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.