I believe the world is divided into two types of people: people who like surprises and people who don't.
I don't like surprise parties, surprise quizzes or desserts with the word "surprise" in them. I just think most things are better when they're totally planned out. By me. For me.
That's why every year I give my parents a Birthday Gift List. I don't mind if they don't give me everything on my list. I'm not greedy or anything. I just think it's better for everyone concerned if they get me exactly what I want.
I try to vary the List from year to year, throw a few fun little "impossibles" in there just to make them chuckle. Like when I was nine, I asked for a pony and a trip to Paris. I was joking about the pony. They, unfortunately, thought I was joking about Paris.
So this year I only put one thing on my Birthday List. One thing that would make my 16th Birthday better than Abby Jensen's 16th Birthday. But I'm not going to tell you what it is. Somebody has to be surprised around here!
No, that's not the title of a new horror movie. It's my life. Why is my life full of terror, you might ask? Two words:
AKA Driver's Ed. Specifically, Driver's Ed with Abby Jensen at the wheel. It sounded like a good idea at first. Abby and I are both car crazy. She's partial to red vehicles and I always look at the blue ones, but we're both totally excited about turning 16 and getting our driver's licenses. So naturally, we signed up for Driver's Ed together.
And then she got behind the wheel.
Terror in the Parking Lane. And the Passing Lane. And the Right Turn Only Lane. I hope her parents let her practice A LOT before she gets her license. In an empty parking lot. With no obstacles of any kind within a mile or two.
Gotta run. Today we're learning Parallel Parking. I think I'll keep my eyes closed.
Have you read my sister's blog? I just found it online, under the oh-so-creative title "Abby's Blog" and I feel the need to set the record straight:
I do NOT carry my "stupid toy guitar" around "all the time." Just in the morning when I'm feeling particularly creative. And late at night when the freshman blues hit me hard. That's when I write my best songs. Abby only hears the goofy ones I sing when I'm messing around or just want to torture her. (I am her younger brother, after all. It's in my contract.) But I really do want to be a singer/songwriter/recording artist/major rock star, and right now that guitar is the only thing I have that makes me feel like I'm getting close.
Someday I'll be old enough to get a job and make some bank for the axe of my dreams. Until then, I'll proudly bear the name of "Duffus and his Toy Guitar Band."
Hey...great idea, Abs. I think I'll start a band!
Guess what?! I've just been given my best assignment EVER! A girl named Abby Jensen has made a wish list!
Not just any wish list. It's 16 Wishes she wants to come true all on one day: her 16th Birthday. I haven't seen the list yet, so I don't exactly know what kind of a ride we're in for, but I can't WAIT for Abby's Birthday Morning so I can get started!
Sometimes I get someone's birthday wish in advance. That's fun too, since it gives me time to plan. But Abby's Wish List is a mystery. She keeps it in her closet, so I'm assuming no one's ever seen it. Well, maybe her little brother Mike. He's always invading her privacy, coming in without knocking, that kind of thing. Or maybe she's shown the list to Jay Kepler, her best friend.
Anyhoo, that's stage one: I have to get a good look at that list without Abby knowing, which means I need to get her out of her room - preferably out of her house. Planning that stage will give me a little something to scheme about, but not in an evil way, of course. Now that I'm on the case, everything that happens on Abby's 16th Birthday is going to happen for a reason.
Goodness, this going to be fun!
When I was a freshman, everybody tried to tell me the importance of immediately picking my "clique." For the those of you not yet in High School, it's pronounced "click" and it means a group or set of people with a common interest. Our first day of freshman year, Abby and I identified some of most obvious cliques:
The Band Geeks
Once you identify yourself with one of these groups, it's hard to switch. So I decided to steer clear all together and develop friendships with everyone. I have friends in band, friends in football, friends who play chess, friends who dance, friends who wouldn't be caught dead dancing...friends who should rethink a few of their favorite dance moves because of how ridiculous they look doing them (that means you, Abby).
I guess I'm just not interested in taking sides. I like staying neutral.
Someday, that's all gonna pay off.
Abby has this list of 16 Wishes she hopes will come true when she turns 16. I'm only four months younger than her, so I started thinking it's time I came up with my own Wish List.
Here goes. When I'm 16...
#1 - I'll have a cool car, preferably new, preferably fast.
#2 - I'll drive Abby around in my new, fast car.
#3 - I'll get courtside basketball tickets for me and Abby.
#4 - Maybe I'll try out for football.
#5 - Maybe Abby will come to a football game to watch me play instead of Logan.
#6 - I'll do something impressive and important, like...not sure yet.
#7 - I'll convince Principal Smith to put foosball tables in the lunchroom.
That's all I can think of right now. Ideas? Thoughts? Commentary?
Freshman guys have it rough. I'm not saying we're short, it's just that most of us haven't reached our "full height potential" yet. Someday, most of us will tower over our big sisters and call them names we just learned in Shakespeare 1O1, like "acorn" and "minimus."
Until then, we have to endure being a little bit invisible. The girls at school are all beautiful creatures who step on us with their high heels at dances and look over our heads when we try to talk to them.
Then there are guys like Logan Buchanan. He doesn't really say very much, but all the girls are crazy about him, including my sister Abby. Personally, I think it's just because he's tall enough to look them in the eye.
So until I'm taller -- like next semester -- I'm just going to bide my time and perfect my rock star air of cool, casual confidence.
That's my plan and I'm stickin' to it.
Being a Birthday Fairy has to be the best job in the world. Well...maybe the second best. The Big Guy in Red who lives at the North Pole has the most awesome job. Think about it: he gets to eat whatever he wants, he has a really cool uniform - I'd love to get my hands on those glam boots and that wide shiny belt - and he only works one day a year!
Birthday Fairies, on the other hand, are pretty much always on the job. We speak dozens of languages and get to travel all over the world. Oh boy, do I have the stories! I've worked my Birthday List Magic on kings and queens, presidents and senators, ministers and prime ministers. But my favorite birthdays are for people just like you.
Someday maybe I'll be assigned to your Birthday List. Won't that be fun?
Until then, keep making those wishes and don't forget to write them down. I think it's important to know what you want in life. Who knows? Maybe you won't need a Birthday Fairy.
You're smart, strong and beautiful. Start making your own wishes come true!
I live to humiliate Abby Jensen so it's a real time-saver when she does it to herself. She's been doing that a lot lately. I think the closer we get to our 16th birthdays, the more desperate she is to enjoy it.
Last Tuesday in homeroom I heard her talking to Jay Kepler about how she wanted her 16th birthday to be -- and I quote -- "the best birthday in the history of 16th birthdays!"
Give me a break. Her birthday is going to be totally forgettable. Mine, however, will be so awesome some cable show will want to film it and launch my new TV career.
That will really drive Abby Jensen bonkers. Score again!
I like sports. All kinds. If it has a ball and a net of some kind, I'm in. I am partial toward team sports and I'm not sure why. Maybe there's something about a team that I like, all those different people working together toward a common goal.
I guess that's what it's all about for me: collaboration. Like when Abby and I became lab partners -- that's when Chemistry started to be fun. When I'm working with her on an experiment, it doesn't matter how stupid it is or whether the two liquids we're mixing together form a noxious stink cloud that permeates the entire school and forces an evacuation for which everyone thanks us later because we all get to go home early -- it's just more fun with her than without her.
In about ten minutes she's coming over to study and we'll probably end up playing foosball or something instead of getting our History report done. She's really bad at foosball, but it's fun to see her try.
...but Rock & Roll doesn't necessarily love me. Yet.
I know I have musical talent. I can feel it coursing through my veins. But when I open my mouth to sing a song I made up, it doesn't exactly sound like it does in my head.
Please don't tell my sister Abby what I just told you. She already thinks there's something wrong with me.
See, the only guitar I have is this toy I got when I was nine. She thinks I'm fooling myself and wants me to give up my dream. But she doesn't realize a Real Rocker never gives up on the Music.
One day my musical muse is going to visit and something magical is going to happen. I just know it. Until then I'm givin' it all I've got with what I've got: a toy guitar and a voice that seems to be changing by the second.
Besides, it's fun to torture her with my recently perfected power strum.
Next week: stage diving!
Who here thinks Celeste should be able to blog if she wants to? It's a free universe, right? If human beings can speak their minds, I can too.
But the comments are pouring in from my fellow magical beings. (You, dear human readers, can't see those comments because they're written in invisible type, which also bugs me.) They think I need to be a little more discrete. More mysterious.
For instance, they don't want you to know how much Birthday Fairies like me love pizza. They're afraid if you humans knew that we crave the cheesy tomatoey bready goodness of a perfect pie, you'd try to bribe us with it.
I think a simple warning will suffice:
Please do not leave a pizza under your pillow along with your Birthday Wish. it's messy and won't get you anything you want. Even from your parents.
Thank you. That is all.
Today I started working on my campaign for Student Body President. I presented my whole plan to Principal Smith and I think he was really impressed. I had mock-ups of all of my posters, lawn signs, buttons and bumper stickers displayed for him on big white poster boards. He just kept smiling and nodding and every now and then he laughed out loud and told me I was the only candidate on the ballot.
(Gasp!) Do you think he was laughing at me?
Well, I don't care if he was. When I do something, I do it perfectly. So what if no one else is running? My campaign is going to be totally professional. It'll be good practice for the future.
"Krista Cook for President of the United States."
It's about time the White House got painted yellow.
Today in Government class we learned all about the Cold War and it made me think about Abby & Krista. It's just so irritating that they don't get along. I'm sure they both have good reasons why they can't stand each other, but it's been nine years since they started feuding. Enough already!
The weird thing is I think they'd actually like each other if they could just stop with the loathing. They're girls. They both love to do girly things. Like shopping.
I vote for "detente." It's pronounced "day-taunt" and it's how they ended the Cold War. Here's the definition: "The easing of tensions or strained relations between nations by agreements or understandings." I think Abby & Krista need to ease up and understand each other.
If I was President, I'd make them sit in a room together and talk it out. Or go shopping.
Sisters are a pain in the neck. Trust me. I know what I'm talking about.
Look at me. I'm a freshman guy in the prime of teenagehood. When I started high school this year, my mom said, "Mike, the world is your oyster." Not sure what exactly she meant by that. Life is gross & slimy and you have to swallow it real fast and pretend you liked it because it was expensive?
I think she might have been saying, "Mike! Have fun!" I'd love to. But because my older sister Abby goes to the same high school, it gets complicated. She's such a drama queen! Right now, she's totally freaking out about her 16th birthday. It's next month and don't ask me what day because it's just one of those little details I don't want cluttering up the ol' grey matter.
I'm just a guy tryin' to have a good life. Is that too much to ask?
I love the color yellow. It's such a sunny, happy color. It's the color my whole world would be without Abby Jensen in it.
For my 12th birthday, my mom let me decorate my room the way I wanted it. (Abby was sooooo jealous! Score one for me!) My new bed had a big yellow canopy over it and all the pillows and everything were covered in yellow flowers.
When I wake up in my wonderful yellow bed in the morning, for just a moment I forget that I'm going to have to see Abby Jensen that day and I smile. Then I hear her annoyingly cheerful voice coming from her driveway across the street and my smile drops. It's instantaneous! I can't help it! Just knowing I'm going to have to occupy the same school district with her makes me suddenly feel like I did when I was 8 and my double scoop of lemon chiffon ice cream fell into a mud puddle.
I wish Abby Jensen would move. To Iceland.
The life of a magical being isn't all glass slippers and yellow brick roads. True, we don't have to contend with transportation issues, like freeway gridlock. Being able to just flutter your eyelashes and show up on the other side of town is very helpful when you've got a tight schedule to keep.
Maybe I should explain something about who I am. I'm part of a whole class of magical beings: godmothers, genies, guardian angels, fairies of every color & creed.
Some of us are famous, like that ball gown wearing diva Glinda, and others prefer to stay anonymous. Some have wings, some live in bottles, some use a wand, others have a signature wink or blink that sets their magic in motion.
I take a more simple approach and it all starts with a List. There's just something so compelling about a person wanting something so badly, she writes it down.
Telling someone -- even a piece of paper or a blog -- what you want is the first step toward having your wish come true.
Come on. Tell me just one wish.
I'd much rather be writing "Dear Diary" but since my actual diary went missing last week, I started this blog instead. If you're reading this and you're the one who STOLE my diary, GIVE IT BACK right now and I'll THINK about not making you PAY for what you've done.
If you're reading this and your name is ABBY JENSEN...stop reading. Now. I mean it.
No, wait. I take that back. Read away, Abby! I want you to know exactly what I'm planning for my 16th birthday next month. Oh. What's that? It's YOUR 16th birthday too? Well, guess what? NO ONE CARES. My birthday is going to RULE and yours is going to fade away like that bad smell coming from the locker room last week.
To Everybody Else: I know you think I'm being really hard on Abby, but if you only KNEW the real story, if you only KNEW what she did to deserve how I feel about her, you'd understand my point of view. Just wait. Someday the truth will come out.
Until then, my Sweet 16 Party is going to be awesome and you're all invited. I'll post more info soon!
Your Future Student Body President
Hello. My name is Jay Kepler and I'm writing this blog for extra credit in English Composition. Mrs. Hackle, my English teacher, always says write what you know, so I guess I'll just write about my not very exciting life.
Or I can write about Abby Jensen.
Everybody thinks we're dating or something because we hang out together all the time, but we're just friends. Really. I have no additional feelings for Abby besides friendship. Nada. None. Nyet.
Abby's 16th Birthday is coming up soon and it's such a big deal to her, the pressure is really on to find a gift that lives up to the occasion. Do you know what would happen if I got the wrong gift? Have you ever seen one of those movies where the earth is being destroyed by aliens or volcanoes or too much plastic being tossed into the landfills and life as we know it ceases to exist? It would be like that. Only with more tears.
If you're reading this and you have any good ideas, I'd love to hear them because I have to get her the perfect gift. Because Abby & I are just friends. And only friends.