Monday, November 4, 2013

New Adventures!

I meant to write last Friday since stuff was still fresh, but I guess I got lazy and didn't feel like it. So I'm doing it now!

So, last week was Halloween. I went as Finn the Human. I say "I went" but that makes no sense. Let me better explain...

I fell in like with the show "Adventure Time" earlier this year, and I decided to be the main character for Halloween. My new friend Tawny was Princess Bubblegum from the same show and by total coincidence we met up and got our picture taken at a Halloween party.
Coincidentally, my momsie helped us both make parts of our costumes.
She was the best PB there! I made my own hat with my mom's help and my Golden Sword of Battle with my brother's help. I painted the sword and it looked pruddy gud, if I say so myself. I made it out of a 78 cent yard stake I found at the hardware store. My brother used a machine in my parent's garage to make the square angles more tapered and stuff. He did it because I would have cut off my fingers and then Halloween would suck and my sword would be useless.
Speaking of issues with fingers, a young guy came into my work place today and seemed to be missing a thumb. Not a big deal, I wouldn't even mention it here except for my co-worker noticed it and loudly asked with a chuckle if he was left or right handed. I felt embarrassed for the guy. That coworker says the most tactless stuff to people. I should create a secret blog called "Offensive Shiz my Coworker Says." (Lightning Edit: I just found that there are plenty of other websites dedicated to such a thing...I might just have to contribute.)

Moving on...

So, my Halloween was sorta weird. I was asked to represent my church ward in the Trunk-or-Treat think that the YSA wards were doing. I found out rather last minute, and so I didn't decorate my trunk at all. I still went with a fake smile and soon the smile became genuine. The guy who parked next to me was in the very same situation except he put the candy on his trunk and then talked on his phone the entire time. I mean, I didn't really want to do it at first either, but this guy did the BARE minimum.
After I ran out of candy I went indoors to the dance, but I'm super awkward at dances. I'm super awkward because I don't dance. It seemed that for the most part, other people don't either. There was lots of mild jumping and stuff during the fast songs, and lots of rocking back and forth during the slow songs. There was that one couple who were swing dancing like a destructive tornado that everyone steered clear of for their own safety, but that couple was the minority. I got tired of that scene and REALLY needed to go grocery shopping, so off to the store I went. In costume. I hate myself. Then I went to a Mexican place for food.
Later, on actual Halloween, I went to my parent's house and basically had candy duty. The night was pretty easy-going. My cousins were there and visited, and my brother and his baby came over too. The dogs never stopped barking. I wonder what they think they'll accomplish by barking. Nothing has come of it yet in the 7 or so years we've had them, except for us yelling at them to shut up.
Anyway, Halloween was fun and mellow.

On Friday the first, I had my very first day of substitute teaching! It was a success and I only punched one kid (he deserved it)! I taught Sign Language and Music to middle school kids. I definitely think that my teaching year in Korea prepared me for it. I was pretty calm and confident and I think that the kids didn't hate me. I don't think I was as energetic in my middle school classes, but then again, it WAS the day after Halloween, and every kid had a bag of candy with them.

Short story shorter: I officially started my second job as a substitute teacher and didn't suck at it. Yay me!

Friday night, after teaching, I met up with my friend Marty (hi Marty!) and his GF and we drove to Zion to see the movie Gravity in 3D in the IMAX theater. It was super cool. I really enjoyed my time. The best part (relatively speaking) was that the admission price was less that it would have been at the scuzzy theaters in my poor provincial town. The price for a movie is $8.50, plus $2.00 for 3D, on a regular sized silver screen. The Zion theater, which I had a dollar-off coupon for, came to a total of $9.00 for 3D on a screen bigger than you could shake a stick at.
It was an hour's drive to get there though... Oh well, it was a treat-yo-self kind of thing that I don't regret at all.

I swear there was something else I wanted to write about....

Um....Oh! My roommate told me about this other blog called hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com and though I'd vaguely heard of it before, I finally started reading it. Holy jackalope, that girl is SO funny! If you want to read about her unnaturally crazy life and don't mind glossing over the occasional cuss words, you'll have a snorty good time.

I'll write another post when I think of something amazing to tell all you non-existent readers out there. Until then, happy Novemember!

It snowed and was really cold today. :(

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Farewell Piano Recital

Today was a day that I dreaded for the last month: I was the closing performance in a piano recital.
Like any day that we dread, the day came right on schedule and the recital went as planned.
I've been freaking out with stress and nerves about it. Every time I tried playing it through I made some huge mistake and worried that I'd never be ready in time for the recital.
Well, I'm back from the recital and I played last, and lo! I did...okay. I don't even feel bad about the mistakes I made (of which there were several), because everyone there was only there to have fun. I don't think anybody played perfectly, but it didn't bother me at all, and I'm sure that my mistakes won't bother them either. My dad recorded my performance, so I can relive those shaky, sweaty, knee jiggling 2.5 minutes for years to come if I choose.
No matter how I feel I did, I got compliments for my performance, and that meant a lot. My teacher told me I did great, and someone I didn't know said I gave a "rousing finale". Some people even recognized my costume! I was Finn the Human from Adventure Time; I had the Golden Sword of Battle and everything.
Next week will be my last piano lesson because I have a second job now...(drum roll)... I'm a substitute teacher! The extra money will be nice and I will eventually treat myself with the new Pokemon X/Y game. Haters back off!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Dracula!

My past week has been full of Dracula-related stuff. I finished the book by Stoker, had book club on Drac, went to a play, and drank blood to see what all the fuss was about.
First of all, I finished the book and thought it was pretty good. It was a little slow at times, but the plot was cool and the final scene was dramatic and exciting. It was also pretty long. If it were written today I bet an editor would have cut it down 75 pages or so. 
Anyway, I read it because I had to lead the discussion for book club at the library. I was totally unsure on how many people would be there, so I made lots of cake pops in case there were lots of people. I'm glad I made a practice batch a month ago because these were much easier this time. 

I went the extra-extra mile and added frosting flames and handles so they looked more like cauldrons. They turned out so great!
In addition to the treats, I made a poster and bookmarks to advertise the event. They also were awesome!
The bookmarks were little coffins! Cutting them out was a pain, but they looked way good. For the poster, I embossed with gold the black paper, and had letters from the story around the edge. I even sealed them with wax. I used a picture by Edward Gorey from his own 'Dracula' that I thought was perfect. 
Then last night I went to a production of Dracula at the Parowan theater with my friend. The play was fun, even if a LOT was changed from the original story. The guy who played Dracula himself was effectively creepy, and his accent was on the mark. The guy who played Renfield is a friend of mine, and he was good too. 
(I made this advert too, hoping it would help out the book club. I don't think it did...)
I'm in the October mood now and watching scary movies and reading ghost stories. Today I worked on my sword for my costume, and it's looking good so far! I still have to sand and paint it, but my Halloween costume is turning out nicely... I'll post a picture when I'm all done!


Monday, September 30, 2013

Sept. 30th, I Did It!

Well, this is it, the last post in my 30 day pointless challenge.
What have I learned? Nothing, except that I can commit to do something for a full month if it's not too hard.

I just checked back on my posts from London to see if I told the following story or not, and it turns out I didn't, so here's a little story from when I went to Phantom of the Opera:

I paid the cheapest amount possible for seats in the nose-bleeds(which were still expensive), but I was happy enough. The theater was a full house and the Asian girl who sat next to me was the worst. She was playing on her phone and recording the show, and actually screamed when she was startled. She also unwrapped her candy or whatever during the play - was she even trying to be quiet? Unwrapping candy is like ripping apart Velcro - there's no quite way to do it, no matter how slow you go. SUPER annoying! An usher finally made her put her phone away, but that didn't stop her from talking to her friend on the other side of her. Ugh, I was so annoyed.
Then, at intermission, when the lights came back up, she asks me as well as she could, "Is the show over?"
I told her yes and she left and I enjoyed the peace and extra elbow room for the rest of the play.
Just kidding, I wish. I was honest and told her that there was more. It was a half second battle of epic proportions in my mind: be kind and deal with her annoying and terrible manners, or lie and enjoy the show....
She must have been better behaved for the second half, because I don't remember an incident after intermission, but holy cow she should have known better. I mean, we had equally bad seats, but we still paid lots for them....
That reminds me of a movie I went to about a month ago: World War Z. I went to the cheap theater to see it because I guess I had nothing better to do, and I arrived early enough to get a decent seat. Well, in comes an adult couple with their toddler. WTH? They actually brought a 3 (maybe 4) year old to a 9 pm showing of a zombie movie?
Anyway, they sat directly behind me and my friend, and when the kid spilled all their candy we just lifted up our feet and listened to it roll to the front of the theater. It got even better when the kid was not happy, so the mom says maybe they should leave. Uh, are you sure, lady? So the dad says that they'd give the movie another 10 minutes to see if it got "better" (I guess he meant "less scary FOR A CHILD?!?) and that he'd heard that it was a really good movie and wanted to stay. They gave the movie more time to calm down and be less scary, but it didn't because it's a blinkin' ZOMBIE MOVIE.
Yes, little one, I hate your parents too.
The mom left with the kid, I guess, and the dad stayed behind. After the movie ended (like an hour and a half later) the mom and kid were in the lobby waiting for the dad. I don't know if they waited the WHOLE movie in the lobby, but I didn't feel sympathy because I'm a jerk.
Here are my thoughts on this experience. People go to the cheap theater - which shows movies after they've already been out for a few months - because they like the "theater experience." They could literally watch the movie a few weeks later in their own home with refreshments that don't cost more than the movie's budget. That's why I go, because I like the huge screen and good sound and [generally] the "do not disturb" aspect of movie theaters.
And that's why I felt no sympathy for this couples' ruined movie date. If the same thing had happened in Monsters University I would not have cared at all, but if you bring a child into an adult movie after bedtime and cause a scene, I hope you trip on the crappy carpet on the way out and that the kid pukes in the car on the way home from eating too much popcorn.
Seriously, I don't care if the cinema charges 13 dollars or 3 for admission, DON'T bring your kids to movies for grown ups.
Rant over.

Even though I have finished this monthly blog-daily thing, I'll write again soon, I'm sure, what with new job experiences coming soon (I hope)......
Anyway, until then....

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sept. 29th, Penultimate Post (for September)

I don't know if anyone has been following my posts (I don't think there have been any, actually) but I've been blogging everyday this month just for shiz and gigs. I had no motive or goal, I just decided to do it. I did it before, and that time I was living abroad and having adventures all the time. This month, though, I have stayed at home in my hometown and worked almost everyday and I don't think I even left my town. If I did it must not have been too eventful since I can't remember it....
So, because I've had no purpose with this blog-everyday thing, I think it's obvious that my content has been suffering in quality and stuff. Even I don't think that what I'm writing is very interesting. I think that if this were an anonymous blog that none of my friends or family knew about, then I could probably make it more interesting and use personal stories about crazy people that wouldn't get me in trouble (since I work for the city and all).
So, as you know if you read this blog in the last week, I broke down and bought a 3DS moments after posting about how I would not buy one. Anyway, it's super fun! I have Animal Crossing and it's a delight. I need my friends who convinced me to get a 3DS to get the game now so THEY can be cool. And so that I can visit other towns.
I'm writing about wanting to visiting other places in a video game for fun. What have I become...

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sept. 28th, Moving Day!

Today was really busy because I spent most of the day helping my aunt and her family move. It was actually mostly fun though, even though my fingers are sore and I'm sure my muscles will decide to die in the next day or so. It was fun because I got to spend time with so much of my family. Really, there was only one uncle from my moms side that wasn't able to be there. Had he come, we could have busted out a turkey and called it Thanksgiving.
My aunt moved to a place about 15 minutes away from the middle of town, and into a house that has a very pretty view of the mountains and a lake. All year long the view will be nice. The house itself is pretty new (as far as I could tell) and will suit their awesome and heavy furniture very nicely.
That was all I did today. From 9 this morning to 9 at night. They had a lot of stuff, but we got it all in the house/garage with the help of probably 20 people who came to help. We also had a lot of pizza for dinner.
I was also able to spend time with my grandma and just chat during lifting-boxes breaks, and it was nice to catch up and talk about all sorts of stuff before being called back to move a dresser down some stairs.
One thing that was a huge pain was moving their upright piano. I knew they were heavy, but I've not actually had to lift and transport one before. It took four of us to get it out of the truck and onto the ground. I wonder how the wooden case of the whole piano can support the weight that's inside. (Okay, so I just googled how much an upright piano weighs....it's not as much as I thought, being estimated around 400-500 lbs....but still, way hard to move!)

I'm going to help them unpack and stuff tomorrow after church, and after that I'm going to help my brother and his family move across town. They live in a small apartment and have a couch and bed and stuff. No pianos or enormous bookshelves in sight, thank goodness.

Well, that's all for today, come by tomorrow for the penultimate post for the month of September!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Sept. 27th, Weekend!

What day is it, even? This week so far has felt both soooo slow, and yet I still feel like the weekend sure got here fast...
So today at work I processed an inter-library loan that isn't due until November. Which is like 5 weeks away. It dawned on me how fast this whole last year has gone. It seems like I only got back from Korea a few months ago, not 14 months ago. All of this also mean that the holidays are just around the river bend. I'm all set for Halloween, and I'm going to be visiting my parents for Thanksgiving, I'm sure, and after that is Christmas. I usually like planning gifts and stuff for Christmas, but this year money is a little less abundant, so I'm probably going to stay thoughtful but spend [far] less.
Today I found a picture of my great-grandpa online in some digitized photo archives. It was kind of fun to see what he looked like many years ago, and I printed it out so I could show my grandma when I see her later tonight (or tomorrow, I'm not sure which it will be). I think it's pretty awesome the way technology can bridge generations, whether through genealogy or photos. Future people will have more photos of us than they'll know what to do with, as well as pictures of everyone's food, thanks to Instagram.
So anyway, I'm glad it's the weekend. I'm helping family move in tomorrow, and I think I might have to go to a REALLY early morning meeting on Sunday, but I'll live. I hope. I'm not a morning person. Wish me luck.

Okay, come back tomorrow if you want to read more!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sept. 26th, Hi-Tech

Today my gift to myself came in the mail! I'm now the owner of a Nintendo 3DS, and I must say, it's quite cool. The 3D is trippy too: its depth isn't super realistic, but it's good enough for playing games. The camera feature is pretty fun too, since the pictures are also in 3D.
It came with a little carrying bag, but I really don't like it, so I started to crochet a new one, but I ended up making it a smidge too small, so I decided to unravel it - I'll make another one some other day.

My aunt and her family, who have lived in northern Utah my whole life, are moving to my city this weekend! I know that I'm not a child anymore, but I'm so excited to be able to play with my cousins more and also visit their whole family. They are super crafty and love creativity just like me! This fact could either be super awesome or a terrible curse, depending on how deep we delve into our craftiness. No matter what I'll have hand-made things to decorate my shelves with!

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sept. 25th, Blogging from my iPod

Today I was fingerprinted. I wasn't arrested or anything, it was just part of the background check. It was pretty cool though, because they don't use ink any more I guess. Instead they sprayed my fingers with water and I stuck them on a glass thing. The computer next to the glass thing showed my prints on a large screen in real time and could tell if my prints were clear enough. The whole thing took like 5 minutes though, because my minutiae weren't showing up or something exciting like that. 
It's one more step to getting another job! 
After that, I went to piano lessons. I practiced a lot this week, and felt pretty good going into my lesson. Of course I did badly though. I have just less than a month to perfect my piece. I'm a touch nervous.
I also made a really cool poster for Dracula, for the book club. It better get lots of attention because I worked a lot on it. I'll post a picture tomorrow. 
As the title says, I'm blogging from my iPod. If there are embarrassing autocorrects, I'm leaving them as the are as a testament to he technology. 
See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sept. 24th, The Willpower of a Snowflake

Confession time.
About 11 minutes after I published yesterday's post, I found myself on eBay and within the hour bought a 3DS XL. What the shoe is wrong with me?! All I can say is, I am excited to get it and have the fun I want to have.
I actually got a pretty good deal on the thing, and it came with 2 games, so I hope that I don't get buyer's remorse. I have a friend (hi Marty!) that said he'll let me borrow some games too, so I think I'll have plenty of fun. Plenty, I say!

Besides that, I have to go get fingerprinted and background checked tomorrow. I'm not  worried in the slightest. I just think it's dumb that it costs so much. Oh well, I guess they say "you gotta spend money to make money" for some reason, right?

I think I should color my hair blond. For Halloween. And because I'm wishy-washy about everything, why not my hair color? It might be fun. And it would look better for my Finn the Human get-up for Halloween. I just think that I'd hate it right away since my hair would grow out and look gross. Ok, I've decided it's not worth doing.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sept. 23rd, Lament

I want a Nindendo 3DS XL. I want one really bad but I'm trying to be smart about it by not getting one right now. I hear they can play Netflix and they can also download old games.
I've only ever played with a 3DS twice, totaling about 12 minutes or so. It's hard to drop so much money on something that I'm not sure I'll love and/or use that much. I just really want to play Animal Crossing New Leaf. Peer pressure is a part of this desire too.
I have first world problems.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sept. 22nd, Adventure Time!

I seem to miss the fandom train as it comes through town until a few years later. Firefly, Buffy, Lost...."Parks and Rec" is probably I've been with since the beginning. 
There's a different show that I've recently been quite into called "Adventure Time" and it's so cool. I know that it's popular and I'm not unique for liking it, but that show's short episodes are so cool and always put a smile on my stony face. It's also still running, so I can watch new episodes! 
It's a cartoon about a boy named Finn (who is the last human in existence) and his dog pall Jake, who can morph into any shape due to rolling in some peculiar mud when he was a puppy. They go on adventures throughout the Land of Ooo and do noble deeds and stuff.
Jake the Dog and Finn the Human - Their fun will never end!

What I like most about this show is that it's usually pretty random and bumps the crazy up to an 11. It's a nontraditional show in that the animation and characters are bizarre and the plots are even weirder. Underneath all that, there is a sort of hush-hush history revealed a tiny bit at a time - there was some sort of terrible apocalyptic war that destroyed all humans (except Finn - as an infant?) called the Great Mushroom War. There's also a huge evil demon called The Lich that is pretty freaky and could cause nightmares if you let it.
But none of that matters usually, and the episodes are bonkers and happy and sooooo funny! One of my favorite moments in the show is when Finn takes off his hat and we see what's underneath. Behold!
The other characters include Princess Bubblegum of the Candy Kingdom, Lumpy Space Princess, an Ice King (not to be confused with "a Nice King"), Lady Rainicorn - she's dating Jake, Tree Trunks the mini elephant, Gunter the evil penguin, the Earl of Lemongrab, and many many more.
If you're ever in need of a 12 minute pick-me-up, look no further than your watch (and your TV), because it's:

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sept 21st, Random Things

Last night my BFF came back to town! It was for a sad reason though, since her cat was super sick and dying. Her cat was really old, like 300 in cat years, and the old age caught up :( It's sad, but the cat lived a good life. Today the vet had to put the cat down to end it's awful suffering. The cat is in heaven now and can probably eat and be lazy all the time.
That's the only downside to having pets. I mean, cleaning up after them and house training is a huge pain, but you get to love them and their personalities and such. The downside is that they don't live very long compared to people, and so it's likely that you'll outlive your pet and have to watch them age and become more and more sickly. Not fun.

I don't mean for this to become another post about death, so, moving on!

I just learned about this cool gizmo called ChromeCast, which is a google streaming device that you plug into your TV's HDMI port and you can watch stuff by streaming it from your iPod or computer or whatever. It seems pretty cool, and for $35 I'd say it's totally worth it. I'll wait a bit though, since I'm trying to cut back on frivolous spending, and I really don't need it (thought I really want it!)...

I heard this really great piano solo of a piece I love from the movie called The Village, and the song is called "The Gravel Road" and it's so pretty that I'm putting here for you to listen to.
I printed off the sheets for it, so maybe someday I'll be able to play it!

I had a job interview yesterday that I think I did very well in. I totally looked the part too - they'd be crazy not to hire me! I'm pretty sure I've got it, since I asked when I'd find out, and the interviewer said that the only thing left is for my background check to clear.... Let me say, that won't be a problem! Anyway, I'll update with more info as it comes.

See ye on the morrow!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Sept. 20th, Death

This past summer was pretty awesome. I got to go back to London and do all sorts of great stuff and make new friends and meet up with old ones. I wrote all about that trip already, just go back to my May 2013 posts.
Even though all that was great, I was dealt a dose of reality too.
Before you think that something tragic and permanent happened, let me tell you that things are fine now.
So, my dad was having debilitating pains in his upper guts, and thought it was maybe his lung or something, and it happened two or three times since the beginning of the year. The pain was last for no more than a day, and I guess once you feel better you don't feel like going to the doctor. Then one morning my mom called me at work saying that my dad was in the ER and they don't know what's wrong, etc. and I sort of had a melt-down. I thought my dad was dying. So, yeah, that wasn't fun at all. I took the day off and rushed to the hospital to see what was going on.
After X-rays with no info and blood tests that were inconclusive at first (since I guess they didn't know what to look for), it was eventually realized that his pancreas was freaking hugely swollen and that's what was causing the huge pains. They took about a day to realize why he had pancreatitus - they discovered that his gallbladder wasn't functioning properly anymore.
So he had to stay a full week in the hospital and recover and be miserable. My mom was a trooper and stayed with him almost the whole time. I got stuff done at home so they wouldn't have to worry about it.
Overall it was hugely stressful and worrisome.
A few weeks after getting out of the hospital, my dad got his gallbladder removed and has been doing perfectly well. They didn't let him keep the organ in a jar though. I bet they just threw it away. Wasteful...

The reason I wrote all that out was because tons of family were calling me - my mom and dad were busy with hospital stuff - and I was telling them what I could, and their worry was heartfelt and sincere. I started to think how much worse it would be if he had been worse. Then I started thinking about how, someday, he WILL die. We all will. I believe in heaven and that I'll see my loved ones again, but that wasn't the point.
I'm pretty lucky that no one in my close family has passed away from anything but old age, and those people have been my great-grandparents. With my dad's health scare, I thought about how one of my aunts or uncles will be the first to die in their family. It could even be one of my parents. Someday it will be my cousins, my brothers, and someday it will be me.
For a long time, there hasn't been any family funerals for me to attend. I have a decently large family with dozens and dozens of cousins and aunts and uncles and my grandparents, and I think the last relative's funeral I went to was my great-grandpa's in 2001.
Anyway, I'm not meaning to dwell on the frailty of life and sad stuff, just that realizing that people I know and love are going to die, and that I'm going to die and leave behind loved ones, was kind of a weird thought to process. I guess it made me think about how our time on earth is limited. I could get all deep and stuff and write about how we should all take advantage of out time and why, and tell you how I learned to seize the day and you should too, etc..... But I'm not going to write about any of that. I should get life insurance instead.
Maybe some people think about the reality of dying more often and younger than I have, but I feel like, for me, it's important to think about. How will I handle the inevitable event of someone I care deeply about dying? I hope that it doesn't happen for a very long time, that's for sure.

I don't have any sort of conclusion here, so this is probably an awkward ending.
See you tomorrow (I hope)!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sept. 19th, Gothic Fiction

Well, this morning I got my hair cut. Except I chickened out and didn't go very short. I still got a really good trim and maybe an inch and a half off the top. I'm not going to post pictures, it's not that interesting.

To prep for the book club discussion I have to lead next month, I've started Dracula, but I'm listening to the audio-book so I can multitask. So far, the book is quite interesting: the level of horror and stuff in the first couple chapters is pretty heavy, especially for a book written when it was, and I like how it's presented as journal entries and letters. I read that it was likely Stoker's intention to write a straight-forward horror story with Gothic elements, rather than a Gothic story alone. This was likely since the heyday of Gothic literature was some decades before Dracula was published. Nevertheless, it's quite effective in creating a rich and gloomy atmosphere.
I wonder why I don't read more classic Gothic literature. I have really quite liked the stuff I've read. I like that it's eerie and spooky without being vile or too disgusting, and that the writing is really rich and beautiful. It would be fun to read enough old books to really get comfortable using language their way, and then to raise kids and always talk like that in the home. Then when the kids go to school, their teachers will all think they're spooky little kids from beyond the grave. Especially if I dress them like this:
They'll also speak in whispers and seldom laugh but often smile.
I read another vampire book a while ago called "Carmilla" by Joseph le Sheridan Fanu, and it is older than Dracula by a while, but it was still pretty spooky. It's free to download, so anyone with an e-reader can get it no hassle! Another Gothic book I read was called "Edgar Huntly, Or, Memoirs of a Sleepwalker" by Charles Brockden Brown. It was different than other books I've read, and I might not have liked it, except we studied it in one of my English classes in college, and I thought it was pretty cool.

I have the day off tomorrow, and I was planning on going to my cabin, but I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon so I have to stay home. Anyway, I get to sleep in, which will be so good. This morning I woke up a littler earlier than normal so I could get to my hair appointment, and it was so cold in my room! I sleep with the window open in the summer, but last night it got to 41 degrees (Fahrenheit)! I don't think it was that cold in my room, but getting out of my warm bed was especially challenging. I should start waking up/going to bed earlier than I have been, to prepare myself for the time when regular work hours and stuff aren't at 10 am. Ha, wish me luck with that.
Come back tomorrow if you want to read more!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sept. 18th, A Couple Things

Yesterday when I was writing my post, I had an idea for hat I could write about today. I forgot what that was though. At work this afternoon, I had another idea, but I for got that too. So, today's post will have no theme and we'll see were this takes us.

I had piano lessons today. The lessons are good, but I had to tell my teacher today that I won't be taking lessons after October. It was hard and I felt bad. I've known that I wouldn't continue lessons for about a month now, and today I finally thought it was the right time to tell my teacher. I'm going to miss lessons a bunch, especially because my teacher lets me choose the pieces, no matter how weird they are or what video game they're from. If I can do lessons again in the future, I know I'll go back to the same teacher.

Tomorrow morning bright and early I'm going to get my hair chopped off. It's not that it's getting too long or shaggy, but it's getting tiresome to do. Also, I have to meet with someone on Friday, so I want to look my best.
The thing about my hair is that it's thick, but straight as uncooked spaghetti, and it sticks up in the back. If y hair is a little long, the weight keeps those cowlicks in check. I worry that with every haircut where I go short, I'll have to deal with the stupid cowlicks constantly. I should try to find some pictures of hairstyles that might work and let the stylist tell me which would be best.
One time, when I was probably in first grade, I went to get my hair cut and I told the girl-who-would-cut-my-hair that I wanted it cut like Mikey's hair from Goonies. The poor fool had never seen that movie and didn't know who I was talking about. I left that appointment sad and not with Mikey hair at all.
What I'm hoping for is something that I can have be a mess and still look okay. Does such a thing exist? I guess I'll find out.
See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sept. 17th, Career Woes, Sort Of...

I like my job as a librarian, I really do. Unfortunately, because of the way my city is structured and budget stuff and everything else, I'll basically never have much of a career ladder to climb and be stuck at part-time, minimum wage until people either retire, move, or die. Even when one of those things happens and a higher-up position opens up, there are tons of other people who would try for the opening. Most of my co-workers are either sorta-recently graduated from college, still in college, or have a family of their own to support. I'm really no more "deserving" of a promotion than any other people I work with. We're all poor young-ish people supporting ourselves and in need of health benefits and other things that were once a given in most professions.
So, because of all that, I've been on the lookout for another job for a year now, and submitted dozens of applications and had some interviews, but nothing has come to fruition. It's frustrating and depressing and I've considered moving abroad again to find a good paying job. I would much prefer to be able to stay near my friends and family than move 10,000 miles away, but who knows where I'll be in a year or two?
Some of my coworkers have an additional job or two since part-time minimum wage is simply not enough to live on. (Well, maybe it is,barely, but it's quite stressful and not easy.) Since it seems that no business in my town will ever hire full-time (in what seems to be an effort to avoid paying employee benefits), part-time seems like its about the only option, and having more than one job is also becoming the norm for people my age, college graduate or not.
There are some interesting articles about how healthcare issues are pushing the country into a part-time job nation. Should I be concerned that I'll never have a single, full-time job? (See this page and this page for sources.)
Well, today I made a decision to apply to another part-time job. That's not that amazing, I guess, but for a year I've been trying to find a full-time position just about anywhere; accepting that another part-time job is maybe the only thing I have a chance at is a little sad. It's not like I'm giving up, but it does feel like I'm admitting a certain kind of defeat.
I usually don't get too personal in this blog, because heaven forbid someone reads this and asks me about my feelings...ugh (and if anyone IS reading this and asks me about my feelings, I will kindly tell you "no"). Anyway, because I still enjoy a little mystery about myself, I'm not going to tell what I'm applying for, except that the receptionist I talked to today was very encouraging and positive, so I think I have a chance. I'll post later if I find out good news. Wish me luck.

I hope this post doesn't seem negative or pessimistic. I know I'm not the only one feeling bummed about this kind of thing, and I'm not trying to be whiny. I feel like I'm being positive in an uncertain time as much as possible. Also, I'm not worried that my boss might see this, since he is aware and quite supportive and understanding of me and my coworkers in this situation - this is no secret to him.

Come back tomorrow if you want - I'll post again!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sept. 16th, Tee Shirts!

I think that if I had whatever-it-is that could put designs on tee shirts and stuff I would only wear my own designs. Well, maybe that's cheating, because I'd design them with things that already exist. I might even get in trouble for copyright stuff. I don't know.
Anyway, here are some designs I would put on tee shirts. Enjoy!
Because obviously this would be awesome.

I love LotR, and I would love a shirt with this symbol

I hate when people call me hun, honey, sweetheart..... I actually want to call people out on it and ask "Do you even know me?" when they say it. At work it is the worst!

This would have the words "I may vomit" next to his face. I'm serious.

I also love Zelda, and this symbol on a brown shirt would be super cool.
I could think of more, but I don't have them as pictures, and I don't want to make them in MS Paint right now (or ever).
Someday I'll have everything my heart desires and I'll make these tee shirts. You just wait!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sept. 15th, Kaiju!

Yesterday I went to a matinee at the cheap theater in my town (that seems to be happening about every week these days) to see Pacific Rim. I was not expecting a deep and emotional story, I wanted to see Mechas fighting Monsters, and boy did it deliver!
Not only was the action fun and entertaining, there was so much color! AND GLaDOS was in it! Well, Ellen McLain did the voice of the announcement system. Every time she spoke I uttered a little giggle that my friend whom I was with would never understand. We did share quite the snorty laugh at the very end of the movie when rescue copters fly right passed the people they are supposed to rescue (it was all for visual impressiveness, I'm sure) - we called out "come back" all raspy and weakly just like Rose in Titanic. Maybe it's not that funny to other people, but gosh dang it was funny to us!

Well, a new week is upon us. I don't have any concrete plans. I hope to go to my happy cabin in the mountains this week, but that will depend on my work schedule and stuff. I hope that tomorrow, being a Monday, work is not too crazy. Last Monday was literally one of the worst days at the library. I even got to call the police! Let's just say that drunk people who harass others suck, and especially if they crap on the floor (yep, that happened).

Be nice to your librarians and your librarians will be nice to you!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sept. 14th, PostCrossing!

Several years ago a friend of mine told me about PostCrossing.com. It's a website where people can send postcards to each other. It might sound lame, but it's really fun!
Here's how it works: Once you're a member (which is free and easy), you can click "Send A Postcard" and the site will email you a name and an address of someone else on the site, along with a special code to put on the postcard. So, you make or buy a postcard and send it off to them. When they get the card, they log in to PostCrossing and enter in the code on the card signaling that they received it. Once that code is entered, you, the sender, are next in line to have a card sent to you! As long as you send a card, you'll get a card!
The whole thing is simple and fun. I've received 9 cards from around the world. Germany, Belarus, Holland.... And some senders go above and beyond: I got a postcard in an envelope once, along with a sampling of some tea that they liked and photos of their town.
The community is so friendly and you can even reply to the senders to say thanks or to continue writing. It's a perfect pen-pal finder!
The only downside is that I never have stamps on hand (especially global stamps) so I don't send postcards as often as I'd like. It does make it a treat to be able to send one and wait for the mailbox to bring back a card for me, though.
So, if you're looking for a fun and relatively cheap hobby that takes hardly any effort at all, try PostCrossing! It will make you and your mailbox happy!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Sept. 13th, Cake-Pops and Curses!

Today is Friday the 13th! I don't even think I mentioned that out loud today...
Work was pretty good. For having a freaking CRAZY Monday, the rest of the week seemed tame. Also, I was off at 3 today so I felt pretty good.
My mom and I had plans for dinner and stuff, so after work I went to the store to pick up some stuff for the trial cake-pops we were going to make. Walmart, which has everything, did not have the candy melts that I needed, so I had to run to the craft store in town to buy them.
Craft stores are my weakness. I usually don't make it out without spending more than I intended. Today, though, I did well and only bought some cool border stamps for like 5 dollars. Semi-self control!
After all that running around I went to my parent's house to make practice cake-pops with my mom. My mom was awesome and already made the cake so it would be cool when I got there. We crumbled up the cake and added the frosting, and we used a cookie baller to make uniform cake balls. It worked like a dream. That is, it worked like a dream until it came time to dip them in the melted chocolate.
It's been very rainy lately and so humid, and I think that is why the dipping sucked so bad. The chocolate just would NOT stay smooth. Eventually I went online to see if other people had the problem and I saw that someone recommended a small amount shortening to smooth it all up. It worked so well! we'd tried the oil already like the bag said, but the shortening made all the difference.
I didn't take pictures, but they looked pretty much like the kind in that video I posted from YouTube the other day, except without the flames at the base.
It was a lot of work, but it was fun spending time with my mom and stuff. We also had shrimp Alfredo pasta - three [of many] of my favorite things.
Okay, so no Friday the 13th would be complete without something weird, and in this case, gross and annoying. Flies! Flies everywhere! I don't know where they all came from, but there were so many at my parents house today! Even my mom was freaking out because they were attacking out house! There may be some nefarious haunting going on, or a rotting corpse in the garage, or suddenly flies like the scent of canning chili.... but those darn-hootin' flies were so annoying and they just kept appearing. It reminded me of the "chickens with large talons" lunch scene in Napoleon Dynamite. So gross, ugh I hate flies. I was diligent in keeping the horrid things away from the food and treat-making though.
Tomorrow is Saturday! I'm planning to go to the matinee of Pacific Rim at the town's cheap theater. I don't know much about this movie, except that GLaDOS's voice is in it. Nerd much? I don't even care, I want GLaDOS to narrate my life for me.
See you tomorrow!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sept. 12th, I'm Cheating Today

I try to do what I say I'm going to do, and this bogging thing is suddenly way hard to do everyday! I've had stuff in my mind in advance to write about almost everyday so far this month, but today I'm out of ideas.
And that is why I'm cheating today. I'm writing this post and fulfilling my blog-everyday-this-month duty, but content-wise, this is pretty weak.
Yesterday when I was going to work, I saw a big black tower of smoke not-too-far off, but I never discovered what it came from.
I want Avatar: The Last Airbender on DVD and it's finally not that expensive now. They're like $15 a season on Amazon right now. Someone buy them for me!
Okay, that's all for today! See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Sept 11th, Book Club

I participate in a little book club. It's something that I never really thought I'd do. I have no real relationship with anyone else that attends (and lately the number of people is around 4). Nevertheless, I do enjoy discussing books and stuff. I think being an English major made me a little overenthusiastic about defending my point or opinion, so when the topics get a little crazy or out of hand, I don't feel too bad about saying what I want to say to try to steer the discussion back on track.
This leads me to what happened at the book club this week. After we finished our discussion, we were trying to plan the next two months, and one of the members printed out a pretty good and informed list of books. After she explained a bit about them so we could better choose, they asked me what I thought. Well, I was polite, but voiced my opinion. I said that since it would be October, it might be fun to do a scary book. I also said that I didn't have any particular titles in mind, but something by Susan Hill or Bradbury or Shirley Jackson might be fun. I included Dracula and Frankenstein in there too.
To my surprise, they agreed with me without much "selling" on my part! The other person's book suggestion will be done in November, and I'm so glad that she wasn't left out.
So, it came down to a coin toss between Frankenstein and Dracula, and Dracula won. Since I was the one who suggested it, I "get" to be the discussion leader. I guess that means I better start reading the book! I'm actually kind of excited about this: I haven't been able to really plan a discussion or presentation or anything since college. And the best part is, I have a month to plan it and there is no grade attached!
I also get to bring treats, which I'm excited about. I found these on YouTube and they look fun and doable!
Harry Potter, Halloween, and Candy! My favorite things! I might have to make a batch way ahead of time to make sure it's something I can manage. I think that I'd not use the stick though, and instead put them in mini cupcake holders. Preferably fiery orange ones.... If it proves too difficult, I might just frost sugar cookies and make jack-o-lantern faces out of chocolate chips.
Like I mentioned, the book group is pretty small, and I guess it used to be quite huge. I'm going to make a poster and bookmarks for the library (I do it for every month's book club) and hopefully really sell the whole "Halloween Theme" that will be going on.
Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sept. 10th, About Yesterday's Post...

Yesterday I posted 10 Top 10 lists, and after publishing it, I kept thinking of other things that I should have put in the lists instead. So, instead of looking at those answers as an end-all for what I think is best, just think of the listed things as 10 of the things that I like in that category.
Except the one about that bugs I hate, that will stay the same forever, I think.

So, the weather....
It's been rainy and not too warm for the past few days and it is SO nice! Working at the library on a rainy day feels so right. Also, the library is not as busy on rainy days, so in addition to having a perfect atmosphere, things don't usually get too hectic.
This rain is making everything feel like a mild autumn and it's wonderful.
Tonight I'm going to a book club, but instead of talking about the book-of-the-month, this time we are each going to spend just a few minutes and tell the group about a book that we love and why we love it. It's so stress-free and easy, a caveman could do it! I'm going to take "The Neverending Story" because I think its so fun and imaginative. I wanted to take another book called "Silence" by Shusaku Endo but I don't know where my copy is. "Silence" is not a happy book at all, but it is profound and really makes the reader think a lot about their own faith and how far they will let people push them before relenting. I recommend it to anyone who wants a good, thought-provoking story and doesn't mind having their heart ripped out a few times in the process.

This post is short, whether that's good or bad, I'll let you decide. See you tomorrow!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sept. 9th, 100th Post!!!

Wow, 100 posts! I guess for a blog that's 3 years old, that's not that impressive. But still! I'm surprised I've made it this far, especially since my life is pretty average these days and I don't have that much to write about.
For the 50th post on this blog, I wrote 50 things about myself (read it here). For this 100th post, I'm not going to do that again. Instead, I'm going to write 10 Top 10 lists on various things.
Just to clarify, the top 10 things aren't necessarily in order, they are just the top 10 in that category (in my ever-changing opinion), and I encourage you to check them out. Enjoy!

Top 10 Movies (This list changes often for me)

  1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
  2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  3. Matilda
  4. The Matrix Trilogy
  5. V For Vendetta
  6. Return to Oz
  7. The Village (haters gon' hate)
  8. Hocus Pocus
  9. Clue
  10. Tron: Legacy

Top 10 Nintendo Games

  1. Legend of Zelda (all of them, but especially "Ocarina of Time" and "A Link to the Past")
  2. Super Smash Bros. Melee
  3. Animal Crossing
  4. Super Mario World
  5. Donkey Kong Country
  6. Super Mario Galaxy (both of them - so fun!)
  7. Pokemon Yellow
  8. Mario Kart 64
  9. Super Monkey Ball 2
  10. Super Mario 64


Top 10 Classical Pieces (YouTube these!)

  1. Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 (and 3!)
  2. Saint-Saens' Dans Macabre
  3. Respighi's Pines of Rome (especially the Appian Way movement)
  4. Gorecki's 3rd Symphony, 2nd movement
  5. Handel's Worthy is the Lamb/Amen (all of Messiah, actually)
  6. Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 2, Allegro
  7. Holst's The Planets (Mars will knock your socks off!)
  8. Wagner's Tristan and Isolde Prelude and Liebestod
  9. Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition (especially the finale!)
  10. Grieg's Peer Gynt
    And SO many more!

Top 10 Foods

  1. Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
  2. Tacos, Burritos, anything Mexican
  3. Pizza!
  4. Lasagna
  5. Pasta! Any kind!
  6. Kimbap - it's Korean and so good!
  7. Artichokes
  8. Salmon
  9. French Fries
  10. Homemade cookies

Top 10 Disney Rides

  1. Soarin' Over California
  2. California Screamin'
  3. Space Mountain
  4. Haunted Mansion
  5. Thunder Mountain
  6. Tower of Terror
  7. Thunder Mountain
  8. Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye
  9. Toy Story Mania
  10. Pirates of the Caribbean

Top 10 Books (Or Series) - This list will change constantly, but these are all books I'd read again.

  1. His Dark Materials - Philip Pulman
  2. Harry Potter - JK Rowling
  3. Monster Blood Tattoo - DM Cornish (strange title, GREAT books!)
  4. The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  5. The Neverending Story - Michael Ende (if you judge this book by its movie I'll shun you forever)
  6. Silence - Shusaku Endo
  7. The Arrival - Shaun Tan
  8. Coraline - Neal Gaiman
  9. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs
  10. The Westing Game - Ellen Raskin

Top 10 Plays (Musicals Too)

  1. Sweeney Todd
  2. Importance of Being Earnest
  3. Phantom of the Opera
  4. One Man, Two Guvnors
  5. Midsummer Night's Dream (but only the production at the Globe in London in summer 2010)
  6. Wicked
  7. Viva Forever (Make fun and I will CUT you!)
  8. Joseph and the Amazing Never-Ending Titled Dreamcoat
  9. Wait Until Dark
  10. Les Miserables (and in London! Phenomenal!)

Top 10 Bug I HATE

  1. Earwigs
  2. Grasshoppers
  3. Spiders
  4. Moths
  5. Cockroaches
  6. Mosquitoes
  7. Worms (because they're gross)
  8. Flies
  9. Crickets
  10. Wasps
    (Bees don't freak me out because they usually keep to themselves.)

Top 10 TV Shows

  1. Parks and Recreation
  2. Adventure Time
  3. Tron: Uprising
  4. Ocean Girl
  5. Are You Afraid of the Dark?
  6. Downton Abbey
  7. The 10th Kingdom (it was a miniseries, so originally for TV)
  8. The X Files
  9. Malcolm in the Middle
  10. Family Guy (Even though it's terrible, it makes me laugh...)

Top 10 Video Game Music (Click the Links!)

  1. Super Smash Bros. Melee - Opening Titles
  2. Mario 64 - Dire Dire Dock (also, this version is amazing)
  3. Halo 4 - 117
  4. Donkey Kong Country - Aquatic Ambiance
  5. Shenmue - Main Theme
  6. Final Fantasy X - To Zanarkand
  7. Zelda - Everything! Especially Gerudo Valley, The Dark World, and Song of Healing
  8. Super Mario Galaxy - StarDust Road (also called Space Junk Galaxy)
  9. Portal - Still Alive
  10. Okami - The Sun Rises
Ok, so there you go! 100 things to check out (or avoid)! I wonder how long it will take me to get another 100 posts here.... 3 years again? Will I even blog in 3 years? We'll see!
See you tomorrow!


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sept. 8th, Waking Up Early

I am not a morning person. I hate waking up so much that even when a nice breakfast is made that I still want to just stay in bed.
One way to surely make me an angry bear is to urgently or rudely wake me up. Someday when I have kids, I fear that they will be terrified of me in the morning. I've growled before at people in my waking stages because I was too sleepy/incoherent to say words to them to leave me alone.

On principle, I never set any alarm before 7 am, because up until then, it's still night.
Well, today I actually did have to wake up earlier than usual, since I had to be in my seat at a special event by 7:40, so my first alarm went off in the 6th hour - also known as the butt-crack of dawn - and I got up and ready and was in my seat on time.
The meeting was really good (it was a church one) and I feel like it was worth getting up so early to go. I might need a few days of recovery though....
I'm not usually one to go to bed early, which makes mornings hard.... I can remember getting in trouble typically on a nightly basis for playing after I was told to go to bed throughout my childhood. My brother and I shared a room, and I don't recall him really ever getting in trouble, even though I certainly wasn't playing only on my own.
I remember one particular threat in which my parents told us that our feet had better not touch the floor the rest of the night.

Introducing: Hot Lava! The game played by kids everywhere can now be played after bedtime! All you need is furniture and to the ability to jump and laugh quietly!
So, because I've always been one to stay up late playing or reading or finding shapes in the textured ceiling, I've never really been ready to wake up when I ought to.
When I was in 4th grade (a year of my life I'm surprised I made it through) I took class violin lessons EVERY DAY BEFORE SCHOOL. I'm surprised my parents insisted that I keep going rather than sleep in a bit themselves. Waking up super early, even when it was a school holiday, was awful. And I hated school and stuff too, so I faked sick probably 80% of that school year. My parents I guess saw through it though, because I only missed a few days in total. It was that year that I honestly wanted to be home-schooled because I hated school so much. Students who were bullies, teachers who were also bullies, early morning violin lessons....I think from that year alone I have earned a lifetime of not having to wake up early. Though that may be the case, I'm certain that employers won't recognize that and I'll have to drag myself to work at whatever time they choose.
Just understand that if and when I'm hateful and ornery in the mornings, it's not you, it's me, I promise.


And a plug for tomorrow: It'll be my 100th post! Come back and check out this momentous occasion! There will be free popcorn and money for this historic event.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Sept. 7th, Piano!

For almost a year, I've been taking real piano lessons. I've taken lessons before, and for a decently long time, but this time has been lots of fun because I am basically able to choose whatever I want to play. In less than two months I'll be in my third recital since I started last October. I've been working on a really fun piece for the recital, and I'm trying to memorize it, but the chords and key modulate almost constantly. Anyway, I'm going to be ready by October if I put myself to the task.
It's a Halloween recital, so I chose a really fun piece called "The Addams Family Waltz" by Marc Shaiman. It's from the 1991 film and this particular piece doesn't have the familiar theme that everyone knows, but instead is a perfect sort of Dance Macabre. I've only found one video of someone playing the piece, and they do a pretty good job. Do you like it?
Another piece that I'm working on is one that I've been wanting to learn for years, so I'm glad that I have a teacher who can help me finally learn it. It's "Aunt Marge's Waltz" by John Williams. I've posted it about it before, but I'll post the video again...
I love this piece! It's bonkers. I think it will take a lot of practice to get it right and as fast as it's supposed to be, but I'm determined!

I'm also working on a piece called "Bells of Freedom" by Jon Schmidt, but I'm not going to post a video of that one. I'm not that big of a Jon Schmidt fan, and probably that's only the case because it seems like every single other Utahn just loves him and knows all his music and is also learning his pieces on the piano. That's pretty shallow of me, I guess. I will admit that some of his stuff is rather good, and I'm glad for the success of The Piano Guys. Beside all that, it's a piece that my teacher suggested, so I obliged.

The other stuff I'm working on is the nitty gritty... scales and arpeggios. Scales I'm not too bad at, but I'm working on arpeggios a bunch and not getting much better. In all the years of piano lessons, this is the first time I've ever done them, and they are not as easy as I wish. My biggest motivation to get them right is that there are a few pieces I'd like to learn that have some hefty arpeggios...so wish me luck!

I still try to write little music bits here and there, and even though I'm not very prolific, I still have fun with what I do. Here's a quick and short (and not too original) piece that you'll probably recognize pieces of...

I should try to add more to it since it's so short and simple. Any suggestions?

Hopefully if you read this blog I'm not boring you to death. If I am, let me know what I should blog about (but tell me nicely!).
See you tomorrow!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Sept. 6th, New Title!

For the last, oh, I don't know, two years I've wanted to change my blog's name. It used to be called "Imaginative Irony" but I didn't really ever *love* that title. I just kept it because I didn't know what else to call it. So, I was asking a great friend what I should name it and we didn't come up with anything. I was drawing a blank(!) when I decided that could be the title. It may change if something else better comes up, but what do you think?
In the beginning of my blogging days, I think that I planned on being more sarcastic and not all sunshine-and-bubbles, but I soon learned that being sarcastic, even humorously so, is kind of negative and draining. Also, I didn't want to be a jerk and make comments about people who may get wind of it or even read it directly. That would be so awkward and I know I'd feel bad.  I've actually considered creating a separate secret blog where I can dish out all the dirt and be super honest and candid and never worry about being discovered, but it's enough work keeping one blog alive. Besides, if I can't say something more-or-less nice, then I shan't say anything a'tall.

Completely unrelated: I went to The Lone Ranger at the cheap theater in my town, and I went in with basically low expectations. I though the trailer wasn't that great, and I've had my fill of Johnny Depp, and the few reviews I read were pretty awful. But the movie was cheap and I wasn't doing anything so I went.
It was SO much fun! I don't usually like to read reviews because I feel it skews my opinion, and after I saw the movie and read more real-people reviews, they seem to have thought the same - several had "Don't listen to what the critics say" in their titles. The move was a little long, but the action-western was pure fun and really funny at times. I thought it was as fun as any other summer blockbuster, and I especially loved how the music used William Tell's overture so effectively.
If you haven't seen it because of "what you've heard" about it, I say you should see it eventually just for fun. Just be aware that, for a Disney movie (even a PG-13 rated one), it's quite violent, and not just guns and arrows, but disturbing implied/off-screen stuff as well.

This post is short, but I'll be back again tomorrow to wow the world with my deep and inspiring words. K bye.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sept. 5th, Ugh - Poetry

First off, I don't mean to offend anybody with this post.
That said, I hate poetry. Hate it, hate it, hate it.
I DO enjoy Dr. Seuss and funny poems like the kind by Lewis Carroll and the like, but basically everything else is torture for me.
When I say that I hate poetry, I don't mean that I hate poems, necessarily, but I hate that they can be SOOO pretentious. I had a poetry unit in some of my lit classes in college, and some of my assignments were supposed to be done as a poem.
I did like the poetry units in school because they were really easy to do: the homework wasn't 200 pages of [insert literary tome here], the homework was 3 - 5 pages of poems that were usually not more than 30 lines long.
One of my assignments was to write about some life experience as a poem (this is in college, remember). I had no idea what I was doing, so I literally typed up my experience like a regular paragraph, then hit the Enter key every few words to make it look like a poem. Here's an example:

I go to work almost every day,
And normally, I enjoy it.
But as soon as a customer gets an attitude
With me or is rude to one of my co-workers,
I get super pissed. I'm pretty good
At holding my tongue,
But one of these times,
I
Just
Might
Snap.
Isn't it great?! With the Enter key, anyone can be a poet!
I just have a hard time feeling moved or touched from poetry - I think that prose can be far more effective and touching than what lots of poetry aims for.
I like poems that rhyme, which is apparently the lowest kind of low when it comes to poetry. I googled "best poetry" and found a site that had the ten best poems, and only one, by Sylvia Plath, had any sort of rhyme at all. Why is rhyming so terrible? Why is having a beat that is recognizable such a shame? I guess I like stuff that could sound like music, or be set to music, where the end of the line has a pause.

So, all of this leads me to a poem that I love, only because it is so viciously hated by basically everyone. It has literally been voted as the worst poem in the English language. I present to you an excerpt from "A Trajedy" by Theophile Marzials:
Death! 
Plop. 
The barges down in the river flop. 
Flop, plop, 
Above, beneath. 
From the slimy branches the grey drips drop… 
To the oozy waters, that lounge and flop… 
And my head shrieks - “Stop”
And my heart shrieks - “Die.”…
I once read this aloud to a friend and we were both laughing so hard I could hardly finish my oration. All the flopping and plopping makes me think of a slimy black nearly-dead creature crawling towards me in hunched heaves and stuff. It's beautiful.

If you internet people are aghast at my snobbery/low-brow-ness when it comes to poetry, feel free to comment below if you think there's a poem I might like. I'll try my best not to hate it, but I'm not making any promises. Bring it on!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sept 4th, What I'm Reading

I've loved reading my whole life. I was an English Lit major, and if that didn't totally burn me out for good, I think I'm set. I'm not that fast of a reader, and my interests are a bit all over, but I still usually have a couple books that I'm trying to get through at a time. Here's my current reading list:

"Sabriel" by Garth Nix
I'm only into chapter 3 at this point, and so far it's pretty interesting. There is a lot of terminology that is unique to this book, so getting things straight is sometimes a chore. It has pretty good reviews on GoodReads and Amazon, so I finally decided to see for myself. It has to do with a girl named Sabriel who has learned from her father certain kinds of magic - specifically to keep the dead, well, dead. She can go into "Death" where there are several different gates along a river, all of which is quite interesting to read. It makes me think of the alternate plane that wearers of the One Ring from LotR go when they have the ring on. I don't even know where this story is headed, but I can't help but think of how I would translate the scenes into film. There's also a map that helps enormously:
Fictional maps are so cool!
So far, Sabriel is only at the Perimiter Wall, heading into the Old Kingdom.
I'm liking the story so far, but it is a little confusing. Also, I can't be sure of the time period. There are colleges, cabs, phones...So it seems modern enough, but it doesn't have the "urban fantasy" vibe at all.
We'll see where this book goes...

"Les Miserables" by Victor Hugo
I say that this is still on my reading list, but in reality it's also sitting back on the bookshelf. I really like what I've read so far, and I haven't abandoned it, it's more like on hiatus... I'm reading the unabridged version, and I'm underlining the parts I like with a red pencil, and there are literally marks on every page so far. There's a lot of profound insights into human emotion and character and thought. I WILL finish this book someday!

"The Return of the King" by JRR Tolkien
I am actually listening to this one on audio. I've never read it before, but I've seen the movie so many times. I'm actually glad I saw the movies first - while the writing is nice and I actually LOVE the history sections, I feel like there's not much tension while reading or listening to the books in the Lord of the Rings. Great and Epic battles are in a single chapter and, to me, not that epic feeling. I'm glad that the films made the battles and wars huge and exciting, it really helps me to enjoy the books more. I especially love how vivid the descriptions of places are. Minas Tirith from the movie looks just like it's described in the book, and it's wonderful! I'm about a quarter of the way through this title.


I've also finished a few things lately, and here they are:

"The Shunned House" by HP Lovecraft
This is/was the very first thing I ever read by Lovecraft, an early 20th century horror author. I bought the complete works a few months back, but I wanted something to read on my kindle that was free, and The Shunned House was at the top of the list.
Anyway, I took my sweet time reading this short story (it's like 50 pages in print) and I really liked it. The atmosphere is so rich and the writing is beautiful. I guess I've read too much modern horror ('modern' being the Fear Street's from the 90's...bad example), but Lovecraft's style makes me think of the great classics, not horror at all.
The very end of the story was a little bit of a let down, but the ride was great. I could just picture everything he described, from the street outside the house, to the fungus growing by the hearth....I'll definitely check out more of his works.

"Will Grayson, Will Grayson" by John Green and David Levithan
This book was described to me by a friend back in college, and last week I finally got around to reading it. I was not able to sleep one night, so I began reading it on my kindle. I read half of it in just one sitting, which is impressive for me. It's about two high school guys in different towns who don't know each other at all, but they share the same name. The two meet by coincidence and the rest of the school year is heavily affected by their meet-up. At least, that's what reviews say. I didn't think it was that amazing of a book. The first 6 chapters or so are quite easy and get pretty interesting, but after the two guys meet, a different friend named Tiny becomes the focus of the book, as told by the two Wills.
There was some interesting characters and tons of really horrible language and teenage romance, and by the end of the book I just thought "meh." I felt like it had a very similar vibe as "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," which will be a dream come true for some people, but I wasn't too amazed by the end of either book.

"Shadyside Snark" by AM and LK Stine (Code names for sure)
Okay, so this one is not much of a book, but rather an entire blog.
I discovered this blog about a year ago when I got some old Fear Street books and wanted to read a review of them. What I found was this awesome blog that made me laugh and snort and giggle with every post.
The authors of the blog are sisters who went through and blogged a recap of EVERY R.L. Stine book up to about a year ago. They love/hate his books and their reviews and recaps were SO hilarious.
Shadyside is the town in which all the Fear Street books take place, and reading the hundreds of recaps made me question my tastes from when I was in middle school: the plots are so contrived and the characters are shallow and abusive relationships are every girl's dream, etc...
Anyway, I spent an hour or so one day copy/pasting every post and its comments into a Word doc and later I sent it to my kindle. It was a joy to read, even more than reading the books they recapped.
Reading all the recaps and the tropes that happen in all the books and about the shallow but endearingly dumb characters inspires me somewhat - I want to write a musical based on the Fear Street books. It would be a total comedy with elements from many of the different books and would be a hoot for a very specific group of people :)

Well, that's my "reading and recently read" book list. If you've read any of those titles, I'd love to hear what you think of them.
See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sept. 3rd, Tron: Uprising

I'll admit up front that I LOVE sci-fi movies. I'll see a movie solely because it's in the genre.
That said, sci-fi on TV usually isn't my thing, usually because it [often] looks cheap.
Now that you know those things, you can imagine my giddiness when Tron: Legacy came to theaters. I saw that movie I think 3 times, and even in 3D, which I'm not that crazy for.
Blah, blah, blah, I'm getting sappy.
Anyway, I bought the DVD/Blu-Ray when it released, and on it there was a pretty cool promo for a new show that was "coming  soon" called "Tron: Uprising," and even though it would be a TV show, it looked so cool. Here's the teaser that was released a LONG time before the show actually aired:
The animation was even slicker in the actual show (with some facial improvements), but when I first saw that teaser trailer I was so excited for the show. Eye candy is a big selling point for me!

Fast forward a year, and the show is finally being released. I was in Korea at the time, so I watched the show on the internet and was completely wowed and won over by it. It really is stunning. I watched it whenever I could find the new episode until about the 7th or 8th, but then there was a mid-season hiatus and I didn't watch it for another year.

The show only went for 19 episodes, which was cool that they were able to plan the pacing and arcs and such, but also sad that there would only be that many episodes.
Tron: Uprising apparently didn't do as well as they'd hoped (but Disney DID put it on super late on a school night on their paid channel DisneyXD, so I can only point at them) and the show wasn't (or hasn't yet been) picked up for more episodes. Sad, I know!
Amazon instant video and Netflix both have the entire show listed, so I finally caught up and finished all the episodes recently, and holy cow, that show was amazing! The animation and action was flawless, the music was perfect....I'm so sad there will be no more Tron: Uprising. There are petitions and stuff around the internet to bring it back, but I don't think a petition has ever brought a "kids show" back.

So, if you love a good show that has good conflict and themes of friendship and serious sacrifice, give Tron: Uprising a chance - you might just fall in love with it!

Here's an official music video featuring scenes from the last couple of episodes, all set to a pretty cool tune. Maybe this will win you over:
And finally (they should be paying me for all this promotion), the entire first episode is available on YouTube for free from Disney. Since there are already two videos here, I'll just provide the link and you can watch it there. I *really* hope you like it!
Enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjbwVzJR8w4

Monday, September 2, 2013

Sept. 2nd, Labor Day!

Okay, so I planned ahead with the post for yesterday since I knew I'd be out of town/away from internet on Sunday, so I used the schedule thing on Blogger to post my post for me, but I found out today that it didn't work! I still count it as on-time, because I was done with it a full day ahead of schedule. Moving along....

Today is Labor Day, here in the USA, and since I work for the city, I get the day off! Because of this, I spent the weekend at my happy little cabin on the mountain where I was blissfully lazy and enjoyed myself immensely. My parents were already there, and the beautiful rain storms kept us mostly indoors, so we watched movies (including a ton of MacGyver episodes - a cabin staple) and I played Nintendo and read and caught up on some TV shows I had saved on my iPod. What a perfect weekend!

Anyone who's ever read anything on this blog knows that I'm a life-long Nintendo fan, especially the Zelda franchise. Even though I really love Zelda 64, I never could get into the sequel, Majora's Mask. I think there are 2 distinct reasons. The first reason is that the "prologue" takes a player, like, at least an hour to figure out (all the while paranoid they're gonna run out of time and everyone in the game will literally die) and must be played in one sitting because - reason number two - saving in the game is a bee-otch. I'd started Majora's Mask probably three times on the 64 and after the prologue and figuring out the time travel and wanting to save but not quit yet etc. etc... I was burned out before I ever even got to the first level (or temple/dungeon).
ANYWAY, at my cabin, I decided to play the emulated version of Majora's Mask on my computer, and I actually really enjoyed it! I got all the way through the first level and killed the boss, and invested a few real-world hours into the game. Then. It. Crashed. I tried to save with the program's save states, but no luck. I had to close the program and open it back up to see the damage. The damage was this: nothing was saved. Literally, it was as if the last few hours hadn't happened. I remained calm since my parents would have made fun of me for caring about a video game that much, but I felt like this:
This is a way freaky mask seller in the game when he's upset.
So, instead of ever trying the emulator to play the game again, I dug out the old N64 and the shiny gold cartridge and the best controller we have left (it's grimy and has a masking/duct tape combo holding the cord together, and the joystick is limp and sad) and brought it to my apartment to finally play the way it was meant to be played. Wish me luck! The moon is gonna kill everyone in 3 days if I don't succeed.

Coming up soon, TV show reviews and opinions, what I'm reading, and how I feel about poetry. See you tomorrow!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sept. 1st, My Roomie's Birthday!

Ok, So here I go, kicking off another month-of-blogging thing. I've started making a list of the stuff I'll write about, and so far I have only one thing besides today.
Today is Sunday the first, and since I was a wee lad, I knew that if the first of the month fell on a Sunday, then I could look forward to a Friday the 13th. I was a strange child.

Play this video as you read the rest of this post. It will set *quite* the mood.

Well, today is my roommate's birthday, and even though he was one of the very first people I met when my family moved to our current town 11 years ago, I struggled to think of an appropriate gift.
I'm one who tries really hard to be thoughtful and fun when it comes to gift-giving (hopefully the recipients agree), but I finally came up with something. A little background:
10 year ago, in a small suburb of a small city, I was sort of new to town and my friend circle was also small. My family had a Nintendo GameCube and few games. The games that we had were largely due to the games we'd played and liked at our friend's houses. Anyway, my one friend, who is now my roommate, introduced me to a little gem called "Animal Crossing." It was a fun game with happy creatures and no real end goal. Sounds childish and boring? IT WASN'T. My brothers and I spent way too many hours over the course of several years playing that game and paying off debts to a greedy raccoon and furnishing our little houses and digging up fossils and shaking trees and running away from bees. Lots of fun.
Forward to the present, I decided a couple weeks ago that I'd make my friend a little gift-bag of Animal Crossing stuff in happy memory of the world he introduced me too. Lame? Useless? Potentially awkward? Yes, yes, and yes. But also: NOSTALGIA! I'll put up a picture of my little creation (and hopefully someone in the internet world will see it and post it to spritestitch.com and lead me to gamer-crafting glory)...
I hand-made it all! I used felt for the Fossil, Pitfall Seed, Bell (coin), and the Leaf. I crocheted the Bells Bag. Everything fits inside the bag too! I also made a letter (that I forgot to get a picture of) that looks like this:
Except it's made of paper and actually letter-sized.
I hope the gift if well-received, but regardless, I had fun making it. I wonder if I put too much effort into this kind of stuff....

Okay, Here I shall conclude the first post of 30. If you have an idea for a future post, comment below! I read every one!