Thursday, April 30, 2009

Scary Stuff!

I'm writing from the school library because Vee's computer is in the shop. :(

The other night we lost power! There wasn't any reason for it, just lost power. On top of that, Vee's DVD player suddenly stopped working after the power came back on. It was pretty scary being in the dark suddenly, but after the power went out Harriet's grandma lit a few candles.

What's even scarier is this "swine flu" that's going around. Some schools here have even closed down. Not ours yet, but I don't know.

Someone in comments on another post asked about Hilary and Bridget. They're not even speaking to each other right now, which in my mind is probably a good thing. I told Hilary the other day, if she's gonna have friends like that, she doesn't need them.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Kristy is completely insane!

Let me explain my title for a second. Okay, most of you who've followed this blog know that Kristy Van Dyke is a girl in my class. She was Harriet's pal before she became mine, and now she's one of my best friends.
Above is a picture of her with her long, thick brown hair that she really hardly does anything with, except maybe put in a ponytail. I'm jealous sometimes that her hair is so thick.
So, the other day Kristy is like, "I wanna cut all of it off." My reaction was, ARE YOU SERIOUS????? HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND????
"Yeah, I wanna cut it all off. I want it very short."
Please tell me I'm right. I think this is a terrible idea.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Earth Day, talent show, other stuff

So, yesterday was Earth Day. I spent most of the day with my Girl Scout troop (yes, I am and have been a Girl Scout for the last four years) running a recycling drive. Harriet and Kristy joined our troop this year. I didn't get home until late last night, and when I did, I simply crashed.

Today was the first day of dress rehearsals for the talent show. Have to say, they've been surprisingly uneventful, so far, though Miss Drama Queen yelped about her ballet costume, "Well, this is too small!" She stamped her feet and carried on like a little kid.

Speaking of little kids, a couple 5th graders came by to watch the rehearsals. Lindsey Bergman, I remember her from the basketball game, said she knew someone who worked with a lighting company. She knows more about computers than our IT people have forgotten. She even agreed to help with decorations. Oh, and did I mention she's in my Girl Scout troop?

An eighth-grader named Marisol Luna is in charge of the modern dance routines for the talent show. She's from Chicago and knows all kinds of dance moves, the stuff that's on TV all the time. She has long brown hair and wears clothes I only see on TV, she may very well be the coolest girl in school. I walked in on their practice and I have to say it's intense! Even Mia, who may be the fittest girl in my class because of what she does with her figure skating, was winded.

Monday, April 20, 2009

What About Your Friends (Part 3)

Well, I've got good news and bad news. First the good news. The good news is that Vee is finally gonna let me travel this summer! And my first stop is -- California, to see Wendy! Woo hoo! I can't wait.
And now the bad news. Auditions and rehearsals have started for our school's talent show coming up, and I've got to say, tempers are... already flaring.

Witness this confrontation between Hilary and Bridget. Now, they've got some history -- they used to be BFFs when they both attended Riverside Academy. Of course, Bridget has been lately in the company of Meredith and the Mean Bees (sounds like the name of a girl group, eh? They've sure been acting like one lately, lol). Hilary's gonna play piano and Bridget's doing an Irish dance.
It started over what song Bridget was going to perform to, and then it got personal.
"How can you do this, Bridget?"
"Do what?"
"You betrayed me. We used to be best friends."
"And?" Bridget sounded as callous as Meredith. "So what? Things change, people change."
"Bridget, you're the one who's changed. I don't recognize you. These clothes, that hair -- you're not who I thought I knew."
"Hil, lighten up, will ya? Stop being so dramatic. You know that's your problem, you're so dramatic. You always wanna make people feel sorry for you."
I could see Marisa and Meredith whispering things in Bridget's ear, giving her 'encouragement' so to speak.
"You're the drama queen, Bridget! As soon as you got on the gymnastics team, you dropped me like a hot potato. You didn't even give me a chance."
After Meredith whispered something in her ear, Bridget shot back, "Hil, you couldn't make the gymnastics team if you wanted to. I'm not insulting you, I'm just stating a fact. You're fat and clumsy. Besides, why would I even wanna hang out with you? I'm popular now -- and you're stuck with the dork squad. Sorry."
"Bridget --" Hilary choked back tears. "Bridget, they're just using you." I handed Hilary a napkin. If I had an ex-friend like Bridget, I probably wouldn't confront her like that, so I give her props for that.
I went over my list. So far there were twelve acts -- from dancing and singing to juggling, ballet, and piano. I figured it was decent enough variety that people wouldn't automatically get bored. Although, the thought of Meredith dancing is enough to make my blood curl.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Forgot to mention...

In all my stress over mom's visit, I forgot to mention this little incident.
Ok, remember we were supposed to have a party for Easter? We ended up doing something, but a gathering over at Vee's place, on the day after Easter. With Nicki leaving that evening, it was the least I could do.

Kristy brought someone with her. I was expecting she'd bring Alison but it wasn't her. It was someone else. She wore glasses and a red jumper. I have to admit she was cool-looking. "Her name is Veronica Vasconcelos," Kristy said, "she's my roommate at the center."
I like the sound of the name, Veronica Vasconcelos. She's as exotic as her name is. She's is half-Brazilian and half-Mexican, and she speaks fluent Portuguese and Spanish. But I wasn't prepared for what Kristy said next.
"She's legally blind."
"She can't see?" asked Harriet.
"Not too well," Kristy said.
I'd read about blindness in a book once, and I explained to them that there are different definitions of sight, and once a person's vision falls below a certain threshold, they're declared legally blind. For example, my vision is officially 20/50, which means I'm mildly nearsighted. Veronica's vision has to be worse than 20/200.
Veronica told us she's learning Braille, the written language for visually impaired people. I saw a documentary on it once, it's raised dots on a page, and it allows for them to 'read' even though they can't see well.
Just then Nicki showed up, with Sprocket in tow. I had to turn away to keep from sneezing as Sprocket barked and barked and barked at Veronica.

I was shocked at what happened next. Nicki, who'd as far as I knew had only seen Veronica this one time, reached over to her and handed Sprocket to her. "He's a trained service dog," she explained, "he'll be your eyes and ears." Veronica was quite touched by the gift, she gave Nicki a huge hug and started crying.
Later on, on our way to the airport, where Nicki only had 1 dog with her, I asked her why she did it, and she said that Veronica needed Sprocket more than she did.

Friday, April 17, 2009

My Trip to the Principal's Office

Well, today I found myself in the principal's office. But not for what you think.
I was there because before my mother left, she'd angrily marched there to complain about my bullying, and they'd called in Meredith and her mother, too.

Meredith shot me a glare that could melt steel. "Tattletale," I could hear her mumble. "You are sure gonna get it now."
Tossing her hair in my face, she sat down in one of the chairs opposite the principal. My mother was on one end and her mother -- basically a grown up version of her daughter -- was on the other.
Meredith's mother proceeded to blame me for being teased. It was as Harriet's grandmother says, the apple didn't fall too far from the tree. "If you so much as punish my daughter for what that girl did," she said, "there is no end to what I can do."
Principal Ballard caved, only giving Meredith detention for three days, only saying he was limited in what he could do. She was going to be there after school for two of them anyway, because of talent show rehearsals, so she wasn't being punished at all. And all he said to me was, "Since you're a good student, I'm only going to give you a warning."
Why should I be warned for something I didn't do?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Untalented and Overstressed

Easter Week -- and spring break -- has come and gone. Frankly, our holiday wasn't long enough, I needed at least two weeks to recharge. Maybe even a whole month. Summer can't get here fast enough.
Some 8th grader came up with the theme for the upcoming school talent show -- "Adams Got Talent." I understood it to be a play on the name of a TV show. We ended up having to put the new slogan on every sign we made and hung for it, along with the names of the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade class presidents. And as sixth grade class president, I have to help organize the talent show -- a thankless job, to be sure.
While Harriet and I were hanging up our signs, Meredith and a couple of her merry minions came up to us. "I'd like to sign up," said Sasha Moore, who, I could tell, had gotten her hair done.
"What are you doing?" I could hear Meredith whisper to her.
"Signing up for the talent show. Why?"
"Whatcha you gonna do then?"
Then I heard Marisa say, "Mer, Sasha can sing."

I stood there and watched Sasha sign my signup sheet. Meredith looked at Sasha and Marisa, and I could tell she was up to something. She stepped up to me and demanded, "Put me down... for the ballet." She then walked away, dragging her followers with her.
I let out a deep groan. How am I going to get through the next two weeks?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Family Reunion

Mom's visit was brief but full of twists and turns.
When she came from the airport, I wore my Silver Belle dress, and she made a comment that I looked nice and that I was beginning to "fill out." Whatever that means.
Anyway, later on mom looked me in the eye and said we needed to talk. I knew she looked different from the way I remembered her, and she definitely acted different. She then told me the reason. "I was laid off from my job, Haley."
Laid off? I asked. "How could you be laid off? You practically started that law firm you worked for."
"Well, the firm is closing down. I suspect it's only temporary, though."
That explained her visit, I thought.
And that wasn't the only thing she told me. "Haley -- I've -- met someone."
Uh-oh, I thought. I sorta knew this was coming, but there was still no way I could reasonably prepare for it.
"We're getting married in the fall. And -- you're gonna be a big sister."
"You're pregnant?"
"It's still early yet. But the doctor confirmed it last week."
These three pieces of news were too much for me at one time to digest. So I took a deep breath and walked away.
"Haley, I know this is all sudden. But, I needed to tell you in person. That's why I needed to tell you." She then grabbed me by the shoulder. "Now it's your turn. I need to know everything that's going on at school."
If my mother's engagement didn't pierce me in the heart, she managed to pour salt on the wound by asking about school. "How do you know something's going on at school?"
"Haley, I'm your mother. Mothers know these things. Don't ask me how, we just know."
I don't know exactly what happened, but I ended up telling her everything.
"Haley, I'm going to talk to the principal on Tuesday, set up a conference. He needs to know this has been going on. And that Meredith character is bad news."
On our way to the mall, she began telling me about what it was like for her growing up. "Well, you know I was a twin, right?"
"Well, my twin sister was the popular one. Everyone liked her. She was sweeter and prettier --"
"Aunt Joan?"
"Yep. I was the square, the class brain. Nobody from my high school would have guessed Joan would marry a rancher and move to Colorado."
Both Nicki and I laughed at that one.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mom is here....

She arrived last night. More details later.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Palling Around with Nicki

One thing that you have to prepare for when an out-of-town relative comes to visit is surprises. Like, this morning Nicki wakes up and says, "Haley, come on, let's go to the animal shelter."
I rolled my eyes. "Seriously, Nicki? You brought your two dogs here, and you want to see more animals?"
Sprocket scratched his paw on Nicki's face. "That means he's hungry." She rolled out of bed and got him some dog food. I can't say she isn't committed, that's for sure.
"You can bring your friends, too," she added. "The more, the merrier."
You know something's up if Nicki is suggesting things we do. But I was surprised. Harriet and Kristy were both up for it. Hilary was in Minnesota visiting her grandparents and Katarina, of course, is in Germany for the week.
So in the freezing cold, the four of us took the transit bus (yes we have transit service) to the animal shelter on the other side of town. Nicki, who volunteers in one back in Colorado, was showing us around, even while she had Sprocket on his leash. Sprocket's a curious little dog, looking at everything and everyone.
There was this one dog that caught everyone's eye. Everyone's that is, except mine. I couldn't stop sneezing to save my life. It was a beige and brown dog with ears that stick up. Kristy reached to touch it but the dog nearly bit her finger off. Harriet feels the same way about animals as I do -- they're cute as long as they belong to someone else.
"Sprocket's almost done with his training," Nicki revealed. "Pretty soon, he'll be ready to go to someone who needs him more than I do. I'll miss him like crazy though."

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Nicki's here!

Guess what??? I've got good news and bad news.
First, the good news is that Nicki is here! She came late Friday evening and will be here the whole week, till next Monday when she has to go back to school. So that means she'll probably be at our party, too.
The bad news is she brought her 2 dogs with her. I'm allergic to practically anything with fur, but she says she couldn't be a week without either of her dogs.
Well, here's what she's been up to since leaving last November. She broke her neck in a skiing accident and spent 2 weeks in the hospital. She's now volunteering at an animal shelter in her hometown and her family is still training service dogs and raising pigs, and there's also a slew of horses at their ranch.
Nicki, of course, is my cousin. Our mothers were identical twin sisters, and we both have freckles and blue eyes. But that's where the similarities end. She's much prettier, in my opinion, with this gorgeous curly hair that hangs down her back. Mine kind of limps, especially when it's humid. And then it sits in this weird flip I can't do anything with. Sometimes I like the flip but not all the time.
I talked to Nicki's mom, Aunt Joan, over the phone. It was a real treat hearing her voice. Adam (Nicki's younger brother) and her twin sisters are doing well. I'm considering a stop at the ranch this summer.
When Harriet saw Nicki again, she gave her a hearty hug. When I remembered them, they didn't exactly get along, so for me this was a treat. Not that they were fighting or anything, they were cordial, but they just didn't 'get' each other. Nicki was also surprised to see Harriet's 'do and thought it suited her.
I introduced Nicki to the new friends I'd made since she left last November. She met Kristy and Hilary, but she hadn't met Katarina as she went back to Germany (where she was born) for the holiday. Nicki said Kristy reminded her of her friend Kris back home in Colorado.
"She's pretty," Kristy commented, within earshot of me.
Then Nicki's dog Toto jumped on top of Kristy. Lucky Kristy didn't seem to mind, but Nicki was mortified!
As for my party plans, I haven't really finalized the date yet as I'm still trying to get everything together. Vee says we could use the living room but I'm thinking if it's a really good day we could try to do it outdoors. Like a picnic or something, not a 'party.' I'm thinking Nicki would like that a lot. Of course, she could try to take back her short set... but she's not getting it back ;-)
Mom hasn't called back since last week. Hearing from her again was a shock, and now I really don't know what to think. Maybe she changed her mind about coming?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Spring Parties

All I've been hearing about for the last few days has been Meredith Hopkins' blowout birthday party this weekend. It's so big she's not even having it in her already huge house. She's having it at the local community center. Her parents rented the entire building.

She prances about like a queen and her court maids follow her around. And she's spent the whole time passing around invitations for her party. So far, as near as I can tell, she's invited all of her crowd, plus a smattering of 7th and 8th graders. I've heard Bridget O'Shaughnessy (the redhead from the gymnastics team tryouts) got an invitation but not Hilary. Apparently since Hilary pretty much hangs out with Harriet and me she's not considered 'cool' enough. I'm told that a couple neighborhood 5th graders got invites, too. I've also heard Adam Cartwright got an invitation too.
How does she figure out who gets invited to these parties? Has she devised some mysterious lottery system? Is she just picking names out of a hat?
Harriet, our resident spy, has known Meredith since kindergarten, and has despised her for at least as long. She's one of only a few African-American students in our classes (one of the others is Sasha Moore, who's biracial), and throughout the time, she's heard Meredith make a few cutting remarks about blacks to other people but never to her face. The worst she's ever called Harriet, as far as I know, is 'loser' and 'weirdo'. Oh, and there was that one time she referred to Harriet as 'Buckwheat' -- which I found out was from a very old TV show. One thing people might be surprised to know about Meredith -- something Harriet told me -- is that she has a thing for classic movies and TV.
Still, even though I can't stand Meredith, there's a part of me that wants to be at this party. I don't know if it's curiosity or if it's the fact that Adam will more than likely be there, but being left out kinda sucks.

So when she came up to me at recess today, I knew she wasn't going to give me an invitation, but I wanted to know how she chose people that she wanted to attend her party. "Well if it isn't the Dork Squad," she sneered, looking at Kristy, Hilary, Harriet and me.
"If you ask me," Kristy shot back, "the only dork I see here is you."
"Did you get that out of your dad's closet?" Meredith asked, looking at Kristy's overalls.
"Actually," I said, "overalls are a classic style. They never seem outdated."
"You know, I would have invited you to my birthday party at the rec center," she said, "but I don't allow four-eyed dorks in the building. Sorry." With that she left.
"Who would want to go to her stupid party?" asked Kristy, who was probably within earshot of Meredith. But one thing I respect about her is that she just doesn't care. She has more important things to worry about than whether or not she's invited to a party.

Then I came up with an idea. "Let's have our own party," I said. "We don't need her to have a good time." Hilary and Harriet agreed it was a great idea, but I'm not too sure how I could pull it off. And who would I invite? I knew the three of them would get invitations, and probably Katarina, but anybody else? And what could I do? I came to a shocking decision. I decided to put our plan to isolate Meredith into action. I dropped invites on Marisa's, Natasha's, and Sasha's desks. They don't have to accept but at least they're out there. And I gave Mia her invitation during sixth period. The only thing saving me, I think, is the fact that we've got a week off now for Easter break. I've never hosted a party. Harriet had a slumber party a couple weeks ago, but that was planned for months and months and finally got done. How am I going to come up with something at the spur of the moment? There's also the question of what I'm going to wear. There is the Silver Belle dress I wore to the open house, but that seems much too formal for a regular house party. If any of you bloggers have any excellent party ideas I'm all ears (or should I say, all eyes, as I've got four of them)!