Eight of life’s strangest species

This is a short collection of a few of the more unusual living species that exist somewhere on this planet. The list is quite open to include anything as long as it is actually defined as a living being – I included a few animals, but I kept the classification a little broader than that.

1. Grimpoteuthis: A type of octopus. It lives really deep, deeper than most other species. They can use their arms to move around the ocean floor, but have more than one way of moving around. They eat the smaller ocean crustaceans. You can find them in places all over the world.
2. Vampyrellidae – a family of cells known for finding their way inside other algae cells and eating them. They’re actually not that nasty though, since some types can consume the kinds of fungus that are harmful to crops, some species are actually helpful for farmers to have around.
3. Halococcus: these are a genus single cells that absolutely love salt, and like a lot of other archaea – (a very large domain of microorganisms, all single celled), enough of them can cause a noticeable tint of bright colour on the water they live in.
Also, they are sometimes used in making skin care products.
4. Thermoplasma Volcanium : Another species of archaea, these ones prefer hot springs and volcanoes, among other extreme places. They can form all kinds of shapes during the starting stages of their growth, they have no cell wall, and they survive through sulphur respiration. They can endure a PH of as low as 1 – compared to humans, who can only stay alive with a PH at more than 7.
5. Azotobacter – another genus of bacteria which can transform themselves into a cyst to survive in extreme conditions. This slows down all it’s cellular processes and puts it into a kind of suspended state.
6. Bdelloidea: A type of very small animal which can reproduce asexually. They can have quite a wide variety of unusual appearances. These animals also go into a different state to survive extreme conditions, and while in this state, it can’t really do anything.
They are also naturally resistant to radiation.
7. Pseudoceros Dimidiatus – a type of flatworm which looks amazing. They have bright green stripes or patterns all over their body, and are ringed by orange. That’s probably why they’re also known as the tiger flatworm.
These weird worms can produce both sexually and asexually, and have both male and female reproductive organs. It makes for some unusual mating situations.
8. Hagfish: They kind of look like an eel-snake thing. It lives underwater and excretes a large amount of goo whenever it is threatened or caught by a predator. They are also known for eating larger dead things inside out.
Surprisingly, they’re actually edible. Not that I’m sure I would want to taste one.

This list could go on for a lot longer. Life has evolved over millions of years with so much uniqueness and beauty, and we keep discovering even more of it every day.
I hope the ones I picked were interesting, anyway.
I feel like some animals are so strange, it’s hard to believe they are actually real until you have seen them for yourself.

I used:


Things I like to do when I get bored

This was another random idea I had the other day. Being bored is something I don’t tend to experience too often, unless it’s summer break or something like that.
But, of course, like everyone else, I do inevitably find myself without anything to do from time to time, and these are a few of the most common strategies I use to keep myself occupied.
1. Try to remember all the different elements and their trends on the periodic table.
This happens if I’ve been bored for quite a while. It’s also something I try if I can’t get to sleep sometimes. If I’m persistent enough, this one can get me through a few hours.
2. Have very long texting conversation with one of my friends – and in the process, tell them in extensive detail exactly what I’m doing, why I am wherever I am, and then usually ask in even more detail what they have been up to that day.
3. Worry about things – not such a fun one, but it happens frequently anyway. School is probably the most common thing I tend to find myself thinking about these days.
4. Daydreaming about guys – ummm, yeah, that happens sometimes too. Mostly by accident.
5. Contemplate the universe – This can never fail to be interesting, at least it is for me. I’ve spent a lot of time recently considering string theory and the the nature of quarks and stuff.
6. Try to imagine what a nearby random person’s life is like – I know it sounds a little weird, but I always find it fascinating to imagine the lives of other people, and what a day in their life might be like for them.
7. Do something with my hair – which can sometimes go wrong, with my hair becoming a tangled mess of knots and clusters… Or worse.
8. Trying to guess what someone else is about to say.
I very rarely ever succeed with this, but when I do, it’s always a little bit funny.
9. Count. I can count for ages. It’s not as effective at fully distracting me, but I do it anyway. Sometimes I skip numbers or count prime numbers instead to keep it more interesting.
10. Pretend I’m on another planet. Or moon.
This doesn’t happen quite as often as I used to, but I still sometimes try it if I’m feeling out of other options to occupy myself. I can have a quite vivid imagination sometimes. My imagination was even more crazy when I was younger, and I used to do this literally all the time. My favourite one is Europa.
I have a few other things I’ve formed a habit of trying when I’m bored, but those are the ones I think are most worthy of mention.
I’ve always wondered how other people keep themselves occupied when there isn’t much to do. I’m caught up with school work or friends, so I rarely have to use any of the items from this list. But, occasionally, I do find one or two of them helpful.
How long I have to spend waiting for a bus in this town sometimes is still unbelievable…

Entry seventeen: A new discovery

Hey everyone.
I have another… Update. And this is definitely going to be one of the more weird ones.
Ever since the trip I made to my old high school, I have been having some… Moments. Strange moments.
I feel like too much is my past is still missing. I have a sense there are still so many pieces of my memories that haven’t quite come back to me yet. And no matter how hard I try, I can’t quite seem to actually remember them, I just have the sense in the back of my head that they’re there, waiting to be rediscovered.
I haven’t had an opportunity to talk to Castella again yet. Actually, I haven’t even seen her at all for a few weeks now. I even went back to the cafe she works at a few times, hoping to catch her there.
Then, when I asked about her, the owner of the cafe told me she had quit a while ago.
It felt like the only lead I had on any of this stuff was the gameboy. So that was what I was doing for a while, spending a lot of my spare time trying to see if I could discover anything useful.
I managed to get through a few more levels, but besides that, I didn’t have much success.
That is, until about a week ago.
So I started noticing a few particularly persistent symbols reappearing while I was playing. There were also a few other things that seemed a little more out of place than usual about the levels I was trying to beat.
I still didn’t think too much of it though, until I had another visit from the pixellated alien guy. He had another message for me:
You cannot deny the bonds of a billion generations
Forever insouled, never denied, millions everlasting together, hiding, ever remembered, Emalyn
Lost in the emptiness of the unfathomable gates of possibility.
This immediately struck me as something I needed to look into a little more, so I wrote the messages down on a piece of paper, and took a photo of the screen on my phone.
It took me a bit to figure it out, and even when I did, it still seemed almost a little too hard to believe.
What I first noticed was Emalyn. It sounded familiar, and I knew it had to be a name for something, because a capital letter had been used.
I looked it up; I found out it was a Latin girl’s name – which, of course, wasn’t too helpful.
I did a little more searching around on the web, and then, almost accidentally, I figured it out.
Emalyn is one of the old Latin names for the town I live in. That’s why it sounded so familiar to me. I had to have heard it before somewhere.
So I read over the message a few more times.
This next part is even weirder. The first letters of every word spell out ‘Find me there.’
Now that couldn’t have been a coincidence. Not with everything else I’ve seen, not when the last word is also one of the names for this town. It couldn’t be, right?
I was a lot more careful after that to look around for any other important things I might have missed while playing.
The next part took me a lot longer. I started thinking about what it meant, find me there, and then going through some of the levels again more carefully.
I checked the other messages the pixellated alien gave and looked them over a few times, but none of them seemed particularly helpful.
I spent more than a few hours doing all this. Nearly every weekend, I would put aside at least part of one day to try and learn something from this gameboy. I also spent a whole lot my spare time thinking through this stuff.
I wasn’t sure exactly what I was looking for, but I sort of followed my instincts, and, well, it worked out. I discovered something.
Here’s where things get more complicated. I was thinking about puzzles, so I started to look at all of the different symbols, trying to see if any of them meant anything.
A lot of them didn’t – except for some of them appearing all over my town and beyond, in the cornfields. Then I started comparing together all the locations of the different symbols that appeared in the gameboy and also in the cornfields, from what I could see in the satellite photos.
After a bit of work, I figured out they kind of formed a pentagram.
I then became pretty much obsessed with trying to understand what this meant, if there was any real meaning to it. The most obvious thing was to look for something in the centre of the the pentagram shape formed from all the symbols, but there wasn’t anything there. I checked.
It took a lot more clue – finding to get to the next part. More than once, I felt like I was wasting my time. But I kept going anyway. I felt like I had to. After… What happened at my old school.
After a while, I started looking at it mathematically. Probably something to do with how much time I have been studying maths problems for high school recently.
When I measured the components of the pentagram, I noticed two sides of it were a little bit longer than the other three.
So there’s this thing called the golden ratio. It’s a group of numbers that follow a particular set of rules, but it would be a little too complicated to explain without a whole post on it’s own.
When I put together the two sides of the longer parts of the pentagram, they both fulfilled all the requirements for a golden ratio.
These two golden ratios are a set of numbers. But I was still convinced my experimenting wasn’t really getting me anywhere.
Then I tried giving both numbers the direction the two parts of the pentagram were pointing at.
Which makes a set of co ordinates. It was so far fetched I didn’t think they would lead to anything.
But they did. And it is right in the middle of my town!
I haven’t actually gone to them yet. So I still don’t have any idea what to expect. But I’m already planning a trip there to see what I can find.
Also, this isn’t totally related, but something else came did actually back to me about my old relationship with Castella while I was working all this out, and I don’t think that the events of my newest recollection happened too long after the whole flashback thing I had earlier.
We were in class together again. Castella told me she wanted to show me something. Whatever exactly it was I saw, it must have caught my attention.
I think it was… Some kind of mirror. But it wasn’t a normal mirror. There was something special about it, I think, even a little bit exiting.
She said no one else could know about it, that this was a secret we had to keep just between us.
‘You’re the only person I’ve shown this to,’ she admitted to me, giving me a shy smile. ‘I wasn’t supposed to ever reveal this to anyone else.’
I was still staring down at it in fascination.
For some reason it almost – looked familiar.
‘Where did it come from?’ I asked her.
She hesitated. After a long moment, she answered simply, ‘somewhere else. It’s complicated.’
Whatever happened after, that’s still a blur to me. I’ve been trying constantly to get more back from all those years, but nothing I’ve tried helps. I wasn’t even really thinking about the primary school or castella when this came back to me.
It doesn’t explain much. I know. But at least it’s something. A sign I might start remembering other stuff soon, maybe.
I guess I will just have to wait and see. In the meantime, I’m going to go investigate the co -ordinates I discovered, and see where they lead to. I’m still not entirely sure it really means anything, but somehow I doubt this can come to another dead end.
However, what exactly I’m going to find when I get there, I’m still stuck on that one.
What kind of person created this gameboy, and why did they go to such an effort to hide such a complex message inside it?
What was it even made for?

One of my memories: The infamous school garden

Middle school was such a confusing experience in my life. I’m still not sure how I feel about the whole time I spent there. Everything was so mixed up and crazy, and my world seemed to be changing constantly around me.
I was still struggling to make friends back then, and I spent most of the time trying to fit in somewhere.
I guess I always felt a bit awkward and out of place. And, much to my dismay, I stuck out quite a lot, thanks to my freckles and messy hair, and also to an unexpectedly early growth spurt.
I still quite clearly remember that there was this garden at my middle school where a lot of the classes would plant all kinds of vegetables and flowers, and other native plants.
It was quite a large garden, and more than a little bit disorganised, with unidentifiable things growing absolutely everywhere. The garden was supposed to be split into a few sections for all the different classes and grades of the school, but eventually it seemed like everyone had quit caring about where they planted their new seeds.
The garden was a little famous in our school. It was the home of a lot of accidents. It was also the kind of place you would absolutely hate if you have any issue with spiders.
This garden had a lot of spiders.
One day, me and my class were given the extremely important and very dreaded task of taking care of the whole garden for one week. We had to water it, clean out some of the plants which had been completely forgotten about and hadn’t survived, collect a few bags of the ‘edible’ food off some of the plants, and introduce one or two new seeds into the garden, and so produce even more chaos.
Nobody was looking forward to doing this. We were hoping maybe our class wouldn’t be involved in the latest commitment the school had made to the further improvement of their creation.
The first time I came close to it with a hose, and began cautiously watering a part of the garden, that wasn’t the best experience. All these countless tiny bugs and worms broke out of the soil and began moving around, and they were literally everywhere.
I gave the hose to someone else and stood at the far back of the group of kids for the remainder of the lesson.
The difficult thing about being tall back then was that the teachers frequently looked to me first for an unwilling volunteer. This happened on the fourth day the week our class was assigned to take responsibility for the care of the school garden.
Me, one girl and another boy were picked to go inside and identify or rip out whatever dead looking plants we discovered there.
I can still remember how all the other kids silently watched us as we approached the garden cautiously. We were about to do something most others would only agree to on a dare.
Going in, we were in a silent agreement that not one of us was going to start pulling any of the dying looking plants out from the soil.
Too many things might be lying undisturbed, just under the surface of the soil and roots.
When I said this garden was a mess, I really mean it was a mess. Rotting vegetable pulp was spread and piled up over the soil, along with pieces or rubbish and a tangled bits of branches and vines.
I seriously don’t know how my school actually managed to even call it a real garden when there couldn’t be more than five plants inside that actually looked alive.
Of course, there were a lot of spiders. And I really don’t like spiders. I could barely stop myself from panicking when I got a cobweb caught in my hair.
More than once, I had to brush off a beetle or insect that had crawled onto my arm or leg, and I didn’t dare look down at how many might be moving over and around my shoes.
I had no doubt our small group would be staying in the garden for as short a time as was possible. It wasn’t too hard to identify all the plants that needed desperately to be removed, since that counted for about nine in every ten of everything that was growing around us.
But this was one of those things that just couldn’t end without it getting more complicated.
We were just about to get out, when I stumbled and very nearly fell over face-first into the mess of plants and rotting food below me.
I would have ignored whatever I had tripped over, and hoped it was just another piece of rotting vegetable, but a few seconds later, the girl I was working with tripped too, got one of her feet caught up in all the vines surrounding us.
She couldn’t really untangle all the stuff around her ankle on her own, so I reluctantly went to give her a hand.
And as I knelt down to start helping her out of all the vines, I saw something perched on one of her legs which made me freeze.
And it was even worse than a spider.
The thing was crawling slowly up her ankle, but she hadn’t noticed it yet. It looked to me absolutely huge, even though now I know it really wasn’t.
I’m not sure why, but I hate mantises about ten times more than I hate spiders.
And this was most definitely a mantis.
I didn’t scream. Even though at that moment, I really, really wanted to. But I had absolutely no interest in getting any closer, and I was afraid pulling on the vines might alarm the mantis and send it scurrying straight toward me.
A few moments later, the girl asked what I was staring at.
I told her she should try shaking her legs to escape all the vines- which she did, and it helped, but despite my hopes, it didn’t cause the large insect any apparent concern.
I then reluctantly informed her of the presence of the mantis.
I remember how she reacted, paling and then looking down at herself.
‘Oh my god, it’s on me? Get it off, get it off!’
She started kicking and struggling violently out of the vines. The mantis must have quickly decided that it had had enough of her, because a moment later, it disappeared off her leg.
But now I couldn’t see it anymore.
The girl managed to escape most of the vines and she headed immediately for the garden’s exit.
I was about to follow her, when suddenly, I felt this strange, horrible prickling feeling.
I don’t want to look down, but I did anyway. I couldn’t help myself.
It had just crawled over my shoe, and was staring up at me.
I honestly swear to this day, that mantis was giving me some kind of malicious smile.
I couldn’t stop myself from shrieking after that. I sort of had a mini panic attack. I started stumbling around, trying to get the mantis off me, but that didn’t seem to help too much.
At that point, all I could think of was escaping that horrible garden. Which was surprisingly difficult, considering how small it was. It seemed to take me forever to get back through all the dead plants and endless tangles of vines.
But I think the worst part had to be when I finally emerged from the garden, utterly terrified.
I went straight up to the teacher and told him there was something horrible crawling over my leg.
Everyone in the class stared at me with a general mixture of confusion and amusement.
I looked down and realised that at some point while I had been getting out of the garden, the mantis must have fallen off me. I certainly couldn’t see it on either of my legs anymore.
Waaay to feel like an idiot.
I wasn’t sure whether to be relieved or horribly embarrassed.
Thankfully, it seemed like my reaction wasn’t too uncommon among the kids who were forced to venture inside. I wasn’t the first person to experience an insect problem in there, not even close.
I wonder, sometimes, if that garden is still there. It probably is, it certainly was when I left the school.
I only hope the teachers have made a real start at actually cleaning it up and getting rid of all the plants and the vast collection of other issues.
I don’t think trying to make kids go through there and do the work for them is such a good idea.

Entry sixteen: Complicated relationships, part two

Somehow I managed to get myself caught up in school drama again. And by school drama, I mean the thing that’s going on between Mia and her cousin, Daniel.
They don’t spend too much time together at school, and when they do, they always seem to be arguing about something.
This also happened when we were still stuck in the middle of the weird weather, a while after school had finished for the day.
The hallways are already basically empty. I’m a late, mostly because I spent so long talking to my teacher about one of my assessments.
I was going to my locker to collect some stuff I needed to take home with me, and it’s there that I accidentally stumble across the last people I expect an encounter with.
So I arrive at my locker and am in the middle of sorting through my stuff.
And then I hear her.
For a second I think that she’s there to mess with me, but her voice is coming from some distance away.
A few second later, I realise Mia hasn’t even noticed me.
‘Look Daniel, I don’t need your dad’s help, okay? I don’t need goddamn help.’
‘Well it doesn’t sound like it. Do you have any idea what you look like, Mia?’
I’m about to get out of there, and avoid an inevitable confrontation between the two of us, but like a total idiot, instead I decide to spend a few moments listening to them.
‘Yeah, right. Because you care about me.’
‘Yeah, Mia. I care about you.’
Mia laughs. It sounds almost hollow. ‘Stop trying to pretend. I am so sick of you giving me this fake sh””. Do you really think I can’t see through how fake you are?’
‘Mia, you’re emotional. I you know you don’t mean that.’
‘Stop it. Stop acting like you know what I feel. This is all your fault, you know that? Of course you do – this is all such such a game to you, isn’t it? One moment you’re laughing at me and treating me like crap and the next you’re back to this, acting like I’m so important to you.’
Mia sounds… Different. Her voice is almost unfamiliar.
‘You need to calm down. I know the thing with you’re parents is hard for you. They’re having a lot of difficulties -‘
‘Shut up. Shut up! You do not know one thing about my parents, Daniel. Or me. A few months ago, you wouldn’t even acknowledge I even existed. I’m just another pawn in your worthless, selfish life.’
Her voice quavers. I turn around quickly and pull my things out of my locker – at this point, hardly noticing what I’m actually grabbing.
‘Mia, I know you don’t mean that -‘
‘Go away.’ Her voice is toneless, flat.
‘GO AWAY.’ Mia’s voice rises slightly.
There’s a long pause. I know I should really get out of there, before Mia catches me eavesdropping on her. But I don’t move again until I hear Daniel give a sigh and then, finally, say in a sad kind of tone, ‘I’m just trying to help you. You can’t keep pushing me out forever.’
Mia doesn’t respond.
I close the locker quickly. But I’m in a such hurry, one or two of my books fall out right as I’m shutting the locker door.
They make a very loud and very obvious sound as they hit the floor.
I gather up the books as quickly as I can, and start power – walking out of there. I’m afraid to look back in case Mia recognises me.
I think I can hear her walking after me, but if she is, she doesn’t say a word.
I turn around and head for the stairs. For one second I hope maybe she didn’t actually see who I was.
That I’m suddenly pinned against the wall and Mia is right up in my face.
‘Had a little fun listening to my conversation?’ She snarls, her face inches away from mine. She doesn’t wait for me to respond. ‘You think I wouldn’t notice you hiding there, you little -‘
Mia lets go of me suddenly. Her hands are shaking.
‘If you tell anyone about what you heard, you’re dead, okay? Dead!’
She spins around, and begins striding, almost running, away from me.
I stay there a few minutes after she left.
I don’t know, seeing her like that, it’s kind of a reminder she’s still a person, too.
And I don’t know if I have ever heard Mia talk like that. So… Out of control.
Anyway, Mia was back to her usual self the next day. In fact, she seemed a quite a bit worse than usual. She made my day a nightmare.
Well, that’s another weird life update from me. Things has been all over the place. As usual.
I’ll post again soon (I hope). I’m caught up with study and school and that kind of stuff right now, so keeping up blogging has been a bit of a mess.

Entry sixteen: Complicated relationships, part one

Over the past few days, I have gone through some of the weird weather conditions which are one of the many things quite renowned for around here. Where I live, there have seen some seriously strange forecasts from time to time.
For about a day at the beginning of this event, the temperature dropped to absolutely freezing, and then the next day, it rose up again and returned to normal for a while… And then for some reason it went back to really cold the day after.
Two days later – about a week ago, it got super wet, and the temperature went up by about ten degrees, which was way off kilter.
The weather didn’t stabilise for another few days, producing some very diverse changes. After dealing with nearly a week this weird weather, I stuffed an raincoat into my bag and carried it with me wherever I went.
On a number of occasions I was very relieved to have it with me.
Later in the same week, my school was buffeted with a weird combination of mist being tossed around by a lot of wind, in the middle of an on and off hailstorm. It wasn’t exactly the best day to be going out to school.
Fortunately, when the mist finally cleared up a bit and the hail changed into breaks of light rain, the weather finally began to stabilise again.
I wish I could say the whole experience was unusual, but its not the first time I have experienced something like this; not even close. It’s kind of one of the quirks of living here.
A few other – and perhaps even stranger – experiences took place during this, misty, windy crazy hailstorm event. Such as me having to deliver my brother’s love letter to his very angry girlfriend, and also this other thing which also happened that involves me, a very pissed off queen bee, and her confusing and incredibly annoying cousin named Daniel.
But I’ll get into the very angry girlfriend thing first.
I know I’ve written quite a bit about Evan’s diverse range of many very rocky relationships he’s had over the years. I have had the pleasure of meeting quite a number of his girlfriends, in a wide range of very different and awkward circumstances.
Evan’s relationships last anywhere from a single week to a a few months. His girlfriends seem to be over with him as suddenly as they first began seeing each other.
Well, Evan decided it was a good idea to send me out as a peacekeeper to his most recent girlfriend – related disaster, who he told me he had, apparently, ‘accidentally broke up with.’
Evan’s vagueness about the subject wasn’t encouraging. I’ve found its usually a sign that the breakup ended particularly badly.
It wasn’t something I ever would have agreed to, like, ever, but unfortunately, I kind owe him something pretty big. And I don’t really like owing him anything. I knew he would only come up with something worse if I didn’t do this to for him.
So, hardly able to believe myself, I agreed to go talk to Evan’s ex.
Evan seemed convinced it was such a good idea. Because, apparently, me and her talked a few times when she came over.
He gave me a bunch of roses to offer her, with a little note attached to them, and a wrapped up present. Evan also offered me a few pieces of advice, but not the kind of advice that actually helps when your about to talk to someone’s ex.
‘She… Has a cat. A dog. She has a dog. A really nice dog.’, he informed me, giving me an not – very encouraging smile.
Evan advised me to tell her he was spending all day up in his room, crying and heartbroken. When I pointed out that he wasn’t spending every day up in his room and he didn’t even really appear too bothered by their breakup, he explained to me that it was a metaphor.
Evan also told me to make sure I ‘reminded her what a perfect guy he was.’
He included a few other complimentary things for me to give to his ex, including an incredibly horrible poem, and the very helpful fact that his girlfriend apparently owns a skateboard.
After that, he seemed convinced I was ready, and he sent me away to go talk to her.
There’s an hour of me sneezing constantly and trying not to breathe in too much of the toxic perfume of the flowers, while also trying to follow Evan’s hopelessly vague directions.
I get lost (twice), and had to call Evan a dozen times so he could clarify the route.
It was a little hard not to get frustrated wandering around with next to no idea where I’m going, or even where I actually am, while being stuck in the middle of this relentless allergic reaction.
But it gets even worse when Evan stops answering my calls at all. He leaves me a final message, ‘don’t worry you’ll be fine!’ and then stops responding to my texts, too.
Finally, after what felt like forever, I arrive at the right house.
I was surprised I made it through the whole trip without throwing the stupid flowers into a bin somewhere along the way.
Well, I actually knocked on the wrong house first, which was, of course, very embarrassing and awkward.
When Evan’s ex opened the door, I thrust the flowers at her, desperate to be rid of them.
She looks a little bit confused when she sees me standing there, and I am remind once again of exactly how weird and wrong this really is.
‘Ummm, who are you?’ She asks, frowning.
‘Your boyfriends little sister’ doesn’t sound quite right, but I can’t come up with a much better option.
I blurt out, ‘You and Evan broke up, right?’
She gives me a slight nod. The weird look she’s giving me stays.
‘Evan wanted me to give these to you.’
She takes the flowers. And sneezes.
‘Who are you?’ She asks, looking down at the flowers with distaste.
‘I’m-‘ I should lie. I have to lie. Anything is better than telling her I’m his sister!
‘I’m. His sister.’
Ugh, god. I should have thought this through way earlier.
Of course, her reaction is to look at me with an expression of are you serious?
‘He sent you here to give this to me’, she says, a little doubtfully.
I pull the poem from my pocket and hold it out to her.
She accepts the poem, unfolds it, and scans it rapidly.
Then she folds it up again, while looking like she would rather crumple it into a ball and throw it at me.
‘Great. Thanks.You can tell him I’ve received his stupid gifts.’
She starts to close the door again.
I am tempted to let her, since I’ve already sort of done what Evan asked me to, but I know I am never going to convince him I have paid for this stupid favour unless I actually put a lot more effort in.
‘Wait,’ I call quickly.
She opens the door again, glaring at me. ‘What?’ She asks sharply.
‘I – um, wanted to ask if you were okay.’
It was the best I could come up with. As I said, I hadn’t actually done too much planning on how this conversation would play out.
‘I’m fine.’ She clearly, very clearly, wants me to leave. In fact, she looks ready to slap me.
‘Look, I get Evan can be… Complicated. Sometimes. And, he’s really, really stupid. I know that. He needs a lot of help with his relationship skills.’ I think being honest is the best chance I have here.
I add, ‘You two looked really happy together, and I saw you both going out last week.’
She doesn’t slam the door. Instead, she crosses her arms and says bluntly, ‘Evan played a stupid prank. Is that what you want to know? He ruined my wardrobe and half my room! Apparently he thought it was a great idea to kick a bucket full of paint all over my – all over everything. He ruined my entire bedroom!’
I wasn’t exactly sure what she meant at first. A moment later, she explained it like this:
‘He wanted to create a portrait of me. He thought I would think it was romantic, since I did it for him before. So he took my paint, and my brushes, and then, he – he tripped. Like that was a thousand dollars of my paint supplies. Gone, with all the other things he managed to destroy with them.’
Evan has had quite a few ideas in his past that definitely have some resemblance to what she’s describing.
‘And that’s not even it.’, she continues. ‘He dated my best friend without telling me anything. They broke up night before he met me! He knew, but did he bother to tell me?’
I gave myself a major surprise after that when I managed to persuade her my brother was worth a second shot.
I think it was a story I told her about us, from way back when we were a lot younger. It’s one of the few moments where Evan decided to be a super nice to me.
Still a moment I can’t mention without him getting embarrassed about it.
I also came up with as many positive qualities of my brother as I could think of. (I surprised myself here, too.)
I think she and Evan still liked each other a bit, which was probably why she even listened to me at all.
We ended up sitting on a couch together inside her house, talking about her very complicated relationship with Evan, where I may have learned a few too many awkward details about their past few months together.
It was probably one of the most awkward experiences I’ve had in my life, and trust me, that’s saying something.
All I have to say is, Evan is incredibly lucky that his girlfriend is – well, was willing to give him a second chance. He is literally completely clueless when it comes to girls.
So I had convinced Jessica (that’s her name, by the way,) Evan deserved some small amount of forgiveness, and I thought it was over. It probably would have been over.
But then Evan managed to ruin it. Again.
See, his ex -girlfriend has an allergy. One which involves a lot of vomiting and other very unpleasant symptoms.
Evan had at some point forgotten about this allergy.
Those chocolates he gave me to give her, wrapped up in the present? They contain one of the things she’s the most allergic to.
There was the unforgettable moment where she opened the present.
I figured out something had to be wrong two minutes later, when she was still staring silently down at it.
When she looked back up at me, I could kinda tell she was mad.
So she yanks her phone out from her pocket and dials Evan. He picks up on the first ring and their very short conversation goes something like this:
‘Hey Evan?’
‘Hey! Jessica! I’ve been trying to call you for-‘
‘Thanks for the chocolates.’
‘… You liked them?’ He sounds a little bit hopeful.
‘Yeah, I’m really going to enjoy puking these up in three hours.’
There is a very long silence, where I think Evan figures out the horrible mistake he has made.
‘Oh god, Jessica, I’m-‘
She hangs up on him.
I’m not sure whether to feel a little bit bad for Evan or just really pissed off at him.
I take another look at Jessica and I know instantly the odds of her ever giving evan another chance have dropped to far below where they were when this started.
Jessica is looking down at her phone like she wants to throw it somewhere. After a moment she explains her allergy in some detail to me, and also how many times she had reminded Evan about it.
‘Evan sent you here, didn’t he?’ Jessica asks. ‘Instead of talking to me himself.’
‘Yes, he did,’ I admit, because at this point there is no point in denying it.
‘He is unbelievable. Unbelievable. And for a moment I actually thought I might forgive him!’
I don’t know what to say. To be honest, I’ve become convinced now it’s probably best if she doesn’t try to forgive Evan.
I mean, he can’t tell me I didn’t try. It’s his fault this all went wrong. And come on, how many times can he be so dumb?
The best thing I can do right now is get the hell out of there.
Jessica takes my arm and says quickly, ‘How do I tell him that we’re done? He just doesn’t get it. He won’t stop calling me.’
She continues, rapidly. ‘You need to go back and tell him that I’m with some other guy. Like, I’m with this guy and we’re kissing and all that stuff.’
‘Okay, sure. I can tell him that. Anything else you want him to know?’
Jessica looks like there a lot of things she would like Evan to know.
That is basically how my visit to Evan’s ex turned out. Wow. Definitely an experience.
Well, at least I’ve paid back that favour now.

Some interesting types of jewellery

I have always been fascinated with some of the different bracelets and necklaces they sell at jewellery stores, and I’ve decided to list a few of my personal favourites.
These are some of types of jewellery I am totally in love with.
Brooches are one piece I find you can be really creative with, and some of them look amazing. There has to be a brooch for pretty much everything that you can think of: flowers, butterflies, animals, gems, and birds.
My mom has one that looks like a little dragonfly. She says my dad gave it to her, and apparently, it’s been in our family for a few centuries.
I find brooches can be one of the most detailed and beautiful types of jewellery, and there is so much variety that you can always expect to find one that suits you.
Also, with a brooch, you have a lot more options of how you want to wear it.
Button’s don’t sound that exiting, but they are sort of a piece of jewellery, too, and they definitely get interesting. They come in all sorts of colours and sizes, and don’t have to always be used the way they are traditionally.
I love the look of some of the patterned buttons, and I’ve always been drawn to the deep shades of green and red and purple I discovered with some of the unique designs.
Byzantine chains: these are very flexible chains usually worn like a necklace. They involve a patterned series of links which are all locked together. There’s just something about their design and feel that I have always really liked.
I have always wanted to buy one of these, but the one’s I’ve found haven’t quite been that affordable.
Hairpins are another one that have some of the most eye-catching designs out there. Like some hairpins which are designed with a gorgeously detailed collection of flower petals, or little stars. One of those hairpins would feel like all the jewellery I could ever want.
Circlets are a great way to show your personality. Some have a sort of weaving or shape based designs and others are a more simple style. A lot of them have a little jewel or crystal in the middle.
I’ve always wanted one of these, but I don’t feel like I’ve discovered the right one yet. They are all so beautiful, but I can be really picky with what I wear sometimes. And I imagine if I ever bought a circlet, it would be the kind of thing I would wear every time I was looking for something special to add to my appearance.
Anyway, that’s a few of my personal favourites when it comes to jewellery. I hope you liked this list. There are certainly a lot of other breathtaking pieces to look at if you’re interested.
I love going into jewellery stores from time to time just to have a look at some of the brooches and other things they have there and imagine what it would be like to find the perfect match for me.





One of my memories: Three months of being grounded

Two years ago, my parents made the decision that I had to be grounded for what came very close to three continuous months. Well, maybe it was a bit more complicated than that, but anyway, this is sort of about how I got part of this horrible sentence, and what I did to survive the whole experience.
About three weeks into the grounding, I was at the point where I was pretty convinced there wasn’t too much I could say to my parents that would convince them to reconsider their punishment. This happened on one of the only days both my parents actually left the house, and I finally could do something on my own, and even then it was only for about three hours. I was desperate to see my friends and more than a little pissed at my parents for not allowing them to ever come over.
I called my best best friend bree and we mulled over what I could do for the time I had free from my mom and dad. Bree suggested a few of my favourite things: Watching movies with marshmallows dipped in chocolate, having a mini party in her room with a lot of loud music, going to the local mall and buying a lot of coffee and sweets.
I would have been happy with any one of those ideas, particularly something involving chocolate coated marshmallows and a movie, but at that moment I was so pissed off at my parents, and I wanted to do something that I knew would be against their rules.
So together me and my girlfriend formed a plan to do some of the stupidest, craziest things we could think of in three hours within my house. Bree came up with some good ideas, but it took us a while to decide exactly what we were going to do.
I wanted to break as many rules as I could that my parents had set me as I could within those three hours. We were going to make a mess, we were going to play loud music, and I was going to steal my dad’s laptop. I planned to act as incredibly and hopelessly immature as a fourteen year old possibly could.
In a house like mine, there are a lot of opportunities if you want to have a bit of fun. There are at least twice as many rooms as ones we actually use, including a total of four floors, only two which we are ever using.
Below the house, the lowest of these floors is an attic, where a lot of old stuff is stored.
The sort of stuff my parents had repeatedly warned me to stay away from.
I can see why my parents didn’t want me going through that basement. The floor is total mess of wires and loose parts, the shelves are full of precariously placed unidentifiable jars that look like they’ve come straight out of an abandoned laboratory somewhere. Usually I’m more than happy to avoid the basement entirely, but I was convinced there had to be something down there that was the perfect for the breaking the rules mood that I was getting into.
Well, it was down there that I eventually found the motorcycle.
I couldn’t have come up with a more perfect thing that would have driven my parents more totally nuts.
I tried switching it on and finding the key, and then got pretty surprised when I figured out it still worked.
What does an angry fourteen year old me do when they find a motorcycle?
I decided there couldn’t be many better options if I was looking for a way to break the rules.
I didn’t think much could go wrong, because I only wanted to try it out in the middle of the cornfields outside my house. The motorcycle sure wasn’t going to run into anything, and this cornfield was so thick that falling off the motorcycle, (I decided anyway), couldn’t turn out too bad.
That’s what fourteen year old me thought, anyway.
So after eating a lot of chocolates and dancing around a bit in the living room, (and trying unsuccessfully to find the password for my dad’s laptop), I brought up the idea with a very overexcited bree, and we decided to give it a try.
It wasn’t easy for us to pull the motorcycle out of the attic, and by the time we had got it all the way outside past the backyard, I was already half tempted to abandon my idea. I was a little bit more worried now than I had been half an hour ago.
But I was still determined to go through with my plan. Three weeks of being grounded had to be my parent’s new record for unfair punishments and I was convinced this would somehow rectify it.
Neither of us had any idea how to use the motorcycle. Once we had taken it to what we considered a safe distance from the house, it took us fifteen minutes just to get the engine running.
Then there was the struggle of one of us getting onto the motorcycle without it falling over.
After that we felt we were finally ready to ride this thing.
And yeah, it didn’t go so well.
I was the first one to try using it. It was a guessing game trying to figure out which buttons to press, and it had to be a miracle that I actually managed to even operate it without me doing anything horribly wrong in the process.
After a little bit of experimentation I became confident enough in my ability to move the motorcycle forward – in a long series of very abrupt jerks.
I hopped off and did my best to guide bree through my little discoveries about the operation of using it.
Mostly by accident, bree pressed down on the accelerator while she was still sitting on the motorcycle, and suddenly it gave a very loud roar and shot forward, bree very nearly toppling off it in the process.
It came to a sudden stop again after having crossed about ten metres through the cornfields, with bree clinging on to the handlebars.
After taking a moment before she turned around carefully and gave me an enthusiastic smile.
When I saw her do that, I decided on my second attempt with the motorcycle I wanted to replicate what she had just achieved. So when I got back on to the motorcycle, I was committed to really take it for a ride.
Once I had figured out what I thought was the throttle, I gripped the handlebars as tight as I possibly could and pushed on the throttle with as much force as possible.
The bike gave another deafening roar, and then shot forward.
In the first instant, I very nearly fell off the motorcycle, and suddenly everything was a blur around me, and there was wind against my face, and the big hill ahead of me is getting closer and closer, alarmingly fast.
I didn’t have time to think of the many reasons why this was such a bad idea because moments later, the motorbike had reached the bottom of the hill.
I’m still not completely clear on what exactly happened next, but I lost my grip on the bike and fell off, and the motorbike very nearly fell on top of me.
I lay there for a few moments, feeling dazed, with the sky spinning a bit and my head hurting a lot.
Bree ran over to check on me. She said she kinda freaked out when she helped me up. I must have fallen on something because the back of my head was all bloody and I looked like I was about to faint.
I still sort of wanted to have another go on the motorbike again, even though my head hurt and everything still wouldn’t completely stop spinning around me, and I had also seriously sprained one ankle, but bree helped me back inside, washed the blood from the back of my hair, and then doused it with disinfectant.
At some point during all this my mom arrived back home without either of us realising.
She flipped out the second she saw bree helping me into the living room.
It didn’t take her too long to figure out what had happened. We had never had the opportunity to return the motorcycle to the basement, so it was still lying out there only about fifty metres from the house.
And my mom can be pretty terrifying when she wants to be.
She examined my head and then made me lie down on my bed. She spent the next hour fussing over me, checking the swelling on my ankle and the back of my head where I had hit it.
I was half hoping that maybe she wouldn’t ground me anymore that I still was, because she wasn’t doing the ‘you’re in a lot of trouble’ thing she does whenever she’s about to punish me, but as it turned out she was leaving that for a few hours later, when dad got back.
The whole thing with the motorcycle was probably one of the major reasons why I was grounded for so long.
I mean, I know it was an extremely stupid thing to do, but they didn’t have to ground me for another whole month. Don’t they get that teenagers need to have some kind of freedom?
Anyway, there is a whole other story about how two months became three months, but I probably shouldn’t get into that right now.
I hope that was a little bit of fun to read. I certainly stayed away from that motorcycle ever since this happened. My dad has chained it up at the back of the basement, and I’m not even completely sure whether he kept the key for it or not.
Motorcycles. That’s one more thing I’ve developed an aversion to.



(The picture is from pexels.com)

10 of my favourite movies

Hey everyone, today (After a very large amount of thinking), I decided on ten of my favourite movies. A few of these are my childhood favourites, but some found their place on this list more recently. I tried to make this interesting, so I made these picks from a few different genres, and I found ones I thought had their own kind of style.
Number one: ET the extra terrestrial. I watched it as a child and loved it. I saw it over and over again – probably a few too many times. Its been one of my most loved movies for longer than I can remember, and it had to take the first place on this list. When you’re in love with space as much as I am, a movie about an alien visiting earth, (and a few kids), is endless fun.
Number two: titanic. I’ve only actually watched this twice – but that’s more because I have yet to find an opportunity to actually buy it. Otherwise by now I probably would have watched titanic a whole lot more. It’s a romance with an unforgettable setting.
Number three: In your eyes: I have always liked how this romance is so imaginative. And a telepathic romance definitely makes for an exiting relationship!
Number four: 500 days of summer: Another romantic one. I love interesting romances, and the way this one plays out makes it different from what you’re used to.
Number five: Interstellar: I’m obsessed with beautiful space movies. This one I actually own, so I can enjoy watching it as many times as I want. It’s such an creative and exiting experience, and it totally takes you away.
Number six: La la land – Another imaginative romance. It’s about two aspiring stars and their relationship. They’re just so perfect together.
Number seven: Amélie – I watched this movie four times before I lost the copy somewhere. Amélie is one of those characters who’s exiting and funny, and you always want to know what she is going to do next. I think that’s one of the reasons why I liked it so much.
Number eight: The Big Sick: I’m probably going to find myself finishing this list with either drama or romance movies. This movie is interesting and sweet, and it gave me whole lot of surprises. I would definitely like to to watch this one again.
I know, I have a virtually nonexistent collection of movies.
Number nine: Europa report: Another sci fi story, and this takes you to one of Jupiter’s moons. Great if you are looking for a movie with some nice scenery and some really beautiful landscapes. I saw it a few years ago, but a lot of the scenes from the movie in it still come back to me.
Number ten: Love story: A complicated romance, and definitely, for me one of the most emotional ones. Love story is one of those movies that draws you in and doesn’t let you go until the movie has ended, and then you can’t stop thinking about it after.
Anyway, there’s ten of my favourite movies. They tend to change a lot, so there’s a good chance in a few months time this list will be completely different.
See you guys next time!

Entry fifteen: My strange world: high school

Could my school be any more full of cliques ever?
In maple high, I can’t walk through the school once without feeling like I’m in the middle of a scene from some kind of high school drama movie.
So let me introduce you to my high school, probably the only one of it’s kind to ever exist.
This particular day begins as it usually does, with a long walk through a hallway – where I’m sorrounded by posters advertising either the newest musical competition or creative challenge, or some other popular contest; and chaotic classrooms, where one or two teachers are busy in front of piles of papers, preparing for the beginning of another school day.
I haven’t (And I have actually kept count of this) gone through one day without someone throwing something at me by this point in the morning. This is usually a scrunched up piece of paper, but sometimes, if you’re less lucky, it’s food – or something… Less identifiable.
When I open my locker on a particular morning something falls out – and I barely surpress a shriek the second I figure out what it is.
I’m not sure how exactly it got into my locker until I read the note that has been attached. Hi, amber, you didn’t remember to take out the trash. Be a good girl and do what you’re supposed to. I wouldn’t want to have to remind you again! XX Mia
Dragging a bag full of things I don’t want to identify isn’t the most pleasant experience.
But I make sure to glare at anyone who thinks it’s amusing.
Then I meet up with my friends: bree, who’s holding a textbook (with some distaste), and maddy, who I know has just come from her early morning dance lessons.
We take as long as we can walking together before we have to seperate to go to our different classes. For me, that means math, followed by english, followed by a lot of science -which I am already looking foward to.
In a classroom at maple high I have no idea what to expect when I walk through the door. I usually chose a seat at one of the small desks somewhere near the front of the room, hopefully next to one of the girls I study with.
The classroom varies from subject to subject. Awkward jokes are made, messages are encoded onto balls of paper and tossed across the room. English, (for a reason I still can’t identify) seems to be the central hub of gossip and social science (I don’t know this one either) is the place to go if you want to find all the drama students and where pretty much anyone can tell you half a play from memory.
For me, the first two classes are a frenzy of note taking and writing. At some point during second period the teacher left – and about a third of the class erupted into stifled giggles and snickers. Someone rose up quietly from their desk and was in the middle of slowly approaching the wihiteboard when the teacher walked back in. (I’m still not sure exactly want any of that meant).
Sometimes I honestly don’t know who is in charge at this school.
I find most classrooms seem to have a certain personality to them. Some are full of little signs reminding you not to get in any trouble, or look at your phone during class, and some are covered with random posters and others – (including a good number of the ones I’m in), have been characterized by so many years of being used they could probably be transformed in to a history exibit.
Morning break involves me meeting bree again and us walking together to our favourite spot under the tree. We are caught in the middle of a debate about how long we both think the new teacher is going to last at maple high. Bree thinks he’ll be gone in two or three weeks, max. I don’t think he’ll be back after a few more days.
The teacher is the new head of the fabled designer class – which since before anyone remembers has ben lead by students and pretty much abandoned by all the people who used to run it.
I would like to reccomend the cafeteria food, but actually I never eat it. Bree says it’s kind of a game each day, trying to pick out the right foods: Half the cooks are great, another slightly smaller half are okay, and the other half don’t cook the meals properly.
After morning break two more periods await, where mia’s new boyfriend ‘accidentally’ stumbles into me, and he thinks it’s the funniest thing in the world. I walk past several sign up posters for our beauty paegant, miss maple high, where names are scribbled on top of each other, both below and above the little boxes they’re supposed to be written in.
My two subjects are a double of chem, and for me its actually quite a bit of fun. Some of it comes from sneaking glances at mia, who has absolutely no idea what she’s doing, as she inevitably messes up the whole experiment. I offer to help her out a bit, but mia is about as interested in taking advice from me as she is as actually reading the instructions on the board.
Bree got lucky in the cafeteria today and she comes out with a tray with chicken nuggets, a sandwich, and a worn looking bottle of milk. We spend lunch together with a few of my other friends. This time we’re in the trees next to the sports field, but far enough away from it that we aren’t at risk of a ball smacking into us.
The area around the cafeteria is dominated by the large sports field, which is divided up and split into places dedicated to pretty much every single school sport you can name.
We spend most of lunch trying to ignore one of the team captains who is standing nearby, this slightly tall, shaggy haired guy who alternates from pretending absolutely nothing matters, to acting like his whole world is crashing and falling around him. He is basically obsessed with winning against amother sports team, like, really obsessed with making sure they win every match that they are currently working up to.
After lunch me and my, um, boyfriend walk to our next class together and talk a bit. We have about three minutes to keep the conversation going before we will be late for our classes. I’m in the middle of trying to find a way to ask if he might maybe be interested in going out sometime when we are conveniently interrupted and andrew (the boyfriend in question) dissappears without too much of an explanation.
To finish the day I have cooking and astronomy classes. The first of these is probably the class I make the most mistakes in, and I realise right as I enter the classroom that I forgot my cooking hat. And my shoes. And some other things.
Cooking in maple high offers you the opportunity to cook some of the most boring meals you can think of. Its one of the subjects the school is a little harder to be enthusiastic about. There is usualy a shortage of equipment and ingredients, and the cooking classrooms could probably be in slightly better shape.
As it happens we are not actually cooking anything , but the teacher still decides to make an example of me in front of the class anyway. He’s one of those teachers who looks like he is staring into your soul whenever he talks to you, and a total master at making me feel awkward and uncomfortable as I stand there, trying not to look at him.
Honestly, cooking has to be the worst subject for me to get that kind of teacher.
I’m determined to try and learn something from all the different cutting and slicing technqiues the teacher is demonstrating to us but by the end of the lesson I’m not completley sure I actually know how to do a single thing he taught us.
Yeah, not really one of my best subjects.
Astronomy is definitely my favourite subject for the day, (and probably out of all the subjects I’m doing), and I manage to make myself feel a little bit better about what turned out to be cooking class.
And my astronomy teacher is a whole not nicer than my cooking teacher.
This week we’re learning about solar bodies and planetary orbits. Mainly, the moons orbit around the earth anmd the effect this has on the earth, that sort of stuff. There is a whole lot our moon does for our planet as it circles around us, all these different effects and changes… Yeah. Anyway, I had a whole lot of fun in astronomy. I mean, I was actually happy to be getting homework!
The day conclduded with the end of school bell that leaves me feeling a little bit relieved and a little bit dissappointed. Another day of school has come and gone. I’m going to go home, or more hopefully, with bree to hang out at her place, and spend the next few hours studying – or possibly something a little bit more exiting – if I am spending the afternoon with bree.
I join my friends as we begin walking toward the gates of school – very slowly as to extend this final time which we can talk together as much as possible before we inevitably have to say our goodbyes. By the time we have reached the front of the school, which was very crowded a few minutes ago, its mostly empty.
This is definitely not how every day at my school goes, since every day seems to go by very differently in maple high, but its (hopefully) a small insight into the complex, strange, and unexplainable thing that is my high school. I’m not sure there is any kind of description that can quite capture everything about this place.
Anyway, I’m going to do some homework. More homework. I’ve been stuck in the middle of math for the past…
Um, I don’t even want to think about how long.