Friday, December 19, 2008

Sophomore .5

Alright, so half of our Sophomore year has been completed. So... what?

Well, it seems like it's been only a few weeks since we all went to our first class on the first day of our 10th grade year. For me, time has moved like a hazy, half-experienced dream. I know the highlights, and some of the lowlights, but the vasts amounts of time between them are lost to me.

Sophmore year... not that remarkable so far. And really, I'm perfectly alright with unremarkable. It's unexciting, but it sure is easy. And really, easy is acceptable right now.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

7 Habits (#2)

The book The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey talks about four basic personality types: the Win-Lose, Lose-Win, Lose-Lose, and Win-Win personalities.

To me, no personality can be into a single, narrow category. People aren't always one way or another. In fact, some people might not even be more of one thing than another.

There are certain situations, preferences and biases, that affect a person's attitude. With some people, they have one attitude, and with others they have another.

I think Mr. Covey was trying to abridge a subject that should have had it's own book into a single chapter. Human attitudes are simply too broad a subject to write a few pages on and then say that those pages have everything there is to know about attitudes and personalities.

Writing this book, Sean Covey seems to have only barely touched on human personalities.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

7 Habits (#1)

My English class is reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey. While I don't necessarily like the book, some of the things it has talked about have really been applicable to my life.

For instance, "Begin With the End In Mind", the second habit, talks about knowing where you're going before you even get started.

The chapter says that this approach to things can help you get them done faster, more efficiently, and with a better mind-set. I think that that is 100% true.

Sometimes, certain things are harder to do than others. You just don't want to do them and you absolutely can not make yourself get them over with. But when you pause for just a second and think about how you'll feel once you've done whatever it is you need to do, it is suddenly far, far easier to go and accomplish that task.

Also, there is something called a personal mission statement, a motto that states what your life is all about.

To have a personal mission statement is to have laid out the most basic guidelines you want to live by.

I'll be working on my own mission statement, and I'm sure many of my classmates will be as well.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Honestly, people. Whatever happened to good literature?

The things I HATE about the Twilight Saga:

  1. That they're called a 'saga'. Why can't it just be called a series? Is it special or something?

  2. The 'vampires' aren't even vampires. Call me crazy, but isn't a vampire an evil demon that feeds on human blood, is scared of the Christian cross, burns when exposed to sunlight, and hates the smell of garlic? How is that Edward? He ate pizza. Last time I checked, most pizzas had garlic.

  3. Bella. I think Stephanie Meyer decided to make up the weakest minded, most boring, unremarkable character that she could just to see how many people would actually like her. I mean really... the girl is... ridiculous. She's a stereotype MarySue damsel-in-distress. I can't find a single character discrepancy that would make this type of heroine figure even remotely acceptable.

  4. The books are sexist. They give the impression that a woman is only important if her man is. The woman is weaker, the woman is always in distress, and the woman is utterly nothing when paralleled by the man.

So, people tell me why these book are appealing to you? Is it the extremely subtle (but very acceptable) eroticism between Edward and Bella? Is the the perfect of Edward's devotion to Bella (or even hers to him)? Is it the fact that some women apparently still like the damsel to be small and helpless, always being rescued by her leading man?

Are these things what have made the series (sorry, saga) so appealing? Have these things gained thousands of followers despite the bad plot line, underdeveloped characters, unintelligent writing, and cheesy, naive romantic notions?

Honestly, I thought the only good characters were Jacob, Jasper. They were the only real ones. They had character flaws, but I had to love them anyway. They were just an arrogant boy with jealousy problems who didn't always know the best course of actions, and a man who loved his woman and had a dark past and evident demons.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Blog Post3: Pres. Letter Summary

When my class was asked to write a letter to the person we thought would be the next president, I wrote to John McCain. Now... I know the senator might not be voted into office. In fact, he probably won't be. But I decided to write to him anyway because he's my candidate, and I'll stand behind him. I want him to be elected, and so will stay optomistic concerning his chances.

I chose to write to (and support) Senator McCain because of several issues. The most important issue I wrote about was abortion. I'm against it. There really is no 'if', 'and', or 'but' to it. A life is a life; a murder is a murder. No more needs to be said.

I wrote to Senator McCain about several subjects I agreed with him on or decisions he made that I liked, but the one thing I spoke of that I really felt passionate about was the issue of abortion. John McCain is against it. I'm for John McCain.

Monday, October 6, 2008


(Because of boredom and lots of free time...)

I want to die for you,
Just to show how
much I love you.
I want to show you
How I think you deserve
To be alive in this world
With me.
But I'd rather
Live with you
Until we've both withered away.
I would die for you,
But first I'd like
To live for you.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Great Book!

A week or two ago, an author e-mailed me having found this blog and seen that I liked to read fiction. Mr. Andrew Clarke suggested I read his book Outcasts of Skagaray. I messaged my mother to please order this book off of I got it in the mail a few days ago.

I have to say, it's a splendid read. I loved it!

The people on the island of Skagar value strength and prowess in battle above all else. They believe that all things weak and small should be eradicated. It's a gruesome picture that Mr. Clarke paints, but in the middle of it all, young Tarran knows that what he's been taught all his life is very, very wrong. Through certain events, Tarran is forced to make the choice of becoming a respected Skagar warrior, or an Outcast in order to do the right thing. He chooses to leave his family and people to fend for himself.
On the Island of Skagar, there seems to be a bleak hopelessness for the weak, handicapped, or sickly. But through that and the great evil of the Kirkil that hangs over the Island, there comes a glimmer of purity and hope from a boy willing to do what's right, a band of so-called 'weak' Outcasts, and a messenger from the True God.

Andrew Clarke incorporated God into an exciting, gripping story without ever once mentioning God or Jesus. His main character, Tarran, was so very appealing because he was, indeed, an Outcast- so many of us young people can relate to that.
I loved the scenes he set with the evil on the Island completely overtaking those people and twisting their views into something totally opposite from what we think today. He did such a good job of portraying the demonic-ness of the Kirkil. And then he gave the most perfect portrayal of totally drowning him in the will of the One True God.
This book had everything: romance, danger, doubt, faith, suspense, and excitement. And it was all in perfect balance, so that no one thing drowned out the powerful message of the words.
This is definitely a book I recommend to all my friends, or to anyone who just wants a good read with a strong meaning in the words.

SciFi World - Main Conflict Poem

Death of the Amaranth

A world of purple,
Pink, and red.
All was well
And good, they said.
Children laughed
And sang and played.
All was peace
And love those days.
But deadly lies
For centuries lie.
Death comes slowly
To the Sky.
The Amaranth sings
Beneath in ignorant wait.
By the time it knows,
It's far to late.
As darkness spreads,
And flowers die,
The Amaranth learns
To scream and cry.

Blog Post 1: SciFi as a Genre

Science fiction.

Love it! Why? Who knows? Maybe it relates to something inside me that longs for more than what we can see here in the real world. Maybe it appeals to a side of me that wants to fantastic; wants to see the amazing.

In science fiction, things are different. Circumstances are dire, characters are bold and brave. In sci-fi, anything at all can happen. The setting can be anything from a foggy forest filled with robotic soldiers to a spaceship floating through the stars in the next galaxy over.

Science fiction, and really fiction in general, offers an alternative to mundane reality,an escape from the monotony of the ordinary. It's more interesting and more challenging to the mind than other books, movies, and TV shows.

Science fiction is a good genre to use when giving a warning. Such as the common cautions 'Science can be dangerous' and 'Be careful what you wish for'. An example of both warnings is the book The Invisable Man by H.G. Wells. This book was a good read- a perfect example of classic sci-fiwritten by a true master.

Sci-fi is a wide, enjoyable genre that supplies food for the scientific side of a reader's mind as well as their imagination. I personally love this genre and suggest it be explored by all who like to read. Some suggestions are The Invisable Man by H.G. Wells, The Host by Stephanie Meyer, and Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.

Blog Post 2: SciFi World Character Paragraph

Meet my main character. This is a paragraph written for the first part of our class's Sci-Fi project. It was meant to introduce the main character of our world.

Here it is!

Dune is one of the people of Amaranth. He is a normal child born into a good family. His mother ViLee is a weaver, who takes the fibers of the Amaranth and creates cloth from them. His father is TyLee, a dyer, who colors the cloth made by his wife in the colors derived from the Amaranth's flowers. His sister, five years his younger, is his closest friend. Her name is Vi, and apart from her age, she could be his twin. However, Dune is special in one way. He has a personal, vibrant connection with the conscience of the Amaranth. Ever since he was a child, he had been able to feel the Amaranth more clearly than others. Also, since he was small, the Amaranth has expressed a certain interest, even a love, for Dune. The Great Plant created a cradle of vines for the infant Dune. As Dune grew, it shielded him from harm, played with him, and sang for him specially. The only other thing that sets Dune apart is that he has an unusual appearance. His hair and skin are the same pale white of the Amaranth's deepest roots. His eyes are the vibrant pink-red of the Amaranth's flowers. Dune is a normal child of Amaranth, but there something special about him...

There's a lot more to Dune than what I wrote into that paragraph. The rest of this assignment was to create an image of the character using a website called Hero Machine 2.5, but that caused me some problems. The pre-designed bases for the characters were to general, putting limitations on how far I could take Dune's appearance. The website generated image shows my character Dune as a youthful, well-muscled man, when in my story he is a young boy in his teens, rather thin and childish.

Dune has a small, thin body, and his delicate bone structure lends to an almost asexual appearance. His skin his pale, like snow. The features of his face seem to melt into a mask of white, giving semblance to a faceless mask. The only color of his face is the startlingly bright pink of his eyes and the pale, white-washed red of his lips. His hair falls around his face in permanently disheveled, perfectly straight silver-white strands. The cut and fall of his hair highlights sharply angled cheek- and jaw-bones. He is very slight of build, but months of running, playing, and working have given him strong muscles- even if they aren't bulging.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My Thoughts: Quote

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.
Oscar Wilde

How true. How horribly, sadly, shatteringly true. How many times have there been remarkable people, full of potential and curiosity, that simple go through life doing what they must to live the typified American Dream of a nice little suburban house, 2.5 kids, a quiet and house trained dog, and a steady job?

How many people just.... exist?

It can be argued, quite rightly, that what I call 'simply existing' might for some be living a joy and wonder-filled life. But it can also be said that each person must live his (or her) own life.

What I've often wondered is this: Will I be brave enough, strong enough, clever enough, and free enough to really live the way I want to?

Will I be brave enough to travel around the world and see the real wonders? Will I be strong enough to do it on my own, if I have to? Will I be clever enough to ensure my own survival and the survival of my loved ones through hard times? Will I be free enough to go where my heart desires?

For years, it's been my dream to leave after high school on a round-the-world trip. I've wanted to go for Brandi and bring her along for (I think) three of those years. I don't want to fly across the ocean and stay in a swank hotel, I want to walk across Europe and see the countryside on my own, finding my own money, food, and shelter. I want to find the greenest, grassiest hills in Ireland and sit on them for a time. I want to see the ruins of Ancient Greece, and the Pyramids in Egypt, and the Great Wall of China. I want to visit a traditional Japanese shrine and see Buckingham Palace. I want stand in the Eiffel Tower and ride a gondola down the waterways of Venice. I want to do it all and more with Brandi right beside me, and I want to be able to make sure she's safe on the trip.

To do all that, and then come back home to hug my friends and family is what it means to me to live. And I really, really want to live.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Poems from World History

From the Depths of My Pain

I still cry
whenever I see
the pictures I have
left of you.
When I remember
your sleek beauty,
your speed, your voice,
I can't contain
the racking sobs,
the painful tears,
and the ripping in my heart.
And when I think
the words I always do,
my knees buckle.
I hit the ground hard
to cry into my knees,
because you're not here
to cry to anymore.
I whisper, over and over,
I'm sorry, I'm sorry,
I'm so, so sorry...
I can still hear
your last screams,
and see the blankness
in your eyes,
just before you died.
You didn't even
hear me say goodbye,
and 'I love you...'
one last time.

I love you, I miss you, my heart still screams when I think your name. I'm sorry, I should have been there to save you. I failed you. Please forgive me. Please love me. Please come back.

Quote of the Day

Objectivity and justice have nothing to do with one another.
Friedrich Nietzsche

It's a good quote, and one that really gets you thinking.

How can anyone hand out punishment and pardon if they have no feeling and emotion concerning the crime they judge?
Can a man who is objective to the murder of another man really feel the need for the killer's sentence? Could they be swayed by a well-placed, sensible argument? Is focusing solely on fact and evidence really the best way to decree justice?

How can you decide who's done who wrong if you can feel no passion for a life lost, a body done wrong, or a right encroached upon?



not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased: an objective opinion.
intent upon or dealing with things external to the mind rather than with thoughts or feelings, as a person or a book.


the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness: to uphold the justice of a cause.
rightfulness or lawfulness, as of a claim or title; justness of ground or reason: to complain with justice.
the moral principle determining just conduct.
conformity to this principle, as manifested in conduct; just conduct, dealing, or treatment.
the administering of deserved punishment or reward.