Killer Smile

. . .

Go, drop what you are doing, and read Looking for Alaska by John Green. 

Don’t question me!  Do it!  It’s the best book I’ve ever read.  Ever.  Period.  Review to come, now go READ.


[So It Goes, and Romantic Formulas]

So not only have I not blogged in a while, but I have . . . one . . . two . . . three . . . yeah three reviews for this blog.

We’ll go back furthest first.  Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut.  It was good, interesting.  Billy was entertaining, though I like the Tralfamadorians a heck of a lot better.  The war parts bored me, personally, which sucks because I guess the whole Dresden part was the point.  I mostly enjoyed the ironic bits (I’d include examples of these, but it would give stuff away, which I don’t want to do), and the parts about Tralfamadore.  By the end, actually, by five pages in, the “so it goes” drove me completely INSANE.  It stopped feeling all symbolic, and just got like “oh well I started, so I should keep doing it every single time it’s supposed to happen”.  Not that I believe in symbols or the like.  So that’s what I have to say about that book.  I’d give it a three for five.  I’d recommend it though.

Book the second, An Abundance of Katherines by John Green.  As an active watcher of the VlogBrothers/Brotherhood2.0 I should’ve read this book a long time ago.  LONG time ago.  And let me mention how odd it is to realize that an author writes the same way he speaks.  It isn’t often that you get to hear an author talk enough for you to be able to recognize that.  Anyway, it’s been a really long time since I’ve really read a YA book.  The last one, I believe, was Meg Cabot’s Ready Or Not, which was really awful (but that’s because her only good YA novel is All-American Girl.  The others suck.  That’s not in reference to her adult novels, either.  Those are great).  But this was SO GOOD.  It’s all about this kid who tries to find a mathematic formula for relationships.  And the creepy ass thing is that it totally works.  At least, I think so.  I have lots of faith in math.

The third and final review is a music review.  For [Title of Show].  It’s a show that’s going on Broadway this July, which I am SO excited for, btw.  I was kinda afraid to buy the CD at first, because listening to online clips it didn’t sound THAT great.  But now I’m listening to it and it’s SO FREAKING GOOD.  It’s really really funny with about a buhzillion great lines.  And while the idea of show-in-a-show or even self-referential-show aren’t that original, this show is anything but cliched.  It’s remarkable.  They do so much with it, and you can totally hear the story through the music (which is what I look for in a musical’s soundtrack).  It’s amazing.  If you are a musical person, at all, CHECK IT OUT.  Five for Five.  Definitely.

And now I’m reading four books at once, so get psyched.  For school we’re reading Macbeth (which is a hard-ish read, but it’s really trippy and cool for Shakespeare).  Then I was reading my favorite Marian Keyes book (aka favorite Irish Adult Chick Lit), called The Other Side of the Story.  It’s an amazing book that I’ve read . . . and it would take me WAY too long to explain what it’s about because I always take forever to explain things.  Then I decided that I would start reading Harry Potter again with my friend, a chapter at a time, since he hasn’t read any of them, which is the biggest crime I’ve ever heard of.  Then my friend lent me another YA book that I hadn’t heard of, called The Market by J. M. Steele.  It’s pretty good so far, but I’m only on chapter three.

Anyway, I’d better check out.  Yay.



So this post comes a little bit late, but I would like to celebrate 500 views on this website :D  Last week was actually the week with the most views ever, which made me really happy.  I’ve started looking around at other wordpress blogs and I think that’s helped me gain some views.  Well, no matter how they occurred, I’m thankful for them. 

Anywhichway, in school we’ve got a HUGE history thing tomorrow.  We’re going down to NYU to do this whole big students-teaching-students-about-global-issues thing.  It’s supposed to be a lot of fun, and I’m pretty psyched about it, but most of the student body has gotten REALLY stressed out about it.  I don’t think anyone really has anything to worry about, though.  Most groups have worked really hard and have gotten a lot of feedback from their teachers for their presentations.  My group has always been sort of set for this, and proof of that was when our teacher cried tears of happiness when we described our activity to her.  It was actually pretty awesome.  I don’t get what moved her so much about it (I came up with the activity the period before we needed to know what our activity would be in the middle of some random class like health or something), but I think that’s going to do a lot of good for our grade.

The Beacon Ink literary magazine was published and sold officially today, which was AMAZING.  It looks really fabulous, and even though not all of the layouts came out exactly the way I wanted them to, it still looks really great.  The only sad thing is that the other students don’t seem to see the value of owning a literary magazine.  $6.00 is a lot when you’re in high school, but the magazine is definitely worth it.  We only sold one copy during my shift selling at lunch, and even then it was to a teacher.  Other people said they would come back once they got money, but you never really can be sure with students.  I still have to buy a copy for myself.  All I can say is that I really hope the magazine sells, because I really want to be able to do Beacon Ink next year, and if we don’t sell magazines then we won’t have enough money to publish a magazine next year.  And students wonder why it only comes out once a year . . . maybe if they actually submitted and bought the magazine, we’d have money and oppertunity to make more editions.

Anyway, that’s enough ranting for now.  In the next week I’ll have a Slaughterhouse 5 book review, btw, because I’m almost done.  Then it will be on to Macbeth . . . and whatever other book I choose to read in my free time.


101 Things About ME :)

Okay, here goes.

101.  I’m 16 years old.

100.  I live in New York City (I have my whole life).

99.  I dye my hair red randomly.

98.  I play the guitar, piano, and soprano saxophone (but play none of them well).

99.  I’ve been in 4 musicals, 2 plays, at least 3 talent shows, and 6 musical reviews.

98.  I love reading.

97.  I long to be a writer.

96.  I love MATH.  I can’t super add or subtract or multiply or divide, but doing random algebra problems is one of my favorite things in the world to do when I need to relax.

95.  I want to be either a Math or an English teacher (I can’t decide which).

94.  I love chick lit!!!  I’ve divided it into several categories (ie. Brit Teen Chick Lit, American Adult Chick Lit, Irish Chick Lit, etc.) and have a favorite author in every single category (Sarra Manning, Meg Cabot, and Marian Keyes, respectively).

93.  I actually used to want to have a career in advertizing, because that was the career of all the awesome chick lit heroins that were over 20.

92.  I’m only looking seriously at colleges in California (except for Brown, and possibly Boston University).

91.  I love my high school no matter what.

90.  Even though I’ve only done it once, I love doing open houses for my high school.  There isn’t much I’d rather do than talk to younger kids about how amazing my school is and why they should all apply to come there.

89.  My high school is public, but requires a serious interview and a lot of essays and such and is incredibly selective (only 1 in 20 kids get in, which is more selective than our school-next-door, LaGuardia, ie. the high school that was featured in the movie/musical Fame, where my sister is going next year for visual arts).

88.  I have one sister.  She is two and a half years younger than me.

87.  I’ve directed 4 short films, co-directed 2, and was director of photography of approximately 3.

86.  My favorite movie of all time is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.  Every time I see it I notice something new.

85.  Second is The Breakfast Club. 

84.  I have a thing for German films.  Love Run Lola, Run, The Edukators, and Goodbye Lennin.

83.  Also love Amelie.  And Music and Lyrics.  And That Thing You Do!.  And Little Miss Sunshine.  And Juno.  And Thank You For Smoking.  And Intolerable Cruelty.  And This is Spinal Tap. 

82.  I am overly obsessed with the Internet.  I don’t think I can survive more than a week without it.

81.  I basically cycle through the same list of 12 or so websites when I’m online.  This includes,,,,, and assorted blogs.

80.  I am also obsessed with YouTube.  My favorites are the VlogBrothers, 5AwesomeGirls, 5AwesomeGuys, WhatTheBuckShow, and sxephil. 

79.  I have lost both a brand new iPod Classic and a cell phone in the period of one week.

78.  I have made procrastination an art form.

77.  My parents won’t let me pierce my ears.

76.  I have had plans to fix this on my 18th birthday since I was in kindergarten.

75.  I still almost wish that I was born in September, just so my birthstone could be a sapphire.  Then I remember how wonderful it is to have an early birthday.

74.  I become obsessed with things REALLY easily.

73.  For the last 2 or 3 years I’ve read the same 8 comics in the same order online every day.  Cathy, Garfield, PreTeena, Clear Blue Water, For Better or For Worse, Big Nate, Cleats, Boondocks.  If you recommend a comic to me, I may add it to this list.

72.  The only sport that I am almost good at is Speed Sport Stacking.  Even then, I can only complete the whole stack thing in about 16-20 seconds.  The record is 7.44 (or something like that).

71.  I have told myself daily for the last few months that I would start my own vlog, but I’m too afraid that what I have to say won’t be worth listening to.

70.  I am a perfectionist who takes on the appearance of not giving a shit about what people think.

69.  I have a REALLY bad mouth, and find it amazing when aquaintances walk up to me and say “wow!  That’s the first time I’ve ever heard you curse!”

68.  Oh, yeah.  My name is Renata.

67.  I get really attached to women who are 5-10 years older than me.  Some may call it being a stalker, to me it’s just having a role model.

66.  I have complete faith in my ability to get into any college that I’d like.  I know this is bad, but I felt the same way about high school and I got into my top two choices.

65.  I love musical theatre.

64.  My favorite is RENT.  I’ve seen it 4 times on Broadway, but my goal is to see it a total of ten times before it closes.

63.  When I was in 6th grade I started to write my first novel.  It was a mystery.

62.  Later that year a page was destroyed and I lost all hope of ever continuing with it.

61.  In 7th grade I started to write my second novel.

60.  In 8th grade I finished it.  It was 30,000 words, and approximately 80 typed pages.

59.  This is my second blog, but the first one that I’ve held on my own.

58.  I have been photographed by a total stranger (see my avatar/profile picture).

57.  I have 3 PostSecret secrets that I’ve written sitting next to me.  I don’t think I will ever mail them.

56.  I planned my own surprise party.

55.  My favorite TV show is The Office.

54.  The first TV show I was ever obsessed with was Four Kings.  I’ve seen every episode.

53.  This led to obsessions with Will & Grace, My Name Is Earl, The Office, 30 Rock, and Scrubs, respectively.

52.  I am the loudest, most obnoxious person I know, and I am okay with that.

51.  I don’t believe in the power of words, which would probably explain my overuse of the words “love”, “hate”, “shit”, and “fuck”.

50.  I have to pee really badly.

49.  All better :D

48.  I only eat red, white, and orange foods.  No green.  Okay, except for cucumber and peppers. 

47.  I only eat raw vegetables.

46.  I love talking about myself.  Sometimes I feel like it’s the only thing I can really do well.

45.  I narrate my own life as it happens (and before it happens) (and after it happens, for that matter) in my head.

44.  You cannot imagine how much fun this is for me right now.

43.  My favorite flower, if I had to choose, would be the tulip. 

42.  My world was disenfranchised when I was in 5th grade.  Since then I’ve been an incredibly needy person and obsessively hug my friends.

41.  I’ve questioned my sexuality every day since 7th grade, when people started spreading rumors that I made out with assorted girls in bathrooms during class. 

40.  For the record, I never even went to the bathroom during class.

39.  I’ve never really admited that to anyone.  This is why I have a blog.

38.  My first kiss was in January.  On the romantic side, it took place in Central Park.  On the less romantic side, it was on the floor of what is commonly known as “The Sex Tunnel”.

37.  <–This is my lucky number.  Odd one to have, I know.  It became my lucky number in fifth grade, when we were choosing our numbers for the team.  Both 3 and 7, my lucky numbers previously, were taken, and there was no number 73, so I settled on 37.  I sucked at basketball, but our team was second out of five in the league.  We lost only one game.

36.  In fifth grade I was also on the debate team.  I joined a few weeks before the big debate, and because of that I had to memorize an essay that someone else had written, forcing them to write themselves a new one.  I still feel bad about that.

35.  When I’m mad at someone, I choose ridiculously bad people to tell about it.

34.  I am obsessed with school reunions and cannot wait until I get to attend my own.

33.  I obsessively check my email, and am generally good at replying.

32.  I was once suspended for a half of a day.  My parents still do not know.

31.  I still sleep while hugging a Mickey Mouse doll that I recieved for either Christmas or my birthday when I was 2 years old.

30.  Por cinco años, yo he aprendido español en escuela.

29.  My proudest moment as an obsessive person: besides having met the creator of ImprovEverywhere 3 times, it was definitely when my picture and name was in the local paper for being an obsessed Harry Potter fan.

28.  My dad, sister, and I continuously read aloud from the last Series of Unfortunate Events book, taking turns until we had finished at 1 in the morning.  We started at 4 in the afternoon, when my dad came home from work, and only stopped once for an hour to eat dinner.

27.  I believe that I am one of the very few people out there who likes the epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

26.  I severely dislike seeing movies before I have read the book.  I only read the Da Vinchi Code because I had made plans to see the movie with one of my friends for that weekend.  I was only 3/4ths done by the time I was supposed to meet her, and I continued to read the book throughout being driven to the theatre, getting the tickets, getting popcorn, and through previews.  When the movie started, I was on page 311 (at the time I made a point of remembering this, since I planned on resuming my reading.  Now it’s almost three years later, and I think I will always remember).  After seeing the movie, I never picked up the book again to finish it (and I don’t plan on it).

25.  People tell me that I am a very bad storyteller.  This will never, ever keep me from telling stories.

24.  I used to be anemic, for about a month.  I wouldn’t be surprised if I still am.

23.  I am by far the palest person I know.  I also do not tan.  My skin will only burn.

22.  I have reactive arthritis, mostly in my fingers, wrists, ankles, and feet.  Because of this, I get cold very, very easily.

21.  I have an undiagnosed genetic disease.  So does my dad, my grandfather, and my sister.

20.  While we’re still on medical problems, I’ve worn glasses since the summer before 6th grade, and I had braces from the beginning of 6th grade to the beginning of 7th.

19.  In 2005, I made a time capsule that I keep in the back of my closet.  I originally planned to open it in 2010, but because I still remember most of its contents, I may keep it closed until 2015 or 2020.

18.  I love minigolf.  My favorite course is at the Jersey Shore.  My family goes down there one week during the summer every year, and I play at least one round of minigolf at that course every single day during that week.  My best score was a 37, achieved last summer.  Par is 39.

17.  I am not a gamer, except for The Sims.  I can’t remember how long I’ve been playing for.  I don’t play regularly, but pretty much in phases.  My latest family obsession was a neighborhood that started with four separate families, but is now currently completely intermarried (yes, there are a few second cousins who have gotten married . . . it’s not very generational).

18.  I have a wall of signed playbills.  My favorite is probably from the revival of A Chorus Line, because it is signed by all 16 or so original cast members (okay, so it’s not the ORIGINAL original cast members, but this will have to do).

17.  I’m an open person.  I will tell anyone almost anything about me . . . if they ask, of course. 

16.  I am the laziest person I have ever met.

15.  Correction: I am the worst prioritizer I’ve ever met.  I never do what I’m supposed to be doing.

14.  My personal library of books is six shelves of books (okay, currently five and a half, but that’s only because I’ve lent out a lot of my books), is organized by authors last name.  Almost every single one of them are documented in a database saved to my laptop.  At least, it was, until my laptop completely passed out and is now unusable.

13.  I believe in six degrees of separation.

12.  My favorite punctuation mark is the semicolon; but coming in at close second is the interrabang?!

11.  I have recently discovered the genre of Wizard Rock, and am very excited about becoming obsessed with it.

10.  I can’t draw.  At ALL.

09.  Oh shit!  Single digits!

08.  I love my local hot dog guy, the one who tells me not to get tattoos.

07.  I often listen to YouTube vlogs as I do other stuff.  Like right now, I’m listening to WhatTheBuckShow.

06.  I’m reading Slaughterhouse Five.  It’s for school, but I do enjoy the book.

05.  My favorite smells are most definitely books (new and old), playing cards (new), and fire.

04.  I am a cat person.  I have two cats.  My sister also has two fish and a frog.  I hate frogs.

03.  My favorite playing card is the three of clubs.  It has been since I was in 4th or 5th grade.  I don’t remember exactly how this came about, except it had something to do with the magic classes I’ve been taking.

02.  I always try my best to use proper spelling and punctuation, with the exception of lol and omg, and occasionally btw.  Most people find it odd, but I only do it because I don’t want obsessive netspeak to ruin my writing (creative and otherwise).  Sometimes I feel the compulsive need to break out in a “hru?  im gd.  gr8!  ne1 going out l8r?”.  I always surpress this urge.

01.  I used the word “obsess” and variations of the word 13 times in this.  Remarkable.  Here’s once more: I love hearing what other people obsess about.  I think that passionate people are the most beautiful people in the world (that’s the one thing that guys I like have in common).  I love hearing about other obsessions.

And that’s a wrap . . . hope you enjoyed it!!


Come on, NYTimes.

In particular, come on Susan Dominus.  This response to her article is a bit belated, but it’s sincere nonetheless.  For the record, yes, the article (in the hyperlink above) is about my school, and for the record, it’s kind of ridiculous.  They make us sound like whores . . . we really aren’t.  Okay, some girls are kinda skanky, but why should those few represent our entire population?  And what the hell does any of this have to do with Miley Cyrus? 

I listen to her music (sometimes) and I watch her show (sometimes).  Not often at all, and not because I really really am dying to listen to her or watch her.  Her YouTube channel is pathetic, and she doesn’t seem to be making the best photographing decisions, but she’s got a career which I guess you could say is cool for her.  The media seems completely out to get her though, which would explain the lame excuses for “racy photos”.  Seriously, what teenage girl hasn’t taken photos showing a bra and some stomach?  I mean, it’s not like we’re getting shots of her vagina or even like an actually legit boob (though let’s not encourage her . . . please). 

And in defense of my school, while some kids like to dress in short shorts and tights, the school can hardly be blamed for it.  And those who do it don’t do it to be slutty.  Trust me.  While there are a few sluts in my school, there aren’t enough for it to become a generalized term describing the student population.  Kids come to school dressed like that because they are LAZY, wake up late, and don’t get enough sleep.  And when you can wear whatever you want to school, why not just go for the minimal to keep you warm?  It’s not a come-on-to-me-thing, it’s an I-really-don’t-give-a-shit-about-my-appearance-it’s-just-school thing.  Which is totally cool, I think.  That our school is an accepting enough place that people don’t have to care what they look like when they go to school. 

Oh, and the cigarettes?  Yeah, some kids smoke.  But try finding a school where there isn’t a single student that smokes.  I’d say it’s damn near impossible.  To use that to make our school look bad is STUPID.  I read a comment to an article about this article that said “Most disturbing in the Times story is the Beacon girl’s admission that she smokes cigarettes. Can’t that school even teach them that they get all the contamination their lungs need from the city air?”  WHAT.  THE.  FUCK?!  Okay, just because ONE CHICK is described as being a smoker, definitely does NOT mean that the entire school smokes.  And to insult our teachers because of it is the biggest bullshit I’ve ever heard.  The teachers at our school DO discourage smoking.  We have entire major health units devoted to the topic of how smoking kills.  That’s not going to keep all kids from smoking.  I will tip my hat and bow down to the teacher or school that manages to keep a thousand students from touching a cigarette.

And this article wouldn’t be a big deal to me if it hadn’t caused reactions like that.  To me, the article itself, while providing a skewed version of the truth, isn’t really doing any harm.  It’s the reader interpretation that takes the hinted meanings to a whole new extreme.  So, again, I say what the hell?  The article is ridiculous, and our school doesn’t deserve shit like that from the NY Times.  We are NOT whores.  Or sluts.  We may be harsh sometimes, and we may be lazy, but we don’t dress with the goal of seduction (okay, at least not ALL the time).

Comment with opinions, etc.  I’m interested to hear other views on the article that aren’t my own (particularly from people who aren’t familiar with my school, but I’m not disregarding people who are).


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Lions and Tigers and Bears

Oh my!  Gosh, it’s been so long since I last posted!!  I feel really awful about it, but trust me, I haven’t forgotten about all of you.  I’ve just been really really busy with . . . the Wizard of Oz!  We open on Friday, close [technically] on Saturday, and then another two super crappy preformances on Tuesday for the middle school.  It’s a very short run, not even four shows, but that’s okay.  All the fun is totally worth it.  All we do is forget our lines onstage and have sex offstage.  Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but still.  Lots of humping going on and fake orgasms.  Good times :)

Anyway, so as Auntie Em, I kinda actually get a mic, for the first act anyway.  Our set is crap, only about five girls can sing.  Let’s not get started on dancing, and only some of us can actually act at all.  No one really comes (I can’t convince most of my friends, and even though some of my teachers seem like they’d want to go, I try to convince them that it’s not worth it for fear of being absolutely humilliated in the spotlight).  But oh well, I still enjoy it.  I’m sad that it’s my last year.  I don’t want to go, but I guess schedules change and you can’t really do much about that. 

My mom is trying to get me to think about what extra curriculars I’ll be doing next year, since I won’t have Teen Theatre, and Beacon Ink is only an annual magazine that meets once a week.  I’d like to earn some money with a job, preferably at a bookstore, but my science teacher was talking about how the AP classes don’t really like it when kids hold jobs or have a lot of ECs.  I don’t think I could get a job at the local Barnes and Noble or the local Borders anyway, since I’m only 16.  Most people who work there look like they’re in their 20s and 30s, at the absolute youngest.

Anyway, I don’t really want to do a sport.  They take too much time, too much dedication, too much energy.  I’d like to do more writing.  Maybe I’ll find some sort of class like that.  Get my work published all over.  It’s wanting to be in a lit. magazine instead of just making one that makes me sad that I’m on Beacon Ink, since we can’t write stuff for it.  I’m not sure if that’s because we’d be biased in judging if it should go in or not, or if it’s because we can’t just fill up an entire magazine with our own stuff.  Probably both.

For the record, I’m in community service class (yes, again).  I’m supposed to be working on an outline for my paper on illiteracy, but I really don’t know what I’m talking about yet or anything close to that.  I guess I’ll work on it next week, when I have a bit more time. 

Oh, and for the record, Global Symposiums SUCK.