Friday, August 31, 2012

People, Return My Stuff!

Something happened today that reminded me of the fact that this is something that annoys me. Actually, it's one of my pet peeves (the first being people that are consistently late).
People don't return my stuff.
I hope this doesn't sound too selfish. But I would like to make this point. I am being a kind and generous person, and lending something to someone. Then, that someone never returns it, and seems to either loose the item in question, or decide that the item is theirs. It's not theirs!
This mostly happens with books. A conversation would go like this:

Person: "Oh, yeah. I've heard that book is good."
Me: "I have a copy, do you want to borrow it?"
Person: "Oh my gosh, can I? I promise I'll give it back!"
Me: "Sure, I'll bring it tomorrow."

And there you go. I'll never get my book back. Ever. And they promised!! The sad thing is, I lend all of the good books out to people. I've lent out The Hunger Games, Mockingjay, Clan of the Cave Bear, and one of my favorites, Tales from Outer Suburbia. I've never gotten these back.
I even lent someone a calculator last year. She didn't have one for finals, and so I, being the prepared and kind person, lent her my calculator, and SHE NEVER GAVE IT BACK!!!!
This is very irritating to me.

Though, I have to say, the thing that reminded me of this fact, was that I actually got something of mine back today. Though I didn't lend it to anyone, because it would be weird to lend someone my brush. I left it at a friend's house, and it was returned to me today. YAY!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Today was the first day of school for the Pittsburgh Public Schools. I used to go to a public school. I went to CAPA, the Creative and Performing Arts school downtown, where I studied piano.
I was reminded of the fact that the schools were starting today when I noticed a lot more school buses on the roads. When the bus passed the local high school, there was a stream of people getting off buses and getting ready to go into school.
One of the reasons I left CAPA was because of all of the cuts to the public education system. Since CAPA had the highest budget of all the public schools in Pittsburgh, we did have a lot more to loose. From what I gather, 25% of the arts teachers were laid off. Also, since the school couldn't afford to pay a lot of money to the remaining arts teachers, the school couldn't pay for students to have regular private lessons.  So the students in the instrumental, musical theater, and vocal departments only get one private lesson every two weeks, which is such a joke. I didn't even believe that a forty-minute lesson per week was enough, but there you have it.
I am angry at what happened. I think that education should be one of the biggest priorities in our society today. Every single person deserves to go to a good public school.
I am glad I went to CAPA though. I met some of the nicest people there, and made some friends that I will never forget.
A lot of people say that you don't know what you've had until you've lost it. I would agree. I have been to some schools where I didn't know how good my friends were and how good my teachers were, until I left. I think the difference this time is that I did know what I had. I knew from the very first day, when people were welcoming to me at CAPA, and I know it now as well. They were so nice, and I am grateful to them for that.

This is something totally unrelated.
My friend Jacob and I decided that we would "plug"(I think that's what he said) each other in our blogs. His blog is called The Pale Blue Dot, and a lot of his entries have to do with science and Dr. Who. Fun Fact: He took his background picture himself. It's kind of cool.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Without Mother: Day 1

My mom is now in Japan, she's arrived safely and all, but it is hard to adjust to a life without her. I write that and it seems like she's gone forever. She, thankfully, will not be staying in Japan forever, only for then next ten days or so.
I'm looking around the living room right now, and noticing how much of a mess it is (I have also been watching Downton Abbey, so I am more aware of cleanliness after I watch that show). I'm sorry, but it's not in the cleanest of states. There's a bunch of crochet and knitting stuff near the TV, along with a bunch of papers and stuff on the kitchen table. Now don't worry mother, I promise that I will clean it up!
Her being gone just makes me so aware of what she does around the house. There's the dishes, laundry, vacuuming, tidying up, and that doesn't even scratch the surface of the stuff she does for us. She makes me obento (my lunch) every day, and I do miss that.
So, Okaasan, I miss you!!

Just some updates about what's going on at school:
Two people today thought that I was a senior. Two people. During the same class period. It was very odd.
I think I have a quiz in spanish tomorrow, but I'm not really sure. My spanish teacher, though awesome,  doesn't make assignments very clear, so I'm not sure. I have studied, though.
I have a double free period tomorrow, which will be so much fun. That is, it will be fun if I don't get that much work to do for AP European History.
AND..... I still can't get the Downton Abbey theme song out of my head.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Downton Abbey Obsession

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about these sashay scarves that I was knitting, pictured down below.

It seems like every single day, when I come home, my mother has more yarn for me to knit more and more of these scarves. She wants to sell them to her students, and I, apparently, am the person who is knitting them. Yesterday, I started to take my knitting with me to school so I could do some knitting on the bus. It turns out that I also started knitting during my free periods (after I finished my work!), and I'm pretty sure there were a lot of people staring at me when I was knitting in the library today. All I need now is a rocking chair, and a cat, and I can be an old lady that knits all the time.
Anyway, while I was knitting these at home, I started to watch the British TV show Downton Abbey, and OMG! It is amazing! I'm only on the fifth episode so far, so I don't know everything about the plot. If you want to know more, I suggest you google (or even better, look it up on Wikipedia) the show.
The plot is really good, the characters are sensational,  and the music is amazing. I bought the theme song yesterday on iTunes, and it has been stuck in my head all day. Then, after I got home from school, I learned to play the theme on the piano! YAY!!! Aside from the plot and the acting, there is something else that makes this show so much fun; the character's accents!!! I just want to go to England and hear all these people speak. I could listen to them forever.
This hasn't been the only British television program that I have become obsessed with. I love the show Doc Martin. Doc Martin is about a curmudgeon named Martin Ellingham, who comes to a little town called Portwenn and becomes the town's doctor. I love this show. It's funny, and the scenes between the townsfolk and Martin are absolutely hilarious. I also am obsessed with Sherlock, a modern version of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Doyle. I love Benedict Cumberbatch, and the fact that he's going to play Smaug in The Hobbit, makes him even more awesome. Also, Martin Freeman (Watson) is playing Bilbo in The Hobbit, so that will be amazing.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Today, the world lost a wonderful man named Akira Kohama.
He also happened to be my grandfather. We will all miss him, but we also know that we will see him again. These short years on earth will be nothing compared to the eternity we will spend together in heaven.
R.I.P. じいちゃん。愛してるよ。

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pa's Back!

For the last week, my father has been in Africa. To be exact, he was in Rwanda. My dad works at Carnegie Mellon University, and the department that my dad works in, Electrical Computer Engineering, was opening a campus in there, so he went there to connect with the students and get to know the place where he will be teaching. The class will be a normal class in Pittsburgh, but in the back there will be a screen, and the people in Rwanda will actually be watching my dad teach through video. Kind of cool, right?
While he was gone, my mom and I had a lot of fun crocheting and crocheting, and doing a little more crocheting, but we missed him a lot.
And now, he's back!!!
He came bearing gifts, which is always fun. He got me some jewelry that I have to say, is very very colorful. He also got my mom jewelry, and she's wearing the necklace and bracelet he got her right now, even though it doesn't match at all what she's wearing (which happens to be workout clothes, because we were just at the gym). I'm not wearing my necklace right now because I was fidgeting with it, and my dad told me to stop, so I had to take the necklace off.
He started to babble all about how wonderful Rwanda is and how it has nice restaurants, markets, and how different it is from America etc. etc. I wish we could have gone as well. We were actually supposed to go in the beginning of June, when the original opening ceremony for the campus was going to take place. It was going to be a big deal because the president of Rwanda was going to be there, but he cancelled. And then the whole event got cancelled. So we didn't end up going to Rwanda.
The only bad thing about my dad being back is that I don't have any blog viewers from Rwanda anymore. :-(
We're glad you're back, Pa!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

My Relationship to Great Expectations

Let's just say it hasn't been very good.
Once was doable, but two was just outrageous. Three is... inconceivable.
Let's start at the beginning. In eight grade, it was announced that our class would read Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I guess I was pretty excited at the time, because I had enjoyed A Christmas Carol. It also was a classic story that is referenced a lot in culture, so, I am ashamed to admit that I was happy we were reading it. Now, I just want to burn copies of the book in a giant bonfire. Dickens was payed by the word, so his language is a bit excessive. I liked the idea of the plot, but once you get into the middle section, it just drags on and on and on. Also, there was the issue that there were 59 chapters, and all of them were so long! Maybe it seemed long because the writing went on forever, but ugh!
I thought I was done with it after I wrote an essay on the book.
I was wrong. Dead wrong.
In ninth grade, guess what we read? Great Expectations. It was a different school, so the curriculum was different as well. This time though, it took TWO WHOLE MONTHS to read. It's really only 500 pages long, so it only should have taken a month as a maximum, but it took forever. We also had to discuss the stuff that didn't happen in the chapters, because nothing really happens in the book, and it was just boring all over again. I probably could have written that book in about 20 chapters. Here's a short summary: Pip, poor guy, gets money, becomes a jerk, and looses all his money. There you go. That's the book.
Now, for tenth grade. Guess what I had to read for summer reading?? Yup. Great Expectations. I changed schools this year, so I had to read it again. AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!! Needless to say, I didn't read it. I'm glad I didn't either. It was just way too much. Hopefully Ms. Mcdermott will find a wan to make it interesting. So far she's been pretty cool.
So that's my relationship to a book that I just don't like. Hopefully, it's the last time that book will enter my life.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


The first day of school is a good day when you only have to get up at 6:30. Actually, I probably could have pulled off getting up at around 6:50, but I didn't want to risk it on the first day.
So yes. School has started, and it's about nine more months until we are out for summer and free once more.
We started out the day in advisory. I have Ms. Patrick, who is also new to this school. From what I have seen of her, she sounds like a pretty cool teacher. We then went off to an upper school assembly, where Mr. Bachner gave us the whole spiel about dress code and safety.
Then, it was English. I absolutely love my english teacher. Her name is Ms. Mcdermott (pronounce Ms. Mcdermitt) and seems like she is laid back but ready to teach at the same time. She asked us what our favorite book was, and I melted inside, because that is definitely one of my favorite things to talk about ever (others would include; volleyball and Psych).
After that I had my first free period ever, and that was kind of fun. Since we didn't get any homework in english (she promised us she would give us something tomorrow) I just sat around talking to people. Then it was break, which is an awkward time because you're stuck in between two rows of lockers and people trying to get into their lockers, so you can't really move. Though I eventually did find a way to get out of all the crowdedness.
Chemistry will be interesting this year. I have Dr. Horton, who is a little bit crazy. She's very extraverted and outgoing, and seems like the kind of person who is very O.C.D. The first thing she told us today was to never bring our textbooks to class and to keep them in our lockers or at home. She was the only one to give homework today, but it was a scavenger hunt on her blog, so it wasn't anything serious.
After that was lunch, where we went outside and ate on the balcony. It was burning hot. That's all I have to say about that.
Then I had a free, and I used that time very wisely! I finished my chemistry homework. YAY!
Spanish will also be interesting. Yesterday at orientation, the spanish teacher, who shall henceforth be called Señor, gave me a hard time about being in spanish 4, but today I found out that there are only THREE people in that class. Señor is also crazy. Or so I have been told....
Then, it was time for dismissal.
I am home now. I tried to crochet a butterfly, and I tried THREE times, but somehow it doesn't seem to come out right. I'll get it though.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Last Day of Vacation

Today, sadly, is my last day of summer vacation.
I know, it's so sad.
I've spent pretty much all day crocheting. I woke up early so I could crochet. So far, I've done some flowers, an apple, a whale, and a rose. Here is a slightly blurry picture of my apple. It took me like an hour and a half, and all the while I was worried that it would turn out ugly, but really, it didn't. 

Safe to say, I'm obsessed with cute crochet things. 
I can't really believe summer's over. I have orientation tomorrow, and then I'm going over to a friend's house because it's her birthday. Then, it's the start of a school year. I'm going to a new school this year, and I'm kind of excited. This year, I won't have to wake up at 5:45 because I have a bus that's coming to pick me up at 7:38 instead of 6:52! And, instead of getting out at 3:45, I get out at 3:07! YAY! Time to celebrate!! So, yes, I am excited for the changes. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Book #30: El Principe de la Niebla

If you haven't noticed, the book that I just finished was not in English. It's in Spanish.
Turns out when you're going in to spanish 4, you have to read a spanish book for summer reading. Though, I have to say, out of the books I had to read for the summer, this one was my favorite.
El Princípe de la Niebla is written by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and I think that it's a book intended for middle schoolers, or so.
It was about a thirteen year old boy named Max who moved into this house next to the sea. This house had an odd history. The son of the people who had lived there before Max had drowned while playing. Max experiences a lot of odd things, and his sister Irina ends up in a coma. He then, along with his friend Roland, and his sister Alicia, has to find out what really happened in this town.
The book started out similar to The Bogart by Susan Cooper. It ended with some fight between Max and a Rumpelstiltskin-like character. I call him Rumpelstiltskin because he will grant people's wishes in return for something else. I always like those types of characters. I'm a fan of Rumpelstilstkin on the show Once Upon a Time. 
Yes, there were some issues with the language. I am not fluent in Spanish (yet), so every now and then I had to look up words in my dictionary. There are some words though, that I just can't seem to remember. Volver is an excellent example. I marked it down in my book countless times what it meant, but I just kept on forgetting. I've read that word, used that word, but I don't remember what it means.
As I said before, I liked the book. I think that it was interesting and a bit creepy. I liked the setting, and the descriptions of the setting. I always like lighthouses.
While I was reading this book, I was often struck at how similar it was to the books that I normally read. I don't know why this should be a big deal, but I think I was expecting a little something different.
So, overall, it was good. 4 stars.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tayler's House!

I went to my friend Tayler's house this afternoon. By the way, I stopped with the whole pseudonym thing because it was just too confusing for me. Also it took forever to think up a pseudonym, so I just quit. Anyway, Tayler was on my team for volleyball this past year. She's a very good middle hitter, and we became friends basically from the beginning of the season. We're like twins. Really. I'm not kidding. She reads, she likes The Hunger Games, and another one of my favorite series, Divergent. We agree on pretty much everything; food, clothing, and just little things we do, like she likes to cross her legs at the dinner table, and I do that all the time.  Her family is very very boisterous. It's not like my family at all. Her mom is like the coolest person ever because she's so outgoing, and has the best and funniest stories.
So today, I went over to her house to watch The Hunger Games, which if you didn't know, just came out on DVD. Apparently Tayler, her mom, and her sister Carly went to Giant Eagle (the grocery store of Pittsburgh) at midnight on Friday to get the movie. Tayler's mother said that the first person to find the DVD would get five dollars, so they were running around the store, pushing each other, and yelling, trying to find out where this movie was in the store. Anyway, we watched some of the special features first. They were really good as far as special features go, thought through, and they revealed a lot about the movie behind the scenes. After that we watched the movie. Ahhhhhh... it was just as amazing as in the movie theater, it was so so good.
Then we played scrabble, a game that I'm really bad at playing mostly because the only words that I can come up with are four letters long. And if you've ever played that game before, it's hard to win with four letter words. While we were playing scrabble we were sort of watching 27 Dresses. It's a chick flick (??), a genre that I usually don't associate myself with, but it wasn't that bad.
After that we had dinner. Dinner is so much different than at our house. There was so much talking! Talking talking talking! I loved it. Tayler's mother, as I have mentioned before is really cool, and told me all these funny stories about when Tayler's dad was trying to scare his kids and all, it was so hilarious!
Anyway, so that was my day. I only have two more days of summer sad. But I think I'm ready to get back to school (maybe?).

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Book# 27, 28, and 29!

Yes, I finished three books in one week. The reason I didn't write about them was that I had more interesting things going on in my life, like a vacation.
Book number 27 was Pride and Prejudice. I had to read this for summer reading. Considering that the Pittsburgh Public Schools have to read Old Man and the Sea (please, kill me now) and Out of this Furnace, I got off really really lucky.
Overall, I liked it (4 stars), though I did think that the second half was much better than the first. The first half was made more interesting with the comparisons of it to the Lizzy Bennet Diaries, which I have talked about, and if you haven't seen it, you should go watch The second half got much more interesting with all of the action/love triangles. I didn't think at all that Lydia would marry George Wickham. And then the ending with Darcy, and the best part of the most well known love story of all time came together as the two protagonists realized each other's affections one another, and it was wonderful. I haven't seen the BBC TV adaption, but I can say that I am very excited to see Colin Firth (I'm excited to see him any day) as Darcy. That, will be a marvelous experience.
Book number 28 was Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I had wanted to read this book for a really long time. After I found out that the whole story was more or less the thickness of my mattress, I decided that I would listen to the audiobook. What I didn't know was that I had ordered the abridged version from the library. At least I think it was abridged. I don't think a person could read 1200+ pages in five and a half hours.
Anyway, the version that I did read was amazing. I loved it. I loved Jean Valjean most of all and how he changed throughout the novel from being a wretched man who just escaped from prison, to a loving and kind father to Cosette. I also liked the character of Thenardier (by the way, his name is not pronounced like it is spelled, just like everything else French), and how he lived basically only through tricking others into giving money to him. Overall, I think that the plot had continuous action, which was kind of surprising for a book that was published in the 1800s, and the characters were really well developed. The one complaint I have isn't really Hugo's fault, but every word in French ends in u, and it's very confusing to a person who is listening to the audiobook. It's all spoken fast, and it all sounds the comprendo!
The last book, book number 29, another summer reading book, was All Quiet on the Western Front. It was ok. I just didn't think that I was able to imagine everything that was happening, because the author was too vague. A lot of the book took place in the protagonist's head, and I think that yes, it was just too vague. This is one book where I would have liked a little more description. There was so much of "oh, war makes a man old" and "woe to me" and it was just so repetitive. I also don't think the characters developed at all. 3 stars. And I think I'm being generous.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sturbridge Village

So we did end up going to Sturbridge Village!
Sturbridge Village is like Williamsburg, except it's a different time period. It's smaller, and there aren't as many national historic places in the village, but it's a place where you get to see what life would have been like in the 1830's.
I guess I was expecting something a little different. Maybe a little bit more lively, I suppose, but overall, the village did seem dead.
We came into Sturbridge at about noon, and after some issues at the ticket booth over my dad's military experience and me working at the CMNH, we went into the village (we did get a discount, but only because my dad worked in the Air Force. Nothing to do with me working at a museum).
The place reminded me of Little House On the Prairie, which I watched a lot of when I was second and third grade. When we got in to the village, we immediately saw a group of little girls dressed in colonial era clothing, holding baskets and going to school.  I immediately became very jealous of them. I think it was some sort of experience-colonial-era camp, but it seemed awesome, and I'm sending my kid there when she/he is old enough to go. I think the clothing of the era is adorable, and I still have my Laura Ingalls Halloween costume from the second grade.
We went around the village, and talked to the tin shop man, the shoemaker, a blacksmith, a cotton mill person, and saw the people run the sawmill. I particularly enjoyed the blacksmith. We watched him make some legs for a trivet, and it was awesome. We also went to see a printer, but it wasn't as cool as the Edes & Gill printshop, mostly because the printer wasn't as sophisticated as the other one, and he didn't seem to love what he was doing.
As I said before, the place wasn't very crowded. There were probably only about fifty other visitors there. I guess the early morning thunderstorm scared them off a little.
That afternoon, we got into the car to start driving back home. My parents kept on talking about driving through the night, which is fine by me because I wouldn't have to stay up and drive, but eventually we stopped for a hotel.
The hotel was really nice. The bed was comfy, and I did some high jump practicing onto the bed. Later, I discovered that the soap in the bathroom was Nutrogena brand, and the shampoo, conditioner, and lotion were all from Bath and Body Works (AWESOME!).
We woke up yesterday morning to drive for six hours so we could get home. I think there were some traffic issues along the way, but I wouldn't know because I was watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Enchanted on my dad's iPad.
Now we're home. I hate unpacking, because we have to run everything through the laundry, put everything back where it was, and discover that we took all of the good food with us on the trip and ate it.
So now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go fold some laundry.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Yesterday, we went and toured around Boston.

We started out the day with this hour and a half long tour about Boston in the early days. The tour was called the Freedom Trail Tour. The tour guide was amazing, he had energy, and was very very loud. He was also dressed up in colonial era clothing, and it was awesome. We went around the Boston Common, and went into the graveyard where John Hancock is buried. 

Later, we went shopping (as you might have guessed, my mother and I enjoy shopping, though I get tired of it easily, my mom can keep shopping forever), and I bought a pair of Crocs, that don't look like Crocs, so I can wear them to school. 

Then, we went to the most amazing part of Boston, the Printing Office of Edes &Gill. It's a colonial era print shop, where they printed the first Declaration of Independence that was passed out to the common people. The lady who was printing was really cool. She was dressed in the colonial clothing, and told us all about the printing that she was doing. When we were there, she was printing the Declaration of Independence, the way that Edes & Gill printed it in the 1700's. It hadn't been printed like that in 236 years. That was by far my favorite part of the trip. 

Today, we were supposed to go to Sturbridge Village, but guess what?? It's RAINING!!! It's like Williamsburg, and everyone's dressed up and stuff, but it's RAINING, so I don't know if we will actually go or not. :-(  (ToT)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Camping and Shops and Witches, Oh My!!

Well, I have internet again!! It's time to celebrate!!!
I love camping, and it's really nice to disconnect from the world, but once I'm back to all of this technology, it is kind of nice.
We camped near Stockbridge, MA, which is where the Norman Rockwell Museum is. That's basically the main thing we did there, and it was pretty cool. They gave me free admission because I am a CMNH employee (YAY!!! Love Love Love discounts!!)!! I really do enjoy Norman Rockwell's work, and particularly enjoyed seeing his works for the Saturday Evening Post. We have a picture of the Four Freedoms hanging above our kitchen sink at home, but I never really knew what they stood for.
We spent the next day just sitting and hanging around camp. I did some crocheting, some knitting, and some reading (I finished Pride and Prejudice so I'll post about that soon). We had an MRE for lunch, which is something that we always do when we go camping. In this MRE were the "patriotic cookies," which were adorable. They were basically animal crackers in the shapes of eagles, the Statue of Liberty, and Uncle Sam.I should also mention that it rained pretty much the WHOLE time we were there! That's really annoying when you're trying to pack up camp and everything is wet.
We got here to Boston yesterday afternoon. Today, we went around Salem, and did all of the touristy attractions. We went to the Customs House on the wharf and went to the Salem Witch Museum. I didn't enjoy the Customs House as much as I enjoyed the place where the merchants stored all of the goods that they couldn't pay the taxes for. I liked the history of the Customs House, though. The Salem Witch Museum (which also gave me a discount!!) was alright. I think that it wasn't as good as it could have been, and I think that it could have been more in depth about what happened. I did like their display about different herbs and their medicinal and "magical" properties.
While we were walking around Salem, we stopped in a lot of little gift stores. There were several antique shops that were very good, and there were a bunch of stores selling things involving "witchcraft." We also passed a number of "psychic" shops and other places that used who-knows-what-type of supposed magic to tell one's future. We also went into this cafe that had the best bubble tea that I have ever had. I had a green tea mango bubble tea for lunch, and my mom and I loved it so much, that we had to get another one before we left. It was sooooo good!!
On our way back to the parking garage where we parked our car, my dad took us to see this:
It's a statue of Samantha from Bewitched!!! AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!  I absolutely loved that show in fifth and sixth grade! Though my favorite character from the show was that one witch that collected doorknobs. 
That was awesome.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lots and Lots of Awesome!

There has been a lot of Awesome in my life for the last couple of days.
1. I went to Joanne's yesterday (the store. I don't have a friend named Joanne), and bought a bunch of craft making stuff. I found this yarn called Sashay, and I can make this AWESOME scarf that curls. Here's a picture of what a sashay scarf looks like:
I got that picture off of google images. Doesn't it look awesome?! I knitted one yesterday, and it only took two hours! It was so easy!  So yeah, that's exciting. I also got some yarn for crocheting some flowers. I've never officially crocheted anything, so this will be a fun experience. I made a flower today, it was supposed to be a six petaled daisy or something, and it turned out looking like a starfish. So I'm hoping for some improvement there.
2. We're leaving for Massachusetts tomorrow. We're going camping in Boston, and I guess we're going to go see all of the touristy places. We'll be gone for a week. I love camping, and I'm excited to go take my scarf making stuff. And since I volunteer at the Natural History Museum, I'm excited to see if we'll get any discounts at any of the museums we'll go to!
3. My mom and I went to the commissary at the C.E. Kelly army base, and guess what we got!? Lucky Charms!! They're so unhealthy, but it's kind of exciting. I haven't had them in like five years.
4. I asked to get my schedule fixed for this year. The schedule said I would be taking Theater 2 this year. Anyone who knows me knows that I can't act to save my life. I hadn't even taken Theater 1, so I asked to get that changed, and the lady said I could take PHOTO!!!! I really wanted to take that class, and I got in!! Now I just have to tell her I'd like to take it.
As you can see, that was a lot of awesome! I don't know how I'm going to post while I'm in Massachusetts, so it might be a while! But check regularly to make sure! You never know, there might be some piece of internet connection that's lost in the woods, and I might be able to upload something!
P.S. Yesterday, I was in Squirrel Hill, and I saw two people from school….again…. Bill Sykes (not the one from Oliver Twist. If it had been, I would have ran in the other direction, but those who know why I call him Bill Sykes will know who I'm talking about), and a friend of his, who I also went to school with. Watch me see someone I know in Massachusetts….creepy...

Monday, August 6, 2012

They're Following Me...

'Tis a small world after all.

I used to think that I never ran into people when I left my house. There was never a time when I would see someone I knew when I was shopping, or at the movie theater.

Now, they're everywhere.

When I'm out and about in Squirrel Hill, or at the Waterfront, there is a garantee that I will run into someone that I know. Not necessarily run into, but I'll see someone from school that is on the other side of the street, or in the same store that I'm in.

Today, for example, I was volunteering at the Natural History Museum, and I saw one of my mother's students in the courtyard playing with her kids.

When I went to go see The Dark Knight Rises for the second time about a week ago, I saw a girl there that had shared the same gym class as me. There have been many many instances similar to these, and they have been happening all summer.

Here's the crazy one. On Saturday, my mom, dad, and I went shopping at the Tanger Outlet mall that's located about an hour and a half away from our house. And guess what!? I saw a girl from school there. It's one of those situations where it would be awkward to go up and say hi, because I know who she is (because of her reputation), but she doesn't know who I am. 


Happens all of the time. Probably, tomorrow, I'll see someone I know at the gym or something. You never know.

P.S. My gum goal has been going well. No Great Expectations so far!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Pedal Pittsburgh (in the rain)

I biked 25 miles today.
Pedal Pittsburgh is an annual bike ride that takes bikers through the main streets in Pittsburgh, letting the bikers experience what seems like hill after hill after hill (there's also some nice flat areas too).
The day started out really nice. It was cloudy, but there was a rumor that there were going to be some thunder storms. We parked at the entrance to the Jail Trail (it's called the Jail Trail because it runs by the county jail) and rode over the Hot Metal bridge to the place where all of the vendors were. When we got there, my mom noticed that there was something wrong with her tire, and we had to stop for a while while she got it fixed (no charge!). While we were waiting, we saw a bike that was twice as high as a normal bike, and one that was called the "eliptigo," basically an elliptical that had wheels, which is awesome.
We started the ride after that. I enjoy biking a lot, but this was a different kind of thrill. I would get to experience Pittsburgh through a biker's perspective. One thing I noticed; Pittsburgh has way too many potholes.
It was dry until the ten mile mark.
The rain started out as just a little sprinkle. It felt really good, because at that point, we had just finished riding up the BIGGEST hill ever. However, by the time that we were done with the ride, I was completely soaked. I biked in the rain for about an hour and a half. It gets really slippery when it rains, so I had to be extra careful. We finished the ride with no injuries or anything, thankfully.
We came to to where all of the vendors were, and this is the place where my major complaining starts. First of all, they didn't even give out t-shirts. What kind of major event doesn't give out t-shirts? The only thing that the Pedal Pittsburgh people gave us was our numbers to put on the back of the shirt (they were also generous enough to give us four safety pins each), and some food that was mostly wet by the time that we got to it. Nothing was free, and honestly, we biked 25 miles in the rain. How could you not give things out for free??
Next year, Pedal Pittsburgh organizers, please give out free stuff. It would be nice.
So if you'll excuse me, I have to start my training for the Tour de France.

Friday, August 3, 2012

I Am the Gum Monster

I am not the Cookie Monster. Or the Veggie Monster.

I am the Gum Monster.

Two years ago, when I got my braces on (aka the worst day of my life), I promised myself that I would not chew gum until I got my braces off. It was a good plan, I didn't get in trouble for chewing gum in school, and if I needed to freshen up my breath, I would just eat a mint.

I did that for two years. Two years. I didn't think that it would be possible, because even if people have braces, they still chew gum, but I was one of the few who didn't chew the gum. 

I got my braces off in June, and since then, have been catching up on my gum chewing. It's bad. Gum isn't the worst thing in the world (at least it's not as unhealthy as movie theater popcorn), but I think I'm going over the top. Just five minutes ago, I was chewing gum. I feel like it's become one of those things that I just do because I can, and that's not a good thing!!! Don't do things just because you can! Have another good reason. "It's fun" is always a good reason.

Chewing gum isn't fun though. I think I've gone over the edge. So, I will make a resolution. One strip of gum per day. For a whole week, and then from there, I'll make another resolution about how much I can eat. And for each time that I go over my one strip per day quota, I will read one chapter of Great Expectations (if I eat two strips extra, I will read two chapters of GE). That will be the worst punishment ever. So I won't do it. 

Someday, I'll talk about my hatred for Great Expectations, and why I hate it. But not today. 

 Today, I will tell you that the forest fragmentation exhibit will open at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History on the 25th of August, 2012. The teen docents are currently working on it, and it sounds like it'll be a pretty cool exhibit. 

We'll see if I can do this challenge. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

It Really Wasn't That Simple...

I started off the day wanting to just rest and read Pride and Prejudice, but that was not to be. Instead, I have spent the whole day working on the third floor closet that I've been decorating. You might remember me trying to paint this room last month.
I thought that it would be cute to have shutters for my shelving, so I got some shutters at Construction Junction, the best junk store ever. I thought it would be simple to attach the shutters to the wall, but boy, was I wrong!! I wanted to get these brackets that I found at the store Anthropologie, but just like everything else at that store, it was really expensive. Instead, I had to figure out a way to make my own brackets so the shelves would stay up. Ugh. I thought about it for like a week, and finally came to the conclusion that I should use bannisters to keep the shutters up. I would have a shutter attached to the wall, and then have another shutter placed like a shelf on top of that, and then there would be a bannister making the third side of this triangle, which is basically what a bracket looks like. So I went to Construction Junction again, bought the bannisters, and then had to figure out how to attach them to the shutters.
Thankfully, my dad, someone who is used to doing projects around the house, helped me out. We spent all morning working on cutting the bannister to the right length, and attaching it to the shelving. Then there was the issue, that, because our house is a century old, the walls are made out of plaster, and if you want things to be stable on a wall, you have to go through a stud in the wall. It was really a guess-and-check sort of thing. I think we drilled seven different holes before we actually hit a stud. Once it was done, though, it looked amazing.
I had two other shutters that I needed to put up, but they were a different size, so we couldn't do the bannister thing all over again.
Of course.
That would be too easy.
We made a trip to Lowe's, and got the right materials, and came back home to finish the job. We ended up putting the shutters up against the wall, and holding them up with a chain. We also put mini brackets under the shelves, so it would be more stable.
So now it's like four thirty, and we just finished up the shelves. We were trying to put some doorknobs onto the walls (because that's cool) but that didn't work, because the way that the doorknobs are made, they just don't want to go into the wall like that. They want to go into some drawers.
I have to think about how I'm going to accomplish that task now. We'll see how that goes.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


It's August first!!! You know what that means!!??
This blog has been going for A WHOLE MONTH!!!
I didn't think I'd make it this far, but here I am. Though the sad thing is, in a month, I will be back in school. (ToT)
So in this blog entry, I am going to talk about the summer, and what I've been doing, and then I'll also talk about what I want to do with the rest of my summer. At the end, there will be a paragraph about something that is really bugging me.
This summer, I have been reading. I've finished eight books. I feel like I should have read more, and I feel like I have read more than those eight books, but apparently not. I've volunteered at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. I have painted a closet, and I've played the piano. I went SCUBA diving. There was also that one week when I went to film camp, and that's basically what I've done this summer. I've summarized my summer into seven sentences. I probably should have done more, but I think summer is also about unwinding and doing things that you normally would not have done during the school year, like go SCUBA diving.
In the month of August, I plan to:

  • Finish my summer reading books (Pride and Prejudice, All Quiet on the Western Front, and some Spanish book I don't know the name to)
  • Go to Massachusetts 
  • Finish decorating my closet 
  • Play more ukulele
And that's it. We're going to find out how that goes.
On another note, I'm reading a book called The Elephant in the Garden by Michael Morpurgo, who wrote War Horse and Kensuke's Kingdom. I read the latter in about fourth grade, and it was absolutely wonderful. The thing about The Elephant in the Garden, is that it's around 200 pages long. I don't have a problem with that, but the font is HUGE!! It's not only that the font is huge, but there's also a large spacing between the lines, so you only get to read like 12 lines per page! Michael Morpurgo is not a tree hugger. It makes the book look like it's for third graders, and I don't like it. If you're going to write a book for teens, make it so that it looks like it was written for teens!! Teen books have around thirty-five lines per page!!

P.S. I thought, for the month of August, I would change the background of the blog. We'll see how it goes.