Thursday, May 30, 2013

Long Computer Updates Are the Worst

A word of advice: when you're trying to recover from only two and a half hours of sleep, you shouldn't stay up until almost three AM two nights later.  In my defense though, I would have been asleep about an hour earlier if my laptop hadn't decided that it was the perfect time to install the longest update ever.  (I'm not kidding, you know how you shut it off and it can install any number of updates.  It only said one this time, and yet it took as long as it typically does when downloading 20 or something.)

Still, I was able to get more than seven hours of sleep last night, so it was an improvement, even if it wasn't ideal.  I've also been really productive this morning.  I've only been up for about two hours, and I've managed to get a lot done.  I hope it stays this way because I hope to get more writing done today.

Why I Don't Eat Breakfast

I don't usually eat breakfast.  I know it's healthy and everything, but I just can't make myself eat right after I wake up.  It makes me feel sick and horrible for a long time afterwards.  It's fine if I wait a little while after waking up, but that's not really an option when I have to get to class or something (and on weekends and breaks from school it's lunchtime by then).  I kind of wish I could eat breakfast, since I know it's better for me, but it's just difficult.

Not to mention that over time most breakfast foods have started to become nasty sounding to me.  I'm pretty sure this comes from the "feeling sick if I eat too soon" thing.  I've eaten these foods enough and felt sick afterwards that my body just doesn't want me eating them anymore.  It really kind of sucks, since I used to really like some of those foods.  Scrambled eggs are extremely hard for me to eat because everything about them makes me want to puke now.  I know it's because my mom fixed them for me for breakfast almost every school day (that she wasn't working) for two or three years.  I'd force myself to eat them because I knew I was supposed to eat breakfast, and it didn't take long before I felt sick after just walking in the kitchen and smelling them.  I'm starting to reach the point where I can eat them again, but they're still nowhere near my first choice of breakfast food.

I know there are a lot of people out there who don't eat breakfast because they don't think they have time, but am I the only one who seriously feels sick if they eat too soon after waking up?  I don't know.  I've always hated it.  I really should look into it and see if there's an explanation.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Sleepiness Never Goes Away

I may have gotten more than nine hours of sleep last night, but I'm still feeling the results of only getting two and a half the other day.  I feel just as tired and groggy as yesterday, and I'm having trouble concentrating on anything.  I'm hoping I may wake up at least a little as the day goes on, but that's probably just wishful thinking.  At any rate, hopefully I'll feel much better tomorrow after getting another good night of sleep.

I really need to get a lot of writing done today, so I'm hoping that goes well considering my current sleepy state.  I'll also hopefully get some extra reading done today, and I'll probably film a video.  I'm not setting anything in stone though considering I'm not sure how well I'll be able to stay awake today.  Plus, my excitement about meeting Little Mix next week is kind of getting out of hand, and I'm struggling to do anything other than freak out over it.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Running on Two Hours of Sleep

It may only be the afternoon, but I've had a long day.  I'm running on about two and a half hours of sleep after waking up at one thirty in the morning in order to drive to Indianapolis to buy Little Mix CDs and get wristbands for the signing they're having there next week.  I'm unbelievably excited about it, but I think I'm still kind of in shock to be completely honest.  It's hard to believe I'm really going to see them in person and up close just a week from today.  You better believe that I'll have my camera with me to film.  I'm not sure if I'm allowed to have it during the actual signing, but I am documenting that day.

We managed to get home before ten in the morning.  That means I spent about seven hours in a car before I would have even woken up on a typical summer day.  That's insane!  It was well worth it though, and even though I'm running on very little sleep, I've also managed to get quite a bit done since being home.  I thought I'd be too tired to get any writing done, but I proved myself wrong.  (There's no telling how much I'll keep once I re-read it after getting some much needed sleep though.)

I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to stay awake as it's getting pretty hard.  I definitely know that I'm going to sleep extremely well tonight.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

So Much Driving

It's been a long day.  I went to Owensboro with my mom and brother so that I could get some driving hours in.  In addition to going to Best Buy, my mom made us stop at a flea market and consignment shop.  I did manage to find a book in the consignment shop for a way cheaper price than it usually is, but it still wasn't my ideal way to spend an afternoon.  I'm not a fan of shopping at all.

Now I'm just sitting around at home not really doing anything, and I probably won't do much for the rest of the day.  I'd take a nap if it wasn't so late actually, I can hardly stay awake at the moment...

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Naruto Shippuden Episodes 63-71 Review

I really don't have much to say about these episodes since they're all just about Sora really, and I already talked about my feelings on Sora in my last review.  He definitely did grow on me, and overall, I would say I liked him as a character.  He was a bit annoying, but in the end he was okay.  I still think it was weird that they introduced him so soon after Sai, and I think those storylines kind of clashed.  I'm not sure if that makes sense to anyone but me, but it just felt like almost a repeat of the same story in some ways.

Speaking of Sai though, I loved his random appearance out of nowhere in episode 71.  I'd been wondering what exactly was going on with the people in the hospital while the village was being attacked.  They had to know what was going on, and they were evacuating other people.  I actually cheered when Sai showed up.  I guess it's official that I went from hating him to considering him one of my favorite characters.

I really loved Sora and Naruto at the end of episode 71 though.  It was great to see Sora realize that Naruto was like him in a way and that he had friends in Konoha.  I don't think he shows up on the show again, but if he does, I wouldn't be sad to see him.

Seeing a couple of the Akatsuki members and another jinchuuriki at the end of episode 71 was unexpected, but it made me really excited for the next episodes.  I can't wait to see what happens next!

Hunger Games Fanfic and Driving

It's Saturday, which means that I'm taking a day off from writing my Hunger Games fanfic that I've been working on.  That thing is proving to be very difficult.  I've never written anything like it before.  For one thing, I'm writing about an actual Hunger Games, so I have to write about fighting and weapons and such.  The only fighting scenes I've ever written before were in my Avatar: The Last Airbender fanfiction and involved bending (and weren't too terribly good), so I'm not too sure how this will turn out.  Plus, there's a huge cast of characters that I have to create, since there are 24 tributes in the games.  It's difficult to create 24 different characters that all have something unique about them to make them stand out.  Some will be more bland, since you don't need to closely follow 24 characters, but I'm still in the process of fleshing out all 24 characters.

I didn't mean to go on that rant about the fanfic, but I guess it helped make this post longer.  I'm not really planning to do much today other than go out driving with my mom so that I can get driving hours in.  I'm not sure where we'll go, but I highly doubt we'll stop anywhere.  I need to get my license this summer, so I really need to get all of those driving hours out of the way.

Other than that the only thing I need to do today is study Japanese, like always.  Once all that is done I just plan to basically just read for the rest of the day.  I'm actually disappointed with how little reading I've gotten done so far this summer, so hopefully I can get through a bit today.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Not Very Productive

I've kind of been putting off doing anything productive the past several days.  Surprisingly, I've gotten myself to write, but that's about it.  Other than that and going driving with my mom, I've done basically nothing.  I've been feeling pretty groggy lately (I think it's because of allergies), and that's not helping at all.  Plus, I'm stressed out because I may or may not be able to go up to Indy to try and get a wristband for the Little Mix signing.  The uncertainty is driving me crazy.

I don't think I'll be doing much today either.  I was going to film a video earlier, but then decided against it.  I just haven't been in the mood.  I may film a quick one on my phone in a bit though.  I've already written for quite a bit today, but I'll probably also do that for a bit more.  Also, I need to study Japanese for a bit.  That's the only thing I've managed to keep up with every day other than writing.  I have managed to stay off Tumblr today, which always distracts me, so I guess that's progress.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Book Review: Lights! Camera! Fiction! by Alfie Thompson

ISBN: 076242401X
Published: June 13th, 2006
Publisher: Running Press
Read from May 17th to 22nd, 2013
Synopsis from Goodreads:

How many times have you watched a popular movie and thought, "I'd like to write something like that," or "Even I can write better dialogue!" Here's your chance to learn how to write a watching movies like "Speed," "The Sixth Sense," "Clueless," "Die Hard," "While You Were Sleeping," and more! For the first time, a professional writing instructor and movie buff will take you through the steps necessary to craft your own commercial novel using techniques found in your favorite films. What can Hollywood's biggest features teach you about writing? How to watch movies with a writer's eye. Infusing character traits into scenes and plots. Using material goals to show internal motivation. Techniques for making scenes do double duty, including foreshadowing and flashback. What is a credibility gap, and how you should bridge it.
Plus: Three 'tricks' for fixing holes in your plot, characters or anything else in your story. Thompson guides you frame by frame through the ins and outs of writing a hit, in a text that is packed with "Quick Tips" and "Quick Fixes." This is an indispensable reference work that will have you polishing your prose--and preparing it for publication--in no time!

First of all, you're asked to watch a certain movie before reading each chapter of this book.  I'm going to be completely honest and say that I didn't watch any of them (although I'd seen one of them before) because I didn't have access to them.  I'm definitely going to try and watch them at some point though, and come back to this book.  Even without having watched a lot of the movies the author referenced to help make points, I still greatly enjoyed this book.

Movies really do provide really good examples of how to tell stories, and I think any writer could benefit from this book.  I know I learned a lot.  It's written in a very entertaining way.  Without having even seen a lot of the movies I could still follow along with everything, and there were quite a few things that really caused me to think in this book.  I highly recommend this to any writer out there.  It really is an amazing book.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Concert Filled Summer

There's currently less than a month until my friend Haley and I will be going to the One Direction concert in Louisville, and I'm seriously freaking out already.  To top it all off, we're now going to be seeing Ed Sheeran and Cher Lloyd in Indianapolis a few weeks later.  Plus, it's looking like I'm going to get to see Little Mix in Indianapolis just two weeks from now.

It's definitely going to be an eventful summer, and I'm beyond thrilled.  Getting to see all of my favorite musical artists so close together is almost too overwhelming for me to handle.  I think that's why I'm even bothering to write this post.  Yesterday I talked to my mom about seeing Little Mix.  It's looking like I'll get to see them, but there's also a signing.  I may not get to go to that because you have to get the wristband for it a week early, and I'm not sure if I can get up to Indy that day.  Hopefully we can work it out, but either way I'm extremely excited for the concert, which I should be able to go to.

My mom's yelling at me to leave to go driving, so I can't freak out anymore.  I'm sure I'll blog about every single one of these concerts later.  I'm so excited though!  They're all going to be so amazing!

Getting Back to Another Project

Yesterday I finally started posting a fanfiction that I'd been working on for months, so today I get back to work on a Hunger Games fanfiction that I've also been working on quite a while.  I set it aside for a bit to finally get finished with the other, but today I'm going to get back to writing it.  It's proving to be difficult for me to write.  I really like it so far, and I think it could go really well.  It's a struggle to write a lot of the time though.  It's completely different from anything I've written before, and I just hope it turns out okay in the end.

Other than that I don't know what I'll do today.  It's possible that I could end up having to drive today, since I need my license this summer and need the hours.  I don't really have any plans though other than writing and studying Japanese (like I'm still doing every day).  We shall see what happens.  Hopefully it's a productive day, especially where writing is concerned.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Finally I Feel Awake

Today is going pretty great as far as Mondays typically go.  I feel well-rested for the first time in days, and that's let me to getting quite a bit of writing done so far today.  Hopefully I'll get even more done later today as well.

Other than writing I really haven't done all that much, and I don't really plan to either.  I think I'm just going to watch Netflix and play Sims 3 after I write.  (I haven't played Sims 3 in a while...)  It's nice though because I've been so worn out recently.  Technically I didn't do anything yesterday but go to church, but I had a horrible migraine all day so it was miserable.  Today I'm actually getting a day where I feel good and can relax.  Plus, I'm getting more writing done than I have in about a week, which is awesome.

Book Review: The Sapphire Talisman by Brenda Pandos

ISBN: 0982903324
Published: December 10th, 2010
Publisher: Obsidian Mountain Publishing
Read from May 8th to 17th, 2013
Synopsis from Goodreads:
With the local vampire coven decimated, Julia and Nicholas try to begin a somewhat normal life together. Bound by secrecy from a shape shifter determined to see Julia’s world-saving prediction come to fruition, Julia isn’t allowed to tell Nicholas the leader survived, ransacking her happiness with guilt. When Alora returns, bent on revenge, the reunion forces Nicholas and Julia to choose what they are willing to live and die for.


Sequels usually get a bad reputation, but I honestly liked this one even more than the first in the series.  I'm not entirely sure why that is, but I think it had a lot to do with the plot.  I found this book a lot more suspenseful, and I was more invested in what was happening to the characters.  I also grew a lot more attached to the characters in this book.  While I liked both Julia and Nicholas in the first book, I grew to love them even more in this one.  Their relationship was the same for me.  I liked it in the first book but loved it in this one.

I also really grew to like Phil and Scarlett, which I wasn't expecting.  They both added very interesting elements to the story.  Tyler and Katie did as well, but I'm not too sure how I feel about that storyline yet.  I'm interested to see what happens with Katie in the next book before I decide how I feel about her.

I absolutely cannot wait to read the next book.  I think that's the book I'm reading as soon as I get done with the one I'm currently reading.  The story just got so much more intense in this one, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how it pans out in the last book.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Driving and Days Off From Writing

For a Saturday, I've been pretty productive.  Not only did I manage to write a blog post right before this one, but I also filmed a video (that will be uploaded tomorrow).  I also worked on learning Japanese, which I've been doing every day.  I'm really enjoying it, even if it's though.

I'm giving myself a break from writing today.  Before I was writing every day of the week except Sundays, but now I think I'm going to extend that to Saturdays.  Primarily because things tend to happen on Saturdays.   This particular Saturday I'm just going to Owensboro with my mom to go shopping and visit my grandma, but other Saturdays stuff like wedding showers (like last weekend) happen and I'm way too exhausted to write.  (Although I guess I'm not going through Saturday completely without writing.  I am writing my second blog post for the day.  I'm also currently reading a book about writing, if that counts at all.)

I haven't been shopping in ages because it's one of my least favorite things to do, but hopefully this trip with my mom won't be too bad.  I wouldn't go except I really don't have a choice.  I have to drive since I really need to get my license as soon as possible, so let's also hope I don't wreck the car.  Driving still scares me, even if it's not quite as terrifying as I used to find it.

I'm going to get back to reading my book.  I'm hoping to finish at least another chapter before we have to leave.  It's a really great book, even though I'm only on chapter three.

Book Chat: Obligatory/Required Reading

I think I might have done a video for book chat once before, but I can't actually remember.  It's one of the things I always say I'll do and then forget.  I'm doing it this month though!  For more discussion on this month's topic, you can view Misty's post here.  This month's topic is obligatory or required reading.

I'm an English major, so I definitely have to deal with required reading on a regular basis.  It wasn't that bad my freshman year, but I'm sure it'll get heavier next year.  It doesn't really bother me though.  I like to plan things.  I'm on summer break right now, and I'm still making to-do lists every single day to assure I get things done.  I'm the same way with reading.  I list the books I'm going to read next, and except in special circumstances, I stick to that list.  It's just how I do things.  It makes me feel better.  For that reason, having required reading has never really bothered me.  I just add it to my list and schedule it in.

For the most part, I don't think reading being required affects my enjoyment of it.  It used to.  In my late elementary school/earlier middle school years, I think I hated the majority of books we were required to read in school.  However, I'm not really sure how much of that was the books or me picking up on the rest of my class' feelings and thinking I should hate it too.  I'm not entirely convinced that my hatred wasn't a result of peer pressure, which really makes me want to go back and re-read those books.

In eighth grade though, we had an assigned book that to this day remains one of my favorite books of all time (Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare), and I think that made me a lot more receptive to the assigned reading we got at school.  There have still been books that I didn't enjoy all that much that we read during school, but I think I would have felt that way whether they were assigned or not.

As for being obligated to read books for review, I don't think that really affects my enjoyment either.  I went at least a year without accepting any books for review because it was getting too much for me to handle time wise.  (This was before I started planning quite like I do now and also one of the big reasons I plan so much now.)  I've just recently started accepting books for review again, but it's on a much smaller scale.  I know I need to be careful to think about how stressed I'll be if I accept too many books, but at the same time, I don't think it affects how I enjoy the book.  It might if I was getting extremely stressed out about the amount I needed to read, but I can't really enjoy anything if I'm stressed anyway.  As long as I'm careful about making sure I can manage everything, the fact that I'm obligated to read and review something doesn't really bother me.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Book Review: Humble Orthodoxy by Joshua Harris

ISBN: 1601424752
Published: April 2nd, 2013
Publisher: Multnomah Books
Read from May 10th to 12th, 2013
Synopsis from the publisher:

We don’t get to choose between humility and orthodoxy. We need both.
Orthodoxy, for the faithful, evokes what’s cherished and beautiful and eternal. Yet in our day, orthodoxy is too often wielded like a weapon, used to bludgeon others with differing points of view. The word has become associated with behavior like argumentative, annoying, and arrogant.

It’s time for God’s people to demonstrate both right thinking and right attitudes. We are called to embrace and defend biblical truth. But that truth includes repeated commands to love our neighbor, love our enemy, and be clothed in gentleness and respect.

In Humble Orthodoxy, bestselling author Joshua Harris examines New Testament teachings about the calling of believers to a love-infused courage that ignores foolish controversies, patiently endures evil, and champions truth with generosity of spirit. Without this kind of humility, Harris asserts, we become like the Pharisees—right in our doctrine, but ultimately destroying the cause of truth with our pride.


I really enjoyed Humble Orthodoxy.  I was intrigued by it from the start, but even so, I ended up liking it more than I thought I would initially.  It's a short book (only four chapters), so it's an incredibly quick read.

It touches on some things that I feel like should be common sense, but I know from what I've witnessed it too often isn't.  I've seen a lot of Christians who are so caught up in "being right" that they often overlook the fact that we're supposed to love everyone and treat them with respect.  I thought this book did an amazing job at explaining why both orthodox and humility are important to Christians and why neither one can be overlooked.  It's definitely something that a lot of people need to read.

I did have one small problem with the book, but it was so miniscule that I won't even bother to mention it.  It was more of a personal thing than anything else, and I had pretty much sensed that it would be there.  Still, even with that I extremely enjoyed the book as a whole.  The author said so many great things that all Christians, no matter what their denomination is, need to hear.

I think this book discusses one of the biggest issues among Christians today, and I would highly recommend that all Christians read it.  It really does put things into perspective.  In my own experience, I think humility is something often overlooked by many Christians, and this book really helps show why it is so important.  (I'm sure orthodoxy is too, but I haven't seen it as much in my own experiences.)  If I could, I would find a way to have everyone read Humble Orthodoxy.

You can follow the author on Facebook here.
You can read chapter one here.
Here is a biography of the author.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sleep is Important

I knew that I was going to get up early this morning for One Direction's announcement, but for some reason I still went to bed really late last night.  So late that I had less than four hours of sleep before waking up to see the announcement.  I managed to get about three hours more later, but I'm still exhausted.

I feel like I've spent the majority of the day in a haze because I'm so tired, but I know a nap will only make it worse.  (I feel like I've talked about being tired far too often lately, especially considering the fact that it's summer break.)  Still, I've managed to get some things done, and hopefully I can get some more writing done today, even if it doesn't turn out all that great.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I Need a License

I'll admit that I only woke up about half an hour ago, but so far I'm feeling far better today than I was yesterday.  Let's hope it stays that way.

I'm going out driving with my mom today.  My plan is to finally get my license this summer.  I still despise driving, but I need an easier way to get around, especially when I'm in Indy.  I think I already have a few driving hours logged from around when I first got my permit, but I still need quite a few more before I can get my license.  I haven't driven in a couple of months though, so let's hope I don't do too badly.  I'm kind of worried I'll start feeling like crap before or during it, and that most certainly won't help my driving.  This needs to happen though.  I'm determined to have a license before summer break is over.

Other than that I'm planning for a rather uneventful day.  I'll probably watch TV shows and movies most of the day.  Speaking of, yesterday my family got a package from Nielsen in the mail.  Apparently my dad agreed to filling out those diary/log things and mailing them back to them, and that starts Thursday.  I never watch the actual TV anyway unless it's with my family, so I doubt I'll even end up filling anything out.  I pretty much only watch Hulu and Netflix.  Still, I thought it was kind of neat.

I'm going to go listen to a podcast until my mom decides it's time to go driving.  I hope I do well!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Not Feeling That Great.

Today has been a long day.  It's not because I've done all that much, but rather because I am not feeling good at all.  I woke up feeling horrible, and even after taking medicine, still feel horrible.  In spite of this, I have amazingly been able to get some writing done, even if it wasn't all that great.

I'd hoped this would turn into a somewhat decent post, but my mom just texted me asking me to start dinner.  I'm beginning to get hungry too, so I suppose that's a good idea even if I would like nothing more than to lay in bed forever.  Let's just hope that tomorrow is better.  It would be really nice if I didn't get woken up in the morning by our dogs barking at the construction workers next-door.  That's getting old.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Cold Yet Again

The weather has gotten cold again.  So cold that I went from having the fan in my room on to shivering even though I'm in a hoodie.  It's supposed to warm up again tomorrow though, which is great as long as I don't think about the fact that this bipolar weather will probably lead to tornadoes.

My day is probably going to be as uneventful as it has been so far.  The only thing I've done is paint my nails, take the dogs outside, and watch Youtube videos.  I definitely need to write as I didn't this weekend.  I also have a video from yesterday that I need to edit.  That's probably going to be the extent of my day.

Right now our dogs are curled up beside me on the bed, which only happens when I'm home alone.  They'll abandon me as soon as my brother gets home from school.  They're cute though as long as they don't accidentally unplug my computer.  (You'd be surprised how many times that's happened.)

I'm going to start uploading the video from yesterday onto the computer.  It takes forever for videos to upload to Youtube on our wifi though (much longer than it does at school), so it'll probably be hours before the video's actually up.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Talking to People Around the World

A week or two ago I tweeted something along the lines of, "It's amazing how often I talk to people in different countries when that was nearly impossible not too long ago."  It's something that I've thought about for years.  I'd say that I talk to someone from another country at least every few days or so, and that's kind of crazy if you really think about it.  Not even my parents could just talk to people from other countries whenever they wanted when they were my age, but now it's so easy to talk to people all over the world.

I don't really have a point with this, and my brain's not really cooperating right now.  I just think it's really cool that I have the ability to do that.  It definitely doesn't help my desire to travel, but I think it is amazing how much we can be exposed to that we couldn't before the Internet.  Hopefully the Internet will only help people become less ignorant and scared of those different from them in the future.  It's harder to view people as different from you when you can talk to them whenever you want and find out that you actually have a lot in common.

Wedding Showers and Sleepiness

I wanted to post yesterday, but by the time I got home I was too worn out.  Then, I decided I would blog today, but I woke up early this morning in an effort to accomplish something before church.  I managed to get nothing done, and now I'm just extremely tired.  I'm so tired that I can barely stay awake, and I have no idea why because I really didn't lose that much sleep.  So, I'm going to try to write this, but I'm not going to guarantee that it's coherent.

Yesterday we went to my aunt and uncle's house for a wedding shower for my cousin Eddie's fiancee Kim.  They're getting married in June.  I was nice, and I got to see some family that I hadn't seen in a while.  I also got to meet my new baby cousin and hold her for a while.  She's adorable.

Afterwards we went to this Mexican restaurant in our town with my grandma for Mother's Day.  It was nice.  I hadn't been in there for a while.

All of that doesn't sound like much, but it was enough to tire me out.  I can't understand if I'm feeling the effects of that today, or if I'm just this tired from waking up earlier than normal.  I'm only up an hour earlier than I've been getting up, and it's the same time that I woke up for classes during school (after going to bed at the same time too).  I have no idea what's wrong with me today, but I can tell it's going to be a long day.

Friday, May 10, 2013

It's Finally Starting to Feel Like Summer

Today is more or less just going to be a lazy day.  I spent a good deal of time this morning filming a Youtube video.  To be fair, it wasn't the actual video that took so long.  It was preparing for it and picking up after it.  You'll see what I mean if you watch the video when it's up later today.

Other than that all I've really done since waking up is write the blog post you saw earlier, read one chapter of a fanfiction, and listen to music.  I feel as if I haven't been as productive as I could have been.  Times going by fast today.  I still need to write today as well, so I'll probably get around to that soon.

Yesterday my sister invited me along to the BBQ Festival with her and one of her friends today, but it's raining and supposedly going to storm, so even if they go, I doubt I will.  I hate being out in storms, and there's really not enough at the BBQ Festival to bother dealing with this weather.  Instead, I'll just sit inside and write while it's storming outside.  I really hope it clears up soon though because I'm already tired of the rain.

Book to Film Adaptations

This post is going to be somewhat similar to my post about endings from a little more than a month ago.  I talked about how much I loved the endings of books, TV shows, etc. in that post.  I said that I knew that many other people were often disappointed with how things ended, but I almost always ended up loving it.  This post is about something else that many people usually get upset with and I usually love: movie adaptations of books.

There is always a big group of people who love a book/book series and end up hating the movie adaptation. It doesn't even matter how good the film adaptation is, some people will hate it.  For me though, I almost always love the film adaptation.  Yes, a lot of the time it's very different from the book, but that's never really bothered me.  I guess the fact that my first real experience with film adaptations was the first Harry Potter movie (and I saw the movie first).  From the moment I set foot in the Harry Potter fandom it was something that was being discussed.

I guess that over the years I've just become really accepting of film adaptations no matter how much they cut out or what they change.  I know that things have to be different and I accept that.  That doesn't mean I don't get upset if a part I really liked is cut out or if something I loved is changed, but generally speaking I almost always end up loving the movie.

A good example here is The Host.  I love that book so much and was extremely excited for the movie.  Now, a ton of people have criticized the movie and don't like it.  I do realize that there were some problems with the movie, but honestly, I absolutely loved it.  (And Stephenie Meyer has said that she's currently writing the sequel!!!  I can't wait!)  I went in to the movie expecting some things to be different and just accepted the movie for what it was.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with not liking film adaptations or that you have to get excited about them.  But I honestly love them.  I get so excited when a new one is announced of a book that I loved, and I love the anticipation of it.  There are so many book adaptations coming out in the near future, and many of them I haven't read (although most of them are on my to-read list).  I really hope that keeps up and we see a lot more in the future.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Book Review: The Krytos Trap by Michael A. Stackpole

ISBN: 0553568035
Published: October 1996
Publisher: Spectra
Read from April 28th to May 7th, 2013
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The Rebels have taken the Imperial headquarters world of Coruscant, but their problems are far from over. A killer virus called Krytos is spreading among the population, and fomenting a counter-revolution, at the same time as the treason trial of Rebel hero Tycho Celchu. And X-wing pilot Corran Horn, given up for dead in "Iceheart"'s inescapable prison, discovers an extraordinary power in himself--the power of the Force!

This is the third book in the X-Wing series, and I'm starting to get so into this series.  I think this was my favorite one so far, but I can't really tell you why without revealing some spoilers...

I thought all of the characters got even more interesting in this book.  It's rare for me to be emotionally invested in so many characters in a book.  To be fair, that's at least partly because not many books have so many characters, but still, I really love a good deal of the characters in this book.  I just find them all very intriguing, and they all have their own interesting stories.  I love it.

Luke appears in this book!  I loved that.  Plus, Corran finding out his grandfather was a Jedi was awesome.  I totally saw it coming because of the medallion, but I still loved it.  The fact that all of the monuments were defaced, but the museum was really cool.  And of course it was awesome seeing Corran use a lightsaber.  I'm really excited about this possibly playing a part later in the series.

I could go on and on about a ton of the characters, but it would all be rather pointless.  One last thing:  I'm so glad they finally discovered who the traitor was since I'd known for a while.  (I should probably stop reading Wookieepedia.)  Hopefully I'll get around to the fourth book soon!

Back Home for the Summer

I meant to blog after getting home yesterday, but I should have realized that that would never happen no matter how determined I was before actually getting home.  Moving out of the dorm and then sitting in a car for four hours wore me out.  It decided to warm up significantly just for the day that we would be carrying around heavy things outside, but after an hour we were finally able to get everything in the car.  Checking out was pretty simple after that.  She just looked around the room for about five minutes to make sure I hadn't damaged anything and then had me sign a paper.

Being home is as nice as always.  Although, I did get woken up early this morning thanks to the construction workers next-door and my dogs insistent barking at them.  Our neighbor apparently got engaged while I was away, so he's adding onto his house to make room for her two sons.  It's going to be weird getting used to that house being bigger.  I can't wait until they're done though.  It's so much noise, and that's not including our dogs adding to it.

I don't plan on doing much today.  I'm going to get back to writing, since I haven't done any really in about a week.  I was too swamped with finals and trying to get through the end of the semester.  I also want to start trying to teach myself Japanese.  I'm not sure how well that will go, but I at least want to give it a shot.  Let's hope for the best.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

It's Almost Over

I'm so close to being done with finals!  I just have to present my website at eight tonight, and I'll be finished for the semester.  I'm so glad to be close to being done.  I've hardly gotten any sleep the past two days thanks to eight AM finals, and it's really showing.  I've been so out of it this morning.  I really need a nap, but I get so groggy after naps.  They just make everything worse, and I still have a final tonight.  Plus, there's still lots of packing that I need to get done.  I want to have everything that I won't need tomorrow morning packed up by the time I go to bed tomorrow.  Then, I'll pack up all that stuff in the morning before my parents get here.

I can't believe it's only ten in the morning.  I've been up for three hours already, and it feels like the afternoon.  I really want to film a video, but my roommate's currently still asleep.  Hopefully I'll get time to do it later.  Today's my last full day in the dorm, so it's the last time I'll film videos in here.  (Although I'm going to try and film a video of it empty before we leave, but that depends on who's in here at the time.)

I keep thinking about how I promised myself that I would try to learn Japanese this summer.  I've already looked into it, and I think I know where I'm going to start.  I'm so excited.  I plan on starting on Thursday, once I'm finally home.  I'm not sure how well I'll be able to learn, but I should at least be able to pick up on some things.  It can't hurt at any rate.

I need to go pack some more, but I'm hesitant since I don't want to wake up my roommate.  Still, it needs to get done.  I'll probably give her a little time at least before I start making too much noise.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Finals and Packing

Today was the first day of finals.  I had three of them, with the first starting at eight in the morning.  It was the earliest I'd woken up in a long time, and I can definitely tell now that it's later in the day.  I have to be up at the same time tomorrow for another final.  I have two more finals tomorrow (although one is presenting the website I made and not a test), and then I'll be done for the semester.  I'm not moving out of the dorm until Wednesday though because my last final is at eight Tuesday night.

Packing has been really stressful so far.  I have no idea how I'm going to pack everything up.  I keep making a little bit of progress, but then I can't figure where else to put anything and give up.  I had the same problem back in August when I was packing to come to college, but I think it's worse now.  Then I could leave things behind if it didn't fit.  Now I'm packing up a ton of stuff that I just have to get out of here.  You wouldn't think I'd accumulated anything, but I'm pretty sure I have.  I'm definitely not looking forward to getting everything out of here on Wednesday.  I'll be happy to be done with finals and to finally get out of this dorm though.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Top Ten Childhood Favorites

I got this from Top Ten Tuesday, which was a weekly meme started by The Broke and the Bookish.  I know it's not Tuesday, but I've decided that I'm going to start going through their past lists and posting my own responses.  This is the first one, and I'll just keep going.  I don't know how often I'll post one, and it'll probably be rare that they're actually on a Tuesday.  I also will probably post some of these as Youtube videos in the future.  You should definitely check the meme out though because I love reading these posts on the blogs I follow.

This one is on childhood favorites.

1.  The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.  Obvious number one, isn't it?  My blog, Twitter, Youtube, and almost every other account I have on the Internet gives this away.  I was about eight when I got into Harry Potter.  I've loved reading for as long as I can remember, but Harry Potter was the largest books I'd read up until that point.  In fact, I remember them describing them to my dad as thick and boring when he first asked if I wanted to read them.  It wasn't until my grandparents took me to the first movie that I fell in love and had to read the books.  Now they've taken over my entire life.

2. The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I also read these when I was pretty young, although I'm not really sure what age exactly.  I think it was slightly before Harry Potter.  One of my friends was reading them, so I decided to as well.  I got about half-way through the first book before letting it sit and having to return it to the library before I was finished.  When I was in third or fourth grade (I think).  I found the first book at a book fair my school had and bought it.  I read it much quicker that time, and the long process of only being allowed to buy two of them every time we went to the bookstore started.  I'm pretty sure these books are the entire reason I'm obsessed with this time period.

3. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson.  When I was in fourth grade, our teacher went through the classroom books to show us the various things we could read.  She pulled this one out and told us it was one of her favorites.  I think a good deal of the class read it.  I remember that my two best friends read it first, and it caused both of them to cry.  That of course meant that I had to read it.  I fell so in love with it, and when we were in eighth grade and the movie came out, I went to go see it with one of those best friends.  We were so excited about it because we'd loved the book so much.

4. The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner.  This was without a doubt the series I always got from the public and school libraries growing up.  I'd read all of Harry Potter and Little House, so these were my go to books when we had to check out books for school and things.  I'm not sure how many of these I read, but they had to account for at least half of my school library checkouts during elementary school.

5. All of the American Girl books by various authors.  I was obsessed with all things American Girl as a kid. I'm not just talking about the doll books.  I read everything.  Although I'm sure the books that came with the dolls contributed to my love for history.  My sister, friend, and I used to check out stacks of the doll books from the library and read them together.  We had to have spent at least three summers doing that on a regular basis.  I'm pretty sure I read all of the books for the dolls that were out at that point.

6. The Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park.  Are you catching on to the theme of series in this list?  I guess I clung to the familiar as a child.  I didn't read nearly as many of these as a kid, but I remember really loving the ones I did.

7. Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater.  I have very vivid memories of checking this book out from the school library.  I thought the entire idea of it was amazing and was so intrigued by the entire thing.  I can hardly even remember it now other than the fact that I absolutely loved it.

8.  Various Dr. Seuss books.  I don't think this even needs an explanation.

9. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barret.  This is the only picture book other than Dr. Seuss that I can remember well enough to add to this list.  I remember being fascinated by the idea, and I used to daydream about it really raining food.

That's all I'm coming up with at the moment.  I'm sure there are more.  I had so many books as a kid, and I'm sure there are picture books that I can't remember at all.  I'll probably think of some amazing book that I completely forgot about later.  Part of the problem is that I don't know what age to cut off at.  I've kept it to elementary school.  I fell in love with The Giver by Lois Lowry when I was in sixth grade, for instance, but I decided that was too old for this list.  I had to cut it off somewhere, and I fell in love with a lot of books in middle school...  We'd be here forever if I included all of those.

A Better (if Overcast) Day

It may only be the morning still, but so far today is feeling way better than yesterday.  My headache from yesterday is gone, and I am so extremely happy about that.  Let's just hope that doesn't happen again today. The weather isn't all that great since we have a 50% chance of rain for the entire day, but since I'll be inside studying for most of that time, I can live with that.

So far all I've done is woken up and watched some vlogbrothers videos.  I wanted to wake up a bit before studying.  I'm still feeling pretty tired though, and I expect it to stay that way for a while.  I always feel drowsy when it's overcast outside.  Still, I think I'll be able to focus on studying.  I got my psychology paper finished yesterday, so I'm just thankful that I don't have to worry about that anymore.  I'm a bit nervous about the finals that I have tomorrow, but hopefully I'm studying enough to be prepared for them.  Just have to get through Tuesday, and then it will finally be summer break!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Worst Day for a Headache

My day has basically been me forcing myself to study while occasionally packing a bit.  It's been hard because I have a massive headache that refuses to go away even though I've taken medicine.  Incredible timing considering I need to study for finals.  Other than watching Little House on the Prairie and listening to a podcast, I've done nothing other than studying and packing, and I don't think that's helping my headache.

I know this is going to be a crappy post because I can never write when my head's bothering me like this.  I really wanted to finish the paper I have to write for psychology today, but that may have to wait until tomorrow.  Still, I hope I can retain at least some of the stuff I was studying earlier.  I'm going to try and see if I can make any progress on that psychology paper though.  Any little bit that I could get down that's coherent is better than nothing.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Book Review: Shifters Rule by K.C. Blake

Published: October 31st, 2013
Publisher: self-published
Read from April 21st to 27th, 2013
Synopsis from Goodreads: not available


Overall I thought this was a great book.  I was expecting it to be the last book, but the ending definitely hinted that there would be another.  The biggest conflict was resolved in this book, but the ending opened up even more questions.  I really, really hope there's another one, so that we can learn how that turns out.

While I did enjoy the book, there were a few times where I was a bit confused because of the world building.  It just felt like there were gaps here and there where things weren't well explained.  I'm a bit confused about the timeline.  What time period did Lovely come to earth?  Because you can't tell at all from the story, but it definitely sounded like it couldn't be later than like middle ages.  That doesn't really make sense to me because she created the first vampire and werewolf, so I would have thought it would have been a long, long time ago in order for those legends to start.  Also, how many years was the reincarnation thing going?  Because I feel like Jersey should have figured it out sooner.  I don't know.  I just couldn't take some aspects of it seriously.

Even with the problems though, I really liked it and recommend checking the series out.  It's a fun series, and I'm really glad I read it.  There are just some parts of it that were questionable.  I think they could be explained farther though, and they would be a lot more believable.

Preparing for Finals

Today's academic honors day, which is basically when my school gives us the Friday before finals off so that we can study.  I slept in a bit, but made myself get up relatively early so that I could study.  I did a pretty good job because it's only one in the afternoon, and I already managed to get a good deal of studying done.  I'm pretty sure I've done all I'm going to do today.  I even watched an episode of Naruto.

Although I definitely plan to study, I also want to relax a lot this weekend.  My finals are only on two different days this semester, but they're jam-packed days.  (Plus, I have to move out the day after.  Usually I'd move out the day of my last final, but my last final isn't until eight at night on Tuesday so...)  I don't want to get incredibly stressed out, so hopefully I'll be well-rested for when I take my finals.

I also need to pack more, but I'm not really sure what else to do there.  I packed up all my DVDs and books that I don't plan to read or watch.  I also packed up some of my clothes.  I'm not sure what else to go ahead and pack though because either I'm going to need it or I'm not sure what to do with it.  I really hope I have enough bags to fit at least most of my stuff in.  I need to go through my papers and throw the unimportant ones away.  That's the only thing I know to do at this point.

I think I'm going to go watch an episode of How I Met Your Mother for now though.  I'll get back to packing later.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Stress, Stress, Stress

This morning is crazy and stressful, but I'm finding time to write a blog post in the middle of all of that anyway.  I had a psychology test this morning.  I ended up getting out of there earlier than I'd expected because we didn't have any extra credit afterwards like we usually do.  So, since I had extra time, I went down to get a professor evaluation form for the professor I had the first half of the semester, since she'd asked us to please get one and fill it out.  I had a bit of trouble finding the office where I was supposed to turn it in, but luckily there are lots of helpful people around here and this girl showed me where it was.

Now I'm back in my room eating a somewhat undesirable lunch.  (The dining hall was still closed since I got out early, and I was too hungry to wait.)  In about fifteen minutes I need to go meet my advisor.  Long story short, one of the classes I was scheduled for next semester got canceled, which put me below the credit hours necessary to be considered a full time student, so now I have to figure out what to do (or what classes I need to take now).  The only time my advisor could meet with me is during one of her classes while they write their final essays.  I'm a bit nervous about it because I have to go into her class.  Even though she told me to, I still feel like I'm interrupting, and their final essays are so important.  I just hope we can sort through everything quickly.

After that I don't have anything else for the day other than studying for finals, which I'm sure will be stressful but hopefully not quite so bad.  I just have to keep reminding myself that it's less than a week until summer break.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Almost Summer and Concert Excitement

Things have gotten really hectic in the past week or so.  This is the last week of classes, and then finals start Monday.  Needless to say my days have been filled with writing papers, creating a website, and studying.  There's not much time for anything else.

One extremely exciting bit of news though!  Haley, Beth, Regina, and I will be going to see Ed Sheeran, Cher Lloyd, and some other bands in July, and I'm still freaking out with excitement.  I love, love, love Ed and Cher, and it's going to be amazing!  I'm sure I'll be talking about that a lot later on.  It's only about three weeks after Haley and I see One Direction.  I don't know how I'll survive that much awesomeness.

That's really the only non-school related thing to happen to me recently.  Just one week though, and I'll be moving out of my dorm.  It's so hard to believe that I've almost completed my first year of college.  It's flown by.  I can't focus on that too much now though.  I need to get through finals first.  I have my last life science lecture in about forty minutes, and it's getting really hard to ignore my excitement for summer.

Naruto Shippuden Episodes 54-62 Review

The thing I want to talk most about in this review is Sora.  I found it interesting that another character that Naruto doesn't really get along with was introduced so quickly after Sai.  It was like Naruto and Sai finally started getting along and just a few episodes later, Sora was introduced.  I thought it was interesting how Naruto and Sai's new friendship is kind of contrasted by Sora and Naruto's constant arguing.  I've really grown to love Sai as a character, and I like seeing him get better at communicating with others.  I think seeing how Naruto's warmed up to him is great and seeing it in comparison to Naruto and Sora's relationship is great.  It was just kind of odd to have Sora thrown in when he was.

I also find Sora a really frustrating character.  He'll probably grow on me soon (just like Sai did).  I'm already liking him more than I was at the beginning.  I'm sure Naruto and Sora will figure out how much they have in common and bond over that.  Still, at the moment he's quite frustrating.  I know Naruto's not exactly the easiest person to get along with, which makes things worse, but Sora really is quite antagonizing.

As much as Sora annoys me, I'm really looking forward to learning more about his backstory in the coming episodes.

The one villain (whose name I absolutely cannot remember) who killed people by kissing them really freaked me out.  (The first thing I thought of was Holes by the way.)  Her whole demeanor and everything was just creepy, and I don't mean that in that I was scared while watching the episode.  I just didn't like her character.  She was like annoying and weird for lack of a better way to describe it.  I hope she doesn't show up again even though I really want to know what exactly that group's plan is.  It seems that they want to take over the Land of Fire, but I'm curious about whether they're at all connected with the Akatsuki or not.

I think that's all I really have to say about these episodes.  I feel as if this is the most coherent review I've ever written for Naruto considering it's usually more of a list of incoherent thoughts.