome"--and the part of my brain that allowed me to pray, "Dear God, please don't let me die."

(Side note: Yes, I am usually a bit melodramatic. But I can assure you that my response to this situation was 100% valid. This was terrifying.)

I have no idea how much time passed in this stage. When I found a moment to pick my head up, I turned toward my sister. She took one look at me and went, "Um, you're really sweaty. And green."

Naturally, being the Spartan that I am, I responded, "Good. Green is the best color."

(Side note: I have been informed that, when you have given blood in the last half hour and are reduced to a sick, sweaty mess, green is not necessarily the best color. Not sure if I agree yet.)

Overcome by another wave of EVERYTHING, I put my head back down on my arms and tried to make it all stop. For some reason, people were talking to me...when I was obviously in no state to open my mouth. Goodness knows what would have come spewing out. (Probably demons. What?) So I was draped across the high table, nodding and shaking my head when appropriate, and trying to focus on breathing, praying, and not vomiting. At the same time. Not easy.

My dad and my sister took turns pressing cold cloths to my exposed cheek, commenting on both my face's warmth and it's very prominent shade of green. ("Wow, when they say your face can turn green, they actually mean green!") Again, I responded that I was glad my face was green, because at least something about the situation was right. My dad chuckled a little and said, "Go green!" To which I had to respond, regardless of nausea and intense discomfort, "Go white!" (Due to the fact that my face was smooshed up against my arms, and because I didn't want to open my mouth too wide to provoke vomiting, it may have sounded more like "Grwoh Whreye!" Regardless...the Spartan pride was indubitably there.) I refused to lie down, or even take off my band jacket. Too much movement. And the band jacket provides instant comfort.

There came a point when I thought I was ready to throw up, so I stood up, intending to politely upchuck my Oreos in the restroom.

Big mistake.

There was a general chorus of, "Are you okay?" to which I responded with two shakes of my head, and collapsed back into the chair. Repeat back to "A." (Just once. Or else you'd be caught in an endless cycle of re-reading.)

Eventually, it was time to attempt the walk out to the car. (I noticed that my hands had mascara smeared on them...apparently, I cried too. Doesn't happen often.) My dad ran out to do something (I couldn't tell you what, I was completely unaware of everything beyond staying upright) while my sister supported me. Walking has never been such a task. Eventually I had about 85% of my weight on my sister's right side, while my legs did this freaky headless-chicken dance. My sister was laughing, and then told me she wasn't laughing...through her laughter. I told her to "shhhuddaph." (Translation: "Shut up." Good-natured, though.) Meanwhile, I had this ongoing head-rush. You know how, at the worst moment of a really bad head-rush, you can feel it consuming your brain, and all you can see are colorful lines and splotches and nothing related to real life? That's how I felt for about thirty five minutes. The sun didn't improve things. When my dad came over, my sister informed him that my "legs [weren't] really working," and somehow he managed to pick me up and carry me to the car.

Halfway home, I discovered that I could kind of see again. I noticed that we were following the Red Cross van. The following conversation ensued:

Me: "Do you think my blood is in that truck?"

Dad: "I'm positive that your blood is in that truck."

Me: "Maybe they should give it back. Clearly, I'm not doing so well without it."

Dad: "I'll get right on that."

He didn't. It's all right. I'd rather save three lives.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Is it nothing more than a Gedankenexperiment?

(Preface: (Yes, it's pretentious to preface a blog post.) I apologize in advance for the spazzy fonts. Blogspot is notoriously incorrigible.)

(Side note: You guessed's vocab day!)

All right, I think I'm over my OfAllThings-versus-Hyperbole-and-a-Half comparison/depression. Enough to write for real, anyway. However, schoolwork has been sapping all my writing I turned to Merriam-Webster Online for inspiration. (Good old has an abundant supply of writing ideas. You just need to know where to look.)

"Love" is the third most-looked-up word on Merriam-Webster Online. The next is "cynical." Coincidence? I think not.

(Side note: Upon discovering this, I, naturally, looked up "love" in the online dictionary. Did you know that a score of zero in tennis is called "love?" This was news to me. Apparently it's because the word "love" stems from the French word
"l'oeuf," or "egg." (The official word etymology does not list this as an origin for "love," but I like the idea of it.) (A parenthetical statement within a parenthetical statement? I'm a mess of redundancy. Or meticulousness. Or something.) And eggs are shaped like zeros...meaning "nothing." So if we bring this full circle (bearing in mind the cyclical nature of life and, you know, other super-important themes), our "love" is a rough equivalent to "nothing." According to Merriam-Webster, however, Love (with a capital L) is synonymous to God. So now we know where to look for real Love. Yup. The convent. Joy.)

(Side note to the side note: Thus far, this post's side notes have outweighed the rest of the material.)

(Side note to the side note's side note: This is getting ridiculous.)

Vocabulary lesson. Oh, don't kid yourself. You're looking forward to this.

Hemidemisemiquaver: A sixty-fourth note. The "quaver" is the eighth note, which is turned into a sixteenth by the "semi," then halved again by the "demi" to become a thirty-second, and finally halved one more time by the "hemi" to become the sixty-fourth. (Was that right? You know what I'm saying.) The real conundrum here, I believe, would not be defining the hemidemisemiquaver, but making each hemidemisemiquavered note speak individually when playing a run of hemidemisemiquavers. But, you know...c'est la vie.

All right, you guys. I'm sick of this. I work on this blog so that you have something with which to distract yourselves, even just for a minute. I keep track of comments. I try to keep my writing accessible and minimally irritating. But, honestly, if you guys can't keep the prestidigitation to a minimum, I'm going to have to call it quits. I just can't take that from you anymore.

(Side note: Yeah, I'm just being an idiot. I thought "prestidigitation" sounded like a solid, angry word. A ranting word. So I wrote that train-(of-thought-)wreck paragraph above. It actually just means "sleight of hand.")

(Side note to the last side note, but unrelated to previous side notes: These side notes are becoming tedious. I really should get more sleep. Or take up yoga like I did in my WiiFit days. (Oh, how I miss those days.) (Double parenthesis.))

I think that's quite enough for now. Let's play a game. It's called "Let's See How Many Readers I can Scare Away in a Single Post." Trust's a fun game.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Don't get too excited. Weak week.

Oh, hey everyone. Or no one. Seeing as this blog has become a bit of a wasteland for the last several (twenty-eight) days. But anyway. News.

Hyperbole and a Half is the best blog I have ever read. It's one of the reasons that I haven't been blogging. I am...ashamed. Almost. As a result, I will be periodically adding images to my posts. Because I recently discovered how much I love doodling.

(Side note: If you haven't read Hyperbole and a Half...please do.

Random fact. I can almost always tell if I have a fever because:
a) I'll be running a temperature.
b) I'll get chills.
c) when I close my eyes, I see arcade games.

Seriously. I blink and catch a glimpse of Pac-Man. I try to fall asleep at night and find myself watching a game of Whack-a-Mole. I'll tell ya, though, Pinball Wizard is the WORST. Those bells and flipper things make a ton of noise.

(Side note: Yes. I'm crazy.)

Well, this post has been lingering in my “incomplete posts” folder for about a week and a half, so I’m going to wrap this up right about…now. Kinda weak, but…oh, well.

Here’s some love from a State fan:

The bird knows what’s up.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

82567819: What numbers can't tell you.

Latest obsessions: and potentially collecting every published edition of The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. If you want to sell me a copy...too bad. This blog is still anonymous. Ish. But anyway. Today's post will be punctuated with DearBlankPleaseBlank entries. And punctuation. Jefferson's pants, I need more sleep. Or something.

Here's something you all should know about me: I'm a Post-it note person. of those people. If I have to remember something, I don't do the sensible thing and set up a reminder timer on my iTouch or computer. Nay, I waste half a neon green tree by plastering neon green sticky notes on every noticeable surface in the vicinity.

"Dear Scissors,
I feel your pain... No one wants to run with me either.
Sincerely, Sarah Palin."

Also, when I have to remember something, I don't do the sensible thing and jot down something coherent. No, of course not. I write something obscure like "swap 'em out" or "RAWR. Do it."

Which brings me to my current predicament.

I glanced at the strand of sticky notes on my bedpost so as to remember what I wanted to blog about...and one of them says "SILLY BAND SYMBOLISM." Do you know how many directions I could take that?!? We'll never know what my intentions were behind that reminder. And, frankly, I'm stressin'. So I'll just let you ponder that one.

"Dear iPad,
You're such a poser.
Sincerely, Etch-a-Sketch."

Next Post-it: Daylight saving --> time is a creation of man.

That one has been up on the reminder wall since November 7th...which was daylight saving, for those of you who were born yesterday.

Does that whole concept freak anyone else out? I mean...we, as mere humans, change time. Doesn't that make the whole concept of time kind of irrelevant? The time is just a number that a bunch of people have in common...because I guess looking at a watch is easier that gauging the position of the sun in the sky, or counting the number of clouds north of the maple grove. (What?)

"Dear Justin Bieber,
Don't worry, we'll be real boys some day...
Sincerely, Pinocchio."

But, essentially...time is meaningless. I added a whole hour to my life last week! Granted, I'll lose it in the Spring, but for now...we're all a whole hour younger. That's an extra hour to breathe--and all because good old Ben Franklin said, "Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." (Side note: good thing I'm not a man, because there's no way I'll be in bed early for the remainder of my natural life.)

"Dear Professor on Gilligans Island,
You can make a radio out of coconuts, but you can't fix a hole in a boat?
Sincerely, Skeptical."

I'm not sure if this is something interesting to think about, something irrelevant, something redundant, or just something that doesn't matter to anyone. Isn't it good to question the system sometimes, though? I think so. Not that my thoughts really matter. I just happen to be the one sharing at the moment.

And with that...and this...

"Dear Edward,
This is why you were in Hufflepuff.
The Sorting Hat."

...I bid you adieu. The Deathly Hallows await me. Whatever that means.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Defining profanity.

Oh, hey, almost didn't recognize you...seeing as it's been a whopping...21 days since my last post! Since then, I have adopted a hippo, filmed a parody for every episode of "Friends," and drafted the next great American novel. (Yes, despite America's numerous failures, quality literature production is not necessarily one of them. And yes, that statement does make me sound like a pretentious schnook. (And yes, "schnook" is in the dictionary.) (Double parentheses.))

So, everyone use your imagination for a moment...and pretend it's Halloween again. This was originally meant to be a Halloween post, but I don't exactly have endless free hours to blog/practice my extreme thumb- twiddling skills (for the INTENSELY BORED). Anyway, I really just have one idea to express about Halloween before we move on here...

Generally, Halloween is when people get dressed up in the costume of their true selves.

Granted, that's not always true. makes sense, you know. I mean, think of all the girls who leap at the opportunity to dress scantily and "not be judged for it." Why doesn't anyone question the internal motivation behind that? I don't get it.

On a personal level, I was a mime. What does that say? Either that I'm so obnoxious that I don't need a voice to irritate people...or that I'm secretly a very introverted, internally expressive being. Hmm. I'm thinking/hoping it's neither of the two, actually.

The really obvious ones are the little kids dressed up as potential future careers. Like a doctor or a movie star or a cowboy.

The really obscure ones are the people who scoot around in a laundry basket full of balloons and call it a bubble bath. Unwrap that one, psychologists.

So yeah...if you want your Halloween costume unpacked, feel free to comment. I'd love to analyze your psychological state/self-esteem/general taste (or lack thereof) based on an anonymous statement. Or, you know, don't. I won't take it personally. Maybe.

Coming up next: defining profanity.

Although this is anonymous, many of you know me from "real life," (I have two fingers. I have four fingers. GrrRAHHHHHHH!) and you know that I'm a big fan of euphemisms. I won't list them all here because it could take days, and...I have plans. Besides, our next little tributary in my stream of consciousness leads not to what is said, but how and why.

I was recently challenged to explain the difference between profanity and a euphemism when the intent behind them is clearly the same. A huge part of language is the fact that we, as its users, give it meaning. In turn, language gives meaning to us and everything we do and say and feel. The only reason certain words are deemed profane is because we, as language creators and users, have come to associate those words with strong, generally negative feelings. So now I'm completely torn.

It's times like these that I turn to either of two books: the Bible or the Dictionary. In order to remain relatively ambiguous (and in order to make a more direct approach to this mess), I'll turn to the latter.

1: not concerned with religion or religious purposes : secular
2: not holy because unconsecrated, impure, or defiled : unsanctified
3a : serving to debase or defile what is holy : irreverent b : obscene, vulgar
4a : not being among the initiated b : not possessing esoteric or expert knowledge

So, in summary...true profanity is the uneducated misuse of a term that is used in order to desecrate something superior to the nature of the term itself. Or something like that.

Therefore, I will continue shouting "good gravy" and "heavens to Betsy" and "Jefferson's pants!" (I just made up that last one. I think I like it.) Because a) I'm not trying to defile anything, I just like how the words sound together and b) what could possibly be superior to Jefferson's pants?

Just some stuff to ponder. Or, you know...some stuff to forget. Either way, I'm glad we (indirectly) shared the last few moments.

Until the next!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Circumstantial Cannibalism.

Blogger is playing sick jokes on me. Apparently this is post 32, after all. But I see 30 on the side of the screen. Oh, well. As if it matters.

So apparently human flesh tastes like beef, but a little sweeter, and the texture is softer. Believe me, I wasn't curious...until I typed "what do people..." and the first search suggestion returned "what do people taste like?" I wanted to ask, "What do people want to read?" You know, so I would know what to write. But that cannibalism option came up and I wondered. Sweet beef just doesn't sound that appealing, though, so no worries. I have no wish to consume a fellow human being.

I feel like I've written about this before...didn't I tell you guys about the tofu alternative to cannibalism that I found online? I still don't know if that's a joke or not.

All hungry? How about some food for thought?

I may have touched on this before, but hey...repetition is a literary device for a reason. Here we go.

In my opinion, one of the least understanding things a person can say is "I understand." Similarly, one of the most infuriating things a person can say is, "You have no idea." Both of these little expressions basically demonstrate a lack of respect for the joys, burdens, struggles, and experiences of others.

Well, not always. You probably know what I mean, though. There are times when it's nice to say you understand...and other times when there's no way you could possibly understand, and you're wasting everyone's time by pretending you do.

The point is...if someone truly understands the situation, the last thing he/she/it will do is say so.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sugar Shower.

I do a lot of thinking in the shower. Which is pretty impressive, because I take really short/efficient showers. Generally speaking. Anyway, for some reason I was thinking about that song from Mary Poppins that says, "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down." You know the one. Beautifully optimistic and what not. So, naturally, I tried to apply the lyrics to my own life--but I came upon a problem.


I know that must be kind of irritating for you guys--for me to say that I enjoy every aspect of life, but...seriously. I must be on some crazy life-sugar kick ALL THE TIME. Well...I guess I could probably put some select schoolwork/bad drivers/tetanus shots in the medicine cabinet. But still. I should probably work on diluting my sugar intake or something. (Except not.)

So, you know...application time. What's in your medicine cabinet? And, more importantly: how can you fill/overflow that spoon with sugar? Just something to consider.


(If you're lost, here's a road map:

Me. Who else?

P.S. You all failed the Blogee Test. My last post was not number 30. I failed a test of another kind, calling it post number 30 in the first place. So, you know. Let's all move on with life.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

He who jokes confesses.

Post number thirty! We should all get donuts or something. In general, not necessarily as a group. Donuts are just a blessing that should never be overlooked. On the other hand, we should go to a Brazilian churrascaria and get corações de frango...because I feel like you'd need me to be there in order for you to eat chicken hearts. (It's not as barbaric as it sounds. They're delicious.)

Okay, public forum question: is it weird to say "bless you" when you're in a public restroom and you hear someone sneeze from the toilet? It's something I'm very conflicted about. On the one hand, you could bless him/her and make their day a little brighter...or you could bless him/her and totally weird the person out because no one should interact in the bathroom. It's a private sanctuary. Which is why I don't understand that feminine tendency to go to the bathroom in a pack. That makes me anxious, to be honest.

What else? Life is good, you guys. Don't even deny it. You get one shot, so make the most of it. Just throwing that out there, since I've been seeing a lot of collective negativity from people.

You don't choose what happens to you; you do, however, choose how you react.

Choose joy.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Craving the Uncharted.

Ladies and g-g-g-gentlemen, it is my humble pleasure (what?) to present to you...


...the first post of October, 2010!

Yeah, I know. Wa waaaa. You were probably expecting something a little more exciting. Like a pet rock or two free tickets to watch grass grow. (There's a good date idea. I hope you're taking notes.) The reason I mention October, though, is because at the end of this month (the 25th, to be exact), Of All Things will be four months old. Four months is a third of a year...and thinking about it terms of a year, I'd say this blog sounds pretty ancient, eh?

Speaking of pet rocks, I would just like to say that my first pet rock (a very gray, very heavy frog) introduced me to my love and appreciation for nature. And puppeteers. Because it is not easy to convince yourself that a stone frog can jump and catch flies and stuff.

So I know it’s been forever and a half (twenty eight days) since Sara Bareilles released her new album, Kaleidoscope Heart, but…oh, man. She’s my favorite, in case you haven’t heard. Only second to marching band…but definitely higher up on the list than pulled pork. Do you know how much I love pulled pork? A lot. But I love my Sara more. She’s gonna sing at my wedding, I swear.

Anyway…do you ever have those moments when you’re walking somewhere with your headphones in and a song comes on that just screams, “WHEN YOU MAKE A MOVIE ABOUT YOUR LIFE THIS SONG WILL BE PLAYING WHILE THE OPENING CREDITS ROLL.” ? (I didn’t feel like punctuating that correctly. I feel like it would make that all caps statement less effective.) Well, I get that feeling every time “Uncharted” comes on from Kaleidoscope Heart. In fact, I purposefully make sure it will start when I’m in the middle of my bike ride to class, just because I feel like I could conquer the world when I hear that song. Maybe I will someday. (You should probably treat that as a warning. Stockpile some canned yams and non-Sara music in your basement, because a new world is coming. My world.)

Because I know you care: I pulled my first real all-nighter last night. A couple of friends and I were just chatting (in other words, having intense discussions about the meaning of life, faith, human consciousness, and perception) and we kind of just watched Sunday evolve into Monday. At 6 or 6:15 this morning we all kind of looked at each other and said some variation of “Breakfast, anyone?” What an odd morning. I still haven’t slept…but I feel fine. I should be a music major, just because I love music and don’t seem to require sleep in order to function.

Well…time for class. Hopefully my lack of sleep doesn’t cause me to lose it in the middle of discussion and start running circles around desks and hollering and drooling and stuff. Not that that kind of thing ever happens. I mean…really. Get real.

Sweet daydreams, blogees!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

When Too Wrong Makes a Write.

Okay, you guys. New favorite website. I'm mean, it's been trumping Facebook and Merriam Webster Online for about twenty minutes. And it's 2:15am. Clearly, something is wrong. Either that, or something is all too right.

Yup. Exactly what it looks like. I just spent a full minute puzzling over this one:

"The likelihood freezes next to our horrible image."

Quick exposition break: I'm at the library, finishing my second cup of almost-free coffee. (See, they say, "What a great deal! With your unlimited meal plan, we'll let you swap a meal per day for something that isn't cafeteria food!" So you feel all awesome when you swipe your card and walk away with Pop-tarts and yogurt. Except...oh, yeah, I could buy a year's worth of Pop-tarts and yogurt with the money I spend on a semester of meal plans. So thanks for nothing, persons of authority.) See, I describe this feeling as being so tired that I feel like I'll never have to sleep again. You know that feeling? Yeah, you do. Or you will, young grasshoppers. You will. Anyway, I finished my Spanish homework around one and figured I might as well grab a bagel and coffee and do my math homework for next week. Except I forgot that I'm in Algebra, so...well, let me explain this mathematically. Since I'm in a math mood. (Not.)

Time required to complete Algebra homework
< Time required for effects of artificial caffeine to wear off.

Which = time to blog, silly, why did you grab a second cup of coffee? You're gonna be up until 4am at this point.

Woo. This is ridiculous. Am I making sense? I'm a little bit high on Club Library right now.

Random sentence time!

The prose discriminates above the male.

Is it just me, or is that a really powerful statement? Prose can mean more than just a lengthy literary composition; it can signify the general language of speech and writing. Discrimination, despite its negative connotations, really just implies distinguishing between one concept/subject/event and another, or just having general discretion. So if we interpret this sentence as saying that language itself creates discretion that extends far beyond gender boundaries, but defines the world in which we live--as the world in which we live simultaneously creates and maintains the meaning behind language--we are essentially defining my 111 Arts and Humanities course, Writing in Transcultural Contexts.

(In case you were wondering: no, "transculturation" does not exist in the established English language. "Transculturation" is, however, the foundation of my major, along with a few hundred other Arts and Humanities students. So that's great.)

Hmm...well, on that note, I'd say it's time to head on back to the humble abode and snatch a few Z's from whoever has them right now. By "Z's" I mean "hours of sleep" and by "whoever has them now" I mean "the clutches of my Sparty's coffee cup." Doggone thing won't tell me the secret to a good night's sleep. Whatever. I don't need its secrets. I have a random sentence generator.

And apparently, that's all I really need.

Good morning.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Heartfelt, but Uncategorized Embrace.

Here's something everyone has thought about, but rarely voiced: hugs.

There a various types of hugs, all pertaining to different groups and relationships. Most people are familiar with all of these, but may not know it. I'm going to enlighten you now, with the gentle embrace of bloggage. (That sounds awful. I apologize.)

Anyway. Here's the Hug Scale, as devised by yours truly.

First Degree of Familiarity: Casual Arm-Over-Shoulder Hug. You know this one. It's the semi-affectionate, often one-sided "I-kind-of-wish-this-was-a-real-hug-but-I-don't-know-if-you-share-this-wish-so-I'm-just-going-to-throw-my-arm-around-you-like-we're-golf/pub-buddies" hug. Friendly and harmless.
Second Degree of Familiarity: From-Behind Hug. This one can be dangerous. Like the former, it's quite often one-sided, but its sneakiness implies that the hug-giver knows the embraceful feeling is not mutual, and will resort to anything to get a hug anyway. Surprising and slightly awkward, because what face are you supposed to make when this is happening? No matter what, it's always just as weird for the people sitting around the hug site as it is for the hugged.
Third Degree of Familiarity: Side Hug. This is when both parties would very much like to exchange an affectionate, frontal embrace, but the situation just doesn't allow it. It's nice in its own way though, because Side Hugs can last longer than their forward-facing brethren without the participators appearing antisocial.
Fourth Degree of Familiarity: Handshake Hug. One of the most adorable hugs, the Handshake Hug follows a well-rehearsed choreography of gestures and high-fives and foot-stomps and what not. Implies a fairly decent amount of emotional security and general closeness between parties. Often implemented between males, but common among primates in general.
Fifth Degree of Familiarity: One-Armed Hug with Pats. Fairly stereotypical of the general male population. Meaningful one-armed embrace accompanied by three slaps of the engaged palm against the receiver's back. The three slaps are rumored to signify a silent mantra between the two participants that sounds something like "I'm-not-gay." Homophobia is pretty prominent in a lot of groups, so this hug is used a lot.
Sixth Degree of Familiarity: One-Armed Hug. Similar to the former one-armed hug with back pats. However, the lack of accompanying back pats does not imply homosexuality, but a comfort between hug participants and a general confidence in personal gender preference.
Seventh Degree of Familiarity: Two-Armed Hug, One Over, One Under. Generally used in settings of mutual, basic understanding between friends of relatively similar heights. Implies nothing beyond vague buddyship, although it is the typical hug for the infamous, yet fairly non-descript "best friends."
Eighth Degree of Familiarity: Two Arms, Both Over or Both Under. Essentially the same as the former hug, but is used when one party is significantly taller/shorter than the other. Also employed when the taller of the two parties wishes to pick the smaller one off the ground. (For the smaller of the two parties: this is great for lengthening the spine. Seriously. It's probably a rough equivalent to an hour and a half of WiiFit yoga.)
Ninth Degree of Familiarity: Two Arms, with Secondary Squeeze. This is a special embrace that basically counts as a double. (Which is just wonderful, as long as it's wanted/expected. Otherwise, it's the longest, most awkward period of one's life.) Anyway...this is when parties go in for a familiar two-armed hug (either of the two previous). However, instead of pulling away after about 1.3 seconds (think about it...that time period is fairly accurate...and yes, my research consisted of counting "Mississippi's" while miming a hug), they give another squeeze that lasts as long as a new hug. It takes a special person to give a special hug, too. Don't take a good Secondary Squeeze for granted. (Yes, you may giggle. I did.)
Tenth Degree of Familiarity: Two Arms, with Back-Scratchage. This is the final stage of familiarity because--face it--you can't hug just anyone and be comfortable enough to hold on and scratch them. That could be completely misinterpreted if the two parties were mere acquaintances. It's basically the Secondary Squeeze with affectionate back-rubbing. Usually only friendly, used for special occasions like graduation and getting your braces off and stuff.

I'm pretty much bored with the hug topic at this point, so feel free to fill in the blanks for yourself.

Next time you find yourself in mid-embrace, notice that the pull-away point falls around 1.3 seconds every time(...unless you're one of those people).

Happy hugging!
Me. Who else?

Monday, September 20, 2010

From a Muggle's Standpoint. Dedicated to the Birthday Girl.

Today is a very special is a very good friend's birthday! (I think I'll keep her anonymous, otherwise I'd be attesting to some serious hypocrisy here. Let's just say she's quite the sister to me.) There are approximately 358,192 birthdays every day (according to that could mean anything), but this one is particularly important. Therefore, I will seize this opportunity to discuss something of utmost importance and genuine general interest...not to mention the applicability to the common man/woman.

Muggle Quidditch.

I know you've been wondering. After reading this, you'll never have to wonder again!

Positions: 3 Chasers, 2 Beaters, 1 Seeker, 1 Keeper

The Chasers on a team pass a half-deflated volleyball/soccer ball (the Quaffle) to one another, trying to get around opposing team members to throw the Quaffle through one of three hoops at the other end of the pitch. Chasers may snatch the Quaffle from the other team's possession, knock it from another player's hands, and even tackle players if necessary. A score with the Quaffle is 10 points.

Beater: Beaters take control of the dodgeballs/kickballs (Bludgers), throwing them at Chasers and Seekers in order to disrupt their game strategy...and to slow them down in general. If a player is hit by a Bludger, he or she must drop any ball in his or her possession and run around the goal hoops before engaging in the game again. Only Beaters may touch the Bludgers without being penalized.

Seeker: The Seeker's job is to catch the Golden Snitch. The Snitch is transported via a long-distance runner dressed completely in gold. A tennis ball is placed inside a long sock, which is knotted at the end. This knotted sock (AKA the actual Snitch) hangs out of the Snitch runner's pocket. Seekers attempt to seize the Snitch from the pocket without touching the actual human Snitch. If that makes sense. The Snitch has the liberty to do whatever he or she chooses. The Snitch might leap into the bushes, go out to lunch, see a movie, or attend a wedding. (Yes, the latter has been done before. There are pictures.)

Keeper: The Keeper's job is the job of he or she guards the three hoops for his or her team. The hoops stand at about six feet tall. Pretty straightforward.

General Rules:

All members of each team line up alongside their own goal hoops before the game begins. All team members shut their eyes while the Snitch runs and hides. When the referee calls "Brooms up," the game begins. All players sprint to the center of the field to seize the Quaffle and Bludgers.

The game ends when the Snitch is caught
(does the bold font cancel out the passive verb?)...however, the team that catches the Snitch receives 30 points rather than 150, like in the book. Because that wouldn't make sense...there would be no reason for the rest of the team to be there. They could all get tea together and chat about Squibs and the Ministry while the Seekers and Snitch run all over the planet.

Oh, and of course...all of the above is done with a broom between every player's legs, at least one hand on the broom at a time.

Needless to say, it's a sport every Muggle should play. Such useful skills to be acquired.

Unfortunately, I seem to have missed the birthday deadline...but it's still the night of the wonderful day. Happy birthday, LJ! (That rhymes!) You are now a year older and a blog post wiser. Or something like that.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Kind of Fun.

Think English has it all covered? Well, apparently not. Surprise! (Not.) Here's a little list of words (that have various spellings, depending on where you look) that have very familiar meanings (generally), but no English equivalents. I expect all of you to use these words in the next week. At least one, anyway. Preferably this first one...

Gheegle: (Filipino) The urge to pinch or squeeze something that is unbearably cute.

(Don't deny it. You KNOW this urge.)

Cualacino: (Italian) The mark left on a table by a cold glass.

(See, everyone knows this happens. Hence the coasters/stacks of outdated magazines on wooden coffee tables. But did you ever wonder what this occurence is called? I have to admit, I never cared. Until now.)

Sgriob: (Gaelic) The itchiness that overcomes the upper lip just before taking a sip of whiskey.

(Besides the fact that I've never experienced the effects of whiskey in general, I have to tell you that this makes no sense to me. Is an itchy upper lip before a sip of whiskey the equivalent to a watering mouth before Thanksgiving dinner?)

L’esprit de escalier: (French) The feeling you get after leaving a conversation, when you think of all the things you should have said. Translated it means “the spirit of the staircase.”

(Dear God, thank you for the French. I now know that I'm not the only one who has this feeling. Comebacks always pop up in one's mind three hours after they're required. I'm glad the French and I are of like mind. Sorry I was bored in bible study today. Amen.)

Pari-pari and Saku-saku: (Japanese) Hard-crispy verses Soft-crispy, i.e. a rice cracker versus fried chicken

(This is sheer beauty. Putting crispiness on a scale. I cannot say any more words to encompass this perfection.)

Stam: (Hebrew) An agreement out of amusement and frustration that something doesn’t have a satisfactory answer among those talking.

(This one sounds effective even just echoing in my head.)

Forelsket: (Norwegian) The euphoria you experience when you are first falling in love.

(I'm not familiar with this feeling either. Wa waaaaa.)

Pena ajena: (Mexican Spanish) The embarrassment you feel watching someone else’s humiliation.

(Dear God, thanks again. I thought I was the only one who got stressed out watching people having their days ruined. Someone's coffee spills and I tear my fingernails apart. A grocery bag tears and I break out in a cold sweat. I should probably become a hermit so as to lessen the physical damage of watching people have bad days. Please give me a sign if this is a correct assumption. Amen.)

Okay, so there are a ton more words that I could describe, but...there's a lot to do. I just wanted to let you know...that...THE BLOG LIVES. In case anyone still reads this.

With loads of like,
Me. Who else?

P.S. Anonymous commenter, I know. Arthur won the Spelling Bee with the word "preparation," after Prunella got it wrong. When Principal Haney told her it was incorrect, she did a freaky double-take and stalked off stage. Why are her socks always bunchy? More importantly, why is Arthur on PBS exactly during marching band practice?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Hangdog Delights.

Okay, so I literally Googled "what to write about" and one of the results was "Ten Guilty Pleasures." So here it goes.

First of all, am I the only person in the world who thinks "guilty pleasure" is the worst term for something one does when one could be doing something more productive? It just sounds awful and mildly inappropriate. Not that my mind works that way.

Okay, guilty pleasures, then.

1) PBS Kids. Yes, yes, yes. I know. Of all things...PBS Kids is my number one guilty pleasure? (I named this blog "of all things" for a reason. Welcome to reason number one: I don't make sense.) I know every word to almost every theme song on PBS weekday afternoons. And I know I'm not the only one. Arthur is my personal favorite, because his life is so doggone tidy. He has problems, and they clean right up. Streak-free. No scar tissue. Beautiful life. Plus, he's an aardvark. Know how I know how to spell that? Because of the episode "Arthur and the Spelling Bee," when Mr. Read tells Arthur to put words to songs. So he makes this whole song up to learn how to spell the first word on the list, "aardvark," and that ends up being the only word he has to spell to get into the Spell-a-thon. (See? This is a serious problem. I should see a doctor or something.)

2) Anything and everything about deodorant. Mostly applying it, but I like shopping for new scents or brands or whatever. I can't explain it. Anyone who knows me knows that I reapply like...fifteen times a day. (And now, a whole bunch of strangers potentially know too. Yippee...) I have a stick in my room, in the bathroom, in my backpack, and in my trumpet case. Again, it's probably a psychological problem or something,'s not hurting anyone...

3) Dark chocolate. And not just because I'm a woman. It's a superfood, okay? I have every right to snitch chocolate chips from the cupboard at home. It's practically my responsibility to myself and to society. So there.

4) Blogging. I don't know why it's number four, but...anyway. I really like sharing random thoughts and reactions with friends and strangers. It's therapeutic, I think. Well, that's what I tell myself. Because you and I both know that we could both be doing something much better with our time right now.

5) Well...I drink a lot of VitaRain. It's Costco's vitamin water, except it totally tops any other brand of vitamin water because it's relatively cheap, and 0 cal, 0 fat, 0 sodium, 0 everything...except vitamins, of course. And EXPLOSIONS OF FLAVOR. ("I'm working with some very unstable heeeerbs!" Accepted, anyone?) I love it. I drink too much of's good for me. I think.

6) Facebook. I know I'm a teenager in the modern era and everything, and it can only be expected that I would love Facebook,'s more than that. I love learning about people! I like to guess peoples' stories, which is why I friend everyone.

(Okay...side note. I signed up to be in a quiet room on a quiet floor. My floor is 50% honors housing. Since nine o'clock, girls have been shrieking and running up and down the hall like the Mad Hatter is cackling from every dark corner. I'm completely at a loss. Should I join them? Am I crushing everyone's spirits by finishing my homework and updating my blog? And how in the name of John T. Madden do they manage to laugh through six walls? What could possibly be that funny?)

7) Romantic comedies. I am in no way a "girly girl," but romantic comedies just pull me right in. When I have a night off, I seriously stream them instantly through Netflix, make popcorn, and watch them by myself in my room. It's pathetic...but I kind of love it.

8) I memorize stuff for fun. Like...anything, really. I used to open to a random page in the encyclopedia and just memorize definitions word for word. Maybe that's why the memorization part of marching band comes fairly easily to me. I don't know. It's weird. I don't do it that much anymore, but...I still remember the textbook definition of a biological clock from seventh grade. For your information, it's "an internal timer that keeps track of a cycle of time and helps an organism stay in step with the rhythmic cycles of change in its environment." I told you it was weird. Why my mind chose to retain that definition, rather than what my teacher looked like, is beyond me.

9) I think I might be a little bit of a masochist. Battle-scar style. Not in a creepy, I-hurt-myself-for-fun kind of way. I think scars are sweet, and bruises are cool-looking. This is getting weird so I'm going to bring this to a close.

10) I'm a huge geek about music. I like to compare chord progressions and rhythmic structures of modern music...I like determining what songs are similar to other songs...I like comparing artists...I memorize jazz solos...65% of the music I listen to is either jazz or classical...and I would honestly be a music major if I didn't detest practicing as much as I detest practicing. (Hint: it's a lot. Enough that I really don't practice. Which would be a problem if I was a music major.) I like where I'm headed in life anyway. It's all good.

So...there you have it! A rough compilation of my guiltiest pleasures. Ugh. Weird. Dagnabbit, I should have put Lady Gaga music on there. Ah, well. Have a good one!

Friday, September 3, 2010


So, here's the deal. Once upon a time, I described high school marching band as being a dead mouse in comparison to the charging rhino called college marching band. And now I feel awful because in no way was that meant to be hurtful in any way. And this is a pathetic attempt at fixing the mistake I just made.

I would be absolutely nowhere without high school marching band. My closest friends, favorite teachers, and most valuable life skills are all direct results of my experiences in high school marching band. When I made that comparison, I was only referring to the degree of intensity. It's roughly equivalent to the difference in all experiences from high school to college. Everything is just...magnified.

My most sincere apologies to anyone who has hurt by my haphazard analogy...and I know this is a ridiculous way to apologize for something that I should have edited and recognized as being potentially misunderstood.

Also, I apologize to any new readers that think I'm a jerk with nothing better to do than blog exaggerations and then blog apologies for my exaggerations.

Good night, favorites.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Spontaneous Kitty Motif.

Let me tell you a little something about doing laundry at college. A few somethings, actually.

1) The primary unwritten law about laundry rooms is that there cannot be, under any circumstances, any sort of flattering lighting. Harsh florescence and exposed bulbs are the key to successfully washing and drying your garments.

2) Although you will be waiting for your garments to finish what will end up being approximately a one-and-a-half hour cycle, the only places to rest your weary feet are on a spindly metal chair or a nondescript concrete step. Also, you will not want to sit down, because that would suggest weakness...because goodness knows there are psycho kitten rapists in the walls. (I meant rapists that target kittens, not kittens that are also rapists...but either way, the image is terrifying.)

3) There are no instructions. Nor is there anyone (besides the kitty rapists...meow...) to tell you what to add first, the clothes or the detergent or the water, or what setting to choose when you just want to throw it all in there and be done with it. Oh, no. Trial and error is the way of the laundry room. Trial and error.

So that's what's up. Because I know you're fascinated by my laundry habits. Hello, college life. Speaking of college life...I would love to stop seeing kids from my high school in my current real life. Nothing personal (mostly), it's just that...I left that place for a reason. If they were actual friends, it would be cool...but no, they're the kids who know who you are, and you know who they are, and you all know you know each other, but you wouldn't talk to each other even if threatened with rape by/of kitten. Jeez, I don't know where this kitten motif is coming from. I should go read a book or something.

I have decided that everyone in the world...nay, the universe...should experience the Spartan Marching Band in some way, at least once. I'm officially hooked. Just so you know.

Have a lovely, laundry-free evening, blogees.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Long time, no blog.

WHOA. How long has it been? Too long. As if anyone noticed but me. Wa waaa.

I am currently writing from my new room at school. College is...yup. College is. It just is. And I'm loving every minute of it. I've been doing the marching band thing for over a week now, and let me tell you something-a little analogy, if you will. Spartan marching band:high school marching band::Costco:RiteAid. Or, here's another one. (Yes, I realize that I ruined a little more of the anonymity of this blog by telling you that I am at Michigan State University. Good luck stalking me, all you non-existent fans...there's 45,000 students on campus.)

Quick college experience story: I was riding my bike home the other night and this guy stumbles and hollers "HELLO" from across the street. Normally, I would ignore it...except that he shouted this in a flawless British accent. (Apparently, people can change nationalities when they're drunk. that was news to me. Fake or not, however, this accent made me smile.) So, naturally, I hollered back, "HEY!" He asked how I was, and I said well, and asked him, and he said well...and THEN...the greatest thing...I know, the suspense is killing you...take a moment to wipe the sweat from your upper it's not even worth it...he said, "Pip pip cheerio!" So now I have to know if people actually say that when they're sober. I've lost sleep over this.

Hmm...well, that all for now, folks. (Disappointed? I've written a lot before today...if you're bored, reread. I wonder if my writing style has changed...why don't you tell me? No pressure, of course. I don't even feel like reading this.) There will be more as soon as I have time. This is the most fantastic insanity I have ever experienced.

With like,
Me. Who else?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Billy Collins Cure.

Knowledge and belief. Albert Einstein once said that there is a kind of "irreconcilable conflict" between the two. (I honestly don't think I can actually pronounce that first word, but I know it means "something that can't be settled or resolved." Fair?) Why do people ask if you "believe" in the Tooth Fairy? Or ghosts? Or God? I think from now on, when someone asks me if I believe in God, I'll say, "No. I know God." Because I BELIEVE that I do. Woo. Heavy Stuff.

I typed "provocative questions" into Google just now (word to the wise/those under 18 years: don't do that), and it came up with all these questions that really don't require an answer. For example, "What would a burger of ham be called?" Or, "If Pinnocchio said, 'My nose is about to grow,' what would happen?"(That one actually blew my mind. I think he would just spontaneously combust and run around in circles. That image shouldn't be funny, but...I think I'm a pyromaniac...)

The point is, none of those questions cured my writer's block.

By the know that movie "Julie & Julia?" With the fantastic Meryl Streep and Amy Adams? Well, I looked up Julie Powell's blog, the one the movie highlighted...and it's still online and everything! I got super excited, and got ready to read the whole thing...until I realized that reading a cooking blog while not being obsessed with cooking is not the most enjoyable pasttime. I don't mind cooking, it's just...not what I like to do when I have free time. Besides making chocolate-chip cookies. My family and friends would probably be ten pounds lighter if it wasn't for my cookie-cooking habits.

"Cookie" is such a weird name for a food. I mean, yes, one cooks cookies. But one also cooks meatloaf...and I don't hear people saying they're having mashed potatoes, corn, and a cookie loaf for dinner. Just sayin'. Someone should have reevaluated once they started cooking more than just lumps of doughy goodness.

It's about forty-five minutes later and I've done nothing but translate the poem "Litany" by Billy Collins from Swahili to Traditional Chinese to Albanian to Irish (I didn't know they had their own language...silly, ignorant me) and back to English. Using Google Translate...I wish I could do it myself though. Maybe someday. Anyway, here's the original poem:


You are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine.
You are the dew on the morning grass
and the burning wheel of the sun.
You are the white apron of the baker,
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.

However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
the plums on the counter,
or the house of cards.
And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.

It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
maybe even the pigeon on the general's head,
but you are not even close
to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.

And a quick look in the mirror will show
that you are neither the boots in the corner
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.

It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the sound of rain on the roof.

I also happen to be the shooting star,
the evening paper blowing down an alley
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.

I am also the moon in the trees
and the blind woman's tea cup.
But don't worry, I'm not the bread and the knife.
You are still the bread and the knife.
You will always be the bread and the knife,
not to mention the crystal goblet and--somehow--the wine.

Think that's funny? Here's the version I managed to come up with:


You are the bread and the knife,
And wine glasses.
You are the morning dew on the grass
And the burning wheel Sun
You are the bread and white apron,
Marsh birds, suddenly the aircraft.

However, you are not in the garden of the wind,
Address Squash
Or card room.
And certainly you pine-scented air.
There is no way to smell the air you are venting.

It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
Even pigeons on his head
But the date
And the field of cornflowers at black.

And look for the mirror shown rapid
You are not the boots in the corner
Not fallen asleep in the boat, the boat house.

It may interest you know
He said many images around the world
my voice, rain shadow.

I also happen to be a Meteor
Night crash
Basket of chestnuts and the kitchen table.

I am also the moon in a tree
Glass and blind woman.
But do not worry, I'm not bread knife.
Or a bread knife.
You always bread knife
Moreover, glass and - in a way - the wine.

That right there is truly romantic. If some guy ever comes up to me and said, "There is no way to smell the air you are venting," I'll know I've found the one.

Although I'd still be pretty impressed if he said something full of simplicity and clarity like "I also happen to be a Meteor Night crash Basket of chestnuts and the kitchen table." He could put a ring on my finger right then and there.

So, anyone else want to join me in the field of translation editing? Not that the world needs it or anything.

I mean, we have Google translate. Clearly, that's more than enough.