Meghan W

Archive for July, 2012|Monthly archive page

5 Year High School Reunion: 0 Attendees

In Uncategorized on July 27, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Last week my aunt attended her 20th high school reunion. She posted a photo on Facebook of her high school I.D. card, complete with blonde hair teased and hair-sprayed with at least one bottle. I was actually quite shocked at the difference between what she looked like then and now (she’s my aunt by marriage, not blood, so I haven’t known her my whole life).

The next week I hung out with one of my friends from high school. She was back from taking summer classes at school and had to leave for recruitment the next week. I started thinking about if we would attend our 5 year high school reunion, or eventually our 20th. When I was a young girl and I watched movies which featured high school reunions, I remember thinking how amazing and wonderful they were– you got to see who made it, who didn’t make it, who married others in their class, who divorced, whose career is better, and, of course, you get to have everyone see you. But back when students graduated in the 90’s, 80’s, and before, Facebook didn’t exist. When they had been graduated for 5 years, social media existed in the form of emails. To keep in contact with friends from high school you had to keep their phone numbers and their email addresses. My mother went to high school in London, even though she was born and now lives in the U.S. Do you think she has ever gone to one of her high school reunions? Never. Not once. My father went to school up north. Has he ever been to a high school reunion? Never. Not once. They both have Facebook (and we were in London one week before my mother’s high school reunion in 2010).

I find it somewhat worrying. It might be the traditionalist lover in me. But these days we drive cars that have web surfacing capabilities. You can have a chat with your phone (which I find quite creepy, and yes, a little pathetic). You can hop into the bathroom while on a date and quickly search the web to make sure he or she never went to jail. What would happen if you just asked the person, though? If you circled around the question for a little before jumping in tactfully? It could start a very interesting conversation on what could be a very nice date, instead of hiding in the bathroom and talking to your phone about it.

I don’t know if I’ll attend my 5 year high school reunion. I’m friends on Facebook with nearly all the members of my class (192), except a few I hardly knew and didn’t really care about and so I un-friended them (oops…). I can log on at any time and see what they’re up to: Oh, they went to the mountains this weekend! Hey, I forgot she was born on my parents’ anniversary date. Interesting. Why did she un-friend me?? We’ve known each other since pre-school! Anyone can look at your profile (if you’re friends) and figure out what you’re up to. And high school reunions used to serve that exact purpose. They hand our name tags in case people don’t recognize you. But now you can just pull up their profile picture.

I believe high school reunions are becoming obsolete. It makes me sad. Talking face to face is so much different than stalking their profile. We all know Facebook lies sometimes. We exaggerate, we put on a fake smile, we pretend to look happy sometimes. It makes me sad because I believe my high school and even college friends and I will slowly drift apart because we always think we have the lifeboat that is Facebook to hold on to. I can imagine that I’ll start to think to myself, “Kelly texted me that she’s going to Africa to do service work…I should ask her how that is. Well, I’ll look online and see if she posted any photos.” And then pretty soon I’ll delude myself into thinking that that’s a better way than calling my friend up and listening to her personal stories, the ones she didn’t post on Facebook or Twitter.

It saddens me, and although I think I can get over myself and call up a close friend instead of talking through Twitter, I’m afraid for the future. Again, this may be the traditionalist in me, but I don’t think I’m alone on this one. I’m sure you could come up with a billion different ways in which technology benefits us, but does it trump meeting with an old friend face to face?

Choosing a Fictional Character Over a Real Person

In Reading on July 13, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Yesterday I read an article in which the author talked about how she believed Fifty Shades was making its readers feel undervalued and disappointed in the real life guys surrounding them and their own personal love life. I found it a very interesting article, and I began to think. I realized after I thought about it for a while that I actually have a habit I do with each novel that features a love story. I get excited when I read the back cover, I find myself smiling at the book when the male hero does something exceptionally cute or romantic, I get a bit teary eyed at the big climax (the literary climax!), and then I feel sad when I finish the novel. I feel sad for that very reason– it’s finished. I found this pin on Pinterest a while ago from someecards.com and it made me laugh out loud with how true it is–

SO many fictional characters fit this description. Sigh.

I didn’t create this e-card, but really. I’ve caught myself saying that to myself or to my friends about certain characters. Just to name a few– Mr Darcy, Captain Wentworth, Edward Cullen, Jamie Fraser, Miles Dorrington, Harry Valentine, Robbie Turner, and Ned Nickerson. The first book I read with the aforementioned men was Pride and Prejudice, in 8th grade. I was such an awkward person (in both personality and looks), so much so that the most popular girl in our grade said to me in Sharing Time at the end of the year that she was astonished at how pretty I’d become since 5th grade. Gee…..thanks? So in 8th grade I wasn’t really thinking about boys in real life. I knew no one was crushing on me, and if I was crushing on somebody there was no absolute possible way EVER that he would crush on me back. Books were where I turned to discover and imagine other people’s more fortunate lives in the love department. Pride and Prejudice gave me that small glimmer of hope that maybe I could have a British gentleman fall in love with me, despite being too macabre, too moody, too jealous, too tall.

But is this a good thing? Here’s another e-card that made me both laugh and sober immediately–

Argh! Just the other day I had not one but two conversations with two close friends on how extremely selective we are where guys are concerned. It also just so happens that Mr Darcy is one of our personal heroes. And the thought has crossed my mind that I am SO selective over guys (I won’t even let guys dance with me at school…although, considering their idea of “dancing” is grinding, I’m really hoping many of you would not disagree with my decision) because of the fictional characters that I’ve read. I yearn for a guy who can tell me that I must allow him to tell me how much he admires and loves me. For the man who will secretly write me a love letter in which he says that I pierce his soul. I joked to my friends (but inside, I think I’m completely serious) that if I could find a guy who would just quote Coldplay lyrics at me (but mean them) is my perfect man. But nobody says these things. Men would probably think they’d be losing their masculinity if they began quoting Jane Austen. If they screamed that they couldn’t live their life without their soul, people would judge. Hardcore. I could easily say “whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” The problem is… I’m not sure he exists in real life. I really don’t. And yes, you could say I’m jaded, that I’ve read too much into these novels. I’m barely out of my teenage years and I haven’t really lived. And yes,

sometimes I do think of conversations with people based on a conversation in a book. And then I’m obviously disappointed when it never plays out.

But how wrong is it to hope that my life can turn out like Elizabeth Bennet’s, or Anne Elliot’s? I’ve been struggling with this question. Feel free to insert input, readers. When I feel lonely or sad I do the same exact thing—I tear through all of Julia Quinn’s novels in less than a week. But I don’t feel happy when I finish. I don’t feel sad, either. I feel a mixture that I could almost liken to hope. I keep my expectations low in life. I tell my parents that it means I’ll never be disappointed, and they respond that it means I’ll never accomplish anything great. But I am starting to think that if I keep on dismissing the thoughts of living the Darcy’s life in favor for being the spinster I tell my parents I’m turning out to be, it’s doing me more harm than good.

I made a short list of the pros and cons of reading and getting all emotional and passionate over love stories (I like making lists, if you couldn’t tell from my other posts…). This is what I’ve come up with:

Pros:

  • Hope—hope isn’t always defined as a bad thing. How would Gandhi have accomplished all that he did? Martin Luther King, Jr? Teachers? Now, some people surely have been disillusioned by their hope (Hitler, anyone?) but I’m not planning on starting a revolution and killing every man who thinks Darcy is stupid…ahem.
  • Happiness—living vicariously through characters’ lives does lift spirits. “The Gift of the Magi” by O Henry is my favorite short story (go read it if you haven’t. It’s so romantic). I always feel so happy after I’ve read it, and yes, I don’t go mope that I’ll never find a love like that, unless I’m in one of my moods. Stories normally are supposed to provoke a response, of course. But generally it’s reflected in the moods of the characters. Claire loves Jamie, therefore, I love Jamie too.
  • Variety—seeing the different types of people out there; different types of love, different types of personalities, different types of income levels/appearances/flaws. If Wentworth still loves Anne after 8 years despite her perceived lack of constancy, then maybe we can still be loved despite that awful habit we can’t kick! (although, if it has anything to do with taxidermy-ing  your dead cats, well…all the best of luck to you.)

Cons:

  • Unrealistic expectations—Why, surely my future love will compose a lullaby for me on his instrument of choice! But, I think it’s up to us to determine if we will let ourselves get carried away with a fictionalized story. Sure, I’d love someone to tell me that “when the day shall come, that we do part, if my last words are not ‘I love you’-ye’ll ken it was because I didna have time.” But will I only search for guys who are guaranteed to say that to me? No. Because I know that’s a false expectation.
  • Unhappiness with relationships now—Guys most likely hated Edward Cullen from 2005-2008, and I frankly don’t blame them. The amount of bumper stickers, tweets, Facebook statuses, and conversations over a flippin’ vampire was a bit ridiculous (although, yes, I may have convinced 9 people in my high school to read them, and yes, one may have been my Latin teacher. No regrets!). I have a friend who admitted reading Fifty Shades made her current relationship feel a little inadequate. But I really don’t believe she intends on breaking up with her boyfriend, or make him act like Christian Grey (oh dear God). The feelings will pass.
  • Idealization of what you have to be like—More than once it’s crossed my mind between 8th grade and now that I should voice my witty opinions I normally keep to myself aloud, because that’s how Elizabeth Bennet caught Mr Darcy. I do realize now, however, that I’m not like fully like her. I’m quieter, shyer, more inclined to judge privately. If I start acting exactly like her, I may attract the guy who’s not the one for me.

As you can see, these lists are pretty divided. But I believe that in the end I can justify those cons and turn them into pros. Yes, Pride and Prejudice will always be my favorite novel and quite possibly my favorite love story. Yes, I would count myself the luckiest girl alive if I could find a real-life man like Mr Darcy. But if an average dressed guy approaches me in the coffee shop and doesn’t seem serial killer-eque, I won’t push him away. After all, what did Austen teach us about prejudices anyway?

I still have my standards. Confuse “your” with “you’re” one more time and you go down in my estimation. You don’t share my faith or my political affiliation? I’d get too upset at you for it to work. But if you don’t like dressing up in Regency England garb and watching Downton Abbey with me, I won’t dismiss you just yet. I’ll take after Elizabeth Bennet and Captain Wentworth and give you a chance.

And yes, the 2 friends of mine who think we have such high expectations base it off of fictional characters, and yes, my other friends who don’t read don’t share this belief. But I also have a friend who grabs at the TV when Ryan Gosling and the Notebook is on, and she’s a voracious reader who happens to be quite single going into her senior year. She’s happy, though. She fully believes the right guy is out there, and that she’ll find him. And guess what—he’s real.

So, I suppose all I can do–all we can do, really– is to hope that

Childhood and the Books that Influenced Me

In A History on July 10, 2012 at 11:57 am

Do you ever reminisce about the illustrated books and stories you read as a child? I sometimes think about it, and how they may have influenced me now through my tastes in life. My childhood was full of reading. I was a veritable bookworm, complete with a silver necklace given to me by my parents that had a worm wearing glasses. Yes. I know. I’m still surprised I had friends! Oh well. But I got to thinking today that I should record my favorite (not not so favorite) books that make me think of my childhood. If I ever start a family I’d love for my children to read these exact same books and share the memories I had. Let me know what you think!

Books that Influenced Me as a Child (I’ll stop at the age of around 11 or 12) Not in any particular order

  1. The Diamond in the Window by Jane Langton- Oh, my. Who’s read this one? I think it was the first book I read about time travel and history and such. The part where she finds a scratch on her leg that was similiar to the one in her dream? I still remember that! My mother and I were supposed to read this together, but she decided playing Game Cube with my brother was more useful of her time. I read most of the series by myself but I never finished it, because I never forgave her, I think.
  2. Paperquake: A Puzzle by Kathryn Reiss- My 4th grade teacher actually had this on her bookshelf and during daily reading time this was the book I chose. For those who don’t know, it features past regression in San Francisco. So fascinating. I accidentally took it home and never gave it back to my teacher… (oops)
  3. Time at the Top by Edward Ormondroyd- I saw the movie first, which I remember better, but once again, I see a trend developing…time travel seemed to be one of my favorite topics as a kid. And time travel through an elevator? Cool!
  4. The Mediator Series by Meg Cabot- I mayyy have been a bit older than 11 when I read these, but I can’t remember for sure, and anyway, I don’t quite care! This series deals with a girl who sees ghost and happens to fall in love with one. The ending of the series was so romantic! Cabot, a champion writer for young adults, made me wish severely that I could see and speak to ghosts. Especially since my mother claims her grandmother and great grandmother frequently saw ghosts of passed loved ones. Hmm…
  5. Holes by Louis Sachar- I’ll say this with all honesty– I usually HATE reading books where a guy is the protagonist. I can’t help it! I simply can’t relate to them. And even though I can’t relate with being sent to a prison camp to dig holes all day, this book is universally liked by both boys and girls. Although casting Shia LeBeouf was cast as the main character, I got over it…sort of.
  6. Dreadful Sorry by Kathryn Reiss- Another past regression novel by Reiss, this one was a little bit older and was a bit scarier. I read this several years after Paperquake and this is definitely one of my favorites. Although I’m pretty sure my fear of drowning came from this book…..
  7. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott- such a sweet book! The part where their sister dies and the poem about her made me cry. I distinctly remember staying in bed all day one Saturday in 4th grade and reading it completely. When I told my friends on Monday they were all astonished. I was known as a fast reader back in the day.
  8. The Secret Garden by Frances H Burnett- Ok I actually really hate this book but it still made an impression on me. Terrifying. That’s the first word that comes to mind when I think of this. Does anybody actually like this book? Does anybody actually find it happy? Geez. So sad.
  9. Nancy Drew Series by Carolyn Keene- Yeah, I’ve already written 3 posts about this so I don’t think I need to add anything. I’ll just say that these were my by far my favorite books growing up.
  10. Twin Spell by Janet Lunn- ahhh! Who’s read it?? Such an amazing book!! I actually wrote a short story probably in 3rd grade that was similiar to this. My mother read it when she was a girl and searched for years trying to find it (it’s out of print). It’s about twins who move into an old house with a doll and start having odd dreams about the past. It’s a great combination of spooky and eerie while still remaining young adult appropriate.
  11. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg- This is actually one of my least favorite books. I liked the sentiment, but I just remember feeling so sad about the whole bell ringing for only the ones who believe. Especially how the parents couldn’t hear it. It made me not want to grow up, which is somewhat the opposite of children’s storybook objectives.
  12. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle- awww, who doesn’t like Eric Carle books? I loved the illustrations. The story about the the cricket was also amazing. We still have all of them.
  13. Stellaluna by Janelle Cannon- another favorite. This was bought at the Scholastic Book Fair my school had twice a year. My brother bought Verdi, another by Cannon. My mother would read each of these to us every night. I’m not quite sure why I picked Stellaluna and my brother Verdi, but we each liked our own more.
  14. Bun Bun’s Birthday by Mercer Mayer- I get teary eyed just thinking about this book. This isn’t a very well known one. I’m not quite sure how I got it. I assume a relative gave it to me since I have a stuffed bunny named Bun Bun. The whole book makes me so sad until the end when I’m just a little bit less sad. In second grade I won a trip to the kindergarten class to read during story time and I picked this book.
  15. The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright- Who’s heard of Betty Ren Wright? She wrote these books before I was even born, but I found her entire collection at the library and would just re-rent them over and over again. I got into a dollhouse phase, not where I wanted one, but where I wanted to read every book with a dollhouse in them. Strange, right?
  16. The Ghosts of Mercy Manor by Betty Ren Wright- my favorite of her books. If you’ve read her but never this one, go do it now! I once recounted the plot to a neighboor who was maybe 4 years younger and her mother called the next day to tell me that her daughter had nightmares the entire night and couldn’t sleep because of the story I told her. Which was funny, really, because I was probably her age when I first read it. I promise I didn’t embellish or anything!
  17. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter- my grandmother has a set of china dishes from when my uncles and mother were young (50s and 60s) and they have the story line written and illustrated on each dish. It was one of my favorite parts about visiting the grandparents.
  18. Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel- these were written in the 70s and 80s, actually, but OMG did my mom, brother and I cry over laughing in this series. The wolf scene actually terrified me, but the ice cream cone on one of the amphibian’s head had be cracking up. How many of you have read at least one Frog and Toad book?
  19. The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister- Seriously. Quite possibly the most beloved children’s book. And the illustrations were just beautiful, especially the shiny scale.
  20. Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish- I actually remember to this day reading all of these in reading time in second grade. My teacher even baked us a lemon meringue pie (which I found absolutely horrifically disgusting) after the book in which Amelia bakes one. Every one of these books is so hilarious. Definitely a classic.
  21. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch- Have any of you heard of this? This one was lost in my memory for quite some time before it suddenly popped out after watching Tangled, of all things (I’m an adult, I promise…it was on HBO). It’s so adorable and cute!
  22. The Library Dragon by Carmen Agra Deedy- Ohhh, yes. A favorite story of my childhood (it was my mother’s too). It’s such a cute plot line and plays on every child’s fears of the librarian (mine was very nice, actually).
  23. The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scienszka- read this in the school library over and over again with my friends. Who remembers this gem?
  24. The Mitten by Jan Brett- I can’t help but smile when I think of this book. It’s such a sweet story! Any child’s book involving animals is going to be a winner in my eyes. Brett’s book about the hedgehog actually inspired my second grade assistant teacher to buy a hedgehog as a pet and brought to class (although, now that I think of it, can you actually buy hedgehogs? Perhaps she found it in her backyard….)
  25. The Magic Treehouse by Mary Pope Osbourne- My brother had to read these for school but I sometimes listened to him or my mother reading them. I’m glad I did, because I seem to be in the minority for people who have or haven’t read them. I love that they’re mystery novels. Somehow childhood mystery novels makes it seem to any person reading them that they can, in fact, solve their own mystery. And who doesn’t want that?
  26. A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon- hehe. Has anybody read this? This was a personal favorite in my entire school for some reason. So silly.
  27. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams- Ok. I hate this book. Like, really hate it. But it did influence me. I literally couldn’t think of a worse fate ever than having my stuffed animal burned in a flaming pile but actually turning into real life. Because, in my mind when I was a child, my stuffed bunny will actually live forever (or as long as I live) while as the velveteen rabbit will die after a few years since bunnies don’t have exceptionally long life spans. And then the boy NEVER realizing that his stuffed bunny became real?? Who writes that sort of thing and calls it a children’s book!
  28. The Nutcracker- I read and read a copy of this from my local library where the girl’s name was Maria. I loved the way she had her hair half up and half down, and so I dubbed the hair style the “Maria hair-do” and

It’s quite possible I’m leaving a few out, but I’m aging…I can’t remember every great book in my childhood.

I think there’s something very amazing about sharing memories like these with other people. And isn’t it amazing how our own mothers and fathers could have read the very same books they read to us when we were little? Children’s books are essentially timeless. They can be passed down from one generation to another without ever losing their sparkle or charm. I like the idea of sharing my favorite stories growing up because some readers may find that we share similar memories, too, or favorite books. Are there any on here that you never read? How about ones you read that aren’t on my list?

Oreo’s & Peanut Butter! Credits to the Parent Trap

In A History on July 8, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Last night The Parent Trap (1998) played on Hallmark. It doesn’t matter what is going on around me; if that movie is on TV, I’m watching it. My father could try and wrestle the remote out of my hands…but he wouldn’t succeed. Although, I have a sneaking suspicion both he and my 18 year old brother secretly love the movie, because both of them came into the family room and watched it animatedly with me. They wouldn’t have done that if it was, say, Pride and Prejudice. They would have definitively run in the opposite direction (men have no taste in movies. Hmph.).

Honestly, The Parent Trap would by my absolute most favorite movie in the whole entire world if Pride and Prejudice hadn’t taken over that spot in 2006 and refused to leave. So, it will have to be satisfied with remaining as my second most absolute favorite movie in the whole entire world. When that movie came out I was really young, only a few years past being a toddler. I’m sure I saw the movie quite soon after it was released, too. If you ask any girl around my age or Lohan’s age in the movie, I’d bet we would all say we’d seen it. I haven’t met one person who doesn’t like it. What about you, readers? Do any of you not like it? And HOW COULD YOU NOT POSSIBLY LOVE IT ARE YOU CRAZY? I mean, please let me know why. I will be respectful of your opinion. Promise.

Please allow me to list the ways The Parent Trap influenced my life more drastically than any media or pop song could ever have accomplished:

  1. Oreo’s and Peanut Butter: Best. Combination. Ever. I grew up with my mother NEVER once buying Oreo’s. Or Skippy peanut butter (which Hallie uses in the movie). It was all natural PB for us. BUT. My best friend since birth conveniently lived across the street, and, even more conveniently, had a mother who bought Jiff peanut butter and Oreo’s every week. I swear, every time I went to her house we HAD to eat some Oreo’s and PB, and this we took directly from The Parent Trap. Of that I am positive.

“Oh, sure, I love Oreo’s. At home I eat them with…I eat them with peanut butter.”
“You do? That is so weird. So do I!”
“You’re kidding! Most people find that totally disgusting.”
“I know, I don’t get it.”
“Me either.”

  1. Dress Up: When said best friend and I decided to play dress up and what not, our favorite combinations were either Mary Kate and Ashley or Hallie and Annie. I was Annie. Every single time. My best friend was always Hallie. We loved how each twin were our personalities. I was (am) the rather uptight, proper, girly-girl introvert. My friend was the tom-boy, the free spirit, the extrovert. It was something we never had to fight about. I never wanted to play Hallie and she never wanted to play Annie. And when you’re young, you really don’t want to fight with your best friend over which character you want to play with!
  2. Idealized vision of camp: I HATED summer camp. With a strong and undying passion. My parents thought it was fun to ship me off to week long summer camps every year, and I hated it. It wasn’t because of home sickness (I’ve never had that). It was more of the fact that I couldn’t simply stay home with my friends, I had to sleep in a bed not my own, I had to wear flip flops in the shower, daddy long-legs lived everywhere, and I never felt clean. Yes, I was a bit obsessive and OCD and slightly germophobic (I struggled with this majorly in high school and I owe it entirely to being forced to attend summer camp). But I always wished it would be like Camp Walden. Every single time I would imagine meeting great lifelong friends, laughing the entire time, learning how to fence, and to play a prank that massive and absolutely brilliant, which leads me to..
  3. PRANKS: I think every child goes through a major prank phase in their lifetime. I know I certainly did, as well as my friends. We did the typical finger in a bowl of water, foam on heads, and such. But deep down I always wanted to pull a prank of Hallie’s magnitude. It was a secret and delicious desire of mine. I wanted to pour a bucket of something over someone’s head when they opened the door. I wanted to pour honey all over a friend while she slept (or a frenemy). I think it was secretly every girl’s dream to create a prank that great. I mean, I totally respect them. That was amazing. I still think it’s amazing, and a small part of me reminiscent of my childhood wishes I could have achieved a prank even near that awesome.
  4. England: I can’t remember when I started loving England more than America (I know, I still feel guilty…) but I know that The Parent Trap influenced it. The part where Hallie as Annie is staring out of the car, mesmerized, at Big Ben and the bridge with the blue on it (I can’t remember the name now!) was what I dreamed of doing one day. I finally visited London in 2002 and I recognized that bridge purely from The Parent Trap.
  5. Fashion: Annie’s shoes as she stepped out of that limousine for the first time: jaw dropping. I absolutely adored those shoes! I know now they’re a bit outdated and I’d probably look like an aging spinster if I wore them now, but Annie’s style certainly influenced how I dressed growing up. I never shopped at Abercrombie and Fitch. Never American Eagle. Or Limited Too. No, I was a Talbot’s girl, a Nordstrom’s girl when I grew older. And I owe that without a doubt to Annie and her impeccable, sophisticated, English wardrobe. Headbands, too. I started wearing them after this movie. Annie wears them a lot in a movie. I hope they never go out of fashion.
  6. Wedding soundtrack: When I say I’m playing the entire Parent Trap soundtrack at my wedding (if that ever comes…), I’m dead serious. Completely. And I know every girl there my age would appreciate it completely! Sorry not sorry!
  7. October 11th: It’s one of my favorite dates. No, I’m serious. I do have favorite dates. October is my favorite month, Halloween is my favorite holiday, fall is my favorite season, I want a daughter born in October. 3 sets of ancestors in my family were married on October 10th of different years (weird, right?) and I’ve always said that I’ll either marry on the 10th or the 11th– because of The Parent Trap. I don’t go to far as one of my friends does to make a public announcement on social media every October 11th that it’s Annie and Hallie’s birthday, buuuut I may be thinking it.
  8. Happiness: That movie makes me happy without a fail. My parents are together and have been for 25 years, so it’s not wistful thinking at the character’s stories. It’s just a happy movie. Great soundtrack (come on. L.O.V.E. is probably one of the most amazing songs in the whole universe), adorable characters (save for Meredith Blake. Ew.), a creative plot– the list goes on. Not to mention that it’s during the 90’s, the epitome of my childhood. My best memories happen in the 90’s. I don’t even cringe at the fashion displayed in that movie because I’m too happy watching it and reminiscing to bother. The Parent Trap is the epitome of nostalgia to me. I became closer to my friends in high school because we talked about it the first conversation we had. It’s like something all of us have together, a common connection, like being compelled to dance to “I Want it That Way” or remembering Disney as it used to be.
  9. Cuppy: I have a bunny similar to Cuppy named Bun Bun (I can’t believe I’m publishing this in public). I actually have a friend a year older than me who named her bunny Cuppy after the movie, and who actually looks just like the bunny in the movie. But actually, is Cuppy a bunny?? I always assumed so because I associated it with my stuffed bunny. Hmm….
  10. Line quoting: I literally don’t do this with any other movie, including the Proposal and Pride and Prejudice. There’s just something about shouting out “I have class and you don’t,” “I…am Annie,” “butt naked,” “it’s a horrid habit!” “sure you’ll help me. Right over a cliff you’ll help me,” and “hello, pet! You may call me Aunt Vicky!” I’ll stop now. If I continue I’ll end up quoting the entire movie. And my family, who would normally shout at me to shut up, leaves me alone. I think they realize how much The Parent Trap means to me.
  11. Lindsay Lohan was my favorite actress. For a long, long time. I mean, she’s not now…that’d be weird. But when I was a little girl I loved her. But before that…
  12. The twins were one person?! I didn’t even learn it until I was probably eleven or twelve, but I remember feeling SO SAD. Lindsay Lohan played both Hallie and Annie?? So sad. Even though I never really got completely over it, I loved Lohan anyway.
  13. An undying desire to perfect the special dance Annie and Martin do. Seriously. Have anybody ever mastered it? I need to rewind it over and over again and, of course, have somebody to practice it with me, but how cool would it be to do that with a person in a crowded area??

I’m already feeling like a child again 🙂

Outlander: every girl loves a man in plaid

In Uncategorized on July 7, 2012 at 11:40 am

Last night I watched P.S. I Love You with Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler. I watched it around a year ago and couldn’t believe how much I cried over it. I really dislike crying during movies. Especially when you’re alone. With food. But I was in a mood all day and when I saw it was on TV, I had to turn it on. And then I cried again. Especially when it plays Flogging Molly’s “If I Ever Leave This World Alive.” The lyrics are so beautiful. But it and the movie reminded me of Jamie Fraser and Claire from the Outlander series from Diana Gabaldon (if you haven’t read it or know much about it, you might not want to read any further because I may give some things away from the series, and you really don’t want me to do that…)

There’s a beautiful quote Jamie tells Claire in one of the novels in which he says, “when the day shall come, that we do part, if my last words are not ‘I love you’-ye’ll ken it was because I didna have time.”

What a beautiful sentiment! I mean, come on. How more romantic could a person possibly get? And Jamie Fraser is also a Highlander, speaking in a Scottish brogue, while wearing various plaid clothing items. And strong hands. And an unrivaled heart. So, yeah, when I read that quote, I had to go write it down (I keep a journal of my favorite novel quotes) so I’d always remember it. And when I watched P.S. I Love You  tonight it made me think of him and the story.

So. Outlander. Who’s read it? Who hasn’t? (crazies.) Well, basically, if you need a refresher, Outlander concerns a Brit named Claire Randall who, during the 1940s, goes back in time to Scotland in the 1700s (I’m really not giving anything away, it says it on the back cover). I’m currently on An Echo in the Bone, and a part of me is slowly dying inside because I know as much as us Outlander fans want her to, Gabaldon cannot write the series forever. I mean, Claire and Jamie will have to die. Gabaldon will die, eventually (sorry, did I just get too morbid?). Trust me, I would love it if Jamie could suddenly become immortal and revert to his tweny-five year old self. But that won’t happen, and I have to face it. (WHY do some authors make us fall in love with their characters?? I know that makes them really good authors, but WHY? I want the Outlander series to live forever! Such is the life of a bookworm. Sad face.)

For the people who have read the series and loved it too, why do you think Jamie is such a likable character? Romance stories can be found anywhere, some bad and some good. But there’s something about Claire and Jamie’s that makes me pause every once in a while and think about how lucky and special they really are. The whole time travel aspect may have something to do with it. But only a little, I think! I know I’ve thought several times that if I could meet a real life Jamie (he doesn’t have to be a Highlander, I could survive if he was just a plain ole American….maybe…) I mustn’t let him get away. I think that the two of them are so perfect together, and their love really does transcend centuries. If Austen wrote in the 21st century, I wonder if Elizabeth and Darcy’s love would hold a flame to Claire and Jamie’s (and trust me, I’ve thought of this many times before, and how I’m practically betraying my favorite author in the whole world…I still love you Austen! I promise!)

Gabaldon writes scenes in which I am absolutely blown away at the emotion displayed in the scenes. Her scenes are so gritty at some times, and truly touching in others. They make her stories realistic. She is such a truly, truly talented author. Do I get a second? My mother’s had the good fortune to meet her several times and is always completely awed by her presence (I think it’s a little funny how there’s a hierarchy in the writer world). Honestly, if Gabaldon came out and professed that she knows so much about 18th century Scotland and such because she actually time traveled….I’d believe it. Seriously. Her writing is so descriptive, her images so colorful, that each book blows me away.

Isn’t it amazing how much a reader can feel for a fictional character? Such a cruel fate.

And, look, I’ll be honest. I’ve never been in love. And I don’t plan on being so in the near future. But I do know that if love ever tries to find me, I’ve got raised expectations from this series!

I’ve collected just a few of my favorite Outlander quotes (they’re from all of the series, not just the first book. And I cannot find them all because my journal is still packed away in all of my college belongings, and I know it would be fruitless to search for it now…I’ll probably find it when I’ve returned to my school in January, after the semester in St Andrews.)

“Blood of my blood,” he whispered, “and bone of my bone. You carry me within ye, Claire, and ye canna leave me now, no matter what happens. You are mine, always, if ye will it or no, if ye want me or nay. Mine, and I wilna let ye go.”

“Oh, aye, Sassenach. I am your master . . . and you’re mine. Seems I canna possess your soul without losing my own.”

“Ye werena the first lass I kissed. But I swear you’ll be the last.”

“You’re tearin’ my guts out, Claire.”

“I stood still, vision blurring, and in that moment, I heard my heart break. It was a small, clean sound, like the snapping of a flower’s stem.”

“Oh, Claire, ye do break my heart wi’ loving you.”

“Scots have long memories, and they’re not the most forgiving of people.”

“Hodie mihi cras tibi, said the inscription. Sic transit gloria mundi. My turn today, yours tomorrow. And thus passes away the glory of the world.”

 

Word of the Day: Soul— The spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part. The spiritual part of humans regarded in its moral aspect, auras believed to survive death and be subject to happiness or misery in a life to come: arguing the immortality of the soul. The disembodied spirit of a deceased person. The emotional part of human nature; the seat of the feelings or sentiments. A human being; person. (source: Dictionary.com)

Coldplay: Glowing in the Dark

In A History on July 4, 2012 at 12:59 pm

our wristbands glowing in the dark!

Monday night I attended a Coldplay concert with a friend. It was my second time seeing them. The first was back in 2009 when I was still in high school. The first time, it was raining and we were on the lawn. That didn’t smash the fact that it was the best night of my life to date. This time was fantastic as well.

Coldplay is my favorite band EVER. Even when I find a new band and I constantly listen to their songs on repeat,  NOTHING can compare to Coldplay. NOTHING can be better than Coldplay.

I apologize for the low quality of these photos…my camera isn’t working as it used to.

Why do I feel that way?

I talked to people who attended Coldplay concerts, and all of them– without fail– said a Coldplay concert was the best concert they had ever attended. And I agree.

Why are Coldplay concerts so amazing? (and yes, this will be from the viewpoint of a truly loving and obsessive fan)

1) they are really impressive concerts. Chris Martin (the lead singer, for those sad, sad people who don’t know the names of Coldplay members) had an amazing amount of never ending energy. He jumps around, he runs around, he falls down on the ground multiple times, he waves his arms when not at the piano, and he even moves when he plays the piano.  

2) they sound the exact same live and on recordings. The first time I heard them live I was blown away. I couldn’t believe how real it sounded. It was like I had put my iPod on massive speakers and was blasting it across the amphitheater.

3) they include the audience. The first concert, Chris asked about the people way in the back (where we were) and the people on the right and left. He made up a song on the spot about our city, which of course made the crowd go wild. He sang our state’s song. He came out on the lawn for THIRTY MINUTES and sang TEN FEET AWAY FROM ME. Literally. I could see the sweat on his face, and the muscles in his neck. BREATHTAKING. This concert he did a similar thing, but it was still different. He asked how we were doing on the left, and the right, and up in the nosebleed sections (it was a closed amphitheater), and the lucky people on the floor (really, how ELSE could they be doing except feeling awesome?). He said multiple times how he loved coming back to our city and how much they appreciate our support. I don’t know if he says that in every city, but it still made us feel special (and I somehow don’t think that a writer of those lyrics would copy something like that). And, lastly, they include the audience by playing off the stage. THEY CAME AND PLAYED IN MY SECTION LAST NIGHT!! I can hardly believe that I would be fortunate enough to be that close to them twice. It’s something I will never forget, and I feel so privileged to have experienced that.

acoustic version of The Scientist. Tear jerker.

4) Chris Martin sometimes plays the acoustic version of his songs. Last night he played The Scientist and part of Warning Sign acoustically. In 2009 he played The

Hardest Part acoustically. He plays beautifully, andseeing the songs performed a different way is very special to watch. To me, it looked like there was so much more feeling in the acoustic performance. I appreciate that. People listen to music to feel something, whether that comes from the lyrics, the melody, or the instrumentals.

so close to me!!

5) Coldplay’s lyrics really affect the die-hard fan, and every song features a special lyric or too. Seeing them performed live, with such passion, energy, and happiness is an unforgettable and unique experience.

Personally, I’ve been a Coldplay fan for many, many years. I can’t remember exactly when, but it was most likely 5th or 6th grade that I discovered them, and I liked them from the beginning. To date, The Hardest Part is my favorite song (but really, I love all of them). It’s currently my ring tone. Fix You will always be a cherished song.

“When you try your best but you don’t succeed, when you get what you want but not what you need, when you feel so tired but you can’t sleep…stuck in reverse.” That seems like the catchphrase of my life. And I’ve heard people say “Ignite your bones” is a stupid phrase, but I personally love it. I think it’s a lovely sentiment, even if it doesn’t make complete sense. It’s the same with Yellow. It made the top 10 worst lyrics a few years ago, but the song is so beautiful, and sometimes lyrics don’t need to make perfect sense. The way Coldplay plays it and the way its sung makes it a stunning piece of music, regardless if “it was all yellow” is stupid (which it’s not! Hmph).

The complexity of a lyric is what makes an artist accomplished. This is only my opinion, but I wouldn’t be surprised if many Coldplay listeners agreed with me. Hurts Like Heaven, Don’t Let it Break Your Heart, Sparks, and Glass of Water, just to name a few, have wonderful lyrics full of imagery, metaphor, and beauty.

Have you ever listened to Proof and A Message? The lyrics. If I was an emotional person, I don’t doubt I would cry every time I played them. “And I’m covered it’s true. I’m covered in you… In you I find proof.” And the repetition of “light” and “dark” is full of imagery, and is facilitated by the rising and dropping in Chris’ voice. I mean, please. He must have been a heart-breaker back in the day (I personally don’t look at their bios because I only want their music to affect my opinion of them). A Message has personally helped me out when I was feeling upset, or lonely, or simply frustrated with life (we’ve all experienced this, right?) It’s a really beautiful song, and I encourage all of you who haven’t heard it to go listen to it, and focus on the lyrics. And if you have heard it, you should go take another look at it.

Okay, well I’m done ranting now about my most absolute favorite band in the whole entire world. I just wanted to share with you why I love them so much, and why you all should give them a chance. And if you’re in town when they’re preforming, GO SEE THEM!!

Basically, I just wanted to write this post to share my love of Coldplay. Even though I’d love to keep them for myself, I know I can’t do that! I believe Coldplay is unique in so many ways, and they are more special (to me) than any pop singer, rapper, or other alt/indie artists.

What about you guys? Do you have a band you’ve loved  since childhood? Do you have a band you’d give your left arm to see in concert? Both arms? ; )

Word of the Day: Paroxysm– any sudden, violent outburst; a fit of violent action or emotion. (Source: Dictionary.com)

P.S. I realize I posted that my next post would be about Jamie Fraser and Outlander, but I had to post this first because the concert happened so recently. I’ll get to it, I promise!