Monday, January 30, 2017

It's Okay To Be Unpopular

I'm an introvert. I read lots of books. I don't have a Snapchat.

While these facts don't have to--and shouldn't have to--be relevant to my sense of popularity, it often seems they are.

As an awkward, introverted nerd it's easy to feel unpopular or unnoticed in teen groups. I can get caught up in the fear that perhaps, (horror!), I'm not popular.

The truth is, I'm really not. Consult my number of Instagram followers. Check out my number of phone contacts. I'm not exactly a celebrity. xD

I'm very blessed with several awesome people whom I can call friends, but judging by sheer numbers, I'm not that "cool".

And, according to statistics, I'm not the only one. According to statistics, many high-schoolers feel unpopular.

So why the sweat?

It's hard to accept that I'm not the "life-of-the-party" and not friends with everyone I encounter. It's so easy to get swept up in a whirl of peer expectations. Expectations to dress like everyone else, talk like everyone else, be like everyone else.

When all I really want to do is read way-outdated classics and watch The Cosby Show, I find myself draining anxiety over not being up on fashion trends or never having seen a solitary episode of The Walking Dead or Once Upon A Time.

Photo credit: <a href="http://foter.com/">Foter.com</a> /
 <a href="http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/">CC0</a>























So. Are you in the same boat?

Maybe you are and you don't really care. If so, more power to you. :)

But maybe you're like me and you still waste frustration over it. Here's what I've been thinking about lately.

Christians Aren't Necessarily Called To Impress Peers

Our highest calling is to glorify God. Fitting in is secondary.




Perhaps My "Knack" for Unpopularity Is A Blessing 

Perhaps God doesn't want me to be popular. Which of my pursuits and activities would be impaired by time spent frivolously socializing? Not at all to downplay fellowship in Christ, but if I were a more popular, party person, I would probably not have time for everything important in my life. And that would be sad indeed. ^.^


Unpopularity Helps Me Focus On What's Important 

It's good to be far enough from sparkling popularity to breathe and look around. I'm not super up on popular stuff, so I don't need to worry about maintaining my good standing in the teen eye. xD

And how many roads to grave sins are paved by the pursuit of popularity? Not to say in any way that I'm exempt from sinful temptations, but learning to not constantly strive for popularity can eliminate at least that source of temptation.

~~~

In the end, does it matter whether I can count my good friends on more than two hands?

If the Creator of the Universe and Savior of my soul constantly watches over me, why must I yearn for admiration among people?

"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” ~Deuteronomy 31:6


Can you relate? Are you tired of trying to fit in with normal people? ;) 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Further Thoughts on Rogue One

The night after I watched Rogue One I stayed up rather late composing sentences out of my impressions and formatting them into an acceptable conglomeration for my readers. It got rather lengthy and my mind was tired. So I read through it and hit the satisfying "Publish" button.



But wait...there's more!

Yeah, there were some things that I resolved to write about in the theater and then completely forgot when I got home. Classic.

So, here they are. Two further thoughts on Rogue One:

1. The Divine Characteristic of the Force

From my experience with the previous Star Wars movies, the "Force" was basically an impersonal power which could be tapped for power and called upon to aid characters. "May the force be with you." (Correct me if I'm wrong here)

But now we have a new catch phrase, "I am one with the force and the force is with me." Chirrut said it the most and eventually spread the sentiment to many of the other characters. Now the force is more of a Divine Being characters can coax and pray to.

I'm not sure what this development of the force is supposed to do. It seems a little inconsistent with the intention of the original series, but I guess we'll take it?

Well, we don't have much of a choice, but it is interesting to think about. Is this the sort of liberty that people were afraid new Star Wars franchise would take?

2. The Poor Writing of Dialogue, Particularly Jyn's

This is just my opinion, of course. So let me explain.

The first half of the movie limited her dialogue to mainly trisyllabic replies. And every time she did open her mouth it was to spit out a very cliche line.

"Seriously?"

"The time to fight is now!" (Huh. Sounds rather like something a Ranger once said in a Tolkien fantasy film.)

"There isn't much time. Every day they grow stronger." 

She rarely smiled and all-around over-dramatized her character and lines. I understand she'd had a dark childhood and the situations she was up against were hardly laughing matters, but she still bordered cheesiness in a slew of melodrama.

Again, just me. :)

I still like the movie and I'm dying to go see it again with some more of my family members. Maybe Jyn will grow on me next time.

What do you think? Did you find the dialogue a little cheesy? 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Thoughts After Seeing Rogue One(and the Preceding Trailers at the Theater)

(spoilers marked)

Well, something marvelous happened tonight. I saw Rogue One. Yuup.

Aaaand? It was pretty cool.

Let's take a minute first to talk about the trailers that showed before the movie. Because I have almost as much to say about those as the movie itself. :)



1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

I understand that the first movie(although I never saw it) likely had good acting, and funny moments, and cool effects, and all those other "good-movie" elements. It was a Marvel movie after all. This, on the other hand, just looks dumb. The poster in the theater did not impress me. The trailer did not impress me. (Okay, I guess young Groot was kind of cute, he was a baby tree), but everything else...*shakes head*

2. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Hmmm. First of all, isn't it interesting how Disney has digressed from family-oriented cartoons, to PG-13 pirate flicks?

Anyways, there's some interesting things in this trailer. First of all, it starts with a shot of lone ships; no people or talking. So right away all of the PotC fans start wriggling and thinking, It's the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie! and all the people who aren't so familiar with PotC(*raises hand*) are left to figure it out. It gets more and more obvious(and we see Brendon Thwaites), but nothing really refers to the original movie until Jack Sparrow is mentioned.

I'm not sure I'll ever watch this movie, especially as I haven't seen the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th movies, but I was impressed to see Brendon Thwaites, who was good in The Giver and briefly in Maleficient. So it was a good trailer I guess.

3. Carrs 3

Loved this trailer. It didn't even tell me the name of the movie, but I loved the trailer. End of story. :)

~~~

Also, I could probably talk for awhile about the Rogue One trailer, but thankfully for you, most of the things I would say are summed up nicely in this video by Josh Taylor from Blimey Cow, which I highly recommend you watch.

Now, to the movie:


(p.s. I can't promise this will all make sense to you if you haven't seen it yet, but hopefully some of it will ^.^)

What I Didn't Like(Or Couldn't Decide About)

1. Okay, I'm not sure how I feel about the digitalized resurrection of *Sort of Spoilers* Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher*End of Sort of Spoilers* 

There was a somewhat...fake quality to it that I don't know what to think about. It's crazy amazing technology, though, so I'll say that.

2. The Unnecessary Intensity/Violence:  One of my favorite things about the original Star Wars trilogy, and one of the reasons I was able to get in to it at all, is that it keeps the violence fairly kid-appropriate. I can watch 95% of the trilogy with my six year-old sister without much problem. (I realize that this isn't true for everyone, of course)

Comparatively, Rogue One is pretty intense. Much of the violence lands on the storm troopers, and although it's easy to forget they're people inside(storm troopers are people too, guys ;D), it's still a bit much. In my opinion.

It wasn't so violent that I found it inappropriate or "too scary" per se, I'm just questioning the necessity of all the storm trooper-flinging. But none of it was too graphic or disturbing, so all is good. :)

3. Jyn Erso: It's not that I disliked her development or background so much as I was disappointed with the makers for making her so...masculine. One of the great things about Princess Leia is that, while handling a gun, or rescuing Han Solo from Jabba the Hut, or all the other things she did, she acts femininely. Jyn wore leather and her hair in a *ahem* sad little knot, which was all well and good, but I felt like the makers were trying to make her "cool" through masculinity. Girls can be cool and feminine, you know. :) *rant over*



What I Did Like:

1. Cassian: I suspect I wasn't the only Rogue One viewer to really like Cassian? He was great. His arguably edgy past provided a neat character arc and I shipped him and Jyn so hard. *Spoilers* Half the reason the ending saddens me, truth be told. :( *End of Spoilers* And I loooved the scene where he came sooo close to shooting Galen but didn't.

2. The Music

3. K-230: Star Wars's legend of lovable droids continues. :D

4. The Ending: It tied into A New Hope beautifully and that made me very happy. *Spoilers* That one part(the last frame of Cassian and Jyn part) of the ending did not make me happy at all. But it was a good sort of ending all the same because the characters had finished their goals and paved the way for the destruction of the Death Star. But it still is very sad. :( *End of Spoilers* 

5. The Special Effects: Approved. :)

~~~

Well, this ended up being much longer than I expected. At least now you have a fairly comprehensive run-down of my impressions. It was a good movie, a sad movie, a funny movie, and a movie I want to see again.

And since we're on the subject, let's watch the teaser trailer again, because it was awesome:



Have you seen Rogue One yet? What are your thoughts? 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

20 Books I Must Read in 2017

It's here! 2017. I've decided to not participate in the Goodreads reading challenge this year. It had started to make reading a chore rather than an enjoyable pastime, so I'm doing without in 2017. But there are some books I really must read. Some of these I've started already and some are re-reads, but they are all books I hope to turn the last pages of before 2018 begins.

~Hood by Stephen Lawhead

~North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell

~The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Buroughs

~The Scorch Trials by James Daschner

~A Voice In The Wind by Francine Rivers

*pastes random picture of cat, who, unfortunately, is not mine*


~Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling

~Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

~Emma by Jane Austen

~The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton

~The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall

~Beauty by Robin McKinley

~Winter by Marissa Meyers

~The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery

~The Book Thief by Markus Zuzkak

~Perelandra by C. S. Lewis

~The Ruins of Gorlan(Ranger's Apprentice) by John Flanagan

~A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle

~The Princess Bride by William Goldman

~Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery

~A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

Have you read any of these? What are some books you're hoping to read in the next 364 days?