Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WWW Wednesday: July 16, 2014

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Each week, MizB over at Should be Reading asks the following three questions: 
What are you currently reading? 
What did you recently finish reading? 
What do you think you’ll read next? 

Here are my answers:

1. What are you currently reading? Molly Ivins: A Rebel Life by Bill Minutaglio and W. Michael Smith. Love reading her articles growing up, so as I begin this bio, I hope to enjoy reading about her, the person, as well.

2. What did you recently finish reading? I (finally) finished up EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey and The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. As I'm being led into different areas and getting different ideas, books like these (financial planning and career/productivity respectively) are going a long way to teach me what I should and shouldn't be doing in order to become successful. In addition to teaching, I also want to write and pursue other creative interests, so it's a balancing act. No one thing is ever going to be the only thing I do, so learning how to balance everything out while still being able to do what I want is key.

3. What do you think you’ll read next? I'm winding down on what I'll be able to read for pleasure since school will be starting back shortly. Once I'm done with the Molly Ivins bio, I'll probably find something light that I can read quickly like a Debbie Macomber novel or the like. Audiobook wise, I have The Fault In Our Stars by John Green and Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside The World of ESPN by James A. Mitchell and Tom Shales lined up since I've got some road trips planned soon. Love listening to audiobooks while I'm driving or riding in the car, especially since I get motion-sick when I read a physical book.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Movies









This week's Top Ten list from The Broke and the Bookish: Top Ten Favorite Movies 

Note: this week, it's asking for top ten favorite movies or TV shows. I'll be splitting the post into two, one for each category. Another note or somewhat a caveat: these are since I haven't seen every movie out there yet, here are my top ten movies so far. 

1. The Godfather: Technically, I'm splitting hairs because I love Part I and Part II equally. Perfect writing, cinematography, casting, everything. There's not a single scene out of place or that doesn't belong. They're both masterpieces and cinema at its best. 

2. Breakfast at Tiffany's: granted, not the darkness and carnage as my number 1 selections, but I just love this movie. As far as romantic movies go, I like this one the best. I know the two flawed individuals being able to overcome everything to find love is the plot line of every rom-com, but Breakfast at Tiffany's gave a unique twist to the usual. 

3. Requiem For A Dream: my official introduction to indie movies. One of the best in the genre I think. 

4. Garden State: this movie was it for me and my friends in high school. Saw this movie at least 10 times during my junior and senior years alone. Once again, loved the writing and cinematography. Moreover, I absolutely loved the soundtrack. 

5. The Hours: I actually read the novel and Mrs. Dalloway before seeing the film adaptation. I think the movie is amazing.

6. White Oleander: another one where I read the novel before seeing the film. Absolutely loved the book and though the movie wasn't able to keep the entire story intact, loved the film version as well.

7. Good Will Hunting: though this one came out in '97, I didn't catch it until college when I was really into indie films and movies written by 20/early 30-somethings. Films like this one served and continue to serve as inspiration to me as an aspiring writer. Probably not screenplays, but being able to see something created by someone who is now close to my age gives me hope that one day, I'll do so as well.

8. The Girls' Room: another indie film that I've seen tons of times over the years. I love its simplicity yet its ability to capture a complex story.

9. The Virgin Suicides: another film adaptation of a novel I loved. Love the movie too. Once again, couldn't fit everything in, but what they were able to get in is great.

10. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind: was shocked to see Jim Carrey in a dramatic role since I'd only seen him in comedies before then. Loved the movie and the way it was structured. Very original.   

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite TV Shows

 
This week's Top Ten list from The Broke and the Bookish: Top Ten Favorite TV Shows

Note: this week, it's asking for top ten favorite movies or TV shows. I'll be splitting the post into two, one for each category. Another note or somewhat a caveat: these are since I haven't seen every show out there yet, here are my top ten TV shows that are currently on the air (because I've just seen way too much TV to choose my top ten ever)  


1. Law and Order: SVU: I'm late to the SVU party.  I only started watching in 2004 after I got the ability to watch one show and tape the other two. Back then, SVU, NYPD Blue and Judging Amy all came on at the same time. I started rotating between the three so I could keep up with them all. Reruns on USA helped catch me up on the seasons that I missed out on. A decade later, it's still my favorite show so far. 

2. General Hospital: confession: I'm a huge soap fan. Like ridiculously huge. I'm a fourth generation fan (my granny nanny listened to them on the radio before they started premiering on TV), so it was never if I was going to watch soaps, but which ones I'd get into. Out of the four current shows left on the air, GH is the one I've been watching the longest (since the mid-90s on and off) and the one I still like watching the most now. 

3. Highly Questionable and Pardon The Interruption (tie): I love sports shows and most things sports talk. Out of all the shows on ESPN, Fox, and the other sports stations, I love these two the most. I like their fresh takes and unique perspectives when discussing the sports headlines and news of the day. When I can't catch them on the TV, I listen to the podcasts. 

4. Major Crimes: The Closer started in '05 and I loved that show. I love the sequel as well. A fresh take on the procedural drama.

5. Rizzoli & Isles: same station as Major Crimes. Another procedural drama, but I love that this one and Major Crimes come on during the summer. Remember when the summer was a TV wasteland of reruns? Not anymore! (Thank goodness!)

6. Degrassi: yes. I still like Degrassi. I've only been watching for 13 years and haven't seem to grow out of it yet. Then again, I grew up on the first version, so I've basically been watching this show in its different forms my entire life. 

7. 19 Kids And Counting: it's been very interesting catching a show about a family with a totally different belief system than mine. Controversial as it is, I enjoy watching the Duggars and learning more about how people with another belief system live. 

8. The Fosters: Along with TNT airing new shows during the summer, ABC Family does so as well. Out of the ones it airs, I enjoy The Fosters the best. It's complex for a teen drama, has many layers, and is quite a diverse mixture of ethnicities and living situations. 

9. The Young and the Restless: another soap. Out of the nine soaps (I know right...) that used came on when I was in high school/early college, I actually got into this one the latest. I used to feel forced to watch this one because it moved so slow and there were so many older characters as opposed to characters closer my age. Nowadays, these are good qualities instead of bad ones and I enjoy watching when I can. 

10. Scandal: another one that I got into late, but boy, am I into it now! Love this show. Yes, I know, bad that Olivia is having an affair with a married man. Yes, I know, no one can be trusted. But oh my goodness this show is incredible. I love not being able to figure out what will happen next and just like any other Shonda Rhimes drama I've gotten into (this one, Grey's Anatomy, and Private Practice), I'm taken for a ride where I never know when the next turn, speed bump, or twist is coming. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

100 Word Challenge: "…but there are so many seeds…"

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This week's prompt from the 100 Word Challenge For Grown Ups posted on Julia's Place is "...but there are so many seeds..."

          There are many minefields in her mind. Just when she thinks she's maneuvered past one, she inadvertently steps on another. It's a never-ending battle; a battle she knows she will eventually lose. "Think good thoughts," they tell her, "plant positive seeds in your mind." But there are so many seeds. So many negative seeds left from all who have hurt her along the way. There is no place to plant any of the positive seeds others tell her she needs to see life through more optimistic eyes. The seeds that sprout into the mines she constantly attempts to avoid. A never-ending battle indeed.

Musing Mondays: July 14, 2014

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Musing Mondays: Each week, MizB over at Should Be Reading asks six reading-related topics for bloggers to choose one to answer.

This week's topic: Describe one of your reading habits

It's not necessarily a reading habit, but one thing I have been doing, especially over the past couple of years, is getting a majority of my reading done by listening to audiobooks. 

I originally got into them while I was working towards my undergrad degree. One bad thing about working towards an English degree is all the reading. Another bad thing: I always took more hours than the standard 12-15. In order to do well, I needed to figure out something since I only had so many hours in the day that I could read. Thus, my introduction to audiobooks. I got to the point where I was able to read one required book and listen to another at the same time and followed both just fine. When I got lucky, I was able to listen and read the same book at the same time (did this for Shakespeare plays and for some Virginia Woolf novels). At times when I was driving, on the bus, or just not able to read, I'd listen to the audiobook and start reading again where the tape or CD left off once I got to the point where I could read again. 

After graduation, I left them alone for awhile until I started doing field work and student teaching. Then, I started listening to books that I had on my reading list during my commute. The high school where I did field work wasn't too far away, but the school where I did my student teaching was a 27 mile trip one way. Needless to say, I had a lot of time to listen to whatever novel or book I was listening to at the moment. 

As soon as I finished student teaching, I took a road trip to Arkansas to see a friend of mine graduate and spend some time with her in Memphis. For the first time, instead of searching through my CDs to see what kind of music I wanted to listen to during my road trip, I went to the library and chose which books I've been wanting to read instead. 

I love the fact that I have so many options to choose from the most. If I want to hear a novel, I can. Historical event, autobiography, inspirational; they're all options. I also love the autobiographies or stories that are read by the author. It doesn't feel like I'm listening to a book, but an interview instead. I'm debating whether or not I want to download audiobook apps now that I have a smart phone so I can always have something to listen to, but I'm still an old-school kind of girl who loves to go to the library. I'm also the old-school kind of girl who still has a CD player and a Walkman tape player that she doesn't want to go to waste. 

Out of all of my reading habits, my listening to audiobooks has become a prominent one over time and I'm glad that it has. It's allowed me to keep up with what I want to read in spite of everything I have going on at any given time.  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wednesday Poetry Prompt: Blame (blank)

Blame (Yourself Instead)

Don't blame me for this
Look into the mirror and 
Blame yourself instead 

You made your own bed 
 Live with the choices you made
Don't you dare blame me

I didn't make you 
hurt me. You raised your hand to
me. Chose to hit me.

Your hands caused this damage 
You're responsible for you 
 And for what you do

Don't turn this around 
And point the finger at me
I am not the cause

For your bad temper
Or the demons in your head
Blame yourself instead 

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Thanks again for reading 
Alana

WWW Wednesday: July 9, 2014

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Each week, MizB over at Should be Reading asks the following three questions: 
What are you currently reading? 
What did you recently finish reading? 
What do you think you’ll read next? 

Here are my answers:

1. What are you currently reading? I'm currently reading EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey (still). At the same time, I'm also reading The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss in a summer that has quickly become one of educating myself about finances and productivity as I continue with grad school while preparing to begin my career and the other money-making endeavors that will finance my future.

2. What did you recently finish reading? The last book I finished Everybody's Got Something by Robin Roberts. I've been looking up to Robin Roberts since the 1990s when she was still on Sportscenter. As a female and a minority, I've always looked up to her as a role model in the journalism field. Reading about her life and journey through two life-threatening conditions was a fascinating read. 

3. What do you think you’ll read next? Next, I will read Molly Ivins by Bill Minutaglio and W. Michael Smith. Growing up, I used to love reading her, so I think I will enjoy reading about her life and career. Audiobook wise, I have The Fault In Our Stars by John Green and Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside The World of ESPN by James A. Mitchell and Tom Shales lined up since I've got some road trips planned soon. Love listening to audiobooks while I'm driving or riding in the car, especially since I get motion-sick when I read a physical book.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Blogging Confessions



 

This week's Top Ten list from The Broke and the Bookish: Top Ten Blogging Confessions

1. My wanting to talk about so much about so many different topics leaves me talking about nothing. Not sure who else feels this way, but after too much of anything, my mind just shuts down completely. Because of that, nothing gets out. Not sure if this has a name or label, but it's been a constant in my life for a few years now.

2. I used to be freakishly on top of things, but now, I'm a huge procrastinator. I guess a consequence of confession #1 leads out to several different areas of my life. If it's not something required of me by a certain time, I find myself pushing it back until the last possible moment instead of getting things ahead of time like I used to. For example, a few years ago, I would have written this post weeks beforehand and saved it. Instead, I'm answering these questions at 9:18 pm. Not a big deal, but something I've really noticed lately.

3. I get most of my "reading" done by listening to audio books. Back in the day, you never found me without a book no matter where I went (school dances, church, band, etc.). Now, I'm more likely to carry my CD player with me and listen away.

4. I've stopped buying books because I'm no good at building furniture and have run out of room on my bookshelves and milk crates...but if I ever find a bookshelf already assembled, my informal book buying freeze will most likely be lifted immediately. 

5. I've never read any of the Harry Potter books...or Lord Of The Rings...or Twilight. Long story short, I seem to have missed out on most of the book trends over the past fifteen years. By the time the first Harry Potter book came out, I was in seventh grade and reading authors like Virginia Woolf and Ernest Hemingway (a different story for a different day). I have, however, read all three books from the Hunger Games series, so I don't feel quite as left out as before. 

6. I only read one required book in high school. Dead serious. Loved reading, but there was something about being told to read something that took all the fun out of it for me. The one book I did read: To Kill A Mockingbird

7. I can't read Shakespeare. Of course, I didn't realize this until my second Shakespeare class in college. I've never been able to catch on with the nuances of such language. It took me more time, but I had to find the modern English translation AND watch each play that was assigned to finally figure out what all was being said. 

8. Speaking of Shakespeare, I once wrote an essay defending Iago (from Othello). Yep. An essay. And I meant it. Long story short, I don't normally gravitate to the same conclusions that others have when reading something. Still, I enjoy hearing other takes on what I've read because it allows me to see the same situation in a different way.

9. I've spent entire Saturdays in bookstores. I know many people have done this, so it's not that big a deal. Still, I always get a thrill out of being able to pick up a new book, find a comfy place to sit, and read the day away. 

10. Depending on the book, I can only listen to certain genres/types of music. Not so much for non-fiction, but with fictional books, what I listen to as I read is dependent on the subject matter. It may sound strange, but I think it's a good thing. If the point is to immerse someone into a fictional world, then the author has succeeded.  

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Fourth

The Fourth

The crowd oohs and ahhs
While fireworks grace the sky
A beautiful sight