Books My Friends Think Are Flawless

Edit: for whatever fluffin’ reason, my post didn’t publish on time. When I went to double check, I found that out, so here it is now. Sorry about that.

Now, I did say I liked movies. I do; I love movies. But, I especially adore books. If you’ve been here a while, you know that’s not a surprise. And much like movies, my opinions seem to be different not only from critics but audiences too. My opinions tend to stand out (which was particularly nerve-wrecking in my many literature classes in college). So, while I was asking about movies they thought were flawless, I also asked what books were flawless. I got significantly less answers, since many of my friends don’t read as much. And like the movies, I didn’t ask for a reason, just titles.

  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • The Help
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • the Dresden Files series
  • Everyone Poops (yes, this was an actual answer)
  • Inkheart
  • Penguins Hate Stuff
  • Howl’s Moving Castle
  • Leven Thumps & the Gateway of Foo
  • Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

And that’s what I got.

Again, opinions are so diverse. And I’ve only read three of these, which means opinions can be personal, not universal, and/or not readily available.

To repeat what I said last time about movies, figure out what you like, watch what you like, and don’t let critics, or even those around you, tell you what to enjoy. What I enjoy others may not, and what others enjoy I may not. (Am I the only lady who doesn’t particularly enjoy Pride and Prejudice?)

Let me know what you consider flawless, if you would like to add to the list.

Hugs

Alexandra

My Mom the Witch

Ooh, I know how wrong that can sound, but this is all said with love, I promise.

Something I had been looking into lately had been witchcraft. The more I looked into it, the more I recognized a lot of my actions as witchy in nature. My mother didn’t understand, not really comprehending what witchcraft is/has become. But the MORE I looked into it, the more I recognized my mother’s witchy actions.

And the last couple of weeks has been trying to convince her that she’s an actual witch.

Of course, when I first told her, she was unbelieving. I don’t blame her. It’s something different from her established beliefs and thoughts. But, lately, she’s starting to come around and think that perhaps it’s true. So, since I know she reads this (hi, Mom), I gathered most of my reasons as to why my mother is a Finnish witch:

  • Familiars – we have quite a few cats who connect real well with Mom, with Ash (our latest addition, a beautiful black cat) coming right up to her one day when she was getting in her car for work and asked to be adopted. She’s drawn to animals, and they tend to be drawn to her.
  • Nature – she has quite a connection to nature, absolutely loving walks and hikes. Doesn’t matter the nature-forests, mountains, rivers, oceans-she loves to look at it and she loves to be in it. And with great respect.
  • Symbols – there are two symbols she’s particularly drawn to: the tree of life and the hannunvarkuna (was originally a Finnish protective sign).
  • Items – she likes candles, she prefers silver jewelry to gold (yes, that’s a magical trait), and she has bells either on the door or beside the door.
  • Environment – something I learned recently is that a witchy trait is changing up your environment when you are unhappy or stressed. And something she ALWAYS does when she gets overwhelmed is rearrange furniture. Anyone who comes over to our house is often greeted with a new living room setup.
  • Ancestors – she’s fascinated and in touch with her familial roots. Mom is really into her Finnish heritage.
  • Sauna – unexpected you may say, those who’ve been in saunas BUT saunas are very important to Finns and Finnish magic. It’s a place of cleanliness, peace, healing, and refuge from the outside world. In the sauna, the four elements of the universe are brought together in one place to create a place of healing (being the most prominent magic in saunas). It is a sacred place, has a spirit, and should be respected. As for my mother, she is in constant need of a proper Finnish sauna, not the Westernized version, for a form of meditation.

So, I think I made a solid case.

If any of you are interested in what I’ve talked about, look into it. Do your research first, always. But if you’re interested in Finnish magic, since it’s what my mother (and I, in a way) has her witchy ways in, I recommend the book Finnish Magic: A Nation of Wizards, A World of Spirits by Robert Nelson.

Embrace yourself.

Hugs and blessings

Alexandra

Movies My Friends Think Are Flawless

I really do enjoy movies, though my opinions seem to be different not only from critics but from audiences as well. What I look at and enjoy stand out amongst other opinions. This caused me to wonder if I was the only one. So I went to Facebook, the headquarters of personal opinion, and asked my friends what movie they consider flawless. I didn’t ask for whys or explanations, just a movie title. Here’s the list of flawless movies according to my friends:

  • The Princess Bride
  • A River Runs Through It
  • Wonderman
  • Slumdog Millionaire
  • Aladdin (didn’t specify animated or live action)
  • Lord of the Ring series
  • Cinderella Man
  • Hello Dolly!
  • Scooby Doo on Zombie Island
  • Willow
  • Emperor’s New Groove
  • Into the Spiderverse
  • Hereditary
  • High School Musical
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
  • The Assassination of Jesse James
  • Stardust
  • Avatar
  • Secondhand Lions
  • Chinatown
  • The Artist
  • North by Northwest
  • The Room
  • The Labyrinth
  • Shawshank Redemption
  • American Outlaws
  • Maverick
  • Grave of the Fireflies
  • Little Miss Sunshine

Looking at this list, it’s interesting to think about how diverse our opinions really are. I haven’t seen maybe half of these, and definitely don’t think what I’ve seen on this list is flawless (I would only consider one flawless, but I won’t tell you which one, mwah-hahaha).

This is why we need to form our own opinion outside of critics. Some movies I have loved received bad reviews, and some movies I dislike receive good reviews. Figure out what you like, watch what you like, and don’t let critics, or even those around you, tell you what to enjoy. (I don’t care that To Wong Foo got 39% on Rotten Tomatoes or that Bloodshot got a 30%, I enjoy them and watch them).

Let me know what you consider flawless, if you would like to add to the list.

Hugs

Alexandra

Quotes in My Collection (pt 2)

Let’s continue with some more quotes!

To recap, I collect quotes and quote books. You can find some from my collection in the first post here. This post is going to focus on quotes I found on social media, whether from Twitter, Pinterest, or Tumblr. I didn’t make note of usernames and I didn’t see names associated, so all of these will be considered anonymous.

Here we go:

  • Find your happiness, because it’s out there waiting for you. Stop being afraid and motivate yourself. Find yourself.
  • I have been through hell and came out singing.
  • Good morning, cruel world. This world may be cruel but I’m still kicking.
  • We are all horrible and wonderful and figuring it out.
  • Allow yourself to be a beginner. No one starts off excellent.
  • Control what you can, confront what you can’t.
  • You still have a lot of time to make yourself who you want to be.
  • You owe yourself the love that you give to other people.
  • Don’t be afraid to start over again. This time, you’re not starting from scratch, you’re starting from experience.
  • Existence has meaning, some of which is found and some of which is created, and doing this is among the noblest of human quest.
  • My body may be a temple but I am the god to whom it is devoted. Do not presume to tell me how I may decorate my altar.
  • Love should be shared, felt, and received with reckless abandon. Love these characters, love this food, love things in the moment, even if they may seem insignificant to others.

Another small portion of my vast collection, and again, I’m always looking for more to add.

Show what you enjoy no matter what others think.

Hugs

Alexandra

Addicted to TikTok…

For a while, I was so against TikTok. Maybe it was my petty bias to Vine (which is dead so what’s the point). Maybe it’s the problematic people I continuously heard about on the platform. Maybe it’s because I’m an ‘adult’ and I don’t ‘belong on TikTok’. I don’t fully know why I was against TikTok like that.

And then two of my good friends (shoutout Kiki and Christian) convinced me to join so they can send me TikToks. Might as well take this as another learning experience, right?

Now, I’m obsessed.

I go on TikTok several times a day, I send them to my friends and family, and I’ve even made a few.

As for my previous concerns, Vine is still dead and there’s a plethora of material on TikTok. I know to stay away (and if necessary, block) problematic people and topics, and no one has made any problems on my own videos. And regardless of what people say, all ages are represented on TikTok.

This all sounds like I’m trying to convince you to join TikTok. If you don’t want to, don’t. I’m not advocating for everyone to join; it’s not for everyone. I’m just letting you guys know my own experience.

And, yes, I’ve learned quite a bit on TikTok! I enjoy learning, so having gained some knowledge in an entertaining fashion.

Now I can’t get enough.

All I can do is limit my time, which I’ve started doing, but I’m not overly upset that I enjoy TikTok. I’ll start becoming upset when it starts becoming detrimental.

Anyway, Wednesday’s post will be about what I’ve learned on TikTok.

See you then!

Hugs

Alexandra

I am Grateful…I Can Still Complain

So.

Until my teacher friend gets her own computer, she’s been borrowing mine for her Zoom meetings with her students. I don’t have issues with it since she only does it twice a week for, like, an hour. After a session, she told me she liked my desk chair.

Now, here’s the thing: I hate my desk chair. The back is ripped, the wheels stick, and what’s worse it sinks every time I sit. I’m a tall lady and need my chair to be tall, but as I start typing or whatever I need to do at my computer it starts to sink and messes up the whole operation (it was actually starting to sink as I type this!)

My teacher friend said that ‘at least I have a desk chair’ or some variation. I am grateful I have something. But I can still complain.

I’m not whining or blaming other people. I’m not being insensitive or talking about it constantly. I’m just expressing my dislike for certain things.

I think this is totally acceptable. Having complaints is totally normal. Being grateful for what you have, sure, but being honest with your feelings.

I’m grateful that I have this chair, but as soon as I have enough money I’m getting a new one.

Hugs

Alexandra

Quotes in My Collection (pt. 1)

I’m a fan of quotes. I have a small collection of quote books and have started two quote books (and two book quote books). I sprawl them when and where I need them with only one quote at my desk at all times. I love collecting quotes, and it’s generally the first thing I ask for from my penpals.

Anyway, let me share a few of the quotes I have in my collection:

  • “I will not give you the satisfaction of hating you.” –Antoine Leiris from the book You Will Not Have My Hate
  • “Happiness isn’t something that depends on our own surroundings. It’s something we make inside ourselves.” –Corrie Ten Boom from The Hiding Place
  • “Do what you can do in joy, instead of trying to do it all in misery.” –Jen Sincero from You Are a Badass
  • “Never apologize for who you are. It lets the whole world down.” –Jen Sincero
  • “You get one life, one body, one go at this whole thing. Make yourself your own responsibility and let’s get living.” –The Try Guys in The Hidden Power of F*cking Up
  • “It’s okay to fail. It’s okay to fall down. Get up, look sickening, and make them eat it.” –Latrice Royale
  • “Stop telling yourself that the grass is greener on the other side, because it’s not. It is greener where you water it. So take control of your life and start watering your own pastures and grow your own greener grasses.”
  • “No one can provide the heart its own peace; you have to find it yourself.” –Patrick Ness from The Rest of Us Just Live Here
  • “To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.” –Yann Martel from Life of Pi
  • “Faith is about doing. You are how you act, not just how you believe.” –Mitch Albom from have a little faith
  • “Ah, music. Magic beyond all we do here.” –J.K. Rowling from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  • “All endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.” –Mitch Albom from the five people you meet in heaven
  • “This is my body. It’s going to be with me forever. For all the ways it’s failed me, it’s come through for me a million times more. I’ll never be skinny and don’t really want to be. I want to be smaller and I want to be healthier. My body will get me there. Every day I have to remind myself to be good to my body and allow it to be good to me.” –Gabourey Sidibe
  • “Sometimes you just gotta put your nose to the grindstone. You gotta look at it and it doesn’t matter how much it sucks. It doesn’t matter how boring it is. It doesn’t matter how mundane. You see the road to your goal and it’s paved with broken glass; you can bitch and moan the whole way, but at the end of the day, you just gotta walk.” –Mark Fischbach (the quote that lives at my desk)

This is a small, small, small portion of quotes I have, but I’m still looking for more. If you have any quotes you’d like to share, please share with me. From books, from movies, from your cousin; inspirational, funny, odd. Does not matter. Share your quotes.

I’ll probably be sharing more in the future.

And I have other collections, so let me know if you want me to share some of those.

“Hugs.” –Alexandra

Musical Questionnaire

Due to everyone being on social media these days, I’ve been seeing a lot of fun little get-to-know-you questionnaires pop up. I thought, for today’s post, I would do one.

(Because, honestly, I didn’t know what else to do, I’m drowning in finals).

I saw one about musicals/theatre that might tickle some fancies, so here we go:

 

1. what’s your favorite musical? Hunchback of Notre Dame

2. favorite character in your favorite musical? Esmerelda 

3. what’s your favorite play? The Pillowman (it’s tragic; don’t psychoanalyze me)

4. favorite character in your favorite play? probably Katurian

5. what’s your dream role? one I wrote myself…doesn’t count? okay…

6. what’s a role you’d like to play that you’d never be able to? Hamlet

7. do you prefer being behind the scenes or in the spotlight? depends on the show

8. do you like hamilton? ooh, I’m about to get hate…I like maybe three songs…I don’t like the musical itself

9. have you seen hamilton? no. I’m hella poor. who can afford that?

10. how do you feel about hyped up shows like hamilton, les mis, and rent? if they’re enjoyed by people, I don’t care. my personal opinion shouldn’t stop hype or what other people want to see. 

11. did you like this year’s tony awards? didn’t watch. haven’t been watching lately because awards shows themselves have gone kinda…ehhh

12. what award should there be that isn’t? dramaturgy, but that’s a personal preference. in all seriousness, effects should have an award. and technician work.

13. what shows have you been in/helped with? do you want to be here for too long? I’ve been doing theatre since I was 6. for some idea of what I’ve done, go to my theatre tab. 

14. have you ever been paid to act onstage or on camera? no…but I definitely should have been. plenty of times.

15. do you prefer broadway or west end shows? depends on the show (just saying, Hunchback never made it to Broadway…)

16. favorite stage actress? Bernadette Peters

17. favorite stage actor? David Tennant (his Hamlet was the best I’ve ever seen)

18. favorite show currently or recently running? …what is running?

19. what’s your dream #ham4ham (even if you don’t like hamilton)? what does that tag mean?

20. who should host the tony’s next year? Michael Arden

21. do you watch broadwaycom backstage vlogs? no…didn’t even know it was a thing

22. what’s your opinion on movies turned into musicals? depends if they’re good or not. some movies work as musicals (Heathers) and some movies don’t (Beetlejuice).

23. do you prefer musical movies or live musicals? plays. no? fine, live musicals

24. do you have an opinion on american psycho? is it a musical now? I saw the movie like 8 years ago…

25. what movie would you want to be turned into a musical? Wonderman

26. what role would you like to see your favorite actor play? he already did, but I would love to see David (I assume you meant stage actor, which works since my favorite film actor is dead) play Katurian in The Pillowman live. either that or Beelzebub in Faustus

27. do you prefer musicals, plays, or operas? plays. I’m such a straight play person

28. dramatic plays or comedies? dramatic, though major shout out to comedies because comedies are very hard to write and act

29. andrew lloyd webber or stephen sondheim? probably Sondheim…

30. neil patrick harris or james corden? Neil Patrick Harris, but all love to James as well

31. did james corden do a good job hosting the tony’s (in your opinion)? didn’t watch, so couldn’t tell you

32. create a show mash-up and explain the plot (ex: legally todd = sweeney todd + legally blonde) oof. let’s go with Heathers and Macbeth. call it ‘Witches’

33. what song always makes you cry? now I’m really gonna look like a heartless bastard, but I don’t cry songs. I don’t cry with movies, books, or songs (except one song ever). but a song that made me feel many feels was from Waitress called ‘she used to be mine’

34. how do you feel about musicals using other artists’ music? like Mamma Mia? meh. as long as they have the artists’ permission, I don’t care. I’m not a huge musical person, remember?

35. what celebrity would you like to see on broadway next? none. let’s not taint Broadway further with name-dropping

36. favorite show you’ve been in? how dare you. SOME of my favorites include The Mousetrap, A Christmas Carol, Dark Side of the Moon, And Then There Were None, and Macbeth

37. would you like to act professionally? I wouldn’t mind. it was an original goal until I was constantly told I was too fat and too tall

38. television or stage acting? stage

39. what disney movie should be a musical that isn’t? none. let’s leave what is as it is

40. if you could see one show on broadway or west end, what would it be? my own

41. what musical should be revived next? what’s been dead?

42. are musical sequels okay? so far, they haven’t been

43. what musical sequel would you like there to be that isn’t? nah, let’s stick with an original and that’s it

44. have you ever had a crush on a character from a show? …yes, but I won’t say who

45. how do you feel about musicals being done live on tv now? I don’t mind. it gets people to watch what they can’t generally afford.

46. did you like grease live? didn’t watch

47. are you excited for hairspray live? they did that?

48. what show do you desperately want your school/community to do? a Christie murder mystery

49. are you a stronger singer or dancer? singer out of those two, but I’m a far better actor and can fall all over the stage

50. would you rather design the set, direct the show, or help with effects? yes.

Isolated Thoughts

First of all, make sure you’re washing your hands.

Now that that’s out of the way, I can tell you how I’m feeling about the isolation we have all been forced into the last month or so, and will be in for the foreseeable future:

I don’t completely hate it.

Guys, I’m a hermit homebody introvert with no friends. And I’m not saying that’s a good thing. I need to make friends… BUT I have been staying home a lot already so there wasn’t a huge adjustment for me.

However, I see how it’s been for everyone else. Not being able to go to your favorite places, not having enough supplies at the store due to panicked buying, and not being able to hang out with friends and family.

I understand.

And while the home adjustment isn’t huge (just a little tweak in scheduling), I worry about my friends having a hard time. I worry, of course, about the people affected by the virus. I hardly worry about myself; I feel like I can handle whatever is thrown my way. So I worry about those who have difficulty handling this.

Those are my isolation thoughts. It’s not for me, it’s for everyone else.

Please be safe, please practice good boundaries, please wash your hands, and please stay inside unless absolutely necessary.

And for my people missing out on people-y interactions, I have hugs for everyone of you.

Hugs, nice and warm

Alexandra

Christmas Movies I’m Planning on Enjoying

Like my Halloween movies post (found here) there are some Christmas movies I’m hoping to watch throughout the season. I haven’t started since writing this, but hopefully I can get my list done.

Some generic Christmas movies I enjoy include:

  • Santa Clause
  • Home Alone (and 2, fight me)
  • A Christmas Story
  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • Miracle on 34th St

And there’s more, but you’re here for the movies that aren’t precisely ‘Christmas’ but are what I watch around this time:

  • Nightmare Before Christmas (Vladimir will argue that this is a Halloween movie, but I think it’s a Christmas movie)
  • Die Hard (takes place on Christmas Eve)
  • Die Hard 2 (Christmas time as well)
  • Edward Scissorhands (the climax takes place around Christmas and snow is a huge factor)
  • Green Book (gotta get home in time for Christmas)
  • Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (also known as the Sherlock Christmas special)
  • A Studio Ghibli movie (for no real reason, really. I just like them around Christmas)

If I missed a movie, let me know. I’m planning on watching all of these before the new year, so let me know what you watch.

Enjoy your Christmas media!

Hugs

Alexandra