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Monthly Archives: June 2013

It’s Not Just a Backpack, A Smile was Worth It!

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Picture from Pkmncollectors LiveJournal

Great topic today from Daily Post that brought back a fond memory I had. Remember those arcade games where you have to hit a button at the right moment to land on a colored light to win a prize? They used to have those machines in the Starcade of Space Mountain in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

I believe I was 8 or 9 years old when I saw one of these machines in the Starcade on a yearly trip to Disney World. Pokemon was all the rage back then and my favorite, like many other fans, was Pikachu. The machine held backpacks of the three most popular characters: Pikachu, Charmander, and Squirtle. I really wanted the Pikachu backpack so I asked if my dad could try to play the game. He must have attempted it about 4-5 times before we gave up. As we were walking away, an older girl came up to the machine and played it about 2-3 times. She won Pikachu on the final time and immediately handed the backpack to me.

I can remember how huge my smile was on my face when she gave that to me and my dad tried to pay her back for winning the backpack. She refused the money he offered her and she replied, “Her smile was worth it.” To this day, I still have that backpack. While I may not use religiously like I did as a kid, I still hang onto it for the fond memory.

Even in the Shadows, There’s Light (Daily Prompt)

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It’s been a while since I answered The Daily Prompt! But then again, writing my thesis took priority over anything else…

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones has been part of the latest fiction craze that is being adapted into a film debuting in August. After seeing the trailer with some of the intense fighting sequences and a humorous exchange between Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower (“Oh no…You killed two cops!”/”They weren’t cops!”) I picked up a copy of the novel to read.

The first book follows 15 year old Clarissa “Clary” Fray who has lived an ordinary life with an overprotective mother. After she witnesses a trio of teens killing a human-like demon in night club, Clary attempts to have them arrested, only to discover that no one else can see them. Days later, she runs into the leader of the trio named Jace, who suggests that she may not be a regular human being but a Shadowhunter, possessing the blood of the angel Raziel which enables her to see demons. Clary is then forced to embrace her new lifestyle as a Shadowhunter when her mother is kidnapped from their home and few clues to her location are found.

The novel fits within the action, adventure, romance, and fantasy genres neatly. Yet one questions whether Clary can be classified as a heroine or borderline damsel-in-distress. (She is not the deft archer fighting the government like Katniss Everdeen nor is she trying to escape her present for the unknown challenges and adventures like Tris Prior.) When the readers are first introduced to Clary, she is presented as the typical teenage girl who likes exploring the nightlife, admiring attractive boys from a distance, and as the defiant daughter who blames her mother for ruining her summer. For me, it took some time to warm up to Clary as the story progressed, as she is struggling to assimilate into Shadowhunter culture. While this is the first book in the series, I felt more drawn toward the attitude and development of Isabelle Lightwood, a fellow Shadowhunter who keeps the boys in line while fighting the demons with her whip.

Clary’s relationship with Jace is explored in the middle of the novel as the two begin to warm up to each other. Because Jace starts off as brash and condescending toward Clary, his treatment of her seems evocative of Edward Cullen’s initial rejection of Bella Swan in Twilight. Yet Clary always matches his cold remarks with some smart ones of her own, proving that she can hold her own against him.

I like the descriptions of the setting and the battles that the characters fight in. Cassandra Claire is skilled at presenting readers with fantastic descriptions of facades created through magic, grimy buildings home to various factions, and the gritty image of battles between good and evil. She includes some funny, memorable quotes that brought a lightness to the fast-paced novel.

Currently I’m reading the second book in the series to see whether I’d like to continue reading or not. As for the City of Bones, I would rate this novel a 3.5/5. There are elements that are enjoyable and well done but the novel has some errors and some questionable behaviors that prevent me from giving this a higher rating.

After All These Years You Are Leaving Here

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Bright Stars Burning by Hey Marseilles

I feel the lyrics of this song sum up how my day was. Today was my 22nd birthday – I had no big plans with friends or a huge birthday bash scheduled. At the best, I was planning to have a nice meal with my family and call it a day.

I woke up and found my dad staying in the garage, comforting my 13 year old greyhound Fyvie. We’ve rescued her when she was 4 years old while volunteering with Greyhound Adoption Center. Fyvie was found on the side of a highway with both of her front legs broken. Weak, emaciated, and given only a year to live, Animal Control almost put her down on the highway right there. Then Fyvie showed the officer her overbite, which people call her smile. This resulted in the officer calling Greyhound Adoption Center to see if someone could bring her to the kennel. Our family started out as foster parents until it became inevitable that we couldn’t let her go. Money was raised to cover her surgery for her broken legs and she soon took the place of being Daddy’s favorite dog.

She has been slowing down over the past few years. When I saw the tears in my dad’s eyes and the look in Fyvie’s eyes, I knew that the time had come.

Some people would have probably demanded to know why this had to happen on a happy day. Me, I wasn’t even thinking about my birthday – I was thinking about how this affected my family. No one ever wants to have a death occur on a day of celebration but I keep telling myself that Fyvie had lived a good life. Greyhounds have a life span of 12-13 years and she outlived her original prediction of one year. While she may not be with us physically, we have not lost her spirit – it’s still with us.