Sweet Caroline

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/now playing

Good early-morning, everyone! I hope everyone’s been having a fantastic new year so far.

Today, after going to bed at about 3:30 yesterday morning, I woke up at around 10:30, messing with my phone/iPad until I got myself up at around 11:15. At this point, my grandmother made me two large, homemade waffles, smothered in butter and some awesome syrup. I LOVE homemade waffles. I love waffles. Period. Do YOU like waffles?

While eating, I turned on the television in the living room (the TV is clearly visible from the eating area), hoping to find a good TV show or film on, but NO; all I could find was The Tooth Fairy, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Stupidest. Movie. EVER (not really; I’ve seen stupider, but still). First off, this guy honestly kinda scares me, but not because he was a pro wrestler. No, it’s his smile that freaks me out. He’s got a super-wide smile that stretches too far across his face, and his teeth are inhumanly white. It’s scary. GO AWAY PERFECT TEETH.

Except these. These came with a catchy theme song.


Honestly, though, one thing I can say is that it had a sweet (albeit weird) ending. It had me smiling a bit, at least.

I’ve come to realize that I have a really intelligent sense of humor. I’m not trying to toot my own horn at all, but it’s true; I find more humor in clever puns and pop culture references (like in Family Guy) than in slapstick comedy (though the slapstick in Home Alone makes me laugh EVERY time).

Is it possible to NOT laugh at this?


But yeah. The reason I bring it up is that The Tooth Fairy is filled with what is meant to be “humor”, though I don’t think I laughed even once. Just something I observed. It may have been that the movie was just terrible.

After eating and Tooth Fairy shenanigans, Blake and I packed all of our stuff that we had with us (we had been staying at my grandparents’ house since New Year’s Eve) and left for home. Before we left, my grandpa gave me his old pair of official Ray Ban Aviators that I had found in a drawer since he can’t wear them anymore because of his glasses. Yes, I already have a pair, but they are silver lenses with a silver frame, whereas his old pair has more blackish lenses with a gold frame. Cool stuff. I’ll alternate between the two every few days.

I disagree. THEY just look cool.

We got home and proceeded to take down all of the Christmas stuff; my grandma and mom put away the inside decorations (which I never showed you all like I said I would; I apologize for that; someone remind me next Christmas!), while my brother, grandpa, and I took down all of the outside decorations. After doing all of that mess, my grandpa and I went to a car wash and washed my car, taking it back home to dry it off well and vacuum it out. It looks pretty.

Not this kind of pretty.

I ate some leftover pizza as a late lunch, and once my dad returned home from work we went and picked up Burger Island for the family. I wasn’t in a burger mood, so I decided to get a club sandwich (though what they gave me was far from a club sandwich; at least it was good, though). My grandparents left back for Terrell soon after, and my dad and I proceeded to put away all of the decorations and lights that we had taken down earlier that day. Lots of time was spent in the attic, with my dad lifting various totes and boxes up to me for storage.

Speaking of the attic, I’ve gotten the idea planted in my head that it would be awesome to have a sort of “play room” available in the small space up there; yes, it’s a bit crowded, but it’s also secluded (not that I’m a recluse or anything) and just a nifty little “alone” place. It’d be cool. It’ll probably never happen, but it would be fun to experiment with.

We finished a bit after 11:30, at which point I fixed some hazelnut coffee with our new coffeemaker; I decided to not mix in creamer with this cup like I usually do, sticking instead with a couple of small spoonfuls of sugar to make it a bit less bitter. It was really good. I took the cup to my room, hooked up my PS3 to my TV via HDMI cable, and continued playing Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. I think I’m pretty close to finishing the game (“finishing” meaning that I’ve almost played through the story, not unlocked/found everything). It’s really addicting; I can definitely see what it won Game of the Year. I can’t wait to get the sequel so that I can play through it too.

Plans for tomorrow: wake up before noon. Cash scholarship check. Go to Christian stores to look for the acoustic version of MercyMe’s Coming Up to Breathe album. Play more Uncharted. Sleep over with Seth.

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY JUST CAME ON 88.5.

Anyway, that’s enough for tonight. I hope you all enjoyed the return of the images; I had fun finding images to post. Now, it’s time for me to go to bed if I expect to wake before noon. Sleep well, everyone.

Chad

P.S. – IS THIS THE REAL LIFE IS THIS JUST FANTASY CAUGHT IN A LANDSLIDE NO ESCAPE FROM REALITY OPEN YOUR EYES LOOK UP TO THE SKIES AND SEE I’M JUST A POOR BOY I NEED NO SYMPATHY BECAUSE I’M EASY COME EASY GO LITTLE HIGH LITTLE LOW ANYWHERE THE WIND BLOWS DOESN’T REALLY MATTER TO ME TO ME MOMMA JUST KILLED A MAN PUT A GUN AGAINST HIS HEAD PULLED MY TRIGGER NOW HE’S DEAD MOMMA LIFE HAD JUST BEGUN AND NOW I’VE GONE AND THROWN IT ALL AWAY MOMMA OOOOOOH DIDN’T MEAN TO MAKE YOU CRY IF I’M NOT BACK AGAIN THIS TIME TOMORROW CARRY ON CARRY ON AS IF NOTHING REALLY MATTERS TOO LATE MY TIME HAS COME SENDS SHIVERS DOWN MY SPINE BODY’S ACHING ALL THE TIME GOODBYE EVERYBODY I’VE GOT TO GO GOTTA LEAVE YOU ALL BEHIND AND FACE THE TRUTH MOMMA OOOOOOH I DON’T WANNA DIE I SOMETIMES WISH I’D NEVER BEEN BORN AT ALL GUITAR SOLO I SEE A LITTLE SILHOUETTO OF A MAN SCARAMOUCH SCARAMOUCH WILL DO YOU THE FANDANGO THUNDERBOLTS AND LIGHTNING VERY VERY FRIGHTENING ME GALILEO GALILEO GALILEO GALILEO GALILEO FIGARO MAGNIFICO OH OH OH I’M JUST A POOR BOY NOBODY LOVES ME HE’S JUST A POOR BOY FROM A POOR FAMILY SPARE HIM HIS LIFE FROM THIS MONSTROSITY EASY COME EASY GO WILL YOU LET ME GO BISMILLAH NO WE WILL NOT LET YOU GO LET HIM GO BISMILLAH WE WILL NOT LET YOU GO LET HIM GO BISMILLAH WE WILL NOT LET YOU GO LET HIM GO NEVER NEVER NEVER LET ME GO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO OH MOMMA MIA MOMMA MIA MOMMA MIA LET ME GO BEELZEBUB HAS THE DEVIL PUT ASIDE FOR ME FOR ME FOR MEEEEEE GUITAR SOLO SO YOU THINK YOU CAN STONE ME AND SPIT IN MY EYE SO YOU THINK YOU CAN LOVE ME AND LEAVE ME TO DIE OH BABY CAN’T DO THIS TO ME BABY JUST GOTTA GET OUT JUST GOTTA GET RIGHT OUTTA HERE GUITAR SOLO NOTHING REALLY MATTERS ANYONE CAN SEE NOTHING REALLY MATTERS NOTHING REALLY MATTERS TO ME ANYWHERE THE WIND BLOWS.

That is all.

So Long, Farewell

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Today was our last day in Alabama. =/

I’m really going to miss it here. I feel that I’ve gotten a lot closer to my aunt, uncle, and cousins since the vacation my brother and I took with them over the summer to Florida on a Disney cruise, especially to my uncle; I’ve already explained that. But I think I also got a lot closer to my cousin Summer. We got along really well; I made sure to spend time with her and do some things that she wanted to do, such as play Just Dance 2 for the first time (which I really enjoyed and did pretty well on). All yesterday evening we were messing around with each other, teasing and such, and just having a great time together. I think it was good that I made it a point to spend time with her because I haven’t always been the greatest about doing that with her in the past, since my younger cousin Carson likes me so much. We used to play with each other almost nonstop just because he was so attached to me, and I think that Summer felt a little left out at times. So yeah. I did a good thing, I think. I also got a bit closer to my aunt this time around because we share a common gift: we both got iPads for Christmas. I helped her figure some things out, dress it out in accessories, and we even played on them a bit together; we’ll be playing Words with Friends often, I can tell…I’m gonna miss them so much. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we next see them, since they don’t live so far away anymore. Maybe this summer? We’ll see.

Anyway, today I slept until 11:15ish. I went downstairs, had a couple of bowls of Fruit Loops, fixed a cup of coffee, and then joined in playing “Bananagrams” with my grandma, my aunt, my dad, my uncle, and Carson; it’s a sort of Scrabble-like game, but here’s how it works: you have a big pile of letter tiles lying face-down in the center. Everyone grabs 11 tiles to start with. Someone says “split” and everyone flips their tiles right-side-up and proceeds to form their own crossword. Once you form all 11 of your starter tiles into a crossword with valid words, you say “peel” and everyone, including you, draws a tile from the center. If you have a tile that you just can’t play, you return it face-down to the center, say “dump”, and draw three tiles. The goal is to use all of the tiles on the board; once the pile in the center runs out, the first person to use all of their tiles shouts “Bananas!” and wins the game. It gets really fun; I might have to go buy it for myself for party occasions. It’s a blast, and we spent more of the day playing that than anything else.

After a while, at around 5:15 or so, my mom, dad, aunt, and I left for Kohl’s again to exchange a couple of shirts that my aunt had bought for my stocking (a Bob Marley shirt and a Beatles Apple logo shirt (that I honestly already have anyway) because they were a size too small, but the store ended up not having larger sizes of the same shirt, so I got two new ones: a new Beatles shirt that simply has the logo on it and a Star Wars shirt that has a grid with different characters in different colorful squares. It worked out well, and they’re both really cool shirts; great additions to my pop culture shirt collection. From Kohl’s we went to Pizza Hut to pick up the pizzas my uncle had ordered by phone. Taking them home, we all ate it together at the kitchen table. I don’t ever eat from Pizza Hut, but this pizza was pretty good. I liked it a lot.

On the subject of pizza, I’ve been toying with the idea of quitting pizza in 2011. Crazy, I know, but I really do have a pizza problem; during my junior and senior years of high school, I’d get pizza for lunch nearly every day in the cafeteria, and now, in college, Andrew and I will order it three times every two weeks, with the gaps often filled with me buying Sbarro in the Student Union Building. It’s pathetic. Yes, I enjoy it, but yes, it’s also a problem. Despite the fact that I quit soda for the purpose of drinking healthier drinks and losing weight, I don’t think I’ve lost any weight at all; in fact, I think I’ve gained just a few. No “Freshman 15” just yet. Maybe I should do anything so radical as to quit cold turkey like I did with soda. It might be a good idea to simply limit my pizza intake to once every two weeks or a month or something. We’ll see; it’s something I’ll have to discuss with Andrew.

I may also try eating fruit every day, though that could get expensive. We’ll see about that, too.

Following our pizza dinner, my grandma insisted she take a few pictures of my cousins, brother, and I to put in a picture frame she got. After that, which only took a few minutes, Summer brought down the Wii from the game room and had it hooked up in the living room. After a few moments of lazy digesting, I joined her in playing Just Dance 2 for a while. Both cousins played, Blake joined in this time, and my mom even played it a bit! Fun stuff. I was still winning most of the time tonight. 😉

After playing that for a while (I have no idea for how long), I joined my mom, my grandma, Blake, Summer, and Carson in more Bananagrams. A few games in, I got an email notification via my iPhone, and guess what? TELLTALE GAMES RESET MY ACCOUNT PASSWORD. Do you know what that means? I PLAYED BACK TO THE FUTURE: THE GAME FOR THE FIRST TIME. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

OHMYGOSH I KNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW


And what a great game it is. It’s not like a lot of video games you might see out in the world; for one, this is only part one of five; the next four will be released one at a time, once a month for the next four months. It’s not an action-type game, but instead a game where you search around for clues, talk to people (with several different choices of what to say or ask each person), and analyze situations. It’s really creative how they did it. Christopher Lloyd reprises his role as Doc Brown (<3), but, other than by allowing his likeness to be used in the game, Michael J. Fox was completely uninvolved, which may seem as a surprise once you hear Marty in the game: it sounds just like him. The voice actor's name is AJ Locascio or something like that (I don't wanna look it up), and he does a great job as Marty. I don't know how far through the first part I am, but I'll consider typing out a full review of it once I finish.

On the subject of Back to the Future, I received the 25th Anniversary Trilogy on Blu-Ray for Christmas (the gift I told my parents that if I got it they wouldn't need to get me anything else, and I was serious). I haven't done anything with it other than put the free digital copies of all three films on my computer, which I need to fix when I get the chance at home. I am literally going to sit down and watch through all of the special features I can get my hands on; I'm SO EXCITED.

Anyway, this post ended up being a lot longer than I expected, though I actually typed it out pretty quickly. Now, it's time for bed; we are planning on waking up at 7 in the morning, with plans to leave as soon as possible so we can get home earlier in the day, which will be nice.

See you all back in Mesquite!

Chad

P.S. – You'd be surprised how addicting it can be to play with these little magnetic balls:

Cube.


Snowflake.


Erm...Thing.

Eli’s Coming

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/song playing on Pandora right now

Good morning, sunshine! The world says hello!

This is another post from my iPad, which Ihave now “tricked out”. My aunt (who, along with my uncle, got it for me for Christmas) took me today to get a screen protector, a case, and a wireless keyboard (which connects via Bluetooth) to accessorize it. They keyboard is the same size as a normal keyboard (except it’s super-thin and slim /synonyms), so it makes it a lot easier to type stuff out on it since it doesn’t require the touch screen. I got the idea from one of my history classmates, who typed all of his class notes on his iPad via his wireless keyboard. It’s
super handy. The case I got is pretty cool too; the part that houses the iPad itself is soft and is velcroed in, which velcroes to a sleeve-type thing that allows you to prop the iPad up in either landscape or portrait position. It’s ideal for now while I
type or for when I’m reading something or watching a movie and whatnot. Pretty cool. I managed to put the screen protector on pretty successfully as well; it only has a few tiny bubbles where small hairs or dust particles managed to sneak in. I may decide to use the second screen protector that came in the pack to fix it,
but for now it doesn’t bother me too much.

My new setup.

I first woke up this morning at 9:45 with my first alarm, but I went back to sleep,
only waking up a couple more times until I finally got out of bed around 11:30 or so. When I got downstairs, Pillsbury cinnamon rolls (which rock, by the way) were already prepared and ready to eat; awesome. I just hung around a little while, played some Uncharted on my PS3, got dressed, and then my aunt, mom, grandmother, and I all departed to do the aforementioned iPad shopping. What I didn’t mention is that my aunt got the same case and screen protector as me since she got a new iPad for Christmas as well.

We went straight from shopping to dinner (an early dinner, of course) around 4:30-5 or so at a seafood place called Oyster House, meeting the rest of the family. The food was really good; we got both shrimp and fried mozzarella as appetizers, which were very good, and I got a sampler for my dinner, which ended up being a LOT of food. It had a few chicken tenders, a large helping of popcorn shrimp, flounder filet, French fries, and red potatoes. Needless to say, I didn’t finish my
meal. It was TOO much food, but it was all tasty. Plus, I got these awesome sunset pictures out the window:

Ignore the window glare, please.

From the restaurant, I went back out with my aunt, mom, and grandma, and we were joined by my cousin Summer. We went to Kohl’s first, primarily to look at
coffeemakers. I got one from my grandparents for Christmas, which is awesome, but the problem was that it’s not a type allowed in Tech dorm rooms. Boo. The kind we’re looking at now is super cool; you have these little cup/package things that have different kinds of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate in them, and you pop them in the
top of the coffeemaker, push the lid down, add water in the container, and it makes it for you. Sounds non-extravagant in typed format, but it’s really cool when you see it; my aunt and uncle have one, and I had never seen it until I saw theirs. I’ll have one soon! I also found a Beatles jacket that was one sale, so I had to
get it (well, my mom did, but still; I GOT IT). It’s awesome.

I am now a
lord of Awesometown.

We went to JC Penney’s after leaving Kohl’s (I’m not entirely sure what we were
looking for here, but we didn’t stay long at all), and then we went back to the house from there. Upon getting inside, I proceeded to pimp out my iPad.

Pictured: Not My iPad


Then I helped my aunt put the screen protector on hers and just started messing around with mine for a while. My aunt later came back and we played each other on Scrabble via Wi-Fi connection; she ended up winning, but I was ahead for a few turns in the middle of it. I’m beating her in Words with Friends now. 😉 When she beat me
in Scrabble, I put my iPad away for a while and went back upstairs and play more of Uncharted. It’s really an impressive game; I’d guess that I’m about halfway through (maybe?) so far, and it’s great. The story is fun, the action not bad, the graphics
incredible, and it’s just enjoyable all-around. The music is even pretty good. /nerd

I played Just Dance for the first time tonight. My cousin got JD2 for Christmas, and she had asked me to play, and, not wanting to disappoint her, I did. My friend Tessa has the game back in her room at Tech, so I’ve watched her play it with Andrew,
Megan, and Jenny, but I never joined in. I actually really enjoyed it. It’s lots of fun, even though we had to keep the jumping/feet movement to a minimum since we were on the second floor and it was late. I ended up winning all but two of the songs; I was playing with both of my cousins. Cool beans.

Around 1:30 or so, Blake and I both decided to put away our video games (me Uncharted and him Call of Duty: Black Ops) and put on a movie: the new Karate Kid movie with Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan, on Blu-Ray. I ended up changing my mind, and my parents weren’t too thrilled with the prospect of us being up an additional
2 hours either (though here I am at 2:45 finishing typing this up), so here we are lying in the dark.

Yup. Pretty dark.

My family and I were gonna stay here in Alabama until tomorrow initially, hitting the
road sometime early tomorrow, but we decided to change our minds and leave with my grandparents a day later on Wednesday. I have to join the band on Thursday (dumb, yes) at the hotel, I get New Year’s Eve off (PARTY), game New Year’s morning, and then I’m free until I go back to Tech on the 7th. I’m so glad I was able to get that extra week (nearly) back at home; it’s gonna be nice spending time with my family. Welp, it’s definitely time for bed; I wanna try and wake up around 10-ish (for real this time) tomorrow (/today) morning, so sleep better happen now.

Goodnight, everyone.

Chad
P.S. –

I am so blessed.

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(I apologize in advance for the formatting; I believe my sign off is missing; I’ll fix it later)

Hello everyone! I hope that all of you had as great a
Christmas as I did, full of God’s blessings. (I’m typing this from
my new iPad! :D)

I fell asleep before two this morning, which made
my early awakening at 5:30am all the more bearable. Don’t ask me
why I was up so early because I don’t have a reason; it’s not like
I set alarms to wake me up obscenely early on Christmas morning.
I’m not gonna lie, though: I was sorta hoping to be up that early.
You see, I have my own little sort of Christmas tradition, though I
haven’t maintained it every year. A few years ago I woke up really
early on Christmas morning and was unable to fall asleep, so, being
too courteous to wake up the rest of my family so early, I pulled
out my iPod and watched the Polar Express. Today, I decided to do
the same thing. It was awesome. 🙂

After the movie finished at
around 7:45 or so, I decided to go ahead and go back to sleep and
let the younger ones wake up the rest of the family once they got
up. I ended up sleeping for about an hour until 8:40ish, at which
point the whole family commuted downstairs to the living room to
commence with the opening of presents.

Normally, “Santa” visits,
and the big gifts that we ask for are lying exposed in the middle
of the living room. However, since none of the younger ones believe
in Santa anymore, we didn’t do it this year, instead receiving our
“Santa” gifts wrapped and from our parents. My Santa gift from my
parents this year was a PS3, which was one of the top items on my
list; I wanted it specifically for its Blu-Ray capabilities, so my
parents got it for me. I love them so much. 🙂 Other gifts included
a book of useless information (perfect for me, considering how much
I use Wikipedia), several Blu-Ray movies to play on my new PS3 (the
new Karate Kid, Despicable Me (watching it now), Avatar (Extended
Collector’s Edition), and, my personal favorite, also from my
parents, the 25th Anniversary Back to the Future Trilogy!), a few
new XBox games that I can’t wait to play, and, as previously
mentioned, an iPad, a combination Christmas/birthday present from
my aunt and uncle. I also got a new coffee maker for my dorm room,
as well as Back to the Future: The Game for my PC. 🙂

I am so
blessed to have such a generous family.

The rest of the day was
spent syncing my iPad, playing with my PS3, trying (and failing) to
remember the password to the website that I downloaded the BTTF
game from (D:), playing the one PS3 game I own, and other Christmas
shenanigans.

Christmas dinner was fantastic. By the time it came around, I
was more hungry than I had remembered being in a long time (much
like I am now; darn). It was cram-packed of all the usual things we
eat for big dinners, i.e. creamed potatoes, turkey, ham, yams, etc.
Good stuff.

Pictured: Good stuff.

 

Outside of all
that, I didn’t do much. Tomorrow we may go out (which means I’ll
have to get out of my pajamas for the first time since I put them
on on Christmas Eve…whoops) and get me a case, a screen
protector, and a wireless keyboard for my iPad (all part of the
gift), and I may buy a PS3 game or two just to say I have them. And
HOPEFULLY I’ll figure out my password for the BTTF game so I can
play some of that!

Anyway, it’s super late and I’m a bit tired, so I
will talk to you all later. I hope that you are all sleeping well
and that you all have a great day tomorrow. Goodnight.

Chad

P.S. –

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

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Merry Christmas, everyone. Depending on how long it takes me to type this out (which varies based on my level of concentration, which may be pretty low since I’m watching a movie), this may be the first blog post of mine posted before midnight. I know, it’s quite a momentous occasion; at least, it will be if I can pull it off. Here goes.

 

I didn’t have to opportunity to sleep late today, but I was okay with it since I went to sleep before 2am for the first time since I-don’t-know-when (Side note: it’s now four to midnight and I’m obviously not even close to finishing. So so much for that). I think it might have been around 10 or so when I finally got up, at which point family breakfast was already prepared. We had the typical breakfast: scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage patties, biscuits, and gravy. In short, a very good home-cooked meal.

 

After breakfast, I sat downstairs for a while and watched the original film version of A Miracle on 34th Street with the adults of my family (as if my brother and cousins could actually sit through it). I hadn’t seen it before, so I really enjoyed it. Good stuff. Interesting fact: the actress who played the little girl, Susie, in this movie was also Maria in the West Side Story movie musical – Natalie Wood. BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW THAT! Ha, anyway, we also caught most of White Christmas, though it must have been my parents’ 10th time to watch it in the last week; no complaints though, since it’s definitely a good film with good music (if you don’t think that Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney qualify as “good music”, you’re broken; confession: I accidentally typed “Bill Cosby” first…they are NOT interchangeable).

Pictured: NOT Bing Crosby

 

After watching those movies for a while, everyone became restless and the adults started making dinner (this was around 5, I suppose; we had spaghetti for dinner!), so I went upstairs and joined my youngest cousin, Carson. He asked for help on his Nerf Wii game…yes, they made one of those, and I’m quite adept at it. I helped him out with that for a while until dinner was declared ready, at which point we all gathered at the dining room table and commenced to stuff our faces; I LOVE spaghetti! Well, at least the kind we made: it was the same kind my mom has fixed all my life that I love so much.

 

At around 7, all but the kids gathered around the television in the living room and watched the first showing of A Christmas Story on TBS’s 24-hour A Christmas Story marathon. We originally were gonna go out and try to find it on DVD or Blu-Ray somewhere, but we called around and everywhere was either sold out or closing soon. Lucky for us, we discovered the existence of the marathon 20 minutes after learning that we couldn’t go anywhere to get it. Rockin’. As for the movie itself, I loved it. I had seen Poteet’s Theatre Department perform it last week, but that was the only experience I had had with this movie before, so I resolved to see it. It made me laugh a lot, some of the time because I was thinking back to one of my best friends, Connor (who was Ralphie in Poteet’s production), and how he portrayed Ralphie. It’s definitely a fun movie, and I’ll make an effort to watch it at least once every year from now on; who knows, maybe I’ll make it a tradition to watch the first showing on TBS’s 24-hour marathon.

 

Midway through the movie, we paused it so that we could open our traditional Christmas Eve gifts. You see, in our family, for as long as I can remember, my grandparents have gotten their grandkids (me included, of course) a new pair of pajamas every Christmas Eve, and then we usually wear them at least on Christmas morning, if not the whole day long (I rarely change out of my pajamas on Christmas day). This year, I got some silky/polyester-y pajama pants with a sort of black/grey/white plaid pattern, as well as a plain white shirt to go with it. Very comfortable. I love these kinds of pajama pants. We also opened our gifts from our “Uncle Bill and Aunt Carla” (in quotation marks because they aren’t really related to us; my grandpa used to work with my “Uncle Bill” as firefighters, and they also did house construction projects together, so they’re really close); the four of us each got a $25 iTunes gift card, which was much appreciated since I haven’t had any money credit on my iTunes account since this summer. We open the rest of the presents tomorrow morning. I’m excited.

 

So, none of the kids in my family believe in Santa Claus anymore, not even the one who’s only 9. That’s a bit disappointing, but at least I don’t have to watch what I say anymore. That’s a plus, I guess? Eh.

 

While typing this, I was watching Horton Hears a Who! for the first time on Blu-Ray. I had wanted to see this for a while, but had just never gotten around to it. I had heard that it was pretty good, though, both from friends and from movie critics. I thought that it was really cute; definitely a step up from both the Grinch and ESPECIALLY the Cat in the Hat movie (fun fact: after seeing the Cat in the Hat movie, Dr. Seuss’s wife, who is still alive, revoked the rights of movie companies to make live-action adaptations of her husband’s books). I mean, I enjoyed the Grinch a lot, but I only enjoyed it because it was fun. It wasn’t necessarily a “good film”. Let it be known that Horton was great, though. I’d recommend it to anyone.

Not recommended. EVER.

 

I just noticed how much grammar really matters to me; I’m constantly editing what I just typed to make sure that if, for some reason, I turned it into an English teacher for a grade, I’d get a good one. Very rarely do I break the rules of grammar; if I do, it’s a mistake seldom made OR it was simply for comedic purposes (I like to pretend I’m funny sometimes).

"I'm a cat. And I have a lime on my head. That's not normal. IT'S FUNNY."

 

Welp, it’s after 1 in the morning now, and I’m ready to get some sleep. /unexpected

 

Goodnight, everyone. Merry Christmas, and God bless you all.

 

Chad

 

P.S. – Remember why this holiday exists in the first place. Even though Jesus wasn’t born in the wintertime, this holiday is still meant to celebrate His birth, so we should be thankful and mindful of that (yes, the following video has been posted before, but let it remind you):

Greetings from ‘Bama Land!

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Merry Christmas Eve!

So, I’ll admit that staying up until 4:30am before having to wake up early was a bad idea. Bad Chad. The plan was to wake up early so that we could be on the road by 8:30 or so. My parents were setting their first alarms at 6, so I thought that I would do the same. “If I wake up first, I’ll make sure to wake you two up,” I said. PFFFFFFFT YEAH RIGHT. I woke up at 6, looked at the time, snorted a bit, and went back to sleep. I ended up not getting out of bed until my parents woke me up a bit after eight, and we were on the road by 9. We dropped off some stuff at Andrew’s house on our way out, and we stopped in Forney for gas (we thought it would be cheaper like it normally is, but it wasn’t) and for breakfast at Chick-Fil-A. That put us officially on the way to Alabama by 9:30-9:45.

God bless this thing.

 

It was a long drive. I started out reading on my Kindle for a while: a book by the staff of Mugglenet (the Internet’s best Harry Potter fan site) titled “Harry Potter Should Have Died”. It’s meant to explore possible loose ends that were never concluded in the series, things they thought should have ended differently, and stuff like that. Now, I had read their first book, released back in 2006 or 2007 before Deathly Hallows was published, which explored theories as to what might happen in the last book; it was really good, and most of their theories (if not all) were spot-on. This book, however, has disappointed me so far. They keep trying to do “this or that” ‘s  between things that don’t really matter (in my opinion, at least), and, when they DO bring up an interesting topic, their arguments are shallow and basically boil down to, “which spell has the coolest incantation?” It’s upsetting. Despite all that, though, I’m not yet halfway through the book, so hopefully things turn out better. We’ll see.

 

On the subject of Kindles: I have a few friends who are severely anti-Kindle because they fear it will rid the world of books once and for all. To this I ask “where is your proof?” What about a Kindle is going to end books? Listen. I have an extensive personal library. Nothing super extravagant, but enough to get me by, and I’ve read most of the books in it. It’s a LOT of books. You have all seven Harry Potter books. You have the 10+ Michael Crichton books I own. The Inheritance Trilogy (the Eragon books). The 6 Artemis Fowl books I own. Etc. On my Kindle, I have most of the aforementioned books; the Kindle itself is smaller than the largest Harry Potter book. It’s a space saver; I could carry around my entire book library with me in a slightly-larger-than-pocket-sized device. How convenient is that? If I haven’t read a book yet and I don’t own it, I could put it on my Kindle, read it, and, if I like it, by the hardcopy. This thing isn’t destroying printed material; it’s preserving it. /soapbox

/soapbox

One great thing about my mom’s vehicle (a Buick Enclave) is that it has the built-in DVD player, complete with audio/video connecting ports, a carport charger, and a regular AC outlet (like in your wall at home; this last one is particularly convenient). This setup enables us to hook up a video game system and play right there in the car. We hooked up an XBox 360, though I didn’t really play too much today. My brother, however, played pretty much the ENTIRE time. He started with Call of Duty (I played a bit of this when he had trouble), then switched to Star Wars Battlefront II (I helped him on this too, but didn’t play for more than 15 minutes), and finally to Halo. Ridiculous. I decided to go to sleep around 12:30pm and was out for two and a half hours, which was wonderful, by the way. Around 2:30-3 or so, we stopped in Jackson, Mississippi (I think) for gas and a quick bite to eat. The gas station had a McDonald’s built into it, so we decided to just go with that. We bought drinks in the gas station convenience store first (I got some Sobe Green Tea), and then we stepped into McDonald’s; this was the worst McDonald’s experience of my life. They took FOREVER to make our meal. It was terrible. The food was decent, though, so that’s alright.

 

We climbed back in the car with our food and hit the road, watching National Treasure on the video screen via my iPod, connected with my iPod audio/video cables. I love that movie. My favorite scene is at the very beginning when Ben Gates (Cage’s character) deciphers the riddle inscribed on the Charlotte pipe. It’s just such a great moment. You rock my world, Ben Gates.

WRONG NICOLAS CAGE CHARACTER

After the movie, Blake resumed his XBox nonsense and I resumed reading, continuing with the Mugglenet book for a while before deciding to download Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” to my Kindle and start reading that. I didn’t get too far before we reached my aunt and uncle’s house, though.

 

Once getting here, we ate some taco soup (I believe that’s what it was; meat, corn, tomatoes, onions, cheese, and beans) that had already been prepared (and it was actually pretty good; we’re having spaghetti tomorrow, my favorite!), and I spent some time with my younger cousins. One is 15 and the other is 9. Summer and Carson, respectively. I played “laser tag” with Carson for a few minutes (I brought both my red and green laser pointers with me), and then all four of us played with Nerf guns, trying to get each other out with the lights off, which devolved into a simple game of hide and seek. YES, I AM 18 GOING ON 19 AND I HAD FUN PLAYING HIDE AND SEEK.

Now, here the four of us are, watching Polar Express again (I NEVER tire of this movie), going to bed after it’s over (which it almost is).

At one time most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.

Why do we find it so hard to believe in things just because we can’t see it? No, I’m not saying that we should all believe in Santa Claus since he’s not real, but why do people have such difficulty believing in God? I understand that some of the concepts in Christianity are difficult to comprehend and accept, but that’s where faith comes in. I don’t think it’s so hard, but, then again, I was raised in Christianity; not to say I didn’t explore the religion on my own instead of just trusting what people told me was truth all my life, but the fact that my whole family is Christian just made it all easier to accept. I digress.

Is it so hard?

Welp, it’s early Christmas Eve and now it’s time for bed. I’m still slightly exhausted. Gonna put on my Christmas music and go to sleep. Goodnight, everyone, and I hope everyone has a great day before Christmas!

 

Chad

 

P.S. – Enjoy some Stevie Wonder.

Mindbombs and Sign Fails

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Hello, everyone. Today was slightly more eventful than yesterday, so let’s see how this goes!

I would like to officially open with some propaganda:
GO SEE TRON: LEGACY IN IMAX NOW. That is all.

You WILL go see Tron.

I first woke up this morning at 9:30, which was far too early for me (my dad was awake though, which is unusual for him), so, after using the restroom and kidnapping my cat from my parents’ bed, I went back to sleep for a few hours. My mom eventually woke me up around 12:15ish, if I remember correctly, but I stayed in my bed for another hour, half cat-napping and half-playing with my phone.

I finally got out of bed at 1:30 or so, grabbing my checkbook and box of receipts I collected this semester and taking them to my parents’ room to balance my checkbook. Bleh. My mom and I worked on it FOREVER and still didn’t get past September due to the realization that, somehow, my math had gotten completely off months ago, putting a damper on our progress. We sorted it out eventually, though.

Around 3:30 or so my dad made us all omelets…yum. Mine was cheddar and American cheese, with bacon and ham as well. Good stuff. I ate mine and what was left of my mom’s after she had had her fill.

While working on balancing my checkbook, my mom and I had the TV on. One of the movies that came on was the Polar Express, which was directed by my favorite director (Robert Zemeckis, who directed the Back to the Future movies, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and is directing the upcoming remake of the animated Beatles movie, Yellow Submarine), and the music was written by Alan Silvestri, who frequently collaborates with Zemeckis. Good stuff. The ending always gets me teared up a bit…BELIEVE. One of my favorite quotes ever: “Sometimes the most real things in life are the things we CAN’T see.” Like God. 🙂

Speaking of Back to the Future, the video game was released for the PC on December 22.

DO WANT

Also, speaking of the Beatles, it was announced today (yesterday for all of you, I suppose) that the zebra crossing on Abbey Road (where the iconic album photo for the Beatles “Abbey Road” album was taken; duh) is now a monument to be preserved for all time. How cool is that? Abbey Road is my favorite Beatles album; I have a shirt with the album cover on it, the album on both CD and vinyl, as well as the poster hanging in my room. /obsessed

History.

Back to my life: my dad got my mom and I milkshakes later; mine was gone in literally about five minutes. Milkshake equal sign good stuff.

After getting all of my stuff to take with me to Alabama in relatively the same area (not packed yet), I met up with my good Puerto Rican friend Johnny at the local movie theater (interesting fact: did you know that this theater, AMC 30, is one of the largest in the world?) at about 10:20 (yes, at night). We were seeing the new Tron: Legacy movie in IMAX 3D. Expensive tickets? Yes. Worth it? Definitely. I got my usual “movie food”: a cinnamon-coated pretzel, a bag of strawberry Twizzlers, and a blue raspberry Icee to replace the usual soda (I quit soda back in August, remember?). Then we sat in the best seats in the theater: the row right behind the bars at the front of the elevated section, dead center. Now on to a mini review of the film: while not a critical masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, the movie is lots of fun, and Jeff Bridges and whoever plays his son (not up to looking it up at the moment) do a great job. I have to admit, this film has visuals that blow those in Avatar out of the water…and I didn’t think that that was even possible. The music was also enjoyable as well; I believe the score was composed by the band Daft Punk, and I surprisingly liked it a lot, to the point that I may buy the soundtrack.

After the film was over, Johnny and I bro-hugged each other goodbye (what else do bros do?), climbed in our cars, and drove home (Johnny got his license today! I’m so proud…an slightly terrified). On my way back to the Hopkins residence, I came across a dilemma: on a service road alongside the highway, I first saw a sign that said “Right Lane Closed Ahead”. Okay then. No problem; just stay left. About 100 feet later: “Left Lane Ends”. WELL WHAT THE FRICK?! I eventually came to this solution:

Flux capacitor not included.

Whatever works, right?

 

When I got home a little after 1, I packed all of my stuff, including clothes, entertainment items (Nintendo DS, Kindle, iPod, etc), various chargers/cords for said entertainment, and my laptop. Then, after taking a much-needed shower, I went to bed and began typing this…sorry Mom. I promise I’ll be okay and fully awake!

And now, I am pretty much finished. We are waking up early-ish in the morning so that we can get to my aunt and uncle’s house in Alabama at a decent time. I’m probably going to drive part of the way there. Please pray that we all drive safely and have a successful trip.

Quick note. Movies in theaters that I need to see: the new Narnia film (despite bad reviews), Tangled, True Grit, Tron, and Harry Potter (what? I never said “movies I haven’t already seen”!).

Another note. Movies that I need to see in general: the original Tron, the second and third Lord of the Rings, Donnie Darko, A Christmas Story, and Back to the future. ALWAYS Back to the Future.

That’s it for this post, everyone. Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

Chad

P.S. – This was typed on my iPhone, so if you see any embarrassing spelling errors, it’s because sometimes iPhones’ auto-correct feature consistently ignores the English language.

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