Monthly Archives: February 2012

Tales from my Childhood: Fish Bubble Magazine

Internet, I was a bit of a strange child. For roughly a year when I was about 9, I maintained a publication called Fish Bubble Magazine. It was a general interest magazine… for fish. My parents were very supportive. But then how could they say no to this face?

Cute, huh? Come to think of it, my parents are also very supportive of this blog…

Gasp! Is this just a grown up version of Fish Bubble? Maybe. But I do at least have more than two readers this time.

Anyway, about the magazine. It was very advanced. I think I released about 7 issues before we were shut down due to… um, lack of funding? Let’s go with that.

Because colors are for fancy people, each issue was created using printer paper and a graphite pencil. Here is a typical cover, but with colors added via the magic of the digital age.

Brilliant, eh? Inside you would find an advertisement for a product a fish might find appealing, a couple of ocean-related articles, and a public service announcement advising the denizens of the deep against some watery peril.

While other girls played with dolls, I created a publishing empire. I can safely say it was the premier fish-related magazine maintained by an over zealous 9 year-old with a pencil. (If I recall correctly, it was during this time that I wanted to be a marine biologist.)

So basically I’m a creative genius. Or I just had a lot of time on my hands. I wasn’t allowed to watch TV on weekdays.

But what about you? What elaborate and/or nonsensical projects occupied the days of your youth?



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The Books That Changed my Life

Internet, as a blogger who is also an English major, I’m something of an authority on books, right?


[insert raucous laughter]

Ok, fine. But your lack of respect won’t stop me from telling you about some of the books that have been most important to me throughout my life. Some of them have affected me for the better, some for the worse, but here they are. The books that changed my life.

1) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by the illustrious J.K. Rowling

Picture this, if you will. The year is 2000. I’m 7 years old, at the mall bookstore when malls still had bookstores. My father picks up a copy of Harry Potter for me. That night, he reads the first chapter or so to me as a bedtime story. Mind you, this is before any of the movies came out, so I genuinely had no idea what would happen in the fresh chapter he read to me each night. Things continued that way through the first three books. When we got to the fourth, I was just old enough to read it on my own, and I was off- away from the world of bedtime stories and on my way to being an adult in the world of books. Also, a childhood full of reading led me to score perfect on the Critical Reading section of the SAT… and the ACT. Twice. Not to brag.

2) Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

A brilliant apologetic work I stumbled across when I needed it most. Since then, I’ve become a huge Lewis fan, from Narnia to The Screwtape Letters, but I owe the most to Mere Christianity.

3)Night by Elie Wiesel

A true account of Wiesel’s survival of the Holocaust, we had to do a huge project on it in 8th grade. I was scarred for life by the Nazi atrocities, but the flame of humanitarianism was lit in me and has not been extinguished. If at all possible I intend to spend time volunteering with the Peace Corps or Doctors Without Borders (Surprise! I want to go to medical school. Didn’t see that one coming, did ya’?).

And finally…

4) Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky

During a summer which will live in infamy, this book was assigned reading before my freshman year of high school. Basically, it makes the point that salt is the driving force behind… um… everything.

The Civil War? Salt.

The Silk Road? Salt.

CHINA?!? Salt.

I wish I were kidding.

I include this book not because it changed my life for the better, but because to this day looking at salt reminds me of that book. Oh, the horror.

It is worth noting that this same author also wrote an entire book on cod.

So, that’s my list. But the people want to know- has a book ever changed your life?


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Ain’t Got Nobody to Love

Did it hurt, Internet? You know, when you fell from heaven?

Ok, that was pretty bad. I apologize for my desperation. But let’s face it, Internet- I’m looking at another Valentines Day alone.

And by “alone” I mean “boyfriendless”.

The state of singlehood really got me down on Valentines Days past. When I was in high school, and even in middle school, the halls would be filled with happy couples exchanging cards and gifts. The worst were, of course, the girls walking around the hallways lugging huge stuffed bears. As I was feeling blue about all this, not to mention green with envy, I’m sure I appeared a lovely shade of turquoise to passersby. For some reason, this did not help with the boyfriend situation.

So now I’m at college, surrounded by people who are “in committed relationships”, “engaged”, and/or “going to spend the rest of their lives together”. And you know what? Good for them. I hope they have a happy Valentines Day.

Because while I may be single, I’m not alone. Against all odds, I’ve got friends. I also have 17 cats, and… wait, sorry. That’s 30 years from now.


For those of you who, like me, will be spending this February 14th without a significant other, don’t let it get you down. You’re still awesome. And for those of you who are with someone, enjoy your romance.

But if I see you carrying around a giant teddy bear, we’ve got problems.


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Skiing: My Attempt to Fall Down a Mountain in Style

Hey Internet. I’ve recently come to the conclusion that my sense of self-preservation is completely haywire. Why, you ask? Well, because recently I went skiing for the first time.

Now, skiing is fun. Don’t get me wrong. But as far as activities with low risk of injury go, you’d best look somewhere else. A sewing bee, for example. (On second thought, maybe not. Needles are stabby.) In fact, if there’s anything that I took from this whole experience, it’s that it’s best to learn to ski while you’re a kid. This bit of wisdom is of course garnered from the fact that 6 year-olds were whizzing past me on the slopes while I floundered about like a beached whale.

My skiing experience got off to a rollicking start when, less than 5 minutes after I first strapped skis to my feet, I went sliding down a slight incline straight into an old man. Well, I didn’t hit him, but I did run over his snowboard a little (he wasn’t riding it at the time). He helped me up, and I somehow made it to the bunny slope, thanks in large part to a couple of more experienced skiers who were with my group on the ski trip.

Once I was off the ski lift (a miracle in itself) I proceeded to fall down a lot. As I made my slow and laborious way down the bunny slope, this time under the patient tutelage of another couple of people from my group. I was about a quarter of the way down, laying in the snow on my side because I had fallen (again) and was having a time of it trying to figure out how to get up, when another novice skier from my group went streaking past me at top speed. “I don’t know how to stoooooopppppp!” she cried as she sped, completely out of control, to her certain doom. Fortunately(?) before she ran into a house or off a cliff, she completely wiped out near the bottom of the slope, losing both skis, both poles, and her hat, although thankfully no limbs.

From my position near the top of the slope, I whimpered softly. However, this was basically the low point of my learning-to-ski experience. Well, until that afternoon, when my friend convinced me it would be a good idea to try a couple of blues. Exhausted by the ordeal of the morning, I failed miserably. I mean, I eventually got down the mountain. But it took all afternoon and what little dignity I still possessed.

That morning, though, I eventually figured out how to stand up after falling down on skis. As anyone who skis can tell you, this is no small feat. I followed this achievement by figuring out how to actually ski, and I got down the bunny slope a couple of times without falling… very much.

The second day out, I found my equilibrium and went down some of the normal non-bunny greens. I didn’t even fall! Well, a few times. But still.

Next time (assuming I get to go skiing again at some point in my life) I’ll be skiing blues. DUN DUN DUNN.


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