Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

The novel, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, came out at a time when I visited the young adult section of the bookstore more out of nostalgia, and to pick up books in series I already owned, than of any genuine interest in the genre. I remember not understanding the title of the book. (My reading comprehension still isn’t up to par, after all these years, haha!) Was it some sort of fantasy novel? This pair of pants went on journeys like Frodo and Gandalf? Nope, just another teen girls’ novel, not interested.

Years later, a movie came out based on the book, and I knew who two of the four stars were, Alexis Bledel and Amber Tamblyn. I’d seen bits of America Ferrera in the Disney Channel movie but didn’t know about her until I started watching Ugly Betty. I didn’t know who Blake Lively was until after I saw the movie, when she started Gossip Girl. So I definitely had to see the movie, I loved Alexis and Amber, and after Ugly Betty I especially wanted to see America in a different role.

I thought the movie was a fun watch, but not much else. Then the second movie came out, which of course I had to see as well. After I saw that movie, I felt I had to read the series since I didn’t know how much the movies were channging the story. I just thought it was a disservice to see only the movies and not read any of the books.

So I bought the book used from Amazon, which ended up costing about the same if I’d bought the book new from a local bookstore. Bah!

It being an easy read, I finished the book in just a few days. My thoughts? A fun story, if you’re expecting a young adult book geared for girls, which I was.

The movie was pretty faithful to the book. As faithful as can be, going from a medium that works in the head to a visual medium. Lena’s story was changed the most, but honestly, you can’t fit underage nudity into a PG-rated film. Besides, I think the film version of Lena’s story is cute. It’s very teen movie/chick-flick/rom-com, whatever you want to call it.

The problem now is that I want to read the rest of the series, considering the second movie skipped the two next books and went straight for the fourth storyline! But I don’t want to spend $8 on books I’ll read only once. Maybe I should look into the power of the County of L.A. public library system and get the book from another libary lent to my local library…

blog blog blog!

I had to sit myself down recently and figure out why I find it so hard to update my blog. I mean, I have a whole list of thoughts to blog, ideas to write down, and yet I never get around to it.

The first obstacle I had to tackle was, what purpose does my blog serve? My mission statement claims I use it to write down thoughts. Okay that’s simple. Why do I find it so hard to write down my thoughts then?

Second obstacle, why do I keep up my blog? Other than my usual reasons: it’s my hobby, it gives me a website to maintain, I just like having a blog. I also thought it would be a good place to stretch my brain, since I’m not in college anymore and don’t need to write anything. Although I do really enjoy having finished school, no more working for someone else’s rating of my work! I thought I should still exercise my writing skills, make sure I can still do it if I ever need.

I had the what and the why established, so the last question was, Why do I feel so much pressure with my need to update at least once a month? Write one short little piece every thirty days, that couldn’t be as much of a strain as writing in school, certainly! Where was the stress coming from? My answer had to be that all the pressure and the stress was coming from me. This is a blog after all, meant to attract visitors and draw in attention. I couldn’t do that if I wrote poorly. Even though I hate that officious, stuffy voice my writings develop (even in this entry!), I continue doing it because I think it’s better suited to pleasing others.

But I don’t think I should do that. I have to tell myself, my blog is for me, I’m the one I have to please. I’m probably the one who reads through my archives the most, after all! Even after I take my blog off the web (Gasp! Unimaginable!), I’ll still keep a copy on my computer hard drive (and on my backup hard drive…) for me to look through occasionally.

With that said, a short review of my silly, but fun little purchase of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares is coming up!

black and white layout

New layout, yay! I thought it up while trying to fall asleep one night. *grin* Again, it’s a reversal of the previous layout. (Hm, going from black/red/white to bright colors to black and white… what will the next layout look like?)

It’s another gimmicky layout, a side-scrolling one. I’ve wanted to design one for a while now. Don’t know how long it’ll stay up though, I’ll probably get tired of it and redo it later.

I still don’t know if I like how I did the letters either. I keep messing with that… Overall, not as jazzed as I was when I put up the previous two layouts.

Also, why the heck did Internet Explorer mangle my previous layout so horribly? And why did I not know this until almost a year after I uploaded it? I thought IE was supposed to follow web standards by now. Augh! Even with the current layout, IE doesn’t like how I’m displaying my, uh, sidebar. (Firefox, Chrome, and Opera all show both layouts just fine…)

insurance Friday Five

1. Do you have insurance?
I have auto insurance… (It’s required in California.)

2. What do you think of public option for health care?
Ideally, I support it. But I do see the other side of it: where would the money come from? As it is we overspend in the government without it!

3. Should health insurance be mandatory? If so, should it be subsidized for the poor?
I guess I agree with the first question, even though it means I have to spend my money. As for the second question, I really do believe that. Although I fall back on my answer to the previous question.

4. Do you think the health care industry and pharma make too much money or not enough?
I definitely think they make too much money. Mostly the companies who make medicine, less so for doctors and nurses and hospitals.

5. Would you leave the country if it meant that you would have no job but was assured health care?
No, because I love America and the First Amendment, and I don’t really feel the need to have health care for myself, because I don’t care to spend thousands of dollars to save my health or my life. If something serious (and seriously expensive) came up, I would just die. (Of course, I say that now…)

questions from Friday Five

Beverages Friday Five

Okay I admit it, I don’t have many ideas about (or give much thought to) writing in my blog, so I’m falling back on answering memes. >_> Luckily I think they’re interesting or I can write a bit on them, and they’re not stupid.

1. What is your favorite drink of all time? Does it hold a special memory to you or is it just because it tastes good?
I don’t think I could pick a favorite of all time, because my favorite changes from time to time. I remember when it was lemonade, cranberry juice, root beer (specifically A&W or Mug, not any other), sarsaparilla (omigosh love ya, Virgina City, and Knott’s!)… But ocha (aka green tea) is a good failsafe, I’ve been drinking that for years.

2. Tea or coffee or hot cocoa?
I guess I already answered this in the previous question, but I can stand to write more. *grin* I’m not a big fan of coffee. I don’t like the bitterness, but my mom has had me taste some really good coffee (yes, I do refer to McDonald’s here, points to McD’s!) and if I really need a caffeine boost I’m willing to drink it. With creams and sugars, of course.

Hot cocoa, I’ve mostly had the Nestle instant variety. Lately I don’t like how sweet it is, and I keep mixing in Ghiradelli’s cocoa powder or Hershey’s cocoa powder. But in general if I’m out somewhere and need a hot drink this is my first option. (Unless this place offers green tea, then of course I choose that.)

As for tea… I’ve tried peach-flavored black tea (my first non-green tea) and really didn’t like it; orange tea, thought it was a bit too sweet but it was drinkable; and black tea, not as bad as the peach-flavored tea would have me think, it was much more like green tea than I expected. I’ve never had sweet tea, but as a kid I drank Lipton’s instant iced tea.

My mom served us kids the iced tea for our ochazuke (or chachagohan, for a more cutesy, kiddy term ^_^), but eventually we asked her for the “hot tea” that we thought tasted better: genmaicha. She told us if we liked it better then she would make it for us, even if it did take longer to make than the “instant tea.”

Thus, the tea of my childhood became genmai cha. This is considered a poor variety of green tea, though. Right now I like bancha, a better variety, but still not the best. I’ve had matcha and sencha, but they’re more expensive than bancha.

3. Best summer time drink?
Cold ocha, or for a special treat, Ito En’s Oi Ocha! ^_^-b

4. Worst soda brand ever?
:o I don’t know that I can come up with an answer for that. I definitely won’t drink Mountain Dew though. And I prefer Coke to Pepsi, although that is not saying that I like Coke. My favorite soda is Dr. Pepper, or Dr. Pepper Cherry.

5. Water: flavored, bottled, carbonated, or regular old tap?
None of the above? I think that’s just semantics though. I don’t like to drink water that comes in those little bottles at the grocery market, since it’s so bad for the environment, but I’m okay with Sparklett’s. (Arrowhead has a weird taste…) I don’t like the taste of tap water, because I’m a spoiled urbanized child, used to filtered water. And that is what my choice is.

questions from Friday Five