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It appeared at 2 a.m. this morning, blatantly announcing its presence and positively buzzing with the awareness that I was helpless to defeat it. I looked at it and it looked back knowingly. I sighed and accepted defeat moments before it delivered the crushing blow I had seen coming all along.

It’s funny, you can never fully appreciate just how much the stomach flu or a migraine will truly pain you until you’re in the midst of it. You may look on at other sufferers and recall your struggles for a moment, certain, at the very least, that you’re glad you’re not them right now but you can’t truly appreciate the moment of solace you pray for in the simple act of vomiting, something you can hardly wait for while you desperately try to avoid it.

This was no different really. I had forgotten how hard it could strike; the debilitating nature of the blow; as incurable as the common cold and twice as miserable. The name may change over time, but the symptoms are the same. Then it was “Sophomore Slump” , now it’s “Senioritis”. But I really don’t care what it’s called. In fact, giving it a name feels like giving it a right to exist.

So, at two in the morning I went to bed; not because I was tired, or too dizzy to think. I went to bed because I was done. I crawled under my sheets ready to let the sting of failure comfort me like emptying the rotten contents of my stomach had before. Painful and liberating.

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Sigh

I promised to post, and, well, I suppose I do have something to say, but it’s a little… angsty. I apologize.

So, this weekend was the MarMonte Speech League’s state qualifying tournament. I spent last week preparing for this so as to make up for last weekend’s bitter (and still somewhat contested) debate loss.  But alas, said preparation seems to have been for not as not only did I not qualify, but two of the people who did argued that the voting day could not be changed because people would not feel as proud of themselves for voting on a Monday as they do when they vote on the traditional Tuesday.  And, to add insult to injury, the debate winners are somewhat disappointed they made it because that might require that they miss prom.

I’m a little annoyed at my angst in all of this though.  Yes, I like being told that I am a good speaker, but beyond that, I like knowing that I am a good person. The person I want to be would take this in better stride, as the Shins put it “A stronger girl would shake this off in flight, /And never give it more than a frowning hour, /But you have let your heart decide,/ Loss has conquered you”.  And, since I’m feeling quotey today, I will also submit that Elizabeth Bishop was wrong: The art of losing is hard to master (and I can’t even claim the loss of two of my lovers).  I suppose I’m just out of practice. I remember beaming at the sight of my two finalist medals as a freshman. This year’s set only seem to serve as a reminder that I didn’t win.

It has recently been brought to my attention that I haven’t blogged for almost four months. What’s astounding to me is that my blog stats still show a consistent one to three people checking my blog daily. I apologize to those whom I have evidently disappointed for so long (Michael), and can offer only my sincere promise to try to do better. I think I worry that posting too often about trivial things will make people less inclined to read my blogs, but on the other hand I suppose that to some extent that is what a personal blog is for, and that I’m more likely to lose readers by never posting than by posting too often. So, I present this to the few and the faithful as a sort of promise to “fake it ‘till I make it”, posting random things until I get the hang of this again and come up with something exciting to say.

An Interesting Question

What makes you unique? What is your “internal essence”?

 

Hell if I know Mr. Geib. As it was once said of Doctor Who I find the only constant in my life is change (yes, I did just compare myself to the last time lord, I suppose that should tell you something about my “internal essence”). Though I rarely go gallivanting through space and time in a police box I am subject to change to the extent that who I am, what I want and where I’m going are all fairly new developments and may very well be different within the space of a year. I think I have given you the basics in the time we have spent together but as a refresher: I’m intensely fond of speech and debate, dark chocolate, puppies and my dear friend Shaunacy. I hope to spend a year in Argentina becoming bilingual, graduate from college without an exorbitant amount of debt, make more than enough to live on doing something I love and spend the extra helping those less fortunate than I. My most impressive feats include keeping three children quitely entertained for forty five minutes using nothing but a single checker, besting a couple of Catholic school girls in a fierce debate over the war in Iraq and making a rocket scientist giggle.

Oh Em Gee

A webcomic of romance,
sarcasm, math, and language.

This week XKCD updates every day. Stay tuned!

Whilst working on my AP Government “Scavenger Hunt” today I stumbled upon “The Ventura Atheists Meetup Group”.  This seemed silly to me on several levels. My first thought was “What do they talk about, their lack of faith? How hard it is to avoid the faith?” As I perused the sight further I did actually discover, to some extent, what they were all about but this confused me even more.  Their tagline sounds like a dating advertisement/ self help group: “Meet other local atheists and freethinkers for conversation and friendship” and listed among their discussion topics is not Atheism but ‘Atheists’. After continued reading I discovered that their primary objective is “trying to build a growing community of freethinking, rational atheists to advance the understanding and acceptance of Atheism, maintain the wall between Church and State and build a vibrant and active atheist community in Ventura County.”  Other notable facts found in the “About Us” section “Paid membership to our parent group is encouraged but not required to attend and participate in the Ventura meetings”. Why is this notable? Well, as someone who has attended a fair few Catholic Masses in my time this was all starting to seem a bit familiar. I refer you now to the Our Lady of Assumption mission statement “We, as faithful followers of Jesus Christ, create, nurture, and maintain a community of love through worship, reconciliation, healing, formation, education and service” ( is it even necessary for me to mention the optional collection tins?).

  I feel I should clarify though. I’m not against the goals in either group, nor do I object to their collection of donations in order to achieve their means; I’m even in support of separation of church and state but more than finding the similarities between the Catholic Church and the “Atheists Meetup Group” (which shall heretofore be known as “AMG” because writing out the title is becoming repetitive and I’m always inclined to add an apostrophe to their name) ironic I think I really hoped that an absence of religious doctrine would not so closely resemble a strict one. The “AMG” site says that they welcome “agonistics, free thinkers, rationalists, naturalists, secular humanists, etc.”  but then immediately go on to state that they “are trying to build a growing community of freethinking, rational atheists to advance the understanding and acceptance of Atheism”.   I’m all for tolerance, but let’s be real here, this isn’t tolerance, it’s conversion. But I’m not even sure that the conversion to Atheism (though a grand irony) is my real problem here, as it is certainly an ideal shared with your average Catholic Church (and virtually every other branch in the Judeo-Christian spectrum); I think what really gets me is the false advertising. An “AMG” seems like it should be a place where intelligent free thinking people, unbound by religious doctrine, are able to have critical discussions about moral ambiguity and their purpose in life rather than being handed a patented set of beliefs. Of course the Catholic Church is going to preach their ideals to you, but at least they’re straight forward about it. When did lack of religion become the foil to intense religion?

¿Un Problema?

After getting through a particularly difficult math problem yesterday I found myself fighting the urge to sing the congratulatory Dora the Explorer song. Why is that? Esther suggested that perhaps it was the result of my regular babysitting schedule for children under the age of five but is that really enough to make the average person inclined to sing pre-school songs in a high school setting? I suppose that in the grand scheme of things my inclination to sing “We did it. We did it. We did it. Hooray!” is really the least of my worries but does it have larger ramifications? I realized that night, as I was watching two children under the age of five, that I was getting more into their videos (Dora among them) than they were; it’s not as though I would choose to watch Dora or “Signing Time With Alex and Leah” on my own but whereas the children were content to simply let Dora stand on the screen staring blankly for a few moments   before answering her own question I was disposed to tell her that her apple was rojo (sometimes even while giving the sign that I had just learned for red). In the context of caring for small children this seems normal; encouraging children to play along and learn from videos, books, toys and the lark is actually one of the reasons I was “hired” (if you will) for that job but if I’m singing Dora songs to myself at school I have to wonder: at what point does babysitter mode shut off? I’ve been told by multiple friends and personality tests that I have a nurturing personality; it’s in my nature to play the protector and try to mother those around me but at a certain point such actions must surely be inappropriate. Christ on a bike, I don’t even have children yet! Don’t these things only get worse with the addition of something you had to birth? What then? And, in the mean time, where might one find an off switch for such things?