Saturday, January 7, 2012

A New Year

Hello everybody!!! Feels like it's been ages since I last blogged, but I guess I only skipped last week >.> Sorry about that by the way! With it being New Year's and all, I didn't really want to take the time to blog, but now I have some time, so I figured I'd let you guys know how my New Years and stuff went and what I've been up to for the past couple weeks :).

Basically during the school break I was still working almost every morning so I could afford to pay rent for this month, but I didn't mind :). It kind of gave me something to do aside from spending time with friends and family XD.

The week before New Years I was basically working in the morning and then either hanging out with friends or working on music-related things at my parent's house. I'm SO extremely excited! I basically finished two more songs over the break, so I have nearly three songs completely finished! It feels like it's taken me forever to complete them, but it hasn't been my main focus because of school ^^;. I'm so happy I was able to work on my music though during the break--it was so nice! I plan on mixing the songs soon/mastering them and making sure they sound good and then I'll be uploading them to TuneCore and they'll be available for purchase :D! So exciting, so exciting!

I was able to hang out with my super good friend Christie Karr the Friday before New Years Eve. We were planning on doing some kind of photoshoot, but we ended up playing this new video game that she'd gotten for Christmas called "Rayman Origins."



This is the cover of it! It was such a fun, entertaining game!!! We stayed up until around 2:00 a.m. just playing it XD. I really felt like I couldn't stop, it was amazing XD. We were both screaming and freaking out trying to escape enemies and such. It's hilarious because whenever your character gets killed, you turn into a bubble and float around with your limbs flailing until your partner brings you back to life XD. It definitely had me cracking up left and right :)!

We played that until around 6:45 p.m. and then her family took me out to see the newest Mission Impossible movie. I think that makes 4 of them?



Either way, it was a great watch :D. Though I do feel like Tom Cruise tried too hard to make himself look cool ^^;. It was super action packed, had some good comedy relief (though some of it was forced in my opinion), and I overall enjoyed it a lot :)!!



Found the Japanese version and couldn't help but post it XD.


Then we came home, played Rayman Origins until 2:00 a.m. and I decided it would be best if I just slept over and went home in the morning because it was getting too late for me to drive safely home without the worry of falling asleep at the wheel ^^;.

Woke up the next morning around 7:00 from what I remember and tried to sleep until 9:00 and got some good shut-eye. We then got up and had some delicious french toast made by Christie's mum (it was SO good!) with some sausage and fruit if we wanted any. After eating, we went straight back to the game XD. We were super close to beating it and both determined to! We played it until about halfway through the day (until around 4:00 p.m.), beat it, and went back to better complete the earlier levels so we could unlock this zombie Rayman character. We stopped playing around 4 so we could both get ready to go attend New Years events at other people's houses and split ways soon after :). Super thanks to her and her family for having me over and taking me to the movie and such! <3~! Weird to think we've been friends ever since kindergarten D8!! Love it though!

I drove back to my parent's house to grab my things before driving down to Dan's to celebrate the New Year with him :). I decided to watch Ghostbusters since I hadn't seen it in a while and afterward decided to watch The Island to entertain us while we waited for 12:00 a.m. to come around :).

When the time neared 11:40 p.m., we decided to go online to see if we could find a video recording of the New Year's ball drop in New York because it's always been tradition for me to watch that on New Year's. Unfortunately it took us until after midnight to find a video of it, but we found it, watched it, and wished each other and the rest of his family a Happy New Year XD.

I actually yelled "Happy New Year" to everyone throughout the house and I got a few responses XD. It made me super happy!


It's so crazy to think that it's already 2012!! I've heard so many rumors about the world ending and stuff as I'm sure the rest of you have, but I honestly don't think it's true. I've talked to my mom about all that to see what she thought of it because I hold her opinion in high respect (not to sound cheesy, but it's the truth XD), and she said that she thought maybe there would be a big change in the world or something, but she doesn't think it'll end. I've actually talked to a lot of different people about it--though it's mostly been her and Dan that I discuss it with. I've heard similar things from both of them and am pretty sure the world won't end. I'm kind of afraid to see how people react when it comes close to the time when the world is "supposed to end," just because panic never does any good for anyone and generally causes a lot of problems, but yeah. We'll see!!

I came up with a couple of New Year's resolutions and I thought I'd share them with you :)!

I decided that the main resolution of mine this year is to really develop a stronger sense of opinion and become more involved/committed with the things I'm doing with my life. Meaning, if I have an opinion and I feel it needs to be shared, I won't shy away from sharing it just because I'm afraid of ruffling feathers. That's something I've had a problem with for the longest time and I want to at least get better at standing up for myself and what opinions I have.

When it comes to being more involved and committed, I mainly mean that toward my schooling and the student film and such. I feel like I haven't been entirely committed to the cause because I have other things that I want to do with my life (music and Japanese among them), but I want to be more committed to helping and be more involved with the people in my class because they really are good people and the film really is something that I'm excited to work on :).

So! That's my main resolution :). The others include maintaining my healthy lifestyle (exercising, eating clean), doing my best to keep my living spaces clean, doing my homework in a timely manner, and continuing to work on my music even if it is on the back-burner now because of school starting this last Wednesday.

It may seem like a lot of resolutions, but I guess I just want to do my best to keep living the way that I have been the past couple months, besides the whole committed and involved thing ^^;. Also looking to make more friends, not that I'm not happy with the ones I have already :D. I love them all a ton! But it would be nice to make a friend at the school that I could meet up with at the school sometimes just to chat or whatnot ^^;. It feels like everyone is so far away now that I live in Provo hahaha.


Anyway! That was New Years :). This last Monday and Tuesday I worked on music and prepared for the semester to start by buying my books and writing out my schedule and stuff so I can slowly start into the flow of school again. School started Wednesday with my Japanese 345 class. I really wanted to take the next language class (322), but I couldn't because it conflicted with a mandatory animation class that runs during the same time frame :(. So I decided to take this one instead so I can still work toward my Language Certificate. It's based on the Japanese culture and learning about why the Japanese people live the way they do and such. It's almost like a revisiting of some of the things I learned back in Japanese 302, but more in depth and taught in English (sadly). I like my teacher (Van Gessel), though the students are pretty rowdy and it pisses me off because I like to pay firm attention to the teacher whenever I'm in a classroom ^^;. It's a good class though :).

The rest of my classes--four of them in total--are all based around animation 8D;.... INSANITY! I'm a little nervous about taking so many animation-related classes at once, but they're all only taught during winter semester and I didn't want to have to wait another year just to take them all ^^;. They include Procedural Animation, Introduction to Film, History of Animation, and Experimental Animation. Luckily the last one, experimental animation, is only half a semester, so hopefully it won't be as intense as the other classes. I'm actually super excited about that class though! Taught by the amazing Kelly Loosli, who I haven't taken a class from in what feels like forever! I love taking classes from him though. He makes you work really hard to grow and get better at what you're doing. His critiquing might seem harsh, but it just helps motivate you to work harder (or it's become that way for me anyway ^^;).


So, there are my classes! Also! Last thing before I head out because this blog has been waaaaaaaaay too text-oriented, but here's the design I finally made for my munny!






I started with the top design and then copied it onto the second template you see above so I could design the back too :). It's interesting because it's not what I had in mind at all, but I REALLY like it and am excited to continue working on it! Here's the progress I've made so far :)!






It may not seem like a lot, but it actually takes a lot of time for me to get all those straight lines looking pretty ^^;! I traced the design on with pencil first and have been going over it with these MICRON pens I bought. Unfortunately the ink doesn't like to sink in, so it has a tendancy to smear...so after I finish the design and all, I'm going to spray the munny with a glossy protective spray so that it can't smear at all :)! Super excited to keep working on it ^^!

Also, here's some food I made during the past while :D!




 Of course, the favorite morning turkey sandwich :D.




 Shrimp, onions, peppers with some turmeric I think :).



 Thought this was interesting because I took a bite out of a pear and it made it look like a slice of an avocado XD.




 Turkey burger with spinach and mushrooms.




 Yummy eggs! Two poached with mushrooms, mozzarella cheese and some prego pasta sauce.




 WHEAT...THINS!!! My most favorite cracker in the world. I could literally sit and eat a whole box every day, though that would be insanely horrible for me! Made two poached eggs on top of peas and carrots with some turmeric. It was kinda weird, but still tasted all right :).




 Ground turkey, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, carrots, and some prego sauce :).




 I discovered how to make AMAZING french toast!!! This happened the week before I went to Christie's and had some of her mum's super good french toast XD. Used one egg, fourth cup of almond (or soy) milk, TONS of cinnamon, and a packet of stevia in the wet mixture, stirred it all up, soaked the bread in it, cooked it, and put MORE cinnamon on it XD. Super cinnamon-y french toast with some yummy sugar free syrup on top :). It was one of the best meals I'd made in a while XD.




 My own personal protein shake creation :). Chocolate protein powder, peanut butter, half a banana, 1 tablespoon flaxseed, a little soy or almond milk, and a lot of ice :).



 Yummy tilapia fillet cooked with green peppers, onions, and LOTS of prego sauce XD.



 This is a new recipe I tried just this last Sunday I think.... I got it off of bodybuilding.com actually :D! There's this fitness model on there named Jamie Eason who makes these things called "meatloaf muffins," I think. She has the recipe on there and holy cow, let me tell you...these things are so good! 2g of fat, 4g carbs, and 11 grams of protein from what I remember. 80 calories each :). They're super yummy, especially with all of the spices she incorporates :). Here's to eating clean protein :D!




 Decided to try a more Indian-style meal :D. It didn't turn out exactly how I expected, but it was still good :). Kale greens, chicken, tomato, leek, turmeric, curry powder, cumin, and coriander :).




 Decided to have a veggie meal one night :). Broccoli, onion, mushroom, and zucchini all cooked in soy sauce :).




Here's those meatloaf muffins again :). They might look disgusting, but they're incredibly good! They've been super convenient for me because if I don't have time and I need a good meal, I can just reach in my freezer, microwave them for 2 minutes and be out the door :D.

Here's some more pictures I took, just for good measure :D.



 Me! Please ignore the splatter on the mirror caused by my roommate hahaha. Need to clean that >_<.



 This was a message that the Central Heating Plant employees left for us (with a box of mint cookies) just before Christmas. It was the nicest thing they've ever done for us! <3~!



 Hopefully you can read the little quote at the bottom of the picture that says, "A man can be judged by which he takes two at a time...pills or stairs." This is a poster at the PG rec center that you pass by when you're walking around the indoor track. The message has stuck with me ever since I first read it and I like the message it's trying to get across. Obviously there are people in existence that need to take pills and such and I'm not trying to put them down by posting this, but if you live a healthy, active lifestyle, you might not need some of the medications you're taking :). Whether it's a medication for your blood pressure or heart. Exercise might be able to help you :). I thought it was kind of inspirational personally ^^;.



Aaaaand finally a picture of me from yesterday! I was wearing the boots I got for Christmas with some pretty clothes :D! I felt happy with my appearance :).

I love you all and I'll blog again soon!!! Promise I haven't stopped doing the "I'm thankful for blah blah," thing. Just don't want to take the time to type it all out right now hahaha.

Hope you all have a great start to school (seeing as most of you start on the 9th of January. Stupid BYU starting on the 4th...oh well :)).

Have a Happy New Year and do your best to fulfill your own personal resolutions, whatever they may be!!! <3~!

~Ali~