July Films and a Quick Update

It’s a Thursday evening and I’m off work for a change and so I decided that I should try following my 20 Before 20 and get posting here.

In my 20 Before 20 post I mentioned wanting to watch more films and to read at least 3 new books, and progress has been made! On the film front, I have watched four films (which are new to me) since the start of July. These are:

The Fault in Ours Stars (2014) – I was going to blog about this on its own, but I figured it would be better to talk about it in a Mini Reviews type thing instead. I went to see this film on July 1st (Happy Canada Day!) with my friend Niamh. I had read the book as soon as I possibly could after it was released. I have a massive love for that book (as I do with all of John Green’s work) and I was really excited to see the film. On watching it however, there were some aspects of the book that were left out, despite John Green’s constant presence onset and involvement with the script. While this shouldn’t surprise me, I was still a little disappointed in a way. The film left out little quotes that I thought would have enhanced the film, and also an entire character and the relationships others had with said character. I didn’t cry either, which apparently makes me heartless! I don’t know, with TFiOS, the book will always win.

Body of Lies (2008) – I watched this one on a recent trip to Dublin to see Ryan (boyfriend) while we were staying at his Dad’s. To be honest, this film was kind of complicated, or else I was just so tired I couldn’t really focus on the story. Basically, Leonardo di Caprio’s character plays a CIA agent working to capture a terrorist leader in Jordan. The story follows him as he tries to keep both his American supervisors and Jordanian Intelligence happy. It was a good film though and I would definitely watch it again when I’m more focused.

Walking on Sunshine (2014) – I’ll keep this one short and sweet. This was a cringey, cliché-filled film that given the second chance, I would not go to see. I have learned a lesson here though, when a film is said to be a hybrid of two great films, they usually take the crap parts from both. Very disappointed.

Calvary (2014) – This was a film that a guy in college told me was good (in like, April or something, whenever it was still in cinemas). I had gone to see it with Ryan in early May but the screen was full, so we just watched films at home instead. I did get a chance to see it last week with my parents though and bizarre is probably the most accurate adjective to describe it. It is set in Co. Sligo in Ireland and the story follows a parish priest (Brendan Gleeson) who get a death threat in a confession box and the week between hearing this and his apparent death date. It was funny in places, which is probably why I found it slightly uncomfortable to watch seeing as these funny moments were juxtaposed with details and scenes of a darker nature, such as the return of Gleeson’s daughter to Ireland. It was definitely not what i was expecting but it was a pretty good film as Irish films go.

So there are the mini reviews of the films I’ve seen in July. I’m going to see  Ryan in a couple weeks so that practically guarantees more film-watching!

Books-wise, I have begun reading a book that I found on a book review video on Youtube from Essie Button and Sanne from BooksandQuills:

The books I have picked from this video is “The Virgin Suicides” by Jeffrey Eugenides. I’ve heard lots about this book and I’m looking forward to reading  more of it. It is quite a short book at just 250 pages so it is ideal for someone who is just easing back into reading books. You can also follow my progress on Goodreads.com here: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/21527867-laura

If I get on well with this book, I might check out some others from that video, alternatively, you can recommend me a book in the comments section or via Twitter.

Anyway, that’s it for now!

Until next time,

Laura

20 Before 20

I know, I know, it’s been ages. The thing is though I didn’t actually forget about my blog, it was always playing in the back of my mind and I wanted to get back to it much sooner but you know, life has a habit of getting in the way of things. That, plus the fact of little or no subject matter, I was kinda discouraged when it came to blogging. But, alas! I have returned!

 

I’ve seen quite a few people do lists like this, including my boyfriend’s lovely sister, Emma, over at outmumbered.com (check her out!). I cheekily drew some inspiration from these lists and I decided I would set myself a bit of a challenge as I am 20 in just over 5 months (end of December). I wanted to try push myself out of my comfort zone a little and this just seemed like a fun way of doing that. Some of the things on this list are on their way to completion and some are entirely new, but I hope I can achieve most ( if not all things) successfully before i turn 20. So, without further ado, here is my list of “20 Things to Do Before I Turn 20”

1. Pass my driving theory test

To date, I’ve done three practice theory tests using the computer disc and so far I have failed all three times… This is, however without any reference to the “Rules of the Road” handbook and I have been failing better each time: 27/40, 29/40, and finally 32/40- all I need is 35 to pass and I’m getting so close! Passing my theory would mean I could start lessons and driving is something that I so desperately want to start doing right now!

2. Complete my Project 365

For those who aren’t familiar,  Project 365 is a photography project where you take a photo every day for a year (365 days) I started mine on September 28th last year and so I am well on my way to finishing it, however some days I forget to take a photo until late or I haven’t done much but work that day- I try my best to make it exciting and I know sometimes the pictures are crap but it beats being repetitive!

3. Become fit/ lose a little of my tummy

This is something I’ve been talking to a couple of people about for a while “oh, I’d love to be more fit/toned” etc etc. Now, I have actually started on that journey because I’m a little bit sick of being fed up with the way I look sometimes. I have downloaded the PumpUp app on my phone (an exercise/ instagram-type app where people can share photos and workouts and just generally motivate each other) and I’ve done a couple of tailored for me workouts on that and I’m finding it really good. I’m also trying to cut out junk but I think we all know how hard that can be…. Meal planning is key!

4. Visit a European city

…or at least decide which one I would like to visit! Travelling around Europe has always been something I wanted to do but up until now I didn’t really have the option (unless it was a family holiday) due to lacking of funding, mostly(!) and with college on the cards for September onward I can’t just go on one big trip. Instead, I’ve been thinking about going on a city break for just a long weekend or something. The current front-runners on my list are Paris, Berlin and Venice, but of course more planning and discussing and saving (eeeep!) will have to be done before I make a decision.

5. Watch a new film every week or two

Something that I have begun to notice recently is the sheer amount of time I spend talking to people saying “haven’t seen it… haven’t seen that either” which just goes on and on. So here I’ve decided that broadening my cinematic horizons will benefit me both socially and culturally! ” The Biog Lebowski” is first on my list but if any of you have any other suggestions as to other movies I should definitely watch, leave me a comment or a tweet! 

6. Make time for old friends

Sometimes life gets really busy and it’s easy to find an excuse not to spend time with people you don’t see so much anymore. I still keep in contact with some people who I’ve been friends with for something crazy like, 14 years but not as much as I should and I don’t want to risk those friendships going stale out of nothing but laziness!

7. Read (at least) 3 new books

Having a smart phone has wrecked me, but in particular, it has wrecked my attention span so much that I actually find it hard to commit to reading a whole book without getting seriously bored. 3 new books in 5 months shouldn’t be such a big ask, but I have a feeling that this is gonna be one of the things I struggle with the most! Recommend a book to me below in the comments!

8. Create something I’m really proud of

Lately, I’ve been lacking both inspiration and motivation to do anything when it comes to art and that is taking a serious toll on me as art was what I did in some shape or form for at least five days a week from September to May. I love art and not being able to find a project that holds my interest up to completion is a problem I have to deal with, but hopefully my perseverance will be rewarded!

9. Put more effort into blogging

Like I mentioned at the very start of this post, I have seriously neglected this blog. Blogging is something that I used to love doing when I was like, 15 or 16 and I really want to get back into it again. So far I’ve tried this by handwriting posts in a notebook to be typed later when I’m away from a computer of some sort to actually post stuff on. Fitting this into my schedule is definitely gonna be more of a priority!

10. Watch the sunrise

This probably seems so mediocre to some but living in the city means I’m constantly surrounded by the fluorescent street lights and never actually witnessing the beauty of a sunrise. This is definitely something I want to have done by the time I’m 20- should have done it long ago!

11. Complete the mini-marathon

I’ve been saying “next year” to this suggestion for about 3 years! I think it’s high time that I actually did one, how bad can it be? Plus I’ll be raising money for a charity in the meantime… Everybody wins! 

12. Start driving lessons

This ties up with my first point of passing my theory test. Driving is something I’ve been thinking about learning to do for ages but I’m sick of it just being an idea in my head and I know that I’ll just keep putting it off until I’ve forgotten how unless I get at least 2 driving lessons in before Christmas.

13. Declutter my room

I’ve been out of secondary school a while now and yet I still have about 3 huge boxes of school stuff I’m never gonna use again under my bed, it’s ridiculous! I could do with the space anyway but specially since I have all my art stuff that needs a home now too. It’s high time that I get rid of the junk!

14. Get a new piercing

Until April of this year I only ever had my earlobes pierced (such a good little girl), but in April I decided I’d go get my septum pierced while I was in Southampton as I had a couple days off work and I love it. Shortly after that my friend Aisling was working in a shop that did ear piercings, including the cartilage at the top of your ear and since she needed to learn how to pierce, Nicole and I volunteered ourselves as guinea pigs. I guess it’s like what a lot of people say about tattoos being addictive, I want to get another piercing done so bad! I’m thinking about either my tragus or my conch. Still nothing too crazy but it’s a start!

15. Give up fizzy drinks

This is something I’ve already done for two days in a row (very proud). It seems like something so little but in work it is just so much easier to get a can of coke or whatever on break instead of water or juice. I’ve not been in work the past two days so that’s probably why it’s been easier as well… I expect if I can keep it up it will get easier in time, and hopefully this will help me give up other junk too.

16. Become more decisive

I am a very indecisive person. It was actually a killer trying to decide which things I should put in this list- how pathetic is that. All of my friends know it though, it could be the littlest of things; what movie to see, where to eat, what to wear. The most minuscule of things are turned into mountains when it comes to me making decisions, I know it needs to change and there’s no time like the present.

17. Become more patient

I am somebody who can lose their cool over the smallest of things. When what I say is being misconstrued or somebody doesn’t hear me properly, I tend to take it a little bit too personally and get really annoyed by it. I am currently Googling techniques to become more patient, I will even start meditating if necessary, I’m getting impatient with my impatience!

18. Put more effort into college work

This one is completely down to whether or not LSAD (Limerick School of Art and Design) actually accept me or not, but I found the past year working on my portfolio course that I was really energetic in some aspects and I completely detested others and so put little or no effort into them at all. However, i know now that some modules are offered so that you can become more well-rounded as a student or whatever and if I get into LSAD I really want to try my very best in all fields that are available to me, even if that means working my ass off.

19. Step outside my eating comfort-zone

I’m not a super super fussy person when it comes to eating, but sometimes there are things that I will see, and they won’t look too good so I don’t even try them. Like, “hello? Are you five Laura!” This is something I want to change and while I’m not expecting tofu to be my favourite thing by the end of the week I don’t want to start ruling things out just because of how they look. I’m not even saving this one for just crazy foreign foods like octopus or whatever, most times when I go out I will just order the same thing off the menu, time to mix it up a little… one tuna roll at a time!

20. Get a list published on Listverse

This is a massive one for me and I didn’t know whether or not I should have it on my list, but I decided (decision-making skills, yo!) that I should leave it in and even if I don’t complete it I’ll have at least tried. Making lists is one of those things that I’m a little obsessed with, they just make me feel  more organised within the chaos that is my head (there is nothing organised about my kind of chaos!). People in college even got to the stage of pointing it out like “oh, hey, Laura’s making another list!”, although towards the end of the year it was commonplace.  Listverse.com is a site where list-makers unite and as long as your list fits length criteria and is something the editors think will be fairly popular, they will publish it. I’ve tried working on a list for this before but it fell short, literally, so I didn’t bother sending it. Perhaps I will revise that list and be more successful with it this time.

 

Anyway, that’s my 20 Before 20 list. I hope you guys enjoyed reading it and I am gonna try my best not to be away from this blog for so long in future!

Until next time,

Laura