Monday, February 28, 2011

Tornadoes and AP

Today I spent the afternoon in the kitchen, sitting around the table with my grandmother, my father, and one of his friends from the hobby. The floor of the outside patio was tinted green, which my dad explained was because of the hailstones’ peculiar refractive properties. We could hear the wind blowing fiercely, and only I seemed to be frightened. At first, I assumed this was because the other members of this party were far too old to be concerned with death by a murderous funnel, but then, upon inquiry to their unconcerned nature, I learned that my father and grandmother have been through a few tornadoes, and were quite numbed to them. The third man was just too cynical to care.
As the tornado siren came online, I asked what it meant. My father came up with many humorous replies, but then resolved to tell the truth.
“It means a tornado may be coming”.
This, though, was not an exemplary answer, and, upon asking whether that meant there was a possibility of a tornado, or if a tornado was already down and raging a house apart. He then told me, rather unconvincingly, that the alarm proclaimed the possibility of a tornado. After the alarm started blaring, the wind increased, and I saw sheets of water blowing directly parallel to the ground. A few sharp slams on the roof of our house hailed the coming of hail, and my father commanded us to move to the basement.
Of course, immediate danger out of mind, they soon went back to rocketeering. The world outside was a constant hum of rain, amidst frequent flashes of thunder. But the brave rocketeers, when the storm had died out somewhat, braved it to cut a piece of eight-foot boarding, which I presume was to be used for fins. From what they said, “About a foot in, the power went out”.
As they were cutting, I was doing homework upstairs, flinching at every distant thunderbolt. As soon as I set pen to paper, the power cut out. Distraught at the loss of chance to finish my ever-important homework, I ran downstairs, to find said rocketeers ranged about the kitchen table, as before. In this manner, we stayed for much of the afternoon.
But I digress. I mean to go into detail about the tornado alarms. At times during the high winds and strong pours, the alarm’s frequency of high-to-low pitches would lengthen and shorten, as if it meant something. If it did, I am sure it was assuredly lost to the general population. When the siren’s call lengthened, emitting a long high note for much of one minute, I was sure it was an indication of a tornado touchdown, something amongst the tone of, “If you haven’t already ducked for cover, you’d better run there fast.” I expect the people at the weather channel place bets on where the tornado hits, whether it takes out the hospital or the nursing home. So, while the population is at the lowest floor of their house, TWC is laughing at everyone from behind those television screens. Ironically, the time you need those screens online most is when the tornado’s already cut the power out.
To this end, I plead with the weather station to release an explanation of why these sirens change pitch and why they never stay on the same warbling drone, but sometimes stay a high pitched wail, sometimes stay a low pitched cry.
In other news, I’ve started AP Computer Science, which means that, in less than a month, I’ll know more than the average Mac employee about computers. I’ll keep you posted!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Death of a Beard and...Futbol !!!

Today I had to sacrifice my beard stubble to the unappeasable beast that is my school’s dress code. People said it looked ratty, tatty, even downright disgusting. I had someone come up, smile at my upper face, look to my chin and suppress a gag reflex. I call my stubble “scruffy indifference”, as it is indeed scruffy, but only because I wish to remain indifferent at said scruffiness. As the small pieces of hair drowned in the tap water, I said goodbye to my honored hairs, promising I would have kept them into maturity, had I been given the chance. As it is, I am now nude in my chin place. But enough crying for lost lives, onto the insanity of the day.
I went to a soccer game today, which started just as the sun sank low enough to make the giant blinding lights necessary for competitive play. In timely fashion, I arrived half an hour late, after calling several friends as to where the fields were. You see, my school decided they needed an athletic complex the size of a small county, and thus needed to maul down a large swath of trees to make it. Now, I don’t feel for the trees, but I do feel for the people who’ve never been to this place before. Twice I turned the wrong way, and, unlike the lights at a large public school, the lights at my school were too dim to cause a halo of light over the trees. Finally, after a phone call to a friend who was there, I arrive in the complex.
What I saw wasn’t exactly surprising, considering the size of our school. Soccer seems to be one of those games in which the players on the team outnumber the fans in the seats. I found maybe thirty of the students at this game, even though it was a home game. I’d bet it was the light chill that set upon the field.
This game was predestined to be a completely one-sided match. Our people were better, more foreign, and all spoke at least two languages. The people on the other team looked to be all completely American. They never stood a chance.
I left during the third quarter, after some detestable people joined the small group of people at the game. We were winning 7-1.
Again, I pity their team. Or, maybe I pity both. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Squirrels. The word has many applications. The first, and most prominent, is the adorable, irresistibly spastic rodents of the Sciuridae family. Their bushy tails (which are the origin of their name) and twitching faces, paired with their miniscule bodies, give them an unmistakable silhouette
I once caught one out of its natural habitat (about ten feet from a tree, it was up a flight of stairs, I at the bottom stair) and turned giddy at the small bodies’ twitching. The longest it stayed in one spot was about four seconds, looking straight at me. Its nose twitched, its face twitched, no part of its body seemed to be still. It went under the staircase, over it, up the rail, at the while its large eyes tracked my own movement, as I tried to keep up with the puff of tail. It finally outmaneuvered me, in the three feet of space it had; In three barely audible hops, each push accentuated by a flick of its tail, it had clung to the tree and skittered to the lowest branch.
As reflect on the venture that Sunday, I realize how captivated I had been by this small, adorable fluff. It came to be at once: it was different. I could relate to it on so many levels. First, it’s never in one place. It always moves. Squirrels are completely incapable of standing still, and, even when they are frigid in a tree, the nose keeps twitching, its tail swishes periodically. As it is, so am I. any of my friends and (many) enemies will tell you wholeheartedly that I twitch in class. I move often, though not because I’m impatient. My back has very little padding, and my spine is sharp. As to the rest of my body, that is impatience. I wear a hole in desks from tapping my pen upon them, just from sheer repetitious boredom.

As much as I relate to squirrels, and their small, fluffy, I-want-this-rodent-as-a-pet nature, I must differ in their opinions on a subject of grave importance. Squirrels, for an astrological reason, are compelled to jump in front of cars. Inevitably, this happens about a second or two before my tire flattens them into the ground. As soon as they step onto the road, they prime themselves for the next jump, which places them directly in the path of my wheel. They understand that, as squirrels, their only place in the world is to eat adorably, sleep adorably, be recorded adorably, and to die horribly.

I have never seen a single squirrel’s corpse that hasn’t been crushed into oblivion. I am convinced, then, that the ultimate goal of all squirrels is to die shortly after they grow into the “average squirrel” size. The fastest way to accomplish their lives’ missions is to make a sport of it, and dare each other to dodge their impending doom.
Now, whereas other people might dodge into opposing traffic to avoid the object of their adoration, I consider this futile. If a squirrel wants to die, it will keep running until it flattens itself. I make it easy for my friends to fulfill their dreams. I keep driving straight, and laugh at both the prior person’s crashing into a tree and the small noise of a squished squirrel. I consider squirrels as having a place in heaven by default, for why would God not let such adorable fluffs of fur into such a royal place?

Now, one thing I absolutely despise is running over half a squirrel. My father did this once, and I scolded him when I looked in the rearview mirror. I saw that the back half had indeed been crushed, but the front was still quite alive, and I could feel the pain. I forced my father to put the car in reverse (we were in a barren subdivision) and end its suffering. As soon as I complete my duty, I check my rearviews to see if I, in fact, killed the poor thing. If I didn’t, I turn around.

Squirrels and I have been good friends for a long time. In my backyard, they come close to me before darting off. I have had more squirrel encounters than I can rightfully count on my fingers and toes. But think not that those encounters have left me with a changed heart on the role of squirrels in the world:

To eat adorably, to run adorably, to be recorded adorably, and to die horribly. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Today, driving home, I had that moment I wait for, and very rarely find. In the afternoon sun, in the midst of a cloudless day, I exited my school, and exited with elation.
The world was thrown into sharp focus. Instead of the usual clear vision I get, where I can pick a person out in the crowd, I could see the color of said person’s eyes today. Instead of a clump of leaves, I saw the veins on the single. The ridges of bark replaced the vague trunk. The world was thrown into sudden high definition, bright and vibrant.
Now, this has more than one meaning to me. I’ve noticed that, whenever I make a decision I feel morally just, I get this burst of clarity. When I have a great day at school, as I had today, the clarity is stunning. I look around, see the sharpness of the world, and know I did well.
I’ve heard that, when one is in a state of elation, said person opens their eyes slightly more, allowing more of the world’s light to soak into them. This translates into the phenomenon I just described.
I haven’t asked anyone if they’ve ever felt such clarity, or whether or not they have some sort of visual response to a decision they felt morally correct. This may be because I am sure they would look at me strangely, the way any sane man would look at one who they are compelled to feel is not. I am not one to be too sure of my own sanity, so I do not beg the chance that someone think I am.
If we all feel such clarity, whether it be at dawn, noon, or dusk, maybe the reason I haven’t been told is that such occurrences are not usually described to one another, such as getting an average grade on a test. Nobody ever shouts out “I got an eighty-five! WOOT!” Save for myself and some few friends, of course.

So, if you generate a sharp sense of clarity in the eyes or in other senses, comment below. If these eighty or so comments are from my hitting the refresh button to beef up my view count, then I guess I just responded to myself. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

F5 and the Second Language

First thing, a bad idea for you future bloggers: a great way to artificialize you site hits is to sleep on your F5 button. This refreshes your site, which registers as a hit. As a disclaimer, I must say that I do NOT do that. I did inflate my numbers by ten by frustratedly holding the refresh button down. Neither do I want my few followers to follow this accident in the precedent of an “accident”. Note the quotes.

As for a subject of worthless chatter today, I wish to break a largish hole in the American educational system. As I prime my set of satires for this topic, I realize that, beyond the administration (which is so far gone already), my school, at least, does pretty well with the academics. Every subject is pretty much up to par… except for the foreign languages.
On coming to high school, my first major setback was that I was to spend my entire high school in a second language class. My first response to this was, “I need to take HOW MANY YEARS of Spanish!?” Since then, I’ve settled into the monotony of four long years of verb tenses and an angry, jittery lady as a teacher (I love you Ms. Oldknow).
Now, about halfway through my Sophomore year, I began to understand that, beyond the first year one learns of Spanish, the rest is just vocabulary and verb tenses nobody ever uses. I have never heard anyone use the subjunctive present tense. I’ve never found any need to use the future tense. Through hand gestures, I keep conversations in Spanish with my eighty-five-year-old grandmother strictly in the present tense, using hand gestures, or “it is finished”, “no now, yesterday”, and “tomorrow” excessively to get the point across that I mean to speak in the past and future tenses. I have used this on anyone who speaks Spanish fluently, and I’ve found it successful.
This led me to believe that there are two types of second language learning. My father calls it “Conversational Spanish” and “Academic Spanish”. In Europe, where I can count off at least four languages spoken in any given home, secondary language is taught as a second language. You learn enough to say hello to the American English-speaker, and you are fine. When you want to go to America for a year, you go to a more intensive school, where you are drilled to learn more of the language.
In America, the opposite hold true. The intensive second language is taught first, for four years that nobody can recall after graduating, and then you need no further language. Now, I understand we are America, and should demand the absolute pinnacle of education, but honestly, four years of a single period being wasted on something else I could sleep through sounds like a pitiful waste of resources.
Then there are the teachers. Everywhere I go, the secondary language teacher always speaks strangely, is too happy, angry, sleepy, evil, worthless, or any combination of the six aforementioned adjectives. I have yet to meet a Spanish teacher without any noticeable quirks. This same holds true for History, Mathematics, Physics, and English teachers. Something about Spanish, though, brings out the worst in a teacher.
So, America needs to take a good hard look at its second language curriculum. Cut the Spanish teachers and have them drill basic Spanish for the freshman, and maybe even the sophomores. But enough of this false four year empty air. If I want to learn Spanish, I’ll buy a book and READ IT.
Comment Below! Or, if my viewership consists of me fooling myself by spamming the F5 button, then I should find other people to spread word about this. On a related note, tell your friends about my blog! If you have no friends, then you can be mine. Tell me about my blog below!

Monday, February 14, 2011

National Single's Awareness Day

So, some of you may be wondering if I am going to have a fun time talking about a past love life, or the history of Single’s Awareness Day (S.A.D.). SADly, I am not. I carry no special interest in the inane ritual of buying decorative, non-edible plants, setting them in a glass prison, and watch them be slowly tortured to death. Some may argue that the flowers are already dead before they are placed on display, and by buying them you give them a sensitive way to go, I must decline to pay twenty dollars to endorse the uprooting of these beautiful beasts. I would like to go back to a day when the wild roses and daisies roamed free, grazing in the meadows…
On the other hand, I will talk about that plot by the corporate America to sell hordes of brown milky goodness to consumer America. This is a genius ploy, connecting the luscious, so-called semi-sweet, but really completely sweet mini-sensations to the joys of romance. I’ve even seen an advertisement implying that chocolate is better than sex, which I just have to accept as fact. I completely agree that, after the act of making love, eating a thick bar of Godiva would probably be strange. The idea of plopping a small chocolate into your lover’s mouth seems very romantic, though.
As the sun goes down in northern Georgia, I wonder how many other singles are out there, and, if there is one right for me, then CALL ME. I’ve been waiting for you for seventeen years… but I can wait longer.

Maybe, once I get a nice cult following, with people emailing me images of my house and threatening me, I’ll release more of my private life, but until then, I’ll keep it shallow, slamming this most unlikeable day.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Finding Sense from the Sanity

Why try to break into blogging fame and wealth? Why try to break into this small corner of the world? i could try doing it somewhere else, but my father said it perfectly: "people in the world succeed mainly because they've been noticed." i want to be noticed. and, when i end up getting noticed, i'll reward you with... uh.... whatever i can that won't cost me money.
so, as to what I'm gonna release on the net, i'm a seventeen year old in northern Georgia. i'm a fanatic rocketeer, though you won't find me posting alot of that, mostly because i haven't got much to say. i'm always known as "that crazy cuban", so no advice i'd give is sane. but it IS sensible. hopefully, one of the things i'll say is terrible enough to get noticed by the news, then i'd get hired by some television station, make my millions, and retire richer than Bill Gates....
one can hope.

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