Monday, March 31, 2014

Life Post: Getting Ready for Next Semester

I didn't really think about having tests this week, but it suddenly hit me that I have two tests to study for. I'm not too worried about them all things considered, but I also don't think they're going to be that easy of tests either. I foresee myself doing quite a bit of studying this week.

The week is off to a pretty good start so far though. I signed up for housing and registered for next semester's classes yesterday. I was a bit worried about housing because there was only one single left, and I really didn't want to buy a double like I did this year. I got the single, but it's a suite style room that's different than the one I have this year. I'll be sharing a living area with another person and then have my own room. I'm not sure how that'll work out, but hopefully it'll be good.

I had a bit of trouble with registering for classes because a class that I'm supposed to take was listed as more credits than it actually is, and I could only register for so many credits. I emailed my advisor though, and she said she was going to send a drop/add slip to the registrar's office and get it sorted out, so I should be good there. I'm not really worried about it because it's an arranged class, and aside from my advisor knowing the problem, I know the professor of the class. It'll work out just fine.

The weather was also really nice today in comparison to lately. Fingers crossed that this is finally the time that it stays like this. I think we might have a chance of rain tomorrow, but if it's not snow, then I'll be eternally grateful.

I'm hoping that this week goes well even with all of the tests I need to prepare for.

How I Met Your Mother series finale: tonight!!!!
Summer break: 39 days
City of Heavenly Fire book release: 57 days
Sorry I'm Late album release: 57 days

I'm Looking Forward to...

One thing that I'm really proud of myself for doing is making myself a more positive person. I'm not entirely sure when it even happened, but at some point in the last year or so I realized that I thought a lot more positively than I used to in the past. I don't really know how I did it, but I do know that now I'm more conscious of when I'm being negative and somehow I've learned how to make myself think positively again much quicker than I used to.

While I'm not entirely sure how that came about, I think part of it was looking forward to things. I've mentioned before that I have countdowns on my phone that let me know how much time I have until certain things I'm excited about. Some of them are pretty simple, such as the first day of summer break. Others are more exciting like my Little Mix and One Direction concerts. All of them are things I'm looking forward to though, and thinking about them when I'm down really helps. (As does reading or watching a show I love, but that's a coping mechanism I've always used and not what I want to talk about in this post.)

I'm writing this not about the positivity/negativity thing, but just because I want to write about all the things I'm counting down to on my phone. I keep meaning to post the next three of these on my "life post" posts, but I tend to keep forgetting. I'll try and get better in the future, but here's all twelve of the countdowns currently on my phone are for:

My next one ends today, and it's for the How I Met Your Mother series finale. This might be the only countdown here where I actually dread it a little. I'm not ready for the show to end! But Ted's going to meet the mother, and isn't that what we've been looking forward to for years? It's definitely bittersweet.

My next countdown after that won't end for about a month, and that's for summer break on May 9th. It's just recently started hitting me how close summer break is. It hasn't felt like spring at all recently, so thinking about summer seemed ridiculous. Now I'm finally starting to even with the weather, and it's getting me excited for the fun things happening this summer.

May 27th is going to be a crazy day because two amazing things are being released. First of all, City of Heavenly Fire, the final Mortal Instruments book, is released. Words can't describe how excited and also utterly terrified I am about this book. The number of people who are supposed to die probably has me worried more than anything. I think the chances are good that at least one of my favorite characters won't make it, and that scares me.  Cher Lloyd's new album Sorry I'm Late is also released that day. I have it preordered on iTunes, so I should be getting that right at midnight. I can't wait to hear it all. The songs we've heard so far are absolutely incredible, and there's no doubt in my mind that this album will be even better than her first. I also really want to get a hard copy, but that may have to wait depending on how much money I have when it's released.

Not long after that day, The Fault in Our Stars movie is released on June 6th. I've never made it a secret in the past how much I love the book, and the movie looks really good as well from what we've seen. I'm really excited! Continuing with movies, How to Train Your Dragon 2 comes out on June 13th. I don't get the opportunity to see many movies in the theater, and when I do, they tend to be book adaptations, but this is one I really want to see because I love the first one. I won't be able to see it on opening day though because...

June 13th is the day I see Little Mix in concert! I'm unbelievably excited! I have fourth row seats! I got to meet them the last time they came to Indianapolis, but when they performed we couldn't actually see them. I may not get the chance to meet them this time, but I'll have a great view when they perform. Plus, they have a new album now, and I'm dying knowing I'll see some of those songs performed. It's going to be such an absolutely incredible wonderful day.

The next countdown isn't until August 4th, which is my 21st birthday. Honestly, I think that may be more scary than exciting. I could care less about being able to drink, so for me it's just getting older. I'm trying to freak out less about growing up though, so I'm turning it into a positive thing.

August 15th is The Giver movie's release. I've been in love with this book since I was twelve, and the trailer really doesn't look that impressive. Still, I'm hoping for the best.

My One Direction concert is on August 29th! This will be my second time seeing them, and I'm just as excited as I was the first time. There will be new songs, and it will be Liam's birthday! Plus, it'll actually be my first time going to Chicago, so that's exciting.

The last two countdowns are for both of the Mockingjay movies, which are released on November 21st of this year and November 20th of next year. I love the Hunger Games series, and both movies were great so far. I'm really looking forward to seeing how they adapt Mockingjay.

And that's all the countdowns I have at the moment. Let me know if you can think of anything else I should countdown to. I know there are plenty of awesome things happening that I haven't thought to add, and I'm always up for having more things to look forward to. Let me know if there's anything you're looking forward to as well!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Life Post: Homework and Writing

This weekend has basically been homework, a bit of writing, and more homework. It could have been overwhelming, but somehow I made it through. It helped that I've gotten far more sleep the past two nights than I had for the past couple of weeks. I went to bed earlier than I was on school nights and also slept in later. It was pretty fantastic. I don't know how I'm going to wake up early again tomorrow.

Saturday I was doing homework almost up until I went to sleep. I took some breaks to write, but that was basically it. I did manage to read a bit before I went to bed too, but that was about it as far as what I did yesterday. Today I've managed to get through things a lot quicker, and I had more than half of my homework done before it was even noon. I still have a bit of reading to get done before tomorrow, but I'm pretty confident that I'll be done significantly earlier than I was yesterday.

In between the homework though, I managed to finish up the first draft of the Hunger Games fanfiction I've been writing. I've set it aside for a bit before I got back to edit, and now I'm editing a draft of the original story I've been working on for a while now. I really am in love with the world I created in this story, and it's always so much fun to get back to work on that. I also love what I've managed to do with the fanfiction as well though, so I'll be really excited when I go back to edit it later on. Hopefully I'll have that up online sometime early this summer. It all depends on how crazy school gets as we get closer to finals.

I'm actually going to go work on editing now before I get around to the rest of my homework, and I'm really excited to actually get to it.

Book Review: Rumspringa Break by Kristina Ludwig

Published: October 10th, 2013
Publisher: self-published
Read from March 23rd to 28th, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Rebekah is stellar at caring for the animals on her family's farm, and even better at eluding Jakob, the neighborhood boy who has a massive crush on her. But she's never ventured out of her ultra-strict Amish community in Pennsylvania.
All that changes when she and her twin sister Mercy turn sixteen. Now, it's time to embark on Rumspringa, the rite of passage for Amish teens. Together, the girls discover the outside world, dressing in "English" clothes, cruising to the city, and partying with college students. Rebekah meets a stunning pre-veterinary student named Braeden, who encourages her to follow her dreams of becoming a veterinarian.
As her appreciation of the English lifestyle blossoms, Rebekah is faced with a massive dilemma. How can she pursue a college education and still remain accepted by her Amish community? Can she and Braeden overcome their cultural differences and build a relationship -- and will her family and friends still talk to her if they do? 


I downloaded this book because it was free for the Kindle and it caught my interest. Sadly, it didn't really live hope to the hope I had for it. I think the biggest problem was the length. This book is short. Extremely short. There are nineteen chapters, but each chapter felt incredibly short as well. The biggest problem with the length was how awkwardly the book cut off. It didn't end. It just stopped. I know there's more to this series, but honestly, I'm guessing that could have just been added to this book to create one book that was a better length. There wasn't the slightest bit of resolution in this book.

Not only that, but I felt like I didn't have time to actually connect with the characters or the story. I wasn't pulled into the book at all, and I disliked all of the characters. They didn't feel real to me. It was as if they were all extremely two-dimensional and boring to me. Maybe that would have changed if I had read more about them, but the book was too short for me to ever find out. I also know I could go pick up the second book, but I didn't get into the first one enough to bother with the second. That may have been different if the first book had been longer and more developed. Then I might have gotten into the story enough to bother with the other books.

I wouldn't necessarily call this a bad book. It just didn't feel long enough to actually grab my interest. I also would have appreciated characters that felt more three-dimensional. I'm sure some people will enjoy this book and be able to appreciate it for what it is, but I didn't find it to be developed enough to be satisfying.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Reign Review: Season 1 Episode 16: "Monsters"

What even was this episode? It's been two days now, and I'm still processing it all. Things on Reign have always been crazy, but it's like this episode hit a whole new level and I'm not sure I'll ever know how I feel about it. The ending especially left me wondering just what they're doing.

Henry's craziness continued in this episode, and I continue to be confused about what they're doing with that. I'm wondering if he will end up dying from whatever is wrong, which would lead to Francis and Mary ruling. However, that also means getting rid of one of the main characters, so I'm not sure if it'll happen or not. Even if Francis and Mary rule France over the course of the show, I don't really see it happening that soon. Of course, there's also the option that Henry dies slowly which would give the show more time. We still don't actually know what's wrong though, and that's what my biggest question is. (Brain cancer seems the most likely answer all things considered, but who knows what they'll do.)

The best part of Henry going crazy to me is actually Catherine. I've said a million times that she's my favorite character in the show, and I'm loving seeing this side of her. She's typically cruel towards people, but in this episode we actually got to see her scolding Henry for being more horrible to people than he should be. I like what that shows of Catherine. You could make the argument that she's doing it for appearances sake, but I honestly don't think she cares about harming people unless there's a reason for it. It doesn't necessarily excuse things she does, but I don't think she ever does any of it out of pure hatefulness. She has a point behind it.

Perhaps I should have enjoyed Penelope since she seems to be somewhat like Catherine, but I actually strongly disliked her. That might have been because she was so antagonistic towards Catherine, but I think a lot of it comes out of how stupid I feel like she is. She's definitely cunning, but I think she's arrogant thinking she's in control of the situation. She thinks that she has control of Henry, and I know that's going to come back and hurt her. If she were just trying to work her way up in the ranks, I wouldn't have much of a problem with her, but her stupidity that comes from her arrogance makes me incapable of liking her even the slightest bit.

Mary and her friends seem to switch off guys at a rate that is far beyond healthy. I do feel bad for Greer, and I understand that she didn't care much for Lord Julian other than for appearances purposes. Plus, Lola really needs to find someone. Still, it's kind of weird that Lola is getting one of her friends suitors yet again, even if it's in a different way. It makes me feel bad for her.

Greer now has plans to marry Lord Castleroy, which creeps me out. He's a nice guy and all, but I can't get over the age difference there even though I know it's not out of place historically. She could marry a much worse guy all things considered, but I still want her to be with Leith somehow.

I saw hints of something between Olivia and Nostradamus last episode, but I pushed it aside mostly because I didn't want that to happen. It came back this episode though, so I guess that's a thing they're doing with the show. This brings up the age difference thing again, and I just can't get over that.

Sebastian came back of course. I didn't expect him to be gone for long. I'm beyond happy that things with Sebastian and Francis got resolved. It's nice to see that.

I most certainly wasn't expected the random wedding between Sebastian and Kenna. (Another example of Mary and her friends alternating boys between themselves.) I suppose it's a good way of showing how crazy Henry is, but I'm not so sure that I like that being thrown in there. My heart definitely broke a bit at Kenna's crying. It was really hard to watch. I wonder if they'll stay married and make things work or what will happen. Looking back on it I think Kenna and Sebastian had a cute scene together in one of the very first episodes and I actually made a comment about thinking they could be cute together. I'd completely forgotten about it until now, but now I'm starting to think about that again. Maybe they'll actually end up being good together. It's possible I could end up shipping them, even though the forced wedding was still absolutely horrible.

I think the biggest question for next week is what is the crazy thing that Henry will do. I don't know how he can get even crazier than he is now.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Life Post: Beginning of a Work Full Weekend

Today doesn't feel like a Friday, and I think that has a lot to do with how much I still need to do today. Sometimes Fridays are relaxing and sometimes they're days of getting some work done so I have less over the weekend. Today is one of the later Fridays. I still have quite a bit of homework to get to tonight, and I should really be doing it at the moment.

This week has felt long, and I'm really happy that it's finally the weekend, even with the large pile of work I have to do. Hopefully, I manage to get some sleep before Monday. We'll see.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Favorite Television Shows

Two years ago I made a post about TV shows that I enjoy watching over and over. All of those shows still have their places on my favorite TV shows list, and I don't think that will ever change. (Also, I mention not having been able to watch Dawson's Creek for a long time, and I'm actually in the middle of a rewatch right now thanks to the entire series being on Netflix. Yay!) I won't be listing any of those shows here again because you can just check that post out, but I want to add a few more shows now.

Jimmy Neutron. I don't know why I didn't put this on the last list honestly. This is probably my favorite cartoon aside from Avatar (both series) and Rugrats. I don't watch it often, primarily because I don't have a way to, but I've always thought it was a really fun show.

Legend of Korra. I wrote the last post a few months before the first season of Korra aired, so I couldn't have possibly added it to the previous list. I'm so in love with Korra though. Last Airbender will always have a super special place in my heart of course, but I have to say that I do love Korra more in certain ways. Getting to learn so much about the backstory of the Avatar universe is amazing, and Korra often feels more epic to me than the first series did. I love it.

Ouran High School Host Club. I had watched and loved Ouran when I wrote the first list, and I really don't know why I didn't add it. The list was centered around shows you rewatch, and I seriously rewatch Ouran more than almost any other show. It's just such a perfect show in my mind. I'll just be going through my normal day and suddenly think about how I haven't watched Ouran in a while, and then I have an uncontrollable urge to watch it again. Both the anime and the manga make me unbelievably happy. Even the live action drama is enjoyable to me, although I'd choose the anime first. I just really love Ouran.

Naruto and Naruto Shippuden. I've been in the process of watching Naruto since I was a sophomore in high school (more than four years at this point), so I was watching it at the time of the last post and couldn't add it as a rewatch. It's still not a rewatch. I honestly don't know why I'll get caught up with this show. Whenever I do I think I'll feel a bit lost in life. Naruto does have chunks of the show that are boring and hard to get through, but when it's good, it's so, so good. It's managed to get me so sucked in that I suffer through the worser episodes for the good parts. And I feel too connected to the characters to ever stop watching.

How I Met Your Mother. I was in the process of watching How I Met Your Mother when I wrote the last post I think. I think I had about another year to go before I caught up. (Can you tell I'm really bad at watching shows quickly?) I feel like I can't write much about it now since the series finale airs Monday, and thinking about it makes me a bit emotional. I think it's an amazing show.

I think those are all of the shows I have to add now. I'll probably make another post like this in a year or two and have even more shows to add. There are two shows (other than HIMYM) that I'm watching on TV as they air. They're both in their first season, so I want to get a bit farther than that before I declare either of them a favorite. I'm also in the process of watching Supernatural and am still on season one, so we'll see if that gets a spot on this list later on.

Life Post: Sudden Heavy Load of Homework

Today feels like it's dragged on forever, which is somewhat odd since I actually had one class less than I typically do on Thursdays. I did have a test earlier though, so maybe that contributed to it. The test went well though I think. Hopefully I'm correct and did well.

Other than the test not much has actually happened today other than having a ton of homework. I really shouldn't be surprised because before I had way less homework than normal, and it only makes sense that I would suddenly have a ton now. That all means that my entire day today has pretty much been doing homework. I think it's what a lot of my weekend is going to be as well, but I'm still looking forward to having a weekend without classes.

At least I'm almost done with my work for today. I just need to read a little bit for a class, and I'll be done. Which means I'll be done in time for Reign to come on most likely, and I didn't get that with Twisted on Tuesday. I was trying to cram in homework during commercial breaks in order to not be up even later, and I do not recommend that at all.

How I Met Your Mother series finale: 4 days
Summer break: 42 days
City of Heavenly Fire book release: 60 days
Sorry I'm Late album release: 60 days

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Life Post: Writing and a Meeting

The second half of this semester is shaping up to be just as hectic as the first half. I feel like there's always a lot going on, but so far it's stayed at a manageable level of busy. Yesterday was actually somewhat unbusy in the grand scheme of things. I didn't have anything particularly important to do other than go to my classes, but I've been writing more lately whenever I can, which means that even the days I don't actually have something to do I'm packing it full of writing time. The result is that I'm really never doing much other than school work or writing. Even on the weekends most of my days are writing. I'm not complaining, especially considering it's my decision to write so much and I love writing. It's just that I'm starting to wonder if I can keep this up. I'm kind of just waiting for me to hit a roadblock, and I don't mean the minor writer's block that I struggle with almost every day. I just mean feeling too tired from it all that I'll decide to stop writing quite so much every single day.

Tuesdays through Thursdays are always my "busy" days this semester because those three days are when I have the most classes. I guess it's good that way since Monday being less packed kind of eases me into the week, and then no one wants to pay attention on Fridays. Still, it makes getting through the middle part of the week a bit difficult sometimes.

Today I had a KDP meeting. It was only my second meeting and my first since I was officially a member. I still have to have my initiation, but I'm registered and all that. I think I was the only sophomore there too. They talked as if there were other sophomores, but when we all introduced ourselves (for the benefit of new people) I think I was the only one who said sophomore. Luckily, I knew about half the people there through classes anyway, so I wasn't as intimidated as I could have been. The games we played were fun too without me feeling really self-conscious. My only struggle really was having to stand up and introduce myself, but at least that only took a few seconds.

I guess I can't say entirely after only two meetings, but I think I'm really going to like KDP. The people I already know in there are great, and the others seem nice as well. The meetings involve getting club business done, but they also involve food and something fun. It just seems like it will be an all around good experience. Plus, it has great resources for me later on and it'll look good when I apply for jobs. That's always a good thing.

Tomorrow I actually don't have one of my usual classes. I won't have it for a week and a half, which is great. That means I'll actually have a lunch break on those days, and it'll be less busy. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow just for that. It's always so hard making it through those days of classes. We're still doing work online though, so it's not like I'm getting out of class entirely. This just means that I get to actually eat lunch on those days.

Twisted Review: Season 1 Episode 18: "Danny, Interrupted"

I knew Charlie was bad. I don't think that even I was expecting quite what happened though. It's not just that he's "bad," I'm pretty sure he's crazy. He hit himself in the head with a door just to... To what exactly? Honestly I don't really get the full intent there. Was it just to get Jo's sympathy? Was it to turn her against Danny? All of the above? I don't know. The point is he's turning out creepier than I had expected, and I really wouldn't put anything past him.

His creepy hidden pictures were pretty much the point where I realized that he's absolutely crazy, and then we even find out that he's had this obsessive "crush" on Jo since he saw her picture while sharing a room with Danny in juvie. So he seems to have moved there just to meet Jo (and maybe to torture Danny a bit, but I think primarily to get Jo), and he's a creepy stalker on top of everything else. I'm glad that's finally out, and it's not just me getting a bad feeling about him anymore. Now Danny just needs to tell the police that he thinks Charlie framed him, and hopefully they'll actually be able to arrest Charlie. At any rate at least Jo is freaked out by him now.

I also wonder what will happen to Danny now that he's confessed though. Will he get out because it was self-defense or not? I'm assuming he'll get out somehow because having one of the main characters in jail for an extended period of time doesn't seem like a wise thing to do. Who knows though. Maybe I'll be surprised. I'd really like Charlie to get arrested, thrown in jail, and never be shown on the show again, but I can't see myself as being that lucky.

The storyline with Whitney and Lacy went way better than I thought it was going to. I was prepared for it to be handled badly, but I actually thought they did a fairly good job. My only complaint was that it kind of added to the love mess thing that I always complain about. I'm hoping Whitney doesn't continue crushing on Lacy because I can't take yet another person involved in that mess (which I say every time another character is added to that mess). I also don't really see what the point of this storyline was other than to add in something for diversity's sake, which isn't always a bad thing, but it seemed really out of place to me.

When Tess found out that her adopted daughter had died at two it really felt like there was no way that storyline was going to be resolved like that. It was too easy of a way out. Sure enough, that was apparently not her daughter. Now there's some suspicious stuff going on about what actually happened to the baby. I really believe that Whitney is the girl, but we'll see. Maybe Whitney's there to make it look like she could be the girl or something. I'm wondering how long it will take for them to find the real daughter.

This wasn't my favorite episode of Twisted overall, but I am glad that Jo's finally aware of how creepy Charlie is. That being out there has made me feel better. Next week is the season finale, and I'm really hoping that it will be good, especially considering that I'll be recovering from the How I Met Your Mother series finale. I'm hoping it's a good episode.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

HIMYM Review: Season 9 Episode 22: "The End of the Aisle"

I did reviews for the previous two episodes on my Youtube channel instead of here.

I wasn't expecting most of this! This episode was not what I thought it was going to be. Not that I had any clear ideas of what I believed was going to happen in this episode. I just wasn't expecting the wedding. That threw me for a loop. I was sure that was going to come next week, but nope. We got it in episode twenty-two. I suppose that means the finale will be the reception, which is great considering what all can happen at a reception.

I really wish they had resolved the Robin/Ted stuff sooner than the episode before the finale, but I'm glad they didn't wait to do it in the actual finale. It was nice to see Ted finally state definitively that he no longer loves Robin like he did, and while Robin tried to runaway with Ted, I think it was clear that was due to nerves than any lingering feelings. It was so, so adorable when she realized why she was marrying Barney and her doubts were gone. I also thought it was absolutely adorable when Barney vowed that he wouldn't lie to her anymore. And there was a ring bear! That was a nice little bit in the episode.

The slap bet is over! I hadn't even thought about that not being resolved, but it was cute how they threw that in during the wedding. It was a storyline that I had forgot about in the finale lead up, so if they hadn't resolved it, I probably wouldn't have even noticed for a long time unless it was pointed out to me. It was nice that they paid attention and resolved it because I could have seen it being left hanging.

I also really loved that Barney was struggling so much with his vows. I really think this episode showed how much Barney cares about Robin. Not that it hasn't been shown before, but it was nice to get reminded of that right before the wedding.

Marshall and Lily were also amazing in this episode, and we got some mushy stuff about their relationship over the years. I really loved that because it was Barney and Robin's wedding but we got a bit of focus on Marshall and Lily who have been the consist couple throughout the series. I think I tend to focus on Barney and Robin more because the series showed their entire progression as a couple. Marshall and Lily were already together at the start of the show, and while they've had rough patches over the years, were basically always guaranteed, which meant I sometimes didn't think much about them. I love their relationship though, and I really like that they were focused on a bit in this episode.

It was just an all around great episode with just the right amount of sappiness for the episode that leads into the finale. Robin and Barney are married! And it was a really nostalgic episode for me because it made me think about past episodes. I'm both excited and scared for next week. I don't want How I Met Your Mother to end, but I'm also insanely anxious to see how they end it. I'm hoping that it's just as great as this episode was. One thing we do know is that Ted will be meeting the mother, and it's a bit surreal that we've finally gotten there. I may or may not be a bit teary eyed just writing this post. Next week is going to be a struggle.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Life Post: So Many Sign Ups

I feel like everyone around me had a bad Monday. My day wasn't the greatest, although it definitely wasn't that bad. My professor for my first class of the day forgot our papers at home, and that resulted in us getting out of class early. Another professor was sick, but we still had class with her using a microphone in order to be heard without losing her voice. Overall, nothing bad for me, but others didn't seem to be having that great of a day.

I had a meeting with my second advisor today and got my schedule for next semester approved. Now that they've both signed off on it, I just have to wait until my class is allowed to register, and I'll be set. Housing sign ups come up the day before class sign ups for my class, and I'm honestly more stressed about that. I really want to get a single, but there are so few and the current seniors and juniors get to sign up first. I can also buy a double as a single (what I'm doing this year), but there's a limited number and more money. I'm hoping for the best though, and I'll probably be obsessively checking the site while the other classes sign up to see if the singles are still there.

I didn't get much sleep last night because I ended up laying in bed for about two hours before I could fall asleep. Not the best way to start the week, but I actually don't feel that tired right now. This morning was hard, but I'm not feeling as horrible as I sometimes do on evenings after not sleep much. Hopefully tonight I manage to fall asleep quicker.

How I Met Your Mother comes on tonight, and it's the last episode before the series finale. Crazy! There's only about fifteen minutes as I write this, so I should probably wrap this up. I have to go get prepared for that.

How I Met Your Mother series finale: 7 days
Summer break: 46 days
City of Heavenly Fire book release: 64 days
Sorry I'm Late album release: 64 days

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Life Post: Seeing Little Mix Again and Countdowns

My days have been completely off this past week. I'm thankful for the weekend like always, but it doesn't entirely feel like a Saturday. I'm hoping have a normal weekend will make everything feel normal again come Monday. We'll see though.

I got tickets to the Birthday Bash on Friday! The Birthday Bash is this concert a radio station here in Indianapolis puts on every summer, and Little Mix are performing this year! I somehow by some amazing stroke of luck managed to get fourth row tickets! Fourth row tickets for Little Mix! I'm about to start freaking out all over again just writing about it. I'm unbelievably excited. Icona Pop, Karmin, Austin Mahone, and an unannounced guest are also performing, but I can't get over seeing Little Mix that close up. I met them last summer, but while they were performing could hardly see. Now I have tickets where I'll actually be able to see them. I really need to stop writing about it before I start jumping up and down in my seat even more.

Needless to say that was a great start to my weekend. I haven't done much today at all. I managed to get most of my homework for the weekend done on Friday, so I've only had to read The Communist Manifesto today. I also managed to get a decent amount of writing done. Overall, it's been a nice relaxing day, which was nice after the first week back after having to adjust to classes again.

I think I'm going to start doing something new at the end of these "life posts." In the posts back way towards the beginning of the blog (I think 2011 or so), I used to count down to things I was excited for. I got out of the habit, but for a while there I had like ten countdowns going at once. The main reason I stopped was because I was only counting down on the blog, and it became hard to keep track of the exact number. I've gotten back into countdowns over the past months though thanks to an app, so I think I'm going to use my countdown on there to start that over again here. I thought about just doing one countdown at a time in order to focus on whatever was closest, but maybe I could do all of them I have (12 at the moment)? I just like the excitement of watching something get closer.

We're going to start doing the next three countdowns coming up on my phone. Three's my lucky number, and it feels more exciting than just one but less bulky than all of them. However, my third and fourth countdowns right now are actually for the same day, so I'll do both. Typically, it would be three though. Anyway, here we go:

How I Met Your Mother series finale: 9 days
Summer break: 48 days
City of Heavenly Fire book release: 66 days
Sorry I'm Late album release: 66 days

"Funerals, I had decided, are for the living.” ― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

This is probably a bit morbid of a post, but ever since I read The Fault in Our Stars and encountered the quote above, it's frequently been on my mind how true that is. Not just that, but I've started thinking about how people view funerals in general.

I've dealt with death more than I would have liked over the course of my lifetime. I'm not just talking about people I was close to either. I've had more than my fair share of relatives die, but I was also an altar server at my church and had to serve at complete strangers funerals while in elementary and middle school. Those funerals were always awkward. I was always acutely aware that everyone around me was mourning while I didn't know the person at all, and I was always horribly afraid that I would screw up and mess up the person they loved's funeral. Looking back on it now that fear sounds somewhat ridiculous. I don't think anyone there was very considered about what one of the servers was doing at any given time, and I'm not too sure you can screw up a funeral unless you do it purposefully by interrupting or causing a scene. No one's main concern during a funeral is whether or not it's going perfectly. In fact, a priest at our church once told my dad that he prefers presiding over a funerals than weddings. He said the reason was that everyone at a funeral knows exactly why they're there while everyone at weddings is up-tight, on edge, and completely forgetting the point of the entire thing. You're most certainly aware of the point at a funeral.

To me funerals have become a strange concept though. Theoretically, they're for mourning. You use the funeral to grieve over the person you've lost, but I can't say I've ever really used a funeral that way. In my lifetime I've cried at exactly one funeral I've attended, and it was the one for my great uncle. I've lost grandparents, a cousin, an aunt, more people than I would care to think about, but my great uncle was probably one of the more distant ones on the list. So why did I cry? My great uncle passed away about a week or so before my Grandma Ambs. At his funeral, she was basically on her death bed, and I was extremely aware of that throughout his entire funeral. This makes me feel like a bad person a bit, but I was crying more for her than I was him. Yet when it came time for my grandma's funeral, I didn't cry a bit. I'd already done my mourning.

In fact, I didn't even cry after learning my grandam was dead. I was at my friend's house at the time when my mom called. My friend's mom didn't tell us what was up, but I knew my grandma was dying and we could hear my friends mom giving my mom her sympathies in the other room. I knew what had happened. I remember looking at my friend and saying, "My grandma's dead," much more matter-of-factly than you would have perhaps expected from a fourteen year old. She said she was sorry, but I brushed it off and we went to do something else. When I got home and was actually told, I was a bit close to tears, but for the most part I honestly felt relief more than anything. The event I had been dreading happening was finally over. I think I cried one more time that night before I was done.

I don't want to go through every death I've ever experience in this post, but my grandma's more or less shows just how I reacted to every death in my life. I still get a bit teary if I dwell on their deaths too long, but overall, I was down with the vast majority of my mourning before the funeral came days later.

Yet funerals are for the living. They're meant to provide closure and a sense that the person really is gone. Personally, I think I get that closure just from knowing about the death. When my aunt died a year and a half ago, I wasn't able to go to the funeral. I didn't see the body or get the funeral experience, but I did my mourning and feel just as much closure as I feel I would have gotten otherwise. I suppose my mind works differently from others. Others need to actually see something to get the concept of death. Maybe I read too many books with death or something, but I've always gotten it without a tangible reminder.

I completely agree with the quote at the top of this post. I really do. But only in the way that I see that others need such closure. I do think funerals do much more for the living than the dead. The different ways people grieve is actually very intriguing to me. Some people need funerals and some don't. Either way, I find it fascinating how different people approach the concept of funerals.

I really have no idea what this post has become because it honestly took an entirely different path than I had planned. Believe it or not, I think it actually became more morbid than I had expected. I'll leave this as it is though, and maybe I'll write the post I had planned another day instead. Overall, I feel like death is a much more taboo subject than it should be, so while I don't know what exactly this post has become, I'm letting it stay. Death can be a terrible thing, but it's a part of life and funerals are a part of life. And in trying to conclude this post I'm going even farther of topic than before, so I don't know what this post as been, but there are some thoughts.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Reign Review: Season 1 Episode 15: "The Darkness"

This episode of Reign seemed to focus on Mary's friends more, which I liked. Other than a bit of Lola and maybe Kenna a tiny bit, I don't really think they've had much to do recently.

Henry's going crazy. After this episode, I looked up more about the history behind him just to see if that had any basis in reality. I didn't find any, so I really don't know where they're going with that. I'm not sure if he's dying, just going crazy, or if it's temporary and going to pass. He claims he's having headaches which points to their being something seriously wrong going on with his brain, so at least it's not just him losing it, although I suppose that would still be something going wrong with his brain. Either way, him suddenly wanting to kill women is creepy, and I'm a bit worried about Kenna. Something tells me he's really going to want to kill her now, especially since she told Catherine.

Lola's trying to marry as soon as possible in order to hide her pregnancy. I don't know how exactly she plans to do that. She's already about two months pregnant (if not more, I'm not entirely sure about the timeline there), and she sounds like she wants to find a husband fast but also know him somewhat before getting married. There's only so early a baby can come, so I don't know how she expects to keep that all quiet.  I also don't think anyone watching actually expects it to stay secret. Francis is finding out at some point I'm sure.

I am glad that Francis did tell Mary about him and Lola though. She already knew, but it's still good that he said it. I'm sad that Mary lied to him though I just want everything to be said between the three of them so that everything can be worked out.

Greer and Leith are adorable! I've loved their relationship since the beginning, and I don't think we'd really seen them together for a while. They're so cute, and I really want them to be together even with the complications of him being a servant and her needing someone with a title. I thought things were going pretty well when Greer turned down the one guy, but then she announces that the guy she's supposed to marry is showing up. I wonder what he'll be like. Leith also might be taking a job all the way in Spain. I'm hoping all of this means we'll be seeing more of the two of them in future episodes.

The family Sebastian has been with get marked for the Darkness and Rowan gets taken. I really thought her and Sebastian had potential, so I'm loving that Sebastian is going after her. I'm also really curious about who or what the Darkness is, so this should all be very interesting. Whatever Olivia saw, she seems pretty traumatized, which makes me even more curious.

I think Greer and Leith's relationship and the Darkness are what I'm looking forward to the most in the future. Hopefully both will be in the next episode. I think it will be with the way this episode ended. That seemed like quite a lot of cliff-hangers.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Life Post: Back to School After Spring Break

Coming back to school after spring break meant going right back into work. The break was good though, and after getting the rest, it feels easier to get through everything. Hopefully that feeling stays for the rest of the semester.

Since it's already the second half of the semester, we're in the middle of registering for classes and housing for next semester. I've already met with one of my advisors about next semester's schedule, and I have a meeting scheduled with the other. I think that's all under control, so it's not really in the way right now or anything.

Other than that my week has just consisted of getting through homework and whatnot again. My school had an undergraduate academic conference this morning, and I attended that instead of my first two classes (it technically was our class I suppose). It was really interesting. Every presentation I got to hear was very interesting and enjoyable. I went to part of the conference last year, but this year I got to experience all of it and it was fun.

I haven't been sleeping well recently, and it's really starting to get to me. I feel like something happens every night and then I suddenly realize that it's one in the morning or something. It really caught up with me today, and I honestly feel quite miserable. I absolutely cannot do that again tonight. Here's to hoping that I get a good night's sleep. I'm definitely going to try my hardest to get to bed relatively early.

Twisted Review: Season 1 Episode 17: "You're a Good Man, Charlie McBride"

First of all, I need to say that for the first half of this episode or so I really didn't get to really see a lot of it. At first I was having TV problems, and that made me miss the first minute or two. Once I finally got the channel in, it seemed like a ton of stuff that needed my attention came up at once. I think it was about twenty minutes in when things were finally calm and I could focus entirely on Twisted. With that in mind, here's my thoughts on the episode.

Whitney and Lacey went to New York City together, which was a surprise to me. I'm not really sure what I expected Whitney to do in the series. I was more focused on the fact that she could possibly be Tess's daughter to even consider her forming friendships with the other teen characters. To be honest, I'm really not liking Whitney much at this point. She comes across as a bit spoiled, and I find that to be an annoying character trait. Her kissing Lacey was also out of the blue, and I'm not really sure where that's supposed to be going. I can't get if they just wanted a lesbian character for diversity and decided, "Hey, she could kiss Lacey," or if the kiss is actually going to lead to a storyline that includes Whitney having feelings for Lacey. The later certainly doesn't seem like what's happening to me, but we'll just wait and see.

I still hate Charlie just as much as before, and it kills me that Jo is trusting him so much. Charlie and Danny's little showdown was tense. I'm starting to warm up to Charlie being on the show just because I find the tension between him and Danny to be interesting. However, I still hate watching Jo trust him so much. I still have no idea why Charlie went to juvie either, but I know that he probably did something much worse than steal a car.

I knew it wasn't Jack who moved the body. That wasn't a surprise at all. I do really wonder who it was though. I'm most curious about whether it was a character we've already met or someone that's going to show up later.

I almost hate to admit that Rico and Andie were adorable in this episode. They actually might have been my favorite part. Plus, they watched Star Wars on their date. That automatically makes it an amazing date, and I don't know how I can't ship a couple that watches Star Wars together. Honestly, I don't know if I'm entirely done with shipping Rick and Jo together, but for now, I'm going to have to say that I support Rico and Andie's relationship entirely. Jo's frustrating me lately with the whole Charlie thing, and I'm just not as enthused about the possibility of her and Rico being together as I was in the past. Rico and Andie on the other hand are just too cute together.

Tess is planning to learn more about her daughter. I don't think that's too surprising, but I'm looking forward to seeing how that unfolds. That's probably what I'm looking forward to seeing most next week. I'm hoping the next episode will explore that more.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Book Review: 20 and Something by David Kim

ISBN: 0310433479
Published: January 6th, 2014
Publisher: Zondervan
Read from March 15th to 17th, 2014
Synopsis from publisher:
Twentysomethings today are redefining what this decade means and what making a positive contribution to society looks like. One reality is today's economy - you may find yourself a recent college graduate with no job prospects. As such, many twentysomethings are shifting away from career, to calling, looking for ways to impact the world. Or maybe for you, a career or job is what you do in order to support the more meaningful work you love, like photography, music, brewing, or traveling.
Likely you have found a tribe of like-minded people who are taking the journey with you, asking yourselves big questions like what to do with life, what does it mean, why should I settle down with a spouse and house so soon? These questions have huge ramifications for all aspects of society. Twentysomethings need new ways of thinking about institutions and finding rootedness in a transient culture, while at the same time institutions need new ways of thinking about and incorporating twentysomethings. Join David H. Kim, the executive director of the Center for Faith and Work at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, as he walks through the uniqueness of this transformative decade.


This book is a very, very short guide for twentysomethings or just people who want to better understand the current generation of twentysomethings. The book starts off with a quick look at some statistics involving the Millennial Generation (i.e. the current twentysomethings), which are all represented in visually appealing graphics. The book then launches into what it calls "the frame," which is the bulk of the book and packs a surprising amount of information into such a limited number of words.

Even more surprising was how easy of a read this was, and how nothing felt as packed together as it was. I enjoyed reading this book in a way that is rare for these kinds of books. Because of the short, compacted nature of the book, you only get what's important. The book is precise and to the point with everything.

I enjoyed getting to see how others my age feel about a number of issues. The writers themselves aren't Millennials, but they clearly understand the generation well. Not only do I think this is a great book for Millennials, but I highly recommend it to anyone who has a negative view about the Millennial Generation because I guarantee this book will change it.

As a twentysomething, I think the biggest takeaway from this book is that you're not alone. There are a variety of issues covered in the book from how Millennials feel about marriage, parenthood, careers, government, and religion.

I would highly recommend this book to everybody. Plus, I'd say all together it took less than half an hour to read, so anyone can find that sort of time.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, March 17, 2014

I'm Actually Kind of Glad I Don't Play an Instrument

I've learned how to play two different instruments over the course of my life, and I didn't actually stick with either of them. I watch people play instruments so well, and there's this small part of me that wishes I could play like that, yet I don't regret quitting either instrument at all.

I've written before about wishing I could draw, and quite honestly I would choose being able to draw over playing an instrument well anyday. The biggest reason for that is that I know how much work goes into learning to play an instrument, and I have no desire to put in that work. I'm aware that it takes just as much work to become good at drawing, but I'd be more willing to put in that work. To me, learning to play an instrument isn't really fulfilling at all. I took piano lessons and played clarinet in band when I was younger, and I didn't enjoy either one.

My piano lessons lasted at least three years, although it may have been four. At first I enjoyed it at least somewhat, but it soon became an extremely unenjoyable experience. I didn't enjoy practicing. I only did it because I had to, and even then, I wasn't really improving at all. My teacher is why I quit. She was convinced I wasn't practicing as much as she told me to when I was, and I just felt like I wasn't going anywhere, I didn't like it, and she wasn't helping.

Clarinet was somewhat similar except I really did stop practicing way before I quit. I started off really hopeful, but I hated it. It wasn't even the slightest bit fun or enjoyable, so at the end of the year, I was pretty much just waiting for the time to come when I could quit band.

I read all of these things about kids who learn instruments being better in school. Maybe that's true, but I did pretty good in school without them. Sometimes I feel like there's a push to get every kid playing an instrument, which I don't like. Some kids just aren't going to be that into music. Don't get me wrong, I do think some sort of music education is important for every single student. I just don't think it needs to be learning an instrument. I know I'm glad it wasn't required of me. Music definitely wasn't one of my strengths, and taking the time to learn an instrument would have just taken away from my ability to focus on the things I was good at.

So, while there are occasionally times when I'll watch really good musicians and kind of wish I could play an instrument like that, I'm really not all that jealous. I have a lot of respect for musicians, but it definitely isn't something that I legitimately want to do.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Life Post: Spring Break is Coming to a Close

The end of my spring break has been a lot calmer than the beginning of it. Aside from a haircut Thursday morning, the rest of the day was spent writing more than anything, and that was basically my entire Friday as well. I had hoped to get more writing done over this break than I did, but I'm still really happy that I got a lot more done than I had over a long period during classes. I didn't get to do as much today, but I also still plan to write a bit more later.

Today has actually been a bit busier. My mom got me to go shopping in Evansville with her, which is why I didn't get to do much writing today. We had to go into two different stores, but I swear it felt like more than that. I just paused while writing to really think about it because I thought I was forgetting a store or something. I started getting a headache while in the first store though, and that always makes me tired. That's probably why everything seemed so long.

The shopping trips consisted of me (and my brother) just following my mom around as she shopped. I also think we spent an insane amount of time looking for a bag for my brother. We couldn't find one he wanted anywhere, and then we just randomly stumbled across them buried under other stuff.

It was also the last bit of driving I got in over spring break, and I didn't even drive home. My head hurt too badly for me to bother. I'm impressed that I actually drove the amount I did this break though. Maybe I really will manage to get my license this summer.

Tomorrow I got back up to Indianapolis, and Monday classes start back. I told my mom this earlier, but before spring break, the semester didn't feel half over. Now, and I'm not sure if it's just being on break or the weather being warmer, but it feels like it should actually be closer to summer break than it is. I hope that doesn't make the rest of the semester drag on. I'm glad to have gotten a break though. Hopefully that makes getting back to homework and studying easier. I guess I'll find out in a couple of days.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Reign Review: Season 1 Episode 14: "Dirty Laundry"

This episode starts after a time gap of two months where Mary and Francis have been on their honeymoon. That was a bit surprising to me. I'm not going to lie, the thought of Mary and Francis going on a honeymoon never even crossed my mind. Even so though, I wouldn't have expected the gap. Sure, Mary and Francis were off having a relaxing honeymoon, but I just can't believe that nothing really happened at all back at the castle during that time. Also, was Sebastian just roaming around in the snow for those two months?

I have to say that my favorite part of the episode was the Archduke's sister dying and then Catherine and Henry attempting to cover it up. Her death was absolutely hilarious. My sister actually came into the room when they were moving the body and asked how she died, my mom and I started laughing so hard that we couldn't even explain it. It's just about the biggest "that totally wouldn't happen" moments, but I thought it was too hilarious to even care about that. I also really appreciated Catherine and Henry attempting to scrub the blood off and not really having any idea what they're doing. It was all very amusing.

Olivia just randomly reappears from nowhere. I had been thinking about her the past couple of episodes, although I can't really remember if I mentioned her disappearance in any of my recent reviews. I was wondering if she would ever come back or if she was just mysteriously gone forever. I suppose running off back when she did was a horrible idea. I'm really curious as to what she has seen that's caused her to go so crazy.

Catherine seems so thrilled with Mary now, and I really enjoy that. I thought the scene where she's giving Mary the stuff to help her get pregnant was kind of cute, and I also loved when she accidentally almost gave her poison instead. It's nice seeing her happy about Mary and Francis's relationship now as opposed to trying to get Mary killed.

I knew that what happened between Lola and Francis would come back to cause drama, although I admit that I wasn't expecting her to be pregnant. As soon as she said the dress Mary had brought her was too tight though, I realized. I'm not necessarily happy about it as that is going to create a whole host of complications that will probably last the entire rest of the show's run. I am glad that Mary finally knows about Lola and Francis though because I think she deserves to know. I have no idea how this is all going to play out, but I hope Francis finds out soon. They can only keep Lola's pregnancy a secret for so long after all, and once he knows she's pregnant, he'll be able to do the math and know that he's at least possibly the father.

Sebastian meets a new girl in this episode, and that really makes me happy. He deserves someone nice who he doesn't have to fight his brother over. I hope she sticks around for a while and their relationship develops.

I think that's all I really have to say about this episode. I think we have quite a lot to wonder about in the coming episodes. It'll be interesting to see how things play out.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Favorite Animated Movies

Even though I'm 20 years old, I still really love animated movies. Most of the movies I liked as a kid are still just as good to me, and I love seeing new ones whenever they come out as well. Here are just a few of my favorites. This is by no means a definitive list. I like too many, and I'm sure I'm forgetting some.

Beauty and the Beast. I know I've said many times that this is my favorite Disney movie, but it's also my favorite animated movie Disney and otherwise. I have a hard time actually knowing what makes it my favorite. I feel like the Stockholm syndrome aspects and the whole falling in love with a beast thing should disturb me a bit more than they do, especially now that I'm older. I love the movie though, and I think a lot of that has to do with Belle, who is by far my favorite Disney princess. You can't make a movie with a princess who loves books and who gets given a giant library and not expect that to be my favorite movie. (By the way, the scene where the Beast gives Belle that giant library still goes down as the most romantic movie scene ever in my book.)

The Lion King. This is my second favorite Disney movie and also probably my second favorite animated movie outside of Disney as well. The beginning of the movie where Simba and Nala are cubs is adorable, which is a plus. Also, "Be Prepared" is one of my favorite Disney villain songs, and I have a thing for Disney villain songs.

Anastasia. I think Anastasia may be my favorite animated movie that isn't Disney, and I don't think I'm very alone in that. Regardless of the fact that it's a movie that takes a historical story and doesn't really try to hard to stick to the truth, it's a good movie. "At the Beginning" also happens to be one of my favorite songs of all time, and, unrelated to Anastasia, it actually reminds me of Kataang from Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Brave. I had to throw a Pixar movie in there, and Brave has somewhat recently become my favorite. I only got to actually see it less than a year ago, and it surpassed my last favorite. I love Merida and how determined she is to not be just married off to a random guy, and it's great how the movie is more about her and her mother than her and a guy.

The Princess and the Frog. This one became one of my favorites as soon as I saw it. I remember the original fairy tale being fascinating to me after I read a version of it as a kid, so I was really intrigued when I found out Disney was making a movie out of it. I really loved it, and Tiana has become my second favorite princess after Belle.

I think five is a good place to stop, although I could go on and on. I already have about five more I could add to this list, but I feel that if I'll keep going this will be never-ending. I feel bad that Anastasia ended up being the only non-Disney movie on the list. If I kept going How to Train Your Dragon would be up there too, although I'm not really sure of any others. Possibly Shrek. I have tons of other Disney movies that I'd also like to add. I'm cutting myself off though. These are probably my top five favorites, except now I'm really regretting not adding How to Train Your Dragon. I just need to stop his post before I decide to go on.

What are your favorite animated movies?

Life Post: Negativity, Dentist, and Haircut

When I posted yesterday, I mentioned that my Wednesday hadn't gotten off to that great of a start. While I wouldn't call yesterday a good day, it wasn't horrible either. Mostly a lot just happened that would lean slightly towards the bad side rather than the good side.

I had a dentist appointment, and the bright side of that was not having any cavities I suppose. My mouth is still sore now though, and it's been close to an entire day. I felt like she was never going to stop scraping against my teeth, and she even got my gums multiple times. It's a wonder I didn't bleed everywhere.

Other than that I really didn't do anything significant yesterday. I had to write up a letter of recommendation for my friend, which was a bit nerve-wracking. The same friend is also dealing with some big stuff right now, so I was trying to be supportive and check up on her. Other than that there were just a lot of smaller things that seemed to keep happening over the course of the day. It's past now, and I'm not going to dwell on it. Today has been a lot better, even if I feel like I'm about to fall asleep.

I got my hair cut this morning. I ended up with about an inch off which kills me considering I'm trying so hard to grow my hair out. I know getting split ends off is extremely important and everything, but it feels so counterproductive when my hair doesn't seem to be growing at all. I'm worried that it's because I'm dying it and causing it not to grow. I really hate it since I really want my hair to get long again. I don't feel like that's happening at all.

I'm not sure what else is going to happen today, but I'm fairly confident that it will be better than yesterday. The only problem is some of the negativity that I was feeling yesterday doesn't quite want to go away. If I've learned anything before though, it's how my different moods are. I'm pretty sure I'll be feeling a lot better by the end of the day as long as nothing bad happens or anything. I try so hard to be a positive person, but I also have a really bad habit of fixating on certain negative things when they happen. I also get overly excited and happy about most things though, so it's a two way street.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Life Post: Spring Break So Far

My spring break has mostly been pretty great so far. It's also been fairly busy. I'm not complaining because I'm still getting more rest than I was at school before break, but I feel like I'm constantly doing something each day.

Monday I had a dermatologist appointment. Those aren't usually a big deal because they really just involve talking to the doctor for a few minutes and then him adjusting my medicine. Have my medicine adjusted is getting more and more annoying though. I just want something to work correctly so I don't have to worry about it being changed anymore. This time was particularly annoying because it's not being adjusted because it isn't working, it's being adjusted for other problems. I feel like that will never be settled.

Tuesday I met Ji for lunch at Roppongi, which was a lot of fun. I hadn't seen her in months, and it's always great to catch up. I also ate more food than I thought it was possible for me to eat, and it was delicious. I think Ji's made me try new sushi each time we've eaten there, and it's fun getting to try new stuff. I really wish I could actually learn to use chopsticks though so Ji would stop asking for the somewhat embarrassing beginner ones. I try so hard, but those things just don't cooperate.

After eating we walked around downtown Newburgh for a while, which I've actually never done before that I can remember. It's nice, and we had fun looking around the shops even though we didn't buy anything. It's a fun place.

As for today, it hasn't started off so great. I woke up to a lot of negative things happening all over the place, and I'm still kind of struggling to get more positive about today. It's hard when I know I have a dentist appointment and there's a chance of snow. Today just isn't trying that hard to be good. I'm still hopeful that I'll be in a better mood by the end of today though. It would be really nice, if the snow never did come. That would definitely be a bright point.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I Wish I Could Draw

I feel like a lot of my posts end up being about things I wish I could do, and here's another one. I wish I could draw. I'll admit that when I try really, really hard I can make something that could at least be worse. I'm definitely not one of those people who can just doodle and make something cool though. I have to spend hours on something in order for it to start to resemble what I want it to be, and my best drawings from my high school art classes involve ones with a lot of straight lines that I used a ruler to draw.

I remember my high school art teacher coming up to me one day and pointing out that I really needed to get the drawing I was working on done in the next two days because she needed to grade it. She said something about how she saw me working on it every day, but I was really behind on where I was supposed to be. Almost everyone else was really far ahead on another project. The reason I was "behind" though was because I was being such a perfectionist with the drawing. I wasn't ready to be done with it yet, and I could see every little thing I still needed to work on. It's like that whenever I try to draw. I can picture something in my head, but I can't successfully get it down on paper. That's why I don't draw in the first place. I get too uptight about it being perfect when I know I can't actually achieve that.

I would love to be one of those people who can just draw and turn out something pretty good, and then when they put even more effort it becomes even more amazing. That's never going to happen though considering I can't even draw a straight line without erasing it a million times to try again. I admire artists a lot though. What they do is extremely difficult to me, and I find doing it successfully really impressive.

Monday, March 10, 2014

My Feelings on Superheroes

I'm into a lot of "nerdy" things, but I often feel a little less nerdy than others because there are certain things that I'm not really into. One of those things is superheroes, whether that be superheroes in comics or movies or any other capacity. It's just not something that I've ever held a whole lot of interest in.

I'm not really sure how many superhero movies I've even watched. I know I saw all of the Spiderman movies with Tobey Maguire and my friend Ji made me watch one of the X-Men movies once (which I only really agreed to because of Jennifer Lawrence). (Oh, wait. There was also The Incredibles.) Other than that I've really only seen parts of superhero movies at different times, and I never really paid close attention. The closest thing I've gotten to superheroes otherwise would probably be Starkid's Holy Musical B@man. I still managed to get the vast majority of the jokes because you do tend to pick up on a lot of the superhero stuff when everyone else you know seems to love them, but I've still never had much interest in it myself.

I've never been entirely sure what it is about superheroes that just can't hold my interest. I guess I've never found superheroes to be that intriguing of charactes. I can see why other people think they are, and it's not that I don't see it at all. It's just that I find non-superhero characters more intriguing, and characters are one of my favorite aspects of fiction, whether it's books or movies or television. Superheroes just don't fit that to me, and that takes away some of my enjoyment.

Now, that's not to say I hate superheroes all together. The superhero movies I have seen were enjoyable to me, and I liked watching them. I just didn't like them enough to seek out more superhero movies on my own. It's one of those things where I won't complain if someone else puts it in, but I'm not going to choice to watch it either. I can get a passing enjoyment from superheroes I suppose, but I don't form enough of a connection to become a "fan" like I am for a lot of other things.

What about you guys? Do you like superheroes? Or is there something else that you don't like that much that everyone else seems to?

Life Post: The First Weekend of Spring Break

Spring break has been going really well. I don't want to think about how it's basically one-fourth of the way over even though it's only been a couple of days. I already feel like I've gotten more rest since I had for quite a while, which is honestly pretty impressive when I'm at home with my family. Usually I have trouble sleeping at home because of the noise, but this time hasn't been too bad yet even though I got woken up early this morning and last night. It hadn't been enough to really interfere with how awake I feel yet.

On Saturday I went driving with my mom. I'm absolutely determined that this summer is when I will finally get my license. It was the first time I'd driven in months, and it actually went really well. Usually I'm a ball of nerves and it's a horribly stressful experience. I actually thought that it went rather well this time. I drove both there and back, which doesn't happen often because I usually get too stressed out on the drive there to drive back. Yet I drove back and still didn't get too stressed out by the time I was done. I'm hoping that's a good sign that I'm not getting as much anxiety about driving, but it was a bit odd that I managed that without driving for months.

I drove to Owensboro though, and my mom and I went to flea markets. I feel like that's always where we end up going when I drive (which means driving on one of the streets I hate driving on so much). My mom always seems to want to go to the flea market. We saw an outhouse for sale though, so that was interesting.

Sunday was church and visiting my grandma. It was really nice to visit with her for a while. Other than that, I really didn't do much yesterday, which is odd because I feel like yesterday was really busy. Maybe it was just how long we spend at my grandma's (plus church to I suppose).

I was in the middle of writing this post when I got interrupted by a package arriving, and it's a book that I got for review. I instagrammed it, and hopefully I'll get around to reading and reviewing it soon. I'm already reading two different books, so I want to finish one of them first. That shouldn't be too hard to do quickly though considering it's spring break. The book looks really interesting, and I'm sure it could be helpful considering I'm in the target age group.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Emotional Connection to Music

You know how some people have songs that always make them emotional? I don't really have that. I really don't get emotional during stuff like that. Books probably make me more emotional than anything, but even then, I still tend to avoid it. I've learned over time that how emotional something makes me all depends on how emotionally attached I allow myself to get to it. With music, I always feel more or less emotionally disconnected.

There are songs that make me feel nostalgic, but it's still not an overly emotional thing. I'll just have a brief moment of slight emotion. Nothing that really affects me and definitely nothing that makes me cry. It's just a slight thing.

I almost feel jealous of people who have a stronger emotional connection to music. I have a really short number of songs that I feel "emotionally attached" to, but the only time I can really remember crying during a song was when I saw one special to me being performed. I suppose that I'll always have a stronger connection to literature than music or art, so I will always have a stronger emotional connection to music than anything else. And while that's great, I always wish I could connect to music and art the same way I connect to literature. Music especially though I always feel like I have such a superficial connection with in comparison to other people, and I wish it was a stronger thing. I wish I felt for music the same way I do literature. You'd think just feeling that way would help. And I listen to music all of the time. I really enjoy music. It's just not like it is with literature for me, even though I sometimes wish differently.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Reign Review: Season 1 Episode 13: "The Consummation"

Woah. First of all I need to say that I watched the director's cut of this episode. I didn't see the original at all since my TV broke and only the director's cut was put on The CW's website. I have no idea what the differences were for sure, although I think I have at least some idea. I'm not sure how much difference only seeing the director's cut made though, so I'll throw out that bit of information.

Now, I have to say the first thought I had after I finished this episode: "That happened fast." I feel like I say that a lot about Reign, and at this point I'm really starting to wonder what this means for the show. *History spoiler that will have to affect Reign's plot at some point* Francies really does die, and it's pretty early into his and Mary's marriage. If they were taking things slower, I think they could get several seasons in before his death, but if they keep up this pace, he'll be dying really soon I feel like. The show can still go on after his death of course, but it would change things so drastically. What exactly are they planning to do? I don't know, but I guess we'll find out eventually. Onto the specifics of this episode...

Nostradamus gets visions by hanging himself. If I didn't already think the dude was somewhat crazy, I do now. I'll be completely honest, I don't know how the real Nostradamus died, and I don't know if he hung himself to get visions. However, I wouldn't be surprised if that epicly backfired one day and he died. I also think it's worth noting something that I just realized this episode. At the beginning of the series, I wondered whether Nostradamus's visions were real or he was lying. At this point, I feel like we can say with certainty that he at least really believes his visions, and I'm starting to lean towards them being true considering the history the show is based on. However, it's also obvious that his visions are vague most of the time, which is pretty historically accurate from what I know of the real Nostradamus.

Mary's mom showed up, and she has a really odd accent. I don't even know what country Mary's mom came from (since I know it may not have been Scotland), but I'm not really sure what was going on there. It was kind of English, but very unlike the others on the show. Wait. She's French. I just googled it. That's an interesting connection that they could really use on the show. It doesn't change her odd accent though. It's so bad, guys. I know I complain about everyone having English accents a lot, but this one is some really horrible, very obviously fake English accent. I think it wins for worst on the show, and that includes the times they made the "villain" characters have purposefully "foreign" accents.

Anyway, back to Mary's mom, who is also Mary so I'll just say Mary's mom, and her actual personality and whatnot. I think she's a very interesting character. She seems a lot like Catherine. I guess that's what happens when you're in the type of situations they've both been in. I'm always saying Catherine is my favorite character, so I also enjoyed Mary's mom. I wonder how much she'll be around now that she's been introduced.

Francis was finally back in the castle! I've been waiting for it and was unbelievably excited, but things went insanely fast. Sure enough we had some awkwardness with Lola and Francis. I'm not looking forward to seeing that explode now that Francis and Mary are married. Can you imagine when she finds out? Because she will. There's no way that will stay a secret, and with the way this show goes, she'll find out sooner rather than later. Not looking forward to that.

Poor Sebastian too. I've always liked him as a character, even if I never wanted him with Mary. I do think it was kind of horrible for him to try and get in between Francis and Mary like he did, but I also understand. I feel really bad for him, and now it's his turn to get forced away from the castle. I'm sure he'll be back soon, just like Francis was. Hopefully he moves on and learns to accept Mary and Francis's marriage. Mostly because I think it's horrible that his relationship with Francis has been destroyed so much. I'm also extremely hopeful that it wasn't Francis who paid those men to kill Sebastian. I like to think he wouldn't do that to his own brother, even after what happened.

And the wedding!! It happened much quicker than I would have liked, but hey, they're married! I'm sure it won't lessen any of the drama in their relationship, but I can refer to them as husband and wife. That makes me really happy, and I'm looking forward to some sappiness before the drama comes back.

Consummations were weird, guys. It's something that I knew was a real, historical thing for a long time, but that doesn't change how weird it is. Why? Why would anyone want to do that? That was the most awkward scene I've ever watched, and the things is, aside from Sebastian's presence, no one in the show seemed to view it was odd. That fit of course because it really was normal back then, but that doesn't change how awkward it is to watch.

Also, one more random comment that I forgot to mention because it was so small in the grand scheme of things, but Nostradamus and Catherine have a conversation about Clarissa that only cemented my belief that Catherine had more feelings about Clarissa than she was letting on. And Clarissa is alive! That was a nice cliffhanger ending considering most people had at least considered it a possibility. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens to her, and I'm hoping there's some nice sort of resolution to her and Catherine's relationship. I think that might be one of the things I'm looking forward to the most in the upcoming episodes.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Book Review: Come, Sit, Stay by Arden Moore

ISBN: 1931993424
Published: April 30th, 2005
Publishers: i5 Press
Read March 6th, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Filled with tips, guides, and games, Come, Sit, Stay serves as an easy-to-use foundation for training success.


This is a short and simple guide to teaching your dog how to come, sit, and stay. Considering those are the three commands most owners want to start with, this book is a great start to help anyone train their dog. The book gives several different methods to teach each command as well as general training tips. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to teach their dog to come, sit, and stay because this book has the information you need in a very simple and easy to understand format.

Life Post: It's Finally Spring Break!

My last two midterm tests were today, and both went very well. The two classes I had them in are ones where tests are challenging, but I actually feel more confident about these two tests than I did over the past ones. I was actually really surprised at how well I felt afterwards. I was walking across campus after the first test and going over stuff for the next test in my head. It was humanities, and I needed to remember artists' and composers' names, which I always forget, but I was remembering them all. I did forget a few while taking the actual test, which was really frustrating, but overall I'm feeling pretty good about it.

After the tests was the drive home, so I got to spend more than three hours in a car. It went by pretty quickly as far as that car drive usually is though, so that was good. I also managed to get homework done, which I never manage to do in the car, and that means less work over the rest of spring break.

Now that I'm home I think I plan on relaxing for the rest of the day. I do have a video to edit and a book review to write, and those will both probably happen tonight. Other than that, I really only need to watch last night's episode of Reign. I'm really looking forward to finally getting a break.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Life Post: Midterms and Nearing Spring Break

I suppose that today was technically day one of midterms. I don't actually have midterms in all of my classes. Of my three classes today, one was a test and the other two were just lectures. The one midterm I had went really well though. We were allowed to use notes, which definitely took away some nerves, and I don't think it would have been all that difficult even without notes. I'm feeling pretty confident about how well I did.

Both of my classes tomorrow are tests, and I'm feeling just a bit nervous even though I've been studying. It's not any more than I'd be nervous for any test in these classes, but both tests will definitely be on the challenging side. This will also be my second test this semester in each class, and the first ones were held on the same day too. It's not so great for me since each one requires a fair bit of studying. Hopefully they both go well though.

Plus, I know that once I get through them it'll be spring break! It was above freezing today (eventually), so I'm feeling pretty good about spring break. I'm hoping the temperature stays here from now on, but I haven't actually paid attention to the weather to see if it's going to. I do know that it's supposed to be warmer in my hometown than it is here while I'm gone, so that's some great news. I'm looking forward to actually having a kind of warm spring break!

Book Review: Invisible by Cecily Paterson

Published: February 11th, 2013
Publisher: self-published
Read from February 25th to March 5th, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Jazmine Crawford doesn't make decisions. She doesn't make choices. She doesn't make friends. Jazmine Crawford only wants one thing: to be invisible. For Jazmine, it's a lot easier to take out her hearing aid and drift along pretending that nothing's wrong than it is to admit that she's heartbroken. She starts to come out of her shell when she's forced to be in the school play and even makes friends with bouncy Gabby and chocolate-loving Liam. But can she stand up to the school bully, and is she strong enough to face the truth about what really happened to her dad?


I don't really feel very strongly about this book either negatively or strongly. I downloaded this book because it was free for Kindle, and the synopsis sounded intriguing.

Maybe it says a lot about my reading when I say that I didn't realize how young Jazmine and her friends were until Gabby's birthday party. The entire time I had been thinking that Jazmine seemed really immature, and I was getting frustrated about how she acted. Then we get to that part and I realized that it was only because she was 12/13ish. I really do wish her age had been established earlier, but I'm thinking that what year she was in school may have been stated. The problem is that I'm not from Australia and have no clue about the Australian school system, so if it was, that went right over my head. After that confusion was cleared up, the characters' actions began making more sense, but I probably would have viewed them a lot differently from the beginning if I'd actually known their ages.

The book was definitely one of the much better written books from the self-published books I've read. I can't recall any typos or grammar mistakes, so if there were any, they were too few for me to pick up on. That's a rarity in the self-published books I've read recently, and I appreciated it.

Besides typos, I just thought that the writing overall was really great. Parts of the book are diary and parts aren't. I think it really worked for the story, although I'm not really a big fan of the diary format at all. The problem with diaries for me is that I think it's hard for a writer to pull off a diary entry that sounds realistically like it was written by a character. That was my problem in this case. Jazmine is really young, and she doesn't seem to be much of a reader other than The Secret Garden. I don't see her as being someone particularly into English and following the correct rules in a diary that isn't going to be seen by anyone else. Those are the sorts of things I always think of when I read books written through diary entries. I don't feel like Jazmine would have written entries like that, and it drew me out of the book a little bit.

Most of my other problems with the books all had to do with Jazmine and how she acted. I was getting really frustrated because she seemed to immature, but like I said, once I found out that she was younger than I expected, that problem went away. I really do wish I had known her age ahead of time. I think by the time I finally figured it out, I had already became too negative towards her character for it to go away. She acted exactly how I would expect a 12 or 13 year old girl to act, but since I thought she was older, I didn't see her behavior that way for about half the book. I think that kind of spoiled the book for me.

I would recommend this book if the premise sounds interesting to you. Maybe you'll enjoy it much more than I did if you go into it actually understanding how young the characters are.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Life Post: At Least Today Was Better

I'll be honest, yesterday was not a good day. Too much was happening, and I became really overwhelmed. Last night consisted of me freaking out over everything because I had just reached the breaking point of having too much to do.

Luckily, today was different, and I have a much lighter load than yesterday. I still have quite a bit considering the next two days are midterms, but I don't feel as overwhelmed. It's become manageable. I just need to get through two more days, and it'll be spring break. I finally feel like I can actually make it.

I've already gotten most of my homework done, which is a lot more than I could say yesterday at this point in time. I still have a bit left to do though, so I'm going to go do that. I need to get it done before we have a repeated of yesterday.

My Life with Shoes

I've had a weird relationship with shoes my entire life. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I learned to tie my shoes at a later age than most. This wasn't because I struggled with it, but more just because I refused to learn. I made my mom buy velcro shoes so I wouldn't have to tie them.

Then, once I got old enough  that it was difficult to find velcro shoes, I finally got shoes with shoe strings. I learned to tie my shoes, but I because obsessed with having the shoes tied as tightly as possible. I never thought I tied them tight enough, so I made my mom, dad, or grandma (depending on who was with us that morning) tie them instead. This was all because I had some weird fear of my shoes either coming untied or just falling off of my feet. (I've always had these weird sort of thoughts, and they've only changed to different things as I've gotten older.)

I was so obsessed with my shoes not coming untied that my mom began using double knots, and there hasn't been a day sense that I haven't double-knotted my shoelaces. Now it's more just because I find it easier than needing to retie them rather than any real fear. (Side note: this is why I absolutely loved the fact that Peeta double knotting his shoe laces was mentioned by Katniss in The Hunger Games series. I thought it was a nice little fact, and it made me think of all of this.)

My other weird habits with shoes is that I refused to wear anything but athletic shoes for the longest time (except a brief obsession with boots that I remember having). I think I only owned Nikes and Sketchers (although only ever Nikes after a certain age). I hated all other type of shoes. Plus, I'd only wear one pair at a time. It's funny when I see people with all kinds of shoes because to this day I only own a few. I have my Nikes, my Converse, a few flats for dressier occasions, and a few pairs of flip flops for the summer. I also still own a pair of Beaver Creeks and a pair of Crocs from when those were popular and I really liked them, but I really never wear them anymore.

It's actually funny because I far favor my Converse now more than anything, but I used to despise Converse. I'm not sure why, but I say them as the ugliest shoes and I just didn't understand why you'd wear them. Then suddenly I really started to like them, and eventually I got a pair. Now they're my favorite thing in the world, and I wear them all the time.

I like looking back on these sorts of things, even though it might be odd to other people. Why would I want to look back on my different feelings on shoes? I think it's interesting though. Plus, I feel nostalgic looking back on my different feelings at each age. I could do this with a lot of things of course, but I feel like shoes are one of the things that has really had a lot of different stages of feelings over my life.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

HIMYM Review: Season 9 Episode 19: "Vesuvius"

This is a huge review to be writing, and I'm unfortunately writing it after a really stressful day that's still going even thought it's past ten at night. I feel really bad about that, but I really wanted to get this review out. Hopefully, the emotion I'm feeling over this episode doesn't add to my stress anymore as I'm writing this review.

I'm going to start with the more light-hearted parts of the episode first. I have to say that I actually really love the way Robin's handling the wedding. I really like how, even though Lily's frustrated that she won't break down, Robin seems so easy-going about it all. That's how I am during my wedding in my dream world. (In reality, I really don't feel like weddings should be as stressful as they are because them being perfect isn't the point, but I know that I get stressed out too easily to possibly avoid it.) It's nice to see a bride on television that isn't a bridezilla or a crying mess. It's a nice change from how weddings are typically portrayed (and actually happen), and I think it's nice.

Barney on the other hand is acting more like a "typical" bride than a groom, and I find that really cute. Robin's calm while Barney worries about every single aspect of what he's going to wear. It's a nice little flip I think, and I really like it. It's a cool play on the typical gender stereotypes with weddings, and I always find it cute how Barney acts when it comes to Robin.

Robin's sister (played by Lucy Hale) made an appearance this week. I don't have much to say really, but I brought it up for two reasons. One, I've never made this connection before, but wow, they really do look similar to me. Two, where has she been the entire rest of this season? Did she just get there? If so, why wasn't she there earlier? Has she just not been around much? I don't know. Realistically I know they just have Lucy Hale as a guest so she wasn't going to show up regularly, but story-wise I find it odd.

And Robin's mom shows up! That was a wonderful end to the episode, and I'm so happy about it. I really love that they did that, and I'm excited to see Robin's mom more in the next few episodes.

Okay. Now to the more emotional stuff. There's been a fan theory for a while now that the mother is dead at the point in the future when Ted is telling his children the story. This episode seemed to really strongly be hinting that the mother dies (seemingly from some illness that I kind of feel like would be cancer if they do go down that route) in the year 2024. The way the ending of the episode was handled really, really strongly hinted that the mother was dying. From her comment that it's better not to focus on sad things you can't change (or something somewhat similar to that) to Ted bursting into tears at her comment that a mother would never miss her daughter's wedding. There really doesn't seem to be any other explanation. Even if there was, this episode seems deliberately designed to point that way, so it would almost seem like a cruel joke to me if they didn't go with that.

Don't get me wrong, I really don't want the mother to die. So much so that I'm kind of angry about this. It's just that it seems like that's really what they were trying to get across, even if only for a plot twist later where she lives, and if they did that, I'd be kind of angry. So, I don't know what's going to happen. It does seem like they're hinting at her death, and I'm kind of mad about that. But I might be even madder at this point if it turns out they were just purposefully trying to make it seem like she was dying. We only have a few episodes left though, so we'll find out soon enough. The thought of that only makes me even sadder.