Monday, June 28, 2010

Deathly Hallows: The Trailer

Shit man.* I watched the DH trailer at 7 pm, watched the Pottercast coverage of it, watched it again, and then watched the Mugglenet coverage of it. Still not enough discussion for me. Shit why can't my friends be bigger Harry Potter nerds? Plenty of them are fans, a good number of those are big fans, but the vast majority of them do not share my complete and total geek-out over the books and movies. (I don't mean to say that they don't "truly appreciate the books" or anything pretentious like that; it's just that, let's face it, I am the nerdiest one of my close friends. And probably the most obsessed, as in full-out I-follow-Pottercast I-love-Wizard-Rock I-intend-to-go-to-Leakycon-2011 in love with Harry Potter. I apologize to them if they were vying for the title, but: you lose. Thanks for playing.**)

Jesus fucking Christ, I honestly can't articulate my emotions regarding this trailer. I teared up at the very beginning scene in the forest and it still gives me goosebumps even after I've watched it four, five times? Excluding going through it frame-by-frame, haha.

All I know is that I am going to see both films, part 1 and part 2, at their midnight releases. The first one comes out in November so the midnight release will most likely be on a Thursday night/Friday morning and I'll have school the next day, but I seriously don't care. I will willingly forfeit sleep for this movie. THANKFULLY (and I truly mean that; I was so worried), I just looked at the Drama schedule for the fall shows next year and the play closes the week before the release date (November 19th). That would have been hell, to have school and then a dress rehearsal until 10pm or so and then a midnight showing; my homework would not get done at all. Thank goodness for small miracles!

Hopefully you guys aren't the purists who are holding out for the movie and refuse to watch any of the trailers. Props to those people for having the willpower to do so, but personally, I do not want to wait at all. I draw the line at watching shit illegally (for example, I will never ever ever even attempt to watch a leaked version of the film online, especially before it's release date), but my philosophy is basically, if Warner Brothers wants me to see, I will gladly watch it. I'm the type who re-reads and re-watches everything all the time anyway, so seeing something in a trailer will not in any way make me less excited for that scene in the actual movie. If anything, it makes me more psyched.

In case my intense sobbing throughout, like, 2/3 of Deathly Hallows: The Book*** didn't alert me to the fact, I am going to quite literally cry myself an albeit very tiny river during these two films, especially the last one. I know people are already crying because it's "the end," as in "the actual end of the Harry Potter franchise," but I personally am not. Don't get me wrong, I will be devastated when there are no more movies to look forward to, but I'm just going to cry because it's a fucking moving story, dammit. I am proud to admit that I almost cried during the trailer solely because it looks so damn good and so damn sad.

If you've seen it, what do you think? Also, are you going to see it in 3-D or no? According to David Heyman, they're pulling a Pixar and using 3-D as a sort of window to give the film more depth rather than a way to pull punches on the audience. That's reassuring, but all the same, I'm not a huge fan of 3-D. I saw Toy Story 3 in 3-D and it didn't detract from the experience, but all the same I'm not sure it made the film that much better. I suppose I've got five months to think it through and I'm positive it will be a fantastic film either way.

*Every time I say/write "shit man," I pronounce it with Natalie Tran's voice in my head. Australian accents are great.
** That said, I do have friends (mostly from Drama) who are equally as nerdy, but when you get right down to it, I don't see them as often and, as such, I'm not as good friends with them. I'm sorry! They're awesome! Let's change that in the future! <3
*** Haha, sorry, Jo Rowling. I'm not mocking the books, I swear.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

To read or not to read

My summer is going to be a whirlwind of socialization and writing. I think I'm actually going to get sick of my purported friends. To give you a brief idea of our social engagements here is a glance at this week:
Tomorrow (Monday) is knitting/swimming club. I am going to be knitting a Ravenclaw tie for Tuesday night.
Tuesday is Eclipse. We are going to the midnight showing dressed up as Harry Potter characters. I am alternate reality Hermione who turned out to be a Ravenclaw.
Wednesday, I will be partying with my Ranger unit at the beach.
Thursday is the birthday of this great nation and I'm volunteering at a huge event because for some reason people like to celebrate this one time when a bunch of balding men got together, signed a document and were like, "Yeah, that's right Britain. We don't want you either."
Friday, I'm hosting book club. Looking For Alaska. Needless to say I am beyond excited. Forcing my friends to read my favourite books under the guise of a book club is genius.
Saturday, I'm going to a tea party that is something of a sequel to my wildly successful murder mystery birthday party.

Should I be happy about these opportunities for socializing? Because I feel like I already need a break and I can say that because none of my friends read my blog (not that I wouldn't say that if they were reading. God, I'm such a bitch.). Moody tangent time...

My blog is the part of me that's optional, you know? If you invite me to your house, you get all of this nonsense that is my person but my blogging habits are different in that I don't force my blog on anyone. You have to want it. So lately I've been feeling a little hurt by that because not everyone wants to go that extra mile to get to know me. I'm getting over it. Hey, I'm a writer, we need to be wounded and suffering or else there's nothing to fuel our work. now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go write some super emotional poetry.

What I am trying to say is thank you for reading this. It means a whole lot to me that you care, even if I didn't say a whole lot of interest today. And I stand by what I once said about how the most romantic thing in the world, ever, would be a guy who stayed up all night reading my blog posts. *sigh*

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Late (Still Wanting Pancakes)

Subject of this post: Will Grayson, Will Grayson-- because it's what cost me sleep. I suppose it's my fault for being obsessive, bingeing on a book the way I have. Good books are like crack that way ("Finished! Hey, it's 6:18 in the morning? Good morning, world! Tralalala... Nevermind that, I wantz me some pancakes! *proceeds to make toaster waffles because is behaving like a very impatient person on crack who, even when not on crack, cannot make decent pancakes*"). Which is good for the authors of books/metaphorical crack addicts such as myself, but consequences suck. Anyway...

1. ahhh second will grayson, why must you write like this. i would have liked you so, so much more if you would have typed like a normal person. i understand it's a clever visual metaphor for depression, the diminutiveness of your presence and disregard for things, but i am a nazi for grammar so i am programed to hate you. but i love you. more than i hate you. i know you exist to drive the message of the book, but i don't care that much. it's a decent message.

2. Ahhh, first Will Grayson. You sound exactly like John Green in my head. Which is to be expected, but I felt the need to point that out. Also, all the offhand remarks about the Chicago area (I get excited when books are set in/mention places I know. I think I'm special for some reason): Very much yes. Especially to Those Of The February Tan. Also also: The Bean/Cloud Gate (advice: don't shape your sculpture like a bean if that's not what you want people to call it...) is a pretty good metaphor for life and how we perceive things--the closer you get to the center the less distorted what you see is, but at the edges everything is warped. And if you move around right, there can be eight of you at once. (I'm pretty sure this was my book-crack mind getting philosophical, but the more I think about it, it makes sense. Some. Not the last bit.) Also also also: I thought you should know that there's a video fountain that makes it look like random people are spitting at you. Which is in no way relevant, but is in practically every way awesome.

3. Ummm... other things. I don't like short lists. I like that Jane is the only John Green-written love interest who is stable and does not require roadtripping/chasing. I love the cover, it is shiny. Tiny Cooper is also the best fictional lyricist in fictional existence.

4. Because I finished this book in a night and have it for 3 weeks (libraries FTW. I've done this for a reason, I will obtain a personal copy at a later date.) I'm going to put a nerdfighter note in it. For someone else to find and for me not to know what they do with it. It seems like fun.

5. If I scrape this empty waterbottle across my desk it sounds exactly like the TARDIS.

6. I am easily amused.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Embracing the Teenage Girl Stereotypes

I'm embarking on a much needed clean out of my room and as such I have come across a heap of books that I was obsessed with at a point in time. Did you ever read any of them? (I'm only listing a handful of the more recent series as they're more likely to be recognized.)

- The Clique by Lisi Harrison
You know, I could apologize for previously liking this, but I won't. In fact, I refuse. I am taking a definitive stand and proclaiming to all the internet: Yes, I was once a searching thirteen year old who believed that Hollister was the ultimate form of self-expression and The Clique was great literature. I will not hate on this poor former self who deserves better than sixteen year olds mocking her. Ultimately, you cannot justifiably hate middle schoolers; they may be somewhat annoying and seemingly shallow, but this is because they don't yet know who they are. So back the hell off and smile at the next one you see, even if they laugh at you for it. (Just don't invite them into your car for some candy because that is crossing all sorts of lines that should never be crossed.)
Basic synopsis: average unpopular seventh grader (Claire) moves in with rich popular seventh grader (Massie). Conflict ensues. Massie makes lame jokes with her rich, popular friends (Alicia, Dylan, and Kristen). Massie takes Claire under her wing; Claire becomes average popular-ish girl. Conflict ensues. Massie, whose parents inexplicably don't mind that she spends thousands of their dollars per week, buys a lot of clothes. Et cetera.

Here's a gem of an excerpt, taken from the first book in the series:

"'Heeeyyyyy,' Massie said, squeezing her friend.
Alicia took a long look at Massie.
'Ehmagod, you don't look like you were sick at all,' Alicia gushed. 'You look ah-mazing.'
'Just wait for tomorrow,' Massie said.
'Why?' Alicia asked with a sly grin.
'Because I get better looking every day!' they shouted in unison at the top of their lungs. They cracked up and high-fived each other."

You laugh now, but when I was in seventh grade, these were the bomb. So many instant messages (remember when AIM was cool?) simply read, "eh. ma. gawd. guess what???" or "omg!!!!! she is such an lbr!!!!!!" ("LBR" standing for "Loser Beyond Repair"). It got to the point where my friend and I actually made audition videos to be in the Clique movie (I never posted mine; she did). Those were the days.

- Georgia Nicolson by Louise Rennison
I think these are actually the funniest books I've ever read in my life. There's something so refreshing about reading a book that is unashamedly fun and doesn't try to force some Big Moral on you. They're a goodhearted laugh at the hilarity, frequent stupidity, and infrequent wisdom of teenage girls. I think the author explains it best: "The main character Georgia is really based on my experiences of when I was fourteen. I wrote the book to make myself laugh. I always wrote what I remembered making me laugh when I was that age. I didn't attempt to teach. I didn't attempt to do anything except I wanted Georgia to be a decent person. I wanted her to be someone who is a bit stupid and self-obsessed and difficult and funny and rude, and a bit jealous and all those other things. But I wanted her to have a good heart. " They're so British - partially real British teen culture and partially what I suspect is made up British slang - that it's hard to dislike them. They're easy to read and if you ever need something to cheer you up or make you laugh or just chase the boredom away, I highly recommend them.

- Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
Recently made into a TV show that is surprisingly good. I didn't expect to like the show, but it's not your typical trash television. Alright, so maybe it caters to the teenage girl audience, but it's at least interesting and similar enough to the books that the mystery is still addictive and different enough that even having read the books it feels like a worthwhile show.
The books are also a pretty easy read, which I personally don't think is a bad thing. Not everything you read has to make groundbreaking observations about the world around you, right? Even though they have their fluffy "scandalous rich girl" bits, the mystery is gripping enough to keep you around for all eight books. I haven't read further than the fourth book, but after having taken a substantial hiatus from them, I think I'm going to have to finish the series this summer. I'm quite curious to know how they're going to end and who did what.
I'd tell you what they're about, but I don't feel like summarizing and if I tried, I'd probably spoil them. So Google it if you're interested. Just know that they're essentially mysteries (or rather one running mystery with tons of subplots) and are extremely addictive. And occasionally creepy.

As is typical for my life, I found the prettiest dress in the whole wide world which is of course sold out. I halfheartedly signed up for the build-hopes-up-and-tear-'em-down "Notify me on Restock" service, but given that Modcloth is a website compromised of independent designers, I'm not convinced the stock will ever be replenished. Luckily, there are a handful of other dresses that I would love to order, such as this one and this one and this one. Which one would you guys pick? I'm leaning towards the blue one as the second one looks like it may have a wonky fit and I'm not sure I like the embroidery on the last one. I may wait a couple more days before ordering, though, to make sure that there isn't another one I like better (they update fairly frequently and I really do like that sold out one the best) and I'm going to shopping tomorrow so I'll see if I can find one at the mall. (I'm not excited. I really hate the mall.)

As a sort of parting gift to you all, I leave you with this video, which made me smile somewhat manically for its duration. If you don't understand why the pretense is hilarious, I have no words for you. (Or just read the Youtube comments and all shall be revealed.)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Awful Sentences

There's a contest (that I learned about from mental floss) in which the worst first lines to hypothetical novels are submitted and then chosen somehow. I don't know what there is to be won, but it sounds interesting enough to blog about and it's an excuse to include a list (again). With the only added further ado of my finishing this sentence and hitting the 'enter' key twice...:

"I sat in the corner, silently breathing, and contemplating my intense desire for a rubber band."

"This is a story about the time that stuff happened to those people that did other stuff."

"There was lightning, and then everyone died-- the end."

"The tuna swam--unaware of its fate, which was to continue swimming."

"Purple is a color that looks most perilous when applied to wounds and cows."

"'Don't worry', Steve the robot-ninja-dinosaur-pirate-dragon-zombie-werewolf-unicorn-alien-ferret-hunchback-vampire-doctor cried over his shoulder, "I've opened the pickle jar for you.'"

As horrid as these are, I'd really like to see a novel based around one of them. Or incorporate one into my writing. They're great in their complete wretchedness, and now I'm thinking about whatever could come after them.

In an unrelated turn of topic, it's night. It's also raining slightly, so I'm probably going to wander around outside barefoot for a bit. "Go for a walk" implies too much purposeful activity. I just like being outside when it rains. And I like that even though it's summer by nightfall the ground is cool enough to walk on barefoot. I feel vaguely guilty whenever I do this, though, because there are millions of people in the world who have to go barefoot even WHEN it's hot and I'm going without them by choice...

Monday, June 21, 2010

In Which I Get Off My Lazy Ass and Go Running

As a kid, I was average: scrape covered skin that seemed to regenerate like Time Lords, practically unbreakable bones,* toddler chubbiness that dissolved into a child of normal proportions. It wasn't until middle school (seventh grade, really) that I evolved into something that most people refer to as "skinny."

It's funny, really, to watch people react to this physical characteristic. So many times, after I've contemplated aloud if my consumption of another food item will affect the likelihood of my stomach actually undergoing combustion, a friend will go, "Oh my god, Vita, shut up, you're so skinny." And I'm like, yeah, my metabolism likes me. Suck ittttt.

Except not really, because who gives a shit? My response is automatic: I-have-a-faster-metabolism-than-you. You-are-better-at-playing-sports-than-me. If-we-were-alpha-lions-cat-fighting-this-out-you-would-win. Why-are-you-jealous-of-me?

Fine, so I only respond with the first part. Regardless, the whole thing is true.

I'm not being facetious in saying that I would gladly trade my freakishly fast metabolism for a Polish-British-American sixteen year old girl version of Cristiano Ronaldo's freakishly fit body. (And yes, I mean "fit" in both the American way and the British slang way.) Perhaps I would tone down the huge-ass muscles a little bit, but the sentiment remains.

In a way, never having to worry about my weight is a long-term disadvantage. When you're skinny no matter what, it's easy to be lulled into a false sense of security. When everyone around you is whining about being a size six, it's easy to feel like you can eat whatever you want because you'll still be thinner than them. (Let's not even get into how idiotic it is that people convince themselves that being a size six is bad. Really? Really? Really? Do we have to delve into a conversation on how western society promotes a standard of "beauty" that no one can feasibly hope to attain?)

Allowing myself to be lazy because I have mastered the art of being skinny is terrible. Like, really legitimately prolonged suicide.

I don't want to put myself at risk for contracting Type 2 Diabetes due to poor eating habits. I don't want to morph into a thirty year old three hundred pound woman. I've joked to my Drama friends that the only reason I'm going to exercise when I'm older is because I refuse to become the stereotypical obese American. But it's more than that: when I'm an adult, I want to spend my time on a career I love, on writing, on spending time with my family, on maintaining friendships and making new ones, on taking adventurous vacations, on being in the Peace Corps, on being a volunteer EMT, on helping people, on contributing to politics, on art, on appreciating the funny side of life, on relaxing, on living. I know life throws curve balls. I know I could very well contract cancer and spend years fighting that. But I have control over some things, and I do not do not do not want to have all my dreams crushed because I couldn't find the energy to eat well and to exercise.

That's why this summer, I'm challenging myself to get healthy. If anyone who's reading this (even if I don't know you!) wants to do it with me, please do. Please write down a schedule for yourself. Please be specific. Please write out a contract and sign it. Please make note of foods that you won't eat or at least will eat less of. Please stick to it, whatever it takes. America (and Canada, and Mexico, and France, and the United Kingdom, and every other country out there) needs to get in shape.

It takes more than two months to maintain a healthy lifestyle. But it's two months of relative freedom. It's two months to start new habits. Think about it: during the summer, you have more time to be aware of what you do and what you eat. If you spend time now making sure you have healthy snacks in your house, by the time school rolls around, it'll almost be second nature. If you start exercising more frequently now, you'll see how good it feels and you'll want to squeeze it into your busy schedule.

Damn, with all this motivational speaking and flagrant italicizing, I should be writing articles for Seventeen magazine. Really though.

Do it.

* Excluding that one time that I, you know, broke a bone.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Under construction

If you are reading this message and this message only, that is because I am tired and lazy and having a hard time learning to manage my, well, time. Come back later to be impressed with how much has changed.

I shall cover:
-addicting books and my relationship with them
-The Hunger Games and why I love it.
-my own personal revision drama (which really is only dramatic inside my mind)


***Now for the good stuff***
Part 1:
I believe I mentioned this in a comment but I shall say it again: On Friday, my friend said she didn't think The Hunger Games was a good book because books that are addicting are rarely ever good.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. And I've come to the conclusion that it's a pretty inaccurate statement (unless we're talking about Twilight). Books are addicting because the writer understands pacing and tension. That's not a bad thing--for me, at least. So I'm not saying all addicting books are great (coughTwilight) but I am saying that just because you want to sit down and read it without eating, sleeping or talking to anyone around you, that does not mean it's not a fantastically written book. But that didn't really respond to Vita.

Part 2:
Sometimes I feel that, as a writer, my appreciation of writing and books is extremely heightened. When I read anything from a sentence to a chapter that makes me wish I had written it myself (or wish I could have written it myself), I get a little obsessed. And, yes, I have a bit of an obsessive personality but is that a bad thing?

I suppose when I get into that state of "OMG, the pacing/tension/dialogue/characters/etc. in this book is/are so well done; I'm kind of in awe", I tend to overlook somethings. But I also realize that not everyone and everything is perfect.

I can't really describe exactly what I love about THG. Maybe that's a cop-out but I just think that the book is really good at what it is. I find the character's relationships fascinating and it's really weird and enjoyable to see everything through Katniss's jaded, cynical eyes. I think it's a beautiful book.

Also, I think Peeta is my favourite character ever. I truly adore him.

(About the ending, though, I do see what you're saying and it sucks that it kind of ruined it for you. I didn't see it the same way but I do get where you're coming from. You should read Catching Fire.)

Part 3:
It's possible I'm jealous of THG because my own novel is so confusing and twisted up at the moment that I'm happy to obsess over any story that is more intricate and planned than my own. My goal is to have my novel in it's final structure (plot, character arcs, ending) by the end of the summer and then in the fall I'll do actual line-editing and fix all my sentences. That's the plan anyway. Hopefully, it will help that I've told you and now I am accountable to someone.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

In Which... there's stuff. I promise.

***Preemptive footnote: All footnotes after (and including, but you get the drift. This is the only one the goes here, the rest will be at the end with their corresponding myriads of asterisks) this one mark where I have revised this. I started... earlier and now it's later and I'm not going as insane. Enjoy my commentary to myself, this is how my brain works.***

WHEN will it stop being so HOT?! asdfkjklovnrkx3! Stupid summer.*

OMG I need to shut up about this. Seriously. The fact that I'm pointing it out does not make my whining acceptable, moving on. . .**

I like ice. But it's such a uselessly useful thing. Think about, ice has ONE purpose: to keep things cold (including the Earth, and arctic animals). Ice would be useless if it were not for its coldness***, yet it's so necessary to modern food storage and other comforts we in the western world**** so take for granted. But, if ice is considered only an extension of water, it in itself does not have one use, ice is one of the many uses of water. Water is like that. If water was a sentient being, do you think freezing it would hurt it? Would boiling hurt more or less than freezing? If this living water-animal thing had a cute enough scream I'm pretty sure people would die of dehydration before they knowingly killed something the screamed cutely.*****

Because I haven't said it yet: Happy BIRTHDAY, Vita! I realize this is belated, but I hope it went well and I hope today also went well and now I'm just scrambling for relevant and simultaneously coherent thoughts, so.******

ALSO in response to Vita's post I went back and reread (the other posts on this blog about) The Hunger Games, and... I've forgotten the ending. At least, the details. Which I'm sure make the book more interesting and such, but I think the things I DO actually remember say something about the impact it had on me and whatnot:

1. Haymitch! *heart* Dumbledore meets alcohol plus stealth. Yay.
2. DEATHS. Lots and lots of deaths.
3. I like(d-ish) Peeta but I also contradictorily pointed out his blatant clichéness which bordered on being annoying. It's not all his fault, though. Katniss is like, Action Bella Swan (minus the fawning/helplessness, very much minus). She's stupid when it comes to things that don't involve physical survival, my thoughts amount to, "ZOMG just pick him or kill him or DO SOMETHING about your damned romantic situation and get back to killing people, kthnx." Maybe I'm morbid and heartless and forgetting things, but meh.

I'm horribly sunburned and have been up since 5:30 (in the morning. Apparently that time exists, but I'm never awake to see it for myself). I am not accustomed to either of these things.

Copious Footnoting:

*Yes, blaming the seasons was an eloquent start.

**Okay, great lengths are taken to point out and then refute the pointing-out of this point, but does it ever really go away? No. It's like the theme of this post.

***What I mean to say is that if they were just non-cold shapes of things that look like ice, then that would be pointless.

****I just seriously stuck the phrase "we in the western world" into this nonsense. Really, self?


******Logical sentence endings, nowhere to be found. . . minus 10 points for that and minus another 24 for ending this way, in a footnote, using this meaningless points system that I just made up to mock my horrid syntax and logic and everything else. :P(*******)

*******A subtraction of 42 for the frivolous emoticon.

Now I'm done. Really.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Hunger Games, Attempt #2

In anticipation of the new book coming out in August (and because Alex has been tweeting about it quite frequently as of late), I reread The Hunger Games this week.

I am, without a doubt, somewhat unqualified to write a scathing review of The Hunger Games since I have not read Catching Fire; I cannot judge the book as a part of a larger whole. However, it does give me the ability to judge the book on its own without information from the other books clouding my objectiveness. I don’t write this to open your eyes to the literary horrors of The Hunger Games or to insult you, loyal THG devotee, nor do I write it to criticize Suzanne Collins. I simply want to explain why The Hunger Games left me feeling, to put it simply, underwhelmed.

My feelings are remarkably similar to those that I had the first time I read The Hunger Games: I liked - not loved, not adored, not obsessed over; simply liked - the majority of the book and was hugely, irrationally let down by the ending. This time, though, I wasn't only disappointed, I was pissed off as hell. Almost betrayed. As if Suzanne Collins crafted those infuriating words for the sole purpose of making me miserably annoyed.

Why, oh why, is a new conflict introduced at the last possible second? This is a novel! (Yes, I actually used the word "novel;" that is how annoyed I am.) It has to be able to work as a stand-alone book! I understand that you have two other books in which you can wrap up the story. I’m not saying that all the loose ends should be tied up in a nice shiny plot hole-free bow. That doesn't change the fact that a book that does not work by itself cannot be considered a masterpiece. Especially - especially! - because it's the first book in the series. If it was the second or third, I'd be more lenient; you're supposed to read the series in the correct order, obviously. But the fact that it’s the first book? There should be a beginning, middle, and end. Not a beginning, middle, and beginning. That’s just frustrating.

This reminds me of every single TV shows' season finales. Imagine the scene:

There you sit, in a claustrophobia-inducing dark room, your nose mere inches from the flickering screen. You observe in solitude, fearful of an uninitiated casual viewer speaking during the climax of the show. Crumpled cans of fizzy caffeine and remnants of chocolate covered coffee beans lay at your feet in homage to the Great TV Gods. A symbol of your utmost devotion, your willingness to sacrifice sleep for art. As if you needed any help in staying awake. As if you would fall asleep! You scoff at the thought. This is your moment. This is it. The All-Knowing Show Creators, bless them and their genius brains, are finally going to tell you what is up. The Answers to all Your Questions.
Something moves on screen. You shake your head, make your cheeks do the wakey wakey dance, appalled that you zoned out for one second. What’s going on? Look, look for him. And her. Okay. Okay, he’s got a… a gun? A gun! Of course, it’s one of those fancy laser jobs, the one he took from the safe. From the bad guy’s safe. God, you hate that bad guy. Speaking of… speaking of… holy crap! Is that him? Yes, yes! Yesyesyesohmigodwhatthehellyes. Yes he escaped from jail and now he’s got her and he’s holding something sharp and pointy to her head and ohmigodcrapcrapcrap it’s going into her head wait what what what it’s not supposed to end like this. Quick, look at him. Is he crying? Yes, yes, yes he’s crying. Crap. Crappity crap crap. He doesn’t cry, but he is, and goddamnit he’s handing over the pretty shiny killy laser gun stupid stupid stupid why are you doing that. Okay he’s making a deal, right? Okay okay. So he hands over the gun and she doesn’t die. Okay. Except… except… except Mr. Bad Guy has some kind of stupid little smirky smile on his face and he’s got one hand on the laser gun and one hand on her and why isn’t he handing her over? Crapcrapcrap what is going on? Oh my –
No the screen did not just go black. Nononononono. No those credits are not rolling why are there names why are they white why are they in a list formation. No no no they did not just end it like this, those dastardly Genius Creators, the stupid bastards!

Of course, it makes you tune in the next season. It makes you want to continue on this frustrating, addicting journey. It allows the show’s creators to make more money. It guarantees them some more viewers.

I really hope that is not what Suzanne Collins was after.

I like to think, perhaps foolishly, that the book publishing industry has a little more integrity than that. I like to think that while, yes, they are determined to make money, they also spend some time ensuring that they are producing quality work. I suppose that's naive of me (cast your minds to Twilight and especially to every single crappy vampire spin off that has been written since the former became wildly popular). It is the same feeling that makes me trust The Washington Post newspaper over most other news sources, even though realistically, they are all pretty damn similar.

Right, I sound like a pretentious buttmunch. Sure, I don't have any authority to talk about this industry I am not directly involved in, but I can speculate. I'm not saying that Ms. Collins wrote this book only because she wants heaps of gold-plated coins (in fact, I seriously doubt that was the case, given that most authors are not - how would one say it - monetarily endowed). But the end result is frustratingly similar to people who really do only do it for the money. (I'm sorry; that was unintelligible, wasn't it?) Suzanne Collins surely wrote this book thinking, “How can I make this story the best it can be?” rather than, “How can I become fabulously, disgustingly wealthy?” Because few sane people would answer the latter with, “Write a book!” They’d probably be more inclined to respond, “Become a porn star!” or, “Start a drug ring!” And sadly, these would be much better ways to make some fast cash! Yet I truly believe that each individual reader’s interpretation of the book is infinitely more important than the author’s intent of the book is. And if most people walked away from The Hunger Games with a sense of euphoria, I’m not going to take that away from them. I just… didn’t. I just felt that the end was a cop-out, a way to ensure that people stay interested. A good book (such as The Hunger Games) doesn’t need such obvious cliffhangers to attract an audience. To take such a complex topic and then reduce it to a will she/won’t she clichéd love story? That tastes of betrayal.

If I had to rate The Hunger Games, I guess I’d give it 3.5 out of 5 stars if that’s allowed. It’s at least half a point off for the ending and then perhaps one more star for not knocking my socks off, as they say. Again, it’s a good book – just not great, in my opinion. Granted, there are very, very few (if any) books that are the only written commentaries on a certain subject. It’s not a crime that the basic plot of The Hunger Games is similar to quite a few others; it’s the lack of redemption through spectacular characters or mind-blowing twists that leaves me underwhelmed.

It's difficult to sum up why you love something, but could you do me a favor and try? I'm clearly missing out on some huge connection to The Hunger Games that so many people seem to feel. Some of it's just instinctual - I could sit here and write multiple essays on why I love Harry Potter and still not quite convey the intense love I have for it - but some of it can be defined, and it'd be great if you could outline it. Is it the characters? The plot? The writing? Something less clear-cut?

As for myself, I'm going to suck it up and read Catching Fire sometime this summer. Unfortunately, going into it I hold it in the same regard as I do Avatar and The Notebook - I'm pretty damn sure I won't like it, but I try to refrain from passing judgment until I've actually read/seen it. Hopefully I'll report back deep-frying and scarfing down my words.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Flag Day!





Also, I turned 16 today but that is FAR LESS exciting.

Points of Interest (not really):

1) Sixteen is truthfully not a milestone for me in any way other than that it has the stigma of being sixteen. Like, the only thing I can do right now that I couldn't do yesterday is get a job without getting my school to sign work release papers. Fun times. Sixteen no longer has any real influence on my driving capabilities. Regardless, I prefer being sixteen to being fifteen, simply because being sixteen makes me sound taller. I don't know please don't judge me okay thanks.

2) While I am generally a fan of the summer months, the end of school has always been like releasing a little part of my soul. When you dedicate ten straight months of your life to a single institution, it's bound to have some impact on you. I don't arrive at school singing for joy but, you know, there are some parts to it that I actually enjoy. Additionally, this is the actual there-is-no-going-back end of the little MYP bubble that I have been in since the sixth grade, and that's a little sad. I don't adore every single person in each of my classes and although it's not exactly an exclusive academic club, there is some sense of us all being in it together. Next year we're separating into our various on-level/honors/AP/IB classes and it makes me a tad bit nostalgic.

3) I got my ears pierced yesterday for the first time ever! It was surprisingly painless. I was going to get mine double pierced but the ear piercing people were all, "Well, if it gets infected then that's going to suck, so you should wait a couple weeks." Which I guess makes sense, so I'm probably going to get a second piercing in... July. Or August. (I don't care if this makes me a typical teenage sellout to the ways of the superficial. I like them. Deal with it.)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

An Addiction to 4 o'clock Honesty

I am ridiculously out of it right now. I probably shouldn't emphasize this point as I want my mom to take me out driving after dinner, but still, it's going to be pretty difficult to get through this blog without mentioning it. I would tell you to expect awkward segues and general signs of tiredness but you don't need to be told that. You, smart person, you.

Last night I stayed up until 4:30 in the morning, despite knowing that I would have to wake up and function again at 8am. Why?

Have you ever been at a slumber party and you stayed up really late talking because the conversation seemed worthier than sleep? Because, really, the kind of conversations that happen from 2-4am are the kind that make sleep seem as unnecessary as wool socks in July.

So yes, maybe it wasn't my best idea. But I think I'd do at again. I find that you can learn more about people in the middle of the night. There's a different way people talk to each other. More honest and raw. It's like you're too tired to filter what you're saying so it comes out how you actually feel, not some editing version that you think won't hurt anyone's feelings.

Basically, it's amazing.

I have a problem staying up late at sleepovers. I am always the last person asleep. I suppose because I love those moments of this-is-so-real-it's-not-even-cheesy heart-to-hearts and I don't mind sacrificing sleep to get one.

I shall go now. Have a wonderful day.

Q: I know school has ended for Rena but when do you finish Vita? In public schools year there's one more week of classes and exams next week. As for me, I may never finish. Isn't that nice?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Books books books

Hello again. It's been summer for around two weeks and I'm already starting on my (not entirely school-required) summer reading (hoo-ha NERDFIGHTERS!). If I remember both of you have talked about Pride and Prejudice, so I'm reading that/will probably discuss/gush about when I finish it.* Other books I plan on reading (because I feel the need to make another pointless list):

Cat's Cradle-- Kurt Vonnegut (blurb about satirical future involving midgets and calypso... it interests me.)
Brave New World-- Aldous Huxley (another satirical future involving sex and fetuses in bottles. I realize that sounds weird, but I'm going to read it BECAUSE it sounds weird.)
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim-- David Sedaris (I've read some of his other books, which are funny, short nonfiction essays. To balance out all the dystopian sex and oddness.)
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo-- Steig Larsson (It's also a movie. About computer hackers.)

Basically all the books on the list (there's a lot more I haven't listed/do not want to read/have already read) are either:

--Dystopian sex and oddness (redundant list is redundant)
--Foreign and/or poor people overcoming adversity (fiction and nonfiction). I know this is going to make me sound like a horrible human being but I do not care. Inevitable Holocaust memoir, memoir about basketball in the ghetto, memoir about being homeless with an alcoholic father yet growing up to be a Harvard professor, memoir about land mines in Afghanistan and moving to the US, book about being the only Indian kid in a prep school, book about a Hispanic girl being the only one in her family to finish high school, the list goes on.

These types of books just depress me and then bore me to tears (actually, most nonfiction does. At least the latter. Save Freakonomics and David Sedaris). The only thing that can be felt for these characters is a kind of pity, I don't understand what the administration thinks we should get from these books. Maybe I'm dense. Maybe I'm coldhearted. They don't affect me in the way they "should" (or in the way it is presumed they will...) and that makes me feel a bit guilty. But I'd rather the books I read be a sort of fantastic escapism--be it to seventeenth century English romance or the crazy midget-run future--not things I have to think about. Annnnd again that sounds awful. I understand the subjects of these books are important, they have an audience that I'm sure will be profoundly moved by them, they're just not my cup of tea.

Am I right or am I dense?**

* Which, if it keeps raining like this, should be soon. P&P is a good book to read while it's raining.

** I encourage you to think of a third option.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Read and comment please :)

Hi. So I'm supposed to be writing this piece for an anthology that is being put together for the writing class I've been going to the past couple of months. And I procrastinated and was busy and the deadline is tomorrow so I have two pieces that I would love for you to read and critique, if at all possible. After you read them I can give you my opinion but I don't want to bias you before so. I'm mostly decided on which I'm going to use but I need YOUR help.

Piece 1

Allow me to tell you a story. Once there was a group of kindred spirits on a road trip, out to discover adventure and excitement. They found themselves in Portland, Oregon after crossing a somewhat frightening bridge and working their way through the equally frightening city traffic. They went to a brewery/restaurant, were given an electronic device that would tell them when it was their turn to eat, and sat down on the bench after being told it would be a forty-five minute wait.

Outside of the Brewery/Restaurant Where Hope Dies, there was a boy. He had a sign that indicated that he was travelling, broke and hungry. Anything helps.

An hour passed and a brave spokesperson of the road-trippers ventured forth to ascertain a more realistic time frame. They told her five to ten minutes.

Twenty minutes passed.

The foursome went up together the next time, perhaps hoping to intimidate the restaurant host with the crazed, hungry look in their eyes. Apparently, the electronic device was broken. If you rely on technology, you will end up near tears and more than peckish.

Maybe it was because they were naturally generous people or maybe it was because they had recently encountered brief hunger themselves but regardless, upon leaving the restaurant, they gave the boy outside some money. He thanked them and they discovered he was from Vermont, approximately two thousand, nine hundred and fifteen miles away. He smiled and said he was loving every minute of his travels.

They parted.

They didn’t know that they would meet again, quite spontaneously, seven days later, approximately one hundred and seventy four miles north of their original rendezvous, in Seattle, Washington. They didn’t know that they would find themselves in the Seattle Convention Center, each on an escalator that was escalating in opposite directions. The road-trippers couldn’t get over the shock of the serendipity and stared until they were too far down on their escalator and he was too far up on his.

They didn’t stop to think of how odd it was to see the same random boy in two different cities within a week. If they had stopped to think about it, would they have thought it odd, or completely normal? For who, really, if not travellers, are the most likely to run into each other?

Piece 2

I like you. But liking you is like driving on the highway in the rain. The windshield wipers are scraping back and forth so fast that if I were them, I would start planning mutiny. Even with their intense labour, I can hardly see in front of me but then I notice a sign telling me I’ll get there eventually and I feel an urge to press harder on the gas. I want to go faster.

But I don’t, because that is too freaking dangerous, not to mention terrifying. The speed limit is posted and the visibility conditions are bad. To be frank, I only just got my learners’ permit and my mom is in the passenger seat gripping the handle on the door while trying to appear calm, probably for my sake. The façade isn’t working but I try not to let her know that I can physically feel the tension radiating off of her. Why does she get to be the nervous one?

I cautiously inch along, because speed tickets are not underrated. So yes, it’s still going to be a couple of kilometres before I actually talk to you but my road skills are improving by the second. And I’m cautiously certain that when I see the correct exit sign I’ll be able to confidently steer into the off ramp and everything will be fine. Though honestly, the road manual can only tell you so much.

I'm leaning towards piece 2. I don't exactly know why but piece 1 feels raw and I don't feel like fixing it whereas piece 2 actually says something to me.

Please, please, please, advise. Tell me if you agree with me on piece 2. Tell me what you like. Tell me what you hate. Tell me what you think I should change. ----v (comments)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I will be in control of an automobile. Egads!

I am going out driving this evening.
I wonder why my cat gets so moody.
I hear that there have been three murders in my area in the last two weeks.
I see a squirrel outside of my back door.
I want to be fluent in Spanish.
I am hoping that the cars of the world will stay in tonight so I can have the road all to myself.

I pretend that it's normal to hear voices in your head.
I feel kind of nervous for that driving experience, I spoke of beforetime.
I touch your stuff when you're not around.
I worry that we're not going to get down to 350ppm.
I cry a surprising amount. (seriously, I'm so freaking emotional.)
I am curious as to how you can have a Liberal-Conservative Party.

I understand that it's important to imagine people complexly.
I say "Stay out of school!"
I dream that I'll finish my novel and someday someone will feel about me the way I feel about John Green.
I try to floss my teeth every day.
I hope whatever is eating my garden will go away.
I am completely addicted to telling stories.

Hi. Did you miss me on Sunday? I missed you and I was almost here but then Blogger decided to keep me from you. Not much can keep me from you other than Blogger and my tendency to venture into internet-less territories.

As I tweeted a few days ago, I finished An Abundance of Katherines about a week ago. Then I was reading the FAQ of John's new website and I was duly awed. John Green is even more amazing than even I imagined. I can't even describe how impressed I am with him. I never really used to have a 'hero', per se, but I think I have found one. The amount of thought and crafting he puts into his books makes me feel slightly inadequate but inspired at the same time. When I think of his books and how awesome they are, it makes me want to be a better writer. It makes me want to put that much effort into my own work so that maybe someday, as I said above, someone will be the me to my John Green.

And so I'm renewing my efforts for my novel. Thank you, John Green. You rock my socks.

P.S. I think I'm going to write John a letter. I feel like I should thank him...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Oops And Other Underused Expressions

It's World Upsy Daisy Day. Did you need to know that? Yes, you did. (and World Ocean Day. Henceforth, also World Double Fuck You Day to BP.)

This started because it's late and I have nothing of note to blog about, but then I remembered Alex's previous blog on "Oops" and minor crises. "Upsy Daisy" is another such phrase. Unless you're fond of it and/or in front of a 4-year-old for use in lieu of stronger curses, there's really no occasion for it. This should be fixed. Other archaic (as opposed to simply a bit childish) expressions/words I implore the general public/persons reading this to invoke in common conversation:

Egad! (LYK OMGZ.)
Zounds! (ZOMGZ!!)
Avaunt! (Go away! Or, in keeping with CAPZ LOCK: TROLL!!!1!111)
Beforetime (previously)
Eftsoons (soon after)
Belike (likely)
Lackaday (This is regretful!-- whatever, it's listed as an interjection...)
Thenceforth (from that time on)
Forsooth (indeed)
Prithee (please)
Lachrymose (sad)

I hope you have enjoyed another installment of List Time. Goodnight.

EDIT: Also used beforetime in Vita's blog "what the blazes" is another good example. You win awesome points.

Monday, June 7, 2010

what the blazes is going on?


I've said that the only exams I'm planning on studying for are Chem and Algebra, which is mostly true (I need to study for those) but also a little bit of a lie as I have to brush up on my French (avant vendredi, j'aurai appris comment les pronoms français marchent. Aussi j'aurais appris si on peut utiliser "marcher" comme ça. Cette langue est déroutante. Laquelle? Celle-ci! Mon dieu, je ne sais rien*) and, er, learn how to use Inventor. Okay. I don't know if I should bother studying for Engineering; I haven't learned a single thing this year and my teacher is making everyone take the "college level" course. 1) It's not even an honors class, 2) I'm not taking Engineering in college so I don't need the college credit, 3) the only reason I'm taking Engineering is because I need a Tech credit and Introductions to Technology was full, 4) I'd rather not fail the exam of my only non-MYP class. Maybe that's a bit "high and mighty" of me, but really? I don't want to get a B for the semester just because I, er, haven't learned anything.

Please don't comment on my flawed logic. I'm trying not to break the I-am-doing-the-best-I-can façade that I have so delicately upheld this past year.

Allow me to comment on how my History textbook for next year is A HUNDRED FUCKING DOLLARS. Aiight so perhaps I haven't got the right to complain seeing as a) there is an option to borrow a school textbook (although this is not encouraged), b) you could theoretically get a used one for (relatively) cheap cheap cheap, and c) when ordered through the school, it's twenty dollars less than it otherwise would be. REGARDLESS, what the hell, are we in college or something? GAWSH DANG

Can I also say that I HATE HATE HATE when people use commas incorrectly? I mean I know I use them incorrectly on this blog all the goddamn time; HOWEVER, I normally use them correctly in essays (at least I try to!) and more importantly, I KNOW HOW TO LIST THINGS. OH MY GOD, if you have "a, b, and c," YOU NEED A COMMA AFTER B. Just saying just saying just saying.

Seriously though I need to take a composition class dedicated to comma usage. Important skill, that is.

PS, I have enjoyed our little cyber "poetry slam;" we should do this again EH EH? ;-)

* Out of curiosity, I put this into Google Translate and let me tell you, Google Translate is not up to date on its verbs. Since y'alls don't speak French (neither do I fluently, although I'm trying! I really am): "Before Friday [the day of my French exam], I will have learned how French pronouns work. Also I will have learned if one can use "marcher" like that [to mean "to work"]. This language is confusing. Which one? This one! My god, I don't know anything."

Saturday, June 5, 2010

3rd Grade Poetry Techniques

Diamond-shaped, short
Learned in school
Content, simple, expressive, inspired

Godlike source of all knowledge
O, my love I do pledge
Other "O", this is hard, the hell with it
Gee, I'm being a twit
La, la, I hate rhyming
Evidently that's a sure thing

Actually an interesting form of poem I did in elementary school, less deep (okay, *hopefully* less deep) than the one below, obviously... (results are revealing of personality and can be non-rhyming, yay! If you want to post yours as an easy, cop-out blog idea like I have, use "I *verb*" and replace what I wrote with your personal sentiments that match the verb.)

I am scatterbrained and thoughtful
I wonder about both trivial things and unanswerable questions
I hear voices transformed into conversations
I see complexities where there shouldn't be
I want to understand--everything
I am scatterbrained and thoughtful

I pretend to be better than I am
I feel the humid summer mist wash over me in the darkness
I touch the lives that drift past mine
I worry that I won't make a difference
I cry over pretty random things, in retrospect
I am scatterbrained and thoughtful

I understand second grade math
I say things in order to be heard
I dream that I'm floating
I try to find balance
I hope that the next day will be interesting
I am scatterbrained and thoughtful

Friday, June 4, 2010

I'm sure that our huge and engaged audience was looking so forward to my previously alluded to Deep Blog; unfortunately, that post is stored pn my laptop whereas I am currently writing this on my phone. Alex, I understand your pain of writing on an iPod touch. It's possible but oh so very annoying... and... s l o w.

(Did I just use an obnoxious form of syntax to prove a point? Why yes I did! I'll go write an acrostic about it.)

'S been so long since I used you last
Y ou tempt me so; my grammatical other half
N ow I'm afraid I'll look like a fool
T hat's "idiot," mind you, not a burn log of yule
A t last, I've found my purpose in life:
X-celling in poetry with limited strife, WORD

I hope that was an acrostic poem. Heavan forbid that I forget all those thrird grade lessons in which we labored over poems shaped like raindrops, which at the time I thought were the Best Things Ever but that I know see as the result of a copy editor who had a little too much to drink. (For the record, my poem described the ways that writing was like water; how words quench the parched soul. I was a deep little eight year old.)

Do you want to read the poem I wrote in French today? It went something like:

"la paix"
le ciel, les autres choses
je sais pas
je ne me moque pas
pourquoi est-ce que c'est que tout ma poesie est merde?
au revoir.

Sorry if the articles are wrong. I can't look les mots up in a dictionaire right now; deal wiff it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Freudian Excuses

Happy June! (Or: it's JUNE. How is it June already?)

June is the month most people get married in, yes? I suppose that's a nice sentiment. Happy, sunny month equals happy, sunny lives. Idealists with their vision skewed by reckless romance and optimism. I don't know where this post is going except I've been watching too much television, my brain is ergo a rich frappe of reality and hyperbole and the imaginary. And all three of those rhyme so yay.

Really, nothing screams "child of divorced parents" more than total jadedness to the idea of love. I'm so predictable, shame on me. That excuse is only freudian, though. There's nothing that can't be blamed on some psychological, subconscious, or parental level that I have no control over. Not my fault, la la la. Why am I the way I am?* Genetics. My upbringing. My inner self is emotionally malnourished or some such metaphor. Granted, these personality traits, if inherent in my being, are strengthened by whatever observations I've made of romantic situations. Fictional romance always turns out better than real romance, that's a given. Sure everyone has quirks and issues and there's a plot twist 40 minutes in, but it works out okay. People with issues get people with issues, but they both turn out better for it. That being said, if my life was a movie**, and whoever I got paired with had to match me tit-for-tat*** on the crazy scale (as per my pervious statement), I'd probably end up with an obsessive compulsive grammar-nazi orphan who eats only red things on Thursdays and SHOUTS every few words FOR no REASON.**** With a nice speaking voice. And who smells good.*****

*That is to say a *bit* cynically optimistic, contradictory, socially inept, childish and weird...

**Which would be fun...

***That's such an underused expression. Probably because it sounds a tad suggestive. :)

****Or something. See Paragraph 1 Sentence 5 for explanation.

*****More important than the rest of the list by far.