the epic battle of our time {warning: graphic imagery}

There's an epic cloud battle taking place over LA right now

A storm was gathering in the south as I was going out for my run tonight.
And because of this, I witnessed the most epic sky battle in the history of forever.

The northern sky was as blue as the sea, deceptively calm for the madness that was soon to hit. Barney the blue whale floated lazily through the sky, half-heartedly trying and failing to catch some of the birds flying just out of reach below him. He looked so sweet and peaceful, and I couldn't help but smile as he flipped over on his back, exposing his white belly to the setting sun. 

And just as I was I was beginning to think I would beat the storm, darkness began to creep over my head toward the lounging whale. Barney himself seemed oblivious to the danger. I wanted to cry out to him, to warn him, but by then I had already run a mile, and I needed to keep my breathing steady and under control if I planned on running another three. So all I could do was wait and watch in horror. Out of the darkness crested a giant shark, its gigantic jaw wide open, puffy white teeth glistening, about to clamp down on Barney's flat head. At this point I would have said 'to hell with steady breathing' and screamed at Barney to float away from the really massive {and slightly deformed} shark that was slowly making his way toward him. However, seeing the shark reminded me that Shark Week starts this Sunday, and I have to remember to tape the good shows, and by the time I brought my mind back to the danger at hand, it was too late. Barney was crunched.

The shark then proceeded to swallow Barney whole. It was rather disturbing to watch, I must say. I mourned a little for Barney in my head {again, couldn't mess up the breathing by actually crying}. But I still had another two miles to go, and the clouds were curdling and flashing with lightening. I was beginning to fear for my life, so I trudged on a little faster. 

But this was only the beginning. Ned the winged unicorn was flying by when he saw Barney swallowed by Mega Shark. His unicorn friends were long-gone, for unicorns are usually very intelligent; they must have fled the incoming storm hours ago. Ned himself should have gone, too, but he was headstrong and brash and just a little bit cheeky. He thought he could take on the storm by himself, and when he saw Barney suffering such an atrocity, he realized his chance for valor had come. As the evil sky king Hagar laughed a blustery wind across the fields around me, Ned snorted in righteous anger and charged. Hagar was taken aback at first, but then smiled maliciously and blew a little harder.  At this signal, the sky began to writhe as hundreds of crocodiles poked their heads to the surface. As Ned stampeded toward the evil Hagar, one of the crocodiles dislodged from the group and sailed toward the foolhardy unicorn, clamping its teeth securely on Ned's braided tail. 

Hagar sneered and crept closer to Ned, taking his time, enjoying his obvious victory. Ned struggled furiously, his wings beating with wild abandon, but his resistance was futile. The crocodile was firm and unyielding, and poor, doomed Ned was trapped. I really didn't want to see what was going to happen next. For a moment, I fought the urge to squeeze my eyes shut {as 1. this would probably not be conducive to my running mission, and 2. this was turning into such a horrific fail for the forces of light that I couldn't look away; I had to know the fate of the world.} Ned's eyes widened as Hagar reached him. For a moment, the evil Hagar just stared at him, seeming almost bored with the proceedings. Then he opened his mouth and viciously blew a gale of wind straight in Ned's face, stripping the flesh from his body until he was just a unicorn skeleton and a forlorn unicorn horn. 

Hagar roared with destruction, and I began to truly fear for my own life. The lightening was getting closer, I was still a mile away from my home, and I had just watched Hagar rip a unicorn's skin from his very bones. I think anyone in my situation would have been at least a little unsettled. And just when I was accepting the fact that I'd never make it home again, Hagar went silent.

Everything was still. And somehow, I knew. Somehow, I could sense it. He was scared.

I looked to my right, my eyes widening with hope. Reinforcements.

Alastair, the good king narwhal, was sailing straight at Hagar's disembodied head. Behind him, approaching swiftly in the distance, was an army of unicorns. I mentally cheered. Unicorns were so loyal. I couldn't believe I had thought, even for a second, that they would have abandoned Ned. They must have left to find King Alastair Narwhal in the far west and update him on the incoming battle. Unfortunately, Ned's friends would soon realize they were too late to save him. At least they could avenge his death.

Hagar geared himself up for a fight, but the fear in his eyes was almost palpable in the air around me. King Alastair Narwhal thundered toward Hagar, his enormous horn aimed straight for Hagar's throat, his fury sparking another bolt of lightening down to the world below {Which, honestly, I thought was unnecessary. I'm definitely cheering the forces of good. However, if I get struck by lightening because of them, I'm open to switching sides}. The two inched closer, and closer, and closer, and I was out of breath with anticipation {and exhaustion from a four mile run}. The epic battle of our times was about to come to a head.

And then...

And then.

Well, I don't exactly know what happened next, because I had finally reached my house {alive and unscathed, though possibly a little mentally scarred}, and I was really really thirsty, so I went inside.

I guess if the world is still here tomorrow, we will know the outcome of the battle. If it's not, I suppose the outcome doesn't matter.

in which i first apologize and then continue to complain.

okay. i know i've been a little down on summer for, well, almost the entire summer. in fact, most of my posts lately have been a little off, which i hate. but it's hard to help, because i've been a little off.

and i'm going to say it again:
it's because of summer.

for all of my lofty talk, this summer has not turned out the way i wanted. in fact, it hasn't done much more than wear me out. 

truly, i'm just exhausted. and uninspired. and mildly depressed. and at the same time restless and anxious. my life is horribly stagnant right now. i'm working three different jobs this summer {four if you count a week-long stint as a camp counselor}. then i come home, work out, shower, cook supper, edit some of my little brother's book, and by that time i am literally too tired to do anything else but just lay in my bed watching buffy the vampire slayer until i promptly fall asleep at 10. and then i wake up at 6:30 and do it all over again. every day.
every day.
every day.

this does not make me incredibly optimistic about being out of school and in the Real World, without a new fall semester to look forward to. i worry that my life will constantly be stagnant once i graduate and get a Real Job, just the same thing day after day after day until i want to die from the perpetuity of it all.

i'll confess. i've always seen fall as a new birth rather than the beginning of death. in some ways, fall is more of a birth for me than spring is. ever since i was a little girl, summer seemed dull and sluggish, dragging on and on to the point where i felt i would explode if i didn't do something academic {<--nerdy, i know. bite me}. fall was my chance to start fresh: new classes, new notebooks, new people, a new year. i've always needed the stimulation of the season to keep me sane, to keep me grounded, in a way.

and this summer has been one of the worst. i've been tired and cranky, i've barely seen any of my friends, and i don't even have the energy to do things i love, like writing on my blog, and reading other people's blogs. hell, i barely even have the energy to read my own books, and that is definitely not okay with me. i hate saying this, because i know i don't have many true summers left, but at the same time, i really need this summer to be over. i need to be busy again. i need to be learning again. i need my life to be a dynamic entity again.

so i'm so so sorry i've been kind of pathetic lately. i'm so so sorry that this post is also kind of pathetic. but i promise, my dears, that i'm going to pick up again very soon. i move into my new apartment in two weeks. school starts in three. i know it'll be a crazy-insane semester, but that really just excites me right now. 

i'm ready for the whirlwind.

and one more thing. this summer. WAY too freaking hot...


pieces of the past.


Is there anything lovelier than finding old postcards and letters you'd long forgotten?

I'm in the process of transitioning to an Adult Room. You know, no more bright red and blue walls, no more white wooden furniture {that I've had since I was five}, no more homemade Batman posters on the walls...

Yeah, I may {read: probably will} miss those.

I'll just admit it. I am not really a "clean" person. I organize my clutter like a champ. Seriously, I am brilliant at making a mess not look like an actual mess. However, I am a bit of a pack-rat. I've always had trouble throwing things away because it seems as if, as soon as you do toss something you're not sure about, you end up needing it within the week. Without fail.

But redoing my room required me to sort through 15 years of random stuff I have accumulated over the years {most of it under my bed}. And we're talking shoebox full of rocks I collected one day kind of random here, people.

But I have to say, I've never been happier to be a hoarder than I was when I was cleaning, for I found the most amazing, heartbreaking, beautiful things hidden in the dark recesses of my room: a locket from my grandmother I thought I'd lost about 10 years ago; spur-of-the-moment letters I'd written to my future self; school pictures from friends I haven't spoken to in ages; dozens of old notebooks half-filled with abandoned {and terrible} story attempts; and best of all, stacks and stacks of postcards from my wanderlusting aunt.

It's hard to put in words what these postcards mean to me, how they shaped my dreams and desires. It was because of these postcards that I first began to long for life outside of the little box I grew up in. They gave me the fever, and now I'm not sure I could ever be happy just staying put. So to go back now that I'm older and read about my aunt's adventures in France and England and Italy and Spain... I'm just so glad I saved them.

Do any of you hoard things from your childhood? Is there anything particularly special to you that may not seem like much but actually had a huge impact on the person you are today? 

Just curious. 

And sorry I haven't posted in so long, guys. I miss the blogosphere. I miss you all. I will definitely try to have another post up in the next day or two. 
Hope you're having a great week! {Can you believe it's almost August??}


ah, it's july in kansas.

Those lazy, sultry days of midsummer have begun. The air is hot and sticky everywhere I go. There is no escape, nowhere to cool off. Even my pool could boil an egg.

My hair weighs heavy on the back of my neck. I've never been a ponytail girl, usually preferring my hair loose around my shoulders, but lately I can't even function without my hair up and out of the way. As soon as I get home from work, I strip off my suffocating dress clothes and change into shorts and a tank top {read: as little clothing as I can wear around my house and still be decent}. 

I cannot take much more of this heat.

Late July in Kansas brings some of the worst weather I've ever experienced. Steamy and humid, the very air you breathe is palpable in your lungs, a thick, slow syrup. Your body has to struggle to extract the oxygen. For a girl who's always loved the cold, a girl who could literally lay in the snow for hours, it's weeks like this when I despise summer. 

I'm melting. And no Wizard of Oz jokes, please. It's not like I haven't heard them all, anyway. 

I know I haven't written a lot lately. It's not because I didn't want to. I just cannot even work up the energy to think anymore, let alone write {hence the rambling post about the stifling heat}. The summer has worn me down; all I can do is dream of those frigid, clear winter mornings when the air is so cold you don't need caffeine to stay awake.

It's about this time I start getting restless. Summer has become so stagnant. The break has been long enough, time to get back to school, time to start classes, time to move on. I know I shouldn't wish the time away. Hell, I barely have the energy to wish anything at all. But I still long for the changing seasons, for fall, when the world seems to come out of its lethargic, lackadaisical slumber and starts bustling again.

I'm never really satisfied until I'm bustling.


it's the end and the beginning.

So, my brother, Beth and I all went to midnight premiere of the FINAL Harry Potter movie.

And it was phenomenal. 

I love midnight premieres. I love the energy. I was surrounded by people who cared just as much about this series and its characters as I did. But, unexpectedly, at the same time {underneath the crazy excitement} I felt a bit like crying the whole night. It was if I was losing a piece of myself.

It was an ending.

It's not like I didn't realize that this was truly the end of the Harry Potter saga. I did. It just suddenly hit me that this was in a way the culmination of the greater part of childhood. And in these moments, waiting with hundreds of other Potter fans to watch the conclusion of a series we all love so much, I finally understood.

I understood how lucky I was, how lucky my whole generation was, to grow up with Harry.

Harry Potter is more than just a book series. It's more than a group of movies. Harry Potter has transcended genders and ages and entire cultures, and it has brought a newfound love of reading to people all around the world. Harry Potter is now more than just the story J. K. Rowling thought up that day on the train. It doesn't just belong to Rowling anymore. It belongs to all of us, all of us who've read the books and fell in love with the characters, who laughed at all of Fred and George's clever schemes and Neville's clumsy blunders, whose heart broke all the times Harry felt completely alone, who cried over Sirius, over Dumbledore, even over Snape. And of course over Harry, over every ending, knowing it could be years until the story would continue. It belongs to all of us who allowed these books to become parts of our lives. 
To become real.

Like many children, I had the privilege of spending my childhood with Harry. I first started reading the books in 3rd grade. I was already a voracious reader, and when my librarian read us the first chapter of the Sorcerer's Stone, I was hooked and begged my mother to take me to the bookstore that very weekend to pick up my own copy. Over the next decade, I was able to experience the pains and joys of adolescence right alongside my favorite characters. Going to a new school, meeting certain people who will irrevocably change your life, first crushes, sneaking out {okay, I never did this. Pathetic? I don't know. I suppose I just got to live vicariously through Harry}. And there were also the harder lessons like the death of loved ones, and dealing with hurtful people and learning to survive on your own.

Harry's journey was my journey. It was our journey. Underneath it all, it is about a kid desperately trying to figure out who he is and who he wants to become.
And isn't that simply the story of us all?

So saying goodbye to Potter was a little hard for me. Yes, I know, I'll always be able to read the books and watch the movies, but at the same time, I have to move on with my life. Just as Harry had to. 

And in some ways this is exciting, too. There are so many amazing books out there to discover, so many fantastical worlds and characters to fall in love with. There is just so much more out there waiting for me, and I can't wait to find it.

And it helps some knowing that I'll always have Harry to come back to when I need him, for, in the words of J. K. Rowling herself

"Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home."

No, this is not a cloak. It is a Snuggie. Beth gave it to me for my birthday last year. Be jealous.
Also, notice how my head is in the way of the Harry/Voldemort duel in the background? I think I've just been avada'd {yes, that just became a verb}.


dear readers,

I will be going to the Harry Potter midnight premiere tonight. And I will be dressing up.

Get ready.

Longer post tomorrow. With pictures, I promise.

Until then, have a lovely evening! Especially if you are seeing HP at midnight. Which, I'm just saying, you should be...


oh wow.

My name is in a magazine.


I am honestly way too excited about this. 

But come on. My name is in a magazine.

So so cool. 

Totally makes all the work I've been doing this summer worth it. I'm a "professional" now. It's legitimate. I am officially an editor {okay, editorial intern, but I edited three articles in that magazine, so I'm calling myself an editor and you all just have to deal with it}.

I'm liking the way the summer is turning out...


all's well when there's giant marshmallows.

Things I loved about last night:

1) Salivating over men in Ray-Bans with my label-whore best friend {I know you won't be offended by that, love. In fact, I think you actively, happily promote this title}. But, let's be honest, is there any guy who does not automatically look 2.5x sexier in Ray-Bans? Even relatively unattractive guys have much greater appeal while wearing Ray-Bans. It's one the the great paradoxes of our time

2) Watching Breakfast at Tiffany's with the two best movie-watching people in the world. And then realizing why we've never watched Breakfast at Tiffany's before. And then dissecting everything we hated about Breakfast at Tiffany's. And then vowing never to put ourselves through that torture again.
I hope no one hates me for saying this. But come on, Holly Golightly may be the most obnoxious, annoying heroine of all time. In fact, there was nothing about that movie that wasn't weird and disturbing. And here I was expecting some cute chick flick with awesome outfits and diamond rings.

3) Fist-sized marshmallows. Seriously, that picture does not do these marshmallows justice. They were huge, easily the biggest marshmallows I've ever seen. I'm already dreaming about the amazing s'mores that I will make with them someday VERY soon.

4) Passing two {seperate} joggers on the drive back home. At one o'clock in the morning. In the middle of nowhere. Actually, this gets sketchier and sketchier every time I think about it. It is now obvious to me that some undercover sting operation was about to go down. 
That or a drug deal.
Knowing that area, I guess I'll bet the latter. 

5) Seeing an owl perched on the my street sign. Not going to lie, I kind of expected to find my long-overdue Hogwarts letter waiting for me on my doorstep.

6) Sneaking chocolate mousse out of the fridge at 2 a.m. while my parents slept.
Oh my goodness, SO SO delicious.

And now, I need to sleep. Another week of work and I must find some way to survive it. 
I wish everyone a happy Monday! Or, well, as happy a Monday as possible.

Maybe it's more realistic to wish for an unagonizing Monday with a piece of chocolate in the mix to stave off the bitterness. 

ah, l'amore

Okay, I know I've been Sucky Blogger this week. I don't really have any good reason.


However, I do have an excuse.
I'm in love with this guy.

And Covert Affairs in general. But if I'm being honest, mostly this guyThe whole he's-a-fictional-character thing may eventually threaten to come between us {like when I finish all the episodes that are already released and have to wait ENTIRE WEEKS to see him again} but I think we can overcome it.

Our love is that strong.

Seriously, what is it about fictional guys that make them so much better than real ones? And it's depressing, really, because how can real guys compete with super-sexy, blind, intelligent, sarcastic, adorable CIA agents? The poor saps really don't have much hope, do they?

I guess I have to stop reading and watching movies and television completely if I want to have a normal functional relationship.

Obviously, l will be single forever. 

Also, currently obsessed with this song. I've been listening to it on repeat for the last two days {pathetic, yes, but don't judge}...

Anyway, hope you guys are having a lovely weekend!  I promise I'll post again soon. {I can't let my love for fake men trump my love for you guys!}


i don't even know where to start.

Have I mentioned how much I love the Fourth of July?

So many good things about this weekend.

1. Adorable themed birthday parties. It's official, I'm regressing. I want a themed birthday party with cute balloons and a homemade cake {with candy on top, of course} and striped party hats and whistles {Why don't we have party hats and whistles at our parties when we get older? Everyone loves party hats and whistles! You can't go wrong there!}.

2. Low-key parties with friends I haven't seen in forever. And friends I haven't seen in a week. Which is pretty much the same thing.

3. Cake-on-a-Stick at aforementioned party. I don't know why, but putting food on sticks just makes already delicious food so much better.


5. The best failed attempt at a sexy-pictures photoshoot ever.

6. Sparklers. No need for elaboration there.

7. Initially floundering the art of firework-picture-taking. Eventually managing to shoot more than just awkward, tiny specks of light. Jumping up and down and squealing in delight as people I don't know at the party stare. Not caring, squeal more.

8. Food, food, food, food, food. And then more.

9. And of course, the annual fireworks show at the lake. We had the most amazing spot to watch the fireworks, literally 150 feet from where they were shooting them off. Laying by the shore on a blanket, twinkling boat lights in the lake's reflection, monstrous fireworks swallowing the sky whole. It was absolute magic, and the perfect end to the perfect holiday weekend.


i saw eternity the other night.

I saw Eternity the other night
Like a great Ring of pure and endless light,
All calm, as it was bright,
And round beneath it,
Time is hours, days, years
Driven by the spheres
Like a vast shadow mov'd, in which the world
And all her train were hurl'd....

Henry Vaughan

As I watched this incredible fireworks display tonight, this quote kept playing through my mind. All I could think was that I was looking at eternity. It was just me and the sky and the light, and after a while, I began to lose sense of myself. It was such a strange sensation, as if I was merging with the fire above me. As if I suddenly became the sky and was able to look down on the hundreds of people below and realize that they were all experiencing the same thing. For a moment, we were all one, and there was something so beautiful in that moment that it brought tears to my eyes.

"Like a great Ring of pure and endless light."

It was somehow desperately brief and infinite at the same time.

they grow much faster than bamboo. take care or they'll come after you.

So, remember the man-eating flowers in Jumanji? {read: the movie that scarred me from board-game playing for a year after I saw it}
I'm fairly certain my mother has planted them right next to our pool.
They're huge.

Just saying, I'm a bit freaked out to get too close. I keep finding myself making detours around the other side of the pool just so I can avoid getting within range of these things.

Yay for unresolved childhood traumas.


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