May 13

I AM FORGETFUL

I FORGOT I HAD A BLOGPOST DUE SO IT’S SECOND PERIOD AND I’M PANICKING.

So, I will describe the entire class period. I’m sorry.

Apparently we’re watching Finding Nemo, so I’ve taken the time to spy on the sub, who I am yet to learn the name of. You see, dear reader, this sub looks exactly like the lead singer of one of my favorite bands, Alex Gaskarth, and I am thoroughly suspicious of him. I have two weeks left, and I’m going to find out his secret.

Also, I just realized that when Dory was trying to speak whale, she was actually saying something in English too.

My life is a lie.

My biggest question is this: why does Gil from the tank have a, well, scar?

This movie makes me want to go to Sydney.

And really hate seagulls.

I have no idea what I’m doing. I just don’t want to get a bad grade.

I feel like I’m being too honest.

I can’t believe I never noticed that Dory is played by Ellen DeGeneres.

I NEVER UNDERSTOOD HOW SAD THIS MOVIE IS OH MY GOD.

DANG IT DORY YOU FOUND NEMO.

Oh good she remembered.

THEY’RE REUNITING.

All of these suffering fish are gonna make me a vegetarian.

Nemo reminds me of my little sister. THE FEELS.

It makes me mad that turtles live longer than humans. It also makes me respect them.

It might just be me, but I think the soundtrack sounds like Phantom of the Opera.

It’s probably just me.

Typical TJ.

April 28

Fifty Minutes of Freedom

She gave me fifty minutes. Let’s do this.

There isn’t much inspiration in my mind as far as writing goes. Strangely, I’ve been more inspired than usual, and yet none of it is about writing. Even now I’m more interested in the Book Fair title than this actual blog post…

It’s for a grade, alright?

On a higher note, the drama plays are next week. I’ve never really under stood that term: “on a higher note”. I mean, as a fellow alto I should know that low notes can sound just as good as high ones, and that the low notes are needed to pick up the high ones. Well, I guess you could argue that the word “high” I generally thought to be positive, but in this day and age, the word “high” has a double meaning…

I’ll just stop now.

So yeah, before my weird mind interrupted me, the drama plays are next week, and this time it’s very special, because Forest Trail fifth graders will be attending, and that means two of my siblings are gonna see me perform without my parents having to go out of their way to bring them.

My thoughts keep drifting to emo music. I blame Carly. She and I listened to a bunch of emo bands on our way to Six Flags last Friday.

You know, the trip where Ella forced me on the Iron Rattler? The one where my choir got a superior rating from the judges?

Yeah, that one.

Ugh. Is this post long enough yet? I’m getting a headache.

I got a migraine—

NO.

My pain ranges from up, down, and sideways—

THANK GOD IT’S FRIDAY.

I’m so off track. Also, it’s Thursday.

So my little sister (and when I say “little” I mean it literally and figuratively) had a sleepover birthday last weekend and I was afraid I would be shunned by her hipster-ish friends. Not like I’m looking for approval from a bunch of 11/10-year-olds, it’s more of that I wanted to be able to walk out of my room and not be given strange looks from a cluster of girls.

Also, there was a chocolate fountain, I had to be on their good side.

So instead of staying locked in my room for twenty-four hours like I expected, I instead told inappropriate “seventh grader jokes” as they called it. Then, when they were going to sleep on the five-person recliner couch upstairs, I told them scary stories, scared the bejesus out of them, stole food from the fridge, and went to bed.

On the floor, but that’s hardly important.

Then, that morning, I ate donuts for breakfast. The end.

And, you know, now it’s Thursday, and my Shakespeare obsession is crawling back into my mind because of that stupid field trip that was so fun on Wednesday.

Typical TJ.

Typical, typical TJ.

April 13

Seasons by: TJ

The air heats in the summer,
The flowers bud in spring.
When Earth changes seasons,
It changes everything.

The food is stored in winter,
The leaves are grounded in fall.
When Earth wants to change something,
It changes it all.

Jubilance in summer,
Love in the spring.
A man gets down on one knee
And hands his girl a ring.

Curiosity in winter,
Mischief in the fall.
A young boy waits in a tree,
To hear his mother’s call.

Pools splash in summer,
Bees buzz in spring.
A father smiles kindly
At his daughter’s soft laughing.

Angels in the winter,
Leaf piles in fall.
A mother watches TV,
She watches Better Call Saul.

Air is humid in the summer,
The flowers bloom in spring.
When Earth changes seasons,
She changes everything.

The nuts are stored in winter,
The leaves are colored in fall.
When Earth wants to change something,
It transforms it all.

April 8

Poetry

20160408-103245.jpg
Pixabay CC0

Lucy Gray or, Solitude

Oft I had heard of Lucy Gray:
          And, when I crossed the wild,
          I chanced to see at break of day
          The solitary child.

          No mate, no comrade Lucy knew;
          She dwelt on a wide moor,
          --The sweetest thing that ever grew
          Beside a human door!

          You yet may spy the fawn at play,
          The hare upon the green;                                    
          But the sweet face of Lucy Gray
          Will never more be seen.

          "To-night will be a stormy night--
          You to the town must go;
          And take a lantern, Child, to light
          Your mother through the snow."

          "That, Father! will I gladly do:
          'Tis scarcely afternoon--
          The minster-clock has just struck two,
          And yonder is the moon!"                                    

          At this the Father raised his hook,
          And snapped a faggot-band;
          He plied his work;--and Lucy took
          The lantern in her hand.

          Not blither is the mountain roe:
          With many a wanton stroke
          Her feet disperse the powdery snow,
          That rises up like smoke.

          The storm came on before its time:
          She wandered up and down;                                   
          And many a hill did Lucy climb:
          But never reached the town.

          The wretched parents all that night
          Went shouting far and wide; to 
          But there was neither sound nor sight
          To serve them for a guide.

          At day-break on a hill they stood
          That overlooked the moor;
          And thence they saw the bridge of wood,
          A furlong from their door.                                  

          They wept--and, turning homeward, cried,
          "In heaven we all shall meet;"
          --When in the snow the mother spied
          The print of Lucy's feet.

          Then downwards from the steep hill's edge
          They tracked the footmarks small;
          And through the broken hawthorn hedge,
          And by the long stone-wall;

          And then an open field they crossed:
          The marks were still the same;                              
          They tracked them on, nor ever lost;
          And to the bridge they came.

          They followed from the snowy bank
          Those footmarks, one by one,
          Into the middle of the plank;
          And further there were none!

          --Yet some maintain that to this day
          She is a living child;
          That you may see sweet Lucy Gray
          Upon the lonesome wild.                                     

          O'er rough and smooth she trips along,
          And never looks behind;
          And sings a solitary song
          That whistles in the wind.

When I read about the young Lucy Gray, I get mad childhood nostalgia about my old backyard where my brother cut his hand carving a tree stump (don’t ask). I remember that Laura Ingalls Wilder book I read in third grade. I’m reminded of the days before dank memes and llama obsessions.

April 1

The Festivities of Texas

Whether you’re into pop, punk, jazz, or all of the above, Texas is the perfect state for you. Home of the ‘live music capital of the world”, Texas has some of the most authentic and well-known music festivals in the world. So, if you haven’t already run away screaming at my use of Comic Sans, join me as I tell you about the three biggest music festivals in Texas.

Austin City Limits

Pixabay CC0

Pixabay CC0

Probably the most famous music festival in Texas, Austin City Limits offers the casual feeling of live music with the thrilling feeling of a concert. Austin City Limits offers a great lineup of different music genres—ranging from rapper The Weeknd to alternative-electric band Twenty Øne Piløts.

South By South West

Pixabay CC0

Pixabay CC0

Not only is South By South West a music headquarters, it’s also a great place to learn about new and exciting things going on in our world. Enjoy some music, then sit back and listen to a lecture on cars. SXSW has everything!

Margarita & Salsa Festival

Pixabay CC0

Pixabay CC0

Grab an ice cold margarita and jam to some good ol’ country tunes. The Margarita & Salsa Festival is the perfect way to end the summer on a high note.

February 12

Le Fantôme de l’Opéra

Pardon my French, s’il-te plaît, but I believe that it’s relevant for the current topic, which, if you haven’t already guessed, is the renowned Broadway musical and book, The Phantom of the Opera.

More specifically, I’m here to caustically retort to my dearest friend Ella, whom has also written a post about this topic called “the Raoul/Erik (the Phantom’s real name) love triangle over Christine.

Ella can tell you, I am the biggest Erik supporter of them all. I’ve shared many a meme, fanfiction, and fanart with her…

The fanart was, to keep it in the school’s PG rating, interesting…

Don’t look it up, that’s all I ask of you.

Anyhow, I’m here to tell you why I think the Phantom is better.

Beautiful, innocent, soprano (the man always wants a soprano, it happened to Éponine Thénardier, it’ll probably happen to me) Christine Daaé. It’s no wonder she’s so desired, she’s the literal patron of perfection.

Like everything, she must choose. Does she take the annoying viscount, or the tragically beautiful opera ghost?

Of course she chooses the hunk. Smh.

In order to keep things fair, I will confess that I did like Raoul de Changy in the beginning, but this was before the Phantom came into the picture.

Put the past behind us, this is about who I like now. Erik Destler, the fellow opera ghost.

Our sweet Phantom has been neglected, betrayed, cast aside, feared. He yearns for love but receives hatred. He cries for compassion and gets used and hurt. He hopes for his Opera Populaire to be the best it can be and he gets Firmin and Andr.

Typical.

A musical genius, chained my his horrid ugliness. Driven insane by his loneliness and hopeless love for Christine.

His own prodigy. Her Angel of Music. He teaches her how to sing, comforts her in the night, he takes her to his lair and asks her but one thing: don’t touch the mask. Andwhatdoes she do?

Well, obviously she touches the mask. Removes it, in fact.

And yet, he’s considered the “villain” by so many.

Tell me, with complete honesty, did he even hurt her? Did he ever touch her without her consent? Did he ever do anything to harm her?

He did not. He murdered, yes. He nearly killed Christine’s lover, yes. He is not without fault, and I’m not saying he is.

One might argue that he is at least a decade older than her, but in the Broadway production he is never given an age, and is often portrayed by young actors. Take Ramin Karimloo, one of the many Broadway actors who played the infamous role. He was only 31 when he performed at the 25th anniversary concert in 2011. And even if he was played by the 40-ish-year-old man the book makes him out to be, I think that age hardly matters. If you truly love someone, why should something as silly as a number stop you from being with them?

You know who else was several years older than the girl he was in love with? Edward Cullen. Hunky vampire supreme.

So, riddle me this, Twilight fangirls, why is this okay but Erik’s love for Christine not? Is it because you’re given the illusion of youth by the actor Robert Pattinson? Is it the fact that he’s an immortal vampire who’s age is just a number?

Well, the Phantom is not human either, and yet his age has made one heck of a difference.

I can relate to him. I remember when we watched the movie in class. I remember humming along to each song, feeling strong and confident and happy as I sang along softly to “Masquerade”. I remember my heart rate increasing as the Phantom rose from the floor, feeling excited and scared and a bit squeamish all at once.

I also remember two girls, whose identities shall remain anonymous, giggling and making fun of the Phantom and the plot surrounding him. I remember feeling my self-esteem smashed from under me. I remember feeling a sudden inferiority for loving the precious opera ghost as I did. I remember wanting to run out of the room and cry. I remember there was mist…

I had that one coming.

Of course, I gritted my teeth and kept watching. After all, those who speak of what they know find too late that prudent silence is wise…

Once you start making Phantom references you know you’ve passed the point of no return.

Finally, the end of the movie comes around, and Christine grants Erik with a kiss of compassion. (by the way, the look on Raoul’s face is priceless.) I’m giddy with Fangirl excitement, and I suddenly hear the same girls go, and I quote, “ew, she’s gonna get, like, Ebola or something.”

Heart=shattered.

This horrible deformity. He’s had to deal with those comments his entire life. It’s driven him to insanity. You pity the man behind the mask, but pity is the same thing as fear, as hate, as everything he’s ever been labeled.

“You’re so mean.” I retort under my breath to the girl.

And she simply flips her hair and smiles. “Thanks, I know.”

The tears I might have shed for your dark words, grow cold and turn to tears of hate.

That sounded better in my head.

So, to everyone who will yell at me in the comments or in real life, fight me. Because I’m willing to stand for Erik Destler, and for everyone who was hounded out by everyone, met with hatred everywhere. And felt an inferior blow to their self-esteem for loving the notorious Phantom of the Opera.

February 5

My Life

You’ll often find me at lunch joking about how I don’t have a life, but that couldn’t be any less true.

Between choir, oral reading UIL, Girl Scouts, schoolwork, GT, and soon drama, my schedule is pretty full. Maybe not always after school, but definitely during it. Today itself I have to go to UIL practice during lunch and I’m selling Girl Scout cookies at Loupe Tortilla. Tomorrow, I have to spend all day at regional choir practice before I actually have the whole performance. From there, I go to my brother’s birthday party. The next day, I’ll decide what I want to do my GT exhibition on and finish the worksheet about it. Then, comes my homework.

Don’t get me wrong, I love it all. All of my best friends are in at least one of those things with me. Lily is in UIL and choir, Nicole is in Girl Scouts, Karena is in GT. Drama will have most everyone, with the absence of a few.

So why write an entire blog post about it, you ask? Well, besides the fact that I couldn’t think of anything else, this is a blog, and shouldn’t blogs have something to do with your life?

I’m not here to complain, I have nothing to change complain about. I’m just here to tell about the hardships of having a busy schedule. So, let us begin

If homework isn’t enough, I also have friends (although I have no idea why) who want me to hang out with them. It’s not like I don’t want too, it’s just that sometimes, I can’t!

Then there’s the fact that I am unbearably lazy. If the word workis mentioned, I’ll probably run off screaming (which will be all the exercise I receive that day). Even if there’s money put on it, I’ll more then likely not do it.

Being an epic procrastinator is the worst part of it all. I always feel like there’s something better I should do, like reply to that text or listen to the entire Save Rock And Roll album by Fall Out Boy. It usually takes several requests from my mom before I finally get up and do my work. I’m not one o check the time, so if I have to be somewhere I probably won’t get there exactly on time, which is a habit I should probably stop…

And that kids, is why you should do nothing but stay home and browse Tumblr in your Star Wars pajamas and eat Ben And Jerry’s all day.

Now if you’ll excuse me, instead of making a proper ending for this, I have to listen to the entire Phantom of the Opera soundtrack.

Until next week, your faithful servant,
Me!

January 29

Undertale

Long ago, two races ruled over Earth: HUMANS and MONSTERS. One day, war broke out between them and, after a long series of battles, the humans were victorious. Seven of their greatest magicians sealed the monsters to the Underground with a magic barrier, while the humans took control of the surface. However, the barrier is not a perfect seal, and the only point of entrance to the Underground is Mount Ebott.

Here begins the story of Undertale, a heartfelt story about the importance of sparing instead of killing, and loving instead of hating.

The player begins as a small child who has, unfortunately, fallen through the barrier into the “Underground”, or realm of the monsters. The child, who’s canon name is Frisk, (but can be renamed by the player in the beginning) is then greeted by a small flower by the name of Flowey, who teaches you the basics of fighting and then tries to kill you, claiming that inn this world it’s “kill or be killed”. Before he can give you a final blow, however, a goat-like creature by the name of Toriel kills him and brings you into the Ruins, where she teaches you how to not fight, but avoid attacks by monsters and then make them happy until they leave you alone and you can spare them. She then leaves you in a hallway with a cellphone, saying she has a few “errands” to take care of. Of course, no child (or player) wants to just stand there and wait, so they decide to explore, where you encounter many small monsters, your job being to spare them instead of kill them (of course, it never comes outright and says that). You also collect many items and “G”, the currency in the Underground.

At the end of your mini adventure, you once again run into Toriel, who is carrying grocery bags in both arms. She apologizes for leaving you alone for so long and offers for you to stay with her. You accept. She gives you a spare room in her home and tells you she’s made cinnamon and butterscotch pie for you, then leaves you to explore the house for yourself. If you try to explore the basement, however, Toriel will stop you, saying “there is nothing down here for you” and bringing you back upstairs.

Now, you must be making some theories by now, and I’ll tell you this: it’s not what you thought think.

Eventually, you ask if you could explore the outside world, and Toriel says she “has to do something”.

You follow her into the basement, where the door tot the outside world of monsters lies, and she claims she’s going to destroy it, because she “doesn’t want to loose another one”.

You ask her to leave, and she declines, eventually she agrees to let you go if you can defeat her in a fight. Of course, you are to spare her and dodge her attacks.

Eventually, she gives up and tells you she will let you go because she loves you, and your feels-o-meter explodes.

You walk through the door and your in a forest. Undertale has only just begun.

January 14

The Magicians: Part 1

All she was ever told was that science and magic should never mix.

Sitting with her arm on a rock and her head in the clouds, she dug the bullet out of her arm.

Of course, she had no idea what she was doing—she didn’t even think it was necessary. Her arm wasn’t even real, she wouldn’t be able to properly seal up the hole anyway.

Being a fugitive was fun.

Six years ago today the magic officers had barged into her house and killed her parents, leaving her orphaned and afraid.

It’s not that she asked to be one of them, the universe just hates her.

Grunting, with a final pull she dislodged the metal pain-pellet and fell back.

She absolutely hated magic.

Glaring at the trees, she muttered, “how am I supposed to fix this?”

The trees said nothing, like always.

She looked at the metal plating that she substituted for an arm, looked at the gaping hole and the scratch marks that surrounded it. She just had to be magical, didn’t she?

She looked at the pink sky and sighed. There was no way she was going to sleep tonight.

Not that she ever slept anyway.

Slumping on a very craggy rock, she found herself daydreaming as the sun set, humming a familiar tune that she could no longer recall the words to.

And slowly, as if in a trance, she rocked herself to sleep.

But then her dreams rudely broke her peaceful slumber.

She was standing in the middle of the same very forest, blackness clouding her vision. She squinted her eyes, searching for a light that wasn’t there, urging for it to come forth and offer her the security that no one was trying to kill her.

And it came, but there was no security in it.

Her hands—at least that’s what she hoped they were still her hands—were glowing. The real and the robotic. A luminescent blue, it shimmered, lighting up the forest and revealing it for what it ought to be—a forest.

But she could hardly focus on that.

Screaming, she threw herself into the ground. Throwing her hands anywhere they would go. She smashed her hands against rocks, on the ground, in the river beside her, tossed them underneath her, ignoring the blood that gushed from them. She didn’t care, all she wanted was for the glowing to stop.

She remember what they’d said, science and magic should never mix.

Suddenly, her metal hands burst, and she was encased in a pot of darkness.

She looked around, seeing nothing.

The glowing in her hands had stopped, but she was not soothed.

Suddenly, a voice.

Freak, it whispered.

She snapped her head around, “who’s there?” she said through her quickening pulse.

Abnormal. The same voice said again.

She jerked her head around to the other side.

Suddenly, hundreds of eyes were staring at her.

Freak they whispered. Abnormal, strange, horrid.

She spun around, closing her eyes. Make it stop, make it stop…

The more she pleaded the louder the voices got. Strange, horrid, freak.

She covered her ears with her hands—which she noticed were now glowing once more—crouching, tears stinging her eyes. Her heartbeat banging in her chest like a thousand drums. Her steel hand dug into her ear, clogging it with blood. But she couldn’t stop the voices, no matter how hard she pressed her fingers to her head.

Abruptly, every voices stopped.

Magic, a single one said.

She screamed.

Her eyes snapped open, a small yelp escaping her lips. She was panting, and covered in sweat from head to toe. She looked down at her fingers, her palms, they were the same pale and silver color that they’d always been—that they were supposed to be.

Her moment of relief was cut off by a pair of hands clamping over her mouth.

And another roughly grabbing her shoulders. She fell limp under the pressure of the squeeze. She was too weak to fight.

The rock was just backdrop behind her as the hands dragged her away.

December 4

Without a Doubt

This is, without a doubt, one of my biggest downfalls.

Here I am, a cool midnight in December, my eyes begging for sleep but my mind twirling with awareness. Maybe it’s my conscience nagging at me and my undone homework, maybe it’s Fall Out Boy blaring in my eardrums, I’ll never know.

This week, without a doubt, has been one of the worst in my life.

I get back to from Hawaii at 1:15 PM, jet lag pouring through my veins like poison. My face stuffed in a pillow, trying to drown out the light and the sounds of excitement from the rest of my family.

“Who wants to go to Pluckers?” my mother’s words dug the dagger of drowsiness deeper into my back.

This was, without a doubt, going to be a long week.

Though it was great to eat chicken wings again, and Green Day was the main soundtrack at the quiet sports bar that is Pluckers, it still took all my willpower not to fall asleep in a plate full of potato chips.

Dinner was one long groan after another.

The next day, school started. I, unfortunately, was unprepared for such an event. 2:00 AM was not my usual bedtime, but since my mind thought it was 10:00 PM, I got no sleep. I had to wake up extra early to decorate my friends locker, which didn’t completely suck, she gave me a lot of giant Sour Patch Kids.

This was, without a doubt, the best day of the week.

On the blessed Wednesday morning of the second, I was finally back in the routine of sleep scheduling: read till 11:00, sleep till 7:00. Order.

Riding the bus everyday was bumming me out, usually I was in the cafeteria for drama, but instead I’m stuck with my headphones on at max volume, a silent war raging between me and the status quo. Getting home I get to see my step-siblings, who I hadn’t seen in more than a week. My sister had gone to New York City with my dad over Thanksgiving break, and she went to almost every candy store that existed there.

There was, without a doubt, a lot of sugar consumed.

And, finally, around the corner comes Thursday. With a sponge it removes all the false optimism in my attitude, pessimism taking its place.

In athletics I’m tired, I do t want to run four laps, I am the slowest among my peers. As I reach the finish line, my friends’ cheers fuel my rage.

Second period, a mixup happens and my math homework is confiscated and not returned. One good grade out the door.

Third and fourth period pass in a blur of sameness. Not bad. Not good. Just average: the way I like it.

Lunch is lunch. I eat, I leave, it’s done.

Fourth period is math. I take raspy breaths, you’re not dead yet, you’re not dead yet…

Que the Kellin Quinn!

Olivia and I are the first to arrive as always. We pick up the warm-up and take our seats.

I guess I would call what I was doing sitting, more like…falling in a pit of fear and frustration.

Turns out the Thursday sponge sucked up more than one thing.

Ellie: Your dignity?

My luck, Sister, my luck.

“We’re doing the warm-up together.” I hear Mrs. Wissman call out to the bustling class.

I swallow the lump in my throat. Geometry is not one of my greatest strengths.

As we finish up the warmup that I hardly paid mind too, I feel my heart beat faster.

“Take out your homework so we can check it,” Mrs. Wissman says.

I sit in silence, my hands in my lap. I must’ve looked pretty shell-shocked, because a hand is suddenly waving in front of my face.

“TJ, you okay?” Olivia whispers over Mrs. Wissman’s lesson.

I blink. “I’m fine, just…homework…” I gesture to the empty spot where my homework should lay.

Olivia nods, I’d told her my predicament during lunch the previous period.

After what seems like an eternity, Mrs. Wissman has completed going over the homework. I prepare for my GPA to drop.

“Leave that in your binder to study.” she announces.

For a second I’m in denial, did she actually just say that? Did she really just say that?

I am, without a doubt, the luckiest person in the world.