Current Badge Count: 29
Niagara Falls Badge:
Okay, so I have never actually been to Niagara falls, and I don't want to cheat you, but I count this badge as a waterfall/nature badge. I have actually been to several actual waterfalls and rivers and streams and such. I think my favorite one was the summer before last when I went to Pedernales Falls. I got to see a really big waterfall and a river. However, when we went, it was in the middle of a drought so the water level was low. We got to walk on these huge rocks and stuff that was the bottom of the river. It was scary to look down a hundred feet in between the rocks to see water flowing in between them. And you just sit there thinking: I could fall down there and die and nothing could be done about it. It was also awesome to think how long those rocks had been there and how it used to be underwater. Then I sit at my computer now and realize what an amazing world that God has created for all of us to live in. He must love us a whole lot, even just to give (most of us) eyes to see it all. I think that should encourage people just to go out and see things, if nothing else. I also think that that trip was a great bonding time with my family, because we were gone for like a week and a half and saw all sorts of things, including the Grand Canyon. Whoa, there should totally be a grand canyon badge.
Tree Planting Badge:
I have been playing video games since my brother was about 5 or so years old. Our first gaming handheld was a Gameboy Advance that he got for his birthday, but I can remember when the gameboy color became a big hit and was popular everywhere. I loved to play it, but I've never been very good at videogames, so many times I would sit and watch while he played. I played with things like Tomagotchi's too, but I'm not sure that really counts as a videogame. We actually wrote a story using videogame plots and ideas once, but it has since been lost, so I look for it whenever I think about it. We had a gamecube too for a while, and we swore that we would buy the connector cable for the gba and gamecube, but we never did. Favourite gamecube game? Either, mariokart double dash, luigi's mansion, or super mario sunshine. One Chiristmas, we begged for a wii, and got one. I don't really have a favourite game there, but super mario galaxy was pretty great. Eventually, we traded out the gba for a ds, which we played until we had 3 of them, and then until they all died. Our gamecube died from a lightning storm, during which we left it plugged in, and it fried. we still have all of the games though. We then got DSi's and still have them today, though they are not as awesome as everybody believes. Our first Wii died, so we got a black one. It bothers me that the new Wii's don't play gamecube games. It takes away some of the fun. Then we got a xbox, which I only really like for the kinect version of just dance.
Rubik's Cube Solving Badge
I first got my hands on a Rubiks' cube in probably 7th grade. That was when they became really popular at our school and it seemed like everyone had one. I got it for Christmas, I think. I immediately set to work memorizing how to solve it. Mine, unlike many, came with a little book that explained the solving methods and algorithms. I memorized it in about two weeks. Then, I went around school solving and unsolving it until the stickers started peeling off. People were so amazed and they would ask me to solve theirs. I became semi-popular because of it. I was timed once, and it only took me like 3 minutes. Currently, it takes me about 5 minutes if I'm lucky, since I'm out of practice, but at least I can solve it.
Marching Band Badge
Yay! There is finally a Ukulele badge! I got my first uke about or so months ago. We went to a big flea market one weekend, and my brother and I were planning to get ukes. He bought a $40 one, and I got a $15 one. Needless to say, mine sucked. It wouldn't stay in tune, and it broke after a week or two.
I had my grandpa fix it, but it still sounded horribly plinky. I got a new, pink ukulele for Christmas, that is the same brand as my brother's. I have been posting ukulele covers on YouTube a couple times a month, and I am going to play my ukulele in the school talent show. I occasionally carry it to school, and it always seems to start conversations and give me an opportunity to perform. I want to someday go busking and earn some money with my instrument. I really love playing the ukulele because it is easy to tune, only has four strings, is small, and it has plastic-y strings that don't leave calluses. I hope to keep playing and eventually get an even better instrument.
Perform On Stage Badge
When I was a little kid, I thought I was destined to be a performer, but I was scared to death of people and excruciatingly shy. When I was in elementary school, I was a member of our church's children's choir, but we didn't jsut sing, we actually did some acting, and we would get up in front of the whole church to perform. Now that I think back on it, I don't remember ever having stagefright or anything. I was in choir in school in 5th grade, but I quit because I hated it. In 7th and 8th grade, I was in choir, which was led by the music teacher that I had in elementary school. I performed at all kinds of concerts and even had a few solos. In high school, there was no choir program, so I had to settle for theatre. I actually ended up enjoying it more than choir. I have been in almost 10 plays in high school, among other things, and I love acting. I think that onstage is where I am meant to be. I auditioned and will be in my school's talent show this year also. I recently went to visit a college and checked out it's theatre program, but the way they have it set up scares me, so I might end up focusing on film instead.
Music Video Badge
I started making music videos when I was about 13 or so. I had seen things on television that included music videos and I had watched some music videos on the internet. I really liked the idea that I could make something like that on my own. My very first music videos were stop motion because I did not have permission to use my parents' video camera. I used a kodak digital camera that was several years old. I wasn't very precise, and stopmotion really requires precision, so the three videos that I made weren't that great. My first live-action music video was to "Gypsy" by Shakira. I was in love with that song at the time. I worked for hours to put together the music and video segments in Windows Movie Maker in a fashion that I liked. After I found a way to make music videos that I enjoyed, nothing could stop me from making them whenever I wanted to. I have tons of video files that I have yet to edit, and many things that are halfway edited. The "Zombie" music video was probably the first music video that I made that used a different editing program. I shot it with a kodak easyshare digital camera that I got about 4 years ago. That one was also my first one with other people that willingly participated, which made the process really enjoyable. When I graduate from High school, I plan to get a new DSLR camera that I will use to make my videos. I like the fact that I will be able to change the focus and whatnot. Not to mention, I can have different lenses and different video qualities. As far as the planning of videos goes, I occasionally storyboard, but most of the time I just think about it and try to imagine a video while I listen to the song over and over. I would love to be hired by a band to create their music video. I am currently trying to come up with something for Forever the Fierce that they would like and that would be do-able on a low budget. The only things I need are time, imagination, and a decent camera and editing program.
I started learning to play the piano when I was roughly eight years old, maybe a little older. My grandma offered to teach me, since she played the piano and the organ for my grandparents' church. I was really excited about it at first since some of my friends had taken piano lessons and I didn't know how to play any instruments yet. I took about 3 or so lessons before quitting. I didn't like the idea that I had to practice, and it felt like my grandma expected more effort from me than I wanted to put forth. I would literally break down crying during the lessons or when my dad was forcing me to practice. I absolutely hated it. About two or three years ago, I started messing around and learned a few more things on the piano. I'm not great, but I can repeat patterns while others do the more complicated stuff. My brother is the real piano player, but then again, he is awesome at any instrument he sets his mind to playing. I don't think that I'll ever really master the piano because, even though I have "pinao-playing fingers", I just don't enjoy it and the practice that comes with it.
Birthday Party Badge
I never really went to birthday parties as a little kid, because I didn't have too many friends that had birthday parties. The first birthday party that I had (as a 1-year-old) was an actual party, but I didn't have another one with people other than relatives until I was about 10 years old. My parties were never really fantastic, because I lived in a small house and I didn't have a pool or anything very entertaining. I hope to have an actual birthday party for my 18th birthday in July, but I still have no clue if that will happen or not. I will actually be going to two birthday parties this weekend, however, dressed up as Snow White. However, I am being paid for that, so I guess it won't really count.
Roller Skating Badge
I went roller skating for the first time when I was about 10 or so for a friend's birthday party. I was really bad at it at first, but I got used to it. I've never been roller skating outside of going to a skating rink. The last time I went roller skating (last summer), I went with a group of girls from my church. We dressed up in 80's costumes (which, for me, included a knee-length tutu) and got strange looks from everyone there. Some of my friends were really great at skating. I, on the other hand, kept falling down. I thought it might have been a teensy bit more graceful wearing a tutu, but I looked like a fool, honestly. A fool wearing a big white tutu. It was fun regardless, and I got back up every time I fell, but I was bruised in various places by the end of the two hours or whatever we were there.
Kite Flying Badge