Saturday, March 31, 2012

Book Review: How to Survive Your Freshmen Year published by Hundred of Heads

ISBN: 1933512040
Published: March 8th, 2006
Publisher: Hundreds of Heads Books
Read from March 18th to 27th, 2012
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Containing more than 1,000 pieces of advice gleaned from interviews with students at more than 100 colleges, this handy guide helps see to it that one of life's more challenging rites of passage is a positive one. The revised and expanded second edition covers age-old dilemmas, including what to take, where to live, how to get a good roommate, how to choose classes, when and where to study, how to fill leisure time, the dating and party scene, choosing a major, vacation and road trips, and much more. This revised edition includes useful checklists, facts, and resources to help students from orientation to summer vacation.


This book has some great advice for anyone about to enter college.  It was all advice that I'd heard from various places before.  Since it's advice from hundreds of different people, there were often differing opinions, and you could read advice from two different sides.  One person would say you should do something, and another would say you shouldn't.  It's nice to get both sides of the argument.  Like I said though, you can find advice really similar to this all over the Internet or even from real college students you know.  It might be a nice book to keep around and read through, but it's not really necessary if you have other sources for advice.  This book would be more relevant if there weren't a million websites out there with advice just like what's in the book.  Still, you can never get too much advice I guess.

A Wedding

It's almost four in the afternoon as I'm writing this, yet it feels like it's still morning, even if I am tired enough for it to be night already.  (For the first time since spring break started, I had trouble sleeping last night.)  Today has been a really nice day though.  It wasn't long after I woke up this morning when we were heading out to my cousin Ryan's wedding.

The wedding was at some small church out in the woods.  It was really pretty.  The church was kind of up on a hill, and it had windows that looked out on the woods.  We've been having nice weather lately and the woods have begun looking like they usually do during the spring, and it was absolutely beautiful.  The whole wedding was incredibly nice, and I'm really happy for my cousin, but guys, it was really pretty out at that church.

After the wedding we got to spend time with family at the reception.  Only a limited number of the family was there (this is the absolutely huge side of my family that we're talking about), but I hadn't seen some of them in quite a while.  I'm pretty sure that I hadn't seen one of my cousins who was there since last summer.  I always enjoy getting to see family, and Ryan's new wife seems like an awesome person.  I actually got to randomly meet her yesterday.  My cousin Ryan is the son of my aunt who I work for, so I got to meet her when her and Ryan were talking about the wedding with my aunt yesterday.  She seems really sweet.  (Which I guess can be both a good and bad thing when meeting our family considering I think my family is a bit intimidating to some people...  I mean, they're nice and good people, but there are a lot of us and I imagine it would be pretty intimidating to meet everyone for the first time, and she still has a long way to go before she meets everybody.)

I imagine I won't be doing much for the rest of the day.  I may end up taking a nap, which I hate doing, but it's only four and I'm already incredibly tired.  It's definitely not good to be worn out before school even starts again.  I should probably go to bed early tonight in anticipation, but I doubt that will happen.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

RIP Chris

Today was shaping up to be just like most of my other days of spring break.  I was just sitting around at home being lazy, but then I got a text from my friend Ji.  As I've said several times before, I hate Facebook, and for that reason, I'm never on it.  Most of the time all I'm missing is petty drama, and it makes no difference.  However, occasionally something huge happens, and I'm one of the last to know because everyone else checks Facebook regularly.  This was one of those times.  Ji informed me of what's been going around Facebook today.

I don't have all the facts.  I don't really know what exactly happened.  All I know is that at some point in the last twenty-four hours a boy who graduated from my school last year committed suicide.  This is at least the third death at my school since I started this blog.  That's far too many when you consider my school has only a little more than 400 students.  My school supposedly has a curse where every class has to lose one student before graduation.  The class of 2011 had avoided the curse, but then this happened.  I'm sure the curse will now be revised to say it can even happen after graduation.  (My class hasn't had any deaths so far...  Let's hope nothing changes that.)

I never really spoke to Chris much.  We rode the same bus for a while, and he even got on and off at the same bus stop, but almost every single morning we stood waiting for the bus in silence.  He usually had his iPod with him, and he'd listen to it while he waited.  We had a couple of classes together over the years.  He was always a really nice person, and he seemed to get along well with everyone.  It is nice to see the school coming together, as they usually do after these deaths, to not only honor the person who passed away but also support those who are affected the most.  These are the times where I'm most grateful that I grew up in this community and attend this high school.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Thoughts on The Host Teaser Trailer

The teaser trailer for The Host came out almost a week ago now, and I have yet to talk about it.  For those of you who have never heard of The Host, it's a book by Stephenie Meyer who's better known for writing the Twilight series.  I, however, actually prefer The Host over Twilight.  I think her writing is better in it, and the romance in The Host is really nothing like Edward and Bella.

The trailer doesn't really have much real footage from the film.  It's essentially Wanderer (the main character) doing a voice-over while the camera zooms in on the Earth.  Then it shows a bunch of pictures of people (ending on Wanderer in Melanie's body) that, to people who haven't read the book, would just seem to have creepy looking eyes.  People who've read the book know that their eyes are a sign that the Souls (the type of aliens in the book/movie) have taken control over that person's body.

The actual video isn't all that impressive, even though I love the way they did the eyes.  Wanderer's voice-over though is brilliant I think.  She really gives almost none of the plot away, but I think I would want to know more about the movie if I hadn't read the book.  I definitely recommend watching the trailer.  I don't want to give what Wanderer says away because I think it has such a great effect in the trailer.  Like I said, I wasn't at all impressed with the video, but Wanderer's voice-over made the teaser trailer absolutely wonderful.  I'm really interested to see how the movie turns out!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Breaking Dawn Part 2 Teaser Trailer Thoughts

I was lucky to see the Breaking Dawn Part 2 teaser trailer for the first time on the big screen at the Hunger Games midnight premiere.  I was really looking forward to seeing it and based on the cheers when Jacob was on screen, I assume other people there were too.  Oddly enough, I only heard screams when Jacob appeared and not when Edward or Bella did.  Maybe I just blocked the others from my mind?

I have to say, the first shot of Bella holding up her hand and looking at it doesn't really show her new "vampireness."  She's talking about not being ordinary anymore, but her hand doesn't look any different.  Maybe if she was really a vampire it would, but she's not and it looks the same.  Maybe I'm being too critical, but I just feel like I'm looking at a normal hand.  It's nothing exciting.  At least the clips of her running actually show proof that she's not human anymore.

And then it shows Jacob walking out of the house and talking to Bella, and of course that made me happy.  I'm pretty sure his line is straight from the book, and I'm almost positive it's from the scene when her and Edward come back after Bella hunts for the first time.  I'm so excited for that scene!

I love when Bella looks up at the screen and opens her eyes to show the audience their red.  It just seems like such an epic moment.  I wonder if that was edited especially for the trailer though.  She seems to be looking right at the camera, and I don't think that would be the first time we'd see her eyes in the actual movie.  I'm not saying that scene isn't in the movie, but it's probably not really how it is in the trailer.

And then after the Breaking Dawn logo, we get a quick shot of Bella hunting which is also quite cool.  Only about eight months until the movie...

Trying Turkish Delight

The Turkish Delight that I ordered from Amazon came today.  I've wanted to try Turkish Delight since I first watched The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe movie years ago.  When I just randomly stumbled upon it on Amazon, I decided to buy some.  My friend Ji and my sister Regina were the only ones here when it came, so I had both of them try it.  The box has different flavors in it, and I'm not really sure what all of them are or what any of us got.  Ji and I each had red ones, and Regina's was green.  Regina and I didn't think it was the best thing ever but it was okay.  I ate all of mine, while Regina took one bite and threw the other half away.  Ji thought it was absolutely disgusting.  She ended up running into the kitchen and spitting it out.  Regina was at least able to swallow.  I honestly didn't think it was that bad.  It wasn't my favorite candy, but I plan on eating the rest of it.  I also want to have the rest of my family try it, and my friend Haley specifically asked to try it, so I'll take a few pieces to school next Monday to give to a couple people.

Other than Ji coming over for a while not much as happened today so far.  I've mainly been hanging out on Twitter, Tumblr, and forums.  It's been a long time since I've felt this lazy, since I have no homework to be working on like I usually do while at home.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Legend of Korra Episodes 1 and 2 Review

Welcome to the long post were I rant on and on about the first two episodes of The Legend of Korra.  If you aren't aware, Nickelodeon released the first two episodes on the Korra Nation website weeks before its release on television.  This post will definitely include spoilers for episodes one and two of Korra.

From the very beginning, I really liked Korra's character.  She's so different from Aang, and it'll be interesting to see how she develops over the series.  Aang was such a spiritual person, and that's Korra's biggest struggle. Plus, I realized while watching the second episode that this will be the first time we've seen someone learn airbending, since Aang was already a master of that element.  It's cool to see Tenzin teaching an element that we've never seen taught before.

I immediately recognized Katara when she came on screen.  I was kind of waiting for her since I knew she was coming thanks to spoilers that I tried so hard to avoid.  I was beyond happy.  Katara was my favorite character of the last series, and I loved getting to see her at least in the first episode.  It was weird seeing her older and with a different voice though.  You can also tell that she's not exactly the same.  She's grown old and changed (matured I guess) over the years.  I loved seeing her.

It seemed as if Tenzin's kids had never met Katara though, which makes me incredibly sad.  Does Tenzin never bring them to visit?  I also wonder where Aang and Katara lived.  They seemed to have lived on Air Temple Island, so I assume Katara only moved back to the Southern Water Tribe after Aang died or when she was needed to train Korra.  (I kind of get the hint that Katara was Korra's waterbending teacher, but I could be completely wrong.)

I loved the little reference to Ursa.  Too bad Katara was interrupted.  Hopefully that will be answered in The Promise comics.  It's nice because it shows the creators do pay attention to the fans though.  I do hope we see Zuko's descendants though.  There has to be some way they can work the current Fire Lord (who I assume would be Zuko's son/daughter or grandson/granddaughter.

I just want to quickly mention how beautiful the animation is.  It's particularly obvious when the show shots of Republic City.  The pro-bending building is absolutely magnificent.

I also love how Katara mentions all of her and Aang's children's names.  Now we know them all!  (We've learned a decent amount about Aang and Katara's lives, and we know Toph had a daughter.  Now we just need to learn what happened to everyone else...  I wonder if we'll ever get any sort of an idea.)

Even though Tenzin's kids seemed to have never met Katara, Tenzin and Korra seemed to have met some how before.  I wonder how that happened.

One thing that really gets me is how isolated they keep Korra.  That really surprised me.  I mean a compound?  Really?  She couldn't at least have lived in the village with some people protecting it?  They had to stick her in a compound?  That's insane.  I wonder if she was moved their immediately after they discovered she was the Avatar, and her parents aren't living there at the start of the series.  Did they live with her when she was younger, or was she basically raised by the White Lotus and her masters (after they discovered she was the Avatar).  I have so many questions about that.  It seriously seems like she needs contact with the outside world though.  How can she maintain peace and balance in the world if she's never allowed to see and live in the world?  I can see that factoring into the show.

I loved the Aang and Toph statues.  They're just cool.

I can definitely see some of Toph in Lin.  Since I love Toph, I can see myself liking Lin even if she doesn't seem to like Korra that much.  I just wish we could know more about Lin's father...  I'm insanely curious to know what type of person Toph would have found "acceptable."  Also, I love Tenzin and Lin's interaction.  I found it incredibly amusing.  I don't know how close they are in age, but I wonder if they've known each other their whole lives since their parents knew each other.  Maybe they got stuck together all the time and argued.  At least, that's what I'm thinking in my head unless we learn differently.  I find that idea really amusing for some reason.

I love Tenzin's little outburst of, "Don't bring my mother into this!"  Also, he always seems to refer to them as mother or father, which isn't very personal.  And at least once I remember him saying Aang instead of my father.  I just thought that's a little odd.  I can't picture him having bad relationships with Katara or especially Aang.  I mean, maybe there was some resentment towards having the Avatar as a father, but Aang had to be a pretty loving dad.  I'm probably reading far too much into this though.  Tenzin's a pretty serious guy.  Saying mother and father is probably just his character.  He definitely has a great respect for Aang if nothing else, and he's the only airbender, so that would have given him a deep connection with Aang.  On a somewhat similar note, I love how Tenzin's kids all call him daddy instead of just dad or something.

Can I say again that I just love the contrast between Korra's struggle and Aang's.  Tenzin likened Korra's problems with airbending to Aang's problem with earthbending, which I see, but I thought of Aang's firebending first.  Korra doesn't think she needs to airbend, and Aang didn't want to learn firebending for a while.  Still, I love how different their problems are.

The "be the leaf" moment was adorable.  I absolutely love all of Tenzin's kids.  The meditating scene with Meelo was so cute!

And of course we get to see Mako and Bolin!  There's so much I could say about them.  I like both of their characters, but I think I like Mako a bit more than Bolin.  It's early though, so who knows.  Also, I'm not going to say I ship anything yet since it's quite early, but I definitely want to see Mako and Korra interact more.  It seems like they would be cute together.  I might change my mind after a while though.  I've seen a few people mention a love triangle, which I really don't want to see, especially since their brothers.  If Korra's going to be shipped with one of them, I hope to God it's only one of them and the other one and Korra have no feelings for each other what-so-ever.  A love triangle is one thing, but a love triangle with brothers is just too complicated and messy.  Maybe they'll do it and do it well though.  We'll see.  I'm definitely looking forward to seeing more of both Bolin and Mako regardless of what happens with them and Korra romantically.

Even after this long post, there's so much more I could say.  I'll leave it here though, since I've been writing this forever and have other things to do.  Now it's just a month's wait for more episodes...

Unstressful Sunday and General Feelings on Korra

Sunday's are so much better when you don't have to go to school the next day and have no homework to get done.  I've mentioned various places that my church has been doing this Catholicism series for a while now, and I was going to them in the beginning.  However, I haven't been for weeks now because I was either busy or had homework that needed to be finished.  Today I'm finally able to go again, which I'm very happy about.

Other than that and church I really just plan to sit around the house all day.  I managed to watch the second episode of The Legend of Korra this morning, and I plan to doing a review of the first and second episodes later today.  I loved it though!  I'm pretty confident that I'll love the Korra series just as much as I loved the original series.  However, the original series will always be extra special to me since I fell in love with it first.  The Legend of Korra is most definitely still Avatar though, and it has a very Avatar feeling to it.  I'm so incredibly excited for the whole series.  I'll save anymore ranting for the actual review though.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Game Day

The first day of spring break started out quite badly.  I woke up this morning to a letter from my top choice college telling me that I wasn't accepted.  By now, I've pretty much accepted it, but it definitely wasn't the greatest start to my day.  Now I'm just focusing on choosing which of the three colleges I was accepted to I want to go to.

I was kind of lucky because I had the perfect way to get over my sadness today.  My grandma held a game day at her house, so I spent the day over there with her, my brother, and four of my cousins.  I played Uno and Mancala with my grandma while my brother and cousins played Risk and some Godzilla board game that they completely made up their own rules for.  We even watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 at the end of the day.  (Although watched isn't entirely accurate.  We ended up talking though most of it, but most of the talking was about Harry Potter.  Oh, and I wasn't even the one to suggest the movie.  Shocker.)  How could that not cheer me up?

Functioning on Four Hours of Sleep

Today has been quite exhausting after getting only four hours of sleep last night thanks to the midnight Hunger Games premiere (although it was so worth it).  Luckily, it was our last day before spring break, and I wasn't required to do too much thinking.

We played a game in AP U.S. history today, and it actually woke me up a bit at the beginning of the day because I had to think to help out my team.  It was fun, and it was something that we don't usually do in that class.  It was boys versus girls, and we actually ended up tying in the end.

All we did in AP English was review different rhetorical devices and fill out a worksheet on them.  That was probably the most thinking I did all day.

Somehow we ended up watching Spongebob in yearbook.  I'm not a Spongebob fan, but it was nice to have an excuse not to work on the yearbook when I was so exhausted.

Computer applications was the class that I came the closest to falling asleep in.  I worked the whole time, but I kept finding myself reading the directions several times or going back to redo stuff because I didn't fully comprehend it the first time.  I didn't really make much progress.

We were supposed to finish our personality theory papers in psychology today, but Haley, Jordan, and I were already done.  While the rest of the class went to the computer lab to work, the teacher let the three of us stay in the room.  We ended up talking, and we even got permission to watch TV. (At least half of the TV watching consisted of watching some little kids' show on PBS that we just made fun of.)

We didn't do anything but go over the tests we took yesterday in probability and statistics.  I believe in a post yesterday I mentioned that I thought I had done terrible.  Well, the test wasn't great, but I'm okay with the score.  I actually got the highest grade in the class apparently, but that's not saying much since everyone seemed to do worse than they normally do.  This test was definitely more difficult than ones in the past.

On the last day before spring break every year, my school has the finals to our Munch Madness tournament.  Teams in both lunch periods have competed in volleyball, cornhole, and dodgeball.  Today the winners from each lunch competed against each other.  The winners of the volleyball game got to compete against a team made up of teachers.  This year the students won, but it was a really close game.

After school I had to go to work, but somehow I managed not to fall asleep.  At around six, Ji came to see me at work and asked if I wanted to go to Haley's with her after I got off to go see her kittens.  Being a complete sucker for cute things, there was no way I was going to turn down the chance to play with kittens. So, Ji came back later, and we went over to Haley's.  We spent almost half an hour playing with kittens.  They were so adorable!  Their looking for homes for them, and of course, I wish we could take one.  My parents wouldn't let me get a cat in a million years though.

As I was writing this post I saw that the first two episodes of The Legend of Korra have been unlocked on!  I'm so excited to watch them, but I think I'm a bit too tired to fully focus and take it all in though.  I'm going to save them for tomorrow, and hopefully I'll be able to sleep tonight even though I'm so excited.

Friday, March 23, 2012

500th Post!

This is my 500th post!  It only took a little over a year and a half to reach this point.  That's crazy.  As anyone reading this probably knows, I was up late last night (until a little after three a.m.) because I got to watch The Hunger Games at midnight.  Because of this I've been a bit tired and delusional all day, so I apologize for not having a better post.  I feel like this post should be a lot more special than this.

Here's something random and maybe fun.  Yellow is my least favorite color.  I absolutely despise it.  However, here is a list of things that are yellow that I actually like:

the Sun (although it's yellow color is debatable)
lemons and lemon flavored candy
all sorts of yellow(ish) animals (ducks, chicks, canaries)
yellow flowers (daffodils, dandelions, sunflowers)
corn (Best vegetable ever!)

I'm sure there are more, but that's all I can think of at the moment.  And that concludes the most pathetic excuse for a 500th post ever.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lots of Exciting Things and Less Than Six Hours Until The Hunger Games!

Today has been slightly crazy because I'm so freaking excited.  I'm having to restrain myself from bouncing up and down as I write this.  This is almost entirely because the midnight premiere of The Hunger Games is tonight, but other exciting things have happened today, which have only added to my intense excitement.

I had a grand total of three tests at school today.  I feel like I did a good job on two of them, but the third was horrible.  We're allowed to use our notes on our probability and statistics' tests, but I couldn't find anything in my notes and there was stuff on that test that I don't ever remember going over.  I'm not looking forward to seeing how well I did on it.

That, however, wasn't exciting.  What is exciting is that The Host teaser trailer came out today!  For those of you who haven't heard of it, The Host is a novel by Stephenie Meyer, who's better known for writing Twilight.  I absolutely adore The Host, and it beats Twilight by far in my mind.  It's science fiction and involves aliens taking over Earth.  There's romance, but it's nothing like Twilight's romance.  It's just brilliant.  I wasn't incredibly impressed with the teaser.  I'm not entirely confident in how the movie will turn out.  It just doesn't seem to be that great so far.  However, I'm still really excited.  It will be interesting to see how the movie turns out even if it sucks, and I really hope that the movie will be successful enough to get people to read The Host even if they hate Twilight.  It really is a far different kind of book than Twilight, and I feel as if Stephenie's writing is so much better than in Twilight.

I also ordered the Breaking Dawn DVD today.  I've mentioned before that I wanted the Target exclusive edition because it would match my other DVDs.  Well, they sold out of it, which is why I haven't gotten it yet.  Finally, I found a used copy on Amazon today.  This copy doesn't have the prop flowers (that were actually used in the wedding scene) in it because the seller took them out, but that doesn't really matter to me.  I wouldn't have any use for the random flower anyway, even if it would have been kind of cool to have something from the movie.  I'm just happy that the box it's in will match my other DVDs.  I really need to remember to order Part 2 early when it's up for preorder.  That would make things so much easier.

I also ordered some candy that I want to try while on Amazon.  I ordered a box of Turkish Delight, something I've had an interest in trying since watching The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe movie.  I also ordered two different types of Japanese candy from there.  One's supposed to be Coca-Cola flavored and fizz in your mouth, and the other is lychee fruit flavored.  I'm really interested to try them.  Some of the reviews say that the lychee candy tastes like strawberry but more sour.  I love sour things, so I can't wait to try it!

I can't believe that there are less than six hours until I'll be watching The Hunger Games!  I'm going with my friend Haley and her mom.  I'm so incredibly excited!  I have yet to see a negative review for the movie whether it be a fan of the books or a movie critic.  I'll definitely tweet my reaction right after the movie, and I'm sure I'll do a blog post or video about the movie later.  It's going to be so awesome!  I should stop before this turned into a huge rant about my excitement.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Is it a Bedroom or a Library?

Anyone who's watched my Youtube videos before has probably seen at least a little bit of my room.  It's not an entirely neat place.  In most of my videos, you can see a few messily stacked piles of books behind me.  If you've watched my room tour, you've probably seen that the tops of my dresser and desk are basically invisible under the stacks of books and various other things.  I've never shown my closet in a video, but if I ever had, you would see that it's even worse than my room.  You can't even see the floor of my closet.  You want to know what's covering the floor of my closet?  More books.  I really need more shelf space...

When I write or say things like this, it makes me realize just how many books I own.  Usually, it doesn't seem like I have that many, but when I stop and think about it, my room is basically a messy, unorganized library that just doubles as a bedroom.  I think I have every book I've ever gotten since at least middle school (and some from elementary school) somewhere in my room or closet.  Books are almost the only thing I ever ask for as presents or buy when I go to a store.  It's added up over the years.

I've mentioned before that my dream house would have a library.  Well, since I don't have that (yet), so bedroom has to double as my library.  (Even if most libraries would be a lot more organized.  They'd actually have shelves for one thing.)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Just a Week to Go

I think I'm starting to realize that Sundays aren't the best day of the week for me.  Today started off great.  I felt awake and full of energy.  By the end of the day though, I was tired and wanted nothing more than to go to bed.  I think it's because I just know school's coming tomorrow, and I dread it.  Even though I do just as much homework on Sundays as I do Saturdays, it feels like I'm doing a ton more on Sundays.  It's like my body/mind protests having to go to school the next day by becoming lazy and not wanting to do anything.  I've been so busy lately that a weekend full of homework is the closest thing I get to having a day off.  (One more week until a hopefully homework free spring break!)  It's not that I hate school itself.  School is actually great.  Aside from the massive amount of homework and paper work that's required for going to college in the fall, I'd say this is the absolute best year of school I've ever had.  It's just stressful, and I need a break from all of this stress.  Just one more week.  I can make it through one more week.

West Side Story

My school's spring musical is this weekend, and they're putting on West Side Story.  My sister's in it, and my family went to go see it tonight.  I was incredibly impressed with it.  They had a lot of trouble finding enough guys to do the play, and a lot of the guys in it had never been in a musical before.  But they did a very impressive job.

I'm not a fan of West Side Story.  In fact, I think it's safe to say that I hate that musical.  Probably because I hate Romeo and Juliet, and that's basically the entire story of West Side Story.  I just can't stand the whole love at first sight and then killing yourself over someone else thing (although that last thing doesn't happen in West Side Story exactly).  Nevertheless, I couldn't help but be impressed with my school's production even though I didn't like the musical itself.  "Officer Krupke" was probably my favorite part.  I'd say at least half of the guys in that number weren't ones that I would have been able to picture singing and dancing before this, but they did a really good job.  I was probably more impressed with the guys' dancing than anything else in the play.  Everyone did brilliantly though, and I really enjoyed watching their performances (just not the storyline).

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Book Review: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Ancient Greece by Eric D. Nelson and Susan K. Allard Nelson

ISBN: 1592572731
Published: February 1st, 2005
Publisher: Alpha
Read from February 13th to March 16th, 2012
Synopsis from Goodreads:
A modern examination of the ancient world.The incredible influence of Ancient Greek culture on everything from science to literature to politics continues to be relevant—and hotly debated. In The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Ancient Greece, you are invited to meet the Ancient Greeks and to understand their legacy by entering their world.Profiles the most important contributions of Greek culture, including mythology, philosophy, medicine, and the Olympic gamesIncludes further reading and travel information to help in planning a personal Odyssey.

This book is absolutely brilliant for everyone who wants to know more about ancient Greece.  Greek culture has always been something I've been interested in, but most of the stuff I'd learned before had only been about the Greek myths.  This book just touches on Greek myths.  The large majority of the book is focused on Greek history and culture.  Greek culture obviously involves the Greek myths, but there's so much more to it than that.  There was so much in this book that I had never known before.  There was so much of Greek culture that I had never known because most of what I'd read before had only been centered around Greek myth.

I also had no idea about most of the Greek history.  Ancient Greece really does have a very interesting history, and the book presented it in a way that was very easy to understand, which was nice.  The history could have been presented in a very confusing way since there were so many various city-states and empires and other things over the course of Greek history.  The book does a really good job of helping you keep track of who's who, and there are maps that really helped me figure out where each group was from.

This book is definitely a great read for anyone interested in the subject.  It's made me want to go out and learn even more about ancient Greece.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Macbeth and March Madness

I hadn't even realized that I hadn't posted a blog post since Tuesday!  This week has just been crazy.  I know I talk about how busy school and work makes me and how little sleep I tend to get a lot, but daylight savings time just made everything so much work this week.  I've been incredibly stressed out and tired.  At one point yesterday I thought I was going to burst into tears because I was sitting at home and had no idea how I would get my homework done (lack of sleep was making it hard to think) and all I wanted was to go to bed.  Thankfully, that little almost break down only lasted fifteen minutes at the most.  I'm just happy for a weekend where I can sleep in and (kind of but not really) get a break from school work (while still doing homework and filling out scholarship applications).

We finished listening to Macbeth in AP English today.  It's definitely not one of my favorite Shakespeare plays. I wish we could study A Midsummer Night's Dream.  I feel as if that's a Shakespeare play teachers could get students into, and I love that one.  Macbeth wasn't that bad though, and I feel as if we got through it quicker than we did Romeo and Juliet or Julius Caesar in earlier years.  (That might be because it's an AP class, but we read Julius Caesar in an honors class so who knows.)

I have to finished writing an article for the local paper tonight.  I was technically supposed to get it done at school today, but I had a ton of trouble getting the information to write it, so my yearbook teacher is letting me finish it at home and email it to the newspaper myself.  I'd have it done by now, but I had to work.  That's what I'll be working on pretty soon after I finish this post.  I'm definitely going to get it sent off tonight.

We've been watching March Madness in two of my classes the past two days.  Basketball is my favorite sport, but that's not saying much since I hardly like sports.  Still, watching basketball is preferable to doing work.  Actually, we are still doing work.  Our probability and statistics teacher has been assigning us homework and then letting us work on it while we watch basketball.  These past few days are actually the first basketball games I've seen more than a few seconds of in at least a couple of years.  I'm starting to remember why it's my favorite sport.  (Although I still won't choose to just watch it on my own, I would choose to watch it over any other sport, and I tend to get into the game if I have to watch it.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fanfiction Reviews

I've mentioned fanfictions I'm reading quite a few times on Twitter and this blog.  I've even mentioned writing reviews for some of them, but I've never actually done it.  I think I'm going to though.  From now on I'm going to try and remember to write (or even film) a review after I finish reading a fanfiction.  I'm reading several now. There are quite a few that I'm reading that are still being updated, so who knows when those will be finished, but I'm reading two right now that are already completed.  I just need to read them.  I may or may not review these.  It'll all depend on the fanfiction.  I'll probably only review it if I really like it.  And if there's a series or several related stories, I may do one review for all of them.  We'll see how it goes.  I just wanted to let everyone know that that might be happening in the future.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Anxiousness and Yearbook Pictures

There are just two weeks left until spring break (and less than that until the Hunger Games midnight premiere), and I can hardly wait. I don't know how I'm going to make it through school for these two weeks.

We started working with Access in computer applications today. Access is the first program we've used in there that I've never used before, and she says it's the hardest part of the book. Just from today I can see that. It's not really that hard (yet), but it's more complicated than the other programs.

During lunch I ended up taking pictures for this Munch Madness tournament my school does. It's a volleyball, corn hole, and dodgeball tournament held during lunch. There's an all-school assembly where the winners of each lunch play each other. I've never warned any of it other than the last game (which is required). Haley and Jordan went down there too, but I felt slightly awkward. There were a decent amount of people down there, but not a whole lot. Plus, it was the first time I'd used the new camera, and it took me a little bit to figure it out.

Now I have my usual Monday headache, and I'm attempting to make it through work without falling asleep. (The time change is still affecting me.) I don't know if I'll make it...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sleep and I Don't Get Along

I can't believe it's already eight o'clock.  This Saturday went by fast.  It feels like I just woke up a few hours ago.  I have no idea why.  It's not like I've done anything today that would normally make time fly be.  I kind of feel as if I spent most of today half asleep, so maybe that's it.  If anything sleeping in made me more tired, but I work tomorrow, so there won't be any laying around being lazy.  (I feel as if I've been talking about sleep way more than is normal for the past month or so, but I seriously think about it all of the time.  I need to work on getting more sleep regularly...)

My day has consisted of reading, listening to podcasts, and homework.  That's really about it.  (Other than sleeping in, which was great.)  Now, I'm going to go get some writing done if I can stay alert enough to actually focus on what I'm writing.  I've zoned out once or twice while writing this...

No Meat for Lent

I mentioned in a video about a week or so ago that I gave up meat for Lent.  It's been a little over two weeks now since I've eaten meat, and I still have about a month ago.  I shouldn't be complaining, but it's hard.  I don't even like meat that much, but it's so difficult to go without eating it.  School lunches have been the hardest part, since I have to take my lunch if I really want to eat anything.  (Although I didn't eat the nasty school lunches about half the time anyway.)

I've been eating a ton of fish, and I feel as if I'm eating the same thing over and over even though I'm not really. I've been eating a lot of frozen meals because the rest of my family fixes dinner with meat that I can't eat.  I don't think I'm going to be eating fish for quite a long time after Lent is over.

I just wonder how the rest of Lent will go...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Traveling Vicariously Through the Internet

I've been having one of those days where I'm constantly day dreaming about visiting somewhere new, preferably a whole new country.  This happens quite a lot.  I want to travel to a foreign country so badly, and the list is constantly getting longer.

Today I started thinking about what it would be like to travel to the Middle East.  I know it's not the safest place to be traveling to at the moment, but I think it would be an incredibly cool place to visit and see what the culture's like.  I especially want to go to Israel, but seeing other countries in that area would be neat as well.  Although I think that's one of the last places in the world I'm going to be able to travel to.

Still, there are so many other places I want to see.  I was looking up stuff on Japan during computer applications at school.  (We got a free day after finals.)  I'd be happy visiting just about any country and seeing what life is like there.  It sucks that I've never been out of the country before.  I'm thoroughly determined to study abroad during college, and I hope to volunteer in the Peace Corps after graduating.  It would be such an awesome way to experience another way of life.  Until then I guess I'll just continue living vicariously through the computer...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Finals Means Less Homework

I was supposed to work today, but this morning I found out that my sister was going to work for me instead while I worked for her Sunday.  Sunday is probably my least favorite day to work, but at least I get today off.  I also don't really have any homework, so I plan on getting some scholarship applications filled out tonight.  (No homework is just about the only plus to finals.)

Our next chapter in AP U.S. history is all of the stuff leading to World War II (Hitler and Mussolini gaining power, Japan invading Manchuria, Pearl Harbor, etc.), and I'm incredibly excited.  We're getting into one of my favorite time periods to study.  It's a short chapter, which means the test should be rather easy, and then we get into the actual war next chapter.

In the classes that I didn't have finals in today, the teachers really just let us study for our other finals.  Since I only had two finals, and I wasn't really worried about either, I just kind of worked ahead in AP U.S. history.  With it being a short chapter, I really don't have that much to do.  I'm not complaining.

I'm feeling pretty good about the two finals I had today.  There are only a couple of things on one of the finals (probability and statistics) that I'm slightly worried about.

It was a pretty good day, especially since there wasn't much homework, and I'm so glad finals are over.  It's been raining constantly today though, which makes the day a little less awesome...  I hate rainy weather.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

In which I mean to talk about my day, but then don't...

This week is finals at my school, which means it's also incredibly busy, and I think I'm going to be getting even less sleep than normal.  Tomorrow is the first day of finals, and I have three.  Hopefully it all goes well.

I feel as if there were eventful, slightly interesting parts to my day, but after the massive headache I had for hours earlier and work, I can't remember any of it.  I really meant for this to be a somewhat substantial post, but I'm having a hard time thinking at the moment.  I guess that's a sign to go to bed, so I'll actually be awake for finals tomorrow!

Oh! There are two quick things I want to mention, and both of them actually have to do with my little sister.  First, she got her license today!  She actually came and picked me up from work, and I rode with her in the car.  I've been in a car with her driving before, but one of our parents was always there.  It felt so weird.  Now I can get rides from her to school instead of the bus.  (Also, I really don't care that my little sister has her license and I don't, since I absolutely abhor driving, but I really wish people would stop giving me strange looks or making comments about how stupid I am for not getting my license every time it's mentioned that my sister is driving and I'm not.  It's seriously getting old.)  Second, my sister and some of her friends had to make a video for their AP world history class.  My sister's group did one on the French revolution, and my sister plays Marie Antoinette.  (There isn't a single historical figure that I can think of that she would be more suitable playing.)  The video is hilarious.  How can it not be when my sister not only gets cake thrown in her face, but she also plays with Barbie dolls (including chopping their heads off with a knife).  You guys can watch the video here.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Exhaustion Makes Me Ramble

Today has been a busy day.  I'm surprised I even got around to writing this post.

My parents, grandma, Aunt Becky, and I all went to our diocese's cathedral in Evansville today because I was receiving the Saint Maria Goretti award.  I was extremely nervous about it because I wasn't sure what to expect.  I always freak out when I have no idea what's going to happen in a situation.  It went well though.  We had mass, and then they presented us (there were a lot of kids from parishes in the diocese) with our awards.

I was surprised when mass started because our old priest who left our parish about five months ago was one of the priests on the altar with the bishop.  (There were multiple priests up there during the mass although the bishop was the one to actually say mass.)  I wasn't expecting to see him, and it was the first time I'd seen him since he left.  He came up to talk to us at the reception afterward, which was nice.  He called me by my sister's name at first though, which was quite funny.  He used to do that a lot when he first came to our parish (most people do), but he got it straightened out after a while.  Then he explained that he'd always remembered our names because I was the oldest and "h" comes before "r" in the alphabet.  (My sister's name is Regina.)  I found that amusing.  But anyway, it was nice to see him.

I was also surprised that our current priest and our church's secretary were there for the mass as well.  I didn't see them until mass was over because I sat away from my family for the mass.  After I got my award, I went over to my family, and they were back there sitting with my family and the family of the other boy from our parish who got the award.  I shouldn't have been surprised really.  We talked to them during the reception too. Since our new priest has only been there for a few months, it was the first time I'd really talked to him outside of church.  He's really quite amusing.  He acts a lot like my dad, which is really obvious when they talk to each other.  My grandma made the comment that he acts just like my dad and his brothers and even kind of looks like them.  (He's about their age too.)  He had been talking to some people, and when he walked over to where we were sitting, he came up behind me and balanced his cup on my head.  Then he just sat there making jokes with my dad.  He's definitely the most amusing priest I've ever met.

After that we finally made it home, and I had tons of homework to do even though I'd tried to get it mostly done the day before.  I'm so exhausted (believe me, it was longer than it sounds in this post) that getting homework done was hard.  This post is probably completely incoherent.  What amuses me is that, when I'm exhausted like this, I can hardly force myself to start writing a blog post, but if I'm able to force myself, I just start writing and it doesn't stop.  My longest blog posts are the ones that I absolutely have to force myself to write, but then my slightly delusional brain just kind of takes over and writes.  Chances are good that I could read this post tomorrow and cringe because I probably worded things weird and have sentences structured oddly.  I know I'm making a ton of spelling errors that I have to go back and fix.  There's no telling how many grammar errors my brain is just too tired to notice.

On that note I'm actually going to shut up and stop writing this huge ramble.

Behind on Movies

One thing I wish I did more often was watch movies.  I love movies, but I seem to only watch them on rare occasions.  A movie will come out that I want to see, but I never make it to the movie theater.  It'll come out on DVD, and it will take me at least several months to get it (usually years or never).  Breaking Dawn Part 1 came out forever ago, and I have yet to buy it.  And that's a movie that I immediately moved to the top of my DVD wishlist.

I think most of it comes from the fact that, if I'm at the store, I'm more likely to go for the books than the DVDs, even if there are a lot of DVDs I want.  (Although my book wishlist is much, much longer.)  There are movies that came out several years ago that I still haven't seen.  If only my family had Netflix...

Even once I have the movie it seems to take me forever to actually get around to watching it.  Don't get me wrong, I have several stacks of books that need to be read too, but I can at least read bits of a book at a time. I can rarely find the time to sit down and watch movies (or TV shows).  All of this adds up to it taking me a ton of time to watch movies that I've wanted to see for a long time.  When everyone's talking about some movie that came out several years ago, I'm usually sitting there clueless, even though it's a movie I've been dying to see since it came out.  A perfect example is Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.  I still have yet to actually get to the movie theater to see it.  (I have absolutely got to before it's out of theaters though!)

I just wish I had more time for movies.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Next Five Years

Where do you think you'll be in the next five years?  I have some idea of where I want to be in five years, but it's not entirely concrete.  How could it be?  I'm not even entirely sure where I'll be attending college this fall.  Still, I have a slight idea of where I'd like to be.

Obviously, I hope to have graduated with a bachelor's degree in four years.  I've had thoughts about going to graduate school, but who knows if that will actually happens.  If it does, then I hope to be in my first year of graduate school by then.  If not, then I just hope I can find a good job.  (Let's hope the economy will be better by then, and I can find a job.)

I want to be living in a city.  I may move back to my hometown when I'm older, but I want to live somewhere else for a while.  Depending on where I go to college, I may want to live in that city after college.  I've also thought about teaching English as a second language somewhere abroad (possibly in the Peace Corps), so maybe I'll be doing that five years from now.  (That also depends on the whole graduate school thing.)

So really, I have several ideas of where I could be in five years, and who knows if any of these will even be true.  Whatever happens, I'm looking forward to seeing how the next five years goes.

Why I Love Lazy Saturdays

I love Saturdays.  I feel as if they're the only day of the week that I'm not stressed out (usually).  I haven't done much today, although I have been working on some homework.  I need to get most of my homework done today since I have plans tomorrow, and I don't know how much time I'll get to work on it tomorrow.

Other than that I haven't done anything really, which is great for me.  I love having the occasional day where I have time to do nothing.  I'll never understand people who have to constantly be doing something.  I need breaks from all the craziness.

Friday, March 2, 2012

It's Definitely Tornado Season

Today was absolutely crazy.  It was also the third day this week that we didn't follow our normal school schedule.  (We had severe weather Wednesday morning that led to a two-hour delay, and Thursday there was a pep rally.)  We knew that severe weather was coming toward us this morning, and some schools in the area had already talked about getting out early because of it.  Still, the day was basically normal at first, and I didn't think we'd be sent home.  (I feel like this sounds ominous...  It seems like something really bad is going to happen.)

I, along with two other girls in my class, had to talk to the junior girls who were invited to Hoosier Girls' State this morning.  It was pretty much entirely on us to sell it to them because the American Legion Auxiliary person there said she didn't really know much about it.  All three of us said nothing but great things about it, but only a handful of girls took an application.  Oh well, I hope whoever does go ends up enjoying it as much as I did.

We finished watching First Knight in AP English today.  I really enjoyed the movie, even though I was focusing too much on different things since we have to write a paper.  I may write a review for it here, but our paper is actually a review of the movie.  We'll just see.  I could post what I write for school, but I don't want it taken or something...  Plus, we have to focus on comparisons between the movie and Morte d'Arthur and on symbolism in the movie.

One of our yearbook pages that had a deadline Wednesday still isn't done because we've had so much trouble getting pictures of some of the classes we need.  One teacher we haven't even heard back from yet.  Hopefully we can get the pictures soon and get the page done.

Lunch was when we learned that we were going home in about half an hour.  We weren't even officially told.  People just overheard it being said, and it spread through the entire school in minutes.  At least, it did in our lunch.  I don't know if the kids in class knew or not.  At this point, it wasn't even raining although there was quite a bit of wind.  Ji took Regina and me home, and it was just Regina, Matthew, and me at home through the storm.

If you follow me on Twitter, you can tell I was a bit freaked out.  You'd think I'd be used to this after going through this multiple times a year my entire life, but severe storms will never not be scary.  My sister cleared out the closet, but she didn't go and sit in there with my brother and me.  For the most part we were just sitting in the living room, but it got bad for maybe fifteen minutes, and Matthew and I went in the closet then. It didn't even rain until it suddenly started pouring, and our street ended up flooding.  Then it hailed for maybe ten minutes at the most, and I had to stop Regina from going out in the middle of it to pick a hail stone up.  Then, we watched the news as it got farther from us.  At one point they said we'd be getting hit again, but thankfully, it never happened.  There were quite a few tornadoes around here, including one where my dad works and one where a lot of my family and other people I know live.  I saw one tweet going around saying there was one in our town, but I'm almost positive that was untrue.  Our town is way to small for one to go through without us knowing about it, even if it was outside of town.

As far as I'm aware everyone I know is perfectly fine, but I've been keeping up with how many are dead.  Last I heard eight were dead in Indiana and five in Kentucky.  I'm not sure how close any of these deaths were to where I live exactly, but I'm pretty sure at least several of them are from cities around here that I know of.  Some of the pictures I saw of the tornadoes today were really scary.  They definitely weren't small.  I'm just glad it's all over.  (We are still having some strong winds though.)

I feel as if this weekend is going to be a little crazy since I have about twice the amount of homework as normal and I have this ceremony thing on Sunday.  Hopefully it'll be a good weekend though.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

ISBN: 0525478817
Published: January 10th, 2012
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Read from February 19th to 23rd, 2012
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now. 
Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. 
Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.


It's going to be hard to put my thoughts on this book into words, but I'll try my best.

If you read my blog regularly, follow me on Twitter, or watch my YouTube videos, then you'll probably already know that I absolutely adored this book.  I would gladly recommend this book to absolutely everyone.  I loved all of the characters.  They were so fleshed out and likable and believable.  Hazel and Augustus were both amazing, and I enjoyed their interactions with each other.  It's not a happy book as I'm sure if obvious from the synopsis, and I was going to put off reading it for a while because of that.  However, I'm glad I didn't.

The book takes place mostly in Indianapolis, and as a Hoosier, that was an aspect I liked.  I don't go to Indy on a regular basis, but I've been there and new of a couple of the places they mentioned.  Plus, I could relate to some of the things they said about Indiana.  It was just a cool, little detail of the book that I enjoyed.

I don't want to reveal very much, so that's all I'll say.  If The Fault in Our Stars sounds at all appealing to you, I encourage you to pick it up and read it.