style of reading

I read this article about reading recently (really). The author was talking about how we seem to read less, and this because there’s always something else to do, check e-mail, check news sites, check text messages. I’m not going to discuss that though. What I found interesting was at one point in the article he mentions that it always takes a few chapters for him to get into that reading groove, that reading a few pages here and there doesn’t work for him.

That led me to a sudden revelation. Had I been reading wrong all this time? My style of reading is exactly opposite his. I read at the dining table while I’m eating, I read during commercial breaks while watching tv, at school I would get to class and read for a few minutes until the teacher started lecturing, snatches of precious time in between other tasks. Have I not been getting as much out of books as I could have?

So I decided to try it. I would read a book for a long stretch. Ella Enchanted was a great book, I thought. I’d wanted to reread it for a while, and it was short enough that I could read it in a couple nights, because I couldn’t guarantee enough nights with time to read several chapters in one go for a longer book.

I read Ella Enchanted last month, most of it in one night. (I cheated myself and read a few pages before I’d finished the books I was reading at the time.) (I also stayed up way too late that night, but that’s another story.)

The result—I was pretty disappointed. I didn’t feel the story was any more real, or that I was further into the story. It was the same as always, a wonderful, beautiful story, but this time it was over so quickly. I didn’t get a chance to relish it and live in the world in my daydreams. It felt a lot more like I’d just watched a movie than read a book I loved.

My test may have been flawed though. Ella Enchanted is just one of those books I hate to rush through. My favorite books I always read piecemeal, to stretch out the goodness of the story. Except for The Count of Monte Cristo, that’s a whole different animal.

But in writing this I laughably realized that I have spent times reading many chapters of a book in one sitting. I just didn’t recognize those times as such because they usually start with me telling myself, “I’ll just read a few pages before bed.” Then the story gets me hooked so I spend a number of hours saying, “Only a few pages more, then I’ll go to bed.” Those are what I termed my “midnight rendezvous.” Heck, that was how I read a few Harry Potter books!

Comparing my two experiences, reading books in short little spurts versus reading nonstop for a long stretch of time, I’d have to say that I don’t notice much of a difference. Reading in bits and pieces is probably more work because I have to block out noise around me and focus on reading, but after a a sentence or two I’m fine and lost in another world.

I have to say I feel sorry for that guy though, if it takes him that long to get into his reading, he must miss out on a lot every time he has to start up again.

so fruitsy

Yay! Completely new layout finally! *grin* I started this layout some time in May, hadn’t really touched it until yesterday when I touched it up and coded it. (I got held up by wanting to add a custom Flickr feed, but that never happened, soooo…)

Yes, I actually used bright colors in my layout! I carried out my threat (last paragraph) with my inspiration of “candy colors.” :3 Although I think the colors will bug me after a while … right now I think the pink and purple are too close on the color wheel, leaving the green as a glaring complement and the most eye-catching part of the design. Bah!

It’s interesting, I went to Colour Lovers when I first started in order to find my “candy colors,” but I couldn’t find any! All the colors were of the dark, muted variety. Nothing bright and fun and, erm, eye-popping. So I ended up using my own colors I came up with.

Another complaint, the color appearance differs so much between my laptop and my desktop computer. grrrs. They’re so much more light and pastel-y on my desktop, and dark and saturated on my laptop. :( Now I question how awful they look on others’ computer screens. Hopefully no one gets eyestrain trying to read my blog!

Disneyland’s fireworks shows

This past Sunday I went with some family members to Disneyland and we stayed until midnight to catch the last Magical fireworks show of the year (and to see Fantasmic and to ride more rides).

My review of the Magical and Remember…Dreams Come True fireworks shows:

The parts of Magical I really enjoy are the colored castle (especially during the Pinocchio segment XD trippy!), the part where the two Sleeping Beauty fairies (Merryweather and Flora/Fauna, I can’t remember which :/) are arguing over the color of Aurora’s dress (Pink! Blue! Pink! Blue!), and the confetti/colorful fireworks. Especially, especially the colorful fireworks that are like fireflies and zoom around even after the firework explodes. :D I love those. (I also love waterfall fireworks and sizzly fireworks, but that’s neither here nor there.)

Despite those great parts, I tend to tune out after a while during the show. :/ It just doesn’t keep my attention. And, for a show that seems to rely so much on the music, the sound is really crappy. Bad sound system. :/ Disney, how can you disappoint the audiophiles?? Also the singer(s?) yells (please learn how to project from your diaphragm and not your voicebox) during some parts…

Another part that was supposed to be great was Dumbo. But the flying elephant didn’t wow me. I probably expected too much, I didn’t realize … well … that the Dumbo costume would be so huge and probably too unwieldy for the person inside. I fully expected Dumbo to move his body and limbs around more than he does!

Whereas Remember probably does not have a superb soundtrack, but hey there’s a whole story to the show (Disneyland!) and omigosh I LOVE the Haunted Mansion portion of the show. Every single fireworks show for the rest of my life will be compared to that. And none will top it. XD XD

Okay maybe I’m just biased. I can’t really remember the fireworks portion of Remember… other than the ones for the Haunted Mansion. The fireworks for Magical have more of a running theme (magic! color! sis boom bah!) and don’t appear to be just random colors.

But … if I compare based only on the end result, zoning out halfway through Magical and following Remember all the way through the show, I think I’d have to go for Remember…. ^^

Miley’s teen party

Just saw Miley Cyrus’ performance at the Teen Choice Awards, the one that people are complaining is “too adult.”

Overall I thought it was tame, although you’d never see it on the Disney Channel. I also wished I could move my hips like Miley, I’m jealous!

Mum said it’s just what she’s being told to do and she’s going along with it, but she said the same thing about Britney Spears. O_o How do we really know that this isn’t her idea, this isn’t the real Miley?

I don’t know. Mum and I had a (totally unrelated) conversation recently about perception versus intention, what people intend to do versus how other people perceive the actions. An example was anyone who demanded an apology from Obama because of something he said which got misinterpreted. In other words, people are saying, “I expect an apology from you for what I thought was said.”

Regarding Miley’s show, I thought, hmmm, if 8-year-olds danced like that, it would only be the older people who would be scandalized by it. The little kids aren’t trying to find sex for themselves, they’re just moving their bodies. It’s all the fault of the adults who see sex in it and then molest children, just like it’s the fault of the guy who saw an attractive woman and raped her.

We as a society don’t like to see provocative attire (especially on children), and condone the sexy moves of celebrities as indecent and completely inappropriate for children.

If that’s true though, and we don’t want kids to mimic celebrities in order to protect them, it’s also logical how in Islamic countries women are required by the government to cover themselves so they don’t make men horny. It’s not that they’re nonentities in burqas, women are just protecting themselves and the men who have no sense of control.

Whose fault is it really? The teen-aged singer who wiggled her hips, or the adults who interpreted it as SHE’S SELLING SEX ON THE SEASHORE NOW.

so much Disney

All right, my birthday weekend post, almost a month late. :o

Saturday I went with my brother and cousins to Anime Expo, woot! Tracey and her friend saw a panel on Trigun, then we wandered around upstairs where they had all these things scheduled. We were too late for the line dancing. :( Not that I really wanted to learn line dancing, though, I could probably find an odori class somewhere in West L.A., hahaha. I just wanted to watch! But they wouldn’t let us in. pooh.

After that we went to the vendor hall and wandered around there for the rest of the time. I got some clothes, a magazine, a Snoopy, and some Japanese paper at Kinokuniya later.

Then I wandered around the artist area while everyone else rested on the side. I saw a couple artists whom I follow on deviantArt, talked to one of them (didn’t introduce myself though; I’m a lurker watcher on her dA page >.>), skipped the other because her table was so busy and I was getting exhausted. Talked to some other artists … I don’t remember their names though.

When we were done at AX we drove up to J-town and ate dinner at the Curry House. Yay! Yum! And we checked out Kinokuniya, where I stock up on Japanese paper, both washi and origami. XD

Walked around the Japanese Village Plaza (or whatever it’s called), a lot of stores were closed for Fourth of July.

After all that we went our separate ways and Hidek and I went home where we greeted our grandparents and had apple pie a la mode before watching the fireworks display. woo! (The fireworks are fairly boring compared to Disneyland, but heck this show is in our very own backyard! [Or, visible from our backyard.] Can’t beat that!)

The next day my family and I drove down to Disneyland where I paid for a blockout pass ($40) in order to get my fun card for my birthday ($69) since I have an annual pass and can get in for free (technically) almost any day. So I came out $29 ahead! Which I spent on a hat last time I went to Disneyland. :P Now whatever I get on my fun card, I’ve already given Disney cash for it.

We wandered around Downtown Disney for a while, but it was so unbearably hot and humid that we didn’t stick around much, and we moved on to Knott’s Berry Farm! We didn’t go in the park, just ate at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant (is that the name?) and looked through a few shops in the area.

We definitely checked out the Snoopy headquarters store! hee! I was sort of disappointed though. There was only one new Snoopy plushie, in swim trunks and holding a surfboard, and not many other plushies of other characters. :/ I saw Mr. Snoops in the store though! (The Snoopy in a business suit. :3) I thought it was hilarious to see a Snoopy in a suit with a really huge head. As evidenced in my Snoopy family portrait, my Snoops has a smushed head, or as Tadash puts it, he’s been rendered brainless. *grin*

That was my wonderful birthday weekend! (And today we get to do the Downtown Disney part again for my brother’s birthday. :D)

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