January 26, 2013

nature

Some autumnal/winter shots I took 'last year' on my Nikon D3100, kit lens









January 25, 2013

the Hobbit

Yesterday I went to see The Hobbit: An Unexpected journey for the third time in theater. (Which is a first. I don't know if I've seen any other movie even just two times in theater before.) I started knitting a hat during the trailers and was about half-way through by the end of the movie (and that's mostly by feel, not by sight). My mom and sister, Emily, were with me --- I think we all agreed that The Hobbit gets better every time. (They were seeing it for only their second time because we all went to the midnight showing, and I went again the next day with a group of friends from church.) But seriously; I've started being able to quote it, memorized the dwarves' names (and faces!), and am determined to read The Hobbit again before the next two parts are released.

Martin Freeman is Bilbo Baggins, an actor whom I was first introduced to watching Wild Target, a comedy starring Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt, and Rupert Grint; then one night my sisters and I began watching the BBC television series Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch (who actually plays the dragon Smaug and the Necromancer in The Hobbit). It was shortly after that when we learned Martin Freeman was going to play the part of Bilbo, so naturally we were... well, ecstatic, really. He portrays Bilbo perfectly. He's the number one thing I like about The Hobbit, but believe me, not the only thing --- I like every detail. ;)

 

It's fascinating to look at the behind-the-scenes videos (such as the one above) which explain a good chunk of the work that goes into the making of The Hobbit. It really does take so much to make a movie worth watching, and I believe Peter Jackson and his capable crew did a fabulous job! I've heard people complain about The Hobbit 'not being as good as Lord of the Rings' or 'too silly' and suchlike. Well, truth is, The Hobbit is NOT as serious at the Lord of the Rings. I've heard that J.R.R. Tolkien actually wrote it to be a children's book. And The Lord of the Rings trilogy is frankly pretty dark. I appreciated the humor of The Hobbit because the end of the "LotR" (Lord of the Rings) trilogy when Frodo sails away just breaks my heart. I needed a little cheering-up, and An Unexpected Journey did just that for me.

And I know a lot of people thought it was a little stretched out, but seriously: what true fan can complain about having three whole movies made about a favorite novel, especially if they star Martin Freeman? There were actually aspects of the book I didn't fully understand, and other parts I couldn't really picture in my own imagination. An Unexpected Journey answered a lot of questions I had. And how often do we have the chance to see a fantastic book like this from another person's perspective, anyway? I can't help thinking that if J.R.R. Tolkien could see his books from Peter Jackson's perspective, he would be very well-pleased.

For those of you who loved The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey even half as much as I did (which is still saying a lot!), don't worry; The Desolation of Smaug comes out on December 13th of this year, and There and Back Again, on July 18th of 2014 (and that's only about half a year after part two!) We don't have that much of a wait ahead of us. And I plan on watching An Unexpected Journey several mores times when it finally comes out on DVD.

For those of you who didn't really like the movie all that much, think about the reasons for that. We geeks will allow you to be more interested in other movies --- everyone has their own tastes and is entitled to their own opinion --- but if your only excuse for disliking The Hobbit is because they're splitting it into three parts, just know that The Lord of the Rings was originally one book as well, but was separated into three parts because of its length! Length is a problem for you? *Chuckling ensues* Well, my friend, because I'm a true geek at heart, I'm hoping for more extended versions --- love those --- to put up on the shelf, next to The Avengers, Doctor Who, Merlin, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Star Trek, and every other 'geeky' movie or TV series I have on my rather extensive wishlist. Length is good.

Lastly, I want to ask everyone to do one thing concerning movies based on books; to give the movie an honest chance. Allow yourself to not be prejudiced, but see its quality in and of itself, even if you still like the book more. You really are seeing the book from someone else's perspective, seeing their very imagination, which is FASCINATING! Allow yourself to look over any quirks you don't care for and simply enjoy the movie. And please don't make judgments until you've seen a bit of all the work everyone put in to making that movie. (Particularly The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.) Could YOU have done a better job? Let's give Peter Jackson some major kudos for bringing The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to life!

January 11, 2013

toothless ... part two

Thank you to anyone who prayed for me during my wisdom tooth removal yesterday. If I could have had it go any way, I would have chosen just exactly what happened! I don't remember the surgery at all, just talking to the surgeons a little bit, then waking up in a cot with my mom next to me, and a nurse nearby. I tried to talk right away, which was really difficult because of numbing as well as the gauze in the back of my mouth --- that part made me tear-up in frustration --- but it wasn't more than a few minutes later before I was communicating all right. I started cracking jokes, which was my plan all along. I was perfectly content, and don't recall any pain at all. Actually, even when they had put the IV in for anesthesia (an experience I've heard an awful lot of unpleasant stories about), it wasn't that bad, not nearly as much as I expected. 
    It made me feel more confident.

Being wheeled out to the car was an interesting experience; it was weird to not be able to stand on my own two feet. My mom had the car pulled-up to the door, and she and the nurse helped carry me in. After that, I started to relax and almost fell asleep. Emily had been finishing babysitting for me, so we picked her up when we left the hospital, and then we stopped to pick up my prescribed pain-killers, then came home.

Em and mom helped support me up the stairs (we have a split-entry), and then into bed. Boy, it felt good to be drowsy and just rest! I still didn't feel any pain. Emily read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets aloud until I fell asleep, and then later, she and Lilly were baking cookies around the time I woke up. I watched Once Upon a Time (my favorite TV show), and then Em and I watched some I Love Lucy and then X-Men United (the second one), but I don't think we finished it.

The lower left side of my face hurts when I touch it, which I believe is because that was the only wisdom tooth that hadn't started coming out, yet. So far, that's pretty much the only pain I've had, but for a little bit of soreness. And right now, I'm wide-awake, jolly, and even energetic. I went downstairs without trouble, have been getting all of my own food for myself. I'm not having any trouble with dizziness or weakness --- the truth is, I feel great!

Oh, and I actually did have one of my sisters' delicious cookies last night. They were freshly-baked, and therefore warm and soft. I nibbled off little pieces and rubbed them between my tongue and the roof of my mouth. Other than that, (and a half spoonful of cookie dough) I've stuck to completely soft foods like pudding and yogurt and a little ice cream, which are things I love to snack on any day. Despite all of the horror stories I've heard and the expectations of something going wrong, God and my family have been taking excellent care of me --- I'm wanting for nothing. And the oral surgeon said my swelling will be at it's peak tomorrow. Believe it or not, looking like a chipmunk is what I've been looking forward to the most! ;)

When the nurse settled me into the wheelchair right after I woke up from my surgery, I just wanted to sing praise to God! My heart was bursting with happiness and gratitude because of how well things went, and I'm still praising Him in my heart.

My mom is going to go see my grandparents tonight, and if I'm up to it, she might take me along! I'm excited; I haven't seen them since the beginning of the week, and I want to see how they're doing, and share my praise to God with them!

At this rate, I'll be feeling just great for church on Sunday, which is really good, because I'm helping set-up and training for the laptop slides!

Thank You, Lord, for making this such an easy, painless experience! All praise and glory be to You, for all that You are, and all that You have done!
               Amen.

January 9, 2013

toothless

I finally am getting my wisdom teeth out! Tomorrow morning, my little sister, Emily, will be taking over for my babysitting job so that I can head over to have my surgery. The nearer I come to the moment, the more often I think about it. The nervousness hasn't really started yet, but I expect once the people there inject me with that temporary sleeping potion, 'nervous' will come upon me, full-blown.

I'm kind of looking forward to having them out, but not very much to the days of healing. I expect to sleep all day Friday (fortunately, a day completely off!), and rest as much as I can in the days to follow. I'm going to try to not overeat --- boy, will chocolate be tempting! I'm such a sweet-tooth, but I'll try to have soup broth and other things besides ice cream and yogurt (sugar, ya' know).

I'll try to let you know how it goes. If you think of it, please pray for me!

God bless,

January 4, 2013

portmanteau

I just learned an interesting list of facts on the internet dictionary concerning 'portmanteaus' --- a word I never recall having heard before! (Love it when that happens....) Apparently, a portmanteau is basically a word made up of a combination of words. Like this:

This portmanteau abbreviation of "web log"--(we)blog--is simultaneously a verb, a noun, and a sphere: one "blogs" when writing their "blog" which is displayed in the "blogosphere." The noun form of blog is a website that functions as an online journal in which an author can display their personal opinions, experiences and insights. One "blogs" in the verb form when they add to this journal using online posts.

Maybe this isn't news to you, but what about this:

It would be a terrible shame if portmanteau were not itself a portmanteau. The word originally referred to a large traveling case made of stiff leather, derived from a combination of the French porter, meaning "to carry," and manteau, meaning "mantle" or "cloak." The word's literary significance is the work of the great neologist himself, Lewis Carroll. In Through the Looking-Glass, Humpty Dumpty explains to Alice that the strange compound words she hears in Wonderland are "like a portmanteau--there are two meanings packed up into one word."

So, I learned something totally new today! How about you? ;)

writer's block

Every writer experiences it once in a while, but it's different now. I always have plenty to say, so much to tell, to talk about, but here on my blog, I have such high expectations for myself, and I expect others to have the same high expectations.

I'm terrified of being boring, of no one wanting to know what I think or have to say. I'm afraid of being... monotonous. And dull. I'm not one of those confident bloggers with over a hundred steady followers. I don't write anything witty or of importance. My true skill set doesn't lie so much with talking to people; I can invent conversations for my stories, I can even have dandy little conversations with myself, but not with others; I get clammed-up and run clean out of words. Know how that feels? I feel like I need to scramble for a subject, for something I think somebody out there in cyber space might be interested in. Sometimes I feel like I'll never have any booming popularity unless and until I either get a boyfriend or meet some famous person. ;)

I know what I have to start asking myself is what I really want to accomplish from this blog, especially for this next year. When I first started this blog, I think that I just wanted to 'lubricate' my mind for novel writing. Maybe I'll leave it at that. At the moment, I'm not really sure if I want more than that. What do people normally want from their blogs?

I'll guess we'll all just have to wait and see what happens... even me.

January 3, 2013

...apologies...

I'm sorry I haven't been writing very often lately. I would probably post photos as often as ever, but I guess there's a limit to how many photos I can have on here for free, and since I have no idea how to work any internet payments for more space or suchlike, and I don't have as many words to write as I do photos to share, I suppose I've just kind of slowed down for a while. I have a post scheduled for tomorrow morning to explain a little more about what I've been thinking about my blog and writing in general. But it's late, and I have things to do in the morning.

I want to take the opportunity to wish you all a belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! God bless you all....
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