Eleanor Rigby on Uke

Today I learned how to play Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles on the ukulele! It’s not perfect yet but it’s just so pretty. Maybe I should record myself playing it… For now, here is someone else:

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Road Trip Essentials

The most summer thing to do.

It may be quite late into the summer but it’s not too late to get in one last hurrah and plan a road trip for the fun of it! I’ll be going on one this coming weekend and thought it would be a great idea to outline all the essentials to keep this bon voyage from becoming a chorus of heavenly “are we there yet???”

roadtrip - destination

The first thing you’re going to want to decide on is where you’re going. The road trip could just be driving aimlessly but then there’s no real purpose. Some ideas are:

  • A place where a lot of your family lives
  • A city where a friend you haven’t seen in a while lives
  • Somewhere you’ve never been before and know no one and are just going for the adventure
  • A place from your childhood

Anywhere you’ve been itching to go in order to see the sights or catch up on life stories is doable as long as there are roads between it and you.

roadtrip - transportation

I may be blowing my cover as Captain Obvious here but it needs to be said. Not only does there need to be a human that can drive a car in the party of people going, there also needs to be a car that
a) will survive a trip of your desired length and
b) can comfortably seat everyone.
It will be no fun sitting on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck for a couple hours and neither will a blast be had if you have to be in the middle seat scrunched between two other people. Think of these things beforehand and you’ll be thanking yourself by the end.

roadtrip - company

In the previous paragraphs, I’ve been directing this post towards one person – you. But it doesn’t have to be like that at all. Even though solitude is nice sometimes, to just drive without anyone around you either in the car or on the roads, the friends are what make a road trip memorable. Make sure you get along with anyone in the car because if there’s something between you guys, it’ll most likely be amplified in the tiny space of a moving vehicle. Best friends are great candidates because willingly spending this much time with them isn’t a chore, unlike family road trips sometimes end up being.

You’ll have plenty of time to talk, invent silly car games and just be around each other so if you don’t know your travel-mates’ life stories at the beginning of this journey, you just might by the end.

roadtrip - music

This deserves capital letters because most people have strong opinions on the music they want to listen to. And since there’ll be a lot of time to fill during any road trip, the songs are going to need to happen! It’s best to know what common ground everyone coming along has in terms of music taste, including everyone’s vetos. Of course, everyone should be willing to be flexible in order for everyone to be happy and I really don’t think you can go wrong with Disney!

Some people like creating playlists that have the theme of summer or vacation or road trips to set the mood so if anyone in the car has a knack for that, get them to go right ahead and you’ll feel 10x more legit.

roadtrip - snacks

Humans need to eat in order to live. [citation needed] Whatever your food situation may be, be it quick runs to the Timmies* every time you stop from gas, an entire picnic meal/dinner or easy access snack items, it’s important to have some on hand so that everyone stays comfortable and happy. Water is also an important thing to pack, although in this scenario you have to think of when you’ll be able to let it out.

*non-Canadians can calm their confusion, I’m just talking about Tim Horton’s, our equivalent of your coffee and donut shops.

roadtrip - entertainment

We’ve talked about music which is a large portion of car ride entertainment but there’s plenty of other things to do. As I child, I was the queen of making up something to keep my sister and I occupied in the back seat. I’m not sure how many I got from other places and how many I got from my brain but I will share them all willingly here.

The Alphabet Game – Very straightforward, you’re competing against or working together with everyone in the car in order to find all the letters of the alphabet in order on anything you see outside of the car. (stores, licence plates, road signs, etc) One of my rules is that you may only take one letter from a common location before you move on

The Rainbow Car Game – Same deal, look outside your window and find a car that is each colour of the rainbow in order (red, orange, yellow, green blue, purple). Orange and yellow and quite rare and you may find yourself stuck on those for a while

Car Count – This is a straight up competition. You each pick a colour of car and count every time you see one of that colour. Whoever gets the most wins! Heads up, silver and red are quite common.

Animal Name Game – this game definitely was invented by me. It involves looking for animals outside and then giving them a name. That is all. Good for going through the countryside and seeing cow after horse after llama. I’ve given a flock of birds names, they get quite silly at this point.

Bingo/Scavenger Hunt – If someone wants to put in the necessary effort of thinking up things you could potentially see on a road trip, they should definitely do so because that could be a lot of fun!

roadtrip - plan

Overall, you just really need to plan this kind of thing out. I know in the movies and books, they just jump in the car with their sunglasses and romantic tension and off they go but really it’s important to have a very good idea of certain things like

  • what route you’ll take
  • where you’ll stop and how often
  • where you’re going to sleep
  • who brings what
  • how long it’ll take

Everyone should also be aware of the plan so that it’s not up to one person to stress all about it. If you’ve got locations in mind in advance, there’s much less of a chance of something going wrong and therefore a higher chance of everyone having a great time!

A Few Final Things…

You should keep in mind the distance as well because sometimes a road trip can be too long and cars can start feeling like a sardine can – smell and all. The longer the trip, the higher the cost with food and gas and places to sleep so although it feels very freeing to just go, it won’t do to use up all your funds on this expedition.

And that is all of my knowledge about road trips, please put it to good use and tell me about any road trips you’ll go on in the future or have gone on and loved. It’s good to enjoy the summer while you can because school is just around the corner (small gasp)

Things I Would Say To My Younger Self

This is a list of things that stemmed from the fact that I tend to cringe a lot when thinking about my past self and what I did or thought. Things that took me forever to figure out and by the time I did, I was very late to the party and second guessing why my friends even stuck around with me.

1) Yes, people can see that pimple. No, they don’t care.

2) Use conditioner, for everyone’s sake. Pretty please.

3) Learn to study now when it’s still easy because in the future you’ll need to and you won’t know how and there will be tears.

4) Don’t be intimidated by people your age or older. Or younger, they really aren’t that intimidating. Maybe that 12 year old dresses better than you but you’ve probably got a few things on them too.

5) Be more comfortable with your silence. You are a quiet person and if you don’t feel like talking, you don’t have to!! That being said…

6) You’re allowed to talk. Just because you don’t talk often doesn’t mean you have less of a right to have everyone hear what you have to say.

7) Please wear jeans. Yes, I know your fuzzy pants match your fuzzy sweater. Now make that go away.

8) Maybe you should have broken a few more rules so that when it came to being older your mom wouldn’t still expect you to do everything she said without question. This one’s iffy actually, past me, but I’m not sure how to get around it here on my part.

9) You like music, go discover it! How did you manage not to have a favourite artist until well into high school?

These are only a couple things that come to mind for advice that could have been useful to give to the past versions of me, albeit I might not be the same person I am today if I suddenly grew a fashion sense in the 8th grade. Who knows. And I’m definitely going to be embarrassed of 19 year old Karen in the future because the cycle never ends.

What about you guys, what are some tips or comments you really really wish you could go ahead and say to previous you? Tell me them in the comments!

May Masterpost

BOOKS

ready player oneReady Player OneErnest Cline

I cannot rave about this book any more just read my review and then read this book. I implore you.

 

 

The Rules For Disappearing – Ashley Elston

the rules for disappearingThis was a pretty good read, man! It was a little over the top but I enjoyed it. The premise is that there’s a family in the witness protection program that keeps moving from place to place and our protagonist is a teenage girl so you can see where this is going she gets attached to a boy even though she knows she’ll probably be leaving without a trace. //that was a really great run on sentence// To tell the truth I really don’t blame her since I basically fell in love with Ethan too. The whole time you’re thinking one thing and that it’s going to be a straightforward storyline but buyer beware, it gets so much bigger than you imagined.

My only annoyance was that she got to pick her new name ever time she changed identities and I really didn’t like any of her choices. Like none. At all. Gosh you’d think I’d be easier to please with that many chances.

Unlucky CharmsAdam Rex

unlucky charmsOh Adam Rex, I want to love everything that comes from your brain but I just can’t get myself to love this series. There’s too many characters to keep track of and everything is just a bit too odd. Which is weird considering The True Meaning of Smekday is my absolute favourite book and is also by him and is also quite weird but in that one it just works and in this one it just makes you cringe a lil bit. I’m making out that it was horrible but I’ve read way worse this book was cute and funny sometimes. Very funny actually, there are so many little parts in the book that you’re like “what the heck” except in a really good way.

This review was all over the place I’m sorry.

MOVIES

bridesmaidsBridesmaids – I was super disappointed with this movie. Like I had heard amazing things about it being hilarious and great and awesome and all that happened was a whole lot of second-hand embarrassment. I kept waiting for the awkward, petty stuff to end but it never did. I guess it’s a different kind of humour than I’m into because I could tell the parts that were supposed to make me laugh. Really the only things I liked were the car scene (where she keeps driving by breaking laws) and Megan’s job.

 

Captain-America-The-Winter-SoldierCaptain America: The Winter Soldier – Gotta admit it, I only watched this movie for Bucky. I wasn’t going to watch it at first since fighty action movies aren’t my thing but then it had been out for a month and tumblr was going crazy with gifs and photosets from the movie. Basically that was what introduced me to our villain who kinda looks very nice underneath that hair and mask and has a tragic backstory so that we don’t have to hate him! And all this I learned before I saw it from all the discussion on tumblr. Spoilers don’t annoy me so it’s all good. But yeah, the movie was okay, not going to be my fave. It was just funny watching it and noticing all the the parts I had technically already seen before.

Driving_Miss_Daisy_Driving Miss Daisy – This is a cute old movie that my mom decided we all needed to watch as a family because it had Morgan Freeman in it. It was kind of anti-climactic like nothing intense happened and then it ended but I guess maybe we can blame it on the fact that it’s an old movie perhaps. it was adorable though, I’ll give it that.

 

flippedFlipped – I actually discovered this movie from a website that gives you movie suggestion for when you don’t know what to decide on. Pretty nifty. Anyways this is a movie set in the 50s about a girl and a boy. The boy’s family moves in across the street from the girl when they’re both about 9 and, from the beginning, she’s infatuated. Of course, he wants nothing to do with her. They grow older and soon – well not too soon, she spends a good number of years mooning over him – she realizes that he’s not what she thinks he is and *poof* becomes over him. This is just around the time when he wakes up and realizes she’s pretty frickin awesome. (I liked her right away, he was a lame0 in my opinion) Won’t spoil the ending but it starts with “p” and end with “redictable”. The cool thing about this film is that you get to see the story from both perspectives!

free-birdsFree Birds – Literally my mom came home from work and one of the first things she told me was that we were most definitely going to watch this movie. I had seen the trailer and it just looked so lame so I did the obvious thing and groaned about it for a bit but obviously it was just for show since her mind was set. I was right and it was lame but it could’ve been lamer so there’s that. I caught most of the plot twists before they happened except for the idiotic one at the end AND there’s the fact that their time travel logic literally made no sense at all. Like they had Harry Potter 3 reasoning where everything already happened and you can’t change it (with the Great Turkey) and then they had the changing kind (with them saving Thanksgiving from being a turkey-eating holiday and all) and they had one part where the future selves all came back to talk to the present self and they didn’t know what was going to happen like where the heck did you come from you have to know! So yeah, flawed time travel logic is a real pet peeve of mine apparently. Also not saying this movie was utterly disgusting there were some pretty hilarious parts in it like the fight/dance and also Steve but overall y’know it was lame.

gbfGBF – What a cool movie. This was a pretty interesting concept that I hadn’t really seen explored anywhere. I can’t even say it was over the top because it literally was supposed to be that way. It was about a boy in high school who was unceremoniously outed from the closet as the first gay guy at his school and was instantly snatched up by the three clique heads of the school to become their new accessory. It teaches us a lot of things about how everyone is a person and deserves to be respected and has some hilarious parts and some pretty strange parts but overall it’s very good.

star-trek-into-darknessStar Trek Into Darkness – More like Star Trek Why The Heck Is There No Colon. It was really awkward because I was watching this for the first time (as in first time watching anything Star Trek related) with someone who LOVED Star Trek and everything about it. You know what they do, you and I have most likely done it to someone else, they stare at you during the important parts cause they’re checking for your reaction. They want you to love it as much as they do. It’s actually stressful since I’m the type of person that internalizes every emotion unless there’s something funny happening and we can agree that Star Trek was not meant to be funny. But yeah this is my roundabout way of saying I didn’t really like it, everything was too serious and there was too many explosions and near death moments that they shouldn’t even have survived so yeah. Even Benedict Cumberbatch couldn’t salvage it.

X-Men-Days-of-FutureX-Men: Days of Future Past – Came in blind, came out loving it. Here’s the review.

 

 

 

xmen first class

X-Men: First Class – I am in love with Nicholas Hoult, ‘scuse me, Hank McCoy. So smart and adorable… Anyway not the point here. I am a major fan of origin stories!! So this was basically the beginning of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters and there was young Charles and young Erik and it was just very nice to see. The montage where they find all the mutants was pretty cool and I almost wanted there to be more but I know it’d be overwhelming. Just seeing all the mutants show up in Cerebro made me want to learn each and every mutation.

X-Men-2000X-Men – WHY IS ROGUE SO ANNOYING. All she does is stare I hate people that just stare instead of doing things go hang out with Frodo if you’re going to do that. Fell in love with the x-men though. Love the idea of a school and having powers and being peaceful while trying to defend themselves against the government.

 

x2-movie-posterX2: X-Men United – Okay one question is this blue Nightcrawler the same red guy that was on Shaw’s team in First Class? (Okay, did a quick google and nope the red guy is Azazel and he’s the biological father of Nightcrawler. The more you know.) Loved how Magneto escaped his plastic prison in this one, I always thought that that could be a thing and then they actually used it so woo!

 

x men the last standX-Men: The Last Stand – DUMB. Why the heck would you end this trilogy with killing off like 3 major characters and then depowering the others. This is a superhero movie they’re supposed to survive and do something super cool instead to save the day. Gosh darnit. I can’t imagine watching this in theatres and not having the relief of there being more movies to undo the stupidity of this one.

 

MUSIC

A-PunkVampire Weekend

Hey Brother – Avicii

Mine – Taylor Swift

Northern Downpour – Panic! at the Disco

Potential Breakup Song – Aly & AJ    ((hello 2007))

Shark Attack – Grouplove

That Green Gentleman (Things Have Changed) – Panic! at the Disco

Things We Lost In The Fire – Bastille

Tongue Tied – Grouplove

 

January | February | March | April

Secret Weakness

It’s time you all knew.

Remember though that I’m still the same person I’ve always been. Just because you will now know this about me doesn’t mean there’s any reason to treat me differently or anything. I’m still me.

Okay here goes…

I can’t make playlists. I’ve tried before but I always end up failing. I see other people making summer playlists and songs to study to but I can’t seem to get the hang of it myself. Usually what ends up happening whenever I attempt to make one is that I just group together the songs I really want to listen to at the moment.

playlists
actual playlists from my actual itunes

I guess I can make primitive caveman playlists with catchy titles like These Songs Are All Slow or Wow They’re All From The Same Genre I Didn’t Even Make This My ITunes Did but does that really count? Really?

I’ve come to accept this shortcoming and either let other people deal with the music arrangements or listen to music the only way I know how and that is okay. We can’t all be super awesome at everything and I’ve found the one thing I can’t do.  (don’t hurt me being over the top cocky is how i deal with the series of disappointments that is my life)

Actually, after thinking about it, I would be ace at giving playlists titles. Like if they were already made and someone told me the theme or whatever brings them all together I could totally use my knowledge of words and humour to name them. Yeah.

March Masterpost

BOOKS

the bitter kingdom - rae carsonThe Bitter Kingdom – Rae Carson

Loved loved loved the ending to this trilogy! Seriously, The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy is one of the more underrated series in the YA genre. I had been reading a lot of contemporary and hardcore dystopian books so it was great to read this one and get a change of pace with some pure fantasy. I love Elisa and how resourceful she is. She is an amazing lead character that isn’t always perfect but strives towards it which is honestly even better to read about as she interacts with other characters and makes big, scary decisions. The ending was very satisfactory, everyone came out all around better than when they started out and there were so many climaxing moments and twists that I basically devoured it in a matter of hours. One thing I was kind of sad about that I shall try not to spoil was how she finally got comfortable and good with that one thing (you’ll know if you’ve read the book) and then it was gone by the end. But that’s very minor. I definitely recommend this series to everyone, such perfection!!

the coldest girl in coldtown - holly blackThe Coldest Girl In ColdtownHolly Black

I thought this book was dumb but I still really enjoyed reading it if that makes any sense??? The concept and the romance and just a lot of things in this book had me rolling my eyes right out of their sockets but it was written in just the right way that made me want to know what happens next and hope for the best for the characters. For some reason, while reading it, I really wanted to see pictures of all the characters. Like does Gavriel look classically good looking or modernly so? What exact shade of blue are Midnight and Winter’s hair? What does Valentina look like? I might be perusing the tag on tumblr for some fanart…

cress - marissa meyerCressMarissa Meyer

This book. How, Marissa, how did you manage to make yet another stellar novel that actually rivals your first two books? Like doing it once with Scarlet is okay but then here you are blowing me away with Cress! I learned so many new things! I fell in love with even more characters! I felt so invested in book that everything that happened to Cinder and the gang (hehe reminds me of Scooby and the Gang) I felt like it happened to me personally as well. Very interesting plot development, I am completely at a loss to how you’re going to tie everything up in Winter – which comes out IN AN ENTIRE YEAR I CAN’T WAIT THAT LONG – which is a good thing! I know I’m going to be amazed so not having a clue how that will go about happening just adds to it!

What was also great was that I had lent my copy of Cinder to my friend and I was getting all her commentary about it in the same time span that I was reading Cress so it was like getting all these awesome flashbacks!

infinityglass - myra mcentireInfinityglassMyra McEntire

This book was quite good. I had never book too invested in this series from the beginning and it didn’t help that they switched main characters every book and that I didn’t remember most of everything that had previously happened (this was the 3rd and final book in the series) so I had a grand old time reorienting myself to the plot and who everyone actually was. The romance was cheesy but I enjoyed it, especially the part at the very end where everyone has someone, so cute!

racing savannah - miranda kenneallyRacing Savannah – Miranda Kenneally

The cheese in this book though! Gotta love it though since it’s a Miranda Kenneally book and there’s horses. It was a fun read, good laughs and just reading through the interactions between Savannah and Vanessa, Rory and Jack. Real pleaser. The one thing that got a little annoying was how selfless Savannah seemed to be. I don’t know, it just seemed a tad overdone, not hating on being selfless, I should work on that! Loved seeing past characters getting cameos, always a bonus and can’t wait until the next book!

MOVIES

DivergentSee my actual review that I actually did!

SONGS

Crazy – The Tragic Thrills

Creeps and Strangers – The Tragic Thrills

The Garden – The Tragic Thrills

YOLO – The Lonely Island ft. Adam Levine

Heads Will Roll – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Brick By Boring Brick (string quartet version) – VSQ

Nicotine – Panic! at the Disco

Almost There – The Frog Princess Soundtrack

Little Numbers – BOY

Happy Sad Songs & Sad Happy Songs – The Gregory Brothers

Eleanor Rigby – The Beatles

 

January | February

Discoveries

They always happen at the oddest times, don’t they.

So this morning I was finishing some homework (section views if you were really curious) and needed some music to play in the background, of course. I youtubed some good old Panic! and one video just caught my eye:

I still cannot believe this kind of thing exists. Like, these are two different worlds in music land! In fact, it’s basically the only thing that appeases me (who really likes these loud punk songs sometimes) and my friend (who is a classically trained singer and mostly listens to that type of thing.)

The Vitamin String Quartet has dozens of these covers that are so well done and will take your breath away. At least they did for me; I’m basically going through a playlist of every single one of their songs.

So glad I made this discovery.