Day at the Museum-LACMA

One of my favorite museums is LACMA. The LA County Museum of Art is located in Los Angeles and It is the largest art museum in the western United States. It houses a collection of over 145,000 objects and covers over 6,000 years of artistic history.  It showcases works of art from many different cultures and time periods, which is why it draws such a wide audience. For anyone 17 and under that live in Los Angeles County, admission is free! I think that is amazing because the value of the museum is priceless. Also, there’s not a lot free out there that’s cool, interesting as well as interactive.  If you’re 17 and under but live outside of LA County, the admission is ONLY $10. I say it is ONLY because there is so much to see and actually do there. 

There are five different buildings of art and experiential activities.  You can take an art class, you can take a docent tour, you can participate in a community program, and then there’s ALL that art to see. There are also music, design and film programs, as well as concerts every Friday night. That’s a lot for free, or $10 if you’re from Orange County.

If you don’t have all day to take advantage of any of the numerous programs that are offered, and just want to view the art, the exhibits at LACMA  are overwhelming (in a good way) in range and style. The permanent Picasso and Warhol exhibits are definitely highlights but past exhibits have covered everything from Monet to Yoshimoto Nara and the Obama Portraits. The ever changing exhibits are windows into different perspectives of historical and current issues, as well as beautiful or repugnant reminders of the human experience. I’ve been to many museums all across the country and for many reasons this one holds a place because I’ve been going there since I was three years old. I didn’t quite get it when I was that young but in retrospect, I believe that any cultural experience you have offers a frame of reference into your future panoramic view and that’s worth a lot more than $10. If you can take a day trip to LA, definitely make it to LACMA, even if you are not a huge museum person. You will see crazy, beautiful and completely unique things that you will not see anywhere else!

Book Review: Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder

This book was gifted to me by my uncle, and to be honest is not the type of thing I would ever take off the shelf myself. From the outside, A book that promises a history of all of western philosophy can sound very intimidating, but I think Gaarder does a great job and breaking all of this information down into bite sizes pieces for the reader.

Also, I think Gaarder does a good job of giving just enough information about each philosopher or method of thinking to give the reader a good overall understanding of each subject, while still encouraging the reader to seek out more info about everything covered in the book. Personally, I used my notes app to write down certain ideas or philosophers I found interesting so that I could come back to them later If I ever had time.

While this book does work as a beginner’s guide to philosophy, it also has what I would say is a relatively strong story with interesting characters. Most of the philosophy in the book is taught through a character named Alberto Knox, a philosopher who slowly teaches the protagonist, Sophie, the history of philosophy piece by piece. I think this is an effective way to keep the reader engaged while they learn about these concepts, as the reader can put themselves in Sophie’s shoes for most of the book. The plot does develop later, which adds a lot more substance to the characters and the story. One thing I like about how Gaarder handles this story is that later on in the book is how we see Sophie use the same philosophical concepts both her and the reader have just learned, serving as an example of how to approach thinking like a philosopher.

This book can be a bit boring if you are not at all interested in Philosophy or have no desire to try learning about Philosophy, but I would encourage anyone else to try this book because I think It can serve a starting point for anyone to become more involved or educated about philosophy.

Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder is available to check out from the Mission Viejo Library.

Album Review: The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd

In the 1960s, Pink Floyd would hit the London music scene with their whimsical version of psychedelic rock with their former frontman Syd Barrett. He would sadly leave the band in 1968  due to his struggle with mental illness. The band would take some time to find their place in the world after Syd left. They’d get back on track and release their strongest album (in my opinion), The Dark Side of the Moon, in 1973, a masterclass in psychedelic-influenced progressive rock.

The album cover of The Dark Side of the Moon

The Dark Side of the Moon can be described as a work of progressive rock influenced by psychedelia. All the songs flow together very well (even the instrumental ones) and listening to the album in one sitting is an incredible experience. The production is incredible with Alan Parsons (yes, Alan Parsons of the Alan Parsons Project) contributing important things such as tape effects to the album. My favorite song on the album (and one of my favorite songs in general) has to be “Time”.

“Time” starts off with a jarring introduction of ringing clocks. We soon get guitars, bass, percussion, and synthesizers before the vocals come in. Every member of the band is playing at their best, especially David Gilmore who takes us away with an amazing, emotional guitar solo.

I recently bought The Dark Side of the Moon on vinyl, a great purchase in my opinion. It’s easily a 10/10 and is one of my favorite albums. Giving the album a look is a must!

To read about the making of The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, check out this book from the Mission Viejo Library.

The Ivies by Alexa Donne


“My life at Claflin has inevitably been easier, better, because of the company I keep. The Ivies opened a door, and I stepped through it.”

–Olivia Winters

Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, UPenn, Dartmouth, Cornell, and Columbia. The eight Ivy League schools for five teenage girls set on attending these schools, by any means necessary.

The Ivies by Alexa Donne is an exciting murder mystery that follows Olivia Winters, a scholarship senior at Claflin Academy, as she navigates life under the wing of the Ivies—an elite, ambitious group of girls who eliminate all chances of competition to claim first place. But karma is real… and it’s coming to get them.

Donne’s approach to the life of a high school student is overwhelmingly perceptive. From the way the characters act to the way they talk, their personality is established within the first few pages of meeting them.

This novel breaks stereotypes that center around class and social privilege. For instance, Avery Montfort, a Harvard legacy student who at first seems conceited and arrogant, offers the reader a glimpse of her not-so-perfect life and the weight she carries.

Together, the Ivies work to sabotage other top college material students. Their conniving actions reveal the ugliness behind their riches. They demonstrate just how far people go to get what they want, including murder.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Ivies by Alexa Donne. My suspicions jumped from person to person; I never stopped guessing until the very end. Everyone should have the opportunity to meet these brilliant, but back-stabbing girls with twisted priorities.

The Ivies by Alexa Donne is available to check out from the Mission Viejo Library. It is also available to download for free from Libby.

The Stones of Ravenglass by Jenny Nimmo

The Stones of Ravenglass, by Jenny Nimmo, is the second book in the Chronicles of The Red King trilogy. The books in this trilogy are prequels to the Children of the Red King series. The events of this book occur at a time when the Red King is a young boy named Timoken. The story is set one year after the events of the book’s predecessor, The Secret Kingdom. In this book, Timoken believes that he has finally found his true home in a castle in Britain. However, everything changes when the steward of the castle, Osbern D’Ark, seizes control. Timoken must escape the castle and embark on a perilous adventure to find a new home.

This book was quite gripping and exciting, and I enjoyed many of the characters. er than Timoken himself, some of my favorite characters include an old wizard named Eri and his pet dragon, Enid. I admired their loyalty to Timoken once they met him. I was a little disappointed that Zobayda, Timoken’s sister, was not as prominent in this book as she was in The Secret Kingdom. I was also disappointed that the viridees were not included at all. Still, this book is filled with action and adventure. I found it difficult to put this book down once I started reading it.

As a fan of the Children of The Red King series, I am very pleased that Jenny Nimmo decided to write this trilogy of prequels. I enjoyed this book very much, and maybe even more than the first book in the trilogy. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy or adventure stories.

The Stones of Ravenglass  by Jenny Nimmo is available to check out from the Mission Viejo Library. It is also available to download for free from Libby.

Book Review: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

I first heard about this book from one of my close friends. We usually are into the same type of books, so I knew I had to read this. I went to the bookstore a few weeks later and purchased it. It wasn’t until a few months later that I actually began reading it.

I instantly fell in love with the book at the first page. When Finch’s character was introduced, I immediately connected with his psyche. The style of the writing is just one that I find myself relating to.

With every page turn, I became more and more invested in the story. The subtle romance between Finch and Violet that sparked in the beginning was so captivating. Usually books targeted towards young adult audiences don’t seem relatable to me, but this one was. When I am really invested in a book, I will finish it in less than a week. I finished reading this one in two days.

I feel as though any teenager/young adult who reads this book will relate to at least one part. This book was very inspiring to me as well. It made me feel less alone.

This book is honestly what gave me courage to fully open up to my school counselor. It helped me realize that it is okay not to be okay.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven is available to check out from the Mission Viejo Library. It is also available to download for free from Libby.

Avatar: The Way of Water

This is the long-awaited sequel to the first Avatar movie. Set about 15 years after the original movie, it follows Jake Sully, Neytiri, and their kids. Their eldest son, Neteyam, who often tries to protect his younger siblings, and their adopted daughter, Kiri, born from Grace’s Avatar. She is able to feel the presence of Aywa during her daily life, and attracts many of the different creatures on Pandora. Jake and Neytiri’s second son, Lo’ak, who wants to prove himself, and their youngest daughter and child, Tuktirey. There is also Spider, the human son of Colonel Quaritch who was born on Pandora. From a young age, Spider was constantly running away from the human base on Pandora to be with the Na’vi.

In this movie, humans return to the world of Pandora for another attempt at winning the habitable moon. Among these is the newly-created Avatar re-creation of Colonel Miles Quaritch, the main antagonist who died in the original movie. Using his stored memories and DNA, scientists were able to re-create Colonel Quaritch to lead their efforts once again. With the same memories and uncaring, merciless personality as the original antagonist, Colonel Quaritch’s re-created Avatar is truly a threatening presence on Pandora.

I really liked this movie because of the storyline and the realistic rendering of the world of Pandora. However, I did not really like the ending because certain parts of it could have been better. Overall, it was a great sequel to the original Avatar movie and I am excited for the next Avatar movie.

-Peri A.

Misrule by Heather Walters

*Will contain spoilers to Malice, the first book of this duology*

Happy-ever-after never seemed to happen to Alyce. Just when she thought she received it, it had been snatched away from her before she could fully process what occurred. Betrayed twice and desperate for love, she does the unthinkable. And now, after a hundred years of living, she is starting to feel the consequences of her actions.

Before, she was hated by the entire society of Briar, comprising of humans and Graces alike. But now, she is beloved in this society she created with the destruction of Briar, comprising of goblins, demons, and Vila like herself. That is, until, everything descends into chaos when a young man washes up onto shore and breaks the princess’s curse that Alyce had struggled to do for a hundred years. And because of it, failure inches closer and closer.

This sequel completes the story of Alyce and Princess Aurora in the most beautiful way possible. It is a happy ending but it isn’t shaped as I thought it would, which ended up as a pleasant surprise on my part. Again, I couldn’t stop reading this book as soon as I started, wanting to know what happened next after things started to connect with each other and make conclusions that renew hope in the ending about humanity and the world in general. The characters in this book are as perfectly written as one can get, adding nuance into the plot through different actions and expressing emotions anyone can relate to. I highly recommend this book for those who love fantasy because everything about this sequel is what, I believe, makes a great ending to a magnificent story.


75 Fulfillment Quotes on Life & Happiness (SPIRITUAL)

I used to be silly. I used to never have to worry much! I had what I needed. A Lot of the
time I didn’t even realize when things were wrong. I just didn’t care. I felt as light as a
feather. A young youthful child who simply didn’t have time for anyone else’s nonsense
or foolishness. I would talk to others not filled with much anxiety. My head wasn’t spinning. My brain wasn’t on the verge of exploding into a million pieces all at once. I was a kid.

Now I have more of a purpose. I have dreams and worries. I have people in my face telling me who I should or shouldn’t be. Sometimes it even feels like my destiny’s already chosen before I get the chance to speak.

I want to make my own decisions. Not letting others choose my path for
me. I want to feel happy and fulfilled. The feeling of winning the lottery. Or even just pure joy.
Having your work pay off. After the long nights of studying and sleeping. I want to be
successful. I’d do anything to make my parents proud of me. The feeling of being smart.
Being sure of yourself. Is something I’ll always strive for. Despite all the dreams and goals, I
hold myself up to. I don’t want to waste my life away behind a desk. I love learning new things.

But I want more in life. I want to be more than a person who goes to school just to go home and study. There’s so much more to my life than school. I don’t hate school. I hate killing time. Time is precious it’s something you can never get back no matter how much you beg or cry. It can run away from the tips of your fingers. It’s limited. And you never know when the clock will end. As much as I love making my parents proud. I have life. I have so much more to me.

I don’t wish to be stuck in a never-ending cycle of work, sleep, and eat repeatedly. I want to
live a life that’s meaningful. I want a real reason to be here. Even when things get rough. I want

a life that’s worth remembering. One that’s worth all the pain, stress, and troubles that come
along with living. I don’t want to be trapped in this box. One that most people see, to live the
rest of the entirety. I want to feel and be free. Not being held somewhere against my will. I don’t

want to be in an unhappy home. I wish to travel the seas! To discover missing parts and pieces of the world. I want to make a difference. I want to help others! I want to be someone, not just another body behind a desk. Not just another waste of space. Not just another hopeless girl. Not just some failure who wished but never did. I want to be. I will be someone who tried. Who does her best when it comes to everything and anything! No matter how impossible it may seem I can do it!

I want to be the sea against the storm. Staying in place no matter who or whatever comes in my way. Life has more of a purpose than sitting around waiting for one. Waiting for a miracle to fly out of the sky. Laying flat into your hands. When I leave earth I would like to know I left making a difference. I wish for better. Better for those who deserve it but never received it. Better for those who are struggling to fight for what they deserve. I am going to live a fulfilled life. One with not only purpose. But with meaning. I wish to be surrounded by those who matter to me. I will be the difference. I will do what I’ve always wanted to. I’ll stop caring what others think. I will live a carefree life. Filled with meaning. My special purpose. This time I won’t hide away like the sun in the rain. Yet I will soar above the clouds like a spaceship with no landing. Heading wherever the path takes me.

Album Review: Ceres and Calypso in the Deep Time

As a fan of the dream pop scene, my biggest challenge is finding new albums to listen to. My current favorite songs have been stuck in my music rotation for months, and I’ve been trying to expand my music taste for some time now. Luckily, I struck gold a few months ago and came across the criminally underrated album Ceres and Calypso in the Deep Time, and I am more than glad that I did.

Released in 2013, Ceres and the Calypso in the Deep Time is an album created by Candy Claws, a Colorado-based music group. Their strange knack for storytelling came to life in this project specifically. This project explores the adventures of a seal-like animal and a human girl throughout the Mesozoic Era, journeying through the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous eras. The members of Candy Claws collaborated with poet Jenn Morea to write the lyrics for this album. Her expertise in writing blossomed throughout her lyrics, each song depicting the beautiful landscapes of our world. Candy Claws built off of her writing by filling each track with dreamy vocals and various sounds, whether using stringed instruments or electronic synths. Most importantly, the band’s diverse music inspirations are what creates an immersive scenery for their audience.

Album Cover Art for Ceres and Calypso in the Deep Time by Candy Claws.

Candy Claws’ interesting production style is inspired by countless music eras, most notably 50s bossa nova, 60s pop, and 90s shoegaze. Their inspirations, along with their production talent, is what makes Ceres and Calypso in the Deep Time different from other albums. Every track feels like a different experience, but they all add up to create a cohesive project along with a light-hearted story. The poetic lyrics and small references to Earth’s beauty tie into the atmospheric feel that this album is going for. All of these details left me admiring Candy Claws’ talent in musical production, but also their ability to make a world simply out of sounds.

When I came across Ceres and Calypso in the Deep Time, I was first intrigued by the cover art. After a lot of research, my interest for this album peaked, and I knew that I had to give it a listen. My love for niche artists and conceptual albums thrived as I listened to each track, even more so around the end. Although Candy Claws’ production can sound confined or distorted, I personally enjoyed their take on the dream pop scene. I guarantee that somebody in the music world will have a newfound love for this album, especially shoegaze or dream-pop fans. Ceres and Calypso in the Deep Time may not be for everyone, but it is definitely worth a listen!