Monday, December 29, 2014

Summer List Review {Looking for Alaska + Contracted}

This is the fifth installment of me reviewing a list of books and movies I set out to read, watch, and enjoy throughout the summer (even though this is going up in the winter). You can check out my other posts in the following links. 

Next up is Looking for Alaska by John Green. Anything written by Green is all the rage among fangirls and kids who never read, so I was all like why not. 

Before I go any farther, I'd like to say I read The Fault in Our Stars and enjoyed it a lot better than I'll ever admit. I loved Green's writing style and it's one of the few romance novels I've ever liked. I know a lot of people say it "romanticizes cancer" or that Augustus is way too perfect to ever be a real person, but I looked past all these things rather easily to my surprise. Books (for me) are a way to create unrealistic life situations and turn them into something as realistic as possible. Saying The Fault in Our Stars is an awful book because it portrays an unrealistic love story is in many ways like saying "The Lord of the Rings is a bad book because that could never happen in real life." Well duh, that's the point of books:  Creating worlds and love stories and plots that will never happen in the real world.

Alas, that's a side rant that's been building up inside me for a long time. Also it's probably the only rant I've ever put on this blog that doesn't involve feminism or a cuss word so I'm not sure where I'm going in my life.

But I digress.

Looking for Alaska is the second John Green book that I've acquired and read. I hate to say that I wasn't a big fan of it. I felt that I loved Green's writing a LOT better in TFIOS versus Looking for Alaska. 

For one, the main character annoyed me beyond ever return. I was so done hearing about "how many layers of clothing" was between him and Alaska and how badly he wanted to have sex with her. Every time he was around her he immediately noticed what she was wearing and called her hot/a babe/other terms I hate. I mean for God's sake the cover sleeve straight up described Alaska as sexy. If I'm not mistaken the very first time we our introduced to Alaska the first thing that comes to Pudge's mind (the main character) is that she's hot. The entire time I was inwardly screaming THERE HAS TO BE MORE TO ALASKA THAN HER LOOKS.

Also the character of Alaska herself was irritating and hypocritical. She was constantly preaching about breaking patriarchal society, yet if anything she was conforming to it. To me I felt she was an obsessive girlfriend who toyed with her friends emotions and couldn't even control her own. I can't really describe it to be honest. She was spastic and a very stereotypical "hot girl." 

Anyways, not my favorite John Green book. I'm hoping to read his other books so I can get more of a feel for the guy, but I was rather disappointed. The ending wasn't as fulfilling as I had hoped, and the book was not nearly as enjoyable as The Fault in Our Stars.


Then I watched a movie by the name of Contracted. It was very...interesting...and I should stop there.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't an awful movie necessarily, but it would be definitely shelved away in the gross/horrifying sub genre of horror. It wasn't necessarily 'shit is jumping out at me' scary, but more of a 'what is happening to her nails/teeth/eye/lady parts' scary.

But here's a quick summary if you made it past the freaky movie poster:

A girl whose name I can't even remember goes to a party and does the one thing no one should ever do at a party:  She sets her drink down. *face palms* Honestly after this I was getting to be a bit uninterested as this all happened within five minutes of the movie, and I was already predicting the outcome. Her drink then gets drugged by a mysterious man. Then, despite her being a lesbian, she has sex with said man who spiked her drink (although this can be attributed to the fact she drank a drugged drink but whatever).

After that a lot of random shit happens that eventually leads up to her having a massive constant period, a single red eye, weird rashes all over, and her teeth and nails just nonchalantly fall off all over the place.

Somewhere in between the rape and her final moments she fights with her mom (who thinks her daughter is constantly on drugs and spends most of her time on screen bitching and yelling), she breaks up with her girlfriend, she repeatedly visits an imbecile of a doctor who claims she's contracted a simple STD and essentially calls her a whore, she loses her job because, hello, her finger nails are falling off, and somewhere in the middle I remember her smoking marijuana.

Basically the plot line revolves around people repeatedly yelling at her yet NO ONE BOTHERS TO HELP HER EVEN THOUGH SHE IS CLEARLY DYING.

Anyways it was a pretty good movie if you're looking for something that will make you want to throwup every two minutes plus a relatively decent plot line. Although it did really annoy me that they never fully revealed how she got so sick. You're lead to believe that the guy who raped her gave her a horrifyingly nasty STD, but this is never really confirmed. Like they never actually tell you anything about the disease or the guy nor do they resolve anything at the end. Kinda annoying.

On the good side, the movie makes me never want to have sex.

Have a fabulous day.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas to All

I may only be writing this so I can say I've been posting more on here, but let's focus on the good shall we?

Merry Christmas or whatever it is you might be celebrating this year. I hope it's as great as you hope'd it would be and then some. Enjoy yourself and your family and even those annoying two sizes too small sweaters that your cousins always buy you. Look on the bright side, they simply think you are skinnier than you actually are—who cares that you'll never be able to wear it!

So anyways. Enjoy those mediocre deviled eggs your aunt brings and pretend to love those socks your grandmother buys you every year. She gets such a great deal on them at costco, how could she even think about passing them up?

(Disclaimer: I've never actually been to Costco so I do not know if they even sell socks yet alone at a great deal.)

But really. Enjoy the holidays and at least pretend you enjoy your family. I'm sure they are all lovely people.

Have a fabulous Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2014

{Update} Summer Reading + Summer Movies

So I know summer is long gone, and you thought I had checked off every book and movie from the list I made here a long, long time ago. They were supposed to be books that I read during the summer, but it seemed new and more interesting books were cropping up all over the place, and before long summer was over, and I still had about four books left unread.

For the most part though this was not entirely my fault. My public library has been rather deceiving as to what they have and don't have in stock and what is currently available to me.

Long story short this is my list of things that I've actually read vs what I haven't:

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
The Blue Mirror by Kathe Koja
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Post Secret by Frank Warren
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Under the Dome by Stephen King
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Looking for Alaska by John Green
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

The online library database told me they had all the books in the above list (as the responsible person that I was checked all this before ever adding a book to the list). When I went to the library every two weeks, I would simply have a note on my phone of all the authors and titles and simply look them up myself among the shelves (I mean the Dewey Decimal system isn't that hard to decode). Eventually I began noticing that I continually couldn't find certain books week after week after week, but I simply chalked this up to the fact that they were popular, and I was simply going to have to place the books on hold to actually get my hands on them.

Time went by, and the same four books couldn't be found no matter how hard I looked. For lack of a better plan I would just check out other random books I happened to stumble upon until the summer ended and it occured to me that well shit, I still had four books left on my list. 

I then put off the mystery until a week ago because I procrastinate when things get tough. Then as I sat on my computer one day and looked through the database once more I realized that my library system had the books, but the library branch I use, does not.

This then led me to the not so grand world of interlibrary loan request forms which were still not much help at all. I could only request one book at a time (which wasn't so great considering I needed four), not to mention I would have to pay for the postage to ship these four books individually across town. I then had the option of simply driving to another one of the county libraries to check out the books myself, but considering I can barely squeeze in the time to make it to my own library 10 minutes away, there was no way I could make time to go to one 25-30 minutes across town. I also tried my own school library, which is probably one of the worst libraries ever chalk filled with cliche romances and the only good books are on hold by seven other individuals. 

So alas I am ditching the four unread books above and replacing them with books that I own/my friends own because the library is misleading. Learn from your mistakes I suppose.

Without further ado my new and improved Summer (er Winter) Reading List:

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
The Blue Mirror by Kathe Koja
The Jury by Steve Martini
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Looking for Alaska by John Green
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
My Point and I Do Have One by Ellen DeGeneres

So I know, this summer reading/movie thing has been dragged out waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long, but I'm an occasionally irresponasible teenager. You get what you can get.

I also still have two movie/book review posts that need to be published as well, I was just waiting to get this post up before I continued. I hoped to publish the other two to allow myself time to read the other four books. So FINALLY, I will get this whole thing wrapped up after nearly five months (oops is really all I can say at this point).

Alas, have a fabulous day. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

I'm Not Dead

Today marks the first official day of my Christmas break. School has been full of 12 page group papers and calculus tests and lots of note taking on the subject of US history that never ends because there is a lot of US history, and I'm tired. Really tired. I'm honestly writing this to show you I'm not dead. Maybe halfway dead, but not fully dead.

 It feels nice to sleep and love life and enjoy myself here for two weeks. I have a lot of plans to accomplish over this break so the blog won't be so empty once school starts back up again. A lot of pre-writing posts and finishing up some things. If I'm feeling crazy I might even change my blog layout/color scheme/pictures/whatever the word is for the technological stuff that makes my blog look the way it does.

Anyways, until then, have fabulous day.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Two Years

I feel like one of those dead beat parents who forgets their kids birthdays and tries to make it up to them with a gas station candy bar and a sip of their beer. Long story short, I forgot my kid's birthday. Well my blog kid, but kid nonetheless.

And I wouldn't necessarily use the word forget I just simply kept putting it off and off (and off) until three days after the actual date I was all like, "Well damn, that snuck by me."

So here we are (thirteen days late might I add) with the miraculous two year anniversary of Sunsets and Sundays.

maybe then I'd remember it

I struggle with what do for this occasion every year (and by every year I mean last year and this year aka the only two years I've ever had a blog anniversary). I see other bloggers with contests and giveaways and new posts every single day of their anniversary month, and I just gawk at them wondering how in the world they have their blogging lives together so much.

So after months days hours minutes of struggling with an idea for such an occasion as this, I am going to simply link back to my hand selected personal favorite posts of mine and slap a big bow on top of it and call it a celebration.

Without further ado, here are the best posts Sunsets and Sundays has had to offer over the past year:

Feminism {A Dictionary}

This was one of my FAVORITE posts to write as I loved every single minute of it. I'm still procrastinating the sequel, but as all things go, I'll get around to it.

International Women's Day (And Why I'm Slightly Against It)

This was back when I was in my normal feminist writing groove, and reading this post makes me miss what I love to do most.

Why Aren't Men Criticized for not Staying Home with the Kids?

(Another rant on society. I guess it's kind of my topic of choice.)

Why I Didn't Tan for Prom

Read this if you want to know more about the odd cultural practice of tanning that seems to be in abundance here in America.

The Truth About Christopher Columbus

This is one of my most accessed posts via Google. I guess a lot of people want to know the real truth behind Christopher Columbus which I can't say is a bad thing.

I hope everyone is enjoying this blast from the past as we celebrate the accomplishment that is two years in this blogging world. It's a strange thing to think that I've been writing about my life online for two years now, and equally strange to think about all the connections I've made with everyone reading this. I could have never imagined that I would find myself in this beautifully knitted together community.

I thank you all.

Have a fabulous day.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Home Is Where the Heart Is (Picking up the Pieces Contest)

First a back story. My friend Envy at Picking up the Pieces is hosting a contest for her blog's anniversary which goes to show she's a way better blog parent than me considering my two year anniversary passed five days ago without a simple post (more on that later). Anyhow, I'm entering the contest on the final day entries are being taken because I'm slow and procrastinate-y like that (can procrastinate become an adjective or no?). But before I ramble any longer, let's begin. (You can find the project entry rules here.)


The town I live in is an odd sort of place. 

It's a conundrum really, everyone can't wait to get out, yet it seems like few ever leave. We (as its teenage inhabitants) are all a little ashamed of where we live, yet are strangely and equally proud of this little place we grew up in.

My high school is squeezed between a cow pasture and a pool chemical plant with a strip club a quarter of the mile down the road (I can't even joke about these things). We tell people that if they no longer smell the cow shit they've gone too far. 

People in my hometown have been living here for generations. We like to say that people don't just move here, they're born here (and good luck getting out). Everyone is conservative as hell and words like abortion and gay marriage are enough to send them fleeing to the nearest baptist church (which we have plenty of). Not to mention, racism trails more people's thoughts than it should. (Fun fact: my high school was one of the very last high schools in the nation to desegregate.) 

I assume that one day these things will make a hell of a good memoir, but right now I'm living them. 

Every day I breathe in the farm animals and racism and right wing views that inhabit my home town, yet I can't help but laugh at what I witness and experience and live day in and day out. I think about how some day I'll miss these things—all these things that drive me insane and push me miles and miles away.

It's strange to think that some day this won't be my home. It's strange to think that some day all these dreams I have will become a reality and my home will be a place that I create all myself. It's strange to think that some day I'll be watching the sun set from a different backyard in a completely and utterly different place.

And despite the differences me and my town have, it will strangely always be my home.

Have a fabulous day.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Why Kids Hate Reading (Or at Least My Theory)

Somehow I landed the jackpot of English teachers this semester. He's one of the best I've ever had, although I must say he doesn't have much competition (my most previous English teacher once took eleven weeks to grade the speeches she assigned). Nevertheless, this guy gives me a lot to think about during the day, and his ideas and teaching methods suit me well.

About three days into the semester he began going over the assigned reading we'd be receiving during the semester. It's a well known fact that once you enter high school you read classics until there's no tomorrow. The Count of Monte Cristo, Of Mice and Men, The Great Gatsby, etc, etc. By no means is anything wrong with this—classics should be continually read and enjoyed—the problem is that the latter never happens.

To be blunt, 90% of kids in high school do not read for fun. Ever. A majority of the time when a person carries a book around, it was spurred by a relentless English teacher who—heaven forbid—is forcing them to read a book.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about what ignites the hate that kids have for reading. It's not that they've always disliked reading. Kids in elementary school often read like it's their job. They willingly pick out books from the library and they don't need teachers on their backs forcing them to get through the book.

That then begs the question. What transforms kids into hating reading?

I have come to the (unscientific) conclusion that required reading creates a hate for reading.

No one likes to be required to do anything, no matter how much they like it. And at first the required reading is okay. In my latter years of elementary school and all of my middle school years, you could essentially read whatever you wanted as long as you were reading. In middle school you had to read 40 books every year. Although you had to read a certain number of books under each criteria (10 nonfiction, 5 classics, 20 fiction, etc.), you had a lot of leeway of what you did and didn't read.

But then required took on a whole new meaning. You had to read this book and only this book. Writing style didn't suit you? Too bad. It was a romance novel and you loathe anything and everything about relationships? Doesn't matter. Not a fan of the author? Suck it up. Not to mention most of the required reading is classics that were written in a language that is your own and yet seems like an entirely different tongue most of the time.

The cycle of forced reading of dull books presents a disdain for reading among students. They develop the sense that all books are boring and a waste of their time.

Back to my current English teacher. We're reading Ender's Game, which is not a classic by any means. It's a fairly recent book and written under the genre of science fiction, and honestly it's one of the first books I've been required to read that wasn't written a century ago. It's astounding at how well my peers have accepted the new notion of being required to read an actual interesting and intriguing book (although people are still complaining as all teenagers do, but the amount of people is far less than usual).

But I'm interested in what everyone else thinks. A small part of me doubts my "required reading creates a hate for reading" theory. If kids love to read up until they're required to do it, then why do we even have a need for required reading? If we completely bypass the method of forcing kids to read, then will they still continue to read?

Then I began to wonder though, if we don't force kids to read the classics, will they still continue to read them on their own? But then again—like I mentioned before—classics should be both read and enjoyed. So do we gain anything by forcing kids to read classics if they don't enjoy them?

Just a little thought for everyone during their weekend.

Have a fabulous day.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

One Lovely Blog Award

I was nominated by Envy @ Picking Up the Pieces for the One Lovely Blog Award FIVEVER AGO (fivever is like forever except longer and a lot trendier—okay, okay I'll stop with the slang here sorry). The rules and what not are simple and short. No millions of questions to answer and a million more questions to write. It's my kind of blog award if we're being honest here. The rules are as follows.

1. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
2. List the rules and display the award.
3. Add 7 facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers.
5. Follow the blogger who nominated you.

Seven Facts:

1. I'm a really shitty writer (or a writer who is really shitty when it comes to finding time to write I should say). I sat down and worked on my novel for the first time in a month and half yesterday. I keep hearing this buzz about NaNoWriMo which is taking place this month, and I had full intentions of joining in on the fun, but alas the time is not there for me to do so.

2. Also I haven't posted anything in weeks. I'm just going with a generic "weeks" because I'm too scared to actually look back at the last date I posted something. I'm really behind on my Summer Book and Movie reviews because I simply keep forgetting to post them. I have most of them already written they just need to be proofread and published, but ironically I can't even find the time for that.

3. I was doing really good at this whole writing a post thing until I turned sideways to find my cat licking some random picture I have thrown on the ground. I guess I should start cleaning up. Or maybe my cat should stop licking inanimate objects.

4. I have a junior research paper due in the very near future that's constantly haunting me every waking moment because of my lack of headway in the paper writing department so far. My topic is the inequality of the working woman and I've already had a smart ass comment from another guy about the nonexistence of the discrimination and sexual harassment women face in the workplace. His exact words were, "Look around at all these female teachers who get to work with other male teachers. It's obvious we're kind of over the whole discriminating women thing." 

5. My life is slowly filling up with SAT dates and college induced anxiety. I still have another year to sort things out, but I can slowly feel scholarship deadlines and application essays creeping up on me. Junior year is hell and I never believed anyone who told me that it was going to be the hardest year of my high school career. It's weird to think that some day this time will pass and I'll laugh at myself for all my anxiety over calculus tests and whether I'm correctly using MLA format.

6. I'm DYING to read Amy Poehler's new book, Yes Please, but alas I am poor, and my library only buys new books once every six years (okay, slight exaggeration, but still). I love love love Amy Poehler (any Parks and Rec fans out there?) and I'm pretty sure I'm slowly killing myself every day that I go without reading her book.

7. I've opted out of nominating anyone and not because of lazy purposes (surprise). This award seems to be heavily circulating among my fellow bloggers, many of them people I would have planned to nominate. Most of them have been nominated very recently and it makes no sense to nominate them again. Of course if you're up for the challenge, by all means take this as a nomination.

Have a fabulous day.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Summer List Review {The Lovely Bones + The Blair Witch Project}

This is the sixth installment of me reviewing a list of books and movies I set out to read, watch, and enjoy throughout the summer. You can check out my other posts in the following links. 
Summer Reading and Movie List
First Installment
Second Installment
Third Installment
Fourth Installment 
Fifth Installment 

First things first, I read The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. I had heard a lot about the book beforehand and was definitely very excited to begin this one.

For starters, this book had a very original plot line (at least to my knowledge). Susie Salmon has been murdered and the entire story is being narrated by her in heaven. After a few pages you know how it happened and who did it and the rest of the book is spent following the struggles of Susie's family to find out what you already know. Not to mention the grief of not only her family, but the community and her misfit of friends.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style of the author. It flowed well and she incorporated a lot of intriguing thoughts throughout the book. I must say though, there were some dry parts throughout the book (but very few books seem to skip this stretch of boringness) and one point I had a hard time willingly wanting to pick up the book and read. Luckily such a phase was short lived.

Also, the ending left me disappointed in some ways, but also satisfied in others (just take my word for it, alright). I wish I could go in depth with you all fine people, but I'd hate to ruin the book for anyone.

Even with some slow moving parts, I'd recommend this book. A movie was also made based off the book about five years ago and I'm very curious as to how the book to movie adaption went. Hopefully I'll get the chance to watch it in the near future.


So The Blair Witch Project was quite interesting and made me dwell a little on mainstream Hollywood.

I had really high hopes for this movie to say the least. It reigns up their with Poltergeist and Nightmare on Elm Street in terms of the most classic horror movies of all time or at least that's what I had heard. Upon starting The Blair Witch Project, I was told that what I was about to watch was a true story of real footage that had been found in the woods of Maryland. I immediately rolled my eyes and started scrolling through Twitter on my phone thinking about how overdone the whole true story-found footage-low budget horror movie storyline is.

The movie follows a trio of student film makers who delve into the woods in search of the Blair Witch (hence the name of the movie). They start out interviewing town folks about the witch and eventually send themselves into the forest never to be seen again. Most of the film is one big argument scene between the three characters if we're being honest here. Two of the group members seem to continually gang up on the only female (she got them lost, she lost the map, now they're even more lost, blah, blah, blah). Then one of guys confesses to throwing the map in the river and there's a huge blow up in the group and he storms off into the woods, leaving the other two entirely. Then they go to sleep and start hearing some strange noises which leads them to venture off and look for their lone group member. To wrap this all up, they end up in some creepy little house where the movie comes to a close.

Essentially I thought the movie was alright. It wasn't all that horrifying as the only truly scary part was a three minute scene at the end and even that didn't have me lying awake trying to sleep that night.

I exited out of Netflix feeling disappointed that I didn't enjoy the movie as much as I thought I should have and spent some time dwelling that maybe I had missed something throughout the movie.

Then it soon dawned on me that it wasn't that I had necessarily missed something, but that in reality mainstream Hollywood kind of ruined it for me.

When The Blair Witch Project was released, it was ground breaking in many ways. It was one of the first movies of its kind. People walked out of the theatre believing that it was indeed a real life event upping the scare factor enormously. 

The problem is that today with movies like Paranormal Activity and the like, we have become somewhat immune to the "these are real life events" plot line. We know that most likely it's not real. We know that the one camera and shaky filming were the result of a low budget and not because it was being filmed by an amateur twenty something who was really being haunted.

Personally I feel like the media and Hollywood have made the whole found footage plot line very overdone and essentially ruining a classic horror movie. I mean there's nothing that can really be done about this, but it's definitely made me stop and think about how horror movies are being made nowadays.

All this aside, I'm glad I could at least say I've seen such a classic movie.

Have a fabulous day.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Teenager Blogger Central Birthday Tag

What seemed like ages ago I found this rad little site by the name of Teenage Blogger Central. It was created by F @ The Fence of Stars who is a great blogger in and of herself. Anywho, today marks two years since the site was created. I can't even emphasize how appreciative I am to this site which has helped grow my own blog readership, but also helped me connect with other teenagers who had the angst to blog like me.

Let's begin.

 photo tbcbirthday_zpsca10e318.png


(1). You are eligible for this tag if you are a registered member of Teenage Blogger Central.
(2). You should try to post this tag on the 20th of October (TBC's Anniversary), or as close as possible. It's never too late to participate, though!
(3). Add the Blog Party button at the start of your post.
(4). Answer the questions and link back to TBC. 
(5). Make sure you join the link-up (at the end of this post) so people can read your post!

1. What made you decide to take up blogging and what inspires you to write till today?

I remember a little over two years ago I found a handful of blogs in those random places of the internet. I read through them for months until I realized that I had the capability to make my own, hence Sunsets and Sundays was born. I keep writing because little did I know I would find this little gig so appealing and fun. There are few things in this world that I keep up with and continually strive to do even as the years pass and blogging is one of them.

2. How did you find and register on TBC? Did you find it helpful and worth recommending to others? 

Seven months or so into my blogging career I was really bewildered at the fact of how little other blogs I was able to find. Also the first seven months of my blog I'm pretty sure was spent talking to myself. I had virtually no followers and in a literal sense no comments. I remember googling "teenage bloggers" and TBC was one of the first things to pop up. I immediately joined and met a network of other bloggers from there on out. I would most certainly recommend anyone to sign up if they haven't already.

3. What awesome blogs have you found through TBC? Link them up! 

Oh dear this is somewhat difficult because I normally can't keep straight who I met through TBC and who I found via other blogs. Although the way I think of it, if I found someone via someone else's blog I probably found that person on TBC so in a roundabout way, I also found them from TBC ( that makes total sense I'm sure). But I digress. If I link you here and you've never been on TBC in your entire life, my apologizes.

I know I've met plenty more from TBC, but time is tight and homework is calling so this will have to do.

4. What do you like best about when you connect with other bloggers your age?   

I love the fact that most of us run small blogs and are able to truly connect with each other. I feel like a lot of other bloggers are missing out on the online friendships you can create with other bloggers if they weren't trying to reach 1,000 followers or some other fame driven goal. 

5. What do you hope to achieve through your blog?

I hope to improve my writing and connect with other kids my own age. Once I hit the millionaire status in ten years I'll eventually turn this into an autobiography, but until then it's just a blog. ; D

6. How do you say “Happy Birthday Teenage Blogger Central” in your language? 

I'm the boring one here whose first language is English. Happy Birthday Teenage Blogger Central will have to do.

Also before I sign off on this post I'd like to give a huge shout out to Envy and Catalina who got this shin dig together. They organized this awesome blog birthday party which was a fantastically awesome idea.

Have a fabulous birthday TBC!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Feminism {A Dictionary}

To be clear and honest, I still consider myself a newbie in the community that is feminism. But I received an interesting and very fun to complete request from Catalina who is a fellow blogger I've gotten to know in a not creepy online blogging sort of way. Catalina wanted a a dictionary type post explaining and outlining the terms that most often crop up in a feminist setting. To be honest, the post seemed beyond my own minuscule expertise but I found it to be surprisingly quite easy and fun.

I not only hope you enjoy this, but also reference it in situations further in the future. Every one of the definitions will be full out copy and pasted from oxford dictionary dot com to provide a simple and non-arguable format. I considered cutting out some things that seemed unnecessary in each definition, but I realized this isn't for myself but for other people. Whose to say they won't find something meaningful in the same thing I found to be useless. Below the formal definition I've included my own snippet of thoughts because online I've grown into an opinionated person who must interject her opinions when need be. I can't say it's a bad thing.

But I digress. Let's begin.



The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.
The issue of rights for women first became prominent during the French and American revolutions in the late 18th century. In Britain it was not until the emergence of the suffragette movement in the late 19th century that there was significant political change. A ‘second wave’ of feminism arose in the 1960s, with an emphasis on unity and sisterhood.

I think the term feminism is one of the most biased and misunderstood words in and of itself. Many people associate feminism with other words that produce a negative connotation in general (man hating being the most common). I can argue that feminism is no such thing until my head turns blue, but most people are so thoroughly stuck on either hating or embracing feminism that arguing will do no such good. Feminism does not necessarily mean man hating, there's actually a word for that—it's called misandry—which actually really does mean hatred of males.

Pat Robertson coined this phrase in the 90s, but many people would hang this on their
living room walls in true belief even today. Just another example of the
misunderstandings of feminism.
Don't get me wrong either, I said it doesn't necessarily mean man hating intentionally as there are women who are feminist who really do dislike the male population. Google "radical feminism" and you'll find plenty who hate 90-100% of the male population, but that's their own cup of tea and I and many other feminist drink a completely different one. Yes some feminist do dislike men, but it's not a criteria to hate every man to join the club.



Dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.

A lot of people throw this word around on five paragraph long youtube comments and heated arguments on facebook. Many fellow feminists call anyone who disagrees with their feminist beliefs a misogynist. This is a sticky situation to navigate if we're being real here. It's easy to jump to the conclusion that people who disagree with feminism hate women. I mean, how can anyone disagree with gender equality?

But going back to my first definition, a lot of people are misinformed on what it actually means to be a feminist. We're portrayed as lesbians who want to abort all babies and demolish the church while simultaneously ruining the work place with our beliefs that we can someday be CEOs. Many people disagree with feminism because they're pro-life and they simply assume we're all pro-choice. I know a feminist or two who are pro-life and they're just as much as a feminist as I am. There's no cookie cutter check list that defines someone as a feminist. The only true "qualification" (in my opinion) is the belief of social, political, and economic equality among women and men.

Nevertheless there are people who hate feminism because they really do hate women. But there are also people who disagree with feminism because they disagree with our beliefs, despite the fact that we don't all necessarily believe in the same exact things, just one general idea.



Of, relating to, or characteristic of a system of society or government controlled by men.

I like to say I'm fighting to change the habits and beliefs of our patriarchal society when people ask what I mean by the fact that I'm a feminist. A lot of people argue that the patriarchal society was demolished in the western world ages ago but I beg to differ. The fact that women still take the man's last name is a basic point to begin with. Also women make up roughly 50% of the United States' population yet our representation in Congress is well below that. 20 of the 100 politicians who make up the Senate are women and 79 of the 435 representatives in the House are female. That means 20% of the Senate and 18.2% of the House of Representatives are female and yet we make up 50% of the population as whole.

one of my absolute favorite movie actresses + one of my top five feminist quotes
Not to mention the fact that we still see women as caregivers and men as the bread winners of the family. Working moms are often told they are missing their children's lives while the same thing is rarely ever said to a working father. It is immediately presumed that women in the position of power either don't have kids or do not provide adequate time to their family. Even as a teenager people often add comments to my career choices (as I've yet to choose just one) that I should put consideration into the amount of time I'll be able to put forth into having a family.

But I digress.

I'm going to sign off from this post as I'm starting to realize this is incredibly long. Look for another post in a procrastinated manner (possibly a few weeks or months who knows). I definitely have more words to share and define in future post(s). If you have a feminist related word that you're confused about or comes to your mind please let me know in the comment section. I'll for sure put them up in the next post and hopefully I'll be able to get a few more posts out of this beautiful idea from Catalina.

Until then, have a fabulous day.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Truth About Christopher Columbus

I know I haven't posted my weekly book/movie review in two weeks but more pressing matters are upon me at such a time. I hope this posts compensates and in some time we'll get back to normality.

Yesterday in America (and in an assortment of other countries) we celebrated Columbus Day. For all unfamiliar, it was the day that Christopher Columbus discovered (or as I like to put it "bumped into") the Americas. When I was a kid whose thoughts were indoctrinated by picture books and history relayed to me from teachers and government funded textbooks, the story of Columbus was shiny and glorious.

Columbus wanted to find a quicker trading route to Eastern Asia (which was a selfish motive in and of itself as this discovery would have made him a very rich man) and occasionally a teacher would throw in there that he also wanted to disprove the theory that the world was flat. They go on to tell us that he fell upon islands in the Caribbeans (San Salvador, Bahamas, Canary Islands to name a few) and foolishly believed he had accomplished his goal of sailing to Asia against the normal route.

wipe that smirk off your face Chris
As we all know, he was very wrong but little do we know, his errors and missteps only began building up from there on out.

First of all, he didn't come upon the conclusion that the world was a sphere. Many early Greek philosophers came to this theory long before Columbus. Not only that, but Columbus came up with an entirely new (and wrong) conclusion: the world was shaped like a pear. He claimed he had not found Asia because of the bulging part of the pear near the stalk.

Next up was his relationship with the natives. Textbooks tell us about the friendly relationship between Columbus and the natives and we all left class thinking about the small talk they probably had about the football game last weekend while they traded food and guns.

Alas, no such a thing happened.

To an extent, they started out on the right track. The Europeans had fancy guns and other nifty tools that the Natives had never seen. Think back to when you saw an iPad for the first time and you get the picture. Christopher Columbus willingly traded with them and things seemed to be going well.

Columbus made a few friendly relationships among their leaders, but eventually he began capturing the Natives so he could later sell them into slavery once back in Europe. I guess the guy felt bad because he had failed in the whole finding a new trade route department of his voyage (which was the only point of his voyage) so he decided to bring back some slaves to make up for the economic loss he was facing.

*rolls eyes*

Not only this, but Columbus was a major cheapskate. On his first voyage in 1492 he promised gold to whoever spotted land first. A sailor named Rodrigo de Triana was lucky enough to spot sight of land first, but Columbus never gave him the reward. Columbus claimed to have seen a hazy light the night before but it was indistinct hence why he supposedly never said anything. Nevertheless Columbus kept the reward for himself.

Columbus not only ruthfully took away men and women from their families and sold them into to slavery to make up for his failures, but he (and his men) raped the villagers and tried to govern their civilizations in harsh and cruel ways. He enforced unpayable taxes upon them and thought of them as second class people.

On top of everything else, Columbus' one claim to fame is only partially true. Everyone knows Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas yet IT HAD ALREADY BEEN DISCOVERED. Millions upon millions of natives already inhibited this "new world" he found.

Granted he discovered the Americans for the Europeans and others living on that edge of the world at that time, but he didn't actually find the New World first.

And to think we give him an entire holiday.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Summer List Review {My Sister's Keeper + The Devils Knot}

This is the fifth installment of me reviewing a list of books and movies I set out to read, watch, and enjoy throughout the summer. You can check out my other posts in the following links. 
Summer Reading and Movie List
First Installment
Second Installment
Third Installment
Fourth Installment 

The next book I read was My Sister's Keeper. It was extremely enjoyable and quite thought provoking ethically and in general.

A quick synopsis before I begin:

Kate Fitzgerald was diagnosed with APL (a rare form of Luekemia) at the age of two. Her best chance of survival revolves around a bone marrow transplant, which neither her parents or older brother can provide as they are not genetically a match. Although the registry is an option, it's a risky one as generally not an exact match can be found and the process can require a long length of time—time Kate may or may not have.

Eventually her parents choose to have another child, a child that doctors have genetically chosen while it was still an embryo and then implanted via in-vitro. This is how Anna comes about.

At the age of 13, Anna files a law suit against her parents hoping that she can become medically emancipated. She has been through numerous medical treatments to provide things for Kate that her body cannot make correctly. She's donated her cord blood, bone marrow, and granulocytes multiple times among other things. But this time her parents want her to donate her kidney, which seems to be just one step too far.

Although Anna loves her sister, she is (understandably) tired of feeling like someone who is only important when Kate needs something.


I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the ending was extremely unpredictable on many numerous levels. At certain times during the book Anna seemed like a bratty teenager who merely wanted her way, but her real reasoning for filing the law suit was an extreme twist.

I originally read this book because of how much I loved the movie (I really really love Cameron Diaz to say the least), although I have to say even if you've seen the movie the book is COMPLETELY different. I'm not talking the book said Anna's hair was blonde and they cast a girl with brown hair like omg howcouldthey, I'm talking a 360 degree change on how the book ends. The movie also omits a romance subplot between Anna's lawyer and and Anna's guardian ad litem (who was actually not even in the movie as a character) and it also portrays Jesse (the older brother) as a different character than how he is portrayed in the book.

I did some research on how the book and movie got a drastically different ending and I found out that Jodi Picoult (the author), was none too pleased on this which is quite understandable. Apparently she met with the director where she made her feelings known that the ending was very important to her and an integral part of the movie and the director seemed to understand this. Then once filming began a fan of hers who worked on the set and was familiar with the book called her asking if she knew the ending was being changed. She of course did not and the director completely refused to talk to her or return or answer her phone calls and even went as far as kicking her off set.

After reading that information I must say my faith in Hollywood and book to film adaptions is rather low. I actually enjoyed the book ending a lot better than the movie ending as their conclusion is very predictable while the book's is not in the slightest.

Anyways, the book was fantastic and I highly recommend it. It provides a lot of ethical dilemmas and makes you really think and wonder.


I watched the movie, The Devil's Knot, which was a pretty good film I have to say.

First off, the movie already had a good mark in my book because Reese Witherspoon portrayed one of the main characters. I completely love Reese Witherspoon. Also I've noticed that a lot of horror movies rarely use well known actors, which often times results in shitty acting and conclusively shitty movies. So not only did I have Reese Witherspoon prancing across my TV, but also Colin Firth, whom I've seen a good bit of movies by him as well.

Anyways onto the plot line. Three young boys were found dead and murdered in a sort of swamp area in a small southern town. Eventually the town prosecutes a group of three teenage boys, despite a lack of evidence and contradictory statements.

The small Christian town believes the band of killers were all members of a cult and had killed the boys in a satanic ritual. Despite there being numerous leads that could potentially free the boys, the town's sherriff office does no such effort to look into anything that could prove their innocence.

It was a very fascinating and true story. I found it very amusing over the fact that the town chose not to admit evidence that could free the killers and did everything possible to make sure that they were convicted. The town wanted so badly to put the blame on a group of "satan worshipping heathens" who were merely scapegoats.

I do have to say it was a little irritating how little of an after story was given. The real life events took place in 1993 and the movie was realeased in 2013 so you would expect a lot to happen in the lapsed time of 20 years. But in actuality very little happened.

The three "killers" were eventually freed some time in the 2000s and after that not much of the story has progressed. I guess this isn't really the movies fault, but more like the legal system and the lack of people trying to find the boys' real killers.

It astounds me that this murder still goes unsolved 20 years later. There were a lot of extremely convincing and probable leads shown in the movie that they could have most certainly followed (I'd list them but I don't want to spoil the movie).

It just astounds me that a town that was so persistent to convict the "Satan worshippers" who "killed" the three young boys and yet when the legal system finally acknowledges that the boys clearly didn't do it, the town suddenly loses interest.

Overall, it was a great and thought provoking movie.

Have a fabulous day.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Another Life Update (Because That's All I'm Good For)

I remember when I first posted about my Summer Reading and Movie List I promised everyone to my grave that I would still continue my normal blog topics of rants and feminism and the occasional life post, but such a thing did not happen. This blog is mostly all life updates and very little of anything else squeezed between my reading and movie reviews. Life has been putting other rather pressing matters onto my plate (mostly schoolwork) that I still haven't gotten around to juggling correctly.

But some day I will get there and we will all be happy again.

Nevertheless I'm supposed to be writing a paper for pre-calculus. I too was confused as to why I had to write a paper for a math class, but apparently it's a county wide policy that you do mandatory writing assignments in every class despite the subject. Those damn suit and tie guys up there get to me sometimes. But that's another rant that I currently don't have the time to write.

I also had yesterday off of school which proved to be only productive for my sleep schedule and watching TV and playing Clash of Clans but I'm not complaining in the slightest.


Anyways. This is all I've got to entertain everyone with. 

Have a fabulous day.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Summer List Review {The Blue Mirror + Amber Alert}

This is the fourth installment of me reviewing a list of books and movies I set out to read, watch, and enjoy throughout the summer. You can check out my other posts in the following links. 
Summer Reading and Movie List
First Installment
Second Installment
Third Installment

I want to start this off by saying I'm rather proud I got this far into being on top of things. As a resident procrastinator, I'm surprised I actually have read four of the books and watched four of the movies and gotten the reviews up in the timely manner I wanted them to.

Anyways, onto what you came here for. I read The Blue Mirror by Kathe Koja.

Personally I was not a huge fan. I adored Ms. Koja's writing as the book was like a never ending off beat poem (I'm sure that made sense to everyone lol). On the other hand, I was quite disappointed in the story line, but that might have just been the need of feminism in Maggie's life (the main character), that made me go up the wall throughout the entire story.

Granted Maggie has an alcoholic mother who she takes care of like her own kid, but this girl literally falls head over heals for a kid named Cole who I very early own predicted would ruin her life. Which by the way, I predicted correctly.

I'm not a big fan of love stories to begin with, so maybe I'm not qualified to give an unbiased review here, but I wanted nothing more than to shake Maggie and teach her a thing or two about unhealthy relationships. I could have told you as soon as Cole started forcing Maggie to wear blue lipstick that she should have run all the way to Mexico before it was too late.

Honestly, the book was quite painful to get through because I already saw the ending. Maggie was going to discover the dick that Cole was, but by then it would be far too late. Once Maggie got her act together and realized Cole was as good for her as a cigarette and a case beer, he was already showing up unexpectedly at her apartment and stealing money from her mom's purse. Like come on sister, why did it take this long?

Overall, Ms. Koja is an intriguing writer whose writing style I thoroughly enjoyed. The book itself, not so much.


My next movie was called Amber Alert, which like The Blue Mirror, I didn't much enjoy.

The movie follows a duo of friends who are auditioning for a reality tv show. The movie opens with Samantha and Nate goofing around and I really wanted to love them. They were doing all these fun things around their home town and the directors started out just right. They made them likable and fun.

Then things turned shitty when they got into the car. 

The entire movie is like one of those found footage-low budget-one camera-Blair Witch Project-type movies. The audience believes that what they're seeing is being filmed by Samantha's younger brother whom you only see and hear from maybe twice the entire movie. Personally, these kind of things are waaaaay overdone. It seems all horror movies nowadays follow the concept of "real life" events, when you can obviously tell after a few scenes that the movie was made up.

Anyways, once Sam and Nate get into the car things really go south. They see an amber alert sign and not long after see a car with the same license plate that was on the alert. Sam immediately calls 911 and they begin following it. And then they follow it. And then they follow it some more. And then they continually follow it, which is about 75% of the action within the movie: them following behind a car. 

Also about 2/3 of the movie is spent with Sam and Nate arguing nonstop. I honestly wondered how the directors expected us to believe that Sam and Nate were as good of friends as they were portrayed to be in the beginning because they were both so whiny and different and oh yeah, very irritating. 

First Nate didn't want to follow the car so he complained. Then he wanted food so he complained. Then he didn't know how they were supposed to find the car again after they stopped for food so he complained. Then he had to run a red light to keep up with the car so he complained some more.

Then came Samantha. She got mad a lot. She was mad that Nate didn't want to follow the car. Then she was mad that Nate was hungry. Then she was mad because they lost the car. Then she was mad because Nate said he didn't want to follow the car anymore. She was mad because Nate had no interest whatsoever in catching this kidnapper man, while she wanted nothing more than to save the little kid in the car.


Also it was extremely hard to believe that there was as little of police involvement as there was in the movie. At one point Samantha was giving the 911 operator a direct play by play of where the car was and where it was headed and yet somehow THE POLICE WERE STILL JUST AS CLUELESS.

Yeah, I don't recommend this movie.

Anyways, have a fabulous day.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Summer List Review {Into the Wild + Jobs}

This is the third installment of me reviewing a list of books and movies I set out to read, watch, and enjoy throughout the summer. You can check out my other posts in the following links:
First Installment
Second Installment
Summer Reading List

The third book I read was called Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. It follows the true story of a well off twenty something man who donates all his money and essentially drops off the face of the Earth. Through a twist of events and happenings he ends up dead in an abandoned bus a handful of years later. The author (Jon Krakauer) investigates the events that led to Chris McCandless unfortunate death, therefore the premise of the entire story.

This was one of those books that I felt like I had to enjoy. I had heard great reviews from a good bit of my friends, but in my opinion the book didn't really live up to their seemingly wonderful praise.

When Chris McCandless leaves his family and money behind, he goes off into the unknown driving his car and later his own feet to whatever destination he fancies. His ultimate goal is to live off the land of the Alaskan frontier, but this is unfortunately where he meets his death. With that being said, there are a lot of nature scenes within the book and I found them a bit over-descriptive. I swear the author could desscribe a rock for an entire page.

The book had an excellent plot and story line, but I guess I just didn't enjoy Mr. Krakauer's writing style. It was very fascinating to read the events and mistakes that in the end amounted to Chris' death, but the very descriptive manner of the author's writing made the book somewhat painful to make my way through.

Also I've noticed (after combing through several Goodreads reviews) a lot of people disliked this book because of the seemingly sheer stupidity from McCandless himself. He comes off to a lot of readers as a well to do idiot who thought he could do more than he actually ever could. A boy who foolishly turned his back on a life of wealth and thought he was good enough to make it out on his own in the wild. I for one, didn't think McCandless was as much as a blockhead as others thought he was made out to be. I think if he would've kept his life of money and security, people would still call him a rich jerk. Damned if you do, damned if you don't sort of thing.

McCandless was just a man who followed his dreams and nothing should ever be wrong with that.


The next movie I watched was Jobs.

I was really excited for this movie as I basically owe my life to Apple and their invention of the iPhone and who doesn't love Ashton Kutcher?

To start off, the movie gave me a very interesting perspective. I knew very little about Steve Jobs except that he was rich and worked for Apple and died a few years back (I'm so knowledgeable, I know). It was fantastic to see how the coporation giant that Apple is today started out in the garage of Steve Job's house and very surreal to see how it all started with an idea and two men.

On another note the movie portaryed Steve Jobs as an asshole who liked to yell at people when his revolutionary ideas couldn't be done. I was very shocked and immediately after the credits started rolling I Googled "was Steve Jobs really a douche?" 

Turns out there are creative differences between the movie directors and those who were real life friends of Jobs. According to the all knowing Wikipedia, some who knew Jobs refused to give much information to the directors, resulting in a sort of skewed image of Jobs himself. 

Also I was rather disappointed that the movie ends in the year 2001 when Steve Jobs doesn't die until 2011. I was saddened I didn't get to see what Jobs did in his later years or see how he struggled with his illness more. I still don't quite understand why the movie ends 10 years before Jobs dies.

Nevertheless, it was rather amazing to see how the iPhone in my hand came to be.

Have a fabulous day.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Shit Got Real

I just wrapped up my third week of my junior year of high school. Lightly put, it was a big slap in the face. My freshman and sophomore year were difficult at times, but never this hard (especially considering I'm only 15 days in). I come home struggling to carry four textbooks and begin on homework almost immediately and generally do not stop unless I need to eat or shower because I hear doing otherwise is frowned upon in society.

In the past three weeks I've taken a bazillion tests, slaved over far too many papers, and did so many group projects that homeschooling seems like a much saner option. I mean group projects aren't a thing when you're home schooled because there's no one to be your partner, right?

Also, if it wasn't for my summer book/movie review blog posts, it would be a much quieter place around here. I know somewhere long ago I promised that I would be writing regularly in between my reviews, but it's just not happening. If it makes you feel any better, I believe I was nominated for some sort of award like five weeks ago but I don't even remember who nominated me or what the questions were or what I was even supposed to do, so I guess that won't be happening.

Believe me, I've got topics wandering around my head all day long they just never get to see the light of day with the workload I tackle every night. 

Shit got real this year, people. 

Have a fabulous day.