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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Decisions, Decisions.”

My personal approach to decision-making is a more reason-based approach. When I make a decision, I like to imagine each possible outcome that could happen with each possible choice, sort of like a pros and cons list. If I envision Choice A having a more safe, positive outcome on the future–near or distant, depending on the decision to be made–than Choice B, then I will decide on Choice A and vice versa.

There are four key factors I usually take into consideration when making a decision:

  1. My personal happiness and enjoyment
  2. Past experiences I’ve had in similar situations
  3. The past experiences of my friends and family in similar situations
  4. My own personal safety (perhaps the most important thing to consider)

I will demonstrate my thought process for a sample decision that I’m actually trying to make at this very moment. I am currently trying to decide between two camps to go to for next summer. One camp is a creative writing day camp near my house, and the other camp is a three-week overnight camp at a college a few hours away from my house.

The first factor to consider is my personal happiness and enjoyment. The day camp is from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm from Monday to Friday, whereas the overnight camp is obviously all day, every day for three weeks. If I went to the day camp, I would have to occupy myself at home for part of the day, but I would have fun things to do all day if I went to the overnight camp. However, it would be hard for me to be happy if I were homesick at the overnight camp, even though I would probably get over my homesickness pretty quickly.

The second factor to consider is past experiences in similar situations. I have been to both day and overnight camps, and I have had a pretty good time at both, but I liked day camp a lot better because I missed my family and friends back home at overnight camp. On the other hand, I met one of my best friends in the entire world at overnight camp. I did have friends at day camp, though.

The third factor to consider is the past experiences of my friends and family in similar situations. My friend went to the overnight camp and had an okay experience. She liked the classes that were offered at the camp, but one of the camp’s goals was to “foster independence,” and that goal was supposedly achieved by making independent outings into the center of the town near the camp, and apparently the town is one of the scariest, sketchiest places in America. There was a murder that took place in the town while my friend was at the camp, and after the person was murdered, the murderer chopped the arms and legs off of the body and stuffed the limbs into a garbage bag later discovered by an innocent civilian.

That brings me to my fourth and final factor, safety. Based on my friend’s experience, I clearly have a greater chance of making it to sophomore year if I go to the day camp. If I were to make my decision right now, I would choose the day camp.

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Delayed Contact.”

Today, I’m trying something new. I found an AWESOME new blog called The Daily Post (http://dailypost.wordpress.com) that has a new blog post prompt for every single day! So, when I feel like writing a post, but I don’t know what to write about, I will choose a random prompt from The Daily Post and use it as inspiration. The prompt I chose today is:

“How would you get along with your sibling(s), parent(s), or any other person you’ve known for a long time — if you only met them for the first time today?”

So, without further ado, here is the story of me meeting my brother, Gabe, for the first time ever in an alternate universe where we are not related at all.

“Bye, sweetie. Have a great day!” Mom gave me a kiss as I ran up the steps of the camp bus.

“Good morning, Sarah!” I waved at my bus counselor, grinning widely.

“You’re very chipper this morning, Maisie!” Sarah commented.

“Just excited to start the week, I guess.” I walked through the aisle of the bus, trying to find an empty seat. I finally found one towards the back of the bus, and I sat down on the window side of the seat.

Just then, another kid asked if he could sit next to me. I had never met him before in my life. Not being one to make others feel excluded, I let him sit down.

“I’m Maisie, by the way. What’s your name?”

“Gabe,” the boy responded. He was very tall, and had a messy mop of brown hair atop his head. He had large, dark brown eyes and rosy cheeks.

“How old are you?” I asked Gabe.

“11,” Gabe responded.

“Oh, I’m 14. What do you like to do in your free time?”

“I love to play video games and watch YouTube videos. I especially love Pokemon.” Gabe then talked all about his favorite Pokemon, how he prefers the video games over the trading cards, his favorite Pokemon movies, et cetera, until we got off the bus.

Later that day, at lunch, I noticed that Gabe was sitting alone at lunch. I knew how hard it was to be the new kid, so I sat down next to him on the grass, and I asked him more about Pokemon and other video game-related things, since I was by no means an expert at any of that.

At the end of the day, Gabe seemed like a really nice kid. I knew that we would become fast friends.


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Adventures in Orthodontics, Episode 2: YOU BROKE YOUR BRACES ON THE FIRST DAY?!?!?

Hey faithful readers!

I’d like to apologize in advance for the short length of this post because, the truth of the matter is, actually getting my braces on was a very uneventful experience! I’m not really in any pain right now, but I was told that the pain starts on the second day, so I’m really looking forward to that.

However, the braces are rather uncomfortable because the brackets of my braces are digging into the inside of my upper lip, which is sort of irritating. Two of the brackets have hooks on them (don’t worry, they’re not that sharp), and whenever I open or close my mouth, the hooks grab onto the flesh inside my mouth and my gums, which is more annoying than it is painful. Plus, I’ve developed the horrible habit of running my tongue along my braces, which can cause the wiring to come loose and the brackets to break.

The process of getting my braces on was actually very quick. First, my orthodontist told me briefly about her planned course of treatment for me and gave me a lecture on how to properly clean my teeth (brushing and flossing after every single meal and snack–yay!), foods that I absolutely must avoid (carrot sticks, apples, hard candy, gum, and chewy candies like caramel), foods that I should try to eat less of (refined sugars and starches), and the fact that I will have at least one orthodontist’s appointment per month. Then, the dental hygienist glued the brackets onto my teeth and used some sort of an LED light to dry the glue and set the brackets in place. I then chose the colors for the rubber bands that would hold the wires in place. I ended up choosing light pink and lavender rubber bands. The orthodontist checked to see that the brackets were placed properly on my teeth, and then she put a wire through the brackets to push my top teeth up and close the gaps between some of my top front teeth (I’m not getting bottom braces for another 2 or 3 months; they have to fix my overbite first because my top front teeth completely cover my bottom front teeth). I don’t know if the orthodontist put the rubber bands on before or after she put the wire into the brackets, but she obviously put in the rubber bands at some point.

Right after the orthodontist secured the wire in place, it felt really weird because my top teeth suddenly lifted off of my bottom teeth, and I feel like my overbite decreased significantly. I watched a video about how to clean my teeth with my braces, and the dental hygienist gave me a pack of supplies to help me clean my teeth. After we left the orthodontist’s office, my mom took me out to get a chocolate milkshake (the milkshake tasted more milky than chocolatey, which I HATED, but that’s beside the point), and she got a sandwich that came with French fries. My mom does not like French fries, so she gave them to me. I ate a fry, and a wire popped out from one of the brackets in the back of my mouth. I started freaking out because it would be awful to break my braces on the first day of having them!

My mom rushed me back to the orthodontist’s office and asked if the hygienist could take a quick look at my braces. I was whisked back into the same room where I got my braces on, and the hygienist gave me a once-over to determine if I really did break my braces.

“Don’t worry, the only places where the wire really needs to stay in place are your four front teeth. That’s why we only put rubber bands on your four front teeth. It’s not a big deal if the wire pops out of any other brackets.”

I exhaled as if a 3,000-pound anvil had been lifted off of my back.

One day down, 18 months to go.

photo

BraceFaceMais!


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My Sweet Suspense Concert Experience

I MET MY IDOLS (aka Sweet Suspense) TODAY!!!!! *insert fangirl squeals here*

sweet suspense meet and greet pic

Sweet Suspense, one of my favorite bands, is on the road with the Pop Nation tour this summer, along with Round2Crew, The Fooo Conspiracy, Carson Lueders, The Bomb Digz, Katelyn Jae, After Romeo, Chris Miles, Dyllan Murray, and Frankie Z (for more information on upcoming shows, visit http://www.popnationtour.com/). Normally, on weekends in the summer, I go to the beach with my entire extended family, but this weekend, my mom’s college friends are in from out of town and she is spending the weekend with them, my grandparents and uncle are in a distant city for a wedding, my cousin is at sleepaway camp, and my brother broke his foot, so I jumped at the chance to see Sweet Suspense in concert. The experience was absolutely incredible, but let’s just say that the events leading up to it were…interesting.

As always, to protect everyone’s privacy, I will refer to people as the roles they play in the story. If you need a reminder of who is playing which character, please refer to this cast list:

ROBYN as my friend who accompanied me to the show

BOMB DIGZ FAN #1 as the person directly ahead of me in line

TICKET COLLECTOR as the ticket collector outside the venue

TOUR MANAGER #1 as the first Pop Nation Tour manager I met

TOUR MANAGER #2 as the second Pop Nation Tour manager I met

ROUND2CREW, THE FOOO CONSPIRACY, CARSON LUEDERS, THE BOMB DIGZ, KATELYN JAE, AFTER ROMEO, CHRIS MILES, DYLLAN MURRAY, SWEET SUSPENSE, AND FRANKIE Z as the acts on the Pop Nation Tour

BRYANA “BRY” SALAZ as herself

MILLIE THRASHER as herself

SUMMER REIGN as herself

Now, on with the show.

I went to the concert with my friend, Robyn. We took the subway to a stop that was within walking distance from the venue of the concert. The meet and greet was to take place at 1:00 PM. We got there at about 1:15, and the line wasn’t really moving forward. Robyn and I figured that there was probably some sort of delay or something, so we continued to stand in line while I sang Broadway show tunes to pass the time.

At about 1:30, the line STILL wasn’t moving. So, we asked Bomb Digz Fan #1 if she knew anything about the meet and greets.

“They ended at 1:15,” she replied regretfully.

I dragged Robyn inside the venue (there was no security guarding the door), and asked the ticket collector about the meet and greet.

“We changed the start time to 12:30, so the meet and greet ended at 1:15. I’m so sorry, call the ticket provider for a refund.”

“But…but my friend is in the show,” I pleaded.

“And who might your friend be?” Ticket Collector asked.

“Um…Bryana Salaz from Sweet Suspense.”

Ticket Collector looked at me skeptically, tilting her head to the side. She was about to say something, when I interjected, “I paid good money for meet and greet tickets, and I don’t want it to go to waste.”

“Call the ticket provider and ask for a refund,” Ticket Collector said through gritted teeth. “Meanwhile, here’s your wristband. Enjoy the show!”

Ticket Collector gave me a wristband labeled “Under 21.” I stomped out of the venue.

45 minutes later, Tour Manager #1 came up to me.

“Were you the person who came up to the ticket collector and asked to meet one of the acts?” Tour Manager #1 asked.

“Yes,” I replied.

“Who did you want to meet?” Tour Manager #1 asked.

“Sweet Suspense.”

“And what is your name?”

“Maisie, spelled M-A-I-S-I-E.”

“Come with me, Maisie.” Tour Manager #1 led me downstairs, where he explained to Tour Manager #2 that I had paid for meet and greet tickets prior to the show and that I wanted to meet Sweet Suspense. Tour Manager #2 then led me to the artists’ lounge backstage. I saw Millie (one of the girls in Sweet Suspense) in the lounge, and it was all I could do to keep from screaming.

“Sweet Suspense, a fan wants to meet you!” Tour Manager #2 called to them. In an instant, three girls whom I always thought existed only on my Twitter feed appeared in front of me. Millie Thrasher, Summer Reign, and Bryana Salaz.

“Hi, sweetie! What’s your name?” Millie asked, hugging me.

“Maisie,” I replied meekly.

“I feel like I recognize you,” Bry said, looking at me sideways.

“I’m @amazingmaisie28 from Twitter, the writer.”

All three of their jaws dropped onto the floor.

“Stop! No you are not!” Bry exclaimed, giving me a hug.

“Shut up!” Millie said incredulously.

“Oh my God!” Summer gawked.

“I’ll leave you girls alone for a moment.” Tour Manager #2 led us into a stairwell and closed the door.

“You are so so so so so talented! Never, ever stop writing! I love you!” Bry said. “I always read everything you send me, and I’m blown away. And you’re so cute, too!”

Wait, was Bry fangirling over little old me? I thought.

“Ohmigosh, you’re adorable!” Millie chimed in.

“Wait, you know me?” I asked.

“Of course!” Summer said.

“You guys inspire me so much. I get bullied a lot because I’m creative and I love to write and I’m Jewish, and you guys keep me strong and keep me going and I love you so much and thank you for always being there for me.” I said.

“You’re such a beautiful writer, and creative people are, like the bomb, so yeah.” Bry laughed. Summer and Millie looked at me with sympathy in their eyes. “Obvi!” They responded.

“And I act and sing and dance and do yoga!”

“Oh my God!” Millie exclaimed.

“Do you take classes?” Summer asked.

“Yeah, I’m in a hip hop dance class once a week. My teacher is the only dance teacher who has ever been accepting and patient with me. I couldn’t pick up choreography at first, but I can now learn a 1 or 2 minute routine in 20 minutes.”

“That’s insane!” Bry said. “Millie and I are, like, always in the back in dance rehearsals, and Summer’s always up front killing it.”

“Can we take a picture with you?” Summer asked. “We have to go soon.”

Robyn took a picture with us with her phone.

“Bye, Bry. Bye, Millie. Bye, Summer.” I gave each of them a giant hug. “I love you guys.”

“We love you too!” Bry called out after me.

After I left the room, I said to Robyn: “Did that really just happen?”

“They were so sweet to you!” Robyn replied.

Two hours later, all of the other artists had already performed and it was time for Sweet Suspense to do their set. I ran up to the front, wielding my iPod for filming the performance.

“WHAT’S UP BOSTON? HOW YA DOING TONIGHT?” Summer yelled into the crowd. We shouted back.

“I KNOW YOU CAN DO BETTER! NOW HOW Y’ALL DOIN’ TONIGHT?” Millie yelled.

I shouted at the top of my lungs.

“Okay, this first song is called ‘Here We Go Again.’ Enjoy!” Bry said, and took her first pose for the dance.

I belted out every single lyric along with Sweet Suspense, even though I was the only one who knew all of them.

“This next one is for all my ladies out there. Do we have any girls in the crowd?” Millie yelled.

I screamed and hollered, “FEMINISM FOR THE WIN!”

“WE LOVE YOU TOO!” Bry hollered. They then performed their new songs, “Like A Girl” and “Money,” both of which were AMAZING and had me dancing and attempting to sing along.

After they sang “Money,” Millie had a pouty look on her face.

“This is gonna be our last song,” she said.

“Yeah, but it’s my favorite!” Bry, ever the optimist, retorted.

“True, it’s also my favorite!” Millie said.

“This one’s called ‘Gibberish,’ and our cover of this song hit 1 million views on YouTube this morning!” Summer announced. I whooped and hollered. I probably contributed most of those views. Once again, I belted out the song along with my three sheroes. Throughout their whole set, I was blown away with the fact that they were singing everything live. They are SO TALENTED in person, almost better than they are in the studio!

I was crestfallen when the concert was over. If there was one moment in my life I could live and relive forever, it would be seeing Sweet Suspense today. It was truly one of the best live performances, if not THE best, I have ever seen. I hope to see the girls again sometime soon, and they are DEFINITELY getting free copies of my book when it comes out.