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Archive for January, 2012

Back to Normal

It’s kind of funny how I find the most prime times to want to blog.  I’ve been staring a screen with French words for the past two hours, a project that should’ve taken me 20 minutes.  I feel like the words are spinning around my head, and I just am beginning to forget this language.

In the meantime, I should probably attribute this procrastination to Twitter.  There’s this one feed I’ve just discovered, “…to the kids who”, which is so relatable and wonderful.  Some of them are ridiculous, quintessential teenager things to say.  Others are heartwarming, and really recognize those who think they don’t belong.  Usually this type of teenage-angst stuff is something I totally look down upon, but I really commend whoever is in charge of this Twitter feed.  I love it, love it, love it.

Look around, and you’ll notice more than a few ridiculous things going on.  For some reason, this happens to me quite a bit.  It’s as if I turn off my brain at times, and when it turns back on, the world hits me like a slap in the face.  Here are some things I find ridiculous/surprising/interesting—basically things that have caught my eye and are worth good/bad recognition (if you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen some of these before…).

  • Fred.  Okay, I have definitely tweeted about this recently.  But, Fred.  There are so many things to say about this.  One, it’s just not normal for an 18 year old boy to act like this.  Two, they’re making a TV show out of Fred.  Nickelodeon has really lost its touch.  Okay, I will admit that when I was in 6th grade, me and a friend of mine were absolutely obsessed with him.  I mean, back then, we thought it was absolutely adorable that a guy our age would do something like this.  Now, frankly, it’s a bit disturbing.  From the Alvin-esque voice to the more-than childish behavior to the actual craze of it….it’s just plain scary.
  • Step outside, close your eyes, and forget it’s January.  I hope you feel a sense of warmth (literally) hitting you, swarming past you, swirling around your mind.  The sun is illuminating my house right now, at 4:30, when it should be dark.  I mean, I always thought that in January, the days were super short.  Not that I’m complaining, of course—this is incredible.  And I absolutely love sunsets in Vermont, all year long.  I’m sure many of my poetry has been sunset-based, many thoughts, many feelings, many smiles.  It reminds me of all the reasons I love this place—even if it’s somewhere I could never envision myself living forever.  But that doesn’t mean I won’t ever come back to visit.  It’s in my heart as much as my family is.
  • Homework.  I am not one of those kids who whines about homework.  I am now.  Don’t get me wrong, I am one of those people who loves to learn things—loves school.  But the amount of homework we get is too much to handle.  Exam week was a bit scarring this year, partly my own fault, but it would’ve just been nice to have a short break in between.
  • I was getting my daily dosage of Yahoo News, and I came across this article that just made my heart melt.  “Great Destinations After Dark.” My favorite is Mauna Kea, the place for stargazers.  One day, I’ll lie under those stars, notebook in hand, and fall in love with the sky.  My other favorite was Waterfire in Providence, RI.  Firetenders float down the three rivers to light torches lined up on the river at night.  It’s just mind blowing, and surreal, to be honest.  The rest of them are spectacular as well, so I would definitely check out the article, as well as the places, of course.  It’s exciting that Paris is one of them, for their “night culture.”  See you in a month, spectacular Paris (I meant that to be written in a French-accent).
  • Novak Djokovic, Aussie Open champ.  Yuck, enough said.  (I’m a hardcore Federer fan, so it’s not like Nadal really deserved it either).
  • In relation to the latter, Federer and I have the same EXACT tennis bag.  It is, of course, a Federer-endorsed bag, with his signature strewn across, but I didn’t realize he actually used it. Click on the link—it’s an absolute beauty.  Of course I don’t have 12 racquets, but during the season, I basically live out of my tennis bag.
  • I’ve made a mental bucket list.  I obviously won’t be putting it on here ever, but I think I’ll make a written list for myself.  I wonder if I’ll ever be able to fulfill all of them….I hope so!
  • I’ve discovered a website called 750 words, a site where you strive to write 750 words a day, totally private and locked.  I spent three days regurgitating all of my emotions on there, and then I felt kind of pathetic about it.

So, this weekend has definitely been a little bizarre.  The news of the student at CVU is all that’s been circulating around the state.  Everywhere I go, I hear his name.  And as glad I am of the respect he’s getting, from the front page feature on BFP to showing up in conversations, it’s just so difficult to handle for me.  I wrote how I felt before, so I don’t think I really need to again.  But it’s just something that gives me a senseless feeling, and hearing it over and over again makes me think over and over again.  And I hope I go into school tomorrow appreciating my relationships with people even more, holding them close to my heart.  I hope you do too.

Lastly, I wanted to say thanks to anyone who reads this.  In three days, I got over 200 views on this blog.  It may not seem like a lot, but it just means the world to me.  I definitely had a smile on my face for the entire weekend, as people told me how much they appreciated my post about Ila and my blog in general.  Thank you so, so much.

Lots of love,
B

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From A Community~

Once again, we’re hit by the tragedies of life.  For those of you who aren’t aware, a student at CVU passed away due to a car accident this morning.  If you look outside, I’m sure you can tell that it’s these dangerous roads which was the cause.  Last week, you read about how I feel about Ila.  Ila was truly a friend, someone close to us who left us with weepy hearts.  But in all honesty, we were young—we did not realize how delicate life was.  Ila died the same way—in a car accident on an icy day.  To us, it was the fault of cars—and it was unreal.  Only now do we realize the weight of it.

The student in the car today was a friend of many of my friends.  I did not know him, nor had I known of him.  But that doesn’t excuse the fact that he was a part of my tight-knit community.  Known or not, a death is a death, and it hits you just the same.  We had a community member—a parent—pass away unexpectedly this summer, and it was a hit, a wake-up call, and irreversible.

Like I said, I didn’t know Zeke at all.  But as I go through my News Feed, I see all these pictures of him being commented on—pictures from a party this weekend.  Yet, I didn’t notice him well enough during this past laid-back Sunday, when I happened to look at them because of familiar faces.  And now, I see the laughs of people I know, living and breathing in his company, and it just breaks my heart.  It just breaks my heart to see how quick a life can change, and how quick the lives of so many can change.

A death is a death, yet this almost feels like even more of a stab than a self-inflicted death.  Unfortunately, the past year has been so tragic with suicides in local schools, and god forbid that we ever have to hear of another.  But what happened with Zeke was nature, nothing foreshadowed.  I don’t believe in fate.  Yet, at times like these, I find myself feeling superstitious, and blaming it on fate.  From what it sounds like and looks like, he was just a kid—as old as my friends and I—full of laughter and happiness.

I’m sorry that half of what I’m saying doesn’t make sense.  Part of it is my anger at Vermont roads and nature; the other part is my senseless feeling.  I hope I never have to go through what his loved ones are going through right now.  But if anyone close to him is reading this—we’re all here for you, the entire community—whether this includes South Burlington or Essex or Williston, whatever.  Vermont is small enough as is, and the death of one person can affect everyone in it.  But no matter what, it makes you think.  It makes you think about how you can wake up in the morning, looking forward to the day or not, and not know what to expect.  It makes you think about how you love and spend time with one person, but you just never hold on quite tight enough.  It also makes you think about how powerful nature is.  I’m not sure if I can say anything more to show my grief and sincere condolences.

Rest in peace, Zeke.

-B

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I found this scribbled across some scrap paper, from when I was taking Driver’s Ed in the fall.  It was one of those days where the sky was orange, and Vermont was truly in its pristine stage.

Here we are at the premiere of November,
listening to the Earth breathe over rustling waters
and suburban neighborhoods.
Here our eyes wander between crevices
of asphalt-silhouettes of trees,
with glimmering sunlight.

And behind rooftops with remnants of the first snow,
we see an artist’s masterpiece illuminating the sun.
We lose our breaths in these harmonies of the Earth’s beauty,
in our vocal chords.
And we feel our hearts beat with each other,
reaching out to touch the lunar-crescent veiled
in the shadows of the stars.
How we feel the vibrations of melodies touching our souls,
buzzing between veins
and slowing our hearts to their beats.

Where I stand,
time has lost its path with the present,
and my heart has caught itself in the crosshairs of the past.

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Laughs

The fact that I’ve been able to sit down and relax, type a few things on my blog, etc etc, is really exciting.  Considering 2 am nights, many breakdowns, constant stress—going back to writing is an incredible feeling.  For the past few days, I’ve made sure to dedicate at least ten minutes to writing.  I wonder if I’ll be able to do this the entire year—if I can actually do this, let’s just say I’ll be tremendously impressed with myself.

First note, I really enjoy the two songs Somewhere Over the Rainbow and I’m Your’s.  I have a playlist of my favorites going, and on it I have I’m Your’s, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, as well as Somewhere Over the Rainbow/I’m Your’s, an acapella arrangement of the two songs.  I profusely enjoy all three—the type of songs that make me feel happy and bubbly inside.

I realized that I haven’t really posted any of my other writing in a while.  The reason is, I haven’t actually written anything else in a while.  I was going through my files, and found a poem I attempted to write in French.  It’s kind of embarrassing—but I thought I might just post it for the fun of it.  It kind of shows that I love French, as well as the amount of free time I have at times.  I hope all you French speakers understand that my knowledge of French is tremendously limited—and this was pretty much me playing around with the words I know.

Et je souhaite
que j’ai pu écrire en français,
comme un fleur,
beau
et plus beau que l’anglais.

Et je souhaite que j’ai connu le français,
que j’ai pu danser 
entre les mots de tous langues…
parce que j’aime les langues.  

Et je souhaite que ce poème était
coulante, était formidable…
mais moi,
je ne suis pas française.  

That was number one.  There’s not too much meaning behind it—I just love the sound of French, how poetic it is.  And that’s pretty much what I’m describing—how flowing the language is.

I found a story from when I was probably in 6th or 7th grade.  I would just like to say that it’s the funniest thing I have read in my life.  Basically, this is how it goes: a girl named Mina meets a boy named Sam.  Mina lives with her aunt/uncle who are bitterly old, and treat her poorly.  Her mother, Esmeralda, left her when she was young.  Mina and Sam manage to fall in love, though both of them I had portrayed rather unattractively, and simultaneously, Mina finds a letter from Esmeralda about her childhood.  Mina and Sam fly to Mexico (let me remind you this is the second day they have known each other) to find Esmeralda.  They find her, after Mina speaks Spanish to a variety of people (let me remind you that Mina had no previous exposure to Spanish).  When they find Esmeralda, Mina and Esmeralda talk as if they’ve been best friends for years.  At that moment, the third day Sam and Mina have known each other, Sam proposes to Mina.  They’re like 20.  Mina says no, of course, prompting Sam to leave for the airport.  Sam comes back, and sweeps Mina off her feet.  Mina, Sam, and Esmeralda fly back to the States and buy an apartment.  Mina realizes she does not love Sam, and leaves him.  The end.  I would just like to say that this entire story happened in the span of 20 pages.

I used to think this was a masterpiece—then again, I was always an optimistic child—am, an optimistic child, I mean.  The funniest thing is how cheesy it is—the expectations I had from watching chick flicks and reading love stories.  Sam takes Mina out to a French restaurant, where he converses with the waiter in fluent French.  Mina’s aunt/uncle lock her in a closet.  I think the latter was a Harry Potter-esque inspiration.  It is honestly the greatest laugh I have ever had—reading this.  If you’d like to read it, let me know and I’ll email you a copy.  I’d just like to save some humiliation by not posting it on my blog.  However, I will post the so-called “prologue”….


Mina sat on her window pane and watched the passersby on the sidewalk.  Dogs running by, couples holding hands, groups of friends on their usual morning walk.  Her dreamy eyes followed each of the passersby and yet nobody noticed.  It was everybody’s usual routine, including hers.  Lucy had given her the usual breakfast on the dusty floor in her room.  Though it was called a room, it was more like a closet.  

Her life was being stuck at home, sitting on her window pane, and watching the passersby.  She would observe different people, see the different features, watch the dogs and watch that one apple tree outside of their house.  The apple tree had branches curving out and it had the biggest apples she had ever seen, of course, she had never seen another apple tree.  

“Mina, get me a glass of water,” She heard Lucy demand as she turned her head towards the door.  She ignored her, resting her head back on the glass gently.

Sam walked in loneliness around the block.  Too much was going on his head.  So much had changed in his life.  Mom and Dad are getting a divorce.  What will I do? Dad got another promotion.  Does that mean moving again?  He just couldn’t get over this.  Though he felt like screaming and losing it, he kept calm, praying for a miracle, one that would benefit him.

He walked by the apple tree, taking a look at it.  As he turned his head away, his eye caught something, or someone.  She was beautiful, resting her head on her window pane.  He could sense pain through her eyes, but they were beautiful.  She slowly raised her head and looked at him in the eye.  It had felt like time had stopped.  Everything and everyone froze around them.  She broke away from her freeze, looking somewhere else.  He turned his head away, looking straight ahead.  She looked back at him but he didn’t notice.  He continued to walk; she continued to stare.

“Sam, come home now,” he heard his dad yell down the street as he paused from his walk again.  He ignored him, continuing to walk.

Definitely not the worst part, but the epitome of clichéd, typical teenage-angst stuff.  The worst chapter is “The Talk (Ch. 2)” where the highlight of the chapter is Sam saying “Hi” and Mina responding, shyly, “Hi.”  It is the peak of drama/suspense in the book, I’m telling you.

Anyways, just thought I would share!

–B

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Pictures of Dubai

Burj al Arab

Beach by Burj al Arab

Burj Khalifa

Metro Station

Atlantis

 

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I am such a bad person.  I forgot to acknowledge the birthday of Translucent Roses.  It was January 6th, and I kind of mentioned it in passing conversation, but I never formally wished it a happy birthday.  So happy birthday to the one of the biggest things that pulled me through 2011—the one possession I am proud to death of, and the one that’s helping me keep my dream going.

In celebration of this, I went back to read some of my old posts.  I ramble so much.  I honestly couldn’t believe it—I know I love to talk, but I finally realize the reason for the length of my posts!  If you go to SB, you can probably relate this to the announcements.  On the announcements, I talk so much.  Most of the time it’s an awkward attempt to make conversation—with a receiver.

Here’s the truth: I love to talk.  But usually I talk so much, that people lose interest, roll their eyes, tell me to be quiet, or etc etc.  Here’s the thing, I’m so immune to all of this, so it’s all good—and most people tell me in good humor.  The thing with the announcements is that I can talk as much as I want—to the 1000 people at our school—without having to see their reactions.  Usually I go through and just read the announcements straight, but there are times that I try to awkwardly improvise some witty phrase.

There was a day in October that the seniors at our school played a prank.  When the bell rang, they arranged themselves into different positions around the school, becoming statues for five minutes.  Kids were planking on the staircase (I had to go all around the school to avoid stepping under them to the stairs), tossing pies in faces, eating chips, etc etc.  It was the perfect prank.  Anyways, after this was over, I had to go on the announcements.  The first thing I said was, “hey, it looks like we bought some new statues!”  And then I realized that my humor is absolutely horrendous.  I couldn’t believe how ridiculous I sounded.  The thing is, this happens on a regular basis.  My friends usually make fun of me for it, and I’ve learned to turn my embarrassment into some humor.  This doesn’t ever stop me from trying to be witty/funny on the announcements—but I think most people at my school know enough about me to pass this off.

Anyways, the point of all this is that I do the same thing with my blog.  It’s a chance for me to talk—to myself—and people can choose to read it or not.  I’m wondering if this will ever carry on to my dating life, one day.  Will I sit there, trying to act humorous–talking on and on and on?  Oh dear.

Anyways, if you know me, you know that the things I write are probably things I would say out loud.  I’m not sure if this is good or bad.

[quick side note, I’m listening to the Lion King soundtrack while writing this, because that’s really what my life is about…
Although I love all the songs, my favorites are Endless Night, They Live in You, Shadowland,  and Can You Feel the Love Tonight.  Not only this, but I love the soundtrack to Lion King 2, as well!  My favorites from that are Upendi, We Are One, and Love Will Find a Way.  Below, I’ve posted They Live in You and We are One.  Enjoy!]

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Unforgettable

A podcast of this piece: http://youngwritersproject.org/node/65031

There is something about January that gives it a certain solemnity.  I don’t know what this is–whether it’s the death of sleepless nights, the dismal and cloudy weather, or the fact that we remember someone who held such a great part of our hearts.  I can’t help but feel that there is a correlation between the three.

We lost someone 7 years ago, on an icy January day in the 3rd grade.  Ila Pollard–for those of you who know her, I hope you will read this with smiles on your faces, like the one she always had.  Those of you who don’t know her, I hope I can convey the same feelings we felt for her through these words.

Every year, I have made it a tradition to write something about Ila.  Sometimes I write something that is hidden within my journal; other times, I want to keep her memories alive as much as I can.

You know, in the days of growing up, we find that we have so many complexities about people.  We find faults in people—that is, unfortunately, human nature.  But once in a while, I believe that someone comes along who seems flawless–who can change people in ways they don’t realize.  And this person, in my life and in the lives of my peers, was Ila.  Ila was always one of those people who made others smile, and I say this not only to respect the presence she held in our lives, but also because it’s sincere.  She was the girl who made the days a little brighter, with her notorious toothy smile.  And though I can remember very few memories of her, this smile is the one prominent thing I will never forget in my life.

Ila and I were never best friends, but friends definitely.  She was unique in her maturity as such a young child—the way she took to people.  There are two particular memories I remember with Ila.  I’ve probably written about them every year, but it’s to rewind the only memories I have left.

Every year, for my birthday, I used to bring in ice cream cake for my class.  I’d dress up in flowery dresses, and my parents would come take pictures of me with my entire class.  In second grade, this was no different.  My mom picked up a cake from Friendly’s, driving to our beloved Central around snack time.  Like I said, Ila and I were never good friends.  But for some reason that day, in passing conversation perhaps, my mom remembered that Ila was allergic to chocolate.  And this poor girl, with an allergy to such an irresistible good, was probably expecting to sit out from the cake-eating.  When my mom arrived, she had in her hand a bowl from Friendly’s–an ice cream sundae just for Ila.  I can remember only parts of that day.  I can remember her face–how happy it made me to see that my birthday was going well for everyone.  I can remember that she kept the ice cream in her cubby for the entire day, and we laughed and laughed about the soupy texture it became at the end of the day.

The second memory I have of Ila is from the third grade, the same year she passed away.  During that year, my prized possessions were my two parakeets, Simba and Nala (who, to my dismay, refused to ever fly).  One day, I took in Simba and Nala for our traditional “show-and-tell”, where I found they were great hits.  At recess that day, I faintly remember running to grab Ila to show her my birds (she wasn’t in my class).  I must’ve told her about them–we must’ve shared that love for animals.  But why this memory sticks out is because it was the last time I remember being with her–laughing with her, and seeing her smile.  I don’t remember if this was winter or summer.  I don’t remember how many months or days later it happened.  I just remember that this memory imprinted in my mind all I have left of her.

To those of you who don’t know Ila, you may not understand the significance of any of this.  These are probably little, almost insignificant moments of everyday—but it’s what we remind ourselves of to keep her spirits alive.  Though it can be easy to reflect back upon the day it happened, it’s time to move away from that dreaded January 20th, and remember the good times before that, along with the feelings she gave us when we thought of her.  I think this is the most we can do to really respect  who she was in our community.

So, Ila, there is nothing more that can explain how much we miss you.  Every year, we dedicate today and May 6 to you—days that scatter your name across Facebook walls and texts, across thoughts, across conversations.  And then there are those days you happen to show up anyways.  Don’t forget that you will be forever remembered, and don’t forget the colossal amount of people who love you and that smile of yours!

Ila Pollard.  May 6, 1996 – January 20, 2005

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