Phew! It's been a very busy two weeks. Hence the lack of updates. The simple reason is that my teachers have decided to pile everything onto their poor students. Especially my government teacher Dr. Budryte. She gave us a research paper to before last Monday and then a letter to my state representative to do last Friday. The research paper took time, and after much procrastination, I finally managed to get it done. I'm happy with it and hope I get a good grade on it. I could have started work on my letter last Tuesday, but I spent the entire day studying for my history test (which, despite feeling confident about it, I didn't do as well as I thought I did). On Wednesday, I couldn't start because Dr. Budryte didn't send me a link with possible topics until late, so I started it on Thursday and finished it on Friday afternoon. Talk about being busy. And now, she is even less merciful because we still have a weekly assignment due and I have an upcoming group project after spring break. My other classes haven't been as busy, though science has been because I have reading assignments before every class and because I have to do stuff before labs. Dr. Purcell is an ok teacher (how many teachers blast music in the lab or play Fine Young Cannibals or Prince before class?), but he's taking a long time to go over things. It feels like we're lightly skimming things, and I feel, sadly, that I've learned more from Dr. La's class than his. Speaking of which, my brief break from Dr. La is about over. Next Friday, I have a test, and then after spring break I'm stuck with him for another month. I'm praying that he won't have time to talk about ET and UFOs, which he defines as an interesting topic; or maybe I might just have to skip school that day for the first time. I've decided on a science project topic, though I might change it. It'll be hard to discuss ancient astronomy and ancient astronomers without dealing with the theories of ancient ET visitations. So, that has been my week at school.
Mandy had her birthday party two weekends ago at Grandpa Mike's house. She invited a lot of her friends as well as the older cousins, and then Noah and Gabe brought their friends Ian and Bobby. We arrived at the house around 5:30, and Uncle Josh didn't bring the guys and Sunny until about an hour later. Gabe played a joke on Mandy and texted her, saying that he had pinkeye and couldn't come. He did show up, and everyone laughed at the joke. We enjoyed pizza and Grandpa's famous non-alcoholic pina colada, and then everyone went downstairs to play with the air hockey, table tennis, Playstation, and Wii. Shortly afterwards, we were called back upstairs so Mandy could open her presents. The most memorable one was Cliff's gift to her. It took thirty minutes to open, and it was sweet in a sense. Cliff's gift was a large box with two smaller boxes inside. One box had contents of "what you need in this life" like skills (pencils), food (peppermints and crackers), and random stuff like that. Cliff also wrote little messages on the boxes and warned her to open the right box first or she would face the consequences. Mandy opened the second box and discovered a coffee can inside (from what I heard, that coffee can smelled pretty bad) with a smaller box. Mandy kept getting smaller and smaller boxes and things wrapped in paper, and she quickly learned to hate tape. Finally, after twenty minutes, Mandy opened up a piece of paper at the bottom of the chain. It was a treasure map that led to her birthday present... which was in Cliff's jacket pocket. It was a knife (Mandy has always wanted one) and a necklace and earring set. Mandy loves the necklace and earrings, as she has been wearing them frequently. After the gifts, we played paper telephone downstairs and then ate the delicious birthday cake upstairs (Costco made a beautiful and tasty cake that didn't taste all sugary sweet like most other grocery store cakes do). After dessert, everyone went downstairs to play Guitar Hero on the Playstation. About ten thirty or so, all the boys and a few girls (including myself, Mom, Dad, and Seth) left to let the girls have their sleepover downstairs. Some of the boys came over to our house and spent the night because it was too far for them to drive, and they enjoyed watching "13th Warrior" with us. The next day, we were fairly busy. I spent that time finally finishing a first draft of my government project while Seth went paintballing for a friend's birthday party. All in all, a fun yet busy weekend.
Speaking of weekends, yesterday we did something fun yet arduous. Mandy still had birthday money and wanted to buy herself some boots, so we girls decided to go to the outlet at Dawsonville. We took Megan T. with us, but Bethany G. wasn't able to go. Mom and I first cleaned the church until 1:30 before we picked up Megan. It was about 4 before we finally got to the outlet, mostly due to the fact we hit every single red light on the way there and had to stop for gas and lunch as well. We spent about an hour there looking around. Mandy bought herself some boots and some black shoes (that cost her $5 and make her look as tall as Dad). I went to Dressbarn, looking for a summer dress or something to wear to the Celtic Woman concert later this month, but had no luck. I ended up buying myself three shirts, some pretty earrings, and a headband at a store called Bass, where Mandy bought her boots. At 5:15 or so, we began driving back to Buford so we could go to Costco and take Megan home. The mall area was an absolute zoo and took up a lot of valuable time. Mom, Mandy, and I didn't get home until 7:30 or so after a very long day.
Today was interesting, to say the least. We went to church this morning, and it was cold and wet because it was rainy on Saturday. When church was over, we looked out the window and saw it was snowing. Not the little flurries, mind you, but huge snowflakes about the size of a fingernail. We enjoyed the covered dish lunch that we have every first Sunday of the month, then I grabbed my camera (which providentially was in my purse at the time) and went outside to see the sights. The younger boys had already grabbed their coats and were throwing small snowballs at each other, and some of the girls were joining them. Because I was wearing open-toe shoes that are more meant for summer than winter, I alternated between inside and outside. I got hit with a snowball a few times, but I caught mostly small video clips and a few pictures. By the time we left, a lot of the boys were red-faced and several were sopping wet. When we got home, Mandy and I donned warmer clothing and went outside to take pictures of the yard. After a while, we got cold and went inside. By 5:30, the snow had stopped and the wind was beginning to pick up. There is still some snow on the ground, but it is turning to ice. Seth and Mandy don't have school tomorrow, and I'm not sure if GGC is closed, but I'm hoping it will be and so is Mom.
One final thing: we have a new hamster. Albiet, it was unexpected. A girl from church had baby hamsters and was giving them away, and Mom had been wanting to get a hamster for the science classroom, so she got one. However, the hamster escaped due to the cage not being closed properly, so we brought it home for the night and returned it to school the next day. On Friday, a Geneva student (who shall be unnamed here) decided to scare the poor hamster and yell at it, making it squeak loudly. After that, Mom decided that she would not let the hamster be traumatized, so now it is at home with us. We put it on the dining room table during the day when we are at home, but at night and when we are gone, we put the cage in the bathtub and close the door to keep the inquisitive cats from trying to get into the cage. Her name was something in Latin that means "foolishness" (because she escaped on the first day), though I'm not sure if it will stick. She seems to be settling in fairly well at home, and we've discovered that she loves oats and lettuce as treats. We're thinking of getting a glass cage instead of the plastic one, but I'm not sure if we're getting it or not.
And I have another update on the Clannad vs. Enya post. I read an interview with Clannad member Ciaran Brennan that was eye-opening, though I don't know how true it is. Ciaran claims that Enya's current producer Nicky Ryan was a jerk and didn't like Clannad's singer Maire (even insulting her after a successful concert one night and claiming she was completely off-key), which probably led to Clannad looking for a new producer. As regards to this family feud between the two bands, the interview also mentioned a recent conversation between Ciaran and Nicky where Nicky said he wouldn't let Ciaran record with his own sister Enya in her 15-million dollar studio. If this is true, then it explains why Enya was brought into Clannad in the first place: possibly to push Maire out and be replaced with Eithne/Enya (which oddly enough sounds like another Irish band I enjoy), possibly leading to Clannad becoming an 80's hair band, as Enya claimed Ryan wanted to do with the band. As I said, I don't know if Ciaran was lying, but from the pieces I read from interviews mostly on the Enya/Nicky Ryan side indicate that there is certainly something nasty underlying this whole feud. I do hope that this feud gets settled someday because it's almost 30 years old and also because it'd be nice for Clannad and Enya to join forces once again.
Movie Review: Maleficent
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