Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Lord of the Rings Book Review

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien revolves around the epic tale of the One Ring. The Dark Lord wants to possess this ring in order to obtain all the power that it needs to rule over Middle Earth. Frodo Baggins, a hobbit who hasn't experienced any adventure at all, was given the perilous task of destroying the ring so that the Dark Lord would not take hold of it. He is not alone in this journey, however. With him is the Fellowship of the Ring, namely: Boromir and Aragorn to represent men, Gimli for the Dwarves, Legolas for the Elves, and Pippin, Sam, and Merry for the hobbits. The nine of them set out from Rivendell (an Elven outpost) to make their journey into Mordor, and into the Crack of Doom, where the ring has to be destroyed.

The Lord of the Rings is a very adventurous book. It introduces us to our world when only a few men existed, alongside elves, hobbits, dwarves, and other fantastical creatures. In my opinion Tolkien could not have done a better job of describing this world. His writing style is spell-binding, and it makes you feel like you are a child again, listening to your grandfather tell you a story of a magical time. It is also very detailed, from the names and description of places in Middle-Earth, to the story that Tolkien tells. However, it is because of the amount of detail that this book has that it can be a little slow at times, focusing more on the authenticity of the world and the events rather than taking the reader on an adventurous and thrilling ride. Tolkien also writes in an old-fashioned manner. This adds to the realism of the story, but it can also be pretty arduous at times, especially for people whose English are not a first language. Once one is completely immersed to the story though, one paragraph just flows easily to another and the result is absolutely beautiful.  Take a look at this paragraph, for example:
“Here was one with an air of high nobility such as Aragorn at times revealed, less high perhaps, yet also less incalculable and remote: one of the Kings of Men born into a later time, but touched with the wisdom and sadness of the Eldar Race. He knew now why Beregond spoke his name with love. He was a captain that men would follow, that he would follow, even under the shadow of the black wings.” 
 As for the characters of the book, I thought they were absolutely marvellous, especially their developments throughout the books. One example is Legolas and Gimli, who as an elf and a dwarf irk each other by right. However, by the end of the novel, they have become such great friends. Another prime example is the development of the characters of the hobbits, going from comfort-loving, say-no-to-adventures creatures to heroes through the novel. The relationship between the characters was also very endearing. Legolas and Gimli's relationship for one, as well as, of course, Frodo and Sam's.

All in all I loved this book a whole, whole, lot. I had to read with the help of an audiobook (Phil Dagrash's, because, as I've said, it can be quite slow), but it only enhanced the reading experience! It did take me a month to read the three books though, but it the end it was all worth it! I strongly recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy novels and adventures!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Work Experience Finale, Plans, and Books

ALMOST forgot to write a blog post this week! Again!

I have finished my work experience weeks, all of them, yesterday (HALLELUJAH)! I was really sad about leaving the hospital I was working at for the past week. I learned so many things about medicine, all from the situation of junior doctors in Ireland to how the doctors diagnose their patients to what I needed to do to become a doctor. The stay was really, very beneficial for me and for my career planning, the staff were incredibly helpful and friendly, and tried to get me involved in so many ways, and it was just wonderful. Since it's a relatively small hospital they could focus on informing me about the procedures that they were doing and I have a feeling that I wouldn't have gotten that if I was in a bigger hospital. I am forever grateful to them for accepting me in, and I cannot thank them enough for the attention that they've given me throughout my stay. I'm just, so, so grateful.

I've also had my first voice lesson with the pianist today, and it went extremely well! Surprisingly well, actually, seeing as my chain of practice days are not really very impressive. So today is officially the start of my Easter Break!

I only have two weeks off, so I really want to cram a lot of things in them! Think of this is as an extended agenda.

First is books. I've borrowed a lot of non-fiction books in the library just because I was so inspired when I was in the hospital and I really want to educate myself more with things that I find interesting if not relevant to the career that I'm currently focusing my eyes on. The books that I borrowed are "The 21st Century Brain" by Steven Rose (I find neurology incredibly fascinating), "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking (I've wanted to read this book for such a long time now! I'm excited) and "The Yellow House" by Martin Gayford (this book is about Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin's life when they shared a home for nine weeks in Arles, before Van Gogh suffered a psychological crisis. I have been interested with Van Gogh ever since he was featured as a character in a Doctor Who episode. We also learned a poem by Mark Roper when I was in third year called Van Gogh's Yellow Chair based on Van Gogh's painting and it only added fuel to the Van Gogh fire). I also borrowed Tom Hooper's The King's Speech, because I've been hearing a lot of good things about it ever since it came out! I'm finishing with An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (I'm about halfway through) at the moment though and I'm finding it really engaging! I'm nearly thinking it better than Paper Towns. Nearly.

I also want to finally make a mixed tape for someone before this day next month. Don't tell the person though it's a secret. I've also haven't made a fort in such a long time now, so I'm adding that to the list. Also, paper crowns. I want to make paper crowns. Yes.

Well that's all I could think of right now. I'll let you guys know if I have any other plans. :)

Life's currently going well for me, I hope it is for you too.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Alas, Earwax!

This sweet shop in the Market Cross in Kilkenny sells Bertie Bott's Every Flavoured Beans! Me and my cousins, upon getting a taste of most of the flavours, have reached the following conclusions: that the flavors Candyfloss, Cherry, Cinnamon and Tutti Frutti are the best ones of what we have tasted, and that, as expected, the flavours Soap, Grass ( which was the first one I have tasted), Earwax, Rotten Egg, and Booger (or was it Banana?)  were the worst ones. We tried the sweets outside the shop and I noticed this man staring at us, wondering what was going on (we were pulling our faces and making incoherent noises). I kindly walked over to him and offered him some beans, and he said he'd love to! I ended up giving him three beans of the following flavours: Soap, Booger (or was it Banana? We can never tell.), and Sausage. He said the Sausage was okay, but that it was also very strange. The other two flavours we've established as not good. All in all though it was a very wonderful and surreal experience!


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pionta Guinness, le do thoil.

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I didn't get to go to the parade today (in Kilkenny or anywhere else) because I woke up at about half past twelve and figured that the streets are going to be packed by then anyway, so I just didn't bother. :) Story of my life. Anyway, as a result of that, I cannot present to you the traditional annual St. Patrick's Day Parade Post here on danielleolavario, so here are a collection of green things!

Ireland has always struck me as a very mysterious country filled with folklore, and I think that's mostly because of the amount of trees in the country. Okay here's a story, when I was younger and living in the Philippines I tried to stay away from forests or woods because I heard, read, and watched programs about the weird and creepy things that are going on inside of them. What I mean is mythological creatures like elves and dwarves and the aswang. I was still kind of afraid of them for the first couple of years I spent in Ireland, but being afraid of woods and staying in Ireland is sort of an oxymoron, so the fear was eradicated. I also read so many books about such creatures and I learned to love them, and over the years I just associated elves with woods. Especially when I read The Lord of the Rings earlier this month.

So, as you can see, this photoset is very much elven-inspired, except for a couple of things. I mean how can I create a photoset of green things without somehow referencing Slytherin in it?

I hope you are all having a lovely St. Patrick's Day, and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Have fun, and be safe!


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Embarassing Myspace Pages, Work Experiences, and Free Books

I missed a week last week. Again. So I would punish myself by giving you guys... the link to my myspace page. Yep.

Click here, merciless bastards.

Okay. HERE. ME. OUT. This is the story why this page isn't erased from existence yet.

When I was twelve, I went under a signing-up-on-free-websites spree. You name it, I'm in it. Clubpenguin, Friendster, Youtube, Bing, MSN, bebo, and yep. Myspace. Back when it was cool. So I signed in. Put a whole load of thought and image vomit in it. And forgot about it. Until I searched for myself on google one day. we all do.

So I saw the abomination, I logged into myspace for the first time in forever with the e-mail address and password I remember signing up with... and got in. I went straight into the account settings part and quickly deleted my account. They said that my account will be terminated in 14 days. I was content, and moved on. ...Until I looked up myself again on google. (I'M SORRY OKAY I LIKE DOING IT!)

So then with a sigh I tried to log in again, and didn't get through. I tried a variety of password to get in, but no luck. So now it's just there. A blemish on my otherwise perfect internet face. (insert boos, sniggers, "oh pleases," and crumpled paper thrown into my direction here.)

Right, now that that's over, I'll fill you guys in about what's going on in my life at the moment. Because you all obviously care.

I spent the last week working at the Kilkenny Book Centre, which I have to say was just amazing. I spent a lot of time sorting books out on the bookshelves, replenishing stuff and also sorting out the books to be sent back to the publishers (which just about broke my heart because I read some of the books that were being sent back and they were amazing and I don't understand why they're not selling and *breaks down and cries*) But that was just one minor complaint, other than that the week was quite incredible. I'd say it was strange that I quite enjoyed working there, but then again I was surrounding with books! Sorting out bookshelves? I do that on my free time! It was the most magnificent work experience week I've had thus far and now I'm seriously considering establishing my own bookshop!

At the end of the week I got a £20 book voucher and I got An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (I've been planning to read that book for AGES) and 1984 by George Orwell with it. Also a card for my dad, it was his birthday yesterday.

Also, about two weeks ago, I actually wrote down a couple of times in my diary! It felt amazing to write again, it's just the starting part that is quite hard.

This is the scary part. We will look at the agenda last last week. Shi-

Agenda last week:

  1. Sort out work experience! I did! For work experience next week I'm working at a hospital!
  2. Go running. Nope.
  3. Write LOTR book review and other blog posts. Sorry.
Agenda for next week:
  1. Can I please do that book review already for god's sake.
  2. Get started on those ideas I have for blog posts!
  3. Plan my two-week holiday.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Lifescouts | Zoo

My family has had quite a few pets all throughout my childhood, mostly dogs, but this rabbit is the very first one I actually *chose* to own! Her name is Sandy, and I got her from our family friends from Cork when we went to visit there about three summers ago.

Lifescouts | Chess

My father taught me how to play chess when I was in first year of secondary school. Prior to that I have been wanting to learn it for such a long time, but never really had the time or the chess board. I enjoy chess very much! I play with my cousins, and I beat them, most of the time.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Lifescouts | Horse Drawn Cart

Two summers ago, me and my family visited Killarney in County Kerry. During the trip we rode this horse-drawn cart to see the Purple Mountains. It was pretty cold and it was drizzling, but it was so worth it. It was a new experience for me and I felt like somebody from a Jane Austen novel!

Lifescouts | Fishing

I know this picture shows me crab-fishing (is that what you call it?) but in the same afternoon we also went fishing! It was a very new experience for me as I've never gone fishing before, but it was so much fun! I preferred crab-fishing though, and we get to eat what we caught for dinner.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Getting a Job, Health, and Tough Love

I just got back from applying for work experience in another hospital. This whole thing is so stressful I never want to do this ever again, which doesn't really bode well for my future. I applied in another hospital because I called Saint Canice's earlier today and they said that they can't help me with my work experience because I didn't tell them what department I'll be in, and that's because I don't know that there are departments because nobody told me. *headdesk* Anyway that other hospital says that they'll get back to me on Monday, and I sure hope they will and that they have a place for me because I am this close into jumping out of an airplane without a parachute on. I don't even want to think of applying for jobs in ten year's time when I am out of school and is a proper adult. Ohhhh christ.

I also tried to run a mile in 11 minutes yesterday, which is four laps in track, and felt like death afterwards. I didn't even get to the fourth mile. I thought I was going to throw up (I didn't) but I actually could see the world spinning, like it did when I was a kid and would spin around really fast just to see the world spin around because I thought it was fun. It wasn't fun yesterday. I also felt, like, a physical pain in my chest area and I'm not sure if it's just a stitch or a more serious thing. It took about an hour and a half for me to get over the dizziness and the feeling sick part, and I was good for the rest of the day. But this morning, I woke up with a terrible headache and also body aches, AND some bruises on my arms and legs, so I ended up not going to school and not going to the meeting for my youth committee. 

This whole thing got me thinking that maybe I SHOULD exercise more. My school organizes not-competitive running during lunch time every Thursdays and Tuesdays, and they don't charge or anything, you just have to have your gear and you're ready to go. So I'm thinking I might join that, plus running every weekends maybe, or after school every Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. If you have been reading my blog for a bit you may or may not have noticed that I don't like sports or any kinds of activity that involves physical exertion at all, so this is going to be a bit of a challenge for me if I want to be able to run without doubling over in ten steps. It's not even because I want to be thinner or anything, it's actually for my health. 

One of my role models is Rosianna of missxrojas, just because she's very productive and seems to be motivated all the time. She also goes running, and this video is really very motivational if a person wants to take up running.

And speaking of videos, have you guys seen zefrank's Tough Love video he put up this week?

I also entered a writing competition this week! It's the Kerry National Youth Writing Competition. The deadline is today and I only sent it yesterday, but it apparently reached Kerry this morning at 8.37 (The track and trace feature of the irish postal system is pretty neat), so that's good! The prize is a thousand euros. This is me hoping. :D

I did NOTHING of the agendas I set for myself last week... sorry, me.

  • Sort out work experience!
  • Go running.
  • Write LOTR book review and other blog posts.
I'll talk to you guys later!