Monday, December 31, 2012

A Fine Dash of Recollection

Forewarning: The following post contains the type of cheesy, unabashed sentimentality that could result in the demise of whatever cynic-cred I accumulated this past month. I am totally okay with this.

I love 2012. In my old age, when I start to indulge in the recollection of past events in my life, 2012 is the year I will look back on and say, "That year? That crapfest made me who I am."

So obviously, a lot of terrible things happened to me this year. Now normally, I would say that I don't want to focus on those events--that they aren't important and it won't do me any good to think back on them. But that's not true this time. Some of those stalls in the Crapfest Carnival are important, and I can learn from them. So I've taken the time today to remember them on my own, because I'm not about to display my personal life atrocities on the internet.

This post isn't about all that gross stuff, though. I'm making this post about all the amazing things that happened to me this year, which are many. Here is a short list, reminiscing about the events that happened this year which I have dubbed, "friggin awesome":

  • Read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. After I finished TFIOS, I cried very hard for a very long time. This book brought out of me, more crap than the sewer scene in Les Mis. It was the perfect emotional cleanse to begin the year. 
  • I met my hero. Meeting John Green was as logically unspectacular as you would imagine. I was ushered up to the table and we greeted each other. I thanked him for being, you know, him. He signed my book and we parted ways. But that wasn't the moment that made that night at The Tour de Nerdfighting the greatest night of my life so far. No, it was the moment about 45 minutes before, as the show was coming to a close. John and Hank were standing no more than 6 feet in front of me (I sat in the 3rd row), singing The Proclaimers. Hank strummed his guitar as John screamed his off-key ta-da-la-das. I was cloaked in the warm, bow tie-loving blanket of Nerdfightera and for those few minutes, life was perfect. (This night also resulted in my being in a vlogbrothers video for about 3 seconds. "How It Felt," 0:30-0:33, girl in the purple sweater in the aisle on the 3rd row, clapping and swaying and smiling like a mental patient.) 
  • Meeting the stars of The Hunger Games at The Hunger Games Mall Tour. I know that movie stars are just shiny, empty shells as far as inspirational people go, but I will never forget the moment I stood in front of Josh Hutcherson and had the following conversation: "Hi, I'm Emily!" "Hey," he said, emanating all the perfect. "I'm Josh." "*embarrassingly pre-teen giggle* Yeah, I know." Golden, Emily. Golden.
  • Being apart of my co-op's production of Peter Pan. I had been in my school's big production last year, and hadn't talked to anyone. Very much a social recluse. This year, I had friends and made incredible memories, especially during the hell that was tech week. Definitely one of my fondest memories as far as theater is concerned. 
  • I was the co-stage manager/dance captain for a local theater company's production of Aladdin Jr--my first time being behind the scenes. I was there for the entire rehearsal process and discovered another, more take-charge side of myself. Being in a role of authority was new for me, and seeing another side of "show business" provided benefits that will help me as I continue to pursue theater. 
  • My siblings and I reached a level of maturity where we can now see each other as human beings, not just my annoying little/older brother/sister.
  • I reaccepted God. 
  • I got the lead in my school's musical.
  • I read 70 books.
  • I wrote a frickin novel. 
  • I finally reached the point where I can look back on and cherish old memories, without wishing they were my present. 
I know it's cheesy enough to put in the microwave and pour over a bowl of tortilla chips, but 2012 had its ups and downs, and I'm thankful for every single moment. (Although I could have done without that bad case of the flu. Not pleasant.) Memories make up who we are, and I'm happy with my lot.

Don't worry, Blog. I'll see you in 2013. But until then, it's New Year's Eve and the world is celebrating.

Afterwarning: I told you.

  • (Oh yeah, and I blogged every day in December. Thanks for sticking with me.)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Palest Kids on the Wizarding Block

I want you to do something with me. On the count of 3, I want us all to share in one huge collective sigh of relief. Ready? 1, 2, 3... (This is the part where I'm supposed to ask you "did you do it?" But since you and I are big kids, we can cut the charades since obviously no one ever does anything the internet tells them to do.) The reason I want us to share in this relaxing formation of carbon dioxide is because I just had what is sure to be the longest day of my year. Since noon yesterday, a total of 5 teenage girls have been guests in my home as together we watched all 8 of the Harry Potter movies. It was chaotic and incredible. There was butter beer and amortentia potion and lots of talk concerning Rupert Grint's biceps--so, you know, your typical girl stuff.

Look, I love my friends. They are crazy, wonderful human beings who I am so thankful like me and choose to spend their time with me. But over 24 hours of constant human interaction can really plum-tucker a girl out. I feel like when people hear the term "introvert", they automatically think "anti-social." This could not be further from the truth. Nothing gets me more excited than sharing giddy talks with my friends that focus around pale, British movie stars, (Oh, Dan Rad: the king of awkward, pale Brits) but after awhile, I start to miss my quiet room, with my desk lamp lighting the pages of a book. (Or in this case, my television lighting the blank stare on my face as I lie on the sofa, cramming all the junk foods down my throat.)

What I think is really important here is balance. I can't become a hermit--unbathed and hissing curses at the sunlight. But I shouldn't force myself into strenuous social situation; I want to enjoy the time spent with my friends, not suffer through it. Argh. All of my thoughts are clouding in my mind. Seriously, it's like if you smashed a bunch of mugs and compiled all their pieces into a huge mountain of cracked china--all the pictures of kittens meshing with multiple depictions of Peanuts characters--that's my brain right now. Oh dear goodness. That radioactive spill of a metaphor is the perfect justification for just how tired I am, isn't it? A PLAGUE ON YOU, CRAPPY METAPHOR. A PLAGUE ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES. (Who's to say that Crappy Metaphor doesn't have a vacation home, or a timeshare in Boston, perhaps?)

...I'm going to go get some sleep. Expect some overly-sentimental musings about 2012 tomorrow. No joke, I can get pretty sissy about this stuff.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Haul Cop-Out

I feel like if you looked back on this blog every day project, you would find that half the posts say something along the lines of "busy today, here's a short post because I can't be bothered to write something long for you urchins. BE GONE." Actually, that's probably verbatim now that I think about it... Anyway, since I tend to stick to what I know, I'm busy today so here's a Christmas haul... urchins.

My entire clean-up this year was books with the exception of some awesome PJ pants from my sister and some Adventure Time Mad Libs from my darling brother. So here's a picture of my beautiful books (Yes, I am bragging. But just a little bit.)
I know that reading that text is probably as difficult as watching the Food Network when you're on a diet, so here are all the books I received (from top to bottom):
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Selection by Kiera Cass
Legend by Marie Lu
Every Day by David Levithan
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

I know that I said some cocky things and that hauls in general just (General Just *salute*) seem sort of braggy, but I really am thankful for having such wonderful family members who love me enough to buy me these gorgeous books and the knowledge they contain. ("I got a laptop! What did you get for Christmas, Emily?" "KNOWLEDGE, BITCH.") I hope you're happy with whatever presents you received this season. If you need me, I'll be reading. (LOL as if. I gotta go clean my house before my friends come over. So if you do need me, please don't. Because I'll be vacuuming.)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Why I Don't Date in High School

[This post is a quasi-response (Thanks, Ned Vizzini) to Abby over at apeckofowls. Her post is here, and although it's not necessary to read it to understand the rest of what you're about to see, I think you should because her writing is genuinely, wonderfully witty and I can't get enough of it.]

Welp. It was bound to come up sooner or later--like the Taco Party Pack you scarfed down on a dare. I'm going to talk about dating. But not like, actual dating. (Or at least what I consider to be actual dating.) I'm going to talk about that thing teenagers do that they call dating.

I want to start by saying that my experience in this field is a big, fat zero. The only relationship I've ever had was in the 4th grade when I gave Sam T. a note telling him that I liked him and the next day he approached me, saying he reciprocated my feelings. We were the hottest gossip among all the 9-year-olds. So feel free to completely disregard everything I say if you feel like I'm unqualified or uninformed or a skank-hoe who don't know what she's talking 'bout. Sorry. Just telling it like I see it.

Everywhere--at school and on social networks--I see all my friends completely destroying themselves over boys. They're heartbroken, they're frustrated, they're over it. It seems like all they talk about is The Boy in Algebra or The Boy in the Cardigan. Romance drives their lives. And I totally get it. When I was 14, I couldn't go a half-an-hour without daydreaming about my crush. And without my realizing it, it became unhealthy.

Everywhere you look, you see people telling girls to not change who they are for guys. But that wasn't the problem. I gave up who I was for guys--they were all I thought about. It was like this for such a long time, and I was miserable. So I stopped thinking about them. And do you know what happened? My life got better. My friendships grew stronger. My self-confidence went through the roof once I stopped competing for boys' attention.

Now, I'm a junior in high school, and boys don't seem worth it anymore. I want to spend time with my friends and working on projects that I love, like writing and theater. I have people and activities that are more worthy of my time than The Boy in the Cardigan.

I'm not worried about never finding someone. I have so much time. Plus, even if I did have a boyfriend, what would come out of it? It would definitely shut up that part of me that wants to kiss and cuddle (among other things), but that relationship would never go anywhere. Know why? Because I'm a teenager, and teenagers are in a constant state of transformation. I'm still forming my opinions about the world and discovering who I am and what I want to do while I'm here. I'm changing every day. Seriously, I look at who I was, not even years ago, but six months ago, and that girl is a completely different person from who I am now. I know I'm going to get married one day, and right now, my husband is walking around this planet somewhere. But he is not the man I'm going to marry yet, nor am I the woman he's going to fall in love with. We both need time. How could we build a strong relationship on an ever-changing foundation?

I'm not saying that this is the case with everyone. If you are are able to casually date someone and learn from that without damaging you or them, that's fantastic. Rare, but fantastic.

So if you are in high school and all of your peers are dating and the stress of it all is smothering you, take a step back. Being young is exhausting, and it seems impossible to figure out who you are by yourself, much less who you are as a part of a couple. So give it up for a bit. Focus on you and making yourself a better person--a better friend, or a better writer, or a better trombone player, or whatever it is you think you want to do. I guarantee all the "good ones" won't be gone once you're happy with yourself and your life.

I know this life view sounds like it's coming from one of those Bible-waving mothers who wants teenagers to "stay pure" and "resist temptation." (I do kind of believe in those things, but that's not important right now.) I'm not trying to get you to practice abstinence or join my church group--I'm just sharing how I've dealt with this issue and the positive effect it's had on me. But really, after all that, I could've summed this up in one sentence: BOYS R DUM DO WHAT U LUV YOLOOOOO.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Be the Change: Reaching Corners

Taking another mental rest day. I went to the eye doctor and picked out some sweet new specs. Now I'm gonna go make a root beer float and watch Heroes.
Here's an essay I wrote about how I can "be the change in 2013." It's not bad considering I wrote it in under an hour. Enjoy it, or don't. I really don't care. It's called "Reaching Corners":

I believe that at one point in her life, every female has been “The Girl in the Corner.” Symptoms of GIC Syndrome include, but are not limited to: aversion to eye contact, mumbled speech, and a radius of at least 2 feet between patient and her peers (length of radius subject to change for crowded parties).
For years, I dealt with the title of GIC hanging over my head. It became my identity wherever I went. I would miss my chance to fit in every time, when my anxiety became too much for me to handle, and I resigned myself to the seat on the far side of the room. I was safe there. Safe from what, I don’t know. Rejection, maybe? Judgment. Ridicule. All I knew was that it was much easier to observe than participate.
Not participating creates a wonderful shield from rejection and all those other nasty things I mentioned. But, the thing about a shield is, it will block out all the good stuff, too—the sun as well as the rain. It blocked out the conversations and laughter. I wasn’t feeling the pain, but I also wasn’t experiencing the joy.
Every day I would enter a room, and from behind the pages of my book (or whatever wall I chose to hide behind that day), I would peer out, praying for someone—anyone—to rescue me. My corner was a lake, and I was drowning—my head bobbing up and down beneath the waves of my insecurities. It was a prison, and I was my own jailor.
Then, from out of the blue, a life preserver was thrown—a key was placed in its lock and turned. She walked over, stuck out her hand, and introduced herself. The words were utterly ordinary, but the conversation was life changing. This one social interaction led to a string of others. If I could successfully talk to this girl without stumbling over my words and making a complete fool of myself, surely I could do it with other people. Slowly, they came to my corner—always friendly and interesting. There was something inside of me that wasn’t there before: that joy that I had been so afraid of trying for. Soon, I knew it was time to venture out of my corner—that I had to be the one to seek out contact. My confidence grew as I did in my youth: steady, and awkward, and noticeable.
Now, it’s my turn. My turn to throw a line to those drowning—to unlock the door of another’s personal jail cell.
Each of us knits our own blanket of generosity. Most people only make theirs big enough to touch themselves and their immediate circle of family and friends, forgetting those on the outside, who are too far away to reach. This year, I want to work a little harder—even if it means going outside my comfort zone—to make a blanket large enough to reach the corners.

See you tomorrow when I'll hopefully be in a better mood.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Fear is the Heart of Love

Taking a break from being happy, and feeling sorry for myself today.

Sometimes I write poems.

Here's one of them:

We no longer take our trips to Paris and London,
You and I.
The coats are hung up,
dried out,
with dust.
Wake up, I whisper.
You've been sleeping,
dreaming and distorting,
twisting the sheets with your thoughts.
Please, my hand is ready.
Take it,
and join me on an adventure a little closer
to home.

In case you were wondering, yes. They are all that depressing.

Sometimes I wonder if I like being bummed out--if I think staying inside and feeling morbid while listening to Death Cab songs seems like a better use of my time than going out and having a fun time with friends. Being happy is exhausting. When you're happy you have to... do stuff. Stuff like putting on clothes that don't have elastic waistbands and leaving your sofa. That just doesn't fly with me. Maybe I'm not depressed, just lazy. That's probably it.

I don't really have a way to end these things anymore. Way to leave it on a high note, Emily.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Looking Forward To It

Currently, my family and I are sitting in our living room, watching the Doctor Who Christmas special on our DVR, and holding our bellies after a mexican feast (more on this tomorrow, maybe.) I really want to spend the rest of the night in their company, so I'm going to have to make this post short.

Every year, my father brings home Nerds Ropes for all us kids. As it is with most traditions, the origins of this are unknown. But every year without fail, I attempt to eat all the nerds off the nerds rope, leaving only the sticky remains of the red, jelly rope that lies underneath (without breaking the rope.) I have never accomplished this, and today was no exception. This year, however, I actually had the chance to finish--to achieve that which I strived to achieve since before I can remember. I was no less than 3 centimeters away from finishing, when I was struck with this realization: if I eat all the nerds off my nerds rope now, what will I do next year? Suddenly, finishing didn't seem important. It was trying that was important--that's what excited me, what inspired me. I held the rope in my hands, and pulled.

Maybe next year.

Merry Christmas.

Tonight's ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas Feature: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Christmas-tastic Thing of the Day: That feeling that you get in your chest when you're sitting around the Christmas tree with your family, eating and laughing and merry-making. Despite the freezing weather outside, it's still a warm feeling.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday Tag (With Heavy Christmas Influences)

I'm not sure whether it's technically cheating to do a tag, but I have a Christmas Eve service to attend tonight, and I just woke up from a nap, so this is what you're getting.

1. Favorite Christmas Movie?
Please refer here.

2. Are you on the Naughty List or Nice List?
I'm on the morally duplicitous list. Now shut up and give me my presents... please?

3. Show us an embarrassing Christmas photo
Ugh, fine. Here's an embarrassing snapshot of me at a Christmas party.

4. Have you ever had a White Christmas?
Probably, but I don't remember. I have a pretty unspectacular memory.

5. Where do you usually spend your holiday?
At home, slack-jawed in front of my TV, watching the Doctor Who Christmas special.

6.  Favorite Christmas Song?
While I'm partial to making fun of the fantastically awful "Christmas Shoes," I have a feeling you mean favorite Christmas song that I actually like. In that case, "It Must Have Been Old Santa Clause" sung by Harry Connick Jr.

7. Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?
My family's usual tradition is that we each get to open one present on Christmas Eve. However, this year we're scrapping that because my sister works on Christmas from 6-2. So I will be ripping open my Christmas presents with my teeth tonight at 9. Joy to the world.

8. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Doc, Grumpy, and Papa Smurf.

9. What holiday (Christmas) tradition are you looking forward to most this year?
My mom's candy cane cookies are my favorite.

10. Is your Christmas tree real or fake?
A lady never tells. (Real.)

11. Be Honest: do you like giving gifts or getting gifts better?
Getting, because I genuinely suck at gift giving. If I could be like one of those amazing shoppers who buys everyone the right gift that perfectly suits them, I'd probably like giving more. But, unfortunately, I will always be the gift-carder. So, getting. Also, wrapping paper is fun.

12. What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?
Now it's time for Cliche Dreams with Emily: I've always wanted to see the Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting. It's just so big, ya know?

13. Are you a pro-present wrapper, or do you fail miserably?
I'm pretty handy with the square gifts, like books and DVDs. But give me a figurine of a happy frog jumping over a lily pad, and that s--- is going to look like a cat threw up a ball of wrapping paper.

14. Most memorable holiday (CHRISTMAS. SAY IT WITH ME: CHRIST. MAS. Seriously, it's a CHRISTMAS tag. No jewish people are going to get angry with you if you say Christmas in a Christmas tag.) moment?
Going with my best friend in our Snuggies to see Sherlock Holmes at midnight on Christmas Eve. (Christmas Day?)

15. What made you realize the truth about Santa?
My parent's never performed the whole Santa ballet with me. They respected my intellect too much, even at such an early age. (Kids at my school made fun of me for writing a letter to Santa when I was eight.)

16. Do you make New Years Resolutions? Do you stick to them?
Nah. If I want to change something about myself, I don't need New Years as an excuse. I can start flossing any time of the year.

17. What makes the holidays (Christmas) special for you?
Atmosphere. It's all about the atmosphere. Oh, and family and friends are nice too, I guess.

The end. I cut out all the boring questions for you. (You're welcome.)
It really doesn't feel like it's Christmas Eve yet. I feel like I'm just getting into the swing of this seasonal  stuff, like there's still a week or two left to go. But I guess this is one of those things that's gonna go ahead without you, even if you're not prepared for it. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas Eve. Or not if Christmas isn't your thing. You can take a peaceful walk, or enjoy a slice of pizza. (Appropriate way to be gracious towards everybody in the holiday season is appropriate.)

Tonight's ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas Feature: Home Alone
Christmas-tastic Thing of the Day: Puppy's First Christmas by Nanalew

Sunday, December 23, 2012

You know, sweetie, I'm kind of tired. Can we just stay in?

Hello, Blog. I feel like we've reached the sweatpants point in our relationship. You know, that point where I stop wearing eyeliner and you stop going to the bathroom to release your particularly odorous gas, and our idea of a Sunday night is sitting on the couch, watching Once Upon a Time while eating Taco Bell. Anyway, today's post is going to be whatever the blog version of that is. A sort of mutual surrender, if you will. Not that I've been gussying myself up to sit in front of a computer and type every night. No, no. PJ pants and oversized T-shirts will more than suffice for an evening on the web.

Now, to further that relationship metaphor, I'm going to prattle on and on about my day, pretending that you're listening with utmost concern. You may, however, as the role of the beer-bellied boyfriend, feel free to guzzle an alcoholic beverage, attacking at your ear with your pinky finger, all the while nodding and encouraging me with a generically comforting "Uh, huh. That's nice, honey."

Ready? Let the feigned emotional interest begin!

Technically, my day started at the stroke of midnight, when I was halfway through an amazing book I had picked up hours before called Monument 14. It was described to me as The Breakfast Club during the apocalypse, which included two of my favorite things: teen angst, and total destruction of society. I stayed up until 4 AM to finish, whereupon I spent the next 10 minutes quietly crying over the ending while trying not to wake everyone in my house. My hushed sobs where to no avail, however, because my sister, whom I share a room with, woke up only to tell me shut my gab, that it was just a book, and that those people weren't real. I still cried myself to sleep--my mind muttering the mantra of fangirls across the nation, "They just don't understand, they just don't understand...."

I woke up the next (same) morning (afternoon) at 2, my hair defying all gravitational laws of physics, and shlepped downstairs to devour the leftover candy from last night's family gingerbread house decorating"party." The next 9 hours were spent on my living room couch, reading and chewing, and reading and licking, and reading and smacking. (With breaks in-between to check the internet, of course.)

And that was my day! Thanks for listening, hun. Can you turn up the TV and pass the nachos?

Tonight's ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas Feature: How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Christmas-tastic Thing of the Day: Sorry, kid. Recession and all.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Why I'll Never Be Successful

This might come as somewhat of a shock to you, but I try to do things well. When the things I work on come out like Rebecca Black's music, it's not out of lack of effort. It's because I genuinely suck at things.

For instance, I have about as tough a time coming up with topics for this blog as the Glee writer's have making up far-fetched reasons to bring old cast members back for Season 4. In case you haven't noticed, I usually write about whatever crazy-ass thought pops into my head as soon as I sit down in front of my monitor (hence yesterday's post).

Sometimes, I'll be shopping, or schooling, or just generally gracing the outside world with my presence, and I'll have an idea for a blog post so I write it down on my hand. Well, the last couple of nights, my sleep schedule has been a little off, which means that I go to bed at 4 in the morning and don't wake up until 2. I get pretty delirious when I'm tired, (Example: two years ago at my friend's 14th birthday party, I chugged an entire 2 liter bottle of Sprite, giving me an insane sugar buzz for about an hour, before crashing harder than the plane in that new Denzel Washington movie. Long story short: me. At 2 A.M.. Laughing so hard that I begin crying. Not the funny, ha-ha-I'm-laughing-so-hard-I'm-crying crying. I mean the sobbing-I-just-watched-Titanic-and-feel-so-alone-I'll-never-have-a-love-like-theirs' crying. It was traumatizing for everyone in the room, but things lightened once I rubbed chocolate frosting all over my nose. Like I said, delirious.) so last night at approximately 4:05 in the morning I get the idea for the best blog post ever. Like, if there was an award for most awesome-amazing-awe-inspiring-here-have-yacht-you're-such-a-good-writer blog post, they would give it to this post in a second. So I get a pen, and write the idea on my hand before passing out on the couch. Next morning, I wake up and look at my hand to find a poorly scrawled message in black sharpie written there. This message, the idea that would win me numerous blogger awards and send me spiraling across the interwebs for my comic intellect that would inspire a generation, was: "Grinch." *INFINITE HEADDESK*

So, I wrote this masterpiece instead.

3 days till Christmas. In the immortal words of Jay-Z, that s--- cray.

Tonight's ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas Feature: The Santa Clause 2
Christmas-tastic Thing of the Day: Grinch. Duh.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Confessions of a Teenage Zombie

Well, it's happened. The mayans predicted it and damn if they weren't spot on. Yeah, I'm a zombie now.

 I got Z'd up (Slang credit: John Green) a couple hours ago when I heard a sound coming from my back door. I knew it was the 21st, but like every other seemingly sound-minded individual on the planet, I thought it was a hoax. Which is why when I opened my door, I expected to see my cat, begging to be let in from the cold, and not the zombified version of my 6 foot asian neighbor coming at me with his mouth slacked and eyes tinged with yellow.

Being a zombie isn't as bad as movies and television has made it out to be. I've retained a fair amount of my motor skills, and "the stink" hasn't started yet. One thing I'm kind of worried about, though, is my braces. I've thought about hobbling to my orthodontist to ask him if he could take them off early, seeing as a "picture perfect smile" isn't exactly a necessity for the undead. (Because I'm sure all the teenage boys are ready to look past my green-tinted skin, decaying insides, and lust for their brains as soon as they see my pearly whites.) But I figure he'll just freak out and try to attack me with whatever sharp orthodontic instruments he can get his rubber-gloved hands on.

 I'm worried my braces may inhibit my biting abilities. If I'm going to be a zombie, I may as well be the best zombie I can be, right? But what if I bite people, and instead of just contracting the zombie virus, they also get tetanus? Then I'll have a bunch of lock-jawed zombies running around, handicapped by their inability to bite human flesh, and it'll be all my fault. The entire downfall of the Z race will plummet, and it will be on my slowly decomposing shoulders.

Maybe it won't be so bad. It's probably better that the humans win, isn't it? I may have been one of the first to enter the Z pack, but that doesn't mean you uninfected don't deserve a chance.

I know I said that being a zombie isn't that bad, but I'm starting to realize all the things I didn't get to do in the human world. I don't harbor a lot of large regrets, just small ones--the things that I put off or dismissed as unimportant. I wish that I'd been nicer to this person. I wish I'd traveled to this place. Wish I'd written more. Read more. Connected more.

So if you're reading this, and your heart is still pumping blood through your veins, enjoy it while you can. Be alive, do things, build something better for someone in this world that is so full of decay.

I'm typing this up on the laptop of a guy in Starbucks whose brain I just devoured whole. (For the record, brains? Every bit as mushy and slimy as you'd expect.) Poor sap, I noticed a word document open on his desktop with an unfinished screenplay he had obviously been working on. It's not bad, either. I could probably see Paul Rudd playing the lead. Anyway, it's getting pretty difficult to type because my fingers are starting to fall off. Post-World Problems, am I right? Ah well, happy apocalypse, everyone. iufyhjrbnklihbrainssssss...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Have a Holly, Jolly Apocalypse

All day long, I have been pushing myself to accomplish the simplest tasks.
Emily, get out of bed.
Emily, it doesn't count if you get out of your bed, and then walk downstairs to sleep on the couch.
Emily, put clothes on.
Emily, don't put your brother's clothes on.
Emily, eat breakfast.
Emily, a fudgesicle is not breakfast.
Emily, get out of the car.
Emily, don't be emotionless zombie, because the world is ending, so there's a high chance of a crazy person ACTUALLY mistaking you for the undead, and taking a weed whacker to your abdomen. 

I tell myself to do these things, because if I don't, I'm afraid that I'll forget, and end up writhing around on the floor all day in my pajamas, muttering "I don't wanna," to nobody but myself. During break, it's so easy to not accomplish anything. That's why I enjoy reading, because it's something that I do for entertainment, that also makes me feel a sense of snobbish accomplishment. ("Oh, you finished watching Doctor Who over break? That's nice. I read 10 novels." Nevermind that they were all sappy YA contemporaries. IT'S STILL LITERATURE, I SAY.) But days like this one, when it's too cold to even let your feet peek out of the blanket in fear of them being flash-frozen by the frigid air, make trying to hold a book a feat bone-chilling enough to be featured on Fear Factor.

All this to say: after my orthodontist appointment at 8:30 in the morning, I spent the rest of the day on my couch watching Scrubs. #JDANDTURK4LYFE #BestWayToSpendLastDayOnEarth #YeahIUseHashTagsOutsideOfTwitter

Tonight's ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas Feature: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (I love that I'm still posting these even though I haven't posted before 8 o'clock since like, the third day. Just letting you know what you missed, I suppose.)
Christmas-tastic Thing of the Day: 1 in every 6 Americans gets depressed during the winter. Wheeeeeee.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's Better When You Like Stuff

Today, I had one of those days where nothing particularly bad happens, but by the end of it your insides are grey and solemn and you no longer feel capable of emotion. Since that could make for a pretty boring blog post, I have an idea to bring myself out of this mood. And that is to simply make a list of things that I love:

  • Christmas cookies
  • Fast food (just enough to satisfy the craving, but not enough to make you feel gross afterwards)
  • After racing to finish a book, getting to those last few pages where you start to slow down. Reaching the last sentence and reading it over and over again until it's engraved in your memory forever
  • Sitting on a couch with your best friend, watching TV, eating junk food, and wearing fat pants--not wanting to be doing anything else
  • Drawing the perfect doodle
  • Sheldon Cooper
  • Finishing my homework before noon and having the entire day to goof off
  • Reading right next to a window when it's raining outside, and hearing the pitter-patter of the raindrops
  • Dance rehearsals
  • Haircuts that make you feel hotter than you did before you got in the chair
  • Writing a sentence that's so good, you just have to read it a couple times over
  • Making genuinely nice small talk with a store clerk
  • When you turn on the TV just as your favorite movie begins playing
  • When your sister is watching the TV, and you go up to her asking to watch something, expecting her to say no, and she just hands over the remote
  • Drowning scrambled eggs in Taco Bell hot sauce
  • Making a movie reference at a party and a stranger knows what you're talking about
  • When your cat jumps on your lap and starts sleeping, without you having to coax it into staying there
  • When you finish a math lesson in less than a hour, not because it was easy work or there weren't a lot of problems assigned, but just because you understand it
  • Tina Fey
  • When the worst day of your live turns into one of the best after your best friend leaves an encouraging note on your doorstep
  • Books for a dollar at the thrift store
  • My family
  • My church
  • The sour dust at the bottom of the bag
  • Teriyaki chicken

Well, the warm feeling in my chest tells me my work here is complete. I encourage you to make a list of thing you love, too, if you're ever having a bad day. Remembering the good stuff can really do wonders for a person's mood.

Tonight's ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas Feature: The Polar Express
Christmas-tastic Thing of the Day: This picture of Tom Hank's filming The Polar Express

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Thoughts from Places: Seattle

Today was a day I had been waiting for ever since last week when my father came home with free passes to a special preview showing of Les Miserables. But if I wanted to get to the theater, I was going to have to take a bus downtown to Seattle. Now, I wouldn't necessarily call myself a traveler. I've only been out of the state twice, thrice if you count the time my family went to New York when I was five. But I wouldn't really count that trip considering the only thing I remember was being devastated after losing my Hello Kitty sunglasses on the subway. Even if I had been a more experienced traveler and gone all around the globe, I still think Seattle would be at the top of my list.

My sister and I sat near the front of the bus, facing forward because my sister gets carsick. I read my book on the way there. It was an oddly sunny for December, especially considering we don't get that much sun even in August. A few minutes after we boarded the bus, barely at the start of our journey, the sun decided not to peek behind its mask, but just rip the whole thing off, bearing its dazzling smile in all its glory. Everything was bright; the white pages of my book shined a white-hot gold. It almost hurt to keep my eyes open, and I thought about shutting them, but decided to enjoy it instead. You have to treasure the moments of brightness you get in the coldest months.

I lost myself in my book as the bus trotted on. I was lulled into a state of relaxation, my body not being thrown in a distinct direction of up or down, but still in motion. A lot of people don't read while they're in a car, but for me it's my favorite place to have a book.

My sister tapped me on the shoulder, and I pulled myself away from the story as she pointed out the window. Like I said, I haven't traveled to many places, but I have seen pictures--beautiful images of cathedrals and towering buildings and Time Square, and other pieces of amazeballs architecture. But I swear, they are nothing compared to the awe-inspiring beauty that is the Seattle skyline. The sun barely hovered over the horizon, and the sky was that gentle orange color. The outlines of buildings ran across  my vision, with the Space Needle, literally towering over everything--the reflection of all of this shimmering across Lake Union. Seriously, you guys, it's so fricking gorgeous.

The bus made its way through a tunnel, the kind with the yellow lights on top that you pass through so fast it makes you feel like you're inside of an alien spaceship. Then suddenly, we were inside of the city. Buildings that looked so small from the bridge now shot up so high I had to crane my neck to see their peaks.

We got off at our stop and were greeted by our father, who had gotten work off to come see the movie with us. We were pretty early because we knew we would have to wait in line for this thing. It was a cattle call, so more tickets had been given out than there were seats in the theater, which was inside, (thank goodness) so we wouldn't be waiting for 4 hours in the cold. We got our spot in line and waited patiently. I read some more of my book, watched How I Met Your Mother on my sister's iPhone, and drank Starbucks. There was also some bonding with a brother and sister my age who were behind us in line. They were very passionate about musical theater, (as I am) and were also fans of the web-series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. We discussed the attractiveness of Wickham and the adorbs of Lydia while the line got bigger and bigger, stretching almost all the way around the circular floor we were on.

When we were finally let in, the theater was packed. They had let the press in a few minutes before us, and they took up, I kid you not, the entire main section of the theater, leaving only the first five rows (or, what I call, "The Neck-Craners") for the ticket holders who had been standing in line. I felt bad for the people behind us (we were within the first 10 people and still got stuck in the Neck-Craners) who waited and still didn't get to see the movie. It wasn't as bad as I had anticipated, though. In fact, I emerged from the theater 2 and a half hours later with no joint discomfort whatsoever.

The movie started and I cried and laughed and cried some more. It really was a fantastic movie. But I won't say too much, because that's not really what this post is about.

The movie let out, and I said my goodbyes to my friends-for-the-day. It was a bit of a walk back to our car, but I didn't mind. I had my jacket, and my sister let me borrow her gloves. She, my father, and I all talked about the movie on our way back. Even though I only live about 25 minutes away, I don't get into the city often, so I tried to take in as much as I could. The parks, the buildings, the bare trees that glowed underneath street lamps.

I know I'm not supposed to like cities. That I'm supposed to think that corporations are corrupting Mother Nature, and that it's all a big money scheme. But that's not what I think about when I'm there. I look at the buildings and think about how beautiful they are--all glass windows and the florescent lights of the offices inside them. And I know it's kind of horrible, but I think the beauty of a tree is appreciated  more when it's surrounded by cement. Seattle is especially beautiful around the holidays, when fairy lights are hung on trees and the Space Needle is glowing green and red. No matter where I am, I'll always be a city girl.

I drove back home, the songs of Les Mis swimming through my head. And as we got onto the freeway, I turned around and smiled at Seattle--my city--with patient anticipation for our next encounter.

Tonight's ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas Feature: Home Alone
Christmas-tastic Thing of the Day: Christmas lights. Colored or white, we love em. (Does that sound like I'm taking about race?)

Monday, December 17, 2012

This Title Originally Featured a Bad Mall Pun

I hate shopping. I hate it. If shopping was had a face, I would punch it. If it had toes, I'd hope it would stub them on the corner of the counter. If shopping was a book, I would tear out all of its pages and set it afire, laughing manically in the blaze. And the glowing ember in the middle of the shopping fire, the small spark that keeps the flames burning, is the mall.

The agony begins immediately in the parking lot. Why are so many people always at the mall? If someone created a disintegration ray, they would make billions of dollars just from mall-goers who would use it on cars in parking lots.

Then, there's the smell. I don't know if I can say this for sure, but if your mall is anything like mine,  you know the smell I'm talking about. That horrible stench--a mixture of perfume, fast food, and sweat. Oh man, does my gag reflex get a kick out of that smell. Not to mention how much walking you have to do. Whose idea was it to put Macy's 4.3 miles away from JC Penny? It kills my ankles, and I'm always getting shoulder-bumped by what feels like every person apart of the earth's population on the way there. I think that malls would run so much more smoothly if, upon arrival, you were given a segway, and you could simply merge into lanes of other shoppers. Like one giant mall superhighway.

And may I take a moment to discuss the kiosk vendors? When I go to a mall, I expect being flagged down by kiosk vendors to be a part of my traditional mall experience. But I can't even have that these days! Now, as you walk down the... hallways? streets? ... as you walk down the walkways, all you ever see are kiosk vendors sitting on stools, playing with their smartphones! If I walked up and started perusing around their selection of phone cases, or hair straighteners, or whatever product I already bought from Walmart and don't need, I bet they still wouldn't peel their eyes away from what I'm sure is a very important game of Angry Birds.

But really, the worst thing about malls are the people. Maybe this is just my cynic talking, but people are horrible. Whenever I walk into one of those "hip" stores, like Forever 21 or Urban Outfitters, everyone just looks like they'd be really mean to me. I always feel like everyone is... glaring at me, like they're all silently judging me. I can't so much as ruffle through a rack of flannel shirts without feeling their thick-rimmed-glasses-stares piercing through the back of my neck. And when you leave the store because you aren't about to spend $30 on a t-shirt, I swear you can almost hear them rolling their eyes.

To put it shortly, the mall sucks. Buy your stuff online.

ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas Feature: How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Christmas-tastic Thing of the Days: Let DailyGrace teach you how to decorate for the holidays.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sans the Snark

Today, I feel like doing one of those long, rant-y pieces about how I spent my day. Part of me realizes that that is essentially what a blog is, but I normally try to make it fun and entertaining. Like if I wanted to entertain you right now, I'd be adding snarkier commentary and a substantial amount of sass. The only difference between today and other days is that today the sass and snark will not be intentionally added. Don't fret though, I'm certain that my natural tendencies will be enough to suffice.

I started the day the best way possible: waking up at noon after staying up til 4 in the morning watching TV the night before. It was my own fault really, for not having the sheer will-power to resist the infinite charms of Zach Braff in Scrubs. I deliriously awoke from my slumber and shlepped my way to the computer. Approximately 40 vlogbrothers videos later, I decided it was finally time to face the music. I couldn't put it off any longer. Day after day it stared me in the face--taunting me, pushing me, daring me... I had to start editing my NaNo novel.

Fingers trembling, I opened my word document. And to my surprise, it wasn't as bad as I had feared. Don't get me wrong, it was pretty bad. But, it was salvageable. I got about 70 pages into my proof read (out of 164 pages, so not bad,) before I got sick of my story and had to do something else. I decided on reading.

The best part about winter is by far the ambiance it creates for reading. I feel so much better with a book in my hands if I get to be snuggled in a blanket, holding a cup of hot chocolate, reading by the glow of the lights hanging on the Christmas tree. It also helped that the novel I was reading centered around Christmas. (Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, in case you were wondering.)

My mood dropped a little while later when my mom told me I had to leave for rehearsal. My entire being wanted nothing more than to stay under my blanket where I was warm and happy and didn't have to mentally exhaust myself by being around people who weren't fictional. But I pulled on my big girl pants, (literally, because I was still in my pajamas) and went to rehearsal. (Not for my school's musical.)

I arrived and wasn't surprised when only 5 of our 7 cast members were there (myself included.) We had been meeting once a week since October and still hadn't had a class where all of us were present. It was a pretty lax rehearsal, which I was thankful for. I didn't have the energy for intense acting today. We sat in a circle and had a read-through of our show. The show we are doing is pretty unconventional. It's made up of a bunch of scenes from other plays that center around a recurring theme, with pieces we wrote ourselves added in to fill up gaps. Not everyone is in every scene. It's mostly monologues, one-on-one scenes, and a few that feature everybody. So, on the scenes that we weren't in, a couple other girls and I formed this odd pig pile. If you're a girl, you probably know the one I'm talking about, and if you're a boy, you've probably seen it before. It should be uncomfortable and awkward, but it's just not. You all just kind of fit together to form this giant estrogenic entity. It was fun.

I left class feeling warm after bonding with a group of girls whom I had been in several productions with but never really connected with until this year. It really goes to show how powerful an intimate setting can be. All the shows I had been in with my friends before they were my friends had a cast of at least 25. It took being in this smaller show to make us realize how cool the other people were.

I arrived at home feeling invigorated. In case you didn't already know, Starkid (the people behind A Very Potter Musical) released the script and soundtrack for the last installment of the Potter musicals, A Very Potter Senior Year, yesterday. I hadn't gotten the chance to read it yet. That was remedied an hour ago when my brother and I dawned our wizarding robes and wands, and read the script aloud to each other, complete with terrible british accents. We got about 20 pages in before our voices got too hoarse from laughing and screaming. I feel like I should mention that my brother is 22. You wish you had my family.

I'm still reading the script now and, oh my gosh you guys, it's hilarious and heartbreaking and full of Hunger Games references. It's everything I hoped it would be. I'm gonna go read some more now. If you need me, I will be laughing and crying and wishing I had a tub of Red Vines. See you tomorrow.

Tonight's ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas Feature: Toy Story 3 (So confused.)
Christmas-tastic Thing of the Day: Typing "Christmas" into Google images and the first thing popping up being a screen shot from South Park. Da heck?

I forgot.

So I was curled in the fetal position, crying over the tragic mess that is my NaNo novel, when I noticed the time. 11:59 P.M. December 15. Obscenities were uttered as I raced to sign into my Google account, to write a post that looked exactly like this:

Blog Post
blog post.

Only to have the tiny numbers of doom switch to 12:00 in the left hand corner the second I click publish. Yeah, I literally forgot about my blogging project today. FML.

Go read a book or something.

Tonight's ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas Feature: Toy Story 2 (You've lost me here, ABC Family.)
Christmas-tastic Thing of the Day: Emailing your math test to your teacher 15 minutes before the deadline, thus initiating the official start of WINTER BREAK!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Somewhat Predictable Journey

[So I wrote this last night and thought I had published it, but apparently not. Please don't throw rocks or rotten fruit at me because 1) it's not a good look and 2) you'd probably ruin your monitors.]
I'm not going to talk about the shooting in Connecticut because frankly, I get furious just thinking about it. However, my prayers do go out to the family members of the victims.

I guess I'm supposed to talk about going to The Hobbit last night, huh? To be honest, it wasn't as exciting as one would think. There were a lot of cool costumes, (including a group a teenage girls dressed as quidditch players. Guess their game was cancelled so they came to the theater instead.) and some people handing out lambus bread. I didn't take any, of course, because it probably contained drugs or razor blades or some other harmful substance. Although I came with a group, I had friends in three other theaters so I went around to visit all of them. I stopped by my brother and sister in theater 12, my friend and her family in theater 1, and Margo and her brother with his girlfriend in theater 5.

I'll just say it, I spent a substantially large amount of time in Margo's theater. Movie premieres are something we used to do together a lot. The first being Sherlock Holmes on Christmas day, and the last being The Hunger Games. She has since found other movie companions and their trips together outnumber ours by far. Sitting next to her while we talked about The Emperor's New Groove and Joseph Gordon Levitt's perfect pronunciation of strat, I realized how effortless our interaction was, especially 15 minutes later when I went back to my own theater and struggled to keep a conversation going with my other friends.

Okay. Here's the part where I go on a huge rant about how my life has been one giant craphole since the shift in mine and Margo's relationship, realize that content is far too personal for a public blog on the internet, and delete the entire thing. So, moving on.

I got back to my theater and had a discussion with my friends in which we organized the Disney princesses into four tiers, based on criteria far too complicated and detailed to spell out for you here. Let me just say that I fought pretty hard to get Mulan into the top tier, but was overruled on account of her "not being an actual princess." Whatever. She saved China from giant, scary Huns and all Snow White did was clean a freaking cottage. Don't sweat it though, Mulan. You still have the hottest husband. (Did Mulan and Shang ever actually get married?)

Then, the movie started. Guys. On man, you guys. Guys.......... guys. It was SO GOOD. The soundtrack, the casting, the effects, the costumes, the mood, the landscape--all of it was perfect! (With the exception of the Goblin King, which we will not speak of.) Martin Freeman was adorable and vulnerable and any other able you might feel the need to add. Also, I am now a proud Kili fangirl. Go see this movie as soon as humanly (hobbitly?) possible.

I, unfortunately, wouldn't put it on the same level as LOTR, because I'm one of those movie cynics who says, "they just can't make em like they used to," about 90% of the movies I see in theaters. But really, it was lovely and I'd easily give it a 4.5 star rating, no problem. I did chuck over the extra 5 bucks to see it in 3D, and combined with the epic wolf chases, rock battles, and the free swag (which included posters of Bilbo, Gollum, Gandalf, and Thorin) it was totally worth it. So, in case I haven't persuaded you enough, I will reenforce my recommendation one last time before plopping down on my couch to rewatch some more Titanic (don't judge me): GO. SEE. THIS. MOVIE. Good night.

Tonight's ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas Feature: Toy Story (I guess they do have a Christmas scene at the end...)
Christmas-tastic Thing of the Day: Dat sketchy santa.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pirate Parks: Laziness at Its Finest

If you think that a full 12 days into this project, it wouldn't be a surprise half-way through the day that, "Oh yeah. I have to write a blog post before midnight," YOU WOULD BE WRONG, SIR. Because I cannot count the number of times that I will be laughing at the hilarity that is DailyGrace when a tiny light switch flicks on in the back of my mind. "Holy crap.... BLOOOOOG!" *infinite headdesk*

I'm going to the midnight premiere of The Hobbit tonight, so I promise I'll have something interesting to write about tomorrow. But for now, here's an excerpt from my NaNoWriMo novel. A little backstory: Charming heroine, Mia, is distraught after a falling-out with her two sort-of friends at Homecoming so she decides to ditch with the school's new student/hipster, Audrey. The two of them take off into the  city and subconsciously, Mia has led them to a park she used to play at when she was a kid. Hope you enjoy it despite the obvious NaNo suck-age:

The park looked different at night. I'd only ever been here at this time of night (whatever the hell time it was) once before. The playground was on the right. It was one of those ones shaped like a pirate ship with a steering wheel and a big, flowing flag with the skull and crossbones. The swing set was so old and shaky it could've fallen apart at any moment. Out past the jungle gym was a grassy field that kids used for mostly for tag and grown-ups used for croquet and more mature lawn games. That's what I used to like about this park so much—that it was a space that everyone, young and old, could use for fun. (That was about as philosophical as I got as a 9 year old.) "Home away from home," I said heading towards the playground.

Audrey ran out in front of me and found one of those metal stands with a cone around the top that kids talk into and then a kid on the other side of the playground can hear them and they can talk to each other without actually having to stand next to each other. She stuck her face directly in the cone and yelled at the top of her lungs, "IS THIS REAL LIFE? OR IS THIS JUST FANTASY?"

"What are you doing!" I screamed, running to her side and smacking her on the back. I couldn't see her face because she was grasping onto the cone and it was still stuck in there, but I could hear her laugh and her body shook while hanging onto the child's toy. "It's late. People will complain and then they'll send the cops out after us and we'll have to explain how two teenage girls managed to wander all the way from their homecoming dance to a city park while remaining sober the entire time."

She continued to recite Bohemian Rhapsody at the top of her lungs. "CAUGHT IN A LANDSLIDE, NO ESCAPE FROM REALI-TAY!" She shook her butt to the beat of the imaginary instruments playing in her head.

Screw it, I thought, and ran past the pirate ship to the other talking tube. "OPEN YOUR EYES! LOOK UP TO THE SKIES AND SEE!"

Audrey popped up from her position crouched in front of the post. She held up her hand and gave me an enthusiastic thumbs up, shouting, "THAT'S HOW YOU DO IT, MIA!"

We continued to sing/scream the next 5 minutes of Bohemian Rhapsody and by the time we came near the end with our "Nothing really matters..." our voices had been rubbed raw.

Audrey and I climbed up to the top of the pirates ship and sat on the brown plastic circle that kids called the Crow's Nest that oversaw most of the park. It was fairly clean as far as public parks go. No trash on the ground but I wouldn't trust the water fountain with its chipped copper paint. Our feet hung over the edge, our toes almost touching the plastic of the play ship below us.

"You know I used to come to this park as I kid," I told her.

"I figured," she said.

"I've only ever been here at night once before." I'd never told this story to anyone before. I didn't even talk about it with my mother. It just came spilling out of me with no thought whatsoever. "I was twelve and I had just had my first day of junior high."

"Haha, yeah," Audrey chuckled. "I remember what that's like."

"It was like suddenly all anyone cared about was clothes and having a boyfriend. Girls weren't close friends anymore, just objects standing in the way of this or that cute boy's attention. There was this unspoken hostility and competition. I was lying in my bed that night and all of these insecurities came flowing out of me. I felt like I was going to throw up. It was late and my parents were asleep and I just felt so crappy I didn't know what to do. So I grabbed my jacket and yanked my Hello Kitty rain boots on over my pajama pants and started walking. This park wasn’t that far from my house, but it was a long way to walk when it's midnight and you're twelve years old and haven't started your period yet. Looking back on it, maybe that night was just me PMS-ing like a maniac and I didn't even know it yet." Audrey laughed.

"Keep talking," she said. And I felt like I could around her. I continued.

"When I finally got here, I was freezing. My nose felt chilly and warm at the same time and the playground equipment was frozen. I climbed up to the top of the Crow's Nest and sat here for a while. I thought about when I was younger and I would come here and join in on games of tag with kids I didn't even know. It didn't matter who I was or that I didn't know anybody. It didn't matter that I bought my shoes on sale at PayLess or that my braces bands were green when all the other girls’ had pink. There, you were just a part of the game. I liked that feeling—that feeling of being apart of something. Because no matter how hard you try, tag is not a single-player game. You need other people. And other people need you. We depended on each other so we could all play this game and have fun. After a while, it started getting really cold and I decided it was time to walk back. The weird thing was, I wasn't even freaked out. I mean, what I did was stupid and dangerous. I knew better than to wander around the city at night with rapists and murders crawling the streets. But I wasn’t affected by the lateness in of the hour in the slightest. All I thought about the whole way home were those games of tag.”

"That's amazing," Audrey said, kicking her feet. She still had on her Toms underneath her dress.

"What do you mean it's amazing? It wasn't amazing. All I did was walk 7 blocks in my pajamas in the middle of the night to a park where I sat on a playground for five minutes then walked back. That's not amazing. That's not a grand adventure. Indiana Jones never walked to a park, sat on a bench and then walked back to whatever university he taught archeology at. He fought bad guys and solved mysteries. He had a plot, you know? I didn't accomplish anything that night." And I really believed that. Here was this girl whose every day of her life must have been an adventure. I had never done anything. Hell, I had only kissed one boy and even that wasn't all that great. I wanted to do something bigger. But I wasn't a "big" person. Do you know what I mean? Like in life, there are big people and little people. The big people are the ones who do extraordinary things all the time, or even just one extraordinary feat. Their lives are large and exotic and adventurous. Then there are the little people—people who grow up in small towns in Iowa or Minnesota or Ohio. People who study for twelve years of their life so they can study for four more years of their lives so they can work at a job for the rest of their lives. They might get married or raise a kid or win a radio contest, but never anything bigger. The biggest thing they'll ever do is go to London their junior year only to spend seventy-five percent of it inside their hotel room with a sinus infection. I was the little person. And I didn't have to guess what kind of person Audrey was.

"It's still amazing."

I looked at her. "How? How could that possibly have been amazing? Nothing happened!"

"That's not true!" She screamed and stood up. "That's bullshit. Because something did happen, it just didn't happen around you. It happened inside you. You remembered. You learned. You felt something. And feelings aren't nothing. Hell, feelings are the whole reason anybody ever does anything." She was walking in circles around the crow's nest, getting herself really worked up now. "Do you want to know why people sky dive? Or go white water rafting or get their tongues pierced? They do it to feel something. Whether it's the sight of the ground rushing towards them or the freezing water splashing in their faces until they can't see two feet in front of them or that sharp pain and the taste of metal shooting through your tongue. Those people want to feel things. And the reason they have to do all this crazy shit to feel it is because they can't find it in anything else. Not in people at least, so they turn to objects and activities. But you, Mia, you found it in yourself. It's like the freaking Matrix! Don't you see? You don't have to do something large and showy and important to get the world's attention. You can do that on your own. And if you still think that's nothing, I swear I'll push you off this plastic pirate ship right now. Because you have something that I know people would kill to have. And that's not nothing."

So that was an excerpt from Chapter 4 of my NaNoWriMo novel. It's not my best work, but it was good enough. Happy Hobbiton! 

Tonight's ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas Feature: The Polar Express (SHEILD YOUR EYES.)
Christmas-tastic Thing of the Day: Did you know that Santa only had eight reindeer last Christmas? Yeah, Comet stayed home to clean the sink. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sentimental Time Travel

Do you ever have those odd, wonderful experiences where after a large gathering ends, and people are leaving, you begin chatting with some friends? Well, there's more than that: most of the other people are gone by now, and one by one, your small group of friend dwindles down to just you and your best friend. And the two of you are all alone in a large, empty space, so you entertain yourselves with whatever you can find. And you're laughing at each other's jokes so loudly that your voices reverberate off the walls. And part of you wishes your ride never shows up because you're having so much fun and aren't ready to let it end just yet? I had one of those days.

I have to begin by briefly explaining my relationship with the girl I was left with--we'll call her Margo. (Yes, that is a Paper Towns homage. And a very fitting one as you will soon find out.) I have a hard time appointing a label to my relationship Margo because it's true that we were best friends for quite a while. I'm talking "practically live at each other's houses, share your pants with her, clean her room with her because her mother said she couldn't invite anyone over until it was done" best friends. Like all people on the internet, I don't connect with people easily. That's why I love Margo so much. I don't have to try to be funny or nice to her--she brings all of those things out of me naturally. At the peak of our friendship, there was an unspoken agreement between us: that when we were together, neither of us would rather be doing anything else with anybody else. That sense of kinship has since ended. There were no arguments or hard feelings; we grew apart and that was that.

Today, after rehearsal, our camaraderie returned for a little while and I was 13 again--hanging out with my best friend, reciting Whose Line jokes with a wild smile on my face. It was nice. It was familiar.

I feel like I still haven't settled into the life of being a teenager. Of course this is a transitional period, and obviously, needing to take a while to sort things out is expected. But I won't pretend like it wasn't nice to go back to when I knew who I was, what I wanted to be doing, and who I wanted to be doing it with. It was a good day.

That's it--short and sweet. Hope your day was wonderful. And if it wasn't, I hope you get a good one soon.

Tonight's ABC 25 Days of Christmas Feature: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Christmas-tastic Thing of the Day: Happy Christmas, Harry!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Blogger's Voicemail

Hello, you've reached Emily's blog. Emily is unable to come to the computer right now, as she is currently finishing her Scrooge-like math homework then going caroling with some friends. Please enjoy this picture of a kitten stuck in a Christmas tree and have a nice rest of the evening.

Tonight's ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas Feature: The Santa Clause
Christmas-tastic Thing of the Day: Decorating gingerbread men with lots of cool people.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Top 5 Favorite Christmas Movies/TV Specials

Today I'm going to jump straight into what I wanted to talk about, which is counting down my top 5 favorite Christmas movies/TV specials. (Not that you couldn't have guessed it from the title. I don't mean to offend you. Just pointing it out for the less observant.) Sorry that you have probably heard of most of these before. I was raised in a very mainstream home, so if you were expecting hipper, indie-er content, you can always go ask that crazy man who lives on the corner of the road and shouts Lady GaGa lyrics at people to tell you his favorite Christmas story. I guarantee when you retell it to your friends later, you will be able to push up your thick-rimmed glasses and say, "You've probably never heard it," and be telling the truth.

NOTE: These are in no particular order. It's very easy for me to decide my favorites. However, if I'm forced to differentiate among favorites the results are chaotically disastrous and dangerous for all involved. So don't expect a giant reveal for my NUMBER 1 TOP FAVORITE CHRISTMAS MOVIE THAT PUTS ALL OTHERS TO SHAME!!!! because that's not what this is.

5. Eloise at Christmas Time
I never read the Eloise books as a child; I'll openly admit that. But when I was nine, this movie was my jam. (Can movies be jams?) I wanted to be Eloise so bad that I walked around the house making comments to a camera that wasn't there, and talked in an exaggerated, vaguely English accents for weeks. This movie has not only an incredible amount of heart, but it is so freaking charming.

4. The Fairly OddParents - Christmas Everyday
This is the part of the show where I point out that the title is "Top 5 Favorite Christmas Movies/TV Speicals," and not, "Top 5 All-Time-Best-and-Anyone-Who-Doesn't-Like-Them-Is-Stupid Christmas Movies/TV Specials." Every December, I would look forward to when Nickelodeon would play this Christmas special. Mostly just because of that awesome song. And it didn't hurt that 10-year-old-me had a gigantic crush on Timmy Turner. It really comes down to personal preference on this one. I associate a lot of fond memories with this episode of The Fairly Oddparents--all of them involving me curled up in a Hello Kitty blanket with hot chocolate. It's just not Christmas with Cosmo, Wanda, and Timmy.

3. A Charlie Brown Christmas
Cliche, I know. Call me unoriginal. Call it overhyped. But A Charlie Brown Christmas is the most sentimental, beloved Christmas special of mine, and probably yours too. In all fairness, if I watched it for the first time now, at the age of 16, I would probably hate it. I'd think the animation was cheesy and the voices were annoying. Charlie Brown would be a wimp and Lucy an obnoxious brat. But I'm not seeing these characters and animation for the first time; I grew up with them. And that makes them special.

2. Jack Frost (The animated one. Not the one about the horrible father who turns into a snowman.)
I feel like this is one of the most underrated stop motion Christmas specials. Even though it plays on ABC Family every year, none of my friends seem to have heard of it. I know it might seem unhealthy to develop a crush on a clay representation of Jack Frost, but I'm not ashamed to say that I fell, and I fell hard for his bumbling, good-intentioned personality. Plus, it's features the most bizarre, evil, and surprisingly talented ventriloquist of a villain I have ever seen. But what makes this stand out against all the other stop motion specials, is the bit of unexpected tragedy. I won't spoil anything for you, but I'll just tell you that the ending never fails to bring me to tears.

1. The Muppet Christmas Carol
If you've never seen this, the single greatest muppet movie in existence, I highly suggest you remedy that immediately. Everything about The Muppet Christmas Carol is perfect: the songs, the setting, and especially Michael Caine as Scrooge. (Jim Carrey can't hold a candle to Alfred.) Also, you can't harbor lukewarm feelings for the undeniable chemistry between Rizzo and Gonzo.

That's it for today. Sorry I put this up so late--this is my last week of school and I'm currently wiggling my way towards break like an inchworm wiggles its way towards a crisp leaf dinner. See you tomorrow!

Tonight's ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas Feature: The Year Without a Santa Claus
Christmas-tastic Thing of the Day: Breaking it down with the Miser Brothers.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Brought to you by educational malice.

I'm tired, internet.

[insert witty blog post here.]

Tonight's ABC Family 35 Days of Christmas Feature: The Mistle-Tones. Shoot me now, please.
Christmas-tastic Thing of the Day: Imagining my teachers as snowmen and taking a hairdryer to their mushy, white brains.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

It Turned My Tongue Blue

Hi. So one thing I didn't do before starting this Blogmas venture was decide on any specific set of rules. And I fear that what I'm doing right now may constitute breaking some sort of unspoken, yet-still-totally-valid-because-it-should-go-without-saying rule. Then again, it's my blog. And in true fashion of the teeny kindergartener that lives in my heart, I am bestowing the construction paper crown on my head, declaring myself the ruler of this kingdom, thus making my word law. So I'm writing this blog post at 11:50 P.M. December 7th and there's not a damn thing you can do about it... poop-head.

I mentioned this in a brief edit in yesterday's (today's) post, but I feel I should tell you guys the whole story about my trip to the doctor's office for two reasons: 1) It's actually a little entertaining, which leads to reason 2) I have a tremendously boring life and therefore need to take advantage all anecdote opportunities. That having been said, let's talk about how I was stuck in the arm four times with needles!

When I arrive at the doctor's office, I immediately take a seat in front of the fish tank. When I was a little kid, I never got why doctors put fish in their waiting room. A bunch a fish swimming around in circles? Booooring! Point me towards the Where's Waldo and I'm set, thank you very much. It wasn't until I started reading books, and got all metaphorical and pretentious that I actually liked watching fish. I sat on my Gatsby-reading ass, watching the fish swim while every analogy possible leaked out of my ears. (Just to clarify, I'm the one who reads Gatsby... not my behind.) Interesting how they all travel in one large group like that--when one turns around the others follow. It's as if the first fish to turn around is media, and the ones that follow represent modern youth. SHUT UP YOU ARE WORSE THAN TED MOSBY.

After trekking through every emotional state from depressed to having high aspirations for the accomplishments of mankind, we were finally called, and the nurse led my mother, my sister, (she was also getting a shot that day) and I to the back room. My sights, however, were set on the bowl containing the candy meant for unconsolable 6-year-olds. This wasn't just any bowl of candy, though. We're not talking generic, round lollipops and root beer shaped barrels. They had Dum Dums. And sitting atop the pile, showered in golden light as the angelic choir sang, was a Blue Raspberry--the ruler of all Dum Dums flavors. Did I dare? Could I swipe the precious trophy before I was caught by the piercing stares of those who, due to the health risks that come with physical maturity, had lost the desire to devour all sugar within their midst? It was now or never. The bowl sat on the right side of the hallway, just before the path turned right. If I could make it to the end of the group, I had a chance. I slowed my pace as we proceeded down the hall. The nurse turned right, my sister and mother in suit. Quickly and precisely, I grabbed the lollipop and shoved it into my purse. I had it! I perked my head up to check if I had gotten away with it. Everyone continued forward on their way, blissfully unaware of my sweet success. (Get it?)

With my well-deserved treat safely in my bag, the threat of the needles seemed unimportant. The nurse took my blood pressure which wasn't so bad. I would compare it to what I imagine being attacked by the Kraken to feel like. But for the most part, I was calm, cool, and collected... until she actually got out the needles. Just a tip when you go in to get your shots: never, I repeat, never look at the needle. It only gives it more power. My sister, who was only getting one shot, went first. She sat there with a glazed look in her eye like she was sitting in a boring history class--completely unaware of the sharp metal object inside of her. My turn, however, was a little more chaotic.

Here's the thing about me: I make noises. Like, a lot. I make noises when I'm cooking, doing homework, watching TV, and especially when I'm in pain. So the second the nurse stuck the needle in my arm I started... singing. It was a song I composed myself on the spot. For your convenience, I have transcribed the lyrics:
Ooo ow ooooooow! / That feels weird and huuuurts / I like it when it's over yaaaay ow
Stunning. I know. The nurse chuckled at my humorous coping mechanism. She was nice and told me that I should feel free to sing out my heart's song during the next three shots. Needless to say, I took her up on her offer.

It was actually pretty fun. My sister joined me in a rousing rendition of Dynamic Duo from Starkid's Holy Musical B@man! for the next three shots and we had a good time! (Overlooking my obvious discomfort)

On the way home, my mother treated us to Frosty's, following a tradition of always getting ice cream after a shot. (I haven't gotten shots in quite a few years, actually. The last time being when I was 9 or so. But I wasn't about to pass up the opportunity just because Teen Beat tells me that I'm too old to enjoy a treat for doing such a good job getting my shots.)

I finished the Blue Raspberry Dum Dum a couple minutes before starting this post, and I have two words on the subject: worth it. So as far as doctor's visits go, I'd consider this one a booming success.

Tonight's ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas Feature: Despicable Me (This one leaves something to be desired...)
Christmas-tastic Thing of the Day:  Present Face, a hilarious song by musical duo, Garfunkel and Oates, about the facial expression one does when receiving a horrendous Christmas gift.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas without Tantrums: A Tale of Technological Woe

What's this? Emily is posting before the sun goes down? You must be dreaming. My advice: find the nearest cliff and hurl yourself off the edge. If the sheer intensity of the fall doesn't wake you, maybe you should be a lot more concerned about that water being so cold. It hits you like a thousand knives stabbing you all over your body. (To be fair, I didn't watch all of Titanic last night--just the first hour and half or so.)

But the real reason for this post coming to you at a normal person time is that I did not wake up at noon today as I have for every non-school day in the past week. The things my body does when I release all control to it astounds me. For instance, midnight seems like a reasonable time to go to sleep if you want to wake up at 8 or so. I still get to watch my bloated Thursday night TV schedule (30 Rock, Parks and Rec, Up All Night, The Office, The Big Bang Theory, Glee, and Project Runway) and get in bed without having to haul my half-asleep ass upstairs at 3 in the morning. BUT NO. I go to bed at midnight and wake up at 11 freaking 30. BODY WHY U SO SLEEPY?

But, Emily, why don't you just set your alarm clock to wake you up earlier?
Because, intangible italic voice that I'm beginning to harbor aggressive feelings for, one cannot always trust technology. 11 P.M. Sunday night, I decide that I'm too tired to study and just want to wake up early tomorrow and get it done then. So I set my alarm for 6 (Mind you, my school doesn't begin until 10) and face plant onto my mattress. Only Monday morning, I don't wake up at 6, or 7 or 8... I wake up at nine in the morning. Because my freaking alarm sucks at the ONE THING it was put on this earth to do: wake me up. While I am sympathetic for it's literal failure at life, me and my alarm clock's relationship has been tense since the incident. So I've taken to my mother barging into my room an hour before we have to leave anywhere. It's not a bad system, per say. But I would like more time in the morning to check twitter get myself ready for the day.

I see this post, much like my patience for grammatical mistakes, is rather short. But in light of the events of last night's post, I prepared a second topic! Ma would be so proud.

In my house, to count down the days til Christmas, we have a little sleigh, and each day you're supposed to change the blocks. (Picture of horribly described device here.)

[I'm writing this little bit that has nothing to do with what I was talking about because I just returned from an hour long trip to the doctor where I received not one, not two, not three, but four--count em--four shots. And I thought it was worth noting that now my arms are sore and for some unexplainable reason, everything tastes sweet. We now return to your regularly scheduled programming.]

We've had this sleigh since before I can remember. And every day during December since before I can remember, me and my siblings have had an all-out screaming war over who gets to change the day. I'm talking hair-pulling, pillow-throwing, no-you're-the-stupid-face screaming wars. But one year, my oldest brother decided to step out of the fight and leave it to the younger children. The next year, my oldest sister did the same. Then my other brother. I didn't even notice the loss of this tradition until this year when I, the youngest of my five siblings at the age of 16, passed by the sleigh and noticed it was still set to 24. No one was changing it. As we all grew, we realized we had better things to be doing, and that changing the day on our Christmas countdown didn't mean anything--it didn't give us a special power of authority or a rush of energy anymore. And fighting over it was, frankly, stupid.

I'm not going to spend the rest of my time here pining for the lost days of innocence and naivety where one could be satisfied by the oh-so modest simplicity of a tinker toy. It's not a bad thing to grow up. But I'm not going to sit here and pretend like there's not this small twinge in my chest--a part of me that wishes my siblings and I would return to our giant pig pile, despite some of us being married, or in college, or even a father. When old traditions pass away, then it's time for new ones. This year is going to be my nephew's first Christmas, and he'll have recurring holiday memories of his own one day. But until that happens, it's my job not to forget the countdown each day.

See you guys tomorrow!

Tonight's ABC Family 25 Day's of Christmas Feature: The Santa Clause
Christ-tastic Thing of the Day: Elvish dentistry.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

How to Do Stuff (with a Book Haul!)

I have accomplished absolutely nothing today. Okay, I take that back; I have accomplished some things, but only if your standards of accomplishment are incredibly low. Unfortunately, mine are not. Here's a short list of the things I have done today:

  • Brushed my teeth
  • Watched a 7th Heaven marathon on the GMC
  • Yelled at my TV during a 7th Heaven marathon on the GMC
  • Ate a taco
And that's it.

Like every other student in the world, I struggle with procrastination. The worst part is, I keep doing it to myself. I know that I should be doing my school work. I don't even really want to be watching these livelavalive videos I've seen a million times. So I tell myself this as I stand up, go all the way to the dining room where I do my school work, and stand in the doorway for 20 seconds before I'm overcome with anxiety and have to turn back to my computer desk where I'm safe and it does not matter if I can't solve factorial equations.

Recently, I've tried to familiarize myself with the concept of immediately. Whenever I put off work, I always say to myself, "after I watch these videos," or, "after I eat a snack," or my favorite, "after another episode of That 70s Show." I say no more! "Do your work... immediately."

For a short while, I used "now," but I found it wasn't forceful enough. If I was going to make myself do something I didn't want to do, it had to be a kick in the pants. "Immediately" implied swift consequences if I disobeyed. And for the most part, it's worked. The exception is days like this one where I just don't care. I know I'll get my work done; I'm not worried. And there's still five hours left in the day so who knows? Maybe I'll buckle down and do some homework. Or maybe I'm more likely to have angels fly outta my arse. (Yeah, I had my 38th viewing of Titanic last night.)

Herp. That's all I planned to talk about but this post is pretty short... um... I went to the library yesterday? To fill up some space, I'm going to give you a mini library book haul! (Added exclamation mark to feign EXCITEMENT!)

Books I checked out at the library:
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth by Alexandra Robbins
The 10 P.M. Question by Kate De Goldi
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

I picked up It's Kind of a Funny Story last night. I'm about 50 pages in and I love it so far. The main character is smart and completely depressing. It's awesome.

Tonight's ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas Feature: Disney's A Christmas Carol
Christmas-tastic Thing of the Day: Happy Holidays from Dwight Shrute!