Month: November 2015

Paris and the Ability to do Nothing

I am sure most of you have heard about the horrible terror attacks in Paris today.  I heard about the events later than most because I was innocently watching My Little Pony of all things on a binge watch (it was an animated show I still had yet to check out and I really liked it).  Then I noticed on my twitter feed a bunch of comments about Paris and I turned on the news.  It was awful.  People at a concert, out to eat, at a soccer game attacked and at least 153 brutally killed.  It’s hard to even wrap my brain around.  I remember feeling that way after 9/11 and the Boston Marathon Bombing.  Why would anyone do such a thing?

My immediate concern was also to my sister who is currently living in Spain and traveling all around Europe on a fairly regular basis.  She just finished up a trip in Amsterdam and I wanted to make sure she was ok.  I didn’t know if I would wake her up but I sent her a text saying I was worried and I guess she had a nightmare and then read my text right after waking up.  That must have been a very surreal experience for her.  She is fortunately safe and not in a major city likely to be targeted but I still worry with her being over there.  I hope and pray she is able to stay safe.

It’s just so awful.  There’s no other way to say it, and what makes it worse is there is so little that can be done about it. Yes we can do more to fight terrorism and I have my own views on the current administrations job in that department but in the end if some wacko wants to go into a public place and do something like this there is little we can do to stop it.  We can’t be under guard and security all the time for every meal we eat, every movie we see, every concert we attend.  That’s not to say we can’t do a heck of a lot and it is a miracle more incidents like this don’t happen but at a certain point we can’t stop it. It’s not like the conflict of old  where a peace treaty is signed and a cavalry withdrawn.  These are soldiers who do not differentiate between civilian and soldier and don’t need a cavalry to do their damage.

It’s very scary time and was foretold to us by Timothy

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come”.

And I guess for me it is a weird experience watching the carnage and hearing the reporters talk about it.  I find I can only listen to about 15 minutes because it becomes circular and I end up weeping at the stories. And yet I feel guilty watching or doing anything else.  But on the other hand, what good is it for me to be upset here in Utah?  Aside from making a donation to the Red Cross or other worthy organization there isn’t much I can do about it.  It’s a very strange feeling to be presented with so much suffering and just have to sit and watch. It’s kind of a no-win situation.

So I went back to watching other programs and considered going to a movie but again for some reason that felt wrong and disrespectful, which I own is kind of ridiculous but that’s how I felt. You kind of feel like in the story of the Good Samaritan the Levite and the priest who leave the suffering man to die, but in this case there isn’t anything you can do despite seeing the images of suffering. Have any of you felt that way?

I guess if it can be any comfort we also know that during these difficult times God will be in the midst of the faithful to give us strength.

Zephaniah “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy”

We must never forget that He is mighty to save and He will help us and our leaders get through this perilous time.

“I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.”

Jesus-Christ-Lamb-MormonI know it’s been said a million times but pray for Paris and all those in need of comfort on this horrible day.

Friday Five: Songs I’m Embarrassed to Admit I Like and Update

Hey guys!  This week on the Friday Five the topic is songs ‘I’m Embarrassed to Admit I Like’.  In truth, I’m not really embarrassed by any of these songs.  They are all silly but I like a fun pop song on occasion.  They put me in a good mood.

What pop songs do you like?  Are there any songs you are embarrassed to admit you like?  Any bubblegum songs that are silly but you like them anyway?

As far as NaNoWriMo things are going really well.  I just passed the 25k mark so that means I am half way through and it isn’t half way through the month.  It isn’t quite as speedy as last couple of years but I’ve had a lot more going on, so that makes sense.  How are you guys doing on your word counts?

nanowrimo11-13This week was really fun.  I went and saw Home Alone on the big screen for the 25th Anniversary!  Home Alone has a special place in my heart because it is the first movie that really made me laugh my head off in the theater.  I saw it when I was 9 years old and on a special trip with my Grandparents to Disneyland.  I was a really independent kid so the story of Kevin McCalister defending his house and providing for himself was right up my ally.  I watched in a crowded theater and it was so neat to hear kids laughing their heads off just like I had 25 years previous.  It brought so many great memories.

Here’s my youtube review I think you will all get a kick out of.

 

Scheduling Happiness

On Monday I got the chance to go to an early screening of the new holiday film Love the Coopers.  It’s not a good movie.  In fact, in many ways it is a very terrible film but I had an ok time watching it.  Here’s my review:

One of the things I liked in the film is this idea of scheduling happiness that happens during the holidays.  I’ve felt that a little bit the last few years.  When I was a kid I loved the holidays because they were happening to me and the magic of the season was easy to latch onto.  As an adult that magic usually takes a lot of effort and has to be planned out.  It’s like I am saying “this Thursday I will be happy.  Let’s schedule it in”.  I don’t think during other times of the year I have such a weighted expectation of achieving happiness in all my plans.

It’s not that I expect to be miserable during the rest of the year’s goings-on but usually it’s more a more neutral every day form of happiness that is anticipated.  I go to a movie, meet a friend for lunch, attend a birthday party.  All pleasant experiences but not a highlight of the year.  During the holidays pleasant somehow feels like a letdown.  Does this make sense to any of you?

Last year I was basically alone on Christmas which was a little bit sad.  I am sure there is someone out there that likes to be alone on the holidays but the vast majority of us think of it as a time to be with family/friends.  I did have Christmas Eve with family and Christmas brunch with friends but most of the day I was alone.  The thing is it actually ended up feeling like any other day and you know what- that was a relief.  It was just a day off from work and not that different from 4th of July.  Perhaps it was being so horribly sick the year before I just allowed myself to have an ordinary day on Christmas day.

I think there might be something to this.  Instead of scheduling and planning happiness just allowing Christmas to be more of an ordinary day.  That way when the joys of the season come they feel unexpected and give us even more happiness than if we planned them out.  I know I might miss out on some things that require planning but I feel I have enough of a routine that I’m not going to really miss out. For instance, I go to Christmas Carol at Hale Theater every year.  That’s my routine so it doesn’t require much planning.

The last few holiday seasons have been interesting.  In 2012 I was alone, everything in boxes, and getting ready for the move.  Things were tough in my family that year and it was a stressful time.  In 2013 I got sick as a dog.  It was one of the sickest I have been in years.  It hurt to breathe and I was so miserable I couldn’t even open presents on Christmas day. And then last year I was alone but had a pleasant simple Christmas (again that felt like a little bit of a letdown because it was just another day).

I know people who say Christmas is better for them as adults than as children.  That’s cool for them but definitely not my experience.  Like I said, when you are a kid the magic is presented for you (or at least it was for me) and as an adult it all gets much more muddled.  I feel like sometimes I end up chasing that Christmas of my childhood and am a bit disappointed when I don’t achieve it.

This year I am going to see my family in California for Thanksgiving but not at Christmas.  I am going to try and plan a few things but I am going to try and temper that expectation of happiness and just enjoy the moments for what they are.  Sure I will plan some things but the idea of scheduling ‘I will be happy next thursday’ I don’t think works very well.  It ends up feeling like a cheesy smile in a school photo- kind of hollow version of happiness.  I just want to schedule a few things and if they make me happy that’s awesome!

Do you know what I am saying?  Does that make any sense?  Have any of you felt a little underwhelmed by the holiday season as adults?  What do you think of this idea of scheduling happiness?

Star Wars Ep 3: Revenge of the Sith Review and Discussion

Continuing into our Star Wars series Abby, Jeremy and I discuss the 3rd prequel Revenge of the Sith. I think you will really enjoy the video and my written review.

Rachel's Reviews

Hi guys!  So we just finished the third in our review and discussion of the Star Wars films with our look at Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith.  This is definitely the strongest of the prequels and we had a great time talking about it.

PLOT-

Episode 3 starts out with war between the Republic and the Separatists. Obi-won and Anakin lead a rescue of Chancellor Palpatine from General Grevious. They confront Count Dooku who Anakin kills at Palpatine’s urging. Later on Coruscant Padme announces to Anakin that she is pregnant. Anakin is happy over the news but also worried because of the rules against Jedi loving. Anakin also becomes worried when he has dreams of Padme dying while giving birth.

Anakin is angry when the Jedi Council decide against making him a Jedi Master. Palpatine feels he will be able to manipulate Anakin and he goads his ego and…

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Friday Five: Instrumentals and Nanowrimo Update

Hi guys!  I hope you are all having a great start of Fall (or at least that’s what it feels like here in Utah with things getting very crisp and cold this week).  I’ve been busy with NaNoWriMo so that’s why I haven’t posted on this blog this week.  My apologies for that but doing best I can.  My  novel is coming along pretty well.  I am ahead of the game as far as word count which makes me feel good because I don’t know how much I will be able to write this weekend with stuff going on.

wpid-snapchat-100529400831000105.jpgSo far I feel like the book has done a lot of describing things and not quite enough character development so that is something I need to work on but I am able to get my daily word count in and sometimes more which is what is most important to me. I really like the lead character I’ve created and feel a little bad for the mess that is about to happen in her life.  Poor fictional characters and their hard life! 😉

How are you guys doing with NaNoWriMo?  How are your novels coming along?

FRIDAY FIVE

This is Friday so it also means it is time for the Friday Five!  This weeks topic is all about instrumentals and being a movie fan of course I had to include mostly scores as my choices but I love the 5 songs I picked.

What are instrumentals that you like?  What scores from movies are your favorite?  Put in the comments section and if you like the video I would love if you gave it a thumbs up.  Thanks!

My Dream Pixar Pitches

I think you guys will get a big kick out of this post. In it I give what my dream pitches would be for Pixar sequels. Some of them are already underway with different ideas so this is just basically fan fiction but I enjoyed writing them. Take a look!

Rachel's Reviews

Today I was talking with a friend on twitter about Cars 3 and how we hoped it would be something that the Cars 2 haters couldn’t deny it was a quality film.  I have a feeling part of the reason they want to do the project is to prove the doubters wrong and make something great. I could be totally wrong about that but I still think it would be awesome if it is a good film. Anyway, I told him what my pitch for Cars 3 would be if the Pixar brain trust asked.  Clearly they are already in development and working on it so I’m not being realistic here.  But it just gave me the idea and got me thinking- if it was just me what would I want to see as a continuation for the Pixar properties.

This is all in fun but here’s what I would…

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