April 28, 2014

Illinois-Missouri Trip

Alright, funny and slightly embarrassing story time!

Several years ago in... (flips through millions of old processed pictures... the film kind...) circa... 2006, my family went on a trip to Illinois and Missouri. Well, my mom had to do some sort of fancy business trip thing in Chicago a few days after we got to Chicago, so at first we were all in one big group.  When we first got to our hotel, I, of course, had to take the couch/bed/thing.  Once it was all set up, I was paranoid that there were bed bugs.  I didn't even want to sleep in the bed.  But I was tired, and so I did, and there were no bed bugs.  (Insert lack of drama here).  So we traveled around Chicago for a while, and saw some of the super cool stuff about Chicago.  We went to Navy Pier and rode some of the rides there, we went on the Sky Deck tour of the Sears Tower, (which was really cool, you could see Lake Michigan from the top of that thing.  It was also kinda freaky being up so high.  I'm not so much a heights person.).

I remember the pair of shoes I wore *the whole time* we were travelling around Chicago.  It was a pair of sketchers that had these big blocky rubber heels (about an inch and a half tall).  I loved those shoes so much.  That was my first 'pair of heels' if you could even call it that.  I remember my mom saying "You brought other shoes, you need to wear those other shoes and stop wearing the same pair, you're going to get blisters!"  I never did get blisters.  But I felt soooo grown up in those hot little sketchers.  Of course, I outgrew them and now I just use them for a doorstop.  One night when we were walking down the street for dinner, we saw an old homeless black man sitting on the sidewalk.  I believe he was playing a bucket drum or something and singing.  His blue eyes were hazy with blindness, and I remember feeling so sad for him.  He wasn't the only one out there, but I felt so bad for him.  After we came back out of the restaurant there was this couple that had bought an extra banana split dessert, and as we walked by we saw them giving it to him, and kindly helping him eat it.  That kind of restored my faith in humanity a little bit.  It was a nice gesture.

  We spent about the next two days doing these fun things. Then my mom had to go to her conference thing, so my dad and I traveled down to St. Charles, Illinois to visit my cousins.  We spent a day with them, and my uncle lent us his car to travel around in.  We set off from their house for about a 300 mile journey into St. Louis, Missouri.  I specifically remember the number 300 because I asked my dad how long it would take us to get there and he said, "well, its about 300 miles, and we're going about 75 miles per hour down the highway, so you do the math."  I never liked 'doing the math,' I just wanted an answer!

Anyway, we stopped at a hotel along the way and spent the night.  The next morning we got up early, went to the continental breakfast (where, of course, being like 9 I only ate donuts and other delicious junk.  And orange juice.  I remember the orange juice in a styrofoam cup.) and then we hit the road again.  On this day, it was usual North East weather, semi cloudy, semi windy, semi chance of rain.  I remember being in the back seat when I heard the car ding at us telling us to get gas.  I asked my dad, "Are we going to run out of gas?" and he replied, "No, we still have some left.  There's a gas station up ahead, anyway."  About twenty minutes later the GAS STATION: NEXT EXIT sign came into view.  About thirty seconds after that the car spluttered, and suddenly started slowing down.  My dad groaned and pulled off onto the side of the road.  We were less than a mile from the station and we ran out of gas.  My dad almost told us we were going to walk to the gas station to get gas, and he told me to change my shoes.  Change my shoes?! There was no way I wanted to change my shoes to walk a mile to the station.  "I can wear these, I've been walking in them for like three days." I protested, "No, you should probably change shoes."  I sighed and reluctantly climbed back into the car to change my shoes.  My dad soon got on the phone with my uncle and told him what happened.  Thankfully his brother lived close by and he told my dad he could come give us a gallon to get us to the station.  Now realizing that we wouldn't be walking to the station, I announced I was going to change back into my favorite shoes, and quickly proceeded to do so.  My uncle's brother came soon and helped us get to the station.  My dad filled the car with more gas, and we proceeded on our journey.

We then drove all the way to the Gateway Arch in Missouri, and had a blast there.  I took some pictures with my film camera.  Most of them have my finger in the way, but hey.  I was 9.

I remember sitting in the tiny little pod elevator where you had to sit down to fit.  I had never been up a curved elevator shaft before.  It was a unique and squeaky experience.  The arch from the ground is truly a magnificent work of art, but the top of the arch was even more magnificent.

Once at the top, there was a tiny little room with two sides of windows.  The maximum capacity for that room was probably no more than like, 10 people at a time.  It was small.  And yet, for being so cramped, it was actually cold up there.  The view was amazing.  You could see so far and you could see so many different buildings! In one picture I took, you could see the whole baseball stadium in the distance.

After we were done at the Gateway Arch, we started back to Illinois and Chicago.

Alright.  I promised you funny, so here's funny.  On our way back, we stopped at some middle-of-nowhere parking lot with a restroom.  I can't currently remember what those are called, so we'll just call it a pit stop.  We parked outside, and my dad asked me if I had to use the bathroom before we went back on the road for a while longer.  I said no, but he decided to use the bathroom anyway.  So I sat there and waited as he rolled the windows up and locked the doors.  Then he walked into the building and disappeared from sight.  My thinking was that we probably wouldn't be stopped for very long.  I was wrong.  My dad took quite a long time to come back.  But it got worse.  I moved my head to reach something in the seat next to me and instantly felt pain.  The window was pulling my hair out!  Apparently when he rolled up the windows a bunch of my hair had been sucked outside.  So now I couldn't move without ripping my hair out.  I sat there with my head leaning against the window in the most uncomfortable position for quite a while.  And of course, I would have rolled the window down, or opened the door or something, but the door was locked and the car was off.  I was stuck there until he got back and started the car.  And he took forever.  Finally he walked out of the building and saw me following him with annoyed eyes, and he gave me a confused look.  He unlocked the car and got in.  "What's wrong?" he asked, "I've been sitting here with my hair trapped in the window since you left, and I can't move.  Can you please just start the car so I can get my hair out??" He laughed and then rolled the window down.  While at the time I thought it was really annoying how funny he thought it was, apparently I've come to my comical senses and realized that this makes a funny story.

Other than picking my mom up from the hotel and flying home, the rest of the trip was uneventful.  I hope you all enjoyed this very long and dramatic story of our trip to Illinois and Missouri! Don't be afraid to comment, I like comments! ;)

April 24, 2014

Problem Solvers

 I've been thinking lately.  Amazing, right?
But has anyone else noticed that people easily notice things that are not like them?  For instance, if you were sitting in a restaurant and someone with some strange skin disease walked by, you would notice them.  Our first instinct, unfortunately, is to stare.  Why do we stare?  Is it because we are innately judgemental? Or perhaps because we don't want to 'catch' the same thing.  I know, it sounds horrible.  That person with the skin problem can't control it.  They very likely don't enjoy being stared at or given looks.  I understand that, but that is not what I'm getting at.
 The thought crossed my mind that if said skin problem is contagious, we don't want it.  So our attention being drawn to something out of place is a survival instinct.  Other animals notice when things are out of place.  If they didn't they would be unaware and likely prey for whatever other animal wanted to eat them. Wild birds know to be afraid of cats and people, but they recognize a bird of the same species to be 'safe.'

 So are we nothing more than a slightly smarter animal?  What sets us apart from them?  Other animals can solve problems in order to survive.  They can recognize 'who' and 'what' and 'where,'...
 Some people would argue that our ability to use logic sets us apart from other animals.  I would go further.  We are able to ask the questions 'how,' 'why,' and 'when.'  
 Must we be problem solvers in order to survive?
 What would we be without asking questions? 

April 19, 2014

Favorite Food

My new favorite food is officially Blood Orange sorbet.  ITS SO DELICIOUS!  I mean, maybe it just goes to show (again) that I'm a vampire.  Not that that wasn't already a fact of my life, but yeah.


April 17, 2014

Over 300 Reads!!

Also, thanks so much to everyone who got the read count over 300!!


Post Wisdom Teeth

Hey everyone, I survived!! I would love to be able to say that I was acting like those three people from my previous post, but I can't.  Unfortunately nothing super exciting happened.  But I'll share my story for the sake of remembrance, and perhaps you can find SOMETHING funny in this.
So, here goes nothing.  And perhaps I'll post a creepy picture of me also ;)
I got up, threw on clothes that I would hardly pass for being dressed to go somewhere, but hey.  The pre-op instructions told me to wear 'loose clothes' so I wore pajamas!!  We went in, my dad was all prepared to record me acting like a freak.  They took me in, sat me down, and put on this silly oxygen nose thing.  After I was all tied down to the chair (apparently people have decided to pull the oxygen out, or just decide to go home during the procedure) and had about three or four different sensors all over me, they stuck in the IV, and started the drip.
Apparently my fingers were too cold (as always) for the oxygen sensors to work, and I wasn't breathing regularly, so they added something to help me 'relax' and I was out moments later.  I woke up hearing the doctor and the nurse talking, and even though she was very careful that I was nauseous or loopy or anything, I was ready to get up and walk around.  I had no hilarious moments.  Which, although disappointing, was a relief I think.  We 'went for a walk,' then she helped me into the car and we went home again.  But perhaps this next part will make you laugh.  I got this drop-dead GORGEOUS headband called a 'jaw bra' (which I think is the most hilarious name), and I get to wear it till tomorrow morning!! YAY!  Okay.  Picture time.

Alright, there it is.  And yes, I look crazy, but thats because I'm intentionally making a face, not because I'm drugged up.  Although one side of my face took the rest of the day to stop being numb.  And it was so weird... I could bite my lip and not feel anything on my lip, but I could feel my lip on my teeth.  I probably could have amputated my lip and not felt a thing.  Not that I would do that.  I like my lip.  Hahaha.

I watched movies for the rest of the day:  The Fox and the Hound, part of West Side Story, Doctor Who, Footloose, the Aristocats.  

I am starting to miss food though.  I really want something salty and crunchy, like some triscuits or something, but nooo... I can't eat real food for several days :(  I get to eat soft boring cold stuff like pudding, water, more pudding, ice cream, and tomato juice.  Yaaaay.. But getting to have ice cream for dinner is a dream come true.  ;)

In conclusion: wisdom teeth are overrated!
Anywho, hope you all enjoy that creepy picture of me.  And the story.  Have a great Easter Break everyone!! Enjoy your food while you can! :)


April 16, 2014

Wisdom Teeth

Alright.  Tomorrow is the big day.  All four of my wisdom teeth are coming out.  While I'm happy to get rid of them so they won't cause me problems later on, its still a stressful thing.  I'm not sure how I'll do tomorrow, hopefully I won't freak out.  Then again, I am pretty squeamish.  What really sucks about this is the fact that its over Easter break.  I won't be able to eat the yummy food!!! I mean, I get ice cream and pudding, which is pretty legit, but I love food.  I'm going to be sad to not be able to eat real food for a while.  What I am looking forward to is how I react after the IV sedation.  I've heard a lot of funny stories about when people come out from under it, and I hope I have my own hilarious story to tell.  So, for something to look forward to, here are some of the funniest reactions to sedation after wisdom tooth surgery.  All credit goes to these three people brave enough to share their story with the world. ;)


Came across a very beautiful, very deep, and very inspiring quote during lit today.  Thought I would share it with you all:
"I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.  I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary.  I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole genuine meanness of it, and publish its excursion."  ~ Walden, by Henry David Thoreau.

April 08, 2014

How to remove ink from clothing

  Anyone out there who uses fountain pens? (ME ME ME!!!) Well, if you also happen to be a klutz like I am, you've probably stained some article of clothing and have come here to find out how to get rid of it.
My stain happened when I left a pen uncapped on my desk and leaned my elbow on it, and because I had never stained anything with fountain pen ink before I kinda freaked out.  I quickly scoured the internet for how to get rid of the stain.  Here is a combination of methods that works extremely well.  And seeing as I stained a white shirt sleeve with dark blue ink and erased it completely, it works pretty darn well.

Things you will need:
  1. Stained clothing
  2. Hairspray
  3. Cotton balls or cotton pads
  4. Cardboard, paper towels, or more cotton
  5. Lukewarm water
  6. A bucket
  7. Clorox 2
  8. Tide
  9. Patience
Step 1:  Place cardboard, paper towels, or cotton underneath the layer of clothing which has been stained.  When we go to remove the stain itself, we don't want the stain to seep through into the next layer and make it even worse.
Step 2:  Spray the area with a fair amount of hairspray, and let it sit for a few moments to settle into the fabric and the stain.  The hairspray will work the same way it does on hair; it will stick to the ink on the surface of the clothing, and when we go to remove it, lots of the stain will come with it.
Step 3:  Wet some paper towels or cotton with water (lukewarm water is fine, but slightly warm water is also good).  Begin to dab at the stain.  Don't rub it.  Rubbing will generally only make the stain go further into the fibers of the fabric.  So when you dab try to lift the stain out, not across.  You will find that a lot of the ink comes out onto the paper towel/cotton, so you will have to use more paper towels or cotton.
Step 4:  Repeat steps 2 and 3 until it appears that adding more hairspray and dabbing it back out does not seem to be making any more progress.
Step 5:  Put your now less-stained clothing into the bucket (after removing the cardboard) and fill your bucket about half full with water (again, lukewarm or slightly warm).  Make sure your stain is submerged in the water, but near enough to the surface that you can still see it.  Add some Clorox 2 right over the stain, and try to rub some of it into the fabric gently.  Stir it up a just a bit in the bucket.  Now add a bit of Tide and again rub it gently into the stain and swish it around a little.
Step 6:  Leave the bucket with your clothing and water solution in it to sit somewhere safe for a couple of days.  No need to add anything more to the water, or change the water, just leave it alone and underwater for a while, and by the time you're ready to do your laundry the stain should be all gone!  I went back to check on mine after about 4 or 5 days and I could not find the stain at all.  It was gone!

Best of luck to you all, hope you found this to be helpful!



  Has anyone considered how odd trees are?  I mean, when I look at a tree, bare from the winter, it reminds me of a weight.  Just its shape.  If you took it out of the ground, and take away all the dirt clinging to the roots, it would look like a stick holding together two different ends of 'roots.'  The branches are the 'roots' that collect sunlight and release gases, but the bottom roots collect water and minerals.  And the middle part... well, I guess its responsible for making the tree grow taller and for multiplying cells.

I almost wonder what would happen if you planted an already grown tree upside down, so that the real roots were reaching toward the sun, and the branches were underground.  Would the tree adapt to be just another tree? Or would it be something completely different? And honestly, what is the purpose of a tree... especially in winter? They drop all of their leaves and go into stasis; so what good do they do during the winter?

If anyone considers this deeply, they too will begin to question not only the purpose and oddities of trees, but the purpose and oddity of all life.  What purpose do we really serve?