Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Still Wishing for Summer Vacay ...

Had our first Neurosci lab back in our Gross Anatomy facilities today - we're studying the brain more in detail. Friends who hugged me today say I smell like lab so I might have to pull out my scrubs again.

I really wish I could be on vacation. Memorial Day weekend was like a false alarm thing - all nice weather, happy BBQs, and then ... back to school.

Last Friday seems so distant now. I had my board exam in the morning and then went out with some girlfriends. Unfortunately, they wanted to go see a movie. Not just any movie though. I could have settled for X-Men, Angels & Demons, or Star Trek. Anything.

No. They wanted to see Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.

Yes, that movie. Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner. About a womanizing photographer who gets a life altering experience a la A Christmas Carol and explores what true love really means in the form of a childhood crush that can't be denied because of she gifted him with his first camera and they were always meant to be together and - This is a chick flick. You know the deal.

My face twisted so much, one of the girls immediately got defensive.

"Matthew McConaughey! Matthew McConaughey! Hot!" she wheedled.

Yeah, he is, but I'm not paying $12 to ogle his face. I'll admit the movie was cute and better than what I expected based on the trailers (but yes, I also had very LOW expectations), but am I the only person in this world who would rather watch your regular average chick flick (and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is most definitely a chick flick with a little "inspirational" pizazz at the most.) at home on DVD than in the theaters? I don't know but somehow, I automatically categorize certain chick flicks in a different category - i.e. the types that don't maximize the effects of a theater experience i.e. that will waste your ticket money.

Yup, I'm judgmental.

So what ended up happening was ...

I lost the battle. I know, I'm still ashamed.

Friend hooked three other girls in and loomed over me. "It's three for Ghosts and YOU'RE the only one who doesn't want to watch it so are YOU going to be a spoilsport, huh? HUH?!"

"But it's a - Fine," I muttered sulkily.

Other friend gave me a sympathetic look because she secretly agreed with me, but was too lazy to argue with me. Traitor.

Third friend suggested, "Well, how about 17 Again? Or ooh! Hannah Montana!"

I chuckled. "Good one."

She gave me a puzzled look. "What's wrong with -"

"OKAY, Ghosts it is!" I clapped my hands.

So ... the movie was okay. Sadly, I'll have to say that even for an cliched chick flick, it was still better than my all time hated movie: Mummy 3.

True, it had all the elements we'd seen before and the plot was predictable, but it had its funny moments, its cute moments. It was purely for entertainment and it carried its romantic comedy badge proudly.

I liked the trailers though. I kept pointing out various movies to the friends. "Now that's worthy of a theater ticket!"

They agreed, but eh, we were there and paid for anyway.

Amongst the various trailers that caught my attention:

This one made me want to cry and I can tell this will be a major tearjerker. Based on a novel by Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper is coming out in June, I think.

And of course!

Harry Potter love. This trailer is epic.

Asides from Ghosts, I also watched Taken the other day. My cousin recommended this action thriller and it was truly pretty good. A father goes off to save his daughter after she gets kidnapped by sex traffickers during a seemingly innocent trip to Paris. The story freaked out my girl cousin and me and the one man Rambo routine captivated the guys' attention.

I also demolished several books I had stored up, including A Great and Terrible Beauty (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy)by Libba Bray. I had picked up these books for break times in between study sessions - like I'd finish a textbook chapter and then relax with a chapter or two from a novel for fifteen minutes. The books started out okay, as in I was still able to put it down, but as I got further in, I wasn't able to stop reading until ... they were finished. Study plan failed.

Excellent writing. The protagonist and her friends definitely had their unlikable traits in a way that made me admire Bray's writing even more. True, I did want to smack around some of the characters - and at times, the protagonist herself - during some bad moments, but everything, including those nasty personality quirks, felt real. Cattiness, peer pressure, insecurities - the girls were real, regular teenage girls with their petty rivalries and cliques and their selfish dreams and fears rang true.

Although the last book had certain scenes and revelations about certain characters (i.e. Felicity and Pippa's relationship) that I felt didn't exactly flow with what was previously depicted about the girls in the previous books and seemed more like it was thrown in for a sudden shock factor rather than feeling like it had always been planned by the author all along, I still adored the books. Some descriptions were so vivid, they creeped me out. (The scraping of the three ghostly girls' boots against the floor - wow.) And when it came to a certain tragic scene in the last novel, I couldn't help it. I teared up.

Few books have wrenched such physical reactions out of me and I'm so happy that I had the pleasure to read these books. Highly recommended!

I also hit several duds with other novels, but I'll leave this post at this for now.

Back to work! Need to finish several chapters tonight, get to bed earlier so that I don't pass out on my feet again, and be ready for lab work tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend & FP Plagiarism

Hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day weekend! I went to one banquet family reunion and two BBQs and gorged on way too much food. It was a nice break.

Unfortunately, I believe I'm practically five months behind on responses so I hope most readers can get their answers from this blog.

I know. I suck. I haven't updated in ages. I'm sorry. Super sorry!

I just finished Histology, which was a packed course with an exam every week. I had my board exam last Friday and ... now we start Neuroscience.

Friends and family think I'm joking when I say I'm going back to school tomorrow. They're like "Silly! It's summer vacation now!"

No ... it's your summer vacation. It's my start to a brand new course. I'll be rolling out sometime in July so wait for me then before you guys start having fun, yeah?

Yes, I'm quite depressed. I'll try to fit writing in there somewhere.

Of other bad news, I recently received messages from readers about plagiarism issues and the uproar in the FP community over how plagiarism had affected a major FP writer, Myrika. I believe she not only had to deal with multiple cases of people posting her story on other sites, but some of them had the nerve to try to slap the story up onto for profit. Sadly, Myrika has made the decision to remove her stories and stop posting on Fictionpress.

I generally like to duck in and out of to browse random stories and favorites and while I haven't been able to follow all of Myrika's stories, I'll have to be blind not to know that she is one of the top writers on the site - one of the most responsible, proliferate and talented ones with a way with words and timely updates. We've been around Fictionpress for roughly the same time period - I remember when I first started out, she was working on her earlier stories and since then, she's churned out quite a list of impressive works (compared to my measly ... 3. Okay, 2.5 stories. Okay, fine, 1.75. Ouch.) She's a truly dedicated writer and no one - especially not someone who has spent so much time on her pieces - deserve such disrespect, such blatant theft of her works.

I respect her decision to remove her works and work on her writings in private. I respect her calm manner in addressing all her readers and her resolve to protect her stories. I know sooner or later, she can get her polished works published and that would truly be the reward she and her loyal readers deserve for all these years of devoted writing and support. She will be missed on FP, of course, but perhaps, we can soon look forward to a whole new era of published writers stemming from Fictionpress origins? Like, we can soon be properly bedazzled by them in their new and sparkling ... Super Saiyan forms. (Sorry, Dragon Ball references were all I can think of.)

I've certainly heard about several writers making their attempts toward or are already well along their road to publishing. Ooh la la.

And then there are the rest of us still hanging around on Fictionpress for our hobbies. I've recently noticed some very nice stories and I'll try to make a point of noting new kickass writers soon. Everyone who enjoys writing have my respect as long as they, in return, have respect for all others - writers and readers included - and are truly continuing to hone their skills with their own ideas and talents.

May everything work out for everyone who puts in their greatest efforts. Karma's great at that.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! I hope everybody had a lovely, lovely day with their families and loved ones. We celebrated Mother's Day a tad earlier this year and my brother and I took our parents out for dinner on Wednesday night since Dad was home from work as well. They're the best parents ever and they do spoil me entirely too much. LOVE!

Anyway, in other news, I'm okay! I'm alive! Everyone can rest assured that I didn't bring home swine flu with me from Cancun. Nor did my friends. I think. I don't know about that guy who almost got arrested for having sex on the beach - nah, he's fine. No flu symptoms and he paid the cop off.

If only that was a joke.

I had my latest exam last Monday and I have another one coming up this Friday. I got two hours of sleep last Sunday and nearly had a nervous breakdown at 3 AM because I couldn't seem to get the material down, but the test went better than I expected.

HOWEVER! I didn't bubble in two of the correct answers because I'm a scantron fail kinda girl so ... goodbye, 5 points. I want to punch someone.

After having an exam every single week these past few months, it's somewhat of a sad breather when our last exam isn't immediately this Monday. Too bad there will be five more days of information than the last one. My friend destroyed my happy bubble when she told me that the reproductive systems, male and female, each had two chapters.


She flipped to the chapter - Spermatogenesis - and I realized histology is cruel.

"Why - why do sperm get a chapter by itself?" I babbled. "Even the urinary system is just one massively long chapter. IT DOESN'T DESERVE ONE WHOLE CHAPTER!"

Naturally, of course, it would be a guy who'd take the time to inform me with a smug smile, "But it's important."

Important, my -

Other news: I got a haircut. Finally. My friend was getting ready to chop my hair for me because I was always searching for split ends during lecture. I have sorta side bangs now.

Also, I recently won a writing contest and they awarded me a $75 Amazon gift card. Score!

Other than that, no real good news and I wonder why I'm so unmotivated these days. These past few years, actually. I just can't seem to sit still and focus. Well, that's how it goes. Keep on truckin'!