Friday, February 28, 2014

Life Post: The (Possibly Three Day) Weekend (We'll See What Happens)

It's the weekend! I have a fairly heavy workload for the weekend, but I'm still thankful for the bit of a break I'll be getting. It's possible this weekend may end up a bit longer than usual since we're supposed to get snow Monday morning. We talked about the potential of not having class on Monday because of it, but you never know. We could end up getting nothing. I wouldn't say no to an extra day of sleeping in though. It would almost come close to making this horrible cold worth it.

At any rate, I have a good amount of work I want to get done so that I can enjoy my Friday night. I'm off to get through all of that. Hopefully it doesn't take all night, but who knows. I tend to procrastinate a bit and get easily distracted on Fridays, so I may not end up being very productive. I always manage to get things done though. I just hope I do that quick today without too much procrastinating.

Broadcasting Your Aspirations Scholarship: How Television Will Affect My Future Career

I think it is safe to say that the majority of Americans get most of their exposure to stories through television. Not everyone enjoys reading, but almost everyone enjoys sitting down to watch something at least occasionally. It can be hard for many Americans to make time to go to a movie theater, but they do not need to make time when they can just flip their television on and have countless choices on what to watch for any length of time they desire.

Because it is so popular, television is a great way of judging what kind of stories people like. I happen to be a bit interested in that considering I enjoy writing. While it is important to write what you enjoy, it is also sometimes important to know what your audience will enjoy. In addition to that, television can help you explore what you enjoy in a story. It can take a long time to read a book, but I can watch one episode of a TV show and realize that I find it fascinating in a much shorter time frame. That, in turn, can inspire something I write. It is all related to each other, and the same sorts of things are entertaining in both television and books.

While television can provide a great look at what someone finds entertaining, its connection to reading does not end there. There are many storytelling conventions that are the same in both television and books. Writers should always learn more about the craft from reading of course, but there is no harm in also picking up some tips from television every so often. There are countless television shows out there that present brilliantly told stories, and writers can benefit from seeing how these are told. Not everything done on television can transfer into print, but many things can. The truly magical parts of stories that make them beloved by their audiences are the same in both television and print.

I am not just studying English in the hopes of being a writer though. I am also studying secondary education and have plans to become a high school English teacher. Those classrooms that I teach in will no doubt be filled with a large number of students that watch television on a regular basis and fewer students who regularly open up a book. The television that they watch will help shape their views on the world and their own experiences, and for that reason, it is important that I be aware of what sorts of television they are watching and what kind of messages they are taking in. This is not a method of censoring them or what they are watching, but I do think that knowing what they find entertaining or what they find important can help me figure out how to transfer that entertainment or importance into what I am teaching them. For instance, how many students would love to connect their favorite television show to a school project? Would students be more interested in a novel if I could connect it to a television show many of them enjoy watching each week?

Television plays an integral part in everyone’s lives today. It is an integral aspect of our society that will affect every job out there in some capacity. I am completely aware how it will affect me as both a writer and a teacher, and it is an influence that I will always be sure to use positively in order to do the best job that I can in both of the professions that I love.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Life Post: The Craziness Has Returned

I was so relieved before when things calmed down and I finally got a chance to breathe. Now everything has sped up again. I've been behind on my list of things to do all day today. I just finished up my homework right before I started writing this post, but the list of things to do is still longer than I'd like it to be this late in the day. At least the homework is done though.

I ended up staying up late two nights this week, and needless to say, that made the next days rather difficult. Last night though, I was in bed closer to my normal time, and my first class today was also canceled, which meant an extra hour and a half in bed. I'm extremely thankful because I needed the sleep. However, it might have also been a good idea to get up earlier and use the time to work on homework.

At any rate, tomorrow's Friday, and even though a good deal of my weekend will center around homework, I'm looking forward to it. Next week is the last week of classes before spring break. That means it's midterms and crazy, but it also means that once I get through it I get a week off. I can make it through another week.

Twisted Review: Season 1 Episode 14: "Home Is Where the Hurt Is"

I have to say that I wasn't expecting things to turn out the way they did between Danny and Charlie. I expected Danny to be more hostile, but he's actually being pretty okay around Charlie. I don't trust Charlie at all though. I just comes across as so creepy. I don't get why Danny wasn't more creeped out that the guy just showed up where he lived. If he really wanted to completely start over, he should have gone where he knew no one. Not where someone you roomed with in juvie lives and there's all this murder investigation stuff going on. I just think it's weird that he's there, and I don't like it. Plus, we still don't know why he was in juvie in the first place, and I really wonder what he did.

I don't even know where to start with the romance in these episodes. First Charlie flirts with Lacey and than Jo, which only makes me think of the guy as creepier. We also have a new female character thrown into the show with a crush on Rico. The girl's crush on Rico is cute and everything, but we really don't need another person thrown into what I'm still calling the love mess. The term "love mess" only becomes more and more accurate every episode. How many more people can be thrown into this thing? Love triangles are bad enough, but what is the show even trying to do here. It needs to stop. It's my biggest frustration with the show. I can't deal with this many people with different crushes on different people. Can we please calm down with that?

I am happy that Danny and Lacey were at least sort of okay at the end of the episode though. I like them together, and I hope their relationship does rather well in the future, although I'm sure there will be drama. I also just want Jo and Rico to get together. At this point I can't figure out if Jo legitimately doesn't like Rico or she's just trying to push him away like Danny's trying to push away Lacey. At any rate, I don't like Rico being with this new girl. She seems to really like him, and he just doesn't like her back. That really sucks, and I feel for her a lot. I just kind of want her to go away though in order to make the romance less complicated.

I feel like a lot less happened in this episode with anything outside of the love mess. I'm chalking that up to the dance storyline. The focus was pretty much on the normal high school (although no high schooler has every been involved in something as complicated as the love mess I'm guessing) as opposed to the investigation.

What we did get with the investigation was Kyle discovering the Tess has known Vikram is alive. I'm glad that's out in the open now. I'm sure it'll be a source of a lot of drama, but that's always better than something being a secret. I wonder how damaging that will be to their marriage, especially since they don't really have time to work on improving their relationship with everything going on.

Of course, they've also found Vikram's body now, so I'm sure that will lead to interesting events.

One more thought that has to do with romance but adults as opposed to the teenagers' love mess. I'm warming up to the idea of Karen and Jack. I didn't like Jack so much at first, but he started growing on me in this episode. I'm still not overly positive of the idea, but I'm less against it than I was before.

Overall, I don't think this was my favorite episode. Most of the episode was focused on the love mess, and I just am not a fan of the love mess. The ending of the episode gave a lot of potential lead ins to an awesome episode next week, so hopefully we'll get an awesome episode then.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

HIMYM Review: Season 9 Episode 18: "Rally"

I really loved how this episode was laid out. I liked the flash forwards every so often that gave us some information on the characters' futures after the show. I thought they were nice. I particularly enjoyed the one that showed Marshall becoming a judge on the New York Supreme Court. I thought that was pretty awesome, and I'm really happy that we got that bit of information. It was also cool to see Marvin as a college student too, and the bit about the mother publishing a book was a neat detail. I just really loved how they used those scenes.

As for the actual present-time storyline of the episode, I enjoyed it as well. It was fun, and I thought it was so cute that Barney lied to help his friends. I really love moments like that with Barney when you can really tell that he cares. It was sweet, and it was even sweeter when they talked about wanting to do the same for him. I'm pretty much a sucker for anything about friendship like that.

My favorite bit of the episode beside the flash forwards was probably the scene with Ted and the bacon. I have no idea how Ted has gone that long without realizing that his mom was lying about his bacon allergy, but I quite enjoyed the bacon jokes.

I really don't have much to say about this episode. I feel like this is the shortest review I've had in a while, but I just don't feel like I have much to comment on this time. That's not a bad thing though. Like I said, I really enjoyed this episode, and I'm really looking forward to next week's.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Book Review: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

ISBN: 1442416866
Published: May 8th, 2012
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Read from February 18th to 24th, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments continues—and so do the thrills and danger for Jace, Clary, and Simon.
What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?
Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.


There's so much I could say that I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed about where to start. Before anything else I just have to remark how shocked I am that I'm actually caught up with this series before the sixth book is published. When I read the first book back in October I honestly thought it would take me years to actually make it through the entire series. Then I became a little obsessed, and here we are about four months later and I've read all five of them that are published so far. Of course I have all of the spin-off books that are already out and the seemingly countless ones that will be published, but it just feels odd to have already gotten through the series. Anyway, on to what I thought of the book.

The short answer is that I loved it. I will say that there are times where Clare's writing bothers me a bit and I wish it were a bit different. It's just that sometimes her wording or something, but it's never enough to put me completely off. It's just something that's been there in each of the books. I think I mentioned it in my review of the first book, but I didn't in my review of the other three. I thought I'd mention that once more though.

I've said in every review that the highlight of this series for me is the characters. I love them so, so much. Especially Magnus and Alec. I have to talk about Magnus and Alec in every review, so of course I'd bring them up in this one. I swear each book I think I can't love them anymore than I do, but somehow I just become more and more emotionally attached. It's a problem. A huge problem. I'm a bit scared about how I'm going to be after the sixth book at this rate.

Simon and Isabel were another highlight of this book for me. I've thought they'd make a nice couple since the beginning, but it was just kind of a nice thing that I was fine with. I wouldn't say that I was actively rooting for them to get together. I just wouldn't have minded if they did. After this book though I want nothing more than for them to be together. Isabel has always been a kind of neutral character for me who I didn't dislike but I didn't love either, just liked, but she really grew on me as a character in this book. I'm not sure if that's why I want her with Simon more now or if her and Simon as a couple just grew on me. I think it's a bit of both, but either way I really loved them in this book.

I also really loved Clary and Jace's relationship in this book. I've always been more enthusiastic about their relationship than Simon and Isabel's, and I would be upset if they broke up or something. However, as far as how much I love other literary couples, it wasn't a huge thing for me. I'm starting to love them even more after this book too though. I just really loved (or as much as you can love something when it's also painful to read at time) seeing their relationship over the course of the novel. The end could be considered a bit cheesy with them, but I actually really liked it.

I know this pretty much turned into me talking about couples, but like I said, the thing I've always loved the most about these books were the characters. This book especially seemed very focused on the relationships of each of them. The other books definitely had the romance, but in this one you had two established couples, and you had them dealing with things as a couple. I think that made the book feel more focused on that sort of aspect. The majority of the characters aren't single, which is a bit uncommon for a young adult series I think. In most series hardly anyone is getting together until the very end. I like the idea of exploring the actual relationships more, and I really liked that about this one.

I do want to talk about Sebastian though. I find him a really intriguing villain primarily because it's so hard to tell how human he really is. There's this huge question in my mind about whether or not he can feel any human emotion or is he's just a demonic sociopath. There's not doubt that even if he has emotions, he's still incredibly evil, but I have to admit that I feel a bit of sympathy for him being an experiment and what his childhood was like. That doesn't excuse what he's done at all, but it does make his story a bit more tragic, I think. I'm interested in seeing what happens to him in the sixth book.

I'm sure there's more I could find to say, but I'll end it here because I don't want to do too long of a review. I'm really excited for the sixth book to come out though so I can find out what happens next!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Life Post: It's Been a Crazy Week

After this past week, I am unbelievably thankful for the weekend. This past week was crazy. My last "life post" post was short and just consisted of me saying I was loaded with homework. That's how my entire week went plus even more. I had my interview for admittance to the school of education and met the high school senior I'm going to be mentoring among other things. It was just a lot to pack into one week.

Somehow, through all of that, I managed to update this blog quite a lot, and I posted several "life vlogs" (like these posts only videos) on my Youtube channel. It's no wonder that I've been so worn out!

With all of that, I've had very little time to do anything that isn't homework, school related things, writing a blog post, or filming and editing a video. That was what my entire week was. I still have plenty of homework to do this weekend, including working on two papers that are a bit on the overwhelming side if I stop to think about them, but I'm hoping to get a good deal of writing done for the Hunger Games fanfiction I'm working on. That got pushed aside this week, like my writing almost always has been this semester. I've already written quite a bit today though, so I think we're doing good. Plus, I wrote quite a bit of my research paper earlier, so we're doing good with that. I still have homework I need to get done today, but I could have a much worse stack of work.

I'm probably not doing myself any favors by pushing the rest of my homework off until later today, but we'll be okay. For now I'm going to go edit a video I filmed yesterday and get that up.

My Feelings on Book to Movie Adaptations

I really love seeing books be made into movies. I know that these movies tend to have a reputation for being bad and worse than the novel, but I still really love seeing it done. Even if nothing can compare to the book, it's fun to see an interpretation of the book in movie form. I think a lot of people get uptight about wanting everything to be the way they imagined it, but I'm fine with things being a bit different. It's actually a bit odd because there are a lot of times I get uptight about details from books being accurate, but I'm usually pretty easy going about changes in movie adaptations. Sometimes I'll wish they had done something differently, bit I still appreciate what the adaptation did right. Overall, movie adaptations are just fun. They may not be the best movies ever, and they may not completely represent the novel, but it's fun to see a version of the novel on screen.

It's true that movies never completely capture the book, and I can't tell you how many times I get frustrated because people are judging a book based on its movie. (Please, do me a favor and never do that.) But it's also great when people see a movie and then decide to read the book its based on. That does happen. I've been a massive Harry Potter fan since I was little, and that all came out of me seeing the first movie before I read the book. Who knows when, if ever, I would have picked up the books if I hadn't seen the movie. I owe those movies a lot for that, even if my Harry Potter loyalty will always be to the books before the movies.

I'm a big fan of being optimistic about movie adaptations. Whenever one's announced about a book I'm a fan of, I always see people who are worried about it. While I completely get being a bit hesitant, I prefer being optimistic until there's at least a trailer and to not giving up all hope until you see the actual movie. Maybe it's because I prefer being positive about everything, but I don't want to go on about the movie being a failure until I've actually seen the movie. Of course, even when everyone else hates an adaptation, I tend to get some enjoyment out of it. Take The Host for example. I've heard many people go on about how bad the movie was, but I actually liked it. Yes, I get what other people are saying, but I enjoy seeing that world interpreted in a movie. I'm completely aware that it could have been better, but I would rather focus on the positives of the movie than the negatives.

Then there are the adaptations like Catching Fire that everyone seems to love and you hear very little negative things about. Those adaptations are the best because all of the fans get to go on and on about how great the movie was and it's just a fun time. (And can I just use this time to gush once again about how great Catching Fire was because I'll never get over the brilliance of that movie. It's my least favorite book of the trilogy, but that movie was perfection.)

I'll always be supportive of books being made into movies. Adaptations are fun and provide a great chance of seeing a different interpretation of the work. Sure, there will be bad ones, but there are also great ones. I like to think that the good can outweigh the bad, but even the "bad" ones can often be fun in some way or other. At any rate, I think it's best to remain optimistic about adaptations as a whole.

By the way, I wrote a post on this exact topic a last year. My feelings haven't changed much, but if you want to compare my thoughts then and now, you can read that here.

Friday, February 21, 2014

An out of State Student at an in State School

One thing you don't think of when you go off to college is what you're going to have to tell everyone when they ask where you're from. Now, I go to a smaller college in Indianapolis, and the majority of the other students are actually from Indianapolis. The majority of the ones who aren't are at least from central Indiana. There are a few others who, like me, are from southern Indiana, but it's not many. There are even fewer out of state students, and I can't imagine what it's like for those from states other than Illinois or Ohio or Michigan.

You'd be surprised how few Hoosiers (the term for people from Indiana. How many people actually know that? I'm not the best judge being from Indiana.) from central Indiana actually know anything about southern Indiana. Let me give you a little introduction to Indiana for those of you from other places. You have central, northern, and southern Indiana. Central Indiana has Indianapolis, and so it's the most city-like of any place in Indiana. Northern Indiana is, of course, relatively close to Chicago, so it's pretty industrial. What does that leave for southern Indiana? Farming. We're basically considered the red-necks of Indiana, and we're judged harshly for it. We have Evansville and even border Louisville, but no one cares. (Okay. To be fair I get the dismissal of Evansville. If you don't know about Evansville, consider yourself lucky. I won't get into that.)

It's actually hilarious how few people from central Indiana have ever been farther than maybe an hour south from Indianapolis. If they have, it was a quick drive through. Some have been to Evansville, but they didn't enjoy it (shocking) and are quick to make fun of it.

Now, to be fair, I get it to a certain extent. We're mostly farm land. There's nothing really remarkable in southern Indiana. But, we also have to acknowledge that most of Indiana is farmland. Central Indiana may have Indianapolis, but I'm just going to let you quickly figure out what the rest of central Indiana consists primarily of.

I think the stereotype comes from bordering Kentucky. I'm not even kidding when I say that I've heard central and northern Hoosiers refer to southern Hoosiers as southerners (as in a blanket term for the South United States and not just the state). Now, I live as far south as you can get. I can see Kentucky from my bedroom window at home. I will readily admit that I live in an area where people on both sides of the Ohio River have the same culture, but you know what? That culture's not very southern. There are a few hints here and there, but those hints are all stronger on the Kentucky side. It's not that I have a problem being labeled as a southern. It's just a tad annoying when it's happening because others in your state almost seem to feel like you're from another state.

So, we've established that almost no one at my school ever seems to know anything about any place even remotely near where I grew up. Most of the time this is refreshing. Most of my former high school classmates are all at the same college right now (in lovely Evansville), and I actually get a clean slate while they continue their drama. Still, sometimes the lack of knowledge gets annoying. It's like we're the constantly dismissed portion of the state. Everyone wants to forget we exist.

I know Evansville has the most meth labs in the state. I know it has the fattest people. (I don't have actual statistic for this. It's coming out of things I've heard, but you get the reputation.) Evansville's still Indiana, but even more than that, Evansville is a tiny, tiny part of southern Indiana. I always have to use Evansville as a point of reference, so people seem to assume I'm from Evansville. I'm not. I'm from several counties over, but if southern Indiana as a whole is dismissed, anything not Evansville is dismissed even more.

This post has basically just been to to get my feelings out. There's no real point. I don't want to make it seem like this is something that really bothers me on a daily basis. It's just a slight annoyance that's grown over the years. I guess what it comes down to is that I feel like an out of state students even though I'm not. When real out of state students are involved, I feel completely included as a Hoosier, but if it's all Hoosiers, I pretty much feel like an outcast (not in an overly dramatic way but I think you can understand). It wasn't something I really thought about before coming to school here, but it's become really obvious since.

If anything, I actually consider this an interesting phenomenon. I don't think anyone from outside of Indiana will even understand, but I guess it's interesting to me to think about the dynamics within the state. Of course this is all from my experience. Other Hoosiers could have an entirely different one.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Top Ten Books for Halloween (in February)

This topic came from Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  I'm going through and doing all of the old themes whenever I get a chance here and on my Youtube channel.

I know it's a bit odd to be doing this topic in February of all times, but I decided to keep doing these in order, even if the timing seems weird. However, I also don't read many Halloween sorts of books, so these may be a bit difficult. These will probably all be fantasy that include Halloween sorts of things, but they're not likely to be scary or anything.

1. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I know, I know. I choose Harry Potter for everything, but witches are the first thing I think of when I think of Halloween other than pumpkins, and when I think of witches, I think of Harry Potter. Plus, I would absolutely love to attend a Halloween feast at Hogwarts. I think it could possibly be the funnest holiday at Hogwarts, since the entire school is there unlike at Christmas.

2. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. Another one that I've been adding to most of these lately. This story contains a lot of great Halloween-related creatures/people though. You have your vampires and werewolves and warlocks, and you even get demons. On top of all that you get to throw nephilim into the mix, which aren't quite as common. I don't think you can go wrong with reading a book that involves fighting demons on Halloween.

3. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. This requires explanation. For those of you who aren't familiar with this book, we're not dealing with real witches here. This book is about a girl accused of being a witch in the 1600s, which may make it seem out of place in these Halloween books, but I honestly really like that. There's one scene in particular that's coming to mind where Nat and some others string up jack-o-lanterns and have to be put in the stocks for it because the Puritans see them as evil. I think this book serves as an excellent reminder that things we see as simple and fun were viewed entirely different in the past. It just makes you think about Halloween a bit. We like to talk about witches now, but they were a legitimate fear hundreds of years ago. I think that's pretty neat.

4. Wicked by Gregory Maguire. Elphaba is more humanized here than she ever was in The Wizard of Oz. However, she's still more of a stereotypical witch than the other witches on this list. Plus, I think this book as a whole is darker than the others on this list, although it's not a creepy sort of dark.

5. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. I have two reasons for adding this to the list: 1. It's never been on one of these lists, unlike many of the ones I'm choosing. 2. I think we need something apocalyptic here. The apocalypse isn't one of those things you think about on Halloween, but it can be on the creepy side. This book isn't scary, but it get a bit intense with what the family will do to survive while their world is falling apart. If you don't know about the book, it follows a teenage girl and her family when they moon gets knocked closer to earth. Not only is the moon now bigger in the sky, but it starts messing with earth's weather and it becomes harder and harder to get electricity and food. If you're reading a ton of books for Halloween, it could provide a break from all the creatures but not be too different at the same time. (I was actually looking at the original post for this on The Broke and the Bookish and saw that they included this was well. I swear I hadn't seen that, but I find it a bit odd. It was just the only apocalyptic books I can remember reading, so I added it. Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks the apocalypse and Halloween fit together though.)

6. The Inferno by Dante. This may seem like a bit of an odd choice at first, but I actually thought it was a pretty good one once I thought of it. We like to read about demons and things that come from hell around Halloween, Why not read a book actually about hell? And if you're going to read about hell, why not go for a classic? Of course you could read the entire divine comedy, but I haven't read those so I wouldn't put them on the list. Plus, The Inferno's the most fitting for Halloween. I think reading about people getting tortured for all eternity really fits into the Halloween spirit (spirit's not the word I'd like when talking about torture but you get the point).

7. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I wouldn't typically add this since I'm still in the process of reading it for one of my classes, but it just fits so perfectly. It's pretty much one of the classic Halloween novels. I may have only read the beginning so far, but I already know that it will work great.

8. The Desolation trilogy by Ali Cross. This is a trilogy that deals with Norse mythology (that means Loki, Thor, Odin, etc.). Desolation, or Desi, the main character is the daughter of Loki/Lucifer (both names are used at different times I believe). One thing I liked about it was the comparisons it drew between the Norse mythology it used and Christianity. Of course Norse mythology is true in the series, but Loki has pretty much embraced the concept of Satan/Lucifer and he pretty much considers himself to be that Christian figure. I'm probably doing a bad job describing it, but it makes sense when you read. Anyway, it's a bit darker since Desi grew up in Hell (which is what she typically refers to it as and is another example of the Norse mythology and Christianity meeting), and I just feel the tone of it really fits in with Halloween.

9. The Talisman trilogy by Brenda Pandos. I don't really read many vampires series, but this was one I enjoyed. I really liked how this one involved a human girl that actually had special powers (an empath in this case) and a half vampire (instead of just a vampire). It was a bit more original than the normal, helpless girl falls for the vampire. I recommend it if you're looking for a vampire book.

10. The Witch-Game series by K.C. Blake. We're back to witches to end this list, which shouldn't be surprising considering it's me. This series is actually two books that are companion novels. They are loosely related (in ways that you only find out at the end of the second one), but you can read either one without ever reading the other and be just fine. Both books are similar in that they are about witches playing some sort of game with their magic. Inevitably it backfires each time, and they have to deal with the consequences. I remember the second book in the series as being more intense than the first, but in both the consequences of the game lead to some pretty horrible situations that they have to combat. I really enjoyed them, and I think it's interesting to really see what teenagers with magical powers would do. Of course they're going to play around and take risks, and that can have some pretty bad consequences when you're dealing with magic. I thought it was fun to see that explored.

So, there's my top ten books for Halloween list in February!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Twisted Review: Season 1 Episode 13: "Sins of the Father"

I thought this was a pretty great episode overall. I love how we seem to get a lot of information in every episode, but there still manages to be so much that we need to know. It's a great balance.

I honestly don't understand why Danny won't go to the police. Well, that's not entirely true. I kind of get it, but mostly I don't. He and Jo just left the body lying at the bottom of the cliff though. There's no way it would just lay there unnoticed, and I think it would be easier to fess up to it. He was acting in self-defense, and I'm pretty sure that after everything else that's happened, the consequences couldn't have been worse.

I'm not sure how I feel about Jack, but that's just because he came in out of the blue. He seems like a perfectly fine character overall, and he and Karen were actually kind of cute. I just don't like how he was suddenly thrown into the show. I'll refrain from any more judgement until we see what happens with him more though. Maybe I'll become more positive about it.

I'd actually completely forgotten that the mayor was somehow involved. It had been so long that it had completely slipped my mind, but I'm glad that was brought up again and with the police. I don't know if I believe what he told Jo's dad though, and I wonder how he'll play into events in the future.

I never liked Mrs. Crane, but I wasn't at all expecting her to be involved. I suppose her and Vikram have an affair isn't too far fetched, but at this point it's starting to feel like everyone in the show is a part of some complicated love triangle thing. I'm not going to lie, I'm getting pretty sick of it, and now Mrs. Crane's been thrown into that mix too. I also worry about her mental health if she really thinks Vikram loves her. Sure we really haven't seen much of him on screen, but even from what she herself was saying I don't know how she actually believes that.

I actually want to talk about Vikram and his personality a bit. The earlier episodes never really hinted that he was an overly creepy or scary person. Yeah, there were the hints at illegal stuff and whatnot, but he still came across as a person who put on a perfectly normal persona to absolutely everyone in his life, including Karen. I never got the impression that Vikram and Karen had as terrible a relationship as it's being implied now. At one point in this episode, Karen says that she always wanted to protect Danny from how his father was, and I'm a bit confused. I never got the impression that Karen thought there was anything wrong with Vikram before. They seemed at least relatively okay in the flashbacks, and she never seemed to particularly think her husband was a monster or something. Now she suddenly seems to. Of course she would after recent events, but she's making it seem like she always thought that, which is something I didn't get from earlier episodes.

Anyway, I still need to go back to Mrs. Crane. She's kind of striking me as a bit crazy at this point. Not just because she actually thinks Vikram loves her, but also because she thought putting the necklace in Danny's locker was a good idea. There are countless reasons why that shows she's not exactly a smart person in my opinion. If you have to plant fake evidence to get a "murderer," it should kind of clue you in that maybe he's not guilty or maybe the person who's so adamant that you plant the evidence might have some secrets. She's just starting to strike me as either crazy or just not very bright.

The police ended up getting Marilyn a bit easily. She was being so cautious, and then she just lets her guard down like that. A bit too easy in my opinion, but oh well, she's in custody now. She also makes all these comments about Vikram that make me wonder whether she knows he's dead or she really believes he's somewhere far away.

I'm still not sure how I feel about the new dude who likes Lacey, and whose name I don't think I remembered last week either. That whole love mess (which I'm still calling it as opposed to triangle) doesn't need another person, and my feelings on that are still pretty much the same as last week. Apparently, a lot's going to happen with him next week, and I could see that going well but I could also see hating where they take it. We'll see.

Jo telling Lacey that she should date Danny if she wants to was great. Loved that scene. It was possibly my favorite of the episode. It was a bright side to this love mess thing. I love that she's trying to keep drama to the minimum and help two of her friends be happy, even if it hurts her a bit. That makes me love Jo as a character even more.

I was surprised when Jo and Rico mentioned that Rico's awkward confession of his feelings only happened two days ago. These episodes are taking place over a much shorter period of time than I even realized. The long break probably contributed to that, but still, that was a shock to me.

I'm just waiting for someone to figure out that Tess is in contact with Vikram and how that will go. I do wonder how much she knows. Does she think Vikram is innocent or does she know things he's done? I'm curious, and I really want that to be addressed.

The episode ends with someone standing over Vikram's body, which is definitely climactic. I have no idea who it could be, but they got there when Tess was calling him. I'm hoping that leads to whatever is going on with Tess and Vikram being revealed more, but we'll see.

It'll definitely be interesting to see where the show goes next week.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Book Review: Silence by Natasha Preston

ISBN: 1480118516
Published: October 19th, 2012
Publisher: self-published
Read from February, 12th to 17th, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:
For eleven years, Oakley Farrell has been silent. At the age of five, she stopped talking, and no one seems to know why. Refusing to communicate beyond a few physical actions, Oakley remains in her own little world.
Bullied at school, she has just one friend, Cole Benson. Cole stands by her, refusing to believe that she is not perfect the way she is. Over the years, they have developed their own version of a normal friendship. However, will it still work as they start to grow even closer?
When Oakley is forced to face someone from her past, can she hold her secret in any longer?


I don't even know where to begin with this review. I got this book because the Kindle version was free on Amazon (and still is at the time I'm writing this). I didn't really know much about it other than the synopsis, and I had completely forgotten the synopsis by the time I actually started reading.

Starting off I was optimistic, and it took until about a third of the way through the book before I really started to dislike it. There are a lot of typos and grammatical errors throughout the book. I read self-published novels enough that a few typos here or there isn't a big deal to me. These were everywhere though and very noticeable. It seemed to get worse as the book went on, but that was possibly just me getting more frustrated with them. They were huge mistakes though like using one entirely different word where another should be, and I say a lot of words and phrases repeated right after each other. It would have been forgivable to a certain extent, but this book went far past that.

Then there's the story itself. The premise of the story has so much potential, which is why I bought it in the first place, but it didn't live up to it. The author has potential, and I can even see this story having the potential to be great if more work was put into it. That's why I kind of hate having to write this review. The author seems to have so much potential, but either not enough work was put into editing the book or the author just hasn't reached the point where she's ready to write something for publication (or both). I have no doubt that she could write some awesome stuff in the future, but Silence, to me, read like an early attempt of a story that is excellent practice for a future but isn't good enough just yet. And I'm saying this as an aspiring writer who's dealing with the same sorts of things all the time.

The story got steadily worse as the book went on. The plot was being set up well until about the halfway point. Since I don't want to spoil the ending, it may be a bit difficult to say this, but I felt as if one thing was being set up until about halfway through when the name "Frank" is thrown into things. Now, some may regard that as a plot twist, but it was really poorly done. It's as if the beginning is telling you one thing is happening and then you find out it's not true. It would be one thing if it was done well by concealing information, but in this case it felt as if the reader had been given inaccurate information (and we're not talking unreliable narrator, we're talking information that just suddenly becomes untrue). I feel like that was a sign of what I was saying about the book just not being completely "there"yet as far as being ready to be published. That was one of the many aspects of the plot that needed to be worked with and rearranged. It read more like an early draft of a plot then a finished one.

There were a lot of other things like that throughout the novel where you could see the potential but it still needed to be reworked. The only other part I'll talk about is the ending. That was just a horrible way to end things. It was too sudden. You can't throw something like that out at the end of the novel when it makes no sense from the characters' standpoint. Again, this is difficult to describe without spoilers, but the characters showed absolutely no intention of their actions until it was dropped into the story as a cliff-hanger ending. It was horribly executed and made absolutely no sense. If it was going to be done, then it should have been hinted at before it happened. However, I don't think it should have been done at all. The only purpose it served was to create more drama to set up a sequel. I think this would have worked better as a standalone considering that sudden event was the only thing tying it to a sequel. Still, if you're going to write a sequel, ending the first book like that is ridiculous. It made no sense, and it ended way too soon after the event happened. That entire last chapter was just unnecessary.

I don't think I'm going to read the sequel. There doesn't seem like much else to the story other than a romance. The original intent of the story has more or less been addressed, which is what makes a sequel so unnecessary.

Overall, I had mostly negative views of Silence, but I definitely see the potential it has to be good. It has a very interesting plot, but it wasn't executed well the majority of the time. I just feel like the author should have worked with it more before it was published. It reads too much like an early draft that's not quite ready for publication.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Two of My Most Embarrassing Moments

For some reason I have decided to document two of my most embarrassing childhood memories in this post. Now, there are definitely some embarrassing stories that I will never be telling, but these are the two stories I always offer up when people want embarrassing stories.

The first one happened in third grade. Every year our class put on a Christmas musical. That particular year we were performing a humorous play about Gabriel that was basically his perspective of the Christmas story. I played a random angel, and at the beginning of the play I was supposed to be helping the other angels clean up heaven (while singing about it of course) in order to prepare for Jesus. This involved me picking up this broom that was laying at my feet before sweeping with it. I did this countless times during rehearsals, but I only did it once in the angel robes before we performed for our parents.

Sure enough, during the performance I bent down to get the broom and tripped over my robes right on stage. Of course that was embarrassing enough for me at nine, but it didn't help that my crush at the time had been standing right beside me when it happened. I just picked up the broom and kept going. My teacher mentioned later that she was impressed because for a minute she thought I was going to freak out and not know what to do, but as if I was going to call more attention to myself. Luckily, I don't think the majority of people noticed, and this little incident has no doubt been forgotten by everyone in the world except me, who thinks about it sometimes when I have to get up in front of crowds.

The second story happened two years later in fifth grade. In order to fully appreciate this story, you need to understand how quiet of a kid I was, especially in elementary school. I didn't talk unless directly spoken to or it was one of my small group of closest friends. I especially didn't call attention to my self during class. It's also important to know that my best friend Summer and I fought in elementary school. A lot. Everyone knew it, and it wasn't a week of school if Summer and I didn't end up in tears and screaming at each other on the playground at least twice. It was accepted by everyone, and if the teachers saw one of us in tears or angry, they knew it was time to talk to us both and get us to reconcile. I can still remember them sighing every time they realized they had to deal with us again. (It was so bad that for second through fourth grade we weren't allowed near each other at any time except recess. You may be asking why we were even friends, but that's just how Summer and I were. We both really wanted to be in control, and almost every single fight was about what game we were going to play at recess. I'm serious. I can't remember one fight about anything else.)

Anyway, our teacher had arranged our desks in groups, and we'd gotten to choose where to sit. (Remember this was the first year Summer and I were actually allowed around each other during class.) Obviously we all chose to sit with our friends, which was great. That was the same school year that we went through more post-it notes than I can count passing notes. Except it wasn't so great when Summer and I had just been arguing at recess and were now sitting in social studies class without having made up.

I was crying as the class took turns reading out of our social studies book. This was so common that no one in the class was particularly concerned. (I've cried in a classroom far more times than anyone should have, but at least I managed to cut that number down to just once in high school.) Summer, on the other hand, was paying attention, and she was still mad at me. (Like I said, most of our arguments were about what to play at recess, but of course by now it had become more than that. I have no idea what we were actually mad about now.) She was whispering things to me about how I was crying. I think she said I was doing it because I wanted attention, but I honestly don't remember. What I do remember was finally getting so angry that I screamed. Just flat out screamed.

Needless to say, the entire class stopped what they were doing when the girl who rarely talked screamed. I remember it being quiet for a bit before the teacher asked me if I needed to get a drink of water. I told him no, and after he asked if I was sure, the subject was dropped. He told the student who had been reading to keep going, and the rest of the class let it go except for Summer who I remember was laughing.

That was another one of those times where I thought everyone but me had managed to forget about it, but two years later one of the boys in my class (who was a bit of a bully) actually brought it up and was laughing about it. Thankfully by that time it really didn't bother me, and I was just slightly annoyed with him. But still, I would have rather lived under the impression that everyone had forgotten (which is totally why I'm documenting it here).

And there you have it: two of my most embarrassing moments. Of course these are both from elementary school, so it's a lot easier for me to actually talk about them. I was only nine and eleven after all. Who knows if you'll ever get the later in life ones. I think I still need some time before I'm willing to hand those out.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Shows I Wish Were Still Around

I think everyone can agree that all TV shows have the potential to run too long. They can start off great, but because they go on too long, they're not quite as great towards the end. I'm completely in support of a TV show ending while it's still great, but that doesn't mean I don't sometimes wish that a show was still around. Here are some shows that have ended that I wouldn't mind seeing again (although that doesn't mean I don't think they ended when they should).

Friends. Friends has to top this list. Is there anyone who doesn't wish Friends was still on? Friends is one of those shows that you can watch a million times over and over, and it never gets old. I have a hard time believing that it would have ever not been great.

Rugrats and All Grown Up. Yeah, I included All Grown Up in this. I usually feel like the only person who actually really loved All Grown Up. I thought it was just as great as Rugrats was, and I absolutely loved seeing the characters a decade older. I was so upset when they took Rugrats and All Grown Up off of Netflix. I plan on buying all of them on DVD, and if I ever have kids, you better believe they're going to grow up watching both shows. Rugrats may have been Nickelodeon's longest running show (until Spongebob surpassed it), but I wouldn't have minded it being longer. Plus, All Grown Up had way too short of a run in my opinion. Apparently there was also a spin-off that involved Angelica and Susie at preschool, but it was canceled after only a few episodes, and it's pretty much impossible to see. It's one of my goals in life to find whatever episodes of that show there are and watch them. I couldn't live with myself if I never saw it. I also wouldn't object to another show it the characters as teenagers. I can't be the only person who thinks that would be fun.

Avatar: The Last Airbender. One of the things I love about Avatar (including Legend of Korra) is that it has a plot as opposed to being episodic. Of course the plot was resolved, but I wouldn't have objected to a season that involved the aftermath of the war. I think they could have done a lot with the rebuilding each nation would have to do. It's pretty much what they're doing with the comic series anyway. Why not have made a show about it?

Jimmy Neutron. I feel like most people my age didn't watch Jimmy Neutron that much. It started airing right around the time most kids my age stopped watching Nicktoons, but I always loved it. In this particular case, I would really like to see a spin-off with the characters as teenagers, just like with Rugrats. I think it could be pretty awesome.

I know this list ended up a bit cartoon heavy. I'm sure I could think of even more, but these are definitely the top shows that I wish were still around. I wouldn't mind any of them coming back.

Life Post: So Much Work to Do

Today is set to be a long day. My to do list is so long that it will be a miracle if I get it done before late tonight. In fact, I'll be impressed if I get it done at all. Maybe I'll impress myself though and just fly through everything. We'll see.

I really want to write a longer post, but I'm too anxious to get started on my work. After all, the sooner I do it the sooner it'll be finished.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Naruto Shippuden Review: Episodes 141-145

The first three of these episodes are very different from the last two, so I'm going to focus on 141-143 first.

I really enjoyed the background we got on the Uchiha family in these episodes. It's been kind of nice to have so many episodes that focus on Sasuke after him not making any appearances in who even knows how many episodes. I can't even imagine how Sasuke is feeling after everything he's learned. It was all quite the plot twist, and it was actually something that I didn't see coming. Now Sasuke is all gung ho about destroying Konoha though, which should create some interesting times.

One question I have about the whole Tobi/Madara thing though: I can't remember for sure, but I'm almost certain that there was a point where "Tobi" was shown by himself, but he was still acting like Tobi. Why would Madara keep it up if no one was around. I'm a bit confused by that. Of course it could be written off as needing the audience to not know the truth yet, but I really don't like those kind of plot holes.

I also found the Eight-Tails jinchuriki rather odd with his constant rapping. I was kind of relieved when that fight was over just so I wouldn't have to listen to that anymore.

Now onto episodes 144 and 145. I'm not really sure if this is supposed to be more of a filler arc or if this arc is going to have something to do with other things going on. I don't think it's bad necessarily, but it's not keeping my attention as much as the episodes before it were. It's definitely a big change from focusing on Sasuke recently.

I don't think I really have much to say about these two episodes. They mostly focus on new characters, and I'm not too fond of those characters so far to tell the truth.

Although, I do want to mention Naruto's talk about Jiraiya in episode 145. It's so sad listening to him go on like that, and it made me a bit emotional.

I'm not sure how long this arc goes on for, but I'm hoping that it either picks up in the coming episodes or is over soon. I'm just not enjoying it, and it's even more disappointing in comparison to the episodes that came before it.

Life Post: Naruto's Become a Constant, Warm Weather, and Writing About Weddings

I have a heavy workload this weekend, so a good deal of my Saturday was spent on homework. I've also managed to get some writing done too though, which is nice.

Other than that I haven't really done much other than watch Naruto. I'm having one of those times where I've realized how long I've been watching Naruto and I'm still not caught up. Guys, I'm going to die not having finished Naruto. It's reached the point that if I ever catch up I don't know what I'll do. I've spent years of my life watching it. I don't know what it's like anymore to not have hundreds of Naruto episodes you need to watch. Hundreds. I still have hundreds. (205, in fact, if my math was correct, but that will change as soon as a new episode airs this coming week.)

I woke up this morning to hear that the snow we had yesterday was apparently a record snowfall. It wasn't bad today, but it's cold enough that I have no problems staying in all weekend. I'm so excited for the warm weather we're supposed to get this week. I hope it sticks around, but I'm not foolish enough to actually expect it to. Still, I plan on enjoying it while it lasts. It may actually be possible to go outside without a winter coat on next week, and that is a beautiful thing.

Now, I'm going to go write some more of the Hunger Games fanfiction I'm working on. I have a wedding to write. (That was such a fun plot point to drop, but I have to clarify that, while it is a Katniss/Peeta fanfiction, I am not writing Katniss and Peeta's wedding. I just couldn't give off that false hope. Although I'm not ruling out that they may get married in the fanfiction... I'll be completely honest I can't even remember if I've planned to write their wedding or not. I'd need to check my outline. Whoops. You'd think that's something I would remember. I've just been too focused with what I'm on now.)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Looking Back on My Wizard Rock Concert Experience

I feel like I talk about concerts a lot ever since this summer. Apparently going to a bunch of concerts really close together makes you kind of addicted. I spend a lot of time thinking about how I want to be at concerts now. It doesn't help that Little Mix is currently touring with Demi Lovato. I see tweets about the concerts every night and then there's videos, pictures, and gifs on Tumblr. Then there's me looking at it all and thinking sadly about how I won't be able to see them. (Demi is coming here. Little Mix won't be with her but Cher Lloyd won't be. I can't go though because it costs money that I don't have, and I already went broke for One Direction tickets.)

I actually filmed a video about concerts just the other day, but as I mentioned in another video, I managed to accidentally delete the footage from my camera, so it never made it to Youtube. In that video I talked about all of the artists that would perform at my dream concert. I'm not repeating that here. (It ended up being me going on and on about wanting to continuously expand the list.)

After I filmed that I started thinking about the other people attending the concert and how that affects the experience too. Seeing certain artists is obvious the reason you're there, but if you're surrounded by horrible people then it can dampen things a bit. I've been lucky to not really have any problems with that sort of thing, but I did have an exceptional experience: the wizard rock concerts at LeakyCon 2013. That was definitely a unique experience as far as audiences go, and I'm not sure if anything can really beat it.

While it was amazing for all of the bands, hearing Harry and the Potters perform The Weapon in a huge room packed with Harry Potter fans was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Anyone who knows what Harry and the Potters performances are like knows this, but at one point the crowd forms a circle and then eventually runs in toward each other. By complete chance I ended up on the outskirts of the circle we formed, and it was just incredible to see everyone and have everyone cheering. During the same song we all started putting our arms around each other, and keep in mind that this was the entire crowd and most of us are strangers. I don't think anything will ever top that experience.

That's not to mention the thousand other incredible moments during all of the performances.

So, while seeing certain artists perform, being there with a certain group of people can make things absolutely amazing as well. I talk about the concerts I went to this summer and how much I loved them, but during that I've kind of pushed my wizard rock experiences aside, which is a shame. While the concerts I went to this summer were incredible and I wouldn't take away the experiences for the world, there is something about wizard rock concerts that is just indescribable. It's something I wish everyone could experience, and I'm so glad that I got to.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Top Ten Books I'll Never Read

This topic came from Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  I'm going through and doing all of the old themes whenever I get a chance here and on my Youtube channel.

I'm the type of person who wants to read the vast majority of well known books because I get curious. I just can't not know what happens in a book when so many other people do. (And, I'll admit, it might be partly because I just want to say that I've read it.) I'm not sure how easy it will be for me to come up with ten books that I'm most definitely never reading, but we'll see.

1. The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy (?) by E.L. James. I think it's a trilogy, but I could totally be wrong. I couldn't even remember the author's name. I had to Google it. What I do remember is all of the stuff I've read about this series that will make sure I never go near it. I've read excerpts of it online, and I honestly thought what I read was laughably bad. There's no way I could make it through those books. There are just so many things that keeping me away from it. (Also, can I just say that when I read the excerpts I did I could not picture the main character as anyone other than Bella Swan. I know the books were originally Twilight fanfiction, but I'm not sure if that was my own mind or the similarities were actually there. At any rate, she definitely came across as Bella to me.)

2. Moby Dick by Herman Melville. This was on my most intimidating list too. There's a part of me that feels like I should read it because I'm an English major, but honestly, it's never going to happen. Maybe an excerpt or something, but I'm never making it through the whole thing. (Watch a class I take in the future assign it...)

3. Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews (and the rest of the series that for some reason exist). With all the talk about the new movie lately, I can't believe I didn't think of this one. I had to see it on someone else's list in order to remember it. That's fine with me though, since I'd rather forget of it's existence. No amount of curiosity could make myself read it. I actually know way too much of the story anyway with all of the stories written on it around the movie release. That's more than enough for me.

4. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler. I saw this on several other lists, and I decided I might as well add it to mine, even though I never would have even thought of it otherwise. Honestly, I can only see people reading this if they are into history and are reading it for a sort of historical context (if that's the correct term). I personally doubt I will ever be picking it up. I really have no desire to read any of it at all.

I think I'm going to end the list here. I know it's only four, but I just honestly do not like putting books down on a definitive never read list. Sure there are some I know it's extremely unlikely I'll ever pick up, but I don't like to definitively exclude things, since who knows how I'll feel about them in the future. I'm already questioning whether Moby Dick should be there because maybe I'll decide one day to actually try tackling it. The other three are definite though. They're staying there.

Life Post: Just a Bit Tired

Today has been such a long day during a long week. I still have so much homework to get through, so I really shouldn't be writing this. I'm about to fall asleep though, so here I am taking a break from my work.

It really has been a good week. I just haven't been sleeping well, and that's making things a bit difficult. Also, next week is going to be somewhat eventful, so I'm starting to feel a bit of anxiety over that. So far though I've been doing a good job of not freaking out. It's just that next week is the week that I'm interviewed in order to earn acceptance to the school of education and when I meet the high school senior that I'm going to be mentoring. Hopefully both things go well.

Now, I really need to get back to studying. The sooner I get done, the sooner I can (possibly) take a nap. (Oh, wait. I just remembered Reign comes on tonight. Yeah, a nap isn't happening.)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Life Post: I Wish I Could Sleep

Today has been a rather long day. I just now managed to get my homework done, and I feel like I've been running around places all day. It doesn't help that I'm exhausted because I didn't sleep well last night either. I had really hoped I was finally getting around to sleeping well again, but apparently not. Oh well. Not much I can do since I don't know what's causing it.

It really feels like today should at least be Thursday. I have to keep reminding myself that there are actually two days until the weekend. It's been a long week. The week hasn't been bad or anything, but I am ready for it to be over. I slept a good deal last weekend, but I'm ready to do it again and possibly sleep even more.

I'm ready to spend the rest of my night relaxing, but first I want to edit a video I filmed earlier today. I'm going to go get that done so I don't have to do anything else.

Twisted Review: Season 1 Episode 12: "Dead Men Tell Big Tales"

It feels awesome to finally be reviewing Twisted again. Just like the first half of the season, I'll review every episode either here or on my Youtube channel.

We definitely jumped right back into things in this episode. It was intense! I absolutely loved it. It's nice to finally get more information about what really happened after months of waiting for a new episode.

I'd really like to know how Danny got around without getting caught when there were cops absolutely everywhere. I mean, he was actually still in his house at first, and they didn't see him. That's pretty impressive. Or maybe I just find it impressive because I'm so bad at being sneaky.

I can't blame Jo for yelling and revealing that Danny was there at all. I know he's her best friend and everything, but I thought how she acted throughout this episode was very realistic. She seems to suspect him, but she also accepts that he's not guilty after learning more. I really like that balance. She's being cautious (which she arguably wasn't before), but she's still willing to alter her opinion once she learns more.

We have a new character introduced in this episode who's a new kid at the school. I'm assuming that he's going to become important somehow since it would be pointless to introduce him otherwise. I just hope he doesn't complicate the love mess going on in the show because I'm already a bit fed up with how that's being handled. It's not even a love triangle. I'm going to continue referring to it as the love mess for the foreseeable future. That mess does not need another person. (Although, it seems like Tyler may be gone for good. Jo's still dealing with her feelings over him of course, but he didn't actually appear in this episode. I've despised Tyler from the beginning and get angry everytime he appears, so I'd be over the moon if he never made another appearance.)

Another thing that makes me happy in this episode is that the police, namely Jo's dad, seem to be willing to give Danny the benefit of the doubt. They were immediately jumping to the conclusion that he was guilty before, but now they finally have enough information that they're not as prejudice against him. It was really frustrating me before how they seemed to have already accepted that he was the murderer, so I'm happy it's not like that anymore.

Does anyone else find it kind of adorable that Danny went to Rico of all people? I don't really know why I find it adorable, but I do. I know he didn't have anyone else to go to really, but I still just find it kind of cute that he trusted Rico enough to show up at his house.

And Rico. I have to talk about Rico. I remembered enjoying him as a character, but after seeing the show again after so many months, I honestly think he may be my favorite character. I just think he's hilarious, especially when he was all nervous about letting Danny stay in his house.

Then we find out that Vikram framed Danny for his aunt's murder. There is the possibility that Danny's lying, but I'm pretty doubtful of that at this point. He seems to be completely truthful, and Vikram doesn't really come across as innocent.

The end of this episode just sealed it as great to me. The emotion when Danny tells Lacey and Jo that his dad framed him for murder was excellent, and I was crying when he explained that he went with what his dad told him because he loved him. It was heartbreaking and so, so screwed up.

The scene with Danny, Jo, and Vikram was excellent as well. I really loved the tension and emotion in that scene. Smart move on Jo's part pulling her phone out to call. Of course, it doesn't go that well, and the episode ends with Vikram falling to his death. That was a plot twist I didn't see coming, but I guess that the show would be wrapped up too quickly if they just got him arrested and that was the end.

So now we as viewers basically know that Danny is innocent but the only witness to that is dead. Of course, he was supposed to be dead a lot earlier. (Can we talk about how ironic it is that Vikram was suppose to be dead and then right when we find out he's alive he really dies?) There are so many ways they could go know with Danny and Jo having been there when Vikram died (and Danny kind of being responsible) and Vikram being the only witness who's now dead. I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Only Person Who Still Hasn't Seen Frozen

I don't get to go see movies in the movie theater a lot for a variety of reasons. It's one of those frustrating things for me. I'm always thinking about how if I had money to go, I'd be at the movie theater at least once a week. (Of course, I'd also need a car, but you can only solve one problem at a time.)

It becomes the most frustrating when there's a movie I absolutely want to see but can't. I've been dying to see Frozen since before it was even out, and I was really upset that I didn't get to while I was at home. Then, it seemed to explode and everyone was talking about it and seeing it, and then there's me who's been dying to see it for months and hasn't. Everyone I know has seen it at this point, and they all constantly talk about it. We're talking about the people who I bugged to go see it with me and they all refused. Now they're going on about how much they love it, and I haven't seen it. It's just a bit of a frustrating situation.

I may not be able to see Frozen while it's still in theaters, but I will see it at some point. After all, it's not like this hasn't happened to me before. I don't even want to point out how long it was before I finally got to see Brave, but now I own the DVD and can watch it all the time. I guess that's the good thing about movies: you can always watch them later.

Life Post: Lots of Homework

I've had a rather long day. Last night I stayed up a bit later than I should have, and I'm definitely feeling it today. It was an intense struggle to stay awake in my classes, and now I'm having the same struggle with homework.

It seems like I'm having projects in all my classes at once. It's not so much that the projects themselves that are hard, but trying to keep what I need to get done with each one is proving to be a bit of a hassle. I also have a huge paper to write and then a somewhat smaller one that I need to start soon. Still nothing too big to handle, but enough to cause a bit of stress.

I'm pretty sure most of my day will be working on homework from here on out, although I'm hoping I'll get done quicker than I'm anticipating. We'll see.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Life Post: A Pretty Great Monday

I have to say that this is turning out to be a pretty great Monday so far. I managed to get more sleep this weekend than I have in a while, so even though I got to bed somewhat late last night, I still feel far more awake than I have on recent weekdays. That's a huge relief considering I was starting to get really worried about how little sleep I'd been getting. Hopefully that improves. I've actually been sleeping through the nights lately, so that's a really good sign. I still have no idea what kept waking me up during the night for more than a week.

I haven't even started on homework yet though (unless you count doing some research for a paper), so I really need to get to that. I'm also hoping to get some writing done today, but we'll see what happens there.

Book Review: How to Start a Blog That People Will Read by Mike Omar

ISBN: 1484144732
Published: April 24th, 2013
Publisher: self-published
Read from February 8th to 9th, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:
HOW TO START A BLOG THAT PEOPLE WILL READ: How to create a website, write about a topic you love, develop a loyal readership, and make six figures doing it.
In association with
Blogs have the potential to be unbelievably powerful. Never in the history of mankind has such a valuable, simple, and inexpensive tool existed for exploring topics, sharing ideas, connecting with others, and building businesses.
I never dreamed that blogging would lead to more personal and business opportunities, financial success, and clarity of mind and purpose than anything else in my life...but it has.
Blogging, combined with the power of social media, is one of the most powerful tools for massive exposure that exists today...and it's virtually free.
Let me put it this way: Everyone needs to have a blog. The potential upside of having one is just too great to ignore.
Not only will a blog offer you opportunities in all kinds of unexpected and immeasurable ways, the writing will force you to organize your thoughts and analyze topics in ways that wouldn't be possible otherwise.
In other words: The benefits that come from blogging will surprise you...over and over again.
In this ebook I'm going to teach you how to create a professional blog, as well as how to strategically pick your blog topics and write your blog posts (based on keyword research). I'm also going to teach you how to best monetize your blog, promotional strategies that will drive traffic to your blog, and how to create a growing and loyal readership. I also include links within the ebook to supporting video lessons for extra clarity.
What's great about what I teach you is not only the income level you will accomplish if you follow through creating your blog, but all that you will learn in the process. The skills you learn in this ebook will enable you to build all kinds of online businesses and open the door for all kinds of entrepreneurial projects you may have.
Not only that, you will be able to evaluate business ideas much more intelligently once you've gone through this whole process. This is because you will understand the fundamentals of keyword research & analysis, traffic & lead generation, social & affiliate marketing, monetization & conversion testing, and traffic analysis. These skills will help you immensely in ANY business you ever decide to start (online or not, passive or not).
So why wait? Start your blog today!
After all, the longer you wait to start, the more money that is being left on the table.


My overall view of this book is just that it was okay. It had some good information, but I still feel as if they bad mostly outweighed the good. I felt like I knew absolutely everything in this book already. Now, I've read a decent amount of books on this topic, so I'll admit that I'm more informed on this stuff than most people probably are. Still, I think most people with any experience blogging will know pretty much everything said in this book. The only people who can really benefit from this book are people who have never blogged and are considering it. Otherwise, you're not going to get much out of this.

It also annoyed me that information was repeated multiple times. The author stated once that parts of the book were just some of his past newsletters. I'm not sure how much of the book that was, but parts of it seemed pretty clearly to be copy and pasted from somewhere else because the flow was off. I'm not against the idea of compiling past material into one single book. The problem was that information got repeated (sometimes almost word for word), which made it boring to read and also extremely redundant.

This book definitely isn't something that anyone with any blogging experience would get any use out of. If you are entirely new to blogging, then you may find it a bit helpful, but I also know that there are far better books out there that could help you.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Life Post: Starting a New Fanfiction

I love having lazy Sundays. I got so much homework done yesterday that I have very little to do today, which is rare for me. I plan on putting that time to use by getting some writing done.

I finished the first draft of the fanfiction I've been working on yesterday, and now I'm setting it aside for a bit before I go back and start editing. I also created an outline for a new fanfiction yesterday, and I plan to start work on it today. I'm excited. It's another Hunger Games fanfiction, but it's entirely different than the one I'm currently posting (The Fourth Hunger Games). It'll probably be a little more like Life Lessons in style and how it's laid out, and it could almost operate as a prequel to that one (although I'm not writing it as one). I'm not really sure how long this one is going to turn out to be word count wise. I'm writing it to be similar to Life Lessons, but I want it to be longer. Life Lessons was written to be glimpses of the characters over a span of years. This one is going to be similar, but I want it to be more detailed glimpses since it relies so much on the characters' growth. We'll see what happens.

I went on about that for too long. I'm going to go actually start writing now. I'm so excited to get to it!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Book Review: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

ISBN: 1442403543
Published: April 5th, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Read from February 2nd to 7th, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.
But nothing comes without a price.
Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her—his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.
The stakes are higher than ever in the #1 New York Times bestselling fourth installment of the Mortal Instruments series.


As this series has gone on, it's become harder and harder for me to give these books anything other than five stars. I've seen a lot of really negative reviews for this book in particular, and while I can see some of the points they're making, I really don't understand that negativity. Maybe I've just gone so far into fangirl land at this point that I'll blindly like anything. I don't know. All I can tell you is that I enjoyed this book immensely.

I don't think I've made it a secret in the past that I love Magnus and Alec. While there are a lot of things I love about this series, they are definitely number one. Yes, I was a bit disappointed that they didn't show up until more than halfway through this one, but the idea of them traveling around Europe together is so cute that I'm willing to put up with that. (Seriously, I really want a story about that vacation. I'm so tempted to go look up some fanfiction right now, but I should probably try to avoid spoilers.)

It's a bit hard to talk about a lot of the things I could say because I'd like to keep this review spoiler-free. You'd think that with this book basically being set up for an entirely new plotline that it would be a bit on the boring side, but I didn't feel that way at all. It felt very character-focused, and as I've mentioned in every single Mortal Instruments review of mine, I find that the strongest point of the series.

The ending of the book had me on the edge of my seat. It's definitely a cliff-hanger, and it's left me so upset that I don't have the fifth book yet. I have no idea when I'll actually be able to get the fifth one either, but I really hope that it's sooner rather than later.

Life Post: Laundry and Caring Far Too Much about Subway

This happens to be a laundry day, and I'm writing this post as I wait for my last load of laundry to be finished in the dryer. I always dread laundry day because I do it when I first wake up, and I'm never a fan of doing anything right when I wake up, but carrying loads of laundry up and down stairs is especially horrible when you're still half asleep.

I haven't really managed to do much in between waiting for laundry other than go to Subway for lunch. I tried those new flatizza things, and I honestly am not a fan. Mine became really tough and hard to eat. I got their old little pizzas kind of often, but they got rid of those for these flatizza things and I'm a bit disappointed. The old ones were so much better, and I'm sure they would have sold better than these flatizza things if they'd just have advertised that they had them better. (I care far too much about Subway since I started going to school here. I suppose I should just be thankful my school doesn't have a McDonald's or something.)

The alarm on my phone is about to go off to remind me to go get my laundry, so I suppose I'll end this here. Hopefully as soon as I get my laundry done I'll finally get around to my homework. It's past noon, so I really should be getting through some of that.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Reign Review: Season 1 Episode 11: "Inquisition"

I think this episode definitely wins for intensest Reign episode yet. It also wins as the first one to have me in tears by the end. There was just so much going on that I don't even know where to begin.

I find the de Medici family to be absolutely fascinating, so I thought it was really cool to see Catherine's relatives. No surprise that their pretty similar to her in a lot of ways. The end when they hand her the poison to kill herself because it'll be more dignified as far as they concerned was an excellent scene. Appalling, of course, but still excellently done I think.

I wondered last week what would happen with the baby, if it would be important or just disappear. I'm not entirely sure why I thought it would just go away because it should have been obvious that it would factor into the plot. For some reason, even with the pagan mark on its foot, I never thought about the baby connecting Sebastian to the pagans. I feel so sorry for that baby. She's an orphan, and she's going through a lot for an infant. Not to mention being shuffled around to a million different people.

Henry in this episode. Where do I even begin with Henry in this episode? He was probably the most shocking to me in this episode. I can't understand how obsessive he is about killing Catherine in order to get England. That is the epitome of power hungry. She's his wife, and even if they don't get along at all, he seems far too okay with killing her off. Of course, you can factor that to him learning of her adultery later, but even before he knows about her affair, it's a bit scary about how he goes about it. I also think it's rather hypocritical that he's willing to kill over Catherine's affair when he's been very publicly cheating on Catherine for years. That's definitely a case of thinking he's above everyone because he's king. I've never really liked Henry in past episodes, but I think this cemented him as my least favorite character. You can say all you want about Catherine being horrible, she is, but I honestly think Henry's worse and just better at hiding it a good deal of the time. I think we're starting to see that, and it'll be interesting to see what he does in the upcoming episodes.

So Henry accuses Catherine of cheating with Nostradamus. I feel a bit bad for Nostradamus because, even though I don't really like him, that's quite the sucky family drama to get caught up in. Put to death for an affair you didn't even have.

I really don't think Henry should be surprised that Catherine had a real affair after the state of their marriage though. I'm not really sure if he's more angry over the fact that Catherine cheated or that she cheated with his friend though. That was one of those storylines that I didn't really see, but I'm not surprised about once it happened.

Clarissa being Catherine's daughter was one of the best possible plot twists as far as I'm concerned. I'm so excited to see where that goes. From the moment Nostradamus started talking about Clarissa and Catherine had the reaction she did I knew there was a connection there. I immediately thought that Clarissa was her daughter from the way she freaked out, but since it seemed unlikely that had been hidden, I wondered if she was another relative. But nope. She was Catherine's daughter. But not with Henry. I still can't get over how great of a plot twist that was.

And Clarissa finding out and saving Catherine's life at the end was amazing. I have a feeling she wouldn't have done that before. She's killed for Mary before, so before I think she would have saved Mary and left Catherine to die since she tried to kill Mary. For a minute I thought that was what she was going to do, but when she went to help Catherine, I started crying. That was just amazing as far as I'm concerned. We also got to see Clarissa's face for the first time, and I really like how they chose to do that when Catherine sees it for the first time (since she was a baby) too.

I know I said last time that I wanted Francis to come back as soon as possible, but I'm actually thankful that he wasn't in this episode. There was just too much going on in this episode that there is no way a storyline with him could have been fit in.

I can't even believe how excited I am for next week's episode. I'm so eager to find out what happens with Catherine and Clarissa. (Also, writing this has made me realize how similar their names are. Was that foreshadowing?) Next week can't come fast enough.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

HIMYM Review: Season 9 Episode 17: "Sunrise"

I'm happy to say that I really enjoyed this episode, just like I did last week's. Hopefully this will keep up for the rest of the season. I expect I'll be quite emotional as these are the final episodes, and I'm sure that will lead to me having a generally positive view of them.

The Barney storyline in this episode was the one I was least concerned with honestly. I can see why it was there, and I suppose it helps with Barney's character as a way of showing that he's leaving all that stuff behind. It just didn't seem as important to me as the other storylines that were happening. The line about having your friends around was cute though, and I really enjoyed that.

I'm still not really sure how I feel about the Robin and Ted storyline as a whole. One part of me is happy that Ted has admitted his feelings, since that might help him move on. The other part of me thinks that he waited way too late, and now he's just made things awkward for Robin on the day of her wedding. Personally, I think Ted should have moved on from Robin a long time ago. Not only is it kind of ridiculous to the story that he still has feelings for someone the audience has all known for a long time isn't the mother, but we also know that he's now extremely close to meeting the mother. I don't like the idea of him meeting the mother and the show ending when he's only gotten over Robin so recently. It doesn't feel like a nice ending. That feels like an ending where he could still have feelings for Robin, and even though we know they'll be fine, it doesn't look that good for Ted and the mother's relationship if you just include present-day storyline information. So, while I'm glad that it's all finally being addressed, I'd wished they'd addressed it way earlier (like, seasons ago).

While Lily and Marshall's fight was a sadder storyline, I'm glad it has happened now, and we can move on. It was a bit worrying when Lily had her short speech about what would happen to their marriage if Marshall kept lying. It was true though, so at least we have the hope that Marshall will take what she said to heart, and that won't be a problem. I'm a bit sad for Lily that they won't be going to Italy, but I'm just glad that the fight has been resolved. It would have really sucked if we had Marshall and Lily mad at each other all the way through the end of the show.

We get a two week break now until the final episodes. I can't believe how close we are to the series being over. I'm really looking forward to Robin and Barney's wedding and Ted meeting the mother, but it's all going to be so bittersweet. I'm optimistic that the final episodes will be great though. Hopefully I'm not let down.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Life Post: Snow Yet Again

The amount of snow we were supposed to get was kind of built up a little too much I think. Everyone seemed to be anticipating the university being closed, but while some classes were canceled, everything is more or less running the same as always. My first class this morning was canceled (was days before), but all my others happened just like normal, although missing students.

It was really nice having my first class canceled because I got to sleep in, even if it wasn't very successful. I mostly laid in bed, especially since my suite mate was up and it kept me up. Still, it was more rest than I would have got otherwise, so I'm thankful for that.

I was worried about how slick the sidewalks would be, but we don't seem to have gotten any ice at all. There are some spots left over from before, but mostly it's just snow. There was salt on pretty much all the sidewalks by the time I was up, so I didn't really have any problems getting to class. It's still been snowing today though, and I'm ready for it to stop.

I'm behind on my homework for the day. I haven't even started, and I have two tests I need to study for. I really need to get to that, so I'm ending this post here. Hopefully this work won't take too long!