Friday, December 10, 2010

Month of Insanity

Hello everyone! It is such a beautiful, non-November day, isn't it? It's snowy, there's no hint of Thanksgiving, and Black Friday shopping has all but disintegrated. In case you're wondering why I'm so glad it's not November anymore, I'll admit I might have done one thing too many last month. So in case you're tempted to overexert yourself in the next few months, here's a few things that should not end up on the same month's to-do list...if you value your sanity, that is:
  • Read the last four Harry Potter books before going to see the movie in theaters
  • Participate in National Novel Writing Month
  • Confuse the characters from your own novel and Harry Potter
  • Join the soccer team
  • Join a new club
  • Volunteer over eight hours...on one day of the month
  • Go to a birthday party
  • Choose classes for the next quarter at school THAT WILL AFFECT YOUR FUTURE FOR YOUR WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE
  • Get addicted to a new TV show, especially if it's Doctor Who
  • Go on vacation, especially the kind of vacation with television, mountains for exploring, and the Internet
  • Procrastinate on multiple college essays
  • Decide to tutor a friend in Spanish
  • Apply for a job
  • Decorate the house for Christmas at midnight on Thanksgiving
  • Go Black Friday shopping
  • Wake up at five...every. Single. Morning.
  • Cook anything
  • Drink over 100 cups of coffee

On second thought, do all of this! (I want to see if you can possibly get as crazy as me.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Blood Drive

This week, there was an event at school that made me even more nervous than musical tryouts. No, it was not finals, Prom Week, or April Fools (aka Day of Shameless Mockery of Gullible People). Nope. This week, my school hosted a blood drive. Now, last time I gave blood I almost fainted--the world turned a shade lighter than black, and only a sugary soda could redeem me from my pitiful state. As you might imagine, that was both humiliating and scary. Nevertheless, I signed up to donate again this year and, when my number was called, nervously made my way to a station. My iron levels were good (thanks to my vitamin supplements!), and I was perfect to donate! Except. Except. Except it turned out I had been to a "malaria-risk area" in the past 12 months (no, it wasn't my neighbor's swimming pool, but thanks for your concern). It was--drum roll please!--rural Guatemala! Duh-duh-duh-duh! So with a Band-Aid adorning my now uselessly-pricked finger, I signed a statement, pledging that I would not try to give blood until June 24th, 2011. Which happens to be when I'll most likely be in Guatemala again. Do you know what this means, people? I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO GIVE BLOOD AGAIN UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD! (The end of the world=2012, for those of you without pocket Mayan calenders.) Hem. Sorry about that. I'm a bit--cough cough--melodramatic at times. Oddly enough, I was almost darkly happy that I couldn't give blood yesterday. I was blacklisted. It was like being on a watch list. (Just kidding. But it was a little fun signing that paper, in a weird sort of way.) Aside from all that, I was tempted to be severely disappointed that I couldn't donate. That's 24 MONTHS (aka 36 LIVES) that I could have saved! Talk about insta-depression. But I refused to wallow in sadness and have a two-year-long pity party (although, it's tempting. If I change my mind, would you mind bringing the emo music and headless gummy bears?). After all, the very reason I couldn't donate was because I had done something AWESOME like going to Guatemala and been serving God! When I thought about it, I realized that my church delivered 206 water filters to rural Guatemalan villages (not to mention the medical and dental services they provided free of charge). Compared to the aid--both physical and spiritual--we gave to the Guatemalans, the blood I could have donated didn't quite stack up. That's not to say that I don't think giving blood is important (because it is!), but that I had been called to do something different and shouldn't be disheartened by what I can't do. So, whether you can sit down for an hour or so and donate blood, spend a month in a third-world country, or whatever else, go out and do it! And be happy! This sort of reminded me of a Bible verse that goes, "For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ" (1 Corinthians 12:12). Be happy and inspired, yo!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Vegan Cookies! Yay!

A few weeks ago, I found out that I am (possibly) lactose intolerant. And I'm already a vegetarian. And eggs are pretty much the grossest thing ever. (Do you know what they are, people?) So...I guess I'm more or less a vegan by accident. Which is fine, since I'm pretty much forced into eating healthy, but what is there for vegans to eat? I'd always assumed a typical vegan diet consisted of a) fruit, b) vegetables, c) beans, and d) nuts. That wasn't exactly appealing to me. And although I'm certainly not a die-hard vegan (I eat little to no dairy or egg products), I had to get a little creative. Using my own--cough cough--baking expertise, vegan recipes, and good ol' common sense, I created the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever tasted! I swear. They are better than regular ones. (Okay, so the chocolate chips had milk in them, but that's only because I didn't want to go to the store and get vegan chips.) case you were looking for a healthy, vegan, sinfully delicious chocolate chip cookie recipe, you came to the right place my friend! Here we go... Ingredients: 2 1/4 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 cup applesauce (Yes, applesauce! Trust me on this one. It's good) 1/3 cup olive (or other plant) oil 3/4 cup white sugar 3/4 cup brown sugar 4 tablespoons corn starch (or other egg substitute) 1 tablespoon vanilla 1 tablespoon soy milk 2 cups vegan chocolate chips Directions: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Combine the flour and baking soda. In another bowl or electric mixer, beat applesauce and oil together until mixed well (it won't be perfect, but make it close). Add sugar and mix. Add the corn starch by tablespoon, mixing after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and soy milk. Finish by stirring in the flour mix and then the chocolate chips. Sample dough. (Of course that's a legitimate step. After all, there's no eggs, so what could it hurt?) If the olive oil seems to dominate the flavor, feel free to add a little more vanilla to even things out. (This will depend on what type of oil you buy--light or extra-virgin.) Drop tablespoons of heaven (oops, I meant cookie dough) onto baking sheets--assuming they've made it this far--and bake them for about nine minutes. Allow cookies to cool for a minute or two, then transfer them to a wire rack or plate (they will stick to the pan if you don't). Enjoy, and tell me what you think!

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Summer Epic

What I'm Listening to: Nothing at the moment, as I've forgotten my Pandora password... Dear followers, I have one thing to say: so sorry for letting my life get too ahead of itself. Yes, it's really been four months since I've last posted (and I am quite ashamed of myself). Instead of penning a dreary monologue about the summer you wish you had, I decided to write a poem...Enjoy! The Summer Epic School finally relinquished me, too tardy for my taste. I sat in for the ACT and took the test with haste. The very next day I boarded a plane, bound for Guatemala. There I met people that probably could rhyme with Guatemala. Cute kids and cute interns there I met and played with all day long. I chatted with the Spanish volunteers and learned a Spanish song. A few days after I returned, I left for Little Rock. Up a mountain called Pinnacle my friends and I took a walk. Kidnappings and mischief ensued, much to my delight. We forked the house of a friend of mine on a moonlit night. Finally, back to my house my friend and I did come. We watched movies, ate too much food, and had a lot of fun. Then I went to Oregon, where I volunteered. Weary but rewarding was my time (though I did not grow a beard). Now the summer draws to an end--I can't say I wish it'd tarry. For my friends are returning to school as well (and I really want a canary). Have an awesome school year, y'all!

Monday, April 5, 2010


What I'm Listening to: Grow Old with Me (The Postal Service) Airplanes. Those wonderful travel mediums that decimate trip time and make traveling a breeze. Right... For my seventeenth birthday, my parents gave me a plane ticket to go down to Little Rock for a few days and attend a conference with speakers Eric and Leslie Ludy (both of which I highly recommend, by the way!). After waking up at 3:00 a.m. (not without a few yawns and stretches), I left my grandmother's house for the airport. The first flight was as smooth as butter. I got to the next airport in time and made my connection easily. However, sitting on the airplane, the pilot announced that the temperature control was broken and some mechanics were on the way to fix it. Nearly half an hour later, the mechanics arrived and began working on the problem. Paperwork took another fifteen or twenty minutes, but then we started moving again. I was getting excited--I was going to make it after all! Not so. The plane still had to be "de-iced." Unfortunately, the de-icers were the slowest de-icers in the history of de-icing and we weren't on the runway for at least another half-hour. All in all, I missed my last connection by ten minutes, a forty-minute flight to Little Rock from Memphis. The next flight was in about four and a half hours so I decided to grab some Starbucks and a good book and hang out for awhile. Waiting for my next flight, I bumped into a friend who was visiting Little Rock from college and we chatted for a little bit before boarding the plane. To my dismay, the flight attendants "de-boarded" us because Newark-bound customers apparently had precedence over us. We were assigned to a plane with technical difficulties, which--you guessed it!--never ended up being fixed. An airport employee assured us that a bus was coming to take us to Memphis, but we had our doubts. I found some chocolate in my suitcase, hand-delivered by an angel herself (my grandmother), and Jeannie and I enjoyed a few moments of heightened endorphins. Against all odds, the bus finally arrived and we stepped onto our ride home. At first, I was really bitter about the whole thing. The airport wasted my time with my friends and I didn't have much time before I had to go back home. Only later did I realize why the whole thing happened. I think God purposefully delayed my plane to teach me an all-important lesson: it's not all about me. Had I made my connection, my friend Jeannie would have had to undergo that ordeal alone while I partied it up in Little Rock. And I would never have had that incredible opportunity of witnessing God's provision firsthand. I guess being stranded doesn't get the repute it should.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sour Seventeen

What I'm Listening to: Photobooth (Death Cab for Cutie) I just had my seventeenth birthday, and along with it a series of unfortunate events. For starters, I woke up to find the power was out in my bathroom--and only my bathroom! Once I figured out that I just could not do my makeup in the bathroom, I got ready with the tiny mirror in my bedroom. Later that day, my mom texted me with the message: "coffee and CT scan at 3:00." The coffee helped matters, but there was no denying the fact that I had to go get a CT scan on my birthday. After that, I tried to connect with a friend via webcam, but her Internet was down. She called me later and jokingly dubbed me Sour Seventeen. Hopefully I'll keep all the sweetness of sixteen with my new age, but you never know. Well, here's a poem I wrote the other day. Tell me what you think! Right of Way It's you, it's me. The rules of the road are so easy to forget. So here we sit at this vacant intersection, Each waiting for the other to make the first move. I stare across the abrasive asphalt into your nervous eyes. No one wants to look like a fool. A car pulls up behind and you're forced to decide. Your shiny red convertible slides across my rearview mirror As I turn towards the heart of town. And I keep checking over my shoulder, Pretending like you might be in my blind spot.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Driving Disaster

What I'm Listening to: Superman (Five for Fighting) A couple days ago, I got in the car and drove myself and my younger brother to a Superbowl party. Suddenly, I noticed I had missed the main turn and veered off onto a smaller road. To my dismay, a Dead End sign loomed in the distance. "Dang it." I furrowed my brow, but noticed another road to the left. I took that one and the situation repeated itself three or four times, the side roads popping up like weeds whenever a "main" one terminated. When I finally reached the highway, I inhaled deeply and took off, confident my troubles were behind me. Close to our destination, I asked my brother which way I was supposed to turn. "Well, that depends..." he stalled, rotating the map several times. I glanced at him in horror, but he merely shrugged and returned to his futile assessment of the map. After seven or eight tries, I finally found the right house, proceeding to give my brother a death glare and flounce towards the house. As impossible as it might seem, the way back was ten times worse. First of all, the key wouldn't turn in the lock and I nearly went into a panic attack, my theatrical brain persuading me that I would be stuck there for the rest of the night. I was finally able to start the car, though, and I made my way home, which should have been easy compared to the drive there. Wrong. I missed the turn and ended up beginning the drive up the mountains. I first noticed my mistake when I saw the speed limit: 60 miles per hour. That's beyond any speed limit in my city and my concern quickly turned to alarm. Once I was able to turn around and bypass the concrete divider--which was no easy task, by the way--I found the right road easily. Maybe I just needed the modivation of a mountain road all along.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Flat Tire

What I'm Listening to: Heartbreak World (Matt Nathanson) Riding a bike with a flat tire is, well...a byword. If you've ever done it yourself, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Well, here I was one Thursday evening with homework I didn't want to admit I had and boredom I needed to stifle, so I decided I'd go for a bike ride. I strapped on my helmet, rolled my bike out of the garage, and took off down the long, steep hill next to our house. I noticed a strange noise coming from behind, but I figured a leaf had gotten caught in my tire or something. Little did I know. About a half mile later, when the road had flattened out and then steepened again, I noticed the undeniable resistance coming from the rear. The noise I had so easily ignored became my personal demon the rest of the way back home. Every push of the pedal was pure agony. The strange thing is, I had somehow known it all down the hill and across the even road. I just ignored the obvious and pretended my bike was just fine. I paid for it tenfold on the uphill ride back home, though. If I'd only listened to my instincts, I wouldn't have returned home gasping, my thighs and lungs screaming for mercy. But I guess that's life.

Friday, January 22, 2010


What I'm Listening to: Maybe I'm a nerd, maybe I'm not. You can be the judge of that, but I have a strong suspicion that writing a poem...and a blog post entitled "Pronouns" classifies me as a full-scale geek.But whatever you decide, try to read "Pronouns" without any sort of prejudice, academic or otherwise. Pronouns My skin salty and breaths coming fast I press the phone against my jaw. Incapable of terminating that last call. Somehow believing that loosening my grip on the cell phone Would mean letting go of you. But when I finally gave up and hung up You were still there. No longer we or us, two broken hearts stand apart. But quite too close for comfort. Afterwards we'll slay the lovers in our hearts And witness the death of a pronoun.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The End of the Road

What I'm Listening to: Title and Registration (Death Cab for Cutie) Well, I'm finally there. My book is hot off the presses and packaged in three manilla envelopes. The end of the road or the beginning of a new journey--who can tell? But either way, I'm anxiously anticipating the response of the three editors I'm sending Absolute to. The writing process has been very long and tedious, so I'm thankful to all of you who have read my book and given me honest, painful feedback. I would post part of it on my blog, but for copyright issues and that sort of thing. So I decided to settle with publishing another poem. This one has yet to be named, so if you have any ideas feel free to comment!

Champagne is all too good to last

So I toast my empty glass

Hold my breath as it clinks

Pretend to take that one last drink

And wish the best of luck to a stranger.

My heart accelerates as the lights begin to dim

Swirls of skirts and waltzing men

Fill the humid air

And I act like I don’t care

I don’t have a partner.