Saturday, December 21, 2013

New York City

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The following post may contain spoilers!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Day of the Doctor

WARNING: The following section contains spoilers!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

College | 10 Things I've Learned

The semester is more than halfway over, which means I have now acquired ~valuable~ knowledge that may (or may not) be helpful for those going to college in the near future.

1. Invest in plenty of microwave mac & cheese. It's a lifesaver when you don't have time to go to the dining hall.

2. If you're ever trying to avoid homework but still want to (pretend to) be productive, clean stuff. I only ever clean my desk when I'm trying to avoid homework.

3. Never go to on-campus coffee shops right after class ends. The lines are horrifyingly long.

4. The Venn diagram of people who have bad taste in music and people who play their music out loud in the shower is a circle.

5. Always remember to take your room key with you when you leave your room, otherwise you will end up locked out of your room at midnight in your pajamas and wet shower flip-flops and have to sign out a temporary key and fob to get back into the building. I certainly don't know this is from personal experience.

6. Do all the free/cheap events that you can. Last weekend I attended a chorus concert, an internationally acclaimed one-man play/puppet show, a haunted hall, and the state fair, all of which were low to no cost because I had a student ID. Where I live, you can also get a free bus pass with a valid student ID which comes in handy when you don't bring your car on campus with you.

7. If your campus offers any sort of LaundryView website, USE IT. It will save you multiple unnecessary trips up and down four flights of stairs... not that I speak from experience about this either.

8. If a new restaurant on campus opens, don't go for the first 1-3 days. Even when you go at a time that you think it won't be busy. Because it will be. Guaranteed.

9. Prioritize your clothing. You really can't fit as much in your dorm room as you think you can.

10. Use Rate My Professor. It will save you countless amounts of time and frustration if you look up professors ahead of time and avoid taking classes from the bad ones.

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Week of Concerts

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Friday, June 21, 2013

2013 | Summer Bucket List

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Although I'd heard of this story ever since the movie came out in 2008, I had never read it or watched the film, so on Wednesday I checked it out from the library. The book, written by John Boyne, is about the friendship between a German boy named Bruno and a Jewish boy named Shmuel (who lives on the other side of the fence in a concentration camp) and the unexpected consequence of their friendship. In the book, Bruno is not aware of the global situation at that time period nor the German prejudice against Jews even though he is the son of an important Nazi Commandant. He befriends Shmuel with no thought to the danger that could arise or the complications of their relationship. I found the story very engaging, although the ending was tragic (I came very close to crying). In a way it was sweet that Bruno and Shmuel were together to the end, but the actual events that brought about the ending were tragic.

Thursday night after work, I decided to watch the movie version. I'm always a little skeptical of book adaptions, but this one was rather well done. They changed the order of a few events, but otherwise it was a decent adaption of the storyline. The thing that really differed, though, was the knowledge of the characters. In the movie, everyone was more aware of what was going on than they were in the book. Bruno's parents knew that he could see the camp from his window, Bruno knew who the Jews were and their significance to Germans, and most importantly, everyone was aware of what happened at the end. In the book, no one notices that Bruno had disappeared and it takes them a year to figure out what happened. In the movie, a few soldiers and his family almost immediately realize he's gone and figure out what has happened soon after it occurred, making the last scene devastating to both them and the audience (I did cry that time).

To me, the movie is much more emotionally moving than the book. The book was written from Bruno's perspective, and so there are things left out because he doesn't understand them. In the movie, the audience is given the full view of things, and, as an older viewer, I was able to completely understand what was going on. I had the same reaction after watching the movie that I have every time I read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom - the depths to which humanity can sink when unchecked is indescribably horrible. The soldiers in the movie truly believed that Jews were inferior humans, perhaps not even human, and so didn't even blink an eye when a soldier beat up a Jew in front of his children for no reason. 

At the end of the film, Bruno's parents realize that they've made it to the camp too late - Bruno is already gone. His mother immediately breaks down and starts crying and screaming, but his father just stands there, stunned at what has happened. Perhaps that was the first moment he realized the atrocity of his political party, or maybe he was just in shock over what had happened and how his own actions led to it. And perhaps that is the most tragic event in this story - to watch a family get ripped apart by a horrible realization that their actions led to this terrible consequence.

 “. . .only the victims and survivors can truly comprehend the awfulness of that time and place; the rest of us live on the other side of the fence, staring through from our own comfortable place, trying in our own clumsy ways to make sense of it all.” - John Boyne, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Nights (And Days) in Rodanthe | Part 2

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Nights (And Days) In Rodanthe | Part 1

Monday, April 22, 2013

First Impressions

I'm in love with words. To say I'm obsessed with them would not be much of an overstatement. Whenever I'm reading a book or a poem and I come across a sentence or a paragraph that is exquisitely phrased, I jot it down so I can remember it and look back at it later. I keep all my favourites in a notebook and occasionally I'll read them and fall in love all over again.

This evening I was looking through the notebook's pages and I was again struck by how much I identify with Jane Austen. Most of the her quotes that I've written down are focused on her love of literature and words, but there are also a few witty, sarcastic remarks belonging to her characters in one of my most favourite books, Pride & Prejudice. I've read it seven times and every time I finish it I'm again in amazement of how incredible it is.

The story itself is humourous and witty, but I've always found myself drawn to this story in particular because of its protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet (so much so, in fact, that I wrote my college application essay on her). Even though she's only a fictional character, we are very much alike. We both hold a more cynical view of romance and people's motives and generally the world at large than the people around us. Once found on our bad side, it's difficult to get back in our good graces. We both are quick to make up our minds and do not easily change our opinions. When I read P&P, it's a bit like looking at my personality in a mirror.

I am very easily drawn to literary characters and excellent prose, which is why I like rereading books so often. Whenever I come across a character that I can easily identify with, it makes the book that much more enjoyable for me. Pride & Prejudice captured my attention from the first time I read it and continues to be a favourite of mine through its satirical wit and relatable characters.

"'Nay,' said Elizabeth... 'There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more I am dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be places on the appearance of merit or sense.'"

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Friday, March 29, 2013


Whenever I tell people I watch a great deal of British shows on Netflix, they always ask me which ones. So, I thought I'd share a few of my favorites that you may (or may not) know.
Sherlock - If you know me in person or follow me on Tumblr, you've heard me talk about this one a lot. This is one of the BBC's most popular shows right now, and for good reason. It's a modern retelling of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, with Sherlock played by Benedict Cumberbatch and John Watson played by Martin Freeman (the very same from The Hobbit). It is by far one of the most well-made shows I've ever seen - superb casting, story retellings, setting, cinematography, and chemistry. When people ask me for new things to watch, I always point them to this first.

Doctor Who - Most people have probably heard of this one as it's another one of the BBC's - and possibly the entirety of Britain's - most popular shows. It's a sci-fi/drama centered around a Time Lord who calls himself "The Doctor" (no one knows his real name, hence the title). He travels through time and space with companions in a spaceship that looks like a blue phone box called the TARDIS. It's hard to describe the show without it sounding completely mental, but it's actually quite good. I don't usualy like sci-fi but I love this one. Because it's been running since the 1960s, The Doctor has been played by 11 people thus far. It's not a show for everyone, but if you like sci-fi or good character chemistry, it's worth a try.

The IT Crowd - This was the show that started my love of British television. It's a comedy about a fictitious company's IT department, comprised of three members - a grumpy Irishman named Roy, an over-the-top nerd named Moss, and a technology-clueless woman named Jen - and the shenanigans they find themselves in at work. If you like British comedy, this is a good one.

Black Books - My friend introduced me to this one, and I have no idea how she found it, but it's another good quirky British comedy. Dylan Moran plays a cantankerous bookshop owner named Bernard whose favorite activities are smoking, drinking, and complaining about others. His hopelessly useless assistant, Manny, and his fellow alcoholic friend, Fran, round out the rest of the main characters. The plot mainly focuses the bookshop running into some sort of trouble and the hilarity that ensues from it. It's a bit odd, but I really enjoyed watching it.

Robin Hood -  This is a really cheesy family show based on Robin Hood and his band of men (and woman), but I still love it for some reason. The main draws of this show to me were the banter between the members, particularly with Robin's servant and everyone he encountered, and Richard Armitage. It was the first thing I had ever seen Armitage in so I like going back and watching old episodes and seeing how much his roles have changed since then. If you're into corny dramas and/or family shows, I recommend this one (Merlin is the same sort of show if you want to check that one out as well).

Spooks - All you need to know about this show is that you should not pick a favorite character because 95% of the time they die. It's an espionage thriller about a group of people working in Section D of MI-5 (the equivalent of the USA's FBI). It's full of famous British faces, including Matthew McFadyen, Raza Jaffrey, Peter Firth, Lara Pulver, David Oyelowo, Anna Chancellor, Keeley Hawes, and of course my favorite cast member, Richard Armitage. Any lover of crime shows will probably like this one.

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Place to Collect My Thoughts

I've been going back and forth for years trying to decide whether I wanted a blog or not. My conclusion had always been that I wouldn't post enough on it to bother making one, and anything I did want to say could be put more easily on a different social network. These past few days, however, I've realized that I want a place that I can write out all my long thought processes in a place that's entirely my own. I'm rubbish at remembering to write in a physical journal and I've gotten used to writing everything on a computer, so I'm hoping I'll remember to write something on here every once in a while. My idea is to use this as sort of a public journal that I can then go back and read in a few months and see how my life has changed and how things are better/worse. I'm writing this all for myself so I'm fine if I'm the only one who ever reads it, but if anyone else ever reads it and has opinions or thoughts of their own they'd like to share, I'm all for it.

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