Sunday, October 24, 2010

Do You Want to Know How Angiospermophytes Reproduce? Really? Me Neither!

I have a very big test tomorrow. I have to know all kinds of things. I have to know how angiospermophytes reproduce (that is a type of flower, in case you were wondering, not some weird animal sex thing). I have to know about conservation and evolution and Pfr and energy flow in food chains, and biotic indices, and all kind of indexes. I have to know EVERYTHING that has EVER been written about ecology, basically. It's so fun, I tell you. And I mean that in the sarcastic way, like Rory, at the end of this clip (around 2:40):

I am so tired, and so sick of studying and trying to cram all this junk into my brain. Ahhhhh. I hate it. I don't like biology. It's boring and I'm never going to need it for anything but a good mark on my university applications and I don't want to study it! Ah ah ah. I feel very complain-y and I know I must be very annoying. And I don't even have time to write a real post. No pop culture. No Sheldon obsessions. No rants about the new Steven Page cd (but that will come shortly, I promise. I never miss an opportunity for a rant. Especially about the Barenaked Ladies). Nope, no time for any of that. I shouldn't even be wasting time doing this now. I should be studying. God, help me.

Sorry for the pathetic post. I promise, I'll write something good tomorrow. Or the next day. The first chance I get. God knows when that'll be, though, given my INSANE homework schedule. Seriously, the minute I finish one GIANT PROJECT or IMPOSSIBLY HARD TEST, I have another. I haven't had as much as a day's break from something SUPER STRESSFUL in three weeks. And there's no end on the horizon. Not until a couple of weekends from now, at least, though I'm sure I'll have another test/presentation/project/lab by then. Sorry, I'm complaining again. I should stop writing, before I get so annoying you unsubscribe to my blog. And really, I should go study and stop complaining already.

Wish me luck (or lick, as I just typed)

Monday, October 18, 2010

It All Started with the BIG BANG!!!

If you remember, last week, in this post, I mentioned something super duper exciting that I was about to do. Well, I did it. Or experienced it, I guess you might say. Participated in it. Watched it. Screamed about it. And now, I'm going to blog about it. It was just that exciting. I had to do so many different things.

With all this magnificent build up, I know you are all on the edge of your seat. Well, let's see if you can figure it out. First, it has this:

(That's Toronto, in case any of you are complete idiots. Or Americans. Or, more likely, both. No, I kid you. A little)

Plus, you add a little of this:

And, sadly, you have to subtract this:

And then you add this:

And, finally, you add a lot of this (!!!!!!)

Unfortunately, you also have to subtract these two things:

What does all this add up to? Hmm...let's see. Could it possibly be the Big Bang cast on CTV? No, that's not that exciting. Could it be the Barenaked Ladies performing the Big Bang theme song at CTV? No, that's not right either. Wait, could it be the cast of The Big Bang Theory (minus Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki) doing a live interview with a live performance by the Barenaked Ladies (minus Steven Page) at CTV in Toronto? Could that possibly be it? Could all that awesome exist in the same room at the same time? Wouldn't the building just explode due to the sheer amount of awesomeness in the same room at the same time? Well, let me tell you, the building almost did explode--with the cheers of the Big Bang/Barenaked fans! (hithero known as the Big Barenaked fans or the Bang Ladies. Either sounds vaguely dirty....). Yes, you read that right. I got to see Jim Parsons, in the flesh, talking to Ed Robertson. I thought I was going to explode. Too much awesomeness, I tell you.

Of course, the real thing wasn't as exciting as I built it up to be. My friend and I (the one who was earlier referred to as "Destiny") skipped an afternoon of school and went down to the CTV building (that really weird one, with the car coming out of it). We had to wait in line for more than an hour, and then wait inside this big tent for another hour. They asked trivia questions and gave out prize packs, none of which I got, even though I knew most of the answers (the most painful question, by far, was "Can you name the four members of the Barenaked Ladies?". Are you kidding me? I knew their names before I knew my own name. I could write a textbook, teach an entire course on Barenaked history. Again, that sounds vaguely dirty...). Then, we watched that night's episode of Big Bang (the one with all the cats--Zazzles) on the big screen tv thing. Then Ben Mulroney and some generic female host came out and talked for a little bit. Then the Barenaked Ladies (!!!!!!). And then, the greatest man on earth. The love of my life. My hero. Sheldon Cooper (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). Sorry, I mean, Jim Parsons. Big dif. Oh, and Raj and Howard were there too. Which was nice. Of course, they were irrelevant since they were sitting next to THE GREATEST PERSON EVER. And you thought I was obsessive before.

The interview itself was okay. I've watched enough Jim Parsons interviews on Youtube to have heard most the questions a few dozen times. And I could barely see the stage, there were so many people. They were all so tall. And I'm so short. If I stretched by feet as high as I could and twisted by body and did all kind of crazy contortionist moves, I could see Ben Mulroney, for like, 5 seconds. Which was incredibly annoying, because a) I couldn't care less about Ben Mulroney (I mean, who is he? So, his dad was Prime Minister. It's Canada. It's not like being Canadian PM means anything) and b) Jim Parsons was sitting right next to him, but I couldn't see him at all. Eventually, with enough effort, I saw a few glimpses of Jim. That was very exciting. And then, as quick as it began, it was over. But, you know, that's okay. It wasn't everything I hoped (dreamed) for. But it was a new experience. And now I get to say that I was within 50 feet of Sheldon Cooper. So, you know, my life is complete.

I brought my camera, but I couldn't see the stage, so I didn't have any good photos. Here's one from the CTV website, that I quite enjoyed:

Yes, they all put on Team Canada jerseys. Very, very cool. And Jim was so cute when he asked what sport it was. And then, once someone told him, he said "Oh god, I guess I'm going to banned from the country for that". Oh, Jim, I love you. You know how obsessive Canadians are about hockey. And really, I wouldn't be surprised if they kicked you of the country. Those Leaf fans can get pretty scary...(especially near playoffs, when they are forced to admit that, once again, we didn't make the playoffs, for the tenth year running).

It was all very cool. I enjoyed it a lot. Jim Parsons is the best thing since ever. It's got to be said. And repeated every second of every day. And here, before I go to bed and face my real life (which is pretty awful right now, but more on that later), are the top ten Sheldon moments (well, the one's I could find on Youtube):


Friday, October 8, 2010

I Like Like You

When I was in third grade I liked this boy named Jake. We wrote short stories together and sat together in class. I was pretty sure he liked me. Or that's how I like to remember it at least. The next year I moved on to Nathaniel Brown, who also sat next to me and gave me a valentine that said "I love sitting next to you". It wasn't I love you. But it was close enough for my fourth grade heart. There were more boys after that. Oliver, who sat next to me and made jokes, and then Connor who sat next to me in fifth grade. We did our math homework together and talked about books and school and volunteered together in the library every week. And then there was Kyle. I actually knew he liked me back. He wrote me love letters to tell me. He was very sweet. I ripped up those letters when it ended. After that there was Paul, in seventh (and I must admit, part of eighth) grade. He had blonde curly hair and he was funny. My weak spot. But then, after that, nothing. I got to high school, and I never had feelings like that again. I forgot what it felt like to feel like that. It was kind of nice in a way. Nothing to distract me or get my hopes up. But it was also kind of annoying. I was the lamest person in truth or dare. "Who do you like?" "No one". Yeah, not that interesting. But I was fine with that. I could handle boring. But then, out of the blue, Henry had to go and ruin all that.

It's always been a big plot point in movies and books, where the guy a girl likes says something mean to her or doesn't like her back, and she goes home crying. I never really understood those girls. This week I was one of those girls. It was awful. I felt so pathetic and stupid. I hated myself for it. How could I ever think he could like me? Why did I even care? Oh god, I'm such a pathetic little girl. I can't stand myself. But I can understand all those girls in all those movies.

When I was little everyone used to say "like" if they liked someone as a friend, and "like like" if they liked someone as more than a friend. I always assumed this was some little kid thing. I assumed there was an actual work, more sophisticated than "like like". I was wrong. It's still called "like like". And it still sucks when he doesn't "like like" you back.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I'm Off to See the Wizard...

I can't think of a good intro, so I'll just say hey. Hi. How ya been? I've been good. Okay. Average. This week has been relatively easy at school (though next week is midterm week, so death is just around the corner, comme toujours). This weekend is Thanksgiving for all us Canadians, which doesn't really mean all that much to me because my family doesn't really do anything (most of my relatives live in British Columbia, and it's depressing to have thanksgiving for three people), but it does mean one good thing: A THREE DAY WEEKEND!!! WAHOO!!!

Alas, it's not the weekend yet. It's only wednesday night. Of course, my thursday is very easy (and very exciting!). I'll keep it under wraps for now, in case it doesn't work out, but you betcha, if it does, you'll be hearing about it. For a long time. Because it'll only be the single BEST day of my LIFE. I know, I've peeked your curiosity. I'll have to keep you in the dark for a little bit longer. But expect a very excited, over the top, crazy post in a few days.

Anyways, the point of this post was not to talk about tomorrow or the weekend or any of the awesome things I will be doing. I'll talk about that in the next post. In this post I want to talk about the past, instead of the future. I want to talk about my past, in books. My reading history, if you will. What better way is there to do that, then with illustrations (because pictures making everything better). Yes, a top to bottom inventory of my bookshelf. Doesn't that sound fun? (yes, that is what your thinking: yes. Of course it sounds fun). I thought it would be a good game, to go through and count all my books, making a few comments about each. Hopefully someone will see something they like or haven't heard of or want to read. You see, you get book recommendations, and I get to make a list. With both win.

So, I suppose I shall start this grand expedition with a little introduction to my bookshelf. First, here is the picture (as promised!):

My bookshelf has two parts. It starts on the shelves under my window seat (which I had a picture of, but then I photoshopped it to death. It was a very gory demise. I don't think you want to see it...). I change it up from time to time. Sometimes, I put the hardcovers on those shelves, sometimes the so-called "adult books". Currently, I have Mitch Albom-Deb Caletti there (it should go without saying that my books are in alphabetical order). The second part of my bookshelf is featured in the photo above. It's just a traditional, boring, Ikea bookshelf (that I got for free off the street). It holds the rest of my books (Deb Caletti (continued) - Ziegler), plus a few knickknacks. This bookshelf is forever changing too, as I acquire more and more books, and have nowhere to put them (and have to find, um, "creative solutions").

I'm only going to go through one shelf today, Mitch Albom - Meg Cabot. Here's the picture, followed by the list:

1) Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Very, very good. I highly recommend it. An interesting book, simple as that.

2) The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
Didn't love it. Didn't hate it. It was pretty good. Short, and pricey for such a quick read.

3) For One More Day by Mitch Albom
My least favourite of his. Average.

4) Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
An AMAZING book. It was my favourite book for a very long time (until I realized that having a favourite book be about rape was kind of depressing). Laurie Halse Anderson is awesome, and this book is just spectacular. Such good writing. So well done. READ IT.

5) Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
Another good one. I generally don't like reading about anorexia, but I gave this one a try, because it was a Laurie Halse Anderson. I didn't regret it. It wasn't as good as Speak, but it was still an interesting, and more importantly, unique book.

6) Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
I read this a bunch of years ago and really liked it. I can't remember why. It's about a drug addict. People debate if it is actually a memoir or not. Check it out on Wikipedia.

7) Emma by Jane Austen
As I've mentioned, a new addition to these shelves. A hard read, but a satisfying read. I like Emma. I like Mr. Knightley. But the ending really sucked. Such a cop out, Miss Austen.

8) Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
Oh, I love this book. I love Audrey. I love love love love James. The writing is so good. The main character is so good. And the romantic lead is so good. A good, good, GOOD book. Again, READ IT.

9) The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June by Robin Benway
This one is kinda weird. There are superpowers, let's just leave it at that. But there is also romance. And lots of it. And it is GREAT.

10) Forever by Judy Blume
I'm not the biggest Judy Blume fan. But I loved forever. It's a groundbreaking (and constantly banned) book. I think you have to be ready for this book to read it, and if you are, you will really like it. It's honest. And so few books are honest.

11) The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Series (1-4) by Ann Brashares
A very good series. I love Lena and Bridget and Carmen and Tibby. And I love Brian and Eric and Kostos. I love them all. And I love Ann Brashares sentimental writing. I just love these books. Brashare's work since has not been nearly as good. But I'll always love the Sisterhood.

12) The Last Summer of You and Me by Ann Brashares
Meh. I mean, the romance is good. And the writing is nice. But the story surrounding all of that is average. Nothing special. I don't think I would have picked it up if it hadn't had such a good pedigree...

13) 3 Willows by Ann Brashares
This book was a little young for me. My dad bought it for me, as a surprise, so I didn't get to tell him it was about a bunch of thirteen year olds, not exactly something I was interested in, considering I was sixteen. But I felt bad, so I read it. And I liked it enough. It was no Sisterhood. Actually, it was kind of like the diluted, little kid version of the Sisterhood (minus one sister). I liked one of the three stories a lot (the one with the romance, of course). The second story was fine, and the third I found a little annoying. But I have a hard time judging this book, because I wasn't the target audience. Who's to say a bunch of thirteen year olds wouldn't love this book? (Well, it's unlikely, but I don't want to be an unfair judge)

14) My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares
Ack. This book was AWFUL. It was a straight up romance (with some eternal life/reincarnation mumbo jumbo thrown in), which I would usually like. Not this time. Ack, it was awful. SOOOOO boring. I spent the whole time waiting for the romance to get good, but it never really did. It was just a bad book. And you know what the worst part is? It's the first book in a trilogy! So, I won't be reading any more Ann Brashares for a while!

15) Teen Idol by Meg Cabot
So, now we're done with all the Ann Brashares....just to start with the Meg Cabots. And boy, do I have a lot of those. A shelf-full actually. And the first one is called Teen Idol. It's actually one of my favourites by her. I love the lead boy, Scott. And I LOVE the ending. It's just so sweet. That last chapter is one of the best I've ever read.

16) How To Be Popular by Meg Cabot
Another good one. And a classic best friend romance, which I can always appreciate. Altogether, a good book. I liked Stephanie and I liked Jason. And again, the ending is good. Predictable, but what else do you expect?

17) Queen of Babble Series (1-3) by Meg Cabot
The first book was good. The second was okay. The third was awful. Not my favourite of hers, by any means. Though I did like the wedding dress design part of it. That was quite interesting.

18) The Princess Diares, Book 1: The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (2 copies, one hardcover, one softcover)
I have read this book so many times. I've absolutely destroyed my softcover copy. It's taped up like ten times and the cover's totally ripped off. If there was a fire in my house, and I could only grab one book, this would be it. And if I ever meet Meg Cabot (which I will, I swear on my life!), this is the book I will get her to sign. I just love it. It is the first book in my favourite series of all time. It has such good memories for me. I love Mia, and I love Lily and I love Tina, and, of course, I love Michael. I think Michael Moscovitz may be my favourite male lead ever. And if you know me at all, that's saying a lot. Michael has a great ending in this book. It doesn't pay off until the forth book, but it's worth the wait. It's very sweet. I love Michael and Mia. Smiles.

19) The Princess Diaries, Book 2: Princess in the Spotlight by Meg Cabot (2 copies, one hardcover, one borrowed and stolen by a friend)
This one is good too. Michael has lots of shining moments. I love his dress comment SOOO much. Michael's so sweet. What more can I say. I love him so much!

So that's it for today folks. Off to do many exciting things. Promise to report back soon.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

What's on your mind?

It's huge. Everyone has one. Even my grandmother. No, it's not a bible (though she does have a fair share of those too). It's a Facebook profile. And, one day, it's going to take over the world (if it hasn't already).

I've always had split feelings about Facebook. Some parts of it are very useful, like the email system and the instant messaging and the wall posts. But the way people use (and abuse) it are very annoying--status updates about every breath they take, friending and unfriending people, liking a endless stream of dumb things that no one cares about. I have two friends who post a status update every day, with a different "inspirational quote", that sounds really wise, but really means nothing, like "Live every day as if it is your last". Yeah, I don't need to be "inspired" like that everyday. And random people add me as a friend all the time. Sometimes I know who they, sometimes I don't. More often than not, they are not my friend in real life. All of these things are very annoying. But they don't make Facebook any less addictive, or necessary to my everyday life.

So, you know, I was interested when the Facebook movie came out (official name: The Social Network):

And I got even more interested when I found out that the movie was made by Aaron Sorkin, aka the creator of West Wing, aka The Best Show of All Time. So, when my friends wanted to go see it on friday night, I was all for it. I love me some CJ Cregg and Sam Seaborn and Josh Lyman. And I like me some Facebook. So it seemed like a perfect fit.

And it was! The movie Gods did not let me down. I wanted to see a smart, interesting, unusual movie. And I did! And it was funny too! All these good things, in one package. Now, that's a hard thing to find. Applause for Aaron Sorkin and Jesse Eisenberg and even Justin Timberlake (I know, I can't believe it either). And extra applause for that guy who play Eduardo. I love him. He was so funny. And mighty cute too (he's the one on the left):

Yes, a fine film. It follows the creation of Facebook, from the beginning, to almost present day, and all the problems and fights and lawsuits that ensued to create the social network site we all sign on to at least once a day. It all started at Harvard University, when Mark Zuckerberg made a site called Facemash to get back at his girlfriend who just broke up with him. The ball started rolling from there, with the site gaining more users by the minute, slowly gaining more universities, and eventually taking over the world. The movie focuses on two lawsuits against Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook: one from Eduardo Savrin, his best friend, and one from the Wincklevoss twins, creators of a rival site. Now, normally, this would not be a movie I would enjoy. I don't care at all about computer companies or big business or court room drama. But this wasn't just any corporation. This was Facebook. And this wasn't just any set of actors and writers and producers. This was Jesse Eisenberg, playing the wip fast Zuckerberg, Justin Timberlake playing the slimy creator of Napster, and Aaron Sorkin, applying his magic touch, as always. This was a great movie.

It was also a pretty hilarious movie (you wouldn't expect that, right?). Here are some of my favourite lines:

1) "And all of a sudden I'm accused of forced cannibalism!" and "Fish eat other fish!"
Oh god, this part of the movie was funny. Eduardo is awesome! I love him! This part was just classic. I know, you don't understand. Just go, watch the movie. Then you'll understand the epicness of these lines.

2) "The Winklevi"
This is an example of the genius that is Mark Zuckerberg (or, at least, the genius he is portrayed as in the movie). The two main antagonists in the film are the Winklevoss twins. He calls them the Winklevi when taking about them in plural, like octopuses=octopi. Genius, pure genius.

There were lots of other lines, but I can't remember them at the moment. The movie is a not comedy, primarily, but it has lots of funny moments. Kind of like West Wing. Kind of like a hip, young West Wing (since WW is my favourite show of all time, this says a lot). So yes, I liked this movie.

It's also interesting to note how Facebook has responded to this film. You think they would be supportive. It's a ton of free advertising. It gets people talking more about Facebook (as if that were possible). But no, Facebook has totally ignored it, and criticized it in any way it can. That would make sense if the corporation was portrayed badly in the film. But really, it's not. To me, the film seemed pretty honest. Of course, I don't know how everything went down. And I don't know what Mark Zuckerberg's actually like. But the movie portrayed him in a pretty nice light. He was super smart and super skilled. I mean, yeah, he did some bad things. But at the end of the movie, you still like him. And you like all the characters. You like Mark and you like Eduardo and you like the Napster guy and you even like the Winklevi twins. You come to understand that the world of business is a ruthless place, and that sometimes people do some pretty bad, nasty things. But you don't hate anyone for it. You certainly don't hate Facebook for it. And you certainly don't "unlike" West Wing from your list of favourite shows on your profile. I mean that seems a little immature (ahem, Mark Zuckerberg).

The funniest part of the whole thing, to me at least, was what happened after the movie. 'Cause you know what was the first thing I did when I came home? Checked my Facebook page. I was almost going to quote the classic "FISH EAT OTHER FISH" line in my status update, but that felt too ironic.

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