I Bought Textbooks Today

Thought you should know. Life is scary and weird and the future is looming, so I’m going to ignore it and give y’all the promised June recap post before July is over (barely) because I’m trying ever so hard not to totally suck.

Gosh, can I even remember this far back? Summer has gone so unbelievably quickly; it’s ridiculous.

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In June, I officially ‘graduated’. As a homeschooler, I didn’t have a ceremony, but there was a Mass at my parish celebrating the 2014 graduates in which my pastor surprised me with my diploma—and it was super awkward because I wasn’t entirely sure what to do… Oops. (You know me, the epitome of grace and social poise.) (Yeah.)

My friend Rose visited and spent the night after way too many setbacks and frustrations and complications and Avril Lavigne-esque angst emotions. But it happened and it was great. We watched the Gatsby movie, which was the first time I’d seen it, and I still don’t know what to think of it. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t Gatsby to me. I don’t think anything but the book could truly be Gatsby to me. But I did think it managed to somewhat convey the feeling, but in a flashier, cheaper way. Also they paraphrased loads of the book in the voiceovers. Whyyyy would you paraphrase Fitzgerald. It’s like paraphrasing Shakespeare. Don’t do it! Anyway. Rose. She is beautiful and wonderful and hilarious. We went to Target. #bonding

Rose left the morning I started theater camp—I spent a week of twelve to thirteen hour days in rehearsal in order to put on The Music Man at the end of it. I played Zaneeta—for those of you only quasi-familiar with The Music Man, the “Ye Gods” girl. It was an incredible amount of fun and so so exhausting. I was worried I wouldn’t enjoy it, or that I was making a big mistake—and I was definitely wary for the first day or so, but it really was such a great experience and I’m glad I got to do theater at least once more before I left.

(Also, I fell asleep during rehearsal so many times; there are about thirty—or, you know, three—photos of me sleeping on different days and it’s ridiculous.)

 

Immediately following theater camp was VBS which I’d rather not talk about because unlike the last years it was totally different and stressful and I was put in a teaching role and I basically winged it and I was so glad when it was over. xD

After VBS I basically kicked about for a week and did nothing until one of my best friends, Philip, flew in from Oxford and spent three weeks with us. He left on Monday and I’m still trying to get used to the house without him in it. I guess it’s good that I’m leaving soon, too, so that I’ll have a lot more to adjust to than his absence and won’t feel so mopey over it. Having him here was really just fantastic—it was the first time we’d met in person, and I was worried that we wouldn’t hit it off well, or that we’d fight, but we got along so perfectly and it was just the best feeling knowing that your friendship has basically been officially validated and that you do truly know this person like you thought you did. We did so so so many things (museums, day trips, sightseeing, loads of swimming, goofing off on the Wii, tennis, the rodeo, meeting up with other friends… absolutely nothing… reading, complaining, cooking…) and yet somehow not enough—so I guess we’ll have to get together again! I miss him a lot, but his visit was worth that.

God is good, friends are good, life is good—even though this particular moment is hard, I know things will get better and I will adjust to the changes I’m going through. I know college will be difficult but it will also be wonderful, and I can’t wait for the new adventures, challenges, and endeavors to come. Thanks for staying with me along the way.

Best wishes,
Hero

P.S. Thanks to Philip, I did eat breakfast nearly every day in July—but I was too busy enjoying the food and the company to take photos! 😉 C’est la vie.

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Some 2014 Blogging Goals

Howdy, howdy, guys! So, the fact of the matter is that while active this blog may once again be, regular it is not. To try and amend this, and to push myself to do new things and take blogging more seriously this year, I’ve come up with some blogging goals this year. These goals are hopefully not only going to improve the quality of this blog (I’ve been dumping a lot of filler on y’all recently, for which I apologize), but also—hopefully—the quality of my life in general. The things I’m challenging myself to write about and do will get me moving on things I’ve always wanted to do but never gotten around to; you guys are here to hold me accountable.

First Blogging Goal: Blog Regularly

From now on, posts should be up regularly on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays (if possible—some Sundays I’m just completely swamped). That should at be at least two posts a week, and you are more than welcome to hassle me about it if I’m late or don’t live up to that.

Second Blogging Goal: Start Some Series

Is that the plural of series? I think so. ‘Serieses’ seems very off. (Future English major over here, watch out.) Anyway, I have a couple of ideas for some post series, and I’d like to start them this month or next and continue them over the year.

Monthly Resolutions. I already do these sometimes, but I’d like to make them a regular thing. They help me build good habits and just in general do better stuff. (Descriptive today, aren’t I.) Basically, I’ve been feeling in need of making changes in my life, and these resolution posts help me do that in small steps.

I Do Go Outside, I Promise. Almost like thoughts from places posts, in a way. Basically, to challenge me to go out and do interesting things and then tell you guys about it. Mostly so people quit thinking I never go outside, which is only, like… vaguely true. *coughs* No, but seriously, I do some fun stuff and I want to talk about it, because I think it’s good to be introspective and thoughtful about normal goings-on. 

My Shelf & My Stand. Basically the general idea for this one is a lazy-man post where I just throw up one of the pieces I’m currently playing in music (therefore attempting to broaden the classical music awareness of all 68 of my followers) and some thoughts on what I’m currently reading. However, I think I’m going to sort of smear ‘my stand’ and expand it to include things that I am not playing on my cello—maybe I’ll change the title to My Shelf, My Stand, & My Spotify. I don’t know. Thoughts? I just keep discovering new music that I love and some of it is ultra-popular and some of it isn’t and sometimes I like to pretend you guys care enough to listen to me go on tangents about stuff I enjoy, regardless. Anyway.

Ordinary Heroisms. This is almost a subset of the monthly resolutions but you know, upon further reflection, not really. Ordinary Heroisms is just going to be a list of things I did over the week that I’m proud of myself for doing. It could be anything from taking a bike ride to cooking dinner to reading instead of sitting on youtube for an hour to acing a Latin quiz (ha, that’ll be the day). The objective is to remind me of all the good things I do and challenge me to do more (so I don’t have constant crises about how I’m lazy and terrible and all that jazz). I want to turn it into a link-up type of post, so those of you with blogs can share your Ordinary Heroisms of the week, or just put them in the comments if you’re personally blogless 🙂

Third Blogging Goal: Write Book Reviews. I don’t know if anyone noticed, but last year I kept up pretty regular updates on my book challenge over on the page specifically dedicated to it. One of my goals this year is to review every book I read, and if they’re of a good length, I will be posting them on the blog. (Even if they’re short, they’ll still go up on the blog, just over on the 40 Books Challenge page.) I even have one up right now—I bet you didn’t know that! Anyway, in summary, I’ll be reviewing every book of the year, and it will either come up here on the main blog feed, or I will update you guys as to when I have a short little review just on the challenge specific page.

Fourth Blogging Goal: Making Dinner Posts? This probably should have gone under my series goal, but there’s a little more explanation to it that I’d like to get into. So, as I get older, I get busier and more and more absent-minded. I find that I’m less conscious of what I’m putting into my body (well, I always have been, but in a junk food sort of way)—or of eating at all. More often than not I forget to have regular meals, and when I do have something to eat, it’s usually pretty bad for me. Since the summer of 2013, I have lost nine pounds out of sheer neglect of nutrition. That’s really scary to me. So one of my goals for the New Year (and yes, it’s an overused goal, but in my case it’s very serious to keep up) is to really pay attention to my health: exercising, going to bed earlier, and eating regularly and well. To motivate myself to do this, I’m going to try and cook dinner at least one a week, and sometimes make sort of a bonus post out of it. Now, like I said, the objective of this is to give me a reason to make dinner even if I don’t feel like I want to. However, if photographing the process and making posts about dinner slow me down or make it a pain to cook (i.e. discourage me from doing it), I probably won’t continue the posts. It’s basically just a trial run for now, to inspire me to make things I want to show off (healthy, yummy things), and maybe to inspire y’all as well, since I think we could all do to eat a little better. 

Well, that’s it for me tonight. I’m off to go hang out with my family and read a little F. Scott Fitzgerald. See you Sunday!

Best wishes,
Hero

You want a revelation; some kind of resolution…

I was too busy to blog yesterday (Mom’s birthday and then a New Year’s Eve party… sort of), so I’ve decided to round up my December resolutions and lay down my New Year’s ones all in one go.

December Report Card

1. Exercise. B+! I didn’t do perfectly, but I did actively exercise, and I did much much more than I had before—regularly, too. I didn’t exercise as much as I would have liked, a lot of times it slipped my mind, hence the low grade. However, the fact that I managed to get five or six workouts in this month makes me very proud of myself. 🙂

2. Read three books. A—I finished A Tale of Two Cities late on Monday night.

New Year’s Resolutions

I’m only making one, because I feel like it’s the most important—and that’s to spend more time with my family. I have less than a year left at home and I’ve kind of been awful at being a part of the family unit. I spend most of my time upstairs or hanging out with friends, and I really need to unplug sometimes and be with them. I take it for granted now, but soon enough I’m going to wish I’d taken advantage of having them around when I did. So I’m going to make the most of the time I have left and spend more time with them.

What are your New Year’s resolutions? Do you have any? Do you think they’re ridiculous?

Also—the first book I’m reading in 2014 is The Beautiful and Damned, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, which I’m really excited for. (Also, Liverpool is back at 4th after defeating Hull City this morning, with the beautiful Steven Gerrard back on the pitch… This year is shaping up to be a great one.)

Thanks for sticking with me for yet another year, it means so much to me. 🙂

Best wishes,
Hero

December Resolutions

I AM NOT READY FOR YEAR IN REVIEW POSTS YET.

I refuse to acknowledge that it is the end of 2013. I refuse to acknowledge that I graduate in less than six months; five now. I refuse to acknowledge that I’m growing up. I refuse to acknowledge that another year of my life is drawing to a close. I can’t take it.

At the same time, it is December, and I do have some resolutions before 2014 decides to slam me in the face with the unabridged version of Les Misérables and break my nose.

1. Exercise.

Not exactly sure how many times I’ve made this resolution, but I’m actually on track already to keep it. I’ve basically given myself an ultimatum, and I’ve found exercise I like, and it’s going to happen.

2. Finish three books.

I’m currently reading The Screwtape Letters, by C. S. Lewis; I’m hoping to read A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens over Christmas and to squeeze in The Violent Bear It Away, by Flannery O’Connor in between them. That would be three books by New Year’s Eve, which would bring me to 40 out of the 50 books I wanted to read this year—which, honestly, isn’t bad.

That’s all for me right now; I have to be up early tomorrow for a Latin class and am bracing myself for Liverpool’s match tomorrow… We were completely destroyed on Sunday, I’m not emotionally up for another defeat like that.

Best wishes—and pray for me, please,
Hero

Post script, 12/4/13: Liverpool won, 5-1, in an absolutely incredible match. Suarez is just magnificent. Ack.

I’m Only Mostly Dead

It’s been so long that I’m actually embarrassed. Half this embarrassment comes from the fact that Kelli from She Learns as She Goes actually linked to me during my unintentional hiatus… So people came to see my blog and saw it kind of curled up on the floor, drooling and sniffing and making odd noises.

Yes. Hi. Welcome. Glad you’re here – if you stuck around after that… spectacle of drool.

So, in case you missed the memo, here’s Justin Timberlake to announce it…

You laugh, but this meme is the reason I now know all the words to ‘It’s Gonna Be Me’ by *NSync. Ugh, what is my life? (I just have a larger-than-normal appreciation of 90’s pop music, OKAY?)

WITHOUT FURTHER ADO BECAUSE I AM TIRED: GOALS FOR MAYYYY

1. Videocall with my friends more often. I skype chat with my faraway friends quite often, but I never seem to do video calls, which is so much more personal. It’s not that I don’t have time, I just don’t think of it. I’m going to make an effort to do calls more often. 🙂

2. Get back into my spiritual reading. School reading has eaten me alive. But school is almost over, so the spiritual reading can come back.

3. Write my 2013 Summer Bucket list. What it sounds like. 😛

Thanks for reading, guys! 🙂 Talk to you soon.

Best wishes!
Hero

February Report Card & March Resolutions

Good evening, my friends. I have saved just enough time online to write you guys a post tonight. Eggplant parmesan is in the oven, homework is sitting neglected to my right, and Frank Sinatra is crooning over the sound system… The door is open because the weather’s nice (well, now it’s closed because Mom just shut the dog out, but just pretend my house is tranquil, wouldja?) and I’m just sleepy enough to be at ease instead of cranky.

All right, I’m running out of time with this ridiculous blithering… It’s time for the dreaded report card.

1. Do something worthwhile.
Grade: B

I don’t give myself an A in this because while I did a lot of good things, I still spent too much time on the internet. (I have learned to ignore my screensaver, so that didn’t work…) But I have cut down, especially since the start of Lent, and I’ve filled it instead with reading, knitting, and all that schoolwork I like to ignore.

2. Be more charitable.
Grade: A-

I caught myself a couple times being a grumpy old judge-a-pus, and have been making an effort to be kinder. This morning my brother and I had this exchange that kind of captures my inner turmoil on this resolution.

Me: Did you cut holes in your sweatshirt?
Him: There was already a hole, so I cut more so I could put my fingers in.
Me: *raises eyebrows*
Him: Did you paint your nails with white-out?
Me: No! It’s just white nail polish. It’s modish. And at least it’s not sweatshirt vandalization.
*pause*
*pause*
Me: I’m sorry. Your sweatshirt looks cool. It’s neat what you did with the sleeves.
Him: And your nails are cool. Or pretty. They’re pretty cool.

Basically, I’ll say something rude without thinking and then backpedal because I realize it was uncalled for. It’s a work in progress.

3. Get more sleep.
Grade: B

I’ve found myself making the effort to go to sleep earlier, but I did pull some late-nighters this month. Therefore, B.

Out with the old & in with the new! Onto the March resolutions!

My March resolutions are rather simple, I’m afraid.

1. Spend time outside.

The weather is lovely right now and I spend entirely too much time on my bum inside. I need to go outside sometimes; get some fresh air and the like. I want to start a vegetable garden, but we’ll see what happens. My parents have a bunch of other projects on their hands right now. 😉

2. Keep my room clean.

Enough said, probably.

Well, that’s all for me tonight, folks. My books came! And I’m about a hundred-fifty pages off the end of Les Misérables – unfortunately, I have some tidying and history work to get to tonight, so it might be a while before I get to read as much as I wish. (I need summer! :()

Best wishes!
Hero

ETA: Contest winner announced momentarily!

February Resolutions

*fights urge to start post with a comment about how she can’t believe it’s February already*

But it is, by the way. February, I mean. And we all know that that means…

Despite the looming reminder of my forever alone state, I am resolved to be resolved this month. Let’s roll out the resolutions!

1. Do something worthwhile. 

This is one of my New Year’s Resolutions, but what I mean with this is to find better things to do with my time than sitting on tumblr. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the amount of time I spend on the internet is embarrassing. Especially considering the other great things I could be doing, and how much better and more satisfied I feel when I spend my time on those things instead of online. I’ve set the background of my computer to this:

Untitled copy

It’s there to remind me every time I open the computer that I have better things I could be doing. (Also, to get back into the swing of writing again, my deal with myself is that in order to spend any time on tumblr or my forums, etc, I have to write something. A sentence of a novel – if not more, this blog post, a college letter, a D&D adventure… just write something. Something I should be writing but have been putting off.)

2. Be more charitable.

This is really tough for me, but this resolution is to basically quit the gossip and quit speaking unkindly about people. There are a few select people who drive me up the wall, and so I complain about them and make them seem like terrible people. It needs to stop. Instead of judging others, I’m going to try and focus on the positive aspects of people.

For example, instead of internally grumping about a woman wearing a miniskirt at mass, instead I should find something nice – like how she’s done her hair in a really neat way.

3. Get more sleep.

I’ve been staying up too late, and that means I put off my prayers until I’m too tired to do them, and then try to catch up on my sleep deprivation by ignoring my alarm clock – but then I get behind on my day, and for what? An extra half hour of sleep at most. This month I’m setting a schedule and sticking to it.

As always, resolutions from She Learns as She Goes. I’m going to hit some Shakespeare before I crash for the night; I’m absolutely exhausted.

Best wishes,
Hero