Blog of the Year

One year ago, give or take a week, I opened up my stagnant WordPress account and created a new blog: Just Freaking Haasome. After selecting a theme, choosing an avatar and creating an “About Me” page, I opened up a new post and began what was only supposed to be a bimonthly school newspaper class project.

But then, I loved it.

Before that day in August, I wasn’t really a “finisher.” An idea generator, sure. But usually, I would get halfway through a project and fizzle out. My life was a series of short obsessions, quickly replaced by new ones as the previous grew dull.

But this blog is different. Here I capture, collect and organize my short-term obsessions, categorize them under the appropriate tag, sort them in a monthly archive. This blog is my weekly public diary. My stress-reliever and constant companion. I would say “friend,” but I don’t want people thinking that I’m friends with my blog. That would be weird.

Thank you to everyone who has read and shared in this experience so far, and to everyone who may stumble upon my little WordPress in the future.

Before starting another school year and another wave of blog posts, I thought it would be a good idea briefly to recap the past 52 weeks. Here are my top 10 most popular posts of the year, by view count:

10. I’ve never been grounded, and other advantages of a socially awkward childhoodI could count on one hand how many friends I had at any one time before high school. That has its advantages.

9. Cry Because It happenedAdvice for accepting change and saying goodbye to close friends.

8. I’m a Big Kid Now: Sometimes I look back at my life and smile at how silly and naive I was. Then I realize that I’m looking back at literally yesterday.

7. #Tatted: I got a tattoo in Grand Cayman during Spring Break 2013. I still don’t regret it.

6. This Probably Should’ve Just Gone in My Diary: I’m insecure. Don’t know what for.

5.  Did He See Me? I Think He Saw Me.: Sneaky pictures of Bostonian boys being beautiful.

4. My Brother: The Charmed Genius MetrosexualMy brother, Ian, is an athletic, brilliant, lucky, red-haired, freckle-faced 12-year-old.

3. My Life as an (Almost) AthleteI tried to be athletic for a long time. I am finally coming to terms with my innate clumsiness.

2. 7 Reasons Social Media Sucks SometimesSocial media is great. Except when it’s not.

1. Oculus: Blind Movie ReviewThe only reason this is ranked No. 1 is because I tagged “Oculus” effectively. But, it’s been viewed the most times, so here it is. Basically, horror movies don’t sit well with me.

 

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Barnabas on the Lake Review

With my trusty (but rather dilapidated) suitcase packed tightly with t-shirts unfit for the public eye and athletic shorts about  one inch short of the fingertip length requirement, I lumbered out of my parents’ car and joined my fellow youth groupers next to the faded, air-conditionless yellow school bus that would be our home for the next four-and-a-half hours. We were Camp Barnabas bound. Well, sort of.

Back story: Camp Barnabas is a Christian camp in Purdy, Missouri that offers the full church camp experience for people with disabilities. Each week-long term is geared toward a particular subset of disability–there’s a Down’s Syndrome week, a wheelchair week, etc. The term I attended was for adults with developmental delays. Each camper has his or her own teenage counselor, called a C.I.A. (Christian in Action), and each cabin has two or three college-aged staffers. Sometimes cabins with lower functioning campers have “floaters,” who are basically C.I.As without their own campers that double up to assist C.I.As with campers who need more attention than that which comes with the standard one-to-one ratio. Because of its unique mission, Barnabas’ waiting lists are longer than my early childhood Christmas wishlists–that means they’re very long. With its twentieth anniversary summer in full swing, Barnabas opened up a new location at Point 11, a Christian camp and retreat center near Shell Knob, Missouri. Its first term there was last week, and that’s where my group headed: Barnabas on the Lake.

From the moment they arrived, Barnabas veterans–myself included–looked around and realized Barnabas on the Lake was NOT Camp Barnabas in Purdy. Barnabas veterans–myself included–are very insightful about these things. Here is my review of Barnabas on the Lake.

Bathrooms: 2/10. If the toilet seat is down, don’t look. Do not look. No matter how badly you need to relieve yourself of the three glasses of orange juice you guzzled at breakfast, do not lift the lid. It’s not worth it. I believe there are colors so disgusting that even Crayola refused to include them in its 152-count box, and those colors can be found in the water underneath a closed toilet seat at Camp Barnabas on the Lake. Don’t look. You will never be able to eat again.

Smell in Cabins: 3/10. In my very conservative estimate, about eighty percent of all campers at Camp Barnabas or Barnabas on the Lake can’t quite hold their bladders through the night. Even though a great person called a “Cabin Mom” or a “Cabin Dad” washes sheets each morning, the stench of urine still lingers throughout the day. I think that if Extreme Home Makeover decides to come to Barnabas on the Lake like they did in 2007 at the original Camp Barnabas, bettering the ventilation of cabins should be a top priority.

Mattresses: 3/10.  Lying in bed, listening to bugs and the occasional camper yell into the night, one can’t help but think about the mattress beneath herself. Part of this has to do with the bed-wetting situation. Before Barnabas bought the camp, thousands of kids had already used the facilities. I know that camp mattresses are supposed to be gross and uncomfortable, and these met and perhaps exceeded those expectations, but the number of times the mattresses have been peed on and left out to dry in the sun amplifies the grossness and discomfort.

Modest is Hottest Policy: 4/10. I’m not going to get into my thoughts on the dress code, but I would agree that modest is definitely hottest from a temperature standpoint. To coin the phrasing of the popular Doge meme: Very Clothes. Much sun. Wow.

Smell in Dining Hall: 8/10. The food smelled amazing. Unfortunately, most of the main courses and desserts had some form of wheat in them so I didn’t get to indulge in much of the mainstream food because I’m allergic. It smelled really, really fabulous though. I’m sure it tasted good, too.

Salad: 9/10. So I’m allergic to wheat, and there is a special diet option that ensures the special dietary needs of campers, C.I.A.s and staffers alike are met. However, such an option has a $50 fee, which no one in my family wished to cough up, so I ended up eating a ton of salad. But, it was quality stuff. For example, they had a whole bowl full of Craisins at the salad bar every meal, and I wouldn’t say I ate an abnormal amount, but I got close to that point.

Lake Activities: 9/10. Barnabas on the Lake has pretty fantastic lake-related activities, as one would hope.

Pool Activities: 6/10. Let’s just say that Barnabas on the Lake compensates for its mediocre pool activities with its pretty fantastic lake activities.

Campers: 10/10. Everything at Barnabas on the Lake and Camp Barnabas at Purdy is about the campers, and rightly so. Barnabas gives kids with special needs the opportunity to be “normal” for a week, a chance just to be kids being kids. Many of them relish the opportunity, and their vibrant, joyful attitudes melt even the coldest of hearts. I’m not saying every camper is thrilled to be there, but I don’t think a camper has ever gone home without having fun at least once during their stay.

Staffers/C.I.As: 10/10. In part due to such a shocking number of other summer camps getting shut down in recent years because of sexual misconduct, Barnabas takes extra precaution when hiring staffers or selecting C.I.A.s, especially since its camper base is particularly vulnerable.  All Barnabas camps have a zero-tolerance policy when dealing with “the dark side of camp,” and multiple measures are in place to keep everyone safe. As a result, staffers and C.I.A.s at Barnabas are some of the most incredible and genuine people one could ever hope to meet. Each is purely and fully dedicated to making the campers’ stay as enjoyable as possible, and each is willing to sacrifice his or her personal comfort for that of a camper’s.

Despite the alarming Daddy Longlegs infestation, I give Barnabas on the Lake a 10/10 for positive experience. In the words of every staffer and C.I.A. before me, “God taught me patience.” I plan to go back next year. I might even apply to be a full time staffer if I can muster up the selflessness.

7 Reasons Social Media Sucks Sometimes

In 2002, when I was six years old, computers were bulky, ugly machines specifically designed for me to play my Barbie Pet Rescue CD-Rom and give my parents some peace and quiet for 45 minutes (15 minutes longer than I was supposedly allowed). In 2003, while high schoolers checked out the new MySpace, I ventured onto websites like Disney.com to play Kim Possible-themed arcade games. Fast forward to the end of sixth grade, and I remember slightly altering my birth year in order to obtain a hip new Facebook. Fast forward again to the summer after eighth grade, and I entered the Twittersphere so I would have something to do during my downtime while selling shaved ice. I am part of a generation that hardly remembers life before social media.

Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, Vine, SnapChat–I have them all, and most of the time, I’m glad I do. Social media can be informative and hilarious and great for shameless self-promotion (e.g. this blog).  But social media also sucks sometimes, and here’s why:

1. Selfies: Instagram’s #SelfieSunday isn’t innately bad. One or two pictures of oneself every couple of weeks does not mean one has Selfitis–that happens when that number exceeds four or five a day. I don’t know why people think they live in a world where others want to see twenty nearly identical photos of someone’s face taken in a public restroom.

2. Creepers: I’m all for maintaining a respectable follower-following ratio, but I’ve felt the need to block quite a few creepers on all of my social media accounts (except for my Tumblr because I’ve accepted that everyone on that platform is a little creepy from the get-go). The unfortunate aspect of blocking someone is that it doesn’t really protect one from the creeper viewing the profile from a different account or by way of a proxy. Anything posted on the web is public, regardless of private settings.  If someone really wants to read your statuses, watch your vines or peruse your Instagram photos, having a private profile isn’t definitely going to prevent him from doing so, which is sort of a bummer.

3. Obligatory Follow/Friend: “Hey, why don’t you follow me on Twitter?” People have straight up asked me this, usually in a public setting, surrounded by mutual friends. In such a situation, I can’t just explain that I don’t want to read about them having the worst job ever or the best mommy in the whole wide world or three yummy meals a day. Instead, I must force a laugh, smile and say, “Oh, golly! I don’t follow you? What! I swear I did. Crazy.” Then, in front of god and everybody, I must slowly tap the “Follow” button on the person’s profile. Twitter and Facebook both have a form of a mute button that keeps certain people’s tweets or status updates off one’s feed, which leads me to believe I’m not the only one dealing with this issue.

4. TMI: I shouldn’t know every intimate detail of someone’s life simply because he friended me on Facebook or I glanced at his Twitter.  Before I post something, I ask myself, “Will anyone care/Is this important enough to share with the world?” Usually the answer is no. Does that mean I always don’t post the status/tweet/photo/video in question? No, not necessarily, but discretion is cool, and more people should try using it.

5. Fights: Not sure why people feel the need to hash it out where everyone can see. With Facebook Messenger, Twitter’s Direct Messaging, texting and good old-fashioned email, there is absolutely no need to get into it in the comments or mentions, but people do anyway.

6. The “Send All Drafts” Button on Twitter: Why. Why does this exist? I can’t think of anyone who would want to send out 20+ unfinished thoughts to the universe all at once.

7. Trolling: The illusion of anonymity on sites like Whisper and Ask.fm, as well as on more mainstream social medias opens the door for people to say all sorts of things they wouldn’t even mutter under their breath face-to-face. And, the biggest issue with the bathroom wall of the internet is that it isn’t easily painted over.

 

 

Junior Year Died

Since I recently concluded my junior year of high school, the cliché “Year in Review” blog post feels natural for this week. At first I thought I would just cover the best happenings of each month, but then I realized I only associate negative occurrences with some months, so I’m covering it all: the good, the bad, the could-have-been-better, the could-have-been-worse, the absolute best and the complete worst.  

August: This Blog: As a brand new Online Editor-in-Chief for the Free Press, I felt as though the paper’s website needed some sprucing up. I wasn’t the only one who felt this way–the Journalism Educators of Metropolitan Kansas City continuously agreed with me in their harsh reviews of the site during the years previous. Incorporating staff blogs seemed like the first step in up-ing our JEMKC rating of “fair” to “good.” I remember typing my first post, worrying about what my mom, my grandma and random Googlers in Russia would think about the stuff that goes on in my head. Nervous, I steered clear of deep personal matters for that post, instead musing about the catastrophe that was my accidental and incestuous gerbil farm.  You can read that post here.

Ian and me after our race. My shirt came off because I am such an athlete.

Ian and me after our race. My shirt came off because I am such an athlete.

September: A Marathon Relay: My mother forced me to participate in a marathon relay with my grandma, my father, one of my little brothers and her. Actually, she will say that she didn’t force me–she “asked if I was interested.” What she won’t mention is that when she asked if I was interested, I said, “No, not interested,” and she signed me up anyway. But I was a good sport, even if I ran the shortest leg of the race and ate more than everybody else at the finish line. Also, it should be noted that nothing compares to that special feeling I have inside knowing that my grandmother could kick my butt in a footrace or a push-up competition or any physically-demanding activity whatsoever.

October: Jonas brother Concert (Almost): One time the Jonas Brothers were going to get back together, and my friends and I were going to relive our childhood on one magical Halloween night concert of the century. After weeks of scraping together ticket money, assigning Disney-themed costumes to members of our group and feeling a general sense of ecstatic anticipation, we were dismayed to discover that because of a “deep rift within the band,” the entire tour had been canceled and there would be no concert.

November: Boston: I went to Boston for the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention. My newspaper friends and I roamed around the city, self-touring Harvard, Boston College, Emerson and Boston Harbor, practicing our horrific Bostonian accents all the while. Because of bad weather in other parts of the country, our flights got delayed so we missed an extra day of school, which was fabulous. I also took stealth photos of hot guys that you can check out here.

December: Surprise Birthday Party: After avoiding birthday parties for three years, I reluctantly rejoined the trend of yearly celebrating one’s own existence. I also blogged about it, which you can read here.

January: Student of the Month: My calculus teacher nominated me for Student of the Week in December, probably because I frequented math tutoring with somewhat embarrassing regularity. Eventually, I magically won Student of the Month and got a sweet parking spot for the last 10 days of January. Also, the group responsible for managing Student of the Month announcements forgot to change the Student of the Month board by the office for several months, so my reign as Eleventh Grade Female Student of the Month of January lasted until early April. Ironically, the calc teacher that nominated me for Student of the Week recently rejected me for Link Crew–a group of upperclassmen that welcome freshmen to high school in August. Not sure what that means about our relationship.

February: Forensics: I went to a forensics tournament every Saturday of February at 6 a.m. in my best business casual. I broke to finals exactly zero times, but I learned how to give an informative speech in heels, so it wasn’t all for not. You can read about my experience here.

March: Pygmy Goats: Baby Pygmy goats are the G.O.A.T. My aunt has several kids–human and goat–running around her farm, and I got to hold all of them in one of the cutest days of the year.

April: What Hell Feels Like: April was the most stressful month of my entire life. A couple of my friends were convinced that I had an anxiety disorder–some of them still are–because of my constant emotional state of freaked out. This was also the month when I (unsuccessfully) attempted mediating and drinking weird teas to find my inner zen.

May: Double Take: Double Take is an advice column, co-written by a local psychologist and a high school senior or junior, that appears weekly in the Lawrence Journal World. Each year, a contest is held in late April/early May to find the next high school-aged co-author. Surprisingly, after an incredibly awkward mock TV interview and sub par first essay, I came out on top by such a narrow margin that there was almost a tiebreaker.  I’ll begin imparting weekly teenage “wisdom” in August. It’ll be a lot of writing, but I’m going to give meditation another go, so everything should probably be fine.

Cry Because It Happened

Saturday morning: I’m at Starbucks, hunched over some Doctor Who-themed T.A.R.D.I.S. notebook paper that I’m trying to pass off as nice stationery, stringing together an alarming number of clichés to describe how much I care about my graduating friends and their future endeavors. I’m also tearing up a little. When the college-aged hipster next to me casts a sideways glance from behind his Macbook and Chai latte, I mutter something about allergies and misplaced eyelashes and unsuccessfully attempt to pull myself together.

As I grab a tall java chip frappuccino for my grad party buddy and head out the door to pick him up, I experience more “allergic reactions.” But I’m not emotional because I’m sad, really–just sentimental about all of the good times I’ve had with the class of 2014.

Because I had so many good times with the seniors, I spent 11 hours grad party hopping, congratulating graduates and eating delicious barbecue and candy yesterday. I also went to some grad parties today and Friday, so I’m pretty much an expert. Here are my grad party-goer Do’s and Don’ts:

DO: Get the graduates a gift. It can be as simple as a heartfelt note of encouragement or as extravagant as a desk made of solid gold and wrapped in $100 bills. Since I make minimum wage, I wrote a lot of heartfelt notes of encouragement.

DON’T: Write your notes in a public place, unless you aren’t bothered by the potential of unexpected waterworks damaging your desired emotionless persona.

DO: Have a go-to grad party buddy. Preferably one with lots of friends in common, so you don’t awkwardly end up at several grad parties celebrating the accomplishments of people you weren’t even aware existed.

DON’T: Listen to my last “DO.” Some of the most delicious catering was at the parties for the seniors I’d never met. If anyone looked at me strangely for being there, I just said that I was my grad party buddy’s chauffeur/official taste-tester for the afternoon, and all was forgiven.

image

We are seven-year-old children trapped in these teenage bodies.

DO: Show up late. After realizing that Facebook invites that say, “the party begins at 2” really mean “the party begins at 2:40,” my grad party buddy and I altered our schedule slightly and set aside an hour to swing and climb on stuff at the park in order to maintain our cool kid status at the rest of the evening’s festivities.

DON’T: Show up too late. A couple of my friends showed up to what I considered one of the best grad parties of the day after the bouncy house had been taken down, most of the food had been eaten and pretty much everybody else had left. I suppose you could make the best of the awkward situation by chatting one-on-one with a grad and expressing genuine interest in his or her plans for the future, but you would have to do so without a bouncy house, which kind of really sucks.

If you show up too late, you might miss out on a photo booth. Do not miss out on a photo booth.

If you show up too late, you might miss out on a photo booth. Do not miss out on a photo booth.

DO: Avoid thinking about the fact that this may be one of the last times you’ll see a friend for a while. Focus on celebrating the good times you’ve had and the exciting uncertainty of the future. As one of my close senior friends so eloquently put it last night at her grad party: “Kyra, I know you hate quotes, but this one totally applies to this situation: ‘Don’t cry because it’s over–cry because it happened.’ No, that wasn’t it. It was something better than that. Dang it.”

Good luck, seniors of 2014. I’d say Free State will be quiet without you, but there are plenty of excessively vocal freshmen moving up to take your place. It’s The Lion King’s circle of life, and it’s sad and beautiful at the same time.

Math Words

Late last night, I fell asleep cradling my AP Calculus AB prep book like a small animal or child. I awoke this morning with my calculator in front of my face and notebook paper crumpled at my side. I spent the hours between 9:30 a.m.-12:35 p.m. frantically attempting to re-memorize the Mean Value Theorem and the Intermediate Value Theorem  and the Extreme Value Theorem and all the other trivial nonsense that slipped in one ear and out the other at some point last semester.

This afternoon, I ran–with my calculator and No. 2 pencil in hand–through the pouring rain from my father’s car to the school’s entrance. When one of my classmates finally opened the locked door for me, together we took the long, solemn march to our inevitable doom: a three hour comprehensive final exam.

When I emerged from the school three hours later, the rain had stopped; the sun shone overhead. It was basically a metaphor for the day’s emotions. When I got in the car with my mother, she asked me how it went. Apparently the extended concentration had drained my cognitive abilities because my response was, “Umm, there were a lot of math words. Yeah. Lots and lots of … math words.”

But that exam and its preparation are worth it because, in exactly 10 days, I will never have to look at my stupid calc prep book again. I’ll take one more exam, and then have clearance to forget everything about derivatives I’ve ever learned, ever. I have fantasized all year about what horrible fate will befall my calculus notebook. I can’t decide whether to put the whole thing in my gerbils’ tank for them to slowly chew apart each individual page bit by bit or to fold a thousand origami swans out of it, make a mobile and set the creation afire in the wind.

For the last two years, calculus has been a thorn in my side, digging deeper into my flesh every time I try to position myself more comfortably. As the end of this dreary, math-infested tunnel looms ahead, I’ve decided to put aside my disdain for calculus and try to focus on all the positive experiences I’ve had during its tenure. Here are some quality moments:

1. Vectors. I don’t remember much about vectors from Pre-Calc except that they have “direction and magnitude.”  That doesn’t really seem important unless you’ve seen Despicable Me. When super nerd Victor changes his name to “Vector,” he does some sick pelvic thrusts in his orange track suit and declares that he has, “both direction and magnitude!”.  Shout out to Disney for the quality math pun. Shout out to my Pre-Calc student teacher for showing the clip from the movie in class. Shout out to me for enlightening some of you.

OH, YEAH! Math jokes.

OH, YEAH! Math jokes.

2. Limits. Again, movie references made calculus bearable. As if I didn’t respect Tina Fey enough already, she slipped some real math into Mean Girls.  The limit does not exist.

the-limit-does-not-exist-mean-girls

 

3. Retakes. I have retaken every test except one this year. Supposedly, no one is allowed to retake calculus exams, but I found a loophole: math tutoring. I spend several hours in the library at calc tutoring after school each week, struggling with the latest concepts and pretending not to cry. Even with extra help, I still perform on a subpar level when it comes time to demonstrate my knowledge on the exam. Ninety percent of the semester grade is based on tests, so subpar doesn’t really work for me. Fortunately, the calc teachers are willing to let students who try hard–and still fail miserably–give it another go (and another and another and another).

4. My table buddy. I’ve sat next to some really smart people who’ve helped me through derivatives and integrals and mental breakdowns. Right now, my genius Vietnamese friend sits in front of me and teaches me everything. He recently started watching Gossip Girl during class, though, so he’s been slightly less of a tutor and slightly more of an entertainer.

Those are the only positive moments I’ve had during my calculus career. For those of you keeping track at home, there are about 18 weeks in a semester, with an average of four class periods each week, and I’ve taken four semesters of calculus-related classes. This adds up to about one positive experience per every 72 classes. Hopefully AP Statistics will be more enjoyable. (That’s how much I hate calculus–I’m actually looking forward to taking Statistics.)

Oculus: Blind Movie Review

My mother needed convincing. I used some of my best, most thought-out arguments:

Karen Gillian, my hero.

Karen Gillan, my hero.

“Mom, I am 17-years-old. I can handle an R-rated movie.”

“Mom, Rotten Tomatoes says there’s hardly any sex and only mild language! Blood and guts ain’t got nuthin’ on me!”

“Mom, Karen Gillan is in it! … What do you mean, you don’t know who Karen Gillan is?! Amy Pond? Doctor Who?! That Scottish chick with red hair!? You don’t remember Karen?!! Mom, she played an integral part in my life the last few years! How could you not know who she is?! I want to support her. I need to support her.”

Finally, my mom conceded because I’m such a great convincer.

Later that day, I slipped out of the Good Friday church service at 7:35 p.m. and into the crowded theater at 7:51 p.m. I later apologized to Jesus.

When I proudly told the ticket lady that I wanted one student ticket to Oculus, she asked for my ID. I pulled it out of my handmade duct tape wallet, and the lady proceeded to look at it for a really long time, possibly due to it coming  out of a handmade duct tape wallet. To speed up the process, I leaned over, winked and whispered, “I am definitely 17.”

I felt like I could totally handle it.

I felt like I could totally handle it.

With ticket finally in hand, I met up with some of my pals from the Free Press, and we made our way to the best seats in the house.

If I said that I completely watched my first R-rated horror film last night, I would be lying. Because, the truth is, I didn’t watch most of it. Halfway through, I started intently staring at the palms of my hands and the tops of my knees and only looked up when the music wasn’t too intense. Apparently, I’m not very good at scary movies, and blood and guts do have somethin’ on me.

Because I didn’t actively watch all of the film, I’m calling this a “blind movie review.”

Let me start my review by saying the sound effects were great. I was especially a fan of the blood gurgling sounds and the heart racing music. Also, when the demon-possessed dad guy tells his daughter, “I have seen Satan, and I am he,” I thought editing did a fantastic job of layering his voice with creepy ghost whispers.

The movie had a wonderful buildup, which I appreciated. For the first thirty minutes, the film creators really had me convinced that I was gonna make it. I feel as though my 10 dollar ticket didn’t fully go to waste because I was able to watch the first 20-25 minutes just fine.

gabe

Bradley Steven Perry

young tim

Garrett Ryan

 

I enjoyed the storytelling style, with the story jumping between adult siblings Kaylie (Karen Gillian) and Tim (Brenton Thwaites) Russel and their childhood selves, played by Annalise Basso and Garrett Ryan. At first I thought Gabe (Bradley Steven Perry) from Disney’s Good Luck, Charlie played young Tim, which would’ve been quite a shift for a Disney star, but I was wrong. Those two are doppelgangers for sure, though.

I thought the plot was clever, paralleling the past with events that occur about fifteen years later. Both in past in present, climax builds with a creepy monster mirror altering reality to prey off of the Russel family’s life force. The mirror’s other interests include killing plants and scaring dogs.

Director Mike Flanagan eased the story into violence, starting with the dad accidentally digging into his finger with a staple remover because the demon in the mirror messed with his mind. Judging from my friends’ later reactions, it got worse from there, but I’m not positive because that was where I stopped watching, actually.

I will now review the times in the second half of the movie where I peaked between my fingers.

When adult Kaylie bit into a lightbulb instead of an apple, I thought the blood was very realistic.

When young Kaylie and Tim’s mom tries to eat her own arm, I thought the blood was very realistic.

When Tim tries to call for help and the demon intercepts the phone call, I thought Brenton Thwaites had very nice eyes.

The movie took a long time to get to the end, and I spend most of the last hour-and-a-half wanting my mommy and some ice cream.

I give Oculus a 7/10 because the movie was horrifying enough (even without the visual effects) that I still had to force my little brother to sleep in the trundle part of my bed for comfort. I also had to take two lighthearted Buzzfeed quizzes and watch one episode of Parks and Recreation  to regulate my heartbeat and dispel most of my unhappy feelings.

 

I live tweeted the event:

At least I still have my dignity.