Thursday, March 31, 2011

sorry for not posting

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tagged!

I've been tagged...by someone. Seriously, everyone in the blogosphere is doing this, so I don't remember who. Maybe it was more than one. I just remember seeing my name...and oh, here we go.

List 10 (music) Artists you love, in no particular order, without looking at the questions below.
1.All American Rejects
2.Taylor Swift
3. John Powell
4. Black Eyed Peas
5. No Doubt/Gwen Stefani
6. Fireflight
7. Coldplay! <3
8. Paramore
9. Christophe Beck
10. A Fine Frenzy.







Now for the questions!!!!!

1. What was the first song you've ever heard by 6?
It would be "Unbreakable." Unbreakable is really encouraging, and the lead singer has a powerful voice.

2. What's your favorite song of 8?
I like Brick by Boring Brick, or Fences. Or Misery Business. Yes, I've decided to stop with the quotes.

3. What kind of impact has 1 left on your life?
The All American Rejects are a alt rock group that doesn't have explicit lyrics or bad language. Their songs are nicely morbid(like most rock groups) but it's nice to not have to worry about that.

4. What's your favorite lyric of 5's?
"And after all the obstacles
It's good to see you now with someone else
And it's such a miracle that you and me are still good friends"

I love this line, and this song, because it shows that you can still be friends and forgive and overcome your past, even though you broke up with someone. :p It's such a nice contrast to all the "AUGH you betrayed me for my best friend's cousin's dogwalker now i hope your car gets stuck in a giant puddle of crazy clue when you're going somewhere important" songs. It really esteems life-long friendships.  I really wish you would go listen to this song. It's so pretty :'(.



5. How many times have you seen 4 live?
None. I think they would hurt my ears without autotune.

6. What's your favorite song of 7?
Viva la Vida <3. It actually has Christian themes. I love Coldplay <3. <3. It's so epic. I'm learning it on the piano.

7. Is there any song of 3 that makes you sad?
YES. I was bawling at "Romantic flight." Then I listened to it consecutively over the next two weeks, and it died down a little.

8. What's your favorite song by 9?
Homecoming. I cried at that one too. :( And I like "Fighting Luke Part Two." even though its name leaves something to be desired.

9. How did you first get into 2?
The song "You Belong With Me." Some of my friends were singing it. Then I heard it at church.

10. How did you first get into 3?
The movie "How To Train Your Dragon."

11. What's your favorite song by 4?
It's a tie between "Bebot" and "Dum Diddly." both of which I'm doing for my dance recital.

12. How many times have you seen 9 live?
None. I don't think you CAN. :P

13. What is a good memory concerning 10?
I first heard her from Mariella's book trailer. It really fit Mariella's book :P.

14. Are there any songs of 8 that make you sad?
Not really.

15. What is your favorite song of 1's?
It Ends Tonight.

16. How did you become a fan of 10?
(scrolls up) (sees artist)(glances at no. 13.) 


I really wanted to do a REAL post today. :( I'm working on it! I spent 2 hours working on 2 posts, both of which are not ready for publication.
:(


Who can do a back walkover? I'm working on it.



Friday, March 25, 2011

Did you hear?

There's been another earthquake. Myanmar was hit with a 6.8 earthquake this morning.

Last weekend my family had another discussion, about a question that a lot of people around the world must be having.

Why? Why do all these earthquakes have to happen?

Before Adam sinned, the world was perfect, right? Does that mean there weren't any earthquakes? And after he sinned, does that mean the earth quakes just, I don't know, started to happen?

Sometimes I struggle to equate what I learn in church with what I learn in school. But I know science proves Christianity, not clashes with it. But I like reading about apologetics, so I find most of my answers there.

So maybe there weren't any tectonic plates before Adam sinned, and his sin started the breakup of the earth's crust? God did say that "the ground would be cursed." And later, the section about Noah did talk about "the earth dividing."

Do you have any questions about Christianity that you would like answered? Just remember that science is the EVIDENCE for God, not replacing him.



~~~~~~~

I was inspired by Jedi~Chick's mom(who needs a name) to post some pictures that I took with my camera.

  





 Pretty, no?

And I read another article about Rebecca Black today. She apparently is now very famous at her school with autographs and stuff. Maybe I should go knock on her door or something. We do live in pretty much the same county.

My Septimus Heap review is giving me trouble. >.> Maybe I'll post it next week.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's cold today.

Yes. Oh, and today I dropped my open tube of toothpaste. And stepped on it.
Sigh.
What was I going to post about again?

I have to go. I'll post later! I have a Septimus Heap review coming up.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Random SW Tuesday: Reprint

I'm reprinting this one. It's one of my favorites. I'll post more later! 

And Yay! I won Audrey's giveaway. I'll get back to you on that.




♫Duh-duh duh DUH!♫
Council: He is too dangerous to be kept alive. Darth Caedus must be killed.

Tenel Ka: This is a fact.

Lowbacca: Rawhrrahwra!

Em-Teedee: Master Lowbacca heartily concurs with the assessment of the Jedi Council on this matter. Personally, I think it is so dangerous to go on yet another adventure that my circuits may just overload!

Zekk: I'm too tainted by the dark side for this mission. I was once the darkest knight of the Shadow Academy!

Raynar: But we young Jedi Knights (even though we're not all that young anymore) are BETTER TOGETHER!

Jaina: So, what are we waiting for?

(Darth Caedus walks in, running a hand through his tussled hair.)

Caedus: Hey, anyone want to hear a joke?

Em-Teedee: Oh my--we're doomed!

Jaina: *stabs Caedus*

Caedus: *dies*

(Jedi Master Luke Skywalker walks in, smiling at his not-so-young-anymore Jedi Knights.)

Luke: I'm very proud of you almost-middle-aged-now Jedi Knights. You showed that with teamwork, trust in the light side, and the POWER OF FRIENDSHIP, you can vanquish the latest overplayed threat and even commit fratricide in the name of the galactic good.

Jaina: Wow, thanks Uncle Luke!

Zekk: And I wasn't touched by the dark side this time, unlike that joke-telling animal-obsessed chump!

Lowie: Rawhrrahwra!

Em-Teedee: I quite agree, Master Lowbacca. I am just glad that we're finished with this perilous adventure. I think that I shall power down in the recharge chamber now.

Raynar: We really did it because we stayed together.

All: BETTER TOGETHER!                    


(Camera fades to black.)

.
My references are getting more obscure every week. xD


What's up next?


Things SW characters would never say:

Yoda: It's not easy being green...so I'm dying myself purple!

Han: Threepio, tell me the odds.

Yoda: OK it is, just try your best, you should.

Tahiri: "The ground's too hard! Someone get me some shoes, quick!"

Jacen: I'm bored. idea I'll pull the wings off a few flies. 


Captioned Picture:

"You stupid, Human slime, you'll never wi—ooh, look, twenty dollars!"
 

A quote:

"Some beings are born lucky. Some are born pretty. Never both. I suppose that makes you lucky."
Khedryn Faal, to Reegas Vance[src]
BURN!...... hehe.
And an entry from Kwenn's Unwookieepedia(REAL definitions of SW characters.)

Borsk Fey'lya

"People hate me because I'm a Bothan; not because I'm a completely amoral sell-out." ―Borsk Fey'lya
Borsk Fey'lya was a Bothan. Yeah, you can see where we're going with this. During the Thrawn crisis, he tried to usurp control over the New Republic Defense Force by saying that he didn't care whether or not soldiers died just because they didn't want to vote for him. Apparently, Fey'lya never learned two major rules of politics: Always support the troops, and never tell the truth on an open intercom. Everyone forgot about him until the Yuuzhan Vong War, when he was elected Chief of State in the largest vote they had seen (seriously, how many people did he bribe?). When Coruscant fell, he blew himself and twenty five thousand Vong up rather than run in fear and eat major crow for the rest of his life. As a way of saying thank you, the Bothans declared a genocide in his honor.Man, Bothans are messed up. Seriously, who'd let a talking horse lead the Galaxy

Monday, March 21, 2011

Beautiful People and Up Balloons

Here is a writers meme. It is by Sky.

Now who should I write it for?
Oh, I know. You guys don't know much about my next project. I'll do this for that project then.

What is their full name?



My character's full name is Liadan Nyssa Meridian.I'm one for very fancy names.

Does his or her name have a special meaning?
"Liadan" is from one of my favorite fanfictions. "Nyssa" is stolen from Qui's former pen name. A prime meridian goes around the earth.

Does your character have a methodical or disorganized personality?
Methodical.

Does he or she think inside themselves more than they talk out loud to their friends? (more importantly, does he or she actually have friends?)
Liadan is rather introverted. She has a big family and later gets a good friend.

Is there something he or she is afraid of?
Her mother. More on that later.

Does he or she write, dream, dance, sing, or photograph?
She starts dancing purely because it was the school elective that took up the most time. She likes to spend time at school because she doesn't like to be at home.

What is his or her favorite book? (or genre of books)
Books? What are these "books"? She isn't really a bookish person. She DOESN'T like poetry, though.

Who is his or her favorite author and/or someone that inspires him or her?
A major part of the story is when she helps a woman reconnect with the woman's family. This inspires her to reconnect with her mother. So that woman inspired her. No name's yet.

Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Pistachio. Or at least that's MY favorite.
Favorite season of the year?
Spring!

We had to link to these posts, so I'm sure Sky is reading this. Hi, Sky! I love your blog and this meme and it helped me learn about my character.

Oh, and check out this cool video where people built a person-sized house and put balloons on it for real.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Also

1.) I am going crazy.

2.) My brother started a blog today. http://www.jro-ling.blogspot.com/
(claps)

Goodbye.

Hi!

I still feel really weird being back.
Okay, so there's this new internet video being called "The Worst Thing On The Internet". It's this girl's music video:
Rebecca Black is 13 years old and from Orange County, California.She is being blasted with criticism and internet-nastinesss due to the extreme autotuning, simple lyrics and just all around strangeness of her music video.
Look her up on Wikipedia for more info.

She is part of this music group called Ark Music Factory. Parents pay this company $2000 for professionals to write a song  and record a music video, in hopes that their children will become "discovered" and be pop stars. Black is the most famous artist they've  had.

So it all sounds good, except for the fact that the kids seem to be lacking in the uh, talent department. In most cases, I think the $2000 would have been better spent on vocal lessons. Watch this video of the "talented kids opening night", sans Autotune.



So Ark is one of the most controversial topics in pop culture right now. People say that they make a big deal of kids and parents who are just looking for attention, and in the meantime make a lot of money out of wannabe kids and their parents with deep wallets. What do you think? You can look at some of the other "music videos" from other similar kids as well.


In a way, it is working. Black is going to be appearing on national TV among other outlets. So she's becoming famous-but many people say it's for all the wrong reasons. After watching some of the videos, reading articles, and looking at the website, what do you think?
http://www.salon.com/entertainment/tv/feature/2011/03/14/rebecca_black_friday_horror/
read this one^^
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebecca_Black
http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/03/14/rebecca-blacks-bizarrely-bad-video-for-friday-is-this-for-real/
http://blogs.reuters.com/fanfare/2011/03/16/teen-girls-pop-video-mercilessly-dissected-by-internet-masses/

My favorite article, however, is this one left on Graphjam by Brian H....

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I am back

http://www.fantasy-backgrounds.com/planets-images/distant-fantasy-world-1920x1200.jpg


and don't you forget about it.

Well, that was a nice break.
My fingers started to get twitchy from typing-withdrawal by the second day though.

What? Whatareya'll looking at me like that?
Fine, I haven't posted in two weeks. But what's two weeks between friends, eh? Besides, I needed a break. Due to that February challenge, I posted more last month then I have ever posted in a month before.(<--would ya look at that awkward sentence. Yes, I am out of practice.) But don't worry. Are you in for extra posts today!

So in the days past, I have:
~read six and a half books(The Mysterious Benedict Society, The Perilous Journey, Frankenstein, Magyk, Flyte, Physik, and Queste. And The Swarm war.
~Fangirled about Percy Jackson and the Olympians(finished listening to THe Demigod Files)

Like I said, you were all up for a scathing review of Percy Jackson and the Olympians The Lightning Thief  The Movie. But this video pretty much covers it. Watch the whole thing. It's hilarious.
"Instead, just make Percy say 'Woah, woah, woah" 143 times." XD


They will make more though. The Lightning Thief did more than "okay" at the box office. And they said they "chose the cast specifically with sequels in mind." Huh. How that works out, I don't know. I must write reviews for Septimus Heap though. Someday, someday.

Let's see. I had lots of post ideas for you. They seem to have escaped me forever.


Did you know I haven't posted anything about Star Wars in a long time? 


I just finished the Swarm War by Troy Denning. Which effectively means that I have read every single Star Wars book with Jaina Solo in it. Scary. 
(drums fingers on table and waits for Ascension to come out. August if I remember correctly)

While we're waiting, did you know that they're going to be making a Septimus Heap movie? And Angie Sage is directing it! I'm excited :) 

People are speculating who should play who. As for Marcia, I think Rachel Weiz would make a great fit.
Actr-6.jpg 
Doesn't she just look the part?
I need to go work on The Lakehouse Newsletter. We're doing this awesome thing with costumes! People are submitting pictures of their costumes. 


Oh, and hear this new song I like:

 It's good to be back.
Amaranthine

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Review: The Mysterious Benedict Society

http://kidsblogs.nationalgeographic.com/dogeared/promos/book_cover_mysterious_benedict_society.jpg 

Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?
 
This peculiar ad draws in gifted children from all around America. But only the bravest, most clever, and most good natured children make it, only to be sent on a dangerous mission where rules are twisted, deceit is strongest, and the worst seem to win. Strong characterization complement a ever-changing plot and quirky narration. You'll never be bored when you join the Mysterious Benedict Society!

Reynie Muldoon is an orphan when he finds the above ad in a newspaper. He responds to it and in return navigates his way through a number of tricky brain benders and tests.  Left standing are he and three other children, all with their own peculiar gifts and ways of solving the puzzles. Sticky Washington is gifted with factual memory. Kate Wetherall, a former circus performer, is strong, athletic, and flexible. Reynie himself discovers he has a remarkable ability for solving puzzles. And Constance...well, nobody knows what to make of the obstinate toddler who answered none of the test questions and instead wrote long and irritated poems on the back of the paper. 

This "society" is called together by Mr. Benedict, a mysterious but kind middle aged man. Mr. Benedict gives them a dangerous mission that he claims only they can accomplish-infiltrating a school run by a Mr. Curtain, who Mr. Benedict suspects of trying to control minds through subliminal messaging in radio and television. The school, the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, is Mr. Curtain's base and the location from where the messages are being sent out. Their job is to infiltrate the LIVE, spy on Mr. Curtain, and find out more about how the messages are being sent.

Inside the institute, the Society navigates the waters of friendship, and uncover the horrible plan of Mr. Curtain to take over the world. They each develop their particular gifts, and communicating by Morse Code, slowly reveal the scheme to Mr. Benedict..and to us. 


The good
The plot may be far fetched, but it is redeemed by the quirky, fast paced, often tongue in cheek narration and dialogue. Every plot point is thoroughly experienced and scoured. So much happens during their time in the Institute that it seems impossible to explain clearly, but Stewart accomplishes this masterfully.

Second to the brilliant narration is the characters.  One thing that makes them seem so believable is how they waver from decision to decision, much like real children. An example: while they all help Rhonda Kazembe find her pencil at their own risk, they talk about Constance behind her back and openly doubt her uses on the mission. 

Several themes are explored in this novel.

-Friendship: The Society didn't choose to be together, and often at times they are frustrated with each other. They put up with each other for the sake of the mission, and by the end, they discover that everyone has their unique abilities and talents, and each person needs the other.

-Trust: The society barely gets to know Mr. Benedict before they decide to place their lives in his hands. When the Institute feeds them lies, Reynie finds himself beginning to doubt Mr. Benedict-Does he really have their best interests in mind? Why would Mr. Benedict put us in such danger? 

-Fear:  The Society is put in the clutches of The Whisperer, the mind control device which sends the messages. One of it's first questions is: What is your worst fear? Mr. Curtain uses the children's fears against them, which forces them to confront their own fears.  The Whisperer also soothes and hides fears, which makes many of Mr. Curtains henchman clamor to use it. 

"So it's just a wonderful illusion!" Martina(one of Mr. Curtain's lackeys) says. "That explains why the fears come back later. I've always wondered about that-when I'm in the Whisperer they seem to have gone away forever." To which Mr. Curtain responds: "Sadly, no. The only way fears truly disappear is if you confront them. But who in the world wishes to confront his or her worst fears?"

Mr. Curtain claims that his Whisperer will make people happy. But, he explains, it only makes people happy by denying their fears and erasing their memories and replacing them with his own.  Readers discover that his plan to take over the world relies on people's fears. Those fears, Mr. Curtain claims, are something that he can really depend on. Everyone is afraid of something, he says.

The ingenuity and cleverness of the children is delightful and entertaining. I had a blast watching the Society come up with risky plans and schemes and holding my breath with them waiting to see if they would go through.

No one actually dies. Milligan, another protagonist, uses a tranquilizer gun rather than the real thing.


The bad
Structurewise, not much. 

The plot matter is surprisingly serious for a childrens book. The depictions of mind control may disturb some. Also, miscreants are forced to serve time in "The Waiting Room", a room where they are forced to sit in mud blindfolded while insects crawled around them. This is never actually depicted, but is described by the characters.

About halfway through the story, they are directed by Mr. Benedict to cheat on their quizzes at the Institute. With some doubt, they go ahead and invent a code to share the answers. Sticky is caught cheating, but he lies his way out of it and they never actually have any consequences. It does give light to this interesting conversation between Sticky and an institute executive, SQ.
This is some advice SQ gives Sticky right before he goes in to face Mr. Curtain for cheating.

"My point is", SQ said. "Don't blow your chances right off the bat. Whatever you do, do not admit to Mr. Curtain that you cheated. If you did cheat, I mean. I'm not saying you should lie. That's even worse. Don't admit to cheating and don't lie."
"You're saying my best course of action right now is to not have cheated in the past."
"Exactly."
"That's helpful."

Sticky manages to do both, admitting to cheating but then lying about Martina making him cheat.

Sticky ran away from home.

Verdict
Realistic children's books(non fantasy) with children as protagonists often end up being this "Children are smarter than the dumb adults" thing. That is not what The Mysterious Benedict Society is. The Mysterious Benedict Society is a wondrous dive into the world that we didn't know about, delivering plenty of laughs, surprises, and morals along the way.

More then anything else, The Mysterious Benedict Society brings out nostalgia and longing for a simpler time. A time when children could just be children and take delight in the simplest things. A time when adults were wise, strong, and mature and children were respectful, conscientious, and courageous. And also..a time where children's books could be fun and unique and meaningful, and not charged with toilet humor, wizards and vampires, and petty drama.

A winner for the extraordinarily gifted and the ordinary alike.


Amaranthine