Thursday, June 30, 2016

THE FEELS

Oh my gosh. Friday Night Lights seriously gives me so many feelings. The brotherhood, the father-son/coach-athlete relationship. My heart. And poor Jason Street. I can't take the emotions!

It almost reminds me of The Outsiders, with all of the sensitive men. I love it.

I did not love having an episode inspired dream where I was being held captive in a tree. Don't ask how the episode inspired it, but I'm certain that it did. Don't worry, it won't deter me. It feels good to be excited about TV again. I loved Gilmore Girls but only certain story arcs would really get me looking forward to watching.

Can't wait to see what's in store for tonight's episode!

-G-

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

TV Endings and Beginnings

For whatever reason, I don't think I blogged about the fact that I started watching Gilmore Girls in February. My one grandmother was a longtime fan of the show so I'd heard about it from her as being wonderful but C and her sister always mocked the fast dialogue. I was torn, and a little confused as to what type of show this was. I really had it in my head that it was a half an hour comedy. Ironically, it was another blogger that inspired me to go ahead and give the show a try. The way she described it intrigued me and her deep love for it lead her to name her own daughter after one of the main characters.

So, back in the cold bleak winter, right before valentines day, I began my journey into Stars Hollow. M decided to watch too so we made a plan that we would watch each season at our own pace but meet back up for the finales. As soon as I started the first episode and heard the song "There She Goes", I knew I would love the show. However, it took a little bit. While M was hooked right away, I wasn't completely warmed up for a few episodes. Don't get me wrong, I loved the town and characters but I didn't feel very engaged during a lot of the first season. Season two really hooked me though (hello to the beautiful Jess Mariano) and from that point on, I was a fan.

I went though so much with Lorelai and Rory, so much happened over those seven seasons. I watched Dean break Rory's heart on Valentine's day. I watched the fateful dance marathon before leaving for Florida. I watched Chris break Lorelai's heart in Florida. Rory graduated from Chilton around my birthday and she started college while I was finishing up my semester. While Rory went through her life crisis, I was beginning my summer and when she prepared to go off and start her career,I was preparing to leave for my vacation again. I watched the final episode with my new friends from Church and M. Had I been alone, the tears would have flown.

Anytime a show ends, it feels so final and sad to me. BUT, the silver lining is that Gilmore Girls will be back! "A Year in the Life" will be premiering some time this year and I can't wait. The timing of me finally watching this series and the revival is perfect.

After finishing GG, I was at a loss for what to watch during my nightly TV time. I've been watching gymnastics for preparation of Rio but I want a regular show too. I started episode one of Friday Night Lights about a year ago but abandoned it. A blogger inspired me to watch that show too so I decided to try it again. I know it's super beloved and I figured it might take some time to get hoked like it did with GG. And, guess what? All it took was the end of that very Pilot episode! I can't wait to see what this series hods for me. I think I can have it done by September as it's much shorter than GG.

I can only imagine what will happen to the Panthers as I go through my summer!
-G-

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

June Book Review: The Last Summer (of You & Me) by Ann Brashares


I bought this book about five years ago because, hello, Ann is a genius who came up with my favorite books ever, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

For her debut "adult novel" Brashares crafts a beautifully written, lyrical, character study. Ahh, I can remember delving into this book on Memorial Day weekend of 2011. I was at my grandpa's house after the traditional parade, seeking air conditioning inside his house while the rest of the party went on outside. I reclined in his old green chair and read in solitude. I finished the book at home on the couch that night.

I can't remember exactly how I felt about it back then, I know I liked it but a lot of the specific plot details had been lost over time so when I reread the book earlier this month, it felt almost new to me.

The main character is Alice, an unsure 21 year old who yearns for the approval of Paul, her sister Riley's best friend and who she has been infatuated with for her whole life. Unknown to her is the fact that Paul feels the same way. The three of them meet up yearly at the island on which their families own homes. In one pivotal summer, the relationship is finally addressed and a health emergency turns everything on its head.

I love that this book gives a pondering, quiet look into the bond of both sisters and friends. There is something so valuable about literature that is not plot driven, but instead is slowly paced, well thought out and lead by the characters. Paul, Riley and Alice all have a voice uniquely their own but the stand out to me is Riley. In fact, my one complaint is that I wanted more of her. She is such an interesting character, with a makeup of traits that I honestly have never seen done before. Certainly I've read book with a more sensitive and yet stubborn character like Alice or a free, noncomformative man such as Paul. Of course, that's not to say they are cliche, they aren't. Alice's insecurity and wittiness set her apart from any stock character before her and Paul's troubled past and emotional instability give him an edge.

But Riley, who seems stuck in the past and yet most in touch with the present, is an anomaly. Brashares describes her as someone who excelled at being a kid but whose qualities of merit no longer hold stock in adulthood. I almost feel as though the ever mentioned "ice berg theory" is in play here. That Brashares had only revealed to the reader the tip of the iceberg as far as Riley is concerned and that she as the creator of her character, knows her even more fully. It is clear from the writing that Ann knew exactly what she was doing with Riley. But as I said above, if I could change one thing, I would want more of her, specifically more of her and Paul to illustrate their close friendship.

Let me end by saying that this is not a necessarily happy book. As the title suggests, there is loss and melancholy but don't let that deter you from reading it. It's a fabulous piece of writing that will leave you with an ache of pain and as well as a smile of triumph.

-G-

Monday, June 27, 2016

Summertime

Boy do I love this season. I LOVE IT.

Nothing like walking out of the house into warmth. I love the feeling of being comfortable outside without layers and layers. I love the sun, the soft breeze and the fresh way the air smells.

I've been doing a lot of outdoor activities. Swimming, reading outside, chalking with Ellie. Today we wen the public pool which would have been fun had some kid not vomited right in the pathway between the kiddie pool and the big pool. Yeah, I'm still quite nervous that I'll catch whatever they had. Here's to hoping not!

Anyhow, I have come to the realization that I really may need to live somewhere warm when I'm older and married and such. Not anywhere super far but somewhere where I don't freeze to death for five months of the year. I'm a person who far prefers being hot over cold. I hate being cold, hate it!

For now I'll just enjoy this time of the year. With smells like freshly cut grass, flowers, chlorine (can't lie, I've never minded it) and suntan lotion. The hum of the air conditioner and pool motor and some neighbor's weed whacker. I'll relish sleeping without a ton of blankets on top of me and having to layer socks and deal with boots and coats. I'll appreciate trailing pool water in the house instead of melted snow.


After all, summer only comes once a year!
-G-

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Part Time Octopus

That was me this past week! The theme for my church's VBS was ocean and for the second year, I was in the morning skit. This year was so much fun because I got to be a villainous Octopus that I assigned a New York accent. My coutnerpart, a cannibalistic shark, had this deep version of my accent and together we were quite the pair. I had such a good time in my tailored to fit, stuffed tentacle costume and being on stage in front of all of the kids.

When I wasn't being an octopus, I was in charge of the Kindergarten games, concepts and all. We had some simple days with themed version of duck, duck goose and red light green light but I also made up some activities with pool noodle rings, water balls and a parachute. It was neat to be able to lead the kids alone and see how they enjoyed the games I'd come up with. Besides one chaotic day, it was a success and I hope to be in the same position next year!

Also, this week I started watching my cousin Ella. In the past, my sister has been the one in charge and I'd just tag along, this year M is working full time so I took on the job. Between nannying and working at the hospital, I'm basically doing full time hours which is a first. It's a bit of an adjustment but saving money is key and I'm hoping to get a car in the coming week!

Sorry for the lack of posts, I'll be back soon!
-G-

Thursday, June 9, 2016

June Weather Confusion

Ever since I was little, the weather had directly affected my moods. I don't know why, but I absolutely HATE it when the sun is out with snow on the ground or when it's sunny and old in general. It just bugs me and makes me feel gross for being inside.

I also dislike the in-between temperatures where it's to cold to go out in shorts but too warm to wear any real layers. The house is cold and so am I!. I hate being cold and as the weather has been only in the mid 60's for the last few days, I have been chilly because the house is cold and outside is windy and just blah. I want shorts and warm sun back.

Tomorrow will be warmer and until then I'll just keep on whining :P
-G-

Thursday, June 2, 2016

On This Day in History

Four years ago I graduated high school! It feels like it was yesterday in some ways but in others, it does seem like four years.

I can remember many details perfectly. Like the feeling of the padded carpet in the theater beneath my tall wedge sandals and the velvety seat that I sat in wait of lining up to walk the stage. I remember holding a bright smile during my plight, trying to make the most of my moment. And then afterward, pure joy! Finding my family in the crowded lobby and taking dozens of pictures with them and my friends. I was so happy for so many reasons. It was a great day.

Like the passage of time, in some ways I feel the same as I did then but also, I know I am different. Four years isn't an eternity or anything but it is a big enough passage of time for many things to happen. No matter how old you are, I think time and experience will always keep you growing up in some way. We're always changing.

-G-

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Are My Fears my Strength?

I have a lot of fears and I'm not sue where they came from. I had a really secure, loving childhood and no bad experience that I can think of that would make me nervous about so many things. Lately, it's come up a few times how myself and my sister never got involved in risky behavior like partying, drinking, promiscuity etc. And if I'm being really real here, I have to say that a big reason I stayed away from that stuff is because of my fears, not my own morality.

I'm afraid of getting drunk because I don't want to get sick. I'm afraid of wild parties because I don't want to be taken advantage of. There have been a lot of times in my life where I had wanted to do things that aren't right but it was straight up fear that held me back, fear and not much else. That's really hard to admit because I am a Christian and I do have a moral compass. Sometimes, the power to go with the crowd and with my own earthly desires would simply be stronger than that compass. But, fear held me back.

So, are my fears my strength? Did God give me so many fears because He knew that they would stop me from getting into trouble? I've wrestled with that idea for a long time. I don't know if it's correct because we are called not to fear, and not to be anxious in anything. BUT, we also know that God uses everything for good if we have faith in Him. Does this mean that my fears, sinful as they may be, were indeed used for good? Maybe, on the same token, did my phobia of being kidnapped as a child and the precautions I enacted stop something bad from happening? I don't know.

What I do know is that I'm working on examining my motives more, and getting to the real root of why I do or don't do things. The goal is that I do the right thing because it's what God expects from me, not because I'm acting out of fear.

Just food for thought on this Wednesday morning!
-G-