Dec 31, 2012

Welcome to 2013!

Well, we made it! The world didn't end, and aren't we glad? It's amazing how many times I have survived the apocalypse. I'm very excited for 2013--amazing things are going to happen, I can feel it. And 13 is my lucky number, so it's got to be amazing, right?

Anyway, since it's the beginning of the year, I guess it's time to take a look back at last year's resolutions and make some new ones for this year. So, let's start off with last year's resolutions. In short, I resolved to:

write everyday
read 200 books (or, more than 182)
find a job

I didn't write everyday. And I read 142 books. For the first, there really is no excusing that not happening. But I have finished revisions to my first draft (still doesn't have an ending, but I'll get there), so hopefully I'll be more motivated to write that novel, and when I get tired of working on that one, I have several more I can always turn to for a break.

As for the books. Looking back at last year I realized something. I had 3 weeks where I didn't have a job. And then almost 4 months when I only worked 3 days a week. So I had a lot more time to read last year than I did this year. So, it's really not my fault. Life got in the way of fiction.

BUT! I did find a job! It's part-time and temporary, but it's a job. One out of three is not bad, that's what I say!

Now, a look forward to 2013.

Like I said, amazing things are going to happen this year. Unfortunately, the ones I know about, I can't say anything about at the moment. :( But, definitely look forward to some updates throughout the year (which, now that I think of it, is completely normal, but you know . . . just keep reading). I'm sure some other amazing things are going to happen this year that I have no idea about, too, because that's how life is. I'm sure there are going to be hard times, and sad things, too.

Here are my resolutions:

Write often!
Go to Canada! I almost have enough money for a plane ticket to Prince Edward Island! I'm very excited, I've been wanting to go there since I was about 12 and first started reading the Anne books. I never thought I would go, but here I am! Another stamp in my passport and a new adventure!
Exercise with some frequency. For Christmas I got 26 DVDs of Doctor Who and I found a "Doctor Who Workout," and I'm thinking that maybe the motivation of being able to watch DW while exercising will help me actually do it. Also, M likes working out, so maybe she'll help with it.

So, there you go. Those are my three new resolutions this year. Hopefully, all three will be fulfilled (notice that I made to of them pretty vague, with the hopes that it will help me fill them! ;) ).

Happy New Year!

Dec 19, 2012

Review: The Hobbit

Yesterday, thanks to roommate M's work, I was able to go see The Hobbit. Though I've been sick the past four days, I bucked myself up to go see it because, let's be hones, it's THE HOBBIT! I've only been counting down for a year now.

Title: The Hobbit
MPAA rating: PG-13 (fantasy violence, no blood)
My rating (not that it matters, since this is a pretend scale anyway): ****

To start off my review, I'll start with casting choices. The past two years I've become a big fan of Martin Freeman (Bilbo) by watching BBC's "Sherlock", and then realizing I'd seen him in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005) (he was also in "The Office" [UK]). I think he was the perfect choice for Bilbo. The Hobbit, as a story, is a lot more lighthearted than than The Lord of the Rings trilogy is, and Freeman's mix of comedic and dramatic acting was perfect for the little hobbit going on an adventure. I also think Richard Armitage is a good actor (you can see him in BBC's North and South, and "Robin Hood") who has perfected the brooding stare. He plays the tortured dwarf leader Thorin Oakenshield well. The other twelve dwarves were well cast (and costumed). Of course, Sir Ian McKellen back as Gandalf.

The filming was beautiful (we didn't watch in 3D), as were the sets. I thought Bag End looked exactly like something out of a fairytale. The costumes were nice too (as a side note, elves get the coolest clothes!).

The only thing I really have negative, is that I'm still not exactly sure why it was necessary to split the book into three three-hour movies. The book is not nearly as complicated as the books in LOTR, and the movie, while it didn't necessarily drag, was a little slow, and I felt that one movie could have done it, possibly two. It's the three movie thing that confuses me. Anyway, there were a lot of additions to the story that aren't in the book. I'm not a huge Tolkien fanatic, so I've never read The Silmarillion, which I've been lead to believe a lot of the extra story comes from. I did just reread The Hobbit this year, but I read so much that I tend to forget details, but I'm pretty sure that there weren't any Orcs hunting Thorin's company, nor do I remember Thorin not really liking the elves . . . .

Anyway, I'm hoping that Peter Jackson will quiet all my fears about it being too drawn out in three movies. This one was good, and had the same beauty as LOTR (in fact, I think the beauty was even greater in this one). I'd recommend seeing it.

Dec 9, 2012

Christmas Luminaras

About a week or so ago I decided I wanted to make some luminaras--you know, tea lights in paper bags.. But instead of using real tea lights I wanted battery operated ones (I was worried about the whole fire hazard thing, you know, safety first!). 

On Friday night, while I was at Joann's getting something else for a super secret thing, I decided to take a look around. Low and behold, what do I find, but some battery operated tea lights!! So then I started thinking about where I could get some paper bags, when I saw mason jars! And I thought, I have glitter at home, I could go to the dollar store for some glass drinking cups, and make some glass luminaras! Well, the dollar store had some mason jars, so that's what I used instead! 

Here they are:

And here's what you need to make them:

glitter (I just used silver)
4 tea lights (come in packages of 2)
4 mason jars
modge podge
foam brush
sand (or, I use kitty litter! [Unused, of course] also from the dollar store)

I decided to make my jars "gradiate" with the glitter, so I used masking tape to mark how high up the glitter was going to go. Then I applied the modge podge with the foam brush, and poured the glitter on. Remove the tape and let dry! After they are dry (about 30 minutes of wait time), put a little bit of sand in the jar to nestle the tea lights in, turn on the lights and put them in the jar and set outside! So easy! And they are really cute out on our little "porch" area.

You could even use stickers to make fun shapes (just take them off like you do the tape before the modge podge dries). Just have fun with them!

Dec 7, 2012

12 for 2012

Instead of a "Christmas Letter" this year, I decided to do a year in review. For each month I'll recount something exciting or different that happened to me, as well as a book from that month! Cuz that's that way I roll!

I started the 8-week experiment! It was an interesting peek into what my future as a wife will be. ;)
Book: Austenland by Shannon Hale (this was a reread)

I drove into Salt Lake City for the first time, which made me so nervous, which is funny to think about because I do it everyday now and it's no big deal.
Book: A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute

I went to see Vocal Point live for the first time! Great night out with the fam!
Book: Everneath by Brodie Ashton (Utah author! Support local artists! [Unless you aren't from Utah, then she isn't a local artist, but you should support local artists wherever you are. And still feel free to read this book.])

I went to the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple! It was great to have my entire family there with me.
Book: The Fault in Our Stars by John Greene

My friend Michael Ann did a craft month and I did it along with her! It taught me that I can be crafty.
Book: Persuasion by Jane Austen (I was grinning like a fool on the train while reading the ending to this!)

The JSP asked me to stay on part-time!
Book: Shane by Jack Schaefer (my first western!)

I bought my first car! His name is Perry.
Book: Bellfield Hall, or, the Observations of Miss Dido Kent by Anna Dean

I took Perry and bro and we headed down to California for a week to visit the sis and bro-in-law. Great vacation! I got to go to San Francisco, which was definitely a highlight.
Book: The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society by Beth Patillo

I did a no spend month in September. It was a good exercise in self control! I should do it more often.
Book: I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

I had a pretty rockin' Halloween costume!
Book: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (my Banned Books Week book this year)

I moved out of my parents' basement! That was HUGE! Probably the hugest thing I've done in the past two years!
Book: I started rereading the Tortall books by Tamora Pierce (Song of the Lioness quartet, The Immortals quartet, Protector of the Small quartet, and the two Trickster books).

I can't think of anything really huge happening this month, except Christmas!
Book: I'm very excited to get Princess of the Silver Wood by Jessica Day George. It's her new book in the Twelve Dancing Princesses series and this one is supposed to be better than the second (Seriously, read the first book, Princess of the Midnight Ball--it's AMAZING!)

Dec 6, 2012

Moving Out and Up: My Geekery is Showing

So, I don't have pictures of the whole apartment, but here are pictures of my Doctor Who themed bedroom!

Here is a wide shot of my bedroom. The other photos will show close-ups on the more interesting parts of the room. (Though I do want to point out the two decorative pillows my mom so nicely made for me, and the AMAZING Doctor Who afghan my sister knitted for me last Christmas at the end of the bed.)

This is from season 5 of the new series (the first season with Matt Smith). It hangs above my desk and is basically the awesomest thing ever.

Not Doctor Who, but still geeky. No room of mine would ever not have books in it. This isn't even half of the books I own and I'm continually getting more.

When I was 16 my parents let me pick out a bed for my new room in our new house. I always wanted a daybed, so that's what I picked. Across the back is a star (above), a moon, and a sun.

The flannel sheet set my parents bought me soon after (I think the Christmas we moved into our house).   They are getting a little worn, but let's face it, they are awesome! (I think that it's interesting that 6 years before I ever started watching DW, I was so into stars and the heavens. Actually, it's not that interesting. I watched Star Wars and Star Trek. And space is beautiful.)

You'll remember my banner from earlier this year. This is from season 3, with David Tennant.

This is the door to my own personal TARDIS, AKA my bathroom. And you'll see why in the next picture.

It's bigger on the inside!! My closet is in the bathroom, making it literally bigger on the inside from the outside. Also, it travels through space! Not even kidding! Every morning I check the weather on my iPhone while drying my hair, and almost every morning my phone says that I am in a different city (none of which are the city in which I live). So, space travel. Still working on the time travel aspect.

There you go! My geekiness for all to see!

And this concludes the series of "Moving Out and Up".