Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Just Today

Today deserves its own post. 

Well, first of all, let me just tell you that aside from being away from my home in over twelve hours, planning a bake sale, and having birds eating up my food, today was a very normal day.

And that wasn't all.

I woke up this morning, expecting it to be a lovely day and da-dee-da-dee-da.  Weeellll, it wasn't.  Right off the bat, it wasn't.

I usually wake up at 6:45 albeit my REALLY LOUD ANNOYING alarm.  Let me first tell you about my alarm.  I usually set it around 6:45, and it blasts out the local Christian radio station.  It is small and white, and it ALWAYS wakes me up.  And most importantly, I set it across the room on my desk so I'd actually have to get up and turn it off.

Well, that doesn't work.  I just got up today, turned it off, and snoozed back in bed.

I usually wake up in twenty or so minutes, but this time, I woke up at SEVEN TWENTY-SIX.  That's a natural disaster for me.  SEVEN TWENTY-SIX is 4 minutes from SEVEN THIRTY, and SEVEN THIRTY is ten minutes before SEVEN FORTY, which is ten minutes before SEVEN FIFTY, which is usually crunch time (and even then we don't usually leave until 8).  So you might be thinking, big deal.  Nope.  That's a catastrophe!

I zoomed into high mode, doing things really fast until I realized that I had thirty minutes before leaving...which is pretty a lot.

But still.  BIG DEAL.

I went downstairs and packed my lunch.  I've been getting really hungry after lunch by the end of my schoolday (3:30), and so I promised myself I'd pack a really good lunch.  And I did.  I did Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips, two halves of flatbread steak-cheese-and-mayo sandwich, a bag of carrots, and a really moist chocolate cake pop.  I was really looking forward to that lunch.  And since I don't like lugging a huge gray heavy-duty army-looking lunchbag around, I put it in a Vons plastic bag.

Then I ate two halves of a peanut butter sandwich (we ran out of jam) and a smoothie, and my brother came down because he overslept.

We were in kind of a rush already, so we left the house around 8 and got to school.  I put my lunch on the outside lunch tables (we have a really small school) and went up to my history class.

I came out after the class, and I saw one of the administrative assistants putting a bunch of lunches on a small table in the hallway.  I didn't know why, but I looked downstairs on the table.

No lunch.

Then I went back up and looking at the table.  I saw a Vons bag and thought, "Oh, whew" when I looked inside and saw cantaloupe.  No, I wish it were mine, but it wasn't.

Then I went downstairs and went back up and sooner or later I asked the teacher where my lunch was.

It turns out, the crows got into it.

MY LUNCH!  MY BEAUTIFUL STEAK-CHEESE-AND-MAYO SANDWICH!  MY CHIPS!  ARRRGH!

And oh, joy, I get to have half a lunch with my brother.  My plan to eat satisfactorily backfired on me.

And of course, today he chose to sleep in and skip breakfast.  So naturally he was grumpy.

I ate one of those really hard granola bars that comes in two and half of my brother's pasta and steak.  So I wasn't starving.  Not by a long shot.

I spent the rest of the school day blowing my nose and thinking about fainting (but naturally I didn't.  I mean, I wasn't that hungry.  It wasn't great of me to make a big deal out of it.  I mean, it was my fault for leaving it outside).

I thought the day was over, but it wasn't.  At 2-something my mom forwarded me a text asking if I could go over to my friend's house to plan a bake sale we were having on Saturday.  I was excited to (I love selling things I bake) and so I did.  After my last class, my brother and I got into my mom's car.  And my hunger pains were appeased, thanks to a glorious invention called MCDONALD'S!!!

I had two chicken snack wraps, one Ranch and one Honey Mustard.  My brother had a cheeseburger made out of pink goop (but he was happy to see it).  I devoured mine, then stopped by my friend's house.  We're planning the bake sale together because my friend wanted to donate the proceeds to our church's mission trip.  She has siblings who play intense soccer, so we're going to go around selling it at the fields.

I'm supposed to make 16 blueberry muffins and 20 chocolate-chip cookies on sticks.

It's going to be an interesting week.

After an hour at my friend's house, I still didn't get to go home.  I went to my brother's baseball game and tried to attempt some schoolwork, but apparently my mom put my backpack in the garage while I was at my friend's house.  My backpack has all my major stuff in it.  So I did Monday's homework for art class with one of those tiny pens (that come with those notepads) that writes in blue ink. 

New experiences are broadening, even when you write out the answer to "When was the Safavid period and what did it produce?" in blue letters.

Around 6:15, my mom and I went to the local library for "Teen Poetry Cafe Night."  At the cafe night, they announced the winners for a poetry contest I'd entered.

My poem entry was entitled "Hidden in Plain Sight" and was about...well, look on the LIMITED-TIME-ONLY page "Hidden in Plain Sight" on the tabs at the top.  There, you can read it.

I'm happy because I got 2nd out of 9 people in the Jr. High Division.

That Cafe Night was also a broadening experience because out of, say, ten people that were there, only 3 (out of like 25 entries) people had actually entered the contest.  I was the only Jr. Higher.

Some of the poems were decent (like a poem groaning about how some people attain their grades by cheating), while others were....eeeeh.  One person wrote about a movie night (specifically Jurassic Park in 3D), while another wrote about tennis, while yet another person wrote about roses.

The typical stuff.  I don't think any of us are future Walt Whitmans or Emily Dickinsons.

My tale is almost over.  My mom and I left the Cafe Night, bearing the prize I'd won (gift card!), two certificates, a goodie bag full of candy (my siblings jumped at that), and two chapbooks with all the entries in them. 

We went back to the baseball field, where my brother had closed his baseball game to a 7-1 win, and where my other brother (the one who'd skipped breakfast) was playing baseball with his hard-core Little League team.

I played around a little, and when my brother was done, my family headed over to our local yogurt place. 

Mmmmmm...Mint Creme, English Toffee Pudding, Mexican Hot Chocolate, and Chocolate Milkshake.  Smooth, creamy, elegant, sweet.  Topped by English toffee crumbles and Heath bar and caramel (yep, I'm that kind of person).  The perfect way to end an interesting day.

Overall, this day was interesting.  I can describe it like candy.  Sour Patch Kids in one part, topped by dark chocolate, then that topped by caramel and toffee.  Interesting mix, but that describes my life. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Just My Thoughts: Slang of Today

Today, slang is a huge part of American society.

We say slang all the time and we don't even know it.  Some slang words include...

epic, like, boss, awesome, cool

And I'm wondering.  What if someone, say a Martian, came and didn't know about slang (but knew English).  What would it think?

The word 'epic.'  That word started going on and on and on. 

Our definition? 

(adj) Totally amazingly awesomely magnificently GREAT

"The Lord of the Rings was pretty epic."


According to dictionary.com, the correct definition of 'epic' (adjective form) is....

1.
noting or pertaining to a long poetic composition, usually centered upon a hero, in which a series of great achievements or events is narrated in elevated style: Homer's Iliad is an epic poem.
2.
resembling or suggesting such poetry: an epic novel on the founding of the country.
3.
heroic; majestic; impressively great: the epic events of the war.
4.
of unusually great size or extent: a crime wave of epic proportions.


Translation?  A poem.  Like Homer's Iliad.

Or take #2.  "Resembling or suggesting such poetry."  "In comparison to the Iliad."

Do kids nowadays know what the Iliad is? 

Take #3.  Heroic, majestic, impossibly great.

"The Lord of the Rings was pretty heroic, majestic, impossibly great."

That fits more of the definition, but while The Lord of the Rings movie was good (and this is coming from a person who hasn't seen it), is it truly heroic?  In a sense of being grand, not in a cheap way, but being powerful, majestic, impossibly amazing?  Like soldiers in a war?  Like a person who sacrifices for another?  Is The Lord of the Rings really, to that extent, epic?  It's a book that involves sacrifice and truths about life.  But it's a book: meant to entertain and occupy us.

#4.  Huge, ginormous, enormous, large. 

That's Epic.

Then the whole problem of like.  Nowadays NO people know how to say like properly, and they don't even know when they're saying it wrong. 

Dictionary.com says...

Well, first of all, like can be an adjective, adverb, conjunction, preposition, noun, verb, and interjection. 

But in this case, I chose the verb part, because that's what I believe the most common usage is.


1.

to take pleasure in; find agreeable or congenial: We all liked the concert.
2.
to regard with favor; have a kindly or friendly feeling for (a person, group, etc.); find attractive: His parents like me and I like them.
3.
to wish or prefer: You can do exactly as you like while you are a guest here.
 

"The Lord of the Rings was, like, the best movie ever."
 
#1: Find favorable.  The Lord of the Rings was found favorable the best movie ever.
 
Doesn't make any sense.
 
#2: To have a fondness/friendly feeling for someone else.  The Lord of the Rings was likeable the best movie ever.
 
Doesn't make any sense.
 
#3: To want.  The Lord of the Rings was to want the best movie ever.
 
That's the two for today, folks.  But have you heard others use the phrase "like a boss"?  Or "awesome"?  Or "cool"? 

With that said, what about "legit" or "stinkin' awesome"?

Or "sucks" or "stinks"?  Or "phat" (don't even ask me where that came from)?  "Hip"?  Since when did a body part turn into a major slang word?  ("That magazine is seriously hip")  I never thought that magazines resembled hips.

I wonder how this all began.

And take the slang of yesteryear.  When "far out" and "groovy" were the new in thing (there I go; in thing?).  I think cool has been the universal.  Except in the thirties.  In the thirties they used phrases like "jeepers" and stuff (urgggh...).  BTW, I got the "jeepers" thing from this really weird Nancy Drew book...

Or the whole opposite-meaning thing.  My mom told me that they sometimes used "bad" in place of "good."

Like (slang alert), "The Lord of the Rings was baaaaad."


And this gets me thinking: what's going to be the slang of the future?  I mean, how has cool got to be one of the most used slang words?  It means cold, or not warm.  What about "like"?  It means being friendly, or finding something favorable.  Now it's a filler word. 

Just think of it.  Twenty years from now my kids could be saying something like "stumpy" or "rattish" or "waggly" in place of cool and awesome.  "Dude, Lord of the Rings is seriously waggly."

I think I'll stick with "cool."


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Serial~ The Kuehl Kids Part 8

Walter looked at his hands, surprised.

For a moment, everyone was gaping.

"I thought the PowerCloak worked on you too!" Fier exclaimed.

"FIER!" Swifte hollered. 
Fier looked confused.  Then he hung his head.  "I wasn't supposed to give that away."

"FIER!" Swifte hollered again.
"You should probably just be quiet," Ally advised him.

Walter could see Electra pondering the word "PowerCloak" out of the corner of his eye.

"What are we waiting for?" Swifte said.  "Capture!"

Walter acted in a split second.  Within seconds, Swifte, Fier, Invisa, and Quake were standing in blocks of Walter's superspecial unmelting ice.  Only their arms and heads were uniced.

"Get me out of this!" Swifte demanded. 

"No comprendo," Tyler said.  He got off of the bed.  "Sorry, ma'am."  He swept her a mock bow.  "What do we do now, Walter?"

All of the Kuehl Kids were respectfully looking at him. 
Walter felt important.  He basked in their attention.  "Well, we should call the Professor and Almira." 

"That's right!" Ally jumped up.  "The Professor!  And Almira!  What happened to them?"
Walter's heart raced with alarm.  "Don't tell me," he said.  Then he whirled to Swifte, who was still struggling to get rid of her ice block.  "What did you do to them?"

"We--" began Fier.

"BE QUIET!" shouted Swifte.  Then she turned to Walter with a taunting grin.  "You mean the old man and the lady?"

"But we--" Fier started.

"BE QUIET!" Swifte shouted for a second time.

Ally stood off to the side, surveying the two.  Then she said, "You didn't do anything, did you?  You're bluffing."

Swifte glowered.  She opened her mouth to reply, but Ally looked at her friends.  "She's lying."

"You just broke one of the Ten Commandments," Tyler said matter-of-factly to Swifte.  "You know that's not right, right?"

"BE QUIET!" Swifte glared ferociously.

"I bet they're in the electrical room," Ally told Walter and the others.  "We've got to get them before these folks escape."

"I'll go," Walter said.  Electra also volunteered.

"Keep a close eye on them," Electra said, knowing that Tyler was prone to distraction and that Ally was often absentminded.  "Don't get off track."

"Aye, aye, captain," Tyler said, saluting.

The electrical room was just a couple of acres away.  The two looked at each other.  Then Walter said, "Time to slide."

He quickly "built" a slippery ice block, complete with handlebars, feeling for it in the darkness (he had left the candle with Ally and Tyler).  "Hold on tight."  The two climbed on top of it, sat like they were riding a motorcycle, held on tight, and shifted forward.  The block slid forward, gained acceleration, and melted by the friction that was caused.  This caused it to become more slippery, and Walter and Electra soon were moving at a steady, quick pace, being controlled by Walter's appropriate water blasts and his vast knowledge of the hallways.

As they were nearing the approximate halfway point to their destination, a chunk of ceiling plopped down in front of them.  Just one chunk.  Walter, who had heard the dull thump just in time, swerved to avoid it, nearly colliding with the hallway wall.

Then the rumblings started.  They shook the earth, and more ceiling rained down, enough to keep all of the Kuehl Kids busy for a year.  Walter stopped the block and got off.  A huge block of plaster missed him by an inch. 

The Professor and Almira came racing by on the Professor's moped, its headlight barely lighting anything up, their eyes wild.  "What's happening?" the Professor called to the kids.  "Come on!"

Electra and Walter climbed on.  The moped stretched to accomodate all of them.  "GET TO MY ROOM ASAP!" Electra hollered above the rumble of the earth. The Professor nodded.  Then with a sad but wicked grin, he pressed the giant EMERGENCY button. 

Amidst the raining ceiling, the four zoomed faster than the speed of light, teleporting like Tyler.  When they arrived at the girls' room, a sad scene greeted them.

Invisa, Swifte, Quake, and Fier were gone.  But that wasn't the only news.

Ally and Tyler had disappeared too.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

THE KUEHL KIDS PART 8 *preview*

Walter looked at his hands, surprised.

For a moment, everyone was gaping.

"I thought the PowerCloak worked on you too!" Fier exclaimed.

"FIER!" Swifte hollered.
Fier looked confused. Then he hung his head. "I wasn't supposed to give that away."

"FIER!" Swifte hollered again.
"You should probably just be quiet," Ally advised him.

Walter could see Electra pondering the word "PowerCloak" out of the corner of his eye.

"What are we waiting for?" Swifte said. "Capture!"

Walter acted in a split second. Within seconds, Swifte, Fier, Invisa, and Quake were standing in blocks of Walter's superspecial unmelting ice. Only their arms and heads were uniced.

"Get me out of this!" Swifte demanded.

"No comprendo," Tyler said. He got off of the bed. "Sorry, ma'am." He swept her a mock bow. "What do we do now, Walter?"

All of the Kuehl Kids were respectfully looking at him.
Walter felt important. He basked in their attention. "Well, we should call the Professor and Almira."

"That's right!" Ally jumped up. "The Professor! And Almira! What happened to them?"
Walter's heart raced with alarm. "Don't tell me," he said. Then he whirled to Swifte, who was still struggling to get rid of her ice block. "What did you do to them?"

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Write Stuff

I'm a lazy writer.  I prefer typing 'inspirations' (my stories) to actually writing them.

So when it comes to actually writing, such as for school, I've naturally grown lazy.  I don't form all my letters properly.  My letters run into one another.  I write half-cursive, half-print, and my cursive is pretty sloppy.  On a side note, my writing is kind of schizophrenic (multiple personalities).  Sometimes I'm neat; other times I'm stinking messy and go outside of the lines. 

But in a way, it's cool to see how I write when I'm sloppy.  It's a bit like optical illusions.  For example, I wrote some words, and how I sometimes form my letters. 

*I was in a "halfway-neat" mood today, so it doesn't look exactly like my cursive-print handwriting.  Also, I probably should have flipped most of these pictures...Oh, well.  That's what necks are for, right?

WRITING SHORTCUTS & COOL STUFF! by Rcubed
*On a scale of 1-10, that title's cheesiness is an 8.  I mean, how many times do people call things "cool stuff"?


When I was doing a project on Africa last year, I figured out that if I made an N and put a dot above the right side of it, it looks like an r and an i.  A-F-N-C-A.

This is an untrue writing style--my n's usually don't run into my y.  But I thought it looked cool (there I go again, "cool stuff").  You can do ANYTHING with y's.


I was writing a word and I told myself I could merge the e into an o and add a tail to the o.  SEA!
Merge the E into the D.  How funny is that?
 
Oops--I cut the humility off.  Oh, well, what I did was I made the 't', then formed a 'y' from the bottom of it.  The 'pay' is the one I do the most.  I don't actually form another 'y'--I just merge the letters.

I'm doing a report on Mary Cassatt, an American Impressionist painter, and look what my handwriting did.  See the 't' and 's' in "portraits"?

Here's another double-whammy.  Ignore the dollar signs and the 'y'; look at the 'pai' part of "painting."  Put a dot over the a, and it gives you the illusion that there's a whole separate 'i'!
 
Okay, that's my library of handwriting.
 
MythBuster: You know how people say they can 'interpret' a person's personality through how they write?
 
Some of the stuff is SOMETIMES true--like, for example, if you're outgoing and popular, your handwriting might naturally be big.  If you're introverted, your handwriting might be naturally be small.  But there are always exceptions.  So if you're a future Sherlock Holmes, don't do the handwriting thing.  Because what they say is always more important than how they wrote what they said.
 
So...speaking of Mary Cassatt and art, I have another picture...
 
I'm a Converse-sneaker kind of girl.  I don't wear Vans; I don't own a pair of Toms, Bobs, Larrys, whatever. 
 
The assignment was a bit like, "draw something new and old and contrast them."  Well, my Converse are old, but they're not ancient.  So hopefully I don't get points marked off... ;)
 

 



Life is busy.  I'm prepping to go to a new school, all the while trying to finish the school year well, striving to be a good daughter, etc., etc.  So I'm sorry if the posts have been kind of short.
 
Oh, and I have another ? Question of the Day ?:
 
?Q?: Do Amish wear contacts?
 
My mom said no. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

?QUESTION OF THE DAY?

Just a real quick post...

The question of the day (and the one I just posed to my mom) is...

? Q ? If a male president's wife is called the First Lady, what would a female president's husband be called?


Just to stump you guys!

RCUBED

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

HAWK NELSON IS MY FRIEND

Hawk Nelson!  What can I say?  Punky, rocky, poppy, funky stuff. 

Hawk Nelson, a rockish, punkish CCM group, recently released an album that went along with their single "Words."  Their album Made (with new head vocalist Jonathan Steingard) outlines several important Biblical truths--you're worth more than gold, words can build/break people, Jesus has cleansed us completely--to go along with catchy, upbeat tempos. 

Made Songs:

What I'm Looking For *
A Million Miles Away *
Words *
Elevator *
Every Beat of my Broken Heart
Made *
Love Like That *
Through the Fire
Faithful
Anyone But You *
Outside the Lines
Fighting For

*I have this song on my Spotify playlist.

Hawk Nelson's tunes are easy to sing to, based on relatable topics, and will make you want to dance!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Good Morning, America!

I'm making a to-do list for all of you who read this:
1) Listen to "Good Morning" by Mandisa (feat. tobyMac)~wakes you up!
2) Pray for Boston & Texas
3) Get through life!



Mondays are so hard.

good morning!


-RCUBED:)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Serial~ The Kuehl Kids Part 7

The lights flickered out in the girls' room.  Complete darkness fell.
The conversation stopped abruptly. 
"Electra!" three voices exclaimed.
"I didn't do anything."  Electra's voice sounded frantic.  "I didn't."
"Turn it back on."  Tyler's voice sounded almost lazy.  "And hurry up."
There was a faint sizzling sound, then nothing.
"What?!" Electra practically shrieked.  There was a muffled thump on the ground.  "I can't!"
"Try again," Walter urged.  Something was in the air.  He could feel it.
Another faint sizzling sound.  Then silence.
"I can't."  Electra's voice sounded timid.  And scared.  Formerly boisterous Electra was now afraid. 
"Tyler, teleport for help," Walter ordered.
"Aye-aye, captain," Tyler said.  There was a short pause.  Then there was another sound, except it seemed like a squelching noise.
"I can't."  Tyler's tone was more serious.
"Try flying, Ally."  Walter had a suspicion that was growing by the moment.
Above the ceiling, muffled thumps were heard.  Voices.  Kids' voices.
"It's an attack," Electra said dully.
"I can't," Ally said.  "My wings won't come out."
"Walter, water," said Tyler.
"It's no use trying," Walter said.  He tried to jump off the bed but ended up landing on a body.
"Ow!" squawked Electra.  "I'm on the floor!"
Despite the tangled limbs, Electra and Walter managed to sort themselves out.  It was hard because nobody could see.  They ended up having to talk to each other constantly to work it out. 
Footsteps were sounding in the hall.
The silence was deadly.
"What do we do?" Electra hissed.  "Our powers are gone."
"Wouldn't their powers be gone too?" Tyler asked.
Just then, rumblings began.  First, low thunderous noises, escalating to an earthshaking movement.  Walter felt like his head was inside his stomach.  His jaw vibrated.  Chunks of ceiling and dirt came crumbling down, scattering on his hair.  He didn't move.  He couldn't.
"They're here."  Ally's words weren't necessary.

The moment had arrived.

Swifte, Fier, Quake, and Invisa punched down the door (there was a thwack) and stepped into the room.  The earthquakes ceased. 

All of them were wearing bright blue spacesuits with an embroidered "JJ" on them in white thread.  Helmets covered their heads, and Invisa, visible for once, carried a candle.  It lit up the room, just barely.

"We meet at long last," said Swifte with a relish.  She stopped by Tyler.  "Tyler, I presume."
Fier cracked his knuckles.  He gave a short nod, a simper lighting up his face.  "Ally."
"Walter," Invisa said in a neutral tone, her voice surprisingly ringing clear as a bell.  There was menace in her blue eyes.
"Electra," said Quake, hissing.  Rumblings began again, but presently stopped.

"Good day, Kuehl Kids," Swifte said, pacing up and down the room.  "We meet at long last."

"You've already said that," Electra said defiantly.
"So I have," Swifte said.  She smiled coolly.  "I'm just figuring out the best way to rub in the fact that you are being captured."

"It's already rubbed in."  Walter's voice was dull, but anticipation was glowing in his heart.
"I want to rub it in even more," Swifte whispered, her voice seeming like sharp knives that pierced all of the Kuehl Kids' hope.
"Why are you capturing us, not injuring us?  You've got your suits on from...whatever this is."  Ally's voice sounded ringing and clear.

Interrogation, thought Walter.  Ally was digging for more information.  The Professor had taught them well.

"Oh, I'm not going to tell you," Swifte laughed.  "I know all the interrogation tactics, too.  (All the kids shivered) We'll just need to capture you and bring you to Jasper Jalling.  I think he needs you for something.  Perhaps you've heard of him?"
Without waiting for an answer, she said to Fier, "Fier.  Ring of Fire, please."
She then added, "This won't hurt you unless you anger Fier unwittingly.  He could cause a little solar flare that burns up to the first degree.  Nothing serious, but it'll be uncomfortable."

The Kuehl Kids watched in horror as Fier formed a thin, fiery whip with a loop at the end.  Then he prepared to lasso it onto them.

Walter gritted his teeth.  He knew he had no chance against these people.  He knew he could die.

But he also knew that Jalling needed him for something.  Which in this case meant that he was going to stay alive.  For the time being.

Without any signal of any sort, Walter hurled himself at Fier. 

Then, to everyone's surprise, water gushed out of his hands and put out Fier's fiery rope.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sunday Serial~ The Kuehl Kids, Part 7 PREVIEW

The lights flickered out in the girls' room. Complete darkness fell.
The conversation stopped abruptly.
"Electra!" three voices exclaimed.
"I didn't do anything." Electra's voice sounded frantic. "I didn't."
"Turn it back on." Tyler's voice sounded almost lazy. "And hurry up."
There was a faint sizzling sound, then nothing.
"What?!" Electra practically shrieked. There was a muffled thump on the ground. "I can't!"
"Try again," Walter urged. Something was in the air. He could feel it.
Another faint sizzling sound. Then silence.
"I can't." Electra's voice sounded timid. And scared. Formerly boisterous Electra was now afraid.
"Tyler, teleport for help," Walter ordered.
"Aye-aye, captain," Tyler said. There was a short pause. Then there was another sound, except it seemed like a squelching noise.
"I can't." Tyler's tone was more serious.
"Try flying, Ally." Walter had a suspicion that was growing by the moment.
Above the ceiling, muffled thumps were heard. Voices. Kids' voices.
"It's an attack," Electra said dully.
"I can't," Ally said. "My wings won't come out."
"Walter, water," said Tyler.
"It's no use trying," Walter said. He tried to jump off the bed but ended up landing on a body.
"Ow!" squawked Electra. "I'm on the floor!"
Despite the tangled limbs, Electra and Walter managed to sort themselves out. It was hard because nobody could see. They ended up having to talk to each other constantly to work it out.
Footsteps were sounding in the hall.
The silence was deadly.
"What do we do?" Electra hissed. "Our powers are gone."
"Wouldn't their powers be gone too?" Tyler asked.
Just then, rumblings began. First, low thunderous noises, escalating to an earthshaking movement. Walter felt like his head was inside his stomach. His jaw vibrated. Chunks of ceiling and dirt came crumbling down, scattering on his hair. He didn't move. He couldn't.
"They're here." Ally's words weren't necessary.

The moment had arrived.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Being "Yourself"

Have you ever heard someone say, "Oh, be yourself"?

It's a phrase commonly heard in our society.  "Be yourself," "Be openminded," "Who cares what they think?"

It's a good theme, but read this verse from the Bible:

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." -Romans 3:23

This means that everyone has sinned.  ALL MAN HAS SINNED.  It's embedded in our nature, ever since Adam and Eve sinned.  It's been passed into all of us, and the world gradually gets worse (more open about sin).  "It's just part of who you are," they say.  "So enjoy yourself, and don't care what others [Christians] think or say!"

Whenever someone (on TV or personally) tells me, "Be yourself," it should NOT mean we keep on sinning because it's "how I think."  They think it excuses them from sinning, because it's just "them."  "Sin's part of me," someone could say.

But no, it doesn't excuse them.  And if you want to know why, compare it to me.

I'm told I'm creative.  And a good writer. 

I'm a good writer, but in order to pursue the stars I have to get better at writing.  I don't just say, "I'm this good a writer because it's just my personality."  First of all, that's pride (something I have too much of), and second of all, that won't get you anywhere.  People don't become famous because they're born geniuses.  They become famous because they improved their quality of work.  Bill Gates wasn't born knowing how to write computer code.  Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton weren't born knowing how to smash home runs.  Suzanne Collins wasn't born knowing how to develop and write ideas like the Hunger Games.  Sure, they all were born with raw talent (the ability to improve themselves in a certain area), but everyone has to hone their skills one way or another.

And so that's how we should approach our sin.  Not necessarily improving ourselves on our own, but working through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit and God's Word to help make ourselves more like Christ. 

You might be wondering, "How can I improve myself but stay true to my personality?"  Also please note--you can stay true to your personality, but your nature is the one that needs improvement.  How do you "be yourself" while working to improve your nature?  You simply let the love of God shine through your willingness to work and display your abilities (mine is writing; others can draw, play sports, etc.). 


Thursday, April 18, 2013

It's time to walk....!!

If a person asked what I did today, what would I say?

Well, today I walked to school.

Not my school-school.  My future school, a public school about two miles from my house (rough estimate of distance).  My school-school takes 25 minutes to get to...by car.

I've been extremely excited because I haven't walked to school since first grade.  And my parents might let me walk by myself.

It's funny, because when I read books, I can not relate them to my life.  Other kids walk to the nearest ice cream shop; I don't walk anywhere.  Other kids play the PS3; I don't even play the Wii.  Other kids walk to school or take the bus.  I don't know what a schoolbus looks like (okay, I do) and walking to school has been unheard-of for a long time because I'm part homeschooled (so I have to walk 20 feet; big deal.  Whooppee, I walk to school.  Excuse me, I LIVE at school!). 

Today, after a long period of time during which I begged my parents, I walked to school.  School hasn't started yet; I wanted to try it out.

It took me literally 30 minutes to get to school (not even counting coming back).


Isn't the whole point of walking to school so your parent doesn't have to drive you, it's so close? 

I walked down the street, walked for ten minutes, then turned right and went up this one hill for ten-fifteen minutes, then crossed the street and went down and up this other giant hill. 

I had planned on walking to there and back home.  Well, I got out of that because of the invention of two things: 1) cell phones, and 2) parents who drive cars.  My mom picked me up in the parking lot at the school (I hope nobody thought I was, like, ditching class). 

Our compromise?  My mom dropping me off at a different (I believe shorter) route. 

Who knew that walking would be so complicated?




Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tim Hawkins

I'm not going to buy you an iPhone...

I'm not going to write you a love song...

Tim Hawkins is a Christian comedian known for his wacky, silly parodies to popular songs.  A father with several children, during comedy tours, he expands on his life as a father.  With amazing guitar skills, Hawkins can turn out parodies that magically weave words together--and completely twist the meaning of the original words.

Hawkins' Parodies:

Hawkins' Version......................................Original Song
"Cletus Take the Reel"............................."Jesus Take the Wheel" by Carrie Underwood
"Homeschool Family"..............................."Addams Family Theme Song" from the TV show

From Hawkins' comedy album Rockshow Comedy Tour...

*Under "Parents Rock Part 1"

-iPhone instead of Love Song, by Sara Bareilles
-Home (you're staying home--it's the place where you belong) instead of Home, by Daughtry
-A parody of Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours"

To those of you who go on YouTube, look up Tim Hawkins.  There are plenty of videos, including some of those on his comedy tours, and music videos of his parodies.

Tim Hawkins as a comedian is fairly funny, but not as funny as, say, Bill Cosby.  However, his musical skills, sense of humor, and ability to carry a tune make him a memorable and enjoyable person to listen to.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Playing Uno Listening to Andy Grammer While the Football Players Rush to Avoid Us

Playing Uno Listening to Andy Grammer While the Football Players Rush to Avoid Us

Kickin' back with my friends today
On the grass at lunch, almost May.
Trying to live it up while playing Uno
I bet everyone thought we were loco.

Someone brings her iPod out
20% left--it's in a drought.
I volunteer to be the DJ,
And before we know it, we're sayin', "Hey,"

Because we're pumpin' up to Andy Grammer,
Keepin' our heads up without a stammer.
Carrie Underwood blows him away,
And before we know it, we're sayin', "Hey."

Then Jason Mraz says, "I'm yours,"
All the while, we're dealing out twos, threes, and fours.
Britt Nicole pops in and tells us we're gold,
And that just blows away all the mold.

Kelly Clarkson--we're getting stronger,
And we're playing Uno all the longer.
Sitting out, enjoying the sun.
Have oh, oh so much fun

Except for the secret fear in our hearts
That one of the football players will tear us apart,
Or accidentally fall into our ring,
And mess up the entire thing.

Football goes flying,
wind blows my hair.
Listening to Andy Grammer
Without a care.

Yep, that's what I did at lunch today.  Ate M&Ms, a ham and cheese pita pocket (no mayo...how did I ever live?!), some carrots.  Listening to Andy Grammer on my friend's iPod (Oh, you gotta keep your head up ohh, and you can let your hair down, yeah, you gotta keep your head up ohh, and you can let your hair down, yeah) playing Uno, and yes, the high schoolers were conducting a football game around us, but they never once actually touched us.

It was such a randomly weird scene.

But then, that's what I love about my school.  It's so small, nobody cares if you do something weird or crazy or...I'm going to miss you guys when I go to a different school in September!!!!!




Monday, April 15, 2013

A Movie Review--"42"

It is my fond opinion that good movies follow each other.  We had a "dry period" of kid-friendly movies about a month ago, but that quickly ended with the arrival of Oz, The Croods, and a promise of more yet to come--Monsters University, Despicable Me 2, etc. 
    Yesterday, my dad took my brothers and me to see 42, the Jackie Robinson movie.  For those of you who DO NOT know who Jackie Robinson is, let me explain.  For those of you who DO know, skip to the bold star (*) unless you want to read my attempt to explain who Jackie Robinson was and his impact on American and baseball history. 
    <Jackie Robinson was a black baseball player who joined a white baseball team (the Brooklyn Dodgers) at a time when segregation was still around (in the 40s).  Because of a brave general manager, Robinson was promoted to the Dodgers not only because of his baseball skills, but because of his courage.  Racial insults, death threats, and jeers greeted him at every stop of the way.  But Robinson pressed on, turning the other cheek, and, in the end, he paved the path for other non-Caucasian ballplayers to play in the MLB (Major League Baseball).>

Picture (and cast information) from Wikipedia

     * 42 is about Jackie Robinson's first season for the Dodgers (he wore the number 42), before he earned other teams' respect.  It follows the ups and downs of his career, along with aspects of his personal life. 
     However, it's not.  There are a few technical things that make it stand out. 
     First, there's no specific plotline.
     Jackie Robinson was a real person, and he lived a real life.  His life didn't follow the typical fictional pattern.  There's no intro, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.  It's hard to figure where that all fits in 42 because real life isn't like the movies, or books, which engineer their stories through the plotline.  42 illustrated Robinson's life, and Robinson's life wasn't a movie.  Sometimes events completely unrelated to Robinson's career occurred, true to his life (for example, his son's birth).  Because 42 tells about Robinson's life, the movie doesn't leave out the details about his personal life, even if they have nothing to do whatsoever with his career.  In that respect, it differs from other movies.
     Second, Robinson's life kept going on after the end of the movie.  Because there's no real plotline, the resolution (**Spoiler alert: a home run that helps win the pennant) resolved some of the jeering and racial insults, but Robinson's life didn't stop there.  His life continued.  In that way, I felt the home run didn't bring a necessarily complete conclusion.  I didn't feel the impact that the home run made on the pennant win.
     There are plenty of lighthearted moments (perhaps too many) along with the dark moments you get in a movie like this. ***It's very important to note that the movie doesn't involve really "physical" scenes, as in Glory Road. Mostly, it's just annoying verbal abuse based on race.

     42 stars newbie Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson, veteran Harrison Ford (The Star Wars series) as gutsy general manager Branch Rickey, Nicole Beharie as Rachel Isum Robinson, and Lucas Black as Pee Wee Reese.  According to the LA Times, the movie had Rachel Robinson's (Jackie Robinson's 91-year-old widow) stamp of approval.  It's rated PG-13 for racial insults, language, and other things (according to my judgment, which isn't parental, it's not a movie for people under the age of 11 or 12).  The trailers (Hangover III, The Great Gatsby, Ironman III, The Internship) are also geared toward a more adult audience. 
    


     Overall, 42 is an intriguing movie that recounts a historically accurate version of Robinson's life.  Although it differs from other movies in plotline and resolution, it is a movie that illustrates chasing dreams and "turning the other cheek."  It's a great way to learn more about Jackie Robinson as a ballplayer and as a person.

My crowning glory: I believe I found a typo in the lettering at the end of the movie!  So all those years of finding typos in books, fliers, and programs have finally paid off!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Serial~ The Kuehl Kids Part 6

Instead of training, however, the Kuehl Kids began to plan.
They were in the girls' bedroom.  One side of room was painted a bright, blinding yellow that could have been first cousin to the sun.  The other side of the room was wallpapered with a blue flowered pattern. 
Electra and Ally sat on Ally's bed, while Tyler and Walter sat on Electra's bed.  The four were serious.
"What do you think we should do?" Ally asked Walter.
Walter cleared his throat.  It made him feel grown up to be consulted.  Sometimes, he felt that he was just an invisible shadow because his personality was different from everyone else's.  He was quiet and calm, unlike the vivacious, sparky Electra, the argumentative, good-hearted Tyler, and the talkative, cheerful Ally.  He spent the most time in his zone of the Creativity Workshop, tinkering with his robots.  He was also the least aggressive.
"Wait," he said.  "Watch.  Be suspicious of everything peculiar."
Electra lay down and crackled her fingers at the lightbulb.  It went out.  She sparked it to life again.  Then she sat back up.
"I think we should do what he said, but honestly, we don't have much to go on."
Walter shrugged.  "I know.  That's why we have to watch."
"Do you honestly think they were as unsmart as they seemed, or were they just faking it?" Ally asked.
"I bet they were faking it," Electra said.  "Nobody's that unsmart."  Then she added, "But they don't know that we live here.  The Professor's cloaking device is pretty accurate.  So how would they know where to spy?"
There was a short silence as the question hung in the air.
"Swifte is a smart one," said Tyler.  "I could tell she thought that the sign was fake."
"Who wouldn't?" Ally said.  "It's the perfect cover-up...Too perfect."
"How would they know to search here in the first place?" Electra asked.
"Do you guys think they're going to attack?" Walter asked timidly.
"Yes," said Tyler.
"No, I don't think so," said Ally.
"Why not?" Electra argued.

As the three argued it out, Walter looked at the lightbulb.  After Electra's short shockwave, it flickered a bit from time to time.
He felt so confused.  So lost. 

So alone.

The figure sat in the dark room, watching the Professor and Almira confer inside the Vision Room. 
It looked at Almira for a long time.  Then with a wistful sigh, the figure flipped the computer off and pressed the intercom button.

"Jalling, the time's come."  The figure could barely keep the bitterness out of his voice.

Inside the helicopter above the patch of land that covered the Underground, Jasper Jalling grinned evilly after hearing the words.  His four proteges crouched inside the helicopter with him.  They, too, grinned evilly.  They thought it was a great plan.  After all, Jasper had come up with it, hadn't he?  And after all, wasn't he a genius? everyone thought.

Jasper Jalling tossed a small black cube down through the open copter door.  Then he pressed a button on his black wristwatch.

A minute later, a small red light flashed on his watch.
Jalling smiled.  That meant that the mission had begun.

The Kuehl Kids were going dooooown.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sunday Serial~ The Kuehl Kids Part 5 PREVIEW

Instead of training, however, the Kuehl Kids began to plan.
They were in the girls' bedroom. One side of room was painted a bright, blinding yellow that could have been first cousin to the sun. The other side of the room was wallpapered with a blue flowered pattern.
Electra and Ally sat on Ally's bed, while Tyler and Walter sat on Electra's bed. The four were serious.
"What do you think we should do?" Ally asked Walter.
Walter cleared his throat. It made him feel grown up to be consulted. Sometimes, he felt that he was just an invisible shadow because his personality was different from everyone else's. He was quiet and calm, unlike the vivacious, sparky Electra, the argumentative, good-hearted Tyler, and the talkative, cheerful Ally. He spent the most time in his zone of the Creativity Workshop, tinkering with his robots. He was also the least aggressive.
"Wait," he said. "Watch. Be suspicious of everything peculiar."
Electra lay down and crackled her fingers at the lightbulb. It went out. She sparked it to life again. Then she sat back up.
"I think we should do what he said, but honestly, we don't have much to go on."
Walter shrugged. "I know. That's why we have to watch."
"Do you honestly think they were as unsmart as they seemed, or were they just faking it?" Ally asked.
"I bet they were faking it," Electra said. "Nobody's that unsmart." Then she added, "But they don't know that we live here. The Professor's cloaking device is pretty accurate. So how would they know where to spy?"
There was a short silence as the question hung in the air.
"Swifte is a smart one," said Tyler. "I could tell she thought that the sign was fake."
"Who wouldn't?" Ally said. "It's the perfect cover-up...Too perfect."
"How would they know to search here in the first place?" Electra asked.
"Do you guys think they're going to attack?" Walter asked timidly.
"Yes," said Tyler.
"No, I don't think so," said Ally.
"Why not?" Electra argued.

As the three argued it out, Walter looked at the lightbulb. After Electra's short shockwave, it flickered a bit from time to time.
He felt so confused. So lost.

So alone.

Friday, April 12, 2013

How To Break Your Finger

How To Break Your Finger
1.  Drive to a trampoline place.
2.  Pay $15.
3.  Attempt to slam dunk when you're not Blake Griffin.

My brother recently broke his pinky.  It hurt for a week or so, so he went to a doctor, who said it didn't seem like anything.  He played in a baseball game and participated in practice.  Recently, guess what?  We found out he broke it (from a different doctor).

My family has an interesting history.  None of the several kids in my family has EVER broken a leg, finger, arm, thumb, neck, etc.  (We drink a lot of milk--ALWAYS fat free). 

I guess I always expected that someone breaking something in my family would be a huge hullaballoo (how do you spell that?!) and a huge celebration/noncelebration, but my brother's breaking his pinky finger crept up on us like a stalking cat.  

For his birthday, he and his friends went to this trampoline place (it's a new fad here).  They have a huge foam pit, with trampolines, and a trampoline-and-basketball-hoop combo, cageball, a huge trampoline thing, and a couple dodgeball courts.  It's a VERY clever gimmick.

Anyway, he was trying to dunk, I guess, and maybe he possibly didn't have mad skills?  Maybe just frustrated skills?!

HE BROKE HIS FINGER! 


 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Cosby Show

I just watched an episode of the Cosby Show and thought it was lol-able.

The Cosby Show is about a close-knit, warm African American family experiencing everyday life.  It's a timeless TV show, one that people can laugh at ten years from now. 

Who?  What?
Made in the 1980s, The Cosby Show is a comedy starring comedian Bill Cosby as Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable, Phylicia Rashad as his wife, lawyer Clair Huxtable, Sabrina LeBeauf as Sondra Huxtable, Lisa Bonet as Denise Huxtable, Malcolm Jamal-Warner as Theo Huxtable, Tempestt Bledsoe as Vanessa Huxtable, and Keshia Knight-Pulliam as Rudy Huxtable.  It's a hilarious TV show.  The Huxtables' antics are comic, but they're not far from real life.  The best thing is that every episode has you laughing out loud--usually from Dr. Huxtable, Bill Cosby. 
L to R: Top Row- Denise Huxtable (Lisa Bonet), Theo Huxtable (Malcolm Jamal-Warner), Vanessa Huxtable (Tempestt Bledsoe).  Bottom Row- Mrs. Clair Huxtable (Phylicia Rashad), Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable (Bill Cosby), and Rudy Huxtable (Keshia Knight-Pulliam).  Picture from http://www.carseywerner.net/cosbyshow_eng.htm.

*Sondra, played by Sabrina LeBeauf, is not in the picture.

Versus The Brady Bunch
I think another good factor to The Cosby Show is that all the children are varying ages, which means there's a huge variety to the situations they get in.  For example, Sondra is in college when the show begins, Denise is in high school, Theo is in middle school, Vanessa is in elementary school, and Rudy is young enough to have a bear named Bobo.  There's a huge age difference between Sondra and Rudy.  However, in the early seasons of The Brady Bunch, the six kids--Greg, Marcia, Peter, Jan, Bobby, and Cindy--are like stepping stones; not that far apart, which means there's a lack of variety to their experiences.  In general, the older kids are, the better.  So, while The Brady Bunch only prompts smiles in the first and second seasons, The Cosby Show is laugh-out-loud, even in the first season.

Content
In The Cosby Show, Dr. and Mrs. Huxtable are not lenient, and they exercise good disciplinary methods (I bet that sounds weird coming from a kid, but it's true!) with grades (Theo gets a D in several subjects), obeying (Rudy plays with her father's juicer, when he has specifically instructed her not to), and other various situations.  However, I believe that they're not as, let's say, involved in their children's school lives as my parents are.  Probably this is due to the fact that both have careers, there are 5 children, and just the general relaxedness to the American culture. 

Some episodes...
My dad bought us the "Best of the Cosby Show" DVD and the first two seasons of The Cosby Show.  Even though the "Best of the Cosby Show" DVD is extremely funny, I think that there are still others that could have been included in it.   

"Pilot Presentation" was the first episode in the existence of The Cosby Show.  A "pilot" is what TV folks call the tryout episode, the first episode of a potential TV show.  In "Pilot Presentation," several situations go on at once (unlike the other episodes, during which one situation finds center stage).  Dr. Huxtable is busy with his four children (I don't think they added Sondra till later), "killing" Theo when necessary, handling Denise's date (who apparently was in a Turkish prison; humorous), and telling Vanessa no, they will not get a dog.

"A Shirt Story" was in the "Best of the Cosby Show" DVD, and it is probably one of my favorites.  It was released during Season 1.  "A Shirt Story" is about fourteen-year-old Theo, who buys a high-end, $95 shirt for his date.  Dr. Huxtable forces Theo to give up the shirt and gives him $35 instead to buy another one.  Theo, on a brilliant inspiration, hires his sister Denise to make him a shirt.  I'm not going to tell you what happens, but I assure you, it's a hilarious outcome, and Theo learns that what's inside of you counts more than what you look like.

"The Juicer" is the second episode in Season 2.  The story follows Dr. Huxtable, who makes a purchase: a shiny, huge "Juicerator."  The Juicerator is too tempting, and Rudy (and her silent friend Peter) decide to make grape jelly with it.  Uh-oh...  Rudy learns the value of obedience in this episode, while the humor in the episode keeps the plot from becoming too dry.

The Cosby Show is a brilliant product of Bill Cosby's, and humor, good values, and its relevance to everyday life make it one of the most popular family sitcom television shows in the history of TV.