Pages To Turn


Teño Posuír Tendencias Tímido

Girls see shyness as snobbery. Perhaps boys do too - I wouldn't know.
How did I learn this? Therein lies the tale.....
I was at a Youth Group event (one of two I attended the entire year), and I had recieved a request from the very sweet younger brother of a casual girl friend of mine to spend time with a girl we're going to call "Allie", who was being left out by the other girls. Knowing how being left out in the cold like this feels, and also wishing to reward the brother for noticing someone was being left out, I went along with it, and spent the entire event with Allie. It was surprisingly enjoyable, and near the end, over a plate of cheese pizza, she confessed to me the following:

ALLIE: You know, I always thought you were sort of stuck-up, Brenna. But you're really not. You're really cool.
BRENNA: >chokes on pizza< Stuck up???
ALLIE: >unabashedly< Yeah. You never talked to anyone, and you always wore really nice clothes to church, and we all thought you just thought you were better than us.
BRENNA: >with wide eyes< I... I was SHY. I was scared of you all. And my parents have firm rules about church attire.
ALLIE: Oh. Well. I know you're not a snob now. >laughs< You're fun! Who knew?
BRENNA: >chews on lower lip< ... Um, yeah... who knew...

Not only does this win the AWKWARD!!! Award, this opened up a new perspective to my blind eyes. Maybe it's not just my social ineptitude that causes me to be shunned places like Church or Awana. (More on Social Ineptitude later.)

When I shut myself off from the world, whether that mean silence at social events, or simply a guarded expression during EVERYTHING, I'm not projecting my caution to the world - I'm projecting a sense of superiority.
Which just makes me ask myself.... is there any truth in what I project? Do I believe I am better than them?

Ah, much to think over.

Love Always Protects,



It Finally Got To Me

"If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you."

-Winnie The Pooh

There. I did it. I posted a Winnie The Pooh Quote that I like. I counted FIVE other bloggers who posted something that had to do with Pooh, so I felt overwhelming pressure to do the same and thus be Average.

I hope you're all satisfied.

P.S. I promise to stop posting "filler" stuff. I do have about 5 serious posts in the works right now. =P
P.P.S I also promise to stop changing my background every week. As soon find one that feels "right", that is.



! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !



Yes, I am very excited. Thank you for noticing.
I've been looking at knives seriously for about two months, after being convinced that my family would never get me a satisfactory one.
Jester helped me find this beauty - the last one in stock on Amazon.
 2 3/8 stainless steel blade, torsion bar, safety tip lock thingummy so I don't cut my leg open... yeah, I'm in heaven.

::hops around::


Now It's Time To Sing Along

I know some of you will complain about REM. Call the singer "whiny", the music "dodgy", etc. That's fine. You don't have to like it, this is America. I can tolerate your intolerance.
I do, however, urge you to listen to the song once through before you turn off your speakers, because there's a story behind this song. I'm not just blasting music for yuks.

Back when I was 10, my dad had Breast Cancer. If any of you have ever been in close proximity to someone with cancer, you know that it is one of the biggest challenges anyone can face in their life. You're at war with your own body. Chemotherapy is poisoning your body so that you can continue life. It's a continual civil war. It tears you apart --- and I'm not referring to scalpels, here.

Dad burned a CD of this song. Only this song. And he would listen to it on repeat. Micah got pretty sick of it, but he was only 8 at the time... he didn't really understand. I was 10... I didn't understand very well, either. But I never complained about this song, because it made Daddy feel better. Sometimes it made Daddy cry. I did know there was some reason, yet elusive to my mind, that he played this song again and again.

Now I think I understand, at least a little bit. 
I think everyone who's had a huge health issue could understand.

Music has the power to heal in ways science can't really explain. It's a psychological thing. And now that I've got my own battle to fight, I'm rediscovering that songs can be extremely powerful. I knew it before, of course. Music has always swept me off my feet. This song in particular uplifts a part of my spirit that often drags in the dirt behind me. The lyrics touch little places in my heart that I'm used to only my closest friends and mentor touching. It's like the song knows me.

When the day is long and the night,
the night is yours alone,
When you're sure you've had enough of this life,
well hang on
Don't let yourself go,
'cause everybody cries
and everybody hurts sometimes
Sometimes everything is wrong.
Now it's time to sing along
When your day is night alone,
If you feel like letting go,
When you think you've had too much of this life,
well hang on
'Cause everybody hurts.
Take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts.
Don't throw your hand.
Oh, no. Don't throw your hand
If you feel like you're alone,
you are not alone
If you're on your own in this life,
the days and nights are long,
When you think you've had too much of this life to hang on
Well, everybody hurts sometimes,
Everybody cries.
And everybody hurts sometimes
And everybody hurts sometimes.
So, hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on

Everybody hurts. You are not alone

~"Everybody Hurts", by REM



I'm going to be talking about a rather touchy subject today. So if you get offended, or if my angry tirade goes somewhere you don't want to go, click that handy little X in the top right corner of your screen.

 I was purusing FastWeb today, going through scholarships, and I came across The MaryEllen Locher Foundation Scholarship. The description under this scholarship made me very, very angry.

 "The MaryEllen Locher Foundation Scholarship is available to students who have lost a mother to either breast cancer, or complication resulting from breast cancer, or have a mother who has survived breast cancer."

I realize that the majority of breast cancer patients are women.
I understand.
Really, I do.



 Men get breast cancer to.
I know this quite well. My dad had it.
He went on the locals news several years ago and did an interview when he was going through treatment. Wherever there was an opening for women to speak about breast cancer, there was a fence for dad to vault before he could speak.... and sometimes is was laced with razor wire. Women tend to be incredibly posessive of this disease. The pink ribbon, the various Foundations (i.e. Koman, or Locher)... everything is geared towards women. My dad can't participate in the Koman Foundation's fundraising races, because he's a male survivor instead of (1) a female survivor, or (2) a female or male friend of a survivor. Does anyone else sense something WRONG here?
It's called Gender discrimination.

 The National Cancer Institute, on their information/statistics page about breast cancer, only give statistics about female breast cancer.

 The American Cancer Society, in their 2007-2008 Breast Cancer Facts And Figures book, stated: "Men are more likely than women to be diagnosed with advanced disease and thus have poorer survival. Late-stage diagnoses are more common in men because they may not be aware of, or respond as quickly to, changes in their breasts and because they are not screened for breast cancer."
But then they follow this disturbing fact with, "Mammography is not recommended for men because breast cancer in men is rare."
Sooo... let me get this straight...
  1. Men can get breast cancer.
  2. Their advanced-disease-diagnosis rates AND mortality rates are higher than women's, because they're either not aware of the risk or not enlightened in the self-exam department.
  3. But hey, don't worry about exams... You *probably* don't have anything to worry about. Just cross your fingers and hope you're not one of the 2%. Peace.

Even in this video, which DOES encourage men to be on the watch and get checked up, they call male breast cancer "exceptionally rare", which it is NOT. 1 out of every 150 cases is not EXCEPTIONALLY rare.

 And yes, according to The National Breast Cancer Foundation, "over 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and over 40,000 die each year. One woman in eight either has or will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Approximately 1,700 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 450 will die each year."
I do acknowledge that it is much more common in women, and that's why there's such a big push.
But I desperately wish to see male breast cancer mentioned whenever female is. Just because there are fewer zeros behind the mortality rate doesn't mean it's any less crushing, or a less immediate problem.

Sometimes, when I talk about this, people say that I'm biting the hand that will someday feed me. It's true, I suppose. I have very high chances of getting cancer and the odds of that cancer being breast cancer are even greater. The gene is on both sides of my family.
Hey, if you want to call me ungrateful, you go ahead and do that. You want to call me fortunate for living in a society that has readily available treatment and screening procedures to ensure my survival of the intrusive disease, fine. The latter is right, of course. I am fortunate. We all are.

But while we are rich in procedures and resources, we are poor in awareness.

While I wait for the rest of the world to catch on, I support the John W. Nick Foundation. Their mission -  "To educate the world about the risk of breast cancer in men, and to provide preventive and reactive measures to cancer through education and research."


They Don't Flirt With The Firefighters Anymore.

A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him, I may think aloud.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is amazing how you can surround yourself with so many people you can call friends, and yet actually only have one or two real ones.
~Jerry Grant Blakeney

If you should die before me, ask if you could bring a friend.
~"Still Remains", a song by Stone Temple Pilots

Your friend is your needs answered. He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving. And he is your board and your fireside. For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.
~Kahlil Gibran, "The Prophet"

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing, and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.
~Henri Nouwen, "Out of Solitude"


(I Suppose You Could Call This Addiction #6...)

We have a local quiz meet on the 16th.
That's right - Saturday.

I'm already nervous. My stomach is tied up in knots, I'm obsessing over studying, and I'm probably going to lose all my teammates as friends because I'm being such a nag about practices. =P

I don't remember ever being this unsure about how my team would do. I mean, to be unabashedly honest, the last two years - we had almost no competition. We would go to Locals with Nationals-level skills and knowledge, and we would lay waste to everyone else on the stage. It was just... how things were. We knew what we were doing, and we had National Champion coaches.
This year, I still have a National Champion coach, but my team is not the same. Two of my teammates (Dots and Honey) don't have the extensive strategic expertise I do (though they are still brilliant quizzers most of the time), and one (Jester) is frightfully busy. We're good, don't get me wrong, but... we're not as amazing as I'm used to, and as a result, I have no idea how we're going to do on Saturday.
I've been quasi-coaching my younger brother's team, from Trinity Baptist, and they're quickly becoming almost as competent as my team. This worries me.
I mean, REALLY... do you SEE the ethical dilemma I have created?  I sorta-kinda-coach one team, and I either have to beat them or lose to them. WHICH IS THE BETTER OF TWO EVILS? If we beat them, someone could call Foul because I was there during their practices. If they beat us... that's humiliating.
I think I'd rather beat them. The Foul-Callers can go soak their heads.

The competition is from 9:00-12:00 on Saturday. If you happen think about it, please pray for all the teams.
 But especially mine.
::cough:: Just kidding....

Sort of.

Love Does Not Seek Its Own,


::SWIVEL:: (Addiction #5)

I'm addicted to my new office chair. It's the most comfortable chair IN THE WORLD. Heavenly.

That's all.

Love Always Protects,



The day after Christmas, I was at my grandmother’s house, sitting on a beige sofa, reading my new book – “The Superior Person’s Book Of Words”*.

My uncle Martin suddenly appeared, and snatched the book out of my hands.
We’re fast-forwarding a bit, here, because you don’t need to hear the elementary aspersions upon Doc’s intentions that were tossed about by said uncle.
Now, we arrive once again at the scene, after much blushing and sulking is finished. Uncle Martin is sitting next to me on the beige couch, and cannot get his nose out of my Superior Book.
We began debating about the use of Large Words. Are Large Words are necessary to convey your Point, or can you deliver an accurate representation of your Point by using small, easier-to-understand words?
From there, the conversation drifted in and out of various things…

1. The Omnipotence of God.
2. Preordination vs. Predestination (also known as “Predestination vs. Free Will, but that is AWFULLY inaccurate terminology. Gah. I’ll get into this another time.)
3. Dust particles.
4. Whether or not debate is good for the Soul.
5. The fact that I have very few people I consider Good Friends.
6. My brother’s friend Jonathan.
7. The purpose of man’s existence.
8. The question “Why?”

It is number 8 that I now ponder.

My uncle, somewhere around number 5, decided to employ some sort of thinking technique that he’d read about somewhere. The conversation went something like this:

BRENNA: >snort< What social life?
MARTIN: Okay… why don’t you have a social life?
BRENNA: Because I don’t have that many friends.
MARTIN: Why don’t you have many friends?
BRENNA: >pause< Well, to me, “friends” are people who I trust with knowing me, and I don’t trust many people, so –
MARTIN: Why don’t you trust many people?
BRENNA: >long pause<
MARTIN: >smirks<
BRENNA: Because I don’t consider many people trustworthy.
MARTIN: That isn’t an answer. That’s rewording the answer you gave before.
BRENNA: >glare< Fine. >pause< Because I’ve had my trust betrayed by people I never thought would betray it..
MARTIN: Why didn’t you think they would?
BRENNA: >pause< >gets sad look in eyes< Because I thought I knew them.
BRENNA: Because we’d spent so much time together, and told each other so much…
BRENNA: Because I trusted them.
BRENNA: >pause< I…. I… >looong pause< I don’t know.
MARTIN: So what is trust?
BRENNA: >thinks<
MARTIN: In my opinion, trust is like a paddock in which you keep horses. “Trust” is expecting the horses to stay within the paddock and not break out of those boundaries.

That's when I stopped talking and just thought about it.

I still haven't come to any conclusions. I don't know what trust is. So I need help with this one.

One thing I do know, that Uncle Martin explained later, is that by asking yourself "why" 7 times in a row will usually reveal a deeper, more important truth than the first statement you made - whatever the topic. Try it. See for yourself.

*For those of you who didn’t hear the news – my lovely friend Doc sent me “The Superior Person’s Book Of Words” for Christmas aaaallll the way from Chicago, demonstrating not only his loyal-friend-ly-ness, but also a rather stunning understanding of… well, ME. A more perfect gift could not be found.

More Geekdom (Because I Forgot Stuff)

I forgot to include a special note in my Geekdom post that short curly/wavy hair has to be treated differently than long curly/wavy hair.

Short curly hair is usually healthier, and requires less work, because the natural oils from your scalp will protect and nourish the shafts. But this also means that to avoid oiliness, short-haired curly or wavy people should shampoo (and condition) every day.
HOWEVER, there's this cool little trick I learned from Lorraine Massey, author of the curly-haired person's Bible. You just mix 2 parts conditioner with 1 part shampoo, and use the concoction once or twice per wash. Hair is cleaned, hair is conditioned, you're done.

Lucky sods. Life is so easy for you.




Well, I finally did it.

That's right.

I dumped my Printer.

After the many years of emotional turmoil and confusing communication issues... it's over.

Oh, he tried to convince me to stay with him.

He told me he loved me.

He told me that I meant the world to him.

He told me I was beautiful.

He told me he wouldn't ever have a paper jam again.

He told me he would even print on index cards if I would just stay with him.

But my mind was set.

No longer would I keep his ink cartridge filled without so much as a thank-you.

No longer would I let him carelessly shred my Economics papers into confetti.

No longer would he print blue as green and purple as pink!

NAY! I was finished with Inky!

And so....

I simply....


I hope you're crying under your bed right now, Inky.

I think I'll write a song about this.


I'm All Ears (Addiction #4)

I'm addicted to listening to people talk about themselves. Especially those people I love more than myself.

Seriously, though. I could sit for hours and listen to someone talk about the way they think, or what they believe and why they believe it, or who their favorite person in the world is, or what their passion is - whatever lights them up and gets them talking faster , gives them a  happy glint in the corner of their eye - that is what captivates me.
The pleasure of listening to people is further intensified when I'm listening to one of my close friends. Those are the people I want to memorize, to understand as well as humanly possible. I want to be able to study and learn these people as long as I live.

Maybe it's my obvious enjoyment of listening that makes other say I'll be a good psychologist - I really don't know. But I would imagine it making my job a whole lot more enjoyable.

So if you ever find yourself rambling on about something to me, and they realize you've been talking without my saying a word for absolute ages, and think to yourself, "Oh great. She doesn't care about this, I shouldn't be rambling and boring her" --- don't worry about it. If I'm still there, it's because I still want to listen. It's because I care - even if I don't care about what you're specifically talking about (though I guarantee any and all information is tucked away in your file), I definitely care about you.

So, please.

Love Hopes All Things,



In Which I Revel In My Geekdom (Addiction #2)

I've decided, in light of my Hazardous post below, that I need to start a series of posts on things I'm addicted to.

Addiction #2 - My Hair

Yes. I am addicted to my hair. Some of you haven't seen it in its glory. This is a sad thing, which you should remedy as soon as possible. =P ::cough:: Yeah, I love my hair. I haven't always, but it's ::snorgle:: grown on me... ::falls into fit of childish giggles::

It's curly. Very, very curly, the cause of which is attributed to only one thing -

::cough:: Erhm, that's my dad on his 19th birthday, when he was an exchange student in France.
He had an afro, as I'm sure you noticed. This is where my curly hair comes from, NOT from my mother, as most suppose. You see, her hair is merely wavy, which is a different hair follicle entirely. I have my father's hair follicles.

What's that? You don't know much about follicles?
::rubs hands together:: Oh, goodie goodie goodie GOODIE!
 Let me teach you.

The amount of curl in someone's hair is decided by the follicle (basically the root in the scalp), and the shaft (the hair outside of the scalp). The follicles of curly hair are hooked at the end. The more hooked the follicle, the curlier the hair. Straight hair has absolutely no hook in the follicle. This is why some people will have curly parts, straight parts, wavy parts on different layers of their hair - individual hairs aren't perfect copies of each other, they're all unique. The lucky people have fairly uniform follicles, and don't have to deal with constant changes in their hair's texture.
So curly hair is biologically different than straight hair. It's usually much drier, and often coarser, than straight hair. The reason for this dryness is the curliness itself - you see, your scalp secretes oil through sebaceous glands, and the oil travels down the hair shaft. It's much harder for the oil to run down a curly shaft of hair than a straight shaft of hair. Just about the only good thing about this is that curly hair is less likely to have split ends. Otherwise, the dryness is a complete pain in the neck.
But there are ways to combat dryness, which I have learned through trial and error.

(This is where the straight-haired people begin to yawn and fidget, if they have not already fallen asleep while I waxed geekily poetic. Buckle up or grab your pillow, 'cuz I'm just getting started.)

1) Cut your shampoo use down to once or twice a week. Shampoo, though essential for cleaning your hair every once in a while, can be very harmful the bottom 3/4 of curly hair, because it strips the hair of any natural oils that might have meandered their way down the curly shaft. Curly haired people (CHP) should stick to shampooing the top of their heads, and letting whatever shampoo happens to pass the rest of their hair on the way down during rinsing be enough.

2) CONDITION! CONDITION! CONDITION! CHP need to CONDITION. Every day. Do not skip a day. Believe me, your hair will revenge itself by misbehaving at social events if you deny it conditioning. I'm going to give you the routine I use every day, because it works quite splendidly, and my hair hasn't EVER been on better terms with me than it is now.
  • Before you get in shower, fill a sink with ice cold water and leave it there. You will be using it when you get out.
  • Wet your hair as quickly as possible, and don't stay under the flow. Especially if you have bad city water. The less water you get in your hair, the less the chlorine and other icky chemicals stay in your hair. If you don't have the resources to get ahold of a water purifier for your shower, I would suggest using bottled water once a week to give your hair a break from the chemicals. Sounds a little extreme, but your hair will thank you. Mine takes on a whole different life when presented with bottled spring water.
  • Slather the conditioner on. You know that half-dollar amount in the palm of your hand that they recommend in magazines? Forget that. Use as much conditioner as you need to get all through your hair, from the scalp to the ends.  It should feel like wet seaweed. It will look like too much if you've been a conditioner minimalist in the past, but you'll get used to it, and the results are fabulous.
  • Comb your hair while it's full of conditioner. It shouldn't pull as much as if you were to comb it dry (which I DO NOT EVER RECOMMENT FOR CHPs!!!! Do not comb your curly hair dry! Just. Say. NO.) This step is especially important if you follow my shampoo-once-a-week tip. Be careful when combing on your scalp, as you can damage the skin up there, which is made up of skin quite similar to the skin on your face and neck - in other words, delicate skin.
  • Leave the combed and conditioned hair alone, with the conditioner still in it, until you're ready to get out of the shower. Get all other shower business done before you exit the shower. Right before you step out, gather your hair at the nape of your neck and hold it to one side. On the opposite side, rinse ONLY YOUR SCALP , leaving the rest of your hair full of conditioner. Do the same for the other side of your scalp.
  • Get out of the shower, go straight to the sink of ice cold water, hang your head upside down and plunge your hair into the water - gently. Leave it there for a few seconds, I'd recommend around 6. Try to get as much of your hair in the cold water as you can stand - the dedicated (yours truly) take a glass of the ice cold water and just douse the back of the head where you're unable to dunk it. Sounds tortuous? Maybe, but it doesn't take long to get used to, and the results are FANTASTIC. Why, you ask? It has to do with the hair shaft again. Curly hair is naturally very porous, and it will absorb whatever you put on it when it's warm. That's why you leave the conditioner on your hair while in the hot shower - the conditioner seeps into the shaft and the shaft swells to its full curly glory. The cold water does exactly the opposite of the hot water - the shaft's cuticles (think of them as pores) seal, and the shaft is all but impervious to humidity --- that means MUCH LESS FRIZZ. The hair is essentially locked into shape. Notice I didn't say the STYLE is locked into shape. It's just the individual hairs. I'm afraid products are the only things that will lock a style into place.
  • Get your hair out of the sink, while still hanging upside down over it, and gently squeeze some of the excess water out of it. Take a towel, and - again, gently - squeeze your hair just a little bit to get a few more excess droplets out. You're not drying your hair here, you're preparing it for the last drying step. Which is... ::drumroll::... paper towels! That's right. I want you to kill some trees. The reason I use paper towels is simple: less friction = less frizz. The paper towel will suck all that moisture out of your hair with one or two gentle squeezes, while a towel requires you to rub at your hair to get the excess water out. Roll out about 4 squares of towel, fold them in half, and make a tube around your hair (if your hair is longish, you will need two of the 4-square tubes). Squeeze gently. Repeat if your hair is still dripping.
  • Now you're going to have to use products, so your hair doesn't blow up into a balloon. Unless you like your hair like that, or if your hair happens to be softer and thinner than mine (likely). I like to use DEPsport, strength 11, with electrolytes. It works miracles. My hair is really shiny and happy and behaved when I use DEPsport. I think it likes the electrolytes.
While I'm here talking about hair, I'll share some of my favorite products...

DEPsport Endurance Styling Gel - marathon hold (11), activity proof, with electrolytes
By far the best gel I've ever used. It isn't super crunchy, and it doesn't usually leave white flakes at the end of the day (well, it has twice, but twice in a month is totally fine with me for the results it normally gives). What's better - it's pretty cheap.

Herbal Essences Hello Hydration - with Orchid and Coconut Extracts
AMAZING conditioner that I use as a weekly deep-moisturizer and replentisher. Coconut oil is the easiest natural oil for your hair to absorb - and it has as a bonus nutritious proteins that hair benefits from. Which brings me to -

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
That's right, you can just use coconut oil straight. It will harden when just sitting around at room temperature, but if you warm it a little in the microwave it will soften up and you will be able to spread it on your hair. A very effective way to use coconut oil is by warming it, and spreading it through your hair BEFORE a shower - leave your hair dry. Then, once you've worked it through your hair (don't worry about what your hair looks like, you'll be wetting it immediately after this), wrap your hair in a hot towel and leave it there 5-15 minutes. Then proceed with your normal washing/conditioning routine. The heat and dryness makes sure your hair absorbs the maximum amount of nutrients from the oil.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
EVOO can be used in the same manner as coconut oil. It's cheaper, but I personally don't like greasiness it can give your hair. It works best, in my opinion, if you mix about two tablespoons in with a bottle of your usual conditioner.

Suave Humectant Conditioner
I was a little cautious about trying a new conditioner, after finding the lovely HerbalEssences orchid-coconut brand that I mentioned earlier, but this conditioner really DOES penetrate your hair just as well - if not better - than the HerbalEssences, leaves it softer, and it's easier to comb through than the HerbalEssences conditioner. So I switched the HerbalEssences to my weekly deep-condition, and this (cheaper!) humectant for my daily.

Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Scrunching Gel
This gel... smells good. I can't say it's miles better than any other, but it smells HEAVENLY.

Suave Curl Enhancing Spray Gel
Do not use hairspray on curly hair. Use spray gel. Hairspray contains things like alcohols that suck the life and moisture and oils out of your hair. Spray gel does not - it sits on top of your hair instead of penetrating it, protecting the shaft. This is, by FAR, the ABSOLUTE BEST spray gel I've found. It won't make your head crunchy, you won't feel like you're wearing a space helmet instead of your own natural hair, and your hair will be very bouncy. You may, however, die of oxygen deprivation, because it smells rather like diesel fuel.

Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship Split-End Treatment
I like to mix-and-match my HerbalEssences products, did you notice? This leave-in conditioner smells very nice, is a shocking magenta cream. The garish color does not keep the treatment from working brilliantly, however. It's light, so it won't weigh your hair down, and you don't have to use very much. I would recommend using it right after you dunk your hair in the ice water, and right before the gel stage.

Well, this ends my loooong post indulging in my secret passion - beauty consulting. I will probably never pursue this love of mine in the real world, but my soul is soothed by blogging about it.

I can't figure out how to get my paragraph off of "centered".

Goodnight, my People.


Hazardous (Addiction #1)


Not to be confused with "oomph", the noise I make when my cat jumps on my lap and knocks the wind out of me while I'm typing.

No, "mmph" is the sound of me rising from my position flat on the ground, with my arms tense and flexed behind my head, lifting them straight up into the air, lifting my torso off the ground using my core (mmph), and stretching my arms and torso forward over my legs, reaching my fingertips past my toes, which are also pointing ahead of me. (Mmph).
I've just come from my strengthening routine, you see. I'm quite addicted to my excercise. Weights, Yoga, and Pilates.
Not many people know this, and no one would notice unless they had the chance to see me lifting something heavy or arm wrestling someone. I am, after all, a girl - and girls don't have the same muscles as boys. Therefore, my arms just look straight and rather thin and breakable. The muscle only appears if it has to be used (I prefer it this way - nothing is ickier than a female with a bunch of gross, massive muscle apparent). But just because they look wimpy does not mean they can't stand up to a great amount of weight. For instance, just last night (this is what brought this post about), we had Jester's family over to have dinner with us. Somehow, right before they departed, my younger brother had the idea to arm-wrestle, and eventually got matched with me. Now, understand that my brother is 3 inches taller than me, and weighs at least 50 pounds more. He looks like he should crush me. But no! I can beat little bro in about 10 seconds, with either arm. And then everyone looks surprised, and I get insulted because they didn't expect it of me.

I take great pride in being strong. I'm not shy about telling people I take pride in being strong, though I would usually view telling people of my prides rather... distasteful. I view it as taking care of myself, in two ways.
1) Health. My body stays in shape, and the excercises help strengthen my back so that I can eventually fully recover from the accident.
2) Self-defense. I revel in the ability to disable anyone who tries to hurt me (or someone around me). I know basic self-defense, along with key pressure points, and I also carry a knife just about everywhere I go. Though the blade be small, I can hurt you with it if you try something funny.

All this, and especially the title of the post, is frightfully funny if you know me at all. I don't look hazardous, and I hardly ever do anything dangerous or violent. I don't even look like I'm 17, as I have these, erhm, lovely chipmunk cheeks... one baby characteristic I can't seem to rid myself of. None of this lends itself to a dangerous aura. But nevertheless, I can take care of myself.

How about you? What do you do to take care of yourself?


P.S. I need feedback on my new background. This one or the previous one? I can't decide. I'm leaning towards previous, but... I don't know.


The Selfish Giant

I've been writing since I was a fat little toddler scribbling nonsense on the wall. I would write little curliques and meandering lines on a page, present them to my mother, and "read" the story I had written to her. Most involved talking animals who killed things before going home to dinner.

I was recently re-organizing my filing cabinit, and came across a huge file full of assorted stories written on loose-leaf lined paper, somewhat crumpled and confused, but easy to sort.

May I now present to you, though I am now much taller, much slimmer, and no longer have candy-stickied hands --- an 11-year-old's masterpiece:

The Selfish Giant
Based on the Fairy Story
All spelling errors, shorthand and cross-outs included for... eh, posterity hilarity.

Once upon a time, there was a giant. This giant lived in a beautiful garden with a stone wall running around it. One morning, as the giant was sitting and stirring his breakfast mush, an idea came to him. "I shall go visit my friend the Cornish Ogre!" and that very day he sent set off a lel to Cor for The Cornish Ogre's house. He was gone for over a year, as for because after he was done visiting with the Orgre, he remembered a troll who lived not long off, & went to see him. And on his way home from the troll's house, he met a very ugly lady giant, which of course would have waylade him much more than 6 months if she had not found met a much younger & uglier giant that lived down the river.
While the giant was gone, his garden continued to floorish and grow. Children now came and played in the flowerbeds and swung in the tree branches. they Singing songs, playing games, & reading books, they filled the garden w/happiness. Unfortunataly, the giant came home in a terrible temper, & when he saw the children frolicking on the lawn, he was furious! He chased the children out the gate, and locked it. he p He patched the hole they climbed through. He And finally, he pounded a sig  huge sign into the ground that read:

"KEEP OUT! Trespassers will be persecuted!"

The children went home to their suppers, & tried to forget about the wonderfull garden they would never be able to see again.

Meanwhile, Winter came & went, & Spring returned to all the land. All, that is, except the giant's garden. You see, Winter Snow & Frost had begun to feel comfortable in the garden. The giant's dour and downcast attitude disposition suited them, and they happily moved in. after Their dear friend, North Wind, also moved in and invited his cousin, Hail, to visit. All of these dispicable neighbors made the giant unhappy, & he began to miss Lady Spring. The garden shared his feelings. I the weeping will the The bushes withered w/out the sun, leaves curled in cold, & weeping willows mourned for their children.
This went on for sev many months, & the giant was depressed & angry @ everything.
Until one day, a young boy ( his name was Peter) found a place inthe garden wall where the stone had shrunk in the cold months. He called some of his friends & they pushed & tugged until they made a hole big enough to squeeze through. They had a wonderfull time, throwing showballs and making little tunnels in the deep snow.
Snow and Frost were not happy about being picked to pieces, thrown around, and melted in little hands. They immediatly deserted the garden in search of a better home.
lady Spring settled in. It just so happened that Lady Spring had and North Wind had quarreled years ago, & as a result they were not on speaking terms. As a result, North Wind & Hail deserted the island.

The Giant was greatly surprised and & pleased with this new development. But when the children came back, they were and happily swung on branches and lay back in the daisies.When the giant discovered a child playing marbles on his porch, he was furious! Rampaging around, he chased all the frightened children out of the garden. He shouted after them that if they ever came back, he would grind their bones to make his bread. The children were very unhappy & went home in such a bad mood that many of them wound up in bed w/out supper.

Lady Spring was most indignant @ her friends being tossed out the gates, & vowed to never come to the garden again unless her children wre let back in & the giant was gone. she immediatly sent a message to Snow, Hail, Frost, & North Wind saying that the garden was now free. They happily moved in, gleefully seizing the branches & freezing the ground. as the giant who was rather slow in the brain, he did not see a pattern in all these occurrances, & so was very surprised when the snow winter returned. He stomped around the garden & knocked down icicles, until the inhabitants became so annoyed w/this selfish giant that they worked together & buried him in a snow drift that fell from a branch & there he died.


The children eventually came back to their lovely garden, & Lady Spring banished the various Winter elements. from the garden

And so, the moral of this story is, its common just as well that you share now, because once you're dead they will just use your stuff anyways.


Those Who Mind Don't Matter, And Those Who Matter Don't Mind

I was catching up on the 30-some pages of MLIA that have cropped up since I last ::ahem:: "indulged", and in doing so I discovered a New Favorite Quote:

"I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind.
They come from ahead and they come from behind.
But I've bought a big bat, I'm all ready you see.
Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!"
~Dr. Seuss

Thank you, Dr. Seuss, for teaching children around the world the importance of self-defense.

I leave now, to procure a bat.

Love Is Not Provoked,



Weakness, Fear, And Much Trembling

As some of you know, I work every Thursday at my church taking care of 4-5 year olds during Mother's Ministry.
Today, the teacher asked for prayer requests from them. Their "requests" ranged from the improbable, the serious, and the childlike.
"That a fire won't burn down our house."
"That my Mommy and Daddy would stop arguing."
"That the tigers under my bed wouldn't get me."

This got me thinking about... uhm, myself. ::looks sheepish::
Whenever people ask for prayer requests, I usually give them some innocuous request about my back injury or schoolwork. But really, that's not what needs prayer right now. I don't MIND prayer in that area - certainly not - but there are more serious, more hurtful things going on in my life right now.
So why don't I mention them?

Several months ago, I started withdrawing myself from people, rather suddenly, as the result of a falling out I had with a good friend. All of a sudden, people were hard to trust. I didn't want to trust anyone with knowing me, because if they knew me, they could hurt me. If they knew my thoughts or my secrets, they could spread them to people I didn't know or didn't trust. There came a point where I would only talk to three people in the world about anything personal - Jester, Morwen, and Doc. The latter two are easy to trust, because they live in other states and one is an adult (both Old Souls), and the former because I've always trusted him unquestionably - somehow, the trust issues have never applied to him.
For this reason, I do not usually give truly personal prayer requests when asked.

I'm thinking about changing this.

You see, lately, I've been attempting to open myself up a little more. Trying to realize that letting a part of your heart show is not giving away your heart, and it does not have to make you vulnerable.
Also, not all friends who go off to college are going to forget about me. This has been another one of my concerns as I open myself up more. I tend to be attracted to friends who are older than me, because they're more mature, often more intelligent, and better company than those who are younger than me and my own age. The problem with this is that they go to college (in other states), become busy, and no longer have time (or as much time) for me. Selfish, perhaps, but right now I'm sitting in a boat with three good friends (only one of which lives nearby), a few casual friends, and a bunch of people labeled "friendly acquaintances", with several of my better friends moved on. One of the few who has kept in touch had this to say - "That's how you tell who was a true friend, and who didn't actually care."
Isn't that a painful thought?
Then there are the New People. I have stumbled upon a few people as of late who seem mature and intelligent and absolutely hilarious. I want to get to know these new and interesting humans - but I have to struggle against the voice in the back of my head that says "Don't. It's not worth it. College is too soon - you can't build a good friendship in just 1 1/2 years before you leave. And they're leaving sooner. They won't have time for you. They won't care. Anyway, you're not interesting enough for them."

All these admittedly jumbled thoughts about trust and friendship have driven me to evaluating what I want other people to know about me. I have become a mystery to most of the people around me, and part of my soul takes comfort in that thought, even justifies my closed social doors as "introversion".
But I don't want to be a frigid wall of ice, impervious to friendly advances. Because another thing my soul takes comfort in is True Friendship, closeness with someone else's heart. I love my best friends more than they could ever fathom. As I've said before - I'd die for them. But that can still be a lonely existance if only one lives nearby. I mean - after Morwen left for college, I went months without a hug. Being a touchy-feely person, this was extremely hard. In fact, I didn't have a hug until she got BACK from college over Christmas time. Something has got to give.
The question is, how to strike a balance between my natural introverted guardedness (YES, I looked it up, it's actually a word) and being, within reason, emotionally and socially available?

As should be made obvious by all I have divulged in this post, it's not easy for me to hit "Publish" this time. But I will, because I do have to begin somewhere. Maybe my faithful (HA!) readers can help me. Maybe you can help draw me out. In a way, you are already - without readers, I wouldn't have any motivation to post.
So let this be the new Beginning. Next time someone asks for a personal prayer request, this is what I'm saying: "Thanks for asking... I've been struggling with trust for a while now. If you could pray for guidance and wisdom in this area, I would be extremely grateful."

Love Thinks No Evil,




I have been busy. I have not posted. I've also been reflecting on several things in the privacy of my own mind. I will not ask forgiveness - it is my blog, and my choice whether or not to post.
Cease your tomato-throwing.

I suppose an update on quizzing would be in order, as I've spent far too much time introducing you to everyone and everything in my quiz world to leave you hanging now.

Luna quit.
Dots (Emily's sister) and Honey and Jester and I are the official team. We're actually quite good.
We have been quizzing the entire Awana night for the last two weeks. We skipped Council Time. Skipped Handbook Time. Skipped Game Time. I couldn't be happier! Now, don't get me wrong, I adore Awana and its functions and schedule and all that rot, but QUIZZING is such a lovely use of time, and far more than a replacement (especially of Game Time).
Our all-night practices have been quite productive. We have been BUZZING, and BUZZING is GOOD. It has been decreed that Jester is our buzzer man, and I am the paddle... woman? Wait. That rather makes me sound like a strict disciplinarian... it is not a paddling as in paddle-your-backside-you-naughty-child paddling, it's...
::deep sigh::
I guess I must explain for those of you not in-the-know.
Awana quizzing consists of two rounds - Speed Round and Multiple-Choice Round.
In Speed Round, the team of 2-4 people huddles around a buzzer that your buzzer person is holding. Teammembers pile their hands on top of this buzzer. When a teammember thinks he/she knows the answer to the question, they press down on the pile of hands, and this triggers the buzzer. If they're the first team to buzz, they get to answer the question. Think group-Jeopardy.
In Multiple-Choice Round, you hold paddles (they look like great big meat cleavers, only they don't cleave meat. I've suggested they fix this oversight, but NOOO... still plastic). These paddles are labeled A, B, and C. The questions are given, with three answers, conveniently labeled A, B, or C. You raise the paddle that has the answer you choose. You pray to heaven that you're correct.

Ta da! That's quizzing!

We've gotten our outfits all ready for Locals. Black knee-length skirts for the girls, and black pants for Jester. Black shoes for all. Black shirts for all. But before you think we're attending as Team Ninja (believe me, we thought seriously about it...), let me explain about the Awana colors...
Awana colors: Red, Blue, Green, Yellow. IN THAT ORDER.
If someone who isn't an Awana person can tell me what order those colors are in, I'll will seriously mail you a cookie.
If you send me your address.
Otherwise, it'd be kinda hard.
Moving on.

So, Honey has a red scarf, Dots has a yellow scarf, and I have a green scarf. We're not making Jester wear a scarf. He's wearing the blue tie.
We are going to look sharp.

In case y'all haven't noticed: I'm in significantly higher spirits than I was before I took my little break from Blogger. I'm attempting to be more positive, and I'm attempting to laugh more often. I have a few new friends, and a few new internet haunts that are helping me a lot with that.
Most of you probably didn't notice in real LIFE that I wasn't all that "happy", but... I'm an actress.
Hopefully, my higher spirits will result in more innocuous posts. Perhaps about music, or things happening in my life... not just my spiritual musings and angsting about pain to the exclusion of all else. I want to portray the lighter side of me on this blog.

BY THE WAY.... little memory jog just hit. I've hit a Milestone:

MILESTONE: Was "proposed" to for the 5th time. Improv has its merits, however awful I am at it. I think I'll write a post later about Improv and why I stink at it.

Love does not parade itself,



Oh, My Palpitating Heart

I found this post title in my drafts.
I was intruged, and hit "edit", wondering what my heart was palpitating about two months ago.
And the post was blank.


Why Do They Call It Tagging? Tags are for Cows.

1- Have you been asked out?
Yes. I've also been proposed to several times.

3 - What's your middle name?

4 - Your current relationship status?
::glare:: I have many wonderful relationships. Leave me alone. ::curls up with blankie:: And I don't want to hear ANY MORE MATCHMAKING, DO YOU HEAR ME???

5 - What's the first thing you do when you wake up from a nap?
Roll over and resolve not to wake up again.

6 - What is your current mood?

7 - What color shirt are you wearing?

8 - Missing something?
Sometimes I think that I've missed the point. But then it turns out to be everyone else.

9 - Current Favorite Quote?
"I love you and everything, but just so you know, if the zombies attack... I'm tripping you."
My favorite quote is usually the last good one I've read. It changes constantly.

10 - If you could go back in time and change something what would be?
The fact that I was not cast in Star Trek. Yeah. That's it.

11 - If you must be an animal for one day, what would you be?
A single-cell organism. It'd be like a vacation from thinking too hard.

12 - Ever had a near death experience?
Sure. Why not?

13 - Something you do a lot?
I could Bible Quiz any time of day.

14 - The song stuck in your head?
"Happy Together" by The Turtles.

15 - Least favorite household chore?

16 - Name someone with the same birthday as you.
Aaron Carter. ::sob::
But to make up for him, Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland was also born on the 7th...

17 - When was the last time you cried?
Question 16.
::cough:: No, I cry.. every other day... before y'all write me off as a wimp, I have a pretty bad injury, and sometimes my bones are pinching nerves, and you would cry too...

18- Have you ever sung in front of a large audience?

19 - If you could have one super power what would it be?
Empathy. Or, the ability to feel what others feel, and communicate your own feelings to them.

20 - What's the first thing you notice about the opposite gender?
Whether or not they smile at me. Smile, boys. Smile. Smile. Smile. If you do not smile, I will not talk to you until you DO.
That's not true.
I'll try and MAKE you smile.

21 - What do you usually order from Starbucks?
Vanilla Bean Frapp, no whip. And that's an "always", not a "usually".

22 - What's your biggest secret?
::snort:: Nice try.

23- What's your favorite color?
Bluuuuuueeeeee and green sometimes.

24 - Do you still watch kiddie shows or TV shows?

25 - What's on your walls?
1) Paint (blue)
2) Mirror (full-length)
3) Bulletin board (covered in pictures and... other stuff)
4) Shelves and shelves and shelves (of books)

26 - What are you?
I am perfection gracing the earth in humanly form.

27 - Do you speak any other language?
No, and proud of it.

28 - What's your favorite smell?
Okay. Here's when I sound like a weirdo and a creeper and a pervert.
I really like wearing men's clothing, because it's comfortable and wonderful and stuff, and I really really like the smell of guys' flannel plaid shirt thingies. I have one of my brothers that I could sniff all day. And because I wear it often, I sometimes do. Okay. You can cart me to the sicko cell now. ::holds out wrists::

(I would insert the  "YES, I LIKE BOYS AND NOT GIRLS" disclaimer here, but I'm assuming you'll all be mature and not make any queer jokes. ::raises eyebrow::)

29 - Describe your life in one word!

30 - Have you ever kissed in the rain?
::rolls eyes::
I'm beginning to question the maturity of the writer of this tag.
31 - What are you thinking about right now?
This particular pain in my low back.

32 - What should you be doing?
I should eventually write back to my pen pal.

33 - Who was the last person that made you upset/angry?
New Bible-Quiz-Nationals rules. They're seriously trying to ruin Summit before I graduate. DEAD-SET on it. But I'm not talking about it right now, because it's bad for my blood pressure.
I totally just stole that line.

34 - How often do you talk to God?
Allll the time.

35 - Do you like working in the yard?

36 - If you could have any last name in the world, what would you want?
Garphlinkowitz (inside joke)
I have a sneaking suspicion this question was included to subconsciously flush out any secret crushes and future-last-name dreams. ::shifts in seat and glances sneakily out window:: I'M ON TO YOU, SUPER-PERSONAL-TAG-QUIZ-WRITERS!!! ::leaps to floor and commando-crawls down stairs::
::composes self::
I don't really care what my last name is, to be honest.

37 - What is your natural hair color?
Brunette with goldish and reddish highlights. I do have pure red strands every once in a while. They're fun.
But most people who don't look close think it's plain brown. Boy, they're missing out...

38 - Do you have many friends?

Ha. That sounded bad. Ask me what my definition of "friend" is...

39 - Who is your role-model?
My  mentor.

40 - Do you like your life?

41. I am going to tag...
::rubs hands together:: Morwen, you're tagged. Doc, I want you to answer and email your results. Bracie, you already did it... Ophelia is off Blogger... No one else reads this, so no one else is available.
If you read my blog and I don't know you read it, you are tagged.
Shaney! Pay attention to my blog!