Monday, December 19, 2016

Anime Character Challenge [ Day Eleven & Twelve]

I'm going to flip the days because I want to end the post on a positive note, not a negative one.

Day Eleven: Least Favorite pairing. 

Let's face it. In anime there are some pairings that are just not that great. But since I only tend to watch anime with good relationships, this is tricky. Obviously I hate it when fans pair friends together - 'cause no. Especially since friendships in anime usually consists of two girls or two boys. *Sighs* However, if I'm stick to actual canon pairings, than I think my least favorite would be Zuko and Mai.

"I don't hate you." - "I don't hate you too."

I don't have anything against Zuko and Mai. I think they're a good ship. She makes him smile. She makes him happy. That's all that really matters, right? I like Zuko and Mai! I will say though, that they're relationship didn't have enough screen-time to build or flesh itself out. I know Mai liked Zuko even when they were little,  but the whole arc with their story seemed a bit underdeveloped for me. For a while I really hated Zuko with Mai because I felt that she was holding him back, or that she was a bad influence on him. I also thought that Mai only liked Zuko because he was a prince. I mean, where the heck had she been when he got banished? It wasn't like she was there for him! *SPOILERS* And where does she get off, coming back into his life only after he was accepted back home?? *END SPOILERS* Ehem. As I saw more of their scenes together I realized that Mai really did love Zuko, and he actually helped her be a better person too - but I still would have liked Zuko to end up with someone a little less surly. Someone who would make him laugh a lot, someone who was a little more of a balance when it came to his serious attitude. Someone like that cute girl that took Zuko to see the lights.

So yeah. Zuko and Mai are my least favorite pairing, but I still like them. They were cute, in their own weird way. They just wish they'd had a little more growth and depth.

Day Twelve: Favorite pairing:

Roy Mustang and Riza Hawkeye.

"I can't afford to lose you."
I love ships that start out simple. "Oh, so they're co-workers. Oh wow, they make a really great team. Holy crap, they have a long history together. Oh my gosh, they've helped each other through so many rough spots. Oh my gosh, they're so close. Oh my gosh, they can't loose each other. Oh myyyYYY GOSH, THEY LOVE EACH OTHER.

What I really appreciated about Roy and Riza is that their love story is the sort that sneaks up on you. And it's this strong, loyal type of love that you don't see too often. It's the type of love that has it's bases on a long, fierce friendship which built itself into love. Quietly, without either party realizing it. Roy and Riza served in the army together, they went to war together, and they schemed to keep their country safe together. They are each other's support and moral compass. They keep each other standing when life gets hard. They help each other be the best that they can be. They keep one another on the right path.

"There's someone I have to protect."

Roy and Riza are a beautiful pairing. Even if you don't see them as a couple, their friendship alone is amazing to watch. They are so protective of each other. It's adorable 8-). And Riza is one of the few people who can get a laugh out of Roy every now and then. They're perfect. They're canon. And I love them.



Thursday, December 15, 2016

Anime Character Challenge [ Day Eight & Ten]


Day Eight: The Character that Drives you crazy.

In other words, a character that makes you wonder 'Why are you a thing???'

Probably the character that annoys me the most in the anime I watch, who isn't a bad-guy would be Leorio from HunterXHunter. Not only is he pointless, but he is Obnoxious and pointless. He is also a bit of a perve so. 8-P I don't think I'll even grace him with a picture. He doesn't deserve one.

I'm skipping Day Nine because it doesn't apply to the shows I've watched: 

Day Ten; The Character who has the best arc. 

I want to cop out and use Prince Zuko again. He had a beautifully written arc, one of the best in animation history. He didn't change easily. He had to make a ton of mistakes. He fought for what he wanted, however flawed it was, and he had that hard, shocking realization when he saw the how wrong he was about so many of his beliefs and ideas. His arc was incredible!!!! I love it. Every time I watch Avatar:TLA I love his character and development more. However, since I've already done a post on him, I won't rant on and on about Zuko or how fabulous he is. Instead I will talk about Roy Mustang. Because he is proof that a character doesn't have to be an antagonist to have an arc. You can be a good guy and still have depth and development! IT CAN BE DONE!


Flame Alchemist.


Roy Mustang is freaking awesome. He is a Flame Alchemist, as well as a Colonel in the Amestris Army. He served in a bloody, horrific Civil War, but instead of letting that crush his desire to be a soldier, he simply vowed to be the best soldier he could be, a soldier who does more saving than killing. A protector.

I loved how much Mustang grew through the duration of the story. When Fullmetal first began, Mustang just seemed like another angsty, detached soldier. He was hard, cold, and he could be a jerk. At first I didn't know if I'd like him too well. But gradually more of his whole self was revealed;  A man who cares an awful, awful lot. A man who would put his life before the life of his followers. A man who loves fiercely, is steadfast, and is loyal. He was rough at first, but the more you get to know him, the more you see that the roughness is just the first, thin layer of who he is as a person. And he grows so much. He starts out distant and hard to understand, but he doesn't stay that way. He lets himself be wrong. He wants to learn, and he is always striving to have a better understanding of the world around him. If something is broken he wants to fix it. He's a small pawn when the story begins, but by the end of it he has made himself one of the strongest pieces on the board. Not only that. His rough edges are smoothed. He starts to be more gentle, more understanding, more of a guardian, a mentor, and a defender. Mustang has a big heart. He has a lot to give. And he has more fight in him than any one man should have.

"You have been the most troublesome of all the State Alchemists." - Pride to Roy Mustang


Roy never surrenders. The enemy scatters his army and 'isolate' him? He comes back stronger with more men than before. He is clever and intuitive. He constantly messes with the enemy, foiling their plans and creating problem after problem for them to deal with. He is a thorn in their side, one that causes concern, annoyance and even, for some, fear. He is freaking cool. It hard to explain how fabulous he is without spoiling his arc and development. To really understand you'd just have to watch FMAB. Watch it dubbed. It's better that way.

Which 'good guy'  in animation has the best arc in your opinion? Can you think of some heroes that have incredible arcs? It doesn't even have to be a "Wrong to Right," or an "Antagonist to Protagonist," arc. It can just be a "Really good Protagonist to Fabulous,amazing Hero," Arc.



*swings around cape and leaps off stage*



Bella

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Anime Character Challenge [ Day Six & Seven ]


Day Six: The Character you would fall for. 

Hmmm. I need someone who is funny, passionate, sweet, caring, and dopey. Someone who will calm me when I'm stressed out, someone who will make me feel better about life in general.


"I'm just the guy in the group whose regular."


I can see myself going out with Sokka from A:TLA. If he asked me to dinner I'd go. He's a dork. He has a ton of wacky ideas, he goes out on a limb, he's sarcastic and silly, and he's clumsy without caring. He messes up a lot, and trips over himself, but he has a big heart and a good sense of humor. He doesn't let things get to him. He'd make me laugh, which is good. Also, Sokka's brave. He has a strong moral compass that he follows no matter what. He does the right thing, no matter how hard it is. If he knows something is wrong he won't change his view, even if everyone else tells him he is over-reacting, or that he isn't seeing the situation correctly. He's very sweet and gentle. He's a good, normal guy with a funny way of seeing the world and I love him as a character.


Day Seven: The Character you want to be like.

If I could be as kind, compassionate, and forgiving as Alphonse Elric I would count myself lucky. If I could be as brave and optimistic as he is, that would be something incredible.


"I'm sick of watching people die, and I can't just sit back and take it anymore."


Alphonse faced obstacle after obstacle but he never lost hope. His dad abandoned him, his mother died before he hit his teens, he lost his body and was trapped inside a metal suit, unable to feel physical pleasures or comforts of any kind. Then he was put through heart-ache after heart-ache in his search to get his body back and restore his brother's body to normal as well. But he never gave up. Not once. And wow, he was really forgiving of Hohenheim for being absent from his life for 10+ years. And of Kimbley's men. Oh, and of Scar too. And wow, he was so self-sacrificing. Save someone stranger or help myself? Okay, the stranger. Like, geez. And don't get me started on his friendship with Edward. He would give up everything for that brother of his. Let's also not mention that he deals with his problems bravely, and he's a cupcake, and how on earth can he be so sweet when he's been put through so much?? Wow. Alphonse Elric, man. Alphonse Elric. <3

I might not want to be exactly like Alphonse - I'm me and like it that way - but he certainly has some admirable traits, and I'd like to see those grow and thrive in myself.

Do you have a character that inspires you to be a better person? Do these sorts of characters help you understand why writers are so important in society?

God Bless! AND HAPPY THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT!



*swings around cape and leaps off stage*



Bella

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Anime Character Challenge [ Day Four & Five ]






The Character you love and everyone else hates.


Uhm. I don't really know a character in anime that get's a ton of hate. But then, I haven't been into this very long, and I usually ignore the fans anyway. They can get obnoxious. So I don't have a character that fits in with this category. 8-(

The Character you used to love, but don't anymore.

Oh. This one is really hard. Instead of doing a character I'm going to do a character arc that I hated. Because most of the time I won't go from loving to hating a character, even if they spiral. They have to do something really awful to warrant that. I tend to hate the writers, and the circumstances that put said character in that position to begin with.

For example.

Kaneki Ken from Tokyo Ghoul.

*Feels awkward telling people I've watched this show. Hides in a blanket of shame.*



What is this? A crying Ghoul?


Guys. DO NOT WATCH THIS SHOW. If Ghoul doesn't give you a hint of how weird/dark the story is, and how much fast-forwarding I did, than the idea of a twelve year old boy being turned into a ravenous monster definitely should. TG was one of those shows I watched on a whim because it had a good friendship story in it, and instantly regretted. I binged it as fast as possible, skipping a lot of the fight scenes and blood, and wondering why on earth this show came recommended to me. The only reason is was bearable was because I liked Hide and Kaneki's friendship. I loved Hide. And I actually liked Kaneki. He was a sweet little bookworm who didn't want to be a monster, who didn't want to hurt anybody, and who really, really didn't want to kill anyone. He wanted to be as human as possible. What can I say? I like characters like that. However, half way through season two Kaneki had a shift. He let himself slip into a seriously bad state, and joined this rebellion to help fight against Goul-Hunters. Not a bad cause, but he did some pretty messed up stuff after he joined. Do I think he had full control of himself? Maybe not. The Ghoulish nature was going wild inside of him, he was tortured and traumatized, and he had this weird girl in his head who was manipulating him. (That is a long story. 8-P ) Be that as it may, Kaneki still went down some dark paths that I didn't like at all. I felt it kind of ruined him. And that made me sad because Kaneki was obviously hurt, and forcing himself to be detached and cold. I stopped watching TG a few episodes before the finale, 'cause I just couldn't watch his character being stripped anymore. Then I found out that in the finale Kaneki's best friend had been killed. Yep. The one person who could help Kaneki heal, and the one person who got him to open up and start acting like himself again, and he went and got himself killed defending Kaneki. Hide didn't deserve that. He was a little ray of sunshine, he accepted and cared for Kaneki, even after finding out he was a monster. And if Kaneki had just talked to Hide, and hadn't avoided him so much, half of the stupid-arc-crap wouldn't have happened. It annoyed me.


"Let's go home, Hide."

The Tokyo Ghoul Anime (not manga) might be redeemable... but it all depends on how the writers handle season three, and what happens with Kaneki.  If he has a redemption arc - if he realizes he's gone too far, and tries to make amends, or be a better person - I can see it being a redeemable show. Especially if Hide comes back and their friendship is able to grow. But it would have to be handled very well.

 Do you have a character that you still like, but you don't like an arc they were forced to undergo, and-or how the writer handled their story?

God Bless!


*swings around cape and leaps off stage*



Bella

Monday, December 5, 2016

Anime Character Challenge [ Day Two & Three ]







Since I know I will be busy as it get's closer to Christmas, I'm going to double up some of the days. I hope y'all don't mind.

The Character you never expected to Love:

Again, this is a toss-up between Scar from Fullmetal, and Break from Pandora Hearts. 

I'll do Break from Pandora Hearts, because as much as Scar grew on me, I think my attachment to Break is a little more unexpected.

"Don't concern yourself with what those tasteless idiots say."

When I first met Break Xerxes my initial reaction was, "Oh. That character." In almost every anime there is that one character who is really weird and annoying. They usually have a fetish with popsicles or candy, they make all sorts of strange, disturbing remarks, and they usually don't do much for the story. And yeah, Break was super weird. He seemed one card short of a full deck, if you know what I mean. He wasn't my favorite. I even remember thinking that I wouldn't care if he died. Boy was I wrong! Anime characters have a habit of sneaking up on you and making you like them before you realize it's happening. From one episode to the next you'll find yourself invested in a character's well-being. Like, I didn't think I really cared for Break at all, but then he was in danger. And I was like, "Waaaaaaaaait! I don't want him gone!"


"Perhaps you are weaker than I thought. But you're also stronger, much stronger than you realize." (Oz to Break)

Break has a sad back-story. He is eccentric, but he is cool and fascinating. He is strangely vulnerable, and I just love him. HE MUST BE PROTECTED AT ALL COSTS!


The Character everyone loves that you don't.

That would be Olivier Armstrong, from Fullmetal. I don't know if everyone loves her, but she sure does have a strong fan-base. I am not a part of it.




Olivier is everything I hate in a 'strong' female character. She is the General of a great Fort called Briggs, which lies amid mountains, racked with snow and ice. This means she is a soldier, which I really wouldn't mind if she wasn't such a jerk about it. Olivier is hard, withdrawn, and practically emotionless. She looks down on men, unless they're her own, and she looks down on soldiers/fighters unless they're from Briggs, or unless she has trained them herself. Because obviously she is the only one who knows how to train properly, and obviously only her soldier's triumphs are valid. Obviously. *gag* She is also one of those obnoxious characters that think being merciful is weak. That having a soft, forgiving heart is weak. That being naive enough to trust and hope is childish, and anyone who acts like that is pathetic.

"I believe [he] may have witness some carnage in [his] time, but I can tell that on the inside [he] remains soft and weak."

Why is he weak? Because he hates killing? Because he cares about the well-being of others, even those on the opposite side of the war? Because he loves and hopes, and his heart keeps getting broken, but he does it anyway? What is so weak about a vulnerable, durable heart?

She thinks mourning the dead is pointless. - "We don't see any point of clinging in those who've died. We only know how to fight to keep more from dying." - She also thinks sparing the life of your enemy is stupid and weak. If you don't have the stomach to kill, you're a coward. If you choose mercy and peace over the fight, you are a waste. Olivier is cold and harsh, she didn't allow herself to show care or love, and she constantly insulted those whom she deemed 'unworthy' of her respect; even war-veterans and heroes that certainly deserved much better treatment.

Olivier does care for her men. That is a fact. But she rarely shows this. She also doesn't seem to know any emotions besides anger, suspicion, and spite. There were moments when you saw a slightly 'warmer' side to this vicious General. Like when she was practically killed and her brother saved her; or another time when a brilliant woman alchemist offered her help during the final battle against the enemy. But the overwhelming impression I got from Olivier is that she had left her femininity behind to be a soldier. She had become 'masculine,' as if the only way to be strong and respected was to act like a man. An emotionless man. I think that's a bad message. I much preferred Riza Hawkeye, who was a strong leader and fighter without losing her feminine qualities in the process.


Do any of you have that one character you can't stand?


*swings around cape and leaps off stage*



Bella

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Fifteen-Day Anime Character Challenge

Hi y'all! Happy First Sunday of Advent!!!!

I've done some thinking and I decided that I am going to do the Fifteen-Day Character Challenge!!! I originally was going to do animated movies/TV shows/Cartoons, but I've decided to challenge myself even farther and do just anime!!! (Including Avatar;TLA because I count that one as I sort of anime.) If this challenge goes over well, maybe I'll do one for musicals next month, or in February! Anyone can join in this challenge, and you can take your pick between caroons, animated shows, and the like.




DAY ONE! The First Character you absolutely loved.

It's a toss up between Sokka and Zuko. But if I go by the very first character which made me go, "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!," It's Zuko.

Oh my goooooosh! Talk about a solid, complex, beautiful character! Zuko was pretty much the embodiment of conflicted antagonist. Even in season one when he was actively hunting down the Avatar - sweet, lil' Aang -  I never hated Zuko.  He just seemed like someone who was doing what he believed had to be done. 


“ “I don’t need luck though, I don’t want it. I’ve always had to struggle and fight and that’s made me strong. It’s made me who I am."
”
Prince Zuko

Zuko is one of those characters that is fantastic, because he is sympathetic, but he is never painted as being in the right when he is making bad choices. Which he does quite a bit. He's ridiculous, and he makes stupid mistakes, and half the time your yelling at him because ZUKO YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER! But he also has a big heart, and an incredible strength of character. He fails over and over. He does the wrong thing. Makes a bad decision. But he always gets up. When things are at there hardest, he doesn't give up. He may fumble - a lot - but in the end he does what he believes to be right. I love that about Zuko. 


Have any of you seen Avatar:TLA? Do you have a favorite animated character - anime or otherwise? 


*swings around cape and leaps off stage*



Bella

Thursday, November 24, 2016

"I've Got Plenty to be Thankful For. "

Hey Guys! Since It's Thanksgiving, I thought I'd do a quick tag. Feel free to steal it from me! I officially tag Christine Eyre, Amanda, and Tiny.

THE THANKSGIVING TAG!

THANKSSSSSS!!!!


What are you most Thankful for?


My amazing family, especially my Mommy who has become my Real-Life hero, especially this past year.  


What is your main source of Happiness?

Discovering new Musicals and revisiting old ones. I have become very interested in soundtracks and symphonies lately, since my pursuit in writing music and lyrics has become a huge passion of mine. It's always been something I was interested in, but I am finally chasing it down. 

What are some dreams and goals to Aim for

Completing my Fantasy Trilogy, and successfully writing at least the script and lyrics for my first musical. I also have a hope of actually performing on stage this year!!!!! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! 

Who is a Neighbor you are especially grateful for, or have recently found friendship with?

First, my sister Tiny who puts of with my GUSHING over musical after musical after musical. And also she watches Anime with me, which is a bonus. Second, my best friend Jack who doesn't mind me crashing at her house and eating her food all the time. Third, the Librarian Gavin who has become like a big brother to me, and is always super encouraging with my dreams. Also, my best friend Sammi Bender who is fan-freaking-tastic. AND ALL THE GUYS AT FRONTSIGHT WHO MADE MY GUN CLASSES EPIC.

What are some acts of Kindness you will always remember or treasure?

My Singing Teacher Mr. Williams telling me my voice was beautiful, a gift from God. Tom Nott and Dennis MCcarthy, FS Instructors who took the time to make sure I was okay when I was super emotional on the Line. (WHICH WAS SO STUPID. I WAS HAVING FUN. BEING A GIRL SOMETIMES SUCKS) 

What are some Special Thanksgiving Memories or Traditions?

Well, we always listen to our First Christmas Song on Thanksgiving, which is Oh Holy Night, by Nat King Cole. That is a very special memory for me, and thus Thanksgiving always feel like the first, unofficial start of the Christmas season. My awesome brother in law, Dan, visited for the first time at Thanksgiving. (And we had a terrible Thanksgiving play. *shudders* ) I especially like our Tradition of watching Holiday Inn on Thanksgiving, because that is one of my favorite Holiday Movies, and it makes me super emotional. It also the only version of I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas, that I actually like. LOL.

Well, Happy Thanksgiving everybody! I hope you all make new memories, and I sincerely hope that we all have new wonderful things to be grateful for. Many Happy Memories to all!





*swings around cape and leaps off stage.*



Bella

Monday, November 14, 2016

What think you?



I noticed this challenge on one of my earlier Blog posts. I think it would be fun to do it again, but narrow it down to just Animated Cartoons/Movies/TV shows. If anyone is interested in doing this challenge with me, drop a comment! If not I might just tag a bunch of people anyway. 'Cause I'm mean like that. Either way, it would start tomorrow and last the rest of November. 8-D

*swings around cape and leaps off stage*


Bella

Saturday, November 12, 2016

I took a break. I had reasons.



My blog is falling through the freaking cracks. Why do I have so much trouble maintaining this thing? I has no clue. I feel like I need one day a week that's themed towards something so I can keep myself going. 8-/ I have so many good intentions. *Le Sigh* Well, it's a new month! Here's hoping I get better.

However, I do have a good story for you! Y'all will never guess what I did last week! I went up to Frontsight with a couple of my sisters to learn about guns! It was fantastic! I haven't had such a fun four days in ages. And I mean ages



Frontsight has been on my list of places to go for quite some time now. This year, my fabulous sister Amy helped me buy a ticket, rent a gun, get ammunition, and gear up for a trip into glorious gun paradise. And it was definitely close to perfect. There is nothing quite like waking up at five thirty A.M., darning yourself with a gun and ammo, and heading out to a range full of targets where everyone around you is as enthusiastic about guns as you are, and are rather down-to-earth, conservative folk with an even head on their shoulders. My kind of people. Mhm. AND THE INSTRUCTORS. Oh my gosh! I thought I would never find a teacher as patient and kind as Mark Williams, or even my Middle School Band teachers, but wow! The Frontsight Instructors went above and beyond the call of duty! They are some of the best guys you will ever meet. Patient, gentle, encouraging, kind, enthusiastic, helpful, sweet - they are literally there to make you feel as comfortable and secure as possible. Like, one of the days I was a little emotional and each of the instructors took time to make sure I was okay and tell me if I needed anything they'd get it for me. These guys were gold. They were such amazing teachers too. They made sure you understood and respected the gun, but they also did everything they could to make sure you enjoyed your classes and had fun shooting.

"There are only three things you have to do on this range. Be Safe. Have Fun. And Hang Loose." - Tom Nott, FS Instructor.
.

Day One was mostly lectures and lessons on gun safety, and how to handle your weapon well. We all learned the different rules and such like, and the Instructors showed us how to help each other out when it came to being safe and careful on the range. Then the class was split into two Relays. Relay One would come up to the line to practice first, and Relay Two would come up second. When Relay One was on the Line, Relay Two would be behind them at an arm's length. For every one person on the line, there would be a person behind you to coach you on little things; keeping your finger off the trigger, not bending over on the line, no muzzling your neighbor, etc. They were there to help you. And when the Relay's switched the same thing would happen with Relay Two. You got to pick your coach, which was nice. The other nice thing was that having a coach didn't mean the Instructors took backstage. They would still come over and help you as often as they could. Your Coach was mostly just there to make sure you weren't being stupid. Why? Because safety is everyone's responsibility! 

On Day One we did a little bit of firing, but not much. That was also the day we learned the different between Firing Drills, and Dry practice drills. And how to safely practice without ammunition and still get good results. Day Two things picked up. We got to review malfunctions your gun could experience and how to fix it, and we also got to do more shooting. They hung up more targets. We did Tactical Reloads and learned about After-Action - surveying the scene after your attacked to make sure no one else is around to harm you. Day One and Two were fun, but Three and Four were absolutely EXCELLENT. We had all sorts of different targets to shoot out, all sorts of firing drills and tactical drills, and the best thing was when we ran a Hot Range. Meaning everyone was walking around with a loaded gun on their hip. Oh my good gravy. That was something exhilarating! Since Concealment was optional, I started to use a light sweater when we did our different drills, and I really quite enjoyed it. It made me feel like I was from a Western. You know, Aggressively throwing back my jacket to get my gun and Shoot You Down.... YAAAAAAAAAAAS. 






I really appreciated Frontsight's teaching. They teach respect for the weapon, and the ability to use it if necessary, but their ultimate goal is to avoid it's use if at all possible. And if you have to use it, you shoot to wound, not kill. Killing is your absolute LAST resort. I think that is a good way to train. It teaches your students respect for the weapon, as well as respect for life.
That being said, one of my favorite drills we did was on Day Three, when the instructors took us through a shoot house. The Scenario? You get home late and there are thugs in your house, holding your loved ones hostage. The Police are twenty minutes out. You don't have time to wait and need to take action. You go in to a House Set alone, with an instructor behind you, and shoot the bad guys but not the hostages. Easy, yeah?

Not so much. There is a funny story here. So, all two and a half days we had been doing drills on targets, consisting of Two Shots to the Thoracic cavity. That was literally every drill. And sometimes we'd have a failure to stop, in which case an instructor would shout HEAD and you'd hit the villain in the head. But you always tried to stop him by just wounding him first. Right? That is a good system! We don't just wanna go around killing folks if we can help it. That's bad!! Well, those drills completely left my brain when I walked into the Shoot House. I saw guns and I was like, Take them all out!! And I shot all the bad guys once. In the head. I still don't know why I did that. I guess it just means I need to do a lot more practicing with the shots to the thoracic so I don't do that for reals. No killing if at all possible, Bella! Isn't that what you were learning this whole time?? *headdesk*




Day Four was probably the best day. By that time we had gotten to know most of the people on our Relay, and there was a lot of camaraderie between us. Plus, we were all a little goofy because it was the last day in a long string of hours full of training and we were all a bit tired - especially near the end of the day. we had a competition of sorts, right at the end of the Day. Even the Instructors were joking about more than normal. Right at the beginning of the Day there was a skills test, in which you could earn a Certificate of Achievement, a Graduate, or Distinguished Graduate award. I'm proud to say I was a Distinguished Graduate. Cheekily keeps the Certificate of Achievement out of sight. No, actually I am proud of my Achievement. I took my time and I shot well. I didn't take the culprit down in under two seconds, but my shots were accurate and clean, and right now that's what matters. I can work on my speed obviously, but the first thing you want to have in a gun fight is accuracy. There is no good in being fast if you always miss.  But Anyway. After the test the remainder of the day was basically just there for the students and instructors to have fun. We got special targets where we had to right the name of a loved one on the hostage and shoot the two hostage takers without hitting our loved ones. We got to have targets will pictures of real thugs on them, and that was such fun! We had all these fun, challenging drills, so many that I can't remember all of them properly right now.... Oh! And we got to compete. The Instructors put everyone's name in a basket and shuffled them, and then they'd choose two people at a time and you'd compete against each other. Each person had a hostage and a hostage-taker target, and behind those two 'Dirty Skanks,' that you had to take out. I got to round three on accuracy. I beat a cop!!!!  (The cop shot very well. She was a Distinguished Graduate . But I was happy I beat her in the For-Fun Contest.) It was rewarding to see my improvement from Day One to Day Four. Day One one of every three shots was outside the intended target. Day Four I hit a tiny slip of White paper sticking out from a Gray Target, representing Hostage-Taker, and Hostage. I hit that White Paper THREE DIFFERENT TIMES AND DID NOT HIT THE HOSTAGE AND I WAS SO HAPPY!!!!! :-)

Of course, it was really, really sad to leave Frontsight. I got very emotional. We all did. It was hard saying goodbye to the Instructors. It was hard leaving the Range. It was hard returning my gun. It was very hard getting into bed and thinking, I can't train tomorrow. I won't shoot. I won't see any of those fabulous people. I won't see my instructors. It's... It's over. 

It felt like that end of a great adventure. It was sad. 




It was fun, Frontsight. I'm coming back. 

Do any of you like guns? Would you consider taking gun classes? Do you like Self-Defense?



*Swings around cape and leaps off stage*


Bella

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Six "Unknown" books that You should Read this Winter.

I've realized that there are some masterpieces of literature that not many people know about, so I decided to tell all you all about them. Hopefully you will find at least a couple of them to be good and wholesome reads this season. 8-D

1.) Lark - Sally Watson



Set in seventeenth-century England under Cromwell, Sally Watson's LARK combines historical intrigue with romantic adventure in the high-spirited tale of a young girl who escapes from her uncle's stolid Puritan family.

Thirteen-year-old Lark is forced to stay with her puritan Uncle and his family after her Royalist parents are exiled to France. With an arranged marriage between Lark and her cousin Will-of-God looming in her future, Lark decides to flee to Scotland and stay with her sister who lives there. On the way, she meets young James Trelawney, a Royalist spy who takes her under his wing. At first he hopes to learn where Lark lives and return the curious runaway home, but as the two travel together they  build a strong friendship and grow to care for and protect one another. They find themselves in many complicated, insane situations, some incredibly dangerous. As the book mounts to a climax, members of Lark's family discover her whereabouts, James is caught in the middle of a battle, and a plan to rescue the young King Charles is set in motion - a plan both James and Lark may be a part of. - source.

This is a Must-Read for anyone who wants a soft, gentle romance, an adorable Scott who is seriously fabulous, a spunky, ridiculous girl who's a bit of a brat but definitely a lovable one, and lots of rambunctious adventures.

Ronia the Robber's Daughter - Astrid Lingred


Source

Ronia is the daughter of a robber chief named Matt. They live in a castle in the wilderness. The castle was struck by a bolt of lightning, a bolt which split the ground and divided the castle into two separate buildings, separated by a deep chasm. One half of the chasm is occupied by Ronia's band of Robbers, and the other half is occupied by robbers knows as the Borkas. Animosity grew up between the two robbers, and Ronia was not allowed to visit the opposite half of the castle, or to befriend any of the robbers living there.

One day, however, Ronia meets a boy of her age named Birk. The two  quickly becomes friends, but Birk is the son Borka's chief, and therefore such a friendship is forbidden by Ronia's father. When Matt discovers their secret he tries to end the friendship, but Ronia and Birk won't allow it and after a crucial climax between Ronia and her father, the two friends run away together and hide from their families in the wild, untamed forest. They share some incredible adventures and form a strong, lasting bond which no one can break.


This is a good book for anyone wanting a forest-adventure story with an adorable friendship that may or may not grow into something more, and amazing, well-written characters.


From Anna - Joan Little





From Anna* takes place in the 1930's and revolves around a nine-year old girl and the struggles they face when when they flee Nazi Germany, seeking refuge in Canada. For Anna the change is especially hard. She is a middle child, clumsy, awkward, and to herself, not particularly bright. Once in Canada however, Anna and her family soon discover a crucial predicament: Anna needs glasses. She is practically blind. 
   Once this discovery is made, Anna's life changes. Slowly she finds her own sense of self-worth and realizes that she has a plenty to give. She is like a blossom, just waiting to bloom.

This book is great for any reader who likes historical fiction, family stories, and strong messages about self-worth, hope, and growth.

*If you read From Anna, you'll also want the sequel Listen for the Singing. That one is about her brother joining the army in WW2, and the impact it has on his family, Anna, and himself.

A Charmed Life - Diana Wynne Jones



Cat admires and clings to his older sister Gwendolyn. She is all he has, and he clings to her viciously. Gwendolyn is a very promising young witch, capable of difficult and challenging spells, so there seems to be much for Cat to admire. However, trouble springs to life when the two orphans are summoned to live in Chrestomanci Castle. Elated by the invitation to such a high-standing place of magic, Gwendolyn is eager to try her hand in the new waters, but she soon learns that no one in Chrestomanci Castle seems to acknowledge her incredible talents. With ever growing frustration and anger, she comes up with a scheme that could cause problems for all the worlds, including Cat's.

A Must-Read for anyone in need of a clever, ingenious fantasy with quirky characters and solid writing. (Honestly, if you're looking for those things you should read all the Chrestomanci books.)

The Thief - Megan Whalen

I don't know how 'unknown' this book is, but if you haven't heard of it now is the time to be educated.



"I can steal anything!," - so Gen, the thief proudly proclaims. But this claim soon gets him in trouble when the King's Scholar, the Magus, frees him from prison with the sole purpose of enlisting him in a job. It is no ordinary Job either. The Magnus wants Gen to steal an ancient treasure for the king, a treasure which no one has successfully recovered in generations. In fact it's more of a legend than anything else. Yet the Magnus is convinced the treasure is real, and he is determined to find and take it - and he isn't going to give Gen much choice in the matter.

For anyone who wants beautiful, flawless writing, strong characters, a medieval/mytholigical setting and a freaking amazing male lead who will leave you wishing there was more of him. (There are three other books in this series - and a fifth and sixth one on the way! - so that is something to keep in mind. As the series goes on there is some incredible character development, character perception, world-building and all out magnificent writing and story-telling. )

Bloomability - Claire Calderon



When Dinnie Doone is sent off to an international school in Switzerland, she finds herself uprooted and replanted in a strange, interesting, and beautiful new world. Surrounded by new friends, a new school, and new sights, Dinnie builds herself a home and discovers all the "bloomabilities" that life has to offer.

For anyone wanting a simple, slice-of-life story with interesting characters and a fun, relatable lead girl who will make you feel that you yourself are in Switzerland, studying the Italian language and making new friends.


The Ordinary Princess - M. M. Kaye




When Princess Amelia is born she is given many wonderful, virtuous gifts from the Fairies in the kingdom, and one that is not-so-wonderful from her Fairy god-mother. She is is given the gift of Ordinariness. Unlike her six beautiful sisters, she has brown mousy hair, freckles, and a 'unhealthy' craving for adventure. There aren't many princes who would want such a plain, strange princess. Even her name is ordinary! But when Amy's parents come up with a Knight-and-Dragon scheme to set their daughter up with a husband, Amy runs away. She decides it's time to take fate into her own hands. Since she is so ordinary, she finds it quite easy to get a job as a kitchen maid in a neighboring palace. She finds immense joy in the simplicity of earning her own money, sharing picnics with the woodland creatures, and being free for however short a time, of the demands of royalty. While she enjoys her hard-working freedom, Amy meets a curious man who hangs about the palace. "A Man-of-All-Work," he calls himself. He doesn't have much free time, but he begins to join Amy and her woodland creatures for the Thursday Afternoon picnics. Their friendship quickly grows, for Perry is a funny, venturesome man and even better, he is just as ordinary as she is! Has Amy found her prince-charming after all?

This book is a short, easy read, the kind of book you could finish in a couple hours or less. It is fun, and quirky, and don't let the princess-fleeing-from-marriage dissuade you. The Ordinary Princess is a heart-warming story full of odd traits and vagary that separate it from any other runaway-princess story you've every read or ever will read. It's comical, sweet, and engaging, with just enough romantic flair to be touching and emotional. (Not bad emotional, but that-was-so-cute-I-might-actually-cry emotional.)


I hope this have given you some reading ideas! Cold months always make me think of books and Hot Cocoa, so I thought I'd share some of my favourite books, books for curling up by the Fireplace with.

Peace out y'all!


*swings around cape and leaps off sage*


Bella

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

I Did THE THING.


This is Anime, This is Anime, Anime, Anime, Everybody Scream in Pain!


Hey y'all! Remember how I watched Avatar (The Last Airbender) a few weeks back? 

Well, ever since then I've been on an animated Cartoon high. So I did something crazy. I looked up what to watch after you finish Avatar.

Guess what came up? An anime called Fullmetal Alchemist; Brotherhood. (Hereon referred to as Fullmetal.)

I've heard of anime before, of course. I always thought it looked weird. The animation was unlike anything I'd ever seen, and then the stories seemed strange.

However, I looked up Fullmetal on Pinterest and the first thing I saw was this pin:

EDWARD ELRIC.

Y'all know I'm a sucker for Bro stories, yar? I was like, Eh, I'll try it. No harm in trying right?

Oh. My. Gosh.

FULLMETAL. 

Tiny and I binged the show in about two weeks, and when we finished we were like.... what now?

We started looking up anime. 

And now, a month later, I have gone down the anime hole without much hope of getting out.

I have come to a conclusion: I like anime. Don't get me wrong, they can get pretty weird. (It's Japan, guys.) But there is something very charming and engaging about anime. I think I finally understand what's drawn so many fans to this particular genre of TV over the years. Anime is vibrant and tangible. The characters are very alive. So far I have watched six anime: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. (I LOVE THIS ONE!) Attack on Titan, Noragami, Hunter x Hunter (Still watching) and Puella Magica I'm not doing the full name, it's too long., and Avatar: TLA. All of these are pretty good. Puella Magica is odd. I haven't finished it yet, but I enjoy it. Hunter x Hunter is also taking me some time to get used to but I think it's growing on me. I've tried some others too, and it seems to me that there are two kinds of anime. It can be great, or it can be a flop. If you find a good anime, it's really, really good. But if you find a weird anime, it's weird. And not that great.

Also, some anime can get dirty. So that is something to be aware of.

But if you find that really good anime, it is well worth it. It might be silly. It might be dumb. The characters can be very dramatic and over-the-top. The animations can be seriously weird and random. But if you can get past that, the stories and characters are worth it. They're worth the silliness and oddities.

Some of the anime listed I'm still watching and haven't finished yet, but I'd like to mention the two that (so far) I find on par with Avatar. Like, I want to own them on DVD.

First, Fullmetal.

After a horrible Alchemy experiment gone wrong, Alchemists Edward and Alphonse Elric must find some way to fix their disfigured bodies. As they search for some way of getting back to normal, they are slowly pulled down into a villainous plot which has taken root in their country, a plot that could destroy thousands of lives - and even the world.


I love, love, love Fullmetal. The characters are vibrant, layered, and interesting. The plot is amazing. The villains are great. The world is interesting. And it has Alchemy. It's like magic. But science-magic. 

It took me a little bit to get into this show. I'd never seen anime before, so I had to get used to the animation and the mood/feel of the series.  It could be so dumb and ridiculous, but it could also get downright disturbing and sad. It wasn't what I expected. Oh, and it has a kind of comic-book element which made me laugh. 


Animation VS animation. 

I think it was a comedy effect and I appreciated that they didn't do this sort of thing in emotional/serious moments. (When I watched other animes I noticed they would do similar things, so I think I'm right to assume that this is just how anime portrays comedy. The other anime I've seen aren't as crazy with their changes, but they will have funny comic-book like moments. I guess it's an animation style. 8-D It might have something to do with the fact that a good number of anime are based on magnas [Which are like Japanese graphic novels.])

Fullmetal gave me all the feels. You had weepy, romantic feels. You had brother feels.  Sad, shocked feels. Friendship feels. Family feels. You had THAT CHARACTER DIED??? feels. Happy Feels. Angsty feels. I hate that villain!!! feels. ALL THE FEELS! It's one of those shows that is super dopey and silly - like Avatar -  but there were several moments when the writers reminded you of the stakes and everything would suddenly be very serious. In fact it had more serious/sad moments than Avatar did. 

Something I really liked in Fullmetal was how well it handled failure and loss. I liked that grief was actually shown long-term. Like, if a comrade died everyone was affected and it made a lasting impression, right through the end of the series. If someone experienced failure or heartbreak, it often drove several of their actions in later episodes and seasons. Death, grief, loss, anger, betrayal, trauma - I really, really loved that things like that weren't brushed aside, but addressed and remembered. That's something you don't often see in shows, especially not to the extent that Fullmetal has it. I also really loved the character development and the emphasis on doing what was right, not what was easy. I loved that sacrifices were acknowledged and shown to be necessary. I loved that character arcs were built up in a believable way. I loved that villains and heroes clashed and fought, and it was actually realistic. I loved that characters had these epic moments where everything came to a head in the best way possible and you were like, BOOM! It was refreshing to see good story telling. Story telling that comes full freaking circle. 


I would definitely recommend Fullmetal to anyone who wants to try out anime. It's well done. It has a lot of heart, and even though the animation can be bizarre, and its really  dumb sometimes, It's also intense, emotional, exciting, and engaging. 

Some Things I would Warn Viewers About:

1.) There is a villain in the first season who wears a very low-cut dress.

2.) The content can sometimes be very dark and disturbing.

3.) There is lots of sadness.

4.) There is a good amount of swearing.

5.) There is a running theme through the anime concerning God. Some characters believed in Him. Some didn't. Some of the villains said things about God that I didn't like at all. But I don't think the writer was trying to be disrespectful. I think she was trying to show the contrasts in believers VS non-believers, and how people see God. I think she was also trying to show that even though there is a lot of evil in the world that doesn't mean there isn't a God - or at least some Divine Power - but not everyone is going to believe that. There were two episode near the end of the series that I didn't really like, but by the time I finished the finale I could see what she was driving at, and I appreciated what she was trying to do.  

The other anime I would like to own ASAP is Noragami.


cutest freakin' god ever.

I didn't know what to expect from Noragami. The plot on IMDB said it was about a minor god who was on a mission to get a shrine built for him. It didn't sound that great. But I saw a few gifs on Pinterest and I was like, Meh, I'll give it a go. 

Guys. There is so much more to Noragami than a god who wants a shrine. 

A better plot synopsis would be this:

          "Hiyori is a high-school girl whose life changes when she jumps in front of a bus to save the life of a teenage boy. After her encounter with him, her soul begins to slip in and out of her body and she doesn't have much control over it. Hoping that he might have answers, Hiyori successfully tracks down the boy she saved, and discovers that he is a god by the name of Yato. By saving his life she has become a sort of half-spirit, able to see the spirit world and those in it. Hiyori finds herself being drawn into the world of gods and phantoms, and gradually befriends Yato and his Regalia, a spirit which acts as a god's right-hand man. However, Yato has some frightening secrets, and slowly but surely his dark past begins to reveal itself."

Too fabulous.

So. What can I say about Noragami?

It. Is. Fabulous.

It reminded me a bit of Percy Jackson. The Percy Jackson I loved before Rick Riordan betrayed me.  It was like... Percy Jackson meets The Eight Days of Luke. There are gods in the story, but they seem more like demi-gods, like Loki and Odin in The Avengers. I wasn't bothered at all by the god element. It is handled very well. Besides, they never said God didn't exist. They only said that gods existed. And who's to say there couldn't be beings of great power which were created by God, and could battle evil spirits and stuff? It's not completely unlikely.

Just my thoughts. 8-D

I really love Yato. He's a minor god that gets barely any recognition. He wants to be known and loved throughout the world, but it's hard for such a little god to get noticed. So he runs around doing the most insignificant tasks and granting the smallest wishes, just to make people happy, just so that people will give a nod in his direction. It's kind of adorable.

Yato is ridiculous. He reminds me a lot of Howl. He is basically Howl as a god. He acts like such a giant dope, and that is a big reason I love him so much. The more you find out about him the more you realize he just really wants to be liked and make people happy, so he presents himself as funny and as un-threatening as he possibly can. I like that about him. But he's also incredibly dramatic. Like, Fainting-Because-Someone-Doesn't-Know-My-Name dramatic. He's a dork and he does such stupid, ridiculous things that sometimes you forget he's a god. I think that's part of why he does it. He makes you forget he isn't just a giant goof. He makes you forget he has another side to him, a dark, cold side.


 I am the Night, I am Vegeance... I am a Drama Queen.
-Yato, probably.


I like tormented protagonists. They are my weakness. Yato is definitely a tormented protagonist. He's such a cool character! Like, he's hilarious, but if you hurt someone he loves, if you wage war with him - you'd better watch out. He's dangerous in a fight. He knows how to win. You don't want Yato as your enemy. You really, really don't.


This is the land of the rising sun. Your desecration shall not be allowed!



Like Fullmetal, Noragami has some great character development. It even manages to pull off character perception. (And I'm a sucker for that kind of thing.) It had some good friendships, including a cute friendship with Yato and his little Regalia, Yukine. At first I wasn't sure I'd like Yukine. He was the spirit of a twelve-year old boy and he still had the issues a boy of that age would have. Like... ehm... dirty thoughts. You know. The joys of Puberty. On top of that he was a bit of a train-wreck, what you might call a very troubled person. But he grows up a lot and I got attached to him in season two. Especially after THE THING concerning a certain goddess and a sword fight.


Yukine.

Hiyori, Yukine and Yato made a good trio, and I found myself really liking their dynamic. I also liked the soft, sweet romance with Yato and Hiyori, 'cause that crap was adorable. The overall plot was fairly good and the whole anime was well worth the watch. Even the side characters got their own arcs and there were some good relationships/friendships there too.

My favourite thing about Noragami was the Christian element it had. I don't if this was intended, but there was a pretty strong Christian parallel concerning the relationship between a god and Regalia, and how the god bears the sufferings/struggles of his Regalia. If the Regalia feels pain or sorrow, the god shares in it. And if the Regalia does something bad, the god get's hurt. The god is the one who suffers for the wrongs of his servant.

It seemed very Christian-esque.

Things I would Warn Viewers about:

1.) There was one goddess who ran about poorly clad for most of season 1 and 2. She basically just wore a bra and skirt. It was awkward. I liked it when she got into full armor. I was like, "YAY! YOU'RE DECENT! Why don't you dress like that more?" (It was sad, because I ended up kind of liking this character, and I was annoyed that she didn't dress better.)

2.) In season one, Yukine is struggling with puberty and all the wonderful baggage that comes with being a twelve-year-old boy. He has some dirty thoughts/ideas and it can be inappropriate. He does grow out of this near the end of the season.

3.) The content can be disturbing and dark at times. It can also be surprisingly sad.

Now for some questions!

Have any of you watched Anime?


Do you like it?


Is there a particular Anime that you really, really love?

Can you recommend any good Anime for me? (Especially ones with friendships.)



*swings around cape and leaps off stage*



Bella

Friday, September 23, 2016

Bring me thunder, bring me lightning, bring me all things that are frightening! Bring me monsters, I'll enjoy them, bring me phantoms I'll destroy them! BRING ME GIANTS!



You know how sometimes you hear music and it's nice and exciting and it makes you feel better? And then sometimes you hear music and it gets into your soul, and makes you feel stronger, and braver, and all freaking inspired? I love music like that.



James Barbour has a CD called "Bring Me Giants," which is one of the most epic, awe-inspiring masterpieces I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. It makes me feel like I can take on the world. RAWR! BRING ME GIANTS!! I AM DAVID!!! YAAAAAAAAAS!!!

This CD is incredible. It inspires me to write music. It really inspires my musicals, which is both exciting and stressful. 'Cause here is the thing. I really love writing lyrics and I really love writing musicals. But okay, I'm relying on my Middle-School-Music memory and that is hard. Also, how do you write music when you don't play multiple instruments or have immense understanding of music theory?? Let me tell you, there is nothing quite like having inspiration for music and lyrics and epic orchestras, and sitting there like, I DON'T KNOW MUSIC LIKE THAT! It's sad!






Oh, on top of that I'm trying to compose music using a Piano App on my phone.

You don't know the struggle unless you've tried this yourself.

Why are phones screens so small? For real. I sit there like, Plink- no - Plunk, Piiiing?... - that's not right - Pling, Plaaaiiiing - AHA! *furious scribbles cords A4 and D4 on sheet of paper* Right. PLOOOOooong. Pleeeeng. PLOOOOOooooooNK.... no - Pleeeeeeeeeeeenk.

The struggle is real. For once my fingers are too big! I can only play one note at a time.

What I really need is one of those big electrical piano keyboards. The ones that are all portable and stuff. And you can Plug In other instruments.


yamaha-keyboards-in-Melbourne.jpg (400×300)
Like dis.


#ChristmasWishList

It's hard wanting to write music and hitting walls because you're not a musical genius. It's hard wanting to act and not being able to because you can't drive yet. It's hard to be artistic and have to work. 8-P I want to write, I want to act, I want to take music theory, I want to use my talents to spread some good, even if it's small. I really want to start practicing my clarinet again because I think that would help with making music. I would have done this already, but my sadly it's in storage and I haven't been able to dig it out of the garage yet. 8-(

With all of these dreams stretched out before me, I come to a big decision. If you could all pray for me it would be very helpful, because I'm really nervous about it.

I've decided to step out of my nanny job.

This was a hard decision for me, one that I've been considering it for some time. You know how sometimes you do something and it's just not quite a fit? Well, that's what happened. I love both my nieces tons and will miss them a lot, but I can feel that this isn't where I'm supposed to be. Joe and Jess have been very good to me and I've had a good sort of year... but I do think it's time for a change. There is so much I'm not able to do here. Joe's house is in this cul-de-sac thing, and all connections to town are off the freeway, which I hate. There is nowhere I can go within walking or riding distance. I still don't have my license. *growls* I've also been missing Mass a lot due to conflicting schedules and work hours and such, and that has been hard. There is also a lot of stuff I need to figure out and I think this is for the best. I've been praying a lot about this decision, and if some of you could pray for me as well I would be very grateful. 8-D I hope to come back here soon, since it has more opportunities for actors, but before I can do that I need to give myself a little room to breathe, take a step back, and say, What do you want, Bella?

I mean, I know I want to act - and I even found a good Community Theatre group down here, which I'd like to join as soon as possible. I want to audition for their Spring Show which is The Secret Garden. If I like it, I can think about moving back into this town, but doing so on my terms, and in the places I want to be.

Anyway, please pray about my dreams, please pray that I can pursue my acting, even if it's in a small way, and please pray that these changes are right. 8-)


I'm working on another blog post, so you should be hearing from me soon. I hope you all have a good weekend!


*swings around cape and leaps off stage*


Bella


Pile of good things

Pile of good things