Less Lazy

I’ve been really slacking for the past few days. I’m awfully sorry about that. Let me go see what I “wrote”…

Wow. Drum major essay. Very short anecdote. Awkward story about drinking. Very long anecdote. Medium-length anecdote.

Who’s letting me get away with this crap? Hey, One-Person-Who-Reads-My-Blog! Keep me on track, would you?

–Oh, dear. Facebook is like a trap of endless pain for me. A girl posted on my friend’s wall and Everything She Wrote Had A Capital Letter Because It Was That Important. See how annoying that is to look at? There’s a thing called proofreading, ladies. Give it a shot.

Well, my friend instant-message’d me last night to tell me that she had a new book by our favorite author and thankfully, this one–unlike the last one she lent me–doesn’t contain any completely unexpected soft-core porn. So hey, why don’t I read it?

She gave me the book today, and I knew as soon as I looked at it that our beloved authoress, Meg Cabot–who endearingly resembles a younger version of my eighth grade English teacher–was getting sucked onto the bandwagon of contemporary fiction.

I knew about her “adult vampire romance novel”, and I would have none of it. Mostly because the last time I read one of her “adult romance novels”, my childhood wanted to have its metaphorical-stomach pumped after reading her little smut-scene. Seriously, she’s been one of my favorite authors since I read All American Girl in fourth grade. The book was way too mature for me, which I realized when I read it again in eighth grade and saw all the blatant sexuality woven throughout.

Anyway, I continued to love her as I devoured The Princess Diaries and Mediator series’, as well as the “Airhead” trilogy and Avalon High and Teen Idol, two of her slightly older young adult books. I managed to find the sequel to All American Girl, which is Ready Or Not, and I loved it to death. I tried to start reading the “Boy Book” series, but I couldn’t stand the email-format, so I dropped it. I nearly read her bizarre historical fiction, Ransom My Heart, but I never got around to checking it out. I borrowed Queen of Babble–the one with the smut in it–and loved it, and I plan on reading the rest of the sequels to it.

This new one, though… I was shocked to see that she would–so soon after her foyer into the super-mainstream world of vampires–jump into the Greek mythology craze, too. But she did. Abandon is “the myth of Persephone… darkly reimagined.” Also, “Meg Cabot is the master of her genre,” raves Publishers Weekly.

I won’t say that I don’t like it, though. On the contrary, I find it quite engaging. And Meg! If, somehow, you’re reading this! I love you! Forever and always, Meg Cabot! My faith in you is not one easily shaken, and besides, I like this book anyways.

Okay, that’s done. Well, I was planning on doing a little modernly-twisted-Greek-myth thing for my story of the day, but then I thought it was cheesy. I realized, however, that no matter how cheesy, it was still very late at night and I’d like to get some sleep, so I’ll do it anyways.

(Forgive me, it WILL be marching-band-related; it’s what’s on the mind right now)

The buds of my iPod came out of my ears as it dawned on me just exactly what was going on. My oversize drum-harness glinted in the light so I could barely see what was happening in front of me, but I knew. Everyone knew.

The rat-a-tat-tat of the snare drummer beside me subsided as he, too, took note of the situation. He leaned over to me as much as he could without tipping over and whispered, “Is this–”

“We have a challenge!” the band director bellowed, interrupting the freshman next to me and surprising him to the point that he nearly lost his balance. “Isabella Ontivero–second clarinet, tenth grade–has challenged Natasha Maxwell–first clarinet, twelfth grade–on the song ‘Sunrise, Sunset’. Natasha, if you decline, you lose by forfeit. Do you accept?”

We weren’t supposed to talk when this happened–there was a lot of formality to it–but the field became awash with murmuring. “I thought Natasha was the best… Why would somebody challenge her?”

“I accept,” Natasha said.

“The challenge will be held after school, then! Good luck, guys.”

~

After school came sooner than anyone expected and before we knew it, we were back at the band room, listening to the challenge.

“Please play the challenged piece,” our director instructed.

The song was sprinkled with tricky trills and tremolos, and we listened contentedly as each little note was played with precision. We all clapped politely when the girl finished, trailing off of a long-sustained note. The performer was skilled, I noted, though not remarkable.

“Second player, please play the challenged piece.”

By the first little sixteenth-note triplet, I believe, everyone could tell who was the more outstanding player. She payed attention to the written notations, but she always followed natural dynamics, rising in volume as she was rising in pitch, and falling in the same way. I felt each note trickle out of the bell of her instrument. Even though she was behind a door in the back of the class, hidden from our view, I could see her long, graceful fingers as they danced across the keys and holes.

When she reached that last, powerful chord, I felt the hot lines on my cheeks and realized in shock that I was crying. And I wasn’t the only one. In fact, by the end of her song, there was hardly a dry eye in the room.

The most shocking thing of all, though, were the next words that came out of the director’s mouth: “No need for the sight reading piece. You can come out now.”

The two girls left the room: Natasha stood, as always, tall and proud, her face stony, her eyes stormy, and her posture statuesque.

Isabella, I saw, was red-eyed and pink-faced. She sunk into her chair in the second tier while Natasha slid into hers, several seats away.

It wasn’t a contest. By the look on Natasha’s face, it wasn’t even a challenge. She had reduced poor Isabella to nothing but a spider.

If you couldn’t tell, or if you’ve never read the myth, that was the story of Athene and Arachne, redone in modern setting, and “reimagined” (though not darkly, like Abandon) in the viewpoint of a spectator.

I’m actually not too disappointed in that story, so I leave here a satisfied Sami, saying, Goodnight, chickedies!

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