October 2

Lead Party

Last night, to wrap up the school musical after 96 hours of rehearsal, 5 performances, and enough face makeup to clog all the bathtub drains in New Zealand, Mrs. Gerund put out store-bought cake and potato chips. Therefore, it was with much regret and contrition that all ten of us lead actors and some others did slip out of the auditorium at 9:30 pm, giggling and sipping from Solo cups as we piled into a misfit fleet of vehicles suited for the “part-time high school senior” and left thirty less important cast members to plaintively mourn the end of an era over sodium and saturated fats; we were setting out to have a final “hurrah” before the curtain closed on our superiority complexes for another six months.

In school hallways, this party is now referred to in hushed whispers by those privy to such privileged information; I catch snippets of conversations like “Did you hear that he-“, “I was there, she was high on-“, or “I heard he caught them making out on the-“. My friends in senior year refuse to believe that I ever attended the event, and some even dispute its existence; my first and only high school party, it seems, has become the subject of modern-day folklore.

Being the social ham that I am, combined with the fact that my grade 10 status puts me somewhere below grass on the social food chain, I was surprised to find myself invited at all- even if it had been done nonchalantly by a peripheral attendee, 20 minutes before the event. Then, I heard that the only other grade ten in attendance would be the actor who played the title role: Peter. The news sent me into a panic; I have a tendency to not act my species around him- I can pull off “apish” at best. (Little did I know, my stuttering retorts would be the last thing he was aware of.)

All this was forgotten as we crammed ourselves into the back seat of the musical’s murderer’s Mazda and set off for Hayden Doerson’s house. When we pulled up in his driveway 5 minutes later, his dad let us in, sporting the sheepish smile of a divorced parent trying to make up for his absence by allowing his son to throw a party with underaged drinking. Looking like a wounded puppy, he retreated to his upstairs bedroom and I did not see him for the rest of the night.

Immediately, the alcohol was pulled out, and everyone started taking shots. Soon, most people were drunk enough to rectify my social awkwardness, and I began to enjoy myself! We played Cards Against Humanity,watching amusedly as one particular character played a concerto on the piano (which, it was argued, has never happened while he is sober), and telephoned a girl labeled “Drunk Dial” in his contacts, who apparently answers his calls without fail and stays on the line for hours as he performs sonnets in sporadically German, Indian, and Scottish accents after his 5th shot of tequila. After he had reached the full extent of his repertoire (several times over), I left the basement to discover Peter walking, or stumbling, through the door with Lander Willis. Lander is flamboyantly gay, and, aside from his charisma, is known for his connections in the party scene. It did not take a detective to determine that Peter, eyes glistening and face bright pink, was high on marijuana for the first time.

Most of the cast flocked to Peter, laughingly asking him questions as he handled (or, mishandled) the psychoactive drug with awestruck confusion; his eyes widened as he looked for bubbles in a glass of water, the least questionable drink on tap that night. At one point, he stopped speaking to the group of grade 12 girls all hovering around him, looked directly at me, and said calmly, “You have a gentle soul.” He then proceeded to lurch over to the girl next to him and whisper loudly, “She wants me.”

“Who does, Peter?”

“All of them.”

At this, I heard someone behind me scoff. Turning, I discovered that I had been wrong about Peter and me being the only grade tens at the party; here in front of me, with an invitation perhaps even more perplexing and unorthodox than mine, was the boy from my English class Mrs. Joyce had sent with me to dismantle the apple core/tape structure on her projector screen.

“Jonah, what are you doing here? You aren’t even in the musical!”

His reply was ambiguous, and generic, and altogether not worth noting on the internet. Something like “I have connections,” or, “I have my ways,” or some other vaguely mysterious jargon high school boys are known to use at sweaty parties early in the morning. What happened next, however, was wholly not generic. No, the hours that followed this encounter were some of the most interesting and pleasant hours of my life, spent objectively observing drunk people with Jonah, and the student from Finland who could not drink on his exchange (nor, it seemed, speak a lick of English). At one point, we all took shots of water, ritually accurate down to the little clear glass: lime, salt, and all, to the cheering of a large group that was most likely unaware of how lame the situation truly was.

At the end of the night, Peter had already been put to bed by Lander and a flock of fawning girls. As I sat with the rest of the girls at the party, and Lander, around the kitchen island, we discovered that every single one of us has feelings for Peter, including Lander. He even admitted that part of his motivation for getting Peter high was to see if he would be interested in “getting with him”.

To mimic the hipsters I so desperately try to shun, I realize now that Peter is over-hyped. I was okay with watching him from afar when I thought I was the only one; he certainly has some good qualities, but not enough to turn me into one of his groupies. The way he treated everyone at that party, like pawns in his play for popularity, was far from attractive. Last night, I realized that Peter is not the amazing guy I once thought him to be, but that guy does exist. He goes to my school. He sits beside me in English. He walks with me to Chem.  How have I managed to remain so perversely ham-like all this time?

I am looking forward to seeing Jonah in first period tomorrow; as you all know, dissecting Hamlet is an undisputed catalyst for romance.

Bye for now!

Avery

-0

Category: Uncategorized
September 22

Ketchup This?

As I listened, equal parts amused and bemused, to my friends in grade 12 brood about university applications and scholarship programs, it dawned on me that I only have two years left in this comfortable, gated community before I must take to the gluten-free equivalent of “Kraft dinner and a mattress” living. Upon this realization a switch was flipped in my mind, and my eyes opened to all of the amenities that I have access to, which I usually neglect; I have become in my own home something that is comparable to the man who pilfers those little shampoo bottles from three-star hotels! At the moment, my parents are wondering which Malaysian tourist did a body swap with me; in the span of 3 hours, I have gone to the pool, tried to learn a song on our piano, and filled the steam shower with enough eucalyptus oil to rival a seasoned middle-age hot springs enthusiast with monogramed robes and a bald patch. I have also started to pillage through “school memories” albums and boxes of momentos from the Golden Era, back when university was still 4, or 5, or 7 years off…

Looking through my old science notes today, I came across a page from when I had been so bored that I wrote this poem about a suicidal piano player:

Her nimble fingers tied the knot

For they too long had played the tune, the game

and now to quit, while at a moment’s note- ice

collects along divots in the keys

those ivory blacks and whites

are all the colours that she sees

the pianist,

a peony in principle and melody

the piano player

 

I cannot decide which is more pompous- the fact that I decided to write all of that down along the endoplasmic reticulum of my cell diagram, or the fact that I successively found it, and put it on my blog. However, it lead me to my recent discovery that going back through the vaults of childhood achievement, if one douches all the nostalgia, is not just the unproductive use of time I once believed it to be. As it turns out, it is also detrimental to one’s self-esteem. For example, while leafing through pictures from my grade six year, I noticed that our family’s Canon Rebel XTI had chosen to paint me not as the altruistic hero who shaved her head for cancer, but as the full-faced lesbian with a buzz cut and a polo shirt collection impressive for its quantity, if nothing else. And those school projects I was unjustifiably proud of in grade 7? Apparently, they’re not actually so great! Here’s the audio file I unearthed from the *poignant? clever?* mortifying parody I made of MC Hammer’s “Cant’ Touch This” involving a certain tomato-based substance:

From MC Hamburger’s famous album “Let’s Get it Squirted”, it’s”Ketchup This.”

-When mustard simply doesn’t cut it.

For once, I concurred wholly with my mother’s distrusting view of the internet and unincluded the music video once accompanying the rap, as this sort of humiliation would transcend even the safety of vast URL networks and computer screens that separate me from your horror and scorn. It is not, arguably, necessary to see Avery wearing her father’s Ukrainian dancing pants and a padded neon jacket to understand the true gravity of her social situation- that the thin thread on which her level of popularity hangs today would snap, without a second thought, were it to discover that such a video survives in the underbelly of the internet.

And believe me, I am sparing your eyes!

Bye for now,

Avery

-6

Category: Uncategorized
September 20

The Apple Core Complex

So, I’ve accumulated so many decorative pillows that it takes actual strategy to figure out their transport arrangements to and from my bed. Does anyone else seem to have this problem? I bear a likeness to Godzilla knocking over buildings as I try to get under the covers each night. Getting home after work today, I was so exhausted that even this task seemed far too daunting, and thus I sat, at the foot of my bed, staring down my plush and tasseled adversaries right in their bladders. (So, pillows have bladders. I actually Googled “pillow jargon”).

And why was my hoarder’s nest of pillows so detrimental to me on this particular night? My lack of energy came courtesy of the common cold: the only modern-day institution in whose dealings I wish some racism still endured, and yet it remains cruelly indiscriminating. It strikes when one least expects it, and the only thing to be done is slap on a cold compress, drink some tea, and try to imagine a world in which sounding like Donald Duck is cause for celebration. Which is also commonly referred to as, “the past five days of my life;” I was so dazed at work today that I walked by the same busbin six times before I remembered that I was looking for it! Forget about taking a “mental health” day; I need a day for “mental retardation”.

 

And now, we’ve finally arrived at the story behind the my The Big Bang Theory-esque title. (“We’re” not sure why “we’re” talking like the villain in a melodrama, but I guess we’ll just ride this one out.)

Only 11 students chose to take advanced English this year, so the class was relocated to the office boardroom- as if to tell us, “You higher minds are indeed as superior as you feel.” My fabulous teacher Mrs. Joyce is thusly persuaded to bring all of her teaching materials down from her classroom each morning like a sherpa, while teachers with more popular courses settle into her space until lunch.

There are two students who can be relied upon to be first into the boardroom each morning: me, and the guy who I have been particularly frantic and impish around lately (which is NOT AT ALL relevant to the story! … ;) ). I suppose that Mrs. Joyce has picked up on our habitual keenness, because on this particular morning, she stood waiting for the two of us to enter, circa-together, at her usual spot in front of the white board.

“I have a mission for you.” she said in her usual offbeat, wry aplomb.

“Shoot.” *Ohmygoshishelookingatmetellmehe’snotlooking* answered.

“You know where my classroom is, right? Well, I need you to get there before the teacher who uses it first block. When you open the door, on your right you’ll see… well, whaddya call it… You know, those screens they use for the projectors… well, on the string that you use to pull it down, you will find an apple core. I need you to cut the string just before the core, and bring the core back to me, no questions asked. Maybe someday I’ll explain.” She handed us the key without another word.

And, sure enough, when we arrived at her upstairs classroom, we discovered the rotting apple core hanging, as-promised, from the string of the projector screen. In one swift motion, I lunged for the scissors on her desk while Dreamboat fumbled to hold out the cord. The mission went without a hitch except for one bewildered freshman, who after witnessing the whole thing could scarcely utter, “…Did that just happen?”

The looks on our classmates’ faces as we burst into the boardroom waving a piece of stale fruit most likely matched our initial confusion at hearing her request. But fortunately for my (and your) curiosity, Mrs. Joyce immediately dropped the act of secrecy; she explained how, upon returning to her classroom after lunch the day before, she had spotted an apple core on her desk. Knowing immediately that the man who had left it has her classroom for 2nd and 4th period, she decided to send him a message. Using enough masking tape to dress a fatal wound, she fixed the apple core to the string of her projector screen, and stuck a fork in it. It was only the next morning that she remembered the apple core, and determined that it “wouldn’t be fair” to the first-year teacher using the classroom for her homeroom to discover an apple core hanging at the front of the classroom with a giant fork in it.

I cannot wait to see if every English class will be this exciting! I get enough heart palpitations sitting next to *smileandlaugh,waitnotsohardhethinksyou’rechoking*; that class is slowly giving me angina.

For the moment, all I have left to do is bludgeon my way through the small village of throw pillows separating me from my bed.

Goodnight for now!

Avery

 

-9

Category: Uncategorized
September 6

First Day of School!

As the new school year begins, I am gratefully reminded of the sanity of my fellow high school students. Remember when one’s school status was determined exclusively by the words that rhymed with their name? Some parents legitimately set their children up for failure from day 1. Remember Maddy? Me either. “Fatty” rings a bell, though. How about good ol’ Cooper the Pooper Scooper? Hairy Harry? God forbid any of you went to school with a boy named “Dick.”

As for my experience, elementary-level word association extended so far as to christen me “Avery Slavery.” Now, none of the other kids seemed to mind that “slavery” is many parts more a concept than a specific noun, or even an action verb. This truth resonated with no-one, it seemed, as they shouted “slavery on Avery!” inviting every 1st grader within a 100-ft radius to pile on top of me. Nor did it stop my ascension to the top of the list of beneficiaries from her fellow pupils unloading their colouring books and glue sticks onto her for transport between classes. If kindergarten had superlatives, I definitely would have made “Class Slave.”

For the first time since my mother left her teaching job to stay at home with my brother and me, both of my parents were working on the first day of school. This meant that the event received no greater accentuation than any other day in the calendar year; we had left over butter chicken in the fridge and extra hamburger buns on the counter, and from this we hastily crafted what my dad now refers to as “Sloppy Raheeds.” We did go for a family walk after dinner, but turned back before we had gone half a mile in order to finish up homework and teaching prep before it got dark. At least, it gave us a chance to share about our days.

My highlight was the Catholic School Welcome Assembly. I was seated next to a young man who was stoned out of his mind. It’s actually hilarious, the disparity between the strict religious kids and the “wild” partygoers at my school. It’s binary. Sort of like apartheid, with a lot less social tension. The pot-smokers hang out in certain hallways, take certain classes, and the more studious youth group-goers stick to their own parts of the school. Having friends in both circles, I almost have to inconspicuously flip on a beanie to go from one to the other. I think that the problem is the occasional radical in both groups; the guy that comes to math with red eyes and dilating pupils, and the girl who asked me just yesterday, “What’s your favourite secular band?” I sometimes wonder what would happen if two such people were stuck on a desert island together. It would probably explode.

What was it like at your high school? Any culture-shock experiences similar to mine at the welcome assembly, or were you the one who was doing the shocking? ;)

Bye for now,

Avery

 

-10

Category: Uncategorized
August 27

Noodle Boy

Poor Peter had the worst day today! And I totally blew it; he looked like a holocaust victim when I walked into Science class, but I didn’t ask what was wrong because this obsequious and nasally kid Jimmy asks me that every day and it pisses me off. I just didn’t want to make him uncomfortable. Unsurprisingly, Jimmy carried out his same routine on Peter. Only, Peter gratefully obliged and gushed about what a horrible day he was having, and left me completely exasperated.

Peter had woken up sick, but his parents accused him of faking and angrily drove him to school after he missed the bus. This meant that he had a raging headache for his Math unit final and was not exempt from fitness testing in gym. Not to mention, our school musical choreographer has recently been calling him “Noodle Boy” (a reference to his lanky and rather unresponsive arms) and hollering at him to be louder in front of the entire cast. To make things worse I accidentally poked fun at him about the “Noodle Boy” thing, when what I meant to say was “You are SO not a noodle boy.” This is a new record for me; I have befuddled what I was trying to say in the past, but never before has something spewed out as its antithesis! That was a regretful bus ride…

It’s funny, even though I am now equipped with a car and a driver’s license, I still prefer to take the bus on mornings when I don’t have to stay after school. I guess I like having time to reflect on things other than “that semi truck is about to crush my car.” And with proper Ginger Gravol sedation, finishing homework on the bus is not such a fanciful task! Unless, of course, it’s homework from Religious Studies. No amount of sedation can prepare anyone for the breed of subjective “personal reflection” essays that litter the syllabus like gum on the streets of New York.

On that note, I received a perfect grade on my Religious Studies project! Mrs. Guise was impressed with my allusion to Saint Mary in my anti-abortion video; she even asked me how I thought of the idea! (Obviously I didn’t tell her that I brainstormed “things that would please the most radical Catholic on the planet…”) I jest, but I am rather proud of the video. Like, “Pick on someone your own size?” That stuff is genius. Also, my mid-semester report from my Science teacher Mr. Coltaire ended off with “If I only had an army of Averys, life would be so great!” I am not sure if I should be thrilled, or on the lookout for anyone coming at my scalp with tweezers… Mr. Coltaire is a phenomenal teacher- one of my all-time favourites! He gives us two weeks to hand in any assignment, just in case we cannot find time in 332 hours to do a 20-minute lab. pfft! What does he think I do outside of school? Sports?

Speaking of which, our Gym class floor hockey unit is in full swing, and, against all genetic odds, I played well today! Considering I have the hand-eye coordination of the world’s first computer, this development made me rather (way too) excited. But Butch-Of-The-Year nominations are still too far off, so I cannot say anything for sure…

I was definitely joking about our school’s celebration of masculinity, but I suppose that, in some ways, “butch” is a fairly accurate description of me. For instance, I used to wish that I wasn’t a girl just so I could show off my pecs. (And, they are actually pretty massive. They probably account for 60% of my boobs.) I have my childhood weirdness to thank for this; between grades 1 and 4, every Saturday morning would see me up early and completing 300 push-ups in sets of 20, to pump-up music courtesy of “WOW Hits 2002″. (I would also run for 20 minutes on the treadmill; I think what finally brought the tradition to an end was one morning when I thought it would be a good idea to run with my eyes closed, tripped, and slammed into a wall.)  But, alas, “feel my pecs” and “feel my boobs” have two very different implications for two very different genders…

 

What about you guys? Did you ever wish to belong to the opposite sex? And why?

Bye for now,

Avery

 

 

-22

Category: Uncategorized
August 24

Results M-Avery

As it is nearly November here in Denver, I am reminded of how Remembrance Day is coming up in Canada, and of how much I lament that it is not celebrated in the United States. (Although I do understand why. The whole premise of the holiday is to make up for the other 364 days of the year on which Canadians show absolutely no patriotism.) Mall shoppers across Canada will soon be passively assaulted by nice old people collecting donations in exchange for the universal-grade, built-to-fall-off, velvety red pins worn on jackets or blouses for the weeks surrounding the holiday. All of the money raised goes towards care for veterans and other victims of war. Everything about the celebration lends itself to a joint feeling of community, charity, and respect for our fallen soldiers. We share a moment of silence at 11 o’clock am on November 11th, often during ceremonies put on by schools, churches, and museums that are open to the public. Before I moved to Denver, those Remembrance Day services were the closest I ever came to feeling American.

This year, though, a pacifist organization called Ceasefire.ca is distributing white poppies to boycott Remembrance Day and demonstrate a belief in “peace not war”. How ironic that they are able to make such a publicly disrespectful statement about the soldiers who died for their freedom only because of the soldiers who died for their freedom! For a group to decide that they condemn an action while in the same instant they shamelessly reap its benefits is incredibly hypocritical.

Even if the campaign is not purposefully abrasive and defiant, it is certainly progressing this way. By going against tradition on such a long-standing national holiday, their poppies take attention away from Remembrance Day’s true meaning and upset the feeling of reverence and solidarity that accompanies it. Not to mention, the proceeds from the white poppies go back into the production and distribution of more white poppies, and not to charity. Yeesh.

…Yikes! It’s almost like an alien took over my body for a moment there. Was I just writing about politics? When I started the blog, I never would have imagined that we would end up here. *shudders*.  I guess I am just trying to fill up space at this point; after all, isn’t that the best way to give any spiel a little substance? To throw in some patriotism? ;)

Anyways, how about some relatable teen content? Won’t that be refreshing?

—> I think my boobs are officially the perfect size. I mean, my areolas should get a bit larger, but nobody sees those anyway. I have heard that girls’ breasts typically stop growing at 16, so I am right on track! I guess my hormones finally just got together in a boardroom and said “We’re not leaving until we have a plan to get this done.” Doughnuts and coffee were had by all, surely.

 

Too much? I think I dove back into the coming-of-age-movie-type genre with a little too much “gusto”… Let’s try this again.

“How was your day, Avery?”

Well, we just got a new vacuum at work, so I got to try it out! After dropping several passive aggressive comments to my employer about our previous vacuum’s state of disrepair, I think he could tell that I was visibly excited by this new development, but he was kind enough not to point out the fact that it is incredibly pathetic to get so fired up over a new workplace appliance, and that I must consequently not have a social life. However, the vacuum is only about a foot tall, and I found that I had to crawl around on my hands and knees to use it! This becomes even more ridiculous when you consider that the restaurant I work at has over 3000 square feet of surface area, and is a minefield of chairs and tables that have to be moved and replaced as I go along. Discrediting the small feeling of nostalgia I experienced at getting to use something that looks like it came straight out of a child’s playhouse, that vacuuming session was the most frustrating experience of my life. An hour later, it was a rather frazzled version of Avery who shuffled into her boss’ office and said, “Please. Never. Again.”

I wish I could stop thinking about Peter. The worst part is that I know it is completely idiotic! I just hope that he and I can be friends, because we have so much in common. In fact, I think my thoughts towards Peter are primarily fuelled by a desire for a friend, not a boyfriend. He is just so thoughtful! On the bus today, he spent 10 minutes trying to position himself so that he wasn’t blocking me from the conversation, even though the bus driver yelled at him a couple of times and the sun was in his eyes. :) Amy Copansky was also on the bus today. I tried to strike up a conversation with her, forgetting just how little we have in common. (And, as my 2nd period teacher always says, history repeats itself when we forget about the past; it was painful.) It’s odd, because she and Peter really hit it off. I think that it is because they have similar temperaments, while Peter and I share similar hobbies. …Hmph. (that’s NOT a humph, and definitely not a harrumph; more of a reflective sigh with a side of “grunt”).

It was awkward when Amy made a casual reference to another guy on our bus, Matthew in my social class, because I completely blanked on the name. Naturally, I had to dig myself into an even deeper hole by finally figuring out who she was talking about and then going on to explain how I typically just refer to him as “Ken” because he looks like a barbie doll. Belly-flopping into a pit of snakes at this point, I also mentioned that he doesn’t know I do that. That he doesn’t even know me at all. *shudders*

Does anybody else experience this when talking to someone they do not connect with? Somehow getting yourself into trouble by rambling on awkwardly as the person stares placidly past you? Just me? Okay. Great.

Bye for now!

Avery

 

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Category: Uncategorized
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

-36

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

-12

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

 

-20

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

 

-43

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

-24

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

 

 

 

 

-28

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

-29

Category: Uncategorized