Monday, December 31, 2012

Best Books I've Read in 2012

It's the end of the year, and so I've decided that I'm going to write two posts today. Coincidentally, this is also the hundredth post I've made! This is a list of all of the books that I read this year going from my favorite (#1) to my least favorite (#35).

  1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  2. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  3. Legend by Marie Lu
  4. I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
  5. Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
  6. Paper Towns by John Green
  7. Looking for Alaska by John Green
  8. Son by Lois Lowry
  9. Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass
  10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  11. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
  12. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
  13. Uprising by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  14. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
  15. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  16. The Road from Coorain by Jill Kerr Conway
  17. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  18. A Million Suns by Beth Revis
  19. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  20. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
  21. Starters by Lissa Price
  22. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin
  23. Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys
  24. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  25. The Angel Experiment by James Patterson
  26. Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
  27. School's Out-Forever by James Patterson
  28. The City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  29. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
  30. MacBeth by William Shakespeare
  31. El Principe de la Niebla by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  32. Girl, Stolen by April Henry
  33. A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
  34. Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports by James Patterson
  35. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
I hope everyone has had a wonderful 2012 and I hope that everyone has a happy new year!


So I'm back from a three day trip to Oakland, Maryland. My family and I went on a ski vacation at this place called the Wisp Resort. We didn't stay there though. We stayed at another hotel that claimed it had "internet." When my dad asked the person at the front desk why we were only getting 15% internet, the guy apparently said "yeah, the internet gets weird in the winter."
Now my ski experience has been limited. I've gone skiing twice before this trip at a place called Boyce park near our house. The last time I went was last year, and the only real thing I remember from it is the pizza and french fry positions of the skis.
The weather was really nice for skiing. It had snowed about three or four inches before we got there and it was still coming down. Friday, it was still snowing, but there was practically no wind, so it wasn't terribly cold.
On Friday, my dad and I got onto the slopes at Wisp. My mother decided that she didn't have the desire to ski so she stayed inside and crocheted all day.  We stuck mostly to green slopes all day, and I advanced to the point where I didn't ski pizza style, but instead did a bunch of turning to slow myself down. I did fall about five or six times and one time, this snowboarder kid (I don't like snowboarders-they're rude and don't know about personal bubbles) ran into me while I was down. I wasn't too happy about that. I DID go on a "black diamond" slope.  It was accidental though. I didn't know that I was on one at the time, and that makes me feel better about falling down half of it.  
Saturday and Sunday, we went cross-country skiing. THAT was awesome. It's like a combination of skiing and skating. We got to ski across the golf corse, which was absolutely beautiful. There was about two or three feet of fresh snow on the ground and the mountains were covered with trees that had lost all their leaves but were coated in snow. There weren't any tall buildings in sight, and it kind of made you feel like you were truly in the wilderness. We went cross-country skiing for two hours each day.
We had to go inside a yurt-a round tent made of felt usually used by nomads-to get our skis, which was awesome. It was a very cozy and I thought that it would be really cool to actually live in one, that is, until I decide that I want to take a shower. The skis themselves aren't like skis that you ski down mountains with. They're very slidy so you can ski across the surface of the snow really easily. My parents had some trouble with snow sticking to their skis-the snow packed really easily, which made it easy to make snow balls. Hehehehe. My dad and I learned that pretty fast.
I'm very glad that there was a bunch of snow on the ground. If there hadn't been, falling down would have hurt a lot. It wouldn't stop snowing while we were there, and all that snow piled on top of snow made a beautiful sight, as I've already said. I don't know why I love snow so much. I just love how it makes everything so serene and pretty. It's snowing right now while I'm writing this, in fact. Maybe it'll snow a lot and tomorrow I can make myself a snow castle and have a snowball fight. You never know. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


For the first time in my life, my dad's computer is not the most powerful computer in the house.
Guess who's is!?
I am now typing this entry on my new computer Istari. It is a 13 inch MacBook Air, and it is amazing. It's sooooo fast!! Everything opens really really quickly. I was shocked this morning when I opened my mail and didn't have to wait about ten seconds for it to actually open. I can't even say "whoa" faster than it opens. It's so wonderful.
I was going to name my computer "Elrond" from Lord of the Rings, because he is amazing and in the movies, he has an amazing forehead, but I thought that that was a bit too well known. Istari is Quenya (one of the languages of the Elves) and refers to to the wizards of Middle-earth.
I do feel more efficient now with my new computer. I'm now motivated to do a lot of typing and opening of documents. I'm currently working on our Christmas letter. My dad and I are now also MacBook Air buddies. Right now, he's sitting next to me on his air and I'm on mine, and it's cool.
I'm also discovering a lot of new things. For one, I'm on a new operating system. I just clicked on a button that I didn't know existed, which let me go to different tabs of Safari. But mostly, I'm just surprised at how fast it is.

Monday, December 24, 2012


So, I know it's been a while since I've posted. I don't like that I don't post that often. I like posting, so I don't understand this at all. Maybe for the new year, I'll make myself a schedule, or a minimum amount of posts that I'll write in a month.
Anyway, tomorrow's Christmas, so to anyone who is reading this, Merry Christmas!! Christmas also means that Christmas cards are coming in from friends and family, which also means that I have to write the Christmas card. Yes, that's my job.
I've been excited for this movie to come out ever since I was about nine years old, though the reasons for wanting to see it have changed. When I was little, I just thought that my dad would enjoy it, so I was excited for him, but after I read The Hobbit in seventh grade, I got even more excited to see it. Especially because I wasn't old enough to comprehend or enjoy The Lord of the Rings when those movies came out, so I'm glad at the timing of it all. At least I got to see some of the story of Middle Earth in the theaters. And knowing Peter Jackson (which I really don't, but based on his actions) he'll probably make The Silmarillion into a movie as well. Actually, he won't make it into a movie, he'll make about four or five movies out of that.
It was amazing. It was sooooo good!!! Martin Freeman did an amazing job as Bilbo. He was very hobbity and just was really really good. The scene with him and Gollum gave me the shivers because it was done so well. Gollum's eyes were really large and blue and amazing. Gandalf was awesome, as well as Thorin, and I have to mention here the amazingness of Elrond's forehead. I don't know what it is about it, but it's just awesome.
I've seen the movie twice. I saw it last Thursday with my parents and I saw it yesterday with my friends Eli and Alexandra. The one on Thursday I saw in 2D, but yesterday I saw it in 3D. I think I enjoyed it more in 2D, just because I don't really think 3D adds anything to the actual movie experience, but I also thought that the movie looked better in 2D. The picture was prettier (especially Erebor and Rivendell). I don't know if I saw the 2D one at 48 frames per second (for those of you who don't know, a regular movie goes at 24 frames per second, but Peter Jackson tried it with 48 to see if it looked "more realistic"), but it was still amazing.
I can't wait for the next one, not only because the first one was amazing, but because BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH is in it as Smaug!!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Project for Awesome

Today is the Project for Awesome. Project for awesome is an annual event, run by the vlogbrothers on YouTube. All year, people have been donating money here. Every year, on December 17, vloggers take over YouTube and make a video about a particular charity that they feel strongly about. Then, the YouTube community goes to the website (linked under "here" a couple of sentences earlier) and votes on what they think is the "best" non-profit organization. The top 5 non-profits get 20% of the money that was raised throughout this year.
I think that it's an awesome thing. I like how people are reducing worldsuck (vlogbrothers term for the amount of suck in the world). Many famous YouTubers (or at least the ones I watch) make videos about their charities, and even everyday people make videos for their favorite charities. John Green of the vlogbrothers (an amazing author who wrote The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, and An Abundance of Katherines-only recommended for highschoolers and up) made a video for Save the Children, a program that provides children who live in poverty with medical aid, education, clean water etc. WheezyWaiter made a video supporting, which provides impoverished places with clean water.
I personally don't have a favorite charity or anything. I think giving to these places is a good thing in general, and usually do so through school. Though the thing that I don't like about the school fundraising is that there is pressure to donate or to participate. Yes, it does produce more money that way, but at the same time, I believe that giving to charity should be done from the heart, and not just because you don't want to be that one person who didn't donate. Also, it feels better to know that you gave because you cared.
I'm just trying to raise awareness for what I think is a really cool thing. If you're interested, there are a bunch of links up there that you can click to get introduced to the Project for Awesome.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Pictures of Florian and Montague

These are pictures of Montague and Florian. Montague is on the left with the white sand and pinecone, and Florian is on the right with the red sand and the starfish. I think they're adorable and I love their terrariums. I wanted to hang them somewhere, but I don't really know where I would hang them. However, right now, they seem to be pretty happy with their positions. 
Also, I love the fact that Florian looks like he could be a character from Veggie Tales. He looks like he would be one of those veggies that has round glasses and always talks with an English accent. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Introducing Florian and Montague

So, yesterday, I received an early Christmas present. I was really confused about why I was getting to open this present two weeks before Christmas, but once I did open it, it made a lot of sense. I got two air plants!!
Air plants are plants that don't need any type of soil to survive. Instead, they take the moisture out of the  air and use that as their nutrients. The air plants are about the size of an eraser, and they are adorable. After I soaked them in water (because I have to do that once a week or so), I put them into their terrariums with some sand. Then, I promptly named them Florian and Montague.
Please don't judge me on my naming skills. The thing is, I would never ever ever be so cruel as to name a child Florian (or Montague). If I ever have kids, then I would give them names that are much better than that. However, I've always had this thing for naming stuff (plants, imaginary pets, etc.) with old names.
I sometimes have these moments when I meet people or discover people who have awesome names. A perfect example is Benedict Cumberbatch (speaking of Benedict Cumberbatch, the new Star Trek teaser trailer is out and THERE ARE TWO SHOTS OF HIM AS THE VILLAIN!!). His parents did an amazing job at picking out his name.
Anyway, I found a good spot for Florian and Montague to live. I'm excited for them to bloom, but I'm not really sure when that will be. Apparently, after they bloom, they grow little "pups" that are baby air plants that will grow to be like Florian and Montague. Soon, I'll have a family of air plants that all have really old names. It's going to be exciting!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Snow and the Advent Calendar

This post is going to be really short because I have to go to practice soon.
So I'm still sore. I have practice again tonight so I will probably be sore again tomorrow. The weird thing is, there's this part on my hand that's really sore. Apparently it's called the first dorsal interosseous, which is just a fancy name for the muscle between your thumb and your index finger.
Right now, I'm really in the mood for snow. I want it to snow really really badly. It was about sixty degrees outside today, so I didn't even need to take a jacket to school. It's December already, and the ground isn't covered in snow like it should be. Last year, we had a really odd winter because it only snowed about twice and we didn't even have a snow day. It was really disappointing.
The thing that is really exciting for this year is that I have an advent calendar! It's a lego Star Wars advent calendar, and every day, I open up this little compartment and get to build a little lego toy. So far, I've gotten two ships, a Jar Jar Binks mini figure, and a catapult. It's awesome.

Monday, December 3, 2012

I'm Really Sore

Last week, my mother signed us up for boot camp at the gym that we go to. These boot camps last for about an hour and a half and take place about once every three months or so.  I was kind of excited, because I hadn't been sore in a while. So last Saturday, we went to the gym and attended this boot camp.
I was really glad when I got there to see that there weren't any people there that we extremely buff. My mother and I didn't really want to be in a crowd of people who can bench press twice their body weight or something. There was also a girl from my school that was there, so that was exciting. I think we were the only teens that attended.
There were four stations that we went around to, and they all focused on multiple parts of the body so it wasn't one station for abs and one station for upper body, but all of the stations contained exercises for all of our body. I think I almost collapsed after the first station because we were lunging and then going right into a jump and the lunging and then jumping for a long time. And then, without a break, we went right into squatting and jumping and squatting and jumping. Then we went to the second station, and I quickly realized that I hadn't eaten enough to get myself through the whole boot camp, so I ran into the locker room and very quickly ate a Nature Valley bar. Thank goodness for Nature Valley bars.
I did survive through the whole thing, as did everybody else. But today, I'm really sore. I'm kind of glad I'm sore though. It feels good.
Now here's the other part of the story. Yesterday at about noon, I got a text from one of my volleyball teammates and found out that my club volleyball season had started and that I had missed practice the day before. So I was kind of upset, especially because I had done the exact same thing last year. And I was even more upset because practice was after drivers ed from 8pm to 9:30!! I should be in bed by 9:30!!
And I was sore. But I was excited too, because volleyball season is the best.
I went to practice, and then when we were warming up, my coach from last year, Zach, goes, "so Miss Nace, where were you yesterday?"
Gulp. He said it really scarily too. And you could hear all the coaches sort of listening in.
So I said, "um....I didn't know that there was practice," and they Zach says,
"Ok, thanks for being honest. " He didn't even make me run or anything! Honesty is truly the best policy.