Tiny Weekend Thoughts

 

DSC_0126

This weekend, look out for someone other than yourself.  Or. just make it a point to. Period. 🙂

It’s been a hard week, let’s not kid ourselves. For me, at least, yesterday was a roller coaster of emotions, but make that roller coaster break off the tracks and veer ever so quickly dangerously down a man-made, realistic looking cliff and into a valley of sharp pointy rocks. *shudders*

Oh, and there’s snapping turtles. *extra shudders*

However, we’re not here to focus on yesterday. (at least, I hope not. If we were, I suppose I crumpled up the memo and tossed it into the fire. :P) We’re here to focus on today.
DSC_0135

Today could have a dozen different opportunities waiting for you to find them. Today could have Extraordinary Magic in it, conveniently popping out of sight whenever a no-magic (or was it a muggle, I get those two confused) comes into sight. Or it might be really hard. And by hard I mean the kind of hard when you just don’t want to keep going on. That’s okay too. Whichever your day looks like, I hope you know there’s always a reason to smile.

For example, the Avengers 4 SECOND trailer came out! 😀 For another, the sun’s shining- the heater’s working, someone gave us a bag full of mini Snickers… wait, I’m hungry, one sec. XD

There are people who care for you. Somewhere. Somehow. In maybe the strangest of ways, they’re there. 🙂 Puppies exist. Hope exists. Chocolate ice cream can now come in extra big gallons. There are oreos that are gluten free. Peter Parker is coming back from the dust. There is a God, and He cared so much He sent someone to die for you, and even though He’s a King, you can request an audience 24/7. And He’ll listen. That’s more than smile worthy, I think.
DSC_0136

Perhaps one day I’ll tell all. Maybe one day I won’t have to go about this roundabout way of saying things- maybe one day I’ll write it as it is.

For now though, I hope you have a great Saturday, and a great week, and that this random drabble was one of those things that has the power to make someone smile.

life is a highway, Jo

Advertisements

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.

See the source image

Theme 1, asking questions and being curious

yeti hello GIF by SMALLFOOT Movie

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.

channing tatum lol GIF by SMALLFOOT Movie

Chaos ensues.

freezing channing tatum GIF by SMALLFOOT Movie

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

channing tatum lol GIF by SMALLFOOT Movie

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.

channing tatum no GIF by SMALLFOOT Movie

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.

scared scary stories GIF by SMALLFOOT Movie

 

Theme 4, Integrity

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

no way omg GIF by SMALLFOOT Movie

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.

Image result for fleem smallfoot gifs
the tiny dude.

life is a highway, Jo

It Isn’t The End (Never Is, I’m Just Being Dramatic Per Norm)

 

DSC_0163

This is where we’re at, people.

Mondays are hard, math is brutal, and people can be jerks.

It’s not even Monday anymore. smh

Today is just one of those days that you want to end as quickly as possible. Work has gotten 10 times stressful, the people who I’m supposed to be collaborating with ended up dominating  what we were doing and now I’m just another go-get-this and go-do-that. School is crushing- even more so when people demand things that just can’t be met. I have zero time to write, it’s increasingly hard to be with people simply because they don’t really.. I don’t know, recognize that I have feelings? It’s hard. Send me coffee. XD Oh, and don’t forget to add that the fleshly part of me is a horrifying monster that I swear, I wish I could kick out of existence and burn. to. ash. I’m with Paul on this one. I do exactly what I don’t want to do and I don’t do what I want to do.

I’m not looking forward to anything right now. There’s no tangible or intangible prize I can think of for sticking out another day (i.e. this day).

So why on earth am I writing this post?

IMG_2076

Why do I feel the need to reveal that it’s a terrible, horrible, no good day and I’m feeling about as energetic as Eeyore and I’m kinda broken right bout now? Why do I bother writing a personal post that I’m not sure even I would enjoy reading? Why am I being so petty and writing who knows how many words of drek about bad days like it’s something so bad and hidden when it’s common knowledge that some days are good and every other day is.. bad times a hundred?

I  don’t know.

I joked to my mom a day or two ago when she was questioning my all-black wardrobe  that it matched the color of my soul. Which, now that I look back on it, seems accurate right now. Life seems a little darker, not enough to grab a flashlight, but not light enough to feel safe either.

Seems.

Hang on while I grab a Nutella sandwich so we can talk about this some more, because I have to believe I’m not the only one out there. Surely there’s someone somewhere and this is where they’re at. Maybe it’s you.
cropped-b9ef66fa-b504-491b-a2bd-b0e1a3ecde3b

 

It isn’t the end.

I’ll say that again, not because you have bad eyes, but because I need this hammered into my numbskull of a brain.

It. is. not. the. end.

DSC_0165

Sure, maybe it looks like whatever rut you fell into, you can’t climb out and maybe it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, and maybe it’s too much for you and it’s hard and you want to give up.

But it isn’t too much for God.

Nothing is. Nothing.

So give up. XD

Yes, give it up. Give it up to God, because we were not meant to face the darkness alone. Probably the first thing I’ll say, no matter how preachy it sounds, because it’s true.

Tomorrow is not quite the same as today. The Maker of days has all of yours planned out, and you can trust them into His hands.

Sometimes what you need is to get back into the Word. Read a Psalm. Memorize something. Listen to a praise and worship song. It’s not a wish-and-problem-gone, granted, but you can never go wrong when you draw near to God and His Word.

“Hope is not some vague emotion that comes out of nowhere, like a stomachache. Hope is the confidence that the stupendous future promised to us by the word of the Spirit is going to really come true. ” -John Piper

DSC_0161

While we’re at it, laughter is a literal lifeline, lifesaver, and it’s beautiful. Use often. XD It’s easier to see things on the bright side when you forget that things aren’t for just a little while- when you look at the lighter stuff. And trust me- laughter is contagious and everyone should be infected, in my opinion.

DSC_0158

As previously stated, you. were. not. meant. to. be. alone. kay. The hardest thing about feeling down is that sometimes nobody could care less.

In that case, please know that there’s always someone. God, a cousin, a sibling- sometimes you have to reach out and take a change. Sometimes you’ll be hurt. But please know that no matter what, someone loves you. Always.

I guess when I try to sum it up- don’t give up hope. Grasp for it, step out for it- but don’t give it up. It’s there for you. For me.

Man, I need to take my own poorly hashed advice.

But there it is. 🙂 I’ll be at the thrift store looking for lighter shirts. Because it ain’t all dark. As the wise foolish Poe Dameron once said, “as long as there is light, we still have a chance!”

life is a highway, Jo

How Comic Books Helped Me Understand Real Life

DSC_0191

**WARNING: While this post puts comics in a good light, I am in no means encouraging you to check any out or saying that they’re pure goodness and are essential to a person’s TBR. They’re not. There are much better books to read XD We good? Great!**

I’ll say it once, and by good gracious I will say it again. Fantastic Four was better in the comics than in the movies.

Fight me.

I have no clue where on earth our FF copy went- but I do know that it, along with a number of others- was picked up and read by a rather naïve little reader who wanted a good story. I was a little too young to get all of it- just like I was with the others taken home and pored over- but looking back, there’s some connections made that have actually been influential in helping me understand things? Which is weird, I guess, but it really did.

DSC_0118

*sighs* I remember being squished with four other people over a copy of Civil War- or at least I think it was Civil War. We had ZERO clue that not only would we have to read Cap and Tony fighting- but only a few years later, we’d actually see that play out. We didn’t even know Spiderman could be that deep. That comic taught me something that’s stuck: that when you give the power to any one person, it can affect millions more. Nobody here on this earth has the ability to have all the power and use it for good all the time. No one government, no one union, no one thing. And that trying to take away the freedoms of those who fight for freedom to fight for it- that takes away the freedoms of those who can’t fight for it too. That was a tongue twister but it’s true. 😛

So fast forward a few years later, heading about stuff like trade wars and borders and what country is doing what, and what comes into my head is Spiderman trying to revoke the Registration Act. My brain is weird. But it worked.

DSC_0126

Heard on the news about overpopulation and euthanasia and how the world is following a path of destruction and pain, and Reed Richards’ attempts to change the future make sense now. I get why he tried to do that.

But I also get why that’s wrong.

I learned how to be brave from Peter Parker. That sometimes in the fight for good, you will lose, and lose, and lose what you love and it will hurt. Bu you gotta do it anyway.

I learned that more lies and more deception NEVER end up good. Seeing Black Widow and The Winter Soldier trying to sift through what’s real and not real- watching as people in real life had to do just that- as I had to do just that- it clicked. I got that.

DSC_0127

I learned that what makes you a hero or a villain is your heart. We could all be villains deep down. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and even they fail. Even Captain America, supposedly a foundation of truth and everything good- he’s human. He fails. In the end, there is one Hero, and He never fails. (And yes, I just said that. Because it’s true.)

You need to work as a team. Squirrel Girl was enough lesson for me. Kamala Khan, Miles Morales, and T’challa taught me the importance of family. Iron Man taught me to concentrate on today. The Avengers as a whole taught me that life is so much more important that any “greater good”. Life IS the greater good.

DSC_0192

I learned that you are gonna have to find a standard. You’re gonna have to find your code of life, conduct, your reason for why you do what you do, your morals, what you absolutely will not cross and what you might have to. You’re gonna hafta be brave.

Maybe from all the comics, something that resounds loud and clear is that it’s not about you. It. is. not. about. you. Steve Rogers gave his life- many times- for his country. Nat went back to the Red Room, where she’d been broken and torn and made into an assassin, to end it so no other girls would have to go through what she did. Spiderman loses a lot. He loses Aunt May. He wears a mask and fights and still manages to crack a joke because it’s all part of making sure his city’s safe. Need I say more?

DSC_0194

Comics are not perfect. Comics are not clean. There are some really bad things you shouldn’t see, bad elements that are wrong, yes, that’s true. Definitely read with the critical(est) of minds. Marvel isn’t perfect. Far from it- Marvel, DC, and other great comics come from fallen studios churning out stories about fallen people.

DSC_0195

But it’s not fair to say that you can’t learn something from them. You can. Maybe it ain’t in clear black and white, maybe it doesn’t need to be. It’s not fair to say that they don’t teach important lessons. It’s not fair to say that valuing life- at no matter what cost- isn’t a theme worth portraying. Because it is.

DSC_0193

Maybe some of the most important things are displayed in 24 panel art with people wearing Spandex and throwing shields.

I know that’s how I’ve found them.

(not all most important things, mind you, just some. 🙂 )

life is a highway, Jo

 

 

 

Flipping Burgers Is A Noble Profession

DSC_0154

We were talking about this article, my brother and dad and I, that talked about this lady who had been working on McDonald’s for over like… 20+ years? Don’t really remember- but she was in her late 90s, and she’d been one of McDonalds’ longest workers- which is really impressive.

But I’m ashamed to say that after reading the article, my dad and brother laughed. As if working at McDonald’s was an easy job that shouldn’t even be considered a job, and that that lady (who kinda really deserved that recognition?) musta been bored outta her brain.

I’m even more ashamed to say I laughed with them. Just like an ignorant kid who didn’t really know.

DSC_0147

(Gah, sometimes I wanna slap past me. That extends to from 2 years ago to 20 minutes.)

The thing is, I was so, wonderfully, hugely wrong.

Really wrong.

I wish I could find that lady and apologize. For thinking so little of that hard earned role I didn’t think to remember her name.

Fast food workers. Homemaking. Maintenance crews. Bus drivers. School bus drivers. The janitors who clean up the big city stores. Window washers.  These are jobs people need done but don’t think it worth doing. “see this? You don’t do your homework, you’ll end up here.” Like the people who do these jobs are on some bottom rung, and everyone who doesn’t is on one higher. 

dsc_0112

See, last summer my sister starting working in the fast food world- at the ultimate (and superior, tbh) fast food place, Tim Hortons. A few weeks in was all it took to know it wasn’t a walk in the park- and I wasn’t even the one working. It was hard and it was tiring, and ya know what- it was work. Actual. hard. work. It wasn’t like waiting at a lemonade stand waiting for people to show up.

So here’s why flipping burgers is a noble profession. Actually, scratch that. Here’s why the professions we deem “what happens if you don’t study in high school” are noble.

God says so. 

HA. And yes, I can prove that.

1 Corinthians 10:31 31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Notice the words, “whatever you do, do it all”? It didn’t say “whatever you do that’s in a nice office with plushy swivel chairs, do it all” or “whatever you do that’s in a comfortable work setting, do it all” ” or even, “whatever you do that pays well and has a lotta people seeing the good stuff you’ll do, do it all”. No, it’s whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

That’s a tall order, ‘kay? And yet, that’s what we should strive for in whatever we do. Peter and James and John were fishermen. Paul was a literal tentmaker. Jesus was a carpenter. Dorcas was a tailor- they and many more people, not just from the Bible, but from the rest of history proved that it was indeed possible to do everything to the glory of God. So why people all looking down on these jobs like “seriously, that’s the best you can do?”

DSC_0456

A similar thing kinda happened, but about people in the ministry and everyone who wasn’t in it, that somehow pastors were the ones God deemed saints and regular common people weren’t- that’s messed up and also, not true. *nods head like I know what I’m talking about*

Society needs these jobs, but they’ll never admit it, because society is a weird thing that likes to admit it’s all that when it’s really not.

Imagine a world where the garbage wasn’t taken away from your house every day and you had to get rid of it yourselves. Or imagine a mall you walked into and the halls were muddy from the feet of whoever walked there last night. Or imagine the whole fast food thing never existing. Or imagine going to take a bus, but there wasn’t anyone behind the wheel. Chaotic. Why? Because there aren’t any workers doing the jobs. I mean, don’t get me started on if your mom wasn’t there managing things- and we’re homeschoolers, for the most part, so we should know what that looks like. Oh, and should I even mention moms who work part time? They manage two jobs AND their kids. That’s hard.

DSC_0455

The fact is, we depend so much on the people we deem have “lesser” jobs without even knowing. They’re the engine that keeps things running but isn’t heard if you don’t think about it. These people aren’t paid much to make sure that everyone else has a comfortable time. The least you could do is respect ’em a bit and not talk trash about their job while they’re doing it.

Serving is one of the greatest things you can do, and one of the hardest.

Hey, this can come in all sorts of ways, but how come the commonest ones are hardly ever appreciated?  Garbage truck drivers, bus drivers, teachers, fast food workers- could use a little more appreciation and respect. They’re doing the work so you don’t have to.

They’re people too, y’know. 

My sister and a couple friends I know all ending up working in different places because college is ridiculously expensive here and because experience is a lot and because money is tight. But nobody really cares about that though. Nobody cares that behind the counter is another person trying to make ends meet, just like you. But for you, as soon as you get your burger, you’re outta there. For them, they have to do the same thing all over again for the next person in line. Also, to be honest, some people are really just jerks. A person can only handle so many jerks, y’know?

DSC_0122

Okay, okay, we get the point, whadya want us to do now?

Maybe just to realize this:

I’m not saying just stick with your job, whatever kind of job you have, because it helps society or whatever. If you wanna quit working at a diner to start up a company- go for it! If you think you would rather create music than be an engineer or a welder, do it. if you wanna work at McDonald’s just to save up money to buy a truck and travel cross country around North America taking pictures of everything and falling off cliffs so you can send your pictures to National Geographic, go for it! (Don’t fall off a cliff, but yeah!)

Just don’t look on people who do these jobs. Or who’ve struck a cool balance between them. Fo’ example, there was this infuriating poster once which read, “why be a scientist when you can raise scientists?” and it showed a mom with a couple kids.

Woah.

That’s just broke.

Stay woke, you guys. Why not do both? *gasp* Is it entirely impossible for a mom to *gasps even more* actually do something not kid-raising related while raising kids?

DSC_0124

Uh, no. *shoves Hidden Figures in your face*

*mini rant about moms over*

So here’s to the ones that aren’t in the spotlight. Here’s to the ones who have to clean up even after everyone’s gone. Here’s to the janitors, the late night crews, the bus drivers who have to put up with people and traffic, the moms who stay home and run things, the moms who manage both, the kids who need some money for a future, that lady who worked at McDonald’s for longer than most kids have been alive.

Cause even flipping burgers is a noble profession, whether we realize it or not.

life is a highway, Jo

Stop Tagging Me Y’all, I Can’t Run That Fast!

DSC_0150

So, I didn’t know that Faith also started blogging on the 19th, and also did a celebratory post on it, which happened to be the Liebster Award, and that she tagged me until I scrolled through my comments. XD (Happy blogsiversary by the way, Faith!) So here we are. *rubs hands together*  This should be…. fun? maybe?

DSC_0377

What is a way in which you are really passionate about serving God? I.e. a career, a hobby, a ministry.

Hmmmm, probably the “work” I do with the kids at church, if you can call it that? I mean, as a pastor’s kid, you kinda hafta be passionate… about practically everything in church, but if you’re talking about specifically me, then 100% helping out with the kids and praise and worship. They’re the fun parts. XD

DSC_0217

What is your favorite post of all the posts you’ve ever written?

Guess what, I didn’t even write it. *jabs thumb at Zeke and Jake* These whackos did.

And aren’t you glad we saved the state of your blog when we did?

Zeke, shut up or I really will make Gale an only child.

DSC_0475

Who in your life was most instrumental in showing you the WAY in Christ?

My sister. Which, considering everything that’s happened so far, is kinda interesting, but I’d have to say my sister regardless. She’s always lived out Christ and she’s always took the time to talk to me about faith and everything that comes with being a Christian. ❤

DSC_0091

What book other than the Bible do you read or have you been reading regularly?

*cough cough* Weeell, *pulls out giant book of favorite books* I’M GLAD YOU ASKED! *flips to recent page* Love to Everyone right now, and a few comics.

Yes. Comics.

DSC_0089

Who is your favorite non-Bible author?

Can’t really answer, because I have so many? XD J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Andrew Peterson, N.D. Wilson, Penny Wood, Rebekah C, Julia Rose, Kellyn Roth, Tess Richardson, tell me when to stop…

DSC_0090

Who is your favorite Old Testament character?

OOOOH. Deborah. And Esther. And Ruth. And Jael too. (*launches into a funny story in which I went to Sunday School and we learned this song about Jael that included words such as “she took a tent peg/ and slammed it right into his heaaad/ and the king didn’t ride no fancy iron cherry bomb no moreeeeeeeee”*)

DSC_0147

What time of day do you usually go to bed?

Bold of you to assume it’s the day… Or that I go to bed… >:)

DSC_0006

Do you wear glasses or contact lenses at all?

*waves blatantly obviously glasses right in front of you* Cursed for life!

DSC_0030

Favorite Christian music artist?

Again, don’t make me answer thissss! *sobs* I beg you by the fine guidelines of WordPress dot org, PLEAAASE don’t make my answer!

Fine then. Andrew Peterson, Skye Peterson, MercyMe, the Gettys, All Sons And Daughters, For King And Country, and a few more.

DSC_0087

Do you like spicy food?

I can’t even handle spicy food, so, no. XD

DSC_0182

How long does it typically take you to write a post?

Hmm, it depends. for a real post *glares at all the tags I’ve been tagged with* like an hour if I really concentrate? if I don’t and work on it on the side while reading a book and/or watching….. YT, then the greater part of a couple days. If it’s something like this, I can finish one in around a half hour.

Which I just did. *rejoices*

*slumps over dramatically, skips the 11 facts and the 11 bloggers, and gratefully gets offline*

life is a highway, Jo

 

Grate(fullness)

jo-team bear- category 5

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.

DSC_0244

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.

IMG_3151

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.

DSC_0016.JPG

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!)

Jo Team Bear Category 1

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.

DSC_0013.JPG

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)

DSC_0129

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. 😛

DSC_0116
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.

DSC_0124

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.

DSC_0119

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. 

DSC_0118

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.”

DSC_0126

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:

DSC_0112
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.

DSC_0120

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.

DSC_0121

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.

DSC_0122

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.

DSC_0123

*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.

DSC_0125

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:

DSC_0127

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. 🙂

DSC_0128

Have a good one, okay? 😀

life is a highway, Jo

Even The Sky Cries

IMG_3105

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.

DSC_0577

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.

See the source image
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.

IMG_2908

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?

DSC_0083

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.

DSC_0069

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

 

 

*gasp* A Blog Tour! You Don’t Say! The Daily Life Of Hailey Grace blog tour: interview with the author!

 Happy last day of January, everyone! It’s the 31st day of the year. Can you believe that? Cause, no, I can’t. It seriously feels like I was still binging on The Two Towers ridiculously late at night, and now, here we are. Doing a blog post.

I’m honored to be one of the last in a long line of bloggers for The Daily Life of Hailey Grace blog tour- huge thanks to Livy Jarmusch for reaching out! Livy’s a YA author herself, and she’s organized a group of people to help promote a newly published author, Beloved..

Beloved is a ministry leader and Christian Romance Author born and raised in Miami, FL. She spends much of her time studying the scriptures and has a gift for sharing the Gospel. Through her debut novel, Beloved hopes to inspire youth to seek God whole-heartily, knowing there is nothing impossible with Him on their side! 

And her novel!

For Hailey Grace, birthdays suck! She hopes with all her heart that her big day passes without gifts, or even a birthday wish. But with loving parents and two witty best friends who keep her on her toes, there’s no telling what adventure Hailey Grace will be forced to explore this time. Unexpectedly, her best friend Alex challenges her to do something she’s never done before. With that comes a whole new set of rules, and another life Hailey isn’t sure she’s quite ready for. Now questioning all that she has ever believed, she takes Alex up on the dare by asking for something that no one but God can give her. Her request also comes with a twenty-four-hour deadline. As the minutes slowly but surely tick by, Hailey’s life shifts into overdrive and she wonders if she has asked for too much too soon.

· Now, if you’ve seen the whole schedule, you might be expecting a book review as well as an interview. Due to some (technical) difficulties, and some confusion with links, I wasn’t able to get a copy to review in time for the post. 😦 But I’m looking forward to reading it nonetheless!

And now, please welcome Beloved up to the imaginary stage! 😀


So, to start things off..What’s the best thing about being a writer so far?

The best thing about writing is creating a world that readers can escape into to make their life that much more enjoyable.

·  That’s so true! I think that’s the joy of fiction, escaping. Uh, anyway..Where did the inspiration for this story come from?

The inspiration for The Daily Life of Hailey Grace came from Jesus. I remembered Him giving me this image of this little girl and the name to call her. I fell in love with the story, and the setting. There’s so much more behind that, but overall I just had to tell Hailey’s story.

·  That is so awesomely cool! I’ve heard people gain inspiration from like, looking at  random people, but never one like that. So what do you hope your readers will take away from this novel?

I hope readers will take hope away with them. I know everyone is coming from different walks of life, and we’re not all in the same place. But I believe everyone can use a little bit more of hope to get them through every day. I pray readers will draw such hope from The Daily Life of Hailey Grace.

· Amen. everyone can use hope. 🙂  Favorite ever writing snack? 

My writing snack is potato chips! All kinds.

· Ooohhh, chips! I’m hungry now. 😛 Who was your hardest character to develop?

My hardest character to develop was Prince, because of who he represents.

· Sounds like a character I can’t wait to read about! Are you planning on publishing any more novels?

Oh yes! I plan on publishing many novels. There will be two more in the Hailey Grace Series. And I have quite a few things in the works that will follow afterwards.

·  Eep! Looking forward to it! How’d this writing journey start? When did you know you wanted to write a book?

I knew I wanted to write books for years now. Probably since I was a teenager, but only seriously pursue it about three years ago.

·  Ooh, that’s great! I’m glad you got to achieve that goal! 😀 Alright, was wondering, if you had an audience full of people and you could only tell them one thing, what would it be?

I would tell that audience that Jesus loves them and there’s nothing they could do to ever change that.

·  And that’s probably one of the best things you can say. 🙂 What did you do when you were so tired of writing (if you were)?

When moments of weariness occur, I would take a little break and pray and read my bible. It never fails to ignite my passion again to write and lose myself in the story.

·  *claps* Wow. It’s kinda funny, I don’t remember to do that until like, editing. XD But you do it throughout writing too. That’s.. pretty inspiring. 🙂 Finally, what’s the first birthday you remember? 

I would say my 17th birthday, when my mom surprised me with having balloons delivered to my high school with gold fish crackers inside the gift bag. That was like one of my favorite snacks in high school and one of my favorite memories.

DID SOMEONE SAY GOLDFISH YUM.  That is a pretty sweet birthday! Well, thanks for letting me interview you, and I can’t wait to see where writing will take you! 😀

Concluding remarks:

Check out Beloved’s weblinks here!

Website: www.belovedauthor.com

Facebook: belovedchrist

Instagram: @belovedforever2018

Twitter: beloved4jesus

And if you’re interested in The Daily Life Of Hailey Grace, you should get the book from Amazon, and mark it on Goodreads if you can. 😉

Ooh, oh, there’s also a giveaway for an autographed copy of The Daily Life of Hailey Grace, as well as a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card! There will be 3 book winners, and one Grand Prize Winner will receive the Gift Card in addition to their copy.  Excited yet?

*****ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE :D*****

Go. and.  join. and read! ‘Nuff said. 🙂

Life is a highway,

 Jo