Friday, May 24, 2013

Star Trek

Three posts in one day - I usually confine myself to one. But something else kinda noteworthy happened today. Mom insisted on watching Star Trek: The Next Generation today. We started with the first episode, and quit watching it about four minutes in because the acting was so bad. We watched one all the way through, called Naked Now - which was practically a carbon copy of the original episode called The Naked Time.

The next episode we tried to watch was almost as bad as the first one. I'd heard Mom comment a billion times about how much she hated the psychic because she was so stupid. Everytime Mom talks about her, she always says, "I sense something or other!" To be honest, she seems to me like the only intelligent one on the crew, but whatever. Anyway... The second episode we tried to finish was one with the edos, the people who lived for pleasure but killed over any breach of law, however minimal. One of these edo women sidled up to the first officer and started flirting. The psychic got this look on her face, and my Mom said, "Ah, I sense jealousy!"

Okay... That was funnier when she actually said it than when I typed it out.

Skagit River Bridge

Last night at about 7 PM., the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River collapsed. Three people were rescued from the water; nobody was killed, but two were taken to the hospital. They think it was caused when an oversized truck hit one of the supports; the bridge fell slowly, and most people were able to get off.

For those who don't know, I-5 is a highway that goes along the Pacific coast from Alaska to Mexico. The Skagit River is kind of famous for flooding every fall, and at this time of year it's usually full of snowmelt. Fortunately, it's been so cool lately that the snow stopped melting, so the river wasn't as high or as cold as it could have been. The bridge, however, is ancient and has needed replacement for a while now.

People have hastened to blame Republicans for the bridge collapse. I find this amusing since this state is, and has been for thirty years, run completely by Democrats. Personally, I blame the truck driver. He had a pilot car and should have mapped out a different route, since his load was definitely oversized.

Gratitude

On Wednesday, I spent most of the day at jury duty. As I was waiting for the selection to begin, I kept thinking about that Monk episode where Monk had to report for jury. He was the first name called. Well, I got there an hour before they started calling names, and I mulled over that episode the whole time. Then, finally, the lady got up and began to read names.

Guess whose she read first? Mine.

I got lucky. The defense excused me, so I don't have to go back. But while I was sitting around, waiting for stuff to happen, I had the time to reflect on things. I really, really didn't want to be there. But as I sat there, I thought how fortunate I was to live in a country where trial by jury is an undeniable right. So, even though I was disappointed to show up and sit through a long day of delays, I was glad to be reminded of the guaranteed rights citizens of the USA have.

I would love to talk more about my experience there, because there were some really interesting things that happened, especially in the courtroom, but it's still an open case, so I have decided I will err on the side of caution and not talk about it until some much, much, much later date when I have nothing else to say.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Home

I got home Friday afternoon, and it was a relief. Yesterday, I went to sell books at a carnival at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and I was honored to meet soldiers who have serves our country in the Middle  East.

Today I went back to church with my Mom, since my brother and Dad were at a piping competition. I saw some of my oldest friends again, and we made plans for Thursday, when we would supposedly be learning who the new pastor was. We are going to have a party as we watch the call ceremony live.

And, most importantly - I've caught up on NCIS!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Throne of Glass

Throne of Glassby Sarah J. Maas was recommended to me by iBooks. I've had a sample on my iPad for a few months now and glanced at it from time to time, but it was fifteen dollars and I couldn't justify spending that much money on a book just because I was bored. However, after turning in my last paper on Friday, I decided to treat myself and got the book. I was on the fence between this and some historical novel about Napoleon's court, and I'm really glad I chose this one.

For starters, Throne of Glasshas everything that makes The Hunger Games popular and none of what I hate about that series. The basic plot is that Celaena Sardothien, a renowned assassin, is pulled from her slavery sentence that leads to certain death to compete against twenty-two other assassins for the coveted title of the King's Champion. Death isn't certain, but it's a huge possibility.

That, however, is the basic plot; there is a lot more to the story than that. Maas manages to combine mystery elements, conflicts between tyranny and freedom, a love triangle that wasn't mangled like most modern love triangles are, and alternate dimensions - also known as Otherworlds. There are some moving themes to this story too, including personal freedom and its price, actions and consequences, friendship, betrayal - lots of betrayal - and courage.

What most impressed me about Maas' storytelling is how neatly she captured the attitude and mindset of someone who always appears confident but also has profound weaknesses. Anyone who has read my former book reviews knows that I absolutely have to like the main character if I am to like the book, and I loved Celaena. She was brave, confident, kind, and mightily amusing. Even her towering arrogance was endearing rather than insufferable. My favorite of her actions was when she was chained and she "readjusted her shackles as if they were laced gloves."

The other characters were also as they should be - I liked the good characters, and didn't like the bad characters. I will admit that I wasn't too fond of Dorian until the very end, but even he had his redeeming qualities. Chaol and Nehemia were absolutely fabulous.

The basics of the story were wonderful too - the writing was smooth and understandable, and it was usually clear what was going on. I was never confused, even with so many plotlines going on. In short, Throne of Glass was fantastic. Five stars out of five stars!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Squeals

My roommate just squealed really high. I thought something was wrong, so I immediately asked, "What?" She replied thus:
"Cody gave me three reasons today instead of two!"
Cody, in case you've forgotten, is her boyfriend, and they exchange "reasons" every day. I don't know what those reasons are about, and I haven't asked, but apparently it was a big deal.

Anyway, there've been some really cool developments. I got an extension on one paper, a cutting back on the length on another paper, and I turned in the third paper today. The semester is winding down. Summer, come quickly!