Thursday, May 22, 2008

Reality TV Winners

America's Next Top Model


(Yes I watch it, don't judge me.)



WHITNEY!


We were SO GLAD that Whitney won. She is the first 'full figured' (normal sized) model to win the competition... in fact she's the first 'full figured' (normal sized) model to make it to the top four or five. She just rocked. And way to go to America's Next Top Model for picking her in the end. Rock on real sized women!






Survivor



PARVATI!


I gotta be real honest with you. After it got down to the final four (Natalie, Amanda, Parvati, and Cerie) I didn't care who won. Those ladies all played rock star games, and made the season so fun to watch. In the end, I was glad that Parvati won because she reminded me a lot of Boston Rob with her ability to control the game and have everyone know she was controlling the game, but still not get voted out. Amanda just got to the end by winning competitions. That great and all, but not as out wit-ish.






BACHELOR



SHAYNE! and MATT! too, I suppose.


MOST. BORING. SEASON. EVER. I think the problem is that Matt, the bachelor, was apparently a good judge of character. All of the 'interesting' (obnoxious) girls that would have been fun to watch were eliminated pretty early on. I didn't even watch most of the episodes, I just read about them here. I of course watched the final episode (online, almost two weeks after it aired) and was glad he chose Shayne over Chelsea the love-me-but-don't-touch-me-girl. She had an awkward phobia with hand holding.






AMERICAN IDOL!



DAVID COOK!


Heck Yeah! He rocks!!! That's all I have to say about that.






And in other good reality tv news, SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE starts tonight, and I just love it. I love it way more than American Idol. William and I decided that its way more fun to watch people be good at dancing than at singing. And maybe also more fun to watch people be bad at dancing than at singing. I've also decided that we say the funniest things when taken out of context while watching this show. Some examples from tonight: "We've never seen anything funnier than Sex." (Man, if you haven't watched it, thats going to sound so messed up.) and "He just bobble-headed himself!!"


Those are good times. I love reality tv.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Movie Review




Yay! for fun movies.



Prince Caspian deviated more from the book than The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe... but it was still really good. It was enough of itself that the major themes were recognizable. And, of course those themes were largely Christian. Some critics seem to want to complain about that. Um, yes the movie based on a C.S. Lewis book has Christian themes. I can only assume that if this confuses you, you've never read a C.S. Lewis book. And have no idea even vaguely who he is. Maybe even never heard of him... because it seems that if you've even heard anything of C.S. Lewis you would go into the movie expecting Christian themes.



And the moral of the story? There is a battle going on, choose wisely who and what you're fighting for.




My favorite scene:


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Some Book Reports

I keep telling myself I'm going to post more about what I'm reading, but I continually forget. A few books have been on my mind lately: one I just finished and I'm super excited about and the other I read just so that I could review it.

The Host, by Stephenie Meyer:



I was pretty excited to read this book. We all know I'm a Stephenie Meyer fan and so the fact that I was at the Barnes and Noble as soon as it opened Tuesday morning will probably come as no surprise. I had actually planned to spend a good chunk of time on Tuesday reading and finishing the book but one thing led to another (for the rest of the week) and I didn't finish it until this morning. It was pretty great. With a whole new world of characters to explore I was reminded why it is I love Meyer's writing. She has a gift for exploring the good and bad natures of mankind and making you evaluate which character flaws you can overlook and which ones cause you to dismiss a person of value and write them off. Its a fascinating exercise. I have mixed feelings about the ending, but on the whole, I loved the book. I will start the second read through tomorrow. I won't say much more about it, as its just freshly released and I don't want to spoil it for anyone.


His Dark Materials (series) by Philip Pullman




Okay, so I only "read" these books (the quotations are because I downloaded the audio books and listened to them while I exercised - I just recently finished) because of the controversy. All of this talk about how Pullman's an atheist trying to lure children away from church really made me curious. Nothing gets me to the bookstore (or audible.com) faster than a good book burning. I won't hold back on this report, as these books have been out for awhile and you've probably read them if you're going to.

What really gets me is that I never got the controversial material that I was hoping for. I mean, Pullman obviously has issue with organized religion, but it was just that, obvious. You can hardly accuse him of being sneaky about what he believes, so the 'luring of children away from church' seems a bit off base. I'd also heard reports of children rising up and killing God in the third book. No such thing happened. They did play a part in the death of "The Authority", but they didn't even know who he was, it was an accident, and he was being kept alive against his own will anyway.

To make matters even worse, the books aren't even well written. Its just sad when something gets famous just because its controversial. It would be better if it was GOOD and CONTROVERSIAL. These books were really disjointed as though he was making it all up as he went along. At first I was confused about the talking bears, but then I got distracted by the witches that came out of no where. And why have angels with wings if its all anti-religion. In fact, why have a God in there at all if you're an atheist. Oh, and there was an appearance of The Littles in the third book. That was cool, I liked that cartoon. Could have done without the Harpies though. That was a weird foray into Greek mythology. The whole thing just had no discernible pattern. I wish it hadn't been controversial then I wouldn't have wasted my audible.com points on it.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Listen...

I don't need you to tell me I'm obsessed. You know this is cool.

I SUBMIT FOR THE RECORD:

Florida State Transportation Law Section 316.2065(10) and (11), F.S.: Sidewalk Riding

A person propelling a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian.



If you come up behind me on your bike while I'm walking on the sidewalk, go around me. And when you go around me don't gesture wildly as though you think I'm listening to my music too loud and should have heard you coming and should have moved out of your way. I did hear you coming. Its not my job to move out of your way.



That is all.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Bye, Bye Course Work, Hello Reading and Exams!

Okay, I have slacked on blog posting, but here's a quick update of my life so far, or at least the last few months. First off, let me just pause to dance like a happy prospector: I am done with all my course work for that PhD that is finally within reach. I must say that I wasn't so much worried about finishing my course work requirements strongly as I was ab out passing off reading proficiency in two foreign languages. First, I decided to take the Spanish test. Ever since I learned Portuguese in the MTC for my mission, I have had an affinity for those Latin based languages, even though I never actually made it to Brazil (I was reassigned to the Florida Tallahassee Mission for those of you who don't know already). Now, I could have taken the Portuguese test, but it seemed more relevant for me to take the Spanish test. So I spent about a year studying Spanish with the Rosetta Stone software. A little pricey, but worth the money because it is so dang effective. With the help of that software, and my already strong foundation (I also took two years of Latin at BYU), I was able to skip the prep class and rock the Spanish test. This gave me a great deal of confidence to do the same thing for French. That's right, I decided not to take the easy way out and go ahead and take the Portuguese test. Just a few short months ago, in the first or second week of January, I began studying French, a language with which I had no familiarity other than my Latin foundation. The Rosetta Stone was amazing once again, but when I took the test just a couple weeks ago, I was not nearly as confident as when I took the Spanish test. However, when grades came out, my anxiety was all for naught. I passed, and now I am preparing for the next step. I am taking my prelims (preliminary exams) in the fall. Some people call these comps (comprehensive exams). In order to prepare for these, I have to read through 75 texts I have selected in counsel with my Doctoral Supervisory Committee. Then I will take a 12 hour test over three days and end it all a few weeks later with an additional two hour oral exam. Oh, how much fun does all that sound? To be honest, it frightens and confuses me (allusion to Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer for all you SNL/Phil Hartman fans out there). Anyway, when all that's out of the way, then I get to write the dissertation. The good news, of course, is that I don't have to worry about course work any more, so aside from teaching, I will have my time freed up to prepare for all that lies ahead. Prayers are welcome. Thanks for reading.

Iron Man

Let me just say that the summer movie season has exploded onto the scene. I absolutely loved this movie. I am still reeling from some of the awesome moments so much so that I cannot take breath sufficient enough to give an in depth review. I will say this, Robert Downey, Jr. was made for this role. It's a movie that had action at all the right moments, but it was never over the top, and it knew when to take a back seat to the story which was developed perfectly for me. It was a rare action movie that made me feel, and that is a rare film indeed.

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