December 28, 2011

2011: The world hasn't ended yet.

I never understood why they never made a prequel to 2012. If they ever did, I think this post title would be the perfect title for it. Filmmakers of Hollywood, take note.

Besides telling myself I should be reading Mansfield Park -- which is highly strenuous in and of itself, I assure you -- I've had a relaxing few days.

Most notably I've been shopping various post-Christmas sales for winter clothes I'll need in Minnesota. Though picking out cute sweaters may be fun now, I fear once I am wearing them constantly I will miss t-shirt and shorts. Oh wow, you know what I realize? Despite living in Florida my whole life, I don't own a single pair of flip-flops. Sandals, sure, but no flip flops. I will take this as a sign I was made for braving colder climates*.

I've also, in no particular order, eaten stuffing, played Jeopardy! for Wii, watched a ton of YouTube videos, read, lost in Bananagrams and slept. That last one may seem mundane, yet is always ten times more glorious during the holidays. I think you'd agree.

Lastly, I've been trying to push myself to make more creative content. Since I have the time now, I am planning photoshoots and videos in hopes I can produce some awesome stuff before I have to slave away on papers and scholarship essays and yucky tasks like that. Yucky, I say.

The most recent product of this is a video response to Lauren about things from 2011. If you want, I highly recommend creating a video response of your own or at least taking these 20 questions and answering them in a post. Either way, here's mine:



*The things I tell myself sometimes...

Whatcha got planned for New Years?

December 26, 2011

Everyday's like talking in your sleep.

Like Strawberry, I will do my best to present my gifts from yesterday in pictures. Honestly, though, I spent more time photographing all the presents when they were still wrapped. Forget the actual presents, I wanted to immortalize the beautiful matches of bows, papers and tags I pulled off. I mean, look at these.
Okay, the back ones on the left and right are from my grandmother.

The gifts: Belgian chocolate covered Oreos and a Georges Seurat puzzle.
(Plus Scotland and panda calendars, which you can barely see.)

On Thursday I went my mom and brother to see Arthur Christmas. It was so much funnier than the trailer made it out to be. It was really nice to be one of six people in the theater, even if it made my laughing more noticeable. Also, I just want to point out there's a scene when McAvoy's character yells "BRYONY" and I couldn't help think it wasn't the first time he's shouted that (see: Atonement). I wonder if that was intentional. Probably not.

Emilia and I exchanged presents this year.
She baked me these uber delicious cookies and made a splendid mix cd I listened to all Christmas Eve.
She's the best.


Happy Holidays, everyone!

I leave you with this video I made with a gift I got yesterday. Enjoy!


What'd you do to celebrate?

December 20, 2011

17 things to do before I turn 18.

I was inspired by Lina's post.

1. Get accepted into college. (12/13/11)
2. Graduate high school with honors. (5/19/12)
3. Open an etsy shop.
4. Earn my AICE diploma.
5. Go on a date. (5/21/12 and 5/26/12)
6. Try new foods.
7. Lose weight/be healthier.
8. Acquire my driver's license.
9. Complete my 2011 reading challenge. (12/31/11)
10. Save more money for a trip to Scotland.
11. Become a better tennis player.
12. Pass my AP Calc A/B exam. (I didn't pass)
13. Watch An Education.
14. Edit HD videos I film.(3/22/12) 
15. Visit Islands of Adventures with friends.
16. Practice my Spanish so I am more fluent.
17. Move away from home.

December 15, 2011

Tears of joy.

Up until today I knew I'd be a nervous wreck. And I knew for the longest time my friends would get their Florida State University decisions before I heard back for my early decision. Still, the anticipation mounted and it consumed my thoughts. I had gotten the mail Tuesday evening prior to everyone logging online then posting to Facebook a variation of "I got accepted to FSU!" Confirming there was no big envelope with my name on it, I dismissed the mail onto my mom's bed and studied diligently. I started getting ready for bed when my mom called me into her room. The way she said my name sounded like she'd seen a roach or something. I walked calmly in as she held up a 5 x 7 envelope, asking how I did not see it. My hands began to shake as I opened it. I read the first line and grinned wider than I knew possible. I sat down to read futher, feeling as though my future was literally in my hands. And then I started bawling. Not out of sadness, but out of pure and unadulterated joy. I immediately relayed the news to my brothers and dad. I deliberately have kept this private, telling a select few people everyday. It's not because I'm unhappy, oh dear no, I just want to keep reveling in this (relatively) alone as long as possible.
In other news, I have my AICE English Literature exam tomorrow, but I'd be lying if I said I was worried about it. Aside from AICE Psychology (and Economics Honors, which I almost forgot to count it is so easy) it has been my easiest class. For the past two weeks I've essentially been given time in class to read Mansfield Park while everyone else struggled to finish their reading logs for Nervous Conditions. I really can't complain.

My group finished the math parody we filmed for our AP Calc exam! Tomorrow we're going to watch everyone's videos and probably die from laughter at our collective stupidity. That's the beauty of it.

As the end of the semester quickly approaches, I am letting myself get more excited about winter break. I hope mine is filled with hot chocolate, good books, beautiful photographs and magnificent adventures. That's all I'm asking.

Tomorrow I'm sending out my secret Santa package! In case I don't say it enough, the blogger family is awesome. I love you, guys.

December 11, 2011

The pier.

Despite overcast skies, my friends and I spent the Saturday afternoon at the pier. We were there to film part of our math parody music video, which we did...but only after a solid thirty minutes of dance practice in the parking lot. The final version was pretty good as a result, even if none of us will be auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance? anytime soon.
After that we headed to a beach house and filmed another scene. Once it was all over, though, I had a terrible headache (kind of like I do now) and just wanted to be home. I almost feel like I got sun poisoning.

Today has been the epitome of a lazy Sunday. I wish I wasn't so tired so I could finish things, like my secret Santa package. I watched Life in a Day and was fairy underwhelmed. Don't get me wrong, it was beautiful, yet somehow utterly pointless.

Now there's this.


My semester exams start on Thursday. Oh, boy.

December 04, 2011

On my ipod.

With the recent inheritance of my brother's old iPod touch, I've been listening to more music. For a while I sustained myself on Maggie's, Natalie's, and Nicola's mixes (which are all FABULOUS, by the way) but these other tunes have been stuck in my head:
What have you been listening to?

December 02, 2011

Don't look at me that way.

Honestly, I'm not sure how time has slipped by. But since it means I have less than six months left of high school and a mere two weeks until I learn if I got into my first choice college, I can't complain.

Clearly blogging has taken a backseat. What you'll never see on here, though, are the conversations the blogger family (yeah, the blogger family) has on a daily basis. We keep up with each other lives more instantly thanks to Facebook. That isn't to say we've given up blogging entirely. No, not at all. I think we'll always be here.

Thanksgiving break was quite relaxing. Both my brothers came home from college; there was ratatouille instead of turkey. It certainly made for a different kind of celebration. I did not participate in Black Friday shopping. I'm trying to save money when I can. I mean, visiting Seattle this summer would be surreal.

In regards to my 365 project, I'm nearing halfway, though I can't say I've improved much. Often I have to resort to taking a random photo of an object on my desk. It's pretty lame.

Besides busting out an awesome English paper, tomorrow I'm taking a trip to Hobby Lobby to stock up on Christmas and art supplies. I feel like I'm never as efficient in putting together a package as say, Shelby, but I try.

My tennis team went bowling last Tuesday. Here's a super quick stop motion I made from photos I took.

November 19, 2011

Right in front of you.

Last night I had my "directorial debut," as I've been calling it. Basically a few weeks ago my psychology teacher told me about a local Potluck Film Showcase and suggested I enter. I wasn't sure my claymation was the kind of short film the gallery was looking for, but I finally worked up the courage and submitted it. They graciously took it and even gave it the first slot.
Besides my work being shown to 30 something people in the community, which was really awesome by itself, I got to watch other amazing films, too. One was called 35 minutes and it was about the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. If you have about 15 minutes to sit down and watch, I highly recommend it. Being there, listening to the directors/actors, was an invaluable experience. I can only imagine going to these types of places in the Twin Cities. I am now more inspired than ever to get a MacBook Pro and start editing HD videos.
My friend Brianna came to support me! She and I will probably go get tea or coffee tomorrow and talk about Franny & Zooey. You know, adventures and photos await.
Today I went to the library with group mates to finish writing lyrics for my calculus semester exam. Every year students are asked to record a parody music video, rewriting the song to be about some math concept. My group has picked "I'm Sexy and I Know It" and has changed it to "I'm Tangent and I Know It." It's bound to be hilarious.

Lastly, I went to pick up the photos I had taken at Homecoming only to realize the photo of mine and Patricia's dress never took. This is why I should've woman-ed up and brought Cammy (my Canon T3) but I think I should also invest in a slim, yet affordable, digital camera. Any suggestions?

P.S. I am extraordinarily excited for the Blogger Family Secret Santa 2011!

November 14, 2011

Under the weather.

I am currently sick with a nasty cold and therefore am suffering from bouts of grumpiness and intense nose-blowing, often simultaneously. I don't care if mucus is a natural part of my immune response, it's gross. My friends have already adopted to calling me snot rag. Oh no, they really haven't. At least not to my face. They're not that snotty.

Karen suggested I blog about the adventures of my tissue box. I took a picture of it in all of its sitting-on-my-desk glory.
I spy a copy of Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron!

I'm putting the finishing touches on my essays, but otherwise I'm ready to send in my Common App/Macalester application tonight! Hopefully this is the only one I have to do. (Granted I already submitted University of Florida's two weeks ago.) I'm taking a gamble applying Early Decision even though I know I really want to go there. Wish me luck?

Alright, time to force myself to study calculus.

October 29, 2011

I am a blur.

I am a blur.
I don't know where I'll stop nor where I've begun.
I seamlessly blend amid the continuum.
I am s t r e t c h i n g far and beyond the imaginable.
Inscrutable though I've become,
I wouldn't have it any other way.

October 27, 2011

Things I meant to say: part two.

It seems like months since my trip to the Twin Cities when actually it's only been three weeks since I visited the metropolises and my top choice college, which translates roughly to several blogging years. We've all been incredibly busy, though, and apologizing for my absence is kinda silly. It's not as if I'm otherwise planning the next four years of my life or anything.

Everything was beautiful in St. Paul, Minnesota. The leaves were vibrant oranges and deep reds, forming a scene I can only attempt to recreate through acrylics or capture well on my camera. I find it's never as overwhelmingly breathtaking after the fact, and that makes me sad.

I keep telling myself I'll write more about the details of the trip. I don't know why I delude myself. The chances that I am able to fully express all that I experienced are low anyway. My laziness compels me to copy and paste the Facebook status I wrote about it: "[I] had a great time visiting Macalester today! I met some awesome people, ate good food at the Mac, and learned so much more about campus and classes. Seriously, today was super fun and enlightening!"

Since pictures don't lie, I figure I'll just post those:
(I've tried to load more but it says 'bad request'. Poo.)

October 18, 2011

Things I meant to say: part one.

It's already been a few weeks since, but I never mentioned how much I enjoyed Spirit Week. I figured I had to make it count, being my last one and all. Kaitlin and I dressed up as Neon Trees for Neon Day. Hey, I thought it was clever. Fun fact: I painted my face so green people thought I was a goblin. Plus, we made matching iron-on t-shirts to explain our joke. No regretz.
The man lurking behind us is our physics teacher.

For Celebrity day, Aryn dressed up as Lady Gaga. She wasn't the only one, though (see: person in background to the right.)

I fell in love with Swanny's sunglasses then I fell in love with this picture of Swanny's sunglasses.

It was Extreme Twin day, so naturally Garrett showed up to school like this.

For era day, seniors were Roman/Greek and juniors were prehistoric. The caveman (fourth from the left) is the infamous Chem Boy I mention on twitter.

Spirit Day meant a s'mores party in AICE Chem.

Puja, Aniesa and I at our last high school homecoming pep rally. Good times, good times.

I didn't go to the Homecoming game that Friday because I had SAT Subject Tests the next morning. Yet, as my luck would have it, it ended up a truly remarkable victory for us in double overtime. I wish I could've gone; if nothing else to see the super tall, super cute quarterback in action. Funny story, I actually know him and he defies the stereotypical airhead jock. I'm not kidding, he watches 30 Rock and writes insightful comments on English papers -- or so my junior informants tell me. It's just not fair that he and I didn't become best friends in Spanish class last year.

I went to Homecoming in a sparkly, gold, sequin dress. I thought that, besides Patricia who wore her Ariel dress, I was by far the classiest. It's as if girls lose all self-respect that night and find it necessary to show off everything. Still, I got to see Zack for the first time since he left for college and generally had an alright time. My expectations were low to begin with, of course. I was too afraid to bring my DSLR to the event and thus the only photos I took are on my disposable camera. That reminds me, I need to get that developed soon.

As the title suggests, there will be a part two. Stay tuned.

October 16, 2011

I'm not scared to admit I've changed.

I just finished re-reading Paper Towns and, sweet molasses, that book is good. It definitely spoke to me more now than it did sophomore year, which is only a testament to how much I've changed. Obviously nothing was different about the story itself: same beginning, same middle, same end.

As paralyzing and upsetting as all the never agains were, the final leaving felt perfect. Pure. The most distilled form of liberation.. It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.
-- John Green, Paper Towns

I'd write more, but I'm not finding the words.

Have a good rest of your weekend, everyone.

October 09, 2011

Houdini.

My life is wholesomely good. I like that there aren't any artificial sweeteners stirred in, even though that means dealing with the bitterness left behind. And so I pucker up my lips and let the tears streak down. Down until my sob becomes a cataclysm of emotion I cannot reconcile. I go to the bathroom to splash water on my face yet it makes no difference. Nothing can wake me from this daze.
Thoughts have been consuming me lately and I've become entangled in my own head. I want to express myself -- probably more so than I have in forever -- but I also want to selfishly revel in my revelations. I can't spend a whole lunch around my friends anymore. I was found, but now I'm lost.

These past few weeks have been extraordinarily busy and I haven't had time to complete everything on my to-do list. Especially writing letters to Natalie, Amy and Maggie. Believe me, I feel like a terrible person. I'm a constant whirlwind of worry, preoccupied with what I haven't done. School work has reached an all time high and I've just about had enough.

And now I am way too tired to write...

P.S. Tomorrow is my seventeenth birthday. Send me things or don't send me things. Either way is fine.

September 16, 2011

People couldn't believe what I'd become.

I've had a really crappy week. And since it was only technically four days with a student holiday on Monday, that's truly remarkable.

Before I go any further, I think it's important to mention my current physical condition. As of now, my jaw is slightly unaligned. My lips don't match up and it's frankly terrifying. The pain, however, has been intermittent so I was hesitant to make it into a bigger deal than it might be; I wasn't going to cry and drop everything. Besides, I half-figured it'd fix itself. I've 'popped' my jaw before, experienced mild pain, and then days later have been perfectly okay. I don't know what happened differently this time! My mom said it may be Temporomandibular joint disorder TMJD, but I have to wait until tomorrow morning to call the pediatrics office and ask for an appointment to be sure. I need this resolved for my sanity.

That said, I've had to battle an insanely draining, demanding slew of work the past four days. Not only did I have two Chemistry tests (that's not a typo; I seriously had two), I had an English paper to write, a psych paper, a psych test, a physics quiz, a Spanish test and an AP calc quiz. That's not even mentioning all the stress over college applications and running the math tutoring organization. It continues to amaze me how I'm not zombie. Oh wait, I sort of am right now.

Most embarrassingly, all my stress and feelings of inadequacy erupted into tears during sixth and seventh periods today. There were twenty minutes left until I could go home when I was called to the front office. I assumed my mom had somehow scheduled an appointment for my jaw. Well, no. Not the case at all. I walk in and it was none other than my best friend is sitting there and it was just so surreal that I started crying. She doesn't go to my school so to see here there, and coincidentally when I needed her most was amazing. She gave me a purse (pictured below) she's been meaning to give to me for a while. I decided not go back to class so we talked, hugged and caught up instead. It was perfect.
Excuse me while I continue to lovingly watch the Coldplay live stream from Austin City Lights.

September 11, 2011

Never forget.

I just watched the 102 Minutes that Changed America and, to tell you the truth, I am a little numb. It's as if the shock and horror of 9/11 has only deeply impacted me now. Somehow only now I am old enough to understand all the horrific events that occurred this day ten years ago.

I was a mere first grader in elementary school when it happened. Most of my worries consisted of getting along with classmates and completing the inane assignments. And when I was home, I rarely watched TV and even more rarely watched the news. Thus, no live images of the disaster have been imprinted on my mind. I was not deeply traumatized. Only after the fact did I ever learn about the absolute terror that ensued and what its implications were.

Fast-forward a year to when I'm sitting in my third grade class. (I skipped second grade.) My teacher had gathered us around a map hanging on the wall. She calmly points to a small country between Europe and Asia and says, "This is Iraq. We are at war here now." With this conflict so far away, I honestly thought little about it. And frankly, I didn't know why I even should.

For the remainder of my elementary school days, I focused more on myself. The biggest events that impacted me were hurricanes, especially Katrina. I recall for a couple of weeks we had a new student from Louisiana join our class. She talked about how she had to move because her neighborhood and whole entire city was flooded. She left our school before the year was out and we never kept in touch.

But the point is, I thought little about 9/11. Sure, as I started reading the paper more and comprehending national and global politics, the bigger picture became clearer. I began realizing exactly why it was a big deal.

During 7th grade, I participated in a model United Nations conference at my school. I represented Libya of all countries. My basis for choosing such a place wasn't because I was that interested, but because the flag was all green and thus would be no trouble sewing. (At least at that point. I believe it has since changed.) I'm glad I chose it though, since for the project as a whole, I conducted plenty of research into the nation. This meant I learned about Qaddafi and the country's politics. I started seeing more parallels between history and modern day, as seriously frightening as it was.

But I still thought little about 9/11. It was always about what was done to somehow avenge the tragedy: the war on terrorism.

All this reflection, though important, does not change what happened. This ten year anniversary can only honor those heroic citizens, fireman and policemen that responded in a time of utter uncertainty and crisis. More importantly, we can honor those loved ones and friends that died in the attacks. They're gone, yet not forgotten.

As a citizen of the United States, I wanted a way to pay my respects and this is it. I urge you to please take a moment of silence after reading this post to remember those affected.

Thank you.

September 04, 2011

It's hard to know that you still care.

Brianna and I went exploring beneath a bridge and through the local village yesterday. We discussed our lives within a quaint bakery, shared our mutual desires to get out of Florida, and she gave me some much needed photography tips. I can't thank her enough for a splendid Saturday afternoon.
Oh, and during the adventure I filmed my first HD video!!

August 31, 2011

A tearful good-bye.

Since I’m ending BEDA today, I probably won’t be posting on here too often anymore. As most of you lovely readers know, I’m on twitter more frequently.

Hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, in the near future I will be creating quality videos! I’m already planning collaborations with friends that should be awesome.

My 365 project on Flickr is sort of disappointing, but I'm working on changing that too. You can expect better quality, more conceptual photos in the next few weeks. That's a pinky promise.

Okay, college applications will now consume my life.

Have a nice day.

August 30, 2011

"O Jesus, make it stop!"

My title is a direct quote from the poem Attack by Sigfried Sassoon. It also become my English teacher's mantra while grading out latest essays. Apparently they were that tragic. I was very pleased with my grade, though.

Uh. Uh. UH. I don't know what else to write! My day was alright, even if was incredibly tired by 5th period. This is probably an indication I need to get more sleep...that I will promptly ignore.

I totally beasted my math test with a 95. GET AT ME, AP CALC. GET AT ME. Frustratingly, in haste, I forgot that the graph of -sin2x would still start at 0. I am such a nerd.

Latest English Lit essay grade: 95.

August 28, 2011

What were you thinking?

I'll spare you guys the boring details of my day and just hit the highlights.

I think I did well on my English poetry analysis. I mean, I sure hope I interpreted the meaning correctly. It's embarrassing when our teacher reads aloud from papers and says, "DON'T DO THIS" or "THIS IS TOTALLY WRONG" and you worry it's yours. We're writing in-class papers/essays on a weekly basis, which sounds intimidating (and it is), but is entirely necessary to pass A-level. He's dropping our lowest grade this nine weeks, though, so I technically have a 100 in the class still. I'm a beast.

Meanwhile, I got a 71 on my physics test. Not so impressive, if you ask me. Fortunately there's time to improve!

The only other thing remotely exciting was my 100 on my psych test! I have a 100 in the class overall, too. Noticing a trend?

Calculus studying, here I come.

All was well.

I finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows today.
Perhaps now I can actually go see Part 2...

August 27, 2011

Cathedrals in my heart.

My to-do list is long (and incomplete thus far) today; but since writing my 27th BEDA post is included, I technically am being productive right now. Loopholes, ftw.

It's no secret that I've always been boyfriend-less. Crushes have come and gone, but none matured into romantic relationships. You would've probably read about them. I realized, however, that I was instead granted good friend status with said guys and that was and continues to be fine with me. I kinda treat them like honorary brothers. That said, you may be surprised I liked one college guy for the majority of last year because I rarely blogged about him. I felt like if I could keep my feelings under wraps he'd eventually see a future with me and we'd happily date. Life is never that simple, though.

After a year long, arguably unhealthy manifestation of feelings, I finally came clean to the guy a few weeks ago. This time was no different. His polite rejection and request of friendship, while trite, was sincere, so I graciously accepted it. I know it was for the greater good. It's let me properly move on.

During my first day experiences video, I mentioned a cute guy in my AICE Chemistry class. He's a junior and has pretty eyes. He runs cross country and track. He's a part of Academic Team and Mu Alpha Theta, two clubs I lead as co-captain and President respectively. Plus, he's in two of my seven classes! I think interaction will be inevitable now. I can't claim any real attraction towards him yet because we've exchanged probably fewer than 100 words, but this may change. Muhahaha.

Okay. Enough about that.

I desperately want a class 6 SD card so I can start filming HD videos. I also desperately crave adventure and photoshoots with friends. I'm tired of taking relatively boring pictures for my 365!

I've now had three driving lessons. The last one involved driving on a major road outside my neighborhood with actual cars. I feel accomplished even if I'm truly not.

Currently my grades reveal that my strengths are with languages and social sciences and not so much math and hard sciences. I think this serves as a good reminder to myself of what I'm good at. As of late, I've considered being a director/cinematographer. Just one more reason I am eager to start filming quality videos.

August 26, 2011

Que me quedas tu.

We listened to this song in Spanish class today. I was honestly surprised by how much I liked it.

I wish I had the energy to write an amazing awesome post, but --you guessed it-- I don't. I really, really should be getting to bed soon so let's stop typing now.

Wait. WAIT. I wanted to express my deepest apologies that Hurricane Irene is headed up the eastern US coast and not straight across Florida as they do. To my blogger friends that may be affected (Strawberry, Natalie, etc.) please be safe. As a veteran of "hunkering down," I urge you to stock up on books, lights, healthy yet delicious foods, water now. Also, the humidity sucks. Did I mention that I was sorry?

P.S. Things keep looking up. I'll tell you more tomorrow.