December 26

Trigger Warning: Christianity vs. Islam

So I have been writing for a local youth blog for the past few months, and have subsequently neglected to post anything on this page. However, four months of lavishing in the internet fame that accompanies blogging for a website with readers in the double figures has caused me to realize the true, modest beauty of a site on which I can post something, absolutely anything, and be passive-aggressively confident that no-one will read it.

To be fair, I constantly test the limits of what I can get away with on this other, rather “vanilla” youth webpage, and am yet to see one of my articles rejected- it’s a game of chicken I seem to be losing consistently, and thus I will begin to discuss some of the more “controversial” topics on this forum, as to avoid further personal embarrassment. Basically, I am opting to perform for my stuffed animals instead of a live audience. To flirt with the mirror, instead of doing something reminiscent of flirting with an actual person. I’m opting for literary masturbation.

Now that I’ve got you excited about the idea, I’ll bring you back down to “comfortably confused and offended.”

Disclaimer: I barely know anything, my views are likely an exaggeration of actual truths, and I will probably make stark generalizations about such intimate things as God, faith, and religion. But here I go anyhow, clambering on with my highly problematic opinion. Well, here it is: on a practical level, I think that there are more similarities between Catholicism and Islam than there are between Catholicism and Protestant Christianity.

Let me try to explain; I attend a Catholic school, and have a deep, albeit objective, respect for Catholic practices and teachings. And obviously, as far as monotheistic religions go, there is one HUGE difference between Islam and other Christian religions, and that is, well, Christ. Muslims view Jesus as another prophet, while he is regarded in Catholicism and Protestantism as not only God’s son, but God. That’s another thing that Muslims don’t understand about Christianity- which I think is pretty understandable. At first, the concept of the Trinity actually appears rather blasphemous.

“So you pray to… three gods? And you call yourself a monotheistic religion? Oh, okay, so one God. Three gods… but just the one.”

However, I think that a lot of us don’t realize how similar Christianity is to the Islamic doctrine. I certainly didn’t, until, fed up with people who had probably never once spoken to a Muslim person about Islam quoting the Quran, grossly out of context, to support their misguided prejudices, I decided to read this Islamic book of faith. Here are a few of the things that surprised me-

1. It’s the same God. Maybe this isn’t a surprise to people who grew up in a non-Christian environment, but I went to a Christian private school where we were taught about Islam as if it was a weird and alien practice.  A lot of people seem to think that because Muslims say “Allah” and we as Christians say “God” or “Yahweh” that the God of Islam is somehow different from ours, and that praying to him is blasphemous. I think that this uninformed idea is further propagated by the fact that Middle Eastern culture is just so different from our North American experience, and thus a lot of the traditions that have developed around these two religions make them appear even more different on the outside.

2. Muslims believe in the Bible. Much like Judaism, they actively follow the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch. But instead of completely disregarding the New Testament, as in Jewish tradition, Muslims simply believe that certain parts of it have been mistranslated or corrupted over time, similarly to Mormons.

3.  Islam is far more accepting of other belief systems than Catholicism. Feel free to dispute this, but despite what people like to believe about Muslims wanting to “do away” with the infidels, the Quran explains that Jews, Catholics, and people from all other God-seeking religions will go to heaven. And the different levels of heaven in their theology have nothing to do with what religion one follows- only with righteousness and closeness to God. (To me, their belief in multiple levels of heaven is somewhat reminiscent of the Catholic doctrine of purgatory.)

As far as Catholicism is concerned, the church has been historically unaccepting of other religions. Until Vatican II in 1964, the official church teaching was that only Catholics could go to heaven. And I know what you’re thinking: “There are no radical Catholic terrorist attacks! It must be a far more peaceful religion.” But anyone who feels that Islam is the only religion that can be twisted to promote violence obviously doesn’t remember the crusades.

4. The Quran barely mentions anything about women wearing a niqab. Here is the verse that is often cited in support of the niqab:

     “You who Believe, do not enter the prophet’s apartments for a meal unless you are given permission to do so; do not linger until [a meal] is ready. When you are invited, go in; then, when you have taken your meal, leave. Do not stay on and talk, for that would offend the prophet, though he would shrink from asking you to leave. Allah does not shrink from the truth. When you ask his wives for something, do so from behind a barrier: that is purer for your hearts and theirs. It is not right for you to offend Allah’s messenger, just as you should never marry his wives after him: that would be grievous in Allah’s eyes. Allah has full knowledge of all things, whether you reveal them or not.” (Qur’an 33:53-54).

Obviously, I don’t have the historical or religious context to accurately interpret such a passage, but it seems like it could be applied in any number of ways. Actually, it seems that the Islamic practice of wearing of a niqab has come about more as a result of social and cultural factors than of any actual religious teaching. And while there are definitely verses in the Quran that refer to women as “lesser” than men, it’s important to remember that we’re talking about a book that was published in 632 CE.

And here are a few parallels to Catholicism that I was not expecting to find:

  • Unlike Protestantism, both Catholicism and Islam believe that good deeds, not just faith in God, are necessary to enter into heaven. (But at the same time, true faith is accompanied by works; it’s a tricky subject, and people from every denomination tend to be divided on it. So, on that note, never mind.)
  • Islam believes in a prophet and Imams to whom God continues to reveal important truths that affect Islamic teaching; the Catholic pope is said to have similar divine authority.
  • In both Islam and Catholicism, there are many acts and rituals that must be performed. Catholics are expected to follow the 7 sacraments. They must take communion at least once every year to become intrinsically united with Jesus Christ. Muslims follow the 5 pillars of Islam. They must fast during the month of Ramadan, and pray to God 5 times a day facing Mecca.

Of course, there are many fundamental differences between the two belief systems. Obviously, I am picking and choosing verses and teachings that help to support my opinion, and someone with enough writing prowess could probably write an equally biased yet equally compelling article comparing tiny armadillos to Joseph Stalin. And if it helps, this is probably offensive to everybody- Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, AND atheists- so you may all proceed to slam me in the comments.

All zero of you.

 

-297

October 5

A Shakespearian Dilemma:

To pee, or not to pee? That is the question—

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The pain and bother of a brimming bladder,

Or to depart from a sea of blankets,

And, by your absence, end the warmth withal?

To rise, to sleep—No more—

And through our steps toward the porcelain round

Assuage the aches in th’ distending sac

That litres of Pepsi make it heir to—’tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wished! To stay, to sleep.

To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there’s the rub,

For in waterlogged slumber, dreams may come

Of pregnant waterfalls and rivers’ haste

Or leaky faucets, dripping into sinks

That overlook the bubble-bloated tide

Along an ocean line. There’s the respect

That, as we prolong tending to our needs,

Doth make a weary, weakly bladdered-girl

Submit to her uncertain will and flee

luxurious sleep, upset by one small pea

beneath a slew, a heap, of mattresses.

Who would expose himself to unfleec’d air,

To quake and shiver ‘long his bathroom route,

But for the dread of waking up in damp-

That once-familiar shame of soiled sheets

So well established on his sheepish face?

Yet, silence ‘llows no diversion from pain;

Seclusion in what should be our repose

Renders our conscience vuln’rable to wants

And lets us not sit with our partial take

But urges us, “to toilet!”

Thus wakefulness doth weaken our resolve

And the native stubbornness of our comfort

Is perforated by suff’ring’s pushpins-

Decisions to remain, of great intent

With this regard their currents turn awry,

And go you to the bathroom still and all!

-396

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

 

-415

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

 

 

-421

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

 

-382

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

-509

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

-426

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 | 1 Comment
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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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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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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