Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Resolutions

So this New Year, I have a few resolutions:

1. Write more. For the past year, I haven't been writing as much as I would like to. But now (now that college applications are done), I have no excuse. My goal is to write and publish an average of 1 chapter a week, which is ~1000 words. 1000 words per week is definitely doable; I can easily do 500 words on a weekend day; maybe 200 words on a school day. I might be able to achieve more than 1 chapter a week, but I'm not going to push myself for more than that.

2. Keep my room clean. Wait, screw that. I hate cleaning my room, and when I do, it always stays messy. Just like some people have hair that is unmanageable, I have a room that is unmanageable. Yea. My room is clean now, but I doubt it'll stay clean.

3. Work out more (this one goes in to effect once swim season is over in February).

4. Get an A in AP AB/BC Calculus and AP Physics winter (and maybe spring) term. I almost had A-s in both fall term, and I think that now that the pressure of college applications is gone, I should be able to get a solid A in both of them.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Summary Of "Twilight" (warning: spoilers)

So for Christmas, I got the entire "Twilight" series ("Twilight", "New Moon", "Eclipse", and "Breaking Dawn"). Yesterday, I finished reading "Twilight".

Almost nothing happens in the first ~200 pages. Seriously. I was disappointed that the word "vampire" wasn't even mentioned until halfway in to the book, but more disappointed that nothing really happened for most of it.

This is my summary of the majority of the book:

BELLA- Hi, I'm Bella, and I'm an idiot, so I decided to move to Forks, Washington. There's too much green here. I'm really klutzy, did you know that? I also faint when I see blood. Oooh, who's that? OMG, he's gorgeous. His name is Edward. It's not like I stalk him or anything, really. It's just that he's perfect, beautiful, amazing, breathtaking, and gorgeous, and also my favorite stone depends on the color of his eyes at any given moment. And when it snows, the snow looks like the end of a Qtip. Snow isn't supposed to look like a Qtip, damn it! It wasn't so cold and rainy back in Arizona.

EDWARD- I'm Edward.

BELLA- Hi Edward! (to herself) OMG, two boys just asked me to the dance? What should I do? No! I can't go to the dance! OMG, why isn't Edward in school?

JACOB- Probably because he's a vampire.

BELLA (to Edward)- OMG, Edward, you're a vampire.

EDWARD- Yes. And you smell amazing. I can't keep myself away from you. The smell of your blood is delicious.

BELLA- Make me a vampire, Edward. Because if you don't make me a vampire, then one day, I'll die, and I won't be near you.

EDWARD- But I don't want to hurt you.

BELLA- (whining) But I don't caaaaaaaare!

EDWARD- Hey, look at my skin sparkle in the sun!

BELLA- OMG, that is so cool. Edward, I love you.

EDWARD- I know. And I keep saving your life. Plus I can read minds.

BELLA- That is so cool!

EDWARD- But I can't read your mind. I don't know why.

BELLA- How can I become a vampire?

EDWARD- I'm not telling you. Hey, wanna play vampire baseball?


EDWARD- FYI, we have to wait for a thunderstorm.

BELLA- That's so cool. Edward, I don't care if it hurts, I just want to be a vampire, because I am obsessively in love with you.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

"Camp Rock" vs. Power Chord Academy

So I've decided that it was about time I wrote a blog comparing Disney Channel's Original Movie Camp Rock with my own experiences at Power Chord Academy (referred to from now on as PCA), a rock music camp that I have attended for the past 2 summers.

Similarities between Camp Rock and PCA:

1. People are there because they want to spend the summer doing something awesome with music.

2. Open mic night takes place in the cafeteria. Well, at PCA, open mic night takes place... wherever, but last year, it did take place in the cafeteria.

3. People wear long pants in the summer.

4. "Celebrity [sort of] guests". At Camp Rock, "Shane Gray" was a counselor, and his band "Connect 3" played at the "Jam". At PCA, at the end of each session, a "real" touring band comes and plays a concert (Yellowcard, The All-American Rejects, Sparky's Flaw).

5. The food is "better this year". At Camp Rock, Connie's Catering is better than whatever they had last year. At PCA, this year's food was slightly better than the food last year.

Differences between Camp Rock and PCA:

1. At Camp Rock, every musical performance includes elaborate costumes.
At PCA, no one wears costumes. Maybe an awesome outfit for the concert, or sunglasses on stage, but no... costumes.

2. At Camp Rock, people wear high-heeled shoes.
At PCA, people wear sneakers. Because at a real music camp, you'd be an IDIOT to wear high-heeled shoes. It's hard to walk in high heels; you'll likely trip at some point. Also, it would kind of hurt if you got an amp dropped on your foot, and you were wearing open-toed shoes, don't you think?

3. At Camp Rock, they have dance class, and their music routines include choreographed dances.
At PCA, they don't have dance class (not many rockers are dancers- although occasionally some, including yours truly and one of her friends, are), and there are no choreographed routines.

4. At Camp Rock, guitars are loud without being plugged in to an amplifier.
At PCA, you actually have to plug in your guitar for it to make any noise.

5. At Camp Rock, we know there is at least 1 drummer (Andy, the kid who couldn't dance), but that's it, and he never plays the drums.
At PCA, there are usually multiple drummers, and they actually play the drums.

6. At Camp Rock, "it's all about the bling"; people are very image-concered, and they judge each other on shallow things.
At PCA, you're more likely to be judged on your musical taste and talent on your instrument, than on how much money you have.

7. At Camp Rock, they sleep in cabins in the woods.
At PCA, we sleep in dorm rooms at a college.

8. Camp Rock is right next to a lake, which has canoes.
PCA (in NY) is right next to a bunch of pizza places and chinese restaurants, which have awesome pizza and dumplings, respectively.

9. At Camp Rock, there seems to be no organization of musical activities/no organized lessons.
At PCA, there are organized band practices ("jam sessions") several times a day, with an adult (producer) helping.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Things I've Learned Recently

So here's a list of things I've learned recently...

1. Rice cakes aren't supposed to go in the toaster, or the microwave (learned from the rice cake package).

2. Snow is fun, until you have to drive in it.

3. College applications are no fun, but getting in to college is.

4. Being deferred from two colleges is half the fun of being deferred from one, until you realize that tons of people got rejected, so maybe the admissions officers actually liked your application. Maybe.

5. Swim practice doesn't actually get easier over four years, but as you get in better shape, it feels easier (even when you're swimming in a faster lane).

6. Leaky goggles during a T30 suck, and will cause you to have "red stoner eyes". Additionally, even the best goggles become leaky after a point.

7. Calculus is awesome, and it's way better than algebra. Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong.

8. Friendship bracelets are fun, and they look really pretty, too.

9. Mechanical pencils are far, far better than regular pencils (actually, I didn't learn this recently, I learned this in like 9th grade).

10. Links are fun!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

<24 Hours

There are <24 hours until I'm on vacation.

Yesterday I was worried I'd be feeling sick (remember that swim meet?), but thankfully I was fine. The meet was good and bad. Good because I didn't have to swim the 200 free relay AND the 100 back (the relay is RIGHT before the back, so when I do both, I'm always exhausted for the back, which sucks), and I got to swim the backstroke in the 200 medley relay. Bad because we got KILLED. At the end of the meet, the coach gave a speech about how it's really important to actually come to practice over break, considering county champs are the first day back (January 5). I'll probably come to all of the practices, because I'm not going away, so I don't really have any excuse not to.

After I got home last night, I was exhausted, but I still had to: (1) study for finals, (2) write college essays, and (3) check my decision for MIT. The MIT decisions came out at 9:00pm yesterday; I had been thinking about it all day, but by 8:30 I realized I couldn't concentrate at ALL on any work, so I stopped.

I got deferred. The thing is, it's annoying to have to wait another few months, but- MIT was a "Far Reach" school for me; the general consensus (among my college counselor, my parents, and I) was that I'd probably be rejected outright. I may still rejected in March, but I might get accepted.

In French today, we watched the movie Ratatouille. The teacher was all, "But it's in English!" when the first words of dialogue were heard, but the movie takes place in Paris, so it's kind of French. Sort of. I love how the guy's name is Linguine. Linguine isn't my favorite kind of pasta (I prefer farfalle) but it's just such a cool name.

I came up with a semi-productive unproductive thing to do during free periods: making friendship bracelets. This summer, while working as a camp counselor, one of the activities I had to "teach" was making friendship bracelets (35 minutes a day, 5 days a week, for 4 weeks). I've made a lot of bracelets while at home, in the car, on the plane, or anywhere boring. So yesterday, I realized that it would be a great idea to make friendship bracelets during free periods. See, most people would tell me that during free periods, I should be doing homework, or studying. But honestly, when I HAVE homework, I usually do it during free periods, sometimes, but not always, and I can't study for an exam at school (I just can't. It just doesn't work.). Normally, I'd go in to the art studio and make art, but there's no sense starting a piece RIGHT before break, so I figured that while being unproductive, I should at least attempt to be semi-productive, so, I'm making friendship bracelets.

I can't wait until vacation. Seriously, I love the holidays. I love wrapping gifts (I'm so good at wrapping gifts). I love making cookies (frosting them is the best part). I love not having school. I love seeing family. I love watching TV for several hours straight (come on, who HASN'T spent at least ONE vacation day doing nothing but watch TV?). I love actually having time to write (I haven't updated anything in forever). I love not having to worry about homework/tests/finals/projects. I love snow (I hope it snows). I love winter break.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I lost my voice

So, as the title says, I lost my voice.

Until this summer, I had never lost my voice. Sure, after screaming for hours at a concert, my throat would be a little sore, but I had never really LOST MY VOICE until this July, and it's happened a few times since then.

1st time- ~July 16-17- I had a sore throat, but I could talk perfectly fine. Then, I woke up the next day and I could hardly talk (although my throat wasn't sore). Of course, I still had to go to work (I was a camp counselor). Imagine the fun morning I had trying to teach swim lessons when I could hardly talk. The afternoon was a little better; I was in arts & crafts, and I used the good old pen-and-notebook method (that method doesn't really work when you're teaching swim lessons; the notebook gets wet; plus the kids wouldn't be able to see that when they're at the other side of the pool).

2nd time- ~August 29-31- I had a sore throat, and I could hardly talk. It turns out I had strep throat (isn't that fun?) and I was lucky I got the drugs from the doctor before school started on September 2nd.

3rd time- December 12-14(+?)- On Friday (12), during the day I felt okay. But after swim practice, I was feeling pretty stuffy. I could hardly breathe through my nose (which makes swimming rather difficult); it felt like my whole head was just filled with snot (okay, gross, I know), and I was extremely tired; I went to bed at 10:30 (which is pretty early for a Friday night for me). I woke up yesterday (Saturday, 13) at 9:45 (11 hours of sleep) and felt exactly 0% better. In lieu of doing anything productive, I sat around and watched TV and did friendship bracelets and wasted time in other ways (although I *did* work on some college essays for about an hour). I went to sleep last night at 11:00 (still not feeling any better) and woke up this morning at like 8:30. Yeah. I know. I can breathe now (sort of...), and I feel a little better, but I've lost my voice. I can't really talk, and it sucks.

What I've noticed about losing my voice is that I tend to do a lot more thinking. If I have something to say, I always think about it before I say it. And then if I DO have to talk, I always feel exhausted after. When you lose your voice, talking sucks.

There's a swim meet tomorrow, and I sincerely hope I'm better by then.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

News as of 12/12

1. My camera still isn't working, and I'm very annoyed. For IB Visual Arts (note: I originally typed "IB Visual Warts"), we have to keep a "workbook", which is a sort of journal in which we keep records of our art. We're supposed to take pictures of our work in progress. It's really annoying when I can't use my own camera to take these pictures (I use the Arts Department Camera). It's also annoying when I can't take pictures of stuff I'm doing at home (well, there are 2 other cameras in my house, but one of them sucks). I went to a concert back in November (Mest, 11/2), and I brought one of the cameras (the one that doesn't suck) but the battery ran out. I was really upset, too, because not only was it an AWESOME concert, I was REALLY close (like right-up-against-the-barrier CLOSE), and the lighting was REALLY awesome (like two-different-colors-making-really-cool-shadows-on-the-musicians AWESOME). I still had fun, though.

2. I got deferred from Caltech. I would've liked to be accepted (duh, that's why I applied in the first place), but being deferred is better than what I initially expected (my application to be shredded up and sent back to me in an envelope with big red letters saying "DENY!" on the front)- and less than 50% of all applicants got deferred or accepted (>50% got denied, though maybe not quite as spectacularly as I thought).

3. I'm sick. I think I have a cold. I'm incredibly stuffed up. I can hardly breathe, and I can barely smell. I slept for 11 hours last night (I love sleeping for 11 hours straight), and I didn't go to swim practice this morning.

4. There are less than 75 days of school left until Senior Check-out (what? it's not like I've been counting down since the first week of this month). I am SO ready be out of school.

5. I like crafts. I'm currently knitting a blanket with fuzzy black, pink, and blue yarn. I'm knitting small squares, and then sewing them in to strips, and then I'm gonna sew the strips in to a blanket. I've only got like 1/10 of the squares I need; maybe I'll do some work on it over winter break. I'm also working on a friendship bracelet now. Yay.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


So I've been doing a lot of driving recently, including driving on the Garden State Parkway and on Route 22. And honestly, the Parkway is WAY easier than Route 22.

On the Parkway, it's pretty much just driving straight, and then you get off at your exit. People drive fast (speed limit? this is new jersey; you try going exactly at the speed limit, even in the slowest lane), but sensibly (well, mostly). When I'm on the Parkway, I drive along for a few (hundred, thousand?) miles, and then I see the sign that says "Exit X- 1 mile/1/4 mile/Next Right"- I change lanes if needed, and then I drive a little more, see the exit sign, and take the exit. It's painless.

On 22, it's driving straight, mostly, but people are turning in to parking lots at every waking moment. It's crazy. Most of the people driving on 22 drive insanely. There are always more cars on 22 than on the Parkway, or at least it seems that way. 22 isn't like the Parkway, in the sense that there are no signs saying "Target- 1 mile" or "DSW- Next Right". So people are changing lanes basically all the time. It's a nightmare. People also drive really really close together. I hate it. If I could, I would completely avoid 22 in favor of the Parkway, except I can't.