Monday, August 31, 2015

The Princess Bride (vs. Eleanor & Park) (book review #3)

so, i try and fail valiantly to prohibit myself from reading more than one book at a time.
this time, it was indeed a war-zone in my bed as i attempted to throw Eleanor & Park out the window and focus on the paperback version of The Princess Bride that i got from the library three weeks ago.
i will bring your attention to three words: "and fail valiantly".
because that's what happened.

two books at a time can be a good thing though. you start to realize what exactly you like in books, and which ones you read because you somehow feel obligated to do so.

and for me, two books means i read them faster. (don't know why, but i do.)

we'll start with Eleanor and Park because honestly i liked it better.
it wasn't on the list, but let me tell you, it was beautiful in an ugly way.

Eleanor... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.

Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.
Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. 

GOOD: There are some books that restore your faith in humanity. Sometimes i think that everyone wears a mask; that being real isn't something that people strive for; that searching for yourself isn't something that is encouraged, but should be. This book made me think that maybe, just maybe, there were still people out there who know what it is like to live passionately, and with every intention of giving more to life than what we get out of it. Eleanor and Park were both themselves. They couldn't help it. If they tried to be someone else, bad things happened. So they just decided to be them. and it worked out beautifully, and painfully. which is life, i guess.

BAD: this was not what i would deem a "clean" book. there was a lot of cussing, which was disappointing. i have issues with this whole cussing issue. the "ouch doesn't cut it" phenomenon explains it best i think. sometimes "ouch" doesn't work. sometimes you need something a little stronger to figure out the pain. in this book, there were contrasting characters as far as the cussing went. both Eleanor and Park use language, but only when they don't know what else to say. other characters are a little more fluent with colorful language, and Eleanor and Park both feel uncomfortable using swear words frequently. so, read at your own discretion. it was a secular book. and some people would say that it's full of crap. (which is partially true) but it was beautiful. life is full of crap. but it's beautiful.

difficulty: not that hard as far as writing style went.  (personally i love books that switch back and forth between characters perspectives, especially if its in first person.) as far as content goes - it could be considered more difficult. Eleanor lives with a) a broken family, b) an abusive step-father, and c) her personally created isolation because she really has about ZERO people she can trust, until she meets Park. that can be difficult.

1-10 SCORE: (i hate this part.) How is it that whenever i read a clean book, its not interesting at all and then the second i read a book that should receive a lower rating because of its non-Christian content it pulls at my heartstrings like a child tugging at its mother's sleeve? oh my heart. this was one of those books that wormed its way onto my bookshelf and i really don't mind that its staying. so...7 stars, and don't read it if you get easily offended.

OVERVIEW: GAAAAH. this book was beautiful, and filthy. it was heart-wrenching, and gut-wrenching. i wanted to pull to my heart and then throw in the trash. sometimes we constrict our view of life to the small pinhole of light that we have been exposed to in our few years here on earth. and that if we pulled away our black bowl under which we hide, then we would see that there is much light around us. "To love is to risk."-Leo Buscaglia. to love is to open ourselves. E&P were "smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try."  somehow, i agree. that life will hurt us.  but we can either try to make our life beautiful, or we can hide from it and never live. 

that's what i got out of this one.


What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be...well...a lot less than the man of her dreams?

As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read the S. Morgenstern classic, The Princess Bride. But as a grown-up he discovered that the boring parts were left out of good old Dad's recitation, and only the "good parts" reached his ears.

Now Goldman does Dad one better. He's reconstructed the "Good Parts Version" to delight wise kids and wide-eyed grownups everywhere.

What's it about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and, short, it's about everything.

GOOD: its the original story from the movie. of course its good. i mean, you get POV's from both Inigo and Fezzik. You get a close up of the albino (because let's face it, the accent thingy he did in the movie the first time we see him in The Pit of Despair is AMAZING). you get to realizing that Buttercup is a spoiled brat.  oh, and Goldman's italicized monologues and reasons for cutting out parts of the old book were actually amusing. which surprised me because i've been told that they're rather annoying. basically, you get the depth that a book offers with all the good parts of the movie. 

BAD: its a 300 page book made into a 98 minute movie. its gotta be slow.  that depth that i was just talking about? that's what you get with this - in excess. whenever i do the unpardonable act of watching the movie before reading the book, i end up disappointed. it was good because i got to see where the idea for the beloved movie came from. it was boring because honestly, movie editors only take the very best parts. and writers leave in everything, good or not.

DIFFICULTY: it was hard because it was long. i kept reading it because it had a great page voice, but that was the only thing (as far as just reading it, all partiality aside) that it had going for it. simply, the plot line was a little slow.

1-10 SCORE: 3. *sigh*...honestly, watch the movie instead.

OVERVIEW: it could have been better. it was good to see the passion that the author had behind it. Goldman wrote it with the idea that his father read him this story when he was a kid, but Goldman himself never actually opened the pages. So when he gives his son a copy for his birthday and his son doesn't like it,  Goldman investigates and finds that the original version is extremely boring. So he edits out all the boring parts. he gets the "good parts" version. and its quite a feat. the idea was wonderful. the book itself was good, really. but it just wasn't something that sparked with me. 

that's what i got out of it. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

honesty is painful

honesty is painful

buried beneath the piles of random "treasures" in our hearts
when we pull it out, everything goes
tumbling down.

we use it to free ourselves
when the lies get thick
when emotions start stacking up
and we have to stand on our tiptoes to see
where exactly we are
in this maze of the heart

honesty is painful 
it is sharp, waiting to be used.
lies are dull knives
roughly gnawing away at our problems.
lies only make them ache

honesty cuts deep and quick and
reminds us who we are
it cuts off the roots that we don't need
the branches that get in the way of our vision
the extra bark that only adds extra weight

and even though it hurts
it is that pain keeping us alive
and whole
and knowing exactly who you are.
without any of the junk.
it hurts
it burns
it cuts
and we bleed
but it keeps us whole
and clean
and free.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

10 things about you

okey-dokey, folks. change of plans.
10 things posts, well, they have tended to be about me.

PLOT TWIST: this one's about you .



So who are you?


Comment your answers, or blog your own and comment a link to your post!
(It's like a really really really casual blog party.)
(and i answered my own questions. because i can. don't read 'em if ya don't want to.)

  1. What is your weirdest hobby? Mine is making journals. Not particularly writing in them (although I do love that) but actually MAKING the journal. And blogging (i'm only slightly addicted.)
  2. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? "I haven't been everywhere but it's on my list."  - Susan Sontag
  3. Favorite quote. or Bible verse. :D "In the end I want my heart to be covered in stretch marks." - Andrea Gibson
  4. one of your secrets. or something that you never tell anyone. it doesn't have to be serious. just something simple that you never said. mine is: i hate ranch dressing. seriously. and it's like, the only salad dressing that my family ever makes. 
  5. Do you cuss? (i find this interesting. but you have to tell the truth. even if you only cuss when you stub your toe.) goodness. i do cuss, in my head. it's a habit i'm trying to break: i don't want to cuss, but sometimes i cuss about cussing. *facepalm* #embarrassed.
  6. what's that thing that bothers you? what gets under your skin and makes you itch? people not closing the door behind them (if it was closed when they walked in) and leaving lights on in rooms that aren't in use. stereotypes. (the worst. don't get me started.) and being patronized. or watching others be patronized. 
  7. how are you spending your summer? (mine = hiking, reading, working, canning, running, trying to get enough sleep, chocolate, and Downton Abbey with mom and dad. :D)
  8. what is your guilty pleasure? (*ahem* mine is books. the ones that make my heart ache. yay.)
  9. would you rather learn to do something new or have a new toy/gadget/thingamajig? i'd rather learn. how to get through an airport without losing your mind or a new iPhone. AIRPORT THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
  10. what makes you happy? what makes you smile without being able to help it? good songs. happy poetry. laughing with family and friends until my gut hurts and i'm crying-laughing. good books that make you think about life and why it is the way it is and why you are the way you are. that one friend's smile that they don't know means a lot to you. mom's hugs. summer sun, autumn breeze, the nip of winter on your nose and the way springtime makes the chickens happy. i love life. it makes me happy. sometimes it makes me sad but mostly it makes me happy. mostly it makes me smile...without being able to help it. and then when someone asks why i'm smiling, i have no answer. its just that things are good. something wonderful happened. something wonderful will always happen.  
so TELL ME! because i'm really curious. like, really curious. biting-my-nails, drive-me-nuts curious.



p.s. excuse the art. its my new kick lately. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


some days I just want to be alone.
people carry around so much crap.
we pour out our worries, over and over,
then scramble to pick them up again.

some days i just want to be with people that
i can't be with.
i want to show them who i am
with my soul open and raw and bare
i want to say "this is me
see? isn't it ugly?
isn't it beautiful?
i don't expect you to like it,
but i want you to know that
this is me."

some days i want to be with everyone
so that i will be distracted
by the smile on my own face
so that i won't see
the tears on my soul, and
everyone else's, too.

but most days, i just want to be alone
in a silent white room
with the rest of me somewhere else
so i don't have to think about everything
so i don't have to think about everyone
so i don't have to think about me.
so i can just be.

Monday, August 10, 2015

10 Things I Learned This Year

So, we passed that time of year again. Graduation. Parties. Friends. Family. Planning, thinking, finishing, doing...starting.
Your life as you know it is ending, and then you realize that your life is just starting, too. What a contradiction.
Watching the 2015 graduating class go through the ceremonies and the parties and got me thinking. I've only been graduated for a year, but in that year I have learned a gazillion things. I have become aware of things that were there for 18 years, but I didn't notice them until now. I have discovered new depths and dug deep into rich, healthy soil that has been being primed for this post-high-school life. A lot can happen in a year. Everything comes and goes - everything - to the point where somehow your life looks similar (because it's still yours) but the color, the look, the feel - EVERYTHING has changed.

Somewhere along this great timeline of life, someone thought it would be a great idea to have young adults have a complete change in EVERYTHING right smack-dab in the middle of what could be considered a young adult's mid-life-crisis. (Currently, I don't like this person.) But even when everything changes, we keep going.

" doesn't stop for anybody." - The Perks of Being a Wallflower

So, life doesn't stop. Neither do we. We never stop learning, doing, breathing, thinking, living.
And this is what I've learned while I've not stopped in the last year:

  1. Family is the most important thing that you will ever have, other than your faith. So, get to know them, if you don't. Lose the attitude - your parents actually do know more than you. Make use of their knowledge. They've lived longer than you. Also, find another model-figure for your life and make use of their knowledge. Usually someone who hasn't lived with you for the last 18 years has a different perspective. Also, family is not limited to blood-relatives. Some of my family members are sunday-school teachers from 3rd grade. Some are co-workers. Some are my mom's clients that I cat-sit for. And then there's my church. (which personally I think can be a little weird, because it's like: assuming everyone in this building has accepted, they're all my bro's and sista's....sorry, what was your name? I don't think we've met..." And it's also weird when those people know your name because you're on the worship team, but then you're like "actually I don't recognize you at all....I was probably looking at my music..."). Basically, EMBRACE YOUR FAMILY.
  2. You can't change people. You can only change yourself, your reactions, your responsibilities. So, if you don't like something that you can't change, change your reaction. for example: this spring i had an incident with the director of the play that i was providing music for. she felt that i wasn't putting enough effort into the music (when in reality i was putting in as much effort as i could muster). I had to tell her that i was doing that, but in order for me to do any better, i was going to need HER support, and the music director's support too. and then, rather than being really mad at her (because i really wanted to be mad at her) i decided that she was stressed about the play and the deadlines in it, and i was stressed about the same, and the only thing i could do was be nice to her. and you know what? it worked. the more understanding i tried to be, the less angry i felt with her and the easier it was for me to put more effort into the music. 
  3. Treat others as you would like to be treated. (And don't be a two-year-old and be mean. Be decent. It will be returned to you.)
  4. Make new friends. This one, I think, is critical. Usually, we spend most of the first 18 years of our life surrounded by familiar faces: friends that we grew up with from childhood, family, people from church, etc. I think we have a tendency to harden our abilities to meet new people, thus creating cliques (which, if you have ever been on the outside of a clique, is actually very painful). So when a new face shows up at bible study, introduce yourself. When you see a new family at church, or at a gathering, or WHATEVER, go say hi. (I know: this is coming from the introvert. But I'm not entirely hopeless. I have at least 3 friendships that are new as of the beginning of the year.) WARNING: if you are in a clique and you do this, you might lose your place...just sayin'.
  5. Clothing does not wash itself. (I had to put this one in.) I have never been good at doing laundry. I put a load in the washer, and then forget about it for two days. Thankfully, I've been getting better about not leaving it for days at a time, but in the process have developed another habit: waiting to wash the clothes until I have none left to wear. DON'T DO THIS. Because chances are, you'll choose to do laundry on the very day that everyone else in your living quarters chooses to do laundry. And then that results in laundry wars. (*ahem*, underwear helmets and laundry basket sure to remove all cameras from premises so as to avoid blackmailing material...)
  6. Get a job, and learn how to love it, even when you hate it. Currently, I'm not totally in love with my job, because I'm learning that everyone in the world does not wish for bubblegum, rainbows and unicorns. But, the paycheck makes up for it. And I have awesome hours. So basically it balances itself out.
  7. Have fun. Literally. For a couple months after I graduated, it was like I was still in school. Always busy, always doing something. And then things slowed down. This last month or so, even though I'm still really busy, I've been focusing more on doing things I enjoy - like staying up until 2 a.m. reading. Or going for walks with my mom. Or going to a movie with my sister. Or just meeting a friend for coffee. (I LOVE coffee dates.) Or Skyping with people halfway around the world. Slow down a little, enjoy what you do.
  8. Be YOU. I know you've heard this before, but I cannot stress it enough. This is your life. More particularly, this is your first year on your own. (Yeah, I know, it's freaky.) So you get do change the things you don't like about yourself, and nourish the parts that you do like. You get to take that clay that your parents have spent 18 years centering and shaping (not details yet, just form) and you get to start saying "I like that, lets add a little detail. I like this, lets put some in here. And...oh GOODNESS we need to get rid of that..." You get to shape yourself, and let God shape you. It's really awesome.
  9. Laugh at yourself. No kidding, here. I used to get super stressed out and then the tiniest little thing would set me off and I would either turn into the Hulk, or run sobbing to my room. SERIOUSLY let it go. When you mess up, LAUGH. It makes the situation that much less painful, and everyone else around doesn't get a ruined day.
  10. Find something you love about yourself. EXAMPLE: I have great legs. No, really. I LOVE my legs, especially when I work out and they are semi-tan. Also, I love that I'm an introvert. I mean, yeah it can be a little bit of a problem when I have to be around people...but when I DON'T have to be around people its really awesome because then I'm this super low-maintenance person. When you start looking for something you like, you get to know yourself better. It's really interesting, because it basically goes like this: "Lets see....what do I like about myself....OOH! I like that. But what's that? Ugh...gross. I think that needs to go. So, trashcan where are yo- OH MY GOODNESS LOOK AT THIS LOVELINESS where has that been? has it been hidi- have you been hiding all this time? THAT IS SO COOL!!!"
or something like that.
10 things in 1 year. I've probably learned more. I've probably learned more important ones. But I've probably also forgotten them.
These are the ones I remembered. These are the ones that are important to me.
so what did you learn this last year?  what do you remember? what's important now? You should totally tell me about it in the comment section! :D