Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Anger, Hate and Love

Hate is such an all-consuming feeling. It sucks up your soul and leaves dust in its midst. It leaves you tired but it always demands more. Some have even developed a rather fondness to it. There's anger there mostly. Anger raw, hot and intense. But there's more than that. Many times hate is connected with love; many times the people that we hate we loved once. Our feelings have soured because we have been hurt. The one and only person who I genuinely hate I once considered to be a good friend of mine. It goes beyond dislike but it enters the realm of loathing. I hate her, hate her so much that the hate could spill and make rivers of the tears I have shed over her. Those tears are acid rain and they have corroded so many good things inside of me. I want them gone and I want that hatred gone too.

It's an issue I've been struggling lately. Everyone around me has just told me to let it go and I want to. I really do. I just can't. Because we have mutual friends, I come in contact with this girl every day. Now that I didn't come begging to her and refuse to tag around with her, she ignores me and treats me as if I'm invisible. I've alluded to this girl various times on my blog and those close to me know the full story. I don't feel like going into the whole story but for those who don't know, I feel like she didn't care about me and only used me as her accessory or something to boost her ego. I feel like I trusted her and she only ended up manipulating me in the end. Enough of that though because me venting about how much and why I hate her will do nothing to help me.

I had a dream a few days ago that I wrote about how and why I hated her on my blog. Then she came running up to me and demanded an apology. Things got physical and I had her on the floor crying as I punched her. Now, I could never do something so brash in real life (nor could I win against her in real life). That dream definitely revealed my pent-up issues.

I really don't get people who hate all of these people. I only hate one person and it kills me. It drains me and it makes me feel so helpless just hating. It can feel good sometimes but mostly it just feels useless. It's like a bag on my shoulders that I can't shake off. I know people like my grandma hold grudges but how? I don't want to be like this anymore because it's changing who I am. I don't want to be a bitter person.

I've forgiven my bullies. I've forgiven them for the memories I've had to repress and the self-esteem issues that resulted from their taunts and how they've all taken away my ability to trust people my age. I've forgiven them and what they did was just as bad. And yet... Yet I haven't forgiven her. I'm not sure if what she did was necessarily bullying but it was just cruel. Maybe it's because I told her all of these things and she did what she did anyway.

I've thought that maybe when she used me she could have just been selfish and thoughtless. That she could have thought of me more as an object than as a person with feelings. That I simply wasn't enough to keep around but she didn't want to give me up "just in case". I'm not angry because she didn't care but I'm angry at how she lead me on and pretended like she did. I'm angry with how she made me feel stupid and small when I tried to explain how I felt to her. I think I'm just angry over everything that happened last year (that wasn't all her fault. It was mine, my math teacher and some of the others, the student body who created the atmosphere it did, a few thoughtless assholes...)

I just wish she said she was sorry. Even if she said she didn't mean for things to be the way they ended up but they just turned out that way. Or that I was interpreting it the wrong way. I just don't think she ever will so I'll have to find some other way. I'll have to find some way to make peace with it all.

At first, the anger was a good thing. It was so much better than the anger I felt against myself, an anger that was poisonous and seeped in the deepest parts of my soul. Again, that was partially my fault but I'm angry that she turned some of her own actions against me and made it look like it was my fault. At the time, I thought that anger was progress. Now I only think that it is holding me back.

I don't have to forget what happened and I don't even have to like her. I just don't want to have to deal with this anymore. I'm done. I'm hoping that with getting sick of this, I'll finally embark on my first steps of freeing myself from this.

School's been in session for a little more than three months. Summer has been about two and a half months long. That's a little more than five and a half months. I've had plenty of time to deal with this. It's time to let it go and move on.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Twilight, Passivity and Feminism

It was the sensation that took the book industry by storm after a few stagnant years after Harry Potter. It sent teen girls swooning and pledging their allegiance. It was followed by a stream of movies that are still gushing out. Yes, at one point I was one of those girls and part of that sensation. That sensation, of course, was the Twilight series.

I just saw the latest Twilight movie, Breaking Dawn, Part 1 Wednesday. The movie was surprisingly good, full of action and gore and suspense. Quite frankly, I only go now to see the movies out of curiosity and not out of true, intense interest.

I became a so-called "Twihard", or fan of the series, when I just got out of fifth grade. At that point, the book was only beginning to pick up in momentum. It was summer time and the books were getting me through a camp I hated. Each time I put down the book, I was annoyed and thinking about the next time I would get back to it. I read the whole series in about a week.

Of course, back then, I didn't have the experiences that I have now. I've read more books since then, most of those books written at a higher reading level than Twilight. Most importantly, I lacked the critical thinking skills that I have now.

What finally made me revoke my allegiance of it was the criticisms  I heard about it. These criticisms got me thinking about it more and I realized that they were right. I attempted to read it again a while back and I couldn't get through the first page. The topic of Twilight came up this Thanksgiving with my cousin and I, furthering my thinking on the subject. Even though the frenzy has died down somewhat, I still find the subject relevant.

Twilight does not set a healthy example to young girls. It doesn't even set a healthy example to boys either (though most boys don't read Twilight or at least won't admit to reading it). Bella is a weak, passive character who is poorly developed and not explored very well; her relationship with Edward is creepy at best and emotionally abusive at worst. For those who have not read the series and are planning to, there are some spoilers ahead.

Bella, the main character, is torn between Jacob, her werewolf best friend, and Edward, her vampire boyfriend. In the end, Edward wins though this internal struggle did show itself in the movie. In the series as a whole, all that she does is sit and wait for them to save her and to help her. Not once does she try to make decisions for herself or even to try to help herself in any way. A Twilight fan might make the argument that being a human, Bella could not defend herself. I do agree that yes, she could defend herself physically. However, she could have made sure to have input with Edward and she could have been an active part of the plans to keep her and the ones she loved safe. She did, a couple times, pipe up and say stuff but she was usually dismissed by Edward (unless, of course, what she was saying did make sense). Usually, she just sat at the sidelines and did nothing. I would like to point out that this is the case even when she turns into a newborn and thus is actually stronger than Edward.

More importantly, she did this in her own love life. In Eclipse, she was pursued instead of the one doing the pursuing. She often turned to Edward to have this decision made for her. She didn't sit down and seriously think about how she felt and how either decision would impact her life. She was just like, "Edward, I'm so sorry for cheating on you. Please tell me that what I did was wrong and that I don't love Jacob."

I would also like to point out the flaws in their relationship itself. It's all about how much they love each other and how much they need to keep each other safe. That's it. They don't have fun together, they don't have mutual hobbies (Edward seems to develop some. Bella, however, seems to be devoid of any hobby except being in love with Edward) and they don't really have any other people they really spend time with beside each other (yes, they have friends but they're really side thoughts). All they seem to be is obsessed with each other. I do recognize the fact that their relationship is constantly under attack and that this would end up having tension but to never have fun, to never laugh? That's a bit much.

There's also that tiny problem of how they're obsessed with each other. Obsession in a relationship is never healthy. People in a truly loving relationship have interests outside of the person they're with. People need breathing time. Bella literally never gets time away from this guy; he's even there when she sleeps, watching her. From day one, Bella can't get this guy out of her head and seems to "love" him from the start. There isn't even any buildup in the relationship. All that happens is that Bella tries to go after him, he rejects her, she continues to go after him/ tries to find out what he is, he tells her what he is and then she announces how she irrevocably loves him(you don't "irrevocably" love your boyfriend. There has to be conditions in a relationship or else the other person gets stepped on). And when their relationship starts, her sole purpose is him and only him. When he breaks up with her, she doesn't move on like any normal person should but instead gets depressed for months. And then when they meet up, she just takes him back and everything is good. The story doesn't deal with any lingering resentment or distrust but it's just fine and better than ever.

Oh and Edward himself... His behavior is borderline abusive if not already abusive. He will do anything to "protect" her, like almost kidnapping her to get away to slashing her tries to keep her away from Jacob (he also gets angry when she talks to him as well as other guys). He also stalks her at night, as I mentioned and forces to drive her places. See "Ways Edward Cullen is Abusive" on Fanpop if you want to see a better and more thorough analysis of it. What's disturbing about this is the way that this behavior is addressed as normal and even romantic.

This isn't a concern for women and older women. However, younger girls read this book and they are getting a skewed image on relationships and women's roles in them. Unfortunately, there are plenty of girls in abusive and unhealthy relationships. Reading this book only normalizes this behavior for these girls. Also, this is just another media influence telling these girls to be weak and submissive in the face of their boyfriends. That romance is all that is important and boys should be the spotlight of every girl's life and that is a very negative thing indeed.

In conclusion, Twilight is a poor portrayal of love, abuse and women in general. If you have any young girls you love, try to steer them in other directions.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


It comes once a year, the final Thursday of November. It's a federal holiday but it is also one deeply ingrained in to American culture. It's the apparent day when the pilgrims ate with the Indians they would later oust after barely surviving. It's been known as "Turkey Day" or "Thanksgiving". I suppose it is a shame to say that for me it is something to dread, a burden to bear.

First, I hate the food. I'm a seafood/steak/expensive meals kind of girl. I like spicy, exotic things like Indian food and gumbo. Thanksgiving food offers nothing for me. Usually I eat a meal consisting of turkey, mashed potatoes and rolls. While the rolls are quite tasty coming from the oven, I am only permitted to eat two of them and thus am unable to have a full meal based off of it. Mashed potatoes and turkey are not terrible certainly but quite bland. My family always ends up with the leftovers, which end up tasting worse than the original meal itself.

Then there's that whole retrieval of the meal. There's so many people in our kitchen all at once and I get claustrophobic from it all. Then there's the waiting. Even though I don't like most of the stuff at Thanksgiving, I'm still hungry at that point but usually I have to end up waiting forever. Then my mom feels the need to segregate the kids from the adults and I always end up relating better to the adults than I do to my sister and my cousin.

Then there is all of the people just being there. We have quite a lot of people who come over for Thanksgiving and they all come over my house. I don't mind my family one-on-one but all together they make me quite uncomfortable. They all seem to come over in a flood and take over my house. I have to deal with this flood of Puerto Rican woman affection, which is smothering alone but all at once... Ah. Usually I do my best to retreat but they can be quite loud. The sound gives me a headache sometimes and it makes me feel smothered.

At least with Christmas, I have presents to look forward to. That sounds terribly materialistic, but it's true. I do quite enjoy getting gifts and the thought makes me look forward to it. Just the thought of presents alone, I am able to bear all of the other things that go with it. With Thanksgiving, I have no such thing to look forward to. All I can do is grin and bear it.

Thanksgiving gives me such an icky feeling. I know that probably sounds terrible but it's true. There's just so much hassle and it's just awkward for me. My mother says that I'm not alone in that but still. It's not like my relatives are horrible (occasionally obnoxious but not intentionally mean or anything like that) but they just are overwhelming all at once.

Oh well, it's only a few hours. My therapist (the one who is supposed to help with my G.A.D. though I don't really know what she's doing yet) gave me a few tips and I hope they work.

I don't know. Just hope for the best for me. For the rest of you, Happy Thanksgiving and I hope you like it better than I do!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pain in the Rain

Rain, rain, rain. It seems to darken the whole mood of the day, to make it that much drearier. When I was younger, it meant being trapped in the house and unable to play outside. In school, it means slippery floors and yellow warning signs. Of course, there is one thing that makes even worse for me in particular. The rain brings about a pain for anyone who has had the misfortune of having to have a surgery or who happened to have a terrible injury happen to them (mostly people with scars though it's not limited to us alone).

When I was two years old, I had to have hip surgery to fix the dislocated hip the doctors never caught (my mom could have sued that doctor and made our family rich but she says she was too stressed out at the time to go through legal procedures). Then, I had another surgery again in fourth grade when my hip bone came out of the socket. Those two things did not only just result in yearly (or well, less than yearly now) visits to CHOP but also for my two scars and for the things that those scars produced.

I like my scars, don't get me wrong. When my mom had originally talked about putting aloe to lessen my most recent scar, I was horrified. My scar from when I was two is barely visible, a faint little white line on my hip. My scar from my fourth grade surgery... Not so much. It's bluish purple, bumpy and it extends down most of my upper leg. Back then I considered it a mark of what I went through and I still do. Also, it marks me as unique. Sure people might stare when I wear shorts or bathing suits but... Whatever. The only drawback of having a scar is the pain in the rain.

I pretty much know when it's going to rain or if it's raining. My leg/hip area gets all sore and achy and it throbs when I walk. On a few occasions, I've even gotten terrible spasms there though they don't usually last long. My mom, who got into a skiing accident when she was eighteen, can too although she feels pain more so when it snows.

This pain in the rain is a tad bit irritating especially with all of the steps I have to walk to get to classes in high school (a pain felt yesterday, not today). It's also kind of annoying just to walking out of the house with it, especially when the Advil hasn't kicked in yet.

Of course, it had to rain all day and yesterday. This is where the whole "rain, rain go away" nursery rhyme comes in it. Hopefully, my holiday won't be too overshadowed with this kind of thing but oh well.  It is what it is.

Rain is never fun. However, rain is not very compliant with anyone's wishes. At least the plants are enjoying it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Not Getting It

First comes the denial. Then comes the bad grades and getting past the denial. Then after getting past the denial, there's the hope. The hope is there like an ember because you think that things will get better for you. It may be a foolhardy, desperate hope but it's a hope nonetheless. Then, with each failed attempt at comprehension be it getting answers wrong with a tutor or on a test, comes the disappointment. After repeated instances of the above, there comes the frustration. And then, after dealing with the frustration, there's the defeat and the total surrender. That's about where I'm at right now.

It's Math. Math is like that bitch I've fought with all my life, from elementary school to high school. My problem started when I switched math classes, from the below-average, slower class to the fast-paced, normal classes. Now she's come to haunt me in an even worse form. Algebra is the bastard child of words and numbers and quite an ugly one at that (who the hell cares when Train A comes to the station? Why can't the conductor just time it?). I'm afraid we hit it off poorly from the start. I'm currently getting myself out of the hole after two failed tests. It's a sad state of affairs when my mom is ecstatic over a C on a quiz from me yet that's what Algebra has reduced me to.

The weekend before, I was bursting blood vessels trying to do some of the math problems. I was pretty sure I was focusing on it to the point of hyperarousal (concentrating on something to the point of the concentration becoming a distraction) and after a while I couldn't sustain it. At one point, my mom mistook this to be me slacking off but I literally couldn't do it anymore.

It's not like any of the people I've went to for help do anything for me. I'm just as lost as ever after each tutoring session but I feel only more stupid. I feel that no one knows what to do to help me, not even the professionals themselves, but they just wave me off and say I'm good enough after I'm done. They say that and then I fail.

The worst part is that each time I feel I'm getting a grasp on the subject, the class moves on and I am yanked away. At least in my other class, they moved much more slowly.

I don't know what to do. I'm not one of those slacker kids that don't care. I try and I still fail; I go to help again and again and again but I still don't get anything at all. It makes me want to just throw Math to the side and give up on it. However, moving back will only delay the problem so I'm doing my utmost to prevent that. So far I am not successful in my attempts.

So that's what Math has been reduced to for me. Each test taken is just nausea in my stomach, each test returned just a head hung in shame.

For me, Math is the only subject I've really had trouble in. I've never had to study much for anything and everything else has pretty much come easily to me. I have gotten bad grades before but I don't usually get a string of them. I suppose, all things considering, that I'm pretty fortunate in that regard.

I'm starting to understand why the "slackers" are the way they are. A lot of those people are the ones who have eternally given up on school and who constantly face a struggle. I can't even imagine what they must feel. My perfectionism may cause me to be harder on myself and feel stupid quickly but that has to wear down on them after a while.

However, I hope that the joys of Thanksgiving break will allow me to wash these feelings away and come back to it later.

I'm constantly locked into a struggle with Math. Right now, Math's winning and I'm about ready to lay my sword down. English is much more compliant.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Getting Sleep

It's a biological need that the human race constantly takes for granted. No one thinks about it much even though our entire day basically depends on it. That necessity, of course, is sleep. I can basically get everything else I need but sleep is the one thing that constantly eludes my grasp. Breakfast? Check. Constant water drinks throughout the day? Check. Eight hours of sleep? Eh, not so much. Sleep basically recharges our brain and even helps us remember stuff yet people, myself included, constantly put it on the backburner.

Of course, sleep is hard to obtain for anyone who goes to high school. In our district, high schoolers are the first ones to go to school. We need just as much sleep as any kid in elementary school technically but we just aren't the ones who get super grumpy when we don't get enough of it. So, of course, sleep is that thing we all long for and are never able to get. At fourteen, I am already forced to put concealer under my eyes to hide the dark circles under them and I am sure I am not alone.

Time is sleep's enemy and it's people's too. When you have to deal with homework, after-school activities, stress and all the things we love to do in our free time, it's difficult to get it in. It's easy to just admit I need more sleep but the true question is how. Time, as well as sleep, is something that I can't get enough of and the need for it often wins out in the end.

Another problem that teenagers have is their penchant for staying up late. According to my psychiatrist, my problems with falling asleep are not simply due to my being a teenager but with my GAD. I must be utterly exhausted for me to fall asleep successfully, which is why on weekends I stay up until as long as I possibly can. Sometimes, my worries cause me to stay up much longer than I should and I am left tossing and turning in my bed.

This means that the weekend serves as my time to catch up on my sleep. Both days this weekend I ended up staying asleep until eleven in the morning. I actually even suddenly fell asleep as I was reading my magazine and I woke up a few hours later to find the light on and the magazine across my chest. Being as I was stressed out all week, that could have been enough to get me down. I was also warned that sleepiness might be a result of my anxiety meds, which might also be a probable cause.

Apparently, too much sleep makes a person equally as tired as not having enough sleep. This is something I can definitely believe, being as I was super-tired out on the ice rink today. Instead of having my usual energy, I started out tired and sluggish from the start. By the end, I was too tired to function properly and I was stumbling on of the ice rink.

I might be better but I must say that I had a difficult time at it today. Even now, I feel incredibly sleepy.

Sleep is definitely that I need more of and yet am unable to have enough of. I know that my sleep schedule is unhealthy and I wish so badly to change it. However, being as I have three and a half more years of high school left to go, I doubt that will happen.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hitting That Creative Vein

I have met another writer! Yipee! Perhaps she may not be as serious as I am but she is a writer nonetheless and that always gets me excited. Hanging out today with her was all cool and fun and good of course but one detail particularly worthy of blog writing is of our writing discussion.

Writing discussions, of course, always get me thinking of things and this was one of the things that I started thinking about. She told me how she had trouble finishing a lot of her stories and everything and I told my theory to her.

I can think of a couple of things that I needed to hit the creative vein with. The first example would be my first completed novel which I finished when I was ten. Perhaps for some that might seem young but I technically started to write when I was six. So I can definitely tell you that I wasn't that young, it wasn't easy and it took a good effort. Being as I wasn't serious about my writing then and didn't write daily, I wrote a story in about a year that was about three hundred pages in a notebook that I later discovered was factually incorrect and full of grammar errors.

My second one would be keeping up a diary. I had kept up a diary for a little bit in fourth grade but I didn't really enjoy it and the poor, stale writing reflected that. It was in sixth grade when I had discovered a way to have fun capturing my life that I was able to do it. To this day, I still keep a diary. Of course, my writings have changed as I have. Originally, I wrote as if I was writing to people in the future, explaining my thoughts and daily life references in great detail. I occasionally was philosophical. My diary is more the typical sort now. I write about my daily life and my daily thoughts; philosophical writing is interspersed there and rarely get their own entries. Despite how I swore I would never write anything personal, I eventually did and this prompted me to change the names of those I write there (though they would know who they are anyway if they read it).

My third thing, of course, was this blog. There is at least one blog attempt under "theweirdworder" and the rest I've deleted. That took me plenty of tries to successfully maintain a blog but I believe that I have successfully found the trick. I knew it a couple entries in and I couldn't have been more ecstatic at my discovery.

Perhaps writing my first debate prep could be considered that too, though that's hardly creative. It certainly was painful writing the first one but then once I got my act together, the neg one was super easy for me to write.

The trick is to hit that creative vein. It's like striking gold. Once you hit it, everything gushes out and there's no stopping the words from flowing. Of course, there will be days of writer's block and there will be days when you don't want to write. Yet once you hit that creative vein, there's no turning back. Your writing will only improve from then on out and those writing droughts won't last for long.

A family friend once asked me how I could do it. She told me how she had a story idea but she didn't know how to get started writing it. So I told her. You have to hit that vein. Your first novel will probably not be any good but over time you will get better. And once you complete a first novel or your first couple journal/blog entries or your first debate prep, you have that beautiful knowledge that you can go back and do it again. And that, of course, is the challenge that I live for as a writer.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Being the Friend Who Cares More

Disclaimer: I wasn't trying to hate on the friend mentioned below or anything. All friends fight. I was trying to talk about my own issues and how that fight made me think of this.

The friend who cares more. They're the friend who always pushes to schedule the playdates (later called "hang outs", of course), the one who always gives in, the one who tries so damn hard to please the other person, the one who analyzes every move they make in fear of judgment... There always is that friend even if they both deny that's truly the case.

That's, I realize, what's I've always been. That's always been my goddamn problem. It's why I let myself get stepped on or ignored in a group or why I do things I don't want to do. And today, I realize, I'm through with that. I'm not trying to make this a self-pity party post but I'm simply musing and slightly ranting.

I suppose I should inform the reader of the origins of this story. One looking back could say that it was today when I was stressed out because I fought my best friend. I do think the more logical explanation is that it really started out in fifth grade. I was the girl who was always left out of things and even occasionally teased. I suppose that left me with an inferiority complex that I haven't fully dealt with until I had to once again in eighth grade.

The friend who always cares is the one who always takes the burden for everything. By everything I mean, everything. In defense for all of the people I took burdens for it's not like I was usually asked. Nope, I just take it anyway. I take the blame from everything from breaking into lockers with people (I only did ones already rigged so it wasn't like there was anything valuable in there) from apologizing for things I didn't actually feel I did (like just recently). Sometimes taking the burden for things isn't actually required but I mentally do it. Kind of like, Oh, of course she couldn't come with me at lunch. I shouldn't have asked her to come. Taking the burden for everything means getting stomped on and not communicating your needs to the other person.

The friend who cares more is setting herself up for rejection. Sometimes people can only give so much. No matter how much you give in, you will always be disappointed that they don't care as much back. And, quite frankly, that sucks. Usually, the friend who cares more stays quiet. This makes it worse because they stuff the disapointment inside of them until it becomes something only felt in their subconscious. Sometimes, as I found out in the case I will mention below, it leads to later resentment of that individual.

Most of all, the friend who cares is the one that has the least power in the friendship and probably has their senses the most distorted. In the past, I was manipulated by someone who I thought was a friend. Now, I realize that I was more of a pet and accessory than anything else and that while she might have cared about me once, at some point this waned. Now, being as I never talked to her about this, I cannot be for sure what she was thinking but I'm getting this from all of the evidence and from looking at it in hindsight. Like I said before, it wouldn't be something I would go into fully but my being the friend who cared more hurt me a lot in the end. However, that was probably the more dire of my case.

Now today and Wednesday, same thing... Basically, she wanted me to wait up for her/ get her later even though she was doing her homework and holding me up. She made this big deal about me not doing so and I got stressed out over it the rest of the day (even though we have a locker on the same part of the building and she does know where I was). I suppose since it was on a bus, over the phone and since I was already nervous over my upcoming debate, I didn't tell her how I felt. Instead I only apologized. I won't go into full details about what happened (I haven't talked to her yet and she wouldn't to say her side of the story on this blog) but now that I've cooled down I am planning on talking to her. Basically, I felt and feel, like she expects things out of me that she isn't willing to give in return and that she's taking out some of her school stress on me. If I don't talk to her about this, something similar will happen and the resentment I'm feeling now will only fester. I do, however, thank her for leading her to these epiphanies about myself which extend farther than her own actions towards me.

Perhaps this is my distorted perception of things. This could possibly be a matter of which friend has better social skills or which friend has more self-confidence. I always felt I had to make them want to care because they wouldn't otherwise. Like when I'm meeting someone I have to work so hard to put up this casual persona so I don't look stupid. Most of all, I can't let on how much I desperately want to be friends with them. I feel as if I don't do things right, I'll be that weird girl who says all the wrong things and butts into everyone's conversation. Yet, at the same time, I don't want to be just that girl in the background. I'm constantly afraid of doing the wrong things around people and I absolutely scrutinize the hell out of my interactions with afterwards.

When I told my mom that (with reference to the girl I talked to at debate who I am now sitting at lunch with), she rolled her eyes and said of course it's not like that. That them not being the one to initiate further contact or hangouts doesn't mean they don't care. That oftentimes they're nervous or just don't how to do it. That they want me to be the one to do it first.

Along with scrutinizing myself, I scrutinize other people. A lot of times I even do this well most of the time (with the exceptions of the times that my views are clouded. That's a notable exception). I think that the girl I'm hanging out might be like I am in this regard and that she might even see me as the friend who cares less. That her case may have been exactly like what I described above. And that, in the most terrible sort of ways (terrible because I know it's so mean to wish my ailments on people), excites me and puts me at ease a little bit.

Being the friend who cares more sucks. There's no other way to put it. It's better than being "the friend nobody likes" (as Dane Cook so aptly put it) or the one with no friends but it still sucks.

Maybe a reasonable goal to set would be having my friends care as much about me as I care about them. But until then...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Aff Prep

Again, possible typos. Sorry!
            Abraham Lincoln, former President of the United States, said, "You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today." If we evade the social responsibility of assisting one another then the results will come up in unexpected and unforeseen ways.  The assistance of the needy is beneficial to the society and to the individual while not assisting the needy is harmful to both society and the individual. Because I recognize the impact of individual actions upon a society and government, I establish this topic as Resolved: Individuals have a moral obligation to assist people in need.
            Before I proceed, I would like to define a few terms that are relevant to the topic. The following are as defined by Merriam-Webster's dictionary.
            Obligation- A social, legal, or moral requirement, such as a duty, contract, or promise that compels one to follow or avoid a particular course of action.
            Moral obligation- is an obligation arising out of considerations of right and wrong.
            Assist- To assist someone is to give aid or support.
            Need- Need is the necessity arising from the circumstances of a situation or case.
            My value is societal welfare. Societal welfare, also known as social welfare and social responsibility is defined as "an ethical ideology or theory that an entity, be it an organization or individual, has an obligation to act to benefit society at large." Throughout history, various institutions have been given the responsibility of withholding this value such as the government, church, and the individual. Society, of course, includes each and every individual of a particular group and therefore includes the welfare of the individual themselves as well as needy individuals themselves.
            My criterion is altruism. Altruism is defined by Merriam-Webster's dictionary as "unselfish regard or devotion for the welfare of others". The term was created by French philosopher Auguste Conte who contributed much to altruism and his own similar theory, positivism. Usually "altruism" can refer to biological and ethical altruism, the latter being a philosophy and the former science. Altruism states that the end result of every moral action is the action's benefit to others. It states that every individual has the responsibility to add to the pleasure and lessen the pain of others. The theory of altruism states that one must love others at one's self and to do behavior that promotes the survival of others even at the cost to one's self. Also it's stated that altruism is even one's following of benevolent impulses. This would follow biological altruism which states that living beings often behave altruistically as to benefit other organisms.
            My first contention is that the assistance of the needy is beneficial as a whole to society while a lack of this in a society is harmful. For example, according to the BBC, in Finland citizens are required to pay 50% of their taxes to the government and in many government services for the needy. Their school systems rank some of the best in the world. In other words, the contribution of their citizens directly benefits themselves. Finland has one of the best health care services in the world and according to the UK's newspaper the Guardian, ranked number one on the OED (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development)'s test for numeracy, literacy and science tests. Another example of this would be volunteering. Each year thousands of dollars is saved because of volunteer's efforts, money that the United States government would have to spend on employees for charities. This money is given directly back to the people in services that benefit people as a whole. On the other side of this, an example of the needy not being helped would be pre-revolutionary France and other societies where the proletariat, or working class, were oppressed. For France, these people's time of need came after a series of crop failures that  lead to the price of bread rising. Being as this was the staple of food for many of them, this lead to starvation yet they were forced to pay heavy taxes and received no help from the upper class.  The proletariat later revolted against the upper class in the French Revolution.
            Secondly, my next contention is that not helping the needy is harmful to one's self, as helping others builds a sense of morality necessary to the building of one's foundation. I mentioned volunteering above. As well as the benefits it has to society, it teaches responsibility, resourcefulness, and duty. Volunteering also makes one more aware of one's self and of the issues in the world around them. According to certain studies, volunteering can increase your well-being, decrease chronic pain and lower depression (Kellicker). However, helping someone in need is not limited to volunteering but can be helping someone one sees in need and other actions. Giving blood and donating money are other ways to help people. Giving blood is especially important because there is no telling what situations might make one need blood. According to the Red Cross, a single car accident victim may require one hundred pints of blood. Helping others makes one a more contributive and useful person and as a person one has the responsibility to give back.  
            Finally, my last contention is that it is in one's best interest to help the needy. According to the theory of reciprocal altruism developed by Trivers, organisms who behave altruistically will have others behave the same to them and hence they themselves will later be benefited. Also, helping the needy contributes to the well-being of society as stated above. This, in turn, contributes to the well-being of the individual as they are a member of society and dependant on its health. only do they have an obligation to society to fulfill it but in a way, they have it to themselves. What they dole out will come directly back to them. Also, it is important to note the definition I provided for need. Anyone can be involved in situations and cases in which they need the help of others. For example, one could easily be involved in a disaster where they would need blood or financial assistance. Yet if one does not feel that it is their obligation to help others in need, how they can they be expected to be helped in their own time of need?
            I now stand ready for cross-examination.  

My First Debate Meet

In. Out. In. Out. In. Out. In, In, In, oh God...

That was basically my thought process as I walked in the door of the school the meet was at. Everyone, people who have debated already included, said I would be fine but of course I can never listen to them. I was struggling to keep it together.

What if I suck? What if it's terrible? What it my opponent is a senior? What if I'm not really good enough, never will be? What if I'm not good at this and then will have to get out and not have this on my college transcript? Will my other clubs be good enough. Oh God, what if I humiliate myself and they think I'm terrible and stupid?

Even as I went in the buildings, the thoughts wouldn't stop. Fortunately, I was able to talk to one of the other kids there (she was shadowing, not debating). And then it came to actually do it...
 Strangely enough, when I was actually about to debate, I didn't feel as nervous as I thought I would (my meds kicking in, I suppose. I feel calm at random moments now. Yay!). I still had the racing thoughts but it felt kind of weird, like something was missing. And then I saw my opponent and as her brown eyes bore into mine, I steeled myself to debate. Somehow I dissociated a little bit and this strange surreal feeling began. And then she began to speak

Of course, I was creamed my first round. Creamed. It turns out that she was a junior, which might explain it, and the fact that I didn't do a number of things that would have been useful to do (like writing down her contentions, or points). She sounded so mean when she was talking, saying how terrible my points were and how I totally didn't link to her contentions. Afterwards I got to talking to her and she turned out to be really nice (and that it was just debate talk), as well as the judge who gave us feedback.

I actually won my second round. It turns out that the people putting everything together screwed up and I got neg, my better argument, for the second time in a row. I was up against another kid who was doing it for the first time. By no means was he bad but I was just better and somehow my points flowed more.

My final round was close. I ended up talking to my competitor for the first fifteen minutes because the judge who was supposed to judge us wasn't there. She had interesting views and also was a socialist; we talked about school and different forms of government until we realized that our judge was supposed to be there. I suppose that made her harder to oust in the end, as well as our nervousness over debating a side I didn't get make minimal edits to my aff argument).

As usual, all that worrying was for nothing. I ended up ending it eating pizza I bought and having a very interesting conversation with a girl I met that resumed on the bus (yay, another intelligent person! I don't find those too often).

I'll get to repeat the process two weeks from now with possibly less stress.

My Neg Debate Prep

I posted my aff earlier; debaters for LD also have to do a neg. Here it is. Even though I disagree with what I'm saying, it actually worked out pretty well. *Warning: There might be typos. I read it so I self-corrected myself.
Philosopher John Stuart Mill said, "The worth of the state, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it." A strong society is made up of strong people; a strong society cannot exist when needy individuals drag it down. Thus, society in which needy individuals flourish at the cost of those around them is bound to be disastrous. Therefore, I do not establish this topic as resolved. Individuals definitely do not have an obligation to help those in need.
            Before I proceed, I would like to define a few terms that are relevant to the topic. The following are as defined by Merriam-Webster's dictionary.
            Obligation- A social, legal, or moral requirement, such as a duty, contract, or promise that compels one to follow or avoid a particular course of action.
            Moral obligation- is an obligation arising out of considerations of right and wrong.
            Assist- To assist someone is to give aid or support.
            Need- Need is the necessity arising from the circumstances of a situation or case.
            My value is utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is defined by Merriam-Webster's Dictionary as "a theory that the aim of action should be the largest possible balance of pleasure over pain or the greatest happiness of the greatest number". The two greatest contributors to utilitarianism are Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, contributor of the quote I mentioned earlier. Jeremy Bentham held that human beings are guided by pleasure and pain (i.e. the seeking of pleasure and the avoidance of pain) and that the best actions are the ones that produce the greatest amounts of pleasure while the worst are ones that produce the greatest amounts of pain and unhappiness. Therefore, utilitarianism was that the best actions were the ones that produced the greatest amounts of pleasure and happiness in the most people. While John Stuart Mill did not see this pleasure as taking on as hedonistic of a form, he was a follower of Bentham and agreed with most of this.
            My criterion is egoism. Egoism is defined as "a doctrine that individual self-interest is the valid end of all actions". According to Stanford's Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the term "egoism" refers to three different kinds of egoism- psychological, ethical and rational egoism. Psychological egoism claims that each person has only their own welfare in mind. This includes behavior that is would be considered altruistic and allows for weakness of one's resolve (being as it is often for self-preservation). Ethical egoism is the theory that the most moral action is that action that best promotes the interest of the individual. Rational egoism, on the other hand, also states this and also states that the promotion of one's own interest is always in agreement with reason and makes the most sense.
            My first contention is that it is not in the individual's best interest to help a person in need, especially when that person in need could be placed in a situation of need themselves. In the situation of a crime, it would most often be dangerous for a person to intervene. Take, for example, a story on ABC News. In 2010, Ted Edmond attempted to intervene and help the clerk in a Virginia gas station who was being held at gunpoint. Instead of having any positive benefit, Ted Edmond was instead shot four times while the robber ended up getting away. In the case where a person is directly in danger, they are likely to panic and put the individual trying to help in danger. A drowning victim, for example, is likely to panic and claw or pull down any rescuer who tries to assists them which is why it is dangerous to help them without proper training (Brouhard). A choking victim often flails and resists in similar situations, which would make it difficult to help them.
            Next, my second contention is that it is not the individual's responsibility to help one in need but it is often the responsibility of that person in need to help themselves. Take, for example, America's homeless. According to nationalhomeless.org, approximately 20 to 25% of single homeless people suffer from a severe mental illness and according to the Office of National Drug Control, 31% of America's homeless suffer from a substance abuse problem. While these are complex issues that don't have easy solutions, there is help available for these individuals and it can also be argued that it is impossible to truly assist them unless they want help themselves. Also, going back to my first contention, these factors may not make it safe for an individual to help a homeless person being as they might react in a dangerous way. Another example of this would be if a person was in a dire financial situation such as debt or looming foreclosure. Many times the individual has gotten themselves involved in the situation themselves, by either carelessness or not reading the contract properly. Thus, if the people in need have gotten involved in the situation themselves then it is their responsibility to get themselves out of it.
            In conclusion, my final contention is that it is not in the interest of society to help those in need, a society which the individual is a part of. Needy individuals only drag down a society; they are often an economic and social burden and they don't produce anything. Therefore, it is unfair to say that individuals have a moral obligation to assist them. Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between poverty and incarceration, proving that not only do needy individuals often not contribute but often only do harm. 53% of the prison population made less than $10,000 a year before their incarceration (Williams). Also, according to the U.S. Printing Office, half of those who use welfare use it for more than two years. In a society where people are forced to fend for themselves and no one feels morally forced to assist others, only the strongest and most able to adapt will end up on top. Why should we as individuals feel morally compelled to help others when it often ultimately hurts ourselves in the end?
            I now stand ready for cross-examination.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day Thoughts

Some kids were off today and some kids got boring assemblies that gave them the opportunity to miss class. I was the latter. At least that boring assembly got me thinking though and that's  why I'm writing this blog post.

For those who don't know, Veteran's Day is for both those both living and dead who have served. It's different than Memorial Day, which honors all who have ever been killed in action. Today is the day when they tell us how grateful we should be for what we have/ how patriotic we should be, talk about our current wars and past wars and "honor the troops".

For our current wars, I'm opposed to them and I'm glad we're in the process of getting out of them. My feelings about the troops themselves, however, are rather complicated. If I were to try to explain them in real life, they would most likely come across in a negative way and that's not my intention at all. I know that I should support them and I do, in a way. Someone has to do what they're doing obviously and I admire a person who would be brave enough (for whatever reason) to take that job. If women started getting drafted for the war and my bad hip wouldn't be enough to keep me out, I would run faster than you could say "run". I'm so not kidding. And that's if my mom didn't break my legs or try to paralyze me first. So I really do appreciate that someone is volunteering so that my loved ones and I don't have to do so now or in the future. I may not appreciate why anyone would willingly do it but still, I appreciate it nonetheless.

It's just that the word "hero" doesn't feel right to be quite right to be applied in this situation. I mean maybe other people can toss it left and right, but I'm not one of those people. The word "hero" is pretty heavy duty to me. I also think that when people say that the troops are "defending our country/ freedoms", they are talking out of emotion and not really thinking about what they're saying. I can't say something without thinking about it and believing it (which is why I don't say "under God" when I say the pledge in class. It sounds creepy and theocratic, especially considering when it was added, and I am so not for that). Perhaps I could concede that serving in the military is honorable and heroic in and of itself but not that that necessarily makes that person qualified to be called a "hero". While it technically would be different for soldiers who have actually fought in combat, it's a little bit more difficult than that. I feel that it absolutely has to pervade that person's life to the point where it becomes the embodiment of that person (for example, the point when a person is selfish rather than simply doing selfish thing or when they become a monster rather than simply one who is doing terrible things).

One of my biggest issues is that I feel that this kind of language is putting these men and women on pedestals. They are just that, men and women. I think it's not far to use blanket terms for them because they're all different and they all have different views. I think some people paint them as men and women who enlisted purely out of love for their country and as these super-virtuous, super-patriotic people. While that is probably true for a portion of them, I'm not sure that it is for all of them. Many go because of financial reasons and because they seek government assistance with paying with college. That's not a bad reason, of course, but not this big, noble one that people are painting. Some, of course, didn't even want to go but were drafted. There are very good, honest soldiers out there. Then there are the ones in the middle. And then, on the other end of the spectrum, there are terrible, terrible men in uniform (fortunately, they aren't the norm but let's not pretend they don't exist). You know, the ones who take advantage of their position to rape and/or maim the civilians and those below them in rank (specifically women who have a greater chance of getting raped while serving than killed).

Also, not all of them were protecting our freedoms or even anyone's. In all the wars our nation has ever fought, I have to say that World War II is the only war I can see this being true for. Maybe the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, though that's questionable.

Another thing is that soldiers technically aren't the only ones protecting our freedom and our security. Police officers protect us from threats that are much closer to home and therefore more of a threat to us, though they aren't given this hero status(not that I would want them to. I'd be worried about how corrupt cops would be dealt with if this was the situation). The F.B.I also does so. Ambulance responders and doctors protect us; they save our lives.  I would also like to argue that those protecting and adding to our rights (activists, not lawyers) and speak out against wrongdoing protect our freedoms also.

I also object to the word "hero" being applied to all who have worn a uniform. Yes, when someone signs the contract, it's assumed they can be stationed anywhere and at anytime. Knowing that and signing anyway is very noble and honorable as well as brave. But to use the word "hero"? That's a bit strong. There definitely is a distinction between someone who actually risked their lives on the battlefield and someone who signed a contract knowing they could do end up doing so. One is in theory; the other is in practice.

I think a lot of people are like this because so many demonize war and therefore the troops. I don't think that's fair either. Calling them murderers and terrible people is totally unfair, especially considering the ones who fought in the battlefield had to do what they could to defend themselves. I'm opposed to demonizing anybody and I think the treatment of those who returned home from Vietnam was terrible. The image of the men (many of whom were actually boys) coming home after being there, lonely and scared, makes my heart ache. I also feel terrible for anyone having to cope with what they've experienced on the battlefield, especially when their inability to do so leads to PTSD, addiction and suicide.

At the assembly I went to, one of the speakers made a comment about how our level of patriotism and  willingness to serve ourselves affects how we see the troops. I will confess that I'm not that patriotic. I've thought about it and maybe it's because I'm too logical and because I'm so reluctant to categorize myself on group terms. The super-patriotic people seem to be emotionally-based to me and would be the first to be easily manipulated should someone or something try to take over America (this often doesn't happen slowly most of the time). Perhaps it's also because I don't understand what patriotism supposed to mean. Pride for our culture? Our government? Our politicians? The troops? I'm confused. I mean, I'm glad I don't live in a third-world democracy but at the same time I see the U.S. as it is. It's not number one anymore and it isn't this perfect country. Our government, I will admit, was set up well. However, I disagree with the system of capitalism as it is, our culture is seriously flawed, and our politicians are screwed up on so many levels (not sure how this reflects on government). I already went into the troops.

Of course, the rest of the day went on as usual. I'm sure this wasn't even really thought about by anyone except me. Still, I couldn't and still can't help but think about it. Despite my opinions on the service itself, I cannot deny what these men and women have went through. These are the faces I pass in the hallway and even on the streets. It kind of annoys me, even, that they cram this into a day (or two, I suppose) and that's the end of the discussion.

In conclusion, I want to say that this conversation is needed but it's needed in a truthful context. These men and women shouldn't be reduced as faces on the wall but as real people and their experiences need to be represented in an authentic way.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Election Day

The phrase "Election Day" conjures a variety of images. Most likely, one would think of voting polls and ballots and, if that person is a student, a day off from school. Yet what does Election Day really mean? What does the results of voting mean for us?

Voting is such an arbitrary, mindless thing to so many people; for many it's just a task to get done. That is, of course, if they do vote at all. This year was only local elections so many did not even see the need to vote at all.

For as long as I have been aware of social and political issues (which has been since about sixth grade), I have longed to vote and have my say. For a long time, it seemed quite unfair that I couldn't vote when I was more informed than many of the people in my family. My longing to vote still makes me quite baffled at adults choosing not to vote.

Of course, that's not to say that I don't somewhat understand their reasons. Many (including, at times, me) are bored with politics or disgusted with the corruption that's going on. Still, voting is one of the easiest ways that we Americans can speak our minds and make a difference at the same time (electoral college for the presidency aside). Anyway, things might be corrupt and politics may care too much about being reelected to do something but... How is sitting around whining about how terrible things are going to help? Shouldn't we try to exert some control over what's going on?

Local politicians (and state too) are who make the real difference in people's lives, not federal ones. They are the ones who decide how much taxes citizens will pay and what decisions will be made concerning education and certain programs. Of course, some people erroneously think that that federal officials have total control over the economy but even that is mostly in the hands of the bankers on Wall Street.

Unfortunately, general knowledge about our local politicians is pretty limited as well as access to it. People only know the signs they see around town and that's pretty limited. That doesn't tell a person what that politician's views are and what they stand for. However, newspapers usually offer information about candidates as well as the Internet. A few minutes of one's time researching could really expand one's knowledge of the candidates as well as what they stand for (I would also like to take this time to advocate critical thinking skills. Reading what politicians write and hearing what they say while actually thinking are great ways of building those up).

Many people feel that those few minutes are a waste of their time. While most of those people don't bother with local elections, some people of those who feel that it's a waste of their time still vote anyway. Needless to say, voting blindly is worse than voting at all. Not only is it basically ineffective, but it may be unintentionally making things worse for everyone while giving democracy a bad name. Voting for someone just because they share one's party is only contributing to the divisive, uncompromising party attitudes and voting for someone just because they have a funny name or something is just... childish, to say the least.

Election Day is far more important than many Americans realize. It is more than a day off from school or something to take up time but it is a day that could possibly better things for America and provide the change people have been clamoring for.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Titles and Names in Stories

Nope, not good enough. Doesn't have quite the right ring. Sounds weird. Doesn't fit in with the cultural theme so it'll sound weird. That's basically the process I go through mentally when trying to come up with names for things in the stories I write.

I have to say it's my least favorite part of writing stories, especially ones that happen to be fantasy (I don't write urban fantasy either. Nope, I have to make up a totally different world out of scratch of course because that's just the way I am). It's quite an agonizing process. I mean, coming out of the stories is fun because it doesn't involve as much but coming up with names is so exacting. Sometimes I tell myself that I'm going to settle but no, oh no, I have to have the perfect name. So, baby names book in lap, I sit down and try to flip through it while hoping that something will click.

I spent last week trying to think of names for everyone in the story that I had come up with, as well as the countries that existed in that world. That is always torture to me, putting names on the people in my head. Sometimes I even get this urge to go up to them and coax their names out of them (I'm sure that they would refuse me even if they could hear me).

For names, at least, I have my baby names' book. Alright, I can hear the laughter and feel the weird looks now but that book is incredibly useful. It's definitely worn but worn from use. I found it in a Borders' [insert weepy reminiscing moment about Borders here] store at my mall on clearance a few years ago. The cover is virtually ripped off and the binding of the book is wearing out. It's more useful for realistic fiction and historical fiction stories, yes, but my baby names book is of use in fantasy stories too. I mean, do you know how many crazy names there in that book? A lot. Sometimes I can even use the names straight out of the book and people will think I made it up myself. The books are so helpful that they help me come up with the names of nations in the worlds I come up with.

My naming process is like this. I sit down with a paper, a pen and that dog-eared copy of my baby names book in front of me. And then for like a half an hour or an hour or so I try to come up with name (with tons of breaks in between because it's not always something that can be forced). I write things down, scratch it out and then try to come up with one that suits the character more. Sometimes I try to work with one sound and tweak it and then I realize it isn't working out. From there, I have to start from scratch. Around this point, I usually want to chuck the paper at the wall and throw my hands up in surrender. Of course, as I stated above, I often make a bunch of names have a similar sound to them because they're from a similar culture/ language (I mean, come on, you can't have two names that sound nothing alike and have people believe that the characters are from the same place. I mean can you imagine having two biological sisters in a book named Keoko and Carmen?).

The naming process is just so frustrating too because in the back of my head, part of me realizes that the story has a 50/50 chance of making it. This process is what makes it so awesome to have the perfect name just pop into your head and makes you even more grateful for it (it rarely happens but it does happen. It just happened to me recently with the name "Nikojav", pronounced Neek-OH-jaave. I decided to have the one culture sound Russian and I imagined all the people from that country to have Russian-sounding accents/ first language). Of course, there is that awesome moment of satisfaction when I've discovered the perfect name of a character but still... That naming process sucks.

The naming process for names and nations isn't the worst part though. Oh no. That spot is taken for titles, an area of terrain I am forced to venture into with no help at all.

This weekend was one of those send-all-the-revised-poems-and-short-stories-to-places-that-can-publish- them. My list of places to send were this Canadian magazine called the Claremont Review, Cicada magazine and this regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards (at least those were the ones I had to send out. I e-mailed two other contests/magazines). This meant that I would have to come up with titles for all of the unnamed short stories on my computer. Yay! Take one for instance my story about a ghost who died in an asylum taking revenge on her husband. "Ghost Story", while a suitable file name, wasn't going to cut it for a title. So I had to spend all of the afternoon thinking of a title.

Titles go through a similar process but I have to use my ideas for the story to think of something. Of course, there's never any awesome quote to pull  from for the title for me so I have to seriously examine my planned story's content. And, of course, the things I think of are totally lame until the millionth try or so. Towards the end, I have to choose between two or three awesome-sounding titles, which makes the process even more agonizing for me.

So, of course, the process of naming things is never fun. Ever. If somebody ever finds the guide for how to have fun while naming things I would absolutely love to hear it.

Of course this does make me think- if naming things in my books is this hard, what will naming my kids be like?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Right about six o'clock, it began. That repeated ringing on the doorbell, those little kids with big eyes and store bought costumes... That is the beauty of trick-or-treating. And trick-or-treating is the beauty of Halloween.

With Halloween comes the end of October, the end of fall and the definite marking of a different season. This Halloween marked my first white Halloween ever, which was definitely a strange and weird feeling considering how far down I live (I'm sure New England has had a few October snowfalls in their history however).

Okay, I know I'm a freshman in high school. I know that I'm deemed too old for this by most and that I probably should have stayed home and given out candy to trick-or-treaters (accepting my mom's candy bribe). But... Well I was sucked into it. So off trick-or-treating I went, pillowcase in hand (it didn't used to be a pillowcase but I'm too old to have a real bag bought for me I guess) and costume donned.

Of course older kids like me come out later. I probably went trick-or-treating with my friend and a friend of hers at like 6:45ish, give or take a few minutes. Before we left, her mom had to snap pictures of us (her phone was out of memory so I snapped it on mine). I was a bum, my friend was the lead singer of her favorite band (Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance as he was dressed in the music video for "Helena". She's usually Michael Jackson, her favorite singer), and her friend was the middle of the road (she got the most compliments and comments).

My feet were wet and cold, my body sore and my arms heaving from the weight of the bag (I'm weak, I know) yet... It was fun. I'm not sure how to exactly explain it but it was fun. There's something about being on the hunt and being with people you know that brings a certain element to it. Plus, my friend happens to live in a neighborhood of townhouses so that's like double the candy of neighborhoods with regular houses.

The popular thing this year seemed to be Reese's (pieces, cups and little pumpkin shapes) and Snickers (for those who let you pick. My friend doesn't have Snickers so she doesn't have many). I have to say some people were pretty generous in their candy but some people were just... Weird. I got a juicebox, rings, and one empty box of Nerd's (some little kid in the house got to it first, LOL).

We had to be out there for two hours at least. I don't how many streets we crossed but it seems like her neighborhood is so much bigger than mine. A group of obnoxious girls, two of whom I knew (with their sisters, I guess), trailed us. The ones I knew are vapid, loud and obnoxious, yes, but I don't notice because they don't bother me (there's a lot of obnoxious girls in my classes. I've learned to tune them out). Anyway, I guess fatigue, a sugar rush and the combination of both of them being there/ together exacerbated their obnoxiousness because they were yelling, talking loudly and everything. At some points, they interacted with us. Because my friend was dressed up as the leader singer of a band we both like, we sung songs from the album that song was on and they made rude comments. Eventually we lost them though.

By the time we went back to her house, I was totally drained. We basically just sat around her house and swapped out candy we didn't like until our parents picked us up.

Needless to say, Halloween is quite a unique event. It's a shame that it only comes around once a year.