Sunday, December 16, 2012

She Appears!


(The setting is an abandoned attic. The camera pans over dozens of cardboard boxes, covered in a thick layer of dust. Suddenly, a box trembles from within. The camera zooms onto the box. The top of the lid bursts open, and out pops an adorable creature with an elf hat on her head.)

It's meeeeeeeeee!

*cough* *cough* *hack* *choke*

Almondo, you need to do something about this dust.

ALMONDO: I'm on it!

And Sloshy.

SLOSHY: Yes?!

Just do what kappas do, okay?

SLOSHY: . . . Okay.

Wow, it's been awhile since I've been here. Hannah's been doing great by keeping her side of the blog clean, but mine is just a little -- just a little -- bit dirty

ALMONDO: What's this bra doing here. It's way too big to be yours --

Shaddap Almondo!

Anyway, as you can see by my snazzy elf hat, I am definitely in the Christmas spirit! I think I would make a great elf if I were a tad shorter and had cute, pointy ears. And those cool elf shoes with the curled up ends. Anyway, a lot has happened since I mysteriously disappeared for no good reason. Let's do a catch up post.

I got my driver's liscense

DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS. THE STREETS ARE NO LONGER SAFE!

Driving brings out the aggressive, foul-mouthed side of me. That would be okay if I could actually drive, but I can't. So basically, I am an angry goblin with wooden blocks strapped to my feet so I can reach the pedals, careening out of control on the highways because I can't read the traffic signs.

Sigh.

I ended with a 4.0 GPA in IvyTech

I know I only took two classes, but it is nice anyway. A fabulous end to a good semester.

I wrote a poem about a dead boyfriend I never had

It was for school. We had to write an elegy, or a poem about death. I haven't experienced a lot of sadness in my life, so the only logical thing to do was make up some of my own misery. I'll show it to you guys if you are interested.

Volleyball season ended

It was my very last season as a Warrior. I regret that I haven't started playing volleyball sooner. It is such a wonderful sport. But my lovely coaches gave me several parting gifts, so I am happy. I've made lots of friends and memories.

I got a new phone for my birthday

Galaxy SIII.

Oh, and I'm 18 now. I'm legal in many ways except for two in America and 4 in Sweden. I'll let you guess what those are. (Hint: It has to do with llamas)

I taught a literature appreciation class

Unfortunately, because of a long hiatus, some pieces of literature went unappreciated. . . I hope we get to appreciate them later.

I started a journal

You know that's right. I've never been able to keep journals for more than three days. This being the fourth day, I think I've broken some sad, sad record.

Some other things

Lot's of other things happened. Some drama, emotions, fights, and losses. I won't give into them because complaining is for goblins.

And I am an elf.

As the countdown to Christmas continues, I shall be here, doing my thang. Back to you, Hannah.


Esther












Saturday, December 15, 2012

When Tragedy Strikes

It's hard to know how to respond when tragedy strikes. Should we cry? Send a letter? Pray (always!)? Try to ignore it? It's tempting to do any or all of these. We all just want to do something. But what is the "right" way to do it? Right now, the tragedy in Newton, Connecticut is fresh in all of our minds. We grieve with the families involved. Over at A Surrendered Life, Emily offers some of her thoughts as a response to what has happened. Check it out. 

Blessings!
Hannah

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My Playlist this Christmas

As it's that time of year again, I find myself humming along to well-known songs and letting myself get lost in the melody...I know, I'm a music freak. I thought I would share with you a few of my Christmas favorites that I'm listening to this year...Enjoy!

White Christmas


Aude Lang Syne



Last Christmas


All I Want for Christmas is You


Cold December Night 


Mary, Did You Know?



Holly Jolly Christmas


The First Noel


Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas


This is by no means an exhaustive list..I just wanted to share a few of my Christmas favorites with you! Comment below and let us know what you favorite Christmas songs are - I would love to know! 

Also, I know that some of you do not celebrate Christmas; do you celebrate something else? For those of you who do celebrate Christmas, what is your favorite tradition?

Blessings!
Hannah

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Strength from the Lord

It's easy to get busy. It's easy to be tired. Honestly, guys, I get eight hours of sleep (well, on about three nights per week) and I am still exhausted. I wake up tired. Lately, I've really been clinging to verses in the Bible about God being our strength. However, as I was sitting in worship this morning (we were singing Everlasting God), I was struck by the fact that praying for strength is different than asking God to wake me up. 

Let me explain. Lately, I have been asking God to be my strength, because I know that I cannot do it on my own. In asking this, I have expected God to simply give me more energy, make me more alert, and help me to function on six hours of sleep. However, I think that I am asking for something different. In the song Everlasting God, there is a line that says:

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord,
we will wait upon the Lord,
we will wait upon the Lord.

As I was singing this, I was struck with the thought that strength, real strength, comes from waiting expectantly and patiently on the Lord. This "real strength" is not often going to come in the form of God making me more awake or helping me to function on less sleep. Could He easily do this? Absolutely! However, I now think that He is trying to teach me to patiently, consistently, and expectantly wait on Him and call on His Name. From this, my strength - inner, resilient strength - will come. 

Blessings,
Hannah

Friday, September 28, 2012

And I'm Back!

Wow. It has been a long, long time since I posted! My sincerest apologies!! Life has been crazy, as I am doing school and working 20-25 hours per week at the same time. Esther, thanks for the birthday wishes! :) In addition, each time that I went to write a post, Blogger was down...there seemed to be some issues there for a while...=(

Something that God has really been teaching me lately is that I NEED Him to be my strength. I haven't gotten as much sleep as I need for about a month, I'll be honest. It's hard. I am constantly tired and weary; yet, in the midst of it all, He IS my strength. How wonderful! 

"He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint."
~ Isaiah 40:29-31 (ESV)

These verses have been life to me lately. I really need the reminder that God is my strength and that He will renew me in my weariness. Be encouraged today!

Sorry that this is such a short post. I will try to post again very soon!!

Blessings,
Hannah

Friday, August 24, 2012

Attack of the Clones -- Or, Scheid Diesel Extravaganza

Woo! Busy week, I have had. I will get onto it as soon as possible, but firstly . . .


Happy birthday, Hannah! I'm sorry I couldn't do anything fancier. I had wanted Sloshy the Kappa come and play the bagpipes, and Almondo do a dance, but Sloshy can't play the bagpipes and Almondo says his dancing expertise isn't suitable to be viewed by our young audience. (Whatever that means.) But I just want to say I appreciate all you do, and I am very, very happy to have "met" you. I hope that this blog continues for a longer time so I can continue to read your inspiring words and learn about your mad cooking skills.

------

Okay, so this post will be a catch up of sorts. I have been really busy this week, as stated previously, and I actually forgot that I had a blog. Woops! Thank goodness Hannah posted, or else we would have had the longest hiatus ever thanks to my absence. Here are some things I did:

1. I started my college classes

On Tuesday, I started my college classes. I am a student! Huzzah, hurray and all that! I'm enjoying my experience so far. It was a bit overwhelming at first, but I'm getting the hang of it. Of course, because I'm me, I have run into a few complications.

My microcomputers teacher said on Tuesday that all students should arrive fifteen minutes early to boot up their computers and deal with technological issues. So I thought, fine, I can do that. So I get to class the following Thursday, and to my surprise I see that the classroom is full of students. Instantly, I figure I'm late and I dash inside. I sit down. As I am pulling out my things, my teacher (Let's call him Qeetfranklin) walks up to me.

"Hello," he said.

"Hello!" I greeted.

"I do believe that you're in my next class," he said.

Oh. Now everything makes sense.

"Yes sir. Sorry sir," I said. And I dashed out as fast as my legs could carry me. Strangely enough, I wasn't embarrassed at all. Either I have matured, or I have formed some kind of cocoon around myself that protects me from caring what other people think about me. So I stand out in the hall, shifting from foot to foot, and a fellow student turns to me.

"Don't worry, I did it too," she said.

"Oh, yes! I mean not yes. But I'm glad I'm not alone."

She shrugged.

"Hey, he said to arrive early."

My sentiments exactly.

In other college news, I have a mini-speech due Tuesday. Wish me luck. I will let you know how it goes. Probably. If I remember. So far, classes aren't hard at all. We'll see if that changes.

2. My Guinea Pig Went Passive Agressive on Me

YOU ALL KNOW ABOUT MY GUINEA PIG FATONE BECAUSE HE IS AN ANGEL AND I LOVE HIM SO MUCH AND THEREFORE YOU SHOULD LOVE HIM TOO SEE IT'S PERFECT LOGIC?!!?.

Anyway, I have a guinea pig named Fatone. I keep him upstairs in the living room. We ran out of food for him yesterday, and upon realizing this he decided that he was dying of starvation. That morning, I came up to him and he stood up on his hind legs and wheeked at me for several seconds, pleading me for food.

"Sorry," I said.

I walked away. Every time I would pass his cage, he would continue to yell at me. Finally, I yelled at him to shut up, and he did so because he loves me and he does what I say.

But then I come back later and look in the cage. He was curled up in a ball, his steely gaze cast up at me. And his whole body vibrated with anger and he let out a slow, steady,

"Bdddrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....."

Overall, I was very offended that he would treat me this way. I tried to give him broccoli, but as soon as he tasted it, he froze, ran into a corner, and made horrendous gagging sounds.

We got him food, and he's back to normal, but I don't want to see him in one of those rages again.

3. I went to a teen volunteer party

I volunteer at our local library, and every year the library has a get-together to celebrate the accomplishments of the volunteers. I had a really good time, I must say. We all got prizes and I received:

1. 2 tee-shirts
2. 2 pencils
3. several rubber rings
4. a couple of book marks
5. An inflatable elephant
6. a betta fishtank

Not a bad haul, eh? Now I just need to convince my parents to get me a betta, and I will have yet another ultimately-useless-but-lovable pet to eat up all my money and time. I look forward to it so much.

Also, I volunteered the second most hours this year. 39 hours and 35 minutes. I lost to another girl by five whole stinkin' minutes. I was kind of sad because this was my last year as a teen volunteer and I had wanted to go out with a bang, but ultimately I am just happy to have been a help to my community.

I also wrapped a tee-shirt around my head and put my elephant on top to create the best hat ever. I don't have a picture, but you probably don't want to see one.

4. My Online School started

Because of an error, I got enrolled in my online school a week and a half late, and as a result I am now thirty lessons behind. Yay. I started working away at it this morning. Looks like I'm going to have a full weekend.

5. Made a new friend

I now have a new walking buddy. Hello there, Ayrton. You should read my blog.

6. I started driving more

It is so much easier to drive an Audi than a giant, hulking van.

7. The Scheid Diesal Extravaganza started

The SDE is an hilarious and infuriating event that takes place in Terre Haute every year. Guys in giant trucks come from all around the country to show off the smoke-spewing glory of their engines, and to stare at other trucks. That's it.

But because of this, the traffic gets horrible, and the air turns a dark gray because of all the smoke that gets spewed out of the exhaust pipes. Not to mention, because they like to show off, these guys drive way above the speed limit and careen everywhere. It makes driving an actually dangerous affair. And these guys don't even care. I heard one guy say, "why do the cops give us tickets if they want us here (for the business our presence brings)?"

Really, diesel guy?

REALLY?

Another funny thing is that all of the guys are clones of each other -- to be expected for a convention -- but they way they saunter around with their ciggarettes hanging limply from their mouths and in their flannel shirts makes me giggle.

I also don't really get what the fun is. YAY! Your car spews more smoke into the atmosphere than the average vehicle! Let's all line up on the road and watch other gas-guzzlers drive by!

And that's what they do.


That's just a small portion. This line goes on at least a block longer than this.

That's about it! Almondo, take us away!

ALMONDO: Wait, why am I dressed in a toga?

*Shrug*

But if you are, you should dance.

ALMONDO: Ugh, fine.

(ALMONDO dances)

YAY! Happy birthday, Hannah!

Esther

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pictures!!

Here is what you have all been waiting for...the pictures from the Bakery. Exciting, I know. =) Here you go:

Turnovers - Apple or blueberry?


Kolackys - We sell Raspberry (super yummy!), Cream Cheese,
and Strawberry with Cream Cheese.



Fruit Sticks - Apple, Cherry, or Strawberry/Cream Cheese

Cinnamon Strussel Muffin, anyone?


Blueberry Muffins - My personal favorite!
Sorry that the picture is sideways! =(

Gigantic, delicious chocolate chip cookies!

Chocolate Scones

"Regular" Scones

Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting and Walnuts

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Honey Frosting
In addition, we sell donuts, Almond Bear Claws, Crossiants, Bagels, English Muffins, Pecan Bars, Brownies, a variety of other cookies, as well as wraps and paninis. It is all so yummy! =)

Now, for some other food pictures....My family decided to have our own "Iron Chef" competition the other night, and I took pictures. I will admit, I was leery when we started, but all of the food was most tasty! I got to be a judge, and so I took some pictures of the cooking process. We had three teams competing, and the "secret ingredient" was zucchini. Enjoy!















My apologies that this picture is sideways!
She is making zucchini chips - so good!








Zucchini Smoothies!




The pre-baked meatloaf - It was actually quite good, at least
once it was baked. =)


A chicken/veggie stir-fry, of sorts

So, you can see that we at least had fun. It was by no means professional, but we had a blast in the process. My apologies that this post has so many pictures!

Blessings,
Hannah


Thursday, August 16, 2012

We Need To Talk About Kevin -- Book Review

Hello everybody! I recently finished a thought-provoking novel titled We Need To Talk About Kevin. I have wanted to write a review about this book for the past few days, and so now I am. I hope that you may read this book too and see if you share my opinions. If you've already read it, please share your thoughts in the comment section.

Title: We Need To Talk About KevinGenre: Literary fiction/psychological
Author: Lionel Shriver
Length: Long
Summary:
This is primarily story about Eva Khatchadourian and her son Kevin, who is the sole culprit of a school shooting which killed many students and two faculty members. Told through a series of letters from Eva to her husband Franklin, the story discusses what spurned Kevin murder, and if Eva's lackluster parenting caused him to turn out this way. The story goes from before Kevin was born and up to the shooting. Some focus is given to Eva's relationship with her husband, and how it deteriorated with the progression of the novel. However, this is not a romantic book.

PLOT

At first I was disappointed when I realized that this novel would be told through a massive string of one-sided letters. (Franklin never writes her back, for reasons explained in the book) I thought of this particular method of story-telling too limited -- even more so than the traditional first person. However, Shriver does a very good job of executing the plot in this way, providing each chapter (or letter, rather) with a decidedly good cliff-hanger that keeps the reader wanting more. Each letter contains interesting stories, comments, and character interactions that keep the novel moving successfully.

The plot is not without its errors, however. The novel is entirely ponderous; it takes slow, heavy steps towards its all too short climax. Each scene is relatively interesting, but often I considered the question "is this part truly necessary?" The scenes that truly brought me on the edge of my seat were incredibly powerful and completely worth reading, but they were stuffed in between scenes that didn't seem to add to the story other to give it a complete sense of drudgery. This drudgery does add to the book's tone though, which is a bonus that saved me from putting it down more often.

At points I do feel that Eva gives away too much information. Actually, one of the book's weaker points is towards the end, when Eva discusses the climax where she wasn't even present with such detail it shatters the reader's suspension of belief completely. Eva says she knows these things from previous sources, but this fact is written in such a offhanded way that you feel like this is a tacked on excuse for just giving too much information to be believable. Don't get me wrong, the climax is lovely and powerful, but it doesn't quite fit. The massive build up for just thirteen pages of questionable climactic material makes me feel a little cheated.


CHARACTERS
The characters are Kevin's weakest point, which is a complete shame because the characters are what ultimately make a book good. Eva is the protagonist, and she grows more unlikable as the story progresses. You can have a functional book without a likable protagonist, so long as you can relate to the character in some way. Eva almost seems inhuman: her incurable pathos and her determined dislike for nearly everything in the world around her is unbelievable. She contradicts what actually matters to her throughout the story. The one things she seems to appreciate is travel, but she often admits that she doesn't like it until she's in a foreign country and there's no going back. She is what literature calls an "unreliable narrator", and of course this can be a very effective story telling tool, but only used, well, effectively. Later in the story, Eva is diagnosed with post-natal depression, but that doesn't explain the depression that lasted for forty years before that.

Franklin, the husband and the recipient of the letters, is one of the more fake characters ever written. It is said that the two characters love each other, but no proof is ever given to make this a fact. When Kevin is born, Franklin goes from ambiguous lover to the role of nonsensical father. Although Eva is admittedly a terrible mother, Franklin never hesitated to take Kevin's side. Whenever it was suspected that Kevin had done something horrid (from something like tampering with a kid's bicycle and cause said child to crash and nearly die, to just making a giant mess and not cleaning it up) Franklin never considers it a possibility that Kevin did something wrong. It became Kevin and Franklin vs Eva (as she like to put it) and it is not a believable relationship in the least. Franklin at most is a fuel to help Eva rant about the little terror that is Kevin, but I suppose that the book is about Kevin in the first place.

Kevin is ultimately the best character in the book. He is a monsterous person down to his withered core, but he is a successful character. His morals and drive remain ambiguous, but he stays a constant in between the two other leading characters. That is, until the end of the book. In the entire story, we are lead to believe that Kevin was irredeemable. Yet, in the face of a new fear, he undergoes a turnaround that is almost a 360 by Kevin standards. It's frustrating. Shriver's inability to create characters that can tell a cohesive story is Kevin's greatest weakness.

PROSE/WRITING QUALITY

The writing quality of Kevin is the book's best feature. It has a wonderful flow to it. You are compelled to keep reading even through the book's more mundane sections. Eva's character makes it difficult to continue reading sometimes, but actually, sometimes it's her unique (if not natural) mind that makes you want to read. Sometimes the author puts things in such a way that the reader is forced to pause and think, "wow, that's totally how I feel", or "that's the perfect way to put it". Sometimes you don't agree with Eva at all, but you still find it interesting how intense her psychological insight is. Whether right or wrong, this novel is a thought-provoker.

There are moments when the novel gives too much information to a detail, while not giving bigger, more interesting moments their time in the limelight. It seems that the author has difficulty focusing on what aspects of the novel to elucidate. Eva's stream of consciousness technique is a bit of excuse for it, but whether the narrator is reliable or not, the author simply must consider the important aspects of a novel and realize them.


THEME/FOCUS of THE NOVEL

I am still trying to discern Kevin's true purpose. At first I thought it was a psychological probe into the minds of psychopaths or sociopaths. Not even half way in, I realized that there wasn't enough focus on this subject to be the true purpose of the book. Kevin touches on several different themes, but doesn't adhere to a single one. It feels like the author is trying to make a definite point, but she never quite manages. Therefore, I can only ascertain that the theme and the focus of this book is rather fuddy duddy, to put simply. I was rather disappointed that I couldn't walk away with a genuine feeling for this book. Rather, I simply received a mishmash of different ideas. Thought-provoking, intelligent, and scary thoughts to be sure, but all vague and not truly realized. It would have been more satisfying for the author to submit to a single theme than pursue them all at once. But maybe the point of this book is that there is no real meaning, no true answer to the things people do and why they do them. An interesting observation, but it doesn't make for satisfying reading.

OVERALL

We Need To Talk About Kevin is an above-average book, and is filled with clear and vibrant moments of pure literary genius. Its problem lies in its execution. Its inability to retain consistency in its characters and its narrative focus hamper this novel extremely. Still, those bright moments make this book worth reading. The climax is exciting and has an excellent plot twist, but the last two pages will have you reeling with confusion over who Eva and Kevin really are.

It is a chilling and captivating read, but also a heavy undertaking. Don't expect to read this book in one or two sittings.

3.5/5

-----

Well, there you go! See you guys next time.
Esther

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Four C's of Friendship

My friends, I am so sorry for leaving you for so long. Between my new work schedule, school, and different places that I have to go, my life is very busy. I am trying to continue to make time for all of you wonderful people. Esther, you are fabulous. Isn't she fabulous, everyone? You all should let her know how fabulous she is. She is pulling so much weight for this blog right now.

So, friendship. We all have friends. At least, we all should. If you don't, go out an make a friend. You need one. 

 Cupcakes and Coffee: I know, I'm combining the first two "C's". The gist of this one, is that we all need time with our friends. We need common ground to start off a friendship. Almost everyone likes cupcakes, and many people like coffee too. Here are some cupcakes that I made the other day: 













I didn't make this, but since it goes along with the 'C'.... =)
So, there you see some of my baking and decorating skills. Jose and Zach, yes, I still plan to get pictures for you at the Bakery. You might have to wait until early next week though..

Anyways, back to coffee and cupcakes...We need to build relationships on common ground. I know what you are thinking: "But Hannah, they always say that opposites attract. Are you really disagreeing with this??" Yes, in a way, I am. Studies have proven that while opposites may attract for a short time, you are more apt to want to spend time long-term with someone that you can easily relate to. Also, coffee and cupcakes are just fun. Every friendship needs fun. Incorporate life into your friendship, and you will both enjoy it much more - or so I have found. You don't have to like coffee and cupcakes for this to be true. You can change this to orange juice and donuts if you want. The point is that you need somewhere to start.

Conversation: If you don't talk, you won't get anywhere. I'm sorry, but that's the truth of it. People can only talk with their eyes for so long. Conversation is what develops a friendship. It helps you to grow closer together. For example, my best friend and I know a lot (emphasis on "a lot") about each other because we have talked to each other almost every day for the last however many months. We take time for each other, and that deepens the friendship. Also, conversation shows that you care. If you take the time to have a meaningful conversation with someone, they will appreciate it. People do not do that near enough in our day-and-age...

Christ: Every relationship that you have throughout your entire life should have Christ incorporated in it, as the very center. Trust me when I say that things will go much, much better in the friendship (or marriage, even) if Christ is the center. We need friendships to encourage one another. In the New Testament, Paul talks about so many "one anothers" (Love one another, encourage one another, etc.) Ephesians 4:32 is one example of this. The point is, if we do not have anyone in our lives to hold us accountable, pray for and with us, encourage us, pick us up when we are down, we will miss out on something incredible. God has made us for relationship. We are designed to be in communion with one another. We need each other to live. It is vital. Even monks and nuns live in monasteries and convents. Think about it. Where would you be without your friends?

Blessings,
Hannah

P.S. Listen to this song =) It's cute, and quite fitting with this post.






Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tasty Filling

Hey guys!

We haven't had a post in like five days! You shouldn't be upset. No, you should be glad that we have established a new personal record for awol-itude.

Anyway, Hannah and I (Read: Hannah) have been really busy, and haven't had the opportunity to post. Hannah shall be posting tomorrow, but until then I have taken it upon myself to give you guys a filler post. This is because, in the last five days, I have not dedicated thought to any particular post in itself, because I am a sloth of the up most order.

So today I have decided to give you filling: delicious, sticky, and unhealthy.

Firstly, here is a picture of a lamp.



It's beauty is in its simplicity. Rather than showing you a picture of a lamp with antlers or perhaps a propeller beanie, I have chosen to provide you with the pure innocence of standard electrical fare. Oh! I just thought of a joke!

Why did the lamp ask the plumber out on a date?

Because the plumber turned the lamp on.

Byahahahaahahaahah! That's good! That's really good.

Speaking of lamps, here is a picture I drew of a guy with a pimple on his head.

This is probably the greatest piece of art ever created. Ever. And I totally just shared it with you. That could totally be like, a tee-shirt or something. I know I have fun when I get a pimple on my head.

SLOSHY THE KAPPA: Hey! I have something to add to your filler post!

What would that be, Sloshy?!!!!*
SLOSHY THE KAPPA: It's a song I wrote about Americans! Since I moved from Japan to the US, I have had a lot of cool experiences. I would like to share them with you!

Then please, share the song, Sloshy!

SLOSHY THE KAPPA: Okay, here it is.

The American Song

America!

Oh, America!

You are kind of big, and your people really tall
it must hurt a ton when you fall

America!

Oh America!

I would live in your lakes but they're too polluted
I would drink all your beer but its just too diluted

Oh America.

America!

And your people may be fat on average
but that don't mean nothing to me
cause you're the country of freedom
from sea to shining sea!

AMERICA!

AMERICA!

AMERICA!

You are simply not insidious
although your banks are perfidious
You should prob'ly take advice from the Swiss
Oh yeah.

Oh yeah!

I don't know what Obamacare is
but it must be the answer to everything
And you're kind of flashy and sometimes trashy but --

OKAY! OKAY! That's enough!

SLOSHY THE KAPPA: But I was just getting started!

I think we got a pretty good idea of your feelings, Sloshy. Why don't you go in a lake or something?

SLOSHY: Weren't you paying any attention at all to my song?

Anyway, I think we are getting to the end of our filler post. Does anyone have any final words?

SLOSHY: I do--

Oh, I guess not. Too bad. Better post tomorrow, and the day after that! Until then, munch on the marrow of this post, since it obviously is nothing but bones.

I'm so sorry, Hannah.

Please continue to read our humble blog!

Don't let a Japanese monster write songs about the United States,

Esther












Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Problem With Doors

I have very few real fears in life. These fears are:

1) Tripping and then dying from the fall
2) People who wear bikinis when they really shouldn't

3) Intestinal parasites

4) Doors

Out of all of the things on this list, I believe that it is obvious which one scares me the most. Indeed, doors scare the heck out of me. It might be strange to devote an entire blog post to doors, but what's even stranger is that I have enough writing material to fuel a post about doors.

Now, why do I fear doors? The answer is simple. It's because I can't open them.

I try to push open a door, and it turns out I was supposed to pull it. I pull on a door, and I was supposed to push it. I turn the knob to the left when I should have turned it to the right. I blast it down with a bazooka when it turns out I should have used a lazer cannon.

You see, I can't get a door open when it counts. So I make a fool of myself in public every day because I can't open an acursed door! A door, people. In fact, I can think of no scarier situation than having Brad Pitt walk up to me, his arms full with boxes of expired fortune cookies, and ask me to hold "that door over there" open for him so he can enter the next room.

I get goose bumps just thinking about it.

There is no logical or scientific explanation for my EPI (Extreme Portal Incompetence). I think it might be because I'm the first child of my family. Since I always had things provided for me, I am unable to perform some of the most basic of tasks. I'm terrible at cleaning, cooking (I'll have to write a post about the "popcorn" incident) and just being practical.

Of course, doors are one problem. If you combine doors with a lock and key, things spiral into complete and utterly inevetable chaos.

My inabilty to stick a key in a lock and cause the door to open is so unusual that I'm even ashamed to admit it here. I am seventeen years old and I can't do this simple task. Why couldn't we have just switched to those swipe key cards by now? That would make it easier for a poor, poor child with FCS (First Child Syndrome).
So, I suppose you guys need an example or something. Okay, that works for me.

An Example or Something

When I went to Europe as a student ambassador, I had the lovely opportunity to spend the night in the dorms of a Welsh college. We got whole dorm rooms to ourselves, and I was so excited because I haven't gotten a room to myself in two weeks. You see, I have COWATS (Can't Opperate Without Alone Time Syndrome) so alone time would be good for me.

So I'm bouncing up and down while we wait for our dorm number. My delegation leader walks up to me, her gaze focused on a clipboard. She checks my name off of a list.

"Okay, Esther, your room is number 202. Here is your key."

She handed me a key.

What I was thinking when she handed me that key cannot be rewritten here, but it rhymed with "purple orange is hip happenin' over there".

So I got up to my room. I saw the door. I saw the lock. I swallowed. Slowly, I inserted the key inside the lock and twisted the key to the right.

Nothing happened.

So a delegate walks up to me and asked if I needed help, to which I responded casually,

"Sure, maybe, if you feel like it."

Together we managed to defeat the Evil Door. It was a true victory for man kind, I dare say.

Another Example, Possibly Maybe
This incident happened the other day, and it was what inspired me to do this post. I am going to take some college classes at Ivy Tech, but I had to take the COMPASS test first. It's this easy test that sees if you are qualified for college level courses.

I went to Ivy Tech's testing center, where a nice receptionist greeted me. After I signed up, she slid me a small, metalic object that looked suspiciously like a key.

"This is the key to locker number five. Please place your personal belongings in the locker now."

WHAT!

"Good bye, honey," my mom wished me as she left the room. I almost reached my arm after her, wishing she could discreetly open my locker for me, or at least give me advice. But she didn't. And I was distraught.

The locker was locked with a padlock. I put the key in the padlock. I twisted the key.

NOOOOOOOOO --

The lock twisted open.

That's nice.

But unfortunately for me, I had to take the padlock off of the locker in order to open it. This proved impossible, and before long I was battering myself against the locker with unparralleled force.

"Is something wrong?" the receptionist asked.

I hung my head in shame and pointed towards my locker.

"Could you open it for me, please?" I asked.

So yes, that was incredibly embarrasing.

On the bright side, I scored very well on my test. College courses here I come!
But now I am questioning my actual intelligence.


Don't write a blog post only to have the last half deleted so you have to write it again,

Esther







Monday, August 6, 2012

In the Midst of Pure Insanity

Well Everyone, life is crazy. Though, that is pretty much how it is all the time for most people. I went to work this morning at 4am. I had the 4am-9am shift today at the Bakery. Honestly, it is a bit boring, but I love the people with which I work. They are all amazing. The 'Regulars" are so funny. There are about four to seven men that come in every morning to have coffee and talk. They all have a specific order that they get every time. I believe that I am working thirteen days this month, including one double shift. 

Now, why am I telling you all this? I have no idea. School starts in one week - exactly. It is so hard to believe that Senior year is here! I'm excited. =) I reason that I should be getting back into a normal pace with blogging and such. I am trying to get back into routine - if there ever was one. So I was trying to decide what I want to share with you today, and had a little trouble deciding, but here is what I came up with for today.

Yesterday, as I was doing my devotions, I just kept singing the phrase "I sing to glorify the King who gave His life." I have no idea where this came from, other than that it must be from the Lord. I soon was led to two verses that led me along the same path.

"And I will be to her a wall of fire all around, 
declares the Lord,
and I will be the glory in her midst."
~ Zechariah 2:5

"Sing and rejoice,
O daughter of Zion,
I came and I will dwell in your midst,
declares the Lord."
~ Zechariah 2:10

Even in the midst of my busy life, I still must make time to sing to my King. He alone is worthy of my praise. In the Bible, it says that if we do not praise Him the rocks and mountains will cry out. Yes, I need God when everything is crumbling around me, but how much more do I need Him when the world seems to be perfect (figuratively speaking)! It is then that my focus comes off on Him and onto worldly things. It is then that I need Him to be my constant guide, my Rock and my source of all true wisdom. 

Blessings,
Hannah

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Life Update: Plays and Auditions

Hello everybody!

Sorry for the long hiatus, but I have been terribly busy. "Rules For a Knave", the play that I wrote and my homeschool performed, has just finished its run on Broadway!
Ha ha, joking. But we did perform it, and it was such a wonderful experience. I've had a busy day today as well, even though the play is over. I'll get to that.

Anyway, let's get to the summary before I fall asleep from exhaustion.

We have been working on the play for about a month. Not a lot of time to get a solid hold of a production, but our group was so wonderful we managed anyway. Our dress rehearsal was okay, our first performance was even better, and the second one was even better than that! It was great to watch the actors grow like that.
But before all of this, I was really scared. It wasn't until the final days before the performance that the whole thing was coming together. I was afraid that we wouldn't be able to have a polished show to give our audience.

And, I was afraid that the audience wouldn't like the play anyway. Naturally, when you write something, you want the audience to like it. It may be a vain wish, but it's a wish I had anyway. The first time we performed, the audience barely laughed at all, and I was devastated. The reception was still good, but what I wanted most was for people to be happy and laugh out loud. The second performance was much better. We got a lot of laughs, and I felt like the hard work that the actor's had put into the performance was finally paid off. I mean, when you're on stage and you're giving it your all, it means so much when you have an audience willing to respond.

So yes, it went very well. I am so proud of the actors and actresses who took part in this. This will be the last play I will share with some of my dearest friends, so it ends on such a bittersweet note. Still, I'm happy for the experience. The cast did such a lovely job.

We had a great cast party as well. We played volley ball and it was a lot of fun, but mostly we just soaked up being around each other. It's great being with friends.

After that, my family and I went home and I went to sleep! It was a busy two days, indeed! It is finally time to hang up my costume for Baljeeta Regina Flavorita Gorbachev. A sad parting, but my character will never be far away from my heart.

In other news, I auditioned for a play at the Community Theatre of Terre Haute today. It was for the musical "Hairspray". I enjoyed myself so much. I was really nervous, though.

You were expected to sing a short song, read lines, and learn a dance routine. When it was my turn to sing, I was shaking so bad I think I was vibrating on stage. Singing isn't my strong point, though!

After that we did learn a dance. I am so pathetic at dancing, but the choreographer put it in such a way that even I managed to learn the part. I had a blast! When we performed it onstage, I put my all into it. I wasn't as good as the others, of course, but I like to think that I had the most pep. (Besides some guy named Matt. He was a spindly bundle of energy) The director said that what they were looking for most was a great attitude, so I think I had that down.

We read lines after that. I totally got to say three lines! Think it will help me get a part? Ah, oh well. Even if I don't get the part it was a really good experience.

That's the update for me! If this post seems dry, I apologize. Seriously, you should see me right now. I'm lying on the couch like half-cooked pancake. So tired!

I hope you guys are all doing well. Sloshy, why don't you sing us out?

SLOSHY: Stand in the place where you live. Now face north. Think about direction and wonder why you haven't --

Okay, okay. That's enough.

I'll get Adele to sing us out next time.

Esther



Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Rambling in 'Mercurial Ramblings'

Back when we started this blog, Esther said that in her previous blogging experience, the main problem was coming up with things to talk about. Then, I thought to myself "that will never happen to me." Well, it did. Yes, there are a million and one things that I could share with you about things that I am learning, things happening in my life, what God is doing in me, etc., etc., etc. However, I am honestly not sure if those things are interesting enough for you to read that I should even take the time to write them out. In addition, tonight I am in a rambling mood. However, don't worry; I should be back to my normal self soon. =)


Anyways....


So, last night I watched Michael Phelps become the most decorated Olympian in history. I was super excited! Yes, I realize that social media is all over this subject, even hitting up to 37,000 Tweets per minute (yes, you read that correctly). What do you think? In your opinion, who is the best Olympian in history? I personally don't care who you answer, because I have seen many amazing athletes perform, and even more have done so before my time. However, I also want you (Americans particularly) to be respectful in your answers because almost 20% (on average) of our viewers are from somewhere other than the United States. 


Going to the fact that we have such a large number of international viewers...that makes me super excited!! I love people who aren't from the U.S. In all honesty, I would often rather be somewhere other than the United States, but, alas, it is not time for me to do that. =(


A group of seven friends and I (the internship that I may or may not have told you about in a previous post...) are planning a middle school retreat for this weekend. As far as I know, there are twenty-one people coming for sure. That may not seem like many to you, but coming from a town in which the average graduating class is fifty, it's a lot. I am SO excited about it!! We all are actually! I will be sure to let you all know how it went sometime after it is over. 


I'm craving chocolate right now. It sounds really, really good. Unfortunately, I don't have any. =( Earlier today I saw a recipe in Woman's Day for vanilla ice cream with grilled nectarines and raspberry sauce. It looked amazing. It looked something like this:



Nectarines make me think of peaches, which are one of my favorite fruits. I had one for lunch. It was super yummy! Speaking of peaches, have you heard the song Georgia Peaches by Lauren Alaina? If you haven't you really should, so I am posting it here - just for you. However, if you have already heard it, you should hear it again.

Isn't it good? I like country music...There are so many good country songs out there. If you like country music, who is your favorite artist? I really like Scotty McCreery, Josh Turner, Carrie Underwood (have you heard her song Good Girl?? It's so good.), Lauren Alaina, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Eric Church (love his song Springsteen!! Well, "love" is a very strong word, but I really, really like it!) Rascall Flatts...man, there are so many good artists and groups out there. Of course, there are also some really bad ones...have you ever noticed that the most catchy songs are the worst ones to listen too? Take Whistle by Flo Rida for example. It is a catching song and I find myself singing it way to often, but it is not a good song at all. I mean, just read the lyrics! Actually don't. Just avoid the song altogether. 

Well, I need to go do some things before I head off to bed, so I will talk to you all later. Oh, and I would like some feedback on the ramblings post...It is so completely different from what I normally post that I want to know what you think of it. So please leave a comment below!

Blessings,
Hannah

Monday, July 30, 2012

"Yellow Plus Red" -- A Short Story

It's a pleasure to behold your lovely faces again.

Since Hannah so kindly shared a lovely piece of literature, I thought I would share a piece of my own "literature".

SLOSHY THE KAPPA: What's with the quotation marks?

I assure you I don't know what you're talking about. Anyway, I am going to share with you some of my "literature".

SLOSHY THE KAPPA: There it is again!

Am I going to have to bring out the rubber ducky again?

SLOSHY THE KAPPA: . . .

Anyway, I used to be an avid part of a writing site called The Young Writers Society. I don't participate it in it as often now, as the site has diminished somewhat, but it's still a wonderful place to share your writing. I used to enter some contests, and this piece I wrote is one of those contest entries.

The rules for the contest were that you had to use a random prompt generator to fuel the idea for your story, and the story had to be under 1000 words. I went through a lot of stupid ones before I found a prompt I liked. The prompt I chose was this:
"Your story is about a historian in a mental institution wandering the highlands."

If that sounds impossible to logically work with, that's because it is. So I decided to be a little crazy with it. So indeed, I did write a story about a historian in a mental institution wandering the highlands, and I'm proud of it. Please, read the story and share your thoughts.
                                                               ---------------------

                                                             "Yellow Plus Red"


They put me in here because I'm afraid of the color orange. 

My fear is completely logical, but they don't think it is so I'm in here. White walls -- soft, composed of thick doughy squares that look like couch cushions all sewn together. So white. Not orange. 

It's completely logical that I hate the color. Let me tell you why. One, it's ugly. It's the exact color of the bloody pus that oozes out of your ear after your eardrum bursts from an infection. It's vibrant, but it doesn't belong: it clashes with any color it comes into contact with. It's an unnatural mix of red and yellow. Whenever I see an orange flower I think that that flower isn't actually real; it's just another illusion mocking me, just because I hate the color and the world knows it and it wants to show me that it knows it.

The world can't mock me because I'm behind these walls, but sometimes orange comes and prints small, bright footsteps all over my room, and I panic and throw myself against the couch cushions, trying to drown out the noise I begin to hear. The noise goes 

Tap.
Tap.
Tap.


and it repeats over and over and it won't shut up. I know that it's orange's fault. It's completely logical. I'm a logical man.

Yet I'm here. 

I'm one-hundred percent positive that I am a historian. I know of the past, thus, I'm a historian. I have brown hair, tinged with gray, which falls past my eyes. I want to get a haircut, but they won't let me close to sharp objects, and I don't trust them around me with sharp objects. Honestly, I would give anything for a sharp object right now. I would prick my finger and I'd wait and see if blood comes out, and if I see red I'll know I'm alive. For all I know I could be dead; no one has told me otherwise. But I might be alive because in my mind I'm living, and in my mind I'm wandering the highlands. 

The hills are bright green, brighter than the highlands should be, but in my place I see what I want to. The landscape rolls up and down like a blanket flapping in the wind. The sun is completely obscured with a thick layer of clouds, thank goodness. Instead, light seems to appear randomly. Everything of interest gives a light, and the most interesting thing is her. 

Blank, wide, eyes stare at me. I move, but her eyes do not follow. They stay focused at the same spot. Her red lips are parted. Her skin is blanched and bloodless, with small, blue veins that branch along her throat. Her head is tilted too far to the right. It would give her a painful crick, always being like that, but since she doesn't feel anything, I think she’s fine with it. She hangs in the air, about one foot off of the ground. Nothing’s keeping her up there. 

She's always hanging, and I'm always standing. It hasn't changed since they brought me here. When I choose to see her, I can never do anything except stand. I want to touch her, but I can't because the world knows I want to touch her and it wants me to know that I can't touch her. 

She has a bracelet that's silver, with a small key on it that bounces off her wrist in the breeze: 

Tap. 
Tap. 
Tap. 


We stand together in silent companionship, and I’m happy, I think. But then she speaks. 

I've forgotten what words sound like. I began to ignore them when they took me here, after they said I had a nervous breakdown. I forgot after the antiseptic smiles phased to placid expressions, then to exasperated looks. All I have left are the voices inside my head, but I cannot actually hear them. They are whispers escaping open lips, never inflected or pronounced, yet I understand them. 

So whispers escape her gaping mouth and they mean,

"Why am I here?"

So I mean back, 

"Because you're my everything." 

A chill runs down my spine. She whispers,

"Your Everything is Nothing." 

The highlands begin to swirl. Light emanates from strange places, as if it doesn't know where it belongs. The clouds form strange shapes, unmasking the sun which covers the world in glaring light. Everything is changing, and I don't understand. What has broken? Slowly, her feet land on the ground. Her neck's crooked, but she’s closer now. I see the dark bruise on her neck. She strides away.

 I hear

Tap.
Tap.
Tap. 


With each sound, I’m assaulted with a memory. Memories that I had repressed but were coming back. I see us walking, with her neck perfectly straight, and I wonder why we are holding hands. I remember.

"Wait!" 

"Your Everything is Nothing." 

Another tap and I see a rope. Tap. I see her hanging. Tap. Her orange shoes hang limply above the ground. Tap. And I cannot look away. Tap. I am paralyzed, but all I see are those shoes. Tap. Orange shoes. Tap. Why can’t I do something? Tap. Why can’t I look away?

Because she is my Everything.

And my Everything is nothing. 

I wake up screaming, ranting, raving. I thrust myself against the walls, pounding them. They pour in, and pin me down. Their tone means to say it's okay, but it's not okay. Orange foot prints stain my vision. The world knows she was all that was left of me and it wants me to know that by taking her away. Sharp, glinting needles fade away along with my consciousness. I’m going back to the highlands.

They put me here because I’m afraid of the color orange. My fear is completely logical. 

Yet I'm here.

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

Well, what did you think?
I didn't win with this story, but I didn't expect to. It was still a great experience, and the first short short story I have ever written.

Don't be afraid of the rubber duck,

Esther