Monday, February 28, 2011

The Little Blue Notebook

I must be out of control... I started another blog.  
It's a writing blog this time though.  Crappy writing.  Things I write for fun throughout the day to keep me sane (or make me go further insane, take your pick).  You don't have to follow me or anything, this is just a fun thing so that I can improve in creative writing and perhaps gain enough inspiration to start large projects like "Murder by Rulers" again.  I'll still be actively keeping up this blog, no worries about that.  

I just thought I'd bring your attention to this.  Click the button below if you would like to look (it should work.  If it doesn't, let me know!):

Manic Mother
I just thought I'd bring your attention to this.  Enjoy!


A Review of 'Fall for Anything' by Courtney Summers

"When Eddie Reeves's father commits suicide, her life is consumed by the nagging question of why?  Why when he was a legendary photographer and a brilliant teacher?  Why when he seemed to find inspiration in everything he saw?  And, most important, why when he had a daughter who loved him more than anyone else in the world?  When she meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father's and a photographer himself, an instant and dangerous attraction begins.  Culler seems to know more about her father than she does and could possibly hold the key to the mystery surrounding his death.  But Eddie's vulnerability has weakened her, and Culler Evans is getting too close.  Her need for the truth keeps her hanging on... but are some questions better left unanswered?"

As soon as you begin the book, you are thrown into Eddie's world with all of it's imperfections.  Her father has already committed suicide, her mother is completely distraught, and her mother's friend Beth has come to live at their house to help Eddie's mother-- Eddie and Beth don't get along very well at all.

As annoying and controlling as I found Beth to be, I feel that in some ways Eddie was unjustified in her treatment of Beth.  Beth is just trying to make things easier for Eddie's family in her own way and Eddie just has to complicate things.  However, to be fair, Beth might have been over-the-top with her helpfulness.  I'm a horrible mediator...

Milo was a good character-- I really liked him.  He was always there for Eddie, going above and beyond what any human being should ever be expected to do for another human being.  Eddie asked a lot of him, but he always managed to deliver.

Culler Evans... I don't really know what I should say about him.  I had this horrible feeling in the back of my head for a while as I read that he was going to try and take advantage of Eddie, but thank goodness, he never did.  He seemed like a nice enough guy in the beginning, but as the story and the plot developed, my creeper theory seemed to be proving itself in little ways.  Any way... He takes pictures at the strangest of times.  Like, just when you want to savor a moment in the book, here comes Culler with his Nikon... nothing against Nikon cameras of course :)  

I kept reading this book because there is a subplot where Eddie finds messages left by her dad.  I wanted to see what the complete message was.  I was also hoping that everything would become resolved between Eddie and Milo (there are a couple outbursts throughout).

The ending was bittersweet for me.  I was expecting something bigger and more elaborate, but instead there seemed to be a deus ex machina (like, the author seemed to run out of idea, though I would guess that that's probably not the case.  Writers are too crafty to resort to those kinds of endings... well, a good percentage of writers, any way).

Overall, a very interesting read!  I give 'Fall for Anything': 
Also, before you go, don't forget to check out this month's video!  Have a lovely week!

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, February 27, 2011

February: How to Say "I Love You" in 10-15 Different Languages

Part 2 of the LONTEM Project!  Only ten more videos to go!
Just in case the link towards the end of the video doesn't work... if you are interested in seeing the entire song that I learned how to play on guitar, I'm not going to put it on my blog, but you can go HERE to see it.  Sorry the video is so dark... and really, rather bad... I like to think that I've gotten better between then and now.  Enjoy the rest of it if you do decide to pay a visit!

Have a lovely week, everyone!


Saturday, February 26, 2011


Readers, you're amazing!  It just sank in right now that I have eighty-eight (that's 88) followers on this little blog of mine.  That is more than I could ever have hoped for.  You all made this possible-- my guess is I would have eventually gotten bored and stopped blogging for who knows how long, but now it's turned into a part-time job that I love so very much!  Thank you for all of your support and keep being awesome!

Have a lovely weekend,

Friday, February 25, 2011

Iiiiiiit's Friiiiiidaaaaay!

Welcome to Friday!  We have made it through another week!

It's time for Follow Friday and the Blog Hop!  They are brought to you by Parajunkee and Jenniefer @ Crazy-for-Books respectively.

The Follow Friday question is this:

Share your current favorite T.V. show!  Tell us a little bit about it....

This question requires no thought!  Good for a Friday morning :)  My current favorite T.V. show is Criminal Minds.  I'm a crime show junkie-- I love this stuff!  Criminal Minds deals with the psychology behind crimes (like, figuring out why a criminal did what they did, delving into their past and knowledge of psychology).  It's so cool!  The last one I saw featured a little boy with autism and the team had to try and get information from him as to what happened to his mom.  The catch is, he doesn't talk very much, but he responds to the world through pictures and music.
P.S. My favorite guy is Reid!
The Blog Hop question is this:

Do you ever wished that you had named your blog something different?

Sometimes, I'll admit.  But every time I go in to change the title, I stop short because everything that I think of doesn't sound nearly as good as "...It's Like a Whirlwind Inside of my Head..."  That's when I turn right back around and do something else but with the mindset that I'm very happy with the current title!

Thanks for stopping by today!  Feel free to leave your web address and I'll try really hard to respond to you if  not actually visit your blog.  Have an awesome weekend, everyone!

Thanks for reading!


P.S. I just submitted some photography for my school's yearbook's art page.  Wish me luck!

Book Blogger Hop

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Review of 'Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worse Dog' by John Grogan (Audio Book)

"Number one on the New York Times best-seller list, Marley & Me by Philadelphia Inquirer columnist John Grogan is the hilarious yet touching memoir of 'life and love with the world's worst dog.' Marley's unruly behavior, fierce loyalty, exuberance for life, and the unconditional love leave a lasting impression.

Despite pledging that they would just look, newlyweds John and Jenny fall in love with a Labrador retriever puppy, just a cute, tiny bundle of fur-- at first. Marley soon grows to mammoth proportions (97 pounds) and brings with him slobber and destruction. Marley's not perfect-- he's kicked out of obedience classes and he loses control during daily Florida thunderstorms-- yet he's always there for John and his blossoming family. Whatever the end result, Marley's intentions, and the lessons he teaches are pure.

Inspired by a column commemorating Marley's life, John Grogan's story about his dysfunctional dog will appeal to everyone. Listeners can not help but laugh out loud at Marley's antics through Johnny Heller's lively narration."

For a while, I've been stuck on the first CD because every time I attempted to listen, I would get distracted by something else. Luckily, I had a four-day weekend and I was able to turn everything off and listen while taking care of a few other things. That's one thing that's nice about audio books-- completely hands-free!

As I was taking care of online gym assignments and to-do lists, I laughed along with what was happening in the book-- Johnny Heller's accents when the occasions arose (that's another thing I like about audio books!), "Boca-hontas," Marley's run-ins with thunderstorms... it was hilarious!

Aside from the funny parts, John Grogan could also appeal to a more sentimental side-- his love for his dog and his family was the driving force throughout the book. Even when it wasn't what he was currently talking about, these things were always there in the wings of the stage.

I believe that anyone who picks up this book (or audio book) will find something that they like.

I give 'Marley and Me':
This is the first audio book that I had finished. I will not put this in the side bar and I'll choose my next audio book!

Also, next weekend, I'll finish up my February LONTEM project and I will post it here. Until then, have a wonderful week!

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Gallery Walk-- February 19, 2011

I have had another burst of photography inspiration! My last one was only a week ago... I think that's a new record (in Jude-land it is, any way...). For once, there aren't any new pictures of my dog :D

Feel free to critique if that floats your boat. I can take the criticism!

Have a good weekend, everyone!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Follow the Leader!

Why hello there! It's Friday, so that means it's time for Follow Friday and The Blog Hop!

Follow Friday is brought to you by Parajunkee (you may click on the graphic above to be taken to her blog and by extension, to Follow Friday Headquarters if you have not already joined in the fun).

This week's question is:

If you are a fan of science fiction, what is your favorite book? If you haven't read science fiction before... any inkling to? Anything catch your eye?

You know, I probably have read a little bit of science fiction over the course of my reading history. However, no titles are coming to mind right now. I do have an inkling to read science fiction in the future though. 'Ender's Game' is on my list along with a few other books that my boyfriend was kind enough to lend me which I also intend to read in the future.

The Blog Hop is brought to you by Jennifer at Crazy for Books (you may click on the graphic to go to her page and also join in the blog hop if you haven't already!).

Book Blogger Hop

What book(s) would you like to see turned into a movie?

This one is slightly difficult because a lot of the books that I like already have movies based on them or they're in the making/about to come out. I'm thinking of movies like Harry Potter and Beastly. But there were three books that there was talk of a movie, but the funds aren't there yet to make the movies... 'An Abundance of Katherines,' 'Paper Towns,' and 'Looking for Alaska.' All of these are by John Green and they simply must be seen on the big screen! I'll be very picky about actors/actresses as well as the director though... I had better not see Robert Pattinson in the film (not that he's bad, I just think there's better out there) and I would prefer it if the director of Twilight (however many there are) did not direct. M. Shyamalan! I'd be interested in seeing his interpretation of John Green's book!

Thanks for stopping by today! Please excuse the opinionated nature of the last question... I try not to come off that way. Feel free to leave your web address in a comment below and I'll try my best to come by and visit you (I do have a four day weekend, so you will most likely hear from me!).

Also, I'm trying to make a Q & A video, but I need some questions first. If you have a question for me, click here and leave your question in the comments! I'll be sure to credit you in the video if you ask a question.

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Q & A Video?

Hello there!

So, whilst traipsing across the blogosphere, I visited Liddy at Y.A. Reviewz. She's done these really cool videos where she does a Q & A video and also a bookshelf tour. I thought these were fantastic ideas, so I'm going to be a copy-cat and attempt to do my own Q & A video (the bookshelf tour might come later, but I should probably figure out the whole bookshelf situation first...).

In summation, if you have any questions that you want to ask me, write them down below in the comments and I'll do a video sometime this weekend (if there are enough to do this). No questions are off-limits, however, I reserve the right to not answer some if I deem them inappropriate. Just a disclaimer...

So yes! Ask away!

Thanks for reading!


Monday, February 14, 2011

A Review of 'Audrey, Wait!' by Robin Benway

Everybody’s singing, ‘Audrey, Wait!’

Audrey Cuttler’s life hasn’t been the same since that song ‘Audrey, Wait!’ hit the airwaves. All she wants to do is go to concerts, hang out with her friends, and maybe score a date with the cute boy who works with her at the Scooper Dooper.

But now, her ex-boyfriend’s song about their breakup is at the top of the charts and she’s suddenly famous! The paparazzi won’t leave her alone, the tabloids are trying to make her into some kind of rock goddess, and the Internet is documenting her every move!

Will Audrey ever be able to have a normal life again? Get ready to find out, because it’s time for Audrey to tell her side of the story.

Quite an interesting read. I’ve read this book twice now. Any who, on with the review!

This book starts off with Audrey roughly summarizing the beginning of when The Song came out as well as what her life was normally like—hanging out with her best friend Victoria and her (Victoria’s) boyfriend Jonah, collage-ing an entire wall in her bedroom, and of course listening to music.

What was nice was how we’re thrown into the drama right away. Within the first two or three chapters, we’re done setting the platform and it’s time to move on. Audrey’s now ex-boyfriend, Evan, writes this song that is pretty catchy and awesome. Audrey is shaken up and taken aback by the fact that Evan would do such a thing and take action so quickly (they’ve only been broken up for a few hours at this point). The next thing we know, The Song is on the radio for the world to hear! Audrey becomes famous for being the Audrey and everyone wants to be around her and figure her out (that’s putting it nicely. We’re dealing with the vicious media here!).

I felt the pacing of the book was good. It didn’t move so fast that I was lost as to what just happened and I wasn’t tapping my foot impatiently because I was bored and wished Audrey would do something else.

The characters were memorable and they felt real—they each had their drawbacks and attractive features (Audrey chewed on her finger nails and complained about being famous, but she was also strong and didn’t cave to her fans or the media).

I couldn’t find a lot that bothered me about this book other than the few grammar mistakes that I caught. I liked that the titles of the chapters were song lyrics, the characters were different from each other… oh! There is one thing that bothered me: the romance between James and Audrey in the beginning. One moment, Audrey was complaining that he was too focused on his work at the Scooper Dooper or that he was a dork, the next, she’s deeply and madly in love with him. That’s the only thing that felt weird. Everything after their first date felt fine.

Reading ‘Audrey, Wait!’ a second time was good. Just as good as the first time I read it, if not a little better.

I give ‘Audrey, Wait!’:

Thanks for reading!


Library Intervention

You are all more than welcome to skip over this post. This is sort of like a contract to myself.
I have a bit of an issue. I check out way too many books from the library at once and I'm addicted to the online reservation system.

The Good Things
  • There's always something good to read
  • They're books I can't find somewhere in my room or from my friends/family
The Bad Things
  • I end up neglecting the books that I do have and the books just sit on my shelves gathering dust instead of being read and/or reread.
  • I make all sorts of promises to review books that I own, but because of reason number one, I never get around to doing that.
My piles of books that I own or have borrowed from friends/family have piled up to such a degree that I'm going to start taking action. After this third time checking out some books and audio books, I'm going to take them all back, get maybe one or two that I know for sure I'm going to read, then go back home and once I finish those, I'll begin on the ones I own or borrowed.

That is what I'm going to resolve to do over the next month or two. We'll see how this works. I know I won't finish all of the owned/borrowed books in that time, but maybe I'll be able to make a decent dent.

Let's see how this all shapes out now.


A Review of 'Catch-22' by Joseph Heller

There’s only one catch—Catch-22.

It’s a legal loophole that means just when you’re sure you’ve won… you lose!

World War II flier John Yossarian knows that. He’s a lead bombardier who has decided that his only mission each time he goes up is to come down alive. His zany, unpredictable world is filled with war, whores, lunatics, thieves, violence, and sex.

And so is ours. Catch-22 is as revealing today as when it was first published. Outrageous, bawdy, hilarious, expresses the concerns of an entire generation in its black comedy… and “Catch-22” has stepped into our language to stand for all the absurdities of our age.

Wow… that’s all I could say upon finishing Catch-22.

The first thing that I found kind of cool (and slightly confusing) was the format in which the book was written. It has a linear structure and it is very episodic (meaning that every chapter is in no particular order).

Through these chapters, you get to know many, many characters (or at least what happened to them). Yossarian, Orr, Nately, Aarfy, Snowden, Major Major, Colonel Cathcart, Nurse Duckett, etc. The thing about this book is even though there are a large cast of characters, they all usually have one distinctive feature that helps you remember a large percentage of them.

This is a satire, criticizing the U.S. Military among other institutions and belief systems. It’s funny when you read it in your head, but it’s even funnier when you read it out loud! The sheer ridiculousness of what many of the Colonels and Generals say makes you do a double-take at the page and then laugh at the very irony that just came out of their mouth.

The kind of humor in this book is quite interesting. If you saw something funny on the page, you’d laugh, but then you’d look at that thing again and you’d start to realize just how dark the humor is or how shockingly serious the statement was.

Breaking away from humor for a moment, the story could really send shocks to the system. The descriptions of some of the deaths (or even thoughts about death) were so jarring. At one point, I read about two consecutive deaths and I had to go back and read that part again thinking that I had just made up something quite sick in my head.

Joseph Heller really made you sympathize with the characters and that’s what made this book so effective.

I can imagine that this book would be harder to read just as an individual, so I’m glad that I read this as part of my English class.

Well, I must get started on my Catch-22 essay, so I’ll wrap this up. I give this book:

Thanks for reading!


P.S. This is mostly to those that have already read the book, but for those that decide to pick up this book and give it a shot, here’s something to think about. I mentioned that this book was written in a non-linear fashion and that it was very episodic. Do you think the chapters were arranged in such a way to sort of summarize the level of sanity that there was as the book went on? It’s just a thought, but I want to see what you guys think. Have a Happy Valentine's Day!

Gallery Walk-- February 13, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day

Hello Everyone!

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day! One of my favorite holidays! Yesterday and today, I worked on my Valentine cards for people, so I thought that I would share them with you!
The giant heart is meant to be a yummy delicious cookie. This one is for my mom and dad.
This one was my personal favorite, though it was probably one of the most difficult because I was drawing all of these characters by memory. So Leia and Luke look very much the same, because I couldn't remember what Luke wore in Return of the Jedi, which I would have preferred to draw. This one is for my boyfriend, Jack, who incidentally loves Star Wars AND Star Trek. Inside is a link to a video that I made for him.
Here's a close-up picture. You can also click on it to get an even larger video.
For Miss Ezra! I hope she sees this, because I won't get to give it to her tomorrow. She should know that there is a wee message on the back that she may read the next time we get together.
This was the first Valentine that I sat down to make. It's for my friend Avery. Inside, I taped all sorts of weird pick-up lines (most of them from Harry Potter, but then I found others as well).
Close-up of the Goldfish.
This one is for my friend Rosemary. Even though we go to the same school, we still don't get to see each other a lot because we have no classes and different lunch periods, not to mention complicated schedules.
Close-up of Octopus.

I'm super excited for tomorrow because there are singing telegrams, which are very fun! Group of people going around singing one song all day long to people that they were sent to the week before. There will also be carnations handed out. All of the proceeds go to prevent sexual violence in Haiti, which I thought was a really neat thing to do.

I might do another post tonight with legitimate photography, not just pictures, but we'll see, because I was planning on doing an Online Gym assignment or two tonight. If not tonight, sometime tomorrow. Probably right after I get home from school.

I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day whether you're spending it with a special someone or you're with your friends whom you love :)

Thanks for reading!