Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Second Day of School

As long as I'm in school, there will be posts regarding school, so bear with me here.

It was the second day of school, and I have to say, it was much better. I'm not going to break it down class by class, merely the ones that stuff actually happened in.

Hour 2: Wind Ensemble-- We actually got to play music today! The nice thing about being in this band is that there aren't any freshmen (I love freshmen, don't get me wrong) so we don't have to explain some things. We can skip right over those things because we are all quite familiar with those things. So we get to start right away! And, let's face it, we have to, because our first concert is in a month. One of the songs we are playing is so awesome, and I can actually play it! I was really worried about that when I found out I got in.

Hour 5: Honors Physics-- This class seems more like a psychology class right now. I'm really enjoying it, but the girl next to me doesn't seem to like this very much. We did this little exercise thing to prove that everyone's brain works in different ways and it isn't necessarily a bad thing. My teacher presented to us a rectangular piece of wood with three holes: a circle, a square, and a plus sign. Our job was to figure out one solid piece (made out of wood) that would fit through each and every one of those holes. I hate ruining surprises (trust me, some guy ruined another exercise for us and I still hadn't gotten the answer at that time). My challenge to you, my very smart readers, is to figure out what that piece looked like. I'll try and show you either tomorrow or when I remember next. Be sure to remind me if you're really curious!

Hour 6: AP English-- My spirits have been lifted towards this class! Though the teacher has not gained back the respect that I lost for her yesterday, the class is much better already. I talked to her about the ridiculous circumstances of the summer homework. I told her that taking half credit off of an assignment that I never got was very unreasonable. She proceeded to tell me that it would still be half credit, but when she gets to grading for the first time (mid-semester) and if I have all of my assignments in at top quality (which they will be) she will give me the rest of the points for that assignment. If she had bothered to tell us this yesterday, we could have avoided all of this drama.

Any way, I will end my rant here. All in all, my second day went far better than my first day.

Enjoy your week!

--Jude

Monday, August 30, 2010

It's the First Day


Hey guys...

Today was my first day of school. I can now officially say that I am a junior in high school! That's exciting! I'll just walk through all of my hours leaving brief comments here and there...

First hour was French 3. I thought I retained a decent amount of my French, but I felt really stupid when it came to actually speaking out loud in that different language. I wasn't the only one that forgot. I took pride in trying, because some people didn't even do that.

Second hour was Wind Ensemble. I'm really excited for this class. We actually get to start playing music tomorrow! The one thing I wasn't happy about was finding out the first day that I have to play in a concert in a month. Yeah. And then about five or six more after that.

Third hour is Government/Econ. I really don't have anything to say about this because we did absolutely nothing. Just that lame "get to know everyone" activity that the teachers seem to like to do...

Fourth hour is Precalculus. My teacher seems nice. She talks about her husband, one of the history teachers, a bit, but when you're married and everyone at school is at least familiar with the guy, I guess sometimes you can't help it. We were going over linear equations and logic today... boring... I've done linear equations, they're the easiest ones out there... and my logic is totally shot when it comes to math.

I have lunch next. I was glad that I had lunch with my friend Avery, because I wouldn't have a class with her otherwise. I was sad that my friend's Rosemary and Jack weren't there though... I assume they have first lunch. That sucks, because I don't have any classes with them either.

Next is Honors Physics. The teacher seems nice. We went through introductions, went over the rules... basically there was a lot of talking, but apparently there are going to be a lot of labs, which is exciting. He was talking about throwing eggs out the window and riding on skateboards.

Finally, AP English Literature and Composition. I am happy to say that I will mainly be working with fiction! I like fiction a lot! But when I got in the classroom, what do I see on the chalkboard? "Summer Homework." Oh. Crap.

Cue the rant!

No one ever told me I had summer homework! I was aware of the other AP English classes, but not mine! I'm one of the people I used to make fun of because they came to school without their summer homework and they had three months to do it! I read nothing on Facebook, heard nothing from anyone... Now I've lost a little respect for my teacher because now I still have to do the summer homework, but I have a week and I get half credit for all of that. Uuurgg.... I thought that was going to be my best class too... what was I thinking? Of course AP classes have summer homework! What was I thinking!!!? I don't understand what happened... I blame the counselors. I can't blame my last English teacher because he was a reserve teacher and is now in China teaching AP English. The original teacher was fired, and believe me, my new teacher had a bit to say about him...

I can't give you an idea of how I'm feeling about tomorrow... school is a mixed bag right now...

I'm off to go write about John Green and 'Looking for Alaska' for my summer homework (she changed it up a little to make the assignment easier, which I am grateful for).

Have a good day everyone.

--Jude

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Review of 'Looking for Alaska' by John Green

“First drink.

First prank

First friend

First girl

Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words—and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet François Rabelais called the “Great Perhaps.” Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another. A stunning debut, it marks John Green’s arrival as an important new voice in contemporary fiction.”

Easily one of the greatest, most eye-opening books I have ever read. I gush about a lot of the books that I read and write reviews on, but this one totally isn’t exaggerated. I feel a little bit closer to this author because I have been watching him and his brother video blog back and forth to each other (well, a lot of the old ones as well as the new ones when they come in. The DFTBA music video that is in a previous entry is one of their video blogs. Seriously check them out. They’re built of awesomeness!). They talk about certain things in their video blogs that are in the books (which was weird, because when they started this video project, ‘Looking for Alaska’ had already been written and published…

I liked how well-developed the characters were (Alaska, the Colonel, Takumi, Lara, and Pudge—a.k.a. Miles). I can’t really compare these guys to the people I know or even to myself, but I can imagine they were fun characters to write—they were sure fun to read! Any way, they were so well developed that I would get butterflies in my stomach when I sensed that something bad was going to happen. I felt guilt when they felt guilt. I was always nervous that they were going to get caught at the smoking hole… most of the time they didn’t, but the threat was still there.

This might sound a little morbid, but I read a number of books that have to do with death. I find them fascinating. But I’ve never thought about what would happen if one of my friends or someone that I knew that was around my age died. I’m sorry guys, this is horrible. Of course I don’t want anyone to die. But I guess what I’m trying to say is you don’t really know what you have until it’s gone. Like many songs, the description above, and this book has tried to convey to me. It only got through my thick skull just after reading this book.

This was life-changing.

I really, really, really highly recommend this book, but if you are of a younger audience, I would suggest that you wait until you are mature enough to read books with tons of swearing, hard drinking, smoking, and a sex scene or two. I’ll leave that up to you and your care-takers though. Otherwise, please pick up this book and John Green’s other books (which include ‘An Abundance of Katherine’s’ and ‘Paper Towns.’ Both of which I have read and were interesting and very good in their own ways).

Thanks for reading guys! I’m not sure how often I’ll be writing for this blog considering school starts tomorrow… I have AP English this year, so I hope that means we read all sorts of really cool books! Then I can write stuff about them when I complete them!

--Jude

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Letter From Jude!


Because I was busy doing my homework, procrastinating, yet again. If you absolutely hate this format, I'll only do it sporadically. Just leave me a comment or something. To get a closer look at this letter, just click on the pictures and they'll become hopefully big enough for you to read with ease.

To add to this list...
13. Learn to tie a cherry stem in a knot with just my tongue

Friday, August 27, 2010

Why Hello There!

I noticed that I have five viewers now! There's more people looking at this! Hello everyone! Thank you for pressing the "follow" button! And hello to the rest of you who are following anonymously! Thank you for your support as well!

This will be a short and simple post.

Today, I went and visited my grandma. I told her about 'The Boy With the Striped Pajamas' and we talked about the general attitude of World War II. It was very interesting!

We also talked about Mermaid Syndrome after watching a video from the 1920's where a performer could turn her legs 360 degrees around. It was pretty ridiculous. I cringed as I watched. Mermaid Syndrome is when someone is born with everything from their hips to their ankles fused together. Like a mermaid. Here's a video that I have watched that I found very interesting. The creators of this video don't want people to put this all over the place, so by clicking on the word "video" you'll be taken to the YouTube page. Tiffany, the girl in the video, is very amazing.

Now I'll let you go with something a little lighter... I hope you like Harry Potter!


Check out RockstarRaquel's other work too! She's so sweet!

Have a great week!

--Jude

Thursday, August 26, 2010

In Which I Reminisce about Summer!

The summer is coming to a close. If you have kept up with at least the previous two posts, you would know that. Or, if you too are in school or you are a parent/grandparent, you might know that.
(This picture isn't mine. So I'm totally jealous of this guy's mad photography skills).
In the beginning of the summer, I made a list of things I wanted to do! Now, I am going to share that with you and tell you which ones I did/didn't do.

  1. Write a new novel-- Eeee... not so much. When I wrote this, I intended this to mean that I would start and finish a novel all in three months. I have been writing, just nothing of novel length. The stories I did start are not finished. This did not get finished.
  2. Prepare for NaNoWriMo-- Umm... hehe, funny story... I did no formal planning for this crazy event.
  3. Make a trip to Uptown-- Afterwards, I proceed to make a mini list of places I wanted to go. This did get done! When my family was hosting our French student, I took her to visit Uptown and my grandmother. That was an excellent day! Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera, or else I would have shared pictures with you...
  4. Get a new quill pen and ink-- I didn't look hard enough when I went to Barnes and Noble.
  5. Pull an all-nighter with Ezra Zank-- I did do this! There is a blog entry to prove it!
  6. Take the train to Mall of America/Ride the light rail from end-to-end-- Nope...
  7. Apply for jobs-- Oh boy, did I!
  8. Actually get a job-- Eeeh.....
  9. Visit Avery and Nyaruach at their respective working places-- Halvsies. I went to Kowalskis, hoping to see Avery, but I was also going for my own selfish reasons.
  10. Show Clementine the city-- Clementine was our French student. I think (hope) we did an okay job with this!
  11. Go to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts-- YESyesYES!! Most amazing museum ever!
  12. Do odd jobs-- I had a few.
  13. Hang out with Rosemary, Avery, Ezra, Jack, and Laura-- a check to all!
  14. Attempt to fix violin-- I did attempt, but alas, I failed. I am no violin expert. I blame the rosin.
  15. Go on a "bike trip" in July-- Check! Unfortunately, I don't think I took any pictures...
  16. Get a better camera-- Due to my lack of steady job, this wasn't entirely possible.
  17. Get better at bass guitar/bass clarinet/clarinet/piano/guitar/violin-- This one is iffy too. Some instruments I worked at more than others (i.e. piano).
  18. Finish summer school-- 2/3 done! I did not complete a semester of gym.
  19. See 'Robin Hood,' 'The Last Airbender,' 'Up,' and anything Jack makes me see (:D)-- 1/2 done!
  20. Build a bookcase/desk-- I had plans drawn up and everything, but alas, my dad and I never got around to it. But I might not have been persistent enough.
  21. Make a family tree in French-- I started, and I learned a whole bunch of vocabulary, but I never actually completed it.
  22. Get lots of cork board and push pins-- I went to the art store and I was about to get some, but it was really expensive. Since I don't have a job, it would not have been the smartest thing for me to have done.
  23. Scrapbook and create an old-fashioned photo album-- I took plenty of pictures for it, but I think I will wait to work on it during the slow days over the school year.
  24. Take lots of pictures-- oh boy, did I!
  25. Put money away towards France and Australia trips-- Again, the job thing...
  26. Paint-- I did!
  27. Rearrange my room-- Too much work. If I had fewer books to shuffle around and a book shelf that could actually detach from the wall, that would have made life easier. So I didn't do it.
  28. Read a lot-- Not as many as I would have liked, but yes, I did read quite a bit (my reviews below are my proof).
Other than the stuff that I wanted to do, there are other things that I did that I did not plan on doing:
  1. Wearing flannel in the middle of summer
  2. Becoming a part-time amateur web-designer to help my dad
  3. Becoming a part-time architect and realizing that I can express my ideas verbally when I try
  4. Making a YouTube video and trying video blogging (however unsuccessful it was).
  5. Being as active on this blog (I have my Shelfari buddies to thank for that. We all got into a blogging phase where everyone was creating blogs left and right. I had one, so I just realized my love for blogging)
So, that was my summer! Actually, I guess this blog was a way of chronicling this summer, but this isn't the end of it! There's still plenty to do, though from August 30th to June, those things will be posted sporadically and in no pattern at all.

I apologize for the long-ish post. They'll probably be a little shorter... actually, I won't promise you that, since they'll be so sporadic. I'll probably have lots to tell you, it'll just be less often!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Few Goals for the Rest of High School

I’m going to be slightly nostalgic and serious Jude tonight. I give you permission to pass over this post if you want.

Since I am heading into my Junior year of high school, I have come to realize that I’m going to have to be a little more serious when it comes to school work and… well, life in general, I guess. This is the sucky part about growing up. I want all of this responsibility, but I still want to be that kid I was a few years ago (meaning that I’m still living at home with my parents there to help me and my best friends close to me). Eventually, I’m going to have to leave the house and start figuring out this whole thing I’ve been given (life).

Tonight, as well as post my schedule (which you can check out below, I got that out there first) I’m going to write a list of things I want to do before high school ends for me.

  • Take a fun class in high school—seriously, just look at that schedule I have down there. Does a majority of that look even remotely fun? I like French, music, and English, and that’s what I’m excited about. But ever since I’ve gotten to high school, I haven’t taken one art class. I miss art… I want to get my hands dirty during the day.
  • Keep this blog up—you know, I really like blogging. Even though I might be insanely busy what with these ridiculous classes and life in general, I would still like to do at least one entry a week. Probably on the weekend.
  • Get into Pop Singers—I am by no means trying to imply that I am a superior singer. I’m not, I can tell you that much. My voice isn’t trained. What’s there comes from singing along to Disney movies and the songs on the radio/iPod. It’s really a hobby, and I think it would be fun to do something with this. I auditioned last year, with a non-acceptance as a result. Now I know what I can expect when I go into that room. I can practice! I must get into that group! I am willing to get up early in the morning!
  • Make a new friend—I’m horrible at making friends. Maybe it’s my sarcastic humor that puts people off. I don’t know what it is. The friends I made my freshman year are still there, but since then, I haven’t met anyone new that I would like to invite over to hang out. I would like to change that. Acquaintances are great, but friends are ingrained in your memory much longer.
  • Try Handling Things by Myself—of course, I’m going to need my parents’ help a lot of the time, but when I go off to college, they won’t be able to come running to my aid like they could if I were here, at home. I figure that if I have a complication at school, I should handle it and find out who to talk to because it’s ultimately my education. I’m already going to do this, starting tomorrow, because I need to finish up my online gym, so I need to talk to my counselor.

This list will definitely change, but for now, I think it’s a good start. I will leave you to mull that over (or completely ignore it, depending on what you decided to do in the beginning). Obviously, if you’ve read this far, you’ve probably read through all of this craziness. Thank you for bearing with me. I will try to be a little more exciting for my next post!

--Jude

Junior Year -- 2010-2011

I know what you're thinking... "Jude, why the heck do you have a freaking picture of a tiger? It obviously has nothing to do with student life and academics." Au contraire. It's actually my school's mascot. We are the South High tigers. Fear us.

In this blog post, I present to you what exactly I'm going to be doing all year long.

1st Hour: French 3 (with Madame Campbell)
2nd Hour: Wind Ensemble (aka 3rd level band with Mr. Carter)
3rd Hour: Government/Economics (with Ms. Lanik)
4th Hour: Pre-Calculus (with Ms. Fitzgerald)
5th Hour: Honors Physics (with Mr. Rozeboom)
6th Hour: AP English Literature and Composition

I didn't want to make a blog post until I knew, because it would be stupid to write a blog entry reserving space just for this purpose (it's not like I'm competing with anyone on this blogger account).

--Jude

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Because I'm Feeling a Little Nerdy...

I'm kind of copying Eleanor Roscuro (again). But I added other songs that she didn't have to show me via her blog! So enjoy the following videos...




It's not a song like the ones above, but it made me laugh and I hope it will make you laugh too! Plus, it's so true. John Green is such a genius!

What's that?

Why yes, I am indeed reading a book by John Green.

You now have a face to go with the name!

--Jude

P.S. DFTBA!

Monday, August 23, 2010

This Gives Me Goosebumps...

...Just watch.


I am so seeing this musical!

J.R. and Ezra Zee Pull an All-Nighter!

Kinda-sorta... we stayed up well past our bedtime any way.
We did arts and crafts in my back yard (painting, photos, coloring, etc.)
My picture
Ezra drawing her super-cool ribbon-tube things (I'm not sure of the official scientific name of them, but they're really cool to look at!).
Experimental photography. I wish I had moved the focus point down a little, but otherwise I like this one very much. I should have moved the marker too. It looks stupid amongst the crayons...
I attempted the ribbon-tubes too (I didn't do as well as Ezra).
More experimental photography. It's of the chandelier that dangles above the table we were working at.

After all of this fun during the day, we made a blanket nest so Ezra could sleep and then watched 'Clueless' (one of the coolest movies ever!) because I hadn't seen it and Ezra was a little upset about that. Now she's not mad at me about 'Clueless,' but now because I haven't seen 'Valley Girl' and '10 Things I Hate About You' among other movies :D

I will watch those movies sometime!

--Jude

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sock Monkeys!

One of the things I wanted to do before summer ended was learn how to make sock monkeys. I have done just that in about 24 hours! Here is the result:

Created with a pair of old knee socks, thread, buttons, and felt!
Since I'm not smart enough to come up with a way to create a sock monkey, I consulted my best friend the internet and found instructions. You too could make a sock monkey by clicking here!

--Jude

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Review of 'A Kiss in Time' by Alex Flinn

This is what it says on the back of the book. I’m not sure if it counts as a description, but if I can find a better one the following will definitely be replaced:

“I was told to beware the accursed spindle, but it was so enchanting, so hypnotic…

I was looking for a little adventure the day I ditched the tour group. But finding a comatose town, with a hot-looking chick asleep in it, was not what I had in mind.

I awakened in the same place but in another time—to a stranger’s soft kiss.

I couldn’t help kissing her. Sometimes you just have to kiss someone. I didn’t know this would happen.

Now I am in dire trouble because my father, the king, say I have brought ruin upon our country. I have no choice but to run away with this commoner!

Now I’m stuck with a bratty princess and a trunk full of her jewels… The good news: My parents will freak!

Think you have dating issues? Try locking lips with a snoozing stunner who turns out to be 316 years old. Can a kiss transcend all—even time?”

I don’t think this description does this book justice. This description makes this amazing and extraordinary book seem petty and ridiculous. And it’s anything but!

If you are familiar with the story of ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ you know the underlying plot. But Alex Flinn is so amazing that she puts a modern twist on these modern fairy tales (read my review of ‘Beastly’ if you are curious about another of her modern fairy tales). This story made me laugh, it made my heart break at times. At first, it started out with this really self-centered princess, Talia, who was gifted with beauty, intelligence, and musical talent by fairies at birth. Then you meet Jack, this typical teenage guy who appears to have no interest in anything other than to party and get in another girl’s pants (or, at least he would if he wasn’t still trying to get over his ex-girlfriend, Amber, who is a complete and utter shallow jerk-wad).

It was really exciting to watch as it became more apparent that Talia actually had a heart (I didn’t think I’d like her as I started reading it) and that Jack really did have an interest (in her and when it comes to his future).

It was really interesting to read Talia's innocence when it came to the 21st century. She fell in love with french fries (for a not really funny scene, I did let out a laugh, because I heard her with a precious French accent (even though she was from Belgium) saying, "I love french fries!") and she had a drunken experience... just read the book. I don't want to give everything away and ruin it for you!

I strongly recommend this book. It’s not exactly what you would call a quick read, but I was able to finish it in about two days (because it’s just that good!). So go to your local library and pick it up! Also, read Alex Flinn’s other books. They’re just as amazing!

--Jude

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wizard Lightning Battle!

Oh my god...

So I was reading a blog entry by one of my favorite bloggers, Eleanor Roscuro (perhaps you have heard of her?) and she posted this Harry Potter parody video that she found on YouTube. I laughed so hard! So now, I want you to see it so you can laugh hysterically with me!


Tobuscus (that's the creator of this video) is a freaking genious. And he does other movie trailers too! So go and check him out!

If you want to see the trailer without the literal song, click on the 'Thing to See' tab above and the original trailer is on that list somewhere. Just scroll down, you'll know which one it is (because I label them!).

--Jude

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dia de los Muertos

So I was rooting around on DeviantArt (my favorite art website) and I found this really cool picture created by the user KidNotorious. He has a very comic book-like style and I’ve added a few of his creations as favorites because of that. Any way, the picture that I found was called ‘Muerte’ which I believe means ‘death’ in Spanish. This led me to think about ‘Dia de los Muertos.’

This holiday is very close to Halloween (it’s either the day before, All Hallows Eve, or the day after, All Saints Day—or something of that nature). I’ve decided something. I want to go to Mexico. The week of that holiday, I want to go. I’ll add this to my bucket list (there’s a tab above that you can click on if you want).

I have never traveled anywhere outside of the U.S. By the time I finish going to Australia and several countries in Europe, I’m sure I’ll want to find another place to visit. So why not?

If I go, it’ll give me an excuse to re-learn enough Spanish to get me by and I’ll get to see a new country. I am so psyched for traveling! Let me tell you, there’s going to be quite a bit of it in my future!

I just thought I would make this update, because the last entry probably wasn’t that exciting to read. Now, perhaps I can get you a little excited with me (whoever you may be).

Thanks!

--Jude

Today, Tomorrow, and the Near Future

Today, I went on an hour-and-a-half bike ride with my neighbor, Faye.

Today, I read my book (I am 84 pages into it since yesterday-- I am really enjoying it).

Today, It looks like it might rain, but that's none of my concern. I've done what I wanted to do today.

Today, I blew off my homework yet again. I really need to start taking notes for physics or I'll doom myself on the very first day of school.

Today, I'm wondering how many people will show up to physics having not taken a single page of notes (it'll be like A.P. U.S. History last year).

Today, I don't feel like going into a lot of detail.

Today, I was told that I look tanner than normal.

Tomorrow, I want to go back to the beach and just hang out there all day long-- with sunscreen this time!

Tomorrow, I'm going to work on my horror novel some more and start re-working 'Murder by Rulers.'

Tomorrow, I'm going to do some of my summer homework.

Tomorrow, I'm going to try something new in my blog post.

Tomorrow (or sometime soon) I'm going to help my dad finish his landscaping website.

This week, I'm going to be productive.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Review of 'The Boy in the Striped Pajamas' by John Boyne

The story of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is very difficult to describe. Usually we give some clues about the book on the jacket, but in this case we think that would spoil the reading of the book. We think it is important that you start to read without knowing what it is about.

If you do start to read this book, you will go on a journey with a nine-year-old boy called Bruno. (Though this isn’t a book for nine-year-olds.) And sooner or later you will arrive with Bruno at a fence.

Fences like this exist all over the world. We hope you never have to encounter such a fence.

Before I read this book, I saw the movie. So I had an idea about what I was getting myself into when I started reading this book.

I’m trying not to drop hints as to what happens in case you have neither read the book nor seen the movie. I’m just going to avoid a commentary about the plot altogether in this blog.

As I started reading this, I couldn’t really tell whose perspective this story was being told from. At first, I thought that the narrator knew everything about Bruno and that was it. But as I kept reading, I realized that the narrator was all-knowing (meaning that he knew what all of the characters were thinking). But the narrator seemed to prefer Bruno. It was an interesting perspective.

This was a sad story. The naivety of this nine-year-old boy is heart-breaking. He really doesn’t know… this and the ending of the story is very saddening.

I think I prefer the movie over the book, but they both appealed on their own levels in their own ways. I highly recommend reading this book.

I would suggest this for a young adult audience because they’ll be old enough to know what went on at concentration camps (clue) in World War II. Generally, I think they’ll be able to handle it.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Today, I printed off ‘Murder by Rulers’ and I’m going to start editing it yet again. I just casually looked at the file one day and I noticed so many typos in one glance. It was horrendous. Plus, it could use a little updating and some rewriting.

Today, I went to the library, so I can pick out another book to read and review for you. It’s by one of my favorite authors and it looks a lot like ‘Beastly,’ so it seems promising.

I’m not sure if I can keep promising you chapters for my horror story. I’ll try to keep writing it just for you, but I’m not going to make any promises as to when every chapter will be here any more. I don’t want to be your unreliable blogger. I already post at unpredictable levels (maybe I’ll have one post on one day, the next I’ll have four).

Have a good week everyone!

--Jude

YouTube Time Capsule!


And this is why I am not a video blogger!
Oh, how I wish that the second take made on my lap top worked! This version doesn't seem to get out of sync, but it sounds like I have a lisp, which I don't. My voice sounds higher than it is (or so it seems). I will never make another video on my regular camera again... I'd rather have the lack of synchronization....

I also say "um" and "I don't know" a lot in this video... makes me want to give it a fifth take... but I won't. I'll just wait until the next opportunity to make a video and redeem myself!

In case you did not catch this before, I was watching Charlie McDonnell's video 'Dear Future Charlie' and I got inspired to make my own. You can watch his video below...


Charlie's video is so much better. That's why he's a video blogger!

--Jude

P.S. Is it too fan girl-like that I'm really excited that my picture is on the same blog as the amazing Charlie McDonnell? God that sounds so creepy... I'm not a stalker!

Characters

This is just in case you were wondering what the horror novel characters looked like!
This is Hugo. This picture took a couple hours to draw and ink. He's still very disproportional (but I guess that's my style). I have never been good at drawing guys. So here's my attempt! I based his jacket off of a picture that my friend Rosemary drew for my birthday several years ago. To me, he looks like a cross between Gerard Way and Harry Potter...
This is Mary. I was initially going to draw her with a phone in her hand, but it was really late when I started drawing this and I didn't really want to get too technical. Especially at that hour. So she looks very simplistic-- compared to Hugo, she's bare bones because I didn't use any color or shading, really. And her hair didn't show up like I thought it would. So I bet you can tell which drawing I am more proud of :)

This will be a multiple post day, so stay tuned for another one!

--Jude

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Day at the Beach

Since there is a limited amount of time left before everyone has to go back to school, a few of my friends and I decided to take advantage of the gorgeous and wonderful day!
Believe it or not, this is in the city!
Avery
Laura
Experimental photography-- I am actually quite pleased with how it came out!
We munched on Oreos between bouts of swimming (we had so many and they were delicious!).
We were near the park and we saw when we got close to the trees that a cicada had molted its exo-skeleton. It was so cool! It's really hard to see because it blends in so well, so treat it like "I Spy" or something like that!
We found our favorite dinosaur-like playground and started having oodles of fun-- lots of people left for some odd reason...
Some of the equipment consisted of these posts where you talk into them and someone will hear you from across the park. They're pretty darn cool!
Laura is hanging onto the other one!
Then they have this spine-like piece of equipment. I do believe that we have climbing from one end to the other end of this thing down to a science!

So this was my day. Hope it put some smiles on your face (yes, more than one)!

--Jude Rosenberg

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Gone Hunting

... but not hunting in the sense that I think you're thinking of! No...
Recently, we've had a mass of creatures come storming through the city. Mice is one of them, but I still haven't seen a wild mouse up close (I'm such a city kid...). The other ones are frogs and toads. Like this one:
Sure, he might look a little grumpy, but how interesting are these guys?
Just look at the coloring and patterns. He (she?) is a hopping art project! Come on, I'm guessing you have more than a kindergärtner's vocabulary when it comes to color. Put on your Art Teacher Goggles and look at the different shades.

I really love these guys to death. They blend in so well that finding them can sometimes be a challenge. So I'll go out there with my headlight and hunt for the little buggers in the dark! It's a lot of fun! There's still some summer left, so why don't you give it a try sometime?

As a Consolation...

I have not posted chapter four yet. I'm really sorry... but! I have something that may or may not make up for it! Below, you will see a picture that I drew of Mary and Hugo's house. You can make it bigger and perform a good inspection by clicking right on the picture. I would also like to know your thoughts. So leave comments, if you please!
I was trying to digitally render something like this on the computer using Google Sketch-Up (it's a free download if you're curious and really want to try it!). Long story short, it's still in progress and not even close to completion. So last night while my undiagnosed insomnia kept me up, I found a pencil and I went to work. I did the very crappy inking job this afternoon.

Also, I may have found a last name for this family. I was making name tags for VBS (Vacation Bible School) and I came across this little girl's name. I love her name so much, I could cry. But I won't instead, I'll tell you the last name that I fell in love with: VanRossum. It's not the most common name around, but I love the elegance of it. Then I was putting Hugo and Mary's name in front of it and I felt that it worked quite well, considering they have pretty old-fashioned names (well, Mary does. I'm not totally sure about Hugo...).

Today, I applied to work at Target. There was a questionnaire at the end of the application and some of the questions and answers were quite amusing. My favorite: "What is your work station usually like? 1. Very Clean 2. Messy, but I can find everything! 3. Very messy. I put in bold my answer :D So, we'll see what becomes of this possible job. I really hope I get it. I'm tired of filling out applications... stupid economy... Oh well. I shouldn't complain. It's a necessary evil no matter where you go.

Thanks for reading!

--Jude Rosenberg

Sadie Hawkins

Even though it's still a couple months away...
... it's never to late to ask someone to go with you :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Review of 'Mirror, Mirror' by Gregory Maguire

“The year is 1502, and seven-year-old Bianca de Nevada lives perched high above the rolling hills and valleys of Tuscany and Umbria at Montefiore, the farm of her beloved father, Don Vicente. But one day a noble entourage makes its way up the winding slopes to the farm—and the world comes to Monefiore. In the presence of Cesare Borgia and his sister, the lovely and vain Lucrezia—decadent children of a wicked pope—no one can claim innocence for very long. When Borgia sends Don Vicente on a years-long-quest, he leaves Bianca under the care—so to speak—of Lucrezia. She plots a dire fate for the young girl in the woods below the farm, but in the dark forest salvation can be found as well… A lyrical work of stunning creative vision, Mirror Mirror, gives fresh life to the classic story of Snow White—and has a truth and beauty all it’s own.”

Yes! I have finally finished it!

This was an interesting read, because the characters seemed so real. In some cases, the characters were real. The Borgia’s actually existed once upon a time. Of course, they’ve been fictionalized to fit the needs of this book. I liked the sprinkling of Italian terms over the entire thing—though I know I probably botched the pronunciation up pretty horribly. I have probably disgraced the Italian language…

I like it when Gregory Maguire rewrites classic fairy tales that we become familiarized with as young children. Like the description from the back of the book (it’s above) says, he gives fresh life to it. He made it rather political (but most of his stories are, at least a little bit), as well as historical, but he stayed true to the bare-bones of the story, which was good.

I did not like how he kept switching perspectives unexpectedly. Whenever I started a chapter, I always started out confused because I didn’t know whose voice the words belonged too (well, expect for the dwarves’ chapters, because the titles of their chapters were the first words, so it continued below… if that makes any sense). Lucrezia Borgia had a more elegant language about her chapters (because she’s a more educated person than most of the other characters in this book). Vicente had similar language, but I always had to wait to see where this person was, because if they weren’t at Montefiore or nearby, it was probably Vicente. There was just no clear-cut indication. But I applaud Maguire for keeping me on my toes!

This was an exceptional book, but I have to say, I didn’t like it as much as ‘Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister.’ However, I do suggest it! If you are sensitive to sexual content, I suggest that you don’t read this book. Lucrezia is just that kind of a person, unfortunately.

Thank you for reading!

—Jude Rosenberg

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Movie Time! 'Inception'


I promised you a review today or tomorrow, and I’m really worried that I’m going to forget to do it altogether if I don’t do it now.

Today, I saw ‘Inception.’ It’s really hard for me to explain without giving tons of the movie away, so I looked up a description online. Here you go:

“Dom Cobb is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb's rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible-inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming.” –Warner Bros. Pictures.

This is the most amazing movie I have ever seen. I say that for a lot of movies, but I hadn’t seen this movie at the time.

It has a stellar cast, an incredible story-line with twists everywhere you turn… my brain hurt when I came out of the movie theater. It wasn’t just that transition from a dark environment to a light one. It was so thought-provoking and you really had to pay attention. The guys that were close by us probably had no idea what was going on because they were on their phones texting away as well as constantly shaking their popcorn. You really had to pay attention and keep your eyes open. Especially since the whole cast was going to different levels of the Dreamscape (I’m not quite sure what you would call it), you had to keep track of what was reality and what level they were on (I believe they went to a total of four, though they were initially shooting for three).

Inception is just reaching to more than two levels of the Dreamscape. In other words, a dream inside of a dream inside of a dream.

It’s pretty wicked cool and it’s definitely going on my Christmas/Birthday wish list. To further understand everything, you’re going to need to see it. It’s rated PG-13 for violence (I’m not sure if there was anything else).

I would not recommend watching this movie if you really don’t want to think.

Otherwise… go to it! Go to it!!!

Thanks for reading!

--Jude Rosenberg
This trailer really makes me want to learn cello.
And this movie inspires me to study psychology. The human mind is such an incredible thing… the things it can do!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Movie Time! 'The Other Boleyn Girl'

**SPOILER ALERT!**

You may proceed…

Director Justin Chadwick’s opulent historical drama stars Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn and Scarlett Johansson as her sister, Mary—both beautiful, ambitious, and vying for the heart of powerful but intemperate King Henry VIII (Eric Bana). Though both women are the monarch’s mistresses, only one can become his queen consort—but at what cost? The supporting cast includes Kristen Scott Thomas and Jim Sturgess.

Okay, no one told me Jim Sturgess was in this movie. I love him so much!!

I really enjoyed this movie. I actually came close to crying (it’s really hard for me to cry during movies… only ‘Marley and Me’ accomplished that). I won’t tell you why exactly, but I can tell you that it has to do with Jim Sturgess… or rather, his character.

Natalie Portman is an amazing actress. She has really outdone herself in this role. In the beginning, she’s playful and flirtatious, but after they send her to France as a punishment (parents, you should be taking notes on this aspect) she becomes a completely different woman. She’s sophisticated and seductive—and she knows it! All of these qualities are being used to take revenge on her sister for breaking up her marriage with Henry Percy (he’s the reason she got sent to France and he was sent home to his betrothed) and sleeping with the King of England before she was able to.

When Anne Boleyn becomes the Queen of England (after Catherine of Aragon is removed from the throne), she is expected to give birth to a child that will ultimately be the king's heir. King Henry really wants a son of his to be the heir to the throne. The first child the King has with the Boleyn sisters is with Mary. But since they are not married, the son that Mary yields is not eligible for the throne. After Anne and King Henry are married, their first child is a girl, Elizabeth. Not a problem, Anne is still young and can bear another child—a son this time.

Nope.

When she does conceive, she doesn’t go very long before she miscarries. She is devastated because she knows how mad the King will be. Since she wasn’t really showing that she was pregnant, she and Mary figure there is still time to conceive again. She plans to commit adultery. They then decide that that’s not such a great idea. They need to keep it between siblings: Anne, Mary, and George. In order to keep the secret between them, Anne asks her own brother, George (Jim Sturgess), so “lie down with her.” Initially, he agrees… reluctantly, but he agrees. When they get to the bed, George decides that this isn’t right and he can’t do it. Luckily, Anne doesn’t force it.

This is where things start going downhill. I don’t want to tell you anything else. I probably just told you anywhere from thirty to forty-five minutes of the movie (if even that long). It is so intense! If I didn’t tell you, this might have been an awkward review for you to read.

Basically, the Boleyn’s are abusing marriage to improve their status as a whole. Personally, it’s sickening. This whole shebang was started because the father of the Boleyn girls and their Uncle started this whole thing by asking Anne to try and get into bed with the King because his marriage with Catherine of Aragon was so strained due to her last stillborn child.

This whole movie is one big roller-coaster and it’s amazing! I really need to read the book. Actually, I should have read it before watching the movie… too late for that now. If you’re walking by your local movie rental place one day and you really want something good and heart-wrenching to watch, pick up this movie.

However, if you’re not comfortable with *extremely sentimental instances in movies, I strongly suggest that you don’t pick this up. ‘Up’ is a very good movie. It’s not just for children! And you can watch it instantly on Netflix! So you don’t even have to leave your house!

I should have another movie review for you in about a day or two, depending on how long it takes me to write it. It will be about ‘Inception.’ I’m very excited for that!

Thanks for reading!

--Jude Rosenberg

*Note my effort to keep this as family-friendly as possible J

Amateur Hour: Tuna Salad!

I'm in a baking mood this week... So now I'm going to give you a recipe (not from the internet) on how to make tuna salad! It's really quite simple...
Setting Up: What Kind of Food Items?
1 or 2 boxes of pasta (it depends on how many people you're planning to serve with this)
1 jar/bottle of pickle relish
2 cans of tuna
1 tub of mayonnaise
Salt
Setting Up: What Sort of Equipment?
1 large pan
1 strainer
1 large bowl
1 can opener
1 wooden spoon/spatula

The Steps:
1. Boil some water for your pasta. Here, you will need the salt. Use enough to be visible in a pile in the pan
2. Put your pasta in the hot water (in the picture, I used 1 1/2 boxes, and that was quite a lot).
3. Open your 2 cans of tuna and drain the water (if there is any)

4. Scoop 2 wooden spoonfuls of mayonnaise into your bowl

5. Add a couple spoonfuls or squirts of relish into the bowl

6. Mix it all together! If you see a little bit of every ingredient throughout your concoction, that should be enough. Taste-test it to make sure though. Ultimately, you're the judge of deliciousness.

Feel free to add more mayonnaise and relish as needed. The relative amounts that I gave above are just good starters. It's always better to have less stuff in there so you can add more!
When you're done, you should get a little something like this (I took this picture before I was completely done. I added more relish afterwards when I realized how bland it was).

Enjoy!

--Jude Rosenberg