Escape From Camp 14

13 Jun

A boy is born in prison, to parents who were awarded each other for good behavior.

The boy is considered a traitor, his blood tainted by the sins of his parents’ families. Sins like leaving the country.

His world is one of starvation, where snitching on friends and family is promoted, attempted escapes meet with public killings, and children are beaten to death for offenses as slight as hiding a few kernels of corn.

He is familiar with intense labor and cruel guards.

He doesn’t understand loyalty. He doesn’t know that the world is round.

No, this isn’t the plot of another book set in a dystopian future where the government is evil and goodness has shriveled up to die.

This is now. This is real.

This is the story of Continue reading

Updated VitaminWater Copy!

31 May

Dear Vitaminwater Rep:vitaminwater essential

I’m a huge fan of your “essential” orange-orange vitaminwater. I just can’t get enough of its refreshing, smooth taste. What I have had enough of is the clever copy* on the label. Don’t get me wrong: I love the idea. And I laughed when I first read it. I’m not sure when that was, though, because it was SO LONG AGO. If I have to read one more time about how morning and mourning are only one letter apart…well, probably nothing will happen. But I’ve decided to help you guys along in your updating process. Below please find my suggestion as to the replacement of said paragraph. Continue reading

Newsies on Broadway – Better Than the Movie?

21 May

When you love something as much as I love the 1992 movie, Newsies, you don’t want a single, minute detail changed.

So naturally I was apprehensive for the Broadway adaptation.

I couldn’t decide if I wanted to see it or not (would I hate it? Love it? Hate that I loved it?). In the end, I entered my name in the Newsies ticket lottery and let the outcome decide.

I won. So I saw it.

Original Concerns

When I heard all the theatre buzz, my two main concerns were Jack’s transformation from cowboy to artist, and the reporter who’d followed the strike being a woman instead of a guy.

Actually sitting through the show, those weren’t the issues I had at all.

Although, if you’re going to make Jack an artist (a change which I don’t think was necessary, by the way), why make one of Pulitzer’s lines be:

“Time’s running out kid, so what do you say/Cowboy or convict, I win either way.”

Cowboy or convict.

Cowboy or convict.

Actors

I gotta say kudos to Jeremy Jordan (pictured below) for playing such a great Jack. He’s charismatic, cheeky, a natural leader, and quite sympathetic. As a huge fan of Christian Bale in this movie, I think Jeremy stepped into the role very well.

Jeremy Jordan Jack Kelly

My friend and me with Jeremy Jordan aka Jack Kelly :)

The same can’t be said for Ben Fankhauser, playing David. I’d never even stopped Continue reading

Killing is OK

7 May

This is a rant. I warned you there’d be some of these.

Picture this:

You and the girl you’re kinda into (except-let’s-keep-it-in-the-subtext) are running across the planet in a bid to find safety. The crazy, murderous preacher who’s tried to kill you both before is coming after you. In a climactic moment, he catches up with you and tries, yet again, to kill you. Somehow you get the upper hand. You don’t kill him. Instead you keep running.

Rinse and repeat three (or is it four?) times. The Knife of Never Letting Go Patrick Ness

That’s pretty much the plot of Chaos Walking, a trilogy by Patrick Ness.

Chaos Walking actually has an interesting premise: In the future when Earth is inevitably ruined by careless, violent humans, other humans seek a new life on other planets. One group lands on New World, a planet where the natives (Spackle) communicate telepathically. Pretty soon, the newly-arrived men find that, like the Spackle, their thoughts are being transmitted aloud for all to hear. They call this “Noise.” Women, for some reason, aren’t affected.

Like I said, it’s an interesting and original idea. Leaves lots of room for discussion.

However. There were multiples times when I wanted to reach into those pages and shake the characters till their teeth rattled in their imbecilic heads.

Namely, whenever Continue reading

4 Awesome Starter Books You Should Read

26 Apr

These four awesome books were originally listed on a static page (like the pages above), but I figured it was out of place there and should have a home with the rest of my book recommendations.

So I’ve decided to make a post of it.

I call them “starter books” for lack of a better term (if you know of one, let me know!). Three are the first books in their respective series; one of the books being not part of a series, but an introduction into the kinds of books the author writes.

The Thief By: Megan Whalen Turner
The Thief is the first book in a fantasy quartet. The thief in question is the main character, Eugenides (nicknamed Gen). It’s tough with a series like this to review a single book. There are so many plot twists that I’m not quite sure what I’m giving away. There are thieves, political intrigue, love, and more, all set in an ancient Greek/Byzantine-like setting. The stories revolve around the countries of Eddis, Attolia, and Sounis and all involve Gen. Interestingly, they’re all written in different points of view which allows for an in-depth look into Gen’s character.  I read the books slightly out of sequence, but they’re amazing in any order.

the thief

Friday’s Child By: Georgette Heyer
Georgette Heyer’s historical romances are different from every other historical romance. I admit to Continue reading

Learning to Speak Portuguese

23 Apr

I prepared for three weeks to create this video – memorizing and practicing every chance I got! Enjoy :)

Check out my other YouTube videos here, or visit my channel, AlizaOnline.

Check Out The Coolest Pictures Ever

22 Apr

There’s a brilliant up and coming photographer who takes the coolest pictures ever.

His name is Jacob J. Scheiner, and he happens to be my brother.

If you like looking at pretty pictures (and who doesn’t?), then you must check out his awesome photo blog at http://themomentthatwas.tumblr.com. It’s full of pictures of his travels, near and far, and interspersed throughout with meaningful quotes.

Sample pics:

pretty pic

Source: themomentthatwas.tumblr.com

bar harbor acadia national park main

Source: themomentthatwas.tumblr.com

italy venice gondola pic

Source: themomenthatwas.tumblr.com

chain link fence train tracks

Source: themomentthatwas.tumblr.com

Check out the blog for more awesomeness. Follow it, pin it, comment, and share it.

It’s that cool.