Well, I still haven't finished How to be you own Literary Agent, but I did finish the other book I was reading. And moved on to a number of others as well. Don't worry, I'll finish that one eventually...

Jeanette Walls' The Glass Castle - Grade: A. Hilarious. 100%. Such a beautiful (tragic!) memoir of Jeanette's childhood. There is alot of swearing, but beyond that this book is an absolute riot. Loved it. Would buy it.

Sara Gruen's Water For Elephants - Grade: A. An thoroughly researched historical fiction/murder mystery piece revolving around the circus. Really, really well done. Also very gritty (it's the circus), so you've been warned ahead of time. There's sex, and there's language. GRITTY. But Sara is brilliant in that she sets up the climax at the beginning, and then leads you to believe something that's not true the entire time, until you reach the climax again. I was way surprised. And so will you when you read it.

Autumn Cornwell's Carpe Diem - Grade: C. I read this book for Kerry. I... I don't know. It was about a psycho-obsessive girl trying to get a 5.3 GPA, who is ripped away from her life to go to Southeast Asia with her grandma to backpack for a summer, and only after her parents are blackmailed about this supposedly "super crazy" secret. Yeah, the book kinda fell short in alot of places. What the random Asian-cowboy wanna-be? Don't really recommend this one.

Ray Bradbury's Farenheit 451 - Grade: B. Most of you read this book in High School I'm guessing. Somehow, this one wasn't on the reading list of any class I took. Ever. So I gave it a go. I'm torn. Half of me writhes with the overwrought language trying so desperately to be flowery and pretty against a dull and withered background. And the other half raves this book is fantastic. Brilliant, pithy, one to make you think. Maybe it's both? The CODA was my favorite part, and maybe that's what's got me no-longer-as-passionately-up-in-arms over the language. The author does a good job defending his usage and word choice. Sigh. I dunno. Weird, definitely.

Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass - Grade: B. Pretty cool story, though some of the accents bugged me and I didn't think he was a very prolific descriptionist. And some things were downright confusing and not explained very well. No wonder people get all uppity about religion and anti-godness in here. Cuz you could argue that. But you argue against it too. Because it's all vague and mushy. Yech. Nevertheless I enjoyed the story, and even found parts engaging and thrilling as with any great story; I'll probably be going on to the second and third.

John Gardner’s Grendel – Grade: C. Apparently a Beowulf spin-off written from Grendel’s perspective. My bro recommended it after having read it in some class. The back boasts of its “genius” and that it deserves a spot with Lord of the Flies, Cat’s Cradle, and Catcher in the Rye. I dunno about that. When I read those books, I’ll let you know for sures. But I wasn’t overly impressed. The art was kinda cool. But the storyline wasn’t really...there. And the syntax was rambly, changed styles and voices with no explanation or seeming recourse, and came across as schizophrenic hodge-podge to me. But maybe I’m just forgetting how old-school texts are supposed to go? Prolly won’t ever re-read this one. Then again, that’s unfortunately how I feel about a lot of the crap we read in school, so maybe it does have a place on the shelf with those stories after all. :P

Terri Farley's Phantom Stallion - Wild Horse Island #6: Sea Shadow - Grade: D-. Book 2 I read for Kerry. Well, on this one it was more like she paid me to read it, because ICK. This story was so lame. The writing was crap, the characters were crap, and the plot was completely non-existent. I mean things happened, but nothing happened. Even when there was supposedly this huge earthquake/tsunami which tore up the whole island, it didn't get described and sorta seemed to happen off to the side from what the reader was given. Yes, I like that. This book's entire plot took place just off-screen, which is super dumb. Also, it was book 6, so technically I should have read the other 5 (but you couldn't pay me enough to do so); however, the author kept making references to obscure things I didn't know about. Either she managed to work every single detail of all 5 others books into this one, or she's just really, really bad at writing. Which I think she is. This book, SUCKED. The End.

Nina Wright's Homefree - Grade: A. Book 3 for Miz Kerry. Wow! I was nervous about this one since it deals with paranormals and that market is already pretty heavily covered by things like X-men and HEROES, but it was fresh and interesting. And I'm totally excited to read the sequel (which I'm soooo glad there is one! This book was phenom, but really it was just builder for what I'm hoping is going to be an amazing 2nd story). This is one I'd keep on my bookshelf. Well Done, Nina Wright.

Ann Creel's Under A Stand Still Moon - Grade: C. Book 4 for SWILUA. This book tried way too hard to be historical. Half the time it felt like I was reading an archaeology paper from one of my college classes. The names were awful. And the completely original "tribal" songs were just horrific. They were soooooo bad. I know without a doubt in my mind that she wrote them. Everytime I read one of the "songs" I cringed. Visibly cringed. And everytime a song was mentioned I prayed silently to the Twin War Gods of the Mesa that the next page wouldn't have the dreaded words - just mention it in passing, and let's move on with the story. Eesh.

Thomas Brodeur's Regina Silbsy's Phantom Militia - Grade: D. Book 5 for zee Boss. I'm not huge into historical fiction, but I won't lie, this book started out really cool. The American Revolution, Redcoats, all that. But no. They had to go and RUIN the book with Jesus. Lots and lots and lots of Jesus. Like pause the story ALL THE TIME so we could have a few pages on the importance of prayer, or a huge long discourse about how we are all sinners and need to "exchange cloaks" with the Almighty One. If I want religion, I go to church. I don't want it muddying up the plot in what would have been an otherwise excellent war-novel. Bah.

Timothy Carter's Epoch - Grade: A-. Book 6 for Kerrisha. This book totally made fun of organized religion in amazing and hilarious ways. It also hated on Harry Potter and Wal-Mart (without name dropping of course). HILARIOUS. Some of the fight scenes (against demons) got a little hard to follow (like the one where the elves are killing the trolls while being eaten by demons who are being kicked by humans with the two girls in the hospital bed and the Triumvirate-(Holy Book!)-Thumping brother dances around crazily). A really cool feature was that the chapters start and 30 and count backwards (to the end of the world!) which I'd never seen done before. All-around a fun read, a good time, and one I didn't want to put down.

Aight all, I finally got a new one. Phone that is. *waves his slick new MOTOKRZR.* It's okay to be jealous.

Good news: My number DIDN'T change! (But if you called me since the incident, I will never know unless you tell me... because I changed carriers to AT&T, which means everything in the dead period is unrecoverable).

Bad news: With the change (and my old phone corroded and rusty), I have lost everything contact-related I ever had. Which means I can't call you or text you until you tell me how (read: where).

What you need to do: If you want to reconnect yourself to my world, send me an email/text message with your name/number and we'll be pal-lies again. Saweetness.

It's been awhile since I've talked about the movies I've been seeing, so I think this post is overdue. It brings together previously unreviewed movies, ones I put by themselves in previous posts, and all the ones I've seen since.

Pineapple Express - Grade: F. My brother thinks this movie is hilarious, but my cousin and I walked out before it was even over. It wasn't funny enough (unless you were watching it high), and it was soooooo slow-moving. We got bored, and so we said screw this and left.

Kung Fu Panda - Grade: A. I was a little wary of this considering it was Jack Black, and I don't always find his grade of humor up my alley, but this movie was GREAT. Funny, entertaining, and a great story. Two thumbs up all the way on this one.

Wanted - Grade: C. Pretty thriller. The effects were way good, and the storyline was good. Could have done without some of the blood and gore though. And the swearing. I think we pegged it at a swear word every 30 seconds, or something absurd like that.

Quantum of Solace - Grade: C. This was one of the more MEH James Bond movies. I guess I should have brushed up more on my history of Casino Royale because I was lost for about half the movie. Or more. And I guess they are returning to the Book Bond? Well, I think I like the glamorized movie/video game bond better. He's not Bond to me without his gadgets.

The Incredible Hulk (version 2008) - Previously reviewed here. "Grade: B-. It wasn't overly engaging, but it didn't suck. Simply alright as far as movies go."

Kit Kittredge: An American Girl - Previously reviewed here. "Grade: A. I won't lie on this one. This was actually a dang good movie. Make fun all you want, it's really worth your time. I was surprised myself. But it's emotionally engaging, funny, a good storyline, and the acting is on par as well. I was impressed, and might even put it somewhere on my top 10 list (I'd have to figure out the list first of course)."

City of Ember - Previously reviewed here. "Grade: C (only because I read the book, otherwise it's much higher). I tried really hard to be objective, but couldn't do it. I couldn't. They changed too much. Major pieces of the plot, not just minor things. I was so incredibly disappointed (but still love the book, so it's okay)."

Valkyrie - Grade: A. Went with Turtle to this one, thinking we were going to see Tale of Despereaux, only it wasn't in the theater. So we bought tickets to Bedtime Stories, since I figured that was something she could handle. As we were walking by the door to Valk, I mentioned wanting to see it, and she chimed that she had wanted to as well. I was a little taken aback since it was kinda about war and she doesn't do blood or violence...but she was game, so in we went. Really great storyline, and powerful performances all around. Even Tom Cruise did a good job, which is hard considering I've hated pretty much all his work.

Mad Money - Grade: C. Watched this with Sierra and Turtle while we played yahtzee (and the little kid beat us). It was an interesting story, though believability was hard-pressed, and most of the dialogue was flat. Not one I'd really bother seeing again.

Batman: Dark Knight - Grade: B. I don't really know what to say about this one, for fear of offending someone and incurring wrath. I am still torn up over Heath Ledger's death, and his performance was simply incredible; but this movie was just so... dark. I don't know. Something about it left me feeling unsure. I don't know that this is one that has a place in my best of, or that I'd see again. :/

Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken - Grade: B. Sappy love story with unbelievable feats of overcoming and persevering. The message was clear and straightforward though. You can do anything if you try hard enough and go on in spite of all the odds stacked against you. My mom really likes this movie. I didn't watch it all because I wasn't interested, but I can't lie that the end got me emotionally.

Tale of Desperaux - Grade: A. Super, super cute movie. Must see for everyone, young or old. I had no trouble suspending my belief, and just flowed along with everything the story had to offer. Loved this one tons.

Star Trek - Grade: A. HAHA. I totally saw this movie 3 days before it even came out in theaters, so yes, you should all be jealous of this. Pre-screening baby! I'm not a die-hard time-line-savvy Trekkie, but I do like movies to make sense. The effects were dazzling, the casting was 100% exactly as it should have been, and the dialogue and humor were spot-on in every way. The one thing that left a bit of bad taste in my mouth was the part where I was never quite sure if I was watching "real" Star Trek or "alternate timeline/parallel" Star Trek. J.J. Abrams is pretty much insane genius, don't get me wrong, but the time stuff gets me all lost.

The Day The Earth Stood Still
- Grade: D-. This movie was a waste of my time. Completely. I haven't been this mad at a movie for being so completely lame and dumb since I watched Napoleon Dynamite. I mean, what a stupid, stupid way to try and get us to be more economical and caring and eco-friendly. Barf. The one redeeming quality in this movie was the acting of Jennifer Connelly. Jaden Smith gets my props as well for his role.

Top Gun - Grade: A-. Yes. This really was my 1st time. I know, right? Pause. Stop. Recover your fallen jaw from the floor. Wipe away look of complete disbelief. Agreed, it's unbelievable that I made it 26 years of my life without seeing this movie. It’s a hole in the space/time continuum I promise (Where's J.J. now?) But I broke down and watched it, and I have to say: all that hype, for all that time... the movie just couldn't stand up to all of it. I can see now that Stealth was a total rip-off with a simply added-in high-tech bit, and I think that's kinda funny, but no.
And the love scenes in this movie? Wow! Just a little risqué, no? ‘specially considering when this movie was made right? I mean, that's real tongue action! O.o I was especially put off by all the recycled footage. C’mon, only Legend of the Seeker is poor enough to be allowed to do that and have it work to its advantage.

Hello, Dolly! - Grade: B-. Yup, a musical. Don't get me wrong, I love my theatre, and this piece was no different. But there was just a little bit too much singing and dancing in this one. I mean, all the musicals I was in in High School at least had storylines... this one was a tad lacking in that particular (important) department. Other than that it was great though. Fun times for the whole family, and songs you wanted to sing along with. And the costumes and dancing displays were simply wonderful.

Earthsea (Gedo Senki)
- Grade: A+. Such a breathtaking, beautiful, beautiful movie. The screenplay was written by Hayao Miyazaki's son Goro, and this was his debut film. Well, I applaud him. I've always been a Miyazaki fan, but I have to confess that I think this one to be my favorite in every way. It was simply an incredible journey, with stunning animation, amazing acting, and simply delivered everything a movie should. Definitely one I would see again, and even purchase (which is exceptionally rare).

Til next time...

So as you all know, I moved. Because, freedom.

Getting here was an experience that's for sure. So here goes the recount. I arrived at the airport sometime after 3pm, and went to weigh my bags, which I had previously weighed at the UPS store under the guise that I was thinking of mailing them. At the UPS store, they were 50 lbs even, the max. But when I put them on the airport scales, they both weighed in around 40lbs. What the discrepancy? Either the airport is trying really really hard to not have po'ed people, or the shipping company is making bank on fake pounds. Either way, I coulda totally brought 20 more lbs. That's like another 3 pairs of shoes at least!

Said bye to my pops, and went through security. Beep, beep, beep. You know. My favorite new part of my life. Setting off airport security alarms. So I beeped, and in the same breath told him I was a metal-sporter. Rolled up my pantleg to prove it too. He had me walk back through while telling me that was unnecessary, like I was a girl and I just flashed him or something. Odd. My implant decided to play "bone" and not "metal" and wouldn't set it off anymore. Both of the security guards watching me were completely baffled. We tried 3 more times, and nothing. HAHA. I still got a pat-down anyway. Lame.

Sigh. Then I went and sat. And sat. Played some cards by my lonesome, listened to my music, sat some more, went for a walk, sat again, looked at food, sat even more. Then they finally announced what was happening. One time I was annoyed about not having a phone, or some other such time-keeping device to go on. Weren't we supposed to be boarding now? They were calling people up on their half-broken, completely unintelligible microphone, but no one was responding. They finally figured it out, and went to a mic that actually worked. Then they informed us they were closing the strip. Like the whole thing. All planes. Grounded. Stopped. Closed? WTH. Because there was a storm. With Lightning. And apparently lightning and planes don't mix. They announced that they had -by Federal Regulation- to wait until the lightning was at least 5 miles away from the airport to even service the plane, let alone allow us to actually board it. Oh, and there had to be at least 10 minutes after the final bolt of lightning struck. So they had no idea how long we'd be there. FANTASTIC. Do you know how slow storms can move? This could take all night!

My plane did NOT take off at 5:02pm. Or 6:00. Or 6:15. Or 6:45. Or 7:10. SIGH. I sat, and sat, and sat, and sat. Went and got dinner even, and there was still more sitting. And the line of people asking questions about the delays, would they make their flights, and could they change, was a zillion years long, so I wasn't about to stand around in that. It moved one person like every ten minutes.

We finally loaded I think around 7:30pm, and then waited on the runaway long enough for me to definitely fall asleep, because I did. We sat there for at least 30 more minutes. Just great. And the whole time I'm thinking, these airport people are kinda sly, and devious. They announced that there were only two of them to handle our problems, but they had a whole department in Phoenix. I imagined the Phoenix people claiming that they had no power over the weather, and lightning in a state 2000 miles away didn't make a difference to them. So I had no idea what would happen when I arrived in Phoenix. The old ladies sitting next to me played Scrabble on a laptop, and made me extremely jealous of how long their batteries lasted (mine dies after 25 mins now X.x), and I couldn't help but be distracted and see what words I could make with their pieces while pretending to read my book (book review post coming soon). I even tactfully assisted with a few words when they saw nothing and were going to pass or make a two-letter-little-points-cop-out word. Like "squire," "lynx," and "neb." Word guy. That's me. When I got bored with my book I looked out the window at storm clouds in the distance. Lighting form high up and far away, is kinda cool. Then I played more cards because I just wasn't really into my book just then. Played as many one-player games as I could remember. About 3 hours in, I started getting really restless. 4 hours is just a long flight. I don't know how people do 10, or 18-hour flights. I think I would have to smash the window and play on the wing to salvage my sanity.

We landed in Phoenix two hours late. ALL the connecting flights were long gone. Like, there was no chance in even trying to get one. We all got shuttled to a counter where more than a few people completely freaked out and screamed, especially this one guy who was going to L.A. and was super mad because he'd been stoned, and he wasn't when he got off the plane, which was very upsetting to him. I went with a bit nicer approach, but they were simply casually rebooking us like this happens every three and a half hours. As for accommodations, they gave me a blue piece of paper where I could call a number and get discounted rates on a hotel room. Right. With what phone? And remember how I'm super broke and spent all my money just to get the ticket? Yeah, so that wasn't happening. I was thinking I'd have to conk out on one of their benches, but they made that impossible by installing unmovable armrests in every seat. Ugh. So I used a courtesy phone and calmly called my 1am, probably sleeping parents. "Hello?" "Hi, do you know anyone who lives in Phoenix?" I knew I had relatives in the area, but the ones I was thinking of live all the way in Tucson, which apparently isn't close to Phoenix. *Shrug* What do I know? I've never been anywhere in AZ except where I was standing.

The courtesy phone works for three minutes, so I hung up and continued the convo through chat with my mom. Least Phoenix has free wireless, otherwise I would have been super spending the night in the airport, and without a phone, Scott wouldn't have known what was happening when I didn't show at 11pm in SLC. My mom got ahold of one of her brothers, and he was super nice enough to come and get me.

Family = someone who will come and get you at a moment's notice, put you up in their home, providing food and a bed, all without having even seen you in the last 17 years.

Amazing, right? So the ride from the airport to his house was very, very interesting as he learned all that I've done since I was 9, and all that's he and his children have done as well. He had to go back to work when he dropped me off, so he gave me the run of his place, and I had some carrots, sausage links, and pringles. Scrumptious! And so healthy! I'm going to start a new diet trend, complete with book and training video. Watch for it.

Then I settled in for the night. The room I was staying in had a wall of movies (which my uncle said is from their days when they ran a movie rental store). I browsed for a while, and then selected a movie I'd never seen, which when I tell you what it was (movie review post coming soon), your jaw will drop. And you may scoff and laugh. I hereby give you permission. Then I slept. But it was banally hot, and it took me a while to fade away.

Got woke up at 6am, caught up with Unc's wife, had some pop-tarts (which were chocolate, of which I'm not a big fan, but he insisted I eat something, so I obliged him), then back to the airport. Didn't have to worry about my bags (I hoped, though by this fully expected them to be lost when I arrived in SLC) since they said they were locking them in a secure room overnight, and assured me would be on my flight out without me having to worry.

So there was just one more thing to do. Security. Again. This time the beeps were there full-force and landed me the privilege of the wand AND the pat-down. An intense one too. Even had me lift the front of my pants while he ran his hand on the inside edge by my button. Talk about super-freaking-awkward-borderline-violation. I don't think this is part of the normal security measures. How could it be? I mean, what am I gonna be packing? A knife that has no depth or physical form which I have devilish sewn into the lining, or my metal button with which I intend to dispatch everyone on my 30-passenger-capacity little can of an aero-plane?

If I wanted to bring a knife, I'd just pack it in my backpack. :P Waaaaaaaay less hassle.

Finally, I was through and the waiting began again. This time though, we loaded on time. Or so we thought. But we got down to the airplane, and people were starting to board, when the stewardess comes out shrieking! She made everyone de-plane and go back inside. O.o Really? We then had to wait 20 more minutes while she finished "preparing for the first flight of the day according to Federal Aviation Regulations." Honestly tho. I want a FAR manual. And clearly, her hair was not on the list, because DANG GINA she needed a stylist in the worst, worst way. How shallow of me to notice. The plane was so small that my 85lb backpack wouldn't fit in the compartment, and not all the way under the seat either, not to mention my giant pillow. I crammed it down anyway, and set my computer on my lap hoping the psycho-avia-woman wouldn't notice. Finished my book and then mainly slept, and got really excited to be in Utah.

The end came out okay. My bags weren't lost, and Scott found me easily. Seriously, I don't want to gripe about my flying experiences (because of Louis C.K.'s bit on Conan, which oddly, I can't find right now, so I can't embed a link to it...lamesauce, but if you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about), but I never seem to have a normal, no-hassle flying experience.

Jules emailed me this while I was still sitting on the runway in Orlando: "I hope your plane ride was relaxing. I love traveling, sitting in my seat with my laptop, newspaper, coffee, and peace of mind. Such a 'Freedom' feeling. When I’m up there I realize why my sister decided to become a pilot."

I dunno what airline she flies, but I want to come. And riding first class wouldn't hurt either. I was offered that option for only $200 more dollars when I got to the airport. ($200 is more than my entire ticket cost to begin with). Whenever I'm boarding and walk through the First Class, I always think to myself, You have money, and you have money, and your parents have money, and you shouldn't have money, and you have money. Sigh.

So here's to Airplanes and the Fiascoes they bring into my life. Oi vey.

Change is upon me. And I'm so excited.

New Out: Moving back to Utah. Because Florida sucks and I'm sooo tired of drama. And being here.

New Look: Summer is here, and that means it's time for a change, right? Right.

New Outlook: Taking my life back, regaining control, and moving forward in a positive way.

And now, let's take a moment. A moment in memoriam. For what was, and what will be again.

















And now.













The moment you've been waiting for.

























The NEW.




















Hate me, maybe. But I was tired of the old, and ready for new. Bring on the change.



"Forgive me Father..."
"...for I have sinned."

And gravely so. True Confession of my soul:

6. I no longer have a phone.

Because I took it swimming with me.

In the ocean.

Salt and electronics don't go well together. We took it to my bro's jeweler friend tonight and he got alot of the corrosion off, but it's not looking like it's going to be enough. 'parently some of the circuits burned out. He's taking it and steaming it tomorrow, but there's only a sliver of hope it will work again.

Great. One more brick on the pile on my back of crap I am supposed to deal with properly.

This is a double, so it's your lucky day.

We were playing cards yesterday just kinda taking it easy, and my sister decided to tell a story about a girl in her class who got robbed. But these were not your ordinary burglars. They were extra special thieves because they came with an extra u.

Yes, people, these were burgulars. And they were very good at burgularizing, which is just a really amazingly funny word, which we made her repeat over and over mercilessly.

Then my dad trumped this hilarity when he was shuffling the deck, and doing it very slowly by separating the cards into three piles. Why was he doing this?

Because he wanted to be sure and eliminate all the pairs, the triples, and the quadraloopels. Nice Dad, nice.


 

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