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So today was the Blizzard Of The Decade (or whatever), which was – as usual – a disappointment. We got only about a foot of snow, compared to the 15 – 18 inches the overenthusiastic weatherpeople were expecting last night. Par for the course, though. Oh well, no complaints – we got a snow day out of it. Two, actually – we’re getting one tomorrow, even though we definitely don’t need it. No complaints there either, though. I’ll take anything I can get at this point.

Anyway, today I ventured outside and down to the lake to document the Big Snow. It wasn’t too cold, actually, although once the wind really picked up and the snow was blowing horizontally, I decided that it was time to head back home. So here are a few.


(The rare Snow Whale of the Midwest)

And two variations on the Snow Whale:

Peace out. Don’t freeze.

~ r

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Question: How many school closings does it take for my school to be guaranteed a closing?
Answer: 559 (and counting!) and a 12-hour blizzard warning.

I just hope that once DSSP2011 hits, we actually get a good amount of snow. They’ve promised anywhere from eight to eighteen inches. I want a giant pile of snow in the morning. I want to be woken up at five a.m. by the sound of a massive thump as the foot-thick blanket of snow hits my roof all at once. I want to be impressed by the weather. True, it may be disgustingly cold and impossible to go anywhere or do anything – at least for a day – but it’s a Blizzard Warning. How awesome is that?

Anyway, I took a few quick pictures of some cool ice that’s formed over the past few days. I figure it’ll all be covered tomorrow.

Sleep well, world, and don’t freeze!

~ r

PS: disco eclipse!

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Sunset from Jan. 1. Great way to start the year.

While I’m not usually a Resolutions! person, there are two glaringly obvious ones:
1. Finish my novel. It’s been going on for over a year now and I’m only just – finally, cringingly – making one Mother Of An Outline (though yes, I am already 200-odd pages in. A bit late in the process, you say? Well, rules were made to be broken. So there.)
2. Figure out where I’m going to college/what I’m going to do with my life.

I think that should keep me busy for quite a while – that and, you know, school. *Cue rant*

I sincerely believe there’s something wrong with our education system, and I’m not just talking about the fact that everyone who has (a) both parents working and/or (b) money saved for college gets basically NOTHING from public universities. Squat. No matter how smart you are, it seems that you get penalized for having successful parents, while less fortunate people get all the financial support. Now, don’t get me wrong – I think that that part of the system is wonderful, though I haven’t done research on exact amounts/statistics, etc. But someone please tell me – what’s so wrong with taxes paying for our educations? Grumble, grumble, yes, I know – more government spending, etc. (If only we’d get out of the wars and not spend *quite* so much on defense… and not extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich… But that’s another cup of soup.) Aside from all that, though:

Most of us unfortunates just got back from our winter/holiday break, back to the drudgery of school. Now, over break, I definitely applied myself. I wrote furiously, I outlined and drafted and redrafted, I designed, and I read Dostoevsky’s Demons (or started to). But the moment I walked into school at 7:02 a.m. this morning (yes, a truly ungodly hour when no mortal being should be awake; no good can come of it), I literally felt my brain begin to shut down. Athletes out there: you know that terrible feeling of unexercised-ness that you get once you haven’t run/biked/swum/etc. in a while? Your limbs feel weak and generally disused? Well, that’s how my brain felt for most of the day. It perked right back up when I got home, put on some sweats and picked up Dostoevsky. Many of my classmates agree – and I don’t think it’s just senoritis: we haven’t learned anything. All those hours spent poring over mundane chem notes last year may have paid off for the final, but if you asked most of us the most basic of elements questions or chemical building blocks, we’d be clueless – and we got As on that final, mind you. Math? Don’t get me started. Sure, I have an A, but have I learned anything? Not so much. Even our AP classes – with, perhaps, the exception of AP Calc and languages – aren’t that academically challenging: while an incredible amount of information is spewed at us, we realize in a panic two days before the test that we haven’t learned anything. Somehow we spit the answers back out, but apply it to anything? Ha. You must be joking.

The problem here seems to be that none of what we’re learning – with a few exceptions, of course – are really applicable, or at least thus far in life. Having been accepted to my colleges thus far (still waiting to hear back from Northwestern and GWU – fingers crossed!), I’ve realized that a B+ in Honors Physics won’t break my chances of having a viable career in the government. It’s just not logical. My independent “studies” – reading the news, etc. – sticks in my head, though. Ask me about Afghanistan or the health care bill or the 9/11 responders bill or START. Those are applicable, modern, at-the-moment. They matter, even for someone not going into political science/international affairs. It’s interesting because it’s our world. The same general concept applies to the fact that I’m so invested in my novel: it’s my project, independent, and totally powered by me. It’s all coming from my mind; there’s no spitting-back-of-of-facts involved, no tests, no nothing – unless I try to get it published, of course. (Fingers crossed…!) But the point is that I’m self-motivated. I want to do this, so it’s extremely easy for me to sit down for three days and focus on getting facts straight. Which city should they be in when This happens? Who should get shot when? What’s the part of this specific gun called, and would it be used by Him or This Other Guy? How is Mexico involved? That sort of thing. I won’t divulge details.  😉

I know it’s very bad form to offer criticism without then offering advice or a plan to fix whatever it is, but that’s what I’m doing. If I knew how to solve this problem single-handedly, I’d probably be doing more than typing away about it on here. But there you have it.

Now, where was I? Ah, right: new year.

Basically, all I wanted to do was to share the above photo with you and share THIS LINK to Dave Barry’s review of 2010. He’s a comedic genius when it comes to writing.

Okay. Off to, you know, be “productive.”

Happy 2011, everyone! Best of luck to you in the coming year  🙂

~ r

PS: Oh, I remembered. I am firm in my belief that if everyone – and I do mean everyone, world leaders included – wore sweats all the time, the world would be a better place. Can you imagine a World Leader declaring war while lounging in buttery soft sweats, loose and comfortable? I think it would be a scene of:  “So we’re declaring war on [major superpower] today, sir/madam?” “Oh… oh, never mind. I can’t be bothered, it’s too early. Plus there’s a Law and Order marathon on.” Really. All anyone wants to do it sleep, eat and generally be happy and comfortable, so while we can’t quite do that – we do need some people to work – sweats is the next best thing. Vote for me for President of the World next year and I’ll guarantee that sweats, always is the new black.  🙂

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12.16.10 // Awesome thing…

Awesome Thing #171:

GETTING ACCEPTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN!!!

GO BLUE!!!!!

~ r

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Ciao, world! It’s been months, I think, since I last posted… I’ve barely had time to get stuff that really needs to be done done, so this has been sadly neglected. (That, and this year for school, I’ve definitely given into senioritis and worn jeans and – gasp! – sweats pretty regularly. It’s so much easier (which equals more sleep in the morning) and I’ve had to drastically cut back on my heel-wearing due to troubles with running. All that would make outfit posts pretty lame.) Anyway!

After a few weeks of dreadful grey, bitingly chilly November/December, fall/winter transition, we woke up this morning to a world delightfully covered in a light dusting of the white fluffy stuff. That dusting quickly accumulated – and it’s still building up – into a veritable Winter Storm Like No Other. Well, not really, but it’s been coming down pretty steadily all day, and we’ve gone from having about a centimeter to having a good three to four inches. And it’s good snow, too, nice and sticky. So of course, what else is there to do in this situation but…

That’s Bart, the Chemistry Snowman. Yup, I’m cool.

This is Tony, the Mob Snowman, and his cigar. (My brother wouldn’t let me use a fedora or tie, but at least he has the cigar…)

Tony with our snow-bedecked house. We’re getting our tree later today, so that bay window will soon be sparkling and glittering merrily in the evenings and into the night.

Happy holidays!

~ r

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The two rivals, Michigan and State (though not so great as Michigan vs. – dare I type it? – Ohio). Two basically different campuses: one in a fairly urban college town, the other on a spreading green campus with not too much in its immediate vicinity. Ann Arbor and East Lansing, of course. U of M is arguably my first choice for colleges overall (price, proximity to home, and – of course – location). But before my visits, a few quick stats:

University of Michigan: one of the Big Ten (GO BLUE!!), world-renowned for its research, extraordinarily strong academic programs (in pretty much everything, especially Engineering), cultural diversity, and located smack-dab in Ann Arbor, one of the best (and best-known) college towns in America. Highly competitive. Stats:

Cost: (in-state) $21,000 (out-of-state) $43,000
Rank: Nat. U #27
Selectivity: most selective (29,800 applied, 12,550 accepted)
avg. ACT: 27 – 31
UG body:
25,100

Because I’m from near the Ann Arbor area, I’m already quite familiar with the town/city and can say with confidence that Ann Arbor is definitely a fantastic place to be or live.


The Spartan. (Ted and I are under the umbrella.)

Michigan State University: Green and white Spartans of evil. (Yes, I already have an allegiance to Michigan and would probably remain a staunch supporter even if I somehow ended up at State.) I will say this, though: even though it was raining, warm and humid when I visited (truly disgusting weather), the campus (in East Lansing) had a kind of secluded feeling to it. And while my mom and I had a bit of a hard time figuring out how to get around (it’s not exactly what you’d call a “grid” campus like UM or Pitt)

Cost: (in-state) $17,000 (out-of-state) $33,000
Rank: Nat. U #71
Selectivity: more selective (25,500 applied, 17,990 accepted; rolling admission)
avg. ACT: 23 – 27
UG body:
33,500


Ted chilling on the ice cream counter. (They make their own ice cream! And CHEESE!)


Ted and me at the table. Very exciting stuff, guys.

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Hello hello hello! I haven’t posted in… well, it must be weeks! And in that time, I’ve been to Chicago, air shows, Pennsylvania (just a routine visit), and Colorado; I’ve nearly finished my AP English summer work (one insight to go!),  and I’m all studied up for my French IV testout tomorrow. I’ve begun my college applications (UMich, MI State, Northwestern, Pitt, Vassar, and University of Colorado – Boulder). I’ve run and biked and strummed a few chords. I’ve planned my fall wardrobe (for which I must learn to sew). I’ve floated down the Au Sable on a lazy Saturday afternoon and dozed in warm, pleasantly stagnant summer air. It’s been a good, good summer.

Alas! Only a few more weeks until I return to the daily, dreary drudgery that is School. True enough, I’ll be a senior, but that’s little compensation for (a) all my friends who’ve graduated, and (b) how much I want to be going to college this year instead of next. Sigh. I remember the summer before my freshman year… I was so determined to Be Someone In High School and Be Very Cool. Ha. Well, I’m certainly someone, and some would call me cool – mostly crazy and fun, though. (I’ve accomplished Being Someone in one sense, I suppose: I’ve come to be known as That Girl Who Always Wears Heels.) And this year, despite the sudden drop of the number of close friends I’ll be able to hang out with, seems as though it’ll be a fairly good one. I’m just so psyched for college, it’s hard to get over…

Anyway. There isn’t really much point to this post other than to say HI! I’M NOT DEAD! and that I’ll probably start posting more once school actually starts, ironically enough. Strange how that works out…

Off to do a couple hours of last-minute French… wish me luck!

~ r

A few Colorado pictures


A hardy little bush on Royal Arch in Boulder, CO. (A fantastic town, by the way! Reminded me quite strongly of Ann Arbor…)


Pond over Forest Valley in RMNP.


Alberta Falls.


Meadow along the Ute Trail.


Sunrise!

Au Sable Sunset

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