Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve

2008 seems to have gone by so fast. So many things have happened this year- the Olympics, the election, and several other personal things for me.

Now I'm going to have to get used to writing that "9" at the end of dates instead of the "8" I've gotten so used to. I'm going to turn one year older in about 8 months, and my grades are going to start counting next school year (Eeek!). I'm kind of looking forward to 2009- I'll be able to start over and try new things. I'm hoping that this upcoming year has a lot of wonderful things in store.

Have a wonderful New Year's Eve and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

by Kate DiCamillo

This is a sad story about a china bunny. Edward Tulane has always spent his life with a girl name Abilene, who treated him with the utmost respect. His pampered life disappears as he is accidentally thrown into the Atlantic Ocean. He journeys for several years, spending his time with old ladies, hoboes, dogs, poor children, and more. During his "miraculous journey," he learns to love and remember.

The pictures in this book were very nice too- they really went along with the story. I would recommend this if you're looking for a short, fun read anyday, anytime.

Friday, December 26, 2008

After-Christmas Stuff

I just finished reading a wonderful poem at Miss Erin's blog. Go here to check it out.

Finally, I've gotten some pictures of our Christmas tree:



Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

-Clement Clarke Moore


Merry Christmas, everyone!

playing in the snow...


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rambling...

I spent most of today shopping for gifts and wrapping them. We went to Target and Redmond Town Center, where it seems like most people went too. Isn't it funny how no matter where you go during the holidays, you'll always find huge crowds?

Anyways, I just finished wrapping three gifts for my sister. One is in a gift bag, which I completely adore. Gift bags are so simple- just pick one out, drop the gift in, cover it with fancy tissue paper, and Voila! You have a finished gift.

However, the wrapping was a bit of a nightmare. Both presents I wrapped displayed my abysmal wrapping skills. Oh well, all that tape is going to be on the floor Christmas morning anyways.


-going for dinner

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wordle Cloud



My Wordle cloud at www.wordle.net
To see it up close, go
here.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Love Story

It's been snowing like crazy today. I'll try and get some pictures if I can.

Meanwhile, this is one of my favorite songs: Love Story by Taylor Swift


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Old Snow Pictures

I was looking through some old pictures, and I found some pretty snow ones:
















Monday, December 15, 2008

The Lump of Coal


by Lemony Snicket

Another picture book!!!

This one was super cute. The Lump of Coal features the main character as (duh) a lump of coal who secretly has a burning desire to be an artist. He longs to draw rough, dark strokes on paper. And if he can't get a position as an artist, he hopes to at least be of some use to someone. He visits art galleries and Korean barbecue restaurants in hopes of fulfilling his dreams, but he is turned down at each place. Finally, he meets someone who sends him off to the most unexpected place, where "miracles" happen.

This book was one of Lemony Snicket's more happier books- in fact, it was positively gleeful compared to some of his other works. For those who have read The Series of Unfortunate Events, the writing style and the illustrations are familiar, adorable, and just plain fantastic.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard


The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling was an amazing book, in my opinion. Comprising of five wizarding fairytales, the book features stories about love, morality, human limits, kindness, and more. Professor Dumbledore's insightful commentary at the end of each story really added to the fairytale as a whole, and his writings often included a sprinkling of humor in it. There are several references to characters and events in the Harry Potter series, as well as references to his genius mind and his goat-obsessed brother. Although the book didn't have the same feel as a Harry Potter book always had for me, it still was a fabulous, quick read.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Snow Update

It's been melting. It started melting during the night, which I think is completely crazy since temperatures are supposed to drop during the night, not rise. There still is a bit of snow- maybe one inch. The lawn and bushes are dotted with snow, and most of the roofs have some snow still left.

On another topic, my sister Maya is publishing a poetry book! It will be coming out in early spring. Here's the newly finished cover:


Saturday, December 13, 2008

snow!

And it's sticking! There's only a little now, but the snow is still falling hard. I'll keep posting, and maybe I'll add a few pictures. Keeping my fingers crossed for no school on Monday!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Update on Warriors 4th Series

Guess what??? The Warriors fourth series name has been changed from The Fourth Apprentice to Omen of the Stars! Shocking...I'm not really sure if I like the change or not. The first book in the series is now called The Fourth Apprentice instead of Ambush, its original name. You can find more information (as well as Victoria Holmes' wedding details!) here.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Somebodies

by N.E. BodeYucky cover, but nice story on the inside.

This book features Fern and Howard as they once again embark on their third adventure in the Anybody world. This time, they travel to fluctuating "the city beneath the city," or the Anybody capital. They meet mysterious people and objects as they try to battle the evil Blue Queen, whose dream is to conquer everyone's souls. A suspenseful, adventurous must-read for all ages!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving!

(Cool Google, eh?)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Typealyzer

I found this at allegro. It's called Typealyzer, and it basically determines the personality of your blog. This is what I got:

ESFP - The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves. The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.

Long Shadows


Wow.
Seeing that I had waited almost three months for this book, I was expecting something wonderful. Dramatic. Shocking. And I got what I wanted.
316 pages, Long Shadows is chock-full of mystery, lies, drama, adventure, and more secrets than you could have ever forseen. I was shaking as I read it- which just goes to show how exciting it was.
The only two things that I didn't like were:
1) Erin Hunter tried to squish too many events into 316 pages. Some events seemed unreal because they flew by so quickly.
2) The middle of the book was filled with Warrior/Tribe history and ancient clan/tribe lore. Necessary for the story, I suppose, but boring all the same.
Now that I have given my review, I feel compelled to spill out all the spoilers. So here goes.
MAJOR SPOILER WARNING (spoilers in no particular order)
  • Lionblaze, Hollyleaf, and Jayfeather (he got his medicine cat name!) are not Squirrelflight's kits. But we still don't know the mother. Leafpool. most probably. (I think the parentage is going to be revealed in Sunrise, but still, we have to wait for another half-year!)
  • Ashfur was the traitor who tried to kill Firestar. And he hates Squirrelflight. He knows about the kits-not-being-Squirrelflight's-thing.
  • Squirrelflight murdered Ashfur.
  • Millie almost dies, but she becomes healthy in the end. (Noooooo, Millie, why couldn't you have died???)
  • Practically the whole of ThunderClan was infected with greencough (Firestar too!)
  • To avoid everyone getting sick, Firestar (in his sickly condition) takes all the sick cats to the abandoned Twoleg nest to recuperate and stay away from the healthy cats.
  • Firestar's AWESOME! (sorry, just my personal opinion)
  • Firestar loses a life.
  • Ah yes. Whitewing is going to have kits, and the lucky father is....Birchfall!!! (Who's about a million years younger than Whitewing *roll eyes*)
  • Possible LeafpoolxAshfur shipping...or it could just be Jayfeather's unknowingness. (I keep thinking Jaypaw!)
  • Since Sol took over ShadowClan, Blackstar wanted to be called Blackfoot. Tawnypelt and her three kits came to ThunderClan. However, the all-powerful Three went to ShadowClan, and with the help of two StarClan warriors, they got rid of Sol and ShadowClan went back to normal.
  • Three new StarClan cats! Brightspirit, Braveheart, and Shiningheart. These cats appeared in honor of Jimmy, Dana, and Emmy Cherry, who all died in a tornado in Arkansas. The three StarClan cats help Jaypaw save his Clan from greencough.
  • Heatherpaw becomes Heathertail. She HATES Lionblaze.

And Now, My Favorite Quotes (you knew this was coming!):

"'Did you see Firestar die?' Berrynose meowed, his eyes wide. 'What was it like?' Lionblaze glared at him, and didn't bother to answer. As he padded away, he heard Brambleclaw's voice raised scathingly. 'I might expect a question like that from a kit, Berrynose, but nor from a warrior, especially one that I mentored.'" (p.243)

"'Upset?' Ashfur echoed. 'I'm not upset. You have no idea how much pain I'm in. It's like being cut open every day, bleeding onto the stones. I can't understand how any of you failed to see the blood....'" (p.273)

"'Stay there!' Turning to face Squirreflight but keeping one paw on the branch, he hissed, 'I can't believe you didn't know how much you hurt me. You are the blind one, not Jayfeather. Who do you think sent Firestar the message to go down to the lake, where the fox trap was? I wanted him to die, to take your father away, so yo'd know the real meaning of pain.'" (p.274, said by Ashfur)

"Squirrelflight raised her head, her gaze locked on Ashfur's crazed eyes. 'Kill them, then,' she meowed. 'You won't hurt me that way.'" (p.275, referring to the Three)

"'If you really want to hurt me, you'll have to find a better way than that,' Squirrelflight snarled. 'They are not my kits.'" (p. 276)

"Wedged behind a rock just below her paws, the lifeless body of a cat floated in the swollen water, his fur dark and sodden. His tail streamed out into the current, waving as if he were still alive. Dustpelt was the first to speak. 'It's Ashfur.'" (p.305)

"Jayfeather knew they were all thinking of the scene on top of the cliff, when Squirrelflight's terrible secret had been shared in storm and fire. That, and that alone, had to be the reason for Ashfur's murder. Now, for their own sakes and the sake of their Clan, they must all conspire to keep the truth hidden forever." (p.316)

Mwa ha ha! Long Shadows was awesome!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Long Shadows Book Release Eve!!!

Long Shadows is coming out!!! I can't wait! It's going to have tons of drama and murders and secrets revealed. When I finish reading, I'll post about it.

Favorite Quotes from Eclipse:

"'I was just...' Jaypaw searched for the right words. How could he explain his need for the stick?...'I have to have that stick!'...'It matters very much...to me.'" p. 124

"Firestar leaped down from Highledge, landing lightly, and padded toward Onestar. The Clans drew back to let him pass. He stopped, unblinking, a whisker away from the WindClan leader. 'If you want a battle,' he growled, 'then you have one.'" p. 177

Go Jaypaw/the stick and Firestar!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Tales of Beedle the Bard



Clearly Harry's story isn't over yet. Bestselling author J.K. Rowling has a little more to say. Tales of Beedle the Bard, a book that appears in Harry Potter 7, will be released on December 4. Beedle contains an intro, drawings, and notes from Rowling herself and commentary from Dumbledore. A must-read for all Harry Potter fans!

For more details, click here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Madam President

by Lane Smith

When I first got this book from the library, I didn't know it was a picture book. I thought that I wouldn't like it, but I couldn't resist, and I quickly read the book in a couple of minutes.

Although it was only a children's book, it was one of the most entertaining and adorable picture books I've ever read. The story is about a young girl who imagines herself as the President of the United States of America during school. The sentences delegate the tasks that a President has to do everyday, while the pictures add an entertaining look into how the main character acted out her "duties."

This book was absolutely hilarious...with vetoing the school lunches, attending "important" funerals (of frogs, in this case), Madam President sheds a new light on the life of a President. I would thoroughly recommend reading this book (even if you have to hide it under your jacket in order to not be embarrassed).

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Spoilers

I hate book spoilers- although I do give out a lot of those quite often. One thing that annoys me with spoilers is when the book is viewable before it comes out! ARRGH! What's the point of getting the book then?

That's why I try and avoid those as much as possible. I cover my ears and close my eyes when my sister tries to tell me spoilers, and I have officially made myself the rule that I shall not go onto any chat forums, websites, etc. that may contain spoilers. Really, it's quite irritating when you have to ask your sister if a website is safe to read or not before going there. It would help if those publishers didn't publish the book early, but...

still, there's that wonderfully innocent but horribly tempting and tantalizing "Browse Inside" button that my fingers are just itching to click on...

Monday, November 10, 2008

EEK!!!

Take a looky at this!!!



It's the cover for the next Warriors book, Sunrise!!! Ain't it purdy?

Hollyleaf looks a little weird in the cover...more like a lump of black fur with two green eyes sticking out and a bluish nose...

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Tooth Fairy

Seventeen fairies were excitedly clustered around a small wooden table. Their wings glimmered with the blue of the ocean and the warm colors of leaves on a crisp autumn morning as they flitted back and forth. Infinitesimal necklaces of mother-of-pearl hung from their necks, the tiny, buttery beads iridescent against their pale skin.

One of the fairies was sitting at the smooth, chocolate-colored table with a fountain pen and scrolls. The parchment crackled as she scribbled frantically on it, the thick creamy paper entirely covered with calligraphy writing. The fairy, was, as everyone knew, the fabled Tooth Fairy, who lived in a milky white palace made entirely out of children’s teeth.

Being one of the most finicky queens in all of fairy history, she conducted daily examinations of her kingdom to make sure everything was in pristine condition. The drawbridge had to bisect the moat exactly into two pieces. After a celebration or feast, the palace was to be remitted and cleaned until it was back to its original state. All the teeth had to be sparkling clean and glued together without any excess paste or spaces. According to the Tooth Fairy, even a miniscule hole between two teeth could lead to a cavernous aperture big enough to hold a whole human child inside. The most important rule in the queen’s realm was that everyone must brush their teeth- even the clever ogres at Beast Woods who never bothered to use proper utensils when eating and ripped the meat off their prey with their fang-like teeth.

As everyone loathed the Tooth Fairy (and especially her contradictory, paradoxical remarks), all the citizens of the queen’s land eagerly awaited the day when their savior would finally arrive. They imagined a tall, young, good-looking hero with flyaway black hair, glasses, and a scar on his forehead. He would courageously stride into the palace and challenge the Tooth Fairy to a duel… Or maybe they were just reading too much Harry Potter.

The convention of fairies was disturbed by a loud, thunderous noise. The walls of the palace began to quaver uncontrollably, and the glass chandeliers on the ceiling trembled and swung to and fro. A short man in a top hat entered the room, and a collective whisper of “The Candy Master!” swept through the fairies. The Tooth Fairy rose to meet the intruder, her longtime adversary, and the magical creatures anxiously awaited the outcome. Some hoped that the Candy Master would win and annihilate the queen from the world, but others hoped that their mistress would kill the opponent instead.

And the sun rose and set and rose and set and once again rose and set as the two fought, until…

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Plumpuppets


When little heads weary have gone to their bed,
When all the good nights and prayers have been said,
Of all the good fairies that send brains to rest
The little Plumpuppets are those I love best.

If you pillow is lumpy, or hot, thin, and flat,
The little Plumpuppets know just what they're at:
They plump up the pillow, all soft, cool, and fat-
The little plumpuppets plump-up it!

The little Plumpuppets are fairies of beds;
They have nothing to do but watch sleepyheads;
They turn down the sheets and they tuck you in tight,
And dance on your pillow to wish you good night!

-By Christopher Morley

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Lemon Cupcakes

The small lemon cupcakes sat forlornly in their plastic packaging. As an unsuspecting hand carefully opened the box, some cupcakes clung to the lid while others tilted over lopsidedly in the container. Although the cupcakes looked delicious from the outside, they were really "evil" on the inside.

The cupcake was as hard as a rock. The color and taste of stale cardboard, the inside cake was capable of causing indigestion, diarrhea, and much worse. The yellow swirl of frosting on the outside, if anything, was comforting. Overly sweet, the frosting was lightly blanketed by miniature crystallized pink-and-white sprinkles. The sprinkles and sweet frosting helped to balance out the bland flavor of the cupcake, but it did not improve the softness and quality of the cake. Sickening and disgusting, the lemon cupcakes were sure to cause nothing but trouble and misery to any unfortunate soul unlucky enough to try the sweet out.

*These cupcakes really do exist! I tried one myself and almost gagged. I threw it away after the first bite. :-)*

Friday, October 31, 2008

Haunting Halloween Tales From Home

Trick-or-treating was a parade this year-and it was surprisingly warm outside compared to previous experiences!

Me as a witchy witch:

My loot of candy this year (114!). It became 119 after I weeded out the unsatisfactory ones (seriously, who likes coconut butter toffee?) and traded with my sister:

My candy! Not yours!


My sister and I:

My sister and I with our Halloween bags (I'm eating licorice):


Happy Halloween!

And while I was at it, I decided to post the Google logo for today, which I think is awesome.




Hope everyone has a great Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Haunting Halloween Tales From School

Well, maybe they weren't so haunting, but they were certainly festive. Since I have no school tomorrow on Halloween (teacher training day!), we had "Wear Your Halloween Costume to School Day" today. I was a witch as usual- I'll try to post up some pictures later. There were also several other witches, not to mention an abundance of pirates, fairies, and some rather original costumes. There were farmers and gangsters and weird vampire people and much much more. There were two people wearing McCain masks...no Obama masks though. I thought that was slightly odd because most of the people at my school support Obama, until I found out that no one liked the Obama mask because it had huge beaver teeth (or so I heard). The McCain masks caused a bit of trouble as everyone wanted to try them out (apparently they smelled horrible on the inside), and the teachers took to banning the masks from being worn. My art teacher "confiscated" the McCain mask and put it on herself- she looked hilarious!

There was also someone who was wearing a mask of a very old man with tons of white hair sprouting from his ears. No one knew what the costume really was. And the boy refused to talk- it was part of his costume. Go figure.

The Shadow Thieves

by Anne Ursu

I would probably give The Shadow Thieves by Anne Ursu a four out of five. It was a mix between the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan and Peter and the Shadow Thieves by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, in my opinion. It definitely had a lot of suspense, that's for sure, and it contained a lot of Greek mythology for those mythology lovers.

The only problem that I had with the book was that it was a little too predictable for me. There were a lot of hints about what would happen next, and just by the title, I could tell what the whole book was about: there are people who steal shadows, so the main character has to go on a quest to stop the shadow thieves. Pretty steoreotypical. But other than that, The Shadow Thieves was a great book and I would definitely recommend it.

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Sister's Favorite Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Quote

"'Brains like that, you could be a Death Eater, son. Haven't I just proved my Patronus is a goat?'

'Oh,' said Ron. 'Yeah...well, I'm hungry!' he added defensively as his stomach gave an enormous rumble." (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, p. 560)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

pear

The pear sits
upon a golden halo
of light
sparkling arabesque and
reflecting shards of carved glass

and it is surrounded by
apples, but
they all look up to
the Pear as if
she is their
Queen.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sarah Palin Rap

This is hilarious- you should watch it!


Favorites Lists

Due to my prolonging ennui (just had to use that word!) at the moment, I have decided to make lists of my favorite things. For some reason, I find making "favorite" lists very interesting. So here goes.

FAVORITE PLACES

1. Borders Bookstore
I love going to Borders because there are just so many books there! Whenever I enter Borders to buy a book, the sight of the store just fills me with happiness. I think I could sit there forever just reading. And when new books came out, I could read them first!

2. Coffee Shops
They smell so good! And usually there are other foods at coffee shops, like muffins or cookies. Delicious things. Also, there are all those cozy little tables and couches where you can sit and enjoy your drink while reading a book or something. I've seen a Starbucks coffee place with a fireplace too, which made me super-excited when I first went there.

3. The Library
The library has got lots of books too, but you can't find all of them at the library. Then you have to put books on hold. I admit that it is fun to search up books on the library website and click that wonderful little button that says "Place Hold," but it does get annoying after a while when you have tons of books on hold and none of them have arrived. Anyways, it is fun to go to the library just to browse, or when you know that the book you want is there.

4. My Shower
Ahhhhhh....relaxation.


FAVORITE SMELLS

In this one I could not decide the order of my favorite smells, so this list is in no specific order.

1. Chocolate
Especially if it is cookies or cake or brownies baking in the oven. They should have chocolate-scented candles. Or do they already exist? I haven't seem them, anyways.

2. Lavender
I know people think that lavender is the old-granny-who-loves-gardening-and-her-house-stinks-of-herbs smell, but it smells really good. Really. I have lavender plants in the front yard, and I like to pinch them and smell my fingers. I have to watch out for the furry little bumblebees though. I think I named the lavender plants. Julia, Mary, Faith, Anne, and something else.

3. The Garage
No comment.

4. Coffee
Already mentioned above.

5. Food
Mostly all food smells good, as long as the food tastes good. Yucky food does not smell delicious. I'm sure you understand.

6. I Could Go On Forever With This
... so that's why I am going to stop. Yes, I know that there are flowers and perfumes and other what-nots that everyone thinks should have been at the top of my list. So here's what I have to say: I can't list all of them!


FAVORITE AND LEAST FAVORITE COLORS

Favorite: Purple
Purple...it's so mysterious and...dark. I seem to have a liking for dark colors. Happy-go-lucky bright colors annoy me. Like florescent colors and neon? Ugh! Purple is the best by far. It has a dark side to it, but it also has a bright side. Ever seen bright purple? Then you know what I mean.

Least Favorite: White
Yecccchhhh. White is so plain and bland. Yes, it represents innocence and purity and all that, but it is just...too white, I guess. I don't know how to explain it, but I don't like white! That's all there is to it. Oh, and for anyone who wonders why all the text on my blog is white if I don't like that color, would you be able to read anything on my blog if I made the text black? No? I thought so.


Well, that's it for now on favorites! If you disagree with anything here and would like to express your feelings on any favorites you have, just click the link in the corner of the post that says "comments." When you click this wonderful link, you will be transported to a place where you can write whatever comment you want! Please comment on this post!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Charlie Bone and the Shadow

by Jenny Nimmo

Warning: content below may contain spoilers.

This book gets five stars from me. I think that out of the whole Charlie Bone series, Charlie Bone and the Shadow by Jenny Nimmo was the best. This book was wonderfully action-packed and the story kept me reading until the very end.

Count Harken from Charlie Bone and the Red King is back, and his goals are to suck people into his kingdom, Badlock, and get rid of as many "good people" as he can. Charlie Bone, his friend' Billy Raven, and a dog named Runner Bean all get sucked into Badlock, where they have a rather scary adventure. Meanwhile back in Charlie's city, the usual battle between good and evil continues as always. The story ends with a cliffhanger that leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

All in all, a great page-turner and a must-read if you have already read the other books in the series.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Matilda

By Roald Dahl


Welcome to the world of Matilda Wormwood, super-genius. At age four, she read her way through all the children's books in the library. At age four, she mentally calculated her father's profits and losses in his secondhand car business. Now at age five (and a half), it is up to Matilda to save the victimized kids at her school from the terrorizing, former Olympic hammer thrower, and just plain scary headmistress. Will she rid the school of Headmistress Trunchbull forever, or will she end up being one among the other poor kids who were swung by their pigtails, hung by their ears or hair, or forced to eat a giant chocolate cake in one sitting?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Inside Scoop on Santa Claus

The elf set down the small toy truck he was tinkering with and sighed. It was twenty-five past twelve already, and Mr. Claus still had not yet called lunch break. The boss’ demeanor was not one you could particularly call compassionate, the elf reflected as he began to paint the toy truck red with a miniscule brush. His pointy, sensitive ears ached from the clamoring din in the workshop; the usual factory noises and harried shouts of seven thousand elves working in one astronomical room created a tumultuous racket that bounced around the four wooden walls and pierced the elf’s eardrums like nails scraping against a chalkboard.

As the young creature scanned the room dully, his eyes fell upon an exquisitely painted portrait of the legendary Santa Claus. The old man in the portrait had jolly cheeks the color of roses, benign blue eyes that sparkled with the twinkle of stars, and a neatly kept mane, mustache, and beard of blinding white hair. Well, the elf thought savagely, no matter how judicious and generous the humans believed Santa Claus was, he knew who his so-called “magical” boss was: a hardhearted and insensate director with no sympathy towards his hardworking elves. And those flying reindeer! The elf’s eyes grew dark with displeasure as he pictured those irritating animals tossing their heads jauntily and showing off their glossy antlers; their overconfident airs and obvious smugness were enough to drive anyone insane. Rudolph was all right though, the elf consented silently. The lead reindeer’s modesty and larkish ways made him fun to be around, although he did become slightly arrogant when his glowing red nose was greeted with exclamations of wonder and admiration.

A loud, jangling bell signaling lunchtime interrupted the elf’s unspoken reverie. The magical creature cast a cursory glance at his boss, annoyed. He was just getting started on Mrs. Claus and her urbane sense of fashion, not to mention her sophisticated wardrobe of stylish ballroom dresses and outlandish red high heels! But his stomach was growling desperately, and he longingly yearned for a break from his tedious toy making. With a gusty sigh, the elf got up from his chair and followed the rest of the elves from the workshop room to his temporary freedom.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Movie Trailer



Apparently this came out on July 28th, but I only got around to viewing it recently. The movie looks like it's going to be super exciting! My favorite part is when Tom Riddle is talking to Dumbledore about the snakes. And the background music is awesome!

With thanks to Miss Erin at misserinmarie.blogpost.com.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Johnny Jim Blue

Have you ever heard of Johnny Jim Blue
Who lived down in Hillbilly Town?
He always went around with a smile on his face
And his hair was very, very brown.

One day as he was leaping through the woods
Two bluebirds on his head
He stumbled upon something on the ground
A teensy weensy piece of bread.

Now Johnny Jim Blue wasn’t one for wasting
And this bread looked very, very new
He picked up the bread, wiped it off
And gave it to the birds to chew.

The birds carefully examined the bread
Then decided to try it out
Their bodies started shrinking, their feathers turned green
And they turned into two alfalfa sprouts!

Johnny Jim Blue went screaming down to Hillbilly Town
Tearing his hair out the whole way
And all the Hillbillians came running out of their houses
To see if everything was OK.

Soon everyone had heard of Johnny Jim Blue
Who lives down in Hillbilly Town
He now goes around with a frown on his face
For he wears an alfalfa crown.

Warriors Book Signing

On September 13th, there was a Warriors booksigning at Borders Bookstore in Redmond, Washington. Over 600 people came to Borders to see the author of the popular bestselling Warriors series, who had just come out with the next book in the series, Eclipse.


The signing started out with the reading of a short excerpt from the book. Then, there was a question and answer session- in which I got my question answered!!!! Finally was the signing.

My sister and were forced to wait for approximately three hours to get our books signed. We spent the time wistfully watching others getting their books signed and trying to get good pictures of the author, Victoria Holmes.




Finally, finally, it was our turn. We got all six of the Warriors books we own signed, and I got to talk to Vicky and ask her a few questions...such as, "When will [my least favorite character] die?" and so on.


The above picture is of me, Vicky, and my sister (left to right). I think we were really lucky to be able to see her and get our books signed when she was just ten minutes away!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

School Camp

During September 3rd to the 5th, I was away at school camp. The camp was in a learning center somewhere in the mountains, so we had several great views of the surrounding scenery both at camp and during the drive to and from camp.

Although I have to admit that the conditions of the cabins, bathrooms, and facilities at camp were not the greatest- in fact, they were horrible (the toilets didn't have locks so you had to have someone guard the door for you so it wouldn't swing open, and the bathroom stalls themselves were quite dark inside)- many of the activities at camp were not bad. There was a campfire the first night with lots of singing and skits performed by students, and as we were walking back to the cabins, we could see millions of stars in the night sky- more than I ever saw in the city. There were "Water Olympics," which consisted of a few games such as water-balloon-throwing and dodging wet sponges. I, unfortunately, was hit somewhere around the shoulder with a water-balloon. On the last day of camp, there was a scavenger-hunt-complete-the-activity-and-get-a-ticket game. Basically, you and your cabin group had a series of clues that would lead you to different areas around camp. At each area, you had to complete an activity within five minutes. Everytime you completed an activity, your team recieved a ticket. The team with the most tickets at the end won. My team tied for second place with two other teams, I believe.

The most memorable moments of camp for me were few and far between, but they were memorable all the same. One night at dinner, one of the counselors stabbed a big black fly buzzing around the table right through the middle with his knife. And the morning of September 5th, our group made our breakfast cleanup duty fun by running around with brooms and mops, pointing all the dirty spots out to the moppers, and...well...you get the picture. Not to mention a superbly annoying clapping-and-dancing-and-singing pony song that made my life miserable...at least for three days.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Magic Mirror

As I stared into the depths of the magic mirror, I saw an elaborate illusion slowly forming through the swirling misty arabesque. A stone castle with tall towers, turrets, and waving red flags filled the magical mirror. Bright green ivy snaked up the walls of the castle. The sturdy wooden drawbridge with its taut, strong rope was open, stretching across the churning waters of the moat. In the moat, a scaly green tail occasionally curled out of the water, and unblinking yellow eyes stared around the castle grounds, boring into my eyes. The colorful castle gardens surrounded the majestic fort, with white, red, yellow, blue, and pink flowers bursting into bloom before my very eyes. Giant stone fountains in different shapes were randomly placed around the flowers. The sunlight streamed through the sparkling water of the fountains, forming a hazy rainbow. Knights in shining chain mail constantly walked around the castle grounds, patrolling for any dangers.

I blinked my eyes, and the illusion vanished. I found myself staring at a polished glass mirror with a pearly frame. I stared back at my own reflection, and wondered if I would ever see the magnificent castle again.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Alaska Cruise


I recently went on an one-week Alaska cruise to visit the northernmost part of the United States of America. The cruise ship was very large and elegant, and the nature scenery in Alaska itself was quite nice, although the civilization there was quite old-fashioned and clearly behind in technology.

To see some pictures from the cruise, you can go to my website,
www.priyaganesan.com.
Click on "Photo Gallery", then "August 2008 Alaska Cruise Photos" on the left side.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Baskets

I apologize for not writing sooner; I have been a bit busy.


Here's a poem I wrote recently. I sat down and just started writing it with no sense of idea in my head- I let the poem carry me and look how it has turned out!


I sat upon a rocking chair
With two baskets at my feet
One was overflowing and full of mess;
The other one was quite neat.

The messy one was painted red
The neat one painted blue
The first one was covered with tape all over
The second with homemade glue.

I picked up the first basket
I undid the red tape
What did I find inside?
One rotten, sour grape.

I threw the grape into the fire
Dropped the red basket on the floor
But suddenly through the night I heard
A frantic knock at the door.

A tall wizard came in
He said, “I’m looking for a grape.”
“I believe it was in a basket-
All covered with red tape.”

“I’m afraid I threw it in the fire,” I said
“Just before you came.”
“But you can have the blue basket-
I daresay they’re quite the same.”

The wizard glanced at the blue basket in doubt
For it appears to be nothing like the red
He looked at me, I looked at him
And told him to go ahead.

He picked up the blue basket
He scraped off the homemade glue
Then he peered inside and gasped in wonder
For what I said was quite true.

He clasped the basket to his chest
And did a little twirl in joy
Because inside the neat blue basket were
Two rotten, sour grapes to enjoy.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Reminder

Just dropping a little reminder that all articles, writing, etc. on this blog are my own work and copyrighted.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Internet Pop-Ups and What I Think of Them

Flashing mouse cursors. Animated screen savers. The "you-won-the-jackpot--millionth-customer" deal. What do I think of these?

Absolute junk.

As a harried student is frantically trying to do research for his school paper, he/she encounters several pop-ups. He/she shuts the window quickly and tries to continue on, but once again is blocked by another pop-up. As soon as this one is shut, there is a brief period of peace. And then again, another pop-up!

This is what many people face as they try to use the internet. The "try-out-new-cursors" pop-up with flashing hearts and smiley faces and who-knows-what-else doesn't even work! Even if by some miracle it does work, who wants some distracting, flashy cursor that they have to blankly stare at every time they get on the computer? Next, the screensavers. Fine, there's a cute little doggie dancing on the screen, or dolphins jumping in the air. But doesn't the screensaver start up when the computer isn't in use for a while? If the computer isn't in use, that means that YOU AREN'T USING THE COMPUTER, so YOU'RE NOT THERE TO SEE THE SCREENSAVER! Unless, of course, you're one of those people who find entertainment in sitting in front of a dusty screen with your eyes bugging and your drooling tongue hanging out of your mouth as you watch your amazing fabulous screensaver all day! Finally, the "you-won-blah-blah" pop-up. Did the inventors of this useless idea think that people would actually fall for it? If you click on the pop-up, you are taken to a page where you are requested to fill in all your personal information. Would you really give up all that information for something you don't even know is reliable? If you do fall for it and give your name, address, phone number, etc., you'll find that someone's now using your bank account, or you're being stalked by strange people in black! Whatever happens at any rate, I doubt you'll be getting your jackpot money.

I'm sorry if I have unintentionally offended anyone in this article, but I just wanted to say that people in charge of Internet pop-ups should think twice before sending them out, because they are very annoying to most people and are almost always ignored.

Riddles

The bottom of me is as thin as a cane,
In times of need I provide shelter from rain.
I come in many sizes and shapes,
You could compare me to a warm black cape.
My spindly arms are welcoming and wide,
Under me is one of the best places you might want to hide.
What am I?

I am the cause of a damsel in distress,
I create quite a mess.
I feed off the chocolate that you eat,
To turn that into something else is a rather amazing feat.
I leave you clutching your mouth all day,
But you can get rid of me if you wish to pay.
What am I?

I have many hands, usually two or three,
If you want to know what's late or early you can just look at me.
My hands move without missing a beat,
When they've gone all around me the pattern repeats.
If I've got numbers at my edges, around all 360 degrees,
What in the world do you think I could be?

I awaken by the sun's brilliant leave,
Upon the ground I glow and the darkness I weave.
I am a dove among a sea of black silk,
As smooth and white as milk.
I get smaller and smaller as the days go by
Until I am non-existent to the human eye.
And then I slowly begin to become revealed,
Until I am once again as white as an ice field.
If as the sun comes up I wave goodbye,
What am I?

I decided not to post answers to these riddles on the blog post itself in case I spoiled someone's thinking. If you would like the know the answers, click on the comments link for this post.


Monday, June 09, 2008

Horses in the Rain

Two white horses and one tan, racing in the rain
Galloping across the grassy meadow with ease
Their manes whipping behind them
Like streamers waving in the breeze.

Their pale bodies standing out
Against the dark green of the pine trees
Their agile hooves trampling the slippery grass
Jumping over tree stumps with expertise.

The rain pours harder, lightning strikes
Thunder sounds in the distance
One white horse rears up, too frightened to go on
The other two keep racing with determination and persistence.

They reach a river, crashing against the jagged cliffs
With foamy waves and churning water
The tan horse veers sharply to the side and disappears into the fog
Knowing that crossing the river would surely be slaughter.

One lone white horse, crossing the dangerous river
Fighting its way through the waves
Finally, it reaches the other side and continues on
So tired, wanting to go home to the caves.

Suddenly, after what seems like forever
The moon comes out, a shining ball of white
The majestic horse looks up as the storm ceases
Calmed by the sight.

Monday, May 26, 2008

What Happened Yesterday

Maya and I were biking up and down the road outside the house. Since I recently got a 21-gear bike, I was fiddling with the gears, trying to work out which ones I was supposed to use. I hated the times when the bike sort of shuddered or convulsed when I changed the gear.

Maya and I were going for our last round. There were several cars parked in the road, and besides, there was some high school graduation party going on in some house down the street. All those seniors were leaving, causing the road to be extra-cluttered.

So, I was just happily riding along at top speed alongside Maya, who was trying to show off by sticking her feet in the air. Her bike swerved all over the sidewalk and she crashed into some bushes, fortunately managing to stay on her bike and continue. We were both laughing, and Maya, not paying attention again, ran right over a "Tru-Green Chem Lawn" signpost in the sidewalk, flattening it to bits.

On top of this, while coming back up the street, Maya continued to show off. She ran right into these soil patches in the sidewalk (where trees are planted) and skidded to a halt in the soil, her bike tipping over with her on it. She ended up with a scraped knee and ankle and limped back to the garage in shameful disgrace.

What a day!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Peter and the Starcatchers

By Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson


Have you ever wished you could fly? Or meet pirates? Well if you have, then Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson is the book for you. This book is the first of a trilogy, the other two books being Peter and the Shadow Thieves and Peter and the Secret of Rundoon. The trilogy is a humorous fantasy story that tells what happens before the classical Peter Pan story.

The first book follows Peter, a young orphan, and his orphanage friends on a long sea voyage on a dingy ship along with a new friend, Molly Aster. However, also roaming the seas is the Sea Devil, the most-feared pirate ship commanded by the infamous Black Stache, or Captain Hook. (At this point he doesn't have his hand cut off.) The pirates are after magical treasure, and the search for the treasure leads the pirates to a picturesque island (Never Land). Peter and his friends end up on the island too, as well as some men who want the treasure to present to the Evil King Zarboff the Third. The pirates, men, and children face dangerous Mollusk warriors, clever mermaids, hairy spiders, giant crocodiles, as well as "starstuff" (a.k.a. the treasure) which gives people and animals the ability to fly. This thrilling and adventurous insight into the origins of a popular fairytale story will leave your thoughts whirling with wondrous images, you imagination spinning with fantastical tales, and your mind sighing in pure satisfaction.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Random Thoughts


Right now I am on the computer typing this (duh) as the glorious sun sets in a haze of red, purples, and yellows. No, just kidding. Right now I am on the computer typing this (duh) as the night sets in, sending a blue/black inkiness spreading across the dusky sky. Ooooh.....

My sister is strangely giggling next to me as she listens to her screechy music and types on her shiny black laptop, sucking her thumb (or so it appears). Suddenly, she leaps up shouting that it's going to snow tomorrow. Hooray. More frost and coldness. Not that I don't like snow, but...after the spring equinox, the weather has to actually act like spring, right?

My stomach is groaning as I just finished a sumptuous dinner of spaghetti, carrots, and peas. Actually, the cause of my groaning stomach might be due to some uncooked snowpeas with sharp ends cleverly hidden among the blood-red chaos of pasta and tomato sauce. I'm starting to feel a little sick as I imagine my dinner as a battlefield after the battle is over, with the carrots and peas (the two armies) laying helplessly, wounded (or stained with sauce) as a sharp, shiny pronged fork zooms toward them, ending their tragic stories and sending them to their doom.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Rain on February 29th, 2008

Happy Leap Day!
Here's a poem titled "Rainbow" to commemorate today's dreary rain.

Rain splattering on the gray sidewalk
Forming puddles,
Little pools of rainwater.
Worms wriggle out of their shelters
Taking pleasure in the water.
And little streams trickle off my dark umbrella
Wetting my boots.

Rain hammering on the roof
Wanting to get in
As I lay in bed, snug and cozy
Suddenly, the rain slackens
Pattering gently at my windowsill
Seeping down the glass
Lulling me to sleep.

The next morning, all is quiet
I look out the window
And bask in the warm sunshine.
The roads are slippery
The grass is wet
And high, high above the treetops
A glittering, colorful rainbow smiles down at me.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Short Story

This is a short story depicting an action that takes place in about 10 seconds.

Radiant, shining beams stream through the window as Sally happily prances into the room and spots a box on the table. Curiously, she picks up the colorful package, a present from her parents, and feels the sharp edges of the box, her eyes eager. As her expression softens, the girl lightly runs her hand over the elegant, satin bow and tries to peel off the bow, but her fingers finally yank at the tapered edges and undo the ribbon, which falls to the table. Moving swiftly, Sally’s hand digs into the wrapping and rips through the paper, leaving a pile of paper sitting forlornly next to the ribbon, which lies on the table. Inside the package rests a battered box, which Sally scornfully contemplates as she pulls out the lid. Sally peers inside the box apprehensively and gasps, her eyes widening and her hands shaking, for inside the box sits……….

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Description of a Worn-Out Shoe

Balancing precariously upon a shabby, shadowy cart, a black, threadbare shoe gradually decays in its lonely surroundings. Its aging aglets cracking, two limp, untied shoelaces aimlessly dangle along a crumbling wall of moldered fabric. A pathetic, tattered tongue, twisting and bending, sags weakly and slowly ages. This shoe’s faded pleather lays untouched under a constantly growing layer of lightly-colored grime. Near the worn sole, the extremely severed rubber reveals a monstrous, stretching crevasse. Dusty, blackened plastic barely manages to cling onto the top of the sole, forming once-graceful, yet now peeling designs. Zigzagging treads, exhausted with overuse, crumble lethargically, evenly spaced among the sole of the shoe. Long, jagged rips span across the exterior.

The fatigued, weary interior, however, with its ragged shoelace holes, splitting and snapping stitches, and frayed edges, deteriorates just like the outside. Feeble, drooping tags, attached to the tongue, flop miserably, their small, printed words illegible. Disintegrating foam bursts eagerly out of its useless, overcrowded lining. Unrelenting, persisting lint stubbornly holds onto the sneaker’s fabric. Faint, musty smells rise from this dirty Reebok√§ shoe and nauseatingly pervade the air. Withered and rotted, this filthy piece of footwear apprehensively waits for its cataclysmic, catastrophic, and disastrous end.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Please Send In Comments!

I would really appreciate it if people sent in more comments about my posts. I enjoy hearing from everyone, and I always appreciate suggestions about what I should or should not post.

Thank you!