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This is Why I’m the Way I Am

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

Oh how I hate today. I will not go into all the reason I hate it. It is the same as it always is over here. I am afraid and I am trapped. One should probably not feel so fearful in her parent’s home. (Non-pleural possessive on purpose.)
I am wishing so much I was in my own snug apartment, curled on the couch with my cat, or really, with any friend in America, even the distant ones, than here, now. A week and a few days, and I will be back. The beginnings of this week were uneventful, I hope after this ungodly day, it continues this way, though I doubt it. I can’t keep doing this, it takes too much out of me. Someday, my own self-preservation will outweigh my duty to my brothers and sisters – after all, they have each other. Step-parents in general should be banned. However, they will not be, as parents in general are selfish, angry, and childish. Then, children from previous marriages should be openly banned, so we can cease to cause such trouble to those who bore us – unwanted ticket stubs from a sham of a marriage that ended almost two decades ago.

As the famous line goes, the pitying soldier leaning over the grossly wounded but still choking body of his enemy – ‘For God’s sake, he’s still alive.’
Finish it, or leave us be.

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I Miss my Cat and my Bed

Friday, December 28th, 2007

(Because one loves and snuggles me all the time, and the other doesn’t hurt my back.)

I forget exactly why I was thinking I should post last night. I realised that usually I blog more than this while in the UK, esp over Christmas, but I think I’ve learned that blogging from the UK is a bit like yelling into the wind – not worth much.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a good Christmas, and that the end of 2007 looks to be a good one for you. 2008 is dawning slowly, an eventful year for many, I know, as it’s the graduation year for most of us ’04-ers.

Well, I’m in the UK, and I’ll be back on the 8th, as my dad… well, I’m too pissed off to go into it right now.

For those of you who haven’t heard, my journey here was quite an adventure. Took WAY longer than it should have, and took WAY more effort than it should have. Let’s just say that in one day, I rode in: 1 plane, 1 taxi, 1 car, 2 busses, and 4 trains. All to get from A to B. I’ll tell the whole story later.

For Christmas, my presents are thus fairly unremarkable:
Alice – Maltesers (British candy, like Whoppers, but better)
Heather – Cat necklace
Kenneth – New Harry Potter DVD
Libby – Maltesers and House Season 1 (already have, so I’m going to exchange)
Liz – Two good books, two really nice Mackintosh-style cups, Planet Earth poster
Dad – 1 CD, 1 comic book, 1 box Maltesers, 2 packets of instant soup

Yea, I’m about as befuzzled by my dad’s present as you probably are. I mean, he often gives some weird food present as a joke, I don’t know why, he finds it hilarious. Last year I got chicken-spread. But, usually I get something at least a little noteworthy, like a DVD TV series set or something. Oh well, win some, lose some, I guess.

Well, that’s about all the yabber I can muster right now, as I’m in a rather bleb mood. Maybe it’s the darkness getting to me. We only get about 8 hours daylight this time of year – 8 to 4. Gets you a bit mixed up, as you look up, it’s pitch black, and it’s 4:30.

Anyway, look for me by 8th, watch for me by 8th, I’ll come to the by 8th, though hell should bar the way. God damnit.

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Packing, My Hidden Talent

Friday, December 21st, 2007

I thought I’d write up a post saying that I’m feeling much better today. Well, maybe not much, but at least better. I’ve an excitingly super-busy morning of last-minute errands that had to be run, and after I finish my quick lunch, I’ll commence on the packing. Or at least the organizing for the packing. The difficulty, of course, is Xmas presents, which are going to take up an ass-load of space. And, then I’ll get dirty looks from everyone who finds out I’m only going for 2 weeks, and yet I have two bags and a huge-ass carry-on. And I can’t explain with ‘Christmas Presents’ because that would be ‘importing goods’ and they’d have to get a survey of all I’m bringing to see how much import tax I’m bringing. So, if my bags are searched (thankfully much less likely in the UK than in the US), I’m ready to explain how I’m bringing all this unopened things over ‘just to show’ and ‘for my own personal use’ and am totally taking them back to the US. And I’m ready to be searched roughly 6 gazillion times because my carry on will have more electronics in it than a Best Buy (laptop, 2 cameras, Wii, nano, DS, phone, backup phone, and all the hundreds of chargers, cords, transformers, and plug adapters that come with the above).

The only thing I like about packing is that it feeds my slightly OCD inner desire for organization. (This is usually overshadowed by my laziness, but does display itself in certain forms.) In real life, there are always loads of things that don’t really fit into good ‘categories’, so you have to stuff them somewhere. But when you’re packing, everything has a place. Clothes, toiletries, electronics, and, for this trip, presents. Then there will be a couple books, and probably a journal, but that’s such a small part, it’s hardly worth worry. Plus, books are nice and rectangular, so packing them is easy.

The difficult part of packing is organization, especially when travelling with valuables and breakables (ex: Christmas presents). Luckily I don’t really have breakables this year, but between presents and Wiimotes, I do have valuables. This means you have to wrap them up, cover them up, and generally hide them, which often messes up the symmetry of packing.

Well, I’d better go start selecting clothes to pack, which will be harder than usual, as I haven’t had to fetch out my cold-weather clothes yet this year, so they’re still…. who knows where : (.

Ah, well. At least I’m so used to packing that I’m pretty efficient at it.

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Perfect Exhaustion

Friday, December 21st, 2007

So I’m here typing once again, instead of being asleep like I should be. Why this time? I don’t want to go to Britain. It’s been a long while since I was eager to go, but right now I’m just dreading it. There are many reasons, but one is resonating, and has been resonating, so strongly right now.

I’m tired.

I’m tired of life. Which is sad, considering I’m young and 21, and ‘the world is my oyster’ – whatever that means. I don’t even like oysters. I’m tired of getting up in the morning. I’m tired of being alone, tired of lying in planes for hours, tired of navigating layovers and flight changes, tired of packing and unpacking, tired of trying to be a long-distance big sister and daughter to people whose lives function perfectly well without me, tired of fading friends, tired of explaining my life story to anyone who talks to me for more than 5 minutes, tired of being a ‘child of divorce’, tired of being strong, tired of psychoanalysing my family for my family, tired of surviving the experience of my family, tired of going to bed every night, tired of having to feed my grumbling stomach multiple times a day, tired of trying to figure myself out, tired of adjusting to change, tired of looking for stability, tired of the prospect of ‘future’, tired of my own past, tired of the present, tired of trying to please everyone, tired of being nagged, tired of being warned, tired of finding lack of happiness in too many places.

It’s only two weeks, but it will be exhausting. I will be yelled at, lectured, and generally emotionally abused by my father. I will try to catch up with the ongoing lives of my younger siblings. I will generally be isolated from the world, and probably be yelled at for reading too much. I will be yelled at for a lot of things. I will be tricked and lectured, and miss my cat and my privacy. I will do my best to comfort the young ones, as I have done for so much of my short life, from the yelling and the arguments, and the general hurt my family routinely inflicts upon itself.

But who am I to complain of anything. My father is rich, and I have travelled a lot. Certainly, my life is perfect.

I am so tired of being me.

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Six Degrees of Uselessness

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

To All of You Who Have Joined the Group ‘Six Degrees of Separation’:

1 – You do realise that this group proves absolutely nothing related to the initial idea of any two people in the world being connected by 6 people, right? Because the population sample here – it’s kind of skewed – being that we’re all on a fucking social networking site. (And predominantly American, as well)

2 – You do realise that by just ME absolutely refusing to join this group, I am dooming you and the group to fail in your goal of ‘getting everyone on Facebook into one group’. Every person like me dooms you more.

Come on people, use your brains. What exactly did you think this group was going to do???

I laugh in the face of dooming you and your little group. And your little dog Toto, too.

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Life, The Java Applet, and Everything

Friday, December 7th, 2007

I know I haven’t posted in a while – sorry about that. However, this post probably won’t make you feel better because I’m posting just for one small reason that will mean nothing to you, so feel free to skip this one if you want.

Today at my mom’s request I sent out an email to some family members linking to my index of finished Java applets from this semester in programming. Horribly simple and unimpressive, it’s not much, but whatever, if the family wants it, I can please.

I am a little fond of the last applet because it’s a) a game b) has pretty pictures and c) has Christmas sounds. Also, I just finished it, so of course I’m happy because I got it done and all is up to specs. In the email I noted that this was probably the best applet to look at.

Later tonight, I got an email from my dad, my real dad, in England, saying that he’d done quite well matching up the cards on the game with the music.

My father, the crazy man, the Lord, the control freak, actually read (not scanned) an email I sent, actually followed a link in the email, actually bothered to figure out which game I was directing people towards, and actually played the game.

I still can’t quite believe it. Never in a million years was I expecting that, for my dad to sit down and actually pay close attention to something small that I’d done that he is generally disdainful of. Let alone play a childishly simple matching game just because I wrote it and send out a link about it.

It’s really made my day, maybe week. Of course he pays attention to the ‘important’ stuff, the ochem, the biology, etc. But he’s never shown any interest (even fake) at all in my love of programming.

I know my life sometimes doesn’t fit the average idea of what life should be – hell, it doesn’t even fit my fairly modest standards, which mostly revolve around stability, caring, and everyone getting along for once. But, I have my kitty, I have new pyjamas, my dad played my Java applet, and I have Christmas lights up.

It’s not all that bad, life.

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Everywhere I Go

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

So it’s like negative 3million o’clock in the morning and I’m still awake, doing nothing. Well, ok, so I am doing something. I’m spending about positive 3million dollars at iTunes because I’ve finally got my new iPod nano up and running and I can’t resist : (. But I felt like communicating with someone, and no one is awake, apparently, at this insane hour.

Ah, ‘White & Nerdy’. Who doesn’t love that song? I might have to add that one to my catalogue of memorized rap songs. If you’re curious, that so far consists of ‘Baby Got Back’ and ‘What’s Your Fantasy’ by Ludacris. I think I have a gene that makes me find incredible amounts of pleasure in singing dirty rap songs out of a white girl mouth, even if no one else is around to listen with eyebrows raised and incredulous laughter. And come on, that Ludacris song is just plain fun. “How ’bout up in the library, on top of books, but you can’t be too loud.”

Wow, I just noticed that I think Regina Spektor is wearing my ‘birthday shoes’ in her video Fidelity. I feel honored, yey.

Well, am I being rambley enough? Right now I feel a really strong urge to meet people, which is really rare for me. Too bad it’s 4am, because it would probably be a good idea to take advantage of that urge while I have it.

So tomorrow is Thanksgiving, eh? Well, what do you think about that. Personally, I am happy about the food. The sad thing is, for the second year, my sister is not around. We like to go to the Black Friday sales, not really to buy anything, but just to mill around with the people. This probably sounds really, really weird. Especially since we have to get up at like 3:30am to get to civilization by 5am from my Grandmother’s house in the country. But, that’s why we go together – we both get why it’s incredibly fun. (And understand that it really doesn’t have anything to do with purchasing anything.) Maybe that’s just what happens when you raise two girls in airports for far too much of their lives.

In case you can’t tell, I’m in a state of general happiness at the moment. I’m in my brand-new un-worn PJs (they were way too warm to wear before now, which reminds me – HEY!! The temperature finally dropped!!! And I heard it might even snow tomorrow night!!! Can you believe it!? I should close this parenthesis now before I forget it’s open.), have a new iPod full of music with a *beautiful* screen, and have a new Thanksgiving shirt to wear tomorrow, and the weather is cold, and I have 3 good science-y books to read (Birth, Medical Ethics, The Mating Mind). I have good music, and I have a little stuffed animal friend that even has a jingle bell attached, and I’m hungry. Well, that last one isn’t really something happy, but it’s something. Unfortunately I’d probably wake someone up to get food, so I should probably sleep instead.

I feel happily hopeful and very Emma-ish at the moment, which is just the way I like it. For those of you who know me well, if you were here, I’d be smiling and giggling, and maybe even singing and dancing and hugging. And for no particular reason. But you know what, I like it when I like being me, because honestly, I’m pretty awesome, and I’m lucky I didn’t end up being a chicken or something. So bring out the Emma!

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Atheist Scientists Cause Rise of League of Whores!

Monday, November 5th, 2007

Well, everyone, I have some bad news. You see, last Friday, I got the first injection of the HPV (‘cervical cancer’) vaccination series. Yes, you know what this means. From now on, I simply have no reason not to sleep with every man, woman, and quadruped beast I met. Yes, I have begun transformation.

As I am sure is the case with many of you, it was just HPV that was holding me back in God’s holy command of not greeting everyone I meet with a ‘quickie’. Sure, I was informed about how sex can lead to pregnancy, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, HIV, Hep B, crabs, and even trichomoniasis, but nothing really hit home like HPV/herpes/cervical cancer. I mean, a baby – meh. A bloody, pus-y*, potentially-sterilizing disease – meh. But abnormal pap smears? Now that caught my eye. You know, nothing else was really serious.

I, for one, am really glad that God put HPV on this Earth. I mean, without the threat of cervical cancer, how else am I supposed to stop myself from having crazy random sex?? You’d almost think I was supposed to rely on my own moral and/or religious convictions!!! Hahaha!

So, of course, I’m really upset that these meddling atheist scientists have come up with a drug that takes away a God-given punishment for bonking like bunnies. How else are we supposed to be deterred from our actions if not through being responsible for them?? I mean, what do you think they’ll come up with next?? Drugs that help you control your cholesterol levels so you don’t have to be responsible for those years of gluttony? Surgery to help you shun responsibility for your earlier sin of sloth? Vaccinations that let you get away with close bodily contact and insufficient cleanliness??

This intervening is simply being taken too far! And now I, too, have fallen victim to the God-murdering ways of modern science, and must begin to spend my nights on the street corners. If only there were some other reason I could think of not to have sex! If only someone had taught me at a young age that there were multiple very good reasons to not have sex like a rampant rabbit in spring! And that even if one of those reasons was taken away because of some so-called ‘life-saving’ vaccine, the others (including those of my own personal convictions) remained! Oh woe upon us all!!

* Couldn’t really find much guidance on making an adjective of ‘pus’ without God mayhap thinking I was typing something dirty.

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C’est Amusant

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

I thought I’d give a little post about something that’s amused me lately – my email. I regularly get emails from The Times (that would be the one based in London, not New York or whatever) due to a story I’m not going to explain. But I’ve been getting them for years now, so I’m somewhat fond of them, even though I rarely read them and just press ‘delete’.

Anyway, in the last week or so I’ve had a few that caused me slight amusement. Here’s three that arrived, in descending chronological order:

You can just hear the doom approaching, can’t you? I bet you never knew we needed to act now. Anyway, I realise now that I’m probably the only one that finds this funny. Oh well, I am attracted to the way it builds up.

In other news, I’m wondering if maybe the manager at Einstein’s searched ‘einstein’s bagels tcu’ and found my blog (and my recent post about Einstein’s) on the second results page, as recently he’s been very friendly, remembered my name, and made joking small talk with me. Also, another one of the regular girls has learned my name. I have no idea if he did read my blog post, or if that was just creepy coincidence. Either way, it’s nice, and I appreciate it.

I guess that’s about all that’s happening in my life at the moment. Pretty boring, really – just the norm. The Purple Bike Program is going great, for all those that care, and my only wish would be that I could spend more time on it. We’re going to start a donation site soon where people can encourage friends and family to donate (tax-deductible and carbon-footprint-reducing) money towards their ‘account’. When they hit $500, we order a Purple Bike they can use until they graduate. (Then it goes to the program.) We’ll still have the regular ‘check-out’ bikes, of course, but this is a good way to increase the fleet. The only sad thing is that the program itself won’t get the bikes until long after I’m gone, most likely.

Well, I’ll shut up, since I think long posts turn people off. Hum dum.

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Where to Stand

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

As many of you know, I’m a big advocate of healthy lifestyle and healthy eating. While my healthy lifestyle could use some improvements (I hardly ever exercise – though I did just by DDR for my Wii and am trying to get active on it every day), I do try to walk a lot and take the stairs. And I do put a lot of effort into eating healthily. I don’t count calories and I don’t ban carbs, but I do try and keep my intake of fat, salt, and sugar low. And I encourage others to do so. Obesity, heart disease – thats a nasty-ass way to go, and an even nastier way to live out the rest of your life.

On the other hand, though, I’m very much for healthy lifestyle and healthy diet. Wait, you say, that’s just what you said. Yea, but now I’m coming from the other direction. In my 21 years of breathing on this planet, I’ve met a really scary number of girls and young women with eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia, and girls who compulsively exercise. People that definitely don’t need to be worrying about obesity (but should still be worrying about heart disease, though a different form than the obesity-linked kind – brought about by lack of protein and other nasties).

So on the one hand I stand up and I talk about eating less and exercising more. Then I turn around and talk about eating more and exercizing less.

On the one hand, I hate the pressure so many women feel to have these perfect, skinny bodies and the unbelievable insecurity so many women feel when their bodies aren’t pefect. Many girls can probably relate to this, but many guys might fall over backwards two or three times if really exposed to this in raw form.
On the other hand, I hate the fact that a fourth of our country is obese, and that we live in a cheap, fast, and easy society where we eat what we please and seek cures at 40, instead of preventing the problem at 20. And I hate the denial. ‘I’ll get healthy later’ ‘No really, I feel fine, I must be fine’ ‘I’m big-boned’

One side says I need to be skinny to be loved, I need to see ribs to be sexy, I hate my body.
The other says It’s not my fault, I don’t have time, this is what a real woman looks like.

How do you possibly reconcile these two extremes?? But then, is this just another example of the polarization of America?* It’s a dilemma (Can’t have a dilemma without Emma®) I’ve faced a few times when posting. Often I ignore it, but it still nags. If I post something about forgetting society’s expectations for a super-skinny celeb body, am I nudging aside the obsity crisis? If I post something about healthy eating, losing weight, and working out, am I further pressuring our anorexic female youth?

I recognise that my little posts are not going to make much difference either way in the grand scheme, but the integrity of my writing is important to me, if nothing else, and it’s important that I’m not slicing into my own values unintentionally.

I realise this post is rather unstructured and all over, but I’m short on time, as usual. Anyone have thoughts on this?

By the way, all of this was triggered when I thought of posting a list I came across that I liked. You can view this post-starter here.

* A quick Google revealed I may be using a term that’s been built up to mean more than I realise it does. I’m using it as a construction of English words, not as a concept or term – please translate accordingly.

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