Saturday, April 28, 2012

DVD Review: Breaking Dawn Part 1

Since I already did a movie review for Breaking Dawn Part 1 back in November (which you can read here), this post will really just be about the special features.

The Edward fast forward and Jacob fast forward things may be great for some people, but I just find them kind of awkward.  I only watched the first couple minutes of the Jacob one before turning it off.  It's all so disjointed when you don't see everything happening between those scenes.  I can understand why they have it on the DVD though, and I'm sure a lot of people really like that feature.

I thought the wedding video was really cute, and even though I'm not really a fan of Edward and Bella, I really enjoyed it.  It really had a home movie feel, and I loved all of the characters leaving messages for Edward and Bella on the camera.

I also enjoyed the Jacob's Destiny special feature, which isn't surprising considering he's one of my favorite characters.  (And I'm really looking forward to seeing how he pulls off being imprinted on Nessie in the next movie...)

And now for the documentary:

The Wedding: I found the whole documentary interesting, but the wedding was one of the ones I was least interested in.  I enjoyed the parts about designing the dresses and how all of the vampires were dressed in costumes that symbolized the times they were human.

The Honeymoon: This was the other part that I was probably least excited about, but I ended up really enjoying this part.  It was cool to see them talk about filming in Rio, and I love the part where there's a tropical storm and everyone is stranded on the island and has to spend the night in the house they were filming in.  I also loved the bit about Rob driving the boat that was pretty hilarious.

The Wolfpack: This was definitely the part of the documentary that I was most excited for when I saw it.  The wolfpack (particularly Jake's pack or future pack) are my favorite characters, and for that reason, I like seeing the behind the scenes stuff with them the most too.  I loved how Boo Boo was chanting "nice sunny day" to himself because it was actually freezing and he had to be shirtless in that scene.  I love how the actors interact with each other in the behind the scenes stuff too.  I love seeing them be friends in real life too.

The Pregnancy: It was really cool seeing all of the special effects that were used to make Bella look so horrible.  The doll in particular really creeped me out, but I loved the bit where Kristen started punching it.  One of the things that I was most amazed about in the movie was the way they made Bella look during the pregnancy, and I loved seeing all the work that went into that and how it was all done.

The Birth: As someone who is absolutely terrified of blood, this part of the movie is a little hard for me to watch, but watching the documentary with the fake blood everywhere was even harder.  It was very interesting, but I had to look away quite a few times because I was a little freaked out.  It was interesting to see Kristen under the table with only her head out and the doll on the table.  I had no idea that's how they had done that scene.  I loved the bits with the baby.  The baby was adorable, even though it freaked me out a little that she was covered in fake blood.  It was so cute how she stuck her hand in her mouth and calmed down when she tasted it.

I loved the end where they basically had a huge teaser for the next movie that makes me want to see it so badly!

I was a little disappointed that the commentary only had Bill Condon, the director, on it.  It was still very fun to watch, but I love when the actors are there as well.  Still, Bill shared quite a few interesting things in the commentary.  He mentioned at the beginning that the first scene with Jacob is the only one he's shirtless in during the whole movie, which is a little random, interesting fact that I hadn't realized before.

I was also shocked at how much money the spent to rebuild the Cullen's house.  That was just crazy.

He also mentioned that the second movie is going to pick up with the exact scene the last one ended on, which makes complete sense, but I'd never actually thought about how the second one would start before.

He also talked about Nessie and Edward playing piano together in the next movie, which I can't wait to see. I bet that's going to be so cute!  (Also, the song playing during the beach scene when they're talking about imprinting is Nessie's lullaby.  Talk about really obscure foreshadowing.)

Bill says that Boo Boo looks up to Taylor in real life, and they have a relationship similar to Seth and Jacob's.  I find that incredibly cute and awesome for some reason.

Apparently the scene with the dog bowl was shot, but they cut it out.  I love that scene in the books, and I really wish that had been on the DVD as a deleted scene.  I'm sure they could have had several good deleted scenes on the DVD.

Overall, I really enjoyed all of the special features.  I had fun watching them, and they had some really interesting information.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Why I'm Going to Prom

It's the day before prom, and if anything, I feel worse today than I did yesterday.  At one point today my voice almost went completely out, and I think I had a fever earlier this evening.  Still, I'm going to make it to prom, even if I don't wake up miraculously feeling better tomorrow.  It's not even because I'm particularly excited about prom.  Honestly, I'm kind of dreading it because it involves quite a few things I hate:  I'll spend a good portion of the day just getting ready; I hate dancing in public; and we'll be up extremely late (which wouldn't bother me much except I tend to get a little cranky around people past midnight).  Yet I've decided that prom is just something you have to experience in high school, so I'm going anyway.  Besides, I'm sure my friends and I will find ways to enjoy it even if the actual prom turns out to not be that great.  I'm still not looking forward to my awkward attempts at dancing (or rather awkwardly standing near my friends and moving around a bit while they dance).  There's going to be laser tag and karaoke at after prom though, and I'm not complaining about that!  (I don't even have to participate in the karaoke to appreciate that...)

Nothing of note really happened today other than me being sick and talk about prom.  It really doesn't even feel like prom is tomorrow.  Time has started going by so fast this month!  There's less than a month now until graduation.  It's all so hard to believe.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Book Review: Living Abroad in Spain by Nikki Weinstein

ISBN: 1566916666
Published: September 30th, 2004
Publisher: Avalon Travel
Read from April 12th to 21st, 2012
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Imagine yourself living in Spain. You head home after a fiesta, eating churros and chocolate and celebrating with your neighbors. You know the locals and speak Spanish with ease. You show visiting friends around with the confidence of one who belongs. Author Nikki Weinstein shows you how to make your dream take shape. She left her life as a magazine writer in New York to make a home abroad in Spain. While some give up-daunted by the financial, bureaucratic, and decision-making issues that accompany a move so extraordinary-you'll be led step-by-step through the information you need on visas, money, jobs, housing, safety, language, culture, and history. Nikki has done the research and made the mistakes-so you don't have to. There's a place that matches your budget, needs, and dreams: perhaps it's an apartment in the vibrant city of Barcelona, a villa in sun-drenched Andalusia, or a beach house on the dramatic Galician coast. You can make it happen. With Living Abroad in Spain, it's easier than you think.

This book wasn't as great as I was hoping it would be.  I still enjoyed it though, and it definitely made me want to go to Spain.  My biggest problem was the sheer number of typos.  They were everywhere!  Someone did a horrible job editing this book.  They were such obvious typos too, and it drove me insane.  I didn't find the writing that great either.  Some parts were better than others.  Many parts seemed repetitive.  It was giving you valuable information if you ever plan to move to Spain, but it was doing it in such a dry, boring way that most people would probably struggle reading it to get the information.  Honestly, I skipped over those parts.  There were a lot of parts that were very interesting though, and I enjoyed reading those.  Those were the bits that made me wish I could go to Spain.  Overall, the book was good, but it had some major flaws.  If you're planning on moving to Spain sometime, then I would recommend this book to help you.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Cow in School

I am officially sick for what is at least the third time this year (though I feel like it may be the fourth).  I hardly slept last night because it was so hard to breath and my throat hurt.  Hopefully tonight is better, although I doubt it since my throat is worse today than it was yesterday.

School is starting to get really busy (again).  It seems as if we're reaching the point where most of the teachers are trying to cram things in before the end of the year (or, as in two of my classes, before the AP test).  Because of this, I feel like I'm getting a ton of homework now.  There are just about two weeks until the AP U.S. history test and three until the AP English one.  After that my workload should be a lot lighter since we'll have covered everything for the test, so even if we're going over stuff, it won't be as crammed in (especially in AP U.S. history.

Today our school served Chick-fil-A for lunch.  I have no idea why or if it will become a regular thing (next year at least).  However, there was an actual guy or girl walking around in the Chick-fil-A cow costume during lunch.  It was the strangest thing.  At one point he walked up to the table next to ours and a junior bolted out of her seat and across the commons because she was scared of him.  He kept teasing her after that.  At one point he stood behind this column by our table and peeked out at her.  It made for an interesting lunch.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Shopping "For Prom"

Today has been a busy Saturday, and I can't believe I was even able to make myself write this post.

I had to wake up early today because my family was getting our picture taken for our church's new parish directory.  The waking up early part really didn't bother me too much because I was going to be up that early to watch Korra anyway, but I feel awkward having my picture taken.  The pictures didn't turn out too badly though, although it seemed to go on forever.

By the time we got home from that, I managed to watch about half of the new episode of Korra on the DVR before I had to go meet Ji.  I thought I'd finish it tonight, but now it's looking like that'll have to wait until tomorrow.

Ji and I went shopping at the mall today.  We went with the pretense of getting accessories for prom (and so Ji could apply for jobs), but that's not really what happened.  Ji bought some stuff at the mall, but hardly any of it was prom related, and all I got was Auntie Anne's pretzel nuggets.  However, Ji and I randomly stumbled upon a table where they were interviewing people to work at the new Forever 21 in that mall that's opening next month.  (Before now the closest Forever 21 to us was a couple hours away in Louisville.  This mall's only about  half an hour to an hour away.)  Ji filled out an application, and they interviewed her right there.  They told her she got the job almost immediately.  Forever 21 is quite possibly Ji's most favorite store in the world, so she was beyond thrilled the rest of the day.  (She also found out she won a scholarship earlier today, so she was in a great mood.)

After the mall we went across the street to Shoe Carnival, so I could buy some new shoes.  I needed flats for prom, and my current pair of tennis shoes are falling apart.  I'd never bought shoes by myself before and had no idea how expensive tennis shoes can be!  Even my mom was surprised at how much the Nike's I bought are, and I bought one of the least expensive pairs there.  (She can't complain about the price though.  She told me to get Nike's or a similar brand because they'd last longer.)

Ji sold some of her old clothes at Plato's Closet, and then we stopped by Walgreens on our way home because Ji wanted to pick up a few things.  Ji wanted to look at nail polish, which let her to buying one bottle and me buying five.  I bought my first Essie polish, which Ji was way more proud of then I think is normal.  (I can't believe I spent that much on that nail polish, but the other four bottles were cheap brands.)

Then we came back to my house and watched X-Men: First Class.  I enjoyed the movie, and I usually don't like superhero movies.  I discovered that Ji is apparently an X-Men fan, and she was explaining background about the different characters to me as we watched.  She went home after the movie, and now it's incredibly late and I'm exhausted.  I feel like I've been constantly on the go all day even though I spent over two hours sitting on the couch watching a movie.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Games and Superlatives

For some reason today wore me out incredibly.  I think it had something to do with having two days of school, and then letting us go to the zoo one day before we had to have another full day of school.  Then, I had to work today, which of course made me more tired.  We get tomorrow off though, and even though I have to work for four hours, I'm excited.

We had to write an essay in AP English today in preparation for the AP test.  We were only supposed to give ourselves about fifteen minutes to prepare, since that's about how long we'll have on the AP test.  Because of that, I had almost no idea what I would write before I actually started writing, but I don't think it turned out too badly.

At lunch, I ended up playing Never Have I Never with Haley, Jordan, Hannah, and Brooklyn.  I had never played that game before even though I'd heard of it and knew what it was.  The bell rang in the middle of it, but I had the most fingers still up.  Not surprising really considering everyone was saying things that are against the rules or taboo, and I'm pretty much a complete goody-two-shoes when it comes to most things.

All of the seniors got out of the beginning of fourth block because of a senior meeting.  We had to listen to them talk about graduation and prom stuff, and then we filled out this paper on what we plan to do after school and stuff so that it can be published in the local paper.  We also voted on senior superlatives, which was difficult.  A few of them seemed like no-brainers, but on others I sat there forever trying to decide.  I mean, I never paid attention to which boy and girl in the class have the best eyes.  In the end I put two our three people quite a few times, which is basically pointless since people are only allowed to get one superlative.  Since the superlatives are a part of yearbook, we may be counting the votes in yearbook on Monday, although I'm not really sure.  It'll be interesting to see who gets what, even if I'm not really looking forward to the counting.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Book Review: The Complete Idiot's Guide to American Government by Mary M. Shaffrey and Melanie Fonder

ISBN: 1592573282
Published: June 7th, 2005
Publisher: Alpha
Read from March 28th to April 12th, 2012
Synopsis from Goodreads:

This overview of all the government's major institutions and agencies, the election process, and the creation and passing of laws and taxes has been updated with the latest information on such important issues as campaign finance reform, fundraising, and homeland security.
  • Completely updated resource section includes the latest government websites
  • The only American government book to include the results of the 2004 presidential election
  • Re-structured to complement high school and college political science/civics courses

Character Trip to the Zoo

Today was my school's character trip, which is basically a field trip that every kid in the school who hasn't gotten in trouble during the year gets to go on.  This year we went to the zoo.  It was a lot of fun, even though the zoo here really doesn't have that many animals.

Haley, Jordan, Beth, Bethany, and I (plus various classmates we ran into considering it's a small zoo and kids from our school were everywhere) spent about two hours or so wandering around and looking at animals.  Haley, Jordan, and I had went to this same zoo a few months ago, and while there we had been able to pet this South American porcupine.  This time we got to see her in her exhibit.  She is adorable.  There was also this really cute and adorable nocturnal cat who was so tiny.  It basically looked like a domesticated kitten.

Eventually we decided to head up to the only place that sells food in the entire zoo.  It was packed.  Apparently everyone else from our school had decided to eat at the same time.  We stood in line for almost forty minutes, and by the time we were done eating, we only had a little bit of time to look around the gift shop before we left.

We got back to school with about an hour of the school day left, so we had to go to our fourth block class and just sit around.  (I wish we could have just stayed at the zoo at least a half hour longer.)  Ji, Matt, and I played card games for a while before we could finally leave.

It didn't really even feel like a school day.  And, since we get Friday off this week, there's only one more school day left before a three day weekend!  I can't wait.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Holy Week and Easter Weekend

Happy Easter to those who celebrate it, and happy Passover as well to anyone who celebrates it.  I can't believe it's been five days since I last wrote a blog post!  It doesn't feel like it was that long.  I don't think I'll be posting much here this month.  I have a feeling this month is going to be hectic as it gets closer to graduation, so posts here will probably be rare.  I'm still going to try for at least one a week though.

Since it's been Holy Week, my week was full of school, work, and church, and that was about it.  I love the Holy Week masses though.  They're definitely my favorite masses of the year.

I think I've finally gotten to the point where the amount of homework I have isn't stressing me out anymore.  I've had the same amount all year and the same schedule all year, and since everything's worked so far, I've finally let myself calm down now that there's only about a month and a half of school left.  I still haven't made a final decision on what college I'm attending, and that's still stressful.  I have a feeling I'm never going to be completely sure of my decision until the fall, and hopefully I just make the right one.  I still have no idea what I'm going to do.  No matter how many times I go over everything I know about each and think about it, I just can't decide which one I should go to.  Hopefully I'll make a good decision soon.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Book Review: Reckless Magic by Rachel Higginson

ISBN: 2940011343339
Published: March 15th, 2011
Publisher: Smashwords/self-published
Read from January 20th to March 31st, 2012
Synopsis from Goodreads:
16 year old Eden Matthews has been in and out of private schools for the last two years. Kingsley is her last chance to finish high school and she is determined to simply do that. But when she meets Kiran Kendrick and her world opens to something she thought only existed in fairy tales, she's unsure what her future will hold. Suddenly she is captivated by a boy who seems to be the source of all of her problems and struggling to rescue her best friend from a foreign prison. When attempts are made on Kiran's life, Eden alone must save him. Thrust into a world that is more make-believe than reality, Eden has to find her own destiny without losing those she loves most. Reckless is an intricate story of mystery, adventure, magic and love. Eden Matthews is an unlikely heroine set on a path to save the world and her loved ones before its too late.


I absolutely loved this book!  I know the fact that it's self-published will make some people a bit cautious about reading it, but I think you should give it a chance anyway.  I fell in love with it, and I plan on buying the others in the series as soon as possible.  The only reason it took me two months to read was because I only had it on my computer, and that made it difficult to find time to read.  Whenever I did get time to read it, I ended up reading way longer than I should have and a couple of times I ended up staying up later than I should have because I couldn't stop reading.  This is the first time I've ever considered buying an e-reader because I want to read the rest of the series in a more convenient way, so I may wait to get the rest of the series after buying one.  Hopefully, that's soon though because after reading Reckless Magic, I want to read the second one immediately!

I find the plot really intriguing, and I can't wait to see where it goes in the rest of the series.  I loved the world and magic in the books.  I don't think I've ever read anything like it before.  I also enjoyed all of the characters.  They're all very interesting characters, and I can't wait to see what happens to them in the rest of the series.

Reckless Magic was the best book I've read in a while, and I am most definitely looking forward to the rest of the series.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Less Than Two Months!

The first day back after a break from school is always pretty tiring, at least for me.  I think I spent most of the day half asleep, and then I went to work afterwards.  Needless to say, I'm exhausted, and I'm having one of those nights where it's hard to even completely remember what happened today.

We only have a little over a month now until the AP tests, which feels a little weird.  We're on the Cold War in AP U.S. history right now, so that's only a month to get everything else in.  I know it's possible, but it just doesn't feel like we should be that close to finishing the book.  As for AP English, we're basically doing what we've been doing since we came back from Christmas break: lots of lessons on various different things, although we're doing literature less frequently now.

Overall nothing much happened at school today, and like I said, I spend most of it in a daze.  It was nice to see my friends though, since I hadn't seen some of them in a week, and Haley and Jordan had some amusing stories of their Florida trip.  The hardest class to get through today was definitely probability and statistics.  He only had us reviewing, but it's the last class of the day.  By then my customary Monday headache had kicked in and was worse than normal thanks to break.  In addition to trying to remember everything after break, I had to work through the pain.  We had partners, but even while working on it with Ji, I could barely concentrate.  It was really hard to get through those problems, even though the problems themselves weren't that hard.

My sister gets home from New York at around three in the morning tomorrow, and then she has to go to school tomorrow because the school won't excuse them another day.  (It was a school choir trip.)  It should be interesting since she's probably going to feel much worse than I did after my first day back after not getting much sleep at all.

It's now less than two months until graduation!  I can't believe it.