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These Four Walls

1 Jan

From the description: “Dare to explore a world that is bigger than you know. There are a lot of reasons to not do something or not feel something. Those boundaries and walls are put up by ourselves. Once we’re able to step outside of them, we can truly realize the endless possibilities the world has to offer.”

Thank you to Wong Fu Productions for this amazing video.

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Book Review: Seven Deadly Sins

20 Dec

Recently I read the extremely interesting book Seven Deadly Sins: Settling the Difference Between Born Bad and Damaged Good, which I really only bought because it was by Corey Taylor, the lead singer of not one, but two of my favorite bands. This book was completely unexpected, and rather revolutionary for me. It was also rather volatile, manic, and creative.
Let me explain. This book is all about the seven so-called deadly sins: gluttony, greed, lust, rage, envy, vanity, and sloth, and why they are out of date, and can no longer apply to the people of today. The author even gives us a new seven to lead our lives by, more fitting to our current way of life, and much easier to understand. But of course I’m not going to give those away, you’ll have to buy the book yourself.
I thought this book was extremely interesting not because of the subject matter (though that was also incredibly absorbing) but because of the way it was written. It was unusual because it seemed that Corey Taylor didn’t really care who he was pissing off, and he probably pissed off a bunch of high-powered religions. This book also seems a bit like it was written with the liberal help of a thesaurus, with each word looked up and changed to the one that would be most confusing to the average reader.
In conclusion, the idea was well thought out and interesting, and it gave me a lot to think about. The writing however, made me frequently want to throw the book at a wall, (though I couldn’t because I was reading it on a kindle) because this is one of the very few books I have ever had to try hard to read. I mean, this book was all over the place, yet it was interesting to see where it would take you next. It was a refreshing book, but I wouldn’t read it again; too much work.

Book Review: Little Women

15 Nov

I read this book for the first time cover-to-cover in the 7th grade. It was instrumental in helping me deal with a menagerie of troublesome times. I hope everybody reading this has at least heard of this amazing book, if not read it. For those of you that have not had this memorable experience by Louisa May Alcott, I can outline briefly main points and some great things I think make this books one of ‘the greats.’

When the book starts, the oldest daughter is Meg, at 16 years old, and the youngest daughter is 12, Amy. The middle girls are Jo and Beth. The main character, or at least the one who gets into the most scrapes, is Jo, and she quickly makes the acquaintance of the young boy next door, Theodore Laurence, known to everybody but Jo as Laurie. Jo fondly calls him Teddy, but these two friends never become romantically involved, just grow and prosper as the best of friends. Jo is rambunctious and ‘boyish’ and is always getting into trouble for it. Meg becomes a domestic goddess in time, being the first to marry and lead a household, after many adventures in the social circles of those richer (yet poorer in values) than her. Beth leads a quiet life, helping those around her with their daily chores, and being a model girl in every way. She helps the poor, which eventually leads to her getting sick with scarlet fever after being around unfortunate persons afflicted with that illness. This decline of her health extends all throughout the book. The youngest, Amy, has dreams of being a great painter and of living in high society. She gets a chance to travel the world near the finish of the book.

But one of the most beloved caregivers, advice givers, and amazing character of the book is Mrs. March, the mother hen to this flock of geese. She helps everybody in the family with their small problems, and helps Jo especially with her temper. She is a symbol of what a mother should be, always speaking from her heart, and being impartial judge on all matters trivial and important.  “Touched to the heart, Mrs. March could only stretch out her arms, as if to gather children and grandchildren to herself, and say, with face and voice full of motherly love, gratitude, and humility–‘Oh, my girls, however long you may live, I never can wish you a greater happiness than this!'” Chapter 47, pg. 578

Stay tuned for other book reviews,
xoxo, ~ Harlow

The Halloween Sitch

25 Oct

Almost every year since I was 8 or 9, I’ve wanted a costume bought from a store, not made by my mother, as they had all been previously. And every year, at the beginning of October, I look at Halloween costumes and get inspired. I always find one I particularly love, usually a historical costume, because I seem to love history whatever I do. Usually it’s the 50’s poodle skirt costume or the Greek goddess costume that really doesn’t look anything like depictions of goddesses from that time period.

I have only ever bought one costume from an actual store. In all of those years, I have always forgotten to actually buy the costume before Halloween, or before the time it would take to ship it to where I live. The only costume I have ever bought was a 20’s flapper costume that I fell in love with as soon as it hit the digital screen I was looking at. It was a historically accurate length, and had fringe from the top to bottom. I got a feathered hat and a large boa to wear it with, figuring that this would be my only time to get an actual costume, and I should go all-out.

It went downhill from the moment I put it on. Having bought it online, it was slightly too big for me, and I despaired. I wore it anyways, to a Trick-or-Treating party where everybody else had a perfectly fitting store-bought costume. Again, I despaired. Then came the point in the evening that brought me news of the worst kind: none of my friends knew what a flapper was! When I told them I was a flapper, they assumed it was something dirty! I was at a breaking point right then… then I calmed down. I told them what a flapper really was, and they thought I was being snooty and smarter than them. It was a bad evening of epic proportions, or so it seemed at the time.

Since then I’ve come to realize that I don’t really care what other people think about the costume I’m wearing, that it doesn’t matter because it’s Halloween, and you need to have fun! Although I haven’t really had time to test this theory specifically to Halloween because I haven’t bought another costume since then. But in other aspects of my life I’ve put this theory into work with my normal self, every day. Who cares if people are looking at you or don’t “get” something about you?

xoxo, ~ Harlow

Book Review: American Gods

25 Oct

I have just finished reading the book American Gods by Neil Gaiman, which took my breath away… for part of it. This book was long, but not necessarily slow-moving, as I’ve felt with other books this length.

This book is about a man named Shadow, and the adventures he has while in the company of a man mysteriously called Mr. Wednesday. It starts as Shadow is getting out of a 3-year sentence in jail, and starts off with a boom: his wife, whom he has been remembering faithfully for the 3 years, has been killed in a car crash. Up until then, I got the book, there was no problems with comprehension.

However, when Shadow accepts a job from Mr. Wednesday, things start to spiral… right into the land where I have no idea what anyone is talking about. The basic story-line was simple, and the plot twist was easy to understand, but the devil was in the details. For someone like myself, wanting to actually learn from this book and take what knowledge it gave me a put it to good use, it was a nightmare. Some things had nothing to do with the actual story-line, and everything that was seemed cryptic.

On the whole, it was an interesting plot and the characters seemed very genuine, and it had a good ending. I am very partial to bad books with good endings.

Thanks for reading, xoxo ~Harlow

Myths or Facts?

21 Oct

Being one of a type of person known as a “history buff”, I am always surprised when I come across something that seems like I should have known, but I have never heard of before. So as I was roving my way across the vast internet today, I came across this myth (see below.) And I was wondering if somebody made this up on a whim… or if this incredibly creepy story is true? Quoted from www.slightlywarped.com/crapfactory/awesomemysteries/greenchildren.htm

“In the 12th century near Suffolk, England local farmers made a remarkable discovery: a boy and a girl weeping in a field… both with green skin.

The children spoke no English and refused to eat food. They both wore oddly-colored clothing that appeared to be metallic. Eventually they began to eat beans exclusivly after going without food for several days, but only after they were shown how to open the stalks.

The boy grew weak shortly after and eventually died. The girl survived, learned to speak English, and eat other food. Her skin turned to a normal color.

When asked about her origins, the girl described a place with no sun where all the inhabitants were of green color. She claimed that she and the boy were separated from their people as they wandered in a large cavern and, upon exiting, were “struck senseless by the excessive light of the sun and the unusual temperature of the air.”

As if this were not strange enough, the same thing happened again almost 700 years later in 1887 in Banjos, Spain. A boy and a girl with green skin were found abandoned near a cave. They did not speak Spanish and wore unfamiliar clothing. Their eyes were described as Oriental in appearance.

As with the first account from England, both children refused to eat at first. The boy grew weak and died, but the girl survived, learned Spanish, and explained that she and her companion came from a sunless land. The account differs from the first as the girl was reported to have claimed they had been caught up in a whirlwind and found themselves in the cave. The girl died in 1892.

The children’s true origins were never discovered.  Some say that they were aliens, others say that they are members of a subsurface human culture, while others say they they were lost children whos green coloring was the result of undernourishment.  It’s even been put forward that both stories are actually the retelling of one story.

In any case, it’s widely accepted that the children did exist… the question is, where did they come from?”

Other Languages and Why They Suck

11 Oct

I’m in the middle of learning a Spanish, which I must admitis not my first time trying to learn a foreign language. Although both of the previous attempts were as a small child, I can never fully forgive myself for not making more of an effort with what could have been a life skill.

While I’ve been struggling with my bane of a Spanish class, I’ve developed some thoughts on the matter I’d like to share.

I am of the opinion that if learning vocabulary was all you needed, learning a new language would be a piece of cake. When the word order and grammar starts to change, that’s when I personally have trouble. Everything starts getting confused and mixed up.

Something else I have thought over the course of me language-learning career is that all languages should be spelled how they sound, but that is sadly not always the case. Even worse than that is when two words are spelled exactly the same and pronounced differently, meaning two completely different things altogether.

Maybe it’s because of these reasons and more that foriegn languages have never really stuck in my head like history facts or the newest way to do my nails. But nevertheless I will trudge on through this haze of meaningless words and remain truly yours,

xoxo, Harlow