Friday, December 28, 2012


   Merry Christmas, one and all! (Though considering how long it has been since I blogged, I don't imagine there are many of you dear readers left to wish a "Merry Christmas" to).

   Ah, Christmas break! That sweetest time of the year has arrived, and, indeed, is nearly past.

   "Don't say that!" shrieks the Optimist in my mind, who would like to think that this joyous repose could continue always.

   "It's true," mumbles the Pessimist, "Before you know it you'll be back learning anti-derivatives and giving speeches in that cold, dark place known as 'community college'."

   Yes, dear reader, you read that correctly. I will be giving speeches.


   As in public speaking, the bane of my existence.

   This is not something I have chosen myself, this is a class I am being forced into. My imminent death-by-public-speaking gives me cause to wonder two things:

   Firstly: why do I need to be able to speak publicly in order to become a mathematician? Mathematicians are, by nature, sworn enemies of oral presentations (teachers don't count, they are a breed all their own). The career we enter generally requires solitude or possibly group work, not speeches. And I, for one, am an introvert. I do not think it an especially massive logical leap to assume that most math majors are as well.

   To clarify, introverts are those who enjoy solitude or small groups. Ask us to speak up in class and you will receive a stony silence. It is against our nature. Many of us would rather spork ourselves in the eye that endure a session of public speaking.

   This leads me into my second question: What on earth am I going to speak about?

   I honestly have nothing interesting to say that will last a full five minutes.

   Now, to this the Optimist in my mind replies, "Talk about something you care about! About your passions, and the things that are important to you."

   And I will step aside to let the raging Pessimist have a go at her, "Right, 'Talk about your passions' isn't going to work. You see, Jesus' love and grace is a sore topic in the frozen purgatory that is 'community college'. Math tends to make people's eyes glaze over a bit after thirty seconds, so there goes that idea.

..... when we reach this point, we begin to have an identity crisis, as we rack our brains to remember what else we really and truly are passionate about. So well done, dear Optimist, now not only do we not have a topic to speak on, we are also severely confused. And referring to ourselves as 'we', which can by no means be a good sign."

   Well, the Pessimist seems to have summed that up pretty accurately.

   Anyways, since I don't have to think about that for another week or so, I will return to thinking about Christmas and New Years.

   Ah, Christmas! The scent of fresh pine trees, the shining decorations, the music, the friends and family drawing near.

   Many people would add that we also enjoy eggnog around this time of year, but I would present the idea that drinking eggnog is a bit like what I imagine drinking vomit would be like. You enjoy that.

   And on that note, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

What Be This New Terror?

   I have discovered the bane of my existence. I came across them last night, those most appalling, confusing, dangerous things: one-way streets.

   I recently got my driver's license, so I've been enjoying scooting along the highways and byways at shocking speeds (like... 45... *gasp*); and I've been going very exciting places, such as Safeway and the Library. So far, there haven't been that many scares. The worst was probably that time that I thought a two-way stop was a four-way stop when, in fact, it wasn't. I started meandering across the intersection and then looked over and noticed the big truck that was still coming.

   "Not stopping.... not... NOT STOPPING!!???" the Optimist inside my head screamed, frantically stepping on the gas.

   The Pessimist glared at her, "Are you trying to get us killed? What is wrong with you, you've only just got your license and you go and do something stupid like that?"

   "I'm sorry, I wasn't thinking," mumbled the Optimist, face flushed with shame.

   "Obviously. That's usually your problem, isn't it?" the Pessimist sneered.

   The Optimist was about to come up with a stinging retort when she suddenly remembered that she is, on the whole, incapable of doing so. She sat there with her mouth half open for a moment, made a noise like "um", and then turned up the radio, praying a quiet prayer of thanks that she had not been flattened by the semi.

   Anyways, that whole ordeal was completely forgotten last night when I discovered one-way streets.

   I had gone to meet some friends at a local restaurant located in the more city-ish part of my city. Getting there was a piece of cake.

   "Look at us go!" squealed the Optimist, "I'm getting so much better at driving!"

   The problem started when I left said restaurant and headed for home... out of a different driveway. I pulled out onto the street and then realized that it wasn't the right one.

   "No problem," said the Optimist, flipping on the turn signal to head back towards the street she wanted.

   But then, as I pulled up to the next light and prepared to turn right, it happened. A sign loomed above me:


   it boldly proclaimed.

   "But...but... I have to go that way, not this way!" the Optimist's eyes were wide as she obeyed the sign.

   The Pessmist stretched lazily in the seat beside her, "Just find a street and turn around."

   But that didn't work... and neither did the next... or the next.. or the next.

   The Optimist said, "What do I do?"

   And, for once, the Pessimist had no response.

   "Maybe I'll try to find a street I recognize..." said the Optimist after a moment.

   Long story short (-er than I could have made it), none of the streets worked. I ended up in a pretty sketch neighborhood. I was sitting at a light, watching a very creepy man walk past (no joke, a trick of the light made it so that I couldn't see his face... like he was wearing a mask or something), when I realized it was time to call in reinforcements.

   "Hi, Mom," I said, though the Optimist in my head was really saying, "Mommy help!!! I'm lost and I'm going to get axe-murdered by a man whose face I can't see in a part of town I don't know!"

   She, like so many times before, sacrificed quality sleep time in order to help me out of a very pathetic problem. I do love that lady.

   So, I survived, but just barely, you know, just barely.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Truth

   Whether you love God already, or you aren't sure about what to think, or you don't believe in God at all... watch this. It's a little bit slow at the beginning, but it is the Truth.

   If you want to know about Jesus Christ, and His plan for us, here it is in a very short version. And it's beautiful. Because He is beautiful.

   Jesus Christ overwhelms me. I never want to stop being overwhelmed, amazed, and humbled by the Truth... and God Almighty will never stop doing that and so much more for me, and for anyone who asks Him.

   It is my prayer, and my deepest desire, that you know how much Jesus loves you. No matter what you've done, no matter who you are, and no matter what you will do, He will always love you. He is waiting for you with open arms and more love than you could ever imagine.

   "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."  ~2 Peter 3:9

   Want to know more? Message me! I'd love to talk about it, and get you a Bible so that you can read God's word for yourself and see that it is true.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Loony Luna

   Once again, spontaneity has played a leading role in a decision for me. I was going to a costume party dressed as Luna Lovegood, from Harry Potter. You know, this one:

   The one who always wears very quirky clothes, like this:

   "It's going to be so fun!" squealed the Optimist.

   "Pull yourself together. It's a costume, for pity's sake," retorted the Pessimist, who was selecting a very drab, ordinary outfit for the day.

   "No, no, no," said the Optimist, "You're not wearing that. We need to be quirky, you know. We'll get some funky clothes, and hair dye, and--"

   "Hair dye!?" the Pessimist shrieked, pulling a hat onto her head protectively, "No way!"

   "Relax. It's temporary."

   The Pessimist muttered to herself as she shuffled off to pull her hair back in a very ordinary way. 


   "You promised it would be temporary! Why do I ever trust you?" the Pessimist cried.

   "Well... they didn't have any temporary stuff. But don't worry, it looks nice and it only lasts a couple of months." 

   "I did not agree to this."

   "But it's perfect for the character! Just watch!" 

   .... and with that, the Optimist transformed from this:

   Into this:

 The Pessimist said nothing, eyeing the purple tights with disgust.

Friday, January 20, 2012

First Impressions

   First impressions. They are, as it happens, important. They shouldn't be, not really I mean. The first time you meet someone, you are making a snap judgement. We all do it, admit it.

   You don't agree? Think about it. You see a girl in the grocery store wearing her pajamas. She has her hair pulled up in a messy bun, and she's wearing sneakers. What do you think about her? What do you assume about who she is? And that guy who walks past you, or rather, swaggers past you, with his hat on backwards and a cloud of Axe Body Spray floating along with him, what about him? What about that lady you see with her kids, with her hair disheveled as she tells little Jimmy (for the millionth time), "No,"?

   We all make assumptions, and if you are anything like me, they are usually wrong. Tragically, I'm no Sherlock Holmes, and I guessing that you aren't either. You can't look at someone and know their life's why, oh why do we try so hard?

   You may be wondering what brought this on... never fear, my faithful readers, I will bore you with that story. :)

   So, on my first day of printmaking class, for whatever reason, I decided to wear a skirt. I like skirts. They make me feel pretty, and sometimes you just need to wear a skirt and feel feminine in this world that is constantly removing the femininity of women and replacing it with some strange non-gender-associated thing. Now, on a side note, please don't get me wrong about this.
   I have no problem with women working or voting or getting educations... obviously, I appreciate both these things and others. However, I find myself longing for the days of chivalry. The days when men were men and women were women and each respected the other. The men were gentlemen (or at least, it was more expected for them to be so). They held doors for ladies and didn't try to treat them like "one of the guys", because they realized that they weren't. And ladies did their part, being kind, gracious, and, yes, feminine. I sometimes feel that I've been born into the wrong decade. Then, I remind myself that sin has always been around, no matter what disguise it robed itself in. Anyways... back to the present and the topic of first impressions.

   On the first day of class, I wore my adorable jean skirt. Super cute. I wore a v-neck t-shirt (very modest and not at all low cut), a grey cardigan sweater (which same made me feel very old-fashioned, yay!), stockings, and black flats. I pulled my hair back into a bun.

   Now, this sort of outfit is pretty much stereotypical "Homeschool Wear"... which, being homeschooled, isn't a problem for me. However, "Homeschool Wear" brings with it (of course) the rest of the assumptions about homeschoolers. You know what they are: Homeschool kids don't have friends, have absolutely no media input, are incredibly sheltered, and have no social skills. That's what they say, anyways.

   I don't know who "they" are, but I'm pretty sure that most of the time, "they" are wrong. And in this instance, they most certainly are.

   I will not spend this entire blog talking about the many stupid things people say to homeschoolers ("Do you ever... like... meet people?" ... "Why yes, I've just met you, haven't I?"), but I will comment on how hugely first impressions can impact you.

   The class immediately caught onto my "conservative Christian homeschooler" vibe... though, mostly, it was my instructor. The Greenie, as I now dub him, is usually nice, but I get the feeling that, had I come into the first class wearing a 100% recycled-from-elephant poop and chicken feathers sweatshirt, had my hair flying frizzy and a la naturale, while I was sipping my healthy veggie juice from my eco-friendly cup... he might have viewed me differently.

   I'm not really offended by this, because I've realized that I don't care, but it's interesting the way people look at me when I look the part of a homeschooler. You can tell a lot about what a person is thinking from their eyes.

   Anyways, this whole thing just reminded me of how wrong first impressions can be. I'm homeschooled, Christian, conservative, and proud of it... but unlike the stereotypes, I have friends, social skills, and media input (for better or worse, haha).

   It just makes me wonder... how many times a day do I misjudge people?

   Do I really want to know?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Here We Go Again

   I'm taking a printmaking class. Yes, yes, I know what you must be thinking: "Here she goes again." And as that thought swirls around in your mind, I have to admit that you have a point.

   It is true that most of the things in my life happen either on a whim or because I don't know what I'm doing. Writing? It sounded like a good idea. Painting? I was bored and trying something new. Judo? I wanted to be a ninja, and so I found a ninja class. Japanese Language class? I needed another class and everything else was basically full. Dance? I just... like it. And of course, the most surprising thing: aviation.

   You may well wonder why my interest in aviation was surprising. Well, all throughout my childhood I was afraid of basically everything, including ladders and heights. So, when I announced that my dream job involves cruising around the wild blue yonder, it came as a bit of a shock to my friends and family. I still remember when I told my Mom about it... *cue flashback music*

   "Hey look. You want to learn to fly?" I said, as we passed the local airport with its sign proclaiming: "Learn To Fly!" to passersby.

   She laughed.

   "I actually kinda think that would be cool."

   Her eyes were huge, and, as she turned to look at me, they stated quite clearly, "Who are you and what have you done with my daughter?"

   Anyways... after the initial surprise was over, she became (as always) very supportive. Though she still clings firmly to her belief that any aircraft with less that eight seats is a rattling, flying death-trap.
   "She may have a point," said the Pessimist.

   "But, (as a dear friend once pointed out to me), if I it is my time to die, then I will certainly do it. It might as well happen in an exciting way. ...That was a misquote, but the basic idea is still there as it was told me, and I have not forgotten it," returned the Optimist, gazing wistfully up at the clear blue sky.

   The Pessimist rolled her eyes and said, "You're going to kill me some day."

   Anyways. All of that to say that I am taking a printmaking class. I wasn't entirely sure what that would entail until I went, but it sounds pretty spiffy.

   My Instructor is a semi-greasy, well-tattooed, bearded hippie. And he's a pretty funny guy. In other words, his class will be fun and relaxed.

  The Optimist simply beamed as she was told about the copper plates she would use and the wood that she could carve into a reusable picture, "I'll be an illustrator! Just like they used to do... making monotypes and carvings and plates to print. Just think what I can do with a Victorian era theme. Imagine the illustrations based on Sherlock Holmes stories!"

   "I can't wait," yawned the Pessimist, "Another exhibition of your inner geek. Because that is just what the world needs."

   But the sarcasm was lost on the Optimist.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tae Kwon Do! ... Or Not

   I was pretty excited about starting Tae Kwon Do next week at school... until I got an email from some lady who called herself "Master ---(insert name here)".

   In this email, the peppy "Master" told us that we would need to sign a health release, buy a uniform, and... wait for it....

   Get a mouth guard.

   "A mouth guard? Really!?" screamed the Optimist, "She must be kidding."

   "She isn't," muttered the Pessimist, seriously dissatisfied with the turn of events.

   "But...but..." the Optimist whimpered pitifully, "All I was looking for was some good exercise and spiffy ninja moves. This sounds more like--"

   "Like signing up to have someone kick you in the face and throw you around every week? No way," the Pessimist rolled her eyes, "I always thought that Tae Kwon Do was such a gentle sport."

   "You did?" asked the Optimist.



   "Oh," she said, "Do I have to take this class?"

   "You have plenty of credits, and you were only taking Tae Kwon Do because you could. I think 'fun' was the word you used to describe what you were expecting."

   "Was it?" asked the Optimist, perking up a bit, "You know, my dear alter ego? I can be really dense sometimes."

   "Tell me about it," said the Pessimist, as she removed Tae Kwon Do from the schedule.

   The Optimist sighed and said, "I wonder if there's another class that would be fun instead..."

   The Pessimist simply glared at her, "Or you could spend the term being shockingly academic and continue exercising at home."

   "There's always that," she said.