Short Story Long... pt. 1

I don't know about anyone else, but I am immensely relieved to bid the holidays adieu. This season usually holds a lot of magic for me, but for some reason it just didn't click this year. It was December 26th before I even realized that, in spite of partaking in all the usual traditions, I had completely missed Christmas. And I was okay with that.

In fact, I'm really glad it's over. Soon we'll be able to drive places without getting stuck in shopper traffic (which will be fab since my closest friends live half an hour away from me... in opposite directions). We'll be able to bum around at the mall without getting stampeded. Of course, all the gyms will be packed with New Years Resolutionists in a week's time and working out will suck for the next month, but at least things are starting to get back to normal.

I've slept a lot this break and have been complaining perpetually of my boredom, but it's actually been a pretty eventful vacation thus far. I shall attempt to summarize, but you know this is going to become an epic game of Short Story Long.

Episode One:

Last Saturday I was sick of my family and needed to get out of the house (I'd been home for a day and half so far) so I called Wanda, who was still at school in the city, and said to get ready for an adventure; Adam Ezra was playing a show all afternoon and we were going. I had just decided. Well, no, I decided in November that I wanted to go; I just failed at planning to do so until the thing had already started.

So we get to this thing. It's upstairs in a brewery I saw Adam at once before with my roomies and Jo-Yo. But that time it had been late at night and there had been lots of drunken grown-ups dancing like horny teenagers. One woman lassoing men with her scarf particularly stands out in my memory. We kept a tally of how many people she danced with, giving her extra points for dancing with multiple guys at the same time. We didn't know what else to do with her. Oh and a creepy old guy may or may not have hit on Mnomanoms.

That night, Adam played two of my requests, Another Sunshine and Desperate Plea from the Heart of a Shit-head. The second one is not really a noisy brewery kind of song and the rest of his band didn't know how to play it, so Adam played it solo acoustic. I felt so special. Then after the show I talked him into sending me an mp3 of it even though he's only got a rough copy so far. This has not happened yet, and I suspect it's because he's been drunk both times I've actually spoken to him about said mp3.

Which brings me back to the original story of last weekend with Wanda. Adam had already been playing for a while when we got there and took an intermission just a few songs later. When I went to say hello, he remembered me and that he owed me an mp3. I was impressed. We didn't talk for long, but after the second half of his set I went over to say goodbye and ended up writing a reminder on his hand in bright orange Sharpie. Wanda was disappointed later on when I told her I wasn't giving him my phone number. She thinks we should get together. Aaand I might have a little crush on him, as well... ^_^

But I didn't have much hope of seeing the mp3 because once again, Adam had had a bit to drink. I can tell because he does what I do when I've had a bit to drink - i.e., he gets rather cozy with everyone regardless of how well he actually knows them. I got about five hugs from him before leaving that day (and he told me the way I spell "Mandii" is cute ^_^).

Wanda and I both made it home before a foot and a half of snow swamped the entire state. And that concludes adventure number one. Lest this post become so long that no one wants to read it, I shall leave off there. Stay tuned for episode two, in which I and everyone I know had our minds blown by Avatar.

Peace, love and The Half-Blood Prince,
Miss Rex

Dinner with Dasher and Dancer

I was perusing my recent posts and noticed it's been too long since I posted anything not titled "Excavations of Claymore: bla bla bla" or "Scatterday." The reason for this was a little thing we call school - more specifically, finals. The fact I posted anything at all over the past month and a half is a small miracle. The great thing about having scheduled posts is that it forces you to write something. Anything. When school's got you down and you can think of a million better things to do, knowing you've got some semblance of a schedule to keep on your blog at least creates a little consistency, don't you think?

But now it's time for a little fun! I miss the normal blogging thing, to be honest. So even though I have two jobs right now that I should be doing instead of blogging, I'm gonna take a minute and share one of my favorite Christmas memories. I've had a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit this year in spite of the foot of snow we got this weekend, but I can't help smiling at this memory.

I must have been about nine or ten. Though it was one of the last years I believed in Santa, for the time I believed whole-heartedly; I defended the jolly toymaker to my classmates and took baking his cookies very seriously. The week of Christmas, my dad came home from work with little plastic bags of reindeer food (i.e. dry oatmeal with glitter mixed in) that my sister and I were to leave out for the reindeer to munch while Santa was unloading our loot.

Of course we couldn't get the food up to the roof where the reindeer would logically be, but lucky for us my dad had just finished building a patio out back. Cleared of the summer furniture, it was a wide, flat space that made a perfect landing strip for a flying sleigh. That was where we would leave the reindeer food.

On Christmas eve, there was a thin layer of snow on the ground. My sister and I put on our winter coats and boots over our pajamas and crunched through the snow, sprinkling oats all around the patio. We added a few carrots for good measure (and good eyesight; if anyone needs to see where they're going, it's a team of flying reindeer) and turned in for the night.

In bed, I lay on my back. It was not comfortable, but I wanted both of my ears free to hear when Santa landed. I lay with my head close to the window so I could peek out and see him when I heard the bells, but I was asleep before Saint Nick could make a sound.

My sister was the first one awake. I was quick to follow. We hurried downstairs to find the living room transformed into a maze of presents (more presents than any kid should ever receive at any time of year). But the thing I wanted to see the most was the patio. Had the reindeer eaten their food, or would we find the snow still sprinkled with glitter and marred only by our own frenzied footprints from the night before?

I pressed my nose to the glass slider. The reindeer had been there all right. There were sleigh tracks and everything!

I have no memory of what was in all those boxes under the tree, but I'll remember those sleigh tracks forever. What about you? What Christmas memory will stick with you forever?

Scatterday: Things that are NOT on my Christmas list

Last week's Scatterday post featured things that don't exist but should. This week we're going to look at a few items that exist but definitely shouldn't.

You know your dedication to wearing Crocs year-round has gone too far when you need to buy these:


Crocs suck because:
5. They feel like they're made of condensed packing peanuts.
4. They therefore have no support at all...
3. ...yet somehow also fail to have flex.
2. They may be waterproof, but your feet will STILL get wet because your DUMB SHOES are full of HOLES.
1. They look like effing clown shoes - that is, if someone with a machine gun took offense at the feet of an impractically-shod clown.

Crocs are not winter shoes. Your dumb faux fur lining will do you no good in NEW ENGLAND, where the ground is almost perpetually covered in some degree or form of liquid, because YOUR DUMB SHOES STILL HAVE HOLES IN THEM.

Okay, moving right along. This next segment is dedicated to the most outrageous of all outrageous Twilight paraphernalia. My bottom three are:

3. The Mr. Cullen shower curtain (so you can start every day with getting naked in front of your favorite vampire):



2. Plush Bella's womb - I kid you not. Made with *real* felt and... is that... steel wool?! If not, it should be. Then you could use this item for what it really deserves to be used for: scrubbing the toilet bowl.



1. Last and least, we have the *SPARKLE DILDO!* You're supposed to put it in the fridge before you use it for an authentic experience. o_O



If you want to see more disturbing Twilight products, I just dare you to click that hyperlink....

Oh, and we mustn't forget this:

You see that? "ALL areas accessed!" Just in case you want to get more, ah, intimate than sticking his character's ice cold, glittery you-know-what, you-know-where.

If you're as visual a person as me, I'm sure you now have a very uncomfortable scene playing in your brain. And with that scene, I bid you adieu.

Adieu.

Excavations of Claymore: TEA MAC!

I don't know who Tony Mac is, but if I ever meet him, I'll be sure to have a trophy ready in recognition of his exquisite taste. The TEA MAC! is the best thing I've tried all year. Of course it can't hold a candle to miss Sarah Schneckleface Mac, but it's the closest, coziest thing I've got for now.


I'm like a tween to Edward Cullen where this drink is concerned. Vanilla. Chai. Chocolate syrup drizzle. It's the seventh layer of the Candy Cane Forest, I promise you.

Chai drinks can be over-stimulating. Chai is such a complex flavor that pairing it with, say, the tongue-scrapin' sweet of amaretto can only end badly. But his marriage to plain, simply sweet Vanilla? A match made in heaven. She completes him. She's the moon to his sun, the yin to his yang, the Switch to his Foot.

I say to all you coffee addicts (whose ranks I may or may not have joined this semester), TAKE A BREAK AND TRY THE TEA MAC! You may opt for or against whipped cream... but my recommendation is "for." ^_^

I'd like to thank my Adviser at the paper for this week's outsider opinion. His face lit up at first sip - like I've never seen him that happy except for two minutes earlier when I said I'd unofficially stay on as a staff writer next semester.

"This not only tastes good," said Adviser after choking on a combination of vanilla chai and laughter. "It feels good in the nasal passages! It has a pretty good sinus feel."

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If you're not within range of Claymore, fear not! Most coffee shops have these standard flavors. If you go in and ask for a vanilla chai, you'll probably get something close to as good as the TEA MAC! But proceed with caution if Starbs is your coffee shop of choice. What you really want is a nice locally-owned (i.e. non-chain) coffee shop that only brews fair trade and plays indie music while you lounge in the warm, glowy atmosphere. Delicious.

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So in case you didn't notice, I actually got my Claymore post up on time this week! Why, you ask? Because FINALS ARE OVER! And I whupped their collective butt! And now I am free forever, ahahahahahaha! ...Or at least for the next three weeks, which might be enough to make a little progress on the much-neglected novel. And a lot of progress on the much-neglected sleep.

Peace, love, and counting sheep,
Miss Rex

Scatterday: If I had my own world...

This week's Scatterday post is all about things that should exist, but either don't, or can't.

First off, we've got scratch and sniff web pages (idea courtesy of Go-Co's student paper photo editor, Paul Wright). This would absolutely revolutionize the Internet! Imagine coming to A Silvertongued Serenade and smelling the tingly scent of a Christmas tree in December or the rich aroma of chocolate on Valentine's Day. Imagine reading Excavations of Claymore and being able to smell the drink I'm reviewing. Think of the marketing possibilities (like our country needs any help with that). Think of the social networking implications! What if you could go on Facebook and experience your significant other's signature cologne or perfume without him or her even being present?

OK, now that we've crossed the creeper line, let's move on to silent velcro! I got this one from the Narcoleptic. There's not much to say, really. Just think of all the times you've been trying not to wake up a roommate or spouse, peeling back the velcro on your briefcase or backpack or shoes at a glacial pace so as not to disturb them. And it would be so much easier to just change rooms and rip it open, but that would require actual movement, so instead you sit there in CCCHHHHHHZZZZKKKKKK-y agony just trying to get the damn thing open and get on with your day.

The last invention of the week is the two-sided Kindle. The Fishbowl and I came up with this one during story time, when we realized how terribly inconvenient it is to stop reading at the end of a page and hold up the picture for everyone else to see. And you can only hold it up for a second because everyone really just wants to get back to the story, so pictures get way less appreciation than they deserve. The Kindle technology is new, but I have every confidence that they could put a double screen on that baby that will display the text on one side and the illustration on the back for such reading-aloud scenarios. Every kindergarten teacher will love it!

And now, some other awesomeness that you should be aware of:

My friend Ravin is in the process of knitting one of these:




My other friend The Cuddle Rapist showed me this. If you have acid, now would be the time to drop it, but you don't really need any for this music video to be as trippy as a screaming hot dog.




I'll leave you with these words of wisdom from Switchfoot's frontman, Jon Foreman: "Hope is living in a world that doesn’t exist yet. Hope is seeing things as they are not. It’s not illogical. It is a dream. And it will come to pass."

Have a fabbity Sattaday!
Peace, love, and Boston Rs,
Miss Rex

Excavations of Claymore: Turtle Turtle

...not to be confused with the drummer by the singular name of Turtle, as he is at least 54 times cooler than this drink. Give the Adam Ezra Group a listen if you have no idea who I mean.


The Turtle Turtle tasted *all right* but, like so many Claymore drinks, lacked any really memorable quality. I give it two stars - it's drinkable, even enjoyable if the barista doesn't burn the coffee, but when there are so many options, why settle?

"It tastes like caramel popcorn (*choke*)," said Jo-Yo, who reviewed in The Addict's place this week. "That's a good thing," she added as soon as she was done coughing.

I didn't notice the popcorn part. Or even really the caramel part. The flavor was very generic in my opinion. If you look for the sweet, you'll find it there, but it's nothing more than a slight counterbalance to the bitter coffee flavor.

Razzmatazz said the drink was "just like a carnival, where it's kind of dirty and lots of people are smoking. It tastes sweet and it's kind of exciting, just like a carnival!"

"She likes drinking dirty, smoky carnivals," Mnomanoms said conspiratorially.

If you do, too, then this drink is for you! If, however, your taste buds are a non-smoking zone (as mine are), stay tuned for next week's review of the TEA MAC!

Scatterday Deluxe

Aloha, my dear friends! Or perhaps I should say "aang!" That's an Eskimo word for "hello;" it seems appropriate as it's quite snowy here this afternoon.

I suppose you're wondering why I've been MIA for about a month now. The answer is the Go-Co chain chomps have been steadily nomming my soul this month, and when I'm not slaving away on some paper/speech/presentation or working my two jobs, I've been living the epic life. It's been such an eventful month; I can't wait to tell you all my stories!

Sadly, now is not the time for that, as I do still have much to attend to: Big presentation Tuesday, final exam Wednesday, other final exam Thursday, and job so I can afford Christmas presents this year. But I do have time for a quickie comprising many, many fabulous quotes!

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Me: As a wise white rapper from Colorado once said, "never trust a ho."

Me: If you got a barnacle stuck to your ear, you'd have to keep your head sideways with your ear in a fishbowl all the time so it wouldn't die.

The Addict: If a small scallop were to drive on the highway, he would not exceed 74mph.

The Pantsless One: Ramen is dangerous.
Me: The salt content alone could kill a large snail.

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Mnomanoms re: our snail floating in his fishbowl (we did NOT feed him ramen): Our dear Monsieur Nom Noms has gone to the big fishbowl in the sky.

NOTE: This was not the case; apparently floating does not indicate death for snails as it does for most aquatic creatures.

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Me: (After spilling an incredibly hot drink all over my hand) FUCK! ....sorry, that was really loud. But why is my drink so hot???
The Addict: Because he put love in it.

A WORD OF ADVICE: Don't do coffee, kids. Once you get used to it you'll never go back. I got my favorite steamer and it didn't taste like anything special (and then it burned me... in both senses of the word). The Addict blames the bar-dude for sneaking in some of that sugar-free AMOR advertised on the flavors whiteboard. So the real life lesson here is, never get your AMOR sugar free. Why would you compromise something like that?

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The Pantsless One: Fear not, I'm sure he'll grab your boobs someday.

Ravin: "I'm Hindu" "I'm Buddhist" "I'm a sensual napper"

The Pantsless One: Well he had to cuddle-rape you first...

Me: We can't kill cows! They're magnets!
Bear: Um what
Me: You heard me!

Bear: What food would I be?
Me: Probably an omelet because you're full of random, you're warm, and I never get sick of you.
Bear: ...wow, you somehow made me being called an omelet heartwarming.

My advisor at the school paper: I think those Go-Po are no mo'.

Me and our editor in chief: Scrub your dishes with Bella's womb!!

The Pantsless One: I'm getting you the Twilight shower curtain for Christmas.
Me: I will wrap your dead body in it when I throw it off a boat in the Arctic Ocean.

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Courtesy of my friend The Bathrobe Guy, who transfered out of Go-Co after last semester D'= but came to visit this weekend!

From midnight (OK, 6AM) breakfast with The Bathrobe Guy:


Me: The piranhas are coming to get you on your English muffin raft!!

The Bathrobe Guy: What? I had to ventilate my trachea!

Me: Indubitably? It means without a doubt. Without a dubit, in fact.

The Bathrobe Guy: The world is my napkin!

Me: This tastes like grilled cheese, but without the cheese.

The Bathrobe Guy: You sound like a smurf when a smurf doesn't sounds like a smurf.

Me: I throw pizza frisbee atchu!

The Bathrobe Guy runs on Energizer batteries. He just keeps going and going….
The Bathrobe Guy’s innards are made of various alloys.
The Bathrobe Guy very well may be the new Chuck Norris.

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If you're looking for something more substantial, try my other blog, The Amandangle! I've got two new reviews posted there as well as an article about non-Christians attending my Christian college.

Peace, love, and oatmeal,
Miss Rex

Can Barack Obama save Christmas?

Time flies like an arrow (but fruit flies like a banana). I can't believe it's been a week and a half since I posted anything. It's that time of year: deadlines are crouching tigers/hidden dragons licking their chops at the prospect of a nice juicy comm arts major, the quad is a minefield of goose poop, and free time is harder to come by than a holographic Charizard card.

And it's getting cold.

Not THAT cold, mind you; most native New Englanders are gushing over how mild it's been. But I'm loading up on quilts; I can't make it through the day without oatmeal for breakfast, soup for lunch and Claymore Drink of the Week for dinner. I am positively dreading winter and it hasn't even snowed yet. It hasn't even been close to cold enough to snow. I'm usually not this miserable until February.

I wish I could say looking forward to Christmas is making things better, but I'm already sick of Christmas. I started finding holiday decor in stores well over a month ago while searching for my Cruella De Vil costume, and they've been playing the music in stores way too much for my liking.

Me getting sick of Christmas shouldn't be possible, period - especially not before Thanksgiving even gets here. It is my favorite season. You know I get all gaga over the lights and I become this uber-cheery version of my already-cheerful self and do nice things just because it's nice to be nice, and I throw on some Deck the Halls, Bruise Your Hand (Relient K) in the car so I can sing along or just laugh because Relient K is oh so silly.

It's just so wrong that we must celebrate this holiday for two whole months. It diminishes the magic of December to stock the shelves with red and green lights in the middle of October.

America should have a mass screening of Elmo Saves Christmas. Never seen it? Elmo loves Christmas so much that he wishes every day could be Christmas, but when his wish comes true, he sees that the holiday is nothing special when it happens every day.

THIS IS WHAT'S HAPPENING TO AMERICA, PEOPLE. Our demand for instant gratification has gotten so bad we can't even wait 365 days for a holiday to happen again. THIS IS WHY OUR COUNTRY IS GOING DOWN THE TUBES. There needs to be a law against this insanity. You hear me, Barack? You can do it, yes you can.

If you don't........

...........the magic of Christmas will be lost forever!

Scatterday

Monday - Thursday AM:I found this picture in Natalie Dee's archives while procrastinating on Monday. Unfortunately, matters did not improve until my deadlines had passed on Thursday.

And now a random plethora of silly stuff people have since my last post about silly stuff people said!!

Mnomanoms: I’m so black!

Natalie: Oh my God I am so sorry that I didn't come out and say hi earlier! I was sleeping, and then The Wizard of Oz was on, and then apparently I fell asleep again, and I'm really sorry but tomorrow when I'm sober I'll get to know you, I promise!! OK, so tell me your life story now.

Bear: Glitter cheese? Why?
Me: Because I wanted the giant squid to sparkle, and then I wanted to crush him with Wisconsin but the closest thing I could get was cheese.

Me: Best birthday card ever is now complete.
Jo-Yo: It’s not better than mine. But it was a nice attempt.
Me: Well… my card is slave free.
Jo-Yo: Well my card is slut free!

Why is my straight male friend asking me why guys like boobs???

Ravin: I grabbed your boob, woman, now where's your shoe?!

The Narcoleptic: I don’t like the little orange fish eggs. I mean…. You’re eating embryos. There’s abortion happening in my mouth right now.

Me: Natural selection favors ME!

Me: We can’t kill cows! They’re magnets!
Bear: Um what
Me: You heard me!

Friday - the foreseeable future:
Soooo is it safe to say I'm part of the exclusive club yet? After 29 hours I feel that my initiation must be complete....

Excavations of Claymore: Feel'n Nutty

Frankly I was feel'n a lil nutty even before drinking this thing, and the coffee sure didn't chill me out.


Feel'n Nutty featured hazelnut, almond and a lil vanilla. Form was not specified: is it a latte? a steamer? ....an exotic chai blend? We weren't sure, but hazelnut implies coffee to me, so I asked for a latte - my usual one-shot large with skim. For the record, this is soon to become a one-shot large with soy. My reasons are another topic for another day. Maybe I'm just a lil nutty....

"It smells like Christmas cookies because of the almond," said Mnomanoms. "And it tastes like Werther's Originals!"

Feel'n Nutty was pretty good. I'd give it 3/5 stars, which is what I give songs on my iTunes when I like them but I don't want them on my Top Rated playlist. Like the scrap of paper bearing its name, the beverage was somewhat forgettable, though in a neutral rather than a negative way.

I can say that it was a harbinger of a surprising truth:

I like hazelnut!

I kept thinking my taste buds were forgiving the hazelnut through, like, substitutionary atonement by the other flavors. I felt this way about Nutella and Ferrero Rocher candies, too. It never occurred to me that maybe I just like the flavor of hazelnut.

"You're coming along quite nicely," said The Addict with an evil grimace. Actually, the grimace might have been related to her opinion of Feel'n Nutty. She frowned and tried to wipe the taste off her tongue with her lips. "Too sweet," she concluded.

Mnomanoms agreed with The Addict on that point: Feel'n Nutty is only good if you want something sweet.

Dumb things that have been said by and to me today

In my public speaking class:
Coach: I have a feeling.......
Me: That tonight's gonna be a good night?

Coming out of the library:
Me: Wow, it's cold! Oh, hi Derek, how are you?
Derek: Eh, pretty good. How are you?
Me: ....cold.

The Addict: My bed smells really good.
Me: Does it smell like a boy? One time last year my PJs smelled like a boy, and we couldn't figure out why because I had JUST washed them...
The Addict: Are you sure Angry Frodo didn't have access to your room? 'Oh, she wears these sometimes. So do I."

Walking down my hall, which for some reason was littered with yellow construction paper circles with money symbols drawn on them:
Me: Is someone having a treasure hunt?
Girl in the bathroom: No, I think Nicole and Carrie were doing a swine flu photo shoot.
Me: A swine flu photo shoot.
Girl: Yeah, and they were leprechauns and that was supposed to be their gold.
Oh. I see.

The Addict: We were supposed to go on this epic, puppy-getting road trip!

The Addict: You're adding me to your list of stupid things people have said today? How is that not insulting?
Me: Not stupid! I didn't say stupid. I said "dumb."

Scatterday

...in which Miss Rex shares random moments of amusement, enlightenment and frustration from her week.

Quotes:

"I'm so black!" - Mnomanoms

"Why are my pants off, Jim?"
"Because of nation-wide nudity day!"

Mnomanoms: Bananas are such a classy fruit.
Me: How so?? I mean, they're shaped like....
*Laughing*
Me: Well I'm just saying, I don't see anything classy about a food shaped like a penis.

Some guy after the Mae show - "I want to learn to cry on command. Just uncontrollably cry. I mean, control the beginning, but then just let it go."
Me: Well you should be a woman then.

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Dancing glow stick skeleton men!

----------------------------

I've decided to invent a personal electric fence bubble. You can get it in varying radii depending on how far away you want Angry Frodo to stay. Basically you wear it around your waist, sort of like a deadly hula hoop, and it repels creepers. Great, huh? And then, if you come across a cute boy you want to schneckle with, you can just *vwoop* and it's gone!

It'll make millions!

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You keepin' a Totoro in that Totaro?

That's what I thought.

Excavations of Claymore: J-Brands(?)

I think this week's drink is called the "J-Brands," but I can't be too sure that's what the card says.... I know it's got amaretto and chai in it, though, and not having coffee seemed a welcome change this week.

I make a lot of mistakes regarding food, one of them being that (God help me) I cannot resist a buffalo chicken calzone from Crow Point, even though I don't technically eat chicken. But this mistake was worse. Worse than even the AC Moore-flavored Abby Loves You Long Time. A few descriptive phrases came to mind:

"Tongue-scrapin' sweet."

"Soco Amaretto NO."

"Why must the trash can be full?! I need somewhere to put my drink..."

The J-Brands was like licking the inside of a cotton candy machine months after the carnival, when the fluff is gone and the hardened candy splatters have fermented. Scientifically, I don't think candy can ferment, but if it could it would taste like the J-Brands. It was this... warm syrupy thing that, perhaps, wanted to be cozy.... 'Twas about as good at "cozy" as Angry Frodo.

It just kind of slithered down my throat like a basilisk......

And then it killed me.

Just in case Mommy is a pedophile

A recent report from UK news source the Daily Mail says two playgrounds have banned parents from entering the premises with their children. This was done to protect the children, aged 5-15 years, from potential pedophiles. The children will play instead with strangers called "play rangers," who have been okayed by the Criminal Records Bureau.

I don't know about anyone else, but as for me, when I have kids I'm sure not sending them off to play with, or under the care of, grown-ups neither I nor they have ever met, regardless of what some bureau says about them. From what I've seen, being a mom or dad to a kid as young as five is like being a mother bear defending her cubs. It's the parents' duty and honor to care for the children. In their eyes, one else will ever do as good a job as they would do themselves.

I babysit regularly, and it's my policy to be actively involved in what the kids are doing. This is an ideal anyone who works with children should strive for. Rather than plunking them down in front of the television, engage their imaginations. Challenge them to be creative. Encourage them to be active. All of this is done by example. From my experience, kids will entertain themselves with or without my help, but at their age we can have such a huge impact on who they become, how they see the world, their attitudes and values. It's far better to be involved, and this involvement is a privilege to be enjoyed by parents or caretakers selected by the parents, not strangers. Entrusting a child's lifelong identity to a supervisor with a non-parental connection to her charges seems utterly counterintuitive.

There are smaller-scale problems with this policy, too. What happens when the kid gets a boo boo? If the UK is anything like America, mom and dad will be filing lawsuits against negligent "play rangers" or attentive ones who simply had too many charges to watch. Again, this is from observation only, but parents generally seem determined to place the blame for harm that comes to their "baby" on anyone but themselves. And in this case, anyone but themselves deserves the blame.

And what happens if the child has separation anxiety or is afraid of strangers? He just doesn't get to play? I'm over-simplifying here, since of course there are other playgrounds where parents could bring their shy children. However, if this rule expands to cover other playgrounds, an exclusive environment is the only possible outcome, making it close to impossible for less socially apt children to find a niche with their peers. We've all seen how quick kids are to exclude each other without adults' help; please, let's not make this problem any worse.

Critics say the policy is "Orwellian." I can't think of a better descriptor myself. England, skim the contents of Mr. Orwell's 1984 and you'll find that this really isn't somewhere you want to go.

Scatterday


Sorry I'm late on my Scatterday post AGAIN. I'm getting really bad at this blogging thing. In my defense, yesterday was Halloween. I am thrilled to announce that I did not find myself in the midst of any disasters or scandals this year! Freshman year I got stranded in Salem with some people I hardly knew and last year I accidentally hooked up with my friend. By comparison, this year was dull, but I'm glad for it. I hung out with some girls from my floor and my high school friend Wanda, who came back with me after I'd spent two nights at her apartment in the city. More on that soon at A Dustland Fairytale.

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The costume party I planned was moderately successful. We went over to Rider to find some boys to come to our party. They were in the midst of costuming up to come over. The guy we talked to was dressed as an old granny and asked if any of us had oranges he could use as breasts. Amusingly enough, we did; all our food was in Halloween colors so we had oranges to spare.

We went back to Ferrin to let them finish up, but it was another hour before they arrived. When they did, they had a door with them. They made us knock on it, and when we did they opened it up and said "Aw, trick or treaters! Would you like some candy?" There were maybe three or four of them dressed as old people, and the funniest part was that they stayed in character the whole time. When people talked to them, they pretended to be deaf, and they used all sorts of old people idiosyncrasies that I forget because I'm not old enough to use them. I noticed one of them was wearing the same shade of lipstick as me, which was really upsetting because, as Cruella De Vil, I was wearing literally the brightest red they had at the store.

You see? Same color (I just did a better job putting mine on).

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Episodes from this week:


I should have known my favorite person ever (a.k.a. Brian Glenney) would be lurking behind this door labeled "Evel Men."


I hope this makes you as happy as it made me!

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That's all for today. I have many a task to complete, including two interviews for which I have prepared no questions beyond "What's your name/year/major?" D=

Excavations of Claymore: The Almond Express

We sang Christmas carols and ate candies with nougat centers as white as snow. We drank hot cocoa as thick and rich as melted chocolate bars. Outside, the lights of towns and villages flickered in the distance as the Polar Express......

Wait, wrong express. I meant the Almond Express.


It was an easy mistake to make. The Almond Express featured chocolate and almond, normally blended in a latte. However, I couldn't resist modifying the drink to include cocoa instead of chocolate syrup after what Laura taught me last week.

The result was paradoxical. The chocolate and almond were smooth and soothing - indeed, the sort of drink they might have served the children on the Polar Express - but the espresso undertone was unmistakable. Yeah, not something you'd want to give a kid on Christmas Eve.

Mnomanoms insisted that The Almond Express tasted like cough syrup. The first few sips were the best, and my enjoyment of The Almond Express progressively, ah, derailed thenceforth, making this flavor a perfect option for cough syrup: one gulp and you're done. I only wish my mom had given me such yummy cough syrup when I was a wee one.

55 fiction: Felled

Surely it’s there. Decades have bloomed, withered and died, but my feet cannot forget the trail they trod so often with him. It should be there, the sapling we (but saplings ourselves then) had claimed with ugly, abecedarian scars.

But alas! I settle my arid bones upon the darling, decomposing stump.

It, too, is gone.

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I've only been meaning to try my hand at 55 flash fiction for the past half a year now. Dang! It is not easy! 55 words is about two sentences, three or four if you keep 'em short. Hardly enough to tell a story. I challenge you all to give it a try if you haven't; it really forces you to be picky about word choice and burn the chaff. Post me a link when you're done! I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!

Peace, love, and sleep deficiency,
Miss Rex

Scatterday

I have been extraordinarily unproductive and unmotivated these past few days. Jesus eats my life.

...I mean the compy, not the Christ.

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We know what a weeaboo is...


...and we know what a Pikablu is (this is what Pokemon fans called the second generation Pokemon Marill before the name Marill was announced in the States).


But I bet you ain't ever seen one of these:


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I hate things like electric toothbrushes and GPSes because they encourage us to be lazy and stupid. These "conveniences" do everything our brains and bodies used to do themselves. The GPS eradicates our ability to solve problems in a common-sensical way. Can you read a sign? Then you should be able to find your way home. I'll forgive you if you live in or around Boston and Cambridge. I never go there without a human GPS to guide me out.

The digital clock has all but undone my knowledge of how to read an analog clock. I can still do it if I look at the thing for a minute. But then I always have to double check it against the digital clock on the stove. Even the cell phone, which I couldn't possibly do without, is a vehicle of stupidification. You know I never learned Creep's phone number? I never had to dial it. Not once. He sent the first text message, I saved the number, and I never had to worry about it again.

I think the only reason I'm not a bumbling oaf is because I'm in school and my classes don't allow me to be. I fear what transformation shall take place when I graduate.

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Miss Stephanie Faris from Steph in the City gave me the Love Ya award this week! Thanks Steph! I love you, too.


I'm going to pass this one on to the quirky Kitty Lascurain at abellevie! Abellevie! is a savory stew of wit and whimsy. Kitty, if you were looking for a new tagline, I think I might have just come up with it....

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Me: My nose itches.
The Addict: Then cut it off. That's probably in the Qur'an or something.

Me: The doctor said I should put Head and Shoulders shampoo on it. At this point I feel like I'd need to put it all over my body....
Mnomanoms: So it'd be head, shoulders, knees AND toes!

The Addict: Guys, some things just... don't have lips.

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Consensus: 99 out of 100 people should not have mustaches. The other one is a bandit, a guru or a Frenchman. Or Earl Hickey. Note that the 1/100 does not play an instrument. He certainly does not write heartfelt lyrics. If someone does these things, he should not have a mustache.

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For years I've been telling myself to stop liking Fall Out Boy. I've come to the conclusion that this cannot be done.

Excavations of Claymore: Raz-ma-taz

Sorry for the lack of archaeology last night. I was really sleepy and decided it would be wiser to go to bed than to drink coffee and stay up late. Also, half of my tasters were not able to share their taste buds when we first tried this week's drink on Wednesday. The Addict had been coffee-free for a week and didn't dare sample the Raz-ma-taz. We convinced her the smell would not be too temptatious and she gave it a sniff.

"I give it a 3," she said.

"Out of what?"

"Ten. It smells like cough syrup."


The consensus on Wednesday was that this drink is not even close to as cool as our own Razzmatazz. There was definitely more raspberry in the smell than the taste. Part of this may be due to the fact I generally order a large with a single shot of espresso to dilute the bitterness, but that night I forgot and ordered a small with the same amount of espresso; however, Razz agreed that the amount of raspberry and chocolate was negligible. Frankly I'd have thought it was plain coffee with no flavor added.

It was not a wasted trip to Claymore, though. Oh no. We befriended the barista (can that term possibly be correct for a man? The bar...tender? The bardude? Okay well, from now on it's bardude). He played us some Lady GaGa and we had a mini dance party while the line grew behind us. For once I was the cause for the long wait and not the victim. It was a nice change. I felt worse about the fact that apparently I was being given the most exquisite, quintessential shot of espresso known to man. The bardude started gushing over how it was positively the most beautiful espresso shot he'd ever seen; just look at the foam, etc. etc. I hadn't the heart to tell him a novice like me would hardly know the difference.

Well anyway, the journalist in me knew there was more to the story than first impressions and I returned to give the Raz-ma-taz a second chance tonight. This time I ordered it right: a large with skim, one shot of espresso and an extra shot of raspberry. And instead of chocolate-flavored syrup, the barista, Laura (you see, the word barista in this paragraph doesn't make me uncomfortable), used hot chocolate mix. As it should be in a mocha, she informed us.

Mnomanoms had come along and she ordered the new drink, the Cup of Ham (name coined by Laura). For all intents and purposes it's the same drink as the Raz-ma-taz - EXCEPT that it's not a mocha and is therefore made with syrup, not cocoa powder. This novice is slowly becoming a connoisseur. Thanks for being the new thing I learned today, Laura.

So the official rule for the Raz-ma-taz is to ask for extra raspberry and use dark chocolate cocoa powder for that tingle of true razzmatazzz. "It's like being wrapped in a fuzzy blanket," said Mnomanoms. Mmmyes =)

No more whining!

I've had a few people on me about comments not working at the new Dustland Fairytale. The problem was, the layout just didn't include them.

We'll keep this long rant short. I found a layout I like(ish) that also allows comments. It doesn't have quite the Dustlandish feel I was going for, but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make on the condition that all you people who complained about not being able to comment get your butts over there and comment! Many of the posts are duplicates of things I've posted here, but there are some that are exclusive to A Dustland Fairytale... so if you really want the nitty gritty of my life... you got it. Stay tuned to A Silvertongued Serenade for the shenanigans you know and love! ^_^

Now, I know you were all waiting for some silliness (besides the excessive use of exclamation points that has utterly saturated everything I've typed this evening), so here goes. However bad you thought the economy was, you weren't pessimistic enough. As I was oh-so-responsibly surfing the web, this ad popped up:

Forget the small intestines; every American knows bigger is better, so keep the big ones and cash in the little ones! You don't need that extra lung! We'll give you ten grand for it! I can't even accept that this ad is for serious.

Today at the caf, I asked for rice and fish and the guy serving it said, "you asked so nicely that I couldn't possibly say no." I thanked him and said I usually practiced when I was alone in my room, and he about died laughing.

And that's all I've got. Peace, love and plaid,
Miss Rex

Scatterday: life questions, life goals, and awards!

Life questions:

1. Sugar-coated marshmallows. How can something so vile in theory taste so good?

2. This one's been plaguing me for a while. What the hell is the difference between "dusk" and "twilight?" Creep (this is my new name for former Boyfriend) tried to explain it this way: Dusk is a song by some metal band. A br00tal one. Twilight is an awful tween vampire movie. This explanation did not satisfy me and I continued seeking answers.

Here is what I've decided. Dusk is that time of late afternoon when the sun is getting low and almost everything is in shadow. But, the sun hasn't gone below the horizon yet. Twilight happens after the last sliver of sun dips below the horizon and everything takes on an indigo hue.

Agree? Disagree? Don't give a bunny's bum? Comments are VVV that-a-way.

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Life goal: use the words "juggernaut" and "goliath" in the sports section before we switch editorial duties. So, this weekend.

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And now... AWARDS!

Ah, my first blog award! I have awaited this day with bated breath!

K a b l o o e y gave me the One Lovely Blog award earlier this week. How lovely of her!


The rules that came with the award were not so lovely. Pass it on to 15 people? That's half my blogroll! If I give an award to all those people, what will it mean to any of them? That's communism is what it is. Now, no one get upset; I wouldn't be reading your blog if it didn't deserve an award! But as for the Lovely award, I have picked just one - count it - one Lovely Blog from the bunch.

Allow me to introduce you to Lady Sunflower. Her blog is ray of pure joy on the darkest, dreariest days (I know because today was one of them). Just the sunflower at the top of her page is enough to put a smile on my face. Mortal pessimists, meet the eternal optimist!

Cynthia@RunningWithLetters followed up K a b l o o e y ' s award with the Over the Top award. Again, many thanks! I guess I can't hide my, er, mild insanity from my fans. Good to know you crazy cats appreciate it. ^_^


Thankfully, this one allowed me to choose how many recipients I would pass it along to. But I know a lot of over the top people, so it was a tough call! I narrowed it down to these three, listed alphabetically so no one can accuse me of playing favorites:

Emily at one more thing...
K a b l o o e y
Sass at Hot Piece of Sass

Congrats, ladies! You all make my days a little more over the top. Everyone, pay them a visit and leave a little love, since we bloggers thrive on comments!

Peace, love, and Saturdays,
Miss Rex

Catharsis, or A Breakup Tale

I guess I'm obliged to try and get some of this out in writing, though I hardly know where to begin. If you're looking for something silly and whimsical, I suggest you wait for my Scatterday post tomorrow afternoon. This post is anything but. See title.

These past ten months with Boyfriend have been full of peaks and valleys. I remember going back to school after the first time we kissed, ecstatic to tell Schneckleface all about it and the *DATE* we were going on soon!

There were so many firsts for both of us, and for the most part they were exciting firsts that brought me great joy. First time I ever slept over a guy's house. First time I went behind my parents' backs (for the record, that one was more exciting than joyful). First time I'd ever thought I could stick with someone forever, and wanted to. First time I ever planned on it. Among other firsts that brought confusion and even guilt for this quasi-conservatively raised Christian young lady - but let's not think about that just yet. First, a tribute to the things that made me smile... that still make me smile, and will no matter what.

Our first month together disappeared in a flurry of snowflakes and Christmas lights, which somehow seemed brighter than they had in years past. He was so worried about my present, worried he'd offend me since I was "very religious" and he, well, wasn't. For all that, he did a fine job. He even made it to church a couple times. He was so worried I would cheat on him that first month, and I was so glad I wasn't that person, so glad I wasn't bringing more pain into his life when he'd been through so much already (but it's none of my business to go into detail here). He always made sure to tell me how beautiful I looked that day, and I melted every time.

January: I dragged him to a ska show. He teased me about it but didn't complain (even when I got a bloody nose before ever jumping into the action).

February: I got a little adventurous in the kitchen, trying to bake the perfect Valentine's day gift (which involved way more red food dye than I ever should have fed him).

March: We took a long walk in the woods with every intention of getting hopelessly lost. The only thing I actually lost was my phone. It happened during a snowball fight, which I confess to instigating. Eventually we found both the phone and our way home.

April: I made it through the semester alive - quite a feat with the amount of pressure I was under - all thanks to him.

May: We took a road trip to New York to see Mae, another band he didn't care about at all, and get their scratch and sniff EP. It became a two-day tour of the city that never sleeps. We went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and had dinner with his godmother, who was one cool chica.

June: Our friends came home and much revelry ensued. All nighters. Rock Band. Mike's hard lemonade. Aaand the landmark 6-month anniversary, at which point I was more in love than I'd ever been.

July: His brother Dick took us on a spontaneous late-night road trip to New Hampshire for fireworks, which we set off on the beach on the fourth. I've never nearly died so many times in one night. By that statement, I meant the night of the fourth, but looking back I think I may have nearly died more times on the road trip.

August: I made and promoted the heck out of that video for that scholarship contest with a little help and a lot of support from him.

September: Not much to report, since I was back at school and he was home. We made plans to go to Sacramento for his music video premiere at the Sacramento Horror Film Festival. I was so proud! Oh, and that high school kid raising money door-to-door caught us hooking up in the hallway. Most embarrassing (but hilarious) moment EVER.

October: Well, here we are. Ten months and a break-up later. There are two things I won't say.

1. I won't say I wish I never met him. These are the things that make us who we are. The things that teach us what we need, what we want, what we can live without.

2. I won't say I wasn't in love. It would be a shameless lie.

I will say that it was time to move on. It had been some while since I'd felt the way I felt in June, when I convinced myself I was ready to give him that last piece of me that I had been saving - my virginity. But by the time I got on birth control, I was starting to notice the things I wanted that weren't there and decided not to give it up. Now I'm glad I held out.

I didn't want the darkness and fear he thrived on - the movies he watched, the movies he made, the heavy metal music and the image that went with it. It is my nature to love light and hope and beauty. I love the details that make this world so special. I love the care that God puts into them. Those weren't things he appreciated.

I wanted romance, poetry and love songs. I wanted him to bring me flowers for no reason. I wanted travels and beach days (which he disliked because of the way sand felt on his skin). I wanted adventures and asymmetry (which he couldn't stand, at least not in architecture).

I wanted to be challenged intellectually, spiritually, physically; instead I was only challenged sexually. He never forced me to do anything, yet I always had the sense that I was keeping from him the one thing that would make him happiest. For that I was, and am, sorry; or at least about the pain it caused.

I wanted him to act right around a lady, even when he was with the guys. I was sick of the rude humor and rude language, sick of the way he talked about other races and religions (even if it was only in jest, for to every joke there is a grain of truth).

I wanted to see him quit buying (or, as I saw it, wasting) time and go somewhere he really wanted to go, knowing good things were waiting to happen.

I told him that - that good things were waiting to happen - and in the end, even I couldn't stay his "good thing" forever.

I look at all that stuff I want and think, that's a lot to ask of one person. No one in the world can offer all that. No, but someone can offer some of it. From the beginning I wondered why I was so in love with someone who didn't fit a single one of my criteria, and you know what? It was a good fit. That's all I can say. I was happy, he was happy, and it worked - until now.

About a month ago I started living excuse to excuse. I was constantly relieved to find reasons to stay at school instead of coming back to be with him, because I hated it when we hooked up and didn't know how to say so. Somehow I knew it would break us and I didn't want that. I knew I was being selfish. I loved him (though maybe not quite as I had before) and needed him, so I clung to what we had, even though I knew what he needed was something I couldn't give. Time and time again I heard him talk about the people who had hurt him in the past and how he was moving past it, leaving them behind.

I didn't want to be left behind.

I hated the idea of hurting him and it seemed to me that the hurt of ending it would be greater than the hurt of staying together without having sex, but in the end only he could decide that. He finally got me to talk about what was bothering me after a month or more of knowing something wasn't right. I said I couldn't keep saying I'd be ready soon, soon, soon, when clearly it was going to be some time before I was ready to share that kind of intimacy with someone. By then I was so far into the valley that I had no desire to try and become ready. I had been trying for months. It just wasn't there. I wasn't in love anymore. I didn't say so, but that's how it was.

I left the ball in his court, and tonight he ended it. Even though I'd seen it coming, it hit me hard. I was crying. He was crying. My God, I made him cry - I didn't think I could. That was what killed me, seeing him like that and knowing I had caused it. I knew I would be okay if he was okay and made him promise he would take care driving home. I was so afraid he'd crash, accidentally or on purpose, or that he would hurt himself some other way. I couldn't live with that.

After he left I more or less dissolved into a sobbing, shaking puddle on the floor. I think part of it was adrenaline. Part of it might have even been relief. But the greatest part of it was sadness. I knew I wouldn't be hearing from Boyfriend for a while (although we're going to have to figure out the Sacramento situation, since I'm officially uninvited). I mopped myself up enough to call his dad and ask him to keep an eye on things tonight. Hanging up, I felt marginally better.

The chapter ends like this. I still love him, just not the way he wants. I want nothing but the best for him and I want to be a part of it if he'll let me. I haven't written him off as a romantic possibility, but he's got changing to do if we're going to try this again, and in the meantime, at twenty, I've got people to meet before I can think about settling down. As for my first love, time will heal him, and when it does I hope that we can be friends.

At least one good thing has come of this: My sister is actually nice to me when I'm miserable. Granted, there's nothing comforting about "well, it was God's will" - it still fucking hurts. But this strange peace I feel says she's right. It was kind of her anyway, and after that she gave me music and said good night. Thanks, sis.

Until the sun wipes the sky from grey to blue,
Miss Rex

Excavations of Claymore: Stef-a-licious

No Stefs were harmed in the making of this blog... or the beverage.
"It doesn't really taste like anything, but it's good," said Mnomanoms. "It's like an old favorite the first time."

Dark and light. Sweet and earthy at the same time. The Stef-a-licious was a paradox of flavors, and a pretty yummy paradox at that. But, as The Addict explained, "there's nothing special about it." Was it good? Yes. Was it an experience? An adventure? The edible equivalent of riding a unicorn? No.

"I'm an addict," said The Addict. "I'll take whatever I can get. But you guys are looking for an interesting drink that you'd go back and buy again."

Bingo.

Razzmatazz wasn't around when we bought the drink, but there was a little bit left when she got back from the library and I gave it to her to smell. She liked it enough to taste it. I wish you all could've seen her eyes light up. "It tastes just like this coffee I had in the Domincan Republic!" she said. "It was made from sugar-coated coffee beans."

Well-traveled wench! First Lebanese cookies, now sugar-coated coffee beans from the DR! Next it'll be Martian bon bons.

But kudos to Claymore for replicating the flavor of the best coffee Razzmatazz had ever tasted.

Fake Plastic Trees

The US government has it all wrong. They’re trying to fix environmental problems by throwing the green stuff at the issue (LA Times article), but the kind of green stuff we need doesn’t come from the Treasury or the Federal Reserves.

I read in a different newspaper, and now I can't find the link to share it, that China is in the process of planting acres upon acres of forest. The thing is, it's not enough to just stop putting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. There's too much already there. We have to take measures to get rid of the stuff that's floating around up there if we want to have polar ice caps twenty years from now.

Enter my evil plan to save the world.

My new life goal is to plant trees. Maybe a whole forest is a little ambitious, but I can start with just a tree. Imagine if every person in the US planted just one tree. Just one. That's 300 million living, breathing trees! Think of the impact that could have. We could, if we worked together, literally save the world.

Takers? Anyone know where I can get that many seeds? Anyone know where I'd be allowed to plant that many seeds...?

Scatterday

...in which Miss Rex shares random moments of amusement, frustration, and enlightenment from her week.

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The other morning, a group of men were outside my window with what sounded like a jackhammer. Turned out they were drilling holes in the soil. Lots of them. As if the groundskeepers' perpetual mowing of our ten-foot strip of lawn wasn't noisy enough, now we got drillers, too.

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This year I finally won Homecoming Queen! To win, all you have to do is win more spirit points than anybody else by dressing in spirit week attire from Monday through Thursday. Last year I had 289 points and didn't win, so I made grand plans to outdo myself.

Monday: wear attire bearing the school's name or logo.

I got 50 points that day. Meh. I could do better.

Tuesday: Tartan day - wear anything plaid, or remotely checkered/argyle/houndstooth, for points.

I got 67 points. Getting better. I thank my floor for this victory.

Wednesday: Wear your class color! Ours has historically been "rust red." No one knows what exactly that means - it's sort of an orangey color that no one actually owns, so we've always just worn red. But this year some of the spirit week ads said to wear red, and some said to wear orange. My simple solution was to wear both. Unfortunately I was on my own that night, so I haven't got any pictures. I got 126 points; use your imagination.

Thursday: 80s day. This was difficult because it was less about what you wore and more about how you wore it. Shirt off the shoulder. Bra over shirt. Jacket over bra. Mismatched earrings. I did it all, somehow, but the most fabulous part of my fantabulous get-up was the boom box I borrowed from my RA. I made an 80s mix and blasted it as I made my way across campus to get my points tallied.

It came out to 53.

Grand total: 298 (including bagpipe blitz points, which you earn by running to the mini-quad whenever you hear the bagpipes play.) Incidentally, that was 200 points more than the runner up (now I feel kind of bad). Apparently everyone else with spirit graduated or went abroad. I feel like it was an anticlimactic contest, even though I won.

But I DID get more points than the homecoming king! Nyaa

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We had a variety show earlier. Boyfriend and I got there late and were really confused when the ushers asked us to take bags before sitting down. They were just brown paper lunch bags, filled with school paraphernalia, a program, and another, folded-up brown paper lunch bag. Umm.........kay?

But when some music majors took the stage for a round of "Piano Hero," all became clear. There were four of them playing the 1812 Overture on two grand pianos, and our brown paper bags were to be the cannons.

After popping them, we and everyone else in the balcony balled up the bags and catapulted them into the audience below us, shouting "CANNONBALLS!"

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According to a local newspaper, some schools are now offering cash rewards for students who take AP classes. What total bullshit is that?! I had to pay EXTRA to take AP classes! I had to buy 20-pound college textbooks and pay exam fees come spring. Not that these kids won't have to pay for those things. It'll just get balanced out by what the school pays them to enroll.

You know what these classes will look like, don't you? Remember how my friends and I entertained ourselves during my AP English class? Teachers will have hordes of students who don't give a shit about the subject. They won't want to work hard. They won't care. The kids who actually want to learn, say, history or chemistry at an advanced level will suffer as the class is brought down to the level of those who are only in it for the money.

I know I'm an idealist, but I just think schools should be about learning, that's all.

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How do blind people experience dreams? Do they have REM sleep? Are there images in their heads or is the dream world the same as the waking world for them - comprised of sounds, smells, sensations and flavors... without sight?

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Note: Thanks to Cynthia@RunningWithLetters for letting me know my comment link was broken! It's all better now, so leave some love!

Excavations of Claymore: The Blondie

Le Skeptic and the beverage bunch - Razzmatazz, Mnomanoms, and The Addict - sample The Blondie! (Banana hazelnut latte)

Okay y'all, here's the rule for this post. This drink contains banana flavoring. Therefore, I talk about bananas. Let's all be mature coffee connoisseurs and not make any thatswhatshesaid jokes, okay? Okay.



I won't lie; the primary reason I picked this drink was because of the pretty title card. Well, and I like bananas.

I know you're thinking, "banana and hazelnut?? You're not the only skeptic here tonight." Oh, believe me, Le Skeptic was even more skeptical than usual about this one. Luckily, curiosity did not kill this cat, this time.

Caffeinated, liquid banana is delicious! Who would have guessed it? The Blondie was the BEST coffee drink I've ever had, hands down! I probably liked it so much on account of the 'naner flavor overpowering the espresso flavor. So, again, I cheated my way around trying an actual coffee beverage. But this week I only cheated by accident! Well, except that I got twice as much milk and half as much espresso as the drink called for... but shh! It's progress.

Razzmatazz played Switzerland this week. Mnomanoms and The Addict agreed that The Blondie would be a poor choice for non-naner-lovers, and Mnomanoms added that you'd have to be a monkey to like it.

That must make me Queen Kong; I liked it so much I went back for another the next night.

Everything in Transit

Sometimes I think my life is like The Little Mermaid.

I'm the girl who has everything. I go to a great college, where I study great subjects under great teachers. I have a great family that loves me and is not broken by divorce or sickness. I have a great boyfriend who would do anything for me. I have great friends and roommates capable of fun times and deep caring. Yet some days, and today is one of them, I just feel utterly, hopelessly miserable. I think the fact that I compare my life to a children's movie is somewhat indicative of the problem.

Everything makes sense when you’re little. All that matters is the world inside your head. Save Fantasyland from the bad guys! You’ve got all afternoon to do it, and for someone whose existence has only spanned eight years, that’s a lifetime. You can’t understand what faith is because you can’t imagine anything else. When your mind is so huge and pure and the world knows no bounds, that’s when your imagination can wrap itself around God. You can shrink him down when your mind is like that. You don’t need answers to all these silly questions before you can love him or love other people; you just do because you should, and that’s all you know or need to know.

So maybe my life is more like Peter Pan: I don't want to grow up!

When I'm under pressure, I regress. I try to re-become the child I once was. I can talk myself into seeing the world as if it's the first time I ever looked at the sky or the sea or a little yellow snail that anyone else would pass by or step on. People know and expect that simple things amaze me and bring me joy, but they don't know that I had to practice seeing it that way. My mind is not the place it was when I was small. I can only regress so far.

Not much makes sense anymore. I don't know who I am (even though I spent four years of high school telling everyone I did). I can't understand what faith is because I never needed to know. I can't even wrap my mind around a little piece of God because I know now that shrinking him down the way I did once is a lie, and I wouldn't want to lie about something like that.

I want the happy Disney ending. Sometimes I just forget that heroes and heroines have to fight the bad guys to get there, and in the process, they change. Belle fell in love with the Beast. Pinocchio became a real boy. I don't want to change, but my position in the world is changing and I have no choice but to change with it. I want to love the things I've always loved and do the things I've always done with the people I've always held dear, and I want them to be exactly the way I've always held them dear.

Maybe that's what heaven is like.

Does anyone else feel this way? Or, a more fun question to amuse me on this over-thought and emotional afternoon: Which Disney movie describes your life? What character do you relate to? If you could be any Disney character, who would you choose? Entertain me!

Scatterday

...in which Miss Rex shares random moments of amusement, frustration, and enlightenment from her week.

Things I love about fall #1: Indian summers! The last few weeks of summer were nothing short of dismal, but once fall arrived, our friend the Sun returned for an encore.

Gordon College and Chebacco woods in the fall. The leaves are just beginning to change.

Today at lunch I found a sign that said "Magic Brownies." "Magic" would not normally be an adjective I'd associate with Lane food (mutative, perhaps). I considered the amount of pot in Lane's eggplant parm and decided against the brownies.

I was walking by the quad. It was dark and rainy, but I heard a watery kind of noise that wasn't the rain and immediately thought, "You've got to be kidding me - they have the sprinklers on in this weather?" I looked over and sure enough they were watering the grass. "WHY?" I demanded out loud. The sprinklers must have realized their folly then, because they promptly shut off.

I just passed my friend Christian on the sidewalk. After greeting him "hey, Christian," it occurred to me that "Christian" is a very odd name for a child. You wouldn't name your baby "Jew" or "Muslim," would you? Then all his friends would have to say, "Hey, Jew" or "Hey, Muslim." It's like a built-in epithet, because face it: even though we speak the language of tolerance, most religions just have negative connotations in America. Even (or especially) Christian.

Barack Obama:

Excavations of Claymore: The Promised Land

I brought my trusty band of tasters with me this week. May I introduce you to Razzmatazz, M'nomanoms, and the Addict. Oh, and me - I, being the non-coffee-drinker of the critique crew, am Le Skeptic.

Introducing The Promised Land: Honey Almond Steamer
"It makes me feel warm and foamy inside!" - Le Skeptic



We all agreed that this drink was not everything its title promised. "It smells really good right before you take a sip," said the Addict. True story. As M'nomanoms pointed out, the aroma of the Promised Land is like sugar cookie dough. Take note, seekers of the holy grail.

It's flavor, though, was not-much-of-anything with a slight aftertaste of Razzmatazz's mom's Lebanese cookies. Milk has a pretty neutral flavor as is, yet the Promised Land seemed to give it even less of one. After the first few sips of sweet and creamy foam, we were (to use an Old Testament metaphor) uprooted from that place of relative comfort to be displaced in the desert for forty years.

All this implies that it was a bad drink, but all of us except the Addict agreed that it wasn't. It was the sort of drink a mommy would make for a sad or sleepy child. There's a time for a drink like that - i.e., when one is sad or sleepy and far away from mommy at college. I was not sad, nor was I sleepy, and I wasn't missing my mom any more than usual.

But I was in for a pleasant surprise. All the flavor had found its way to a magical mystery layer of foam at the bottom of the cup. I took a sip, expecting more drink, only to discover the elusive Promised Land proclaimed by that little purple piece of paper sticky tacked to Claymore's wall.

It only took 40 gulps to get there.

American English: not quite as dead as Latin, but at least as dead as a zombie.

Okay, writers-in-arms; we need to talk. I spend most of my time editing other people’s work, and I have come to the conclusion that we (as in Americans) are incredibly irresponsible with the English language. If you are in college or, god forbid, writing professionally, you should understand the basic format of a sentence and, at minimum, the basic tenets of grammar. In case you missed that boat, here's a quick run-down of ubiquitous mistakes that drive me bonkers.

- Just because you’re in your last year of school and are clearly Teh Shiz, being a Senior does not give you the right to capitalize your school year. Most scientific words do not deserve the honor of a capital letter, either, no matter how important you think Xylem and The Water Cycle are.

- "Your" is possessive. If your you're looking for a word to go before “uninformed,” try “you’re.” It’s a highly useful conjunction of “you are.”

- A comma is not a period, if the next clause is a separate thought with its own subject and verb, then using a comma is WRONG.

- Subjects should agree in number with their objects.

- There and their: They’re NOT interchangeable!

- There’s definitely no such word as “deffinately.”

- Punctuation goes INSIDE "quotation marks"!

Don’t tell me “its alright.” We are witnessing the disintegration of the English language, and it's definitely not all right.

200thpostentennial!

Hi everyone, and welcome to the official celebration of my (perhaps overly-prolific) blogging record. In honor of 200 posts, tonight will be devoted to a Q&A-a-thon in which I spill my deepest, darkest secrets about everything from the color green to dating standards. Thanks to all my friends who commented with their questions. To those of you who missed the boat, leave one and I'll be sure to update with new answers! Also, if you all haven't read each other's blogs, you're missing out! Take a minute to stop by and say hi to each other.

K a b l o o e y asked:
Is the green hair support a theoretical thing, or are there photos we can see? Did you have troll green hair with a dairy Queen swirl on top?

It's both! I don't think people should be judged, stereotyped, or categorized because of their hair color any more than they should be for their skin color.... But I DID have turquoise tips at one point!

turquoise hair dye... totally emo

Wicked emo, I know. Lolz

Rook No. 17 asked:
What's your favorite [cereal]? Are you lured by the promise of chocolate milk at the bottom of your bowl with the Count? Charmed by Frankie's preppie pink sweetness? Empowered with a Pac-man like rush of eating the blue ghosts in Booberry?

Tough choice. Although I try to be a health nut on occasion, I must confess I love Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I know it sounds gross but the cinnamony milk at the end makes me uber-happy. I love Trix, too, but I never know if I'm still allowed to eat them since "Trix are for kids" and I'm not quite one of them anymore. =(

One Sassy Girl asked:
You're about ten years, give or take, younger than me. So tell me, what do women of your age group think about chivalry? Do you prefer for a man to pay? Do you care if he holds a door for you? Do you like for him to lead you through a room, his hand on the small of your back? Or am I an "old" romantic sap?

There's a loaded question! Wow. Off-hand I have to say that the problem isn’t girls thinking chivalry is antiquated; it’s boys thinking chivalry is antiquated. There’s not one girl I know who wouldn’t love to be treated like a princess, but nobody trains the guys to behave like that so we generally have to settle.

If they had a store called Build-a-Boy, mine would do all of those things and more. He'd do all the things they sing about in songs that nobody ever really does, like dancing when there isn't any music and pointing out Our star while we lay on the beach with our fingers entwined....

Oh God. I'll stop there. I can't call you a sap because I'm clearly just as bad, or worse!

Anyway, I can't complain about the boy I've got now =)

Mr. Condescending asked:
Have you stopped using a Walkman yet?

No! Haha. Mine has been dropped so many times that the top pops open sideways and the battery case won't stay shut, but I still use it! Old skool represent~

emily asked:
What is this Excavations of Claymore?

I explain it all in this post. In a nutshell, I do not drink coffee. I do not like it (Sam I am). I can't tell you the difference between a mocha and a latte. I dunno what the hell Irish creme is but it's definitely not a rich alternative to regular creme.

For the sake of all our entertainment, I am going to become a coffee connoisseur this semester. I have made it my personal goal to try every drink advertised in Claymore (the on-campus cafe) and blog about it afterward.

Beth Dunn asked:
What kind of green tea do you like?

There are different kinds?! Haha. I'm not really a brand person, if that's what you mean. I prefer it to other kinds of tea because of the taste and because it has less caffeine (we've already discussed how much I don't need caffeine... see aforementioned Claymore post). I always take it with honey, and sometimes a little milk if it's too hot - but not enough to screw up the flavor!

Thanks everyone! It was fun! And on to another one hundred....

Randomathon

I have quite a few things to share this morning, none of them of any great import except for this: I'm coming up on my 200th post. As in, the next thing I post will be #200. Time has flown, my friends - and yes, I do think of my fellow bloggers as such.

In honor of the big 200, I'd like to do a fun little Q&A session. Can you believe I've never done one before? I figure, after 200 posts, people have got to be bursting with profound questions they wish they could ask me - they're just waiting for the right opportunity to bring them up!

Here's your chance. Leave a comment with a question (or three), and I will answer it as truthfully as I can!

And now, commence the Randomathon!

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Derry the punchbuggy got a lung transplant and is at my house recovering until I can go fetch him this weekend. I hope this operation solves the problem, as it was not little Derry's first new lung and those breathing apparatuses cost Poppa Derry an arm and a leg.

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I was scrolling through the millions of notes I have saved on my cell phone and I found one I'd typed at 5 one morning (the spelling was atrocious). It was about a dream I'd apparently had that night, in which I was illegally keeping a giant in the basement and placating him with chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. Gotta love my brain.

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This morning I opened my mailbox to find a jury duty summons. Your civic duty. Your privilege.

Duty schmooty. I got a summons last spring; it's not my fault they cancelled on me before I even made it to the court.

Then I noticed the addressee.

It wasn't me. (She graduated last year.)

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Would you believe this captcha came from an educational website?



It's ALMOST as good as some Shakespearean insults I used to throw around with my equally-dorky friends in high school. You know the type. "That gleeking, clay-brained dewberry!" and "thou mammering, milk-livered lout!" were common outbursts at our widely-skirted lunch table, and for that matter, in our AP English classroom. Even though we were supposedly doing college-level work, things got pretty boring because our class was full of pribbling, idle-headed barnacles. So we took it upon ourselves to keep things interesting.

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Excavations of Claymore: Meg's Apple Cider

In honor of the fall equinox, I would like to share with you The Quintessential Autumn Beverage. Warning: You may mistake the substance in your cup for liquefied apple pie, pureed right of the oven and served to you piping hot. But never fear; Meg's is not a treat for the toothless! At least not exclusively....

This delightfully warm concoction of chai tea and apple cider will warm your heart on those chilly autumn eves after walking across the quad, or during crisp afternoons cheering in the stands while the Fighting Scots play football (the European kind, that is; we don't have an American football team at my school.)

The cinnamon and spice undertones will put you in mind of Thankschristmakwanzachanukah. Good vibes all around, dude.

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Don't forget to post your questions!!
Peace, love, and apple pie,
Miss Rex
 
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