The title would be from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Yes, Regis, my final answer.
Today was... a good day. I was finally able to go to school, we read Christmas poetry in AP English, and I got halfway through Thomas Hardy's "The Oxen" for the class before the chorus (all eighty of 'em)came by to sing us carols. My favourite, too, "Carol of the Bells" or "Ukranian Bell Carol". Same thing, different name. I turned in my paper, hurrah, and got back a bunch of others, all A's! My teacher congratulated me on my last paper about my wonderful analyses. Hurrah! In orchestra, we watched Manheim Steamroller. They have wonderful concerts that I'd love to see, and their little film for "Pat-a-pan" made me want to cry. It's a French song, but there's an English translation that's quite a bit like "Drummer Boy". But, anyway, there was a little Irish boy who received a bodhran for Christmas one year, and loved it until he grew up. And when he got married to his love, she gave him those (what do yah call 'em?) bodhran sticks that you play it with. They're thicker than regular drumsticks, and completely cylindrical... well, anyway, he joined the IRA and died in battle while she waited at home, pregnant.
It's always the Irishman who dies. It's because of the English. They're keepin' us down, man.
And then in French class we made cards for our partners. My partner made me this really, just utterly immaculate card that looked like it took forever to make. Mine was normal, except I made a present on the inside that if you pulled a tab, it could open to read, "Je souhaite que vous ayez un bon Noël." It was pretty neat, all in all. We also sang carols, and watched a movie on Québec. I learned awhile ago that there's actually a monument that stands there devoted to the masses of Irish ships that washed up on shore full of dead immigrants.
Okay, quick Irish history lesson. When British explorers sent out ships in the 1600s, there were Irish slaves on them. In the Americas were grown potatoes, which were considered cheap after awhile to the English, and were carried back by the Irish slaves to feed their families (it just so happens that potatoes grow really well in Irish climates). Eventually it became not only the staple crop of Ireland, but the only food source, since the English would have nothing to do with it. When the potato famine struck in 1845, thousands of Irish started to die, and tried to emmigrate to other countries. Many, like my ancestors, could go to England through Scotland if they had enough money, but there they couldn't find work (huh, wonder why?). They eventually followed the rest of the Irish emmigrants to America. But, there were so many emmigrants that some people started building their own unregulated boats (that couldn't float for very long, mind you) and scammed the travelers for extra money. Those boats were called the Death Boats, as there was never any food or water supply, and people were crammed on deck with the disease that was already spreading in Ireland spreading much more quickly on the microcosm of the boat, itself. Many of these boats have been lost at the bottom of the ocean, some made it to shore with no living people in them, just hundreds of dead women and children. Some people were lucky enough to survive, and they went to Quebec and New York. The ones that went to Canada were probably more easily embraced than the ones who went to America, because in America they were met with signs that read, "Irish Need Not Apply", and thus went to work on railroads and shipyards, all manual labour so heavy that they all died early deaths. My family made alcohol, but that's not the point. In Quebec there's a monument dedicated to the Death Ships, and I've always wanted to see it,and pay my respects to my ancestors who risked everything for me. Which is really kind of sad, when you think about it. They weren't doing it for themselves, but for those who followed them-- me. As much as I'd love to live in Ireland, I'm glad I live in America.
Anyway, back to my point. Then, in Chemistry, we actually learned for about ten minutes. After that, some kids sitting around me had fun snorting pixie sticks in lines of the backs of their hands. I was about to offer them a mirror or something, but I didn't want to perpetuate the problem. I kept imagining Uma Thurman with blood running down her face, and then the needle sticking out of her chest and the wideness of her eyes as she woke up out of her coma. "Something..." That, by the way, is Pulp Fiction.
But, I got a lot of Christmas presents! From Kelly I got a purdy silver Cross necklace (just what I wanted, actually!), oodles of canday, Silas Marner and Mill on the Floss, both by George Eliot (right on the mark! YAY! for George Eliot). From Rachel I got a loverly pair of earrings, spritzy glitzy spray, a calendar of Movie Trivia (no lie), and finger-paints (there may have been something else, but I'd have to look, and that would be an effort). From Lliz (yes, two L's) I got the coolest pair of socks ever, and a cd of Celtic music (how'd she know?). From Jennifer I got the loveliest green sweater from NY&Co (see a pattern, here?) that fits me life a glove and looks so purdy on me that it's kind... kinda creepy, actually. And everybody liked their gifts far too much, I must say. My French teacher was absolutely obsessed with the scarf I gave Lliz. See, I bought my friends the coolest things (well, it was my mum who chose them out, so credit goes to her), scarves that stretch out to be shawls and cowel-necks and... it's hard to explain. But Lliz was wearing it in all the different ways possible, and everyone in the class was infatuated with it. If you open it up, you can wear it draped over one arm, and tucked under another, and it looks kind of like a modern-day rouana (an Irish shawl/cloak that can convert to many different looks... my mum has one that I love), made 'specially for a run-way. Since not too many Americans wear rouanas, or even know what they are.
Okay, my Irish Gaelic is limited. I'm learning Scottish Gaelic, not Irish. Maybe I should just switch over to Irish... Not the point. I'm straying from my point, again!
And today we went shopping, and I bought with some early Christmas money a copy of In America. It's a movie about... Irish immigrants.
Whoa, where'd all this pride come from all of a sudden? I guess I'm trying to break away from my dad's Germanness. Hmm... wonder why that is? It's really strange, because my body is complying. My hair is turning more and more red, and the roots of my eyebrows are red now, too. It's like I'm becoming completely detatched from that side of my life-- the side I really want to detatch from anyway. The more Irish I become, the easier it is to look objectively at my life, and make it easier to accept not having the terrible part around any more.
Did I tell you all? My mum is going to sell our house now. Hmm... I'll tell you all about it later. I want to go finish a lovely picture that I've been working on, inspired by Daniel Deronda (by, you guessed it, George Eliot... she's so cool!). It's Mirah... I'm going to title it something like "Mirah's final thoughts" or something, and you'd think it would be the part where she's going to throw herself in the river with her drowning cloak but Daniel saves her on his gondola, but instead it's her on a ship going to Israel with him next to her, and only she has (very little) colour in her face, and everything else is black and white. It's actually really pretty so far, I promise, but I'll post it when I'm done. Want a sneak peak? Here yah go: