Monday, July 7, 2014

Teen Wolf in Your Late Twenties?

Since I'm awake I should either be studying for the bar or getting work done. Instead, I'm finishing yet another season of Teen Wolf. Yeah, you read that correctly. Teen Wolf. I don't even remember why I started watching it. I think it was just on one of the scrolling banners on Amazon Instant Video or something. But that's really beside the point.

I like the show because it's smart and complicated and lighthearted all at once. Some of the wolves are downright beautiful (and the actors are in their 20s, so it's not too creepy to say that--or so I try and convince myself). But there's another reason I've really fallen in love with this show. And it's this kid:
Stiles, played by actor Dylan O'Brien. This character might be my favorite television character of all time. He's smart and loyal and good. I really enjoy my teen dramas and young adult novels, but they all come with one major frustration: immensely flawed and selfish lead characters. It often makes it hard to root for the one who should be the good guy. But that's not so with Stiles. Don't get me wrong, he's not perfect. But gosh he's admirable.

Hopefully this isn't too much of a spoiler for anyone (and maybe this will cease to be true when I make it further in the series), but Teen Wolf has a lot of fantasy in it...mythical creatures and such. And Stiles is just this awesome human kid whose best friend is a werewolf. And he's always right by his best friend's side, whether Scott is trying to kill him or needs help solving a murder.

I think there are a lot of analogies one could elicit from Stiles. He says a lot about what "normal" people can accomplish. He's a great example of loyalty and acceptance, regardless of others' faults. He uses his God-given talents to solve problems and bless the lives of those around him.

I just really like this kid.

On paper, you'd think he's unremarkable. But in my mind, he's the reason the show works. That's probably true of a lot of people close to you, right? People who view themselves as ordinary. People who think they don't measure up to their friends. Do you have a Stiles in your life? If so, go tell them how great they really are.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Dark Side of 'Friends'

So I had a week off school. It was Easter Break and I had big plans to work extra hours and write the bulk of my final papers. Instead, I fell head-first into three books: the Breathing series by Rebecca Donovan.
If you follow me on Goodreads, you might have seen that I didn't give these books particularly high ratings. Last night as I was making dinner and missing Evan (the main male character in the books), I started wondering why that's so. I don't really have an answer other than that I got really bugged by the narrator, Emma, in every book. But aside from my personal annoyances, taking this series as a whole, I have to admit that they are masterfully written. You really saw Emma grow up through the three books. You felt her depression. You felt her fall in love. Rebecca Donovan really did an incredible job. I don't know whether I recommend these books or not; they left me mopey and moody all weekend, but I kind of love that.

But that's not actually what I meant to write about.

You see, after I finished the third book I restarted Friends.  I've watched the series countless times, but I couldn't remember what episode I had last watched. So I started over again with the Pilot. Suddenly it hit me: Rachel. Rachel had a daughter named Emma. Emma's mom's name is Rachel. If you've read the Breathing series, you know where I'm going. If you haven't read the series and you think you might want to, stop reading this post now. I'm not going to hold back on the spoilers...

The Breathing books are all about Emma, a girl who was abandoned four years earlier by her mother, Rachel. OH. MY. GOSH. The Breathing series is a story of the sad life of Ross and Rachel's child!!! Of course Rebecca Donovan renamed the other characters! Otherwise it would have been even MORE obvious.

We've always wanted to know what happened to the Friends after the finale. And now I know! So, based on the books, we know Ross and Rachel never got married. We also know that Ross died when Emma was little, and after that, Rachel went off the deep end (well, no surprise there). Rachel becomes an alchie, and she ends up leaving Emma with Emma's uncle...but wait. Ross doesn't have a brother. Of course he doesn't! To protect identities, Rebecca Donovan also changed genders. Emma didn't go live with her father's BROTHER. But instead with his only sibling, his SISTER, MONICA and her husband, Chandler. Jack and Leyla are, obviously, the twins we met at the finale of Season 10.

Now, Friends fans, this part is going to hurt. With the switching genders, I'm not sure if Monica is Carol or if Monica is George. Either way, either Monica or Chandler is super abusive and tries to kill Emma while she lives with them. Whoa.

Then, of course, in the second book, Rachel comes back to us. She's still super hot despite being a little older. Of course, we always knew that would be the case. I mean, look at Jen now.
Of course beautiful, young Jonathan would want to hook up with her. And here's some kind of good news for Rachel: she's still friends with Phoebe (she's just named Shannon in the book). Yeah, you know, Shannon who takes care of Rachel when she's drunk. Shannon that took care of Emma when Rachel was in the hospital. Of course Shannon is Phoebe. (Or maybe her name was Sharon...I don't know. I don't retain details like names when I'm reading.)

So the question on everyone's mind at this point is: where's Joey? I'll tell you. He's still just being Joey. He only makes a brief appearance in these books, and I can't even remember his pretend name. But he shows up at Rachel's poker party and starts hitting on Emma, and that's how I knew it was him.

So...anyway. Did I just spend too much time writing a pointless blog post? Yes. Should that time have been spent on schoolwork? Yes. Do I regret it? Not at all.

Monday, April 14, 2014

7,000 Miles

This semester I've traveled over 7,000 miles. (Somewhat surprisingly, not a single one of those miles has been heading to Utah. This is my first semester not going home.) While I've loved the many adventures, this weekend marked my first full weekend home in as long as I can remember, and it was nice to just breathe. I went to the dog park with Zipsie, met a friend for cupcakes, and read three books. It was brilliant.

However, I would be remiss if I didn't let you in on all the fun I've had this semester.

Since the last time I blogged...

I went down to Colorado Springs to spend Valentine's Day with Jess and her family

I attended the Big Ten Wrestling Championships in Madison, Wisconsin

I travelled down to Dallas for Spring Break with Jamie

I watched Matt take Fifth at NCAAs in Oklahoma City

I competed in the TYLA National Trial Team Competition in Austin, Texas (which might be my current favorite city in the United States)

I made it to the final round of the National Voir Dire Competition in Kansas City

It's been a whirlwind, to say the least. Now I get to focus on more relaxing things--like finals and graduating!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Trial Team Regionals

This weekend I participated in my tenth law school competition! It shouldn't surprise you that extra-curricular activities have been the most enjoyable aspects of my law school experience, but this weekend was particularly great.

We drove up to Minneapolis for our regional TYLA competition. Just outside the city, we saw flashing lights behind us. After one of the cops opened up the van door to talk to some of us in the back (and not so subtly look around) we finished up the drive with a lively discussion about whether or not our Fourth Amendment rights had just been violated.
Thursday was our first preliminary round, and we were set to present our Plaintiff case, which is the side I'm not on. So I enjoyed rocking jeans and providing emotional encouragement and silent cheerleading.

The second team from Creighton competed in the second flight that night, so our team enjoyed dinner with just the three of us.

Friday night was my turn to compete in the preliminaries. 
Here we are brainstorming possible theme changes just hours before our round
After competition, we went out to a late dinner. We were sitting here when we got word that our team advanced to the semifinals.
Perhaps the greatest part of the weekend was not learning that we advanced but having my mom and dad walk into the room before the semi-final round started. They happened to be in Minneapolis for the weekend because Penn State was wrestling there on Sunday.
Even more wonderful, I was sitting with my mom and dad when we found out we won the semifinals as well as the finals!
We hit the road, champions. We stopped in The Middle of Nowhere, Minnesota for a celebratory dinner that, of course, included dessert!