Saturday, January 31, 2015

January 2015 in Review

Me: 2015 is going to be awesome because odd numbers are better than even!

So 2015 has been good, but hard so far. I actually don't see it getting easier until the summer, but hey, I need hardness in my life. Anyway, I've decided to change from Awkward and Awesome to a sort of monthly wrap-up, including my favorite journal entries. By journal entries I mean two sentences that I randomly scribbled down. Cos that's how I journal. (In my new Han Solo Moleskine :D ) Anyway, here are some of my favorites/things that happened this month!

"I'm really enjoying North and South.""North and South ending makes me smile :D" I really, really enjoyed North and South! Also, cravats make you look like a clergyman, and lots of Korean pictures come up when you get too specific in your search for screencaps....

"I need to go to CES!!!" Yes people, I am sorta a closet tech nerd!

"I think I'm going to adopt an Andy Griffith saying as my life's motto: "There is time to do everything you want, except sleep"" Cuz seriously, I want to do so many things!!

"My sister read the whole first chapter of Pride and Prejudice out loud!" My sister and I started watching Pride and Prejudice 95 together. We're really enjoying it!

"Dear Mr. Clenham, Stop wearing your hat crooked..." I got bit hard by the period drama bug. Currently, I'm half an hour away from finishing Little Dorrit, and I'm starting the book tomorrow!

"I got 8 college emails today" Yup, and one day this week I got 4 letters in the mail.

"Got my first spam comment" I actually got two!
The small one! Via Hamlette :D
"Got the cutest Sherlock Holmes book from Hamlette" Yessss! It's soooo cute! And bright green! And I need all the other ones! Thanks Hamlette!

Other things that happened:
A very fun watch-along of My Fair Lady
A trip to Taco Bell with a visiting pastor's family that included the best bean and frito burrito, and multiple spill of Baja Blast! (Not me!!!)
Read a lot of books! 2144 pages so far :D
#SheReadsTruth has encouraging devotions! Highly recommend!
I rewatched the Five Pennies, and my family currently has every song stuck in our heads.

Things I'm looking forward to in February:
College gymnastics meet tonight! I get to watch Elizabeth Price vault IN PERSON!!!
College gymnastics meet in a few weeks! I get to see two former Olympians!
Southwest Gospel Music Convention! Hopefully I can go!
President's Day (Yes, currently, I'm that person!)
Reading my first Jeeves and Wooster

What's going on in your life? Do any of you like Southern Gospel? How many pages have you read this month?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Captain's Courageous or Captains Courageous

My Walmart cover that does not look inviting..
Really, how is this title phrased? Because neither way makes sense. But I guess it's like Spanish, when your adjective comes after your noun? So Courageous Captains? (My sister keeps calling it Kid Courageous)

I was inspired to read this book from a blogger who said that it taught her more about Do Hard Things than the Harris twins. I recently read Do Hard Things, and I'm inclined to agree. Do Hard Things is an awesome book, and I highly recommend it, but somehow a whole story about a guy who has to learn this is easier to relate to, sorta?

I picked up this book, when I was supposed to be reading something else, just to see what the first few pages were like, and I finished the whole first chapter!

Here's my very short synopsis: Harvey falls off a cruise and is picked up by a fishing boat, where he learns to do hard things!

Harvey and Dan are currently my favorite literary best friend relationship (with Jo and Laurie a close second!). They were awesome together, and I kinda pretend they're real. Sorta. Do you ever get that weird ache when you really want to be friends with someone? Yeah, well I get that thinking about these two. I think they would be really good friends!

This book also encourages you to "do hard things" in your education. Everybody knows you're supposed to work hard, but there's always that feeling that you could be doing so much more if you weren't loaded with school. Mr. Cheyne addresses this by sharing that he could be a much greater man if he had gotten an education. It's kinda a reminder that school is what I'm supposed to be doing right now, no matter how much I want to do other stuff.
A Cool Cover

I love Harvey's transformation from a stuck-up boy, to basically a man. I want to see that transformation in myself (to a woman obviously :D ) I need to push myself to do stuff (like write huge essays for scholarships I probably won't win :/)

Disko was awesome. However, with half of the people calling him Disko and the other half calling him Troop, I had look up and see if they were the same person. They are!

In conclusion, I have no idea why this book is named Captains Courageous, but I love it just the same. It's definitely a new favorite book! I keep thinking about the lessons I've learned from it and how I can apply them! Also, has no one read this book? Because there are only four quotes from it on Goodreads, one of which is not in English... Anyway, you should really read this book!

Small postscript: Other people who are reading this tell me that the accents throw them off. Personally, I didn't notice them after the first chapter, but it might be an issue for you.

Have any of you read Do Hard Things? What did you think of it? How do you encourage yourself to do hard things in your own life?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Today I'm Playing....

Well, I was going to write a blog post on all the songs I play constantly on the piano, but they rotate. I have decided to do a periodic blog feature on my favorite piano songs that I'm playing/working on right now! I need to finish that blog post on my piano "story", but in brief, I've been playing the piano for around 11 years. I love to play by ear. Jazz, blues, and southern gospel are my favorite styles to play. And I don't play that many classical pieces. #SorryNotSorry

It's Only a Paper Moon: This song uses my favorite chord progression that works in practically every oldies song! 1-6m-2m-5! It's awesome! You can speed it up or slow it down and get real jazzy. It's kinda my comfort song right now.

When We All Get to Heaven: I'm trying to arrange one offertory a month in 2015. January's was Take Time to Be Holy. February's is When We All Get to Heaven. It goes from jazzy, to old church style, to fast southern gospel (based off the styles in this video)! Guess what my basic chord progression is? Yup, 1-6m-2m-5!

Count Your Many Blessings: This is a song for a Fine Arts Competition. It's kinda hard, but I can feel I'm making progress. It was actually arranged by my piano teacher!

Do you play any instruments? What are you playing right now? Also, are any of you participating in National Readathon Day?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates, or the Book I Can't Remember How Many Times I've Read

Have fun figuring out whose leg is whose!
I read this book for Lois's Birthday Challenge.

I don't really know how many times I've read this book, nor do I remember the first time I read it. I think this was my fourth time reading it, but it could have been my third?

This book belonged to my mom (Jenny Rosser is written in crayon on the detached cover {strange cuz my mom hates being called Jenny?}). This is one of those books that when you go back to it it's like an old friend that reminisces with you. This book gave me so many ideas, dreams and mental images!! The main dreams being to go to Holland and learn Dutch!

Basically the story is about Hans and Gretel's (Isn't that a fairy tale?) struggles because their dad is basically insane because of an accident. Throw in a skating race, a watch, a treasure hunt, and a "frolic" to the Hague, and there you go!

This book takes a looong detour from the story to travel with a group of secondary characters through Holland. This is actually one of my favorite parts of the book because of all the tidbits it gives into the history and geography of Holland! Also, the whole of Chapter 2 is committed to random geography and history snippets. I liked this, but if you don't like detours, you might want to skip it.

The main story progresses rather rapidly, especially nearing the end. However, once you get to the skating race, possibly the point of the whole book, the pace slows waaaaay down, or maybe it was me getting irritated for not remembering who won the race?

Hans is a great main character, strong, noble, brave, etc. He is almost too perfect! However at times, somehow he seems human again! The title of favorite female character goes to Gretel Annie Bouman! She brings sunshine to every place she goes! (There's nothing wrong with Gretel, but she's kinda boring?) I also like Jacob Poot and Penchamin Dopps (Benjamin Dobbs), his English cousin who helps explain Holland through a foreigner's eyes. Voostenwalbert Schimmelpennick is another favorite because of the name :D Mrs. Brinker is just annoying though..

Another thing that annoys me about this book is the end! I actually love the conclusion, but could you at least introduce the character Gretel marries!!!

But anyway, this is a great book! If you read it for the first time now, you might not think so, but if you enjoyed it as a child, you'll enjoy it again!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Fiddle-Dee-Dee (Or Why I Have a Sudden Urge to Use that Phrase All The Time)

Because the scope of this scene amazed me!!
Wow! Going into this I wasn't sure what to think. I had started the book, but because I got bogged down in life and stuff, I put it aside. A few years ago, when I told a teacher what I was reading, she said that after seeing the movie she read the whole book in a week!!! I was like "Woah!!!" And I suddenly wanted to watch the movie!! I was a little daunted by the whole 4 hours thing because I have issues sitting down and doing nothing, but I finished it in 2 days!!! (It was split into 2, 2 hour disks) I guess that's what Christmas break does to you!

I'm actually crocheting a purse that kinda looks like this dress!
I was a little disappointed when this movie started. I had heard everybody rave about the opening music, but to me, it was lackluster. BUT I just listened to it, and oh my stars! What was I thinking!! It's epic, just like this movie! (My opinions change, a lot!)

Because who wouldn't want to be named India!
Reminds me of Asia in Little Men.
However, this movie was not flat and dull! It kept me interested the whole time!! Even though it was sad, most of the movie was so vibrant, so full of life!!

I'm not going to pass too much judgment on the story or characters because I haven't yet read the book! (I did start it again though!) So here we go!

Because this was the only outfit I liked that I could find a picture of!!!
Melanie Wilkes was my favorite character! She was so unlike Scarlett, yet she seemed to have a strength inside her that allowed her to remain calm in stressful situations. She was also kind even to people who were unloveable. Enter Belle Watling. I think I would like to be a mixture of Scarlett's determination and Melanie's character. However, even though Melanie saw the good in everybody, sometimes it's necessary to see the bad in order stop yourself from getting hurt.

Scarlett was, well, what everyone knows Scarlett to be. Conniving, manipulative, selfish, strong, and determined. Vivien Leigh did an excellent job! (And she was British, a fact that I don't know how to take...)
I actually found this from Emma's blog on Google images!
And he's wearing a cravat!!
Clark Gable was wonderful as Rhett!! You never know whether to like him or hate him, but somehow you end up liking him even though he hasn't really done anything to make you like him... And that smirk though...

"My dear, would you care to dance"
He doesn't say that, but he looks like he's about to :)
Ashley Wilkes was okay, I guess. He didn't have any determination or moral character it seemed! He should have known to watch out for Scarlett and to avoid her!! He should have stood up to her!! Arghhhh! (I said I wasn't going to judge characters, I know...)

Miz Scarlett, you get back here right now!
Now on to secondary characters! Mammy was my second favorite character out of them all! She was awesome!! She was soooo funny! I'm having fun imitating her voice while I read the book!

Pink doesn't go with red hair!! - things I learned from Anne Shirley
Belle Watling was an interesting character. She was a bad person, but she showed an important lesson: When you're kind to someone who is unlovable, they begin to change.

She looks cute in this picture. But that's how they always look at first!
Bonny was cute, and not cute because she was spoiled and disobedient. Disobedient kids are not cute!

My sister: "Ew! He is hideous!"
He kinda looks like Willy Wonka?
Charles and Frank Kennedy were both dweebs. Charles was just ugh!!! Mr. Kennedy showed that he would never have been a good husband to Suellen/Careen because he so quickly took to Scarlett!

Oh my hands! My hands! I will never get married because I can't wear gloves!
Out of Suellen and Careen, I like Carreen better. She seemed to be really trying to help Scarlett with the farm.
"I says it's quittin' time!"
Tara's slaves seemed to be treated well. They were loyal to Scarlett and helped her. Prissy was annoying, very annoying. However, she plays a great Southern gospel pianist in the Disney movie Polly! Which I highly, highly recommend!

Mr. O'Hara looks like a very tall dwarf/elf thing!
Mr. and Mrs. O'Hara! Their endings were some of the saddest parts of the movie! Why! Why!

My favorite picture of this scene even though its blurry!
Now on to favorite scenes! I think my favorite scene was the bazaar when Rhett asks Scarlett to dance! I don't know, but I like how she broke the social stigma to do what she wanted to do. After all, it's better than being a hypocrite, I guess!

My other favorite scene was when the men came home from the raid "drunk"! I was thinking they weren't drunk, but as the scene went on, I wasn't so sure!! Then the end of that scene, both sad and funny somehow!

She also kinda creeped me out in this scene!
Another scene I liked was the one of Scarlett farming at Tara. Having recently read Do Hard Things, it was cool to see Scarlett working hard for once in her life!

Also the scene when Scarlett flirts with Mr. Kennedy is hilarious!!! Mammy's face is priceless!!

The ending of this movie is very depressing! I think I knew in the back of my head that it ended like that, but I totally forgot!! I was expecting it to go on!! I guess that's a sign of how good the movie was!

The main reason I like this movie was it's vivacity and liveliness! It seemed liked everything was fully done and in bright colors! The costumes were gorgeous, the acting was superb, and the story seemed well done! I've started the book, and the writing has the same life as the movie! It's going to be good!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Birthday's Afoot!

Lame title, sorry. But that's my specialty :D Anywhoo, today is supposedly Sherlock Holmes's birthday, or so I'm told. In honor of the momentous occasion, a party has been prepared at The Edge of the Precipice, complete with a tag and presents!!! So go check it out!!! Here's my answers to The Good Old Index of Questions!

The Good Old Index of Questions

1.  When and how did you first encounter Sherlock Holmes?
Okay, I didn't remember until I read another blogger's post. She mentioned that she had him in her reading books! And I was like, oh yeah!! I had one Sherlock Holmes story every year for four or five years!! The one that really stuck with me was the one about the snake that comes down the pole, AKA The Adventure of the Speckled Band. Good ol' Abeka! Then when I was in eighth grade, my friend bought a huge volume of all the Sherlock Holmes stories. Ashley, of course had to have that. So I do. 

2.  Please share a fact or two about yourself related to Holmes.  (You've read the whole canon, you've been to Baker Street, you're an official BSI member, etc.)
Ummmm, no, no, and no. So let's see. A friend of mine was in a Sherlock Holmes play! It was amazing! Moriarty was awesomely creepy, there were newsies, and a sniper. So yeah, it was epic!

3.  What are three of your favorite Holmes adventures?
Ummm, let me see. The Red-Headed League because it's unforgettable! The Adventure of the Speckled Band, also unforgettable. The Adventure of the Three Students, because I love how Holmes works in that one!

4.  What draws you to the Sherlock Holmes stories?
Well, Holmes himself and his deductions. Sometimes I just flip through the stories reading only the deduction parts!

5.  If you were going to give Sherlock Holmes a birthday present, what would it be?
Well, I've already heard tickets to a violin concert, but that's probably what he would most want!

6.  If you could climb into a Holmes story and replace any one character for a day, who would you like to be?
Watson because basically you are Watson when you read the story and he gets to watch a lot of cool stuff!

7.  Please share some of your favorite Holmes-related quotes!

Ummmm, sad to say I know one off the top of my head: 

“As a rule, the more bizarre a thing is the less mysterious it proves to be. It is your commonplace, featureless crimes which are really puzzling, just as a commonplace face is the most difficult to identify.” 

Another one I heard today: 
"Crime is common, logic is rare."

This is my life....

So Happy Birthday Mr. Holmes!! And may you have many more!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happppy 2015!!!!

This is a cool New Year's Tag that's been "floating" around! (Lame intro, I know...) And I think this post will use all the GIFs on my cluttered desktop :) You have been warned!

What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
Started a blog and done all the bloggy things that come with it! :D
Won MXP in a basketball league
Won second place in sacred piano solo at a Fine Arts Competition (yes, I'm very proud of that)
Went to Atlanta (well technically I've done this before, but I was really little so I don't remember it)
Go to Dollywood at Christmas (see above)
Had a water slide at school!
Watched Studio C!!! Kill the whales!!! (You're welcome :)

Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make one this year?
My New Year's book resolution was to read 50 books.... That didn't happen, but it will next year!

Did anyone close to you give birth?

Two ladies in our church had girls!

Did anyone close to you die?
No, thankfully!

What countries/states did you visit?
I went to California, Colorado, Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky! I passed through New Mexico too. (I also flew over a lot of other states, but I don't think that counts)

What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
More patience and faith. A better attitude. A FIVE MINUTE MILE! ahem, excuse me.
Oh I am wishing!!!

What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory?

May 23, the day I started this blog!

Did you move anywhere?

No!!! (Moving is stressful...)

What was the best month?
Probably June. I got to go to Knott's Berry Farm, the beach, and camp. And it was summer!! December was good too because I got to visit family and go to Dollywood. And break!

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

My MXP of my basketball team :D Also my fastest 5K.

What was your biggest failure?

Losing my temper and having a bad attitude and a bad grade on a Chemistry test...

Did you suffer illness or injury?

I was out of school for two weeks with strep throat and pneumonia. And I was sore a lot (nothing new there!) I skinned my knees and got another cold too!

What was the best thing you bought?

I bought? Probably the old Disney movie collection or my Happiest Millionaire soundtrack. (I don't buy a lot of stuff)

Whose behavior merited celebration?
My friends because they got saved!

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Certain junior high classmates...

Where did most of your money go?
Walmart, Barnes and Nobles, and Amazon music

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Knott's Berry Farm, Youth Conference, Peter Pan LIVE!!

What was the best concert you’ve been to this year?

I don't think I went to a concert. UNLESS, you count the shows at Dollywood, so yeah, Christmas in the Smokies or the Kingdom Heirs concert.

What song/album will always remind you of 2014?
Fortuosity, Pentatonix That's Christmas to Me, my arrangement of This Little Light of Mine, and the Sherman Brother's Album.

Compared to this time last year, are you:
1. happier or sadder?  Happier!
2. thinner or fatter?  Probably thinner!
3. richer or poorer?  Richer! 

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Read, run, pray,  SLEEP

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Waste time ahem...

What was your greatest musical discovery?

Happiest Millionaire and The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band (Now that I think about it, that question was probably about music, but I like my answer :D)

How did you spend Christmas?

I traveled back East to visit family!!

How are you spending New Year’s?

Watching the Rose Bowl Parade and COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS!! Do you know how long I've been waiting for these!!!

Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?

Probably my mamaw or my friend. Probably about 1 hour each total... I don't like talking on the phone... Texting though, my friend, hands down :D

What was the best book you read?
A Tale of Two Cities, Vienna Prelude, Rilla of Ingleside!!

Did you fall in love in 2014?

More with God hopefully! (You all are rolling your eyes right now :D )

What was your favorite TV show?
Macgyver all the way!!! Cosby show and Dick van Dyke are a close second and third.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Hopefully not...

What did you want and get?

My own computer!

What did you want and not get?


What were your favourite films of this year?

That I saw first this year? Okay

Happiest Millionaire
Wives and Daughters
The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band
Holiday Inn
Roman Holiday (the ending... I'm not happy...)
Rio 2 (the animation tho!)
Five Pennies

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

For my sixteenth birthday in April, we opened presents and watched An American in Paris. I got my most recent high score on 2048. (Sad, I know). For my "party", we went to Knott's Berry Farm with my cousins in June!!

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?

What kept you sane?
God and the promise of sleep when I got home. (Seriously, that's how I get through some days! "You can go to sleep and be done with this day in approximately 9 hours")

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Fancy? Like watch a lot of? Ummm Bing Crosby, Dick van Dyke, Bill Cosby, and Gene Kelly.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

More spiritual victories....

What political issue stirred you the most?

The Ferguson protests, the Sydney seige, the Interview release (I did not watch this, but all the hype and North Korea, and freedom of speech, and all that)

Who did you miss?

My friends and family!

Who was the best new person you met?

My new blogger buddies!!

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.

Make God your number one priority and everything else will fall in place.
Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
He came down to my level
When I couldn't get up to His
With a strong arm
He lifted me up
To show me what a'living is

Five personally significant events of 2014:
Winning the MXP
Starting a blog
Making new friends
Piano lessons

Five things I want to do in 2015:
Read 50 books
Maybe get a driver's permit
Get a job at my gym
Get some scholarships

Five people I’d like to know better in 2015:

My bloggy friends!

That doesn't have to do anything with bloggy friends,
but with the New Years Party :D

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! 2014 was great, but odd number years are always better for me, so make it awesome!!!!