Forget vampires! Get yourself a monster...

posted by Jory on Saturday, November 28, 2009 0 comments links to me
My cousin just opened up an etsy shop where she sells awesome creatures such as these ones:


Aren't they adorable? Maybe you should get one for a loved one...(or yourself).

The Wolf's Out of the Bag

posted by Jory on Friday, November 20, 2009 0 comments links to me
I just got back from seeing New Moon. I know, I know, I'm a little late in the game, but I didn't have anyone to see it with me at midnight so I went by myself after work today. I walked in during the middle of the Sherlock Holmes trailer. Good thing I've already seen it about 50 times twice.

I hadn't seen, however, the trailer for Remember Me and I have to say, I think I will like RPattz better in that than in Twilight. Not that I don't like him in the Twilight Saga, its just the whole monotone, emotionless, not-quite-sure-if-I'm-getting-the-American-accent thing. (Although the accent was much improved in New Moon.) His character in Remember Me - at least what I can tell from the trailer - has a lot more emotion and passion.

Okay. So let me start from the beginning. I loved New Moon. I liked Twilight because of its addictive nature and its amazing soundtrack. But I have to say that the production quality, the acting, the music, the action...pretty much everything was stepped up on New Moon. Props to director Chris Weitz.

If you haven't read the book, you really shouldn't be reading this post. It's not as much a review as a list of things I liked about it.

I sat in the packed theater, by myself, with my little notebook, feeling surprisingly giddy at everything going on. Here are some of the things I took note of.
1. Billy Burke is heartbreakingly adorable as Charlie Swan.
2. The soundtrack is phenomenal. P.H.E.N.O.M.E.N.A.L.
3. The low camera angles were brilliant. They made Jacob look even larger than he already is.
4. Jasper's talents finally were made known in the films. Thank you!
5. Every character was much more sympathetic. Personalities actually became apparent. This is important to me.
6. It was funny. Really. I was laughing out loud at some parts. Mike Newton? "Gotta get that protein in there." And Jasper? "It'd be nice not to want to kill you all the time."
7. I love the dynamic between Bella and the Cullens.
8. The break up scene is tragic. I mean, really, I felt it. And the film-Bella is so much stronger than the book-Bella. You expect the book-Bella to collapse because her entire world (which she has stupidly revolved solely on Edward) has just ended, but it's so much harder to see the film-Bella, with her fire and spunk, battle that kind of darkness.
9. The movie scene was totally awkward. It was delicious. And the hand-holding? Awwww.
10. When I saw some set-photos I was a little weary of Rachelle's hair. But it was SOOO pretty.
And finally,
11. The sequence right before the jump was amazing. I want to kiss the editor. But not really.

I have to say, I love Jacob. And a big part of me wishes those two crazy kids could just make it work. But I know that Bella would never be truly happy without her Edward and so I do feel that she belongs with him. But it sure would be great if everyone could JUST GET ALONG. There. I said it. I can go now.

Can't wait for Eclipse!

Vampires Are Sucking The Life Out Of ME!!! No, really...

posted by Jory on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 0 comments links to me
I've already admitted that I've been swept up in the Twilight Saga phenom. But I've also, thanks to Tia's recommendation, spent a whole weekend watching the entire first season of BBC's Being Human on MegaVideo because I don't get BBC America from my cable provider. Jerks. Following that, I read ALL FOUR Vampire Diaries Books in two days. And I have become addicted to the show on CW.

For the record, I'm pro-Stefan. But Damon can stick around.

Anyways, I wanted to take a moment to talk about the books. So far they are not much like the show. In the show, Elena Gilbert is popular but not entitled, stands by her principles, and is confident. She is a brunette, she has a brother, and just the one best friend (Bonnie). In the books she is blonde, arrogant (at more than one point even referring to herself as the "Queen of the School"), and, frankly, kind of annoying. She has two best friends (Meredith and Bonnie), and a baby sister. In both the books and the show, Bonnie has psychic powers. The similarities sort of end there.

Once you get past the annoying personality of Elena in the books, however, they are pretty good. At first they seem to be copying Twilight (even though they preceded Twilight by 14 years). However, the further you get into them the more different they are.

There are four books in the first series from the early 90's: The Awakening, The Struggle, The Fury, and Dark Reunion. However, there is a new series in progress called The Return which has one book, Nightfall, which was released in February of this year, and two more that are still being written.

I've just started reading Nightfall, and so far it is very bizarre. I'm tempted to just stop reading, but I know I wont. However, I would recommend stopping after the first series, at least until the rest of this series is released.

Also, if you have NOT watched the show, my favorite episode so far is last week's "162 Candles." I'll bet that if you start with that one it will draw you in. If you are a girl. If you are a guy, well, that's another story.

Lesson Burned, Lesson Learned?

posted by Jory on Thursday, November 05, 2009 0 comments links to me
Have I told you about the large intrusive guy that sits in front of me in one of my classes? No?

Remember the guy in Mean Girls that sits in front of LaLohan? The smelly kid who farts? Well, this guy looks nothing like him. He's not what you would typically assume to be the smelly kid. But due to what I can only assume is some recent digestive issues, he has released gas in class nearly every day for the past month.

Not only is it stinky, but for the first week or so, everyone sitting behind me thought it was me.
That has been cleared up, I assure you.

Now, not only is he smelly, but he's also very large. He's not fat, by any means, but he is tall and broad. And though he is not my type at all, most would label him as attractive. However, with his massive size comes some discomfort on my part.

He stretches and leans backward and invades my personal space. He also often sits sideways in his seat and rests his arm on my desk, taking up about half my desk space. I strongly considered placing adhesive to the top half of my desk (and possibly some thumb tacks facing upwards).

Then, about two weeks ago, I brought a hot tea to class. I set it on my desk, and for a split second I even thought to myself, 'you know, if he leans back it will mean disaster.' I intended to move my tea to the floor where it would be safe, but the prof began speaking and I soon forgot. Not ten minutes later, it happened.

I remember in slow motion seeing him leaning backwards. Then I think I went into shock. The next thing I remember is sitting there staring at my notebook which is slowly soaking up the steamed milk.

(My friend told me I tried to reach for it and had impressively quick reflexes, but I remember none of it.)

Everyone around me started jumping up and grabbing towels and moving the rest of my things out of the way while I sat there staring at the mess. It wasn't until I realized my legs and stomach were scalding that I actually stood up.

The hallway carpets had been cleaned that morning and there were high powered dryers still set out, so someone put my tea stained back pack in front of one of them.

My friend ushered me into the bathroom, where I took off my pants and tried to get them as dry as possible. My legs and my stomach were bright red.

An older lady walked in and saw me in my underwear. She laughed and said, "Oh, you girls!" I wasn't really sure what that meant.

I returned back to my class (with my pants on) and the guy gave me a dollar for another tea.

Anyways, I figured (hoped) that this occurrence would possibly teach him to keep his appendages and the likes in his own personal space.

I was wrong. Luckily, I only have two weeks left of sitting behind him.

Update

posted by Jory on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 0 comments links to me
So, I know it has been a while since I have posted on the happenings in my life. Partly because my life is mostly uneventful, and partly because I don't think people actually CARE what my day to day is. However, since the last time I really put a lot of effort into this blog was back in July, I have decided to tell you a little bit about myself.

I went to college in California (1 year in San Diego and 3 years in LA). I graduated last May with a degree in Film (Screenwriting), but, in fact, have no desire to go into Hollywood or, as it is, write screenplays. I haven't completely tossed aside the idea of screenwriting, I just don't feel I'm very good at it and it is not something I want to focus my energy on at the moment. This does not mean, however, that my education was a waste because everything I learned helped me reach this decision and, of course, broadened my experience and knowledge.

I want to be a novelist. I know that is a general statement and that a lot of people "say" they want to be novelists but don't ever do anything about it. Well, hopefully, I am not one of them. I am working on a novel right now and am also prepping for this year's NaNoWriMo, YAY!

After graduation, I moved back home with my parents. Yes, I returned to the good 'ole nest. Illinois. Close to Chicago but not in it. But also not in a cornfield, I thank you.

I have a total of TWO friends in town with whom I am actually still in contact with from high school. They are both guys. Neither of them really get me. So you could say I am a bit lonely.

My four best gal pals are all far away from me: one in grad school four hours away, one finishing up her Bachelors three hours away, and two back in California. Luckily, the one finishing her Bachelors will graduate in about a month and a half and will move back here (She'd better, anyway, or I will be a very sad little Jo). But I guess that's what I get for deciding to go halfway across the country for college.

I'll be going back to school for an MA in English in January. I never thought I would be able to afford grad school but the school I'm going to is quite inexpensive compared to my undergrad. I'm excited, and also kind of nervous. I take the GRE this Thursday. Wish me luck.

When I am not preparing for going back to school, I substitute teach. And when I am not substitute teaching, I am at home catching up on ALL the shows I didn't watch when I was too busy studying in college. And I make lots of crafty things (like awesome movie poster collaged shelves I built for my multitude of books).

Speaking of books. I have too many. My current, but incomplete, count is 205. I went a little crazy at the used book store. I have yet to read all the books I own. In fact, its almost a bad omen for a book when it's not purchased by itself.

Anyways, there's a little bit of an update. Don't want to give too much away right off the bat.

Vampire's Assistant

posted by Jory on Sunday, October 25, 2009 0 comments links to me
So, on Friday night I went to see Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant with my one of my favorite persons EVER, whom I dont get to see much anymore as I have moved half a country away.

The movie was....well....I don't really know what I can say about it. I wasn't sure what to expect going into it. Was it a drama? A comedy? A spoof? It seemed like it was supposed to be a dramedy, but given John C. Reilly's resume, I was afraid it wasn't supposed to be taken seriously.

Throwing all confusion aside, however, I found it quite enjoyable. Now, I am far from calling myself a qualified critic, because despite my degree in film, I tend to find it very difficult not to like a movie. It has to be awful. Or boring. I can have issues with certain aspects of some movies, but if I leave the theater mostly happy then I'm good to go.

Anyway, The Vampire's Assistant is a tale of two boys who disobey their parents and go to a freak show where they meet a vampire. They are then enticed by opposite sides of a war going on between the Vampires (mostly good guys) and the Vampanese (the baddies). There's some love, there's some funnies, and there's Salma Hayek with a beard.

It's a great Halloween movie, lots of fun. And I have to note that the opening credit sequence is the best one I've seen since Casino Royale. (You know what I'm talking about.)

My Niece is a Nose Biter

posted by Jory on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 0 comments links to me
Except that she's cute, and does NOT in fact remind me of the Penguin from Batman Returns.

Talking When Nobody's Listening

posted by Jory on Thursday, July 09, 2009 0 comments links to me
For those of you who don't live in places with seasons (California, I'm talking to you), the months of May through August are heavy with construction. This means that basically every road has little orange cones up and slower speed limits.

In residential areas, when those little orange cones take up a third of the street, its just not wide enough for two cars to fit through. So you have to take turns.

Today I was let through first by a gentleman, and as I passed him I waved and said, "thank you." My window was up and so was his. He couldn't hear me.

Why do we do that? (Talk when no one can hear us?) I know I'm not the only one. Some people get frustrated and yell at other drivers. Some people, confused by what another driver is doing might say, "come on buddy." I, personally, catch myself saying, "go ahead" when at a four way stop, without actually waving the person on. And then there's the hesitant inching forward, then stopping to let someone go, only to have them doing to same thing, so you don't really know WHO is going to go but you're both waving each other on.

I think it's really funny that we talk alone in our cars. I used to think it would be smart to install CV radios in all cars and you could just automatically tune in to whoever is around you. That way you could say things like, "hey you go ahead, you look like you're in a hurry," or, "excuse me, but could you please let me through, I'm in a hurry," or, "could you please leave some room on the right so that I can pull into the turn lane? Thanks," or "GET OUT OF THE WAY, MY BRAKES ARE OUT!"

But then I realized what a bad idea that would be after all, because it would probably increase road rage and ultimately cause more problems. Like the two cars that stopped in front of me on my way to lunch the other day. Both drivers got out of their cars and got into a full on contest to see who could yell the F-bomb louder. It was amusing, but I was late for lunch.

So anyway, that was just a random thought of the day. I've been doing more research for my novel and reading up on preparation. Someone had posted a link to this blog, Bibliophile Stalker, which has a bunch of excellent links for writers and readers alike. Check it out.

Sometimes its not about what's on the bookshelf...

posted by Jory on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 0 comments links to me
It's about the bookself itself.

The past couple of weeks have been my DIY crafty weeks. I rearranged my room and realized, well, I just didn't have enough space for the massive amount of books and DVDs I've collected throughout college.

(I shipped 12 boxes from California, if that tells you anything.)

So, I bought some wood boards, sanded them down, and pasted some movie posters around them. Then I mounted them to my wall. They look pretty freakin sweet if I do say so myself. I will post some pictures eventually, you know, when I take some.

In the meantime, I thought I'd show some of these awesome shelves I discovered while searching for ideas.
 I still want to get this one and put it on my dresser.

And I love this. It would go really well with the colors in my room, but I don't really know where I would put it.















Same with this one, it's cool too, but no place to put it.
This one is just...pretty.









This, I will totally do. Someday.
And this. Which just makes my heart sing.














I'll try and get some pics up of my shelves.

What do you mean, there's two sides to every story?

posted by Jory on Monday, May 18, 2009 0 comments links to me

SPOILER ALERT - If you have not read the Twilights yet, do not proceed.

Seriously guys. I warned you.
I was thinking about New Moon, the next part of the Twilight Saga which is currently filming. I am re-reading the series and I was reminded that Edward is not in about 90% of the book.

Now, knowing the crazy fame of Robert Pattinson, I am going to project that the filmmakers are going to find some way to squeeze in more screen time for him.

You know, make the girls happy and what not.

Anyways, the most likely scenario for them working this out without changing the story would be to show what he's doing wherever he is while he's away from Bella.

This bothers me to no end.

First of all, I believe we were only given one side of the story for a reason. Meyer wanted us to experience everything (in the first two books anyway) through Bella's eyes. She has shown that she is capable of switching perspectives, yet she didn't in New Moon and never from Edward's perspective in the series. So we shouldn't get that side forced upon us in the film, no matter how "hot" RPattz is.

(Love the haircut, though.)

Secondly, the book is already too long for them to fit everything in. Remember what happened to the first film? It cut out way too much. And it's only going to be worse if they are adding things in that aren't even IN the book.

Well, that's my rant. I'm done. For now.

Mom's Day

posted by Jory on Sunday, May 10, 2009 0 comments links to me
I thought that, in honor of Mom's Day today, I'd tell you a bit about the woman who reared me (and lived to tell about it). This is how awesome my mom is.

  • For my eighth birthday, I begged for a Pocahontas cake. I thought it would be so cool. My mom, however, had alterior plans. Plans which, quite frankly, blew the socks off my Pocahontas plans. When my cake arrived at my birthday party and was set down in front of me, I was surprised to see not Pocahontas, but my own smiling face staring up at me. It was seriously the coolest cake ever, and everyone said so. But I remember being really angry, and possibly throwing a bit of a fit because I wanted Pocahontas. I still feel bad about that to this day.
  • When I was 15, my friend decided to let me try and drive his Acura which was a stick shift. We drove around the neighborhood, all the while my friend was shifting for me and yelling clutch since I didn't know what I was supposed to be doing. We pulled up to a stop sign and I did something wrong and the car started bouncing up and down. A cop was behind us and decided to follow us back to my driveway. He got out of his squad car and I stopped the Acura and started to get out. I didn't realize that there wasn't a parking gear like on an automatic transmission, so the car started rolling backwards. My mom walked out the front door just as the cop turned on his lights. We got a warning from the cop, and my mom gave me the "You're in big trouble, young lady," but once we got inside and shut the door she started cracking up.
  • She is always telling me to be aware of "bad guys."
  • She totally talked back to this grumpy know-it-all that I used to work with and she put him in his place.
  • I used "Perm For A Day" on my hair once, and she told me my head looked like a Furby.
  • Like all good mom's, she encouraged me to study some sort of medicine. She told me that doctor's and nurses would always find work. And though this was never an area I actually wanted to pursue, I knew she was looking out for my best interests. And of course, she has always been supportive of my writing and has told me (lied, I'm sure) that I'm great at it.
  • She taught me how to sew when I was little and helped me make "friendship pillows."
  • She made me a gorgeous prom dress. And a beautiful black cocktail dress.
  • She laughs at herself.
  • Despite the fact that I used to sleepwalk a lot and, in fact, once dove on her in my sleep, she still wants me to sleep with her when I visit. (And her bed is like sleeping on a cloud.)
  • She laughs at me. Like the time I fell down the stairs. She held it in until she knew I was okay, then she showed no mercy.
  • She says things like, "I don't think Jesus needs a house."
  • She used to call in sick for me so I could have "mental health days" in high school. (Then again, I was such a good kid I deserved it. Ha ha.)
Anyways, my mom is awesome. Love you mom. Thanks for birthing me. I pretty much appreciate it. And you got a pretty good end of the bargain too, if I do say so myself.

Creativity gifts

posted by Jory on Monday, April 20, 2009 0 comments links to me
I want to create something for you. More specifically, for five of you. You simply have to indicate interest! (It's that easy!)

I will be leaving this offer open until 2300PST on Wednesday, April 23, (in the year of our Lord, 2009) at which time I will choose FIVE of the people who have responded at random (I will send a message to those who have been successful).

This offer does have some restrictions, so read carefully:
- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make.
- What I create will be just for YOU.
- It will be done this year (2009).
- It will be something made in the real world and not something over the internet.
- It might be a painting, a knitted item, an item of clothing, a poem or short story, a meal or a cake...who knows! There are other things it might be too, but I promise whatever it is, it will be made for YOU and with YOU in mind!

In return, all you need to do is post this on your blog or facebook and make 5 things for 5 other people. If you are reading this, take part, even if you do not know me very well.

Just post a comment if you are interested! :)

Baby, It's Been A Long Time...

posted by Jory on Monday, April 20, 2009 0 comments links to me
Okay. I know I could actually attribute my lack of posting to the fact that I have a month left of college and I am v. busy tying up loose ends.

But lets face it, if I'm honest with myself, its because I'm lazy. (And busy. Because I am. But mostly lazy.)

So really, there's just one thing I feel like talking about.

House, M.D.
I caught myself up on the happenings at Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital. (If you aren't up to date and don't want any spoilers, by all means stop reading.) I was terribly surprised when one of my favorite characters, Dr. Kutner, was killed off. Just like House, throughout the whole episode I was counting on his being murdered, because suicide just didn't make sense. However, its clear now that it was suicide, and it wasn't supposed to make sense. So I have now spent the past couple days speculating as to why Kutner, the one character who seemed to have it all together, would take his own life in such a violent manner.

Option A- His birth parents' death has been haunting him more than he ever let on. The memory finally became too much to handle. This is slightly feasible, but as House pointed out, he was openly dealing with the pain and had photos of the two sets of parents side by side, showing that he had accepted his life as it was.

Option B- He ran out of money and didn't know what else to do. This would kind of make sense if you remember that little scam he tried to pull a few episodes back where he diagnosed people over the internet using House's name. However, this is a stretch, and Kutner never really seemed like the type to give up when the going got tough.

Option C- He was lonely and just couldn't deal. Last season he had mentioned that he had thought about asking Amber out once. As far as we know, Kutner hasn't dated anyone and he doesn't seem to have any friends outside of the team. He lives alone. Maybe he felt alone. This also seems like a stretch, however, because he seemed to genuinely love his job and care about people. He was the most optimistic on the team and I would find it hard to believe that he would not see the good in his own life.

So that leaves me with...nothing.

Any other ideas please share, because its driving me crazy. I'm sure they will get to it eventually, but I'm impatient. And it's kind of fun trying to solve the mystery.

New Harry Potter Trailer!!!

posted by Jory on Friday, April 17, 2009 0 comments links to me
This amazing new Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince trailer has been released and I seriously can't wait until July. I don't know where I will be in July but I vow to watch it with a friend. Even if I have to take a trip to be near a friend.

Get Me Out of Here

posted by Jory on Sunday, March 15, 2009 0 comments links to me
I'm ready to go. Call it Senior-itis if you must, but college has
finally worn thin. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it while I was here.
I've definitely learned a lot and made some great friends. But I'm
exhausted. I'm tired of doing things that mean nothing to me, and not
having time or energy for the things I love. I'm tired of selfish,
inconsiderate people. There's no point trying to change them (they
never will) so I just have to endure for ten more weeks. It seems like
forever.

The strange thing is, I'm not worried at all about what I will do when
its over. I don't have any clue. But I just know I will find something
and things will work out. No, I'm not nervous about graduating. I'm
more worried about sanity until then.

My mom has been trying to talk me into going home. Right now, this
doesn't actually seem like such a bad idea. In fact, there are certain
perks, like getting to see my newborn niece, Vivien.


I know I could find a job in Chicago, too. I just have to wonder if I would really like being back there. I think I've pretty much decided I don't want to stay in California. Not unless I move north. But like I've said before, now's my chance to try something new. And if it doesn't work out, then maybe I can fall back on Chicago. ???

Freaky Friday, but not the movie.

posted by Jory on Friday, February 20, 2009 1 comments links to me
It was a weird day in the library today.

Some girl was bawling her eyes out in the microfiche section. I first heard the sniffling and thought maybe she had a bad cold. But then the waterworks started, followed by the incoherent blubbering.

It was astounding.

I was torn between wanting to find out what was wrong and wanting to quietly asking her if she might be more comfortable in the bathroom. I was leaning toward the former merely out of curiosity.

I started making up elaborate stories for why she would be crying in the microfiche section. Like maybe she found a spider in one of the drawers (they aren't used much), or maybe the screen gave her a headache,... but nothing fit. And before I had a chance to do anything at all, she left.

Then, in the computer lab, there was a guy who was sitting in the back just yakking away on his cell about baseball tickets and some class he was taking. It was extremely disruptive, and everyone in the room took turns to glare at him, but he was oblivious.

I was about to stand up and tell him that cell phone use is prohibited in the library, but then he left too. Oh well.

I'm beyond tired because I was up til 2am finishing "Remember Me" by Sophie Kinsella.

I really liked it. The initial plot (girl wakes up in the hospital with amnesia to find that she has turned into a bitch, for lack of a better word) has been done before (can you say, Samantha Who?). But the way it is presented is completely original and funny.

It's the minor details and events that really bring it to life (i.e. killing a $600 fish then hiding it in a handbag), not to mention the bizarre but very believable supporting characters (a teenaged con-artist sister and a whippet obsessed mother).

The book was delightful and I finished it in two days.

Then, after I was done reading, I randomly decided I felt like taking a shower. So I didn't end up going to bed until around 3am, only to wake up at 6 for work.

It's cool, though. I had a short shift at work. Now I just have one class, one lunch meeting, then I can go home and stick a movie in.

I still don't know what my next book should be for my reading list. I'm having a hard time finding any chick-lit mysteries that don't center around shoes and shopping.

Ron was looking a little sad last night. He wasn't swimming around much, but just sitting there staring at my roommate's flower arrangement. He seemed better this morning when I left, though. I think I'm just a little paranoid after the loss of Harry. I swear, that's the first time something unlucky has ever happened to me on Friday the 13th. I thought that whole thing was a sham.

My niece (have I mentioned my sister changed the name from Enid to Vivienne?) is due one week from today. I'm excited. And sad that I'm going to miss it.

I received "Tommy Sullivan is a Freak" in the mail yesterday from Meg Cabot for entering her Valentine's Day Haiku contest. It is the British edition of "Pants on Fire."

I also got my new rain boots in the mail today. Of course, it was bright and sunny today. Go figure.

These are them. Cute, huh? My mom picked them out. Go mom.

Harry in the Hood

posted by Jory on Sunday, February 15, 2009 1 comments links to me
As I was looking for this:


(can I just ask, Why hasn't this been released in the US?)

I stumbled upon this:

Best line? "I can't wait to bust a cap up in his Azkaban."
Brilliant.
And disturbing.

New Pets = New Loves

posted by Jory on Friday, February 13, 2009 4 comments links to me
I won't be alone for Valentine's Day tomorrow after all, because last night the roommate and I compulsively brought home two new pets. We have named them Ron and Harry. If you can't figure out which one is which, leave now.

We were at Wal-Mart picking up a few necessities. I was looking for banker's filing boxes, not quite knowing where to look, and so I was just wandering around. I passed by the fish and just knew I needed one. I walked up to my roommate, who was looking at lotions, and I told her, "we're getting fish."

We picked them out and giggled like little girls as the employee scooped them out of the tank and put them in a bag for us. We carried the fish across the store to the craft section, and we actually found marbles in Gryffindor colors. Geeky, I know, but marvelous. As we were walking past the office supplies, I held the bag up and said, "Aww, look, they're bonding!" A man in the shoe aisle gave me the most ridiculous look I've ever seen. Seriously, some people don't know how to live.

Anyways, tomorrow is Valentine's Day. I fully intend to stay in bed and read all day long until I have to go to work at 6:00.

In honor of the occasion, however, I started to write some love letters, which then turned into general random letters.

By the way, those notes above were for Twenty Something Bloggers' February Carnival, yay!

On a serious note: I'm wearing red & black today and tomorrow in honor of the students that were killed at NIU last Valentine's Day.

Update as of 6:15pm: Harry has died. We gave him a nice send off to toilet Heaven. If Ron doesn't make it, then we will surely know that ants are the only pets we can keep alive.

Lovin the Letter "K"

posted by Jory on Sunday, February 08, 2009 5 comments links to me
So, I am participating in a meme going around in which you are assigned a letter, and you must list 10 things which you love that begin with that letter.

My letter, "K" was assigned to me by the very charming Tia over at CleverGirlGoesBlog.

So here goes. 10 things I love that begin with the letter "K."

Un (yes, I'm counting in French, a girl's got to practice!) - Kabuki brushes:
They are the best you can get. Love em.

Deux (2) - Kashmir by Led Zeppelin:
Such a good song. Makes you just wanna move.

Trois (3) - The Kindle:
I don't have one, but I want one. As much as I love having hard copies of books, it would be really handy if going on a trip because I tend to pack too many books. Bags start to get heavy.

Quatre (4) - "Keeping up Appearances":
I used to watch this show with my grandparents when I was little. I loved crazy Hyacinth and her shenanigans. British humor is just that funny.

Cinq (5) - Kirsten Dunst:
Okay, I might be a little biased because people tell me I look like her in Spider-man, but I just think she's really cute and a good actress. I watched "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People" today, and though it wasn't as good as "He's Just Not That Into You," it was still pretty enjoyable.

Six (6) - Kisses
Okay, really, who wouldn't love these?

Sept (7) - King sized beds:
Well, I've never had one. But I've heard they're nice.

Huit (8) - Ketchup:
My mom used to say that fries were invented so you would have something to dip in ketchup. I always tended to agree.

Neuf (9) - Kool-Aid:
Honestly, the big giant kool-aid pitcher kind of scared me. And the Jim Jones cult history never really helped any either. But kool-aid sure tasted good on hot and humid summer days.

Dix (10) - Knitting:
Yeah. Sometimes I channel my 70 year old self to knit. I can't do a whole lot (little patience and all) but I did make myself a few cute scarves and an iPod cozy.

So there you have it. 10 things I love that begin with the letter "K." If you want to give it a shot let me know and I will randomly assign you a letter.

Sexy Evil Scientists VS. Men in Tight Pants and Shoulder Pads

posted by Jory on Sunday, February 01, 2009 4 comments links to me
So. I really don't get they hype about Super Bowl. I really don't. I mean, I like the commercials and all. But the game? It's just sports! Men in tight pants and gigantic shoulder pads that make them look horribly disproportionate chasing after a ball and slapping each others' butts. And yet people go crazy for it. And corporations pay around $3 million to air a 30 second commercial during the Superbowl. I don't get it. I'd rather watch the Oscars.

Speaking of Oscars...someone should create a category for Third Screen Media, and "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" should take the win. Seriously, I just watched it last week, and since watched it twice more and listened ceaselessly to the soundtrack. It's amazing.

For those of you who are in the dark about this masterpiece, it is a three part, 42 minute musical miniseries about an evil scientist (Dr. Horrible) who, amidst trying to get into the Evil League of Evil, falls in love with a girl at the laundromat. It stars Niel Patrick Harris, who I must say I was never fond of before now. But when he sings, "It's a brand new day and the sun is high, and the birds are singing that YOU'RE GONNA DIE," my knees go a little weak. And I also have a bit of a weakness for perfect harmonizing, which I heard a little of and was pleasantly surprised. Basically, it's a hilarious dark comedy and when mixed with a musical it is a recipe for brilliance.

It was created by Joss Whedon during the WGA strike last year and watching it brought back my old love for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Yes. I used to be an avid Buffy follower. It's been about seven years since I've seen an episode. But I found it again on Hulu.com last night and I am not ashamed to say I love it once more.

As for my reading list, I'm not allowed to read "Size 12 is Not Fat" because I have already read it. This makes me sad. I am supposed to pick four and I only have three, so I still need help. The list thus far is:

1. Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding

2. Remember Me - Sophie Kinsella

3. Bras and Broomsticks - Sarah Mlynowski

I think I might enjoy another YA. Of course, I'd love to use another Meg Cabot book - like Jinx - but, alas, I've read nearly all of them. Too bad I can't use Harry Potter either.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

le français and Book Lists

posted by Jory on Wednesday, January 28, 2009 2 comments links to me
Yesterday was a much better day. Not that French had anything to do with it. (Though I did at least understand a little more...). I visited Scribd.com for some grammar help and found a nice little workbook that I can practice on. This website is excellent, because you can find documents such as the one I found last night - the piano sheet music for Bella's Lullaby.

I for sure have a place to live after I graduate. I also picked up an application to teach at a school. I'm not setting my hopes high on that one, but I do happen to know that one of the teachers will be going on maternity leave and they will need to fill her position. It's worth a shot.


I am once again TAing for a professor in my department. However, my work for her is more in line of an administerial assistant. She is a literary agent in addition to being a professor. For me, this is the best of both worlds, because I can finish my degree in film while at the same time learning some of the inner workings of the publishing biz. My first assignmet for her is to read a book written by one of her clients and write coverage. I breezed through four chapters last night in the bathtub.


So now I start my book list for my novel writing class. They are supposed to be books that we haven't read before, but I feel that I should start with Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot. I will re-read it, and this time I will read it from the perspective of a writer. So here is my list so far:

1. Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot

2. Remember Me by Sophie Kinsella

3. Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding (this counts! Yeah, I've seen the movie, but I haven't read the book...)

4. Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell

5. Bras and Broomsticks by Sarah Mlynowski

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Especially if you can think of any chick-lit mysteries, since that is the genre I intend to write.

A Bad Day and Then Some

posted by Jory on Monday, January 26, 2009 0 comments links to me
I came home tonight to find that my pantry shelf had been taken over by an army of ants. They are coming through the cupboards and up and down the wall, but they leave my roommate's shelf alone. Lucky her. I'm not sure why they choose to hate me? Or like me, I guess. I didn't leave any food unopened. The only thing they actually got into was my cereal, but still. Gross. This seems to always happen after it rains. Why does such a beautiful thing (rain) have to bring about such madness?

On top of that, I had to add two more classes to my schedule, bringing me up to 19 units. The 19th unit is going to cost me another $1,100. Yay me.

I am taking Intermediate French. This really sucks. It's been five years since I took a French class, and I don't remember much. I've been reading the text book (which cost $160 btw), and I can understand most stuff while I'm reading it, but when the prof speaks, I can't understand 95% of what he says. I'm just going to focus on passing, however.

Also, a certain undesirable is in one of my classes. I was really hoping to avoid this, but alas, there is nothing to be done. I need the class to graduate. This is the only section offered. Whatever. To quote a certain vampire, "I'll just have to endure it."

The one great thing about today was my novel writing class. I don't think I mentioned it, but I am taking this class. And I'm so glad I am. Not only is it a lot of fun, and entertaining, but my old roommate who spent the last semester in London is in it with me and I really missed her. So YAY! Also, my assignment is to read five books in the genre that I want to write, so....Meg Cabot for homework!!!

Anyways, back to the homework and the writing. Oh, and listening to Deathly Hallows on audiotape, which always makes me feel better. Good writing is so soothing, don't you think?

P.S. Can I just say that I CAN'T WAIT for Half Blood Prince to come out in July. I don't blame them for pushing it back. I really don't. But it had better not dissapoint because the longer I wait the more my expectations are built up.

Lessons

posted by Jory on Thursday, January 22, 2009 1 comments links to me
Lesson #1: Don't lift weights with your fish.


Lesson #2: Choose your Best Man wisely.


Lesson #3: Sliding is a sport?


Lesson #4: Don't drink and drive.


Lesson #5: These things never work out for the best.


Lesson #6: Stop sitting around all day watching YouTube videos.

My Twilight Follow Up

posted by Jory on Tuesday, January 13, 2009 1 comments links to me
After finishing the rest of the series, I feel I should say a few more things.

I know, I know. Just grin in bear it.

Overall, I felt the series was, at the very least, entertaining. It's really hard to clarify my opinion because I'm not always sure of it myself. There were parts I liked and parts I really, really didn't like.

Getting through the final book felt absurdly close to reading fan fiction, and that irritated me. The characters changed so much, and not the way a character is supposed to change. What I mean by this is that the characters didn't make any natural changes, they just became inconsistent to their former selves in order for convenience.

I also felt that as the series got longer, the imaginary world created became more and more ridiculous.

I concluded by dismissing the series as YA. However, that doesn't make me feel any better about it, because I've read really good YA that didn't leave me feeling like this. I was frustrated with the author because I could see that she had some talent, but I felt like she tried to hard to draw out what didn't need to be drawn out.

For example, the twists were predictable. I accurately guessed all of them at least a chapter ahead (sometimes two) and then had to suffer the agony of waiting for the words to slowly catch up to me.

Also, as much as I loved some of her descriptions, especially the passage of time (when it was done fairly quickly) and many of the action sequences, I felt that the character interactions were unnatural.

After the first few chapters of the first book I was never again able to imagine Edward as a "17 year old," and nothing like he was portrayed in the movie. Rather he looked, in my mind, as more of a contemporary of Carlisle. More of a leader than a son. And Bella also stopped feeling like a snappy, headstrong 17-year old, and instead she starting feeling like a whiny, self conscious preteen.

Like I said, the book was entertaining, and if I had just picked it up off the shelf by myself without having any expectations due to the mass hysteria, then I might have just enjoyed it, flaws and all, and then put it out of my mind without a second thought.

But instead it nags at me because of the hysteria, which I feel is undeserved.

Other fantastical stories, such as Harry Potter (I compare because I know it well), are successful and worthy of their recognition because of the sheer talent of the writer. Instead of the writer making up the story and then telling it, it is obvious that the story revealed itself to the writer, who then expertly retold it. I caught minor glimpses of this in Twilight, but not enough for me to think it warrented the praise it received.

All and all, I do not regard it as a literary classic. I don't think it's worthy of the mania that has erupted from it, and I don't think it will impact the world much after that mania dies down. I'm not saying its going to die down now, but after the last movie comes out...maybe. It was entertaining. But it makes me sad, because it could have been a lot better.

I think I'm going to go read Harry Potter again.

I'm no fangirl...but I read Twilight

posted by Jory on Sunday, January 11, 2009 2 comments links to me
If you loved everything about Twilight, you may not want to read this review. If you want an honest, un-sugar coated opinion, read on.

I started reading Twilight on Wednesday. I finished yesterday. Then I watched the movie.

Since the book came first, it gets priority in my discussion. Before I say anything further, I want to point out that I didn't hate the book, or even dislike it. I don't really understand what kept me turning the page (possibly the fact that I had seen the movie trailer), but I was intrigued enough to finish it, and also to order the next books from my library. Which is something to be said.

Twilight was a long book. A lot longer than I felt it needed to be. (Nearly 600 pages...yikes!)

It's not that I mind reading a 600 page novel, but the fact that I didn't see the real plot show up until page 375 was what got me. If I hadn't known from the movie trailer that there was going to be some kind of conflict, I would have put the book down.

The beginning doesn't do much to develop the character of Bella Swan other than to tell where she comes from and why she's in a town that she hates. Other than her physical description, a little bit of spunk, and the fact that she loves her truck, there's not much of a personality assigned to her.

Instead, the first two-thirds of the book focus on the developing relationship between Bella and the vampire Edward Cullen. Edward is an intriguing character, a bit of a mystery, and I have to admit that if I were to meet him on the street I would probably fall over myself.

But was he worth 375 pages? Cliff notes please.

I also want to note on the quality of the writing. I will say that Meyer has a way with words. Her descriptions were believable and pleasing. But I think she needs to take a refresher course on the mechanics of dialogue.

Not only was much of it cheesy and not believable - the continuous, "I love you so much it hurts," and the likes - but it also got downright confusing at times over who was speaking. This was due to the fact that she often placed one character's action with a different character's dialogue.

(Ex. "You can't go in there, it's a restricted zone," I warned. John just glared at me, then pushed the door open.
"Watch me," he said.)

In the example above, John's action should not be in the same paragraph as Jane's dialogue. Instead, it should start a new paragraph and go with his dialogue.

Today, I finished the next volume in the series, New Moon. I think I liked this one a lot better. It opened the plot up a lot sooner, and even along the way there were sub-conflicts to keep me interested. So interested, in fact, that I read it in about twelve hours. And that's no less pages.

Bella's character was a lot more round and dynamic in this one, and I really appreciated the first person insight. I had no trouble relating with her or connecting with her emotions (tears, laughter, fear, etc.).

The dialogue was much better, though the words passed between Bella and Edward were still a little overbearing. Improved, yes, but still.

It still had the same formatting flaws as the first, but because I was more captured into the story, I was more prone to overlook them.

After I finished the first volume, I immediately watched the movie. I can't really say I liked it better or less than the book because I'm still undecided about the book.

The film obviously takes a lot of liberties, cutting out a lot of the getting-to-know-you parts, and I didn't really like that. Even though I expressed before that those parts of the novel dragged on a bit in the book, there was still too much there to be rushed through in the film.

The first thing I noticed was the makeup. It was heavy, especially at the very beginning. I mean, I know Edward is supposed to be the undead and whatever, but does he have to look like a girl? I mean, really? It looks a lot better toward the end (i.e. he blends in a lot more) but at the beginning I find it really hard to believe that people can't just tell he's a vampire from looking at him. Pale skin, bright red lips, and circles under the eyes just doesn't scream healthy human male to me.

Another thing that bothered me about the film was the music. There were a few songs on the soundtrack that I liked, and I was very pleased that they kept Clair de Lune in the film. The song Edward plays on the piano (Bella's Lullaby) was beautiful. But much of the rest of the score and a few soundtrack selections seemed very inappropriate.

I'm going to be brutally honest. Outside of Twilight (i.e. tabloid photos, interviews, etc.) I really do not think Kristen Stewart is very attractive. Maybe it's just the way she wears her makeup, or styles her hair, or seems to always be wearing a dead expression - really, is she incapable of smiling? However, I thought she was perfect as Bella, subtly beautiful, spunky, the right voice tonality - she was as close to how I imagined her as possible.

Robert Pattinson, though also beautiful as Edward, kind of made me cringe in real life. The hair...egh.


Suffice it to say, I preferred him as Cedric Diggory.

(Cedric. Sigh.)

By the way, does anyone else seem to think that Daniel looks a little bit like Frodo here?

Hmm, maybe it's just me.

All in all, despite Twilight's many flaws, and the fact that it is clearly written to appeal more to the pre-teen set, I'm going to keep reading. I do, actually, like it. Still not a fangirl, though.

However, people, please stop putting it in league with Harry Potter. There's no contest.

Why 2009 Is Going To Be a Better Year

posted by Jory on Thursday, January 08, 2009 1 comments links to me
So, 2008 most definately was NOT a great year for me.

Sure, it had some nice things going for it, not that I can think of any right now, but...

Mostly, it just kind of sucked.

However, I am determined to make 2009 great. Here is why:
  1. I am going to finish my novel. I really am. I don't know how...or when, but it will be done, oh yes, it will be done. (That was a Wayne's World reference to anyone who didn't catch that.)
  2. I'm going to save my money so that I can buy a car. My best friend just bought on like this... and I'm pretty much in love. And if I can find a job, then I can ::maybe:: afford to finance one.
  3.  I will graduate from college. The whole going-out-into-the-world-without-school-as-a-security-blanket thing kind of scares me, I'm not gonna lie. But, having time to read books I want to read, watch my shows, write my novel instead of doing busy work for some class....is all pretty appealing. Which brings me to,
  4. I will find a job. I have absolutely no idea what job it will be, or where it will be at, or how soon I will find it... but again, it will be done. It most likely will not be my dream job, and I'll probably hate more aspects of it than I'll love, at least at first, but I can manage.
  5. I will lose weight and look fabulous. I have put on a bit of weight since last summer, not having time to breathe, let alone work out, and all. And the healthy food choices on my campus leave much to be desired. It's going to be hard. But I will do it. I've already started pushing myself to use the fitness center on campus. I like it, and am possibly becoming addicted to it, especially because when I'm walking on the treadmills (at a high incline, I feel I must add) I can be catching up on my reading. Awesome.
  6. I'm going to live somewhere. That was really deep wasn't it? I know. I could tell as I was writing it. But really. What I mean is that I'm not going to be living with my parents, or as a dependent of my parents. I'm going to be living in an apartment which I will pay for with MY money, that is not a dorm or a school owned apartment. I will really be on my own.
  7. I'm going to turn 22. This is kind of an easy one, because I don't actually have to do anything to make this one happen. Unless you count not dying. Which I won't. Because that just seems slightly morbid and weird. But I can't actually help giggling at that thought, because "Hey guys! My New Year's resolution is to NOT DIE this year. Yeah, I know, it's going to be tough. Last year really took its toll, you know, with me dying like three times. But in my defense that last one wasn't really my fault..." I know. I'm odd. Embrace it. But anyway, back to the turning 22 thing. I have a tendency to prefer the year after the milestones. 16? The freshmen of drivers. 18? The freshmen of adults/voters. 20? The freshmen of the non-teenagers. 21? Freshman drinkers. Well, maybe not really, but at least on paper. So I'd prefer to be 22, or maybe even 23, and then just stay in that age forever. It could happen, right?
Anyway, there's just a few. I'm determined. And when it's over, I'm going to look back at 2008 and be like, "What do you have to say to me now?"
       

it's a new year...

posted by Jory on Thursday, January 01, 2009 1 comments links to me
So why do I feel like nothing has changed?

(Except for my layout, of course. What do you think, by the way? I don't know if this one is here to stay, but it will for a while at least because I'm getting tired of the amount of work it takes to change it.)

(Oh, and see over there to the right? That's my first attempt at creating a vector image. Not bad huh?)

So. I had a breakdown yesterday. I even started crying, which I don't do very often anymore. It felt good. The crying, I mean. I'm beginning to think I maybe bottle too much up. But I really don't like to complain. I hate when other people are constantly complaining, and I seem to have been hearing a lot this past year, so I think thats why my own have gone mostly unsaid.

Anyway, I've still come to the conclusion that the root of my problem is that I still have school to worry about, and therefore do not have time to do what I want to do. I know I can make time, er whatever, but if I do it also takes away my focus. I tried that last semester. Didn't work out so well.

So here's my problem:
I have to take my last screenwriting class this semester, it is required for my major. Because my major is focused predominantly on screenwriting (being film and all) I did not get to take other writing classes. Which is why I was super stoked when I found out that my creative writing professor was offering a novel writing class this semester.

Numerous people have told me that it's not a good idea to try to work on two projects at once. In this case I would be writing both my feature film script and my novel.

So now I have to figure out if I should attempt, once more, to do both at the same time, or if I need to give up the class I so badly want to take in order to focus on what I need to get done to graduate.

I'm not going to switch majors, because the screenwriting class is the last class I need for my degree, and I'm not going to stay another semester to add a double major because, lets face it, college is expensive.

I could possibly audit the class, so that I could get the information but not have to do the work. However, it's not worth the cost if it's a workshop, because I won't have anything TO workshop. If its a lecture, well, than thats another story. That would be ideal.

But I have no idea. Thus my breakdown. I'm a worrier.

Oh, and I didn't mention before that my soon to be neice, Enid, is now a Vivienne.
 

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