Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Meaning & Zenith

Warning: This post gets very nerdy very fast. You have been warned.

There's something very odd about being a primarily "arts"-based student in a science class. You find yourself latching on to certain facts over others and you only ask particular questions.

In Astronomy class I found myself tuning out some of the discussion about the proper measurements of light years and all of the math inherent in that. I got a little lost when we started talking about planes (geometric planes, not airplanes) and didn't really focus on my teacher's theories about universal expansion (using, as she did, raisin cakes as an example...really?).

But then...we started talking about the celestial sphere. Which doesn't actually exist, by the way, but it's still used as a reference point in determining certain things in astronomy.

We were going along, discussing meridians and imaginary spheres...and then she started explaining the concept of the "zenith". Obviously this is a vocab word I've heard many, many times before. And USED before, of course. I'm a writer, after all. I often use the phrase "sun is at its zenith" to describe noon. Who doesn't, literarily speaking? It means the sun is at the highest point in the sky, right?

My teacher barely touched on what "zenith" really is, and I HAD to ask the question in class. And this prompted a discussion that took the whole rest of the class period and made me very smug. Because I managed to turn a scientific discussion into a linguistic/semantics one. Go me!

Basically, "the sun is at its zenith" is completely incorrect to say. The sun doesn't HAVE a zenith. The zenith is the straight line pointing above a particular object (usually a person's head). It is the highest point on a median. When you are standing anywhere, facing DUE south, if you were to draw a straight line from the southern horizon up and over yourself until you were pointing to the northern horizon (behind you), then that line is your median. The point exactly above you is the zenith.

Hence, the sun doesn't have a zenith.

However! The sun can be AT zenith (ie right above your head) but only if you're standing on the Equator on a certain day out of the year. So the sun being "at zenith" has a very small window of opportunity. But it IS possible.

So glad THAT was cleared up.

But then I realized...that has been the ONLY question I have asked in that class so far, and technically it had nothing to do with science and everything to do with semantics. No, that probably won't be on the test. And yes, I did just manage to turn a class full of astronomers into a class full of bickering amateur linguists, if only for a moment.

I'm so proud.

-The GLS

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Temptation & Healing

Tonight, I did something truly gutsy. Something I probably should not have attempted, but I was growing desperate. Since it's been almost a week since my debilitating (har har har) run-in with stomach upset, I thought perhaps it was time to step up to the plate and be brave.

This evening...I ate a small cupful of chocolate chips.


Alright, yeah, I know. THAT'S my big gutsy thing for the day? Chocolate chips?

Let's put this in proper perspective. My stomach has been sensitive for a few days, now. I only just allowed myself to have a small amount of milk today, trying to steer clear of dairy products which are not so great on an upset tummy. I've been working up from broth and rice, little by little, so as not to shock the system. I was fine with leaving sugary treats by the wayside. It's good not to overdo it, right? I left the donuts in the breakroom completely alone today (go me!) and didn't feel tempted to buy anything ridiculous at 7-11 on my lunch break. I was feeling on top of the world.

But let's be honest: I've been craving chocolate ever since it became clear that it was the last thing I should have on a sensitive stomach. So tonight was a big step forward into a new and better tomorrow.

...or something like that.

Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. And I'm glad. Because I really, really missed chocolate.

-The GLS

Monday, March 29, 2010

Constellations & Timeclocks

(It occurs to me that at some point I'll run out of things to put on either side of that little ampersand up there. I know it'll happen someday, but I'm unwilling to let that day be today. I'm only 67 posts into the year, okay?)

It seemed a little depressing to create a whole new tag for today's gutsiness. So I'm putting it under "Activities". Because there is NO WAY I'm making a tag for "Classes of Gutsiness".

But yes, this is an unusual school quarter for me! Also, potentially my last quarter in the good ol' undergrad school system, at least for a little while. I am taking two classes (which is NOT unusual), yet neither of them is entirely customary to the way my education has thus far been conducted.

Yes indeed, I am taking one fully-online class and one evening class.

Shocked? Scandalized?

Yeah, I know, it's not that big a deal to most people in 2010. But I've never taken either type of class, before, and this is a big step for me.

The cool part? My evening class is ASTRONOMY. How freakin' cool is that? And this schedule allows me to work full-time while also going to school and (hopefully) graduating this summer.

Downsides: My Astronomy lab goes until 9:50pm. That's...late.

Here's to bringing dinner to class! Good thing the classroom has a microwave...

Phew. This is going to be a good quarter. I can FEEL it!

-The GLS

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hauntings & Wantings

A few weeks ago I first heard a song on KEXP that knocked me off my feet. It was quiet and still and throbbing and lovely, and the warbling female vocalist made me hold my breath until she was finished. I didn't even realize I wasn't breathing until my exhale rocked the car.

For some reason, every other search for this song has turned up diddly, until today. Maybe I kept spelling the singer's name wrong, or maybe this song only just got noticed, I don't know.

But here she is, in all of her haunting glory:

Love More, by Sharon Van Etten.

Please click and enjoy. Ideally in a room with a single candle flickering and nothing else but your eyes shut.

The yearning in this melody is enough to break your heart.

-The GLS

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Yul Brynner & Photographs

Because I've been recovering, I wasn't able to get up to much adventurous gutsiness today. I mostly spent the day helping my parents hang photographs up in our house that had been languishing far too long. Good news: Our walls are covered with photos! Really great ones, too. Trust me.

However, I did get up to one "new" thing today, and that's a film!

First of all, can we all agree that Yul Brynner might be close to--if not definitely--the epitome of awesome?

If you agreed with the above statement, go rent Michael Crichton's WestWorld.

Yes, I did just say Michael Crichton, Mr. Jurassic Park himself. Before all of that, he wrote and directed WestWorld, which is uncannily similar to Jurassic Park in a lot of ways but also strangely prophetic (it being made in the 70's). Where Jurassic Park has something to say about humans wanting to play God, WestWorld deals more with our assumption that technology can be adequately controlled. Think I, Robot or even Minority Report.

Basic plot: There's a $1000 per day adult amusement park split into three different "worlds": MedievalWorld, RomanWorld, and WestWorld. In these places there are androids that are programmed to give tourists the illusion of being in these eras, but are designed not to hurt the tourists in any way. Just give them a thrill. However, the guests are perfectly allowed to kill the robots, have sex with them, start fights with them, whatever. It's an airtight system, *almost* glitch-free, and it's all in good fun, right? What could go wrong?

Well, because Michael "Oh-my-gosh-a-Tyrannosaurus-is-chasing-us-in-this-perfectly-safe- dinosaur-amusement-park" Crichton is writing it, plenty can--and does--go wrong.

Though the plot sounds a little cliched, now, the funny part is that this is the movie that STARTED the cliche. Before "computer viruses" were even thought of, this movie was already talking about glitches spreading through technology like a disease. Pretty amazing.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, Yul Brynner plays the uber-creepy Gunslinger robot who stalks our protagonists through WestWorld. Kind of Terminator-esque, the whole unstoppable robot thing. Pretty cool, too.

Anyway, it was a fun film. I suggest you go out and give it a try, if you're into old scifi. And Yul Brynner. Doy.

-The GLS

Friday, March 26, 2010

Chicken Soup & Rice

Warning: Somewhat lengthy post, explaining the debacle of the last few days in case you're curious.

Would it help to say that I don't know who wrote the last few posts?

Well, I'd be lying. Because I know who wrote them. Someone inflicted with food poisoning (thank you, Amtrak!) and general malaise wrote them.

Basically, here's what happened: I got to Vancouver. I spent the day running around Granville Street seeing the sights, tying straightjackets on buskers (true story), and Quatchi-hunting.

When I got back to my hostel room, however, something changed. I was feeling very sad, for some mysterious reason, and exhausted and a bit nauseous. But I chalked it up to the fact that I hadn't eaten in awhile and that I was anxious about being alone in the big city.

Right after my "Vancouver Gutsiness" post was sent off to the Internets, in which I emotionally explained my general sadness about being away from home, all that running around, and nervousness from being in a strange (and very large!) place, and (I realized later) a certain food item purchased on the train that afternoon...caught up with me.

So, you COULD say I was enjoying part of the Vancouver nightlife. I just skipped the "fun" part and went running off to the "sick", "exhausted", and "upchucking all night" part. Yay!

Obviously, I was a mess the next morning. And all I really wanted to do was go home, because I still felt sick. And I feared very much the ribbing I might take for doing so, because I always write myself into a gutsy corner and assume that everyone cares as much as I do (which...uh...they don''s my life, yeah?). So after a good ten minutes thinking it over (if that), I called Amtrak to reschedule my departure, told the hostel I was checking out a day early (and they gave me a nice of them!), and started packing.

I hopped a train to bring me home (btw...train travel with food poisoning was probably not my smartest move, but I survived) and I arrived last night at 10:00pm with no sleep, no food (I was scared to eat), and feeling like I had the miserable word FAIL stamped on my forehead in red letters.

Why am I telling you this?

Because this is what we tell ourselves that life is all about.

In this Pass/Fail world we live on a diet of successes and backslides. And I'm pretty sure I've harped on this before, but it's always relevant. Because this is the culture we live in. I was so ashamed of coming home early that I almost stayed in Vancouver just to prove a point, praying that I would be miraculously healed and trying to pretend like I'm having a good time.

You know what? I'm STILL not feeling 100%. One more night in Vancouver would have been hell, and not worth the feeling of "accomplishment" at having stuck to my guns.

If I'm ranting, I'm mostly ranting at me, for believing that everything is measured by the same yardstick.

I woke this morning to sunshine and the knowledge that I can take it slow, take care of myself, relax and get better. I spent the day at ease, scanning fantastic blogs I had missed, finally appreciating Flight of the Conchords truly for the first time (I was a stubborn holdout), and reading novels I hadn't got around to, yet. Cuddling with my new Quatchi plushy and sipping chicken broth.

Why do I always have to tell myself that it's OKAY to be content, even if it comes in the wake of what one might call a failure?

I don't know. And maybe I never will.

But that episode of my life is over, now. I took it. I learned. Let's move on, shall we?

-The GLS

Crash & Burn

This would normally be where I recount my lack of success at traveling to Vancouver and enjoying myself. I might say some unflattering things about myself, perhaps, or admit to failing utterly. I might say some rather unflattering things about big-city Vancouver. I might say some angry words about the length of time I had to wait at the train station until I could catch a train home--a day early--or how much my poor stomach had to endure last night.

But I'm not going to do that.

Instead, I'm going to sing the praises of Home.

My parents picked me up from the train station and brought me home to eat chicken noodle soup at 10pm, even though they both had to be somewhere in the morning and needed to sleep.

I fell asleep last night to the sound of the wind...and not much else. The sirens, people shouting, traffic...all gone.

I woke this morning to sunshine and calm. To my own room as I remember it. To the lovely clutter and the lovely music.

Yes, indeed. I'm happy to be Home.

-The GLS

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Vancouver Gutsiness: Trains & Noodles

Well, here I am. In the middle of the largest city in British Columbia, blogging from a computer in the lobby of Hostelling International's Vancouver Central hostel.

And, I'm a little...out of it.

I know, I know. This happened once before, when I first landed in Galway. I felt homesick and sad and tired and lonely and confused. And then I met my roommate at the hostel and suddenly everything felt like it would be okay! And I ended up having a marvelous time!

Annoyingly, I won't have enough time to get used to Vancouver. Just two nights, and then I go home.

Two nights. So why am I whining?

Argh, well...I know I shouldn't. I'm gutsy, right? Yes. I enjoy stepping out into the unknown? Yes. I learn from everything I do? Yes.

Then why do I feel so down?

To be fair, I think I've determined that I'm not a big city person. This might be part of the problem. Or...most of the problem. Because Vancouver--while attractive--is QUITE large.

Could also be that, for some reason, I keep comparing this trip to Ireland, and that's a mistake. They are completely unrelated trips, in many many ways. And I'm putting way too much emphasis and analysis into this trip, in general. It's only two nights. Not two weeks.

So there.

Well, I'm going to sign off (even though my hour of Internet isn't up...oops...). The reason I'm signing off prematurely is that I'm HUNGRY. I haven't eaten since the train, and that was hours ago. Nearly eight hours ago, to be precise. Yeah. I'm hungry.

I will now go make my Canadian cup-o-noodle and smile like I mean it.

Don't worry about me. This too shall pass. Perhaps tomorrow will be so much fun I'll be kicking myself, wondering why I went to all the trouble of complaining. Perhaps tomorrow I'll wonder what ever came over me. Perhaps I'll come away from this trip with lovely thoughts, memories, and revelations to show for it.

Positive thinking. I shall employ it. Here we go...

Yay Vancouver!

-The GLS

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Packing & Planning

Ha! So, it occurred to me that I'm leaving for Vancouver, BC in the morning. So maybe I ought to be a bit more prepared than I am.

I'm going through my usual trip-paranoia, even though this trip is going to be significantly shorter than my last one. Three days vs. two weeks? Doesn't quite compare, does it? Not really.

I'm digging through a Lonely Planet guide to the city of Vancouver, thinking over the things I'm going to do and building a rough itinerary. The funny thing is that I rarely (if ever) stick to the itineraries I create, but it's nice to have an outline all the same, right?

Other than that, the hostel bed is reserved, the train tickets are paid for, and the route from the train station to the hostel is planned and accounted for. What more do I need, really?

You know, sometimes I think it's easy to get gutsiness and stupidity confused with one another. I LOVE the questions people ask when you're planning a trip somewhere that requires a ticket (either train or plane). "Oh, where are you going? With whom? By yourself? Wow! What are you going to do there?"

And that's the hilarity of the whole thing: I don't KNOW what I'm going to do there. I felt the same way about Galway. I didn't KNOW what I was going to do, I only knew that I needed to go. To be somewhere else. To see the world from the vantage of a foreign coffeeshop. To hear unfamiliar voices and feel unfamiliar winds and taste unfamiliar foods.

I think I make a terrible tourist, because the "sights" don't interest me. I go places to watch people, write nonsense in a journal, and eat out. If I'm alone, that's fine. At least I know that I'm gutsy.

I just need a vacation away from the familiar.

Yes, there's a bit of terror in my heart, right now. Am I really prepared for this? Is this one trip too many? Have I planned enough? Have I planned too much? Should I have packed more? Should I have packed less? What if I'm alone? What if I hate it? What if I get bored?

Impossible. I'm the Gutsy Little Shit. I make my own fun. Hear me roar.

-The GLS

(Next you hear from me, I will likely be blogging from the Vancouver Public Library. I'm going to try VERY hard to blog from Vancouver these next two nights, but it may prove impossible. If you don't hear from me there, you'll hear from me here when I return. See you in Canada, eh?)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fade Ins & Fade Outs

Apparently, I don't have enough things that I'm doing.


I'm entertaining the idea of joining Script Frenzy for the month of April. Why? Because it's been since high school that I finished a script, and I think it could be very fun. Besides, April is looking a little sad and empty.

I've spent the evening brainstorming ideas, and I think I may have a basic plot in mind. But I'm notoriously bad at outlining, so maybe I shouldn't overthink it. After it gets produced you can all say you knew me when (har har har).

100 pages in 30 days. Sounds like the sort of gutsy I'm in to.

Join me!

-The GLS

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Gaslights & Elfin Hats

Just a few things before this very disconnected-feeling weekend draws to a close.

"Gaslight" -- VERY good old creepy classic movie. Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman doing some of their best work, and an 18-year-old Angela Lansbury, too! It's about this young woman with a shadowy past (of course!) marrying this exotic man and discovering he's not what he seems (of course!). Truly, it was pretty sensational. And terrifying, for a movie made in 1944. Althought I tend to think the old black-and-white movies got it right, horror-wise. Ever seen "The Innocents" with Deborah Kerr? Holy crap. That movie was terrifying...

In other news, my dear little elfin hat experiment flopped. Literally, actually, it turned out ridiculously floppy. That's the problem with cotton, I guess. Besides that the proportions were all wrong. So I started another one with a different yarn, and it turns out it was the YARN'S fault for being the wrong size.

But then, I have to remember that I CHOSE the yarn, so...there's still no one to blame but myself. Phooey.

Well, I'm starting the hat over. Hopefully soon I'll have a nice, finished product to show off on here.

Until tomorrow,

-The GLS

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Afghans & Tortilla Soup

My back may not be wide...
My body may not be strong...
My own yoke may be getting rather heavy...
My own dance-card may be getting somewhat full...

But sure. Put it there for awhile. I'll help you carry it a bit.
And then, when we get to the riverside, we can pitch it in together.
Applaud the splash. Feel the lightness and the creaking of muscles as we straighten our backs. Grin ear to ear. Hug until the ripples cease and the surface of the water stills. Pull our rubber boots out of the mire. Trek back to where we started.

Then we'll have a cup of tea.

Won't that be nice?

-The GLS

Friday, March 19, 2010

Vertigo & Vancouver

Classic movie night! This time one that I had seen before, but had NOT liked. Yes, Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo".

Now, I LOVE Hitch. I love "North By Northwest", and "Dial M For Murder". My affection truly lies in "Rear Window", however, because I honestly think that movie is a masterpiece of creativity, writing, pacing...everything. Grace Kelly, James Stewart...such a fantastic movie.

But when I saw Vertigo for the first time a few years ago I didn't like it. I thought it was odd, and unsatisfying, and less "Hitchy".

Well, my thoughts were confirmed after watching it again. I tried to keep an open mind this time around, but I have to say, I'm not a fan of Vertigo. I understand that it was a groundbreaking film in a technical sense, and that's fine. But don't expect me to love it the way I love Rear Window.

Could also be the fact that everyone praises Vertigo to the skies. Something about that bothers me. No one manages to explain why they think Vertigo is the best thing to hit the cinema since the first projector.

Anyway, in other news, classes are done and spring break is upon me. I was planning on going down to Portland to visit some friends, but money and other factors have curtailed those plans.

I was bummed, of course, because I want to see my Oregonian friends, but also because I wanted to get out of the house and have a proper vacation. I think Ireland has spoiled me.

So I sat in my room, thinking, "Well, darn. I really wish I could go visit somewhere for spring break. Somewhere foreign. Wouldn't that be great?"

Ho hum.

Oh wait...

Canada is three hours away.

So, I'm going to Vancouver for two nights over spring break! It's (surprisingly) less expensive than a trip down to Portland, but I still get the feeling of being away from home for a few days. It's been ages since I was in Vancouver. So long ago that I actually don't remember it well.

If you are a Portland friend: Take heart. I will see you soon, sometime this summer. I need to save a little money first so I can have a proper visit with you all. :)

Let the weekend begin!

-The GLS

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dreams & Finality


Phew, it's nice to have that little load off my back. Not that my finals were particularly awful, but they required a lot of attention. I don't like that. But I felt good about all three, so hopefully that "feeling good" will translate into a grade that is equally satisfying.

In any case, I've been doing a bit of dreaming today. Probably because I've noticed that my schooling is drawing to a close (for now, anyway) and I'm hoping to graduate in June with an Associate's Degree.

If you had told me in high school that in 4-6 years I WOULDN'T be attending a four-year and that I WOULDN'T be graduating with a tangible degree and I WOULDN'T be sure of where I was going, I probably would have laughed in your face. Because in high school I was sure of a lot of things.

It's easy to get caught up in the fear of what I'm going to do with the rest of my life, especially since an Associate's Degree is as general as general can get, and therefore doesn't point me down a particular path.

However, the more I think about it, the more I like the fact that the world is pretty much laid bare before me (financial constraints notwithstanding, of course).

So, in the spirit of gutsiness, a little dreaming...

1. I want to knit my own socks.
2. I want to get dreds, wear a peasant skirt, and tour with the Psalters for awhile.
3. I want to bake five batches of chocolate chip cookies and then give them away to unsuspecting neighbors.
4. I want to live in a hobbit house.
5. I want to travel to any country the name of which I can't pronounce.
6. I want to publish a book.
7. I want to publish another book in an entirely different genre under a pseudonym.
8. I want to act shocked when my fans realize I wrote both.
9. I want to be the woman that people know will always have the kettle on.
10. I want to learn the mandolin.
11. I want to play in a bluegrass band outside on a sunny Sunday while wearing a floral cotton dress.
12. I want to teach my children how to make the perfect loaf of soda bread. And let them play with the flour, first, because flour is fun.
13. I want to never shy away from color.
14. I want to ride the train across the country, then turn and ride it back.
15. I want to learn how to drive a stick-shift.
16. I want to be the inventor of the first fruitcake that people actually LIKE.
17. I want to never run out of Pilot G-2 pens, to the degree that they fairly spill out of my pockets and can be found in any nook and cranny of my home.
18. I want to be the coolest aunt/mother/grandma on the planet by being totally and completely anti-hip, and loving it.
19. I want to be described as an "anachronism" at least once.
20. I want to be a Gutsy Little Shit until the day I die.

-The GLS

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Green & More Green

I love St. Patrick's Day, and this one has been particularly busy. I'm about to head downstairs for a feast of epic proportions, enjoy a film, and study Algebra until bedtime for my final tomorrow. So I'm going to blog a bit early; hope no one minds.

St. Patrick's Day is my favorite day of the year. I know that sounds weird, in comparison with birthdays and Christmas and such. But it's the only day my love affair with Ireland is okay with everyone.

In the spirit of gutsiness, I'm going to start learning Irish words. Why? Because I have the means to do it (bookwise) and because it's a stupid idea. I don't know anyone who speaks it, it won't do me any good in the future, and I don't claim enough Irish blood to be justified in learning it.

That's exactly why I'm going to learn it.

Besides, it's something to do.

While I sit downstairs, stuffing my face with corned beef & cabbage, soda bread (homemade by me!), and cider, I will say Basta! and mean delicious.

Let the foray begin...

Slán agat!

-The GLS

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cotton & Catalina

It was a wacky, wacky day, today. But a good one, ultimately.

Stopped off at Fred Meyer with my mom and found the skein of yarn I had been looking for. Ironic, yeah? Looked all over at fabric stores and...Freddy's has it. Ah.

The yarn I'm using is cotton! It's my first time knitting with cotton. Not that it's much different than wool or acrylic or alpaca or bamboo (what I'm used to knitting with), but it has a LOT less give/elasticity and therefore less stretch when you're working with it. Other than that I LOVE the color (it's a nice, rich navy blue) and it feels nice to knit with something a little different this time around.

Another classic film night! This one was another doozy. "The Glass-Bottom Boat" starring Doris Day and Rod Taylor. (In case you're wondering: no, it's not about a glass-bottom boat, so the title IS meaningless...glad you asked.)

First, I must restate something very important: I LOVE classic movies. I'm an old movie buff. I thoroughly enjoy them in all of their black-and-white vs. TECHNICOLOR, weird editing, fantastic dialogue glory. I have no prejudice against old movies. This must be clearly understood before you continue reading.

Sometimes I think giving my reviews of movies like "The Glass-Bottom Boat" is kind of pointless, because...let's face it...the movie was made in 1966 and is a self-professed mix of a romcom and a spy movie. can only imagine. Bright jewel-tone paint, misunderstandings, ugly men in drag, "Que Sera, Sera" following Doris Day around like a particularly sad puppy, chauvinistic undertones (or overtones), baritone ukuleles, Cold War "us vs. them" spygames with the Russians, and Rod Taylor with no shirt on. Not that I mind.

Seriously, this film was very strange, plotwise. The actual glass-bottom boat DOES start the film, but never really makes an appearance any other time. DOES wonder about the title a bit.

Okay, yeah, the film was pretty funny. I laughed aloud. HOWEVER if for no other reason, watch this film for Dom DeLuise. Holy cow, I love that man. I love him when he's falling all over himself, stepping in banana cream cake (not pie), stuttering uncontrollably, bugging the hors d'oeuvres, and getting hit in the head with things. He's amazing and hilarious and beloved.

I lied. If for no other reason BESIDES Dom DeLuise, watch this film for Eric Fleming, of "Rawhide" fame. Scratch that. Just go watch "Rawhide". Best TV show ever. And watch Eric Fleming and witness the awesome. Whether driving cattle or trying to steal government secrets, he's just so dashing!

When I was little I saw the old film version of "The Time Machine", and it was the first time I saw Rod Taylor in anything. I fell in love.

Well, I'm older now. And with Rod Taylor and Eric Fleming in the same movie...I think I've grown a bit wiser. I'll take Mr. Fleming, please and thank you.

...I think I need some sleep.

-The GLS

Monday, March 15, 2010

Optimism & Digestives

Today's gutsiness was thus: I had the unmitigated gall to have a wonderful Monday.

I know it seems bizarre. Wonderful and Monday? No. Never.

But yes!

First of all, there's no algebra this week until finals on Thursday, so I don't need to go rushing out the door at 7am. Yay!
Next my dad (who is a genius) fixed the turning signals on my car. I hopped in the car to go to work and the first song that popped on was an old favorite, Passion Pit's "Sleepyhead". Yes, I have it on my iPod. But admit it...sometimes there's a special feeling about hearing a favorite song on the radio. Because you didn't choose it. It chose YOU.

Work was great. The kids were in a pretty great mood, considering it's the first day of the week. The sun was out, so we took them out to the playground for some fresh air.

When it was off to Poetry class for our final classtime and party, I stopped off at the Irish imports store to pick up some digestives. One packet for the Poetry class party, and one for our St. Patty's Day celebration at work. I want the kids to try some Irish "cookies"...I think they'll like them. They're covered in dark chocolate.

The Poetry class was good, but ended somewhat bittersweet. Sometimes I don't like the last day of classes. I bond with people in my classes and then we have to part ways. However, we swapped cell numbers and hopefully will have a write-in sometime in the future. These girls were what made this quarter bearable in that class, and I'll never forget them.

Got home and decided to embark on a new knitting project. So I headed to Joann Fabric to pick up some yarn to make this adorable elfin hat. As part of this pattern I'm learning a new stitch, "seed stitch", which is pretty simple but new to me. Since it's an experiment I don't know if I'll be gifting it or if it'll stay with me for the time being. Who knows...maybe I'll give it to a little elf of my own one day. :)

Ended the day with Indian food from Trader Joe's, the ABC miniseries of "Alice In Wonderland" that is my absolute favorite (and part of the reason I'm reluctant to see the new Tim Burton one...), and working on my knitting.

I'm so easy to please.

-The GLS

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Enamelware & Turnarounds

This morning was lovely and slow. I made oatmeal (McCann's on the stovetop...I don't even bother with the microwave stuff anymore). I cook my oatmeal with lowfat milk and eat it with butter and honey. Washed it down with a little goat milk. Faaaaabulous!

Then I got a wild hair and decided to go to Value Village to look for some cookware. Because I'm 21, and I've been getting these weird home-maker nesting-type stirrings lately. Don't ask me why. Besides, I had some fun-money in the budget just begging to be spent.

So I drove to Value Village. I originally intended to look for a lidded glass canister to keep my oatmeal in, since it seems like the sort of thing one might display in a cool canister instead of the box. But none of the canisters were particularly to my liking. There were a few neat ones, but none of them were "the one". It's important to be picky when shopping at thrift stores. Settling is not a good idea.

As I'm looking through the other things to be seen, something catches my eye. It's this little off-white enamelware saucepan with a floral pattern on it and brass handles. And it's adorable. I picked it up, looked it over, but I really wasn't looking for cookware so I put it down. Then, around the corner, I see ANOTHER one, but it's a soup pot with handles on either side. Same pattern and maker, it seems. But the soup pot is more expensive.

Hmm. So I go looking around at everything else for a bit, but I keep straying back to these adorable pots. But I only have money for the little saucepan, so I decide to get it. The check-out girl expresses her admiration for the thing and wonders aloud if it's vintage. Heck, I have no idea.

I took it home. I wasn't home for two minutes before I grabbed another $20 (still within budget, mind you) and drove BACK to Value Village to buy the soup pot.

Well, the soup pot had a mark on the bottom. ASTA. So I looked it up when I brought them both back home. Apparently, ASTA was a German company that made enamelware in the 60s, but the factory closed in 1986 or so. So now ASTA enamelware is actually quite collectible. Can you imagine?

Since I'm no collector, I intend to USE my enamelware to cook with. They're both still perfectly functional (except for a little bit of rust on the underside of the soup pot's lid...but my mom said she'd help me clean that up).

Wanna see them?

Aww, aren't they cute? Gotta love impulse purchases. Can't wait to use them and see how they perform under pressure. Or over heat, rather.

In other news...the fuse of my car's turning signals died this evening. I did hand-signals all the way home from church. Which was actually good practice, but I'd much rather not have to. I think this is a sign that I need to extradite my intentions to get a new (used) car.

Stay tuned on that.

-The GLS

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Remember & Critique

KEXP is on a roll. At LEAST one new song per day in the past week that I have loved. Today it was "I Remember" by Yeasayer. Really lovely song. That guy's voice made me shiver, in a good way. I can't think of who his voice reminds me of. Falsetto-y? With some tremolo? Gosh, I can't think.

Yeah, we've got another knitting post. But the post goes a bit beyond knitting, so bear with me.

Tonight, I had to fight a little battle over critique.

I have a hard time with critique. As a writer I know I ought to be better about it, and as a writer I usually AM better about it. But this critique didn't have to do with my writing. It had to do with my knitting.

And I haven't really had to deal with this, before.

As many of you know, I am trying desperately to be rid of a bunch of yarn that's lying around my room. Yarn that I bought when I was young and naive and woefully under-educated about the best sorts of yarn to use. Just because I know better now, doesn't mean I'm suddenly rid of all this cheapo--but still quite useable--yarn. So I've been busting my stash, slowly but surely.

In an effort to bust a particularly loud color of chunky green yarn and some off-white of the same brand, I decided to make a hooded scarf based on a pattern I found. I had to re-judge for needle size and number of stitches (as I don't have circulars big enough...argh!). And we all know my success with going off-pattern, don't we?

Well, my off-pattern luck struck the worst way. It ended up being really awkward looking, and since I ran out of the green and white earlier than I expected to I had to compensate with the only other color of chunky yarn I had: a reddish-purple color. So naturally it started to look really funny. And with the wrong needles, and different dimensions, oy.

So I finished it and showed it to my parents, and they were less than enthusiastic.

Understand: I am a performer. I am also highly sensitive to the emotions and social cues of others. Which can be good and bad. As a performer, I get to be fun and light-hearted when I feel like it. But when no one's clapping, I get upset. Being highly sensitive, I am usually able to tell what's going on with someone before they say anything. However, it also means I can tell when something I'm doing is not appreciated as highly as I think it should be. And I can't just "let go" of it as easily as others can. I hold on and shake it until it dies.

So I went back upstairs feeling bummed out and wanting to burn my new knitted monster and wishing I could un-buy the stupid yarn. Basically, I threw a little temper tantrum.

And then I put the hooded scarf on.

And I thought, hey. It's not THAT bad. I mean...yeah, it's weird. But it's not unworkable. Is it?

You know what? Don't answer that. Because it doesn't matter. I like it. It's cozy and warm and on a blustry day it's going to save my poor little ears. And it's funky. I like funky. So there.

And I love my parents for not massaging my ego every day. It gives me something to learn from. And blog about.

-The GLS

Friday, March 12, 2010

Jumping & Ice Cream

Two GREAT songs from the KEXP front, today. "Ice Cream" by Muscles and "Saw" by Tanlines. No, I didn't cry this time. But I did turn the volume up to ridiculous levels and sing along to, "Ice gonna save the day...again!!"

Now THERE'S a message I can get behind. ;D

In other news...

There are a lot of little childhood things that I never did. Not that I had a deprived childhood. On the contrary, I had a FANTASTIC childhood and have very fond memories of exploring the creek, playing neighborhood-wide hide-and-seek in the dark, picking huckleberries, and riding bikes more than walking. But there are also a few little cliche things that I kind of wish I had done.

For example, chasing butterflies. You know? In the old days kids used to go out and chase butterflies around the yard. Why did I never do that?

Thanks to a diminutive Mexican girl in Valle Verde when I was a junior in high school, I have fulfilled that dream. I was down there for a mission trip and she and I spent the afternoon running around the backyard of the tiny church in the sunshine, chasing little white mariposas around and around and laughing, which didn't require translation.

Another of those dreams was fulfilled today. And that would be puddle-jumping in public.

Yes, I am aware that my "About Me" says that I am a rainy-day puddle-jumper. And that's true. But typically I tend to puddle-jump when no one is looking. It's a little easier to feel "cool" about it, that way.

Not so, today. I was walking from my car to my first class and I noticed that there were some fantastic puddles to be had. And I happened to be wearing my wellies (which just INVITES jumping). So, I looked around. Dang. There were people around. Not a ton (it being 7:30am), but enough to make it uncomfortable.


So I jumped in one. I didn't exactly milk it like I should have. I should have jumped up and down a few times just to cement my gutsiness. But instead I leaped into it, created a satisfactory splash, and then moved on. I didn't check to see if anyone had seen it. I don't care. I hope they did. Maybe then they'll do some puddle-jumping of their very own. :)

It's been a long week, and now it is done. Childhood dream fulfilled. Wrapped in a cushy shawl. Eyelids drooping. Goodnight.

-The GLS

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Shawls & Fire

I wept openly in the car, today. I blame it on the morning KEXP DJ picking perhaps the best three songs ever to play.

To be honest, I've forgotten the other two. But it was Arcade Fire's "No Cars Go" that made me weep openly on the way to work. Weep openly in a good way, I might add. It was just so awesomely epic and gorgeous and sweeping. You know what I mean? Glorious song. Made the pouring rain this morning less of a bother.

In other news, it's FINALLY DONE. The Shawl of Death.

I don't think I've explained this project much at all, so allow me to enlighten you all. Knitting nerdiness ahead.

I found this pattern for a scarf a week ago and thought it would make a fun way of getting rid of a bunch of my random yarn. So I started in.

Now, part of learning to knit is learning how to multiply stitches and inches so you find the perfect "gauge" for your knitting. Basically how to make something the right size.

Well, apparently, my multiplication was rather off. That was my previous post about casting on 181 stitches. Which I still find ridiculous. And for good reason! No scarf knitted with worsted weight yarn was ever 181 stitches across, I have a feeling, and yet...

Here I am, a week and five skeins of yarn later, and I don't have a scarf. I have a freakin' shawl. It's very cozy, of course, but it's HUGE. I don't know what I was thinking when I did my math.

However, the irony is that I've always wanted to knit a shawl but never managed to. Now that I've knitted one, it was entirely by accident. *sigh*

Here's a few pictures of the thing. Note the lace interchanged with knit stitch. It was really quite fun, if not exhausting.

Don't I look exhausted? This is me tired of looking at these rows upon rows upon rows of lace...knit...lace...knit...*screams and runs for the hills*

The colors don't show up great in these images, but I used five colors: dark green, a light grass green, a dark teal, a jewel-tone "peacock" color, and a pale blue. I was going for a cool colors palette, really. But mostly I wanted to get rid of all this random yarn.

Well, it worked. I'm lighter five skeins of yarn. Yes! But there's plenty more to be rid of soon enough. More projects are likely on the way.

This is the first night this week I haven't been slaving away on some school project. Feels good. Finals coming up.

The end is near (read: graduation).

-The GLS

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Shock & Awe

So, I was in the car today, and this song came on. And I was like, "You know? This is kinda fun."

It featured some guy (with an extremely recognizeable voice, I might add) doing spoken-word, which then broke into a really cool vocal chorus. It just kept building and building, rocking solid. I was grooving. The sun was shining. It was all very nice.

I got home and looked it up, by title. Because the most prominent words were "common people", I figured it was a safe bet.

And it was! "Common People" by a band called Pulp. Okay.'s not it. That's not the right version. What was I listening to?

And then I found it. The cover version that I had heard. The voice that had sounded so familiar. It all came together...

It was William Shatner.

I had heard that the man had released a CD of himself reading his work with musical accompaniment. I knew he had done some rock song covers, too. I knew this existed in the world, but I swore to never listen to it, because William Shatner is many things, but a poet? Musically inclined? Eh. I remained unconvinced. He will always be to me either James T. Kirk (of questionable rank) or that guy from Miss Congeniality. Or the Priceline commercial spokesman.

However...I will admit, as my act of gutsiness for the day, to actually ENJOYING his cover of "Common People". It's ridiculously fun. A really good summery song.

I feel a little dirty just saying that.

But there it is.

Go find it on YouTube or something. It's worth a listen. Especially if you're a Trekkie or just like....ellipses....between....every....word. ;D

-The GLS

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Prodigal & 60 Stitches

Quick note before I have to go be responsible.

Tonight I watched the BEST-WORST movie I have ever seen! Like, delightfully campy!

Those who know me know that I like classic movies. A lot. I mean, heck, I had a crush on Cary Grant when I was ten. My mom likes to borrow old movies from the library, and she always brings these totally obscure films home with her. Some of them are awesome, and some...well...

Tonight's offering, "The Prodigal" was SO bad it registered on the "This is so bad it's awesome" scale. Picture the BASIC (I cannot stress this word enough) frame of the biblical prodigal son story, and then turn it into a 70 BC cinema spectacle, complete with Lana Turner as the seductress who lures the son away from home in the first place. Totally kitschy.

Actually, if you watch it (and I halfway recommend it), the best scene has to do with a fantastic fight between the main character and an incredible animatronic vulture. It's awesome. I almost peed my pants.

Although, there are also human sacrifices, sparkly bedazzled pagan costumes, blond and ginger-haired girls (in 70 BC Damascus?), random resurrections, stunted dialogue, someone who escapes harm by running across the backs of about six horses (!), afore-mentioned homicidal vulture...gosh, this movie has it all.

The 60 Stitches part of the title refers to my endless knitting project, in which I am down to 60 stitches. So close to finished! I will be sure to post pictures once I'm done. I'll be parading it around for awhile, I think.

Okay. Time to go be responsible.

-The GLS

Monday, March 8, 2010

Comedy & Tragedy

You know how it goes. Sometimes things just hit you. And you weren't expecting them to, and you did a really good job of not letting them...but then they do.

You know how it goes.

About five or six years ago, my grandma (I called her Nana) was diagnosed with dementia/Alzheimer's. I was too young to really "get it", even when she was placed in a fantastically loving and caring senior community/assisted living center near our house. I never really understood the change that was happening inside of her mind, and I didn't really know how to cope. So I kind of ignored it, being a high-schooler and therefore a little less mature about these things. Though really, I don't think anyone really matures in this way. Sometimes things are always scary or unusual, no matter how old you are.

This morning at 6:00am--after five or six years of struggle and decline--my Nana passed away.

It's a weird feeling, too. Because I know it's better that she's no longer with us, especially since she had been completely nonresponsive for three or so years. I haven't had a real conversation with her in a very long time--since before she was diagnosed--so in my mind, she was already gone. But now she really is.

It hit me like a stack of bricks about ten minutes ago. Took me all day for that to happen. And it's not so much that her passing was sudden, or that it was so difficult on me personally, or that I have millions of pink-edged memories of the two of us together (because frankly, I don't...she wasn't the pink-edged type). No, it's the fact that she's gone. Something has changed. Even when she was half-here, half-not, I got used to that being the status quo. And now the status quo has changed again. For good.

I don't really know why I'm saying all of this here. This isn't really the place for it, come to think of it. But I think I need to see my own words in front of me in order to understand what I'm thinking and feeling.

Phew. What a day.

But life's all about contrasts, isn't it? Nana couldn't have picked a prettier day. It was beautiful and sunny for part of the day, at least. The view from my route home was breathtaking. Work was good, today. School was good, today. I'm stuck in the middle of an interminable knitting project, but that will soon pass as well, and when it's done I'll be able to enjoy it.

Give and take, eh?

In the spirit of contrasts, I also entered my first poetry contest, today. The Wergle Flomp poetry contest, which awards a cash prize to the best humorous poems. It was just a shot in the dark, but I thought it might be a fun thing to do, today. Give me a little something to smile about.

But then in itself is something to smile about, isn't it?

God is good.

-The GLS

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Old Friends & Formulating...

This evening was way better than this afternoon. Or even this morning.

And I know why. It's because I re-attended a church I hadn't set foot in for a year or more: Mars Hill Ballard.

Not that this church and I had a falling out or anything. I just decided to give another church a try for awhile, having been part of MH for three or so years in high school.

But to return felt AMAZING. I realized how much I had missed the music and the messages and the amazing feeling of community...I had forgotten all about it. The downfall of a big church is that it's easy to fall through the cracks, but MH is very intentional about getting its members into smaller community groups so that no one feels on the outskirts of the church and its ministries.

Going to MH and hanging out with some very dear friends also started to put ideas in my head regarding something very, very gutsy. Hence the "formulating" part of this post's title.

But I won't reveal, yet. Because it's unwise to hastily reveal gutsy plans until one has a more gutsy grasp on them.


It's been a full evening, and I have some things to do yet for the final week of Poetry class proper. So I must take my leave of the Internet for now.

Goodnight, friends and well-wishers...

-The GLS

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Drain Traps & Humility

I like Saturdays. I like the feeling of having nothing else to do.

However, in my family, Saturdays are not exactly laze-about days. SUNDAYS, post-church, are laze-about days. Saturdays are the days you get done the things that you have no time for during the workweek.

In my case, giving my bathroom a thorough deep-clean.

No, I'm not going to be gross about this. I won't give you the play-by-play of my bathroom cleaning experience. But it did occur to me--especially when I cleaned the trap in my sink--that I think very highly of myself for no good reason.

Not that I'm a terrible unhygienic person. I happen to think of myself as having very good hygiene, thank you very much.

What I'm saying is that it's very easy to become overly obsessed with myself. And not just thinking highly of myself, but also in being ashamed of myself. I just get too focused on that idea of "I" and "me" and what I and me want, need, feel, do...and it comes at the expense of everything else. It's easy for anyone, I think, to become selfish with their time and their gifts and talents and their dreams, until we tend to think of ourselves as being able to do no wrong.

But then...we lift the lever on the sink and pull out that trap, and it's the grossest thing we've ever seen.

And I'm being quite literal, here. I'm not using the trap as a metaphor, per se. I'm talking that you are gross. Those germs are yours. Those hairs are yours. That slime? Yep, yours. It builds up over time and makes it tough for the water to go down the drain, and you end up having to put on some gloves and give the thing a hot-water bath it'll never forget.

Okay, yeah, there is a metaphor there.

Listen, you're not perfect. But you know what? Don't worry about it, because neither am I. This means two things for us, as people. First of all, it means go easy on yourself. You're not perfect. Don't expect you to be. Don't be a slob and leave the drain trap uncleaned for ten years, but don't spend an hour scrubbing it every day. It can be overdone. Let your hair down once and awhile.

But it also means this: Feel deflated. Hold that slime and hair and go...ew. Is that mine? Yes it is. You're gross. But you're also loved by someone, and more than likely more than a few someones. And they love you despite the grime in your sink. Naturally I wouldn't make a point of SHOWING everyone under the sun your gross drain-trap offerings, but know that you have them and then throw them away. You don't need them.

I think it needs to be a bumper sticker, like the classic Christian one. "Next time you think you're perfect, try cleaning the drain trap in your sink." I might make a fortune with that. Or...maybe not. But I can dream, can't I?

You know what I'm going to say next:

Go clean your drain-trap.

-The GLS

Friday, March 5, 2010

Deckchairs & Cast-Ons

Today was a beautiful and fantastic Friday. Lovely sunny weather, took a walk to the beach with my mom and sister-in-law and adorable niece, drank way too much in the way of caffeinated beverages, and had a fair-to-decent Algebra exam this morning. Went out for pizza with the parents this evening, too! Lovely.

Tonight I cast-on 181 stitches to make a scarf...the BIGGEST cast-on I have ever done. Wow, it was a lot of effort. But I think it'll be worth it...the scarf itself is gonna be very fun and funky. I'll update pictures when it's done. :)

I'm also watching Danny Deckchair, which isn't particularly gutsy because I've seen it lots of times before. But I love this movie. Very cute Australian romantic comedy. :)

Not a lot more to say, really. It's been a LONG week, and I am ready for it to be over.

Goodnight...and good luck.

-The GLS

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Stars & Wars

Or...Star Wars!

Yeah, thanks to my five-year-old "babysittee" whom I have affectionately dubbed Choo Choo, I have been subjected to Episode I of the Star Wars saga one too many times. But it's only because he loves the podrace scenes. I am SO DONE with Jake Lloyd...

So tonight I dug the VHS of my favorite-favorite of the series, "Return of the Jedi", out of the back of our TV closet, dusted it off, and popped it in for a flashback of more innocent times. I seriously haven't watch it in years.

"Return of the Jedi" really encapsulates my childhood. For some reason at age eight or so, I decided that the other two were too scary for me, so I latched onto good ol' Episode VI as my movie of the decade. I almost wore that tape out, I watched it so much. At the height of that period I could quote along with the whole movie, even trying my hand at the languages of Jabba and his minions, and of COURSE the Ewoks.

Nerdy? If you want to call it that. But you know what? I think everyone has those movies that sort of...defined their childhood memories. It's fun to relive all of that. I had forgotten how cheesy and yet totally superior the original trilogy was and is to the new ones. As a saga I guess they work, but the old ones had a certain charm. The epic score of John Williams, the fantastic puppets and makeup, the ridiculous costumes, George Lucas' questionable linguistic prowess...lightyears ahead of the new ones, which feature stunted "romantic" dialogue between Padme and Anakin, elaborate but slightly racist new alien species, the abomination that is Jar Jar Binks, and NO SENSE OF HUMOR whatsoever. Yikes.

However, I will forgive Episode III, but only because they gave us Wookiees. Lots and lots of Wookiees. As long as there is fuzzy, GLS is happy.

Go watch your favorite childhood movie. Rent it, buy it, whatever it takes. Or, if you can't think of one, borrow mine and watch "Return of the Jedi" one more time. It's good for you.

-The GLS

PS: Warwick Davis is the one constant in all of the madness. I will always love his portrayal of Wicket. Love him.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sleep & Clarity

Wow, what a day.

My gutsiness is to sleep.

Goodnight. Sing yourself some "Woods" by Bon Iver.

-The GLS

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Imports & Exhales

When is a stoner really funny?

...when he's Mitch Hedberg. I wish he hadn't passed away, because I think he would be the best person EVER to be sitting next to on a plane, or to be stuck in an elevator with. I would just keep asking him to make observations and then get ready for my sides to split.

Okay, so, back before I went to Ireland I was made aware of an Irish imports store in Seattle between my school and work. I visited it once, but back then I was not very gutsy (nor well-educated in Irish imports) so I stayed for a grand-total of about ten minutes, bought an Irish whistle to add to my collection, and drove away embarassed because I didn't chat more with the shopkeeper lady (who, for the record, is German...figure that one out).

Today, as I was passing by, I felt a twang of regret at having not been there since I got back from Ireland, and so...without much fanfare...I zipped into the correct lane and parked on the street alongside the shop. (This, in itself, is pretty gutsy, as I HATE parking on the street.)

But I entered the shop and the same really sweet German lady was there and she and I chatted for a few minutes about Ireland and how I missed it and all, and then I went exploring.

The shop itself is in the downstairs of an old house, and it's PACKED full of stuff. Really fun stuff. And it was MORE fun this time around because I actually recognized a lot of the products. The smell of Irish wool and the CDs playing on the stereo. I even found a room where they sell certain Irish candy bars and nonperishables, and I found FLAKE BARS! To be honest, Flake bars really aren't that exciting. But they're kind of a novelty here, because we...don't...have them? So I bought one. And I ate it. All that was missing was some vanilla ice cream to crumble it on top of...

I also (yeah, so sue me) bought a skein of Irish wool, because darnit I forgot to buy myself some while I was over there. It was a bit pricey, but the homey, sheepy smell and hardy feel is totally worth it. Now I gotta think of something to use it for...

Anyway, it was a fun experience. Felt nice to let my guard down and enjoy the memories of Ireland by looking through all of the stuff. Even now I keep burying my nose in the skein of yarn I just bought and inhaling deeply, because I LOVE that distinctly Irish smell. So good. :)

The store's website can be found here. If you're in the Seattle area, go take a peek. It's a very fun shop.

-The GLS

Monday, March 1, 2010

Skippage & Slammage

Listening to a little Demetri Martin. The man cracks me up and makes me go, "Ohhhh dear" at the same time. It's great.

Today, I participated in my first poetry slam! It was...enlightening. And scary. There were six of us, all with very different types of poems, against a panel of four judges: two faculty and two students.

Yeesh, the performance itself was fun, but the judging afterwards? Tough tough tough. I didn't realize they were actually going to critique our poems to our faces and hold up pieces of paper with numbers on them. I

But they did, and I went first, so I had the nerve-wracking job of being the first "graded". The judges were quite complimentary, but it's always hard to take critique, isn't it?

In the end, once all of the totals had, I tied for second place with an average score of 9.2 out of 10! Yay! And the girl who won first place is a friend of mine, and she's absolutely awesome, so it was easy to be happy for her.

Sometimes it's hard to know when to be competitive and when not to be. It's weird. Because I'm not, by nature, a competitive person. But as soon as you put me in a room against six other people and there's judging and ALL EYES ARE ON ME I suddenly want to win. It's very strange.

I had to put things in perspective once everything was over and I got second place. Tied for second, no less. I had to talk myself off the ledge, a little. There's a part of you that's like, "Share? Me, share? What are they talking about?? I will NOT share! Did you HEAR me out there? I was brilliant!"

But that's silly. And human.

And I had to remember the thrill of reading aloud, the snapping fingers when people liked something I said, the chuckles at the appropriate parts and the murmurs of approval at the OTHER appropriate parts. Yes, it was fantastic. The experience was well worth while. And second place is extremely flattering, since it was my first slam competition.

Basically...I gotta take a chill pill and a bite of humble pie.

In other news, I skipped Algebra class this morning. I even walked into class and sat down, and then my teacher started in on graphing functions and I realized that I wasn't paying attention at all, and that I wasn't in the zone, and I wasn't destined to be that day. I needed a me day. So I skipped.

Sitting at Tully's with a grande ginger peach tea latte and a notebook, I didn't feel the least bit guilty. Oops.

-The GLS