Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas 2012



My Christmas is different from most people's.

Why? You may ask.

Well, my parents fly for a living (My mom is a flight attendant for a family who owns their own private aircraft, my step-dad is a pilot for Delta, and my dad is a dispatcher for SkyWest) and a lot of the time they have to fly during Christmas break. And that often sucks. So we normally have our family Christmas early, like on the 17th. And it was really nice.

This year I went down to Southern California to visit my relatives for Christmas and I had a great time. I went to IN-N-OUT with my Aunt Lenette and younger cousins Ben (11) and Nikki (9). I got a DOUBLE DOUBLE without onions and tomatoes; it was heavenly! We also went out to Ruby's and my brother and I got super delicious rootbeer floats. It was a lot of fun.

My Nana was in the ICU, so we all went to visit her everyday. She is out now and is doing much better.

I also got to drive 85mph on the freeway! So that was fun. :)

For Christmas, my Aunt Colleen got me the coolest shirt ever. I've wanted it for a while. She knew I wanted it because I posted it on Facebook one day. Here it is...

Amazing, right? I'm wearing it right this second! 

For Christmas my cousins got JUST DANCE 4, which we played for 6 hours straight. Oh my gosh, I got quite the work out. It literally hurt to walk for the next three days. I never once hurt that bad in all my years doing track, volleyball, softball, or horseback-riding. There were four of us dancing and sometimes we crashed into each other. My favorite dance was Barry White's "You're My First My Last My Everything" and I found out that I can play JUST DANCE without having a Wii. Thank you YouTube!


On Christmas, my Uncle Randy, Drew, cousin Melissa (15), and I went to Balboa Island to look at the Christmas lights. It was fun. It's becoming a tradition now.

At the end of our trip my uncle and aunt introduced Drew and I to their friend who is a film editor. He edited the latest Arnold Schwarzenegger film The Last Stand and we watched about an hour of it. It was one of the rough, rough versions of it, which was really cool. It was so rough that there were still wires on some of the guys and green screens in the background. He also gave me the script to the film and based on the color of the pages, I can tell how many times it has been rewritten. It was VERY cool meeting him. He said the next time we come down, he can show us the editing room at Universal Studios.

I wanted to leave you with some funny quotes during this trip. 

Aunt Lenette: Hey Ben, want a smoothie?
Ben: (very entusiastic) YES!
Aunt Lenette: Great! Amanda made us her special smoothie.
Ben: (very dejected) Oh, no, um, it's ok... I'm full.
Aunt Lenette: Um... rude! 

Uncle Randy: You can just wave your hand around. You don't actually have to dance.
Me: It's called JUST DANCE not JUST WAVE YOUR HAND AROUND!

Ben: The oldest gets to roll first. (Ben hands the dice to Drew. Drew laughs at me.)

Nikki: (Everyday she sung) Don't stop, don't stop the beat, don't stop.

I hope you all had a fantastic winter break and have a happy New Year!

Blog to you later!
Love,
Manders


Top Ten Favorite Movies of the Year


Here is my top ten best movies of 2012 list. I must tell you, however, that I did not see every single movie that came out this year. I heard Argo and Perks to Being a Wallflower and The Sessions were really good, but I have not seem them yet. 
  1. THE HUNGER GAMES! (Duh.)
  2. MOONRISE KINGDOM. 
  3. THE SILVER LINING PLAYBOOK. 
  4. THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. 
  5. WRECK-IT-RALPH. 
  6. MARVEL'S THE AVENGERS. 
  7. BRAVE.
  8. LES MISERABLES. 
  9. GAME CHANGE. 
  10. LIFE OF PI. 
Blog to you later! 
Love, 
Manders

Favorite Books I've Read This Year



Hello. It's like 1:16am right now and I'm tired, not super tired, but, yeah, I'm reasonably tired (whatever the heck that means). I'm one of those people who gets really distracted throughout the day (with things like watching YouTube videos and The Big Bang Theory, and eating chocolate) and the things on my list that need to get done get put off, but I still do them, but like really, really, really late... like right now. 

Ah, that was some refreshing rambling wasn't it? 

Anyhow, since today is the last day of the year, I wanted to write a post about the my favorite books of 2012, which doesn't necessarily mean that they came out this year (even though some of them did), it just means that I read them this year. 

Ok, so my reading goal for 2012 was to read 20 books. Last year I made the ridiculously unachieavable starter goal of 50 books in one year. That's like a book a week just to let you know. I only read 12. But this year, I made a much more realistic goal of 20 books and guess what? I READ 22 BOOKS THIS YEAR!
BOOYAH! 
Yes, it's very exciting. You can calm down now. 

The cool thing about this was that it wasn't very hard. Setting a realistic reading goal made me want to read more and more. I sincerely suggest that you try one out. Get an account on GoodReads! And I especially mean you mother. Yes, you the woman who spent 38 horribly painful hours giving birth to me (this is awkward if you aren't my mother). Go get one now! 

Here is the link to the best website ever: GoodReads

So, I'm not going to talk about all 22 books I read, but instead narrow it down to my top five and briefly tell you why I liked those particular books. 

Ok, lets get this done, so I can go to bed! 



  1. The first book on my list is definitely The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. There is some much awesomeness in this book that it often makes me speechless when I try to explain it to someone. This book is about a girl, Hazel, who is 16 and has cancer, but it is also so much more than just that. It's about trying to make your mark on this world. It is funny and heartbreaking and intelligent and just so, so wonderful. There is romance and travel and awe... I just adore this book so much. I'm super in love with Augustus. I think he is one of the best YA (young adult) guys out there and... well, I don't want to spoil anything for you. I need to tell you something, normally I read good books in a week and really, really good books in 2 days (ex: The Hunger Games). I read this entire book on a flight from New York City to Portland, Oregon. I wish someone could have video-taped my face because I went from smiling, to laughing out loud, to pouting, to laughing again, to girlish giggling, to sobbing. I remember this guy was looking at me funny. I had to read the very last chapter once I got home because I knew I would make a huge scene. After I read it I was sobbing big time. Like snot-dripping-into-my-mouth sobbing. And if someone's written work can make me do that... good god, they have a gift. I related so much with this book because I've had a lot of medical problems in my life, especially at 16. The book touches on so many things that I thought about as a teen. The film rights have been sold. I believe the guy who directed The Perks to Being a Wallflower is directing this and the screenwriters from 500 Days of Summer have written the screenplay. So much awesomeness going on. Please do me a favor and read this book! I know, this wasn't exactly brief... oh well.
  2. The second book on my list would have to be Unwind by Neal Shusterman. "The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive." When my heart rate changes while reading a book or I react super emotionally like screaming, or being super afraid, or crying, or going awwwwwwwwweeee... I know I'm reading something super special. This book is well written, has a super crazy amazing original story, it's super creepy and thought-provoking and has great characters. Shusterman is a great story teller!
  3. The third book on my list is Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. This book is beautifully written and heartbreaking and I guess I really like heartbreaking books. It's one of those books you'll never forget and that changed my point of view about the world and love and the law. I highly recommend it to the openminded reader or even to the close-minded reader who will eventually open their mind. Just to let you know I was SUPER hesitant before reading this book due to the subject matter and could barely look at my brother without feeling nauseous the whole time I read it. Just a warning. But I highly, highly, highly recommend this book. It is incredible! 
  4. Book number four is The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. It's a memoir and it made me really happy reading it. It's about this lady who spends a year trying to work on the simple things in life that will make her happier. It's a great read. I took lots of notes, while reading it and I definitely learned a lot. You will love this book!
  5. Book number five is I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan. It's one of those hidden gem books. This is Sloan's debut novel and it's terrific. Told in third person, it tells this wonderful story about two brothers. There is also a little bit of a romance in there, which is something I definitely like. It is about fate and how our stories/lives weave together and how we affect each other. Lovely, lovely story. YOU REALLY NEED TO READ THIS BOOK! 
  6. Ok, I lied... one more. Book number 6 is The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. While I had to force myself to read the rest of Shiver, I had to force myself to put down The Scorpio Races so that I could get some school work and chores in. I absolutely adored this book! I'll admit that it is kind of slow at times, but it is definitely worth reading all the way through. It's about these blood-thristy water horses that emerge from the sea every October - November and these islanders race them in (wait for it) the Scorpio Races held on every first of November. It is told from two perspectives, a teen boy and girl who both have a good reason to enter this super dangerous race. Very original. So glad I gave this book a go even though I did not take to the Shiver Trilogy. I just like watching Maggie on YouTube too much and reading her amazing blogposts. She is also hilarious on Facebook and is such an inspiration. I think she is one awesome author. READ THIS BOOK! The audiobook is fantastic too, I just bought it. 


Alrighty, well I need to sleep. I hope you set a reading goal for next year and add these to your list if you haven't read them already. 

Night!

Blog to you later. 
Love, 
Manders 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Gun Control Video

This made me tear up. 
Think about it.

Blog to you later.
Love,
Manders

I Survived the End of the World!

Hello. I just wanted to write a post saying: YEAH, I SURVIVED THE APOCALYPSE! 

I feel like we should celebrate with these awesome songs. 



Congratulations People!
We should all go out for some crepes!

Blog to you later!
Love,
Manders

Friday, December 21, 2012

Once I Swallowed a Quarter


I'm about to tell you a disturbing story about my juvenescence stupidity. And I will describe it in third person because it will (slightly) make me feel better.

Once upon a time Amanda Claire Yancey swallowed a quarter.
Yes, 25 cents slid down her little 7-year-old throat.

She had a friend spend the night that fateful night and they were telling stories in the dark and she found a quarter on her bed and played with it... in her mouth.
As, she was telling a ghost story to her friend, she accidentally swallowed the quarter.
And it hurt.

Now, I bet you are thinking: Quarters are large... so, how could she accidentally swallow one?
And here is where I give the ambiguous answer of: God works in mysterious ways...

Her blue eyes widened in terror after realizing what just happened.
Her friend asked "Then what happened?" because remember she was telling a story.
Amanda replied with: Hold on, I need to go ask my mom something really quickly.

With discomfort in her chest, little Amanda slipped out of her room and scrambled down the hallway into her mother's.
Her mother was in bed with a book in hand, which she placed into her lap once she saw her daughter.

Mother: Hi sweetie.
Amanda (shyly): Hi.
Mother: Something up?
Amanda: I have a question.
Mother (looking at her daughter suspiciously): Ok...
Amanda: If a person swallowed a quarter... um... could they die?
Mother (eyebrows furrow): Amanda what possessed you to swallow a quarter?
Amanda (voice squeaking now): It was an accident! Am I going to die? Do I need to go to the hospital?
Mother: No, it will pass.
Silence. Amanda is squirming. 
Amanda: Am I going to pee it out?
And since Amanda's mother is evil she responded with: Maybe.
Amanda (crossing her legs and crying now): Nooooooooo, that's gonna hurt.
Mother: Yes it will... a lot.

For the next couple of days, Amanda, of course, searched her feces for that blasted quarter.
And... for a while... the quarter was not to be found.

Until, one afternoon, she was at a friends house...

Amanda was in great discomfort that day and rushed to the bathroom.
Constipation is not something to laugh at.

Friend: You ok? You're taking forever in there.
Amanda (thinking): Yeah, it's because I'm pooping out this dang quarter! 
Amanda (grunting): Um, yeah, uh, I'll be out in... a minute.

And then finally after what felt like forever... RELIEF!
She stood up and saw the quarter.

And the best part?
She did not die.

THE END.

Blog to you later!
Love,
Manders

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Writing Update



So, over winter break, I made this goal to do at least 2 blog posts a week and write 1,600 words a day on my newest novel and... the goal isn't exactly going to plan so far.
Good news is that I have written about 2 blog posts every day.
Bad news is that I haven't written a single word on my second novel.
Shame. (I know.)

I was really sick this past week and I've noticed that when I am sick I get kind of grumpy and sometimes grumpiness and novel writing don't pan out very well. I normally start thinking like this:

  1. Ick, I don't feel good. 
  2. I have so much to write. 
  3. This story sucks. 
  4. Crap. Crap. Crap. 
  5. All of the characters will die, so I can just be done with this stupid story! 
Yeah, that's not a good mind-set to have when writing a book. 

However, blog posts are easy because they are short, simple, and different every time. At least, I am getting some writing in, but seriously... I need to get working on that novel.

I sent about 17 query letters out to literary agents a couple days ago for my first novel and have gotten like 3 or 4 rejections back. I've learned that if agents respond really quickly it is generally a rejection letter. Cross your fingers folks! Because one of these days I can stop using these rejections letters as wall paper and finally get a YES! 

Also, I am writing two more short stories for the Chicken Soup for the Soul people. Hopefully, they will publish my work again because that would be stellar! 

Blog to you later!
Love, 
Manders 

Finding Peace



It's been a rough couple of days lately... there's been a lot of unnecessary deaths. Lot's of shootings.
Clackamas Town Center.
Sandy Hook Elementary.
(Honestly, I'm aching all over just thinking about what I need to write down for today's post.)

One of the scary things about the Clackamas Town Shooting was that I was there only a couple days before it happened. My dad, brother, and I parked the car there and hopped on the TriMet to see the Killers in concert.
It makes me wonder how I would have reacted had the shooter appeared that day. How would I have responded if either my dad or brother had been wounded? Hopefully, I'd have the clarity to stay reasonably calm to locate the best exits and call the police.
It makes me think about the fear and panic those involved must have felt. And when I really think about it I just ache for all those people because it's in no way fair what happened.

I hate knowing that people are in pain and suffering. I honestly wish I could take it all away like John Coffey from The Green Mile. That was one of the hardest parts about living at Stanford's Children Hospital for a week, seeing all the little kids (ages younger than 6) who had cancer. Their life had just began and already they were in so much pain. When I went back to high school three weeks later I couldn't stand it because I'd hear kids complaining about really stupid things like not being able to drive their dad's fancy car or something else ridiculous like that.

Then Friday came around and right before my mom and I loaded into the car to drive up to Portland for my school orientation I heard that 26 people (6 adults and 20 children) were killed in a mass shooting. My mom kept bringing the event up while we were at the orientation and I had to ask her to stop talking about it while we were there because it just hurt to much and I needed to focus.
The next day, I watched it on the news and I started balling.
Another shooting. And babies involved this time too.
The shooter was 20. That's my age.
I've had a little bug for over a week now, but the aches and pains in my body for the past couple of days had nothing to do with being sick.


And ever since these shootings I've been really depressed and angry and, at the same time, very confused lately. (Warning: This is going to get into a touchy subject... as if it hasn't already.)
And I think most of this anger and confusion stems from what I've been hearing on the news and seeing posted on Facebook. There's a lot of "Thank God for the ones who were saved," "Thank God my child wasn't killed," or "Jesus is the answer!"
And I realize how awful this sounds, but hearing stuff like that makes me really pissed off because I think about those who were killed. Where was God for them at that moment? Why was person A spared while person B was brutally murdered?
I... I just don't get it.

All of this makes me think of a scene from the movie Rabbit Hole which stars Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart. It's about a couple who have lost their young son (he was hit by a car) and how they deal with their grief. One night they are at a grief counseling group for parents who have lost their child and this one mother says: "God had to take her. He needed another angel."
Becca (Nicole Kidman): "Why didn't he just make one? Another angel? I mean, he's God, after all. Why didn't he just make another angel? Hm?"


It's not that I don't believe in God. I'm agnostic. I have faith and I have doubt and I am not ashamed of either one. I just have a lot of questions that I think sometimes people are too afraid to ask.


So, how do I find peace during these terribly rough days?
Well, this evening my mom and I were watching Eat, Pray, Love, which is also a fabulous book by the way, and I was thinking that I should write a blog post on my definition of meditation.
I've tried sitting on a pillow with my legs crossed and eyes closed and... yeah, well, that didn't really work out.
What helps me find peace is cleaning. That's right. Cleaning.
I feel at peace when I am organizing my workspace, cleaning the barn, doing laundry, vacuuming my room, tidying up my closet, or washing the dishes.
The act of cleaning helps me find peace because...

  1. My mind clicks onto silent mode since (unlike sitting on a pillow with my eyes shut, thinking about all the things I need to get done that day) I am already doing something productive. 
  2. I'm turning chaos into order. 
  3. Cleaning and organizing is simple. There's not much too it. 
  4. Outer order contributes to inner calm. (Learned that from Gretchen Rubin.) 
I think the main thing about cleaning is that it is something I have control of. The deaths of 26 kids in Connecticut and the 2 from Clackamas are something totally out of my control. I have this need to fix things, so cleaning aids my sense of peace. 

This was tough to write about today, but I'm glad I still did it. 

What brings you peace?

Blog to you later. 
Love, 
Amanda 

P.S.
When I'm feeling down I like to look at this link: 21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity

Breaking the Ice


Have you ever met a person and desperately wanted to get a conversation going with them, but just couldn't? Instead, you froze up and looked like an idiot. Yeah, well, sometimes that happens unfortunately. But have no fear, I'm hear to help you out! In this post I have listed 20 fabulous Ice Breaker questions to ask someone for when you want to get an interesting conversation going. It's fun too. I used my best friend Erika as an example. 
The red responses belong to her. 
And the blue ones belong to me. 
  1. If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get? Pineapple. Raspberries. 
  2. If you were an animal, what would you be and why? A leopard! Because they are dangerous, agile, stealthy hunters. And at the same time they're beautiful and sleek! It's the best of both worlds. A bald eagle. I can fly and see beautiful places and because I'm the nation's symbol I can't be hunted. 
  3. What is one goal you’d like to accomplish during your lifetime? Service work in another country. Having a book I've written turned into a movie. 
  4. When you were little, who was your favorite super hero and why? Batman! Cause I used to watch it with my brothers and I'm pretty sure that was the only one I watched. Haha. I have one now (Spiderman), but not when I was little... maybe the PowerPuff Girls. I liked their spunkiness. 
  5. Who is your hero? (a parent, a celebrity, an influential person in one’s life) Probably my mom. She's honestly the best! If I ever end up being half the person she is, I will consider that a great accomplishment! What Erika said. 
  6. What’s your favorite thing to do in the summer? Go swimming! Only it has to be outdoors. Preferably a lake!!! Camping. 
  7. If they made a movie of your life, what would it be about and which actor would you want to play you? Hahaha. Uhhh, that's really hard! I have no idea what I would specifically want it to be about! Maybe about my travels to other countries!! And I would definitely want Emma Watson to play me. No question there! Haha. Hmm, probably about how I overcame 2 back surgeries during high school and then maybe when I lived in Italy and then definitely when I worked on the film with Cody Linley. Um, Jennifer Lawrence could play me. Yeah, I'd allow that. 
  8. If you were an ice cream flavor, which one would you be and why? Probably strawberry. Nothing too crazy, but yet it's still a pretty good flavor. Haha. Coffee Heath Bar Crunch. Because it's delicious and if you're going to be ice cream isn't deliciousness, like, your main goal in life? 
  9. What’s your favorite cartoon character, and why? Huey, Dewey, and Louie from Duck Tales. Hands down Scooby-Doo (the older version) because he is A.) a dog, B.) solves mysterious, C.) always catches the bad guys, and lastly D.) says awesome phrases like: Ruh-roh. 
  10.  If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why? Egypt! I've always been so fascinated with Ancient Egyptian art/history, so I'd love to go to the Valley of the Kings, visit the pyramids outside of Giza and check out some other tombs that we learned about in art history! Same here. 
  11. What’s the ideal dream job for you? Curator of the Louvre. Therapist, Author, Screenwriter, Voice Over Actress, and Stand-Up Comedian. 
  12. Are you a morning or night person? Night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Same. 
  13. What are your favorite hobbies? Swimming, Reading, Traveling, and Pinterest! Haha.  Writing, Reading, Traveling, Hiking, Snowboarding, Painting, and Making Movies.  
  14. What are your pet peeves or interesting things about you that you dislike? I hate the sound of people chewing. Drives me insane! I also don't like when people trim their nails in public--that's disgusting! People need to STOP doing that. I also hate hair on bathroom counters. I am very neat and organized and hate having a messy roommate... also clowns, I hate clowns, close minded people, too. 
  15. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?  It's called: Leberkase. It's basically mushy meat. Here's the link to it: Leberk√§se. I was quite literally gagging at the table. But it's a specialty so I felt SO bad!  Chicken feet. 
  16. Name one of your favorite things about someone in your family.   My brother always wanted to "impart his wisdom" to me. So he'd tell me about different drugs and show me how to clean his guns. Hahaha. Really, he's just always looking out for me. I love it! I love that my brother and I both love watching and making films so much. 
  17. Tell us about a unique or quirky habit of yours. If I'm sitting in a room, I do almost everything I can to not be sitting with my back towards the door/entry. That way I won't be surprised. I doodle evil cartoon cows and dinosaurs in the margins of my notes during school lectures. 
  18. If you had to describe yourself using three words, it would be… Intelligent, Caring, and Funny. Strong-Willed, Self-Deprecating, and Creative. 
  19. If someone made a movie of your life would it be a drama, a comedy, a romantic-comedy, action film, or science fiction? Comedy because I am a blonde and have terrible luck. Science Fiction because I broke two out of the four titanium screws in my back completely in half. It'd be similar to I, Robot.   
  20. If I could be anybody besides myself, I would be… Queen Elizabeth II. I've always wanted to be royal! A fighter pilot.
Blog to you later!
Love, 
Manders

Superhero


Question: If you could choose any super power what would you choose?

Answer: This is a great question and I've changed my answer for it several times. In the beginning I thought it'd be pretty awesome to be invisible, but then I was like: Wait a minute, if I'm invisible I'm more likely to see things that I really don't want to see or hear for that matter. Next I thought it would be very useful to be a mind-reader, but then I eventually realized that with all those voices swirling around my brain I'd inevitably get a major headache and also oblivion is bliss, right? Later, I thought I had changed my mind for the last time, and decided on flying, but then I felt that if I was going to get a superpower I might as well get one that will benefit other people.

Here are my current two best options: 

  1. Like Bobby Pendragon, I have the power to understand and speak any language in the entire universe. 
  2. Like John Coffey from The Green Mile, I have the ability to take pain away from those in suffering. 
John Coffey. 

Bobby Pendragon. :) 

Blog to you later!
Love, 
Manders



Monday, December 17, 2012

My Relationship w/the Twilight Saga



Since the last Twilight film came out this past November I feel that a blog post detailing my relationship with this incredibly popular, sparkly saga is necessary. It's an interesting tale to say the least.

Now, lets go back six years ago, back when I was just a little naive 13-year-old girl...

2006: It was in the spring, a couple months before my 14th birthday. I was an eighth grader at Crossler Middle School, sitting in my advance literature class. It was presentation day. The project was to read a book of fiction and then sit on a chair in front of the entire class, summarizing that particular book we had read. My fellow classmates went into a comatose state during my presentation of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and I'll have to admit... the presentations were pretty boring, except for when my crush sat in the chair and also when Kelsey Whiteside discussed an interesting book about a girl who falls in love with a vampire called... wait for it... Twilight. 

This is when I first became intrigued.

2007: Near the end of the year, I was 15-years-old, a sophomore at Sprague High School. I took English with Ms. McLean and absolutely fell in love with the subject. I had just finished up reading the Harry Potter series, but other than that I wasn't a big reader (I know, hard to believe now, but it's true). That year we had to read several books of our choice and I chose The Book Thief, which was one of those books, like Harry Potter, that made reading fun and made me want to read more.
I saw a lot of people reading Twilight and its sequels. Several of the ones I asked about the book told me this: I never read books, but this series is so addicting! So, again, I was intrigued.
It wasn't until my friend Sabrina McCarthy told me I had to read the books that I decided to do so. I bought Twilight from my local bookstore, the Book Bin, and devoured it! I read it on a flight to Sacramento and it honestly made the flight seem like it had only taken 5 minutes.

Here are some of the reasons why I think I loved this book so freaking much:

  1. Big font. 
  2. First person narration.  
  3. Wasn't the typical vampire book. 
  4. It was a love story and I hadn't really read one before. I was 15. I hadn't fallen in love or even had the slightest idea of what it was like to fall in love yet, but after reading Twilight, I thought I did (which is so embarrassing to admit). 
  5. Edward was perfect. 
  6. Bella describes herself as not being perfect and I obviously saw myself that way too (not that I see myself as being perfect now, but I definitely have a higher esteem now than I did then). 
  7. Stephenie Meyer is Mormon and I grew up Mormon too. 
  8. The story came to her in a dream. 
  9. She never wrote anything before this. 

After the first book, I was hooked. Sabrina let me borrow New Moon after that, warning me ahead of time that I would need a box of tissues while I read. I never cried, but I was certainly frustrated beyond belief! Edward went missing for over a hundred pages of the book. I was like: No way, this is not happening! I liked Jacob and all, but I seriously wanted Edward back. Hahaha. 
Immediately after finishing the sequel, I started the third book in the series Eclipse and yep, once again, I devoured another one of Stephenie Meyer's vampire books. In this book, I was so torn between Jacob and Edward. I thought the whole werewolf and vampire conflict was genius and super interesting. I had my suspicions on who Bella would end up with, but I wasn't 100% sure, which, honestly, was the fun part of the experience. 

Another part I enjoyed about reading these books was that nothing was ever spoiled for me. Everything was a surprise and that's how every reading experience should be! 

I became obsessed with Stephenie Meyer's website, checking for movie updates every single day. What I loved most about her as an author was that she had a playlist for every book she wrote and since I was an aspiring author this intrigued me (the word "intrigued" is getting rather redundant isn't it?). Listening to the playlist was like experiencing the emotions of the book in a whole other way. It was so much fun!
Also! Also! And here is the best part, she introduced me to the band MUSE. I freaking love Muse and I probably would not have known of their awesomeness until years later if it hadn't been for Stephenie Meyer. That goes for several other bands as well. I know this is kind of weird, but back then I actually didn't know what kind of music I liked. I didn't have a favorite band or even knew what genre I liked. Honestly, I wasn't as musically educated back then as I am now. 

I should also note that I began writing my novel that I now have finished and am working on getting published back in the spring of 2008.  It was a much different book back then. I was obsessed with Twilight at the time and it definitely showed in my writing. 
Then, on August 2, 2008, I bought Breaking Dawn. I was actually in Northern California at the time. I had my aunt drive me to her local Barnes and Noble and as we approached the parking lot and I saw the poster I gasped really loud, which made my aunt slam on the breaks, which made my little cousin Melissa spit out her hot chocolate against the window. It was hilarious and disgusting at the same time. 
I had mixed feelings about Stephenie Meyer's fourth installment. It started off well and then got super bizarre/ disturbing and boring. I mostly just wanted to forget the book ever existed, for many reasons, but mainly for this one: 
"Bella and Rose want this child to be born, and there is nothing Edward can do about it, except ask Jacob to have sex with his wife.
You'll probably need a moment to absorb that information. Go ahead and stare out at the lake. It helps.
Using Edward-Logic, if Bella can have a safe baby with Jacob, she might be willing to get rid of the demon baby currently living in her guts. Edward wants to pimp out Bella to Jacob. He wants Jacob to have sex with her, and give her a child, a child that won't kill her. He wants his wife to make sweet love to another man. And, according to Edward The Wise, this should solve all their problems.
This doesn't make sense. It doesn't even make Twilight-sense. How would this make Bella feel better? She wants the child that's in her guts right now. She doesn't want any other baby."
Here's a link to the rest of that website: Edward the Pimp

That year the movie came out too (I know, big year) and I was SUPER excited. I'd never been so excited about a movie before. Like I checked movie updates every day and screamed, literally screamed when the trailer came out. I remember telling my dad: This is going to be huge!
At which point, he responded with: That's what she said. 


I remember freaking out big time at this trailer, especially when I heard Edward (played by Robert Pattinson) say: What if I'm not the hero, what if I'm... the bad guy? 

On October 14th, 2008, I had my first back surgery and I remember thinking: I hope this surgery doesn't kill me because I can't die without seeing Twilight first! 
Clearly, I was delusional and obsessed with the series at the time, so much so that I blurted out absurd things like: Twilight, the movie, is going to be so good that it will win Oscars! 
I know... I know... trust me, this is embarrassing to admit. 

So, finally, November 21, 2008 came around and I got all dressed up in my Edward Cullen shirt (with my plastic back brace strapped around my ribs beneath my shirt) and went to see a matinee showing at the Lancaster Mall with my dad. Before we went to the movies we went out to lunch at Applebee's first and I heard these two twenty-year-olds, sitting next to us, talking about how terrible the movie was. I tried not listening to them anymore, but I couldn't help it. This scared me, but...
....they were right. 
  • It was AWFUL!
  • I hated Kristen Stewart's dull acting. She is supposed to be in love and acts like she's super bored and has turrets (which is not meant to offend anyone with that syndrome). 
  • I also hated Catherine Hardwicke's directing style. It felt like a documentary and it was supposed to be this epic romance! Gaaaaaaaaaaaah!
  • And! And! Once I finally heard the words from the book spoken aloud I finally understood how cheesy this series was and how stupid Bella was. It hadn't occurred to me until then. 
Alex Day also helped me realize just how ridiculous this series is...


2009: November 20th... The Twilight Saga: New Moon had its theatrical release and I went to see it late at night with my dad... of course. The theatre was packed. Literally every seat was taken! It was funny because when the movie began it started off with this huge sort of brownish tinted moon and my dad leaned over to me and asked: Are we in the right movie theatre? 


My thoughts: 
  • I want to go to Italy! 
  • Way better cinematography than Twilight. 
  • Chris Weitz is an awesome director!
  • I've changed my alliances. Team Jacob it is! 
  • Kristen still stinks at acting...
I actually liked New Moon so much I saw it three times. Once with my dad, once with my friend Sara Hoffman, and once with my cougar nanny Arlette. 

2010: May 3rd of that year I had my second back surgery at Stanford's Children Hospital, but before my surgery I bought a cardboard cutout of Jacob Black. I wanted him to stay in the hospital room with me so that he could scare the staff members and he did and it was awesome. Hahaha. I am so evil. I love my life size Jacob Black. He's still in my room wearing a vampire cape and his visitor's sticker from the hospital that says: Hello My Name is Jacob Black. Delaney Plant came over one day with her cousin and they both asked if they could rub his stomach, so... I let them. 

Jacob with my Nana. ;)

June 11th: I graduated high school.  

June 30th: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse came out. I saw it with Sara Hoffman at the Independence theatre. 


My thoughts:
  • Gah! Too many close-ups. 
  • The music (not the score) was poorly edited in. 
  • They totally screwed Muse over. 
  • Kristen's wig sucks. 
  • Edward is super unattractive in this film. The makeup department failed big time on this one. 
  • Hi Jacob. *giggles*
  • Bella is a slut. 
  • I liked the old Victoria better, I don't know why they had to change her. 
  • Not a big fan of David Slade's directing style. 
  • I like the pretty mountains. 
  • The tent scene was hilarious. 
  • This whole series is just a freaking soap opera with vampires and werewolves. 
  • Kristen still stinks at acting...

2011: November 18th. I was a study abroad student in Florence, Italy; this is where I saw the film. My friends and I saw it in an old theatre; there were Italian subtitles and the film actually stopped for intermission, which freaked everyone out. 


My thoughts:
  1. Edward is gorgeous. 
  2. This is weird. 
  3. This is gross. 
  4. Ewe. 
  5. Jacob is a pedophile. 
  6. The wolves talking together are cheesy. 
  7. Kristen still stinks at acting...
Thank goodness I have videos like this to cheer me up after a ridiculous movie. 


2012: November 16th. It's finally over. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 finally comes out! I saw it with Erika and since I just go to these movies expecting it to be ridiculous--that mindset makes it much more enjoyable. It was a really fun day. Erika and I went out for Vietnamese food first and then drove to the movies. The funny part was that there was this group of girls with their boyfriends and an extra boy with no date who kept shouting out "This is vulgar" during the film. It was hilarious. 


My thoughts: 
  • Bella seems more alive as a corpse.
  • Bella is a terrible mother. 
  • Jacob... you are gross. 
  • Edward, you are beautiful. 
  • The sex scene was awkward and creepy. I've been scarred for life. 
  • Reneesme's CGI face is scary. 
  • Mackenzie Foy is a cute little girl. 
  • I like Bill Condon's style. 
  • The fight scene at the end has a nice twist. Good job. Only part I really liked. 
  • Kristen's acting still (I'm sure you can fill in the rest)...
Now it is finally over! Hurray! Let's all celebrate. 
But really, I have to thank Stephenie Meyer because it was her books, along with Harry Potter and The Book Thief that made me the avid reader I am today. Without, Stephenie Meyer I wouldn't have discovered Muse as early as I did or The Hunger Games. Thanks to her great review, I got Suzanne Collins's book the month it came out and now (right underneath The Fault in Our Stars by John Green) it is my all-time favorite book ever! 

Thanks to Stephenie Meyer we now have Fifty Shades of Grey! (Just kidding, that's not something I'm thrilled about.) 

Well, there you have it! My six year relationship with The Twilight Saga... it has finally come to an end. Yay!  

Blog to you later!
Love, 
Manders 

P.S.
Here is my favorite video of Rob. It cracks me up! He clearly hated being Edward. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Ninja in Me


Hello there. I have something to tell you... hence this blog post.

So, generally in the morning, before school, I take a shower.
Nothing too unusual, right?
Right.
Just wait for the next part...
So, after my clothes have been stripped off and I am just about to hop in (Well, hopping is actually quite dangerous--you could slip and crack your head open--it's more like stepping in) the shower I normally find a huge unfamiliar bruise on my body. And with a bruise that huge and that blue you would think that I'd know where I got it from, but I don't, instead I'm left mystified. And you would think that massaging shampoo into your hair would help--I don't know, like trigger some memory brain cells and help you remember where the heck you got that bruise, but let me tell you something... it does not do this.
And this mysterious-bruise-appearance thingy happens a lot actually. Sometimes I wake up with more and more unfamiliar bruises. It's as if they're raining down on me, but I know they're not because that's impossible.

So, here's the part where I reveal my genius theory to you...
Are you ready?
Ok.
Here it is: I'm a sleepwalking, crime-fighting ninja at night. 

(Yes, you read that correctly.)

It's plausible right. I am a notorious sleepwalker. Sometimes I wake up downstairs or on the floor of my bathroom. Scares the crap out of me. It's honestly terrifying!

And... AND... I wake up with these giant blueberry colored bruises from hell!
So, I'm either A.) bumping into things as I sleepwalk or B.) gaining these ginormous (yes, ginormous) bruises via unconscious crime fighting.
As you can probably imagine, I suspect option B because it sounds cooler.

But what a weird superpower, to be able to fight crime in one's sleep. Someone should definitely make a comic book character about me.

Today, while at the Portland airport, I was extremely tempted to buy these super awesome red and black ninja socks. They were only 6 bucks! But my mom said I should wait till after Christmas because then they might be cheaper. I feel like those socks were calling to me: Hey Amanda! We can protect your feet at night while you fight crime!
And as I continued staring at them I was like: Yes, Awesome Ninja Socks, I believe in your protection abilities! I will buy you one day!
A-MAZ-ING right?!?!?!?!?!
But just in case... you know.... I don't actually fight crime at night and do in fact just run into furniture... how do I stop this?
Well, I did some research on the internet on sleepwalking and found that a mother had posted an interesting thing about her little toddler. Apparently, he sleepwalks a lot and the only way she discovered him was because the family dog had been following him around the house and the bell on his collar was making a lot of noise, so she went to investigate and found her little boy sleepwalking. Now she puts a bell on her son.

I'm not so sure I want to sleep with a bell, but say I did... no one in the house would hear me because they sleep so freaking soundly.

I still think I'm a sleepwalking, crime-fighting ninja.

Blog to you later.
Love,
Manders (AKA: Your friendly neighborhood sleepwalking, crime-fighting ninja!)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

What in the Honey Boo Boo?



This year I've heard the name "Honey Boo Boo" tossed around a lot and, frankly, it's kind of getting annoying, especially since I don't know who the heck she is. So, today, after months and months of hearing this name repeated over and over by several celebrities, I finally decided to do some research on her and... holy freaking crap!

So first things first, let's watch some of the YouTube videos I watched that inspired this blogpost. This first one involves Jennifer Lawrence; apparently she crashed her car while filming The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in Georgia because she thought she saw Honey Boo Boo. Not going to lie, it's pretty dang hilarious. Take a look...


Then I heard that South Park made fun of her and once that happens you know this little girl has made a serious dent in pulp culture.


(I just find it hilarious that her mama calls South Park trashy.)

But does it stop there?!?!?!?!?
Nope.
Honey Boo Boo is on Barbara Walter's list of the Most Fascinating People of 2012. This list includes people like Hilary Clinton, Gabby Douglas, Ben Affleck, the band One Direction, Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L. James, Seth McFarlane, etc.
Crazy right?!?!?!

Then I saw this funny video on Jimmy Kimmel.


So, if you're like me you're probably wondering who the heck this Honey Boo Boo is and wonder how she rose to fame? (Or maybe not... hahaha!)
(Side Note: My IQ dropped several points writing this post.)

Here is some information I found out about her: 

Name: Alana Thompson

Some of her other nicknames include:
  1. Smoochie
  2. The Diva Beauty Queen
  3. Honey Boo Boo Child
Birthday: August 28, 2005 
Height: 4'3"
Location: McIntyre, Georgia

Father: Mike Thompson aka "Sugar Bear"
Mother: June Shannon aka "Mama"
Sisters: Each girl is a half sister to Alana and has a different father. 
  1. Lauryn Shannon aka "Pumpkin" (12 years old)
  2. Jessica Shannon aka "Chubbs" (Lucky her.) (15 years old) 
  3. Anna Shannon aka "Chickadee" (18 years old & mother to baby Kaitlyn)
Famous Sayings: 
  1. "A dollar makes me holler, Honey Boo Boo."
  2. "I'm gonna win the whole pageant!"
  3. "Those other girls must be crazy, if they think they're gonna beat me, honey boo-boo child!"
  4. "I rocked my Daisy Duke...I showed my belly to the judges...Look at this big thing...They don't know a good thing when they see it."
  5. "I'll stop passing gas when I'm dead."
  6. "You better redneckognize!"
  7. "My special juice is going to help me win...My Go-Go Juice is kicking in right now."
Honey Boo Boo found fame on TLC's controversial show Toddlers and Tiaras. On the show she competes in these toddler beauty pageants where her mother famously gives her "Go-Go Juice" which is a concoction of Red Bull and Mountain Dew. (She's only SEVEN!!!!) This juice keeps Alana energized and awake during the long hours of a pageant. When asked about the harmful amounts of caffeine she gives her daughter, June said: "There are far worse things... I could be giving her alcohol." How To Cook Like Honey Boo Boo

Sure, caffeine may be better than alcohol, but still... Red Bull and Mountain Dew... for a seven-year-old? Are you kidding me woman??? High amounts of caffeine can lead to insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, stomach upset, fast heartbeat, and/or muscle tremors and you obviously don't want to put a kid through that.

Just look at her now. The child looks high.

By the way, every time I think of beauty pageants I think of this little girl...
WAY cooler than Honey Boo Boo in my opinion. 


Now, Alana has her own show on TLC called Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. There are lots of crazy things about this show, but the craziest one, I personally think, is that Alana's family gets paid $20, 000 per episode. That just blows my mind!
Family all together. 
With Makeup. 
June Shannon.
You must admit... this is terrifying!
A lot of people think that this is a bad idea. That a reality show for a little seven-year-old is going to really mess her up... even more. And I can't help but agree. This kid is already screwed up with a mom who makes her drink tons and tons of caffeine in order to preform better, puts her through these pedophilic-attracting beauty pageants, lets her get away with bad behavior, along with having her own reality show.  I'm scared to see what happens when she hits 18.

And why do people like this show? Because the family is just so darn crazy and redneck-ish? Apparently the show has attracted 2.2 million viewers, which again just blows my mind...

I try to think about what I was doing as a 7-year-old. I was in second grade, playing softball and ridding horses. I thank God my mother didn't put me through these horrid pageants!

Well, that's all I want to say on this subject.
Honestly, I feel kind of stupid after writing this post.

Blog to you later!
Love,
Manders