I Sorted My Cello into a Hogwarts House

For the record, I am aware that it’s Wednesday. If you’re worried that I’ve given up the interwebs for Lent again and will once again take a forty-five day hiatus, don’t be. This year I’m just banning tumblr – as well as a few other things I find myself entirely too dependent on (coffee, for one). I don’t really have any excuse for not blogging yesterday except that I hit an emotional speedbump and decided to moan about it instead. [cue rolling about on the floor and whining and being a general Richard II]

This post is sort of a general status update, seeing as I’ve been sort of scattered recently.

Books Challenge

I’m actually ahead of schedule – I’ve read 6 so far. Unfortunately Les Misérables is still on hold until I finish Richard III (the biography not the tragedy) and all these Shakespeare plays I’ve decided to undertake. I have been picking up one of Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclicals every now & again over the past couple days… attempting to cope… failing…

Got this email from Tatiana:

WobblesSo that’s basically what we’ve been reduced to.

Orchestra

We got new music on Sunday. I hated it at first, but it’s growing on me. I’ll just tell you that sight-reading Colas Breugnon by Kabalevsky WITH A SUBSTITUTE CONDUCTOR when you’re already in a foul mood does not endear you to a piece. It really doesn’t.

[Let’s just go ahead and say flat out that I have been in a pretty terrible state over the past couple of days & it’s only getting worse. Gah.]

Anyway, on the subject of orchestra/cello/etc, I’ve decided that Evvy is a Gryffindor. (My last cello was Ravenclaw, and I’ll explain this in a moment…)

DSCN0378

So where the strings of a cello connect to the fine tuners, there’s a covering of thread, most likely so the tuners can grip well enough. My last cello had dark blue and copper-y/gold thread – but Evvy’s scarlet & gold. Gryffindor.

Which explains a lot, actually. Like why she’s so stubborn and temperamental. […okay, I’m… crazy… I know…]

Other Orchestra Stuff

Went to see a friend of mine perform in a Brahms concert with the senior group of my youth orchestra: she was only in a couple of them & I proceeded to feel guilty about enjoying the symphony much more than the chorus. 😛 (I can’t help it! They played Hungarian Dances – three of them!)

I was going to see another Brahms performance tomorrow night, but it fell through. C’est la vie. I’ll probably stay in and spend the evening watching movies instead.

Which reminds me…

Random Stuff I’m Getting Kind of Obsessed With (Running Out of Names for This)

Kaylee’s my favorite so far.

1. Firefly! The classic one-season space-western from Joss Whedon that my friends have been nagging me to watch since the dawn of time. I was originally put off from the show because the pilot episode is kind of… iffy… but I’ve given it another go and am definitely enjoying it so far.

The whole space-western thing confuses me, though: at this point the only things wester about it are the fact that sometimes Zoë says ‘ain’t’ and all the music is very Lone Ranger. I’ve been told it’ll make sense to me later (that and a lot of things), but the stuff I do understand outweighs the stuff I don’t, so I’m okay. (The reverse of that statement is true for Homestuck, by the way. I just… Confused. All the time.)

DSCN0387

Currently…

2. Sudoku. I’ve always liked sudoku – my aunt even gave me an electronic sudoku gizmo (that I have since lost, but it was a while ago) – but I recently found my old barely touched sudoku book and have been obsessively solving puzzles. On the day I found it I tore through eight puzzles in one afternoon. It’s gotten to the point where I can actually walk around the house/have conversations with people while working on a puzzle. (I thought I was so clever at Marian Group for holding it under the table during the meeting… turns out everybody could tell, but nobody cared enough to tell me off about it.)

Photo on 2-13-13 at 3.42 PM

I’ve sticky-tabbed the life out of the blue book…

3. Prayer. 😛 (This is cheating, but I don’t care.) This is your Ash Wednesday reminder that Lent isn’t just about giving up chocolate and waiting for the Easter Bunny. This is one of the first few years that I’ve actually been mature enough to go deeper during Lent, and I’m actually excited to take advantage of this prayer-intensive time. I’ve bookmarked all my favorite prayers in With Mary in Prayer (blue for rough times/things going wrong, pink for prayers for the journey onward, yellow asking for help and guidance, and orange for the night prayer) and I’m going to try and keep it on me and take a few minutes every now and again throughout the day to ask for that guidance and that grace that I so desperately need. Also, the Divine Mercy Chaplet is my new best friend. I started saying it daily for Morgann because I offered it to her for her spiritual bouquet on her birthday – we said it together at the silent retreat we went on, so it holds special meaning in our heart. After the week of the chaplet I’d promised was over, I found myself gravitating back to it. It’s short enough that I always have time to fit it in somewhere and literally can’t make any excuses not to pray it, yet it’s still profound and deeply calming in its rhythm.

4. Shakespeare Uncovered on PBS.  As I mentioned a couple posts ago, some of the girls in my history class are reading the Henriad & Richard III to supplement our history texts this session. As much as I love Shakespeare, sometimes it can be hard for me to get into the plays – a lot of times I don’t understand who relates to who and it takes me ages to understand what the heck is going on. At the same time, I abjectly refuse to watch the movie before I read the play: that’s cheating. 😉 So the other day while searching around online for Ben Whishaw’s rendition of Richard II (very good, by the way, I’d put The Hollow Crown on my list of new obsessions, except it just ties into this), I found PBS’s Shakespeare Uncovered. What they do is go deeper into the plays, find the history and the meaning in it, and give you a broad understanding of the play. Watching this gave me ground to stand on when I went back to the play, and made the reading infinitely easier. If I finish my history work tonight, this is my reward. 🙂

5. Oh my goodness this post goes on forever… Okay… Last one: pictures! I spent a good chunk of time today picking out pictures of me and my friends to fill this plethora of picture frames I found. I’m hoping to hang them around my room so I can remind myself of the people who care about me and make me smile, even when I’m feeling grumpy. (Though usually they’re the ones who’re making me grumpy, so… *smacked*)

Okay, this is far enough – I need to wrap up and go back to my history work. If you read thus far, give yourself a pat on the back. You earned it.

Best wishes,
Hero

P.S. Remind me on Friday to tell you guys about the ‘things I’m freaking out about’ category that I decided to cut. 😛

Forgot I hadn’t blogged yet today…

So I ate ice cream and watched Vicar of Dibley in blithe ignorance. Because I failed so abysmally, I offer you a list of alternative reading material:

A post on how my favorite color is apparently in vogue (not that I care, and wear it anyway)

A dialogue on ‘New Feminism’ (which might actually be a type of feminism I could get behind)

Pretty Books’ top 10 books of 2012

Karen Kavett’s photo review of And Then She Fell

My new Goodreads profile (this is cheating, but I figured I’d link to my 50 books progress somewhere extemporary to the blog)

Two awesome posts from The Catholic Young Woman: one commemorating the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade & an inspiring one about growing deeper in prayer this year.

Hope you enjoy! I’m off to read Les Mis and pretend I haven’t spent the last half hour tooting around the ‘net.

Best wishes (and dreams AKA space [if you get the reference I will love you]),
Hero

P.S. Shout out to D for totally awkward philosophical discussions. We rock.

On Sixteen & Sainthood

[An entry from my journal, written the day after I turned sixteen; October 2012]

So yesterday I turned sixteen. I feel really strange; like I just crossed the threshold of this new era of my life. I’ve been thinking a lot about what my goals for myself are, and what I hope to become in my new era.

I originally said that I want to grow into being a lady, but I realize now that it’s more than that. I want to be a saint – like, really. You’re always hearing that we’re called to be saints, but it’s always seemed sort of abstract, and something you only sort of think about. But I want to live as a saint. Every day to get up, hit the floor, and live every single day in a way I can be satisfied with. Be a saint, every day. I want that, so desperately do I want that. I want to be that woman whose feet hit the floor in the morning and Satan says, “Oh, no, she’s up.”

At the same time, I do want to be a lady. I want to be classy, put-together, and   polite. I want to mature as the young woman God created me to be. I want to be a ladylike saint. I want to be classically holy. I want to fight evil for Christ, with a rosary in my hands, wearing high heels and red lipstick.

I long and strive for poise and holiness. My goal is to grow in my relationship with God: to pray more, to have a dialogue with him. I want to become graceful: a mature, capable young woman with elegance and poise.

It sounds like an impossible but dream, but I know – I can feel it in my bones, in this longing I have always had – that this is who I am supposed to be. I have always wanted to be this woman: now is the time for me to become her.

Some news on the homefront for you all:

1) Fulton is off the ventilator! They’ve weaned him from the sedatives so it’s just morphine and an anti-anxiety drug now. That means he’s awake, is uncomfortable and is more aware of what is going on. This is such good news, thank you for your continued prayers.

2) I’m getting a new cello teacher in May or June, and I’m so nervous about it that my hands are sweating as I type this. I already work my butt off at this instrument and I’m only going to have to work harder with my new teacher – I just hope I can live up to expectations and do my absolute best. I kind of have to. I really have to.

3) I’m exhausted. Not sure how this is news, but… there.

4) Also I’m reading Les Misérables, and… I really like it. Really like it – I didn’t think I would, I thought it’d be impossible, but I’m finding it super enjoyable.

Have a lovely Sunday evening! I plan to spend mine with my journal and some classical music (as if I haven’t had enough of that).

Best wishes and much love,
Hero

A Very Merry Tuesday to You (and You)

Writing up a quick post to get back in the swing of things — I may have to dash off, a friend of mine is coming over to bum our washing machine because his is broken…

In the meantime, some quick updates:

  • I finished reading my first book of 2013! Fahrenheit 451 – number 1 of 50 (hopefully). I’m trying the 50 books in a year challenge again… I tried last year but lost track and while I may have read 50 books I didn’t keep a count or make a list or anything. I’m going to keep a list going on the blog, so a new page should be up with this post that I’ll be updating throughout the year.
  • I’m working on a meal plan that I hope to finish by the end of this week — lots of yummy & interesting (aka: freaky hippy) dishes that I think will be fun. 🙂
  • My brother bought a Wii U with his Christmas money. I’ve only played once, and I’m such a failure at video games. It’s mildly hilarious.
  • School is back up & I actually missed it. I’m glad to be back – even if I did drown in Latin today.
  • Even better than school: we’re back at orchestra! My director has missed the last couple practices because of performances and we really really miss him… I got to go to one of those performances with Frankie and my director spotted me in the audience (I have a bright red coat so I’m kind of impossible to miss) and I may have guilt tripped him about abandoning us… *cough* I’m in love with our music, though, and he’ll be back next week. 😀
  • Season 3 of Downton Abbey. That is all.
  • Frankie & Lauren got me this for Christmas and it’s embarrassingly accurate.

Image

They also got me a DVD of Hamlet, portayed by David Tennant – they know me too well. It is literally the perfect gift.

  • I went to see Les Mis and cried for 80% of the movie. It’s the greatest. Seriously – if you’re even slightly considering going to see it, go see it. Just go. I enjoyed it more than the Hobbit, but I do have a bias.

That’s all for me right now! I’ve got some fun posts planned for this month: thoughts on turning sixteen, recap of my December goals – maybe a lit post or two if you’re lucky. 😛 I’m hoping to go over testing out my new recipes… And other fun things. In the meantime, I’m off to get ready for bed and pray my rosary before snuggling under my huge duvet with Little Women.

A very merry Tuesday to you! I’ll catch you sometime later this week.

~Hero

P.S. Fiddling with a new theme… What do you think?

Once Again No Pictures (Unless You Count Pictures of Samantha Barks)

I was going to write a blog post and clean my room and take pictures, but I had to babysit and then got swept up in the perfection that is Samantha Barks.

Sometimes I hate the internet. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME, INTERNET?

There can never be enough Samantha Barks on my blog. NEVER.

I basically want to be her. *flails*

[All images from tumblr, please, darlings, don’t sue me… :P]

I’m off to bed – but first, a poll! Since Gatsby, I’ve read Catcher in the Rye, Brave New World, and Beowulf. Which of these would you guys like me to review next? And would you like me to read 1984 before I review Brave New World and do a side-by-side? Let me know! 🙂

‘Night!

~Hero

Master of the House

Hi, everyone! It’s getting toward the end of Sunday and my brain is dead, and I was whingeing about having to write a blog post, when I remembered… I PRE-WROTE A BLOG POST JUST FOR THIS OCCASION.

But before I pull out my get-out-of-free card, I want to share with you something my friend Megan did… She doodled me and I kind of love it. 😛

When I asked her why I have a book on my face, she replied, “Because it’s YOU!”

So that’s what my friends think of me. Apparently.

Anyway, onto the post.

I’m writing this on the Monday before I leave for Florida, in the event that I don’t get a chance to blog at some point while I’m there and need something to post. (I’m like a boy scout – prepared, and whatnot.)

My mom’s been in Florida since last week, which means that for the past seven days, I’ve been – essentially – the master of the house. (Dad’s at work all day, and my brother is, well, a thirteen-year-old boy. Enough said.) I’ve regarded it as a sort of training for when I’m older and living by myself, or when I’m married and have kids of my own. I’ve learned a couple things this week, and I’m going to share them with you.

1. It’s difficult to keep yourself accountable.

Because Mom’s not here, I’ve been able to do what I want, eat what I want, etc. The problem with that is that I’m (as previously stated) a rather poor decision maker. Like I said the other day: cheetos for breakfast. Without Mom, I don’t have anybody to tell me to turn off the TV or have a vegetable with dinner. (Speaking of, I forgot my broccoli tonight. Dangit.) This is especially annoying when you’re like me and you have 1) no self control and 2) a desire to lose weight. (I’m not heavy or anything – I’m actually on the low side of average, but I’m still 10-15 pounds heavier than my mom was at this age, and like every teenage girl, I dislike my body. Yayyy.)

2. You can’t procrastinate.

If you put off laundry for two days, suddenly there are three baskets to fold instead of one, and you have to run the washer again because you left the wet clothes in there for too long and now they smell like fish. And the dishes – holy cow. The dishes. I so much as blink and suddenly they’re overflowing out of the sink and all over the countertop, because apparently I am the only one in this family capable of doing the dishes. (I told this to my father and he refuted it, but I’m sorry, Dad: putting a dish in the sink/starting the dishwasher does not count as doing the dishes. Not even close.)

3. Forgetting about laundry is bad.

This kind of carries over from the procrastination thing, but I make a terrible housewife in this respect: I forget about the laundry. All the time. As a result, the clothes in the dryer get all wrinkly and the clothes in the washer smell like fish. Awesome.

4. While it may seem like every activity can be done with the television on, you get way more done with it off.

Seriously. Because you finish a task, and your show’s not over yet, so you sit your butt down and finish the episode (and the next couple after it) before moving on to a task in a room where the TV isn’t present. I finally shut down the idiot box this evening and managed to get to a whole bunch of stuff I’d been meaning to do: pack, clean the study, clean my room, put away all the laundry, do the dishes, write in my journal, etc.

5. Owning more dogs than there are people in your house is a terrible idea.

Tonight Dad and The Brother were out and about, so I had to walk three of our four dogs (Kip is with Mom in FL) by myself. Sounds fine, except that our dogs are (respectively): a boxer, a labrador mix, and a chihuahua/dachshund mix who enjoys pulling. The boxer, Jack, is so terrible on the leash – he practically yanks your arm off when you’re walking him alone, but combined with the other two… Augh. I have now resolved to only have one dog until I am married, and then – and ONLY THEN – will I consider getting another. (Or maybe I’ll just get a cat.)

6. Clutter builds up impossibly fast.

I should have known this from my experiences with my bedroom – the place can go from spotless to completely trashed in under 24 hours – but I didn’t realize this applied to the entire house. If you decide not to put something away immediately, it just sits there and gathers more clutter like a MAGNET until you finally get your butt in gear and put it away. (At which point it takes FOR-EV-ER because there’s so much junk that’s piled up.)

7. Last, but not least: cooking meals stinks.

Especially when nobody wants to eat what you were planning on making and there’s no food in your house. I think I made one organized meal this week, and it was eaten only by myself because The Brother didn’t want it and Dad went out to eat when he dropped the boy off at swim. *fume* So, yeah. That was a success.

Here’s to hoping that when I’m older and married/whatever, I’ll be so excited about having my very own house/apartment that I’ll want to keep it tidy and cook nice meals and things. Fingers crossed, right?

Thanks for reading! Hope you have better luck with housekeeping than I’ve had. 😉

~Hero

Resolutions and Fanfare

Before I do anything today, I’d like to throw a big shoutout at my darling brother, who just half-an-hour ago joined me in the glory that is Slytherin House!

I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t seen it coming – he couldn’t really be anything but Slytherin. Regardless, I’m proud of him. 🙂

Today’s post comes to you in two parts! Part 1: Fanfare!

I keep having all these ideas for blog posts, and every time I try to go do a blog post that I’ve had an idea for, Liam tags me in some ridiculous blog-chain-meme-thing.

Long story short, I was going to do a Thoughts from Places post about my trip to the beach, but now you’re just going to have to wait until Wednesday for that. And you can blame him.

He’s nominated me for the Amazeballs Blogger Award, and since it seems rather rude to ignore a nomination, I shall participate, however halfheartedly.

Like all of these absurd awards, they come with RULES, half of which I shall disregard, as always.

Here we go.

THE CURSED RULES:

  1. You must link to the blog you received the award from.
  2. You must answer all the questions.
  3. You must pass it onto at least one other Amazeballs Blogger, the more the merrier.
  4. You must remember to tell the recipients that you nominated them!!! Whether by commenting on their blogs, PMing them if you know them on a different site, etc. Those’re the rules!!!
  5. You must be amazeballs!!!

Well, I already linked to the blog. Take that, you silly award, you.

Answering all the questions. Okay.

What are your favorite song lyrics?

Ummm… I like a lot of songs and song lyrics, but my two favorites have got to be: “So if you care to find me/look to the Western sky! As someone told me lately/everyone deserves a chance to fly!” from Wicked, and “Tomorrow we’ll be far away/tomorrow is the judgement day/tomorrow we’ll discover what our God in Heaven has in store! One more dawn! One more day! One day more!” from Les Misérables. (Also, basically everything Éponine ever sings.)

What is your favorite book/book series?

YOU CAN’T ASK THAT! THAT’S THE MOST IMPOSSIBLE QUESTION EVER TO BE ASKED. (“Silence will fall when the question is asked.” “What question?” “The First Question, the oldest question in the Universe, that must never be answered, hidden in plain sight…”) If I had to answer, I would say Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld, and Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer, but I have a million other series that I love to absolute pieces.

What is your favorite movie/TV series?

Movie? Erm… I dunno. The Hunger Games. Tangled. Star Trek. There Be Dragons. Etc. TV series is easy: LEVERAGE. And then DOWNTON ABBEY. YES. (And Doctor Who and Phineas and Ferb and Avatar/The Legend of Korra. All of those. But the season premiere of Leverage is tomorrow and I’m psyching myself up for it. And then Downton Abbey is just flawless. So.)

Who inspires you?

Anyone who pursues what they love with relentless determination inspires me. Brave, strong women who live up to their full, God-given potential inspire me. Amelia Earhart inspires me. St. Maria Goretti, St. Lucy, and St. Philomena inspire me. Angela, my youth group director, inspires me. Perrin, my former swim coach, inspires me. Kira and Julia, the most gorgeous, amazing writers I’ve ever met, inspire me.

What is your dream job?

Mother. In my eyes, a career is temporary. I love to write and I love to play my cello, but ultimately, my dream job – my true calling, as I understand it right now, is to be a mother. That is what I want most.

That’s the end of the questions! On to rule number three: nominate other people!

Hmmm, yeah, I don’t think so.

…which kind of rules out number four. Ha.

As for number five: you know it.

I might be going crazy with the gifs. But you can never have enough Lauren Lopez. I’m just saying.

Moving on, part two! Resolutions!

I’ve recently become obsessed with reading She Learns As She Goesa blog by BlimeyCow’s own Kelli Taylor. It’s basically the cutest blog ever. On the blog, Kelli does this thing where she sets resolutions for herself that month, and then at the end of the month, she grades herself. I liked this idea so much, I decided to steal it. *shameless*

Last week, I wrote out my resolutions in my journal, and so all of you can keep me accountable, here they are.

1. Journal every day.

I’ve always liked the idea of journalling every day, but I can never pull myself together enough to actually do it. I protest that I’m ‘too busy’ – the truth is that I have plenty of free time, but I just waste it all.

2. Turn off the TV/laptop.

The number of hours I spend online or watching TV is getting out of hand. It gets to the point where I hardly read anymore – or practice my cello! – because I’m too ‘busy’ watching TV. I’m resolving to turn off the TV/computer more often and find things I love to do in the free time: cook, take a walk, knit, play my cello… Etc.

3. Eat healthier.

This is especially difficult now that I’m at my grandparents’ house, but I’m making the effort. I found out the other day that I fit into a pair of jeans I previously hadn’t, and the feeling was awesome.

So far I’m doing all right on my resolutions — except for the TV/computer one. I’m completely failing that. To be fair, my grandparents have the TV running constantly, and there isn’t a lot to do here BESIDES get on the computer, but still. I could be trying harder.

So, with that in mind, I will now shut off my computer and go make some tea, or something constructive. Maybe I’ll see if Grandma’s awake and we’ll do a puzzle.

Have a great weekend!

~Hero