Week One of Senior Year.

Things I like

  • My teachers. They’re all really cool, which is rare.
  • My classes, especially government.
    • In speaking of government, I never liked any kind of history-type classes. Mostly because I’ve always had bad teachers, but this one is very different. I actually look forward to it.
  • I still have first lunch.
  • As of now, I have all A’s (which is actually a big deal, because this senioritis has hit me hard and we’ve jumped straight into things: tests, lots of homework, etc)
  • Waking up at 5:20 hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be.

 

Things I dislike

  • My AP Lit teacher is kind of crazy. Overall, she seems like a nice lady, though…
  • Anxiety about little things. Seriously, I am beginning to stress a little about homecoming. And that isn’t until next month.

 

So far, so good. I don’t have any real issues with anything as of yet. Hopefully I keep this attitude for the rest of the year.

Nothing too exciting, just an update for everyone in case anyone actually cares.

Hopefully, everything has been alright for my dear readers.

How my life has changed.

I feel like one of the healthiest things one can do for oneself is critical evaluation.

So, it’s my senior year. The last year that I’ll be going to school without paying for it, the last year I’ll be living with my parents full time, the last year that I’ll have to wake up five days a week at 5:45 to get ready!

And I don’t know how I feel. The pressure to get straight A’s this first semester is strong. I understand that is mostly comes from me, but still, it doesn’t really make it easier to deal with. I just really, really need a 4.0 to make the cumulative GPA that I’m sending to colleges a 3.8. That, and a 30 on my ACT. I got a 27 the first time, and I would really like at least a 29.

See what I mean about pressure? Luckily for me, I work moderately well under it. But I feel like this is all my last chance.

But enough about grades. I’m really looking forward to taking PE, since I moved the summer I was supposed to be taking it and couldn’t take it last year without it interfering with my schedule. Now, I get to be probably the only senior in a class otherwise full of freshmen, joy. Hopefully I can just use that class as a study session or something.

I’m just ready for high school to end. Maybe I’ll miss it later on, maybe I’ll recall these years as “the best I’ve ever lived,” but how unfortunate would that be? My life would have to be really bad for these to be the best years.

We’ll just have to see, won’t we? Maybe senior year will be my “Degrassi year.”

Hail to Bisquick

I swear, I use it all the freaking time. I make waffles -> bisquick. I make cinnamon rolls-> bisquick. I make pancakes-> bisquick.

It’s just a lovely box to have around, you know? I appreciate it for making my cooking/baking/general life oh-so-simple.

I made garlic breadsticks with the stuff. Breadsticks! The food of champions.

Seriously. Bisquick + almond milk + flax seeds (because Ener-G egg replacer is just uncoral) and you can do no wrong!

I nominate Bisquick as the top food secret of 2014. And life.

The Big List of Books I Started Reading and Never Finished.

Alright, guys, this is a problem.

Mostly, this applies to books I buy, not ones I check out. But it’s still a bad problem.

I own around thirtyish books (not counting the HP series, and that’s only because I don’t keep those on my personal bookshelf), and check out the rest of the books I buy. I basically only buy books on sale, or those bargain books you see in department stores.

Looking through my collection, I have noticed that a) majority of the books I bought I have not read, and b) the books I’ve started, I haven’t finished them!

This is like a reader’s sin. I know, I know, so bad.

The only way I can get over my problem is by admitting it exists, right? So that’s what I’m doing here. Just putting out all of my business.

Ahh. Okay.

Here it is, The Big List of Books I Started Reading and Never Finished, featuring Books I Bought and Haven’t Read Yet.

  1. It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini. Now, if you all go back in my blog archive, I bought this book sometime last year. I’m actually a nice portion of the way done with this book. I definitely think I will finish it this week. There will be a review! Done! There will be a review soon.
  2. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW!!! I cannot tell you the number of times I have started this book, gotten over halfway through, and abandoned it for months! It’s ridiculous. Ahhh. I am so sorry.
  3. Above His Proper Station by Arnel Murau. This is the book I carried around all the time as a sort of “in between classes” type of book, but I never finished it!
  4. Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita. I read, like, ten pages of this? And basically forgot about it. I mean, it may be a good book, but it seems like such a seventh-grade-me type of book.
  5. Altar of Eden by James Rollins. This is actually a really good book, another one that I would carry as an “in between classes” type of thing. I really, really want to finish this one.
  6. The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks. To be honest, I don’t even know why I bought this book. I am not a fan of cheesy romances, and I feel like this one definitely is.

 

Finally accepting that this is goodbye…

… To Carrie Bradshaw.

So, with all the silence and the removal of TCD from OnDemand listings, I’ve known that worst truly had come. The Carrie Diaries is actually over, guys. I am done living in a world of denial.

I heard it was cancelled, but I figured if I didn’t speak of it it would come back. But my efforts were futile, sadly.

I just… Ahh. I loved that show. I loved everything about it almost. I’m so saddened at its ending, which, although predicted, I never though I would be this disappointed about it. I knew its time would come, but so soon! Only two seasons. Come on, CW, you couldn’t have given one more?

This is like when ABC Family cancelled 10 Things I Hate About You. DEVASTATED (although, I have been watching the show again and the acting/storyline is not that great, hahaha).

My entire blog started because of The Carrie Diaries! reg2ibn2kjrec;dwnj4g. See that key mashing? That’s a symptom of Saddness.

At least, you know, Degrassi is still going strong. Nothing will ever replace my love for that show. There is a special place in my heart reserved for Degrassi, even though the sophomores are extremely disappointing if you ask me. And who are the freshmen characters this season other than Frankie???

Same with Awkward, although that show almost lost me as a viewer, I admit. Season 3 completely threw away eighty percent of my love for Jenna and the rest of her crew. But, Season 4 was so much better, I don’t know if they got new writers or what, but whatever happened was great. Ten out of ten would recommend.

Honestly, all I’ve really been watching is Orange is the New Black lately. And tumblr-ing about Samira Wiley, of course. She’s a total babe.

What’s your favorite TV show? What’s your favorite TV show that got cancelled? I want to know.

We can grieve together.

Book Review: Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy #1) by Chinua Achebe

Goodreads SummaryTHINGS FALL APART tells two overlapping, intertwining stories, both of which center around Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first of these stories traces Okonkwo’s fall from grace with the tribal world in which he lives, and in its classical purity of line and economical beauty it provides us with a powerful fable about the immemorial conflict between the individual and society.

The second story, which is as modern as the first is ancient, and which elevates the book to a tragic plane, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo’s world through the arrival of aggressive, proselytizing European missionaries. These twin dramas are perfectly harmonized, and they are modulated by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul. THINGS FALL APART is the most illuminating and permanent monument we have to the modern African experience as seen from within.

Genre: Young Adult

Year of Publication: 1958

How I Came Across It: So, in my never ending quest to find good literature, I realized that I had never read a book about Africa… From the POV of an African. Google brought me straight to the book around half a year ago, during the busiest time of my life, and I held off checking out the book until I had more free time to actually read it.

A week ago, I got my hands on it. And read the entire book in a day.

Impression of FTP: Admittedly, okay. It’s not like I disliked the first ten pages, but I felt like I was waiting for the relevancy, you know? But, once I got to the important part of the story, I appreciated the FTP.

The Good: Very unique story, the first that I had read from this POV and about the topic of colonialism. I’m not a big historical fiction reader, but this one might change my mind.

The Bad: The first half of the book seems to just sort of drag along. At least, it seems that way. Upon reaching the climax of the novel, I realized that everything that was in the first one hundred pages was crucial to the story. With that said, my words of advice to those who are tempted to put the book down, please don’t. The story does tie everything together, I promise.

The Ugly: Mostly just a rehash of “The Bad”: the story did seem a little slow at times.

How’s the Ending?: Woah, the ending was so intense. That’s all I can say without spoiling anything.

Overall Grade: B+. Great novel, great story, I just wish I wasn’t tempted to put it down at one point. With that said, I will definitely be picking up the rest of the books in the trilogy.

Resolution 4: Not Procrastinating.

Ahhh.

Like all high school students (or at least the majority), I have a problem getting things done in a timely manner. I don’t know why, but I just do.

Don’t judge.

I figured now would be the perfect time to work on my procrastination, with it being summer and all, and with me having lots of summer assignments to do!

I have to:

  • read two books for AP Lit
  • write essays on both of them
  • do ninety AP Chem questions
  • finish two other books
  • complete a 4 day residency journalism workshop
  • write articles for that new magazine I was talking about
  • finish my CommonApp application essay
  • babysit

So, hopefully I get all of this completed in a timely manner. I’ve already divided my tasks by the week, and I’ll be working really hard to stick to it. Who knows.

Wish me luck. I’ll definitely need it.

Book Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Finally, I finished this book!

I’m the type of reader to read a book either a) in one day, or b) spread out like crazy (like, over the course of months crazy).

This book took me around two months start to finish. But, I had sort of bought it as one of those “keep in the car” types of books, so you know. But I revisited it yesterday and read the entire second half of the book in two hours. Maybe that will make up for it. I don’t know.

Anyways, on with the review.

Goodreads Summary:

“Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . “

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now- reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?

Genre: Young Adult

Year of Publication: 201

How I Came Across It: After reading Eleanor and Park and Fangirl, I realized that I was totally becoming a fan of Rainbow Rowell, so when I saw this in the bargain area (what a great book! Sad that it had resorted to the bargain bin), I just had to grab it. And so I did. I hadn’t read about this book beforehand, though. I just knew it was out because the reviews for it were on the back on Eleanor and Park.

Impression of FTP: “Ah, this reminds me of the books I used to read when I was in middle school, with the whole email setup of a book. Oh wait, what’s the second chapter? Who’s Lincoln? What?”

It made me want to keep reading, that’s for sure.

The Good: I like Beth, I like Jennifer. There’s something refreshing about Jennifer’s character, especially. I like how the two had obviously very different personalities. I also liked how the dialogue read. Very distinct for (mostly) every character. The setting was great, too, and I liked reading a story that mostly took place at a newspaper office building.

The Bad: The story is not very original. Well, some aspects are new to me, like the idea of eavesdropping on other people’s conversations. I appreciated the angle, though, of a man whose job is to read flagged messages and not some weird creep (well, it does get a little creepy at one point, but I’m willing to let that go). Not to say that it was a bad story, however, just sort of predictable.

And, I am so tired of reading about the “handsome geek” type of guy. I know, I know, that’s bad, but Lincoln was just that. An almost thirty year old who lives with his mom, plays Dungeons and Dragons, constantly thinking about an ex that left him nearly a decade before… You get it.

The Ugly: I get the whole thing with Eva and her mom (trying to not spoil anything here), but I feel like the dislike was a bit forced? A little dramatic? I don’t know. And, there were times in the story where I swore Sam and Eva were the same person. They have very similar personalities… I’m not a huge fan of that. But, overall, there wasn’t anything that was too ugly.

How’s the Ending?: Alright, so the ending is everything you expect. Well, the end of the ending, anyways. One part threw me for a loop, and almost made me doubt myself. Almost.

But then everything was smooth sailing again. Even though I think that it was a bit out of Beth’s character to do the thing she did at the movies, but it was still good.

Overall Grade: B. It was entertaining, but not my favorite by RR. However, I am very, very excited to read Landlines!

Don’t say the F word

Originally posted on Jasmine Monet:

Until recently, I have never identified myself as a feminist. Mainly because I suffered from the ailment most people suffer, of thinking a feminist is an ugly, over-weight lesbian woman with unshaven legs and a powerful punch. To me, feminism was accurately depicted by Candace and Toni from the Feminist bookstore, in the show Portlandia. Still, I’ve always believed in women: their beauty, their strength, their ability to overcome.119203342_orig I did not realize until recently that my respect and adoration for women as a whole was in and of itself, feminism.

In retrospect, I was destined to be a feminist before I could walk and talk. I grew up with a single mother who protected, provided, supported, loved and disciplined me. She unintentionally taught me to be a woman without apology. To love myself, to be strong but gentle, to be pretty but also smart. To recognize that…

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