July 28, 2012

Book Review: Paper Towns by John Green

This last weekend I read Paper Towns by John Green. It was an interesting book and just thought I'd share my thoughts on it.

The story follows a boy named Quentin as he goes through the last little bit of his Senior year in High School. The thing is, his next door neighbor, and friend, decides to change up his life a bit. In the process though, there is one main topic and that's what I'm going to focus on. (don't want to give any spoilers) ;)

The topic that he uses is told to Quentin early in the story, but it stays in his thoughts always.

It's the idea of "paper towns". There are a couple different definitions of them:
     - Subdivisions that were never finished (also called psuedovisions).
     - Fictional towns that are placed on maps as copyright traps.

In these towns are the "paper" people. These are the people we see only as what we think they are, the way our "story" writes them. Green explains this also like looking in a mirror. It is only when we finally can make the person a window more than a mirror that we see who they really are. It is then that we can really understand them.

The other thing I found interesting was the idea of a feeling, the feeling of leaving your "paper town". When Quentin feels this, he gets a better understanding of why Margo did what she did. I think I know the feeling too. Though it's a little different, I get this sort of feeling whenever I go on vacation. It's that reluctance to return home because this new place feels so much  better. The thing is, it isn't until that big moment when we finally leave home to LIVE somewhere else that we get the full strength of it.

The thing is, all of this could be part of why I feel the way I shared last week, because I'm tired of living my little paper life. I want it to become real... but time just moves too slow for it to happen.

Rating: 5 out of 5
Even though there was quite of bit of language, it was still an amazing story, and that is all that really matters. Green is one of the few authors that I can pick up their book and not be able to put it down.

~ The Lost One ~

July 21, 2012

Service and Friends

Yesterday was a pretty good day. The reason for this was that I finally accomplished something that helped others in the real world. What was this odd act? Well, it was a service project.

A couple weeks ago, a friend from school posted an event on Facebook. This event was to go to a nearby greenhouse. Here's what she explained it as:
The Murray Greenhouse is a place where disabled adults learn life skills and continue their education. They raise their money and profits by supporting a greenhouse and selling the plants to the community. It's a great organization, that needs a lot of help.
So last night (Thursday) we went over and played around with dirt, weeds and a lot of spiders to redo some of the tarping around the outdoor planters. There were probably about 14 of us there and we had a great time. It was made even better when her mom came over and cooked funnel cakes in a dutch oven for us. They were delicious! :)

This event made me think about something I have lots of thoughts about. And that is, what friends are. An odd topic for here, I know, but it's something I'd like to get off my mind and hopefully be able to share with other people later. So let the crazy thoughts begin. (Warning: My thought process is weird and jumbled so be warned. These are my opinions and you don't have to agree to them, just read so that you understand. Thanks!)

There are two main titles that I give my groups of friends: Friends and Acquaintances. Friends are people I talk to a lot and who I actually hang out with. So yes Tyler, you're counted in there.
The other people (which are 99% of my "friends") I call Acquaintances. These are the people I "know" because I've met them before, know their names, and maybe talk to them... but that's all.

I don't know, maybe I'm just shy or whatever... but when I've spent 90% of my summer sitting at home, playing video games on my computer until 5 am... it makes me really sad. Sure, there's church, Young Men's and Summer Seminary (this month), but that doesn't really do anything for me. Cross country was nice the first couple times I went (before my doctor pulled me out) because I had to wake up and go accomplish something. I think a job would be nice, but my self confidence isn't the highest. (That's the same reason I have a problem talking to people... which is what I would love to do, talk!)

But really, it was last night as I helped will all the things (even though I didn't know what I was doing) that I finally felt like there was a good reason for me waking up that day. That's one reason I love Summer Seminary, it gives me a reason to get up rather than just sleep in, sit on the computer for hours, then go back to sleep. I'm glad that you have more confidence at calling me, Tyler... because the couple of times I've gone over and played video games have been great. We sit there and have a great time, even better when we add Kaleb into it. Though, maybe now it's my turn to have you over. I could be the one who wins for once if we played some Wii games. :P

Sorry for such the sad post... I guess I'll talk to (well, again I don't talk much, so I mean email) you later today. ;)

Have a good weekend! :)

- Cameron
~ The Lost One ~

P.s. Hope your mouth is feeling just lovely! :P
P.s.s. If you have problems with text being highlighted in white when you post, let me know, I know how to fix it now. :)

July 7, 2012

Adding to the Random

It's been a few weeks, but this is Tyler again. I know that all of the nonexistent people who read this blog missed me. Who wouldn't want to read such amazing stuffs? Anyways, I do enjoy the random whatever that only Cameron reads.

So I've decided that I have too much structure in my posts and it needs to be more sporadic. I'm not even going to make this an official update.

So ha.

Anywho, as Cameron has mentioned, cross-country begins quite soon. If you want to know the exact time thirty or so people are going to start abusing their own bodies for the sheer enjoyment of it, the first practice begins at seven-thirty (mountain whatever time) on tuesday the tenth of July.

I'm excited.

I'm probably making Cameron worry by my talk of great pain. But need not worry, a dozen of us run so hard that it makes up for the laziness of everyone else. Although you will hurt. But it's the good kind that you get used to and learn to love!

Any non-runner probably thinks I'm crazy about now.

I am.

Really though, one could describe Tyler quite well with the adjective "runner". Almost all of my philosophy and the way that I think comes from my running background. Many people take a look at me and can tell that I am a runner. I would have taken it as coincidence had it not happened so many times in one day.

Back to the impending running season, I have high hopes this year. Very high. I may finally be fast enough to make varsity this year (I'll only be a Junior). I got a little lazy with more than my posting the last couple of weeks, however, and I'm quite unfit. I ran very hard Wednesday (I forgot that it was the Fourth of July at least six times) but was unable to get anywhere near what my target was. I convinced myself to go for a short run yesterday and my hips protested to that for about a mile. But I felt really good and ended up running three times as far as I had planned when I set out.

Tyler is not hopeless! Yay!!

-The Strange One-

July 6, 2012

Horoscopes and Celebrating

Hey, it's still Friday! ;)

So I was on my Wizard101 Twitter talking with people and I noticed someone sharing a thing about a Taurus's (astrology kind) personality. I figured, "Hey, I should go find out what mine says."

These are the two pages I found on a website:

My Birthday Horoscope
Cancer (June 21 - July 22) Horoscope

The funny thing is, they actually match me pretty well. Which is strange, since I don't believe in a lot of these kind of things. Below are some quotes from the above sites that especially fit me. Enjoy

"...can be...attentive one moment, unreachable and remote the next..." 
"these individuals are determined to wring every bit of humor out of even the most unlikely events...and have the ability to laugh at themselves."
 "do not easily make friends...seldom open themselves up emotionally..." "They are often shy people who wait for friendships to develop instead of actively pursuing them." "They may have a difficult time being part of a group...rarely discipline problems, though they can become excessively moody and depressed during adolescence..."
"often suffer from minor stomach cramping or nausea, especially when overworked or excited. Unfortunately their "cure" for this is often to overeat."
"keep their goals to themselves...this is a mask worn against the possibility of failure, because failure is their deepest fear." 

Had a wonderful night on the Fourth of July, which was Wednesday. Every year we go to my uncles house and watch the fireworks from his front lawn since he has a pretty good view of one of the shows. They almost didn't have them this year though due to all the fires in the state. Due to this not very much of my moms family was there, but we still had a hilarious time with just the small group.

But yeah, apparently there have been at least 10 huge fires burning recently. So much of the state is dry from not having rain for such a long time. Then you add the stupidity of people or odd things you never knew could light fires and you get all of this. Bans on fireworks in some areas, people losing their homes and all their valued belongings, some may even lose their lives.

Thankfully we have a huge group of firefighters to fight these fires off and prevent some of the damage. Sadly, due to the fires blocking the new camp area and the camp we usually go to for the event being made a command and recovery center for the firefighters, we may not get to go to our stakes Fathers and Sons outing this weekend. Hopefully all of this can get taken care of so that no more damage is done. The outing isn't that important, but if it's canceled... it means that more peoples lives have been ruined or hurt.

Sorry to end on such a sad note, but just thought I might as well share my thoughts on this. And hey, now I have this written down for future remembrance. Make sure to stop by tomorrow to read (hopefully) Tyler's post. Have a wonderful Friday!

- The Lost One -