Wednesday, December 28, 2016

All you have to do is say "BBC Robin Hood tag . . ."

Lately, I've been privileged to get to know MovieCritic.  We've been bonding over the pain of BBC Robin Hood, dontcha know :D  Go check out the blog -- it's great!

Well, "we now come to the point," MovieCritic has recently tagged me for a BBC RH tag!  WELL.  You know me ;)


Thanks so much, MovieCritic!  I really appreciate the tag!  Now, as I understand it, this tag was originally created by Rachel at A Girl's Place and it has no specific rules; tagging is optional.  Let's get on to the questions!  'Ware spoilers!

1. What's your favourite season?  Like Ruth said in her answers, I'd probably have to go with season two, even though the ending is Very Not Okay.  In S2, the quality of the show had improved, but it was still NOT TORN ALL TO PIECES BECAUSE OF A CERTAIN PERSON'S DEATH mildly emotionally handle-able.  However, I do actually like S3, I think . . . because, after all, Guy and Robin become friends, and just . . . GAHH.  


2. Favourite outfit?  'Hem, yes, well.  As we all know, Marian's outfit isn't always quite the thing (though she does have some beautiful ensembles).  I think I'd have to say one of Isabella's, actually.  Perhaps one of Marian's, but I'm not sure.

3. Favourite bad guy?  In this as in most shows, 'tis important to define "bad guy."  I guess probably Guy?  He really is awful sometimes and does some absolutely inexcusable things, but then other times . . . 


4. Which character you felt sorry for?  Pssshhh, all of them?  In particular:  Allan (because, while "everything is a choice," he didn't have a great many options when he first started feeding information to Guy, and then he reformed sincerely and everything was fine and dandy for awhile but then DARN IT ALL, ISABELLA, and all of the gang distrusted him and his death was basically awful); Roy (for obvious reasons); Much (because he wasn't taken seriously most of the time); Guy (because he clearly had deep-seated emotional issues that he kept trying to resolve in the worst of ways); Isabella (because her brother sold her to a terrible person at the age of thirteen and she never received true, unconditional love); and . . . basically, I could come up with a reason for everybody.  

5. Djaq or Marian?  Marian by default because Marian might actually be my favorite character, but, as other people have said, I do really like Djaq, too.  I love that she's so ready to help other people, how she invests herself in other people's sorrow . . . it's admirable.  


6. Favourite piece of music?  I think Marian's theme, as Natalie has termed it :)  Honestly, I don't remember much of what the music sounded like except for the credits -- I think I found it more than adequate but I confess it hasn't really stuck in my brain.

7. Least favourite episode?  Ugh . . . that's a hard choice.  Probably "Parent Hood" (episode four of the first season).  It's the only episode of which I have adamantly and actively thought, "I'll probably never watch that one again."  Roy though.  I think that was the death that shook me up the most, though the S3 finale was close.  And do you want to know why?  Because it was (at least one of) the only one that I was totally and completely unprepared for.  For most of the others, I either definitely knew they were coming or had a strong feeling that they were.  BUT SERIOUSLY.  THE WAY HE WENT, PEOPLE.  It messed me up.  

A happy gif to make it better.

8. On which moment you cried? (You don't have to answer it, I 
understand)  WELL.  As aforementioned, ROY.  Also the entire last ten or fifteen minutes of the final episode.  I didn't actually cry when Marian or Allan died (though they got to me, I can assure you!), or even when Guy died, but those two things in particular.  I may or may not have almost screamed for the former one, and was sobbing for the latter.

9. Favourite male character?  Probably Allan, and then Will.  Those two guys are really great <3  



10. Favourite female character? Again, Marian.

11. Kate or Isabella?  Actually, Isabella.  Isabella has more depth to her (that was my reaction, at least), and I felt sorry for her.  Kate, though I should have felt sorry for her what with her brother and everything, didn't evoke much of any positive emotion from me.  I found her irritating to begin with, and then she wouldn't see that she and Allan were made for each other (I would have liked her had she realized that, y'see), and then she started pursuing Robin, and THEN she didn't blink an eye when Allan died.  NO.  N.O.  I don't like Kate.  Sorry.

12. If you could save someone from the death, who would it be?  WHY YOU DO THIS TO MEEEEEEEEEE . . . well, I was going to say, horrible though it sounds, probably not Marian.  (Because, much as Marian's death is awful and terrible and heartbreaking and she's possibly my favorite character, her death in a roundabout way eventually led to the reconciliation of Robin and Guy, and if they were all three going to die anyway . . . I don't think any of them would have been happy without the other.  Does that make any sense at all?  Just an idea I'm mulling over.)    Probably Allan, or Roy.  But then Ruth mentioned in her answers that if Marian hadn't died, none of the others would have died (at least, not in the way they did).  I hadn't really thought of that before.  So I guess I'd have to think through that.

13. Favourite couple? (Pick three)  Yaaaaaasssss :D


~ Robin & Marian ~


~ Allan & Kate ~


~ Guy & Meg ~

Thanks for the fun tag, MovieCritic! :D






Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Red Carpet Eye Candy . . . {4}

Hello, lovelies!  I hope your Christmas was awe-filled and awesome!  (Okay, that was really weird and cheesy.)

It's that time again!  Here are some more red carpet ensembles that I really like ;)


THIS.  At first I was a little wary, trying to decide if the two different shades of pink, combined with her (beautiful) red hair really worked as well as all that, but now I have decided.  It's awesome.  Such a cute, clean, modest crop top, and it's elegant because it's paired with a skirt instead of pants.  And the styling, with a lighter lip than some of Emma Stone's other red carpet looks, and the hair in such a pretty, simple braid?  Love it.  


I'd appreciate a higher neckline *aHERM* and a more closed side, but other than that I really like this look.  This may count as my token "starry" dress for the post ;D  But it also kind of reminds me of water…hmm.  Anyway, it's lovely.  


Okay, so this might not technically be red carpet, but it's close enough.  This one is different, but not quite as over-the-top edgy and "hard" as some of her other outfits.  I like that it's sculptural but also feminine, and the darkness of the hair and makeup contrast nicely with the lightness and embroidery of the dress itself.  


It's so beautiful.  I love the styling choices Zendaya made, and it's just so slinky and graceful and princess-y -- awesome.  


(I wasn't finding a picture of just Amal that I found a satisfactory depiction of the dress, so here's this. And after all, George and Amal actually look like a legitimately adorable couple, so it's okay.)  People. Look at that swish.  I wouldn't have thought of the color pairing of pale yellow and red accents, but man, she pulled it off flawlessly.  (Plus, the fact that she can pull off the color yellow at all -- methinks applause is in order.)  I really, really like this look :)


This is one of those that I've admired for a while.  I love the hair and other styling for this, and the pale, almost nude pink is lovely on Anna Kendrick.  It's fun to see colors that seem difficult to wear well look good on somebody.  The draped look of the piece and the little rosette on the bodice are really flattering.  


A chance find, but I'm glad I saw it.  It's very simple, yet there's something I really like about it.  I love Natalie Portman's hair in this picture, and the metallic gold of her shoes peeking out from under the dress is a nice touch :D



Hmm . . . there seem to be a lot of leg slits in this collection.  They're all relatively modest, though, so all's well, I suppose :)  I like this style of gown, although again I wish the sides were a bit more closed and the back was a bit higher up.  But the green is very pretty on Rachel McAdams, and the hair and accessories all complement it well.  


Yaaaaaassss.  The more I look at it, the more I love it.  Effortless and sheer, but not too sheer, the purity of the white and the simplicity of the accessories, combined with the gorgeous up-do . . . it's awesome.  

What was your favorite of these looks?
What was one of your favorite gifts you received this Christmas?  ('Cause I'm curious.)












Sunday, December 25, 2016

Passing by Samaria {by Sharon Ewell Foster}

First of all, MERRY CHRISTMAS, ALL!!!  I hope your holidays have been wonderful :)

I didn't think I was going to post on Christmas Day, but then I finished this book called Passing by Samaria and all of a sudden I HAD TO WRITE A REVIEW.  I'm going to past here the review I just wrote for Goodreads.  Love to you all!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

WHAT. JUST. HAPPENED.

Guys, I don't even really know how to start.

"In the spring in Mississippi there were perfect days. They were storybook days. . . ."


I picked up this book off my library's sale rack a while ago. I flipped through the first couple of chapters and put it on my shelf, thinking I'd get around to it eventually but not having any clear plans as to when.

Well.

Two nights ago (or rather, technically, it was very very early yesterday morning), I was feeling drained. There had been some really difficult situations going on the previous day that were still weighing on me, and I had had a weird sleep schedule for the past number of nights, and I had just seen a movie that was much sadder than I thought it would be. All in all, I was not in the best frame of mind, and even though it was high time to be in bed, I knew I would just lie there awake. So, I decided to pick up a book and try to read a bit. This one caught my eye. The author's dedication on the front page indicate a desire for the book to be a balm for hurting hearts (not quite in those words), and though I seemed to remember having some complaints about the writing from my previous scan of it, I also seemed to remember a "wholesome quality" to it, shall we say. I asked God to use the book to speak some comfort and some healing, to help me get what He wanted me to get out of it, and I started it.

GUYS. IT WAS SO GOOD.

Oh, it's not perfect. I mean, really, is any book ever perfect? (DON'T say the Bible. You know what I meant.) I still had a few (a very few) complaints. But it didn't take long to realize that the good pretty clearly outstrips the bad.

The story takes place in 1919 and centers around a young black woman named Alena, whose near-fairytale life in Mississippi is shattered by a gruesome discovery. This discovery catapults her from her gentle, rural Mississippi home to the modern and bustling Chicago. There she has to come to grips with the new harsh realities that have been forced upon her, and to process for herself questions of racism, bitterness, forgiveness, redemption, family, faith, etc. I can't say a whole lot more than that because #spoilers, but -- just go read it. Just do yourself that favor.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw -- possible Alena?

Sharon Ewell Foster weaves a tale that's atmospheric, unflinching and uncompromising in its depiction of human depravity, yet gentle, light-filled, and not gratuitous. The writing is perhaps too "feeling" at times -- sometimes characters' emotional responses seem somewhat implausible, too soon, too naïve, etc. -- but the book shies away from the cloying clichés of some of the rest of Christian fiction. (Now, there is a romance, of course, and that romance does start out love-hate on one participant's part, but there are extenuating circumstances leading to that love-hate.) Sometimes characters' dialogue or thought processes also seemed repetitive, but that didn't bother me too much. The characters are still fleshed out, believable, unbelievable, likable, dislikable -- Alena, Deac, Pearl, Amos, Miranda, James, Dinah, Bates, Patrice, Evelyn, Jonathan . . . all (uncomfortably, at times) reminiscent of oneself.

The book deals with some very weighty content matter. It contains racism that will make you nauseous, descriptions of the Klan-like practices of "upstanding" town citizens, lynchings, burning, assaults, distorting of God's Word to support barbarism, etc. It contains moral dilemmas that will make you ache for the character because of how many times you've felt that same sense of entrapment. It contains happiness that will make you happy, anger that will make you angry, sorrow that will make you sorry. It contains redemption that will make you want to weep and to smile at the same time. It contains forgiveness that will challenge you and uplift you. It's good, people. In dealing with forgiveness in the face of the (humanly) unforgivable, it deals with one of the most difficult issues to discuss, but which desperately needs to be addressed. One thing I found especially impressive was how Ms. Foster didn't make all the racism/wrong one-sided. Herself a black lady, she doesn't mince words about how racism is wrong, no questions asked, no excuses holding. And it's wrong no matter which ethnicity nurtures it towards which other ethnicity.

Aldis Hodge -- possible James?

The side stories of Deac and Pearl, and of Miranda and Bates (I guess that's less of a side story, though) are excellent. At first, I felt kind of irritated by Deac's and Pearl's constant reappearance in the story, because it seemed distracting, but in the end, it was well-done. MIRANDA AND BATES. WHAAAAAA. I felt bad for Miranda and had difficulty feeling bad for Bates (I know, I KNOW THAT WAS THE POINT, but one is human). And referring to Miranda's and Bates' cohorts as "the one with blue eyes," "the one with grey eyes," "the one who was always afraid," "the one who always agreed", and so forth? Brilliant.

OH, oh, and guys, CHAPTER 35. WHAT ON EARTH. *SPOILERS!* They came to his funeral and they sang "Amazing Grace." And then some of the others joined them and they formed the circle --just w.o.w. I had to read that part twice because GAHH.

Okay, I should leave you. But guys, I just want you to know, this book is worth reading. It's not the best thing you'll ever read in your life (at least, not from a technical standpoint), but it has some of the best lessons and truth in it that you'll ever read in a fictional book, I think.

The dedication says: ". . . I lift this book up to God. . . . May it be everything You want it to be. May it be medicine, food, sweets to Your people, to those who are isolated." Well, for me at least, it was. Oh, it was.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

sweet nothings

Here I shall proceed to ramble  ;)  Some serious stuff, some (cough) not so serious stuff, just the thoughts and experiences that have been floating around in my brain and/or been happening here and there.

~ Lessons learned whilst sick on 12/13-14/16, #1:  If you start having some nausea flashes and there's the possibility that you've recently been exposed to several sicknesses due to choir events in the midst of "sick season", that's not automatically a stomach-bug sentence.  God may yet be merciful.  (Seriously, though, I'm SOOOOO grateful that I didn't get a stomach bug earlier this week -- it turned out to only be a very low fever, sore throat, and two days in bed, which wasn't bad at all.)

~ Red carpet dresses are amazing.

~ I used to be rather incensed that Redbox replaced Blockbuster in our town, but I think I'm making my peace with it now.  I mean, really, Redbox is convenient and the prices are pretty nice, so…yeah.

~ I'm halfway done with my senior year of high school!  WHAAAA?  It's pretty freaky if I dwell on it too long.  How are the rest of my fellow seniors doing?


~ You know something God's shown me, dearies?  Satan will stop at nothing -- n-o-t-h-i-n-g -- to try and stop you from following God's plan for your life.  When he sees one tactic work one time, he'll come back to it.  We've got to be on our guard, because his deceptions can take on oh, so many forms.  "Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light." (2 Corinthians 11:14)  He can tell us that that calling we've felt isn't God -- it couldn't be God, because it's not "spiritual enough."  Or whatever else he can do to get us stuck and focused on ourselves and morbid introspection instead of moving forward, prayerfully and in faith, toward God.  (For instance, he can convince us that cultivating patience in "the messy bits" of life -- patience when your family leaves dishes in the sink for the umpteenth time, patience when your car breaks down, patience when people are not acting rationally or quickly enough, patience when there's a new cashier at the grocery store, patience in whatever irritating circumstance -- isn't as important as some other "spiritual discipline" that is in fact only something he is trying to get you to focus on at the expense of what God has really been trying to get through to you.)   I don't know all the ways Satan is trying to scam you, darlings.  I know how he fools me sometimes, and I bet some of those struggles are the same for some of you, though.  Those of you who, like me, struggle with perfectionism, works-based approval, etc., I hear you.  Oh, boy, do I hear you.  But the Lord has big plans for us, plans that are far beyond anything we can do in ourselves, but which He is more than capable of bringing to completion for the glory of His almighty Name.  We can't let fear of doing the wrong thing paralyze us -- that's exactly what the enemy of our souls wants and exactly what the Savior of our souls does not want.  Jesus knows how to sanctify us and get us on the right track, but we need to surrender control of it to Him.  I recently saw a C.S. Lewis quote (I don't know from which book) that puts it well:  "Remember He is the artist and you are only the picture.  You can't see it.  So quietly submit to be painted -- i.e., keep fulfilling all the obvious duties of your station (you really know quite well enough what they are!), asking forgiveness for each failure and then leaving it alone.  You are in the right way. Walk -- don't keep on looking at it."  Now, I'm not saying we don't take time to pray and consider and weigh the options and seek the Lord's guidance and the guidance of fellow believers -- we absolutely should and must.  But we also should not ignore "the still, small voice."  The Spirit is alive and ready to help us if we will let Him (John chapters 14 and 16).  Christ has already conquered and He is doing His good work -- we must let it be carried on to completion in His time, not ours.  We get so caught up in the desire for instant perfection that we forget that crucifying the flesh (including the pride and the self-sufficiency) may take longer than we wish it would.  Another thing that I was recently reminded of (through a school curriculum, no less!) is that nobody bothers somebody who's not doing something extraordinary.  But the moment you start branching out and thinking "maybe I can" -- well, then it is on.  God is still able to find us, though.  Satan may stop at nothing…but God will stop at nothing, either.  Our Redeemer will do whatever it takes to save us and show us His truth.  He knows what the real desires of our hearts are, and what's more, He's willing to change them if we want Him to.  "Praise His holy Name!"


~ Here, our winter has been indecisive.  I don't think we've actually gotten any snow (I haven't seen it, at least).  One day it's what seems like barbarically cold, and the next day (like today) it's practically spring weather.  What about y'all?  (Or, for our Aussie friends, how's the spring/summer been?)

~ Lessons learned whilst sick on 12/13-14/16, #2:  Being sort of sick is a wonderful excuse for binging Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.  And October Baby.  And Inkheart.  And Katie Gregoire.  Keep in mind.  

~ Oh, speaking of, Katie Gregoire!  Guys, THIS GIRL.  Her channel is basically a guaranteed pick-me-up.  She's a Christian, formerly homeschooled Youtuber who vlogs about many different things, and her videos are well-filmed, funny, and uplifting.  (And her analysis of most of Christian romance = perfection.)  


~ TOMATOES.  For some reason, I saw a dish this morning that my mom uses sometimes when she makes us Caprese salads, and got a sudden craving for fresh tomatoes.  (Actually tbh I'd been thinking about them before that…which is a little concerning…)

~ It's been a good couple of months, movie-wise.  I should post about some of the new cinematic delights to which I've been introduced.  

~ Wrapping presents sure gets you into the holiday mood, no?  It just does.  (But this works best if you're actually wrapping something -- not bagging-and-tissue-papering it.)  

~ If you get a random idea to look up an album on iTunes, even if you've already looked through it and semi-decided what songs you want to buy, you should do it.  Because if you do that and check the "Related" tab, you might discover a new, carefree, happy-inducing album from another artist (like this one).  


~ Can we all just take a moment to appreciate some of the totally boss one-liners in Ivanhoe?  "'By Heaven, Malvoisin, yonder girl hath wellnigh unmanned me.'" ~ "'Knave…thou hast broken my head'" ~ "'We should deserve to be stoned out of the lists; and I am not yet old enough to be a martyr.'"

~ THE MOVIE THE NATIVITY STORY.  I know I mention it too often, but guys, THE NATIVITY STORY.  (Hearts forever.  HOW IS IT SO GOOD.)

~ Lessons learned whilst sick on 12/13-14/16, #3:  "Cooper vs. Quinn" is a good episode.  (You know how you love Horace & Myra and you know that Hank's and Myra's relationship wasn't/isn't healthy, yet you just want Hank to reform and be a good person and BE HAPPY and when Myra is walking the baby and comes into the saloon late at night so that Horace can sleep and then Hank takes the baby and soothes her enough to stop her crying and start her smiling and he's really sweet and doesn't make any sort of "pass" at Myra, your rational assessment of Hank's problems starts to go out the window??  Yep, that's kind of my life.)    

~ Also, y'all, Hillsong Worship's new(ish) album, "Let There Be Light" -- awestruck eyes emoji.  


Well, my dears, it's a beautiful life.  'Til next time! *blows kiss*








Monday, December 12, 2016

Stories That Feel Like Home to Me

I'M BACK, JACK!

*scoops all of you up into a ginormous cuddle-party*  Co-op has ended, my last choir concert is tonight, my last voice lesson is Wednesday, and now I only have history, math and SAT prep left to do over the holidays [one can't have everything].

I'M SO EXCITED TO BE BACK FOR A LITTLE WHILE AT LEAST GUYYYYYYYYSS.

[Of course, we must be realistic and understand that historically, I have not always been a paragon of fidelity when it comes to following through on blogging promises.  But we can still hope.]

Now, now that we've gotten the reunion out of the way, the post.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I think we all have them.  Most of them were probably originally introduced to us in our childhoods.  Those stories that elicit a very distinctive emotion in us -- a tugging, a pulling, a yearning for home.  Those stories that shaped many childish ideals that are still with us through adolescence and adulthood.  Those stories that "clicked" with us, that made sense of something confusing, perhaps, or that simply hugged you and made you feel secure.  Those stories that generated -- and still generate -- a strong and subtle and often nostalgic and sometimes bittersweet and, above all, safe feeling.  A feeling of belonging.  Do you know what I mean?  It's hard for me to capture in words, but it's fairly easy to identify.

I love those stories.  Here are some of mine :)  [Beware:  there are a lot of "feels" and hashtags in this post.  And it's long.  And some of the choices make sense and some of them don't; it's certainly not a cohesive compilation.  Just thought you should know.]



~ Winnie-the-Pooh ~


Can I get an amen from all the single ladies people who are still instantly transported back to countless innocent, beautiful, golden afternoons in The Hundred Acre Wood??  These stories bring out so many different emotions:  joy, whimsy, bittersweetness, safety, etc.  BUT CAN SOMEONE TELL ME HOW TO COPE WITH THE ENDING OF THE LAST BOOK?  "But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing."  GAHHH.  

[Also, fun fact:  I just scrolled through my Disney board on Pinterest and thoroughly feelsed myself out.  Well done, self.]

Pride and Prejudice ~


Strangely enough, given my indecision regarding my feelings on it.  The '95 series was probably my earliest exposure to period drama, it was watched a lot, and it makes me feel happy and satisfied when watching it.  It's like visiting old friends to watch a beloved period drama, as my mother and I say :)

~ Frozen ~


I know, I KNOW.  I'm being that person.  This is probably one of the only relatively recent discoveries that makes me feel like home.  Despite all the hype it's gotten, both negatively and positively, I actually really love this movie.  Like, it's legitimately a really good movie, in my opinion :P  It's cosy.  And it's got good lessons and all that jazz.  And stellar animation.  And cute characters.  And...

~ Robin Hood ~


The Disney movie, let me clarify!  BBC RH is one of my favorite things ever, as most of you know, but of all the things I could say it makes me feel, safe and home aren't them.  But the Disney version, on the other hand…yes.  That one is one of the many movies that made up my childhood, and it has a special place, dontcha know :)  Rainy days always make me think of the montage of rainy Nottingham and the jail and everything.  

 ~ Little Women ~


I suppose the movie feels like home a little more than the book, but regardless, I love the March family. And I love Laurie, and Professor Bhaer, and Mr. Laurence, and Aunt Josephine, and just FEEL ALL THE FEELINGS.  

~ Redwall ~


OH MY FLIPPIN' GOODNESS #CHILDHOOD #SOCHILDHOOD

This series is so obscure and it needs to be experienced by more people.  Honestly, I'm tempted to weep for your infancy if you never had the privilege of listen to this superb series "narrated by the author and others."  

~ Peter Pan ~


To die would be an awfully big adventure…just #feels.  

~ The Apple Dumpling Gang ~


As I said, some of these make sense and some of them don't, obviously.  Here I am mixing Disney and obscure series with period dramas and offbeat Westerns.  But isn't that sort of a picture of childhood?  It doesn't always make sense what clicks and what doesn't ;)  

~ The Swan Princess ~


The very opening bars of this movie's main theme, along with the little animated intro that accompanies it, gets me every time.  I LOVE THIS MOVIE AND I DON'T CARE THAT IT'S CHEESY.  IT'S BEAUTIFUL AND FUNNY AND BAE.  

Anne of Green Gables 


It's funny, I rarely consciously think of AoGG as a favorite story of mine, and I'm not sure that I could quite say that it is [on the other hand, though…], but neither is P&P.  Both of them are still happy stories for me -- both of them still make me feel secure and satisfied and settled.  Especially Anne.  

WHY ARE THERE SO MANY FEELINGS IN THIS POST. 

~ The Chronicles of Narnia ~


Narnia…Narnia…how the whole concept of this story tugs at the ol' heartstrings!  I was listening to an audio version of The Horse and His Boy for the umpteenth time the other day, and…let's just say that this is a story that everyone should at least be exposed to, I think.  BECAUSE IT'S STINKING AMAZING.  It evokes so many images and feelings and memories and ideas…silver and gold and streams and woods and mountains and snow and a great Lion and four children and then several others and b.e.a.u.t.y.


~ Hank the Cowdog


This is another of those series about animals that I listened to all the time as a kid with two of my brothers. I can't really say anything more than that about it, because if you haven't grown up with it, you'll probably be very confused as to why it's on this list.

~ The Lord of the Rings ~







Last of this post but certainly not least ;)  This feels like a different home to me.  I don't know if I've mentioned it (heh), but LotR is kind of the Story to End All Stories to me.  It's on a level all its own, a plane above every other story I've ever experienced.  (Which, as you can imagine, is saying a lot.)  I don't know if I would call it my favorite story (at least, not my favorite in terms of how often I pick it up to watch it or read it), but I would certainly call it my ultimate story.  It always seems to be there, subconsciously influencing my judgment of most other stories (usually positively!).  It seems almost spiritual, in a way -- not surprising, given how much Tolkien's faith influenced his writing.  Watching or reading the end of the trilogy often makes me think of going home to Heaven.  Seriously, it does.  I understand that some of you don't care for LotR (in fact, this is probably making you giggle a bit!), and that's really okay, I won't be offended if you laugh ;-P  But I have to be honest, and thusly, I had to write that little bit.  Because this story is a very, very, very special one to me.  


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Okay, I have GOT to get off the computer now.  Bye-bye. 

(I'M SO EXCITED FOR BREAK *exclamation marks*)