Swimming Along

Nothing really eventful. Life has been good the past week. In summary, I feel like I’m a nicer person and a more likable person than last year.

Guy MG in 4th is hot. He taught me to tie my shoes with one hand. Really, last year, I would have been so intimidated and terrified to talk to someone ‘popular’, but I’ve (mostly) gotten over it. They aren’t much different than anyone else, and if you’re friendly, they’ll be friendly right back. Life lesson.

5th: We had this awful sub who reminded girl AM and I of a rat eating oatmeal….it was so perfect, and she was so terrible that it almost wasn’t mean. Anyway, it broke the ice. I think we are friends. PGF MC (remember him?) talks to me now, and same with PGF FM, DM’s brother. We all say hi in the hallways and it’s all rainbows and butterflies.

Track is not doing so well. My shin splints aren’t quite killing me, but they definitely are inhibiting me from doing well. The warmup is quite painful, and wearing spikes and jumping hurdles definitely aren’t helping. I did PR last meet at 18.58. Not great, I know. She ran me Varsity, but I have a funny feeling that’s going to change. NB ran a 17.75. Even though friend MW (that freshman. we’re friends now) is still a second slower than me, for some reason she’s permanent varsity and I’m…not. Varsity is top 4, and I’m #4. Whatever.

As for NB…she gets on my nerves. She always compares us, even when I am absolutely obviously not into it (would you want to talk for the entire bus ride about how much slower you are?). 

LN and EMC are best friends for track. And we are not friends. End of story.

So I hang out with distance (amazzzzing…the last track meet we made so many inside jokes and stole food and just had a blast) and MW and CM and a bunch of other people. Some druggies, but they’re nice druggies, and they respect that I’m not that kind of person. 

Panel next week.

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Boyz and Parties

So I spelled ‘boys’ with a ‘z’, to emphasize teenage-ness.

Yes, there’s a new boy in town.

He will be known as PGF/Crush AM, and he is a junior (do I have an older guy problem?).

He is in my math class. Thank the stars that my inexperienced teacher finally gave us a seating chart.

He’s really very friendly. I hope we become friends. And that’s it for now. 

As for others….here’s my boy-life. 

SNK EL has a huge crush on me. It’s very obvious, and he’s sweet guy, but I’m not, NOT, feeling it. He’s in 4 of my periods, though, and he sits right next to me. Still a nice guy, and I like talking to him.

As for everything else, I’m starting to be on talking, waving terms with most guys I meet. I’ve found just being friendly…it’s nice. PGF NY liked my profile picture…(other guys did too, but he’s really popular).

Yeah, I’m shallow, but I was nervous about changing my profile picture. What if it got no likes? I switched it at 8 PM on sunday, when I thought there were a lot of people online, and I got 64 likes in one day! Ego boost right here.

In spanish, I lucked out and did a project with RK and JR. It was tons of fun…jumping around wearing a flowery pink blanket pretending to be a hobo tends to be.

And lastly, Friday night was my first semblance of a social life in probably 3 months. I went to a Sweet Sixteen party. I went to my friend SS’s house after practice while she cried over her ex-boyfriend and vented, then went to the party where I didn’t know anyone and half the people were drunk. I got dressed up in a provocative dress (I know, I know…) and barred guys who grinded up on me. I went home early. That’s my social life for you.

 

Crossing the seas

We sent them off to China. By ‘we’, I mean my mom and I, and by ‘them’, I mean Laolao and Laoye. They were adorable, with their fanny packs and sunglasses, and they were so excited. It is impossible to not feel fuzzy inside when one sees an old couple, all wrinkly and pruney and very much still in love. They support each other as they hobble around together, hand in hand. One sees how happy they are, and aspires to find that someone who will grow old with you…

We waved until their wheelers pushed them behind the security portal, past the luggage check, and off onto an adventure.

He Who Matters

Sometimes, in the rush of all the things happening in the world, with AP tests coming up, piano finals in 2 weeks, running workouts to be done, friends to keep track of, reputations to be kept, screaming parents to deal with, brothers that either sulk or never call home, and with all that dinner still isn’t made….things are forgotten. Things are pushed aside.

Things that shouldn’t have been.

Things like the illness of my grandfather.

After the initial shock of learning of the horrible illness, after the first few trips accompanying him to the chemo room, I grew accustomed to our situation. And my grandfather, so selfless, so willing to conceal the pain in order for me to continue my studies uninterrupted, yet hurting so much…

I was selfish. I was callous. And to be ruefully honest, life went on for me. Cancer did not affect my life as much as it should have. There was always homework to be done, sports to attend, piano to practice…there was just no time to sit down with my loving grandfather. 

And though he never showed it, though I pushed away the truth, that he was hurting, that he was sad that I didn’t care…I think I knew all along.

And when my mother, yesterday, broke the news, I held it in. That my grandfather had less than 6 months to live was too much for me too handle. I would have left the room, if not for the fact that I was trapped in a moving vehicle, on the freeway. I sat, a prisoner bound by the tightening seatbelt in a whirl of gray to my right and a sad face saying words I did not want to hear on my left. I closed my eyes and turned up the music to drown out my mother’s talk of tumors, of failed treatment, of last days, and her pleas that I treasure my last months with the wise man of our family.

The tears came when I burst into my room. I turned on the radio and listened to raps talking of sexy girls and cars and money and tried to forget.

Laoye is going to China in one week to say goodbye. To see his family and friends for the last time. How would it feel, I wonder, to see your loved ones and know that your parting words, their final waves, would be the last?

Everything is a blur. I cannot imagine it. It is unthinkable.

 

Varsity Dreams

“I think I’ll go distance today,” I told the hurdles coach on Friday.

“No problem,” she said. Smiling. She doesn’t smile at me often, so this took me by surprise. “Go ahead, you had a good race yesterday. You got a varsity point.”

“Wow, thank you! Thank you!” I was containing my excitement horribly. My smile stretched wide and my voice embarrassingly rose 5 notches.

She looked at me like I was an idiot. “Don’t thank me. That’s how varsity points work. One for 3rd place, three for 2nd, and 5 for 1st. Get 15 and you’ve got a varsity letter.” She stated this with some exasperation, as if telling a young child to calm down. Frosh girl CM got varsity points all the time. And not just one at a time.

That didn’t stop me from being excited. I practically skipped off the field to join my distance friends. 

See, she had finally let me run a varsity race. I had jumped at the opportunity, even if it meant giving up my distance race for that week (varsity can’t run jv). This was my chance to show her that I actually was better than that Frosh MW. 

Actually, that had been my sole goal of the race. Beat Frosh MW. And I did. I didn’t PR – not by a long shot – but I had three-stepped for the first time, and I had beat her, and that was all that mattered.

The problem was, it didn’t guarantee me a permanent spot on varsity. That would take more work.

I went on a 6 mile long run, which took our little hodgepodge group an hour and 20 minutes to complete. We talked colleges and classes and other topics common for this time of year.

That night, I looked up my times and compared them to the other girls. And so my hopes were sparked.

Food Obsessions

I’m having a relaxing day of schoolwork, piano, and the internet, so I thought I’d put up a little tidbit about me. I remember about a year ago writing I would do things like this more often, instead of recounting the events that happened in the past week.

This one is about food obsessions. This is not a post about eating disorders.

I just thought I’d mention that oftentimes, I go through periods where I am absolutely obsessed with one meal, or one ingredient, or something of the like. I’ve gone through bananas, apples, berry ice cream, coconut granola, rosemary almonds, lentils, cranberries, seaweed, homemade sushi, miso soup, pesto bread, turkey, dried figs.

 

Really, these obsessions often come on randomly. This morning I woke up with a strong urge for an acai bowl. It’s not a physical craving, but just that I want it, really bad. I’ll put it in everything, make it every day for a week.

I’m convinced it’s because of Pinterest.

Most recently it’s been chocolate oatmeal ‘flooded’ (that’s when you have thick oatmeal and just pour milk on top, no mixing so everything stays separate…honestly, the only way I’ll eat oatmeal. No disgusting mushes here) with coconut milk, over-easy eggs, soft boiled eggs, pizza with a runny egg cracked over it, dried coconut, orange-vanilla cream smoothies, chia seed pudding, parmesan cheese, and, as of today, sweet potato rounds.

I just made three batches. The first just to try it, however upon tasting it I was unable to limit myself and I downed the entire batch. Approximately three potatoes worth.

Feeling guilty because no one else had had any, I made a second batch. I downed a fourth of that. Since a measly two potatoes worth of food isn’t nearly enough for a six-strong home, I made the third.

It’s amazing. With nothing but olive oil and salt, it’s magic. The outside caramelized into a beautiful, almost crispy brown glaze, which broke to give a creamy interior. Perfectly sweet. AMAZING.

Welcome to the new food obsession.

The calm after the storm

When my parents fight, us kids have learned to just go about with our daily lives. Business as usual, with a little background chatter.

I mean, if we were so affected that we cried every time they fight, we would literally get nothing done, as their fights often escalate or relight throughout the day. Some never stop. Our family is definitely dysfunctional, but I think all homes are, in some way.

I would like to remind the reader of this blog (my future self) that, though I don’t often write about it, Mom and Dad fight at least once a week. I’ve just chosen to ignore it simply because it’s part of our daily lives here. Also, I don’t have nearly enough time to detail every single thing that happens.

Yesterday, however, they had (in my opinion) a particularly stupid, ridiculous, and nasty fight. It started out with Dad being sick. He thinks he got it from me. He asks me to ask Mom to prescribe him medicine. This method of communication is common in our house. My parents don’t prefer to have direct contact with each other, and often use us kids as messengers. Actually, just me, because they’ve learned that Bro K is perpetually unreliable. If he picks up the phone, you better hope the message is trivial.

Anyway, before I got a chance to tell Mom, they happened to both be in the kitchen. I was doing homework in the next room, and Bro K was messing around on the computer. Before I know it, Dad is asking Mom for the medicine.

She tells me to run upstairs and get the pills that I used when I was sick. I linger, unwilling to go all the way upstairs??? Mistake.

“No,” says my Dad loudly. I stop. That’s his angry voice. I sigh to myself. Here we go again.

“What? Excuse me?” asks my Mom incredulously.

“I said no. I don’t want it. Prescribe me medicine.”

“Just use hers! If I go to the pharmacy it’ll be the same exact pill anyway!”

And with that, the fuse had been lit.

Sometimes I think that my Dad honestly takes any reason to fight. I think he hates my mom so very much that he takes every opportunity to prove to us kids how horrible she is.

My Dad has terrific projection. He can make noises so exceedingly loud that the neighbors next door can hear us. I can hear it all the way up in my room, to which by now, as usual, I have been banished to by my mom, who somehow thinks she is protecting me. That by putting me upstairs, I have no idea that our house is unhappy.

I think my dad takes pride in his vocal chords. His voice get noticeably louder when he’s yelling at how mom cheated him, and all the ways she has ruined his life.

But do you know what the kicker is? The root behind this argument? The reason he won’t take medicine from her?

My dad thinks my mom is going to poison him. He comes bursting into my room and informs me of this. He screams in my face.

This strikes me as ridiculous. If she was going to poison him, the fact that she ordered pills from the pharmacy wouldn’t make a difference!

And why? Well, according to dad, it’s because of a financial dispute. My dad thinks my mom is going to murder him because of a financial dispute. How sick does he think she is?

But of course all this isn’t the very root of the problem. The problem is a vast collection of things, a never-ending hole that started when they got married. I don’t know any two people more unsuitable for each other. They have hated – absolutely hated – each other for as long as I can remember. I know many kids say that, but our parents are the type who us kids have to call the police on. Who us kids have never heard say one loving thing to each other (not an exaggeration, sadly). Who, apparently, are paranoid of getting murdered by each other.

It astounds me the level of uncaring our family has reached. It’s so commonplace that my brother and I continued our homework and joked around. I practiced piano, tuning out their  voices. I texted a friend who wanted to hang out that night. I studied for the big tests I had next week.

Business as usual.