Hello, hello! Unfortunately, this is not that post I might have hinted at last time I posted. You know, that one where I’ve been researching for months and months and yet still haven’t made more progress? I don’t really want to dive into why that is or what it’s about, but I came across an interesting tidbit of Milwaukee history today on accident, while not researching, might I add.
Apparently, on January 10, 1883, a fire broke out in Milwaukee’s Newhall House Hotel. It was a terrible fire which not only killed many people, but ruined the building. From what I understand, the Hilton is now there and I guess there are reports of ghosts? In specific rooms? I’m using so many question marks because???? I don’t know, I’m not an expert in ghosts and the paranormal (like, I know more than the average person, I guess, but I don’t call myself an expert) and….????????????? I am probably wrong, and I only found one site that actually mentions the Hilton being haunted, but the “hauntings” were so boring and non-ghostly. You know, run of the mill hair pulling and temperature drops? But, I guess if that house that’s supposedly haunted by Sharon Tate, even though she died a block away can have her show up, a ghost could show up in a building that didn’t exist until much much later, and choose specific rooms to haunt. It’s just the specificity of the haunting that gets me. Why only two rooms? And why those rooms? This is besides the point, however and I have now suddenly become very interested in this story. I kind of want to write a novel about it! But seeing that I can start a blog post and still not have it finished months later, I don’t see myself really committing to a story… Also, you should see my google docs and evernote notebooks. Both are very full of projects unfinished. Think of all the shows and books I never finished! I’m just one big ball of unfinished business.
So, that was my little note of the week/month/year? I do want to do more research into the Newhall House Hotel and it’s demise. It might derail that other post that is starting to sound like this epic, omg-plz-read,it will be the best!!!!!- article. Look at my stupid grammar! I can’t even write proper english, how do I expect to finish that stupid post? It’s haunting me, guys! Haunting me! Which is funny, because it does have something to do with ghosts. OOOOOOOOO SPooooooooOOOOPpppy.
Hope you’re all well, and that you’re not getting distracted from personal endeavors or even homework or your job or life. Or relationships.
By the by, you ever come into contact with someone in public that you just can’t shake the feeling that they’re bad. Okay, let me rephrase that. You have an interaction with someone, a social interaction, and just from their expressions, choice of words, hell, even their eyes, you just get a weird feeling in your gut? Like they might have done something bad, or will do something bad? I don’t know, maybe I’m overreacting, but there was a guy in my store the other day. He didn’t do anything bad to me or anything terribly rude. I mean, he wasn’t the best customer. He wouldn’t just take the fact that I couldn’t give him more than the 4 coupons he was using because not only was it not allowed, but it wasn’t physically possible because the computer wouldn’t allow it. In addition to that, we were CLOSED and he wouldn’t get out… I tried to shake it off, but since Monday, I’ve been thinking about him and I just don’t feel good about him. Like a gut feeling. An intuition? Who knows. It’s probably my anxiety trying to take control. This is exactly why you should make sure you always take your meds, kids. Comment below if you’ve ever had this happen! (The interaction that keeps nagging at you, not forgetting the meds)
Yes, here it is. Yet another addition of Wonderful Web, minus the Wednesday. Honestly, I wish I could just post things on the days I meant to post them on, but I am so bad at keeping up with things like that. This addition will include a few things that I want to shout out to, such as a couple tv shows and a few websites. It won’t be too long of a post (well, in Sara terms).
TV on the web:
The Kettering Incident:
Recently, I started watching a show on Amazon Prime called The Kettering Incident. I went into the show assuming it would be something like The Killing, a show about a murders. Well, it was mostly a murder a season, but one murder went on for two seasons. The Kettering Incident is similar. For the most part.
The Kettering Incident is about Anna, who returns to her hometown in Tasmania, where 15 years prior, her friend Gillian went missing. Anna is the only one who was with Gillian when it happened, and we’re told Anna has no idea what happened, and when we see the flashback, it appears
that maybe she was abducted by Aliens. I know. What?! Yeah, I didn’t expect that at all, but just go with it, okay? So, now the town thinks Anna did something to Gillian, and most in the town blame her for the disappearance. Now, Anna is back, more or less because she keeps passing out and loosing time, hence how she got there. While there, yet another girl goes missing, and Anna is yet again blamed. I mean, given the evidence, I can’t blame the town.
The thing is, though, this town is mad shady. There’s secrets everywhere. One lady is having an affair with a drug dealer. Another is convinced the aliens are back. Even shadier, still, three men are going to start logging at Mother Sullivan’s Ridge, which is closed for some unknown reason to the viewer, but you can just tell it’s bad and that it may have something to do with the disappearances. As the first season progresses, the viewer is forced to wonder if maybe it isn’t Aliens after all. But, just when you start to wonder, weird things happen and then you just have no idea what is going on. The Kettering Incident is a show that will keep you guessing. I know I’ve been surprised every time a twist happens. Well, unless you read the episode synopsis’. Not a great idea if you don’t like too many spoilers. Honestly, they should rewrite those so that they aren’t so spoiler-y.
Being heavily into history, I always am on the look out for something that might get me into a specific place/person (i.e. Turn and how I became obsessed with anything Benjamin Tallmadge / Nathan Hale/ Rev-war spying-related). I’d seen a commercial for Mercy Street and thought it looked interesting, but wasn’t going to go out on a limb to watch it. Flash forward to a few days ago, when I was home alone, sick again with a very serious case of bronchitis (urgh, I know, Sara why must you always get bronchitis?). I turned on the FireStick my dad so conveniently bought my mom for Christmas. Mercy Street was the very first thing to pop up on the home page and I clicked it only to be reminded that I thought I saw Skeet Ulrich in the trailer and that I should check it out because Skeet Ulrich in Civil War era clothing sounded enticing. Even if he always plays the sleazy guy.
Well, Skeet wasn’t really in it. Turns out, when you see Jack Falahee (from How to Get Away With Murder), for only a split second, you may think you see Skeet because you’re so used to a clean shaven Bobby from Scream, not a clean shaven Jack. Also, it turns out, Jack plays a sleazy character anyway, so like…? I wasn’t that far off? But I digress…
Mercy Street is a show about an army hospital in Alexandria, Virginia. It focuses around the nurses and doctors of the hospital, as well as a few patients, servants, and a local family struggling with the seizure of their hotel and their home,
essentially forcing them to live with their enemies. For the most part, it is historical, and most of the characters were real people (i.e. Jack Falahee’s character Frank Stringfellow was real, but nothing like the show’s character, along with Mary Phinney, who wrote a memoir of her time as a nurse).
While the show does get a little pushy with the politics, I am not bored. I’ve never been interested in the Civil War, more or less because I learned more about than I did the other wars, especially the Revolutionary War. Despite this, I still don’t remember much about the Civil war. I have to say that it’s also quite cliche, but I’m okay with that. I mean, it is almost soap opera cliche, but I think the acting is well done, so it doesn’t come off as too soapy. I haven’t done too much research into the costumes, but I think they’re okay for the most part. If you know little about the Civil War, or even nurses/doctors in that time period, or you enjoy modern ER shows but need a more of a vintage twist….or you just really like war shows, check out Mercy Street. Well, don’t go for actual historical facts, because, while it’s not necessarily spewing wrong facts, it’s also not spewing facts at all. Other than that, it’s good and it’s on PBS right now, so you can watch it on tv (well, one more episode of season 2 is left for next Sunday, so hurry up and watch it all so you can watch that one on tv). I actually bought seasons 1+2 on dvd because I’m trash and i want to watch the last few episodes before they’re on tv, and also I want to get my mom into it since she stated that she wanted to watch it.
Websites that are nice/helpful:
I recently bought a sewing machine. Um, what? No, really I did. I have made two pillowcases so far, and while that doesn’t necessarily make me an expert (actually, I don’t think I’m even out of the beginner phase, or anywhere near getting there, but hopefully I’ll learn quickly so that I can make an awesome Musketeers cosplay for Halloween). In my effort to learn, I’ve been googling sewing for beginners, and also reading some of the sewing magazines up by the register at work (and I found some cool websites from there too!). I’m trying to work up to make this one blouse I found a free pattern of, and I think it will be a useful pattern because I like the way the blouse looks and could make a few in different colors and fabrics. Anyway, I’ve come across a couple websites that I’ve found helpful. I might do a post one day about the sewing books/magazines I’ve looked at while teaching myself how to sew, but I think that’s a post for a while later (like a A LOT of a while later).
This website is a really good one that I actually just found today. I think it will come in handy later on. It has fabrics (albeit expensive, but cute), patterns (a lot of indie patterns!), and other things, like helpful blog posts. Another cool thing is that on each pattern that have a section where you can see people’s creations with the pattern, and some have tutorial’s to go with the techniques used in the pattern. I.e., the Santa Fe Top by Hey June. When you scroll down, you can click on one of the tabs that will direct you to the various resources, such as pattern description and details, reviews of the pattern (looks like this one has good reviews!), tutorials for top stitching and using digital sewing patterns, as well as the recommended fabrics they offer in their shop.
This isn’t the only reason I mentioned this website! I found this lovely posts on their blog about some fabrics. They’re really interesting posts that tell you what the fabrics are made of, how they feel/look, what needles to use, etc, you know the stuff you need to know. I am mentioning this, however, because it was really easy for me to read. I’m a beginner, and even though I might know a little bit more than the absolute beginner because before I started I’d been working in a fabric store, I still know next to nothing about some fabric. Here’s a link to their “Fabric Files”, the posts where they talk about the various fabrics. If you’re in need of a quick read, that also tells you where you can buy some of this fabric online (and no, they don’t plug their own fabric!), then you should try these posts out.
Colette is a little indie pattern website. They have some really cute stuff, and also give some good tips in their blog. They’re the site offering the free pattern, Sorbetto, and I think it’s absolutely adorable. Their other patterns are really cute. If you’re a beginner like me, you might want to check out their blog post for beginners: “How to Build Skills if You’re an Absolute Beginner“. It’s really interesting and gives you some pattern recommendations for you.
If you’re in need of some mad inspiration, try FrockFlicks. This website, which I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before, is all about costumes and historical accuracy in films and tv. Of course, if you’re a beginner like me, you’re no where near making historically accurate costumes. This doesn’t mean you can’t look at this website and be well informed and also get the inspiration to strive to be that good. So, check out some of their articles, and be inspired!
So, that is going to be it for this Wonderful Web post. I’m going to be honest with you, and tell you that this has taken me over two weeks to write. It really shouldn’t take that long to write this post, since it’s not even a research paper. I have been writing a post for a few months now (more like 5 months), that involves a lot of research that just isn’t working out, so don’t get your hopes up too high. Especially since this took two weeks to write. I don’t know, guys! I think this is partially because I’ve been sick for a while. I could barely move last Monday and Tuesday because I was so weak. It was really weird. I don’t think I’ve ever felt that weak in my whole life. I have a few youtubers and podcasts I want to post about, but I think those should be on separate posts since those seem to be long anyway. I also have a few books I want to talk about/ recommend, since I’ve been doing a lot of reading. It was kind of the only thing, other than watching tv, that I could do while I was sick. I wasn’t sleeping because I couldn’t breathe, so youtube, Mercy Street and reading were what I was doing. I couldn’t even get myself to knit, which is a bit weird because I’ve been knitting non-stop since December. Anyway, I hope you are all well and that you don’t have to experience that awful bout of bronchitis that I had. Stay healthy guys!
Well, 2016 has died and 2017 is here, and yet I don’t feel hopeful. I guess that’s besides the point, though. I mean, where have I even been since October? At least I hope you’re wondering this. Most likely not, but just in case you are: I haven’t really been anywhere. Just here. I would try to say that work has taken over my life, but that’s not true since it’s just a part time. So what have I been doing? Here’s a quick rundown of my life since I last posted:
I went to a rad Halloween party the day after my birthday (Oct 21 is my birthday, fyi)that Cassie threw, dressed as Cinderella from the 2015 movie. I even bought the costume, and bought a shit-ton of makeup at Ulta (even caving and buying a Tarte eyeshadow palette that cost me $49, but it was basically a b-day present for myself. Also, some beautiful lipstick from Tarte too). My parents bought me some boots to go along with the dress, and even though shoes are kinda a big deal for the costume (ya know, glass slippers and all…) I was not impressed with anything I came across that was supposed to be for a Cinderella costume. In addition to that, it was October. The middle of Autumn, and the party took place at an airplane hanger because that’s how cool we are. So anyway, I needed shoes that would keep my feet warm, withstand nature, and look good with a dress. I am so gross because I advocate the Combat-boots-skirt look. Not even sure if that’s fashionable, but I’ve been doing that on my sets on Polyvore for years, and no one’s commented on how bad it is. It’s still gross to me, but also beautiful because while I don’t wear skirts a lot, I love me a good boot/skirt combo, and Combat Boots are my fave, so why not?
November was nondescript, except that I bought myself a sewing machine. I know, wtf? Oh…And I saw Awolnation and Bastille. Okay, so that’s a little more than I let on. I went to FM 102.1’s Big Snow Show night 2, which featured Barns Courtney, Andrew McMahon and the Wilderness, Awolnation, and Bastille. Out of all of them, I really enjoyed Bastille’s set the most, despite me going to see Awolnation mostly.
December came and went pretty fast, and quiet honestly, I was kind of depressed all throughout Christmas, but I still had a nice one. New Years Eve was at Cassie’s, but there was some drama going down that continued into January. However, I had a lot of alcohol, and while I didn’t get drunk, it was enough to make the night good.
January was also nondescript. I cannot think of anything that happened, except maybe watching A Knights Tale at my buddy Jamie’s house. And seeing Sing. Oh, also La La Land, but my seat was in the front row, so I didn’t really see it.
And here we are in February, where it’s almost just as boring, except that I’ve made two pillowcases so far with my sewing machine, so that’s cool.
I won’t be promising you any posts, because I seem to be notorious for promising a review or a post on something, and then it never happens (like that first Twenty One Pilots concert?), but I will try to post more often this year. Hopefully it will be quality content that brings the followers in. Which reminds me, I actually gained a few in the time since my last post. Hey new followers! Sorry my blog sucks! So, anyway, peace out. Until the next time (which hopefully won’t be 3-4 months).
I would have including some of these books in my last Wonderful Wednesday, but I felt that I should do a separate post on here about those, since books are a HUGE part of my life. This post will be separated in two parts, the Currently Reading and the TBR (To Be Read). I wanted to do the current books first, since I’m at various stages in each book. In addition to that, I have a lot on my Currently Reading shelf, which is a non-existent shelf, and is really the floor beside my bed. I really need to get another bookshelf…The TBR portion will just be books I’ve bought recently (or not so recently) that I’m hoping to read soon. And by soon, I mean within the next few weeks. That’s a bit of a stretch for me because sometimes, no matter how good a book is, I get restless with it and have to start something else in a completely different genre, which is why I have so many books that I’m reading currently. In fact, the Current books will not even be all of them! It’s insane really! If you looked at my bookshelf and asked about several books, more often than not, I haven’t finished them. It’s just ridiculous and embarrassing and I need to fix it, which is what I hope this post accomplishes: giving me the motivation to finish what I’ve started. If we’re being honest, however, I might not even finish this post. If you’re reading it, then I quite obviously did, and in that case, please give me an applause for doing so!
So, with long-winded introductions aside, let us get started!
Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier
I had found that the latest adaption of Jamaica Inn was added to Netflix recently. I watched it in one sitting, which was a long sitting. Needless to say, I was enthralled. I decided to buy the book so I could read it, and found a beautiful hardcover version of it (see the picture of the book above). Jamaica Inn is a story about Mary Yellan. Her mother has just died, and her dying wish was for Mary to live with her Aunt Patience. Mary goes to live with Aunt Patience and her husband, Joss Merlyn, at their Inn on the moors. She comes across some dark secrets while there, and the book isn’t a light read. In fact, it’s pretty dark, and yet I love it so far. I’m almost done with it, and will be reading more of Daphne du Maurier in the future. I think Jamaica Inn may become a favorite of mine, same with Mary Yellan, who is a very strong character. I definitely recommend it, even though I’m not even done with it yet.
Lair of Dreams is book number two in Bray’s Diviners series. The plot of this one has to do with a strange sleeping sickness that has taken hold of New York. While the book is well written (as far as I’ve gotten), it appears to have a slower start than the first book. I like it, but am not as impressed with it as I was with the first book. I’m hoping that it picks up and gets better. We get to meet new characters, and we also get to see sides of characters we didn’t see in the first one. However, I’m a bit sad that there hasn’t been more Evie as far as I am, but maybe that’s a good thing. I don’t know.
Mansfield Park is about Fanny Price, who is born into a poor family, but is sent to live with wealthy relatives. I’ve seen two adaptions of this novel, and loved them both dearly, as much as I’ve grown to love Fanny. There isn’t much of a reason as to why I’m not far into this book. I think it’s because it’s lower on my To Finish list, and that I’ve only brought it to work to read during lunch when I’m between books. I’ve read that it’s one of Austen’s most controversial book, mostly because of it’s take on slavery (which is Fanny Price being against it). In fact, both Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility never mention slavery at all (that I can remember). I have yet to get to this part, but know that it happens later. So far it’s been an interesting read, however, it’s not as funny as the other two Austen books I’ve read. I don’t think it will be my favorite of hers, but it will have been a good read.
I first came across this book when I found the movie adaption on Netflix. This movie took my breath away. It was beautiful. This was a few years ago. I finally purchased the kindle version of this book the other night, and proceeded to read almost half of it in one sitting. I stopped myself because, as I will explain why later, it was about to get extra depressing. The story is about yet another girl who goes to live with her relatives, except this one seems to have an entirely different plot. Daisy is an American who is sent to live in England with relatives. While there, WWIII starts, and Daisy gets stuck there. It’s any interesting read since it’s about children without supervision during a time like war time. You can see how it gets a bit depressing. I know how it ends in the movie, and I have a slight idea about the book, however the movie was different than the book, obviously. The movie has less characters, probably because I think they just combined characters in the movie. Or something like that. I don’t know. Either way, it’s a good movie and a good read (so far).
I’ve talked about Jim Harold before. His podcast, Jim Harold’sCampfire is all viewer ghost stories. Like his podcast, True Ghost Stories is a compilation of peoples stories, some about ghosts, others about aliens. All in all, it’s been a good read for this month since Halloween is coming up soon. I’m saving some of it for Halloween, obviously. I recommend it to anyone who loves ghost stories, or just creepy stories.
It’s really hard to get into the whole plot of War and Peace. More like War and Peace and a lot of pages, ammirite? In Russian fashion, this book is long. If you’re familiar with Tolstoy and any other famous Russian author, you know that the book is going to be long and despressing. War and Peace is about several people. There’s Prince Andrei who joins the army and goes to fight Napoleon’s army (this is during the Napoleonic War). He leaves his pregnant wife with his dad and Sister, who is mentally abused by their father and is basically a shut in. Then there’s Pierre, who’s a bastard that’s just inherited his father’s fortune and house and there’s the Kuragin’s who are trying to get their hands on Pierre’s fortune. There’s also young Natasha, who is coming of age and will eventually meet Andrei and fall in love. Honestly, this isn’t even a spoiler, because there is so much more to this story. I really like it so far, but it’s over 1000 pages, so it’s kind of…hard to read. But, I will finish it, eventually!
From what I’ve read, this is about a spy during WWII who gets captured by the Germans. I haven’t started it, and am excited to do so because I’ve heard several people say it was good. I didn’t even intend on buying it. I just walked by it at Barnes and Noble and realized that it was on my To Read list, so I grabbed it like the impulsive book shopper I am. I think we all know I’m really into Spies (RIP Nathan Hale, you beautiful man who was not meant to be a spy), and I’m into WWII, so of course I’m going to try reading this.
Book 2 of Blankman’s Prisoner of Night and Fog series. In this book, Gretchen returns to Germany, which is now under Hitler’s control (whereas in the first book, he hadn’t won the election yet) to save her boyfriend. I was really excited to read this when I first read the first book, but now I’m apprehensive. I tend to not like the second book in any series. I’m afraid that the characters will seem too different or things will happen and then I’ll have to pretend that there is only one book in the series. Hopefully I’m wrong.
I technically started this story a while ago, but was just…bored. It sounds promising though, and the setting sounds intriguing. It’s about a lady who goes to this really awesome old house where these spinsters (who are twins) live with their younger sister. The main character, Edie, only goes to this house because her mother was once billeted there during WWII. The stay was during a time when several things happen, such as the youngest sister being jilted by her fiance.
Since it’s October, and you know, spooky times, I thought I should mention another book that is near and dear to my heart that I have yet to finish. Do you see a growing pattern here? I was saying this about The Three Musketeers when I hadn’t even finished it. But, The Historian is a different story. I’ve been reading/listening to this book for about two years. And why has it been two years, you ask? Essentially, The Historian is a story within a story within a story. It’s extremely detailed, intricate, and creepy. The main character is never given a name. She learns of her fathers journey to find his missing professor, who was on a similar journey. The best part about this book, and one that I know anyone who loves horror movies, will love this: It talks about Vlad the Impaler and Dracula. Instead of completely saying that Dracula was completely wrong, The Historian takes the story of Dracula and weaves it into the real story of Vlad the Impaler. Each character is chased by a vampire at one point, and we travel from London, to Budapest, to Romania. Anyone who loves history will love this for the amount of research and the amount it looks at research. Anyone who is bored by that kind of stuff…may not like it. However, it’s a damn fine piece of work and I think everyone should give it a try. I would have put it into my TBR section, but the truth of the matter is, I need a clear mind and a stress free time to dive back into this story. Anyway, read it!
This is a podcast where these two women, Karen and Georgia, talk about interesting murders each episode. These murders are their “favorite murder” at the time of the podcast. They are not serious on the matter, which is something I find fun, since it’s such a serious topic. I personally like the lightness they add to the stories, because if not, I’m not sure I would make it through it. There are several to listen to, and in addition to this they’re often mentioning books, documentaries, and other things that you can check out. If you’re like me, someone who is often interested in true crime (who may know a little more than the average person), but has no way of knowing what is the best book to read and what book sucks, they’re a really good source! They also have this great thing where they let you talk about hometown murders from your town, so it’s also quite interactive. Plus, I really wish I could meet them because I think I would get along great with them.
A podcast that was mentioned in My Favorite Murder, that I just had to listen to since Karen and Georgia were obsessed about it circa episodes 7-9(?) in their podcast. Someone Knows Something is a well written podcast. It isn’t just a man talking, it’s almost as if he’s reading from a book he wrote. It’s atmospheric and quite simple – well, minus the whole plot of it, which involves the disappearance of a 5 year old. David Ridgen goes back to his hometown, Arnprior in Ontario, where a boy went missing in 1972. Ridgen talks to the family of the boy, Adrien McNaughton, to gather clues on his disappearance. He tries to solve the cold case and find Adrian, almost obsessively.
I have just realized that I have never explained my obsession with vloggers on youtube. It started with David Dobrik (I’m not even gonna link him because you can find him everywhere), and then all of his friends started vlogging. While my favorite is probably Zane Hijazi and even Carly and Erin’s channel, I have grown a strange attachment to Heath Hussar and Elton Castee’s own vlog, TFIL (The Fuck It List), where they do things on their list full of bucket-list type things, except they’re kind of extreme and kind of dumb sometimes. So I spend a lot of time worrying in my everyday life, like “oh is Elton getting held at gunpoint again?” or “Did Heath finally collapsed on a hike?”. In all fairness to Heath, I would have not made it this far (ha!). I also want to point out that I am totally crushing on Elton, and if he read this, I would die, but ya know…It’s a risk I’m taking just to tell you guys about these boys who have become something I look forward to. I also want to say that the filming of this vlog is phenomenal. Elton uses a drone, and gets some stunning shots of the scenery. The color is on point, and the music is hypnotizing to me. I love these guys so much.
Tv I’ve been watching:
Basically everything I ever wanted! A lady is forced to go back in time with a soldier and a computer geek to stop a terrorist from changing the course of history. It’s really interesting and fairly accurate. The latest episode was about Lincoln’s Assassination and I kind of know a lot about that, so it was interesting to watch, and they had their facts straight. They weren’t bullshitting it, which is probably why I love it so much. Also, the main character, Lucy, is a prettier, smarter, more accomplished version of me, so…Yeah. It’s on on Monday nights on NBC.
The first season is over, but you can probably catch it on Hulu, or even the History website. It’s about a local family (A Milwaukee family in case you didn’t catch that), who own a blacksmith shop. They make some really cool stuff, and I really encourage you to watch it because you actually learn a lot about the trade.
This is a show on Viceland, a channel that seems to have no limits. They have programs on drugs and the black-market, so of course a man going into abandoned buildings and skateboarding is the obvious next thing to film for them. Rick McCrank (almost wrote mcKracken, ha!), a well known skateboarder (I guess? I don’t know, I don’t skateboard and have a general distaste towards skaters, but I have no idea why, so don’t ask). Rick goes to various places, whether they be failed cities/harbors, or even the remains of Route 66. He usually meets up with locals to learn more about these places. All in all, its a great show. It teaches you history, is a feast for the eyes of people who love old places, and the music/filming is pretty awesome. I just really am digging it. It’s on on Fridays, FYI.
That’s all for now. Some of these things are things I’ve been in to for a while now, but haven’t had time to write about. Some are newfound loves. Either way, I hope you enjoy all of them, if not, some of them. I wish I could be better at writing, and could write something really awesome to end this post, but we all know I’m a shitty blogger, so I guess this is where it ends for today. Have a good day!
I haven’t been on much recently more or less because I’ve been reading so much. Every summer I have a goal to read a lot of books (the number fluctuates year to year), which usually leads into fall and winter, where I’m still on this roll and I’m still reading books in one sitting. Honestly, it’s kind of bad. Not only that, but because I have a job now, I actually am buying books left and right. Please stop me.
I thought I would do a post on the books I’ve read recently and am really into because there’s quite a few. And by quite a few, I really mean a lot. I won’t get into a review of the books because if I plan on reviewing the books, it will be a longer, more in-depth post. That and I just don’t have any time these days. I will however try to give you a summary and my rating of the book/ quick thoughts.
Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman:
The first book in a series about a girl, Gretchen, who grows up in post WWI Germany, right before Hitler comes into power. Gretchen’s father was friends with Hitler, until he sacrifices his life for Hitlers. She grows up close to Hitler and even refers to him as her Uncle Dolf. This means that Gretchen has been taught to hate the Jewish/anyone who is not “pure”. That is, until she meets a reporter who tells her that everything she knows about her fathers death is wrong. This leads Gretchen down a path of mystery and adventure as she learns that her friends are not really her friends and that she is living a lie.
While that is probably a really crappy summary (you can find better on the amazon or goodreads pages for it), you can see where my interest in this book comes into play. It’s historical fiction (with some truth), that involves a mystery. Gretchen is also relatable since she has her flaws and grows as a character. There were other made up characters, too, that I enjoyed reading about. In addition to the fictional characters being well-written, it’s also an amazing character study of Hitler. Because it’s historical fiction, you have to take the “accurate” parts with a grain of salt. That sounds like the author got everything wrong, and I’m not trying to say that at all. I’m just saying that while everything about Hitler and the events surrounding him and this time seem well researched, you still can’t just use it as an actual history book, so while it’s an interesting character-study, one would be better off using J-Store for any research on Hitler. That being said, it’s still an interesting read, and halfway through, I was so enthralled, I bought book two of the series, Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke.
The Diviners is about Evie O’Niell, a teenager in 1920’s America, who has landed herself in hot water in her hometown, while at a party. This trouble is only because she was drunk enough to tell everyone about her hidden talent. Evie is special because she can touch an object and tell you a whole bunch of things about the person who owns it. She lets some secrets about someone slip, which leads to big consequences. Her parents send her off to live with her eccentric uncle in New York City, which is supposed to be a punishment, but Evie thinks it’s awesome. Her uncle owns a museum on the paranormal, and because he’s considered an expert on the occult, the town asks for his help in solving a murder involving occult symbols. Evie realizes that her power can be of use in this case and helps out.
You may know Libba Bray from her book A Great and Terrible Beauty. While I haven’t read that one, yet, that is where I recognized her name from when I first heard of The Diviners, since I’ve heard a lot about her other book series from a lot of book reviewers on Youtube and Tumblr. Bray’s prestige was not the reason I decided to read this book. It was mostly because it was historical fiction involving ghosts and murders. Two of my favorite topics. Not only that, but I had heard some really good things about it and was dying for more flappers. Overall, I really enjoyed it, and found myself buying the second book in the series (Lair of Dreams) like the previous book.
Similar to The Diviners, The Other Side of Midnight is a story involving the paranormal. This one involves a psychic named Ellie, who is hired by the brother of her enemy/former best friend, Gloria, to solve Gloria’s murder. Throughout the story, we meet several interesting characters with powers (and no powers), and we spend most of it wondering whodunnit.
And, once again, like The Divners, St. James’ novel takes place in the 30’s, however, this one is set London, England. I own all of St. James’ books, and before reading this one, Silence For the Dead was my favorite. She writes really awesome ghost stories, ones that do give me shivers, which I’ve stated before, can be hard. While The Other Side of Midnight isn’t as creepy as her other books, it has it’s moments. In my opinion, this is St. James’ strongest book. I’m currently reading her most recent, Lost Among the Living. It’s a good book (so far), but I’m a bit let down by it. I suppose I should have read it before I read The Other Side of Midnight because I enjoyed it so much. However, Lost does provide more ghost moments than Midnight does. Both are worth the read, but I really recommend Midnight.
This book is a classic, and it is for a good reason. It’s about a young man named d’Artagnan, who has set off to become a Musketeer. While he doesn’t become one until well into the story (not really a spoiler when the book is over 100 years old), he finds himself in many misadventures, especially once he meets the three men who are the name sake of the book, Musketeers, Athos, Aramis and Porthos. The three were already best friends, but they take the young man in, and become a loyal (to the death!) group of friends. The main plot of this story is the kidnapping of d’Artagnan’s love, Constance. This leads the men into an interesting mystery involving corruption and politics (because those two seem to go hand and hand). And while almost all of the characters (especially the Musketeers, looking at you d’art!) are disagreeable, Dumas was so good at writing witty stories, you can’t help but cheer the “good” guys on. Even though it was written so long ago, it’s a book that is relatable at some points, even now in 2016. For instance, there is a part where the Musketeers are poor (one of many), and d’Artagnan’s servant complains that there is no food to eat. D’Art just tells him to take a nap. I can’t tell you how many times I took a nap in college because I was hungry and didn’t have food. I’ve even brought this up to several people and they all have said that they too have had instances like this.
The Three Musketeers is a book I started a while ago and only just finished this summer. And by a while, I mean, I was a junior in college when I started it. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the book, it was more that I wasn’t able to pay attention in good old Sara-like fashion. Sometimes I get in these periods of reading blocks where I just cannot read anything. However, from the first chapter onward, I fell in love with this book. It’s strange that it took so long, because I now call it my favorite and I actually intend on getting a Musketeer themed tattoo at some point this year.
Oh, and if you are looking for a good adaption of this book, the 2011 version is NOT the one.
I’d be a bit surprised if you didn’t know the basics of the plot by now, but here they are: a really rich guy buys a manor in the countryside near Elizabeth Bennet’s house, and her mother immediately sets out to get one of her daughters betrothed to this rich guy since the Bennet’s are not rich. Bingley (said rich guy), falls fast for Elizabeths oldest sister, Jane. Bingley also has a friend named Darcy who is really grumpy and immediately clashes with Elizabeth, however, he kind of falls for her right away and so during most of the book you read a lot about his confusion for his feelings towards someone with so little of a fortune. Elizabeth maintains her hatred for him throughout the novel, and doesn’t change her opinion until very late in the story. We all know they end up together, so don’t yell at me for saying that. Also, some things get in the way of Bingley and Jane’s relationship, so a lot of the book is trying to get them to get engaged. There’s also a really obnoxious cousin named Mr. Collins who wants to marry Elizabeth at one point, but gets turned down by her because she seems to be the only lady in the book with sense. Wow. I’m really glad this isn’t a book report for school or something, because that was probably the worst description of Pride and Prejudice to ever be written.
This summer, I finally got around to reading this book. I’d seen many adaptions of it, so I knew how the story went (almost by heart), so it was nice to finally get myself to read the actual novel. I’d just finished Sense and Sensibility, so I was in an Austen mood when I started the book, and while it did take a little over a month for me to read, I really enjoyed the book. It was probably one of the best romances I’ve ever read, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to get into classics, mostly because it’s not a hard read, and while it’s long, it’s not that long (look at the Musketeers if you want long, or even War and Peace by Tolstoy because that is LONG). It’s a sweet story, and I find that Austen was really witty. Her characters are all interesting in their own way, and it’s not hard to fall in love with Elizabeth and Darcy, who are both deeply flawed, but very lovable.
While not her least known work, Sense and Sensibility is not as well know and as often adapted as Pride and Prejudice. It’s about two sisters, Elinor and Marianne, who have lost their fortune after their father’s death and have to live in a cottage with their mother and little sister in the countryside It basically deals with how they find love. Both sisters are the complete opposite, Elinor the Sense and Marianne the Sensibility.
I’m not sure what about this book makes me prefer it over Pride and Prejudice, but I do. While I love Elizabeth Bennet very dearly, I love the Dashwood sisters even more. I think it’s because Austen wrote it in such a way that you feel as though your apart of the Dashwood family, more so than how you feel about the Bennet family. In addition to that, there are more characters to love. I found it funnier than Pride and Prejudice too. But, because I read Sense and Sensibility before Pride and Prejudice, therefore, it was 4 months ago, I can’t really explain my preference of this book as well.
I do want to point out that all of Austen’s books are available for free in many places, including Project Gutenberg. But you can also read her books here.
Cloak and Dagger by Nenia Campbell:
This is a book I recently re-read in order to read the third of the series (the IMA series). The book centers around two main characters: Christina and Michael. Michael is a mercenary in a group called the IMA who is tasked with kidnapping Christina. Christina is the daughter of a man who hacked the IMA’s system, hence why they want her kidnapped: for leverage. Some things go wrong, and eventually the IMA turns on Michael. Soon, both Michael and Christina are on the run from the IMA who wants both of them dead.
Cloak and Dagger is a really good thriller. I first got it for really cheap off of amazon for my kindle. I had my doubts because it was so cheap, but found that I did really enjoy it. It’s a little raunchy compared to the other books on this list, but it wasn’t over-the-top raunchy. In fact, the romance in this book is an interesting topic because it isn’t your ordinary run-of-the-mill romance. It differs in many ways, especially because it’s something like a reverse Stockholm Syndrome. In addition to that, we’re given deeply flawed characters, none of which are all good and all bad. Each of them are in the grey area, and I find that enjoyable. While Christina is portrayed as a bit of a damsel-in-distress, it isn’t over the top. In fact, it’s an interesting thing to compare to the next books in the series because we get to see her grow up. I do recommend this to anyone who is looking for a good thriller with romance. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone looking for only a thriller.
Armed and Dangerous is the second book in the IMA series. Because it’s the second book of the series, and I just recommended the first book, I’m going to only give a very brief summary of the book. Basically, it picks up a few months after the first book. Christina is going away to college, but is suffering PTSD and is trying to live a quiet life. Of course, this doesn’t happen because Michael is quite literally forced onto her doorstep, and then the two are on the run again. I won’t give you details, since it would be kind of spoilery for both books.
What I like about Armed and Dangerous is that we get to see Christina grow more. She isn’t a damsel-in-distress anymore. At least, not as much as before. She’s grown, and while it may not be for the best in some cases (she’s a lot colder), it’s still helpful for her in certain situations. Michael, on the other hand, seems to have regressed in this book. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. If anything, it’s really interesting that this has happened. Their relationship is really frustrating, as it was in the first book, but I think that just adds to how interesting the book is, because we get to see the relationship grow both close and further apart. I do think you should read this book, obviously after you read the first book, but both are really cheap. You can buy the whole series for really cheap. They aren’t necessarily quick reads, but they’re definitely quicker than the classics listed above.
I also want to point out that I wrote reviews of both books 1 & 2 of the IMA series a few years ago. They are not good reviews, but they may give a clearer picture of the books. I can’t say they’re spoiler free, but I think they’re kind of fun. Crappy, but fun.
Wow, that sure was a long post. Sorry about that! I do want to apologize for the lack of posts/regularity. I’ve been so tired and busy with work, that even sitting down and writing a short blog post has been daunting. I did start a review post of Prisoner of Night and Fog, however, reviews seem to be really hard for me. Another thing I’m going to try and post is another Wonderful Web Wednesday. It will either be a belated one for this week, or for next week. I have some youtubers I want to talk about (which means I have a new crush. oops.), and I still have to post about the Twenty One Pilots concert from July, but I’m having trouble figuring out how to get the videos on here without getting a paid account on here.
So, anyway, I hope you find my book recs helpful and you read at least one thing on the list. If you do, please let it be The Three Musketeers because IT WILL CHANGE YOU.
So, I’ve been pretty obsessed with podcasts as of late. Before I start my new weekly post that will probably be neglected every other month, I want to begin by thanking the girl in my history class my junior year of college that told me about Stuff You Missed in History Class, which began my obsession in the world of podcasts. I’ve talked about a few of them, and will probably just include some in this first podcast round-up for a little refresher, but also include some others that I’ve listened to.
As listed above, it’s a podcast about, you guessed it, history! More specifically, history you would not necessarily learn about, unless maybe you took a class on that specific period/place in college. You don’t need to be a know-it-all to listen to this podcast. Usually they explain everything well. The hosts are charismatic, and to be honest, I could listen to them all day.
I know I’ve mentioned this in a Wonderful Web Wednesday, but since Campfire is a podcast that I can’t seem to get enough of, here I am telling you about it again! It’s a podcast that Jim Harold hosts. Basically within each podcast, many people call in to tell their paranormal experiences. Some of them are really amazing and gave me chills, and let me say, it’s not easy to do that.
This is a podcast that combines my two favorite things: Paranormal things and history. Granted, it’s not hard to do, but it’s solely focuses on that, so it’s basically everything I ever wanted in a podcast.
Joe Santagato is a popular youtuber that I’ve known about for years, but didn’t start listening to his podcast, The Basement Yard, where he just…talks. Look, he’s hilarious, a bit crude (okay, kinda, sorta, really crude), and keeps your interest. From having his friends guest star on his show, to how his pictures are always being used to catfish people (which I’m not surprised, he’s good looking). Check him out!
That concludes this week’s podcast roundup. I don’t have a set day for these, so for now I’ll just keep them on Tuesdays, so please keep a look out for these posts.
Trying a new Music Monday header?! Much better than the last!
Unfortunately, I don’t have anything that’s Labor Day themed, but at least I’m posting! It’s going to be short and sweet, but I think that’s fine because I’m pretty tired and if I don’t post now, I’ll forget.
So, I actually just discovered this guy about 30 minutes ago, and while I wouldn’t say he’s my new fave, I’m really digging Gnash. It’s probably pronounced like Nash, but I seem like to imagine it’s pronounced ga-nash.
I’m getting Matty Healy vibes with Gnash. Also, Olivia’s lipstick is pretty rad.
In the first video, Olivia O’Brien is featured in it as well, and I really like her too, so few songs by her are below. I don’t know much about either, and this is probably considered lazy blogging, but whatevs! I’m currently freaking out over the Jaws fabric we carry at Joannes. Is it not the coolest thing you’ve ever seen? We’ve got other Jaws themed fabrics too and now I wish I sewed because I would love to make something with them. Maybe pillow cases? Or even a giant quilt with just Jaws fabric and other blue/shark themed things? Oh gosh. I’ve already spent too much time in Joannes. I’m like so ready to craft, but I have no idea how to do so. I have no skills in sewing, nor do I own a sewing machine. And quilting just goes straight over my head. One of the managers has decided that I’m going to be one of the Knitter pro’s, and will be the one to answer and yarn/knitting questions. Honestly, I don’t mind, but they haven’t seen how bad I am at knitting. BACK TO THE REAL POST:
A lovely cover of Avril’s Complicated. I personally kind of prefer this because I’m not a fan of Avril.
That’s all for today. Hope this was worth your while!
Urgh, sorry readers! I tried so hard to keep up with this and post on Wednesday, but I’ve been working and when I’m not working I’m tired and watching our new dog Gertie to make sure she doesn’t eat up the house.
Today I’m only going to post a few things because I’m a day late.
So this is a Korean Drama that’s also a Netflix Original, I guess? I’m not quite sure I understand Netflix originals because I know that some are considered original but I know that they’re from a specific channel. For example, From Dusk Til Dawn is on El Rey, which we actually get, but it’s considered an original. Or, at least, it was? I don’t know! Anyway, Drama world is really cool because it’s about a normal girl who gets transported into Dramaworld, the work of K-Dramas, where she has to make sure everything goes well. It plays on all of the normal K-Drama cliches, i.e. Lead men cannot physically allow a girl to faint and hit the ground, or there’s at least one shower scene with the lead man. It’s a really cute series that’s only 10 episodes long, and the episodes themselves are only around 13 minutes each, so you’re looking at a total of 130 minutes, give or take. It’s a quick watch, but a cute one.
I’m listing this under a “wonderful web wednesday” because it’s on netflix, or if you don’t have a netflix subscription, you can watch it at Viki.com which leads me to my next thing!
Viki.com is an awesome website that has K-Dramas, Taiwinese dramas, anime, bollywood and telenovela’s online with subtitles. Some require a viki pass that you need to subscribe for, but for the most part, everything that’s available is pretty extensive and it’s just super awesome, so check it out.
That’s all for today! Hope I gave you some good recs!
Well, isn’t this a surprise! I’m actually posting a new Music Monday! I know, I know, but please hold your applause until after I’m done!
This week I am going to talk about two songs. The first is M83’s song Go! featuring Mai Lan
Apparently Teen Wolf is in M83. Wow. They’re so much cooler now. And I mean that sincerely, despite me hating the movie. I used to watch the MTV show, but haven’t the last season. I kind of miss the first few seasons, probably because I miss Allison.
ANYWAY, Go! is a song for the century to be honest. It’s almost hypnotic with it’s repetitious lyrics that are sure to get stuck in your head. I like to imagine a couple in a subway or something of that nature, and one half is running after the other half shouting “Our love ran away!” and so they’re chasing the other because they gotta catch it. I really enjoy the addition of Mai Lan to the band for this song. I kind of wish she did more songs with them. Isn’t she absolutely gorgeous? Jeeze, she’s got looks and a voice. I’m jealous.
M83 is coming to The Riverside this October and hopefully I’l be able to convince someone to go. I think my mom is interested. I bet if I buy her ticket she’d go. I’ve never been to the Riverside (that I know of?), so that should be cool. If it’s as cool as The Pabst theater, then I should have a really cool time. Let’s see how many times I say cool in this post!
The second song is from Modern Baseball’s new album, Holy Ghost. The song Apple Cider, I Don’t Mind is beautiful, I think. I hate the title, but that’s only because I can’t drink any type of hard cider anymore and while they could be referring to just Apple Cider, it still reminds me of hard cider. If you could see me right now, you’d see me shuddering.
Despite giving me chills for being a reminder of my issues with hard cider, the song gives me chills for other reasons. I think it’s well structured in both the lyrics and the instruments.
One of my favorite sites is genius.com because it allows people to post their interpretations of song lyrics. It’s honestly so helpful. I spent a lot of time in school working on poetry and deconstructing their meanings, so the site also makes me a bit nostalgic. On the page for Apple Cider, I Don’t Mind, people seem to have come to the conclusion that this song is about a relationship that is failing, and the person wonders if it’s worth saving. I seem to be a sucker for songs about “what if’s” and “maybe’s”. For instance my favorite song by McFly is Falling In Love off of they’re awesome album RadioActive. So, it’s no wonder I like this song. My favorite verse is the very first verse:
Did you ever love me?
Biopsy from the origin of sound,
Confirms you’re speaking truthfully.
Concludes everything I thought about.
The very first time I heard this, that first line caught me. As I stated earlier, I’m a sucker for songs about “maybes” and anything that fuels a drama filled scene in my mind is welcome. I heard it, and thought that it was an interesting way to start the song. It makes you listen to it all in it’s entirety, which isn’t even 2 minutes. It’s short, not sweet, and to the point. Your still left with that question, especially because from the second and third lines, you know that the person speaking has been wondering this from the beginning of the relationship. The last line isn’t even fully formed, it’s a repeated line, but it stops before it ends. To add to this, it’s the word “forever”, but it’s stopped at “for”, so when he says “Tell me this is forever”, but doesn’t even finish the word forever, we know it isn’t forever. However, even though we know it’s not forever, we still don’t know if they ever loved them!
Overall, the song is interesting, and beautiful, I think. Modern Baseball has some really great songs with lyrics that are so relatable, which is why I really like them. If you like them too, you should check them out, as well as The Front Bottoms because they’re kind of similar. I just learned both bands are touring with Brand New this year and will be at The Rave the day after my birthday, so I’m kinda jazzed about that. I probably won’t go because I don’t know anyone that likes any of them, except one person who likes The Front Bottoms, but I don’t think we’re close enough to go to The Rave together. I mean, if you’ve ever been to a concert venue like The Rave, then you know what I’m talking about.
Anywho, how was that for a revival of Music Mondays? I’m going to work on a new logo for it because that old one is so bad. Have a good day guys and listen to some good music!