Monday, December 21, 2009

from The Battle of the Labyrinth

"I can't do it."
Grover hugged his stomach.
"Just thinking about it makes me want to throw up my silverware."
~
"He had a crush on a blueberry bush once,"
Juniper said miserably.
"Juniper,"
Annabeth said,
"Grover would never even look at another tree."
~
She sounded like she was close to crying.
"Hey, I'm usually about to die,"
I promised.
"Don't feel bad."
~
Jus' some laugh out loud moments
:)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Reasons I cannot fall asleep at night

Let's consider all the possibilities:

1) Not because I'm scared... really... just thinking about hellhounds...and Luke...and other ways a demigod could kill. :/ (plus being psyched about the new movie coming in Febuarary!)

2) Realizing I forgot to finish my Geometry packet.

3) Thinking about the best Christmas gift one could give. (Yeah, I need ideas)

4) Hoping it doesn't snow so I don't have to scrape off the car tomorrow morning before school.

5) Massaging my sore fingers.

6) and feeling horrible about not posting in a month! :(

...I really don't mean for this to sound like a pity party...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

~The Lighting Thief~

-by Rick Riordan

My cousin had read this book awhile ago. I just never took the time to follow his advice. Well, I am completely in love with it now, and I am starting on the sequel, The Sea of Monsters.

What made me pick it up, though, was the fact that it's going to be a movie in Febuary 2010. And I really do hate to watch movies first... So I decided to be on the safe side and read it before it came out.

Now I am over excited for the movie! I just hope they don't mess it up, although I know the book will always be better.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

~Playing with the Enemy~

-by Gene Moore

*ENDING SPOILERS*

(This has been in my draft box for quite a while now...!)

I really did enjoy this "school required" book...until I got to the end.

I'm a sucker for happy endings, which is why I was dissapointed when the main character, Gary Moore, never makes it to the majors and refuses to talk about his past. Why don't you just rip my heart out?

He was the perfect catch, the perfect leader, and the perfect all-around person. But it's not a fairytale book, which is what I didn't think I would have to remember.

As I said before, I love happy endings, and this is definetly not a match in the puzzle. It's one of those "exceptions" to the list. Like the pieces you cram together because they look right, but really they don't.

It is a very good read though, and definetly worth the time if you are expecting the major heart-break in the end.

Gene stepped out onto Madison Street, unable to reconcile the contrast in sights and sounds between Sesser and Chicago. In Sesser, sounds flowed through the trees, fields, and rolling hills. In Chicago, the noise bounced back and forth from building to building. The sounds echoing in front of Union Station reminded Gene of being in a gymnasium in rural Illinois. He was outside, and yet he felt closed in.

The game had almost forgotten about him, but he never forgot about the game.

"You Americans are not as smart as you think," Mueller said with a determined shake of his head. "You do it wrong. You should have been playing [baseball] to entertain the German troops." "Why's that?" "Baseball could be your secret weapon," smiled Mueller. "You could have bored us to death and won the war already."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Our poor old tree

Remember that storm two days ago? Yeah, its all his fault. :/

The big branch is hanging on barely.

Well, I guess I can't call it old.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's not that I don't want to

Trust me, I'm still alive.

And I know it has been forever since I posted.

I don't want to give excuses, so I apologize for the lack of posting going on lately.

I'm trying my hardest to find time. And I'm not done here yet.

Friday, September 4, 2009

~The Enchanted Castle~

-by E. Nesbit

I was told about a year ago that we were considering using The Enchanted Castle for our cousin camp production in a summer to come. But after further discussion, it was decided that it had to many "un-realities" and it would be impossible to film.

At the time, I had not read the book, but I knew the jist of it. And being told I would be casted as the witty Mabel, I was, of course, outraged.

But only until now do I understand why. It is filled to the brim with magic, statues, estates, and feasts that would be impossible to film. (not to mention the flying gods)

Don't get me wrong, I would still like to attempt filming maybe just a few scenes... but that is for another few years.

It seemed about an hour, and was really quite ten minutes, before they heard the bedroom door open and Mabel's feet on the stairs. 'She hasn't found it,' Gerald said. 'How do you know?' Jimmy asked. 'The way she walks,' said Gerald. You can, in fact, almost always tell whether the thing has been found that people have gone to look for by the sound of their feet as they return.

'We've got to find these clothes,' said Mabel, 'simply got to. I used to want to be a heroine. It's different when it really comes to being, isn't it?'

'It is a fine mansion,' he said at last when they had come back to the point from which they had started; 'but I should suppose, in a house this size, there would mostly be a secret stairway, or a priests' hiding place, or a ghost?' 'There are,' Mabhel briefly, 'but I thought Americans didn't believe in anything but machinery and newspapers.'

And then it is as though a spring touched, a fountain of light released. Everthing changes. Or, rather, everything is revealed. There are no more secrets. The plan of the world seems plain, like an easy sum that one writes in big figures on a child's slate. One wonders how one can ever have wondered about anything. Space is not; every place that one has seen or dreamed of is here. Time is not; into the instant is crowded all that one has ever done or dreamed of doing.

Now to go eat dinner with my missed-much sister :-)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I don't know how it happened, but it did.

School came and robbed me of my time... as it usually does. I hope this does not sound like an excuse, but it just as well should be.

I have read more on my list, I just have not been posting very often.

So I have not stopped altogether, I am still here. I am just finding the time.

Friday, August 21, 2009

North! or be Eaten Tour

Just getting this out of the way: a completely worth while book. North! or be Eaten is a bit lengthly (still in the reading process, here), but completely worth the time.

Fantasies are always a thrill to me, because they take place in places I have never heard of before. But there are some things in books that always stay the same. Like the value of family. The characters in this book by Andrew Peterson know the importance of family, and depend on each other.

Although I have not yet finished the book, I hope it continues to play out how has been going. I am having a hard time trying not to give out spoilers, so just go read the book that has me so excited!


North! or be Eaten is also part of the Wingfeather saga.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The grass isn't always greener on the other side

My greener grass backyard this morning:

Some flowers begging to pose for pictures:

Just sit back, relax, and read The Enchanted Castle.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Preferences Meme

(...this is my 'hello, again' post...)

I stole this from Marie.

1)Reading something frivolous, or something serious?
It depends on what kind of mood I am in. As it is with everyone, I'm sure. I like both, really.

2)Paperback or hardcover?
Hardcover. Definitely. I hate bending books.

3)Fiction or nonfiction?
I'm bringing the mood thing in again. I like them both, and if I choose one, that shows I do not like the other one as much.

4)Poetry or prose?
Poetry. Prose. I don't know.

5)Biographies, or autobiographies?
I would like to have both, but autobiographies seem more interesting to me.

6)History or historical fiction?
History. I love cold, hard facts :)

7)Series or stand-alones?
If it's a good book, then I would enjoy reading more, but if it was not too good, or if it seems repeated, or if it seems forced, I prefer stand-alones.

8)Classics or best-sellers?
CLASSICS! Just becuase the only books our school uses are "best-sellers" and are not always - have yet to be the best choice.

9)Lurid, fruity prose, or straight-forward basic prose?
The lurid fruity stuff. It tastes good to the ears.

10)Plots or stream-of-consciousness?
Ehh. I like both but I think plots are easier to understand.

11)Long or short books?
See #7

12)Illustrated or non-illustrated?
Bring on the pictures! Just don't kill me with an overflow.

13)Borrowed or owned?
For first-reads? Borrowed. For good books already read? Owned.

14)New or used?
Ahh. The smell of an old book. Plus they are usually cheaper.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer Camp 2009!

Every morning at camp, we would wake up, get all spiffy, and then head out to eat breakfast. And every morning, there would be another spectacular view of the lake, the sky, and the green in betwween waiting for us.

It is kind of hard to see in this picture, and it was never as dark as it shows here, but this is actually what i got to wake up to every morning at camp. Lucky me. :]

Especially getting back from Wordview, i was expecting a lot from this experience. But i forgot to take into account that this was camp not an acadamy. And i got a lot less than i expected.

Don't take this the wrong way, i loved it! But after Worldview, everything was just redundant. This year, we were going over evangelism. And afer Worldview, (again) i was expecting more.

The only thing i disagreed with was the fact that they taught us that we have to know our testimony inside and out, and we have to know everything we are going to say and how we are supposed to say it.

I know that the bible says to always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have, (I Peter 3:15) but i don't think we had to get into as much detail as we did. When we were there, they were figuring out transitional words, like when you were witnessing, it would be like reading off of a script.

But that was my one and only problem. Besides that, everything was wonderful. Even the 12 hour road trip where i finished three quarters of a book! The rest of the time was spent sleeping or trying to sleep. Happily, no one on our bus got sick. :]

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ho-Hum

This summer has been going a lot quicker than i had planned. Last week i spent time with some cousins of mine, and we filmed a movie...Macbeth. And i was his lady.

But anyways, i am leaving again, and i will not be back for another week. It's summer church camp again, and we have to leave tomorrow around 5 in the morning. Yes, you heard me correctly. Unfortunatly, the camp is almost 12 hours away, but i believe it is definetly worth it, being alumni, and all.

In my last post, i said that i hoped to finish a couple of books over the week. But that was long gone, and i never really got into them.

Now, for those of you who are slow at math... 12 hours of extra time doing nothing + 2 or 3 unread books that had better become read = a late, but completed, goal... and car sickness. Just kidding, i hardly ever get sick like that.

When i am back, i will possibly give some sort of overview of what went on. i say possibly because i still have not gotten to my Wordview review. Which, by the way, was spectacular.

See you all in a week!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Dictionary Days - G for Gabardine

n. a firm, woven twilled fabric of cotton, or wool

i admit it, i had no idea what this was. It looks like it would be a kind of jean fabric, but apparently, it is used for suits and overcoats.

This fabric was created in the 19th century by a fellow named Thomas Burberry. The object of the fabric was to last long for workers and such.


Burberry took his idea and the name from a garment called gaberdine. Supposevly, the fabric was tied around the waist usually for homeless people and beggars, to keep them warmer.

Whatever it was, people still use it today, not for warmth, but for fashionalble suits, pants, and even purses.

Smells, Smells, Wonderful Smells

As most of you know, every summer, my family and our cousins get together to film a movie. Usually it is a short protuction, sometimes it is not.

Moreover, our cousins brought down some coustumes and other things for the film. So we lugged them downstairs to the "coustume room", where they stayed for a days in their crates. But just the other day, my sister and i decided it was time to clean up, becuase they would be coming down in a couple days.

So, we started unpacking, re-shelving, hanging-up, and organizing. As soon as we picked up one of the costumes to hang up, we got a wiff of what they smelled like. Flooded with memories of the "cousin's house", we started talking about what it reminded us of.

She told a story about how she borrowed Bree's dress one time and she would always lean over and smell her shoulder, and it would smell like the "cousin's". And no matter how many times she washed it, it smelled the sweet same.

i do not really know how to describe the smell, but i had an experience like that too. But it was a pillow case, and the story was the same.

The only thing i wonder about is, if we smell the "cousin's", what do we smell like to them?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Update, July 6

Well, things have been going really slow. Since it is summer, i am more liable to procrastinate. And, of course, that is what has happened.

Though, (even though i hate to give excuses), i have been coming and going for a while now. First it was Worldview Acadamy, then it was a family reunion.

i told myself i was going to read today, but then i got side-tracked into cleaning my room (i cannot stand it when it is a mess). i have had so much stuff on my To-Do list, that i hardly get to do any of it.

Hopefully by setting a goal on my blog, i will be less likely to procrastinate. So now i am going to read at least two books by the end of the week (Friday). i know its not a lot, but i need to start small.

So, the two i am going to read are A Curse Dark as Gold, and Till We Have Faces. They are both from the library, and i want to get those out of the way first.

Wish me luck! :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Quick Change

Sorry, for the sudden change so... sudden.

i kind of wanted a new look, but i did not know if i was going too far. It looks a little too bold for me.

What do you think? And tell me honestly, because you are the one who has to look at it.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

~The Story of My Life (Helen Keller)~

-by Helen Keller

Back from my trip to Wordview, i had a huge list of books that were requested during the week. The Story of My Life was one of the many. i always had an intrest in Helen Keller and her story, but i never really saw that interest, if you know what i mean.

Anywho, our library had "The Restored Classic" edition, and i was ecstatic. It has Helen's account (part of which is the Story), Anne Sullivan's account, John Macy's account, and some of Helen's letters.

Origanally, i was just interested in the Story, but now that i am finished, i may go back and see the difference in Anne's perspective.

Obviously, my favorite quote is the theme of my blog... "Literature is my Utopia." But the context is a little off. She explains how books are her eyes to the "outside" world that she cannot see or hear.

So her Utopia is our world. But it could also mean literature is everyone's utopia. The ability to go into someone else's world is something only books can let us do.

100 Years

My favorite song since Friday:
Watch on youtube.
..
I'm 15 for a moment
Caught in between 10 and 20
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are
.
I'm 22 for a moment
And she feels better than ever
And we're on fire
Making our way back from Mars
.
15, there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to lose
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you've only got a hundred years to live
.
I'm 33 for a moment
Sill a man, but you see I'm a they
A kid on the way, babe
A family on my mind
.
I'm 45 for a moment
The sea is high
And I'm heading into a crisis
Chasing the years of my life
.
15, there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to lose yourself
Within a morning star
.
15, I'm alright with you
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you've only got a hundred years to live
.
Half-time goes by
Suddenly you're wise
Another blink of a eye
67 is gone
The sun is getting high, we're moving on
.
I'm 99 for a moment
Dying for another moment
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are
.
15, there's still time for you
22, I feel her too
33, you're on your way
Every day's a new day
.
15, there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to chose
Hey, 15, there's never a wish better than this
When you've only got a hundred years to live
..
(Five for Fighting)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dictionary Days - F for Fable

n. a short tale intended to convey a moral truth

Well, i did not know excatcly what i was going to do for this one. Then i thought of a child "fable" that was sung to me when i was little.

Little bunny Foo Foo
Hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
and bopping them on the head.
Down came the Good Fairy and she said...
Little bunny Foo Foo
I don't wanna see you
Scooping up the field mice
and bopping them on the head.
I'll give you three chances
and if you don't behave I'll turn you into a GOON!

(x3)

And i am guessing you can figure out who gets turned into a goon. i do not think i was swayed in any way because of this fable, but it has a moral to it for sure.

i'm Back!

First of all, i was really disapointed when i found out that i was not going to be here for the Darkwood tour. But i am okay now, because i am really proud of how the tour turned out.

Secondly, i had a great time at Worldview. i am a little deprived of sleep, but i can run on caffine, so everything is good :) . My experience was fantastic and life-changing, and i will definetly want to go again next year.

Thirdly, (and lastly, i promise) kind of has to do with Worldview. When i went, we sat through a lot of deep and interesting lectures. During the lectures, several books were recomended and/or used for them*. i basically wrote down all of the books, but i narrowed it down to some fewer than before.

*i decided to only write down the books that were super interesting to me, so there are a lot more than this that i may get to...

The Deadliest Monster by Jeff Baldwin
The Greatest Among You by Randy Sims
The 12 Trademarks of Great Literature by Jeff Baldwin
Common Sense by Thomas Paine
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
The Story of My Life by Hellen Keller
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
The Hobbit by Tolkien
How to Read Slowly by James W. Sire
Eat this Book by Eugene Peterson
Technopoly by Postman
Recovering the Last Tools of Learning by Wilson
Total Truth by Nancy Pearcy
Call of the Wild by Jack London
Darwin on Trial by Phillip Johnson
Defeating Darwinism by Phillip Johnson
On Moral Fiction by John Gardner
Till we have Faces by C.S. Lewis
Man's search for meaning by Frankl
A Severe Mercy by VanAuken

Most of these books are Christian based, and i thought it would be good to read some of the books like Darwin on Trial and Mere Christianity. You probably skipped through my list, and i do not blame you.

The funny thing is that i was just about to post something about book requests when i got back. Ha. i guess i do not need to do that anymore. But if you feel that you must, please comment and give me some good books. *(evil laugh)* :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Darkwood Tour - Interview and Review

M.E. Breen is the author of Darkwood. She lives in California, and grew up around animals.

I am extremely excited to present you with an interview that she took the time to answer:


Are you impressed with the cover for Darkwood? Were there any other choices for cover art?

There was only ever one cover for this novel. We all loved it from the very beginning, though I will admit I was shocked at first to see anothor person's idea of what Annie looked like. It’s not that I had such a fixed idea of my own, because I relate to her more from the inside out, the way you can inhabit someone else’s body in a dream but still feel like yourself. But seeing Alex Jansson’s illustration made Annie feel a little less mine, like she belonged to the world now and was going to go places I couldn’t necessarily follow. Which is good! It just took getting used to. Writing is such a private, loner pursuit that the whole “public” part of publishing takes getting used to, at least for me. And of course I love the cats on the cover. They look just like my cats, except skinnier.

How did you decide to describe the kinderstalk and the other creatures in the book?

The most important thing I had to decide about the kinderstalk was their name. They had to sound terrifying to the people of Howland. And they had to have black fur to match the night. And big teeth, to eat you with. . .

Is writing about a "made-up" world difficult?

You know that old term, “brain-pan”? I think it actually means skull, but I always think of it as a sort of dish at the back of the head that holds images and ideas. I dream a lot and I spend a lot of time out in nature and those things fill up the pan, though often I don’t know the ideas are there until I start writing. The hard part for me is making sure everything follows the logic of the invented world, especially since Howland is filled with “the real” as well as the imaginary. For example, I realized when I was working on a late draft that I had someone using a weapon that wasn’t around until about 1920. Even though Howland is a fantasy world, it’s clearly a pre-industrial world, so I had to research things from time to time to make sure they fit.

How did you think of names such as Trewitt, Prudence, and Mr. Gibbet?

One of my favorite plays is The Way of the World by William Congreve. All of the characters have names that tell you something important about their nature or purpose. A suitor named Witwoud, for example, probably isn’t going to be very clever, while a woman named Millamant, which in French means “thousands of lovers,” is likely to be picky about whom she marries. As for my characters, Prudence struck me as a trait you’d want in a guide, and a trait Annie herself sometimes lacks, while Trewitt evokes truth and wit, honesty and cleverness. The name Gibbet was inspired by the name of the character Inspector Bucket in Dickens’ novel Bleak House. As you might imagine, the Inspector is a practical, hard-working man who keeps plugging along no matter what. So what’s in a name? Gibbet means gallows, or, as a verb, “to put to death by hanging."

And lastly, if you could take Annie's place in the story, would you?

This is a great question. A friend sent me a note after finishing Darkwood with the line, “I want to BE Annie!” This friend has a thriving career, a lovely partner and family, and two dogs she takes hiking through desert canyons—a pretty enviable life. So why would she want to be Annie, who spends most of the novel on the run from, and toward, danger? I think most of us want to escape from our lives sometimes, not because they’re bad, but because they’re full of homework and bills and negotiations about what to cook for dinner and wondering whether you can get away with wearing the brown pants to work three days in a row. Annie has plenty to worry about, but she does not sweat the small stuff. On those days when the small stuff feels like the only stuff, yes, I probably would take Annie’s place, but only if there was an escape clause that let me come back to my own life as soon as Chopper showed up.

----

I found Darkwood extremely exciting. Though I must say, I did not think I would be reading about Annie watching a man fall to his death...it was a bit over the edge (pun intended). However, it was a fantastically written, well played out book, and definitely worth a re-read.

Check out M.E. Breen's web site: here

Check out all the blogs in this tour: A Patchwork of Books, Abby the Librarian, All About Children’s Books, Becky’s Book Reviews, Cafe of Dreams, Dolce Bellezza, Hyperbole, KidzBookBuzz.com, Never Jam Today, My Utopia, Through a Child’s Eyes, Through the Looking Glass Reviews

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Yesterday...

After a severe thunderstorm warning in the Chicago area:
Close up just before it disappeared:

But the colors were much more vivid...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

~Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City~

-by Kirsten Miller

I fell in love with this book at the end of the first chapter. It sucked me right in, and I could not stop reading it.

Well, actually I had to, but it took a bit to drag me away from the book...or the book away from me... Let me tell you, I do not give up easily without a fight.

Just kidding, no parents or siblings were harmed in the reading of this book. :)

It was truly spectacular, said the girl who stayed up until 2 o'clock in the morning wondering if the rats were that hungry. No joke. And it was definitely worth the 5 shots on my golf game the next day.

I would strongly recommend this to any girl. Included are also tidbits on how to take advantage of being a girl, how to catch and tell a lie, and how to successfully follow someone. Perfect for anyone with or without the heart of a spy.

Now excuse me while I try the pry the almost-overdue book out of my younger sister's hands.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Next week...

I am going to be out the entire week. Not this week, but Monday thru Saturday (I think those are the dates... don't quote me on this).

I did not know if I could do the Darkwood tour because I found out that it was going to be during the camp I am going to. But no worries, I *figured out how to schedule posts*, and hopefully it will work on Monday.

*This post was actually written on Monday, the 15th so I could see if I really had figured it out. :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Dictionary Days - E for Eagle

First off, I would just like to apologize again for not posting lately. Summer has proven to be more chaotic than the school year, and I am not sure if I like it.


n. large bird of prey

Something always sticks with me when I think of eagles. I always see them as majestic and all that.

When we first moved, I themed my room to be all-american. Of course, now it is different, with hardly anything red, white or blue.

But when it was themed, lots of the things that I collected were eagles, because it is the national bird.

But since I struck up the subject, does your room have a theme? And if so, what is it?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Bookstore Experience

I had money on a gift card that was not going anywhere, and a whole day at the Promenade. The Promenade is sort of our shopping center, and I hardly ever get to go.

So I got out of the car heading to the bookstore with glee. I knew exactly what I was going to get. Oh, but you know I can not just tell you.

First step into Barnes and Noble... wow that's a lot of books.
Second step into Barnes and Noble... where do I start?

There were so many categories and subsections I did not know where to go.

The coolest thing about the store was their new electronic search computers. Type in Eva Ibbotson: the book I was looking for was in teen romance. Teen romance? I did not think it would have been put under that category.

But, anyway, I got the book, and it did not matter what category it was under, as long as I had it.

Along with A Countess Below Stairs, I got The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie.

($1.09 left on my gift card... what to do, what to do)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

~A Countess Below Stairs~

-by Eva Ibbotson

I woke up at 9:45 this morning (I heart summer), and got up to read.

I got hungry around lunchtime and brought my book downstairs with me (I can multi-task).

The nicest spot to read, in my opinion, is my room. So I went back up and laid on my unmade bed.

From there, I switched to: at my desk, then back onto my bed, to end up finally on the ground with my throw pillow under my chin.

Is it not nice to spend 6 hours on a book you thoroughly enjoy?

Although I must say it is quite tiring. After that sort of book, I like to lay around and just think.


Think about:
A Countess Below Stairs - main character = Anna
The Star of Kazan (also by Eva Ibbotson) - main character = Annika

But what is in a name? ;)

Just my crazy thinking:
Both stories are about a young girl in high society
Both stories are about this girl who has to work in her troubled times, even though it is not accepted.
Both stories include a "him".
But, both stories are also magnificent and unique, in spite of the similarities.

In The Star of Kazan, a little more attention is paid on the work, while in A Countess Below Stairs, a lot more attention is put into the "him".


Although, I did not get to lay around and think about these things... I was swinging a golf club at practice while thinking about these things...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Late Nights and Early Mornings

I am so very sorry. I am such a terrible person.

I was looking through my list of posts out of curiosity and saw that my last book was over a month ago.

The truth is that I am in between more than just three books at the moment. There are several that are not on my reading to-do list.

I'm trying to stay with one book right now and finish the others one at a time, but it is so very difficult to stay away from a book that you have already started!

Problem: Too many books at one time

Solution: Stay up late and finish those darn books! (though I really do love them)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

More coming I promise

It's the last day of school and I just wanted to say that I will be picking up on posting. Since finals are here, we have to do this crazy thing for them. Have you ever heard of it? Oh, it's called studying. Crazy, right?

Well, that means I hardly have any time to do much at all. But happy happy happy! The last day of school has come, and that means no more studying!


On another note:

Just wanted to thank Noel, and Marie for choosing Midsummer's Night Dream for our "camp".

There were five minutes left on the clock. The girl was rushing to finish her English II Semester II exam. She glanced at her answer sheet. There was no way she would be able to finish reading the excerpt and answer all the questions. But, hey, look at this! The excerpt was taken from Shakespeare's play Midsummer's Night Dream. She scanned it to see what part from the play it was. Goodie! Oh Thisbe and Pyrimas, forever thanks to you too!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

only...four...more...(!)

One of the many reasons I wish I could go back to being home-schooled... I am not so desperately waiting for the end of the school year.

See, when ya get home-schooled, you can make it last as long as you like. Focus and get it done by 11 o'clock. Or procrastinate and stay up 'till all hours trying to finish the never-ending Saxon math (ugh).

But witch ever the way, (at least the way in my case) take as many breaks as you need, so long as the work gets done.


Well, the past has fled, and I'm stuck sitting in a classroom with a bunch of swearing idiots (sorry if I offended you), a teacher that just wants his paycheck, and a roller-coaster of grades.

But I say to myself, only...four...more...days.

Ah, yes. But within those four days is something else. The finals that prove how much you did not pay attention in class. Basically, the fate of that year rests in how good those grades are.

The second reason I wish I could go back to the home-schooled way of life... When home-schooled, I was learning to learn, not learning to improve my grades.

I mean, is that not what school is supposed to be? What good is it in the last 5 minutes of the test and you only filled in half the bubbles?

Say you randomly fill in all the correct bubbles. You get an A+ in the class, but yet you did not pay attention in the least.

But who cares? You got an A...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Musical - Brigadoon

I do not know what Brigadoon is, but since my school is doing it for their spring musical tonight, I decided this was my chance to find out.

Oh, and I am supporting my blogging friend, and my best friend in real-life, Christy, who is in the presentation. I hope to post about it later on, so stay on the edge of your comfy computer seats to find out more. :]

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Piano Recital - L'Arabesque

I am so excited!

My recital is today, and I love the song that I am going to play. I tried to film it, but I was not able to play the whole song because it would take forever to load.

So enjoy the shortened version of L'Arabesque by Johann Freidrich Burgmuller:


video

Friday, May 8, 2009

Dictionary Days - D for Dab

n. flatfish

Hmm, what was the first thing that popped into my head?


From Finding Nemo, this is Mr. Johanson. The flatfish that the other school fish pick on. If you have never seen the movie, click here to watch the first part of it on youtube.

A dab is a flatfish. Actually, the smallest flatfish there is. They are all light brown, not much orginality on their part. But I love the flatfish for their disguise.

They lay on the sand, and their "lack of orginality" helps them blend in with it. Since it has so many predators, this is a good technique that they use to defend themselves.

Don't you just love him?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Yesterday I Was Flying

It was perfect outside, and since I was eying my red and blue bike all winter long, I decided it was time to ride it once again.

I was speeding down the hill when I saw a bird that was flying at the same speed as me. It was not right next to me, but I was parallel to it. I've always wanted to do that. Because when you ride parallel to a bird that is flying at the same speed you are, it makes you feel like you are flying yourself.

(This is sort of a test-post, because my computer is not posting for me lately.)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Happy Birthday William!


Of course he died on April 23rd, too...

Monday, April 20, 2009

I found it!

I had been missing my dictionary for about a month now. And I found it, finally!

Unfortunately, I took a guess at the last Dictionary Day, and used the word cabbage instead of cab, which I was supposed to. I will make it up the next time it comes around, though.

I was just so excited when I found it because it was in such an obvious place. It was on my shelf under my bed. Ha

Friday, April 17, 2009

Just One More Thing To Do...

Aggravating, it is.

To think of all the joyous surprises that are tucked away in the precious pages that you are forbidden to enter.

Oh, but distance is but a number, and soon that number will become none. For when the time comes, you will pick up the courage to take that daring ride.

The leap of faith, that is, to drive the lengths to acquire those precious pages. And yes, it is worth it.

Find the courage to drive to your library, and search for that book that has been in the back of your mind for so long - being ignored.

-A note to myself about The Countess Below Stairs, that has been recommended by so many others to me.

Oh and yes, that trip is being put into action. :]

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

~The Seven Dials Mystery~

-by Agatha Christie

Oh, I just love off tangents:

"It's a very large place, and gloomy, you know. Rows of picture galleries with such forbidding looking people. What they call Old Masters are very depressing, I think. You should have seen a little house we had in Yorkshire, Mr. Thesiger. When Sir Oswald was plain Mr. Coote. Such a nice lounge hall and a cheerful drawing-room with an inglenook-a white striped paper with a frieze of wistaria I chose for it, I remember. Satin stripe, you know, not moire. Much better taste, I always think. The diningroom faced northeast, so we didn't get much sun in it, but with a good bright scarlet paper and a set of those comic hunting prints-why, it was as cheerful as Christmas."

I see now that I did not have to read the The Secret of Chimneys first. But I did it anyway to be on the safe side. The two are related, but she completely explains what you need to know.

I realized the other day how used to her writing I was, when I picked up a different book that had a completely different style that Christie. And how used to the speaking of a "gentleman". I loved the book so much it's hard to describe. But what I can say is that I had no idea who the murderer was. Like the last book I read, I was completely astonished when I read the killer's name. But that you will just have to experience for yourself.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

Today is Good Friday, when our Savior died at the cross for our sins some 2000 years ago.

Dictionary Days - C for Cabbage

Webster's definition:

n. a culinary vegetable

Yay! Food!

Okay, a vegetable, but I can get through this.

Cabbage, like lettuce, is very good for you. It contains a lot of vitamin C, and it is used to treat a deadly disease that forms in the neck. Not so scary anymore, eh?
Other popular types of cabbage are red cabbage, drumhead cabbage, winter cabbage and savoy cabbage. But they all look basically the same.

<- winter cabbage

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Last Supper

Over the next four days, I am going to post about the Easter season. Or rather, I am drawing a picture to represent each day. Today is The Last Supper, so this is the picture I drew:



In case you don't know, this is what communion in our church looks like. The tiny grape juice cup that is never even half way full, and the round cracker with the cross that always breaks before the pastor says, "Let us eat together".

Since quizzing this year was over Luke, I felt compelled to use this version of the story:

Luke 22:14-20

14. When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table.
15. And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.
16. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God."
17. After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you.
18. For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."
19. And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."
20. In the same way, after the supper he took the cup saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you."

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

~The Secret of Chimneys~

-by Agatha Christie

I really wanted to start reading The Seven Dials Mystery, but I did not know if the two were related to each other, so I read The Secret of Chimneys, the one that was published first. And soon enough, I will be on my way to the second one.

But of course, after I saw The Secret of Chimneys, it sat on my To-Read list for some time while I finished up other books I was currently reading. After that, I had to pick it up from the library, which took a while becuase our library did not OWN either of the two books (I should complain to the intern student ;-]) and then onto my bookshelf until my homework was complete.

After aquiring it, I got into the book itself.

It took a getting used to, I am sad to say, only because it was such a good book. The first three to four chapters were quite confusing, only becuase I got all the characters mixed up. Soon as I straightened that out, I focused on much more interesting things. Like trying to figure out who the murderer was!

Do not worry, I am not going to spoil anything. To tell you the truth, I did not know who it was before they revealed who it was. But of course, I was suspicious of all of the characters because I wanted to figure out who it was before they told me.

And now I go on to The Seven Dials Mystery! :o

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Map of Me Last Night

I'm using this idea from Cuileann

This is a map of me last night:


Eyes: closed, stressed

Hair: wet, tangled, relaxed

Feet: exhausted, bare, cold

Thoughts: where is my Agatha Christie?


Want to play?

What points would you plot to locate yourself, to map a moment? [Feel free to use points different from mine, e.g. toes, eyelids, notebook, et cetera...]

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bookshelf Meme

The rules:

1. Tag 3-5 people, so the fun keeps going!

2. Leave a comment at the original post at A Striped Armchair, so that Eva can collect everyone's answers.

3. If you leave a comment and link back to Eva as the meme's creator, she will enter you in a book giveaway contest! She has a whole shelf devoted to giveaway books that you’ll be able to choose from, or a bookmooch point if you prefer.

4. Remember that this is all about enjoying books as physical objects, so feel free to describe the exact book you’re talking about, down to that warping from being dropped in the bath water...

5. Make the meme more fun with visuals! Covers of the specific edition you're talking about, photos of your bookshelves, etc.


I was tagged by my sista, Marie at Fireside Musings, but everyone I would have tagged she already tagged, so if you were tagged by her, then I tag you too! But that does not mean you have to do it again or anything, just that we tag you together.


I had to rearrange my bookshelf for this one. After a while, all the books get pushed to the back and you cannot see them. Also, I had an *(ahem)* obsession with a series that took up over half of my bookshelf. Removing those books left more room to put more of my favorite books. All I needed was a little update and I am good to go.


The No-Longer-Messy Bookshelf:


Just for fun: (left to right) *school requirement **not read yet

-The invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick
-Farewell to Manzanar, by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston*
-The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, by Sean Covey*
-The Children's Homer*
-The Cat that was Left Behind, by C.S. Adler**
-Webster's Dictionary
-The Secret of Chimneys, by Agatha Christie**
-Warriors: Sunset, by Erin Hunter
-The Five People You Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom
-The Star of Kazan, by Eva Ibbotson
-White Fang, by Jack London**
-The Wright 3, by Blue Balliett**
-Bound, by Donna Jo Napoli*
-The Seven Dials Mystery, by Agatha Christie**
-The Starbucks Experience, by Joseph A. Michelli
-Warriors: Dark River, by Erin Hunter


Well here goes the meme...

Tell me about the book that has been on your shelf the longest:

The Cat that was Left Behind has been there the longest. It has been opened and re-opened for a while now, and It sitting there just because of it's beautiful cover. Though it is a little worn out faded (I bought it used), I love it because it reminds me of myself. Just what I would do, I thought, when I picked it up at the library sale. For $1, I thought I would try it out. I adore cats, and I love reading about them, so I was excited about this one. I hope to read it all the way through sometime soon, but until then, it is staying on my bookshelf.

Tell me about a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (i.e. a person, a place, a time, etc.)... :

Farewell to Manzanar is my pick for this one. It reminds me of the summer on the lake. Since it was a requirement for school, I had to read it before the year started. This was my Freshman year, I believe... When we got to the lake house that we were staying in, I never thought I would get to this book. I had so much on my mind then, that I did not want to think about reading, I just wanted to swim. But after all the swimming was over one day, and the showers were finished, I was not allowed back into the water. It was that warm night, that I dared take it out and step onto the dock to read. I have to say that it was intriguing. A very nice pick for the English department that my school has.

Tell me about a book you acquired in some interesting way (gift, serendipity in a used book store, prize, etc.)...

This book is not on my bookshelf, but others in the series are. Not to long ago I mentioned a series that I had to take out of my book shelf. Well, speaking of the devil, this is it. Warriors: Fire and Ice is the first one in the series, and I got it from my friend, Christy. The author (who is actually three authors, with one name), Erin Hunter was visiting her school, and she got me one of their books from the series. I did not read it for a while, but then I found out that another friend of mine was reading them too. That was when I picked it up for the first time, and I loved it. There are about 14 more books to the series now, of which I have read likely 12. I stopped when everyone around me was annoyed by my obsession. But I still have my favorites, and I re-read them every once in a while.

Tell me about the most recent addition to your shelves...

The two Agatha Christie books that I have are the most recent. They are not mine, they are from the library, but I have them currently, and am about one quarter of the way through The Secret of Chimneys. I cannot wait until I finish it, and start on the second one. Not to mention they are due in a week. :]

Tell me about a book that has been with you to the most places...
The Invention of Hugo Cabret is the one that has been with me to the most places. I never sat down to read it, I just carried it around so if I had a spare moment or two I would crack its pages and turn a few. As you have probably heard, it is a very fast book, even though it has 500+ pages. So, it did not take too terribly long to finish, but a very good book overall.

Tell me about a bonus book that doesn't fit any of the above questions...

Oh, yes! The Webster's Dictionary. How boring. But its there just because I need it sometimes. Like who knows the meaning of
hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia (the fear of long words)? Ha. Even spell check didn't know that one. :]


Thanks for holding on through this extensive meme. And if you do have
hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, good luck to you. ;]

Friday, March 20, 2009

Dictionary Days - B for Baal

Not only did I grab the dictionary off the shelf to look up the Webster's definition, I also grabbed my bible off my desk. The story of Elijah vs. the worshipers of Baal is actually my second favorite bible story, right behind the talking donkey. The picture below is one of many interpretations of Baal. But first of all, Webster's Dictionary:

n. a false deity

Short and sweet, it means it is a fake god. And why? It is because of the story of Elijah on Mount Carmel, and this amazing story:

Elijah on Mount Carmel

1 Kings 18:25-39

25. Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, "Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire."
26. So they took the bull given them and prepared it. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. "O Baal, answer us!" they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.
27. At noon Elijah began to taunt them. "Shout louder!" he said. "Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened."
28. So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed.
29. Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time fof the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.
30. Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come here to me." They came to him, and he repaired the alter of the LORD, which was in ruins.
31. Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, "Your name shall be Israel."
32. With the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs *approx. 13 quarts* of seed.
33. He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, "Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood."
34. "Do it again," he said, and they did it again. "Do it a third time," he ordered, and they did it the third time.
35. The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.
36. At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: "O LORD, God of Abraham, Issac and Israel, let it be known today that you are the God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.
37. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts bakc again."
38. Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
39. When the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The LORD-he is God! The LORD-he is God!"

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

For the second time this year I am wondering why people make such a big deal out of Friday the 13th. Everyone says it is bad luck and all that, but is it really? For me, the day is not unlucky at all, but rather, it is completely normal. Or even possibly filled with good luck. But I cannot drag my mind far back enough to remember a Friday the 13th that was ever unlucky for me. Just by saying the 13th is unlucky makes me want to have a lucky day just to prove that wrong.

But I wanted to find out why it was considered unlucky, and I found out that it was not because of the number 13, but because of the number 12.

Twelve is considered to be completeness. Here are some reasons why:
  • 12 months of the year
  • 12 signs of the zodiac
  • 12 hours in a clock
  • 12 tribes of Israel
  • 12 Apostles of Jesus and
  • 12 gods of Olympus
And the only reason why 13 was considered to be unlucky was because it was irregular and right after 12, the lucky number.

Just to show that people are overall pessimists. They should stress Friday the 12th as the lucky day, and not emphasize the 13th as the unlucky day. But that is just my perspective.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

~The Star of Kazan~

-by Eva Ibbotson

Received as a graduation present, (8th grade) I made up my mind to read the charmingly covered book as quickly as I could manage myself to read. But a 405 paged hardcover is not an easy task to handle "quickly". I had to take it slow. Something I loath. But it was worth it.

The book was hard to get into, and I had put it down for good one time because I had become disinterested. About a year later it fell into my hands again as I was looking for a good book. I read it from the beginning again, and it was wonderful.

I didn't remember all the detail that was inside when I picked it up again for the second time, but I was immediately engrossed. It is packed with the nitty-gritty details that I have fallen in love with.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Dictionary Days - A for Aardvark

Okay, this is how it goes. I love reading about things that no one ever thinks about and are really random. You know, trivia question topics. So every other Friday I am going to have a dictionary day. I will take the first noun of the letter of that week. I will start with A the first week, then move on to B the next. Once I get to Z, I will go back to A and choose the 2nd noun. This way, it is not a lot of A's, and i never get to any of the other letters, let alone B. I mean, do you KNOW how many A-nouns there are? Any way, to start off with, since A is first, the topic will be... Aardvark! I know, what an awkward way to start this off, but it was first noun, and I just couldn't bear to skip it.

To start off, a brief summary of an aardvark that I took from the Webster's Dictionary:

n. animal resembling the ant-eater, found in parts of Africa

As I was looking for pictures to put up, I realized how ugly they actually were. In the cartoons that you always see aardvarks in, you cannot tell, but in real life pictures they are not at all like the typical pet.

Aardvarks are very interesting even though they are not that appealing, because they are so unique. They are nocturnal animals, and in some places are called "earth pigs", even though they are not related to them at all. Actually, elephants are more closely related to them than pigs.

The most common characteristic of an aardvark is its teeth. Instead of growing more developed teeth as they grow up as humans, and mostly other animals do, they are born with canines and then lose them only to get replaced with cheek teeth as an adult.

The aardvark's appearance is what makes it different. It has an arched back covered with coarse hairs. Their front feet unfortunately do not have any thumbs. Their back feet got spared
the humiliation and have a full count of five toes. Each toe has a flat nail that acts like a shovel and is "classified" between a claw and a hoof. Their ears are long and they have thick tails at the base and eventually tapering to the tip. A long snout, nostrils, and their small mouth with a tongue that helps their sense of smell are mounted on their short neck which makes up the head. Aardvarks are actually a yellowish-gray, but the soil stains their thin tough coat to a more common reddish-brown.

Shortly after sunset, aardvarks leave their home and go in search of food. They swing their long snout from side to side trying to pick up a scent of any ants or termites. Then they dig into the ground and lick up the insects with its sticky tongue. Any bites from termites or stings from the ants do not hurt the aardvark in its quest for food. Their tough tongue prevents any injuries. Awfully fast they dig, but overall, aardvarks are very slow movers. Ants and termites are the main course for this animal, but aardvarks also eat a fruit called the aardvark cucumber, which is pictured on the left.

Moving from place to place is slow going, but the aardvark is not satisfied easily with its home. On a regular basis, they move out of their burrow and make a new one to accommodate their eating habits.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Lucy Maud Montgomery Reading Challenge

I was browsing sites, and I happened to come across a post for a Reading Challenge and I decided to take a look. I had heard about Montgomery before and had watched the movie Anne of Green Gables, but that was about it. I thought it would be a great to sign up for the challenge because I had loved the story, and I wanted to see what else Montgomery has for her readers.

My hope is to get through Jane of Lantern Hill, and possibly The Story Girl by January 30, which is the end of the challenge.

L. M. Montgomery Reading Challenge


Go to Carrie's blog at Reading to Know and sign up by January 9, Friday, or click on the button above. Also, visit her site for more upcoming information on the challenge, and what you need to do to sign up.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

My Favorite Songs of 2008

My family has been having problems with speakers lately. For awhile now, the speakers for the computer we have downstairs fail to work. The speakers that we used to have connected to the upstairs computer were terrible. You could hardly hear a thing. If you were really trying to listen , you would have to get out of the chair, kneel underneath the desk, and gett reeeeally close to the computer to hear anything at all - even with the volume on full blast. Of course, by getting out of the chair and getting really close the the computer prevents you from being able to watch and listen to a video/song at the same time.
Luckily, a few days ago, we purchased a new set of speakers that we hooked up right away to "test drive" them. I just realized that the songs that I listened to upstairs were a whole lot better when you could actually HEAR them. So, I decided to recap my 5 favorite songs of the past year. WARNING: I am a Jonas Brother fan!


1st place: The Call, by Regina Spektor

2nd place: Dare You to Move, by Switchfoot

3rd place: Friend Like That, by Hawk Nelson

4th place: Shelf, by Jonas Brothers

5th place: Give Me Your Eyes, by Brandon Heath


Let me know what you think!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

~Lily's Crossing~

-by Patricia Reilly Giff

I recieved this book as a Christmas present-but not this year. Actually, it was from quite a while ago. I started to read it, but I don't think that I ever really finished it. When I was re-reading Lily's Crossing, the only part that I somewhat remember was the beginning. So I decided to finish it and get back to blogging with this review.

Every year in the summer time, Lily leaves her home in St. Albans to go to her Gram's house in Rockaway, that sits on the Atlantic Ocean. World War II is taking over her life. Her best friend, Margaret Dillon, moves to Detroit where her dad works in a factory, making Liberator bombers. Also, her father, goes overseas to the war, and she doesn't even know where he is. But then, Lily meets Albert, a future best friend. Albert used to live in Hungary, but the war forced him to America and to his Uncle and Aunt in Rockaway for the summer as well. They soon discover they have much in common, but most importantly, they both have a loved one overseas.

This is a very good book with a wonderful ending. Everything that Lily was used to before the war would change, and that was her biggest fear. But then after the war, she sees what does stay the same, and she chooses to dwell on those things, rather than to get upset over what didn't stay the same. After all, she had the whole summer to look forward too.