I Have to Pee!

I have to go to the bathroom, but I'm in the internet café and I don't want to get up because then someone might take my flash drive or headphones. It's not cool. And if I take the flash drive, then I have to close out of all my programs because I run my programs off my flash drive. So I'm just holding it.

Now, more information that you didn't need to know.

I woke up on Friday morning at 2AM and proceeded to throw up the half-digested Chinese food from the night before. Now, according to Anita and Rosita (They tag-team me on these kinds of things. They're worse than Mom and Susanne. Okay, maybe not.), the reason for this is one of the following:
  1. I ate too much greasy food the day before (just fried eggs, pork chops, and the Chinese food).
  2. I ate while sitting in my bed.
  3. I went to sleep after eating and without walking to let my food settle.
  4. The Chinese food was bad (Rosita threw this one out without considering it. It was obviously that I didn't let my food settle.).
Now, they didn't really care that I've eaten Chinese food in bed before going to sleep many, many times before, and it's never bothered me... *sigh*

So it was a strict ration of Gatorade and toasted corn kernels, which I promptly ignored and went to KFC for lunch. Anita, Rosita, Carolina, and Carlos went to Santo Domingo for Salomé's (you remember Anita's granddaughter) birthday party. I stayed behind, because I didn't feel like throwing up on the bus, and went to Otavalo instead. I got some nice stuff, fabric for Mom, t-shirts for Doug and Ezra (Ezzy, if you grew too much, it won't fit you, so you better stay tiny), and some cloth bracelets I thought Anna might like. Still gotta get stuff for Jesse and Silvia's wedding present (I'm thinking some Playstation games, but I dunno) and Eve and Dad. I was thinking a nice leather wallet from Cotacachi for you, Dad. On top of that fat stack of DVDs.

So that was fun. On Sunday, I was feeling strange and mopy, and I decided not to go on the end-of-the-year trip to the beach on Monday. Which turned out to be a good thing, because I had diarrhea. I hate being sick. Rosita and Carolina asked me why I didn't go, and I said I was sick. It was one of the few times Carolina's talked to me in the past few months, and it was just to tell me how stupid I was for not going on the trip. It's starting to piss me off. I dunno. People have this weird idea that it's impossible for other people to not be like them, especially teenagers (like Carolina, who's at the awful age of 13). Carlos is much the same way. I don't think he ever really grew up. It's not just people here, of course, it's people everywhere, but it's only here that my characteristics (like not going to clubs and getting smashed) are coming into extreme conflict with the people around me. For example, when we were planning this trip to the beach in my class, we were originally going to go to Atacames and spend the night there, which ended up being scrapped for the cost ($1010). Anyways, my math teacher was planning it with us, and he said, Oh, at the end of the first day, we'll all go out to a club, get a couple of beers, dance, you know. Regardless of the fact that I'm in 10th grade here, and most of my classmates are 15, and it's illegal for people under 18 to drink and go to clubs. Mine's just a different mindset. One that Carlos says is boring.

Sorry if this sounds a little angry, but it does upset me. Especially Carolina. She yelled at me "Liar!" when I said I didn't go because I was sick. What she doesn't realize is that I could crush her with my pinkiest finger.

So I went to school today, and no one showed up. Turns out it was just for the people who have to take extra classes because they failed their course. Turns out, I didn't fail any of my courses (even though I don't know how in the world I passed gym)! They don't hand out grades for the last trimester though. Oh well. Doesn't really matter anyway. I said good bye to those of my friends who did show up. Only five people failed one or more of their classes (one kid failed four) in my course. The other tenth grade class had twelve who failed something. We win.

Anyway, it was my last day of high school. I don't have to wake up at 5:45 anymore. I've got three weeks of vacation (with FLVS... Greater-than period less-than), and I'm looking forward to using it. To sleep in and spend time at the internet.

You know what, I think that's boring by anyone's definition.

Thanks for commenting, Jesse. I think cybermakeouts are great too, though not as great as actual makeouts. Thanks for commenting too, Kris. I'm not sure if Thunder Road is still my favorite song. I've got a bunch of new ones I like too.

That's all for now.



Some Insignificant Updates

Okay, just a couple of things of no importance to anyone (except the last one).

I made a comic version of my incredible trip to Quito to take the AP exam. It's only slightly exaggerated. I've got it up on my self-portrait diary blog, so check it out. I also added in some labels that appear under each post, telling you what materials and/or techniques were used. Click on one, and it brings up a page with all of the portraits made in the same way on it. For example, click on "watercolors", and you see portraits #s 4, 5, 6, 15, and 16.

I've only got 29 days left here, so I'm gonna be hitting up the tourist hotspots in search of bona fide Ecuadorian goodies to bring back as presents. Any requests?

I got a girlfriend, Kristina, who I met way back at MITES. This means, as Jesse says, a high potential for cybermakeouts. Oh hey, Jesse, you're one to talk, for someone who calls his significant other "Schmoo," short for "Schmoochies." OH BURN. Also, Kris said to tell you to shut up. She's got a black belt in karate, too, so it's probably not the best idea to piss her off. This goes for you too, Ezra, though I don't need any help in totally destroying you, at Brawl or in real life.

Thank you, Kris, for commenting. Yeah, I love hamburgers. Thank you, Mom, for commenting. Anita's favorite color is sky blue, and I only went to McDonald's because I couldn't find a Burger King. I'm a BK man through and through. Thank you, Jesse, for commenting. I think you become a guidance counselor by taking a test. Question 1: A student comes into your office with some schedule issues. Do you: A) Tell her you're too busy, B) Tell her to schedule an appointment with your secretary who's out to lunch, C) File her request in the paper shredder, or D) All of the above?

That's all for now. 29 more days.



This IS a Tasty Burger!

So, yesterday, May 13th, I decided that waking up at 2:30 to ride a bus for 3 hours to wait around for another hour before taking a four hour test was MY IDEA OF FUN. But I'm putting the cart before the horse.

Yesterday was the AP English Language and Composition test. I'm taking the class online, which is the reason I haven't posted lately. So, yesterday morning I got up at 2:30 in order to catch the 3:00 bus to Quito, where the American school that gives AP tests is. Anita went with me to show me where to go. So, a six-hour round trip for her, for no real reason. I love her so much. I'm gonna do something special for her when I actually have some money. Traveling with Anita is really fun, because she can't handle not being in control. We're waiting for the bus, and Anita's cursing that the people who run the booth for that particular bus are late, and that the bus hasn't arrived yet, and everything. Then, about an hour into the ride, someone gets on the bus with something smelling very strongly of paint. Maybe fifteen minutes later, Anita realizes and gets up, and starts asking loudly, "WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT PAINT SMELL?" No one speaks up, but eventually whoever had the paint left, probably out of fear for his life. When we got to Quito, the taxi to take us to the terminal charged three dollars, so Anita nearly came to fisticuffs with the taxi driver, trying to barter him down to two dollars. I paid for it.

We parted at the terminal, where Anita pointed me to the bus I had to take to get to the school. That ride took about fifteen minutes, and I found out that the buses in Quito charge twenty-five cents instead of ten, like in Ibarra. When I got there, I had a little map that showed me where the school was, except the scale was wrong and it was missing streets, so I wandered for ten minutes thinking hoping I was going the right way. As it turned out, after a little while I didn't even need the map. You can tell the giant eyesore that is an American school from half a mile away.

When I got there, it was about 6:30, 1.5 hours early for the exam. I wanted to go in and wait inside but the guard (real guard, like with the bang-bang and the nightstick) said no. I'm like, You're really gonna make me wait out here on the asphalt instead of right inside on a bench, where you can still see me. He was like, *nod*. So I sat outside in the school parking lot reading Spider-Man and eating slightly warm pizza Anita heated up for me before we left (I love her sooooo much). Finally, at seven-fifty, one of the guards motioned me over and told me to go talk to one of the people, who took me up to the college guidance counselor. Her name was Tracy Galvines. Ms. Galvines was American, and talked in this really high-pitched and annoying voice. I don't think she can speak Spanish, because she only spoke English with the people. Oh, all the teachers and students speak English really, really well, even though they're all Ecuadorian. It was weird. But I guess if you're going to the most expensive school in all of Quito, you should be getting your money's worth.

That reminds me of something I hate. I hate when Ecuadorian people talk to me in English. The teachers there kept trying to speak to me in English, and I was like, "No, I understand Spanish." And they kept talking to me in English, so I finally gave up. It's kind of insulting, like they don't think I can understand them. It's even worse when people say just "Good morning" or "Hello", and that's all they know in English. It's like they're trying to show off.


Ms. Galvines asked me what school I was going to for college. I said MIT. She froze, and was like, "You're going to MIT?" I said yes. She said, "How did you get into MIT?"I thought she was kidding at first, but then she waited for an answer, and I said, "Well, I went to a summer program there, and I think spending a year here helped too." She said, "You're kidding." I assured her I wasn't kidding. She then foisted responsibility for proctoring the AP exam onto her secretary, saying "I'll be there as soon as I finish this!" She never showed.

The kids at the American school were strange. The secretary assured me that none of them were American or had American parents, but they all seemed pretty white, with blonde hair and stuff. And American accents. Totally freaked me out. Then we took the AP test, which, for National Security reasons, College Board forbids me from talking about. I can tell you that on the last page of my essay, I wrote "WHY SO SERIOUS?" in big letters and then drew a line through it. R.I.P. Heath Ledger. I don't know how the Ecuadorian kids did well on it, though. Not because it was in English, but because a lot of the questions dealt specifically about America and American culture. I threw a bunch of American mannerisms in my writing just to differentiate myself. All the kids were freaking out about the time. Every five minutes or so, someone would ask what time it was, and the proctor gave the correct time limit about 50% of the time. It was funny.

Afterwards, I made my way out of there and went to the McDonald's I saw on the way. Now, if you haven't lived out of the country before, in a place where the amenities of home are non-existent, you won't be able to understand why this was so important to me. I will try to explain. Probably the only truly American food is fast food, and the most symbolic of that is the McDonald's franchise. When you eat at McDonald's, you're tasting America. However sad that may be. But there are no McDonald's in Ibarra. The only American fast food here is KFC (which they still call Kentucky Fried Chicken, even though no one knows what that means). There are burgers, but they're all nasty and disgusting. And my host uncle owns a burger joint! Te last American-style burger I had was ten months ago. So, I go into the McDonald's and they've got the air condition set to 65º, just like back home. They've got a playpen, just like back home. I look at the menu, and it's all in Spanish, not like back home. But the pictures are the same! I say Gimme a double quarter pounder, no cheese, extra pickles, with a large order of fries and a Cherry Coke. The lady at the counter doesn't understand, so I repeat it in Spanish, except I don't know the word for "pickles" so I just leave that part out. The whole thing comes on a tray with three packets of mayonnaise and one of those large sheets of paper with advertising on it to keep the tray from getting too dirty, just like they do it back home, except with mayonnaise instead of ketchup catsup catchup ketchup. Then I unwrap the burger and eat it. It was the best meal I have ever had. From McDonald's! Who would have thought! After that I ordered a Dark Temptation, an ice crem sundae loaded with chocolate. But it was good ice cream! Not the nasty kind they have here! I was so happy, I was just sort of smiling all the rest of the day. Well, that wasn't the only reason I was smiling, but it still made me really happy.

I rode the bus home without incident. I watched this really grüesome Jackie Chan movie on the bus. It had people getting hanged and shot and stuff. Then I went to an AFS meeting where I was the only kid who showed up. *sigh*

Anyway, the upshot of the whole day was That was a tasty burger!

Thanks Jesse for commenting. I don't know. I used to wrap my entire bed in Shrink Wrap, but then I passed out from lack of oxygen. Thank you, Kris, for commenting. I wore my Obama t-shirt to the AP test for good luck. Thanks, Mom, for commenting. You know the Bahamas is there with voodoo and the stuff, right? THAT'S WHERE ZOMBIES COME FROM. Dad, can you check and make sure that Mom's not a zombie, please? Thanks. And thank you, Ezra, for commenting. I just want to let you know that your days of being able to win at Brawl are limited. Because the day I get to your house, I'm gonna just start destroying you. No mercy. You have been warned. Thanks, Stephan, a new commentor. I know I'm awesome, but I don't mind having people tell me. I appreciate it. You're pretty cool yourself. Are you going to go to MIT early for the Freshman Pre-Orientation Programs (FPOPs)? Such a cool acronym.

Sorry for the lack of pictures, but taking the camera would have been a lot to worry about.

That's all for now. 33 more days here. I'll be doing a picture tour of Ibarra sometime soon, so stay tuned.



I Think I Caught Swine Flu

Okay, this is gonna be a short post. Just a couple of things.

One, I finally made a decision about college, and I'll be attending MIT in the fall. Like that comes as surprising news to anybody.

Two, I feel kind of sick. Although I'm not vomiting, and I don't have diarrhea, or any of the symptoms of swine flu, and there have been no reported cases of swine flu in Ecuador (Ecuador FTW). My nose is stuffy, and I feel pretty tired. Which sucks. I hate being sick.

Three, I put some new self-portraits up on my self-portrait diary blog. Some good ones too, I think.

Okay, that's enough for now. Thanks for commenting, Dad. Hey, I'm bringing back a whole bunch of bad movies (and a couple of good ones) for you, but they're all packaged in a single case, so they won't take up too much space. Don't go out and buy the Dark Knight or Iron Man, 'kay? Also, there's a package coming from MIT with orientation materials. You guys can open it, but just hang on to the stuff until I get back. Won't be long now (45 days). Thanks to you too, Ben, for commenting. Did you not see that I said about three times that I was planning on doing a post about politics for the election but never got around to it? ;)