Archive for June, 2012

Adventure Time

Adventure Time is a Cartoon Network classic that most believe belongs to younger children, and it’s easy to see why. The idea behind the entire show is that two best friends get together and have fantastic adventures all the time. Seriously, what could be more kid-friendly than a noble teenage hero named Finn and his loyal, magical dog named Jake who go around saving people every day? Even better, throughout their adventures, they grow in their friendship, make new buddies, and exemplify what honorable people do to help others.

Like I said, it sounds completely innocent. Well, I’m here to burst your bubble, it’s most certainly not for young children because I’m pretty sure it would give them nightmares. Don’t get me wrong, I love the show, but I don’t want any young minds to love it too. See, as you get further into the watching experience, you learn that Finn and Jake are friends with a vampire whose father tries to take everyone’s soul in one episode. Their archenemy is the Ice King, a poor older man obsessed with kidnapping princesses because he’s lonely and wants to marry one of them. To make matters worse, in one episode, they fight against a super creepy deer who turns out to have human hands, and succeeded in giving one of my high school friends nightmares. Yup. It’s a pretty creepy show.

I think Cartoon Network just likes to pretend that they produce shows for children because I don’t think I’ve ever seen a program on that channel that hasn’t been frightening. Look at shows like The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy and Ben 10? Those are definitely not shows for non-teens.

But onto the positive aspects of the series! Despite its many terrifying qualities, I love watching Adventure Time! The characters are funny, the villains are defined, and there are hints of more mature themes all throughout the show.

There isn’t an ongoing plotline, but Adventure Time is one program that pulls of mini plots really well. For example, in one of my favorite episodes, there is a reality flip so the main characters are Fiona and Cake (both girls) instead of Finn and Jake. At the end of the episode, you find out that the reality flip occurred because the Ice King wrote a fanfiction about Finn and Jake’s adventures and froze them in ice to make them listen to him as he read it. It’s a quality episode and plays with awkward teen romance, which I happen to have a deep appreciation for.

To sum it all up, Adventure Time is a creepy, heartwarming television production about two best friends who like to kick evil butt! Go give it a shot!

End of book quote: “He turned away to give them time to pull themselves together; and waited, allowing his eyes to rest on the trim cruiser in the distance.” —The Lord of the Flies by William Golding


Hardcore Inspiration

Hardcore Inspiration

When most people think of running, they think of misery, early death, copious amounts of pain, and other similarly themed events. There are some (like me) who think of beauty, perseverance, learning, fun, etc. rather than all of the negative aspects.
The people in the first group have probably never given running a chance (meaning they don’t try running for more than two weeks when they would then slowly become more in-shape and be able to enjoy it infinitely more). The people in the second group are usually those who adore running even though it has so many hard moments. Therefore, as a highly biased runner, I feel everyone can dismiss the ridiculous opinions of the first group and focus on the opinions of the second group.
However, despite which group a person might belong to, it is inevitable that if they ever end up running (forced or by their own free will), they will want a source of motivation to keep themselves going. People have a lot of different ideas of how to do this. In my running, for example,  I’ve repeated song lyrics to myself over and over and over again, recited memorized Bible verses, tried to ignore my pain (unfortunately, this one has never worked out too well), prayed for strength, counted steps to keep my feet hitting the ground in a consistent rhythm, and many other actions like that. More frequently than not, none of those things really help me perform better.
In fact, some have even caused me to perform worse than I otherwise would have. One day I was preparing to run the 1600m (or mile long race) at a track meet, and my friends started singing “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction and got it firmly stuck in my head. That mile was one of the worst mental races I have ever had. The lyrics kept playing back over and over again in my head, destroying my focus, and ruining that song for me forever (not that I was a big fan of it before).
However, there have been times when my methods of distraction have helped me. For instance, during a cross-country race, I repeated Psalm 130 to myself as I ran and was able to mostly ignore my body’s firm protests of my intense physical activity.
All of this to get around to pointing out that I have found a new running song! The song is “My Body” by Young the Giant (yes, I know it sounds sketchy, but it’s completely appropriate). I first heard the chorus of “My Body” at the REAL kite boarding school in North Carolina. I instantly thought that the words were perfect for running so I memorized the lyrics and determined to look the full lyrics up when I returned home. Well, surprisingly, I actually remembered to do that, and I am very glad I did. The lyrics to the chorus, in case you were wondering, are “my body tells me no, but I won’t quit, because I want more”. It’s truly a great song, and I am excited that I stumbled upon it.
Last line book quote: “Then the king commanded his servants to mind whatever Curdie should say to them, and after shaking hands with him and his father and mother, the king and the princess and all their company rode away down the side of the new stream, which had already devoured half the road, into the starry night.” —The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald

All It Takes Is One

All It Takes Is One

I’m an introvert. I have been all my life, and I can’t say I would change it even though sometimes not being an introvert would make my days a whole lot easier.

As far back as I can remember, I’d rather sit at home and read a book or write than go hang out with large groups of people. See, I’ve always been uncomfortable around people. The church I go to now is the same one I’ve been going to since my family moved to Tucson when I was two or three years old, but I didn’t really have any friends until I reached high school. The reason for that friendlessness is quite simple: I didn’t know how to talk to strangers. I was too afraid to walk up to a group of people I didn’t really know and introduce myself, so I didn’t. I’d just pray that my one or two friends would be at church that Sunday, and when they weren’t, I’d sit by myself and want to cry because I felt so alone.
The first time I went to church camp in sixth grade, I didn’t have anyone to sit by on the bus driving up (don’t worry, someone ended up sitting next to me). I distinctly remember looking out the window of the Greyhound bus, fighting tears, and mentally begging God to let me get off that bus and go back home.
Like I said, I’m an introvert. That’s just my personality. I feel things deeply, and I’m harder on myself than anyone else could be. My mom has been telling me horror stories from my younger years. Apparently, some family friends or something came over for dinner one night and I refused to come out from underneath a chair in my parent’s room because I was terrified that they wouldn’t like me.
Looking back on awful moments like that, I can’t say I regret any of them. Not having friends at church in middle school not only worked into the trials I had to face that shaped me into who I am today, but I am now able to realize how blessed I am to have the friends I’ve made now. That camp I went to in sixth grade that started out so poorly ended up being the place where I personally experienced God’s presence for the first time. I am happy to say my life has not been the same since. And even though I can’t remember refusing to meet those family friends when I was little, it was similar catastrophes that prodded me to strive towards being a little more extroverted so that I ever so slowly learned to be a more healthy introvert.
I’m glad to know that I can relate to the picture I posted above. I’m not saying that I have never been mad, depressed, or antisocial, but I can say that I am content to be an introvert because that’s how God created me to be.
End of book quote: “Do your ears hang high!” —Do Your Ears Hand Low? by Caroline Jayne Church
P.S. In case anyone is interested in seeing another perspective on being an introvert, check out the post “It’s Okay to Be an Introvert: A Review of Susan Cain’s Quiet” on the blog The Bookshelf of Emily J. Let’s see if this link works:

The Hungry Lion

I found this joke a while ago and thought it was a keeper. For all you readers and writers out there, I think you will appreciate this as much as I did.

The Hungry Lion

A hungry lion was roaming through the jungle looking for something to eat. He came across two men. One was sitting under a tree and reading a book. The other was typing away on his typewriter.
The lion quickly pounced on the man reading the book and devoured him.
Even the king of the jungle knows that readers digest and writers cramp.

As you can tell from the typewriter reference, the joke is a little old, but I am still a fan.

End of book quote: “I take his hand, holding on tightly, preparing for the cameras, and dreading the moment when I will finally have to let go.” —The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

A Lack of Courage

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” –Ambrose Redmoon

There are a lot of instances in my life that I wish I would have had more courage throughout. Today for instance I went to my friend’s birthday party, and had a noticeable lack of any resembling bravery. There were twenty or more people there and I only knew the friend who invited me. You’d think it would be easy to make friends with that many new people to choose from, but it wasn’t. I didn’t do a great job of meeting any of them.

Almost everyone seemed awesome and nice, but I just couldn’t think of anything to say. They have lived different lives than I have in much different ways, and when I realized that, I couldn’t bring myself to keep up a conversation with any of them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m horrible at meeting new people anyways, but I was overwhelmed by how many people there were that I had never met before compared to how many I actually knew.

Courage is a hard thing to come by.

Mid-book quote: “I have hated the words, and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.” —The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

My older brother and I explored our new musical tastes after dinner tonight on YouTube (despite the fact that he is not on a quest to conquer his musical ignorance). He tried to show me a new song that he liked, but we quickly learned that listening to music is very hard to do when the song is accompanied by a strange music video. We went through artists like Of Monsters and Men, Two Door Cinema Club, Florence + The Machine (weirdest music video I have ever seen in my entire life for one of their songs!), Fleet Foxes, and Foster the People, and found the same results for all of them. Strange music videos are interestingly common in alternative bands.
But then we stumbled across a music video that was not only weird but also quite amusing and that music video is the one posted above these words. This music video was made for the song “Houdini” by Foster the People. I would explain it for you, but it will be better if you just watch it for yourself. It will blow your mind (in a comedic and terrifying sort of way)!
End of book spoiler quote: “Defying the storm that threatened, the clouds that curtained the sun now pass, and we three survivors of a long-ago tragedy stand together in silence, beholding one another in the sun’s light.” –“Ophelia” by Lisa Klein