I'm currently reading a YA novel called Delirium. It's another dystopian romance, and the schtick behind this one is that love is considered a disease, and everyone has to have a brain surgery as of age 18 to "cure" them of it. It's like the film Gattaca in that the society spends a hell of a lot of time and resources gender segregating teenagers and trying to find "uncured" people, sympathizers, and anyone showing excessive emotion or the smallest bit of affection. "Science" says love kills people, therefore we must micromanage everyone's lives? I'd rather see how a society gets to that point, really.
The writing is over-wrought with flowery metaphors, which succeeds at creating nice imagery often but spends far too much time on it, and there's a lot of spelling the obvious out for the reader. The love-at-first-sight romance is as silly as ever, but I've been especially thinking about the protagonist.
I don't profess to reading a huge amount of YA literature, but there seems to be quite the trend in leading female characters who are super average and plain, and kind of anti-feminine. I'd characterize myself as having been both of those things growing up, so I can relate, but it seems to be becoming this weird cliche. There's also this trend where females who aren't feminine are portrayed as being...almost better than those who are. These plain, tomboyish, quiet/shy girls still wind up getting guys, of course, despite being pretty passive in the courting scene. It's a very strange direction to take female protagonists.
I was thinking about this a bit tonight, and then I just thought "this is so easy I can do it in my sleep." So I wrote up a book summary and tried to make it as generic as possible, about a super average and boring girl who suddenly gets noticed by a guy. I then went to the kitchen for a brownie, and while there came up with a ~crazy plot twist~ that sounds pretty gimmicky, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I could spin it to make what might resemble real characters with actual depth. Woah.
This is actually my first idea for a serious novel in years, and I don't think it's half bad. Maybe it's actually doable. Now it's just a matter of staying motivated and actually writing the thing.
Oh, and I passed math! So now I get to take my first ever computer science course, but it's online which means I have very little motivation to do it. I may go into my school's Applied Human Sciences program, since I really liked the class I had in the subject last year and did quite well. We'll see.
Boyfriend and I had our anniversary over winter break, and for Christmas he hand-sewed me a dress! it's a gorgeous 50's pattern in this lovely silky purple fabric. He and I hosted a fancy wine and cheese (and boardgames) New Years' party, so I got to wear it for that. 'Twas a good time indeed.
Does anyone have any New Years' resolutions? I don't usually do them, but I think I'll try to write more in 2014. Maybe I'll try to start another writing journal. :>
I did indeed use my earnings from my last job to buy the blue Xerneas/Yvetal 3DS, as well as a copy of Y. I got the game the day it came out, which was incidentally the day Moogles came into town, and we hung out, played Pokemon, toured the city, and drank. It was marvelous.
I haven't beaten the game yet, but let's trade FC's! Pokemon Y Friend Code: 3711-7995-9617
School's going decently, though I have remembered how much I hate math, and why I was so relieved when I finished high school because I thought I would never have to do it again. My marketing class is pretty interesting, but my favourite class is definitely Interpersonal Communication and Relationships. Not only did I ace the mid-term, but I'm actually looking forward to writing the final paper for it. I'm pretty darn enthusiastic about it.
Boyfriend also helped me get a job at the big Canadian chain bookstore, which is pretty awesome, to say the least. I'd still like a job in writing/editing, but at least I'm working with books! (Of course, about 40% of the store is "gift" items, like winter apparel, candles, toys, and of course now Christmas decorations, but hey.) Aside from the employee discount, one big plus is that we can take out books for free for up to two weeks. Score!
The first book I picked up was Divergent by Veronica Roth since it's the new big teen series, and I finished it in a couple of days. Unfortunately, the world-building is pretty disappointing, and there's something about the romance that feels uncomfortably Twilight-esque, with the obsession over every time the protagonist and the love interest touch. Admittedly, a few years ago those bits might have thrilled me, but now there's something about it that just makes me grit my teeth a little.
We've had a few family occasions lately, with two of my female cousins having their Bat Mitzvahs back-to-back. I took Boyfriend, who isn't Jewish, to the first one, and we had a really great time. The second one was in Atlanta and was accompanied by frustrating family drama, plus I was sick by the end of it, so that was just loads of fun.
My parents went to New York City this past weekend. Usually I'd ask for a Pokemon plush from the Nintendo Store, but since I already have over 20 I really like Game of Thrones now, I instead asked for something from the HBO store. I will now be kept warm this winter by my new Targaryen scarf, and some house magnets now decorate my already-crowded whiteboard. (I can't wait to get the fourth book from my friend!)
Lastly, I received my first cake commission! It was for my friend's girlfriend, and I was more than happy to oblige, especially given what he wanted on the cake. :D
After taking a year off, I'm back at university, this time as an independent student. I'm only allowed to take three classes, so I'm taking Marketing 101, this neat course called Interpersonal Communications and Relationships, and my first math class in over five years. *shudders*
I'd like to get into another program asap, but since I'm not sure just which one I want to apply for I decided to take the time and sample some different courses. I'm also aiming to make myself more marketable as a writer, so I was hoping to find some classes to help in the matter.
My supervisor from back in Israel was the one who recommended marketing, and so far the class actually seems quite interesting. Unfortunately there will be a huge group project that will likely involve me picking up other peoples' slack, but hey. Math is more challenging, considering I'm pretty rusty and that I want to understand how formulas are created before I can use them. I'm taking it as a prerequisite for a computer programming course I'd like to take in January, so hopefully I'll scrape by with at least a pass. Lastly, Interpersonal Communication and Relationships is in the Applied Human Sciences department, which I initially just chose because it was one of the few classes I could get into as an independent student. On attending the first class and reading the course syllabus, however, I was excited, and counted myself lucky for having wound up in it. It's a workshop on improving self-expression and communication, which is something I'd really like to focus on.
Otherwise, I've been working during the university's orientation week, helping host events like free coffee giveaways and bar-b-qs. There was also supposed to be a free pole dancing class, but it got cancelled due to, of all things, being unable to fit the damn pole in the elevator. (There's a joke in there somewhere...) I also unfortunately got sick for a chunk of orientation, and am still recovering, but that's life for you.
I'm considering using my earnings from the job to buy the new Xerneas/Yveltal 3DS (before of course buying Pokemon Y when it's released). That or focus on getting back the $40 I lost when the package of Poke-merch I ordered from Japan finally arrived at my house...opened, with the contends gone. I still have to figure out what to do about it, since the company I bought it from is not responding to my recent e-mails asking them about filing a report. Blech.
Regarding new Pokemon and things, I'm generally looking forward to X and Y. I really like some of the new features like character customization, Pokemon Amie and riding around on a Gogoat. I also rather like a good few of the new Pokemon designs (like the kawaii psychic cat furries and new fossils). The Mega Evolutions seem like a cool feature, but I'm not loving some of the designs, and some of them seem underwhelming. The latest Mewtwo form especially falls into the "wat"/"well this was absolutely unnecessary" category.
We had our local comedy festival, featuring comedians from around the world, and food trucks for the first time in years. Boyfriend and I booked tickets to two shows (during the presale, so we got excellent seats), and I'd been looking forward to them for months.
All in all, it was a pretty damn amazing two days! And in a few hours, I'm leaving for...*drumroll*...Israel again! This time I'm just going with family for ten days, in celebration of my cousin's Bat Mitzvah, during which time she will become a woman on top of a mountain in the desert. We'll mostly be doing a lot of touristy stuff I've done before, so I'm also hoping to meet up with some friends while I'm there.
Out of curiosity, has anyone got any favourite comedians? Anyone they'd recommend?
I literally just caught my first shiny Pokemon in 10 years.
I was grinding in Sapphire, only half paying attention to the game while watching Youtube. I then noticed the Zigzagoon I had encountered seemed to have a funny colour. I wasn't sure whether or not it was Shiny, so I figured I'd just switch to my Manectric, paralyze it and catch it anyway, just in case. I didn't use any attacks for fear of KO-ing it, but I caught it on my first Great Ball. My heart was hammering as I headed back to the PC in the Weather Institute to confirm my suspicion. I couldn't believe it until I sent him out in battle and saw that glorious shine.
I'm pretty elated - I haven't found a wild shiny Pokemon since Gen 2 (in which I had three shinies, go young me). I'm actually aiming to complete my White 2 Pokedex in order to obtain the Shiny Charm, which increases your chance of encountering shinies. Incidentally, this is also part of why I'm playing Sapphire these days.
So yep - pretty happy. :> How has your success been with shinies?
I love the Lonely Island! I was actually just ruminating on their last single, YOLO, earlier today. They also just released a new song about semicolons! As a writing nerd, I was eager to watch it, especially since semicolons stump so many people.
And for two minutes and twenty-seven seconds, I was very confused and concerned that everything I knew was wrong.
"What are they doing?!" my mind screamed. "You need to have an independent clause on either side of a semicolon! Sure, you can make the argument that a single word can serve as an independent clause sometimes, but not like this! What is going on?!"
There was, of course, the possibility that I was wrong. "Maybe a single word can be an independent clause more often than I assumed," I tried to reason. But how could that be? No, that couldn't be...could it? What if...what if I really was wrong? What if I had wasted three years in university learning about literature and professional writing, only to have not truly learned anything?
"Maybe there are other uses for semicolons I don't know about. Maybe I've been ignorant to this all these years."
And soon I started to believe it. I continued watching the video, going along with this crazy new grammatical rule that was so alien to me. Plus the Lonely Island is so silly, it's hard not to just sit back and enjoy. Maybe I looked a little crazy, sitting there unmoving with just a hint of a smile, eyes wide as I stared at all the colours and words flashing before me. I had much to learn from these talented people.
Then the video was like "lol no" and I was like "OMG I'M NOT CRAZY." It's always a relief to know you didn't waste three years getting a BA in English! (Except for the part where it still hasn't helped me get a job, but hey, minor detail, right?)
My prediction: some people will legitimately think that this is indeed how to use a semicolon. Few people, whether or not they believe the Lonely Island, will actually look up the proper usage of semicolons. I wonder if it's going to be like what happened after Alanis Morissette's Ironic, which stills throws people for a loop to this day. (Hopefully someone will be kind enough to explain it the same way Ed Byrne did that one time.)