Saturday, May 28, 2011

30-Day Challenge 21: "Easy A" Movie Review

QOTD: Have you ever seen a movie that was loved by most but hated by you?
Day 21: A picture of something that makes you happy.

Why, do you ask, does this picture make me happy? Well for one, it's FOOD. More specifically, it's p-a-s-t-a, probably my favorite foods of all time (besides chocolate, of course hehe). But this particular dish makes me smile because this was the result of my very first independent cooking lesson. Using a simple recipe from my SparkRecipes BlackBerry phone app, I concocted this delicious lunch for myself last week. Reaction? Quite truthfully, it was one of the best pasta I've ever eaten--and that's saying A LOT! Two hours of squinting at the labels on ingredients and praying that I wouldn't burn anything was totally worth it.

So a couple nights ago I decided to have a break from Smallville re-runs (the series finale aired last week!!), and have a movie night! I decided on Easy A because I'm always in the mood for a good laugh and it's been a while since I've seen a chick flick.

I was really not planning on saying this about the movie because I'd had pretty high hopes for it, but the truth is, I have to give Easy A a D- for being one of the worst movies I have ever seen. It wasn't the acting or even the crazy sex was the unrealistic, raunchy script that had me burying my face with my hands and groaning with embarrassment for the writers.

It could've been an okay film if it didn't have so much exaggeration in EVERYTHING. Plus, I couldn't help but think of it as a mix between Mean Girls and A Cinderella Story during the whole thing--except those two movies are way better than Easy A.

Note: I try not to include any big spoilers or give away really important information--I don't see myself as a party pooper! :) So read away.
Short Summary: This comedy takes place in high school and follows Olive, a usually sharp "good girl" with a clean record who starts to believe that perhaps having a bad reputation is better than having no reputation at all--and thus begins to lie about her relationship status and virginity. It's a modern tale of the classic novel, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (which I read in high school and have to say is very good).
Story: To me, the story of a movie is the world that it was set up in (for example: "Harry Potter" set in the Wizarding World, "Pearl Harbor" set in WWII era, etc.). There's not really much to say about this category since the movie's reality is, well, pretty realistic--it's set up in the dramatic, over-the-top world of high school in today's age. In terms of the cliques, teaching staff, and student body portrayed in the story, everything was pretty accurate. Rating: 5/5
Plot: The plot equals the problem and is the whole reason why there's a movie in the first place. I think it was really interesting and clever how the film creators were able to produce a modern-day Scarlet Letter was based along the same lines but included its own twists along the way that made it unique. However, like everything else, it was a bit exaggerated and I don't know if anything like that would happen in real life. I can't actually imagine something like that occurring at my own high school. *rolls eyes* Rating: 4/5
Characterization: Eh, this was half and half I suppose. I did enjoy Olive's character, she was easy to like and easy to identify with. Without giving too much away, even though she made some bad choices, we as the audience know her intentions were good. I also enjoyed getting to know the other high school students who were represented in the movie--they were funny, realistic, unique in their own way, and all-around interesting to watch as they interacted with Olive. The main problem I have is how the adults who play active roles in teens' lives are made out to be irresponsible and immature, act practically like kids themselves, and lack morals that educators/parents such as themselves ought to have. Perhaps their characterizations were meant to be humorous, but I personally disliked those characters who should have served as role models in the end, not older versions of "juvenile delinquents." Rating: 3/5
Costumes: Well the characters mainly wore normal "high school" outfits, with the exception of Olive's infamous "Scarlet Letter" costumes (yes, she had more than one!). I thought that they were beyond cute, well-made, and did a great job singling her out amongst her peers as the "scandalous" one. Rating: 5/5
Acting: It's really sad...some of Hollywood's most well-known actors (including Amanda Bynes, Thomas Haden Church, Lisa Kudrow, Alyson Michalka and Stanley Tucci) were brought together to create a hilarious teen comedy that could've been really great had it not been blown out of proportion. The acting was terrible--it was ish. It was what the filmmakers wanted the actors to say and do that was bad and made them come across as, well, outrageous. I do have to say that Olive was a charm. She was a very likable main character and was played by a great actress. Rating: 3/5
Script: I cannot fully express my disappointment over how awful the script was. It was overly excessive most of the time and constant repetition of the same humorous jokes just totally sucked the funny out of everything. Several times I wanted to look away, cover my ears and yell, "Stop! STOP! That's enough!" I feel so bad that such a wonderful cast had to work with such a catastrophic script. One major downfall that completely turned me off was that it tantalizes and makes fun of Christianity in ways that are extremely not cool. And this wasn't just lighthearted, appropriate jesting, but rather mocking and condescending banter. Bad, bad. Rating: 2/5
Action/Drama: There was a ton of drama in the movie--how could there not be when the setting takes place in high school? A lot of it was pretty funny, but only when the situations weren't highly exaggerated or unnecessarily complicated by unrealistic turning points (see how I'm trying to be vague so as not to give anything too much away?). I know a comedy is a comedy, but still. Way too much is more than enough. Rating: 3/5
Digital Design: Not much was used here (unlike in movies such as Avatar and Inception) I did like how zooms and slow motion were used to show passage of time and communication between students when the rumors were being spread around the school. Free pass. Rating: 5/5
Direction/Production: The direction itself wasn't too bad...I thought that the webcast that Olive publicized online and used to tell her story was pretty clever, and I liked how things were angled so that it was constantly in Olive's perspective. The scenes flowed together well--I didn't think anything was missing or too choppy. But it could've been better. Rating: 3/5
Overall Quality: While this movie had some aspects of ingenuity, to me its cons outweigh the pros. Above anything, this movie is a satire of the craziness that is high school culture--hmm, perhaps I didn't find it amusing enough because it was only a few months ago when I myself was a part of that jungle? Anyhow, the filmmakers (especially the writers) tried way too hard to make it seem funny and witty, when the result was just very strained, weak, and rather embarrassing humor. I feel sorry for the Hollywood stars who played in this movie and had to use their remarkable acting skills to pull off stupid, over-the-top lines and outlandish, unrealistic behavior. I also didn't feel like the ending was well-handled....a lot of issues brought up in this movie are pretty significant and prominent when it comes to adolescence, and the overall message was there, but it just didn't seem like there was a strong enough closure.
Overall Rating: 3.7/5

All that being said, I do think that there is a movie out there for someone. What I may think is absolutely ridiculous may just be your perfect Blockbuster. :)


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

30-Day Challenge 20: FoR tHe LoVe Of GrApHiCs

QOTD: Do you read your horoscope? What do you think about astrology?
Day 20: One word that sums you up as a person. Oh WOW this is a really hard one. Hmm,luckily I just stumbled upon this page of "words that don't exist in the English language", and I have to say meraki sums me up best.
Meraki--(Greek): doing something with soul, creativity, or love
~ ~ ~
One thing I really like about Blogger is that you can follow any blog you want regardless of its site can be Wordpress, Tumblr, anything! Tumblr is one of my guilty pleasures and probably my #2 source of procrastination (Facebook is #1), but it just makes me so happy. You can always find the most random things--graphics, quotes, photos, you name it--and they are always inspirational.

Over the next couple of days I will be writing a rather lengthy movie review, so today I just thought I'd share with you some of my favorite graphics that I have had the lucky opportunity to "tumble/stumble" upon in the past. Enjoy!!!

So, so cool!

dream room!!!

Two of America's greatest and most famous superheroes!!!

oh em heavenly!!!

Haha wow Savage Chickens always makes me laugh...

I will own this library. Someday.


Epic. Perfection.

I second that!

Which graphic is your favorite? Do you stumble/tumble?


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

30-Day Challenge 19: Strawberry Picking

QOTD: When was the last time you went on an adventure?
Day 19: Nicknames you've had and why you have them: For those of you who don't already know, my first name is Wendy. Some nicknames (but not all, haha) that have been derived from that include Wendella, Wenalyn, Wen, Wenders, Windy, and Wen-Wen.

The other day, I went strawberry picking with my family at a local farm and it was SO, so much fun! I've enjoyed the quiescence of staying at home but it was nothing short of awesome being able to actually get out. The last time we went fruit picking it was apples, and I can't even count on a single hand how many years ago that was.

There were actually quite a few people strawberry picking that day, even though the sun was sweltering hot on our cheeks and backs.

Look at the rows and rows of strawberry patches! We went all the way towards the back of the farm, where we figured fewer people had gone to pick. Ohh but it looks like some strawberries hadn't been able to survive, poor things...

Strawberries were playing hide and seek with me. I won in the end though. There you are! Come to Mother Basket....

Only the juiciest, plumpest, and reddest went into our basket! ;) MMmmmMMMMmm.

Lurking by the patch...trying to catch sight of -- ah! There's a red one under those leaves!

And MORE!!! :D Hmm, these strawberries were particularly prickly and hairy...also, it was weird to see these green young'uns, which are actually not good to eat at all.

We had a total count of 147 strawberries! Yes....I counted them and sorted them into the categories of : 1) Reddest, 2) Not So Red, 3) Biggest, 4) Babies, 5) Mutants.

I took a mixture of Reddest, Babies, and Not So Red and put them into a new category:
The Chocoberries.

Aaaaand let the dipping begin!

MAN was it hard not to lay a finger on these rubies!!! I had my eye set particularly on the third one....yeap, the one that's got chocolate dripping down.

Strawberries aren't just good for eating--they're good for taking photos of too. :D But....they are, FIRST and foremost, good for eating.

Somehow the chocoberries look even tastier and irresistible when I used the flash on my camera. Interesting. Well I was going to take more photos but I couldn't wait anymore! The moment they were dry we ate them all up. :)

No worries....we still had about 120 strawberries left!!!


Monday, May 16, 2011

30-Day Challenge 18: Laughter Is the Best Medicine Blogfest

Question of the Day: What are two smileys that describe your life right now?

Day 18: The question above!

d(^_^)b is supposed to portray a happy person doing thumbs up! I have been enjoying all this free time away from school and nothing could be better. Since I am traveling for the last half of summer, I've been trying to spend this first half of summer learning more and getting to know more about myself. During the school year, I was always surrounded by people and was constantly either going to events or studying in the library. Now, I'm trying to take this opportunity to revisit what I personally like, what makes me happy, and all-around who I am when I'm by myself. Besides--everyone has to mentally recharge before going on another adventure!

8-/ is supposed to represent a nerd. I've been digging myself into books and writing and Smallville lately, cooped up in the bedroom that I've missed for over eight months. I probably sound a bit pathetic, but like I said above I'm enjoying this downtime. I have been catching up with all the things that I wasn't able to do during the school year-especially read, write, and watch movies. I'm having a rather "nerdy summer," but I'm loving it. :)

I signed up for Lydia Kang's and Leigh Moore's fun-filled blogfest called "Laughter is the Best Medicine." The idea is to Post a joke that pokes fun at yourself, or writing, or your job (including parenting, of course!), or anything personal. Or if that's too much work, any joke that you think is funny will do.

I'm not that great with outwardly funny jokes--but lately, I've become acquainted with the art of sarcasm. My family says I always take things way too seriously all the time, so adopting a few sarcastic remarks has been one way that I've been teaching myself to lighten up. Thus, here are a few of my favorite "witties" and "sarcs" that I've either heard of from other places or I've come up with myself and used recently. Hope they amuse you!!!

If you were any more open-minded your brains would fall out.

Sometimes I need what only you can provide....your absence.

A person who aims at nothing is sure to hit it.

Go to Hell.
See you there.

Person #1: *shocked* You didn't just do that!
Person #2: No? I can do it again.

You're unique. Just like everyone else.

Grant: *sees Lois in a hospital gown* Whoa! Let me guess, Vera Wang? Maybe Dolce?
Lois: This is me laughing hysterically.

Person #1 walks in on someone else *insert obvious activity*: What are you doing?!
Person #2: Is that a trick question?

I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

The texter: are you awake?
The text receiver: yeah, I'm always awake at 3am.

Did you know that if you press the elevator button three times it goes into hurry mode?

Tough Person: Do you know who I am?!
Sarcastic Person: No, why? Have you forgotten?

Don't let your mind wander, it's too small to be out on its own.

I'm asking a friend about his day, what he's been up to lately and what his goals are for the summer....
Friend: Gosh, girl, so many questions!
Me: I'm a journalist. It's my job.

Facebook Happenings:
(*names have been changed*)
Babycakes's status: It is so hot.
Twinkle's comment: It's cause I'm online. ;o
Babycakes replies: LOLOL. I thought it was coming from someone!
-the next day-
Honey comments: It's cold today. Twinkle must be offline.

Also, this isn't exactly witty or sarcastic but I went to a neighbor's yard sale the other day and afterwards, later on, I saw that neighbor's sons, who's about eight years old.

Me: Hey, Neighbor's Son! Did you have fun at the yard sale?
Neighbor's Son: Yeap! I made 20 bucks! But Dad split it in half and gave me seven.

* * *
Thanks so much to everyone who participated in my "Inanimation" Blogfest!!! I had a load of fun hosting my first blogfest and reading all the entries. If you still have yet to post your entry up, don't worry--better late than never. :)


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Let's See That "Inanimation"!

QOTD: If you could be any inanimate object, what would you choose to be and why?

YAYY!!! I have been dreaming of this moment every single night for exactly thirty-seven days (total exaggeration is required to emphasize the excitement boiling inside of me right now).

It's finally time for "Inanimation"!!! Let's create our own Toy Stories, breathe life into those lost and forgotten dusty pieces of old furniture in our attics, and make kitchen utensils dance and sing as they make your favorite chicken pot pie!

As a short recap, here is the blogfest task:

The idea is to write an entry of NO MORE THAN 1000 words that somehow incorporates the personification of inanimate objects. It can be a poem, a short short, a letter (perhaps to your favorite childhood toy?), a fairytale, a scene from a dream, or even a song--anything you want! It can be something you've written in the past or it could be totally brand's all up to you!

AAaaaand here are the lovely participants!!! Once you have posted your own Inanimation entry, be sure to go around and visit everyone else's. Get ready for the liveliest ride ever!!!

"The Keeper of the Keys"

The day she came back was the day I woke from the dead. It had been eight long, miserable months--or had it been even longer than that?--since I'd even seen her at all. Back in January, the father had begun to redecorate the house, or rather, throw out old pieces of furniture and buy new ones. He'd already trashed two dressers, an entire bed, and even the mini side table that had lived right across from me in the same room for over six years and had dutifully held the vase of flowers that was replenished every week. The vase was also discarded. I remember being so afraid that, at any moment, he was surely going to wheel me from the living room and throw me out too.

But the furniture spree began and ended, and still here I was. And yet, she--my owner, the keeper-- still didn't come back. It wasn't until May that she returned to the house, looking a little bit taller and older and, well, more serious. Every day following her return, I waited eagerly for the moment when she'd waltz into the living room, open me up, and touch my keys. Each day that passed by, I was ignored--just like I had been for the past eight months. She was no longer the little ballerina who would waltz around her home like she was on Broadway. I gave up hope of ever coming to life again.

My keeper spent most of her hours cooped up in her bedroom on that ridiculous plaything that I heard was called a laptop. I spent hours listening to her punching those keys as fast as she could, the keys that could never play as beautifully as mine did. Why, then, did she so obviously prefer those keys over mine? It got to the point where I began to wish that the father had simply just trashed me with all of their other old stuff. What was the point of me taking up space when nobody wanted to dance, play, sing with me? I was aging, and fast--cobwebs began to intertwine around my legs and dust gathered between my keys. It was pretty itchy, but I eventually got used to it. After a while, I began to forget that I even existed.

Then, my life changed during one cold, rainy afternoon. I'd slipped into hibernation--what else was there for me to do but sleep nowadays? No sound was heard except for my owner click-clacking away at her laptop, the father watching television upstairs and the constant pit-pat-pit-pat of cloud tears outside. An occasional crack of thunder interrupted the rain's poetry.

Someone cracked opened my lid and I was suddenly exposed. I shivered, not used to the air and wide open space, and couldn't help but sneeze a little as dust flew from between keys. It felt good to get a breath of fresh air, but what was going on? It had been years since I was last tuned, and if I was about to be thrown out there'd be no need to open my fallboard.

After a moment, three fingertips touched me and pressed down each key, do re mi, one by one. Vibrations quivered around the hammers in my body and, for the first time in months, I laughed. I was flying through Fur Elise now, singing as loud as I could. The air was thick with music, and I knew it was my owner. Her movements were all too familiar, and nobody else knew how to play Fur Elise like she did. As her fingers flew across the board, she seemed to be saying to me, oh--there you are, I missed you, and I felt happier and more awake than I'd been in a long while.

It was like we'd never parted in the first place. It didn't matter to me anymore that she'd abandoned me for so long...her coming back made me realize that she hadn't forgotten me at all. She was the keeper of the keys, and always would be. And in that very moment, all I wanted was for her to play my music.


This is based on the relationship between me and my piano, but the excerpt above is embellished with fiction. I hope you enjoyed!


Friday, May 13, 2011

30-Day Challenge 17: I Forgive You, Blogger

QOTD: Yes, I must ask this worldwide debatable question...e-books or print books?
Day 17: Someone you would want to switch lives with for one day and why. I kind of like my life, but if I had to switch lives for a day I'd probably swipe with J.K. Rowling. I'd get to be pals with Harry Freaking Potter & Co. (or at least the corresponding actors) and see what it's like to be a world-renowned writer. Then, I could check off 2/134982019321 life goals of mine.

As most of you know, Blogger was under maintenance for 20.5 hours. You can view The Blogger Team's message here at the Blogger Buzz. The first day Blogger was down, I kind of shrugged and let it go. Then starting yesterday afternoon I began to bite my nails excessively--a habit that I was supposed to have broken back in middle school--and checked Blogger's Homepage EVERY hour. Okay, I admit it...I was starting to freak out. I mean, my very first "Inanimation" Blogfest is just a day away. I was afraid that this maintenance issue would continue on through tomorrow, and then what would become of my blogfest?

Then I started overthinking (like I always do) and worried about what would happen if Blogger had to shut down. What would happen to all of my posts? MY BELOVED BLOG! .....But then, a few hours ago my Dashboard reappeared and all was well again. YAY!

I checked everything and so far TRA Blog is still intact. Turns out, though, that not all blogs came out of this maintenance delay unscathed and not everyone was as lucky as me. For some blogs, many posts and even comments have been deleted or altered in some way, but TBT is supposed to be working to restore those so if your blog has been mutilated in some way--have no fear!!! Hopefully it will all be back to normal in the imminent future.


Monday, May 9, 2011

30-Day Challenge 14, 15, 16: Happy Belated Mother's Day!

Question of the Day: What was your favorite book to read as a child? Why?

this is a cute comic square that I discovered here

Happy Mother's Day to all those who are mothers, grandmothers, stepmothers, and all other female guardians! Thanks for everything that you do for your little ones, including those like me who may not seem so little anymore. :)

Day 14: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
  • food--particularly macaroni and cheese, popcorn, chocolate, and dumplings. Mmm, my favorites. Gosh I'm hungry now.
  • writing--I am always, always arguing with my characters and mulling over how I can improve my WiPs--whether it be the voice or the pacing or a certain scene that just isn't quite right.
  • blogs--I am constantly pondering over thoughts such as, "when will I have time to post another blog entry?" and "I wonder how many people have Liked my Facebook page so far?" and "Personal reminder: Blog about Lydia Kang's awesome I want to read ____ next Contest so everyone knows to sign up and participate!"
  • turtles--no matter what mood I am in, I love thinking about my red-eared slider turtles! The thought of them always makes me smile.
  • people--especially the people I love and the people who love me :) warm&&fuzzy
  • Superman--I mean, who wouldn't want to think about this?
  • sleep--sleepy sleep, can I?
Day 15: Put your iPod on shuffle. First 10 songs that play.

(I provided the YouTube links for you as well)

1) Move Along by All-American Rejects
2) Yellow Submarine by The Beatles
3) Once in a Lifetime by Dragonforce
5) Numb by Linkin Park
6) Scar Tissue by Red Hot Chili Peppers
7) Hit Me Baby One More Time by Britney Spears
8) It's My Life by Bon Jovi
9) If You're Not the One by Daniel Beddingfield
10) Dark Blue by Jack's Mannequin

Day 16: Something you regret.

Rather than talk about something I regret, let me tell you what I WILL be regretting in the next few days. Ladies and gentlemen, I have to announce a very tragic truth: I probably will not be able to watch the season finale--and thus, the finale to end all finales--of Smallville due to conflict with my travelling plans. Yes, it is no longer fair for me to call myself the #1 Superman fan. I know, I know....*disgrace*

Lastly, don't forget to sign up for my first-ever 100-followers blogfest, "Inanimation"! FIVE DAYS LEFT!!! To learn more and sign up, click HERE!!!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Reflections On My First Year of College

As I try to think back to the person I was right before my freshman year of college began, it’s hard to remember. It’s not as cut-and-dry as I want it to be, and I can’t compare and contrast as if these two Wendys are totally distinct opposites. They’re not…I guess I’m just trying to distinguish between what changes I have gone through and what of me still remains the same.

These past eight months have been nothing but trial and error. As much as I want to think of myself as an adult, the truth is that I don’t know what I’m doing at all. I have made so many mistakes this year…things I wish I could take back and redo, things that seem totally and utterly stupid now when I reflect on them. When I think about those mistakes, those are the moments when I cringe at the memories, curl up like a clam and wish that I could dig a hole to bury myself in and simply forget. I have learned so much from being a college student—and the lessons don’t stop there. I still have three more years left to stumble over rocks and beat my head on the wall afterwards.

The one thing that has stood out to me this year and is something I have had to struggle with is the truth about forgiveness. I’ve listened to and read so many stories about how forgiveness is one of the most important lessons in life, but until now I never truly understood why. Over the past few months, there have been so many people, so many things, that I have had to let go of: people whom I care very deeply about, things that I have been used to all my life, experiences that I never wanted to end or that I wish had never happened. But no matter how hard I try to pretend that the regrets I have don’t exist or that certain things can last forever, in my heart I know better. Even now, I am still learning that sometimes all you can do is learn to admit things for the way they are, and instead of wishing things away, just accept and forgive yourself. Only when you know from the inside out that you are okay with what is can you move on. Only then can you be really, truly ready to say goodbye.

Lessons I’ve Learned This Year (some of them the hard way):

*Everything happens for a reason, and everything is somehow connected to each other. I used to struggle with this concept, but now I believe it.

*No matter how invincible you think you are, procrastination doesn’t work.

*You need to take care of yourself before you take care of others.

*Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Be yourself, and that should be enough for those who matter.

*You have your own thoughts and opinions, and you shouldn’t be afraid to share them.

*If you try hard enough, you can end up believing that anything can be possible and true (which, ironically, isn’t always a good thing).

*In order to move on from past mistakes, you must learn to forgive yourself first.

*Do the best you can, but that’s all you can do. Mistakes are a part of being human, and being human is beautiful.

*No matter how hard you wish for it to be so, time can’t be stopped.

*Tell the people you love the truth. You never know how much longer you have until you no longer have the chance.

*It is okay to believe in yourself and to believe in what you have to offer to the world.

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