Sunday, December 31, 2017

nice things that happened this year



~I started my third(and maybe final??) year of high school

~I dragged any obliging friends and family to four opening movie nights(which was exciting for me since I never used to do that)

~I also saw Singin' in the Rain on the big screen for my birthday and it was awesome

photo creds to my brother

~I went tubing out of state twice-- once in water that could be construed as comfortable and once in water that couldn't be considered warm by any stretch of the imagination

~I started two new blogs, M. M. Johnson aaaand my film blog, Moving Pictures

~I probably set some sort of record for number of culinary calamities

~my family visited Yellowstone and it was beautiful


~I got a Twitter account and don't know how I feel about it yet

~I got my first (non self-employed) first job working in the school district-- first in accounting and now the library

~I made deeper friendships with a number of great people

~I listened to vinyls on my record player and felt very retro


~I started informally studying film and learned a lot about storytelling in general

~I got to pre-read two books shortly before they were released-- This Changes Everything and Cloaked

~I listened to tonnns of podcasts 

~I continued reading the Old Testament, through Ezekiel. I also read(/have started) a few theology books that have been pretty influential 

I'm thankful for the experiences of 2017 and look forward to what lies after the bend in the road of 2018

What are some of your highlights of 2017?

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Four Best Books I Read in 2017

First of all, a very, merry Christmas to you! And happy winter solstice, since that was yesterday.



A lot happened in 2017. A lot in my reading life, that is. A lot in real life too. Here are my top five favorite books I read for the first time this year(in no particular order)...

The Secret Thoughts of An Unlikely Convert 




To quote my Goodreads review,

This is incredible. Rosaria Butterfield tells her conversion 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. 

The Secret Thoughts challenged me in so many ways and there isn't anyone over the age of fifteen who couldn't benefit from it.

Catching Fire




Okay, so clearly The Hunger Games trilogy isn't some big literary masterpiece, but I kind of really liked Catching Fire. As I wrote on Goodreads,

This is so much better than The Hunger Games. The writing is more readable, the characters are more likable and the love triangle-- though still sappy-- is much more engaging and relevant to the rest of the plot. 

I understand that Catching Fire is almost a rehashed version of its predecessor and that Peeta is still way too physically incompetent and Katniss is still rather emotionally incompetent. And I understand the pacing is weird. I even understand this isn't really a literary masterpiece. However it is so engrossing and genius that I loved it. 

This Changes Everything




I had the awesome opportunity to advance read this for free(although I ended up buying a physical copy too!). This is the best Christian-living book(or resource) directed at teens that I've read-- it isn't patronizing but challenging and has become pretty influential in my own life.

This Changes Everything offers nothing original or necessarily mind-blowing besides the simple gospel and its power to transform daily life.

The Schwa Was Here




I read this on a whim thanks to my friend's recommendation and it was probably the most touching and engrossing piece of fiction I tried this year. I don't even know how to describe it except that it's about a middle schooler but if feels more mature than MG and it's really genuine but bizarre and you'll just have to check it out for yourself.

~~~

And just for kicks, here are my favorite re-reads of the year:

Emily of New Moon 

Because L. M. Montgomery was genius.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 

Possibly the best Harry Potter book? Also just really good in, like, every way.



What were your favorite books you read this year? Have you read any of these? And does anyone want to discuss The Last Jedi with me?

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Last Jedi: First Impressions[Spoiler Free]

I had the pleasure to see The Last Jedi tonight! Despite my dad and I walking in half an hour early, we only found two seats together in the next-to-front row, so the experience was quite up close and personal.

I came very close to tearing up during the opening crawl. This is one of a couple franchises I could say I grew up with and I guess it's a bit nostalgic.



Anyways, I'm pretty happy with what Rian Johnson has done! Here are a couple thoughts--

1. The plot felt a little cluttered, but moved along nicely.

2. A handful of jokes broke up otherwise-climatic moments and I could have gone without about half of them.

3. Speaking of which, I think this and The Force Awakens have a different, less subtle sense of humor than the originals did. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does stand out as a little incongruous.


4. It was aesthetically stunning.

5.  Rian Johnson introduces some news creatures and ideas to the universe that I really liked.



6. This was likely the most character-driven Star Wars installment, excepting maybe Revenge of the Sith.

In conclusion, I definitely recommend The Last Jedi! It did fall short of what I'd hoped in a few ways, but overall I think this is one of the better films to come out of the Star Wars universe and one I look forward to sharing with my kids someday.


If you've seen The Last Jedi, what did you think? How would it rank with the other episodes? 


Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Last Jedi Hype

Merry Christmas! Or, happy The Last Jedi release day-- which is kind of the same thing. I bought tickets almost two months ago and I am so excited!

(if you're confused-- technically tomorrow is the release date, but my theater is showing it tonight)



The summer after The Force Awakens was released, I wrote this blog post about some of the nagging questions I had for the future of the franchise. Will they kill off any leading characters? Will Finn and Rey become a couple like we've dreamed and hoped? Who are Rey's parents??? 

Anyways, I'm rather stoked to find that all out tonight and maybe I'll even write a spoiler-free, first impressions post when I get back. We'll see!




Have a happy December, everyone!

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?