// it’s called ukulele screamo and it’s art //

because you’re clearly not a real twenty one pilots fan until you post pictures of your ukulele on your blog.

and, yes, i did pick wildflowers and cover the ukulele with them just for these photos.

i can’t even play the ukulele. yet. i’m trying to figure it out, but i’m not very good at playing instruments. i get frustrated too easily. but i’m going to try to learn it over the summer, since i don’t have much else to do. i want to be able to play the only exception by paramore, stomache tied in knots by sleeping with sirens, and can’t help falling in love (a song that has grown to mean the world to me. thanks, n.).

i’ve been playing it for a little bit each day, and my fingers already hurt like heck. i don’t know how people who play string instruments exist. they have too much endurance for one person. i know that i’ll get calluses on my fingertips if i play enough, but it hurts right now and i am in so much pain. (i’m being a little bit dramatic, but that’s just how i keep my life from being incredibly boring. also, i’ve been in one play and two musicals, so that gives me the right to be dramatic, yeah? i’m being sarcastic, by the way.)

i’m just going to talk about my awful music teachers now.

mrs. t

so. i always wanted to play the flute. and one year, my mom decided that my brother and i should learn to play an instrument, as part of our school. i, of course, chose flute, and my brother picked drums. we found an old homeschool mom who knew how to play pretty much every instrument invented, and we took lessons from her once a week. her name was mrs. t. this was a  m i s t a k e, let me tell you.

when we arrived at her house for the first time, her two sons were playing basketball in the driveway. there was a dilapidated playhouse which was being claimed by the wild. we went into her house, and there was this really distinct and overwhelming smell. it was kind of like homemade spaghetti sauce with way too many fresh herbs in it. mrs. t was a plump lady with white hair that looked like a bunch of cotton balls glued to her head, and she had this slightly evil, strained smile. the only good thing was that she had lots of cats, and they would walk into the room while i took my music lesson and lay on the sheet music.

my brother’s lesson was first, so my mom and i spread out a blanket in the shade and did school until it was my turn. it was nearly impossible to focus, though, because of the racket my brother was making. he was pretty awful, honestly — hesitant taps, unsteady rhythm, etc. the worst part was that he thought he was really good, because he finished his book of sheet music way before i finished mine. but he didn’t need to learn notes and fingering and how to breathe properly.

anyway, my first lesson was incredibly awkward. i barely talked at all, because i hated how her house smelled and i didn’t want to breathe it in if i could help it. well, breathing is kind of important when playing a wind instrument, i’m not sure if you guys knew that.

mrs. t spent the first lesson teaching me how to put the flute together, how to clean and hold it, and how to get a crisp sound to come out of it. the flute smelled like my grandma’s nasty little schnauzer dog, by the way.

i realized a few things after that first lesson: flute is a lot harder than it looks, i would never be able to eat homemade spaghetti sauce again, and i really did not like mrs. t.

my mom made us stick with our instruments of choice for a year. by the time i got to quit flute lessons, the most impressive thing i could play was two lines of camptown races. i was very happy to quit, and although i still have my flute, i have barely touched it since then.

mrs. u

the two other music teachers i can remember were both from my co-op: mrs. u and mrs. c. mrs. u wasn’t a bad teacher, just a little too enthusiastic. she directed the musical that our co-op performed every other year, and i got the main role the first year i was old enough to audition. i played zoe (originally zach), the star of the basketball team who twisted her ankle before the big game. i had a fair amount of lines (snarky responses to other characters), but i mostly just got to sit there and look annoyed while everyone sang at me (i remember mckenna dancing around with a bible and basically telling me to change my attitude). the only song i got to sing in was the last one, after i had had a change of heart or whatever, and to this day, i will start singing it whenever someone says “everyday.”

mrs. c

mrs. c was a different story, though. she wrote the musical herself, and i don’t want to say that it was bad, but . . . i could have written a much better one. pup was one of the main characters for that musical. i was only part of the first act, so the practices were really quite boring for me. the only good things about that musical were that i got to laugh a lot with q and n during the practices, even though we got in trouble for it a few times. i also got to see n in a lot of dark eyeliner, which still stands as one of the most amusing things i’ve ever witnessed. i have lots more to say about this . . . slightly lacking musical, but that would be enough for a whole other post. i could write that, if you guys would be interested.

so, that pretty much sums up my experience with music classes. for someone who listens to music so much, it’s probably a bit surprising that i can’t play anything very well. hopefully i can become a little more than “absolute trash, seriously, why are you even trying” when it comes to ukulele.

i want to know about your awful teachers, because i’m sort of a bad person, i guess. so go ahead and rant about them in the comments, i won’t mind. 

xo

loren

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// q&a answers | part one //

thanks for all the questions on my q&a post! you guys made my boredom go away for a bit. you’re magical, every single one of you.

putting all the questions in one post would have made it insanely long, so i’ll be posting my answers in multiple parts. here’s the first one.

isabel‘s questions:

what’s your favorite book?

i’m not sure if it’s my favorite book, but a year without autumn by liz kessler is incredible. the story has stuck with me for a long time. you should definitely read that if you haven’t already.

 :

x

what’s your favorite song?

i really can’t choose, i listen to too much music to have a favorite song. i don’t think i could say it’s my absolute favorite, but glowing eyes by twenty one pilots is pretty great.

do you like hamilton? have you even listened to it? (i doubt it.)

i’ve only listened to a few songs from it, so i don’t have much of an opinion (don’t kill me, kathleen! i love you.).

what’s the last book you read?

the hollow boy by jonathan stroud, i believe. it was so freaking amazing, and i love the characters and the ghosts and the humor and everything about it!!

what are you reading right now?

the mysterious benedict society and the perilous journey by trenton lee stewart. i’m only a few chapters in, so i don’t have much to say about it. but the first book in the series was quite good, and i love how quirky the characters are.

what do you want to be when you grow up?

i’d like to be one of those “light” people:

x

i’m not sure if you can simply will yourself to be like that. maybe it takes a lot of effort and time. or maybe you have to be born like that. but that’s what i hope i will become.

what time is it where you are?

at the moment, it’s 12:58 p.m.

“Can’t sleep in a city of neon and chrome.”

x

what’s your favorite color?

gray. kind of boring, i know. it seems like such a calm color to me.

do you have a goodreads account?

i don’t, sorry. :/

what’s your favorite kind of popsicle?

orange! the best flavor ever. i don’t like eating actual oranges, though.

what’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

there’s this heavenly ice cream that’s chocolate with stripes of peanut butter. it’s the greatest thing i’ve ever tasted, honestly. mint chocolate chip is a close second.

what’s your favorite food?

i really like chinese food. :D i’ll eat pretty much any chinese food, as long as there’s no seafood in it.

what’s your favorite letter?

i like m, because you can make the rock and roll hand thing with it. XD

\m/

the anGST !!! 😩😩😩☠️☠️☠️😪😪😪 • • • {creds to totallycorrectkotlc on tumblrrrr} • • #kotlc #keeperofthelostcities #keefesencen #linhsong #textpost #tumblr

x

who’s your favorite keeper of the lost cities character?

i’m going to go with keefe. he’s an empath, kind of angry and confused and lost, uses humor to hide how hurt he is, and he’s incredibly sarcastic, and i relate to that a lot.

(i think we can probably thank emma for introducing the blogging community to kotlc. you are a saint.)

who do you ship with who in keeper of the lost cities?

i’ve always shipped sophie and dex (to those who like sophitz: you disgust me), but sophie and keefe is a nice ship, too.

what’s your favorite emoji?

🤘🏻🌻☀️🌊🌧👽🖤

those are probably my favorites.

what did you just think of right now?

i was thinking about this really cute girl that used to be in my co-op, and wishing that i had been brave enough to become friends with her. *sigh of super regret*

do you like socks?

yes! too much, probably. i always wear them inside out. and i sleep in socks most of the time. i don’t have many cute socks (someone please buy me some of those pretty socks you see on tumblr), though, so i draw on them with sharpies. :)

Image result for pastel rainbow tumblr

x

what about rainbows?

i’ve never had an unusual love for rainbows, but then i saw an edit with a pastel rainbow. look at how pretty it is!! (◠‿◠✿)

do you still read picture books occasionally? i do.

sometimes, yeah. my favorite one is at my church, it’s called build a burrito, i think. the guys in youth group would beg my brother to read it. he would settle himself into this rocking chair while the guys sat eagerly around his feet. the book is in spanish and english, and every time my brother reached the part that says “three spoonfuls of beans/tres cucharadas de frijoles,” everyone would flip out and shout, “FRIJOLES!!!.” ah, good memories. XD

do you ever write anything besides blog posts?

yep! i like writing fiction. i haven’t been doing that as much as i would like, though. you can read some of my old and cringey stuff by clicking the stories page.

what’s your advice for someone starting a personal blog?

make friends with other bloggers! you won’t get many comments or followers if you’re not interacting with other lovely people in the blogging community. as well as getting more activity on your site, you could make some pretty great friends. :)

den mother‘s questions:

this  might be confusing to people who don’t know me in real life. the people i’m talking about here were in my co-op class. i wrote a bit about them here.

who in our class is most likely to . . .

k/pup:

be a drama queen? cry in a sad movie? have an ugly date to prom? always be happy? be impatient?

1. she makes a big deal out of e v e r y t h i n g, and i actually love it a lot. it’s quite entertaining. 2. we sobbed together in the movie theater during beauty and the beast. 3. i’m not too fond of her sort-of-boyfriend, so he gets to be the ugly prom date. :) 4. she always manages to be optimistic, and it’s made me feel better so many times!! 5. she gets so impatient and excited and it’s  a d o r a b l e.

b/den mother:

have kids first? sing in the shower? fall in love? take more selfies? have the most piercings?

1. she plans on having “at least thirteen kids.” 2. she has a lovely voice! i’m sure she sings to herself everywhere, and definitely in the shower. 3. yiKES. she gets crushes a lot, actually. 4. my girl b posts lots of selfies, and they’re all really pretty. (^.^) 5. a bellybutton piercing would actually look really cool on her. get one, b.

me:

be a flirt? fall whilst walking? drop their phone after they bought it? worry about small things? get a stalker?

1. loren?? the girl who’s never had a date mate or even kissed someone?? a flirt??? well, kids, you learn something new everyday. i flirt with pup 24/7, and sometimes with other people without meaning to. i don’t actually want to date any of them, it’s just sometimes, when i’m tired and/or high on friendship, i’ll randomly start flirting with everyone. 2. what can i say, i’m a clumsy duckling. 3.i’ve dropped my ipod so so so many times. it’s a miracle i haven’t cracked the screen yet. 4. anxiety is my best friend tbh. 5. i’m sure i have at least one person stalking me and blog. hello, stalker! love you, too. ;)

q/ponytail:

hold their breath the longest? be the best at math? be successful? be close to their parents?

1. he’s the best at everything, so it would make sense. 2. he’s a huge nerd, holy crap. great at math and logic and all that stuff. 3. he’s probably going to be a famous athlete and have a gorgeous wife and tons of dogs (dogs = success.) 4. he’s a mama’s boy and it’s hilarious.

h/hojo:

give all their money to charity? be a fan of Star Wars? listen to classical music?

1. alright, kiddos, let me tell you about hojo. all the moms at co-op talk about how handsome and polite and smart he is, blah blah blah. he goes to mexico a lot to volunteer at an orphanage, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he gave all his money to it. 2. he’s a nerd and it’s great. he would talk to me about pokemon and the legend of zelda during art class. i’m quite sure that he likes star wars. 3. nerd? favorite among the moms? sideburns? tell me with a straight face that he doesn’t like classical music.

megan:

talk to animals? get married first? be a good cook?

1. megan is a lovely person with lots of cute animal friends!! i’m sure she’ll figure out how to communicate with her bunnies someday. 2. she’s so nice and beautiful and interesting, and i’m sure a kind guy will fall in love with her sooner or later. 3. she’s an incredible baker, holy crap.

j/jish:

ask stupid questions? be hungry 24/7?

1. one time he asked me not to write fanfiction about joward (jish + hojo). how dumb of a question is that?? 2. we got three pizzas on the last day of co-op, and he ate nearly the entire pepperoni one by himself.

t/beef jerkey:

marry a celebrity? be sleepy? forget birthdays or anniversaries? accidentally kill someone?

1. pup is going to be a famous dancer, and he’ll marry her and they’ll be cute and athletic together and it’ll be great. :D 2. i think he might have fallen asleep once or twice during nature study class. what a loser. 3. i think he’s in pup la la land 24/7. he’ll likely forget their wedding anniversary. 4. this guy has huge arm muscles, it’s not fair at all. he could kill someone by hugging them.

t/a huge jerk who doesn’t get a nickname:

laugh at the wrong moment? have a rich husband? spend all their money on something stupid? skydive?

1. he would probably laugh when someone told them their mom had died. he’s mean. 2. i’m not sure he’s capable of loving someone. so he would only marry for money. 3. all of his thoughts are dumb to some degree. anything he would want to buy would have to be dumb, too. 4. he’s so so dumb. he would jump out of a plane without a parachute and create a makeshift one with all of his flannel.

this has been a lot of fun! thank you for the questions, guys, i love how weird some of them are. i hope you enjoyed reading this as much as i liked writing it.

what’s the most interesting thing you learned about me from this q&a?

xo

loren

// the last day //

yesterday was the last day of co-op. i’ve got a lot of feelings about this, so i’m putting them on the internet, to be read by people who don’t care.

i’ve been in this co-op since i was three. every friday for nearly my whole life, i would show up at the church and have classes with a bunch of other homeschool kids. now i’m too old for the co-op, and i’m never going to spend another friday with my classmates again.

there are a lot of things i’m not going to miss: waking up early, doing p.e. in the cold, getting hunger pains because i forgot breakfast, the overwhelming feeling of being with people for hours. but i am going to miss trading notes during class and laughing over dumb jokes and squeezing my friends into the car so we can hang out after co-op. and i’ll miss seeing those people every week. they’ve been part of my life for so long, and now they’re gone.

“you never know what you have until you lose it.”

i’m glad that the co-op decided to make yearbooks. i want to remember these people.

on the back: “you’re smart, funny, sweet, dear, amazing, cool, talented, kind, helpful, honest, ship crazy, and the best friend in the world. i love you so much and i never want to lose you. ♥ -kelsie ♥” (aka pup)

one of my teachers made us write our name on a piece of paper and pass it around the table. everyone had to write something nice on it. i’m a rather sentimental person, so believe me when i say that i am never getting rid of this paper.

i want to write a note to everyone who has been in my class — even the ones who are gone, but who i’ve never forgotten. i don’t forget people. and sometimes that hurts, because they forget me.

so, anyway. here i go.

dear d,

ew.

dear s,

thanks for introducing me to people when i was the new kid.

dear m,

remember that time you cracked your head against the wall and had to get stitches? the blood spots are still there. that’s your legacy.

dear j,

i never knew you very well. you were the smart girl with all the answers, and i was the quiet one who shook whenever the teacher asked me a question.

dear i,

i haven’t seen you in awhile. i don’t really expect to ever see you again. but we had a good couple of years.

dear s,

people still ship us. i’m not sure why, because i never even liked you. but i’ve been called loren breen many, many times.

dear h,

i kind of regret never getting to know you. all i really remember about you is that you liked horses, and you’re cousins with N, and you’re a good soccer player, and you look nice in lavender.

dear N,

i told you that i would fight the universe to be with you again. i’m always willing to fight, and this should actually be a challenge. but it will be worth it, in the end.

i’m sorry. i’m sorry. i’m sorry. i’m sorry. i’m sorry. i’m sorry.

dear h,

you’re always going to be remembered by the video where t is humming uptown funk and you burst in with “sweet home alabama!”

dear t,

i tried to draw you in art class, and it ended up looking like troye sivan.

you’re a jerk, by the way. i’ve come very close to punching you on multiple occasions. it’s fine that you hate me, but you’ve got to stop making fun of the people that i love.

dear j,

idk. sorry for shipping you with h, i guess. i’m not sorry, actually, joward is my otp.

dear h,

you’re kind of a nerd, but i am, too, so it’s cool. you’re pretty popular with the mom crowd — my friends’ parents are always talking about how polite and smart and handsome you are.

p.s. joward ♥

dear m,

remember walking on the roofs? jumping down into the corn silo? the water gun fights?

you’re an amazing artist, photographer, and blogger, and you’ve inspired me to try to become better at those things.

dear t,

you seem to make k happy, so i guess you’re alright. but if you hurt her, i will end you. :)

dear q,

*batman voice* the dark dealer.

thanks for those lessons in video gaming, and the soccer game that was us vs everyone else — and we still managed to win. you’ve always kind of felt like a big brother, because you tease me a lot, but you’re still pretty nice to me.

dear b (den mother),

i think i could have helped you more if i had gotten over the fear of showing you how broken i am.

things will get better, my love. i promise.

dear k (pup),

sunshine girl. :D

 my favorite classes over ten years:

  • shakespeare
  • art
  • cultures
  • mini-society

random moments that have stuck with me:

  • getting first place at the gem fair
  • giving sour cream oreos to N
  • playing statue
  • finding a dead rabbit while running laps
  • when t asked who i liked
  • forming the cannibal murder club with q
  • getting the lead role in the musical
  • doing the great race with pup
  • the multiple pizza parties in public speaking class
  • teaching the class how to play “drug dealer”
  • “the murder of q king” skit
  • the pet mealworms
  • when j ate an entire pizza
  • making those huge, creepy skeletons in body class
  • delivering valentines in kindergarten
  • racing q in p.e.
  • improv
  • when q broke math
  • trading notebooks with pup, den mother, and izzy
  • watching N draw
  • the day we all wore flannel
  • the murder mystery
  • “take out the trash, pup.” “ok, where do you want to go?”
  • epic dodging skills in japanese dodgeball
  • when N got third in a dodgeball championship by using his jacket as a whip, and i got second

i could keep going, but this post is getting long enough already, and you guys are probably getting bored by my nostalgic lists.

if it weren’t for this co-op, i never would have met den mother, or pup, or megan, or N. so thank you for that, co-op.

thanks for the memories, even though they weren’t so great (thnks fr th mmrs // fall out boy).

xo

loren

My NaNoWriMo Project

I’m participating in NaNoWriMo again this year (my username on the YWP site is SecretKeeper001), and I’ve been trying to figure out which story to work on (I’ve got loads of ideas). Today, I picked one: I’m going to be writing a novel about a girl with depression.

Why? You see, in my homeschool co-op, I have a class called MAD — Making a Difference. Our assignment these past two weeks was to choose a problem we’re passionate about and come up with a solution. I chose mental illnesses.

After writing down how mental illnesses are problems (mostly how people treat those with illnesses) comes the hard part: solutions. It had to be something doable. I thought, What am I good at that could make a difference? and came up with writing a novel. Yeah, it is doable.

I don’t know entirely what the novel is going to be about, but at least I have a month to figure things out! I’m going to write it from the POVs of a girl with depression and a boy with social anxiety. One chapter would be told by the girl, the next by the boy, and so forth. The boy will be a stranger at the girl’s school who notices her scars.

I’m really excited to write this novel, because if I get it published, I think it could help lots of people realize that mental illnesses are a real problem.

Also, I need some help with this project. Is there anyone who has depression/social anxiety, and is willing to talk to me about it? In order to write a realistic novel, I need to know more about what it’s like to live with depression/social anxiety. If anyone is willing, email me at happyhouseofag@gmail.com, please.

Loren

Preparing for April Fools’ Day

April Fools' Day

April Fools’ Day is tomorrow . . . *evil grin*

Tomorrow is also Friday.

Tomorrow is also when my homeschool co-op meets. The kids at my co-op are gonna get it.

I was watching Life of Pi with my family a few days ago (I CAN’T FIGURE OUT THE ENDING, HELP), and when it was over, I ran upstairs to Google the ending (SERIOUSLY, SOMEONE SEND HELP). My brother followed me up the stairs, and then he glanced at the date on the computer . . . He immediately began counting on his fingers (such brilliance XD). Then he shouted, “Friday is April Fools’ Day!”

We started freaking out, because we were sure that there would be a bunch of pranksters at co-op. But then we remember that WE could be the pranksters. :D

Here’s a list of what I’m going to do on April Fools’ Day:

  • Walk up to someone and say, “Your shoe’s untied,” even if it isn’t.
  • Take a photo of myself and wear the same clothes I’m wearing in the pic. Walk up to someone, point at the picture, and ask, “Have you seen this person?”
  • Throw a small plastic ball at someone and shout, “Get into your ball, you stupid Pokemon!”
  • Write on a paper cup, “Do not open unless you plan to kill it.” Put nothing in the cup. Leave upside down on a table. If a person lifts the cup, they’ll see nothing, and think that it got out.
  • Take an Oreo, twist off the top, and scoop out the cream. Replace cream with white toothpaste or mayonnaise. Serve to unsuspecting friend on a silver platter.

And that it what the kids in my class will have to deal with.

Want to see more awesome pranks? I’ve created a Pranks board on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/happyhouseofag/pranks/

Loren