Monday, October 16, 2017

Things I've Been Enjoying Lately

It seems spending less time on the internet works wonders. At the same time, the internet is a magical place and while it's the last few hours of the day I permit myself to be here, I thought I'd throw together a post about some of the happy things going on in my life.

listening to...

~La La Land

I didn't know exactly what to make of the movie, but Another Day of Sun and The Fools Who Dream are extraordinarily uplifting in distinct ways.




~Lecrae

Rebel from 2008 is one of my favorite albums right now.

studying...

~philosophy

And a lot of other things. 11th grade is actually kind of great.

reading...

~The Secret Thoughts of An Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Buttterfield

I wrote this on Goodreads....

This is incredible. Rosaria Butterfield tells her conversion story from practicing lesbian and feminist to Christian homeschool mom in a warm but convicting manner that always pointed me back to the One who grants salvation. 

Reading this was definitely a highlight of my fall. So good.

~Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin

Whew. This is intense, but it's helped me understand my faith thoroughly and joyfully.

~Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare



It's always a good arrangement when school assignments are fun. Life hack, though: watch a good movie version of the Shakespeare play before reading said Shakespeare play.  For Much Ado About Nothing, I'd recommed the Kenneth Branagh/Emma Thompson adaption(well, minus a couple scenes).

watching...

~The Flash and Downton Abbey(for a second time, yes) with my sister

~old-ish classics like Jaws and The Truman Show and The Matrix, which is old right?

and...

~eating chocolate chip cookies

Semisweet chocolate chips taste so grown up.

~waiting *cough* patiently for snow

~trying out Twitter

You can find me at, https://twitter.com/meredithmayj .


What have you been up to this fall? Are there any songs or albums you're particularly fond of at the moment? 

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Another Internet Break(And Why I Bother To Tell You)

I'm going to take a break from the internet again. It's been way too distracting to my school and hobbies.

I'll be off October and November, excepting one day a week when I'll  try to be as productive as possible. xD (There should be an acronym for that. How about APAP?) And of course I'll still check emails and get on for a few other exceptions.

Hopefully I can still stay on top of blogging with only weekly internet visits. I guess I'll find out!

what I'll be doing with my new time


Why do I bother to post every time I take an internet break? It's partly to notify you but it's really because I need the accountability. If I publicly say I'm going to get off the internet and then don't that's much worse than breaking a resolve I only made for myself. It's become a joke to announce internet fasts as if just for the attention and respect taking such a fast commands. Well, in may case it's the opposite. My incredible tendency to be distracted by the internet does not request your respect! So thanks for reading this and being an unwitting participant in the accountability I need.

Have a lovely fall, everyone!

Have you taken internet breaks? Do you have plans for this fall?  

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Fall Post(an uncharacteristically sarcastic endeavor)

It's fall, friends.



Go jump in the leaves and order pumpkin spice lattes and plan your Halloween costumes(if you're into that sort of thing) and brew tea and read lots of books and buy sweaters and post sweater selfies(#sweaterweather) and talk long walks and watch period dramas and look at the trees and pretend you're a super nature-y person.

Oh, and keep on top of school work/work and keeping your room clean and reading your Bible and personal hygiene and changing the water in the fish's bowl.

Plus get excited for Thor: Ragnarok and The Last Jedi coming in November which is officially closer than it was in the summer.

///

I think that's just about covered it.



(but seriously, I love fall too)

Monday, August 28, 2017

discontentment

Discontentment is an ugly sin. So is what it breeds. Jealousy, Anger, Hate.

Have you ever gone from admiring a person to envying a person to feeling angry with the person to practically hating the person? Or maybe not really hating said person but always being distracted by the inequality between the person's and your circumstances? Because I have, more or less. (Don't worry, I'm not talking about anyone who reads this blog :P)

It's so disgusting. What's also terrible is when I can find something superior in my circumstances to most of the people in my life(even something very simple!) I take gleeful pride in it-- not for its own good, but because it elevates me above other people in some way only my mind understands.

Social media is the worst for this. We all know social media is the "good parts only"-filtered story of people's lives.



When I see myself in the broad scheme of things and the many amazing circumstances I'm blessed with and compare them to those of 90% of the people who've lived on earth before it's amazing how grateful I know I should be and how difficult it still is to muster gratitude.

The first step towards addressing discontentment should be recognizing it and acknowledging it's wrong. So that's what I'm trying to accomplish with this post.

It's comforting to remember my time on earth is only a moment before the eternity after death. And while it's only a moment, I don't want to waste it gnawing on discontentment.


"...be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you." -Hebrews 13:5b

Do you struggle with contentment? Do you agree it(and its offspring) are some of the ugliest sins? 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

NEW BLOG REVEAL and other items of interest

Hey readers, I'm pretty pumped right now because I just started a new blog! (Don't worry,On Stories and Words isn't going anywhere).

I've been really interested in film criticism lately and I wanted another place to write about movies(more as a critic than as a fan, per say) without overwhelming this blog. Thus was born Moving Pictures, the new home for my film and television criticism.




I try to be more serious and professional than I probably am here. Ha. xD My first post is a review of Spider-Man: Homecoming(bet you didn't see that coming). Go check it out!

This means I will end my monthly Cinematic Excursions posts, which I'd kind of slacked off on anyway. It also means I'll probably write less about movies at all, but I plan to more than make up for that at Moving Pictures.

As to other news items...

+I'm indefinitely retiring my Les Mis blog. It'll still be under my Blogger profile but I'm not going to update it any more.

+And speaking of my (apparently numerous) blogs...I have another one I never told you guys about. I didn't want to promote it here because I want to discuss topics there(politics, theological controversy etc.) that wouldn't be appropriate for this blog. But I decided  as long as I keep this site free of that, I'll go ahead and announce I have another, less censored blog. ;D It's called M. M. Johnson.

+Blimey Cow has been releasing awesome videos and you all need to watch them. Here is one of my favorites:



How are you guys? What is your favorite Blimey Cow video? Have you read any good books lately?  

Monday, August 7, 2017

Am I The Only One Who...

Am I the only one who...

puts ketchup on everything
logs onto Pinterest to look for pins from a movie right after watching said movie
has a love/hate relationship with sleeping in
eats chocolate excruciatingly slowly

feels 100% more hip with sunglasses
almost always likes a movie better the second time
alternates between feeling very on top of things and feeling very, very behind
goes through movie/book genre kicks
checks out far more books at once than she can actually get through because tall TBR piles motivate her to read

is disgusted by people who fall asleep during takeoff on a plane(that's like the best part of vacation, come on)
feels more grown up when wearing a purse
doesn't really decide what she's ordering at a restaurant or coffee shop till just as she's ordering it

Well, am I the only one? Do you relate to any of these? 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tagged for Two Tags

Thank you Olivia and Art3mis for tagging me!! :D I'm going to start with The "100 Books the BBC Think Most People Haven't Read More than 6 of" tag. It's fun to prove people(or the BBC) wrong, so here we go...



Rules...

1. Be honest.
2. Put an asterisk next to the ones you have read all the way through. Put an addition sign next to the ones you have started.

3. Tag as many people as these books that you have read.

1.  Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen *
2.  Gormenghast Trilogy -  Mervyn Peake
3.  Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë *
4.  Temple of the Golden Pavilion - Yukio Mishima
5.  To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee *
6.  The Story of the Eye - George Bataille
7.  Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë 
8.  Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell 
9.  Adrift on the Nile - Naguib Mahfouz
10.  Great Expectations - Charles Dickens *
11.  Little Women - Louisa May Alcott *
12.  Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13.  Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14.  Rhinoceros - Eugene Ionesco
15.  Baron in the Trees - Italo Calvino
16.  The Master of Go - Yasunari Kawabata
17.  Woman in the Dunes - Abe Kobo
18.  Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger 
19.  The Feast of the Goat - Mario Vargas Llosa
20.  Middlemarch - George Eliot 
21.  Gogol's Wife - Tomasso Landolfi
22.  The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald *
23.  Magic Mountain - Thomas Mann
24.  War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy *
25.  Ferdydurke - Gombrowicz
26.  Narcissus and Goldmund - Herman Hesse
27.  Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky 
28.  The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29.  Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll *
30.  The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame 
31.  Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy 
32.  The Jungle - Upton Sinclair
33.  Tom Sawyer / Huck Finn - Mark Twain *
34.  Emma - Jane Austen
35.  Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe *
36.  Delta Wedding - Eudora Welty
37.  The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini 
38.  Naomi - Junichiro Tanizaki
39.  Cosmicomics - Italo Calvino
40.  The Joke - Milan Kundera
41.  Animal Farm - George Orwell *
42.  Labyrinths - Gorge Luis Borges
43.  One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44.  A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving 
45.  Under My Skin - Doris Lessing\
46.  Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery *
47.  Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy 
48.  Don Quixote - Miguel Cervantes 
49.  Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50.  Absalom Absalom - William Faulkner



51.  Beloved - Toni Morrison
52.  The Flounder - Gunther Grass
53.  Dead Souls - Nikolai Gogol
54.  Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen *
55.  My Name is Red - Orhan Pamuk
56.  A Dolls House - Henrik Ibsen
57.  A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens *
58.  Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59.  The Idiot - Fyodor Dostoevesky 
60.  Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61.  Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62.  Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63.  Leaves of Grass - Walt Whitman
64.  Death on the Installment Plan - Celine
65.  Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66.  On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67.  Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68.  Pedro Paramo - Juan Rulfo
69.  Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70.  Moby Dick - Herman Melville *
71.  Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72.  Dracula - Bram Stoker
73.  The Metamorphosis - Kafka
74.  Epitaph of a Small Winner - Machado De Assis
75.  Ulysses - James Joyce
76.  The Inferno - Dante 
77.  Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78.  Germinal - Emile Zola
79.  To the Light House - Virginia Woolf 
80.  Disgrace - John Maxwell Coetzee
81.  A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens *
82.  Zorba the Greek - Nikos Kazantzakis
83.  The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84.  The Box Man - Abe Kobo
85.  Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86.  A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87.  The Stranger - Camus
88.  Acquainted with the Night - Heinrich Boll
89.  Don't Call It Night - Amos Oz
90.  The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91.  Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92.  The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery *
93.  Gravity's Rainbow - Thomas Pychon
94.  Memoirs of Hadrian - Marguerite Yourcenar
95.  A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96.  Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
97.  The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98.  Hamlet - William Shakespeare 
99.  Faust - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 
100.  Metamorphosis - Ovid

And thus a grand total of...17. :P I'd like to read more of them someday!

I'm actually not going to tag anyone for this, but please take it if you'd like! Thank you, MovieCritic, for creating the tag! 

Next, the Four Fictional Characters Tag!

Rules

1. Link back to the person who tagged you
2. List four fictional characters (use pictures if you want! They can be from movies or books) and, if you like, describe what they're like and why you believe they relate to you
3. Tag a few other blog people! Three, or four, or even twenty. :) Share the fun! Be sure to let them know you've tagged them.

Anne Shirley(Anne of Green Gables)




Of course. I cannot have a list of characters to whom I identify without Anne. She's basically my fictional counterpart, but kinder and wiser and harder working. :P We are both a little weird and both crave deep friendships.

Rose MacClare(Downton Abbey)

Ha. Wishful thinking. Rose MaClaire is cheerful, compassionate, and personable. She's pretty extroverted(which I'm not) and-- for just the first few episodes-- rash and rebellious(which I hope I'm not), but I identify with the way she often hides her feelings behind cheerfulness-- something I occasionally do. However, she questions cultural norms, values friendships, and gets excited for things other people wouldn't. She starts a bit *cough* rough around the edges, but it makes her character arc all the more satisfying.  I think of any fictional character I've ever encountered, she may be my biggest role model.

realizing I will never be as amazing as Lady Rose MacClare 
Bilbo Baggins(The Hobbit)

I actually wrote a blog post on the subject, so I'll cheat and just link that. (by the way I wrote this post over a year ago so don't judge ;D)

Alexander Hamilton(Hamilton)




Confession: everything I know about the first secretary of the United States I know because of Hamilton. That makes it hard to say how much I'm like the actual historical figure, but when it comes to the character in Lin Manuel Miranda's musical, we are the same. :D

He's constantly overwhelming and annoying the people around him with the subjects he's passionate about and that. is. me. xD Also he talks a lot and can be overambitious. Sadly I'm not as hard working and I can mostly safely say we have different moral weaknesses. Obviously I don't support everything he did. Otherwise, I think we're pretty alike.

I tag anyone who's seen any of the Spider-Man movies this summer. 

Thanks for reading! 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Wow, I'm Behind(what else is new?)

Hi everyone. So I realize it's been like a month since I've blogged. That's really unusual and I feel super behind.

Like my list of goals for May/June? Suffice to say I did some of them...

Or my mini-reviews for June? Let's just say I watched a lot of good movies and some mediocre movies.

But I'm hoping to catch up on everything within the next few days. Heh, we'll see how that goes. In other news, I'm reading a book called Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films with Wisdom and Discernment by Brian Godawa and it's really interesting. I saw Spider-Man homecoming and it's the best Spider-Man movie after Spider-Man 2 and one of my favorite MCU films. I also got pretty much my whole family into Spider-Man all by myself. xD



I listened to Hamilton a lot and bought the beautiful biography at Costco. I listened to Ed Sheeran's Supermarket Flowers a lot too. #noregrets

I worked on my driving skills and almost (accidentally) drove off the road on multiple occasions.

I(i.e. my family) took roadtrips and some pretty pictures.

I hung out with awesome friends.

In conclusion, a lot's been happening this summer and I'm behind in almost everything. But it's been fun. :P

What have you guys been doing this summer? 

(p.s. another Homecoming picture for reasons)


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Cinematic Excursions~ May

More movies to review! My watches were everywhere this month-- dystopia, Disney, and plenty of Marvel. xD

Avengers: Age of Ultron



This was good fun, but there were so many characters none of them get much development. The action scenes had way too much over-the-top and obviously fake CGI, which is a pet peeve of mine. Plus, all this hinting and foreshadowing-- like Natasha and Bruce's relationship-- that I don't really see being fleshed out and resolved satisfactorily in future movies tires me.

At the same time, I was particularly sleepy and even drooped off a bit while watching this and that never helps... (oops) So, conclusion, I wouldn't be averse to re-watching it before Infinity War or just for fun, but it wasn't my favorite.

Spider-Man 3

I'd read all the negative criticism the "experts" have thrown at this movie, and yeah, there were a lot of flaws and it probably would have worked better as two separate films, but it was still really good and entertaining, okay? ;)



Peter's "dark phase" was simultaneous fascinating and emotionally powerful and there were a number of scenes I genuinely enjoyed. But haters gonna hate, huh?

The Hunger Games




I liked this far better than the book. More focused, more interesting. The characters were likable, the visuals were often stunning, and some elements were truly frightening without being gratuitous. It inevitably hit some of the flaws from the book(unclear message, annoying love triangle etc.), however I'm definitely looking forward to watching the next installment.


The Amazing Spider-Man

Let me explain. :P I just "got into" Spider-Man a few months ago and I want to watch all of the pre-existing movies before the new one in July. So yeah, lots of Spider-Man. Sorry.


The Amazing Spider-Man with Andrew Garfield is-- as a movie and character-- in my opinion inferior to Spider-Man 2002. However, he's more relatable than the "goody-goody" personality of the Tobey MaGuire Spidey I love so much and he's much closer in disposition to the original from the comics, which should count for something. 

I didn't get the emphasis placed on his parents' history and the ending was. not. good. Overall I enjoyed the movie though. xD 


Suspicion 



Here's my thing with Alfred Hitchcock movies. I understand for myself and from the "critics" that they're technical masterpieces, but they just don't do much for me. The resolution was clever, but rather abrupt and I never felt super engaged. Cary Grant is good though. :D 


The Apple Dumpling Gang


I love everything about this movie. Doesn't everyone? ;)

Have you seen any of these? What were your favorite movies of May? Do you also love The Apple Dumpling Gang

Saturday, June 3, 2017

*cough* month-of-May challenges and updates

Sooo. Last month I posted a list of goals I wanted to attain for that month. But that was before I realized how busy I would be with visitors, starting a new job, and getting sick the last few days in May. Sooo, long story short, I didn't get all my goals. I'm still glad I made them though because I was probably more productive than I would have been otherwise.

So here's my plan. I'm going to extend those goals to the month of June and hope that June I can get them all done.

As to other life updates...

-I started a "real job"(piano teaching doesn't really count) which I'm sure will prove to be a positive--even if not a terribly fun-- experience.

-I started reading the Marvel Spider-Man comics and now I feel super nerdy. ^.^

-My siblings and I caught tadpoles in a very small pond near our house and we are planning to raise them. I'm much more excited about it than I should be. xD

-As aforementioned, I got sick and spent the whole time 1). sleeping, 2). drinking Apple Cider Vinegar, orange juice, etc. , 3). on the internet, 4). watching The Empire Strikes Back.

Although I feel much better at the moment, my voice is shot, so it feels good to write and communicate to whomever may be reading this without sounding like a whispering toad.

-I babysat and the Silly Songs with Larry the kids were listening to were one of the best parts. xD



-I found and enjoyed this video a lot. Watch it.

-I helped with a three-day logic class for 9-13 year olds and had a lot of fun.

-We had sunshine and rain, so I was happy.

What have you guys been doing with your summer? 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Robin Hood Week Tag



Please hop over to Olivia's wonderful blog to check out all the lovely Robin Hood festivities and whatnot. Because people running around in forests and bows and arrows and awesome villains equals yes. :) 



What was your first exposure to Robin Hood?

The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green. 

Love. that. book. 

On a scale of 1 to 10, how big a fan are you?


Probably 4 or 5. I really like Roger Lancelyn Green's book and I've read several other re-tellings, but I didn't like any of them exceedingly well and I'm only a partial fan of the tv show. *hides* 

How many versions and spin-offs of the legend have you experienced?

The books The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Outlaws of Sherwood, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, Hood, and Ivanhoe, if that counts. 

I've seen part of the Disney and Errol Flynn movies, but neither in entirety(yet). I've seen a season and a half of the BBC show, aaaaand a play version.

What is your favorite version of Robin Hood (can be book, movie, TV series, anything)?


The Roger Lancelyn Green book. Always. ;) 

I doubt most people would enjoy it as much as I did, but there's something special about it since I've read it multiple times and the first time my ten-year-old self was blown away by how entertaining and epic Robin Hood is. 

Are you one of the lads? (Meaning, have you watched/are you a fan of the BBC show?)


Yes, yes I have.  And it is seriously the most gif-worthy thing I've ever seen. 




Who is your favorite Merry Man?


In the BBC show, Much, because I love underdog and earnest characters, even if they're cliche or underdeveloped. 

Do you have a favorite portrayal of Lady Marian?


Lucy Griffith's probably. 

Do you have any interest in or aptitude at archery?


I thought I was semi-good when I did it at  summer camp, but it's not something I've pursued since.  

Fact or fiction -- which do you think? 


Both? That seems like the safest answer. xD

Do you think Robin Hood has been "done to death," or are there still new twists that can be found?


Hmmm, I think Robin Hood movies/tv shows/books in traditional Robin Hood settings may have outlived their welcome(not that I would turn down seeing/reading a new one if it were good enough), but I think there's still places to explore with stories following a Robin Hood structure in the way Leverage does(which, by the way, I have not seen *hides again*). 

So short answer, sort of, but no. 

~~~

Thank you so much, Olivia for the wonderful tag!! :D 


I love this gif because Will is being all calm and focused and Allan is being...Allan.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sunshine Blogger Award

My friend Mary tagged me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Thanks Mary! The rules are straightforward: answer the questions, write eleven new questions, and tag eleven people.

1. Do you like to read an entire series at once or spread out the books over time?

Spread the books out, unless it's Lord of the Rings, but I don't really consider that a series, so yeah...spread them out. :)



2. Would you rather be stuck in the past or the future?

Ummm. UM. I don't know. I think it would be fun in some ways to live in the 90's or 80's, so past I guess. But they didn't have internet back then and without internet I would have never started this blog or met a lot of you guys or found all these cool books and movies and tv shows and clearly my life would not be as happy. xD



3. Have you ever had dream re-runs? (In other words, the same dream twice. XD)

Sort of. I play piano for my church and I've had multiple nightmares about realizing last minute I didn't practice the hymns and freaking out. Which is funny because I do not feel nervous about playing at all like I did when I fist started, but I still have nightmares for some reason? Go figure!

4. What is your favorite vacation you've ever taken?

I don't know! We visited Florida and the South last winter(not a few months ago, but the winter a year before that...) and that was fun.



5. Do you like to chew gum? If so, what is your favorite flavor?

Yes and strawberry or mint.

6. If you found the entrance to Narnia, would you tell anybody? Who would you take with you if you did?

I think I would tell some people, but maybe only family members or those I deemed "worthy" to visit the magical-ness that is Narnia. ;) I'd probably take my family and close friends, especially those that are Narnia fans.

Or who knows, I might take my whole state. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. xD

7. Waffles, pancakes, or neither?

Both, but waffles if I had to choose.



8. Do you use the Shift key or the Caps Lock key every time you capitalize something? (Odd question, but it's something I always wonder, haha.)

That's a good question. I think I use the Shift key, usually.

9. What is one smell that never fails to make you happy?

Carmel or cinnamon.

10. Have you ever been rollerskating?

Besides in my garage, nope. xD



11. You've gone into hiding and have to conceal your identity. What new alias would you adopt?

Pixie Parker sounds really cool. :)


My Questions: 
1. What was one of your favorite ages to be?
2. Favorite Star Wars movie?
3. What was the last YouTube video you watched?
4. What is the funniest movie you can think of?
5. Cake: chocolate or vanilla?
6. Favorite poem?
7. What is one of your favorite musicals?
8. What color is your bedroom painted?
9. Do you go through phases of enjoying one movie or book genre over another, or no?
10. If you could play any role in any musical on Broadway what would it be?
11. Is there a fictional character you particularly detest?

And, as usual, I'm not going to tag specific people, but please take the tag if you feel so inclined!


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Everything Else: Things To Be Happy For


sweaters

behind-the-scenes pictures like this or this or this
the military














musicals
this new Spider Man: Homecoming clip(yes yes)
pretty Pinterest pictures
that "they" had to reshoot scenes because Hayden Christensen made lightsaber sound effects during lightsaber duels without noticing
Lafayette when he raps
fancy words














the way people talk when they get excited about something
bobby pins
Angelica when she raps
trees budding
looking forward to all the cool movies this year
Starbucks Happy Hour(I'm one of those people)
Hamilton when he opens his mouth ;)
'90s Christian music
Lady Rose MacClare from Downton Abbey and how cool she is
motivated people


What would you add to the list? 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Goals For May

In case this was unclear, I'm a pretty disorganized person. I mean, I sorta keep my room(esp. the bookshelves) tidy, but in many respects I'm a mess. 0.0

So I thought a to-do list might help, especially if I posted it here for you all to see. Hopefully I get most of this done!

summer is coming! 


~Not use the internet after 9:30 p.m.

~Watch Spider-Man 3 and episodes of Merlin, Doctor Who, or Robin Hood.

~Finish writing two short stories.

~ Finish The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment and A Tale of Two Cities because I've been reading them for a long time.

~Get outside everyday, even if for only a few minutes.

~Make one of my Pinterest recipes.

~Practice violin for 21 hours.

~Make a video of some sort and post it here.

~Start working on All of Me by Jon Schmidt on the piano.

~Organize my closet.

~Read at least five books.

~Send that stack of thank-you cards on my desk.

~Post at least four times here and at least once on my Les Mis blog that I've neglected so mercilessly.

~Finish my cross-stitch projects.


Cinematic Excursions~ April

April was a good movie month. I watched more movies than I usually would in a month, so this could be a long post. Sorry. ;)

Captain America: The Winter Soldier 



This movie is gooood. I had decided that The First Avenger was my favorite, but I'm rethinking that after watching this again. I don't like Black Widow too much and sometimes the action can be over-the-top or over-frequent, but otherwise I have few complaints.


Finding Dory




I wanted to like this and there were a few good moments, but eventually it just got a little...ridiculous. I mean, the truck scene=whaat. I don't remember their being quite so many far-fetched elements in Finding Nemo, but I could be remembering incorrectly.

Then again, this is a story about talking sea creatures. I should have expected it to be ridiculous. xD


Heidi(1937)




Shirley Temple is adorable and the movie is adorable, but also untrue to the book which annoys me. The alterations were just weird. Conclusion: read the book.

North and South(2004)





This is a miniseries, so maybe it shouldn't be here? Oh well. I did like this one. A lot. Margaret was not my favorite-- she was unlike the book's character and not as good. But Mr. Thornton was fantastic. I've decided that Richard Armitage is one of my favorite actors.


And as historically unacceptable as the train scene probably is, I thought it was much more conclusive and satisfactory than the book's ending and it made me very happy. :)

Captain America: The First Avenger



Like I said, it's not my favorite Captain America movie anymore, but it's still excellent. I love pre-serum Steve Rogers almost more than Captain America. (I'm discovering I really like underdog superheroes...) And the Marvel Cinematic Universe could benefit from more morally solid heroes like Steve Rogers. 

Oh! I remembered one thing I don't like about the Captain America movies: they can't stick with a girlfriend. I'm kind of frustrated they went through the whole *Spoilers* Peggy tension only to end that and introduce Black Widow(please no) as a new maybe romantic interest and then abruptly chop that off to bring in Sharon(please yes). So while none of them are really in relationships with him(except Sharon?) we get dragged through the whole does-Captain-America-have-a-girlfriend-routine every movie. Stoppp. *End of Spoilers* 

Mission Impossible


best scene


The plot lost me at points, but overall I enjoyed it. And the characters weren't very dynamic, but I guess all the plot-twists sort of made up for that. The music is spot-on. xD

 I'm in the process of re-watching it and hopefully understanding it better.

Hidden Figures


I want those clothes.


Even as a re-watch, Hidden Figures holds up. It was beautiful, humorous, and, as my friend said, it made me "feel all the feels".

I'm fumbling to produce something I didn't like. There were arguably some feminist undertones I didn't really appreciate, but it offered a more positive, forward-looking perspective on issues like racism and sexism than I was originally expecting.

Spider-Man 2




Peter Parker is one of the best fictional characters. He struggles with real life problems(circumstantial and internal) but he's very morally grounded and kind and he's a superhero who saves lives on a daily basis.

In some respects, Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 are my favorite Marvel movies because they balance character growth with plot so well.

I just don't know what to think about MJ. ;)

Did you watch any good movies in April? Who is your favorite superhero? 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

A-Z Book Tag

Another tag! I saw this one in a few different places, and despite not being tagged, I couldn't resist snatching it. :)




Author You've Read The Most From

Thanks to the very long A Series of Unfortunate Events, Lemony Snicket.

Best Sequel Ever 

I think The Chronicles of Narnia and Wingfeather Saga sequels may trump their firsts.

Currently Reading

The Book Thief, The Hunger Games, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, A Tale of Two Cities, and Start Here.

I have a problem with multi-reading. ;)

Drink of Choice While Reading

Water, hot chocolate, tea, or anything in a Starbucks cup.



E-reader or Physical Book?

Physical book!! I have a Kindle, but I will always prefer real books.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Dated In High School

Gilbert Blythe from the Anne of Green Gables books.



Glad You Gave This Book A Chance

Emily of New Moon.

Hidden Gem Book

Enchantress from the Stars by Sylvia Engdahl.

Important Moment In Your Reading Life

Reading Lord of the Rings, like Lover of Lembas said, and discovering the Lousia May Alcott books.

Just Finished

Hood by Stephen Lawhead

Kind of Book You Won't Read

I'm open to anything that looks good except trashy romance...which never looks good, so...

Longest Book You've Read

War and Peace.

Major book hangover because of...

Hmm. I don't usually get "book hangover" in that I don't want to move on to new books(I'm always up for new books!), but I will sometimes take a long time to process everything from a good book.

So, Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper or maybe Bridge to Terebithia.

Number of Bookcases You Own

I don't really own either, but by virtue of being in my bedroom, I like to say I have two. ;)

One book you have read multiple times

I've read The Hobbit five times which I think makes it the book I've read the most.

Preferred place to read

The couch, my bungee chair, and sometimes the bed.



Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you've read

I'm feeling sentimental today, so I have two rather gushy ones.

"I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam." --Frodo, Return of the King

"And by the way, Monsieur Marius, I believe that I was a little bit in love with you." --Eponine, Les Miserables 

awwww

Reading regret

Alice in Wonderland. But I had to read it for school, so what could I do? ;)

Series you started and need to finish(all books are out in series)

The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander. I started them about two years ago and genuinely enjoyed them, but I haven't gotten to the last two books yet. Maybe this summer!

Three of your all time favorite books

Anne of Green Gables, Lord of the Rings, and Les Miserables 

Unapologetic fangirl for...

Those three and anything else by L. M. Montgomery

my face when someone mentions them ;)


Very excited for this release more than all the others

The fifth Penderwicks book.

Worst bookish habit

Maybe starting too many books at once?

X marks the spot: start at the top of your shelf and pick the 27th book

Caddie Woodlawn. Great book.

Your latest book purchase

Yay! A chance to show you my beautiful new books. :) The Outsiders is probably the most gorgeous thing on my shelf. <3




ZZZ-snatcher(last book that kept you up WAY late)

I usually don't stay up super late for books, but maybe Don't Waste Your Life.


Well! That was a long tag. 0.0 Feel free to take it!

When was the last time a book kept you up late? Have you read anything good lately? Any Penderwicks books fans? 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Tag-- I'm It!

It turns out it's been over two months since I've participated in a tag(excluding the BatB tag I wrote in March), so I'm just in the mood for new ones!


Hamlette tagged me for one, which as far as I can tell is simply called "Tag-- I'm It!"

Rules: You must be honest. You must answer all the questions. You must tag at least 4 people. 


1. What book has been on your shelf the longest? 

The first five Anne of Green Gables books and the Chronicles of Avonlea installments and a beeaautiful collection of Louisa May Alcott novels-- all passed down from my grandmother who received them in the '50s. These are also some of the first books I read of my own initiative, so they will always be special. :) 

2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you'll read next? 

I'm in the middle of several books, but the "main" one is Hood by Stephen Lawhead, for which I have mixed feelings. My last read was Winter by Marissa Meyer(more mixed feelings) and once I finish most of the books I'm currently reading I'm planning to either re-read The Outsiders or re-start The Book Thief.


The Book Thief




















3. What book did everyone like, but you hated? 

I didn't hate it per say, but Beauty by Robin McKinley sorely disappointed me. A number of friends had enjoyed it and I had even lent it to one friend before I read it telling her she would like it(and she did), but I found it to be a yawner. So many more interesting things out there. 

Then again, I had a similar experience with the other Robin McKinley novel I've tried-- The Outlaws of Sherwood-- so perhaps her writing just isn't my cup of tea. 

4. What book do you keep telling yourself you'll read, but you probably won't? 

Good question. I'd like to think I'll get to all the books I want to read before I die, but if I don't it will probably be Lady Susan by Jane Austen or another lesser-known book by one of my favorite authors. 

5. What book are you saving for retirement? 

Maybe I should save re-reading War and Peace for retirement. I would really like to read it again since I was a little disappointed the first time, but 13,000+ pages is dozens of hours I could spend otherwise. 

6. Last page: read it first or wait 'til the end? 

When I was young and foolish, I used to read last paragraphs, but now I have outgrown that custom. Such ridiculousness. ;)

7. Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside? 

Depends how long it is... 

8. Which book character would you switch places with? 

Probably one of the Pevensies. Probably Lucy because all the exciting things happen to her and she has great older brothers and I really want older brothers. 

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person?) 

Yes. Lord of the Rings reminds me of being obsessed in 6th grade and the cozy-ness and happiness that ensues every read. 

10. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way. 

Well, I am pretty proud of the aforementioned L. M. Montgomery and Louisa May Alcott books my grandmother gave me, so those. 

11. Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person? 

I'm sure I have, but besides birthday or get-well-soon gifts, nothing comes to mind. 

12. Which book has been with you the most places? 

Any of the books on my shelf(and I think there are a few) that I took from my parents' shelf that they've had for a long time. I've lived the majority of my life in the same house, so I don't have any special "this-book-has-survived-thirteen-moves" stories. 

13. Any required reading in high school that wasn't so bad later? 

I hated The Scarlet Letter when I first read it for school, but when I was later assigned to skim over it and write a paper on it, I appreciated it more. I think I would like it a lot better now. 

14. Used or brand new? 

Either. I love acquiring used books because I'm cheap, but I still highly value new, beautiful, unread books.



15. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book? 

Nope! 

16. Have you ever seen a movie you liked better than the book? 

It's always hard to definitively say a movie is better because movies and books are such different story-telling mediums, but possibly Hugo or North and South or The Giver

17. Have you ever read a book that made you hungry, cookbooks included? 

The Master Puppeteer made me hungry because it's set in Japan and every time it mentioned rice I really, really wanted to have sushi. ^.^

18. Who is the person whose book advice you'll always take? 

Hmm, I read from such a wide variety or recommendations and discoveries that there isn't really one particular person I return to for ideas...

19. Is there a book outside of your comfort zone(e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving? 

Generally I don't care for hyper popular YA dystopian books(not that I've read that many), but The Maze Runner was a pleasant exception.


I am tagging...

Rachel at A Girl's Place 
Bekah at Bekah the Bookworm
Lover of Lembas
Erudessa at The Flowering Vales 

Only participate if you're interested and thanks for reading! :)