Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Book #26: A Million Suns

A Million Suns by Beth Revis is the second installment in the Across the Universe trilogy. I finished Across the Universe before I started this blog, and didn't even know that it was part of a trilogy. The third book hasn't come out yet, but I'm pretty excited for it. 
Since it's going to take forever to explain the plot of the first book, I have a link here that will explain. But I will write about the plot of the second book.
A Million Suns takes place about three months after the events of Across the Universe. People have been living without the Phydus (a drug that made people do work and not think for themselves), and  the people believe that they don't have to work. Elder deals with the pressure of staying in control.  Amy, still looked on as an outcast, discovers some clues that Orion left for her, telling her about the biggest secret of all (I thought that the secret in the previous book would be a big deal, but no, this is much much bigger). There are also a lot of revolts as people want someone else other than Elder to lead, and there are some murders as well. It's like a mystery novel. 
I was actually kind of surprised that there was a second book, mostly because the first book ended on such a good note. The "bad guys" were taken care of, and it didn't seem like there were many more problems that could occur. It's the start of the second book that really grabbed me. Practically everything on the ship is a lie, and both Elder and Amy have to figure out what the lies are to make this ship land. 
I really liked the character Orion. He's someone who hid from Eldest for the truth, but couldn't make the decision to publicize the big secret. I liked the way he hid most of his video clues to Amy. Even though he was regarded as a "bad guy," I think that he had a reason to be the way he was, and I liked him, even though he didn't have to be so extreme with his decisions.  Another thing I liked was the ignorance of all the people on board. They didn't want to see the truth, because they believed that the truth was a lie. It's a good example of the fact that if everything you hear is a lie, then, you'll never think anything is the truth, and you can't trust anybody ( I don't like ignorance at all, but I think it was a really good  part of the plot). 
I couldn't stop reading this book. Every chapter had a cliffhanger, and I was always wanting more, which is what you want when you read. The writing was really good, and I also got a clear picture of what Godspeed looked like. 
I'm looking forward to the last book, Shades of Earth, which will come out in January 2013. A Million Suns gets a 4.5 rating out of 5.

Monday, July 30, 2012

It's been TWO DAYS!!

So, it's been two days since I've posted....I originally wanted to make this a "do this for 365 consecutive days" thing, but then I skipped that one day at the beginning of July for the family reunion, and that goal just didn't happen.
Lets see. Saturday. I went SCUBA diving. That was fun. I brought a friend with me and she did the discover SCUBA course, but she ended early and had to wait a while, which, if you're going to put together a "bring your buddy" day, we should be able to swim at the same time. After that, I went to volunteer at the Natural History Museum. I sat on the Jurassic cart and told everyone about the dinosaurs. I realized, dinosaurs have names that are really hard to remember. They all sound the same, and all end in "saurus," which has a scientific purpose, but it's too difficult. I mean, there were only items from four different dinosaurs on the cart, and I kept on forgetting the one dinosaur the NH museum has that's stuck to the wall, and I had to ask the other docents like 5 times. It's a camarasaurus, but I kept on getting it mixed up with the...wait...I don't even remember the one I was getting it mixed up with! It started with a "c" and had a "t" in it somewhere. It was like a "ceterasaurus" or something. I don't think "ceterasaurus" is a thing though. I kept on asking what it was, and the other docent jokingly was like "didn't you pay attention during training?" Yes, though I don't remember it.  I don't think I remember much from my training days, except that both botany and geology are really boring.
Yesterday, my main event was my piano recital. I didn't stress out over it as I normally do, and I guess that's just because I wanted to get it over with. It was okay. It wasn't the best performance that I ever had (I think my best performance was the winter 2011 one), but it was still pretty good. I just hate being at the end of the program. It was also really loud in the hall, because there were so many little kids. They were all dressed up for their recital, and then they just cried and ran and lost things, it was a mess.
I'll write about it when the video is up on YouTube. In the meantime, if you want to watch a performance, go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vx4ePF2C2Ss&feature=plcp

Friday, July 27, 2012

Apps on my Phone

Nothing really noteworthy happened today. And the only real thing that I could talk about, if I wanted to talk about my day, would be English Ivy (a type of invasive ivy that chokes trees and kills them), and I figured that that might not be the most interesting thing to read.
So, dear readers (the four of you that exist), I will be talking about the apps I have on my phone. I have an iPhone 4, and it's cool. I have a Psych case (I will write about Psych on day, but in the mean time, you should just start watching the show), and the only real reason I would want an iPhone 4s, would be  just for the benefit of making fun of Siri.
Here we go.
The app that I probably use the most, is IMDb. That's just because there are a lot of movies coming out, and I like to know their ratings, and who's in them. Also, I'm watching out for the guy who's going to play Finnick Odair in Catching Fire. And Annie. Who's going to play Annie??
Then after that is YouTube. I watch the vlogbrothers on there. I haven't really increased the amount of videoblogs that I  watch, it's just that there are so many vlogbrothers videos to watch. I'll probably never watch all of them. Speaking of other videobloggers, Charlie McDonnell needs to come out with another video soon. It's been like three weeks!!! I know he doesn't have a schedule, but his videos are so good!!
After that, I don't really know what goes next... I guess it would be the metronome app that I have? My regular metronome is broken (it slows down after a while, and that's not really a quality to look for in a machine that's supposed to keep the same rhythm going forever).
Then there are the game apps that I play whenever I don't have anything better to do, which doesn't happen that often. There's Temple Run, Plants v. Zombies, Flow, and Logos Quiz. Logos Quiz is actually pretty hard for me, but I refuse to cheat, so it's taking me forever to finish.
Then there are the apps for finding cool wallpapers. And then there are the quirky ones, I have a rhyming app, so I type in a word, and it finds me all of the words that rhyme with it. There's a baby names app, and a flashlight app, which is very useful.
Those are the apps on my phone. I hope it warms up tomorrow. I'm going SCUBA diving!!!

On another note, I'm going to go see The Dark Knight Rises again!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!
Nerdfighters, DFTBA, and for those of you who aren't Nerdfighters..... still DFTBA (and go watch the vlogbrothers!!).

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Book #25: I am the Messenger

WoooHoo!! Book number 25!!!
I just finished I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak, and I loved it!!
I am the Messenger is about a guy named Ed Kennedy, who receives ace cards in the mail. On these cards, are the names (or clues to find people's names) of people who either need help, or just need someone to care about what they're doing. These people, ranging from little kids to old ladies, are people who just need some kindness in their lives, and Ed Kennedy, has to help them. Ed doesn't know who these cards are coming from, or why he has to do them, but throughout the book, he changes from a person who didn't care at all about people he didn't know, to a person who cares enough to do something when he sees something that is wrong.
I think that one of the main reasons that it was such a good book, is because Ed changed so much, and I like books that are about change.
This book did get emotional at some points (I'm going to start spoiling things here, so if you want to read this book, I suggest that you don't read this part). It was mostly during the scene when Ed went to the movie theater that didn't get any customers, and talked to Bernie. I loved the character Bernie, mostly because he was a sweet elderly man who just wanted other people to love a place that he loved as a child. He was also such a good-natured old man, that I just, oh my gosh, I just loved him. I loved that he didn't care about the money, and I loved that he would fall asleep all the time, and he was just awesome.
I liked pretty much all of the characters in this book. I didn't like Marv or Richie, but that was mostly because they were lazy people who didn't do anything with their lives. Though, in the end...no, I won't spoil that part. I liked Sophie, Father O'Reilly, and the Tatupu family.
Markus Zusak also wrote The Book Thief. It was a book that I got about half way through, then had to return to the library, so I didn't get to finish it. What I read, though, was really good, and from what I hear, it also gets kind of emotional at the end.
So, I am the Messenger is definitely one of the really good books I read this year. Markus Zusak is amazing (and really good looking too), and I'll probably end up finishing The Book Thief later this year.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


As a musician, I do have a lot of quirky instruments in my house. The one that I'm going to talk about today though, is my ukulele.
I got my uke for my birthday last year, and I love it! It's a Mahalo ukulele, and it is awesome. I'm going to talk about it today, because lately, I have been trying to learn a bunch of different chords on it, so I can play a bunch of different songs.
For the past year, I've gotten by with four simple chords: C, G, A minor, and F. Those four chords are the chords that every pop song uses, and all the songs I wanted to learn were made of those chords. Sad, right? Some songs with those four chords are: I'm Yours by Jason Mraz, What Doesn't Kill You-that annoying song-by Kelly Clarkson, and Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men (I LOVE that band!).
Now I don't know why people who have a bunch of money can't be more creative and use maybe, like, five chords instead of four? Or what about a different chord progression than the normal 2-5-1-4 thing (if you don't know what that is, you can go to the site and it will explain it)?
I tell you, it's really easy to get by with those four chords, but you can't really call yourself a ukulele player if those are the only chords you know. So, I found a song that didn't use that chord progression, and I learned it. The song was Charlie McDonnell's Time To Reply. It's a song that was featured in one of his videos, and I liked it, so I looked the chords up online, and learned them really fast. What I really want to do, though, is play his Duet With Myself on the ukulele. Except, I would replace the "together, we make a perfect Char-lie" with "together, we make a perfect A-ki," and some of the other stuff in that song about making YouTube videos. It's the strumming that's the hard thing to do. But that's my new goal now!
Fun Fact: Did you know that in Hawaiian, Ukulele means "jumping flea?" How cool is that!?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Childhood Dream

This entry is going to be about a childhood dream. Actually, it's not really a childhood dream, because I still kind of wish that this would actually happen.
One day, when I finally leave Pittsburgh, I'm going to live in a small log cabin in the middle of the woods.
Hahaha-wait... seriously??
It's going to have three rooms. The living room/dining room/kitchen/study area will be the first floor. There will be a bathroom in the back, and then, there's going to be a loft or an attic of some sort for the bedroom. I guess it's going to be about the size of Heidi's grandpa's house. It will have one small lounge chair by the fireplace, so I can read at night and keep warm. This cabin won't have any electricity and computers of any kind are forbidden. At night, everything has to be done by candlelight. How awesome would that be! The house will have only three windows; two on the main floor and one in the attic. I might get lonely though, so I think I might bring a cat with me for company. Or maybe a goat. Like Heidi's grandpa, the cabin would be on a mountain, but it wouldn't be in the Alps.
I don't think that it would be my permanent home. I would probably live there for a month or two and then go back to normal civilization. This is mostly because I don't think I'd be able to survive without internet for very long. My cabin would be a place to just go and spend some time with myself. I'd do things like take a bunch of walks, read (more than I normally do), and write. I don't really know. But I think that once I'm there, it will be nice and relaxing, away from the chaos of today's world.
This idea has been in my head forever. I think it's been there since I read Little House in the Big Woods, and it would be so wonderful if it actually happened.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Thoughts: The Dark Knight Rises

I am really going to try to not spoil anything for those of you who haven't seen The Dark Knight Rises. Please just understand that it is going to be very very hard.
Just twenty minutes before the movie began, my mother announced that we were going to go see TDKR. We rushed down to the movie theater, and I sat down to watch one of the greatest movies I have ever seen, ever.
It was different from the last one. The Dark Knight had a villain that believed in chaos. The Joker was surrounded by an air of finesse and theatricality. Everything he did was thought out, planned, and executed on time. Bane, however, the villain in this movie, is a villain that believes in terror and fear. Everything he does results in and panic and dread. The way that all three villains connected, and that everything in the plot was woven together was really well done.
Also, there was a sort of reassurance in The Dark Knight that Batman would come back. I mean, there was a third installment in the trilogy. He had to live, no matter how hard the battles were. but in this one, in TDKR, you never knew if Batman would live.
The characters were dynamic, and we were always uncovering more and more about them. We discovered their vulnerabilities, their desires, and their heritage. John Blake was a nice addition to the cast. Played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock from the Sun, Inception), Blake was the one person in Gotham that believed in and wasn't tired of catching the criminals. He was someone who believed in justice, and was willing to get his hands dirty in order to find it. Gordon was tired, I think. Like Bruce Wayne, he was weighted down by the events in the last films. Christian Bale portrayed a different Batman. The Batman in the other movies were willing to go out and fight for Gotham. Batman, in TDKR was heavily burdened, and you could feel the weight of everything that happened to Bruce Wayne. As always, I loved Alfred, who is awesome and wise (and British), and would make the best grandfather ever. Miranda Tate was interesting, I think, and that's all I'm going to say about her (no spoilers!). I have to also talk about Bane. Tom Hardy did a good job at acting for Bane. The mask must have been hard to work with, because we couldn't see much of his facial expressions. But those fight scenes, wow. You could tell that he knew what he was doing (That's another thing I liked in the film. The action was part of the plot. It wasn't just for the sake of having some action).
The music was amazing, as usual. Any music by Hans Zimmer is always amazing. He did the music for Pirates of the Caribbean and Inception. The music he writes music that is powerful and new, and you can always distinguish his music in films, sort of like you can distinguish music by John Williams in movies.
It was a movie that really made you think. I was reminded of the ideas of revolution, terror, and about who to trust and love. How far is someone willing to go for you? And what would you do if Bane came to destroy your city? Join him? Or fight him? It's one of those things, you'll always say that you'll fight, but you never know what you'll really do until you are faced with the reality of it all. Hopefully, we'll never have to face anything like Bane.
I know that I will go see TDKR again. Christopher Nolan (the director) did something that I think only has been done with one other person: George Lucas. He made three films in a series that were all really amazing.  This one, The Dark Knight Rises... well, you'll just have to go see it to know how fantastic it really is.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

SCUBA, Volunteering, and Comics

I went SCUBA diving again yesterday. It was colder than it was last time, which means it was really really cold. Let me emphasize again that it was freezing!
Once we got underwater (we were only like 9 feet deep though) we stayed there for a really long time. There were just times when I would sit there, breathing air, underwater, and thinking about how amazing it is to be able to breathe underwater. I think at one point, after the instructor finished running drills with our group and had gone over to run those same drills with another group, I sat there for about thirty minutes. And all the time, I was just breathing. Not swimming or anything, but just breathing. It's very relaxing. You can't really talk to anyone, and and you're just there with your own thoughts. But you're not bored. I mean, if I was on the surface sitting there for half an hour with nothing to do, I think I would be very bored. But it was as if I couldn't be bored underwater.
After almost freezing to death in the pool, we got out and I headed to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History to volunteer. I sat at the Cretaceous cart, a cart that had a bunch of things on it like T-rex teeth and fossilized ferns. I had never been out on a cart before, and it was kind of overwhelming, because a bunch of people came over and asked questions about the dinosaurs and about the museum. Thankfully there was another girl at the cart who knew practically all of the answers to their questions. There was also some fossilized dinosaur droppings on the cart. They would pick it up, not knowing what it is,  and it was very amusing to watch the visitor's face when I told them what they were holding.
When I finished volunteering, I headed over to the comic book store on Craig Street. I love the Phantom of the Attic, mostly because it has this whole section of old comic books that they're trying to get rid of, and you can get five comic books there for a dollar. They literally have thousands of comic books, and I looked through most of them, stocking up with some Spiderman, X-men, and some Fables.
I don't think I've talked about Fables. It's similar to the TV show Once Upon a Time, and it's about these fairy tale creatures that live in the modern world. The main characters are mostly Snow White, her sister, Rose Red, and the Big Bad Wolf, or Bigby, as he is called in the comic (he's not the bad guy). It's a really cool comic book, with a good, solid plot line, and some dynamic characters.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Kennywood in the Rain

Today, I went to Kennywood with my friend Kit (that's not her real name. I decided to use fake names for people I talk about because I feel kind of odd writing about people I know on the internet). Kennywood is an amusement park just outside of Pittsburgh. It was started a really long time ago, and is one of the "places to go" if you are coming to Pittsburgh to visit. The day started out cloudy and it felt like it was going to rain, but we went anyway.
I've been to Kennywood about five times, and I have never seen it so empty. There was no one there, and a lot of places weren't even open (including the Dip n' Dots, which was very disappointing). The good thing about the park being empty, was that there was no line for the rides! The longest we waited in line for was about 15 minutes, and that was only for the Phantom's Revenge, the biggest roller coaster that the park has. Though, once we got on to the Phantom's Revenge, it was unfortunate, because we were riding with a school group or something, and during the ride, they all began to  sing One Direction's What Makes You Beautiful and Carly Rae Jepsen's Call Me Maybe, which are both equally annoying songs.
We rode about 10 rides in about two hours, and went to check in with Kit's parents at one of the pavilions. We checked in and grabbed some food when it started to rain.
We rushed back to the pavilion before it started to pour, and we stayed there for the next two hours. While we were there, we snagged pretty much all of the fruit from a fruit bowl that had been brought to the pavilion, and played IMDb trivia. Both of us like to watch movies, and we did really well, though I think Kit contributed to the amount of points we got more than I did. See, I think I would have would have been a much more valuable player if there had been any questions about Monsters, Inc. or Inception. But they wasn't. The trivia game did have a lot of questions about Will Farrell though (the game acted as if we liked Will Ferrell, and neither Kit or I actually do).
The park eventually decided to close, because the rain wouldn't go away. So now I'm home, five hours earlier than I had planned to be. The thing is, if we had gone to Kennywood on a "normal day" with no clouds in the sky, we probably wouldn't have been able to ride as many rides as we did. We also got a free pass to come to the park on another day, so that was good and fun.
So, I'm home now, and my mom REALLY wanted to go see Dark Knight Rises, as did I, but my dad insisted that we have a Dark Knight Trilogy marathon before we went to go see it. So if you'll excuse me, I have to go watch some Batman Begins.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Book #24: The City of Bones

I just finished reading Cassandra Clare's City of Bones, the first in the Mortal Instrument series
I was very skeptical of this book to begin with. The only real reason that I picked it up was because it was 99 cents at the nook online store. I had feared that it would be a vampire novel with a bunch of cushy romance dumped into it.
The book is about a girl named Clary, who is brought up by her mother, Jocelyn, and her mother's best friend, Luke. After her mother disappears, Clary finds out that her mother was a Shadowhunter, someone who fights and kills demons. Clary is thrust into this world with vampires and werewolves, all while having to deal with the sarcastic and hurtfully honest Jace, while trying to maintain her  friendship with her long time friend, Simon. Eventually Clary finds out her father, Valentine, wants to rid the world of half-demon-half-humans (like werewolves and vampires) and create more and more Shadowhunters, which doesn't seem like a bad thing until you discover that he's going to kill all of the werewolves and vampires alike.
The reason that it took me so long to finish this book was just because it was very slow. It took a really long time just to begin the story, though I have to say that the ending was very good and very intense.  My main problem, I think, was the fact that it just wasn't very original. The fact that Clary and Jace find out that they are brother and sister, with the evil Valentine as their father, is just like Star Wars. The fact that Valentine wants to rid the world of half breeds is just like Voldemort in Harry Potter.  I think that the main protagonist, Clary, just wasn't that smart. When in fight scenes, she just stands there frightened and frozen, and doesn't really do anything, while letting Jace do all of the fighting. Also, there were times when the plot was so fast, that I never really got much of a break, going from battle to battle, and it just became very tedious with so many fights in the middle.
I don't think that it was all bad though.  I really liked the way Cassandra Clare described Simon. I like his character overall, and I think that he's the best character of them all. Luke, my second favorite, was a fatherly figure for Clary, and he was a nice character. I did like Clare's writing most of the time. The way she described things was thorough, yet not repetitive. I just think that the main problem was with the plot.
So I would give City of Bones about a 3 out of 5. It was ok, but I don't think that I'll continue reading the rest of the series.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Room of Dead Birds

Warning: This post is not the most pleasant of posts. For anyone who has a queasy stomach and cares a lot about about animals (especially birds) probably should not read this post or look at the pictures.

I just started volunteering at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History as a Teen Docent.  We're supposed to sit at these carts that basically have mini exhibits on them, and we get to show them to visitors at the museum, and the people can touch the mini exhibits and stuff. We have a bunch of carts all over the museum, and each one goes with the exhibit hall that we're in. But that's not all that we do. We also meet scientists from the museum and take tours with them. That's what we did today.
We met a scientist (I forget his name) who was in charge of taking care of all the bird specimens. We went into this room and started to ask him different questions about the birds out in the exhibits. There was a big table in the middle of the room, and it was surrounded by all these cabinets. Once we started to ask questions about what kinds of birds the museum has but hasn't put on display, he opened a cabinet and pulled out a drawer. And this is what we saw:

It's a drawer full of dead birds!! AAAHHHH!!!! (Just to clarify, I am not grossed out by this, but I was shocked that I was surrounded by dead birds)
All of these birds in the picture are extinct. If you look at the bird in the back row and two birds in from the right, (the one that has some red on his head) that's an ivory-billed woodpecker. 
After he showed us that cabinet, he lead us into this other room that isn't open to the public. It looked pretty much like a cramped hallway at first, but the walls had these big gears on them. The guy started to turn the gears, and the wall split in two to reveal that each side of this parted wall was made out of cabinets. And guess what was in these cabinets! Dead birds!!! The cabinets went as high as the ceiling of a classroom, and all had specimens of dead birds like these:
They killed Hedwig!
These birds are really pretty
It was absolutely amazing.  There's no way that I would have ever seen anything like that anywhere else. It was also very odd. All of these birds, they're dead and have been lying here for a really long time. You could even smell their decaying bodies. It smelled really bad-I wouldn't recommend buying air freshener that smelled like that. 
 The scientist said that the museum has thousands of specimens of birds, and I believe it! Other than these birds I have shown here, there was also a cabinet dedicated to albatrosses, a cabinet dedicated to ostriches, and a couple of cabinets had a bunch of eggs in them. 
Some of these birds were absolutely gorgeous. It was cool seeing them there, and being able to look at them really closely (if you could get that close, because as you got closer to the bird, the smell got worse), but really, I think it'd be even more awesome if I was able to see these birds in their natural habitat. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Diablo Addiction

I started to play Diablo about a month ago. For those of you who don't know what Diablo is about, I will tell you:
You play as one of five characters, a wizard, a monk, a demon hunter, a barbarian, or a witch doctor and you are given the task of defeating two lords of hell, Belial and Azmodan, who are destroying the world of Sanctuary. It's a pretty dark game, I mean, you go around in forests and caverns and kill things.
Somehow, I have come to play Diablo a lot (Oh, and just to clarify, I'm playing Diablo III). It's very addicting. Once I finish a checkpoint, I just want to keep going. It's never gotten boring, and the only real things that stop me from playing is the realization of how much time I spent playing Diablo, and if the internet connection is bad.
I spend most of my time on my monk, who is awesome and amazing. Personally, when I'm in a fight (not that I ever am, but if I was) I would want to have a long range weapon like a gun or a bow and arrow, but for Diablo, it is much more fun to be in the middle of the action, and not having to run away when the bad guys come too close to you.
I'm in act three right now, and my current addiction in Diablo is finding gems. It's like a bonus to my weapons and armor, and just the thought of that is amazing. My armor and my weapons already have a bunch of extra things attached to them (vitality, dexterity, etc.) but then you can get more. It's like bonus points! How awesome is that!?
I played Diablo for about an hour and a half today. I just finished a boss fight, and I'm so happy-I DIDN'T DIE DURING THE BOSS FIGHT!!!!! YAY! That is the first time that has ever happened. It took me about twenty tries before I defeated the boss at the end of act 1. Now that I look back on it... wow... twenty tries-really? I wonder how long I would last if I played hardcore mode ( a mode in which if you die, you can't come back to life). I'd last about halfway through act 1. Maybe I'll try that.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Craziness Syndrome Averted

About a week or so ago, I wrote about how I painted a room with primer, and I got really dirty because of all these details that I didn't know about the painting world. Well, today, I painted the room an actual color, and this is what happened:
The room I was painting is a tiny tiny room. It's probably about the size of the cupboard under the stairs in Harry Potter. I decided to paint this room the color of "soft sunlight" (that's what the name of the paint was), which is basically a light yellow. Learning from my earlier mistake, I rolled the roller really slowly, and I was very careful not to get the paintbrush messy. So I'm pretty clean right now- no splattered paint on my arms or on my glasses. The issue this time was with the smell.
It smelled REALLY bad. After about an hour, my eyeballs started to burn because of the fumes, and I was right ready to cry. I thought I was going to go CRAZY! But I didn't, because I took a break (it was a nice break, because I was watching charlieissocoollike). Though after that, returning to the painting was really hard, because I could smell the fumes even before I got to the room, and I felt the craziness syndrome coming back. After I started painting, the craziness syndrome started eating my eyes and my brain, and my nose running all the time and...AAAAHHHH! Maybe if I had stayed there for another couple of minutes, the craziness syndrome would have been irreversable.
But that didn't happen (I'm as normal as I'm ever going to be).
The craziness syndrome went away once I came downstairs and I breathed normal air. Lesson: never take normal air for granted.
I cleaned all of the equipment, and there was some paint still in the pan. I was really really tempted to put my hand in it, stamp myself on the forehead and become a member of the Uruk-hai. But I decided not to. It would have been too hard to clean up, and plus, the Uruk-hai don't exactly fight for the best of causes.
The room looks really nice though. I can't go up there right now without feeling the effects of the craziness syndrome coming back just a little bit. I can't wait for the paint to dry!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

SCUBA for the First Time

This morning, I went to my first confined water dive for my SCUBA certification course.
I really don't know what else to say, other than the fact that it was AWESOME! We got to Splash Water Sports really early in the morning, and after waiting there for a very long time, we headed to the Doormont Pool. We then set up our gear, which took forever, because it was really complicated. There's a buoyancy control device that is connected to you're tank (you're air source) and then, connected to your buoyancy control device is your two regulators (one for you and one for your buddy in emergencies) which are also connected to your tank. We put on our wetsuits, which took a lot of effort, and then put our gear on and got into the pool. Now I explained the first part of the dive in about four sentences, but really, it took about forty-five minutes.
We got into the water, and it felt really weird because I had this giant tank, which, on land, probably weighed about a fourth of my overall body weight. In the water, you don't feel the weight at all. We did a bunch of exercises with with our regulator (the thing that goes into your mouth and you breathe out of) and our mask. The feeling of breathing underwater is wow... As children, we're all taught that you can't breathe underwater, but then you put that regulator into your mouth and you just... breathe. It felt amazing, I just wanted to go right to the deep end and stay there underwater for the rest of the time, but we couldn't because we had to do all these drills (what to do if you loose your regulator, how to clear your mask, etc.). It was pretty cold, but other than that, I don't really have issues with SCUBA diving. I just think that it's easier to do things if you just do them. If you think too much, you don't enjoy the whole experience as much. And plus, it feels better knowing that you weren't squirmy while you were learning how to do new things.
The idea that I have this whole new world (yes, that is a name of a song-no pun intended) open up to me is very overwhelming. The fact that I can go explore more of the earth is amazing to me. I can't wait to explore!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Looking Professional at Film Camp

For the last week, I've been at film camp!
I signed up for film camp in April because I wanted to learn how to make film. I'd messed around with making movies before, but wanted to learn about the process from step one. And plus, video is the language of our generation, and I think that whoever is good or knows how to use video to communicate with people will succeed more in life.
I took this class at Pittsburgh Filmmakers, and it was a lot of fun. We had a class of twelve people, and we ended up doing three filming projects while we were there. The first day, we went around the building with a camcorder, and filmed stills and short clips that used light and color.  It basically was like taking pictures with video. The second project, we composed a haiku and shot it. We did this in groups of threes, and my group made a haiku about nature, so we shot a bunch of images with trees and leaves and stuff like that. It was about 25 seconds long, and I have to say that it was pretty good. The last project, we basically could shoot anything, as long as we conveyed a certain emotion in the film at some point. Our group was given the emotion "confusion" and so we had a story that involved a girl from America getting lost on the streets of Madrid (getting lost and not knowing where to go is confusing). We had a girl from Spain in our group (Irene, she's really awesome and talks really fast in Spanish), so that's why the video took place in Madrid. It was hard though, we couldn't have any English content, so we had to film it in places where there were license plates or anything like that.
The equipment we used was amazing. The first two projects, we used a normal camcorder, one that any soccer mom would use (and when I say soccer mom I mean someone who wants to shoot a lot of family events) and a tripod. But it was the third project that had amazing equipment. We shot the third project on a four thousand dollar camera. FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!!! It was one of those things that I really wanted to get my hands on, because it seemed so cool, but then I also REALLY didn't want to break it, because I didn't want to be in debt for the rest of my life. We also used a boom (a microphone on the end of a really long stick) and we looked very professional.

This is a picture of me with the very high-end camera, shooting a scene in a cafe. Don't I look professional?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Rule and Hugo

We have a rule in our family, called The Rule (totally original title).
The Rule states that I (and this usually only applies to me) must read the book first before I see the movie that it was adapted from. It's a good rule, and other than the fact that it only applies to me, I don't really mind it, because I usually do read the book before I see the movie. That's actually what motivated me to read Harry Potter, and later motivated me to read The Lord of the Rings.
The Rule really isn't that enforced anymore. The thing is, I feel bad whenever I read the book after I already saw the movie. I did this for The Help, and I didn't enjoy the book as much as I think I would have if I had read before I saw the movie.  It still was a really good book, and it made it onto the Top 25 Favorite Book list.
I don't really remember who came up with The Rule, but I just remember that that rule always applied to everything. When I was a smaller kid, I just remember that YOU NEVER EVER BROKE THE RULE.

After I published my post yesterday, I realized a big mistake: I forgot to talk about Hugo. Hugo is adapted from one of my favorite books, The Invention of Hugo Cabret. The book is really two-thirds pictures, but it is really good. The movie, I also thought, was really good. It starred Asa Butterfield, Chloe Moretz, and also starred Ben Kingsly (who is also going to be in Ender's Game!). I didn't see it in 3-D, and I wish I had, because from what I read, the effects were done differently than in regular movies with 3-D (I'm not a fan of movies in 3-D). I thought the acting was superb, and also, from what I remembered of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, some of the shots from Hugo were positioned so that it was identical to the pictures in the book, and I thought that that was really cool.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Books into Movies: The Good and the Bad

After my blog entry from yesterday, I thought I would discuss the books that have been turned into movies, and give my opinions about them. So, I am going to start at the top of the list, Ender's Game. It's not a movie yet. It's in the process, and IMDb states that it is  in its post-production stage. It stars Asa Butterfield(Hugo, Boy in the Striped Pajamas) as Ender, and I don't think that they could do any better with choosing an actor. Harrison Ford is also in it, and most of the main characters are well known actors and actresses. I'm really curious about how it's going to end up, especially because Ender is a character who thinks through everything- so we'll see. I'm really looking foreword to it.
Next up is number 7, To Kill a Mockingbird. I actually didn't see the whole movie. When we watched it in school we watched it in two days, and I wasn't there the second day to finish the movie. I probably should watch the whole thing. From what I saw of the movie(and Gregory Peck), it was really good.
I didn't even know that Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life was a movie! It only has a 6.4 on IMDb, so I might not even watch it.
Now we come to The Hunger Games. The movie was pretty good, in my opinion. It wasn't the best, and it certainly wasn't better than the book. I thought the cast was amazing, and the sets were really good, but I feel as if the world of Panem is way to complicated to explain in a movie. I still can't wait for Catching Fire, and every single day I wonder who is going to play Finnick Odair.
The whole Harry Potter series was really good. I think my favorites are the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Goblet of Fire, and The Deathly Hallows Part 1. Everyone did a really good job in general. There are some amazing actors in that movie(Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith)  and they did a really good job of sticking to the plot. If you stick to the plot in a movie, I usually end up liking it.  If you don't stick to the plot, then the movie is going to be terrible(example: The Lightning Thief and Inkheart).
Tuck Everlasting was eh. It wasn't really that good. I genuinely don't believe that it's a book that should be turned into a movie, just like The Giver should NEVER EVER become a movie. I didn't think that Tuck Everlasting the movie portrayed the same lesson as the book did. There was way too much romance going on, and I think that the movie totally disregarded the fact that the book was about fearing death, not about the action.
The Lord of the Rings. Don't get me started on how AMAZING those movies are. They are some of my favorite movies of all time, and I just hope that The Hobbit is just as amazing.
I saw The Help before I read the book. I really wish that I hadn't. I think that's because the book had so much more content than the movie(most books do have more content than the movie), and I kept on referring back to the movie while I was reading, which is something that you should never do. I thought the movie was really good, and the actress who played Minnie totally deserved that academy award for that role. I also think that Jessica Chastain did a really good job as well.
The last two movies, Sarah's Key and From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwieler, are movies that I haven't seen. I think I'll watch Sarah's Key someday, but the other one, Mrs. Basil, is a German film made in the 1970's, and I have no desire to watch it.
Wow. This post is really long. Those are my thoughts on my favorite books that have been turned into movies.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Top 25 Favorite Books

  1. Ender's Game  by Orson Scott Card
  2. The Fault in Our Stars  by John Green
  3. Ender's Shadow  by Orson Scott Card
  4. Paper Towns  by John Green
  5. The Giver  by Lois Lowry
  6. Divergent  by Veronica Roth
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird  by Harper Lee
  8. Legend  by Marie Lu
  9. Looking for Alaska  by John Green
  10. I'm a Stranger Here Myself  by Bill Bryson
  11. The Invention of Hugo Cabret  by Brian Selznick
  12. Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life  by Wendy Mass
  13. The Hunger Games  by Suzanne Collins
  14. Harry Potter(the whole series) by J.K. Rowling
  15. Double Identity  by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  16. Tuck Everlasting  by Natalie Babbitt
  17. The Green Glass Sea  by Ellen Klages
  18. East  by Edith Pattou
  19. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein
  20. Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
  21. The Help by Katherine Stockett
  22. Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosney
  23. From the Mixed up Files of Miss Basil E. Frankweiler  by E.L. Konigsburg
  24. The Westing Game  by Ellen Raskin
  25. Little Brother  by Cory Doctorow
This is my list of top 25 favorite books in order. Notice how books by John Green dominate the top 10!

Monday, July 9, 2012

The World of Online Video

I've been spending a lot of time on YouTube lately, and this is why: vlogbrothers, hankgames, charlieissocoollike, and lizziebennett.
Now if you don't know much about the online video world, those four words won't mean anything to you. Hopefully, after you read this, you will go check them out, and will see how awesome they are.
You probably know by now that I am a HUGE fan of John Green. His books Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, The Fault in our Stars, and An Abundance of Katherines are absolutely amazing. I would recommend them for anyone in high school and older. After I finished reading Paper Towns, I discovered that John Green had a video blog that he ran with his brother, Hank. In 2007, the brothers decided to stop textual communication for one year, and only communicate through video blogs. It became extremely popular, and they still are vlogging today. Hence the name vlogbrothers. They do really awesome things and teach you a bunch of stuff, like how to name your baby properly, and how not to embarrass yourself with words and pronunciations. When they visit places, they talk about the places that they visited, and they are extremely funny.
Hankgames is when John, Hank, and their wives play video games and talk about things. I especially enjoy when John plays FIFA soccer and talks about writing, and his life before he was an author. These are the videos that I don't really watch, but I listen to when I'm doing things like unloading the dishwasher.
After the vlogbrothers, I discovered charlieissocoollike, a sort of british version of the vlogbrothers, except that there is only one person, Charlie, talking to the camera. Fans usually challenge him to do things(visit 10 English landmarks in 2 hours, make himself a superhero costume, etc), and he does his best to do these things. He also records himself doing various science experiments, which are cool to watch, and you learn things from him.
Then, there is lizziebennett. Hank mentioned it in a vlogbrothers episode.  He wanted to try something where you tell a story in video blog format. So what he did, is, he took a classic story, Pride and Prejudice, and adapted it into a modern day scenario. Lizzie Bennet is 24, and is currently enrolled in grad school. Her mother is intent on marrying all three of her daughters off to nice, rich men, and the story goes from there. Lizzie records these events in her life as if it was a diary. I think this is really cool, especially because I have to read Pride and Prejudice for summer reading this year. This has only been going on for about three months now, but it's really good and fun to watch.
I hope that you will check these videos out, you really might enjoy them. In the meantime, keep calm and DFTBA(something you will understand if you watch the vlogbrothers)!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

My Excuse for Not Posting an Entry Yesterday

Nooooooooooo! I didn't post a blog entry yesterday!!!
This is very sad :-(
I think I actually did have a good reason for not posting an entry yesterday. I was at a family reunion, and before the family reunion, I was at a piano lesson, and before the piano lesson, I was asleep. So I had no time to write. I'm actually kind of disappointed in myself. I feel like I should have written an entry on Friday night, and then on Saturday morning, I could have posted it. But I didn't, so here's another sad face :-(
The Nace family reunion was fun, though. It was like 105 degrees fahrenheit, and after about an hour of talking to people, we just got into the pool, and we stayed there until about 6:30. This was the first family reunion where the majority of the people actually got into the pool. Usually, it's us kids who get in and swim around, but this time, practically everybody wanted to escape from the heat.
During the reunion, I got to see people that I hadn't seen since the last family reunion, and I also got to do fun things like shooting clay pigeons(they're little clay disks that you throw, and then you try and shoot it with a shotgun), and playing with the dogs. There were so many dogs! And there were so many chickens!
We got to our hotel pretty late that night, and we were on the road going home, but we had to stop at the Hagerstown Outlet Mall this morning. I'm pretty sure it's the biggest mall I've ever seen, and I surprised myself-I was able to shop for more than three hours! Yay! Usually, after three hours, all the shirts start to look the same, and I get tired, and I just want to go into a stationary store and look at pens for about half an hour, or go and read, that didn't happen this time.
After yesterday's heat, It seems really nice here in Pittsburgh. It was a nice weekend excursion, and I can't wait to do it again.

Friday, July 6, 2012

My Thoughts on Comic Books

I saw The Amazing Spiderman today, and it got me thinking about comic books.
First of all, let me say that I am not an avid comic book reader. I think that they're good, but I don't read them constantly. I really like the origins of the characters in comic books, like I really like Spiderman's origin story and I like the whole mutant v. human kind topic in X-men. But the thing is, some things in comic books are really hard to pick up because they've been going on for so long. Just picking up an issue of X-men poses problems for me, because I don't know who everybody is, and after I understand who everyone is, then I have to figure out what their powers are. It's a very long process, and I think I've read the list of characters in X-men about four or five times on Wikipedia. If you do click on the link, you will find a very very very long list. Even though I've dedicated quite an amount of time to understanding the characters, the only ones that really stick into my head are the ones from the movies.
There is also the issue of the villains dying, and then somehow always coming back alive. For instance, Dr. Doom always comes back to haunt the members of the Fantastic Four, even though he should have died about forty years ago.
The comics I enjoy reading are Spiderman and Fantastic Four. I like these because the characters are easy to keep track of, and it's not at all dark. I'm not really a dark person, and I think that's why I don't really enjoy reading Daredevil or Batman(but, the Dark Knight trilogy is AMAZING!). I like how witty Spiderman is, and how the comic books are really light hearted. Fantastic Four, I like because of the relationship between Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben. I also like the kids, Valerie and Franklin, and how smart they are.
The comics I do read, though, aren't that up to date. I read the ones that are selling at the comic book store for about 25 to 50 cents each. I don't really want to spend three dollars an issue for a twenty page story, even if the illustrations are really good.
I've seen a lot of superhero movies lately, and I'm REALLY excited for Dark Knight Rises! I think that The Amazing Spiderman that I saw today, was a good movie, mostly because I believe Andrew Garfield did a better job at portraying the complicated character of Peter Parker than Tobey Maguire. I also think that this version was easier to follow, and the details of Peter's origin explained a lot about his actions. I would give the movie a 7.5 out of 10, and would recommend it for pretty much everyone.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Painting is (Not) Supposed to be Messy

As a summer project, I decided that I wanted to paint and decorate one of the rooms on the third floor. In my imagination, it's going to be a room where I can read(go figure!) in peace, and where the imagination can have a field day. I had already cleared out this room, and what I needed to do next, was paint.
But before I could paint, I needed to prime the room, and that's what I did today.
Let me just start out saying that I'm not a messy person(normally),  I think I'm sort of neat(my mother would say otherwise), but I don't mind getting dirty. So I laid out a plastic sheet on the ground so the carpet would not be stained forever, and I started to get ready to prime. I have seen people paint before, and in my mind I was doing everything right, but then I realized that I was splattered with paint. It was all on my arms and on my hands. There was paint on the ground(not on the carpet but on the sheet) and my roller was really messy. Turns out that you're supposed to roll your roller slowly. Slowly. Who knew? Though I didn't learn that until after I finished with the roller. Then, started to paint the edges of the walls with a paintbrush, and that got really messy too, because apparently you're only supposed to dip the tip of the brush into the paint, not the whole brush. I came downstairs, splattered with (by then it was dry) paint. I tried to get the paint off my hands, but it wouldn't come off!
So I had to go to the library with paint on my hands and arms. And what did I do at the library, you ask? I checked out books of corse! I'm trying to learn how to speed-read, so I can take in books faster. I also ended up getting a free book because I signed up for the library's teen summer reading program. So, yay!
I came home and finished up the priming, and learning from my only-dip-the-end-of-the-brush-in-the-paint rule, I did not splatter myself even more. Though, I did have to clean up, and that wasn't very fun, because cleaning up never is.
I learned my lesson for today! 1. Never roll the roller fast 2. Only dip the end of the brush in the paint, and 3. Try not to spread excess paint onto things(it may be fun, but not fun to clean). Hopefully, I'll do better when I actually paint the room(it's going to be yellow), and come out not looking like jumped into a paint bucket.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

It's Really Really Hot

Happy Fourth of July, everybody! I hope you're having a really nice holiday in a place that is cooler than Pittsburgh.
It's literally like 100 degrees (in Fahrenheit, I can't imagine what 100 degrees would be like in Celsius) here, and our house has no central air. So we have two giant coolers blasting cold air in the living room, and there's also one in the front area of the house. But it's still very very very hot.
My mother hates heat and sun. The weird thing is, she came from Okinawa, an island in the south of Japan, where it's REALLY hot. Hotter than here, if you can imagine! But the people in Okinawa know how to use an air conditioner and install it into their houses, which makes them smarter. During the summer we usually end up going places in the afternoons that have air conditioning, like the movies, so that we can escape the heat of our own home.
Today, in celebration of our wonderful country, my family decided that they wanted to go to a park out near Amish country, and sit in the shade and read for the whole day. I really wasn't opposed to that at all, mostly because I like reading, as I'm sure you've figured out already(right now I'm reading Cassandra Clare's City of Bones, because it was 99 cents at the nook store and I'll buy any book at that price).
We got to this park out in the middle of nowhere, and it was actually really nice(and cool). We sat in the shade and read in the fold up chairs that we had brought. Once we felt a tiny sliver of sun on our feet or on our backs, we dashed to another area that had shade. We started out near this little picnic table, but after a couple of hours, we were about thirty to forty feet to the left of the picnic table.
After about three hours of reading, we heard thunder. We tried to stay and convince ourselves that it was only going to rain for a short amount of time and we could suck it up, but then we heard more thunder and it was really loud, so we packed up and left before we could get soaked.
So that is the story of our Fourth of July. Now I'm here writing this entry, sweating because it's so hot. When I buy a house, I'm buying one with central air. No question about it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Book #23: Uprising

I finished Uprising by Margaret Peterson Haddix this morning, and I have to say that it was 329 pages of pure pleasure.
Margaret Peterson Haddix  is another very good author. She wrote Double Identity, which was one of my favorite books when I was in fifth grade. I had only read her science fiction books, wanted to try something of hers that was different. Also, one of my friends had been pestering me to read Uprising for a very long time, so I did.
Uprising is about three girls living in New York in 1910. One girl, Bella, is a new immigrant from Italy and is working for the Triangle Shirtwaist Company, and another, Yetta, is on the streets, striking for union recognition and justice from Triangle. While all of this is going on, Jane, a wealthy girl,  meets the two girls and starts getting involved, helping the girls strike and eventually coming to live with them. Throughout the year, the girls become friends, and all seems well until that awful day in 1911, when the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire changes everything(I'm not going to tell you what happens at the end, so you'll have to read it yourself!).
This book highlighted the "American Dream" very well. Girls were working for money to bring their families over from Europe, and many adults were working so that they could have enough money for their children to have a wonderful and prosperous life. However, there are also the people who thought money was the only thing in the world, and they extreamly effected and manipulated the lives of the immigrants.
Uprising is one of those books that makes you sympathize with the characters and want to yell at the business men when they do something unjust to the girls. Those kinds of books are always the best. I thought that it wasn't very predictable, which I liked, so that we don't know what happens at the end. Overall, I thought the characters were well developed, and the dialogue was believable. I think it was realistic, it had a lot of truth about the lives of the immigrants in the early 1900s. I also liked how, while reading this book,  I learned a lot about the strike before the fire. I actually didn't know there was a strike before the fire, so, I guess you really do learn something new every day. I would give Uprising, 4.5 stars out of 5.
Now, on to book 24! I don't know what it will be yet, so I'll have to figure it out.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Graphology:Discovering My Inner Self :-P

I had a friend last year that was testing if a person's handwriting could reflect their personality. She tested me, but the only thing I remember her telling me was that, because of the way that I write my h, I am a stubborn person, which actually is kind of true.
So I was curious if I could tell anything else from my handwriting.
I began my search, as anyone might in this day and age, on the internet. Most of the sites that I went to were pretty similar. They would ask me what size my handwriting was, the slants of my letters, and the amount of space that I put in between words.
On to the testing!
Before I tested myself, I wrote down a random paragraph from An Abundance of Katherines, so I could compare my handwriting to the examples of handwriting the site was showing, and when I wrote that paragraph, my letter size was moderate, I had a vertical slant, and my words were evenly spaced. My line spacing-I'm just going to ignore that part of the quiz because I wrote the test paragraph on lined paper, and I'm pretty sure that's cheating-and the pressure that I applied was moderate. Oh, and I also left a wider margin on the right side of the paper than on the left.
According to the website I used, my letter size tells me that I am traditional, practical, and realistic. My slant tells me that I am independent, and self controlled, and my according to my word spacing, I am self confident and amiable. The pressure that I apply shows me that I am sociable, moderately energetic, and calm. The last one, the margin on the right side of the paper says that I am reserved, unrealistic, and a poor mixer, which is odd, considering all the other stuff my handwriting told me.
I guess that what the graphology test told me was true(maybe?), except for the last bit about me being a poor mixer and unrealistic. The thing is, graphology is still very vague. I could be traditional in various aspects of my life, like I could be traditional in the way that I dress, or the way that I speak. Also, like most studies, there will be things that I'll disagree with, and I especially disagree with the fact that I am a "poor mixer."
Overall, this was interesting, but I'd much rather have someone talk to me about what kind of person I am, instead of analyzing something that can change quickly, like my handwriting, which involves a bunch of variables like the position at which I'm sitting, and the speed at which I was writing.  I didn't really learn anything about myself, mostly because I was just doing this for fun and wasn't taking it seriously, but I guess it showed me that various aspects of graphology are true. I still think it's a bit of a flimsy study, because everyone is different, and I could fake my handwriting if I wanted to, but-ah well. I just did it for the fun of it, and yes, it was fun.

Book #22: An Abundance of Katherines

So, yesterday I told you that I was reading book number 23. But I had finished book number 22 that morning, and I decided that I would tell you what I thought about it.
I love John Green. I read his most recent book, The Fault in Our Stars in February, and I thought it was amazing, so I read Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska a couple weeks ago. They were amazing too.
An Abundance of Katherines is about a boy named Colin who gets dumped 19 times. All by girls named Katherine. So Colin and his best friend, Hassan, go on a road trip and end up in this one town called Gutshot, and it's about their adventures and Colin wondering why he got dumped by Katherine number 19.
I finished An Abundance of Katherines, and I have to say that I enjoyed it. It wasn't my favorite John Green book(my favorite of his is Paper Towns-book number 17), but it was a lot better than Great Expectations, which I have read twice, and I have to read it again for summer reading this year(Ha! That's not happening). I'm sure I'll write about my readings of Charles Dickens in the future. But back to the topic at hand! I think I like John Green better when he's writing in first person. I don't know why, it just sounds better to me. And I was so used to him writing in first person, that I would get lost when there was a sentence like "Colin found himself thinking" or something similar. But one thing that I did thuroughly enjoy was the footnotes. They just made me laugh, and I love laughing when I'm reading. It's always a sign of a good book.
Overall, I would give An Abundance of Katherines between a four and a four and a half. And now I'm working on book number 23-Uprising by Margaret P. Haddix.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

An Introduction

Hi! I'm Aki! I've never done this before and it feels kind of weird, but I'm sure that after a few entries I'll get the hang of this blogging thing.
I'm from Pittsburgh, PA-I've lived here for the past four years-and I'm 15 years old. I like to read, listen to music, and read even more. Oh, and I play volleyball too(I'm a setter). My favorite book at the moment is Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, and I like the band Of Monsters and Men, though I'm sure that those favorites will change soon. My goal for this year is to read 30 books, and I'm on book 23 right now, so I'm making pretty good progress. I also play the piano. I'm currently working on a Chopin waltz, a Beethoven sonata, a Bach prelude, and Brahms' Rhapsody no. 2. Though my favorite out of those is the Rhapsody.
I'm very proud of my title, Laughing at Dragons. I would love to say that I made it up all on my own. But alas, that is not the case. Another one of my favorite books is The Hobbit, and in the first chapter, Bilbo tells himself never to laugh at live dragons, and I totally agree with that piece of advise. So that's my title. And it sounds cool.
So I'll probably be blogging about things that enter my mind, or things that I do, and so I'd like to welcome you to this beginning of this adventure.