Savory Flavors: Another Bucket List Item

via Daily Prompt: Flavorful

You want to hear another of the items on my bucket list? Being able to cook a dish for Chef Gordon Ramsay and having him critique it and give me pointers on how to be able to make it better. I would create the most delectable, flavorful dish that I could for him, and I would ask for honest feedback on the dish and would hopefully even get a cooking lesson or two for him. Alas, unless I go on Hell’s Kitchen, or something of the like, I really doubt that I will ever even be able to meet the man. But maybe the day will come and I will get lucky, who knows.

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Live-Action Anime: My Love-Hate Relationship

When I first started watching anime, I refused to watch any live-action adaptations of any anime that I ended up liking, because I thought that the producers wouldn’t do the movies justice. I thought they would just end up being corny or ridiculous, or wouldn’t be true to the plot, which would then just make me frustrated (especially since where I live, movie tickets are $10 apiece, so that would have been a huge waste of money if the movie was disappointing). That being said, the more that I expand my anime horizons, the more that I am slowly starting to see myself being open to the idea of seeing more anime being adapted as live-action. Of course, there are also some adaptions that, as I said, are just awful. Here’s the overview of my love-hate relationship with live-action animes.

Animes That I Would Love to See Live-Action Adaptations of, or Have Seen and do Love:

I think that there are a few animes that would be quite epic in live-action, just because of the overall premise of these shows. There are also a few that I have seen in live-action that I do in fact love. The list is as follows:

1. Clannad & Clannad After Story

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This is an inspiring love story of a boy, a girl, and the child they ultimately end up having. It is a story of friendship, life, love, growing, and learning to cherish those you care about. I highly recommend having a box of tissues ready if you choose to watch this. I personally have always wanted to shoot at least a couple of scenes from this anime in live-action and see how it would turn out. I think that with the right actors and the right setting, this could be absolutely beautiful in live-action, but they would have to really not change much of the plot at all, so Hollywoodization probably would never happen. And I’m ok with that. I almost consider this anime “sacred,” that’s how much I love it. So while I think it would be good live, it’s probably best if we never go that route with this one.

2. Sword Art Online

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I know that Sword Art Online already has been adapted into a movie, but it’s not live-action. I think that with the overall premise of this anime, it would be epic as a live-action movie, and even if they changed a few things, it would still be a really good movie that would probably do quite well in the box office. Just the action aspect of it, coupled with the romance and the notion that it’s literally play or die makes it interesting in and of itself. On the other hand, any producer would have to be careful with how they did it, or else they’d just end up with a reboot of The Hunger Games, so any live-action Sword Art Online movie would have to be done with great tact.

3. Ghost in the Shell

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Seeing as they did make a live-action adaptation of this one, and it turned out good, I am happy to include it on my list. This movie was absolutely fantastic, and definitely worth the money spent to see it. I have not seen the original Ghost in the Shell anime, but I did see Stand Alone Complex, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Imagine my delight, then, when the opening scene in the movie was a scene from Stand Alone Complex, and when a good portion of the movie borrowed from this anime. It could not have been better. Despite all the criticism that this movie has received, I really, really like it.

Animes that Would Not Be Good Live or Were Not Good Live

Now that you’ve seen my list of animes that I would love to see live, or that I thought were good live, it’s time to take a look at the bad side of live-action animes. Here are a few that I don’t think would be good live at all:

1. Itazura Na Kiss (ItaKiss)

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This is my second-favorite anime love story, and really the only anime rom-com that I’ve seen so far. Yet I don’t think that it would be good live for several reasons. First, Indonesia has produed a live-action version of it, and it seemed to deviate from the plot quite a bit, at least from the first few minutes of it that I watched. Also, the characters just didn’t seem believable as themselves, so that was hard for me, but I don’t know. Maybe I’ll go back and watch it again in live-action, but there’s only certain types of people with certain acting skills who can accurately portray Irie and Kotoko in the right light, and I just think it would be a struggle to recreate that dynamic.

2. Little Busters

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While Little Busters is another amazing, tear-jerker of an anime about love and friendship, I feel like trying to recreate a live-action version of it would just be weird. The plot would jump around way too much, and it just generally wouldn’t make any sense. Plus, it would certainly be weird trying to replicate the sudden personality shift of Kyuoske (spelling?), as he seems nice, then mean, then nice again in the anime. I’m not certain that viewers would understand this change, or if such a change could even be accurately achieved in live-action. I think he might just end up being the most hated character in the movie, which is not the case at all with the anime.

3. Death Note

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I was never really a fan of this anime to begin with, and the live-action adapation, at least the Netflix release, wasn’t exactly my favorite. Nat Wolff was ok as the lead role, but there were some scenes that I thought needed a bit more. For example, when he was in the detention room and got scared by Ryuk, the scream he gave out, coupled with the flailing he did, seemed totally fake, and I laughed so hard at that. I’m not meaning to judge, but that’s the truth. Also, they changed a lot from the original anime. L was way too hyper in the movie, and had an absolute fit when Light wouldn’t admit to being Kira. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this movie to begin with, and well, it didn’t quite live up to expectations. Maybe if it hadn’t been set in Seattle, it would have been different, but I doubt it. I don’t think location really makes a difference for this one…it just all around was not my favorite.

So there’s my take on the matter. What do you all think?

Noragami: First Impressions

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I don’t generally write about Anime unless they catch my eye or my fancy, but this is one of those anime that I thought I needed to write about for many reasons, as I am really enjoying it so far. Here’s my thoughts on it:

First of all, while I am a Christian and do not worship or recognize any other gods except Yahweh/Jesus, I will say that the general premise of the anime is quite interesting. I think that Yato is more of a goofball wanting to be loved than anything else. His dark past seems to plague him quite a bit, but as he gets closer to Hirori, I have come to believe that he is either falling in love with her or is just so concerned about her that he wants to protect her above all else, which is sweet.

Yukine bothers me. As a person, and as a regalia. I don’t like the fact that he is so selfish that he nearly killed Yato, and I think that he has a lot more of a potential as a regalia than what he is allowing himself to live up to. Still, we are seeing his character develop more and more as we move through season two, so we shall have to see what happens and if he ends up being better towards the end.

I really can’t stand Nora, but I think that there is more to her story than we have learned so far. I hate how manipulative she is, and everything like that, but again, I guess we shall have to see how things pan out. I’m not sure why she has it out for Yato, after she has told him that he can use her. So I don’t get it, but maybe that will be revealed in time.

As for Hiyori, I think that she is probably going to ultimately end up keeping her phantom form. I think that a moment is probably going to come up where she has to choose between her friendship with Yato and her life in the real world, and as sad as it is to say, I hope she chooses her friendship with Yato over the real world. I say this for a few reasons. First, her friends in the real world are just plain rude. Second, I think that as she gets closer to Yato, she’ll do whatever it takes to maintain her friendship with him, no matter what the cost is.

All things considered, I am really loving this anime, and am interested to see how it continues. It’s not one that I would cosplay from or even get on DVD/Blu-Ray, but it is something that is interesting to watch.

I’m Interesting: In A Peculiar Sort of Way

via Daily Prompt: Peculiar

As you probably know by now from reading my various other posts, I’m interesting, but in a very peculiar sort of way. I have been perfectly aware of this for years, and I am ok with it. It’s part of what makes me, me. 🙂 So here’s a few ways that you can enjoy my peculiarity:

1. I Like Things Done A Certain Way:

If I’m going to explain a process to you, it’s easier for me to show you or to even just sit down and do it myself. This isn’t because of my lack of patience, but rather, it’s usually because the way that I understand the process is too complicated to explain. I am a visual and auditory learner, so I have to see it and hear it, so it’s easier if I can just do it. If you deviate from that way, it confuses me, even if your way is simpler than mine.

2. I Have to Read Out Loud to Comprehend:

Although I am a very good reader and writer, I need to read out loud in order to fully comprehend exactly what it is I am reading. If I can’t, I may end up having to read the same thing over and over again a few times until I understand what I am reading. Things tend to go more slowly if I read silently, whereas if I read out loud, my comprehension is a lot better, and as a result, I can read far more quickly. This is also why if I need to memorize something, I need to read it out loud and then try repeating it over and over again to myself before I can be “off-book,” “off-text” or whatever else I may need to stop relying on to learn the information.

3. I Am A Walking Encyclopedia of Random Information:

Ever have one of those friends who’s good at trivia nights? That’s me, at least, for the most part. I am a walking encyclopedia of random information that no one really cares about, but it may very well come in handy one day. I love knowledge, I love absorbing information and learning new things, even if they’re not necessarily things that I would want to know. I read the bottom of Snapple lids, I retain certain information from commercials, TV shows, etc.

4. I Have Weird Habits

I just have weird habits, like checking to make sure I’ve turned off (or on) everything, even if I already checked it. For example, I may have checked to see if my alarm is on for the next day when I need to get up for work, but then I’ll check again to make sure that I didn’t accidentally turn it off while I was double-checking. Lol. I’m so weird.

So I guess you could say that I’m essentially the perfect combination of two memes: Socially-Awkward Penguin and Anxiety Cat. But yet, I’m ok with that. I love my strange, peculiar nature, and frankly, I wouldn’t have my personality any other way.

Things I Want to Learn

via Daily Prompt: Educate

Thanks to my INFJ personality type, I am constantly wanting to learn, grow, and change–to better myself in some capacity. I also believe that you should never stop learning until the end of your life. With that said, here’s a list of a few things that I would like to learn within the next ten years:

1. American Sign Language

I love learning languages, and American Sign Language (ASL) has always been one of the most intriguing languages that I would want to learn. Besides that, there’s a real need for it all across the country, and if I can help someone else by utilizing skills in this area, then I think that would be a really great thing. I imagine it would take a year or so to learn, but I think getting the practice would be hard, as I don’t really know anyone who is deaf that I could practice signing with. Maybe a Skype session would work.

2. Guitar

I’ve always had a real interest in learning how to play the guitar. I’ve tried throughout the years with moderate success, but I’ve almost always lost the ability in some capacity. However, I think it would be kind of cool to start up a Christian band or something of the like, and I would like to sing and play guitar. I really want to learn on the electric guitar, but I think that the acoustic electric would be a better place to start. And since I have a Macbook, I have GarageBand, so I can start recording demos. You know, I just have to get a USB microphone and pop filter first.

3. A Wide Array of Recipes

I love cooking, and while I consider myself a pretty good cook, I’d say that I definitely need to learn a few more recipes. If I could memorize at least 20 to 30 recipes, I would say that would be sufficient. Ideally, I’d like to have a few different recipes committed to memory that I could easily pop out and cook for a large group of people. Something that I could do for each season, especially around Christmastime (my favorite time of year).

These are just a few of the things that I would like to learn within the next few years, but I don’t think they’ll take all that long. Just some practice, determination, and some good people to help me.

Paying Homage to the Good Old Days

via Daily Prompt: Homage

Remember when we were children and there were things that we absolutely loved doing, songs that we loved singing, or games that we enjoyed participating in? Perhaps there was a certain candy or TV show that you really enjoyed from “back in the day.” Whatever the case may be, I think that many of us would say that those were the “good old days.” The days when we could just do those things with reckless abandon and not have to worry about spending too much time on the TV while shirking other responsibilities, etc. We could just be kids.

Here are a few of my favorite “good old days” things that I miss, and that I wish would make a comeback. See if you agree with me.

Kim Possible

Kim Possible was easily one of my favorite Disney Shows, as it was so much fun to get lost in the adventures with her. It was a popular show for a few years, but then it sort of went by the wayside after a while. Shame, it was fun to watch. I’d definitely watch it again if they released it on Netflix or something.

Sitting at Home, Listening to My Parents’ Favorite Music

I grew up listening to a pretty interesting mix of music. My dad always liked to put on Kenny Rogers’ song: The Gambler, while my mom liked to listen to some of the more classic Christian songs of her time, like Mary Did You Know, and Household of Faith. Of course, there was also whatever was on the radio at the time as a 90s kid. Usually that consisted of something along the lines of Truly, Madly, Deeply by Savage Garden, From This Moment On, or something to that effect. I truly believe that the 90s had some of the best love songs out there.

Drake & Josh

Of course, who could forget the dynamic duo that was Drake & Josh? Starring Drake Bell and Josh Peck as two boys who become stepbrothers, this show follows their lives and crazy interactions with each other on a daily basis. I really enjoyed watching that show, and wish that they would put the entire series on Netflix.

In general, I really just miss how simple life was back then. As Andy Bernard said in The Office, “I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you left them” But life is still good, and God is still great, and I know that he has amazing, wonderful things planned for me. So, I’ll stay tuned and see exactly who he created me to be, and what he has in store for me.

 

Super Excited!

Hey everyone,

I know it’s been a while since I posted anything here, life has just been crazy busy lately! Work tends to do that to you, lol. However, I am super excited, because today I got a Macbook Pro! I have been wanting one for the longest time, and I was finally able to get one today. It’s so nice. No more annoying Windows glitches or crashes to contend with anymore, just the sweet, sweet ease of use that comes with the use of a Mac.

Also, this computer will work much better for graphic design, photo editing, and more. Not to mention, it came pre-installed with GarageBand, so I can even start recording songs I learn how to play on the piano. I’m very excited for all of this!

Finally, the computer in general is much easier than Windows ever was when it comes to use and navigation, and everything is just so much nicer in general. I always said I would get a MacBook, and now that I have one, I am very happy, because I finally have a decent computer that I don’t have to worry about being tethered to (in terms of being stuck in the bedroom if I want to use it), and I can also take it just about anywhere with me, which will make it easier for me to show things to my friends and family members when I want them to look at what I am seeing on my screen.

This is so exciting!

Anyway, I hope to have more posts coming throughout this month, so stay tuned for more.

How to Shimmer: Being A Beacon of Hope

via Daily Prompt: Shimmer

I have decided that I want to be a beacon of hope to all that I encounter. For me, personally, this means doing quite a number of things. The first is getting my tattoo next year, which is both a combination of my personal story and also my testimony that I want to share with the world.

I’ve also started a small way of being a beacon of hope at work. I bought a small, dry-erase white board, and various colored dry-erase markers to go along with it. Then, each day, I write a funny or inspirational quote on it. Some of my coworkers see it and love it. Others don’t see it, but they will in time.

Finally, I just try to act as Jesus would in any situation. It can be tricky sometimes, but he gives us grace each and every time. And that’s what I love. He continues to transform me from the inside out, and for that reason, I’m very grateful.

Savoring the Moment: A Time I Want to Remember Forever

via Daily Prompt: Savor

There comes a time in everyone’s life where they experience a brief, fleeting moment that is extremely impactful; it affects them in some way, and they never want it to end. When those moments come, it’s best to savor them, and to process everything that you’re thinking and feeling in the moment. Then, once that moment becomes a distant memory, you can still hold onto it and remember what it felt like a long time ago. Here’s one of the best moments that I’ve savored, and that I hope to remember forever:

The Moment When I Finally Met Jesus on a Personal Level, and the Moment when He Finally Showed Me My Identity

This is a two-fold memory that actually spans two different events, but I’m grouping it into one category because it’s perhaps the biggest thing that I don’t ever want to forget. I had grown up in a Christian home always hearing about Christ. I prayed to Jesus, I asked for forgiveness when I sinned or felt guilty about something, I prayed that people would be healed of their afflictions, and I had even asked him into my heart in fifth grade. I read my Bible as often as I could (though probably not as often as I should have) and was heavily involved in youth group all throughout my life. And yet, despite all that, I never really knew Jesus personally, the way that he desires to know us. I worshiped him blindly, without ever really discovering his truth for myself. I followed him because…it was all I had ever known. I’d never known anything different, having been born and raised into this way of life. So of course, it was only logical that I would follow him. However, I needed to truly experience his grace for myself before I could take it personally (in a good way).

In my freshman year of high school, I began being plagued by these terrible thoughts of: “Oh my goodness, what if God isn’t real?” Sometimes, they’d affect my waking consciousness, whereas other times, I would wake up in the middle of the night absolutely terrified that there was a possibility that I might be living a lie. The idea of not having anywhere to go when I died scared me more than anything else. But deep down, I was scared of God not existing, because what did that mean for me? Eventually, the thoughts subsided, and I convinced myself that of course God is real. There’s no reason for him not to be. Still, I never really experienced him on a personal level….that is, not until one night on a youth group trip in San Diego, which was the first time I ever heard him speaking to me.

I was now seventeen-years-old, having just completed my junior year of high school. At the time, I was struggling with feelings of self-doubt, and wondering what my purpose in life was (if I even had one). I felt guilty all the time about a sin that I kept hidden from others because I was afraid of being judged, even though it wasn’t really anything “major.” I went to this youth event, and we were singing “Revelation Song” by Kari Jobe. As we got to the part that goes: “holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” I started thinking of how beautiful it will be when we get to be in heaven and sing that directly to God. And then, that was when I truly heard him for the first time. In my heart and in my mind, I could feel him saying, “You have no idea how much I love you.” He began working in me to give me peace and joy that day, and it lasted for a while, but this had just been me dipping my toes in the water. I was to have another experience later on.

In 2013, I was 20-years-old, and felt lost and hopeless. Over the course of the past two years, I had continued to struggle with my sense of self-worth. I had asked God to forgive me for the sin that I mentioned earlier. Several times, in fact, but Satan kept making me feel guilty. His classic lie was: “You’re not really forgiven,” or “did God really say…?” I got into this spiral of sadness, and entered a really dark period of my life. I never self-harmed or anything like that, but I just wasn’t in a good place spiritually or emotionally. I was a volunteer youth leader at my church at the time, and while I could preach about Christ’s unconditional love for everyone, secretly, I believed that it applied to everybody but me. In the depths of my soul, I believed that due to my past, God hated me. In fact, I was convinced that he hated me, and that despite my best efforts at serving him, I would come up short and go to hell. So I was constantly in a state of spiritual torment. I remember one day actually asking God, “what’s the point of serving you if I’m just going to end up in hell anyway?” Like I said, it was a very dark place that I was in, and one that I hope to never go back to. I went to a leadership summit with my church, in the hope to hone my leadership skills and reach the high school and junior high kids that I was ministering to. Little did I know, God had a message for me on that trip. I’ve often noticed that God speaks to me through music when he has something to tell me, and this time was no exception. We were singing Matt Redman’s: 10,000 Reasons, and during part of the song, God spoke to me clearly. He gave me my identity. His words to me were: “I don’t care about what you’ve done in your past. What’s important is the here and now, and who I’m creating you to be.” I felt so relieved, because in that moment, I knew that he didn’t hate me. He loved me, just as I was, no matter how much I felt like the prodigal daughter. However, there was also a part of me that was a little upset and angry, because I had struggled for two years with thinking God hated me, and I was frustrated that he had allowed me to believe that lie. So I asked him, “then why did you wait two years to tell me this? Why did you let me struggle with hating myself and wondering if you hated me, too?” And he gently replied, “the why is not important. It’s how I’m working in you and transforming you that’s important.” And suddenly, I knew that he was right. The reasoning behind my struggle didn’t matter. The point was that God was using my struggle to point me back to him. All along, even when I doubted him and wondered where he was, he was right there, pointing me back to him.

Since then, I have had a few moments of questioning, and of being slightly afraid that I’m not good enough. I know that I don’t measure up to God’s standards, and that I can’t ever truly measure up until I get to heaven. But then, when I start to doubt and question, I go back to this moment, and I think about what God told me. I am reminded of who I am and whose I am. I know where I’ve been, and where I’m going, and I can’t wait to see who I turn out to be when God is finished with me. I believe that I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep. I can’t give up or give in, I’ve got to stay strong and fight against everything that tries to bring me down. But I’m not alone. God is always by my side. And even on the darkest of days sometimes, when it’s hard to find God in all the chaos, or when I’m not feeling very valuable, I think of these two songs, and they make me happy, and draw me closer to Christ:

I hope this post has inspired you. Don’t forget, don’t ever give up. God loves you more than you can ever know or fathom. And he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).

 

Horses: Pure Freedom

Horseback riding: there’s nothing like it in the world. My husband and I went last weekend, and I can tell you it was absolutely amazing. Being on the back of a horse is a thrilling, satisfying thing, and you feel totally and completely free when you’re doing this. The way they thunder over the terrain, you and the horse becoming one as it responds to your commands: its exhilarating. It’s everything you could imagine and then some.

I love horses, and I always will.