An Illustrated Mind (Or Today’s Thoughts In Doodles)

Doodles, Everyday, Inventions, Random

I think about a lot of things. And usually at the most inopportune times. Today, I decided to take some time to write out a few of the things I think about – and by “write”, I mean “draw.”

This is an illustration of my mind on February 5, 2014.

We should consume more mini burritos.



Do ant colonies fight over territory?


Cupcakes are just muffins with better fashion sense. 


My next great invention:


If you drink milk and chocolate syrup, then throw up, do you make chocolate milkphoto-7

Do bees have funerals?





Sorry, Buddy.

Doodles, Everyday, Random


Triple Inception.


This is a tweet within a tweet within a blog post.

MSC1: Mirror Image


This semester I am taking Advanced Portfolio for the fourth time as a Directed Study. My professor decided to mix things up a bit and gave us an additional assignment for the Fall: I have to Make Something Cool (MSC) 30 times. Let the fun begin!

MSC1 by haleygate
MSC1, a photo by haleygate on Flickr.

I don’t know if this is necessarily “cool”, but I merged my twin sister’s and my faces to see what the composite would look like. It’s funny, but depending on which side I used, we look like different people. Actually, we look like two very different people. Maybe God decided to pull a John Travolta/Nicolas Cage and do a face-off. That’s fine with me, so long as Ali gets to be Nic…

A Not So Jolly Holiday

Random, Rant

Mary Poppins is a tease.

Has anyone else been thinking this? I mean, come on. Poor Bert. He’s the perfect guy and Mary steps all over him. He’s just trying to live an honest life with his one-man band, playing street corners and occasionally hitting up the night life at the rooftop clubs. All he wants is for Mary to notice him, but she takes his love for granted. Ms. Poppins’ blatant disregard for Bert’s feelings can be seen during their impromptu sidewalk chalk date when Bert expresses his adoration for her:

Bert says wonderfully romantic things to Mary–things any girl in her right mind would die for. He declares that Mary makes his heart feel light and the sun shine bright. All of creation blooms at the sound of her very name. When he holds her hand his heart nearly bursts from his chest! He’s in love and he doesn’t care who knows it! Bert is a true gentleman: he doesn’t pressure her to go to a bar and get wasted; instead he takes Mary out to a tea party in a magical chalk world and they ride ponies at the carnival and pet the animals at the petting zoo. He even choreographs a dance for her with penguins in cute matching outfits. What more could a girl ask for?

But no. Mary Poppins has Bert in the ultimate friend-zone. For someone who is practically perfect in every way she can certainly be a bit dense sometimes. Aside from the fact that Bert has no realistic prospects and they would most likely be dependent on the British government to support their future family, he is the perfect boyfriend. But, instead of giving him a chance, Mary shamelessly leads him on, calling him a true gentleman, a diamond in the rough, and an all-around “good guy” without any intention of dating him. She’s not even impressed when he takes her up to his chimney and shows her his sensitive side. On the rooftop he puts in a last-ditch effort to win her love by explaining that he may be on the bottom-most rung of life’s ladder, but he his proud of his trade and is a leader in his community (PLUS: the boy can dance!). Wake up, Mary! Love is a-knockin’! 

But no. Mary is not impressed. She flys away on her dingy old parasol, leaving him to wallow in his self-pity and soot. Ouch! Bert should have realized that playing the nice-guy card wouldn’t get him very far with Mary. Maybe he should have ditched the kids and the penguins and taken Mary to the pub instead. Maybe he should have taken advantage of her cheery disposition like many of the men in the world do. Maybe he should have given up his dreams of stardom and joined Mr. Bank’s bank so he could support Mary’s frivolous lifestyle. Or maybe Mary should have just realized that she could do far worse than Bert. I guess Mary is like all other girls out there: she won’t realize what she has until she loses it. And Bert moves on.

I see London; I see France.

Lists, Random

This post is dedicated to the wonder that is shorts under skirts. While the Skort reigns as the mullet of the clothing world–”party in the front, business in the back”–wearing shorts underneath a skirt offers the security of pants without sacrificing the pleasure of wearing your favorite flowy article of clothing. It’s like the second feminist revolution. Or a reversal of it. Either way, under-shorts (a word I have created to describe this phenomenon) provide a means to look cute and still get some serious work done.

Reasons Why I Wear Shorts Under My Dress/Skirts:

1. If I see a good tree I will climb it. I don’t care what I’m wearing.

2. The Wind wants to see you in your knickers.

3. Tights defy gravity. (This needs no explanation unless you are a man. In that case, ask a girl.)

4. Sitting “lady-like” is painful–my legs fall asleep if I keep them crossed too long.

5. Some dresses are not “breezy” or “airy”. It’s like an ice-storm down there.

6. As a child I feared little boys being able to see my undergarments. I never grew out of it.

In conclusion, if I am wearing a dress you can bet that I have shorts on underneath. Don’t believe me? I give you permission to lift my skirt. It’s amazing how freeing it is. The only downside is, although I am quite aware of protective qualities of my under-shorts, the rest of the world is typically unaware that I have adopted this practice. Thus, before offering to climb to the top of a ladder or performing any form of acrobatics, I have to warn the public that they are not about to be involved in an indecent exposure case otherwise people tend to freak out. The following statement resembles one that I have given many a time in the past:

“Excuse me people of the room, whom I may or may not know. I would like to announce to you that I in fact am wearing shorts underneath my dress. Please do not be alarmed if I carelessly leap across this table, perform a cartwheel, or scale this wall. There is no need to shield your eyes or get overly excited like the creepy guy in the corner over there. There is nothing to see. I just thought I should let you know before you assume that I have lost all self-respect in the effort to adopt a more free lifestyle. On the contrary, instead of shedding the regard I have for myself, I have in fact clothed myself with liberty in the form of an appropriately–and discretely–worn pair of shorts. You may now return to your game of bridge.”

After the public has been forewarned, I am free to do whatever I please. Thank you under-shorts, thank you.


Everyday, Random

I’ve got to get something off my chest. For the past year and a half I have been hiding something that defines my very being and holds the potential to end all of my close relationships. It is something I have been dealing with for a long time and will radically change how the world sees me. I refuse to pretend any longer, so here it goes:

I am a closet Canadian.

At first sight, I may seem like your typical American girl, but, look closer and you will find a moose-loving, igloo-building Eskimo. I long to traipse the snowy mountain hills of the glorious nation that forms our northern border. I dream of one day reuniting with my French brethren over a schmorgesborg of maple syrup-smothered waffles. I dare to hope that I might be honored with the title of officer in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. During the National Anthem, I sing “God Save the Queen” under my breath. There is a stash of flannel shirts hidden in my closet. When did I discovery my true identity? Let me start at the beginning:

My sophomore year of college I became very bored and thus decided to develop a Canadian accent — I still don’t understand how I had so much free time and why I thought that this would be a fabulous use of it, but you can’t change the past, so I guess that time is lost forever and I’m just going to have to appreciate the things I learned along the way. I spent the next several months painstakingly working on my pronunciation of words, emphasizing the emphasis on certain syllables, and learning some basic vocabulary (eh?). And I am now proud to say that I have achieved an effect that could pass as a Canadian who has been living happily in the States for the past 15 years. Entertaining? Yes. Useful if I ever audition for Mounties: The Musical? Definitely. But I didn’t realize that I had gotten lumberjack in my blood. Now, whenever I speak I risk letting my secret slip. I can’t control it! I’ll ask a question in class and it happens. When ordering at a restaurant, it happens. I can’t even talk to a friend without it jumping out from behind my throat. And that is when I discovered the truth: I must have unleashed my inner Canadian. It’s true, I don’t secretly hoard flannel or have a fetish for the maple leaf, but it seems that a little part of Canada has stuck with me: the accent.

Don’t believe me? Just ask me to say that I’m sorry.

What do you call a little mountain? A Mountie!

A Private Prayer

Ponderings, Random

I do a lot of praying in bathrooms. I just always find that the only time I have to be truly alone is when I’m in a bathroom stall. That’s when I finally have time to think, think and pray. Surrounded by four sturdy walls (metaphorically, since they are usually quite flimsy literally), I can finally seek solace from the noise of the day and slow down the circus in my head. No errands to run, no paper to write, nobody bothering you – that is, until the worst happens: you are forced to engage in a stall-to-stall bathroom conversation.

I’m not talking about the ever common “pass the toilet paper” exchange that is a necessary evil in the world of public hygiene practices. No, I mean the unsolicited (and usually meaningless) chatter that occurs between two unfamiliar people in a public bathroom facility. Now, I know everyone has experienced this phenomenon at least once in their life. You’re sitting there (or standing for the men out there), minding your own business, then, out of the blue, the person next to you gets the crazy idea that it would be a wonderfully opportune moment to talk to you. It doesn’t matter what the subject matter is, they just have the sudden urge to shoot the breeze. Do they know you? No. You they have a reason to know you? Not unless they enjoy meeting people whom they’ll never see again. Do you want to know them? Most certainly not. Although, under normal human circumstances such as an office party, luncheon, or park outing, you might enjoy meeting said individual, all that potential desire is deemed moot once you enter a public bathroom stall.

Of course, you go along with the conversation. We always feel the need to be polite and respond, despite the complete lack of politeness on the part of the initiator. So you painfully endure this human interaction that breaks through the private barriers of your public stall. No longer is it safe. No longer are you alone. You now share it with a detached voice that penetrates the walls and fills the space around you.

I often pray a lot in bathrooms. Most of the time, I pray that no one talks to me.

That blows.

Everyday, Random

I have decided that if I could be a force of nature I would be a wind tunnel. Forget the mere power of wind (which has been championed for years by Linka on Captain Planet), I believe the wind tunnel is vastly more powerful considering my past experiences with them. I have to pass through a wind tunnel to get to the campus rec center every morning when I go running and every Tuesday and Thursday night for dance practice. Every time it is a battle for my life – or at least my worldly possessions. I swear that I have lost a severe amount of skin cells on my face from passing through during winter storms. And don’t even get me started on rain storms. During torrential downpours you might as well forget about using your umbrella. In the wind tunnel the rain defies gravity and falls upwards, piercing the forcefield that was supposed to protect you and soaking everything regardless of umbrella coverage. I am sure that many an umbrella has fallen to the might of this very wind tunnel. Even when it’s not being helped by miniature monsoons, the wind can turn an umbrella inside-out without even flinching.

Right now, Dallas is experiencing some of the coldest weather in decades (or at least that I can remember). It is so cold that when I walked across campus this morning my hair froze. I like cold weather, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t like it when my fingers freeze through my gloves or when I can no longer feel my earlobes. But, I digress.

I mention this winter storm because it is what has cemented by belief in the power of wind and its partnership with walls, partitions, and other various wind-converging surfaces. That is because I now have to walk through Antarctica on my way to the gym. It is so cold that I lose feeling in my entire face and my legs start to tingle like when you wake up in the middle of the night to find that your limbs have fallen asleep. What’s worse is that when I finally make it to a safe haven of warmth, my whole body starts to burn like when you get into a hot tub after taking an ice bath. Today I seriously considered giving up halfway to my dorm and just crawling in a corner to die (of course I abandoned the idea once I realized that the walls were rounded and there were no corners). The journey felt like it an eternity, but I braved the pass and finally made it back to my building. I am frankly surprised that I have not developed some form of frostbite from my escapades.

All I know is that everyday I do battle with a force of nature so powerful that it renders me helpless regardless of weather or time of day. However, it might prove quite useful for flying a kite.