Monday, 30 September 2013

The Nerd List: September 2013

My Nerd List for the month of September.

To all the Nerd List newbies, this is basically just a list of the things I’ve been mildly obsessing over this month: all the books, movies and music that I highly recommend. Hope you enjoy!

Let me also just apologise in advance for the lack of stuff I’ve actually done in September. I think I’ve literally picked up two books, and finished one. Just give me a break, okay? It was back to school, and I was on camp for a week, then I went to hospital on the long weekend, so I spent two days writhing in pain and sadly wasn’t inspired to bury my nose in a book while being poked and prodded with needles. And yes, I am going to use my kidney stone and day-and-a-half in hospital as an excuse until it becomes physically impossible for me to refer to it any more because it completely irrelevant. Let me just reiterate that I nearly died.


Books I've read this month:

Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin, #2) by Robin LaFevres (I'm getting to a review... I'm sorry... The link will be here when I've posted it)

And that's it. I've literally only read one book this month. The world must be ending.

Book of the month

Seeing as I only finished one… Dark Triumph by Robin La Fevres. It was good, but if I’d read another book, it probably wouldn’t have won. On average it was about three stars, but it did get me through half of the ten-hour bus ride to camp, so I guess it deserves some credit.

Book quote of the month

I'm going to quote Jennifer L. Armentrout again, because I haven't laughed as hard as I did in Origin for a long time. Luc is by far my favourite character in terms of how much I quote him at school with my friends. So here are two of his best moments to conpensate for my lack of reading this month: 

"Seriously? Can't you two bro-mance it out?"

"Me and Katy look adorkable in extraterrestrial highway shirts. You would just look stupid. You can thank me later."

Book boy of the month

I’m NOT going to pick a boy from the Dark Triumph series, because they’re all pretty old and have weird beards, and are not my idea of dreamy. So I’m going to go with Patch from the Hush, Hush series, because he is my number one go-to-guy in terms of fallen angels and sexy bad boys. If you haven’t read the Hush, Hush series, I highly recommend it, and you can read my review of the first book here, but beware, some may contain spoilers…

View Hush, Hush on Goodreads (probably a more reliable way of telling you what the book is about without giving away the whole storyline… Sorry… The series is incredible, though, and I got really excited when I read them – and still get excited now – hence the spoilers.)


Fangirl moment of the month

Nickelback is touring in South Africa! And I got tickets! Wheee! *cue squeals of delight and epic dancing*

The moment I found out they were touring almost caused me to be grounded, because apparently "people all the way in Japan were covering their ears" I was screaming so loud. And the moment I found out my mother had managed to get me tickets... Lets just say it was not pretty or pleasant.

Read my fangirl session here.

Facepalm moment of the month

Somehow (don’t ask me how) I managed to acquire a kidney stone. And spent two days in hospital. (Okay, so technically it was one and a half days, but I’m going to exaggerate because I am a teenage girl, and that’s what we do.)

You can read my blog about my experience in hospital here.


Song of the month

Don’t judge me, but Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus has been stuck in my head for the whole month. I am not saying that I support her life decisions or actions in any way, and just for the record I have watched the music video, and flat out refuse to watch it again. I just like the song. It’s catchy and has a chorus that you can dance around to in your room like a crazy person.

A couple of other songs I’m loving at the moment: I Feel Like Dancin’ – All Time Low, It’s Time – Imagine Dragons, Try Hard – 5 Seconds of Summer, Hung Up – Hot Chelle Rae, Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana, Rock N Roll – Avril Lavigne, Curious – Emblem3, Really Don’t Care – Demi Lovato feat. Cher Lloyd.

Oh, and Wake Me Up When September Ends by Greenday was my anthem. I swear I was singing it internally every time I went to bed, and again when my alarm went off in the morning and I rolled under the pillow... Every day...

Lyric of the month

"I'm lost. I find myself while I search. Now I use music to pray with no words. When you lose what you love, remember to stay strong. Look out the window and remember life goes on."
- Curious, Emblem3


Movie of the month

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Duh.

It was amazing. Everything I wanted and more. I just... I loved it so much. 

I highly recommend it. If you haven't seen it, do so immediately.

P.S. Jamie Campbell Bower is MINE. We even share a common pronunciation of our surnames. Therefore I have placed him in a state of eternal dibs.

Read my “review”/fangirl session after seeing it here.

Tweet of the month

Amen. I would be stick-figure skinny. With abs. And a thigh gap.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment below on what you thought!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

My Night(mare) in Hospital

Yes, you did read that right. I was in hospital. On the long weekend. That is just so typical of my life. I literally wasted one whole day of my long weekend dying when I could've been on the internet or reading or something.

Only I would worry about how much reading time I've lost while writhing in pain in a hospital bed. Wow, I really do need a life.

It's just my luck that I manage to get extremely sick on all the important occasions of my life. I've had extreme nausea on at least three Christmases in my lifetime, and at least two Easters. I always - ALWAYS - contract some severe cold just before we leave to go on holiday, but only ever after schools have closed. Last year, when our grade went on an outing to the Apartheid museum - which was pretty crucial for our History syllabus - I contracted a kidney infection, and was booked off school for two days, yet I got better just in time for early morning tennis (which starts at 6 a.m. at my school) on Monday.

And now, on the one weekend that my school gives us Monday and Tuesday off because of Heritage Day, I manage to somehow contract a kidney stone. Like seriously. A kidney stone. That's not even supposed to be remotely normal for a teenage girl.

So anyway, I woke up yesterday morning with this weird pain in my side. After a while of just lying there in confusion, something clicked in my brain, and I realised the pain was really similar to how I'd felt when I had a kidney infection last year. As I was sleeping over at a friend's house after watching City of Bones on Friday night (for the second time, and it was still amazing, if not even better) I quickly called my mom and told her to come and take me to the doctor. By the time she arrived, I was writhing in extreme pain, and apparently even more pale than I usually am - which is pretty much so white that my skin is literally blue-tinged except for my freckles, so I don't really know how THAT's possible... After what seemed like ages, we arrived at the doctor, and she sent me to hospital, suspecting that I had a kidney stone.

Long story cut slightly shorter, two injections, one CT scan, loads of paracetemol (is that how you spell it?), a drip, several blood tests and blood pressure readings later I was told that I had - luckily - already gotten over the worst of the pain as the stone had passed from my kidney to my bladder, and I now needed to wait until it got out of my system. They insisted on keeping me in the hospital for at least one night, and for a while it looked like I would be there for two or more, to the utter dismay of my parents. But kudos to them, because somehow they managed to stay pretty calm when I was practically begging the nurses to drug me, and my dad even came to the hospital at 5:00 this morning just because I was lonely. (In hospitals, they wake you up at least three times in one night to take your temperature and blood pressure, which did not bode well with me, but I managed not to kill the nurse when she woke me up at 2:00 and 4:30, and I think that's a pretty big achievement.)

Eventually, the kidney stone came out (I'll spare you the details) and it was 3mm in diameter. Legitimately. I was almost dying from the pain, and had to be drugged up for at least 11 hours to stop me from writhing and screaming, because of a tiny 3mm stone. Pathetic, I know, but apparently it was really big for a kidney stone, and the nurse seemed surprised that I hadn't requested stronger medication. 

I'm not going to lie, the attention I got in my ward because I was the youngest person there was pretty cool. And the looks I got from a couple of old ladies when I went for the CT scan... I could've burst out laughing. I think they thought I was pregnant or something. LOL. Overall, the experience of "ehrmagherd I'm in a hospital" after the pain had subdued wasn't all bad, and the food was really good (what little of it I managed to eat) despite what everyone says about hospital food tasting like disinfectant.

They discharged me about two hours ago, and I have been taking advantage of my bed and WiFi to an almost horrific extent. Not to mention the fact that I'm drinking about a bottle of water every hour, just because I'm absolutely terrified of getting yet another kidney issue. But I survived! Thanks to all of you who visited me or sent messages - it was nice to know I was being thought of.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to comment below on your hospital experiences!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Mortal Instruments Feels

So I realised that after I went to see The Mortal Instruments on Saturday night and typed up this tornado of feelings... I forgot to publish it. *facepalm* So I guess I'll just publish it now... On Tuesday... I apologise for my stupidity.

So much emotion. So little time.

Oh. My. Word.

It was amazing. It was just so incredibly amazing and so much better than I expected I am literally exploding with emotion right now.

I'm having such an emotional panic attack that I just misused the word "literally." That's when you know.

It's okay. Breathe... Remember to breathe...

Okay I'm fine. I think.

So, I watched it. I finally - FINALLY - watched The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and it was incredible. It was just so good. The actors, the director, the screenplay... Everything. I just loved it. And I'm not a professional film-critic, so I'm not going to "review" the movie as such, but I just need to explain my emotions to somebody, okay?

I'm going to be honest, here, so please don't hate me, but after I heard that Jamie Campbell Bower was playing Jace, I threw an absolute fit. I was so disappointed, and I think I can safely say that most of The Mortal Instruments fandom was going through the same emotional trauma as my friends and I were. I lost all hope in the movie, and almost refused to look at any spoilers or pictures that were released as it was being filmed. A couple of days before I went on camp, I read a couple of the reviews on the movie that said that Jamie was such a terrible actor and that he ruined the film, which made me slightly less excited to see it, and extremely worried that he would ruin one of my favourite series forever.

To all those of you who are not obsessed with any series or book that is or has been turned into a film, you just need to understand how traumatic it is for a book-lover to decide whether or not they want to watch the movie. Because after you've seen the movie, the characters are no longer figments of your imagination, and you can no longer see then as you imagined them after watching an actor portray them. They will forever look like the actor in your mind, and it takes something special away from the book. Even re-reading The Hunger Games, I can't remember how I pictured Peeta or Katniss, because not they just look like Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence dressed up as Peeta and Katniss. There is something somewhat melancholy about losing your imagination to film, even if the actors portrayed the characters absolutely perfectly, which is rare in any case.

So anyway, back to Jamie Campbell Bower. The friends I went to go see it with and I were a bit (okay so a bit more than a bit) disappointed with his casting, and one girl I know was even prepared to take a cutout of Alex Pettyfer into the cinema and hold it in front of Jace's face throughout the film. But Jamie was actually really good. He wasn't the best Jace ever (the Jace in my head was WAY better, but then again imagination always wins) but he did really well portraying just the right amount of cheekiness, hotness and arrogance that Jace Wayland truly is. I thought he was great, and I wasn't disappointed in him at all, surprisingly enough. Plus the British accent... Kills teenage girls everywhere.

All of the other actors and actresses were also absolutely amazing. I loved Alec and Magnus. And Clary was perfect. How is Lily Collins allowed to be so pretty? That's just not fair.

But anyway, now that I've finished watching the movie, I just want to go and see it again. And again. And again. It's going to be one of those DVDs (like The Hunger Games and Romeo and Juliet - the Baz Luhrmann version - and The Great Gatsby) that I'll force my kids to watch one day. After they've read the books of course. I ain't gonna raise no illiterates in my home.

To all those of you who haven't read the books and were all, "Ermagherd Jace and Clary are BROTHER AND SISTER???!!!!11!! INCEST!!11!!!" it all works out. I promise. Go read the series.

Oh, and one more thing: the Catching Fire trailer came on just before the movie started, and - of course - my friends and I had a mini (okay not so mini) fangirl session which may or may not have resulted in people threatening to exile us from the cinema. Pfft... Amateurs. They should've known that the people that dressed up as shadow hunters (runes and all) just to see the movie would've been MAJOR Hunger Games fans as well. Please, the Hunger Games fandom and The Mortal Instruments fandom are like brother and sister. Except we don't make out (Clace joke... don't freak out; read the series.)

Sorry for the abuse of capitals, exclamation points etc in this blog. Also for the major fangirl session. And the use of "ermagherd". It won't happen again. Until my next fangirl session. When Catching Fire comes out (November, I am waiting...)

Oh, and you can bet on the fact that I'll definitely be going to go see it in the cinema again... And then buy it on DVD... And then watch it every day until I die... Why am I so cool...

Comment below on your thoughts on the film and the novels if you've seen/read them!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Nickelback Touring South Africa in December!


I know that I've been using a lot of capitalisation, exclamation points and expressions such as the one above recently, but I believe that this sort of requires it, seeing as I don't think I've ever been this excited in my entire life.

Yes. I know. Not even when Awaken came out. Not even when the Mortal Instruments: City of Bones film came out. Not even - dare I say it - when I went to go and see The Hunger Games at the cinema.

I'll try not to rape the Caps Lock key.

Nickelback is touring South Africa in December! NICKELBACK. TOURING. SOUTH AFRICA.I literally never thought I'd use all those words in a sentence, except if I said: "Nickelback was touring South Africa in 2008 and I wasn't allowed to go because I was like eleven and 'too young.'" Pfft... "too young." Too young to appreciate the my absolute favourite band in the history of ever? I don't think so.

But you know what the best part it? I LIVE IN SOUTH AFRICA! Yes, ME! I can finally go see them! In the flesh! And hear them LIVE! I think I might just implode. 

There is only one thing that can get me even more excited than books can, and that is music. And there are only a couple of musicians/bands I will spend my money on to see live, two of them being Avril Lavigne and Nickelback. And Avril Lavigne is getting married to Chad Kroeger (from Nickelback) so she might be here as well. Two of my favourite singers ever. In my country. One of them performing live. *Cue squeals of delight.*

But seriously. Tickets go on sale on Friday. I will not miss this opportunity. If I do... No. I won't. I can't. 

Now I just have to convince my parents to let me miss school on Friday to sit in a line for about forty-eight hours from about four in the morning to book tickets to see a band that is not the most Christian-like perform live. Not to mention that the majority of their fans are not anything like Justin Bieber fans. Although I hear some of those concerts get pretty violent, what with Bieber throwing his shirt into a crowd of crazy, screaming girls and all.

But seriously, wish me luck.

If you also live in sunny SA, and are a die-hard Nickelback fan like me, read more about the tour here.

Friday, 13 September 2013

The Other Camp

I'm back! Did you miss me?

Don't answer that.

So, yeah... I'm back from the "academic camp" I mentioned (and freaked out about) in my last blog. I literally just got home an hour ago, and I've pretty much been sitting in the shower and eating (not at the same time - although I wish that were a possibility) since I got back. This is the update I promised - I believe my very words were "a VERY detailed camp saga" - but I'm so emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually tired that I'm just going to squish five days into one blog.

Here's to hoping this doesn't turn out horrifically.

Okay, so the camp wasn't actually so bad. To be honest, I really prefer all those stupid "team building" exercises and hiking and orienteering to doing actual work, but I survived this camp, so hopefully I survive the project that's based on it. Basically we had to just walk around and test the pH of the river and collect species (which I genuinely managed to do. I caught bugs. This is a miraculous occasion) and interact with the community, so it wasn't as hectic as hiking for nine hours a day, but it wasn't exactly "fun."

I'm not going to write about the whole camp, because that would be tedious and unpleasant for both me and you. I'll just tell you some of my favourite moments. (Note: the word "favourite" does by no means indicate that the experiences mentioned were in any way enjoyable or "fun", and to be honest some have left me permanently scarred.)

1. The bus ride took eleven hours.
Just picture eleven hours in a bus - which is an enclosed environment, just saying - with roughly fifty to sixty girls. Singing. Spraying deodorant at each other. Eating smelly food. Plus, it was boiling hot. Let's just say it was not pleasant.

2. There was more dust in the area than at my house - which is currently a building site.
Okay, so that's understandable, seeing as we were in the middle of the bush and all, but that dust got everywhere. Even after showering, you still felt dirty, because it just clung to your everywhere... Even your soul.

3. We had to sleep in permanent tents.
This was not such a big deal, seeing as I have had more than enough experience sleeping in tents much smaller and less sturdier than the ones we were given (see my Camp Diaries from April), but firstly: we were in the middle of the bush (with the afore mentioned dust), and secondly: the teachers got to stay in proper dorms. That's just not fair. If you're going to insist that we sleep in tents on a camp, you should have to do the same. (I'm just kidding... I know that all adults have had their fair share of camps in their school years, and if I were a teacher I wouldn't want to sleep in a tent either.)

4. My language has become... colourful.
I'm quite a clumsy person - I struggle not to trip when walking on even ground - so being in the bush was... challenging. Let's just say my language was not so kosher after five days' worth of scratches, bruises, grazes, splinters, etc., and I will be needing to correct it before my parents send me to military school or something.

4. The spiders have scarred me.
Let me just reiterate the fact that I don't deal well with creepy crawlies or insects. I am a teenage girl. Do NOT expect me to be able to get a rain spider out of the bathroom in the middle of the night. But usually I can cope with the odd spider or beetle, so long as it's not right by my head or in a position where it could possibly eat my brain. But this... No. Just... no.

Let me tell you the story of my spider troubles:

Once upon a time there were seven girls that went on camp and decided to sleep in a tent together. On the second night, when five had gone to shower, two were left in the tent, chatting and laughing gaily as girls do. Suddenly - Oh no! - the first girl runs screaming out of the tent. The second follows just as quickly, not knowing why, but fully aware that there was something wrong. The two ran straight into the arms of their fellow classmate, who was famous for her fearlessness and renowned spider-catching skills. Once the spider was safely captured in a jar, they examined it with a mixture of caution, disgust and pride. In a moment of courage, the first girl grabbed the jar and stomped up to their teachers' chairs on the porch, and demanded they do something about the problem that had presented itself in the form of a large orange spider. It was soon clarified by one of the oh-so-helpful camp counsellors that the spider was a sac spider - a deadly spider which hunts at night, and is infamous for injecting humans with its poisonous venom in self defence when they unknowingly roll over onto the spider in their sleeping bags. The first girl relayed this message to the other six, and they did not sleep at all that night.


Here is a picture to ensure that you, too, do not sleep tonight:

Oh, and the best part: if we had - by any chance - been bitten, we'd have had to have been rushed to the nearest hospital, which was roughly 100km away. I would have died. I COULD HAVE DIED.

So that was my camping experience. There's a lot more to it, and maybe I'll write another blog about it, but right now I'm going to go take another shower and wash away the feeling of spiders and dust.

Too bad I won't be able to wash the experience from my soul.

But I'm home now, and back to my laptop and WiFi and iPod and YouTube. Oh, yeah, and my family. I should probably go talk to them, seeing as I haven't seen them for five days and all.

And I decided against going to watch City of Bones today, even though my sister's watching it as we speak for her five-month-delayed birthday party and will probably tell me every last detail... *sigh* But I'd rather see it when I'm not delirious from spending seven hours in a bus and all the fumes from the large amounts of soap I have just used. So I'll go tomorrow. Expect a fangirl session when I've seen it. *wink wink, nudge nudge*

Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment below on what you thought, or to tell me about any of your past camping experiences!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Back to School Blues

The holidays are officially over. As of Wednesday, it was back to the 6 a.m. alarms, seven-hour school days, pointless homework assignments and sleepless nights. Not to mention the procrastination. That, too, returned, and the only thing I seem to be doing in time is watching The Carrie Diaries – my latest favourite series. So that’s the reason there haven’t been any reviews this week. I literally haven’t picked up a book since Tuesday night. I am falling apart, and I haven’t even been through a week of school yet.

But that’s not all, folks. As of 5:45 a.m. on Monday morning, I am on yet another camp. Two in one year. That is an Amy Bouwer record. And I never voluntarily put myself in any situation where there is bugs/dirt/rats/snakes/monkeys/physical exercise etc., so you can imagine what I’m going through right now. I am mentally preparing myself to wake up with a tarantula on my face in the middle of the night.

But this camp shouldn’t be too bad, seeing as it’s an “academic camp” which means that instead of hiking for nine hours a day, I will be testing the drinking water and collecting “species” (that is legitimately what it said in the handout. That we will need several – SEVERAL – tupperwares to collect species.) According to the girls that have already been on this camp (it’s a mandatory camp for all grade 10s in our school) I will PHYSICALLY HAVE TO PICK UP A SCORPION AND INSERT IT INTO A PLASTIC BOTTLE TO TEST IT LATER. I’m freaking out here. I can do hiking, I can do sleeping in tents, I can even cope with cooking out in the open with a gas stove which could potentially start a fire, but I do not – I DO NOT – do scorpions. Or lizards for that matter.

But anyway, you might be thinking what the point of me venting about a camp that I haven’t even gone on yet is, but basically, it means I will be away until Friday. In the middle of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Midlands. Picking up scorpions. With no cellphone/laptop/iPad/iPod/WiFi. Which means that I will not be blogging or reading while I am there - but I WILL be spending seven hours in a bus with seventy other girls, so I might MAYBE get some reading done - in which case I will update my blog WHEN I GET BACK ON FRIDAY.

Onto my next point. I only get back on Friday. The thirteenth. I’ll let that sink in. Think for a little while about what Friday 13 September means… Keep thinking…

Got it?

FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH OF SEPTEMBER IS THE RELEASE DATE OF THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES - i.e. I will be getting back from camp, taking five showers, lacing up my six-inch heels and pulling on my best black Shadowhunter outfit and drawing runes on myself, then heading out to go and see the movie (YES I AM THAT MUCH OF A NERD/FAN OF THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS GET OVER IT). Because I will NOT miss that premiere and let my sister come home and tell me EVERY. SINGLE. DETAIL of the movie I have been fangirling over for months.

So, um… yeah the point of this blog was supposed to be an apology for me not posting reviews this week, and informing you that I would not be blogging until late Friday/Saturday morning, but I guess it turned into a huge vent of my issues with nature/camp, so I’m sorry. I have to go pack now. Wish me luck.

Expect another VERY detailed camp saga when I get back.