Friday, December 27, 2013

THE COCKROACH. Or: My thrilling bout with the flu

So a funny thing happened to me at the doctor's office yesterday...

I better back up and tell you why I was at the doctor's office first, though.

Let's just say that this has not been the best Christmas ever.

I got the flu on Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve. Thanks, Santa, but could I get a refund for that one? I felt tired all day (especially since I had been gallivanting about till 2 a.m. and then slept past 11 a.m., which is very weird for me). By that night I was nauseous (no throwing up, thank goodness) and generally miserable. I spent Christmas Day mostly lying around feeling to ill to do much. My Christmas candy is as yet untouched. I had a pretty nasty fever too. The day seemed to drag on for a week.

Then yesterday I woke up to the worst neck cramps of my life. You know how sometimes you sleep on your neck wrong and it aches a bit when you wake up? Try that times, like, a million. It was AGONY. I couldn't turn my head, couldn't bend over, couldn't even sit up for very long. I couldn't get comfortable either, and I tried like five different pillows in various combinations.

Worse yet, it meant that I wasn't going to get to hang out with my friends this break! They go to different schools now, but we were going to get together at Izzy's cabin. Well, Izzy and Alkira are up at the cabin right now and I'm stuck back here, still with (I think) a slight fever. Am I bitter about this? Oh heck yes. Did I mention that I haven't seen either of them in over a month?

Anyway, back to the neck cramps...

Mom decided to take me to the doctor, just to make sure I didn't have meningitis or mono or something. So we get there and I am totally miserable. Try a thirty-minute car ride when you can't move your neck.

Anyway, I'm sitting on the medical table. Dr. Chapman and Mom and I chat for a few minutes, she asks me about symptoms and stuff. Then Dr. Chapman comes at me with a tongue depressor and a light thingy.

As she leaned towards me, I noticed that she was wearing some very pretty jewelry. Two necklaces, one of which was a golden chain with a green pendant. There seemed to be a big amber beetle-shaped brooch attached to it too.

And then the brooch stuck out a barbed leg and crawled onto her sweater.

I let out a shriek and jerked away. Dr. Chapman looked confused. (She thought I was scared of the tongue depressor.)

"THERE'S A HUGE BUG ON YOU!!!" I screamed.

The thing was enormous! Seriously, it must have been two or three inches long--at least!
Almost life size!
Then Dr. Chapman shrieked, dropped the tongue depressor and the light thingy, and started trying to get the bug (which she still hadn't seen) off. She accidentally got her necklace instead, which exploded, sending gold chain links everywhere. A couple of them landed on me, but I thought they were little pieces of bug and I screamed again.

She calmed down a bit, thinking it was gone.

I screamed again. "IT'S STILL THERE!" I yelled, scooching away. The thing had crawled onto her back!

Then Mom saw it (she thought I was hallucinating for a minute there). Showing incredible bravery, she grabbed the thing--with her bare hands-- and deposited it in the trash.

"It's going to get out!" I said.

Mom glanced into the trash can. "Should I kill it?" she asked. (It was a rather pretty bug.)

"YES!!!" screamed Dr. Chapman, so Mom squished it with the trash can liner.

We all spent the rest of the appointment recovering from that. On the bright side, it distracted me from my neck for a few minutes, if only by way of sheer terror. Have I mentioned that the bug was freaking huge?!

(The building was undergoing repairs, which is probably how the bug got it. If you were wondering. Oh, and I don't have meningitis or mono--just a random virus.)

So that was my wonderful Christmas. Hope yours was better :/ I'm on the mend now--my neck only hurts when I turn it. It's a lot better than yesterday.

Oh, and I was in a video, put together by the wonderful and utterly amazing Derek Landy!


Watch it AND part 2 here: http://dereklandy.blogspot.com/

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas, People!

Let's see, what have I been up to lately?

Well, I got a new haircut. Totally changed my hairstyle too. It's extremely short and it stands straight up in the mornings.

I can now pull off the mad scientist look. Yay.
(Yes, that's a bathrobe.)
The last couple weeks of school were insane. Seriously, I can't even function. I have sooo much AP English homework to do over break. O.O

I went to see Frozen on Thursday with my friend! (We got out on Thursday and had Friday off.) It was awesome! It's now quite possibly my favorite Disney movie ever.

My immediate reactions to it:

FINALLY!! A Disney movie that points out that you can't marry a guy you met that day! THANK YOU, DISNEY! 

The music was awesome, the animation (especially the snow) was beautiful, and aside from one or two cliched moments, I really liked the story.

So yeah. That happened.

I finally figured out how to do the spells on Pottermore. Yay!

Oh, and I went to a party last night. That was fun, but I ate too much too late and felt awful this morning. Good food, though.

Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving! Well, it was a week ago, anyway...

It has been brought to my attention that I only update my blog about once a month.

Sorry about that. It's because I'm in high school and I have homework to do and YouTube videos to watch and stories to write and books to read and random stuff to draw. And also I can be kind of lazy on the writing front.

I'm setting a goal, as of right now, that I am going to do a blog post at LEAST every two weeks! If not every week! I am going to do this! It is a thing that I am going to do! Yay!

(Yeah, that'll totally happen...*can't keep a straight face*)

Although I will say that I'm doing all right so far. It's been slightly over a year since I started this blog. To be precise, it's been 378 days. I think. Ish? The first post was on November 23, 2012, so...378-ish days. And I have 38 posts published so far (this being the 38th), so that's actually a bit over one a month. Yay!

My Thanksgiving this year was decent. I got a few funny stories out of it, so here they are.

My dad's brother, Gregg, and his wife Coral came down from Sacramento and stayed in a hotel near us for a week. I was gone the first two days they were here, actually, on a retreat with my junior class. Ooh, maybe I should blog about that...it was pretty spectacular. It was an awesome overnight.

Anyway, on Thanksgiving my family piled into two cars to head up to my dad's cousin Paula's, just like last year. Only this time we had Gregg and Coral, so Dad and Gregg were in one car and Mom and Coral and I were in the other.

Mom and Coral and I got there fine. We got there at about the time we'd expected to get there (1:00-ish, if you were wondering). It turned out we were the first ones there. Dad and Gregg hadn't arrived yet, and neither had Ruth and Stewart, Paula's parents.

Well, Ruth and Stewart showed up pretty soon after that. Mom and I helped Paula with the mashed potatoes while Coral talked to them.

Half an hour later, we started wondering what had happened to Dad and Gregg. We knew they wouldn't starve, because they had the gluten-free dressing in their car, but I kept picturing the vultures circling a dusty Toyota parked next to a cactus in the desert.

Ten minutes after that, Mom's phone went off. It was Dad. He knew they were lost because the whole trip was supposed to be about 130 miles, and the odometer said 130 miles but they hadn't reached the exit yet.

Mom tried to give them directions, then gave up and handed them to Paula. Paula seemed to have a hard time figuring out exactly what had happened, but she eventually told them where to go and how to get there and hung up.

"They're halfway to Arizona,"she told us, shaking her head in despair. Apparently they missed the turnoff and wound up somewhere in the mountains. Brilliantly done, Dad. Brilliantly done. *Applause*

Dad and Gregg got there eventually, about an hour after they'd planned to. Just in time for lunch, actually. As we sat down at the table, I looked around and realized something.

I was literally the only person in the room without a subscription to AARP magazine.

Yay.

It was kind of a loud dinner. Not because there were a lot of people, but because Ruth and Stewart couldn't hear well and everything had to be repeated, twice, with gradually increasing volume. I said pretty much nothing and just let the adults talk. But the food was tasty and overall it was pleasant enough.

After lunch Paula dragged me over and gave me rather a lot of jewelry. She's been cleaning out her jewelry box for a while now, and since I like wearing interesting earrings and she wants to get rid of them, the arrangement works well. She sent me lots of stuff last Christmas too, including my all-time favorite pair of earrings ever. They're petrified wood and they look a bit like Nausicaa's in Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. 

That movie has the best flying machines ever.
We drove back at around five and I fell asleep in the car. I was listening to that U2 album The Joshua Tree, because there were actual joshua trees all over the place and I just couldn't not listen to it. One minute the opening chords of "Red Hill Mining Town" are playing and the next I open my eyes and think, "What the heck happened to the song?" I looked at my iPod. For some reason it had gone back to the list of all the songs. Then I looked at the clock on the dashboard. I'd been out cold for an hour!

It was pretty uneventful after that. We just went home and had a light supper and then went to bed. We stayed inside for all of Black Friday, too. As someone who hates crowds and lines, Black Friday sounds quite a lot like the eleventh circle of Hell to me.


So now it's the holiday season and my school is beautiful. I love the giant Christmas tree.

Happy belated Thanksgiving/Hanukkah, and happy whatever-the-heck-you-celebrate-in-December!

(I will totally update again before Christmas...)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

More Norse Mythology, Yaaay! Also, THOR 2 IS AWESOME!

So, I went to see Thor: The Dark World with my friend today.

AND I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. XD

I liked it even better than the first one, actually. The storyline was a little hard to follow at points, but I kept up all right and caught a few subtle mythology references to boot!

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! THIS IS FOR BOTH THOR AND THOR 2

So in the first Thor movie, Marvel pretty much pulled a few things from the myths, threw out the rest, and created their own storyworld, which I enjoyed immensely. I do have a mental list of the stuff they got wrong.

#1, and this really is the most important, Thor and Loki are NOT brothers. I know I said this in my last post, but it  bears repeating. A long time ago, before Odin became king/chief/All-Father, he was wandering around in Jotunheim when he met a half-Jotun, half-Asa (god) named Loki. They took to each other so much that they let their blood run together and swore an oath to always be brothers, to fight side by side and that one would never accept a favour unless it was also offered to the other. (The oath got broken later, though.)

But Thor and Loki do have lots of adventures, so I can see why Marvel did that.

#2. They left out the story behind Odin losing an eye.

I really understand them leaving this out, because it's kind of a long story and totally unnecessary to the plot of the movies, but still. Odin's missing eye is pretty much the reason he's qualified to lead Asgard.

A while after he'd met Loki, Odin decided that he needed to acquire wisdom. He took out his eye, threw it into Mimir's Well*, and hung himself off of Yggdrasil** for nine nights and nine days. When the nine days were over, the runes of wisdom fell from the tree and Odin became the All-Father.

*Mimir's Well is a very special place in Jotunheim. It's a well guarded by the talking, decapitated head of a very wise Jotun called Mimir. Long story.

**Yggdrasil is the world tree, which branches through all nine realms. It's the center of Norse mythology: everything revolves around it, in a way.

#3: I'm not sure if I should mention this, but Thor's friends are almost all people Marvel made up. I say this because it would have been fairly easy to pull a few names out of the Norse canon, but they didn't.

I actually like how they did the Bifrost Bridge and Asgard--it looks really cool! And they got Heimdall more or less right--he's the guardian of the bridge who sees and hears everything.

#4, and this is really just nitpicking: They got Sif's hair colour wrong! I mean, yeah, it's a minor detail, but come on, guys. There's an entire myth about it. *facepalm*

In the myths, Sif is actually Thor's wife (which would explain why she doesn't like Jane Foster). There's one story wherein Loki sneaks up on Sif while she's asleep and cuts off her hair. Sif had very beautiful golden hair, the most beautiful of any goddess, so she and Thor were pretty ticked off. Loki promised to make amends by getting Sif new hair. He runs off to the world of the dwarves and gets the Sons of Ivaldi to make hair out of real gold, which he then brings back to Sif along with some other goodies for the Aesir.

Then Loki makes a rather stupid bet with a dwarf named Brokk. Loki says that the Sons of Ivaldi are the best smiths in the world and there's no way Brokk's brother Sindri could make anything better than they could. Brokk takes him up on this. The loser loses his head.

Despite some interference from Loki, Sindri makes some pretty cool stuff: a collapsable ship that can hold all the Aesir but still fold up and fit into a purse, a flying golden boar for Frey, god of fertility and sunlight, and, best of all, Mjolnir.

Yep, that's where Mjolnir came from. Odin really doesn't have any control over it.

The gods say that Brokk won the bet, but just before he cuts Loki's head off Loki says, "WAIT A MINUTE! I said you could have my head, but you're NOT allowed to touch my neck."

And that's how Loki escaped death on a technicality! But he didn't get away totally scot-free. Brokk got a leather thong and stitched his mouth shut, which sounds quite painful and kept Loki quiet for a little while.

I've noticed that Norse stories tend to lead to digression in a way that Greek myths often don't. Or maybe that's just me.

One more thing that I just remembered!

#5: I'm pretty sure there is no such thing as "Odinsleep." That was just a plot device to take Odin out of action in the first movie.

And now moving on to the second movie!

The one additional thing they changed that wasn't changed in the first movie was Loki's punishment. Compared to what they did to him in the myths, being locked in a cushy cell was shockingly lenient! I mean, he kills 80 people and they just throw him in jail?! In the myths he kills one person (Baldur) and yeah, okay, he does do some other bad stuff too, but not mass murder.

After the Lokasenna, wherein Loki crashes a feast and viciously insults almost everyone, the gods hunt him down, drag him to a cave in Niflheim, tie him to three sharp rocks with the entrails of his own son, whom they murder right in front of him, and as if that wasn't enough Skadi (goddess of the mountains) hangs a serpent over him so that it can drip poison on his face.

I mean, geez. I didn't even find out about the entrails thing until recently and I was like, WHOA. *Shudder* That seems like overkill.

Moving on...

They referenced some actual myths! And this made me very, very happy! :D

There's this one scene where people are walking around Asgard and some of the gods are out in a courtyard training falcons, and then this raven swoops down and lands on Odin's arm and caws kind of like it's talking to him.

Well, guess what? It is! Odin has two ravens, Hugin and Munin, who fly around the world to bring him news, and that was definitely one of them.

Also, there's a myth where Thor actually fights a giant made out of clay! Granted, he doesn't actually smash it--it just kind of falls over on him. But I'm pretty sure they referenced it in the movie!


Skip to 2:13 in the above trailer and you'll see it.

That scene made me very happy. Yay!

Oh, and there's a scene with Yggdrasil in it! They don't mention it by name, but it's a beautiful image of a giant tree with the nine realms in its branches.

So yeah, it was a good movie and I really enjoyed it. Lots of stuff blew up. There were some wonderful funny moments. I recommend it, for all its flaws. Marvel really just has its own storyworld, and I like that a lot.

Doesn't stop me imagining Myth Loki's reaction to the movie, though...:D



Monday, October 28, 2013

Fun Facts About Norse Mythology

Hey guys!

Sorry I haven't updated in so long (it's been what, a month?). I'm touched that this blog gets so many pageviews! Feel free to comment on any post, by the way.

For the past week or so I've been obsessed with Norse mythology.

Actually, it's more like I've become re-obsessed. I first came to love Norse mythology in 4th grade, since it was part of the curriculum. For some reason I like it better than Greek mythology, which is more widely known.

My re-obsession commenced when we got an assignment in Creative Writing instructing us to take a god of our choice and write about them in modern day setting. I think whoever wrote the assignment was thinking Greek, but that's been done a lot (*coughPercyJacksoncough*)

So I did Norse.

The problem with trying to update Norse mythology is Ragnarok.

Ragnarok is the end of the world, where the gods and the jotuns (giants) have a big apocalyptic battle. Most depressing chapter in my Norse Myths book, because almost everyone dies. Odin, Thor, Loki, Heimdall, Frey...there are maybe seven survivors total, mostly minor characters (although I think Baldur comes back from the dead, so that's good).

It's pretty unusual for a mythology to include the destruction of all its own gods, and I read somewhere that Ragnarok may have been invented to allow Norse myths to coexists with incoming Christianity. The fact that in some versions two humans survive Ragnarok to re-populate the earth supports this.

Or maybe it just got consolidated with the Book of Revelations. *shrugs*

When I was younger my favorite god was Thor, but these days it's Loki.

Note: Unlike in the Marvel universe, in traditional mythology Thor and Loki are NOT brothers. I'm learning to tolerate Marvel, but this still bugs me. Loki and ODIN are blood brothers, but not brothers by birth. Back before Odin lost an eye and gained wisdom ('nother story) he met Loki. (D'Aulares Book of Norse Myths, my main source, says that Loki was some kind of mutant jotun, but I read elsewhere that he's 1/2 jotun and 1/2 god. I think that makes more sense, since he's supposed to be a pretty handsome guy and he's also a shapeshifter.)

Anyway, Loki and Odin got along so well that they cut their wrists and let their blood flow together. They vowed to always fight side by side, to honour each other as brothers and never to accept a favour unless it was also offered to the other. I'm pretty sure all of these promises got broken by both of them.

So that makes Loki something like Thor's adopted uncle.

Although to be honest, Thor and Loki really do behave more like brothers. They go on quite a few adventures together, and although Loki ticks Thor off a few times, he also gets the thunder god out of some sticky situations.

I've had fun with the modern-day story and maybe I'll post it here later. It's seven pages long with extensive footnotes and mainly revolves around a dialog between Loki and Sif (Thor's wife). Also, Thor's in jail. XD

Anyway, coming back to this post after about a week, I saw Thor the other night! And I actually really enjoyed it. They did change a lot, but it was fun to watch and I got really into it.

But I was kind of annoyed at the Loki-Odin relationship...see above rant.

The other thing that bugged me a little was that Loki was so serious. I always pictured him as being really funny, even a little goofy sometimes. I guess I'll just have to write him myself. :)

Oh, and have some art.

Drawn with pencil and pen, coloured in Sumo. Not quite finished yet though...
It's a drawing of two of Loki's lesser-known children, Narfi and Nari. (Or Nari and Vali, depending on where you look, but there's a different god called Vali, so I went with Narfi.) They have a fairly gruesome fate which I recently found out about. :P They're really very minor characters...

I will definitely be posting more about Norse mythology later!

Here's another Sumo picture for you.

Igor O'Malley, who was drawn quite a long time ago. 



Monday, September 16, 2013

Can't Think of a Witty Title

Here's something I love about my school: There's a big piano in the living room and sometimes Mr. K, one of the religion teachers, practices it in the morning. You can hear the music all through the building and it's so beautiful.

Monday morning and I'm feeling kind of drained. I have a history quiz in seven minutes, so we'll see how that goes...

My weekend was insane.

Saturday: I had to go to church for acolyte training from 1-4, and then my mom took me to the art store. New pens, yay! I'm still learning how to use the art pens I got. I also got a book on writing comics.

We got home at about 6, and I didn't have much time for homework. I was up till like 11.

Sunday: It was Homecoming, o joy, so I had to acolyte at 11:15. It was like 98 degrees and we were wearing two layers of robes on top of our clothes. MISERY.

Service let out at 1:00. I had foolishly volunteered to run carnival games afterwards, so I spent the next hour helping kids fish ducks out of a kiddie pool with a fishing rod and giving them tickets. I skipped lunch entirely and didn't really get hungry until later.

When I got home, I had about two and a half hours for homework before I went to this "class party." In hindsight, I should have let my parents go alone. The students were only invited so that more parents would show up. There were a total of eight juniors there, counting me, and no dinner! I thought there would be better food. But nope, my entire dinner was little appetizer quiches and a cracker with some kind of nasty spread on it.

Yay.

Then I was up till about 11 doing homework, so now I'm a bit tired. I had no time to relax at all. I officially hate history. That's what most of my homework was. For some reason I have a hard time caring about early colonial times.

Got to go take that quiz now. Oh joy.

But my drawing with my tablet is getting better.



Sunday, August 25, 2013

OSF 2

Last time I finished off talking about The Tenth Muse, so this time I'll start with The Heart of Robin Hood.

Left to right: Little John, Marian (in disguise), Robin and Will Scarlet.


I loved it.

I should note that I've loved the Robin Hood stories since I was quite small. My dad used to read them to me and I grew up playing Robin Hood in various parks and my backyard, pretending to be him or Marian, reading the stories, and watching the Errol Flynn movie about 20 times.

Yup, that's the one.

So I was already a fan.

Truth be told, I was a little nervous going into the play. What if it wasn't good?

But my worries were totally unfounded, because it was fantastic!

The play starts off with Robin and his men as bloodthirsty cutthroats who haven't quite figured the whole "giving to the poor" thing, but still have a generous reputation. Marian and her servant Pierre try to join them, since Marian really doesn't want to marry Prince John (such a creeper) and might have to anyway, but when she discovers Robin's true nature she decides to set herself up in opposition to him as "Martin of Sherwood," who really DOES do the giving to the poor thing.

Meanwhile, Prince John raises taxes to fund his own private army and take over the country and two children get involved after their father refuses to pay...

The thing I really loved was that this play had some really funny moments but was also very scary. The danger to Marian and the children was very real, and it had some heartbreaking moments. But it balanced that with good humor and great acting.

The set was pretty awesome too. It was in the Elizabethan theatre, which is outdoors, and they were actually using the same set for three forest-themed plays: Cymbeline, Midsummer Night's Dream, and Robin Hood. 



Lastly, we saw My Fair Lady.

It was a good musical, and they staged it well, but something about the story just didn't sit right with me. In case you don't know, My Fair Lady is about a speech therapist who makes a bet with his friend that he can pass off a Cockney flower-seller as a lady via speech lessons. The speech therapist was a little too much of a jerk for me to sympathize with, but it was still a good musical.

The staging looked a little weird initially--two pianos in the middle of the stage?--but they pulled it off really well.

Fun fact: There's this song called "On The Street Where You Live," sung by somebody who's just fallen in love with the main character, Eliza Doolittle.

(For context, she's just been to the horse races. Under the instructions to discuss only the weather and people's health, she made a few drastic faux pas, such as mentioning her Cockney father's gin addiction [it was about his health...])

The guy in the play totally overacted this. It was hysterical! He was running around and lying down on the stage while singing.

My dad told me that that number was actually written just as a filler, because the horse-race sequence was pretty elaborate and the stagehands needed time to change the set! It was written just so the guy could stand in front of the curtain and sing while they moved stuff around behind him.

Yay for fun facts!

My favorite character in My Fair Lady was probably Eliza's reprobate dad. He's completely morally bankrupt, but he freely admits it, and he's also really funny.

Probably my favorite song in the entire thing.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

OSF

Greetings from Ashland, Oregon, where the smoke from the nearby fires has finally abated! (Mostly.) (It had to wait until right before we went home...)

We drove up over Sunday and Monday, stopping overnight at Dad's brother's house. That was fun because I got to see my aunt, uncle and cousin who I very rarely see. Then we arrived on Monday night, with our first play set for Tuesday afternoon.


I don't know if you've ever been to Ashland. It's a very beautiful town. I'm not sure if I'd want to live here full-time, but I love visiting. There's a great green garden called Lithia Park, where the ducks roam freely and the river rushes over rocks and boulders. I love walking through it, and occasionally hauling my cello out to try and make a little money. (A few years ago I got $30 in an hour. No such luck this year--$3 in just under two hours.)


And the plays! The real reason my family comes up is for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. We saw one play per day this week, and all of them were wonderful.


Play 1: The Taming of the Shrew in the Angus Bowmer theatre.


The Angus Bowmer is a big indoor theatre. It's very versatile, set-wise. This year I saw three plays in it, each with a radically different set.


Taming was set in a sort of late-1950s New Jersey amusement pier. The music was rockabilly, and the clothes were often ridiculous. The language was thoroughly Shakespearean, but that was about it for the Bard.


Taming is always a hard play to pull off these days, so I've heard (this was the first time I've seen it). OSF did it really well.



Taming was set in a sort of late-1950s New Jersey amusement pier. The music was rockabilly, and the clothes were often ridiculous. The language was thoroughly Shakespearean, but that was about it for the Bard.

Warning: Spoilers.

Basically,  there’s this girl called Bianca who has two suitors. She’s not allowed to get married until her older sister, Katherine, does. The problem is that Katherine is a “shrew”—she’s not very pleasant to be around. She’s a total wildgirl who tortures her sister and scares off any prospective suitors. I liked her.

 A new guy called Lucientio comes to town (in this case Padua) and falls head-over-heels for Bianca (this is in addition to her two suitors). Then Petrucio, who was a tough, tattooed biker dude in this version, arrives looking for a rich wife. One of Bianca’s suitors convinces him to go after Katherine. Petrucio and Katherine, who he calls Kate, don’t exactly hit it off, but they’re certainly a match for each other—no one else would have either one of them.

A lot of other stuff involving Bianca and her suitors happens too, but I’m going to focus on Petrucio and Kate.

The thing that theatres have a hard time with these days is that after Petrucio and Kate get married, Petrucio uses some harsh wife-taming techniques including starvation and sleep deprivation. He finally gets her to agree with him that the moon is the sun. The thing I liked about this version is that even though Petrucio’s messing with Kate, getting her to agree with whatever he says, you can tell from the actors’ body language that she’s messing with him right back.

There’s a tricky bit at the end where Kate has a speech about how women should be obedient to their husbands. OSF softened that with body language again: There was this moment when Kate whistles and makes a “Get your butt over here or else” motion at Petrucio, the kind of thing you do to call a dog.

This play definitely wasn’t my favorite, but I did like it.



Play 2: The 10th Muse, also in the Angus Bowmer.



This one was fantastic. It's a world premier, so you probably haven't seen it. It's about this girl, Jesusa, in Mexico in 1715. She's been sent from one convent to another, to care for a sick sister (Sor Isabel, who in addition to gradually losing her sight is a bit of a rebel nun…). Arriving simultaneously are her roomates: Tomasita, an Indian of the lowest caste who will be working in the kitchens, and Manuella, a noblewoman who will be staying at the convent for several months.
The girls “enjoy the convivial chef, Sor Filomena, and try to stay clear of both the irritable Sor Rufina and the fearsome Mother Superior” (a quote from the playbill).

The girls are situated in an old storeroom, filled with useless junk and some rather useful objects as well.

Also in the room is an old wardrobe. When the girls finally get it open, they discover that it’s full of papers. Stories, love poems, plays, all forgotten—or were they hidden?

Jesusa, Tomasita and Manuella begin to act out a play in the evenings for their own amusement.  Then Sor Isabel (remember her? Rebel nun?) catches them at it. She recognizes the papers as being the work of the famous Sor Juana In├Ęz de la Cruz, who lived in the convent and died twenty years before. Sor Isabel thought they had been burned…

And I'll leave you hanging there. Go see the play if you get the chance!

Plays 3 and 4 coming soon, along with other exciting tales!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Art!

I draw a lot. I know I haven't posted any drawings, but I do.

So I finally got a tablet!

And I SUCK at using it.

For example:


That's supposed to be my dad in his new pyjamas and our two cats. (The cats were drawn with the cursor, not the pen.)

Normally when I'm not using the tablet, I draw stuff like this:


And this:
One of my characters. Her name is Wilhelm.


And even this:

My characters. Takes too long to explain, but I'm proud of it.

Now, I've been drawing stuff like this. 

A little sketch of my doll and my red book bag lying on my bed.  It's not blood, I promise!!
I've gotten better, though...a bit...

Here's the only other thing that's in a proper format to upload:

No one in particular, I just wanted to try drawing a girl with long hair in a manga-y style.

Whoops, looks like I forgot to get rid of some lines there. Shoot. Like I said, I'm learning. Largely through trial and error. 

The worst is when you forget to save something, ugh.

And that's what I've been up to these past few days!

Well, that and the animation class. We move pieces of paper around in front of a camera. I'm working on an adaption of Little Red Riding Hood with construction paper puppets. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Parking Fiasco

Mom and I were going to check out the Metro Station, because I was taking the train the next day. So we got to the parking structure, but right next to it, blocking it from our view, was a different parking structure.

"I think that's where Dad and I parked last time!" I said, pointing. My dad and I had been in the same area to see a play at a nearby playhouse.

So Mom parked in the parking garage and we exited via a gate and walked next door to check out the Metro station, which also had a parking garage. Once we'd seen it and figured out how it worked, we headed back to the car.

Only we couldn't get in. The gate was locked.

And then I saw the rather large sign that said, "LINCOLN APARTMENTS: TENANT PARKING ONLY."

While you could park there without any problems, it seems that you needed a key card to get back IN.

We were locked away from our car.

Oops.

So Mom and I took off around the parking structure to look for an open door. We probably wouldn't have found one anyway, but Mom saw headlights and we dashed back around and ducked through the gate as another car left. Yay!

Moral of the story: Be careful where you park.

In other news: I'm on Pottermore and I'm a Slytherin. I'm totally shocked: I thought I'd be a Hufflepuff for sure! Aah!


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Venezuelan Beaver Cheese

I have been a bad, bad blogger, not updating in nearly a month. Sorry, guys.

Yesterday my dad and I went to LACMA to see the exhibit on Stanley Kubrick. He was a filmmaker who made, among other things, Lolita, The Shining, 2001 Space Odyssey, and Dr. Strangelove: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. I actually haven't seen any of his movies, and after seeing the exhibit there are some that I really want to see and some that I really DON'T want to see.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Kubrick

They had production photographs, original props, video clips...it was pretty cool.

Then Dad and I went and took a second look at an exhibit called Metropolis II. I don't remember who it's by, but it is very cool. Think the biggest train set EVER, except that it only has a few trains. Mostly it has little toy cars whizzing around. They turn it on and off every hour or so (there's a schedule with the exhibit) and there are all kinds of fantasy buildings that the cars go around. It's pretty awesome.

On our way home, Dad and I stopped and wandered around this one street with a lot of stores and stuff. We happened upon a wine and cheese shop.

As a Monty Python fan, I couldn't resist.

We went in and looked around. I grabbed a little chocolate thingy to buy as a pre-apology, then went up to the counter.

"That everything?" asked the woman ringing me up.

I adopted a faint British accent. "Actually, I was wondering...do you have any Venezuelan Beaver Cheese?"

"You'd have to ask the deli," said the woman, apparently unfazed.

I figured it would end there, but after she gave me  the chocolate thing she turned and yelled, "HEY MIKE, DO WE HAVE ANY VENEZUELAN BEAVER CHEESE?"

This was when my dad, who was looking at a different shelf, figured out what I was up to.

This blond guy comes out from the back of the shop. "Venezuelan...?"

"Venezuelan, uh, Beaver Cheese," repeated the woman.

He frowned. "I don't think so..."

Dad laughed and explained that we were just messing with them. Then we told the guy (who was actually British) about the Cheese Shop Sketch. And if you haven't seen it and this whole story made no sense to you, then watch this!



Sunday, June 9, 2013

Awards Night

Thursday was my school's Awards Night.

Basically, all the students who are getting any kind of academic award get an invitation, and then we show up and they give us the award out on the lawn. We're in lawn chairs and the Head of School goes by department and calls names and whoever gets called up goes and gets their award.

I got an invitation. I had no idea what it was for, since they don't tell you beforehand. My friends Sally, Merula and Felix also got invitations.

Sally is a straight-A student. Last year she got an award from just about every department except Fitness & Wellness. Seriously, she and her sister are probably the smartest people in the school. Her older sister is like the Hermione of the seniors.

So we're all sitting in a row as the HoS calls out names and stuff. They start with the Individual Subject awards: math and science, social studies and English, foreign language and theology, fine arts and fitness and wellness.

Sally got an award in everything except for fitness and wellness, I think. She went up every few seconds and wound up with NINE awards. Wow.

Merula kept getting called up too, eventually collecting six awards. Wow.

And I just sat there, waiting for my name to be called....

Eventually, when they were giving out the English awards, I glanced down the row. Everyone had at least one award certificate except for me. Okay, Rowan, be mature. You must be getting something, or you wouldn't have gotten an invitation. 

They put Creative Writing with English, so I was really hoping...but no, no award. That's when I started wondering: Did they call me here just to humiliate me?

Then the Foreign Language awards came up, and it turns out I did really well on the National Latin Exam. So THAT'S why I'm here, I thought, satisfied. (Felix got an award for that too, as well as one for theatre.)

Then after all the Individual Subject awards, they started on the National and Regional Language Awards and the various other awards. Almost everything National and Regional goes to seniors, so I figured that was it for us. Some of the really fancy awards' winners get their names engraved into silver plates and cups and stuff, which remain at the school for posterity.

So I was watching as various seniors and a few juniors go up and get their awards, when something called the J. J. C. Award for Creative Writing comes up. Oh, it'll be one of the seniors, I thought as the HoS told everyone that this person would have their name engraved on a silver cup for posterity, and would get a wooden plaque. And then she said, "The winner is...Rowan Procter."

I was stunned.

I truly had NO IDEA that was coming. My mouth was hanging open, and as people started clapping I managed to say, "They're kidding, right?"

People kept telling me that I walked all the way up to the front with my mouth hanging open. I was in total shock.

So yep, my name is now engraved on a silver cup in a cabinet at the school. I'm the 8th person to win that award.

I also got a big wooden plaque that Mom's going to hang in the hall.

So...wow! Yeah, that was Awards Night. I was very, VERY surprised. And proud. And...wow.

See you soon!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Girl Genius Snuck Its Way Right Into My Heart

Second YouTube video uploaded! YAY!

EDIT: After exchanging emails with Studio Foglio, I had to take down the video. Turns out it was a copyright issue. Oh well, better busted by the Professors then by the Disney people for using their song. The rest of the blog post remains unchanged.

This one celebrates the comic Girl Genius, created by Phil and Kaja Foglio of Studio Foglio.

Read it here! http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/
Seriously, read it. It's pretty awesome. The video was a lot of fun to make.

All credit for the art goes to Studio Foglio.
All credit for the music goes to the Phineas and Ferb people.

I had the idea for this when I was listening to the song and heard the line "I put up barriers/To shield my emotions" and then the dropwall in GG just popped into my head and I started laughing. Then I remembered the Wall of Thorns and a few other bits (for instance, Gil's face in "and even more when we were apart":D) and I just had to make it. So here you are. Enjoy.

On another note: This is my 31st post and I've made it to 1033 pageviews! Thanks, guys! (Not really sure if that's impressive or not...I've never had a blog before, so...thanks anyways!)


Sunday, May 26, 2013

19 Things to Do with Long Hair

To see the video I am blatantly ripping off, scroll to the bottom.

THINGS TO DO WITH LONG HAIR:

1. Brush it with a hairbrush!


2. Make it as tall as you can.

3. Chew on it when you're bored.

4. Twirl it around your finger

5. Put some of it in a hairband   
6.  Put ALL of it in a hairband

7. Headbang!
This is rather hard to photograph with an iPad. I did get a nice one of the ceiling, though. 


8. Use it to cover your acne!

Yep, the blackheads  on my nose are now totally invisible. And if I look like a deranged maniac, well...

9. Use it as a hiding place!


Oh no! Someone's coming!

Quick! I must hide!


"Well, there's no one here..."

10. Put it in braids! The more the merrier!

Or weirder...whatever floats your boat...

11. Hide secret messages with it! No bangs?


 No problem!


(That was supposed to say "Secret message," but I got ticklish when my friend was writing it.)

12. Put it on someone else's head!

Me and my friend Felix, who got another sonic screwdriver for her birthday.


Me and my dad.

Me and my cat Fluff. 

13. Use it as a mustache!


14. Or a beard!


15. Use it as a cat toy!


16. Tuck it up under a hat.
Or two. 


Halloween costume hat. I was Puss in Boots


Deerstalker!

Robin Hood! 

Possibly the coolest hat I own...

..except for this one. :D 


17. Fling it around when you play a musical instrument!


18. Pin it under your fingers by accident!

This is actually quite painful and annoying. 

And 19! Do your Cousin Itt impression!

The real Cousin Itt...


Me!

Oh yeah, and 20...

20. Cut it all off and donate it to Locks for Love!

So yeah. I got my hair cut short. And I love it very much. The back is so FUZZY. 

And here's the video I ripped off. It's extremely funny. 

All respect to Charlie McDonnell, a brilliant young man who does funny things on YouTube. Check out his new short film The Tea Chronicles!!

As a little note, I can do the wet dog thing with short hair but not long hair. :)

Bye now.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Review 5. Bowties are cool.

Review:

If you have a nose for intrigue, would rather be adventurous than well-behaved, and are the despair of your lady-like mother, you may fit right in at Madame Geraldine's Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. Sophronia, a troublesome girl from a good family, expects a normal finishing school where she will be taught to crochet, dance, make small talk, curtsy, and do everything else that a lady needs to excel. But within Madame Geraldine's, she finds lessons on espionage, combat, vampires, werewolves, technology, and everything else that a first-class spy needs to survive. Join her in Gail Carriger's Finishing School series, where young ladies learn to finish...everything.

Also: The Doctor is not the only one who can rock a bowtie. Observe.


Points to whoever notices something new besides the bowtie. More on that later.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Review 4 and Funny Stats

Review:

Etiquette and Espionage is an engaging romp through a delightful steampunk Victorian world. Author Gail Carriger returns to the thoroughly engaging world of genre-juggling that she first established with the adult series The Parasol Protectorate, some of whose characters also appear in Etiquette and Espionage. Although vampires and werewolves take a back seat in comparison to the technology in Etiquette and Espionage, they still spice the fantasy world up enough to make it truly enjoyable for fans of the supernatural as well as anyone who likes a cast of strong female characters.


And now for another topic! I hope you're not getting too tired of these reviews.

When I started this blog, I figured that probably not that many people would read it except for my old classmates, who I sent the link to. Now I'm at 880 pageviews--yay! Thanks, guys!

The thing I find interesting, though, is that a lot of my audience is in Europe and Asia. The most traffic on my blog comes from:

United States
Germany
Russia
South Korea
Ukraine

For some reason I find this very weird, in an extremely cool way. I'm not entirely sure why. I can't really wrap my head around the fact that there are people all around the world, people I don't know, reading my humble blog. It's like...whoa. The Internet is so cool! (Mostly.)

I'm not getting a swelled head here--at least, I think I'm not. I just find it weird. Like, wow. Thanks for reading!!

(Shout-out to anyone reading from the UK--you guys have the best entertainment! Harry Potter, Discworld,  Doctor Who, Sherlock, Merlin...the list goes on and on. Thanks, guys!)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Review 3

Etiquette and Espionage review:

Etiquette and Espionage, an engaging young adult/middle grade book, features intrepid young women, a flying boarding school, subterfuge, interesting lessons, vampires, werewolves, and a mechanical sausage dog. What more could you want from a steampunk book? The heroine, Sophronia Temminick, is not your average British schoolgirl: she enjoys tree climbing and mechanical inventions over tea parties. She is perfectly suited to the mysterious Madame Geraldine's academy, a flying airship in which students  are trained to finish...everything. This is a fun read and I hope you enjoy it!

...I really hope that was 60 words, because I'm too tired to do more and/or check.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Review Project pt. 2

Etiquette and Espionage review:


Etiquette & Espionage, a steampunk/urban fantasy middle-grade novel, was an enjoyable read. I thought that the Parasol Protectorate, an adult series by the same author, was actually better written and plotted, but E&E was still fun. Part of the fun of E&E for fans of Gail Carriger is that E&E takes place some time before the Parasol Protectorate, but features some of the same characters. If you've read the Parasol Protectorate, you'll recognize some old friends and make many new ones in E&E. 

Review of The Lost Child of Tir na NOg by Katarina Bethel:

The Lost Child of Tir na NOg, the literary debut of high school senior Katarina Bethel, is actually pretty good. It tells the story of Audrey, a changeling child who, with the help of a mysterious faerie, must find her way to Tir na NOg, where her destiny awaits her. The book had some problems with continuity, and some of the characters could have been more clearly drawn, but that should be fixed in the second edition which Ms. Bethel assures us is on its way. The story itself was engaging and incredibly well researched. I've read a lot of faerie books myself and the attention to mythic detail was impressive. 

The fact that Katarina Bethel is a good friend of mine has nothing to do with my advertising her book. Well, maybe a little. 

Buy it on Amazon! It's worth it!

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Review Project pt. 1

I follow the blogs of a few of my favorite authors. One of them is Gail Carriger. Sometimes they host contests, and right now she's having a review contest to win an advance copy of her next book.

I really want one, so here's my first review of Etiquette and Espionage, the first book in the Finishing School series

This book is awesome. The heroine, Sophronia, is brave, impulsive, and flawed, which makes her more believable. As a less-than-ideally behaved young lady of good family, she is sent away to Madame Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. But to her surprise, this school doesn't just teach young ladies to curtsy and make polite conversation with nobles. Finishing School teaches the young ladies to finish...everything, from secret missions to their enemies. Set in a steampunk world with a backdrop of vampire and werewolf society, this book was quite enjoyable.



91 words. Yay. (The minimum is 60.)
Now about the contest...
See, it's not actually being judged on the quality of the reviews. 20 reviews are being randomly selected. And yes, you can enter multiple times...which is why I'm going to be putting up lots of Finishing School reviews until June 10th. Sorry. This is the only blog I have and I'm not on Goodreads.

But to make it fun, I'll include a review of whatever else I'm reading too!

Which right would be...uh...well, I'll just review something I finished a while ago, because I actually remember the author's name.



Review of Jump by Ginger Rue:

I had my doubts when I started this book. It's from the point of view of Brinkley, a self-obsessed snobby teenager, who is put in therapy because her behavior has caused four other girls to leave her private school. This is her last chance: if she doesn't improve, she'll be expelled. The only reason she hasn't been expelled is that her parents paid for an auditorium. She is a total brat and I wasn't sure if I would like reading about her. But I did. As she starts her counseling sessions, Brinkley begins to have strange experiences wherein she enters another person's body for a few hours--thus literally walking in their shoes. These experiences teach her what it's like not to be her, and her character undergoes a profound change over the course of the novel.
I thought that the author worked in the change in Brinkley's character really well. It was gradual and satisfying.
The premise was a little weird, but I liked it. And while some things are never really explained, I think that allows the reader a little freedom to form their own theories. So yeah, I liked it a lot more than I thought I would.

Okay, gotta go now.