A DJ, a gym and some glow sticks

At 7:o0 yesterday morning, “Into The Ocean” by Blue October started bursting out of the speakers on my triangular iHome. I continually hit the “snooze” button until I could do so no longer. I gave up at 7:30 and dragged my sorry butt out of bed to face what would turn into an extremely long day.

This weekend was Homecoming weekend. The problem was, I hadn’t given Homecoming a single thought because I had a huge obstacle to get through first. Conveniently, we had a cross-country meet in the freezing cold wind and mud. And, my race was to be the last race of the day. We left at 8:30 in order to get there by 10:00, and I didn’t run until 2:30. All of this equals one long and cold day.

I ran well, and yes, hanging out with the team is always fun. I finally met the guy that has been taking pictures at meets (in which I sometimes appeared) for years, and coincidentally he is also one of my employers. I got to snuggle with five of my teammates to build up the warmth we so desperately sought and got to experience one crazy bus ride.

After my race, we [my family] left immediately. After a few stops along the way, we finally got home at 5:00, and my boyfriend was to be at the house at 6:30 to get some pictures taken beforehand.

The dance was fun. My only complaint was the complete lack of slow songs. He (one of my brother’s friends who played the DJ) must have wanted to keep up with the “rave” theme Student Council had whipped up, but he only played three slow songs and I, along with many others, was disappointed. The entire gym smelled like bare feet and glow stick fluid because people kept breaking open the complimentary glow sticks everyone wore around their necks. A friend of mine actually got squirted in the eye with one at the very beginning of the dance, and she commented that it was very painful.

Afterward, we headed up to a friend’s house to attempt an all-nighter. Everyone but my boyfriend, my friend and me fell asleep. At five o’clock, we decided to get back in the hot tub and didn’t end up surfacing from it until seven. And yes, we got very prune-y.

It was a fun night. I was happy that my boyfriend and I matched perfectly and it’s always a treat to see classmates all dolled up instead of just sauntering around in their pajamas or jeans during the average school day.

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From death and funerals to stem cell research and abortion

Cross country season picked back up again. On Monday morning I was awakened by a song coming out of my iHome speaker at 7:30 (which is much too early to meet my approval, I’ll let you know). I got up, showered, grabbed some Cinnamon Toast Crunch and put it in my bag, and then was out the door and on my bike, heading for the high school.

We started running. That’s what you do in cross country, if you didn’t know. We ran up prison hill. Some were encouraged to go on and run around the entire prison (the prison that Lindsay Lohan’s dad was kept, oddly enough), and I was one of those encouraged. I felt great. I had started out in the way back with a couple of my fellow teammates on the girls’ team, but little by little I had inched all the way up to the people that had fallen behind from the leading pack. I passed two newly instated runners and then fell into pace with the smartest kid in our entire school. My plan was to catch up to the leading pack which consisted of my best friend, my boyfriend, and another friend, but instead, he (being the smartest kid) and I started talking. We started talking about stuff that really mattered. Important issues, problems, and beliefs. It was nice to have an intelligent conversation, and it distracted me so much that I didn’t even notice when we passed another kid that had fallen behind from that same leading pack.

Our discussions ranged from death and funerals to stem cell research and abortion. It was like we went through the entire endless cycle of life during that one discussion we had during our run. I told him about the funeral I had had to go to recently and the unfortunate situation it had to be under, and then he shared how once when he was younger he had two funerals in one day to go to. We discussed how we both are not sure if there is a God up there and the hypocritical actions that are associated with members of the Church.

Then came the abortion topic, which then lead to a conversation chock-full of stem cell research. I had heard about it, but wasn’t exactly sure what it was all about. He informed me of everything about it (seeing as how it had been the topic he’d chosen for the recent research paper he’d had to do). What I don’t understand is why people are against it. And, it ties in with the abortion thing. I think that women should be allowed to make the decision of whether or not they want to abort their pregnancy. Let people frown upon a mother’s decision to abort her pregnancy, but if that mother is not ready to be a mother, then why not? If that girl is carrying the baby as the result of a rape she doesn’t want to be reminded of, why not let her make the decision to rid her body of that growing embryo? And, if every woman or girl that decides to have an abortion also donates the stem cells within them, that could initially save lives. You go from “killing” something that doesn’t quite exist yet to saving someone whose liver is failing or is in vital need of a heart transplant and just needs a donor.

Let stem cell research carry on! Let it save lives despite the many frowns of disgust it is receiving! We were put on this earth somehow and are now being plagued by disease left and right. If we’ve discovered a way we can cure, why not carry on and finish it? It means having one less child to feed, sure, but it also means one less person hanging out in an isolation room in the hospital just waiting for that heart or liver or lung or whatever to come. I say that science makes more sense than God. Science can save lives when God obviously can’t.

The Lollipop

I was little. I was stupid. That’s all I can say to defend myself on this subject.

We were at the Cracker Barrel years and years ago when there was one near us, and before or after going in to eat (I can’t remember), we were looking around at all of the cool things hanging out at the gift shop. My mom and I were looking at the stand of huge, colorful lollipops and she lifted one out of its socket and asked if I wanted it.

I stupidly shook my head no. I was little. I was stupid.

I had this strange idea in my mind that little kids like myself weren’t allowed to have those giant lollipops. I must have thought there was alcohol in them or something. I couldn’t believe that my mother was offering me a lollipop – I shook my head to diminish what I thought to be her “bad” parenting.

Ever since then, I have been kicking myself for not accepting that lollipop.

So, after watching my friend Kevin run at the New York State track meet at Syracuse, we saw a sign for the Cracker Barrel. Since they have become sort of extinct in our secluded neck of the woods in Western New York, his parents decided it was a good idea to stop there for some ice cream. Instantly I exclaimed: “yes! I can finally get me a giant lollipop!” And then, of course, I had to tell them the story of The Lollipop. Well, instead of getting only ice cream we ended up having a whole huge meal (which I was totally okay with). Then Kevin and I were lollygagging around the candy section of the gift shop (with me singing “I’ll take you to the candy shop. I’ll let you lick the lollipop.“) and I picked out the identical twin to the lollipop my mom held up to me so long ago.

Two dollars and seventy-nine cents later, it became mine. I had this crazy idea that I would lick it once a day everyday to see how long it would last, but I have since decided not to do that (“then it would get all nasty,” said Kevin). Instead, it is sitting on the shelf of my desk, waiting for my tongue to begin its process of withering away into my mouth in a sugar-coated frenzy. I have yet to remove its wrapper and taste the sugary goodness within. Maybe I’ll never taste it. Who knows? Maybe I will just keep it for its sentimental value.