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December 30th, 2014 @ 03:59 am - 2014 Music Year-In Review
G.
Hey, guys! I finally finished my 2014 music review -- I posted it on Tumblr this year, so I hope you don't mind checking it out there. Unfortunately, I didn't post the entire thing to 8tracks because I always have such a hard time finding the correct version of the songs I want in their library (it's all remixes). And most of my music is on Spotify, not my computer. But Spotify is free! You just need an account. Or you can listen to the music on YouTube with the link I provided.

I'm very happy with the graphics format, though, so even if you don't check out the music, I hope you enjoy the pretty pictures! :D Here are the links~

Part 1
Part 2

Related posts: 2013 Music Year-In Review
V. Ives
So, obviously, TV is going to be a big part of my journal, but I'm still not imposing a strict rule that a review will happen on my journal every week. In fact, I might start to review stuff as it airs, depending on how much I have to say for a certain episode. Or not. Yay for my inability to nail down a finely-tuned process!

These are just some general updates about what I've been enjoying so far, but I've also included spoilers for various episodes that aired the week of April 13 - April 19. Shows are bolded, so be sure to bypass the ones you're not caught up on.

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I guess I should also list shows I am embarrassingly super behind on due to... well, basically, sheer laziness: Revenge, The Following, The Tomorrow People, The Originals, Person of Interest (I hate myself), The Americans, Elementary (I double hate myself), Hannibal, and Continuum. Note that this does not mean I love these shows any less, just that I can only handle so much when I'm in school -- I will definitely be catching up over summer! Fargo is on my list, too, but I decided to wait to start that over the summer. I also plan to watch Penny Dreadful (Showtime) when it airs. (Super excited for that show, but still pressed about The Borgias. You will never live that down, Showtime. I will take my extreme bitterness to my grave.)

I also want to mention that even though this season has ended, Shameless was fantastic this year. Some of my favorite episodes of television right there. Now is the time to finally watch that show if you don't.
April 17th, 2014 @ 07:49 pm - End of the semester college woes
V. Ives
Well, it's that time of the year again where I've reached my mental limits in essay writing, and yet my longest paper of the semester is due in about a week... and I've yet to start it, of course, because I'm a big fat procrastinator who has no idea what she's doing. Not only that, I have to give a five minute presentation about the paper before it's actually due. What kills me is the professor for this class outright stated she knows most students hate speaking in front of one another... but she's making us do it anyway. I do hate speaking in front of other students, and it hasn't really gotten easier since I started school. I don't know if that's the general consensus amongst teachers or something? That if you do it often enough, it gets easier and you begin to feel comfortable speaking in front of large crowds? This, unfortunately, has never been my experience. It can be better when I know a few people in the class, but I haven't made any new friends so far this year.

My fear is only made worse by the fact that I'm in a Jane Austen class, and all of my classmates seem incredibly well-versed in her books. I feel like I'll be hugely judged based on my attempts at analyzing the book I choose.

I'm having a little trouble finding the right direction for my paper topic. I was originally considering a thesis for Mansfield Park, but I read a YA book called For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund in place of MP for our second essay -- a comparison of an Austen novel to a book based on it -- and then I never found the time to get through MP. MP is the longest of all her novels, and I am a damn slow reader (like, it's a wonder I've gotten through the books I did this semester). I wasn't sure I'd be able to both finish off MP and have enough time to research and write the final paper. Honestly, the thesis I came up with for MP was the only good idea I felt I had, so I've stalled a little on what to choose now. When I mentioned the theme during our MP class discussions, my professor expressed interest in the idea of Fanny/other characters discovering her self-worth throughout the novel. And I have so many issues with wanting to choose "fresh" topics with the mentality to specifically please my professors -- it may not be totally original in conjunction with what all has been written on Austen, but it's probably better than anything I could write about if I chose, say, Pride and Prejudice (you know that book has been analyzed to death). I knew I would have these problems going into the class, but I was still hoping I'd figure everything out when the time came.

My other idea was to somehow compare Love and Freindship and Sanditon -- maybe their major themes and writing styles in relation to Austen's age? Not knowing what Sanditon is about (we're supposed to be reading it this coming week), I wasn't sure that would work; however, I could see myself getting through that faster than Mansfield Park. I was also a little hesitant because I think a big part of the evolution in Austen's writing is the setting she herself grew up in, and I'm not sure I feel knowledgeable enough to write about that particular time period.

Besides going against MP's length and the time I have left before the paper is due, I wasn't sure my idea would be enough for a longer essay. I've seen the 1999 movie version of MP multiple times, and despite it not being entirely faithful to the book, the movie has always been a favorite adaptation of mine. This gives me more of an attachment to MP and its characters, above Love and Freindship and Sanditon, and I always feel I write better when I have that. (I'm very much a "character/theme analysis"-driven type of essay writer, so it usually piques my interest more when I feel obsessively invested in a book and its characters, lol.) Further, I think I might have an easier time finding sources for MP.

I'm probably way overthinking this. This paper comes on the heels of getting an 'A' on my last essay -- along with some very nice critiques from my professor -- so I'm extra nervous that I won't be able to repeat that performance. (My interest in that particular essay probably has something to do with the fact that I eat, sleep, and breathe YA.)

I sent this massive e-mail to my professor, and she came back with the idea to write about Persuasion instead, applying the same concept. *coughs* I was supposed to read Persuasion along with For Darkness Shows the Stars, but I didn't exactly get through it either. I figured my second essay would mostly be about the compared book and I could get away without finishing Persuasion. (I should also mention that the week before it was due, I had planned to read Persuasion, but then I got sick. Excuses, excuses, right? I take complete blame. My habit to constantly procrastinate my schoolwork is a full-on problem.) However, Persuasion is considerably shorter, so maybe if I push myself this weekend, I can read the entire book. I have until April 30th to turn the essay in -- my professor won't be expecting to see any research in the presentation, so maybe... maybe... by the grace of the procrastination gods, I will get this crap done.

It may seem odd that I want to read the book instead of using Sparknotes or something. I just feel like having to go in front of the class, I should be as prepared as possible. I don't know. I'm so torn between wanting to survive this class, and feeling extreme guilt over not enjoying it as much as I thought I would. I truly like Austen -- I've seen all the movies based on the books, and they're still some of my favorites... so as a fan, I've always wanted to try the books. But maybe taking them all on at once wasn't the best idea.

It also doesn't help matters that I am just down a DC/Marvel black hole between the new Captain America movie, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Arrow. Seriously. All I want to do is type out lengthy essay-style blog posts about how perfect comic-related media is at the moment and how I love all the CONNECTIONS being made on AoS and Arrow and the DANG SET-UPS and THE CHARACTER ARCS and SUPER HEROES and HEROINES and VILLAINS and SECRET SPIES and CLANDESTINE BRANCHES OF THE GOVERNMENT. My brain has been hardwired to only care about comics and Game of Thrones right now!!! Go away, school! D:

I will eventually update about my progress in school, but that's a completely different set of not-good baggage (and this post is long enough).
April 17th, 2014 @ 05:50 am - This is long overdue
V. Ives
So this is an intro post of sorts. I hate starting new blog accounts without an ~official~ intro post. I think it's the organization freak inside me. (Although, I've already screwed that up with my two previous journal entries, lol. But I just wasn't sure what I wanted to write in this.)

I am unbelievably out of practice in writing for myself... and that right there is the partial reason for my impromptu return to LiveJournal. I made the switch to Tumblr about four years ago, and ever since then, I've lost touch with my "blog-about-my-day" side. I miss the community I had, and the fact that LiveJournal allows for some semblance of a connection to be made with other users because it has a proper commenting system. I think Tumblr is a great platform for displaying graphics (very pretty graphics, I might add -- I still get on there every once in a while and my fingers itch to reblog all the lovely things). I also say nothing against the community as a whole, because I definitely had a few friends I frequently talked to until I dropped off the map. But Tumblr just isn't doing it for me any more. Since I've left, I've definitely come to terms with the fact that it is amazing how much of a time sucker maintaining my account was (I cringe internally thinking of the hours I spent scouring my dashboard for things to reblog, and putting them in a certain order in my queue). And maybe that's the case with the internet in general, but I think I feel better being on LiveJournal, knowing at least I'm writing. I can always post graphics on my journal, if I'm so inclined -- Photoshop isn't going anywhere. And it's not like picspams are disallowed. Plus, icons! I can actually use multiple icons again! Okay, only six, but still! That's more than one.

LiveJournal may be dead in the water, but it was my home for so many years previous to Tumblr that I feel comfortable returning here. More so than I would to any other place. So, even if it is a dying website, I figure you have to start somewhere and dedicate yourself in every respect or it won't matter what website you're blogging on because nothing will work.

I haven't entirely decided how I want to use this blog. If it's going to be mostly for book, movie, and TV reviews? Flailing over stuff? Personal/life things? Maybe all of the above? I struggle constantly with the balance between professional writing versus personal writing; I think I've grown as a writer compared to my last account on LJ, so I do go back and forth on the matter. What is my audience? Do I want to have an "audience," per se? I do think I at least want friends to share things with again, so I hope I find that in the long run.

Even so, this post isn't entirely perfect, and I think I have to give myself that "room," if you will, to write openly and make mistakes because it will eventually feel like a chore if I don't. Honestly, maybe all that matters to me right now is having a place to myself to grow into a good blogger again... and then I'll go from there. I know I'll have days when I'm not feeling inspired, but I want to feel like I can still come here when I'm not at my most rhythmic eloquence. I need to know I have some place I can be myself, and not constantly judge my writing.

Schedule-wise, I'm not making myself any forced promises to blog every day or week. That, of course, might be asking for trouble -- I ultimately want to get in the habit of writing about my day again, but I think it's best to immerse myself slowly.

If you are reading this, and you didn't see my links in the sidebar, here are a few other places I can be found:

Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram
YouTube

I promise all my posts won't be this serious. ♡
January 5th, 2014 @ 04:21 am - 2013 Film Year-In Review
V. Ives
Whew! This blog post took me some time to get right, so I apologize for its lateness. Welcome to my 2013 film year-in review! After a few years of not counting re-watches, I decided at the last minute to go ahead and add them for 2013 (luckily I was able to reference my Instagram for dates, lol). I didn't realize what a difference they would make! It brought my annual total up about 10 movies or so. However, admittedly, last year was still way better because I watched a grand total of 78 new movies, and saw more in theaters than I did this year. Fyi, except for a few of my "disappointments," I didn't give any reasoning for why I chose the films I did for each section (*slacker*). This year, I hope to get back in the habit of reviewing movies more often. I'm truly looking forward to this year's pickings, though, as my last section will prove. There seem to be a lot more exciting movies being released in 2014 compared to 2013; however, that could just be my opinion. ;)

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Related posts: 2013 Music Year-In Review, 2014 Films List
December 31st, 2013 @ 07:55 pm - 2013 Music Year-In Review
V. Ives
2013 was a wonderful year for music. Not only did I discover new artists, I got so many new songs from old standbys. And Spotify was by far my greatest discovery -- it made listening to and organizing my music so much easier. Underneath the read more, you will find 40 of my favorite songs, separated into heavy rotation and runners-up. Feel free to read my notes on each song if you're interested. Hope you enjoy, and maybe find something new to listen to in your 2014!

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Related posts: 2013 Film Year-In Review
December 31st, 2013 @ 07:11 pm - Welcome, welcome!
V. Ives

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Welcome to my blog! This journal is for the most part unlocked, but some personal entries might be set to friends-only. If you want to be friends, please feel free to comment here.
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