Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Journals Section: February, 2003

February 1, 2003

Something terrible happened today. I will write about it later. But I’ll continue with the other entry. I had gym first. Huge Boy, a friend of mine from Government, was there. Some other people I knew. After gym was Algebra I. I’m in Part B now. Then came Spanish. Then Chemistry. This first day of the second quarter (first day for me) was very dismaying. Gym was, to say the least, socially devoid. In Algebra I was with people who I’ve known for a little while, so that was okay. Plus, the material is easy, and the teacher, Mr. Nasal Voice, is very nice. Spanish was just disappointing. The teacher, Senora Canadian Spanish Teacher, makes no attempt at a foreign accent, or, if she does, she does so in a very poor fashion. The Spanish alphabet goes: a, b, c, ch, d, e, f, g, h, I, j, k, l, ll, m, n, n, o, p, q, r, rr, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z. The Spanish “v” is pronounced like an English “b.” The Spanish “b” is pronounced regularly, although they are listed as two separate letters. So, if, in Spanish, you saw “Verbos infinitivos,” you would say, “Berbos infinitibos,” whereas the teacher actually says “Verbos infinitivos.” It’s maddening. Chemistry is just like, there. Not boring, not exciting, not anything, a dry spot that takes up ninety minutes of my day. Although I nearly laughed when our Chemistry teacher called herself “tough.” She’s really very nice, but her policies are strict, and pointlessly so. She openly told us that she thinks that her policies will build character and teach us a sense of responsibility. I disagree. I think that she will have a very efficient class, however, I doubt that her unnecessary regulations will have any lasting impact on her students. I think that all of the popular kids who never get anything done and who will one day work in Wal-Mart won’t get anything done and that they’ll complain moronically to their fellow idiot peers. To continue, yesterday was much better than Thursday. Oh, wait! To continue with Thursday: I came home, and, as always when I am alone, I began singing. I love to sing, and I’m working to improve on it. I honestly think that I have the vocal capabilities and range to one day be quite good. Powell sometimes mocks my deeper notes. Then, I can sing some notes that are so high that my seven-year-old brother can’t reach them, and his voice hasn’t even changed! I did this once unknowingly when Thomas had a headache, and he wasn’t happy. That’s why I’ve signed up for chorus. I think that this will improve my natural skills and allow me to harness my voice, because I have a lot of faults. However, something that happened on Tuesday caused me to become more determined than ever to get into Chorus. Powell often judges me. He usually just says I’m okay. Then, I gathered my breath, and let loose. I physically felt the difference. Something that I was doing just felt different. It felt better. Whatever it was, it felt good. My voice emanated from me and filled the room. Powell, after I had concluded, gave a thumbs up and said it was good. I said to him, “I felt it.” It made me happy. I now knew that I had the potential in me. I was able to achieve “good” status from Powell (which, given Powell’s extreme rudeness, is saying something), although I have yet to figure out how I was able to slip into that better state. I’m hoping that Chorus will help me there. After that, Powell and Thomas went upstairs. After a few minutes I heard screaming. I ran upstairs to see what was going on. You’ve heard the expression, “It looks like a bomb hit this place.” The corner of the room looked literally as if an explosive had gone off in it. The CD player and the table were on the floor, and various items littered the floor. Thomas was on some kind of rampage. Powell and I had to work together to take control. I helped in every way that I could. It was a bit of a Pyrrhic victory, though. Powell and I were able to contain Thomas (who, for his age, is uncannily strong) and save Powell’s room. Mom arrived home as Thomas lay crying beside Powell’s bed. He’d become ferocious, vicious, wild, practically ravenous. It became necessary that I should hold his legs down as Powell dealt with his arms. He howled like an animal when he realized that I was forcefully holding him down. He truly frightens me when he does this. Although I knew that he was crying because he wanted so desperately to do Powell harm and couldn’t, he still worried me. Anyway, as Thomas became increasingly volatile and violent, he was beginning to pose a very real danger. It became necessary, I thought, as did Powell, to use some physical force against him in the form of striking blows and pushing him. Thomas, you see, acts like a little tough guy, but in reality cries and is easily injured. He pulled my hair so hard and was pinching me tightly. He closed his fingers with their long nails as near to each other as they could go into my arm, I slapped him off of me, then seized his hair and pulled lightly. He let out a cry like a baby, a literal “Wa!” I’ll write more later. And there’s much to write about, namely that the shuttle Columbia exploded today.

February 5, 2003

Well, anyway, to stop Thomas’s screams and cries we carried him to make him laugh. It worked. I thought that we would be fine. Far from it.

February 6, 2003

[My mother] threw an absolute tantrum. She kicked backpacks, she threw binders and papers, she cried. She lightly rapped Thomas on the head and of course, Thomas burst into tears. She punched me hard enough in the shoulder to make Thomas shriek, but he cries at everything and it barely phased me. She left in her car, slamming the door so hard that a picture fell off of the wall. I began screaming at Powell for something about apologizing. I was overwhelmed. After all of the injustice, all of the exaggerations, all of the false accusations, all of the knowingly-undeserved punishments. It had all culminated, and even the thought of apologizing for a problem that I hadn’t created, seemed unbearable, unbelievable. I hadn’t used literal socialist tactics against children, I hadn’t been the oppressor. It wasn’t long before I started to weep. I couldn’t help it. There was so much outrage, and, on top of it, so much anguish. It was as if the realization of it all came to me only that night. She came home minutes later, just missing my vociferous cursing and screaming and pressed forth fallacies against justice. Powell and Thomas were promised a swift and severe physical beating (and an expected although not acknowledged psychological one). I don’t know why I was excluded from the promise of my father’s kinetic wrath, because I was doing what they were doing in the absolute kinetic sense: fighting to stop Thomas from destroying Powell’s room. I was motivated to defense, as was Powell. However, he was to suffer more than I. This was a bit of a surprise, as I was the one to be “interfering.” She is of the opinion that my brother and I should be strict isolationists in regard to one another and our family. I have quite seriously been punished before for “not minding my business.” For example, they accused Powell of doing something that he hadn’t, I happened to hear them, and I offered the evidence that he didn’t or couldn’t possibly have done what they said. They don’t care if one of us has conclusive evidence. Actually, it’s probably why they encourage, no, demand isolationism. It’s a good thing that I don’t ever listen to them or I’d be perfectly horrific. I might not help a person being mugged or testify in court.

February 8, 2003

After she came back, she had to leave to take Thomas to basketball practice. She told us not to use or answer the telephone. [Then she called] I naturally assumed that it was her trying to catch us disobeying and be able to punish us more. I dialed *69. It was her. Amazed at her audacity, I called her back. She told me that she was on her way home. She had a meeting and we were to be in bed by nine o’clock if she wasn’t home by then. She said that if she caught us up later than that we’d essentially be dead. So I devised a very thorough plan to defy her. We were going under the assumption that she wouldn’t be home until after nine o’clock. For the first time the three of us cooperated on one major mission. Here was the plan: at 8:30p.m. we would clear a path to the stairs, turn out our bedroom lights, and pull down our covers. I decided that at 8:58p.m. we would have all upstairs light off. We would then stand at stations near light switches. At exactly nine o’clock, we would turn off all of the lights.

February 9, 2003

Then, at exactly 9:01p.m., we’d me in a kind of emergency mode. This emergency status would last until we were all in bed. At 9:01p.m. we would all go to the living room and watch the television with the volume low. As soon as we heard the garage, I would turn the television off, and, in the dark, Powell and Thomas would run through the kitchen and through the dining and sitting rooms coming around the long way to the entrance hall and the staircase. I would go straight through the hallway and to the entrance hall. This was to prevent what I thought would be certain collision, confusion, and therefore, delay and punishment that would ensue if we all took the same route. We were never to enact this plan, though, as Mom got home around 8:40p.m., much earlier than we had expected. We now have the plan for the rare event that an occasion like that should come up again. It really was a rare opportunity. The next Saturday, two days after our incident, the shuttle Columbia exploded. It was coming to Florida. The telephone rang. I didn’t answer. I dialed *69, and it was my father. He told me that the Challenger had blown up. He didn’t even realize his mistake; I told him several days later. I turned on the news, called Powell, and told him to turn on the news. He said, “Where?” I said, “It doesn’t matter, it’s on every station.” And I watched the Columbia blow up over and over and over. The first ever Israeli astronaut was killed. So was an Indian woman. The debris rained over Texas and Louisiana for hours, and it’s still being found. President Bush cried. NASA warned people not to go near the debris, because it could be radioactive. Nothing very eventful happened this week, except for the snow. We had no school on Friday. I was so happy. Dad offered me $15.00 to shovel the driveway, sidewalk, and walkway. It took me six hours. Everyone thought that this was hilarious. My dad paid me $20.00. I was so jealous of the other kids sledding. I only took a few short breaks. I met with many people. First Twin, Second Twin, Short Boy, and Lanky Girl, among others, were out. I didn’t finish until dark. Last night was so fun. In the afternoon Mom’s Old Best Friend and Jolly Woman [Mom’s Old Best Friend’s sister], along with Mom’s Old Best Friend’s incredibly cute baby daughter, came to our house. We soon left for my father’s workplace, a Tate Chevrolet dealership in German Kaiser City. The baby screamed terribly on the way there. Before she started wailing, though, we stopped at Starbucks and I bought a frapuccino (I know I did not spell that correctly; I’m going to ask Cool Cousin tomorrow to tell me the proper way if we have school; I’ve been e-mailing her in the mornings) with some of the twenty dollars that I made yesterday. The vocal coach, the one with the doctorate, has yet to call me back. That frustrates me. People who promise to call and never do greatly annoy me. I’m going to call there tomorrow to see if he teaches at his home, which is not far from here. That’s the only way that I’ll be allowed to take lessons from him. Jolly Woman bought a P.T. Cruiser from my father. I was amazed that she could buy the car. Although I didn’t say it aloud, I thought that living with her parents must save her a lot of money. I didn’t even mean it in a cruel way, but in a practical fashion. I wanted to ask, but did not inquire, as to when Jolly Woman would move out on her own. She took out a loan to finish her room in the basement, and it’s really like a little apartment. I instinctively believe that Mom’s Old Best Friend is more sensitive than Jolly Woman about still living with their parents. This is because Mom’s Old Best Friend has a husband and a child. It must be more embarrassing for Military Man to be living in a room in his bride’s parents’ house. It’s a sort of safe haven for them, I suppose, to stay there and accumulate money, although they don’t seem to be doing much of that. I worry for their baby. I wouldn’t want her to have to grow up in her grandparents’ house. Although, that would be quite a unique experience. I get the feeling that Jolly Woman will be there for a while, so she’d have her grandparents, aunt, and parents in one house. And, unlike my own mother’s rude and nearly intolerable siblings, Jolly Woman is just cool. However, as the baby gets older, that could embarrass her. Also, I imagine that Mom’s Old Best Friend’s family would eventually be kicked out. Maybe it would be healthier, I think, for the baby to live in her own house. Then again, their current residence is quite grandiose, well, very nice, and Mom’s Old Best Friend and Military Man are poor. By no stretch of the imagination could they provide the baby with the type of life that living in that exclusive (for the area) neighborhood would supply. I just don’t know what would really be best for the baby, her parents, or their family as a whole. I pity their situation.

February 14, 2003

Valentine’s Day
El Dia de los Enamorados

In the last few days I have witnessed great changes in our nation and in my personal life. In school, I believe that I have been watching the first signs of my own social fall from grace. If my social standing was a building, its foundations have shaken, and it could fall. All week, well, out of the entire week I hit my lowest point when four people made fun of me in one day. The Building’s concrete supports began crumbling. However, through prayer and a little bit of harshness on my part, I have been able (with divine intervention) to stabilize (to an extent) my situation and each day that has passed has brought progressively better social standings. However, those gains are being made slowly and could still fall through. I firmly believe that my entire high school social experience hangs in the balance. These next few days and weeks are absolutely critical and crucial to my social situation, which could tip over the edge to school-wide unpopularity or stabilize and eventually rise. A huge benefit to me is the long weekend. These breaks are always beneficial to social positions, unless you’re already in the most popular clique, in which case it doesn’t matter because you’re secure forever, or, unless you’re in the absolute lowest group, the dorkiest dorks. I am not there yet. It’s like quicksand: you can step into it from outside and get caught, and once you do get caught, except for extremely rare cases, it’s almost impossible to get out. Also in rare occasions, it is possible to fall from the popular clique down, although you almost never fall into the dorkiest group on your own. Right now I would call myself middle high school social class. Ironically enough, the high society of high school often becomes the low society of the adult world, and the low society and middle class of high school tend to have a greater rate of people who move on to the high societies of the world. Although it can be sometimes frustrating and aggravating, I suppose I should consider myself blessed by my rather boring social situation. No, I don’t “suppose,” I know! I am blessed. God has given me a gift: instead of going out and getting drunk, I have time to focus on my studies, secure myself a good career and a good financial situation. In gym today we played badminton. I, well, my team (a girl named Freaky Eyes and I) came second closest to succeeding in defeating the best badminton team in the entire gym, Huge Boy and Random Boy. I think. Maybe. Regardless, I had a lot of fun. And, with great satisfaction, I beat Blonde Whigger Girl and her partner, despite the fact that Blonde Whigger Girl cheated monstrously. Her partner was quite nice. In Algebra I confronted a boy who said he wanted to fight me, except he said it to another person. I asked him why he couldn’t address me about it. He said that now he had and I said that he never would have brought it up if I hadn’t said anything. He said that he wanted to fight me but that he wouldn’t do it in school, and I know as does he that in all probability we will never encounter one another outside of school. This boy is relatively popular and I’ve now ruled him out as a threat; he doesn’t pose any harm. Algebra was the only class that I was given homework in, and I certainly got enough to make up for my other three classes: fifteen complicated (relatively) multi-step problems. I plan to start them tonight. In Spanish II it was the same old, same old. Pretty Girl had a bouquet that we jokingly accused her of having sent to herself. Pretty Girl, laughing and acting in a very self-incriminatory manner, said, “Who would be that desperate?” “You,” someone said. She probably did, I believe, send it to herself, but Pretty Girl is pretty and intelligent and charismatic and relatively popular, so she really can’t be too desperate. I hope. Today, of course, is Valentine’s Day. I don’t know how to say that in Russian yet, although I can say it in Spanish: “El Dia de los Enamorados,” literally, “The Day of the Lovers.” It’s named after St. Valentine, who was executed in Rome (or somewhere within the Roman Empire, I believe) on this date thousands of years ago. You see, the Emperor of Rome thought that married men didn’t make good soldiers because they didn’t want to go to war and leave home. So, he forbade marriage. I, personally, cannot believe the horrid tyrant that would do this. So, people went to Valentine to be secretly married. The Emperor found out, and brought Valentine to him. The Emperor tried to convert Valentine to essential atheism, and, Valentine, in turn, tried to convert the Emperor to Christianity. He was condemned to death. He fell in love with the blind daughter of the man who guarded the dungeon (or someone associated with the dungeon was her father) and on the day of his execution (I think) he left her a note describing himself as “your Valentine.” Hence, “Will you be my Valentine?” He was made a saint some time after his death and somewhere along the way people started celebrating St. Valentine’s Day, now more commonly referred to as “Valentine’s Day.” It is not officially celebrated in only six countries: the United Kingdom, Norway, Canada, two others that I can’t recall, and, of course, the United States. Now, the changes that have been going on in that nation, the United States, where I live, have been mostly precautionary of late. However, although precautionary, they are disturbing; in Washington, D.C., missiles surround the Capitol, Supreme Court, and White House. They are on the roof of the White House as well, and they have amassed in the streets. Patriot, surface-to-air, anti-aircraft, and probably other types of missiles as well surround all major areas, including the Washington Monument. In Arlington, Virginia, the Pentagon is guarded. All of this came the day after I told my father that I thought that our nation was in store for another major tragedy, and soon. The very next day it was declassified that the North Koreans now have a ballistic missile that could hit our West Coast. I was a bit surprised by this; up until now we’ve been told that the farthest that the North Korean reach could go would be Japan. Now they have a number of potential targets: San Diego, Sacramento, Olympia, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, just to name some western American cities. My father said that they’ll never do it unless they wanted to be bombed back into the Dark Ages. However, what if they could do it and make it look as if someone else was responsible? Or even if they did do it, it probably wouldn’t be safe to launch our nuclear weapons at them; North Korea is a very small country, and in its vicinity are four innocent nations. If we bombed Pyongyang, we would risk radioactive poisons drifting through the air to China, Japan, South Korea, and Russia. Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul, and Vladivostok would be seriously jeopardized. I don’t think that this would be good for us, as it might provoke wars with China, Japan, and Russia. In Chemistry today I got to do what I’ve wanted to do since third grade: mix chemicals (colored water) using test tubes and things. I felt very scientific. I had to make very accurate measurements using a graduated cylinder, and I got to use a test tube rack and a beaker and a pipet [spelling?] and the waters changed colors. It was awesome. By the way, Osama bin Laden has released another videotape saying that he’ll die in a suicide attack of some sort against the United States this year. He’s so stupid. Whenever he’s about to try and do something, he goes ahead and gives us the heads up. Although it could be a diversion; after all, there were no warnings (that our incompetent intelligence agencies could piece together) before September 11th. After school I went outside for a little while, because we’re scheduled for a blizzard this weekend, and as I remember it, we’re supposed to receive more than 1 ½’ of snow by Wednesday. I briefly visited First Cousin and Second Cousin’s house, because I wanted to see if Lacrosse Boy was there and if they could come outside. First Twin answered and said that he and Second Twin were going to their father’s house at four o’clock, but Lacrosse Boy, a mutual friend of First Twin, Second Twin, Marijuana Boy, and I, came outside. First Twin’s hair gets longer every day. If there’s one thing I envy about First Twin (and, not to be insulting, but it’s probably the only thing) it’s that his hair grows incredibly quickly. My hair is barely over seven inches long, and it took me forever to get it that long. First Twin says, “Hey, BB, I’m thinking about growing my hair out,” and then all of a sudden it’s down past his eyes. In that aspect, First Twin is certainly very lucky. A year ago today I was at Beautiful Town Middle without a Valentine. Two years ago I was at Dirty Town Middle without a Valentine. I believe that you get the idea. However, I suppose that you’re not meant to find your soul mate at my age, at least not most of the time. My parents are definitely very in love. Seeing them makes me very happy.

February 16, 2003

The blizzard rages outside, and here I sit, cozily on my toilet. It’s been snowing four hours, since before I got out of bed this morning, and, from what I can tell, the storm shows no signs of stopping. Our mailbox protrudes triumphantly from the snow, standing up in all of its plastic and metal glory to the storm. For just a little while, as we’re trapped inside of our home, the declining state of outside affairs invades only through our television. Already this weekend there have been, I know for sure, massive anti-war protests in London, Paris, Rome, Berlin, Athens, Mexico City, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Baghdad just to name some. That’s protests in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Iraq, Mexico, and Greece. Along with the Mexican and Greek protests (which surprised me) were protests in Sydney, Australia, and protests in at least fifteen different cities in Brazil. There was even a protest in Colorado Springs, one of our major military bases. The world doesn’t want this war. I don’t know what to do or think anymore. Since our terror alert level was raised to High, from Elevated, everyone’s been going out and buying duct tape and plastic sheeting. This is because we have been told to seal our windows in the event of a chemical, biological, or radiological attack. You have no idea how often I’ve heard the world “radiological” in the last few days. People actually believe that by duct taping the plastic sheeting to their doors and windows that they’ll prevent the radioactive poisons from getting in. I doubt that this would work, but at least it might give you some sort of a chance. Although I highly disbelieve that it will work, it’s probably one of the only defenses that we civilians have. Excepting, of course, bomb shelters. Here in Beautiful Town we have a certified bomb shelter in the downtown area. It is inside of a postal office. I’ve tried not to tell too many people about it in case the need ever comes to use it; I’m sure it can only accommodate so many people, and I’d like my entire family to be included. I’m going sledding.

February 17, 2003

I wasn’t able to go sledding. The reason is, as I was going out, Powell and Thomas were coming back in. Well, it was horrendously cold outside. Powell’s snow boots were filled with snow, and I couldn’t get them to come off. Thomas came into the garage crying, which I thought understandable; I remember the majority of my football team crying on the sidelines of a practice because of cold like that when I was around Thomas’s age. I removed his gloves and hat and began helping him to remove his boots. The entire time (or a lot of it) he was screaming at me to do it or possibly to do it faster. I certainly remember him screaming. My father flung the door open and seized Thomas with a rapidity and brutality that stunned Powell and I. He yelled all sorts of things at Thomas, general profanities, but specifically homosexual slurs. Powell and I are both convinced that my father is a homophobe. We have concocted a scheme to “come out of the closet” on April Fool’s Day. I thought that this would be hilarious. So do some of our relatives. Of course, we’d tell him at the end of the day that we were only kidding. Anyway, when he got done with Thomas, he screamed at us (at me particularly) to “Get the fuck in here!” I confronted him about why he was yelling at me. He said that I woke him up and that I had a big mouth. I know that this was true, but these cited reasons were obviously not the principal ones for his rage. Powell went to his room to change. I found him there, so infuriated by my father’s treatment of us that he was crying. I did not cry, although I was angry enough to do so, had I released my restraint and let collapse my repose. This anger that I felt was not being wrought forth necessarily from my own mistreatment, but from Thomas’s. Granted, he was being an absolute, ungrateful little brat, he still didn’t deserve to be reprimanded so harshly. I felt for Thomas. I was enraged that my father had taken his own masculine and authoritative insecurities out on my little brother. In my mind, he’s letting his own inner turmoil affect his children. I worry that my father’s own obvious homophobia and cruel demeanor will do psychological harm to Thomas. They certainly had negative repercussions on my childhood.

Nearly four o’clock in the afternoon
There is so much snow! Powell and I went out in it today to try to shovel the walk of the crazy old fat guy who lives one street down, and also to clear snow away from his vent outside, as it was preventing his house from receiving any heat. I had to crawl into the small space between his and his wife’s deck and the neighboring townhouse, a space of about one foot. Actually, getting there was fairly difficult, too.

Nearly eleven o’clock in the evening
So, anyway, the snow in that tiny little area was about waist high. I couldn’t get into the corner. So I dug my way through the feet of snow to look under the deck. I saw barely any snow under there. It was like a little haven in the midst of the remnants of the blizzard. I crawled under there. A claustrophobic would have gone absolutely crazy, livid with hysteria, but it was more spacious than the space from whence I had come. The old man’s wife (he was not actually there) continually asked me if I was alright, probably fearful lest I should fall and bury myself, becoming trapped in the snow. I concur with what I assume to be her notion that this would have been most disastrous. I believe that anyone could easily get caught an die in the snow.

February 19, 2003

I was able to clear the vent. I was paid twenty dollars, which Powell tried to rob me of by telling Dad that he did more work than I, and therefore he should get some of my money. As can be imagined, I was outraged. Luckily for me, she gave us two twenty-dollar bills, otherwise Powell would have plundered my earnings on the spot. He handed me the bill, and now I have it secured. On the night of the seventeenth, we watched the two-hour finale of Joe Millionaire. It was very romantic. He chose Zora, although it appeared for a while as though he might choose Sarah. I thought, and the others agreed with me, that if he chose Sarah that he was really only concerned with looks. But no, he chose Zora. Unlike the previous occasions, he took the girls in private separately and informed them of his decision. He told Zora first. For a few painful moments he seemed to be about to list Sarah as his choice. But then he said to Zora, “I have chosen you.” Zora smiled delightedly (and delightfully) and said, “Really? That’s so cool.” Then he told her that he hadn’t actually inherited fifty million dollars. Zora’s smile faded as she sank into deep thought. Evan told her to meet him in the ballroom with her decision that evening. He then told Sarah. He said to her, “What I’m about to tell you might come as a shock: I did not inherit fifty million dollars.” Then, “I don’t have fifty million dollars, I don’t have fifty thousand dollars.” I thought that the blunt way in which he broke this bit of news to her was fitting, given Sarah’s incredibly fake and rigidly-maintained smile throughout the deliverance of this information. Then, though, almost directly afterward, he said, “I did not choose you.” They hugged and then Sarah was told by the butler to pack her things and prepare to leave France. I felt a bit sorry for Sarah, because even after she knew that Evan didn’t have fifty million dollars, her face became downcast and she still seemed heartbroken. Mom called my assessment of Sarah’s emotions “naïve,” but, as President Bush said recently, “I respectfully disagree.” We unexpectedly got off of school today, and we have off tomorrow, too. How cool is this? I can’t believe it myself. I thought that at the most we’d have off today. Mom thinks that we’ll have off all week. That would extend our four-day weekend to a nine-day weekend. All of this after the snow has stopped. This has been just the break that I needed, and I believe that I referenced my concerns about my perpetual social decline earlier, on Valentine’s Day, if I am correct. Really, I don’t know why I’ve been so distraught. I have my faith, and I know with that that everything will be alright. I have thought of the possibility that the last few days of school before our rather unexpected extended break might have been a test of my faith, but faith and God will surely prevail. I have probably invented some of my fears, or fabricated on smaller things; I still obviously have raging insecurities from Dirty Town. I have deceived myself in a covert fashion in the last few months into believing that I conquered these insecurities, or that they somehow went away. However, the events of those all-too-recent days brought the old traumas, fears, and paranoia back with startling clarity. As far as I know I haven’t let on to anyone that I may be experiencing social difficulties. I have been hoping (and it appears as if) these disturbing social shifts are temporary. Even so, I still don’t want it to be made common knowledge that I thought that I might once again be going through alienation and isolation. I don’t want people feeling sorry for me, and, as I have said, it appears to be a passing social phase. I don’t ever expect to be popular-popular (although if I went to wild parties, became a raging alcoholic, and permanently damaged my body with life-threatening drugs and other illegal substances, I could), but I do expect to be in one of the many cliques just beneath, which is where I have resided socially for months. I don’t know why I care so much what they think of me, but I do. Although, if looked at from a logical point of view, I shouldn’t.

February 21, 2003

They’re just children. They’re immature, idiotic children. These harsh, damaging social societies and cliques should never be allowed to form. The ideal school is a place of education, and nothing more. Yet every day that public school commences is turned into a convening of scrawny, selfish brats trying to claim the glory and promote themselves (thereby expanding their already highly-bloated egos) in any and every way possible. Although I don’t agree that all social activity should be prohibited, I do firmly believe that our nation’s children (in particular our adolescents) have been allowed to become incredibly egotistical, hurtful, often physically hostile, and, concentrating less on studies and more on their insignificant social lives. I think that, despite the psychological depravity of the school system, it is quite a feat of accomplishment to have established such a system for teenagers who supposedly “don’t care” about being smart of performing well. As in the French court of Versailles during the reign of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette, a complicated [etiquette] dominates their public lives. “Public” in terms of suburban America meaning school. These children, who pretend to care nothing for rules or intelligence, memorize the many complex and unwritten rules of child social etiquette to the point that they can easily and instantly call up their extensive etiquette knowledge in almost any situation. Even I have (to a great extent) mastered these rules through years of criticism and hurt, and there are probably few social situations where I wouldn’t know what is appropriate. I believe, really I truly believe that all of this nonsense is the price (well, one of them) that we have to pay for living in such a free nation; the citizens of free nations tend to become idle. Although that freedom seems to be rapidly declining. The Patriot Act II, sequel to the infamous civil rights violation, the Patriot Act, was recently introduced to Congress. I read about it in the newspaper, and I was absolutely horrified. The act allows for the essential institutionalization of a secret police. It allows for people to be held in secret, without access to attorneys. It allows for secret military tribunals, it allows for the government to revoke citizenship and deport you instantaneously, among other things. I realized, with a terrible pang of horror, that the United States, the democratic superpower, the Land of the Free, is slowly (but with ever increasing rapidity) turning into a socialist state. I found it compelling and disturbing that we fought communism all throughout our Cold War with the Russians, in terror that we might become as they were. I now find it amazing that, after the 1991 collapse of the USSR, and the consequent elimination of the Russians as a threat, which we fought so hard and waited so long for, we now voluntarily bring socialism upon ourselves. I can’t believe that there isn’t a national outrage over this. My father has compared President Bush to classic Stalinists throughout the ages, portraying him as a “Nazi clone.” I believe that he is most certainly leading us into fascism. My father has also said that if this totalitarian trend continues that there would be either a Second American Revolution or a coup d’etat. I would usually denounce this as a flight of fancy, but my father has been mostly correct with his political predictions so far, including one made some time ago that the United States was headed down a socialist path. This is all very scary and frightening, and I think that our nation desperately needs Democratic leadership. I can only hope that one will be elected to the White House next year (although if you want to be technical, one was elected to the White House in 2000), because I believe (or at least I desperately hope) that if the Democrats are able, through the people, to assume power, these socialists and their tactics will be halted in their tracks.

February 23, 2003

Mom (who, as I established in the end of Journal 6, is pregnant) went to get her sonogram, I remember, earlier this week. Well, as you know (or, as, had you read Journal 6, you would have known), I’ve been hoping (even praying) desperately for a sister. So, when Mom went to get her sonogram and find out the sex of the baby, I was a bit anticipatory. So when Mom called me and she seemed hesitant about revealing the sex of the child, I thought for sure that it must be a boy. But she said that they hadn’t been able to tell yet; the baby was lying on its stomach, covering its genitals. It absolutely wouldn’t move. So the doctor (or someone there) told Mom to go get something to eat. Well, she did, and the baby moved just enough for the doctors to say that they hadn’t seen any boy parts. Now, before I learned of this, Mom was out eating. She called me to tell me that she was going out to eat, and then she went. I’m really happy. I decided tonight while watching Saturday Night Live to eat some cereal. I went to the kitchen, and, as quietly as possible, I removed the box containing two Cinnamon Toast Crunch, I mean, oh yes, it was Cinnamon Toast Crunch bags. We’re not supposed to be eating these yet, but I really wanted to. So, causing so much commotion that it was a wonder that neither of my parents came down to investigate it (or so it seemed to me, what with my trying so much to be quiet) I wrenched, well, pulled one of the bags free from the box. I put a bowl on the table and I poured the cereal into it. I took from the refrigerator the gallon of milk and used the last of it, curing my conscience by reminding myself that I knew that my mother was going grocery shopping the next day. After I ate this cereal (and drank all of the milk) I rinsed out the bowl and I put it in the dishwasher. I then got on the couch, assembled various pillows around me, put a pillow on the table in front of me, propped my feet and covered my legs, feet, and lap with a blanket. Then, leaning back on the pillows and couch, which offer

February 24, 2003

A cushioned, sheltered comfort, I relaxed and watched a television movie. In the movie (well, in the beginning) there was a conference in East Berlin going on between the Americans and the Soviets to negotiate a peace treaty. I pretended that I was participating in this treaty through teleconferencing. I pretended to be a hated world leader who is physically weak but commands great world power. I was having a lot of fun with this pretense, although I felt a bit like a child.

February 26, 2003

I’ve decided to go volunteer at Beautiful Town Food House for three hours on Saturday. I mean, that is if Mom or Dad will take me. I have to sign off for my service learning hours anyway. The next weekend that I go will make six. I have to hope that one of my parents will take me, and that it’s not cancelled because of weather, and that we have school either tomorrow or Friday so that I can pick up the proper forms. I can’t believe that I’m actually hoping for school; that’s so stupid, I should have just done it today! You know, I actually considered doing something at a farm. Can you believe that? Me doing farm work. Whoever allowed me to volunteer probably would’ve gone out of their minds; I can barely plow a driveway (and not well at that). If I absolutely have to go to school again this week (I’m becoming accustomed to this delightful trend of missing at least two days a week), I hope that we have a two-hour delay tomorrow and then no school on Friday. I wonder what year the most school days were cancelled due to weather? This winter has been absolutely fantastic so far as snow and school cancellations have gone. Compared to recent winters (particularly last winter, when, in the height of my depressive period (excepting the fifth grade), when I really needed the vacation, we had, to my great annoyance, not one snow day) there have been immense amounts of each. Plus, the school board voted recently that we wouldn’t have to make up the three days we used for our little mini-vacation because the governor had declared a state of emergency. Isn’t it great? I love all of this snow anyway. Although I’ve never actually been there, it makes me think of Russia. And besides, it makes for such a crazy scene. We rent movies and make soup and it’s very fun. Today was just an excellent day in general. This morning I woke up, quickly dressed, ate (Cinnamon Toast Crunch; magnificently my mother discovered the open box, even though I turned the open end around, and now we’re eating that cereal in the morning, and I have received no blame or complaint for it, nor, as far as I know, have any of us) while Dad watched the news, and took great joy that Beautiful County was under a Winter Weather Advisory. Our county, along with others that span Central Native State, were emboldened in red against the green, blue, and white of the rest of the state. I went upstairs; stuck my head under the bath faucet; whipped my hair into a towel; dried, combed, brushed, and gelled it before brushing my teeth. I then got on my hat, holding my hair in place and preventing it from falling over my face, ears, etc. However, I do this mainly to keep it from freezing into place, which damages it. I am probably skipping a few details, but I went to the bus stop. Only Lacrosse Boy, myself, and a rather chubby boy were there. Lacrosse Boy said that he thought we’d get off school by noon because of this. 12:25, actually, but he was fairly close.

February 28, 2003

It must be odd to have your birthday on February 29th. I imagine it would be a bit difficult securing a day to celebrate each year. However, that would also be kind of cool. When you were twenty-four you’d only technically be three. [An example of my spectacular math skills] Today is the twenty-eighth. I love the way that “eighth” is spelled. The first two letters are the only thing even remotely phonetic about it. Also, I suppose that if you wanted to be really precise, the “e” is the only phonetic part. After the “i,” the gh is obviously silent, and hen the th, rather than making a heavy t sound, makes our “th.” I absolutely love our language’s spelling and its grammatical rules. It’s much more complicated than Spanish. For example: Mi papa piensa que nosotros vamos a atacar Iraq en la semana menos de hoy. Translation: My father thinks that we are going to attack Iraq next week. I don’t know about next week (to specify, my father said early next week) but it does seem to me that the time for an invasion seems to be drawing ever nearer, and President Bush has made it quite evident that he plans to invade no matter what the Iraqis do; Iraq recently announced that they have agreed to destroy certain missiles that we have deemed particularly catastrophic.

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