Monday, December 31, 2012

The Best of 2012

I like to think every year is the new best year of my life, but I've come to find there are different ways to define the word "best." I think my freshman year was by far the happiest year of my life. Sophomore year was just as good. Junior year was the fullest, and I learned the most. Senior year, and to some extent 2012, I have dubbed the year of adventure.

Adventures aren't always planned. Adventures are sometimes unexpected. But things expected can be just as good.

January: EXPECTED - I got to celebrate my sister's 23rd birthday with her. We are so blessed to have lived in the same town for four years now.

February: EXPECTED - I went skiing for the first time in 5 years. This time I didn't get hit in the head with the ski lift.

April: UNEXPECTED - The publication committee hired me as the new executive editor of the yearbook. I hadn't planned to do that job, and I wasn't completely aware at that point what exactly it entailed. So far it has been a great experience.

May: EXPECTED - I watched some of my friends graduate from my University. Then instead of going home, I lived in town with my sister for a month. I was car-less, so I spent the month writing, walking, and looking—quite unsuccessfully, I might add—for a place that would hire me for just a month.

June Part 1: UNEXPECTED - I needed a job badly enough that I found a babysitting job online and babysat for a family of total strangers. They had three boys ages 4, 5, and 9. Now that was an interesting experience.

June Part 2: EXPECTED - I turned 21. That was weird, and I felt old.

July: UNEXPECTED - Never in my life would I have thought I'd end up traveling alone to England to work at the Olympics for a month. I got to travel with friends and see amazing sights, and I learned a great deal through my work.

August: SORTA EXPECTED - I returned to my University for my senior year of college. I had a new roommate, Alison. We had plenty of classes together before but didn't know each other that well. We became friends in the first week of school, and it's been a lot of fun getting to know her better. 

September: UNEXPECTED - One of my friends forwarded me an email about a directed study opportunity working with Professor Peter Kerr on his book called Adam Meets Eve: Foundations for Love to Last a Lifetime. The directed study included editing the book, marketing, public relations, and publishing. I applied even though I'm not a communication major, and Prof. Kerr hired me! I am stoked for next semester. (You can tell because I've already read the book more than twice.)

October: UNEXPECTED - One of my friends who graduated from my University several years ago asked me to edit a book he was writing about financial planning. Of course I agreed, and it became my first paid gig. Check out the book here.

November: UNEXPECTED - On January 14th, I wrote a blog post. When my dad read it, he said he thought I should make a book out of it. I disagreed but decided to try anyway. I wrote a few pages at a time and sent them to my dad. He seemed to like the story, so I kept writing. Soon the project practically took over my life, and over the summer, it became a 200-page monstrosity. However, usually when I write books, I get lost somewhere near the end and cannot decide how to end it. Then one day I had an epiphany, wrote the last chapter, and typed THE END after my first full-length novel! It was 253 pages. Since then, I have finished the second draft.

December Part 1: UNEXPECTED - I have always wanted to sing Handel's Messiah with a choir. This year I got to sing with it with over 90 people, a full orchestra, and a pipe organ. It was probably the coolest thing ever. That music is absolutely incredible, and it was such a blessing and a privilege to sing it. I was a little disappointed my parents couldn't come because they're too far away and had work. However, I was taken totally by surprise when not only my grandma from Texas but also my mom from New Jersey showed up to watch the performance. I was so happy.

December Part 2: UNEXPECTED - As I discussed in this post, my scooter broke, so this year I haven't used one much. My family went to hang out with family friends at their house about a week ago, and I told them about my scooter. To my surprise, they had a Razor scooter in their garage, and they gave it to me! It meant more to me than they might ever know.

Hey 2013. I dare you to be better.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Return of Scooter Girl

Some people at my university call me Scooter Girl. Since my sophomore year of college, I've ridden a scooter everywhere. My first scooter broke, so I got a better one for my 20th birthday two summers ago.

Scooter 2.0 served me well for junior year, but somewhere along the line, it broke. Near the beginning of senior year this fall semester, my friend repaired it for me. However, Scooter 2.0 was simply worn out. I wasn't surprised since I used it so much.

That presented a problem. I had one more semester of college left and no scooter. The other day my family and I went to our friend's house to hang out. We hadn't seen them in a year. I mentioned my conundrum offhandedly, and it turned out they had an extra scooter in their garage.

A Razor Scooter!

They donated it to me so I could be Scooter Girl for my last semester. SO EXCITED.

It's going to be a great semester. :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Green Eggs and Hobbits

I have decided to announce my opinion about the new movie The Hobbit, since being a blogger automatically makes me an expert on movies. Besides, you all have probably lost sleep for weeks wondering what I thought about it. Well, suffer from insomnia no more.

I'll begin with a little rhyme I made up myself:

"I do not like orcs, Samwise Gamgee. I do not like them, Sam I am."

Sam wasn't even in The Hobbit. He should have been, though, because he was one of my favorite characters. I guess that wouldn't have made sense. Just forget it.

First of all, I should tell you I went to see The Hobbit in 3d 48 dpi. Oops, not dots-per-inch. I mean, 48 fpms, which means frames-per-milli-second. The movie moved so fast it totally boggled my mind. I mean, orcs were just jumping everywhere. And those flying, sled-pulling bunnies in real time? Mind. Blown. I felt like I could just reach out and stroke a dwarf's beard. But that would have been weird, so I didn't try.

Everyone got all histrionic over the 48 fpms. I wasn't impressed. I mean, whoever had time to take all those pictures should probably get a life. Also, since it was 3 a.m. before the movie ended, I felt like my eyeballs were going to fall out of my head.

You remember that movie The Artist? The one with no audible dialogue? They kinda went backward in the whole technology thing by taking out all the sound. This retro movie trend is really in, you know? I heard for the next Hobbit movie they're going to go for the opposite effect of the 48 fpms. How? One word: slideshow. Instead of 48 frames-per-milli-second, they're going to have 48 frames per minute. It will be like watching it in stop motion. HOW COOL IS THAT?

Second, I'd like to point out the biggest mistake of the whole movie. They really rushed the part when the dwarves showed up at Bilbo's house. I mean, Peter Jackson might as well have just cut the whole thing out if he wasn't going to do it right. I felt like I hardly knew the dwarves. That scene was only 40 minutes long... I expected it to take at least half the movie. I mean, where were the personal interviews with each one? Why didn't it show the part where Bilbo goes on Google to do unofficial background checks on all of them? That was my favorite part of the book.

Third, I'd like to be the first to predict the lawsuit. George Orwell...Washington...Mason...Clooney... GEORGE LUCAS is going to freak out. I mean, who is Peter Jackson to just snatch a character from Star Wars and plop him in his film? That 'Orc Leader' guy was totally Jaba the Hut. Looked like him, sounded like him, WAS him. I felt like standing up in the theater and yelling, "WATCH OUT FOR THE TRAP DOOR, BILBO! LISTEN TO C3PO!"

Fourth, the movie was really racist. Whatever happened to the bad guys being Russian or something? They made the evil orc guy Albino. That's not even funny... I am 1/8 Albinoan. I'm proud of my heritage. We Albinoans hate the sun and worship golden idols shaped like bottles of sunblock. None of my ancestors said anything about a grudge against dwarves. If Peter Jackson is going to be a hater, he might as well at least be historically accurate.

Fifth, who do they think they are making The Hobbit into three movies? Lord of the Rings was three books. Thus, it became three movies. The Hobbit was like 75 pages long. So, the first movie was like the introduction. They had to ADD IN parts to a perfectly good story to pull it off. Why? Because they want more money! They had to manipulate Tolkien's masterpiece to create an unnatural story arc so the introduction of the story could have a beginning, middle, and end. It makes my stomach turn.

All the other movie makers want to be awesome and successful like Peter Jackson. So 35-year-old director Ichabod Herbert MacIntire is following Jackson's lead by taking Dr. Suess's beloved book and splitting into three parts. The three movies will be called: "Part 1: Green Eggs," "Part 2: And," and "Part 3: Ham." WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO? How can all of those parts have enough story? "And" is a coordinating conjunction, for crying out loud.

Speculating film enthusiasts say Part 1: Green Eggs will be a far-reaching background piece about the chicken who gave birth to the green eggs. Why were the eggs green? What did that mean? Did his mother think that would affect their adolescent years? Then: WHO was the heartless farmer who snatched her unhatched offspring from the cradle? Part of the film will be a psychological thriller about the farmer's motives and what influenced his decisions.

DO YOU SEE WHAT A DISASTER THIS IS? Peter Jackson needs to think about his impact on the world around him. Poor Ichabod Herbert MacIntire never had a chance as a director.

You know what I think? The second Hobbit movie (Part 2: The Journey Unexpected Continues) and the third Dr. Seuss revisitation (Part 3: Ham) should be combined. The whole movie could be about Bilbo's discovery that green eggs and ham make an excellent second breakfast. Then we can spend the rest of the movie watching him eat his meal in 48 frames per minute. 

Basically, I thought The Hobbit was fantastically mediocre.

(Disclaimer: I don't actually worship golden idols shaped like sunblock. Not usually, anyway.)