Saturday, December 11, 2010
"Maggie, no one cares about this movie," said Christy.
We make our way to the ticket counter.
Christy is up first. "One for Dawn Treador," she tells the ticket-guy. I am bouncy. I am gittery.
An ackward moment passes. He says, "I've never heard of that movie before."
Confusion. "The Voyage of the Dawn Treador?" Christy asks again.
"Nope." I have to stop my jaw from dropping. It's the premere night for heaven's sakes. "Oh! The Chronicoles of Narnia?
"Yes..." She gets her ticket. Then I get mine.
We start our way to the movie theatre. "See," she says. "Nobody cares about this movie."
Sunday, November 28, 2010
"...responsible for the aforementioned-"
aforementioned? There's no way my teacher is ever going to believe a senior in high school chose that word-chose that word and knew what it meant...
"...responsible for these-"
these? Now I sound like a third grader.
Great! She'll love it!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Apparently, changing quotes to make them say what you want them to say is fine.
"Manipulating is different from lying," says Mrs. A, my English teacher, on the subject of our research paper.
Well, then, what is it?
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
During my summer vacation, there was this lovely time during the day when I took a book outside and sat down to read. Unfortunately, I had to stop, and of course I didn't bring a bookmark. But, oh look, there's a tree. Yes, I'll just take this one leaf, if you don't mind.
I've had the leaf pressed in many different pages in many different books. But it has gotten to the point of cracking and crumpling. And then there are these little pieces of leaf on my carpet and on my desk. And sometimes they get in the space between the pages where they stick there because your finger doesn't fit. So you shake the book frantically and get frustrated when you get part of it out but then it breaks. Yes, I have plenty of experience with this, why do you ask? ;)
Well, I've had enough of the book-shaking and have decided this cracking and crumpling has got to stop. It served me well, and I even got complimented on being creative when someone spotted the leaf. I had to take a picture of it before I let it go however, but then I put it in the palm of my hand and crushed it-never again would it torment me inbetween pages.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
-Water Keep by Scott Savage
4 out of 5 stars. This is where I fell in love with the story.
-Land Keep by Scott Savage
5 out of 5 stars. And this is where I can't wait until the next books come out!
-The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
4 out of 5 stars. It took awhile to get into it, but the end justified the beginning.
-One False Note by Gordon Korman
2 out of 5 stars. I was very dissapointed with this one, but I am told that the furthur the series goes, the better it gets... hopefully.
-The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd
3 out of 5 stars. Remember this book? Well, I say its a much better version of it. A much better version.
-A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle
5 out of 5 stars. Definitely a re-read. And definitely one that requires time to just. think.
Well, that sums up my books:) And as the texters say, ttyl.
and this song has been stuck in my head all day.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
But the book, Crazy Love, was where I left it the previous night. On the counter with my fraying book mark sticking out both ends. Maybe she left it for me because she knew I didn't finish it; maybe she just forgot.
But I know this. Whether she left it purposely or not, at least she loves me in her subconsious:)
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
One of the concepts that most people have a difficult time understanding is that the life they are living is not their own. It's God's. There are no "buts" or "if"'s there. Your life is God's, and it never was, and never will be yours.
I find it amazing that music and the arts are so powerful. Because if it's a famous or catchy song, the lyrics will be stuck in your head, and you may not even notice that lies are being implemented.
It's My Life - Bon Jov
Now it's my time, I'll do what I want, 'cus this is my life.
Don't Waste Your Life - LaCrae
Don't wanna waste my life, life life. Don't wanna waste my, don't wanna waste my life.
Now, after you realize that this life is not your own, you realize that these songs must be wrong. They all claim their lives. They all take possession.
Now, you may also be saying, "Wait a second. Aren't those last three Christian bands?" Well, yes. Yes they are. Am I saying that they are wrong? ...maybe.
If you look at the entirety of Switchfoot's and LaCrae's songs, it is obvious that that they are taking possession. But look at who they are "taking possession" from. This is different. And you may argue, but I believe that it is.
When Switchfoot claims life, *they are asking the question, "Are you living up to who you want to be? Because you've only got one life, and tomorrow is already gone." They are not stating that one should do whatever they want because it's their life, and no one can tell them what to do. They are not taking possession from God.
LaCrae is *basically saying the same thing. He raps the gospel and sings about how life without Christ is nothing compared to what it could be like with Him. He tries to tell people that living with Christ is so much better than anything else, so much better, in fact, that life without Him looks wasted. He encourages people not to waste their lives, and live with Christ.
The point of these songs are to get people to stop sitting around doing nothing and barely getting by. They don't want people to waste their lives. They don't want people to live a life that isn't what they want it to be.
Now we get to the sticky songs.
The lyrics that I put up for Skillet make it seem like they are taking possession. *But the whole song shows that it is about standing up for one's self, and for one's faith. Skillet is trying to take possession of life from their peers. (I'm at war with the world, and they try to pull me into the dark), (Stand my ground and never back down, I know what I believe inside), and ('Cause I ain't ever gonna sell my soul, I've already made up my mind, no matter what, I can't be bought or sold). The whole song together shows that they are not taking possession from God. They are singing about how their faith is strong, and they cannot be shaken by the storms of life or their peers who try to disuade them.
Bon Jovi is a different kind of possession. He bluntly states that he doesn't believe in an afterlife (I ain't gonna live forever, I just wanna live while I'm alive). Therefore, he is claiming his life from God. He doens't think anyone gave his life to him, so he doesn't think he has to give it back to anyone.
Skillet, Switchfoot, and LaCrae are not trying to take away from God what is his. The lyrics are to motivate people to be their own person, not to succumb to peer pressure, to figure out life and live it to the fullest before it is gone.
*When I say what a song means, this is what I think is true. I could be wrong.
**Thanks to Worldview
Sunday, October 3, 2010
I found that because I wasn't on facebook, there wasn't much of a reason to go on the computer anymore. Well, somedays I would check it quite frequently, but I could go three or four days without using it. And this means that my utopia was put on the back shelf. I am very sorry for ignoring you. So very, very sorry. And I'm not saying that because I'm going back on facebook, I will be blogging more. By no means. That will totally discredit everything I just did. I just remembered my forgotten place. My forgotten no place:)
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Halfway into the film I can predict the ending, so my gaze travels to the window. The blinds were still closed.
But then I noticed something. Yes, the blinds were pulled down, but that did not stop the sunlight from coming into the room. The inch of space above, below, and to the right and left of the blinds left enough room for a noticable amount of light to shine through.
My new tatic: not to focus on the words I say; focus on my actions and my attitude when I speak up. Shine so brightly that words won't be needed.
Monday, September 13, 2010
The bell rings that signifies the beginning of class, but I don't turn to look at the teacher; he hasn't arrived yet. My head is still turned toward the window, not wanting to go back inside. I hear the door click behind me as the teacher walks in. He gets settled at his desk and then pulls up the projector for a movie (sorry, "film") that we are going to watch.
I still don't move my head; I long to be outside, to be anywhere but in this cramped classroom. I pretend to feel the breeze on my skin as the teacher walks to the front of the room.
During our discussions, I usually give in and take a glace out the window; it would be much nicer to be outside. But today it is unfortunate. He comes over to the window and pulls down the blinds. I am trapped in this close-minded, cold-hearted, white-walled class, and I cannot even look out the window. I guess I would have had to join in the discussions sooner or later.
Only, everytime I want to speak up about what I think is right, I know my teacher will have an answer to everything.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
because homemade paper is fun to write on
because jazz is cooler when it's more than just drums
because rain that falls lightly isn't annoying
because the hot months are past us
because my college entrance essay is almost complete
because my desk is clean
because he ran after her
because I could fly
because I found a liking to good '80s music
because my grandparents came over
because the guy's golf team had to caddy for the girl's golf team
because my dad likes to play the music really, really loud
Saturday, September 4, 2010
But one thing I know,
You are with me.
I may walk through the fire,
But one thing I know,
You are with me.
And though my way seems uncertain,
In You I will put my trust.
Even if I fall I'll rise again,
For You are my God,
Even I fall You'll lift me up
When You're with me,
I will rise up,
When You lift me up
I may go through some trials,
But I will not fear,
For You are with me.
And I will go to the mountain,
And I will press on,
For You are with me.
And though my way seems uncertain,
In You I will put my trust.
Even if I fall I'll rise again,
For You are my God,
Even I fall You'll lift me up
When You're with me,
I will rise up,
When You lift me up
And though my way seems uncertain,
In You I will put my trust.
Even if I fall I'll rise again,
For You are my God,
Even I fall You'll lift me up
When You're with me,
I will rise up,
When You lift me up
When You're with me,
I will rise up,
When You lift me up.
-Mike Cowart & Michelle Valley
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
28 days. Or maybe the whole month of September. We haven't decided which, yet. But however long we choose to go without facebook, I'm sure it will be harder than I think it will be. Right now, I'm having no problem without it. But it is only Day One.
Robbie and Kay, two of my numerous cousins, are doing this with me. I'd like to take credit, but this will be Kay's second time doing the 28-day challenge. Robbie tagged along second, so I guess I'm the least to be credited. But I don't really care, I'm actually excited to see facebook taken from me! This will prove wheter or not I have a dependent problem on facebook . I always said that I didn't, but I assume I had no right to because I never had it taken away.
My hope is to find better things to spend my time on, and manage my time more efficiently. Perhaps read, write, or do some extra studying. Or maybe something else that just comes up. We are planning on doing something together, but haven't decided on what that is, yet. This might also improve my skills in communication by other means. Because, I just hate talking to people I barely know on the phone.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
because our golf team beat our 4-score high school record
because homework doesn't seem so cruel
because Turtle likes my handwriting
because the mail came and Grace wrote me back
because gym class is actually a gym class
because of hotheaded debate
because clouds and trees and leaves are lovely
because I saw a beaver, and a beaver's tail
because Orion's belt is showing up everywhere
because I used the word "sevenfold"
because quizzing practice is lovely
because math is back to numbers
because I cannot wait until college:)
Monday, August 30, 2010
I love the feeling of entering a book and becoming the main character. I cannot not do it. (Pardon my double negative) And when the book is finished, there is always that part of the character that lives on in me, or that I strive to be. Different books make me want to be different people for different reasons. And I made a list of them because in the darkness of night, where it was difficult to sleep, there was nothing else to do:
Lucy: for faith
Vin: for the metals
Kat: for the deadline
Bertie: for her words
Susan: for her beauty
Percy: for the water
Alice: for the rabbit
Katniss: for Peeta
Mary: for the garden
Annika: for the horse
Ariel: for the wind
Annabeth: for the wisdom
Cammi: for observance
Anna: for Rupert
Debbie: for the thought
Do you like my list? Do you have a list of your own?
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Did you know that the world is beautiful? I knew it, but my eyes were re-opened today. I was outside for my gym class, and all the regular stuff started to seem extraordinary when I looked at it from a different perspective. Instead of complaining of the mild heat, I concentrated on how the sun felt on my arms and face. I felt the power in the sun. And then when a cool breeze came by, I didn't feel relieved because there was nothing to make me want to be relieved. Are you following? It just felt nice. Not relieving. Just nice. Then I saw an eagle flying above the tennis courts. I watched it as it soared for a while, but then almost got hit in the face with a tennis ball, so I turned my attention to that.
My teacher in my last class spent fifteen minutes talking to us about her two girls getting married soon. I sighed. Not only was I getting an entertaining story, but we were getting out of going over our homework!
At golf practice, everyone seemed a whole lot cheerier. I don't even know if that is a word. But I just made it if it isn't. I was hitting the balls straight, and we had a friendly verbal fight with the boys' golf team when they tried to take over our putting green:).
I talked to my cousin for about an hour: 45 minutes longer than we should have. I don't even remember what exactly it was that we talked about. I just remembered I missed her, and it was wonderful to hear her voice instead of pretending what it would sound like over our emails. We ended the call with me promising to make her chocolate milk:p
We had our first quizzing practice, and when there were no seats left, I sat on the garbage can, pretending to be funny. I had the two best ham and cheese sandwiches for supper, and then we went to church.
Our youth group was planned outside today. Mostly all we do is hang out because the church still considers it "summer". Turtle's friend sits on the seat of her bike as I stand on the pedals, and we ride together until my arms get sore and her hamstrings start to resist. Then I saw the coolest car in the parking lot with a left over gashing scar from an accident I didn't hear about.
We drive home in our own suburban and I turned up the music to an oldie that I love. We rolled down the windows and I stuck my hands out, stretching at first, but then deciding to reach out to the stars. I close my eyes and breathe in as I pretend I am in a movie: one of my many quirks. I open my eyes, and I am still in my film. Singing, and trying to locate Orion's belt.
I am so happy.
I could never be better.
I cannot wait for tomorrow, and the many days ahead of me.
I love the little things, and I realize God gave us a wonderful picture each day as the sun rises and the birds chirp, and even as the teachers assign homework.
I don't feel like I'm dragging anymore.
I feel like I have gotten my life back together.
I feel like I'm flying, but it sounds so cliché.
Whatever - I hate corny, but that's all I can do.
My Senior year has finally begun.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
-Not well written
I really didn't like it. I don't think I like any books the school assigns for us. Maybe I was a little biased, but even if I wasn't, I wouldn't have not liked it this much.
Putting aside everything I disliked about it, it was very interesting. The main character is very math-oriented, and gives details for everything. It helps you draw a picture in your mind what he was seeing. The fact that the main character was Autistic was also very different. You actually understand why he reacts to different things the way he does when you read his perspective on things. It was actually very logical. But I still didn't like it.
Everyone in my class thought it was good, though. I was the only one who did not. I told them they don't read good books. They laughed. Haha. Twilight doesn't count.
And, no. The picture is not upside down.
Friday, August 20, 2010
The lack of the old family computer has kept me from posting these last couple days, but we have our new own now. Really, it's just a new server or something, not a whole computer, but I don't know much about those things. I just call it a new computer because it looks all different and fancy:).
I am very happy with my last schedule in high school. I had some re-arrangements to make in it, however, because of some class difficulties, but now everything is fine. I believe that was the longest week of my life.
I felt so awesome the other day! I was reading a book in gym class (the first couple days we never do anything or even change for that matter) and I was using a leaf for a bookmark. The kid next to me said it was creative, and I just felt awesome. I guess it was kind of creative...
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Well ... this one has been on my to-read list for more than a year now. I picked it up a while ago, but I was just reading it to finish it, and I couldn't get through it. It was ... difficult, a year ago. Now, when I picked it up on the way to our family vacation, I was so interested at the way he put things! I want to say I couldn't put it down, but I could, so I'm not going to say that.
There isn't any easy way to put it, you just have to read it. If it may be a bit difficult to read, or if you find yourself spacing out (as I found myself doing a couple of times), just start over and read the last paragraph again. It makes absolute sense, I promise you.
One of the things I will do now is recommend this book not only to my Christian friends, but my non-Christian friends as well. If they can get past the title, and read it with an open mind, it would do such a better job than I could at explaining things. (Because, as you know, I'm not very good at that.)
Monday, August 16, 2010
Mrs. A. (but a different one from last time) English.
We were talking about how in our summer read, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, the main character calls his father and mother, "Father and Mother". First of all, they didn't take into account that the book was written by a British schoolboy, and that the way they address their parents is bound to be different from the way we talk to them here in America. Secondly, my teacher says:
"I just can't see, like, how you could, like, have a close relationship with someone you called "Mother".
Do you agree?
My progression: Around age 3, "Mommy", around age 12, "Mom", around age 16, "Momma". Although sometimes the "Mommy" just slips out;)
Thursday, August 12, 2010
The first time I was introduced to this story line and Alex Rider was a couple years ago at my cousins' house when they had us watch the movie. I loved it! I mean, who doesn't love spy movies and cute actors?
I had been meaning to read the book a lot sooner, but I didn't get to finish it until about a week ago. I was very surprised at how much the movie and the book were alike. That was my only problem with it, though. It felt like I had read the book before, even though I had only seen the movie. In my opinion, I thought the movie did a great job, and might even be better than the book. But that is coming from someone who saw the movie first, and then read the book. I can't tell you how it feels from the other way round.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
But I am still very proud of myself. I never ever create goals. Like write-them-down goals. Sure I have goals in my head that I just don't talk about, and just know that they are goals. But I never have written them down. Something about it makes it official. And official, cannot-be-changed things scare me.
So that is one thing that is changing in my non-procrastinating year of high school. Goals and goals and schedules. I am organizing myself.
One of my goals was to laugh at dumb commercials. It's a pretty dumb goal, but it is great to laugh when no one else is laughing. And, you have to admit, some of the commercials you want to laugh at, but don't because they are just really dumb. Well, I laughed at all those, and boy, did my stomach hurt. But anyway, there is this commercial for a computer program or something, and I thought it was the greatest thing ever. It ties along with my whole "organizing myself" mindset, so I thought I'd give you the link so you know what commercial I'm talking about. here.
Laugh. It's really fun.
To Be Done:
-Learn big words
-Run in the rain
-See Ramona and Beezus
-Read Mockingjay (which won't be able to happen until after school has started)
-Find an adventure
More recently, I've been thinking about this problem. And I figured something out. Procrastination is just a fancy work for Laziness. It sounds nicer, and more like a condition rather than a habit. Something that needs to be cured and treated, rather than something that could just be kicked to the curb. And I plan on kicking it to the curb. No slow withdrawal. I'm just going to rip the band-aide off. It will sting at first, but hopefully - scratch that - it will prove to be for the better.
I used to have this motto, or saying, or whatever you call it: "Procrastinators have more fun." I realized that in the long run, they don't. Everything gets messed up when you wait until the last minute.
Switchfoot speaks my thoughts:
Last week found me living for nothing but deadlines,
With my dead beat sky but, this town doesn't look the same tonight,
These dreams started singing to me out of nowhere,
And in all my life I don't know that I ever felt so alive,
I want to wake up kicking and screaming,
I want to wake up kicking and screaming,
I want to know that my heart's still beating,
I planned on making this summer the best summer of my life. Now, I plan on making this school year the best year of my life.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
The curious thing is that the plots never get mixed up. I seem to forget the others when I pick up another book. Maybe this is only a quality only I possess. Maybe it is a quality that I will soon grow out of. Maybe it isn't a quality at all.
Do you find it hard to read more than one book at a time? How about two? Three? Tell me I'm crazy, cause I know it. I know I think about the weirdest things.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
To put it short, it was fantastic. It held me to the very end, a feeling I didn't expect from it.
But the crazy thing was: I don't remember turning the pages. It's weird, looking up and realizing you're halfway through a book when you don't remember getting there. I was so engrossed in the story, the scenes playing out in my head rather than on the page in front of me. Looking back, I almost wonder if I even read all five hundred pages of the small print.
It is the sort of book that would make the most terrific movie of all time. The plot line continues when you think there's no hope left for the characters, throwing curve-balls just when you think you know the people in the book.
But then, Hollywood messes everything up, so I would have it rather not turned into a movie for fear that it would change how I thought about the book.
I intend to read the other two in the series. Let's just say Sanderson leaves enough hanging at the end to be satisfied. But also to want more.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
We were only playing 9 holes, so it was going to be a short morning. I carry my bag to the 8th tee and hit my drive to the green. Unfortunately, it hooks to the right and soars much farther than I expected it to. I looked down at my club and realized I used the wrong one. How dumb of me.
After a couple laughs from my teammates, I see that it rolls onto a different green to a different hole. How embarrassing. What's worse, there were two guys already playing on that hole! So I tentatively walk up to the green, a tree hiding me from their sight. I take a deep breath. I know what I have to do. And I feel incredible stupid.
I walk over to my ball, the guys on a golf cart watching me as I bring my putter to the green. I hit it towards my own pin (horribly, I might add), and I begin to walk off the green. I hear one of the two fellows calling out a comment that felt like a sucker punch: "nice drive, by the way." Swallow.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
You Alone - by Echoing Angels
Oh Happiness - by David Crowder Band
The Words I Would Say - by Sidewalk Prophets
Ocean Floor - by Audio Adrenaline
Never Underestimate My Jesus - by Relient K
Stars - by Switchfoot
Something Beautiful - by Needtobreathe
All Along - by Remedy Drive
Glory Revealed - by Mac Powell
You're the One - by Chris and Conrad
Hope Now - by Addison Road
Always - by Building 429
What Faith Can Do - by Kutless
Healing Begins - by Tenth Avenue North
Monday, July 26, 2010
I know I might be totally off on this way of thinking, but I can't really help it. It just feels wrong for some odd reason. This is just me, and in no way am I trying to get you to feel the same way. I'm trying to explain my thoughts on the matter. So don't freak out.
I believe that temporary pain can be dealt with: headaches, scrapes, bruises, and the like. Personally, I can get through these types of pain on my own; I don't need Advil for my headaches. Now I know that for some people, headaches can be a real bugger, and I have nothing against that. But I think that the way God made my body, it is enough for it to fix it's own problems. Maybe it's healthier not taking medicine, or maybe it isn't. I don't really know, but it feels like I am cheating, so I just pass and take the pain.
Now, when I was on a trip in Alaska with my family, I accidentally slammed my finger in the car door. And boy, did it hurt like converse:). Upon taking up this new mind set, I had never experienced a greater feeling of pain. This was the first time that I had to test my limits. I tried it out for a while, but the pain was growing, and after about half an hour (not so sure about the length of time) I asked for some medicine to stop the pain. Okay, okay, I begged.
I'm not too sure what I'm going to do about it yet. I know for a fact that in really really big situations, I am all for the medicine. Like when Christy got her wisdom teeth out, just sitting in the room with her made me want to take some of her meds.
The same goes for bug spray and sunscreen. But maybe I am a little more tolerant. I can't handle a hundred mosquito bites, but if I'm just going outside for a little bit, I pass on the bug spray. I'm not sure how this works out quite yet, though, because I am all for the after bite:).
The sunscreen is a little newer on my list. Let me just start with this: I don't tan. I burn. Then, I tan. So in some ways, letting myself burn is a win-win situation. But then I get heckled for possibly getting skin cancer. So I don't stay out in the sun for very long, simple solution. But the thing is, I forget that I'm not wearing sunscreen because it's so new to me. So then I really burn.
The conclusion to my post? Medicine in moderation, bug spray when bitten, and sunscreen when in the sun. Even if I may hate it.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
It was the relief when we saw the legendary gazebo, passed through Time, and turned on that gravel road.
It was the excitement when the car in front of us (other cousins) started playing "We Are Family" so loud we could hear it, and I rolled down the window and stuck my head out waving to my crazed Aunt:) standing in the sunroof screaming the lyrics and dancing to the beat.
It was the bliss when we unloaded the car and we went inside to smell that smell and carry our luggage down the stairs to our temporary bedroom.
It was the happiness when we sat in the "bus" to listen to the list of rules called common sense.
It was the laughter when we reminded each other of the "old times" and the "old houses".
It was jumping in the pool with my clothes on just to see the little punk's shocked face;).
It was crouching to reach blackberries hiding under the leaves, checking them for bugs before swallowing them and being dared to eat a huge one while dodging the thorns on the other side.
It was bouncing on the trampoline right after eating dinner, then thinking better of it and sitting down and talking about the future.
It was being pushed on the tire swing after the fight I didn't want to happen, and being reminded that there are people out there who are there for you called family.
It was getting up earlier than some of the other kids to walk out to the pond where there were fish and crawdads and frogs that squeaked.
It was driving to the park where the merry-go-round was, and spinning so much I thought I'd see my lunch a second time.
It was trying not to laugh when he kept changing the strumming pattern and I was struggling to keep up to our theme song.
It was the late night when the wimps and the wounded didn't get in the pool because the frogs had taken over, but me and the two others started to catch them and toss them on the deck.
It was dressing up as a glitzy girl and feeling ridiculously stupid as I strutted in high heels and pink hoop earrings, walking like a diva up the stairs.
It was making our first promise as a band on the trampoline, and making it official by putting our hands in the center.
It was hearing the three most wonderful sounding syllables in the English language: cho-co-late.
It was feeling powerful with my face behind the camera and telling them what to do.
It was seeing my Worldview roommate again and swing dancing to no music in the gymnasium.
It was pouring water on my sister and cousin from up in the tree house, even if they did know it was coming.
It was the last night at "camp" when we all got to sleep together in the living room, trying not to think about the next morning and instead talking about nothing in particular at all.
It was those little things.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I was confused for a moment, but then noticed that two of the three light bulbs above the mirror were out. Sorry, I was being pessimistic-one of the light bulbs was still glowing.
Anyway, I couldn't help looking once again at the figure in the mirror, and noticing the romantic (literal sense) light, and the story that wrote itself in my head about a young spy who is forced to have her hair cut. My expression turns to pity as I play out the girl's fate. To run and never return...
...I get that "utopia" feeling again. I shake my head and the story starts to vanish from my mind and my toothbrush fills my mouth.
Monday, July 12, 2010
*Main topic of Saturday night study group*
I write this eating chocolate covered bananas. Just thought I'd make you jealous. ;)
When our group leader, from now on referred to as "B", asked for the definition of integrity, I felt a sharp jab at my side. I glanced at the Marie, the one who had poked me, and saw a grin on her face. One of the five parts to leadership that we learned at Worldview was integrity. I couldn't help but chuckle a little. Worldview just attacks every aspect of your life. ;)
Anyway, integrity = sound consistency. Being who you say you are even when no one is watching. The problem is that when faced with a big decision on whether or not you will practice integrity, say, finding $100 in an envelope with someone's name on it under a park bench, most people will succumb to the pressure and just take the money.
We have to practice integrity in the small parts of our lives, before we are pressured with the larger parts. By doing this, we are honoring the people who would otherwise be negatively affected by our "cheating". The person who lost 100 bucks, the clerk that accidentally gave you $10 more in change, the worker making minimum wage at a store that has to run to the other side of the parking lot because you didn't return the shopping cart to the terminal. Even when no one is looking. The worker will never know that you walked back with the shopping cart to return it, but you are honoring them and practicing sound integrity when you do.
Now, personally, returning the shopping cart is quite fun (especially if you run real fast with it and then step up on the bar and glide back to the terminal), so I tried to find some smaller things in my life where I don't practice integrity and then fix them. That Saturday night, I couldn't find anything, so I just kept thinking about it...and thinking about it...and thinking about it...
...until today! I never really paid attention to this before. I was doing my laundry, and I was putting the clothes in the dryer. Then it caught my eye. The lint container goes in the dryer vertically in our dryer. On the top read the words "CLEAN BEFORE EACH LOAD." I never did, to tell you the truth. I always left it there, figuring the next person would get it. It's not like it made me gag (as is with my sister Duchess), and it never took that long to do, I just never bothered to do it.
So I lifted it out of the dryer and cleaned it real quick. Making a mental note in my head to clean it every time I did the laundry, I put it back in the dryer. Hopefully now, every time I see the lint container in the dryer, it reminds me to practice integrity, not just because God told me to, but because I want to honor those who come after me.
Haha, God told me to clean the lint container before each load. ;)
Saturday, July 10, 2010
because trees and green leaves are awesome.
because glow sticks are awesome.
because writing in my journal is awesome.
because the word awesome is awesome.
because I climbed a tree and scraped my knee.
because fireworks are louder than I remember.
because I sat under a waterfall...okay, a small, small waterfall, but still a waterfall
because I got people to think.
because, well...I can't tell you about that. yet.
*this was preached about the first night at camp: one of the two sermons that I liked*
I would read the passage before reading this; make your own assumptions before you read mine.
I don't know about you, but if I were fishing and someone came up to me and said to stop what I'm was doing and follow him, I wouldn't. To be honest. It would be crazy, leaving your job, and not knowing when you would come back. Especially if this person told you that you would fish people instead of the literal fish. He would be crazy.
That's what I thought. And I thought that the disciples were crazy. Why would they listen to Him? Well, I never knew the context, and that's where it all makes sense.
The children of that time period would go to a school where they would memorize the entire first five books of the old testament. It was sort of required, then when they got older, they memorized the entire old testament. They would know the whole thing like the back of their hand.
When they turned about sixteen, and it was time for them to get a job, they would turn to their father's trade. Whatever it was, whether it was fishing or farming, they would pick up that trade. But the really special, smart kids would find a priest that they really admired and desired to be like. They would ask them to accept them as a disciple, where the priest would teach them everything they knew.
The priest would then quiz the kid about the old testament, quoting verses, or explaining what it means. If the kid did good, the priest would accept them as a disciple, and the kid would leave with them to learn their ways.
Only the special and smart kids would get picked. The other ordinary kids would just work their father's trade.
This is why when a teacher like Jesus came to their village and asked the ordinary kids to follow him, they dropped their nets and left their father in the boat to follow Him. They, the regular kids that worked their father's trade, were being chosen to learn the ways of this great teacher. The father of James and John would have also been supportive of their choice. How great would it be to tell everyone that your child is a disciple of a teacher? They would run home and tell the whole family, who would celebrate with him. James and John had been chosen, where Jesus could have picked the smartest kid who could quote any verse from the old testament.
This made so much sense now that I knew the context. Before I thought that the disciples were a little crazy that they would follow Jesus without a second thought, whether the Holy Spirit was working in them or not. But now it makes sense that they would want to follow him. They had been picked.
1. An imaginary island described in Sir Thomas Moore's Utopia
2. An ideal place or state
3. Any visionary system of political or social perfection
Let's say we all know that a Utopia is unattainable. It is impossible. There is never perfection. There can never be perfection. And I knew that when I named my blog.
What I was trying to do was describe a feeling I get when I read a book that hits me hard, or listen to a song that sounds unreal, or have a dream that took me to a different world. I was in a different place, and I didn't know what to call it. So I called it my utopia. My Utopia is that place that I cannot describe, and I don't know if I will ever be able to. (I'm kind of bad at describing...)
But at Worldview, they were talking about the meaning of the word. It comes from two Greek words: ou and tóp.
ou = no
tóp = place
So, utopia = no place.
I'm not going to change the name of the blog, considering I've done so many other changes, but I wanted to admit my folly.
This blog is my no place. :)
Friday, July 9, 2010
It definitely didn't come close to the best week of my life, but it was still pretty fun. I got to go swimming, zip lining, and hang out with my best friend.
But it was also the first time I've ever been involved directly in the cliche "camp drama", so it was also a bit scary. I don't want to go into detail, but it wasn't fun.
My callouses are going away. :( I haven't played for a week, and I had been staring at the guitar that someone had brought for the whole time at camp. I wanted to ask if I could play it so bad, but I didn't know the kid, and I didn't want everyone to listen like I knew they would.
But the biggest disappointment was the whole emotional aspect. During the worship, they played the songs that got everyone moved, and there was a whole lot of crying and praying at the altar after the services. I don't have anything against that, but it was all about the camper's emotions. It was a fake way of getting everyone to pray and change their minds. Because when they go back home, they won't have the moving music or moving sermons, and they will lose the motivation that they had during camp, and they will wonder where it went, and they will wonder if it wasn't God who was there the night they made that choice.
I'm not trying to bash praying at the alter, crying, or raising your hands, but everything was based on emotions, and I only gained a few facts that I can bring back home. I've definitely changed, but I think that is because I knew that everything was about how you felt, and I refused myself to fall into that pit.
But now I ask you to pray for everyone who will go home and go back to their old ways, for they know not the pit they fell into.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Just take my word for it. This will not make sense at all. And I'm not sure how I'm supposed to convince you of it, but I feel that I have to.
Absolutely no doubt about it, the best week of my life.
Maybe it was the over-enthusiastic staffers that everyone talks about and loves.
Maybe it was the food.
Maybe it was being with so many like-minded teen-aged Christians that love God just as much as I do.
Maybe it was the fact that a lady got treated like one.
Maybe it was the witnessing.
Maybe it was the Frisbee playing (even though I never really touched it). ;)
Maybe it was the Tally-HO!
Maybe it was ... no.
Maybe it doesn't even matter what it was. But I know what it was.
It was sitting through ~23 hours of the greatest news I had ever heard. Granted, some of that time I wished I had slept more, and I wished my eyes would just stay open, but the fact that they promised me the best week of my life made me want to pay attention more. I didn't want to miss out if that's what they were offering.
Now, this was my second year going to Worldview, and something didn't click as well as it did this year. I knew what to expect, and I sort of prepared my mind - created a large gap - for the information that I knew would be poured into my mind and soul before hand. And I'm pretty sure that some knowledge and wisdom that was passed while my eyelids were a little droopy was dripping out of my ears, but I hope I caught most of it.
I warned you in the beginning. I didn't know how to explain it. And I'm pretty sure I did a horrible job. But this is just a rough sketch. One of the things they told us was what matters isn't what happens at Worldview and it isn't all the information that we obtain, but it is what we do after we leave that makes it worthwhile.
I hope I can share with you anything and everything that has changed after this week, and stuff that I've found out. My plan is to live as God would want me to, and to not just graze the surface of thoughts. I want to get in deep. So deep I drown.
p.s. This is a scheduled post, so if it actually works, I will be at my church's summer camp. I have been gone since July 5th, and I believe I get back on the 12th, but I'm not too sure (yeah, I know, it's pretty lame that I don't know how long my camp is).
Friday, July 2, 2010
As you can see I've changed it...again. I'm really not sure if I'm ever going to find one that I stick with for more than a month. I just don't think it will happen.
And now, after my cousin worked so hard on fitting the background and picture into the crazy html codes so it looked just right, I changed it. Ughh, it's so hard staying the same. I might go back to the other template, though.
Unless you think I should keep this one.
You diggin' the bike?
recording taken about 5 minutes ago:
bookworm: Hello there, this is Maggie, a.k.a. ... oh wait, I did that wrong. Okay, hello, this is bookworm, a.k.a. Maggie interviewing my sister, a.k.a. Duchess. And, we are talking about Only the Good Spy Young. So, overall, did you like the book?
bookworm: Okay, overall you liked it, was there any point where you didn't like it?
bookworm: And what was that? ...without being very specific.
duchess: When Cammie thought wrong ... at Blackthorne.
bookworm: Okay, personally, in the beginning I thought it was kind of forced, but towards the end I really got into it and saw where all the strings were tied at the end, so.
bookworm: Yes. So, sidetracking off of Spy Young, and talking about Ally Carter, of all of Ally Carter's teen books that you read, would you say you like Ally Carter?
bookworm: And why do you like her?
duchess: Because... she really expresses herself in the books, and you get really into the books. It's not like you read it, it's, you read it, and it's happening in your mind.
bookworm: Okay, I like her because it shows how powerful teenagers can be. Especially the girls.
bookworm: Okay, do you understand the 4th book's title? ... Now that I've explained it to you.
duchess: Yes. Mhmm.
bookworm: Um before, did you understand? Because that was one of the confusing things for me was that I didn't get the title. I thought that "Spy" was a noun and not a verb in the title, so--
bookworm: Okay. I'm going to say two words and I want to hear your response, okay?
bookworm: Zachary Goode.
duchess: (shrieks) Haha ... Hehehehe ... according to Ally Carter's description: Hot! Hehehehahaha ...
bookworm: Haha ... okay ... So, personally, I am in love--
duchess: YES! That's what I meant, too!
bookworm: Okay, was there any point where you hated him? At all?
duchess: No. Hehe.
bookworm: Okay, I, uh, agree with you there. Okay, this question is about the screaming during your reading?
bookworm: Um, we all know, that Duchess has a problem with reading books quietly.
bookworm: What parts did you scream out loud at? Without being to specific?
duchess: When ... Well, the first part, when Cammie hehehehehehe sees Zach in London. I screamed at that part, and so did you! Hahaha!
bookworm: Hahahaha! ... ouch ... So, in this book there was a lot more spyness-ness in it. Do you love or hate that?
duchess: I love that!
bookworm: Would you want to be a spy?
bookworm: And why is that?
duchess: I really don't know.
bookworm: You don't know? Is it like the adrenaline?
bookworm: Okay, personally, I wouldn't want to be a spy. It would be cool and all, but I would be so afraid of dying, I wouldn't be able to figure out anything.
bookworm: Okay, so now this is going to be spoilers, so we can talk about it.
duchess: THE PART WHERE I SCREAMED IS WHEN ZACH SAYS TO CAMMIE: Do you want to run away with me?
(this portion of the recording we spend trying to get our younger sister that hasn't read the book yet to move to a different part of the house because we just about ruined the ending for her)
duchess: I also screamed when Cammie and Zach were laying on the ground at Blackthorne, and they were watching it ... and they ... hahahahahaha.
bookworm: Okay, okay. Um, Joe Solomon, is he in the right or the wrong? What do you think?
duchess: The right.
bookworm: Okay, and why's that?
duchess: Because, as Bex, Liz, and Macey said in the book, he fought along side them.
bookworm: So? What if his intentions were bad? In the beginning of the book, what did you think?
duchess: I thought he was good the whole time.
bookworm: I thought he was good the whole time, too.
(this portion of the recording I spent trying to convince Duchess that there really isn't a fifth book because she had it set in her mind that there was.)
bookworm: Okay, why do you think the Circle is after Cam?
duchess: Because she is the headmistress's daughter. Ohhhh! Um, she's the daughter of Matthew Morgan!!
bookworm: Oh. Okay, what is your favorite part?
duchess: (sighhh) I have more than one favorite part. First chapter, when she sees Zach, and when they are laying down, at--
bookworm: You just like all the kissing scenes, don't you?
duchess: NO I DON'T! Hehehehehehehe ... Um, when Cammie's mom comes out and she says "Zach, I told you to stay in my office." Hehehehe.
bookworm: What was the part that shocked you the most?
duchess: When you find out that Joe Solomon killed Cammie's dad.
bookworm: Um, the most shocking part for me was when you find out who Zach's mom is, and then when she says that Cammie's dad is still alive.
bookworm: Haha, Duchess just dropped her cookie.
bookworm: Hahahaha. Okay, um, is there anything else you would like to say before we sign off?
duchess: (sigh) Haha. I love that book!
bookworm: Okay, let's leave it at that.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
I felt deja vu during the beginning of this book. I beleive I picked it up before and just never finished it; I am sure of it. I wouldn't have remembered such fine details about it, and I'm positive there isn't another book out there like this one.
It was put on my "read" pile two weeks ago. I just never got around to writing something about it. Strangely, I liked it. It was slow paced, and the metaphors were already on my nerves, but something about the way the characters talked to each other and thought about things made me read with more interest. I felt like part of my childhood that I had missed or forgotten was being lived out in the pages.
Those summer nights where you and your friends sit on the concrete step outside your front door or on the dirty curb by the mailbox licking green Popsicles because all the red and orange ones were already eaten, talking about things like how the clouds looked that morning or how every place looks different, even if it's only a town away. The houses are closer together, and there are streams to play in, and there is garbage to pick up.
One of my favorite things about the novel is that the friends bounce ideas off of each other. Even if it sounds stupid on paper, the speaker in the book is not told so, they just continue talking about the subject, however random it is. I've always wanted to do that, but whenever I breach a subject different from the usual ones (school, boys, golf, boys, hair, boys, what's going on later), I get a weird look and I don't bring it up again. I'm not saying I don't like to talk about the usual stuff ( ;] ), but it was great to read a story where the characters weren't afraid to say what they were thinking, and when they did, it made them think more.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
because (even though The Deadliest Catch is probably the most boring show on the face of the Earth) I got to see The Time Bandit.
because my finger stopped swelling. (If you must know, ask the car door. He will tell you everything...)
because I can sleep in my own bed.
because Switchfoot is awesome. (the song in my soul)
because my thoughts are more focused. (think hard; think well)
because I have purpose.
because swing dancing is not only fun, but great for exercise.
because I cut my shower time in half by cutting my hair in half.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
When I was in love with The Trumpet of the Swan, and believed that books couldn't get any better than that. When we constantly listened over and over and over again to four children entering a wardrobe during those car rides - long and short. We liked to listen.
And when our (her and I) cousins took cassette tapes and recorded their voices, wonderful voices, as they read the Mennyms. They sent us the tapes, and we listened over and over and over again to a house full of rag dolls that don't eat and pretend to smoke pipes.
This created an idea in my sister's mind. We got out some cassette tapes of our own and started to record her story. The one with the fairies, the automatic doors, and the prince charming who no one knows is a prince. We needed to record the sword fighting scene, and we needed sound effects.
What does metal clashing together sound like? We didn't know. Later we had to admit to our mother that the scratches and dents on the two forks that stood out from the rest were from a quite entertaining and thrilling encounter with the Dark Fairy, of which, of course, the stable boy won.
At least, that's how I remembered her story...
**end of sparking**
It's surprising how differently the story plays out in your head when you read it for yourself...
Monday, June 7, 2010
I've been heckled a lot though, because of it. Go somewhere cold during the hottest time of year?! I must be out of my mind...
Okay, okay, I don't really have a choice, but I still would have gone anyway. At first I was excited that we might possibly maybe go see the bus where Chris from Into the Wild died. I didn't like the book at all, (just the idea of it) but I still would have liked to see the bus. But we can't because it's about 2 hours out of the way.
One of the things that is most exciting to me is being able to see the sun at night. During the summer, the northern parts of Alaska hardly ever see the sun set. And during the winter, the sun hardly rises. We are staying somewhere in the middle, so the sun is going to be out most of the time, but only for about four hours.
I will be sure to tell you about my adventures in Alaska when I get back, but I'm still worried about getting cell phone reception, so I don't know if my dad or sister's laptops will work. Part of me just wants to wait until I return home, but if I can, I will post while I am there. Otherwise, I won't be posting for about a week, and I'm not one for scheduling posts. (although it does come in handy sometimes...)
Book One of The 39 Clues.
I read this before Catching Fire, so don't think that's why I didn't like it.
Yeah, I didn't like it. I was expecting more of something like Percy Jackson, I guess. I should stop expecting, I guess.
I liked the idea of it, though. I'd love to go to Paris and research Benjamin Franklin. Oh, what fun I would have, stopping at all of the bakeries and pastry shops along the way. :)
But I know that the book (and series) is meant for younger kids, so I will give it that. It was entertaining, and I did like the plot, it was just the immature joking around that I didn't like.
It wasn't bad or anything, but I was wanting, expecting for it to be more like a mix between Heist Society and the Olympians. The adventure that takes you all over the world (or just to Paris), and it is in the hands of two young siblings, and one overacting babysitter.
But then I am told they get better after the third book by a very smart little cookie in gold wired glasses named Jack.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
I didn't want to be biased. I didn't want it to affect my feelings for the poor book. It can't help but be perfect and absolutely wonderful.
So what did I do?
I sat in the grass with a fuzzy yellow blanket that keeps me calm at night and a red spiral notebook opened to a blank blue-striped page. I listened to music and played around with my newly-strung guitar, the acoustics sounding better than ever. I wrote, and continue to write about everything and anything and sometimes nothing at all. I stared at the clouds as we drive by, looking at the the colors that the sun caused on the ones above, and the ones miles away. I went to a baseball game and watched the drunk fans look for their cars with wheels and doors in frustration after the loss. I convinced someone that rain has a smell, a fantastic smell, after they bluntly claimed it had no aroma at all.
But mostly-I didn't try to forget-I tried to suppress my anxiety. August 24th is such a long way away, and I will be in school. Its such a bad combination.
...and there I go again... (to self: suppressssss)
But the week went quickly, and now I think I am back to normal. Now I can get back to those books. :)
Sunday, May 30, 2010
After the first Hunger Games, I was excited to read the second, but was a little scared that I would be disappointed. You are probably expecting me to say that I wasn't, but it is much more than that.
I was completely, thoroughly, and utterly stripped of any control.
It was late and I picked up Catching Fire.
Such a poor move.
My heart was already held in her hand when I opened the book, and her fist was closing. Slowly applying the pressure as I read further and further. I wanted the happy ending so bad. Just this once, please. She has other plans.
I remember it being seven and hearing my sisters leave for school as I read on.
I wake up slowly and find the book closed on my pillow, me obviously too tired to leave it open. I find the page I left off on, an hour and a half ago when I slipped into sleep, and finished it.
By the time I close the book, she has crushed it - my heart in pieces in her palm. But I felt it much deeper. This time I close the book on purpose. I walk down the stairs, holding it. I enter my sister's room.
I mean to throw it on her bed, make it crash onto the floor leaving the pages open, as dramatic as I could possibly make it. But a merely toss it on the blankets, unable to hurt it. I run back into my room, climb into the sheets and pull them over my head. I want to cry, but no tears come to my eyes. I'm guessing it's the lack of sleep that keep them from me.
After about ten minutes, I go downstairs and back into her room. We talk. I am not sure how I feel about the book yet...
We talk about the third book, and when does it come out? She searches and finds stuff about 'a movie!' I am elated for a while. Then I remember how horrible movies turn books into. 'But wait!', Suzanne Collins is writing the screenplay. Maybe there is hope...
We search the site for awhile, the depression that I had sunk into the ten minutes ago was disappearing, fading from my memory.
There was a video from youtube on the sidebar of the site. It was called Rue's lullaby, and we listened to it. The first thing that hit me wasn't that the song was beautiful; it was a hundred times better than when I read it in the book, now hearing it to music.
The first thing that I notice is the music. The first notes ring into my ears and I lose it. The tears that wouldn't come when I was hiding in my bed started to show as my eyes water, and a few fall on my cheeks. The song that they put the lyrics too was Kiss the Rain by Yiruma. I was learning to play it on the piano, and hearing it now to the words that had no tune before hit that string inside of me that stays completely still.
They went together absolutely perfectly.
Now I don't think I will ever be able to play that song again without breaking into tears.
I know I'm obsessed and all but I really think I almost became Katniss for those 12 hours. I felt everything that she felt, from the brief happiness and joy to the heartbreak and loss.
I am not going to read anything for a week now because it will be unfair to any book that I will read after this. I will definitely hate it.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
I don't know about any of you, but literary crushes are ruining my life. The great thing is, when you are reading a book, the character can look anyway you want. Of course, sometimes there are specifics like blonde hair and blue eyes, but other than that, you are free to imagine him however you would like. Oh sorry, or her.
Even when they mess up or fall, they do it gracefully. :)
I didn't realize it until I finished the second book, but they are making Hunger Games into a movie! I'm just worried that they will ruin it-like every other good book that gets turned into a movie.
Just remember: real men bake cakes.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
I practically flew down the stairs. No one was looking - surprisingly, since it was the last day of school. But, I was using the old, dirty stairs. The path less traveled by. I had to get out quickly. The last day of school meant the first day of summer. And, the first day of summer meant that my test had begun.
I wasn't too obvious. I slowed my pace after the first block. I looked over my shoulder as I turned corners. I used reflectors wherever I could find them to look behind me rather than turn around. I was being careful; I was out of practice. And, although my senses were tingling, and there was a new found spring in my step, I knew that cockiness meant miscalculations. Miscalculations meant misconceptions. Misconceptions meant mistakes. And, mistakes mean death.
I had prepared for today this morning. I chose my black leather jacket to wear over my black tank instead of the soft blue one. I wore my skinny jeans that stayed close to my calves instead of my flares. I put on my converse with the comfy socks instead of flip flops. I threw my straight hair into a high pony tail and wore a thick stretchy band around my head to keep my bangs from falling in my eyes instead of curling it and letting it fall over my shoulders. But, I wore the thick eyeliner and mascara just for show. It’s more intimidating.
Of course, I had packed the necessities. Two were in the inside pockets of my jacket. The big one was in the bushes. You could get in trouble for bringing that to school. I smiled as I turned the last corner to my makeshift headquarters. My teammates were Me, Myself, and I. I looked over my shoulder one last time as I reached down and picked up my biggest gun from the shrubbery. It wasn’t well hidden, but as everyone knows, the best place for something to hide is in plain sight.
I was slightly out of breath by the time I reached my house. I needed something to eat, and McDonald's was simply not going to cut it. I ran in through the side door, and walked up the steps inside. It opened into a large, clean, white kitchen, and I opened the refrigerator to find all the fruits and veggies laid out on the middle shelf. I took an apple and washed it at the sink. I cut it in half skillfully. Knifes didn’t scare me anymore.
I longed for the day I could once again bite into an apple. Unfortunately, braces don’t appreciate apple gunk. Or, anything else, basically. I started chewing when Sandra came in through the other door.
“First day?” she guessed, asking warily. She had seen me in action. And, she was a small, shy girl. The broom she was holding was put into the closet next to the refrigerator.
“Yeah,” I replied briefly as I threw the core from one half in the trash and began on the other.
“Well, good luck.” She was more comfortable now, seeing that I wasn’t in a mood. This is just a test. A practice. Nothing serious, I said to calm myself down. I wasn’t shaking or anything, but I was getting jittery.
“Thanks. I’m gunna need it.” Actually, I didn’t. These were amateurs I was dealing with, and I did my research.
I left with another toss into the garbage. I grabbed my satchel and stuck another apple in one of the inside pockets with my gun. You never knew how long you would have to go without food.
Relax, I told myself. Remember, they are amateurs. Don’t be too hard on them. They won’t even take it seriously. Crush them softly, I thought with a smile. I jumped on my bike. The handlebars were wide, and I had slung my satchel into the basket in the front as I began my descent down the driveway. Just get them, get out, and move on.
It would take about half an hour to get there on foot, so I decided on the bike. It would cut time in half, and it wouldn’t be as loud as my rusty red truck, as eye-catching as my yellow convertible, or as slow as walking.
I took a weaving path to get to my Target’s house. I had contemplated on my attack plan the night before. I didn’t want to try something too complicated - word would get out soon enough, and I didn’t need any of that. I would start simply; no fancy maneuvers.
My bike was in good condition, and so was I. I pedaled down the main street, and took a right. The trees from the canopy above me were creating shadows that danced along the paved road. The houses weren’t too fancy, but there was a certain class about them. I knew my Target got off the bus seven minutes after three. Sometimes the bus was a few minutes late, but I found the school’s bus system was quite efficient.
I wanted to get to her house by 2:50. Time for me to calm down and plan my attack - again. It was about 2:40, and I scolded myself for forgetting my watch. I was making good time, though.
As I rounded the corner, I looked over my shoulder once again. I caught a glimpse of a figure walking in the direction I was. I continued unfazed, but my guard did not go down. He was a Tracker.
The next time I looked behind me I pedaled slower and altered my path to throw him off. He had to be a Tracker. We continued for a while, every once in a while, I’d look back again. I’ll admit it, though, he was good. He never looked at me…or I never saw him look at me. His gaze was always on a passing car, or the houses that lined the street. It looked like he was walking aimlessly, but somehow he was gaining on me; probably jogging faster when my back was turned.
He only tripped up once, and I was lucky to see it. I turned and I could see part of his gun through his jacket. After my suspicions were confirmed, I put myself on the defence; there was no way I could get my Target and fend off a Tracker at the same time, especially out of training.
I had been in this part of the neighborhood many times before. I needed to study my Target, and I had found a rather large section of land that was occupied by a thick grove of trees. I usually ate lunch there when doing my research and my Target left. Sometimes research gets boring, even when it’s alive and breathing.
I guided my bike to the woods while peddling faster, trying to get to the cover of the trees. I look behind me and saw that my Tracker started running when I picked up the pace. I stood up on my bike, letting it glide as I swung my right leg over the seat so I was standing on one side. The trees grew nearer, and the paved road was starting to end. I lowered my left foot to slow down my bike, and pulled the brakes slightly. I was starting to slow down, but my sudden quickening of pace before had put much distance between me and my Tracker. I hopped off my bike and grabbed my satchel out of the basket as I guided the bike to lie against a tree. I put the bag over my shoulder and started to look for my gun, feeling stupid for not having it ready before.
Soon enough I realize I cannot get to it in time; he reached the point that I had started to slow down at, and had quickened into a sprint. Maybe he isn’t an amateur, I thought to myself. You don’t see that much enthusiasm during these times. I give up on finding my gun and start running through the woods, dodging the trees that come up out of nowhere.
I think that I am distancing myself from him, but when I look back briefly, he is weaving through the thickest parts quicker than I could do it myself. Yeah, definitely not an amateur. I pick up the pace a little, and my hand starts to search for my gun again in my bag. I find it, and with a smile I bring it up to my chest. I promised myself not to use my big one until the end, but he was actually good, and the bigger one would be more reliable.
He was closing in, and I was prepared to turn around and shoot when I heard him loading his gun. Maybe I wouldn’t be able to hear his long speech. I load mine as well, and start to shoot behind me. I miss horribly, and I see him duck out of the way. The next second, he is aimed at me and prepared to shoot. I turn around and I think that I am finally going to be able to get a better look at him, but he stops running and I hide behind a big tree that I took as an oak. I look around the tree and see that he is having difficulties with his gun. He shoots it at the ground, but nothing happens.
I wait for a little to see if he had a back-up, but he continues to struggle with it, banging this time with his wrist. He looks up at me as I lean from behind the oak. I was about a hundred yards away, and the first thing I notice was his piercing blue eyes. They show fear, and a smile creeps over my face as a hunter would do when his prey is trapped. Of course, I was the prey a second ago, but in this crazy world, anything can happen.
“Having a little trouble?” I ask slyly as I load my gun for a second time. I step out from behind the tree and stand with my feet a shoulder width apart.
"Jus’ a minor problem.” He responds, clearly trying not to show the fear that had already been exposed.
“Should I wait?” I smile again, and he knows that I won’t. He drops his gun on the ground, obviously fed up with it. He raises his hands in surrender, and I walk closer slowly, my gun not fully extended.
“Fine,” he says, “I never wanted to do this anyway.” He was wearing khaki shorts and a grey faded hoodie, an odd choice for the last day of school. “Jus’ get it over with.” He stares me down, trying to find pity in my cold heart. Obviously, he doesn’t know how many I have killed.
“I will.” I continue to step closer, increasing the suspense. I love to watch them squirm. But, he was actually playing along. It was getting fun.
After a few seconds of suspense, he breaks the silence. “Are you going to shoot me, or not?” He wasn’t really upset, and I could see his smile starting to show.
“I will,” I say again. This gets him more annoyed. “You’re a good runner.” My compliment does nothing to faze him. By that time I was standing in front of him, gun fully extended; loaded.
“Yeah. And you’re good at working the suspense.” His answer was sarcastic, but I could still see the smile. “Just shoot me.” His head lowers a bit. ”You know, we’re gunna have to go through this again tomorr-“ I raise the gun to his face and he stops talking. He lowers his head all the way now, and I prepare to shoot.
“Yeah, but I take it seriously.” I was almost mad. Everyone thought it was a joke.
“I take it seriously too,” he said, talking to the ground. “I’m just pointing that out.” His hands were at his sides now, no longer in the air in the sign of surrender. I smiled a little, but it was not a sneer.
“Well, let’s see how seriously you take this.” I pull the trigger and his head gets soaked immediately. He falls to the ground, and I laugh at how seriously he did take it. He chuckles on the ground, and I lean down to his level. “You didn’t have to fall,” I said, the laughter still escaping me. The arm that was holding my water gun fell to my side.
“Well, you didn’t think I was serious,” he said quietly, still laughing. “Now go away, I’m dead,” he said with a smirk. I continue to laugh as I walk my way back out of the woods. Maybe there was someone who was going to take it seriously after all. I was still smiling when I turn around to look at him again, lying in the dirt.
“See you tomorrow,” I yell, but the dead man stays quiet.
The next time I turn around, he is gone.