Adventures of Araleith

“Life is uncharted territory. It reveals its story one moment at a time.”

All is fair in love, war, and Mario Kart

This weekend had a couple adventures it in – went to a local market with my sister, and bought a bunch of yummy food things, giggled over strange things in thrift stores, and watched SO MUCH Degrassi: The Next Generation. 

Today, though, was the adventure referenced in my title. 

Me, my sister, and her boyfriend went over to my parents today for lunch and such, and for a Mario Kart showdown. I am a pretty big gamer, and my parents play their fair share of party type games, as does my sister. My dad actually really loves Zelda games and stuff like that – I suspect Imy love of gaming is his fault. 😛

SO MUCH TRASH TALK. I am pretty sure at points, with all the yelling and cursing and teasing that was going on, the neighours likely thought we were nuts, or really hated each other. 😛  We had to play in rotating shifts (5 people, 4 controllers), which got pretty awesome as people lost and were replaced.

There was much laughing and joking and teasing and I remembered how terrible I am at Mario Kart, how much the Wii steering wheel thing is kind of annoying, and how crazily competitive my family can get (in the best of ways.)

I miss playing video games as a social thing – most of what I play is very solo, because I dislike most MMOs and other multiplayer games. 

Anyone out there want to play Mario Party or something with me? There could be cupcakes. 

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The World’s Biggest Treasure Hunt

My parents love geocaching. They go out pretty regularly, and I go out with them when I can. It’s the funnest kind of adventuring – I see new places (like hidden little beaches and neat cemetaries and all sorts of interestingness), I get to find stuff (sometimes there are treasures to trade!), and I get to hang out with them, which is pretty awesome.

Yesterday was wet, and rainy, and sorta cold. But we had decided that after going to an auction sale in the morning (where there were rosettes and chelsea buns and all sorts of wonderful), we would hit a few geocaches before heading home.

The first one we got to was tiny and tricky, and we almost gave up on it (being in a public parking lot got u some weird looks, which kept making my mom and I laugh), but it was a success.

The rain got rainy-er, the wind got colder, and we soldiered on. My mom noticed there was a hole in the heel of her boot, which was one of those things that kept making us laugh because it was wet and absolutely ridiculous out. I grabbed a mushroom that was giant and squodgy and under some leaves and stuck my hand blindly into logs and holes in the ground and got tricked by margarine containers that tried to pretend to be geocaches but weren’t. I got a few treasures (a little firetruck toy, a cool little fake compass thingie, and a couple other things), and we laughed ourselves silly.

We managed to find 10 geocaches, which was impressive considering the weather. But at least it wasn’t snow!

I have heard people call geocaching the world’s biggest treasure hunt, and I love it. You can explore your own neighbourhood and find all sorts of secrets, and chances are, when you travel, you will likely be able to grab a cache or two. It’s wonderful and delightful and silly fun – all things I appreciate.

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Imma Nerd!

So, if you haven’t heard of Nerd Nite, it is pretty much awesome. Presentations on ANYTHING that fascinates people, and we all chill and drink beer and such and learn some crazy stuff and be nerdy together. 

It’s pretty much fantastic and yay. 

So last night was Nerd Nite at a local pub, and I learned all sorts of fantasticness – I learned about bats and how they are cute and not scary and are being endangered by things like wind turbines. And I learned about weird medical treatments (mostly not in use anymore, but holy crap, people used to do all sorts of weird crap, like taking heroin for just about everything, along with thinking shocking their man-bits would make them more awesome), which was kinda alarming in that “they thought that was a good idea omg how many things are people going to laugh at and be horrified by that we do now” sort of way. Also learned about cosplay and how to get into that sort of thing and got to drool over some pretty fantastic stuff that people have made.

Also got to chill with a bunch of people I really like, drink pretty awesome beer, and just be all chill. 

Nerd Nite makes me so happy. 

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Feeling like a Baby Hippo

I love being in the water. It’s the only time in my life that I feel like I have a hope at being graceful. 

I often joke that I feel like a baby hippo – rounder than I ought to be, ungainly like I am still trying to find my feet, and generally confused about this whole “movement” thing that everyone seems to understand. I am a bit of a klutz, I suppose you could say.

This all changes for me when I am swimming. When I hit the water, its like the rest of the world just goes away – gravity no longer applies, so I can just move without being afraid I will end up flat on my face.

My mother and I have started going to Aquafit again at a localish pool. I love this so, so much, because I get to be in the water, I get to exercise, and all of it is just lovely and wonderful. I can just move and use my body and my joints that usually cause me pain don’t and it is just…nice. I doubt I look at all graceful, but I feel that way. 

It’s a weird transformation. I put on my bathing suit, I let the water flow over me, and suddenly, 45 minutes of exercise seems like 5 minutes, because I am enjoying myself, and I feel like every movement is possible. 

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Programming! Python!

Right now I am taking Coursera’s Intro to Programming course, and am working on the stuff for week 2. I haven’t yet attempted the assignment, as I have a friend coming over for an awesome dinner of awesome, but I am having SO MUCH FUN actually learning this stuff.

I have tried to learn to program a handful of times now, using various books and online resources. Every time, I get bored, it gets hard, I give up. 

I really, really, really want to learn to program, though (for a variety of reasons, including pure and giddy fascination at the idea of making a computer do stuff). 

So, I am trying again. This time it seems to be sticking a bit better, which is, I suspect, because the professors are explaining the hows and whys of how things work, rather than just making me repeat the same thing over and over . I don’t do well with rote memorization. I work better when you explain to me the innerworkings of something, so this style of teaching really clicks with my brain.

So far, so good. It’s fun getting a computer to do stuff, like ask someone for information, or convert celsius temperatures and fahrenheit ones. Nothing earth shattering, but it delights me nonetheless.

It helps that I have a bunch of awesome people like my roommate and the denizens of The Bridge around to help me out when I get to be a stompy dragon when things don’t work in ways that I expect. Having a good support group makes anything more awesome. 😀 

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Costumes!

I love to dress up. I don’t get to do it nearly enough (but hopefully I will more soon, when I start LARP). 

Today I dragged a friend along to a local theatre company’s costume and prop sale. 

SO MUCH AMAZING. 

There were silly hats and friends and hugs and all sorts of fantasticness. My friend and I tried on random hats, were incredibly silly, and had a great time poking through all the things that were for sale. 

I found a fantastic set of faux-arm armor (and a shoulder protector thingie) in purple and gold, which I decided that I needed to own for no other reason than I want to wear it with my normal clothes and go to class like that just because it would be something fun and random to do.

AND THEN.

There was a rack of vintage stuff and random nicer pieces, and I found this GORGEOUS leatherish (there aren’t any tags in the coat, so I can’t tell what it is actually made of) trenchcoat. It comes to my knees and is this wonderful shade of lightish brown and it makes me SO HAPPY. It was relatively cheap, too, so that was pretty cool. And a friend called it my Donna Noble jacket, which made the Whovian in me quite delighted.

Today is also my family’s Thanksgiving get together, so that will also be an awesome adventure. YAY!

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It’s okay to be silly.

“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”

I will be the first to admit I am more than a little weird. Right now, there’s not anyone in complete mutual weirdness with me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t manage to find my own little bits of random silly.

Take this week. 

Apparently there is this group on campus who want us all to speak out about mental illness, to erase the stigma. I think that is SO fantastic. So I was chilling and talking, and they were like “Can we take your picture with this chalkboard with a message you wrote on it about how we should talk about mental illness?” I said sure, because what else does a purple haired girl have to do at 4 in the afternoon? 🙂

I wrote something along the lines of “We speak, because the silence is unawesome and lonely”. And the girl taking my picture kept giggling because I was super bouncy and excited. Apparently my enthusiasm for the project made her day, so that was nifty.

Today, I had another random silly (that also ended with me getting my picture taken!) because of TEDx.

If you don’t know what TED Talks are, you are missing out on some SUPER smart stuff. It’s mindblowing, for serious. 

There were a bunch of people talking about TEDx today in one of the buildings that I walk through, and they had a little table thing set up, and they asked me if they could take my picture with these red cutouts of the letters “T”, “E”, “D” and “x” (for obvious reasons). 

I said sure, but I said I didn’t know if I could hold all 4 letters, so one of the people there took two, and I took two, and was like “Let’s be awesome with this.” 

So we stretched out on the floor on our stomachs, holding one letter on either side of our faces, and made the best random faces we could think of. 

I laughed like mad.

Both of these moments were less than 5 minutes long, but both left me grinning like a crazybean for the rest of the day, because I just allowed myself to be silly and excited and yay about things. 

I should do that more often.

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Going Medieval!

My mom wanted to go to Medieval TImes for her birthday. We’d never been (we were supposed to go when I was younger, but then my brain imploded, and we didn’t go.).

It was a delightful adventure. 

There were knights and lances and fighting and awesome and delicious food. 

We were sitting right at the front, so we had an unobstructed view of everything, and I loved it. I know it’s all practiced and staged, but that added to the magic – knowing the work involved in learning and doing such a thing from my small experiences with local theatre, I have a huge appreciate for people who learn that sort of fight work (or any theatrical thing, really!).

I said to my mom that it was like seeing Tamora Pierce novels in real life – there were little things where I was like “OMG Kel would have done something like that” or “Alanna would have been like…” which amused me endlessly. 

My sister and her boyfriend paid to get my mother knighted, so she is now a Dame of the Realm. What realm, I cannot say, but hey, it was cool.

There was also the dungeon, with all the torture implements – it was delightful and disturbing all at once. Things like that make me marvel at humanity’s ability to be absolutely terrible to one another.

Getting to eat with my hands was silly fun. Especially pulling apart the half-chicken I had to eat. (It was a tiny chicken.)

We laughed, we cheered, my mom got a flower from our knight, there were pictures and silliness and generally family awesome. 

It was one of those adventures that reminded me how my family can be totally awesome – we aren’t afraid to have fun and be just absolutely ridiculous sometimes. 

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Hello World

This is a bit of a strange adventure, and it might not be something that anyone else gets, but I am recording it here for posterity, because it was super awesome for my brain.

I was walking home a couple days ago, and was listening to my iPod. Had it on shuffle, listening to my “Kicking Ass and Taking Names” playlist, when Hello World by Lady Antebellum popped on. I love that song. It makes me feel awesome. So I am listening to it, humming along as I walk, when the part talking about “Every day I drive by a little white church/It’s got these little white crosses /like angels in the yard/Maybe I should stop on in/ and say a prayer/Maybe talk to God/ like he is there”, just as I am walking near the church that is on the street near my house.

I see the big white cross that is on the church, and it is all sunny and bright and beautiful, and I just stop.

I stopped, right then and there, with my school stuff and my lunchpail and everything, and sat in the grass, looking at this white cross and this church and I just…opened my heart.

I whispered words to the universe, to God, to anyone that might be listening and I just…let myself be open to the world. It was an odd yet beautiful moment. People walked by with their dogs and drove by in their cars while I sat there in the grass and just…was.

 

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Cereal

Okay, I know what you are thinking. Who in their right mind starts a blog about having adventures with a post about cereal?

Answer: Me. Because adventures are not always about BIG things, like white water rafting or jumping off buildings. Sometimes they are little teeny tiny things. It’s all in how you notice them.

So. Cereal.

As I adjust (still!) to a life of a single bean, with less structure because I only have me to worry about, and myself to feed, I find I eat strange things at odd moments. Ice cream for dinner, waffles for lunch, garlic bread with cheese for breakfast. I choose based on what makes my stomach happy.

So, I decided that I needed something for breakfast.

Here’s something you should know – I HATE cereal. I hate that if you are the only one eating it, a box lasts for eons and eons and gets boring long before it is over. I want creativity and variety in my food.

So, cereal and I are not very often on speaking terms.

I have this vague memory of going camping (maybe not, maybe it was just home breakfasts before school, but it feels like camping) where my sister and I would split one of those Fun Pacs of cereal, me trading her the Rice Krispies that I didn’t like for her Corn Pops. That was years ago, but I remember the tiny cereal boxes being perfectly Araleith sized. Like I didn’t get bored before they were over.

So, I wondered, having not looked at them for eons and eons, if such a thing existed.

I scoured the cereal aisle, getting more and more sad as giant box after giant box of cereal presented itself. All I wanted was tiny variety. That was it.

I almost gave up and went home, without my cereal.

THEN I SAW IT.

Bottom corner of a shelf, almost hidden behind the family sized box of Cinnamon Pops.

A CEREAL FUN PAC.

It was just as awesome as I remembered. Even more so, because there was only ONE  box of Rice Krispies, not two (because there is this weird Krave chocolate cereal that I haven’t tried yet, but am willing to give a chance, because it is a tiny box). AND there were Cinnamon Pops, which I discovered recently I liked.

So, I scooped it up and darted to the cash, half afraid this was just a grocery store dream and I would wake up in my bed, sans cereal.

I paid for the cereal, and pretty much skipped home, the cereal tucked under my arm like the most wonderful prize.

It was an awesome adventure. And now I have cereal awesome.

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