Saturday, July 31, 2010

Soul soup.

Thursday saw the end of my arduous journey through Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal. It's odd how a book can have the same plot, the same dialogue, the same descriptions, but put it in another language and suddenly it feels like a new story.

Yesterday I read The Tale of Despereaux. I absolutely loved it.

Today I finally saw Big Jake. I now understand why people say it is one of John Wayne's best movies. And Patrick Wayne looks doofy with a mustache.

Listening to: Big Jake
Reading: Beauty: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley

Saturday, July 24, 2010


A few days ago I decided on a name for the pickup. I figured I would keep with tradition and make it female, but I wanted to give it a good, strong name since it's a truck.

I chose Serafine, after a character from that beloved webcomic, Lackadaisy. I think a strong arm for a speakeasy is a worthy namesake. Not wimpy at all. No, seriously. She's not.

Listening to: Wizards of Waverly Place
Reading: Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Every now and then a conversation comes along that just makes people stop and look back at its progress in amazement. These are the conversation that you almost wouldn't believe had really happened, except you were there and you were witness to it. These conversations leave you perplexed. They change tones like a radio set to scan.

Like the one I had tonight. I'll leave the segues up to your imagination, but it went a little something like this:
1. Quads
2. Southern belles
3. Star Trek
4. The development of modern sci-fi
5. Lost (the show)

It will go down in history. At least now that I've blogged about it.

I also made a new friend today. Her name is Emmi and she's an adorable little toddler. She's young enough that she only pronounces partial words. I don't know what I did, but she came to me almost as often as she went to Anne, who watches her once a week. Yeah, we're pals. Which is more than I can say for one of the guys over at Anne's tonight. Every time Emmi looked at him she started crying.

Listening to: "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic"
Reading: Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


My dad's friend owns a truck, a nice little S-10 (whatever that means). He's also not using it. So he has graciously decided to lend it to me so that it's not sitting idle accumulating sand.

I'm rather excited about this. So far I've driven it around some this evening, and I'm already falling in love with it and figuring out its quirks.

My first order of business (well, second. I've already programmed the radio) will be to christen it. The way I see it, I have options. It's white, so I can play with that. Or it has a tendency to squeal the tires if you take off any rougher than you would hold a baby. It's also got to have some sort of stealth mode or something, because I can't for the life of me figure out whether the engine is running or not until I put it into gear. There is negative sound from the engine. That's right. It absorbs the stuff.

The first idea that popped into my head was Tremaine, but I really don't think that's going to work for a truck. Though it might. I have a tendency to stick a "Lady" in front of it, though, and that definitely wouldn't work. My second thought was The Howling Screamer, for the way it takes off. Though the engine has that ninja thing going on. Decisions, decisions.

Listening to: "Paparazzi" by Lady Gaga
Reading: Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal

Sunday, July 18, 2010


I've mostly just been zonking out or working on my room lately, so instead of over-described anecdotes, I leave you with this:

Listening to: "Jar of Hearts"
Reading: Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Since I slept for most of the day, I don't really have much to say. Instead, I'm going to share a picture I doodled mid to late second semester.

Listening to: "Do You Wanna Date My Avatar?"
Reading: Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal

Monday, July 12, 2010


I didn't really pay attention to the World Cup at all while it was going on. I watched part of the USA game versus Ghana and I watched a Lego recap of the US goal against England. Other than that, I mostly forgot it was going on.

But I decided a week or so ago that I was going to care who won the final. It just so happened that my favorite Spanish-speaking country made it to the match, so naturally I rooted for them. If neither of the final teams had spoken Spanish, I definitely would've rooted for the Netherlands based on the sole fact that one of my favorite artists is from there and she was rooting for them. My alliance is weak.

As it was, I made sure to remind myself every so often over the past few days that the end was near.

This morning I tuned in to the pre-game show and watched avidly as the chummers on the TV discussed soccer, which basically meant that most of the conversation went over my head. I was rather awed by the footage of the Dutch cross-continent caravan. That's a lot of orange. I was equally floored by the shots of Amsterdam and the veritable sea of people, no hyperbole.

Their bright colors and terrific dedication could not sway me, however. I'm rather partial to Spain, having been there once and having watched the only real football game I've ever watched there. Now I kind of wish it had been a real, live match, but naw. I watched a Barcelona vs. Italy match on a TV at a bar-type place. I really think that if I ever got into watching football, Barcelona would be my team. Oh, look at me sounding all British. I'm just going to go with it. I've been reading Harry Potter, you know, and in Spanish no less. Sorry, Grid-Iron. Get over it.

Haha! I just realized how many times I've already called it "football." Let's carry on, shall we? This is what I get for being hooked on British YouTubers.

Anywho, I got to watch the first half, ninja kick to the chest and all, and I spent the entire half freaking out while NED had the ball and being disproportionately excited when ESP was in possession. I'm kind of glad I was alone. I would've looked like a giddy ignoramus to anyone who actually knew anything about football. It was obvious even to me and amidst all of the naive conversations that I was having with the TV that I know nothing about the sport. Thanks to She's the Man I could probably name a few of the positions, but buggets if I know what they mean. And I'm just sort of guessing what "off sides" means and what would happen if someone racked up enough yellow cards.

Oh, cluelessness.

Sadly I didn't get to watch the entire game as I had to leave for church. I did get to check the results during Sunday School, though. We were playing a sort of Jeopardy game and the teacher had divided us into the Netherlands and Spain (I was miffed that I was on the Dutch side of the room), so I felt almost compelled to check the scores. I dampened the teacher's day when I announced the winner halfway through class. He was rooting for NED. But I was thrilled.

I'm also kind of smug that the German octopus was on our side. Don't know why, but there you have it.

Listening to: "Pöpcørn" by The Swedish Chef
Reading: Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal

Saturday, July 10, 2010


There's something I've always sort of wondered about when it comes to chess. Why the heck is the king the weakest and most vulnerable piece while the queen arguably kicks butt? I did a little searching on Wikipedia, and it looks like the rules have changed some over the years, but I'm still at a loss as to why the queen became the most powerful piece.

As far as I can determine, the queen wasn't even a player in the oldest versions of the game. In that case, I understand the goal of protecting the king. If the two sides represent two opposing armies, the people in charge of the soldiers are going to protect themselves. Since that would be the king, the aim of the game would be to protect him. Selfish little bugger. No, I kid, I kid. I can relate to that whole protect-our-leader-to-prevent-anarchy philosophy.

I suppose what baffles me is, why was the queen introduced and why is she on the front lines? Unless the keyboard monkeys have been smashing letters at Wikipedia again, it looks like the queen was introduced in the 10th century and developed into the big kid on the block over the next five hundred years. What? Now, I don't have first-hand experience with the inner workings of those European societies (anyone who claims to better be driving a DeLorean), but I was under the impression that women weren't that influential in those days. Sure, sure, "the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world," but either I've been lied to, or women were kind of property in those days. What sort of lunatic would put their baby mama on the front lines?

Me possibly thinking modern-day logically here, the introduction of the queen as a fighting piece messes up the whole idea of the game. If the point of chess was to practice martial thinking, then putting the queen in the army would be like tying a bow on a kitten in the hopes that, if it were set loose in the Congo, it would conquer any warring factions of chimpanzees it encountered. Or something.

In my way of thinking, if a queen piece were to be introduced at all, she would have to become the vital piece to be protected. I know if I were a king fighting a war across uniform checked squares, my goal would be to protect potential offspring. Since queen = mother of the king's children (the heirs to the throne, anyway), then that just makes more sense to me.

I kind of think that if any piece should be tearing up the field, it should be the king.

Or the rebel leader. Wiiiiiiilliaaaaaaaam!

Listening to: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Reading: Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I've had an idea in my head to start a Spanish blog to accompany this one, but the idea only occurred to me post-AntiVirus death, so I haven't really had a chance to do anything about it in the past few weeks. Sure, I could've tried to do something about it from my phone, but making a simple blog post that way is excruciating. How much worse would trying to set up a whole new page be?

Well last night, still on my Google Chrome high, I clicked the necessary links and voila! I set it up exactly like this one because I wanted my pair of blogs to have a sort of continuity, with the main difference being content and language. My new Spanish home even has an equivalent name, Anillos de Hadas.

I've had a minor fascination with the concept of fairy rings since sixth grade. It's not so much about believing in fairies as it is being enamored of the idea of there being a way to step into a new, fantastical experience. If I ever do anything major with my art or writing, that feeling of being pulled into another world is something I want to capture and share.

In the meantime, it's just a fun way of rebelling against normality. Psh! Who wants to fit in?

I'm still not exactly sure what sort of stuff I'll be posting over at the sister blog, but I'm sure I'll think of something. I found a use for my tumblr, didn't I? This blog will definitely remain in a journalistic style. Right now I'm leaning toward using my Spanish blog to think. There are few better ways to get a different perspective than to look at something through an entirely different language and culture.

Listening to: Sidebar interview with Lois van Baarle
Reading: Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Here I am, blogging to you live from my newly-installed Google Chrome browser. I already love it to bits. I'm kind of afraid that it will somehow escalate my internet addiction, if that's even possible. I'm hoping it's not.

On Thursday, my grandpa came over and installed the newest version of AVG onto my laptop and my dad's computer. Ironically, not 10 minutes after my dad was good to go and while I was still installing, our internet decided it hated us. Thus it was that I didn't get to post before leaving for the weekend.

Through some bout of lunacy (otherwise known as my personality), I decided not to pack until after I'd showered. Because the urge to shower came over me at about midnight between Thursday and Friday. I embarked on our journey running on two hours of sleep. Despite my semi-delirious state, I was kind of entertained while I was sitting in the dark at Anne's house at 4 AM waiting for her to get up and going. When she finally emerged, her dogs came with her. Her Shih Tzu trotted out behind her and paused in the hall. After a moment, she, the dog, looked over and realized I was there. She flew a few feet straight up into the air, all flopping fur and flailing little limbs, before bounding over several pieces of furniture to say hello with her entire back half waving back and forth.

Once we were on the road, I immediately zonked out, as is my custom. There's something about moving vehicles that never fails to lull me to sleep. That's why I don't feel safe driving long distances. During the intermittent bouts when I was awake, I made sure to take in the scenery. One of my favorite sites was coral orange sand. There was a sign for the Coral Pink Sand Dunes, but we couldn't see them from the highway. I bet they're a cool view.

I definitely made sure I was awake when we got up past Salt Lake, where the roads dive back into the mountain passes and the peaks tower up above both sides of your car.

I had hoped to see Gabby, my childhood best friend, after we arrived on Friday night, as it was her birthday, but we didn't get into Evanston, our destination, until 11 PM. Frankly, I think that was stupid and that we could've gotten there much sooner. I'm of the firm opinion that the major reason we took so long to get there was that Anne and Meagan are unreasonable when it comes to food and insist on always eating at sit-down restaurants, where just getting your food takes an hour plus time to consume it. I hate eating at restaurants all the time. Sure, I think they're nice every once in a while, but the rich food and huge portions sicken me (literally and figuratively) if I have to eat two such meals in a row. Luckily I managed to avoid too many of those during the vacation by eating at random hours so I could honestly say I wasn't hungry when everyone else decided it was time to go out. Also, I think it's a ridiculous expense. Why waste all of that money unnecessarily? Restaurants are fantastic for special occasions, but why go out for every meal? So, thanks to our two-hour stop at Ruby Tuesday's, I was too exhausted to see Gabby on her birthday. Which irritates me.

I did text her first thing when I woke up, though. I spent all of Saturday with her. We spent a little while at Evanston's Fourth of July fair-type thing near the fairgrounds in the morning, then we went around to various playgrounds and just talked and hung out. We even went to the playground of our childhood, which we'd enjoyed during it's first stages of existence. We sat on the grass field (which had been several mounds of dirt when we played there) and I sketched her and we sat and looked at clouds and talked as though it had been only a day, not months or years, since we'd been apart.

Saturday night I went to one of the local fireworks stores with Dad, Anne, and Meagan. Anne and Meagan, being from Arizona, were completely inexperienced with the joy that is legal explosives. Fireworks are the entire reason I wanted to go to Evanston for Independence Day. Wyoming has a lovely set of laws, and people can set off aerials from their own driveways if they very well please. Evanston has a population of about 12,000 people and boasts four permanent fireworks stores. Oh, yes. And I don't mean little ramshackle stands. I mean huge buildings. Because I was practically raised on the stuff, I think I will forever love everything about fireworks, right down to the way they smell.

Sunday morning we went to Bear River Park. Or, as I like to call it, "to see the bison." We parked and walked around part of the trail there. Oddly, it seemed, my first thought upon seeing the first of the bridges we crossed was "Poohsticks." At first I didn't understand why I thought of that. I'm sure I haven't though of Poohsticks in years. And yet... The sudden derailing of my thoughts soon became apparent. When we got up onto the bridge, we saw that the side meant for driving was fenced off because there were some holes developing. The first thing my dad brought up was that we couldn't play Poohsticks. Apparently he and I would play it for hours there at that park.

I enjoyed our walk. I love the Bear River. Indeed, I love mountains streams and rivers in general. They have a unique way a flowing. They don't meander or sluggishly drift. They leap and rush and occasionally bubble. They don't sport a smooth surface, but rather stripe themselves with life and energy. I love them. I love the way they smell and the way they sound, the way they move and the way they feel. I love the rocks lining their beds.

On the second, smaller, unbound bridge at the park, I smiled and said to my dad, "Want to play Poohsticks?"

I don't think Anne and Meagan really understood the spirit of it. They didn't play, but they watched. They seemed to think it was all about winning. For me at least, it's something else entirely.

At the end of our walk, I went and gazed at the bison they have there at the park. They're some of my favorite animals. Anne though they were ugly. I don't know if it was because they were in the process of shedding their winters coats, or if she truly thinks they're unattractive, but I think they're beautiful. I could watch them for hours and not notice the time. True, I could do that with most animals, but bison are special. They're part of my story. They're part of who I am.

I got to see some old friends of my dad's during the afternoon.

In the evening, we went over to another of his friend's houses so his kids could enjoy our bountiful harvest of fireworks. Meagan and I had quite the time with a particular brand of sparkler. They're quite pretty once you get them lit, but they hate to light. We were lighting them off of each other as fast as we could to make sure we always had one lit and we were trying simultaneously to make sure all of the kids who'd gathered got their turns playing with some. I rubbed my thumb raw finally learning how to work a butane lighter (sort of).

Once it was dark and we'd shot off a few of our own aerials, we headed up into the hills to watch the city's rather magnificent show. I was mesmerized. Then, as soon as the city's finale was finished, the town, which had been slowly building up a layer of smoke as the evening wore on and had been sporting the occasionally shower from a mortar, lit up like it was letting out a breath. Most of the inhabitants must have been watching the city show because as soon as it was over they let fly Evanston-style. I love everything about the Fourth of July there. I love the haze over the town and the thud of the cannons and the bursts of light. I love the crackle of firecrackers and the whine of bottle rockets and the drifting smell of sulfur. I love how you drive through the streets at your own peril because the pyrotechnics drift out of people's driveways and into the middle of the road. I love drawing in the air with sizzling sparklers. Most of all, I love when all of these overlap and I can pretend I'm on a battlefield and I can exist no further than my senses and an instinctual flare of imagination.

We got up even earlier Monday morning to head back. Surprise, surprise, we managed the return trip in a remarkably shorter amount of time because we made fewer stops and didn't go to any restaurants.

It was still dark when we pulled out of Evanston. Instead of going back to sleep as soon as I was in the car, I stared out the window, not wanting to miss my last opportunity for the foreseeable future to commune with my most beloved mountains. As we wove through the dark passes, I had a hard time deciding whether I should stare at the mountains or the starry sky, where the Big Dipper shone impossibly bright and big just over the western horizon. Eventually I settled on staring at the stars just over the ridge line when I could and happily letting the mountains obscure them when they felt like it. It felt like a satisfactory compromise that let me equally enjoy two of my greatest loves.

When I'm up in those close-pressing behemoth peaks, I feel so comfortable, like they're fondly embracing me as they rise up into the sky on both sides. It's one of my favorite feelings in the world. I love it.


Listening to: Pat Benatar on Pandora
Reading: Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal