Back Again, An Explanation

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I saw Jo stab the ancient 1994 modem with her usb, eyes flashing. She blew the dust off the old keyboard and started typing. I grinned. Jo was back! Doing her whole torturing of my poor sis-

ZEKE STOP MESSING AROUND ON MY BLOG.

But JOOOOOO I haven’t been on here since like, October!

And I would like to KEEP it that way Zeke!

*huffs* I’m older than you, by, like, 2 years, so you really should cut me some slack.

Shut up and go. Shoo! This isn’t your blog!

Fine, but don’t come crying to me when everyone demands my triumphant return!

Nobody will demand any return from you, and I don’t cry. Shoo. You’re bothering me.

*slinks away from laptop* *muttering* *accidentally tripped on laptop charger*

Well, now that Zeke has ceased and desisted (phew) I guess you’re left with me. And *maybe* just maybe you’re wondering, “why did you leave for almost a week Jo?” Aw, how kind. To be honest, I bet zero people have asked that. And I wouldn’t expect them too. It’s normal to leave. And that’s what I did. Not by choice, however.

This week has possibly taken the world record in hardest weeks. I’m sure it will be topped, eventually, but it was hard. And dark. And even, well, hopeless. To paraphrase Maggie from Dreaming Of Guatemala, it was so dark I almost forgot the light.

Thankfully, God didn’t forget me. And neither did the people He put around me. 🙂 I’ll explain… Sometime. If I remember to. 😛 I tend to forget, y’know, I’m a Jo of very little brain. And a middling sized heart. *thumbs up*

But again, we’re not here to talk about that. It’s with a happy (really, extremely, all the “ly” words) pair of hands that I type the words I AM GLAD TO BE BACK HERE AND WHAT DID I MISS? XD

Let’s see.. where do I pick up after I left off?

Oh. I discovered cookie and ice cream sandwiches. Behold.

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So that was a plus. A tiny and delicious reason to smile. Anyway.

Zeke was right about one thing. And that would be that I’ve been writing. Like a lot of writing. Which may probably lead to burnout with NaNo and all, but hey, I got a chapter down- and a little something that I keep hinting at, but am actually close to mentioning. 😉 I will tell you this though, it’s kinda something I’ve never done before. And I’m almost finished. >:) But yes. Anyway, here’s a snippie from Just Come Home, because I miss sharing my writing. 😛

” My phone rang suddenly on me and serving Miss Addy and a bunch of her shopkeeper friends that day,  much to Miss Addy’s consternation and her friends’ delight. “Whups,” I apologized, slamming an order down on the table. I quickly fished out the source of the Lion King opening and hastily pressed the decline button mid “naah!!” “Sorry about that,” I said awkwardly, passing the drinks down.

My phone rang again.

With an even more obnoxious “nahhhh!” ” — Just Come Home

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Hand lettering helped so much during the tough times, kinda like a coloring book, but you draw as you color. So I’ve gotten into that, and ended up with a bunch of different quotes cursive-fied and pasted onto my journal. “Thank God It’s Friday” was the one yesterday.

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And this was one for another day. It’s one of my favorites. 🙂 Remind me to stop by the dollar store and pick up markers. And maybe more cookies. XD

I keep mentioning food in these posts. Send help.

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My headphones have practically been glued to my head (with good reason) and won’t leave (with VERY good reason), and the songs I end up muttering turn out to the best kind. I’ll talk about them another time. They, along with a billion other things that you don’t really notice at first glace, were little lights that shone rather brightly in the dark. 🙂 (Also, Rend Collective came to Toronto recently and I’m rather sad I missed them. XD)

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As for reading wise, I’ve pored over the Bible, and when it wasn’t the Bible, it was Ms. Marvel: Mecca, Black Widow: Shield’s Most Wanted, and this really weird and sad book called Cat’s Eye. It’s sad. I hate Cornelia (at least I think that was her name) and also, Toronto was weird in the 90’s, apparently. Who knew? Oh, and I almost died over Love To Everyone. That book gives the feels. It’s so good, ah. XD So that’s what I’ve been up to book wise. Not that it matters, but it’s fun to talk about, so, y’know, why not? 🙂

Oh, and if you caught the Winnie The Pooh  reference, then I suppose it’s relevant to mention that my family got and watched Christopher Robin last night, and I finally, finally, finally got to comment on the whole beautiful story plot wise without anyone giving me weird looks.

winnie the pooh GIF by Walt Disney Studios

 

The comments mostly consisted of things such as “THIS PLOT IS SO WELL DONE” and “Awwwwww, look at that character development” and “the animation asfghjkhjhgdfa wowowww”- I loved Christopher Robin.

winnie the pooh GIF by Walt Disney Studios

 

Loved it.

And there, dear people reading this, is a recap of everything. For the most part.

Also to the Eugene who contacted me, thank you so much, you recognized genius of Campbell County Community College you. 🙂 Also to Penny, I died laughing at your posts.

Also, glad to be back.

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You can tell, I’m sure. 🙂

Hey, maybe I’ll actually record with the Patrie. Maybe.

*accidentally breaks a string* O_O

I’m glad to be back.

winnie the pooh GIF by Walt Disney Studios

 

life is a highway, Jo

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Seeking The Truth And Smallfoot

**If anyone throws out the Zendaya is Meechee meme. I will end you. :)**

**There are spoilers**

**sorry**

**not really**

**oh well**

Yes, I was so taken by the theme of a (good) animated film that I decided to do a blog post on it. Honestly, movies maybe not be the best kind of media, but there’s some seriously good things to get from them, just saying.

Family movie night has always been and will always be a thing in our family. Smallfoot was a recent  (*cough cough* like since January recent) watch, and I found myself commenting so much on the theme and characters and idjit humans (yes, I said that and if you watch the movie, you’ll get why) so much the first 30 minutes in my exasperated dad told me to sit down and just watch the movie. Which I did.

So glad I did. Because Smallfoot addresses something very important that people seem to forget- okay, scratch that, it address so many things that gives me some hope for animated films. And people should not forget these things. Not in the slightest. Le’ go.

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Theme 1, asking questions and being curious

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For those who haven’t seen the movie, basically yeti with very human cultures don’t believe in smallfoots (hint hint: humans) and are promptly shook when the MC, Migo, says he found one.

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Chaos ensues.

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Why? Because the stones (some weird rock thingies with pictures that are supposed to be translated into rules for living) say there are no smallfoot! *crowd gasps*

Anyway, the good citizens of yeti-land (not real name) are told time and time again not to question the stones- or question in general, because questions are bad. And Migo is fully heartedly behind that, no questions about it. Until he gets kicked out for defending what he knows is true and therefore has to ask a question which isn’t the ultimate question but which leads to the ultimate question: Questions are bad?

Meechee, the Stonekeeper’s daughter (more gasps) and her rag-tag bunch, the SES- Smallfoot Existence Society- think differently. That’s why everyone except Meechee was expelled, of course. Because they.. well. were thinking differently. And by differently, they believe that smallfoot exist and have evidence to prove it AND have actual working theories to show for their crazy (in Migo’s eyes, anyway) idea.

“All these questions that we always have/ all we are is curious/there’s nothing wrong with that” Meechee explains in song form (how original)to Migo a few minutes later. The SES soon convince Migo and later, everyone else, that asking questions is the way to knowing the truth. Which is 1. not very mentioned in stories, especially not a girl, let alone a princess, as her motive for science, and is therefore applauded by moi and 2. the next theme in this unusual mix of themes.

Theme 2, seeking the truth

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Truth is hardly ever mentioned in kids’ stories, let alone stories in general, so it was really refreshing to see it mentioned and portrayed. (Also, geek self insists on mentioning that I was studying the Age of Reason at the time, and was irritated that Smallfoot managed to compress and explain the concepts of the Enlightenment while my history teacher took like 4 hours. Which is my way of saying they taught some pretty weighty concepts)Anyway. Poor old Migo knows he saw a smallfoot, but according to the Stonekeeper, he didn’t. Why? The stones say there are no smallfoot, duh. And the stones never lie. Right? I mean, like, they’re the stones.

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It might pass by a little kid’s head, (which I am, but let’s ignore that) but Smallfoot’s message was wonderfully clear: Truth. is. important. Even if someone says it’s true, you must find out for yourself. You can’t just take it on someone’s word. Migo, our good yeti homie, has some problems with this because.. well, when you know the truth, it has consequences on everything else. Such as, what, the sun isn’t a giant snail that comes out when you ring a gong? Why do we need gong ringers then?

The truth is, the truth changes your life. And for these uninformed furries, that’s a rather drastic change. Why?

Theme 3, people are gullible and tend to believe whatever a higher trusted source says is true

yeti what GIF by Warner Bros. Deutschland

Smallfoot took a real life phenomenon in our culture and portrayed it for little kids so perfectly it’s a wonder that we “older and wiser” can’t see it for what it is: if you just get the right people an the right audience, people will believe anything you tell them. Case in point, the furries yeti. It’s shown in a humorous way (and even better, a great plot point), but it shows something that’s true: we humans tend to rush in headfirst toward opinions and things we believe are true, just because someone/thing/yeti says so. Which is terrible, because even though the yeti started asking questions, even though the truth was right in front of them, they were still persuaded by the Stonekeeper, simply because he was right. Right? Wrong. And it led to more chaos.

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Theme 4, Integrity

And here I must actually write a paragraph about the idjit humans.

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Well, just the one idjit human. This guy, who *used* to be a naturalist who was all about saving extinct animals by filming himself talking about them, but now just does it for the ratings- and money, of course. Which makes him so desperate he buys a yeti suit for the sake of one epic YT video.

Yeah, not much integrity. And his assistant leaves him because of it.

Aw, hand me a tissue, what a down-on-his-luck- charrie- not. And he knows it.

This character who shall go unnamed because I’m too lazy to actually google it grows a lot through the movie- and learns, as well as the audience, that integrity isn’t about making sure you’re on top. Sometimes you must put yourself out of the way for others. A good lesson for everyone to learn.

And thus concludes this ridiculously long post, for a movie that was as meaningful as it was ridiculous. And while I still have a bone to pick with some elements (such as the challenging of the stones, namely, that just like in the Age of Reason, people decided to question and eventually walk away from the Bible because, like the stones, it mighta just been a wonderfully concocted and too well trusted set of rules. Post for another time.) I popped the movie out of the dvd player surprisingly refreshed by the lessons Smallfoot teaches- and related to Fleem on a personal level.

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the tiny dude.

life is a highway, Jo

Grate(fullness)

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The Avengers 4 Endgame trailer. For reluctant family asking me about it because I’m the “expert.” XD For overall anticipation because that up there? That’s the endgame. Scary. For my mom refusing to believe Loki really died. For being able to find (as a writing critic, what’s new XD) the good and bad elements of these movies. For waiting in a weird sense of hope along with who knows how many other people.

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For ohana -as weird as it works in my family, it works. For mahal na mahal kita (I love you very much) and for ang gulo mo!! (Which roughly translates to, “you’re a walking blur of confusion”) For caffeine injected chocolate mini bars. Also known as the very thing needed for life.

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For the intricate development and detail going on in the Frozen 2 trailer (yes, really!), for music that has been and probably will be one of the few things that can keep me alive, for Sleeping At Last and Owl City and this list could go on forever. For the sun rising any time now while I write this. For the sun setting when I was writing the WTO post. The fact that the sun has been rising and setting for the better part of a couple centuries and hasn’t once got caught on a hook halfway. For the sounds of a city in the morning. For the morning. For coffee, who am I kidding.. and for a new day.

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For a thousand portals to a thousand different worlds in paperback form. For the ability to be lost into a book even after you’ve read the last page. For the rare and precious gift (if used wisely) of imagination. For fandoms, and the aggressive-passiveness you tend to have when discussing anything related to them. For favorite characters that are favorite because they are real and they’re broken and they’re flawed but they still come back strong anyway. For egg salad sandwiches, not that it has anything to do with this paragraph. 😛 For once good story plots *glares at Star Wars* and for forever good stories that never get old. (Come onnnn SW I still had faith in you!)

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Hot tea. Sassy mugs. A charged up MP3. The smell of rain after a rain. The smell of snow falling down. A giant blanket with a secret stash of tortilla chips and a good book hidden in it. That perfect moment when you have perfect harmony with your duet. YouTube. *coughs* A worn and dependable T-shirt.

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For friends that will throw their hands up in the air at you, but refuse to give up on you. For laughter at 7:15 PM because of a hilariously done (aka terrible) accent. For platforms that exist to connect you with people you’ve never even seen face to face. For the fact memes exist as well. For training, for living, for a thousand story ideas whirring around and around until one sounds coherent enough to work on. For Canva. And for bacon crumbles. Duh.

Have you ever heard of this really old song called, “count you every blessings, name ’em one by one?”

I didn’t even scratch the surface. And y’know, I don’t think anyone can. If they stop to think about it.

Wow, this got serious for a really late tag. 😛 But oh well. It is what it is.

Tell you what, take a look at this list and see if I missed anything. See if there’s anything you can add. Because there is so much to be grateful about. Because we’re about as full as we are grateful.

life is a highway, Jo

A Scribble Scrabble On Life: Laughed At A License Plate (And Other Mundane Things)

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Well this one time we were driving and some black sedan whizzed by and the license plate read something along the lines of GANDALF.

You won’t believe how disappointed I was. There was no pointy gray hat. SACRILEGE.

I’ve always been interested in license plates. I even had a collection of the weirdest ones. I think my favorite was FLYAKITE. Mom didn’t get the reference.

Welcome back to another post of the mundane with your not favorite mundane person. 😀

The past two posts have been unusually deep, for some strange reason.  Not sure why. My brain is funny sometimes. Anyway, I’m breaking that streak because I couldn’t post stuff like that on a regular basis if my life depended on it. 😛

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I dunno what I was doing here, but I definitely thought it was funny. XD

How are you, huh?

Ooh, looky- it’s SNOWING.  The sun was shining a few minutes ago. I wish I had my camera, but there’s no way I’m stepping out in in 10 degree weather. And that’s in Farenheit, too. It’s cold. It’s beautiful. It’s cold. I’m shivering. XD

Library stuff. The other day Dad was free from work, so the reprobates that were us kids drove to the library to “work”.

HA.

Work.

*dies* That’s kinda funny. XD As if I could actually get work done in a library. Leaving me in a place of books is like taking a two year old to a candy shop- you won’t emerge unscathed.

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I actually did get some homework done though- the nice librarian who knows me as “The girl who’s almost always asking for the obscure American titles” showed me to the encyclopedias, and I think I walked back and forth from my desk to the shelf like…. 20 times? Per hour? SCHOOL. WHY.

Came back home with…. um.. tenish books? Does one count comics? And I owe 2.80 to the library now. Oops. And my card expires in 30 days. *sobs* The injustice.

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I’m not sure whose blog I saw it on, but the book Because You’ll Never Meet Me caught my eye, and I spent an hour or so reading it. Mini review- the POVs are really great, the characterization is well done, the concepts are seriously cool, but as for the other elements, I’m still deciding. XD It’s a pretty good read though! I also read Girls Can’t Hit and it’s a surprisingly good read as well. *nodnod* Makes me wanna pick up a set of boxing gloves. 

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Speaking of comics, I screamed unnaturally when the A4 TV spot came on during the Super Bowl. I didn’t even bother to stick around for the game. XD It’s coming and I shouldn’t be this excited, but I am. ENDGAME. AH. I’m too excited. 😛 Maybe also because I kinda get to nerd my family out with everything Marvel connect with my family a little more. 🙂 Although I’m not lying about the family part. I got my brother reading 2 comics simply by leaving them out on the shelf. He hates reading. XD I’m counting this as a score. It’s been decided that we’re now pronouncing Tony Stark “Sony Tark.”

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Spiderman can’t be more relatable.

Anyway.

Brief birthday related paragraph. My other brother, also known as the Very Loud And Unusual One Who Plays Electric Guitar And Drives Me Crazy went and decided to get older. Being the good sister I’m not, I ate a slice off his birthday cake. What, he won’t miss it. 🙂

Weather Intrusion. Wait, wait, THE SUN’S SHINING IN THE SNOW STORM *pokes head out window*

*freezes*

*dies*

*wakes up in Budapest*

Well, that was a mistake. 😛 I’m dying it’s cold. Sent hot cocoa over here! 😛

I’ve been desperately trying to catch up school-wise, which isn’t too bad if I just got my homework actually done, it feels like I live at this get up:

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Break down: Tiny black laptop balancing precariously on the edge of the abstract art couch is actually a DVD player. Main laptop is the thing I can’t live without due to its can’tlivewithoutqualites. Papers over there are the evil fatale assignments I had to go overtime to barely finish. 

Which, I gotta say, is really, really nice, but it gets tiring over time. So what better way to switch things up than to say, do the art tutorials on The Art Lab?

Art Dump. *facepalm* Sometimes I question my sanity.

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I spent so long at that paintiiiing- and the marker bled through. 😡  Oh well. It was rather fun trying to be artistic- and my other brother said he liked it. But still. those clouds look terrible.

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See, the marker bled straight through to the next page! (Also, very sorry for the terrible lighting) But I actually kinda like this one. My first decent drawing in a while. I just might redo and frame that one.

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And then I had to go and waste all my ink on trying the spaghetti mountain thing. It was HARD. And I ran outta marker. But it kinda looks like I actually tried! Which is good, because I actually did try. Art is hard.

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*gags* WHAT. EVEN. IS. THIS. ATROCITY.  YUK. My eyes hurt right now. I was trying Buttercup’s hair tutorial and thought, “ooh, this isn’t too bad, let’s try the face!”
What was I even thinking?

This offends everything in me that has an inkling of art sense. Why. Be-yuk. I suppose I’ll have to keep practicing to be remotely good. But that’s okay. Nobody’s an expert at first try. Take this as proof what whatever you’re doing is ten times better than whatever I could conjure.

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Conversations. I kinda wish people would take this mug at their words. Lately I’ve discovered that many times a lot of hurt can be avoided if someone just takes the time to listen. Many of the hurt’s been caused by myself too, which I hope to end. Tea doesn’t hurt. 🙂

Audiosmiths’ Release! We’ve been working very, very hard on this, and it’s finally out! Big thanks to Rebekah for taking on the editing work ❤ (also: was it hard getting an annoying Scottish accent that was probably incorrect? Answer: YES. VERY. ARGH.)

To sum up. Sometimes, random posts are really just random. They don’t make an ounce of sense, and honestly, you gotta ask yourself what’s the point.

I guess I don’t have any other than that after a long hard week,  people need a reason to smile again. If my recaps of an otherwise mundane life can do that, than I’ll consider this successful. XD It’s easy to look at the news and have your heart sink. But as Thor said:

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I’m telling ya, these comics have more insight then they let on. Maybe go read one sometime. 😉  So here’s your funnies for the week. It made zero sense, but hopefully.. I dunno, maybe it got you to smile. 🙂

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Have a good one, okay? 😀

life is a highway, Jo

Even The Sky Cries

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She couldn’t stop herself, and truth be told, she was glad for it. Even if they looked at the one tear rolling down her cheek with disdain. “You can cry all you want, but it doesn’t really matter,” they said.

Her eyes narrowed, and the light from above glinted  like fire. “One tear is all I want? really? You underestimate me. I don’t cry. ” she replied, her voice both steely and breaking.

Even if she wanted to. Even if she felt her heart being stabbed over and over by a mindless sword that didn’t care if it was beating and feeling still. 

Well. It would feel no more. 

Excuse her for breathing. 

Storytime: Once upon a time, a long long time ago, my siblings and I watched this movie called Song of The Sea.

See the source imageThis amazing beautiful sweet story, which I’d love to talk about another time, is about a great many things. But in it, the MC meets an old owl (the bad guy) who takes away emotions so that they don’t feel. Consequently turning the people whose emotions are suddenly drained, into rocks.

Bad right? But it turns out the bird’s just trying to help. See, her son lost a lover (or something like that, don’t ask me) and he cried so much he filled an ocean with his tears. (Again, don’t ask me, it’s animation, anything’s possible.) So to relieve his pain, his mom, who happens to be the weird owl, took away his ability to feel. She offers that same choice to the MC, saying that feelings are baggage and they hurt and stuff like that. But the obvious problem is that when you don’t feel, you become hard and well, very similar to a rock. Dead. Cold. Unfeeling. You know the type.

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Next case in point:

If you’ve ever watched Inside Out, and seen those very confusing little animated emotions try to manage their human, there’s always one who’s trying to manage everyone else, isn’t there? And that would be.. Joy.

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This bean. 

 

She’s kinda a lot like the owl from the first movie, except instead of locking up all emotions and bottling it away, Joy (the sweet naïve personified emotion) tries to make sure her human only feels happiness. All of her coworkers agree- except maybe Sadness. Because she’s too busy being sad. And in Joy’s little head, NOBODY needs Sadness. Sadness is a burden, the emotion you need to push away. Right?

Mm…no. Just no.

I know Song Of The Sea and Inside Out are only movies, but the thing is they kinda have a point. The same point this post has (*gasp* it actually does!): Happiness is not the only emotion you have to feel, and you can’t just bottle up your emotions, neither.

You need to let yourself feel Sadness sometimes. Or Fear. Or Anger. And hey, this isn’t just movie characters- (going preachy, sorry about that) a ton of people from the Bible are recorded to have more emotions that just happiness.

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Read the Psalms. Some of David’s writings are brimming with sadness and pain and guilt.

Elijah had to run for his life from Jezebel and wanted to die on a number of occasions.

Paul mentions the Corinthians being in sorrow because of what he said.

Jesus was so mad at the priests turning the temple into a marketplace, He overthrew the tables.

Also, Jesus wept at Lazarus’ tomb.

Want me to say it again?

The Son of Man, the Son of God, the Savior of the world, the KING, wept at the tomb of his friend.

Wept.

Down with that “big boys don’t cry” now, okay? It’s wrong and not true. Thanky ‘ou.

Why did Jesus cry? Weep? Even though he knew that he would raise Lazarus from the grave? I don’t really know. And if anyone does know, please tell me. XD My point is, Jesus Himself felt sadness.

Which is weird, considering Paul (at least I think it was, those NT writers sometimes sound similar) told us, “Rejoice, and again I say rejoice!”

How can you have joy when you feel sadness?

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Maybe…  because joy does not equal happiness.

People have written books about it, and songs and plays and have spent their whole lives trying to find it, but the actual working definition seems to be elusive. Sometimes you can find joy even in the hardest circumstances. Sometimes it’s easy to find it. Sometimes you can’t be brought down because you have it, and sometimes the world comes crashing down and you can still have it.

Joy comes from the only true and lasting source: God. Everything else fades eventually. And God isn’t just there for your joy, He comforts in sorrow and in grief, He forgives you and helps your guilt, it’s not like once you’re a Christian you’ll be a hundred percent happy. Just that whatever you’re going through, you can draw your strength from Him. 🙂

I could be wrong (well, not about where joy comes from). Don’t ask me for advice on anything, and don’t take whatever you read here as truth. But that’s what it seems to be like. And I’d know.

See, I’m one of those rock people. Many times I’ve wished that I couldn’t feel, it hurt too much and I didn’t like it. I forced myself to be dead to anything remotely sad, just because I couldn’t handle it.

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Still kinda struggling with it, to be honest. By the time my wish came true, I’d already had a thick shell I didn’t want anyone to touch. A tough face. A comeback for every insult.

Yeah, don’t try that.. it’s just… kinda..don’t.

What I eventually learned? Those walls only keep you in. Sadness hurts. And sometimes letting it out can help. If you keep it in, it’ll fester.. kinda like a nasty blister. It hurts to feel. But it hurts more to not feel. Even if it’s only joy you’re trying to feel.

Why did I take almost a thousands words to say this, I don’t know. But I guess what I’m trying to say is: It’s okay to cry. No, you shouldn’t be driven by your emotions and have a sobbing party every other Wednesday afterevening because someone hurt your feelings, but you can’t go to the other extreme and bottle all those feelings up and toss ’em away.  Reach out to someone who might really need a friend. Let your heart beat again. Let go of the idea that you’re not strong if you cry. It takes great strength for a person to share their feelings. Even Jesus cried.

Even the sky cries.

life is a highway, Jo

 

 

January’s Over And I Dunno How

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Yup, I’m still trying to figure how that happened too. But 31 days have passed with the blink of an eye and we’re fully stuck in 2019.

It’s been an interesting month, that’s for sure.

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We welcomed the New Year the proper way: getting two big bags of popcorn and watching Lord Of The Rings.

I got to go on a retreat- and that was pretty relaxing. Fun. Peaceful. Plus I got to photograph the stars. 😀

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School started and we all collectively died.

Started working on secret project that’s pretty fun/death inducing.

The Long End aired and I DIED. BUCK- JULES- THE MELTSNERS- SKINT- WOW. Like wow. Mindblown. Mom wondered why I was screaming after the first part aired.

Started reading through the New Testament- and I’m in 1 Corinthians now! I think. Ish. Wait, maybe that was another translation.. huh..

Speaking of the New Testament, really enjoyed having Bible studies over videochat. 😉

A couple times I was sitting down to write posts but ending up watching something with my family instead. The posts can wait. But not my family, Incredibles 2, The Last Jedi, Antman & The Wasp, or Black Panther. Incredibles 2 was AWESOME. Also, if you haven’t checked out the short Bao DO IT. *dies* It’s so good. I’m watching that whenever I can, it’s just really really nice to have some non-stereotypical representation you know? 😀

There were 2 gigantic snowstorms and thus, two snow days. Which means freezing cold and beautiful pictures.

It also means getting to go sledding… even though.. uh… technically..

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I’m pretty sure that sign’s décor. Right? I mean, you can’t be a Canadian and not sled. Sorry. No can do. It’s like taking away Tim Hortons. As a citizen of this fine country, I was exercising my right-

Okay. Okay. Still, it was fun though. Hanging on for dear life as the elements attack you? *thumbs up*

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Had a bunch of people ask me why I was wandering around the premises in the dead of winter, wind blowing, camera out, in a skirt (as if that’s a bad thing) no less, taking random pictures. I guess I did look kinda weird- but honestly, I’m past caring. XD besides, I got good pictures. B)

Interviewed a bunch of kids and failed dramatically.

Released a new audio drama! 😀 Which you can check out on the Audiosmiths page here.

I guess this month has been about finding a balance. Some stability. I’ve had a hard time figuring out school, and as you know, blogging has been random, and there’s just been so much to process and sometimes, taking that one step is tricky. Y’know?

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But I think I’m getting there. Over time. 🙂

Anyway, it’s February now. Also the month I started blogging. *hollers and shrieks* how has it been one year since I started into this vast and crazy and wonderful and strange thing called blogging? I don’t know.

So I’m looking forward to that. As well as secret project 1 and secret project 2. And yes I have two. And no, I’m not telling you what they are. Yet. 😛

I think this post is done.

Oh wait, I still have to pick faves. Right. XD

Favorite Book

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I borrowed this way back in December and only now got around to reading it. smh I wish I read it sooner- it’s an sweet story about a girl who has OCD, and honestly, I really connected with her, even though we couldn’t be anymore different. I’d love to write this kind of book one day. 😀

 

 

Favorite Song

Do I honestly have to pick? You know as well as I do that I caaaaan’t XD- I actually have three.

Rend Collective’s Life Is Beautiful is beautiful. I think after like, the 20th time listening to it, I got my brother to use it for praise & worship- it’s that good.

And uh…. this is mushy, but I really liked Falling Slowly from Once the musical..

and  38 Planes/Somewhere In The Middle Of Nowhere from another musical, Come From Away. But I’m not linking that, too much mush for the day. XD (Actually, you probably shouldn’t check out anything from either of these musicals except The North Strand from Once. That one’s catchy. XD)

Favorite Quote

I think I like musicals more than I care to admit. XD

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Now this post is done. XD Seeya on the next one!

Life is a highway,

Jo

A Collab With Enni About The 101’s of Captain Jack Sparrow-ing

 

Jack's Compass - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Surprised to see a title like that from a blog like this?

Me too, to be honest. Me too.

In all honesty, the idea of talking about a film series I haven’t watched in ages never crossed my mind until a few days ago, when Enni and I thought it be a good idea for a collab.

Speaking of Enni, if you haven’t followed her blog yet or at least checked it out WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE go, go, go! Enni’s one of my first and craziest blogger friends that I have ever had the privilege of knowing, and her take on everything is pure and simple INTP. Go on and ask her about MBTI- I personally guarantee she won’t stop talking. As far as personalities go, Enni is an old, good, crazy soul.

Who’s probably waiting for this post right now. Heh. hehe. hehe.

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Pirates Of The Caribbean. Pirates. Fights. Swords. Rum. An unhealthy amount of rum. Strange sea-monsters. Epic music. These are probably what comes to mind when thinking of one of the biggest pirates movies/stories around.

It’s not really one with the best morals, either, y’know? I mean, there’s pirates. What more evidence do you need? It’s no Sherwood film, and to be honest, it’s probably on the same level as Guardians of the Galaxy. Entertaining, but more entertaining than wholesome.

So why am I writing a post about?

More importantly, why do I like it?

Well, I’m a writer. And this is like one of my favorite case studies: characters, plot, setting, SHIPS *hollers* villians, the whole bit. But the entire story in general has it’s good parts. And it has it’s hilarious parts. And the thing is, Jack- er, Captain Jack isn’t completely shallow.  I mean he is, but..

Use as a quote for a treasure chest filled with golden rocks with "treasures" written about the person..
No offense mate, but you stole this from Bilbo. *frowns* Good quote to steal though!
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Relatable.

I really took a hundred + words to say nothing? Wow. 😛 Ahem.  Let’s go before I walk the plank. Enni had the first five rules or whatever they may be called, and I have the last ten.

(Also- psst: look carefully- this post has an Easter egg for what’s next in our POTC duology 😉 )

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6. After anything offensive you might’ve said, always tack on a “savvy”.

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Extremely important, mates! With the tacking on of savvy, one needn’t fear of looking like an awkward land-lubbering greenhorn. When saying the word savvy, open your jaw and let your tongue flap, it works much better that way. Tilt your head in the most smuggest position you can think of and flash your gold teeth as you do so.

This goes well in hand with, “did you see that? because I will NOT be doing it again” and I suggest practicing as often as possible to ensure a truly Captain Jack Sparrow flair. Because if you’re like me, which you are not, then you may want to find yourself saying savvy after every sentence, just in case you don’t want a sword in your face or say, having to walk the plank. It turns out to be quite useful at times.

7. Do your best to look suspiciously at any and all monkeys.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. I didn't understand this until I watched till the end of the credits of Curse of the Black Pearl. Seriously, go watch it.

Don’t forget to hiss words like, “ooh, monkey” and “beast” as you flap your hand at a thieving little rasca- mammal with a handy tail. And make sure you squint especially hard at that monkey- for all we know, that sneak could’ve been related to that same one in Night At The Museum.. we’ll never know. *mysterious look*  Obviously, this means you must hate all monkeys, whether they’re shrunk up in bottles or snatching your jewelry. And look for a monkey if in desire to shoot something.

8. When in doubt run- preferably with your arms flailing and screaming never hurt.
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Oops, wrong one.
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Much better!

Now, I honestly don’t think you’ll be stuck on an island full of cannibals trying to cook you for supper, but if that or something pretty equivalent to that befalls you (say, it’s your turn in the church nursery or perhaps you’re pulling up to your annual family reunion or you’ve accidentally taken an important locket or you’re playing a highly crazy game of tag) then, follow the captain and RUN FOR YOUR LIFEEEEEEE!!

It’s simple really. Move your feet really fast, lift your arms and wave them wildly, and scream like there’s no tomorrow! 😀 It takes a moment of extreme panic- which will come eventually!

9. Whenever you find large jars of dirt, raise them up in triumph and loudly proclaim, “I’ve got a jar of dirt!”

Yeah, you have NO idea how important this one is! I mean, you could be holding one of the Avengers, mate, so lift that jar high and proud as you dash past some very confused mates and confuse the enemy.

Just don’t drop it, of course, because you can’t vacuum a boat!

And yes I just mentioned another fandom. >:)

10. If a plan sounds mad and there’s an 80% chance you’re gonna die- DO IT.
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And this, of course, is the epitome of Jack Sparrow- doing everything that’s dangerous and risky and plain out DEATH INDUCING and somehow surviving anyway.

It’s best, of course, to be confident about it. Say something insightful and confusing, like, “the problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.” And then solve the problem! 😀

Some good examples of mad, 80% risk of death plans include but are not limited to: doing all your homework on the last day, jumping off a cliff into water, saying hi in a different language to someone you’ve never met, figuring out if it’s yanny or laurel, writing 18k on the last day of NaNo, sneaking aboard a donut ship, solving riddles with a mangy ring loving bony raw fish eater, and going for the head.

If you follow these ten tips carefully, you should be on your way to being a great Captain Jack Sparrow! Just don’t drink rum- it ain’t good fer ya. Oh, and 11. Spout advice when you have it. Example:

Jack Sparrow Quotes | We Need Fun

 

I’m rather looking forward to the second part of this duology. 🙂

Oh, and check out Enni’s post here! Cause she’s way better at this stuff. XD

Life is a highway,

Jo

Because I Never Got To Share My Favorites Last Time, I’m Sharing Them Now

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In which I do exactly what the title says I’m doing.

Hello, and welcome to the second day of the New Year! I’m sure you’re all getting used to the reality that we have to go back to school soon. 😦  Fortunately, I’m not! 😛

Last year (can I really say it’s last year, wow…) I collected a bunch of my favorites. So before they get replaced with this year’s favorites, they shall forever be remembered on this blog. XD Okay, here goes literally nothing.

Favorites Of 2018

Favorite Books

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library (Mr. Lemoncello's Library #1)

Okay, I’ve already written a post about this, so I won’t say much. But I LOVED this book! My imagination was on a high by the time I finished reading. XD And the end. *dies* If you read this, read it all the way to the end!

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I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I have, but I did. I loved the themes, I loved the characters, but most of all, I loved loved loved the heart. It was like I was right there with the kids at the institute. Definite fav.

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Penny Wood, you, my dear, are an amazing author! Casey Newman’s guide to being funny is one of my favorite books! And of course, Cassandra was my bestie. 😉

I could talk on and on anon about how I would die for this saga, but I really love this second book out of all of them. It’s sadder, deeper, and Janner is so real. Maybe that’s why it’s such a favorite. 🙂

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So I just read this yesterday and I want to cry.

It was so, so heartbreakingly sad.

But it was…. so good.

It was a tad bit slow in some areas, but for the most part it was a great story. I loved it.

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Wonder was a great story in an unusual way of telling it. I felt for everyone in the story, because I got to read their POVs. That was really nice.

I also wanted to punch Auggie’s bullies. They’re jerks.

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This book. Without a doubt or a shadow of it, is one of my favorites of 2018. I don’t think I could forget it.

It’s funny, how like it is to my WIP but so very different. The atmosphere is heavy with war, and the story follows with it. Mathilde is an amazing character, and she’s written beautifully.

And arggh I can’t find an image anywhere, but one of my favorites of all time would be..

Feather of Diamond, by Rebekah C!

XD It was just a first draft, I know, but I LOVED it Rebekah! Even if you did break my heart and kill off some people *cough cough* It was amazing! 😀

 

Ehehe. I can’t leave my fandoms and my fandoms won’t leave me. I reread LOTR and it’s. just. so. good. Tolkien was a master of worldbuilding, and I really really really want to go see Rivendell and Rohan and Gondor now! XD

Favorite Songs:

This should be easy. Ready?

Captain America The Winter Soldier scores are AMAZING writing music, and singlehandedly helped me win Nano!

Not really.

But it’s epic.

Even If helped me out when things weren’t looking so good.

His Heart Beats made my heart beat.

Remember Me is one of my poppier, upbeat faves.

Wake Me Up When It’s All Over is me every morning.

I’ll Keep You Safe makes me think of Dareine and her lil sister and thus I love it so.

It’s Gonna Be Okay. Okay, this song, to put it in the words of a hedgehog named Cuarto, “gives me the happies!!’

Tightrope is amazing for the sole reason it matches one of my charries and it is so sad and so… I don’t even know. Awesome.

Tell Me Again, by Skye Peterson, has kept me up and helped me keep going and I can’t stop listening to it. Also Skye Peterson has some awesome stuff and yes, you should check her songs out. 😀

God Help The Outcasts – I’m crying now, stop. Just yes!

When You Believe – I love Prince Of Egypt, I love this song, and I love all the covers I’ve heard of it so far.

Symphony was so catchy and so fun to write to. Favorite for sure.

Favorite Bible Passage: Psalm 46

Favorite Writing Snack: Bacon crumbles

Favorite WIP: Mirages y’all XD

And last but not least:

Favorite Quote:

There are a number of quotes I could pull up that for me, was my favorite of the year.

“I smelt a rat.”

“Wake me up when it’s all over.”

“If you get killed, walk it off.”

“Buckle up, it’s gonna be a weird ride.”

“Pray on, dear one, the power lies that way.”

But I’m gonna go with this one.

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That was kinda my… motto, thingy, quote-y? XD I’m glad it was.

So here’s to another year dawning, with new favorites ahead.

What were some of your favorites, I wonder? 🙂

If I Knew Then What I Know Now (Plus pic for BIBPC, carol, and linky to more of the blog tour yikes this title is long)

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You’re not the only one, kid.

Not by a long shot.

There is only one you you of course, the dorky quirky awkward weird laughing kid who’s just not the same from everyone else, but there are other people with your dreams. Your quirks. And your alarming obsession of Adventures in Odyssey, good gracious.

You’re an annoying little midge of energy, so yes, the haters were right.

But you’re lovable. Sorta. So the haters were wrong.

Also, the haters’ opinions don’t really matter, so keep that in mind.

I don’t know how to tell you, kid. I don’t know how to tell you that people will break your heart and what you thought was right is wrong and that things will change with the snap of a finger and you’re gonna have a lot of curve balls whizzing your way, so please learn to catch, kay?

Your “friends” are shallow, but be nice. Don’t collar the big kids even though you know they’re being jerks. If you do, don’t lie about it. Lying is evil. And don’t think you’re all that smart, why don’t ya? But do learn more. You’ll need it.

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Remember how you said you had nothing to live for? Ohhh boy, you be wishing you could take that back. Look around you. Look at the little miracle baby of the C’s, that little tiny thing that everyone thought was a dangerous tumor. Her? She’s gonna grow up to be a sweet little terror, and you’ll be chasing her around a hall more times then you can count. Good on ya for not wearing high heels.

Books are portals to another world. I’m glad you spend your head off in them. Also, pick up a pencil soon- you’ll be writing your own before you know it.

Love your family. Love love love them. They’re broken and not perfect, but still good. Also you’re a part of it.

Bacon crumbles exist. You’ll love them.

Good gracious, stop assuming things are gonna be carved out for you, like an easy puzzle. You gotta start doing things yourself and get it done. People are gonna depend on you whether you like it or not. And if not now, definitely in the future. So get used to it.

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You’re gonna meet people in ways you didn’t expect and you’re gonna pour your heart and soul into projects you would never have dreamed of doing. So attack that homework while you still have energy.

It does get worse.

It will. It will hurt so bad you can’t breathe.

But it will get better. I can promise you that. Don’t take my word for it. Take God’s.

Also, never ever ever skimp on the Bible. Ever. You’re gonna need that weapon. You’re gonna need to be armed and dangerous.

Uh, no, no, I didn’t mean to practice knife throwing, especially because that’s our last good knife. Thank you.

Things are gonna change. Not all of it will be good, but there will be good changes. You’re gonna meet people you can’t imagine life without and yet don’t like.

Okay admit it, you like that person.

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Write, my friend. You’ll love it. You’ll love making up stories and charries and daydreaming and plotting terrible deaths. Surprising, I know. And it’ll help you. So much.

No, no, screaming because of jogging pants and not jeans isn’t normal, no matter how much everyone thinks it is. Don’t be emotional when you respond. Calm down. count to ten. Punch that meanie in the nose. Don’t do the latter one because it won’t make you feel better. Instead… uh… I haven’t come up with how to handle that guy, but as Jesus says, treat them like you would a tax collector.

Run for your life!

Sorry, wrong context, friend. Speaking of, you do need to understand contest very, very well. But you pick your battles, and you stand up to that guy. To your fears. To that goal. To that line. You got this. Life won’t give you a bowl of opportunities and tell you to pick, so keep your eyes peeled for anything you find, and take it.

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Connie and Mitch break up. Tom Riley dies. Old Yeller gets shot. Iron Man gets hurt. The Baudelaires are confusing. The stories and life are similar in a way: they don’t go the way you expect.

Unlike the stories, your life story is being written by the Perfect Author, so never fear.

There is always a reason to laugh. I know there will be days when you’ll feel like drek, but trust me, you can find something to smile about. Care for something other than yourself, and do it a lot. Pray constantly. Pray continually. Don’t get out of touch with God.

Get stronger. Practice your high kick, especially on your right foot. It’s terrible. Push yourself to excellence, but stop for water. take care of yourself, and learn how to braid so nobody objects to your ponytail for the hundredth time in a row.

Observe people. Note their reactions, their fears, their movements, how they think.

Don’t be creepy about it though.

Man, there’s too much I wanna tell ya. Too much. Too much about loving and hurting and living and dying and reading and writing and fighting and resting and the time of day and how the year’s gonna fly by before you know it and Aragorn is brave and courageous but he is broken too and broken pieces can be fixed and people like Blackgaard will be defeated and-

…and you’ll find your way.

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Love,

Jo

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Well, another sign of my past is the above picture, friends, ^, which is also my picture for BIBPC. This category was so much easier, thank you Megan, tradition. And here’s mine. See, every Christmas Eve, we go on a marathon of AIO’s Back To Bethlehem, and it’s something I hope to be doing til I’m old and gray (and with those same cassettes XD)

4 days until Christmas Chances, people! Ahhh. You can catch more of Audiosmiths with Hannah and Enni’s lovely posts. Well maybe not Enni’s because she messed up my name. 😛 For now, though, I’ve taken a break from editing the audio drama and worked on a carol. I hope ya enjoy, bad though it may be. 😉

https://www.dropbox.com/s/anjxh0voag0qvid/Oh%20Holy%20Night.m4a?dl=0

(And if the linky doesn’t work, then uh.. lemme know)

 

My Play By Play Review Of The Greatest Showman (Rant, More Like!)

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So, when Zeke said I was too busy geeking out over musicals, this was it.  Blame The Piano Guys for doing a cover of ‘Rewrite The Stars’. I had to watch the original. Then I had to watch the whole movie. I’m here, right now, giving my whole reaction to The Greatest Showman. Here goes.

SPOILER ALERT. IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER. TURN BACK NOW.

Oh and by the way, this has 100% spoilers, so don’t read this unless you really wanna know.

Ok, great so far. Man, that deep “ladies and gents”. It is so chillingly awesome.

Young P.T and Charity are sweet. Mr. Charity’s dad is a professional JERK.

WHAT??? P.T’s dad dies?!?!?!

Dudes, let’s take a moment to appreciate Charity Barnum. She- seriously, we see her playful and playing with her daughters. And she’s so supportive of her husband, man. Hardcore. While’s we’re at it, this family-ness is awesome.

Ok. Woah. Sly moves with the sunken ships as collateral, P.T. Risky, but sly.

“May I ride the giraffe?” “You may- NOT.” PRICELESS!

Ahh Anne and W.D!

Woah. We see Phillip. Yuck, what is up with him and drinking? If it weren’t for the extreme and kinda overboard drinking, The Other Side might just be better. I mean, P.T. You a family man. Act like it.

*screams* Phillip meets Anne. O_O WAAA. And the look W.D gives Phillip. Awesome.

“Mr. Bennet, I am blushing!” Lettie is so cool with it.

Ahhhhh Caroline and Helen! Can we just awe over their interaction with the troupe?? I mean! And obviously, *cough cough*, their interaction with Phillip. Whaddya know, folks, he has a heart. And ah, so the fanfictions kept showing Phillip as a big brother to the Barnum girls. And the fanfictions did not disappoint. You can’t imagine the happiness I felt when I learned it was actually canon.  And argh what he says to Anne? Ahhh character development!!

No offense, but I feel like the queen laughing is kinda forced and fake. In real life, and at that time period, Tom Thumb woulda been in seriously trouble for being so rude.

Phillip looking at Anne. I like this.

P.T. looking at Jenny Lind. I DO NOT LIKE THIS AT ALL. P.T, you. are. married. And even without that aspect, he just wants to make money off her voice. Scoundrel showman.

I’ll grudgingly admit that her voice is good. AND DAT PART WHERE ANNE AND PHILLIP HOLD HANDS. Ahhh my heart is happy. But P.T, you moron. HOW DARE YOU SHAME THE TROUPE AND MAKE EM STAND. DUDE.

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NOOOOO. He let go of her hand. ARGHHH I take back every nice thing I ever said about you! Dude. Dude. DUDE you and P.T oughta be hanged.

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Ok, I don’t blame P.T. for wanting to rub it in his father-in-law’s face, but DAT WRONG TIME.

And how dare he not treat the troupe as equals??? I mean- why??? Just to be with Jenny?? I NO LIKE DIS.

Lettie. Rock IT. YASS. POETIC JUSTICE. YOU BE YOU.

Does anyone think it’s weird for them to be hip hop dancing in the 1800s? It’s not bad weird, but I did think it was a little outta place.

SHOW HIM ANNE. YOU SHOW HIM WHAT A FOOL NINCOMPOOP HE WAS.

Yeah, back away Phillip. Be ashamed. You too P.T.

Phillip. Being reasonable. Good. “Why did Napoleon march into Russia?” “Napoleon was defeated.”  Love dis.

AHH WHERE IS THE MAN P.T USED TO BE??? It’s replaced with this greedy money hoarding.. scoundrel.

“How do ya think I built it?” Yo. with yo family.

On a lighter note, I love how Phillip and the troupe interact. As equals, not like he’s better than them.

W.D’s reaction when Lettie asks “don’t you have somewhere to be?”. He’s like, “this not happening.” It’s sweet.

This whole movie has me giddy.

Anne’s face when Phillip says “there’s meant to be two.” Phillip, you’re back!

DUDE NOOOOOOOOOO. Why did Mr. and Mrs. Carlyle have to ruin everything?? It was a legit date! WHYYYYYY

The pride Phillip has though when he introduces Anne. Hey, maybe there’s hope in the world. And then this anger when his dad insults Anne. MAN BRO.

MAN. He runs after her. I feel so bad though, they had a DATE for cryin’ out loud!

It seems kinda dumb for Phillip to burst into song, but hey. It’s a musical. No judging here.

Anne rams into him, and he catches her. THE MAN CATCHES HER. Keep him.

I love the character development of P.T. We see a very human side of him, a side that keeps wanting more. Respect to the writers. But honestly, Charity, he’s not worthy of you. Charity is hardcore. I dunno why she’s staying with him.

Oh lookee, Phillip’s growing up. Good for him.

Cinematography is good.

Argh Jenny has no right to be leaning on Phillip’s shoulder! DUDE MAN! Push the girl off!

I thought Jenny didn’t care about ovations. Liar. Bennet’s a jerk.

AHHHH NOOOO THE FLIRT!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

I hate Lind, but she said something pretty true when she said, “When you’re careless with other people, you’re ruining yourself.”

OH NO. UH OH. Charity ain’t gonna be happy.

YAYY Phillip! Good to see ya!

NO I TAKE THAT BACK BAD TO SEE YA!

I like the fight scene though, everyone’s so into it.

NOOOOOOO. ARSON, REALLY??

*wails* Phillip don’t go back in thereeeeee

Ahhhhhh this is heartbreaking!

I can’t handle this heartbreak.

Mr. Bennet. Go hang or something, we don’t want you.

Actually, maybe we do.

NEVERMIND. No news is good news.

Charity, I feel you!

Lettie, whoo-hooo!

“When the glitter fades and the walls won’t hold.” Glad to see P.T’s coming around.

Finally the idiot wakes up. It only took Barnum the whole movie.

WHAT IS WITH THE DRINKING. AND THE DANCING.

Phillip wakes up. YASS

Deja vu. It happened all over again. P.T walks to Charity’s dad’s house, and the same thing happens.

“I wanted to be more than I was.” And you became less, P.T

MAN. Why they mash up From Now On and A Million Dreams??

A suit and a face full of bruises don’t go together. Just no.

Anne’s face. She be like, “that’s my man.”

And the happy ending.

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Well, that was a total rant.

Hehe, not sorry.

So, what does this movie add up to?

Hm, I’m no judge of character, mind you. But this movie, the familyness especially is something I’ve missed in movies. I’d have to give this 7/10, because some drinking and use of bad language, not to mention some “turn off the screen” scenes were in there.

But, for all of that, the plot was surprisingly solid. It was a plot.

Therefore, I like it. And I’m pretty sure that you guys are kinda shocked at the fangirl side of me, but as a writer, I really love the fact that this actually has a plot. So. 🙂

Thanks for reading. And don’t worry, there will be some tamer reviews of books coming around.