Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What I've Learned From BEDA

It's the last day of BEDA so I thought I'd sum up what this experience has taught me.

1. I learned a lot more about how blogger works. Okay this one is a bit of a cop out in terms of things I learned but it's true. Before BEDA I just wrote my posts and hit "publish" all in one go. This month I started prewriting some posts (namely the Doctor Who ones) so that while on vacation I could just post quickly and not take time away from the trip. I ran into trouble because I found that posts I wrote earlier were being published as though I'd published them the day I first wrote them. At first I responded by using copy and paste to "create" a new post with the same words. Then I realized there was a thing at the bottom of saved posts that let me control when it said it was published. So that made it easier.
I also learned more about the stats feature. I can see all sorts of cool things like how many views I've gotten or what people googled to find my blog. My favorite so far is that someone googled "yes you are" rory amy gay to find my Let's Kill Hitler post.
I also learned how to put pictures in my posts. 

2. I have an easier time writing when I know what I want to write. This may seem obvious but it's true. There were some days where I'd write an interesting post and have an idea for another. Rather than write the next post early I'd say "now I know what I'm writing tomorrow" then I'd forget the next day. I learned to write when I have the idea, rather than saying I have to write on these days. I'd rather write a few posts that are interesting or fun for me to write than write "this counts as a post" everyday. Despite that I also learned:

3. I like writing more frequently. If I look through the archives I had fewer than 20 posts from January and July. With nothing written in May. I want to be posting content here even if no one's reading. Or commenting or whatever. I was never a good diary keeper because I was never accountable to anyone but myself. Even if I don't know for sure who's reading this, I still feel more of a reason to write when I post here because I'm not the only one who'll be reading it.

4. While I like writing reviews of things, I don't want to just write reviews. I like telling funny little stories of things that happened to me. I like sharing fun things I've found. I like having the motivation to put pictures from trips on the computer because I'll get to put them in posts about my trips. I like having that memory of how I felt about the experience then permanently captured so that I can look back on them later.

5. I learned more about how comfortable I am writing about my personal life. Whenever I bring up my blog in front of my mom she gives me a lecture about not telling any personal information so that the internet stalkers don't get me. However, since most of the people who read this are my friends who are following a link I posted on facebook, for me it's more about how much do I want to share with everyone. Most of you know where I live and all that but I don't always want everyone to know how I feel about other people or certain situations.  I've had quite a few posts that I've started writing that would have been interesting and easier to write, that I ended up deleting and replacing with something lame because I didn't feel right talking about it on the internet. I was going to put an example in but then I deleted it because I'm still not totally sure if I want to have everyone know about it.

I guess the upshot of this is I want to commit myself to writing more frequently. I think I'm going to try to stick to twice a week for now. For the next few weeks one of those will probably be a review of the new Doctor Who episode, though probably not always written directly after watching the episode.
I'm starting university within the next two weeks so I'll probably have stuff to write about from that, though I'll have to work out how comfortable I am revealing certain details. I don't think I'm going to assign myself days that I have to post on (like mon/thurs or sat/wed). However if I find myself slacking on the writing I might try committing myself to certain days.
I don't know if I'll do BEDA again in April or even next August. I'll have to make the decision then based on my schedule.I'll see how it goes. Either way, this month has been fun.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's Almost Over

Today I went to get some yarn so I could make some of those cool squares I showed you a week or so ago. One of the squares I didn't show made the TARDIS image so I was looking for the right shade of blue. I wasn't sure I had it so I went to the store employee nearby and ad a very fun conversation.

"This probably doesn't mean anything to you but does this *holds up skein of blue yarn* look TARDIS blue to you?"
"I do know what a TARDIS is but I don't know it well enough to know if that's the right shade of blue."
"I just thought I'd ask."
"Does this work?" *She picks up a slightly different shade of blue*
"I don't know."
"Do you want me to look it up on my phone?"
"Sure." *We do so*
"I like being able to use my phone at work."
*Picture comes up* *I hold both skeins up to the screen*
"I guess this one looks a little closer"
"It's kind of between them in color."

I ended up getting the slightly lighter shade which when I compared it to my TARDIS I realized was a little too light. Oh well. It doesn't have to be exact.

Monday, August 29, 2011

My Favorite Words

Today is the antepenultimate day of BEDA. And since antepenultimate is one of my favorite words (it means third-to-last) I thought I'd share my favorite word:
Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia -Fear of long words

It has irony. It's fun to say really quickly to confuse people. I couldn't ask for anymore in a word.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Change of Plans

So today was going to be part one of going over the Charleston trip I just got back from. But then there was a hurricane and I decided not to worry so much about putting the pictures on my computer so I could write about where I was. So instead I'll talk about hurricane Irene. Basically, my house and area are fine. My town had a huge storm about a year and a half ago referred to as Treepocalypse because there were so many down trees. School was canceled for a week. Half the town lost power for some period of time.

Basically I was expecting round two of that. What ended up happening is that there was a pretty big storm last night but we didn't lose power, our house is fine. There have been some fallen trees but not nearly as intense as previously.

In the meantime all our patio furniture is indoors because we didn't want it flying away. I have an emergency bag sitting on the floor of my room, unused. The roof, despite my mom's worries did not fly off. While I obviously didn't want anything to happen to the house or anything, there's sort of that feeling when you prep for a big emergency that it had better be worth it. So while I'm glad there's no real damage part of me is like, "That's it?" Oh well. At least the storm distracted me from the fact that one of my best friends is moving into her dorm today (Assuming her school, which was in the path of the hurricane, hasn't delayed opening).

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Let's Kill Hitler

WARNING MASSIVE SPOILERS !!!!!!! (After the jump)
I have to say, I was concerned when I heard about the other episodes that were going to come this season because many of them seemed like contained stories that wouldn't really deal with this big mystery that they were dealing with. After all, with Melody missing will Amy and Rory really want to just go traveling for fun? But they tied up loose ends nicely.

I liked the crop circles to get the Doctor back. It's nearly as subtle as River writing "Hello Sweetie" on, well, just about everything. Or what the Doctor did in the first episode of this season. The introduction to Mels was nicely done. I liked the flashback scene. "Rory's gay." "No I'm not" "Yes you are. I've never seen you be interested in anyone." *Realization dawns on Amy* (Now that I've poked fun at Rory a little I'd like to point out that if this was an episode of Friends it would be called "The one where Rory is even more of a BAMF than usual"). Also, I know wish I wasn't done with high school so I could use Mels' answers. "Why did Hitler rise to power?" "Because the Doctor didn't stop him."

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Good Man Goes to War

I like this episode a lot. The very beginning bugged me because it seemed like they were once again setting up the question of Amy and the Doctor but then Rory completely owned the scene with the Cybermen so that made up for it. "I have a message from the Doctor and a question from me. Where is my wife?" "What's the Doctor's message?" *all the ships blow up* "Would you like me to repeat the question?"

Also, how cute is that baby?

I liked the cleric Marines, particularly the thin and fat ones. "We're the thin/fat gay married Anglican Marines. Why would we need names as well?" (This episode was so quotable!) I also liked the initial reason why they were called the headless monks. "They follow their hearts." hehe.

I liked seeing him recruit all the people. The Sontaran was particularly funny. I liked the conversation between Rory and Rive in the beginning. A lot of her emotions made more sense at the end. I also just loved her at the beginning. "I'm breaking in not out!" Stormcage seems like a really terrible prison.

The Doctor's plan was amazing. I loved 3 minutes 40 seconds.I loved Captain runaway. As much as I was lukewarm about the pirates before they popped up so well. "I have a crew of twenty." *Pirates appear* Me: "You had a crew of twenty." The spitfires in space!

I liked the reveal of what Melody was. "Only you would ignore the instincts of a mother."

Then the trap closed and it was heartbreaking. I literally cried a little when Madam Kovorian revealed what she'd done, especially when the baby went sploosh.

That ending was great. I had seen spoilers so I knew what was coming but they did it so well that it didn't even matter.

Favorite quotes (That haven't been mentioned already):
"You'll be up and around in no time. And perhaps one day, you and I shall meet on the field of battle and I will destroy you for the glory of the Sontaran Empire."
" Please, point a gun at me if it helps you relax."
Amy: (hears someone at the door)"Who's that? Who's there? You watch it, because I am armed and really dangerous, and... cross."
Rory: "Like I don't know that."
"And really, you should call her "Mummy," not "Big Milk Thing."
"She doesn't like the TARDIS noise. I asked him to turn something off, but it was all "But I don't want to punch a hole in the space-time continuum."
"Rory, no offense to the others, but, uh, you let them all die first, okay?"
"I'd often dreamed of dying in combat. I'm not enjoying it as much as I'd hoped."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Almost People

Now this episode I liked! I wasn't expecting to. I thought that part two would be more part one but I was wrong. This episode was so much better.The problem is that much of what made this episode much better relates to certain twists within the episode. So I'll see what I can put.
1. Amy's feelings towards "Smith". I thought her range of emotions was interesting. I liked that althrough she didn't trust him she also confided in him.
2. Jennifer and Rory. I just liked how betrayed he was. He does that well.
3.The doctor just has a cure for the aneurism.
4. That phone call. That was the most adorable little kid ever!
5. Finally, that last big twist was just excellent.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Rebel Flesh

I didn't really love this episode to be honest. I just had trouble keeping interested in the plot. Additionally, I found the overall story of the episode confusing, and this is from someone who found The Big Bang as well as pretty much every Christopher Nolan movie straightforward.
Parts I liked:
I thought the opening was fun, seeing Rory and Amy just hanging out on the TARDIS. I liked how Rory sussed out they weren't in medieval times.  I liked the bit about the Doctor using the screwdriver to tell him what was written in plain English on the pipe. I liked that Rory went after Jennifer instead of obediently listening to Amy. Especially since they've had him show such doubt in past episodes about her love for him, for him to just not listen and do what he thinks is right rather thatn just do as told seems like growth to me.
I also liked the Eyepatch lady showing up.
Parts I didn't Like:
As I said I found it very confusing who was Ganger and who was real. Obviously this was the point, and since I praised that they gave the sense of confusion in Day of the Moon I can't really complain about them doing it again here, but I will anyway.
I thought the part about the Ganger Doctor took too long for them to set up. They should have either established the character definitively earlier, even if he's in the background, or had him be a complete surprise/twist ending.
I just didn't love this episode. I wanted to, but I didn't.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Doctor's Wife

This is how you do an episode of Doctor Who! It's just, wow!

1. Love the Douglas Adams references. "Junkyard at the end of the universe" is probably the more recognized one, as it references The Restaurant at the End of the Universe the second in the Hitchhiker's series. Personally, my favorite reference was the paraphrased quote from The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. When Dirk Gently describes how zen driving works he explains that "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." Similarly, when the Doctor yells at the TARDIS (or Sexy) that she hasn't always taken him where he wanted to go, she responds that she's always taken him where he needed to be. I loved the subtle homages too Douglas Adams particularly since he worked as a script editor and writer for Doctor Who back in the days of Tom Baker.

2. Idris/TARDIS/Sexy. This character was played to perfection. Her nonlinear points of view made so much sense. Why should the TARDIS see things as a linear progression of cause and effect? Of course she'd see time as a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff. (Sorry, had to reference another great DW episode there). "Biting's excellent. It's like kissing, only there's a winner.". That line made me laugh so hard. However, I loved the way she forced the Doctor and us to examine the significance of the TARDIS. Yes, for years the show creators have made her a character in her own right, but by actually letting her speak it pointed out just how much she's done. I loved the idea that it was she who stole the Doctor, rather than the other way around, because he was the only one mad enough. It gives new meaning to "mad man with a box".  Also, I saw a bit of Jenny in her, especially the scene where she points out that the Doctor never follows directions (It reminds me a bit of the part where Jenny uses logic to prove he's a soldier). I also liked how she could have done this by referencing Amy's Choice when he reveals that he threw out the manual, but instead points out how he opens the doors.

3. Amy and Rory. Okay so yet another death for Rory. What's he up to know? I liked how they called back to how Rory waited for her in the past for 2000 years. I found it especially interesting because when they met up again then they were lovey dovey but here, where he presumably waited less than 2000 years he had written "Kill Amy" all over the walls. To be fair, he wasn't really dead, it was all House messing with Amy's mind. Which made me like it even more. For so many episodes we see Rory having doubts about Amy's love for him, yet here we see Amy scared that Rory could turn on her, that by making him wait he will stop loving her. I liked that they showed her having insecurities about his love too.
On that topic, seeing that Amy's mental definition of delight was her wedding to Rory was a nice reinforcement that she does truly love him.

4. The TARDIS graveyard. How amazing was that? I almost wish they had been able to go with Neil Gaiman's plan to have the chameleon circuits make them all look like broken washing machines, but it was still a beautiful scene. And then they just built a TARDIS (the winning design from that contest a while back).

5. Continuity. This episode was originally supposed to be in the previous season. Then it got moved. I think the glory of the stand alone episodes is that it didn't seem out of place. It's a fantastic story and a reminder that even with these huge overwhelming arcs, sometimes you need to go on a side adventure. Having it be that the reason they got sidetracked was the Doctor looking for another Time Lord gave it significance so it wasn't a random trip. Obviously, something Idris said plays into the mid season finale, but that's a line that even if it wasn't there, the episode would have been amazing. Similarly, had there been even more cryptic clues of what's to come, it would have also worked well. Since Sexy is the big wibbly wobbly ball we know she sees things out of order so we know it's not meant to make sense. So it doesn't matter if you watch the episode alone or as part of the season.

Finally, 6. Just some favorite quotes I haven't put in yet.
"She's a woman and she's the TARDIS."/"Did you wish really hard?"
"I wish I could do this for you. Actually, I don't. It's going to hurt a lot."
"Bunk beds are cool. It's a bed, with a ladder. You can't beat that." (Here's hoping that's true as I'll be having the top bunk at university).

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Curse of the Black Spot

I liked this episode but I didn't love it. I felt the whole thing was a study in repetitiveness. The Doctor continuously saying forget my theories up to this point. The Captain explaining that a sip is a ship. Rory dying...
...again. Not to mention that while I obviously don't want people dying this was yet another Moffet "everybody lives" episode. To summarize.

Something is happening to people that's killing them.It is a bad something. The Doctor tries to figure out what's happening. In the process more people get hurt/affected, sometimes even people he cares about (Anita, Rory). He later realizes that they aren't dead after all (living zombies, living in a computer program, taken on board a spaceship). In fact, the thing that caused the bad thing wasn't bad at all. It was trying to keep them alive. (Nanogenes, the computer saving them from the Vashta Nerada, the mermaid nurse). The Doctor puts everything right. (Gets the nanogenes reprogrammed. Frees everyone from the computer program except those killed by the Vashta Nerada who get to live in there. Gets Rory released to Amy who does CPR, the pirate take over the ship and fly off). Most importantly, "Everybody lives!"

Listen, I love Doctor Who. I though the Gas Mask Zombie episodes and the Library episodes were brilliant. I liked the twist that everybody lives and had he left it at those two I probably wouldn't have noticed quite how similar they are. But then there was this episode, and I realized all the similarities.

Maybe it's because this was a one part, rather than a two part. Maybe it's because this one wasn't actually written by Moffet (though he is head writer so that's why I attribute the basic plot to him). I just don't think this episode was as good as its predecessors.

Quick note, Eyepatch Lady appears again.

Favorite quotes:
"Okay, groovy. So you're just not pirates today — we've managed to bag us a ship with a demon popping in. Very efficient. I mean, if something's going to kill you, it's nice that it drops you a note to remind you."
 "I know you can do this. Of course, if you muck it up, I am going to be really cross. And dead."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Day of the Moon

Okay! So part two of the series opener picks up about three months later. If you've been playing the Rory Williams death drinking game, take a shot (Of soda or water or lemonade of course, because I don't encourage drinking alcohol. Not until I can join in of course. Kidding). Seriously though, I want to know why they keep killing Rory. I've heard a lot of people criticize River's jump into the pool, but I thought it was very funny. Also, what was up with the Doctor's beard? It kept getting shorter, like it was reverse growing, rather than giving us time for him to cut it.

I loved how the show really put us in the position of the companions in terms of not what it's like to have memories of the Silence edited out of our minds, and having to rely on markings that we don't remember making and messages that we don't remember leaving. The shot where Amy's face is clean then all of a sudden is covered in marks was amazing.

Okay, so the Doctor breaking into Apollo 11. And he had a piece left over. Brilliant. I also like how throughout the episode Nixon was used in place of the psychic paper (this was originally said elsewhere, I just agree.)

When Amy saw the face I had a lot of questions about what was going on. Currently I only have one question about that. How could Amy have seen her at an angle other than straight on? The picture of Amy was heartbreaking, especially now.

After she got grabbed I liked that they could still hear her. I also loved how after Amy threatened to take it away from Rory if he was going to spy. Tee hee. Honestly, I was a little bugged that they are still doing the whole "Rory thinks Amy loves the Doctor not him only to realize he's an idiot" thing. I just feel like Amy's Choice dealt with that so well so it bugs me that they keep bringing it up.

Anyway, I loved how the Doctor managed to defeat the Silent. (Canton: "This is a video phone. Whatever that is.") I loved his little exchange with River about how many she could shoot, as well as the blatant Indiana Jones call-back later with Rory.
The Doctor: Oh, this is my friend River. Nice hair, clever, and has her own gun. And unlike me, she really doesn't mind shooting people. I shouldn't like that. Kinda do, a bit.
River Song: Thank you, sweetie.
The Doctor: I know you're team players and everything, but she'll definitely kill the first three of you.
River: Oh, the first seven, easy.
The Doctor: Seven, really?
River: Oh, eight for you, honey.
The Doctor: Stop it!
River: Make me!
The Doctor: Oh, maybe I will!
Amy Pond :[tied to a chair] Is this really important, flirting? 'Cause I feel like I should be higher on the list right now!
The little  bit at the end with Nixon when he wanted to know if he'd be remembered. "They'll never forget you" indeed Doctor. Also saw it coming about why Canton got fired for wanting to get married.

Finally that ending. The scanner flashing back and forth that Amy both is and isn't pregnant. The little girl form the suit regenerating. So much to be excited about. This is how you start off a season.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Impossible Astronaut

First off, I love the opening with Amy and Rory looking through history at all the different places the Doctor's been cropping up. I think it's nice that they were given the chance to go off and be married for a while. I didn't get the impression that they'd intended to leave for good but rather that they were taking a holiday of some sort. (Unlike other companions who once they leave, are gone for good). Only question, I'm assuming Rory went back to work as a nurse, is Amy still working as a kiss-o-gram? If not what is she doing?

"She's doing it again. She's packing." I've got to say, for a maximum security prison they do a terrible job of keeping River locked up. I mean, she escapes all the time! Loved her shooting off the stetson. Poor Doctor never gets a hat.

I like how the Silence were (was?) introduced. It was, well not subtle, but not loudly announced either.

I love how the person the Doctor trusts most in the universe is himself.

I have semi-mixed feelings about River sneakily fixing the things on the TARDIS for the Doctor. I thought it was a very funny bit, but it did reinforce what I've noticed many people don't like about her which is that she's sort of a know-it-all. (I really want them to do an episode where she knows him well enough but hasn't done most of the stuff she's mentioned before. I don't think she and the Doctor have to be moving in completely opposite directions, it'd be nice if they traveled together for a while).

"I walked into the oval office with a big blue box. You aren't going the shoot me." "They're American!" "Don't shoot!"

River and Rory in the tunnels. I loved how he's trying to get to know her. Some Daddy-daughter bonding! Did anyone else think the thing she found in the tunnel looked like the TARDIS control room from The Lodger? No? Just me? Finally, what's the worst thing you can do if you've just mentioned that you think you're pregnant? Shooting a kid right after. Especially if that might be your own kid. 

Overall I liked the episode a lot. Also, since we've all been wondering I'll leave you with this burning question. What would happen if the Silence got in a staring contest with the weeping Angels?

Friday, August 19, 2011

I Love Doctor Who

I haven't mentioned this in any of my blog entries yet, but I love Doctor Who. A lot. Those of you who've met me in real life might have figured this out. So I'm doing a week's worth of posts all about Doctor Who. More specifically, since August 27 is the premiere of season 6 part 2, I'm doing a post a day about the first 7 episodes of the season. This will be exciting.

The problem with doing these reviews is that I have to talk about what happens on the show to properly comment on it. So I've made myself some rules:

1. Anything spoilery to do with the overall arc and story of the season will be in white text (highlight to read)
2. Anything spoilery dealing with that particular episode will just be there.
3. General statements and favorite quotes will just be in there.
4. Sometimes I will be spoilery but vague, like describing a character action without revealing who did it. This won't be white text. Also, I reserve the right to change these rules at anytime if I feel I need to. (Like if practically an entire post is white text).

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I'm working on my book right now. It's coming along, I'm mostly just rewriting this chapter. But I got a little bored so I'm doing my BEDA post. So I'm procrastinating form writing by writing this. But I can feel good about myself by saying it's not procrastination if I'm doing something I need to do. So, really I'm just tired.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Street Names

So after seeing this I decided to make a list of what I would name streets if I had the chance.

TARDIS Boulevard
Hogwarts Place
Doctor Who Street
Captain Mal Avenue
Ravenclaw Way
Popcorn Lane

It occurs to me that some people might have the same opinion of me that I have of this Bieber girl.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My Morning Routine.

I've discovered that I have a new morning routine. When I wake up (after hitting the snooze button IN MY SLEEP) I look at the clock and see what time it is. Then I make a list in my head of the things I have to do, and roughly how long it takes to do them, and what requires leaving the house. Then depending on what I have to do that first requires me to leave the house I decide if I can go back to sleep and for how long, then do, or tell myself I really need to get up. Often I sleep later than I should have and justify it by skipping items on my little to do list.

For example, this morning I woke up at 7. For no reason. the alarm didn't go off for another hour or anything. My to do list was:
1. Bathroom stuff (brush teeth ect.)
2. Clothing
3. Breakfast
4. Pack lunch
5. Go to work, must be done at 9:15.
Clearly, I could go back to sleep. When my alarm went off again. I reviewed my list, and hit snooze. Anyway, I actually got up around 8:45. While I had time to get breakfast and make lunch I ended up skipping those steps.

And that's my morning. I haven't told my roommate yet about my snooze button habits. Then again, I'm getting the top bunk so presumably once I've gotten down to hit the button I'll actually be awake since that requires effort. (If you are wondering why I don't just put the alarm across my room it's very simple. I don't want to trip on something in my half asleep state and break my leg.)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Lacking inspiration

I don't know what to write about today. So, please leave suggestions for tomorrows post in comments because I probably won't have much inspiration then either.

P.S. This counts as a legitimate post. It's just also a really lame one. I don't want to write lame blog posts.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I love Ravelry

So I may not have mentioned this on here before but I'm a knitter. I also crochet but mostly I knit. I'm signed up for a knitter social network called Ravelry. Normally I've been using Ravelry to find alternative patterns, or to get inspiration. I recently picked up eight skeins of a yarn I had no plans for because it was on a fantastic sale. So I searched the yarn on Ravelry and got some ideas for things to make with it. So far I've done a few things but I still have plenty of yarn left.

Today I decided to search in patterns just out of curiosity of what there was. I quickly realized there were a lot of Harry Potter and Doctor Who patterns. A lot. So, I've been downloading free patterns this afternoon.
Harry Potter scarf bookmarks,
Photo and Pattern Credit: Ann Kingstone

TARDIS Kindle cases and so much more.
Photo and Pattern Credit: Stephanie Walls

Obviously there are fourth Doctor scarf patterns (already did it thank you very much)
Photo and Pattern Credit: Tara Wheeler

but the patterns I found most cool were these:

Photo and Pattern Credit: Holynarf

Photo and Pattern Credit: Holynarf

Photo and Pattern Credit: Marie Wright
They're dishtowels/blanket squares/coaster/pretty much anything. I love it. Normally when I have leftover yarn I make squares then sew them into blankets. The hardest part is usually trying to find unique patterns so they aren't all boring squares. Now that I've seen these cool texture pictures (easier than two color knitting) I'm excited for the next one.

Quick Disclaimer: I don't own these images or patterns. They are the property of the people who took them and made them. All images were found on Ravelry. If you own the image/pattern and would like me to remove it (or fix the credit if I miss credited it) please just let me know.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

More baking time

I made brownies yesterday and they are so good guys. They're all thick and fudgey and have a home made frosting that I didn't burn myself making. But I ate to many so I feel a little sick.

Look, not all of these BEDA posts are going to be brilliant. I wrote something today. That's an achievement.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Italy Trip Part 6

Last part everybody. Yes in this installment I being my Italy trip to a close. Let's get started.

This was about a block away from the hotel. When we got lost we would ask people how to get here, then go to the hotel once we arrived. It seemed safer than telling strangers what hotel we were staying at.
We went for a lovely walk. We stopped to take pictures of many things including the Ponte Vecchio. Then the lovely walk turned into a death march up a huge hill/small mountain because there was (surprise) a church at the top. Also some great views of Florence.

 Like this.
 And this. (I think I can. I think I can.)
 After more trekking we got to this beautiful shot.
 This is me playing around with zoom. Seriously we were up high.
We made it! Anyway the next 10 or so pictures are just of my friends and I being silly. (Taking pictures of each other at the same time, extreme close-ups, shenanigans and what not). We shall continue this little photodiary...

On the way back down.

Back on... we weren't at sea so I can't say solid ground. Back on sea level ground? Whatever, we were done with the hill/mountain.

Anyway, that little hike was actually a last day in Florence activity. The next day we drove to Milan where the airport is. We didn't go straight there though. (Or maybe we did. I don't know the exact route. The point is we made a stop.)

It's Parma. I'm not sure if there are any universally recognized features to Parma equivalent to that tower in Pisa, so I put a picture of the clock tower.

We just hung out in Parma for a few hours. Looked around, got some cheese and olive oil.

The meet up park had some nice police/military people. I'm pretty sure they arrested a creepy looking dude near us. Also, some people found some pigeons and followed them around for a while.

The restaurant where we has lunch provided some opera singers for us. They were really good.

So, I've mentioned being a little immature before, but bear with me, I found this hilarious.

 There was a sign in the bathroom giving directions for using the toilet. I think my favorite is the third one where the guy just dances away.
In case you don't want to have to read the directions.

Anyway, we then left Parma and went to hang out in Milan for about an hour and a half. What do you think we did while there?

Did you guess that we visited a church? Yay! 10 points! (And an extra 5 points if you knew we visited, wait for it, on Good Friday.) BTW the points don't matter. You can't exchange them for anything.

We also saw this cool statue of Da Vinci.

So that wraps up the trip pretty much. We stayed in the airport hotel that night, then flew home the next morning.

My overall summery of the places that we went is as follows.
Rome grabs you by the lapels and screams "appreciate me! I'm old!"
Siena invites you to sit down and have some gelato while it tells you facinating stories.
Florence basically lays it out, "If you promise to look around and notice all the cool old stuff here I promise to keep you safe from cars.
Lucca is adorable and wants a hug.
Pisa says, "Hey you've seen the one really famous thing, now why don't you stay and look around a little more? Please?"
Parma invites you to dinner with its cheese and olive oil and prosciutto.
And Milan basically says, "I'm an important city. If you want to look around fine, but don't blame me if you get hit with a car. I have important fashion things to do. Don't bother me."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Italy Trip Part 5

Florence was amazing. I liked Florence a lot. Much of this had to do with the fact that cars are banned from much of Florence so unlike Rome where I almost died everyday, I could walk without fear in Florence.

Also, our hotel was right next to a Disney store. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!?!?!

Right, Italian culture time.

 It's either the Palazzo Vecchio or it's right next to the Palazzo Vecchio.

I took these pictures standing on the Ponte Vecchio on the first night of Passover when there was a full moon. These pictures are some of my favorites.

When we visited the Palazzo Vecchio one of the things we got to do was make our own fresco tile. This was one of my favorite parts of the trip because as fun as it is to go and see the different churches and museums, after a point a church is a church. It's great to get to have experiences that are hands on as part of trips, to get to live the culture as well as see it.

 More ceiling paintings. This is of the heads of the De Medici family. It is painted on the ceiling of the room where all the important meeting took place.
 Coolest thing about castles? Secret passageways!
Which in this case lead to a way to spy on the proceedings in the room where the official meetings occurred. The queen liked to spy.
We visited the grave of Beatrice (the one Dante wrote about). I knew she was a real person, but since we read about her mostly from a fictional book it's fascinating to visit her actual grave.

So we ate dinner near this spot and noticed they were setting up for something. It turned out that the TRL awards for MTV were taking place there the next night. We got permission from our teachers to go and it was so cool. And by cool I mean crowded. And in Italian. But still it was fun. Also I later found out one of my cousins was in Florence at the same time and was also there, although we didn't run into each other. *Starts humming "It's a small world after all"*

The next day we all hopped on a train to Lucca for a day trip.

 Everyone had bikes there.
 This is a church we visited. By the time we git here the churches weren't impressing me quite as much, but we'd also been seeing a bunch of them everyday.
 Another very pretty rounded town circle.
 We stopped at this cute little street market. It was pretty much the only thing open because, as Greg pointed out "[Italy] is adorable because everybody just goes home and takes a nap in the middle of the day" (Might not be the exact quote but close enough).
Guess where Pucchini is from! Did you guess Lucca? Yay, you're right. No there's no prize. So after lunch we went on another train. Guess where we went.

That's right, Pisa. (Still no prize.)

Obligatory tourist shot.

This was just something cool I saw in Florence.

So two quick things that I apparently don't have pictures for.
1. We did go and see the David and a bunch of other artwork/sculpture. However, we weren't allowed to take pictures so I don't remember quite what order we did those things in. I just want to say, of all the art we saw, the David by Michelangelo was one of the only things that I felt I couldn't really appreciate until I saw it in person. Most of the other art I found just as impressive in the pictures of it as in real life, but the David, something I'd seen images of before blew all those pictures out of the water.
2. I mentioned the whisperers before. One night in Florence a little before our going to bed curfew, (but after the be back in the hotel curfew) the teacher's started to go around telling us to meet downstairs at curfew time. They said it was serious. They seemed angry. They wouldn't really tell us what it was about. I honestly thought someone had been found drinking and was being sent home. We were told to bring our whisperers with us.

When we were all gathered, we were told that since some people kept arriving late and missing curfew they didn't believe we'd be able to do a tour they'd been planning for the morning because we'd be too tired, so we would be doing it right now at night. There was a lot of complaining at the people who were late. We walked about a block or so away from the hotel to these beautifully adorned gates and were told to get close so we could really see them.

All of a sudden, music began to blast through our whisperers. All the teachers were laughing. They were giving us a silent dance party (because we were the only ones who could hear the music). It was one of the most fun things, dancing in my PJ's in Italy, to music only my friends and I could hear.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Italy Trip Part 4

As we drove from Rome to Florence we stopped in Siena. I have to say, I think Siena was my favorite place we went to on this trip and I wish we'd gotten more time there.

 First view of Siena. So pretty.
Pretty much all the streets in Siena slope downwards towards the center town circle. It means it's pretty hard to get lost. (Since I got lost a lot on Rome I appreciated this)

 The buildings in the town circle are actually build to be rounded. It's visible on both buildings, though I think this second picture makes it a little clearer.

Every year the different sections of Siena send a horse to the center circle and they have a race around. The district that wins goes on to have a big party. My favorite part about this race is that the horse can win even if the rider falls off.

We saw the most adorable puppy eating a cone. Needless to say everyone in the group promptly stopped listening to Dr. Texas and focused on the puppy. He's so cuuuute!

 The Duomo.
 I loved this shot I got of the stained glass from inside the Duomo.

 We found this clothesline while we walked around Siena. Clotheslines are actually better for the environment than dryers.
One of the streets that sloped down was very steep. This little restaurant had outdoor seating with specially slanted tables and chairs so that people (and food) stay upright. So I got a picture of myself sitting on one of them.

Since I had the shot of the puppy eating a cone (though there was no gelato in it) and since this has been a shorter post I'm going to write a little about the gelato I had in Italy. It was really good. As in, I didn't want to have ice cream for a little while after I got back because I was afraid it would just taste awful in comparison. (I've since gotten over it thought gelato is still amazing!). I found a lot of gelato places had flavors similar to American flavors (chocolate, mint chocolate chip, strawberry) some more commonly seen as sherbets in America (mango and other fruits) and some I'd never seen before (Tiramisu, Nutella and stracciatella). The stracciatella was sort of like chocolate chip except it was so much better. I seriously had some gelato everyday. It's amazing. One of the cool things about gelato shops is that unlike America where if you want multiple flavors it cost's extra or is just done more rarely, in Italy it's expected that you are getting two or more flavors at once on your cone/in your cup.
Now I want some gelato and all I have is plain old ice cream.