Archive for August, 2012


Girls Are So Ungrateful

Girls Are So Ungrateful

I’m feeling a bit tired tonight, so I’m going to keep this short. My older brother showed this picture to me about a week ago, and I haven’t stopped laughing when I’ve come across it since. It’s just one of those ironic moments in life where something happens that you didn’t expect, but really should have, which makes it all the more entertaining.
Thank you, iwastesomuchtime.com, for stealing our lives away with your entertaining images!
End of book quote: “I’ve left my new torch in Narnia.” —Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

First Cross-Country Meet

First Cross Country Meet

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a runner. And when I say I’m a runner, I don’t mean I like to go for an occasional run or I just really love my team (even though I do). Nope. That’s not it at all. When I say I’m a runner, I am implying that I have a deep love for the activity itself and everything that comes with it; even the aches and pains. Running is hard. As in when you finish practices or races, you want to drop to the ground and vomit. That kind of hard. The thing is, running brings me joy like few other things can do. I’m willing to fight through injuries, exhaustion, and 100+ degree weather to continue pursuing that passion.
Why the display running love (verging on obsession) today? I’m glad you asked. My team’s first meet was today, and it was terrific! Personally, I ran a time I was more than happy with. My goal was to run a time of about twenty-four minutes, but I ended up finishing at 22:58. That is a little more than a minute more than my personal best, and for a first meet, I could not be happier! Not to mention the small fact that I am fighting not one but two injuries right now (hips and one of my calves). In other words, once I heal, I am going to be able to do even better. All that in the beginning of my cross-country season.
But onto the larger picture: our team result. The goal of my girl’s team this year is to improve at phenomenal rates, and, hopefully, take down the team that has dominated the state championship for over ten years. I am glad to say that we are off to a good start. The meet we ran at today wasn’t big, but we placed incredibly well, and easily took first place. I am so proud of all of my teammates, especially our new runners who ran competitively for the very first time–honestly, they were more impressive than our top runners! More importantly, we ran for the glory of God. The race itself, for me, was beautiful. The song lyrics going through my head throughout the beginning of the race were simple: “all for the glory of you”, and the words were perfect. There is no better way to run a race than when your focus is on praising God. However, after the race was amazing too. As we were warming down, my friends and I took turns praying and thanking God for the blessings he has given us, and even thinking about it now brings a smile to my face!
I will leave you all with this: my first cross-country meet was great!
End of book quote: “Then he turned into Lee avenue and was gone.” —The Chosen by Chaim Potok

Lockout

Lockout

For anyone out there who hasn’t heard of the movie Lockout, let me enlighten you. The plot, according to starpulse.com, goes something like this “The U.S. government strong-arms a man accused of treason into rescuing the president’s daughter from a maximum-security space prison that’s been taken over by the inmates in a brutal riot.” All things considered, it’s a pretty decent sounding plot.
So, the perks of the movie:
1) Who doesn’t like a good main character? Marian (spoiler alert: he doesn’t reveal his name until the end of the movie) Snow is a cynical, incredibly entertaining guy with some kick-butt moves. He was easily the best part of the entire film.
2) A story is nothing without good villains, and the directors of the movie seemed to grasp that. The main villains (besides all the other loose convicts) were two Scottish brothers who were heading up the prison breakout. One was clever and calculating, and determined to have unquestioned authority. The other was simply a lunatic–creepy and perfect for a movie about escaped, insane space prisoners!
3) The basic plot is interesting.
And now to the downsides of the movie:
1) The president’s daughter, Emilie, is incredibly obnoxious. For some odd reason, she decides immediately that she doesn’t approve of Snow and fights everything he does to try to get her to safety. One scene involved him having to hold her down to cut and dye her hair a different color so she wouldn’t be recognized, and she was outraged because she wanted to keep looking pretty. Honestly, I’m pretty sure survival would be more important to most than the color and length of their hair.
2) There were far too many subplots. The movie begins with Snow being arrested for treason, which he wasn’t actually guilty of. At first, it looks like the treason is only in the movie at all to find some reason to convince him to go on a suicide mission to rescue the president’s daughter, but it is brought back at the end for a poorly done resolution. In other words, there is an unoriginal moment where one of the good guys turns out to be the one who actually committed treason; efficiently clearing Snow’s name and leaving him an opening to date Emilie. It had absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the story.
3) Lockout broke so many basic laws of nature that I could list them for hours, but I’ll only name a few:
A) There is scene where Snow manages to bring Emilie safely to an escape pod, but there’s only one seat, which he kindly gives to her. He watches the door shut with her inside and the air lock come on, but she gets out of the sealed escape pod. Whether she phased through the wall or not, it is far from possible that she could have gotten out of that seat.
B) There is also the small problem that, randomly, in the middle of their escape, the entire space station crashes into a satellite because the controls of the station were unmanned for maybe an hour. That wouldn’t have been the biggest deal in the world except that every single one of them acted shocked that a satellite could ram into the station at all. My question is, how would no one notice a satellite coming towards the prison in the first place? It’s not like satellites are particularly small or don’t show up on advanced, futuristic radars.
C) This last example makes me cringe a little every time I think about it. At the final point of their escape, the producers seem to have run out of money and/or the creativity needed to make the effects of the climax good. Snow and Emilie literally fall safely from the space station onto a road in about five seconds, after Snow loses his space suit so high up in the atmosphere that he should have died. That was their escape. They jumped out of a space station…and landed gently on a nicely padded road.
Basically, Lockout is not a quality film, and will be winning no awards any time soon. Granted, there were some entertaining moments, but those moments didn’t last long. Thank goodness the movie was only an hour and a half!
End of book quote: “She wrote all night, her words reviving the distant days when she still knew nothing of the joys and sorrows of the world, and bringing back to life all who had accompanied her on her fabulous journey.” —The Princetta by Anne-Laure Bondoux

My Take On Football

My Take On Football

I hear about one thing all the time without understanding most of it. That thing is football. As a cross-country and track runner, I’ve never understood the appeal of playing football. Contact sports have never really been my thing; I’m not nearly aggressive enough. Besides, why willingly submit yourself to numerous injuries caused by other people when you could cause injury to yourself more easily? It just doesn’t make any sense to me. However, as I am a girl, my lack of any desire to play football competitively has not been a problem. But my dislike doesn’t stop there. I don’t even enjoy watching football. It just doesn’t interest me to watch boys in tight pants tackle each other or almost get into fights (not that I really go out of my way to watch other sports either). With this in mind, I was incredibly surprised to have had a good interaction playing football a few days ago.
Yesterday, my high school returned from retreat–three days in the beginning of every year designed to bring us closer together. The freshmen and sophomores go to one place while juniors and seniors go to another, which actually works out well. And I have to admit, it was pretty fun (despite the bed bugs that forced all the girls to move into different rooms), and I did grow closer to some people I didn’t start off knowing well at all. So, on that level, it was definitely a success.
Enough explanation, I’ll explain my miraculously good experience with football. On the second day of our get away, we (the juniors and seniors) had the chance to verse each other in flag football. Basically, the girls and boys from each grade verse each other while everyone else watches, creating some serious competition. This year the girls ended up going first, but, as very few of the girls in my class know how to play football, our guys had to step in as our coaches (which was sweet, but not overly helpful because there were a lot of them telling us different things to do and using foreign football terms without explaining them at all). Sadly, we (the juniors) ended up losing to our opponents (the seniors), but that was nothing unexpected. Thankfully, what we lacked in skill was made up by enjoyment. I acted as a substitute and had the most fun I’ve ever had in an activity with my classmates. As an added bonus, the flag football was actually pretty exciting (even though I did get slammed into rather hard by some of the senior girls).
Maybe I was wrong, and football isn’t so bad after all (though I’ll still probably never take any pleasure in watching other people play it).
End of book quote: “The kind that you’ve always known.” —Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

Calvin And Hobbes

Calvin And Hobbes

A quick post for today because I’m feeling a bit under the weather: I’ve always loved reading Calvin and Hobbes, comics written by Bill Watterson. I love the satire, the irony, and most of all, the extremely lovable characters. After all, who wouldn’t want to try to explain things to Calvin or try to trick Hobbes or be insulted repeatedly by Susie at school? Watterson does a fantastic job of making his fictional characters come to life, and reminds us all of those times when we acted terribly at age six.
End of book quote: “When I take you on board the Witch, it’s going to be for keeps.” —The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

I read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series for two reasons. The first was that my family members make references to the books all the time, and not understanding references grows old very quickly. The second was that I gave the series to my friend for his birthday and we had a competition to see who would finish first (I lost…miserably), so I felt that I should see the books through to their end so I would understand any references that he, too, might decide to make in the future.
The first book, unsurprisingly titled The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, was everything I was told the series would be—clever, funny, and satirical. But then I read the second book…and the third…and the fourth…and eventually the fifth, and my excitement over the story line slowly died out. The characters gets old, the story line (or should I say lack thereof) gets old, the comedy loses most of its brilliance (though I admit there were a few hilarious scenes in each book), and everything becomes predictable (more or less. As I said before, the plot line is on the ridiculous side). And to top off my frustration, the last book didn’t even end well. Spoiler alert: the world gets blown up (for the second time) and everyone dies. Everyone, except the aliens who blew it up. That’s it. That’s how Mostly Harmless ends. No resolution; plenty of unresolved issues; and a strong sense of stupidity. Either Douglas Adams got tired of writing the increasingly repetitive stories or he just wanted to laugh maliciously in the face of enraged readers (like me) and gloat about his ability to so powerfully irritate everybody.
End of series quote: “He put on a little light music instead.” –Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams. May I just point out that the “he” in question here was the one who blew up all the characters. He was disappointed because he could no longer watch television, hence the light music.