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Mushaboom by Feist



This week’s Song-Of-The-Week is “Foundations” by English indie-pop singer Kate Nash.

Eco-friendly generation?

In light of my school’s annual Eco Week taking place next week, I began to wonder (literally just now) if today’s parents are raising their children to be conscious of the environment. Based on what I see every day at my school and my own choices, I wouldn’t think they are. But I live in one isolated corner of the globe, so I can’t say for sure what other diverse cultures like the ones in the Middle East and Europe are doing. And why’s that? It’s not in the mainstream. If news about ecology and global warming does pop up, it’s usually on more liberal programming networks like NBC.
Putting politics aside, though: could raising the next generation with conservationist ideals in mind help bring about positive change? Why or why not? If not, why would it not be effective?

So today’s the election, huh?
I know I’m just a teenager, but this does affect me in its little butterfly effect way. I’m still highly impressionable, and that’s what I told my mom when she asked my who I would’ve voted for had I gotten the chance this year. I couldn’t decide. I never can.
What if my vote ending up being one of hundreds that broke a tie, and the candidate I chose turned out to be nothing but talk? I realize how foolish it seems, but that’s how I feel; if all this “every-vote-counts” thing the media keeps pushing is true, that is.
And speaking of, as one pro-Obama ad states, “I feel like I was… Duped by Mitt Romney. I’m gonna vote for Barack Obama,” I feel duped by my own country’s media. That shouldn’t happen! Here I was, trusting every news station I came across, and then bias is suddenly added to the game. I knew of no such thing, or rather I chose not to pay attention to it, until this year. One article that sticks in my mind is from the last printed addition of Newsweek, which I believe was entitled ‘The Two Americas.’ It’s about the division between the media and how things are spun between them, including, especially, poll numbers. How do people even know if their candidate is winning, I wondered? It could all be lies. This started to really freak me out for a second, but I realized things could be a lot worse here, and are a lot worse in other countries.
What I really enjoy, though, is seeing how ads spin and attack the candidates. It’s hilarious. One thing in particular is Romney’s stance on birth control. I hadn’t really cared at first, because it didn’t pertain to me, but one day at school I got into a debate about it with two other girls. “Our rights would disappear!” “Everything we worked for would go down the drain. We might be set back a hundred years with Romney!” they reasoned. That last bit I knew I’d heard on a pro-Obama ad. Almost straight from it.
“So, what, he’d bar all birth control from entering the US? Is that what you’re saying?”
“Yeah. Wait. No.” I didn’t really know what the guy would do either, but the way she was talking, it sounded like he’d be a totalitarian slave master. I knew it couldn’t be like that. “I need my birth control. It makes my periods easier,” she explained.
I didn’t have much else in the argument fodder, so I said, “Listen. I’d rather go down in the history books being part of the second women’s rights movement than live in a box because Obama cut my dad’s job.”
When I asked my dad later about the birth control issue, I relished in getting my facts straight. But now that I realize it, election season, and politics in general, just makes for a bunch of unseasoned idiots that fight all the time. It can turn friend against friend, and that’s even worse than the normal fighting. Something, not directly related, but somewhat, my father said a few weeks ago disturbed me then and disturbs me still. “If he wasn’t a republican, do you think we’d be friends?” I of course love my father, but I couldn’t believe that he said that. Was he joking? I don’t know. Doth he speak the language of a learned man that I, a naive child doth not understand yet? I know not.
The ads, some created for the singular purpose of attacking one ad in particular, cause more confusion than illumination. And in doing so, they indirectly drive us nuts by causing unnecessary arguments. (Their mere existence can make a person insane, but that’s another issue)
Was Romney’s “getting rid of planned parenthood” really as ill-sounding as the ads made it out to be? Not quite, no. I hate how they only use little snatches, only what they need, and not the whole speech. It makes the candidates appear false to the general public, and that’s the last thing they need.
Oh well. My mom always says that there’s two things, when brought into an argument, you can never win against: Politics and religion. Preach Momma, preach.

This bracelet is just fun to play with. I think real Romney supporters might beat people with them like rulers.
(In actuality, I feel sorry for the candidates. What happens if they don’t win? Do they cry? Fall down on their beds and sleep for a month? Either way they need a big hug)

Being demure, and as a consequence, often awkward, Charlie has a difficult time starting freshman year. Add in the fact that he has no friends, and well, that’s really just the icing on the cake.

Sounds like a typical coming-of-age story at first glance, which, without the painfully human characters, it would be.
The book is written as a series of journal entries each addressed to a person merely¬†called “Friend.” Every few days or so, Charlie recounts his experiences in and outside of school to his journal in very explicit detail. He even expressly states that he writes lke he talks, so the style is very simple. At times this makes the reader wish for something wish for something more exciting, but I think in this way the author is quite clever; he never strays from his narrative, and it makes Charlie all the more solid a character.

Patrick and Sam, two seniors, befriend him early on in the story, but he doesn’t come to know their true colors until much later. These two characters are by far two of the most intricate in the entire novel. Patrick, while seeming to accept eveyone he meets, is in fact in love with a very superficial person. Sam does much the same.
What really makes this book magicial, though, is the fact that anyone can identify with it. We’ve all been in a low spot before, and probably will be again. Charlie is so innocent that his character becomes a magnet that the reader can attach onto and get caught up in. In a way, he’s the reader’s baby from the start; and they get to watch him grow. And that he does, because growth and acceptance are two of the central themes of the novel.

I will say now that this isn’t a book for anyone say, younger than 14, just because of the adult content. And because of the candidness, well…

If you want to see the movie adaption, please do. It was fantastically done. Perhaps even better than the book! ūüėÄ Everyone gave sincere performances, so it’s worth the look.

I’m baaack!

It’s been over a year, but I’m back and hopefully ready to roll.

I remember my¬†classmate reading this when I was totally obsessed with Black Butler, and it’s nearly a year later that I’ve actually taken the initiative to read it myself, though I was actually quite intrigued by it even then. It was one of those mangas I didn’t watch the anime beforehand, just simply bought.

[This is not really related, but I’m quite sad that Borders is closing down. It was my favourite place to shop for books ūüė¶ Now I’ll just have to deal with Barnes & Noble]

I think my favourite parts about the first volume were the art style [such big eyes!], the characters, and the range of emotions they displayed.
My favourite ‘stories’ if you could call¬†them that were probably From Within the Darkness, Fallen Idol, and The Inaudible Scream. The first because the¬†antagonist was such a [for lack of a better word and my teenageness] bitch that I couldn’t help but feel sorry, but at the same time scream at the girl for not just standing up for herself or admitting¬†her mistake. Fallen Idol also had a hidden nasty in it, but I truly felt sorry for the girl this time because her friend wanted stardom so badly she had to hurt her friend to get it. They both had issues to solve, but I think her friend was more at fault this time {shakes head} How terrible. And the last one was simply horrid! How could you do that to an animal? GAH!

I’m not sure about the repetitiveness of the volume… perhaps they just wanted to show what Hell Girl could do in different situations… or I’m just dense.
That aside, I think Hell Girl was definitely worth the read, and if I wasn’t trying to save my money for Hetalia, I’d go back and buy¬†the second volume¬†ūüėČ I should probably go check out the anime online for now if I want more.

The Beatles ftw. Love this song, man. And British people. And Ferris Bueller, where I heard first. I think…

Three angels are sent to Earth to fix problems caused by ‘dark forces’ in a small, sleepy town called Venus Cove. All is going rather well until the youngest angel, Bethany, starts to fall in love with Xavier Woods. Angels aren’t allowed to fall in love with humans, lest they become fallen.

The first thing that caught my eye about this book was the cover. It was pretty and, well, angelic. I really liked the different explanations that went along with how angels ‘worked,’ because that’s how I write my own stories; using things that already exist and putting new twists on them or finding holes in them. And I’m not usually one for full-on love stories, but in the beginning I really liked it.

…then, it hit. I’m going to give you a minor spoiler because I need to in order to explain. Something happens at the prom that makes Xavier pissed and not want to talk to Bethany, and she doesn’t want to leave her bed or eat. Then, after convincing by her oh-so-talented siblings, he comes back to her right away and she tells him to forget about what happened, and he does, no questions asked. -___- At first, I really loved Xavier, because he’s exactly the kind of boyfriend every girl wants. And that’s the problem. He doesn’t seem to have any weaknesses.¬†He doesn’t even truly cry for his previous girlfriend, who died in a fire! [sure, maybe a little, but not like you would for someone you loved]
Xavier is exactly that hero type, and maybe if he had more weaknesses, I wouldn’t be so harsh on him. Maybe I missed something he wasn’t good at? Even Bethany says that he’s good at everything! But one thing I do like about him is that he truly loves Bethany, even if she is an angel.

And there’s demons. Of course there’s demons. I mean, I don’t mind demons vs. angels¬†at all. In fact, I like it. But the demon, Jake, is incredibly boring to me. He’s bad, definitely, but not as bad as you would expect a demon to be. He retaliates after Bethany’s rejection [yes, he likes her] by hurting people. I understand how much angels care for the human race, but if he was really that hurt, he should have done something bigger. Hello, evil demon from hell!

Overall, the story was rather clichéd, and was similar to Twilight [after reading this review, I realised it]:

…it is very obvious that the majority of her ideas came from Twilight. A few examples are people’s eyes turning from vivid colors to coal-black, going to a nearby city to buy prom dresses with her 2 friends, “There are 2/3 things that I am absolutely certain”, etc.

Bethany often can’t go without seeing him for more than an hour, and that’s not very realistic. I realise she’s an angel new to love and she’s sort of obsessed with this boy, but even supernatural love stories need about 40% basis in reality.

As a review, these are some good points:

  • How Bethany and her family adjust to life on Earth and some misconceptions they have.
  • Gabriel’s personality. It was refreshing to have someone like him be able to drag all the floaty, happy characters down a bit and make them think.
  • The cover. That’s what drew me in the first place, and probably what kept me reading.
  • The supernatural character is a girl ‚̧

These are the bad points:

  • It’s often repetitive; for example, Bethany often talks about this all-consuming love for Xavier, and it would’ve been okay once or twice, but it happens a lot.¬† Situations are repeated, too.
  • The battle scene at the end is disappointing, to say the least. It builds up to this awesome, ‘we’re gonna kick your ass,’ ‘good vs. evil’ moment, but… yeah. I’ll leave it to you to read it to find out what happens.
  • Even if this is Bethany’s first love and it’s ‘cute’ and ‘sweet,’ it’s not Xavier’s. He’s a guy, and there’s not one time where he tries to really be one. You know what I mean. He may be cautious and rule-abiding, but he’s a boy for God’s sake. A teenage one, no less!

There’s two other books coming out, and even though this one wasn’t as good as I’d hoped, if I see them in the library, I’ll probably at least try to read them. The author’s young, and she’s a pretty good writer even if she’s not exactly fine-tuned yet. If she can save this series, I will be one happy reader~

A song by the Radwimps. Language: Japanese. I’m not sure what the title is. Google Translate came up with something strange, but that might be it. You never know. In any case, enjoy. I first heard it in a MAD for Durarara!!.