starfire11: (Default)
I've been pretty busy these past couple of days. Well... for me, I guess.

I got a lot of homework done over the weekend. I had to read quite a chunk of "David Copperfield", since I was so lazy with it before. I still need to read through the rest of today's section. I have not read a book this boring in quite some time. It honestly has some interesting events, but they are stuck between such vast amounts of fluff and repetition that it's almost superfluous. For instance, the narrator has spent almost as much time stating that he remembers it all perfectly as he has been relating the plot. Then there were some emails to send and answer. I wrote an article for the school newspaper, finished an analysis of "Ayiti", helped run a first club meeting, went to another discussion meeting, and read and watched quite a bit.

I played Portal 2 for the first time with a friend. It was very enjoyable and pretty relaxing.

You know, much as I dislike the first doctor (and I've probably said this before), it's starting to pick up. There's a lot of the later doctors in him. Contrary to what I used to think, the first Doctor didn't simply fall so deeply into other problems and get dragged along with the tide, doing relatively little. He sees problems and jumps in and deals with it. He takes note of a great deal of little facts and puts them together. It's rather interesting.

I've returned to reading "Runaways" and I've even started Marvel's "Civil War" series, which is really, really, really long. I'm glad I didn't start it ages ago. I wouldn't have known even a quarter of the characters. Now I don't know a fraction of the cast and I'm at least slightly familiar with all the rest. "Runaways" is also pretty fun, still. I really like ChasexGert, and I like the idea of a woman running the Avengers someday, especially someone like Gert, who's just awesome.

I was in the middle of trying to update Parallels last night and I left it going while I slept. And then I woke up and discovered that a) I'd unplugged the computer over night and the computer had thus run out of power and shut down, and b) it couldn't finish updating because it needed more space.

So I have spent over seven hours today clearing stuff off of my computer.

I am very concerned about getting Pandaria now. I don't even have it on my computer yet.

I've been cleaning out music I don't listen to for a while now. Evidently that hasn't been doing all that much. I'll keep at it. Hopefully it will make a difference in the future, because I still do have a long way to go.

On top of that, I've been going through photos. I don't have any big applications to delete (or small ones, really), and photos are on the large scale. I go through my Word and Excel documents pretty frequently so I'll just go through them again sometime soon, I suppose.

I've known for some time that I've had more than one copy of some of my photos. I had my backups from my blackberry, which were spread throughout my normal photo collection.

But that was not the worst of it.

I didn't realize that iPhoto was nearly full. I love how I've never seen the message before, but when I had spent half an hour deleting photos and videos from collections I'd apparently never bothered even looking through once, this message pops up four times.

Whatever. It hasn't popped up recently.

I also finally managed to organize iPhoto. That's a pleasant side effect of this.

So I deleted well over 407 photos/videos from iPhoto. And then I had to go and find all the copies of things I kept and things I wanted gone. I found the duplicates. And the triplicates. And the quadruplicates or whatever they're called. And the backups for the trash.

... Yes. Did I mention that I've been clearing things out for over seven hours?

I've managed to clear off 6.36 GB. Just that much.

... UGH...

I've at least managed to do a practice LSAT and work on some other stuff. Now I need to take a shower and finish reading and go to bed.
starfire11: (Default)
So I finished another book called "Spindle's End". Something made me think of the Robin McKinley books I'd always seen in the bookstore but never got around to checking out, mostly because I'd had too many experiences involving buying books and then deeply regretting that fact, and these were never at the top of my list.

And now I'm just really pissed off because the Internet in this place sucks and for some reason my user ID on my Dad's computer doesn't have a fully-functioning mouse, and neither of us can figure out why that is. Currently, I cannot use the mouse to scroll down and I don't have a right-click function.

Sigh.

I really liked "Spindle's End". It took me back to "The Hero and the Crown", which was one of the best birthday presents I've received, and that book she wrote on Robin Hood, which was one of the best Robin Hood tellings I've read. Of course, reading "Spindle's End", which is a retelling of "Sleeping Beauty" is making me strongly rethink my possible rewrite of the tale. Admittedly, mine was going to take place in the far future (or just in a very advanced culture), so it's not like they would be very similar…

I don't know. I'm not that tied down to the Sleeping Beauty retelling. At least not as much as "Iron Hans" or "Little Mermaid".

Hopefully, at long last, I will finish "Bridge of Birds". I've only had it for weeks at this point. From a reading perspective, I'm not that anxious to finish it, since it is very funny (although the ludity of it is kind of getting to me, so ehhh…), but I would like to finish up the mound of library books I have so I can return them and get to the mound of books I have sitting in my closet waiting to be read.

Some of the things I liked about "Spindle's End" included the way McKinley used world creation. She devoted a great deal of narration to humorous and insightful descriptions of the nation in question. The magic system she created was unique while also fitting into some of the "classic" fantasy systems from older writers, which was fun. And her characters were all great. The story actually reminded me a great deal of "Out of Oz" and the other "Wicked" books. I felt like the voice reading the book in my head was the same for both books. It also switched between characters in a similar way, and involved an adult growing older and coming into their own, as well as a child growing up into a young woman and taking center stage and bringing in sensibility and a bit of selfishness and a bit of caring and an attempt to hold on to sanity and what parts of the world she understands and it's just… incredibly fun.

So there's this poll on the page that shows up after I log in (most of the time) and it asks "Which is more important? Gun-control or protecting citizen's rights to own guns?"

Of course, people always think these things are mutually exclusive. If you have gun control laws, people can still own them. The point is to make it harder for people who might do BAD things with them have a harder time of getting hold of them. It also hopefully pushes for allowing people with at least basic intelligence to have them over people WITHOUT basic intelligence.

The opposite of having gun control laws is not having gun control laws. The opposite of protecting citizen's rights to own guns is not protecting citizen's right to own guns. It is not citizen's rights to own guns and gun control laws, respectively.

I think that now that I have freed myself from the shackles of having Gladiator as my favorite movie presents an interesting quandary. What is my favorite movie? I could say "Princess Mononoke". Heck, before "Gladiator" was my favorite movie, "Twister" was my favorite movie. While that's still a great movie... times have also changed.

Does it matter? No. I'm just curious.

So I wrote a really, really, really short "story" thing last semester or so and, as an experiment, posted it on fanfiction.net, to see how the process worked. It was the least original and shortest complete piece I had, and the one I'm least embarassed about other people POSSIBLY reading it. I didn't think anyone would read it. For some reason, people have. Heck, I've gotten two reviews on it. And the second one, hard as it was to understand through the poor English and bad typing, told me about a typo I'd made in the description. So I went back and fixed some stuff and I feel a lot happier now.

Part of the reason I put it up was because I found out about the beta reading section of the site. While it makes a lot of sense to have something like that up on the site, I never thought of or found it before so... eh. I like editing, and a lot of people on that site could use at least ONE more pair of eyes on their work before they submit it. Sure, it might still suck, but at least people could READ the thing instead of piecing together poor spelling and typos or getting confused over scenarios that just make zero sense.

I was going to put up another experiment to hit the limit that would be let me count as a beta reader... but then I started the LSAT classes and all the library books started piling up and I started having even more doubts about my career choices and, well... who has time to read bad writing anyway?

Most people, apparently. Judging by the sale rates of "50 Shades of Grey".

Plus, they have TONS of beta readers. Probably 75% of which should not be beta reading anything, judging by some of the profiles I read through. People who can't write good English should not be trying to edit things in English. There are other languages on the site. I saw Hebrew, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, and tons of other languages. It's not like it's English or nothing.

Use it as practice? Um... then you should have a note that says "needs second opinion after work, because unsure about validity of changes or any missed problems". The reason translating texts in foreign languages in foreign language classes is useful is partially because you'll have a teacher there to point out at least most of what you got wrong so that you LEARN from the experience. If all you're doing is looking over something you only partially understand, fixing the things you THINK are wrong, and then handing it back to someone who probably knows even less than you do about the language, then you're not really doing anything. Sure, translating stuff on your own is good practice. But if you don't have anything to check your progress by, you're not getting anywhere.

I'm really, really, really rethinking the whole lawyer thing. No, I'm not thinking about the medical school thing. It's apparently just as bad. Still not considering the teacher thing.

I checked out this book about figuring out what it is you want in life. It hasn't been very helpful yet, but hey, I haven't delved into it deeply, so who knows?

I've been looking over some fields of things that matter to me. Although I don't really want to be an optometrist, something in the field of optics and maybe dealing with new kinds of glasses and alternatives to glasses would interest me deeply. I really, really, really don't want to go blind any time soon or any time in my future. If there was a way I could further a goal involving making sure that NEVER happens... well, I have an interest in that. Becoming a research scientist in that field would be interesting.

Saying I would be interesting in doing something with cancer research is really too generic. There are so many types of cancer and so many ways to be involved with that problem that it's just... I imagine myself walking into my career adviser's office and saying "I want to do something involving cancer research" and having her look at me in confusion. She could actually probably help but it just... it's weird. It's like law. I have no idea what I want to practice. I don't even have a good idea on what my options are. I have no idea what type of cancer I would focus on. I don't think I would try to head support groups or work in a hospital diagnosing patients and running chemotherapy or anything but... a research scientist involved with working on a cure of some kind for one of those would be great. HIV also comes to mind as a possible focus.

Then there's math. It always comes back to math. I went from knowing next to nothing about how to make the logic games in the LSAT work to nearly mastering them in this time. I get that that's the point... but it's my best subject of the three sections, followed by Reading Comprehension and then Logical Reasoning. I know that this really doesn't mean anything in the grand scheme of things, but I've just always felt like there was a neon sign screaming in the back of my mind that I should have done a career that was math related. Of course, whenever I think of that, the first two fields that come to mind are chemistry and physics (the first of which doesn't really make sense, but whatever). I really, really, really don't want to be a chemist, much as I know we need those now. That's one of the fields people are throwing money at kids to get involved in. Physics... just never interested me. While saying you want to be a physicist is nice, I have no idea what research I would work on. Since my parents are both engineers, that field screams at me. Everyone I hear about who's getting a job in college or right out of college is some sort of engineer.

I'd be interested in Astronomy. If it made any money to speak of and if it was one of those throw money at you fields. I'm pretty sure it's not.

Right now it's not even a big money job that's the problem. Heck, if I didn't go to law school (and, with my skill set, it's highly unlikely I'll go to medical school), a big money job at the start of my career life isn't the problem. Would it be great to have? Yeah. YEAH. YES. But right now I just want to increase my chances of just GETTING a job. Heck, at this point my chances of even getting to wait tables is on the low side. Without the need to pay off big debts from a money devourer like law school or medical school, things would be easier, but I'll still be paying for an apartment (or wherever I live), food, a car (or whatever transportation I use, assuming I don't just walk everywhere, which is assuming I live close enough to my job to walk - did I mention that a job where I could work from home would be really awesome?).

After I look at the perspective that I really want to get a job after college and I don't want to be under debt for the next thirty years after I leave college (at least), there's the fact that I want to do something that MATTERS. And, as far as I can see, adding more lawyers into the system is not work that matters to me. Adding more scientists into the system is. I'm surrounded by news of the latest technological advancements or discoveries. We landed yet ANOTHER thing on Mars. We're seeing increasingly better from our little rock by the sun into the depths of the universe, and spotting entirely new celestial masses and objects. We've got new theories about diseases, problems with vaccinations and attacking new forms of old diseases, fears of a new endemic, global warming issues and dealing with any number of problems around the world concerning human waste and pollution. And I wanted to spend my life making someone pay me by the hour to look up how they can get out of being sued for more than x amount of money?

I want to do something that MATTERS. I want to know that, by the end of my life, I contributed to human history and left the world at least a slightly better place than I left it. I don't have to cure cancer, solve world hunger, save the planet from global warming, create replacement eyes... or do any of those big things out there. I just want to get involved in that. Be one of those people pushing for an answer rather than someone on the sidelines, earning a living, hoping others will do the work for me and help save MY life somewhere along the line.

This is part of the reason I considered joining the police or the military. Those people do things that matter. They protect lives. They're strong and ready for most things that come their way. The fix things that need fixing.

How I wish there WAS a neon sign telling me what to do with my life. "Go be an engineer". "Go work on optics research". Something. Anything. Wouldn't that be nice? I'm not one of those people who wants to explore the world and find my own way. Go backpacking through Europe or Asia or South America and see things. Take a trip to some far-off spot and realize that nothing we do matters or something. We have a limited time on this Earth and I want to get to what I'm needed as fast as I possibly can.

I think that it's about time I was useful somewhere.
starfire11: (Default)
So I did that. I started getting bored in the third section... and that was probably the worst part. I panicked a little on the logic games section... which is silly, because I could have gotten through at least the first three games. The fourth one... would have been iffy. So I guess it's good I spent all the time working on the first three. I forgot you need to go through and look at all four of them at least briefly beforehand. I forgot a lot of things, actually.

I definitely didn't do incredible this time around, but I almost doubled my score from last time... so I think that counts as an immense improvement.

Some things I want to get down besides the LSAT: comics, in particular, the Death of Spider-Man, and music in the Olympics. And maybe some other stuff.

So I've been checking out a lot of comics from my library (go public libraries for being awesome!) and among them was (finally) the "Death of Spider-Man" and "Death of Spider-Man: Fallout" comics. The rest were mainly Batman/Superman related comics.

So "Death of Spider-Man" was a bit of a let-down. I'm glad I never actually bought it (hey, taxes go to the library, so I kind of did pay for it...) but... eh. It was okay. "Fallout" was actually a lot better. I find it interesting that I like "Prelude" and "Fallout" but not the actual "Death of Spider-Man" itself. Weird.

The other comics were pretty good, mostly. There was the one compendium that featured a single-issue Dad got as a freebie ages ago... and I thought it was a part of a series, but it's actually just a completed little compendium. It might be part of a general comic line in relation to the Batman: The Animated Series storyline... but the compendium was complete, for what it was. So I'm happy that's done. The Shazam comic was kind of a let-down. The art was nice and it was... cutesy, I guess. Not a big fan, though. Captain Marvel's sister was more of an annoyance/damsel than an actually powerful superhero in her own right. The only other female character was a female newscaster who you're supposed to dislike because she doesn't instantly love Billy Batson (but is so shallow that she's only in love with the tall, handsome, powerful Captain Marvel 9_9) or whatever. No, I didn't hate it because there were no strong/useful female characters. It's a story about Captain Marvel. So... why was he kind of lame? I've never read a Captain Marvel comic before, so I'm unfamiliar with how he was shown when he was first created. But I've seen several animated versions of him. He's been in "Justice League: Unlimited", "Young Justice", "Batman: The Brave and the Bold", and a sort of special short called something like "Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam"... so, well... I'm used to different versions of him, just like all comic book heroes. I'm not used to seeing him as young as he was in the comic. He's typically at least... I don't know... ten or twelve? In the comic he looked like he was eight or nine. Also, in the versions I've seen, Captain Marvel is Billy Batson with Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, and so on combined. When he goes back to being Billy Batson... he just loses all of that. He retains his memories, but he doesn't have all the powers.

He is not some Other Person just inhabiting Billy Batson's body when he says Shazam! Arguably, a Billy Batson with all that knowledge and power really IS another person, but really? If you look at the other versions of him, Captain Marvel is a rather naive hero who isn't all there at times (he's a kid with superpowers, not a lifetime of knowledge and/or military/fighting training of any kind, what do you expect?)... which is kind of terrifying. It actually brings up an interesting point... is Captain Marvel the fan's fantasy come to life? Most of the fans were probably kids. How many kids want to be superheroes? So if you gave super powers to one of these kids... what do you think would happen? Captain Marvel is basically Superman without the kryptonite and yellow/red sun and magic weakness thing. His weakness seems to be if you get him to say Shazam and then duct tape his mouth or just stop him from talking so he can't turn into Captain Marvel and stays stuck as Billy Batson (again, I don't know a lot about the character). Or if you outsmart him (considering the fact that he's supposed to have the "knowledge of Solomon", whatever that means, he seems to get outsmarted A LOT - maybe it just compensates for his possessing the intellect of a little kid?).  So you give a kid Superman abilities. A kid without the restraint an adult would be more likely to have, and without military/fighting training, who just wants to have fun, and is constantly surrounded by his idols: members of the Justice League or other superheroes. How dangerous do you think that is? THAT is terrifying. It's like when you consider the fact that we're all lucky that Superman is almost like a god, and, thankfully, has never realized that himself. Or at least doesn't act on it.

If you think about it, making Captain Marvel another lifeform, rather than Billy Batson with superpowers makes more logical sense. Becoming intelligent is not something you can turn off and on like a light switch. For a simple example, let's look at The Scarecrow from "The Wizard of Oz" (the book, not the musical, at least for starters). The Wizard didn't give him brains. The Wizard stuck a lot of useless things in his head and the Scarecrow basically just believed he'd been given brains and been made smarter, even though whatever smarts he had were already there to begin with (something about inner strength and you don't need approval by others or something, I don't know, not my point). Even in the musical, he didn't get an ACTUAL brain. He was handed a diploma. A diploma does not make you smart. I've got a shelf full of certificates, along with a Bat Mitzvah and High School diploma. Heck, I even had a certificate for "smartness" at one point. I did not receive that and gain 100 points in my IQ. It's actually theorized that the scarecrow in the musical said the Pythagorean Theorem wrong to make a statement about schools and smarts and politicians and movies and blah blah... so yeah.

Beyond that... being smart takes time. It takes time and studying. And you'll forget a lot of things by the end of it all. Hopefully not the important things, especially if you're in a job related to the scientific or medical professions. Your brain will HURT with what you know. It won't throb because it's so full of facts, but you know that proverb, the one that goes "Ignorance is bliss"? Yeah, that's completely 100% true. I was happier as a kid, when I thought "constipated" was an insult and "stupid" was a curse word. I really was.

So brain damage. That thing that happens when, well... a lot of things can cause brain damage. A lot of things. Brain damage isn't just like bits of your brain shut off and you're still the same person and you're fine. No, that's not how it works. You can lose bits of yourself. Things you know. Things you know how to do. The ability to talk normally. The ability to move properly. So on.

Getting a great deal of knowledge shoved into your head instantly cannot be a comfortable experience. Captain Marvel is, well... Superman without most of the disadvantages and a couple of the dumb deux ex machina powers, so I guess he can handle it. Billy Batson, however, is human. He's not even a full-grown human like most of the big contenders in the DC world. He's a kid. Maybe a teenager at max (also, a bunny of mine: Billy Batson in his late teens, 20s, and 30s, anyone ever doing that?). Getting all of that knowledge sucked OUT of his head every time he turns back into Billy Batson... that's actually terrifying. Very likely it's pretty painful. It's possible that he could get brain damage from that. But if that knowledge were in SOMEONE ELSE'S head... well... it might make a little more sense.

Although, the spirit would still be in his body so... This is just annoying to me. I didn't write this to talk about Captain Marvel.

Whatever. I wrote.

There was this one comic where they had some fun with alternate universes and such. That one was fun. They had Soviet Union Superman (Superman's pod landed in the Soviet Union, not Kansas), Batman Beyond, this mock-Avengers team, and a world where all the characters were the same, but their genders were switched. And others, but those were my faves.

Superwoman made me think of this fanfiction this artist on Deviantart is cartooning for someone, where Superman is a woman and, well... SuperwomanxLex Luthor is a thing (he's like a good guy) and they have a family and stuff. So that made me smile, because that would be... amazing. Luthor could do a lot of good if he was, well... good.

And then they had Batwoman... and she was... the same. Not sort of the same. Not a seductress. Just... the same. Which I loved, because why would the character be different if the gender was different? Gender is a societal, cultural thing. It's not genetic. Any way, the character would have the same capabilities.

Then they had Superlad, which amused me. His costume was even similar to Supergirl's.

Another interesting thing they had was Mrs. Terrific and Big Bardo. That made me snigger a bit, although the character design for Mrs. Terrific was pretty cool. A pity we never saw female Darkseid... (yes, it was a referenced thing, I'm not making this up).

The mock-Avengers thing was funny... for a mix of reasons. Partly because of the explanation given for why the higher dimension beings created them... and partly because I realized that, in all honesty, they're just bastardized versions of the Avengers/X-Men/Marvel Universe characters. Way back when, when superhero comics were first getting started, there was a LOT of competition. DC and Marvel basically tried EVERYTHING the other side did at LEAST once. Or as many times as possible in any way until it stuck. It is entirely likely that these are holdouts from those days.

Or not. This could just be making fun of their history. They had a sort of screwed-up Thor, an American soldier, a pixie-character who was, of course, in love with the male character who could change his size and grow really big, a hulk character, some sort of mix of Wolverine and the Beast, a mix of Nightcrawler and Spider-Man... yeah. They had it all.

It was a nice story, too.

I returned a lot of them to the library, along with "A Feast For Crows". I just gave up. It was due today and I didn't have the drive to pull an all-nighter to finish the damn thing, especially with the PLSAT this morning. On to better books! WWII memoirs! Finding what makes you happy! Really bad teen fiction! Hilarious fiction staged in Ancient China! Batman novels! Rewritten fairy tales!

Yup. The future looks bright. Also, the new Jaina book was put on hold sometime recently, since I could be the first hold. So I'm REALLY happy for that. I hope it's good!

I will say this for the Olympic Opening Ceremony. I don't have a big commentary. I just want to say that the music was pretty good. Well... everything but the rap. The rap, after the first couple seconds was just lame. Really, really lame. And I didn't get the sitcom thing at all. I really didn't.

But I liked the Mr. Bean thing. That was hilarious. As was the conductor's expression when he woke up. I liked that female drummer who played. She was great. It looked beautiful.

The Chariots of Fire thing was funny because it brought back this memory I have of one of my Hebrew School friend's Bar Mitzvahs, where one of my best friends and I slow-ran-high-fived each other like six times while the music played in the background. It was great. It's even better when you're wearing socks on a hardwood floor and you keep slipping and sliding and trip over yourself and nearly break something trying to high-five your friend while your other friends look on and laugh and you end up in this mound of sweaty friends all laughing together. Have I ever mentioned that B'nai Mitzvot year was the best Summer of my life? Because it was. It really was.

Ta.
starfire11: (Default)
So I spent basically the entire day reading. Literally. Because I only put my book down for sleep at around 12:40 AM.

"Oh, poor baby, sitting on your bed, reading all day. Poor thing."

Well. Yeah. So I feel like having a spoiled child rant. So there. My eyes hurt a lot and I want to submit them to staring at this screen for a while before I go take a shower and then READ SOME MORE SO I CAN FINISH THE LAST 40 PAGES OF THIS BOOK...

So I didn't spend all of it reading. I got up around 9:40... and then I played with the cats a bit, put one of our cats in a harness, stuck them in my mom's bedroom, and I did some crazy-cat training and then let our crazy cat have run of the house... and then I went and had brunch and read until oh... 2 or so. Then I think I had a snack, while reading. And made some calls. And then I played with the cats a little bit every now and then between reading. And then after Mom got home we went to Target. So that was nice. And then I cleaned out some litter boxes and we fed the cats and put the crazy cat away and I went back to reading. Well... and another snack. But I didn't eat dinner so... uh... yeah.

So at 9:40ish I gave up and drove back to my Dad's. Because I promised him I would. Ugggh.... I should've just stayed at Mom's cause I almost died twice driving here. It was the universe telling me I should have stayed. It made a lot of sense for me to have stayed. Beyond the fact that AC works there and the bed is nicer and my cats are there and I get the house to myself and it's easier to read and there's food I like there... Well. It's closer to the library where I pick up/drop off books and to the Hallmark I need to go to in order to get a card for Mom.

So yeah. I am almost done with this book. I REFUSE to go to bed until I have read it. I will take a shower and... and read a chapter of Embers because I really want to read a chapter of Embers and then I will finish this book. And then tomorrow I will read through the WWII book. And then I will start book 4 of this series, which is at least 200 pages shorter than book 3, hjlkjlkjlakjlkgjlkasjglkj.

And hopefully finish my LSAT prep course homework. And get a card for mom. And drop off my library books. And pay off the fine I accrued because I didn't turn in the book today because I couldn't FINISH the darn thing.

Sigh. All right. Done for the night. Ta.
starfire11: (Default)
Two things I'd like to rant on here: 1) 'compliments' and the perception of sex and gender in relation to action as exemplified by gothic literature, and b) failed predictions in science fiction.

I think I'll go over the former while it's on my mind.

So "Dracula", while being one of the most boring novels I've ever read, has a number of GREAT quotations on the perception of gender differences at the time. Am I surprised? No, I have had a great deal of instruction on the Gothic era in European literature and culture, throughout high school and my two years in college. Frankenstein happens to be one of my favorite novels. Why? Because it's an early form of angst. That's my theory, anyway.

Here's the most recent example I've read: "she was born with a man's brain, and a woman's heart". Ahhhh, compliments! We love them!

Now, I'm just imagining walking into the 1800s and being told this myself, and punching this person in the face. Put in current context, this is quite insulting (for the same reasons that, put in its actual cultural context, it's still insulting).

This requires me to take this apart properly to understand fully what is being said (insofar as I've been taught). To be "born with a man's brain" at the time meant that this was a person who had intelligence. Only men were intelligent. Women were not, it was believed, genetically capable of being intelligent. So clearly, if a woman were to demonstrate some measure of intelligence, they were born with a MAN'S brain, and not a woman's.

No, I'm not angry that Mina Harker is being told that she was born with a wrong body part (because male and female brains are hardwired differently 9_9). This is insulting because it demonstrates a common cultural view: women were not intelligent. Only men are.

This "woman's heart" idea is that women possess feelings and emotions that men do not. They are more emotional. They are "sweet" and "gentle" and "kind" creatures while men are, well... "manly" creatures (whatever that's supposed to mean, depending on the century - for the most part in Europe, it seems to mean heterosexual, strong of body, and more ready to do violence than not).

And then there's this: Mina is told not to participate in the hunt for Dracula because she is so precious that she must be protected while all the strong men go off to do this thing.

On the one hand, this ups Mina's chances of survival, so hurray for that.

On the other... seriously? You people are ridiculous in your use of resources. Give her a cross or a bunch of garlic or, heck, teach her to shoot and give her a gun! Jeez.

The book, like most classic literature, rankles me. Every mention they make of "men not being able to confide in a woman, where such feeling is proper to confide in" or on the differences between men and women and so on that I've harped on before and I just WANT THIS BOOK TO BE OVER WITH. UGH.

Ironically, put in today's cultural context, I would still find this insulting (yes, I am aware that a woman back then would probably find this flattering - I mean to say that if I were time-jumped to back then and told this, I would understand the meaning and find it insulting) for similar reasons.

If someone told me I had a man's mind, I would think that they were telling me I was stupid in one way or another, depending on who gave me the comment and when (or still that men were superior). If someone told me I had a woman's heart, I might think they were telling me that I was weak. Or I could feel complimented, while also being annoyed because the compliment giver is relying on the stereotype that only women have empathy. All of this understanding relies on gender/sex stereotypes in our culture. And sexist humor.

Moving on from that: failed science fiction predictions.

A friend brought this up by putting up a meme of a screenshot from the dolorian (or however you spell it) in "Back to the Future". I forget which movie, but it's a picture of when they were looking at what year the car was being sent to. Apparently it was sent to June 25th, 2012. When we apparently have hoverboards. Hello toy companies? The last big thing we had was roller tenneshoes. Are you just waiting to release the hoverboards?

So that's wrong. It's not alone, though.

Then there's the original "Lost in Space" TV show, which was made in the 70s, and was supposed to take place in 1996. Accordingly, we had moon colonies, cryo stasis, androids (that, admittedly, looked like screwed up garbage cans) and flying saucer space ships. I KNEW NASA was hiding something!

The 1999 "Bicentennial Man" starring Robin Williams as an android begins in 2005. Admittedly, the Information Age took off WAY beyond what anyone expected, I feel like people in the 90s were a bit over-expectant when it came to what we could accomplish in the early 2000s. I understand the way our world has changed drastically in a little over a decade... but honestly, we don't have anything approaching an android slave army.

If I find some more examples, I'll put them here. I've actually stayed away from some of the really old science fiction. Most of what I've read (and watched) takes place in a future so far ahead that years are kept in a completely different format, so as to make it nigh impossible to know how many years stand between now and then.

Most the bad continuity comes from the advancement of technology overtaking "future tech". Miniaturization, the advancement of knowledge of physics and electricity, the advancement of medical science, changing fashion, increased understanding of our planet and environmental science... it all catches up, and looking at the way people in the past viewed the way the future looked is... humorous, among other things, and a little sad, in others. But without them, we wouldn't be where we are today, so we should still be grateful.

A good example would be the original command deck of the Enterprise. What's the console? A black board with a bunch of glowing rainbow buttons. What's the instruction during a scene? Probably press random buttons in the relatively correct area to make it look like you know what you're doing.

Anyway, things have changed. Things have happened that no one predicted. In ways people didn't predict. And so it goes.
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You know those rare moments where you just laugh at yourself and it's not "so sad you have to laugh out of nerves", but actually funny?

Well, I haven't had one of those in a while. I certainly don't remember the last one. And now that I think about it, I can't decide whether this falls under the "okay funny" or "sad funny" category.

So I went to the library to drop off a batch of things and pick up some more stuff. I get to the counter, pick up the first book to check out, and look over the pile briefly: an audiobook copy of Bram Stoker's "Dracula" (don't look at me like that; I wouldn't read something written like Dracula... it's too boring; at least this way I'll finish it), two books that formed part of the basis for the 2010 mini-series "The Pacific", a 2011 LSAT prep book, and the second novel in "A Song of Ice and Fire" (the series that spawned the TV show "A Game of Thrones"). And a single thought went through head, as I type here: "Heh... 'light' Summer reading."

Ah well. It was amusing. I also find it amusing that I dropped off six items and picked up five, yet my bag was almost twice its size coming in. I blame "A Clash of Kings". That book is so freaking large it's ridiculous.

For the record, I thought about getting an audiobook for book 4 in the series, so I can get through it over the school year, which is how it looks like things will turn out at this rate. Thought about it. Looked it up. That book is 20 discs long. Since the average audiobook length I'm willing to accept is 10-14... I'm thinking no.

I thought about checking out a Les Miserables unabridged audiobook. That is probably the only way I'll read it. One, because I don't want to read an abridged version, and two, because I do NOT want to read the giant-ass book that is "Les Miserables". But after a second thought, it's probably at least 20 discs, too. Or an unabridged version doesn't exist. They probably couldn't find someone to read through all those architecture descriptions. I can respect that.

Oh, all right. More likely they don't expect anyone to want to LISTEN to all those architecture descriptions. But seriously, it's a CLASSIC, and it would be an AUDIOBOOK. Why in the world would you listen to an ABRIDGED version? You READ abridged versions. You don't listen to them. At least when they're not dramatic readings. Which are typically abridged, anyway. Heck, look at the LOTR audiodrama that Peter Jackson based his outline for his movies off of. No Tom Bombadil, no Barrow Downs, no Crick Hollow... and maybe no scouring of the Shire. I haven't checked.

As a result of my desperate read-throughs of all these books, I've been reading "Embers" by, well... inches. Got through another chapter and it was awesome like the rest. I really, really want to read it. Unfortunately, I think it's longer than some of the books I've been reading. 69 chapters. Most likely worth it (if the rest only improves on the first five chapters)... but seriously. 69 chapters of fanfiction I'll have access to at school, versus a lot of books I would have to return before I went off to college. Don't think the fanfic will win out.

I finished the 2nd Kane Chronicles book. Totally guessed the "not-so-un-obvious" hints. Seriously, what does Riordan take his readers for?

On to "Green Rider". FINALLY. Or "Intruder". FINALLY. Most likely not the Stephanie Harrington book. FIN-I mean... ughhhhh...

So I've decided to watch the Alien movies.

Note, none of this involves LSAT prep, exercising, a job...

I can explain.

1) All of this is far more FUN than those things, and it is my Summer.

2) Wasn't able to get to swimming today, and talking about "not swimming" doesn't really work and leads down roads I'd rather not rant about.

3) I've tried to get a job. For two summers. I've put in at least 20 applications this summer alone. Oh, I've been called by a couple of places. Most of which hang up after the words "summer job" pass my lips. Of the two that followed up after that, the first hired up enough before me, and the second... presumably said no. I don't know why. I think he thought I was calling back after they told me no (when I just wanted to know what was going on because no one called me)... and I think it just meant no. The majority never called me back. I've played more phone tag than I ever want to do again. This summer is devoted to LSAT prep, exercise, teaching my cat to not go batshit crazy when she goes into a cat carrier, a car, or a bath, recovering from losing Simba, and reading up on all those books I missed this past year. And will probably not get to read this coming year because, well... I have even more English classes. You don't get outside reading in English classes because, well... THEY'RE ENGLISH CLASSES. Unless you're reading a Wizard of Oz book. The kiddy ones, not the "Wicked" series, which are god-awful-long (while being EXTREMELY worth it, especially books 3 and 4). The kiddy ones are, well... kiddy ones. I can finish one in a couple hours.

I think I'll play some game... then maybe get some reading done. I don't feel like watching Alien right now. Or Predator.

Later.

Ambivalence

Jun. 6th, 2012 12:36 am
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I'm going to start using feelings as titles. Cause I can.

So my cat, at about 11:40 PM, decided that it would be a GRAND idea to, I suppose, grab the cable for the phone on my mother's nightstand and tug on it, causing the phone to fall from its cradle and knock the cable remote control and Mom's Sobe bottle onto the floor. A Sobe bottle which then lost its top and spilled onto the floor.

I blame myself for this. I don't know for certain (since this requires my absence to confirm), but I think that the cat only stays awake this late when he can sense that someone in the house is still awake. Since I'm the only one awake this late when I'm here (admittedly I don't know how late Mom stays up - apparently she has insomnia too), typically with a light on, he still thinks that it's time to be up and about, and, well... he's got all that energy to use up since he doesn't do all that much during the day (and really fails at playing with things, even though it REALLY shouldn't be hard to chase a toy on a string). So he runs around and knocks stuff over.

So he basically wouldn't be awake if it weren't for me.

So I volunteered to clean up the spill. I ran downstairs and got the paper towels. I threw them away when I was done. I pushed the nightstand back in place. I dried the remote and the phone. I put everything back.

So now I'm in my room, with the door open. So I have no light on. I'm now quite certain that I'm very good at typing without looking at the keys because all I can see is a big thing of white buttons. I was pretty certain before, but this just confirms it. Typos I'm too lazy to go back for to the contrary.

I apparently liked Game of Thrones (the novel) a lot more than I thought I would. Or else I just REALLY REALLY REALLY want to read Intruder... cause I have zero interest in reading Throne of Fire, The Left Hand of Darkness, or Green Rider. Or to finish The Emperor of Nihon-Ja, even though I've only got a couple chapters left.

The last is something I'm not surprised about. I really don't care enough to read that series. That's why I got the audiobook, so I wouldn't ruin my eyesight and waste time sitting for it. I could put it on with WoW in the background, or something else like the Internets.

I've been reading "The Left Hand of Darkness" instead of continuing "Intruder", because the former has to go back to the library. I can just take "Intruder" back to school. I really don't like "The Left Hand of Darkness". I know that it's Ursula K. Le Guin, but, well... I guess I need to reread "The Earthsea Cycle" or something because she didn't deal with gender and sexuality as much in those books. I know that this is SORT of the point (since it's a thought experiment), but uh... I think this should be rewritten. Or something. Or I guess this had a time and I wish it were written now? It's not just the outdated technological terms. It's the way the protagonist views the world. I completely understand that this could actually be legitimate for the world of today. It very well could. And the things it makes you think about are, well, the whole darn point... but I still think some of it is outdated. For example:

"women don't make war"

Some of the similes and comparisons and descriptions are just... well, anyway.

I find it amusing that I'm critiquing "The Left Hand of Darkness" for being outdated and insulting to women, when "Game of Thrones" was actually far, far worse. Like... a LOT worse. I don't think it's intentional on the author's part to be that cruel to women (otherwise he wouldn't write strong wom... you know, I need to think about that). I think it's just a "genre trait". No, I don't agree that it's NECESSARY for the genre. I think it's just a relatively common factor in the genre.

It would probably help if I cared about the story. But I really don't. At least it's short, anyway. I hope "Green Rider" is worthwhile. It's certainly lengthy enough.

And honestly, I do like "The Kane Chronicles". I think it's an interesting series, and who am I to pass up something this involved with Egyptian mythology? It's like someone gave me a birthday present I never got until way, way after the fact.

Now that I think about it, it's amusing that I started to read the series right after I read Sherrilyn Kenyon's latest Dark-Hunter book, which concerns a son of Set. Very amusing.

I beat Diablo this morning. Well, last night, but it was really this morning. Insomnia and such. First try, too. I was afraid I'd have to retry, but I pulled through.

Hate the ending. It's okay, but I still hate it. If you saw it, you would understand.

So I was bored and I was rereading through some stuff in my notebook, and I found a passage I wrote that critiqued "Inheritance". It made me laugh a lot as I remembered what I was reading.

Honestly, I don't feel bad critiquing stuff like that. Besides the fact that I'm an English major and it's KIND of expected of me, I want to be a published author. I don't think it will happen, but I'd like it to. Or I'd at least like to write a story that I am personally proud of, even if I'm the only one who reads and/or likes it. Learning about what makes a good story and what doesn't is very important, and when I critique stuff the way I do, it's a learning process. I actually learned a lot from the failures of the "Inheritance" series, so I guess I have to be thankful to Paolini. He's made me a better author through his extremely bad writing. But hey, he's got all the money (presumably) and fame, and they even turned his book into a movie (even if it was REALLY bad) and merchandized the crap out of it, so I guess I should just quit while I'm ahead.

Anyway, gonna go play some more Diablo 3. Ta.
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I am most definitely watching Charmed. I'm in season 2 now. I don't really know why I like the show. The cast isn't spectacular, but they're good and they're growing on me. I wasn't in love with the protagonists, in particular. I found Phoebe annoying and Prue overly cliched. Piper was the one character I actually liked from watching the bits I saw before and she still is the only one I really like... but the others are growing. Now that Phoebe is growing in her use of martial arts, she's becoming fun. The story-writing is also improving a bit. It's a slow process, but they're still in the 90s. Have to give em a break.

I also finished "To Reign in Hell." I thought it was good. I was a little disappointed that it's not like Brust's Dragaera books (particularly in the humor department), but that was expected from what I read before reading the story itself. It was quite nicely written.

The new episode of Supernatural came out. Bobby gained the ability to manifest. Not much else happened.

I've been mostly doing a lot of school writing. Trying to chill. I've had headaches for the past five days and I'm just trying to get some sleep when I can. Missed too much and I think that's the cause of my headaches. And my eyes burning.

Perhaps the funniest thing about Charmed is the fashion sense. I have friends who focused on fashion in school, so I'm aware of the whole trends changing business. Just watching this show, it's obvious that trends can change relatively quickly. Admittedly, it's been a decade. I suppose fashions can change that fast... although with the way we work trends now, it's pretty obvious that things can change fast. Look how fast the iPod got taken up. Although that's not fashion...

Anyway, the stuff they wear in this show is hilarious. Tops, jewelry, fur, "gangsta" clothing, and so on.

One of the thing that I'm kind of jealous of in this show is watching the sisters interact with each other. It reminds me of a much closer interaction between my mom and her sister. The sisters are all just... so incredibly close with each other. On the one hand, I really wish I was that way with my sister. I find that I can go for days without remembering that I have a sister. And on the other hand, it makes me miss my sister. I am 95% certain that once I reacquainted myself with my sister, that I would immediately stop missing her. This is one of those "I wish things could have been..." Oh why, cruel world, is life not like it is on television?

I guess the only solution is that once I hit 26, she and her husband will have to move in with me and we'll discover how much we truly care about each other after receiving magical abilities from some dead relative. Apparently it greatly improves one's sex life. It probably helps when you live in a town filled with loads and loads of hot guys.

I'm getting hungry. Later.
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[Error: unknown template qotd]I don't know if they'd be surprised...but I have heard some people express surprise to hear I like certain books we've read in school like "Lost Names", which was a very good book. Better than "Of Mice and Men" which everyone seems to like for some reason....although I think that's more the issue of it's miniscule length than the actual goodness of the material inside. I didn't like "Grapes of Wrath" much either, although it was an okay book. Depressing, I had to do much annotating or whatever with it (which ruined the experience because I was looking for bits instead of considering the whole novel and now I have no idea what I think of the actual story except a general depressed feeling).

I love the story of the Odyssey. Love it. Read children's versions of it since second grade (and yes, they're the children's versions with pictures and dialogue and jokes and REALLY squished story but they're still the same story line, mostly....). So I am familiar with the story. BUT I HATE THE ACTUAL BOOK. AND THE ILLIAD. RAH.

"Things Fall Apart" is an okay read. Don't want to read it again. Siddartha was a very good book. Sad, though. I don't really like sad books.

Well...all my friends agree with my feelings on Eragon so there's really no point in saying they'd be surprised...

Cold Mountain<<<<HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE. I don't know why everyone else likes it.

The main problem with this is I read a lot of books that none of my friends do. I'm one of the more avid readers of my grade, and the others read different genres. One of the few big readers I know focuses on classics (:P), westerns, and sci-fi that I've never seen, another reads realistic fiction, another reads manga I've never heard of. In Korean.

"City of Ember"? I guess...poor book. Boring. Predictable.

Bleh.
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[Error: unknown template qotd]The Lord of the Rings was actually a visionary novel of its own - it was written in a time when books, let alone fantasy books, were common. Yes, books were printed and such, but J.R.R. Tolkien was writing during the age of WWII, where paper was hard to come by. At a time like that, people weren't expecting something as big (ESPECIALLY a fantasy story, which weren't as popular as they were afterward) as The Hobbit to be as big as it turned out being - J.R.R. Tolkien himself was shocked, to say the least. The amount of detail and thought and fun of The Hobbit hit people and sent them for a wild ride and left them begging for more - enough to make Tolkien try his hand at another "Hobbit", although it didn't turn out like he expected. In fact, the length, depth, and complete concept of The Lord of the Rings (which was split up due to available paper, ink, and reader focus) was not at all like what reader's wanted when they begged Tolkien to write another "Hobbit story". But they still ate it up. During that time, other favorite fantasies came out, including one written by a close friend of Tolkien: C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia. Tolkien's work inspired deeper looks into fantasy, connections between religion and daily life, a brightening outlook in the dingy aftermath of a harsh and painful war, and a rise in the concept of authors are not uncommon people. It also led on to inspire other writers who we know and love today in the areas of Sci-fi, fantasy, and fiction.
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I woke up this morning to Dad asking Heather if her alarm was set and she said it was. I'm pretty sure I fell asleep after that and then I woke up to some loud banging from the workers on the roof. Heather and Dad had already left. So I sang a little after I ate breakfast.

I started working on the books again. I also listened to some music. Dad came home.

I got all the way to the F's and G's. They're on the floor waiting to be sorted and only the e's are sitting on the shelf waiting to be stuck in the bookcase, along with one or two A's.

I eventually took a break and read some. I had lunch some time before that and did my laundry. Dad left and came back.

Dad and I met Heather at Chile's for dinner. We shared an awesome blossom. And then hardly ate any of our dinners, although I took one of Heather's fries.

Then Dad showed Heather the new car stereo. It changes screen colors! We went to Heather's hotel (dorm) room and Dad and Heather put the microwave and fridge together. Mom and Mike were apparently on their way, but Dad and I left.

We went to Barnes and Nobles. I bought “Changer of Worlds” and “Othello 1”. Dad came over from Linens and Things and I paid for my stuff.
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I finished “Wicked” today! I am officially back to “Honor”!

I went with Mom to the supermarket. She bought a lot of fruit (and blackberries for me) and this cheeseless pizza thing, which was okay, and then we left.

Mom cooked the corn. I ate a corncob, watched some of “Ocean's Twelve”, and Mike came home. I watched some of “Sky High” with Mom and Mike. It was meh. Now they're watching “Zathura”.
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I finished the stupid book today and started “Wicked”.

Mom put both cats in my room before she left for work. When I came upstairs Heather and I took them to the office and we watched “The Producers”. Then Prune got some poop on my shirt. Then Heather left to make a phone call and the room started smelling bad. Heather got back and we both thought it was Prune smelling up the room. I didn't discover until around 6 or so that he had pooped behind mom’s exercise machine. I seriously do not know how I missed it before. I might have been looking too fast. It was really nasty.

After Jazz came over we watched “InuYasha the Movie 4” in my room. Then we got some popcorn and watched “Constantine”. Then Jazz left.

Mike came home and cleaned up the poop, which I discovered about 15 minutes beforehand.

Then Mom came home and Mike drove me to AC Moore. I got a tracing wheel, tracing paper, some cloth scissors and some princess stickers.

Then we went to the bank. I got some more money. Mike did too. Then we went to Popeyes and got some dinner. I ate while I rewatched “Tron”.

Talking to Jazz and Caroline now.
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I’ve been back from Georgia for over 24 hours. We got back three hours early! I was really surprised at that. Although we did just pick up breakfast at McDonalds and get appetizers (mainly) for dinner at Ruby Tuesdays for lunch. We left around 6 and we didn't get stuck in traffic at all.

I finished "The Complete Life's Little Instruction Book" today and I'm barely through “Grimm's Tales”. It is an extremely racist and Christian book. I still want to finish it, though because of personal pride.

I watched the two new “Stargate” episodes from last night along with the last episode of “Stargate” from last season that I missed.
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I finished “Marley & Me”. I laughed and cried in the end. I guess putting Marley down reminded me that I never have said goodbye.

Not to Perm, Goldy, Grandpa or Grandmommy.

The book opened up old wounds, really. I guess it would seem a little strange to connect two of my grandparent's deaths with putting down a dog. But reading that led me to think of Perm and Goldy and after that to other losses.

I didn't cry all that much at Grandmommy's funeral. And I never really said goodbye. I guess this was my chance to shed some of those held-back tears.

I remember crying for Grandpa. I must have had my head buried in the sheets of my bed for at least half an hour when I got the news.

I think I cried for Perm and Goldy. I hardly remember. It was too long ago. I remember I did for Perm. I remember when I walked into Dad's room, and he told me. That was all. Then I walked into my room and cried some. Then Dad walked by the door and I stopped. I can't cry in front of others for some reason. Too embarrassing or something.

I remember crying when Dad gave me the news for Grandmommy. I turned away, and did my bit. We didn't say anything. He didn't talk to me. I think he looked at me once or twice. But he didn't talk. He left me alone. I guess I'm happy he understands me enough to do that. I don't think Mom would have. I could still feel the tear tracks as we ate dinner. Even then, we were more quiet than usual.

I also held Prune and cried. I just felt like it. I think Prune was a little confused and most likely somewhat uncomfortable. I finally let him go.

I started “Howl's Moving Castle”. It’s very different from the film. I’m happy that I like both the book and film versions of the story, unlike “Harry Potter”. I love the “Harry Potter” series but the movies are pretty bad.

Dad preordered “Inverloch” 2! And he's going to drop off “V for Vendetta” tomorrow! Allison (from regular school) found me online and she's on my buddy list now. Definitely the same old Allison.

After Heather, Mom, and Mike came home we all went to Thai. I left my journal here, so I was kind of low in spirits. The atmosphere for us was really awkward, probably because of me, and the fact that it feels like a long time since all four of us went out together. We got some ice-cream afterward. I added nerds to mine. I was just curious. It tasted really bad and I really think I should have gotten a single scoop. We came home after listening to the Musica Latina band for a few minutes.
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Now I just have to finish the last two “Nancy Drew”s, “Marley and Me”, “Howl's Moving Castle” (the book), “The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales”, The ENTIRE “Honor Harrington” series (including both spinoffs), the “Dune” series, the “Myst” series, the “Foreigner” series, most of the Classics in Dad's library, “Wicked”, and “Gone With The Wind”/”Scarlet”, and who knows what else.

I also want to read through my “Life's Little Instruction Book” before I start.

I read “Dune”, “Dune Messiah”, and “Children of Dune”. I liked the movies better. They were much easier to understand. Those books are the reason I almost gave up on science fiction. “Honor” is hard enough, at times, but those books! After reading through “Honor” (and the first “Myst”), I decided to read the entire “Dune” series.

“Myst” is a curiosity. I haven't finished “Myst” 3, the game, and I've always been watching Dad play the other games, although, less now. I always though the “Myst” games were the coolest thing after “Tomb Raider”, so I decided to read the books. I read the first one. It wasn’t amazing, but it was okay. And I regret not finishing the series then. Unlike “Dune”, though, I got what was going on.

The “Foreigner” series is just a group of books that always seem to catch my eye when I turn around as I work on the computer at Dad's. And I keep seeing later books from the series pop up around the apartment, so, that's my next series to go to.

I would like to read “Gone With the Wind” and its sequel because I love the movie so much. I would also like to read “The Grapes of Wrath”, since I've been hearing about it so much. I want to see what all the hubbub is about. I would also like to read “Moby Dick”, which I've been curious about. Oh, and “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress”.

I ran more than yesterday on the climber. Finished some “Yoroiden Samurai Troopers” episodes. Getting into the good ones. Oh... I'll have to go through the one where it's just Ryo running around the whole time, asking himself over and over what he should do. That is probably the worse episode. Oh well. Maybe I'll watch that in my room.
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We went to D.C. Jazz and Shayne didn't come.

We walked around the city and stopped by some monuments. We ate lunch beneath the shadow of the National Monument. Literally. I purchased a Spongebob popsicle. It was really hot. I finished “The Twin Dilemma” on the bus ride back. When we got back I went swimming. My new goggles are great!

 Then I started reading the “Illiad”, went home, organized my library and watched “Constantine” while I worked out.

I talked to Dad when he called (he got home!) and ate dinner.
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I finished “The Kachina Doll Mystery”. It was all right.

I have to carry “The Illiad” with me tomorrow, to camp in case I finished the next “Nancy Drew” before camp ends.

We went to the Potomac Nationals baseball game verses some other team. I have plenty of sunburn, seeing as I was too lazy to put sun screen on, didn't bring my umbrella to the stadium, forgot my hat and hats were too expensive and there was no cover. So I am somewhat sunburnt. I got chicken fingers, fries with ketchup, two diet Pepsis, some skittles (which Terra/camp paid for) and a Potomac Nationals seat cushion, which I like. They lost, 8 - 1.

We came back around 4. I went to the water fountain three or four times. I ate all the reds and gave Jazz the rest of my skittles. I also finished my string thing.

I worked out and watched “Constantine”. Mom and I went to that outdoor shopping center and I got some Nike tennis shoes, goggles and my one wristband and headbands. Mom got some socks and wristband and headband. Then we went to Reebok. We also went to two stores and got Mike two shirts. We stopped at the frozen custard place for some frozen custard and then went to Wegmans. Heather's car was unlocked after the locksmith apparently came and went. Then we all went shopping.
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I really like “The Enchanted Forest Chronicles”! It’s a pity it’s over.

On to “Nancy Drew” 62 and 63, which I should finish by the end of Thursday at the latest.

We went "kayaking" and "rafting" today. The parentheses means that we did learn how to get out of the kayak in case we flipped over and paddled a little in them upstream, still in site of the shore. And then we came back. 10, maybe 15 minutes of paddling, and we came back. That's it. I went in circles a lot.

Then we had lunch on the bed, which was okay, since I had my wet butt sitting on my towel.

Then we got into the raft (Shayne, Allison, and I; Allison came with me kayaking), and went over to a small cove, which was right next to where we kayaked to. We got out of the raft and swam a little, then swam back. I think we spent half an hour in the water. Then we went home. Mike picked me up. I read some, fell asleep, finally worked out, and had dinner. Now Mom and I are going to go pick up Heather. I have to put my laundry away and clean my room.
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Yesterday we drove to Delaware. I finished my giant string. Kind of gave up on it, knotted it (with great help from Jazz), cut off the end, and used it as a necklace for the stuffed cat I made at the Not-Build-A-Bear place. Then I worked on Sudoku, which I still haven't finished. I listened to some music, wrote and slept some. We stopped by a deli for lunch. Then we went to the Delaware JCC. Then we got on the school bus and drove home. It was kind of fun.

We stopped at Wawa's. I got mint Dibs and chocolate milk. We got home around 7:55 pm. Dad and I stopped by Mom's. I dropped off my duffel, clipboard, finished books and some other stuff, gave my small duck to Mike, collected my mail, gave Mommy a kiss, and left.

Dad and I went to Fridays for dinner and then we went to Barnes and Nobles (which I said was open! Didn't close till 11! I was right!!!). Daddy needed a journal for his trip. I just wanted to go. He told me about the journal afterword. I got “Nancy Drew” 62 and 63, and I got 3 and 4 of “The Enchanted Forest Chronicles”. After we got home we watched some of “Doctor Who”.

Today I woke up around 10. Then I put some CDs on my iPod: Clannad, “Doctor Who” and “Monty Python Spam-a-lot”. I watched “Highlander”. Daddy came home. We went to Don Pablo's. It started and stopped pouring rain while we were there. We got two cheesecake things and then we went to Walmart. Daddy got a knife, a fan, some trash bags, and some breakfast bars (for me), and then we went to Target.

I got an iPod charger, for when there's no computer around, and I got “Anastasia”, the movie, plus three birthday cards, (Mommy, Elyse, and Allison). When we came home I read the “Serenity” puppet theatre thing. It was funny! I also started the “X-men” 1 one, but I didn't finish it. After we dropped off Dad’s laundry and picked up his medicine we went to see “Superman Returns. I really liked it.

Then we went to Borders. I got book 2 of “The Enchanted Forest Chronicles”. Dad got his journal. I got rid of some giftcards and we went to McDonalds. I got french fries. Daddy got a burger. Then we came home. I finished my episode of “Highlander”, which finished the disc. I now have an iPod account! Thanks to Daddyness (love you) and I bought “Clocks” the song!

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January 2013

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