Saturday, February 28, 2015

Time! Little League! Saturdays! Blueberry Muffins! Struggles! The Dress! Yay!

eeek, sometimes I hate time.

Without time, we would have no deadlines. We wouldn't have to set alarms to wake up early in the morning. YouTube wouldn't eat so much of our lives. Songs would never end (or never begin, depending on how you look at it). I wouldn't have to schedule my life. That's part of the reason why I hate time.

Freshman year was slow, but now that I'm over halfway through sophomore year, I'm just like WHAAAAAT is going ONNNN at all the time going by because seriously, all of a sudden, things that I've always wanted to do when I got older get pushed aside and I have to somehow carve a path for more stuff to do.

If you compared last year's school planner (yes, I have a planner; yes, it is one of those book things that you actually write stuff down; yes, I have a digital one too; yes, I actually use both) to this year's planner, you would definitely see a difference. There are weeks when I hardly have any room to write anything on anywhere. Mostly it's because my writing's huge (my math homework ranges from four to ten pages long), but it's also because I have a lot of stuff to do and not a lot of time to get it done.

Which is why I'm trying to limit my YouTube consumption. Oftentimes I rely too much on my planner and I don't have a clear idea of what needs to be done, and so I get sidetracked. I'm trying to learn how to memorize stuff more, and how to multitask, because: let's face it, as much as multitasking is hard to accomplish, sometimes in this busy day and age, you need to utilize it.

--------------------

Today is Opening Day for Little League. For those of you who don't know, Little League is basically a baseball league for kids--both my brothers did it; now one is too old and this is probably the younger one's last season--and Opening Day is, obviously, the first day of Little League. Basically, boiled down, it's team pictures and booths and, for some teams, their first games. I had to go with my younger brother because both my parents were busy, and they didn't feel like sending an eleven-year-old boy by himself to the park for a couple of hours :-D. 

I actually didn't really do anything. I ran there, first off, because it's at our local elementary/middle school, which is only about a mile away. My mom and I thought it would take me twenty minutes to get there, but it ended up only taking ten because it was mostly downhill. (*pumps fist*).

Because I was the first one in my family there, it was kind of awkward for me. People get it when they see you with a younger sibling in a baseball outfit, but when there's just a teenage girl there with a 1-1-Six shirt on and recording with a camera? (I was making a vlog and taking pictures for this post at the same time.) Awkward. I killed some time in the bathroom and then went up on this bush-ridden hill to take pictures without others seeing me. 

Although, I guess if someone saw me hidden up there taking pictures, they might have thought I was a freaky lunatic who takes pictures of little boys in baseball uniforms. Yeah. That's kind of creepy.


I was slightly mad because it was supposed to rain today, and I really like rain, but it never did. Actually, as I sit here, the sun is shining. Yup. Hopefully later this evening.




There's a new pizza place opening up nearby apparently, and they were selling these huge slices of pizza for $2 a slice, which, if you're wondering, is a good deal. That's like Costco-cheap. 


Panorama!

For those of you who have been with me for a while and know that last year I worked at the Little League Snack Shack, this year I've decided to take a small step back from my duties at the Snack Shack. And yes, for those of you who didn't know, last year I worked there. It wasn't a "real" job--I didn't need a work permit, and they paid us $25 for 3 hours in cash. It taught me a lot, and even though the beginning was pretty rocky (they didn't train me or anything), I eventually ended up having fun. 

But can I tell you something?

The step up from freshman to sophomore year is tall and very drastic. Most people would think that the step would be from eighth grade to ninth, but no, ninth to tenth is the big one. I would spend 3 hours on homework, tops, last year, including dinner and any breaks I took. But this year takes me five hours to do homework, and even then sometimes I went to bed at 12 or 1 in the morning (during tennis season). 

Last year, I'd finish my math homework the day before and go work for 3 hours, come home and be completely pooped. I don't know how I can handle that this year, and even though Saturday shifts are still available, there are still other things I'd rather be doing--blogging, for example. Writing. Doing things that I can't usually do during weekdays. 3 hours is a long time, and needless to say, I don't multitask when I'm given a paid job.

So this year, I'll just probably be substituting in shifts once or twice a month. The extra cash would be nice, but sometimes spending 3 hours next to hot dogs and fake nacho cheese isn't worth $25.

Speaking of school, I've been kind of stressed lately.

I mean, what else is new? I wrote this post chronicling all I have to do. But recently my grades have been slipping, and I don't think it's just because it's the beginning of the semester when everything is worth a lot. I want to get into a good four-year university, and in order to do that, it takes time and a ton of effort, much of what I've been putting in.

But part of being in high school means that a lot rides on tests. A lot. I have a subpar grade in Spanish right now, even though I have a 100% on both homework and participation--although, admittedly, I didn't study at all for it (I only just began studying for the quizzes on Thursday). My math grade just dropped majorly because I scored a super-stinking-awesomely-horrible grade on a math test. (And yes. It really was bad.)

I took the math test on Thursday, and I'd studied for it. I thought I knew it. I really did. It was on sequences and series (looking for patterns in numbers, which I am NOT good at at ALL), and I memorized all the formulas...but when I got to the test, I think I panicked. I remember looking at the papers and wondering to myself, What on earth am I doing? But I couldn't spend too much time staring at my work, because there are 55 minutes to a period, and that is not a lot of time. I've been choking up on tests a lot, when I originally used to be good at them.

Also, things don't stick in my brain like they used to do. I know, this sounds strange coming from a fifteen-year-old, but I don't remember as much anymore. Maybe I zone out too much? Maybe I haven't been getting enough sleep? It takes two or three times to review for me to retain anything, and I used to have an almost-photographic memory.

I think I'm blaming this one on my too much consumption of YouTube. I'm trying to halt my YouTube use too much.

I have been struggling lately.

But the worst thing part of it isn't even my grades. It's my spiritual walk with God. Lately I've been feeling detached from him and my conscience. Things that should bug me don't really, which in itself bugs me a lot. Maybe I have too many distractions that let me escape into a different world and forget about everything, but I don't want those distractions if it lets me become desensitized to the faults of everything and everyone. So if you're reading this, pray for me. Pray that I will find the balance, pray that I will get things done, pray that I will get rest, because heaven knows I need it. Pray that I will find motivation and fire again.

Thanks.

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On a lighter note, I made blueberry muffins today!

I haven't baked in, like, a year. I think I used to have aspirations of being on Chopped, but that kind of fell away because the only reason I think I'd be on Chopped would be to eat the food, not to make it.

Although, if you think about it, would you really want to eat food that had just been whipped up in 30 minutes and might not even exhibit the chef's best skills? Yeah. I don't know about that.

But I do enjoy making good things if I get to eat them, so I decided to dig out some frozen blueberries, whip the electric-food-stirrer-thingy (sheesh, I call myself a writer and I don't even know what it's called?), and make some fatty blueberry muffins!






I thought that looked kool--how the milk and oil separated ;-)



This picture actually turned out the way I wanted it! Haha.


I was substituting frozen blueberries for fresh. I Googled if that was all right, and apparently it was, but somebody said that the muffins didn't turn out right if you didn't rinse and dry the frozen blueberries first. I don't think it made much of a difference, haha.




The topping was that huge gunk of butter with cinnamon, sugar, and flour :-)


You're supposed to fill them all the way to the top, because everyone knows that huge blueberry muffins are so much better than smaller ones, yeah? (Can I hear a "holla"?!)


And after about twenty years...or maybe minutes...these gorgeouslicious things came out! I haven't eaten one yet, but I'm reasonably sure that I've used this recipe before and they were amazing. Actually, after I finish this blog post, I'm going to go downstairs and eat one. Not sure why I didn't when they were still fresh...

...but I used this recipe. Go check it out!

Actually, I don't think it's even blueberry season, but I'm sure you can just pop on over to the store and buy some frozen ones. Wait, but I heard blueberries are expensive.

Maybe if you want to treat yourself? 

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There's been this Internet hullabaloo over this dress.


According to the source I got this from, the original image is in the middle. To some people, the dress appears white and gold. To others, it seems blue and black.

Yes, in case you're wondering. THAT'S what the Internet has blown up about. The color of a dress. Sheesh. It's funny how hassled we get over the smallest, most insignificant things.

I'm on Team Blue-and-Black, and also Team-It-Doesn't-Matter. I can kind of see how the left would seem white and gold to some people...oh wow. As I was typing this, I was looking at the lightest picture, and I started seeing how it was white and gold. And then I looked at the middle one, and BEHOLD, IT WAS WHITE AND GOLD. Now I can transfer from seeing blue and black and white and gold. It kind of depends on one's perception, I think.

It could be either. Ohmygargoyles.

Wow. Mind blown.

I think I just became a White-and-Goldie.

But even though my view of it changed, I'm still on Team-It-Doesn't-Matter.

What are you? White and gold? Or blue and black?












Sunday, February 22, 2015

Why Do We Dress Like Hippies? | fashion commentary by rcubed

Recently, I went to Kohls. 

You know, the giant store that Vera Wang and Jennifer Lopez have attached themselves to? Anyway, I needed a couple pairs of athletic shorts, so my mom took my siblings and me there. I chose my shorts, but because my mom was looking for other stuff, I had the chance to pop on over to the juniors' section of clothing. 

It was there that I found the inspiration for this post: why don't I comment on what we teens are supposedly wearing today?

I took a lot of pictures. I'm sure people thought I was being crazy.

But I'm going to tell you the verdict beforehand: FLORAL.

Basically every single thing in there was floral. I'm not even kidding. Look at all these:



(I was wearing this, by the way. An old soccer T-shirt with old gym shorts and $8 sort-of-Toms knockoffs.)







How do they expect us to walk in those?


That's better.


They're like pajama pants...except they aren't.



Flowers.


Flowers.


Flowers.


Flowers.


Hippie jewelry is coming in too, Cimorelli-esque.

Wow. This explains why I'm not considered stylish. If I'm honest, I probably wouldn't wear anything shown above. Maybe some of the earrings and the longer jeans shorts, but those pajama-pants-that-aren't-pajama-pants? And that blue floral top?

Wow, wow, wow. (Please note I'm not trying to rake down anyone's style; I'm just kind of trying to figure out our generation's fashion sense.)

It's funny to see how people have changed--or haven't. People in my parents' generation used to wear things like this:




Actually, on second thought, I'm not seeing much of a difference between our generation and our parents'.

I'm pretty sure, though, that crop tops and high-waisted shorts and whatever on earth we wear are going to fade away. And our kids'll be like, Mom, what were you WEARING? (I actually don't keep up with fashion trends, and hopefully soccer T-shirts and gym shorts will still be a thing in the future.)

But we'll be like, Look, our eyebrows are so on fleek! and our kids'll groan and we'll look at each other and burst out laughing, and then my husband (or somebody) will be like, "Remember Ariana Grande? And, like, Taylor Swift?" and one of my kids will be like, "Who are those?" And then we'll say, "Do you guys know what Trivia Crack is? Or an iPhone?" And they'll be like, What's that?

And we'll just look at each other and say, "Man, you have so much to learn."













Friday, February 20, 2015

What Just Murdered My Eyeballs?

Pretty sure school just murdered my eyeballs.


I'm not even kidding. Wednesday was the worst day of 2015 for me so far, and guess why?

SCHOOL. HOMEWORK. LIFE.

Guys, I am juggling:

  • 3 different blogs
  • Writing/editing two books in time for querying by May (I would be working on those, but I'm saving that for tomorrow because I only have fifteen minutes right now.)
  • HOMEWORK. This is literally 75% of my life. Homework. 
  • 2-3 different clubs at school.
  • Tennis/exercise.
  • Chores. My mom just taught me how to clean the bathroom. (*holla!*)
  • Like, dude, being social with friends and family.
  • GOD. How could I have left this to the very end?
Sometimes it just makes me feel better to spell it all out. I like organization. I (somewhat) like methodicalism. Also, Jill Williamson just followed my blog, and I'm all like Whaaaaaat?

She has a kool name, by the way. Four l's. L is my favorite letter after R, A, and K. 

What am I even doing right now?

What has been going on in my life?

I started a new thing called Team Tennis today. I made myself do it because I need to practice if I'm going to be on varsity next year. Fridays from 4:30-6 are officially blocked, which is good, because before I spent that time watching YouTube.

I am generally unproductive on Fridays. It's awful. I try to stop it.

Whoops, people are here for our Friday Night Bible Study. I'd better go, and I'll probably see you later. It's just that I haven't posted since last Saturday :-)

BYE! 

P.S. What's up with you?






Saturday, February 14, 2015

THINGS THAT I WILL NOT MAKE MY BOYFRIEND DO ON VALENTINE'S DAY

I actually have no feelings, really, about Valentine's Day.


To me, it's just one of those pinkish reddish superficial holidays that passes in a blink. I also feel like it caters more toward the ladies rather than the men, and I find that weird. There are two people in the relationship, after all.

I don't got no bae (I LOATHE THAT WORD WITH A PASSION, YET I STILL USE IT BECAUSE I'M SUPPOSED TO BE "RELATABLE"), but in the future, I hopefully will. So, out of love and respect (because no matter how much I pooh-pooh romance, I do enjoy a good chick flick), I will not make him do the following things:

1) WATCH (too many) CHICK FLICKS.

I never really got this, you know. Whenever I read books or movies where two characters are in a relationship, they always "argue" over what move to watch, and it's usually to the extremes: 27 Dresses or Air Force 1? Pride and Prejudice or Shawshank Redemption?

Why does the pendulum have to be so swingy? Choose something in the middle, something that both can enjoy! The Avengers, maybe? (Okay, that's not really romantic...but who says Valentine's Day has to be about romance?.......Okay, okay.) Captain America? (That has some romance.) Spiderman? (Ever heard of Peter Parker and Mary Jane?)

Wow. All of those movies are superhero movies.

Okay, what about an inspirational sports movie? Facing the Giants? It gives you a feel-good feeling, and there are some tender moments. Little Big League? Rookie of the Year?

Ahhhhhhh.

Okay, then what about an animated flick? How to Train Your Dragon 2? Big Hero 6?

Why do we have to watch Jane Austen and Band of Brothers all the time?

Okay, so I might make him watch the occasional chick flick (*coughcough* A Walk to Remember). Mostly so we can laugh at its utter cheesiness. (I hope he never names a star after me.)

2) BUY ME FLOWERS.

Flowers are extremely unpractical (even for me), and I'd rather see a field of living ones versus a bunch of dead ones in a vase.

Okay, okay, I know. It's the thought that counts, and I know that it's sweet. If he bought me some on a whim, I wouldn't mind. It's just that if he asked me if I wanted flowers, I'd say no. Get me some pretty rocks or something. (As a matter of fact, yes. I would rather have those shiny colored pebbles over a bouquet of flowers. And yes, I am being serious.)

Actually, I would prefer notebooks over flowers. Notebooks look cute, and I can use them. I really like notebooks.

Or what about just BOOKS?

Wait, no. If he bought me books I'd probably ignore him for the rest of the evening and read.

3) TAKE ME TO FANCY RESTAURANTS.

Fancy restaurants are not my thing. At all. I can never figure out how to keep my napkin in my lap even at Mimi's Cafe (it keeps sliding off). My clothes would probably give the maitre d (I just Googled how to spell that) shivers. And worse of all, I'd probably just end up getting a cheeseburger. But then, it'd probably be one of those mini ones that cost $14, plus tax and tip, and then I wouldn't be full and we'd have to go on a late-night McDonalds run.

Yup.

I mean, fancy restaurants are fine. I'd like to go to one at least once in my life, just for the experience. But they're so not my thing. I'd rather have a picnic. (Like a legit picnic, where you sit on a blanket and have a basket and sandwiches and everything.) Or go to one of those nitrogen ice cream places where they freeze the ice cream for you right on the spot.

4) BUY ME CANDY...wait, wait, wait no no nonono.

I still need my chocolate fix. I also figured out today that I really like Swedish Fish. I also love Sour Patch Kids, Skittles, Hershey's bars, cinnamon pretzels, and Rollos. Plus Reese's, Godiva, Harry & David...If there's anything you want to get me on Valentine's Day, get me candy!


Happy Valentine's Day, whether you're single, married, or anywhere in between!







Saturday, February 7, 2015

2.1-2.7 | beautiful photos + the way i eat

aaaaandddddd....she's back!

how ya doin', children?

It's Rcubed again! Yay!

This week was pretty typical.

Actually, Monday-Friday was pretty typical, but Saturday and Sunday weren't. I actually had social time on Saturday and Sunday.

I met up with some other people from FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes, but it's not really Christian Athletes, more like Christians) for bonding and Lazer Tagging and burgers, which was really fun. I got to know people a lot more, and it was really nice seeing people shine fer Jesus, y'know? Especially people I know from school. And Lazer Tag...I don't know, but I'm actually kind of OK at it. At all other games, I stink, but Lazer Tag makes me feel like I can be good at things for once. It's especially fulfilling when there's a person all the way across the room and I shoot them and they look around for anyone who shot them, but HA! I'm all the way across the room! They can't see me!

(The only time in life in which I will be a ninja. Sad.)

Then on Sunday, I met up with my friend (who has the same name as I do, haha) from my old school. I haven't seen her in a year, so it was really awesome. We were going to see a movie, but then her credit card wouldn't work (!!!!!!) so we just walked around and went to Target and bought food and talked. It was fun:)

I took a lot of pictures while I was waiting for her, because it was a sunny day and there was a fountain and it was supremely picturesque.






The rest of the week was fairly typical: school, school, freakouts, more school. One thing did change, though: I maybesortakinda worked out a lot? And I ate decently healthy! I decided that I was tired of eating all this junk food in between meals and not exercising at all. I also don't want to be out of shape for tennis season, so I was like, You know what? I'm going to be healthy!

So I didn't exactly plan it out yet (but I probably will), but the gist of it is that I have an "eating routine" (I eat at certain amounts of certain foods at certain times of the day) and I'm not going to have any dessert/cookies/candy except on Fridays (because Fridays are the bomb). I'm also going to be running or doing stadium jumps or going on my mom's exercise bike (it sounds fancy, but it's not really), just to stay in shape.

In case you're wondering what an "eating routine" looks like, here's mine:

In terms of exercise, the challenge came in the form of this: My tennis team was running 1.7 miles to train for an upcoming 5k, and as we were panting and breathing hard, the boys' cross-country team passed us and one person said, "Are you running eight miles?" 

Man, that snark in his voice...

I'm not one to turn down a challenge, so henceforth, I am going to train to run eight miles. 

Yes. Eight miles.

By the time school gets out. (In June.)

I just want to be able to do it once in my lifetime.

So yeah. That was my week. It was pretty boring. How was yours? Did you do anything crazy? Or not crazy? I wanna hear!