The Grand Budapest Hotel

I recently watched this movie, and I really enjoyed it. It tells an engaging story about a hotel concierge who gets framed for the murder of an old friend and hotel guest who willed a very valuable painting to him, which the family of the deceased is furious about. He and his lobby boy, who tells the story, have quite a wild adventure trying to escape the vengeful family. The cast grows and grows throughout the movie and includes a number of familiar faces, from Ralph Fiennes to Bill Murray to Owen Wilson. Continue reading



imageToday is a random fact day.

Yesterday my friends, sister, mom and I were eating chips and guacamole. I remembered that when I was little I had called guacamole something else, but wasn’t sure what, so I asked my mom what I used to call it.

She replied, “Brocamole.” We smiled at that, and my sister said, “That would be made of broccoli, Emma.”

We had said this before, that brocamole would be made of broccoli, but yesterday I had the brilliant realization that it wouldn’t, necessarily, because guacamole isn’t made of guacals or guacali. I also realized that this would be the perfect thing to write about for a Random Facts post (it’s harder than you think coming up with interesting questions each day). Continue reading

Ice Cubes

While I was getting a water bottle today, I emptied a partially-melted ice tray. As I was putting the cubes into my water, I noticed some of them were in really cool shapes. So I took some pictures and here they are:

I think a lot of them look like monsters’ or dinosaurs’ mouths- some even have teeth!

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Nature (or my freezer, I guess) makes its own art! It is amazing how none of these miniature sculptures is the same, and it’s interesting how they freeze in particular shapes. Some have teeth, others have rods or stalagmites/stalactites. They are all unique. I would have looked at more of them, but I had to go to practice and I figured I didn’t need twenty pictures of ice cubes. I think four is perfect.


Yesterday I spent all day with friends. For many high schoolers, I am sure that isn’t a big deal. But I am more of an introvert, and a planner, and being seriously dedicated to football means I usually spend my summer days going to practice for a few hours in the morning, coming home to rest for a while, then going to more practice at night. And I love it. I see my friends at football and I spend time with my family at home. So spending all day bouncing between get-togethers and friends was an unusual occurrence for me.

But it turned out to be really fun! I went mini golfing with friends in the morning, then went to the Seattle Reign game with other friends and finally to a dinner party with a big group of yet other friends. It turned out to be a fantastic day. It was super fun (and exhausting). I think us less-social people get stuck in our ways sometimes, and forget how much fun it can be to go out with friends. Then we forget how great our friends really are.

I know we all have our excuses: I’m too busy, I don’t have time, I like spending time alone, I need to relax, I don’t like crowds. But every once in a while, or more often than that, we all need to try something new. Or even if it’s not new, we need to do something a little out of the ordinary. And spending more time with friends doesn’t necessarily mean there is less time to do other things. So if you don’t get together with friends very often, I challenge you to organize something with your friends in the very near future. I bet you’ve forgotten how much fun being with your friends can be.

This isn’t just to be applied to being with friends, though. Maybe there’s a new restaurant you’ve been wanting to go to for a while, or you used to go biking every day, but you’ve been so busy lately that there just hasn’t been time. Make time! That’s really the hardest part. But you just have to set a time and hold yourself to it. Don’t go in with your mind already set to not enjoy it. Give it your best shot to have fun. Don’t think about what else you could be doing, or what you are missing; relax and enjoy where you are. You might have a blast or you might discover you don’t want to spend your time doing this. But at least you tried. You never know. You may find your new favorite restaurant, or that you really love to bike. You might be reminded, like I was, that your friends are really fun, cool people and you really like to hang out with them.


Well, this post started as a reflection on my social life and turned into a call for everyone to be a little more outgoing… I hope it helps you (re)discover a passion or a good time. Personally, I am going to try to live on my toes a little more. Thanks for reading!

Summer Music

I have had some pretty bad writer’s block lately, so (sadly) I have not been writing as often as I would’ve liked. I’ve also been busy the past few days, but I am coming back to the wonderful world of blogs now.

I am sitting outside right now, and after  four days of gray and rain it is finally beautiful: blue skies, sunshine, a light breeze and hot by my standards, so mid seventies. My point is, it is summer and it feels like it.

I am not a huge music person, but I do listen to the radio in the car and at home sometimes. In any case, there is one song I discovered on the radio a month or two ago- well actually my mom found it first and told me about it- and I love it. To me it sounds like summer. When I listen to it I feel like I am sitting around a campfire on the ocean beach in the evening with my friends and family, and someone is playing the guitar and singing this song. The song is Riptide by Vance Joy. It’s been out for a while, and it has a sort of folky sound to it, I guess. I like alternative music, so it sort of fits my genre, but my friend who is more into pop likes it too. Like I said, it’s a great song, even if it isn’t summer where you live or you aren’t normally into alternative music. Check it out and let me know what you think. Does it remind you of summer, or something else?

Here’s the link to the lyrics video on YouTube: riptide. I don’t like the music video, though I don’t like many music videos, because it gives me a different idea of what the song is about than what I thought when I first heard it. I recommend just listening to the song and not watching the lyrics for the video above, at least the first time. Hope you enjoy!


Filthy Rich

The other day, while we were driving to a football tournament, my dad asked my sister and I why Macklemore refers to our city as “filthy”. (In The Town he says “My city’s filthy”). I told him that it was used as a way of saying “awesome”, and my sister said that it was sort of like calling something “sick”, where it sounds gross but it is meant as “cool”. (Just as I was writing that I realized how much that doesn’t make sense).

That’s not really what I’m writing about though. Talking about the word filthy, we of course made the connection to the phrase “filthy rich”, which made us wonder, why do we sometimes call extremely wealthy people filthy? How did that start? So here’s the random fact for today:

It turns out, it started with the word lucre, which has been used since the fourteenth century and means money. However, lucre is usually regarded as money made in a dishonest way. In 1526 William Tindale used the phrase “filthy lucre” in his printed works. Then money was referred to as “the filthy” and soon after the jump was made to call people who became wealthy by dishonorable means the “filthy rich”. The phrase was first used in the US in the 1920s. Today, however, most of the negative association with the phrase is gone.

Laugh a Little!

Personally, I love to laugh. I don’t know if this is true for everybody, but I think it’s safe to say that most people enjoy laughing. And yet most of us don’t do it enough. I was told that adults laugh about twice a day, and that toddlers and young kids laugh at least one hundred times a day. That’s a big difference! I’ve also noticed that toddlers tend to make other people happy. You can’t help but smile as they walk by with a grin on their face or ask you innocent questions, the answers to which you take for granted. Happiness is contagious in that way.

So, why does it matter that we laugh less as we grow older? Continue reading



I love to travel. New places and cultures and people and food. I think you need to travel every once in a while, even if it’s just to the next city or state over, just to put yourself in a different setting, and to keep your life exciting. That being said, you also need to have a home where it doesn’t have to be exciting. Everyone needs a place to relax and feel comfortable in. I like both of these parts of travel, the new experiences and the coming home. The only part I really don’t like about traveling is, well, the actual traveling part.

Actually, I take that back. Sometimes I do like the traveling part. Trains or boats or even cars sometimes can be enjoyable, fun even. But I don’t like planes. At all. It’s not that I’m afraid of heights, or crashing or any of that, and I’m not claustrophobic. There are. Two main reasons I don’t like planes: 1) they confine you. You are stuck in a seat for who knows how many hours, unable to move your legs, or body for that matter. 2) I get air sick. Starting when I was two years old I threw up on every plane ride I took until I was about eleven. Thankfully over the past few years I’ve gotten better, but I still tend to feel nauseous during the landings.

Anyway, the reason I am writing about this is that I am about to fly back home, ending a three and a half week annual trip. Like all the best ones, it went by like a flash, and I don’t want to leave. However, I do look forward to going home and seeing all the people and animals (my cat) I’ve missed. And I am looking forward to playing soccer.

Plane rides are always full of mixed emotions.



“Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.”


I saw this on a card, and I liked it right away. The inside said “Be yourself on your birthday.” I don’t really care much about that part. But I like the truth of the quote. No one is “normal” and yet we all try to fit that very unrealistic, completely subjective quality. Why? Nobody really likes “normal” anyway; we like people for their oddities and quirks. And we are all much happier not pretending to be “normal”. So I say the inside of that card should read  “Be yourself  everyday!”