Friday, November 26, 2010

I'm Thankful For...

Whew. Thanksgiving is always a whirlwind, with food to make, and family to entertain, and plenty more balls to juggle. However, we do get through it each year, and each celebration is more fun than the next.

We were all thankful for plenty yesterday, but here's what I'm thankful for today: leftover food practically spilling out of the fridge, the new Harry Potter movie, having leftover Cranberry Pie for breakfast, and even more new books...

As it turns out, some of the family who came over yesterday also came bearing belated bday presents, and I got a new cookbook! Yay!

Also, my aunt had been cleaning out some old stuff in her house and found about 16 of my Mom's old Nancy Drew books from the '70s! Super Yay!

Not to mention that in that bag were some of my books as well, ones I had lent to my cousins. After approximately 3 years of wondering where the heck my copy of A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray had got to, I now have it back in my possession! I wonder if I will still think of it as one of my favorite books once I reread it...

Anyways, the day after Thanksgiving brings plenty with it to be thankful about as well.

Including the fact that now Thanksgiving is finally over with, ALL of the Christmas decorations go up, and cookie season begins :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snow Day Like Today :)

It snowed here on Sunday night.

The children watched the flakes fall past the window with glee, and studiously shirked all homework and responsibility in the anticipation of a snow day. However, the Public School System had different ideas.

Instead of a snow day, or even a 2 hour delay, school was in session as normal, and children all throughout the district grumbled. And I can't forget to mention the fact that the snow was so bad, that even though we still had to go to school, I wasn't allowed to drive. Instead, my sister (the cheerleader) and I had to wake up a full half-hour before we usually do to make it to the bus stop on time.

But lo and behold! Not long before we got to school, we noticed something of interest: It was snowing again! The day's temperature was not to get above 30 degrees, and it was snowing like crazy.

First period, Chemistry. Easy to concentrate in, because the windows are at the back of the class, but when our teacher left for a bathroom break, he came back to find us all climbing over desks and stuffing into windowsills to get a better look.

Second period, AP US History. Spent entire period halfheartedly taking notes, while watching the football stadium bleach out.

Third period, Journalism Class. After editing only about five articles, Heidi (co-editor) and I ditch the Macs, and spend the rest of the period taking cell phone photos of the snow-adorned cobwebs on the fire escape, the snow-topped flagpole, and the students sneaking off of the grounds to save their cars from thier icy prisons, and go home safely.

Fourth period, AP English. More half-hearted work. Looking out of the window has become a reflex every five minutes.

During lunch, we took more photos, and then learned some interesting news from a friend: Her school, which had already had a late start that morning, was now being released early! At 12:30!

How abominable of our school officials to keep us this long.

Fifth period, PreCalc, was when the good news finally broke: We were going to be released early. (But only 30 minutes early, pshah). Teachers officially give up trying to teach anything.

The end of the day bell finally rung, and the Cheerleader (whose head was smarting from an anonymous snowball) and I could finally go home.

Later that day, the School District wasted no time in calling and saying that today, school was going to be closed.

And that was the story of how I got out of both a PreCalc test and a Spanish project today.

And is also why I have time to write this much.

Anyways, I'm trapped inside, and I like it that way. However, a lazy day calls for lazy reading materials: Nancy Drews, and The Partridge Family's mystery books :) In other words, the stuff I read in the 3rd grade, accompanied with what my Dad calls the "fried pork rinds of literature".
I enjoy them (the books, not the pork rinds, ew). The Nancy Drews are lifelong favorites, and after finding a couple of the Partridge Family books from my Grandma a while ago, those have made their impact on me, too. It isn't that I learn anything in terms of value from either of them, and it isn't that they are great works of literature or anything, but they do their job. After drowning in a sea of symbolism and rhetoric at school every day, it's nice to read something... uncomplicated. Something you don't have to look too hard into. Which is nice.
All I can really say, is that I would have been in PreCalc, taking that test, right about now.

Happy Almost-Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Exciting Movie News

Something good to brighten a dismal, almost-winter day: the new Jane Eyre movie trailer!

I've been waiting for news of this project for a while, pretty much ever since I read about it in Mia Wasikowska's interview with Teen Vogue last year, when she announced that she would be playing Jane.

Even though I only read this book for the first time last January, and as a part of an English assignment no less, I still love it so much that I've managed to read it twice since (including once when I was supposed to be concentrating on horror novels this October. oops :) ).

You can find the trailer, as well as more information (like the casting!), on

Btw, the release date is on March 11th, 2011, for the US, and it is rated PG-13.

Happy almost-Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nursery Crimes

Sometimes you find an author who just really gets what he (or she) is doing. One who completely gets that the point of a good story is to entertain, and commits their work to that goal entirely. Among this list are included: Roald Dahl, J.K. Rowling, Douglas Adams, and Jasper Fforde. While I am a huge fan of all, today I am particularily interested in discussing the last on the list.

My love of Fforde's books started around February of last year, since reading his first in the Thursday Next series, The Eyre Affair, after finishing Jane Eyre for school. I read the rest of the series this past summer, and I quickly realized something: don't even bother trying to explain the plot to anybody. All you'll get is a raised eyebrow, possible supplications to God on the behalf of your sanity, and maybe even a worried inquiry about how long you've been sitting in the sun. So don't even try to explain it. Just make them read the book, too, and then they'll understand :)

This year, I picked up some more of his books: the Nursery Crimes series, starring Detective Jack Spratt, and Sergeant Mary Mary. Upon first observing the cover, and then reading the first few chapters, I was a little confused, because the first book in the series, The Big Over Easy, about the murder of Humpty Dumpty, seemed entirely too familiar. After a few moments of confusion, it hit me:

The summer before I went into the 6th grade, we got a nanny, Miss Lindsay. SHE READ THIS BOOK. In fact, this fantastic woman, who also introduced me to a lot of other great authors, including Jane Austen, whom I love, also introduced me to Jasper Fforde. In fact, I remember her one day, while we were playing with a Slip 'n' Slide, reading the book, and taking notes in the margins. When I asked her why, she told me that she was annotating so a friend of hers, who was going to read the book next, could follow the story a little easier :)

Amazing how some things just come full circle like that, huh?

Anyways, my personal favorite of the Nursery Crimes books is the second (out of two), the Fourth Bear. As I mentioned earlier, I'm not going to even bother trying to explain the plot to you. Just do yourself a favor, and read it :)

(Disclaimer: There is no way you'll be able to appreciate this series completely without having read the Thursday Next series first. Just saying.)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy NaNoWriMo!

So, even though I am not able to participate this year, due to many pre-existing obligations (namely school and some insane need to get a perfect 4.0), I completely support and congratulate all of the brave souls embarking on their various writing vehicles this month for NaNoWriMo!

For those not in the know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month! Participants pledge to devote their time during November to writing a book (at least a total of 50, 000 words, about 175 pages). If they succeed, they have the option of getting their book published, as well as a nifty tee! It's a super cool process, and I celebrated my first NaNo last year.

I only got about half way through my book. This was probably due to the fact that though I drafted three seperate possible story arcs, I did not choose the strongest one, but the one that I had the most enthusiasm about, a sort of YA horror/mystery deal. Regrettably, the plot lacked a sturdy line to follow, and careened violently off path about 4 pages in, sort of like a roller coaster that bursts off the tracks while climbing up the beginning hill, and runs, to your horror, uncontrolled, around the rest of the amusement park. Or something like that.

Anywho, though I am not actively participating this year, I actively support those who are! Have a lot of fun, guys!