Today’s the Day

My Shakespeare trip a year in the making has arrived at last. Today, I leave for the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia. Pictures are not guaranteed (the people at the ASC are very strict about such things), but I will try and find the time to keep you updated on my experience. Some of the assignments I have while I’m there may provide insight, so I’ll post those. I hope you enjoy it.


It Might Just be the Best Soundtrack Ever

About a week ago, I was laying in bed listening to music (and probably playing solitaire) on my phone. I eventually found myself browsing my WishList in the iTunes Store. And that’s when I splurged.
I usually don’t buy entire albums, but the Divergent soundtrack was absolutely necessary. I liked all the music from the movie, I just didn’t have enough iTunes money to buy it right away.
The music is even better than I remember it from the movie. I’m addicted to it. Usually, I repeat individual songs. But I’ve had this whole album on repeat recently because I can’t get enough of it.

Even though there’s not a bad song, I have two favorites: Run Boy Run and I Won’t Let You Go.

As soon as I heard Run Boy Run, I freaked out. I finally found the song from the movie with the awesome snare drums underneath everything else in the song. Those snare licks are enough to give me an orgasm. (I was a percussionist in my high school marching band, so I know what good drums sound like). It’s a relatively simple pattern, but it’s a good one that fits the action of the movie. I can’t remember what scene it is in though.

I always wondered what happened to Snow Patrol after the success of Chasing Cars. It’s the only song of theirs I ever hear on the radio. Apparently they’re still making music, because they sing my other favorite song on the soundtrack, I Won’t Let You Go. It has a good beat, which is essential for me. If I don’t like the beat before someone adds words to it, I probably won’t like the song very much. The refrain strikes a chord with me:

There’s something happening here, there’s something here that I just can’t explain. I know I’m where I belong, deep down inside I’ve known all along. I won’t let you go, so don’t let go of me. I wanted something more, I wanted this right here.

For me, this is a song about not giving up, no matter how stressful school – or life in general, for that matter – becomes. I’ve already been through so much in my life, school isn’t going to stop my progress now. Granted, this song may not calm me down completely, but it does help.
Anyway, you can’t have Divergent without the music that makes it. Give it a listen. You won’t regret it ;).


My Mind just got Blown

So, I’m reading Much Ado About Nothing for the English class I’m taking right now. One of the main characters is Beatrice. Do you remember what “Tris” is short for? That’s right, Beatrice. I already love Shakespeare and this play, but now I love them even more. And on Friday, I get to go to the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia. I’m really excited. I’ll take pictures when I can and post them when I get back.


Suicidal Epidemic

I just finished reading The Program by Suzanne Young. It is one of the few books these days that has a summary on the back:

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through the program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone – but so are their memories.
Under constant surveillance at home and school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they’ve made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

Kind of creepy, no? I wasn’t sure how suicide could be a main theme, but Young made it work. It felt real. More realistic than The Hunger Games or Divergent, although it is reminiscent of both. If you like those, pick this up. I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel.


Life’s Silver Linings

The other night, I finally had the opportunity to watch Silver Lining’s Playbook. After 8 months in a mental hospital, Pat (Bradley Cooper) is hoping to get back together with his wife. That is, until he meets his best friend’s sister-in-law, Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence).
It was both heartwarming and intense. Not to mention hilarious. Jennifer Lawrence had an impressive performance. She and Bradley Cooper have great chemistry.
I really enjoyed it. I want to get it on DVD, but Mom doesn’t think it’s worth it for some reason.


Dan Really is The Man

For the past few days, I’ve been contemplating 10% Happier by ABC News anchor Dan Harris. It’s the true story of his journalistic journey into the fringe of American religious culture and into the other world of meditation.
It wasn’t just the author that appealed to me. Sure, he was a factor, but I wanted to learn how he “reduced stress without losing [his] edge”. If meditation worked for him, maybe it could help me with my anxiety.
I found his story inspiring and relatable. He struggles with some of the same issues I do. At first, meditation seemed like sissy stuff. I didn’t give it much thought because I thought it was stupid. After reading Dan’s story, it seems to be a practical coping method for dealing with life in general. It will definitely come in handy considering the fact I’m aiming for a career in journalism.
It’s worth the read. If you need another coping mechanism for life, check this out.


72 hours

On New Year’s Eve, I watched 3 Days to Kill with my mom and some friends. Basically, a terminally ill CIA agent, Ethan Renner, accepts a mission in return for an experimental drug that could help him.
It was different than most of the action/secret agent movies I’ve seen in that it was more than everybody constantly shooting at each other. It had another plot which I found quite touching. I’m not going to spoil it though.
Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner) is a total badass. He really knows how to get people to talk and he can defend himself while beating the enemy up in the process. The drug scenes were what really intrigued me though. They were almost scary, like the treatment might actually kill him instead of help him.
If you like lots of action with a side of warm and fuzzy, you’ll like this.


I Knew He Looked Familiar!

On Tuesday, I saw Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.  The Museum of Natural History doesn’t have to hide at night anymore.  Larry Daley is the director of the Night Program.  But when the inaugural showcase of what happens at night in the museum goes awry, Larry and his friends must find out why. They discover that the tablet – the source of the nighttime magic – is decaying.  The quest to fix it and restore the magic takes them to the British Museum.

It was really good.  The regular cast was back, along with the hilarious Rebel Wilson and Sir Lancelot.  The action was nonstop, but of course it had heartwarming and funny moments.  I was really excited when I realized that the guy who played Akmenrah – Rami Malek – also happens to be the guy who played Benjamin in Breaking Dawn Part 2.  It was also really fun to recognize the British Museum since I went there over the summer.  Of course, I didn’t recognize everything, but it was fun to say I’ve been there.

If you liked the first two movies, you’ll like this one, too.


2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,000 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 17 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.