Brief July update where I mispelled brief about 3 times before getting it right:

In my last post (a few months ago, sorry!), I mentioned that 5SOS would be releasing a new CD and that my hopes for this breakup letter in audio form were high. Very high. I have good news reader(s). They succeeded. So much so, I now own three 5SOS shirts and 2 copies of Youngblood (I have my reasons which hopefully I’ll remember to explain!). My aussie boys have made me proud. But first, I have some things I want to talk about. So, this is…A Brief Update for July 2018 (I only write the year because let’s be real guys, I might not update until next July after this!)

First things first. Excuse my language, but holy fucking hell guys. Twenty One Pilots are officially off of their hiatus. I mean, they’re still being cryptic and weird, but like, that’s why we love them, right? They were on a year-long hiatus. We heard absolutely nothing from them. The only stuff we got was…Well, almost nothing. There was an occasional social media post by someone that’d be like “Hey, is that Tyler from TOP?” but, like I say occasional, and I mean, I think I only saw 1. They had not updated the band’s twitter or Instagram in a year. And neither Tyler or Josh said anything on their personal accounts. So, then this website appears. I’m not gonna get too into details because I honestly am still a little confused myself, but this is around March. Right when Panic! started talking about their new CD. This website was weird and cryptic and there were certain things that made everyone think it was indeed related to TOP. And then, Friday (July 6), they sent out an official email to fans subscribed to their email (which I had done in March because 1) why wasn’t I subscribed in the first place? and 2) seemed like a good idea). This email was also cryptic. The subject was “ARE YOU STILL SLEEPING?” and when I had opened it I wasn’t sleeping since I had been awake since 4 am because I had to be at the store at 5. So, no guys. I wasn’t. I was awake. And FREAKING THE FUCK OUT OVER THIS EMAIL THAT WOULD NOT LOAD THROUGH THE JOANN WIFI WHILE I WAS ON BREAK! I went home and looked at the email. It was a gif of an eye. The eye itself was yellow and had a gif of some scene playing on it (it looked like a horse and some fire or something? I don’t know to be honest!).

I want to make a separate paragraph about the yellow. This means that TOP’s next era will have the color yellow in it. IF THIS IS NOT GOOD NEWS TO YOU THAN I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS? Yellow is my favorite color! This means yellow merch! Yellow t-shirts! Yellow hoodies! Yellow…WHATEVER! I’m so happy! Also, new music, but YELLOW!

So, basically, Twenty One Pilots are probably going to have new stuff soon and we’re all ready for it. So. Ready.

Next: I finally saw The Neighbourhood live. It was…Well, amazing. It was at Summerfest, so it was a shorter set and it was harder to see. Summerfest, if you’re not aware, is…an experience. It’s been going on since the 70’s and is Milwaukee’s pride and joy. Well, okay, one of Milwaukee’s pride and joys. Situated right on Lake Michigan, the Summerfest grounds are like another world. Every summer for 11 days, Milwaukee (and Wisconsin) comes together at the lakefront for a whole bunch of concerts, beer, and fried food. I only partake in 2/3 of that (I hate beer). Anyway, each night there’s a headliner at 10 pm for each side stage and one huge one at the amphitheater that you have to pay extra for. I’ve seen the Jonas Brothers and Foo Fighters there before, and it’s always fun but expensive. Your best bet, however, is to go to the side stages where you can see as many bands as you want in one day for just the price of admission. I’ve gotten lucky before because a lot of times I’ll go for one band and have it be that the band before them is one that I also love. This has happened 3 times to me.

In my short 24 years, I’ve seen (not including the amphitheater): Sara Evans, The Goo Goo Dolls, Switchfoot, Brand New (2x), Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band, Manchester Orchestra, POD (like, I’m not even sure how that happened, I don’t listen to them and I didn’t at the time either but they weren’t bad), and was somehow conned into watching a song or two by Def Leopard just because I wanted a lemonade but was like 8 and couldn’t get one alone. Now, I can add on Lovelytheband and The Neighbourhood to this list.

When I saw Brand New, both years I got lucky that they had someone before them that I liked. The first year I was so excited to see Kevin Devine in person because I really enjoy his music. And then, the second year, I hadn’t even realized they were playing until Manchester Orchestra introduced themselves. My love for Manchester Orchestra is immense, and their newest CD A Black Mile to the Surface is something extraordinary. They actually played at the amphitheater this year, but I had no one to go with and really didn’t want to pay for grass seats. Like, that’s where I was with the other two I went to there. When I was in high school and was a total music snob once I found who Brand New was, Manchester Orchestra was one of like three other bands I listened to, so like, I have a deep love for them. I wish I had seen them outside of Summerfest, just because I always prefer a more intimate show than a larger show (except for maybe TOP). This year, I also got lucky, because I like Lovelytheband, and I love the Neighbourhood, so it was a good time.

Anyway, the actual show: Firstly, they played Prey and I just about died. I love love love that song. If the amount of ‘loves’ I just wrote don’t tell you how much I love it, then I don’t know what will. There’s just something…So good about it. The guitar is probably my favorite part about it, but to be honest, it’s just so much fun to sing along to and I also remember that it was one of the songs I had on repeat when Wiped Out! came out. Also, sometimes you can hear the others doing the backup singing when they do play it (I couldn’t really, but I’ll get to that later like everything else I’ve promised). Zach kind of has a voice of an angel and Jermey? Well, he’s pretty out of this world when he does backup vocals (look at their older acoustic sets where he sings!). Obviously, Jesse was really good live, too! They didn’t, however, play Wiped Out!, which bummed me out because while it’s not my favorite song by them, it’s a solid song and I’m so curious to see it live. However, the song is like 6 minutes and it’s probably longer live because it’s one where you can really mess around with (if you’ve heard it, maybe you’ll understand where I’m coming from). They did play Sweater Weather, in case you were wondering, and in case that’s the only song by them you know. It was good live. Like really good, and once again, the guitar part is my favorite (but it’s my favorite guitar part out of any NBHD song). Here’s a video of that:

 

As you can see, I couldn’t see very well. I also always have trouble hearing with the speakers down at Summerfest. I can’t tell if their speakers just aren’t the greatest or if the location itself is just not the greatest? I think that’s partially why I couldn’t hear the backups for some of the songs, like Prey. I mean they also could have had their mic volume down. Whatever, I still got to see one of my favorite bands live.

Another thing I did was see the Indy Race at Road America again. It was once again a last minute thing (but even more last minute than last year! We were about 30 minutes late!). I went the day before to just hang out with my parents, and that’s always really nice. The weather is always perfect when we go. Josef Newgarden also won the race. He led the majority of it and I kept turning to Cassie and saying “He’s got this”, and she kind of doubted him, but I was right. He had it.

Also, season 2 of Anne With An E is on Netflix, so obviously I gotta binge that.

It’s been a pretty exciting two months, and now it’s just going to be very quiet. Until Twenty One Pilots let us know what’s up, but before that, it’ll be pretty boring. Oh well, it’s what I get for doing so much in two months.

So, anyway, until I can get that review of Youngblood out!

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Spotifiy and Music I Found Because of Them:

Instead of writing those promised posts about The Neighbourhood, here I am writing about other stuff. Classic Sara, to be honest. Also, take a deep breath, guys. This is gonna be a long one since I don’t post much and my list built up. Fast.

Recently, I’ve started listening to Spotify again. I say “again”, because in college I was listening to it all the time. I’m not sure what happened, but somewhere along the line I just kind of stopped. Then, I started back up and I even got a really good deal on Spotify Premium for 3 months only 99 cents, so it’s kind of worth it.

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Music I’ve been Liking *Not on a Monday!*

Since I’ve gone to post this at least 10 times since I started it, I thought I should add this:

This was started a while back, and every time I went back to finish it I would lose steam. This has to do with the fact that I personally think that I come across as some idiot. It has nothing to do with the actual content of the post, and more to do with the way it’s presented. This is why I have so much trouble updating this blog, even if I have a lot to say.

That, and inspiration is fleeting.

So, now back to the original post:
It’s not a Music Monday because I’m currently writing this on a Tuesday. Anyway, I’m gonna scrap that idea. That whole “having a schedule” thing on this blog doesn’t seem to work for me.
Since the last time I posted about what kind of music I’ve been listening to, I’ve started to listen to a lot of new stuff. But then it went downhill. I’ve become The Neighbourhood trash and have only listened to them this past week. I do take some breaks, but damn. Their new CD is amazing. I’m not sure if I ever wrote a love letter to their second CD Wiped Out!, but it deserves one. It’s one of my favorite CD’s ever, and my love of it has reignited. Now we’re lucky enough to have The Neighbourhood grace us with new music by them. I’ll write a few separate posts about them. They’ve got a few CDs that I never actually talked about, and I have a lot to say about various songs. I can get at least one post out within the next day or two. Fingers crossed! I know, a total joke, Sara! I post once every 5 months if I’m trying hard enough.

So, instead of focusing on them during this post, I’m going to write about some other bands I’ve been into.

You missed the period where I only listened to AJR. Or rather, I was silent on here when this was happening. I remember there was a period last November where I kept hearing their single, “Sober Up”, on the radio. I was feeling like I knew who they were, and at one point it was true because I kept googling the song. It turns out, the reason it sounded so familiar as 1) Rivers Cuomo, of Weezer, is featured in it. 2) Jack, the lead singer sounds an awful lot like Tyler Joseph from Twenty One Pilots. To the point, where my dad (who is well versed in the Twenty One Pilots’ discography) asked if it was Twenty One Pilots. I became kind of obsessed with this song for a month.

My personal favorite part of “Sober Up” is this lovely part:

“My favorite color is you,
you’re vibarating out of my frequency.
My favorite color is you,
you keep me young and that’s how I wanna be.”

It reminds me of this video game I have called Oxenfree. It’s about a group of teens who wake up some ghosts through a radio. This is all while being the only (living) people on an island. They get stuck on this island and have to find a way off of it while the ghosts torment them. I mean, that’s the simple version.  I guess the whole “frequency” part reminds me of that. If you had played the game or were familiar with it and it’s plot, you would get where I’m coming from.

Around Christmas time, I was digging their CD The Click. By the way, the TOP fan in me had some trouble embracing the fact that it was the real spelling of ‘Click’ and not ‘clique’. Back to The Click. I remember listening to it while I was putting up the Christmas tree. In fact, the only Christmas music I listened to this past Christmas was at Jo-Ann’s. It wasn’t the good stuff, either. I couldn’t get myself to listen to any. It was a little strange. I love Christmas music. Especially the oldies, like the ones sung by Bing Crosby or Frank Sinatra. My mom and I refer to it as the Mobster Holiday Classics. I did fit some of them in, but I only listened to Catfish and the Bottlemen and AJR. “They’re very holiday appropriate!” I say with a gigantic grin.

The Click is an interesting CD, because of how AJR sounds. They use a lot of electronics and kind of mess around with various sounds. I recommend you look at their videos on how they made The Click. Ryan, the guy who does a lot of the interesting tech noises, explains the sounds and what-not.If you’re like me, you’re always trying to find live videos of music on Youtube to see how bands make their sounds, then they’re definitely a band for you. A lot of the songs on the album focus on growing up and how to deal with all the emotions that come with it. I’m talking about songs, such as “Sober Up”, “The Good Part”, “Turning Out”, “Call My Dad”. And it’s all pretty relatable. “Call My Dad” paints an interesting picture. Ryan, (Jack doesn’t always sing!) sings about being at a party, and while he’s met a lot of people and seen a lot of stuff, he still is homesick.

“And now after it all, I just really wanna call

My dad, my dad

I feel so broke up, I wanna go home

No, I feel so broke up, I wanna go home”

I relate to this on a pretty high level, since I am not a fan of parties. Social situations take a lot out of me. I find myself counting down the minutes until I can go home. And while I do call my dad for a ride since I’m still not driving, I in this song, they want to talk to him for some level of comfort. I’m pretty sure I heard in an interview that this song was written while Ryan was in college and living in the dorms. This makes sense to me. Even if your college isn’t too far from home, there is still a distance between you and home. And possibly, this wasn’t even referring to that specific moment. It was probably referring to the part where even when he leaves the party, he’s still going to his dorm room. While dorms are home, it’s not home. It reminds me a lot of this quote from the movie Garden State. I used to adore that movie. I loved this scene where the main character is talking to Natalie Portman’s character. He says:

“You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in isn’t really your home anymore? All of a sudden even though you have some place where you put your shit, that idea of home is gone.”

Before I write 20 more paragraphs about this CD, I’m going to share my favorite song and music video by them. “Weak”:


Jack makes me weak. Ammirite guys????

New Politics have become a thing for me, too. I didn’t like them at first, I’ll admit. It was because Cassie played their one song, “Harlem”, a lot. It’s still not my favorite song by them. It’s not a bad song. It definitely has the classic New Politics sound I’ve grown to understand. Yet, there are other songs by them I prefer. One of which is the song “CIA”. The song has a really strange portion where a child spells out some letters…

“W is a watch.
A is an apple.
R is for rain.”

I couldn’t tell if I was hearing it correctly at the concert. I was in front of the speakers, so at the time I could have been hearing wrong. I’m going to leave this Youtube Video so you can listen to it:

This isn’t my favorite song by them, though. I do like it, but I actually have a few favorites. Most of them are from their newest CD Lost In Translation, which “CIA” is on. One of which is “Tell Your Dad”, another song featuring Rivers Cuomo! He’s been getting around lately. Anyway, it’s kind of got a sweet story, even if he says “I’m not cut out for heaven, and I’m never ever getting married in a church.” This definitely implies he knows he’s not the best guy ever. I’m not cut out for heaven or getting married in a church too, so HEY! Relatable! The other song is “East Coast Thriller”. The first few seconds of that song really pump me up. It’s a great song to dance to. On an Editing Side Note: all three songs are on my “Walking 2.0 playlist”. I play this when I walk on the treadmill, so that definitely says something about how good of a beat each has.

I found that playing live, New Politics really kill it. They’re good at their job. I hadn’t intended on leaving and having their music stuck in my head, but it was. The lead singer also kept making eye contact with me, and I think he was trying to make me dance, but sorry Bud! I was too anxious! I had even gone so far as buying a drink to see if alcohol helped the anxiety. It helped a little, but not enough. Next time they’re in town I’ll dance.

It also seemed as though all three bands were trying to see who could piss off the security more. The lead singer of New Politics, crowd surfed before he climbed on the scaffolding above. So, he took the cake. There was the one security guard, who was the smallest out of them. He would go after the lead singers whenever they did something like that, and he always looked angry. I got a kick out of that.

We went to the concert to see The Wrecks. I’ll get to them after the other opener, though. The other band that opened for New Politics was DREAMERS. I’ll admit that I didn’t even do research on them until the day of. It was kind of sad to me since I ended up liking their sound. In fact, they remind me of another band, but I can’t quite place it. I’m not saying they sound exactly like whoever it is because if they did, I would remember who I’m thinking of. And while I’m typing this, I fell down the hole of watching interviews with them. They seem pretty chill. I wish I had stayed to get a picture with them, but I was hungry and super tired. They also were right there. To the point where I know, they knew we were there. But, once again, I got bad anxiety. It doesn’t help that I’m attracted to all three of them? But, like, what’s new!

Back to the part where I started liking them. Immediately after hearing one song by DREAMERS, I went and bought their CD. I didn’t regret it.

One of the songs that first caught my attention was “Wolves (You’ve Got Me)”. I also adore the music video for their song “Sweet Disaster”, so I’m gonna post both:

They currently only have one CD out, This Album Does Not Exist, but let’s be real guys! That album definitely exists! It’s so catchy! They also have a great cover of The Cranberries’ “Zombie”. Besides liking “Wolves”, my other favorites are “Drugs”, “Come Down Slow”, “To The Fire”, and “Little New Moon”. They’ve got some great lyrics sprinkled in around their songs. Okay, that sounds like it’s rare for them to have good lyrics. I’m not saying that at all. I’m trying to say that among their good lyrics they have really good lyrics. Or at least parts that stand out to me.

One of which, that gets me every time, is this part of “Come Down Slow”

“If you rise too high, too fast, you’ll get the bends.”

There were a few times where I somehow ended up doing extensive research on the Bends. Like, what the fuck? I know. It was around times when I was writing essays on shipwrecks, and I wrote a lot of shipwreck essays. I also do a lot of shipwreck research for fun. I’m not sure why I don’t share any of it on here. That would be the logical choice since I would be sharing what I learn. Rather than being selfish and keeping it to myself. Anyway, I have a thing for artists who reference any water related things. Things such as a shipwreck or in this case, diving things. This is why I was so drawn to Brand New. They have a song (“Play the Crack in the Sky”) that’s about a shipwreck. It’s actually a story of shipwreck used as one big metaphor for a failing relationship. There are several other instances when Brand New makes shipwreck (or watery) references. “Play the Crack in the Sky” is the biggest. So, forgive me if I get excited whenever I hear this part of “Come Down Slow”. I hope I do get to meet the band one day so that I can ask them about it. I mean, what if they also do weird research on shipwrecks? And what if one day they saw an article on the Bends and thought that it would be a great thing to put into a song? Andddd Sara is getting carried away again.

Here’s the audio so that you can listen to it. I hope you enjoy the other part I love when he hits higher notes when he sings about getting his feet on the ground. Also, check out their website because it’s definitely…a trip.

The last band I’m going to tell you about is the reason I even listened to the previous two bands in the first place. The Wrecks. Cassie discovered them on Youtube and played me their song, “Favorite Liar”.  When I first heard it, I was so proud of her for finding such a good jam. At the time, they had an EP out (We Are The Wrecks) with only 3 songs out. They were touring with All Time Low at the time, so we got some tickets and I got to relive my past by seeing ATL. I used to ADORE them. I’d seen them about 2 times before, and even caught Rian’s drumstick the first time. In fact, they were the first concert I ever had at The Rave. So, nostalgia was running high that night. But, I’m talking about The Wrecks. Then they toured with Paramore and Cassie went to that one. Finally, they were back, this time with New Politics, who Cassie was also into. So we went to that.

About a week before they came this time, they released another EP, Panic Vertigo. The title song, Panic Vertigo is so good, as is the rest of the ep. I’m so proud of them, and it’s been cool to see them grow as a band within this past year(?) or so. I’ve never been a fan of a band so early on in their career, I usually don’t jump on until two CDs later, which is a shame. Anyway, here’s “Favorite Liar”, and my favorite song by them “Way With Words”. Nick, the lead singer has a nice voice. And nice glasses.

I’m going to conclude this here since it’s been long enough, and that I could write a lot more. I’ve converted you into a fan of at least one of the bands. If not, that’s fine too! I get that not everyone likes what I like, and hey, that’s great! Hopefully I can write something else soon, otherwise, see ya in another year or something!

What I’ve Been Up To: A March Update 1 Year Later

I’m sorry. Really, I am. It’s been over a year since I last updated. I’ve started countless blog posts and then have proceeded to save them as drafts, only to never publish them. In fact, on New Years, I had written a beautiful post on what movies I’d seen last year and which ones I thought were the best. Then, even more recently, I started a review on the movie In the Heart of the Sea and I have since lost all steam for that because I can’t even remember the points I had for it! That’s a good movie, by the way. It’s got Thor, Spiderman and even Nick Clark from Fear the Walking Dead. Oh, and Cillian Murphy.

You, Reader, (who probably is just me a year from now wondering what I was up to), are probably curious about my whereabouts. Well…I’m still working at Jo-Ann’s. Whoop-de-do! Still a college drop-out! Yay! Still upset that I spent all that money and practically had a few weeks until I got my BA in History, only to…not. Hurray!

I think my biggest reason for not posting was the fact that I’m really embarrassed. And, to be honest, I hate myself. I hate myself so much and every day I have to live with myself knowing that I was so close to being done with school. For some reason, I thought it would be better for my mental well-being to take a “break”.

Well, I have news for you. It sucks. It sucks a lot. I have the education, practically, but I’m a cashier at a fabric store. And, that’s not to say that people who don’t go to college at all and work in retail are stupid. No! In fact, they’re the opposite! They have a shitty job, but they’re smart. They have people skills and they know what the real world is like. I’m just saying that it sucks because I sabotaged my own life. I wanted to do something history related, but I use none of my skills at my job. I think the closest I come to using them is if I decide to take up a new craft and research it. That’s it though. And it’s not where I want to be.

But what have I done since I last posted? Well…

I saw Catfish and the Bottlemen for the second time. My friend from work came and it was really fun. The crowd that goes to their shows is always pretty chill. That and I could die while listening to them and be happy.

 

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A little blurry, but you can make Van out in the middle!

 

I did write a  post about the first time I saw them live I got to meet them. You can find it HERE, but for a brief rundown: I actually did really well and played it pretty cool. I think they thought my friend who won the meet-and-greet-passes was the fan and that I was just tagging along. She is a fan, but I was the one who loved them. Van was also super sweet and told us he hoped we enjoyed the show. I swooned you guys. Actually SWOONED. And then we got a picture with them and his arm was around me?! That was one of my top 5 life experiences because right now I think it’s safe to assume that they’re my favorite band. I listen to them at least once a day. I still adore Twenty On Pilots, but I think CATB tops them on my list.

I got a tattoo. I’m not sure if it was myself rebelling against the fact that I don’t make much money at all, or what, but yeah. That happened.

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My same friend from work helped me design it, and then the lady at the tattoo place added some cool white ink to it. It’s a Three Musketeers themed tattoo, with a fourth sword for my favorite little shit, D’Artagnan. It’s really pretty and every day I get to see it and smile at it. Sometimes I do worry I was a little impulsive about the subject matter, and sometimes I’m sad I didn’t do my original first tattoo idea (little paratroopers down my wrist, but I still have the other wrist!), but at the end of the day it’s there and I’m happy. It’s just something I can always count on. I did get a weird nightmare the second night I had it where I somehow didn’t do the right stuff to take care of it and it was infected, and that one day I woke up and it was just…gone? But that was just a nightmare.

In June I got a little TOO into Fear the Walking Dead. It kind of consumes me. I stumbled upon these surprise keychain packages at Target. I bought a few because it comes with a keychain and a sticker and says “collect them all” and you can bet your ass that one day I will collect them all. I have  1 Nick and 2 Strand’s so far. I got the same Nick keychain (it’s like a picture of season 1 drugged out Nick) and gave the second to Cassie. I told her they were our Druggie Nick Friendship keychains. Every once and a while she mentions that she found her keychain again and it makes me smile because I know she hated that show when I made her try it.

I also went to the Indycar race at Road America again. Races are a really strange experience altogether, but I love them anyway. Even if they’re really loud and smell like gas. You kind of grow to love them. When we were driving in, I saw Josef Newgarden on a scooter. I screamed “Oh my god” and he turned in my direction, but whatever. Leave it to Sara to embarrass herself. I don’t think he saw me. At least, I hope not. I later learned that there was an autograph session at that time and he must have been heading there. I missed another autograph session with him! That’s like the 3rd one! #whenwillsaragetjosefnewgardensautograph?

In September Kingsman 2 came out and I just about died. I saw it twice in theaters ( I would have more but I only had time for 2x), and for Christmas, my brother got me the blu-ray. It was this cool special edition with whiskey stones. I’ll have to use them next time I watch it! Y’all know that movie makes me want a drink because of the majority of it. I also saw Call Me By Your Name and that movie consumed my soul more than FTWD did. I got the blu-ray and watched it the day it came out on blu-ray. I really want to watch it and do a post on it because recently someone brought to my attention that Elio kind of alludes to being an unreliable narrator. I won’t mention what scene, just because this post is spoiler free (ha!). I think this is extremely interesting and I want to go back and watch it looking for other spots. The soundtrack is also really amazing. It’s got this weird dreamlike quality to it, much like the film does. It’s great for listening to when you’re trying to fall asleep. I bought these headphones called CozyPhones and they’re basically headphones in a headband and they’re comfortable for sleeping with them on. They’re great for insomniacs really. They can be a little quiet, but that’s kind of what I was going for.

More recently, I’ve been really into Anne of Green Gables. I watched almost all of Sullivan’s adaptions and have watched all of Anne With An E. I want both on dvd. I think I really would drop $200 for the special edition of the 80’s versions on blu-ray. I cannot bring myself to watch the PBS version from 2016. It just…Anne’s hair looks fake and even in the trailers for it, you can see that her freckles are painted on? I also heard that they really played down Gilbert’s part, and that hurts my heart. That little punk turned out to be a lovely man.

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it’s yellow, my favorite color!

I really think Amybeth McNulty is really truly Anne, although Megan Follows is the original Anne. But if we’re being technical, McNulty looks more like what I picture Anne to look like from the description in the book. I bought that pretty yellow leatherbound copy of the book from B&N. I started it the other day, but haven’t finished yet. Part of me wants to take my time, the other part of me is like “Sara, you’re 24 and you haven’t read Anne of Green Gables. What the fuck are you doing?” I plan to write some more about Anne, the books, and the various adaptions. Maybe I will watch the PBS version for you guys? I don’t know! There’s also a new adaption of Little Women set to air in April or May on PBS that I’ve been dying to see. I remember reading that in 3rd grade. I should really reread it because it’s been so long. I also need to rewatch the Winona Ryder version.

I rewatched Four Brothers the other day and now I’m having Jack Mercer feelings, so that’s never good. I just have a lot of love for him as a character and for that story. I was paying close attention to his aversion to violence, and I really want that character study essay. Guys where is it? I would totally read it! I guess I’ll have to write it! I’m going to rewatch it again sometime this week because it’s just…eating at me? This happens sometimes. It’s kind of happening with Murder on the Orient Express too! That was a good movie, even if there were some unnecessary changes, but I really enjoyed the fact that Bouc was likable. And hot. The soundtrack and scenery for that movie were breathtaking, too. So, again, I’ll have to rewatch it.

Enough rambling! There’s so much more I want to say, and I hope I get enough momentum to say it. I have a lot of new music I want to talk about it. More books and movies! Youtubers! Podcasts! History! Oh, I’ve missed you guys so much! I bought a new computer a few weeks ago and I’m totally in love with it, so hopefully, that’s enough reason to write more. Hopefully! I’m so sorry I neglected this blog for a year. It was awful and I should be punished for it.

I hope you’re all well and I hope you stick around! See ya next time!

Research distractions

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)

Wonderful Web: a February update

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

The Kettering Incident
Anna who is played by Elizabeth Debicki

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.

Mercy Street:

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 Billy 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 on 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,

http://blog.briteproductions.net/2016/01/14/cade-martin-shoots-promo-for-pbss-mercy-street/
Mary Phinney played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Dr. Jedediah Foster played by Josh Radnor from blog.briteproductions.net

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).

indiesew.com

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.

Colettehg.com

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!

New Year, New Me. JK.

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).

Books: Currently Reading and TBR

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!

Currently Reading:

bookrecs2

  1. 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.

    Amazon Goodreads

  2. Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

    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.

    Amazon Goodreads

  3. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

    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.

    Amazon Goodreads

  4. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

    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).

    Amazon Goodreads

  5. True Ghost Stories by Jim Harold

    I’ve talked about Jim Harold before. His podcast, Jim Harold’s Campfire 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.

    Amazon Goodreads

  6. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

    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!

    Amazon Goodreads

TBR:

bookrecs3

  1. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

    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.

    Amazon Goodreads

  2. Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman

    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.

    Amazon Goodreads

  3. The Distant Hours by Kate Morton

    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.

    Amazon Goodreads

 

Honorable Mention:

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The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

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!

Amazon Goodreads

That’s it for today. Try some of these books, event the ones I’m having trouble with.

Wonderful Web Wednesday Minus the Wednesday

wonderfulweb

Because I’m a total piece of shit, here’s Wonderful Web Wednesday on Monday, so really it’s just Wonderful Web. Anyway, I might do another for actual Wednesday this week.

Podcasts

My Favorite Murder

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.

Someone Knows Something:

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.

Youtube:

TFIL

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:

Timeless:

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.

Milwaukee Blacksmith: 

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.

Abandoned:

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!

 

Some Book Recommendations

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.

bookrecs

 

  1. 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.

    Amazon Goodreads

  2. The Diviners by Libba Bray:

    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.

    Amazon (the kindle version appears to be on sale right now!) Goodreads

  3. The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James:

    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.

    Amazon Goodreads

  4. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas:

    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.

    Amazon Goodreads Project Gutenberg (free!)

  5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen:

    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.

    Amazon Goodreads Project Gutenberg

  6. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen:

    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.

    Amazon Goodreads Project Gutenberg

    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.

  7. 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.

    Amazon Goodreads

  8.  Armed and Dangerous by Nenia Campbell:

    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.

    Amazon Goodreads

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.

Book  1
Book 2

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.