Friday! And Book Lists!

OK, from here on I’m going to post a) more random things about the events in my life b) my story c) BOOK REVIEWS and d) more environmental stuff.

Now it’s time to find books to read and review!

I’m looking for books with either good epic fantasy plot-lines (not just LOTR knock-offs) OR books with exceedingly good prose but from any genre. And also thought-provoking books that cover events from history and existential themes, disutopian books, all that is sound and good!

So here’s what’s on my reading list for the next three weeks:

The Neverending Story
Things Fall Apart
Catcher in the Rye
Heart of Darkness
Great Expectations

That’s enough for now, here are books that I want to review so I have a chance to reread them:
Dune (at least book 1 – haven’t gotten to the others yet)
The Good Earth
Ender’s Game
The Painted Bird
The House of the Scorpion
The Abhorsen Trilogy
His Dark Materials Trilogy
The Odyssey
Lost Years of Merlin
Maximum Ride
All Quiet on the Western Front

Yes, I know some of these were from pre-teen years (some), but I’m doing them anyway XD They are relevant to this story!

I feel like going on a slight tangent and going over movies too. If I could make a MOVIE I would need to rewatch these movies for some insights first:

Any Miyazaki movie (Spirited Away, Castle in the Sky, Nausicaa) – seriously, this could be enough in itself…
Rabbit-Proof Fence
Whale Rider
Once Upon a Time in the West
Forrest Gump
Spiderman (first movie, mostly because I liked it best =P)
Batman (especially the soundtrack of Batman Begins!!! O____O The recent one isn’t bad either…)
Pirates of the Caribbean (especially 1)
Full Metal Alchemist series, for an awesome plot and main characters
Naruto (haven’t gone past ep 20 yet), for awesome characters
Lord of the Rings (GOT to rewatch that!)
A.I. (Artificial Intelligence)

There, those are my recommendations for awesome books and movies for the summer and that’s what you’ll be seeing a lot of in the next few weeks.

Well, to tell the truth if you see even 5% of what’s on those lists you’ll be very lucky. I think it will take MUCH longer than one summer to review them all. Five summers, maybe?

I’m serious, but who knows? Let’s see what happens!

Video: Whale Rider Trailer! If you haven’t already seen it, WATCH WHALE RIDER!!! So well made, so awesome in every way…

Summer Job

Phew, all of this MIT stuff is really getting me over my head. And I’m finally getting really excited!!! XDDDDDDDDDDDD

So now what should I write about?

Well, after yesterday’s evil brainstorm of a post, I’m pretty sure that I’ll be taking 18.02, 8.01/8.012, 5.111, 12.000, and some HASS. Probably writing. At this point I’m thinking that I won’t do Concourse, but I’ll still go to the open house. Just for fun.

So let me write a bit about what I’ve been up to this summer.

I’m doing this job in “Resource Management” (which = pulling weeds) at Governor’s Island with the National Park Service. My job is actually part of a program called the National Hispanic Environmental Institute. It’s not just for hispanics. 19 of us got to go to an almost free ($15 registration) week of training that involved visiting Gateway, Ellis Island, Jamaica Bay, Fire Island, and Sandy Hook. All in 6 days. We camped out for two days too.

Then the next week we started on our jobs at our different sites. I chose Governor’s Island because I thought that it would be a combo of outdoor work and interpretation. Turns out that it is just outdoor work. I love the exercise and the fact that it’s not boring office work, but it’s not like we’re getting much training or growth experience here. I mean, I’m not learning what it’s like to be a lawyer anything. I guess you could say that by pulling weeds all day long I’m learning how to… get better at pulling weeds all day long.

That’s OK though, I’m making some money =) I wish I could make more through the semester and not just see all of my earnings slowly dissolve over the course of the term… The question is, will there be time?

It would be so cool to be an admissions blogger, but my writing hasn’t reached that level yet. The MIT blogs are so fun! I have no idea why I didn’t spend more time on them when applying to MIT. I’m a fan of Chris/Oasis, Snively, and Yan (food blogs!):

Take, for example, this post about snow and physics! Read it to the end, you’ll see… 8)

So I have TONS of pics to upload from these past few weeks, just wait until I find my iphone charger and find a way to get them all on the internet at once!

(And quick update – the new Ouran HS chapter just came out on!!!!!! Thanks Lena!!!!!!!!!!!!)


And I wonder if anyone noticed the song in the first paragraph… XDDD

Gameplan for college

Here’s a video for you all that might capture the mood of this post. Yay for destroying books!!! Bwahahaha…

You don’t have to read this, you really don’t. It’s so long. But if you’re interested in some more of my especially rambly ramblings, feel free to go on…

For now I’m going to write about how I’m trying to plan my courses for the next 2 (or 4?) terms at MIT. It might just be me, or it might just be MIT, but it seems like college requires you to PLAN a LOT even as a pre-frosh. I thought this post might be interesting/helpful to other people who want to make the most out of their experiences XD Or perhaps you can tell me what YOU’RE planning to do for your next terms so we can compare schedules!

OK, so MIT is one of those schools that has a core (general institute requirements – GIRs). Those include (typically) taking one to two terms of math (18.01 or credit for first-year calculus and 18.02), two terms of physics (8.01/8.012 and 8.02/8.022), a chem course, a bio course, a writing course if you have not passed the FEE (Freshman Essay Evaluation) or gotten a 5 on an AP English course, and 8 terms of HASS (Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences) courses. The writing counts as one HASS credit too.

So, basically, you can get your math and physics requirements out of the way freshman year, work on the HASS requirements by taking one non-science course a term, and… people do different things with chem and bio depending on what they are majoring in.

I was considering 18.014 (a theory/proof-heavy math class), but I kind of want to get the requirements out of the way so I’m sticking with 18.02. Physics will probably be 8.012, so my schedule for the first term might start by looking like this:

18.02 (Cal II)
8.012 (Cool physics XD)
HASS/Writing course

OK, since I’m into the environment I’m doing Terrascope. Which sounds like the most awesome program ever created. And that adds another class (Solving Complex Problems, 12.000) to my list.
(I’m going to start adding the number of credits for each course, because you can’t take any more than 54 credits in your first term as a freshman, but with Terrascope the limit is 57 credits.)

18.02 – 12 credits
8.012 – 12 credits
12.000 – 9 credits

36 credits. So this leaves room for 21 credits, and I could use all of them if I want to kill myself.

Here’s the next complicated thing. I’m thinking of doing Concourse or Experimental Study Group, more likely Concourse. These are two learning communities that each enroll about 60 freshmen and have them take their basic classes together. Classes are smaller and you get more attention from teachers. I think that the added support might be helpful for me – heck, I’ll need all the help I can get at MIT. And then I get to have close friends from Terrascope AND Concourse XD Yay learning communities!

But I’m also want to take a language so I can do MISTI – intern ABROAD from MIT! I would probably choose China, Mexico, or Japan. I wasn’t really thinking about Japan until I heard that you could intern at Square Enix. So the question is – to design computer games or to do field research? Either one could have a positive environmental impact, especially designing games if I convince Square Enix to go “green” or put “green” themes in their games…

Ah, I’m just dreaming now, it’ll probably be China or Mexico. Mexico has more environmental opps, or so it seems, so maybe Spanish first?

But either one would require taking the language. Which means that I would need to take the language course. So now the question is – which one first – Chinese or Spanish? And when?

Here is the schedule that I WISH I could have for my first term:

-18.02 (12 credits)
-8.012 (12 credits)
-5.111 (Chem) or 3.091 (Concourse chem – a combo of 3.091 and 5.111)
-Chinese Level I or Spanish Level ? (12 credits)
-Either Globalization (if I passed out of writing) OR Writing about Nature and Environmental Issues OR Writing about Literature OR Writing and Reading Short Stories (9 credits)
-12.000 (Terrascope) (9 credits)

So that adds up to 63. Um, no. No no no NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

So I’ll be stuck with one of the following situations based on whether I get into Concourse and/or need to take a writing class. (I WILL be pressured to take chemistry with concourse if I do concourse…)

W/o concourse or writing (save that for later!)


Total: 51 credits

With or without concourse and with writing:

Writing about Literature OR Writing and Reading Short Stories
5.111/3.091 (Chem or concourse chem)

Total: 57 credits

If I sanely decide to totally disregard their advice about chem:

8.012 (or 8.01 if 8.012 is too hard)
Writing course

Total: 45 credits

So when you’re planning your next four years (or next term, I can’t get past that!), it’s important to keep your priorities in order. If you’re majoring in bio you might want to take intro bio first term instead of chem. If you’re not as into the environment as me you might be tempted to just drop 12.000 and make room for everything else. But that would be a mistake because 12.000 is the most awesome course EVER. Since I know that that course is a priority for me, I can set that aside and spend my precious energy deciding which of the others to eliminate. Math and physics are required, so I can’t really touch those except to place ahead if possible. I kind of wish I’d found a way to take AP Physics/Bio/Chem so that I could get one of those requirements out of the way, but that option is not available to me now.

Maybe I’m just stressing over this too much. Maybe I should just leave chem for sophomore year. Should I leave the language for later as well?

And OMG, I just found out that there’s a Spanish II study abroad opportunity over IAP (January’s Independent Activities Period)! It’s not free though… (I think MITSI covers the costs of its internship programs…)


Wow, this post turned out to be REALLY REALLY REALLY long, so I’m posting one video on the top. If you read up to the end, um, wow! XD Now you know the drama that is the start of academic life at MIT XD Anyway, I’ll post another one here to reward you for coming this far! And please feel free to tell me what YOU’RE planning, if you’re going to MIT or otherwise, or even still in high school =P

Shoot, if you’re in high school you shouldn’t be worrying about these things! Go read my asian drama reviews!


This “soulmate characteristics blah blah blah” post thing might never go up…

Don’t worry, it will eventually come up. I’m sure that all of the suspense is worth more than the real thing will be whenever it comes up. I can promise you one thing – it will either come up in the next two days in all of its underwhelming glory or I’ll just stop mentioning it =P

Seriously though, I should not keep leaving this for the last minute because SOMEONE in my house is threatening to come out of her bedroom and drag me off of here for the nth time in a row. So let me get a video in and post ASAP tomorrow afternoon! I swear that I will include a recipe/environmental stuff/the long-awaited aforementioned stuff XDD

Well first off check out this link about how animals are not brainless, and how intelligence doesn’t just run through the human family tree!

And now for a VID! (Got to find more vids guys X_X) For now I’m doing TM Revolution! With SUBS!!! (on the top) Yayyyy XD

A Post before 12 AM!!! =O

This would be longer, folks, but my mom is threatening to take away everything I own if I don’t get into bed by 11:10.

So in the 3 minutes I have I’ll take 20 seconds to post a daily video. More stuff (and food!) to come tomorrow! (I got my PS2 memory card today so food shopping for some new secret recipe will have to wait till tomorrow =P But yay Final Fantasy 10

Video of the day (because FLOW is just that awesome):

Ah, I’m overtime, see you tomorrow!

Weekend Update…

So I am totally failing at this daily blogging thing. But I do have an excuse for yesterday – my Dell’s wireless device failed, and I couldn’t remember the password to log in to wordpress from my mom’s computer. And now it’s 12:30 AM, your regular update time, 12 hours after I woke up today/yesterday (um… 12:30 PM!), but my mom is threatening evil things if I don’t get off of here and go to bed.

I should put something substantial in this post before I insert an awesome MV in here. Just to sum up what I’ve done this weekend…

1) My mom and I went shopping for clothes/college stuff! Btw if you’re in NYC, Century 21 is a great place for discount clothes 😉 Since I can’t find anything that seems like it will look good on me (or maybe I just have no fashion sense), whether it be in Century 21 or Forever 21, we came away with discount socks, discount pjs, a hairband…

2) Then we went through my room and sorted out what’s going to college from what’s not going to college. So I got to put the ugly half of my closet in the charity box and organize the rest. But besides dresses from other painful shopping trips, from the looks of it my wardrobe is utterly lacking in everything besides old t-shirts and jeans.

So my mom said need to go shopping againnn…….. noooooooooooooo…………… X__________X

3) Then it started raining right when I was going to go shopping for food to make some yummy vegan dish. So I decided to do “fun” shoppping – for computers. I was going to get a laptop, but after looking at this MIT forum I’m starting to think the best option might be a desktop for the dorm and a netbook to carry around to classes. I’ve already suffered 13 years with a 50 pound backpack, so I love the idea of a “lighter notebook” XD There’s this blue one that looks really good here =) The problem would be the desktop. And here, my friends, is the question: To Windows or to Mac?

I love that the desktop + netbook would cost less than the laptop I was considering, even with a Mac desktop XD But while the Mac includes an iTouch (for my mom! XD) the Windows (Dell Optiplex) is about $500 cheaper… I’m wondering if the Mac is just that much more amazing, if the Windows is an obviously better deal, or if I shouldn’t even be asking the question because the netbook would not cooperate with the Mac.

Well, I’ll post whatever answers I get to these questions up once I get them =) Or if you happen to be a computer whiz you can give me advice! Or share your Windows vs. Mac stories! Thanks XD

4) Now it’s 12:56 and before I get cut into pieces by a zombie who looks suspiciously like my mother running out of her bedroom I will post a video!

Continued Ouran Post

So the soulmate thing will have to wait till tomorrow, I was reading Ouran High School Host Club up to chapter 58 and I realized that the girl is probably going to be paired up with the guy I thought she was going to be paired with in the first place.

And now I’ll post a video. I’m so bad. But no worries, I’ll be posting a whole photo album of pics from work today online tomorrow XDD

Perhaps it’s a song like the one I want a soulmate to sing to me! XD So I didn’t totally neglect the topic! XD;


So my next post was supposedly going to be the list of characteristics for an ideal soulmate, but I started reading Ouran High School Host Club scanlations instead. I’m up to chapter 36, to be exact…

So I’m just going to say that EVERYONE has to read OHHC (there is a plot, trust me, it gets much better as it goes on) but now I’m just going to finish my chapter and go to bed. Or maybe get to 40 and go to bed.

But I will include a video! =)

(And before the vid – just a reminder, but please post comments!!! They are greatly appreciated!!! Feel free to give me ideas, ask me for longer posts, start a conversation about something, etc.)

Anyway here we go… another Flow song =) Not part of the series, but great on it’s own… btw I used to have a crush on one of the flow guys, K-5 (Keigo) XD Especially in World End but also in this vid… See if you can figure out which one it is!

FLOW – Colors

Cooking Lentil Burgers and Brownies!

So I’m lazy today and am just going to put up pictures of what I’ve cooked for the past two days with this book called “Joy of Juicing!”

Lentil burgers!

Baked and made with cooked red lentils, lentil sprouts, carrot pulp, curry powder and coriander, pinch of salt, almonds, ground cashews…

And voila!

Burger on salad!

Burger on salad!



I made this twice, once for my mom and I and then again for my mom, two friends from work and myself again. I think they liked them. =P Looks like I’m making more.

And there’s also homemade lemony tahini there, just used freshly squeezed lemon juice, tahini, garlic, chick peas…

And last but not least – date fudge brownies! Made with maple syrup, dates, spelt flour, egg whites (can’t find vegan eggs X_X), and parsnip pulp! XD

Put this in the oven...

Put this in the oven...

Chow Time!

Chow Time!

Next up – perhaps some pizza, I’m going to try making my own nut “cheese” =)

Btw, totally off the subject, but I thought of a beginning to my novel! Except it’s only a beginning, and everything after it is still scrambled up! But I know what’s going to happen at the beginning!!!!! XDD

Now, time for the last part of FLOW’s three-part series!

I highly recommend that you watch them all together one after the other to see how they kind of fit into each other. I’m also adding the english lyrics below each video (this one has them – they’re not perfect but they work) so you should be able to see them if you go back to them.

Now, without further ado… (I’m having problems embedding the video, so I’ll just post the link)

FLOW – Snowflake

About the Novel…

Hey all, so much for eating light today X_______________X But that’s my problem, and it will be fixed tomorrow =P No more chocolate “ice cream” with coconut milk for me! (You can get it at the supermarket – the brand is ‘purely decadent’ – because that’s what it is…)

Anyway, time for me to write about something I’ve been thinking about, um, 24/7. Yes, even when I’m working, yes, even when I’m walking wherever, yes, even when I’m shaking my computer off its hinges because it has decided to utterly fail at being a computer for the nth time.

The thing I HAVEN’T been doing to this novel is, um, writing it.

Because, well, I’m still working on the plot. Because I know what the beginning is going to be like (well the basics), I know what it’s going to be like perhaps 1/3 through, but the end? I’m not sure whether it should be sad and really realistic/bad (which could break my heart and it would never get written!) or kind of sappy but somehow end up good. It’s kind of like a “will harry potter die or not?” thing.

And it’s not just the plot. It’s the world. This post is going to be pretty spoiler-free (for when the book comes out in ten years or so), but I can almost – almost – guarantee that the story will take place in an alternate universe. Perhaps not just one. And we might even return to this universe at some point. Who knows?

The basics – this story is inspired by Lord of the Rings-type epic fantasy and Miyazaki films, and I was planning to write a story that would take place in a medieval age. But LOTR has been cliched to death. Trust me – this story is it’s own thing. There are no elves, no hobbits, no dwarves. But there will be a very active animal kingdom. And there will be magic.

Oh my gosh, it’s past midnight (I took a break to make brownies XD) and I haven’t even started to explain what the story’s actually about. I tend to bite off more than I can chew, so I’m chewing this idea for a while – an allegory of humankind’s relationship between the rest of nature over it’s history. A struggle against the idea of fate. And, um, the nature and role of a god. Or people that ACT like gods. A healthy dose of existentialist themes in here. And perhaps, if it all weaves in properly and my characters find a way, a bit of romance! =)

I feel bad for not having anything more substantial up here yet – I still need to map out the world(s), trace histories of gods, wizards, and nations/tribes, create magical animals, create (more than two – I’ve got at least two) characters that are memorable (in their humanity and/or animal-ity) and deep, determine the rules of the universe (how does magic work, etc.) and the typical paths that people take in it, and then create an awesome plot from there.

It sounds like I haven’t even started. Who would know that I’ve begun thinking of this story for at least 3 years?


Well enough! If you’ve gotten this far, you’re welcome to request a chapter – tell me if you want one with romance or action or what – and I’ll post it up here within a week. I have a basic plot-line in my head and I’d love to practice writing – but right now I’m kind of reworking the whole thing to see if I can make it more grounded instead of just simple idealism.

Video time! Part 2 of the 3-part Flow series!

The light that was born at the end of the world
Is found inside the wind now

I cannot live with only beautiful things
I cannot heal with only kindness

What was taken from me?
What did I hear
In an unchanging world?
A song of color

Everything is bright

May the dream that was broken and scattered
Echo at the end of tomorrow
The light that was born at the end of the world
Becomes one with us inside the wind now

I cannot laugh as if it happened to someone else
I cannot wipe my tears away if it was only loneliness

What did I gain for my victory?
What did I hear
At the end of the war?
A cry of sadness

Everything is crying

May the dream that was broken and scattered
Echo at the end of tomorrow
The light that was born at the end of the world
Becomes one with us inside the wind now

Return to your fulfilled heart and don’t make anyone cry
Leave it all behind

Everything is bright

May the sky I saw that day
Be there at the end of my prayers
At the start of a new world, on a morning of creation
We shine pure white and become the wind now