Monday, June 26, 2017

What I Read and Watched May

I didn't read much in May, so I thought that I would combine with June . . . but June is shaping up to be the fullest reading (or completion) month yet, so I will combine May books and movies.

Books

The Song of Glory and Ghost (second book in Outlaws of Time series) by N.D. Wilson. Interesting, I suppose. The plot dragged in the first book, and sped up unbelievably for this one. I prefer his stand-alone books and his first trilogy to his more recent series (and I'm still waiting for the end of Ashtown Burials; the last book left with a whole new can of worms opened).

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi. I greatly enjoyed this, but I do think it is kind of misleading. He comes from a privileged, sheltered background and learned from those who cherry picked their doctrines, history, and teaching or from those who learned from those. He points this out, but I still feel that he is trying to translate his experience to far, even for a Western Muslim, he certainly goes too far to include Muslim and Muslim majority countries. I think it’s a good starting point for learning about Islam and Islamic apologetics if you read critically and intend to study further.

From Pride to Humility: A Biblical Perspective by Stuart Scott. I finally read this booklet Mom gave me.

Bookish Things

I often have used scraps of paper for bookmarks, but I've gotten better with using bookmarks of late. I had a bookmark from a birthday card from my parents that had sweet words (like favorite things or something) on it and was pink with a pink ribbon. I didn't think to laminate it to preserve it, and so I wore it out, and instead of ending my stupidity there, I think I threw it out instead of putting it in a scrapbook. Sometimes I really want to go back in time and slap myself hard.


My bookmark collection (I have three more of the Jane Austen quote set; I won them in a giveaway). The Harry Potter ones I haven't used; I like them for decorative purposes. I've had the Switzerland one for probably a decade and a half (my grandmother went on a Beth Moore trip there), and I've had the metal one probably almost as long. The two on the top left I've found in books I've bought or library books. I intentionally got the two cat ones because I just love that art (I also have the greeting card set).

Oh, and more on my blonde-ness. I've discovered "stats" on Goodreads. I've been on there 8 years, people. When I found a stats page via Google, I didn't realize it was something always on my home-page; what an idiot. Anyway, I LOVE this. I can look at what I've read year by year in total books and pages and see what the longest book for each year was, and I can see what proportion of books from different shelves and see the number of books by my rating. Goldmine.

Movies

Rogue One. The horrible pragmatic (which doesn't work) "ends justify the means" worldview that pervades the rebel forces ruins this as a good movie for me. The plot and acting are considerably better than the previous Star Wars movie. Why couldn't the morality be? Especially because I like Cassian (whose morality is the most, um, questionable).

Swing Time. Boring.

An American in Paris. Boring. I skipped a lot of this, mostly songs.

Song of the Thin Man. This is a much lighter version (although, it is still a murder mystery with more than one murder, though not NEAR as many as the first). My sister who hadn't seen the first one now wants to see more these.

Two of my sisters also started watching (and re-watching) all the Star Wars movies in order (except Rogue One) at the end of May through the beginning of June. I'd seen IV and V over a decade ago (I think I was grounded or something when the rest of the family watched the VI, lol). I watched II a couple years after that and then VI several years after that. Then I watched the newest shortly after it came out. The two younger girls hadn't seen I-III, I think. We laughed and mocked the films quite a bit. We decided we still didn't "get" the Star Wars fandom, but we thought the movies were fun. I'm not sure I'd waste much time re-watching them, especially not the first episodes.



Friday, June 23, 2017

Stop and Smell the Wildflowers

I like to have fresh flowers, and I’ve quite a collection of small vases and cute spice jars (that I picked up from an antique place). I had an idea to clear off my chest and line a row of spice jars across the top. Our yard has but an indifferent selection of flowers (I want to rectify this if I can), so I decided to scavenge weeds wildflowers. I need to get outside more. I noticed lots of different flowers and wondered what they were, so after I gathered them, I did some research. This site is what I focused on with help from my memory and other sites. We had quite a variety of flowers, but I’ve identified the most interesting/least weedy. Also, I came across interesting terms like raceme and umbel to describe flower clusters. I managed to press a few samples, and eventually I would like to watercolor next to the samples.

~Miami Mist or Scorpionweed, Waterleaf family. This flower’s funny fused head with its fake “petals” is what got me started. The flower just pops off the stem like a silk flower which I just found rather hilarious.

~Star of Bethlehem (not False Garlic, which has umbels while Star of Bethlehem has racemes, I think?!). This look most like a “real” cultivated plant.

~Striped Violet, has bearded petals. Apparently white violets come in a great many varieties.

~Common Blue Violet.

~Philadelphia Fleabane.

~Chicory (aster family).

~Multiflora Rose. These smelled lovely. But apparently, this is an invasive species.

~A form of honeysuckle. Bush, I think which is also an invasive species. Oh, well its beautiful anyway.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Summer Bucket List and My Art Journal

Watch tons of Classic Hollywood movies
This should be easy!
Read at least half of Classic Club list
Hmm. Not a priority.
Make lots of art and crafts
Well, I’ve put a lot of pressed flower art in my art journal, worked on redoing my first quilt, and worked on dresses for my sisters’ birthdays.
Spend time outside: stargaze, watch the sunset, swim, swing, catch lightening bugs, sleep outside
I’ve spent some time, but I need to make it more of a priority.
Dance
You would think this would be easy.
Go on several day-trips 
I’ve been to the zoo and a baseball game at our local university, and I want to plan one for my birthday.
Jane Austen Festival and local art festival
I’m doing the latter for certain..
Go on or at least schedule one major vacation
I meant myself, but our family is going on one in January
Take a trip with my grandparents
Work extensively on genealogy
Make frozen custard
I should've focused a bit more on, um, less costly options.

I had tons of pressed flowers, so I've worked on tons of pages for my art journal. I've rather more pressed flower pages than I would like, but I'm still learning this art journal thing. These are my best pages to date (05/26/2017), I think.


Didn't that iris press gorgeously?!


My paper back copy of the Jane Austen novels split, so I decided to use the pages for crafts.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Personality Again and Links

I'm sure I've posted too many personality posts, but I am continually finding interesting articles or blog posts.

I enjoy taking these for fun . . . but then it gets too complicated and too rule based. Too many little boxes. Meyers-Briggs is fun for FUN but it’s not a good tool for serious issues (well, not much in psychology is really, much of it is quite frankly, opinion, psychologists are NOT medical doctors, psychiatrists are). The T/F is the one where I really saw an issue. That is NOT a continuum. Plus, I always wonder how honest people are about their faults. Anyway. I have a hard time placing myself in these boxes; nevertheless, I find this interesting

I've read about HSP. And well, it smacks of the same special snowflake snobbishness that the introvert obsession does. And then there is this, perhaps we are just extremely selfish and irritable?


Speaking of, is there anyone else that cannot handle certain senses? I have a low smell toleration and low noise toleration. I can't seem to have too many sensory things going on at once.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Structured Spontaneity

My dad quoted someone as saying some people were running on "chaos" theory. While I'm not sure I'm that bad, I certainly run on fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants theory (I certainly did my Senior year of college; my sister, also a Senior then, told me later that I about gave her a heart attack . . . regularly) . . . or maybe moodiness theory. I think that this is part of the reason why I cannot seem to match personality types to a T (if they are very detailed). I like rules and lists, but I don't like following schedules and lists. I follow honor codes and laws, but silly rules don't appeal to me. I keep some things in my head, and I need a few things on paper and in my phone, but when I have too many to-dos, I get overwhelmed.

I guess I like structured spontaneity. I want a list items to choose from, to CHOOSE from, not to be bound toI think that my entire family might be this way, but some of us are more motivated and disciplined. Now, I don't like completely winging errands or vacations . . . especially since that sometimes means we do nothing. Of course, when we do have lists, my energy is quickly expended.

I'm easily overwhelmed. I don't know why I pin or bookmark these pages, sometimes. I think these can be great as bouncing points. I like the lists of activates, books, etc. to pick from, I don't like the lists of to-dos. I need more general ideas, and sometimes somethings are better left in my head or at least I might use lists to get to that point but not to keep as checklists. The more inspirational things, well, I think I'd like to get a chalkboard for that, those types of pages have been wasted paper in my bullet journal, and they don't matter if they don't take root in my heart anyway.






Friday, June 9, 2017

About Fandoms

I'm not big into fandoms. I think they can be super annoying and people can be weirdly obsessed. I think it is especially odd if the fandom is something that really won't last very long. Do fandoms annoy anyone else? I suppose I do sort of fangirl sometimes, but when I go overboard or watch others go overboard or find too much fanart, fanfiction, I get disgusted or annoyed with what I originally liked, you know?

I really liked all the fanart with fanfiction of the HP Marauder generation in Pins on Pinterest, but with my interest came overindulgence, and I found some stupid, sickening stuff. So that and watching the movies (which I don't really care much for) has rather harmed my careful spacing of my re-reads.

And I know I hate when people mess with the oh, so sacred book and story!

I like to constantly read new novels and give myself space to come back to old favorites after a long interlude. Hence my love of the library. Maybe part of all this is I didn't read much as a teen, and so I don't have such a long-read list that I can more naturally have huge gaps in favorites.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Ode to the Library

I LOVE the library. I really feel that I don't get the library vibe from a lot of book bloggers, maybe we just forget to talk about it. But I know a lot of people buy books. I do like having books on hand, but I need to know I love them, and right now, I need space and money.

I grew up going to the library constantly. I loved the county library system where I grew up which we used for school and fun. And I loved my childhood church library where we often checked out our favorites ad nauseam. Nostalgia, people.

We don't have a great church library, and our county library system consists of one library, and although expanded, doesn't have a great selection, but I still use it occasionally (it is nice to make a quick movie run). I can use the big city library if I pay taxes or pay for a card.

I love:
~Using both our county library and the city library the next county over
~Ordering all the books from the various city locations and picking them up in one place
~Using the self-checkout
~Getting interlibrary loans
~Keeping loads of books on my designated library book shelf (I really need two)
~Suggesting purchases (I think the library bought all of them)
~Checking out movies, particularly ones that Netflix and Amazon wouldn't have 
~Listening to Great Courses lectures while I knit

I barely skimmed what our libraries offer; our city library also has:
~Links to online courses
~Digitized old newspapers (I used this for college)
~Reading challenges (the little girls have completed some of these, and we used to do this at our county library when we were younger and in another county)
~Bookmobile for those who cannot easily access the library
~E-books for those that like those
~Audiobooks for those that like those
~Ask-A-Librarian (I think I may have used this, but I was/am trying to find a book by vague memory of illustration and plot . . . I have nothing else, so that is hard, and unsuccessful thus far)

~Historical archives (at the downtown location)