{Images via Hito}
{Image via Mary-Dreams}
{Image via Lisa}

"Something wicked this way comes." -William Shakespeare (Macbeth)
I'm having an incredibly strenuous time focusing on my schoolwork.
It's like spring fever... with pumpkins.
This series is sucking away all my attention, stirring up my creative juices and casting all logic out of my head. All I want to do is read it, watch it, and work on my books.
{I'm becoming a Harry Potter junkie.}
No, it has nothing to do with Ron having shocking sprouts of red hair... nothing, y'hear?
But Ron and Hermione do make a fantastic couple. Three cheers for red + brown. ;)

I'm filling up with the Halloween spirit already. {Can't wait to play with eyeliner!}
Faerie, griffin, witch, werewolf... Which should I be? Suggestions?
What are you planning on being for Halloween?
"When she started to play, Steinway came down personally
and rubbed his name off the piano." -Bob Hope

So, I love my piano.
But I mostly made this video because I just bought iLife '09...
...and I wanted to play with it. =D
Now I'll be even more camera-happy!
{Watch out, friends and family.}
And abundant joy--I can still play the piano, even with a broken finger. Waha!

There's a first time for everything, including being a goofball.
But of course, this isn't the first time for me. :)
Music credited to Stars & Joe Hisaishi.
Hope you enjoy.
"If it isn't 'baroque', don't fix it!" -Cogsworth (Beauty and the Beast)
Well, m'dears, the 20-year streak of "no broken bones" has come to a tragic end.
The epic story:
I was strolling with Raine in the park and came across the swing-set we routinely see.
Rather than continue walking {as I normally do}, I skipped over to it.
Once seated, I kicked my legs, swinging up higher and higher, before closing my eyes and leaning back to enjoy the rush of wind through my hair... when the seat collapsed beneath me.
My hands instinctively held tighter to the chains as I smacked the sand.
My eyes blinked open and my hands uncurled from the chains.
I was stunned; it happened so quickly.

Later, mom asked me what I did after I hit the ground.
"Well, no more cookies for me."
"What?" she asked, puzzled.
"The first thing I did was say, 'no more cookies for me'. The seat snapped," I replied.
{For the record, the seat didn't break; it unhooked. Dad was able to fix it in a matter of seconds.}

At first, all of my fingers {excluding my thumbs} wouldn't straighten. They throbbed.
I tried to rub some of them and noticed something sticky smearing on my skin.
I turned my hand over, seeing blood drip from a gash in one of my right fingers.

But only one finger was really broken. {Psst, it's the lumpy, bandaged one in the picture.}
Mom was cracking up at the doctor's office that I kept "flipping off" my P.A.
She's so silly. :)
"The best mirror is an old friend." -George Herbert
My friend spontaneously took it upon himself to draw me a personal portrait.
I know he works with a game company, but I didn't expect this beautiful piece:

...I mean, wow!
When he presented this to me in the parking lot of Liberty Land, my mouth flopped open.
Of course, the scanner mutilated its exquisiteness... but it's still incredible.
{He even captured my crooked nose!}
Oh, I adore my friends and their many, many talents.
"I believe in angels, something good in everything I see." -Mamma Mia!

A very happy "Halfway" to Elder Farnsie.
In honor of the occasion, Aubrey, Jeanie, Corbin and I all dined at Yamatos. Mmm!
(Psst... that's where I met the boy. :D)
And then, in honor of his English mission, we watched "The Importance of Being Ernest".
I am absolutely in love with the scriptwriter. British at its best.
Only one more year left! I'm crossing my (sprained) fingers it'll be spent overseas!

"The spark of creation is blazing in my blood. A bit of the fire that lit up the stars and breathed life into the mud. The first inspiration, the spark of creation." -Children of Eden

Today was a day of creation!
I created these ringtones while watching Harry Potter. {SO full of fantastic quotes.}
Making your own ringtones is neat because you get exactly the sound you want, and . . .
. . . blah blah blah . . .
It's just fun. End of rant.

Ooh, and I also made these muffins.
Blueberries =
Wishing you and yours a brilliant day!
"How can a woman expect to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being?" -Oscar Wilde

Sometimes, we stray from the norm.
After school today, I found myself drifting over to the wrong side of the road.
I quickly corrected the car, mumbling, "You aren't British, dear."
And again, tonight, I recorded a Christmas carol when we're nearing Halloween season.
While ogling my homework, I noticed I was humming it, and was reminded how pretty it is (despite the warm weather). Some songs are okay being sung yearlong. That's what I tell myself, anyways. :)
Merry Halloween, everyone!
"Culture is the widening of the mind and of the spirit." -Jawaharlal Nehru

Babbo and I traversed to the Festival of India at the Krishna Temple on Saturday.
We both felt rather unknowledgeable about the distinctions between the Middle Eastern cultures, and this was a fantastic opportunity to become enlightened (no pun intended). =}
But at first, we hadn't a clue what to do . . .
We sat and listened to Indian music for a moment, then decided to trek uphill to the temple.
Beautiful, beautiful costumes, ornamentation, and incense awaited us there.
And I found myself melting into relaxation when I joined in their sacred chanting.

The food was the scariest part . . . Neither of us knew what any of it was.
But once it passed our lips, all our fears fled. It was spectacular, and we wanted more!
The dancing was absolutely incredible, and I was lucky enough to capture some footage before we were told to put our cameras away. (Sneaky, sneaky.)

I'll be back for the 25th annual celebration, right after I return from Japan!

"We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they're called memories. Some take us forward, they're called dreams." -Jeremy Irons

The McCabes let me 'third wheel' with them alot. And I'm ever so grateful.
I sigh a little when the weekends come, because even though I love them, they're a little lonely.
Thank heavens for good friends!
Oh, and psst... If you're trying to forget you're single, don't go to a family ward. ;)

Also, "Catching Fire" is a book I fell over my feet for. It's so beautiful.
Something sad, though . . . I'll be in Japan when the next one comes out. Boo.
Good thing Amazon ships internationally!
"There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign."
-Robert Louis Stevenson

Rather than learn kanji by difficulty level, my class learns them by convenience.
Which, yeah, that's cool. But I don't even know the character for "grass". I doubt it's harder than the one for "train station" (which is my favorite one to write).
... Okay, I can't stand it. I have to check.
Grass: 草
Train Station: 駅
Yep, grass is easier. It almost looks like "haya" (which means "fast"): 早 Oh, that's because it's one of the radicals. Okay.
ANYWAYS. It's kinda neat that I know some complicated characters. It just won't be so neat when I'm teaching preschool in Osaka, and, based on my knowledge of difficult kanji, will be expected to know all the ones the kiddies know. Welp, c'est la vie.

So, moving on, here are the characters I was quizzed on today:
And now, the combinations:

My handwriting's quite laughable, but I promise with pen and paper, it's readable.
One last thing, BOTH internships to Japan are pulling through! If they do, I'll be spending all of next year in Japan, stationed in Tokyo and Osaka for certain, as well as several other places unbeknownst to me at the moment.
Am I excited? Oh, yes, yes, yes! But I'll try to contain it until I'm actually accepted. :)
{Image via Nik/Callioperose}

"The most common actions--a walk, a talk, solitude in one's own orchard--can be enhanced and lit up by the association of the mind." -Virginia Woolf (Montaigne)

In my Creative Writing class, we're exploring the art of recording the mundane.
The beauty of normality should be considered, says my teacher. And I agree.
But I'm still writing my fiction. Because I can.

This is an assignment I've worked on for the class, glorifying a typical morning in the life of me.
Please enjoy.

"Should've Brought a Fork"
by Ashley S. Harmon

Cramming the teal toothbrush between my teeth, I shot the mirror a savage look. Late mornings tended to dampen my ability to act civilized, even to myself.

Body washed of sleep. Hair baked to a crisp. Face painted for battle.

Now, I just needed breakfast.

I spat noisily into the sink and rinsed my mouth of the excess mint. Combating morning breath was never a joy, but in a civilized world, it was a must. Perhaps when I reached my senile years, I’d find an excuse to be stinky.

My feet found a pair of shoes and flung me to the kitchen. My hands snatched up portable snacks for lunch and stuffed them into my satchel. My arms swung wildly, desperately trying to balance my fast-flying legs in the morning rush. And then, all in unison, my limbs stopped moving.

I still needed breakfast.

Such a thought would fail to bring my body up short under normal circumstances. I made deciscions in the blink of an eye, reacted automatically to every surprise thrust into my face.

But today, I was out of spoons.

Yogurt or cereal, bread or granola? The wheels in my head whirred to life, scrambling to calculate every possibility in the least amount of time.

Cereal. I crave blueberries.

Ignoring my lack of the necessary utensil for eating such a thing, I dumped out a bowlful of my favorite morsels, drowned them in milk, and fled for the door, my satchel banging heavily against my thighs. I paused before exiting completely, debating whether to use my fingers or a fork to eat the bedeviled gruel. No, there wasn’t time to go back.

Just slurp it, I dictated before slamming the door.

I was well into my commute to the office when I noticed a major flaw in my plan. In the time it took to buckle in and beeline for the freeway, my beloved breakfast had sunk into a soggy clump. If I tried to tip back the bowl and swallow, I got a trickle of milk and a face full of mush.

Muttering to the steering wheel, I resigned to plucking out little pinches and jamming it between my lips before the milk could drip onto my pants. Driving with my knees, I dug my fingers into the sop and ate.

It was during my adaptation to the discomfort of sticky, cold fingers when another obstacle presented itself. I leaned forward, struggling to bump the radio’s power button with my elbow and failing with every waggle.

There I was, a prisoner to my breakfast. The seatbelt strapped me to the seat, the milk and cereal sullied my fingers, and the atmosphere was choked of human sound.

And it all could have been remedied if I only brought a fork.

Grating my teeth, I shoveled the rest of the grainy stew into my mouth and swallowed the lump. The empty bowl found an instant home on the passenger side floor. My fingers wedged into my mouth and were sucked of their stickiness. And the road became a little safer, my hands replacing my knees in steering the wheels.

I punched the radio on, settling into my seat as the comfort of human voices chased away my solitude.

Next time, I'd spare a second and grab a fork.

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
-Anne Frank

For Labor Day, we bridled horses for autistic children to ride.
Mom, Pickle, and I all drove out to Hoofbeats to Healing and spent the first half of the afternoon fetching geldings from the pasture and supervising the children as they rode.
After that, we lunched at Quiznos and plucked apples and pears from our friend's backyard.
Oh, and we snacked at Yummies. The name says it all.

And then, on a whim, we fed tortillas to ducks at a pond I haven't been to since I was little.
What slipped through our memories was the carp population there ... and they are SO BIG.

For photos, go here: {click}

I'm fightin' a double dose of allergy medicine at the moment. Must. Stay. Awake.
Helping those children ride the therapy horses was so worth it.
I want every Labor Day to be this full of love.

"The phrase 'working mother' is redundant." -Jane Sellman

Mom and I had some girl time tonight.
It's fun growing older, because I get to see her through a new perspective.
And when I leave for Japan and all the other places I plan to live, I'll truly miss her.
We're quite the pair.
Love you, Mom. xoxo
{click to enlarge}

"I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today."
-William Allen White

Something I was working on a long time ago.
The anatomy's just silly to look at. Sorry. :)
Have a fantastic three-day weekend, everybody!
{Image via Emmy/B1nd1}

I thought I'd share with you the poem that inspired the name of this blog.
It was written a few years ago when I was trying to understand all the feelings someone gave me.
And he barely knew I existed. {smile} I think that's what made it so whimsical.

Whimsical Musical
© Ashley S. Harmon

On a whim
I smile
On a turn
You wink
On a breath
I sing
On a laugh
You come

Off a cloud
I jump
Off a step
You bound
Off a horse
I drop
Off a laugh
You come

In a house
I sleep
In a dream
You wave
In a class
I write
In a laugh
You come

Out a door
I soar
Out a world
You love
Out a hand
I hold
Out of laughs
You come