Thursday, October 30, 2014

20 Questions or something.

I wasn't tagged in this, but a few of the wonderful bloggers I read have recently done this so I thought I would, too.

1. How tall are you? 
Officially 5'6, but actually more like 5'5.

2. Do you have a hidden talent, if so, what?
 I can put pepperoni on pizzas really fast.
But I got paid to do it for 5 years, so maybe that's cheating.

3. What's your biggest blog-related pet peeve?
Other bloggers (whose content I would like to read) using awful fonts.

4. What's your biggest non-blog related pet peeve? 
The word "y'all."
I'm not sure if this is the biggest, but it's up there.

5. What's your favorite song?
Officially: "Your Call" by Secondhand Serenade
Currently: "Georgia" by Vance Joy
Also notable: "The Gravel Road" from The Village soundtrack, "Lack of Color" by Death Cab for Cutie, "All Too Well" by Taylor Swift, and anything by Relient K and Paramore.

6. What's your favorite Etsy shop that isn't yours? 
I don't Etsy?
I did buy my husband's wedding ring from there, though.

7. What's your favorite way to spend your free time when you're alone? 
Blogging, of course. Reading. And sleeping.
Doing dishes, surprisingly.
Taking hot baths. (Like, really hot.)
And singing obnoxiously.

8. What's your favorite junk food? 
Reese's peanut butter cups.
Chocolate or cookie dough ice cream.
Recently, Kit-Kats.
Microwave popcorn

9. Do you have a pet or pets? If so, how many and what are their names?
I'm not sure if they're still considered my pets since I got married and moved away, but at my parent's house, there's the dog Romeo, and five cats. Yes, five. They started appearing out of nowhere and multiplied. Anyway, their names are Willow, Cleo, Shy, Sully (Bart), and the black kitten that they've started calling Binx.

Deacon and I tried getting a hamster two months ago but it didn't go very well.

10. What're your number one favorite nonfiction and fiction books? 
Fiction: For One More Day by Mitch Albom, but also many others that can be seen here.
Nonfiction: ? I enjoy reading The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, but I haven't finished it yet. I also like reading essays by George Orwell. But I really don't read a lot of nonfiction.

11. What's your favorite beauty product?
Um. I don't have one.
I do like smelly good stuff from Bath & Body Works. Does that count?

12. When were you last embarrassed? What happened?
I can't think of anything recently, but there was that time I got sick in public.

13. If you could only drink one beverage {besides water} for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Chocolate milk.

14.What's your favorite movie? 
Officially: MirrorMask

But actually: The Village or Little Women
The VillageLittle Women

And like 20000 others.
Take a look at my Pinterest board.

15. What were you in high school? Prom queen, jock, nerd, cheerleader, valedictorian, band geek, loner, artist, prep?
Well, I was in band, I was editor of the yearbook, I made good grades, and I didn't (and still don't) have great social skills. Those are the facts. Label me what you will.

16. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? 
or France. Paris was my favorite part of the Europe trip I took in 2011.

17. PC or Mac?
If I said Mac, Deacon might make me sleep on the couch tonight.
But I'm not a Mac person anyway. I think they're hard to use and overpriced.

 18. Last romantic gesture from a crush, date, boyfriend or spouse?  
Deacon just went to the store to buy me food. Like, not even real food--it was for chips and ice cream.

19. Favorite celebrity?
Um. I like Helena Bonham Carter a lot.

20. What blogger do you secretly want to be best friends with?
 All of the ones I read regularly, I guess. I read so much about their lives that I feel like I know them.

Bonus: I love mushrooms and I can't pronounce "sailor." That pretty much sums me up.

NaNo Adam

A few details about my NaNoWriMo 2014 novel:
  •  It's science fiction
    • I don't like science fiction. Ender's Game? Hated it.
    • So this should be interesting
    • It is nothing, NOTHING, like Ender's Game.
  • All the names for characters are taken from towns in Missouri
    • just as homage to this lovely region.
    • No, I didn't name anyone Park Hills or Farmington. 
  • It's set in a fictional universe and the people are not quite human
  • It has themes similar to last year's novel pertaining to the relationship between two groups of people
  • There are superpowers
  • It has a subtle dystopian theme
  • Inspired by: I Am Legend, The Handmaid's Tale, and Never Let Me Go, as well as Spartan, Norse, and Aztec culture
  • Mainly based on not one, not two, but three separate dreams I've had.
    • Two of which I had in the same night last year.
    • Dream one: girl in wilderness fighting zombies. 
    • Dream two: killing psycho man in front of his family by smashing his head into a wall
    • Dream three: watching my best friend dissolve into dust after being attacked by aliens
  • I am trying really hard to not make it like The Hunger Games
  • The main character has a pet leopard.
  • It is written from first person POV.
  • The main character's name is never mentioned. 
    • But in case you were wondering, her name does not begin with an R.
    • I know this breaks tradition
    • But the leopard's name is Rolla.
  • It includes murder, sailboats, a volcano, a sea monster, caves, a disappearance, delirium, and mutiny
  • And superpowers. Did I mention that?
Super excited to begin this endeavor. Playlist to come soon.

See you at 50K!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

liar, liar

My naivety got the best of me—
wore her ugly dress to the ball,
danced on the white tablecloths
and trampled the hand-picked flowers.

No—no, that's not true.
I cannot blame a piece of myself,
because I was wholly responsible
and I've deceived myself for far too long.

My thoughts are too dangerous to venture out.
My thoughts nearly destroyed
everything I've ever wanted,
with the best intentions.

There I go again.
They weren't the best intentions—
they were conceived by your abandonment.
If you ask, "What were you thinking?"

I'd have to answer,
"Not about you."
That's the truth—the ugly,
awful, and sickening truth.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Currently: Colors, Vance Joy, and Procrastination

A list of current thoughts/feelings:

  • I'm never going to get all this work done. 
  • If I somehow do manage to get all my homework done this week, I have NaNo to worry about directly afterwards.
  • On my walk to my weekly GTA meeting, I was thinking about how I've seen a lack of pretty fall colors this season, especially compared to the photos that everyone else posts. Maybe I haven't been out of the house enough. Then I thought, "Autumn happens every year. There will be plenty more opportunity." Bit then I thought, "What if this is the last time I'll ever see Autumn?" I started panicking and looking around frantically for pretty colors, but the tree I was walking by was almost void of leaves.
  • On my walk back from the meeting, I passed by the most gorgeous tree, and all was all.
  • People consistently disappoint me.
  • And I feel like I consistently disappoint people.
  • Sometimes I forget the word 'salsa' and instead say 'chip sauce.' Deacon finds this particularly funny.
  • I discovered Vance Joy while reading a blog post yesterday. His music sets the perfect mood for me lately.
  • The time of year has come when I can wear knee-high socks and it is glorious.
  • I haven't been able to do dishes since I've been buried with homework and have hence discovered that I'm somewhat of a dish-stacking artist.
Time to stop procrasting.
currently listening to: Georgia by Vance Joy

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Black Cat

So the remaining kitten of Shy's last litter is basically all grown up, and in time for Halloween. Deacon has called her "Toothless" ever since she was little, but my family has recently begun calling her Binx. I'm still waiting for someone to adopt her, so I refuse to call her anything.

She's a bit shy around strangers, and since I live in Rolla now, that means me. (It's weird to be considered a stranger in the house where you grew up, by the way.) BUT she's starting to get more friendly lately and I was able to get some nice photos of her today during my surprise visit.

She was waiting for leaves to fall so she could pounce at them, which was adorable.

I took other photos of the yard and the rest of the kitties, so expect to see them floating around soon. Fall is beginning to show its true colors (pun definitely intended) and I've been dying to photograph it. So more on this surprise visit home later.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

My Response to "A Case for Early Marriage: Why It’s a Good Idea to Get Married Young"

I recently read this blog post that I found through a link on Facebook. I was excited to read it because of the title: "A Case for Early Marriage: Why It’s a Good Idea to Get Married Young." It was also written by a Baptist pastor.

I'm 21 and married, so I was looking forward to seeing the author's biblical opinion of marrying young. And he made three points that I more or less agree with:

  1. Marriage is a Great Gift
  2. Marriage Encourages People to Grow Up
  3. Marriage Protects from Sexual Immorality
But upon finishing the article, I was rather disappointed. The author only made three points as to why marrying young shouldn't be considered taboo and he did not offer one passage of Scripture for any of it. I'm not saying that you can't make a valid point without backing it up with Scripture, but in a post that is written from the biblical perspective, it is expected that you provide support for your reasoning.

Some Scripture that could have been discussed in these points:

  • Hebrews 13:4
    Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. ESV

  • Matthew 19:4-6
    He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” ESV

  • 1 Corinthians 7:1-9
    Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

    Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.

    To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

Now, when someone creates a three-point list, it is my opinion that the last point should act as a finale, as the major concluding thought. That is why I was disappointed that this author ended his list with his point about sexual immorality. Granted, I believe that this is a true and valid concept. But in my opinion, this is a benefit of marrying early, not a main reason to marry early.

It is true that Paul writes, "Since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband." And it is true that we are sexual creatures and that it is a heavy burden to place on young people to not have sex until marriage. But which is worse: sexual immorality or entering into a marriage covenant under false pretenses? I'm not sure I have an answer for that, but I do believe that wanting to have sex should not be the main driving force behind the decision to marry.

Some other important thoughts that I think could have been discussed in this post:

  • Love can happen at any age.
    • Or, let me ask this: How old do you have to be to love and be committed to someone?
    • Let's not forget 1 Timothy 4:12:
       Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. NIV
  • We trust young people to drive a vehicle at 16. We allow them to vote and serve the country at 18. We expect them to have decided what they're doing for the rest of their lives upon high school graduation. But at the thought of them marrying before 25, we say things like they're too youngThey have so much growing up to doThey couldn't possibly have a handle on life yet
  • The bible never mentions a prime age for marriage.
    • Generally, the ages of biblical figures upon marriage is not documented, though I did find some speculations during a brief search on the internet. Moses was 40. Jacob was about 84. Mary was probably in her early teens.
    • Most commonly, women married between the ages of 13 to 16; men married during their late 20s to early 30s. This was due to the culture they were in, not necessarily because their religion dictated it.
  • Everyone is different.
    • In Paul's writing, he acknowledges that people are not the same; some are able to abstain from sexual immorality better than others. For some people, it's better not to marry. Everyone is different, so we cannot say that it is more beneficial to marry at one age over another.
    • Instead of teaching children when they should marry, we should instead teach them God's intent for marriage and encourage them to marry whenever they are ready, no matter if that’s at 20, 30, or 50.

One last thought, which concerns a user's comment to the original post:
"I wonder why unbelievers even get married as it is a God ordained thing for spiritual people."

I will respond to this comment in two parts.

Part One
Q:  Why do non-Christians celebrate Christmas? What about Halloween? Easter? Why do non-Christians thank God, swear to God, or curse God's name?

A: Religious thoughts and traditions have permeated our culture.

This isn't a good or bad thing, it's simply a reality. As Christians, we celebrate Christmas because it represents the birth of Christ. But it has also become linked to gift giving and receiving, spending time with friends and family, Santa Claus and Christmas trees, etc. Should non-Christians be allowed to celebrate Christmas if they aren't celebrating the birth of Christ? Yes, of course they should be, because it's become a cultural tradition. And who are we to tell someone that they aren't allowed to participate in a cultural festivity because they're doing it wrong?

This is why I support equal marriage. Because even though I have particular beliefs about marriage and what God intended it to be, I realize that the idea of marriage has also been adopted into the culture. For some people, the value of marriage might not be connected with their religious beliefs, but they do still value the institution of it. And, as I said before, we are in no position to tell someone that they should not be allowed to participate in something just because we disagree with them.

Part Two
Q: Why do non-Christians eat? Have sex? Seek forgiveness?

A: Non-Christians are still human.

This seems like an obvious statement, but the more I see and hear Christians treat non-Christians, the more I've realized that Christians don't always see non-Christians as human. Their thought process: Why would a non-Christian participate in something that was designed by God? Well, God designed hunger, sex, etc. A non-Christian still experiences these things because God designed them, too. You heard me right, ladies and gentlemen. This is not a test. Sinners, non-believers, people of different races, people of different sexual orientation, people of different religions...God created every single one of them.

This should not be a revolutionary idea, but I see it missed time and time again. We are not of a higher pedigree because of our Christianity. And we are not immune to temptation or sin. We should not look down on anyone, ever. And above all, we should treat everyone, everyone, with love and respect.

I married at 21, but I’m not an advocate for marrying early. I’m an advocate for marrying when the time is right. For us, the time was right. Age should not be a barrier, but we should not push young people to marry before they are ready to do so. Yes, there are benefits for marrying early, benefits that go well beyond forcing someone to grow up or not having to battle your sex drive, but there are also benefits on waiting until you’re a bit older. At the end of the day, no one else can tell you when to marry. It’s a decision that has to be made between you, your future spouse, and God.

I’m sure if I had more time, I could write this a bit clearer, but I think you get the point. I’d love to hear any thoughts or comments that you might have.

currently listening to: I See Fire by Ed Sheeran

NaNoWriMo 2014 // First Excerpt

I've been trying to get my plot outlined, since is a little over a week away. Yesterday, I kept thinking about how the story would begin. And this excerpt kept repeating over and over in my head on my walk between my car and my classes:

I killed him first.
Six months and that’s the thought that I keep going back to. It’s what shakes me awake in the morning. Before the invasion, before the genocide, before anyone knew about the infection, I killed him.
I lie still, trying not to think about it, but I can feel it on my hands. I remember exactly how soft his hair was in my palms. I know exactly the sound his skull made as it cracked against the wall. I can rub my hands against my thighs until they become red and raw, but the memory will never go away. I’ll always be the one that killed him first.

currently listening to: Dear Maria, Count Me In by All Time Low

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Reading List // 2015

I've been in a reading rut lately. The past two years I've set goals to read 40 books over the year. I've gotten close both times (right now, I'm at 38.) But I've struggled to pick up a book lately. That's why for next year, I've decided to cut my goal down to just 15 books. And I decided that these books should be books that I've been wanting to read, but have put off. I've only listed 13 titles because I wanted to have a little bit of freedom/flexibility.

  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  • The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker 
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  • The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
  • Paper Towns by John Green
  • Firestarter by Stephen King
  • [An Abundance of Katherines by John Green]
  • [Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte]
  • [We Were Liars by E. Lockhart]
Other books I ended up reading that were not on the original list:
  • Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Promise by Gene Luen Yang
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Search by Gene Luen Yang
I know it seems a bit early to be making this list, but with NaNoWriMo coming up and the semester getting busier and busier, I'm anticipating very little time to think about reading between now and January. So I wanted to outline my goals now.

Feel free to leave any suggestions of titles that I might find interesting. I'd love to hear your thoughts. =)
currently listening to: [One of Those] Crazy Girls by Paramore

Monday, October 20, 2014

American Sniper has the best trailer ever.

I love trailers. I would even say that it's often my favorite part of going to see a movie. I can spend forever on Youtube just watching trailers of upcoming movies. I've thought about what it would be to create trailers as a career.

You get the point.

So Deacon and I went to see Gone Girl (as well as Dracula Untold) this weekend. The movie was stunning. But before that began, this trailer played. And I completely forgot what movie I was there to see for a minute afterwards.

I like movies, but I'm generally not interested in anything about wars or combat. That said, I thought that this was one of the best trailers that I've ever seen. The images of the main character's family is perfectly interwoven with the situation he's in. The increasing background music provides the perfect suspense. Bradley Cooper's expression at the end is heartbreaking and perfectly captures every single emotion he is feeling at that moment.

And suddenly, this isn't just a war movie--it's a movie about decisions, and the terrible situations that someone can find themselves in.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I've spent the last few hours making a calendar for NaNoWriMo.

Because I've reached a new level of nerdyness. Nerdiness?

It's far from perfect and I'm not sure how to make it a fancy-pants downloadable file (update: downloadable file is in a link below), but here it is:

P.S. Does anyone have thoughts on Taylor Swift's new song, "Out of the Woods"?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Recent Things

I've had a case of the feels recently. For some reason, posts keep coming up that really get me. And, like always, I've decided to compile them in a nice, comfortable post.

So, beware of feels. This is your warning.
  • This post.
    It began with me trying to find Plath quotes. And I really like Buzzfeed. (Sidenote: currently my antivirus says there's a threat every time I'm on Buzzfeed. Does anyone know why?) So I searched her name on the site. This is the first article that came up. I read a few paragraphs, skimmed over the rest, and realized how long the thing was. I was about to close out of the window without another thought until I saw the comments. They were all so incredibly positive. So I read it.
    It is beautifully written, but so heartbreaking. I wouldn't call it a "good" story, but it's one that I can somewhat distantly relate to, and one that I think would be good for everyone to read, even if you're not a Sylvia Plath fan.
  • This cat.

    This is Scarlett and her kittens. Scarlett was a stray kitty, probably around nine months old, when the building she was living in caught fire. She walked back and forth through the flames five times in order to save all her kittens. She was severely burned in the process: her coat was singed, her ears burned, most of her facial hair burned away. Since she could not see her kittens, it was reported that she touched her nose to each of them to make sure they were safe before she fell unconscious. The kittens were adopted in pairs of two. (The white kitten died a month after the fire from a virus.) Scarlett recovered from her wounds, but required ongoing care for the rest of her life. The fire took place in March 1996 and Scarlett died in October 2008. The North Shore Animal League has since created an award in her honor.
  • This post.
    I found this post on Facebook a month or so ago, and I cannot explain how amazing it is. These photos document the 21st century thus far. Each one tells a different story. Some of them are horrifying. Some of them make your heart sing. They all inspire me.
  • Dear Kitten videos

    That last post can get a little heavy, so watch this to cheer you up. It's adorable.

Some unrelated notes:
currently listening to: The Days by Avicii

Friday, October 10, 2014

Top 35 Greatest Disney Moments

The following list contains my favorite moments from animated Disney movies. (please note that there are a few out there I have not seen, such as The Princess and the Frog.) I may have missed something, so please be free to leave your thoughts and comments. And know that this post is ranking moments, not songs, although several songs are included.

(the list does not include Pixar, because Pixar is full of feels. A separate blog post, perhaps?)

·        35)  Snow White kiss

·         34) Kala finds Tarzan

This isn’t the entire clip, but I chose it because my favorite part is when Kala growls at the end.

·         33) Cinderella transformation

·         32) Bella Notte

·       31)  Belle takes her father’s place

·       30)   I can go the distance

·        29)  Lucky survives

·         28) A Whole New World

·       27)  Beauty and the Beast ballroom dance

·       26)  The Lion King opening

·         25) Peter rescues Wendy

·       24)   Bonjour reprise

·        23)  Prince Eric goes to help Ariel
"I lost her once, I'm not going to lose her again!" | via Tumblr

·         22) Genie’s freedom

·         21) Rapunzel leaves her tower

·         20) Mulan retrieves the arrow

·         19) Hercules saves Meg

·         18) Simba roar

·        17)  Hawaiian Rollercoaster Ride

·         16) One of Us

·        15) Flynn confronts Stabbington brothers

·         14) the end of “Do you wanna build a snowman?”

·         13) That’s Phil’s boy

·        12)  Esmerelda cuts Quasimodo free

·         11) Let It Go

·         10) Wart à King Arthur

·        9)  Part of your world reprise wave

·         8) China bows to Mulan

·        7)  Paper Lanterns

·         6) John Smith meets Pocahontas

·         5) Copper saves Todd

·         4) Mufasa’s death

·         3) Pocahontas waves goodbye

·         2) Mulan’s decision

·         1) Pocahontas saves John Smith

·         Honorable Mention: The Paperman short

Monday, October 6, 2014

NaNoWriMo Prep Season

to some, known as a month full of fall, pumpkin-spice flavored things, and Halloween.
to others, known as the only thing between a Wrimo and time of NaNo frenzy.

Last year, it wasn't until days before November began that I decided to participate. The year before, I didn't decide to participate until Halloween day.

So it's okay to not spend a month or more preparing for NaNoWriMo. Really. You don't have to have much to go on, and in fact, it may even be more exciting if you develop your plot as you go. That's what I had to do last year. All I had to go on was an idea, a short backstory, and a few major points. I didn't even know about one of the main characters until the day he showed up in the story. And somehow, with so little preparation going in, I arrived at 50K at the end of the month.

This year, I've already decided I am going to participate. And I've already been trying to develop my story. Not so much the plot, but scenes and characters. This story will rely a lot on memory and it won't be told in a linear way, so I'm trying to sort out scenes now and lace them all together as I go.

I've already got a good playlist going and am taking song recommendations.

Today, I created the first cover, which I realize isn't very good but I wasn't expecting it to be. I'm still not sure what the title is going to be, but "Eminence" will be the working title for now. I also was unable to use my own photo for this one, so I borrowed this one of the leopard off the Internet.

I'm not giving out any plot details yet, though, because it's still super early and everything is subject to change.

And if you haven't heard about NaNoWriMo before or have any questions, let me know! I know it's a scary step from wanting to participate to actually deciding to participate, but it's really worth it.

currently listening to: Somebody That I Used To Know (cover) by Pentatonix

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Happy October.

Today has been filled with: 

Gilmore Girls
apple juice
ice cream
warm baths

and above all

Happy October, everyone.