the snow’s coming down, I’m watching it fall

It’s snowing!!!!! YAAAAAYYYYY!!!!!

I was so excited when I woke up this morning and saw the flakes sliding past my window. I stood up on my bed and announced “It’s snowing!” to the world. Or, um, myself. Whatever.

Well, I’ve been sick with a cold for the past few days. (But poor Mom had the flu…) Of course that didn’t stop me from my volunteering job! This time I worked with a med student named Erin who was very nice, and also formed an… interesting… view of me.
Her: “So, are you a med student too?”
Me: “No. Well, I’m not really any kind of student.”
Her: “So what do you do when you’re not volunteering?”
Me: “I work at the library and I write.”
Her: “Oh, that’s really cool. So, did you go to school for English?”
Me: (stifled laughter) “Erm. No.”
Her: “You just started writing out of high school, then?”
Me: (thinking: holy cow, she thinks I’m in college or out of college…) “It’s kind of something I’ve always done, so yeah, even before high school. Yep.”
Later I overheard her telling someone I was a librarian(!) and, well, it was kind of a nice fairyland that I was experiencing there, where everyone pretty much assumed I was an adult. I didn’t confirm or deny. As Mom would say, “That would be true, and also, not a lie!”
It was also very fun giving her book-present suggestions. (Mom said, “Now look what you’ve done, she’ll give that to someone and say it was recommended by a librarian!” To which I replied, “It’s a classic, okay!?!”) (Because yeah, you guessed it: I recommended Alice.)

Hey, I know, let’s jump around in chronological order so that I can tell you about all the fun things that happened recently!

Like the…. JARS OF CLAY Christmas concert! They played Christmas music! They played “Closer”!!!! Aaaaaand we were the only ones dancing? (By we I mean: the DHFs, me, and Poncho the Awesomesauce, of course.)
DHFs: “I mean, how could you not dance to that?”
Me: “I think they drank the poison cool-aid, you guys. They were dead as doornails. Bumps on a log.”
Francis: “I don’t think the band could see us dancing way back there.”
Me: “Of course they could see us. We were the only things moving in the whole place!”
Oh, and did I mention that we all had to sing “The Twelve Days of Minecraft” (thank you, Youtube parodies, for killing my sanity) on the way there to cheer Poncho up? (“Fiiiiive gol-den blocks!”) It took PoorBill half the song to figure out that it was a Minecraft thing… Yeeeeeah.
The next morning (we slept over), we all discussed how apparently no one understands “The Long Fall Back to Earth” album even though it perfectly sums up a CHUNK OF MY SOUL.

And… The Hobbit! (I said this in a singsongy voice.) (In my head.) I had a more detailed critique,  but my main thoughts were:
Hi, Mr. Thornton.
The singing is lovely.
I want some dwarf friends.
Bilbo is awesome.
The end.
Oh, and Dodge came. :)

Speaking of movies, I finally watched “A Hard Day’s Night” yesterday while resting from my sickness. I had meant to watch Captain America, but my DVD was damaged (it looked all burned and weird. I blame HYDRA). So I found A Hard Day’s Night online and watched it, and wow, it was weird. It kind of reminded me of Alice in Wonderland (possibly the movie versions more than the actual book, due to disjointed-ness) because it was so nonsensical.

I also went last-minute Christmas shopping (mostly for craft supplies, as I made most of the presents this year, but also for some hard-to-find items) with Eliza and Bug. (I just realized that I do basically everything with Eliza and Bug.) (And they’re going to comment like, “What do you mean you just realized? This has been going on for years!”) Now I am almost done with all of my Christmas presents, even though I’m now going at a somewhat breakneck pace and will probably be finishing some on Christmas Eve. (Bug knitted through The Hobbit in order to finish a present! Now that is some dedication!) Or The Second Day of Christmas. Ironically, the ones I started the earliest are going to be the last done. My life in a nutshell, people. But oh well, they’re fun to make.

Then I shall commence with wrapping. Well, I have already commenced somewhat. I am really excited to wrap everyone’s differently and with much more creativity than in previous years. And we also have to finish decorating and tidying the house… Excitement! Anticipation!

(O come, O come, Emma-a-anuel…)

Yours from beautiful snow-land,
Pen

PS: As I wrote this, Mom and Poncho were wrapping presents at the table where I am working… Poncho said in a creepy robot voice, “I want to be the wrap-inator.”

It’s beginning to look a lot like… an utter failure on the part of nature to deliver an actual winter.

All I want for Christmas is SNOW.
I will aslo accept:
slush,
sleet,
brooding gray clouds,
marrow-clenching cold,
or a combination of the above.
So, yeah, hint-hint, you guys. Better get cracking on that, because so far it pretty much still looks like October. It’s already St. Nicholas Day, didn’t you know. (And I already snarfed the chocolate coins I found in my shoes this morning. I can’t control myself around those things. Shiny! Tasty! We must have the precious!) 

Hey, speaking of preciouses, I finally got my hands on Reached, the sequel to the fab book Matched (I am pretending Book Two never happened. Although it did help me learn something about myself: I can’t handle guys with issues. Sorry, I just don’t get the whole brooding + depressed = attractive thing. I mean, Rochester has issues, and he can be brooding sometimes– partly because that’s just his face– but he’s also teasing and independent and he doesn’t give in to melodrama. And seriously, if a guy in a GOTHIC NOVEL doesn’t do melodrama, then what the heck is your problem, Ky and that soldier guy and Arthur Clennam who I secretly love anyway?)

Ahem. Back to what I was saying… I finished Reached today after getting it last night. (Basically, I behave the same way around shiny new books as I do around shiny coin chocolate. Omnomnom.) It was not as good as Matched, which I obviously expected, but it was much more like Matched than book two was. So it made me happy.
It was also so good, good, good to sink my teeth into a book that’s not a classic, that’s not an “adult” book, that’s not something I want to nitpick or something I grabbed out of desperation. I just let myself enjoy this, you know? Classics can be enjoyable, but they require work to get through– I don’t mean “boo-hoo, they made me think!”, I mean “ouch my brain why why why are your sentences so wordy, Dickens?” Time and the evolution of the English language makes reading some classics hard. (To use Jane Eyre again, I initially rolled my eyes at that book every time it said “unclosed” instead of “opened”. But then I got into it, and I loved it so much, and also Eliza wrote a poem inspired by it that used the word “unclosing”, and I just couldn’t hate it after that.) I think some people believe that “easy reading” is for wimps or lazy consumers or the uneducated mass market or whatever. But you know what? Writers work so hard to write well, to make everything correct and clear and beautiful. They forge the same sentences over and over until it’s perfect. And then– they make it so you don’t see those words that they worked so hard over. They make it so that you see only the story. It’s hard to make it easy.
Plus, wouldn;t you rather puzzle about the meaning of the story– and by extension, the meaning of life!, says the hipster on my left shoulder– than the meaning of a sentence?

OK, well, I didn’t mean to go into a rant there… See what literature does to my brain?

Anyway. Hmm.

Oh, yes.

So, the other night we were watching “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer” because it was on TV. By we, I mean: Dad, Poncho, and me. We were kind of sitting there in quiet bemusement, because the movie is so weird. I never noticed how weird when I was a kid (I always liked “The Little Drummer Boy” better, anyway), but, okay. Everyone in the movie is mean, especially Santa Claus, and Rudolph’s mom doesn’t even have a name. (Also the snowman is a Communist, according to Poor Bill.)
Then Mom came in towards the end of the movie, right when there’s a big snowstorm and they’re going to “cancel Christmas”.
Me: “So this is the movie that started that idiocy.”
Mom: “I don’t know if they started it, or just jumped on the bandwagon.”
Santa: “Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?”
Mom: “So basically, Santa’s a total jerk to you until you have something he needs.”
Rudolph: Of course” (or whatever he said to the affirmative)
Mom: “Jeez, Rudolph has some boundary issues. He should’ve been like, ‘Screw you, Santa!'”
Me: “BAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA”
Later…
Mom: “I’ve always felt that way about that movie, and I’ve never been able to express myself.”
Me: “Well, it’s true. I mean, Santa never has a change of heart in this movie. He gets fat, but he’s still mean. Also do you find it weird that Rudolph’s mom’s name is literally Mrs. Donner?”
Mom: “Yeah, kinda…”
Me: “And only the boy reindeer can fly, apparently? I mean, do not tell me that all of Santa’s reindeer are supposed to be boys. There’s girl names in the song. You know Dasher and Comet and Cupid and… uh…”
Dodge: “Well, they all have antlers.”
Mom: “Girl reindeer have antlers, too!”
Dodge: “No they don’t….”
Mom:
Dodge:
Me: “BAHAHAHAHAHAHA”
(Can you tell that “later” meant “after midnight”?)

Well, then I went to help “Saint Nick” get a certain present ready. It involved funneling fake snow into a glass ornament. The brand of artificial snow was called Rainbow Snow. But I mis-read it as “Raining Snow”.
Me: “Look, mommy, it’s raining snow outside! Ahahahahahahaha–”
Mom: “Har.”

Yeah, if only it were raining snow…

Yours till the snow flakes (DO YOU HEAR ME UP THERE! I SAID SNOW!!!),
Pen

Christmas Adam

You know, because it’s before Christmas Eve! Mom told me that last night.

I can hardly believe it’s so close to Christmas. With moving and all that, Advent went by as a blur of purple and what?-already?-pink. But the tree is up (with a new piece of tape on the stand, as is traditional), the lights are lit, and the gifts are wrapped. I bought the last of mine two days ago… Example number five thousand and one of how I am a procrastinator. I always want to find the Perfect Present to give people. Something unique! And cool! Yet useful! Soooo, yeah. Luckily Mom knows of all cool stores ever and was also willing to drive me there even in her slightly stressed mood. We went into the first one, where I got __________ for ______, but did not find anything else. Then we went into a ____ store so I could look for ______, but did not find any, so then as we got into the car…
Mom: “Oh my gosh. Ohhh my gosh. We’ve been in like a ton of stores and you haven’t found anything!!!”
Me: “Um. We’ve been in two stores, and one of them was like a fake Hallmark. And I actually did buy something. So… be calm.”
Mom: “Oh. Right.”
So then I kept doing my impression of her freaking out, which made her laugh, and I found the rest of my presents in the third store we went to. All was well.

It even snowed this morning, and there was a GORGEOUS first snow last week which actually stuck and was awesome and cool. I took a walk through my new neighborhood in it, and got a bit lost. I was going to follow my tracks home, but the snow was falling rapidly and I didn’t really want to go the same way I had come. The unknown was calling me! Oh, and I heard the bells ringing from the nearby church, which gave me some idea of which direction I should walk in. I eventually made it home… Though at one point I was a little afraid I would be doomed to become the Lost Soul of Serborn, doomed to wander suburbia forever in search of home.

Buuut then I heard very familiar barking, and realized I was right around the corner from my house.

Humans: 1. Cul-de-sacs: 0.  

Right now Dodge is pretending to spy on me from the other side of the Christmas tree, and Dad is listening to cats meowing Jingle Bells.

Yep. It feels like Christmas now… 

The other night I had a dream in which I was talking to my mom, and I said “Hey, tomorrow is Thursday.” But she said,  “No, tomorrow’s Christmas!” and I shouted “YAY!” and did a happy dance. I think I’m aging backward this year. :)

In that case, YAY!!! CHRISTMAS!!!

Merry Christmas everybody!

Love,
Pen

Now we are Six(teen)

All right, Mom, your complaints have finally been heard. I’m writing something on here again. And, tagging your name under it.
Mom: “My name on your blog is getting very small. I check up on these things you know.”
(a few days later) “Look! You still haven’t posted anything! And my name just gets smaller and smaller every day….”

So, now, here I am. I guess several things have happened since you last heard from me, which is too bad, because I still feel I have brain-block over here. My mind keeps freezing up whenever I try to write anything, especially when I try to write about things that happened to me, even if they were entertaining. If I’ve already told the story then it loses its sparkle for me. But I’ll try.

First of all, my birthday. Shocking is all I have to say about it. I actually do feel older, which I almost never do, so that’s a nice change. I did 16 of my favorite things instead of a party and ate pie instead of cake and generally didn’t have the “normal” 16th birthday at all, which made it so much fun.

Well, in relation to the huge amount of snow we’re having….
Tuesday night, I went sledding with Dad, Dodge, and Poncho. It was the first time I’ve been sledding in AGES, maybe two years or something, and it was so fun!!! We went up and down the local sledding hill for about two hours. It was dark, and the moon was out… and it felt like being in a parallel world. The hill is right next to the road, but surrounded by a bit of the Metroparks, and the road is only visible from spaces in the trees. Standing at the top of the hill, there is orangey light from the streetlights and the gas station across the road, but then you fly down the hill and all you see is untouched snow stretching on toward the woods… And when you see the road it’s like some other world overlapping with yours, and you are invisible.
In less poetic terms, we played “missile” and Poncho even suggested we play “Santa Assassin”, but that did not sound fun to me because I don’t like crashing. I’m not afraid of hills, but I am afradi of knocking into someone, which almost happened a few times. Once Poncho and I almost crashed into some random brick thing but I saved us just in time.

Since that was so fun, the next day we played outside in the yard, and built a snow-wall, which was supposed to be a snow cave but then Dodge decided he didn’t feel like digging it out. Then we sledded down our front yard, which happens to be slightly inclined, and took turns pushing each other in the snow. I can’t wait for winter camp now!!

Hmmm…  I just got word that JPII is being beatified on May 1st, apparently, which is cool. And yesterday I had an interesting conversation with Eliza and Bug about St. Dismas, and how if you think about it he’s actually the first-ever, most-guaranteed saint.

What else? Oh, yes.
The other night, Mom and I answered questionnaires about each other. The questions were made up by me, and here are the most interesting ones:
~How would the applicant respond should she learn that a comet is about to crash into the earth? (I said Mom would probably Google it, and Mom said I might not actually find out because I would be reading a book.)
~What is the applicant’s favorite historical era and what does this say about them? (I said Mom’s was Now, which says she likes modern conveniences, and she loves having access to tons of information. Mom said mine was the 1930’s, which says I’m resourceful and thrifty, which is true if I do say so myself. I also love the clothes they wore in the 30’s… hats! and the roller skates! Dresses made from chicken feed bags! It was awesome!)
~If the applicant were lost in the forest, how would she react? (Mom said I would sit on a log and read, and I said “why would Mom be in the forest anyway?”)

So, that was pretty much my week. I shall go now, and read, most likely.

Mom just came in… “What are you blogging about?”
Me: “You.”
Mom: “Yay! Now my name will be big again!”

the weatherman is sure there will be more

It’s been snowing here for about three days straight, I think. It’s perfectly wonderful, of course, since we won’t be sick of it until a month or two from now. Actually I don’t get sick of the snow, or the cold even, but the salt grime. And most of all the not-being-able-to-wear-skirts-that-drag-the-ground.

I took a walk yesterday as it was snowing. Just a few blocks. It was really nice, and quiet, and I love the whole atmosphere of mystery during winter. The long nights, the grey, silent days… maybe that’s why my novel is set in a kind of perpetually-wintry city. Unlike rain, when snow falls it makes no sound. Somehow it’s just cool to stand anywhere you’re alone, maybe with some bare trees nearby, and just watch the snow fall. Silence. It’s beautiful and kind of creepy at the same time, like you’re in this magical world but you’re also the only person inhabiting it.

Yep, you heard right, I have now declared my love for the season of winter. “Oh that I were a glove upon that hand”…. etc, etc. More like, “oh that I had a glove upon my hand”, but whatever.

So. The snow. Winter. Life is good, as those incredibly irritating t-shirts (and now bumper stickers, apparently) say. Man, I hate those. It’s like, yeah, life is good, but it’s not all cartoon inner tubes and smiley stick people. Geez.

Uh, what was I going to say before I went off on a tangent? Oh yeah. Life. Pshh. Never mind, I don’t feel like being all talkative anymore. I kind of feel like just sitting here listening to music and pretending to be a teenager. Is it possible to feel too young to be a teenager and too old at the same time but still simultaneously feel like a teenager is exactly what you are? 
If it’s not… I have achieved the impossible.

we put on our winter skin

our winter skin, and walk…

And we watch the snow fall.

Because it is falling, very much so, all over the country I hear. Some global warming. I do like snow, and I do so love winter and its mysterious, grey, see-your-breath, clear night skies atmosphere, but I’m not gonna lie to you. I’m getting kind of sick of this. I think it’s not so much the constant cold or the bad driving conditions or the fact that I am continually forced to wear jeans and shoes (my two pet peeves clothing-wise… if it were up to me I would always wear skirts and walk barefoot), but it’s really just that I can’t do anything in the winter. I am an outside kind of person, and if I can’t get outside I pace and act like a marsh wiggle. In any other season this is easily remedied; even in the rain I can walk the dogs around the block, or hang out in our backyard fort. But with six feet of snow on the sidewalk and sub-zero temperatures, it’s such a hassle to get outside. The closest thing to the outdoors I get is playing Island Cycling on the Wii Fit. What is the world coming to?!? 

Anyway. There’s other stuff going on in the world besides the dumb weather. I must be getting old or something, starting a conversation in that manner.

Well, Dad is very close to the end of Catching Fire. He didn’t read it for a while because of all the camps and stuff, but I think he’ll be done by next week. I read that book in five hours, btw, but I’m still impressed with how quickly Dad has chewed through these despite the numerous “girly” parts in Catching Fire. I knew he would like book one because it has a lot of survival, hunting, action, etc. But he seems to like book two as well. Yay! :D

When I was reading Catching Fire, in the part where *spioler alert* President Snow comes to “chat” with Katniss, I had a small freakout moment and almost stopped reading. Why? Because through that whole part she keeps mentioning how President Snow is really creepy and kind of disgusting and also very strong-smelling. He wears a rose in his lapel that is genetically enhanced to smell very strongly. But Katniss also thinks she smells the distinct scent of blood coming off of him, but she’s not sure where it’s coming from, him or the weird rose. Then when he says goodbye, it says: The smell of blood… it was on his breath.
The second I read that I looked up from my book and shrieked, “PRESIDENT SNOW IS A VAMPIRE?”
Everyone in my family immediately come running to my aid saying, “Huh? What? What happened, are you okay? Why are you jumping in circles making angry faces like that?”
Luckily, all the blood/breath stuff was just for added creepiness. Like we needed any more of that when Snow is basically killing people off left and right without even breaking a sweat, threatening to have Gale die in an accidentally-on-purpose mine explosion and have Prim sent off to the Games, and then in the next breath thanking Katniss’ mother for the tea and cookies. 
Vampires suck.
(I just read that over and realized that it’s a pun. LOL. XD )

And… what else is going on around here? I watched a great episode of Frontline all about technology, and you can watch it here: www.pbs.org . It was really good, a bit long, but nonetheless I found it pretty interesting since it fits in with all my thoughts on the world in this wired age. Maybe one of my upcoming posts will be about technology, and my generation, etc…. but maybe not. I feel too lazy to do that right now. Ugh. See, it’s getting me, too!!!

I think that’s all I’ll say for now, since I don’t want to get too disorganized in this poor little posty. ;) Next time, I will try to be a little less all over the place, and to talk more in depth. We need to talk, you and I. About a great many things. (A little Palpatine there, just for good measure. Uh, not that the Emperor would really be considered “good” measure. oh phooey. I need to log off before I keep running my mouth and become completely irrelevant.)

Peace out,
Pen

When I said “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas”, that is NOT what I meant!

Yesterday night I came out of my bedroom after changing into my Pj’s. Daisy instantly slunk away from me. Then what to my wondering eyes did appear? But a huge chewed-up mess and my dog Lily dear.

She ate an entire box of Puff’s Plus tissues (as in, the kind with lotion!)!!! We got that, um, luxurious kind becuase we’ve all been blowing our noses about every three seconds. And the kicker? There was a roll of toilet paper sitting right next to the tissues. She couln’t eat five cent toilet paper? She had to eat the Puffs!!! Bad doggie!!! Seriously, the entire floor was white with chewed-up tissue. It was like snow. Oh, Lily! When I said, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas”, that is NOT what I meant!

She has a very cute “I’m sorry” face, though.  So I forgave her. :)

In other news,  I have officially found some pretty great presents for people. Today I unexpectedly found a great one for Allie, although I might give it to her for her brithday instead of Christmas since I already had a pretty good Christmas idea for her too. (Something handmade…) But I have Poncho’s present all ready except it just needs wrapped, I have Dodge’s a third of the way done, and Dad’s will take me only a few minutes. It’s a little bit sad, though, because his present this year is a bit of a step down from last year when I, being as cool as I am, got him Spirit’s “The Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus” (which I myself borrow quite often, I like it) which he had been wanting for some time. Of course now I remember all those hints he was dropping about another certain CD, but hey, maybe for his birthday. ;)

So yeah. I feel like one of Santa’s elves or something. Last night I helped Mom put bows on people’s gifts, and stick some under the tree… She wouldn’t even let me touch the ones she got for me though. I helped her hide some evidence, too. Mwaha. And then I realized how good she is at keeping all this stuff top secret. I’m really excited to give my gifts to people. I mean, I kind of am not as excited for waking up really early on Christmas morning and running to the tree as I used to be (gosh I sound so old!) but I am really psyched for Christmas in general. In the past, it used to be me who would wake up the boys early in the morning (“Santa came, Santa came!”) but last year they had to wake me up. It was weird. But nice. I used to have some trouble sleeping the night before Christmas becuase I was too excited, but I actually got a good rest last year.

So I guess I’ll be pretty busy today and tomorrow– very busy. I want to finish cleaning (including my bedroom, for once! Though I fear chaos theory in that regard, ha-ha… That was a joke.) and then I have to make a few things, wrap a few things, and convince people not to make a mess by throwing a bunch of stuff on every available surface. (We call that “Violating” in our house. Whenever someone does it I say in a robot voice, “Violation! Violation!”) Also we have to try and keep Lily from knocking over the Christmas tree. It’s in front of one of the windows, so when the mailman comes she can’t see him, and then she runs behind the tree and this morning she ripped through some of the lovely wrapping Mom did. Luckily, it was Lily’s own present (a doggie bed… which she will probably eat, just like those tissues.)

Oh, yeah! Brought it all full-circle now, watch me do it like a pro! Haha. I’m off to work on my novel now. Cheerio!

Tidings of comfort and joy,
Pen