Thursday, December 29, 2011

Updates

Hi! It's the last day of my family reunion. The past couple days have been pretty much playing games, eating, and sleeping, with no work. It's been awesome.

Today we're going to the beach. We're almost done listening to the Sea of Monsters on Audiobook, but half of us have read it already and we keep accidentally blurting out spoilers. Oops.





I read The Son of Neptune and LOVED it. Now I'm back into Percy Jackson again. :D I was so happy Nico and Percy were back, both as awesome as ever. The book was hilarious and sad, Rick Riordan style. I liked the new characters, and I'm really excited for the next one! Hopefully Piper and Jason die/lose their memory(again)/leave/join the Hunters and stop tainting the series with their lameness.

We also went to motorcycle riding class on Tuesday. The class was from 10-3:30, and it was so much fun! I like dirt-bike riding a lot now.

Hopefully talk to you soon!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

most of you have already figured this from the lack of posts

but I'm officially on Christmas break, starting...like last week or so. XD Merry Christmas! Love ya!


Today we spent the day rabidly cleaning our house XD. Then my cousins, the awesomest people in the world got here and it's been nothing but fun since. XD Our family reunions are the highlight of my year. We spent a lot of time singing songs from "A Very Potter Musical", PPP, and playing games and nerf guns. :D


I better get back to it!

PS. I found a new favorite font. Cambria! Unfortunately, Blogger doesn't use it >.>


Friday, December 16, 2011

Top 10 releases I'm looking forward to in 2012

                            
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-NufODPj6F34/TmRrM6pWghI/AAAAAAAAAJM/QWnyErlhNY0/s1600/artemis-fowl-1.jpg



1. Artemis Fowl The Last Guardian(book) BOOYAH The last in the series! It's going to be brilliant, but I'll be so sad it's over.



2. MARCH 23rd (movie) THE HUNGER GAMES  <-Going to be amazing as well. Read Kate the Parchment Girl's excellent review of the book.


http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lqic97INQK1qkny5zo1_500.jpg 
3.Maximum Ride: NEVERMORE(book)(February)<-Last in the series as well! There are so many plot threads to be tied up in this last book but it's probably going to slither out of half of them, typical. >.>

 http://www.floridaleisureblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Pottermore.jpg

4. Pottermore for the plebians!(website) 8D (crossing fingers)


http://media.avclub.com/images/articles/article/58/58839/dance6904_jpg_627x325_crop_upscale_q85.jpg

5. Dance Moms Season 2!(TV show) January 10th!


http://a.dolimg.com/en-US/dcom/media/property/disney_insider/articles/mainattraction_100504_230.jpg
6. The Kane Chronicles final book! (May) This should go higher up on the list! It's going to be epic, because there is plenty of suspense left in me from the last book, and I know RR's going to be AMAZING pulling it all together.



http://images.wikia.com/avpm/images/1/11/Sk.png

7. A VERY POTTER THREEQUEL WHO'S WITH ME? OH YEAH(MUSICAL) (SUMMER)


 http://www.eucantina.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/apocalypse_wow.jpg

8. Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse-March 13th 8D 8D



http://media2.onsugar.com/files/2011/12/50/2/192/1922283/Great_Gatsby_Official_Tobey_Maguire_Carey_Mulligan.preview/i/Great-Gatsby-Movie-Pictures-Leonardo-DiCaprio.jpg
9.  The Great Gatsby(Movie)(Dec. 25, 2012)


http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ltt6v7FEWp1qiy920.jpg

10. Mark of Athena(only mildly) grumble grumble it better be brilliantsauce to make up for the first one.

 XD well I'll TTYL,
Too cute - I couldn’t resist.



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Woah, you can keep a journal on the internet? WHAT?!(journal post)

 
unrelated picture is unrelated, Kawaielli on deviantart, not a picture of me(haha I wish)

 

For the past couple years, I've kept a journal on and off, and one of my favorite things is to look through them and see how my life was many years ago. It's amazing to think and reflect...the only problem is, journals are hard to keep up XD.
So I was reading my journal from fifth grade(maybe I'll post pictures a little later..heh heh embarrassing), and I was thinking maybe I should start keeping a journal again, of my high school years..and I was just thinking that a journal would be hard to keep up with, along with my blog..wait, a blog IS supposed to be a journal!
So then I looked back at my posts and I realized that most of my posts are for you guys and not very journal like at all. And then I decided that I should use my blog for journal ling more often and write about my personal life. The only problem is that you might not want to read it and I might lose all my followers, and also there's the limitation that I can't write about some things, because, it's the internet, ya know?
Now I've decided to prefix all my journal posts with (journal post) so that you can see it, and if reading about my life bores you, just skip it! Yay! And if I need to record something that I dont' want to post, I'll just not publish it.

So I'm going to go over the past week or so, and treat it like a journal.

8D

Dear blog,

Today I purchased a pair of fancy mice. One ate the other and then died of loneliness.

Ahem.

Dear Journal,
Now it’s December. The past year has gone by so quickly. It seems like just yesterday I was at Nai Nai’s house celebrating the start of another New Year. 

The year goes by in blinks. Staying up till midnight on New Years drinking tea.  Blink. Going skiing. Blink. Plotting dastardly acts on April Fools. Blink. Having my birthday. Blink. Celebrating the end of another school year.  Sailing down the harbor in the middle of a summer. Blink.  Going back to high school and taking notes on which teachers grade hard and which teachers are pushovers. Blink. The end of the semester. Blink. December.

And here we are.

I love December and Christmas. I love the lights, the music and the fun happy busy stress of it all. 

Life has been going good for the most part. School is great. It’s a little hard to keep track of stuff, and occasionally I get hit with assignments that send me into a panic. But for the most part, I love all my classes. Spanish has been the hardest this year, but the teacher is really good and the subject is interesting. My teacher for English is probably one of the best teachers I have ever had, even though she’s strict.. Her classes are always the most fun and she sings crazy songs into the microphones and talks about tough difficult subjects and has People-magazine style covers of historical figures and authors. This week is the finals for the first semester, and then a whole month of break! I’m super excited, because I can use the time to edit LITB, my NaNo novel.

Dance has been going good too. I sacrificed my jazz class on the altar of ballet. But I can still make up in jazz. I can do double pirouettes now. Last week I kept falling on people, literally. It was super embarrassing. I’m trying to really increase my flexibility so I can do higher developpes and leg holds and stuff. I’m really loving acro because I’m improving. Acro is the one class where you always know how you improve and how well you do. I can almost kick over from the ground now, and my front limber no longer has my head hit the floor. I’m going to do Ms. Laura’s recital for Saturday ballet. But more on that later.

I still bike five miles three days a week to the studio, and five miles back. I’ve found a way to go there without having to cross too many intersections. I’m not as scared now, although I still get into close calls occasionally, and it’s cold.

Today I had my first really good piano lesson in a long time. We’re working up to the certificate of merit, where I will be taking the last level! I’ve been taking it every year since I was six or seven, so graduating will be awesome for me. Mr. Hansen keeps giving me tons of theory homework…sigh. I’m doing a Chopin Nocturne, a piece from Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier, Copland’s “Three Moods”, and the Mozart sonata I did for the competition.

Oh yeah, the competition sucked. Well, at least I could have done better. I only got third place, which sounds really good but that’s the lowest level besides not placing. And a ton of kids get third and up. I don’t want to do any more but I suppose Mom will make me.

This week has been mostly relaxing with the last couple big projects due, and almost no other work besides studying for Finals. I expect to ace all of them though the math one will be a major suckfest for the one hour of torture I will have to endure it for.

My YouTube is still blocked. 

On Sunday, church was cancelled for Good Neighbor Weekend, so for our service project we walked around our whole community and prayed for people. It was fun, but our community is huge. It took two hours with almost no stopping to rest, and my feet are SORE.

A major source of stress I’ve been going through is The Lakehouse Forums, my pet awesome forum that Ley and JC and me started last winter. The one year anniversary is coming up, and the forum has been having some growth issues. Nothing bad, just growing pains that we had to worry about and work on. But I spent almost my whole Sunday and whole Monday morning stressing, discussing and planning with Ley and JC, and writing emails and PMs and new rules. Everything seems to be going smoothly now, that we’ve promoted RachelisaJedi and JKG to moderatorship. We haven’t put up the new set of rules but we will soon.

On Monday, we had my Girl Scouts holiday party at Dilan’s house. Her house is really nice. We had our secret Santa gift exchange and I got a scarf and thing of popcorn from Celeste. Rae, my other best Girl Scout friend was there, and she was happy to see me, which is awesome. Never underestimate the power of just being friendly and nice. I was having a crappy day from TLF stuff and she made me feel a lot better.

And on Tuesday, I carpooled with Deanna for the first time to the life group holiday party.

Now for this I have to explain something. I knew Deanna’s sister, Justine, from last year’s small group. Justine is a really extreme dancer. She’s really good and into it, one of the top girls in my studio who’ve been dancing since they were like, three. She dances twenty five hours a week and has a solo, duo, trio, and is in five competition groups. She goes to a major performing arts school for dance. 

I thought Deanna was just going to be an older version of Justine, since she goes to the same school and dances also. Not that that’s bad, it’s just that Justine and I didn’t have a lot in common so there were a ton of awkward silences when we talked so it was super awkward.
Deanna is a lot like Justine in the fact that they’re both super pretty, sweet, and polite. They both always are very stylish, pulled together, and calm looking. But talking with Deanna brought me some major revelations. Deanna doesn’t dance nearly as often as Justine, and this is her first year in performing groups, and she’s a high school junior. Also, she hasn’t been dancing since she was three. She’s been dancing since she was fourteen. LIKE ME! My brain nearly exploded when I heard that! I was like babbling incoherently “I thought I was the only one! I thought I was the only one!” Plus, she’s good, and on pointe, and she’s only sixteen, so that gives me a lot of hope and encouragement for myself. 

She told me about the competition groups in our studio and encouraged me to join one. I’d love to, but I don’t dare ask my mom yet XD.

She also plays piano, and is in Certificate of Merit level nine, a year below me. Which is super cool! Also, she goes to the performing arts school for trombone and doesn’t dance there. 

So that was like a total God moment. Here I was feeling so pathetic and loserish, and here comes along this super cool girl who actually started out a lot like me, That was definitely a blessing.

We got our accountability partners. I have Hala and Rebecca, both of whom are darlings, and we’re supposed to meet up and call each other over break, along with the other girls in the small group. I could probably meet Deanna too, at our studio or at the Yogurtland across from it.

So I’m feeling really refreshed and inspired right now. Life is great! I’ve been happy.
Christmas is in almost a week! Is that crazy or what?! My cousins are coming! My favorite people in the whole world! We’ll get to talk about Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, Hunger Games, Potter Puppet Pals, and everything! We’ll eat yummy food! And then after, we can go shop at all the winter sales for stuff.

Yayness!
Amaranthine


PS. Want an Ipad? I do.

http://honeybeeinthecity.blogspot.com/2011/12/december-giveaway-apple-ipad-2-16gb.html




Sunday, December 11, 2011

update

hey-

just logging in to apologize and to ask you guys to pray for me <3. Today has been one long stress-fest XD. My brain hurts from exploding so many times.




Also, I just watched the new Potter Puppet Pals episode. I think each episode is purposely in competition to be the weirdest things I have ever seen.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

the four stages of santa claus

1. You believe in Santa Claus
2. You don't believe in Santa Claus
3. You are Santa Claus
4. You look like Santa Claus




Friday, December 9, 2011

Comic #1495

irregular webcomic FTW <3



Monday, December 5, 2011

call me insecure

 http://kids.baristanet.com/files/2010/10/leftout.jpg

I need your guys's reassurance right now.




I get attached very easily. I love people easily. I'm always willing to be someone's friend, to hang out, to give them the benefit of the doubt even if I don't like them much. I'll listen to them, help them out, whatever.



I just wish for once someone would do the same for me.


Maybe it's from being an unsocialized scary homeschooler. But I always read in the books where people would have friends that they always hung out with and would do anything for. And I've never had that.


People always have other friends. I know people and am able to get on an acquaintance level with almost everyone. I can always walk up and start a conversation with people. They tolerate me.


But they always have their own people that they sort of "target" out. They always gravitate to a specific group of people, and they talk about their school, their activities, whatever they have in common, I do try to sort of wiggle my way in, but I always feel like an outcast.


This is an on/off thing by the way. One week I find someone to hang out with and I feel like a part of the group, Other days I feel like the loneliest person in the world.


On the occasion I do find someone, most of the time, it's for a temporary while and we never see each other again. More often, I find out that they aren't who I thought they were and I have to leave.


Most of the time,  they're just not there. They're busy, with orchestra and schoolwork and dance and I try not to resent them for it though.

Loneliness is a cold feeling. It doesn't make me particularly sad right away. I'm feeling it right now, and I'll try to describe it to you. It's like when someone with cold hands touches you. Sort of like a cold little animal gnawing on your stomach. It's also incredibly weakening, to smile and laugh and look pleasant and be polite, when inside I'm dying.

I'm not obnoxious. I always try to keep a calm head and don't make weird noises or freak about about fandoms. I think I'm funny. I think I'm smart. I think I'm nice. I think I'm pretty/attractive. I think I'm an amazing person to know.

Apparently other people don't think so, and it affects the way I see myself.

I'll admit it now. That's why I love staying at home on the internet or reading rather than going to social situations. Internet/reading is kind of like a distraction or a facade. On the internet, I can pretend I'm popular, I'm friendly, I give advice,I'm smart, everybody loves me, who wouldn't? When I'm reading I can disappear into the world I'm reading about and I become someone else.

When I'm out with other people I feel the truth. To them, I'm mildly interesting. Tolerably attractive. Nice and friendly, but nothing unique. Jokes/witticisms fall flat.

This is what I have to remind myself to remember. I can only be my own person. I cannot account for how other people treat me or see me. I have absolutely NO control over whether or not people like me or hate me. The only thing I can do is be the best person I can be and trust. God made me who I'm meant to be. There's a reason I'm on this earth. Somehow, somewhere, I'll make a difference to someone.

And I can't waste time worrying about who likes me, who will be my friend. He will give me whoever he wants me to be around.

I say these things, but I can't say I truly understand them or feel peace with them yet. I'm working on it.

Pray for me.




okay, I read this post over, it's angsty. Sorry about that. Please don't feel like I'm trying to make everybody feel sorry for me or stroke my ego. I just need to write this to express myself. You don't need to tell me I'm amazing or awesome or whatever. Just pray that I'll finally be mature enough to come to grips with that truth I just wrote ^^.

and yes, this post was triggered by a specific event. I used to think one person was the most amazing, funniest, best artist in the world. I looked up to her to the point of idolatry. It was the best time of my life when she decided I could be her friend. She's still my friend, but as I've gotten to know her better I guess I'm disillusioned. She still likes me..i think. i still like her. I just have to add her to my prayer list...sigh.

 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Howl's Moving Castle book analysis

“I feel ill. I'm going to bed, where I may die.”
― Howl, upon having a cold.
I've decided to call them "book analysis" because they're not really reviews that tell you how much I liked the book, rather,  me taking the book apart and looking at different aspects of it for my own entertainment. Read on. Also, read Howl's Moving Castle.



http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/a4/Howl%27s_Moving_Castle_(Book_Cover).jpg/230px-Howl%27s_Moving_Castle_(Book_Cover).jpg



This is the original cover of Howl's Moving Castle and I have got to say it is the UGLIEST thing I have ever seen. I like the new one much better.

Ahem.


First of all, I should point out that Howl's Moving Castle is a children's book. However, I like to hold all books I read to the same standard, after all, they're written by adults.

I had biased expectations of Howl's Moving Castle from the start, because I kept hearing from several sources how amazing, how fantastic, how hilarious and how romantic the book was, and hearing the perfectly gorgeous soundtrack by Joe Hizazi(something or other.)

Howl's Moving Castle never seemed to be in the library at the same time I was, so  it's been a couple months since I've heard of it, and my anticipation swelled. So did the book live up to my expectations? Well, let's see.

A young woman named Sophie Hatter is the eldest of three daughters living in the town of Market Chipping in the magical kingdom of Ingary, where many fairy-tale tropes are accepted ways of life. She is turned into an old crone by the Witch of the Waste, a powerful witch. Sophie leaves the shop and finds work as a cleaning lady for the notorious Howl, famed in her town for eating the hearts of beautiful young women, trying to make a bargain to be returned to her authentic age.
-Wikipedia

The setting for this book is incredibly charming and sweet. It's an old fashioned fantasy setting, with many villages and meadows and kingdoms and castles. (There are some twists thrown in, but I'm not going to spoil it.) It feels incredibly light, and not bogged down at all with boring old history and customs and backgrounds that fantasy settings are often plagued by. It's not complicated at all, and you don't have to worry about keeping track of names, species, and armies and all that.

Howl's Moving Castle is one of the best examples of a character-driven book I have ever read. The characters are stellar.

Sophie is a lot like Laura Ingalls. She's sensible, hardworking, compassionate, and good natured. She appears to be timid on the outside but shows her resolve and humor many times during the story. She often feels insecure and is resigned to the fact that she is plain and boring (even though she is pretty.) Instantly relatable.

Howl....is very interesting. XD. I love him. Howl is, to paraphrase Wikipedia "self-absorbed, dishonest and a dramatic but ultimately good-natured person (and an extraordinary wizard)," Add "cowardly" "spendthrift" and "absent minded" to the list. He spends two hours every day in the bathroom doing his hair and cologne. He doesn't take care of his house and spends all the money he gets. His favorite hobby is courting girls(he's very smooth) and then breaking their hearts. One time he throws a huge tantrum because Sophie accidentally turns his hair dye one shade redder. Sophie's the perfect foil for his flamboyant airheadness.

With that said, I felt there were way too many characters in this story. Often times, they weren't focused on enough. The minor characters would disappear for chapters at a time, and popped in just when I'd forgotten about them.

The plot was strange and often rough in some places. And that's fine, but it was also very dragged out. Howl's Moving Castle is deceptively long for what happens in the book. The doesn't move fast enough. And I felt that way too much went on for me to appreciate it enough.

But yes, Howl's Moving Castle is worth reading for the brilliant characters, the quirky setting, and the funny side events that happen in the story. I found myself not wanting the book to end(The plot could jump off a cliff for all I cared, I just wanted to read more scenes with the characters.) It is funny. Howl repeatedly overreacts or does something stupid, and Sophie rolls her eyes and throws her sensible, sarcastic comments his way. It also is refreshing to have Sophie 90 years old for most of the story. Elderly people aren't boring, and she has a perspective the younger Sophie wouldn't have lent.


“By now it was clear that Howl was in a mood to produce green slime any second. Sophie hurriedly put her sewing away. "I'll make some hot buttered toast," she said. "Is that all you can do in the face of tragedy??" Howl asked. "Make toast!”
Diana Wynne Jones, Howl's Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle is also incredibly clean. The evil Witch of the Waste has a slightly gruesome, slightly bothering fate in mind for Howl, and there are rumors that Howl eats girls' hearts(which, as we find out, is a euphemism.) But that's all.

Themes
This is where Howl's Moving Castle really falls short. The book is airy and, charming, but contains not much meaning other than the usual fairy tale stuff. Howl does change, but it's not really a change of character.(You'll understand once you read it.)  Sophie does start out insecure, believing that she's plain, not pretty, untalented, common, and doomed. But Howl calls it nonsense and said she just never stopped to think about herself before. Sophie's compassion, as in many fairy tales, does have positive repercussions. Most characters, even Howl, are decent to each other and kind to Sophie. Howl undercharges the poor.

Positivity can be found in Sophie's character. She stays calm through tough situations and works hard without ever complaining or grumbling, much to the contrast of Howl and other characters.


Conclusion
Go ahead, read it. It's summery and fills you with warmth. Howl will have you chuckling for a while. Sophie is someone we can all strive to be like.



"Well, he's fickle, careless, selfish, and hysterical,' she said. 'Half the time I think he doesn't care what happens to anyone as long as he's alright--but then I find out how awfully kind he's been to someone. Then I think he's kind just when it suits him--only then I find out he undercharges poor people. I don't know, Your Majesty. He's a mess.”

-Sophie, about Howl.


In the end, I guess Howl's Moving Castle is a refreshing version of a classic fairy tale. It's about the day we all leave our small, familiar hat shops in search of a magical destiny, an exciting fortune, and a moving castle of our own.




 



Thursday, December 1, 2011

A post where I just talk.

Perhaps you do not know about the Amaranthine Forever post process. I love to write blog posts, but I need something to kickstart it. It is usually an event, but can also be an idea. The problem with getting ideas for posts is that I have a lot of ideas, but they need to be extremely good, so good that they're just begging me to write them and I can't ignore them.


I still have a lot of post ideas. They are good, but they are not putting the urgency on my soul that they normally have.


So here's a post where I just talk.




Hi.


Some days I just feel so clumsy and awkward, like I'm always saying the wrong thing to everybody, and making mistakes and being stupid and stubborn and causing everyone to hate me. I'm also very opinionated(headdesk). I like to believe that I'm the right one, my opinion is the only one that makes sense, "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, it's just that their opinions are stupid",  which makes me a good blogger but a terrible friend. I have to check myself and make myself more open minded and less I don't know, dictator-like.


I have to watch myself, because I LOVE to give advice and tell people what to do, but I'm sure I drive everybody crazy doing it.


I wish I was good at everything. And this is literal. I wish I was good at everything. Because then I would be famous and people would like me.


I care about what people think of me. I wish everyone would like me. I know that's impossible, but when people are mad at me, even when it's not my fault, I hate it. Even if they're three years old, a jerk, a troll, a mean old lady who hates everybody, I want them to at least like me.

FYI-Being opinionated and stubborn, and also insecure, is a bad combination.

I read the Great Gatsby. Really good book. I dislike every single character in it, but it's a good book still.

I am allergic to spending my money. Seriously. My parents are very careful about their money and it's passed on to us. Both me and my brothers don't buy thing on a regular basis. (Except if it's books from the used library bookstore, and then it's like 25 cents a book.) I could bet you that my brothers haven't spent a dime in  the last six months, and I'd probably be right.

And no, it's not because our parents buy everything for us. It's because I can't find anything to spend money on. I always feel that everything is way to expensive for what it's worth. And I'm so alien to just the usual process of spending money, that buying anything feels unnatural. It's true that the best things in life(books and the internet) are free.


School's almost out, and then Winter Break! I'm looking forward to Christmas this year because my favorite people in the world, my cousins (Capt. Tarpals is one of them, you might have seen him around here) are coming.


This year we're asking for monetary donations toward our mission trip(which is a bummer, especially since I haven't figured out where I want to go.) So I might buy presents for myself. I would buy presents for other people, but I can't figure out what to get them, since half the Christmas presents I get and receive end up broken or sitting useless on a shelf, and I don't want that.



Oh, and I also have a secret santa for my favorite person I'm not related to. I want to get her something spectacularly awesome, but I don't know what. She's seventeen years old and an amazing person, hilarious, a great artist, and really great to be around. I'd like to get her like, a bar of gold or something.


This post is so rambly.......

I'm going to do a "Top 12 Things I'm looking forward to in 2012" post for new years.


Gift suggestions, anyone?


Love,
Amaranthine