Let’s all just take a moment to realize that 2013 is alllllmost over.

*dies*

Okay. Now that we’ve done that…here’s the obligatory “end of year, what have I done with my life” post.

The first big milestone of my year (that you guys might actually be interested in) is that I reached my reading goal and have thus far read 53 books during 2013. Yay! Confetti cannons! I might move my goal up to 60 books in 2014, just to challenge myself, but I suppose we’ll see. Yes, these are the thoughts that crowd my brain during the waking hours of the day.

I can’t really decide if 2013 was a great year or a sort of crappy one. For the sake of optimism, we’ll say it was pretty a’ight. I decided, near the beginning of the year, to start a list of things I’ve learned in 2013, so that when the end of the year came around, I wouldn’t think myself to be a complete failure. (just a slight one) I sort of forgot about the list somewhere around September, but whatever. Here it is, the list of Everything I Learned in 2013. Well, not everything. I can’t remember everything I learned, and also that would be boring, and also I just don’t feel like bleeding my entire life out onto the World Wide Web, ya feel me?

So.

What I Learned in 2013

  • Pop music…isn’t actually all terrible. Some of it is kind of cool.
  • Never ever ever take for granted anything. I mean, it’s hard to always appreciate every single little thing in your life, but when you’ve got a good thing, appreciate it. Cuz it might not stay there forevah and evah.
  • Hugh Jackman is an extraordinary human being. (Didn’t see that one coming, hmm?)
  • Sometimes I can bake things. For realsies bake things.
  • Mattresses must always be appreciated.
  • Jeepers I own a lot of crap.
  • Some, by which I mean most, children’s books are severely disturbing, if you stop to think about them for too long.
  • Take advantage of good smells when you can and never let a mouse die in your bedroom vent.
  • Take risks. Live life outrageously. Without being stupid, obviously. Because that would just be…stupid.
  • In that same vein, don’t limit yourself. Try new stuff. Like new food. And new music. You might even like some of it.
  • Never be afraid to BELT YOUR FACE OFF.
  • Public school is stupid.
  • And most of the people in public school are stupid, too.
  • So are most of the people on Facebook, incidentally.
  • But there are also really cool people in the world, like people who do theater and people who fangirl with you and people who give you food and people who cuddle with you and people who are tall. Those people make the other crappypants people easier to tolerate. So there.
  • Backbending is all fun and games until you accidentally sort of pull a muscle in your back and it hurts a lot. Don’t do that.
  • Candy Crush may be one of the most inane and addicting games I’ve ever experienced. But it’s so fun.
  • Ice. Ice is also addicting.
  • I wanna be in a band and travel the world when I grow up. (Along with the million other teenage girls who long for the exact same thing.)
  • And finally…CUDDLE PUDDLES ARE ALWAYS A YES.

I’m sure I missed a few million other things, but yeah, no, I can’t remember everything.

All the same…I hope you (whoever is actually reading this) have had a splendid 2013 and that your 2014 is pretty fudging sweet. 2013 was my self-titled Year of Achievement. 2014 is going to be my YOLO: Year Of Living Outrageously. Should be lots of fun.

LET’S GOOOOOO.

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Happy December, everybody. Happy Thanksgiving, happy winter, happy end-of-Nano. Yeah, I did Nano this year. Yeah, I gave up about halfway through. Yeah, I lost.

Yeah, I’m rather ashamed. I mean, I wrote 73,000 words the first time I even attempted Nano. (Of course, back then I was young and unafraid. And dreams were made and used and WASTED.) This year I only wrote a meager 24,000 words before my mind dried up and my ideas fell into the sewer of abandonment. So yes, I’m rather ashamed. But, the thing is, I’m not nearly as angry as I might have been in previous years. See, this year I decided to take a more relaxed approach to Nano (er, well, actually, I meant to plan for Nano a lot earlier, but stuff kept getting in my way. The internet, for example?) So I ended up barely figuring out my plot and a few characters before November 1st arrived. Oh, and a calendar. I made a calendar for myself, which took up most of the time I would have been otherwise planning. I’m very good at distracting myself when I feel like it. The problem is, though, I’m more of a planner by nature, really, at least in the realm of noveling. So I was a little bit lost, but still trudged ahead, determined to write every day until the word count bar read 50,000.

That worked for the first bit of November, but it became increasingly harder to reach my daily word count goal. Every day I would fall a little more behind, and then a little bit more, and soon I was looking at about 5,000 words that I needed to write in one day. It was about then that I threw in the towel, which is evident by my stats:

NaNo Stats 2013

 

It probably didn’t help that every night instead of diligently writing my 1667 words, I kept getting distracted by things like my friends (thanks, guys), Candy Crush, and other various pursuits. Or at least that’s what I told myself. In reality, I was sort of just using those things as an excuse for my not writing. This Nano, it was just plain difficult to get the words out. I dug myself holes and didn’t feel like getting out of them.

Writing is like a muscle. I’ve heard that more times than I can count on both my hands. To become a better writer, you have to write regularly. Otherwise, your little writing muscle gets old and stiff and doesn’t work very well anymore. That’s common sense, more or less. I know this. I just never put it into practice, because I don’t have much motivation.

Nano is a good remedy for my lazy writer syndrome, or at least it was, until this year. This year my un-motivation seeped into the days of Nano, and soon I didn’t feel like putting the effort in to write more words. Like, what’s the point?

That’s basically how I lost both Nano and my dignity at the same time.

I haven’t yet figured out a cure for my lack of motivation. Lately, I haven’t been motivating myself to do anything at all, which is a little frightening. I haven’t been doing the things which I love–writing, reading, photography, photo editing, the list goes on–in fact, I haven’t been doing much at all. And now that snow has started falling (on my blog, too! Aren’t the little flakes pretty?) and the daylight hours are shorter and the temperatures are dropping consistently, my motivation hasn’t exactly been increasing. Winter is pretty, fo sho. But it’s dark and stuff. And cold. I don’t like cold. So winter sort of just makes me want to wrap up in a couple thousand blankets and fall asleep for a couple thousand years. It certainly doesn’t make me want to do anything of value.

NEVERTHELESS. I’m gonna try. I’m gonna try reallllllly hard to start being a Person Who Does Things. Perhaps not primarily writing, though I do want to start writing again for reals. But I want to start taking advantage of the free time I get, and using it to do stuff that makes me happy. Because I don’t want my entire freaking life to end up like this year’s Nano did–abandoned in favor of doing nothing. I really don’t want to live like that. So, CHANGE. MOTIVATION. HAPPINESS. Or the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS, rather.

Wish me luck, friends. Wish me lots of luck.

Onnnnnnn a side note…IT’S MY ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY TODAY, PEEPS.

One year ago today, I started this weird little blog. And while I haven’t been a diligent poster (especially as of late), I’ve managed not to abandon it. That’s a big thing. Soooooooo happy anniversary to me and also this blog. Yayz.

In honor of this momentous milestone, I’ve decided to change up my blog a little bit. Hitherto this day, I’ve written about a fair amount of subjects. Mainly, however, I’ve focused on stuff like books and writing and movies. While I love all three of those, of late I really haven’t been hit by inspiration on any of those fronts. So I’m just going to start writing stuff. Thoughts, and crap like that. Because A) it might help me on the posting-more front (but no promises, as always) and B) I have lots of thoughts, and writing has always been a good way for me to express my thoughts in a coherent manner. This isn’t a huge change, but the spectrum of my blogging topics will be probably expanding in the future. Just so ya know.

If you’ve made it this far…Wow. You rock. No seriously, dude, I like you. And now I’m too tired and hungry to proofread this post, so I’m sure it’s very confusing. Props to you, anyhow.

See you when I see you.

Once upon a time, I went to the midnight premiere of The Hunger Games, and my life was forever changed.

Well, I went to the premiere of Catching Fire last night, and my life has been changed yet again.

My local movie theater was having an opening night double feature. So at 5:00 they showed The Hunger Games, and at 8:00, I finally saw Catching Fire.

Let’s rewind a little bit, to March 21st, 2012. It was my first midnight premiere ever. Me and my friends were high on life. There was a lot of rain. You can read all about it over at my lovely friend Erin’s blog. The point is, it was miserable and magical at the same time. This time, I went with the same friends, Ivy, Erin, Amanda, and also Brwynn (who is equally insane, so it was all cool). And it was a lot tamer this time around. For one, we only waited about three hours outside the movie theater. Also, the sky did not pee on us. (thanks, sky.) It was cold, but, heh, cold? We’re used to that shiz. An added bonus was that most everybody was still in school. Being the Panemaniacs that we are, we took advantage of that fact and managed to be first in line.

Let that sink in.

We were first in line, guys.

@#^&%$@%^&$*%(^%*&%^%@$#^&)*&^!

Anyways, we had great fun. There were doughnuts, peppermint coca (not cocoa, mind you. Coca. There’s a difference.), a somewhat anticlimactic game of Apples to Apples, various plots for world domination, vlogging, and cold hands/feet. It was lovely, albeit a little lot less Dramatic and Exciting than the previous premiere.

So we waited and waited, and then we went inside the warm theater and got freaking lanyards. And they let us keep them. In fact, I’m wearing mine today. Would you like to see?

Of course you do, it’s cool.

220

I know, I KNOW!

So, we went inside the theater, claimed our prime seats in the almost exact center of everything, and settled down to wait for an hour. (They let us in an hour early, so that we would not catch hypothermia and die, see.) I was a gracious friend and volunteered to beat a couple hundred levels in Candy Crush for Ivy on her Kindle. She wisely accepted my offer of help (otherwise I would have been forced to steal the Kindle from her. It was a good life decision on her part, really.), and thus I whiled away the 60 minutes.

**SPOILERS AHEAD, GUYS, OKAY? IF YOU DON’T WANT HUNGER GAMES OR CATCHING FIRE SPOILERS, DO NOT LOOK DOWN BECAUSE IT WILL BE YOUR GRAVE**

First, of course, we watched The Hunger Games again. I hadn’t seen it in a long while, so it was rather nice to refresh my memory (and see it on a nice, large screen–something I didn’t think I would ever be able to do again). And cry a lot. Rue’s death, man. The music and all? It just gets me. (And let’s talk about when Katniss does the three finger salute after Rue’s death and then the District 11 people do it too and some people in the theater did it with them and I was one of them. But only a little because I was sobbing.)

I laughed and cried and awwwwww’d along with everybody else, and then it was over. And there was a mere half hour until Catching Fire would finally be unveiled. Or revealed. Or released. Or whatever.

I beat a couple more levels of Candy Crush for Ivy, and then waited in feverish anticipation. At long last, the lights dimmed and the screen lit up and Catching Fire began. The movie I had waited over a year for. The movie that plagued my every thought when I was not thinking about Hugh Jackman or food. The movie that I knew would be a very important part of my life.

Well, first there were the trailers. (And can we just talk for a second about how I, Frankenstein looks freaking amazing? Cuz it does.) There was another trailer but I forgot what it was already. Wow, I feel stupid.

ANYWAYS THEN CATCHING FIRE STARTED.

What did I think of it? Well, let’s see. My reaction went something like this.

Sad_Loki

Katniss_crying

Dan_feels

emma-stone-excited

ANOTHER

Approximately in that order. My emotions are complex, I know.

This was definitely as amazing as The Hunger Games, if not a little more. Catching Fire has always been my favorite of the three, so that could be a contributing factor. But even if that were not the case, the movie was absolutely spectacular.

Let’s start with the acting. The actors outdid themselves in this one. Jennifer Lawrence was absolutely spot-on. Her portrayal of Katniss’s unstable emotional state and her personality in general was perfect. I can’t really say much more, because it was flawless. Josh Hutcherson as Peeta was, of course, lovely and endearing and altogether believable. Liam Hemsworth as Gale was cool. Gale is sort of a tool, so I really don’t like him much, but Liam did a good job with the character. Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks as Haymitch and Effie were, of course, lovely. Both of the characters were more fleshed out in this movie, which was really nice.

Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman was, of course, phenomenal. He was one of my favorites in The Hunger Games and remained so in Catching Fire. Donald Sutherland as President Snow was, of course, suitably creepy.

My favorite character in the entire movie, however, was none of these. (Although Katniss is a close second.) My favorite was Johanna Mason, portrayed by Jena Malone.

I’ve always like Johanna. She has a mind of her own and isn’t afraid to speak it. She’s irreverent and inappropriate most of the time. She’s a great fighter. And she’s very sarcastic. Can’t you see why I love her? But Jena Malone made me love her even more. I can’t pinpoint exactly why, or how, but she managed to capture the very essence of the character. I’m so excited to see her in Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2.

One of the noticeable differences between The Hunger Games and Catching Fire was, of course, the absence of the shaky hand-held camera. I know that I’m in the minority when I say this, but I sort of missed the shaky cam. Yeah, it was sort of dizzying at times (especially in the movie theater), but it gave the movie a real-life feel. I wish that that feeling could’ve been in Catching Fire, too, but of course with different directors come different styles.

The script surprised me. It surprised me in how well it stuck with the original storyline. Some of the lines in the movie were directly taken from the book, which gladdened my heart. The movie didn’t leave out anything really big–the only thing it omitted was the two fugitives from District 8 who tell Katniss about District 13. Other than that, nothing Really Big And Important was left out, which impressed me a lot.

The score was amazing, of course. I liked that some of the musical motifs from the first movie were incorporated into the soundtrack of this one, tying the two movies together. It was cool. Yeah.

So, to sum it all up…Catching Fire is a spectacular movie that has changed my life for good. You really should go see it. So my final score for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is:

5/5 Gold Stars

I certainly hope that you can see Catching Fire while it’s still in theaters. Because it’s truly amazing. (and now I feel like Lionsgate should pay me. I mean, I’m doing very important promotional work, am I not?)

Have a lovely day, peeps, and see you when I see you. Which, knowing me, will be in a couple millennia. And to cap off this post of indescribable worth, here’s The Chosen Quote from Catching Fire. Yayz.

Make ’em pay for it.

So I read this one book. Eleanor & Park. And because my mind is currently a dry inkwell (that was for you, my dear gang), I’m gonna post my review of it. Yeah. (This review also appears on Goodreads.)

Eleanor & Park

 

I didn’t realize it was possible for a book to be so real. Sometimes I stopped reading and did a double-take because it was just so dang believable.

 

I don’t read many YA contemporaries (well, this isn’t necessarily contemporary…It takes place in 1986…But it’s like a YA contemporary.). To be completely truthful, I prefer to stick with the blood-guts-save-the-world-and-maybe-fall-in-love-with-a-devilish-assassin stories. But the thing is, I can’t always relate with those stories. I’d love to be a crazy poisoner/assassin/ninja who goes on quests and can do flips and has mad aim with a bow. (And always manages to seduce the aforementioned devilish assassin who can also do flips and has mad aim with throwing knives or something.) But I’m not. Unfortunate, I know, but true. And that isn’t really the point of fantasy/sci-fi novels, anyway. Their purpose is expressly to be out of the ordinary, et cetera. The point of YA contemporaries, however, is to be completely in the ordinary, completely believable, and completely real.

 

Eleanor & Park was so real, it was scary.

 

Rainbow Rowell managed to capture the very essence of teen romance, and all of the little things that make it so special. The simple joy you get whenever you’re around the Other Person. The way the lovely memories repeat nonstop in your head during any given moment of the day. The way you store up all of the little moments that you can, just in case you won’t get any more. The way you never ever want to think about the After–when “us” ceases to be. (If it ever ceases to be.) And most of all, the crazy feeling of wonder you get when you realize that the Other Person really, truly likes you just as much as you like them.

 

All of these little things matter. And all of them were in Eleanor & Park. Crazy sauce, right?

 

I could go on for ages about the beauty of the characters, the simplicity and elegance of the writing, the realness of the dialogue, and the emotions that were so eloquently conveyed. But I don’t need to do that. All of those aspects were exceptionally well done, and that’s great. But what’s most important is that Eleanor & Park was so very real to me, so relatable to me, that those other things don’t even matter.

 

This book spoke to me so much, and it made me feel so many emotions. It almost, almost made me cry. This is a good thing. This means you should find an edition of this book by whatever means necessary, and read it.

 

Read it right now.

 

Rating: 5/5 gold stars

 

And there you have your daily dose of philosophical words! Have you read Eleanor & Park(If you haven’t, I pity you. If you haven’t and don’t plan to, I…that’s sad. Wow.) Whaddya think of it? Let me know in the comments! Yay!

 

Annnnnnnd yeah, see you when I see you.

Or is this just fantasy?

Yeah, I’m blogging, peeps. This feels so weird.

A lot has happened since I last blogged more than a month ago. So much has happened that I simply wasted time on Facebook couldn’t find time to blog! Such problems, I know.

And now it’s September-almost-October. The sun goes down earlier in the evening, the days are chillier, and there are little pops of color on some of the trees. Not to mention that people are getting ready for Halloween. Pssh, Halloween. I’m getting ready for Nano.

At the beginning of the year, I started a challenge to read 50 books during 2013. I also started Erin’s Epic Reading Challenge, in which I challenged myself to read specific books within 2013. Now that it’s September (WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN TELL ME PLEASE THIS IS NOT REAL LIFE), I figured I would post an update on how I’m doing with Erin’s challenge. So. Here goes. Yeah.

  • Everlost, by Neal Shusterman. Haven’t read–I’m not sure I will by the end of the year, either. It’s not high on my to-read list right now. Oh well.
  • Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins. Read! It was just as spectacular as I remembered it to be, and I might read it again before the movie is released. (Which I’m extremely excited about. The movie, that is.) 5/5 stars for sure.
  • Les Misérables, by Victor Hugo. Haven’t read–Excuse me while I roll around on the floor, laughing until I puke. I didn’t even start it yet. And given that it will probably take me about a year to finish it…I’m not sure I’ll finish this one by 2014, either. I sort of missed the Les Mis Summer Reading Binge I had planned, due to unforeseen circumstances. (like my social life, for example.)
  • How to Save a Life, by Sara Zarr. Read! Aw, yeah! It was a really beautiful novel, and I’m so glad I read it. 5/5 stars.
  • The Percy Jackson series, by Rick Riordan. Read! This series is so fun, it just makes my day. I read these books a long time ago, though, so I can’t recall my specific reactions to them. They’re pretty great, though. 4/5 stars overall.
  • The Help, by Kathryn Stockett. Read! This book is just so good. I’ve never been one for historical fiction, or the era in which The Help takes place, but this book was written so amazingly well that I couldn’t help but love it. Read it, everybody. 5/5 stars.
  • DragonQuest, by Donita K. Paul. Haven’t read–Ha. Ha. I completely forgot that this book even existed. Or that I had challenged myself to read it this year. Chances are I won’t get to it before 2014, either. Meh.
  • Ship Breaker, by Paolo Bacigalupi. Haven’t read–With all good luck, I might finish this before the end of the year. But there are a lot of books that I’d like to read before this one, so it might not happen. I’d still like to reread it sometime, though, if not in 2013.
  • Scarlet, by Marissa Meyer. Read! IT WAS SO AWESOME. I love Scarlet. And Wolf. And Scarlet+Wolf. Oh, and Cinder/Kai are all right, too, I suppose. (I’m kidding, I love them both…but I love Scarlet and Wolf more, that’s all.) Now I’m eagerly anticipated Cress, which is expected to be published February 4th, 2014.

So all in all, my reading challenge has been pretty successful. Except for a few books, but that’s irrelevant.

I’m hoping to publish posts more frequently in the coming days, but as y’all know, my Blogging Hopes mean next to nothing. I’m probably going to widen my blogging horizons, however. I mean, I can’t always blog about books and writing (no matter how epic both of those pursuits are). So you can expect a variety of posts soon. Or not soon. Whatever.

See you when I see you.

Hi! Hello! Hola! Bonjour! Konnichiwa!

I am BACK in the blogosphere, after taking a slight hiatus. And truth be told, blogging feels sort of foreign now. So please forgive me if this post isn’t the most intelligent thing you’ve ever read.

To celebrate my long-awaited return, I’m participating in a weekly link-up at The Book Chewers!

Book Chewers

Here is the prompt:

Have you read a book starting with every. single. letter from the alphabet?! Make a list of books you’ve read, from A to Z! (Bonus points to those who’ve read those tricky letters, like X and Z.) Also, you can bypass “the” or “a” in titles, if you need to.

Ooh, this will be fun.

>>>

A: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

B: Blood Red Road by Moira Young

C: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

D: Dark Triumph by R.L. LaFevers

E: Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

F: Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

G: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

H: How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

I: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

J: The Janitor’s Boy by Andrew Clements (I read this a reallllly long time ago, but, hey, it starts with a J.)

K: Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross

L: Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

M: Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism by Georgia Byng

N: New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (Yes, you read that right. It’s a particularly gruesome form of self-torture, see.)

O: Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes

P: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Q: Quidditch Through the Ages by J.K. Rowling (Take that, Q!)

R: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

S: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

T: This Must Be Love by Tui T. Sutherland

U: The Unidentified by Rae Mariz

V: The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg (I read this a long time ago, too. But it still counts.)

W: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

X: ??? X is stupid. It’s the only letter preventing me from WORLD DOMINATION. Stupid X.

Y: You by Charles Benoit

Z: Zoobreak by Gordon Korman. (YES! I READ A BOOK THAT BEGINS WITH Z! HALLELUJAH!)

>>>

Anyways, there you have it! A blog post! That was really fun, actually. So…yeah.

Have a nice day.

There’s this meme that’s vaguely floating around the blogverse concerning Harry Potter. Since I’m an HP fan and had no other post idea, I’m gonna do it. This particular meme hails from The Magic Violinist. Oh, this is going to be so much fun.

>

Would you rather go to prom with Harry, Draco, or Ron?

Actually, I’d rather go to prom with Snape, but unfortunately that isn’t an option. I guess I’ll say Ron, because at least he’s funny. (See, Draco’s a meanie, and Harry’s melodramatic and super awkward.)

Would you rather be sorted into Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, or Slytherin?

Slytherin or Ravenclaw. They’re both so epic. Gryffindor would be cool, too, but it’s kind of a clichéd House. I like evil peeps, and I like smart peeps. If only there were a Ravenclaw-Slytherin hybrid…

Would you rather explore the Forbidden Forest or the halls of Hogwarts?

That’s a no-brainer. Hogwarts, Hogwarts, hoggy warty Hogwarts! (Let’s face it, I’d spend all day running around on the moving staircases.)

Would you rather enroll in Potions, Charms, Divination or Defense Against the Dark Arts?

Well, if Snape were teaching Potions, I might go with that one. Actually, maybe not. I’d probably blow something up and get expelled. I’ll have to go with Defense Against the Dark Arts.

Would you rather buy an owl, cat, rat, or toad?

Hm, let’s see, such a tough decision.

I think y’all can guess.

Would you rather have in possession: the elder wand, resurrection stone, or the cloak of invisibility?

My answer is pretty much exactly like The Magic Violinist’s. The elder wand is cool, but, you know, with great power comes great responsibility. I wouldn’t want to risk blowing the world up or anything. And the resurrection stone doesn’t do anything. But the invisibility cloak, however…Yes, that would be very useful. Dang, I wish those things were real.

Would you rather be tutored by Luna Lovegood or Hermione Granger?

Hermione, if I actually wanted to learn something. Luna, if I wanted to explode with laughter.

Would you rather, in the final battle, fight against Nagini (the snake), or Bellatrix?

I would have a better chance of winning if I fought against Nagini. But Bellatrix is the most epic, and I’m a foolish human being, so I’d want to fight her.

Would you rather fight a basilisk or a dragon?

A dragon! Except, I wouldn’t fight it. I’d keep it as a pet. Dragons make lovely pets, you know. (And very handy ones, if you like to watch the world burn.)

Would you rather be part of the Malfoy family or the Weasley family?

I’m going with the obvious choice here–the Weasleys. The Malfoys have absolutely no sense of camaraderie. And that’s a little awkward.

Would you rather have butterbeer or pumpkin juice?

Um, is this a trick question? Butterbeer. Duh, guys.

Would you rather fly on a broomstick, Hagrid’s motorbike, or Buckbeak?

Mehhhh…I don’t know. Flying on a broomstick would be so epic, but I’d probably fall off. Broomsticks require lots of balance. I don’t have lots of balance. So…Buckbeak, I suppose.

Would you rather have a conversation with Daniel Radcliffe or J.K. Rowling?

Hmm, now let me think about this for a good long time…J.K. ROWLING OF COURSE DUH GUYS.

>

And that concludes this little meme-thingy! Also, if you’re reading this…consider yourself tagged. It saves me a lot of time.

Also, guess what? I’m going to camp! (to parrot Erin and Amanda…) Not real camp, sillies. Real camp is boring. Nope, I’m going to Camp NaNoWriMo. This means that I am being forced to  challenging myself to write 15,000 words in the month of July. Easy, right? …Wrong, in my case, but I will prevail by the end of the month! Despite my word count being sedentary at 0, I will write 15,000 words. I will, I will, I will.

Also also, over at The Notebook Sisters, Cait and Mime are hosting a critiquing party! If you’re anything like me, and the idea of editing any of your own written work leaves you quaking in a corner, then I strongly recommend you hop on over there. It’s a blast!

And with that, goodbye, trolley people! I’ll see you whenever I happen to see you. Yes indeed.

I’ve been gone for a while, my little blog lovelies. And for that I am incredibly sorry. Buuuuuuut I’m back in black, at long last. And I have received an award, despite my unseemly absence. Fancy that.

I have received the Shine On Award from Amanda at Imagination Expedition. THANK YOU, AMANDA.

And look! There are rules!

  1. Display the award on your blog. Look down, look down, you’re here until you die.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you. Been there, done that.
  3. State 7 things about yourself. I’ll get to that.
  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and link to them. I don’t like enough people to nominate 15. I’m kidding, I like 15 people. They just don’t all have blogs.

ShineOn

 

And now I get to tell you the seven things I like about you about myself. (Side note: My sincerest apologies for quoting Miley Cyrus. I’m…I’m very ashamed.)

  1. I currently have 21 pictures of Hugh Jackman saved on my computer. I expect that number to increase substantially in the near future.
  2. I do not have much sympathy for my characters. I make them SUFFER. And I heartily enjoy doing so. (My mind and sanity are both perfectly sound, I assure you. Well…perhaps not my sanity. But my mind, yes.)
  3. I like pretending I’m a writer, but I haven’t written in any of my WIPs for a very, very long while. But not for lack of trying! I just get…distracted. By stuff.
  4. I like Ursula more than Ariel. (Let’s be serious, she gets the best song while Ariel just mopes around.)
  5. I love Converse All Stars. I mean, look at them! They’re so beautiful!
  6. Some days I have OCD tendencies. Some days I have ADHD tendencies. And other days…I have both. Those days are especially crazy.
  7. Although I definitely have my Agnes moments, I identify most with Edith from Despicable Me. You know…
Edith_1

Yeah, that one.

Wow, look, I’m done already! That was actually pretty painless. So, great. Now I need to nominate people.

I’m going to go the lazy route (which most people have been doing these days…). Here’s the deal: If you want this shiny little Shine On Award, then go ahead! Make your choice! All you have to do is follow the rules. Simple enough, right?

Also, if you hadn’t noticed already…I included some quotes in this here post. From movies, from songs, from shows, yeah. A few of them are mildly changed in order to fit my purposes, but they are still recognizable. I dare you to guess as many as you can in the comments below–here it comes–without using Google. Yeah, I had to include something that vaguely reminisces of fun in this post. (I did sort of cheat, as I already named one of the quotes, but that was Miley Cyrus, so it doesn’t count. But still…it’s my blog and I’ll cheat if I want to. :))

Now, I won’t promise that I’m back for good. I don’t even know what my next post will be. Right now, I’m just feeling like

Despicable Me_ballet

 

and

Sans the rain, though. Thank goodness.

Sans the rain, though. Thank goodness.

…so I’m going to leave y’all.

I’LL BE BACK! Sometime.

 

The other day I decided to write a poem. I was in a weird mood, and so the poem is weird, but I like it, so I’m posting it here. It’s written in free verse, so if that isn’t your thing…That’s fine, too. :)

Also, please don’t make any assumptions/rash judgments until you reach the end. Thank you kindly.

Oh, and all rights reserved. And all that.

I Am Not a Psychopath

I am not a psychopath.

I kill people most violently

I dream of ways to poison a man

I make everyone’s life as miserable as I can

I manipulate people’s emotions

I turn sister on brother

Friend on friend

Villain on sidekick

I revel in anger

Abandonment

Bitterness

And most of all

Tragic backstories

I can’t help but imagine every way a situation can go wrong

I’m like a walking Murphy’s Law

No, I am not a psychopath

I’m just a writer.

(the end)

So, there you go. I hope you enjoyed it. If you didn’t, please go away.

Anyways, uh…

HUGH JACKMAN MOMENT.

The Wolverine poster_1

Admit it, you’re excited about The Wolverine. Also, I’m thinking of starting A Thing where I post pictures of Hugh Jackman on a weekly basis. Why, you ask? Well, the answer is self-explanatory, I think. Hugh Jackman is a wonderful human being and ought to be blogged about. So anyways, that might be A Thing. Now you’re forewarned of the possible awesomeness to come.

Ahem.

See you when I see yoooooouuuu!

 

Dear Weather

As always, click to enlarge.

Thank you, nevillegirl, for enlightening me to these wonderful means of communication!

That is all.

This morning I went on a bike ride. A bike ride that, in any other circumstances, would have been harmless. Unfortunately, today it was 50°Fahrenheit and raining. And I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt.

Needless to say, it was rather trying. However, I knew that I couldn’t turn back. Why? Two reasons:

  1. I am brave, unafraid, and willing to face any conditions in the name of exercise.
  2. I live in the middle of the country, had no phone on my person, and was surrounded by either trees or bars.

(But that’s irrelevant.)

The point is, even though I was entirely numb and freezing and feeling crappy, I continued. I didn’t really have a choice, of course, which makes this whole scenario a little less noble, but the point is that I continued biking through the rain for a whole hour.

Writers face the same sort of challenge.

First drafts are beasts for almost anybody. Everyone likes the notion of pounding out a first draft. Everyone wants to be able to say, “Well, you know, I’ve finished writing a novel…” But we all find out that it isn’t as easy as that. I’ve started countless stories and have hit the 20-page mark only to let them fizzle out and die. And while the idea of Finishing A Novel is certainly attractive, I usually end up procrastinating anyway. Conversations like these are not uncommon in my mind:

“I should write something today.”

“But I don’t want to!”

“How will I ever finish my draft if I don’t?”

“You can write another time. You should check your email like you’re OCD instead.”

“But…”

“JUST SHUT UP OKAY YOU DON’T NEED TO WRITE TODAY. GEEZ.”

My Inner Distraction is very persuasive sometimes. Most of the time, actually. And I’m sure that lots of people suffer from the nasty procrastination virus, as well. But knowing that other people are lazy writers doesn’t really help.

So…what does help?

Well, I could prescribe a bunch of supposed writer’s block remedies, including NaNoWriMo, Write or Die, word wars, and lots more. And while these certainly help (NaNo in particular), none of them are particularly tried-and-true. Having word wars doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to finish your first draft in a month. Going to Write or Die may not increase your daily word sum. In fact, it could move you to throw your computer out your window in a fit of anger. And while NaNoWriMo certainly helps me write a lot for the month of November, it doesn’t help for the 11 other months in the year. So, really, there’s only one simple solution:

Sometimes, you just need to sit down and write.

Don’t waste time trying to find the special cure to writer’s block, because the only cure to writer’s block is writing. Duh, guys. And in order to write, you kind of have to…write. Plop down in front of your computer or notebook, and write. Maybe you don’t feel like plodding forward in your first draft. In that case, write a random excerpt. It may even give you inspiration to write in your regular novel. Who knows? But in order to get inspiration, you need to start writing. Anything. Everything. THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS, PEEPS. JUST WRITE.

I’m sure some or most of you have heard that writing is like a muscle. You need to exercise it regularly in order to get better at it. And while this simile is a little overused at times, it couldn’t be truer. The more you do it, the better you’ll get. And the more you do it, the easier it will be to just sit down randomly and write. Take that, writer’s block.

And yes, this is a simple, somewhat overused writing tip. But it will never get old, so why not reiterate it?

Sometimes you just need to sit down and write.

So…go write something.

(Afterthought: While it’s true that the aforementioned writing tip helps most of the time, sometimes other techniques can help, as well. I find it particularly helpful to think of Hugh Jackman.)

Hugh Jackman1

…Which is why this post will not contain anything worthwhile. So, if you’re looking for a worthwhile post…Don’t read on. Duh, guys.

But seriously, all I feel like doing is finding funny pictures and random crap. You’re welcome.

IT'S SO CUTE.

IT’S SO CUTE.

No, really. This is me, a little.

No, really. This is me, a little.

IT'S SO CUTE.

IT’S SO CUTE.

Sponges. They're the greatest.

Sponges. They’re the greatest.

'Nuff said.

‘Nuff said.

& this is just comic relief.

& this is just comic relief.

And we can’t forget this special little nerd!

Idiot Nerd Girl_graphic design

Idiot Nerd Girl_ie

Idiot Nerd Girl_solitaire

Idiot Nerd Girl_java

People like this equally irritate and amuse me. It’s sort of awkward.

NO SERIOUSLY THOUGH.

NO SERIOUSLY THOUGH.

That's definitely a sign of true friendship, peeps.

That’s definitely a sign of true friendship, peeps.

It's eternally sad how true this is.

It’s eternally sad how true this statement is. (Also this picture is blurry. Sorry ’bout it.

Tracker Jacker paranoia

This is me ALL THE TIME. Actually, maybe 67% of the time. Or 48% of the time.

Twilight HG Ohsnap

If that happened, I would likely die from an overdose of glee.

We Found Bread meme

You tell ’em, Peeta.

Mario Penguin suit

Yup. Yup, guys.

And now, for the grand finale…Teenager Posts. The scary thing is that so many of them apply to me. No, I’m not a conformist. Just a teenager! :P

tumblr_mdhnlf6Ots1qiaqpmo1_500

teenager_post-207338_large

531 530 527 521

507

480 466 465 415

444

402

449

403Teenager-Post-teenager-posts-32330898-500-350

Teenager-posts-981-100-zabava-za-cure-31921325-500-350

images-1

Teenager-posts-41-60-zabava-za-cure-31084785-500-350

Teenager-posts-41-60-zabava-za-cure-31084782-500-350

birthday-dfhrth-teenager-teenager-posts-truth-Favim.com-279018_large

quotes-teenager-posts-text-Favim.com-419131

There you have it. An entire post about nothing.

YOU’RE WELCOME.

A tale of suits that explode things and people that explode suits

Where to start? This movie was pretty much the kick-off for summer blockbusters, and I must say, it did not disappoint.

First, of course, is the plot. It’s pretty much about Tony Stark (duh, guys) and his fight against evil (duh, guys). As always, I don’t want to describe it anymore. Here’s the Wikipedia synopsis. I liked the plot! Except…there were lots of bad guys. At times, there were too many to keep track of. There’s obviously one overall villain, but there’s a bunch of accomplices and peeps who fight Tony and everything. It was a bit confusing at times. But the whole Extremis thing is a cool idea. Obviously, the scriptwriters didn’t just get that idea, as it’s based on the comics, but as a plot point, it’s neat. But I am kind of getting tired of the typical “I’m a villain looking to rid the world of weakness!” thing. I mean, it’s perfect when the villain has a tragic backstory or some physical deformity (The Amazing Spider-man, anybody?), but all the same, it isn’t the most original. It’s also commonly seen in superhero movies. Therefore, I’m giving the plot

4/5 jellybeans.

 

Next are the characters/actors. Robert Downey Jr., as always, delivers a snarky, yet endearing Tony Stark. I especially liked Tony’s character in this installment of the Marvel movies because he’s struggling with PTSD from the whole Avengers excursion. This is sort of a major flaw/weakness, and I can’t help but love weaknesses in characters. It’s awesome. He has panic attacks and everything. The whole nine yards. And I must say, Tony Stark has always been my favorite from the Avengers. Hawkeye and Hulk are quite bland (IMO), Thor at times seems a bit of a caricature, Captain America is too much of a goody-two-shoes, and the Black Widow isn’t given quite enough depth to be fully epic. Tony Stark, however, is funny, flawed, and a complete human being. He, of all the Avengers, is the most realisitic. (Again, this is just my opinion.) Also, Robert Downey Jr. is incredibly handsome.

Gwyneth Paltrow does a good job with the character of Pepper Potts. I’ve always liked Pepper, because while she isn’t going around shooting people up and doing The Big Stuff like that, she’s more than capable at doing other, very necessary, tasks. Like being CEO of Stark Industries. For example. She’s a capable character, and while at times plays the role of damsel-in-distress, does not do so annoyingly. On a side note, I definitely ship Tony/Pepper. They’re perfect with each other. And they’re doubly humorous when they’re bantering.

Ben Kingsley plays the Mandarin. He does quite a commendable job. **SPOILER ALERT** His true character, of course, is that of Trevor Slattery, an actor getting paid to play the Mandarin for show. While Kingsley is certainly menacing while the audience believes the Mandarin is The Villain; once his identity is revealed, he does quite a good job at playing up the humorous aspects. **END OF SPOILER**

Guy Pearce plays Aldrich Killian. Now, if we just put aside the major fact that they STOLE the name Erin and I are using (Never mind that the spell it differently; we spell it Kilian…read more about that escapade here.) (Also, I’m kidding, the Marvel peeps had rights to Aldrich Killian before our idea was even a little seedling.), I liked this dude’s character. I definitely had sympathy for him, considering his little backstory with Tony (I would be ticked off, too, if I were him.). And I appreciated that he didn’t take the typical path to villainy. He stayed behind the scenes rather than being all ostentatious about it. Which is pretty cool. He wasn’t the most compelling villain I’ve seen, though. Part of that stems from the fact that while his backstory made me feel bad for him, it wasn’t AWFUL and TRAGIC. I’m a sucker for tragic villain stories. Always have been. Also, there’s the minor detail that the dude had a total Ken-doll look for the role. You know, like a pretty boy. Eh, not for me. Other than that, though, cool.

Ty Simpkins played Harley, a little dude who becomes sort of like a sidekick to Tony. He was pretty awesome, and funny in that annoying-little-kid way. He isn’t a huge part of the movie, so there isn’t really much to critique the character on…Pretty much, he was cool. Yeah.

I liked the characters. And the actors who played them, obviously.  So I’m going to give the characters section

5/5 jellybeans.

 

The visuals were awesome, as one can expect from a Marvel summer superhero movie. (The summer part doesn’t really matter, but whatever.) Again, the Extremis was cool–albeit kind of creepy at some points. ORANGE EYES. They definitely made that work. Pretty much all of the CGI was done excellently. Also, I want JARVIS. GAHHH. As far as camera-visual stuff, I don’t remember much of it, but it didn’t bother me or anything, so I’m assuming it was cool. So, just for kicks, let’s give visuals

4/5 jellybeans.

 

From the iTunes samples (I saw this two weeks ago, I don’t remember everything!), the soundtrack was pretty good. I really like the theme (the actual track is called, simply, Iron Man 3, if you’d like to know). It evokes a sort of Avenger-ly feel (remember the triumphant Avengers theme? Yep, like that), only not quite as happy, which fits, because Tony Stark isn’t quite the happiest character, ya know? That’s the only track that really sticks out to me as being cool. It was pretty much a standard superhero action soundtrack. It wasn’t really memorable, like X-Men: First Class or Pirates of the Caribbean. So I’ll give the soundtrack

3.5/5 jellybeans.

 

I’m also going to introduce a new segment to my movie reviews, in which I display some of the posters from the movie and comment on them/talk about my feels. Because I’m geeky and like that kind of stuff.

The Iron Man 3 posters were certainly not a disappointment. (Click on one to expand it and read my full comments.)

Along with a critique of the actual promotional posters, I’ll have a gallery of other posters from the movie as well (without commenting on them). For most movies (including this one), the posters in this category are the individual character posters. Click on one to expand it and enjoy!

The posters for Iron Man 3 were pretty boss. So I’m going to give them…

4/5 jellybeans.

 

So, all in all, I really, really loved Iron Man 3! It was an enjoyable, entertaining, and, of course, snarky movie and definitely a great installment in the series. Also, it marks the beginning of Phase 2 in Marvel’s plan to dominate the universe. Did you realize they had phases going on in Marvel? That’s just insane. Next up will be Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier (they really have a thing for colons, it seems), Guardians of the Galaxy, and to round it all out, Avengers 2! Phase 2 is expected to wrap up in May 2015 (when Avengers 2 is released). Yeah, this is hardcore stuff, I know. But from the looks of Iron Man 3, Phase 2 should turn out to be just as epic as Phase 1 was. Cool.

(Also, before I leave you, we’ve got to talk about the post-credits scene. A Marvel movie is nothing without a post-credits scene; therefore, a review of a Marvel movie is nothing without a mini-review of the post-credits scene. This one was a little bit disappointing, although after the shawarma scene at the end of Avengers, my standards were set impossibly high. It was entertaining enough, but not epic or anything. Also, Ivy, that was not That One Guy. That was the Hulk :))

(Oh, wait! And at the very very very end of the credits it said…”Tony Stark will return.” I think I screamed a little with relief. It was actually kind of funny, because Erin and Amanda–who I saw the movie with–and I were having a debate about whether or not Tony would make a return to the Marvel universe. Needless to say, we were all happy.)

I liked Iron Man 3 a lot, as I said earlier. So…the moment you’ve all been waiting for…I give Iron Man 3, as a whole…

5/5 jellybeans.

 

That’s right, folks.

And now, for the end quote…Well, geez. There isn’t a perfect quote to describe Iron Man 3, or even one that I have been using for the past couple weeks. So how ’bout this:

No politics here; just good old-fashioned revenge!

Today is a very special day.

Today is the day I finished my geometry book.

Let's Party

 

Yeah! In honor of this festive occasion, I wrote a poem. Rather, an ode. To geometry. (Hence the post title.)

Ode to Geometry

 Math is always useful

At least, that’s what they say

And while numbers are a nice tool

Some things are not meant to stay

Let’s use trig as an example

Lovely stuff; sin, cos, and tan

They sound smart and quite substantial

But what use are they to man?

They just wallow in the corner

They serve no important cause

Yet we all must bear their evil

Or let our schooling forever pause

3D coordinate planes

That’s another major deal

2D is good enough

It almost echoes movies here!

We don’t need another number

We don’t need another line

We don’t need added confusion

 x and y alone are fine

However, those two problems

Do nothing to compare

With the horrors known as proofs

I hardly want to venture there

Why can’t we accept

That these theorems are all true?

Why make us, the deprived students

Prove all these things to you?

It must be a torture instrument

Created for our pain

So that we’re utterly confused

And nearly tear out all our brains

So now that I have finished

This treatise of protests

I can make this statement firmly

I can definitely attest

That geometry is torment

It’s a plague unjustified

If you haven’t yet endured it—

I will pray that you survive

But I can say at last

The end is finally here

So goodbye, Saxon Geometry

I won’t see you next year!

So, in conclusion, thank you, geometry, for making my school year awful. (Well, my school year wasn’t REALLY AWFUL, but the geometry part certainly was.) I’m so glad it’s over.

And now a question for y’all: What is your opinion of math (geometry in particular)? Love it or hate it?

Well, then, I’m off to celebrate. BYE, Y’ALL. SEE YOU WHEN I SEE YOU.

Let me tell you a little story, y’all.

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far, away, Mom and I were driving home. We crested the top of our abnormally steep driveway, and were met with the sight of…horses. At least a dozen of them. Grazing in our backyard. Like they owned the place.

Now, this isn’t such a strange occurrence, because our next-door neighbors have a herd of Arabian horses that live in a pasture right by us. We stare at them all day (the horses, not the people). But in our yard? That’s a completely different scenario.

I can tell that you’re shaking your head in disbelief. So, two things:

  1. Please stop shaking your head. You could dislodge your brain.
  2. Lookee here:019
023_edit

IN OUR BACKYARD, Y’ALL.

…This is legit, peeps. The situation was made even more hilarious by the fact that all of the horses were just peacefully grazing. Not stampeding or any of that crap (which is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear, “The horses have gotten loose!” Be honest. Most everybody thinks that instinctively.). I was laughing the entire time I was taking pictures of the cute little horsies. (Side note: aren’t they beautiful? :))

So anyway, this whole scenario was so funny that I absolutely had to share it with y’all. This is certainly country living at its utmost.

As for a moral of the story…uh…how ’bout…Crazy things happen. Embrace the moment. And take pictures of everything. Y’all. How’s that?

But anyways, see ya.