Stupid Things To Do With A Time Machine


Try To Fix Anything
Any true science fiction fan knows that the Butterfly Effect is some serious stuff. It basically means that even the smallest alteration you make in the past will ultimately affect the future in a very big way. So no fixing of the Liberty Bell. No fixing of past relationships. And no destruction of the first scripts for Star Wars Episodes I through III.

Find Your Parents
Sorry, McFly, but that would be a horrible idea. Not only do you risk potentially ruining any chance of your future existence, but you might see some things you don’t want to see…

Find Yourself
Rule #1 of time-traveling is never to find yourself. Although no one – to our knowledge – has ever traveled back in time and come face-to-face with their past or future self, most theoretical science assumes that you will undoubtedly explode (probably due to crossing frequencies or something.)

Visit Famous Disasters
One of my favorite b-movies is called Thrill Seekers, about a future where “tourists” can go back and visit famous disasters, escaping right before they would die. Cheesy? Yes. Epic? Heck yes. Enjoy the trailer below:

What I’ve gathered from the scores of times I’ve seen this film (no shame, no regrets) is that visiting famous disasters is probably the most stupid and risky thing you could ever do with a time-machine. Not to mention depressing.

Assassinate Anyone Other Than Hitler
Again, don’t change anything. It would be bad news bears for all of us. However,  when it comes to Hitler all bets are off. I know we’ve already discussed the Butterfly Effect and I’m well aware of the ramifications altering anything in the past could have for the future, but I’d be more than happy to take the blame for creating a world where Hitler was prevented from doing any of his heinous crimes.

Save Jesus
Think about it.

Redo Yesterday
There are two types of people in the world, those who like the movie Groundhog Day and those who have better sense. Not only does repeating your Yesterday sound completely repetitive, but it’s also impossible, seeing that you would run into the problem of mixing your past self with your future self. Plus, if you continuously visited Yesterday, you’d start creating multiple versions of yourself and over populate the world with duplicate yous. All readers with contrary opinions should consult my new favorite Wikipedia page on temporal paradox. And re-watch Groundhog Day.

Sneak A Peek At Tomorrow
Come on. Can’t you wait like 24 hours? That’s like wasting a wish on a new pack of gum.

Attend Your Funeral
Not only will you scare those in attendance, but who actually wants to know when, where, and how they die?

Witness The Last Day On Earth
Tempting? I think not. Again, who wants to know the when and where of something of that magnitude? Besides, I already know how the world ends:

Tell People About Your Time Machine
Are you crazy? Everyone would want to use it. What would happen if it got into the wrong hands? Anarchy! World war! Disappearing historical figures! Altered histories!

Don’t use your time machine. It’s too dangerous. You’d better just hide it. Or destroy it.

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Feb. 13, 2001


Below is an entry I made in my diary exactly twelve years ago today. I was eleven years old.


The first thing that I realized upon reading this (other than my poor spelling and grammar) was that this was written during the early days of the internet when it would crash for no apparent reason during the worst moments possible – namely in the middle of a very gripping Neopets game of Dice-A-Roo. It was also the point of my life when we only had one family computer. It lived in the hallway at the top of the stairs and its usage was on a very strict time schedule (we had to be fair, you know). This was a time before Google, when you had to ask a presumptuous butler to answer your random questions. A time when you had the dial-up tone memorized and your mailbox would greet you with “you’ve got mail.” A time when chatrooms were totally da bomb, you had to upgrade your AOL with a computer disk that came in the mail, and when not getting to be on the computer would ruin my day. And make me so, so, so mad. It was a simpler time.

It’s always weird for me to read my old journals. I think it’s because, although I can’t really remember what the weather was like or what clothes I was wearing, I can always remember how I felt at the moment I wrote an entry. Like some weird sixth sense connection I have with my past self.

I sometimes forget that little girl didn’t disappear. She’s been with me all along. She’s a little taller and a little bolder, but she’s still the same little girl who was afraid to grow up. The girl who loved climbing trees and making mud pies. The one who wanted so much to be appreciated for being herself. To have her schoolwork posted on the refrigerator and to be called upon by name. The little girl who, when everyone wanted to be models or mothers or princesses, had wanted to be a writer.

And look at her now.


A Poem from My Past


The following is a poem I wrote a little over a year ago on September 1, 2011. I very rarely post any of my poetry, partly because I fear people judging my work; mostly because I write them for me and I don’t think they really hold much meaning to people outside of my inner world. Every so often I go through my files and read my old writings, either to laugh at myself or to remember how I felt at the time. Sometimes, I feel as though my past self wrote them so that my future self would find one at just the right moment. This one stood out to me:


My heart is slowly breaking as I stand upon the shore,
These mistakes that you are making, I can’t take them anymore,
You say that you are seeking a new life that is your own,
But the life that you are living made you someone I don’t know.

I watch you float before me, holding on with all your might,
As the pillars that you cling to drag you slowing from the light,
You say that you are happy as you hold on to your strife,
But the waves are getting higher and they dare to take your life.

Your strength, at once admired, it has weakened, fading fast,
You are sinking, you are hopeless, and I fear you’ll breath your last,
The waves are fierce and mighty as they drag you out to sea,
The shoreline forms my chapel and I pray God will hear my plea:

I pray that you are happy, you are faithful, you are warm,
I pray that God protect you as you try to fare this storm,
I pray you find what you are seeking and you save what you have lost,
But I also pray the journey is worth far more than the cost.

As I kneel down in my chapel, a ray of light breaks through the gloom,
It fights its way through darkness and offers safety from this doom,
But distance grows between us, you get farther day by day,
And, hopelessly, I watch you as you slowly float away.

Dear 9-year old me:

Everyday, Lists, Ponderings

Dear 9-year old me,

Right now you are 22 years old and about to graduate from college–congrats! College is great by the way, you really enjoy it. Anyway, on the verge of your jettison into adulthood, I decided to write to you to give you some well-needed advice. Don’t worry, you’re not in trouble. There’s just some things that I think you should know that might have made these past 13 years a little different:

Wear dresses. In a few years you decide that you don’t want to wear anything remotely girly because the little boys won’t want to play with you. That’s just stupid. True, you end up with a bunch of really awesome guy friends in high school, but you miss out on a lot of key girl lessons that prevent you from really understanding girl-kind. Plus, people pick on you in high school for looking like a ragamuffin all the time. Believe it or not, the majority of your wardrobe in college is made up of dresses and skirts. Talk about irony.

Don’t dress your little brother up in dresses. It may be cute now, but you’ll pay for it later when he’s taller and stronger than you. (However, the picture of him in the tutu is still a family favorite so that one’s okay.)

Broccoli is really tasty. I’m serious, it’ll become one of your favorite foods. Actually, a lot of the foods that you think are gross end up being seriously delicious. Except for paté, stay away from that stuff.

Do more musicals. You’re good at them and meet some of your best friends doing them. When you get older you get so busy with other things that there isn’t time to do much theater. Besides, there is just a small window of opportunity to qualify for one of the Von Trapp kids…

Don’t be so shy. I know you don’t like to put yourself out there, but there are a lot of things you’ll miss out on because you’re afraid of making mistakes or what other people will think of you. You are an extremely bright little person with a lot of great ideas so share them. What’s the worse that can happen? I’m not going to tell you but it’s really not that bad.

Surprise! You’re an introvert. That means that you like to think… A LOT. This may not mean anything to you now, but you spend the majority of your youth thinking you’re an extrovert and that’s the reason why you get overwhelmed all the time. Oh, and there’s a difference between being shy and being introverted, so don’t use it as an excuse. It’s rare to find introverts who understand their extreme talents for introspection, so take advantage of it now.

Growing up is more fun than you think. I know you’re afraid of puberty and going to high school and having to act like a grown-up all the time, but you’ll change your mind. Yes, there are days when you miss making mud pies and playing dress up, but there are a lot of things to look forward to, like driving, wearing adult clothes, and getting to see whatever movie you want.

Don’t take your family for granted. I know you love your family now (you always will), but make sure to really cherish the moments you have with them and etch them into your memory. When you get older the memories of the times you are all together will become more valuable than you can imagine. Also, whatever happens, remember that it’s not your fault.

Be 9 years old. You’re just a kid, so try not to put so much pressure on yourself. If you’re not careful, you’ll spend your high school and early college years with an anxiety disorder because you think it’s up to you to keep the world turning. It’s not up to you to keep Mom and Dad happy or the family together or your friends from failing–that’s not your job and it will never be. Also, your future career doesn’t care what your GPA is, so you won’t need to worry about that too much.

Learn to love yourself. You try so hard to be perfect for everyone else that you forget to be the person God made you to be. Yes, you’re awkward, and no, that doesn’t go away, but you find friends who love you for it and wouldn’t change you for a thing. God will use your crazy ability to blurt out random facts and your disabling compassion and concern for others to do some truly amazing things. Stop comparing yourself to your sister, everyone else will do it enough for you. You are you. You are nerdy and bad at small-talk and socially-awkward and creative and talented and smart. Just watch out for your sophomore year of high school, because that awkwardness is inevitable and embarrassing…but you’ll live (consider burning all photo evidence, though).

Don’t regret anything. I don’t. You’ve done pretty well for yourself, kid. You got me where I am today and, although there were some cavernous bumps a long the way, I wouldn’t change any of it. You go through a lot in the next 13 years (gathering enough material to fill at least two seasons of an HBO miniseries), but know that you make it out alive and you learn from it all. Just keep doing what you’re doing now and everything will end up working the way God planned it to. God’s plan may not look like something you want to sign off on, but He takes you on an amazing ride that will change you for the better. He seems to know what He is doing.



A luxurious ideal.


I returned last night from a week-long mission trip in Haiti. It was a remarkable experience that I don’t think I could truly put into words. I didn’t realize how much I was affected by my time there until this morning when I went to the gym, trying to get back into my daily routine. Everything was back to normal, I woke up at the same time, ate the same breakfast, and made it to the gym as always, iPod in hand, ready with the same Workout Playlist I had listened to every morning. But, as I ran on the treadmill, I was completely caught off-guard and overwhelmed with a sense of injustice and disgust. The ten flat-screen TV screens ahead of me relayed shallow stories of pop culture, materialistic advertisements, and the ever-present issue of politics. As I watched a clip from one of Lady Gaga’s music videos I couldn’t help but think that while she reeks of ostentatious “glamour” there are hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children in Haiti (and other parts of the world for that matter) who couldn’t even dream up the images filling the screen. I looked around the room at those working off a few extra pounds or merely trying to stay in shape. The people of Haiti don’t have the luxury of needing to workout, let alone would they have the energy to do so. They are more concerned with gaining a few pounds than losing it. These observations may seem a bit blown out of proportion, but not if you really think about it.

There are so many things in our lives, possessions and obsessions, that are not only unnecessary, but flat-out luxury items. Most of what we do, what we own, and what we even think, is a luxury item. However, not all luxury items are wasteful or sopping with self-indulgence. I have come to realize that my love of writing is a luxury in its own right. The fact that I even get to pursue it, even as a hobby, is something that others may never have the means to enjoy. I’m not saying that passion is something to feel sorry about. What really grieves me is that the people who have the luxury of passion often take it for granted. So much is wasted because we perceive what we have as ordinary. We look in the mirror and think, “I’m average”, when we have unlimited resources within us that need only be tapped, resources that can be utilized to make the world a better place, or at least a little more bearable. I interacted with scores of children in Haiti and each and everyone of them holds the potential for something great. I touched future authors and artists. I held hands with the businessmen and ballet dancers of tomorrow, the politicians and patriarchs that could start a movement. Most will never be able to realize their potential because they don’t have the luxury of reaching it.

There has to be a way to extend their reach.