Friday, September 27, 2013

My epic tale of revenge

Have you noticed that a lot of heroes in stories nowadays are on a huge quest for revenge? Someone or something has murdered their someone or taken their something, and now they're out to get their own back.
Well, today I realized that I'm in the middle of my own epic tale of revenge.
When I was a little girl, a horrible Something stole my grandmother away from me. Now this Something has taken my mother prisoner, perhaps never to be returned.
I am currently in the middle of my training montage.
But the training does not consist of punishing physical tasks or sage advice from an aged mentor. No, my training is going on every day, little by little. I'm learning to use the only weapon that can fight this Something: science.
The montage isn't anything exciting -- it mostly consists of me doing math homework online or reading a book about biology and how it relates to memory. And it's slow going, especially since I haven't been giving my STEM muscles much work until within the past year or two, but I am moving, step by step, toward becoming the perfect Something-fighting warrior:
A neuroscientist.
And someday, when my training is complete, I will track down the Something to its forbidding castle with a band of ragtag scientists, and together we will face down the Something and find its sole weakness. And then a great battle will be joined, the like of which has not been seen for many a year...
And we.
My own life will never be the way it was, but I will have freed others in the future from the Something, and with that knowledge I will find peace.
This is my epic tale of revenge.
It's just starting right now, but someday...
Well, who knows what someday will bring?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Shirtroulette and solemates

After many, many years of being schooled at home, I've just now entered a public school for my senior year. It meets at a community college and you can finish up your high school credits while you take college classes, and it's freeeee!
Unfortunately, since I'm no longer in charge of my own schedule to such a degree, I have to be up and ready much earlier than I'm used to. For the past two months I've been getting dressed in the normal way, picking things out every morning, but I've spent more time deliberating over shirt choices than I really want to spend (and they're not even that different from each other -- "Should I wear the geeky t-shirt with The Princess Bride and physics or the geeky t-shirt with a DeLorean and a TARDIS?").
That fact, combined with a sudden lust for reorganization, led to the creation of shirtroulette.
All of my best t-shirts and tank tops have been rolled up so that they're practically indistinguishable to the touch. I've placed them all in a drawer, and every night I close my eyes, open the drawer, and reach in. Whichever shirt I grab is the shirt I wear, though I'm free to choose from a number of different pairs of jeans to go with it, or even some black pants if I'm feeling creative.
Each night I move the shirts around a bit after selecting so that the selection of a new shirt the next night is a bigger surprise.
I've just implemented this system, and so far I'm pleased with the results. It makes it a lot easier to just pick a shirt and it brings an element of adventure to getting dressed!
Then again, I feel there's an element of adventure to sitting on my desk backwards and putting my feet on my chair, so maybe I'm just very easily entertained. After all, I can personify almost anything and make it into a story. This comes in handy if I'm feeling bored and want to talk to inanimate objects, but it's less handy when it makes me feel empathy for lonely socks.
Last night, when I was putting away my laundry, I discovered that one poor little sock was missing its solemate. I tried not to think too much of it, just set the sock aside and kept putting things away. But then, when I was nearing the bottom of the basket, I found another lonely little sock! With much rejoicing, I held it aloft and cried "Laura, look!  The black sock isn't alone anymore! I found its little friend!"
I'm trying to pretend the lonely black sock in the living room and the lonely white sock in the family room don't exist. Otherwise I'll start imagining their feelings and end up wearing blatantly mismatched socks one day so they won't feel so sad.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Phobias II: This time it's personal.

So, I made fun awhile ago of random fears that seem completely ridiculous. Now that I think about it, though, don't we all have ridiculous fears? If I'm going to mock other people for being afraid of such things as beards, than it's only fair that I mock myself just as much, perhaps more!
Without further ado, here are some of my odder fears:

Disfigured letter F
I discovered quite recently that this seemingly harmless little symbol fills me with the same sick horror as extreme gore:
"What's that?" you may be wondering, and with good reason.
It's a partially-dismembered letter F.
"How can you dismember letters?"
I don't know, but apparently it's not only completely possible, but utterly disgusting. I get the picture in my head of the poor little letter having its face torn off...
And, before you ask: yes, 'F' is the only letter I anthropomorphize.

Open doors (at night)
Few things are quite so horrifying as an open door at night. It fills to the brim with shadows, which are somehow darker than the darkness of the rest of the room. Anything could be in there... anything.
Plus, if you leave your bedroom door open, it's way too easy for monsters to get in. And the more doors there are in a room, the less secure I feel. When I was staying with my sister there was a double closet door (the scariest of all), the main door (which was hidden behind a corner but was still frightening because I didn't know for sure that it was closed) and a door to the guest bathroom. Three doors is two too many. How are you supposed to barricade yourself in from nightmares with so many portals to guard?

Closed bathroom doors (at night)
Yes, I'm aware there's a bit of a paradox here. Thing is, a few weeks ago I watched an episode of Buffy called "Hush". It was an excellent episode, and I wasn't too scared at the time of watching... But then I let my imagination run away with me. See, the episode features these demons called "The Gentlemen", who steal the voices of a town, go in and cut out the hearts of seven victims.

Seriously, look at them.
They were attended by straightjacketed, demonic footmen, who held down their victims for them and moved in a heart-stopping, lurching sort of movement, flailing their arms in a puppetlike dance.
Soon after I had seen that episode, I was sitting in the living room of my sister's house. I was the last to bed and had been loitering there for quite some time, messing with my laptop and trying to convince myself I wasn't scared of the Gentlemen. Of course, thinking about how scared I was got me being even more scared than before, so that by the time I actually went upstairs and started taking my contacts out I was practically paralyzed with fear. I had started to sing to myself to try and divert my mind, but unfortunately this just made me think 'Oh no! I must be REALLY scared if I have to SING!'
This is when I started imagining that the Gentlemen were floating silently up the stairs... they were just beyond the door... they were going to come in.
The doorknob rattled, and I screamed bloody murder.
Of course, it turned out not to be mythical demons that somehow weren't killed by my singing. It was just my younger sister, DLL, who wanted to get ready for bed.
And that's why I leave the door open and pace when I'm brushing my teeth.

Any bed that isn't a bunk bed
I've spent most of my life  sleeping in an upper bunk, surrounded by sturdy rails. You'd be amazed by how secure you feel in one of those! Unfortunately, it has left me less than comfortable with certain aspects of a normal bed. After watching the movie Poltergeist, I was terrified for weeks of that clown doll. Even now, almost a full year later, I still cringe when I drop something and have to bend down to pick it up, because deep inside I'm positive that the clown will be waiting for me when I sit up again.

You go the whole movie thinking 'It couldn't be any creepier.' WRONG.

Normal beds are pretty cool the rest of the time, aside from the knowledge that it's way easier for any monsters or enemies to get at you and you could very easily fall off if you aren't careful and all the shadows seem so very, very much closer...

In conclusion
My imagination is a dark, twisted place sometimes. Of course, this should come as a surprise to no one, considering I drew a man-eating unicorn once and started a blog because of it. Really, the things that scare me about the monsters I mentioned isn't dying by their hands (I mean, the Gentlemen are killed by human voices and that clown was destroyed by a little kid), but simply the idea of coming face-to-face with them. I'm not frightened by them, exactly, but by the idea of them. Like with open doors - - it's not what's actually there, but what might be there. The possibility of terror is far more frightening to me than the actual terror.
Where does Disfigured F fit into this?
I haven't the foggiest. I think that one can just be chalked up to my being a strange little person.

And, now that I've written about and found pictures of the things that scare me most, I'm going to go to bed and lie awake half the night listening for monsters.

Monday, June 17, 2013

My talent: self-injury

And what a talent! I'm always hurting myself somehow, but never quite to the point of breaking something (which is a miracle, considering that my favorite game when I was little was seeing how many stairs I could jump down). Through clumsiness or haste or just bad luck, I have spent my whole life accidentally hurting myself. I am forever barking fingers against the insides of ovens, dropping scalding bowls of soup, slamming shins into steps, falling down stairs, walking into doors (when I expect them to open and they don't), catching my elbow on a retracting seat belt buckle (just yesterday!), breaking nails off below the quick... I have a nasty habit of just letting my nails grow, and grow, and GROW... and then I mishandle something and SNAP!
For example, just two weeks ago I was unloading groceries when my thumbnail broke, right at the edge of my finger. I wore a band-aid for several days, and just as I had safely removed it (leaving a jagged spur that I didn't sand away), I dropped a history book on it and it broke AGAIN, only this time there were no band-aids available and I had to beg electric tape from someone.
Oh, and I injured myself at a rapier class the other day.
Don't worry! None of the actual weapons were out yet when it happened!
That's right. I managed to hurt myself at a weapons class without the aid of weapons.
It happened thus: the class was starting out with some reflex games. I don't normally join in (I was there to watch my sister's baby for her while she helped teach), but it looked like fun, so I asked to be included. We were playing a game in which one person holds gloves in both clenched hands, which they hold straight out in front of them. The other person places their hands on the back of the first person's. The first person will then drop either or both of the gloves, and the other will have to try and catch them.
I did fairly well at first. Which is to say, I caught one once or twice and snatched awkwardly at the air the rest of the time. I also got into the unfortunate habit of trying to catch with both hands.
I'm sure you've got a guess at what happened next.
My partner dropped the gloves.
I grabbed for them with both hands.
The palm of the left made solid contact with the pinkie of the right.
And, hey presto! Suddenly I was in agonizing pain.
Blinking back tears (because there's nothing so humiliating as crying when you've caused yourself terrible pain), I quietly exited the room to run cold water over the offended finger.
Needless to say, I did not continue to participate in the class.
The next day my pinkie was purple all along the inside and swollen to about twice the size of the other. It wasn't broken, though, which was something of a relief.
Since then I've been learning to do things more with my left hand, since the right had both a badly-bruised pinkie and a broken thumbnail working against it. I've also discovered that it really hurts to shake hands with people when your pinkie is hurt, but not visibly so. You try to keep it out of the action, and for the most part that works, until you have to shake hands with Firm Handshake McGee, who gathers ALL your fingers into his enormous hand (in spite of your best efforts) and does his best to pop your bones from their joints.
But, hey! At least I'll be better at poker now! I've learned to smile when I'm dying on the inside.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

You know your brother is amazing when...

So, a little while ago, a very bold stray cat approached my brother at his penthouse apartment. She looked hungry, so he went and brought some tuna out, being rather fond of cats.
She continued to come. Every time she came, he'd give her some tuna.
Finally, he bought a bag of cat food, since he kept running out of tuna. She would come and sit with him on his little porch, even when the food was gone.
Then came the next step:
She ran into his house, jumped on the couch, and peed on it.
He got her a litter box.
Finally, after all this time, he decided that she was his cat.
She lives with him now, quite comfortably. Though she's a bit fat, he doesn't think she'll have kittens -- she's just putting on weight now that she has as much to eat as she wants.
So my brother has a cat again, and now that she's his cat, he has to have a name for her...
Her name is Mr. Kitty.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Another vehicular anecdote

A few months ago (I don't exactly recall the date), I went on my first major excursion without my father (who carries, among other things, an extensive map of our general area in his head). My sister had to get to her orthodontist appointment somehow, and with my father off at work, it fell on me to get her there. He had printed out and left for me a set of very nice directions on how to get to the clinic, which was at one of the UNC centers in Chapel Hill. I very carefully read through it, then tossed it into the back seat and thought nothing more of it for the moment.
It was a beautiful, warm spring day: the sun was out, clouds billowed gracefully across periwinkle skies, and I drove with the windows down and my music up, as is my custom (every teenager has her follies, and such is mine). My mother was in the passenger seat, rather worried (and with good cause, considering her previous experience in driving with me and her loathing of strange places). My sister was in the back seat, happily singing along with the CD. All was well.
And then I missed my exit.
I knew, deep within my very marrow, that the exit I had just passed was the exit I was supposed to have taken. Panicking within my being, but outwardly attempting to maintain my composure, I took my leave of the interstate, hoping to somehow turn around and go back.
After driving some little way on this new exit, I was hopelessly lost.
I called my brother, which didn't help much on this occasion, as neither of us had any idea where I was and he couldn't very well come to my rescue if I couldn't be found. I was on my own (figuratively speaking).
Very calmly (I'm sure I was very calm - - on the outside), I requested that my sister read aloud the directions to me. No, I had not missed my exit - - I had, in fact, exited too soon. This was of no great help, as by now I had no idea where the interstate was or how to get back onto it even if I found it.
I popped in an Enya CD (which was soon to become my car distress music) and continued driving.
Somehow, by some great miracle, I stumbled into Chapel Hill. A confusion of streets led me to our parking deck, and after that it was only a brisk walk (or as brisk as we could walk without leaving our mother behind) into the center. Victory! We weren't too late for the appointment!
A brief while later we were back in the car. I don't know how it happened, but for some reason I either had no directions going back or didn't think I needed them... In short, I got lost again.
For the next hour or so I searched for a way home in an exceedingly haphazard pattern: I would go down a street for a ways and, if I felt I was getting too far away in the wrong direction, I would turn around, go back to Chapel Hill, and find a new street to follow.
This continued for quite some time until drama saved me for the first time: I encountered the new Playmaker's building in all its glory, beaming down on me with its old familiar face. I knew this place! How many times I had come here, for performances and for rehearsals! At last, something I recognized!
Soon I encountered another landmark: the parking lot in which we always sheltered during those long play weekends! Its ticket booth seemed to have an encouraging look about it. Now I was sure I had taken the right road.
But no amount of right roads will help one if one does not know which right road to take next. Soon I was lost again, perhaps more hopelessly than before: all I could do was follow this little road of mine and hope it got me somewhere. By this point, Enya had been playing for an hour and more, cycling over and over, but it seemed to be all that was keeping me sane.
At last, at last, drama saved me again! I encountered a certain street, which happened to fall along a route I had memorized for getting to my drama camp last year. After going the wrong direction down it for a mile or two, this road led me with unerring purpose to...
"He thalatta!" I cried, quoting something I'd never read. It was a curious expression, which my father had told me to employ whenever I encounter a certain highway.* (I think he meant it in jest, but it has now become a habit). This certain highway practically goes by our doorstep, and if I could just manage to turn the right way, I could get home!
And I knew, deep within me, that left was the right way to go. That drama camp had given me hope, just when all hope seemed lost.
Now was no time for Enya (which we were all thoroughly sick of by this point). I popped in the first thing that came to hand: Barbie Princess and the Pauper**.
That is how I came to find myself at a stoplight, idling next to some personage broadcasting a thumping bass, while my own windows were rolled all the way down to let loose the glory of two teenage girls piping along with "If You Love Me For Me".
"You say your love is true, and I hope that it will beeeeeeee~"

Twenty minutes later a frazzled mother, a much-put-upon sister, and an exhausted driver all stumbled out of the tiny Celica in which they had just spent two tiring hours.
All in all, I spent three hours lost in and around Chapel Hill on that fateful day.
And that is why I always memorize my directions AND write them on my hand before going to new places.

*It means, I think, "The sea!", and was cried by fleeing Greeks who, after a long and arduous journey, found themselves at last at the sea, and thus with a definite way of getting home. So my father tells me.
**An aside: around last Christmas, my father and I went on a long car trip together. I had packed several CDs of interest to me, including Barbie Princess and the Pauper (ahh, childhood, how you cling to one!). Since I didn't happen to have the case for it, though, I popped it in one that rightfully belonged to a Ravel CD. My unwitting father opened this, expecting to find excellent classical music, and exclaimed in tones of shocked disbelief, "Barbie?!" ...Then promptly popped it in anyway.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Wheeeee! Centaurs!

(Do not be alarmed: that is a boy centaur with exceedingly long hair.)

Centaurs are the coolest mythological creatures ever. They can win any battle, even if it's only a verbal one. Pirates vs. Ninjas? A lone centaur charges in and slaughters everyone. Is there life on other planets? Well, centaurs have to live somewhere. Republican or Democrat? Why not vote centaur?
Seriously - a centaur president would be the best. If he wanted warfare, he would hitch a ride over to the other country and kick in someone's head. Who needs guns when you're  a walking weapon? There'd be no need for soldiers to go overseas anymore, and that can't be anything but a good thing. Plus, a centaur president wouldn't feel the need to implement high-spending policies and drive the country to ruin. Centaurs are very low-maintenance. No need to use a super-expensive jet when you can just run all over the country! Of course, a president also needs to be an inspiring figure... But then, what's more inspiring than a freaking centaur?
Then again... Centaurs are well-known party animals. It might be best to keep him from inviting his pals over.
But as I was saying, no other mythological creature can compare to the magnificent centaur.
Dragons? They're all well and good, but in the end, they're just lizards with really bad breath. A centaur could easily smash its head in and look much more stylish while doing it.
Gryphons? Cooler than dragons, but hoof beats beak, every time. Besides, gryphons usually just feast on dead meat. A centaur is resourceful enough to hunt its own food and to make use of every scrap of hide and bone.
 Hydras? None of this foolish slicing off of heads for a centaur. It'd just kick a hydra's brains out, one head at a time.
Seriously. Name a mythological creature, and I'll tell you how a centaur would beat it. I challenge you, readers: comment below with a mythological creature of your choice, and I will comment back with the tale of its destruction.
Try me.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

My car!

I have a ca-aar! I have a ca-aar!
This is not a very new development, but I thought it was about time I talked a little bit about the love of my life, Jade.
She is a beautiful '97-ish Celica of a shady green color, small and sleek and with the loveliest little headlights you've ever seen. Of course, she's not TOTALLY mine until I can afford to pay for insurance, repairs, and gas (translation: until I accomplish my full driver's license and can get a job), but we still get along well enough.
For the most part.
If you've read my blog at all, you know what's coming next - - a full account of how I destroyed her in some despicable way.
And that's pretty much what this is.
On my birthday, the day she was given to me, the first time my poor mother ever rode with me, my sister's German tutor was visiting. Her car was parked in an exceedingly awkward place, so I veeeery carefully backed up... And my front bumper gently grated against her rear bumper as I went by.
Hissing between my teeth, I craned to see if there was any damage, sitting up tall in my seat and forgetting for a moment to brake...
My back bumper scraped against the wall of the house.
I cried out in frustration, while my mother did her best to assure me that it wasn't my fault I'd almost taken out both a visiting car and my own house. Desperate to get out of the driveway, I moved forward again....
And guess what my front bumper lovingly kissed?
I backed off once again and finally, FINALLY, I got down our driveway and onto the road!
My apology to my dear little car came in the form of giving her a thorough cleaning, inside and out, that very weekend.

"Well!" you say. "That's quite an adventure, Miss Monday! Good thing you didn't actually do any damage! Now you're going to tell us that everything has been spiffing since then, right?"
Don't mock me, rhetorical reader. You know me too well for that if you know me at all.
My first accident was far less traumatic than first accidents might be. No one was injured, except my pride and poor Jade.
I was at a busy intersection and very keen to get home. In order to do so, I had to take a left turn across two lanes of rapidly-approaching traffic. After what seemed like an eternity of waiting, an opening came. It was a small one, but I thought I could make it... I lunged for it, so to speak, turning quickly as I swooped toward the narrow road.
I didn't turn quite quickly enough.
With a terrible, sickening, grating noise, the front right side of my little car was savagely torn by the curb. My heart lurched within me as the wheel seemed to fade away in my hands, already beginning to lose its strength. Jade and I staggered into the nearest turnoff: a gravel-lined parking lot in front of a rather shady preschool center. I sat there for a moment, hyperventilating and crying and in general losing my composure. I shakily got out of the car and went around to the front. I couldn't see any damage... Not really... Was Jade okay? Was I overreacting?
I got back in the car and drove in a few circles around the parking lot. All seemed well...
Until I tried to turn right.
Jade screeched in pain and weakly tried to do my bidding, but it was obvious that I was hurting her. I stopped at once, trying to think if I could get home without taking a right turn...
The thing was impossible.
Weeping openly over the injury to my poor little car, and over my seemingly desperate situation, I handed back a cell phone to my younger sister, who was sitting in the back seat. She called my brother and requested aid.
I listened to Enya and did (or tried to do) math problems while I waited for him to arrive.
He did his best to take off the wheel, but with a cap missing from one of the lug nuts, there was no way he could get it off. So we called a towing service and, as my poor little car was born away to a nearby garage, my accommodating brother took us home in his own small sedan.
All told, the damage cost a thousand dollars to repair. The wheel had been cracked, the tire burst, and the front drive shaft broken beyond repair. But Jade survived, and ever since then I have heeded my father's repeated advice and curbed my enthusiasm for curbs.

I'm sorry, Jade - - but all of us have to learn to drive sometime.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

More poetry

So, a little background info... My mother was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. We all try to help her as best we can, but she spends most of her time being fretful and forgetful and scared. The same thing happened to my paternal grandmother. Basically, I've seen a lot more of this disease than I would have liked.
Anyway, if you can't guess what this poem is about after that...

Swiftly, swiftly comes November
How much then will I remember?

The faintest glimpse of dream-like past?
Even that may not long last.
All too soon doth mem'ry fade,
Leaves in its wake unknowing's shade.

Swiftly, swiftly comes November
How much then will I remember?

Spring lies in me, pure and sweet,
But soon shall pass in passing fleet
Summer draws with each day nigh,
And after fall, and then I die.

But death itself I do not dread,
For Heaven's gate lies soft ahead.
Nay, 'tis fall that chills my very soul - -
The rending of a mind once whole.

Swiftly, swiftly comes November
How much then will I remember?

Two matriarchs, both wise and staid,
Have slipped 'neath that unknowing's shade
Must I follow where they led?
Oh, that I were rather dead!

But swiftly, swiftly comes November,
And how much then will I remember?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Play Malarkey

What? I haven't dropped off the face of the earth into a bottomless volcano of doom?
Then why haven't I been posting?

Short version:

Long version:
Physics, algebra II, French, creative writing (harder than it sounds!), chorus, play (acting AND tech directing), another play before that (bigger role, also full-on directing), novel, anxiety attacks, a loved one's ill health, and a pothersome male personage.

Fortunately, things have begun to calm down now. Stresses are slowly beginning to be weeded out with the end of the semester, and one enormous stress is finally coming to a close: The Butler Did It, Again!
Now, don't take this the wrong way: it's actually loads of fun (I live for drama), but between tech directing and a small role I've been kept busy. I do really enjoy my role - - I'm essentially playing a louder, clumsier version of Lina Lamont from Singin' In The Rain. Plus, I'm engaged to my favorite character, which is pretty sweet.

And now, after paragraphs of lead-up, we come to the point of this post.

I must admit that I find the romantic scene vastly amusing. I'm usually quite reserved around those I'm not as well acquainted with (read: I'm prim until I know you, and then you have to scrape me off with a spatula), but obviously a romantic scene requires SOME demonstration of affection.
And, considering the fact that both of us are homeschooled teenagers, comedy naturally ensued.
After changing the blocking time and time again, we were getting weary of the scene. It was tech rehearsal, one of the last two rehearsals before the play, and we had two guest directors who had their own ideas about what would look good.
So we tried having the usual jump-and-twirl. It was working beautifully: we rushed towards each other, delighted to be meeting again, and he caught me up and whirled me around.
I should pause here to mention the wig.
It's a lovely little thing, a blonde bob with long bangs and lots of fluff. I've been wearing it for weeks now, and usually it stays firmly in place...
But mid-turn it went whirling away across the stage. He set me down a little clumsily, both of us laughing, and an ominous riiiiiip was heard as I set my heel down on the underskirt of my dress. One of my shoes was coming off, but I tried to press on with the scene through my laughter.
It was a hopeless case. I was falling to pieces!
My fiance cried "WHAT?! You've been lying to me this whole time? I thought you were BLONDE!"
One of the guest directors called "But apart from that, it was the best I've seen!"
I gave up on trying to stay in character after that.

Monday, January 21, 2013


This isn't going to be a funny post or a complaining post or even a post about me. Today, I feel the need to share something I wrote, something that attempts to express how I feel.
Let no sound escape thy lips
Be still, little child, be still
Thy life means nothing now,
Thou art nothing 'til thy birth

Be still, little child, be still
Eternal silence waits for thee
Thou art nothing 'til thy birth --
Thy birth, which thou shalt never see.