Thursday, January 31, 2013

Monthly Report Card- January 2013

Well January kind of just flew by.  Here is my report card for the month.  Enjoy!

Study for the TEAS test-B

I have been doing quite well for the second half of January but as for the first half it was kind of sad.  With my test date set for February 12th I'll have to get moving though.

Read or Re-Read at Least Five Books-B

I re-read the entire Lord of the Rings (including the appendices for certain picky people who said it didn't count unless I did). I count that as three separate books even though technically they aren't.  I also read P.G. Wodehouse's Ice in the Bedroom.  Making a total of four books.. just one off. :(

Do Plyometrics at least 3 times a week- D

This goal was only for the first two weeks of the month... I managed to do it only the first week.  The second week we always managed to have an excuse so it didn't get done. :( I give myself a D even though I only did it one week because the first week I did it four times.  

Take one walk per week- F

I did that once...

Write at least three more blog posts this month- A+

As you all will have noticed I wrote 5 more blog posts. Sadly though, that's my only A. :(

Total GPA- 2.2 with a C+
Overall I had a pretty lousy month for grades.  Even though I was trying for simplicity somehow it didn't help too much.  However, I did have a lot of fun this month so I don't have too many regrets. :)

Inspired by Kelli at She Learns as She Goes

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tolkien Geek?

During the first half of January I enjoyed re-reading the Lord of the Rings and I don't know why but this time it really just clicked for me.  I had read it probably two or three times before that and I had always liked it okay but this time I LOVED it.  In fact, after I finished it I really just wanted to re-read it again.  I was told by one person that it was because I had changed, which is probably true, and by another that it was called "sanctification". :)
However, the real question now is am I a Tolkien geek?  According to my brother not only should I have read the Lord of the Rings (including the appendices) and The Hobbit, but I also will need to have read at least The Silmarillion as well to be a Tolkien geek.  So now I am working on The Silmarillion so I can move up to that much coveted level of geekieness.  After that, if I am still in the Tolkien mood, I might try some others of his works.
I just continue to be fascinated at the whole world that Tolkien created and how he puts so much into it that you could almost believe it is real... you definitely want to.  The style of his writing is incredibly beautiful, something I think will never be imitated, not matter how many Tolkien wannabes there are. However, we will still continue to try.  I know that after I finished reading them I told my sister that I would just have to go back and re-write my whole book now.  Then she accused ME of being a Tolkien wannabe!
So my advice to all of you is this, maybe you never liked The Lord of the Rings when you first read (or tried to read it) but who knows, you might have become "sanctified" too.  So try it again.  I can't promise you'll love it but you SHOULD. :)

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Life... The Good, the Bad, and the CrAzY

     Tuesday I began classes once again. It was a little weird getting back into the swing of things but I transitioned pretty quickly.  However, I managed to make a flub at work pretty quickly... I forgot to lock the DVD cases for several DVDs and then shelved them. Yep, stupid mistake, and then I had to go back and find all of them and since I forgot which ones they were, I had to go through the ENTIRE DVD collection to find them. Let's just say I had my work cut out for me.
     Besides that though everything is going pretty well with school.  My classes look like they'll be fun and informative, which is just about all one can ask for in a class. I have high hopes for this semester even with Pathophysiology. :)
     After finishing watching through the whole of the TV series Monk last semester, I decided it was time to start a new TV series.  I decided on Psych, as I had already seen a few episodes and liked them as well as having had it recommended to me multiple times.  I have watched the first few episodes and I'm liking it so far.  It definitely isn't as clean as Monk but it is still good.
     I am sure you are all wondering how my Christmas break went (you aren't? Well I'll tell you anyways). Right after Christmas I went to Michigan and spent two weeks with my cousins up there.  I had tons of fun and got incredibly pampered. Then I came back to Kansas and regrouped with a lot of my Dad's family and a friend to go up to Colorado and ski.  This was my first time skiing so I defiantly fell a lot.  However, I am proud to say that on the last day of skiing I didn't fall once. :)  All in all I had a lot of fun skiing and I hope to be able to do it again.
     My dear cousin got me addicted to the blog It Just Gets Stranger recently (link in sidebar).  She just couldn't handle her addiction herself so she had to share it... but why with me???  Since then my shy self has been constantly plagued with the idea that I should be pranking/messing with people.  Why? I don't know, my brain goes weird places sometimes.  So I tried my hand out at it when I was playing my old faithful online Dominion.  It came to me, as things often do, all of a sudden.  I started chatting in the text book, using Spanish.  I was able to convince one person I was a Spanish speaker.  Our conversation was hilarious... fyi "gg" means "good game", we had just finished the game (I won!),  I think I have gone over to the dark side because I was getting WAY to big of a kick out of it. :)

21:41 Eowyn: Hola! Buena suerte!
21:41 stormslayer: hi
21:42 stormslayer: como esta?
21:43 Eowyn: Muy bien gracias. Y usted?
21:43 stormslayer: bien
21:43 Eowyn: :)
21:43 stormslayer: no hablomas espaniol
21:44 Eowyn: si
21:46 stormslayer: habla ingles?
21:46 Eowyn: Un poco.
21:47 stormslayer: What is the correct form to say "goodbye" in spanish? I once said "vaya con dios" and was yelled at in Mexico
21:48 Eowyn: adios
21:48 stormslayer: Why was "vaya con dios" offensive?
21:48 Eowyn: no sé. means go with God
21:48 stormslayer: or were they simply making fun of me b/c it's too formal
21:48 stormslayer: gg
21:48 Eowyn: Estoy de España.
21:48 stormslayer: ah.
21:48 stormslayer: thanks.

I always knew my 21 hours of Spanish would come in handy.
     On a more serious note, life has just recently intensified.  Last Saturday morning my Grandma had a major stroke.  She has made a lot of progress since then but is still unable to talk. My family and I would appreciate your prayers.

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

My Favorite Disney Songs

I got in a phase earlier this week of listening to a whole bunch of "Top Disney songs countdowns" on YouTube.  I agreed with some but disagreed with a lot. To be fair, there are a lot of Disney movies that I never watched a kid and there are some that I watched once as a kid but don't remember because that was the only time I ever watched them.  Most notable ones that I haven't watched or don't remember watching that I know have songs that people love are The Lion King, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Pocahontas, Tarzan, Lilo and Stitch, Princess and the Frog and Mulan. I am thankful that my parents were selective on what movies we watched and they had various reasons for not letting us watch those. Recently I have become familiar with a lot more Disney songs from movies that I still haven't seen but I enjoy the songs.  So here is my list.  I know you may not agree with me but there it is, I didn't agree with the others either.  I have these kind of in three tiers of greatness and then a fourth tier of ones that I still enjoy even though they aren't exactly "great".  Within the tiers, the songs are not in any order.

1. There is no way one could pick the best, so these are just four very dear favorites.

  • Under the Sea, The Little Mermaid
  • Kiss the Girl, The Little Mermaid
  • The Silly Song, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
  • Be Our Guest, Beauty and the Beast
2. Just a step below those above... a very little step.
  • Beauty and the Beast, Beauty and the Beast
  • Belle, Beauty and the Beast
  • Whistle While you Work, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
  • Heigh Ho!, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
  • Bluddle-Uddle-Um-Dum, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
  • I Wanna be Like You, The Jungle Book
  • Bear Neccesities, The Jungle Book

3. Still very high up there but not quite as great.
  • Mother Knows Best, Tangled
  • And at Last I See the Light, Tangled
  • I've Got a Dream, Tangled
  • When Will my Life Begin, Tangled
  • Gaston, Beauty and the Beast
  • Bella Notte, Lady and the Tramp
  • Something There, Beauty and the Beast
  • Cruella DeVil, 101 Dalmations
Other Favorites
  • I'll Make a Man out of You, Mulan
  • Be Prepared, Lion King
  • I Won't Say I'm in Love, Hercules
  • Part of Your World, The Little Mermaid
  • Poor Unfortunate Souls, The Little Mermaid
  • Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh
  • Heffalumps and Woozles, Winnie the Pooh
  • The Unbirthday Song, Alice in Wonderland
  • Trust in Me, The Jungle Book

    You will have noticed that to resist a musical quandary I did not include Disney Pixar music or music from non-animated Disney films (aka Mary Poppins).
    Please comment and let me know if I missed any greats or how you agree or disagree with my list. :)
Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Movie Review- Northanger Abbey (2007)

All my long time readers know that I am a big fan of Jane Austen's novels.  I have read them all multiple times and watched many film adaptions of the books as well.  Normally when people name off their favorite Austen novel, it is Pride and Prejudice, or Sense and Sensibility.  It isn't normally Northanger Abbey.  I would have to agree that Northanger Abbey is not my favorite (that of course is Pride and Prejudice), but I like it enough to have read it more than once and anticipate re-reading it again in the future.  I feel the character to be highly relatable; I say that because my mother told me that of all Jane Austen's heroines, I was most like Catherine Morland.  I didn't appreciate that too much, if you are wondering why, you must not be very familiar with the story.  Catherine Morland is quite naive.  However, Catherine is a very sweet girl so I guess it could be somewhat of a complement.

To put it loosely, the story line of Northanger Abbey is this.  Catherine Morland is the daughter of a clergyman in a small town.  She is an avid reader of Gothic novels, which largely shapes her character of naivety, and want for adventure.  Her well-off neighbors, the Allens, invite her to go with them to Bath. While at Bath, Catherine meets Isabella Thorpe, a vivacious young woman who also has a taste for Gothic novels, and they become fast friends.

Catherine also meets Henry Tilney, who she falls in love with, and his sister Eleanor.  They become friends and when the Tilneys leave Bath they invite Catherine to come with them for a visit at their home: Northanger Abbey.  I will tell you no more as it would give away too much, I just suggest you read the book.

Now for the movie. I got this one from the library after I saw at the shelf one day while shelving DVDs.  I was immediately excited at having found a movie of one of Austen's books.  I talked to my Dad, who had never heard of this movie, and then my mom and dad both agreed that I could get it and we could watch it.  My mom and I watched it together and for the most part we enjoyed it.  I was quite impressed with the casting of all of the characters.  I felt like each one of them fulfilled the pictures I had in my mind.  Mr. Tilney is one of my favorite heroes of Austen and I felt that JJ Field did him perfect justice.  Felicity Jones played Catherine Morland and I think she did such an excellent job of capturing Catherine's naivety.  All the other more minor characters were acted incredibly as well.  

Considering the time constraints, I felt like the movie did an excellent job on telling the story and it managed to include a good amount of the witty lines for which Austen is so famous.  Despite how much I was impressed with this movie, there were a few problems.  To illustrate how Catherine's mind went with Gothic novels, the filmmakers showed Catherine's Gothic dream sequences.  I didn't mind that so much except that they over sexualized the dreams, which obviously made the movie less clean.  While not really showing much, the ideas are hinted at enough to make one uncomfortable.  Another thing I had a problem with along those same lines was an "after sex scene" but again it was only a reference to what had occurred.  Also, despite the fact the Northanger Abbey is suppose to be making fun of Gothic novels, the movie actually seems to tilt more towards being a Gothic novel like story.  That kind of undermines the whole story.  However, it isn’t so complete that it ruins the movie.  

Overall I really enjoyed this movie adaptation of one of my favorite books.  Unfortunately, due to what I mentioned above, I don't feel safe recommending it too lightly, especially to guys.  So there is my forewarning.  If you choose to watch it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  However, if you don't, read the book, it is even better!

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Movies of 2012

Plenty of new movies came out last year and some of them were decent enough that I could watch them.   These would include The Avengers, Mirror Mirror, Snow White and the Huntsman, The Amazing Spiderman, Brave, John Carter and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  I was actually surprised at how many new movies I ended up watching this year.  Normally the movies are so bad that I only end up watching one or two.  There were only two I watched in theaters (The Hobbit and The Avengers) and the others I waited to watch at home.  So here are just a few thoughts on each of these movies.


The Avengers

I really enjoyed this superhero movie.  I have never been much into superhero films, only having seen up to that point the three spiderman movies. However, after watching The Avengers, I went backwards and watched Thor (which was okay but not really that great), and Captain America (which I enjoyed almost as much as The Avengers).  I liked The Avengers for its action, which wasn't too gory, hilarious lines, and good story plot.  There was really little objectionable about the movie, just a few bad words and some slightly too tight clothing on Black Widow.

Mirror, Mirror

I watched the trailer for this and thought it would be funny.  After looking it up to make sure there wasn't anything too objectionable in it I asked my Dad and he said it was okay.  Unfortunately I made the error of watching it with my little sister.  I wasn't too impressed with this movie and really I could have just stuck with the trailer and the funny lines and never watched the movie.  There were too many shots of shirtless guys and too much emphasis put on them.  It presumably was suppose to be funny but I just found it annoying and in very poor taste.  The likeliness of me watching this again is slim.

Snow White and the Huntsman

I had lower expectations of this movie than I did of Mirror, Mirror going into it but I actually it enjoyed it more out of the two movies.  Yes, despite Kristen Stewart, the movie actually was good. I felt that the story line was good and it was a really rather interesting twist on the original Snow White story.  However, even if as I said despite Kristen Stewart the movie was actually good, because of her it wasn't great.  She is an entirely emotionless actress that you just really couldn't bring yourself to really care for throughout the movie.  Another thing I didn't like about it was their shots of the queen mostly undressed (though nothing really bad was shown).  All in all though I thought it was a good movie and I plan to watch it again.  My dad liked it as well, which is always a good sign. :)

The Amazing Spiderman

As I said before, I had already seen the other three Spiderman movies and enjoyed them more or less.  I went into this movie with fairly high expectations but came out disappointed.  I didn't feel like the story telling was as good as the original trilogies, I felt like Peter was far more immature than the other one and a little too full of himself as well.  Also, and this is just my opinion, but I think Spiderman took off his mask too much.  I didn't appreciate that he promises Gwen's dad as he is dying not to date her and then at the end of the movie you are given to understand that he is going to go ahead and do it anyways.  I felt that his uncle dying happened too fast for us to really get attached to him and the fact that Peter didn't stop the robber because of something so dumb as not having enough money to buy his stupid milk was just ridiculous and again, immature.  I liked that it was closer to the original comic strip story line. All in all I enjoyed it well enough and I will probably watch it again sometime.  However, I like the original trilogy better and don't see why they had to remake it, especially so soon afterwards.


This one I ended up watching by accident because a cousin was watching it over Christmas.  My brother had seen it in theaters and had given me his thoughts on it and I had decided I wasn't really interested in watching it.  As it was, I am glad that I watched it but it still was a disappointing movie.  I felt the story was pretty good but if they had just left out all of the crude things it could have been a decent movie.  For Pixar, this was a level down.

John Carter

I was looking forward to this movie and had high expectations for it due to a review I had read of it.  While I did enjoy it and certainly didn't have as negative opinions of it as some people did, it was another disappointment.  The story line wasn't strong enough and the clothing of Deja (the heroine) just wasn't modest enough.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

I already reviewed this film earlier but her are a few short thoughts anyways. Being a fan of the books and the LOTR movies, I was really looking forward to this film.  Thanks to my older brother, who was geeking out about it incessantly for the last two months, I got to hear about all of the possible turns the movie could take.  Let's just say I was thankful when we finally saw the movie and that was over.  Of course though I had to hear all about his opinion of the movie now that he had FINALLY seen it.  Anyways, I did love the movie a lot.  It was far above my expectations and I was wholly impressed.  Read my full review of it here that I posted earlier.

So these are all of the new movies of 2012 that I watched and my thoughts on them.  One I haven't watched yet that I would like to is Wreck it Ralph, but that will have to be sometime in the future.  Overall there were some disappointments, a few okay ones, and a couple great ones.  Not a bad year considering normally, as I said before, I don't see but a couple new movies.

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Monthly Resolutions- January 2013

Another year gone and another month for resolutions.  This month I am going for simplicity.

Study for the TEAS test

A goal I did nothing about last month but I definitely need to get done this month.  I have registered for the test for February and I won't have as much time to study for it when school gets going so I had better start now.

Read or Re-Read at least 5 books

Obviously last month I way over thought how many books I could get read.  So THIS month I'll just go for 5 and see how it goes.  As my dear friend eBeth suggested, I am going for a Tolkien month.  I'm going to re-read The Lord of the Rings trilogy, read the Silmarillion, perhaps re-read The Hobbit, and then I have a set of books about The Lord of the Rings that I want to read as well.  Then, if I have any time left I'll try and read some other books on my mental "want to read or re-read list".  However, I doubt I'll have any extra time. 

Do Plyometrics at least 3 times per week

This goal is only for the first two weeks. Over Christmas break some of my cousins and my uncle took up plyometrics and I joined in.  Being as incredibly out of shape as I am, it killed me the first couple days and I was limping all over the house groaning over my sore legs.  However, since I am going skiing in just three weeks, I had better get into shape or suffer the devastating consequences. 

Take one walk per week

I am a little more conservative with my walks this month as I'll be doing all that delightful plyometrics.

Write at least three more blog posts this month

Again it is a minuscule amount so hopefully I can be an overachiever this month. :)  Note that the three blog posts do not include the ones about my resolutions because that would be cheating. 

Post inspired by Kelli at She Learns as She Goes.

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Report Card- December 2012

December certainly just flew by.  So did this whole year actually.  I can't believe it is 2013!  My resolutions were off and on this month but I came out okay.

Get all A's in my classes- A+

As you saw from my mid-month progress report, I was able to get all A's in my classes.  I get an A+ for this one because not only did I get all A's but I was on the President's Honor roll. :)

Have a cheerful personality- C

I didn't work out very well but I made it through decently enough. :)

Clean out and clean up my desk- A

As I said in my mid-month progress report, that was completed the day after my last final.  So another A.  I just hope that it will stay clean. :)

Start Studying for the TEAS test- F

Never got that done.  However, thankfully I have January to work on that.  

Read or re-read at least 10 books- D

I read 4 books (Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit by Corey Olsen, and Douglass Wilson's books The Deluded Atheist, God Is, and Letter From a Christian Citizen. and re-read 2 books (Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass both by Lewis Carroll), which makes a total of 6 books.  I didn't quite reach my goal but I was still pleased with how I did as in the past months it has been maybe one or probably none.  I really don't know what I was thinking when I decided that 10 was the number, though the excuse I keep telling people is that it is a nice round number.  My OCDness is going to be the ruin of me. :)

Spend the time I have with my family- C

I was able to play games with my family, talk with them and spend time with my sweet little brother.  However, I still spent a lot of time pent up in my room.

Serve my family- C

Nothing above average.  

Take at least two walks per week- B

I did it every week accept for two where I only got one walk in.  However, I have taken up plyometrics to get me ready for skiing so that is kind of a bonus.... right? :)

Eat Healthy- B

It was okay but not great.

Write at least three more blog posts this month- A


Overall I had a mismatched bunch of grades.  My total grade was a B- .... my GPA was a 2.5.  I think next month I'll try for less goals.  Check back later today to see my goals for January 2013!
Post inspired by Keli at She Learns as She Goes.

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.
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