December 29, 2013

Christmas

     A thought formed over three days:

    Christmas is wonderful.  As I sit here writing this, my sister is starting to use the fashion drawing kit that she received this morning.  My dad has already started reading the book "Rough Stone Rolling."  I intend to begin the book on driving I got, although, right now, I'm just working on a pack of nerds.

     Christmas day is truly wonderful.  The magic of waking up to a stuffed, over-sized 'stocking' filled with goodies. Due to tradition my siblings and I waited impatiently for our parental figures to wake. Then my family opens presents all together and take turns unwrapping them.  We look forward to the traditional waffle breakfast.  Christmas day, is one that is typically full of pleasure and gifts both giving and receiving. Sometimes, I think we forget what the whole point of the holiday.  Sometimes, I think we get lost in the magic of giving and getting.

    I sometimes have a hard time imagining how Christs birth turned into Christmas. I mean... who the heck was like, "I want to remember Christ... so how about this: I'll drag nature inside, I'll put lights outside, we'll tell the children about this old dude who wears red and white, we'll put up stockings made just for Christmas day, oh... and we'll bake a large amount of sugary foods."

     Now, don't get me wrong.  I love the presents I got, I love eating the cookies and other assorted baked goods, and I really do love the Christmas tree.  However, what do any of these things really have to do with Christ?

     I think that they don't really have any direct relation to Christ.  Which is why it's sometimes hard to remember that it's Christmas not Santamas.  However, even though nothing (that I can think of without much thought) is directly related to Christ and his ministry, everything can still remind us of Christ.  Putting up the Christmas tree provided my family with a time to be together and to work towards a common goal.  The presents remind me of the pleasure that can be felt in any kind of giving.  Baking plates of cookies can remind us that Christ's ministry wasn't just about making an individual better, or a family kinder to one another, it was about being nice to everyone.

December 16, 2013

Being a Teen - Dating

     Lately the term 'dating' has been on my mind... rather a lot.  See, for us Latter Day Saints (Mormons) dating is something you wait until 16 to do.  Rather, that's what's supposed to happen.  However, the whole thing seems a little confusing.  I mean the whole "Don't date until your 16" thing is kind of straight forward.  However, lots of teens in my religion seem confused about what kind of dating your allowed to do at that age.  *Sigh*  I could go on and on about that... saying how wrong I think some people are... but what I really want to discuss is simply my thoughts and view on the matter.  Not: my view on how others should go about it.

     I think that different people definitely have various things that work for them, whether they be LDS (a Latter Day Saint) or if they are from another denomination.  Some teens are very mature, and some just... aren't.  So, I think that people really should just focus on what their dating ideas are.  What I believe in, as far as dating goes, is based a lot on what my religion and parents advise.

     So basically my view of 'dating' is that its okay to go on group dates starting at 16, and that going on single dates are appropriate when you get older and are more interested in finding a person to marry.  I also think that you shouldn't be exclusive (exclusive = having a boyfriend or girlfriend) until you've gone on several single dates and until you are actually interested in marrying the person you want to be exclusive with.

     There you go.  In one complete paragraph I have stated how I think utopia 'dating' should work.  Sadly 'dating' seems to be a lot more complicated then that.

     For some reason society seems to want people to be exclusive.  They think it makes sense for teens to pair off.  They encourage it!  For me this just seems ridiculous because... well... a teenage relationship will lead either to things that I consider to be sinful when not limited to marriage, or to breaking up.  The fact is that I believe feelings leading to romantic love should be between a man and a woman who can actually take things somewhere without it leading to sin.

     Society's encouragement of teens pairing off troubles me for the above reasons, and because it seems like you can't escape the fact that everyone (including myself sometimes) puts others into 'couples' and pairs.  This makes it hard for me because I know that when I turn 16, and were to go on a group date, then many of my friends (if not all) would think that I liked my date.  Through no real fault of their own, but through conditioning, they would think that we were together.  Then if I were to go out with another young man (lets say the next week) many would see me as a sort of player.  They'd see me as cheating on the young man that I went out with first.  Even though I never had any sort of relationship with either of them and they are both simply my friends.

     I turn 16 in only a little bit.  I have my idea of how dating should work, and the world has their view.  Unfortunately the carrying out of my idea's will probably be viewed unfavorably by those who look at me from a more normal and non-Mormon, non-Naomi point of view.

     So, maybe I'll end up going through with my ideas and pretend not to care about any labels people may give me.  Or, I could just not do any kind of dating for awhile.  I could just wait until I get out of this weird teenage limbo.  I could just hangout with people.  Who knows what I'll do though?  I most certainly don't.

     16... I am coming.  I just don't know what to do with you.

December 13, 2013

Missing Him

     Recently while talking to someone about Christmas in correlation with death I said, "It still hurts to know that somebody's missing, but it gets easier to handle."  This seems true for me even if it is not universal.  The pain changes, yet it still hurts.  At first, when it finally hit me, the pain of losing my Grandpa was sharp.  It tore at the fabric of my life.  It made things feel 'off.'

     Now the pain is a dull throb that every once-in-a-while becomes something more.  Its a subtle ache that doesn't always necessarily hurt, but always makes me remember him.  Sometimes though the pain becomes sharp again.  Something scratches at the scar caused by my Grandpa's passing.  I had one of those moments last night.

     My grandpa and I, forever ago, started to watch the one season show named Firefly. (Click HERE to see previous post about that.)  Last night I finally watched the last episode.  It was... hard.  The show is simply delightful and thus I really did want to watch it.  However, it hurt because I just missed him, the one who got me started on it.

     The show was lovely.  It was very worthwhile.  I really did love it.  What I loved most though is that afterwords I was able to feel at peace. The whole thing made me ache for my Grandpa, but at the end I was able to be happy that my Grandpa was able to introduce me to some of my favorite TV-show characters ever.  Sure I sobbed for a minute there in between finishing and feeling peace but I was able to feel happy afterwords.

     I miss him.  I hurt sometimes because I wish this life still had him in it.  However, I am so grateful I was able to know him like I did.  I am grateful for the time we were able to have, and the fact that I loved him because I knew him, not just because he's family.  Like one of my friends quoted to me: "Say not in grief 'he is no more,' but live in thankfulness that he was."

     I am grateful I had him.  I am so grateful for those I know and have in my life now.  I will still feel grief over not having my Grandpa to write and laugh with.  However I believe I shall see him again; until then, I am glad that I knew him.

December 11, 2013

The Change Fear

     Change.

     Most people think of it and immediately get worried about things such as college, retirement, moving, death, or perhaps simply getting rid of a few things.  We worry about so many things.  "Will it be a good change?" "Does it need to happen?" "Are things better now?"

     There are so many things to worry about.  So many things to think about, but change seems to be one of the top things we think of and let consume our thoughts.  We give it a life of its own.  We worry about if the new school will be to harsh, or if we really will need that power tool in a few weeks, or years.  Life is so full of fluctuating pieces that we must re-arrange, and yet we can't know until latter what kind of picture the pieces are making.

     In my mind the fear isn't really of change at all though.  The change is of the unknown that surrounds, or lays past the change itself.  We get stuck in right now, because it is known, and comfortable.  Some people may argue to say that their present is very un-comfortable, but often these same people aren't happy with the idea of change either.  In a way, I think that many times, its not just the joys but also the pains that make us comfortable. 

     How can pain make you or I comfortable though, you may well ask.  Well, I think that it is not necessarily the pain of something that causes us to be comfortable, but rather the fact that we understand it, and that it is expected, and known which makes it comfortable.  You settle down into your little rut of being called certain things, of dealing with the kids rooms not being clean, (or to be more extreme) of being beaten by your spouse.  However, somehow you find a sense of comfort in that because you know what that kind of pain is like.  Granted I could be wrong... but I think: 

     We fear moving away from things we know. We fear what we don't understand. We fear the unknown. Change brings these things we fear thus, to some level, we fear change.

November 24, 2013

Introvert vs. Extrovert

     I think it interesting that people like so to make ultimatums and generalizations.  I find it interesting and amusing.  Like Dumbledore said, "We have all got both light and dark inside us."  I think it is silly when people say things like, "she is always happy," or when people say, "If you want my love you have to treat me well." The thing is that their rarely is such defined things.  Who can 'always' be happy?  Who can treat someone well all the time?

      This is a strange intro to what I actually want to say...

     What I actually wanted to talk about (as the title indicates) is myself when compared with the titles 'introvert' and 'extrovert.'  Here is the thing... I wouldn't really describe myself as either.

     Now, I know that a lot of people would laugh at this.  However, it is true.  Many people tend to see me as the very essence of an extrovert.  However, sometimes I exhibit very introvert like quality's.  Sometimes I just don't want to see people.  I am often scared of people I don't really know.  Sometimes I am shy about talking about my opinions.  Often I imagine a 'social event' as just chilling with a couple people rather then having a crowd over, and even more often I'd just like to curl up with a book.

     I think it is interesting how some people are in fact definitely and most legitimately an 'introvert' or an 'extrovert' yet, even though most people seem to be a sort of mix, everyone is judged to be one or the other.  I seem to think that people are a good mix of both, and that how they act simply depends on different variables. 

     Maybe though, at heart, everyone really is one or the other and most people simply adapt so that we all get along better.  Maybe things are not as they seem, and the generalization, that English professors seem to hate so much, is actually very close to the truth.

     Now I have reached the place where I have gone in a circle with my thinking.  But, I remain firm in my belief that most people have a bit of both in them.  In everybody there seems to be a bit of the introvert and the extrovert, in general.  For what reason or how the pieces of both things come to be in people, I don't know.  However, I have a bit of both and I think most people do.

November 20, 2013

Being a Teen - Peers

     I find the whole idea of peers to be interesting.  I find it interesting that adults have this image of shoving a bunch of the same aged kids together and then "poof" you have peers.

     For me the word peer implies equal.  Now I'm not trying to say that I don't find my supposed 'peers' to be on the same mental plane as me.  Not at all.  However, I do want to imply that I don't think that peers are really defined by what age they are.  For me I count my peers to be those who have my same interests, who have similar personality traits, and those who understand where I am coming from.

     I find it strange that we are expected to have peers from our own grade.  I find it slightly silly that many people seem to think that age difference (or grade difference) makes somebody not your 'peer.'

     Now that you know where I am coming from, I will say that I have a problem with this idea that peers are your age.  I think it is a problem because in many ways it tells teens, who are slightly different then the kids they know their age, that something is wrong with how they think.  Or, not necessarily wrong, but that they have to change if they want to get along with their 'peers.'

     I think that most of the pressure we have as teens to 'fit in' comes from the fact that we feel that those our age must be our peers.  If we don't think conventionally then we think something is wrong.  I think that people have this inner source that makes them desire other peoples company.  We all desire to have peers.  But, I think that the idea that this urge and desire should lead us only to people are own age... its silly.

     For a little while, when I was in Maryland, I was in a homeschool girl scout troop.  It was really fun until the girls all hit about 9, or 10. Suddenly we had the outgoing girls being 'popular.' The shy girls formed their own group, and the girls in-between just got to do whatever they wanted.  It was strange to watch as the in-between girls slowly made themselves more outgoing or more shy. It was a barely noticeable change, but I saw it. They changed because they knew who their 'peers' were, and they wanted to fit in and to be good friends with them.

     I never fit in with either group really. I never wanted to. I had friends in both groups and I was fine with hanging with all of them.  I stayed true to who I knew my real peers were in the beginning.

      I think people should change their image of peers. We should stop thinking that peers are our age, and start thinking more along the lines of peers being those like us.

November 19, 2013

Being a Teen - the Socialization Question

     I find school to be an interesting subject. Especially all of the common Homeschooling misconceptions.  I mean, who decided that sitting in the same building for 7 or 8 hours makes you social?  I just find some conceptions of homeschooling ridiculous.  Who decided that just because you choose to do school at home you are not an outgoing person?

     Once when I was figuring out what sarcasm was and how to use it, I heard my mom and one of her friends talking.  It was at a soccer game and I was waiting for my team to need me on the field.

     The woman talking to my mom turned to me and asked, "So your homeschooled.  What do you do?  How does socialization work?"  I just looked at her for a moment, thinking about how much how I hated the socialization questions.

     After a moment of thought I looked her right in the eye and said, "Well, pretty much my mom just locks me up in the basement. That definitely explains why I am here."  I got called into the game and that was that.  But before I left I got to see her startled face.  I really think she thought there was truth to what I said.

     Ah, that story is always fun for me to remember... Anywho.  I think that peoples conception of school is entertaining.  I find it interesting that parents, when confronted with the fact that I am homeschooled always seem to ask about my social skills.  I have rarely been asked, "So what subjects are you doing this year?" "What grade are you in?" or even, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

     I remember being at play-groups as a little girl and when adults asked my peers about school they always seemed to ask, "So what do you want to be when you grow up?" but when they talked to me and then found out I was homeschooled they would go to my mom and ask about my "socialization." Now that I am thinking about this... perhaps it was because I am too outgoing... (?)

     The thing is that this apparent worry over the matter of being able to conduct yourself like a normal human being seems to eclipse academia in most, if not all, parents minds.

     Thus I leave you with a question.  Are those big building called schools, where teens and children sit for hours, and learn to worry about things that aren't real (like how they are dressing, doing their makeup, how their hair looks, and which group they are in) truly the place where kids will learn to be an asset to the world around them, and where they will learn what being a human, and being 'socialized' really is?

November 13, 2013

Being a Teen

     Sometimes, I think, it is hard for teenagers to figure out what we are doing.  We are children in so many ways, and yet some of us look like adults.  We feel grown-up, yet to our parents we still are dependent and naive.  We are stuck in this middle land wedged awkwardly between childhood and adulthood.  We want so much, yet we don't know the right way to go about getting what we want half of the time.

     I find myself wondering, When does this end?  When does the full metamorphosis from dependent to independent being happen?

     I look at those around me and realize that there is no real answer to this.  It is so personal, so individual, and so undefined that it almost is like a mirage.  However, teenage-hood is definitely something that is real.  Whether it is real due to culture, or because it is natural, I don't know.  However, whatever it is that makes it real, it doesn't matter.  What matters is how it will work for me.  (Maybe that was a self-centered teenage thought...)

     What am I doing with these teenage years?  Am I trying to become an adult, or am I just waiting for it to come?  What am I doing?  I try to answer these questions everyday.  But, everyday I look around me and see something that I don't believe in.

      Parents seem to think that teenagers are irresponsible, careless, and do whatever they want.  The world seems to want to let us, as teenagers (and young adults), to simply be.  So many more seem to being not only allowed to do whatever, but almost encouraged. Its like society wants us to be mindless.

     But, personally, I want to be working to be the best person I can be.  Not necessarily striving to be an adult, but striving to become somebody who can grow into a responsible human being.  I am trying hard to be somebody who I would admire.  I am trying so hard, yet from outside I feel this pressure to not be who I want to be.  It is strange and almost jarring.  Luckily I have parents and have chosen friends who seem to support me in being me, and becoming who I desire to be.

     If only the world realized that teens have minds.  Even if they aren't the same as adults minds, they still exists.

September 30, 2013

Modesty is a Two Way Thing

     Modesty, seems to be something that a lot of people talk about.  How there is a lack thereof, why it doesn't matter, why it does, what is even the reason for modesty, and many more things.  Of course, as a LDS member, or as a "Mormon", I have this all figured out.  For myself.

     I think that modesty is a big deal.  Not just because it helps guys keep their thoughts clean, and because I believe it shows God that I respect the gift that is my body.  But also because I think that dressing modestly helps me feel the Holy Ghost (same thing as the Holy Spirit).  I believe that dressing modestly, and being modest can help me stay close to the Lord.

     Wait a sec. I just said "dressing modestly, and being modest" as if those are two separate things... I mean, aren't they pretty much the same? Ok. One sec here. What am I even saying?

     Ok, I'm talking about modesty.  Dressing modestly seems to be pretty much what everyone is concerned about.  When people talk about being modest, they always seem to be talking about clothing, or the lack thereof. So, I guess when I said those two very similar things "dressing modestly" and "being modest" I really am talking about two rather different, though related things. 
    
     In my mind dressing modestly is a really easy thing to do.  I mean, its pretty straightforward.  Either your parents (or church) has standards and you follow them, or you have dress standards, or perhaps you don't care.  But, anyway it is pretty simple to dress as you think you should.

     Interestingly people seem to think this modesty issue is only the girls problem.  But I find this ridiculous.  Not because it is just as easy for guys to dress provocatively (which is the main reason people talk about modesty), but because modesty is more then just a dressing issue. 

     Modesty has everything to do with not only how you dress, but how you act, what you say, and the things you choose to read, listen to, watch and simply be.  Modesty is a two way thing.  But, not only in the way you dress.  Guys can be modest by simply choosing to not watch videos with immodest people, or to not make crass jokes.  I think everyone who is concerned over the modesty issue should realize that its a two way thing, and it doesn't necessarily always apply to just fashion.

September 10, 2013

Helicopter Parenting

Since humans were around there have been protective parents.  The natural instincts of a parent is to help their children, and to try and help them be the best that they can.  However, the number of overly protective parents has suddenly grown exponentially.  This sudden increase is probably due mostly to technology, and the ability it gives parents to contact their child instantly.  Only recently has an official term, for the overly protective parents, been coined.  The term is “helicopter parents.”  These parents are the ones that do everything they can to keep their child from getting hurt, emotionally or physically.  They are the parents who will call their child's teacher to argue over grades, text their child repeatedly to make sure they are “ok,” and who may even ask their child to keep skype on all night so that they can keep on eye on them (Time Health & Family).  These parents need to stop hovering not only because they are doing strange things while trying to help their kids, but also because what they are doing may be accomplishing the opposite of what they want.

 

Recent studies have shown that children who have been hovered over have a tendency towards self-doubt.  These kids parents mean the best but their method of helping is actually backfiring.  When kids get a A- on a rather tricky test they should be pleased with themselves.  However, when a helicopter parent calls the teacher who graded the test in order to quibble over the grade it makes the child feel inadequate.  Instead of being pleased with their accomplishment they may doubt themselves.  They may say to themselves, I could have done better. I could have pleased my mom if I had only gotten an A.  Children shouldn’t feel this way and I am sure this is not how their hovering parent(s) wants them to feel.  The thing is that the intention doesn’t match up with the actual results.  Plus, self-doubt can lead to another thing.

Self-doubt naturally leads into depression, whether its long term depression or short term feelings.  Children who have been subject to helicopter parenting often feel self doubt.  If they feel this way for an extended period of time it can leak into everything they do.  The child can feel inadequate, unwanted, or lonely.  These are certainly three things that parents don’t want their child to feel.  But, depression is the reality for many helicoptered children (Huffpost Healthy Living).  The child may suffer from depression for only a short time, but often these short time episodes can build on each other, snowballing into a long term thing.  Often these feelings don’t start until the child has moved and is working or in college.  They feel inadequate to continue doing what they are, and often parents don’t even realize what they have done because their child continues to walk on the treadmill their parents have put together for them.

 

But what about the people who have been helicoptered and who don’t find themselves in this self-deprecating and depressed state?  Well, some children are built up by this method of parenting.  They find a sense of pride in the fact that they never seem to fail, and that their parents are there to see them through everything.  When the changed grade comes in they think: I knew I did better than they originally said!  Their parents hovering gives them a false sense of pride and achievement.  This false sense of self-worth is something just as dangerous as depression.  Some people wonder how that is, how can such things as feeling proud, like you achieved something, and that you are worthwhile be dangerous.  Well the fact is that these children haven’t ever experienced failure.  Their hovering parents haven’t let them learn how to pick themselves back up after life has knocked them, down (USA Today).  They haven’t learned how to deal with the “real world.”  These kids parents are setting them up so that the first time they get knocked down it will be much harder than it has to be.  

I have never met anybody, which I know of, that was helicopter parented.  However, I do know several people who have friends that helicopter parent.  These parents make a chore out of being a parent.  Really, parenting is tricky there is a lot you have to think about and take care of, but helicopter parents make it something that is almost like a living hell.  They work super hard to make sure that their child is safe, happy, and successful.  What helicopter parents need to realize is that they can relax.  They can sit back and take a few minutes to read, knit, or go out with their spouse.  As their child grows they should let their children do more things on their own.

  

Studies have shown that the hard work helicopter parents put into making themselves fly to the rescue, and hovering is simply not worth it.  All their hard work can lead to many things they never intended or wanted for their children, such as depression, self-doubt, or a false sense of security.  You need to let your children become competent adults.  Parents let your children fall and then help them get back up if you need to.  But don’t try to fly them through life.  Help and guide but don’t put yourself between them and the little hardships.  you never know when a stronger wind may push them down, so let them build up their resistance, and gain a true sense of self-worth.  If you want to be an effective parent then stop hovering, and if you know somebody who hovers you may want to help them see that hovering accomplishes the opposite of what they want for their children.

August 25, 2013

This is Me on Learning

     I believe in learning: learning about science and history; math and grammar; the arts and anything in between.  Since that time when I first started to read, I began to understand what learning was.  Learning is the process by which you soak up knowledge.  It is something you can do while in a formal classroom or while playing as a child.  You can learn from simply reading a novel or from scrutinizing everything you can find about a specific topic.

     All cultures and societies around the globe have been built by each generation’s knowledge.  Humanity has been structured around leading individuals’ knowledge and what the current generation has learned from the past.  What we learn is important because it will help shape us, those we talk to, write for, and teach.

     I believe in learning because it is the way my ancestors and all of mankind can tell me about themselves.  Charles Darwin and Einstein have given a part of themselves so that we can build on what they discovered.  Victor Hugo and Charles Dickens have shared, through writing, their take on the world that surrounded them.  Isaac Newton made a whole mathematical system, calculus, that is still used today.   

     When we learn, we take part in a process that is ancient and ever changing.  Everyone learns in a slightly different way.  Some learn visually, others learn through music, and some by moving while studying, while others learn in many more diverse ways.  Still, we can all learn.  We can learn and then teach, so that others may learn about the world from our perspective.  Then we can also become a part of the immortality of learning. 

     I believe that we will take our knowledge with us when we die.  Thus, learning and gaining knowledge are important not only for their value during our life on earth, but also for their value after life on earth.  What we learn will affect who we are forever.  

     When we learn, it intertwines us with the whole of humanity.  It adds a layer of polished knowledge to the time of tomorrow.  It can help make the world a better place than it was yesterday.  We must learn so that we can help the future generations move a step farther than we can.  

August 23, 2013

Writing a Legacy

     My first memories are of reading with my parents.  My favorites then included Peter Pan and anything by Doctor Suess.  I would follow my parents fingers as they pointed to what they read.  My mom did reading lessons with me.  It began a love of reading and the English language that would, and will last me throughout my entire life.
  
     I was enchanted with reading, not writing.  I would sometimes make up my own stories and on very rare occasions write a poem.  However, essays and reports always frustrated me.  I loved the feeling of completion, yet the beginning always discouraged me.
     When I was 11, my grandpa had a heart attack.  It made me realize my mortality.  I felt fragile and suddenly vulnerable.  This, coupled with the fact that I was moving at the same time, made the world, as I knew it, seem gloomier.  In short, my image of the world was shattered.

     However, right after my grandpa’s heart attack he and my nanna decided to move into the rental house that was on our new piece of property.  I was overjoyed!  They would be living in my backyard.  Soon after they moved, I realized that my grandpa wrote constantly.  In fact, he wrote almost as much as I read.  Then he wrote a book just for me.  I loved it so much that I talked him into writing a sequel.  He started the book, and quickly I was pulled into being his partner-in-writing.  I began to love the writing process.  We wrote an outline for a third book in the series.  Then (promising that we would write that third book later) we started a new series.
     We were on a roll. 

     In early January, about two years ago, my grandpa showed me a file that he had saved on his computer.  It was only one page long and contained only three poems.  My grandpa could tell from my confused eyes that I needed an explanation.  He told me that when I was three, my mom had called him and read these same poems for him, I had written them.  He had saved them in this file so that I could read them when I was older.  He was proud of me, and had tears in his eyes.  Only one week later my Grandpa died.  His heart had simply stopped at the age of 61.  


     After only 13 years of life, I knew the pain of death.  I then remembered the words my grandpa uttered at a nameless date and time.  He had said, “We can write together right now, but one day we won’t be able to. You will, someday, have to write on your own or not at all.” 


     The day after his death, I wrote a poem.  Since then I have written poetry, short stories, essays, and reports, and have even published a few pieces of my work.  I have learned from my grandpa, the love of writing.  It is a magical process.  I now know what it is to create your own paintings with words.  I now look at a blank page and imagine what it can become, what I can make of it.  Eventually through hard work, practice, and learning I will become the writer I know I can become.  


     This is how I found my love of writing.

August 6, 2013

This Thing We Call "Love"

     I've been hearing this word, love, being used a lot lately.  I mean A LOT.
  
     People use this word so much that its almost alarming.  "I love cake." "I love my girlfriend." "I love his hair." "I love, I love, I love." No one seems to just like something, or enjoy things anymore.  People seem to have to use the word "love" in order to show that they have feelings or a strong opinion about something.

     I makes me wonder... What is everybody's definition of what love is?  What is my definition?  

     So after much thought I have decided what I think the word "love" means.  In my opinion the word love doesn't mean you think something's cool. It doesn't mean that you want to be around or have whatever you "love" for ever. 
  
     In my mind, the word love is something deeper and different.  Love means that you will work to have the object.  I like pizza.  I enjoy it, and I would be willing to eat it for any meal.  However, I don't love it.  I know I don't love it because I'm not willing to work really hard so I can have pizza.

     Love is something that you both feel, and which shows a level of commitment. When you love something it should mean that not only enjoy the thing you love, but that you are willing to do whatever you need to, in order to have what you love for as long as possible. Love should mean that you won't turn around and start "loving" something else in a moment.  Love means that you will work, when things get hard, so that you can have the thing you love when times are easier.

     So, next time you go to say you "love" pizza... maybe you should think a moment... because maybe you just really like it.  And when you go to say you like your best friend, maybe you should think about it and make sure you don't actually mean you love your best friend.

     Love, it means that you will do what you think is best for the thing you love.  So, be careful what you say.
    

June 29, 2013

My Best Friend and I

     So, everybody has that group of friends that they are pretty cool with.  Ok, maybe not everybody... but you know what I mean.  There's the group of friends you can have fun with, and its all fun.  However, then there should be the person that you can talk to, and talk to, and still talk to, without feeling like your being as annoying as you probably are.  My best friend, has to probably be Maggie.  She is the coolest person ever.  She's beautiful, and talented, and super funny and nice.

     I wouldn't say we are "two peas in a pod."  I mean... we got our differences.  We got lots of them.  But, we defiantly go together like... brown and pink, fries and chocolate shakes, and like sunny days with blue sky's.  We just... work. 

     So, we are pretty darn weird together.  Especially when I'm slap happy, and we are both super tired.  So, our next big thing, is we are working on a quote book.  Some of these come from friends of mine, hers, or ours.  However, lots of them are just us coming up with things on the fly.

     So here's some of what we got so far:

     "The universe works with us."

     "I can't do that..."

     "Don't you love people of all races?"

     "I like to just handle the egg."

     "I sleep better with you."

     "This cycle of a conversation has been re-run... several times." 

     "Whaa chaa chaa!"

     "I'm thinking about you all the time."

     "I know many references. Some of them are applicable."

     We  know who came up with which ones.  We know which ones are by friends, and which ones we made up based on what somebody else said.  Most are just Maggie and I.  Yes, we do love people of all races, and no we don't sleep together, and we often re-run through conversations.  We are besties and those quotes just sum up some of our weirdom.

     "This presentation was brought to you by Mag's, and My awesomeness."

June 28, 2013

The Book is Always Better Then the Movie...?

     Ok, ok.  I agree making that statement into a question was just stupid.  However, I have to wonder just what people mean.  Are they trying to compare the two art forms?

    Its true, when you compare the book with the movie, the book will always be better.  It is inevitable.  You see, a movie cannot fit most of what the book has in it.  So really a movie is more like a summary of things that somebody might highlight.  Why should a summary be blamed for not being able to hold everything that the full work can, and does?

    See, if you want to experience the full amazingness of something, then READ THE BOOK! Movies are something more to enjoy.  They are like intricate visual book summaries.  Its unfair to the book and movie to compare the two very different art forms. 

     What people need to learn is to separate themselves from the book that a movie may be based off of, because if you don't... well you won't ever truly enjoy a movie that is based off of a book.

     People need to stop asking for better movies, cause the fact is that nobody wants to watch a 13 hour movie.  It wouldn't work for theaters, and it would take years longer for movies to come out.  Plus, acting and scene quality are the things you should be looking at.  Not how much of your favorite characters relationship the movie is showing.  You gotta give directors a break.  Enjoy the movie for what it is.  Embrace it, or just don't bother even watching it.

     That said.  I wish they had made Lightening thief into a better movie... but I mostly have a problem with the acting.  They choose to cut out the wrong characters, and they choose a weird cast.  It was a terrible movie.  Even worse when you compare it to the book.

     But in general, I advise all you peoples who read books and then watch the movies... separate them! Don't compare movies to books.  It is just a straight path to pure disappointment.

    The book is always better then the movie, but just stop comparing them.

June 27, 2013

The Annoyance Theory

     So, I was thinking.  (I know, I know. Its surprising, please don't fall off your chair yet.)

     So now that we established that I was thinking, I'll tell you what about.  Its pretty earth shattering... just to put that out there...

     I was thinking about how people seem to annoy people rather a lot.  Like your best friend forgets your birthday, and you think, "What the heck? Are we even friends?" Or maybe it was something completely different that annoyed you.  (Maybe it was the fact that your iron man suit proved a little bit faulty.)  Who knows.

     But, what I actually was thinking about, (besides daydreaming about being iron man...) was why certain people annoy us more then others.  More specifically, why does family always seem to get on each others nerves?  I mean, we are supposed to be a happy family, each others best friends, the people who are always there for each other and all that.  So, why does it seem like peoples biggest fights are with their siblings, and their largest grudges are held against parents?  Why do teenagers get along with their friends, yet when their at home they want to (or do) zone out?

     Well, while I was thinking I realized something.  It makes perfect sense that our family, or best friends, would be the people who annoy us the most, yet that we still like the best too.  The thing is that everybody annoys us at least once, at some point in time.  The people that we spend more time with annoy us more, not because they are simply more annoying, but because we are around them more.

     Pretend somebody's annoyance level is a proper percent.  So everybody's annoying 5% of the time.  Well if you barely hung out or saw the person, that 5% would mean barely anything.  However, if you were around the person a ton (like every day of your life up till now) then that 5% would be rather signifagant. It would mean that every year you'd spend at least 438 hours being annoyed with them.  That doesn't mean they would be over big things, but that you'd spend a rather good chunk of time every year being anoyed with them.

     Why? Not because they are particularly more annoying then the friends you see at church once a week, but because you simply spend more time with them.

     So dear parents, siblings, and best friends of anyone. When somebody gets annoyed or upset with you, understand its just a passing thing.  Make up, say your sorry. Cause if you don't then you may ruin the great 8322 hours of friendship or family love that is just around the little bumps of normal problems.

     Make sure that when your happy with your parents, or siblings, or best friend, that you tell them how awesome they are and how much they mean to you.  Don't let the little things get in the way of something that can last.

June 17, 2013

The Birth of a World

     Many of my memories have been made with family, and many others with friends.  However, the one I want to share with you was made with family that are also some of my dearest friends.  This memory was made on a day that seems like it was not long ago.  But, it was made when I was about 10.  Not long ago, but not yesterday either...  
     We were bored and tired.  My family, minus my dad, and my mom’s sister and her kids had been staying at our Nanna and Grandpa’s house for our spring vacation.  For the last couple of days our main project had been running a restaurant.  However, serving the same four people breakfast, lunch, and dinner had become pretty boring.  It was too much like real life; it was too monotonous.  
     So, it ended up that my six-year old cousin, Jonah, and my ten-year old self were sitting in our grandparent’s living room trying to decide what we wanted to do.  We could have been digging for China in the back garden with our siblings.  My cousin and I, with our superior wisdom, knew that trying to reach China through that route was futile - also it was hot outside.  
     My cousin broke the silence of concentration, “We could go rescue a princess.”
     “A girl can’t help a boy rescue a princess.”  I retorted.
     He took a moment before saying, “You could be the princess.”
     “No, I would have to wait for you and I would get annoyed and just end up rescuing myself and then it would be no fun for you.”
     Again we lapsed into silence.  I tried to think.  We could swim, or play house, or make a fort out of pillows; but we had done all of those things more than twice in the last week.
     Jonah sighed.  “What is your favorite color?” He asked.
     “Red.  Why?  What’s yours?”
     “I just wanted to know.”  He responded, “Mine’s blue.” 
     Suddenly I had a thought.  It involved elves, dragons, and magic. 
     “I have an idea!”  I whispered to him.  His eyes brightened and I went on, “OK, first we have to have armor.  So, I have on an elegant chain mail dress with a red sash and thin leather boots with silver buckles.” 
     Jonah spoke up, “I have on a blue jerkin with a silver helm and leather moccasins.” 
     “Great!  Now we need weapons.”  
     “What are we?”  Jonah asked.  
     “Elves.  Well, we are warrior elves.  We are trained to do awesome fighting moves and we can use magic.”  I paused.  “So, I have a small dagger, a white ebony re-curve bow, and three knives that I can conceal in the skirts of my dress and throw with accuracy.” 
     "I have a sword, knives to throw, and a staff made of blue metal but made to be exactly like the long-staff Little John uses in Robin Hood.” 
     We spent the next hour telling each other the story of the elves’ history.  We came up with a whole new world which was filled with elves that had divided against each other.  We were a part of the few good elves left, and our goal was to restore peace to the world while shedding as little blood as possible, but we would fight when necessary.  By then we were hungry, so we moved to the dining room along with our siblings who had just come inside.
     After lunch we headed into the front yard with our siblings.  In the center of our grandparent’s front yard was a tree.  It was a tree that I would call big, although it seemed larger then.  Its trunk split only a foot away from the ground and the limbs were broad and flat.  All of us could climb it.  It was chosen to be the home of the elves, the Life Tree.  Everyone chose a color, which determined their elvish clan, and then they briefly described their armor and weapons.  
     We began and in only a couple minutes my brother had chosen to turn against us.  We laid a trap for him, but it failed.  Then we defeated the Dragon-of-Darkness, the most feared of all dragons.  We fled as we were hunted by our used-to-be comrade.  
     The dry smell of sand seemed to vanish as we moved from Las Vegas, Nevada, to the new world we had created.  We became alert to the imagined dangers surrounding us.  
     My cousin found the Ruby of Fire, which was the heart of the world.  From it we learned the language of magic, and went on to defeat a whole army of opposing elves.  We convinced a group of dark dragons to join our side.  Then, when the Life Tree was burning down we saved it through our magic.  My sister, the Rose Elf, was killed and then came back alive when the Ruby of Fire brushed her skin.
     When we were called for dinner, we reluctantly let the imagined world slip away.  For once my always-hungry brother was slightly disappointed because he had been called to dinner.  We had found something that entertained us all.  
     The last seven days of our vacation was spent mostly in the world my cousin and I had created.  Our minds, together, had given birth to a world that became a game that we would end up playing every time we saw each other.  
     Our world has had stolen brides.  There have been lakes where the water is so pure you can see right to the bottom where mermaids used to live before they were slaughtered by sea serpents.  We have fought dragons that seemed like mountains because they were so big, and forests that held dark secrets about the past.  We have witnessed plagues that killed most of the life on our world, and with magic we have fixed the damage.  
    We call it “The Game of Elves” and, as of yet, it has never left us bored.

April 14, 2013

Firefly, or Rather, Perfection

     Sometimes when I watch something, and more often when I read something, I get this strange fluttery feeling.  Its not like this giddy feeling, but its something that I feel when my mind says That was really good.  To be honest, I don't get that feeling a lot.  In fact I get it rarely.

     One thing that gives me this indescribable feeling is a show that I was introduced to a while ago.  The person who introduced me was my wonderful mother.  She was the one who said we should start watching Firefly together.  However, I watched the first episode with my Grandpa, mom, and dad.  The first episode is awesome.  It is also about 85 minutes long.

     The first time I watched it I was sitting next to my Grandpa.  I still don't know if the fluttery feeling was because I really liked that first episode or if it was because I was really happy to be watching something while snuggled up next to my Grandpa... whatever the reason it was amazing.

     That was two years ago though.  So, in February (If I'm remembering correctly) I re-started watching Firefly. When I say I re-started I mean that I watched the 1st episode again.  But guess what?!  It gave me the same exact feeling... again.  And every episode has given me the same feeling at one point or another.

     My conclusion: Firefly is Perfection.

     Second conclusion: The people who stopped funding it clearly had/have no brain... and if they do it just makes it worse.

     My heart is breaking over the fact that there is only 14 episodes/1 season.  Every moment of those 14 episodes are worthwhile.  My Grandpa loved Firefly, and I can see why.  It is perfect because of the just how deep the characters are.  River and her brother Simon are perfect together.  Mal's loyalty to his crew, and how they return that affection is beautiful.  The relationships between the different charecters are amazing.  And this is only half of it.  There is also the setting, and plot which makes everything more interesting.

     Firefly, you are perfection.  Netflix, thank you for having it on instant play.

     Everybody, if you have time to watch a little less then 1,700 minutes of perfection then you should watch Firefly... if you don't I am sorry for you.  Truly sorry.  However, you should at least watch the sequel movie, which makes perfect sense even if you haven't watched what there is of the show.  It's perfection to, although it's called Serenity, not perfection.

April 8, 2013

Short Story: Shadows Passing

     Sometimes I just want people to read what I write.  Mostly I want my wonderful family to read what my mind makes up.  But other times I just wish that it could float out there, for people to read sometime, when boredom sets in and they have nothing better to do.  So here is one of those stories, that I wrote sometime ago and wish to let float.  So if you have time and want to read this, or are simply really bored, here it is.  Read it, if you want to, and hopefully you enjoy it too.

          Shadows Passing

     This event is happening as I write; and I will share with you what I see.  Two rivers run through a wood, that we would call paradise, almost exactly perpendicular to each other.   It is a place where no humans have ever been, at least nothing that was truly and fully human.  In the wood is a clearing, one of many, that rests on the side of a river.  The river bubbles and foams, however, it only adds to the beauty of the place and leaves the place quiet and peaceful.  
     The sun begins to brush the tree tops in the west, and the animals that live there are preparing their beds and nests for the night.  The sun’s rays still light the clearing and it is alive with color; however, the brightest thing in the clearing is the silver glow of the harp which stands upright atop a grey-brown stone which lays on the rivers bank.
     A dark shape moves through the woods that lay on the opposite side of the river.  It travels towards the clearing; and as it comes closer, it looks less and less formidable.  Suddenly it emerges from the woods.  It stands still on the edge of the rivers opposite bank. The figure stands for only a moment and then leaps from the edge to a rock only a couple feet away from it.  It leaps stone to stone across the river.  And when it reaches the side where the clearing is it stops.  The figure holds its head high but the large hood of the cloak keeps the figure’s face in shadow.  
     The person glides over to the harp and slips its arms outside of the cloak and unclasps it.  The figure slides the cloak off and the dark black fabric of the cloak billows to the ground and settles around the personage's feet.  The now-revealed figure is a girl.  Her straight, black hair hangs down to her slim waist; and she wears a form-fitting white dress which brushes her ankles and has long sleeves.  She bends and spreads the black cloak over the rock in front of the harp.  She then sits on the ground by the harp.  She lifts her hands to the strings and begins to play.
     The music is eerie and yet beautiful.  After a few minutes wisps of smoke start to come off of the strings.  She playes until the sun goes down and the sky darkens, and she continues.  The whips of smoke float away from the strings and lengthen into the shadowy representations of people.  Hundreds of shadowy figures surround the girl in the clearing by the river, and she plays on and on.  The moon comes out and still shadow people are forming in the woods that directly surrounds the clearing.  The stars come out and the music slows and then stops.  The wisps of smoke vanish.  Yet, the shadowy figures remain.  
     The girl stands and steps away from the harp.  Her dress stands out, bright against the dark night and the shadows of people.  She takes the hand of a little shadow girl who stands next to her and then whispers something to her.  The little girl nods and then the white clothed girl lets go of the little girls shadowy, smokey hand.  The little girl then walks through the harp’s frame and the strings seem to slice her as she enters the next life and her soul, which is like a shadow, leaves earth.  The rest of the shadowy souls seem to understand that they too must enter the next world through the harp.  Slowly, one by one, each of them walk through the harp into the next world.
     When all the souls are gone, the girl picks her cloak off of the ground and drops it onto her shoulders, closes the clasps, and lifts the hood.  She, Death, seems to glide away, her beautiful figure covered by the cloak and her head held high.  Death then slips into the woods, out of the clearing, and into pure, unmarred darkness.  Her work is done for the time being.