Wednesday, April 30, 2014

When You Make Dinner And Your Family Criticizes You But It's Okay Because They're Your Family

I honestly feel bad for my future husband.

Not because he's getting this jewel of a person (*grins* #JK) but because of my sad lack of homemaking skills.

I had to make dinner for my family not too long ago.

I know, I'm fourteen and a half, and I should be doing grown-up stuff by now, but I don't like homemaking.  

My mom was dropping my brother off at tennis, and I was at home trying to do schoolwork but sadly getting distracted by the 100 pageviews-in-a-day I hit for the first time ever (thanks so much, you guys!).  

My mom had asked me to get the cheeseburgers going before she got home at seven.  (At least, I thought she said she was getting home around 7.)

So at around 6:50, I lugged myself downstairs and started heating things up.  I put the raw burgers on the griddle, toasted the burger buns for 3 minutes, and was overall very proud of myself because I'd actually done something productive.

7 o' clock passed, and my mom still hadn't come home.  The patties weren't cooked anyway.  So I was like, whatever, I'll bring my Bio stuff down and I can learn about ATP molecules while the bacteria is being cooked out of processed Costco meat patties.

At around 7:10, my mom texted me: WILL B HOME IN 20.

Whoops.  I probably misheard the 7 o' clock remark.

I put the cheeseburger buns onto plates only to realize that they were probably going to get cold before my mom came home.  And what a better way to show I was a good daughter than to reheat the buns and put melted cheese on them too?  What an overachiever!  *sarcasm*

I know, I'm a totally lazy bum.

So I put melted cheese on the buns and stuck them in the toaster for another three minutes (making it six minutes total that I cooked the buns.  Yup).

After I literally cooked the burger patties for 20 minutes (they were thick and I didn't want to poison anybody), my mom texted me again: CAN U MAKE SOME GRILLED ONIONS FOR THE BURGERS?

I am such a good multitasker.

*sarcasm again*

I assembled the cheeseburgers, all the while cooking the grilled onions, studying for bio, and listening to Francesca Battistelli.

*bam what*

They came home.  We sat down for dinner.  Instead of eating a burger, however, I had a salad.  Look:

In case you can't tell, that's a Costco Parisian salad with the typical nuts, feta cheese, cranberries, and vinaigrette on top of it.  To "Rcubize" it (hahaha), I plopped my meat patty and a bunch of grilled onions on it before I drizzled everything with mayonnaise.

Then, just as I was beginning to relax and enjoy my creation, someone said,

"Why is this bun so hard?"

I stopped eating.  

"I think she put it in the toaster for too long," somebody else said.

Would you, dear reader, rather have a soft, cold bun without cheese, or a hard, lukewarm bun with cheese?

I tried not to die from embarrassment.

Then the first person said,

"I think I have two bottoms."

You know how the buns are sliced?  The top part is dome-shaped and fluffy and gorgeous, and the bottom part is, well, the bottom?  


I was probably too busy mourning the complexity of cellular respiration to notice that I'd switched everything up.

Then the first person spoke up for the third time.

"The patties are better when Mom makes them."

Don't take it the wrong way, though.  Apparently, they meant to say, "They're better when she assembles/presses them and makes them herself with Lipton onion dip soup mix."

"I'm sorry, this isn't a five-star restaurant," I said, in the half sarcastic way that's not disrespectful when it's your family.

They laughed, and after that it was generally a happy family dinner.  All's well that ends well.

So, the moral of the story?

Don't cook your cheeseburger buns for six minutes.  

Maybe we should just solve everything by eating my cheeseburger salad.  That would make life easier. Evoke world peace.

Yeah, that's a good idea.

Toodles :-)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Just Another Announcement...

Hello, everybody!

This is going to be a quick post, but I'd like to highlight the fact that I will be cutting back on this blog.

As many of you know, I have been posting every single day.  Most bloggers don't do that--many of them stick to at least once a week, if that.  However, lately I've been realizing that while it's fun to use this blog as a creative outlet for all my random scribblings, I really need to emphasize QUALITY over QUANTITY

I also find myself writing and cutting into my personal time with God and my family.  Writing is becoming my idol, and it's best for me to cut back.

Also, another issue is privacy.  Part of the reason why I'm cutting back is because I don't want to invade my privacy too much.  There are so many ironic things that happen in my life that for some reason I feel the need to share my thoughts with the world.  But I don't want to say something I might regret later.  So I need to learn to discipline and restrain myself.

I'm also making an executive decision NEVER to do "surprise posts" out of schedule.  If I allow myself to do surprise posts, I might just start doing them left and right and get back into my old habits.  So every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I will be posting something.  Whether a writing tidbit, a life epiphany/story, or just encouragement to do something random, you're sure to get something on those days...just not any other day.  

However, I will be continuing the Sunday Serial on Sundays.  (So I guess you could say it's Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.)

Thanks for being with me on this journey as I try to navigate a middle ground to my writing and my personal life :-)


Sunday, April 27, 2014


James Harshell and Kerri Benedict are the Party Snoopers, Incorporated--they plan the party (because criminals can never resist a good birthday bash), capture the crook (because the party is just a trap, after all), and collect the dough (what's hard work without a little reward?).  Join them as they tackle on their biggest case yet, involving a wedding, a couple of mischievous ring-bearers, and...rock stars?  **Told in alternating first-person perspectives

Previously on Party Snoopers...

“Kerri, are you all right?” James is right by my side, his fingers brushing my shoulder.
“Well that wasn't rude.” I shield my eyes from the glare of the sun. “Isn't this supposed to be a private beach? Jakkab's?”
“Maybe they sneaked in. They looked kind of suspicious.” James' eyes light up. “Kerri! We need to get back to the house! This could be a--”
“I know, I'm not a bozo.” I whoosh out a sigh, but at this, my heartbeat quickens.

This could a lead!

Sunday Serial Part Four

“So this kid in a baseball cap comes and dumps sand on me,” Kerri is saying as I jolt back to Earth, “and since it's a private beach and all, I was wondering, like, what if he's the criminal we're talking about?” Her hands are twisting behind her back, and she's still shedding sand onto Jakkab's wood floors. I wonder if she even realizes it.
I smirk. When she finds out, she's going to freak. Kerri is fanatical about keeping things clean. Especially other people's things.
Jakkab just yawns. He's sitting at the dining room table on his laptop. “Was the hat a snapback?”
Kerri blinks. “Um, yeah, it was.”
“Did it have the Angels' logo on it?”
“The Angels?” Kerri blinks again. “Are they a baseball team?”
Jakkab shoots me an exasperated look, and I grin. “No, Kerri, they're a curling team,” I say. “They have Albert Pujols, who won the National Pepto-Bismol Curling Award three years in a row. They also picked up Ham Joshilton, who--”
“Okay, okay, whatever.” Kerri crosses her arms and glares at me. “Can we get a move on now?”
Something internal punches me in the stomach as her eyes—they're green—level at me. I struggle for breath.
“Sure.” I turn to Jakkab. “Do you have anybody else besides us and our families staying here?”
He's tapping away at his laptop. “Sorry, what?”
I walk over and look at the screen. Facebook. Much more important than your wedding being potentially endangered.
“Do you have anybody else staying here that you haven't told us about?” I repeat a little bit louder.
Jakkab just looks at me. “Oh, yeah. My twin stepbrothers. Garin and Gaven Spellman. They're staying in the Blue Suite. Did I not tell you?”
“The Blue Suite?” I try to remember which room that is, just as Kerri squawks, “That's right across the hallway from my bedroom!”
“You can move if you're uncomfortable,” Jakkab offers, his eyes still glued to the screen.
Kerri juts her hip out, like those sassy mean girls you see on TV. Come to think of it, she'd be great playing one of those. “Don't you care that your wedding to Henrietta might get ruined because of this note?”
Jakkab shrugs. “You want to know what I think?”
“What?” I pull out my notebook, sensing something big here.
“I think Henrietta's overreacting, is all.” Jakkab's fingers fly across the keyboard as he talks to us. “It's cool that she hired you kids and all, but I honestly think it's just a stalker note. It's great that you're working towards what you want to be when you grow up, though.”
I paraphrase what he said on paper, but I can hardly believe my ears. Probably that's the most words he's ever strung together in front of us—and this totally gives him a motive for sabo—wait. He can't have sent Henrietta the note. Why would he do that? “But Henrietta seems to think that the note indicates something dangerous,” Kerri protests. “Did you hear what she said? The note arrived two seconds after you proposed.”
Take that, Jakkab. Kerri Benedict is taking you down. I feel like a commentator on a WWE throwdown show, my finger muscles working into overdrive.
Jakkab shrugs. “We were surrounded by a bunch of other couples at the White House Cafe. There are people who have nothing better to do than stalk other people, you know. One of them could have easily sent the note right after seeing me propose.”
Yeah—but—my thoughts are whirling. I can barely hear myself ask, “So basically, we're here just to make Henrietta feel safer?”
“I didn't say that.” But Jakkab keeps his eyes away from us. “Oh, and hey, if you need something to eat, just let me know.”
“Thanks.” I usher Kerri away from the room before she can explode. We walk upstairs in silence, managing to get to the hallway before she spontaneously combusts. “I can't believe she's marrying that guy!”
“Kerri.” See, this is why I should do the snooping. Girls are so irrational, and they jump to the oddest conclusions. “He was cool about it.”
“But if it matters to Henrietta, then it should matter to him, too!” She pounds her fist against the wall. “I want to get back on a plane and fly back to California if it means we're going to be treated like this!”
I suppress the urge to roll my eyes. “Kerri.”
“Seriously, though. How can he not take us seriously?” She sounds like a wounded animal.
“He took us seriously, Kerri.”
“Then how come he blew us off like that?”
Cool it, Kerri.” I lean against the nearest door, trying to think of a way to convince Kerri that Jakkab is not the bad guy. “He said it was cool that we were doing this, right? But he didn't think that the note led to anything. He didn't say that we were incompetent teenagers. He just didn't think the note led to anything.”
“But he totally trashed us!”
“Kerri, you looked like Sandman from the X-Men. I don't blame him.”
She opens her mouth to respond, looking slightly mad, but just then something behind me caves, and I stumble back as the door gives way. Some guy snickers above me and steps over my body. “Dude, next time, don't lean against my door.”
I jump up. “Who are you?”
“Wouldn't you like to know.” The guy looks past me and at Kerri, who's standing in the hallway openmouthed. “Who's she?”
I don't like the tone of his voice—snarky, or sneaky, or whatever. “Her name's Sarah,” I lie, jumping up, “and I want to know your name.”
Kerri's just gaping at him.
“Well?” I try to get in his face, but the dude just stands on tiptoes. “What's your name, man?”
A small voice comes from behind me. “Garin,” Kerri says, “or Gaven. One of the stepbrothers.”
“Smart girl.” He whistles, and behind me I feel Kerri bristle.
Anger rises in me, but I force myself to stay calm. “Jakkab's stepbrothers, huh?” I cross my arms. “I can slap a lawsuit on you like a pinwheel on a--”
“Save it.” Garin-or-Gaven pushes past me and stares down at Kerri. “I didn't know a girl was staying in my house.”
“Three girls, actually.” Kerri cocks her head up at him, and his face opens with interest. “His mom, my mom, and me. Oh, James, his dad, and my dad too. Along with my big brother, Jeremy. A bodybuilder.” Liar. Both of us are only children. “Nice to meet you, Garin-or-Gaven. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some arrangements to make with your utterly disgusting stepbrother.”
“No.” Garin-or-Gaven smiles down at her, showing all of his teeth. Something boils in my stomach, and I battle the urge to strangle the guy. “Why don't we--”
“Fight each other?” Kerri crouches down in her bathing suit, sand falling off her like snow. “Yeah, man. Show me your everlasting kung fu skills. Just be aware that I took lessons from Gracie Barra.”
I suppress a snort.
Garin-or-Gaven blinks. “Who?”
“Famous taekwondo master,” Kerri bluffs without moving. “Plus you don't want to mess with a bridesmaid, ring bearer.”
His eyes practically pop out of his head. “How did you know I'm a ring bearer?”
Smooth job, Kerri. And how...?
“I'm psychic.” Kerri stands up and dusts off her hands. “You know what, James?” She has this really innocent look on her face.
“What?” I expect something super-sassy, like in the movie—is it Lean Girls? Mean Girls? Kerri made me watch it with her.

“I think I'd better vacuum the hallway.” She walks away, keeping her eyes on the guy, who's staring at her openmouthed. “It's really getting way too sandy.”

Saturday, April 26, 2014

SPRING BREAK ADVENTURES Part 6: Reflections & Other Random Stuff

There is no vacation from learning.

If there's one thing I learned, I learned that God has His plans, and I have mine, and when they collide, His overrule mine.

The week of spring break I had all planned out.  I would write and do fun stuff that I enjoyed.  I would get things done.

Does anyone see a problem there?

It was all about me.

A lot of the time, that's what it is.  I'm selfish, plain and simple.  I'm not the kind of selfish that demands for everyone's attention; I'm the introvert that does things alone that I myself want to do.  I have trouble spending time with other people.  I enjoy it, but I'd rather be doing something that I want.

My family had things planned almost every single day during spring break.  That just about killed my dreams of sleeping in and writing the day away.  I was forced to die to myself, to spend time with my family, and in the process I learned that it's not all about me.

And I ended up having fun.

Sure, I didn't do most of the things on my Spring Break Bucket List.  But that's what it is--a bucket list.  In the end, that's what God (and my procrastination) allowed to happen, , and I'm satisfied with the result.  I finished two of my major projects, and in the end, that's all I can ask for.

God is faithful, and He will allow to happen what He will allow to happen.  When He's in control, nothing I can ever do will change that.


P.S.  Have you ever had a time in your life when you realized it wasn't all about you?  Feel free to share any thoughts and stories you might have, but please make sure all comments are edifying to those around you :-)

Friday, April 25, 2014


~I Hate Coffee~
I don't know why, but I just don't like coffee, or tea.  

I must be really pathetic, because I can't even drink the coffee in a white chocolate mocha or a caramel frappuccino.  It's way too bitter for me to enjoy.

And then there's tea.  Tea is basically water with a fruity inflection.  I guess you could put sugar and milk in it, but I'd rather just have a drink already loaded with sugar than have to actually burn calories in order to put it in myself.  And why would you pay good money for just water?

FRIDAY, April 18th

The Starbucks: My friend and I planned on running and then getting Starbucks, but since we wanted to talk we ended up just walking :-)  Which is OK.  At Starbucks, I had a white chocolate mocha.

As usual, I ate the whipped cream off first and started drinking it.  My reactions went like this:





I didn't finish it, but I did get a bacon-egg-cheese breakfast sandwich.

Then we figured out that it didn't actually have bacon in it, and I had to muster up the courage to ask the cashier for a new one.  (For some reason, I don't really like asking the employees for new products.  I'm shy that way.)

This one had bacon.

Then I was going to be sneaky and go to the Vons across the street (you know, the one in this post), because I had to buy a gift for my brother's birthday, BUT they only had $15 gift cards, and I had $13 :(  So we went back to Starbucks and talked some more.

The Writing: I went home and wrote, like, 5 hours straight.  I wrote:
  • a two-part article on Diary of a Wimpy Kid (for Rcubed's Reads and Reviews)
  • Jam of the Week #9 and #10 for Rcubed's Reads and Reviews (a special something on Part 10)
The Video Blog: I made a video blog, only this one is for people that I know personally.  It was titled 3 INSTAGRAM PET PEEVES :-)  It was OK funny, but it shows my face, so if you want to view it, you can e-mail me at randomrantsrcubed (at) gmail (dot) com.

The Anne of Avonlea: We have the first movie Anne of Green Gables, but my mom checked out the othertwo for us to enjoy.  They're REALLY long--like three hours each or something like that--so I watched only a little part of Anne of Avonlea, but I liked it.  It was different, because they combined, like, three books, but it was hilarious.  Megan Follows portrays Anne to the T.

SATURDAY, April 19th

The First Fall: I wrote about 5,000 words.  I think that's the most I've ever written in one day, and I'm wondering if I actually wrote that much.  But I was determined to finish it :-)  And I'm going to revise it, read it around, and try to get it published :)  I'll update you on that.

The Party: My brother celebrated his birthday through the form of LazerTag and Panda Express.  It was really fun--we had our youth group over, and I turned out to be decent at LazerTag.  Sniping is so much fun :-)  After, they played basketball and took selfies on my phone, while I bucked out and breakdanced on top of a skateboarding ramp in their general vicinity.  I was thinking up new ideas for my private video diaries, so I started talking in British accents and stuff xD.  After our friends left, my brother opened up his gifts--lots of tennis stuff.

The Friendship Bread: Have you ever had Amish friendship bread?  Basically, it's when a giant bag of bread--basically cake--batter is circulated among friends.  You can Google it, but my youth group leader gave me the bag of friendship bread, and I'm super excited to make it :-)  I haven't baked in a while, so it should be really fun.

This is a great end to a great spring break.  Sure, some parts of it may not have turned out how I wanted it to turn out, but overall it was an amazing vacation, with amazing people and amazing things to do.  And amazing food.

I'd better cut back.

But thanks for hanging out during this weird week :-)


P.S.  Had any memorable spring breaks?  Any fantabulous adventures?  Share your comments below, but please make sure to keep them edifying to those around you :-)

Thursday, April 24, 2014


~How Food Changed My Perspective On Life~
Food is such a wonderful thing that I obviously can't have enough of it.

It's kind of crazy how much I've eaten this spring break.  But that's all right, because I've been exercising.  (Kind of).  I'm one of those justifiers who don't care what they eat as long as they do their twenty pushups a day :-)

WEDNESDAY, April 17th

The Clothes:  For some reason, whenever I don't have enough clothes, I get unreasonably cranky and grumpy.  I had to wear a loose T-shirt and this old pair of gray gym shorts yesterday, and needless to say, I was in the mood for tight black gym shorts and a fitted T-shirt.  Also, spring break hadn't been going the way I had planned it--I had a lot less down time than I thought I would have--so it was kind of hard for me to shape up or ship out.  However, as soon as those clothes came out of the dryer...I shifted my attitude down a notch :)

The Homework: I have AP European History homework over spring break.  They basically implemented it to show people what it would be like for us soon-to-be sophomores next year, and a lot of people dropped out.  However, I stayed in, and, as a result, I had to do homework--twenty pages of college-level reading, six explain-yourself questions, and a paragraph to write.  WRITE, not type.  I did a little bit of homework, but I wasn't in the mood to. (obviously)

The Game: We went to a Major League Baseball (us old fogies call it MLB) game, and it was probably one of the most exciting games I've ever been to.  And I ate 
  • 4 mini Hi-Chews
  • 1 Ghiradelli chocolate square filled with caramel
  • Lots of kettle corn
  • Some Mesquite Barbecue Lays (those are the BEST)
  • A chicken salad sandwich
  • most of a chocolate malt
  • and probably other stuff.

THURSDAY, April 18th

The Hydrobiking:  One of my mom's birthday wishes was to go hydrobiking as a family.  So...we did.  And it was pretty awesome.  

The water was so calm, and peaceful, and green...and I had literally no fear of tipping over...and I was thinking: If my plans to move to Seattle don't work out, then I'll live in a house by the water after I write my Great American Novel.  And I'll go hydrobiking and writing at the same time, which might not be such a good idea, but it's nice to daydream about doing impossible things.

The Awesome Food: Afterward, we went to this restaurant that was featured in Food Network's Drivers, Dine-Ins, and Dives.  I don't like the show, but I like looking (and eating) the food that goes into the show.  And I got some pretty good shots :)

Imagine thin slices of real ham and turkey, layered into three rugged hunks of crunchy, delectable, buttered bread, complete with a juicy tomato, folded over melted American cheese, and spiked through with a toothpick.  

Also imagine biting into a flaky, light waffle, perfectly browned, with swirls of pure white whipped cream, and colorful, juicy berries--all drizzled over with the sweetest maple syrup.

Then imagine bready onions--not perfectly round, but bready, and crunchy, and golden, with little flecks of breadcrumbs that you dip into creamy coleslaw mayonnaise.  

Lastly, think of every good breakfast food you can think of: potatoes, bacon, ham, peppers, and onions, collected into one jumbled, chopped-up mass and sprinkled with still-warm cheddar.  Accompanied by two slices of crispy bread, it's one of the best lunches you could ever have.

Is it a wonder that we had cereal for dinner?

Toodles :-)

What's your favorite restaurant and/or food?  Do you have any recommendations?  Feel free to comment, but please make sure to keep them edifying to those around you :-)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Here's my video blog :D

It's about two minutes long, so sit tight and enjoy!  


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

SPRING BREAK ADVENTURES Part 2: Movies, Fat, & Lots More

~Spring Break Adventures Part 2: Movies, Fat, & Lots More~
I don't even know what to say about the title of this post.

Not only is it one of the most boring titles in the history of the existence of my blog, but it's also slightly inaccurate.  Friday (the 11th), Saturday (the 12th), Sunday (the 13th), Monday (the 14th), and Tuesday (the 15th) were all so interesting that the title doesn't even cut it.  So much happened it's impossible to recount all that happened.  So I'm going to make this easy for you.  (At least, I'm going to try to make it easy.)  

FRIDAY, April 11th

The Weighing: After somehow surviving school (that sugar-filled fiesta in Spanish might have helped), I went to sixth period hoping that my tennis coach would let us off early.  Instead of hitting, however, he released the sophomores, juniors, and seniors and had us freshmen complete the "Freshman Fitness Test," or at least part of the Freshman Fitness Test.  As part of the process, we were weighed and measured.  (Not in front of each other, thank gargoyles.)

I GREW AN INCH!  Thank goodness.  Short people like me because I make 'em look tall; so growing an inch is a monumental moment in my life.  My current height is probably the height I'll stay at for the rest of my life, and I'm trying to stretch out my length as tall as possible before I stop growing. (All the short people say "Amen"!)

Captain America: The Winter Soldier: My dad took my brothers and me to see the new Captain America movie.  I'm not going to ramble how much I loved the movie (you can see my review here), but one thing I want to point out is that "Captain" is spelled "C-A-P-T-A-I-N," not "C-A-P-T-I-A-N." ( I'm stating this for the benefit of the theater employees who spelled the line sign wrong.)

SATURDAY, April 12th

The Sleeping: I usually don't sleep in late, but it must have been my five a.m. wake up calls combined with the late movie: I slept in until 10.  It's the latest I've ever slept--I'm so proud of it.  (Finally feeling like the stereotypical teenager, LOL...hopefully not too stereotypical, though.)

The Exercising:  My mom got a stationary bike for her birthday, and she and I have been working out with it.  (My mom in her pj's and slippers, and me in my workout clothes.)  It's a pretty handy thing to have around the house, especially when you don't feel like going outside and running.

The End:  I FINISHED POLAR OPPOSITES.  The fourth draft is DONE!  I ended at 68,939 words, which I'll need to cut some, but the main part of it is, the fourth draft is DONE!

Now on to revising.


The McDonald's:  After seeing the documentary SuperSize Me, I now utterly disdain McDonald's.  I utterly disdained it even more when, after the game, I learned that my local one cut the Caesar salad from the menu.

That Caesar salad has been my SAVING GRACE.  When everyone around me consumes their disgustingly processed "white meat" McNuggets and so-called "beef," I eat vegetables doused in creamy sauce.  (You're probably thinking sarcastically, That's SOOOO much better.)


So I went with the Bacon Ranch salad, which was OK.

Oh, and did you know that there's a cancer-causing chemical in their fries?  Yup.  That's right.  Take that, commercialized American society.

SUNDAY, April 13th

The Doughnut Holes:  My youth group leaders brought DOUGHNUT HOLES to youth group.  (Pretty awesome, aren't they?)  They also brought ham-and-cheese croissants, but since I'd already had my daily staple of peanut butter and jelly, I didn't eat them.  I did have three doughnut holes, however.  

The Sendoff:  A couple of people from my church are leaving for a one-year missions trip, and we had a "sendoff lunch" for them at a nearby park.  In the process, we had two dessert tables.  Not one, not a ton, but TWO.  There were macadamia-white-chocolate cookies; chocolate-covered strawberries; mango bread; banana bread; cake pop bites; more cookies; lemon bars; bundt cake; and more cookies.  I was all, Who cares?  And so I had a cake pop bite, a cookie, a chocolate-covered strawberry, and a lemon bar.  (Just in case you were wondering, there was still dessert left over.)  

I really like sugar.

The Chinese Food: My grandma's going to Korea, so we headed down to her place and ate dinner with her before she left.  And we had Chinese food.

I'm not a big fan of Asian food, for whatever reason.  I like Korean barbecue, and I can eat most of the stuff, but I prefer Caesar salad and peanut butter and jelly over kung pao chicken and bulgogi.  But I had a lot of Chinese food--because I was just in that kind of food-eating mood.

Afterward, we had sugar-ed-up sweet potato:

MONDAY, April 14th

Our Kind-Of Vacation: We went on a two day, one night trip on Monday, kicking it off at this theme park of sorts.  After packing up (cell phone, cell phone charger, Kindle--fully charged--notebook, AP Euro homework in case I felt like being productive, highlighters, pens--oh, and clothes), we headed down to this amusement park.  I'm not going to divulge the name over the Internet, but it has a lot of ocean animals and commercialized stuff.

The Commercialization: There was so much "let's conserve the earth" that I wanted to bust through those water tanks and start talking sense into the people who put roller coasters in the park.  ROLLER COASTERS.  In a park where we're talking about how we can "conserve the earth."  Let's save the sea animals, folks, by putting two metal tracks, a bunch of cliched cars, and twenty tons of water into a ride where people can get wet and appreciate what the sea animals have to go through every day.  Yup, definitely saving the sea animals right there.  Yup, definitely conserving water right there.  *sarcasm*

But I have to admit, it was pretty fun to get wet.

TUESDAY, April 15th

Twelve Stories:  I'm afraid of heights.  What can I say?  I'm afraid that one of these days, I'm going to slip/slide/fall/rip/soar over the edge of a cliff and die by splatting on something underneath.  But at the same time, I like to have a little bit of scary in my life.

So, in the hotel elevators--glass, I might add--I went up twelve stories to see what it was like.

There are all sorts of scenarios that play in the mind of a person who's scared of heights.

For example, what if an earthquake starts shaking and everybody starts screaming and what if the building starts to collapse and cave in?  Will I have to jump down and hope for the best?  Will I have to hop from story to story and make it out just in time, like a superhero?

Or, what if somebody pushes me from behind and I fall over and soar through the air?  Will I land in the plants?  The river thing with koi fish?  Will I die?  Will they have a memorial service for me?  I wonder what everyone will say...

And then I start imagining what everybody'll say, and then I'll start wondering why on earth people only say nice things at a funeral.  

Is that ADD, or just having a naturally inquisitive mind?

Dining Rooms: After, we went to this aircraft carrier ship that had been turned into a museum.  It was pretty kool--I mean, like, it was totally like in The Avengers!  You know the part when the aircraft carrier turns into that airplane-ship-thingy with the reflection panels?  I was envisioning something like that happening, except it didn't, unfortunately :(  However, I did get to see the numerous dining rooms.

There were a thousand different dining rooms.  There was one for the regular people, one for the above-average people who weren't quite officers yet, one for the officers, one for the officers over the officers, one for the Chief Petty Officers (I don't know what that means, but it sounds interesting), and one for the Captain & Co.  

I'm exaggerating.  I think.

Simulation: They had these flight simulators that were basically giant robotic arms with video games installed.  Two-thirds of my family wanted to go, so my dad forked over the $8 per person.  EIGHT DOLLARS PER PERSON.

It was a huge gimmick.

But it was also insanely...weird?  Unusual? I don't know the word for it.  

My brother was the pilot, and I was the gunman.  Basically, my brother flipped us around, and I held down the red plastic trigger.  (I didn't press the button that would switch our roles, probably because I would do it worse than he did.)  Twenty seconds into the three-minute ordeal, my baseball cap fell off while we were upside-down and my hair fell down and blocked a little bit of the projection screen.

That kind of ruined it for me.

I came out of the simulator dizzy and throw-uppy.  You know that feeling where you kind of feel like you're going to throw up, but you know you're not going to but you want to because it feels so bad?

That's what I was feeling like.  

It's clear that neither my brother nor I are going to be those people in Top Gun.  

Speaking of which, is it just me, or does Tom Cruise have a high voice?


Have you ever had a memorable family vacation?  Do you think Tom Cruise has a high voice?

Feel free to share your thoughts; however, please keep them edifying to those around you :)

**P.S.  I was told that my "A Day In Hell" post wasn't theologically accurate--the truth is, we don't know where Jesus was when He died.  So, I'd like to formally apologize for any confusion/disdain you may have had.