Thursday, April 30, 2015

Naruto Shippuden Review: Episodes 241-245

It's been two and a half months since I last posted a Naruto review here, and the saddest part is that it wasn't because I was posting them on my Youtube channel instead. As you can possibly tell from the title, I've only done one review on Youtube in those two and a half months. Here's hoping that summer break means I'll get more time to watch Naruto.

A lot of these five episodes was still filler, and if you can remember back far enough, I have no been all that excited about that filler lately. I was getting so tired of Naruto and co. being on that boat. The filler that focused on other characters was a nice change but still not exactly what I wanted. I'm so glad they finally get off that boat in episode 243. Let me focus on 241 and 242 first though.

241 was focused primarily on Kakashi and Guy, which I liked. I don't fee like their rivalry has ever really been focused on, and if it was, it was long enough ago that I don't remember it by now. Kakashi has a line in this episode about trusting Guy implicitly, and we also got to see a flashback about how their rivalry originally started. I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff, and I'll admit that I got a tad bit emotional. I'd say I liked that episode overall. It was good as far as the episodes preceding it had been.

I wasn't as into 242. I don't think I got anything out of that episode. I don't really remember anything that made me react in any sort of way during it.

Then, in 243, they finally reach the island. Thankfully. Naruto and Bee have met, which I was waiting for, and moving onto the other two episodes too, he's going to help Naruto control the Nine-Tails. I have been waiting and waiting to reach this point, and I'm excited.

244 was a bit less exciting because it was mostly flashback and whatnot, but I appreciate that it showed us that Bee had a similar childhood to Naruto. I don't think that's so difficult of a conclusion to come to on your own, but I think it's kind of nice to see it stated. I probably would have been more enthusiastic about it if it weren't for the sorts of episodes that came before it.

Episode 245 was what really got me excited. I loved Naruto confronting the dark part of him and talking about how he has to believe in himself and also hugging that part of him to make him a part of him and all of that. I liked that, and I liked seeing Naruto come to peace with himself.

Of course, the episode ends with Naruto breaking the seal and beginning to fight the Nine-Tails. Unsurprisingly, that has me very excited for the next episode, which I'm hoping to get to really soon.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Life Post: Last Day of Classes

Tomorrow is the final day of classes. After that it's just finals and then summer break. That's crazy. This semester has been absolutely crazy as far as workload goes, but now that summer break is here, it doesn't feel like it's been that long. Don't get me wrong. I'm still incredibly thankful that I'm close to the end. I'm feeling better rested and more on top of things, but I still feel like I might be close to losing my mind if anything goes wrong at this point.

I only have one huge paper left, and while it's stressing me out, it's nothing compared to when I had about four I was working on at once. Other than that, I only have studying left to do, and after as that's concerned, there's really only one test that I'm really and truly nervous about. And I'm seriously freaking out over that one because I don't see it as going well.

I just posted my video for the Extraordinary Means Tag over on Youtube if you're interested. I think it may be the shortest tag video I've ever done. It was strange when I got all the video onto the computer and saw how little of it there was.

Lastly, I've updated my Hunger Games fanfiction Move On and Recover recently if you're interested.

Other than that, I've really just been trying to get through the semester by enjoying the little free time I've gained as I finish up big stuff. Hopefully, the short bit of the semester left won't drag on for a million years.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Birth Order

I think psychology is fascinating. I've taken psychology classes in both high school and college, and I loved both of them. My love for it is a lot like my love for astronomy though. It's so cool, but there's no way I'm taking any classes beyond the introductory level. Sure, I could do it if I set my mind to it, but actually being those fields just isn't for me.

There are a lot of different things that my psychology classes taught me though, and I think about some of them a lot. One of those things is birth order and what that means for someone's personality. I know a lot of people who reject the idea that birth order affects anything. Personally, I think it does, but it can't tell you everything. Of course any given first-born, for instance, is going to be different, but I do think there are certain things a lot of first-borns are likely to have in common.

Personally, I'm a first-born (of three), and I relate a lot to the ideas surrounding first-borns. So much of it leaves me saying, "Yep. Sounds like me." And it's the same for my other siblings. My sister Regina is such a middle child. Seriously. Sure, not everything fits perfectly because we're individuals, but as a whole, I think it has merit.

There's also the idea that first-borns may be more intelligent though, and I can't really get behind that. I'd say my siblings and I are about equal on that, although we each have slightly different strengths. We all did well in school (for whatever that's worth when determining intelligence), and I wouldn't call any of us stupid. I have no idea how we would stack up against each other in an IQ test or anything, but I can't see any difference being a significant one.

I'm not saying I think birth order is a concrete determiner of absolutely anything, but it is fun to think about sometimes for me. Just seeing how it does or doesn't match up to me and my siblings is interesting to me.

What about you? Do you think you or your siblings fit with any stereotypes about your birth order at all?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Life Post: Sleep is Good

I have slept so much this weekend. And by "so much" I mean a pretty reasonable amount but far more than I have recently. It feels awesome. I actually feel awake. I can't remember the last time that happened. I'm hoping I can keep this up through the rest of the semester because if I kept going like I had been then I don't know if I would have made it.

My weekend has been full of sleeping and getting as much homework done as possible. That basically boils down to working on two different papers that I still have left this semester. One of them is due this week and the other finals week, and I can't wait to have them both done.

Today, though, I'll have less time since I plan to do something with my sister for at least a few hours. I got ahead enough yesterday that I'm not really bothered. I need a break from everything just for a little bit, and this should be so fun and interesting. I'll talk about that more after it happens though.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Throwback Sunday or Something

I've never done a Throwback Thursday or Flashback Friday or anything like that. Mostly because I don't keep tons of old pictures around that I can upload every single week or anything like that, and I feel weird showing one every week anyway.

But I got curious about what the oldest picture of me on the Internet was, and I think I found it. Now, my sister has done some Throwback Thursdays that included me, so there are pictures of me as a little kid floating around the Internet. Since this particular picture was taken before Regina was even born though, I think it's the oldest. My aunt uploaded this to Facebook years ago before Throwback Thursday was even a thing.

I could be wrong and there's some older picture of me out there, but if there is, I don't know about it. There's another one that my aunt posted from when I was maybe two that's probably the second oldest, but here's one from before that:

I'm the baby on the far left. I think I was a year old. Maybe slightly less? It was taken in 1994, and I was born in 1993. It looks like summer, so it was probably right before my first birthday or right after. (I was born in August.) My little cousin is there (next baby to the left), and she's roughly a year younger so...

It was a family reunion with my grandma's family if you can't tell by all the matching shirts. The back row is my grandparents on the far left, my nanny (great-grandma; and actually my Papaw's mother, not my grandma's) next, and then my grandma's siblings and their spouses.

I won't get into the specifics of who everyone else is, but the second row is basically my dad (behind my mom) and his siblings and cousins. The third/bottom row is my mom (holding me), my dad's first cousin's wife (confusing much?) who is holding my technically second cousin-once-removed but I just refer to her as a cousin usually, and then the other various grandchildren of my grandma's siblings including the other baby who is another second cousin-once-removed who I usually just refer to as a cousin (I was the only grandchild my grandparents had at that point.).

Was that information overload?

So, yeah, that's a lot of extended family. My more immediate family is clustered to the left, but since I'm the oldest grandchild, it's pretty small compared to today. Not everyone is shown there anyway.

It's strange looking at this picture because I, of course, don't remember this at all. I don't really have any memory of when everyone was that age and whatnot. And when it comes to that cluster of kids, I'd more than likely know who they were if I was given names, but I can't recognize them by myself.

What's most crazy is that the two babies who aren't me (who I think you can tell are younger) are both now married and one of them has a kid. We have definitely grown up. There's no way we're adults. Just no way.

Socially Awkward Penguin

There was a time where socially awkward penguin was my favorite meme of all time because I related to it more than anything else. It's not really popular anymore, and I don't think I'd care that much if it was anyway (for mental health reasons that I won't ramble on about here). Still, I thought I'd share a few that used to be some of my favorites for nostalgia sake. (And because I want to post but am feeling lazy at the moment.)

You can assume that I related to all of these at at least some point in time.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Life Post:Free Mornings Are for Laundry

Even though it only lasted about a month, not being at my practicum today has felt strange. I feel like I'm missing something important. It's almost noon, and I haven't gone to class. It feels like it should be a Saturday or something. I have to keep reminding myself that I do still have a class today.

In fact, I may have to present in that class today, and I'm trying not to freak out about it. See, it's for Spanish, and our entire presentation has to be in Spanish. Since I worry enough over talking in front of people in English, I'm not taking this so well. I honestly think it will be a massive failure because my Spanish isn't good enough in a low stakes setting. I'm going to absolutely freeze up in front of the whole class and be unable to say anything. There's no other way it can possibly go.

Anyway, I've been spending my free morning getting laundry done. Since I've went home twice recently, I haven't had to do laundry at school in a while, and doing it on Friday was a good choice. The laundry room is way emptier than when I normally choose to do laundry.

The one thing I didn't use my free morning for that I probably should have is sleep. As I type this right now I can feel how exhausted I am, and it's not even noon. I did sleep in later than I would have if I'd had my practicum, but it wasn't that late. I probably got less than eight hours. I'm really hoping to sleep in tomorrow. Fingers crossed that it actually happens. The amount I've been sleeping is really starting to catch up with me, and it's not good.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

What Makes Something a Favorite?

The line between my favorite books and books I just really like has always been fuzzy for me. Harry Potter's definitely top of the list, but after that, I'm never really sure where to cut off my "favorite" books. For a couple of years now, I've had an "all-time favorites" list on Goodreads, but I've always been a bit unsure about what should go on that list and what shouldn't.

If I label something as my "favorite," it might not mean as much as if it came from someone else as I'm a bit liberal with the term. I think my personality has something to do with that though. If you know me in real life, you know that I'm very easily excitable. I get really enthusiastic about things. I consider it one of my better attributes, so I don't think I should really be worried about having a lot of favorites. I think I should consider it a good thing.

I just wonder where the line between favorite and just like is for me though. Sometimes you have those books that seem right on that invisible line, and you have no idea where they should go. If it weren't for Goodreads, it probably wouldn't be an issue, but somehow I have to make a decision about what rating the book will get and if it's worthy or not of the all-time favorite shelf.

Once I get in that internal conflict, I start wondering if any book that makes me stop and struggle with the decision probably isn't worthy of the all-time favorite shelf. But maybe, just maybe it actually is since I did fall in love with it. But what if it doesn't stand up to the test of time? I have to consider that too since I'm making this decision so soon after reading.

All in all, sometimes it becomes a long process for me. I haven't added a book to the all-time favorites shelf in a year now, which is because I haven't read anything that's blown me away in such a long time, (I'm really, really craving it.), so I don't think I dub something an all-time favorite too easily. Just a straight up favorite though? I have more than a million of those. Which is all fine until someone asks me what my favorite book is, and I respond Harry Potter but I want to continue to list off a significant portion of all the books I've ever read.

What about you guys? Do you ever struggle with what's your favorite and what's something that you just really liked? How do you know where to draw the line?

Life Post: Calming Down

Things are definitely calming down a bit. I know that's a strange thing to say so close to finals, but a lot of papers and projects I had are finishing up. What I have left isn't as daunting anymore because I can focus on it more. I just feel all around better about things right now. Let's hope it stays that way.

I do have class in less than half an hour though, so this has to be quick. I just wanted to document the day when I finally felt like I'd be capable of making it through the semester. I'm crossing my fingers that I'll start getting more done, including blog posts, now.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"What Are Your Hobbies?"

I dread the hobby question. My go to answer is always "reading and writing," which doesn't sound nearly as awesome to other people as it does me. Of course, I could also throw the Internet in there, but much of that encompasses reading and writing (e.g. fanfiction) even if it didn't make some people scoff.

Despite my terrible attempts at keeping up with my reading challenge for the year, the vast majority of what I do every day relates back to either reading or writing somehow. Even in school since I'm an English major. It's what I do with all of my time.

In practice, I'm fine with that, but when it comes time to tell people what my hobbies are, the answer feels inadequate somehow. I think because so few other people answer it quite that way. Yes, some people will say reading, but the usually have something else in there as well whereas I don't really. And it took me a long time to not feel like a fake when I said "writing." I didn't feel good enough to label that a hobby and had to overcome that hurdle. That also contributes to the problem.

I guess I could call Pilates a hobby like some people call the sports they play a hobby, but it doesn't feel like one to me. That's something else.

I don't feel like I'm missing any sort of important outlet for myself. I feel pretty good about how I spend my time. From the little I've managed to read this year, it's clear that even with focusing my time on those two things more than anything else, I still don't have quite enough time for them. What would I do if I had another hobby that took up a substantial amount of time? Probably lose my mind.

So, I'm good with the "reading and writing" answer personally, but I may still have to work on being okay with saying it out loud without feeling judged by others.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Life Post: So Much

That staying on top of things that I wrote about yesterday? Yeah, it didn't stick around that long. I have so much work to do still today that this is going to be an incredibly quick post.

I'm still hoping this will let up after this week. I have one big stress right now that will be past after tomorrow, so that's one thing to look forward to at the very least. The workload really should get significantly better by the time this week is finished. I just have to make it through.

Anyway, it's back to work for me. Fingers crossed I can go to bed at some decent time tonight. Especially when I'm worried about tomorrow, which I'd been doing such a good job not worrying about until about fifteen minutes ago before something popped up.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Life Post: On Top of Things. Kinda.

I went into this week more than on top of things. I already had some of my homework for the week finished. It was going to be great. The week wouldn't start off as terribly as it has in the past. Well, I was kind of right. As of right now, I'm still doing pretty good, but I'm just on track of where I want to be, not ahead like I was yesterday.

This is going to be an extremely busy week with tons of school work to finish, but I think it'll be better come next week. I have a lot of stuff due this week that will be nice to be finished with afterwards. I'll still have finals, of course, but that doesn't seem as bad when I remember that I'll still have less work all around.

I taught my second mini lesson at my practicum today, and this was the first one that my professor observed. I won't go into much detail as I haven't said much about it in the past on here either, but it went well, I think. It wasn't terrible at the very least. I did a good job at not letting my nerves get worked up. I really wasn't nervous until right before the lesson. I've gotten good at that lately. I don't let my anxiety consume me for days before something, but then it all seems to just hit me about half an hour or so before the thing happens. Still better than days of freaking out about something though.

I'm going to get back to work. I have one more thing homework wise that I absolutely have to finish up today, and I still want to try and get some work done ahead of tomorrow too. We'll see.

We're so close to summer break though. So close.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Lack of Inspiration, I Guess

Every so often I'll be in class and I'll have a moment where I suddenly remember that I love what I'm studying. Sometimes it happens in an English class, and sometimes it happens in an education class. Either way, it's a great way to help fuel me to get work done, and the after effects of it tend to stick around for several weeks afterwards. I feel really inspired to get things done.

I just realized that I haven't had that this semester. This semester has done nothing but leave me feeling burnt out and exhausted. The true irony of that is that this is the first semester where I'm actually in a classroom. However, the only minor moment I had close to this type of thing happened while I was at my practicum, and I was feeling exhausted and all of that before the practicum started. My lack of inspiration or whatever with it isn't about the practicum.

I don't know what it is about this semester. I don't even think it's one thing actually but a combination of things that have all come together this semester to make it feel like it's dragging on forever and ever.

That's not even to say that this semester has been bad. It hasn't been in the grand scheme of things. I don't have anything to complain about really other than a heavier than usual workload, which I think is a big factor in all of this. I'm just tired. I desperately feel like I need a break, and summer break being in a few weeks might actually be making it worse instead of better.

As I've mentioned before though, I start getting my huge papers and projects out of the way this week, and I'm crossing my fingers that things immediately start letting up after that. I'm not sure that I'll ever be as grateful for summer break as I will be this year. I'm not sure what next year will be like, but just the fact that I'll have less credit hours next semester has me hoping it won't be like this.

Life Post: Light at the End of the Tunnel

Let's try one of these when I'm not extremely pressed for time. I've been really thankful for this weekend and having the chance to sleep in a bit. And by sleep in I really just mean waking up at a normal hour. This week is going to be terrible for getting sleep again, but after that, I think I'll start actually getting the kind of sleep I should be getting.

I have several huge papers due for the end of the semester, and those as well as the lessons I have to teach for my practicum are my biggest sources of stress right now. However, two of those papers and all of my lessons will be finished by the end of this week. I don't feel ready for that. I don't feel like I've had enough time to work on any of it mostly because I've had to be working on so much of it, but at least once it's over, that will be a lot less worry. I'll have more time to focus on my remaining papers then, and I imagine that I'll feel more satisfied with them considering I had more time with less work.

I finished a first draft of something the other day as well. It's part of The Society, which I've talked about writing at various points before. I talk about that more often over on my writing blog. I feel pretty good about this for a first draft though, so that's always nice. I'm amazed I got it out with how crazy school has been, but it was pretty short in comparison to various other things I've been working on.

In an attempt to get back to mentioning my posts on my writing blog or Youtube here, I'm going to post those again. However, I don't want to go through absolutely everything because I can't even remember when I slipped and stopped posting those. I'm just going to go with what's gone up the last several days. I posted a quick phone vlog for the first time in probably months. I also did a video review for the newest Reign episode, and again, that was the first time I'd done that in almost three months. Finally, I'm going to go ahead and throw it out there that I updated my Hunger Games fanfiction. I've mentioned it here before as well, but it's a Gale/Johanna fic that takes place after Mockingjay. I posted chapter nine. I wasn't posting for a while, but for some reason, even with the craziness of school, I've become much better about updating lately.

Now, I have some papers to work on and lessons to prepare for, so I'll be getting back to that.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Trailers: Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Boruto: Naruto the Movie

Two movies trailers have come out recently that I just really want to talk about briefly even though I don't have all that much to say.

First, we have the new Star Wars trailer. It's a teaser, so there's not a ton there but Luke's voice over and the brief appearance of Han and Chewie makes me incredibly excited. The effects also look amazing, but that, at the very least, was to be expected. I have a lot of hope that this movie will be good, so let's hope I'm not let down.

Then the Boruto movie trailer was released as well. For those of you who don't know, this is a spin off/sequel type of thing to Naruto. The Naruto anime is still going, but the manga is over. This movie is about Naruto's son. I know I'm not even caught up on the anime, but that doesn't mean I'm not paying attention to what's happening with this movie. (Or at least as much attention as I can be with the craziness of school right now.)

As with Star Wars, this one is just a quick teaser, but it gets me excited anyway. Seeing Naruto as hokage gives me such a proud feeling, and Sasuke as Boruto's master is just going to be something to see. I'm so interested in seeing what the dynamics between the characters is in this movie, especially Boruto and Sarada.

I'm not even sure if I want to watch the Boruto movie as soon as I can or if I'm going to wait until I get further in the anime no matter how long it takes. Either way though, I'm excited for it.

Friday, April 17, 2015

5 Annoyances

I try to be a positive person, but whenever I get stressed out (such as at the end of semesters like this one), I tend to get really negative. I try to avoid it, but you just have those days where you have to let it out, you know?

With that in mind, here's a list of five things I find annoying right now:

1. That identity theft is a thing (and that I'm currently having to deal with it).
2. Those times when people don't tell you that they need you to do something until the very last minute and then just expect you to do it no matter how much work you already have.
3. Not getting enough sleep for it to be healthy (Why, yes, I am staying up right now partially just to write this.)
4. The weather not making up its mind about what temperature it wants to be.
5. Having too much work to even fit it all into the amount of time that exists.

There we go. Hopefully that got something out of my system. If nothing else, at least tomorrow's Friday.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Life Post: Hectic

I'm writing this on my phone in the few minutes I have before class. It's amazing I'm even doing this. I should start keeping tally of the amount of breakdowns I've had over the end of the semester because that's possible now.

And now it's several hours later. I'm in my room, but I only have several minutes before I have to be out the door for another class. I think that shows how hectic things are right now. I don't have time for anything.

To top it all off, my debit card information got stolen, so most of my time in between classes today have been attempts at dealing with the bank. It's taking up significantly more time than I would like, and of course, I'm just annoyed that this even happened. It sucks.

I know I haven't been posting links to what I post on my writing blog or to my videos in these posts lately. Things are so crazy that I forget, and right now, I don't have the time. I have been posting smaller things on my writing blog, but I've posted very few (if any, I can't remember well) videos since the last time I posted any here. They take too much time.

I'm going to go gather up my things for class, and afterwards, it's back to attempts with the bank again. I'm so ready for summer break.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Taking Pictures

I wish I took more pictures.

I never take them. You'd think I'd at least do it with my phone, but I really don't. I have a ton of pictures on my phone, but they're all various things I've saved to it from Twitter and whatnot. The pictures I've taken that are on my phone consist of these sorts of things:

Yep. Dog pictures. And only dog pictures.

I love the idea of taking pictures and having that documentation, but I never actually pull a camera, even my phone, out. Maybe I should make that a resolution.

Life Post: A Month More

The busiest semester of my life continues. This weekend was nice, and I managed to get a bit ahead on my homework on top of everything. Now it's Monday and I have a million things to do though, so it doesn't actually feel like I got things done early just yesterday.

I think I'm working on a final project in every single one of my classes by now, but I haven't stopped to think about it enough to see. I'm just trying to work on each one a bit each day to avoid being extremely overwhelmed later on. Let's be honest, I'm already overwhelmed pacing myself.

I have three weeks and then finals week though, and I can make that. It's just a bit longer. Some of my final projects are due next week even, so that's some time afterwards to focus on a bit less. I'd consider that a good thing.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Dying "For" Other People and Twilight

The ultimate expression of love is supposed to be giving up your life for someone else. It's a huge part of Christianity, and it also plays a large part in Harry Potter with Lily's sacrifice, so I've basically had that idea drilled into my head since birth.

And this post isn't going to be me dissing that idea. However, I get really angry sometimes when I see that exact idea twisted into something that it is not at all supposed to be. I'm talking about the instances where someone dies "for" another person in ways that aren't saving the other person's life.

The biggest example I can pull up to talk about this is Twilight. I'm not one to typically insult Twilight online. I'm actually writing a Twilight fanfiction right now, so generally speaking, you can call me a fan. However, I hate Bella and Edward's relationship (as well as various other aspects of the series). A big reason for that is their multiple instances of almost dying "for" the other person even though they're not actually doing anything for the other person.

At the end of Breaking Dawn, for instance, Bella talks about how if Edward dies while battling the Volutri than she will too:

It was not going to be the end of the world. Just the end of the Cullens. The end of Edward, the end of me. I preferred it that way – the last part anyway. I would not live without Edward again; if he was leaving this world, then I would be right behind him.

Um, no? She doesn't even leave the option of living without Edward open?

This has always been a huge set off point for me. They have a daughter! A daughter! And Bella is just going to die if Edward does because she loves him and then leave Nessie with Jacob. No! This has nothing to do with me doubting that Jacob would take care of Nessie, but Bella is Nessie's mom. She should be planning to say alive if at all possible in order to raise Nessie even if that means living without Edward.

You have no idea how angry I get when I read that part of the book.

We don't even have to bring Nessie into it. Let's pretend they never had Nessie. She still shouldn't be dying just because Edward is dying. That's not how that works. You don't do that. You just don't. I may hate that vast majority of Bella's actions over the series, but that one comment really tops the cake for me. There is never a moment where I'm more tempted to reach into the book and yell at her. There really isn't.

This felt really good to get out though. You have no idea how long I've been holding this anger inside, especially since I started working on my Twilight fanfiction. (It comes through in there a bit, but I didn't actually address this exact issue in there.) I feel a lot better now that this is off my chest.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Book Review: Schism by Laura Maisano

ISBN: 9781771276948
Published: April 28th, 2015
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Read from March 29th to April 9th, 2015
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Art therapy hasn’t done squat for Gabe Jones. A thousand sketches of his fiancée can’t bring his memory, or her, back to him. Nothing on Earth can. His past lies in another dimension, a world just out of sight.
Another student on campus, Lea Huckley, unknowingly shares Gabe’s obsession with the fourth dimension. The monsters from the other side attacked her parents and fled, getting her folks locked up in the loony bin. Proving this other world exists is the only way to free them. Lea and Gabe strike a deal to help each other, and together they manage to open a door to the world of Gabe’s true origin. She’d use him for proof—if she didn’t already care too much.
While Gabe tries to reconcile his feelings for Lea and his rediscovered memories of his fiancée, a much more sinister plot unravels. He uncovers his history just in time to become the unwilling lynchpin in a conspiracy to start a war. His memory holds the secret to the final riddle the would-be conqueror needs to get the upper hand. Gabe must protect the riddle at all costs, even if that means leaving Earth, and Lea, behind forever. 


I'm not really sure how to explain Schism. I feel like it is both like and yet not like the books that I usually read. That's how I felt it would be going into it too, and I think that's part of what fueled me to read it. It's a fantasy book, which I love, but there's just something about it that makes it feel closer to sci-fi than most fantasy. I think it was Lea's attemps at calculating where the thinnings would appear and the fact that Illirin felt so much like an alien world and not just a fantasy one.

When I say that though, I don't mean to put people off. If you like fantasy but not sci-fi, I would still give the book a shot. After all, it's still definitely a fantasy book. You'll find plenty of that. But I thought the way the world of the book was laid out was really cool and something I hadn't encountered in the past.

As for the romance, I think the romance in this book was the best written romance that I've read in quite a while (unless I'm forgetting something). Maybe it's because the last book I read with any romance was one I strongly disliked, but I thought the romance in this was great. It took up just the right amount of the plot, and even though there was a small love triangle (which I grow increasingly tired of as the days go by), I actually liked how this one was done. I don't want to go into much detail for fear of spoilers, but it's nice seeing a love triangle done in a way that feels realistic. It's not an idealized thing or something where you're angry at the girl for jerking around the guys or where you puzzle over why they both feel strongly enough that they have to cause everyone so many problems. It felt real, and I thought all of the characters managed to handle the situation that didn't make you roll your eyes because it was just too over the top.

I really liked this book. I think it was my favorite that I've read in several months, and I'm really looking forward to the sequel. I need to get back to reading fantasy more often because I swear that the only fiction books that I've absolutely enjoyed in months have been the few fantasy books I've managed to read.

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Life Post: Stretched Thin

This past week has been kind of crazy. The school I'm doing my practicum at came back from spring break, and the time I used to have on weekdays to get stuff (mainly homework) done is now gone. That means I've been struggling a bit to stay on top of things this week, and all I've been focused on is just getting as much done as possible. I feel a bit stretched thin if I'm being honest, but I know it's only for a short while. I'll make it through it.

That's all I have to say though because it's seriously all I've been doing. I'm glad it's Friday, but I still have so much to get done today and tomorrow. I'm writing this quickly in between getting some practicum hours in and eating some lunch before my class. I also want to try and get a bit of school work done, so I'm going to get to that.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Ugh. Pizza Again.

I always reach the point in the semester where I'm so tired of eating food that was microwaved or from the dining hall or a fast food place. I've reached that point in this semester. Having gone home for just a few brief days over Easter hasn't helped either. I got to eat actual, real food, and now I'm back to this for another month.

To everyone who has their own kitchen, cherish it because you are lucky. I'm so tired of pizza, and it's really the only easy option that I even remotely want anymore. And let me tell you, there really is only so much variety among microwaveable foods. It all starts tasting the same after a while. And then the dining hall... Well, I think I've complained enough about it in the past, but it's just not good at all.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go make a list of all the foods I want when I'm finally back home for the summer.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Things I Love But Don't Really Talk About

I feel like there are a few things I'm a fan of that I never talk about online. I'm incredibly involved in certain fandoms but other (potential fandoms, we'll call them) get swept under the rug. It makes sense. Not everything has an active fandom, so there could just be nothing online. Or I'm just too stretched thin to pay attention to every single fandom, which is also true.

Still, I want to talk about these things sometimes, so here's just several things I love that I never talk about that much online.

Pirates of the Caribbean. This even includes the later movies. I know that puts me in a minority, but I'm someone who tends to stay loyal to something fairly easily. It's not like I think they're masterpieces, but I enjoy them. I am kind of active in a fandom for this one though if we lump it in with the larger Disney fandom.

Phantom of the Opera. Another one of my all time favorite movies. I've loved it since I was in middle school and our music teacher showed it in class. I think it was the first musical I was really into other than Disney movies.

Rent. Speaking of musicals, I love Rent enough to own both the movie and filmed stage version of it. I can't remember when I started liking it though. I think early in high school? I feel like it was at least freshmen year.

I'm going to stop there because this is reminding me that I really need to go back and re-watch all of these things. I haven't in quite a while. When I get really busy I tend to stick with watching new things instead of re-watching old ones, and that's been this semester for me. Maybe I'll make it a summer goal. I also mentioned re-reading Harry Potter (also hasn't happened in an embarrassingly long time) over the summer, so maybe I shouldn't get too ambitious.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Do I Have a Color?

You know how some people have a color? It's the color that they always get compliments in, and so they insist on wearing it when they want to look their best.

I've always thought that was kind of silly. It didn't make any sense to me at all. How could one color look better on someone than any other color? Why would I want to make any color other than my favorite color "my color"?

I still don't really get it, but some strange things have happened on that front lately. Back over my birthday last August, my mom bought me a new hoodie and new Converse that were both in the same light blue color. She wanted me to wear something other than black or gray. Now, I don't wear black and gray all the time because I necessarily want to. It's just that I tend to wear t-shirts and those will be the only two colors they have. Because of this, I didn't really own anything light blue, although it's actually one of my favorite colors.

Well, apparently my mom wanted to get light blue for a reason, and every single time I'm wearing that color now it seems like someone thinks to compliment me. I can't figure out if it's just the color itself being pretty (which is my personal guest) or that people having "colors" has some merit.

I like the light blue at any rate, so I'll keep on wearing it, even if I don't own all that much of it. I'm definitely not rushing out to change my entire wardrobe. I could use some more purple clothes though. I can always use more purple clothes.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Life Post: New Keyboard

This post is going to have to be quick since I have to go to Easter mass with my family in about, well, now. I just got a new keyboard yesterday though, and I really want to type up something. It was only a few days, but it feels like ages.

I didn't write about it here (because I had no keyboard), but I spilled coffee on my laptop on Wednesday. I know, I know. No one is more angry at myself than me. Anyway, my keyboard on my laptop no longer works, and yesterday I got a keyboard that is currently plugged into the USB. Not the best solution I could possibly have, but it works and that's what matters. We're going to work on fixing the actual laptop keyboard later on. From now, I'll be typing on this.

I hope everyone who celebrates is having a nice Easter and/or Passover. Like I mentioned, I'll be going to mass with my family this morning and eating lunch quickly afterwards, but most of my day is going to be driving back to school. Fingers crossed that it goes as well as it did last time because I was pretty impressed with myself after that. I also have to go get a parking pass, and I'm worried about that process. I'm forcing myself not to focus on it though.

Anyway, my mom is yelling up at me that we need to go to church, so I'm going to wrap this up even though I had a bit more I wanted to say.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Teary Eyed. Pause.

I tend to get teary eyed when it comes to TV shows or movies. Notice that I only said teary eyed and also TV or movies. I don't tend to actually cry (although there are times), and I don't tend to do anything over books.

I get teary eyed over any sort of strong emotion. Even if I'm really happy, there will be tears in my eyes. That's just how my body involuntarily reacts to strong emotion. However, I've also adapted really well to immediately avoid the situation and stop myself before it becomes full on crying. That is extremely rare for me, and this avoidance thing I do is exactly why I only tend to full on cry when I have to ability to pause what I'm watching.

Because I always pause what I'm watching when I start getting sad. I pause it and probably get up to walk around and calm myself down before I press play again. That's why I never cry while reading. I set the book down if I'm coming even remotely close. It slows down my reading time, yes, but it does keep me from crying.

If I'm watching something with other people, that isn't as easy to do, and that means I tend to cry more. The only way I don't is if we're making some sort of conversation that works as the same type of distraction for me as pausing normally would.

That's why it tends to take me twice as long as it should to watch an episode of something or read one chapter of a book. I'm pausing all the time. Even when it's a moment that's making me unbearably happy, I'm still pausing to react to it before I continue on.

It's just what I do all the time now, and I'm not really sure how it all started. I've never really talked to anyone about how I do this. I only really thought about how often I do it about a year ago. I'm not sure if it's something that others would see as very strange or not that out of the ordinary.

I have tried to make myself stop because I want to be able to just sit still and focus better, but so far those attempts have failed. I guess I'm just going to keep doing it for the foreseeable future.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Book Review: Catholicism: Now I Get It! by Claire Furia Smith

ISBN: 1592761526
Published: February 15th, 2015
Publisher: Our Sunday Visitor
Read from March 27th to April 2nd, 2015
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Are you a member of the Lost Generation!? Do you still feel in a bit of a fog over your Catholic upbringing and education? Finally, here's the opportunity to connect the dots and tap into the true joys of the Faith! Written in a warm, friend-to-friend style, from a fellow "lost generation" author, Catholicism: Now I Get It! is a refreshing guide for rediscovering the doctrine, truths, and deep satisfaction that never quite clicked. With childhood memories of her own religious education, the author relates to readers with wit, humor, and loads of encouragement to start their own journey. Enhanced by simple explanations of key concepts, enlightened discussions of common misperceptions, and thought-provoking ideas for spiritual growth, Catholicism: Now I Get It! helps readers clear the fog and bring Faith into daily life. Catholicism: Now I Get It! empowers readers with: The highlights of historical origins, beliefs, and traditions of the Catholic Church The truth behind the sacraments The "A Ha" explanations of the "whys" behind Church Tradition Unwavering encouragement to get -- and stay -- focused on living out the Faith Sometimes amusing, sometimes poignant, Catholicism: Now I Get It! gives readers the spark they need to begin their own unique journey. Re-capture the fullness of your Catholic Faith. Discover what you've been missing today!


This book is written for college age (or so) young adults who find themselves with questions about their faith once they're on their own. This book lays out various Catholic beliefs with an emphasis on those that are most commonly challenged by members of other Christian denominations.

I think this book did what it set out to do really well. Not only that, but the style it was written in made it easy to read without zoning out or losing interest. I would definitely recommend this book if it is the sort of thing you're looking for.

Miss A - Only You Music Video Talk

I mentioned several days ago that I may or may not do a review of Miss A’s new music video. I I’ve decided that I will but it's probably going to be pretty brief. Especially since I'm working with a broken keyboard.

Overall I really like the video.  I've watched it a million times.

I do, however, wish there wasn't the creepy stalker guy. That's probably my one complaint about the video. It seemed unnecessary, the guy was it just creepy.

But the rest of the video I really liked. I really like that they used bright colors when the name of the album is Colors, and I just really liked the whole look of the video. Plus, the song is really awesome too.

I'd go into more detail if I had a working keyboard, but I'll go ahead and leave it at that. Voice recognition gets quite frustrating after a while.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Book Review: This Is What You Just Put in Your Mouth? by Patrick Di Justo

ISBN: 0804139881
Published: February 3rd, 2015
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Read from February 21st to March 28th, 2015
Synopsis from Goodreads:
What do a cup of coffee and cockroach pheromone have in common? How is Fix-A-Flat like sugarless gum? Is a Slim Jim meat stick really alive? If I Can't Believe It's Not Butter isn't butter, what is it?
All of these pressing questions and more are answered in This Is What You Just Put In Your Mouth? Based on his popular Wired magazine column "What's Inside," Patrick Di Justo takes a cold, hard, and incredibly funny look at the shocking, disgusting, and often dumbfounding ingredients found in everyday products, from Cool Whip and Tide Pods to Spam and Play-Doh. He also shares the madcap stories of his extensive research, including tracking down a reclusive condiment heir, partnering with a cop to get his hands on heroin, and getting tight-lipped snack-food execs to talk. Along the way, he schools us on product histories, label decoding, and the highfalutin chemistry concepts behind everything from Midol to Hostess fruit pies.
Packed with facts you're going to want to share immediately, this is info-tainment at its best—and most fun!—which will have you giving your shampoo the side-eye and Doritos a double take, and make you the know-it-all in line at the grocery store.


This book goes through everyday items and explains just what it is inside them. My personal favorite bit was about pre-digested cherry cordials, but everything in this book is interesting and fun to learn.

I appreciated the tone of the book. It was written to be fun and entertaining and not in a way just meant to scare people off of the products. Even if there are a few times you second guess products you use. In the end, you probably won't walk away forever scarred by what you read.

I would highly recommend this book to just about anyone. I think it's one of those books capable of being enjoyed by a wide range of people.

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.