Thursday, March 21, 2013

Weekly Photos #10

I've been pretty lazy this week, not gonna lie.  Besides being sick, I have had very little to do, so I'm sorry for not updating. On the bright side I had some good adventures and took enough pictures so without further ado...

graffiti under a bridge/birthday dogs eating a cake/weekend hike/french homework/PEEPS!/new reading material/beach day
I joined bloglovin' this week due to blogger follow stopping.  I really like it.  I no longer have to open 10s of tabs.  It's really nice give it a try if you haven't already!  

Good Things

I don't think this needs much explanation past yum.

I had never explored a Redbox machine before, I have to say it's nice.  I may have rented 5 in the past 3 days...I have a pretty serious movie problem.  I also love that the movie is 'due' the next day because it forces you to actually watch the movie.

I actually slept on my couch instead of my bed twice this week and I think I actually preferred it.

Onto my mock IB exams next week! How did your week go?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Weekly Photos #9

I used to be so productive.  Now I have huge projects due tomorrow, it's 9pm, and I have yet to start. On the bright side I have a Harry Potter movie marathon going on with me friends this weekend and hopefully there will be very little homework to do!!!  I also managed to get enough pictures this week and I'm really happy with their quality.

beautiful sunset/sunday morning breakfast/my salad in a gelato container/backpack friend/paperwork for my TOK presentation/handshake after a boy's tennis game/beautiful valley I discovered
By the time I write these posts, I forget the nice things about the week.  I'm always wrapped up in the work I have to finish that I forget about the wonderful adventures I had the weekend before!  As predicted my hair dye has already faded, but I loved it and I might dye it again with something stronger in the future.

Good Things

Ernest Hemingway
We started reading Hemingway's short stories in English class and I really like them.  We're reading a selection from In Our Time and some others.  So far, my favorite is A Clean, Well-Lighted Place. He may not be the most uplifting writer, but I'm astounded by how he fits so much story with so few words.  I'm even considering reading the entirety of In Our Time this spring break I'm that entranced.

Boy's Tennis Season
Tennis is a big deal at my school, basically because it is the only sports team we have.  I was on the girls team last year, but was never competitive enough.  However, I still love going to the games.  It also helps when it's the boy's team.  A reason to stare at semi-attractive men for an hour or so? Sign me up!

The California Coast
May times, I forget where I live.  It's beautiful here.  Many people live their lives never seeing the beach yet I drive by it twice a day!  Add in the Redwood forest and beautiful valleys and it's like a movie.  I remembered that this week when I went exploring.  I have never seen a sight as beautiful as that valley.  I can't wait to return.

How did your week go?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Car Adventures: Ferndale Cemetery

I used to hate this place as a child.  It didn't help that I usually went with my grandmother who would point out her recently deceased friends to me.  The trip always ended in tears for me.  This time was better.  Though still melancholy, I walked through the entire park and left with a reinstated vigor for life.

View From The Top
Infant Death one of many

She's just Sleeping

Beautiful flowers planted on a grave

I'm really glad I decided to stop by the cemetery today. It helped to calm me down and put everything in a different perspective.  Yes, school and smarts are important but so is living.  I am alive and so many more are dead.  I better not waste it.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Weekly Photos #8

I did better! Still not everyday but I did get some pictures I really liked.  This week was a good one.  Very low stress and surprisingly little homework.  I can't help but wonder when the homework monster will reemerge.

Package for my good friend/TREES!/the most perfect seashell I've ever found/movie tickets I saw this week/hair is dyed
Looking back, this week is even better than I remember.  Random hair experiments, movies and perfect seashells, what else do you need?!  I don't think there should be hair dye in my house because when I'm bored my hair gets dyed.  I've had this pink dye for about 6 months and and used it on the spur of the moment twice!  I really like the result this time and I might try it again in the future with more permanent hair dye.  It's already fading :P

Good Things

Darren Criss
I love this boy.  Especially his own music. I could listen to Muse and Stutter (above) and I Still Think over and over again forever.  He's just so adorable!  Come on Darren, quit Glee and put out some of you're own stuff, I'm sure there are enough people to buy it.  If you don't know Darren or you think he's just a stupid glee kid I urge you to listen to one of these songs and tell me what you think in the comments!

I Knew You Were Trouble ________ Version
You've probably found this on the internet already but I fall over laughing every time.  Oh Taylor, the world doesn't seem to be good to you right now.  Here are some other versions I love.  Darren, Nicholas Cage

How did your week go?!

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 360 pgs
Rating: 5/5

The maze was only the beginning...
     Solving the maze was supposed to be the end.  No more puzzles.  No more variables.  And no more running.  Thomas was sure that escape meant he and the Gladers would get their lives back. But no one really knew what sort of life they were going back to.
     Burned by sun flares and baked by a new, brutal climate, the earth is now a wasteland.  Government has disintegrated - and with it, order - and now Cranks, people covered in festering wounds and driven to murderous insanity by the infectious disease known as the Flare, roam the crumbling cities hunting for their next victim...and meal.
     The Gladers are far from done running.  Instead of freedom, they find themselves faced with with another trial.  They must cross the Scorch, the most burned-out section of the world, and arrive at a safe haven in two weeks.  And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.
     Thomas can only wonder - does he hold the secret to freedom somewhere in his mind?  Or will he forever be at the mercy of WICKED?

If you don't know The Scorch Trials is the second book in the Maze Runner series so if you haven't read the first book, I may spoil a little.  If you want to read my review of the first book, The Maze Runner, click here.

I really liked this book.  Just like the first, it is a nonstop adventure, but I found this installment much less predictable which was a nice surprise.  It actually scared the crap out of me a couple times.  I found it to be much more realistic which just helped the terror factor.  The Maze Runner is set in the maze, a world completely controlled by WICKED, but The Scorch Trials are set in the actual apocalyptic world in a ruined city.  This takes away any separation between the reader and the characters that I felt in the first novel.  Plus, in the Maze most of the characters were unknown to the reader allowing them to care less about the deaths, but now that the pack has been whittled down to about 20 and it's harder to be separate from their misfortune.  

The Flare infected Cranks are terrifying.  I thought the grievers were scary, but now there is a human element.  I don't know why, but human monsters that have lost their humanity are always the scariest monster.  What was interesting is while the Cranks returned to their bestial state, they still retained their intelligence to a certain extent.  They could talk and plan an attack, they definitely weren't zombies.  That being said, the nose man scared the CRAP out of me.  After I read that I had such a problem turning off the lights and trying to sleep. Even last night, approximately a month after reading that part, I was so scared thinking about it I couldn't turn off the lights!  

If you can’t tell, this installment was a lot harsher, scarier and therefore more interesting to me than the first.  Thomas now knows what's going on and is thinking about why and what he should be doing about it, questions that lead to a much better story in my opinion.  Also, I loved the additions of Brenda and Jorge, Aris, and Group B.  Both groups brought new elements to the story.  Now there are conflicting emotions and goals among all the characters and the reader is forced to look outside Thomas views and the Glader’s goals.

The one thing I didn't really like about the book was the romance.  Now, I can love romance, but I don't think it has a place in a story when there are much larger problems present and that's how I felt reading The Scorch Trials at certain points.  For example (semi-spoiler), when Teresa disappears in the beginning, that is all Thomas can think about not the multitude of bodies hanging from the ceiling!!! Thomas, I'm much more interested in your memories about WICKED than your maybe relationship.  However, this is just my personal opinion and dislikes, if you don't mind a little side tracking, there's a good story there, I just thought it was a little annoying how occupied his thoughts were of her not the boys around him.

All in all, it was a good read.  I finished it in a few days, though there was a month of rest between those days. I'm still deeply interested in WICKED's motives and future plans so the next book is now sitting on my bed waiting for me. The Death Cure, here I come!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Weekly Photos #7

This week was full of ugly weather and a lot of studying which results in very few pictures.  I'm not even sure I took 7 pictures this week let alone 7 good ones!  This is all I've got...I'll be back with 7 next week I promise.

Philosophy reading/keyboard smash adventures/candle
My french test went pretty well, unfortunately there is another big one in a week but this time I actually have to speak! There isn't that much happening here, but spring is just around the corner and should bring adventures with it!

Good Things

Keyboard Smashing
I suppose the second picture requires some explanation.  There is a theory that if you have enough monkeys smashing a keyboard for infinity eventually one of them will type the novel War and Peace, well we decided to test it.  "Ghost" was the longest word we got and I needed photo evidence of it!  I have to say it was a great way to waste a couple hours.

TV Shows
A huge test seems to lead to the most extreme forms of procrastination.  I have watched very little television since this year started, but in this past week I watched almost an entire season of both White Collar and Castle!! I can't wait for the White Collar finale this week and Psych is back!!!!

My goals for this week:
  • watch a couple movies in french to prepare for my recording
  • swim more than 2 times
  • take enough pictures!!!!
How did your week go?