Friday, January 31, 2014

Day 31

Went to visit my 7th grade English teacher this afternoon, and this was written on the board.

"Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration. I myself prefer to laugh since there is less cleaning up to do afterwards." Kurt Vonnegut, author. 

I was telling her that I like to laugh at my predicaments. 

Also, turns out that the Junior High now has 20 minutes carved out of the day schedule, dedicated solely for silent reading. Everybody reads. Teachers, students, everybody just drops what they're doing and reads. 

I can't imagine the High School doing that. 

I guess we'll just have to... read on my own time. oh, the horror.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Day 30

"Well, I was gonna do the chicken tonight, but it was going so slowly. I just didn't have the patience. So, sorry... it's just some ravioli for tonight. Hope you don't mind. There's no red sauce or anything."

My mom, ladies and gentlemen. 

Tasted scrumptious. 


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Day 29

I should've taken a picture of my chicken noodle soup for lunch.

Welp, band music it is. Fantasie on a Gaelic Hymn Song. 

I've been out of school for awhile, so I'm a little behind with everyone else in band. I also feel like I need to prove myself worthy of having the third chair. As if, now that I have third chair, I can suddenly learn the music super fast. 

In other news,
No bruise so far. Odd. I was expectin' a whopper. 
Super secret project is mostly successful, still not complete. 
Saxophone is still difficult. 


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Day 28

I forgot stellar was a word and now I am going to use it. I had a stellar day today. 

Had to make an impromptu visit down to the sanitized-everything hallways of the doctor's office this morning. Prior, my mom throws me a sandwich bag with a handful of chocolate chips inside. 

Chocolate chocolate. 

And then, 
and then,
about an hour ago, I came back from kickboxing class. It was the most intense class I've ever had. I mean, let's get real, I wasn't glistening with sweat, and I didn't transform into the black widow at the end, but still. It was intense.

We worked on the kick portion of the kickboxing.
Someone holds a suitcase-sized bag up on their thigh. That person is in there kickboxing stance, so their legs are open, knees bent, all that. The other person just goes at it. The kick is a little hard to describe, but it involves hitting the bag with your shin and your leg, but not your knee. It involves this dramatic arm movement to keep your balance stabilized, opening your hips, hitting the right part of your leg, bringing your knee up high enough to create a better impact, all that. Hard to keep that all in mind when the kick itself is over within a second.

I was paired up with this new kid named Padro. He seemed about seventeen years old. He either had previous experience, but not enough to move to the intermediate class, or he was just a wicked fast learner.

Mr. Padro here, he hit the bag hard. So hard that I can still feel it all over my left thigh, even when I'm just sitting here writing on my laptop. I can feel it when I walk, too. I don't even want to know what that feels like without the damn bag.
Watch. You just watch, tomorrow morning, there's gonna be a masterpiece of a bruise all over my left thigh.

If/when hat bruise comes, I'll be able to point to it and say, 
"Y'know where I got that? Kickboxing.*"

*Kickboxing class, where this kid beat the absolute shit out of my thigh through a kicking bag for a brutal five minutes. 

Is it odd that I'm motivated by my own physical pain in my thigh to work harder and workout more often and such? Because that's what's goin' on right now. Good thing; it get's me back on track with my new year's resolution

In other news, I made a ball bounce today in animation class. Very satisfying.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Day 27

First day back in the grind.

First day of animation class. 

The oddly satisfying thing about animation is that it takes a whole lot of complicated steps and understanding to create something that looks so basic and simple, like a ball moving across the screen and transforming into a square. 

The difference between animation and ballet is everyone knows how hard animation is; whereas with ballet, many people don't understand the strength and amount of hard work needed behind the curtain to make something like ballet look so easy. 

This is what I'm seriously considering looking into as a career, and meanwhile, some other kids in the class go on the internet when the teacher isn't looking. 


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Day 26

Workin' on a super secret project, she said and published to the internet.

Nah, this won't give anything away.

All you get to see for now is a stapler for size comparison, a midget bag, and the one of the United States map placemats on the table in our kitchen at dad's house. 

Dad and I went to Ace Hardware to pick up the materials needed for said secret project, and the lady behind the counter gave us this midget paper bag.

More to come on this project later on, when it isn't super secret anymore. 


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Day 25

"We should take snow selfies."

I accidentally woke up early this morning, instead of the usual noon. After breakfast, mom insisted that we go for a quick walk outside.

We're Finnish, so we're supposed to not mind the cold. The stereotype lives on, because it was absolutely amazing.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Day 24

I came home from my impromptu sort-of-involuntary leave of absence today.

Two grand friends of mine, Madeleine and Julian, were trying to find a time that they could stop by my place and say hi.

They originally planned for 6:30, but that's when I have kickboxing class. We rescheduled for 5:30.

They ended up being significantly late. I was in the car, ready to leave for kickboxing and their car pulled up next to ours.

The whole thing was pretty ridiculous.

There was much hugging.
Julian handed me two tupperware containers full of homemade oatmeal raison cookies.
Madeleine handed me sheet music for band, and a drawing of me in wolf-form, complete with gay pride leg warmers.
Julian had to bring his little sister along for the ride, so she was getting out of the car when she was told to stay in the car.
Julian is trying to get her to stay in the car in the most polite oldest-brother manner possible.
I'm getting all overwhelmed with gifts and with time management for my kickboxing class.
Now Julian's little sister is out of the car, and when she finds out that they have to leave, she starts whining, saying,
"You lied to me?!"
"You tricked me!!"
"What do you mean we have to go now?"
"We didn't even get to go inside yet!"
"This isn't even fair."
It was short, and sweet, and the perfect amount of overwhelming.

They came over without his little sister for a couple more hours after my class, too.

And I know you're reading this, Julian. Much appreciated.

A pretty nice welcome back into civilization, if I do say so myself.


Day 14 through Day 23

An impromptu sort-of-involuntary leave of absence with no electronics, including cameras, got in the way of my project.

All you need to know about where I stayed is the following:
a) It's not exactly a desired place to stay at
b) There's a small group of people my age there with me
c) We're not allowed to go outside

I still feel the need to jot down a quick summary of each day, even though there are no photos.

Day 14

Okay I lied. There are a couple photos. 

I had to spend a solid six hours in the nurse's office at my school, and they brought me some hot cocoa. 

This is one of those days where something as stupid as sticking my finger in a cup of hot cocoa makes the cut to go on this silly little blog. It was all foamy at the top, and it made swirly patterns when I stuck my finger in to test the temperature.

Day 15 (Wednesday)

We went outside for a solid fifteen minutes.

I played hot potato with a few other girls.

Day 16 (Thursday) 

I took my first shower at my new temporary home.

Key points:

a) The shower head was up to my nose
b) The water wasn't too cold
c) The water spewed out in a violent manner
d) I had a limit of 15 minutes to do everything, include get dressed
e) Baby shampoo is underrated

Day 17 (Friday) 

I discovered watercolor crayons, and thus created an art piece dedicated to the prison-esque telephone.

The women who ran the art group said to me, 
"I've never seen anyone pay any attention to that silly old phone!"
"Well... it's usually the best part of my day."
"The phone?"
"Yeah, I get to talk with my friends. Especially Jo."

I might make several different versions of this telephone, if I ever get my hands on some of my own watercolor crayons in the future. Something with a little more perspective and dimension in it, instead of just a head-on wall.
Day 18 (Saturday)

Big snow storm. It was torturous because we couldn't go outside that day.

I also had an unexpected visitor.

Day 19 (Sunday) 

A few girls and I had a small dance party in the school room while everyone else watched a movie.

I think they were watching House Bunny for the fifth time that weekend.

Day 20 (Monday) 

Another visit.

This one treated me to some shampoo and conditioner, lotion, gloves, and the fuzziest blanket.

It was like Christmas all over again, and it was perfect.

Day 21 (Tuesday) 

We watched Thor.

For those of you who don't know, I'm a wee bit obsessed with Loki. Oops. I promise this phase will pass soon enough. Just like my neon-clothes-and-anime-everything phase.

Day 22 (Wednesday) 

We watched The Avengers. 

This movie is the equivalent of comfort food for me, especially because of Loki. But we didn't have Shwarma after.

Day 23 (Thursday) 

We sat around in the hallway asking thought provoking questions that hurt my head.

There were some tossed around, like
  • What are three questions you wish you knew the answer to? 
  • What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
  • When was the last time you lied, and what was the lie? 
  • If you could go back and tell young you something, what would you say?
That kind of stuff. It sounds like an excruciatingly painful first-period English class, but it was so much better than it sounds. 

Hope this counts for something.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Day 13


If you look closely, you'll notice:
a) I'm not wearing my glasses
b) I'm thoroughly amused

Ben and I came downstairs for dinner. 

Dad was sitting at the table with no food in front of him, and he calmly asked to be served. 

The meatballs were on a pan on one end of the kitchen, green beans in a bowl on the other side, and there was a stack of plates. 

Well now what do we do?! Ben and I looked like complete idiots. We scrambled around, trying to figure out what kind of tool to use to serve green beans. Ben didn't want to use the same tool for both, I said it didn't matter...

"OK, here. Your job is to hold the plates. That's it." Ben told me. 

"How many green beans do you want?"

I shit you not, Ben took the tongs, and one by one, placed them onto dad's plate. It was pretty innefficient, but I got a big kick out of it.

Just Ben and I being stupid was the highlight of my day.

Mind you, I stayed home from school today, so most of the day was pretty uneventful and almost lousy. 

However, I received a surprise music stand today! One of those nice solid black ones that we use in band. 

It's beautiful. No graffiti, no bent corners, nothing is stuck. It's smooth and black and crisp, and it's got that new stand smell. I just want to admire it for awhile longer before I actually use it. I've never seen a new one before. 

I wonder how idiotic I sound to people who don't play music.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Day 12

I had a very hard time coming up with a photo for today.

I also had a very hard time thinking straight and logically today, particularly this evening. I was decomposing for a few hours, not too long ago. Rough night. 

I thought maybe I'll only upload a picture of something when it's actually blogworthy. Then I thought maybe I should just delete all the photo-a-day evidence and pretend it never happened; if anyone claimed that I was doing the project, I would just claim that the whole thing was one big hallucination. 

During the aftermath, where I slowly pull myself together into a functioning, responsive, calm human being, my dad brought me some crumpets on a paper plate. 

One of them was buttered, the other had what we call "just jam" on it, because it's just jam, and nothing more. It didn't occur to me that this would end up being my picture for the day until I had already devoured the just jam and butter crumpets.

Then there was this funny tasting shriveled up fruity Fig Newton-esque cookie that I nibbled at. Not my kind of cookie, unfortunately. But I got a laugh out of it. 

Maybe if I take a picture of that stupid funny little cookie, that'll be my picture for the day. 

At which point, I figured it's days like this that make the photo-a-day challenge harder than it sounds. For chrissake, that's why they call it a challenge. Especially when you're posting it on the internet every day. 

That ugly odd-tasting fruit cookie was my special crumb of happiness today. 

Nothing too significant. 

My dad then mentioned, just moments before I started typing this on my phone, that he knows only one other person who's attempted and finished a very similar photo-a-day project. That person is his age, wicked smaht, and always has something to say about anything and everything. 

Welp, Bradley, I feel your pain. This is a difficult task. 


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Day 11

This was really the only productive thing I did today.

I decided to join this Jack Frost-themed contest that's due February 4th.

...and those are my really messy planning notes. Note that the weird face thing on the right isn't going to be a part of the finished piece, I was just experimenting.

That's about it for today. Nothing too exciting.

Is it bad that I got Jack Frost and Robert Frost mixed up when I first heard about the contest?


Friday, January 10, 2014

Day 10

I finally made that snowman. 

Since last Friday, which was a snow day with disappointing powdery snow, I've been waiting for snowman snow to fall so I can finally make that snowman that I was talking about. Even if it's a week late.

Our band director was out today, so we had a free period during the last hour of school.

Time to end the week with a snowman. 

For a while, my friends thought I was making a huge snowball to chuck at them.

I sounded like a complete idiot, because I was ridiculously happy that there was snowman snow, and I was so determined to make one. I didn't have any good gloves on me, so I just went at it with my bare hands.

Yeah, that hurt after awhile. But it's a nice change to feel that extreme cold rather than feel nothing. I think that's why I'm usually quite tolerant to the cold.

The branches came from a nearby tree. I don't think we're supposed to rip off branches to use as snowman arms. Shh.

I was wondering what would've happened if a monitor saw me ripping and twisting the branches off. Down in the principal's office?

"Ms. Heels, I've just been informed that you... ripped off branches of a tree on school grounds."

"They were for a snowman."

"...excuse me?"


Thursday, January 09, 2014

Day 9


Mom and I had fifteen minutes to kill before my doc appointment, so we took an impromptu trip to the local book shop.

Before I go on about today, can we please appreciate the concept of book shopping? Just being surrounded by books, and silence, and the smell of new books everywhere, is ridiculously comforting. This particular book shop has a teeny tiny little cafe inside. Grab a cup of soup and a soft chocolate chip cookie, buy a good book and just snuggle up until closing.

It's especially encouraging for me, since I would love to write a book some day and see it on the shelves of that particular book store. 

I proceeded towards the "staff favorites" section. All the books that grabbed my attention were ground level, so I just made myself comfy on the carpet and dug right in.  

[Warning: things are gonna get a little less casual and fun in here.]

A lot of people have recommended this book to me.

Here's a brief summary fresh off the back of the book:

"Ambitious New York City teenager Craig Gilner is determined to succeed at life- which means getting into the right high school to get into the right college to get the right job. But once Craig aces his way into Manhattan's Executive Pre-Professional High School, the pressure becomes unbearable. He stops eating and sleeping until, one night, he nearly kills himself.

Craig's suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety.

Ned Vizzini, who himself spent time in a psychiatric hospital, has created a remarkably moving tale about the sometimes unexpected road to happiness."

Unfortunately, Craig and I have some things in common, just from reading the back of the damn book. It's not a secret that I've been dealing with depression and the like. I just don't talk about it much at all on here, because talking about depression is depressing. All I can hope is that the book isn't triggering.

I'm really hoping this will be similar to my experience with "The Catcher in the Rye."

I had to leave school for a little while back in September, but I was able to get my hands on the copy of "The Catcher in the Rye" for school.

At first, I viewed it as mundane, get-it-over-with schoolwork. Take notes on the character development, plot, and themes.

It quickly became so much more than schoolwork. It was something I sincerely looked forward to. I quickly fell in love with Holden Caulfield's character, and felt incredibly empathetic. I saw a lot of myself in him. We definitely aren't the same person, but it was so comforting to hear from him. It was nice to take a break from my own struggles to visit his.


By the way, part of the reason I'm doing this photo-a-day project is in an effort to help me... recover? Is that the right word? Not sure. Something like that.

Pardon the dark subject today.


Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Day 8

That's my brother.

I recently started learning alto saxophone, and now Ben and I go to sax lessons together at a nearby elementary school.

We saw this snowman on one of the bulletin boards. Pretty self explanatory.

"I mean, just look at his smug little face.."

That's it for today. A little laugh about a paper snowman.


Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Day 7

He's a good kid, I promise.

Today was a significantly terrible day, to say the least. As always, I'll spare the messy details on that. 

In an effort to keep me safe, Julian and I tagged along with my lifelong friend Julia and the rest of the gang after school.

Mind you, it was painfully cold outside. So what did we do? Walk to a frozen yoghurt shop. Because that makes perfect fucking sense. Although, given my emotional state, the cold was actually quite exhilarating.

After yoghurt, we all grabbed a pizza next door. Today was a half day of school, so none of us had eaten a substantial lunch yet. Tortellini pizza has become a comfort food of mine.

That photo of Julian was taken at the pizza shop. Don't ask me where the blue glasses came from, because I haven't the faintest clue. Though, I do know that they do not belong to Julian.

A few of us then ventured off to Julia's place for much lounging around.

That was by far the highlight of my day, especially given the messy stuff prior to that.

Remember yesterday, I said that one of the things you should do when you're feeling not so great is to get as comfortable as possible? Well, if you really need a good hard slap across the face, just step outside. That'll do the job.

And, of course, the day that we walk around outside for an extended period of time, I didn't wear my knee-high socks or my legwarmers. I wasn't complaining, though. Like I said, it felt amazing to be eaten alive by the wind.

I made a goal today to get to bed before 11:00 PM, and it's 11:02 PM.


Monday, January 06, 2014

Day 6

Alas, another shitty day! I'll spare you the details.

I've heard that when you're feeling less than spectacular, one of the easiest things you can do to make matters slightly less horrible is to make yourself as comfortable as possible.

Now, when it comes to clothing, it needs to be comfortable. That's my main priority. So, when I need to make myself even more comfortable than I already am, that usually involves some fun scarves, gloves, hats, or in this case, crazy sock combinations.

I've been wearing those socks a whole lot these days.

Also, when you're out camping, and it's cold and wet and there's "miserable weather," just change your pair of socks. Makes a big difference.

I put miserable weather in quotation marks, because I don't believe in such a thing. Same goes with bad weather.

There is no bad weather, just bad clothing.
There is no miserable weather, just miserable people.

It's getting deep in here. Best call it a night before this gets outa hand.


Sunday, January 05, 2014

Day 5

I don't know why everyone in the family was so surprised to see that my kickboxing gloves look like this. They all knew that I had recently signed up for classes, so I don't know what else they expected to see.

"Oh my... this is the real deal!" says my new step mommy. She was especially taken aback by how big the gloves are, and how red they are. Again, I don't know what else she expected. It's kickboxing, therefor you need boxing gloves.

I'm still on my vacation sleep cycle. That means staying up until 4:00 AM at the very latest, and waking up at noon at the very latest.

So I was wide awake at one in the morning this morning, and decided to practice kickboxing in my room.

Wait, what?

Calm down, I'm not hitting my bed or the wall. I just shadow box a lot. Shadow-boxing is when you pretend to box with someone, but you're just hitting mid-air. It's quiet.

Not gonna lie, practicing kickboxing at one in the morning this morning was by far the highlight of my entire day. Pretty shitty day, I gotta say.

Oh well. The day's over. Hopefully day 6 will be better.


Saturday, January 04, 2014

Day 4

Pardon the bad quality picture. This was unplanned.

After a day visit up in Maine with the grandparents, and after a long quiet drive, Pesky decided to invade my privacy as much as possible.

I was trying to get some stuff done on my computer, and Pesky hops up on my desk and walks all over me, tail in my face, ass in my face, biting and licking my fingers while I'm typing.

Poor cat was getting scared of my step-brothers. Whenever either of them sees either of the cats, it becomes the center of their attention, thus scaring the absolute shit out of both cats.

I imagine him saying, "Oh, it's you. You smell familiar, I like you."


Friday, January 03, 2014

mum and Vita portraits

I'm under a lot of imaginary pressure to hurry up and become talented in art. (See here for more).

Lately, I've focused on realism. Believe it or not, realism is much easier for me than semi-realism, when it comes to the final product.

I'm also willing to take more risks when it comes to art, after recently being inspired by the Worcester Art Museum and Forrest Gump.

I made a couple slow GIFs to show the different processes I took for two of my most recent projects.

I tried to stop every half hour or so to take a progress screen shot, but sometimes I forgot. There might be spots that seem to have a big jump, and that's why.

This one is my mum, and the final result was her Christmas present.
This has a photo reference, and I started it as a pencil sketch before moving to digital. 
I'm relatively proud of this one.

Then there's this girl, Vita, who I didn't even mean to finish completely. She started off as just a practice freehand digital sketch that turned out surprisingly well.

This one is a little hard to follow. After laying down the base skin color, I tried to get the shading of the face down. I did, but then I didn't like the way it looked, so I tried a slightly different color scheme and a different blending brush. I ended up using both versions of the facial shading, each at different opacity levels to create an interesting look. The dark blue hair is a little hard to see, but I assure you, I took hours on the hair alone.

Any criticism and feedback would be much appreciated. I spent endless hours on each of these.


Day 3

(No one told me it was light, fluffy snow. No snowmen today). 

My step-mom and youngest step-brother, Freddy, picked up four fish for our new fish tank today. 

Three tetras, named red, orange and green, and one catfish named cat. Red is red, orange is orange, and green is green. Great names. 

I never understood why people want to get pet fish, because it's not like you can do anything with them besides watch them swim around. It's cat TV. I guess if someone wants a super low-maintenance pet, sure. Which makes sense in our case, since my dad and his wife have their hands full with two little boys, ages seven and nine, two teenagers, two full-time jobs, two cats, and all sorts of other stuff. Like taxes. Man, being an adult with responsibilities sounds awesome.

Dogs are therapeutic, you take them for walks, you train them to do tricks, etc. Each pet has their own weird habits. I'm not a dog person, but I still don't quite understand why fish are a desired thing. 

Nevertheless, as stupid as it sounds, it's kind of nice to know that there are other living things in the house when I'm home alone. Despite the fact that it's always been that way, since we also have cats.

I think it'd be cool to get a tank and fill it with all the different fish from finding Nemo. Shark bait ooh ha ha. 


Thursday, January 02, 2014

Day 2

If you don't like living in New England, then what are you doing in New England?

All the other towns closed school today for the snow, except for mine. We had an early release so it could count as a school day in the books, despite the fact that every single class went something like this:

"Anyone do anything fun over the break?"
"Well, since we only have 20 minute classes today, we might as well get something done."
"Okay, this is the homework due the next time we have school!"
"Do the snow dance, and enjoy the long weekend!"

I don't know what the snow dance is, but it worked.

Snow day tomorrow. Planning on going outside and building a snow man.

Julian says I won't be able to do it because I'll freeze my ass off. Maybe it'll be a speed snow man, or a mini snow man. I just wanna build a goddamn snowman. It's been too long.

If the photo for Day 3 isn't any kind of a snow man, I apologize in advance.


Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Day 1

I like to think that I'll never stop playing flute. I received this particular gem for Christmas last year.

The "problem" is, whenever I pick it up and start practicing, it's likely that I'll get carried away and play for hours. Scales, sight reading, old audition pieces, whatever it is.

Back in fifth grade, when we had to chose our instrument for the school band, I wanted to go for percussion. However, my dad compared percussion to modern art.

"Percussion is like modern art. You have to be able to paint a bowl of fruit before you can go into modern art. You have to be able to play a real instrument before you can go into percussion."

When we're at football games for marching band, and we're hanging out in the stands, there's always someone who wants to try to get a legitimate sound out of the flute.

"I swear, it's broken, " one of them said.


but a sprinkle of confidence

The new years resolution this year is to be comfortable and confident with my own body. Mhm. That'll take a year of hard work for sure. Yay health. Go me.

I just started kickboxing classes, and my calves are already screaming bloody murder.

I'm also having a mental battle trying to figure out if I want to be a vegetarian again.

The thing is though, is that I'm not striving to be skinny. I don't think anyone should strive to be skinny. Instead, for body confidence.

When you have body confidence,
shopping for clothes isn't something to dread.
self-hate of your body is a thing of the past.
changing in the locker rooms ain't a problem.
you can go to the gym without being self-conscious.
you can go to the beach in the summer.
you become that much more attractive. (Seriously, confidence is sexy).
you have the power to say, I don't give a single fuck about what other people think of my body. 

I want to be able to say that, and mean it.

Of course, there's the whole angle of just wanting to be more healthy, lose weight, whatever. Think about it, though. That's a lot easier to accomplish if you're already confident to begin with.

It just bothers the absolute shit out of me that so many people seem to be striving for the wrong thing.

That's all I have to say about that.
For now. 

In other news, I still haven't made any progress with Blender. (See here).