Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Baby sister!

Yeah, yeah, I'm well aware that I'm overdue for an update. Sorry, my little sister was hogging my computer all week.

I'm sure everyone's aware by now that my eighteen-year-old baby sister came to visit. The entire rest of my family have blogged about it, so I guess it's my turn.

Hm.

We hiked the Harding Icefield Trail. Well, most of it. Somebody that wasn't me got tired before we even reached the snowline, so we didn't make it quite all the way. That's all right, though. It was still fun. Actually, it was pretty cool, because there's this plank where there's a plank about two feet wide that goes over a waterfall. Well, kind of a waterfall. It was the kind of waterfall that's really just a stream running down a very steep slope. The stream was maybe thirty feet wide. But we refilled our water bottles in the waterfall and the water was ice cold and crystal clear, and it tasted fantastic!

After that, we watched a movie with Tom and Rye, then headed to a barbecue at the church. Before we'd even gotten inside the door, I had two kids hanging off of me. When we got inside, four more lunged at me and dragged me over to eat at the children's table. Have you ever tried to eat hot dogs while sitting in a child's chair with a six-year-old trying to climb onto your shoulders and a four-year-old tugging at your arms, another kid telling you about her Barbie lunchbox, another telling you she's going to start kindergarten soon, and a mother telling you how her kids take turns pretending to be you when they play House? It was hilarious! Especially since I'd never even met two of the kids, and within five minutes, they were my best friends.

Then there were potato sack races, and I got to demonstrate to the kids how to do it. When it was the grown-ups turn to race, I lost. But that was only because just before the race started, one of the kids climbed into the sack and insisted on jumping with me. I nearly killed her. Oops!

I beat a soccer chick at leg wrestling, by the way! I was super proud of myself for that. I also beat my sister at both leg wrestling and... that stick wrestling game.... You sit on the floor, your feet touching your opponents, and you both grab a stick. Someone says go, and you both pull on the stick as hard as you can. First person whose butt comes off the ground loses. I'm also proud to say I didn't actually LOSE to the strongest guy there, who creamed every opponent he played against. I gave up because I knew I couldn't budge him, but I never lost my seat. Go Lint Monkey :P


What else did we do? Ha, I got Dianna hooked on World of Warcraft. Well, no, not hooked. She thought it was kinda fun, I think. She obviously has virtually no experience moving in video games, though. It was really funny to watch. She kept running into walls. And then running into them again. And then trying to get out of the corner she stuck herself into by... running through it? Tee-hee!

Oh snap, and we took candy from strangers on the hiking trail. I never turn down free food! Anyway, we were about to take a picture, and this older man and lady offered to take a picture with both of us. The lady asked if we were sisters and both of us almost simultaneously claimed the other was adopted. "Yep, definitely sisters." Apparently, the lady's a teacher and is also working towards her fifth college degree... and she still doesn't know what she wants to do when she grows up. Also, she has five adult daughters. She reminded me of my mom a bit, just because of that. Not the five daughters (my mom only has one daughter... and me), but the not knowing what to do when she grows up. Anyway, her husband gave us candy. He had a whole pocketful. I bet children love him! I've dubbed him the Candyman, and he's my new best friend.

We also went to the Sea Life Center, which is (go figure) a marine science museum that's pretty much the only real tourist attraction downtown. The branch president at the church is the manager there, and when he met my sister, he pretty much said, "Take her to the Sea Life Center. I'll leave you tickets at the desk, so just say your names and they'll let you in free." WOOT! It usually costs about twenty dollars per person, so that was pretty awesome! And the harbor seal, by the way, totally farted at us. Twice. It wasn't just a little fluff, either. We're talking, the seal lifted its butt out of the water, raised its tail up, and went PbbtPbBpptt!!!! Twice.

After that, we were driving home, and I said "Hey, let's have dinner at Rainy Daze, because this family at church owns it!" So we stopped and got a milkshake and a ham/turkey/meunster panini, which was absolutely fantastic, and Brother DeLand refused to let us pay him for it. Pretty awesome again!

Sunday, we just walked around Seward. Found a shed behind the high school that was labeled "Sacrifices," which is always a little disturbing... or hilariously funny. There were dead bodies in there. If they hadn't all been insects, it might have been terrifying.


Yesterday at work, Rye gave me a hickey. On the neck. With his hands. What a man-slut.

Just kidding. Here's the real story: I was trying to wrestle something out of Rye's hands, and he tried to do some kind of Vulcan Neck Pinch to me. Of course, I have super sensitive skin, so I got red marks on my neck from where Rye was messing with me. Well, Toby came in and asked who gave me the hickey on my neck, and the only honest answer I could give was "Rye did it." Rye tried to say it was Tom's fault, because I had taken Tom out to lunch (which is true). Yeah sure, way to take it like a man, Rye. Pansy.

I got contact lenses today after I dropped Dianna off at the airport. It was the single most unpleasant experience I've ever paid to subject myself to. Worse even than going to the dentist. First they shot me in the eyes with blasts of air (I loathe that monstrosity of a device!) and then this lady insisted I let her put the contacts in the first time and started repeatedly poking me in the eye with a plastic suction cup. Of course, my reflexes about things being near my eyes are very strong and definite. No matter how hard I tried, I could not keep my eyes open to let her put the stupid things in. She admitted I was one of the worst patients ever, at least about that, and was getting noticeably frustrated with my inability to open my eyes. She seemed content to blame my deep-set eyes. I was unaware I had deep-set eyes. Then again, I was also unaware that I have minor astigmatism. Apparently, I've had it for a while, but no one ever told me.

Despite being uncomfortable and taking forever to get in and out and the prescription being weird and well-nigh impossible to get used to, I can say one thing for contacts. Three, actually. One: They'll allow me to wear sunglasses. Two: I got to clearly see what I look like without glasses for the first time since about fourth grade. Three: Everything looks bigger with contacts instead of glasses. Apparently, that has something to do with the astigmatism that I didn't know I had.

I wanted colored contacts because I've always wanted dark brown eyes. Like, really dark, virtually black. The doctor talked me out of it, though, which is fine, I guess. Saves me thirty dollars anyway.

And that's all. Toodles!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Nyuk

Steven's Mom: Hey, have you seen Steven today?
Me: Kind of.
Steven's Mom: Did you notice anything different about him?
Me: Um... I saw he was there out of the corner of my eye, but I didn't really look at him. Why? Did he get a haircut?
Steven's Mom: Hahaha! That's the first thing everyone says!
Me: Um... it looks great. You did a wonderful job on it....

Burn!!! Actually, Steven shaved his mini mustache-wannabe. He looks good clean-shaven. Most people do, actually. Especially girls, but guys too. Teehee.

It reminds me of the time my sister called Mom on the phone and wanted something, so she started the phone conversation by saying "Hi, Mom. My, that's a lovely dress you're wearing...."

Anyway, that's all I'm writing for today because it's already late. Toodles!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mommy mommy, I wanna be a fireman!

I was looking at campus jobs yesterday and saw one for Student Firefighter. I probably won't apply for it because the hours look like they won't be friendly to my class schedule, but it seemed like a fun hobby, so today after work, I went to the volunteer fire department to ask about becoming a firefighter before I go to school anyway. Apparently, they'll take on pretty much anyone who's stupid enough to run into a burning building instead of away from it, so it looks like my chances are pretty good. I'll go in again Monday to talk to the chief.

A guy named Art gave me a three-hour tour of the fire department. I got to sit in the firetrucks, play with the axes and lights and strobes and everything, and got the full story behind all ninety of the pictures hanging on the bulletin boards. I also learned that Adolf Hitler's dog was named Wendy.

Dang, though, the first assault vehicle's a freaking monster! You have to be a monkey just to climb into the cab! Art said it shoots 1500 gallons of water per minute, so it empties itself out in 42 seconds. The tanker empties itself in about 53 seconds, I think. Something like that. Less than a minute, anyway.

This post has been brought to you by the word refrain.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Eliza -- Part One

"Whoever the intruder is, he's either remarkably stupid or he doesn't care if we know he's there," Owen said knowingly, pushing his glasses up his nose with a fat finger.

"How do you know that?" I asked. Everyone turned and stared at me, and as I felt my face turning several shades of red, I wished I hadn't said anything. Questioning Owen was never a good idea.

"Because," Owen said, after he thought I had turned enough different shades of red, "if you're going to burgle someone's house, you don't leave all the lights on. That's just asking for trouble."

"They want trouble, we'll give 'em trouble," growled Nicky, hefting one of the big mining picks we always carried to and from work with us. He headed towards the house. Owen followed suit, and one by one, the rest of us did too.

The burglar had left the front door ajar by about a foot. Nicky kicked it open the rest of the way and stormed inside, holding his pick like a battle axe. I braced myself for the crashes and screams I was sure would follow--Nicky had quite a temper--but none came.

I cautiously poked my head into the large main room of our house. All the lamps were lit, a fire blazed cheerfully in the fireplace, and a big cauldron hung over the fire. Whatever was in it smelled really good. As I watched Nicky and Owen prowling around the room, looking under tables and behind chairs, I felt like there was something else about the place that seemed... different, but I couldn't quite place my finger on it.

A noise behind me made me spin around, shrieking like a fairy, but it was just Derek, sniffing the air like a starving animal. "Food!!!" he cheered, a huge grin splitting his chubby face.

"Shut up, you morons!" snapped Nicky, grabbing the nearest item to hand and throwing it at us. It hit the wall and shattered.

Ben ran forward. "My Princess Rosy doll!!! You smashed my Princess Rosy doll, you coddle-bottomed purple-spleened toadlicker!"

"Your Princess Rosy doll?" Sean growled. "That doll was mine!"

"What are you talking about? It was totally mine! I won it at the night wisps' dancing tournament!"

"You're a liar. You couldn't dance if your life depended on it. I bought that last time we were in Elbarti."

"Liar!"

"I am not!"

"Are too!"

"Not!"

"Who cares whose it was? It's broken now," pointed out Owen.

There was a pause, then both Ben and Sean threw themselves at Nicky and all three went down in a ball of flying fists. Owen stood over them, trying to quiet them down until Ben rolled into his feet, knocking him on top of Sean.

"Well," I said, turning to Derek and Ian, "so much for taking anyone by surprise."

"Gracious! What are you doing?" came a voice. A high voice. A voice I definitely didn't recognize.

The entire room went deathly still. I turned, slowly, to face the voice's owner.

A woman stood over the four fighting by the stairs. She was too tall to be a dwarf, but fairly short for a human. She was unnaturally skinny, with disturbingly pale skin, black hair, and no beard. Her full, pouty lips were deep red, and her eyes were pale blue and held all the intelligence of a demented cow. She was pitifully ugly, and I wondered if a human might consider her more attractive than I found her. Probably not.

I realized I was staring and blushed. "Beg pardon, ma'am," I said, putting my right hand respectfully to my left bicep. "We were just getting home from work and saw someone had invaded our house--er, well, not 'invaded,' I guess... well, yes... well... um..." I was turning brighter red with each word. The woman giggled.

"What he means is," interrupted Owen, getting to his feet, "what are you doing in our house?"

"Where do you get off trespassing like that, acting like our home belongs to you? Just who do you think you are?" growled Nicky.

The woman giggled again. "Oh, how terribly rude of me," she said, putting a hand to her mouth and sounding not at all sorry. "My name is Princess Eliza, but..." she dropped her voice to a stage whisper that was actually louder than her normal voice, "but sometimes, I like to pretend me name is Snow White. It's such a pretty name, don't you think?"

This time, everyone stared openly.

"Snow White? What sort of stupid... that's not even a real name!" growled Nicky. "And just where do you think you're a princess of?"

"Why, the kingdom, of course!" said Eliza, or Snow White, or whatever her name was.

"Which kingdom?"

"The one the queen owns, silly!" the girl giggled again. I wished she would stop. The giggling was getting on my nerves.

"The... queen..." Owen repeated.

"Yes," said the woman. Her eyes widened. "She wants to kill me. That's why I had to run away!"

"Why does she want to kill you?"

"Because she has a magic mirror that told her I'm prettier than she is."

I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. "A magic... mirror..." I said, nearly biting my lips off to keep from laughing.

She nodded, eyes wide. "She sent her woodcutter to kill me, but he thought I was so beautiful he let me go. So here I am." She brightened. "Now you can call me Snow White and pretend it's my real name!" She giggled. Again. "And what are your names?"

Owen put a hand thoughtfully to his ear. "One moment, please, Princess."

"Ah ah ah!" she protested, holding up an impudent finger.

Owen groaned. "One moment, please, Snow White." He kicked Ben, Sean, and Nicky to their feet and pulled them over to Derek, Ian, and me. "Well?" he asked us quietly.

"I say we throw the stupid brat out on her ear!" snarled Nicky. "She's obviously stupid, probably insane, and exceptionally rude. Not to mention ugly."

"Whatever she's cooking smells good, though," Derek pointed out.

"It could be poisoned," Ben pointed out.

"I doubt it," I said. "I don't think she's smart enough to think of something like that."

"Incidentally, if she doesn't quit with the giggling, I'm going to pull a Nicky and throw something at her," mumbled Ian.

There was a pause, then a hideous clanging. We all wheeled around to see Snow White hitting the cauldron over the fire with a metal spoon.

Clang clang clang clang clang clang! "Supper time!" she shrieked. "Ah, there you are! Have you all washed? Let me see your hands."

Nicky stiffened. "What do you think we are, children?"

"Aren't you?" Snow White asked.

"Have you ever seen a child with a beard, woman? We're dwarves, burn it all!"

"Ah ah ah! Watch your language!" scolded the princess, shaking a finger at us. "Since you didn't tell me your names, I think I'll call you Grumpy. Now all of you, go wash up, or not a bite to eat!"

We stared at her incredulously, then Nicky stormed off, grumbling, "I think I'll call you Grumpy. Nyeh nyeh nyeh. I think I'll call you Mental."

We all trailed off after Nicky to go wash our hands. When we returned, our picks had all been lined up neatly against the wall in descending order of size. There were seven bowls of some kind of steaming food set around the table. Snow White was eating out of the cauldron with the serving spoon.

After the obligatory scuffle over who got the biggest bowl (Owen won), the princess scolded us and told us to get along, and we all sat down and inspected our food.

It may have smelled good, but looking at it was an entirely different story. It was yellowish white and lumpy and grainy looking. I stuck in a finger, scooped some out, and tasted it. It tasted like moldy corn. And the little grains were hard as rock. It was like eating gravel pudding.

"Ah ah ah! Use your silverware," scolded the princess. My face turned red again, but I reached for the little spoon by my bowl.

"What do you call this stuff?" asked Derek, in between big bites.

"We call it grits," beamed the princess. "Isn't it wonderful?"

Derek seemed to be the only one who thought so. Everyone else was pushing the grits around in their bowls, wearing matching expressions of disgust.

"Princess," Owen said suddenly, looking up at her. "You do realize that if you really are a princess and we--"

"I am a princess!" she yelled, stamping her foot. I'd never seen anyone manage that sitting down before. It was funny to watch.

"This ought to be good," I mumbled to Ian.

"I'm sorry, Princ-- Snow White," Owen said apologetically. "I only meant that since you're a princess, if we get caught with you here, we could get hanged for kidnapping you."

"Oh, don't worry," Snow White said, "We just have to not get caught!" She giggled. "Won't that be fun?"

"Um... not terribly," Owen said. "You see, if we do get caught, it will mean our necks."

"And our heads," added Sean.

"Not to mention the rest of us," Ben chipped in.

"It will be just like a game of hide and seek!" beamed the princess.

"Yes, only if we lose, we die."

"Oh, you worry too much!" proclaimed the princess. "Don't forget, the woodcutter told the queen I'm dead. He brought her the heart of a pig to prove it."

"Wait..." Ian said. "How is showing her the heart of a pig supposed to prove that you're dead?"

"Because, she'll think the pig's heart is really my heart, and if she has my heart, I can't possibly be alive, can I?" she said matter-of-factly. "You're not very smart, are you? Can I call you Dopey?"

"My name's Ian."

"I'm so glad!" she said cheerfully. "And you can call me Snow White. I'm sure we'll be good friends, Dopey."

"But back to the matter at hand," I said quickly, before Ian could throw his bowl of grits in Snow White's face, "How will the queen know it's your heart? I mean, a pig's heart doesn't look much like a human heart. Do you really think she'll fall for that?"

She tilted her head thoughtfully, then announced, "Yes. She will. And that is that." Then she stretched. "My, I'm getting sleepy! Well, I think I'll go upstairs and go to bed. Sweet dreams!" she called, heading for the stairway.

"Wait! If you sleep in our beds, where are we supposed to sleep?" yelled Sean.

Snow White pouted. "You wouldn't honestly make a princess sleep downstairs on the couch, would you? No, I didn't think so. You're so thoughtful. Well, good night!" She disappeared upstairs.

In the brief silence that followed, Derek turned to Owen, pointed to his bowl, and asked, "Hey... are you gonna eat that?"

***To be continued***

Yeah, I know, it's rough. That's why it's called a rough draft. So there. I actually plan to finish this story, touch it up, and be able to say I actually finished a story. ...I'll get to it tomorrow.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Prince Balcony and the Gateway to Doom

Once upon a time, there was a boy unfortunate enough to be named Butt Ugly. He didn't have cruel parents, exactly. He'd never actually met his parents. He grew up in an orphanage, except for the few brief weeks when someone had adopted him. A man named Sneet McSnickerson had adopted him, legally changed the boy's name to Butt Ugly, then staged his own death to have Butt put up for adoption again.

As you can imagine, Butt Ugly got picked on in school all the time. Kids threw rocks at him, but they didn't call him names, at least. Kids don't really have to call you names when your own name is as insulting as anything else they can come up with.

Finally, when Butt Ugly turned eighteen, he snapped. There were children drawing mean pictures of him in crayons, and Butt Ugly picked up some nearby frogs and threw them at the children, hitting them in the forehead. He screamed and ran all the way down to the nearest courthouse, which was nineteen miles away, and then, after catching his breath and having a drink of water, he legally changed his name right then and there.

He came back proudly sporting a name tag that announced "Hello. My name is Balcony."

"...Balcony? What sort of idiot name is Balcony?" asked Edgar.

"Shut up. It's a brilliant name!" retorted Balcony. "I've always wanted to be named Balcony."

"...Why?"

"Because... because balconies are cool things! Like... you can stand on them and stuff..."

Just then, a newsboy ran in the front door of the orphanage and shouted, "THE PRINCESS HAS BEEN KIDNAPPED!"

Balcony and Edgar gave each other looks. "We have a princess?"

"News to me."

"Uh, yeah!" said the newsboy. "That's what I get paid for!" Then he stole a quarter from each of them and ran off, now shouting about the price of used toilet paper.

Balcony struck a heroic pose. "Don't worry! I'll save Princess Whatshername!"

Edgar stared at him. "Why are you holding your arm up in the air like that?"

"Well... it looks better if I'm holding a sword, I guess."

"If you say so. Here, want my tennis racket?"

"Yeah, that'll work." Balcony took the tennis racket and posed again. "Don't worry! I'll save the princess!" Then he rode his bike to the supermarket, wondering why he hadn't taken the bike to the courthouse. It would have made the trip so much easier, he reflected.

Balcony stopped a skinny old man with a staff who was walking through the parking lot. "Excuse me, sir, I'm Butt Ugly, and I was wondering if you kidnapped a princess recently."

The man hit Balcony with the staff and continued on to his car.

"Ow!" Balcony yelped. "Oh yeah, wait a second. Wait!" Balcony chased after the man. "Wait, sir, I'm sorry, I forgot, I'm not Butt Ugly anymore. I'm Balcony. And I wasn't kidding about the princess. It's always skinny old men with staves-- ow!!" The man hit Balcony again with the staff, got into his car, and drove over the boy's foot before rocketing away. Through the sky.

"Well, I guess that settles it. I've found the culprit!" Balcony rode his bike after the flying car. But he was so busy watching the flying car that he didn't watch where he was going and he ran into a barbed wire fence.

"Owowowowow!" yelped Balcony. He lost several precious minutes disentangling himself from the barbed wire, and when he looked up again, the car was gone. But there was a girl standing over him. She had short brown hair, freckles, glasses, and braces with neon green rubber bands. Also, she was wearing a kilt with ballet slippers and a t-shirt.

"What sort of name is Balcony?" she asked. "Oh, and are you okay?"

"I'll need a few Band-aids, but I think I'm okay. How did you know my name?" he asked, intrigued.

"You're wearing a nametag," she pointed out.

Balcony blushed. "Oh. Yeah. Well, hi! I'm Balcony! What's your name?"

"I'm Princess," she said. "See, my mom wanted a daughter and my dad wanted a beagle, so they--"

"A-HA!!!" yelled Balcony. "I've found you at last!! It was a long, tiring, painful, and arduous journey! But I will save you!!!" and he picked Princess up and carried her all the way to Cinderella's Castle in Disney World, where Mickey Mouse immediately pronounced them both insane. I mean, man and wife. Even though they were way too young and both clinically insane, especially Balcony.

THE END!

(This is why you should never write a story when you're tired.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Strut strut strut

Monday, July 14, 2008

Music

Emmelie says some group or other who thinks their opinion matters more than anyone else's voted The Final Countdown to be the worst song of the century.



To be entirely candid, I kind of like the song. It's upbeat and, as Terrace puts it, "kind of catchy." For the Worst Song Ever award, I'd like to nominate Down With the Sickness, by a group called Disturbed. Besides having no clear melody, the lyrics are horrible, and listening to the song makes me feel really nasty inside. There's a part in the middle of the song where he just starts screaming and cussing out his mother for beating him. I'm putting the video on here for reference, but obviously, you don't have to watch it.



Emmelie got mad at me for nominating this song. Apparently she likes it. I can't understand why anyone would actually enjoy listening to stuff like this. I mean, after having to listening to Linkin Park all the way to and from Anchorage a couple of times, I'm mostly desensitized to most of this kind of junk, but this one, yeesh! I don't think it even qualifies as music! Again, Emmelie got mad at me for saying that. Apparently, it counts as music because "music is expression." That's the worst excuse I've ever heard.

Thoughts?

This post has been brought to you by the word meander.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Satisne sanus es? Non sum.

"Hi. But the voice mailbox of the person you are trying to call has not been set up yet. Goodbye."

I tried to call a friend and got that error message, and it made me sad--not because the friend wasn't there, but because of the syntactic structure of the message. (Or should I say "sentence's syntactic structure?" Say THAT five times fast!) But now that I think about it, would it really be that much better to hear her say something like "We're sorry, but your call cannot be completed as dialed"? Did you ever wonder exactly who "we" is and why they're so sorry? More likely, they don't even know or care about your predicament. Ha, sucks to be you!

I got Steven talking about cars today, and he really came to life explaining about pistons and spark plugs and whatnot. I didn't understand most of what he said, even after he drew me a diagram, but it was fun watching him get so enthusiastic. Then he asked me to teach him some Latin. I tried, but it's so difficult to explain what declensions and conjugations and genders are to a teenage English speaker who's only half paying attention! If I were a teacher and could give him exercises and vocabulary to practice with, it'd be cake. I guess the same goes for his attempts to teach me mechanics. Anyway, I used the classic example of "laudo, laudas, laudat," which means "I praise, you praise, he praises," and since he thinks "Satannus" means "Satan," he now runs around saying "Laudo Satannus." Well, he did until I pointed out that "Satannus" would be the direct object, so it would probably be Satannum. I didn't tell him that Satan would probably be Diabolus, not Satannus.

I can't help but remember Nikki's favorite Latin phrase: Da mihi basia mille (Give me a thousand kisses). She used to run around saying that left and right any time she saw me studying Latin. She took Latin in high school for like three years, and apparently, that's the only phrase she remembers.

My personal favorite was "Morituri, te salutamus." (We, who are about to die, salute you.) And today, I was reviewing Wheelock's, and found a short conversation I recognized from the movie 300. "Caelum propter numerum sagittarum non videbitis." "In umbra, igitur, pugnabimus." ("You will not see the sky because of the number of arrows." "Then we will fight in the shade.")

Doing in-house today, there was one room in which a little girl followed us around calling "Housekeepiiiiiing!!! Hooooousekeeeeepiiiiing!!! Where are yooooou? Hoooousekeepiiiiiing!!!!" When we went upstairs to make the beds, she followed us and said, "Hey, hey, that one's my bed! Make my bed!"

"Okay, we'll make your--"

"No, hey, don't make my bed!"

"Okay, we won't make your--"

"Make my bed!"

"Okay, we will."

"And one more thing! Don't step on my teddy bear!"

"Okay, we won't."

"And one more thing! Don't mess up my markers!"

"Okay."

"And one more thing! Don't squish the baby!"

"Good idea."

"And one more thing! Don't move my flip-flops!"

"I promise."

"And one more thing! You have to stay upstairs!"

"For how long?"

"You can't go downstairs!"

"Okay."

"And one more thing!"

Her brother, who looked to be about a year older, so about seven(?), was making his own bed while Steven and I made hers. By the time we finished, the boy was finishing up his own. It was terribly wrinkled, and the blankets were on sideways, but I stepped back and said, "Wow, this guy's really good at making beds! We should have him come work for us!" The little boy puffed out his chest and practically started glowing! Kids are funny.

This post has been brought to you by the word laconic.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sun flower

Queen, I've decided that you're not allowed to be sick. As punishment for getting sick, I've made you a get well card. With a sunflower on it. Or at least, my version of a sunflower. A flower with the sun behind it is a sun flower, right? :D


That's all for now. Toodles!

Edit: Thanks for the new header picture, Terrace!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Blarf Borkenstein

No one was entirely sure why Lord Blarf Borkenstein was called "lord." In fact, no one ever even noticed the title at the beginning of his name. He wasn't considered "Blarf Borkenstein, who happens to be a lord." He was simply "Lord Blarf," as if "Lord" was his first name and "Blarf" his second.

Lord Blarf was in no way related to King Muffy. Unlike Lord Blarf, King Muffy was actually a king, despite being a dog. Not just any dog, either, but a poodle terrier. He ruled the kingdom called Toejamia, which bordered Athletus Footania on the continent Gangrenia. Well, he didn't really rule it so much as run around sniffing peasant's crotches, barking, and helping water trees. But he could at least talk, and was a much kinder dictator than Napoleon, the cat who ruled Athletus Footania.

But let's not get too carried away in politics, shall we? Back to Lord Blarf. Lord Blarf had a very noble and important job. Career. Calling. Hobby. Purpose in life. Lord Blarf was a fish massager, and no finer fish massager had ever lived. Occasionally people would make fun of Lord Blarf, but he insisted that fish could do their work better if they were well-relaxed. No one could make a wig quite like a relaxed fish.

* * * * * * *

Okay, here's the game. I got the story started, now each person to comment expands the story by a paragraph or two. Let's see if we can get the full story here!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fourth happy! I mean, happy fourth!

It was 55 degrees yesterday and I still managed to get a sunburn. So they say, anyway. I still say that my skin is just naturally pink from blushing so often. Besides, this nonexistent burn doesn't even hurt. Oh well, sunburns turn into tans when they go away, right? Riiiiight?

The fireworks were shot off at midnight between the third and fourth. I've heard my coworkers complain about the puny fireworks display, but I went to see it anyway. I thought it was pretty good, to be honest. It wasn't any worse than the displays I saw in the little town where I grew up, at any rate. I'm glad there are fireworks at all, considering it was still twilight at midnight and there's always about an 80% chance of rain anyway. It was a twenty minute display of mixed various fireworks. My favorite was the big one they shot off near the end that exploded and then the sparks that flew off of it exploded a second time, but different colors. I also liked the smaller ones they shot off several times that flashed so brilliantly when they exploded that the first time I saw one, I thought for a wild instant that there was actual lightning! That would've been something really worth watching, since I have yet to see lightning or hear thunder in Seward. They say it happens... occasionally. Apparently, "occasionally" means about once every eight or ten years.

Considering this is a rainforest, people here have a weird idea of rain. For example, it "rained" today, like it does about five days a week. In fact, it rained "hard" today. That means the raindrops were almost big enough to be visible. No steady pat-pat-pat of rain on the roof, and you could work outside in the "rain" all day and still not get wet. Damp, yes, but not wet. Where I grew up, a real rainstorm involved turning off and unplugging computers. The rain would come down in sheets, so hard that you could walk outside, count to ten, and walk back inside soaked through your underpants. You could always hear the storm coming because of the thunder and lightning, and if you were lucky, you could actually see the edge of the storm approaching. Solid sheets of raining flattening the distant grass in a field, moving right towards you, coming closer and closer, and then flash-BOOM! And you blinked, and suddenly, the rain would be pelting your windows so hard you'd almost be afraid they would break. We would sit out on the back deck and smell the rain and watch the lightning and count the seconds till we heard the thunder so we could see how far away it was, and sometimes, the electricity would go out because of the storm. THAT'S raining hard.

And then there's here, where people think that it's "raining hard" because the pavement is almost all the way wet from the drizzle that's been coming down for an hour. Sometimes I miss Virginia....

Anyway, yeah. So this year was the first time I actually had the fourth of July off, so I walked downtown to view the festivities. People come from all over Alaska for the Mount Marathon race, where poor ambitious fools race to the top of Mount Marathon and back down. I was actually impressed that they managed it. I've never even walked to the top of Mount Marathon, let alone run. The poor runners came back with their skin bright pink, and one lady had apparently tripped or something, because one of her legs was bloody all the way down, but she still ran on. There was one lady, coming in eighth or so, who jogged the last little bit through the streets downtown, holding a little girl (who looked to be about seven) by the hand. I wonder what the little girl was thinking. Was she impressed? Did she feel weird with the crowd clapping and cheering at her and her mother/aunt/friend of the family/whoever she was?

There were a lot of booths downtown. The main reason I bothered going was because Steven had said one of them sold lighters that gave off green, blue, and various other colored flames. If they were reasonably priced, I wanted to get one. Well, I never found them, but I did find a booth where a lady was selling hand-carved and -painted ocarinas. I had to stop and look because I've never played, seen, or even actually heard of an ocarina. I've heard of the video game Zelda: Ocarina of Time, but I'd never actually stopped to wonder just what an ocarina was.

These appeared to be made of stone and sound a lot like a recorder, but maybe slightly more breathy. So of course I had to get one! There were four different sizes -- I got the small one (not the extra-small, though) and it's probably about the pitch of a soprano recorder, I guess. In learning to play it, I'm discovering the small hole of mine is the wrong size, so I'm having to invent new fingerings to keep it in tune. I love it, though! It has a nice sound, and I find it's fairly easy to play as long as there's not a specific tune I've got in mind.


Anyway, toodles! This post has been brought to you by the word ocarina.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

u that u writte for me

I would complain about the fact that most of you guys never update your blogs... but then I realized I haven't updated in like five days either. So I guess I can't complain. Drat.

The lighting in my room is terrible. One day when I'm rich, I'm totally going to get those nice expensive lights that fill a room with rich, pure light... instead of the three wimpy yellow light bulbs that somehow manage to make my room seem even darker when I turn them on. Bah!

For some reason, every time I use Skype, I get eleventy billion weirdos from foreign countries that want to talk to me for no apparent reason. Most of the time, I just ignore them, but occasionally, I'll humor them for a little while. I'm not particularly polite to them, but I'm not enormously rude either. Often, they speak English so poorly that I think they don't even know whether or not I'm being polite. Anyway, here's my most recent example of such a conversation.

[11:24:39 AM] salas_221 says: hi
[11:24:58 AM] salas_221 says: how r u?
[11:25:56 AM] salas_221 says: are u there
[12:16:50 PM] Cathryn says: I am now
[12:24:14 PM] salas_221 says: welcme
[12:24:20 PM] salas_221 says: what news about u?
[12:25:27 PM] Cathryn says: ...who are you?
[12:30:10 PM] salas_221 says: who are u
[12:30:15 PM] salas_221 says: u that u writte for me
[12:30:25 PM] Cathryn says: ...what?
[12:30:36 PM] salas_221 says: let forget
[12:30:44 PM] Cathryn says: Do you speak English?
[12:30:51 PM] salas_221 says: yeah
[12:31:04 PM] Cathryn says: What does "u that u writte for me" mean?
[12:31:39 PM] salas_221 says: nothing forget it
[12:31:49 PM] Cathryn says: ...okay
[12:32:03 PM] salas_221 says: how is ur name
[12:33:21 PM] Cathryn says: Stephanie. What's yours? Where do you live?
[12:35:06 PM] salas_221 says: my name is salas canada
[12:35:49 PM] Cathryn says: How many languages do you speak?
[12:37:15 PM] salas_221 says: 4lgs
[12:37:41 PM] salas_221 says: english frensh germany arabe
[12:37:52 PM] salas_221 says: but why u ask me this?
[12:38:15 PM] Cathryn says: because I can barely understand your English.
[12:41:15 PM] salas_221 says: its good
[12:41:25 PM] salas_221 says: so wht do you want now?
[12:41:41 PM] Cathryn says: What do you mean, what do I want?
[12:42:03 PM] salas_221 says: yeah
[12:43:36 PM] Cathryn says: I'd like to know why you wanted to talk to me.
[12:44:30 PM] salas_221 says: oki for resolved this take care and dont writte for that all
[12:44:39 PM] salas_221 says: so bye

What a strange little man.

Toodles!