December 31, 2010

100 Book Challange

I've taken on the 100 Book Challenge. The 100 Book Challenge is pretty much a contest against yourself and the goal is to read 100 books before January 1st, 2011. To sign up, go here.

This is where I'll be posting all the books I've read so far.

1. A Midsummer Night's Dream
2. Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging (a truly terrible book)
3. Jessica's Guide To Dating on The Dark Side (which I loved!)
4. Stormbreaker (Alex Rider #1) (meh)
5. Point Blank (Alex Rider #2) (meh for the first 90 pages, but the last 40 are AWESOME!)
6. Skeleton Key
7. Eagle Strike
8. Scorpia (great book)
9. Ark Angel
10. Snakehead (very good)
11. Merchant of Venice
12. Crocodile Tears (also quite good)
13. Scarlett Fever (loved it!)
14. The Lonely Heart's Club (very cute book)
15. The Year of Secret Assignments (so good! The first half was hilarious!)
16. Heist Society (amazing!)
17. Macbeth
18. Animal Farm
19. Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie
20. Thirteen Reasons Why
21. Peace, Love, And Baby Ducks (Loved it, very relate-able)
22. The Red Necklace (amazing!)
23. The Hunger Games
24. Catching Fire
25. Night
26. Only The Good Spy Young (great! Addictive!)
27. To Kill A Mockingbird
28. Seedfolks (terrible)
29. Mockingjay (okay)
30. Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero (quite good)
31. Looking For Alaska (great book. Sad, but hopeful)
32. A Raisin In The Sun (where's the plot?)
33. Geektastic
34. The Odyssey
35. The Looking Glass Wars

So, it is safe to say that I have failed. Oh well, I'll try again next year!

December 28, 2010

Mini-Blog: Ghosts Are Probably Lame and Squigglies!

Ok, I was going through my posts--did you know I have 25 posts with a tag of "Mythical Creatures"?--and I was thinking about ghosts. Then I thought about how many horror movies involved ghosts, but eventually, I realized that they're really not scary. At all.

Let's think about it you guys. They can't hurt you because their hands would just pass through you. If there's enough light in the room, you can't even see the ghost. All they can do is scare you and maybe drive you insane, but that is for the weak-minded. Like Jedi powers. But I'm not comparing ghosts to Jedis, I swear. Jedis are much cooler than ghosts. By the boulevard, did you know that Jedi is a word on blogger, but that Jedis has a little squiggly line underneath it? In fact, a lot of words have squiggly lines under them on Blogger, and it is ANNOYING! Blogger needs to just go through the entire dictionary to make sure the website recognizes them.

And then they should employ me to make sure they recognize sniglets.*

Your Blogger,

*Sniglet: Any word that doesn't appear in the dictionary, but should. And yes, that was squiggled.

The Looking Glass Wars

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
"THE MYTH: Alice Liddel was an ordinary girl who stepped through the looking glass and entered a fairy-tale world invented by Lewis Carroll in his famous storybook.

THE TRUTH: Wonderland is real. Alyss Heart is the heir to the throne, until her murderous aunt Redd steals the crown and kills Alyss's parents. To escape Redd, Alyss and her bodyguard, Hatter Madigan, must flee to our world through the Pool of Tears. But in the pool Alyss and Hatter are separated. Lost and alone in Victorian London, Alyss is befriended by an aspiring author, to whom she tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life. Yet he gets the story all wrong. Hatter Madigan knows the truth only too well, and he is searching every corner of our world to find the lost princess and return her to Wonderland so she may battle Redd for her rightful place as the Queen of Hearts."

I finished this book two days ago, I here are my thoughts on it.

Frank Beddor did a great job writing and creating Wonderland and somehow not making it as confusing as Lewis Carroll made his books. This book was a book. Alice in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass were acid trips. The Looking Glass Wars made more sense, and the entire setting and landscape he created was rich and vivid.

Onto the story! It keeps you interested, even enough to make you want to read the sequel (recent books have failed to make me want the sequel). The book is rather unpredictable, and I love the characters! The book makes you believe that it all actually exists.

I would recommend this, especially if you like fantasy and for some reason find yourself reading a lot of books concerning Alice in Wonderland (like me). The book has some romance, fighting, death, and I would tell you more, but that would spoil the book.

8 stars out of 10!

Your Blogger,

Diary of a Freshman: How Not To Have A Boring Winter

It's winter break, you guys, and guess what! A miracle has occurred! My winter break hasn't been boring!

A wondrous feat, I know.

Do you know how I managed that? It comes with a life lesson.

Most importantly, if there's one person of group of people you usually hang out with and want to hang out with, do not resign yourself to boredom if they are busy. Every winter, I hang out with this group of friends, but I branched out and hung with some other people instead of focusing my attention on people who are busy or just don't feel like spending time with you.

Second, you don't have to wait for someone else to ask you. All it takes is a text or a wall post or something along the lines of, "We have got to hang out!" If there's a reply, then voilà! You've got yourself some PLANS!

Don't be picky about who you go to the mall with. You'll have a good time, whether or not the person you're with is your best friend. By that I mean that even if you two or three are BFFLs, but are friends, go hang out. Do not limit yourself.

Plan well! Don't just say, "Let's go to the mall!" say "Let's meet at the Big Mall in the Food Court at one o'clock."

Hope this helped!

Your Blogger,

December 20, 2010

Nadia's Chritmas Special

If you've been watching tv, you've seen plenty of commercials for Christmas specials. And they're ridiculous. My favorite one so far has been the ABC Family commercial where [cartoon] Moose #1 is laying face down in the snow while Moose #2 looks on, stony faced, yet befuddled, and says--

"You're a moose. You can't fly." At this point I was doing that I-really-want-to-laugh-hysterically-but-I'm-not-sure-it's-a-joke-but-doesn't-that-make-it-funnier? thing.

To this, Moose #1 responds defiantly and full of false, illogical hope, "Nothing can stop me!"

Then I heard that in the UK, they're trying to make Santa skinny, to be a better role model. And then I saw Toys Story 3, which was just like a cynical thought I had jokingly expressed, so I thought that if these could become movies and specials, I could make one!

And so here is the script of my Christmas special. (And I CAN make a Christmas special, despite my whole not-celebrating-Christmas-thing. That makes it easier, actually. You'll understand once you've read this.)

At Rise: A fireplace in a cozy home. Decorated Christmas tree to the left of the fire.

We hear a rumbling from above in the chimney. Soot begins to fall onto unlit logs in the fireplace from above. A moment passes. Santa, with gut so large that the buttons on his red coat look like they might fly off, lands in the fireplace, a foot on either side of the log holding thing. He ducks out of the fireplace, stands up tall, and gazes out onto the scene of the living room with an eager smile.

Santa: Ho, ho, ho!

Santa takes his bag of presents and chucks it carelessly across the room. Back bent and fingers curved, he looks around excitedly at the table and on the floor by the tree.

Santa: What's this? No cookies? Are you kidding me? I come all this way for no cookies. Total crap.

Looks around, shoulders slumped, in a defeated stance. His neck moves as he looks for something to cheer him up. He sees the kitchen.

Santa: Well, I guess they mean to serve myself.

Waddles into kitchen, and opens fridge. He sees chocolate and immediately shovels it into his mouth. He then pulls out bacon strips. He fries the bacon. He turns of the stove, and carefully picks up the strip of greasy bacon, and bites into it.

Santa: Mmm, just how I like it--all cholesterol.

Santa moves his hand to take a second bite of bacon, but before he can, his eyes widen. His hands clutch at his heart for a few moments. Santa makes some panicked, unintelligible noises. He falls backward. The last second of his fall are in slow motion. As his body is hitting the ground, the camera closes up on his arm, which has splayed to the side. Still in slow motion, we see the bacon drop from his hand.

The Next Morning

Two young children, six and eight years old, a boy and a girl respectively, in onesies pajamas run frantically down the stairs, nearly bursting with excitement. They scurry to their living room and see a large red bag. Confused, they look at each other. They go back to staring at the bag. The boy notices a trail of grease and melted snow leading to the kitchen. He taps the shoulder of his sister and points to the trail. They follow the liquid to the kitchen, where Santa is laying sprawled on the floor. The stare uncomprehendingly at him for a moment, and the girl lets out a bloodcurdling scream.

Boy: No! No! This can't be happening! No! My presents!

Camera pans out, then fades, the last sounds being the tears and yells of the small children. We hear the girl saying, "Why did he have to be so fat?"


So, whatcha' think? I was going for a scarred for life effect. I think I hit my mark, what about you?

Your Joyous Blogger,

December 18, 2010

Diary of a Freshman: "Finding Yourself"

Everyone says that your high school years are important, and they are. Everyone says that these crucial moments are the times in which you "find yourself."

I've always scoffed at this. I've also always been a firm believer that you don't find yourself, you create yourself--that every piece of you must be a conscious decision, lest the person you become be someone you don't like.

And as it turns out, I was partially right.

Some background info, first. There's something I've kept from you readers. Since about the middle of eighth grade (at least, I suspect it might've been since before that) I have been a fake.

Fake, two-faced, whatever you'd like to call it, that was me. I knew I was, but I had a hard time stopping it. What I mean by two-faced is that I projected a new persona with everyone. I could act fun and carefree with some friends, while I would be smart and weird/silly with others. (Think: Lindsey from An Abundance of Katherines.) I had so many faces and it was getting tiresome. And I really didn't like it. And I was never really happy. And honestly, this is the first time I've ever actually admitted it, because I was always afraid that if I said it or told someone that then my fears would be confirmed. I'm saying it now because it's no longer a fear of mine.

Freshman year has been kind of amazing. I quit trying to decide what I was going to be like, I just let go of whatever "image" I wanted, hung out with whoever I wanted to hang out, and stopped trying to convince people to like me. I continued to make conscious decisions about my personality, like a little voice would remind me Think about this from their perspective and Watch what you say and Be nice. The difference though--I'm doing it for me. I can now honestly say that I couldn't care less about what others think about me. That makes me really happy.

So the point of this is, Yes, they are right, you do "find" yourself in high school, and that if you keep trying to be someone else or be someone that everyone likes, you will never be happy.

Oh, God, I sound like a Disney movie.

Alright, everyone understand the sentiment? Here's the CliffNotes version: I was fake, now I'm not, and I'm happy, so be yourself, 'cause High School is a time of crucial mental development. Got it?

Your Blogger Who Has Found The Secret of Happiness,

P.S. I would say that this also is a testament to how freshmen interact--changing themselves or parts of their personality in order to infiltrate a desired group of friendship, or to achieve a desired status or standing in the high school's society. Theory of Freshman Culture, Behavior, and Interaction #2: Less mature freshmen may often change their personality, imitate interests, and so on in order to change their image, social standing, status, or peer group.

December 16, 2010

Mini-Blog: Another Snow Day

It's 5:28 PM and my suddenly-more-intelligent school board decided to make tomorrow another snow day since the city is coated in ice.

I got the news while doing homework and thinking, I should have started this earlier, I really need to study for my finals tomorrow. So perfect timing, right? The ice fairies DO love me! Now I get to do all this and take my tests in two or so weeks! Now my music is on and loud, and was technically the first day of winter break!

So happy winter to one and all, and remember to leave soda out for your local ice fairy troop!

Your Joyous Blogger,

Snow Day 2!

Yippee! Today I woke up, stared at the tv which was tuned to the local news, and tried to get my eyes to stop blurring. I saw something on the screen. Could it be? I spent the next three minutes standing in different positions around the room to make sure I was seeing it correctly, and then I finally decided I didn't care!

So I went back to sleep, woke up at nine, and now I'm writing this! Turns out, there was no school. You know what that means? I get to take my science and French finals in January!

But I still have a math final tomorrow. Boo. I should be studying for that, shouldn't I?

Who thinks we might have another snow day?


Your Blogger,

December 14, 2010

Let's Read A Comment Worthy of Hannah Baker

People really do get really worked up about books. Do you guys remember that review of 13 Reasons Why I posted? You remember! "13 Reasons Why I Hate Hannah Baker"!

Well, people are still reading and commenting on it, and who would like to see a comment I recently received in my moderation box? Yes, I thought you would. Usually, I would publish a comment whether or not they agreed with me, but this one is rather insulting, ironic, and misses the point, so I am publishing it, just not in the comments section. Let's read on, shall we?
okay. i do not agree..little words and little things can hurt people wether people relize it or not. but little things can hurt. and i totaly get where she is coming from. yeah everyone can feel violated in some way. but maybe she didnt want her parents to find out. i mean everything is possible. i do not feel completly sorry for hannah. becasue she could have simply went up and saidsomething to all 13 people. but she also could have a depresion disorder. many people do and sometimes they dont want to talk about it. maybe you should learn the facts before you blog
Now, let's address Anonymous's comment.

Anonymous has the right to disagree and I respect that. Nothing wrong at all with that. A lot of people do disagree.

First off, yes, the little things can hurt--but this book takes it to the extreme.

Second, I also understand where she's coming from, not because she's widely relatable, sensical, or good at explaining things, but because I used to be like her. Not suicidal, but I would read into things like nothing else. But it made me crazy, always worrying about "signs" and whatnot, so I realized something--they're not talking to Aly because they're mad at me, they're talking to her because they want to. And looking back on how I used to think, I really didn't like it. If I was someone who expressed those thoughts, I'm sure I would not have wanted to be my friend. Why? Because I was silly, annoying, and without perspective. I really strongly dislike that former Nadia for those reasons, which gives me the right to really strongly dislike Hannah for those reasons.

Then Anonymous tries to defend the fictional character with the weak argument of, "she didn't want her parents to know." Never really an excuse, is it? And it sure doesn't pass for one here!

Then Anonymous goes on to agree with me.

Then she says Hannah may have been clinically depressed. Well, she only very rarely--and fickly--even expressed one symptom of depression, that being withdrawal from friends and family. SO I don't think it was that.

I understand what Jay Asher was trying to get across--little actions have big impacts. However, if he wanted to get this across well, he should not have used this story or character. It's like saying, "Go to marriage counseling. One guy, he and his wife didn't go to marriage counseling and then he got pneumonia."

Then, Anonymous ends her comment with venom and without punctuation. Subsequently, she tells me what I may or may not write in my blog, while also implying that I do not think, but rather am a monkey who sits at her computer, just typing keys, not understanding a thing.

Anonymous really is overreacting to my post, I mean, to stoop as low as to insult the metal capability of the writer? Overreaction, blowing things out of proportion, not making total sense...a comment worthy of Hannah Baker, wouldn't you say?

She goes to all of this trouble to defend a girl who DOES. NOT. EXIST.

To "Anonymous":* Get over it. Get over yourself. It's my blog, my thoughts, and you'll be hard pressed to win an argument against me. Especially since I'm the comment moderator. Bet Anonymous didn't know that before she hit Publish.

This may seem excessive, but as our lovely Anonymous so wisely and insightfully pointed out, small things can cause big reactions.

Your Blogger,

*Is anyone surprised she didn't use a name or account?

December 13, 2010

Diary of a Freshman: Snow Day

Today, thank God, is a snow day. So what am I doing? Of course, I sitting in my room being bored to death.

You see, I asked my friend on Saturday when she wanted to study, but she then remembered that she was going to be out of town. Okay, plausible enough, I studied alone and babysat vicious three year olds that night.

Sunday night, I asked if they wanted to do the usual--in wintertime and on most snow days, we all go to this hill in our neighborhood for a couple of hours, then go back to one of our houses for hot cocoa by a fire. They said that they needed to study. Ok. So I'm being bored at home now, because I have no form of transport and they live close to me and are busy.

But don't be like me!

Finish homework, play in the snow, see your friends, have a ride at the ready, break out the hot cocoa and old Disney movies, and have fun!

Unlike me. :( [Though this is probably better than being at school. Maybe.]

Your BORED Blogger,

December 11, 2010

A Little Pick-Me-Up

If ever you're feeling a bit unimportant, stop for a moment. What are you doing? Yes, that's right, breathing.

Do you know what breathing is? Exhaling carbon dioxide (and 10% of that breath is oxygen, just so you know). By doing that, you are providing fuel to trees, thereby saving rain forests. By saving rain forests, you help decrease greenhouse gasses.

What? What's that? No. My logic is fool-proof.

If you obstinate readers out there disagree, then how about this: by breathing you contribute to greenhouse gasses, effectively killing the Earth. That's important. Now you're important. So, if you've chosen this method of being important, feel free to crawl under a rock and start hating yourself for creating this crappy weather. Really. Today was 50 degrees, and Sunday's a snowstorm. The first snow fell in late November. Like, what's with that? How could you do this to me? I thought we were friends!

But that's not what I picked. I save rain forests. I'm special and important. That's why the forest fairies love me. They'll do anything I tell them to. I'm in control.

Your Blogger,

P.S. Uh, was that weird? It seems that people are telling me I'm a bit strange more and more now. I'll take this as a good thing, because who wants to be normal? Normal is boring. Anywho, feel free to chalk the strangeness of this post to my brain being fried. It was a five day week, full of tangents and sines and cosines and skeletons and other things that make my brain go RugHUMPHdilliPLOPerschnigel.

The Odyssey Makes No Sense

I recently finished reading The Odyssey for English class, and I've got some problems with it. But mostly with Odysseus.

For one, he's a total hypocrite. He's all "I'm going to be so mad if Penelope cheated on me after my being away for twenty years!" but he was with Calypso for SEVEN YEARS!

He blames everything bad on other people. He falls asleep, he blames Zeus, but when he beats a monster, he says, "Yeah, that was all me, I'm pretty awesome."

Somehow, Homer thought that to illustrate Odysseus's bravery, he should cage and ambush a room of unarmed men to regain his kingdom.

Did anyone find it strange that the Telemachus-meets-his-dad scene took six lines, but it takes Penelope more than a page to get out Odysseus's old bow?

The part where Telemachus and Odysseus meets goes like this:
O: I'm your dad.
T: No you're not.
O: Yes, I am.
T: Lies!
O: Seriously, I'm your father.

Ok, I can't list all my problems with this because I'm honestly mostly using this to keep from studying, and if I listed all my problems, I would succeed and that would be bad.

Your Procrastinating Blogger,

December 10, 2010

Diary of a Freshman: Duuun dun...dun dun...dun dun dun dun--FINALS!

Guys, in one week, winter break is here. Which means that on Tuesday, I start taking my finals. Dun dun DUN.

So I should be blogging, right? Finals are important. But I haven't been blogging too much, and won't be because they're FINALS! Which are IMPORTANT! So I'm studying. Or, uh, will be.

Some Tips For Final Studying
  1. Make a list of concepts and things that you need to review.
  2. Take your notes, binders, and textbooks home with you.
  3. Study in a small group of people who have your same classes. Individual study is good at first, but if you're iffy on some things (like pretty much everything you've learned on trigonometry), it can help to have someone there to explain it to you.
  4. Have your study partners quiz you.
  5. Do absolutely all extra credit stuff. You'll probably need it. Bring in bouche de Noël for French, calculate the circumference of the moon for Math, whatever you have to!
  6. Remember how you've been gliding through English class, not reading the books and saying "Need levels," every time you're asked about some character's motivation in A Raisin In The Sun, and relying on knowledge attained through the Percy Jackson books to cover up that you've yet to read a word of The Odyssey? Yeah, well, you might want to get around to reading those, because they WILL be on the final. Reading the SparkNotes version IN ADDITION will really help you out, and make sure to check out the Important Quotations section, and the take the quiz.
  7. READ DIRECTIONS. I got a C on a test because instead of putting down the letter which stands for the character, I put down their initials. Watch out for that.
  8. Make sure your calculator is in the correct function. When calculating sines/cosines/tangents, you'll need to go to Mode and then select Degree. Yeah, I know, same here, all I know how to do on my calculator is play games.
  10. Pray for a snow day.
And that, my darlings is the formula for success.

I hope. I'm going to be spending the entire weekend studying (Oh no, I can't clean up after all my mom's cousins and uncles that are visiting!). And I study hard.

You know, I'm pretty sure that the school specially designs Finals Week to kill us. That way they won't have to order as many yearbooks. If you had met my teachers, you wouldn't doubt this possibility.

Your Blogger,

P.S. Wish me luck!



I didn't go on my e-mail for two days, so when I did, it asked to verify my account so I did, and an hour later, I came here to check on my blog, and it was GONE and my account was there, but not the blog, not the two years' worth of posts. But it's 5:46 A.M. right now, and my blog is BACK!

This is great. Seriously, I was heartbroken when I saw that this was deleted.


Your Happy Happy Blogger,

December 01, 2010

Mini-Blog: SparkLife

Can I just say that I get WAY too excited when I'm mentioned in SparkLife (the section of SparkNotes filled with awesomesauce)!

Like today, I saw an article on Dos and Don'ts of hosting an exchange student. And I had asked for that, and they mentioned that at the beginning of the article! Eep! And I do a little happy dance every time they include my answer on Phi Beta Dagger and Interview With A Sparkler.

Am I the only one?

Your Sparkling Blogger,

P.S. The "Would you join a Quidditch team?" poll has closed. 3 "Hell yes!"s and 1 "Maybe". Good job, readers! Turns out you guys are pretty awesome.