Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween 2011!

 Happy Halloween!
We played Apples to Apples on Friday night and my friend got this card and submitted it for "Creepy." It was perfect.

We went as Kermit and Miss Piggy.

Inspired by this cute song:


I ended up just wearing the Kermit costume to Sunday school and school....

Though I'm really more of a diva than a frog.

Hope everyone had a fun and safe night!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Swimming Babies

I am having a meh kind of week, and one weird thing I do to cheer myself up when I'm feeling down is look up videos of swimming babies on youtube, and it all stems from this, really.



A truly beautiful moment, and though I would love to watch this entire film today, I don't have time, so this will have to do. Have a good day.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Why Are You Up!

Good evening,
this blog comes to you in 4 parts. (Vlogbrothers reference)

Part 1: Life Update   
 I've been busy interning at a high school since the end of August and I don't think I've talked about it too much online. I'm teaching English, it's going pretty well. I had a stressful week last week when I had to plan a bunch of stuff all in one week. The only major problems I've had have been with me being too hard on myself about stuff. Other than that, it's all going well. I am there until Christmas.
     The one crappy thing about it is that it is basically a full-time job that I don't get paid for (and in fact have to pay for.) my program is the only program at my university that has an unpaid internship as a requirement. It's pretty bunk. And I'm not really working (I have a couple sources of income but no real "jobs") this semester, so I am quickly going broke, which is unfortunate as I have a long list of things I would like to be saving money for, such as:
-my last semester of school (I currently don't have enough saved up for tuition, nevermind textbooks and a parking pass),
-a new car (still haven't got a new one since I totalled my old one in January. driving my parents' extra car.), 
-moving out of my house (and city) in January (which ideally would involve me having a car and money for gas and stuff to be able to commute into the city every day),
-going to Europe in July (my boyfriend and I are planning to go to Europe for 3 weeks in July when he finishes work as a celebration of my convocation.)
   But first, I need to finish internship so that I can convocate. and then I need a job after Christmas.
   Until then, I am going to be super broke, which means I will be able to afford gas and the occasional dinner/night out, but no new clothes or books, and probably no Christmas presents for my loved ones. Sorry, loved ones!

Part 2: Book Challenge
I am currently at 38 on my book challenge, which is pretty good. Part of the purpose was to track how many books I actually read in a year, because I never have before and I thought it'd be interesting, and part of it was to motivate myself to spend more time doing something I enjoy (reading). I think I have made more time for it, especially when I've been busy and have wanted to make excuses.
If I read one book a week for the rest of the year, I will be at 49. So, I'll just try to stick to that and read an extra book, too!

Part 3: Halloween
   Halloween should be fun this year. I am going to a house party on the Friday before Halloween, a concert/costume party on the Saturday, having a Halloween party in my Sunday School class on the Sunday and dressing up for school on the Monday.
The only problem is my costume. My boyfriend and I are doing a couple costume (which is going to be a surprise for some people who insist they don't want to know what it is beforehand so I can't say on here) but my costume doesn't really make a good costume by itself. So I need an idea for something appropriate and fun that I can wear to the Sunday school party, and to school on the Monday. Please leave suggestions in the comments for me.

Part 4: NaNoWriMo
 I would love to do NaNoWriMo this year, but I can't do it during internship, especially because for most of November I am going to have a full course load (teaching 4 classes) and the school musical I've been helping with is in November, and it would just be way too stressful.
   I am thinking of doing NaNoWriMo in January, maybe. I will be done internship, hopefully moved out (though we shall see how that pans out), and taking 5 classes and hopefully working part-time, but I will be much less busy, and one of my writer friends will be done school in January, so maybe I can convince him to do it with me. I think it would be fun, since January is usually the worst month of the year for me. All the excitement of winter is over and the days are still short and bitter cold, and the only holiday is over at the very start of the month so it is a long month. I wouldn't mind sitting inside writing all the time.

That's all the parts!

If you made it this far, I'll reward you with a funny anecdote that will also make the title of this post make sense.  While I was writing this, I got a text from my friend who is studying abroad this semester, in England.
All it said was "Dani! J'aime tu!"
I knew he was travelling in Spain this week, so I responded, "<3 te amo!"
and then, realizing it was after 7 and there is probably about an 8-hour time difference, I said, "what the hell time is it where you are? Why are you up?"
He said, "It's three in the morning here in Valencia Spain, I haven't slept for 48 hours and I'm drunk. Why are you up!"
I said "because it is 7:30 pm on a Tuesday."

So there you go. I am sitting at home (actually, I'm lying down.) blogging and eating a peanut butter cup blizzard, and my friend is drunk texting in Spain. The world is a funny place.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Saying Goodbye

My friend had a close friend pass away this week, so I thought I would make something to cheer her up.

This is me covering "Saying Goodbye" from Muppets Take Manhattan on piano.

I have a cold, so the singing is quite terrible and there are a lot of voice cracks. I'm also not great at piano, but it's a beautiful song with great lyrics.




Books Read So Far in 2011: 37
Currently Reading: Probably going to start Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson tonight. I've never read it.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thankful

Here is an incomplete list of things the little kids in my Sunday school class are thankful for:
my grandpa, my grandma, my friends, my family, my mom, my dog, my grandma's dog, water, trees, the earth, food, pie, school, animals, my brother, soccer, barbies, markers and crayons, and shoes.

Take time this weekend to think about the things you never think to be thankful for -  like water, and shoes; and the things you are thankful for all the time - like family and friends.

And, following the tradition of last year, here are ten things I am thankful for:

family
friends

literacy

opportunity

music

water

nature

laughter

food
Images from here. Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

50/50 Film Review

     I just saw the film 50/50 tonight and it was amazing.
     It is one of the best films I've seen in theatres in a while, and probably the only movie I've seen in 2011 so far that I genuinely loved. Other than Harry Potter, I haven't really left a theatre thinking "I'd watch that again," or, even crazier in this day and age, "I'd buy that." It was awesome. I laughed, I cried. It had everything: tragedy, friendship, family issues, romance. Everything a good film needs (plus super attractive, famous, and talented people in every role.)
     Joseph Gordon-Levitt was perfect in the starring role. He's a great actor and can say more with his face than words, which was excellent for the character of Adam - a young person recently diagnosed with cancer who doesn't feel like sharing too many emotions.
     Seth Rogen co-stars as Adam's best friend Kyle. Kyle tries to support Adam while simultaneously using his cancer to help them pick up girls. I've always been a fan of Rogen's and thought he stole the spotlight in all of his scenes, but for people who don't like him, give the film a chance. This is his best role yet, probably because it hits so close to home. (His friend Will Reiser wrote the semi-autobiographical script and Rogen helped produce it and stars as a version of himself.)
     Anjelica Huston is Adam's mom, and as my boyfriend said, she is "the mom" in movies. She does a good job of playing the worrywart, overprotective mom but really shines in one particular scene, just before Adam goes into surgery, when the anaesthetologist tries to rush Adam off and Huston gives him an icy stare, says "can you. give us a moment. please." and continues to hug her son. It was so sweet and caring. I cried.
     Bryce Dallas Howard and Anna Kendrick play roles that could  have been completely 2-dimensional (the bitchy girlfriend the audience hates, and the cute sweet girl you wish could be Adam's girlfriend, respectively), especially since they were written by a man, but I thought the film did a great job of showing all perspectives in the story. Nothing was black and white. Emotions were complicated, and it wasn't so simplistic that we could just hate the bitchy girlfriend. Reiser actually evoked empathy for her, and it wasn't enough to just have Adam fall for Kendrick's character. The film built it up slowly and their relationship wasn't really the point of the movie, anyways.
     That's what makes the movie great. Even though it could have been formulaic and contrived (a bro-comedy, a rom com, a family drama, and inspirational story) it doesn't slide into any of those categories easily, and that's because there is nothing else really like it. I forget the source so I can't find it online and will therefore misquote it, but I read an interview with Rogen and Reiser and Rogen said that when Will was diagnosed with cancer, they were looking for a movie to compare his situation to and there wasn't one, so they made one.
     The movie had a good mix of quiet and loud, laughter and tears, vulgarity and tenderness. It was perfectly cast, the score was great, and it was a very pretty film. The actors are pretty, the setting is pretty, the clothes were nice. It has all the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster, but 1.) it has actual substance, 2.) it has a topic everyone can relate to, because cancer touches all our lives and 3.) it doesn't take itself too seriously. People say laughter is the best medicine and 50/50 isn't afraid to, as the reviews are saying, "laugh at cancer."

I don't have a rating system. I'll give it 5 pot-filled macaroons out of 5.
Go see it. It's awesome. You will be able to relate to it. It will be just what you need.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Autumn in the Country

I spent the weekend in the small town my boyfriend lives in. So last week I had Autumn in the City, and this is Autumn in the Country.




where the sidewalk ends..

If you could kick the ball hard enough it would go on forever..

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I Am Learning

I am learning:

to not be afraid of failure

to accept change as the norm

to know that I will be loved no matter what

to reach out to people

to make mistakes

to take time for myself

to make time for others

to take advice with a grain of salt

to stay true to myself

to reflect

to spend more time in nature

to spend more time with family

that everything ends - good things and bad

to appreciate the moment

to not complain so much

that time goes by quickly but it can move slowly, too

that looking forward to the future does not help you appreciate now

that the future might not be that much better, unless your attitude makes it so

and that I will never be done learning.