Saturday, August 13, 2011

I'm Sorry.

Has there ever been a phrase so potentially unmeaning and cruel? I can't think of anything next to "I love you," can you?

I think that "I'm sorry" is one of the most thrown around phrases in the human language. People say it in response to something negative. In response, unthinkingly. Not necessarily after musing it over for a lengthy period of time. They say it just to make the other person calm down, essentially hoisting the white flag of surrender.

Where did all this animosity against the phrase come from? From an "argument" with my best friend Josh, if you can call it that, hence the quotation marks. Of course there is a lot of history going into this entry about why Josh reacted in such a way, but explaining it is beyond my capacity at the moment.

Simply, I was supposed to go camping this weekend and now I am not. In fact, I'm as far away from camping as I can be, typing away on a laptop computer plugged into an electrical outlet, sitting Indian-style on my queen-sized bed underneath a roof.

Josh and I were supposed to go camping with our old swim team, the Barracudas, but after he got mad at me for supposedly "forgetting" about how we were supposed to hang out Thursday, I cancelled my plans to go with him and the team. One, we had hung out the day before. And two, I never said we weren't going to hang out, only that I could for a few hours to which he replied that he had planned on us going to the beach. Take note that I wouldn't have gotten out of work until 5pm and also that he never told me his beachy plans. He was acting like a jealous boyfriend, again, and I wasn't going to have it. It made me so, so close to just walking away from the death trap that is our friendship, but after talking with my mom I realized, again, that it's hard for someone with feelings to drop them at the door every time they hang out. I understand. I've been there. But it still doesn't make up for the fact that he is annoyingly possessive of my time and outright unreasonable when it comes to me trying to reason with him. He chose this.

I know I sound like a tool. But it's annoying when he blows his top the day before something that's supposed to be really fun and enjoyable. I've been looking forward to this camping trip for a month, and sure, I could have gone, but that meant spending the weekend with a horrible grouch. I opted out.

Of course, he always comes around. He apologized this morning and invited me on a beach trip for today (Saturday). I was almost going to take him up on it since I have absolutely nothing at all planned for today now, but I refused. Call me stubborn, or call me a trying friend. Maybe that camping trip just wasn't meant to happen, or maybe I'm still mad about it and won't accept his apology. Or maybe it's both. I think it's wrong he's shrugging it off and replacing it with an invitation; I didn't want to go to the beach, I wanted to go to the mountains. Now I sound like a five-year-old.

I overreacted at first, but now I'm cooling off.

Is it the phrase "I'm sorry" that's misused most or "I'm fine?"

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I'm obsessed with Best Coast and this fantastic music video. Go Drew Barrymore!



I want a Night Creeper jacket so bad. And Chloe Grace Moretz is so gorgeous.

"I wish he was my boyfrienddddd"

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Crazy, Stupid, Love.


Photo by leah miraballin' via Flickr.

The title of this entry is inspired (stolen?) by the film Crazy, Stupid, Love starring Steve Carell and indie darling Ryan Gosling. I didn't particularly want to watch this movie even though I think Steve Carell is hilarious and Ryan Gosling ridiculously attractive, but after venturing into the theater on my half hour break at work, I was immediately persuaded to see it (which I did with Vanessa today). This isn't a movie review but it was definitely a pleasant surprise, and I'd recommend it to all those romantics out there - funny, real, cute.

Like I was saying, this post isn't about the movie. It's mostly just about how I felt after watching the movie. I've always believed in soulmates. In fact, I believe in soulmates of different calibers; not just romance-wise but also friendship-wise. I believe my best friend Caitie is my soulmate. I know she is. There's just no one who can get me like she does. And I'm not sure if there ever will be. But I also believe in soulmates romance-wise.

I want to meet a boy who has a record player in his house and puts on The Turtles' "Happy Together" and who takes me in his arms with utmost care.

I want that. So badly. I want something I'm not even sure I'm capable of having. I know I'm capable of having a "normal relationship." Hell, I have had a normal relationship. That's not what I'm looking for - but I'm glad I experienced it. I haven't felt sizable chemistry with someone since Daniel - and I know that I will one day - but at times I doubt if I can have that immediate response to anyone - I didn't even have an immediate response to him. But we did have chemistry.

Often times I've thought of launching a dating site where everything is based on a person's musical interests. Random. And arguable considering that would be filed under musical interests, presumably, on dating sites anyway. But music, to me, well...it tells a lot about a person. I love the idea of meeting someone as familiar with The Beatles and Creedence Clearwater Revival songs and Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin hits as I am. I'd probably fall in love immediately. As crazy as that sounds. For some reason I feel a little blue about the whole situation...

I really don't know why, but it's bound to happen from time to time. I just miss being in love.




Sunday, July 24, 2011

San Diego Comic-Con International 2011

I went to Comic Con yesterday with my friends Cindy and Carlos. It was nerdtastic! We left around 5:45am to drive to San Diego for the event (we live about an hour and 45 minutes away). Registration went by way quicker than I was anticipating and we grabbed our first piece of swag: The Comic Con Bag (picture to come). Luckily, we were all able to get the one for Batman: Arkham City (others were stuck with Supernatural or other not-as-cool ones, even though I was hoping for the Justice League bag).

Getting into the convention center was equitable with being in a huge crowd of people who were trying to run away from a massive hoard of zombies. Think stampede. Once inside, it didn't get much better. Think Tokyo subway terminal.

Alas, this was what I was expecting. Rubbing up against fellow nerds and fighting to snatch up super cool freebies. What I wasn't expecting: not being able to see any panels. The lines were redunkulous and most of the people in them had been there since the doors opened. We decided to make our way to the booths we wanted to see most and then squeeze our way through to the others. Next time I'm thinking wait in line to see the panel I want to see most first, then fight my way to the booths. Even though we hit the booths we wanted to see most first, the swag we wanted to get had already been given away or sold the previous days. Big bummer. Next time I'm thinking go on Friday versus Saturday or maybe even Preview Night and Friday night and turn it into a mini vacation of sorts. But that's only if I'm able to get tickets like I was lucky enough to this year.

It was actually pretty tough to capture good shots of anything considering there were a bajillion people trying to do the same thing and I kept getting jostled around by passerby, but I snapped a few shots before storing my poor Nikon for good. Declan got a few scratches on her viewing screen. I'm very distraught about procrastinating and not buying her a screen protector. : ( Nevertheless, here are a few of the pictures I did take (Blogger minimizes them so you'll have to click on them for a better view).


Nananana Batman, Batman! Or should I say Lego Batman. : )






Halo's one of my favorite video games (no doubt I play this one the most) so when I saw these unreleased action figures I geeked out. I'd love to have the Spartan holding the rocket launcher.


I love Bleach (even though it's an extraordinarily long anime) and I wanted all of these action figures. They were incredibly detailed.


All I can say is: Hell yes.


The game on my to-buy list after Gears of War 3. People playing Resident Evil: Raccoon City. It looked badass.

I'll update this when I'm not as sleepy. ; )

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Swimsuits!

I have been kindling this obsession with swim suits for awhile now. Summer in California? I mean, how can I not drool over the opportunity to wear these beauties! dELiAs is having a great summer sale with some very cute swimsuits and I want to buy pretty much all of them. I know I'll snatch up at least one. Here are a few of my favorites.



I have yet to add a polka dotted bikini to my collection. I mean doesn't every girl need to own a yellow polka dot bikini?



I'm a huge fan of one pieces and I adore the back and front of this one. Imagine the cool tan lines you'd get!



I've never owned a tankini but I loved the cinched up sides on this one, although I'd probably get it in a solid color versus polka dotted.

Besides dELiAs I also find these old style (my favorite!) swimsuits to be very chic and very out of a poor college student's price range unfortunately.


Via Anthropologie (www.anthropologie.com)


Via ModCloth (www.modcloth.com)


Via ModCloth (www.modcloth.com)


Via Greedy Girl (www.iamagreedygirl.com) by Hayden Harnett (www.haydenharnett.com)

Updates, updates, updates!

I must point out that my last post was my 100th one, and a rather spiteful 100th post at that. In all seriousness, I just posted some song lyrics that had been spiraling around in my cranium for awhile and didn't even notice it would be my 100th post. But, wow! 100 posts on this little blog of mine, how quaint. All my mumbo jumbo and random tidbits have finally compiled into something somewhat impressive. Since I've never been able to keep a diary - this being the closest thing I have to one, I am very proud of myself. A good pat on the back for Grace.

Now, moving on...

I saw the midnight show of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 with my best friend and posse and let me tell you: HUGE disappointment. I can't believe Harry Potter fans actually accepted it let alone liked it. They barely kept to the book and changed things around for no apparent reason, not to mention changing the climax of the entire book series. I must rant and for that reason I alert those who aren't familiar with the books to leave straight away.

First of all, I was fine with the first half of the movie, up until after Gringotts. I thought the part when Harry and gang were staying with Bill and Fleur pretty good, minus the talk they had with Ollivander. He never tells Harry that he won't succeed! But I digress, I could overlook that little interesting bit they decided to include.

Then, when Harry meets Aberforth. A part in the book that is highly amazing and awesome and shocking and interesting because you've been reading up until this point how little about Dumbledore Harry (and essentially you) knew in reality. Aberforth is horribly introduced and the story about how Ariana was actually killed not even told! How could you not include that? It adds such depth to the story. When Harry arrives back to Hogwarts, it only gets worse. The director decides to make Harry look like a complete idiot. Harry's the one who's supposed to realize who to find to figure out where the Lost Diadem of Ravenclaw is, not Luna! I don't want to even get into the whole scene in the Room of Requirement either...

Also, we miss the whole battle of Hogwarts pretty much. We get the beginning (where Neville stupidly taunts snatchers which doesn't happen and for some reason he is still there when the barrier is brought down), Fred's horribly shot death (I wasn't even aware that he was dying in that scene) - and the end where everyone is super jolly, laughing, having a cup of Jo, oh, and Percy is randomly seen in the background (guess he must have returned, then?) I mean, there was so much material in the book the director could have gotten to make the battle of Hogwarts the epic battle it truly was meant to be! From including Grawp and the house elves and Peeves battling to showing the individuals we Harry Potter fans are so fond of fighting it out with our most hated Death Eaters.

Then there's the part when Snape dies and Harry finds out the truth, shot not in the Shrieking Shack (which would have made perfect sense!) but in a random glasshouse! Why?! When so much history happened in the Shrieking Shack? Harry's dive into the pensieve is another issue I have but I'll gloss over it and move on: It was awful.

Then the part with the Resurrection Stone. I felt no emotional pull at all during that scene when it was supposed to be the most heart-wrenching feeling I was supposed to be experiencing. Harry accepts his death. I open at the close. And I feel nothing. Then of course there's King's Cross. Dumbledore says some heavy and very Dumbledore-y things in that discourse but it came across as simply strange and confusing.

Finally, the climax. Harry and Voldemort start dueling...and the entire time Harry says nothing to him while battling when in the book he is saying the best lines in the entire book, calling him Tom Riddle instead of Voldemort, explaining to him that Snape had actually betrayed him and how he, Harry, actually holds the Elder Wand and how it came to be the Elder wand, defending Dumbledore, telling him this was his last chance, etc. But, no. Instead they fly through the air, clutching onto each others faces (what?) and playing jedi mind tricks until Voldemort turns into gray tissue paper.

Once the "finale" is over everything just turns back to normal. It wasn't like Harry just defeated the Dark Lord or anything. And then Harry, Ron, and Hermione are on the bridge instead of Dumbledore's office (stupid!) figuring out what to do with the Elder Wand. Harry doesn't snap it like in the movie. He uses it to fix his own broken wand "Reparo" and then says he's going to put it back where it came from, looking at Dumbledore's smiling portrait in his office.

Anyway, that was my rant. I'm sure I missed a few things, but one last thing I didn't like about the movie was how comical they made it seem, there were way too many jokes flying around at some of the most pinnacle points in the movie. Not that it would have made a difference since they butchered it anyway. But come on.

It received a big fat F in my opinion.

Moving on from Harry Potter...

I went to Universal Studios on Saturday and it was really fun! I haven't been there since I was probably seven or eight. So much of it has changed! We went on every single ride and attended every single show in one day. My friend Guido and I even participated in one of the shows: Special Effects. It was pretty embarrassing to be honest but we were pressured to get involved (we even had to sign waivers). My friend Guido had to dress up in an astronaut costume and get attached to some wires and I was going to control him with a remote (imagine my anxiety). What I didn't know was that he'd be switched out of the costume and replaced with a double and that my remote control actually wasn't the one controlling "Guido." I caught on eventually but I looked pretty stupid up there freaking out that my friend was doing back-flips and supposedly flipping out on some wires. And of course the lady kept asking us if we were dating, etc. how much more embarrassing could it get?! Still, it was a fun time : )

Then on Sunday my shift got cancelled (praise Jesus!) and I took full advantage of it and dragged my BGF to see a free Pacific Dub concert with me at The Slidebar in Fullerton. It was my first time ordering drinks at a bar. I freaked out when the bartender asked me if I was going to order more drinks to which I said I was and then held hostage my driver's license and card. Now I know what opening a tab means at least. Pacific Dub were amazing! And we got to meet the guys! They were all so cool and super friendly! All of them are twenty except the drummer who's my age, which was weird to find out. They signed their newest EP for us and a cool poster Josh and I agreed we'd have shared custody of (they only accepted cash). It was a super fun Sunday and made me depressed to think I was back to my boring work days come Monday.

I've also been working on a DIY project for my best friend Caitie's birthday (this Friday) - I know it will come out cool. I'll post pictures when I find the time.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Not Like You

Once I knew you well
So well I thought, so right I knew
You were that one who held me tight
Let me know when I was wrong
That I wasn't alone

So now when you see me
Now that you're over it
Do you even realize what you've done
You've got other girls on your mind
You've got some fucking nerve
Asking me to care
Just who do you think you are

I thought I knew you, I thought you were so right
But you were so wrong
That false sense of humility
That queasy smile and worn out grin

No, it doesn't suit you baby
No, it's not like you baby

So now when you see me
Now that you're over it
Do you even realize what you've done
You've got other girls on your mind
You've got some fucking nerve
Asking me to care
Just who do you think you are
-GG

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Harry Potter survey, HELL YEAH!

Before we start, hope everyone had a good 4th of Julio! And now, a Harry Potter survey.

Harry Potter- Tell about a scar on your body.

I have a scar on my elbow from running on the pool deck at a swim banquet my freshmen year of high school. My swim coach shouted out that there was only one cupcake left. It was worth it.

Ron Weasley- Something you’re afraid of.

Animal-wise I am terrified of star-nosed moles, especially when they eat worms. And bears. Bears freak me the hell out. Except panda bears.

Hermione Granger- A subject you know a lot about.

Easy: Harry Potter. And history/Lit.

Draco Malfoy- Closest green item to you.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows : ) It's my third time reading it. I'm on Chapter Twelve: Magic is Might.

Severus Snape- Your favorite Alcoholic beverage.

Frozen margaritas, particularly strawberry.

Rubeus Hagrid- Your favorite animal.

I really love giraffes. I think a giraffe would be a pretty badass Patronus.

Luna Lovegood- Something about you other people find weird.

Haha, well, a lot of things. That I play Xbox or that I leave tips in dollar bill origami shapes. Or that I'm filling out a Harry Potter survey.

Neville Longbottom- Your favorite flower.

Forget-Me-Nots.

Nimphodorah Tonks- Something you would change about your appearance.

Um, just going back to the same pants size I was in high school would suffice haha.

Fred and George Weasley- The last prank you pulled on someone, or someone pulled on you.

I haven't really pulled any pranks lately or at least of epic proportions. I scared one of my co-workers while we were cleaning a theater this past weekend. I know, it was spectacular.

Voldemort- If you were to make a Horcrux, it would be…

First of all, I would never make a Horcrux. But, if I must, then it would be...my copy of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Moaning Myrtle- The last thing to make you cry.

My friend's passing.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

How many of these have you read?

I follow a blogger who always posts interesting tidbits, and I thought this one most alluring.

According to BBC most people will only have read 6 of the 100 books listed below:

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth.
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt.
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Misérables - Victor Hugo

I find that a little less than disconcerting, particularly because most of these are classics.

Here's my count, in bold, of the books I've personally read - and I mean entirely or the entire series:

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy.
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth.
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt.
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Misérables - Victor Hugo

A grand total of 31. I'm actually glad I came across this list because I've been looking for a good classic to read for the summer. I've been rereading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (3rd time) preparing for the movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which comes out July 15. So excited. My best friend, who when we were 10 bonded over our passion for Harry Potter, are dressing up and going with an ensemble. I've never done that, and usually dislike when people do, for a movie. But for my favorite story of all time...I just have to. It's such a sad thing to realize that Harry Potter is coming to an end on screen. Although I didn't really like a lot of the HP films, it was still something, especially when the book series was over. Oh well, at least there's Pottermore (J.K. Rowling's new HP website), but still, I miss those characters. No story will ever compare. I think the first book I'll want to tackle off this list will be "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" by Mark Haddon. My favorite English teacher from high school loved this book, and his opinion is one I truly respect. This list just reminded me of it. I think I'll pick it up tomorrow : )

Oh, and if you want to follow the blogger I mentioned, her blog is called "Adventures, Languages, Cuisines, and Randomness" - she's far more interesting to follow than I am, and she's always got a nice tidbit to share.

Relationships.

Both my relationships have been...so...packed with emotions. If only someone could step into my shoes. There's just no way to explain them to someone without conveying how it actually was, how they actually affected me. Sure, telling someone conveys enough. I mean, do I really want someone else feeling the way I felt? Not necessarily.

Still...

It's crazy how people have relationships, and how each relationship is completely different than any other couple's. There are similar circumstances, of course. Similar experiences so to speak. But only that couple will ever feel what they felt with one another. Only that couple will leave an imprint on the other the way they have.

I've only had two relationships. But let me tell you...two is more than enough. I wish I had experienced that "stupid-doesn't-count" relationship(s). But unfortunately, both of mine were serious. It's crazy to me mostly because they still affect me to this very day. I've learned more from them than I have from any other type of relationship. Perhaps because the topic of love is very dear to me. I'm a romantic at heart, though it may not seem like it, all I want, all I need, is love. But really...isn't that everyone?

I don't know. Recently I've been reassessing things. Not going to say what exactly. But I want to help someone. Someone I was once very close with. Fate is the deciding factor here. I'm finally over it, and I'm finally semi-understanding it. Only time will tell I suppose.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Be strong when things fall apart.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Happy Birthday, Liz.

My friend from high school passed away on June 13, 2011. Today's her birthday. I never had someone I've known pass away before. I went to her wake Tuesday and it was so emotional. I didn't know how to handle it. I still don't know how; it just feels so surreal. Liz and I weren't best friends, but we had known each other since elementary school. In high school, we went to New York together with my best friend Caitie on the AP English Trip and shared a room, as well as some make-up tips and boy secrets. There are so many pictures of the three of us together on that trip...

When we got there, we sat down for a little over 10 minutes in the room where her family and friends were. There was a slide show of pictures; Liz as a baby, Liz graduating as one of the Top 20 Seniors in our class, Liz always smiling. She really was always smiling, and if she wasn't, as soon as she saw me, she would give me a huge grin that would always make me smile wide.

Being in the room was too much, I didn't want to see her body. In my mind, she had passed on into heaven, but I did say a quick prayer for all those so greatly affected by her passing. I can't imagine how the family is coping. I didn't cry until just before we left. There was a collage of pictures of her with family and friends for remembrance. On it was a picture of Liz, me, and my high school friend Roselyn on graduation, smiling jubilantly into the camera. And there was another of Liz, Caitie, and I in New York. I started bawling. Like crazy. I was overcome by emotion, such a sense of finality and realization swept over me, such a sadness.

We left shorty after that. The car ride was mostly silent, then started gravitating toward how we were supposed to cope with losing Liz. By the end of the night, it was like it had never happened. Things fell back to normal.

But then I remembered. I remember her smile. I'll remember her. Forever.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Semi-eventful weekend.

I decided I'd start off with my Friday morning. I saw the midnight showing of Super 8 and it was awesome. To sum it up, it was like The Goonies and E.T. got together and had a baby. The directing was superb (high-five J.J. Abrams!), the story touching, and the acting wonderful. I couldn't believe how well those kids acted. The movie reminded me so much of my childhood I couldn't help but feel nostalgic, even though I didn't grow up in the 70s (which looked wholesome and feel-good).

On Saturday my parents and I went to my dad's old military base in Los Alamitos for an award ceremony. They presented him with a very nice plaque, signed by the people he worked with during the 10+ years he worked there. It was interesting seeing my dad reunite with past buds. There's so much about my parents, about their pasts, that I want to know. It seems like at times they forget just how interesting they actually are.


As my favorite rapper Drake would say: "Oh you fancy, huh?"

Afterwards, my dad had to take off to go to work (poor fellow) and I returned home to hang out with my friend Guido (the one who's in the Marines). He's just as I remember, thankfully. Awesome and funny. We had fun catching up; there was just so much to talk about that we made plans to catch up next weekend too. He presented me with one of the best birthday gifts ever: a Russian hat from Kirghistan (who were formally Soviet ruled apparently).

Observe:


(I tried looking very serious, just like a Soviet, which is probably why I came out looking super creepy - ignore shadowy cross in background. The little red star at the top has the Soviet logo stamped in the middle.)

It's a high quality hat, and I am going to try my best to incorporate it into my wardrobe come winter. I seriously love odd, rare gifts like these. I will treasure it.

Today I wanted to put in my 2 weeks for my movie theater job. I was written up for not acting like a Coked out Starbucks barista, basically. Oh, and for not selling enough AMC Stubs (which are $12). I sold one. One more than anyone else in concession, next to the new guy. I refused to sign my write up and now I'm pretty sure my GM hates me. Alas, I don't plan on staying there much longer anyhow. Did I express how much I loathe that job?

Though this didn't happen over the weekend, I finally upgraded phone-wise. From a crappy Samsung Intensity II with a cracked screen to a beautiful, pristine iPhone 4 who I named Fiona Apple after, you guessed it, Fiona Apple. I love my baby! Owning an iPhone is like having a child almost. I prepared for its arrival, buying it a case and LCD protector screen prior to her delivery. Whenever I'm holding her, I'm extra careful, like she's the most fragile thing in the world. Then there comes the fees. $30 or so a month, making sure she runs right with an unlimited data plan. Though her getting to me was a huge hassle (I hate the Verizon store in Ontario), she's finally here. I'm pretty much addicted to it already.

Oh, another thing: hung out with Josh and went to go eat some crepes after I bemoaned over what happened at work. I got the Banana Chocolate crepe. And I used a cool iPhone app called Instagram to make it look even more awesome (I love, love, love that app).



Aren't crepes the greatest?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Majormajormajor.

As of June 8, 2011 I am officially a History major. I recently discovered I have the same amount of units in History as I do in English, which tells you two things: 1) I am behind and 2) I need to catch up. As crazy as it is to me, I actually enjoy my History classes oodles more than my English classes. The amount of reading is daunting. I'm taking 3 History classes Fall quarter including a lab for Physical Geography (definitely not looking forward to that). I'm nervous but excited. The one class I actually did exceptionally well in this quarter was my History class, or History 200: A History of the United States to 1877. It got me through my other classes knowing that I was successful in at least one other subject besides English.

Another bit of news is that I'm considering joining the National Guard after graduation, namely for their student loan repayment program (they'd cover up to $50,000 in loans I took out for school, which is more than enough). It's a 6-year-contract in order to qualify for the student loan repayment program so I'm taking my time deciding if I really want to commit myself to the military for so long. At the same token, the National Guard is not as huge a commitment as joining one of the four main branches of the military (Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy). I do have to go to Boot Camp (Basic Combat Training) which will not be fun, but at least a one time only thing. Still, 10 weeks of hell is going to suck! Running everyday, getting physically assessed every few days, no contact with the outside world except through letters, having to march 15km (roughly 9.3 miles) at least once, experiencing the Nuclear-Biological-Chemical (NBC) chamber, waking up before the crack of dawn (the hardest part), etc. Honestly, if only the National Guard didn't have to go through BCT...

Alas, I'll still have to keep in shape throughout my years of service, performing at least 17 push-ups, 60 sit-ups, and running 2 miles in 19 minutes every so often to stay a reservist (that is based on age and as a female). However, after BCT, I only have to report for duty one weekend of every month, usually doing things around base like cleaning, etc., and not only do I get a monthly stipend on top of having my loans repaid, I get to stay where I live, reporting to the base closest to wherever I live.

Like I said, it's only an idea. Mostly if I can't find a job right after graduation. I'm creating plenty of "back-up plans" preparing for the worst once I get out into the Real World. There's just no way I can move out and get a Master's without having a semi-professional job.

A bit of exciting news is that my good friend Guido is back from Afghanistan! I'm super thankful and just beaming with happiness that he's back home. Definitely catching up and hanging with him soon (Universal Studios!). But when I told him about my plans and possibly joining the National Guard he flipped out and I quote: "I hate the fact that you started this conversation" which honestly shocked me. He told me he thought that it might change me...and seeing how he's changed, I don't know. I kept saying it's the National Guard, not the actual Army, etc., but he still sounded worried. While I'm touched he's looking out, I'm not sure if I'm the kind of person who will change, especially if I joined the National Guard. I don't know, but it's another thing to consider. I know I'll have a semi-different mindset, but I know I won't be brainwashed. Still, I'm shocked over his reaction. Is it really so horrible...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I'm on a roll...

Just found out the Kaiser Chiefs are releasing an album this month (possibly).

I don't really like their new single too much. Their past singles were instant hits with me, but hey, that's not uncommon for me to hate a song before I completely love it (I am an oddball). Still, their sound now is definitely different than their past punk-ish rock band sound. I give them kudos for evolving and putting something new out there, but I'm not sure if I like the direction they're going (watch how my opinion will sway).

The new single "Little Shocks"



Note: Performed live, I don't know if this song would be great to hear. I can only somewhat hear the lyrics in the music video.

To compare, here is one of their past singles "Everyday I Love You Less and Less," a personal favorite.



Note: And yes, they're another British band (just in case you couldn't tell).

Day 15: A travel Story.

Picking one travel story doesn't seem possible, so I've cleverly come up with the idea to put most of my travel experiences into a huge paragraph instead.

I've been blessed throughout my life; I've been able to travel more than the average person. One of the perks of being an only child is, well, more opportunities are available to you. One of the places I've been is the Caribbean - my family and I went on a 7 day cruise when I was 14. I was so stoked to be going to the Caribbean, seeing as I was obsessed with Johnny Depp and the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie (and I mean it when I say obsessed, my folder was covered in Johnny Depp pictures). I had an absolute blast. My dad and I took a sailing/snorkeling excursion while we were stopped at a port in St. Vincent (where I also bought my souvenir coconut turtle I brought everywhere with me the duration of our vacation - I was still much of a little girl at 14). I've also been to Hawaii (Oahu) for a family vacation when I was 16; Hawaii was such a treat for an ocean-loving person like me (I'd recommend going to the North Shore versus Waikiki, you get much more of a local feel there). I've been to New York City twice, once with my dad when I was 11, right after the Sept. 11 attacks had happened (I actually wrote journal entries to depict what NYC was like when I was there for my sixth grade class) and the second time was with the AP English Club when I was 15. I went with Caitie and we had a great time. It was our first trip together! We saw a musical (Phantom of the Opera; my second time), went to Times Square and Central Park (we saw the building Yoko Ono lives in!) and the Statue of Liberty (it started snowing when we got there, it was unbelievable) and Staten Island among other places. For senior year, the AP English Club (Caitie was president, I was treasurer, which is why we were so "involved") went to Canada (Montreal and Quebec). Honestly, that trip was the most fun I've ever had on vacation. So much happened, and at the time it wasn't funny but in retrospect it was hilarious. I really can't go into what happened on the trip because it was so insane, but just believe me when I say it was an experience I'll never forget. The summer between my freshmen and sophomore year in college, my family and ex went on a cruise to Mexico (Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Los Cabos) which was very fun considering it was my first real trip to Mexico (I had only been to Tijuana before then). Puerto Vallarta was definitely my favorite. We rented a car and drove up the side of a magnificent, wild mountain (you could see the ocean the entire time), and lo and behold, there was an awesome restaurant (apparently Predator was filmed in that area because there was a statue of one from the movie by the restaurant) that was built right next to an even more awesome waterfall! The best part was that you could swing from the restaurant into the water by a rope, and you could climb to the top of the waterfall and slide down smooth rocks into the water below. It was seriously the coolest thing I had ever seen. I did not want to leave. We didn't do much in Mazatlan, but we did visit some old, cool churches and have some amazing tejuino. Los Cabos was too tourist-y for my taste, but I did go on what is known as a "banana boat." It's this huge floaty device that can seat up to six people and looks like a yellow banana. You sit on it and hold onto it with your arms and legs with all your might (there are no harnesses) and then a motor boat takes you out into the ocean (we seriously went a mile out - at that point I was somewhat mortified because I knew there were sharks in the warm water and falling off that far out would have been terrifying!) Because you're going so fast over the swells being thrown off is a guarantee. I was very proud because we did exceptionally well and didn't fall off even though the driver of the boat was clearly trying to throw us off. I think it's mostly because I was so afraid as we got further and further out that my natural instinct came into play; I was in "Survival Mode." It wasn't until we were almost to the shore that I let up, and the driver swerved us into a huge swell and we were thrown from the banana boat with a force I could only describe as "^#@!" The pain was terrible. I was literally in disarray and felt like I was going to black out - thank God for life jackets because for a few seconds I didn't know which way was up when I was in the water. I know you're thinking, "Fun you say?" But it was, minus the pain of the fall! I'm kind of like those crazy people who get semi-hurt doing something really fun and emerge screaming "That. Was. Awesome!" We also went kayaking which was fun but somewhat scary. I completely flipped out half way on our trek to the little island (it was probably about 1.5-2 miles of kayaking before we got there from the beach) because there was a feeding frenzy going on about 20 feet from where we were. Honestly, there were seagulls going apeshit and tons of splashing and thrashing - I truly do believe there were sharks over there. And if you've ever been kayaking, you know how low the kayak is to the water. Flipping that flimsy thing over would be nothing to a shark. I started panicking and paddling and yelling to the extreme annoyance and confusion of my partner. I'm sorry, but one thing I am scared of is sharks. I love the beach and swimming in the ocean, but if I get a bad feeling or I see something like that I am getting out of the water ASAP. Too many seals in the water? Time to get out. I've just been mauled by a monster wave? Time to get out...maybe after the next one. There was a lot of thrashing 20 feet away from me? Time to get out ASAP! Other than my panic attack, Los Cabos was enjoyable. We also went to get breakfast (chiquiles) and it was the best chiquiles I have ever devoured.

The states I've traveled to include Hawaii and New York (as above stated), Utah (go to Zion National Park; breathtaking park!), Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Florida (only for a short while, I want to go to the Harry Potter theme park so bad!), Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Maryland (I went to visit Vanessa at her school for her birthday), Washington, and Virginia. The state I want to visit the most is Alaska, and then Oregon (for Portland).

Of course, I live in California. I've been (mostly) everywhere in this state. Los Angeles (I live 45 minutes away depending on traffic; the mecca of concerts galore), San Diego, San Francisco (tons of times, once on a family vacation and a few times since college since my best friend lives there), Santa Barbara (I went to UCSB my freshmen year so I know the area very well), the O.C. (beaches!), Big Bear, Mammoth, Santa Cruz, Sacramento, and just about anywhere else popular or non-popular. One place I've never been in California is Yosemite. I love national parks and one of my life goals is to go to Yosemite and Yellowstone. I've been to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park which is amazing - they have the big tree you can drive through there, which we did (Redwoods are my favorite types of trees). I also want to go to Big Sur.

This September my family wants to take a vacation to Canada, so I'll be going again which is great. There are a lot of places I still want to visit and experience, in particular out of country. But truly, I have been so blessed to have gone anywhere. Traveling and exploring new places is my favorite thing to do. Where will you go next?

Day 23: Your idea of the perfect first date.

A perfect first date would include doing something I've never done before, like travel to Australia, kayak in Alaska, deep sea fish, whale watch, sky dive, etc. Doing something awesome we can both bond over. I'd love to just jump on a plane and go somewhere completely new, my boy holding my hand.

Day 24: A song that makes you smile.

"My Girl"



My first ex, or current best friend Josh, used to sing this song to me when we were dating. Never failed to make me smile, even on my worst days. That, and because this song always reminds me of my childhood.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day and the Start of Summer

I just want to say that I'm thankful for all those that sacrificed their lives for this country and that as sobering as this day is that it also sheds light on humanity and gives hope to the fact that there are people willing to be the everyday heroes every nation needs - and that everyday heroes will continue to serve and protect people in times of tragedy. Thank you to the soldiers of today and the soldiers of yesteryear.

I truly believe that whatever your take on the military that respect and appreciation should be given to the ones who sacrificed everything, to the ones who are doing things for the right reasons, to the ones you love and admire. My dad was in the military for 20 years, and he really taught me the importance of remembering those that died, those that served. I thank him for serving, and any of you that have or are. God bless you and be with you and yours.

On another note, Memorial Day Weekend equates to summer in my mind; the smell of Bar-B-Que, the warm sun beating down on my head, and oldies music blasting from the radio. Summer is officially here, and I cannot wait to see what my summer holds. Every summer is different, and every summer I've experienced has been wonderful. My best friend Caitie is back for the entire summer and I'm super excited. She was only here for a month last summer. Last summer was one of healing and making tons of new experiences. Can't wait to make a lot of money and just spend unaltered fun with family and friends - no school attached. I don't know how many more carefree summers I have - but I know that I'm going to make the best of them.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Do you like good music? That sweet soul music?

I should totally be sleeping...but I can't! Curses!

Music is one of my favorite things (as it is everyone's). Imagine a life without it! Misery. Still, I feel I'm more dedicated to music than the average Joe. I keep up to date on the music scene - so pretty much everything except country music (I still love you Taylor Swift.) I LOVE WHEN PEOPLE INTRODUCE ME TO NEW MUSIC! Anyway, I was texting Vanessa today when we both remarked that 2011 is the BEST YEAR IN MUSIC (in general) - or at least highly notable. Not only did Radiohead and Death Cab for Cutie produce albums this year (my two favorite bands next to The Beatles) - so did/are The Strokes, Incubus, Adele, Arctic Monkeys, Sublime with Rome, Lady Gaga, Junior Boys, and, as Vanessa most recently informed me, Fiona Apple is due to release one! It's like Christmas every month almost. We'll see if any other of my favorite artists are planning releases (I'm sure I'm missing a few), but so far, so amazing!

To celebrate, I've listed their singles (or favorites - Radiohead, Death Cab for Cutie, The Strokes, Incubus, Adele, Arctic Monkeys, and Sublime with Rome) off their new albums so others can enjoy such musical bliss, as well as little notes and if the album's worth buying or downloading for you pirates - though you shouldn't be pirating if you truly love any of these artists.

Radiohead
Album out now!
Worth buying? Hell to the absolute yeah. Every single track is amazing. If you like Radiohead, and especially if you like "Lotus Flower" or their past album In Rainbows, you will love The King of Limbs. The only issue I have with the album is that it's only 8 tracks. Boo!

"Lotus Flower"
YouTube wouldn't let me embed the music video so here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfOa1a8hYP8&feature=related.

Oh, and here's a spoof (THEY WERE ASKING FOR IT) on the music video for "Lotus Flower."


As for the explanation, I'll just quote myself from an article I wrote for my college newspaper Coyote Chronicle ("like" us on Facebook even though I don't have one anymore!) a few months back:

"This song is simply a beauty. You feel as if you're on a roller coaster, riding the rails up and down in slow motion, beginning at the base of the hill with plenty of bass, reaching higher and higher until you're on your way down with [Thom] Yorke's voice carrying you, floating on the gentle beating of drums and the occasional claps that sound so perfectly in-sync that your head starts nodding subconsciously to the beat. Yorke promises that 'I'll set you free' and for five perfect minutes you'll actually feel that you are."

Just a note: I totally danced to Radiohead like this before I saw this music video. Glad to know I envisioned correctly how the mastermind who creates this music dances to it. How fun is it, albeit embarrassing? Thom, we're supposed to dance to your music like this IN PRIVATE. But I forgive you for revealing your dance moves, you amazing, amazing musician you. You better dance at your concerts from now on. (I cry-laughed the first time I saw the video FYI. Didn't you?)

Death Cab for Cutie
Album Due: March 31 (as in TUESDAY OF THIS UPCOMING WEEK!) The new album will be called Codes and Keys. I can't recommend it yet...ohwhothehellamIkidding? DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE NEVER EVER EVER EVER FAILS. All their albums are pieces of art and each album is one I treasure.

"You Are a Tourist"



Nom nom nom. You know it's Death Cab for Cutie from the first note. I love this song, it's so encouraging and uplifting and really, really makes me want to get out of this town! I must say, I'm not entirely used to it. Sure, they've had happy songs but for the most part they're very depressing. BUT because Ben Gibbard (the lead singer, the same lead singer from Postal Service in case you didn't know, Gibbard also has gone solo) is now married to Zooey Deschanel (just last year; she is the voice behind the band She & Him, which I adore) I think his songs will be more on the happy side, as they should be.



Can you say cutest musician couple ever?

Note: I really miss the chubby, cute Ben Gibbard. He was too adorable.



The Strokes
Album out now!
Worth buying? I admit it took me awhile to like each song on the album. I had to listen to the album thrice over before I completely...FELL IN LOVE WITH IT! I would highly recommend buying it, especially if you've never heard of them before (but probably heard them on the radio) and really like their sound (because their entire album sticks to that indie electric guitar-y-ness - as do their past albums). These hipsters deliver. And there's nothing quite like a Strokes-y guitar solo, is there? Best electric guitar compilations of today. The album is called Angles.

"Under Cover of Darkness"



Incubus
Album Due: July 12th. Can't say whether or not I'll love this one as much as past albums (but I must admit I was only a semi-fan of Light Grenades - their last album - though I had a few definite favorites off that album) but from the sounds of "Adolescents" I have a very, very good feeling that I will be a huge fan. I literally just put this song on repeat all day. So great. Their new album will be called If Not Now, When?

"Adolescents"



Note: Brandon Boyd is my man! Seriously. I've loved Incubus since 6th grade, and have always loved Mr. Boyd. He is my #1 musician (in looks). He just oozes sex. The way he sings. His lyrics. His tattoos. How he plays the guitar. Um, the way he LOOKS. Brandon, Brandon, Brandon. From 6th grade until now, you're still my #1. Now that's what I call loyalty! (And good genes!)

Adele
Album out now!
Worth buying? Adele's voice is so powerful and she is so, so talented (I often fantasize about having her voice, I'm such a dweeb) it's ridiculous that she also has songs that are so deep and meaningful and wonderful. Lots of piano and the array of instruments that her songs bring to the surface definitely hit a chord with me (nice pun, huh?) - they're just displayed so nicely intermingled with her deep, womanly vocals (such range!). This album is probably going to be more appreciated by the girls than the boys, but I don't think that me saying that should defer any gentlemen from giving it a listen. She has talent, there's no denying it, even if her genre of music is not up your alley. The album is called 21.

"Rolling in the Deep"



To show just how amazing she is, here's a live version:



And no, I have no idea what she says at the end.

Note: "Rolling in the Deep" reminds me a lot of my last relationship, and it's weird, but somehow I appreciate it more because of that. (And what's with super cockney British women having such powerful, awesome voices? See: Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen - she has the sweetest "Fuck You" song ever, and yes, it's literally named that - sorry Cee Lo but it's better than yours, Kate Nash, etc. Anyway, Winehouse needs to get back in the game ASAP.)

Arctic Monkeys
Album out now!
One of my top 10 favorite bands. Alex is a genius. And his acoustic sets make me drool. They are perfect, and he is so British it makes me want to squeeze him tight and never let go (I have a thing for British artists it seems, blame it on my love for The Beatles). Arctic Monkeys is growing into a "legendary band," and you can hear it. I feel a part of a very special experience when I listen to these two songs. In short, BUY THIS ALBUM ASAP! It is their best one yet! It's called "Suck It and See." Please do yourself a favor and download their album RIGHT. THIS. SECOND.

"Suck It and See"



"Be cruel to me because I am a fool for you" is my favorite line from "Suck It and See." Oh, man. Have I felt just like he has. "You have got that face that just says, 'Baby, I was made to break your heart.'" Goosebumps.

But my favorite song (I know, already) has to be "Love is a Laserquest" (his emotions get the best of him at the end):



It's about growing up and realizing what being in love truly is, what love truly means, and how it is when your heart gets broken - and how you just can't forget no matter how much you want to. It's amazingly deep and I feel like he made this song especially for me and my first ex-love. "And I convince myself I need another, and for a minute it gets easier to pretend that you were just some lover." I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually started crying when this song ended. Seriously. I didn't realize it until the end when I tasted salt on my lips and my cheeks all of a sudden felt wet. I was surprised and amazed.

Sublime with Rome
Album Due: July 12th. It's going to be called Yours Truly. The single "Panic" is an original by Rome. Anyone who knows me knows I love reggae, ska, etc., it's so fun and energetic - I love it! Anyway, Rome's no Bradley - obviously! And I hate when people compare them. OBVIOUSLY he's not Bradley, idiots. Anyway, Rome is awesome and I really like his stuff. He covers Sublime songs with zeal and other songs brilliantly. I'm definitely seeing these guys in concert (the most affordable band on my list!) No excuses.

"Panic"



TI's "Whatever You Like"



That concludes this entry. I just have one last thing to say...

Do you like good music? Kudos to whoever knows what song my title is from.

Monday, May 23, 2011

To Build a Home



I absolutely adore this song. I stumbled across it when I clicked on Blue Lily Photography's website (GORGEOUS portraits *drool*). It just makes you feel so relaxed and happy/melancholy! I know that's a contradiction...but it does!

Also, it's almost three in the morning but I am craving breakfast already! I've been trying this new diet my mom was introduced to by one of her employees. You buy Naked Juice's Green Machine (which alone is pretty fantastic), process celery and whatever other greens you like into the juice and add this seed mix (which you can find a bag of at your local Mexican grocery store like El Super), most notably filled with cactus seed - or I'm sure you can even just use Chia seed. Then you add some orange juice. The "shake" isn't all too bad, especially if you let it sit overnight. It really does curb your appetite. The only problem is that it curbs it so much that I don't get hungry until around 3 or 4 depending on how much energy I'm spending (before I had dinner at 7 or 8, even as late as 9) - to which I eat whatever I feel like, but since I'm an insomniac the night time munchies really get to me. I had a cup of cereal around midnight and now I'm hungry again. All the diet books say going to sleep early is key to losing weight. And I truly understand why. You're so tempted to sneak into the kitchen to grab a coined "midnight snack" it's ludicrous - especially when you've already had one! One of my favorite bloggers, Design Mom (www.designmom.com), posted this video from Vimeo on her blog and I've been re-watching it every so often for the last hour. (I know, I'm not exactly helping myself.)

BSS | Breakfast Interrupted from Bruton Stroube Studios on Vimeo.



Also, I've noted I don't really follow up so well in my blog. Often times I'll say I'll write down what happens after something ensues but I rarely do. Mostly because I completely forget to. So with regards to feeling defeated, I've come to terms that struggling in school is simply something I have to accept and overcome. I'm not sure if I can do anything about it this quarter since it's almost over, but there's always next quarter. And I know it won't happen again. I simply won't allow it - and by God's grace, I know He won't let me allow it to happen again either.

Summer fast approaches and I'm feeling anxious. As a swim teacher, I'm looking to tackle teaching morning AND evening lessons this summer - I need the money to pay for school and loans and have some leftover for summer fun of course. However, the hours have changed. Morning lessons are from 9am-1pm and evening lessons are from 5pm-7:30pm. The latter seems ridiculous to me. What parent would subject their child to swim lessons between 7pm-7:30pm (swim lessons are half hour sessions)? Isn't that when they should be going to sleep? Okay, I'm being facetious, but that means the pool won't close until 9:30pm since evening swim (for the public) will open at 7:30pm. I don't know what the city is thinking or why they changed it, but I don't like the new hours at all. Also, the pool I typically work at isn't opening until June 11th. Which is fine since school doesn't let out until June 17th and I didn't plan on working until after I'm done with finals anyway. Still, I'm bummed about getting out of school so late. I'll be missing out on almost the entire month of June. I only have until September 4th to make good money before the pools close again and then it's back to my meager salary at AMC (which I'll still be working at on weekends so I don't lose my yearlong job). Speaking of AMC, I desperately want to find a better job, even just a different job. I've probably mentioned this before? Working at the movies has its perks (free movies not only for you but for family and 'a friend' - though you can sometimes get away with bringing more than one) but I've been working there since 2009. It's time to move on. So once the pool closes I'll be job hunting for a better/different job so that I can expand my resume - and escape from the annoying clutches of AMC! (Of course, I am thankful I have a job(s) at all.) On top of juggling those two jobs, I'll still be tutoring William as well as teaching him to swim along with two of his friends. I'll be doing that Mondays and Wednesdays between morning and evening lessons, 2pm-4pm. My amazing pupil has picked up reading like a pro - we're slowly venturing into reading "big kid books" like "There is a Bird on Your Head!" by Mo Willems (great and hilarious kid's author if you have a child's sense of humor); I'm afraid he won't need me much longer (*tear*)! Teaching little William the joys of reading is very exciting and rewarding not only for him but for me as well. I can't (and at the same time CAN) wait until I have kids of my own. It's going to be so fun teaching them to read and sharing my love for books with them.

That brings me to my next subject. Everyday I pine to move out and start a life of my own with my own place to decorate and love and make mine. The song "To Build a Home" is perfect because that's what I want: to build a home. I was talking to my friend the other day and she was telling me about her boyfriend not being motivated to move out. Neither of us could understand it, but while we were talking I had an epiphany. I've had plans to move out for awhile. Unfortunately, I don't have the means to make that into reality. However, once I graduate and find a stable job naturally I will have the means (I better!). HOWEVER...I've realized that everyone that has their own place has it with their significant other. Some of my friends in college still have roommates, but a lot of my friends live together with their boyfriends or girlfriends. By the time I graduate and get myself situated, finding a roommate I know and trust could be a hassle - considering my friends will most likely move in with their boyfriends or girlfriends after they graduate. I've realized I'm probably not going to move out until I have a boyfriend. And that bums me out. One, because that's not what I want at the moment (and the decision to move-in, etc takes time to develop and make happen - or at least should) and two, because I want to live with my friends. I know I could probably (expensively) live on my own, but I wouldn't like to. Living by myself just SOUNDS lonely. And don't get me wrong, I love my alone time. But...not everyday. I just wouldn't want to. I don't know when I'll get to build a home. I guess I'll just have to be patient. Like ALWAYS. Darnnabbit.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Doubt.

Doubt is something everyone experiences. Whether it's doubt in religion, in a person, or yourself. Right now...I'm experiencing self-doubt. I've never doubted myself, or rather, I can't remember ever doubting myself. I'm sure I have, but it wasn't significant. Right now, I'm struggling in the one thing I've never really struggled with. And that's school. I know it's annoying to say I haven't struggled in school. I mean, I have, especially with a few of my classes. But it's nothing like what I'm feeling now.

I spent a great amount of time studying for my math midterm. More than I've ever spent for a math class. And I failed it.

I'm used to doing poorly on math tests. It's just not my strong point. But this one really hit home. I need to pass it. I've failed a math class in college before. The first class I ever failed. And it's happening again. Once that test is passed out, the equations seem mystified, as if I've never seen them before, even though I spent hours doing extreneous examples very similar to the one staring me in the face.

I'm not sure why it is I'm having such a hard time. My other classes are all in order...but math. My always-enemy. I'm going to tutoring in the morning, and I hope it helps but I'm just so exasperated. I'm so tired of math, the subject that makes me feel like a complete idiot. I don't know if I can pass this class, I might have put "too much" on my plate - even though it shouldn't be awful since my other classes are relatively easy ones.

I hate having to tell my friends about it, because I know I look like a whiner. You just got one bad grade? So what? But my friends are all so successful, sometimes I just feel like the bad egg. I know I shouldn't feel embarrassed, but I do. They'd offer nothing but support, but it's hard. I will tell my best friend when she gets back home since it's more than just failing one test, it's college in general. I'm so unmotivated in school it scares me sometimes. I deleted my Facebook because I feel it adds on to my laziness. I go online to print out a take home quiz or check my bank statement and I end up spending an hour on Facebook. It's habit-forming, and that's one thing I strive to stay away from. I don't need it, and I honestly don't think I'll reactivate it. All of my true friends I can get in contact with without the help of Facebook. Call it a purging process.

I hope that whatever may happen considering how things are going in school that I gain confidence in my abilities to get through the tough stuff. I hate feeling defeated and weak.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day 28: What attracts you to someone.

A lot of things can attract me to someone.

Of course, there's being physically attracted to someone. From their build to their complexion, eye color. I'm a sucker for guys with nice arms and a nice smile.

Often times though, it will be something subtle that will have me reeling over a guy. From sharing a common love for a band (huuuge) to recognizing an odd thing I happen to be into, like a particular anime or game, or when they shoot me an irresistable smile I blush at (yikes). Sometimes I see them in their element, playing a sport or an instrument, and I get hooked. It's just raw and there's nothing hotter than seeing someone go at something passionately.

Honestly, it varies. I'm not a girl who has a "type." I just don't believe in them. Why limit yourself?

When it comes to being attracted on a deeper level...

I love a guy I can talk to comfortably, about anything. Whether it be politics, religion, current events or if they prefer milk over orange juice. They need to handle randomness: Would you be able to survive on an island for 40 days if someone said they'd rescue you after that time? I'm random as all else and I need a guy who embraces that. Otherwise, it just won't work. I need a guy that I don't feel stupid around if I act like a complete dork. Because that's who I am. I can be cheesy and not-so-suave and it's amazing when I meet a guy who's just as goofy as me and loves that I'm the way I am. Of course, that's a given.

We need to have fun no matter what we're doing and he has to be adventurous. Sure, we can stay in some days, but I'm all about creating experiences and need someone who shares that desire. Also, an understanding of God is key to me. It's hard to find nowadays but when it comes to connecting on a deeper level it's the most important thing. Like the last piece of a puzzel.

Now that I've gotten older, why I'm attracted to someone has tweaked somewhat. Ambition is wildly desirable. Someone who has a plan and goes through with it. I don't want all talk and no action. I won't accept it anymore.

But, that's all I can think of at the moment. I don't sound too outrageous I hope!

Can't believe I forgot this one: HUMOR. If you don't have a sense of humor you don't have a chance!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mini update.

These past few months, that is from the beginning of January until now, have been very eventful. I've gotten into a sticky situation with my best guy friend that, sad to say, is still brewing and that, as we both have admitted, is going to come to a boiling point much worse than it did in January - but we've both semi-agreed to wait until at least after my 21st birthday to face that battle...and hopefully we can make our friendship work. Also, school has been progressing nicely. I'm finally getting through all my GEs and focusing on my major. Update: I'm no longer double majoring like I was going to. I do love sociology, but double majoring was just too much for me. On that subject, I did declare a minor. And, surprisingly, I didn't choose sociology. Instead, I chose history. As of late, I've been taking a number of history classes and I've really, really enjoyed all of them. It's so weird...sometimes I find myself wondering if perhaps I'd rather be a history teacher versus an English teacher. An exciting bit of news is that I also got a private tutoring job! I tutor a five-and-a-half-year-old boy named William (he's Korean) in reading and writing. He's a very smart kid, and I love him and his little sister to death already. When he's done with school I'll also be teaching him how to swim, so it's a really big sigh of relief that I'm involved in some sort of experience-training as a future teacher. I also get paid $20 an hour, so it's a nice side job. There's also been the concerts I've been to. Sum 41 surprised me, they were so great live! A Day to Remember...a little disappointing but I still love their music. They'll be at Warped Tour this year, but I'm not dying to see them again live. I also have another concert to tack onto the list, The Dirty Heads May 7. I already know they're going to be awesome live. So many things have happened...I know I'm leaving things out, but really I'm doing it on purpose. I hope things keep going well for me. I've been having a lot of fun, this past weekend was nice/awesome/I want to do it again soon. April 29-1 I'm heading up to Santa Barbara to visit my homegirls, super excited to see them again. The weekend of May 6 is Josh's little sister's quince (which I still need to buy a dress for since I'll be an usher), The Dirty Heads, AND Josh's birthday - which is going to be CRAZY. I already know. So, bring it!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

All I Need.

You know how they say everything's changing constantly? It's true. But most of those changes are subtle, barely noticeable. Like a flower growing, you don't notice it blooming until a couple days pass and what used to be a bud is all of a sudden an amazing orchid flower. It happens gradually, slowly.

All of a sudden, I've realized something. I've changed. Not by a lot. Just a little. But a little bit is a lot, actually. At least to me.

Over the years, I've stumbled upon myself time and time again. Realizing that I've been growing up - and not just physically - but as a person, emotionally, spiritually. What I believe is my soul, something deep inside me, has been growing more and more, that thing that makes a human being so precious in this life. I've been not so much changing as opposed to "adding" more to my worth as a person, a living being. I've realized that I've learned a lot, especially in these past few years. About myself. About others. It's only natural. Being twenty years young, I understand I have a lot more to learn, even though, I must admit, at times I think I know everything.

To be young is to be foolish. But, as one of my favorite authors (not so much for his books as his personality) has said: "I was young and foolish then; now I am old and foolisher." Maybe it's our fate. In fact, it is. We can never know everything nor can we experience everything. But it's funny. There are experiences and things that it seems almost everyone has learned. For example, falling in love. For example, your first heartbreak. Older people, and I can include myself in this one, have experienced this. And so will those that come after us. As for things. For example, 2 x 2 = 4. For example, Rome is located in Italy. Those are simple examples, but it's those simple, or really, basic lessons most people learn in life.

It's when you've experienced things most people haven't or learned things most people don't know that you position yourself further away from the normalcy that I have grown to dislike.

I'm an oddity. But only because I've immersed myself in subjects that I find truly interesting. I've read countless books by Leo Tolstoy, read C.S. Lewis religiously, buried myself in the world J.K. Rowling blessed me with in Harry Potter (and that goes for all the sci fi I read and/or watch), kept up with my sometimes silly thoughts and drowned myself with philosophers' findings; Plato, Aristotle, Mill. Everything I've read, seen, been around, all of it, has made me who I am. I escape into my brain, into everything I've absorbed. And I soak it up, but, as far as sharing goes, it's hard to find people to talk with these things about, at least particular subjects. I guess it's not a big surprise. Most people my age...sad as it is to say, don't really THINK. They just do. And it's hilarious when I ask a person why it is they have an opinion on something, anything, and they answer with "I don't know." Well, I guess it's not hilarious. It's just crazy to me that people have never thought about why they have an opinion about something. It's one of those "opposite magnet feelings" when I meet a person who can't explain why they have an opinion about something - because there's so much potential there. You know, you just automatically think to yourself: "Oh, wow. 'This' isn't going to go anywhere with this person."

Probably why I'm such a picky person. It's not hard for me to make friends, I've just met a lot of people where I get that feeling of "Yikes! Must escape right away." It sounds a bit jerk-ish, but I can't help it and I won't apologize for it, even if it makes me look a bit like a douche. It's not like I judge a person after meeting them once or twice. It's when it's constant (and even then I give the benefit of the doubt, though I probably will avoid them). Because, of course, if I meet someone that has nothing in common with me, it's a turn off (and I don't mean that romantically or anything) - but sometimes, after awhile, you realize you actually do like hanging out with so-and-so, even though you can't talk with them about certain subjects and surprisingly you become friends. "Opposites attract." I'm friends with some people I NEVER thought I could be friends with before, so that benefit of the doubt I really mean, I don't want to close myself off to people who are different from me at all. In fact, it's often times those people who are the ones to broaden my horizons and take me places I've never been, to new mindsets I had before never seen or understood.

All this sounds like mumbo-jumbo....It's just...I'm really coming into my own now. I'm at that point where I don't care anymore. About perceptions. About first impressions. About what people think. Because I have all I need.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Good (new) music on the radio...AGAIN!

The Airborne Toxic Event - "Changing"


The Black Keys - "I Got Mine"


I am impressed, Radio. Highly impressed. Thank you for putting these songs on the airwaves, particularly "I Got Mine" (even though it came out in like '08, first time I've ever heard it on the radio - probably because of their hit "Tighten Up," and I actually listen to the radio dutifully.) Just the kind of music I like crusing along to with my sunglasses on, sunshine kissing my much-too-pale face. In fact, I only wear sunglasses when I want to look cool (and/or like an asshole), so big kudos to The Black Keys. Because they always make me want to wear some Ray Bans. It's so weird, I despise sunglasses and I live in Southern California AND I'm a lifeguard. But I just don't like the contraptions.

Anyway, this post isn't so much about the good, new music I've been discovering lately (even though there are quite a few songs I've grown very attached to and aren't necessarily "new"), it's more...and here's the out of the blue part...about all this drama going on in my life.

Well, most of it isn't mine. And that's probably the part I hate the most. Here's my piece: If you have a secret, then why would you tell someone your secret? If it's something you don't want anyone to know, then don't tell a soul. That's really what a secret is. Now I'll tell you what a secret is after you've told someone - gossip. Honestly. Don't tell anyone something you don't want someone to know - ever. If someone tells me a secret, I do my best to keep my mouth shut. First of all, it's none of my business (even though you now dragged me into your business). But keeping secrets is hard, and most people are going to tell at least one other person. Sometimes it stays in the bag, other times, it spirals out of control. But if it's a secret that's poisonous, disgusting, then...is it your duty to let someone know about it? No one wants to be the bearer of bad news. No one. Let's just say I hope this secret is revealed by the teller before too long, because if it's revealed to the person you're trying to keep it from it should be by the teller before anyone else. But enough about secrets.

Josh and I aren't talking, again, at the moment. This is nothing new. It happened in January. But I am not letting it happen again. I need space. But more than me needing space, it's he who needs space. He's too attached and I'm worried that he's never going to move on and meet another girl. He's stuck to me like glue - or was. It's honestly my fault. Because of everything going on in his life, I felt it was my duty as his best friend to always be there for him, to take care of him. But that's not my job. He's going to be 22 soon. He is a grown ass man, and I don't know what I was thinking trying to shelter him so much from all the junk going on in his life. It's sad to say, but sometimes a person needs to deal with their misfortune on their own - there's just no other way to grow stronger if you're relying on someone else to be strong for you.

I'm always there to be his escape. He can't drive. He doesn't have money. It's not his fault either. But I can't always be his escape. And I let myself be that for too long - and it's only made it worse.

I'm hoping this time around it will be different. That I can be there, but not always. I can be there when he needs me most, but not at any given time.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

For Japan.

My heart goes out to those in Japan.

A massive 8.9 earthquake, a tsunami the likes of which I've never seen, and a possible nuclear disaster...how much more worse can it get? I've been watching the news thrice daily, twice as much as usual, simply getting updates, particularly on what's going on with the nuclear plants.

The news just gets worse everyday. Getting the plants under control has proved ineffective...I just don't know if it will happen. The fear of what will happen after everyone "forgets" about Japan is what scares me. Just like everyone "forgot" about Hurricane Katrina, Haiti, Indonesia, etc.

I'm guilty of it. Everyone is. I'm trying hard to keep up with not only Japan but past disasters through The Red Cross. It's not much but I've donated $10 via text message to the crisis in Japan. You can also donate on their website at www.redcross.org.

All I can do is pray for the families that have lost loved ones or are still hearing news of where their loved ones are, as well as the country itself with thousands without homes and the shelters becoming overcrowded and supplies running low...

I commend the Japanese people for being so organized throughout this entire episode, coming together as a country and reaching out a hand for those in need. Seeing people come together, even after a huge tragedy, reminds me that humanity is good, no matter how bad it seems at times.

It just reminds me, helping out once isn't enough. For Hurricane Katrina my friends and I had a huge yard sale and donated the money to Habitat for Humanity. I only did one thing besides donate an additional sum for that disaster...in my own country. When Invisible Children came to my school my senior year in high school I became heavily involved and a few of my classmates and I who were inspired started a club called Students in Action (SIA). It didn't work out as nicely as we'd hoped, but we tried. Invisible Children I've actually kept tabs on since I was 17. It's a great organization that helps build schools for children in Africa, among other things. Their website is www.invisiblechildren.com.

I just want to encourage people who have more than enough to give to others, to help others, to try to make the motto "Love makes the world go round" more reality than wishful thinking. It starts with one. Whatever touches your heart most, whatever cause, organization, etc. stick with it, keep helping, keep giving.

Keep changing the world.