I should have done this at the time.
Too late now.
Video: Create a petition to declare P does NOT equal NP and get strangers on the street to sign it. Must include a convincing pitch about the dangers of P=NP.
Brit: If we accept that n=1, we are confining it to a life it may not want to lead! Maybe n=2, did you ever think about that?
Thus resolved, the task was given to Jacquie and I, and we took it quite seriously. We set out to shoot the next day.
Unfortunately for us, it was raining.
Like, really raining.
Not quite Michigan-summer rain, but a pretty good Seattle October downpour. But there were WHESes to be GISHed, so we set out for a street that’s usually busy.
When it’s not raining.
Honestly, Seattleites. You’re such wimps.
The first couple people we passed did not want to talk to us. It was unfortunate timing, really—they probably thought we were campaigning for pot or something.
Either way, the first people willing to listen were some construction people even wetter than we were.
Then there was the nice man who listened to Jacquie’s speech, but then said that he believed that P did have to equal NP and thus could not sign because he didn’t believe in an N’s right to choose.
With our now soaked petition (that also doubled as Jacquie’s calculus notes), we decided we might find more willing listeners inside the nearest Tully’s. I’m not sure if this was technically cheating, but the mission was, overall, rather successful.
The orchestra playing Carry On Wayward Son was more Jen's gig than mine. I came to the orchestra teacher with the original request ("If I got the sheet music, is it possible...?) and then I had to go actually find the sheet music.
The problem being, of course, that they don’t tend to score Kansas songs for a 25-piece orchestra. Still, I found some piano part. That Jen then spend awhile scoring for violin, second violin, cello, trombone, viola, and probably something else as well. Don’t ask me, I’m not the musical one.
They did pretty okay at it, too. A few run-throughs and they could have played it for the winter concert; maybe they should. It is pretty religious, after all. (I mean, seriously. Though my eyes could see I still was a blind man?)
Either way, I couldn’t’ be there for this wonderful event. I just got a text that it ‘sounded beautiful’. The fact that it happened at all was a relief, given that the teacher had emailed me the night before to say that she didn’t know if we could do it after all because they had to practice for the liturgy that was going on later that day.
Are you there, world?
It’s me, Amy. Reporting live from New York City.
(Live in theory, anyway. It’s been a long day.)
So I learned something interesting this week. It goes along the lines of “it is easiest to write an essay on The Crucible when one is either on an airplane, or at 2am in a New Jersey hotel room.” This is not, of course, the most prime time to do so, especially when one ends up being awake far longer than one would like, but there you have it. Crucible essay, turned in. I mean, it’s not going to break the minds of anyone, but frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.
I have, however, adopted the unfortunate habit of shouting that I saw various things (Paul Ryan, my essay, the A and C lines in the subway that conveniently stopped working) with the devil. I apologize to everybody I know.
New York, man. It’s an interesting place. At least, I’m sure it is, but I couldn’t tell you that firsthand.
We rolled in around 10am (and Jesus, that was one of the most awesome Amtrak trips ever. All this rusty metal stuff along the sides of the train—I was too chicken to display my tourist status by taking a picture, but it was awesome) to Penn Station (Penn Station, New York. Not to be confused with Penn Station, Newark—I don’t know how the non-native English speakers manage). Penn Station, in case anyone is interested, doesn’t believ in having open information booths on a Friday morning. As you can imagine, this caused a bit of unhappiness.
(Also causing some unhappiness—the really noisy kids next door in this hotel.)
Anyway. So we go to Pratt—still, interestingly enough, lugging our luggage. Which is well named, now that I think about it. (I actually didn’t realize that was why it was called luggage because you lug it holy crap)
(guys guys. This is like when I realized that pickup trucks were named because you sent them to pick up things, or how toothpicks were originally for picking things out of your teeth.)
Pratt is… well, actually, it’s a lot like Interlochen. Awesome, artsy campus covered in cool stuff. Pretty library. It also features a largely Asian population, and an admissions person that seemed very unqualified for his position.
Seriously, though. It was pretty great. I want to major in all the things, which probably isn’t the best plan—the only drawback really is that I’d have to get good at drawing, stat. (There also seems to be a discrepancy insofar as their admissions rate goes; the internet tells me they have a 65% acceptance rate, but their promo material says 10%. So what I think about Pratt might be a moot point.)
In Elementary school, I took pride in never having had a crush.
In middle school, I still didn't- I spent half of seventh grade wondering if I was gay. seemed as good a possibility as any: I thought girls were pretty, but I couldn't identify a cute guy. but I also figured that sexual attraction to people was something that came post-period.
It was kind of funny, really. You know how when you're young, how even the shortest sex scene- hell, the word "sex"- can get your crotch all tingly?
Post-period, that stopped.
But that's normal too, right?
Could be. I've only ever been myself.
I'd explain it to people up through the end of ninth grade: "I'm not attracted to people." And then I learned that "asexual" was a term.
Because see, we all need oru terms. All need our labels. They explain us, let us find others of our kind. Saying that I didn't like people was never going to cut it. So right now? I identify as Ace. But who knows. I'm seventeen. someday I might want to have sex with guys. Or girls. Or both.
At the same time.
Anything's possible, and sexuality is fluid.
If I've linked you to this, it's because you asked, or something came up. I'm not mad at you. I'm just... trying to explain. ("You shouldn't have to explain yourself! People should just accept you!" Except- well, I want to explain. So.)
Here are my talking points:
i. I am not "repressing." I am not just too embarassed to admit I want to bang RDJ or Karen Gillan. I am not in denial. I am not just scared of rejection.
ii. It is not a choice. I've tried to want to screw guys; I've tried to want to screw girls. Anyone who is my friend has probably heard me griping about how I want to want to have sex. And if you have a fun sex life and you want to tell me about it, go right ahead- I'm always looking for interesting stories about people. I'd just appreciate it if you didn't tell me I'm missing out. This isn't dodgeball. See above.
iii. This is also not me saying I can't love. I've been in love, with all its greats and suckishness. Fun fact: that went on for about two years. And then it took another year to get over it. And yes, I was four/fif/sixteen. Doesn't matter, does it? Hurts the same. I'm friends with a lot of people that think love is an extension of the human need to reproduce. So, since I'm going all out with the oversharing anyway:
What I felt:
Warm when they were talking to me. Safe whenever I told them anything. Empty when I'd look for them in homeroom and they weren't there. Empty when plans to hang out fell through. Physical pain in my chest, like the space between my ribs was so empty it hut, starving, or something, over the summer when we didn't see each other much. That same feeling, but a lot worse, watching this person sing in the choir, so far away (The Distancing had begun by that point) and it felt so empty that i"d think for a few moments about filling it up with metal- bullets, knives, whatever handy, just so it would go away. (There were never any bullets or knives handy.) Ridiculously happy just sitting next to them. Two seconds of conversation. Not considering switching schools because I'd be leaving them. Crying in the shower, under the bed, for hours when I realized that it didn't feel like that anymore.
What I wanted:
a. To sit next to them
b. To hug them
c. To curl up with them when I slept
d. To laugh at funny movies and sing disney songs and eat chocolate cake for breakfast with them
e. To just be physically close, ebcause just a fuzz-covered arm (North Faces ftw) and extra points if they touched me and not vice versa because if you imagine the personification of comfort, it was this person, and calm, and everything would be okay.
f. For them to kiss me. Not on the lips, not really, because... I dont' konw why. but the shoulder, the nose, the forehead, the neck, whatever. Not about that so much as what it meant, you know?
What I did not want:
a. My tongue in their mouth (and vice versa)
b. Any of their parts in any of my slimeybits
c. Any of my parts in their slimeybits, although I woudln't have minded if they'd wanted me to- I'd have been happy to, because I'd have been happy to do anything for them, because I so much wanted them to be happy. It just wasn't a sexually arousing thought, as I'm sure I've established at this juncture.
So... there. I suppose I could classify myself as a panromatic asexual, but that just soundsl ike too much work. Explaining "asexual" is hard enoguh sometimes.
And while I'm TMI-ing (come on, guys, was this ever going to be anything else)- well, I get these questions a lot anyway, so I might as well just go for it.
- On rare occasions, I get all tingly reading a sex scene. This is a big deal for me, as it is some form of proof that I am not a mutant.
- People are ugly or not ugly. Sometimes they're pretty in what I can see as a sexual manner, but I've never wanted to actually get naked with them.
Will it ever change? I don't know. I sort of hope so. Then again, people always tell me I'm lucky. And many days, I feel like I am. I don't really mind not constantly stressing because I need someone to make out with, and dating drama is something that I'm not really inclined to add into my life. It's not something I think about on a daily basis, you know? It's just me. So most of the time I'm okay with that.
And then I imagine living alone on the end of the street at eighty years old with no family or friends. (I don't have any siblings.)
And then I get over myself and go rant on livejournal before going to bed and maybe I'll do my physics now.
1) Misha Collins is a brilliant actor.
2) My teeth hurt
3) There is a lot more sex in the TV show version of Game of Thrones than there is in the books
4) My jaw hurts
5) I have 350 more pages to read of Grapes of Wrath
6) My entire face hurts
7) Adobe InDesign is a bitch
8) I need more Vicodin.
- Current Location:Pain
- Current Mood: lethargic
College Tour: General Impressions:
So yesterday we went to the oft-mentioned Car-Roll college. The first person we talked to was of the graphic design-type department.
And quite possibly one of the most unique and awesome people I’ve met on this trip.
He’s the type of ADHD person that doesn’t necessarily stop talking, that was willing to trash talk other things, and… actually, he reminded me quite a bit of Joel from bookbinding in his sort of attitude. (Joel wasn’t so big into the talking, though. Depending on the subject.) We seemed to have a similar sense of humor, and my use of the word “interwebs” seemed to be a point in my favor.
But I digress.
Carroll had a really detailed graphics curriculum, which included business and marketing. Which I hadn’t thought about, but yeah, they’re going to need to do that. Then from there they also do 2D, 3D, layout, print, interwebs, et cetera et cetera.
Their other plus was book arts. From what I gathered this, though not the physical book arts I was sort of hoping for, included layout and cover and typography as well. So that’d be pretty cool, since it’d be a mix of editing and design and, as anyone who has let me read their writing knows, those are two things I like.
Plus it was just a pretty campus, in a pretty part of Wisconsen. Average class was about seven hundred, I think, so it’s got a big-but-not-too-big going for it, and there’s a higher chance of meeting someone with the same interests. They also give you five weeks off in the winter, so I might be able to squeeze in a few Meany weekends.
I also heard something about nerf wars.
Negative being the conservative area. I’m sure everyone’s been reading about Wisconsin’s drama with their unions and all. The admissions person said that the campus was more liberal, but… well, I didn’t see a GSA or anything on the clubs list. I forgot to ask about it there, but I might email them later. It’s not that I have a strong desire to be part of a GSA, but I guess it says a bit about the acceptance of people. Open-mindedness. Et cetera.
Kalamazoo, on the other hand, was big with the open mind. They’re in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and have a smaller campus. They seem to base their curriculum around spending a year abroad, which is cool; they also don’t have any required classes. So you could decide to be a biology major and take English and art and theater classes just for kicks without any problem. Their thing seemed to be kind of about exploring everything, which was nifty.
Especially if you’re into sciences; they’re small enough that the freshmen get to use all the fancy sciencey-wiencey equipment right away, and there’s a lot of hands-on stuff. I’m not a science person, but I figured I’d add that as a PSA to all my sciencey-wiencey friends.
They also are big into the visual arts. And they seem pretty flexible with that as well. The thing that’s less good about Kalmazoo (or “K”, as they like to call themselves) is that they don’t have any form of graphic design. They say they have internships, though. So it’s not entirely a write-off.
Fun fact; While we were touring Kalamazoo today, the sun was out, and it was scorching hot and miserable. We left there about an hour ago, and it is now pouring down rain.
O, Michigan, I have missed you.
HOLY FREAKING CRAP GUYS IN THREE DAYS I’LL BE AT INTERLOCHEN.
(The other thing about K, they were big fans of Interlochen. So I guess that’s good for me.)
Every few hours I remember that I’m almost there and my body sort of clamps up in excitement. And I start smiling or laughing. Especially since Ninjafest 2012 comes directly after I can’t even.
I don’t think I’ve been this excited for anything… ever. Nothing has ever felt real to me like this before; excited isn’t something I get. Maybe it’s because I have a hard time imagining things before they happen (which might be why I’ve been so bad about looking at colleges) and so things don’t connect. I remember being about to leave for our three-week Europe trip in seventh grade. And someone asked me if I was excited and I was just like… meh. I loved it when I was there, of course, but I wasn’t looking forward to things, exactly.
My mom told me on that trip that she’d give anything to see my eyes “shine with excitement” again.
I don’t know. I guess I’m weird like that. I’m the putting-things-off type; I don’t want to do anything in the moment. I want to do, I want to have done. I’m usually happy when I’m doing, but there’s not really that strong desire to. I don’t know if that makes any sense. This is a bit of a ramble. Because I get excited about things; if there’s an issue that seems relevant, or I’m in a class I like, or something… btu that’s different?
So I’m not sure why Interlochen gets the extra squees. Maybe it’s because I’ve been there before, so there’s not that nervous-about-the-new. Or maybe that I’m not home right now anyway, so it’s not like I’m being dragged away from Supernatural like I was when we left two weeks ago (although dragged wasn’t quite what happened; my dad was nice enough to have us wait the extra five minutes while I finished Survival of the Fittest. Cue the eight hours of feels as seen in an earlier post.) Or maybe it’s that Interlochen is My People, and a sense of community I don’t think I’ve felt anywhere else. (Which is weird, because I love my friends.) And then after that is the great Ninja reunion. So it’s going to be tough because I’ll want Interlochen to go by as slowly as possible, but I’ll also be really excited for when “I WILL BE ABLE TO SEE YOUR FACE[S] WITH MY FACE.” (Thanks to Acacia for the great quote.)
Okay, I should probably do something productive. Like work on MoB because I’ve been shamefully slacking on that. (It’s weird to think that I was writing the rough draft at Interlochen last year.) Or This Way to Eden, which I had an idea for the other day. That one’s obnoxious, though, because I have a plot, but it’s more like three different plots—three different characters—and I know they end up in the IPU together, but I don’t know what happens from there. I feel like they at least have to have some connection, and some resolution, and some reason for being in a story together, but I don’t know what that is yet. Which is frusturating since all I want to do is have it squared so that I can keep writing and know where I’m headed. Sort of.
Hailey, if you’re reading this, I’ll probably call you in the next couple days because a) I haven’t spoken to you in two weeks and b) I need someone to bounce ideas off of.
If there’s cell reception up at the lake house, anyway. Which there might not be. I know there isn’t internet, so I guess that by the time I post this I’ll already be in Elysium.
(Pretty sure Interlochen is the only place that can be heaven when it’s hot as hell.)
Hiking, shot in the head, no arrests- or suspects- et cetera, et cetera.
I feel like I've already written or thought about this a lot. More than is probably healthy, anyway. So... I don't know.
I'll just put a few paragraphs of silence.
- Current Location:Hiking trail
In the last twenty four hours I have consumed, among other things, a hamburger made of buffalo, three dinner rolls, five of those packages of saltines they give you with soup, a shrimpy DQ burger, a DQ ice cream cone, fancier ice cream in a fancy glass dish, two unfrosted doughnuts and two English muffins (I JUST SAW ANOTHER ANTI-ABORTION SIGN, and if I ever get a gun I’m going to shoot at them the way people seem to take pleasure in shooting yellow road signs and mailboxes out here) and a couple chocolate chip cookies.
As you might have guessed from that list, we stayed in a hotel last night. Near a place called “Buffalo Bar.”
For the last few days, I’ve been craving buffalo meat. Why? I don’t know. I’d never even had it before last night, and it was a little disappointing—delicious, but tasted enough like ground beef that if I hadn’t known what it was I wouldn’t have noticed—but that might have been because of my lack of meat. I’m not sure how vegetarians do it. The sight of cows made me hungry, and I even caught myself looking at deer and regretting my lack of opportunity to consume venison.
And once or twice I wondered what prairie dogs tasted like.
I think I should probably not go without meat for two weeks ever again. I didn’t know that wondering what all animals taste like between bread was a side effect of meat deprivation, but thereyahave it.
In other fascinating news, it is a mystery to me why every gift store in South Dakota sells the same things. The same collection of cross and dream catcher necklaces, the same Hand-made! Unique! Local! Indian pottery (which is gorgeous and, and you will be proud to know that I have not purchased any,) the same Blackhills Gold jewelry.
The last place we went to, though, was the corn palace. What is the corn palace, you ask? I have no freaking clue. It seemed to be a building selling a lot of the aforementioned souviners (with the addition of t-shirts that said things like Save a horse: ride a cowboy! and a drawing of two people staring at a mountain with a bunch of asses carved into it with the caption I think we’re on the backside of Mount Rushmore) and some large murals made out of corn.
Not sure what the hype was about, but I guess there are few enough attractions out here. Hell, I was disappointed that we didn’t have time to go to Wall Drug.
Wall Drug, in case you’ve never driven through South Dakota + surrounding areas, is a solitary store in Wall that advertises hundreds of miles out. We started seeing signs in Wyoming, and as we got closer, they were literally every twenty feet. Apparently the entire point is that when you first see the signs, you think, “No way am I going somewhere that advertises that much.” But by the time you’re nearby, you have to go look, just to see.
Unfortunately, we were unable to do so, because I left my TARDIS notebook at the car rental place and had to go back for it.
I suppose that’s a good thing. Wall Drug probably sells a lot of the stuff that we’ve seen in every other place here.
Last camping spot was the Badlands.
Which were gorgeous.
It’s just mounatins and hills and spires of rock; it looks almost like a castle in some places. Really fun to climb on, too, but only at night. During the day it is unbearably freaking hot. We were going to stay a couple more days, but we’re Seattleites, and, especially since we’d already seen most of what there was to see, woke up at 7am to 85 degree weather and decided to get the hell out of Dodge.
Well, drive slowly out of Dodge. Stopping at various look-outs in order to take more pictures.
My mom had stopped in the ranger station to call and ask about our poor sick car; while there someone mentioned a mountain bluebird in a tree outside. We went to look, and jesus Christ those things are bright blue. (A later conversation: “Bluebird! Bluebird! Bluebird, in the tree! In the tree! Bluebirds!” to which my mother responded “Bluebirds… are… brilliant.”) Anyway, there was a birder sitting nearby—she had a List and everything—who told us that there were burrowing owls nearby in the prairie dog town.
So we went down there and hung out on the end of the dirt road for awhile, adding a few grasshoppers, a yellow butterfly and a little bird to the grill of our rented car. But we didn’t see anything, and the car was getting warm. And it was mid-morning; it seemed like the wrong time of day anyway.
But as we were driving back, we noticed something standing outside a burrow that was definitely not a prairie dog.
We were too far away to get a good picture, even with the telephoto, but holy freaking crap those things are adorable. Their eyes are an almost creepy shade of yellow, and they’re so TINY. There was one that just had the top of its head sticking out the hole, watching us suspiciously.
My mom is currently on the phone with my aunt, telling her that on this trip they’ve definitely picked out places they’re not going to retire to. I guess we’re a pretty cynical family: the Seattle Sounders are sponsored by xbox, and this is clearly stated on the jerseys. One of which my mother was wearing.
Waiter: I don’t see many moms wearing xbox t-shirts.
Later, in the car:
My mom: my first thought was actually, “you have xbox here?”
Me: *looks out window* What else are they supposed to do?
No offense, Murdo, South Dakota. I’m sure you’re a nice place to live for some people.
I just choose not to be a resident. Barring any unfortunate circumstances in my future.
Either way, I should probably stop writing about my uninteresting life and go back to writing the things I should be writing: Mountains of Bronze is still needing editing, and I had a bunch of new ideas in the last few days. Not good ideas, but ideas never are.
Amy, signing off from Mile Post 399, four miles from “Jellystone, Yogi Bear’s Park.”
- Current Location:Badlands
Mount Rushmore. Faces blasted into the side of a hill. In case anyone was interested, I am considering becoming a crack!Lincoosevent shipper, as based off this picture:
Anyway. Yeah. Mount Rushmore. Cool, I guess. We certainly got a lot of time to enjoy it, without even having to pay the entrance fee and despite our “I came, I saw, I didn’t see much to conquer” approach.
We didn’t stop at Rushmore, per se, but the place our car broke down had a pretty good view.
It wasn’t a view I necessarily enjoyed, because I was too busy reading The Book Thief for the first time in a year or so. I’d forgotten how much I loved it; it’s the type of thing that both inspires me to write and makes me never want to write again because I’ll never be able to do it that well.
Some backstory: As we were leaving Custer State Park (which is gorgeous despite the dickbag it was named after; the forest looks pretty young, and the trees are pretty thin and spaced out on green grass and reddish dirt and large grey rocks. It looks more like a movie forest than a real one.) it turned out that our speedometer was broken. As was the odometer. Which of course raised the question about the reliability of our fuel meter whoozywhatsit.
Either way, we thought it best to pull over somewhere and check our fuses.
Unfortunately for us, we were unable to start the car after doing so.
And extra-unfortunately, we had been unable to charge our phones (because we do it through a converter doozywhatsit in the car, that we hadn’t turned on because we were worried about the battery and the not-working speedometer) so my mom’s was dead, Dad’s had kicked it a long time ago, and mine was dying.
It turns out, too, that the people at triple-A don’t like to be rushed. And my father is not exactly a quick talker. More the “hi, how’re you doing” type. Which led to several stressful minutes, since we weren’t sure if we could get our SOS out before it died.
We did, and I am now sitting in the courtesy Subaru place in Rapid City, South Dakota. And full of new knowledge, like, if you want to rent a car, all you need is a fake ID and insurance card and they won’t look too carefully. I learned this from our tow-truck driver, who said that he had towed a rental that came down on the wrong side of a drugs bust. I guess meth is a bigger problem here than it is at home; I’ve seen a lot of METH KILLS billboards. My knowledge of the meth trade is a little sketchy, but apparently rental cars are good for making drugs and/or selling, because they’ll only be able to trace it back to the aforementioned fake ID. I also learned that most druggies get caught for stupid things, like speeding, seat belts or tail lights.
Which I found kind of funny .
New knowledge of the drug world aside, though, this wasn’t really how we were hoping to spend the day. Our original destination was the Badlands, where we hoped to be for two days. I guess I can see if I can push the visit at Car-Roll college back a day.
Which will mean one less day with the relatives, but in all honesty, I’d rather be in the badlands, where I’ve never been and am unlikely to return, than visiting my grandparents who I love very much but see more often.
Also, does anyone else think the South Dakota license plate looks like the opening credits on a Disney movie?
Anyway. Off now to load the car. Maybe we’ll get to stay in a hotel with internet access and I’ll be able to post this.
Or maybe we’ll sleep in the rental van.
Oh, one more note: That road trip I was fantasizing about yesterday? Well, at Custer campground, there were some people in this VW bus with one of those pop-up-top sleeper additions. And I saw a chest of drawers and a desk in the car itself. So, that’s my new plan. VW bus. That way I only need to find somewhere to park.
Well, that and a VW bus, drivers license, money, and time.
I do hope Prez Obama gets moving on his wireless-webs-for-the-whole-country movement.
Turns out, my help isnt’ required after all. I should probably write or edit, but I’m stilli n my post-Book Thief glow. And misery. And feeling that I’ll never be able to write anything in my life.
Sending you cheers from Rapid City, South Dakota.
- Current Location:Rapid City, South Dakota
- Current Music:Neko Case