Shapes

To start off, I have a couple of things to say. First off, this isn’t the type of post that everyone probably thinks it is, talking about the change from the US to Africa. . . Nope! Because to post about that would involve use of something that I’m not very good at: logic. Instead, this one is about a couple of things that have been on my mind recently. Now, with that out of the way. . .

This afternoon, I was playing a video game called Geometry Dash. Now, for me, that’s not an uncommon occurrence. Geometry Dash is the game that I play the most out of any others. Basically, it’s a sidescrolling platformer game (and unless you play video games, you have no idea what that means) where you are some variation of a little square and you must avoid obstacles. At one touch from anything that you’re supposed to avoid, you are sent right back to the very beginning of the level. It can be easy:

ezpz

Or it can be hellishly difficult:

demon

Either way, it’s a game that rewards patience, practice, and focus. There is no way to level up your character’s skill. Instead, you are the one who gains more skill (at something virtually never applicable elsewhere in life, but that’s not the point). Anyway, I was playing this game a while ago, and I beat a level that I had been trying to beat for a LOOOOOOOONG time.

The overall attempt count to finish that one level was 1,246. (Including one particularly painful fail at 96%) Needless to say, finally being able to do it was euphoric. But then, I began to have some doubts.

I had spent hours upon hours playing this game, getting better at specific things that I struggled with, practicing levels over, and over, and over again. . . And for what? For this? For ones and zeroes to form other ones and zeroes in a way that made me feel happy? Pressing the up arrow key on my keyboard again, and again, and again. . .

I wasn’t really doing anything at all. Not really. This universe that I had spent hours and hours in was, in the end, just shapes on a computer screen, doing different things when I did different things. In the end, I had accomplished about as much as I would have by staring really, really hard at a piece of wood, trying to set it on fire.

But, I knew that I would go back and play again. Probably very soon. I just wasn’t sure why. And then, it dawned on me. I love playing that game. It makes me feel focused, patient, and happy. And, in a weird way, that’s not exactly nothing.

“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” -Bertrand Russell

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Tick-Tock

Okay, um. . . I never know how to start the things I write, so this is how I’m going to begin. In a little bit less than 24 hours, my family and I will board a plane that will, eventually, take us to Accra, Ghana, Africa. I’m just getting that out of the way, because whenever I think about it, I just sit and stare at nothing until I need to go lie down.

In conclusion, I am freaking the heck out. I have never been even close to that isolated from everything I know before. There will be an ENTIRE OCEAN between me and everybody back home. And my brain has no idea what to do with that information, so it’s defaulting to “act perfectly normal,” (well, maybe a bit more manic than normal)while on the inside, I’m having a nervous breakdown.

I feel like there’s a clock inside my head that plays the worst music EVER when it goes off, but everyone else keeps telling me that the music is amazing and encouraging me to listen to it. And all the while, the clock keeps going “Tick-Tock”, just to stress me out.

I have no idea how to end this, either, so I’ll just show a representation of how I’m generally feeling at the moment:

bestphoto

Well, I’ll give an update when we get to Ghana (if the internet works). Bye!

My Feelings

Hello, people staring at these words from their computer screen. I have no idea how to start this off, so this is good enough.

Over the last few days, our imminent departure from Ciudad Juarez has really gotten to me. I’ve been looking at all my friends around me, and wondering, “Will I ever see these people again?” This feeling reached a maximum (which is what motivated me to write this blog post) when I left one of my friend’s houses after a super-fun 5 hours. That friend, as I found out, is going on a trip to I-Don’t-Know-Where Town right up until the weekend of our departure. That means that I will only see him again once (and maybe not even that) until we leave. And then, who knows if our paths will ever cross again.

I’ve left Dallas, I’ve left Falls Church, and I’ll be leaving here soon too. And, to be honest, I don’t know how much more of this I can take. I feel empty. And there’s nothing I can do about it, either. I’ve felt like my life has been spinning out of control ever since I was told that we were leaving Dallas for the first time. Will I ever see any of these people again? Will I even remember them as time goes on? And if I do, will they remember me?

I just don’t know what to do anymore.

And yes, I’m sure I’ll be completely embarrassed that I posted this later. But I think it’s good to get things off my chest every once in a while.

Whoopsies. . .

So the gist is, basically, I have done goofed again and “forgotten” to write a blog post for almost a year. For the second time. Is this an annual celebration of shirking responsibility or something? And, most importantly, have I run out of excuses yet?

Anyways, there are a couple of things I wanted to talk about in this post. So let’s start off with the post I promised somebody I would write: A review of my experiences at Pinon (pronounced pinyon, I don’t know how to make my computer do the n that has the squiggly over it) Elementary School!

So, if you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about, let me explain: My mom has an old friend who works at an elementary school in White Rock, New Mexico, and we were going to New Mexico for Spring Break. So, my mom’s friend (who goes by the name of Natalie) invited us to come over to her school for a day to:

A) Meet her class

B) See a show that the third and fourth graders would be presenting in the auditorium that day.

So, my mom agreed to go, because why not? It was an opportunity to teach kids about the foreign service life, meet up with her old friend, and see a play! I accepted my mom’s invitation to come along in a heartbeat, but, for some reason, my sister did not. So my mom and I went by ourselves!

Also, just a note: the word processer I am using to write this is being very, extremely annoying when I try to go back and fix something. For some reason, it thinks that when I go back, I want to replace what I’ve already written with what I’m writing instead of just moving it all along. No, wordpress, I’ve already deleted what I want to delete. Just let me write what I’m writing, please and thank you very much.spooky

So, anyway my mom and I drove over to (STOP DOING THIS WORDPRESS YOU STUPIDJDVNFVDKJJKXKJXNVVIURHHJDBGBGHFYRIFDGHRFGBBVHFDI) Pinon Elementary School to say hi to Natalie’s class, and see a student performance. My mom and I got there a couple of minutes late, owing to the fact that my sister had gotten a nosebleed while we were going out the door. We walked into the school, received name badges, and were directed to Natalie’s classroom. I walked in, saw the message that said “Welcome Isaiah 😀” on the whiteboard, and thought, “Well, guess we’re in the right place.”

My mother and I were interrogated about life in Mexico, the foreign service in general, and (surprisingly [at least to me]) our personal lives. I had thought that we were only going to be asked about what set us apart from everybody else, but no. Natalie’s class was also curious about what made us the same. I was pleasantly surprised to realize that, even though we had just been called in to give information, everybody in that class was kind and welcoming, a trait that I have not found in many schools that I’ve visited. This is why I think Pinon (darnit, a dramatic statement ruined by my inability to write the letter n with a squiggle) Elementary School is an exemplary place for practically everyone.

The play (titled “Swamped”) was amazing, as well. The costumes were innovative, the songs were well rehearsed, and I can tell that a great deal of creativity went into making it.

What else was I going to write about? Oh, right. I went to El Paso Comic Con yesterday, along with my sister and my mom. Here’s a picture of the items I picked up:WIN_20170423_12_55_40_Pro

And if you recognize all of the fandoms shown here, you win a cookie! 😀

That’s pretty much everything. . . Except for one quick little status update: I have gotten a facebook account in the time that I have not posted anything. If you would like to friend me on there, go ahead. Just search “Isaiah Calderon”, and my account will pop up. This is what I use for a profile picture:                                                                    profile

And yes, It’s weird and random. But I like it for some reason. Anyways, that’s all I have to say for now. Hopefully, I’ll write something else later. Bye!

The 45th Parallel

Author’s Note: This may not be my best work, as I am very tired at the moment.

   It’s only been about a week and a half since I published a post, but I made a promise to a certain person (You know I’m talking about you, T) that I would make a post about the trip while I was actually on the trip, so here goes. . .

I’m not really in the mood (at this moment) to write a really long post about my many happy exclamations at seeing familiar faces, the 2 people who cracked my code, the long (yet fun) train ride to Michigan, and the 5 hour drive to the cabin with the friends we would be staying there with. . . Nope. I’m just going to give a small scene from after dinner when everyone just kind of went crazy. Here it is:

Mom 1: You see that sign going past? That marks the 45th parallel.

V: What’s the 45th parallel?

Mom 2 (Both family’s moms were here) :Guess, and see if you get it.

(Long Silence)

Mom 2: Okay, here’s a hint. The 45th parallel marks the middle of something.

V: The middle of the 44th and the 46th parallel!

(The moms laugh)

Mom 1: Nope. Try again.

V: What? It’s not physically possible for that to be wrong!

Mom 2: Okay, that’s true, but it’s not the answer that we’re looking for.

V: No, I guessed it. I got it correct-

Mom 2: Nope, try again.

V: Fine. Umm. . .

Me: The middle of the United States?

Mom 1: (Growing exasperated) Okay, its between the North Pole and:

Me and V: THE SOUTH POLE!

Mom 2: Nope.

V: (Halfheartedly) Quebec!

(Everyone busts out laughing)

Mom 1: V, are we even between Quebec and The North Pole right now?

V: No, but I had Quebec on my mind because-

Mom 2: Okay, I’ll give you another hint. What’s between the North and The South Poles?

Me and V: THE EQUATOR!!!

Mom 2: And so, what’s the 45th parallel between?

(Silence)

Mom 1: Really? Okay, just for that, you two are going to bring the trash can back into the house.

Me: Fine.

(I leave the car and start dragging the trash bin toward the cabin)

Mom 2: You too, V.

V: Aww. . .

THE END

I KNOW THIS WAS TERRIBLE, BUT IT’S THE BEST I HAVE AT THE MOMENT

BYE

                                      Isaiah Calderon, The Roving Bison

Lights Out (Day 2)

Jolted awake by the persistent beeping of my alarm clocks (I had to have 2 so that my room would be perfectly symmetrical), I awake in a cold sweat. Judging by my tingly, anxious feeling, I’ve been having a nightmare. Strange, I don’t remember what it was about. I normally remember my dreams.

An image suddenly appears in my mind; a dark road, somehow conveying hope, and, at the same time, fear. Weird.

Slapping the “Alarm Off” buttons on my alarm clocks, I get out of bed, making sure not to rumple the sheets too much. Unmade beds bother me.

A few minutes later, when I am fully dressed, I remember: it’s Friday. For “budget reasons,” Forest Glen Healing and Rehabilitation Center, the place I go to receive treatment for my OCD, is only open Monday-Thursday. Darn it! I forgot to turn off my alarm clock for the weekend!

Well, I’m up, so I’d better make the most of it. Walking back towards the bed to make it, I catch a glimpse of the road outside. An extreme feeling of Deja-vu  overtakes me, and I feel like something’s missing here, something big. . .

Hmm. That’s weird. I can’t seem to remember anything. Maybe it’ll come back later. But it’s too late to feel calm. My OCD brain is taking this tiny thing, and turning it into a huge deal. I NEED to find out what it is!

Questions, variables, and possible answers spin around and around in my head until I physically fell dizzy. I hate unsolved things, or rather, my  OCD hates unsolved things, because they feel broken, uneven, unhinged.

Unhinged. Is that a word that could be used to describe me? Am I. . . broken?

So many thoughts are going through my head at once that I don’t hear the footsteps behind me. . . Not, at least, until it’s too late.

“Hey, neat-freak, snap out of it!”, a voice commands. Brian.

He said that we’d settle this later, and I guess that means right now.

I turn around and nearly fall over. He’s holding Dad’s baseball bat 2 inches from my head! He sees my expression, and sneers. “I’m not gonna hit you, Richie. Not yet, at least. It all depends on the decisions you make.”

I can barely muster the courage to stutter, “What d-decisions?” His smile widens. His smile widens, and I can see the ugly gap in his teeth.

“The decisions you make about whether or not you tell me how you pulled that little stunt yesterday.”, he says, grinding his teeth. “We’re going to play a little game. I’m going to ask you some questions, and if I hear an answer that I don’t like, then you get a new bump on your head.” He brandishes the bat threateningly.

I nod, too scared to do anything else. “Good. First question: Why did you pull that on me? Why not mom , dad, or one of your stupid friends?”

Trying at all costs to avoid saying “Because you’re an idiot,” I reply, “B-because mom and dad where out to get lunch.”

He nods, still glaring at me. “Second question: HOW did you do it?” He waits for my response, but I have none. I just threw away the ability to say that it was a medical thing, and I don’t even know WHAT I did, let alone how I did it. “I’m waiting.”, he says, tapping the bat against his thigh menacingly.

Deciding to act stupid, the way he thinks I am, I mumble uncertainly, “Uh, what did I do again? I forgot.”

Instead of hitting me with the heavy-duty wooden bat, he does something worse. “What did you do?”, he asks, maintaining an image of calm, though I can tell he’s extremely angry under the surface. “Let me see. . . What did you do. . . ?” He begins to pace around the room, slowly circling me. “Wait. . .”, he says, his anger slowly coming out. “I know. You rolled your eyes back into your head, you wouldn’t respond to anything I did, and you somehow had blood coming out of your mouth!” He’s started to shout.

“That’s what you did!” He holds the bat with shaking hands, his knuckles white. He raises it over his head, and sharp cracking sounds arrive a few moments later, each hit scoring true. “OW!”, I yell, scrambling away over the green carpet, my arms bleeding in perfect symmetry.

“Brian, Richard, what’s going on?”, comes a voice from our parent’s bedroom. Brian looks toward the noise, and then at the bat in his hand. With the look of a deer caught in a car’s headlights, he says to me, “If you utter one word of what happened toda-”

He’s cut short by darkness. A great expanse of darkness like what happened yesterday, the void of darkness that halted my ability to breathe and lasted for what felt like an eternity.

Am I making the face that he described, or did I just collapse, a victim of yet another blackout?

Suddenly, my arms strain, as if I’m lifting something heavy, and then release the tension, as if I just dropped it. Muscle spasms? That’s new. Is my condition getting worse? The feeling repeats itself again and again, this time faster, escalating in frequency and strength. Faintly, somewhere, I hear laughter.

Then, I’m back in my room, and there’s blood on the floor. Why is there blood on the floor? And then I see dad’s bat in my hand, raised as if about to strike. What happened? Brian is huddled in the corner, staring at me and whimpering. And then I realize why.

There are wounds on his arms, back, stomach, head, everywhere.

Wounds from a baseball bat.

What have I done? Was that my laughing that I heard, while I beat him bloody with a bat, somehow, impossibly, while I was in a blackout?

Mom and dad burst into the room and go on full paramedic mode.

While mom consoles Brian (“Honey, it’s all right, they’re just surface wounds. . .”), dad scolds me about using a baseball bat on my brother “without a reason”.

As I look over at Brian, I see him staring, no, glaring at me with hatred in his eyes. This is nothing new, but I get a feeling of dread while looking straight at him, almost as if I’m staring a t a time bomb about to hit 00:00.

The rest of the day holds nothing but minor occurrences.

Brian is allowed to stay home from school due to his injuries, which my parents deem not serious enough for him to be taken to the  ER. I, however, receive nothing good. My parents are “disappointed” and “very surprised”, that I would use “such violence” against my brother, who apparently “did nothing at all” to warrant such behavior, and that we will discuss this further tomorrow. In addition to that, I am grounded for 3 weeks. Happy Friday to me.

 

 

I’m Sorry!!!

Wow.

 

I’m REALLY not good at this whole “keeping up” thing. Didn’t I promise, a few posts ago, that I would write frequently? Didn’t I say something like “I want to try to generally stay in contact with everyone a bit more”? Didn’t I?

Well, darn. I guess I did. I’ve tried! Honestly! It’s just that every time I tell my brain, “Okay, brain, we’re going to write a blog post today!”, my brain is like: “No. I want chocolate.” , and goes to sulk in the corner of my skull. I finally managed to convince it today with a major guilt trip (self inflicted) , and here I am! With no idea what to write!    So. . . That’s a thing!

. . .

. . .

. . .

Oh, right! I do have something that I was going to write that I didn’t just make up this second. . . Heh, heh. . .

Anyway, I have an announcement. (The following paragraph is concerned in some way with the code)

For those of you who have been waiting so long for the next chapter of my book, I’m sorry about how long it has been. I PROMISE (everyone has permission to slap me if I break this promise) that the next part will be out very soon. Meanwhile, I have something for you to work on. The following CODE is very difficult to crack and has something to do with my book. I am giving it to you now, because of how difficult it is, even though it is only applicable after Night 8. Even if you solve it before Night 8 is published, it will give you a kind of chilling hint into the deeper lore of the book. Here it is:

  W:2 L:1 | W:2 L:3 | W:18 L:3 | W:2 L:3 | W:14 L:7 (x2) | W:2 L:3 | W:5 L:1 | W:8 L:3 | W:2 L:4 | W:6 L:2 | W:13 L:1 | W:2 L:3 | W:2 L:1 | W:6 L:1 | W:2 L:5 | W:14 L:7 | D | W:6 L:2 | W:4 L:1 | W:7 L:1 | W:4 L:1 | W:2 L:4 | W:2 L:1 | W:6 L:2 | W:10 L:4 (x2) | W:2 L:5 | D | 1:56 | W:16 L:1 | W:6 L:2 | W:14 L:7 | K |

   Yeah. That’s why I gave you plenty of time. Bye!

-Isaiah Calderon, The Roving Bison