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You actually need to use one of the 4 available keys that are given to you by the pool creator. Once you find it, insert the key and it will transform into the pool. Also you need to use a map to find it. And you can’t tell anyone it’s location or else you would be going against the contract you sign and can be arrested.

I’m gonna pee in that pool.

I just drank the most beer I’ve ever had in one sitting (it was just one Red Stripe) and my brain feels like soup, but it’s a good kind of soup. Like clam chowder or something.

After the last week and a half, this is pretty good. My eyeballs are so lazy though. They don’t seem to want to do their job. And my fingers keep hitting the wrong keys. You can tell I never drink. This is ridiculous.

I have this beer in the back of the fridge that I’ve been saving, but it never seems to be the right time to drink it. I hardly ever drink, and can’t afford to buy more beer, so I need all the elements to be just right before I crack this one open. Sometimes I’ll think I should drink it because it’s really hot outside and a cold beer sounds good, other times I think I should drink it because I’m bored nearly to the point of madness, and still other times I think I should drink it because I’m feeling bad about things in general and isn’t that always a good time for alcohol?

Now I’m thinking about drinking it because I just finished a book and the ending was incredibly sad and I feel like a good beer buzz would be the perfect companion to this.

I bet normal adults don’t have these thoughts. I’ll have to find one and ask.

white winter hymnal/fleet foxes

It used to snow fairly regularly in southern California in winter, about 25 years ago; not anymore. But every now and then, we get one winter where there is one day of snow. And not just a little dusting, but a good couple of feet. Of course, this freaks everyone out, there’s a bunch of car accidents, cars stuck in snow drifts, people stupidly leaving their poor animals to brave the sudden freezing weather with little to no protection, that sort of thing. You’d think we’d never seen the stuff before (seriously, it’s embarrassing.)

A few years ago, we had one of these rare snowstorms, and I remember walking around in it (under dressed, of course…I don’t even own a proper winter coat) and listening to this song on my mp3 player. I always play my music on shuffle, and let the song dictate the tone of my situation.I like the way it sometimes changes my perspective. But this one was pretty ideal.

Man, it was beautiful, though. It even made this place look magical.

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It’s interesting because you give your partner a diamond as a symbol of the strength of your bond. How fitting that something representing a relationship is only valuable because it is perceived as being valuable. How often do we tearfully end a relationship only to later realize how unhealthy it was? 

Flowers, it is, then.

The 5th Wave and The Darkest Minds

About a year ago, I went on a book buying splurge (man, I miss having a paycheck!) and among my purchases, I picked up Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave and Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds. I’d heard pretty good things about both books, and I wanted some new stuff to read. Unfortunately, these two books were shelved in favor of a bunch of other things up until about two weeks ago. Being unemployed, and increasingly anxious about that fact, I constantly need something to keep my mind occupied, so I’ve been doing lots of reading. I finally, finally got around to these two books,

The 5th Wave is about an alien invasion. Sounds good already, right? Keep in mind, these are both YA books. I read a lot of YA, partly because the quality of kids’ and young adult books has really improved over the last decade or so, and partly because I’m too dumb for grown-up books (that’s just me, though). Anyway, there’s plenty of stuff to like in this book. Apocalyptic world (both before and after, which I really liked), aliens, people losing their shit and turning on each other, a strong female character (but not annoyingly so…she’s had to grow into her strengths), some nice twists that you may or may not see coming, and a hot guy….just throwing that one in there. Also, a teddy bear. It’s one of those books that you’ll stay up too late reading, telling yourself that you’ll go to bed after this one last chapter, and it leaves you hanging just enough that you’re gonna want to read the next one.

I really liked this one, but I feel like I can wait a while ‘till I read the next one. Unlike the other book I read.

The Darkest Minds is a dystopian (I know, I know…but it’s better than you’d think) about a disease that starts infecting all the kids within a certain age range in America. Most of them die from the disease, but the ones who survive develop superhuman powers. This pretty much freaks everyone out, making it really easy for the government to gather up those survivors and stick them in rehabilitation camps. Of course, by “rehabilitation” they mean “forced labor,” and you get a good sense of the hell the kids endure there.

The main character, Ruby (another strong female character, but a little more realistic than our aforementioned heroine) is broken out of camp, meets some other kids on the run, and they form a little posse. The book follows them as they search for a way to get home to their families, and try to reclaim the lives that were taken from them…which, of course, doesn’t quite work out as planned. They are constantly on the run from government forces, bounty hunters, rogue tribes of superpowered kids, and a dubious organization that calls itself The Children’s League. All the while, they form really close bonds and essentially become a family, looking out for each other as much as they argue with each other. That’s probably my favorite element of the series- the friendships. The characters are wonderfully complex and likable, and I can’t imagine anybody reading this book without having at least one favorite by the end. Other than that, there’s lots of action, lots of fascinating descriptions of the different abilities (there are five different classifications of abilities, each assigned a different identifying color; green, blue, yellow, red, or orange), and a pretty heavy dose of pathos twisted in like a damn stake to the chest. Seriously, emotions ahoy.

I won’t say anything about the ending, except that you’re probably gonna want to have the second book in the series, Never Fade, on hand before you finish The Darkest Minds. I had to grab a copy of the second book at my local library when I got to the last few chapters…and yeah, I finished reading that one in a couple days. But that’s a whole other post.

Normally, I devour YA books like I do a package of Chips Ahoy; as many as I can in one sitting, and most of them don’t really stick with me that long. There are about a handful of exceptions to that, however, and The Darkest Minds is one. It’s just so well-written, and completely compelling. I could not put the damn thing down, and didn’t get a whole lot of sleep for a few days. Totally worth it.

For some reason, this book is extremely underrated, and that’s really a shame, because this is more than deserving of the attention that Divergent, The Hunger Games, and that one vampire series we don’t talk about got. I really hope that it’s just a slow start, and that it gains momentum soon, because this book would be an excellent movie franchise. But even if that never happens, it’s definitely become one of my favorite YA books, ever.

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