Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day! + Frankie's Blog Contest

Question of the Day: What are you doing to celebrate Memorial Day?
For those of you living in America, Happy Memorial Day! Big thanks to those who currently serve or have served our great country. You are our heroes. Unfortunately, I had school because we'd originally taken an extra Snow Day during the winter time, so today was our makeup day. On a brighter note, today was also a half-day, so I am home early! Yay!

A few cool facts about Memorial Day (Source: Yahoo):
  • It was originally called "Decoration Day"
  • It wasn't considered an official holiday until 1971
  • Civil War General John Logan was the one who founded the holiday
In addition, Frankie Writes blog is having a 500 Followers Contest in which she is giving out three pretty awesome books: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green, Looking For Alaska by John Green, and Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski. Basically you just have follow her and comment her, but there are multiple ways in which you can earn brownie points! Check out her blog to see how. Good luck to all entrants. :)

Stay tuned for yet another Cooking post (broccoli and cauliflower casserole!) and a Character Profile. Have a good day!


*The photo is a Google image.


Friday, May 28, 2010

A Fulfilled Legacy

Question of the Day: What television show character do you identify with the most and why?

Today, our high school's literary magazine was officially published and printed. 25 brand new copies, trimmed and bounded by our lovely Graphics Department chair. Don't you just love the smell and feel of freshly made books? As editor-in-chief of the publication, I've been swelling up full of pride and joy over this third issue and been reflecting now more than ever about Graduation and what sort of contributions I have made to my high school.

You see, the school's "Lit Mag" had died by the time I was a freshman; it had been at least three or four years since the last issue had been printed and nobody had desired to pick it back up. So I did. Each year since then I've been brought back Lit Mag club and have now published three issues of the new Literary Magazine. And I have to say that this year's is by far the best.

The mag is more well-known around the school now, so we got a lot more submissions than we ever have before...more than 60 ENTRIES! We also had an amazing layout designer who worked everyday in class on the magazine, and some great editors that were a part of the club. It's been a ton of work--one year's amount of effort, in fact--but it's been sooooo worth it. This magazine has been my legacy to the school. There are students who were able to use our magazine to express their feelings and emotions through creative writing and visual artwork...students who often are overlooked, students whom others would never have guessed had an artistic side. And this, knowing that I'm helping my fellow peers get their work out, is the best reward I've gotten from printing this magazine year after year.

I am very proud of the club and of myself and am so glad this was able to be accomplished, especially right before my senior year is over. A great end to a great chapter of my life.

Here is one of the poems that got published in this issue of our literary magazine:

Magnification of Ten
(c) The Red Angel

My booming piece of laughter
and crystallized teardrops
along with the fluttering wings of my heart
Are all magnified by ten.

I've been told before
That my comforting arms are like that of an angel,
That my words cut deep like a knife.
And the sad thing is they are true,
for I can see the angel and feel the knife.

My love is like no other love
My jealousy is poisoning and plastic,
And my hatred is traumatic
Emotions of my being are extraterrestrial.
Dare you touch me?

Do any of you like to write poetry?

Here's a little photo of the day.


*The photo and poem are owned by me.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Return of the Cooks

Question of the Day: If you could bring just ONE food with you on a deserted island and you could only eat that food for ten days straight, what food would you pick and why?

When we were younger, my sister and I used to cook quite a lot. We'd make tons of goodies--lasagna, dessert pizza, even cakes from scratch. But since we've gotten so busy over the years, we also stopped handling the kitchen and thus our culinary adventures ceased. But now that summer is approaching, an urge to grab a mixer and a pan has taken hold of us once again.

Thus, we have started up our own cooking ritual. Starting last Saturday, my sister and I decided that from now on every weekend we would whip up something tasty for our family. Cook, bake, steam, broil...whatever floats are boat on that day. So on Saturday we had a big Cooking Kick-Off and made two dishes for dinner using recipes we found on our iPhone and Blackberry.
Without further ado...

Baked Spinach

In a nutshell, this is a quiche. We didn't even realize it until the end because the recipe just said "Baked Spinach." The ingredients besides spinach, however, included eggs, cheese, milk, flour, and also bread crums sprinkled on top. We also tossed in some mushrooms just for giggles. AKA we made a quiche. It actually turned out quite delicious, but at the very end it got accidentally burnt from sitting in the oven too long.

Overall Success: 3/5 Stars (not bad for our first time cooking in a very long while)

Broccoli with Lemon Almond Sauce

Okay, if I could name the dishes I make, this one would be called Lady Disaster. It took us about twenty minutes to blanch (peel the skin off of) and sliver the almonds. [[Quick Blanching Process: Let almonds soak in boiling water for one minute, then carefully peel skin off.]] We tossed the almonds in butter and lemon juice and poured it over cooked broccoli. It wasn't that great in my opinion. We could barely taste the lemon and it was basically just distasteful. The only good thing I have to say about Lady Disaster is that the almonds gave the broccoli and very interesting crunch.

Overall Success: 2/5

A small portion of both dishes. We created these two dishes to complement the rest of our dinner, which consisted of ribs and other meaty lovelies. I apologize for my crappy photos...I do not do a good job taking food pictures for some reason. =/

Since I happen to be talking about cooking and dinners and whatnot, I guess I'll just go ahead and tell you what I had for breakfast and lunch as well, hehe. For breakfast, I had one of Marie Callender's Pasta Al Dente selections. Chicken Piccata, of course. Delicious! For lunch, I had my own signature macaroni and cheese. =)

Macaroni and Cheese

I've had a sort of infatuation with macaroni and cheese for about nine years now. I cook my own with Velveeta cheese, a small spoonful of butter, and a drop or two of milk. It's soooo delicious, if I may say so myself. :P I've heard many different ways of cooking macaroni and cheese, including baking, cooked with eggs, do YOU do it?

I also sprinkle Mac&Cheez with garlic salt and garlic powder. Granted, it makes me stink an awful lot, but there's something about those little grains of salt and powder that make the texture of the macaroni even creamier than before. It's amazingly good! I know it sounds pretty gross, but every person who I have been able to convince to sprinkle a bit on their mac has loved it. So try it. :)



Sunday, May 23, 2010

Prom 2010: A Night On the Town - New York, New York

Question of the Day: What was your prom like?

Happy Grey Sunday! Where I am right now, the sky is rather dull-looking but the winds feel nice and breezy! Sorry these prom pictures are so late! I was naturally exhausted when I got back home on Friday, and yesterday I spent half the time cooking and half the time nursing my poor aching feet.
Our theme for this year's Prom 2010 was A Night On the Town: New York, New York. I didn't take a photo of the actual prom area because unfortunately it wasn't as well-decorated as I'd hoped it to be. There were only large street signs with famous New York street names like Broadway and 42nd St. On our tables there were several plastic sunglasses, and the ceiling was adorned with bright yellow lights. Other than that, it was quite dark and plain.
Unfortunately, the music was a big disappointment. The only genre they really had was hip hop and R&B. I definitely don't have anything against that type of music, but it was literally ALL they played for the bulk of Prom. :( Only at the beginning and towards the end did they play other music such as Train. There was only one slow-dancing song.
Food included an assortment of many fruits, some amazingly delicious Cheddar cheese cubes, fried chicken and honey mustard, cookies, and much more yummy stuff!
Here are photos of my complete outfit that I wore to prom. Photos of my shoes will come soon. Enjoy!

Halter Top Dress: The Body Shop. Approximately $30. Red sashes, printed flowers. Since I am rather a petite little creature, buying dresses for myself is pretty difficult. I found this lovely dress over a year ago and it still fits me! Love, love this's just formal enough for prom (see the ruffled lace at the bottom of the dress in another photo), but also appropriate for a dinner party. Only thing is that it's rather cut low so I had to fasten a safety pin at the back so it wouldn't show off too much. xD I feel really lucky that I didn't have to spend ridiculous amounts of money for my prom dress like some of the other girls did!!

Close-up on the dress.

Lace detail! Gives the dress a perfect finishing touch. Makes the dress fancier and longer than it would've been without it. I usually don't like lace on my clothes but I really like this!!! What do you all think of lace detailing?
Flower Hair Accessory: Claire's. Approximately $5. Adorned with feathers and glitter. I chose this to match my dress and it also seemed like something that a New York flapper would've worn back in the Roarin' 20's. There's a clip on the back so you can easily fasten it on any side or at angle in your hair.

Black Clutch Purse: New York & Company. I forgot how much this cost. =( At first it doesn't look very roomy, but once you really open it up you see exactly how much space you have...which is a lot! I put in tons of stuff, including a bottle of water, my camera and cell phone, and lots more trinkets. Simple yet made fancy. It's a great addition for outfits of any occasion!


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Spring Skirts n' Things

Question of the Day: What are your goals for the Summer of 2010?

One month and seven days until I fly out for vacation. Four weeks until I graduate from high school. Six days until Prom. It is so hard to think that the first half of 2010 is almost over, and even harder to believe I will be 18 years old--an ADULT!-- and going off to college to begin writing the next chapter of my life. It is exciting and terrifying at the same time. As always, I am sitting here wondering, Where did the time all go??

Anyway, enough of my contemplations. Recently, I went shopping with some friends for the first time in a while and bought some really neat things! I thought they'd be perfect for this season. What sort of outfits or styles do you enjoy wearing for warm weather?

Dress: Papyrus, $12. The bottom skirt is lacy and slightly poofs out. Spaghetti straps. Tutu-like. Would look good with leggings and Converse.
Up close on the jewelry attached at the top. Includes pearl necklace, ribbon necklace, and chain necklace. Ruffles on the neckline.

Up close on the ruffled details on the back of the dress. There's a small teardrop opening on the back as well.
Earrings: Charlotte Rousse. $4 with the purchase of two more sets of other earrings (not shown). Three pairs of feather earrings in one set! Great bargain. You can't really see, but attached at the top of each earring is a silver sliver...take a closer look at the bottom to see them hiding underneath the earrings. Bold.
Top: Rue 21. $5. HUGE bargain! I had to refrain myself from buying a whole set of them in different colors. I tend wear this top with black leggings but jeans look good with them as well. Wide neck opening. Very soft material and rather thin and stretchy.
Up close at the top. As you can see, I enjoy wearing this top with the eye-popping emerald-green owl necklace.

Owl necklace: Body Shop. A little less than $4. A bit expensive but I REALLY liked it. =)
What do you all think of these purchases?
P.S. Prom is on Friday!! Photos of my dress and more will be up by this weekend.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Give Me Your Titles!

Question of the Day: Waffles or pancakes?

Now that my AP exams are over, I'm finally getting back into my reading mode. This summer, I hope to finish reading The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot and also complete Picking Cotton by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton. The latter is actually for my college's Summer Reading Program, and I thought participating would be a great way to jumpstart my freshman year. Both books are quite well-known; I will definitely be rating and reviewing them once I finish and, of course, sharing my thoughts here with all of you! If you've already read these two books, shh!! Don't tell me anything! ;)

I don't think I've done any book reviews on my blog before, so this is what this post* is all about. My book reviews aren't nearly as extensive as my movie reviews; plus, I'd like to keep my posts shorter than before since I realize now that my previous ones tend to be long-winding and very texty! D: Sorry about that. I've been blogging for quite a few months now, yet I am still learning everyday what it means to be a good blogger.

Hope you enjoy this post dedicated to books!

Top 10 Most Influential Books

This is in my personal opinion and in no particular order.

1) Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beacher Stowe
2) The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
3) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
4) The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
5) Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin
6) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
7) Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
8) 1984 by George Orwell
9) War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
10) Little Women by Louisa May Alcotte

Now, here are a few books that have recently been recommended to me and are on my never-ending list of books to read. Feel free to give me short reviews, but I'd appreciate if you didn't ruin any endings or give too much away! And any other recommendations would be summer this year is gonna be packed full of books! Hurrayy!!

5 Random Books Recommended to Me

-The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
-Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
-Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
-On Writing by Stephen King
-The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Review #1: The Best "Everybody Book"
I believe that the one novel everybody should have the pleasure to read, no matter at what age, is James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. From what I have heard, many people have not read the actual book and tend to underestimate its value and consider it only a ‘children’s novel.’ But the truth is that any child, teen, and adult can enjoy this book as much as somebody else at a different age can.

The difference between this novel and other children’s novels such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is that it challenges the mind to think outside the box. Giant peaches are not your typical fruit and ladybugs, grasshoppers and centipedes are not your average best friends, but the book almost forces you to ask questions like, “what if I was James and those things did happen to me?” It is difficult for a children’s novel to be simple yet sweet and contain tragedy and love, friendship and terror all in one book.

My favorite thing about this classical story is how it allows you to stretch your imagination beyond the horizons and travel along with James on his giant peach while never leaving your own cozy reading nook at home.

Review #2: A Contemporary Author Recommendation

Khaled Hosseini is one of the most interesting and prolific contemporary authors of today’s society. He came from a brilliant family that seems to specialize in history (his father was a diplomat of the Afghan Foreign Ministry and his mother was a history teacher) and had an almost immediate success with his most famous novel: The Kite Runner.

This novel fascinated me the first time I read it because the meaning is extremely powerful and had a permanent impact on my outlook on life. Hosseini incorporates much of the politics and history of his own childhood homeland, Afghanistan, into this book. In doing so, he shares a lot of his personal knowledge about the current status of Afghanistan and what its circumstances have done to many families native to the area.

Several of Hosseini's other books, such as A Thousand Splendid Suns, are just as powerful and eye-opening. There are few prominent Middle-Eastern authors in America, much less ones that are able to create such prose filled with the sins, the beauty, the anger and the honest truths about their own country. What strikes me as most fascinating about Hosseini is that he has succeeded in all of the above and much more.

Review #3: A Must-Read Young Adult Novel

From the first sentence of My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult, I could not stop reading. This contemporary novel tells the story of two sisters: Kate Fitzgerald, who has been suffering from leukemia all her life, and Anna Fitzgerald, who was genetically engineered to be a donor match for her sister. Although they have an extremely close relationship, there is a constant battle that must be fought and never seems to end. The family is torn apart when Anna decides to sue her parents for the rights to her own body, and the lawsuit becomes even more controversial and significant than even the Fitzgeralds realize.

Several dramatic events occur that lead up to the heightened climax towards the end when the ultimate truth about Anna’s real intentions is revealed. It was difficult for me to imagine the emotional and physical difficulties that Kate and her family had to endure. Even though it is fictional, this book represents the many life-changing situations that families struggle go through everyday; it really opened my eyes and made me feel grateful and thankful for all the good things in my own life. In my mind, this book reminds me of a bottomless ocean: it will grasp you by your shoulders, suck you into its depths, and keep you until you have soaked yourself within its waters through and through.


*This post was inspired by literary agent Nathan Bransford.

Monday, May 3, 2010

My Trip to Washington, D.C.

Question of the Day: What would YOU like to say to President Obama if you met him on the street one day?

So here are the pictures** of my Washington, D.C. trip from a little over a week ago. For those who didn't see that post, I went to the 101st Annual American Association Researching Meeting, which lasted from Friday, April 16th, to Tuesday, April 20th (I think). It was a ton of fun and I'm really glad I decided to go with my parents. I didn't really learn very much but I got to see all the the different products that were advertised and sold at the exhibit's different booths and read on various professors' posters about some interesting research studies that are going on.

In addition, I also go to get some sightseeing done! I now realize that, as a citizen of the USA, a trip to Washington D.C. is completely wasted if you don't spend time to get to know it, especially since it IS America's capital and whatnot. ;]

But yeah, sorry my post on this trip is so late! Like I said, I am studying for AP exams, but luckily tomorrow I have my last one! :) Enjoy, hehe.

Left: Between the doors of our hotel and the actually lobby, the entrance had this beautiful electronic graphic thingy up on the wall. It's basically an outlining of Washington's streets and notable sights; it changed colors every few seconds which was REALLY cool! I wonder how it works. XD

Up: This is what our hotel looked was really nice! There was free internet access at the main lobby, coffee shop, book store and sit-down reading area, private meeting rooms, and other neat services. I especially liked the waiting area in the middle of the lobby that was confined by several sticks (see?). I'm pretty sure they're meant to look like pussy willows. I wish I'd taken another picture close up so I could compare them to the real plant!

Right: It was a beautiful day when I took this photo but a little too cloudy!! This is the Washington Memorial, named after our amazing first president, George Washington!

Unfortunately we didn't get to go in because we were running out of time, but apparently you can go on an elevator all the way to the top and look down! =D I hope to go back and actually do that someday haha.

There were LOADS of tourists and visitors there, though, just taking pictures and staring in awe at this great monument. You MIGHT be able to see some of the people in the picture amidst the many American flags...?

Top: Lo! and behold, this is Capitol Hill! Thankfully we were able to take a full tour in this historical structure, and I actually learned A LOT! It was amazing being able to go in and see firsthand the place where real history has taken place and still takes place everyday! The greatest thing is that THE TOUR WAS FREE!! It's great that the American government isn't trying to suck our money through tourist sites and are allowing us to learn about our great country freely (literally)... xD I mean I guesss that shoud be obvious anyway but you never know what governments are up to these days. Haha I think I've been in AP Comparative Government too long!!

This is what the inside of the Capitol Hill looks like, at the central core of all things. All around, there are magnificent paintings of important historical time periods with real gold frames as well as statues (created with different types of stone) of significant historical figures, including our presidents of course!
I can't remember which statue it was, but one of them had pieces of the Berlin wall at the bottom of the statue. Cool, eh?

I think anybody could recognize this building anywhere!! Of course, it is The White House, where the First Lady and the President and his family lives. To be honest, it's A LOT smaller than I thought it would be, but it was still an amazing sight to be able to see in real life!
Needless to say we took a ton of pictures. You can't really see it, but the flag that's usually at the top of the building was halfway down that day as a sign of mourning for the loss of the Polish president, who died just a few days beforehand from that plane crash. And no, I did not meet President Obama. XD

Up: This was the Convention Center where the 101st Annual American Cancer Association Researching Meeting was held, as the huge banner you see up there (^^) indicates. All during the few days we were there, TONS and tons of people --graduate students, postdoctorates, and professors-- came to the meeting to share their findings and learn about others'. It was AWESOME. And everybody was always dressed in a suit or something similar; even at nearby streets and hotels there were people with AACARM tags sporting shiny suits...they were everywhere! I think the Cancer Association people advertised their meeting very well. :3

This was the "Poster Room," where there were loads of bulletins, posters, demos, and tents where research was shared and freebies were given out! They gave out lots of cute stress balls (my favorite was one shaped like a sheep), sample science lab tools, handouts, ice cream, LOTS of candy, notebooks, and other really neat stuff.
I basically pretended that I was a student, but didn't dare to ask any real questions in case I sounded dumb. ;P I didn't meet any new friends, but I learned a little bit more about the type of research that's going on in the science world today and what products are used in the lab. AND I got some awesome free stuff!!

This is one of about four or five works of art that were being hung from the ceilings of the convention center. If you can't tell, the circle is made up of several guitars. They had many other similar sculptures (is that even the right word to call them?) that were made from tennis rackets and even canoe boats!!
I just can't imagine how many darn canoe boats, guitars, etc. were needed! Where did they get them from? How did they assemble them all together? Pretty innovative, huh?

I wish I could've taken more, especially of the neat experiment products and posters that I was able to see, but I don't think we were allowed to take pictures. =/ But yeah, that was my D.C. trip!! I can't wait to go back in the future. :) Have any of you been to Washington D.C. before? If so, what were your experiences like?


**All photos in this blog post were taken by me, (c) The Red Angel. By the way, sorry if the photos and text are positioned oddly; it's hard uploading photos on Blogspot with this specific layout!


Character Profile #2

Question of the Day: In honor of late Poetry Month (April), who is your favorite poet and what are some of his or her poems that you enjoy?

Yes, yes, here is the Character Profile #2 that I know all of you have been waiting for for over a week! I am very sorry for being, I did not die and return back to life, I was merely studying for my AP exams. I had my first exam today and have two left! Wish me luck!
As a reminder, creating these character profiles gives me the opportunity to practice writing full characterizations that can potentially be used in stories and other literary works of mine.
For these profiles, I pull certain people from my day-to-day life that I find extremely interesting (not in the creepy way) and with distinct mannerisms that would shape them into perfect characters for a story and do a character profile on them. After the profile, I allways write a short passage from a potential story in the point of view of someone who is physically close to the character at a certain moment.

Enjoy, and feel free to let me know what you think about Jayla*. :)

Meet Jayla Thompson
NAME: Jayla Thompson
BIOGRAPHY: Jayla is a part African-American, part Hispanic two-year-old, and so pretty much has a whole life ahead of her. She was born and raised in New York City, where she now resides with her single and very young mother, seven-year-old sister, and grandmother in a two-bedroom house. Jayla's father left her family when she was only a few months old, thus she has no recollection of him at all and must live without a father figure. Although most two-year-olds are still in the "developing" stage of their lives, Jayla is extremely bright and picks up on things that most wouldn't at her age. She loves Barbies and playing with hair.
AGE: 2 years old.
HEIGHT: Between 1-2 feet high.
WEIGHT: Almost three pounds.
BODY TYPE: Babyish, chubby, small.
FACE TYPE: Small face, still chubby, full lips.
EYES: Large, chocolate brown, and very sharp.
HAIR: Similarly colored like her skin but a little darker. Kinky, very short, and curly. Her mother usually keeps it in two pigtails at the top of her head held by hair ties that have large white beads strung in them.
CLOTHING STYLE: Often, Jayla is clothed in pink outfits with printed graphics such as Sesame Street on them.
SPEAKING STYLE: She has a rather hoarse and rough voice. Authentic African accent since her mother is pure Nigerian.
GENERAL DEMEANOR: Curiously watches the motion of every newcomer that she meets; very shy in front of strangers but talks animatedly when she's just with her family. Caring and understands most of what goes on around her even though to others it may not seem like she does since she's just a two-year-old.
PREJUDICES: Because of her mother's ideals, she is slowly developing a racial prejudice against any white people that she meets and consider them to be "white trash."BEST QUALITIES: Exceptionally intelligent for her age, has very few temper tantrums.Worst Qualities: Racial prejudice against white people, a good liar (but only lies when it comes to joking around with her sibling; may become impulsive as she grows up)
WEAKNESSES: Has little perception of what men are like since she has no father figure.
HOBBIES: Piano, hide-and-seek, plays with her doll house, eats, sleeps.
TALENTS: Picks up simple tunes on the piano by ear.


It had been an uneventful day. Same working hours with the same colleagues, same coffee to go and the same "Hello" to the bus driver. Now, I was on the same bus ride that I took everyday downtown to my apartment complex. In a few hours, I would be patting the same golden retriever named Travis that I've had since I was a child while reading the same newspaper that I've been reading for years. The New York Times.

Sometimes I wondered if things would always be the same like this. On one hand, I loved having the same routine over and over; things were stable and my life was simple. But there were times when this routine got old. Very old. And there were days like these when I wished desperately for a change, something to spark my interest and make me feel lively again somehow.

The door of the bus creaked open and a gust of cold, windy air blasted through. A young, African-American woman bustled into the bus, her left arm holding a caramel-colored baby not more than three years old against her breast, and her right hand clutching the wrist of a young girl who was sucking her thumb. I could instantly tell that she wasn't one of the "regulars" that took this particular bus ride everyday by the way she moved her way around in a shaky manner and how her eyes darted from face to face, each one just as unfamiliar as the former. The woman steered her children to the only vacant seat on the bus, the one in front of mine.
As the bus door slammed shut and the vehicle began moving again, the small family sat down, scrunched up together.

The mother took out a crappy cell phone, dialed a number, and was talking to another person in a strange African language that I could not put my finger on in less than a minute later. I could hear the older child sucking her thumb loudly, while the two-year-old stayed completely silent. Her large eyes wandered around and finally landed on my own. Something about the way she looked at me with such intensity made me suddenly feel as though she knew what I was thinking, knew that I was screaming for a way out of my day-to-day routine. In that instant, I knew that she knew me.

I quickly looked away, but out of the corner of my eye I could see that she was still watching me. The bus swerved at a sharp turn and went over a speed bump swiftly without stopping; automatically, the seven-year-old daughter began to cry; her thumb was now bleeding, as she had accidentally bit on it too hard. The baby finally broke our locked gaze to look at her sister. Their mother half-heartedly began patting the child's back, but her voice did not waiver as she continued to chat nonstop through her cell phone. I watched in amazement as the baby brought a hand up to her sister's face and caressed it slowly.

"Are you okay?" For the first time, I heard her voice. It was steady but rough, as if she had a
natural hoarse throat. "Are you hurt?" The baby took her sister's thumb and kissed it, and finally, the tears began to subside. "Thanks, baby," the mother said, sparing a few seconds to give her daughter a quick smile before turning back to her conversation. As the bus came to a halt at my stop, I stood up and gathered my things...but even as I passed the three ladies and approached the doorway to pay my fee, I whipped my head around in time to hear the child reply softly, "You're welcome, Mommy."

I was still staring at the bus even as it drove off, not bothering to shelter my head from the freezing rain outside. I was still thinking about what I had just witnessed after I entered my apartment and said an absentminded hello to my golden retriever. I took today's paper from my coffee table and sat down to read it, one hand clutching the paper and one hand patting my dog. But I didn't take in a single word; I was too busy hoping that I would see that family, with that little baby, tomorrow...and then the next day, and the next day afterwards.


*Names have been changed to protect privacy.

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