Thursday, September 29, 2011

As we greet the new year...

For those unaware, today is Rosh Hashannah, the Jewish new year. Last night, while my family and were saying blessings over candles (you do that a lot on Jewish holidays, btw), I heard one of the most beautiful prayers ever. It sounded just like a poem, the way it flowed, and it perfectly embodies the spirit of Rosh Hashannah. I'm going to post it here, so you can see what I mean...

Eternal God, as the new year begins,
We have come together to pray as a family,
Yet each of us is strangely solitary in your presence.

Each of us comes before You with special hopes and dreams,
Each of us has personal worries and concerns,
Each of us has a prayer no one else can utter,
Each of us brings praise no one else can offer,
Each of us feels a joy no one else can share,
Each of us has regrets which others cannot know.

And so we pray:
If we are weary, give us strength.
If we are discouraged, give us hope.
If we have forgotten how to pray, remind us.
If we have been careless of time, forgive us.

If our hearts have been chilled by indifference,
Warm them with Your mercy, and inspire us
With the glowing spirit of this holy night.

Amen.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Trippy optical illusion

What do you guys see? Or think you see, in this fractal? O_O

Late into the night...

Pottermore.com is finally getting good now! YES! ^_^

I finally bought stuff in Diagon Alley (including a Tabby cat to be my pet!), my wand "chose" me, and I got sorted into a Hogwarts house! *sing-songy voice* And guess which house I'm in?!
That's right! GRYFFINDOR, baby!!!

I'm sad that I couldn't join Rainy in Ravenclaw (I believe that's where she is). =( But maybe sometime we can have a wizard duel or something, eh? ^,~

I know it's really late... like, I'm playing this in the middle of the night right now, that's how late it is!... but the site stopped crashing so much, since it's night. And I couldn't sleep anyway! Anyway, I'm pretty psyched. ^_^ I've already practiced a couple of spells (press keys in certain sequence) and right now I'm going to learn how to brew a potion! Whoo!

I'm finally beginning to understand what makes this site fun. It's part reading and learning very interesting stuff from JKR herself, but it's also decently interactive. Mostly you search and collect items, like potion ingredients, books, galleons (I love finding money!), and other interesting quirky objects, but you are also able to practice spells, brew cauldrons, and have wizard duels with friends. (I'm still unsure how friend interaction really works... they really shouldn't be called friends. More like classmates.)

So yeah, if anyone decides to join up for Pottermore when it releases to the general public in October, keep in mind that you have to be very patient. After Chapter 5, however, the experience gets a lot more fun, I promise.

(btw, I was stuck on Chap. 5 for a long time, because I was using our iPad, but it's best when you use a computer to explore this site. Trust me.)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How I like Pottermore so far

Like I said I would, I've been exploring this site some. Or, at least, I've been trying to. It's extremely bothersome how often the site crashes! Honestly, it's been like this all day. >_< But when I am able to gain access, it is a very interesting site... I would call it a kind of game, only I'm still trying to learn the rules.
It seems like it takes you on a journey through each of the books, right from the beginning, at the Sorceror's Stone. Browsing through the chapters one by one is cool, because you get interesting facts about characters and things. For example, when learning about the Dursleys, I read an interesting backstory about how Vernon and Petunia met and got married, and how they interacted with the Potters (or, rather, didn't). I won't say anymore. ^_~ You can see for yourself in October.
As of now, I've managed to get to chapter 5, right after the point when Harry learns he's a wizard from Hagrid. This is when he gets to Diagon Alley. There's no interesting animation or sound effects to this experience, something that it seems lots of users have complained about. My account isn't that exciting yet, but I'm guessing that will change when I "buy" stuff in Diagon Alley, get into Hogwarts, and get sorted into a house. I hope that happens quickly!

I'm not sure how friends are supposed to work in Pottermore world, but so far I got 3 friend requests. I don't know why they want to be friends with me, but okay, they can be my friends. Maybe things will be clearer when I get to Hogwarts? I hope so. (Be my friend, Rainy! I requested you!)

That's it for today. I wanted to post about so much more, but I'm pretty tired now, so I'll blog about the other stuff tomorrow. Good night, then!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Merlin's beard, I'm in!!!

I finally got the email that says I can use Pottermore.com! My "owl", if you will. Well, it's about time. I mean, I was one of the lucky few to get registered early well over a month ago!

Well, it's too late to explore Hogwarts tonight. Don't want Filch to catch me out of bed. Lol. I'll try to write a post about it soon, though. Stay tuned! ^_~

*Hi-five, Rainy! You and I made it, girl!*

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sorry for procrastinating. *_*

I meant to do this a lot earlier, but... you know how it is. I have no excuses.
But now I've put the video of my 10th Toastmaster speech up here! Hope you enjoy it.

(You might have to turn the volume up a bit. =P)
video

Also, I suppose while I'm at it, I'll go ahead and include the video of my 9th speech, "Why we need friends." This was taken with a different video camera, so the picture is a bit thin. The volume is great, though. It was a pretty decent speech, if I say so myself, and I want you guys to see it. Let me know what you think, my friends!
video

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Procrastinating procrastination

Tonight I'm going to give my 10th Toastmaster speech ever. I am really proud of myself for being so close to achieving this goal. It only took me 2 years to do it, too. =P

Guess what I'll be talking about? Procrastination. Yes, what an utterly appropriate topic for me...

I believe I've done a pretty good job with writing it. Now if only I could keep myself from procrastinating actually rehearsing it! Ooh, like now, for instance. What am I doing, blogging about the fact that I'm procrastinating when this is, in itself, a form of putting my speech off! >_<

It's even harder to resist procrastinating since I've been using the iPad an awful lot. It's easy to jump from web page to web page, check my emails, see silly videos on YouTube. I actually saw a few cute ones about procrastination, including this song.

It is also extremely hard to focus on my toastmaster speech, because tonight something very exciting is happening! I'll give you 3 guesses, and the first 2 don't count.

Glee is coming back!!! ^_^

Yesterday, on a whim, I started a brand new blog just for reviewing episodes of Glee. I hope you guys will give it a look see.

Argh, but I am still distracting myself on purpose! No more thinking of glee and blogging and YouTube videos. I need to get cracking!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Got a haircut!

Today's the day! A week after my birthday, I finally get one of my wishes granted: I got myself a new look! A short and layered do, just like I wanted! Annette got a trim too, but she didn't feel like getting so much hair taken off as I did.

Here's a "before" shot of me, with my old long and wavy hair:
Then the "after" shot, 2 or so hours later.
Still me, only with a shorter, blow-dried, and layered cut.
Big difference, no? ^_^

Now you can tell us twins apart easier than ever before! Yay!
That's not why I wanted to get a haircut, btw, to be different from Annette. I've just felt for a while like I needed a different look, to go with my new age.

What do you think? Do I look older or younger with my new hair? I think I look like a really funky, punky, totally awesome chick. LOL! Or maybe that's just me with this particular t-shirt... which I got for my birthday, btw, thank you very much. ^_^

Friday, September 9, 2011

We bought an iPad2!!!

You may not believe this, but I am actually writing this post with my sister's and my brand spanking new iPad2!!!

This is as part of our ongoing 20th birthday celebration, in which we got new clothes, new notebooks, new sets of earphones, the game Apples-to-Apples, and Amazon gift card money. Now I'm finally a proud owner of an Apple tablet!!! it is so unbelievable, and easy to use!

Thank you, dad, for being as generous as you are. I'm glad we waited to get the next generation iPad now.

btw, I also got the gift of talking with both people I'd wished to have a conversation with the other day, so thank you, thank you, thank you, for making my day.

This may be a corny joke, but even though I'm twenty now, I hope I'll never stop looking, thinking and acting a teen. You know why? Because I'm Be-TEEN-ah! Lol.

Again, I'd like to stress that this entire post was written via iPad. Thank you, technology! Good night, everybody! ^_^

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Boston, plus b-day wishes!

Wow, a whole month since my last post. Boy, does time fly by quickly! O,o

So I've recently come back from my annual Boston trip with my family, which was lots of fun. The weather was absolutely beautiful (which was very lucky for us, because there was the big hurricane, Irene. You guys hear about that?), we went to all our favorite places, we did lots of people-watching, I hung out at the library a lot (I posted some cool book reviews on my book blog that I think you should check out. ^_~), we stayed at some good friends' houses when we were on the road, and it was awesome!
I probably helped my parents with the driving more than I've ever done before in these road trips. I think I drove over 600 miles in total this trip! Definitely something to be proud of. ^_^

Also, you guys should probably know this, but I'll just remind you... tomorrow (September 7th) is Annette's and my 20th birthday.

^___^ Whooooooo-hoooooooooooooooo!!!!! ^___^
I think I mentioned that a few posts back... but now it's closer than ever! I have no idea what we are actually going to do on our special day, though I believe our friends from the beach will throw us some kind of party on the weekend.

I've got a lot of birthday wishes this year. Some of them are pretty silly and outlandish, but I just wanted to put them out there.
  • A new haircut. Preferably a short, layered style. Something like this: I enjoy my long hair, but I would just like to have a new look for a while, and then grow it out again. Anyway, if I get it, it will be one more way for people to tell my twin and I apart, because Annette doesn't want one. ^,~
  • An iPad 2. Because it's so awesome! I would love to own a tablet, because they're so fun to use! ^_^ My sister and I share a laptop, which is fine, but sometimes I like to surf the web on my own, have chats with friends and such. I find myself borrowing my brother's computer way too often. O_o (Sorry, Adam.) If I find myself getting a new computer, I really don't care what type of machine it is, because I'll very much appreciate it. But... it doesn't hurt to wish for the best, does it?
  • The DVD collection of Glee, both the first and second seasons. If you know me well, you know that I'm a major Gleek. ^,^ I am extremely excited for the new season, which I believe starts at the end of August!!! *squee*! I think it would be extremely awesome to own the entire series, though... I know I can borrow the DVDs from the library any time I want, but I think it would be so great to actually have them, you know? Of course, anything Glee-related, like music, clothes or other memorabilia, would be cool as well!
  • Always my good ol' stand-by, a new notebook. Nothing too fancy. It doesn't have to have an elaborate cover or anything. Just something I can journal in, because as much as I like to blog, I simply loooooove to write. ^_^
  • To see a couple of special friends of mine, perhaps using Skype. I am extremely close with both of them, but also very far apart. One of them you may know about, because I've talked about him a lot in the past... but there's another I haven't mentioned on this blog before... Sorry, I'm not saying anymore. ^,~ You guys know who you are. I don't care if it's one or the other, or even both. It will make me super happy to see you again.
Well, that's all for now. Thanks for reading!