Saturday, December 25, 2010

My Patronus- HPA

So the Harry Potter Alliance ( is doing a thing this year, and this is my submission:

What is my patronus? It doesn't really have an exact form- more ideas than anything else. The idea that there is still hope in the world. Hope for a cure, hope for remission, hope for snow, hope for anything. The fact that there is always someone there- friends, family, anyone who can and will care. The fact that there is a tiny spark in everyone- that little spark of hope and light that will never go out. Not even the dementors can take it. It may take some work to find it, but it is there, and it won't ever go out. Even in the darkest night there are still stars, and those stars are the things that matter. Simple things: light, love, a smile, a hug, a warm cat, a horse. More than anything the simplest thing we can do is live in the moment. Enjoy the little things, the tiny bits of happiness and hope that make up a patronus. More than anything, the simple fact that here, and now, we are alive.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


When things go bad, I knit. Lately, my life has taken a turn for the worse, so I've done a lot of knitting.  For some reason it's very therapeutic to me- it doesn't require a whole lot of thinking, but it's something to do with my hands while I puzzle out bigger problems. Knitting is portable, soft, and of course ultimately rewarding.

I always have at least one "back burner" project- that is, a really easy project I can pick up at any time, and that I can leave without worrying. For me, it's usually a scarf. Right now I'm knitting a gray ribbed scarf with leftover yarn from a sweater I made for my mom. It's warm, cozy, and a nice color- perfect for a scarf. I made the pattern myself so when I work on it I'm on autopilot- knit four, purl for, knit four, purl four, knit four, turn, repeat in opposite order. Easy.

My next two projects are a little more difficult- a hat and socks, respectively. I've been wearing a stocking hat I made years ago, and everyone at school wants one now, so I've got to get working on that. It's nice to be liked for something you can give to others. I feel like they genuinely want what I'm doing. The socks are for myself. I found a great pattern online ( for a sock with a cool twisted pattern. They're going to be a gorgeous blue-green color, and hopefully warm and cozy. Can't wait to get started!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cold. Very, Very Cold.

In the past couple of days the temperatures have DROPPED. Majorly. In our house the radiators (we have a 100 year old house, so no central heating!) are constantly on, which is nice because I use them to warm up my clothes in the mornings. The cats are finding high ground and warm, cushy places to sleep, and the dog spends most of his time on his dog bed or next to a radiator. All of us are settling in for the cold weather. When I leave for school in the morning, it's usually around 25 degrees out, and yesterday there was a little snow. I'm having to resign myself to the fact that winter's finally here.

I don't mind winter in and of itself, I just have to get used to it. It's not the best time of year, but there's something satisfying about being somewhere warm and looking out the window and knowing it's cold out. And there's always the added plus of being able to give random hugs when you're cold, in a shared interest to stay warm... so winter is really a very cozy time. I just wish it wasn't so cold! But then it wouldn't be winter.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I was just looking at the header of this blog and thinking about the description.

Random- definitely. Random things make life more fun. Chance encounters, shoes, horses... all are random, all fun.

Abstruse- I just love this word. We had it on an English vocab quiz a couple of weeks ago and I just couldn't stop saying it. It's got heft, it sounds a bit mysterious, and the definition is wonderfully odd. It means "esoteric, or hard to understand". I'm not entirely sure this definition applies to this blog, but I couldn't leave it out.

Unconventional- maybe. I wouldn't say I'm 100% in with anything, so by default that makes my opinions unconventional. It's the best I can do...

Opinionated- aren't blogs for opinions? I wouldn't say I'm overly opinionated (i.e. shove my ideas down your throat), but I do know what I like and what I don't like, and what I stand for. Is that opinionated enough for you?

Monday, December 6, 2010

< 3 (Less Than Three)

 I love Eddplant. His new song, Less Than Three, absolutely blew me away the first time I heard it. It's catchy, it's happy, and there's Christmas lights in the music video- what could be better?

Who is Eddplant? He's a Youtube musician, part of the band Sons of Admirals, and an all around amazingly cool person. His songs are beautiful. His new album, Confidence Tricks, is available from DFTBA Records, on Amazon, and (soon) on iTunes. I can't wait to buy it! I've been listening to Less Than Three on replay for the last hour, and it still amazes me every time. I can't get enough of it.

Yours Forever, <3

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Term Papers

Term papers: why are they even necessary? High schoolers do not need them. We already have enough to deal with. Between school, regular English class, and sports, not to mention drama drama drama all the time, we really don't need another thing on top of all of that. It's like having a whole other class... so on top of English, Math, Chemistry, History, Spanish, and Art, I now have Term Paper.

But now I have two days left of Term Paper. I cannot even describe how excited I am. Suddenly I feel accomplished. I've written a 11 page paper on digitization, and I actually think I've done pretty well. Bibliography is totally done, and edited. All notecards are finished. Citations are put in, but not official. Double spaced, Times New Roman font, size 12 with 1" margins. 11 pages.

Now, off to edit some more... and don't forget the oral presentation on Tuesday!

Monday, November 29, 2010

"Let's Run Away Where They Can't Find Us Now" (also Sons of Admirals)

Post title is part of a song that's been playing in my head for the last 20 minutes. It's from Alex Day's album The World Is Mine, and it's called "You and Me". The album is classified under iTunes as "Dance", but it's really more of an electric/ techno/ indie album.

I originally found out about Alex Day through Youtube (his username is nerimon). He's part of a band called Sons of Admirals, which is a British group composed of 4 independent artists who collaborate and do covers of songs. I think they all met through Youtube, or something... anyway, they all have Youtube accounts and have released albums on their own, all of which are pretty amazing.

The Sons of Admirals:
Charlie McDonnell- charlieissocoollike on Youtube. #1 most subscribed person in the UK. Plays the ukulele and generally makes pretty funny videos. Album was just released.
Eddplant- eddplant on Youtube. Really talented singer, writes his own songs. Just released an EP and his full length album is coming out on December 12.
Alex Day- nerimon on Youtube. Singer/ songwriter, plays the guitar, drums, and bass. Vlogs, blogs, and is generally the "cocky" one in the group.
Tom Milsom- hexachordal on Youtube. Probably the most talented of the group in terms of musical ability- I don't think there's an instrument he can't play. Definitely the quirky one in the group; he has blue hair!

Out of all of them, I think either Ed or Tom are my favorites, followed by Charlie and then Alex. I love Alex's music, but there's something about him in his videos... cocky, I think. Tom is just plain weird, and his music is sublime and like nothing else you'll hear. Ed seems really sweet, and he's got a gorgeous voice. I can't wait for his album. Charlie is adorable. He just is. All of them are amazingly talented, and you should definetly go check them out. Their music is available on iTunes, and their "big hit" single is called "Here Comes My Baby". It's a cover of a Cat Stevens song, and the music video is hilarious and cute. Check them out! :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Individualism and Being Yourself

Sometimes I think we all try too hard to be individual. Everyone feels the need to stand out, make a statement, or somehow differ from the general population, and I think it's addictive. This is the reason we have hipsters. Individualism to the extreme, so extreme as to be competitive. Who can be the most individually outrageous?

But at the same time, the search for individualism makes us all blend in. We try to be individual by becoming like others. You become identifiable in your individualism. This is why you can recognize a hipster, someone preppy, or a wannabe gangster when you see them on the street. They've tried to proclaim who they are by the way they dress, but they really end up mimicking someone else. Is there really such a thing as being individual? Sure, you can grow a mohawk and dye it blue, but then you'll probably be labeled as a punk. If you wear skinny jeans, suspenders, and a pudding bowl haircut, you're a hipster. If you wear jeans and a leather fringe jacket, you're a cowboy or a hippie, depending on how skinny your jeans are. Instant labeling.

The whole individualism thing confuses me sometimes. For example, I wear a black leather jacket and red Doc Martens. I got both of them so I could look different. It worked, but now I feel like when people look at me they see only the props and think "punk" or "skinhead", of which I am neither. Similarly, when I wear leggings, Converse, and a long sweater, people think "hipster" or "wannabe", of which I am neither. I'm kind of a mix of a lot of things, and I know what I like to wear. I mimic other people's styles, but because I like what they're wearing, not because of what kind of a person they are (most of the time).

When people get to know me, I 'd like to think they get past all the props (specifically the boots), but most of the time I think there's a subtle judgment going on. I've become known as the girl with the boots and the dyed hair (last year it was red- I'm really brunette). Or the girl with the horses. Or the girl who knits. Or the weird one. The one with the tye-dyed jeans. The artsy one. The quiet one. The one who's a little off. All of these things are me, but they're not me entirely. I'm an individual, but at the same time I can't really say that if I'm labeling others and others are labeling me. Going around in circles is no fun (unless you're in a boat).

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I know I'm a little late, but I feel I think better after a couple of days to digest things (no pun intended). Today I realized how thankful I am for my friends. It seems really amazing that out of all the random people I could meet and get to know, I have a whole group of phenomenal people who I call friends. Statistically, I feel that this shouldn't be possible. There are 3 billion people in the world- how is it that I find some of the most caring, sensitive, and brilliant of those 3 billion? I know this is all opinion, but it's an opinion that boggles my mind.

A scene comes to mind here. It's from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (book, not movie) when the trio goes to visit Xenophilius Lovegood. They go upstairs and come across Luna's room. On her ceiling there are painted faces of Harry, Hermione, Ron, Ginny, and Neville. Around these faces are fine gold chains, which turn out to be the word "friends" spelled out thousands of times in gold ink. I wish I could tell my friends how much I love them like that. It's a fitting tribute to some of the best people in the world.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Chance Encounters

What do you do when random strangers start talking to you in movie theaters? What do you do if they look to be about your age, are of  the opposite sex, and quite good looking? Not get their number or their last name, that's what.

It's not often I get chatted up by random guys, so I was quite surprised. I was talking about Star Trek, of all things. To my sister. About how the movie was awesome, the first original series was amazing, and everything in between just wasn't as good. Eavesdropping boy jumps in with "I agree with everything you're saying." We then proceeded to talk about Dr. Who and how I haven't gotten a chance to watch it, the impending trailers (Cowboys and Aliens), the Harry Potter movie (which we were there for), and other random things, mostly nerdy.

I didn't swallow my tongue, I didn't say anything, or do anything, stupid. This is quite an accomplishment for me. Of course, my parents wanted to leave right as the movie ended, so I didn't have time to ask for his last name or his number or email address. So go chance encounters: fleeting, pretty fun, random, and mostly a one time thing. The trick is to prolong them, or distract your parents enough to make them count.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Last night, after I wrote the first blog post, I stole one of my mom's yellow legal pads, sat down at my desk, and wrote a 52-item list of things that I think about when I'm in the shower. The list ranges from Harry Potter to Terry Pratchett to coughing, markers, and librarians. I'm not sure why I made the list, except maybe as an outline of sorts to this blog. However, going back and looking at it, I realized that lists are pretty damn useful, and that they turn up in my life more than I thought. For instance, I have this handy little widget on my computer that allows me to put sticky notes on my desktop. I use the stickies to make lists of when all my tests are, so I don't forget that I have an English quiz on Tuesday or a math test next week. I also make lists of things I have to do for my homework, so I don't forget what books I have to bring home that night.

Lists have a certain power. They tell you what you've forgotten, unlike Neville's Remembrall which only tells you that you've forgotten something. When you write something down on a list, it stays. It's there, looking at you with it's little letter eyes and saying "Hey! Look at me! Don't forget!!!!" I just thought of 3 more things to add to the list, and wrote them down. Now I'll know what fodder I have to turn into (hopefully) lyrical and interesting prose. With a list that includes T-shirts, language, vintage, and heavy metal, anything is possible. I guess that's what's inside my brain.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Showertime Contemplations

The name comes from where I do my best thinking. That's right- in the shower. There's something about it that just makes my mind concentrate while at the same time bouncing around on an amazing array of topics. Not really sure why I came up with the name, but it makes sense to me. I originally wanted to call this blog Walking Contradiction, but then I realized I don't walk a ton (except up and down stairs) and even though I'd like to think of myself as a contradiction, I really am more similar to other people then I'd like to be. This blog is sort of a sounding board for myself, as well as a way to keep those showertime contemplations from going down the drain along with my shampoo suds and random bits of soap. I'd say enjoy, but I don't know if this will be enjoyable, or even if I'll keep it up for more then a week. We'll have to see where it goes...