Friday, July 30, 2010


There's something undeniably ominous and foreboding about seeing your mother's maiden name on a headstone. Unfeeling, grey slabs crisscross the green field, and American flags punctuate the smooth, engraved headstones. The dreary gray Pennsylvania sky makes the whole scene feel washed out, surreal. Fresh flowers are planted in front of the graves of my great-grandparents, and I wonder who is brave enough to traverse the empty graveyard and tend to them. Is it my grandfather, who sits in the driver's seat and talks about his parents, whose graves are but five feet from our front tires? "He came over here and fought in World War I when he was 18. She was born here. Her two older sisters were born in Italy, but she was born here."

We drive on. We pass the empty lot where his childhood home used to be, and my great-grandmother's old house, now inhabited by others. He talks about working in the coal mines as the lush green forest speeds by, disappearing behind us as we follow the gently winding road. We see where my mother went to high school, and he talks about how she and my aunt would walk through the woods on their way to school.

I dazedly realize that the past and the future were beginning to form an invisible seam, linking and looping two generations as time continues to pass. I am not the uniformed Catholic school girl gossipping contentedly on her way to school, but an average teenager who rides the public bus every morning. And yet, we intertwine: the same dark, heavy hair, the same brownish eyes, and the same silent, trembling, hysterical laughter, faces a deep red and eyes flush with joyous tears.

And here I was thinking history was boring.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Boys vs. Girls

Although I am blessed to live in a country where sexism is no longer rampant, I am still disappointed in the lingering stereotypes and expectations for the two genders. Many are caused by ignorance, but others are caused by beliefs that have been stressed since childhood.

Females are still viewed by many as the weaker sex, as only being good for bearing children, and most disgustingly, as objects. Girls are expected from birth to wear pink clothes and frills, and as they grow older, heels and makeup. This is one stereotype that has declined over the years, but it can still be witnessed frequently. Girls are supposed to play with Barbies and gossip, and are generally discouraged from being noisy or rowdy. I recall goofing around with some of my male friends in the eighth grade, playing tag and shoving each other, when an older female teacher called me over. She did not reprimand me for any particular reason, but rather instructed me not to roughhouse with the boys because it was not ladylike. I often find myself the only girl in a group of boys, generally because I am one of the few females who actually cares to learn how to juggle, or play soccer, or do improv. It makes me feel isolated, but I do so anyway because it seems as if it is the more fun option, despite the lack of participation from other girls.

However, every coin has its flip-side. I cannot speak from experience, but I have borne witness to plenty of stereotypes against the male sex. Males are expected to be tough, and are called "pussies" and "girls" if they cry (yet another insult to females). Boys are supposed to be crude, loud, and insensitive, and are discouraged from showing emotion. The phrase "boys will be boys" dismisses these actions, because being boys, of course they are naturally all of these. Professions in the various fields of art are viewed as off-limits to boys because they are too "girly". Many refuse to believe that males can be victims of domestic abuse. A male friend of mine was surprised to hear about a male rape victim, and many cases of male rape and abuse go unreported because the victim is often derided for being too "weak" to stop it. 

Like all stereotypes, it is our job to disprove them. We have all succumbed to these stereotypes at one time or another, and we will continue to fall victim to them unless we make a conscious effort not to do so. There's nothing wrong with a girl playing football or a boy wearing a pink shirt- and it's high time everyone realized it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Joys of Boredom

I'll admit, before this week I had only been in a Walmart once. It was on our family vacation to Mexico, and I spent the majority of it trying to read labels in Spanish and mentally converting pesos to dollars. I always assumed it was like Costco but tackier, and that people went there because they had nothing better to do.

I was completely right.

However, I am a complete cheapskate at heart, and was overjoyed at the fact that I could finally get a new iPod case to replace my dilapidated old one, as well as some other essentials such as licorice and tennis balls. I have gone three times in the past week, and perhaps I'm going stir-crazy from boredom, but it has been the best source of entertainment I have found. In addition, I spent a great deal of yesterday looking around thrift stores with my family. Being a complete and utter nerd, I spent a good twenty minutes drooling over and picking out new school supplies.

Besides shopping, this week I have made no less than four tie-dyed T-shirts, bringing my total number of tie-dyed shirts to six. I roasted marshmellows over a campfire and made s'mores, and I practiced my juggling. I accidentally touched the skull of a small rodent, and consequently freaked out. I swang on a rope swing and had a lightsaber battle with my brother. Unfortunately, I managed to find myself at the bottom of a dogpile of small children. I got in the water fight to end all water fights, and as a result got completely soaked and had to wear my pajamas for a good three hours.

Long story short? I've been having fun.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

This Means War

While attempting to update my iPod Touch to the new 4.0 software, I got the technology equivalent of a slap in the face and a knee to the groin. First, after clicking "Update", it hijacked my iTunes with a loading bar for a good five minutes, then left my iPod as it had been before, without any new changes. The second time, it started to restore my iPod. Restoring an iPod returns it to the factory setting, erasing all apps, photos, videos, music, contacts, and all other personal information that was added to the iPod after purchasing it. I quickly unplugged my iPod, hoping to stop the restore, and plugged it back into iTunes. It gave me a message stating that the iPod was in recovery mode, and could not connect to iTunes unless it was restored. Unable to fix it any other way, I gave in and restored it, consequently erasing everything.

In a way, it's my fault for:

a. Attempting to use anything pertaining to technology without my Dad next to me, ready with a fire extinguisher and his laptop.

b. Relying so heavily on technology.

Even so, if Apple were a person, I would be bitch-slapping them until their earbuds fell out.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Depressing blogs suck
So instead I'll write about
Rainbow unicorns.

Rainbow unicorns
Are extremely colorful
And each have a horn.

They can grant wishes
And frolic through green meadows
And tap-dance on stilts.

Well, they can't tap-dance
But they bring light to the world
With their shiny horns.

Their horns are pretty
Pretty freaking sharp, that is
They slice men in two.

Evil unicorns
Murderous and rampaging
Blood and gore and guts

Run away, children!
Before they kill and eat you
Slow, merciless deaths


I apologize
For destroying your childhood
Beware unicorns.