Saturday, November 30, 2013

This Is The End (Of Vacation)

Sorry, the title is a really bad joke.  I didn't want to put "Operation Christmas Child & Tennis Tournament," because that sounds, like, amazingly boring.  In case you're wondering, This Is The End is an incredibly bad-looking movie made for adults.  I think it's one of those type of movies where the jokes are incredibly dumb, but in an adult-ish way.  This Is The End was theoretically worse because it involved the apocalypse, and so basically I'm imagining a bunch of supposedly funny men cracking adultly rude jokes all the while trying to escape an apocalypse.  Get the idea?  Okay, let's move on.  (Don't ask me how they actually got that movie into the theaters).

Well, guys, this is the end.  Of vacation.  I am really, really sad because at the beginning of the week seven days seemed like an eternity, and, well, to make a long story short, I found out that it wasn't.  Oh well--that's life.  We're little nothings that go around worrying about other nothings and finally realize that life is nothing, and then we become nothing (except Christians, who become *approximately* infinity times more awesome than they ever were on Earth).

^^Did that sound too, like, too cynical for a fourteen-year-old?  If so, fergeddaboutit.

Sometimes I wish I had the drive to finish my writing.  All this hullaballoo about how I'm going to be an amazing author, and how I resolve to work on my manuscript, and oh, guess what?  I'm still on Chapter Two. (But I make myself feel better because, like, Chapter Two is almost an eternity of pages.  I think later I'm going to have to cut it into two chapters)  But I think the characters are more interesting--let's see, there's a best-friend duo who are opposites except for the fact that they both like to argue!  The main character's a little more likable--she's funnier--even though her train of thought is totally fourteen-year-old Valley girl.  And this is, like, the second-and-a-half draft (because I never fully finished the second draft).  I'm really proud of myself for saying that in true author lingo.  

Oh!  And to the whole point of this post!

Operation Christmas Child!

If you DO not know what Operation Christmas Child is, you've come to the right place!  It's basically a Christmas gift-giving operation for children in underprivileged areas overseas.  People volunteer to fill shoeboxes full of small gifts (such as school supplies, mini stuffed animals, hygiene items, coloring books, etc).  They deliver them to eight giant processing centers in the entire U.S., where volunteers work to process and package the shoeboxes.  
My family packaged two shoeboxes, for a boy and a girl. But that wasn't all.  We're blessed to be relatively close to one of the eight centers, so my mum and I went to a processing center to help process and package things. 

It was A-MAZ-ING.  Like, really, really fun.  Even though checking for monetary donations, sorting inappropriate gifts out of boxes, and taping the boxes doesn't really sound like fun, it was.  (For some reason I like being in assembly lines.  It makes me feel productive).

The center was in a giant warehouse, and the volunteers had decorated it with Christmas trees and pictures of children receiving the gifts.  There were many other volunteers, and I could tell that some youth groups across the area had volunteered.  (Definitely doing it next year with my youth group).

And what's the experience without a couple pictures?

Ze warehouse.  There's a picnic area, for breaks, to the right (I had peanut butter and jelly!), and even though you can't see it very well, the processing section in the distance.  


The area surrounded by boxes is the place where they demonstrated what to do--"Orientation."

The processing table was really unique and really cool.  

My first job was the "financial donations searcher."  People aren't supposed to send money in their shoebox (it says very clearly on the directions) but apparently some didn't get the memo and sent money in their boxes.  It was my job to riffle through there and get it out.  I also made sure that the labels were on correctly--if they're taped in the middle, they'll get covered when the taper tapes them.  

After the financial donations searcher, there are two people who search the boxes for "inappropriate items."  For example, since in some of the countries, war is a commonly touchy subject, no war-related items are allowed.  Liquids aren't allowed (toothpaste is, but liquid soaps and lotions and shower gel and liquid glue aren't).  No Harry Potter or Pokemon items are allowed (neither Harry Potter nor Pokemon are exactly bad; they just convey a somewhat...iffy image.  I like both of them, however).  The inappropriate-items searchers also fill the boxes up with "filler items"--toys, thin books, etc.--when the donations are somewhat lacking.  There were even these little croc-type shoes, without the holes.  

The searched boxes then head on over to the taper, who tapes the boxes up and makes sure the barcoded ones ("Follow My Box") are properly scanned. 

 The hilarity of it was some people were over-generous rather than under-generous.  Okay, there were the boxes that only had pieces of paper in them (like, literal blank pieces of paper).  But mostly, we had to deal with overstuffed boxes, shoeboxes that were OVERFLOWING with items.  People included flip-flops, shirts, toys, school supplies, candy, stuffed animals--the list goes on and on.  It was thoughtful of the packer to include so much stuff for the child, and I'm very happy for the children who receive those boxes, but for us packagers--eck!  For a while, I was a taper, and I klutzily dropped an overstuffed shoebox on the floor--and, well, the child's shoebox is now a ramble-shamble of items.  Sorry, whoever's going to receive my helter-skelter-filled box.

And a couple of people were thoughtful enough to tape their boxes.  With masking tape.  And then the really, really generous people who even wrapped their boxes, in wrapping paper and everything.  Guess what we had to do?  Unwrap their beautifully packaged box. 

And the rubber bands.  I think Samaritan's Purse can set up a rubber band company and make a living off of those.  I must have collected ten thousand--only a slight exaggeration.  

The best part about it was how all these people--all of them volunteers--could come together under one name, Jesus Christ, and help spread His Message through something as simple as shoeboxes with gifts

*********************************************************************************

That was last night.  Today?  We had a tennis tournament.

My poor brother.  He's twelve and he's slowly but surely getting better than I am at tennis.  (Let's face it: I've never been athletic and passionate at sports, and I never will be).  Today was a true test of his endurance, because he played TWO whole matches (not sets, mind you--MATCHES) and in both of those matches he went to three sets, so he played six sets.  Six sets.  That's more than what pro men's tennis players play every Grand Slam tournament.

Lucky me, I had a bye for the first round.  So I played only one match, and my match only went to two sets because I...beat the other girl, 6-3, 6-3.  *squeals for joy*  *thank you, Jesus!*

But you know what they always say: The more you win, the more you play. (actually, I just made that up, but it's true!)  

I have to play tennis tomorrow.  And guess what time tomorrow?  7:45.  Are they trying to kill me or what?!?!?!

Just kidding.  


But still, this is, like, entirely insane, because we have to go to church straight afterward.

And then I have at least two more matches after that, because I have doubles to play.  And then, like, what if I win?

The more you win, the more you play.

True dat.

-Rcubed








Thursday, November 28, 2013

Rcubed Random Rants: Thanksgiving Edition!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, ALL YOU PEOPLE OF THE WORLD!

Thanksgiving.  *sigh*  Food, fun, family, friends.  And best of all, giving thanks.  That's "Thanksgiving."

And so, I'm going to make one of my world-famous lists and thank God for all the things He's given me this year, both small and large.

1.  Dude, guys, food, what else?  I'm thankful for something as taken-for-granted as food.  I'm thankful I have a nose and tongue to taste the food.  I'm thankful that I even have food at all.  I'm thankful that there are all kinds of foods we can eat.  I'm thankful that I'm alive so I can eat food.

2.  God.  Okay, this is really taken for granted too, because I've been raised in a Christian home, but I am thankful for God, Jesus, the Bible, everything.  He gives peace like no other, He's our Rock, our Foundation.  Thank you God, the Giver of everything!

3.  Onion dip.  Onion dip is boss.  Onion dip is amazing.  Onion dip is, like, the thing.  Go onion dip!  Thank you for onion dip!

4.  The Redskins.  Okay, we had a tough season.  We aren't going to make the playoffs.  Our defense stinks.  But I'm thankful for RG3's return, our offense did pretty good this year, and I'm looking forward to a hopefully brighter future.  Thank you for the Redskins!

5.  Smooth transition into high school.  I truly am grateful.  I've had a couple rocky days, but honestly, school is going pretty well.  I'm doing great in all my classes, I have people to hang out with, and I'm not a complete social outcast.  All in all, thank you all you people who have been making my high school experience a great one these first couple months.

6.  Guys, I finally learned the Cup Song!  I know it's really very old, that it's off the Billboard Charts now, but I learned how to do it yesterday (shoutout to my friends Ella and Audrey who taught me how).  And I'm hooked.  It'll wear off eventually, but I'm really proud of myself!  Thank you for those red plastic cups and tunes to tap them to!

7.  Caramel.  Need anything else be said?  Thank you, God, for caramel!

8.  A really amazing tennis season.  I have the best tennis team anybody could ever ask for, really.  There aren't any cliques and we all can at least, tolerate each other.  We finished in second, and although we were shooting for first, we did excellently and I'm really proud of our end result.  Thank you for an awesome first high school tennis season!  

9.  My computer.  If I didn't have my computer, I wouldn't be able to write these thoughts down, all my stories and whacked-out poems (speaking of which, I haven't posted any very recently.  I'll have to get to that).  I wouldn't be able to pursue something I really enjoy doing.  Thank you, Jesus, for my computer!

10.  My family.  Have I ever told you that I have the best family ever?  I'm serious.  Sometimes I think I have honestly the greatest group of relatives.  From my dad's corny jokes to my mom's obsession with moving furniture around the house to my brothers' obsession with Fantasy Football to my little sister's passion about fairy stories written by people who couldn't come up with a better pseudonym than "Daisy Meadows," I have a really epic family (couldn't come up with a better adjective).  Thank you for my famly!

11.  Wikipedia.  Thank you for a shady source of information that does provide information so I can spout off random facts about different people and movies, all the while not being entirely sure if they're true or not.  And thank you that the people who write Wikipedia give all the spoilers to books and movies and such! (Consequently, I know what happens in Frozen now).  Thank you for Wikipedia!  Oh, and according to Wikipedia, "Daisy Meadows" is actually *several authors* writing under one pseudonym.  See?  Wiki can be helpful!

12. Books.  What else?  Thank you for providing a non-electronic source of entertainment that plunges me into the depths of other people's worlds!  Thank you, God, for books!

13.  Contact lenses.  God, thank you for providing an excellent way to see without having to rub pieces of glass continually.  My life has been made so much easier with contacts.  Thank you for contact lenses!

14.  I have so much more to be thankful for, but God, in conclusion, THANK YOU for all the people who read this blog.  Even though I don't get a million visitors a day, and even though I'm not famous (not by far), thank you for all the people who take their time to read my somewhat repetitive, redundant words.  And thank you for the two followers on my blog that I don't even know.  And thanks, you guys, for reading it and racking up my pageviews :)

Toodles,
Rcubed

P.S.  HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Birthday, Jamie Grace!

Guys!!!  It's also Jamie Grace's birthday!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JAMIE GRACE!  WE <3 YOU!

Sincerely,
Your Fans

*Catching Fire* Cont., Ender's Game, and a Ton of Wacky News

Yello, everybody!

This is a kind of tie-up-loose-ends post, where I tie up my Catching Fire review with what I wish the director had added more, compare Ender's Game the novel to Ender's Game the movie, AND where I announce some V.I.T. (Very Important Things) that have recently shaken the world as we know it!

Catching Fire.  I gushed over it a ton in my last post, but I forgot to mention--I wished that the director had emphasized Katniss' nightmares a little more. In the movie, Jennifer Lawrence does a really good job of acting like she DETESTS GOING BACK INTO THE ARENA, but she doesn't seem as scared in the movie compared to the book.  To me, the movie fell a little bit flat over that.  And although I was kind of glad they cut the "getting drunk" scene out of the movie, in the book, the drunk part perfectly displays Katniss' total devastation at risking death and pain once more.  Since they cut the drunk part out, they cut some of the depravity out.

Also--Haymitch.  Why didn't they show the part where Katniss and Peeta learn about how he won his games?  Minor thing, but it does add some intrigue to the story.

I'm thinking of writing the story of Johanna Mason--how she won her games, and how she has nobody left to love.

Then ENDER'S GAME.  Sorry it's taking me so long to fulfill my promises--I keep forgetting because new material arises.

The book was really, really good.  I'm not going to write a whole review, just list some of the similarities and differences between the book and the movie.

1) The kids seem younger in the movie than in the book.  Okay, they're the same age, technically.  But the kids in the book--man!  They were so smart, it  was insane.  And while they were smart like adults, they were also, um, kids with adult vocabulary--and not just in a good sense, in a bad-words kind of sense too.  You see a lot of cussing, kids yelling at adults.  It's weird, because the kids are probably actually smarter than the adults themselves, but still, show some respect, please.  In the movie, the kids didn't cuss as much and they were a little bit more respectful, although they were brutal to each other.

2) Valentine and Peter Wiggin use their essays to take over the world.  Okay, the movie people completely cut this out.  Valentine and Peter, who are only ten and twelve by the way, write under fake aliases and take over the world.  It's that simple.  If Peter's not a very nice genius, he's a very smart one (well duh.  Geniuses are smart).

3) Petra was more of a tomboy--for lack of a better word--in the book.  She's--well--interesting in the book, while she was more likable in the movie. Save the first line that Hailee Steinfeld says, Petra in the movie is definitely a little bit friendlier than in the book.

4) Ender is pretty much the same.  Save the age difference, Asa Butterfield portrays Ender very excellently.  

There's a lot more to it--I could go on and on and on and on for hours about how Ender's Game the book is different from the movie--but there are some interesting news in the CCM world that I'd like to share.

Today, Blanca Callahan, half of the two-part duo Group 1 Crew, announced over Instagram (and probably other formats of social media) that she will be LEAVING Group 1 Crew and pursuing a solo career!



Good-bye, Blanca! (photo taken from group1crew.com)  We will miss you!

Personally, I've always thought that Blanca Callahan was amazingly talented and should be pursuing a solo career.  I was just thinking the other day how I thought she should be on her own.  And now that it's announced, I'll be looking forward to her new music!

To read her message, click here.

Toodles,
Rcubed ;)




Friday, November 22, 2013

F.R.E.E.!

guys, I am 

F.R.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.EE.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.E.E!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I canNOT believe that I am officially over with school for a whole week!  Oh my gargoyles, this seems like a dream.

*gives white skirt extra twirl*

*gives glasses a lucky tap*

*gives freezing body a really satisfying shiver*

And *ka-CHOW*

The best part is, it's going to rain today and tomorrow.  So I'll have a chance to get my vacation-y mood in order before setting down into a really hard grind for vacation.  Because believe it or not, I probably need--heaven's sake, what am I saying?  I do need--to complete all of the following stuff: (and here I am making one of my famous lists)

1) Write, write, write, write!  Believe it or not, I finally managed to apply the writing skills I've learned in nine years to my free writing--making an outline!  Teachers have been telling me to do an outline for years and years and years and years and FINALLY I succumbed because I really believe in this revitalized idea of Snow in July.  The best thing is, I wrote the outline literally in 2 days (the day before yesterday, and yesterday).  It's typical Roman numeral form, and I think I have a really good chance of making it through the manuscript through the week if I work really hard.

2) Tennis.  I've said before, I like tennis, but I'm not a maniac who wants to become the next Maria Sharapova (There's nothing wrong in wanting to be the next Maria Sharapova, but that's not just my personality).

However, my dad signed my brother and me up for a local tennis tournament exactly a week from today.  We will both be playing singles and doubles with each other--not the first time we've done so.  The times we've done so we've always bickered because my brother wanted it a lot and I was just a plain old lackadaisical imp who didn't care.  We were also a lot worse then.  Maybe this time will be better...but I don't know.  

The problem is, since the season let out, I've only been playing once a week, and that was because my dad forced me to.  SO, I'm planning on playing every day in the next week.  That'll take a long time, and take away some time from the things I want to do as well, but you know what, it's a tournament, and I'm not going to let my lack of motivation get me knocked out of the first round.

My Disadvantages: I haven't been playing much.  I'm not naturally athletic, so I have to work harder.  I'm not in shape--and I'll be playing a stinking full MATCH--3 sets.  
My Advantages:  I'm in the 14-and-under division, and I'm 14.  I've been playing junior varsity high school tennis.  I've been playing tennis for a while now.  Hopefully it'll only take me five days to get me to my old playing level.

3) Movies.  Guys, let me tell you something.  I did not like the first Hunger Games movie.  I got nauseated, and I'm average with motion sickness.  They left out a lot of the detail.  But you know what?  I want to see Catching Fire (kind of).  I heard they involved a lot of the detail, and apparently the director was pretty good.  SO, I want to see it.  That, and maybe Frozen, which looks pretty hilarious (I mean, talking snowmen?  Come on).  And later, the second installment of The Hobbit.  So expect some movie reviews, if I go see them.

Oh, and I watched Epic.  It was a cute, family-friendly movie, but it wasn't a classic, like Toy Story and Finding Nemo were.  It had a ton of good messages and plenty of good action, but it was the type of cutesy movie that has no substance to it.  And the concept didn't really get to me.  But I liked it, sort of, and I'd definitely give it, if not a double thumbs-up, at least one thumbs up.

4) Books.  What else is new?  I go searching on shannonmessenger.com (she has her Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts) to find new middle grade fiction books.  I've written a ton of books down, but snap libraries that don't have the books I want!  *grrr*  At least I discovered a good series--the Mother-Daughter book club--that's not too predictable, not too cheesy, and full of really awesome fun :)

5) Um, food.  It's Thanksgiving break, for heaven's sake!  I'm planning on busting my gut while I'm working hard at tennis.  Ham, turkey, salad (with lots and lots of Ranch), potato, rolls, pie, Starbucks...it's going to be a good week, food-wise, for me.

I also might go to Starbucks with the girl gang of my youth group so *crosses fingers and hopes it'll happen*

6) Blog.  Yay!
7) TV.  Still hung up over Disney Channel.
8) Music!  
9) Shopping!  Maybe I'll join my mom on Black Friday hunting for a new mattress (I know, weird thing to be shopping for on Black Friday, but apparently there's going to be a really good deal on mattresses, so my dad wanted us to get one).  And I also think my mom might want to go get some makeup, so I'm probably going to go with her, even though I'm not allowed to wear it on a daily basis.
10) Operation Christmas Child!  On Saturday, my mom and someone else and I are going to help pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.  I was going to do it with my school last year, but our session got canceled because they had enough volunteers--too many, in fact.  I'm excited!

That's my week.  What's yours going to be like?

-RCUBED

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

SNOW IN JULY Update

I was at my doctor's office today when I got bored of The Hound of Baskervilles, which we're starting to read, and began doodling on the back of my Night Unit Exam study guide.

I started doodling logos, and then I thought, Why not doodle for Snow in July?

Before I knew it, I had changed the name of the main character, made her a little more likable, replaced a quiet character with a louder one, and altered the names of two characters slightly.

After I finished my homework, I started drawing out a new plan for a really revamped Snow in July.  I've been stuck at a point in the second draft of Snow in July (wow, that sounds official) for quite some time now.  I just haven't had the discipline to write it.  It's been so...boring.

I had this feeling that my characters weren't memorable enough, my plot wasn't complicated enough.  So, I'm rewriting it.

I'm trashing the other drafts.  Not trashing, exactly, but I'm writing up a whole new plan that will kind of transform the other drafts from something dull to something a little more entertaining.  And with my list of ideas, I've got a whole new thing going on.  It's still based around the same idea, snow in July, but more complicated.  And a little more, I guess, realistic.  

So trash that last synopsis of Snow in July.  Forget Alixandrea Elizabeth Wagner and her disgruntled yet super-conservative mannerisms.  

Welcome to the world of....

Well, I'm not going to reveal the name of the main character just yet.  Once plans are finalized, I'll announce it :)

-Rcubed

Eye Infections, Football Helmets, Watermelon Bread, and The Joys of Tessellations

Today was a very interesting day.

The story started yesterday.  In Spanish class, I noticed that pressing on my right eyelid hurt.  When I got home, I took out my contacts.

This morning, I woke up.  After hoping all night that my eye problem would disappear, it didn't.  Instead, it got worse.  

I woke up with all this crusty gunk on my lower eyelid and tears coming out of my eyes.  My top eyelid was all puffed up and red, and it hurt more than ever.

Turns out, guys, I have an eye infection.  I went to the doctor today.  She told me it was allergies, but, um, I don't think so.  If you saw the different between my right and my left, you'd agree that it wasn't just allergies.

I was prescribed antibiotic eyedrops, just in case, and now I have the pleasure of dropping a little liquid in my eye three times a day.  Oh, and I have to rock my nerd glasses for a couple more days :( :( :*(  I think my eyes needed a rest, anyway.

Today, I also brought a football helmet to school.  Why? you might ask.

Well, it was actually because of a class.  See, my Careers teacher assigned us an "entrepreneur project," and basically, we had to make up a business, a packet with all our info, and a visual aid.  

We called ourselves the "Cream Queens."  We're a party place--we serve dessert, rent rooms for parties, and (guess what?) provide entertainment.  Part of our gimmick is we dress up in different themes according to party (pirate, fairy, princess, or football).  

Hence the helmet.

Thank goodness I have a pretty kool tennis coach who has his own classroom and enough cabinets to store a whole football team's helmets.  I hid mine in his classroom after first period.  The problem was, I had to lug the helmet into school, hang out with it in first period, lug it to my teacher's classroom, take it out at lunch, plop it onto our lunch table, and carry it to my class.  It might not seem like a lot to you, but believe me--when there are 1,699 other students in the school, you get some really weird looks.  About ten people asked me what on earth I was doing carrying a football helmet.

Didn't help that I was wearing, like, black glasses.  Typical nerdy look.

Whatever.

Story of the football helmet.

Where I live, we have a lot of cutie Asian shops and stuff, including bakeries.  Yesterday my parents went out for Japanese fondue (it's not the chocolate kind; that's what I learned yesterday), and came back with a couple of pastries from a bakery that was apparently next door.

And they brought this back for me:

Watermelon bread!  Isn't it cute?!  It's shaped like a watermelon :)  

I thought it might be flavored like a watermelon, but it was just a regular spongey sweet bread with a ring of cream and some chocolate-chips.  It actually wasn't very good, but I still can't get over the cuteness of the whole thing :)  After all, presentation is half the battle.

Story of watermelon bread.

My math teacher assigned a tessellation drawing.  It was kind of confusing, because I had to cut out a tile from notecard using reflection and/or rotation.  It took the third tile to get it right, but the end result was totally worth it!  ^^This is kind of an arrow-zigzaggy thing that I made up on the spot.  

Story of my tessellation.

Oh, and I have a QUOTE OF THE DAY for you guys.  I'm proud of myself because I made it up.

"If you don't have a point to what you're writing then what's the point of writing?"

My point in this article was...well, just to tell you about my day and the ironies and downfalls and upfalls of life (upfalls?  Where did that come from?).  But I'm writing another thing, for bio, and it's not going so well because, um, I'm just writing about it.  It's basically just a fact sheet. 

So basically, the question I should ask myself is, what is the point to what I'm writing here?  And if I don't have a point, what's the point in writing?


-RCUBED



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

*Fail*

Guys, today I kind of epically failed because I 

FORGOT MY ANNOUNCEMENTS.

I was sitting in Spanish, and suddenly the loudspeaker comes on and I said loudly, "OH SNAP!" because it completely blew my mind.  I was supposed to be one of the people to say the announcements over the loudspeaker.

Oh my gargoyles.  I must be losing it.

I've come close a couple times to missing it completely, but I've never, like, completely missed it.  *tragedies of the real world*

*irresponsibility*

*sigh*

I think I've gotten almost every project finished or at least partway finished.  

2 days down, 3 more to go.

-Rcubed


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Yay, One More Grueling Week

Wow.  Just wow.

What a Sunday!

This Sunday, I've been A) doing schoolwork, and B) reading Ender's Game.  I started reading it last night, and I'm almost done with it.  It's a pretty decent book.

I'm probably going to post a whole Ender's Game Movie VS Book debate when I finish it, but let me inform you of my preliminary thoughts (in the form of a--guess what?--list):  **Spoiler Alert**

1.  Ender is 6 at the beginning of the book and ****spoiler alert**** he kills someone (two someones, actually).  It's graphic and grueling and I feel so stinking bad for him because he's just six but he's forced to act like a fifty-five-year-old disgruntled general.  And I'm not kidding.  These kids, these kids are only 10 and 11, and they're, like, brilliant (It's kind of easier just to pretend that they're older than they really are).  You can tell it in the way they speak, because they talk like Katniss Everdeen, except more sophisticated, with less maturity, and with less naivete (Ender's practically a telepath).  Did I mention more cussing and extremely rude humor?  Thank goodness they cut it out of the movie...or did they...

2.  Ender commands his own team when he's 10, and is pretty stinking good at it.  How many ten-year-olds can say that they've successfully commanded a team, the Dragon Team, and led them, undefeated?  How many ten-year-olds can say that they're being promoted to Commander School (or whatever it's called) when normally sixteen-year-olds are graduating?

3.  Ender's brother and sister are evil.  I kind of hate Valentine and Peter, mostly because they want to take over the world and they're doing it in style (Actually, they're manipulating people).  And I'm not taking history this year, so I forget what the Warsaw Pact is about, and all the military jargon and such, but you can tell that there are only a few people in the world who intellectually match up with Val and Pete.  Including their dear younger Third brother Ender, and his superior Graff.

4.  The book is good, but the concept is boring.  We've all heard it at one point or another.  Young underdog-y guy who's supersmart lives in a shattered dystopian society and manages to protect the Earth from bug-like aliens who want to start a colony on it.  Avengers much?  Except Ender's extremely intelligent, more intelligent than the brutal Colonel Graff who's training him, and, ya know, ends up...well, I won't spoil the ending.  Actually, I will.  He ends up realizing the aliens aren't there to kill them and tries to find the new queen a home.  Ender's a pretty decent guy, but the rest of his world is all messed up.

Okay, that was my first rant about Ender's Game.  More to come :)

Yay, one more grueling week.  One more week of homework.  One more week of getting up early every single day and handling real-world situations.  One more week of just plain old stuff.

And then...one more week of FREEDOM!

Yayayayayayayayayayayayayay (my new catchphrase; like it?)

Can't wait until five days are over with and I am officially set in VACATION MODE :)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Go Burgers!

Heaven's sake, I have a lot of homework.

Since Thanksgiving break is the week after next, I think the teachers are piling on projects to make up for the lost week.  At least, it seems that way.  I have an essay and a Night Unit exam and daily math quizzes (proofs, no less), plus an oral presentation, an extra-credit highlighting assignment that takes a ton of time, plus this assignment that's almost a competition (Chapman Holocaust Project; Google it).  Oh, and an entrepreneur project.  An entrepreneur project.  We had to think of a business idea and expand on it (i.e., 4-page information packet, visual, and 3-minute oral presentation).  The whole process is draining.  Before, I thought I'd like to run a restaurant.  Now, I don't want to.  

Help me...

Man, Thanksgiving break is going to seem all the sweeter after all that.


This week was pretty kool.  For starters, we didn't have school on Monday (*score*).  And then we had a field trip on Tuesday, which meant we got to miss school (*double score*).  Consequently?  Wednesday and Thursday I felt like a complete bozo because it was so hard getting back into the school routine.  How have people gone to school every blinkin' day for all their lives?  Homeschooling was so much fun.

Oh my gargoyles.

Today was called "Food Day" (Yes, in high school, we have a whole day dedicated to food).  Basically, Food Day is a day where participating clubs order food from some other place (burgers, Ruby's shakes, Chick-fil-A, churros, Costco pizza, candy, doughnuts, Panda Express, EVEN an Italian ice guy).  You buy a certain number of tickets from the Activities Office, and you use the tickets to buy the food from the different tables.  

It's probably the koolest day ever.  I love food--I live to eat--and it's honestly amazing.  What I got out of it was a really good burger, a really thick milkshake with whipped cream, and an almost-tardy.  I'll tell you the whole story.

There are only three Activities windows for a student body of about 1700 students.  You could buy tickets before school, at break, and at lunch.

Needless to say, the line before school was pretty long.

At break was even longer, but my English teacher had advised to buy my tickets at break.  Consequently, I spent my entire break time standing in line.  Standing in line.  That's pure ten minutes of standing in line.  

Then there's the seven-minute passing period.  When that bell rang, I told myself, I am NOT leaving.  I am NOT leaving.  It took all my willpower to do so, because I'm not really one to live dangerously.  My idea of "dangerous" is taking my phone out during class.  

Then the three-minute warning bell rang.  More willpower.  More and more people were moving out of line.  I am NOT leaving.  

Then more people left the line.  It was clear it was almost time for the bell to ring.  I bounced up and down, as if that would make the line go any faster.

I bought twenty-five tickets--fifteen for my friend, who agreed to take my backpack and go to our Spanish class, and ten for myself.  I could tell the lady at the window was kind of annoyed, because we were kind of cheating, but I got my tickets and began sprinting toward my Spanish class as fast as I could.

I had to sprint across the quad, up stairs, and down a decent amount of hallway before I raced into my classroom ten seconds after the bell rang.

Now, I can laugh at myself.  I almost bumped into several people; I'm sure they were thinking, What on earth?  Little freshman girl running as fast as she can across the quad.  

My Spanish teacher was kool with it (actually, I don't think he noticed).  I wasn't marked tardy.  And I got my burger before they were all taken.

Was it all worth it?  Probably not.  Actually, no.  Being tardy for class and maybekindasorta"cheating" just to get some burger and milkshakes before they ran out?  No.  Definitely not.  I actually feel kind of bad about it now.  I'm human.  I do dumb things like that.

Next Food Day?  To avoid all that, I'm getting to school early and buying those blinkin' tickets so I don't have to go through that ordeal.  


Honestly, the things I do when I'm desperate...


What's more insane and ironic, I had another burger for dinner from the same place.


I could have just eaten my regular lunch and had the burger for dinner.  I didn't need to have two in one day.


*bonks self on the head*


Oh my gargoyles.

-Rcubed


Monday, November 11, 2013

How It's All Going Down...

*Whew*  Back to be here on the blog.

I've been chatting a lot with Elise, and writing a lot, and between it I haven't been posting on here as much as I should have this weekend.  Monday's almost over, and I honestly can't believe it.

This weekend promised a lot.  Three days all to myself--to read, to write, and to just have fun and be myself.  Don't need to worry about homework (well, actually, I did a little bit, but I didn't have much).   Eat whatever I want, whenever I want, however I want...you get the idea.

And this weekend has been all that.  On Saturday, I just sat around eating and reading and watching TV (I'm officially going to stop watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.).  I also started the Entertaining Reads blog with my friend Elise.  We GoogleChatted a lot about it, and I think it's going fairly well.  

If you haven't noticed, I posted a whole new short (well, kind of medium) story on the EntReads blog.  It's called "How I Almost Killed a Dragon" and it's about a girl who learns about true bravery.  It took me three days to write, and it's sixteen pages long (and I posted the whole thing on the blog).  If it's super boring, tell me (but it should at least have some level of excitement to it, because it involves dragons).  

And check out the new Sunday Serial there!  It's called the Mystery of Maudley Manor, and I think it's going to pretty epically rock, especially when we get to the "giant revelation" (i.e., BIG SURPRISE).

Slow work coming along with Snow in July, but I think I've got some pretty kool ideas going on with other stories :)  It's going to be a while--I haven't even started writing them yet--but watch out on EntReads for a NEW story about a bunch of girls living it up for God :)


And now to the Random Rants by Rcubed section of the post!
First up...CCM!

*joyful noise unto the Lord*

Recently, we discovered a really, really rockin' Christian station that doesn't just play Third Day and Casting Crowns and Big Daddy Weave (this is sad, but we've come to dislike Third Day and Casting Crowns and Big Daddy Weave, just because our other station plays them so much).  This new station plays really awesome artists like tobyMac (and not just oldies like "Gone"), Jamie Grace (yay for "Beautiful Day"!), 1 Girl Nation, Group 1 Crew, KJ-52 (a rapper), Skillet, and Press Play.  Because of this radio station, I added

  • "#LITO" by Press Play
  • "F-I-R-E" by Press Play (feat. Manuel Reyes from Group 1 Crew)
  • "Rise" by Skillet (they're heavy metal)
  • "Monster" by Skillet (funny--I used to hate this song before but now I think it's a kool one...)
  • "So Far Apart" by KJ-52 (feat. Emily of Shine Bright Baby)--it's a rap song, but it's super catchy
  • "Movin'" by Group 1 Crew
I'm really looking forward to listening to more of the station's songs.

I also added "Stand in the Rain" by Superchick and a bunch of songs by Taylor Swift.  

I went to the library yesterday intending to check out The Cupcake Queen, by Heather Hepler and The Fault in our Stars, by John Green, but the library didn't have either of them. (The Cupcake Queen is upper middle grade fiction, and The Fault in our Stars is young adult.) 

I did, however, find a really awesome new series! *yay*

This series is called the Mother-Daughter Book Club and is a series of five books chronicling one particular mother-daughter book club as they go through different books like Anne of Green Gables, Daddy-Long-Legs, the Betsy-Tacy series, and Jane Eyre.  Look it up on Wikipedia!  It's pretty cool except it's not a Christian series, which means there are some pitfalls, but it's clean and it's entertaining so, why not?

I'm also excited for tonight because I'm going to see Ender's Game with my dad!  What a better way to end a three-day weekend than with a movie, eh?

-Rcubed

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Guys-It's Up!

eekeeekekekekekekekekeekeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!!!


Guys, it's up!!

Elise's and my new blog is up!

Go to entreads.blogspot.com and check it out!  There's not much on it yet, but we hope to expand it!

Happy reading!


Friday, November 8, 2013

WEEKEND, WEEKEND, WEEKEND!

*jubilant cheer*

This is my official entrance into the WEEKEND!

And not just any weekend.  

This is a major, twenty-four-hour plus THREE-DAY WEEKEND!

*another jubilant cheer*

Three cheers for our veterans!  And three cheers for Veterans' Day, which we get off!

*cheercheercheercheer*

And the day after Veteran's Day, I have a FIELD TRIP for Language Arts!  We're going to a museum about the Holocaust.  

We've been reading the novella Night (by Elie Wiesel) in my English class, and it's depressing--like, really depressing.  It isn't like those movies you see where all the main characters outwit the Germans--it was a real picture of persecution.  It was insane the way Hitler treated the Jews (and a bunch of other minor groups).  The thinking was so twisted I can't help but wonder what on earth was going through Hitler's mind.

While Night was a good book, there were some things he said that I didn't necessarily agree with.  Jewish people, while similar, have a different religion than Christianity, and that shows in their actions.  One of the characters says at the beginning of the story that God is so distant that we can never understand Him, and that we find the true answers to our questions inside ourselves.  (Not True)

  They're an extremely longsuffering group, but towards the end, you see some people give up their faith in God (including Wiesel, who was only sixteen at the time).  And then you compare their desperation to the story of Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsie.  Corrie's story seems so full of hope while Elie's is so desperate and gloom-filled.  


My teacher is really into honoring those of the Holocaust, and I do agree.  


To take things to a lighter tone, did anyone watch the Redskins game last night against the Vikings?  I literally could not believe my eyes.  How can you lose to one of the worst teams in the NFL when you have, like, first down and goal to tie it up, and when you were winning 27-14?!  And you lose 34-27?!

I am very mad at the Redskins right now.  My teams aren't doing so well right now.  

Well, NEWS, NEWS, NEWS!

My friend Elise and I are creating a new blog.

It won't really be like this one, which is all randomness and stuff, and I won't reveal the concept until just a little bit later.  And it probably won't peter out like Lily Potter, because Elise is going to be on it too!  

To see Elise's writing, check out www.heartstohooks.blogspot.com

I'll give you two hints:

E


R

(and those letters have two different meanings...)


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

ACKACKACKACKACKACKAACKACKACK!!!!!!!!

ACKAKCKACKAKCKKAKCKACKACK!!!!!

Oh my gargoyles!  Lookitttttt!!!!


Before you read this post, click here!!!!!!

No, this is not a random person masquerading as Rcubed and putting a random website on the link.  To give you a little tidbit of what you might expect from the link, I'll post one HUGE HUGE HUGE picture:


Front

Got it?  Okay, GO CLICK THE LINK!!


Have you read it?

If you answered yes, then good.  If you answered no, bad you.

For those of you who don't know, I am kindasortamaybe obsessed with Shelby Bach's series the Ever After School.  (For my full review, click here!!!!!!!!)

If you didn't read the EAS review and have no inkling of what on earth it is, prepare to be majorly confused in the following post.

Okay, anyway, I'm obsessed with the EAS series.  You might even say I'm a stalker, because I haunt the website almost every day for new updates (That's an excellent example of how I spend my time).  And yesterday, I was totally rewarded!

THE COVER FOR OF SORCERY AND SNOW CAME OUT!

Okay, in my opinion, it doesn't look as brilliant or colorful as the first two do.  But ohmygargoyles, I want to read Of Sorcery and Snow SO badly!

It comes out on June 24 *blehck*

I'm probably going to enter for an ARC (Advanced Reader's Copy) giveaway (if my parents let me).

Does my writing seem disjointed to you in this post?  Sometimes my mind runs at a thousand mph, and people sometimes can't keep up.

But if you haven't gleaned it already, I'm super pumped for the new book, and I have plenty of predictions for it.  I think some of them will come true, too.

1) Adelaide is going to ask Chase to the Ball in Chapter Four, but Chase wants to go with Rory, and Rory doesn't know WHAT she thinks about Chase anymore.

2) Lena goes with Kyle.

3) Rory's Tale will either be "East of the Moon, West of the Wind" (is that the fairytale that her mom likes?) or "The Snow Queen."

4) It's pretty much given that Rory is going to end up with Chase at the conclusion of the series.

5) Rapunzel is the BEST!

6) That's it.  I think I have more, but I forgot.

Anyway, you guys--STAY TUNED!


-Freakingoutwithgirlishfandomness-
Rcubed

P.S.  I might go see the movie Ender's Game this week!  *squeals with joy*







Sunday, November 3, 2013

I Want S'More!

YAY GO REDSKINS!!!!!!!!!!! *kachow*

My favorite football team just won. 

Okay, back to business.

I think I'll make a list today.  

1.  Tennis season ended...  My JV team ended in 2nd in League. (*blurp*)  Oh well, next year.

I think technically we're supposed to do sixth period tennis now, but we've just been hanging out in the computer lab next to my coach's classroom, talking and doing schoolwork.  It's nice to have a break and to get home when the sun's still high in the sky :D  

2.  I'm counting down the days.  Seriously, I reallyreallyreallyreally don't like to go to school five days a week, and so I've been counting the weeks until I have a FREE day (it's only one day off).  I get Veteran's Day off!! (*whoopwhoop*)  Three day weekend, here I come!  After that Veteran's Day week, there's one more week and then (*dundundundun*) THANKSGIVING BREAK!  And it lasts a whole week!

*Excuse me*  I'm a first-timer in the value of real vacation.  Homeschooling is a joke compared to going to school every blinking day.

3.  End of first quarter!  This is super boring, but my first quarter ended on Friday.  We're a fourth of the way through the school year--went by so fast...

4.  Look at the title.  ("I Want S'more")  You might not be getting the pun right now, but I promise you, you will soon.

See, my youth group leaders are super cool (believe it or not, one of them is a GEOMETRY TEACHER! *hallelujah!*) and they came up with the idea of a beach bonfire.  So yesterday, we had a beach bonfire.

We only have five kids in our yg, so the plan kind of backfired when two of them couldn't make it.  But the good thing was, our younger siblings came :)  And it was a blast, anyway.

I took a lot of pictures:

Smoothed it all out, then made some handprints and footprints :)

Our fire wasn't exactly a "bonfire"--more like a "campfire"--but that just made it all the more awesomer.

I ate two hot dogs--one with ketchup and the other with honey mustard.  Did you know people who live in New York only eat hot dogs with mustard, not ketchup?  Insane, isn't it? (No, I don't live in New York.)

We made an awesome friend: a one-legged seagull named Bob! (*made that name up on the spot*)

Nice view of the beach :)

In the water.  It was crystal clear, but the S2 (however magical it is) couldn't quite capture the clearness of the water.

We roasted hot doggos...See my earlier post on Glory Road (it was WAAAAY early in my blogging career).

Then I started the fad of roasting anything we could get our hands on.  My youth group leader (the one who's a math teacher) had brought baked Lays, Flamin' Hot Cheetos, and Goldfish, too.  They found a way to successfully pin a poor Goldfish onto the deformed clotheshanger and I roasted it (never fear...I'm crazy but I'm not crazy enough to eat it).

We found that the flying ash was excellent for writing on the stone firepit...

The beeeeeeeaaaaauuuuuttttttiiiiiiifffffffuuuuuuuullllll banana boat.  My yg leader split the banana in half and filled it with peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, and marshmallows, wrapped it in foil, and placed it in the pit near the fire (she did this sacrificially...she HATES bananas).  We "baked" them and they turned out to be magnificent gooey contraptions that I'd like to eat again--maybe with a different fruit (I don't like bananas, despite the fact that they're the same color as Minions).

I also ate about ten thousand s'mores, or variations of s'mores.  I burned my first marshmallow (it was super ugly and warty).  I had one or two s'mores with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (amazink), one s'more with a Hershey's, one marshmallow raw, one marshmallow roasted, one marshmallow that I stuffed with Reese's PB Cups and one goldfish and sandwiched between two graham crackers (BEST THING IN THE UNIVERSE), and one s'more without the marshmallow (I roasted the PB cup and squashed it between graham cracker).  I might've had one or two more.  Oh, plus the banana boat.  And the two hot dogs.  And a couple handfuls of Goldfish.

I told myself that I'd go on a diet just to make up for that, but today I had a cheeseburger, and some, um, really amazing fries that were topped with Spread and onions and cheese, and, um, that "diet" thing kind of backfired on me...

I can still taste the fries and cheeseburger on my teeth (*maybe that's tmi*)


5.  I've been READING!! (*does happy dance in imagination*)

I've been rereading some of the Anne series (still my fave ;)--Anne of Ingleside I took to school as SSR (Silent Sustained Reading) this week, and I lounged around and read Anne of Windy Poplars this morning (taking advantage of Falling Back).  I also dug around the piles of books that have been accumulating in my room and found a probably long-overdue Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, from our local library (*oops*).  

I like Percy Jackson, kind of.  For me, Rick Riordan's writing kind of seems disjointed--I mean, Percy is an engaging narrator.  It appeals to me, and the storyline is pretty brilliant.  But I'm just--not--that--interested in Greek mythology and there are way too many characters (Let me reel off all the ones that I know: Percy, Grover, Mrs. Dodds, Chiron, Annabeth, Daedalus, Chris Rodriguez, Ares, Athena, Zeus, Poseidon, Medusa/Aunty Em, Tyson, Clarisse, Trevor and Connor, Minotaur, Gabe, Sally Jackson, Rachel, Artemis, Zoe, Luke, Kronos, Nico-and-his-sister-whose-name-I-forget-but-it-starts-with-S, Atlas, the Furies, Hades, Silena Beauregarde, Kellie, Thalia, Charles Beckendorf, I'm sure you get the idea by now).  The books don't draw me in like the Anne or Harry Potter series, or even the Hunger Games series.  And I even like the Percy Jackson font, kind of--the complicated stuff  in the series just gives me a headache.

I think part of it is that the Greek mythology world was already established before Rick Riordan.  Then he came along and added to it/twisted it.  The Hunger Games and Harry Potter were made up.  All in all, Riordan's writing just confuses me.

And Heroes of Olympus--like Percy Jackson, with more characters, and in Harry Potter book size.  The Heroes of Olympus plot intrigues me more than the Percy Jackson plot, but in House of Hades Rick Riordan added a new twist that just frustrates me because it's illustration of how the world thinks (if you've read the HoO series, it's about Nico diAngelo).  And of course, now everyone knows that Nico's probably going to die...

That's my rant on Percy Jackson.  

Oh, and do you guys know The Mysterious Benedict Society?  My brother checked out Trenton Lee Stewart's new book, the one on Nicholas Benedict, the benevolent benefactor... (hehehehe)  I read the end (*typical*).  I like The Mysterious Benedict Society, but they're too polite (at least, Reynie, Kate, and Sticky are).  Constance is my favorite because she's 1) hilarious, and 2) human.  At least there wasn't some weird twist of how Reynie was a cyborg or something.

6.  My writing.  Snow in July.  *groangroangroan*  In June, it seemed like my book was the brilliantest idea on the face of the earth.

It seems like the boringest idea on the face of the earth now.  I know it isn't.  But tbh, my writing seems super drab and really boring.  

I'm still going to write.  It's just that it's coming on very slowly.  

Chefs of Steel is going on better.  I think I like writing about cooking better than I write about adolescent rebellion and what comes of it.  *frown*

7.  WE FELL BACK!  I loooooooove falling back.  Daylight Savings Time is a good idea, except for the fact that you lose an hour of sleep to accomplish it.  I think the good part of Daylight Savings Time is that you, like, gain an hour of sleep in the fall.  Last night--yes!  Yes!  YesSSSSSS!  Wake up early, go to bed late.  I love falling back!!

8.  I wanna watch a movie.

Have you noticed there haven't been very many movie reviews in the past two months or so?  (*school*)  At this point, I want to watch something light and uplifting--like Cloudy with the Chance of Meatballs 2, which got good critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.  

I'm behind in my movies.  I want to see Captain Phillips; Cloudy with the Chance of Meatballs 2 (the first one stunk though); Ender's Game; and probably a bunch of other movies that I'd love to see but forgot because they're long gone.

I NEED TO SEE A MOVIE!  Maybe on Veteran's Day.

Toodles, 
Rcubed....:0

*Question of the Day* Why do foreigners (like Germans, Austrians, Frenchmen, etc.) have British accents in movies?  Isn't that kind of weird?  You have a bunch of people who are portraying people from different countries, and all of them have British accents.  Funny.  Like in Sound of Music.  Maybe the question should be more like, Do Austrians have British accents when they speak English?

Hopefully that doesn't sound like a racist question.