Favorite Authors and Why

I read a lot. Sometimes/usually when people read a lot or watch a lot of movies or have deep passions for something they don’t have favorites.

I do!

Off the top of my head I have four favorite authors with a number one favorite writer:

#4: Mitch Albom

I read his work last year, and I was hooked immediately. Starting with the five people you meet in heaven I loved his writing style. I was excited to read his work, which I read five of last year. In fact, his latest book came out last year and I had a conniption when I saw it in Barnes and Noble. So, he’s my favorite because of the stories he tells and his style of writing.

#3: Dan Brown

The guy responsible for The DaVinci Code which caused so much controversy. What I love about his work is the research that goes into it and he has my favorite literary character ever: Robert Langdon. I’m a student of research, that’s what I know and love. I am fascinated with every book. The movies are great, but the books hold so much information that you lose so much of the plot and even characters by just watching the movie. My favorite of his is The Lost Symbol, the one that’s probably not gonna get a movie (boo). This book had the best villain Langdon has come across, and it’s a shame that we can never witness it on the big screen. So, he’s my favorite because of characters and research behind it.

#2: Agatha Christie

Oof, I love her so much. Best known for her mysteries, she is one of the best selling authors to date, and her play ‘The Mousetrap’ is the longest running play in history. I adore suspense and mystery, and she does it perfectly. I have read over a dozen of her books, and all of her plays, and I have yet to correctly guess the killer. There’s a reason she is and always will be the Queen of Mysteries. And side note, I am so glad BBC is doing mini series of her books now. ‘And Then There Were None’ (my favorite book of hers) was fantastic to see on screen, and now I get to search for ‘Ordeal by Innocence’. So, she’s a favorite because I can never figure out whodunnit.

And #1 (no surprise): Edgar Allan Poe

Yes, he’s an author. People try to convince me he’s simply a poet or a writer. No, he’s written a book, so he’s an author, fight me. He was a tormented soul, and we do have to acknowledge he was a troubled individual. However, he wrote some amazing dark work. He revolutionised the gothic writing, and, fun fact, he had one of the first papers conceptualising the Big Bang theory. Okay, it was a poem, but still. He was brilliant. His narration was on point, his writing style was crisp, and his themes were wonderous. I adore everything about his writing (though I don’t condone it). So, he’s my favorite because of…everything.

This list is never set in stone. I mean, Mitch was added only last year. Someone else may be added. Someone might even be taken off. If you have favorites, don’t be ashamed. If they change, don’t be ashamed. The mind is fluid, so why can’t our tastes in books be.

Love

Alexandra

Spewing Happiness

There’s something to know about me: when I’m in a state of joy, I ramble. I yak about stuff about me.

I never believe I’m narcissistic. Yet happiness causes me to talk about myself? Honestly…I don’t know.

I just found out about this myself.

I’m involved in a production that has been super stressful. I’ve not been a happy person for a while. One night, I was chatting up with a couple of the actors and I was TALKING. I’m usually a listener, but I was spewing words about theatre, Glasgow, writing, YouTube, and some of the coolest experiences I have been blessed to have.

I didn’t feel a need to show off (I don’t think), and I didn’t think they were bored with my behaviour (I don’t think).

I like to talk about things I love when I’m happy.

Should be said, I didn’t steal the entire conversation. They had their points to make about theatre, makeup, production, and competition. And I listened to them. When it was appropriate, I talked about things that make me happy.

Anyway, later that night, I felt super guilty about sharing so much. I was so worried that I made that whole conversation about me and now they hate me and want to stay away.

But that’s my depression and low self esteem talking.

I believe that happiness is sharing what you love. You don’t need to talk about it like I do, because that might be a little problematic. Do it in your way, but don’t be afraid to share your interests. Be happy.

Hugs

Alexandra

2018 is Over…

Bruh, has this been the longest year was it just me? Like, I feel like Dolores O’Riordan (lead singer of The Cranberries) died two or three years ago. Nope; this year. Anyway, it’s been a long year…

For some, it’s been a great year. For others, it’s been real shitty.

I definitely didn’t love this year. It’s been rough. However, I do believe, good year or otherwise, each offers something to learn. Yeah, it may have been super awful, but are you a stronger person because of it? Most likely. And that’s what’s important.

While on Pinterest, as I am everyday now, damn, I found a page putting the year into review. So I decided to fill it out:

2018-Year-in-Review-Printable-2

Voila.

I’m pretty sure I missed some significant moments, but this is what stood out.

Did I have a mental breakdown earlier this year? Absolutely. Did I lose my dog I’ve had since I was 13? Yep. Was I unwelcomely invited to reminisce about the worst year of my life? Oh yeah. Was there a financial scare? Ooh boy, was there.

Man, all that was just awful.

But…

did I also see Fall Out Boy live, completing a bucket list goal for me? Yep! Did I go to the Markiplier’s You’re Welcome Tour? Yes, sir! Did I go to California, visiting friends and family, and being introduced to the coolest bookstore ever? Hell, yeah! Did one of my plays get read by actors? Best moment ever, honestly!

While there were a lot of shortcomings about this year, there were also some great moments, too. We have to take the bad with the good.

For 2019, let’s be more honest, and more expressive!

Happy New Year, my beautiful people.

May 2019 be a shining star of a year for you. That is my hope for you.

Hugs

Alexandra

Christmas Recommendations

*Christmas time is here. Happiness and cheer. Fun for all…*

And it’s time for some more recommendations. Music, treats, movies, books, the shebang.

Music

-12 Days of Christmas–Straight No Chaser

-Slay Bells–Manila Luzon

-White Winter Hymnal–Pentatonix (on repeat every year)

Treats

-Holiday chocolate chip cookies (recipe herehere)

-Hot cocoa with peppermint ice cream

-Caramel corn! ( I only eat this around Christmas)

Movies

-Die Hard

-Edward Scissorhands (more a winter movie than a Christmas movie, but…)

-Miracle on 34th Street (the original)

-any of the original animated Christmas stories (Grinch being a favorite)

Books

-The Polar Express

-Jacob T. Marley

-The Gift of Nothing

Have fun, and try something new! And let me know what you’d recommend me!

Yay, Christmas!

Hugs and Mistletoe

Alexandra

When You Seem Jumbled

AKA me right now.

The 10 days (8 now, holy shit) leading up to Christmas are always the most frantic.

It doesn’t help ever when your payday is four days before Christmas, or when you’re involved in a production that starts rehearsal today (can I just sleep, already).

Make a list.

Actually, what I like to do is a brain dump.

Everything occupying my mind I jot down. Then I look at my writings, cross off things that aren’t important/are far off and don’t need to think about right now. I plan everything else out. Today I work until 3.30, then I’ll go home. There I can eat (30 minutes), update the calendar for the production (30 minutes), message [Lana] about choreography (10 minutes), organize the booklet for the library (30 minutes), shower (20 minutes), and have an hour plus until I need to make my way to rehearsal. In that hour, I can work on something else that was in my brain dump.

When you’re jumbled, you need to untangle the knot that is your thoughts and go from there.

Don’t be afraid to write it all down. It’s not like you have to show anyone. You don’t. It’s just for you.

You may still be jumbled (I am) but at least you’re working productively.

Celebration and Doing Washing

Happy Friday.

Well, this week has been interesting, or was it just me?

Very recently, I made a post about quitting videos for now (because my computer is practically dead, and you can read that post herehere). In that blog, I gave my blog schedule: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9 am PST.

If you follow me/my website, first of all, thank you, how you doin’? But you would also notice I didn’t post this week. Monday? That was a wash. Wednesday? The wash was in the dryer. Today? It’s clean, but we’re definitely late to the party because we couldn’t find the right shirt.

But let’s talk about the ‘celebration’ portion of the title first. Hanukkah just happened.

Now, I’m not Jewish. I do have family (aunt who married into the family, and subsequently cousins) who are Jewish. I respect other religious holidays. If you kept up, I celebrated Holi with the Hindu community in Boise (read about that herehere). I wanted, this year, to celebrate Hanukkah.

Again, I’m not Jewish, so why would I? Well, why do non-Hindus celebrate Holi? Why do non-Christians celebrate Christmas? Because they find something special about it.

There’s something special about Hanukkah for me. I knew of the history behind it. I knew of some traditions (honestly, I don’t think you can know all of the traditions without being raised or converted into the religion). It seemed beautiful. So I finally decided to do it.

For about five of the eight nights.

img_6751As I lit the candles the final night, I felt like a colossal failure. This holiday, though not their most sacred, is Jewish tradition, and I felt like I tainted it. Disrespected it. But I stared at the flames until the candles died, thinking about celebration. What was the point? To me, though I wasn’t fully immersed, it was about learning of a culture I was only partially aware of. I learned more about Hanukkah traditions and the meaning behind it.

What really helped me feel better was the book have a little faith by Mitch Albom. In a span of eight years, he meets regularly with a Christian pastor (Baptist, I believe) and a Jewish rabbi. When he asked about religion and how others may view differences, the rabbi said how united we were. Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, atheists. We all believe something. We are one people from one ancestor (Adam) and that’s how we should be, no matter what we believe.

I liked that.

Anyway, if I decide to partake in the Jewish holiday again, I’ll be more vigilant and aware of the nights, and more respectful of the traditions and meaning behind them.

Now about my washing. Man, those clothes were dirty.

I honestly have no real excuse for forgetting to post, considering my phone has access to the website and I can write anywhere (except for work, because they lead-line the walls or some shit). It was a down week (my homies with chronic depression knows what’s up), and I worked a lot. However, I also just wanted to stay in bed when I was not working or running errands. So blog posts never came.

Now that the laundry is clean again, I think I can get back on track. Expect Monday’s post ON TIME!

Guys, celebrate. Celebrate other cultures and traditions. Find out more about them. Celebrate! Unless you’re appropriating or disrespecting, in which case fuck off kindly.

And don’t forget to clean out your laundry every once in a while.

Hugs

Alexandra

#becauseofyou

I’ve been seeing this hashtag several places now, and I think it’s very interesting. People calling out their bullies or people in their lives that made them feel less than they are.

I wanted to join in, so here it is (every hashtag is a different person/people):

#becauseofyou I felt stupid. I felt ugly. You made fun of me in public, giving our impressionable classmates permission to do the same. All because I said I liked you.

#becauseofyou I’m paranoid. I have a fear of sudden noises, of handshakes, and of being kissed.

#becauseofyou I felt worthless. I felt unwanted. You told me that there was no point to my being there. I have no skill, no talent. Even when I worked hard to be better, it wasn’t good enough for you. I didn’t exist in your eyes.

#becauseofyou I believed I was a bad person. You didn’t want me in the same building as you, or our classmates. I confided in you, and you took it like I was betraying everything I stood for. It wasn’t even you I had a crush on; it was a different girl in the class.

#becauseofyou I felt unloved. I felt like a waste of time and space. Playing with my emotions until you got what you wanted out of me, and then act like we weren’t even friends.

#becauseofyou I believed I had no future. I felt like a useless and lazy member of society. I did my best with what was available to me, and you blamed my laziness for not being ahead.

#becauseofyou I felt crazy. I felt like I deserved every bad thing should happen to me, and that no one should be an acquaintance, let alone a friend. You told me that my mental disorder deserved to be punished, though I thought I was doing a good thing by seeking help.

#becauseofyou I felt sad, lonely, useless, worthless, hideous, stupid, insane, terrible, and more.

But…

#becauseofyou I feel like I have a true friend. You were there for me and trusted me to be there for you. Though you don’t understand everything about me, you accept me.

#becauseofyou I feel intelligent. I feel like I actually have good thoughts in my brain. You praise my ideas, and aren’t afraid to tell me when I can fix something. You are constantly reminding me of what I have accomplished academically.

#becauseofyou I feel loved. We may not be together, but how terrific you made me feel about myself.

#becauseofyou I feel worthwhile. You help me with my mental disorders and encourage me to be the best I can be. Even if they never leave me, I can be a healthy individual.

#becauseofyou I feel accepted. You took me in, you were kind, and you never made me feel like an outsider even if I very much was one.

#becauseofyou I believe I am a good person. Orientation is a part of me, not who I am entirely. You helped me during those confusing months, and encouraged me to be true to myself. I know who I am, and the kindness I have for others.

#becauseofyou I feel beautiful. My height and size was never a problem to you or your work. You complimented my style and who I was.

#becauseofyou I feel accomplished, smart, able, lovely, worthwhile, lovable, nice, and more.

While I believe this hashtag is good for releasing those negative feelings in a, mostly, anonymous manner, it is also good to remember those who made you feel like the amazing person you are.

And if you don’t hear it from anyone else, allow me to tell you:

You are a lovely, wondrous, worthwhile person.

Hugs

Alexandra

Should Poe Be Read In Middle School?

This debate should’ve happened around Halloween, but we get to talk about it now.

I was working at the middle school in the month of October, and this English class was reading Edgar Allan Poe. When I first got there, they had finished The Raven, we’re finishing up Tell-Tale Heart, and were starting The Cask of Amontillado. By the time I left they finished The Masque of the Red Death.

We all know Poe is my favorite writer. I adore his work. But even I question whether this was smart or not.

Tell-Tale Heart is about a man who kills an elderly man in his care, chops him up, and stashed him under the floorboard. The Cask of Amontillado is about a man tricking an alcoholic into his family’s crypt so he can bury him alive. The Masque of the Red Death is about a plague that leaves a person bleeding to death in half an hour, while a prince hides him and his friends away to indulge in the seven deadly sins before the plague finally gets in and kills them all.

Wholesome.

And to have to discuss this in vivid detail so they understand the story is even better.

As much as I loved talking about my favorite writer, it was hard to teach these stories to 12-13 year olds.

“Oh, Alexandra, they’ve probably seen/heard worse.”

But that’s not for me to say.

Education should teach you a variety of topics, especially in English, but I also think that it’s not up to us to expose something like this until certain ages, if that makes sense.

Should Poe be taught in middle school, then?

I don’t see a problem with having them read The Raven or The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether. They are mild while still giving the reader a glimpse into the darkness that was Poe’s mind.

However, the ones that involve particular gore (because who doesn’t want to terrify children with a story about a plague that can kill you in 30 minutes) should be left to an older age. At least, in a school setting.

If for nothing else, I think the students would appreciate him and his writing more when they’re a little older.

But that is just my opinion based on experience and education.

I would love to know what you guys think about this situation.

Have a good day, everyone!

Hugs

Alexandra

A Relaxing Day…

Yesterday I needed to compress from a lot that’s been happening.

Fortunately, my brother and I had a day off together for the first time in a while. I had started a new job, he got new hours, and we were never able to spend time together. Yesterday was a good day.

We sprawled blankets, we ate snacks, we played Monopoly and CAH and Diablo III. We watched Game Grumps and The Frighteners.

It was nice.

It was a day I needed.

Today, I face my problems again. But I’m better than I was two days ago.

Take moments, even in times of stress, to relax and not think about those things. Not thinking about it won’t make those problems go away, but having a moment of not thinking will give your brain a rest. And a restful brain is a more productive brain.

Take a break, then face your problems.

Hugs

Alexandra

Halloween Movies That You Might Not Think About

Guys, Halloween is two days away.

I don’t know about you, but this Halloween season has been such a dud. This Wednesday, I’m just gonna watch some movies and throw candy at some children.

But what movies?

I could say the generic Halloween movies, like Halloween, Halloweentown, Hocus Pocus, Friday the 13th, Scream, etc. But I have a different list. So, if you’re looking for more spooky season films, here are some of my favorites:

  • The Frighteners–the most underrated horror movie in existence. Also known as a horror comedy, it follows a man (mid-90s Michael J. Fox) who can communicate with ghosts after the death of his wife. Love it. Can rewatch it over and over.
  • The Last Man on Earth–the original film version of I Am Legend. With Vincent Price.
  • Stay Alive–I mean, I think it is. Guys, I’m a puss when it comes to horror. I scare easily. I watched this through the cracks of my fingers. It’s about gamers, and if you die in the game you die in real life. The real question is, did this come before or after Sword Art Online? (Answer: before)
  • 1408–want a good thriller? Yes. This one. John Cusack trapped in a paranormal hotel room.
  • Stir of Echoes–another severely underrated horror/thriller. Kevin Bacon gets hypnotized, and becomes haunted by visions of a girl’s ghost.
  • Two Head are Better Than None–this is on the fun side. The Halloween special of Kenan and Kel (Nickelodeon baby here), when they are stuck in a headless man’s house.
  • Beetlejuice, Sleepy Hollow, and Corpse Bride–Tim Burton is known as a spook master. These three are particularly good around this time of year. I would’ve added Edward Scissorhands, except I see that more as a winter film rather than Halloween.
  • Nightmare Before Christmas–no, this is not Tim Burton, surprise. This is Henry Selick. Anyway, good for Halloween or Christmas.
  • The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror–for those who want a show rather than movies. I love these since they parody horror movies and stories. Hilarious every time.
  • The Crow–taking place in the actual time of Halloween. A man (Brandon Lee) and his fiance are murdered. On the anniversary of their deaths, he comes back to life to seek his vengeance. There is some disturbing things in this one, as a warning. Check parental guide for triggering things.

And that’s it for now!

I hope you find a new movie to appreciate this year.

Personally, I’ll be watching The Frighteners, Beetlejuice, and Sleepy Hollow. The Crow if I have time.

On the actual day of Halloween, the post (since it’s a Wednesday) will simply be a sum-up of the month. So, I’m wishing you a Happy Halloween now.

Enjoy your Halloween, everyone!

Hugs and Spooks

Alexandra