Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Abridged Series

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-   -   August 2013 Contest (http://forum.yugiohtheabridgedseries.com/showthread.php?t=8496)

Zairak 08-01-2013 07:57 PM

August 2013 Contest
So, Summer is nearing its end. Or Winter, I suppose, depending on where you're living. w/e.

REGARDLESS, as such, August's contest theme will be as follows:


Contestants will be required to write an essay of no more than 1,000 words (Though let's be honest here odds are half and half on whether or not I bother to count, and points aren't really going to be deducted anyway.) about what you did during your Summer(Winter) Vacation (Or just Summer(Winter) if you don't happen to attend school anymore).

Feel free to lie if you think that your life is really boring or whatever. I'm certainly not going to fact check.

If you still don't want to talk about your life for whatever reason, you may submit an essay regarding your opinion on what is or is not important to learn about in life. This may include but is not limited to the typical subjects (Math, Language, Science, etc). Surprise me.
Sign Ups will continue until August 5th. Submissions will then be accepted until August 25th, after which voting will commence on who had the most entertaining Summer(Winter)/managed to dazzle you with their wit and discourse on a most probably boring topic to whatever boring people may be reading this (Read: Learning). PM your submissions to Zairak.

There will be one prize for the person who receives the most votes by the last day of August. Prize is going to be a piece of YGO:TAS merchandise. Preferably, the item in question will not exceed $20, but we can talk about it if necessary.

Ah, ahem. Yes. Class is in session or w/e.

Sign Ups Go.


Sign Up List:
1. gcar90
2. killshot
3. musigal
4. TheOcean
5. RebornZombie
6. ShizukaMikudou
7. Mid-Knight
8. AbigeruAlek
9. Marik-is-King
10. Mistyskye

GcarOatmealRaisinCookies 08-01-2013 08:09 PM

I sign up

killshot 08-01-2013 09:57 PM

Sign up.

GcarOatmealRaisinCookies 08-01-2013 10:20 PM

(Oh, and the only thing I want from the TAS store is a Bakura keychain, but they never have it in stock.)

musigal 08-01-2013 10:43 PM

Definitely sign up. Can we submit one essay for each of the two options, or do we have to pick?

TheOcean 08-02-2013 12:11 PM

Sign up.

Zairak 08-02-2013 12:48 PM


Originally Posted by musigal (Post 1661337)
Definitely sign up. Can we submit one essay for each of the two options, or do we have to pick?

There's no rule against being an over-achiever, no. Feel free to do so.

I would encourage voters to judge based on quality, not quantity, however.

musigal 08-02-2013 09:21 PM


Originally Posted by Zairak (Post 1661395)
There's no rule against being an over-achiever, no. Feel free to do so.

I would encourage voters to judge based on quality, not quantity, however.

Wonderful. I just feel like trying both.

ShizukaMikudou 08-02-2013 09:21 PM

Okay I'm going to sign up. Can't guarantee I'll have something to write about that's not boring or something that nobody agrees with unless they're Christian, but whatevs :D

Mid-Knight 08-02-2013 09:50 PM

Sign up

AbigeruAlek 08-03-2013 10:05 AM

Sign up! :D

Marik-is-King 08-04-2013 10:10 PM

Why not? I sign up

GcarOatmealRaisinCookies 08-04-2013 11:30 PM

Hopefully, I can find a free hour this month to write up my report.

It can be any length, right?

I'll do what I can

Mistyskye 08-05-2013 09:53 AM

I sign up!

Zairak 08-05-2013 11:32 AM


Originally Posted by gcar90 (Post 1661836)
Hopefully, I can find a free hour this month to write up my report.

It can be any length, right?

I'll do what I can

Yes, any length is permissible.

MrsSallyBakura 08-05-2013 12:10 PM

Hey Zairak, now what I did for word count for the final round of the July contest?

Copied and pasted the story into a Word document.

If you don't have Word, then you can use a Google document instead for word count. :)

It takes two seconds and you can still be mean and deduct points. Yay!

EDIT: Well, if it can be ANY length... guess you feel like being nice~

Zairak 08-05-2013 07:12 PM


Originally Posted by MrsSallyBakura (Post 1661874)
Hey Zairak, now what I did for word count for the final round of the July contest?

Copied and pasted the story into a Word document.

If you don't have Word, then you can use a Google document instead for word count. :)

It takes two seconds and you can still be mean and deduct points. Yay!

EDIT: Well, if it can be ANY length... guess you feel like being nice~

Thanks, pretty sound advice.

But yeah, since the normal contests are decided by popular vote for the time being, didn't feel like placing restrictions.

On that note, Sign Ups are going to end in approximately 2 hours, Mysterious Viewers. If you want in, speak up now or... miss out on a silly contest, I guess.

MrsSallyBakura 08-05-2013 07:27 PM

Miss out on that faaaaaabulous prize, more like.

Ninjasplaycardgames2 08-05-2013 08:06 PM

If I sign up my essay will be the word pingas written over and over for 69 pages, so I wont.

Zairak 08-05-2013 09:03 PM

And... Time.


Sign Up List:
1. gcar90
2. killshot
3. musigal
4. TheOcean
5. RebornZombie
6. ShizukaMikudou
7. Mid-Knight
8. AbigeruAlek
9. Marik-is-King
10. Mistyskye
Okay, you have your mission. Write one (or two) of the two essay options. Will you stun the world with tales of your jetsetting lifestyle? Will you show everybody how smart you are on the Internet?

Submissions accepted, again, until August 25th. Remember, PM the submissions to Zairak.

Er, me.



kudos 08-05-2013 09:29 PM

Aw noooooo I'm 20 min late to sign up? :,(

GcarOatmealRaisinCookies 08-06-2013 04:58 AM

started writing it, up to August in my summer timeline.
This summer has been hugely busy for me.

GcarOatmealRaisinCookies 08-06-2013 05:30 AM


Zairak 08-06-2013 06:07 PM


Originally Posted by kudos (Post 1662093)
Aw noooooo I'm 20 min late to sign up? :,(

Well, if you're wanting in, you can still participate since it was that close to the deadline.

Zairak 08-15-2013 06:51 PM

Ten days left to make your submissions.

musigal 08-17-2013 02:25 PM

One written. Writing the second. Gonna submit together =)

Zairak 08-21-2013 05:21 PM

5 days remaining to make your submissions.

kudos 08-25-2013 08:33 PM

Submitted :)

TheOcean 08-25-2013 09:40 PM

Bowing out. My summer was not worth speaking of and I'm in no mood to make up something that will remind me how lame of an existence I have.

Zairak 08-26-2013 10:13 AM

Right, here are the submissions. Vote on them and stuff, preferably before the end of August.



Letís see, the official start of summer is June 21. However School doesnít usually let out until about the first or second week in June. To make things easier on myself, Iím just going to start this thing off with June first and write from there. Summer isnít over for me, and Iíve still got one huge event to cap off the summer. Been preparing for it for a solid year, and there are still a lot of things left to do. Iím getting married on September 13, 2013.

Starting with June. June 18th, is the birthday of my fiancť (HarryOatmeal). So starting June 1st, I ordered his birthday present, ordered a cake, made plans for his special dinner, made arrangements with family members, all in preparation to celebrate his big day. I make it my goal, every year, to spoil my Harry, on his birthday, for the simple reason that he wasnít pampered enough when he birthday rolled around as a kid. While I do something different, every single year, I try to incorporate the same elements into Harryís special day. Those elements are food, family, fun, cake, and presents.

This year, I invited Harryís stepson (Chris,) and stepdaughter-in-law (Shelby) to come enjoy the festivities. It started with a drive all over our home town. The intention to have some fun, tease, and get Harry a little turned around on his day. The drive took us by his ex-wifeís house, where I slowed down, and had everyone wave. The ride ended at a nice local restaurant. During Harryís birthday meal, I excused myself from the table and alerted the restaurant staff that it was a special day for my Harry. The Staff and OWNERS of the restaurant treated Harry, Chris, Shelby and myself, to a rendition of ďHappy BirthdayĒ and an original composition entitled ďThe Walmart Song.Ē As a side note to the story, Chris and Shelby work for Walmart, so ďThe Walmart SongĒ was an added pleasant surprise and bonus.

After the restaurant, Harry, Chris, Shelby, and myself, took a trip to his brother Daveís place, for cake and presents. Harryís favorite kind of cake is Boston CrŤme Cake, so every year I get him one, with a special birthday message on top. This year, instead of the usual number candles, I had found some candles that spelled out ďLost Count.Ē From the moment I saw those candles, I knew they were perfect for Harryís cake. They went on, were lit, Chris, Shelby, Dave, and I sang ďHappy BirthdayĒ to Harry, he made his wish, and he blew them all out. I cut the cake for Harry, passed out the slices, and everyone gave Harry his presents. Harryís birthday was a huge surprise and success. He was happy, I was excited, everyone had a great time.

July I started taking some classes through my doctorís office. These classes were suggested to me as a way for me to learn to find my own voice and break old habits that I used to hide from everyday life. I was resistant to the classes, at first, but by the end of July, I decided that these classes were actually helpful and useful to me. If nothing else theyíre teaching me ways to improve my relationship with my honey. Nothing wrong with strengthening my bond with my soul mate.

I also signed up to participate in a very large contest. I had no clue what to expect. I just signed up for fun, with absolutely no expectation of winning. But somehow, round by round, I managed to survive, all the way to the end. This contest had everything, a scavenger hunt, Comics, Trivia, a tougher scavenger hunt, and, last but not least, a short story. The moment I saw that the final task was a short story, I sat back and cheered. Iím an aspiring writer, and short stories are right up my alley. Contests should be like life, you know, itís not about winning or losing, itís how you play the game. I joined the contest for fun, I enjoyed the experience, and in the end, I was rewarded by winning the whole thing. Life is magic, sometimes.

There are two days every year, that are really tense and high emotion days for me. One is my daughterís birthday, the other is my own birthday. My daughterís birthday is tough for me for personal reasons that I canít go into on the internet. My birthday, which is July 29th, either is a complete disaster or just feels hollow, for some unknown reason. This year, my birthday started off bad. It started off with the next door neighbors being spoiled brats over something as simple as a parking space. On weekends, the neighbor is nice enough to let us park there, but when Monday comes, if our car isnít moved, weíll get nasty notes and other vicious nasty behavior. Naturally, my birthday has to fall on a Monday. We forgot to move our car the night before, and by the time we remembered Monday morning, the evil person next door decided, instead of parking somewhere else and leaving a note, she would back into the space, blocking my car in. So when we finally remembered to go and move the car, we couldnít. I was on the verge of tears. We had plans for that day, to go out and celebrate my birthday. Canít really do that if your car canít be moved. Luckily, the wicked neighbor moved around lunchtime. So I moved my car, Harry took me out, and the day wasnít totally ruined. Harry and I decided if the neighbor is going to be so vicious and vindictive over something as silly as a parking space, we simply wonít park there anymore, at all. Sheíll have her precious space, and weíll wonít have to bother with nasty notes or other vicious behavior.

Now we come to August. The month has just started and already Iíve got things to do and work on. Still taking classes, so Iíve got to keep going on that. But in addition to the usual activities, Iíve got some hardcore wedding planning to do. Hunting down a minister to perform the service, getting my wedding dress fitted and altered, work on planning the menu, getting the center pieces, and decorations started and finished by the end of the month. Also thereís Beatlesfest this month. Busy, busy, this month wonít stop. I pick up my dress on the 6th, meet with friends to do wedding stuff on the 8th, and Iíve got a list of numbers to go through to find a minister to perform the wedding. I want the minister lined up before we leave for Beatlesfest on the 2nd Friday of the month. Iíll do it, Iím stubborn enough to do it.

Beatlesfest is a convention for fans of the Musical group the Beatles to gather, enjoy good music, interesting guests, and other events associated with the love of the group and itís members. Harry and I go every year. We take our cameras and get all sorts of pictures. In the past weíve met people like, Chris OíDell, Denny Lane, Lawrence JuberÖ etc. So many people itís impossible to name them all. One person that shows up every year and is an absolute must not miss, is Mark Hudson. Rainbow beard, freeform fashion sense, good natured personality, Mark Hudson is a character and a half. He along with the fans is a Beatlesfest staple. He shows up every year. Harry has had the distinction of developing the rare type of friendship where he can literally say absolutely anything to Mark and Mark would laugh it off and absolutely adore it. To casual observers and security Harry might come off as a flaming asshole in some of his comments to Mark, but between Harry and Mark, itís just good natured fun. There is simply no animosity between the two. They may only see each other once a year, but Harry and Mark are the best of guy buds. Itís a treat to see the two interact together. Mark Hudson is invited to our wedding in September, weíve already sent him an invite by mail, but Iím taking an extra to give to him, as a subtle reminder. If he comes, great, if he doesnít, well heís still a good friend.

I have been waiting all my life to meet my soul mate, and become his bride. This September, I will accomplish that goal. September 13, 2013 I will become Mrs. Oatmeal. The closer the day gets, the more excited and nervous I get. I canít wait. My dad is coming, heís going to walk me down the aisle. My daughter is going to be my flower girl. Itís going to be a small wedding, weíve invited 30 people in total, but well since people tend to bring people, the guest list has grown to at least 35. Itíd be interesting to see exactly how many people actually show. One person that is definitely NOT invited to the wedding is Harryís ex-wife. She mistreated Harry during their marriage, to the point where he no longer wanted to be with her. She may have been foolish enough to let Harry go, but Iíll not make the mistakes she did. She lost Harry, I found him. Finders keepers, Iím keeping Harry, forever and ever. The wedding, itself, is a mere formality. Iím already bonded to my other half, the wedding just announces to the world that itís official. Mr. and Mrs. Harry Oatmeal, for all eternity.


Killshotís Summer

Mostly by choice, I tend to lead a relaxing lifestyle free from drama and other peopleís problems. This has mostly worked out well, but I do feel I tend to miss out on some excitement by living this way. There isnít much for me to talk about but Iíll try to polish up what few bits I have to make them seem more significant.

Exciting development #1: Killshot drinks a beer in front of his mother for the first time.

Although my parents are both Christians, I wouldnít say I grew up in a Christian household. Mom would read me the biblical childrenís stories like Jonah and the Whale and David and Goliath and we would occasionally go to church on Sunday, but thatís about it. Church was more of a social thing for my mother and dad was just kind of along for the ride. Despite god not being around much, my parents (mom in particular) were very controlling. I wasnít allowed to watch any sort of movie that wasnít G rated until I became a teenager. I couldnít listen to any music with curse words and since I didnít like country music, I just didnít listen to anything. I had to go to bed early every night. I had to go to a friendís house just to have any kind of exposure to these things. I donít blame my parents for doing any of this because I was their first kid and they didnít want to screw me up, but it has made me rather hesitant to do anything in front of them that I donít think they would approve of.

Flash forward to this summer. I am staying with my parents until I can move into my apartment in the fall. I love cooking and I cook for them every night so Iím not just a freeloading bum. Because I cook, I also buy the groceries. While Iím in the store, I always linger in the beer isle and take a sort of mental inventory of what brands they have. Iíve semi-recently discovered there is more to beer than the piss water that is the big commercial brands and I have taken a liking to trying different microbrews. For a few weeks, I would stare longingly at the beer isle and image what certain brands might taste like. I start scheming in my head that I could plug in my mini-fridge in the basement and keep a 6-pack chilled without my mother noticing.

Then one day I decided I was 24 goddamn years old and if I wanted a beer I was going to get one.

I brought a 6-pack home and put it in the fridge with the rest of the groceries and got dinner started. When my mother got home from work, she looked around at what I bought and noticed the 6-pack I had in the fridge. To tell you how sheltered my childhood was, she had to ask me what it was. Not in a condescending, ďwhat do you think youíre doing?Ē kind of way, she honestly didnít know. When I told her it was beer, I had mentally prepared for a fight, but instead I got a disinterested, ďOh, ok.Ē Nothing. Not even a look of disapproval. I had been worried over nothing. So now thatís one more thing I can do in front of my mother without being consumed by irrational childhood fear. Baby steps.

Exciting development #2: Killshot works on his manly physique.

I have never been the athletic type. I donít even know the rules to most major sports. Iím not very strong and Iím slow and clumsy. I am trying to change this, however. Despite what many of you may imagine me to look like, I am actually pretty thin and decent looking. I get a lot of attention from girls (because my job prevents me from acting on this attention, it is mostly unwanted) because of my looks. Just so you donít think Iím trying to brag, I shared this information to frame the next part of the story.

While working my way through undergrad a few years ago, I did some volunteer work at a summer camp near where I live. The kids there were about 12-15 years old and the day I was working there they played some kind of game where one team does something and the other people have to copy them. I always felt silly and self-conscious doing these kinds of things, but the kids were having fun and I only needed to half ass it because I was just there to supervise. Then the lead team did a maneuver where one person jumped into the other personís arms. I only had time to think ďOh shit,Ē before a slightly overweight girl who had been making eyes at me the entire time decided to charge across the field and leap into my arms. This girl couldnít have been more than 14, but I was straining to hold her. I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying how heavy she was out loud. After what had to be the most uncomfortable 5 seconds of my life, I just dropped her feet first on the ground. That was my wakeup call that I needed to get stronger. I almost destroyed the self-esteem of a young girl because I was too weak to support her weight for a few seconds.

And that brings the story up to this summer. I had tried to start getting in shape earlier, but I didnít know enough about what I was doing or was just too lazy to get any results. This time I studied up on how to gain muscle. I joined a gym. I started going 3 days a week. I started getting fucking results. I can lift more than Iíve even been able to and I can see some noticeable muscle definition. The only thing Iím slightly concerned about is the fact that I am losing weight. Iím eating a shit load in order to gain muscle mass, but despite the fact that my diet now mainly consists of eggs and steak, I have dropped 5 pounds since the beginning of the summer. I suppose I should be happy, but I donít quite know what to make of it yet. Iím glad Iím getting stronger, but hopefully Iíll never be in a position where the self-esteem of a chubby teenager depends on my physical aptitude again.
See Next Post For The Rest.

Zairak 08-26-2013 10:13 AM

That's it, that's the submissions.



I don't have much of anything interesting to say about my summer, and this will likely lose to all the sex-joke-filled-stories, but I can tell a little bit about some of the interesting/funny things I saw at Otakon, my first anime convention c:

I remember arriving at Otakon in the evening before the first day and having a fangirl attack as I saw each and every cosplay, shouting out to the other three in our car which character it was and which anime it was from. The others in the car were my best friend and fellow anime lover, her mom, and my mom.

The next day we all stood in a seemingly mile-long line for the "pre-redistered", but even standing in line was entertaining! Seeing so much anime cosplay at once, I felt like a spoiled anime fan. But the biggest thing that was happening in line was StreetPass over everyone's 3DS's. Evern single second, the StreetPass games filled up to the maximum with other 3DS owners! Underneath the surface, the convention was also a huge StreetPass convention! Everyone was gathering puzzle pieces from each other for their puzzles on their 3DS's and getting to the top of the tower in another free game on the 3DS.

The line went all the way around the convention center and back, then in between some buildings and then finally into the front doors after going around the convention center again. But it was so worth it. Every second of it.

Then we got inside and joined more lines to get everyone's badge. At first I decided to pick the Sword Art Online badge picture, since I watched that anime and liked it, but I wasn't too surprised when I was told that they were out of Sword Art Online. So I went with Wolf Children because I like wolves.

The cosplay at the convention center was overwhelmingly amazing to see. It was like Heaven for the anime fan. We went to a few panels, and they were very interesting. I learned for the first time that Disney's Lion King had ripped straight off the popular old anime show, Kimba, the White Lion. I don't hate Disney - in fact, Lion King is still one of my favorite Disney movies, if not around second place - my opinion would just be that Disney ought to give a bit of credit to the predecessor.

What surprised me in a disappointing way was that when I went to the Pokemon panel, in the giant room full of maybe hundreds of people, nobody was in the Union Room in their pokemon game! But the panel was quite enjoyable.

I got up early and hurried to the convention center to be in time to get into LittleKuriboh's Abridged panel. I came in just as LK and the even earlier panel-goers were right in the middle of creating an inside joke. Next thing I knew, everyone was yelling out "Fudge!!" and laughing at it. In the Q&A session, a guy got the biggest round of applause for coming to the mic eating fudge.

But what was most special about the whole seeing-LittleKuriboh-for-the-first-time was that I got an indescribable happy feeling meeting him. I've never been into celebrities, making LK the first celebrity I was a fan of. I had actually met him the day before at his booth in the Dealer's Hall, and his booth just happened to be empty of any line, so I wandered shyly up and just gaped in pure overwhelmed amazement at seeing it all in real life. LK's wife talked a little to me, and recognized my cosplay. I cosplayed as China from Hetalia, the easiest one for me to pull off. Then LittleKuriboh came back from walking around the Dealer's Hall and greeted me, so I commented on his show, thanking him for saving a dying fandom that deserved more than just the card game fans, and he told me that was the nicest thing he had heard. I felt really special. It was a really cool feeling.

I hadn't planned beforehand on the idea that, if ever given the chance to buy one of the YGOTAS merchandise, which ones would I buy? So I spend a good long super awkward time standing there unsure of what to buy, right in the presence of people I respected a lot. Eventually I decided to walk around the Dealer's Hall to think about it as well as not cause them any discomfort by me just standing there awkwardly. At the last second, I returned and bought a Bakura key chain and the Evil Council t-shirt. I hadn't thought in time before I left home to get something for LK to sign, even though I had thought of maybe at the last chance to print out one of my Yu-Gi-Oh! drawings. I forgot to do it. So I had him sign the Bakura key chain. Too bad permanent marker rubs off of plastic easily. But even though that was a bit of a let down, I was happy enough to have experienced all of that anyway.

I went to a few very interesting panels about making your own manga. They taught me things that I could never learn in any class in school. Most people, teachers, and guidance councilors who help students pick out college careers don't even know what manga is! It's sad. But that has been my dream in life since around middle school: to write and draw my own manga, even if it only impacts a small fandom or touches a few people.

At the convention, though, a lot of people were wearing these high tech kitty ears that read your brain waves and moved according to them. It was funny to see how fully grown older men were wearing big, fluffy kitty ears! Or should I saw, "Nekomimi~?" During the third and final manga making panel, I saw behind a big, heavy, bald man wearing orange fluffy neko ears. When the panel hosts changed PowerPoint slides, the ears twitched as the person read the text. But when the panelists began explaining to us the importance of creating unique characters, even with different body types, they showed a picture of several girls in a line wearing bikini's, and the cat ears began bouncing up and down rapidly! I had to keep myself from giggling aloud.

My fellow con goers and I watched the Wolf Children dub premier together. What was amazing about watching it was not only the movie itself, but the fact that I was watching an anime movie with up to two thousand other anime lovers in the same, giant room. That was... so... exciting. Hearing everybody giggle at the funny parts, "Aww" at the cute parts, cheer at the happy parts, and sniffle at the sad parts was truly amazing.

During the final two days of the convention, I had been so excited at meeting LittleKuriboh, and all that lovely jazz that I talked about in previous paragraphs, that I decided to whip out one of my spare sheets of printer paper and draw Yami from YGOTAS episode 59 where he's making fun of Kaiba and saying "Eh!?" with that freaking awesome narrowed-eyes expression that made the scene my favorite in that episode, and I gave the picture to LittleKuriboh on the last day right as my fellow con goers had decided that it was time to leave. I just walked through the big crowd around his booth and tried to hand it to him as he was hugging other fans, and he seemed to like it, thanking me and saying things like "Aww that's so sweet", and even hugged me.

I was sad to leave Otakon. I could even go as far as to say that I wanted to stay there like it was my home. I had memorized the convention center so that I knew how to get anywhere, and felt uncomfortable and homesick for Otakon whenever we walked several blocks down the road into Baltimore city to get lunch. But I can definitely say for sure that Otakon was the highlight of my summer, far out-shining the cruise ship vacation to the Bermuda islands that my family took earlier.


For a no-longer-student who has yet to have children (let alone children of student age), summer can be a bit difficult to define, particularly if she lives in Southern California where summer-like weather continues year-round in seeming perpetuity. And, as exactly such a someone, this difficulty is mine.

There were many possible starting points to my summer. Halfway through May, I was given by a friend moving to Africa for three years the majority of his furniture, and in consequence had to move into a different bedroom in order to accommodate the stacks of wooden rectangles not yet able to be used as the bookshelves and nightstands they were originally built to be due to the fully furnished nature of my parentsí house (in which I currently live).

And then, at the beginning of June, most of the school-aged children on my caseload at work (I am a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant.) were released for their summer break, and rather than spending only Fridays in my car making circles between the addresses of my in-home early intervention clients in Riverside (an hour and a half north of my house), I began to spend Tuesdays and Fridays both in that same pursuit. Even so, my number of billable hours was reduced by nearly thirty percent.

But perhaps my summer truly began when my fiancť, James, was given by his mother a long-promised smoker, and we began our barbecue adventures with brisket, ribs, and pulled pork sandwiches. For it has been a summer with many memories tied to food.

It has been a summer of baking chocolate chip cookies and eating them with a friend, of making blueberry ice cream because I felt like it, and of grilling hand-formed burgers over charcoal on the Fourth of July at the ranch on which my parents live.

But those chocolate chip cookies were eaten while I taught myself to knit and began a Harry Potter scarf while watching classic Star Wars. And I ate the ice cream with friends while I finally caught up on one of my favorite TV shows (Supernatural), which I also watched again with James.

And on the Fourth of July we had a gorgeous, sweltering, fly-bothered picnic before retreating into the swamp-cooler-cooled trailer-house to play board games and talk. Then we drove to the top of a nearby hill and the shooting range there and shot .22 shotguns at strung-up milk cartons and plywood cutouts spray-painted with human silhouettes. After dark, we traveled to a different hill to watch far-off fireworks in the valley that sprouted up like stunted dandelions in a prickle on the horizon while the cool blackness wrapped around us, and Jamesí arms kept me warm.

James and I talked often in the dark of his room, meandering from topic to topic Ė circling like questless butterflies simply enjoying one anotherís presence Ė and laughing hard before (and often after) the predetermined time at which I should have gone to sleep, curled up in the soft plaid blanket on his bed while he played League of Legends or DOTA or Dark Souls at his desk until another later predetermined time at which my phone alarm buzzed and I stumbled down to my car to go home in the dark and finish sleeping there.

All these moments are examples of the type of summer Iíve had, but more honestly, they depict the type of life I have, for similar moments took place in February and look to do so in November and beyond as well. And I wouldnít have it any other way.


So it has come that time of year once again when the masses of students return to their classes and those of us who have reached old age are suddenly left feeling bereft. Like, how did I get to be done with college already? I feel exactly the same as I did ten years ago as a child just entering her ďteenĒ years. And now here I am, working full time and trying to save money for grad school.

Well, let it not be said that Praise Hewitt has wasted her summer. For the fourth year running, I have worked at a water park, surrounded by the aforementioned youth (most of whom have never had a job before in their lives), giggling about proms at the beginning of the season and recently discussing their school plans as classes start up. Admittedly, not many of them think Iím as old as I am. I guess thatís the blessing of a young face. Iíve been asked more times than I can count by lifeguards who only see me in the break room, ďSo when do you go back to school?Ē And I say to them, ďNever!Ē and watch their faces get confused. They figure it out pretty quickly, though, because most of us supervisors are a bit older than the general employees.

Honestly, itís been a very good summer. I have been blessed to attend a wonderful church. And I work with the best bosses known to man, and the high school kids do a good job once they get their feet wet. My free time has been spent teaching art lessons, knitting Hogwarts scarves (I am a proud Gryffindor), playing D&D (for the first time in three years, and thatís been a lot of fun; Iím playing a half-elf warlock who can set things on fire, and you canít get much more fun than that.), and hanging out with generally awesome people. Iíve also been watching a lot of ďSupernaturalĒ with my boyfriend, like five seasonsí worth.

So I guess in recap, youíre as young as you feel; or at least, Iíve not become a stuffy, boring old person just yet. Weíll see where this next year takes me, but Iím looking forward to great things.

GcarOatmealRaisinCookies 08-27-2013 04:12 AM

Mine's more of a ramble... and I'm too lazy to read all that text.
List Randomizer wants me to choose Kudos.
I vote Kudos' summer was the best.

TheOcean 08-27-2013 12:22 PM

voting killshot.

Mistyskye 08-27-2013 02:55 PM

Sorry I didn't get mine in, I've been extremely busy since school started. Good luck everyone!

Zairak 08-28-2013 08:27 PM

Gonna need some more votes, guys.

Remember, Random Viewer, you don't have to have been a participant in order to cast a vote.

kudos 08-28-2013 08:45 PM

I vote for Killshot's

musigal 08-28-2013 09:46 PM

[ I think I like mine the best :( *hides* ]

ShizukaMikudou 08-31-2013 07:04 PM

I liked gcar's and Kudo's ^^ Gcar's was sweet and Kudo's sounded fun :D but I think I'm going to vote for Kudo's summer because yesh D&D is cool and so are the other things that happened xD

Zairak 08-31-2013 10:34 PM


Vote stands at 2 for killshot and 2 for kudos.

Who's going to break the tie?

musigal 09-01-2013 12:00 AM

I'll vote for Killshot's

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