Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Truth: May Folks Are Awesome

Note: the above picture WAS the same one I used last year for Priya. It's just so cute!

I'm not one to really believe in horoscopes--I just find the ones about people's personality based on their date of birth or what year they're born in funny. (And I also really, really hate daily horoscopes. Very vague, very retarded. A total waste of time.)

However, I've noticed something pretty darn amazing: many people born towards the end of May are AWESOME. They're just amazing. They do all sorts of different things, but they are so wicked cool. If you're not convinced, or you're angry at me because I didn't say that your birthday is awesome (which it probably is, but I'm just focusing on May here because, well, it IS May), just read on to find out.

Jackson Pearce (May 21, 1984)
So...our names are every-so-slightly similar (because if you call her Jackie and me Jackie, we would easily have the same name), but...c'mon. She's a YA author and a singer who totally pwned Ke$ha a few days ago with her hit single "Writers' Blok" (which, by the way, I'm currently playing on repeat on my iPod. Just so you know.). Not only did she debut last year (book-wise) with a novel that sounds eerily similar to one of my favorite TV shows, I Dream of Jeannie (As You Wish, which, I believe, is also somewhat based on a Shakespeare play), but also her second novel (a fairy-tale retelling, another favorite genre of mine), Sisters Red, is coming out very soon and can already be bought from various bookstores!

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (May 22, 1859)

C'mon! It's the creator of Sherlock Holmes! And he was also a sort of sidekick helper-guy in Shanghai Knights. Though he isn't the author to first start writing the detective novel (that honor goes to Wilkie Collins with his novel The Moonstone, which I own and must read soon!), he established a classic book series that could be called Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys for Victorian era adults. In case you were wondering, my bucket list consists of reading the whole collection of Sherlock Holmes books--I've already read The Hound of the Baskervilles, one that I really enjoyed considering it was for summer reading freshman year.

spider (May 24)

Spider is awesome because: 1. I met her on LRRH back in the day, hence making her awesome. 2. She was on LRRH because she's a fan of Shannon Hale. 3. Her blog ROCKS. 4. She is freaking hilarious. 5. She's a constant blog reader of mine--that automatically gets sweet-and-awesome points in my book. ;) 6. She once helped me out with a project for Journalism/Yearbook. 7. We're both juniors born in the same year (though not all juniors born in the same year as us are awesome. Just saying. ;) ). 8. I think she tagged me before for a meme. Or I tagged her. 9. She could probably figure out I'm trying to come up with ten reasons why she's cool. 10. She is just cool. :)

Jewel (May 23, 1974)

Possibly one of the most talented singer-songwriter-guitarists out there. I simply adore songwriters who can weave poetry into music, a gift I wish I had, and Jewel can simply do it. I listened to "Goodbye Alice in Wonderland" on Sunday, forgetting it was her birthday (and I hadn't listened to her in awhile--however, I randomly had gotten it stuck in my head one day and didn't get to listen to it until then). Oh, and speaking of poetry, did you know that she actually wrote and published a book of poetry (and not just the lyrics written down in a book, though she has done that too for charity)? So neat. :)

Queen Victoria (May 24, 1819)
Um, hello? This is THE QUEEN. The one who reigned for sixty-something years in England and conquered almost the whole world (hence the proverb, "The sun never sets on the British empire.") including Europe, though the latter was more through her children's marriages (which is why she is called the grandmother of Europe, I believe). And as a side note, I have watched the mini-series on her, which was okay (and which starred Colin Firth's younger brother as Prince Albert! OMG! There is practically no resemblance whatsoever!), and I really want to see the new movie of her. :)

Frank Oz (May 25, 1944)
We all know it was Jim Henson who started the Muppets, but without Frank Oz directing the Muppets movies, they might not be as popular as they are today. He made Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Grover, and Cookie Monster a voice (literally speaking) 'cause...c'mon, what would the Muppets be without a pearl-wearing blonde pig, or what would Sesame Street be without that sweet-toothed blue fellow?

Dorothea Lange (May 26, 1895)
To you, she may just be a name in a history book, but really, her work from the Great Depression (such as Migrant Mother, which I'm sure you've seen somewhere) strikes Americans to the core even today upon realization of the hardships and struggles that the poor had to endure during the thirties. So Ms. Lange's awesome factor? Very high, considering her impact and her photographs' impact--especially at a time when photos were a pretty new medium still--on the U.S.

Sally Ride (May 26, 1951)
First of all, I'd like to say that if we play the Degrees of Separation game (which I LOVE), I'm two degrees from this amazing astronaut. TWO degrees from the first American woman astronaut! So. Neat. Her story always fascinated me, especially due to the fact that even though I'm not a fan of science, astronomy (NOT astrology, again, mind) interested me a lot, especially when I was in elementary school. I think she also taught (or is teaching) at Stanford, which also adds to her awesome factor in my book (even though chances are slim that I would get into there).

Helena Bonham-Carter (May 26, 1966)
Lucy Honeychurch. Lady Jane. Ophelia. Mrs Bucket. Bellatrix Lestrange. Admit it: this actress has played so many of literature's most famous characters, and she plays them well to boot. Not only that, she's Mr Bingley's cousin! Well, a "distant" cousin of the actor who plays Bingley in the Pride and Prejudice mini-series (ever noticed how in the credits there was always some fellow with the last name Bonham-Carter? That's him).

Colbie Caillat (May 28, 1985)
Another favorite singer-songwriter-guitarist of mine born around this time (though she is also a pianist and ukuleleist). I simply love her music because it's one of those that you simply can't place in one single genre, because it's one all of its own. Well, I've written a review raving about her debut album, so you should know already how much I enjoy listening to her songs. :)

What do these people all have in common? Some love literature, others music, others history (or they are part of history) and me...wait, why am I mentioning me? Is it...possibly my birthday? Could it be that I joined the ranks of these amazing people seventeen years ago?

YES! It's true! I...I...I'm a cool May person! I have something in common with these people!!
Wow, as in...that wasn't just so corny. Well, 'nuff about me.

A HAPPY BIRTHDAY to all of these folks, though for many of them it is either a belated or an early birthday wish. :P

**Nota Bene/Disclaimer: You could totally call this list biased, because upon research, the writer/blogger/birthday girl found that there were also some not-so-awesome folks born in the end of May as well. Such as Cambodian dictators and untalented singers. Just saying.**

Also, folks I didn't mention but whom I also wish a happy birthday to include (but are not limited to): Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803), Ian McKellan (May 25, 1939), Amelia Bloomer (May 27, 1818). There were also several others, but I'll probably include them and those just listed in a exactly a year from now. :)

BTW, I so would have posted this earlier had not HTML been such a jerk to me last night. :P

Saturday, May 22, 2010


How I Watched the Movie: I saw this in theaters with my parents not long after it came out this summer. We bought the DVD from Costco a months ago.

If you know me well (and if you read my Ratatouille review), you will know that I am a huge Pixar fan. Okay, so I don't actually believe my mom when she says that I did see Toy Story when I was little (I seriously cannot remember that movie), but I've always loved their movies like crazy. Pixar has turned into a family tradition at my house. My parents have bought me a plush Dot (A Bug's Life), Boo (Monsters, Inc.), Nemo and Dory (Finding Nemo) and Jack-Jack (The Incredibles); we even named our cell phones after Pixar characters. (Nota bene, if you're wondering why I didn't mention Cars, it's because that's the only Pixar movie I have yet to see.) So we heard that Pixar was making this adorable movie about an old man's house attached to helium balloons that floats around in the sky, you bet we were pretty excited for this one. Sure, the premise sounds cute and fluffy, because just how far-fetched does a floating balloon-house sound? But despite the fantastical aspect of Pixar movies--anthropomorphic insects, animals, cars, and robots; living toys and closet-monsters--actually watching the movies is a whole other experience. Of course you chuckle here and there and "aww!" over the more juvenile aspects, but all in all, it's the moral and meaning behind the movies that reaches out to everyone, young and old. That is what has made Pixar a name brand, the one that trumps over Dreamworks and other struggling animating copycats.

Up is no exception; in fact, it exceeds the other films. No other movie can make one cry in the beginning and leave one laughing over an inside joke that has now reached to international levels ("Squirrel!", anyone?). It is truly no surprise that this movie won (very easily, I must say) the Oscar for Animated Feature, in addition to a nod for the greatest Academy Award for them all (but truly, which one will you most likely remember? The heart-warming balloon movie or the war thriller no one has really heard of?). This movie stands out in so many ways. Yes, it does have many of Pixar's signature motifs (talking animals, check; hyperactive kid, check; fantasy, major check), but what was the last movie you saw that stars an aging balloon salesman who uses his area of expertise to make his house fly?

Ever since he was a little boy, Carl Fredricksen (Edward Asner) has held a fascination over flying and exploring adventures. In fact, that's just how he meets his childhood friend, who later becomes his wife, Ellie (Elizabeth Docter). The two dream of one day taking a trip to the Paradise Falls, an almost mythical tropical paradise that has given their hero, Charles F. Muntz (Christopher Plummer), his renown. After many happy years together--and after trying and trying to earn enough money to go to Paradise Falls, an elderly Ellie passes away, leaving Carl alone in their old home surrounded by modern-day skyscrapers and construction. Contemporary woes start to kick in for the senior citizen, as the construction workers try to buy his home from him and move him to a retirement home. However, using his skills from the trade he knows best--balloon-selling--Carl attaches hundreds and hundreds of balloons to his house to fly off to Paradise Falls. Along the way, he encounters a variety of characters who join him on his journey, including a young Wilderness Explorer named Russell (Jordan Nagai) who yearns to earn his "Assisting the Elderly" badge by helping Carl; a colorful tropical bird Russell spontaneously names "Kevin" (Pete Docter); and a Golden Retriever, Dug (Bob Peterson), who communicates in plain English via his special collar. When Carl meets his ambitious role model Muntz at Paradise Falls, Carl's trip takes a turn for an even more daring--and dangerous--adventure.

Pros: It would take a whole essay for me to write about all the good things, but let me sum it up in short words. Animation. Characters. Plot. Sad. Funny. Cute. Action. Adventure. Whimsical. Creative. Don't you think it's awesome already?

Cons: Nothing! :D (Though the beginning is very sad...which could either be a pro or a con, whichever way you look at it.)

Red Flags: Nothing, except some intense scenes in which some characters' lives seem to be in peril. Check CSM here.


Plot: 10/10

Acting: 10/10 (all-star cast makes excellent voices for excellent characters!)

Screenwriting: 10/10

Originality: 10/10

Enjoyment: 10/10

Overall: 50/50  (a definite favorite!)


Original Release Date: May 29, 2009

Length: 96 minutes

Director: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson

Producer: Jonas Rivera, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton

Screenwriter: Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Thomas McCarthy, Jim Capobianco, Aley Phelan

Distribution Company: Walt Disney Pictures

MPAA Rating: PG

Also Recommended:
  • Ratatouille (2007)
  • Finding Nemo (2003)
  • The Incredibles (2004)
  • Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
  • Spirited Away (2002)
Check It Out!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Blogging Back with a...

But not.

After days of frantic studying and testing, my creative juices have run out! So bear with me here. :P (Yeah, I've become so lackadaisical that I haven't even been blogging until now.)
(BTW, totally cool pic, right? Just Google in "bang", and that's what you get...amid all these Big Bang Theory pictures, of course.)

So! This is my plan for the next few days, provided that all goes well. *crosses fingers*
  • BLOG! I pinky-promise! More specifically about the awesome signing I went to, erm, three months ago that I never talked about, and about a BUNCH of other things, including my writing, feminism, and uh...actually, I'm planning on TWO posts about feminism. Booyah.
  • READ! (Yeah, I'm kind of excited. The title of this post IS about blogging back with a BANG!) Books I so need to finish include: Boston Jane: An Adventure, every single Shannon Hale book I own and haven't read, Magic Under Glass, and Hamlet.
  • WRITE! Because I have my first real fan (fangirl?) now, even though I'm barely getting along with my book. (Said first real fan is KIM! w00t w00t! You go, girl!)
  • WRITE! Reviews, that is. Yes, same schedule as on the left (if you notice, it got slightly changed. I added some stuff. See it?)
  • ENTER CONTESTS! Not that that's an amazing thing, know...
  • WORK ON THIS PROJECT FOR YOU ALL! (Not shouting here. Really.) Yep...I've mentioned it on Twitter like...five times. And trust me--it's pretty darn cool. I'm quite proud of myself. *polishes fingernails*
Aaaannddd....since I know you love my lists (NOT), this is the current buzz with me:

  • I has a webcam! And I had my first video chat on gmail with my good friend Jess. You know, it's SO much better to actually laugh and not just type "lol" or "rofl". So if any of you are on gmail and have a webcam and want to chat sometime, let me know! (P.S. I'll have to ask my parents, but I *might* be able to do actual VIDEOS on here. Schweet or what?)
  • I really, really like Kate Nash songs. Her cleaner songs, that is (and as of now, I only know of two: "Mouthwash" and "Merry Happy". 'em! Just wish she did more clean songs).
  • Even though APs are over, I have one APUSH project (which should actually be fun, considering I get to do what I want to do...gosh, that sounds bratty), one AP Lit project (which I hope to rock out on...hope to, mind), and three AP Psych projects (which sounds like a lot, but one is super short and easy, and they're all quite fun).
  • I LOVE THIS! Watch it. Now. NOW. I'm putting it on my iPod as soon as this up-and-coming artist puts up the single on her blog. ;D (ETA: So I just realized that the whole thing doesn't show up on my blog, which is a bummer. Just click on the video below to see the whole screen--it's totally worth it!--and then watch her other videos as well. :) )

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Buzz...(and goodbye until May 12!)

You might to able to tell, but I've been fiddling around with the nitty-gritty design aspects of this blog. Hope you all like it! I probably won't be able to do more until May 12.

Why May 12? Well...APs are coming up. Yep, Advanced Placement tests. I'm taking three this year (it will be my first time), and am I nervous. I have AP Lit this coming Thursday, APUSH the day after that, and AP Psych on Tuesday. May 12 is the day after my last AP test, so I'm hoping to finally relieve my stress on that day.

But when I come back, I pinky promise to...

  • Read! A lot!
  • Read and give feedback on Inkpop, a writing site that has been like heaven for me as of late (if you have an account and are a friend of mine, you'll see why)
  • Play the guitar! And the piano! I'm abstaining from playing music (but not listening to it, of course) until my APs are over.
  • Write and post a ton of reviews (and schedule them :P )
  • Work on three projects I'm doing right now...I'm not going to reveal them at the moment, because I'm not sure how they'll go, but please wish me luck! Come to think of it, it's kind of four projects...Trust me, if this works out, I'll reveal it to you guys soon. :)
  • Write my novel. Yes, this also has something to do with Inkpop.
  • Possibly start writing a script. I'm not certain yet. I have two really good ideas, and I feel bad for not participating in Script Frenzy this year. :P
  • Uh...I feel like I'm missing more...oh! Recruit more people to be featured here! And try to get you guys talking a bit more here (ie, I'm going to set up a post where you guys ask me questions and I put them up on the "Who I Am" page, or somewhere similar). So if you guys want to be featured, you can fill out the forms (or if you have a rec for me, you can fill out a form too), but most likely I won't be able to get back to you until May 12 or later. Sorry! Also, first come first serve, unless I wait for waaayyy too long (like a week. I'm going to make a policy for this soon).
And uh...that's it! Please, please, please wish me luck, and if you guys aren't on Inkpop, you should join and add my novel to your pick list! See y'all in a couple weeks! *tear tear*