Writing from 2011 ….

*I recently remembered I had another blog I had started years and years ago.  This was the only post I had written, and part of me is really ashamed at my writing.  However, I have been blogging for a year now, and I thought this would be an interesting way of celebrating that.  (Plus, I’m using this as an intermediary while I try to find the flash drive that had some of the projects I’m working on ….) My writing is rough; you are warned. *

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Top Five Favorite Movies for Snow Days

Okay. So, with this snow normally comes snow days. And, lucky me, my brothers have already had four. Me, um, two. So, when that opportunity comes around, you will probably find me in our basement watching movies. By myself. Under our leopard blanket. With hot chocolate. So, “What movies,” you ask? Well, let me explain.

Jane Eyre   This movie is so long, four hours exactly, but it fills my romantic craving. Plus, I love the idea of a troubled romance, so, hey, perfect combo, right?  Troubled romances, long movies, and a hot lead? Get my hot cocoa started!  Also, that time in England, the mid 1800’s, completely captivates me. The dresses, the, ah, men, and the parties. So, like, honestly, what better way to spend a snow day? Eh?

Les Miserables   I got the full show on DVD for Christmas this past year. Yeah, it’s just singing, but, hey. It is actually at the London Hall, so it’s supposed to be good, right? I still need to finish it. I haven’t been able to watch it the whole way through, so I’m just waiting for that. Also, and you can ask my family this, but I go around the house singing Les Mis songs day in and day out. Mark finds it annoying, but once you get bit by the Les Mis bug, there ain’t no going back!

Alice in Wonderland   Okay, this movie is either love it or hate it, and I for one, love it! My top favorite actors are in it; Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Alan Rickman, and Johnny Depp. Plus, it was directed by Tim Burton. Sure, he’s crazy, but he does some good movies! I got it for Christmas, on Blu-ray, and wow, the colors are vibrant! I just think, even though his movies are out there and out of the ordinary, the music is amazing! I hear something weird and instantaneously, I think Tim Burton. So, yeah.

Anything Harry Potter   Yes, I know, I’m obsessing. But whatever! I have always loved the idea of magic, so this is perfect! Also, I think the main theme behind all of the books is a good way to say that good triumphs over evil, no matter how strong the evil may be. I think that Daniel Radcliff is a great actor, no matter what everyone else says. Plus, I want to be completely ready for a surprise trip down to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Hint, hint, Mom!

 Avatar   This movie is just plain good! Sigourney Weaver definitely knows how to kick some butt in the movie! Also, Pandora is amazing! The plants, the animals, and Eywa reminds me of how much God is around me and everywhere I look. Personally, I find the Na’ vi people intriguing.  Just the way they go about things, like killing animals, hunting, living, and the music. It makes me wish Pandora was real and that we could actually take on the form of an avatar. Hmm, that would be so cool. Hey, I will keep right on dreaming!

So, those are just a few of the movies I would watch (and have watched). My list could go on and on, including the like of Pirates of the Caribbean, Thumbelina, Anastasia, and many more, but I said my top five. Plus, the “Pirate” movies are another story in and of itself. Please let me know what your top movies for snow days are.

WRITTEN JANUARY 25, 2011**

Comfy shows for rest and relaxation ….

Hey guys, I feel like its been so long.  I’ve had a veeery loooong week.  I started my new job this week, finished up my shifts at my old job, and had a few finals.  I worked a little over 40 hours this week, and got maybe 10 hours of sleep total Wednesday and Thursday night.  My new job is a lot of running and standing and fast working, which is not an environment I am used to.  Plus, I did some intensive weeding in my family’s garden last night.

My body hurts and my energy levels are practically non-existent.

All I desperately want to do is curl up with a fuzzy blanket and binge watch Netflix shows, for hours on end.  My mom and I have recently stumbled upon “comfy” murder mysteries.  We are currently watching Father Brown, with Mark Williams (from Harry Potter and Doctor Who).  It is fun, light-hearted, touching, and not nearly as intense your typical crime show.  The stories are based off of the characters created by G. K. Chesterton, and are set in 1940’s English countryside. 

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But our most favorite is Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.  We discovered it purely by chance, and pretty much watched all three seasons in about five days.  It’s simply wonderful.  It’s set in late 1920’s Australia.  Phryne Fisher is an incredible rebellious modern woman; detective, driver, flirtatious single woman.  She causes ruckus, gets into trouble, but has an incredible heart.  Plus, her relationship with lead detective, Jack Robinson, is a heck of a lot of fun to watch. 

This show only has three seasons, and it seems it could be awhile until anything new is added.  However.  There is rumored to be a movie in the works, and Mom and I are so excited.

These are the shows I fall to when I’m so tired, and want something fun to curl up to. 

What do you do when you’ve had a long week, and really want to relax?

Ciao for now,

Julia

(P.S. I promise, my regular material will resume on Monday.)

 

Summer Music

 

I love good music, the kind of music that reaches deep into your soul, and makes you feel alive.  The kind of music that is created by true musicians and presented with tangible passion.  (Have I mentioned yet that I can’t stand modern pop music? And for multiple reasons …..)

When summer rolls around, I find myself longing for and searching for, good music.   I should be studying for a major final right now, but oh well.  When I woke up this morning, I laid in my bed for a good long while, discovering new and amazing artists. 

I’ve recently discovered NPR Tiny Desk Sessions on YouTube, and let me tell you what, I have a tendency to fall down that rabbit hole really quick. 

Here are some of the artists I’m currently jammin’ to, and will be listening to quite a lot over the summer.

Joseph

 

Tank and the Bangs  (My favorite song starts at 13:55)

 

St. Paul and the Broken Bones

 

Avery*Sunshine

 

I’m also getting into Mariachi Flor de Toloache, Phox, and Lianne LeHavas.  My brothers have been sharing The Dead South with the family, and we all really like Nathaniel Ratliff and the Night Sweats.

It’s probably time for me to go study, but I’d love to know, what kind of music are you listening to this summer?

Ciao for now,

Julia

 

Survey

Hey guys, this is going to be a real quick post, but I wanted to share something with you guys.  On the past couple posts, I’ve included a little snippet about a survey for one of my classes.  I had originally set it up so you guys could email me for the information, but I realized that wasn’t going to work.

So here we go, I’ve created a legit survey.  You no longer have to email me or anything; this time it is completely anonymous.  I figure that’s better haha.  You can find it here: Survey Monkey.

But if you truly are interested: Hey guys! For my Statistics this semester, I am required to conduct an experiment. I’m looking to analyze the relationship between the strength of religious beliefs and the strength of political beliefs. I’m organizing this study in the form of a survey, and I’m included the link here. If possible, after you’ve taken it, could you please pass it along to some of your friends?  That would be so awesome, thanks!!

It would be so awesome if you could answer these questions as honestly as you could! Thank-a kindly. 🙂

Ciao for now,

Julia

(P.S. The survey will close the last week in April 2017.)

Survey

“Plain Gold Ring”

I apologize that I’ve been rather absent recently.  I had spring break a couple of weeks ago, and all I did was watch movies all day.  (I haven’t done that in so long, so don’t judge me.). Plus, I’m working on several projects that are taking up a lot of time, and are frustrating me a little bit.  Also, as evident from my post about an hour ago, I’m only about 400 pages from finished Les Miserable, and all I want to do is finish it. (Four hundred pages may seem like a lot, but after 1000 pages, this is the easy part.)

In this bit of free time before bed, I wanted to do a quick little musical study/analysis.  I love good music (I hope that’s obvious), and I love it even more when my favorite artists piggyback off of each other.  Last night, I heard Laura Mvula cover a song which I heard for the first time from Kimbra, which she in turned covered from Nina Simone.  Sounds kinda like “cover-ception”doesn’t?  But let me just tell you, each of these three artists interpret this song in three different, yet still incredible ways, and I’m just in awe.

The original by the incredible Nina Simone

I love Nina Simone.  She is incredible.  Her low, husky, emotional voice is so poignant.  My all-time favorite song from her is “Feelin’ Good“.  I also have one record from her, and I just want all of them.  I would have loved to have seen her perform.  This song, though, sung in her slow and emotional style, is haunting.  There is something wild in the emotion is this song.  It paints the image of painful resignation, and incredible heartbreak. It’s gentle yet impassioned, pained yet understanding.  It’s beautiful and heartbroken.

Kimbra’s cover

This is how I heard the song for the very first time.  I remember driving to work, listening to Kimbra’s first album Vows for the first time, and being so totally mesmerized and captivated during this song.  I’ve said it before, but Kimbra is just incredible. (Like seriously, just listen to those vocals!)  Her take on this song is passionate and heartbroken and almost aggressive.  It’s a bolder and more colorful.  And the fact Kimbra is so obviously captured by this song, adds to the emotion.

Laura Mvula’s cover

I’ve been listening to Laura for several years now, and have almost always considered her a modern Nina Simone.  Her emotion and the way she hits certain notes is so reminiscent of Nina.  I heard this cover for the first time last night, and holy goosebumps.  Her cover, I feel, straddles the differences between the original and Kimbra’s.  It’s emotional and passionate and vibrant, but still calm and gentle and subtle.

While Kimbra presents an image of passionate (or even aggressive) heartache, Laura echoes the original sentiment of resignation.  But I feel both covers compliment the original so well.  I love that two of my favorite artists have both covered a song from another of my favorite singers.  My heart (and ears) are feeling rather spoiled.

*I quite liked doing this musical study/analysis.  I think it would be fun to do others in the future (should the opportunity present itself).  What do you think?  Do you like these songs/covers?*

Ciao for now,

Julia

(P.S. For one of my classes this semester, I am required to conduct a research experiment/study.  I am designing my study in the form of a survey.  I think it would be really cool to have you guys be a part of my research (but please do not feel obligated!).  If you are interested, the only stipulation is that you be an American citizen (sorry, but my topic is relevant to Americans.  So, if this is something you are interested in, please shoot me an email at fidelisdiem@gmail.com and I will send you the info. Thanks!! 🙂 )

Days of Cheer: Christmas Crafts

There’s always an infinite supply of candy at my house around Christmas time.  It kind of fills in the gaps between my mom’s Christmas cookies, so at any given moment, there’s a; ways something sweet to munch on.  A few years ago, I had the idea to save the candy wrappers, make “art” with them.  Generally, I prefer the foil wrappers on Rolos, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and any other small, individually wrapped candies.  These make the coolest pieces, I think.

I think to think of myself as an “unconventional” artist, in a sense, because I like to use “weird” mediums to express myself.  I’ve used glass soda bottles, tissue paper, newpaper headlines, wet colored pencils, candy wrappers, and I have plans for many other “weird” things.

But at Christmas time, with this overflowing amount of wrappers, I like to use hot glue and create pictures.  Generally, these scenes are of the Biblical Christmas Eve.  But I’ve done holly branches and a bell before.  These scenes are dependent on the colors of the wrappers, and how many I have.  Several hours ago, I finished this year’s scene.  I’m really quite proud of it, and I didn’t even really burn my fingers this year, which is totally a positive.

20161217_190315(I know it may be a bit hard to see because of the glare, but the words in the top left corner are “O holy night….”).

Ciao for now,

Julia

Happy Holidays! Xx

Days of Cheer: Christmas Tree

This evening, my family and I decorated our Christmas tree.  That has always been one of my most favorite things during Christmas.  I’ve always loved the smell of pine trees; it soothes some part of my soul.  I think there’s something really timeless about it too, like every Christmas through time is wrapped in this gentle smell.

After we decorated our tree, my family and I just sat, basking in the wonderful Christmas atmosphere.  We turned all the lights off except for the Christmas tree and other Christmas lights.  We had Christmas music playing in the background.  It was gentle and peaceful and beautiful.

20161207_22450620161207_22535820161207_22472620161207_22464520161207_224529*These were taken with my phone camera, so I’m sorry for the bad-ish quality.*

Ciao for now,

Julia

Happy Holidays! Xx