August 16

Volkswagen: Das Awkward!

So, I had my very first lead rehearsal today! It was a completely nerve-wracking and humbling experience. Here is what I’ve learned so far:
Drama kids are surprisingly inclusive.
Leads are unofficially and automatically instated into the Gerund tea drinking society.
As demonstrated by Mrs.Gerund’s one-year old daughter, babies will eat anything.
Car doors are funny mechanisms that will never cease to cause me anguish.

The actual rehearsal was fairly generic in its level of innate satisfaction and optimistic aftertaste. What happened afterwards, however, is noteworthy in that it was downright cringe-worthy.

Rehearsal let out around 5:30 PM. As I was leaving, I noticed Peter standing in front of the office doors. Knowing that he lives on my street, and inwardly praising myself for my resourcefulness, I went over to offer him a ride. However, it turned out that Peter was headed to a shift at Dairy Queen, not to his house, and I had just volunteered myself to drive 15 minutes in the wrong direction! Luckily I was too awkward to point this out to him, especially over the puddle of drool that was forming in my subconscious, so the slipshod plan prevailed.

We made fairly quaint small talk during the drive to DQ, an impressive feat considering my struggle even to breathe and drive in the same instant! As we pulled up to our destination, I congratulated myself on taking just two wrong turns during the trip, both of which added mere minutes to our overall travel time.

I wished Peter a quick and easy shift as he got out of the car. Only, the passenger door was still locked, so he could not get out. I quickly fumbled with my key fob to find the “unlock” button. Pressing it, finally and triumphantly, I glanced up and was met with a blank stare from Peter. No dice.
I let out an exasperated grunt, and preceded to spam the “unlock” key on the driver’s side. When that didn’t work, I flopped across him to unlock it manually on the passenger door. The indicator claimed that the door was “unlocked”, and yet it still refused to open. I blushed as a 30-second féaux pas turned into a full-on awkward encounter. And then, I did the only thing that made sense at the time.
I said, “I swear I’m not trying to rape you.”
He let out a surprised laugh, and I nearly cringed in pain. What on earth was I thinking?
After I recovered from that injury, I got out of the car and walked around to open the demonic door from the outside, something that should have occurred to me minutes ago. After that, Peter left without more than a few hasty words of thanks. Can you blame the guy? If I were him, I wouldn’t have lasted even that long in that car; in fact, I probably would have smashed a window around the three minute mark, perhaps even before the casual date-rape comment!
Hopefully I didn’t blow my chances entirely, but I have a sinking suspicion that the nature of Peter and my relationship will be to get all the embarrassing behavior out of my system before I meet a guy who is actually well-suited for me. Here’s hoping that a relationship with that guy goes a little more smoothly!

How about you guys? Any awkward crush stories to share? Hopefully, the wounds are not quite so fresh as mine!
Bye for now,
Avery

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Category: Uncategorized
August 13

Redneck Thanksgiving

Maps that plot my location on a Westjet flight make me question why I didn’t just walk that far…

I mean, I get it. It’s not as though they could make the image of the plane to scale. But really?  According to some of my past live maps, I have travelled in airplanes twice the size of Florida. If the back of the plane is in Washington, and the front half is down in Utah, where am I exactly? Do they expect me to remember my seat number?

Consequently, this development was sparked by a recent trip to Edmonton, Alberta to visit my grandparents. Canadian Thanksgiving takes place in the middle of October (severely displanting the relevance of a Black Friday sale), so I missed two full days of publicly-funded, condom-stomping Catholic school to hang out on my grandpa’s hobby farm, shooting unlicensed guns and racing retired army jeeps from the Second World War. Often by mid-October, Edmonton’s snowy season is already in full swing; one year, I now recall with nostalgia, we used snowmen for shooting practice.
But unlike the snowmen, each year unfailingly we do things like play flick-stick hockey, eat borscht soup, and a have a piñata (in fact, it’s been the same piñata for five years running, sporting more duct tape and looking less recognizable each year; my grandparents are a little cheap!) This year, though, that poor multi-confetti-colored donkey finally met his match in the form of a Winchester 1200. Instead of hanging the piñata so that the younger cousins could try their luck with a stick, we decided instead to blindfold my father, hand him a shotgun, throw the piñata in the air, and run for cover. A shower of bullets hit it on his first try! The only downside was that all the candy inside was subsequently filled with lead fragments. All things considered, a small price to pay for such an awesome occurrence.
Another new development is that, after the piñata, my grandpa surprised me with a green Volkswagon Beetle for my 16th birthday! He collects cars, and has always been determined to buy one for each of his grandkids. His generosity and kind spirit did not stop him from adding a small clause to a pretty sweet deal, however: a “spoiled rotten” license plate must be worn on the front of the car at all times. A prime example of his malevolent sense of humour… ;) I suppose those lovable old saps aren’t so cheap after all!

Most of my Tuesday was eaten up with travel and allowing myself to be rocked slowly to sleep by the discombobulated jostle of a plane and the fuzzy, impassive voice of Sheila our airline hostess over the PA system. It was for this reason that I felt particularly well-rested as I boarded the bus today for my triumphant return to public education. As I had only returned to school this morning, I could barely stifle my startled squawk when I was called out of History before lunch and summoned to the drama room. The last time I had stepped foot in that room was months ago for musical callbacks, and those didn’t quite go as planned (think actual squawking). Now, to understand the sheer intimidation I felt as I walked into that den of arts performers and theatre junkies at 11:45 AM on a Wednesday, it is important to realize that the drama room looks less like a conventional classroom than the gorilla enclosure at Calgary Zoo. Its overhanging spotlights and intricate networks of wire cables and pulleys squinted down at me from three storeys high, while low-lying lamps draped with Boho-chic scarves provided most of the understated lighting. Red velvet curtains had been pulled back far enough to allow students to work and create on the black wooden floors, marked up with tape and peeling paint, but still their muted presence was unwavering; noticed and deliberate. Props from musicals past were placed randomly about the room as if to represent little inside jokes; the ultimate manifestation of this collective’s superior and exclusive nature. It could have been a hoarder’s nest, and yet each item seemed to fit mystically with the others in perfect synergy.
Yet, the atmosphere was not abrasive or standoffish, as one might expect. Rather, everything in the room worked to welcome and excite me as its visitor, leaving me with a profound sense of belonging and adventure.
None of the other drama students acknowledged my presence, as if it “gelled” with what they were doing, and I was thusly absorbed. I made my way over to the Mrs. Gerund, who sat making large, ecstatic hand movements from a cross-legged position on a table in the corner of the room. At first, I thought it was odd that I hadn’t noticed her immediately, as she was speaking loudly and moving her arms about wildly. I now realize that the room had been absorbing her, too.
I was halfway to her table when she saw me and leapt up to greet me. The sullen form I remembered seated conventionally at a table and chair during my musical audition two months ago did not match the fountain of energy now before me. She cupped my hand in two of her dainty ones and pumped it up and down, then led me through the curtain-cloaked doorway of her office to a couple of mismatched chairs.
Her smile was mischievous as she asked me how I was, and why I was still in class.
“Advanced placement.” I said dismissively.
“Ah. You know, I don’t see how they’re allowed to do that. That’s why I could never teach a real class.”
I seemed to recall the lectures I had heard over the years from every other option teacher I knew after their elective was referred to as “not a real class.”
“So anyway, I don’t know you very well, but I’ve been thinking of you a lot lately. As you know, we gave Jakob Holden one of the leads in the musical, and he has not been putting in much effort these past few weeks. Mr.Rachel and I have decided to replace him. Now, when we discussed our options, you kept popping into my head. I know, it’s weird, because I barely know you at all! Anyways the more I thought about it, The more I realized that Jakob’s role could be converted into a girl part without much effort; all his relationships are platonic! We’ve thought about it a lot, and are prepared to offer you the part!” She gave me a long look. “Don’t feel pressured to respond right away! I know it’s a lot to ask. You can let me know on Friday.”
I felt my heart leap up into my throat. I somehow found the words. “Can I say yes right now?”

So, basically, I have one of the lead parts in my school musical! What makes it even better is how deliciously random it is! It must have been my going away for two days that did the trick; after all, absence makes the heart grow fonder. ;)
What’s more is that Peter plays the title role in the musical this year! (If any of you remember him from my pathetic, dreamland rant about his accolades in my first-ever blog post.) He came up to me today to congratulate me, and no-one else knew what was happening. Mrs.Gerund is going to tell the rest of the cast tomorrow at rehearsal, but for now I have the smirk of a private joke semi-permanently plastered across my face.
This is going to be so awesome! I cannot wait to have my first practice on Monday!
Bye for now,
Avery

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Category: Uncategorized
August 9

Can Cookie Please

My past two weeks have been taken up with volunteering at a family summer camp, about 12 hours from home. My cousins, currently out of town, offered to let me stay in their house for a few days as it is nearly halfway between the camp and my home in Denver. This is how I happened to go from sleeping in a 6 by 12 foot trailer with five sweaty girls to reclining alone in a mansion with two swimming pools and a vineyard.

Now, this is the sort of house that has a grand piano even though nobody plays.

It has always bothered me when people complain about houses with pianos and no piano players. I can think of a thousand other uses for a piano than whamming melodically along those ivory blacks and whites (Okay, one of those uses was “paperweight”…) But the fact is, the piano is a beautiful instrument. And as far as accessories are concerned, I can think of a lot of things that are more frivolous and expensive. At least homeowners are equipped if a piano player ever comes to dinner (which seems a whole lot more likely than another world war, and yet we have stores of military weaponry lined up “just in case”). Pianos also help in calling out those friends that exaggerate about everything- It is easy to convince someone who does not play an instrument that you do by prattling on in nonsensical musical jargon, but it is incredibly difficult to bullshit one’s way through Mozart’s first concerto.  But then there is the argument that it seems wasteful to own and not use a piano, what with all the piano players out there who cannot afford their own instrument.

How will one person abstaining from owning a piano somehow get one in the hands of a starving artist? Purchasing a piano is only fuelling the music industry. I see it as ensuring that piano manufacturers stay in business long enough for the people who actually play to finally man up and buy their own baby Grand.

Anyhow, I use the unnecessary existence of the piano to illustrate the enormity and possibility of the house I am currently alone inside. And also, it seems, to foreshadow my ironic decision not to do anything about it. I can do anything I want, and what do I decide to do first?

Sit on the couch and eat all their food.

Now, it could be argued that they were only trying to be polite, but I decided to take the statement: “help yourself to anything in the fridge” to mean “please eat everything in the fridge.” Somewhere in this mad feeding frenzy there may lie a slight binge eating problem, but I see it as pretty inevitable. After all, what more could be expected from a child whose first words literally were, “can cookie please.”

To continue with the theme of wasted opportunities, my second mansion-indulgence so far has been watching Netflix. However, I have always found Netflix to be an extremely personal, intimate experience (this coming from someone who has never explored any of their adult content). I mean only that publicizing the Netflix “recently viewed” sections of the rich and famous would likely cause a huge scandal.Who wants people seeing all the fluff they watch when they are braindead at two in the morning? I don’t think Obama wants his fellow Democrats to know that he has seen all six seasons of Gossip Girl.

In this cynical spirit, I feel awkward watching anything (shamefully) interesting on my cousins’ Netflix account. Thus, I am stuck perusing their “recently viewed” section. This means watching the first three seasons of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

Admittedly, not a bad show. What really makes me laugh is how they stretch the plot and dialogue of a 24-minute episode to include a 5-minute flashback that certainly overstays its welcome. By the end, I forget that it was ever a flashback at all; I just have a super strong sense of dejavu. It reminds me of the watered-down orange juice at church, in that the writers clearly didn’t want to have to write any more material than was absolutely necessary.

I am not saying that they are lazy. This idea is inspired! What a time saver! Heck, it’s genius! In fact, I think I’ll take a page from the Fresh Prince Playbook any time I’m short ideas for a post. Instead of simply cutting it short, you can all bear with me as I ramble on anecdotally about something that happened to me three years ago.

This and more is what there is to look forward to, if you keep reading my blog! (Heck, I might even stop reading, if it were not for the calamity of spelling and grammatical errors that would surely result.)

Bye for now,

Avery

 

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Category: Uncategorized
July 16

So Here’s the Thing

I don’t have a “thing.” It seems as though everyone I know has “soccer”, or “dance”, or “marching band” (though I really don’t envy that particular high school denomination…).

It’s not that I am not passionate about “things”. Truly, I love all the “things”. More than my fair share of “things.” And, herein lies the problem. It’s the age-old story of the “jack-of-all-trades”; good at everything, great at nothing. It used to be that the local doctor covered everything from bug bites to brain surgery, the mayor also ran the only grocery store in town. In this new age of specialization, being the best in one’s respective field is worth far more than achieving a level above mediocrity in every area. Unfortunately, this leaves me in the dust.

And while we are still blaming things I have no control over for what is, in reality, my blatant laziness, let’s talk about Celiac disease. I will save the long, arduous saga that explains the angst I feel towards my small intestine for making me fall asleep on bathroom floors and lose in arm wrestling competitions with my grandmother for another time, but here is a quick recap. I was diagnosed with Celiac disease, essentially a gluten allergy, in January of 2013. Despite being thusly equipped with the knowledge that I was consuming poison, my doctor told me to continue shovelling down cheeseburgers and apple pies until a biopsy could be scheduled to confirm the diagnosis. (It had to be completely certain before the condition could be listed on my official medical record, and before the government could reimburse me for the extra grocery expenses.) The day that I finally did go off gluten, I became “gluten girl” to my parents. At dinner parties, my parents would say, “Well, Quinton is doing hockey right now, and Avery has Celiac disease.” They would brag, “Quinton scored two goals at his last game, and Avery has started baking with sorghum flour!” I believe my dad went so far as to replace my kindergarten picture in his wallet with a picture of a baguette with a big “x” over it.

I have been thinking about taking singing lessons. (This is, of course, completely unrelated to hearing Hannah sing the national anthem today during homeroom over the loudspeakers…) Or maybe swing dancing? Granted, it would be near impossible to find classes in Denver for people who do not still remember the second World War… Or… biathlon? The sport in the Winter Olympics that combines the (already immensely popular) art of target shooting with cross country skiing? That actually sounds sort of awesome. I AM a pretty good shot; my grandpa calls me Annie Oakley (and often it isn’t because he is too senile to remember my actual name). I also have pretty good endurance.

I’ll keep everyone updated on this development, as clearly it is my destiny to unite the warring sports of riflery and skiing to bring home a gold medal for Canada.

Bye for now,

Avery

 

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Category: Uncategorized
July 14

To Be, or Not to Be

“Things can either ‘be’, or ‘not be’. Things cannot always ‘be’. Therefore, things that are at some time or other were not. If they were not, it is evident that things that are not cannot generate another thing, or themselves. Thus, there has to be something that is necessary for everything else to ‘be.’”

I thought this explanation of the Catholic faith, as found in my religious studies notes, to be particularly ambiguous. It is impressive that it should stand out for its ambiguity, considering the already massive haze of religious vagueness in which it is competing. I don’t know about you, but I counted 5 “be”‘s and 7 “thing”‘s…

Or how about this perfectly balanced statement?

“Some things are greater than others. Whatever is great gets its greatness from that which is greatest. There is a source of greatness.”

It’s like I am back in the third grade looking up words for English class, investing a good 5 minutes I could be spending eating glue or giving myself a bowl cut with safety scissors hunched over the “T” section in the dictionary. Once I finally find the word “terrorize”, I look and find this definition: “To create terror.” It’s like Noah Webster is personally punching me in the face. Catholicism, you simply cannot circumvent a kid like that.

Based on these sentiments, it may seem as though I am anti-religion or atheistic, when in fact I am a total Jesus freak. I simply feel that the church is not doing itself a favour by answering people’s legitimate concerns about faith with more open-ended questions, especially in an age of scientific discovery. However, I do not want to prattle on blindly about a concept which my limited life experience grants me practically no insight into. So I’ll leave it at that.

Bye for now,

Avery

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Category: Uncategorized
July 12

“Angery” Hanaden

It is nearly October, and first-semester is in full swing; the website which allows students from my school to view their grades online has officially usurped Facebook as my preferred social network. I have a Religious Studies project and a Science paper both due on tuesday (but the former could be accomplished by glueing devil horns to the tip of a condom- Catholic school is rather opinionated.) School does funny things to my brain. I woke up from a weird dream, and my first thought was, “What insight(s) into human nature does this provide?” Well-played, English AP. Well-played.

For science class, my teacher satisfies his urge to “save the planet” by deferring to us the daunting task of printing off  our 80-page notes package. A moment of silence for the trees that lost their lives today serving their country’s education system. May they rest in sheets. But, all witticisms aside, I am loving my new school! The teachers are invested in their students’ well-being, the facility is clean, and they offer rugby, cross country, track, and musical programs- all while boasting a weight room with a sock sweat smell so impressive that I have seen my brother’s hockey bag go green with envy. Or, at least, I hope that that’s why it’s green…

I have been eating “healthy” all week (-For me, this still means gobbling down a meal portion equivalent to that of 6 Siberian men. I am, as of yet, too fearful to calculate exactly what percentage of the grocery bill contributes to my teenage gluttony, but by my family’s estimation it is somewhere close to 60%. My dad calls me “pigpen.”-) and I have also been exercising every day, except for today. Unless a mall venture to Victoria’s Secret counts as a workout! Which reminds me… Change that image of what I look like in your head from a 34 B to a 34 C! You could say that I am… movin’ on cup! Or, you could pretend that I never wrote that. Yes, let’s go with the latter.

My plans for tomorrow are largely dominated by an 8-hour shift at a breakfast restaurant, where I have been working at for over three years. (My old boss was an ex-army captain, so she likes to “hire ‘em young and mould ‘em how she wants”… more than a little disturbing, in retrospect!) When I moved here from Canada, I took a position with the same restaurant chain. My job mostly involves chatting up old people and young families, so it’s not a bad gig! That being said, a man last week came up to the counter to pay, and proceeded to drool all over the cash before placing it in my hands. We exchanged a mutually horrified look before he bolted from the restaurant, leaving his server (but not me) with an incredibly generous tip.

Another (rather one-sided) conversation I had with a customer last Saturday was-

“It’s Avery, huh? Avery… you don’t look ang…ery! *guffaws* Oh, man, oh… That was funny! But I’m sure you hear that all the time.”

No. Never. Not ever.

Despite my current employer’s lack of hardening military experience, I preferred my old boss. Ever since I began working here, it has felt far more hostile than in the laid-back western plains of Alberta. My new supervisor threatened to cancel my month-old cheques. How can I cash them immediately? I do not have a car, or a chauffeur, and bank hours are all but flexible. Not to mention my odd distrust of (and inability to cope with) technology. For someone with their own blog, I bear a surprising likeness to a hermit born in 1937. What happened to burying all of your money in a coffee can out back? Or, but a jump to the left, simply wiring the money into your employees’ bank accounts?

Yikes, having a good rant really takes it out of you! I should really hit the sack; a heavy summons lies like lead upon me. (Got me again, English AP!)

Bye for now,

Avery

 

 

 

 

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Category: Uncategorized
July 10

Hot Pink, and Sparkly

Avery

I have never been the type to keep a journal; in fact, my brain rejects this “pansy” activity with every fibre of its being. Attempting to write a gushy diary entry whilst not imploding from sheer self-disdain has, regrettably, proven too difficult to maintain over the long-term. As a result, several one-page entries detailing trite homework assignments and new crushes dot the vast landscape of my young life.

Now, it is unfortunate that according to my mother, whose indisputable correctness combined with her (lovingly) iron-fisted grip on the happenings in my life would rival those of a brain surgeon and a totalitarian dictator respectively, keeping a journal is “good for your mental health”. The whole idea of adolescent depression has become such a buzzword concept that, against my better judgement, I find myself committing to these near-daily entries in a journal that is, undoubtedly, sure to affirm and rectify everything that I “feel” during these next three years of high school, if it does not single-handedly eliminate my problems altogether.

My silent act of rebellion can be spotted only in my choice of notebook; a tacky, shiny and (best of all) hot pink little number whose spine is fraying and whose corners are peeling. I am sure that if my mother thought long and hard about it, it would be an emotional victory for me. As it happens, the notebook had been previously intended for a 10 year-old version of myself to record the lyrics to self-composed love ballads. It turns out that the prepubescent, pop star me had the notebook upside-down. Thank goodness! It doesn’t take much to spoil a gaudy, hot pink and sparkly notebook, but having the first few pages occupied with such poetic gems as “for all I care/ I could be up in the air”  definitely would have done it. My inclination to write my name in the top left-hand corner of the page is evidence of my calendorical state- my “Septemberisms” all suggest that I’m in too deep to avoid such non-summery behaviour as sprawling my first name atop the page like the nerdy “alpha male” claiming his territory. Why he would want to claim such a pink and shiny document is another issue altogether…

This semester has been quite the adjustment. I am taking Sciences, History, Spanish, and Physical Education/ Religious Studies. While this may not be everyone’s first year of high school, it is mine; I moved here from Hicktown, Alberta last year because of my dad’s work (that’s Canada, for those who didn’t know), and Albertans start high school in grade 10.  But more on that later.

So far, I have gone  to provincials for cross country, signed up for rugby, regretted signing up for rugby, and got a callback for a lead in the school musical.However, I only made the chorus. We are doing a little-known Broadway musical mystery comedy called “Murder for Two”. I currently weigh around 145 lbs, and am 5’4″. Truthfully, I would like to lose about 25 lbs.

I can also bench 120 lbs, which hardly gives me justification to write about myself and expect other people to read it, but is still sort of impressive (and that’s a plateau; estrogen’s a bitch!) Impressive enough, anyway, to validate starting a new paragraph. I still doodle stars all over my homework assignments, and draw the occasional sun in the corner of the page. Right now, my interests are singing, swing dancing, skiing, running, dirt biking, and learning a new language. Oh, and how could I forget about Judy Garland?

Allow me to first explain that I did not intend for this to happen; the whole thing was deeply underway before anyone could think to stop it, and by then it was far too late. My infatuation with the 1930′s child star began last year when, for drama class, each student was made to write and perform a monologue as a famous person who had passed away. While researching famous people from decades past, I came across an actress by the name of Judy Garland, and like most people, asked “Who is this seemingly irrelevant person?” Well, by the time I got up to perform my monologue a few weeks later, her irrelevance had become my reverence, and I have been fangirling over a dead person ever since.

I do not have many friends at the moment, but still sit with a group of other new students that I met at orientation, a habit that has proven very hard to break. So there is Maraiah, Emmy, Faith, Matt, Tyler, and Andrew. There is a distinctive ghetto mentality about sitting with these fellow newbies, however, that I do not really care to indulge much longer. Our conversations are almost all about memories from the orientation weekend, and we tend to victimize ourselves by not reaching out to new people. I also talk to a few people in my Science class; Peter is very smart, built, handsome, athletic, on a triathlon team, in the musical, plays the guitar and the fiddle, has a black belt in Ju Jitsu, likes Spanish music, and is super nice. As indicated by the previous statements, I may be slightly smitten…

There is also Hannah; Hannah is a singer who seems insecure, likely due to (2012-Facebook-history-confirmed) past weight issues. She has latched onto Peter, and is quite possessive. (Think back to Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls comparing the world of high school to the animal kingdom!) I expect that the two of us will maintain a cordial, unspoken “frenemies” status that will only make life all the more exciting.

That is really all my wrist can handle for the moment, so I’ll have to stop now in the hopes that I do not develop arthritis (hopefully, all this journaling will improve my pencil stamina!)

Bye for now,

Avery

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Category: Uncategorized