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tumblr_ognhlb5ync1rve49co1_250BEETLEJUICE, BEETLEJUICE, BEE-

Hey again!

So Halloweekend.

A weekend dedicated to candy and parties, events and costumes. I always enjoyed Halloween in high school because it corresponded with Red Ribbon Week, and we got to dress along with different themes every single day.

I love trying to come up with the coolest, most accurate, or punniest costumes possible. Sometimes I go the pop-culture route; other times I prefer plays on words. When you have several days and events to dress for, this is easy. You can be anything you want, you don’t have to pick.

The challenging part, though, is coming up with something this good from the limits of our college wardrobes. I didn’t want to spend any money, if possible, on new clothes or props that I would only use once. A LITTLE GASOLINE, BLOWTORCH, NO PROBLEM.

tumblr_ognhlb5ync1rve49co8_250So one night, I dressed in all black and, when people asked who I was, I asked them who they thought I was. This little social experiment was a total cop-out, but the “witch,” “Pretty Little Liars,” and “chick from Beetlejuice” responses were pretty entertaining.

Another night I dressed as Alex Russo from Wizards of Waverly Place. She was my childhood hero and one of my first style-icons. Her clothes are extremely cool and eclectic, so I threw some things in my closet together and topped it off with a crazy funky chunky hat.
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On Saturday night, I was a pun. I wrote the names of dozens of characters on to name tags and stuck them all over my black dress. Then I put on a black bandana. I was an identity thief.When these name tags started falling off, I claimed that I was having an identity crisis. I was amusing myself all night with that one.tumblr_ognhlb5ync1rve49co2_1280img_0684img_0642

ATTENTION K-MART SHOPPERS. Costumes aside, what did I do on all of these nights, exactly?

tumblr_ognhlb5ync1rve49co7_500I hung out with my friends, went to parties, attended events. One night I went to a haunted house. We had a party, where we all baked spooky treats, on my floor. I attended SCPC’s Alice in Horrorland event at the Student Center. I even went to a concert. There wasn’t a dull moment. Something was happening, somewhere, at all times. College is so cool.

Alice in Horrorland in particular was pretty neat. SCPC turned the third floor of the Student Center into a twisty weird Wonderland. Each room was a different theme, with games and treats and creepy cat videos. There were delicious cupcakes and glow sticks and just about anything else vaguely Halloween and/or Lewis Carroll-related. The main attraction, however, was a haunted maze inside the ballroom. There were people in costumes wandering about, jumping out at you as you searched for a way out of the dark curtained path. It was fun.
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That same night, Wreckless, another club on campus, hosted a concert on the IC Lawn. And who played, you may ask? Judah and the Lion! I had only heard of them from a Spotify commercial, but I had liked what I heard. So my friends and I went, listened, laughed, sang, and danced. I highly recommend going to concerts, even if you aren’t too familiar with the band. Especially when they come to your school, especially when they’re right in your backyard.img_0714

Sunday was the day of studying, as were the daylight hours. The weekend was long, full of fun. But the best part was doing so many different things, both on and off campus, with my friends. Halloweekend was an absolute blast.

DAYLIGHT COME AND ME DON’T WANT TO GO HOME.

 

Labor Day Getaway

On Labor Day, my family stopped by to snatch me away for a little long-weekend trip. We went to Callaway Gardens and stayed in a really nice little cabin in the woods, right at the edge of the park. We rode bikes, walked, went swimming, saw butterflies, watched movies, and just generally caught up, for it had been a month since I had seen my family and we had all missed each other greatly.

One of the main attractions of the trip, other than getting to see one another and finish another season of Game of Thrones, obviously, was Callaway’s annual hot air balloon festival. Every evening, crews of people inflated a total of about twelve rainbow monsters using terrifyingly large flames. The balloons were beautiful, and I had never seen so many all in one place, nor in real life, before. They were fascinating and gorgeous and totally photogenic, as you’ll soon see.

Another highlight of the trip was the ropes course my brothers and I did. I had never done one of those before either, and was surprised, not by the heights or obstacles, but by how much of it I could actually do. I was also surprised by the fact that ninety percent of it was moving carabiner around to different wires. My brothers were competitive and urged me on constantly, making it all the more stressful but exciting and fun.

On Sunday night, we went to see the final balloon light show at the lake beach. The balloons were even more breathtaking than before, once you overlooked the cheesy pop music in the background. In fact, everything about the beach that weekend was a little cheesy—but in a good way. It was like an old-timey, vintage carnival, complete with cotton candy stands, shuffleboard, and over-sized chess sets. The entire festival vibe was contagious and quaint. There were children running about, dance songs playing, and adults waiting in line for margaritas. People played volleyball, splashed, and danced on the beach all day. It was a blast, even just people-watching and wandering about.

Finally, yes, my mom and I finished another season of Game of Thrones. It was season four and absolutely heartbreaking. You may know nothing, Jon Snow, but I’m still not okay.

It was such a wonderful long weekend, full of activities and relaxation alike. We did things at our own pace, did what we wanted to do. We wanted to ride bikes and take pictures and naps, so we did. We wanted to go see butterflies at the butterfly garden, so we did. We even wanted to watch a movie instead of hiking to see fireworks, so we did that too.

I got to see and spend time with my family, who I miss constantly. I got to get away from school and constant homework for a bit. I got to try and see a variety of new things. I loved every minute of it.

The World’s A Stage

And then the semester started with a bang.

Everyone moved in, and campus came alive. The weekend before classes started, we attended convocation, club dinners and kickoffs, organization fairs, cookouts, new student events, etcetera, until our heads swam. It was almost a blur, really. A fun blur, full of free t-shirts and free food and school spirit, but a blur nonetheless.

And then classes started.

And they went well. They weren’t too horribly overwhelming, despite there being so many more of them than I had grown accustomed to for the past month. It wasn’t bad. In fact, I was extremely optimistic, excited about all that I was going to learn. Especially in my Gender Studies and Intro to LMC classes, which are still my favorites.

I went to classes and attempted to memorize my schedule. I took a first day of school picture with my friends for my mom and Instagram. I went to Paper and Clay, the art studio on campus, when I needed a break. I took some naps, joined clubs, watched some Netflix, ate, and did a lot of homework.

I still am, actually. And I’m still learning too. And I love it.

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Just Jammin’

With August came another very important time. Important time? Um, yeah, it was the first time that I could use my new planner!

If you’re anything like me, you understand that having a good planner is crucial to living as stress-free as possible. You like how cute planners can be, how reliable and wonderful and satisfying they are. You appreciate sticky notes and color-coding things…you appreciate pens too. You like that it is as though the perfect planner (which may take years to find) seems to be tailored just for you.

If you’re not anything like me…well, I’m not crazy I swear! Leslie Knope does it too!

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Without further ado, here’s my new pretty little friend!

(Last little plug: my planner is Bando’s large Lady of Luxury Agenda, and I highly recommend it! My last planner was also by ban.do, so we’ve had a relationship for a while. AKA, all of their planners hold up really well, have a ton of room to write, draw, whatever you’re feelin, and so are stinking FUN! Oh, and my pens are Straedtler fine tips.)

(I will also be more than happy if either of them wants to sponsor me. Ok that’s all *flips hair super unsubtlely* *winks awkwardly*)

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Summer Reading Soapbox

Back to school season (perhaps one of any manufacturer’s favorite seasons, aside from Christmas) has arrived. No matter what day school starts for you, there are innumerable ways in which you’ve had to prepare (whether you actually have or not, let’s be honest). These tasks may include shopping for supplies, signing a tree’s worth of forms, digging a locker shelf out of your closet, and/or, inevitably, summer reading.

Too often, when the words “summer reading” and “school” are paired, they are followed by a sense of dread. We groan, “Do I really have to read this?” Some people procrastinate, others complain in between chapters, still more simply refuse to do the assignment. Is this because the books are assigned, not read for pleasure? Is it because of the essays and projects that we know will follow? Or does the aversion come from the fact that the book itself is really and truly awful?

Whatever the reason, as a student, it is helpful to realize that, despite our teachers’ insistence that “we will refer to these books all year,” the accompanying assignments really only last for the first week. (At least, this how it goes at my school.) Some schools don’t even address the books in their literature classes at all; the work that goes with them was a “summer project,” due the first day of the course. (This was the case when I had to read Call of the Wild in sixth grade – “Create an art project depicting a scene from the book!” Cue the nostalgia.)

This is probably encouraging, then, if you are someone who chronically avoids assigned reading. “Oh, we won’t be focussing on this for very long? Awesome! Why waste time reading it, then, right?”

However, personally, the thought of not doing the annual infamous summer reading assignment gives me anxiety. This isn’t to say that I’m a hardcore “summer reading” fan – there have been books that I have hated and wanted to throw across the room. But I understand the merits of it, and I think that if your teachers give you books to read over the break, it’s the least you can do to read them.

There are so many reasons to suck it up and read. First, even if a book is boring, and not something that you would normally select at Barnes and Noble, you have all summer to suffer through it. It’s especially helpful to do it at the beginning of the summer, and make notes on the things you are afraid of forgetting. You don’t have to cram it down your throat; if you don’t procrastinate, you have all the time in the world.

Secondly, by not reading the assigned reading, you automatically condemn yourself to a week’s worth of bad grades. You immediately have bad grades to raise, and a teacher’s opinion to change. Unless you like the whole “dark horse, low expectations, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants thing.” In that case, you do you. (You’ve also probably been rolling your eyes throughout this entire post.)

Lastly, by not doing your summer reading assignments, you cheat yourself of an opportunity to learn and grow. (Don’t gag, this isn’t even the cheesiest thing I’ve ever written.) You may discover that a book you immediately turned your nose up at really isn’t so bad after all. You may realize that you like a certain genre more or less than your usual selection (book title pun, anyone?). You may learn something new – whether you end up enjoying the book or not. You can certainly learn things about yourself in the process.

Comic Cons

Last weekend in a galaxy far, far away, was Comic Con.

Last weekend, I did not attend Comic Con.

Last weekend, I told my mother “I wish that I was at Comic Con.”

Last weekend, I told my friend, “Let’s run away to Comic Con.”

In short: last weekend I was very sad about not attending Comic Con.

By now, however, I have come to terms with several things, these being: I missed seeing and interacting with the casts of my favorite television shows and movies, I missed getting autographs and photographs, and I missed meeting authors and actors alike.

Ok, so I’ve come to terms with them for the most part.

There have been several benefits of not being in San Diego though, benefits of missing this huge pop-culture convention of fun and happy chaos. In not attending, I’ve had a chance to think about them:

  1. I can see celebrities much closer than I would have if I had actually been there. (An unfortunate, counterproductive reality of the thing.)
  2. Days later, I can watch panels in HD on YouTube, the very same panels that people spend top dollar and time to see. And they’re full panels too, not just snippets. (Last night I shamelessly watched all forty minutes of the Once Upon a Time panel. I rewound it several times to relisten to the Captain Swan jokes. And I had the better view.)

    The cast of OUAT (my babies) traded name cards within the first five minutes of their panel. The cameramen got confused, so they had to switch them back. It didn't exactly work.

    The cast of OUAT (my babies) traded name cards within the first five minutes of their panel. The cameramen got confused, so they had to switch them back. It didn’t exactly work.

  3. I didn’t get to see the “Comic Con Exclusive” footage, but with social media, I could see it moments later anyway. I could also fangirl from the comfort of my own home.
  4. There are a TON of people there. Once again, it’s not like I was there and know this firsthand, but even from photographs: there are thousands of people swarming and shoving their ways towards the highlights.
  5. Simply: I didn’t have to wait in any lines or fight anyone. I also didn’t get hit by any rogue spears or lightsabers.

This isn’t to say that Comic Con is bad – at all. It’s a great networking and promotion tool. It also serves to unify the fan bases of so many pop-culture outlets. And I’m sure that attending would be extremely exciting, extremely fun. But as I have finally realized: not attending Comic Con has not caused the world to implode. I’m still alive, the heart of the fandoms is still beating, and I shall fangirl on – with the hope, of course, that I will attend Comic Con someday.

What’s in a name?

You can mentally fill in the next line if you would like. Everyone knows it. It’s Shakespeare for goodness sake, and Shakespeare is everywhere. Is he to blame for the glorification of roses?

Don’t get me wrong, roses are lovely. Particularly beautiful even. But let me tell you about peonies.

Peonies are gorgeous and smell so good. I almost wish I was Blair Waldorf, just to have them everywhere, always. I love them, enough to make another of my loves (books…in this case paperbacks) alliterate with them. (Alliterate…is that a word? Regardless, grammar is great and alliterations are my best friends.) Anyway, peonies *sighs dramatically.* It isn’t just roses that are romantically poetic.

So yes, half of my blog name is a lovely flower. The other half, paperbacks, speaks for itself. It also relates a little more to what this blog will be focused on.

That’s right, books. And that’s right, another teenage book blog. Only, I’m not solely going to post book reviews and write about what I have been reading (which will, admittedly, be a great deal of my content). I will also write reviews of movies, document my current Netflix obsessions, and babble a bit about things that I think and observe.

Yeah, one of those blogs. But I, personally, am excited. It took me so long to come up with a blog name. I even researched how to do it. The general consensus, though, was that sure, names are important. They convey who you are, what you’re blogging about. But truly, it’s the content that matters. Peonies and paperbacks are wonderful things; hopefully this blog will do them both justice. Even if no one ever reads what I spew forth into the virtual universe, I think it will be fun.

Who knew there could be so much in a name?