Tag Archives: Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Stories I Wouldn’t Revisit and Why

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

A closeup photo of about a dozen DVD cases, including cases for Friends, Pulp Fiction, Django, and several other films that don’t have English titles. The original topic for this week asked about books, films, and TV shows that I wouldn’t revisit. I’ve decided to pick one answer from each category.

Book

The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

Why? 

As much as I enjoyed seeing how everything ended, the pacing of this trilogy was too slow for me to ever revisit it. The long, flowery descriptions of the landscapes, settings, and characters painted a vivid picture in my mind, but they were also so numerous that I did find them a little tedious after a while given how much writing styles have evolved since this series was published.

(The films are still cool, though).

Film

Any action film ever.

Why? 

I do not enjoy this genre. On the rare occasion I watch one, it is usually to make my spouse happy instead of out of any innate desire to see a character break the laws of physics and defy the limits of human anatomy as often as tends to happen in these sorts of stories.

 

TV Show

Old sitcoms.

Why? 

The sexist and homophobic jokes in them. What may have been acceptable 30+ years ago doesn’t always age well in modern times. I do not judge others who can look past those things, by the way. I simply don’t find that sort of humour amusing and would rather watch something else instead.

 

4 Comments

Filed under Blog Hops

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Villains I’d Root for Instead of the Protagonists

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

 

A topiary that’s been trimmed to look like a person. It has a big, round head and broad shoulders. Sometimes antagonists are more interesting than protagonists. I suspect it’s because, at least for some writers, villains have more freedom to say and do whatever they wish than characters who are supposed to set a good example for everyone.

Here are some villains that I liked better than the protagonists I was supposed to be rooting for in these stories and why I enjoyed them so much.

Spike from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 

He was a creative, emotionally intelligent, and hilarious bad guy. I also enjoyed seeing his character development over the seasons as he slowly learned how to be a slightly better vampire than he’d been before thanks to the time he spent with humans he liked among other reasons.

 

Gollum/Smeagol from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings novels

As critical as it was for his gold ring to eventually end up in other hands for plot reasons, I felt terrible for Gollum when he was separated from his Precious. He’d lost everything else important to him in life, and the magical effects of the ring had warped his mind and body beyond repair over the many years he spent with it. The poor guy.

 

Wile E. Coyote from the 1950s children’s cartoon Looney Tunes 

I never wanted the roadrunner to be eaten, but I did wish that Wile E. could catch him just once!

 

The Blair Witch from the film The Blair Witch Project 

Think about it. The Blair Witch went off deep into the woods to live alone and would have been perfectly content to not have any contact with the outside world at all until the protagonists of this film decided to invade her territory and steal her possessions. This happened after the main characters had been warned by local townspeople to stay out of the woods, so it’s not like they were unaware they were wandering into danger.

While I certainly didn’t want anyone to get hurt, everyone would have been better off if this camping trip never happened. There was never any need for the Blair Witch’s privacy to be invaded, and I would have been annoyed, too, if I were in her shoes!

10 Comments

Filed under Blog Hops

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Songs That Confused Me When I Was a Kid

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

If anyone is interested in reading a great essay about how common sayings, phrases,  and even certain logos can be misunderstood, go check out Knowledge Is Power. France Is Bacon.

I normally avoid discussing sensitive topics like religion online, but I must bring it up today due to the sort of childhood I had.

A closeup photo of a mic in a mic stand on a stage. The lights from the upper portion of the stage make it impossible to see anything in the distance. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I was a preacher’s kid and was homeschooled for the first several years of elementary school.  The combination of these two things meant that I knew very little about secular pop culture until I was about eleven or twelve and my parents began gradually relaxing their rules about music, tv shows, and films.

(They were less strict about books for some reason, but even there I mostly read the classics, Bible stories, the Inspirational genre, and fairy tales until I was old enough to go to the library with less adult supervision and, ahem, bend the rules just a little bit by borrowing children’s ghost stories and Choose Your Own Adventure books. 😉 )

Therefore, I suspect that my first two answers might not be familiar to some of you. I mixed it up as much as possible and included secular music, too, to increase the odds of someone knowing at least one of my answers!

Apple Red Happiness

Apple Red Happiness is a kids’ worship song about the Fruits of the Spirit, which are a list of virtues from the New Testament. They include love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. 

What confused me about this song were all of the food references that had nothing at all to do with the topic at hand. What on Earth did food have to do with being kind or peaceful? I couldn’t figure it out, so I was always left feeling puzzled and a little hungry during this song.

 

I’m in the Lord’s Army 

I’m in the Lord’s Army is a kids’ worship song about committing to being in service of God that uses a lot of militaristic imagery to get its point across.

There were motions we were supposed to act out at specific portions of the song. For example, we’d pretend to pull the string back on a bow and shoot an arrow every time we heard the world artillery or pretend to hold a bridle and gallop like a horse every time we heard cavalry.

Given the large number of pacifist German Mennonite relatives I had, this song also utterly confused me. When I learned what metaphors were, I concluded that this was a metaphor….well, at least until I learned about the Crusades and other holy wars when I grew older. Then it was back to permanent confusion.

As protective as my parents were, though, some secular music did seep through.

 

Kissed By a Rose

I believe I heard Seal’s Kissed By a Rose on a radio that was playing in a store somewhere when I was a kid.

It sounded a little medieval to me and was nothing like I’d heard before. I loved it!. For several years I assumed that this song was hundreds of years old and had only recently been rediscovered and recorded for a new generation.

 

Stop! In the Name of Love 

One of my elementary school classmates would randomly sing Stop! In the Name of Love by The Supremes when we were at recess. (Or maybe some other artist did a cover of that song that I wasn’t aware of?)

I had never heard of this group before and had zero cultural context to understand what I was supposed to stop doing, what love had to do with it, or what other rules love might compel someone to follow in order to avoid breaking anyone’s heart. None of it made sense, and for many years I assumed that kid simply enjoyed making up silly things to sing that weren’t supposed to make any sense.

It also didn’t help that he only sang those five words over and over again and only occasionally included the next five (“before you break my heart”).  Maybe he didn’t know the rest of the lyrics and was secretly just as confused as I was?

14 Comments

Filed under Blog Hops

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Introvert vs. Extrovert – Which One Are You?

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

A drawing of four different batteries standing next to each other. The one on the left is nearly fully drained, and has a red bar on it showing it desperately needs to be charged. The next two have two orange and three yellow bars on them respectively, showing that they are draining but still have some juice left. The battery at the left has four green bars on it and is fully charged. I am an introvert because my emotional battery is charged up by being alone.

When I was a kid, introversion wasn’t understood as well as it is today. (Or at least not in the rural areas I grew up in where extroversion was a strong social norm and you were considered a little odd if you didn’t fit into that box. Cities might have been different in that regard as one could pick from a much wider range of social circles in such places!)

There are still misconceptions about it, of course, but now I find that most people are totally understanding when I say that I’ve had a wonderful time at massive social event X but will be taking some time for myself the next day or two to recharge my energy levels.

With that being said, I can behave a little like an extrovert under the right circumstances. There are certain people in my life I adore spending time with and who drain my introvert battery much more slowly than other folks do.

These people tend to be quiet, gentle, and kind souls who are also fellow introverts. (I love noisy, boisterous people, too, but it’s easier for me to spend long periods of time with folks who enjoy some friendly silence for part of our hangouts).

Some of us are naturally pretty far on one side of the spectrum or the other, but from what I’ve observed the majority of people seem to have aspects of both extroversion and introversion in their personalities depending on how much socialization they have or have not been getting recently and what else is going on in their lives.

For example, are they currently dealing with an injury or illness that drains their energy? Have they recently had a big change in their life like moving? Are they celebrating something exciting like a promotion, new addition to their family (whether pet or human), or graduating from college?

All of these things and more can nudge you firmly in one direction or the other at least temporarily in my experience.

12 Comments

Filed under Blog Hops, Personal Life

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: A Moment I Wish I Could Relive

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

A photo of a soft pretzel. If I could relive one memory, it would be hanging out with my best friend Jill Scheiman.

Jill and I were inseparable in junior high and the beginning of high school. Both of us came from upper working class to lower middle class families, so we were used to having plenty of fun on a budget.

She loved music, sappy movies, and developing crushes on someone new every few months. I used to marvel at how easy it was for her to suddenly start liking someone because of how rare it was for me to do the same thing.  Her bedroom was filled with teen fashion magazines and home gym equipment whereas mine was filled with books and whatever secular music CDs I could afford to buy. I was quieter, more serious, and much less interested in romance as a genre or as a hobby than she was, but we both enjoyed finding the humorous moments in life whenever we could and talking about various nerdy things.

I wish we could spend another afternoon driving around aimlessly, going on the rambling walks we would sometimes take while we talked about everything, or enjoying some soft pretzels or slushies at the mall. We were both genuinely good kids who liked hanging out together. Giggling was about the most disruptive thing we could think to do.

(Well, other than the time that we toilet papered the car of one of our youth group leaders. With that being said, we also cleaned it all up afterwards, and the adults were amused, not annoyed, by our antics as this was many years before the famous toilet paper shortages of 2020 and they knew we didn’t mean any harm.)

They were never grand plans, but they were our plans. Even simple things in life are better if you have someone to do them with!

We mostly lost touch after she graduated from high school as she was a few years older than I was, but the last I heard about her was that she was married, had a couple of kids, and was studying to become a nurse. (She did not go straight on to college after her high school graduation, so this was later on in life).  I wish her and her family well.

But what I wouldn’t give to be a carefree kid with her again on a Sunday afternoon! Every few years I look her up online to see if I can find anything about what she’s up to these days. I haven’t had luck with that in a long time,  but I do keep trying. Maybe when we are old women we’ll have a chance to be silly again together. I included her last name in this post on purpose just in case she ever googles herself and stumbles across this message.

As an interesting aside, I recently read that today’s teenagers are much less likely to hang out at the mall than previous generations did. Some malls don’t allow unaccompanied minors to walk through them at all anymore, and other malls have gone out of business due to the Internet and cultural shifts. Almost anything can be ordered online these days, so plenty of shoppers of all ages have switched to that if they need a new book, t-shirt, or pair of shoes.

I wonder what Jill and I would have done if we were teenagers in 2024? Probably a lot of texting, social media stuff, and swapping memes, I’d guess.

8 Comments

Filed under Blog Hops

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Books on My TBR List the Longest

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

Pink sand moving through an hourglass that’s sitting on a white surface in front of a white wall that has a black abstract painting hung upon it. I usually weed through my TBR list a few times a year because even though I am a mood reader my tastes do tend to shift over time. Just because I read 3 or 5 or 10 books on topic X last year doesn’t mean I’ll continue with that pattern this year. Sometimes I will, of course, but in other cases my interest in that subject has been satiated and I want to read about other things now.

Here are some books that have been on my TBR list for many years without being read or weeded out. They are all well-known works from the 20th century, so I’m betting they will be excellent reads.

Someday I hope to read all of them…unless my tastes change, of course!

1. Dune (Dune, #1) by Frank Herbert

2.The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

3. The Salt Eaters by Toni Cade Bambara

4. Sula by Toni Morrison

5. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

 

 

 

12 Comments

Filed under Blog Hops

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: An Interesting Story About Family or Friends

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

To give a little backstory first, my grandfather has been a farmer his entire life just like his father was before him. One of the problems with farming in certain parts of the Midwestern United States is that the land there used to be a giant swamp.

This means that anywhere from mild to much more serious flooding is common in certain low-lying areas and that they often have too much water for their crops instead of not enough. Stagnant pools of water are also a great place for mosquitoes to lay their eggs, so one must take note of that as well unless you want to become dinner for thousands of tiny little bloodsuckers.

Drainage pipes are one modern solution to this problem. My grandfather’s land is filled with them wherever he notices that he has too much water.

This is the tale of the white drainage pipe and the kids who protected it.

When my brothers and I were little, Grandpa installed a drainage pipe in his side yard. This was a little uncommon as most of his pipes were in his fields or by his barns in order to keep his crops and tools from being flooded out.

It was not a complicated job, but it was something that my siblings found fascinating. We were allowed to stand a safe distance away and observe part of the process. I have vague memories of it being muddy as they dug.

After the pipe had been placed and covered over with dirt and grass seeds again, Grandpa gave my brothers a very solemn and important assignment.

Two photos from the day when Grandpa dug the drainage ditch in his yard. In the left photo, you see a Caucasian girl with short, curly brown hair leaping over the drainage ditch. I’m probably about 5 or 6 years old in this photo. The ditch was maybe a foot or two deep and there are piles of soil on each side. I’m wearing a pink shirt, a red skirt, and white shoes that were somehow still clean despite all of the mud. I n the photo on the right, my little brother is standing next to our grandfather beside the ditcher. The ditcher had been painted red but the paint was fading. It was about 8 feet tall based on how much it towered over my already decently-sized height grandfather. Grandpa is a Caucasian man in about his 50s whose skin has been deeply tanned by a lifetime of working outdoors. He’s wearing a blue and white ball cap, a blue longsleeved work shirt, and a lighter blue pair of pants. My brother is also Caucasian, about 3 or 4 years old, and he wearing jeans and a yellow-tshirt, and has straight blond hair. Every time we came over to visit, they were to pour a little water in one end of the pipe and make sure it flowed out the other end into a nearby creek.

Some kids might have forgotten this duty after a time or two, but my siblings were not among them. Every time we visited, they would pour a little cup of water into the pipe and then we’d race down the hill with a nearby grownup to ensure grandpa’s pipe wasn’t plugged up.

This went on for multiple visits if my memory is correct. The pipe was always clear, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

And now I chuckle at the cute memory and creative way to encourage the grandkids to burn off some energy and feel included before going indoors into our grandparents’ home.

(This post was edited to include a few family pictures I didn’t know existed from this time period. Look how big that ditcher was! And I’d forgotten that I jumped over the ditch).

8 Comments

Filed under Blog Hops, Personal Life

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: A Book Trope I Wish Wouldn’t Happen IRL

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

Closeup photo of pink, yellow, orange, and white conversation hearts. Not all of their messages can be read, but the ones that can be say things like “love,” “soft,” and “help.” I have two words for all of you this week: forbidden romance.

Assuming everyone in the relationship is a consenting adult and no one is being harmed, I spend exactly 0% of my time worrying about who anyone dates or marries in real life or in fiction.

This includes, but is not limited to, interracial, interfaith, age gap, multicultural, interabled, same sex, and any other sort of relationship that some heartily disapprove of.

You see people in just about every sort of “forbidden” relationship you can imagine in Toronto every single day. If someone chose to be horrified by other folks quietly going about their business, it would literally occupy the offended person’s mind every single moment of their days for the rest of their lives and they would still run out of time decades before they ran out of couples to be angry about.

Yes, I know that not every community is like this by any means….but I think our world would be a better place if everyone treated others with kindness and didn’t make a fuss about who folks fall in love with.

After all, there are more important things to discuss. For example, are conversation hearts delicious or not? I love them but my spouse does not!

8 Comments

Filed under Blog Hops

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: A Book Trope I Wish Happened IRL More Often

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

Every Christmas I reread Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”

I love seeing a grumpy, selfish, mean man being transformed into someone who is kind, generous and remorseful.

WA photo of the hands of two people who are holding one side each of a $20 US bill. One of the people has dark skin and the other person has a medium skin tone. hile I do believe people can change for the better in real life, too, it seems to be much more rare than it is in fiction.

When it does happen, it’s a slow process in my experience. Instead of taking one night, it generally takes many years and includes lots of stops and starts.

The gradual process of it makes sense to me as a changing is hard work and rarely happens immediately for anyone no matter which habits we’re trying to begin or end.

But I do wish this transformation would happen more often in the real world. Imagine how much better life would be if it were common for people who have a great deal of wealth and power in the world to give it away in order to save lives and reduce suffering.

So many of the deeply kind and generous people I’ve known have been folks who have limited influence and tight budgets but who still do everything they can to help others. If only everyone behaved the way they do!

16 Comments

Filed under Blog Hops

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Non-Fiction Books I’ve Read Lately

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

I love this topic and nonfiction in general.

No matter which corners of this genre you might like, there are books waiting there to be discovered.

My nonfiction preferences usually gravitate towards biographies or autobiographies, zoology, medical topics, food, history, and prehistory, but I will jump around to many other subjects, too, if the blurb sounds interesting.

Here are some nonfiction books I’ve recently finished and enjoyed:

Book cover for Medgar and Myrlie: Medgar Evers and the Love Story That Awakened America by Joy-Ann Reid. Image on the cover shows a newspaper photo of Medgar and Myrlie Evers marching in a civil rights parade. Above it is a black and white snapshot of this couple sitting comfortably on a couch together in a living room. She’s wearing and dress and he’s wearing a suit. His arm is around her as he glances at her with a loving expression on his face.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medgar and Myrlie: Medgar Evers and the Love Story That Awakened America by Joy-Ann Reid

Book cover for Last to Eat, Last to Learn: My Life in Afghanistan Fighting to Educate Women  by Pashtana Durrani Image on cover is a photograph of the author wearing a white headscarf and a gorgeous red and yellow dress that flows around her body loosely and modestly. She is smiling slightly in this photo.

What I Thought of It:  Ms. Durrani is a good storyteller. I appreciated how detailed her descriptions were of life in Afghanistan and Pakistan and the many ways she has worked to make it better for the women and girls living there. Some of the most interesting scenes to me were the ones that described the tension between her and her parents. They love her and completely support the education of girls and women, but they also had some legitimate reasons to be very concerned about how vocal she was about the oppression in her country given how violent the Taliban is. She could have so easily ended up being murdered like Medgar Evers was.

 

 

Book cover for reams: Brief Books about Big Ideas by Melanie Gillespie Rosen. Image on cover shows the word dreams breaking up into different pieces and floating away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dreams: Brief Books about Big Ideas by Melanie Gillespie Rosen

What I Thought of It: I wish it were longer and included more details about why we have the dreams that we do. It was thought-provoking, though.

 

 

 

Now onto some nonfiction books I’m either currently reading or plan to start reading soon. If any of you have read any of these, I’d sure like to hear what you thought of them:

 

Book cover for Mean Little Deaf Queer: A Memoir by Terry Galloway. Image on cover shows the author as a preschooler. They are dressed in a cowboy outfit including boots and hat and are holding a comically large violin as they stand on a flat, dusty expanse of land. There are several houses far in the distances behind them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mean Little Deaf Queer: A Memoir by Terry Galloway

What It’s About: The author’s life growing up as a deaf member of the LGBTQ+ community. The first chapter has been wonderfully funny so far, so I’m hoping the rest will be just as memorable.

 

Book cover for You'll Do: A History of Marrying for Reasons Other Than Love by Marcia A. Zug. Image on cover shows five pictorams: a baby carriage, a ring, a bag of money, and a passport.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ll Do: A History of Marrying for Reasons Other Than Love by Marcia A. Zug

What It’s About: Like the title said, this is about the history of people getting married for reasons other than them falling in love with each other. I believe it will cover arranged marriages, marriages of convenience, and similar topics, but I have not yet had the chance to crack it open.

 

Book cover for The Secret History of Bigfoot by John O’Connor. Image on cover is a gorgeous painting of trees growing in a lush and green woods. They are growing so closely together that the background quickly fades into a dark, leafy place where little sunlight can penetrate the forest floor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Secret History of Bigfoot by John O’Connor

What It’s About: While Bigfoot is mentioned in this book, of course, I believe it’s mostly meant to be a study of the different sorts of people who are so interested in this topic they will do things like attend cryptozoology conferences or go out into the woods and try to find evidence that Bigfoot is real.

14 Comments

Filed under Blog Hops