Eoin and a Polka Dot, Polka Dot, Polka Dot…

Hi guys! So I know it’s late but you know what? It’s STILL WEDNESDAY. In my book, that means I win. I’m exhausted – I spent the day with Sunny and Elinor and Shmelllllen…. (Dearest Shmella: please don’t kill me. You know I think you’re the greatest human being on this planet. That fact, however, will not stop me from calling you Shmellen and all variants of it. :P) They all sunbathed and I acted like the vampire that I am – at one point in the day the girls tried to get me to lie out in the grass with them, saying stuff like, “It’s so warm!” “It feels so good!” and I, without thinking, replied, “No! It burrrrns!” It really was making my face sting, I’m not making this up. (Augh! The hideous light of the day star!)

Because I’m so tired, I’m not going to have a super in depth post today – I’m going to give you an excerpt from my NaNo novel (it’s from Eoin’s first chapter – I love him so much!) and then leave you with a video.

But first…! As you know, I had my orchestra audition on Saturday, and I got an email yesterday telling me that I MADE IT IN!!! I didn’t make the level I wanted to, but I still did pretty dang well, and this orchestra is really hard to get into, so I’m just really excited and really proud of myself that I did it. 🙂

Alright, here’s the excerpt. Enjoy!

“Who’s next?” Eoin called, pushing his hair back from his sweaty forehead. He looked expectantly down the line of boys, who started jostling each other. Malcolm shoved Angus forward, who in turn dragged Callum away from the fence and toward Eoin. Callum aimed a kick at him, which Angus dodged, staggering into Hamish.

Eoin rolled his eyes. As a Senior Initiate, it was his job to assist the lower level Initiates in their training, in addition to his Assignment as castle guard. Every morning he woke up and made his way down to the training field, where he sparred with a group of red levels (the white levels weren’t advanced enough to go up against him – he found himself destroying them, even when he tried to hold back). After a few hours he would head up to the Initiates’ dormitories and sleep until sundown. Rhys would bring him leftovers from dinner, and Eoin would drag himself out of bed to work the night shift, patrolling up on the castle walls.

It was a tiring routine, but Eoin enjoyed it – and no matter how tired he was, he never had any trouble beating the snot out of his group of boys. (Of course, sometimes he had bad days, during which the boys never hesitated to gleefully beat the snot out of him. The system worked well.)

Hamish elbowed Angus. “Shove off, you cretin.” He shook out his wrist and grabbed his sword. “I’ll go.”

Eoin grinned. “Excellent.” Hamish had recently decided it would be a good idea to nick Eoin’s armor and hide it in the stables, where Eoin had found it later, covered in poo. He was looking forward to enacting revenge upon the little twerp.

He twirled his sword in his hand and waited for Hamish to take his stance. Once the boy was in position, Eoin raised his sword arm. “Ready?”

Hamish nodded.

“Begin!”

The blonde boy shot forward, swinging his sword in a sideways slice aimed at Eoin’s ribs. Eoin ducked and stabbed forward, forcing Hamish to sidestep the blow. Hamish directed an overzealous blow toward Eoin’s back, which Eoin twisted up to block. Hamish jumped back slightly, resting on the balls of his feet as he waited for Eoin’s next move.

The boy’s stance reminded Eoin of how Caerwyn stood when she was fighting. Easy to knock over, sure, but light enough on her feet that you would never have the opportunity. The girl was a natural with a sword, and so graceful…

Distractedly, Eoin jabbed at Hamish. Hamish easily blocked him and advanced, fiercely. Eoin was thrown and staggered backward. He yanked his attention from the brown-haired girl who constantly occupied his thoughts and focused back on the fight. Just in time, he noticed a hole in Hamish’s defense and stabbed at it. Hamish anticipated Eoin’s move and brought down the hilt of his sword on Eoin’s shoulder (head shots were against the rules). Cursing, Eoin charged the boy, hoping to knock him off balance.

No such luck – Hamish dug his heels in at exactly the right moment, and Eoin couldn’t budge him. Eoin’s shoulder throbbed and he swore to himself that if he lost this fight, he would have to hide spiders in Hamish’s bed for the next week.

Thankfully, Hamish made a mistake. He lifted his sword above his head in order to swing downward at Eoin, leaving his stomach exposed. Eoin jabbed him, harder than necessary. He had won, but only barely.

A shout of anguish went up from the rest of the boys. “C’mon, Hamish!”

“Like you could do better,” he shot back. He let his arms fall, sword tip bouncing against the ground. He raised an eyebrow at Eoin. “That was sloppy. Got your head in the clouds again?”

“I’ll tell what’s sloppy and what’s not, thanks,” Eoin snapped. “Lest you forget, I just smeared your sorry behind all over this field.”

Hamish stuck out his tongue and joined the other boys on the fence, hoisting himself up on the rails. “Barely.”

Eoin smacked him over the head with the flat side of his sword. “Shut your face, Hamish.”

Angus grinned, wickedly. “I know what it was,” he said, crossing his arms and fixing his gaze on Eoin. “He was thinking about Lady Caerwyn.”

Eoin found himself blushing against his will. “Don’t be stupid. I wasn’t thinking about anyone, I was just distracted by Hamish’s fat head.”

The other boys had a laugh at Hamish’s expense, but quickly turned the brunt of their teasing back to Eoin. “So you were thinking about her!” Malcolm cried, accusingly. “Don’t lie.”

“I’m not – ” Eoin started, but Callum interrupted him.

“Worried, lover boy?” he asked, raising an eyebrow. “She’s getting her Assignment this morning, you know.”

Eoin shook the thought of Caerwyn from his head. “I’m not worried,” he said (a lie, and a blatant one at that). “Lady Caerwyn is a competent initiate who can take care of herself. She’ll be fine.”

Before I go: I want to do a blog post maybe this weekend or next week in which I answer a bunch of questions from you guys, so if you have anything you want to ask me or just want my opinion on or whatever, leave them in comments! And if you’ve been hanging around reading and not commenting, please do leave a comment – it doesn’t have to be long, but reading them really does make my day, I really appreciate them. 🙂

I leave you with this. You’re welcome. (If you listen to the whole thing, you win serious points. I think this is hilarious, but it gets really annoying, really fast.)

Hahaha. Have fun with that stuck in your head for the rest of your life. 😀

Love you, too!

~Hero

Who Am I?

Guys, I do not want to write this post. I want to watch Leverage, or sleep, or pretend that I’m not wearing my broken glasses lopsidedly on my face. Maybe I would go eat an empty ice cream cone, since we have the cones but no ice cream. Or maybe I would take that 75% full tupperware of melon downstairs to put in the fridge before it turns to mush! (Actually, I am going to do that. One moment, please.)

Okay. Back from the melon endeavor.

The reason I’m kind of wiped out is because I told myself that I was not going to write this post until after I finished at least PART of this paper on Julius Caesar that’s due on Thursday. But I’m so tired, and cranky, and sick, and so easily distracted (having the internet back is both a blessing and a curse), that writing the small amount I finally wrote took me a good hour.

Hence it being almost 9 o’clock when I’m finally getting around to this. I almost pushed it forward another day, but that would be lazy – and since I just got back from my 46-day-long abandonment of you guys, I decided to make this post a labor of love and get over myself. (Speaking of love, that’s what Wednesday’s post is going to be about. Stay tuned!)

Before I go on, I wanted to mention a couple of things.

1. I just discovered this amazing thing on YouTube that Hank Green has started. It’s called the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and it’s basically a retelling of Pride and Prejudice in the modern day, in the form of a video blog. (Think Dr. Horrible’s.) I’m a huge P&P fan, so I saw this and kind of geeked out. It’s hilarious, and you should check it out.

2. I’M GOING TO PROM! I’m so excited. 🙂 I’m not going to talk about it at all, because I don’t want to sound like it’s all I’ve been thinking about (even if it is), but, yeah. It’s going to be so awesome – my dress is amazing and only cost me $25! (Which is a good thing, since we just had to drop $200 on restoring my vision.) (…Yeah.)

So, I was thinking about what I should write this post on, and the first thing that popped into my head is identity. I’ve kind of been having an identity crisis since Saturday when I realized that my glasses are finished. Caput. No longer with us. I’ve had these glasses for three years, and now they’re dead.

I know that seems really overdramatic – I mean, they’re only a pair of glasses, right? The thing is, these glasses feel like a part of me. I wear them all the time – my friends almost never see me without them. I’ve met people who legitimately do not recognize me when I’m not wearing them. And obviously they’re just glasses, but it’s been making me think: what is it that makes us who we are?

Obviously our personalities and our souls and all of that, but how much of our exterior appearance contributes to our identity? Is the Hero without glasses the same as the Hero with glasses? Not to those aforementioned people who don’t recognize her. Not to people on the street who maybe realize something about her because of the glasses.

It’s not just about glasses, either. Think about scars, for example. I have scars all over me – and they all have a story. I have a scar on my foot from where my friend Sunny accidentally opened a gate onto it. I have couple scars under my lip from when I fell off a bike when I was nine and almost bit through it. (My lip, not the bike.) Without these scars, I wouldn’t be the same person I am today. And I’m not saying that having a gate opened onto my foot or biting through my lip were experiences that were turning points in my life. No. I’m saying that everything that happens to us shapes us, forms us. We are who we are because of genetics, yes, but also because of environmental factors. The Hero with the scars on her knees and the glasses on her face is that way for a reason. Those scars and those glasses aren’t key parts of her being – but they are parts of it, nonetheless, and as a result, they’re important.

Basically what I’m trying to say is: I really like these glasses. I wish I hadn’t been stupid enough to break them. 😛

(By the way, in case you’re wondering, the correct response to the title of the post is: “I’M JEAN VALJEAN!” Feel free to add jazz hands.)

Thanks for reading. Talk soon.

Hero

I Use Antlers In All of My Decorating

Oh my goodness, you guys. It’s been a while.

This is going to take forever.

Here we go.

WHAT I DID IN THE PERIOD OF TIME BETWEEN ASH WEDNESDAY AND EASTER SUNDAY:

1. I played a lot of Zelda. 

For this to make sense, you need to understand just how much time I spend on the internet. A good chunk of every day is spent rotting my brain online – so when I gave it up completely, I had this huge VOID of free-time that I had to fill somehow. A normal, productive person would have spent this free time doing something good, like writing their novel, or working harder at their schoolwork, or maybe trying to get ahead on their Driver’s Ed. Me? I played Twilight Princess. I am unashamed. (I also watched a decent amount of Leverage.)

2. I got confirmed.

Okay, so arguably this should have gone first. Whatever. But, yeah! On February 28th, at 7:30 PM, I got confirmed! I took the name Lucy Maria, after St. Lucy of Syracuse and St. Maria Goretti – both martyrs. I chose them because their courage inspires me to stand up for my faith and my morals. It was such an incredible experience, kneeling before the bishop, heart pounding in my chest, hearing him speak my soon-to-be name… I just had this chill run through me, and as I was walking back to the pew, I had to tell myself, “You are not going to cry – this mascara is not waterproof.” I’m so happy – I’ve been waiting for ages and ages for my confirmation, and now it’s finally happened. (Plus, we had cake after the ceremony. Hurrah!)

3. I made new friends!

Backstory: I’m homeschooled, and I do classes online. Hence, I have a bunch of friends all over the country. Sepp has a class with a girl who lives here in town – he’s been trying to get us to meet up for ages and ages. Toward the beginning of March, I went to a dance with the usual crew. At the dance, Tanith saw an old friend of hers and introduced us – I recognized his last name, and it turns out that he’s the older brother of the girl Sepp has been wanting me to meet up with! It was absolutely the craziest thing. Anyhow, long story short: I now have two new friends and they’re both awesome and hilarious. (PLUS, they took me to the Hunger Games midnight premiere, hence I am obligated to love them forever.)

4. I WENT TO SEE THE HUNGER GAMES.

I LOVED IT. I know that there were a lot of critiques of this movie, and I have a couple myself, but I’m going to spare you all my ranting about the film-maker’s inability to hold a camera steady and the absurdity that is Liam Hemsworth, and just say: holy cow. For the most part, the movie kept so true to the books, it made me SO happy. And Josh Hutcherson is SO GOOD as Peeta! AUGH! AND I LOVE CAESAR FLICKERMAN TO A WEIRD EXTENT. He’s probably my favorite character out of the entire movie, and yes I realize how ridiculous of a statement that is, but I don’t even care. I’d go into more detail about the movie, but I’d rather not spoil anybody. Let’s just say that I thought the movie was epic and anybody who says Seneca Crane’s beard is not the best thing ever to grace the silver screen is going to get smacked.

5. I went to see October Baby.

Such a good movie – if I were any good at crying in movies, I would have. (As it was, most of my friends blubbered their way through the whole thing.) I really recommend it: if you find yourself at the movies in the near future and have to make a choice between any other movie and October Baby, pick October Baby. (I don’t care how much you want to see Mirror, Mirror. Just do it.)

Here’s the trailer, in case you haven’t heard of it.

6. I had my solo cello recital.

I surprised myself by doing really, really well. I only flubbed one note, and all of my glorious, amazingly sweet friends told me that it sounded perfect, and even though they’re probably lying, it really means a lot to me that they took the time to watch my performance and at least pretend to enjoy it. After the recital we went to Bass Pro Shops for dinner (don’t judge me – it was a Friday night during Lent and they have a sea food restaurant). That place totally scares me (being a vegetarian, I’m not a huge fan of stuffed, dead things mounted all over the place), but I owe the fun of the evening to, again, my friends, who upon seeing the Christmas tree made of antlers in the entry-way, immediately flung out their arms and shouted, “I USE ANTLERS IN ALL MY DECORATING!” “I WANT A GUY LIKE GASTON!” (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you need to go rewatch Beauty and the Beast. Seriously.)

For anyone interested, I played Sonata in C by Breval, and since the video of my performance has an unfortunate flaw in that it shows my face, here’s someone who actually plays the piece well, for your enjoyment.

I swear, I’ve watched this video so many times… Half of its views are from me – I’m completely serious.

Anyhow, that’s about it. I’m extraordinarily pleased with myself that I was able to uphold my Lenten promise and stay offline for the entire duration of Lent, but I don’t think I’m ever going to do this again! Coming back to the internet after 46 days is like walking into Inception in the middle of the movie and trying to understand it. I’m so behind!

I hope you’ll forgive me for being absent for so long! I’ll be back in the swing of things soon – talk to you on Sunday!

Love,

Hero

I Could Have Danced All Night

The fact that I have now had two consecutive blog titles containing a My Fair Lady reference worries me. Especially because I don’t even particularly like My Fair Lady all that much, plus I just went to see WICKED for the second time, so my head should be full of that.

Whatever. I’ve had the most amazing weekend ever, and I will now try to synopsize it for you guys.

Saturday

Saturday morning I pulled myself out of bed at the ungodly hour of seven AM and my dad drove me and my friend to the convention center for a retreat. The theme of the retreat was ‘Made To Love’ and the keynote speaker was Jason Evert. (For those of you who don’t know, Jason Evert is this ridiculously amazing and hilarious chastity speaker. You should check him out.) However, the people running the retreat were having some scheduling problems, which led to us sitting around for a while taking pictures of our feet and writing on ourselves. (Ink poisoning FTW.)

Eventually, they sent the boys into a different room and we had these two guys come up and talk to all the girls about how both men and women are made in God’s image, and how we all possess some of the qualities of God Himself. In the guys we can see God’s strength, adventurousness, and in the women we can see God’s beauty and mystery. (Personally, I think we girls got the better deal. ;)) They talked about how men have an innate desire to be conquerors – it’s ingrained in their being to need to conquer things. (Also, a cool quote from a cardinal – I think – whose name I have forgotten, “The world tells man to conquer a woman for himself. God tells man to conquer himself for a woman.”) This is kind of cool because if a guy genuinely loves a girl and the girl has high standards, the guy will do basically anything to meet her standards. So girls, set the bar high. 😛

At the beginning of that talk, they made all the girls in the room compile a list of qualities they look for in a guy. This would have been fine, except they made all the guys in the other room compile a list of qualities they thought girls looked for in a guy. The lists matched almost exactly, except that the guys included ‘money’ and ‘a beard.’ (The best part was that all of the girls from my group groaned and basically facepalmed because WE KNEW that our friend had put that on the list. The big dork.)

Moving on! We had lunch. I had a vegetarian sandwich with entirely too much mayonnaise on it. HURRAH.

Then Jason Evert came up and talked. I never expected him to be so funny. I only took a few notes because I was too busy laughing my head off, but I did write down this one thing… He said that if he could only talk to us for sixty seconds, he’d tell us that, “No girl on earth will ever convince other people that she has dignity and should be respected unless she convinces herself.” (That’s important. That’s why it’s in bold.)

All of the other pictures look rather the same, so I shall SKIP THEM! *triumphant trumpet music* (By the way, I am not going to explain these pictures at all, so deal with it. :P)

At the end of the retreat we had Mass. After the Eucharist I was suddenly hit with how much Jesus loves me. I acutely felt it like a knife in my chest – how much Jesus had done for me, despite the fact that I am so low – so low – and I will never ever ever ever ever ever (to the billionth power) be able to deserve it. No matter what I do. It makes me feel like crying, both because I feel so awful for my repeated, continual failure and because it feels so amazing to be loved like that.

I was going to apologize for how religion-heavy that paragraph is, but you know what? I won’t. I cannot apologize for my faith. I am enamored with Christ, my Lord, and I am not sorry about it. At all.

Once the retreat was over, my friend-with-the-beard and his brother, my best-friend-sans-beard, drove me to this Sadie Hawkins dance. (Well, bearded-friend drove – they can’t both drive. That’d be weird.) The dance was amazing. I danced like a complete maniac – I am so sore today. We had so much fun with the strobe lights (we are such dorks). There was a lot of swing music, so I danced with three of my guy friends: my best friend, who I usually dance with, my other friend who I’d danced with a couple times (so I kept flubbing it up because I was used to dancing with said best friend), and my other friend who didn’t know how to dance, so I had to teach him.

Toward the end of the dance, they played ‘Dancing Through Life’ and I started completely freaking out. Nobody had any clue why, so I had to scream (in between lines, of course), “IT’S FROM WICKED!” And then of course, I started singing it, but Dancing Through Life is sung by a tenor, which means it’s too low for my little girly voice, but if I try to bump it up an octave, it’s too high. So I basically just had to yell the words (since I couldn’t sing them), and add this to the fact that I was jumping around like an absolute idiot… My non-Wicked-savvy friends were raising their eyebrows and thinking, “Oh, she’s lost it now.” (I’m looking at you, Mon-la.)

To quickly wrap up the rest of Saturday night (because this is getting really long and I still have to get through Sunday), I slow danced with this guy that I kind of dislike, halfway because I was dared to, halfway because I thought it’d be hilarious. (It was actually just awkward, so, fail.) The DJ announced that the next song was the last song, and I was going to dance with guy-I-didn’t-really-like’s cousin/my non-Wicked-savvy-friend’s older brother (again, as a joke), but I couldn’t find him, so I just danced with my best-friend-sans-beard. I figured I’d dance with somebody I actually liked for the last song. 😛

The dance ended really late at night, so as my friend-with-the-beard drove me home (he’s the only licensed driver in our circle of friends who my mother will let drive me anywhere), my best-friend-sans-beard points out, “Hey, isn’t it illegal for you to drive past midnight?” (According to state law, you have to be licensed for a year before you’re able to drive after midnight.) At this point it’s 11:47 PM and we’re about 10 minutes away from my house. Note that these guys live, like, fifteen minutes away from me. You do the math. I was like, “Ohhh… Shoot.” So, yes. Illegal activity of the day! (Kids: don’t try this at home.)

End Saturday.

Sunday

Dad and I drove for aaaaaaaages (and ages and ages) so I could go see Wicked with my aunt. I’ve seen it before, and seeing it a second time was slightly less powerful. I mean, it was still amazing and magical and wonderful and all things fantastic, but I knew what was coming and how it ended, so it was like part of the anticipation was gone. Does that make sense? It’s sort of sad, because I’ll never be able to recapture the feeling of seeing it for the first time – but that in no way means I’m going to stop going to see it. It is still my favorite musical and it is still unbelievably incredible. So, bravo, Stephen Shwartz and Co. Bravo.

The cast of this show was pretty much the same cast as last time I went to see it, but they had a different Glinda, and this performance with the understudy for both Elphaba and Fiyero. I was excited about this, because I thought it’d be cool to see a different portrayal of the characters. They didn’t disappoint. I completely fell in love with Fiyero all over again. And even though in my heart, David Nathan Perlow will always be the one true Fiyero, because I saw him in the role first, this guy was still pretty awesome. (And, yes, Julia – pretty attractive, too – or at least I thought so. I didn’t get to meet him up close like I did with DNP, so I can’t be sure, but from where I was sitting, he looked pretty good. I cannot cast official judgement, however, so we must leave this unresolved.)

Can y’all give me, like, ten seconds to fangirl? Okay. Thanks. *gigantic swoon thing* I LOVE FIYERO. SO MUCH. Not even the actors that play him, just the character. Just FIYERO. Goodness. Goodness. *swoons again* “I don’t even think he’s perfect anymore and I still want him!” (Oh, Glinda.) Which now prompts one of my favorite exchanges in the whole musical: “He’s been moody and distant… And he’s been thinking.” *enter Fiyero* “Elphaba! Listen, I’ve been thinking…” “I heard.”

Gah. I just love it all so much.

And yes, before you ask – I did fork over twenty bucks for one of those fancy programs. Don’t judge me.

All in all, going to see this play again and falling in love with the characters again has only convinced me further that the blood running through my veins is a glittering emerald green.

Alright, I’m going to bed. I apologize for this novel length, completely confusing post. I’m probably going to reread this tomorrow and go, “What on earth…?”

Sleep deprivation is fun. Whoohoo.

Thanks for reading, guys. It means a lot.

~Hero