Hello and Goodbye

May 17, 2009

Well Mackenzie, you’re almost eighteen and graduating high school. Let me just say, I am utterly sorry I cannot be at your graduation ceremony today. Though I hope you didn’t mind us calling to say hello.

I remember when you would come and stay with us for a week or so over the summer. My parents would pay you to watch my siblings and I and clean house a little. I think you were either twelve or thirteen when you said, “When I’m eighteen maybe I could drive you to the mall and we could go shopping together.” Or at least something like that. You have always been my favorite cousin and the nicest. Using your manners and if you ever did get mad or annoyed by me, you didn’t show it. I used to look up to you like you were the coolest girl on the planet. You would take me to the mall or play Barbies with me. There were times when you didn’t want to hang out with me, but you never did it in a mean way.

Now you’re going to college and turning eighteen and I’m still stuck at school. It feels like some parts of the years go by so quick while others drag on, and two weeks can feel like two months. Occasionally we would email each other, but I ran out of things to say. All I can say now is happy graduation and good luck when you go off to college this fall.

xoxox,

— Phoenixx


REVIEW: “Burned” by Ellen Hopkins

January 31, 2009

My mother was kind enough to pick a copy up for me a few days ago. I devoured the whole book in one day. I was glued to just about every page as I was addicted to Ethan and Pattyn’s romance, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Pattyn Von Stratten is a good Mormon girl. She feels plain,as she takes care of her stay-at-home mother’s jobs like cleaning, washing clothes, and taking care of her six younger siblings (technically five) along with the help of her favorite sister. While her mother lays around the house all day. When her father comes home with “Joannie” most nights, there is trouble. The kids are rushed back to their rooms as their mother takes the blow. The abuse. Pattyn has her first sex dream, and it involves her school crush. Though instead of kissing Justin, it is Derrick who steals her heart for the moment. After the first kiss there are a lot more, with tequila and beer along the way. One day her father finds her in the said, “compromising position”, and things keep going in a downward spiral for Pattyn until finally her father sends her to live with her Aunt J for the summer.

Living with Pattyn’s Aunt J was supposed to be a punishment not a reward, but things start to go Pattyn’s way. Then she meets Ethan. This can’t just be a summer fling, right? Right. Ethan shows Pattyn love, more than she had asked for. Though if her father were to ever find out she was dating than, Ethan who was not Mormon, they both would be dead. Literally. Pattyn has to go back home at the end of summer vacation. *** SPOILER ALERT*** As Pattyn takes the abuse from her father, bruises and blood are left. After that she finds out she is pregnant. Pregnant with Ethan’s baby. Plans are made for Ethan to come down and get Pattyn one day after school to take some time to ponder what they are going to do. Not noticing someone has taken off their licence plates, the police attempt to pull Ethan and Pattyn over during their “escape” drive. Pattyn orders Ethan not to stop, go faster. Until the accident. Ethan and the baby are both gone, dead. Pattyn is devastated (so was I) and decides life no longer matters….

I absolutely adored this book. I was intrigued with Pattyn and Ethan’s romance, which I wish could be real ALL the time. I loved her Aunt J, she reminded me of the woman who played Bella’s (Twilight) mother IN THE MOVIE. Happy, outgoing, smart, loving. I wish I had an aunt like that, cross that, I do. I was terribly annoyed that her mother, her sister, nor her own self told anyone (minus Ethan) about their beatings from their father/husband. This book explored the emotions of  joy, excitement, lust and love, complete with anger, hurt, devastation, and tragedy. Weaving together a masterpiece, which I would recommend to any Ellen Hopkins fans or just someone looking for a quick yet intriguing and beautiful read. FIVE OUT OF FIVE STARS.


“Dance To This Beat”

January 14, 2009

 Earlier I had told my mother she could watch American Idol in my room since my father had just hooked up another Xbox 360 into the living room. I did not mention a word about anyone else barging into my room. I’m logging off of the computer. I decided what the heck, maybe I’ll go watch American Idol up with my mom. I walk into my room the light is on for no reason, it is effing hot, ALL of my siblings are in there, and there is junk lying all over my bed and floor like it’s some kind of party. Wake up call, get the hell out of my room!!! I say, “Why is it so hot in here? Why is all this stuff lying around in MY room?!” My sister Kate replies, “That’s Eleanor’s stuff.” I groan. “Get it out!” and storm out of my room.

First off I keep my room chilled because I change temperatures rapidly and in the summer it gets stiflingly hot because my walls are painted bright red. Second I keep my room clean and pristine. Third I do not want the light on unless I would like to read. Wouldn’t you think the light from my TV would be enough?! Grrrrrrrrrr!!! Why can’t anyone just deal with my room and not screw with it?

Anywhoo, I go out and ask my mom, “Why did you turn the space heater on?” she replies, “I was cold.” My eyes light up, “Then use a BLANKET.” I go on, “And why is all that stuff in my room. Why are… They in my room?” My dad yells from the living room, “Phoenixx, stop complaining.” “NO.” I shout back. I am angry, and if you had another thought in mind you are sorely mistaken. I am a picky perfectionist and you never know what to expect with me. So here is a tip, ask before you cross me. This must mean nothing to you reader, but I extremely frustrated right now. Four more words, “Dance to this beat.” (Panic! At The Disco lyrics.) End of story.


Hello Alone (Home Is a Far Away Place)

December 5, 2008

“Hello Alone” is a song written and performed by Anberlin. Yes, that is all I wish for right now, to be ALONE, yet not lonely. I feel stressed, upset, angry, and annoyed. Why? You ask. Well, my family of six has taken in another family, of three girls ages 13 and 8 and I’m not quite sure how old their mother is. Let’s call them Abby, Layla, and Lacey.

My father works with their mother Abby. It is selfish of me to want them out of my personal space, but I’m not the kind of person who shares easily, especially when it comes to sharing my home. I’ve been keeping myself locked up in a little office down in our basement. No one is to dare to bother me. Taming my addiction to the internet by answering emails, blogging, reading, and listening to music. Sharing a room with a thirteen year old sure is a hassle. I love the quiet except for when it comes to music. To not feel the need to speak to others when I don’t feel the need to. All the thirteen year old, Layla does is talk.  About, boys, how gay people are “butt pirates”, and sex. All of which freaks me out, nauseates me. It annoys me that she is so homophobic *mutters under breath*. I answer her with mostly “uh-huh”s, “hmm”s, “yeah”s. One thing is for sure, she is friggen’ boy crazy. I’ve never had a boyfriend and I honestly don’t care to. Besides kids at this age are effing morons, UGH! Layla keeps me up late at night when all I want to do is escape to the comfort of my own room.

Oh man, and her younger sister Lacey *sigh*. Whenever Layla comes near her she squeals and whines. Layla of course tells her to shut up and then hits her for no reason! I get mad at my siblings, but I don’t torture them all the time. Their mother is disgusting. She farts and makes disturbing jokes, she also likes one of our neighbors, we’ll call him Stan. Stan works with my dad too, my father was kind enough to help him find a place to stay. “Conveniently” a couple houses down from ours (har har). My parents gave my siblings and I the choice to help our visitors out, and my mom didn’t seem to keen on the idea, yet my dad seemed excited. I reluctantly said yes not knowing how big of a mistake I had made. I should have known. Though as I’ve told you I really dislike school, well I’m more fond of it now. It seems to be my escape. I don’t care if kids mess with me or if a teacher is mean, those people do not live with me. My fear is coming back home to a house full of people.

Last night I asked if my mother could run me to Barnes and Nobel because I had babysitting money leftover. I took my youngest sister Eleanor, our “babysitter”, and my aunt Sherry. I was looking for “Watchmen”, which I sadly couldn’t find. Spending most of my time in the young adult books I found “Glass” by Ellen Hopkins and “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” by Ned Vizzini. Eleanor saw her friend Lily with her mothers at Barnes and Noble which was nice because they are some of the nicest people. Once I had decided on which books I was purchasing I went down to the second floor and looked for a new issue of an Alternative Press magazine which I couldn’t find. Instead I grabbed a Teen magazine because Robert Pattinson was the main picture on the front cover, SQUEE!! Getting coffee and reading books is a good combination. I shared a mocha frappuccino with my mother and six year old sister Eleanor along with a peanut butter cookie, YUM! Barnes and Noble is my other escape place. Books, music, coffee, magazines the whole deal. I’d love to sit there for hours just browsing the store *sigh*, if only it were that simple. I feel guilty for having these feeling towards the family and venting to those who honestly do not give a care, yet I’ve been told my feelings are still valid. I sulk while my mother is driving us back home. My aunt Sherry and I tell Eleanor that if anyone asks you say, “Um… we went to Target and somewhere else I forgot.” If Eleanor wanted to tell anyone she could call our aunt Sherry.

I stuck the Teen magazine in the back of my shirt, the book “Glass” under my armpit the  inside of my shirt and “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” hidden inside my mom’s purse. I zipped to my room and unloaded my shirt as my mother snuck in handing me the book. I set the book on my book shelf so they didn’t look new. Eleanor crawled back to my room “Um, Phoen-” “Okay I’ll be there in a minute.” I said. She strode into the bathroom waiting. Aunt Sherry talked to her for about three minutes and until Eleanor ended the conversation.

Yesterday I had a half day at school, getting home at about 12:30 or so. The first thing I do is change from my school uniform. I listen to a song or two on one of my Taking Back Sunday albums and my mom left to go back to work and I took off down the steps. I’m in the nice cold basement opening the office door, I am already at the computer. Checking and replying to emails as usual. I had swiped one of my new books to read (“It’s Kind Of a Funny Story” by Ned Vizzini to exact). I spent two hours on the computer and one whole hour reading. Yes it was delightful until my younger brother and sister barged into the room (which I thought I locked) with toy guns. “GET OUT!!” I screamed impatiently, clenching my jaw. I came upstairs at about three thirty, skipping off to my room to read some more. Paranoid, I kept hearing car doors slam, is it them? Until finally my “babysitter” told me they had arrived. I let out a dramatic sigh. Layla dragged her things back into MY room. “Hello,” said Layla, “Mm, hi.” I grunted. She was talking to me about school as I just nodded then she took a nap. I straightened up my room and left hearing the kids messing with Polly Pocket, our English bulldog mix. She had nipped at Eleanor because Lacey and my brother Hal wouldn’t leave her alone. I’m not quite sure why I was so mad, though smoke was fuming from the head. I wanted to punch something, someone, to scream in their face and throw a fit. Instead I locked myself back in the basement office. I stayed there until it was dinner time, stomping up the stairs to smell a disgusting mess of food which Abby had prepared. Two words. Ugh, spaghetti. I shuffled over to my father asking, “Do I have to eat?” I was expecting a “Yes, you do.” Instead to my surprise he replied, “No, you don’t have to if you don’t want to.” An easy battle, eh?

I’ll soon have more stories for you all, just wait *wink*.