Thursday, February 28, 2002

In my (succesful) procrastination effort, justified by the fact that I'm waiting for my dinner and therefore cannot concentrate on homework, I've been looking through, and deleting, old emails. If you know me, you've probably seen my room; and if you've seen my room, you probably know that throwing old things out is not really my strong point. Let's just say that's an excellent analogy for my email inbox. There are old forwards and at least three rounds of those damn surveys. But there's also a few gems, and the only word to describe the feeling I get from them is bittersweet. I can't help but miss the days when I had emails signed "peace, love and pandas" and with descriptions like "We made glorious eye-contact and the birds chirped, the hamsters danced, and the guinea pigs squealed." Anyone else out there feel the same way?

Every time I get in a nostalgic mood like this, I want to email or call all the people I used to be really close with and get caught up on their lives. But it never works out, and the emails end up petering out after a few days, or weeks if we're lucky. I'm sad about the fact that I'm already getting these feelings of loss, and I still see some of these people every day. I wonder how it's going to be when we all go away to college, and beyond that. I guess I should start learning how to deal with losing people (not to death, I don't know if that's ever something I'll be able to comprehend); unfortunately, I fear I'll grow up and have these random urges to get back in touch, and nothing will come of them, and I won't even have my good memories of that person to fall back on because they'll be obliterated by my new impressions.
Even though I took the nap that I desperately needed, my head still feels foggy and my eyes are mildly blurred over. I suppose the energy I've gained (or regained, rather) from sleeping should go to homework, but I hope I'll be able to force myself to do it. I fear that another night of wasted time lies before me. This year - actually, I think it started in the beginning of last year - I totally lost any work ethic that I had. And from the beginning, it was never really a work ethic, as such; it was just me coming home and doing my homework because I had nothing else to do, and because it took a half an hour, maximum. Now that I actually have to do work outside of school, I'm just lazy and unmotivated. I think the fact that things came easily to me in middle and elementary school has actually ended up to be a bad thing. I still have that quick understanding of the majority of things we talk about in school, but I have no motivation whatsoever.

On another, even more random note: I've been listening to a lot of classical music lately, or at least having the urge to. I think it's a comibination of playing good music in orchestra, and changing my alarm from Kevin & Bean to 105.1 (KMZT). A strange change for me, or maybe yet another sign that I'm regressing.

Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Wow, the last few days have been full. Things to complain about, things to contemplate. Emotional moments, stressful moments, exciting moments, crazy moments. And every once in a while, something that caused the world to slow down and become tinged with beautiful colors.

Monday night was interesting- my soccer banquet, and JV got shafted off into a corner where we couldn't see anyone making speeches and had to climb over one another to get up and get our carnations. There is so much I can say about the politics of soccer teams, but right now I'm in a good mood and so am not inclined to rant. Ask me sometime if you really want to know- or watch this space for the next bitchy moment I have.

Tuesday. February 26th, the night before the Grammys - and therefore, the night of the Concerts for Artist's Rights. When I first heard about the concert with Weezer, No Doubt and the Offspring, I got so excited and decided I had to go. Through a horrible connection on an even worse computer in Tucson, of all places, I got my tickets. But that was almost a month ago, and the excitement had kind of worn off. Until the day of, when I realized where I was going and what I was going to hear and see. Lucy, Annie and I (the former a replacement for the person I was originally going with - not to sound mean at all - and the latter a girl who I've talked to two or three times who need a ride) had, surprisingly enough considering the circumstances, a great time together. It's possible that getting horrifically lost in city where you've never been is a better bonding experience than many things. But after a harrowing ride, we finally arrived, and it was the most amazing experience. Every few songs, I'd think about the fact that the people down there were the actual bands, the actual people who I listen to every day and feel like they speak almost too truthfully sometimes; it's a crazy thought. I almost pinched myself, and then realized if it wasn't a dream, I didn't want to wake up.

Final thought: I LOVE WEEZER!!!

Sunday, February 24, 2002

Today was a truly lovely day. I was up at an hour that seemed to be too early for a Sunday, but I tried to make myself go back to sleep and couldn't so I got up without regrets. My room was (reasonably) clean and I was done with (the majority of) my homework by 11:30 at the latest. Then I opted out of spending time with friends for a solitary day of books and movies. Perhaps this was a bad decision, but I was so comfortable in what I was doing that I didn't want to change it. This is the kind of decision making that can haunt me for days, but with the mood I've been in lately I think that's going to be unlikely.

I went down to the beach with my book, climbed up on an unoccupied lifeguard station, and read. Whenever I wanted a break from the New York love story that was going on in the Home at the End of the World, I glanced up and breathed in the beauty of the world around me. There were so many people to watch, and sailboats wherever I looked on the ocean. The wind was blowing, but the sun's warmth was stronger and I remained warm. It's always funny to think of how our city is on the map as a touristy sort of place to go, and we never appreciate it as such. Some places it's probably snowing, and here I was wearing shorts and a tank top, reading next to the ocean.

Right when I was finished with my book, I looked down and saw a ladybug crawling on me. She didn't want to leave- I watched her crawl over my hand and arm, frantically waving her feelers as she tried to figure out what kind of strange terain she was inhabiting. She even spent a few moments traveling along my bracelet as if it were a road! I couldn't remember whether ladybugs were just for good luck, or if you made a wish- so I did both. Finally, as I was leaving the beach, she flew away.

I made a stop at Blockbuster and picked up a Dead Poet's Society, and then went to the Rose Cafe and got a cinnamon roll- one of the most delectable foods I have ever tasted. When I returned home, I watched the movie with my mom. It was such a fabulous movie. Mildly predictable and corny, to be sure, but I loved it and the message and the way truth was portrayed. Everyone should see this movie if they haven't already.

Here's to a good week ahead for all! *raises a glass*

Sometimes the most beautiful poetry can be about simple things, like a cat, or a flower or rain. You see, poetry can come from anything with the stuff of revelation in it. Just don't let your poems be ordinary.
- Keating (Robin Williams), Dead Poet's Society

Saturday, February 23, 2002

Today was summer and it was special. Lying the backyard absorbing enough sun to provide a temporary protective layer of warmth for when I jump into a pool is the nicest feeling ever. Warm days make me drowsy and content in a good way, and when they're filled with laughter and talking and cookies and oldies (with a bit of weezer in the mix too), they verge on perfection.

Recently I've been happy. It's a word that is overused or underused, depending on how you look at it. Like so many words in the ever-mind-boggling english language, there can be so many different ways of using it that simple words can lose impact because they're not big and strong enough to hold their own. But sometimes it's all you need. (I'm reminded irresistably of a line from Anne of Green Gables: "Young girls today have no idea what the word love means. They can say they love turnips with the same gravity as they would say they love their lord and saviour." Or something like that.) But when you are happy with what you have, it's something special.

All I've being doing tonight is reading poetry and replaying moments in my head. I can't stop smiling.

Thursday, February 21, 2002

There's something oddly comforting about seeing columns of text lined up exactly, or having information appear directly in the center of a table you've made. It's aesthetically pleasing, to be sure, but it also provides me with a sense of security which is usually a lot harder to find when doing chemistry homework. I get the same feeling from having a really clean room (or at least enough floor space to lie down like I'm going to make a snow angel). Strange how the little things can make your entire life feel more organized and in control.

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

Here's something else that I learned today which absolutely shocked me: The words "under god" were not added to the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954, by Congress under the strong encouragement of the Knights of Columbus, a Roman Catholic organization. When I was younger, it was the only part of the allegiance I wouldn't say (if I said any of it) when my humanities teacher remembered to "salute the flag." It just seemed so fundamentally wrong for Americans to be forced to declare their allegiance to a god which has nothing to do with america. I recognize the fact that "god" isn't necessarily a christian god, but it was definitely placed in the pledge with those implications; and besides, what about the percentage of Americans who don't believe in god at all?

It seems that Eisenhower decided to add these two words in the urgency of the Cold War, when every effort was being made to create an absolute enemy of communism (those "godless" russians!), and to create an american solidarity. It seems to me that the efforts at solidarity has ended up creating even more issues, as people feel excluded by the pledge, and even offended.

This was interesting if anyone wants to read it; it is an obviously biased view, but that doesn't mean the facts don't stand for themselves.

(Who said Quiz Bowl didn't teach you anything?)
Today when perusing through our library, I found, nestled between Bulfinch's Mythology and The Book of Mormon my grandmother's Girl Scout Handbook from 1931. Filled with edicts: "if it is a question of being a help to the rest of the world, or a burden, a Girl Scout is always to be found among the helpers" and advice: "A cheerful, clean, helpful, and a well Girl Scout is the only Girl Scout who really is prepared/ She not only knows the laws of health, she lives them: she stands tall, she plays daily in the open air, she rests and sleeps at night, and conserves her energy at all times, she is careful to get the right amount of air, water, sun and food each day, and perhaps most important of all, she keeps clean." (some of which could be well considered by people I know).

Reading through the Handbook was such a delightful experience for me. I have had a slight obsession with "simpler times" every since I was young, and I've always enjoyed reading books where the boys were russet-cheeked and the girls did the housework. I didn't take offense at the blatant sexism because I just imagined myself in the boys part. It's interesting to think of my grandma reading over this advice, and making the check marks in the margins as she decided which requirements to fulfill for her merit badges. Very Norman Rockwell, I know, but it's fun to dream about living in a time like that.

Monday, February 18, 2002

Thanks to my clarinet teacher, I found a new meaning for my life today. Not as a future musician, or teacher, or leader- but as a corruptor of little children!

Turns out that I uttered a few naughty words last week at the recital rehearsal- for the perfectly natural reason that I was totally unprepared and screwing up right and left. But apparently one kid (who I'm imagining as wide-eyed, blonde and cherubic looking) came up to Amanda and said "Do you know that Emily said... fuck?"

When Amanda told me that I felt so bad! Swearing, for me, is purely a fun thing to do; and perhaps still seems a little "rebellious" because I was that innocent little kid for much of my life. But who am I kidding? Kids today grow up so fast... *sighs* He was probably shocked at the fact that innocent lil' 16 year old me was using a bad word, not that he was having his virgin ears violated.

Sunday, February 17, 2002

Something else to be rapturous about- I've just rediscovered songs I loved when I was first getting into music besides classical music, right around 8th grade. I bet you didn't know that I didn't used to let my mom play "rock & roll" when I drove with her in the car, eh?

Anways, the songs that touched something inside of me are all corny and thick with emotion... and they still send tingles down my spine:

Edwin McCain - I'll Be
Savage Garden - Truly Madly Deeply
Aerosmith - I Don't Want to Miss a Thing
*whispers* N'SYNC - God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You

And of course there's Alanis Morisette. And Natalie Imbruglia. And the theme song from Dawson's Creek. All of which I loved strangely and irrationally and passionately as only a 13 year old girl can do.
I've just finished reading Salinger- Franny and Zooey in entirety, and a few of Nine Stories that I remember especially fondly from the summer before freshman year. They leave me with the desire to talk in a terribly affected vaguely New York accent and call everyone I meet "dahling." Like a pretentious society woman or a flamboyantly gay man.

I was surprised when rereading F & Z because I hadn't remembered it as being so highly focused on religion. Now I'm feeling curious about religion and spirituality from a purely educational point of view. It is one subject that I have little to no knowledge of besides information absorbed from various novels and bad jokes.
Last night seems totally nonexistent to me. Beforehand, I felt the unreality of having 60+ people in my house, and looking back it seems like it barely happened. My memories have already retreated into the realm of ghosts and shadows. It might have been viewing the events through a haze of sleepiness and sickness, but I feel totally removed.

Right now I feel basically discontent, the kind of restlessness that strikes one on a sunday afternoon during vacation when there should be someting going on, but isn't. So I spend too much time on the computer, incessentantly checking my e-mail and various blogs, until I get so sick of myself I feel like screaming. Too bad my throat hurts too much to even talk loudly.

My problem at this point is that I don't feel like making an effort, and worse, I can't decide where to direct my energy if I was to try and create a distraction for myself. Sundays are no fun.*




*Well, mildly funner when followed by no school on monday.

Saturday, February 16, 2002

I spent the first half of this morning in a tossing, turning sleep, interrupted by strange dreams of being a mouse and escaping from a crazed man in my own house. Then I got up, coughing like crazy, and was immediatley enlisted to help prepare for my mom's birthday party tonight. So with the smell of poached salmon wafting invitingly upstairs, I spent an hour or two messing with mp3s so she could have CDs of music from when she was young and... not-so-innocent.

Then, with my sister at my side, I drove around picking up various necessary items from around town. First stop was at a disreputable looking party store in venice, where I was to get wine glasses; they gave us champagne glasses instead, and the extra dozen that I requested were picked up from the table that was in the window for decoration. I hope my parents clean them thoroughly before presenting them to the guests.

Then to a little bakery halfway across santa monica, which was in the corner of a strip mall that I drove around at least five times before seeing. My mom told me it was called Emil's, but the "Emil's" part of the name was in such tiny letters that I overlooked them. The cake looks delicious, though. And my sister and I got to pick out 4 dozen "finger desserts" that look so, so good. Everything from tiramisu to cute little tarts. I hope those guests aren't too hungry tonight...

Friday, February 15, 2002

My interesting plans for tonight were destroyed thanks to my mother, who decided I was too sick to go out. She's right, of course. I slept for two hours and woke up feeling fuzzy headed after a dream of organic chemistry and science bowl, with my voice almost but not quite gone. It is nice to just stay at home and not worry about anything, though my lack of social interaction makes tonight feel like a school night. I'll surprise myself when I get to sleep in tomorrow, I'm sure.

Being sick makes me feel like a little kid. My mom commented on that too; I guess my annoyance at the fact that they were talking when I was trying to read Salinger at the dinner table was tangible, to say the least. It's kind of fun to not worry about being nice to people, though. My, that sounds selfish. But I'm in petulant little kid mode, what can I say?

Thursday, February 14, 2002

I think the reason that I experience so many shifts in mood and attitude is because I have come to expect a lot from the world and from my life. And when I don't get it, things just seem pointless. But when life does live up to my expectations, it usually manages to surpass them and create a whole new level of awe, joy or simple happiness. I think that's the price I'm going to have to pay for a long time for being the way I am. Thinking, daydreaming, lying on my bed listening to music when I'm supposed to be doing other things. But this "price" isn't really something that I can calculate, or that's qualified as good or bad. Just there, existing- I think of a bubble floating through the night air with the streetlights creating rainbows on its almost transparent surface, and that's one form of existence which takes my breath away.
Today was a really wonderful day, as a few of them have seemed to be lately. All the pink and red at school put me in a good mood, and I was enjoying watching people give each other flowers and teddy bears and cards. I couldn't help but smile when I saw a boy waiting to surprise his girlfriend outide of her class with a bouquet of roses.

Then I got my carnation in chemistry and it gave me butterflies right when I needed to concentrate the most. I still don't know who my "secret crush" is. If it's you, feel free to tell me ... or just show up at my door with another bouquet. I won't mind. ;-)

I was so glad that valentines day made me happy. I was afraid all of my optimism from last night would slip away and I would end up being bitter and jaded, but I really enjoyed myself, even before I found myself showered with love and affection (in a very small dose, that is). I think the pheromones in the air, along with the smell of chocolate, just worked their magic.

Wednesday, February 13, 2002

I'm in a beautiful mood right now. Listening to the theme song from Amelie brings back wonderful images from the movie and an amazing thrill of appreciation for so much in the world. Then this website, which I found on a wonderful person's blog, made me smile so wide my cheeks began to hurt. It's amazing when everything you admire seems to come together, like one of those 3-D picture things, and it just culminates in a perfect feeling where everything in your life seems to have the same theme.

Tomorrow is valentine's day and I want to give valentines to everyone whose presence I appreciate in my life. Just pour love out of a huge bottomless bottle. Too bad it won't work out that way- but I'll comfort myself with the fact that it's the thought that counts.

Tuesday, February 12, 2002

I think about the relationships we have with people and how we qualify and categorize them. It's interesting to consider what we believe constitutes a "good" friendship, and why we believe in some people more than others. Sometimes it's possible to be close to someone when you only share superficial things while with others, even the most exhaustive confessions can still not be a strong enough bond. Laughter and tears in the perfect ratio can cement things like nothing else can, but sometimes you only need one of the two ingredients to make something perfect.

Monday, February 11, 2002

Today was my first day back at track, and though I'm totally exhausted and sore, I think it might have been kind of fun. I don't think running is ever something I'll be amazing at, but I'm trying to be optimistic and not go in thinking about how I'm not going to run, so why bother? They told us at running camp to never go into a workout expecting to end early- never give yourself a way out. I'm trying to take that advice (given in August, mind you)now; and I think it's pretty good advice to take in other situations too. Another one I'll add to my list of wisdom to follow someday.

I felt so abandoned today when people announced they had erased AIM/were planning on it. I think I've become dependent on the internet for too much of my social interaction- I'm not addicted, as such, but when I want to talk to people I usually just go online instead of calling specific people, for all of the obvious reasons. I suppose it wouldn't be such a big deal if I did talk to people other places than class and the weekends, but now I feel lonely. :-(

Lots of work to do tonight: chem labs to write up, cookies to bake; but I think I can pull it off. Right now I'm going to give myself a break from perpetual motion and take a nice bubble bath. Almost as good as wrapping up in a down blanket in a sunny room.

Sunday, February 10, 2002

I hate being so tired that my eyes have trouble focusing on the computer screen. Does that happen to anyone else, or should I make an appointment with the eye doctor sometime soon?

This weekend has come out on a pretty even keel. Good times and bad times canceled each other out and blended with the okay times to create a decent weekend. I ate a lot of crappy food, went shopping and said blasphemous things in a Lutheran church. I have to remember to rant about that- but right now the right words won't come and it's pointless to attack something unless you have a good argument. Especially when people you know have better arguments. :-)

Right now, I'm just glad that my recital went reasonably okay, and that I've succeeded in being slightly above average at anything I've attempted this weekend. Except the chem lab, but that doesn't count because I didn't really attempt it. Don't tell Ms. Wexler.

Question: is Ms. Wexler married? Or has she been ever? She has a daughter, which doesn't necessarily imply marriage but I would be very surprised to find out she had an illegitimate child. So is Wexler her maiden name? I just wonder because of all of her college stories where she talks to herself and says things like, "Wexler, you're going to have to know all of these o-chem molecules before you go out and talk to any of those crazy druggies." If she has changed her name anytime in the past, then her name wasn't Wexler in college and she probably referred to herself as something else, thus causing her to change her stories around just so they make sense to us.

Or maybe she just never changed her name.

I shouldn't waste my time or yours with ramblings like that, but sometimes it's fun to sit at the computer with your eyes closed and type whatever comes into your head. Good night.

Thursday, February 07, 2002

I should really come here and write before I talk to anyone else because often by the time I actually get to my blog I have explained my feelings and situations to at least my journal and sometimes people I'm talking online with, and so my need to write is slightly diminished, leading to abridged stories and explanations. But I'll to my best.

Today was a really good day. I can't remember too much of my school day, to be honest, because it seems like so long ago, but lunch and soccer and the bus ride were definitely very, very nice.

Moments:

1) Donuts + sandwiches + hunger (as the best sauce) + good friend = good beginning to happiness
2) a beautiful shot on goal
3) a victory
4) being on a team where everyone has their hair in french braided pigtails
5) talking in the dark

Wednesday, February 06, 2002

Just to let you know, things are better now. I'm physically and mentally exhausted, despite having gone to bed at 9 for the past three nights, and so I'm living my life one moment at a time (not joyously and optimistically, just trying not to worry about anything else besides what is specifically wrong at the moment). Maybe I'll have more to say later; right now I need to do two nights of math homework and not fall asleep. I just felt like writing.

Monday, February 04, 2002

Do you know what I also don't like? When you want to talk to someone and there's no one to talk to. Or the person you've decided to talk to has something else they have to do. Or when you say something that you've never said to anyone else, and the only thing you see in their eyes in blankness.
I feel like there should be a song to express the mood I'm in. But I can't think of one off the top of my head, at least for the lyrics. Just the sound- lots of loud guitar music for me tonight.

Does anyone else out there ever feel like their life is just a series of wrong turns that lead you down a path to the smallest possible room where you can't get out no matter what you do? It's not that I feel like I've made a bunch of wrong decisions, because quite frankly I haven't made too many of my own decisions up to this point, but I am definitely the architect, contractor and interior decorator of this prison.

*sigh* Right now I'm just mad at myself for a lot of things, but I feel mildly better because I've already written out my ranting where no other eyes can see it. And my head hurts. I don't think I'm going to do my homework tonight.

(Actually, I thought of a song:)

Sitting on the bed
Or lying wide awake
There's demons in my head
And it's more than I can take
I think I'm on a roll
But I think it's kinda weak
Saying all I know is
I gotta get away from me

- Offspring, Gotta Get Away

Sunday, February 03, 2002

<--- I love this album. I just love it.
Yummy- my hands smell like the barbecue chicken pizza I had today during my excellent adventure with my sister. All of you that don't have cool siblings, you're missing out.

In an effort to escape our house and give ourselves something to do, Erin and I went on a search for good music, starting at Best Buy and then going to Rhino Records, by way of a driving adventure through Beverly Hills and Hollywood. It was wonderful- we were driving down Santa Monica Blvd, headbanging to Bohemian Rhapsody, and a Beverly Hills lady with a fur coat, at least two face lifts, and leopard print sunglasses pulled up next to us and just stared. Classic.

We also got those really good ice cream sandwiches, which are two fresh baked cookies and a scoop of ice cream. Delicious! If I went to UCLA, I would go to that cookie shop at least three times a week, and the freshman 15 would be exponentially increased, at least in my mind.

And she just gave me her copy of Pinkerton! I love my sister!

Saturday, February 02, 2002

Do you know that I've already adjusted to sleeping 6-8 hours a night? I went to bed around 1 last night, and woke myself up at 7:17. I thought about getting up so I could continue the acclimation to minimal amounts of sleep, but then I decided that I deserved to sleep in and proceded to do so.

Yesterday was a beautiful beginning to the weekend. Ate a ton of food, got some great music, met some cool people. I even talked, really talked with my mom for a bit. That was nice, though telling things to parents can always be dangerous. I even lit candles in my room, which was nice until my sister's friend dripped wax everywhere.


Conversation of the day (yesterday, actually- don't give me weird looks if it sounds strange, just accept that it's one of those "you had to be there" things)

Me: Why do you have Converse hanging everywhere?
Cool record shop clerk: Because they're cool. They're the ultimate rock & roll shoes... we hang Chuck Taylors for the same reason you still listen to vinyl.