The loud bell rang through my ears. I looked up at the school, its flag waving in the soft breeze. It felt weird to be in a school uniform, but at least it wasn’t anything special. Just the normal black, white, blue, plaid, blazer, tie, skirt and optional low cut leggings for the girls, basically the normal prep school outfit. I was content with it anyways, I looked like a character from an anime which was and always will be an undeniable life goal of mine. I stumbled forward, my foot instinctively reinforcing my balance. I completely zoned out and didn’t see the students running to class behind my stone-still body.
“Hey Ryuu, see anything interesting?” An eighth grader sneered at me.
“Maybe he saw a unicorn or a fairy.” A girl I recognized from P.E. narrowed her eyes with a smirk.
“Older kids are so weird!” A sixth grader, the lowest grade in the school, glared at the group of kids around me. She walked off with her friends.
“How about some magic? Can you do magic, Okami?” The student used one of the nicknames I earned in earlier years. The ring of taunts grew larger and louder. The space between me and all the other students grew smaller and smaller with every passing second. Claustrophobia closing in, all too eager to get its claws on me. Suddenly, the crowd split into two and fell into an eerie silence.
“Well, well, well, look who decided to show his face for once.” Tommy Fredricks, a largely built boy with a face like an elephant with butt warts, blocked any means of escape. I could probably beat him up, but I promised myself two years ago that I’d never use the powers that came with being the monster I am. A movement in the distance caught my eye. I wrenched my head away from the foul breath of Tommy. A short, skinny boy with sea foam hair and space purple eyes stared at me with a blank expression. He hid it well, but I could tell he took interest in me.
“Hey, look at me when I’m talking!” Tommy shoved me down on to the unforgiving pavement, scraping my right elbow. Rage immediately jolted awake and chomped on the bit. Just breathe, I told myself. Calm down and everything will be fine, use your words, not your fists. I sat up, eyes half closed in a trance and accepted the daily beatings. I deserve this for what I’ve done, the pain and suffering I caused over the past two years and before. Eventually the crowd dispersed, whipping away Tommy and his followers. I slowly pushed myself up and limped towards my dorm that for some reason we need. Fumbling for my copy of the key, I stood in front of the secretive door. I could just barely hear a few faint sounds from within. My roommate must have arrived already. The door quietly clicked and I couldn’t believe who was bouncing on the bed to the left.
“Hey Kai! How ‘ya doing buddy!” Ross smiled at me with his giant smile that just recently began to make my insides shrivel in pain. His large green eyes shone like emeralds in contrast to his brown hair. I’m still not used to seeing his hair in the morning. It takes Ross from half an hour to all morning to gel up his hair into that signature dull spike of his, but without all the grimy substance, his hair lays flat and normal. Maybe it was a change of mind, maybe he finally hit puberty, but he defiantly seemed more mature than when I met him (give-or-take) 8 years ago. “Isn’t it exciting? We’re roommates!” Ross laughed and fell off his bed. A deep sigh flowed from my jaws, eyes fixed on the floor.
“Yay. I get to spend 200 days locked in a room with my best friend. I’m super ecstatic.” My gaze fell upon Ross frowning at me.
“UGH, why’re you so boring now? All you ever do is sit alone in a dark corner and cry!” Ross wailed, followed by his famous moan that I’m all to use to hearing. “Seriously, you used to beat up everybody! You were soooo cool! I remember you dying your hair, applying scary eyeshadow, wearing black and dark colors, colored contacts.” I hid myself in a face palm as Ross continued on with the list. “You pierced one of your ears too. Not to mention that stupid choker-collar-necklace-thing.” Ross suddenly seemed still, but after a small silence, quickly burst into laughter. Another, annoyingly perky, side effect of being Ross Wretchedson.
“So piercings and dyed hair Ryuu, was your childhood really that horrible?” I suddenly realized why Ross was laughing so hard. Hastily, I twisted around to see a teasing face. My cheeks reddened with embarrassment and maybe a little bit of something else. Ali Aquatica--an angel with a bite--stood behind me with her hand on her hip. She chuckled and sat down on the other, Ross-free bed. “Well I’m settled in so I guess I’ll just hang out around here with you guys.” Ali pulled out her iPod and lie down listening to music. The room was plunged into silence as everyone did their own thing, yet as I unpack my bags, I can’t help thinking about the new kid. He’s already rubbing me the wrong way.
Image credit: Lino Gambella on Flickr.
High school hits.
The world becomes
topsy-turny as new
rules are laid.
My bubbly hellos melt like
snow on a LA sidewalk
into the mess of gossip
and chatter flooding
Maybe you didn't hear me.
That's why I didn't get
But a smile can't be
How hard is it to smile back?
Making eye contact with me
might be toxic
the way you avoid it.
Day after day your
silence bursts my balloon.
My hi is brushed off
and your eyes glide
right past my smile.
We used to whisper secrets.
Now you can't even whisper
If I disappeared--would you
notice me gone?
You make me feel
like a face without a name.
Image credit: Ryan Lane on Flickr.
A view of the Rocky Mountains by the Five Parks pool at sunset.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was written in play script form so it would say, for example:
Harry: I miss Hogwarts.
Ron: I do too.
This was tricky to read because I never knew at the beginning of a sentence if it was the person who was saying the sentence or if it was just the person who was being talked to in the sentence. Instead of chapters, each section was labeled as an act and scene. I did not realize it was written in this format so it was a surprise to me.
The story tells of Harry, Ginny, Ron and Hermione 19 years after the battle of Hogwarts. They're all still friends and their children are friends too. The story follows mainly the characters' travels and adventures at and around Hogwarts. Another one of the characters in the story is Professor McGonagall. She is a Headmistress of Hogwarts!
You'll never believe where Hermione and Harry ended up. I really like how they made mistakes and then they had to go face the consequences of those mistakes. James, Albus and Lily all make an appearance in this book.
I would definitely recommend this book to my friends. I give it 7 out of 10 Time Turners. Sit back with a cup of butter beer and enjoy this new Tale in the Harry Potter story.
The Africanized honey bee (AHB for short)
Where do I start? How about the beginning...
In 1957, a visiting beekeeper had the opportunity to inspect biologist Warwick Estevam Kerr's hives. The beekeeper noticed that some queen excluders were interfering with worker bee movement and, as any beekeeper would do, removed them. WORST. MISTAKE. EVER (they were, after all, the most aggressive hives he had). This allowed the bees to swarm 29 times allowing them to set up shop in the area. Then, they bred with the European bees common in the area, and then, the AHB was born.
Kerr is credited with creating the “...most successful biologically invasive species of all time”, or as I say, the Kudzu of insects. They spread to most of the states below the north and high deserts (like Colorado!). By 1990, the counts of swarms in Arizona were up to 90% and climbing. It is suspected that a swarm traveled in an oil pipe being brought to an oil field in southern California, thereby jumpstarting their invasion of the states.
To identify an AHB swarm:
If you find a swarm of bees in your yard, before calling a beekeeper, slowly approach them, if they are Africanized they will start to chase you and try and sting if you get too close. If this happens, run inside quick and fetch a can of Raid or something similar, and KILL THE SKUM! Believe me, you will be doing the world a favor. If they don't notice you or just a few come and look at you, call a beekeeper and he will come and collect the swarm. Also, if there is doubt of weather or not it is Africanized, call a beekeeper and s/he will be able to tell.
Have questions about bees or beekeeping? Submit your question!
Image Credit: Daniel Plumer on Flickr.
2012 was a year that equates to hell for me. Home was rough, I was drowning in school, and my mind was trying to kill me from the inside out. It was the last year I would live with my father, my first time ever getting anything less than an A, and the year I would end up in the hospital at Thanksgiving, with a slice of pumpkin pie, and a plateful of mental health diagnosis. I was at the end of my rope.
At the time, I had two things that I cared about. A pink journal, and a book. Every night, without fail, I would pull out my book: a well worn copy of The Ruins of Gorlan, by John Flanagan, and read. It generally took around 6 hours to finish (yes, I read the whole thing) and then I would pull out my journal. I wrote myself into the book, made conversation with Gilan, and rode through the woods… this escape lasted around an hour. My bedtime was 7pm. By around 2am I was drifting off to sleep, and by 6:30 I was sleepily pulling on jeans and a t-shirt. 7:15, I was in my first class of the day.
Now, yes, I was exhausted. But I was alive. I would never recommend this to anyone, but for me, it worked. However, there is a definite lesson we can learn from my 12 year old self: don't be afraid to daydream.
As I said, my home life was pretty messed up. My entire family was terrified of what dad would do next… The main character in The Ruins of Gorlan did not have a family. Before, I always thought family was a done deal. It is what it is. Nothing will ever change. Life without dad was not an option. I had always thought you got a mother and father and would have them forever. I started reading, and started dreaming. I thought about what life could be. A life without dad. A life of freedom.
Finally, I ran away. One thing I did not realize about daydreaming is that you should daydream about everything, and not always jump into rash, impulsive moves. Regardless, things worked out. I was transported to a hospital. I found out that not only are they ideal places for daydreaming, they are full of people who are there to help.
When I finally I opened my mouth. I couldn't believe it when everything started pouring out. The abuse. The fear. I felt free.
I won't bore you with the details, but I will say that the court ruled in our favor. The abuse was over.
Even after this though, I was still had a long fight ahead of me. This time, against mental illness. Dad had left behind scars, physical yes, but even more impacting were the emotional scars. But now, I knew how to dream.
My first dream was to have a cat. When we were leaving my dad we stayed at a friend's house, every night her cat Lucy would come up and snuggle with me. And to make my dream come true, out came my journal, and out of my clenched fingers came list after list, all about the benefits of having a cat. I showed my mom, and finally, in January, I had a very fat, but lovable black cat, Ebony.
Now my dreams have expanded. In around a year I will be heading to college. I will be studying theater, and probably zoology (Ebony inspired a lifelong love of animals).
I want to inspire everyone, don't be afraid to daydream. Dream big, and if one dream fails, you can turn it into a new and improved dream. A dream can come from anything, a book, a cat, a picture, it really doesn't matter, what matters is the existence of said dream.
Image Credit: Kevin Dooley on Flickr.
Hello to all who are reading this, as that means that you have at least a slight interest in beekeeping. For that, I give you my deepest constabularies (if you do not know where I got that, shame on you for not watching Blackadder, so go and watch it all the way through. If you don't like British humor, stop being such an Ood and get in an argument with a Dalek). Anyway, about beekeeping. In this section of the blog, I will do a weekly entry about something bee related along with a Q&A section at the end. This will sort of be a companion to my beekeeping series of videos on YouTube. If you have any questions, please fill out this form on my website, and they will be answered in the Q&A section of my next blog post (maybe I'll even make a vlog occasionally and post it to YouTube to answer the questions). This week though, I'll do some FAQ's at the end. In this blog, you can expect to find some interviews with pros, my personal experiences in beekeeping, and a few interesting bits and bobs in the bee news.
Q: Why do you not wear gloves while inspecting the hive? Are you insane?!!
A: I don't need to. Bees are really quite docile creatures (except for the AHB, but that's next week's blog post) unless they are being robbed (also another article). Yes, while I do get stung during my inspections, it doesn't hurt much if you scrape it off. As for my sanity, I started questioning it a while back.
Q: A bee stung me more than once. How is it possible?
As you can see in the picture,the stinger is barbed, making it impossible for them to remove a stinger once inserted. You probably were stung by a yellow jacket as they look extremely similar to the common honey bee.
Thank you for reading!
Enlarged image Credit: Land Care Research.
Cover image Credit: Meg Riordan on Flickr.
Do you ever find yourself reading a cereal box at breakfast? Maybe you want to learn about the total nutrition facts or maybe you have nothing else to read. I often times find myself reading the cereal or waffle box and I recently started thinking about other silly things I read when I do not have a book in front of me.
Do you ever look on a friend's bookshelf to see what they're reading, trying to find a new series for yourself?
I have also caught myself reading people’s shirts. They can make you laugh, they can make your day go better or they could even change your perspective on something.
I also read any words on paintings or pictures because they tell you where the picture was taken or what it's supposed to be.
Magazines can be read if if you're not reading a book and it might teach you something or improve your day. I read weird magazines when I am in a waiting room. But sometimes I find a good article that I would have never seen otherwise. They can teach you a new recipe or teach you something else new.
Street signs or trail signs can give you important information about where you are or where to go . You can also learn a lot about your environment by reading trail signs.
Billboards can inform you about cool activities or important products that you may need.
Have you ever read the description of food on a menu to know exactly what it is supposed to be and if you're going like it or not? This can also give you some ideas of new things and combinations to try at home.
Words surround us in our lives and just because you do not have a book handy does not mean you have to turn to video games or texting. Try to find something new to read each day. I bet you will be surprised at what you find.
Image Credit: Pierre Metivier on Flickr.
Revenge bot is a dangerous android programmed to do one thing... KILL. The creator of the Revenge bot collects money from villains who need a bounty hunter. Although the Revenge bot is a gruesome killer it has one flaw. The programmer allowed hacking into the robot fairly easily. The robot has been hacked and considers its mission a failure if it killed anyone but its target.
This version of the Revenge bot has been upgraded by the Virus to cause havoc and chaos. It also is dehacked.
I've always loved Harry Potter so when my mom and dad said that I could go to the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child I was super excited! When we got there I got to do a Sorting Hat activity where you could pick one of the house names out of a hat and then get a pin or a magnet for that house. As expected, I got Hufflepuff. I participated in a bunch of activities like Harry Potter themed quizzes and mazes. I got to take my mugshot like I was a prisoner of Azkaban. Prisoner number XY390. Ten seconds to midnight we all started doing a big countdown. The anticipation was amazing! Everyone started cheering and we started going to buy the book. All in all, it was a great party. I am glad I went even though I was awake way later than usual. My mom is torturing me saying I can't read the book before Monday because that's when we're going on a road trip. Come Monday, the minute we pull out of the driveway I will crack the spine! Expected a report on how it was by Tuesday!