Monday, 25 February 2013

2013: Week 8

I have had such a perfect weekend. And yes, it was because Apollo came to see me :)

On Friday, it was another Allnighter at the student cinema. We went to the one last term, and enjoyed it so much that we were planning to go to this one from the moment we found out when it was. Armed with energy drinks, lemonade, sweets, the hundreds of packets of biscuits and giant bar of chocolate my mum sent me in a goody bag (thanks mum!), salty peanuts (they were on offer in Tesco), blankets and pillows, we headed off to the cinema.

I was very excited about this allnighter, partly because of the fun I had last time, but mostly because of the films that were showing this time.

Skyfall - The latest of the Bond films, starring Daniel Craig, Dame Judi Dench and Javier Bardem. When Bond's latest assignment goes horribly wrong, a list of agents is compromised, as well as Bond escaping to lice in the shadows. But when an explosion is set of at MI6, it becomes apparent that someone from M's past is coming back to haunt her. Bond returns to MI6 to help M, only to have to return to his own haunted ppast.

This film was amazing. There is no other word for it. I'd never seen a Bond film before, and I am so glad that this was my first one. I don't really find Daniel Craig particularly attractive, but he played Bond very well. Judi Dench was just brilliant, and I loved the bad guy, Silva. He was amazingly camp and creepy all at the same time. It was funny, it was sad, it was brilliant. And then of course there is the amazing theme by Adele, that I have a particularly strong love for. My sister was right when she said the opening titles were the most beautiful she had ever seen. All in all, I loved it.

American Beauty - Starring Kevin Spacey, American Beauty is a drama about middle-aged Lester Burnham, who is in the midst of a mid-life crisis when he develops an infatuation for his daughter's friend. Upon meeting her, he decides to change his life, quitting his dull job, starting to work out, smoking with his daughter's new boyfriend, and generally trying to make his life happier.

I have mixed feelings about this film. All the way through, I thought it was a bit cringey when Kevin Spacey fantasised about the 16 year old friend of his daughter. But by the end, I decided it was really good. It was very funny and light hearted, as well as dealing with issues like Homophobia, abuse and general depression in day to day life. I saw one of the twists coming from about halfway through, and Apollo called the other big one, but instead of feeling disappointed that it was so obvious, it just made us feel impressed with ourselves. That may be because we are childish and competitive with each other though... Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. I also found it kind of funny that it had Seneca Crane from the Hunger Games in it. I'm not sure why...

Seven Psychopaths - Starring Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson and Christopher Walken. When Marty, a struggling screenwriter, is having trouble with his new screenplay The Seven Psychopaths, he is somehow involved in the criminal underworld of LA after his friends kidnap a gangster's beloved dog.

I will admit that I didn't really understand this film. The storyline didn't seem to flow right, and I thought the basic premise of the story was pretty stupid to be honest. There was a lot of fuss over a small, kind of ugly dog. I suppose that it was supposed to be funny that this big gangster turned soft around his dog, but I just didn't really care. I'm not really an animal person, can you tell? It didn't help that the cinema crew ran into a big of trouble halfway through, and the film turned off for a good ten minutes, so we missed a chunk. I'm not really convinced that, had I seen it all the way through, I would have enjoyed it any more. I did, however, love Christopher Walken's character. I just thought he was so cute, and I actually liked learning about his past. He was definitely the most interesting character.

Brazil - I am going to have to find a summary of this online, because I honestly couldn't tell you what it was about! Starring Jonathan Pryce. A bureaucrat in a retro-future world tries to correct an administrative error and himself becomes an enemy of the state.

Yeah, I don't really have a lot to say about this film. I mean, I was awake through most of it (having only a couple of 10 minute power naps halfway through), but I have no idea what happened. This was the mystery film of the night, and started off much better than last term's, so I thought it would be alright. But I quickly lost track of what was happening, I didn't know anything about the world where it was set and so didn't understand why the characters acted as they did, or why someone who fixed air conditioning was considered a criminal... It just made no sense.

ParaNorman - Starring the voices of Kodi Smit-McPhee, Tucker Albrizzi, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Anna Kendrick. Norman Babcock can see ghosts, but no one in his town believes him, save for his new friend Neil. He is left outcast by everyone, including his own father, until an annual curse threatens the town, when Norman is the only one who could save them.

The night got good again when this film came on. I was actually really excited about this one. It is an animated movie, in a similar style to Corpse Bride and Coraline, and it was a nice break to have a more kiddy film. The storyline was really good and, as is surprisingly often the case, was actually quite deep. The tale of the witch of the town was dark, but I suppose that is the best way to get the big morals across to kids. In any case, it was a heart warming story, and I really enjoyed it.

The last film was Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade, but after over 12 hours of watching films and eating sweets, Apollo was done in. I think I would have been able to manage the last film as well, but I was more than happy to go back to bed. I think 7.30pm to 8am counts as an allnighter, don't you?

The next (or rather, later that) day, we basically slobbed around watching House. Or, in my case, falling asleep again.

Apollo took charge of taking pictures. Apparently he thought I looked cute.

We made fajitas for dinner, the first meal we've cooked for ourselves that wasn't pizza. It was yummy. On Sunday we made pancakes for breakfast/lunch. That didn't go so well...

They burned to the bottom of the pan, but also didn't actually cook. I'm not sure how that works. A quick phone call to Apollo's mum for some cooking advice meant we managed to make some decent ones though. Then Apollo decided that, instead of being sensible and having two to finish off the mixture, he wanted to put it as one giant pancake. It was more like an actual cake.

That picture doesn't really show off how thick it actually was. It took like, 5 minutes to cook, which is long for pancakes.

After such a good weekend, I was more upset when he had to eventually go home. But I am really looking forwards to 3 weeks time, when he is coming back to see me, and we are going to Comic Con for our C date. I cannot wait.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Monday Maths Madness 26

Sorry I missed Monday Maths last week! Busy with assignments, shock horror. Anyway, I have a few graphs for you today.

I hope you know that this graph makes the Japanese flag. Otherwise you will just be wondering why this is funny...

If I had the time/energy to make as much pie as I wanted, this graph would apply to me. Luckily (or unluckily depending on how you look at it) I don't have pie as often as I'd like.

They say you don't know what you've got until you've lost it. Then you realise you really want it again.

That's it for today. I have a ballad to practice for Glee. :)

Sunday, 17 February 2013

2013: Week 7

I have seriously not slept enough this week. I need an early night. Badly. Things just weren't really going my way.

A message from my sister and a subsequent fight with Apollo meant I spent my Valentine's Day with this:

I've yet to be convinced Valentine's Day is a good day :/

My technology seems to be conking out. I don't know who thought it would be a good idea to put the cooling fan underneath the laptop, but this is the only way I can use mine without it overheating.

And now apparently my iPod speakers only work like this.

I have to wedge a rubber behind my iPod so that the speakers make noise -.-

It's a good job my little sister is so cute. She just got a skype account, and I came online today to find this.

hi            iim      mazy     iis        addy
fancyoo      ivyoocangivmy       a          presunns         fu       my             addy
iluvyoo        masy
xxxxxxxxx     cisis        fuyoo
r     yoo      flng       sad      u         hapy
ivyoo     wonto        cumto           rhauto           r                     haws             hte     intooca
hi mash - its us - mum  and addy - it's lovely to have you if you're at home
you      wil       bnot                    alon       wivyou     iwvyou        iwlbnis
iws      ogr       wen          you             can               bw        you      iws    fun
masy      masy         addy                    addy           is       grat             aevryfing

Now that is pretty good typing for a 4 year old. And apparently she loves me. A lot XD I particularly like the alphabet she wrote out at the end.

Well I'm going to leave it there. I still have half a MATLAB assignment to do *sigh*. Life is hard. Maybe Addy will send me more messages tomorrow :)

Sunday, 10 February 2013

2013: Week 6

This week, I pretty much spent the entire week being excited about going home at the weekend. I had the usual load of work to do, and I had a load of fun at Glee, but all I could think about was seeing my family again. I did get to use my new knife set though. It's better than my old knife, which is surprising as they only cost 10p. But they are so pretty!

I like colourful things. That's the only picture this week unfortunately. I'm really not good at remembering to take them.

Anyway, Friday finally came around, and I got to go home. I had to stand around waiting for a bus for an hour, because three didn't come when they said they would, and then I was waiting for another half hour for the train, so by the time I got on the train I was pretty freezing and worn out. But the train was warm, and only an hours ride to Stafford where Apollo was waiting to pick me up.

When I got home, there were lots of hugs waiting for me, which made me very happy. I had a bit of a sing song with my sister, and performed Skyfall for my mum and Apollo because they wanted to hear it after I told them about singing it at Glee. Then me, Apollo and my sister all watched Dark Shadows to end the evening.

Saturday was basically spent singing with my sister. We worked our way through three High School Musical piano books (yes, we are that cool), Wicked, Disney and, of course, our favourite I Dreamed a Dream. Which reminds me, I may only have one picture, but I have a video I can show you!

The most exciting thing about the weekend though, and the main reason I chose this weekend for a visit, was because Les Miserables was playing at the local cinema. I have been wanting to see this film ever since Apollo told me about the trailer the first time he saw it. I had no idea what it was actually about, but I knew it would be amazing. It had three very important things going for it for starters.

1) It has I Dreamed a Dream in it, which, as I said before, is a song that I very much love because I sing it all the time with my sister.

2) It has Anne Hathaway in it. If you hadn't noticed that I am basically in love with her by now, then I worry for you. I'm not very subtle about it.

3) It has Anne Hathaway singing I Dreamed a Dream in it. Everything I could ever ask for!

I was under no illusions that this film would be a happy film. It's called Les Miserables for starters... But I was still so excited to see it.

I was not let down. It was honestly amazing. I cried, like, three times and got goosebumps during some of the bigger songs. Oh it was good! Even Sacha Baron Cohen wasn't annoying in it, and I really don't like him normally. It is playing again on 18th March, and I have pretty much already decided that I'm going to go see it again.

The rest of the weekend was spent just slobbing around watching House with Apollo, trying to do a bit of work, recording the piano for a song to sing in Glee on Tuesday, and filming the video above.

When it got to the time for me to leave, it still wasn't any easier than the first time. I don't know why, but I still cry every time. I mean, I'm halfway through my second term now, and I still cry at the thought of leaving my mum or Apollo. It just makes everything that much harder, and makes me feel really weak and like I can't do anything. It's really annoying because it eats into the time I do spend with them, as I'm just moping around at the thought of having to leave later. I'm trying to remind myself that it's only two weeks until Apollo comes to visit again though. Hopefully the time won't go too slowly.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Monday Maths Madness 25

Yeah... so I was too busy/tired to post the answers to last week's Maths Madness. Never fear! I will do it today. I will also put pictures in for your enjoyment :)

1. Take your house number and double it. Add 5. Multiply by 50. Then add your age, the number of days in the year, and subtract 615. The last two digits are your age, and the first two are your house number. Can you explain why?

If you turn this question into algebra, it is so much easier to understand. Say that your house number is x and your age is y. Then the question tells you to do this:

(2x + 5)*50 + y + 365 - 615. But this simplifies down to:

100x + 250 + y + 365 - 615 = 100x + y.

Hopefully it is easier to see now why you are left with a number that has your age as the first two digits and your house number as the last two. When you multiply a whole number by 100, the last two digits will be zero, so adding your age (provided you are under 100...) will not change the digits of your house number. Of course this only works if your house number is a 2 digit whole number. Sorry Sherlock, won't work for you.

2. If all the stars stand for the same number, can you complete: (*/*) - (*/6) = (*/12)?

* = 4.

Again, simple algebra will help out here. You know that */* = 1 no matter what * is, so you are left with:
1 - (*/6) = (*/12)
1 = (*/12) + (2*/12) = (3*/12) = (*/4)
So * = 1x4 = 4

3. If you start with the number 2 and stick an extra digit 1 at the beginning you get 12, which is exactly six times the number you started with.
Can you find a number so that when an extra digit 1 is written at the beginning you get 3 times the number you started with?
Can you find one so that the number you get is 5 times the number you started with?
Can you find one so that the number you get is 9 times the number you started with?

Again, there is more than one solution to some or all of these. Comment away!

(a) 5
(b) 25
(c) 125

4. In the multiplication 6 x 2 = 3 all the digits are correct, but they are in the wrong places. The equation should be 2 x 3 = 6 (or 3 x 2 = 6). In each of the next three multiplications all the digits are correct, but some of them are in the wrong places. Can you put them right?

28 x 1 = 44

43 x 2 = 14

76 x 8 = 41

There are (apparently, I haven't really had time to check) a few different answers to some of these. Here are the ones that the back of the book says. Feel free to comment any others that you find!

(a) 21 x 4 = 84
(b) 14 x 3 = 42
(c) 17 x 4 = 68

That's it for this week! See you again next Monday :)

Sunday, 3 February 2013

2013: Week 5

This week I have been so tired. A mix of staying up too late, having lots of work and rehearsals for Glee left me feeling pretty dead on my feet. I don't really want to talk about the week though. The weekend was much more interesting.

For the first time in 4 weeks, Apollo came for a visit. 4 weeks is probably the longest we've gone without seeing each other, and after practically living together over Christmas, it was really hard. I don't like to be away from my family.

When he got here on Friday, we just slobbed around for the evening, eating pizza and watching TV. We finally got round to watching the other DVD we bought after Christmas when the whole poster fiasco happened.

I really enjoyed it. Lots of explosions, chases, fight scenes and Scarlett Johansson running around with Ewan McGregor. Top film. Even if some of the things they survived were completely ridiculous.

On Saturday we got up early to venture into Coventry to buy a book for Apollo and to go into the comic book store, Forbidden Planet. I love it in there. There are so many cool things that I could just look at all day. Unfortunately they are also quite expensive, but I can still dream. That Lego Millenium Falcon will be mine one day! We did leave with one treat though. We bought a Spiderman Graphic novel. I'm looking forwards to reading it when I get the chance.

After getting some chips for lunch, we spent most of the rest of the day hanging around with Glee, preparing for the performance we had in the One World Week Carnival in the evening. I know it can't have been too much fun for Apollo, just waiting around all day, but I'm really glad that he did because I really enjoyed the performance and I'm happy that he got to meet my fellow Gleeks. This was the first performance where we had proper costumes that weren't just a vague colour scheme. It was awesome. The look we were going for was creepy.

I think we managed it XD I walked round Costcutter looking like that as well. I've never had my hair so big! I felt like I'd fallen out of Grease with my big hair and black clothes. Then someone told me I looked like Bellatrix LeStrange from Harry Potter, and basically made my life. Seriously, of all the Harry Potter characters to look like, Bellatrix LeStrange is an awesome one. It was nice that Apollo got to see us perform as well. I didn't have any solos this time, which would have been nice for the weekend he was here, but I think our songs were cool enough that I didn't mind.

Although the costume was awesome, it was kind of hard to get the make up off. The black eyeliner came off fine, there was just a lot of it, but the gold line was stubborn. In fact the black underneath the gold came off before the gold did. I'm not sure how that works... The hair wasn't as hard as I thought it would be to tame, but it did leave my brush looking rather fabulously sparkly.

We spent the rest of the evening feasting on the magnificent dish of nachos we made, and watching How I Met Your Mother.

They were gooooood.

This morning, Apollo introduced me to a show he watches at home called Britain's Brightest. Weirdly, one of the contestants reminded me of my Differential Equations lecturer from last term. He then watched the Rugby while I got on with my analysis assignment. I surprised myself this time, because normally on Sunday morning, I know that Apollo will be leaving soon and spend most of the day on the brink of tears. This time it wasn't until he said "I'm going to leave after this finishes" that it really hit me. I hate it when he has to go. I cry every single time, today was no exception. He's here for just long enough that I get used to having him around again, and then he has to go. It sucks.

I just have to try to remember that I get to go home next weekend, so I can see him and everyone else again. It's just hard sometimes to not think that a week is a really long time. Because right now it feels like it is.