Tuesday Tribulations and Miscellany

the tribulations:

1) The release of Bridge of Clay by the awesome, clever, brilliant, awesome Markus Zusak has been delayed (yet again). I've read that it's supposed to come out this September (September 1st to be exact!), but it doesn't even have an amazon page yet. A little puzzled when I saw, I searched and searched the web until I came upon this answer about the book by Doubleday (Markus Zusak's publishing company).

If you don't feel like pressing the link, I'll spare you the news quickly: We now have to wait until 2013 for the book. Nooooooooooooo.

2) I landed on a spoilery review for Goliath. NOOOOOOOOOO The review though was only mildly spoilery, and my eyes only caught one thing before my mouse clicking reflexes started working again and I clicked out of the page. Of course, that one thing ended up being something something I was looking forward to seeing. EPIC FAIL.

I learned my lesson. I'm never ever ever going to look up reviews for it anymore.

Please excuse me while I weep and gnash my teeth on the other side of the room.

the miscellany:

1) Bill Gates read (and really liked) the Hunger Games. No really, it's true. That's pretty cool, yes? :)

2) I want to watch Super 8 sometime before it leaves the theater because it seems like the type of movie that should be seen in theaters.

A little tidbit about this movie which got me waayyy too over eager to see it: it's called Super 8 because the kids are shooting a film with a super 8 camera. (I like cleverly named movies.)

I should also mention that it came out on my birthday. That little birthday fact could be playing a big role in my increasing want to see the film more than other reasons. Heh...because really, when's the next time that a Steven Spielberg movie (a critically successful one at that too) is ever going to come out on my birthday?! ;)

3) It's happening again. Articles similar to the the Harry Potter farewell/in memoriam/good-bye articles that came out during the release of Deathly Hallows are now slowly coming out day by day.

The site I really want to point to for this is Tor, for their insightful and profound homages to JK Rowling and HP several of its bloggers are writing (as part of their Harry Potter celebration, Potterpalooza).

They're all worth a read, but some of my favorite essays are:

And though this essay's not part of the HP celebration, it's HP related and I've been wanting to link it since forever so, here you go:

I would also suggest taking the time to read the comments too. Most of them are just as thought-provoking and touching as the essays themselves. :)

Hope everyone is having a good (and hopefully tribulation-less) Tuesday!


And the Oscar for Best Animated Feature of 2012 goes to...

Thanks to Shanella and Pixar (on twitter) for letting me know that the first official teaser poster for Pixar's 2012 release Brave came out! It's beautiful and intense. The title design, the lighting/sun/sky behind the title design- I'm rendered speechless.

From just the teaser poster and the concept art, it looks like the film will be sort of like Pixar + How to Train Your Dragon + Braveheart + Tim Burton all put in a blender to create a perfect mix of animation + story. :D

And let's see...since this is a Pixar movie:
  • It's going to be a treat visually (If the poster can give me chills because of how stunning it looks I'm sure the movie's going to be 100 times more stunning!)
  • characters are going to pretty awesome
  • the story will probably make us tear up at least a little bit at the end (or as in the case of UP, maybe in the first 5 min)
This is definitely going to be a must see next summer! It really does look fantastic. So fantastic that I'm going to predict that this movie's going to be #5 on my best Pixar movies list! (#5 because Monster's Inc, Toy Story, Ratatouille, and the Incredibles are non-negotiable in my world).

The one thing I'm not looking forward to is the debating that starts whenever a Disney movie comes out. The debates are usually about two things: Princesses and Pixar vs. Disney. (When it comes to Disney princesses and fictional princesses in general, I agree with Meg Cabot. When it comes to the Pixar vs. Disney feud, I think that Pixar rocks and I can never NOT like classic Disney animation soo it's a draw between them for me.)

Hm, I can imagine the headlines already:

"FINALLY Because of Pixar, We Have A Princess We Can All Root For"

"Pixar's Brave Princess Braver than Disney's"

"Brave's Princess is how an animated role model should be"

"Pixar's Scottish Princess Takes the Cake For Best Animated Princess"

"Pixar Princess Beats Disney's Tangled Princesses"

...and etc.

(No, of course I'm not still sore about the Academy Award's Tangled snub...and Tangled's loss to Toy Story 3 for Best Song. Ha ha, what's makes you think that?!).

If anyone's going to see Cars 2 this weekend, have fun seeing the teaser trailer for Brave!


Gallivanting through Florida, Part 2 {Misadventures in Universal}

Sooo...I'm not exactly what you would call a thrill seeker (I'm not one for surprises) and I have a huge fear of heights. (Would my boggart be a high diving board or something? Maybe.)Because of the two aforementioned qualities of my personality, I don't particularly enjoy roller coasters much to the dismay of my friends. But because I didn't want to be a party pooper and ruin everyone's mood, I put on my brave face and calmly stood in line for the rides with everyone else.

If Sam can bravely carry Frodo up Mt. Doom, then gosh darn it, I can bravely get on a one minute roller coaster ride

Something went really strange that day because it seemed like we got stuck on almost every ride we went on! Getting stuck on a ride was not, to put it simply, fun, especially for someone like me who doesn't particularly enjoy dangling around 100 ft (or higher) in the air like others for long stretches of time, but looking back on it, our escapades in Universal wouldn't have been half as memorable if the rides didn't stop every now and then.

The best rides we got stuck on:

1) Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls: The electricity shut off right before we were about to fall off on the drop. And then it started right before we could say anything and we plunged down quicker than on any water ride I've ever been on before (I don't think we were supposed to fall). I screamed like I never screamed before.

2) The Hulk: Technically I didn't get stuck on it, but my group members did! I didn't go because my brave-Sam-on-Mt-Doom-face fell off as soon as someone suggested going on this:

...and I couldn't muster enough courage to put it back on, so my advisors and I ended up sitting in a cafe nearby and enjoyed some nice lemonade while waiting for everyone else...FOR OVER ONE HOUR. It was on a Wednesday morning, so there was no one there at the park so we realized that something was fishy when my friends didn't come back in ten minutes. When we went back to the ride to see what was up, the ride attendants were telling nearby questioners that some of the riders were stuck and there was no way to get them down. HAHAHA. So we had to wait for another half an hour until the ride started properly moving again.

3) Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey: We were speeding through the castle, and then suddenly, everything- the video they were playing, our carts, lights-shut off. We were in the complete dark and I could hear some startled screams and voices. A couple minutes later we heard an announcement from the ride attendants apologizing for the inconveniences. Then our carts started bobbing up and down. Up and down. In the dark. For a long time. More startled screams ensued. The ride started up again soon, and we did end up seeing the familiar faces of Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson on the screen again much to everyone's relief.

Butterbeer!! I liked it very much.
I could not get some Fish & Chips at the Three Broomsticks. :(

Spiderman waved at me right before I snapped this picture. I also got a very awesome picture with the Green Goblin (not pictured). His smile was the epitome of EVIL (as usual).

Universal Globe!! No matter where we went that day, I had to make sure we got at least one picture in front of the globe because you know...it's The Globe or as I knew it when I was a little girl, the globe that always spins around before every Jurassic Park movie. It's every bit as sentimental to me as Disney's Castle.

Universal was our last theme park during our visit. The next day, we woke up early, and sadly said good-bye to the 95 degree weather and the greenery we rarely have up north during the month of May. *tear*
I did some catching up with the world done on the bus ride back to airport:

Moral of the post: Fear of anything can become overcome if you put on a brave face doing it, unless you're scared of roller coasters that can make you feel like your face is melting off. Fake it till you make it, some people say. That and...deep breathing really helps.


Gallivanting through Florida, Part 1 {Running Around Disney}

Hello. :) Long time no see, eh? How's summer been for you? I hope all of you are doing fine. I've just narrowly survived junior year of high school, and I've used this first weekend of summer to put together bits and pieces of myself I've lost these past few stress-inducing weeks. :)

I've hit a road block with blogging. I've read no books in the past three weeks, nor have I seen movies worth writing about. The linkage I've created a long time ago is now outdated (I mean, every Hunger Games fan knows that Donald Sutherland (!) is going to be Pres. Snow right?) For that reason, it seems I've no other idea than to talk about the most exciting thing that's happened to me this past month: Orlando, Florida! (Disney's at least a little fun to talk about and hear about, right?)

In the first week of May, I've had a lucky opportunity to go to Orlando, Florida with a school team for a national competition and it was GREAT. Meeting and becoming friends with students from all over the country was interesting and eye-opening just seeing how different people are in other regions of the country. I've never spoken to that many people with different accents before (or had that many people point out my mid-western "accent").

Just some pictures and my narration:

Flying over the evergreens. At this time, my friend and I were discussing whether or not we'll ever see an alligator during the course of the trip (we didn't).

No one was actually smiling for being in Orlando when this bus pulled up because this was outside the airport when we had been waiting for our bus to come for over 2 hours already. Being the good friend I am, I tried cheering my friends up as soon as I saw the bus (not ours) but no one cracked a smile. I did end up comforting our travel agent, who was a bit frantic at the time seeing as her clients were very UNHAPPY though she didn't know I was smiling and goofing off because of the Orlando board.

The fact that I started laughing as soon as I saw those two panels just shows that it doesn't take much to make me laugh. :P We went shopping right away at Downtown Disney as soon as we finally reached our hotel and unpacked. The comics strips shown above were in stores all around Downtown.

And so we went shopping for the whole day basically and ate a lot of divine Ghiradelli ice cream.


STORYTIME! When I was holding a Mickey Mouse Stars Wars light-saber in a store and started to wave it around, this random boy, who couldn't be older than eight, came up to me and started hitting my light-saber with his and said something about battling against evil (I'm really not making this up). WELL, since I couldn't just walk away (the boy was getting very into his Jedi role), I started hitting back (softly of course!).

And so there we two were- me, a sixteen year old girl, and an eight-year-old kid having an all out battle between good and evil in the middle of a Disney store. At the end of our battle, the kid later complimented me on my Jedi fighting skills and skipped gleefully away. Yes, I apparently have mad Jedi skillz. Fear me!

We spent the second evening in the Disney Hollywood Studios. Guess where the real buildings stop and where the set starts!
(We were competitive, networking students by day, Orlando tourists by night- we only went to the parks after 5 everyday)

Hollywood studios was absolute heaven because it has a bunch of filmmaking events. Because my advisor knew I liked seeing all behind-the-scenes shows, she took our group to the Indiana Jones stunt show where we saw how they did the camera work, produced stunts, etc. I would've ran down onto the set pieces if they allowed people to down and particularly asked the cinematographer guy to let me sit in his chair, work with the camera, and revel in doing so...but of course I couldn't.

Since this was my first time in Disneyworld and one of my friend's also, we both plotted to get a picture with all the Disney characters. Alas, we ended up taking pictures with no characters at all because by the time we went to the parks everyday, it ended up being too late. But, in Epcot (another Disney Park which was just as amazing as Hollywood studios) the next evening, we did get to see...

college guy in an Aladdin suit working for a summer job

His bodyguard lady kicked my friend and I out of his line (to get a picture) because he had to go on break. So sadly, he ended up being the only Disney character we got within 10 ft. of, and the
song Prince Ali ended up getting stuck in my head for the rest of the evening (though the
latter's not necessarily a bad thing :D).

Lots and lots of ducks galore.

And...the final Disney event of the trip, Disney's Electrical Parade which was its own magical experience in itself!

One of the dwarves totally waved at me, yo.

So Disney was thrilling. It's such a happy-making place though I've never heard that many crying babies in my entire life. Of course, if Disney was a bit overwhelming for me, it must've definitely been too much for the poor toddlers. My advisor gave my friend and I tours around Disney since we were the only two in our group who haven't been down south before, and we made sure to hit all the classic Disney rides such as the Spinning Tea-Cups and Dumbo, and ate omg-totally-delicious-mouthwatering-scrumptious funnel cakes all throughout.

Part 2 of Orlando coming tomorrow!! Muhahwahaha. What? You think I'm going to leave you with just Disney? There's still Universal to go through! We got stuck on A LOT of rides which was pure torture for me because 1) I hate heights and 2) I have an intense dislike of roller coasters in general. So yes, tomorrow = Universal, but for now, I'll just leave you this: