Monday, December 31, 2012

Last Post of 2012

Happy New Year's Eve, everybody!  Although, it's actually New Year's Day already in some places, so I hope you guys are enjoying 2013 so far.

I'm going over to my grandma's tonight to celebrate with her and my cousins.  It's kind of a tradition we have, and I'm really looking forward to it.  I don't see my family much while at college, so I'm probably even more excited about it than I have been in past years.

2012 was a big year for me since I graduated high school and started college.  I'm excited for 2013 though.  2013 is the year I finally get to go to a One Direction concert!  You have no idea how excited I am for that!  I'm also doing something new on my Youtube channel that may occasionally affect this blog too, but I'll talk about that if it ever does warrant a blog post.  (I filmed the first video for Youtube yesterday, but it'll be up tomorrow.)

It's hard to believe that this will be my last blog post for 2012.  I actually have a Youtube video from the 29th that I still have to edit and upload today.  I definitely want to get it up before it's 2013, but I don't know what time I'm going to my grandma's and who knows if I'd get it edited there.  We'll see what happens.

I hope you all enjoy your New Year's Eve, and that you all have had an awesome 2012!  I'm sure 2013 will be great!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sleep Problems

It doesn't feel like a Saturday.  I've settled into that point during school breaks where you have absolutely no idea what day of the week it is.  I keep getting confused.  Plus, I woke up fairly late today, and it feels like it should still be the morning, not the afternoon.

I watched How I Met Your Mother relatively soon after waking up.  I haven't really done anything else notable today other than write.  I'm pretty sure that it's going to be a really boring day.  I'll probably write some more, watch some Youtube videos, and read fanfiction.  I think that basically sums up how my day will go.

I've just felt really tired since coming home from school.  I have no idea what's going on.  I sleep way more than I do at school, but I feel tired all day.  I hate it, but I don't know what the problem is.  I set an alarm to get up in the morning, and I even had to set it on the other side of the room because otherwise I'd just turn it off in my sleep.  Still, I get up, turn it off, take it back to my bed, and I don't even remember laying back down and falling asleep.  It's crazy...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dogs, Sisters, and Books

This feels like the first day since Christmas Eve that everything is calm and not busy.  I guess yesterday was technically like that, but since I got a haircut, went shopping with my mom, and went out to eat with my family it felt really busy, and I didn't really have any free time.

Today I woke up to find one of our dogs in bed with me.  It was the first time he'd come to sleep with me since I'd been home (although I'd woken up to our other dog in bed with me a week or so ago).  That may seem like a really random and insignificant thing to point out, but our dogs tend to stay with my mom at night and only go to anyone else's beds when she's gone (which she was this morning for work), but I'm usually one of the last people they choose, so I appreciate when they deem me worthy, especially since I've missed them while at school.

My sister is currently fixing her hair in the bathroom attached to my room and singing very loudly.  She's been in there for about an hour taking a shower and everything.

I've pretty much done nothing all day except read.  I only need to read one more book this year in order to meet my reading goal on Goodreads, so I'm trying to get a lot of this book read today before I do anything else today.  In fact, I'm going to get back to readying it right now.  I'm almost to the halfway point!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Gifts vs. Family

This year was the first year that I didn't give my mom a Christmas list.  Usually I ask for books and movies and basically nothing else.  This year I figured that I had quite enough books that I have yet to read, so I refrained from asking for any.  (And I was definitely not surprised to get Amazon gift cards in place of books this year.)  I knew I was getting the Little Mix CD and the Take Me Home Target edition CD and a One Direction sweatshirt, but other than that I didn't have a clue what I was getting, and that was the first time that's ever happened.  Sure, I never got everything on my list, and my mom always got a few things that I hadn't asked for, but this was the first time that the majority of my presents were actually complete surprises. (Although after I opened up the Kindle case I remembered her mentioning that I might be getting one for Christmas.)

Lo and behold the majority of my gifts were clothes, which are nice, but not incredibly exciting as far as I'm concerned.  I got all of the Little House DVDs that I didn't own, so I now have the complete series, which I'm absolutely thrilled about (even though one case was torn up so my mom's going to see about returning it).

But the thing is:  this was the first year where I wasn't too incredibly concerned about presents.  This is going to sound cheesy, but this is the first year I can remember being far more excited about seeing family than getting gifts.  That's the main reason that I didn't bother giving my mom a list.  I know it's being away at college and the fact that I get homesick fairly often that caused it.  I guess homesickness is good for something.  I had a wonderful holiday seeing most of my family though.  I saw so many people that I hadn't seen since I went away to school in August (since my mom's family did Thanksgiving while I was gone because they love me so much).  It was a great Christmas, and now I have New Year's with my grandma and cousins to look forward to!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Book Review: The Order of Harry Potter by Colin Manlove

ISBN: 1936294052
ASIN:  B008MZR684
Published: November 2nd, 2010
Publisher: Winged Lion Press
Read from December 19th to 20th, 2012
Synopsis from Goodreads:
What makes the Harry Potter books so readable? Are they as Christian as is often said? Is Hogwarts real, or did Harry Potter dream his whole story? These are some of the questions explored by Colin Manlove in this dazzling new study, which looks at the Hogwarts books in terms of their readability, their literary value and their many meanings. Here you will find chapters on how much they owe to Christian fantasy and to alchemy; on what, compared to Enid Blyton's 'Fives' books, makes them page-turners; on the consequences of their interest in magic and imagination; on their love of change; and on the ordering of each book and the whole series through recurrent motifs and ideas. With these approaches, rather than simply selecting those few parts of the texts that support a theory, Colin Manlove is able to talk about everything in the Harry Potter books, from the smallest common room conversation in Gryffindor to the greatest struggles with Voldemort.
Review:

I feel kind of bad about posting a somewhat negative review on Christmas, but I honestly skimmed the last part of this book because I just didn't really like it.  It wasn't bad per se, but I just didn't have any interest in it.  The author spent a lot of time just comparing Harry Potter to other books, and this would have been fine to a certain extent of course, but it seemed to be all he did.  He spent a lot of time describing the other books and then just going through and pointing out similarities between Harry Potter and those books.  It was usually to point out something about the Harry Potter books, but it usually seemed to just become a comparison, and I honestly had no interest in reading those.

The parts of the book that I actually read in detail had a few interesting points, but like I said, most of it was just comparisons it seemed.  I feel as if most of it was spent describing the books he was comparing to Harry Potter to reader in case they hadn't read them.  Maybe that would have changed if I'd stuck with the book, but I just got so bored with it that I couldn't.

I don't really think this is a bad book.  It just isn't really a book I find enjoyable to read.  I'm sure it's a book that many others would find enjoyable though.  It just depends on what you enjoy reading.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Tired of Internet Drama

Today has seemed to drag on forever.  I spent a large part of the day reading as I'm determined to meet my reading goal for 2012.  (I have two more books to read.  I think I'll make it.)

Other than that I really didn't do all that much.  I wrote some and hope to get some more writing done in a bit.  I'm listening to HG Fireside Chat right now.  That's basically the extent of my day.

I don't know if I can blame PMSing or not, but the Internet just has really been getting on my nerves lately.  I'm used to dealing with drama in the One Direction, but it's been getting to me the past couple of days.  In addition, I seem to be dealing with a lot of crap online that has nothing to do with One Direction the past couple of days.  It's not as if stuff like this is new, but it's been coming quite a bit recently and I'm just not in the mood to deal with it.  It's probably a very good thing that I've been off Tumblr the past week or so (although Tumblr's one of the most drama free places), and I came incredibly close to getting off of Twitter for a long break earlier.  In the end, I just stepped away for a little bit and unfollowed some people who were creating drama.

I seem to have escaped drama for the last several hours though.  Now I'm just sitting here listening to HG Fireside Chat and scrolling through Twitter occasionally.

Two days until Christmas Eve!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

The World Didn't End

So today was the day that the world was supposed to end.  It was also the first day of winter, which I completely forgot until a couple of hours ago because of the whole apocalypse thing.

I didn't really do much today.  In fact, I've felt pretty horrible today.  I have allergies, so my head's been congested for months.  Today was the day that my allergies decided to really act up.  I've been sneezing all day long, and I have a horrible headache that medicine has only somewhat helped.  I just hope that I wake up feeling better tomorrow.

I managed to post another chapter of Life Lessons today.  Two updates in two days!  I also filmed a video today, but it probably won't be edited and uploaded for a day or two.  (I still have a video from yesterday to edit actually.)

I watched Naruto earlier, and I actually paused an episode of How I Met Your Mother in order to write this.  That's basically the only note-worthy things I've done today.  Although, I haven't been on Tumblr in two days, and before that I hadn't been on in three or four days.  I feel so disconnected from it, but I think the break's doing me good.  I'm getting other things done at least.

My mom just yelled to tell me that supper was ready, so I guess that's a sign to wrap up this post.  I'm going to go eat and finish this How I Met Your Mother episode.

Only three days until Christmas Eve!  At least I know I'll have something to do then.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Lazy Christmas Break

I always feel so lazy when I go home, especially since everyone else in the house has school or work.  My mom went to the store and tried to get me to go with her, but it was so early in the morning that I just didn't want to go.  Now I'm home alone with not much to do.

I'm listening to a Hunger Games podcast at the moment, and I spent the entire morning reading.  (I'm behind on my 2012 reading challenge on Goodreads, and I need to get caught up.)  That's probably what the rest of my day will be like.  I'll probably watch Little House after this podcast is over, and I plan on posting the next chapter of my Hunger Games fanfic later today.  That's basically it.

Only five days until Christmas!!!  Four until Christmas Eve!!!  At least that's something exciting to look forward to.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

First Impressions When You Have Social Anxiety

First impressions.  I'm horrible at them.  I've never really been secretive of the fact that I'm incredibly shy. (How can I be when I can't talk to people?)  But I don't think people who only know me over the Internet really understand what I'm like when I meet people face to face.  It's easier to be confident over the Internet.  I have the ability to edit this post as much as I want before I post it.  You don't have that ability in real life.  And it terrifies me.

I'm not even sure what it is.  In theory I could care less about what people think about me.  I don't hide the fact that I'm into nerdy things or worry about being judged for what I like.  But whenever I'm stuck in a social situation I suddenly fumble over my words, drop things, basically do anything possible to make the situation awkward.  I don't need to be officially diagnosed to tell you that I have social anxiety, so I guess I could excuse the whole thing because of that.  After all, disorders aren't necessarily rational.  My phobia of blood most certainly isn't.

Still, it tends to make life difficult, and I can't help but wish it would just go away.  I tend to adapt to social situations, and I'm able to get used to things after a while.  That leads to me feeling comfortable, and for a while I won't have many problems.  Then just out of the blue something happens that forces me out of my comfort zone socially, and it can screw with my anxiety for weeks.  And it's not rational at all, which means no one around me really understands, and that just leads to more problems.

When I did Hoosier Girl's State a year and a half ago, my roommate told me at the end that she'd thought I hated her when we first met.  She said that she eventually realized it was just shyness, and we became friends.  Still, the fact that she'd actually thought that bothered me a lot.  I don't like thinking that I make people think that.  I don't mean to come across as rude or mean or anything like that.  It's just that when I meet new people my body and brain tend to enter panic mood.  I have no idea how to handle it, which doesn't make sense considering I've probably met new people just as much as the last person.  My brain doesn't seem to realize that.  It basically shuts down, and I'm forced to try and operate without it.  This tends to lead to me doing things that seem awkward, weird, or outright rude to other people.  Often times I can't even force words out of my mouth.

Since most people can't possibly see what's going on in my head, they can't possibly understand that I'm basically unable to function because of the situation I've been thrust into.  Then, my brain realizes that it's not doing it's job, and that's when I tend to really start to panic.  No one ever realizes though because this is all happening in my head.  The only outward signs are my complete lack of social skills.  People don't know how much I'm panicking inside.

There's really no point to this post.  I don't have a solution to my problem.  Maybe I should go to a psychologist (believe me, I've thought about it).  Maybe I should just live with it like I have been.  The main reason I wrote this though wasn't because I'm trying to figure out how to solve this.  Honestly, what I wish most is that people would just understand.  I'm tired of people thinking I'm rude or that I just don't want to talk to them.  That's not true.  Almost every single time I do want to talk to the person.  I just can't.  My brain's not forming words, and I usually have trouble forcing anything out of my mouth.  I just wish people could understand that because no one ever seems to...

And there's my somewhat disjointed and depressing thoughts of the day that probably make no sense.  I don't even know what else to say.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Finally Home!

It's great being home finally!  I can't believe I get a month off of school!  I got home Thursday, and was exhausted.  I spent Friday doing nothing most of the day (and everyone else was at school or work), but I went out to eat at Red Lobster with my mom, grandma, and two of my aunts that night.  For some reason I was absolutely exhausted yesterday too, and right now it's two in the afternoon and I'm tired.  I think it's because I had to switch time zones when I came home.  It's only an hour difference, but I think it's affecting me.

I haven't really done much today other than watch Naruto and How I Met Your Mother.  Right now I've just been reading fanfiction.  Oh, and I managed to edit and upload a video that I filmed almost a week ago (finals kept me from editing).  I'm not really planning to do much today other than read and write.  I'm just so exciting when I'm home.  (Although I want to go see The Hobbit and see friends, but none of those plans are definite yet...)

Book Review: The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis

ISBN:  0064471098
Published: 1994 (first published 1953)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Read from December 2nd to 7th, 2012
Synopsis from Goodreads:

King Caspian has grown old and sad in the ten years since the disappearance of his only son. With time running out, Jill and Eustace embark on a perilous quest to find the Prince and bring back tranquility to the magical land of Narnia.
Review:

I really enjoyed this one.  It wasn't my favorite of the series, but it wasn't my least favorite either.  It seemed to go by really fast, but that definitely could have been because I've been reading longer books lately.  I like Jill, and it was interesting to see Eustace again and how much he's changed since the beginning of Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  I also liked Puddleglum.  It was interesting to see the giants and the whole world that was underground.

I don't really know what else to say about this one.  I liked it, but it was one of the least remarkable of the series for me.  I'm really looking forward to being done with the series though.  Only one more book to go!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

So Close to the End of Finals

My precalculus final was due today.  I'd been working on it for days (as it was a take home test), but I don't feel all that confident about it.  Some of the problems I just could not figure out.  It's turned in now though, so there's nothing I can do and stressing won't help.

Now I just have to get through my theology final tomorrow.  I'm not all that confident about it either, but I don't think it'll be as bad as the precalculus final.  I'd probably be more stressed out about if it weren't for the fact that I get to go home afterwards.  My roommate left today (lucky), so I have our room to myself now.  It's kind of weird because her side is much more emptier than normal.

I have the job of defrosting the fridge before I leave.  I should probably start that now since I have nothing in it, but I'm kind of scared I'll screw something up since I've never done that before.  I know what I'm supposed to do in theory, but I don't want to screw up and there be water everywhere.

I also have to turn in my rented textbooks and sell back one of the ones I bought tomorrow before I leave.  I'm not looking forward to that.  I've never done that before.  Does it take a long time?  I don't know if I should be expecting to be there for a while or if it will be quick.  Hopefully the later.

After all of that I'll get to go home though, and I'm incredibly excited!  I can't wait to be away from school for a month.  I haven't eaten decent food since Thanksgiving (except for a few trips to Subway).

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Book Review: Repotting Harry Potter by James W. Thomas

ASIN: B006N0B9NI
ISBN: 0982238525
Published: January 8th, 2009
Publisher: Winged Lion Press
Read from November 12th to December 1st, 2012
Synopsis from Goodreads:
A professor of literature for over thirty years, Dr. James W. Thomas takes us on a tour through the Potter books in order to enjoy them in different ways upon subsequent readings. Re-readers will be pleasantly surprised at what they may have missed in the books and at what secrets Rowling has hidden for us to uncover as we revisit these stories. The professor's informal and often lighthearted discussions focus on puns, humor, foreshadowing, literary allusions, narrative techniques, and other aspects of the Potter books that are hard-to-see on the hurried first or fifth reading. Dr. Thomas's brilliant but light touch proves that a "serious" reading of literature can be fun.
Review:

This is one of several book I got about Harry Potter when The Casual Vacancy came out because Amazon was offering them for free on the Kindle.  I downloaded all of the ones offered, and this was the first one I read.  (There was another one by the same author that I'm reading right now.)

I really enjoyed this book.  It's meant to be read and you're re-reading the Harry Potter books, but I started reading it at school and only had Deathly Hallows with me.  I figured that I'd read the books enough times that I basically have them memorized anyway, and I'd be fine reading this without them on hand.  I was pretty much right.  There were a few parts where I wished that I had the Harry Potter book with me, but overall I was fine without them.  If you're not as obsessed as me though, you'd probably prefer having the Potter books with you while reading this.

The book points out a lot of very neat things in the books, and a lot of them were things I'd never even thought about (which is crazy considering how much I think about Harry Potter).  It is a kind of book that will definitely appeal to some people more than others.  I'm an English major and writer, so of course talking about different literary elements is going to be interesting for me.  I love Harry Potter, and I love Jo's writing. Reading books like these help me with my own writing I think by pointing out how certain literary techniques are used in Harry Potter.

This is a great book for Harry Potter fans, but only if you enjoy going through and exploring all the different details of the book.  It's not the kind of thing everyone would enjoy.  I should say, that while it's focused around exploring Harry Potter kind of how you would if you were reading the books in an English class, the book never has a textbook feel to it.  It's a very informal and fun writing style.  I highly recommend the book if you're interested in that sort of thing.

Monday, December 10, 2012

First Day of Finals

Today's the first day of finals week, and it's amazingly gone by rather quickly.  This morning I had to go drop off my final portfolio for English.  It took less than five minutes, and then my entire morning was free.  I spent it studying for my history final that was later, working on my precalculus final, and reading fanfiction.

My history final was this afternoon, and I was surprised at how confident I felt about it.  There are a couple of questions that I wasn't entirely sure on, but as a whole there was nothing that really freaked me out.

I also posted a new chapter of Life Lessons.  Life Lessons is my Hunger Games fanfiction that's basically a collection of one-shots that take place about 25 years after Mockingjay.  There's a new character in the one I posted today, and he's the child of two characters from the book that haven't been in the fanfiction yet.  If you want to check it out, it would be really appreciated.

For the rest of the day I just plan to study for my theology final and read some Harry Potter fanfiction.  There's this Harry Potter fanfic that I've been reading for months, and I'm finally close to the end.  I hope to finish it soon (although probably not tonight).

Friday, December 7, 2012

Finals Stress

Today has been a long day.  I almost didn't write this post because I just don't really want to think about things.  It probably won't sound like much is going on, but the stress of finals has made every other little thing that happens seem a million times worse.  I'm just so stressed that I think I'm making myself feel sick.

Last night I dropped my phone in a bowl of ramen while eating dinner.  After a couple of really stressful hours I found out that it was in fact working for the most part, but certain things aren't working that make the phone really difficult to use.  For a while I was in a complete panic because I couldn't get a hold of people to tell them that my phone was broken even, but luckily it's working well enough that I can use it.  Now my only partly working phone is more of an annoyance than an actual full blown problem.

My precalculus teacher emailed us yesterday about making our final a take home test.  This sounds great because take home tests are always better, right?  Well, he uploaded the file and it's on a program I don't have on my laptop.  That's also more of an annoyance than an actual problem because I can go to the library and use the school computers.  What makes it a problem is that I have no idea how to use that program.  I'm going to have to learn how to use a completely new program, and that worries me since it's the final.  I'm worried the program will make me do worse since I don't really know how to use it.  There are all these different ways to enter formulas and stuff, and I have no idea how.

Other than that there have just been a bunch of small, really inconvenient things happening all day.  And the entire One Direction fandom still freaking out over Haylor is driving me insane with everything else.  I just want people to stop talking about it

Today was a "reading day," so we could study for finals.  I got very little studying done though.  Next week isn't completely packed with finals for me though, and I'm not really that worried about not studying today.  As long as I study tomorrow and Sunday I should be fine.  I'm sure this stress won't disappear until after my theology final on Thursday though.  However, then I have a month off of school, and I will be so unbelievably happy.

How I Met Your Mother First Half of Season 5 Review

As I've said before in countless places, the past two months or so I've been really behind on reviews.  I was (and still am) going to review one half of the season at a time, but I've watched past this point.  As always it's really hard for me to review TV shows because of the multiple episodes and it having been longer since I've watched the first episodes of the season and stuff.  It would be easier if I reviewed episode by episode I supposed, but that would be a ton of reviews and I'd get even further behind.  Instead, I'm just going to try and mention some things from the first twelve episodes of season five.

I loved Robin and Barney together.  They make an awesome couple, so I kind of hated when they broke up.    They story-line about them letting themselves go was funny I guess, but I also kind of thought it was overdone or something.  Maybe that was just me being bitter about it.

Another thing I noticed about Robin and Barney's relationship:  At first they say they're just going to pretend to be together in front of everyone, but by the next episode they both seem to have just accepted the fact that they're dating.  I don't know if I missed something or what.  Maybe other people didn't think it was a big deal.  I didn't care really, but I noticed it.

I really liked the whole Star Wars exhibit thing in the second episode since I'm a huge nerd, and then there were also the storm troopers in episode seven.  And I really appreciated the English degree joke in episode three as I'm an English major...  Another joke I loved was Lily's constant need to pee in episode five.  You have no idea how accurate that is to me.  I'm constantly getting teased about how often I pee.

This really has no point, but I just want to point it out considering I absolutely love the show Friends.  Monica and Ross' mom from Friends is the same actress who plays Lily's grandmother in the Thanksgiving episode.  Also, my sister used to watch Reba all the time and the older daughter from there (I don't remember her name) played Maggie in the tenth episode.

Another pretty random thought, Robin's laptop in the eleventh episode is so cool.  I want a laptop that looks like that.

And then in the twelfth episode (and the last one I'm reviewing) you have Rachel Bilson's character.  My friend Summer is a huge O.C. fan and made me watch some of it.  I don't know if she still does, but she used to love Rachel Bilson.  I think she's pretty cool too, I guess.  I'm not a huge fan of her character though, even though I know she's kind of important to the story.  The yellow umbrella is also in that episode.  Did I ever mention that my sister got a yellow umbrella for Christmas last year because of How I Met Your Mother?
 
I know that's really a bunch of completely random and disjointed thoughts, but I don't know what else to say.  I could point out more random things, but what's the point in that?  I enjoyed the episodes just like always.  I'm excited to watch the rest of season five.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Thoughts on Haylor

Today was just a normal day until after classes when I discovered the amount of drama currently happening in the One Direction fandom.  Sorry to everyone who's not a One Direction fandom, but I just have to mention it because it's basically ruined my day.

There are pictures of Harry leaving Taylor Swift's hotel this morning, and everyone's basically freaking out.  Now, to me it's so incredibly obvious that these pictures are staged for publicity.  Every single thing we've gotten about Haylor has been.  A huge amount of fans (and in a weird turn of fate both Larry and Elounor shippers) can see that.  But for some reason tons of people are freaking out over these pictures even though just yesterday they thought it was just publicity.  This is just like yesterday.  Why do they suddenly think it's different.  Even though I know it's all fake I'm just getting really upset because of all this fake crap happening.  I'm just really mad that they're doing this at all, and I hate watching people freak out about it online and worry about whether or not it's real.  I just want this to be over.  I'm praying that once they leave New York, Harry and Taylor won't come in contact with each other for a very long time.

Anyway...  Other than that nothing note-worthy has happened so far today.  I hate speech and theology earlier (my last theology class!), but nothing out of the ordinary happened in either class.  I've worked on some precalculus, and I'm getting ready to work on my English paper.  Other than that I suspect today will be pretty boring.  Unless I choose to get caught up in the Haylor drama going on right now...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Book Review: The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

ISBN:  0316228532
Published: September 27th, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Read from October 17th to November 12th, 2012
Synopsis from Goodreads:

A BIG NOVEL ABOUT A SMALL TOWN ...
When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.
Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty fa├žade is a town at war.
Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils ... Pagford is not what it first seems.
And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

Review:


Saturday, December 1, 2012

It's December!

It's the first day of December!  I can't believe there's only a month of 2012 left!  Only 25 days until Christmas (and possibly only 21 days left until the end of the world)!  Exciting!

One Direction had their first concert in a while last night, so of course there's tons of stuff going around Twitter and Tumblr about that.  I've spent a good part of my morning looking at that stuff.  In fact, all I've done so far today is sit on the computer and go to Subway for lunch.  It's still early though, and I have lots of homework to get done later today.  I'm not in the mood to write English papers, but I really have no choice...  Warning for any potential English majors: your finals don't just consist of tests like others.  I don't even want to imagine what finals will be like when I'm taking multiple English classes at once.

I'm going to go scroll through Tumblr and various other sites for a little while, although I really need to get to working on one of those papers soon...

Friday, November 30, 2012

Movie Review: A Warrior's Heart

Xenon Pictures
In theaters: December 2nd, 2011 (limited)
On DVD: February 7th, 2012
Rated PG
Directed by Michael F. Sears
Written by Martin Dugard
Synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes:
After his father's death, high school lacrosse star Conor Sullivan becomes self-destructive but through a new love interest and his passion for this sport, Conor discovers the warrior within himself. -- (C) Official Site
Review:

I honestly only wanted to see this being Ashley Greene and Kellan Lutz were in it.  I don't really like sports movies, although I thought it was cool that it was about lacrosse as that isn't a sport you usually see movies about.  The movie was okay and held my interest.  I definitely didn't hate it, but I wasn't really into it either.  I was just kind of neutral about it.

One thing I thought was cool was how they incorporated the Native American history of the game into the story.  Conor makes some derogatory comments about Native Americans at one point in the movie though.  He says it to his father's friend, who is Native American, and he's basically put in his place later.  I get that Conor was supposed to be really angry and dealing with a lot of emotional issues at that point in the movie, but the whole thing still kind of bothered me.  Yes, Conor's mad, but does he really have to become racist out of basically no where.  I don't know.  Maybe I'm overreacting, but I didn't like that.

Overall, it was an okay movie but not all that great.  It was just kind of a stereotypical movie.  Nothing surprising happens.

One More Month of 2012

I can't believe that today's the last day of November.  This year has flown by.  In just another month it'll be 2013.  I guess it makes sense that this year went so quickly for me considering I graduated high school and started college.  It was an eventful year.  I shouldn't be reminiscing yet though.  We still have another month.

I only had one class today: precalculus.  We also got our final assignment for the class.  I managed to get two problems done earlier, but I think that's all I'm doing of it today.  (They were long problems...)  I also managed to work on my English portfolio for a while earlier, so I think I'm done with homework for today.  I paused an episode of Little House on the Prairie to write this post, but I don't really have that much to write about.  I thought I could make a post a bit longer than this, but I think I'm going to have to end it here.  Today really hasn't been too eventful, and I don't really plan to do anything other than watch Little House and maybe a movie or something later.  The same way I spend most Friday nights.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Finals Are Almost Here

My life has basically been revolving around the fact that finals are the week after next.  It's reached the point where I don't really have any work in my classes except to study.  The only exception is that I have four papers to write for my English portfolio (I actually have them partially written at this point, so it's not four whole papers.), but that portfolio is my final.

I gave my final speech on Tuesday, so I'm basically done with that class.  I still have to go in order to watch the others give their speeches though, so that was my first class today.  One of the guys gave his speech on the electoral college just like I did.  I had actually had to cut stuff for time (if you don't remember my whole thing about not being able to get in the time limit), and he ended up making all of the arguments that I hadn't been able to fit in my speech, so that was kind of neat.

Theology was the same as always.  The only difference was that we had to fill out the professor evaluations.  He talked about heaven, hell, and the end of the world, which should have been an interesting topic, but I paid even less attention than normal.  I seriously try to hard to pay attention in that class, and it's extremely difficult.  I'm not looking forward to that final.

After classes, I went to go eat lunch in the dining hall for the first time in days and ran into Claire.  I hadn't talked to her (or her sister Jill for that matter) in a while, so it was nice eating lunch with her and talking a bit.

For the past half an hour or so I've been reading, but I think as soon as I get another chapter read I'm going to work on that English portfolio.  I can't wait to be done with it and finals.  Just two more weeks!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Movie Review: Life in a Day

National Geographic Entertainment
In theaters: July 24th, 2011 (limited)
On DVD: November 8th, 2011
Rated PG-13
Directed by Kevin Macdonald
Synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes:
The 24th July 2010.... 80,000 Lives.... 4,500 Hours of Footage... 2 Award winning Filmmakers..... Now one incredible motion picture event. What began life as a startling cinematic experiment becomes the must see movie experience of the Summer. Created entirely from footage uploaded by YouTube users, Life in a Day is a film first: exhilarating, moving and very, very funny... it is the story of our world. Told by us. -- (C) National Geographic

Review:

I first heard about this documentary when they were asking people to upload videos of their life on July 24th, 2010.  I'd planned to post something as well, but I didn't actually go through with it, as I figured others would have much more interesting days than me.  And I was more or less right about that.

I really enjoyed this documentary.  There are clips of people from all over the world, and you see so many different cultures.  Some people seem to have good days and some have bad days.  Some of the clips weren't quite as interesting as other, I thought, but overall I really enjoyed it.  A few times I even wanted to cry over certain things.  I few of the clips made me look away.  There were a couple of clips that involved birth (both human and animal), and there was a clip of a cow being slaughtered that really freaked me out even though I turned away from it.  (I'm not a vegetarian or anything, but blood freaks me out so much and it was so loud and everything.  That was probably the worst clip for me.)

I love the whole idea of this documentary.  All of the footage was shot by normal people all across the world, and it's so fascinating to watch this documentary and know that all of this happened to these people on the exact same day.  Some of it's heart-warming and some of it's heart-wrenching.  It was an amazing documentary though.  I'm really glad I watched it.

Final Speech and Dining Hall Food

It's only the second day of classes, and I'm exhausted.  I have no idea why.  I just felt about ready to collapse by the time I got done with classes today.  That doesn't mean it was a bad day though.  I'm just tired.

As I said yesterday, we began giving our final speeches in speech class today.  I hadn't been able to get my speech down to the time limit, so I was really hoping I wouldn't have to go today.  Well after there were no volunteers, my speech teacher asked me to go first.  So much for that.  I managed to only go about 20 seconds over the time limit though, which is about five minutes shorter than I was while practicing, and I got an A on the speech.  So I guess things worked out more than okay, and now I don't have to worry about that anymore.  I'm essentially done with that class except having to go watch everyone else give their own speeches.

The only other class I had today was theology, which is typically my most boring class.  The professor just lectures us the whole time, and it's probably the least interactive of my classes.  Most days I have trouble even staying awake.  Today was no different.  The professor talked about prayer and sacraments, and I feel as if most of it is stuff I've heard before.  That doesn't necessarily mean that I'll be able to remember it for the final, but it's hard to concentrate when you've heard the same thing in every religion class that you've had your whole life.

I ate lunch in my dorm today because I'm so sick and tired of the dining hall food.  The chili I microwaved was a million times better.  The other day some boy posted on my class' Facebook page that he apparently got sick after eating in our dining hall, and he went on a long rant about our food here.  While I've never gotten sick eating here, I have to agree that the food really sucks.  Just three more weeks, and I won't have to eat it for a month.

Now I have homework that I really need to get to.  I need to work on my final English portfolio, do some precalculus, look over our final study guide for history to see if I have any questions, and write a short paper for theology.  It sounds like a lot, but I'm working on bits each day, so it shouldn't take me too long.

Monday, November 26, 2012

English Scares and Over Long Speeches

Today was the first day of classes after fall break, and everything went pretty well.  I don't really enjoy precalculus, but class went all right today.  English went pretty good, but after class, I went to submit my paper and it went through the things that makes sure you don't plagiarize.  It told me that part of my paper was similar to another student's paper, and it ended up being this one phrase that was apparently similar.  I've only even read one other girl's paper in the class, and we wrote about different plays even.  I'm really worried about it now.  I don't even understand how one short phrase only used once got flagged, especially considering I didn't plagiarize at all.  Now I'm a bit paranoid about it.

We talked about the Rwandan genocide and watched part of a documentary in history today.  It's a historical even that I'm really interested in, so I enjoyed that class today, even though we got back our papers about the Communist Manifesto and I did pretty bad just like expected.

Tomorrow we start our final speeches in speech class.  Not everyone will go, but we don't know who will and who won't.  I really hope I don't end up going tomorrow because I haven't been able to say my speech within the time limit yet.  I'm prepared enough that I can do it if need be (and I tend to go quicker while in class anyway), but I really want more time so I can get it down to the time limit while practicing too.  We'll see.

I want to mention this here, since I haven't mentioned it on this blog.  I've written a Hunger Games fanfiction, and I'm currently posting it.  If you want to check it out, it's both here on fanfiction.net and here on my writing blog.  It's set about 25 years after Mockingjay.  I have three chapters up as of right now.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Naruto Shippuden Episodes 1-17 Review

I think these episodes are basically how far I got when I was watching Shippuden when it aired.  Then I decided that I was going to stop watching it until I'd gotten caught up with Naruto.  It's really nice to kind of have a story-line that's contributing to the plot as opposed to the filler I've been watching for months now.  I think I've been getting through the series faster now, and I'm not sure if that's just because I'm more into it now or I really am watching episodes faster.

I know quite a bit about what's going to happen later in the series, but even so these episodes are really well done.  I may not be worrying as much as I would be if I didn't know certain characters are definitely going to make it past this point, but I still get really into it when I watch it.

I should mention the first couple of episodes and everyone's reactions to Naruto being back.  I really loved that.  I'm a really sentimental person I guess, so stuff like that always makes me emotional.

I feel like I should mention the first scene of the first episode where you see Sasuke, but I really don't have much to say about it.  I'm excited to get to that part of the story though.

I love the sibling relationship that Gaara, Kankuro, and Temari have.  I really love Gaara's whole story-line.  He's probably one of my favorite characters.  (In fact, I would consider Gaara and Sasuke my favorite characters, which is a bit odd as I typicall don't like those kinds of characters.)

I also really like when the Akatsuki are in the show.  I think they're really great villians and the kind of characters that you kind of love to hate.  They're interesting and not boring or anything.  Plus, a lot of them really creep me out.

I don't think I really have much else to say about these episodes.  There's been some awesome fighting, but that's about it.  I can't wait to watch the coming episodes.  (I've actually watched through episode 20 at the moment.)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012!

I know it's pretty late in the day, but happy Thanksgiving to all the Americans (and happy Thursday to the rest of the world).

Today was just a small Thanksgiving dinner with my immediate family and my grandma.  My mom's family already got together while I was still at school, and my dad's family is getting together on Saturday.  It was nice though, and I made everyone listen to One Direction's new CD.  (My sister's a fan, and my grandma even admitted to liking their music, so I don't know if I can technically say "made" as if they were being held down against their will or something.)

I managed to get a good amount of homework done, even though I think I was kind of in a food coma while doing it and it took me quite a while.  I still have a good amount to do over the rest of break, and since I'm going to the circus with Ji tomorrow, have my dad's family Thanksgiving Saturday, and have to go back to school Sunday, I can only hope that I'll get it all done.

I've just been reading the past hour or so, and I think I'm going to go try and get some more reading done before I take a shower.  Hopefully the rest of Thanksgiving break will be fun, and homework won't take up too much of my time!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Fun Packages and Being Home

I'm writing this from home!  My mom picked me up from school yesterday, so I'm now home for Thanksgiving.  It's a short break, since I have to be back at school on Sunday, but I'm still really happy to be back.

I haven't done much since getting here.  Making the four hour drive to and from school always wears me out, so I felt like doing absolutely nothing once I got home yesterday.  I had a decent amount of energy for the first hour or so I was home.  I had packages to open, and I was beyond excited about them.  I now have my new One Direction CD, my signed John Green poster, my Cher Lloyd buttons (another thank you to the people who helped me win those), and my Finding Hogwarts DVD.  Fun fact about the Finding Hogwarts DVD: my name is in the credits because I was one of the first 200 to preorder and I'm in one of the special features of the DVD because of this video.  It was really exciting to watch that special feature and see myself.

After the initial excitement wore off, I was tired and couldn't force myself to do anything.  I literally sat on my bed and mindlessly scrolled through Tumblr for hours while my sister sat beside me chattering on about random things.  Usually I break up Tumblr time instead of sitting there forever, but it was the only thing I could make myself do.  I told myself I was definitely going to work on homework yesterday, but that didn't happen.  That just means I have more to do now.  I have to do a precalculus test, finish up my English paper, and finish my persuasive speech outline plus practice the speech.  I don't think it's actually that much work, but since I'm at home I'm worried that I'm going to have so much going on that I won't get it done.

It's lunch time now though, so I really need to go find something to eat.  Then, I think I'd better get some homework done.  Otherwise I'm really going to regret it later.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Movie Review: Skateland

Freestyles Releasing
In theaters: May 13th, 2011 (limited)
On DVD: August 30th, 2011
Directed by Anthony Burns
Rated PG-13
Synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes:
Skateland,set against the landscape of upstart malls, Jordache jeans and iconic hang outs,is as much a story about embracing who you are as it is about moving on. The personal drama marks the poignant transition of a group of high school friends into adulthood. Set in the early 1980s, in small town Texas, it is genuine, touching and candid snapshot of the lives of a close-knit group of friends who are confronted with the realities of the precarious world around them. The film revolves around a charismatic young skating rink manager named Ritchie Wheeler (Shiloh Fernandez), brother and sister Brent and Michelle Burkham (Heath Freeman, Ashley Greene) and the legendary, wise-cracking, Kenny Crawford (Taylor Handley) as their dreams and carefree lives start to fade into an uncertain future. -- (C) Freestyle Releasing
Review:

I'll be honest, the absolute only interest I had in this movie came from the fact that Ashley Greene is in it (which seems to be a trend for me lately, only watching movies because a certain actor or two is in them).  The synopsis didn't sound incredibly interesting, and none of the reviews made it sound all that great either.  Lo and behold, I didn't really like this movie.  I just wasn't interested by the plot or anything else.  It was also extremely predictable.  Normally that doesn't really bother me, but there's one part of the movie that I'm pretty sure is supposed to be shocking, but I knew it was going to happen way before it did.

I wouldn't say the movie was bad per se, but I wasn't really into it.  I was slightly bored, but it kept me interested enough that I didn't give up on watching it through to the end.  I just didn't find the plot that interesting, and I didn't really connect to any of the characters.  I could see how others might like this movie, but it wasn't that great to me.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Homework Makes Me Unproductive in Other Ways

For several days now I've been meaning to write a blog post, but by the time I finish homework I just don't feel like doing anything.  I've been putting off homework all day today, so I'm writing this now instead.

I've been listening to a Hunger Games podcast on and off since I woke up this morning.  I'm not even sure how it's taken that long.  Little things just keep happening to cause me to pause it.  I did stop to do some homework later, but I wasn't very productive.  I did a few precalculus problems and wrote a few paragraphs for an English paper.  Not much.  I still need to do quite a bit, and I plan on working on that as soon as I finish listening to this podcast.  It's playing as I write this post.

I also took a bit of time to write earlier, and I was more productive than I have been for at least a month.  I got a ton written.  It was great.  I'm hoping to get even more ton later as well.

The podcast is almost finished though, so I'm going to go study for history for a bit.  I have a quiz Monday!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Nearing the End of the Semester

Since it's getting somewhat late into the semester, we're starting work on all of our final speeches/papers/etc. in all of my classes.  We're basically in the planning stage of everything now, so I'm not swamped with work right now.  I just have tons of planning I'm doing right now for different things.

I have to start work on my persuasive (and final) speech today.  I had a tough time deciding on a topic, but I think I've finally got one after class today.

The only thing I've actually done today is go to classes.  I've only been back from classes long enough to finish up my precalculus homework and write this post.  I think a good portion of the rest of my day will be taken up by planning my speech and final portfolio for English.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Movie Review: Rango

Paramount Pictures
Released in theaters: March 4th, 2011
Released on DVD: July 15th, 2011
Directed by Gore Verbinski
Written by John Logan
Rated PG
Synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes:
Rango is a sheltered chameleon living as an ordinary family pet, while facing a major identity crisis. After all, how high can you aim when your whole purpose in life is to blend in? When Rango accidentally winds up in the gritty, gun-slinging town of Dirt - a lawless outpost populated by the desert's most wily and whimsical creatures - the less-than-courageous lizard suddenly finds he stands out. Welcomed as the last hope the town has been waiting for, new Sheriff Rango is forced to play his new role to the hilt... -- (C) Paramount
Review:

I have very mixed feelings about this movie.  The only reason I really wanted to see it was because Johnny Depp does the voice of the main character.  None of the trailers I'd seen looked all that interesting to me, but I decided to give it a chance anyway.  I think my feelings on Rango are the same as they are about Happy Feet.  I love both movies in some ways and hate them in others.  It's a bit hard to explain.  I've always loved Happy Feet, but I never really have a desire to watch it because, although I enjoy the movie as a whole, there are quite a few parts that bore me as well.  Rango was basically the same way.

Overall, I enjoyed Rango's story, but there were large parts of the movie where I got bored.  I didn't think it was bad though.  It's just not a movie that I'd probably watch over and over.  Watching it once was enough for me.  I thought the animation was absolutely beautiful though.  That was probably my favorite part of the whole movie.  The animation was fantastic.

Rango isn't your typical animated movie.  Like I said earlier, it kind of reminds me more of Happy Feet than anything else, even though the stories aren't really all that similar.  Something about the two movies just makes me think of the other.  Although I'll probably never actually want to watch Rango again, I did enjoy it overall, and I would recommend checking it out.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Oddly Warm Weather

I'm taking a break from watching an episode of Little House on the Prairie to write this post.  I don't even know why I'm bothering to write one, since nothing notable has happened today.  I listened to a podcast earlier, went to church, came back to my dorm, wrote a little bit, and now I'm watching Little House.  Oh, and I worked on precalculus and studied for a geography quiz in history somewhere in between that stuff too.  I think the rest of my day will be spent watching a movie and reading or something.  I don't plan on doing anything exciting.

I just want to comment on how awesome the weather has been the past couple of days though.  We have a high of seventy today.  It's been so warm and amazing.  It's apparently going to get cold again tomorrow, which makes me a bit sad.  I've really liked how warm it's been since Friday.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Non-Productive Saturday

Today has been an extremely lazy day.  I usually do laundry on Saturdays, but I decided to put that off today.  I also usually take out the trash, but I completely forgot to take it with me when I went to lunch.  (Let's hope I remember when I go eat dinner.)  So the only productive thing I've done all day is a few precalculus problems and writing a movie review on here. The rest of my day has consisted of watching Naruto and How I Met Your Mother, and, of course, sitting on Twitter and Tumblr.  Oh, and I also watched Youtube videos.  Now I'm going to go read some fanfiction...

Movie Review: No Strings Attached

Paramount Pictures
In theaters: January 21st, 2011
On DVD: May 10th, 2011
Directed by Ivan Reitman
Written by Elizabeth Meriwether
Rated R
Synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes:
In this comedy, Emma (Natalie Portman) and Adam (Ashton Kutcher) are life-long friends who almost ruin everything by having sex one morning. In order to protect their friendship, they make a pact to keep their relationship strictly "no strings attached." "No strings" means no jealousy, no expectations, no fighting, no flowers, no baby voices. It means they can do whatever they want, whenever they want, in whatever public place they want, as long as they don't fall in love. The questions become - Can you have sex without love getting in the way? And can their friendship survive? -- (C) Paramount
Review:

I'm way behind writing this review.  It's been almost a month since I watched No Strings Attached, so we'll see how this review goes...

I thought it was a cute movie, and I enjoyed it.  The only reason I really wanted to see it was because Natalie Portman is in it, and I thought she did a great job.  I'm not really an Ashton Kutcher fan, but I thought he was okay in here.  The movie was fun to watch, but it reallly wasn't all that great.  I'll probably never have any desire to watch it again, but it kept me entertained enough.

I wish I had more to say, but I can't remember too many details now as it's been so long since I watched it...

Friday, November 9, 2012

Book Review: The Emerald Talisman by Brenda Pandos

ASIN:  B003E35ZAA
Published: March 23rd, 2010
Publisher: Obsidian Mountain
Read from October 9th to 16th, 2012
Synopsis from Goodreads:

To be normal, sixteen-year-old Julia Parker would shed her empathic gift in a second. Life has been difficult since her mother's mysterious disappearance ten years earlier - an event she witnessed, but can't remember. Julia's situation becomes more complicated after a near death experience from a blood thirsty stalker. As high school students go missing it is clear there is a connection to her own experience--past and present. Someone has to stop the madness and a chance encounter with a creepy psychic foretells that only Julia is the key to stopping the madness, but it may require the life of the one she loves.
Readers who enjoyed Twilight, Vampire Diaries, Blue Bloods and The Morganville Vampires will enjoy The Emerald Talisman.
Review:


Canceled Classes, Donuts, and Little Mix

I'm really happy it's the weekend.  Plus, my English class was canceled today, so I only had precalculus.  Precalculus is my least favorite class, but our professor brought us donuts today, which made it infinitely better.  We've also began a new chapter that I understand way better than the stuff we were learning before, so I wasn't sitting there extremely lost the whole time like I sometimes do.

To make the day even better, it's unseasonably warm outside today.  I could probably get by without a jacket on outside right now, and that just makes me beyond happy.  I don't know how long this will last for, but I'm enjoying it while it's here.

Little Mix also released a new song today, which only adds to the awesomeness today.  I probably like the song less than "Wings" and "DNA," but it's still a great song in my opinion.

The only thing bringing me down at all is this headache that started about an hour ago.  It just keeps getting worse, so I'm probably going to end up taking some migraine medicine before too long.  I'm going to go watch some Little House on the Prairie though, and hopefully medicine won't be needed to get rid of this headache.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sleepy and Rainy Day

I've been incredibly tired today, and I have no idea why.  Sure I stayed up last night to see the election results and register for classes for next semester, but I was still in bed at the same time I normally am.  I have no idea why I've barely been able to stay awake today.

Compared to yesterday, today's been really quiet and uneventful.  I didn't have much homework, so I've been watching Naruto and How I Met Your Mother.  It's rainy outside, so the whole day has just felt pretty dreary.  It definitely hasn't been a bad day by any means, but I don't think the weather has helped how tired I feel.

Since not much has happened today, I really don't have anything else to say.  The most notable part of today was my history professor showing us pictures from her trip to Africa.  Most of the day has been pretty boring.  Now, I have an episode of How I Met Your Mother to finish watching...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election and French Films

It's been five days since I wrote a blog post.  I didn't realize how long it had been until I sat down to write this one.  Whoops.  Today's an exciting day though.  As I'm sure you know, today's election day in America.  It's almost the only thing I see on Twitter today.  (And if you're reading this, were able to vote, and chose not to vote, then I'm definitely judging you.)  Whereas the rest of Twitter and almost all of Tumblr is focused on One Direction.  I'm still not over hearing the whole new album yesterday.  I feel as if things have been pretty great in the One Direction fandom recently.  There was a bit of drama today because of the new Louis interview that came out, and what he apparently said about Larry shippers.  I think most people are just ignoring it though.  It's not as if things like that haven't happened before.  For me personally, I definitely don't like it, but it doesn't bother me anymore.

I spent almost all of my time today where I wasn't in class or doing homework watching a French film I found on Netflix.  I'm sure I'll get around to writing or filming a review of it eventually, but I enjoyed it.  It's interesting how different French films are from American films.  (I'm saying that after only seeing two that I can remember in my life though.)

The rest of my night should be interesting.  At midnight I'll be able to register for classes for next semester, and hopefully I'll get all of the classes I want without any problems.  There's also the election results.  They're saying that we probably won't know a winner until tomorrow, but I'm going to try and keep an eye on them tonight anyway.  This election is so close that I've been feeling a bit stressed about it all day.  I get overly excited about a lot of things, and I worry about things just as much, so I'm really anxious to see who will end up being our president for the next four years.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

All Saints Day and My Last 1st Year Experience Class

Today has been a somewhat eventful day as far as Thursdays usually go.  My speech class was the same as usual, but I didn't have theology class because there was an all campus mass during that time.  Since I go to a Catholic university, there are occasionally masses during the day where all classes and meetings are cancelled  so we can go if we want.  Today's was for All Saints' Day since it's a holy day of obligation.  So instead of going to theology class I went to mass.  It was the most crowded I've ever seen the chapel here on campus.

After mass and a really quick lunch, I had my last first year experience class.  I really liked the people in that class, so I'm somewhat sad it's ending.  I'm happy that I'll always be able to eat lunch a bit earlier now though.  We never really did much in there.  It was just meant as a way to help freshmen adjust to their first year of college.  We had fun a lot of the time though.

Since then I've been procrastinating on homework.  I'm on Tumblr for the first time in days, so I'm finding it difficult to focus on anything else.  I did manage to write some of my history paper, but I still have a decent amount of homework to do.  It shouldn't be a problem though.  I'll get it done.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lots and Lots of Wind

We had a wind advisory all day today.  Of course it's nowhere near as bad here in Indy as it is in New York and other places on the east coast, but it wasn't fun to walk around campus today either.  Since I had a test in theology today I got out early and had to make an extra trip back to the dorm through the wind, but luckily, it wasn't too bad at that time.  I'm hoping things will be better tomorrow, but I think we're supposed to get more rain.  I think the wind advisory just ended a little bit ago, but I can still hear the wind going outside.

I had to give my final presentation in first year experience today.  It wasn't meant to be that hard, so it was all over in a minute or two.  I almost tripped over cords in front of the whole class though.  Also, I remembered why I hated making presentations on OpenOffice and then presenting on PowerPoint.  My presentation ended up being just text on a plain white background, but at least the text was there and the teachers didn't care at all.

Right now I'm sitting in the dark while my roommate watches a scary movie with a friend.  I hate scary movies, but I'm doing a pretty good job about ignoring this one.  I shouldn't get any nightmares tonight.  I've been using fanfiction to distract myself, and it's been working pretty well.  I'm almost done reading one, so I'm going to try and finish reading it right now.

Movie Review: Hotel Transylvania

Sony Pictures
Released in theaters: September 28th, 2012
Rated PG
Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky
Synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes:
Welcome to the Hotel Transylvania, Dracula's (Adam Sandler) lavish five-stake resort, where monsters and their families can live it up, free to be the monsters they are without humans to bother them. On one special weekend, Dracula has invited some of the world's most famous monsters--Frankenstein and his bride, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, a family of werewolves, and more--to celebrate his daughter Mavis's 118th birthday. For Drac, catering to all of these legendary monsters is no problem--but his world could come crashing down when one ordinary guy stumbles on the hotel and takes a shine to Mavis. -- (C) Sony
Review:

I went to see Hotel Transylvania with my friend Haley and her mom when I was home for fall break, and I loved the movie.  It doesn't seem to be getting that good of reviews, and I don't really understand why.  I thought it was a really cute and enjoyable movie.  It's definitely not an incredibly deep, moving movie or anything, but it's definitely fun and entertaining.

It may be a bit on the childish side at times, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing.  I recommend seeing it if you're okay with that sort of thing.  I enjoyed it enough that I'll probably buy it on DVD at some point but not enough that I'll want to get it immediately or anything.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Movie Review: Welcome to the Rileys

Samuel Goldwyn Films/Destination Films
Released in theaters: October 29th, 2010 (Exactly two years ago today!  I didn't plan that.)
Released on DVD: February 1st, 2011
Rated R
Directed by Jake Scott
Synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes:
WELCOME TO THE RILEYS is a powerful drama about finding hope in the most unusual of places. Once a happily married and loving couple, Doug and Lois Riley (James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo) have grown apart since losing their teenage daughter eight years prior. Leaving his agoraphobic wife behind to go on a business trip to New Orleans, Doug meets a 17-year-old runaway (Kristen Stewart) and the two form a platonic bond. For Lois and Doug, what initially appears to be the final straw that will derail their relationship, turns out to be the inspiration they need to renew their marriage. -- (C) Samuel Goldwyn
Review:

I'm way behind on this.  I watched Welcome to the Rileys almost a month ago, which makes it really hard to write about it.  I enjoyed the movie, but I can't think of many specific things to talk about.  I really like Kristen Stewart's performance, and all of the other actors as well.  I liked that the movie partly took place in Indianapolis, since that's where I'm going to school.  (And I've always thought it was cool when something takes place in Indiana, since nothing seems to happen here.)

It is rated R, and it's definitely not a movie for everyone.  I enjoyed it though.  It was very interesting.  I just wish it was fresh enough in my mind that I could say more.

Sleep, Plays, and the Communist Manifesto

I probably shouldn't be writing this when I've gotten so little homework done today.  I'm not even entirely sure why that is.  One Direction's new single, "Little Things," came out today, and sure, I've listened to it plenty of times, but I think that's only a small part of my procrastination.  I'm just distracted today.  I think it's lack of sleep mostly.  My roommate's sick, and I woke up in the middle of the night last night to her having a coughing fit.  I was awake for at least half an hour (probably longer but I didn't look at a clock) because of that.  It's not her fault, of course, but I'm tired and having trouble focusing today.  I zoned out in history today, which is my favorite class, and I've never done that before.

It's a wonder that I even made it to precalculus on time this morning.  I can barely remember getting ready this morning because I was just kind of doing everything on auto-pilot, not really awake.  Luckily, I was able to pay enough attention in class that I know what's going on in the lesson and stuff.

We started on drama in English today and read our first play.  I'm looking forward to reading plays.  The only plays we ever studied in my high school English classes were Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, and Macbeth) and The Crucible, but we ran out of time and didn't even read The Crucible.  We just watched the movie.  So I'm excited to read plays that aren't Shakespeare.  (In school at least.  I read plays on my own on a fairly frequent basis.)  Actually, now that I think about it, we were assigned The Raisin in the Sun as summer reading one year too...

We discussed the Communist Manifesto in history class today, which led to some interesting discussions.  (Although, as I already said, I zoned out a lot.)  There was one really awkward part where this guy challenged something the teacher said about the middle class.  Then, he basically said that only liberals skew the facts, not conservatives, and he refused to back down about it when the teacher said that both sides definitely skewed the facts in their favor.  The whole thing was really awkward to listen to, and the guy is seriously deluded if he thinks conservatives never manipulate things to be in their favor.

I have managed to get about half of the work done that I need to do today.  I need to work on precalculus a bit and study for the test we're having tomorrow.  I also want to write the drama journal we were assigned for English tonight if I can find the time.  We're having a hall event tonight, but I may skip it if I need to get work done.  It's funny, but I seem to be getting more awake as it gets later.  All we're doing at the event is making collages for our doors anyway, but I'll probably get guilted into it if hardly anyone else goes.  At least homework is a valid excuse to not go.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Family Weekend

This weekend was family weekend at my college, so my mom, brother, and grandma drove up to Indianapolis to see me.  We ate breakfast in this old mansion on campus that was the original building in the school and now has offices.  (It used to be owned by one of the founders of the Indy Motor Speedway too, and is on the national register for historic places.  It's an awesome building.)

After we ate and listened to the university president talk, we went hiking in the Ecolab that's here on campus.    I was pretty impressed at my ability to find things that I had only seen once before.  I ended up finding the creek because I could hear running water, and I just followed the sound.  I was pretty impressed with myself.  Maybe I'd do better in the Hunger Games then I originally thought.

After the hike and going out for lunch, we went to the Indianapolis Museum of Art.  I'm honestly not incredibly into art, but I enjoyed to museum.  There were a lot of awesome things in their.  By the time we reached the modern art, my mom and grandma sat down to rest and just let my brother and me go through the gallery.  We kind of ended up laughing at everything.  I feel kind of bad that I can't appreciate that kind of art, but one thing was seriously yarn.  I don't understand.  (Here it is on the website.)  Overall, it was fun though.

As for today, I've done almost nothing other than go to church this morning.  I've worked on some homework, but I'm getting pretty far ahead on my homework and only have stuff that isn't due for a while.  I plan on going over my theology paper for any mistakes.  I'm basically done with it, and it's not due until Thursday.  At the moment I'm listening to a Hunger Games podcast while writing this, and I'm going to spend some time on Tumblr once I'm done with this.  I really love Sundays like this.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Homework and Sad Fanfic

It's a bit odd.  This entire week seemed to be dragging on, but now that it's Friday, it actually feels as if it went rather quickly.

Last night we had little kids trick-or-treating in our residence halls because of some event they had for alumni.  I didn't really do much.  My roommate Katie got pretty into it.  She had on a fancy princess-like dress and sat outside our door giving out candy.  (Our hall was princess themed.)  On the other hand, I was inside our room trying to get homework done.  It wasn't easy with all the noise, but I managed.

I have two papers due next week, and I just finished one of them before writing this.  I only have a little, tiny bit to write of the other one, and it isn't due until Thursday.  It shouldn't take too long.  In addition to that, I have to study for a Africa geography quiz, read the Communist Manifesto, study for a theology quiz, and work on my final project for first-year experience.  It should really be all that hard, but this weekend is also family weekend.  My family's not staying for Sunday though, so I should at least have that day to work.  I've been working on/studying this stuff for most of last week as well, so it's not like I have to do all of it this weekend.  Most of it is half done at the very least.  I should be fine.

I'm going to go finish up this sad One Direction fanfic that I'm reading.  I only have a couple of short chapters left, and I want to get through it quickly.  The cleaning lady in our residence hall was vacuuming right outside our door while I sat in my room with the door open trying not to cry over this fanfic.  (I would have closed the door except she was right there, and I didn't want her to think I was doing it because she was annoying me or something.)  Living in a dorm is great...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Homework and Trick-or-Treating

I feel as if I've been sitting in my dorm forever this afternoon, but in reality it hasn't been more than a few hours.  I have quite a bit of homework still to do.  Tonight is also the night that alumni brings their kids to come trick-or-treating in the residence halls, but I'm not really sure how that works.  I was just talking to my roommate Katie about it, and she said she really has no idea either.  We never really got told specifics other than that we didn't have to get candy because the college took care of that.  I guess we'll just go with whatever happens.  I just hope I'm able to get my homework done with whatever happens.  I may end up eating in the room though because I've heard different times when it starts, and I'm not sure if we're supposed to be here the whole time or if it really matters.

That's pretty much the rest of my day though: homework and the trick-or-treating thing.  In fact, I'm off to write my theology paper now.  Hopefully I can get quite a bit of homework done in the next hour or so.

Book Review: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

ISBN: 0064471071
Published: 1994 (first published 1952)
Publisher: HarperTrophy
Read from October 4th to 8th, 2012
Synopsis from Goodreads:

Narnia...the world of wicked dragons and magic spells, where the very best is brought out of even the worst people, where anything can happen (and most often does)...and where the adventure begins.
The Dawn Treader is the first ship Narnia has seen in centuries. King Caspian has built it for his voyage to find the seven lords, good men whom his evil uncle Miraz banished when he usurped the throne. The journey takes Edmund, Lucy, and their cousin Eustace to the Eastern Islands, beyond the Silver Sea, toward Aslan's country at the End of the World.
Review:

It's been a while since I read this one, so I don't really have a whole lot to say.  I should have gotten around to writing the review earlier.

I did enjoy it, just as I have all of the other Chronicles of Narnia books.  Eustace was a very annoying character, but that was the point.  He grew on me a bit at the end.  Speaking of the end, I actually found the ending a little sad.  I found Aslan's little speech a bit cheesy, but not unberably so.  I think that's the most overtly Christian aspect of any of the books so far, and I saw a review or two speak negatively about it.  What do they expect though?  The entire series is a Christian allegory.  I will put that warning there though for anyone who isn't Christian.  There's really no way to explain away what Aslan says other than him being God, so it's the most obvious allusion in the entire series up to this point.

The book seemed to go by quickly, which I wasn't expecting since the entire book is about a voyage.  Boat trips seem to drag on, but they stop at enough different islands that the book really felt like a bunch of interconnected short stories.  Different things happened at each island, and every island tended to be interesting.  I really enjoyed that aspect of the story.

I only have two more Chronicle of Narnia books left to read!  Hopefully I get to them soon!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Advisors and Language Placement Tests

Today has been a long day.  I felt way more tired in my precalculus class than I normally do, and I have no idea why.  Staying awake was difficult, but I managed.  The lesson actually seemed a bit easier than normal, so I'm incredibly happy about that.  I may end up getting a tutor for that class.  My advisor told me that if I'm even considering it then I should, but if it's getting easier...  Still, the final is cumulative, so I probably should.

We spent English class revising our fiction mini-portfolios and making comments on each other's.  I need to go down to the writing center sometime in the next couple of days to get help on the paper from them, since it's required sometime this semester.  The paper is turning out to be much easier than I expected though.

I didn't get nearly enough done as I had hope during my long break between classes today.  I did manage to write more of my English paper and do precalculus though.  I also began watching a documentary on William and Kate.  I haven't even finished that though.  I only have five minutes left, but I keep doing other things.

We talked about imperialism in Africa in history today.  We also got out early, which was actually a bit inconvenient for me because then I had to sit around and wait until my advisor appointment.  The appointment went well though.  My advisor was really impressed because I was the first freshman to come in and already have a schedule for next semester worked out.  All she had to do was look it over and make sure I was taking the classes I need to take.  I was, so she just signed off on them.  I still have to see my other advisor and get her to sign off on them.  I just made an appointment with her for next week.

Right after my advisor appointment I had to go down to the language lab to take the language placement test.  I got all of the questions wrong, so I have to take a 101 class.  I took the test in Spanish, since that's the language I took in high school, but since I tested into the entry level class, I can take any language I want.  I'm seriously considering taking German.  That's the language I wanted to take in high school, but they stopped offering it my freshmen year.

Now I'm finally back to the dorm, and I have nothing else to do today.  I'm really glad because my head's been killing me for most of the day.  I think I'm going to finish up watching that documentary and then get some more homework done.  Hopefully the headache will go away soon if I'm not doing much.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I'm Procrastinating

I have quite a bit of homework.  Not enough that I'm overwhelmed or anything, but it's enough to keep me pretty busy.  History club is having a movie night right now, and I'm missing it in order to work on homework, but instead I just keep procrastinating.  I've been on Tumblr, watching Little House on the Prairie, watching Starkid, and, or course, writing this post.  I really need to focus and get my work done.  I don't even know why I'm bothering to write a blog post that's basically just convincing me to do something else...

Classes went well today, although nothing noteworthy happened.  Since classes ended I've just been either working on homework or procrastinating on doing homework.  I really need to at least work on my first draft of my English paper since we're going over it in class tomorrow.  That's the only thing that I absolutely need to do tonight, but there are several other things I need to at least work on a bit.  I think I've sufficiently talked myself into doing work now, so maybe I'll actually get stuff done!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Football Games and Homework

I plan on having a very lazy Saturday.  I guess it can't be too incredibly lazy since I spent the whole morning doing laundry, but for the rest of the day I plan to just sit around the dorm room.  I do have a decent amount of homework I need to work on though, so I guess I'm using the word lazy figuratively.

There's a football game happening right now, and since my dorm is right next to the football field, I'm hearing everything even though I'm not actually there.  I've yet to go to a football game.  I really should, but it seems like the weekends with home games are the ones where I have the most homework.  For example, this weekend I have a theology paper to work on and a precalculus exam that I have to turn in on Monday.  In fact, I'm going to get some writing done, and then I'm going to go work on my precalculus.  I have a feeling it'll take forever...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Rain and a Movie

This week pretty much flew by thanks to fall break being earlier this week.  It doesn't feel like it should be Friday at all, but I'm happy for the weekend anyway.  Both of my classes today went well, and even though it's been raining today, I managed to only get caught outside when it was sprinkling.

We have a test for precalculus that we have to take over the weekend, so I spent quite a long time working on it earlier.  I'm only about a third done, but I'm going to do the rest on Saturday and Sunday.

Pretty much the only thing I've done other than class and homework today is watch Little House on the Prairie and a movie.  I'm in the middle of watching No Strings Attached right now.  I'm going to get back to watching that now too because it'll take me hours to finish it otherwise!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ecolab Hike and Other Things

Why is it that my allergies have consistently gotten worse the past few days, and not even taking allergy medicine is helping?  I have a horrible headache yet again today because of all the congestion even though I took medicine earlier.  I'm trying to ignore it though, and luckily the rest of my day has been good.

In my public speaking class earlier today we had individual meetings with the teacher.  During mine he said that he was really impressed with my last speech (which surprises me), and I found out that my mid-term grade is an A-.  I'm kind of shocked that I'm doing that well in public speaking of all things.  He did say that my only problem was my voice level, but he said he knew I was soft-spoken, so he wasn't holding that against me when he graded me.  I'm thankful for that because I think most people probably would have.

Theology was the same as always.  It was just a long lecture that I had to struggle not to fall asleep during.  I can't even think about what he was talking about.  He goes over several different things each class, and they're all hard to explain.

My first year experience class was fun.  We went and explored the Ecolab.  I'd been in there before but only a small part of it.  It's much bigger than I thought it was before.  It's a really cool place to hike and stuff.  We explored these old building that used to be bath houses.  (There's a mansion near the Ecolab that the family who owned the land and had the bath houses used to live in.)  It's a really nice place, and it was really pretty since it's fall.  I almost tripped over branches more times than I'm willing to admit, but I had a fun time.  It's really cool that we have something like that on campus.

I've done nothing but read a play since the Ecolab hike.  I have homework but not too much of it, so I'm not too worried about waiting so long to do it.  In fact, I'm going to go put it off even longer and go work on one of the fanfictions I'm writing.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

(Comic) Book Review: A:TLA The Promise Part 3

ISBN: 1595829415
Published: October 9th, 2012
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Read on October 14th, 2012
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Avatar: The Last Airbender creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko bring The Promise to its explosive conclusion The Harmony Restoration Movement has failed, and the four nations are plunged back into war In the midst of the battle, can Aang and Fire Lord Zuko mend the rift between them, or will Aang be forced to take actions that cant be undone? Written by Eisner winner and National Book Award nominee Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese) and drawn by Gurihiru (Thor and the Warriors Four), this is the adventure Avatar fans have been craving.
Review:

I have no idea where to even start.  I will say that it's good I'm not doing a video review for this because I would start rambling and never stop.

I know a lot of people haven't been too thrilled with The Promise from the beginning, and this (the last one of this storyline/arc/whatever) just made everyone hate it more I think.  I wasn't very happy with it either.  I appreciate what their trying to do with this story, but I don't think they pulled it off very well.  The idea of exploring the "new" world after the war (and the founding of Republic City) and how the different cultures are now coming together is very intriguing, and it's a storyline that I'm really interested it.  I just don't really like how they're going about it in here.  There's not even specific things I can pinpoint in this one (I think I did that in my review of part two though), but it's just not that great.

Now, onto spoilery things.

Let's start off with the thing that upset me more than anything else.  They have this huge scene with Mai breaking up with Zuko at the end of part two, and now she's not even in part three!?  You can't do that to me.  If you watch my review of part two, you see me freak out over that, and then there's no resolution in part three.  Mai's not even mentioned.  I know there are other things going on, but seriously?  Then, there's another hint of something between Suki and Zuko (which I mentioned before too)  which causes even Sokka to get this weird look when Suki starts talking about Zuko being "lonely."  If they go any farther than that in The Search (the next storyline they're doing) then I may just give up on these comics.  I can't read that.  First they break up Maiko, and then they make stuff happen between Suki and Zuko?  No.  (And I'm saying that as a Tokka shipper.)

I did appreciate them reuniting Suki with Sokka and Toph though because, as awesome as Sokka and Toph together was, it did make me think about the finale.  It was cute.  At one point Suki says, "It's dark down here," or something like that, just like Sokka did during Day of Black Sun to which Sokka shushes her because "Toph's sensitive to those kinds of things" (paraphrased), and I'm not sure whether I thought that was funny or just random.  Actually, that basically sums up a lot of my feelings about the comic.

I just don't even know how I feel about this comic.  It's definitely not incredibly positive, but I still manage to find a few things that make me like it a bit.  I'm going to read The Search, but I'm not incredibly excited for it, and that's saying something considering I've been waiting who know's how long to find out about Zuko's search for Ursa.

Advisors and Schedules

The first day of classes after fall break is going well so far, although it's only about half over at the moment.  My precalculus professor is away at a conference, so there's a junior mathematics major (and secondary education minor) teaching us.  You'd think that would make things more difficult, but she's actually really good at teaching.  In fact, I'm willing to say she's better than our actual professor.  We've only had her one day though, so who knows if she would be all the time.  She's teaching us again on Friday though.

We went over questions about the fiction mini-portfolio we have to write in English, so it wasn't a very eventful class.  We discussed some things about a few of the stories we've read, and that was basically it.

I spent about an hour today going over my major and minors' requirements and the class schedule for next semester to try and decide what classes I want to take in the spring.  I think I have a pretty good idea, and I even wrote down a possible schedule (if it works out) that I can take when I meet with my advisors.  I already have a meeting set up with my secondary education advisor, but I need to make one with my English (I guess she's technically my main one since the other advisor is for all secondary ed minors and this advisor was the one I was assigned by the school) advisor.  I'm not sure how my other advisor wants us to set up meetings about schedules.  I don't know if we're supposed to just contact her or what.  The other advisor told us how to schedule appointments.  I need to get that figured out.

I still have one more class today, and there's an International Club meeting later today.  Speaking of clubs, I haven't heard anything about History Club in a while.  I don't know if they haven't been having meetings, or if they have and I've just been missing them or what.  I talked to Claire about it a while back, and she said she hadn't heard anything either.  I think I'm going to try again because it's kind of weird that I haven't heard anything.  It's been quite a while....

I'm off to watch some Youtube videos before finishing up my precalculus homework.  I'll probably see Claire at International Club tonight, but if I don't, then I'll probably send her a text about History Club to see if she knows what's going on.