Monday, April 30, 2012

April: The End

Well. That went well, didn't it?

Just like with NaNoWriMo last November, my blogging plans were torn asunder by drama club. I'm not too upset about it because I had fun when I was doing BEDA and Photo a day in April regularly and when I was not. I liked blogging a lot and I think that I will continue with it more regularly. Especially now since I'm so close to graduating and all. I would like to have a record of that if only for myself. I have written a couple posts like that this year and then didn't publish them when I realized they were just for me so we'll see. (Rhyme. Teehee.)

I ended my first post this month with these lines:

"Eliot said that April is the cruelest month. The school librarian tells me that if you can get through March then you can get through to Summer. We'll see who's right."

Having made it through March this year and all but five and a half hours of April I can say that Eliot was wrong.

April has not been a picnic. In fact, I did not have one picnic. It has been confusing and stressful and tiring but so far it has not been as bad as March. And as I read T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" today, 9th period at the creek, I knew that April can be cruel when it mixes memory and desire, but it's not the cruelest. March is an Indian Giver, presenting you with gifts and then snatching them away, leaving you in the dark. And a mix of memory and desire and lilacs in dead land are not nearly as bad as that. April hurts, but in a satisfying way.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 23: One week to go

Today I didn't do much. Everyone was wearing their senior sweatshirts and finishing signing each other's posters from Grease in the music suite hallway. It was like walking down a hallway of sadness and memories. Nate and I barged in on Kendra's chorus lesson and demand that our musical director sign our posters. Then the student teacher and I plugged in the cardboard "juke box" and really got the party started. I was supposed to go to a biology review after school but really didn't feel like it so I watched 9 episodes of iCarly instead. Whoops. I'm not even ashamed. (I'm a little ashamed.)

I'm going to bed now. Good night!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 22: 7 years, take 2

Today I woke up on the floor of my friend Madison's house next to to Jordan. He was next to Jenny. Tori was above us. There was also a potato somewhere that Jenny had confiscated around 5 in the morning. I didn't so much wake up, as become more and more aware of my surroundings. I think I slept for at least an hour or two. I mean, the last thing I remember it was dark, and then it was light. Not much sleeping was had.

Today was the last day of Grease. Our third packed house. And the last show for us seniors. There were many emotions which I will not say for fear of starting them up again.

I'm going to admit right here that I've been wearing the t-shirt from my 9th grade musical, State Fair, for the last 30 or so hours. Mascara is smeared across a corner of it. I can't be tamed.

Tomorrow the seniors are wearing our senior sweatshirts and the t-shirt from our favorite show. I'm going with Larceny and Old Lace from 8th grade. Up until this weekend I would say that it was our best show but now I'm not so sure. But I wore my Grease t-shirt on Friday. Anyway, it's nice to have an excuse to wear t-shirts and sweatshirts tomorrow. Scumday, Monday, whaddup! Especially since it's supposed to be really rainy.

That's another thing. Sunday shows have always been bright and clear and early with a vague chill in the air and wispy, white cirrus clouds. Today it was damp and grey and drizzling and I thought it was quite fitting. My group of seniors was much more emotional than any other group that I can remember. (We blame Dan for it.) So it's follows that the sky is, too.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day 20 and 21: What?

I didn't blog yesterday because it was opening night of Grease. I think it went pretty well. It was a full house. Afterwards we went to Friendly's like we always do after the Friday night show and I ate a Reese's Pieces waffle sundae which was mind blowing and bonded with Jordan over our tendency towards kleptomania.

I slept for 11 hours today and only got out of bed around 1400. And that was to eat a sub and a cannoli. I am watching The Show with Ze Frank and writing this and what? What is this new format? It is awful. It is literally the worst. Why does google always change things and connect things and wind up botching them ll up?

I have call in an our and 45 minutes so I'm going to watch as much Ze Frank as I can before then. Goodbye.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day 19: Too bad

It just became April 20th. And I did write blog post today, but you can't see it because it is for me and my cast and crew mates in our theatre company. Tonight was our last rehearsal for Grease and for the seniors, our last ever. And that is too powerful to share with the masses.

Day 18: Whoops

I forgot to properly blog yesterday because I had a late rehearsal and before I remembered I was already in bed. But I did send this from my phone so it counts.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day 17: I can smell a Tuesday

It's a Tuesday. I could smell it yesterday. And it has the scent even more today. Since it's a Tuesday.

I'm only going to give today's highlight because I have homework and stuff.

I walked around the track for all of gym class with my friend Allison. She has been shut out of her usual group of friends recently as well as breaking up with her boyfriend of two years. Needless to say she has not been the happiest or optimistic person. Which is fine. She can join Molly and I in the Communion of Cynics. Anyway, Allison convinced me to hangout with her 8th period instead of going home like I usually do so she didn't have to spend it with the people who were causing her so much anguish. I suggested that we walk down to the lower playing field but we wound up continuing on to a creek behind the school. I picked up a tennis ball along the way by the courts. We stumbled down the steep hills on the crude desire paths. My summers spent on the shores of lakes came in handy as I am exceptionally good at walking down steep, rocky, slippery surfaces. Once we both got to the little rock beach we skipped stones and joked and talked and considered never going back to school and just following the creek and seeing where it took us. I had never been down there before and I'm not sure if Allison had either but I think we'll definitely be back. It reminded me of the creek behind Kara Sabbagh's old house in Poughkeepsie. On our way back up to the school I decided to drop the tennis ball in the helmet in the basket of the moped of one of the older people who were playing.

It was a good day.

We found a lot of heart-shaped rocks but Allison found the best ones.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Day 16: Tanning Club

Not much happened today. I just generally got back into the school groove. Or at least tried to. I was kind of surprised to find myself back in classes today as I had somehow gotten it into my head over the last week and a half that I had already graduated. And I forgot until just now that I was going to greet everyone all creepily. Next time, next time.

Today was outrageously hot for April. At one point my thermometer read 90 degrees F. It was hot and just a little heavy with moisture, with the air making the surroundings a little hazy and grey. The cloud cover had burned off some by late afternoon when I found myself on my deck in my favorite arrangement reading The All-American Boys.

Later I went to rehearsal. All of the actors except for a few late ones and most of the crew and a couple of musicians showed up around 5 pm when our calendar said our call was. The directors weren't there. As it would turn out, it was not a dress rehearsal and we didn't actually have to be there until 6 pm. Street clothes, baby. Usually I would have been thrilled to know this but in anticipation of the dress, I stayed in the tank top and gym shorts that I threw on after my walk home. This change of schedule prompted me to say "Dammit! If I had known it wasn't a dress then I would have worn more pants!" right as a group of children and their mother was walking by. So we lay on the pavement and ate French fries and talked and fell on each other and braided each other's hair. The rule was "Sun's out, gun's out!" meaning that you had to have your shirt sleeves rolled up because we frowned upon farmers tans. This was funny because a few of the boys were true hicks, from the rural part of our school district's rural town. When we told Nate to roll up his sleeves we were quite shocked at the guns he was packing. Swimming, man. It rips you.

A usual rehearsal followed with more reading and some light studying outside in between scenes for me. And all in all, it was a pretty enjoyable rehearsal.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Day 15: You don't kno-o-ow!

Urgh. This has been a long day. I had Grease rehearsal for 6 and a half hours where I alternated between doing biology homework, reading for English, singing "What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction, eating taco dip, and actually rehearsing Grease. Now I'm home and there's an airplane outside my window heading from the South and banking East. I live near two airports and I've started to memorize the flight paths of some of the flights.

So I got home and half-assed half of an AP Government assignment. I decided to ignore the rest and just not do it. Today is Sunday so I watched some Trek with Bruce and the gang. DS9 again but it was "Trials and Tribbulations" which is the one where they go back in time to the ToS Tribble episode. It was nice because that was the one DS9 episode besides the ones from last week that I vaguely know. And now I think I have to greet everyone I see tomorrow by shouting out "HUMANS!" and throwing my arms open and then drinking Klingon coffee. Or something.

I haven't showered yet since I went to livestream as soon as I got home from rehearsal so I'm still covered in hairspray and make-up. (22 bobby pins today. The in-school performance from the Thursday before break was 13.) I have to get up early tomorrow because I have to go back to school. Noooooooooo! Urgh. jwhtl;sh;lkwqh;klrhyl3 I'm going to go shower and go to bed and just leave you with this picture of the sunset I took at 19h15.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day 14: Adjusting my attitude, pitch, and yaw

Well hello, everyone! You're looking LOVELY today, blog readers. I'm feeling really, really good today. I did a review packet for AP Bio and it kind of failed miserably. It turns out I don't remember much. I need to start some hard studying soon. I still have a lot of bio left and not much time to do it. It's 21h00 now and I've got rehearsal for SEVEN HOURS tomorrow. Plus I have reading for English. But I don't care and I'm okay and I know I'll get it done. Do you know why I don't care?

Well, I'll tell you.

Right now I'm listening to Liam Payne's X-Factor audition and it's AMAZING. I will begin to accept marriage proposals from Liam Payne starting NOW. I watched the One Direction iCarly episode and it was great. I think that Sam represents all of us when she drags Zayn into a dark corner at the end of it. Oh those boys. Right before that I watched the episode with Michelle Obama and I laughed and I cried and it was beautiful. Have I mentioned recently how much I adore Mrs. Obama? Because I do. A lot.

(I'm now listening to the One Direction "All You Need Is Love" cover form X-Factor. It's so good!)

So those are a couple reasons why I'm happy but the main one is a bit bigger.

Today I went with my dad to a disused ice cream factory to go to a program/showcase on Apollo flight simulators. The Blue Boxes. We got to fly one remotely form another simulator and it was so much fun! There were pictures from Mercury and other programs including one of the Finger Lakes. You could see my dad's hometown on it. There was the intended flight path for Apollo 13. A flight suit with a silk map of Europe. Airplane engines. Cockpit instrument panels. A flight instructor station that charted the simulators progress. Photos from training. Mission patches. A coloring book on the film used in John Glenn's camera that said there were "good rockets" and "bad rockets" and that we launched "good rockets" and how an astronaut is a "very brave man" who wears a "funny suit" and how "Wally Schirra is special. He is very, very special."

Then there were talks from the man who was in charge of making the Link simulators and Frank Hughes, the former Chief of Space Flight Training for NASA. They told us stories of the old days of NASA and the training of the astronauts. It was amazing. I had been reading Walter Cunningham's book The All-American Boys in the car and so I asked Mr. Hughes if he could sign it and he said that Walt would be pissed at him if he did. But he signed it and told us to "keep reaching for the stars." Then he asked me what I did and I told him I was a student and he asked if I would be joining them, meaning NASA and everyone else who makes space flight possible. I told him maybe and he said that they would be glad to have me. To put this into context, it would be like someone asking Alex Dahlberg to do a show that Darren Criss has worked on. I feel like everyday my resolution and desire to work in the aviation and aeronautics field grows stronger and stronger. And Frank Hughes encouraging me to just about seals it.

So, feeling confident, happy, and inspired, this is Heather Ryan, signing off.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Day 13: Friday the 13th

I didn't even realize it was Friday the 13th until a few hours ago. Then I promptly forgot until now.

Today hasn't been too shabby a day. I was going to do homework but never got around to it. Instead I read in the sun and did some gardening. I weeded the garden and the strawberry patch and it was beautiful. And tomorrow I'm going to some Apollo simulator program? I don't really know what's going to happen there but I'm sure it will be awesome with programs by people from NASA and simulator contractors and a couple simulators themselves and the guy who was head of manned spaceflight astronaut training during the Apollo days. I'm pretty excited. I guess our area manufactured a lot of the simulators which is awesome and a thing that I didn't know so I'm really looking forward to it. I'll have to get up early to do some homework beforehand but whatever. It's worth it.

I hope things are picking up in terms of the suck level of days.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Day 12: We're still doing this? Also, space.

Seriously? I still have to write these things? Ugh. It's not even the 12th anymore. I was making poptarts and now it's the 13th. oOOOoooooOOOooohhhhhhh! Spooky. Or something. God these blogs are positively dripping with laziness and boring-ness. Once I get back to school I'm sure that I'll have more things to write about. Not that I really want to go back to school and face you-know-who.

Today I read and watched Parks and the Office came back which was beautiful. Then I made the poptarts.

Today was the 51st anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's first space flight. He was a cosmonaut and the first man in space. The first space shuttle, Columbia, also had her first flight today back in 1981 with a crew of John Young and Bob Crippen. Last year my dad, little sister, and I went to launch rockets. This year I didn't remember until late in the afternoon. My dad had a library board meeting after work so we couldn't really do anything for it except raise a glass of milk or water. Next year, even though I'll be at school, I'll do something better. But you can watch the video I made last year in the mean time. It's simple, but it's still one of the things that I'm most proud of.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Day 11: The Slump

Hey guys it's technically the 12th right now because I just got home from seeing the Hunger Games for the 2nd time with my dad and sisters. It was better the 2nd time and everyone's still just as hot.

And yeah. That's about it. I got out of bed around 3 pm and ate depressing food and watched Parks and Rec and did laundry. The weather was exciting though. It hailed. A lot. Twice. The second time was actually really awesome and the hailstones were pretty big and I ate them and caught them in my water glass and made hailballs and threw them. Dancing in hail doesn't leave as much of a physical reminder as rain does and it doesn't have the innocence of snow. It's cold and wet and stinging and tangible and the things just bounce right off of you and feel incredibly strange under bare feet. Then you start yelling at the sky why is it covering the ground with kosher salt? Then later the sky turned gold like it did after I returned home from AwesomeCon in July 2010 except it was only on the edges and less intense and then a rainbow appeared for only a couple minutes.

The end.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day 10: 1/3rd there

It's the evening now and I usually don't start writing my blog until later tonight in case something exciting happens but I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen. Plus I'm listening to my dad on the radio so I don't have much else to do. and I like to do things with my hands when I'm watching or listening to something.

My dad is a doctor and he's talking about communities being planned that deter efforts to walk places and increase obesity. My dad was talking about how people need to exercise more and my mom mutters "He needs to exercise more." My sisters and I started laughing and then not two minutes later we hear our dad say "I need to exercise more myself" like he could hear us.

Oh my god an emergency alert system test just interrupted the program. Of course. xD

I have been a lot more healthy in general lately. Not this week because there is just so much food in my house. Plus I walk home from school almost everyday and since I don't have classes this week I've lost my mile and a half uphill trek. I just started walking about a month ago and I really like it. It's so nice. And on days that I walk I feel better about myself and I remember to be healthier for the rest of the day. Like if I know I'm walking home I usually won't eat two poptarts during the period before I leave. And when I get home I'm usually not very hungry so I'll eat a carrot or something. And then I'll do crunches while reading or watching tv or something. I'm just better when I walk. The high school and middle school are pretty much the only places you can walk to from my house so I might as well take advantage of it. Plus I don't have class for the last two periods so I get home more than an hour earlier that way.

Yup. That's about it. Oh remember when I wrote that huge and convoluted and confusing post about my prom situation? Yeah. My prom date is now in a relationship. We all knew it was coming but, um, weird. A little awkward. I almost wish he had told me, not because I like him or anything but because it would have been polite, you know? God why doesn't everyone involved in this thing just date each other and go together? So much simpler!

Okay, I have to go think of songs with the word "red" in them. A demain!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Day 9: Counting

Today I ate food and read and watched Parks and Rec.

That's it.

I wound up talking to Bruce until 3 in the morning and then reading The Name of the Star until past 4 in the morning. That was a bad idea. At one point when I was almost asleep and facing the wall one of my blankets fell off of me and I went completely still. I would have screamed if I weren't so freaked out.
Things had just started to get really creepy when I fell asleep and when I woke up and continued to read, that was still the case. I was alone in my house for the climax of it and when I was doing dishes and staring out the window after lunch I saw a boy run across the lawn and I jumped and dropped a knife in the sink. It is seriously a wonderful book. Alex, I highly, highly recommend you read it and then everything that Maureen Johnson has ever written because she is just so brilliant.

I just glanced down at my floor and there is a sock in an old marching band helmet.

Everyone should watch this video. I'm 21 minutes in and I WILL make it to the end.

Okay guys. I seem to be the only survivor of BEDA who I follow so I feel all right about ending this blog early. After all, "For a long time now, I thought I was just a survivor, but I'm not. I'm the winner. That's who I am. A Time Lord victorious"

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Day 8: Star Trek Sundays

Happy Easter.

Last night I stayed up really late due to tea, custard, SNL, Doctor Who, and The Name of the Star. I wound up reading until nearly four in the morning. I slept until 11 then had a lazy day of more reading and a lot of eating. Left over pizza, sausage, cheesey potatoes, peeps, jelly beans, custard, cheese cake, bread, rice, and Arnold Palmer, tea, and water. It's nearly 11 at night and I still feel full from dinner which was about nine hours ago or something.

That was pretty much my day. I watched Torchwood after dinner. "Sleeper". I think that I had only seen that episode once before as well. Over winter break I watched the whole first series of Torchwood so I figured I would watch one from the beginning of the second. I had recently seen "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" though so I went to the second.

After finishing Torchwood I had a while to kill before watching Star Trek with my friend Bruce on livestream at nine so I figured I'd start watching Parks and Rec. God I'm glad I did. 30 seconds in and I was in love. Leslie Knope. She's so cute. I just want to cuddle her. And Pawnee reminds me of my town a lot. Just weird and confused and apathetic. Home sweet home.

Bruce streamed a couple Deep Space Nine episodes. I had never seen any of DS:9 before and I was really confused. The first episode we watched was really weird and insane. Something about Cardassian data rods and getting the Romulans to join the war against the Dominion. I had no clue about any of it. It was still fun, though. We watched "The Wire" after that which was full of homosexual text (no subtext here) between Garak and Bashir. We of course had plenty of jokes to make. I love Bashir, though. He's quite attractive with a great voice and accent. When that was over I suggested we start with the pilot of The Original Series and see how long it took us to get to the newest movie. We're calling it "Star Trek Sundays". I'm excited. It should be really fun and kind of something to cement parts of my life together when I start college in August. I like Bruce's friends a lot and one of them actually lived in my town for a while and worked at the restaurant that my friends and I got kicked out of. It is a small world.

That's about it for today. I think I'll watch more Parks and read. A demain!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Day 7: Untraditional Traditions

Okay, okay, it's actually a couple of hours into April 8th but I have reasons. I was partaking in my Saturday Before Easter Traditions.

One thing you should know about me is that I kind of have a thing for odd traditions. I think it's my family's fault. When you combine Ashkenazic Judaism with Irish Roman Catholicism, things get a little weird. You wind up eating bacon and latke sandwiches on Christmas Eve and decorating the Christmas tree with Stars of David and having Seder in Methodist churches and sometimes your dad will make a hamantaschen in the shape of a cross just because.

And my Saturday Before Easter traditions are

1.) Watch Doctor Who

2.) Make custard late at night.

I think you can tell where those came from.

Two years ago I got back from a trip to my good friend Kara's house on the Saturday before Easter. This was also the Saturday the "The Eleventh Hour" aired. After running circles around the house and shouting at the sky etc., I convinced my brother to make custard with me. We didn't use whole milk and it was a failure. Oh well. Next year I made it with whole milk and it was delicious. This year there was no new Doctor Who episode so after a day of reading, baking with my mom (another Easter tradition- My mom makes these delicious things called Bread Bunnies. They are bread made into the shape of bunnies with Hershey's kisses in the center for hearts. This year I helped and towards the end of making them my mom and I decided to get a little creative and put chocolate in the head, body, or tail. It was decided that whoever got the Bunny with the most chocolate would win Easter.), and talking with friends, I decided to watch Vampires of Venice.

I hadn't seen this episode since it aired nearly two years ago and HOLY CRAP!!!!!! SO GOOD!!!!!!!! Just really, really good. So much mention of the Silence and vampire fish from space and memories of studying for AP Euro. And Rory. Back when I first watched this episode I was still getting used to the new Doctor, I thought Amy was selfish and rude, and that Rory was annoying. I'm used to 11 now. Amy still is selfish but in a tolerable and realistic way. And I did not see Rory for what he was in this. He completely called the Doctor's bluff about what really made him dangerous was people trying to impress him and how it was even worse than putting people in these strange situations in the first place. Maybe I've grown to understand the Doctor better now or maybe I'm just older but two years ago I wouldn't take any criticism on the Doctor. I would take criticism on regenerations but not the man himself. I love him too much and too blindly. Now a combination of growing up a bit more and gaining experience and how well Matt has portrayed the flawed Doctor but I can see his faults now. And I like it. And in a way, Rory reminds me of myself. He's not cowed by things and kind of just takes it in stride that he's sword fighting a vampire fish from space with a broom and he speaks to everyone as an equal, most notably the Doctor which no one has ever really done before, at least not in the New Series. I think that if there is one character in Doctor Who that I misjudged the most, it would be Rory.

Tomorrow, Easter, I watch Torchwood.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Day 6: Team Prom?

Well yesterday's post was a little odd, wasn't it? I was quite frazzled due to a combination of an in-school mini-performance of Grease where people messed up and made it look like I missed an entrance. (I didn't.) A Passover seder at a Methodist church which always makes me a little uncomfortable. Thinking over what a great Penn State professor said in a couple of my classes he came to visit today. And the craziest prom drama ever. (I'll get to that in a bit.)

Today I watched the Office, went to the dentist where I had a slightly sassy oral hygienist. This woman was awesome. She must have been about 60 and was snarking it up over the dentist filling in while the normal guy was on vacation. Then I went to the library and got books. I love books. I'll have them all read before I go back to school probably. (Today was my first day of break.) After reading for a while and leftover matzoh ball soup eating, I went out with a few friends to bubble tea.

It was a lot of fun because the last time Natasia, Katharine, and I went for bub (we actually wound up eating ice cream) we talked about Natasia's love for this boy, Isaac. Today Natasia brought this Isaac with her. I heartily approve of this pairing even if Isaac does take my spot as the man in the group.

Laura was there as well and this brings me to the prom stuff.

I said earlier in the month that I had a date. I do. My friend Aubrey. But let me give you some history first.

In February I asked my friend Peter. He was already going with a friend of his from work, Katie. A while later I asked my friend Chris who is a year older and we always have a good time when we do something. He couldn't go. Last Saturday I asked Aubrey after the SciOly competition. He said yes three days later. Good, yeah?

Well yesterday my friend Allison told me that Katie had backed out and that Peter was going to ask our friend Brianna. But Brianna has wanted to go with this other guy. Apparently she's liked him for a really, really long time. So she said no. Laura's boyfriend, Mike, leaves for Navy training before prom so he can't go with her. She was going to ask Aubrey but then she talked to Aubrey and found out that I had asked him. So she said that he should go with me. So Aubrey agreed to go with me and the next period told me so. While we were sitting next to Peter in the library. So Peter knows I have a date and won't ask me. But if he did ask me then Laura would go with Aubrey. And if I go with Aubrey then I would suggest to my friend Tori, also lacking a date, that she should go with Adam, a friend from the trivia team we're on with Aubrey.

On top of that about 327458257478475 people want to go with friend Will who already has a date.

I have made it nearly 4 years with no major high school drama. And now with 10 weeks left until graduation, we get this mess. My life is turning into a poorly written teen romantic comedy that people will forget about for 10 years after it's release then find it on Netflix and watch with their friends when they're bored. I will be a cult classic.

Is it too weird to call a "Team Prom" meeting with all of the people listed above and sort this thing out?

Reading back on this post this does not sound like anything that would ever happen in my life. Ever. But here we are.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Day 5: What do you want?

I have to write this blogpost and I'm sorry but I really don't want to. I don't want to write about all that happened today because it's real enough already. So I'm not actually going to say anything about today other than the fact that 24 hours ago things were much simpler. Now they're complicated. And I don't like it. And now we're on break and I won't see anyone for a week so I'll be sitting here refreshing facebook and clutching onto my phone even though I don't have his number and I have to go to the dentist tomorrow and I worry about missing him like I did earlier tonight when I did laundry and crap I was doing laundry and I don't care I'll just leave everything in the dryer until it's absolutely necessary to take it out because I don't care.

Also Alex is really nice to me. Thank you Alex. You're wonderful.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day 4: The Spectrum of Suffering

Today instead of talking about what I did because it really wasn't much, I want to respond to something that Clare posted on a blog post of Alex's. (Clare and Alex seem to be who I will be traveling with down this BEDA rode so you should get to know them.)

I'm taking what Clare said a bit out of context but I find it also works for what I mean. She wrote "In fiction, the problems matter. In fiction, when something tugs at the morals of a character, the character does something about it, and when the character tries hard at it, it works."

What I really want to focus on are the phrases "In fiction, the problems matter" and "when the character tries hard at it, it works." "The problems matter." "It works." This reminded me of something I have been thinking about for a while now. That is what I call the Spectrum of Suffering and also the fact that fiction kills you.

Fiction creates these neat little world where authors put variations of problems that can happen in ours. They use the problems in our world as an example for what they create in their own. Then when we read about these, we use them as examples for how to solve the problem. It's like fiction is one of those transforming boxes from math class that I never understood that you put a number into and it modifies it. Or like orders being passed down a line of generals and officials at Valley Forge, slowly being translated from one language to another until they were shouted out in English by Alexander Hamilton. Fiction is a way of passing on ideas without discussing them directly. And when this happens, they tend to become inflated.

Oh, your boyfriend doesn't like your best friend? Here. Now one is a vampire and the other a werewolf and their families have been feuding for ages. That will help.

You're trying to make friends at your new school and want to figure out what the point of living is? Will it help if the girl you're in love with kills herself while driving to her mother's grave with a vase of metaphor flowers in the back?

You've been friends with this girl for ages and you've just been through a really rough patch in your relationship with her and you abandoned her but you still love her? Why don't you make out in the middle of a war after killing a bit of your enemy's soul!?

Now here is where the Spectrum of Suffering comes in. It is a very normal thing when you're feeling down for someone to try and comfort you by saying "Well it could be worse. You have a house. You have food. You live in a democracy. You're not a starving child in Bangladesh or a rape victim in Sudan or an Iraq war veteran with PTSD."

To them I would like to say "Yes. I know I am none of those things. But how does that fact make me feel any better? Reminding me of all of the suffering in the world only makes me feel more miserable."

Because here is the thing: No matter how hard you try, you cannot imagine the pain of something you have never experienced. It is like trying to remember exactly how it felt when you broke your arm. You just can't bring that feeling back.

Pain you feel cannot be conveyed to someone else so do not let them tell you it is no big deal. Your pain is not imagined and because you can't feel someone else's emotions, what is happening inside your head is just as intense as what is happening in someone else's. When it feels like the end of the world, it damn well feels like the end of the world.

So the Spectrum of Suffering does not extend between people. Everyone has their own Spectrum. When I found out I may be grounded due to FAA regulations back on January 31st, it felt like the sky had fallen and I was suffocating beneath it but I still couldn't reach it. If my Spectrum runs from 1 to 10 I would mark this as about a 9. But Alex and Clare each have different benchmarks than I do and there is no way to possibly compare them.

Fiction minimizes our suffering by expanding it. It makes your everyday problems appear trifling when you compare failing your math test to winning back the love of Daisy Buchanan. But Jay Gatsby did not take the test and therefore cannot tell you who is feeling worse.

I love fiction, but it can be belittling.

So whenever someone puts their arm around your shoulder and starts to say "Get some perspective-" or "Well this may seem like a big deal-" or "Think of starving kids in Africa-" or "At least you aren't chasing after a white whale", just look at them and say "No."

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Day 3: Losing already?

Whoops! I nearly forgot to blog today. It's nearly 9:30 pm and I'm in my pajamas I have just let time slip by. I got home from Grease rehearsal nearly an hour ago (wouldn't you know it a hand-jive was playing on the radio on my way back home) and I've just been sitting on tumblr. I have to read two more chapters of The Scarlet Letter and study for a gov test I have tomorrow and possibly look over some biology answers. Like all three of those are actually going to happen.

Uh, let's pretend I'm interviewing myself.

So Heather, what has happened today?

Uh, we square danced in gym (YESSSSSAJkg;hda/klfhadjlh!!!!!!!!!) and I ran into a stray cat on my walk home?

How wonderful! Would you say this happens often?

Um, no. We don't spend nearly enough time square dancing. We should take the emphasis off of swimming and put it on square dancing. (In this town, square dancing may save your life just as much as swimming. Thankfully I'm good at both.) And the cat was really unexpected.

And is that all that has happened? Nothing else? Just square dancing, finding a cat, and rehearsal?

Well yeah pretty much. I watched some of the Office and Arrested Development, too. I was going to make custard because two years ago today The Eleventh Hour came out. I planned on celebrating Custard Day and was all ready when I got home but then I remembered that it is Easter/Passover season and my family goes through A LOT of eggs. I mean a lot. We're talking dozens. I think the all time record was 60 eggs a few years ago or something like that. And custard needs a lot of eggs, too and I just didn't think we had enough to spare. I wound up being right because we had eggs for dinner. I hadn't had an egg in a while because I just got really sick of them but they're pretty good.

So, moral of the blog: Eggs and stray cats. Now it's off to the English reading for me. I'll see you tomorrow, bloggies! (I probably shouldn't say that again.)

P.s. Oh and also I wound up with a prom date so that's pretty great. Okay bye.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Day 2: Candid

I'm going to be candid with you all. I kind of slept through school today. I was just exhausted and hadn't done a biology lab and my room was still a mess from packing and returning this weekend and I was just feeling tired and bleh. So I didn't go. It's kind of a bad habit of me, having these days where I just need to catch up on things like homework and chores and so I stay home to do it. I've been a lot better about not doing that this year, though. Last year I probably did it way too much but I'm getting better.

Now I've finished the bio and have cleaned up my room a bit and all I really want to do is eat French fries. I love French fries. They're probably my favorite food. On Friday night my SciOly team had "dissatisfying" French fries because they were cold and a little soggy but they tasted really good dipped in my friend Trent's tomato sauce from his pasta haha. I think I'll go eat a bit before going to play rehearsal tonight. Since I didn't go to school today I'm technically not allowed to go to rehearsal but we're doing a mini-show in school on Thursday and since I missed practices for the last week due to SciOly I really should go. I also need to memorize my lines. We're doing Grease and I'm Miss Lynch and still relying on my script for my longer speeches.

And that's a bout it for today. I've slept and watched a lot of Arrested Development today and now I'm going to go eat. That's basically all you need to know about my life. Bye!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day 1: 7 Years

Remember when I said I was going to write more? Well I guess I lied. But I didn't do it intentionally. I just didn't want to/was far too lazy. But I think I am going to do BEDA just because. So let's begin.

I woke up nearly 12 hours into April.

Late last night I returned home from my 16th, and last, Science Olympiad competition. I have been doing this for 7 years and I can't really convey the array of complex emotions I felt. If you've been through this then I won't need to explain. But it's relief and remorse and sadness and emptiness and freedom and something inside you saying "thank god that's over" and something else saying "I wish we could go back" and all and all exhausting. I feel like I've slept for the first time in 7 years. But I came in 4th place in Geological Mapping somehow.

On Friday we went to Niagra Falls and made friends with a black squirrel named Willis. We stayed at a fancy hotel along with the Fayetteville-Manlius team. (I will be honorable and not say anymore about them.) At the hotel there was also a beauty pageant and a dance competition. Some of my team members crashed the beauty pageant and I went with some friends to crash the recital. I saw a doppelganger of my little sister when she was 10 years old dancing to the Across the Universe version of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand." She was wonderful.

After the events were over my teammates and the coaches and parents killed time for two hours playing games. My friend Casey hid in a cupboard with some guy from another team for 20 minutes because we forgot to tell her we had stopped playing hide-and-seek. We nearly missed the awards ceremony because we were so into our game of Pictionary.

This year the competition was at Canisius College and the campus just smelled funny and bad. The whole trip kind of did. I didn't like the school and everything was spread out and confusing. I spent a speed walk with a girl from Stuyvesant High School across the campus complaining about how we weren't at West Point.

Oh West Point. West Point is the most beautiful place in the world and holds this insane magic over all who enter. You come out changed no matter how short your time there was. And once you go you just want to go back.

At Canisius there were no stone monuments and panoramic views or historic chains. There were no astronauts buried on the grounds. There was no threat of getting shot if you got lost and no threatening signs telling you not to step on the grass. There was no charismatic Major Bird keeping us entertained while waiting for the awards ceremony to start and no recruitment video from 2006 with an old friend of mine it somewhere. And there was not the longest and loudest standing ovation I have ever heard when they introduced an officer recently returned from deployment in the Middle East. Not at Cansius. Instead there were instead Christian symbols everywhere and lectures from professors who said "this is killing me" in front of inattentive teams and doors in places they shouldn't have been on buildings and bad feng shui of the tables holding the awards.

God I miss West Point.

Eliot said that April is the cruelest month. The school librarian tells me that if you can get through March then you can get through to Summer. We'll see who's right.