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.