Treblesteph's Blog

{July 20, 2011}   No Soda Summer Year 2: Week 8

Well Summer 2011 is the second year where I go all summer without soda. Last year I cracked about 4 times after I started. This year its gotten easier. It’s probably because I had more people to do it with.

This year Ty and I started out the No Soda Summer as a competition to see who could last the longest. We agreed that starting on June 1st we would stop drinking soda all summer. July 4th would be our cheat day because it’s a holiday and it can get very hot. Plus when people barbecue they usually have soda. A couple of days before we started Mrs. Hoppel decided to join in.

The day I decided to give up soda I had to help stack sodas that the Boy Scout Troop my dad is a part of sells. This is what I looked at when I entered the room after my declaration:

Let me assure you, when I first saw all of that soda I thought I made a huge mistake. So up until June 1st came I drank and drank and drank as much soda as I could in the day. I don’t really like the carbonation to it but the flavor I couldn’t get enough of. Soon the final day of March came and I drank my last bottle of Coke:

When June 1st came i thought it would be easy to get over it. I was wrong. I would crave it and I would always flinch whenever I hear the noise of a bottle being twisted open. Eventually I turned towards water and Arnold Palmer. As the weeks dragged on I found it easier to stray away from soda. I think if anything I just love flavored drinks.

Now I’m onto week 8 and I feel better than I did before. Ty isn’t in the competition anymore. He lasted quiet a while and I applaud him for trying. Mrs. Hoppel is still in the competition and is doing well.

With all of the water and Arnold Palmer I’ve been drinking I lost a few lbs. I don’t have much of a craving for flavored drinks anymore, though I will always love Arnold Palmer. I think after this year I can do it again next year and not have a cheat day.


It’s safe to say that Borders was one of my favorite stores to go to. Whenever me and my sisters and my dad went on a “Central Park” run we would have three or four stores we’d go to: Target, Kohl’s, Best Buy, and Borders.

I’ve always loved Borders. I’ve been going to Borders since lower school. I remember when I’d enter the store I would immediately go towards the back, pick out a book, and then sit on the colored carpet and just read and read and read. In middle school I would start to look at other sections of books, mainly in fiction and manga (for those of you who don’t know, manga is Japanese comic books that you read from right to left). It was at Borders when I picked up my first How to Draw Anime book. I still draw anime to this day. (To look at my pictures go to my devientart page here: ).

In high school I got into books by Denise Hunter. The first book I picked up by her was The Convenient Groom. I got it as a gift from my grandmother. Ever since then I have started collecting them. Currently I have six of her books. I also started to pick up poetry books to study the greats so I could improve on my own poetry.

It just won’t be the same with Borders gone. I could spend all day at Borders. One time I sat in Borders for over 2 hours just reading. I could live in Borders if I wanted to. I mean it has music, food, books, and a bathroom. I love the atmosphere of the store. All of the books on one side and then a café where you can listen to live music on the other; plus you get to read the magazines for free.

I found this in a Borders bathroom stall one day

The number one thing though, I’ll miss about Borders is the classical music that’s sold there. I’m obsessed with classical music. I listen to it every chance I get. Now that Border’s is closing I’ll have to go to Best Buy to get it or order it offline. I prefer Borders because it’s cheaper and there’s a bigger selection. Plus Best Buy doesn’t have that cozy feeling like Borders.

Sure, we’re getting a Books a Million (or was it Barnes and Noble) in The Village at the Spotsy Mall (yes, I still call it Spotsy Mall). But it won’t be the same. I’ve had Borders for years. I have so many great memories there: buying the first Harry Potter book, going to the midnight release of the final Harry Potter book, playing with the I Spy Books and the Pokémon Find it books with my friends, buying my first manga, and spending many hours just reading.

When I first heard that Borders was closing some of its stores, I immediately picked up my cell phone, called my mom, and demanded to know if “my” Borders was closing. It wasn’t and I breathed a sigh of relief. I always dreamed of getting a job at Borders (mainly so I could get discounts on books). The people working there were so polite and I just knew that they loved their jobs. I’ll have to face the closing sooner or later. I’m definitely going to go to the liquidation sales (hello, books marked down). I had plans this summer to go to Borders and stick positive notes into random books and places. I guess I’d better get on that.

Goodbye Borders, I’ll miss you.

Borders: Books, Café, and Music (1971-2011)

So I just got back from watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. It was better than I thought it would be and no, I didn’t cry. I didn’t actually understand why people cried. I didn’t think it was that sad. Yes, I agree some scenes were intense but to me, not cry worthy.

*I got a comment a couple of days ago about why people cried during the final film from RB. You can’t see it now because my blog has been going through some glitches and the comment was deleted. Anyway, she was kind of disagreeing with me about why people cried during the film so the portion about Snape people is pretty much what the comment said (except for the tear thing and the Galaxy Quest comment) so you can get the jist of what was said.

Let me try that at a different angle. I read the final book a couple of times before I saw Part 2. I think the main reason why I didn’t cry was because I already knew what was going to happen. I was upset that the whole series is over but…

I have to admit though: Alan Rickman is an amazing actor. I knew him from Galaxy Quest (he was in the film doing a parody of Star Trek) before he was cast in the HP series but I became way more of a fan after this series. Anyway, the whole Snape’s Memory scene was great. I teared up slightly when he found Lily dead. I could feel his emotions through the screen. And I loved how they made Snape’s memory come out of a tear instead of his temple. Better turn to the scene in the book.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the movies; aside from someone bringing in a baby, a kid kicking my chair, and the theatre smelling like pee. There were a few moments in the movie I liked and didn’t like:

1)      Tonks and Lupin: I love these two characters so I was sad when I heard they died in the book. But I hated that they didn’t have that big of a role in the second movie. In the first half of the Deathly Hallows, Tonks got interrupted when she was trying to tell Harry that they were having a baby. They didn’t appear again until they entered the Great Hall to face Snape. And the last time you see them alive is when they reach out to try and touch each other’s hands. But when Harry goes to the Forbidden Forest, he apologizes to Lupin about his son not seeing him grow up. That continuity bothered me.

2)      Professor McGonagall: She has had very small roles in all of the movies. I liked her in the first movie because she transformed from a cat to her human form. I liked her in the fifth movie when she stood up to Dolores Umbridge. But this movie made me love her even more. She fights against Snape and pretty much assumes the role as the leader of Hogwarts. Plus she has a few funny lines in the film before the dramatic Battle of Hogwarts.

3)      Hermione and Ron: I used to love Hermione but eventually she got on my nerves. Especially because she kept telling Harry that he shouldn’t let Voldemort in. But she doesn’t know how hard legilimency is so she shouldn’t be scolding him. I also don’t like it that Hermione is always surprised when Ron does something, in their terms brilliant. On the upside, it’s good to see a strong and brave female character because most cases they are damsels in distress. Ron is the one person who will always have you laughing; either because of his lines or his facial expressions. When I watched the first film I knew they would eventually get together. It was the scene after Harry and Ron save Hermione from the troll. Ron says the line “What are friends for?” and the two smile at them. I just think it took too long for them to declare it.

4)      Fred and George Weasley: I love how George’s last line to Fred (and in general) was “Are you okay Freddie?”. Fred and George were two awesome characters. At first I didn’t really like them. I didn’t think there was much of a point to them. It wasn’t until the 5th film when I saw them caring for the Hogwarts student who had dealt with Umbridge’s detention made me love them. Fred and George brought in humor to the dramatic story with their pranks and schemes. It’s a shame one of them had to die. I’m glad they added in brotherly moments in the final two films.

5)      Neville Longbottom: I loooooved Neville in this film. First off, he got hot. Second he had a bigger role. And third, his speech about Harry was amazing. He has really stepped up into a great character. He became a leader to those in the DA and everyone treats him with respect. He isn’t that puffy cheeked little kid anymore. J

6)      Luna: I thought she could have had a bigger part. I mean after the Grey Lady scene she all but disappeared. She had a larger role in the 5th movie. I’m glad J.K. Rowling brought in her character because she is the only who actually understands Harry. Those two are considered weird by others but they see each other as true friends.

I have plenty more to say but I think that covers it for now. I have followed Harry Potter since it started. I’ve read every book and seen the first seven movies numerous times. I even write Harry Potter fan fiction. I should be posting on a new one soon. My favorite characters are Luna, Draco Malfoy, Severes Snape, Tonks, Lupin, and Sirius Black. I’ve played every video game except for Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2. My favorite books are The Goblet of Fire and Deathly Hallows. My favorite films are the Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2.

7)      Snape: Look at what I mentioned before.

The films and books may be over but the magic of Harry Potter will live on. There’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida Pottermore that is coming up in October, Fan Art, Fan Fiction, online Harry Potter wikia pages and of course the books and films themselves. I believe that Harry Potter will live on for a long, long time.

But for now….

Mischief Managed

(“or else anyone could read it” – Fred and George Weasley)

So I scroll through my news feed on my Facebook account and come across one of my friends saying that they’re getting their wisdom teeth taken out. Most comments say that people are sorry for my friend and suggest remedies for the pain. Others simply say “dislike” or “I wish there was a dislike button I could push.”

The way I see it. Facebook doesn’t need a dislike button and shouldn’t get a dislike button. Unfortunately there are malicious people out there on the web. Many people have committed suicide after being cyberbullied on the social sites like formspring, MySpace, and Facebook. Adding a dislike button will stir up more drama. For example, a friend starts a relationship with someone. If there were a dislike button then many people could dislike that they are in that relationship either because they are jealous or they don’t really like the two of them together. Or someone gets engaged and the soon to be mother-in-law is friends with you on Facebook (who doesn’t like you) and will let the whole world (well maybe not the world. Just your Facebook friends) that she doesn’t agree with the future marriage.

Overall, I don’t think Facebook should have a dislike button because it will most likely spur more cyberbullying and hatred. Sure, you can dislike that someone broke-up with their longtime boyfriend/girlfriend, or their grandmother just died. Those seem like perfectly good reason. I just believe that we shouldn’t bring in the ability of good and malicious choices onto the site.

What I’m saying is I “dislike” the idea of a “dislike” button

The one thing I love about summer is cleaning out something and finding my old things. Recently I found my two digivices, my Pokemon cards, my Sailor Moon paraphernalia, an old necklace (that still fits surprisingly), and oh yeah my cursive handwriting.

I remember sitting in my first grade class being taught how to write neatly. You know, the piece of paper you were handed where there would be three lines. The top and bottom line are solid while the middle of the line was dotted. That told you where to place your dots for your i’s or the crosses for your t’s. With that piece of paper my number one priority wasn’t to learn cursive, but to try to be as neat as possible.

Through out the second, third, and fourth grades I was told the same thing: You will not be able to use print handwriting after the fifth grade. This of course terrified me because my cursive handwriting was terrible. I told my parents this one night at dinner. Their solution: give me a cursive handwriting place mat for my desk in my bedroom. Brilliant idea 😛

It was in fifth grade when I learned three things: 1) I’ve been spelling February wrong for years, 2) I can’t use the word peeps in place of people anymore, and 3) I wouldn’t be using cursive handwriting as much anymore.

That personally made me upset. I spent years and years and years practicing writing my name and initials in cursive because people told me that I need to learn how to write it. Ever since fifth grade I haven’t given much of a thought about cursive handwriting unless I have to sign a card or the honor code on the back of quizzes and tests. These days more and more states are giving up on teaching students cursive handwriting.

Ultimately I believe that we aren’t being taught cursive handwriting anymore is because of computers. Not many people hand write letters anymore because of e-mail (I’m an exception. I’ve been called the Letter Writing Queen at school). In a nano second paragraphs upon paragraphs of a letter can be fit and sent in an e-mail. It will appear in the recipients inbox in a matter of seconds. Definitely faster than the postal service.

Because I don’t write in cursive as much anymore I can barely read anyone’s handwriting when it is in cursive. Example: Liz Eschen’s handwriting (I make fun of her all the time about it 🙂 ). Also, I now believe that my handwriting is terrible. Why don’t you be the judge:

In 2010 – 2011 school year, a majority of teen news I heard was of someone’s body found in the backyard, bedroom, or garage of their house. A note was placed near their body. Each note was different but the basis was the same. The child was bullied in school. They were so scared and nervous and tired of the abuse, that they committed suicide.

Bullying is a big problem with teenagers today. With social sites like Facebook, Myspace, and Formspring, it makes cyber bullying so easy. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t cyber bullied. My outcome of being cyberbullied was different from many other teens: i survived. I became stronger. I was never bullied badly enough to think of taking my own life. But this must mean that those teenagers must have gone through so much pain that they found a quick way out. We will never know how bad it got, except for those few who drove them to it.

These days, females are the main bullies. Because of the media women are told that they are supposed to be a certain size, have to wear certain clothes, and listen to certain music. If you do anything out of the norm you will be made fun of because you have a few more pounds, or you can’t afford the cool clothes or the new high-tech devices. Don’t get me wrong, men are bullied as well; but mainly because of their sexual orientation.

There is now nation wide law against cyber bullying. There are only state laws and only a handful of states have laws against it. This is because many don’t view bullying as a serious problem. They just think its “teenagers being teenagers”. But it’s not, there’s a growing problem and many more teenagers will die unless something is done.

Did You Know:

-30% of US students in grades 6-10 are involved in moderate bullying

-Bullying is the leading cause in youth/teenage homicide and/or suicide cases

-77% of students are bullied mentally, verbally, and physically

-Out of that 77%, 14% who were bullied experience severe reactions

-8% of students miss i day of class per month stemming from the fear of bullying

-282,000 students are attacked in secondary schools each month

-Most cases of bullying appear on school grounds

-The more time you spend online, the better chances you are of being bullied

-Cell phones with video/camera apps are used in 10% of bullying cases

Films about Bullying/Cyber Bullying:

Mean Girls: starring Rachel McAdams, Lindsay Lohan, Lacey Chabert, Amanda Seyfried and Tina Fey. Based off of the book non-fiction book Queen Bees and Wannabes focusing on high school cliques.

Odd Girl Out: 2005 drama telefilm starring Alexa Vega. This film focuses on both bullying and cyber bullying among females. It also shows how malicious and devious some teenage girls can be.

Cyberbully (stylized: Cyberbu//y): Upcoming ABC Family original movie starring Emily Osment. The film depicts cyber bullying through social networking sites.

Let’s Fight It Together: “an award-winning film produced by Childnet for the Department for Children Schools and Families to help sensitize young people to the pain and hurt which can be caused by cyberbullying.” (

Untitled: Upcoming MTV film based on the suicide of Abraham Biggs. To read about the tragic story, go here.


et cetera