John and Athena Talk About Stuff, Episode 2: The Incredibles 2

Athena and I are back with our occasional podcast, this time going deep on Incredibles 2, which brought in more than $180 million on its first weekend. Is it better than the original? And what does it have to say about the world we live in right now? Athena and I explore it all, in roughly 20 minutes.

Note: This podcast comes with spoilers, so it you haven’t seen Incredibles 2 yet and don’t want it spoiled, hold off until you’ve seen the movie.

If you’ve enjoyed this and missed the first episode, here’s the link. It’s on Deadpool 2.

Happy Father’s Day!

Today is Father’s Day, as many of you may already know, and since it is Father’s Day, I feel justified in bragging about my dad, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do!

My dad is possibly the most awesome person I know. If you’ve ever seen my dad perform or read any of his books (aside from The God Engines), you know he’s hilarious. This is a trait I like to think I inherited in full. Though he may be kind of a showoff and sometimes a tad bit of a mansplainer, he really is smart. I’m convinced he could win any trivia gameshow, he knows so much random stuff it’s unbelievable. But it’s not just random knowledge that makes him smart, he’s just an intelligent person in general, which is a trait I definitely did not inherit.

My dad grew up poor as dirt (which led to him writing his Being Poor post) and now he’s a New York Times best-selling author. He is the perfect example of a “rags to riches” story. My dad went from working at Del Taco to becoming a Hugo Award winning author. I mean, he really went out there and achieved his dream. How many people can say that they became what they always wanted to be as a kid? Well, my dad can, and I am so proud of him for everything he’s done.

Best of all, he believes in me. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been told I can do anything and everything I want. Whatever I want to achieve, whatever I want to become, I have his full support. He has given me amazing opportunities to reach my dreams. Paying for my college, letting me write on this blog, all of it is to help become what I want to be. I know he will always back me up (#7).

My dad is my role model, and I mean that 100%. I hope someday I can become half, even a quarter, of the amazing, caring, successful, awesome dude my dad is.

Me, 3/25/16

 

Playing Favorites With My Cats

As many of you already know, we have three cats. Sugar, Spice, and Zeus. I know a lot of people have a hard time picking their favorite of their pets, because how could you possibly choose between all of your loving, adorable pets? Well, it’s easy for me, because Zeus and Spice are total jerks. Sugar is BY FAR my favorite cat. Zeus has been an asshole cat since day one, but I had hope for Spice in the beginning, then she turned out to be just like him. Sugar is the only good one. So today I’m going to show you a couple of my favorite pictures I’ve taken of her over the past two years.

She is just the cutest and the nicest of the all the cats. Not that I don’t love the other two, I just think Sugar is the sweetest!

A Visit to the Farmer’s Market

Photo courtesy of https://www.piquafarmersmarket.com/

Today I went to a farmer’s market in the next town over! I am a huge fan of the idea of them, but have never actually been to one before. Most of the time, they’re too early in the morning for me (anything before noon is too early for me), but this one was in the afternoon. I am a supporter of others supporting small businesses and believe in buying things from actual people, the whole “farm to table” ideal. Of course, that’s just in a perfect world. In the real world it’s difficult to not get McDonald’s and buy tons of groceries from Walmart, because they have what you need at any hour of the day, and it’s cheaper.

Anyways, this farmer’s market was pretty small, but they closed down one of the more mainstream roads for it. I had no idea what I wanted to get or what was even available, so I went up and down the middle for awhile and probably looked suspicious as hell. One vendor had nothing but honey, another had handmade jewelry, one had baked goods, and a lot of them had vegetables. I ended up getting lemon bars from a nice Amish family, and green onions for a dollar from another Amish family!

I’ve always thought it would be so fun to have a stand at a farmer’s market and sell the produce I worked so hard to grow. Agriculture is fascinating to me, and maybe it’s just because of where I live, but I love seeing the plants grow and bear fruit. I mean, one day you have a seed, and soon enough you have food! It’s amazing! It’s hard work that actually ends up providing something useful, it’s never effort in vain, you know? Someday I’d like to have chickens, and sell the eggs, or keep bees and sell honey, nothing fancy, just helping provide for my community. All of this post should be read in a country accent, by the way.

If anyone knows something that the green onions would be perfect for, please tell me, because it’s a pretty good amount and I’m always lookin’ to get cookin’! And as always, have a great day!

Red

Hello, everyone! Today I was going through my past tweets, and I found a poem from junior year I wanted to share! If you follow me on Twitter, I posted this poem last year (I was not a junior last year, but I found it in my Google Drive and posted it), so sorry if you’ve already seen it. I wrote this poem using basically every single word the thesaurus gave me for “red”. Without further ado, I present, “Red”:

The glowing neon sign,

Of the bar you met her at.

Bloodshot eyes’ reflection,

Thoughts of you that keep me up.

Warm liquid down my arm,

To ease the pain inside.

Tears at the sight,

Of an old abandoned barn.

Wobbly steps and relief,

From the grapes in my glass.

Therapy and prescription bottles,

The pills I take for happiness.

Your favorite fruit in the fridge,

And the sweater you left behind.

The color of my finger,

When I touched the thorns you gave me.

There’s so many places I see it,

The color that I hate.

Crimson, burgundy, ruby,

Coral, maroon, cherry.

Sanguine, blush, brick,

Vermilion, currant, rose.

Lust, desire, passion,

Love, energy, strength.

Anger, hatred, fire,

Blood, fury, rage.

It doesn’t matter how you say it,

You’ve made me colorblind.

So, there you have it, one of the few surviving poems I wrote from junior year. Let me know what you think of it in the comments, I’m open to constructive criticism. Have a great day!

What You Should Be Watching: YouTube Edition: “Entertaining With Beth”

Welcome to the second post of “What You Should Be Watching”! I know it’s only the second time I’ve done this, but I’m gonna go ahead and throw a curve ball in by making it about a YouTube channel. I just really wanted to share with y’all this amazing YouTuber I watch named Beth Le Manach. She is an extraordinary cook and I love watching her videos.

She makes all sorts of things, desserts, soups, whole meals (even vegetarian friendly ones), and drinks, too! She is by far my favorite YouTube cook, if not my favorite person on YouTube overall. I like watching her because she always sounds really friendly, and makes everything seem doable, even if it’s something that seems daunting to make. Her ideas are always festive and creative, and I think she has a lot to offer the cooking community.

I started watching her on KinCommunity’s channel first, and then she got her own channel, Entertaining With Beth (KinCommunity is also a great channel that has more than just cooking videos). The first thing I ever made from one of her videos was this five course meal, and I hosted a dinner party for some of my friends. This past Mother’s Day, I made a brunch, and everything I made was from one of her videos, as well. She doesn’t just make full course meals, though. She also has shorter videos, like the one below.

I just love how she explains things and does everything step by step. She has a lot of great ideas on presentation and loves to make everything look nice and elegant. Everything she makes is so beautiful and just sounds amazing, she is an inspiration to me and I’m always eager to try out one of her recipes.

I sincerely hope you check her out on YouTube, or on her website. If you have any YouTube chefs you like, let me know in the comments! I’m always looking for great cooking videos to watch (and procrastinate with). Have a great day!

Get Your Dance On!

Hello again! Lately I’ve been listening to less techno/electro than I usually do, even though it’s my favorite genre of music. I had a single dorm at college, so whenever I was studying or doing schoolwork, I would just put some techno on in the background. Now that I’m home, I listen to it a lot less because no one else likes it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

So today I’m going to share five songs I really like that are all under the Canadian record label, Monstercat!

First up is “Disconnected”. This is my favorite of the five:

The next four are all by the same group, which I didn’t even realize until I started writing this post. I don’t have a favorite by them, so these aren’t in any particular order.

Here we have “Cheat Codes”. All of these titles are related to video games, by the way:

Here is “Final Boss”, one of the longer ones:

Fourth one up is “New Game”!

And the last one is actually a collaboration between “Nitro Fun” and “Hyper Potions”:

So there you have it! Let me know which is your favorite, or if there’s any other Monstercat song you like, or really any techno song for that matter. And as always, have a great day!

The Gray-Eyed Goddess

Ever since I was little, I’ve loved Greek mythology. And since the beginning, Athena has been my favorite being in all of mythology. You may say I’m biased, but today I’m going to tell you all the reasons why Athena is literally the best. And to be fair, I’ll also mention the times she was kind of not great. So buckle up, kids, we’re learning about the greatest goddess in all mythology.

Athena is the goddess of wisdom and battle strategy. Those are her main things, but she is also the goddess of crafts and weaving, so she has a little bit of an artsy side to her. She is often referred to as “the gray-eyed goddess”. She has a lot of symbols, but her most common are an owl and an olive tree/branch. Athena was an inventor: she created a variety of things that benefited mankind greatly, such as the chariot, bridle, rake, and the first ship, and some that things benefited people a little less but are still cool, like the flute.

Though she was the goddess of battle strategy, she didn’t really like war and often preferred peaceful resolutions. When she did have to fight, though, she was damn fierce and even bested Ares twice. She is almost always wearing a helmet and carrying a shield and spear, she was even born in full armor, and was exceedingly good at getting warriors amped up to fight, as we can see in the Iliad: “Athena marched down the ranks, arousing their will to attack. In every heart she injected new courage to fight to the end, and suddenly war seemed sweeter than sailing in hollow ships and making safe return to their own dear native land.”

There are many versions of every myth, and usually one of these versions portrays whoever they’re about as awesome and amazing, and another will portray them as kind of a dick. I think the most famous myth like this that comes to mind is the story of Athena and Medusa. In one version, Medusa, devoted follower of the virgin goddess Athena, is raped by Poseidon in Athena’s temple, and to protect Medusa from men, she transforms her into a monster whose gaze turns men into solid stone. Though this story puts Athena in a better light, it doesn’t add up to why she aided Perseus in slaying Medusa by giving him a reflective shield. It also doesn’t make sense why Athena would have the head of Medusa on her shield if she was just trying to protect her. Because of this, the myth that says Athena turned her into a monster as punishment for defiling her temple is probably more true (not that any of these myths are true, but, you know). However there is also the version of Medusa’s story that says Poseidon turned her into the monster for not sleeping with him because she was a follower of Athena. So either Athena was just trying to protect her, trying to get revenge, or she didn’t do it at all.

A lot of the gods were known for going overboard on their punishments. For example, Dionysus was upset that the king of Thebes, Pentheus, didn’t want to worship him, so he had Pentheus ripped apart limb from limb. Greek gods aren’t particularly known for their mercy, and the story of Athena and Arachne is a good example of this. Arachne claimed she was as good at weaving as Athena herself, so they have themselves a competition to see who is better. In some versions, Arachne ended up being better than Athena and Athena was a sore loser and turned her into a spider. In other versions, Arachne portrayed the sexual scandals of the gods in her tapestry, and Athena was pissed off she was making fun of the gods, so she turned her into a spider. I believe the latter more, because I personally think it’s unrealistic that a human could beat the goddess of weaving at weaving, but no matter which version you believe, turning her into a spider was probably not totally deserved.

So, yes, Athena had her faults. All of the Greek gods did, some were just a lot worse than others. Aside from the bad things, Athena helped basically all the famous Greek heroes, like Odysseus, Perseus, and Jason, and she directed the building of the Argo and the Trojan Horse.

In a lot of ways, she was like Prometheus, constantly giving gifts of invention to humans. She taught them to cook, spin wool, sail, and gifted them with one of the Greeks most valuable trade items, olives. Oil was a huge thing back then, man, and Athena was cause for it!

She is seriously awesome, and even though she isn’t faultless, she is still my favorite. There are plenty of gods who have done far worse things than her and given a lot less to humans.

If you want to learn more about her or just like her as much as I do, here’s a book you should check out! 

Who is your favorite Greek god/goddess? Or do you prefer a different type of mythology? Let me know in the comments! Have an awesome Friday!

John and Athena Talk About Stuff, Episode One: Deadpool 2

Athena and I thought it would be fun to try an occasional podcast with the two of us, in which we talk about entertainment we’ve both seen and possible other topics as well. So, in the spirit of trying new things, here is the first edition of John and Athena Talk About Stuff. In this episode, Athena and I talk about Deadpool 2, and what we thought of it, and touch on the topics of super hero origin stories, movie plotting, whether one should expect organic storytelling in a film where the fourth wall is broken all over the place, and “fridging,” a concept that I was well aware of but was new to Athena. Everything runs just over twenty minutes, i.e., long enough to get into it, but not so long you’ll get bored. Note: There will be spoilers for Deadpool 2, so if you haven’t seen it and care about spoilers, beware.

This is our first try at a podcast-y sort of thing, so be aware there will be “ums” and “ahs” and a little bit of talking over each other and also the phone rings about halfway through and then I have to do an edit where I deal with that. We’ll get it figured out. But in the meantime, I think it’s a pretty good conversation that illustrates what differences Athena and I have in critical perspective, and what things we’re similar on. Enjoy!

(Update: At the very end the phrase “take care” is repeated, like, a bunch. That’s a weird error from uploading, I think. I’ll try to fix. You can stop after the first “take care,” honest.

Update update: Should be fixed.)

Thoughts of a Personal Nature

Writing for a blog is weird. It’s been really difficult for me to decide what to write about, so difficult in fact that it’s led to me not posting as much as I want to because I just have no idea what to write about. Everything I’ve posted has been surface level; the reviews, my photos. Those are things that I can just show you and be on my way. I don’t have to say much about them, you form thoughts about them on your own. So the idea of writing something that is purely my own thoughts on something for you to read is really odd to me.

If I share a recipe and my thoughts on it are, “It’s a good recipe that I recommend!” that is completely different from “Here’s all my thoughts on how the government makes people in poverty obese by only allowing them to buy junk food with their food stamps”. Everything I put on here is lighthearted, and it’s very hard for me to not be lighthearted when addressing a lot of people.

I keep wanting to post things that are more serious, like topics I care about and want to bring attention to, but I don’t want everything I post to be a rant, and I’m afraid that’s what it would turn into. I’m afraid it would just sound like I’m constantly complaining about things. And what if I complain about the wrong thing? Like if I say something about how the women’s clothing industry needs some changes, what if someone says I should be talking about bigger issues like the ICE and deportation? And maybe I should be talking about bigger issues rather than posting songs I like or a photo I thought was nice. Isn’t that what someone who cares about these issues would do?

I’m stuck between wanting to share my thoughts and the thought of “who cares?” How many opinion pieces are already out there that sound exactly like mine? Why write it when hundreds of other people have already said the exact same thing? I want to be more than surface level, I want to be deep, but I’m afraid of being personal.

More Photography!

Happy 2nd of June! Today I am very busy cleaning out my closet and sorting things that I brought home from college, so I’m going to share some more of my photos with you! Last time, there was a lot of people asking what camera and lenses I use. Everything on the last post and in this post were taken on my iPhone 7 and edited with Instagram, so nothing fancy.

To kick it off, here’s some flowers I thought were pretty:

Sunset photo sans the sun:

I can’t think of a caption so.. yeet.

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The clouds have been seriously crazy lately, example 1:

Torrential downpour.

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And example 2:

I never know what to put for a caption so.. how’s y’all’s day?

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And last, but not least, another sunset photo without the sun in it (I prefer taking pictures of the clouds than the sun):

Sky on fire 🔥

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So, there’s five photos I thought y’all would enjoy! Have a great rest of the weekend!

My Herb Garden!

Hello, everyone! Today I’m going to be showing you my brand new tiny little herb garden!

As many of you know, I thoroughly enjoy cooking, and cooking often involves the use of herbs and/or spices. I’m sure many of you have experienced the struggle of needing 1/4 tsp of a spice and not having it at home, so you have to go out and buy an entire new container of a spice that you only need a little bit of. This is often the case for when it comes to herbs. Whenever a recipe calls for a sprig of rosemary or thyme, I’m always fresh out and have to venture to the store.

So I decided to plant the essential herbs! My little garden consists of rosemary, thyme, and basil. These three seem to be the ones I usually need more than others, so I figured I should have them on hand.

Here’s the rosemary:

Here’s the thyme (it’s so small!)

And here’s the basil:

Finally, here’s all of them (this was right before I watered them so the dirt looks a little dry):

I have always wanted a garden, but every time I’ve owned a potted plant, I always kill it. I even killed a cactus once! I’m hoping that since I planted these in the ground and not a pot, they’ll just kind of survive on their own and not shrivel up and die. Of course, I do water them, but I have the memory of a French baguette so we’ll see how long it is before I forget to do that.

Do any of you have a garden or flowerbed? I’d love to see pictures! Leave a comment and I’ll be sure to take a look. Hope you all have a great Friday!

Volunteering at the Humane Society of Preble County

One thing I wholeheartedly believe in is volunteering. Community service should be a part of everyone’s life, even if it’s a small part. Recently, I started volunteering at the Humane Society of Preble County. It is a no-kill shelter for dogs and cats in Eaton, Ohio. Eaton is over thirty minutes from my house, so I only go once a week. When it comes to volunteering, it can be really hard to make time for it if you have a job, go to school, have kids, or any combination of the three. If you do have time, though, volunteering is a great way to spend it.

Eaton is halfway between my house and the town I go to college in. Every time I drove to either place, I passed the shelter. Sometimes I would see the dogs playing outside, or the employees photographing the dogs to put up on the website. One day I just flipped on my turn signal and pulled in to the parking lot. Then I walked in and put in a volunteer application. They accepted me on the spot and since then I’ve been volunteering once a week!

Every pet I’ve met has been so amazing. There hasn’t been a single dog that isn’t loving. Whether they love to play, be petted, or drool on me, they’re all loving in so many ways, and it breaks my heart that someone gave them up. I’ve come to know a lot of the dogs’ names, how long they’ve been there, and why they were brought in. Some have been there for over a month, while others get adopted within a week of being brought in.

I’m so happy when I hear a pet has gotten adopted. I mean, that’s the end goal, isn’t it? But I also get a little sad, because I know I won’t be able to play with that specific dog again, or pet the kitten I have every time since my first day. It’s certainly a little selfish, but whenever I’m playing with one of them, I almost feel like they’re my own dog or cat for a minute, and it’s really nice.

I’m hoping to spend more time volunteering at other places in my college town when fall semester comes around, but for now I think I’m content just at the animal shelter. It’s a really great place, all the employees are super nice, and if you live in the area and are looking for a pet, I recommend them highly!

Here’s their website, where you can view all their dogs and pictures of them. They do not have their cats up there, but I was just there today and I can tell you they just got a bunch of kittens in! So if you’re in the area and want a kitten, they sure have a handful of them.

If you don’t volunteer but have always wanted to, just do it! I have always wanted to try it, so now I am, and it’s awesome. Get out there and find something you care about and help out, I’m sure you’ll love it!

YouTube Shorts

If there’s one thing I love, it’s animated shorts. I have a pretty short attention span, so I particularly like watching shorts because they have so much to offer in such a short amount of time. Most shorts don’t have dialogue in them, or if they do it’s very limited, or sometimes the characters sing a song instead. This generally means shorts have pretty good music in the background, since that’s usually all the viewer hears.

I love shorts because you can watch one after the other, which can be dangerous if you’re procrastinating or just not good at keeping track of time If I’m bored and have some time to kill, I go through shorts like crazy.

So today I’m going to share with you five shorts I really enjoy!

This first one, “Yours or Mine”, is definitely one of my favorites. It’s on the shorter side of shorts, and is exciting and fun. The music is perfect for it, and I love this animation style. I think the plot is cute and the end is unexpected, and I think the addition of the end credit shots was a great inclusion.

Another of my all-time favorites is “Butter Lover”. This one is one of the few I’ve seen that has a lot of dialogue. Again, this is a drawing style I happen to love, even more so than the previous one. I think it’s drawn so smoothly and I love the characters’ designs. One of them has purple hair! How can you not love that? Another thing I love about this one is the plot is so out there, so bizarre, you definitely will not see this end coming. Also, make sure you watch until the very end for the end scene!

Are you ready for the funniest short you’ve ever seen? Here it is, “Death Buy Lemonade”! Another seriously short short, this adorable animation features one of my favorite things, the personification of death. There’s a cute little background tune that isn’t too distracting, and I think the title is perfect. I will be very surprised if you don’t laugh at the end.

This next one is called “Love Bites”. It’s cute and drawn pretty well, and the plot is humorous, if not a little messed up. I think the title is clever and just generally think it’s a pretty good one!

For the last short, I’ve chosen “Overweight”. All of the previous ones are funny, cute, and generally light-hearted. To end, I thought I’d choose one with a deeper meaning, one that isn’t comical. I feel that this one in particular has a message that relates a lot to current events, and I think it should be taken to heart.

There it is, five shorts I thought were really worth sharing! I hope you all enjoy them. Be sure to tell me which is your favorite in the comments, and if you would like to recommend one, I’ll be sure to try and check it out. Have a great day!

What You Should Be Watching: Voltron: Legendary Defender

Hello, everyone! I’ve decided to do a running thing called “What You Should Be Watching” and it’ll be me telling you about a show I think you should watch. To kick it off, I’m going to recommend one of my all-time favorite cartoons, Voltron: Legendary Defender. This more recent cartoon made by Dreamworks and Netflix currently has five seasons, and the sixth one is coming out June 15th, so you have about two weeks to watch the previous five if you want to watch the new season when it comes out.

Voltron has had many TV series and originated in the 80s. If you Google it, you’ll see many different versions. The version I’m talking about came out on Netflix in 2016 and looks like this:

Okay, now that we’ve cleared up which one I’m talking about, let me tell you all the reasons I love it!

Voltron: Legendary Defender is about a rag-tag group of teens (the middle one is an adult) that stumble upon a pilot-able robot lion that takes them to a faraway planet, where they find themselves in the middle of a universal war against aliens known as the Galra. Each one has their own robot lion and together they form Voltron, a super awesome robot capable of mass destruction.

This is a sci-fi show that features diverse characters that are all unique and interesting in their own ways. There’s the classic comedian that always smiles and loves to flirt (blue one), the moody badass with a side of mystery (red one), the sarcastic tech genius (green one), the super kind one who loves to bake (yellow one), and the strong, dependable leader (center). Not pictured is Princess Allura, an awesome royal whose father made the lions thousands of years ago. I can assure you, you will love every single one of these characters. In every TV show I’ve ever seen, there’s always one character I don’t like or I think is bad for the group. In this cartoon, I can attest to the fact that each one of these characters is so amazing and lovable in their own ways, and though I’m sure you’ll like them all, I’m also sure you’ll have a favorite.

Voltron, though it is a kids’ show, is also something adults can watch without feeling weird about. If you’ve seen Avatar: The Last Airbender or The Legend of Korra, you know just how deep a kid’s show can get. With themes like war, dictatorship, and even genocide, Avatar and Voltron manage to be kid-friendly and dark at the same time, pushing that boundary between mature and family-orientated that makes them so outstanding.

Speaking of Avatar and KorraVoltron has the same animators! So if you’re a fan of that drawing style, you’ll love the amazing shots Voltron has to offer, like these:

More seriously, though, this show really does have some spectacular animation moments that I’m sure would make for good screensavers.

Moving on, the voice acting in Voltron is spectacular. Jeremy Shada plays my favorite character, and also plays the ever-so-popular Finn in Adventure Time. This show has other great actors, like Steven Yeun, who plays Glenn in The Walking Dead, and Josh Keaton, who has played in tons of other animated series. Every voice fits the character they play perfectly, and it always matches their mouth movements perfectly.

The humor in this show is quick and witty, and has made me bust out laughing on a number of occasions. The combat scenes always have great movement. It’s all drawn very smoothly and is fun and exciting. The whole concept is unique and interesting, and I hope you all like it as much as I do. If you’ve seen it before, let me know what you think and who your favorite character is!

And remember the new season comes out in two weeks, so binge away!

Solo: A Star Wars Story Review

Yesterday I went with my mom and grandma to the movies and saw Solo: A Star Wars Story. Personally, I have always felt very disconnected from Star Wars as a whole. Even though I grew up in and still am part of the science fiction community, I have never seen the original six Star Wars movies, only the new ones (The Force Awakens, Rogue One, The Last Jedi, and Solo). I also never watched any of the animated series or played any of the games, except for the very beginning of LEGO Star Wars for the Wii when I was like twelve.

Given all this information, you can see I’m not the biggest Star Wars fan. However, I have thoroughly enjoyed the four that I have seen, and today I’m going to tell you about the most recent one, Solo.

Solo is a film you can watch without having seen any of the others, because it takes place before all of them. So if you’ve never seen Star Wars but think this one looks kind of good, go ahead and see it, you won’t be lost.

This movie is seriously jam-packed with action. Chase scenes, battle scenes, more chase scenes, gun fights, high stakes heists, etc. It is like 90% action and 10% talking scenes. This is not a bad thing, in my opinion. In regard to the fights, I think everything was choreographed amazingly; the camera work was really on point. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s a fight scene where I can’t even tell what’s going on because the camera is shaking around wildly.

I loved this cast, everyone did such an amazing job. I have only seen Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, and Paul Bettany in other films before, and I really like all three of them, I think they’re great and were really good choices for the characters they played.

Visually, this movie was so awesome. All the aliens look cool as heck, all the landscape looks totally real, and everything is just so beautiful and seamless.

I think this was probably the best origin story movie I’ve ever seen, and I highly recommend it! It’s a lot of fun, very exciting, and I think it’s really well done. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!

Have Some Photos!

Good evening, everyone! Today I’ve been really busy with schoolwork and running errands, and I realized I should probably post something before it gets to be too late in the day, since not everyone is as much of a night owl as I tend to be.

For today’s post, I thought I’d share with you guys some of my photography! If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you’ve probably already seen a few of these, but if you don’t, or you just happened to miss them, here is a few of my favorites!

Stairs to nowhere.

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Am I gonna post two flower pictures in one day? You bet I am.

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An oil spill of rainbows.

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Spring is so pretty I can’t get over it 🌸

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I mostly like to take pictures of flowers and scenery, but I really like cloud and sunrise/sunset photos, too. Hopefully this summer I’ll use some of my free time to take more pictures of nature-y things!

If you have any awesome pictures of yours you’d like to show me, put them in the comments and I’ll check them out. Have a great day!

Music Time!

Hello, everyone! Today I’d like to introduce you to some songs I really enjoy, by an artist named Sam Tinnesz. I have composed a little playlist of my five personal favorite songs of his. His music is dark, intense, ominous, melodic, honestly almost hypnotizing, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

The first song I ever heard by him was “Play With Fire”. It is also my favorite of his. Figured we should start off strong! This is the only song of his I have heard that has a female voice in it alongside his. I think the main reason it is my favorite is because it was the first one I heard, and the only one of his I listened to for a good while before I decided to give his other stuff a try. “Play With Fire” has a killer rhythm, a powerful chorus, a dark edge to it, and great lyrics.

If you’re wondering how I found this song, I got it from this amazing Black Butler (my favorite anime) edit:

The second song I have chosen is called “Heart of the Darkness”. This one is much calmer, more melodic sounding, and not as intense. One downside to it is that it is pretty repetitive, but if you’re looking for a song that is easy to learn the lyrics to, that probably won’t bother you. I think this particular song really showcases his voice more so than some of the others, though he doesn’t have a crazy range to begin with, I still find it pleasant.

For the third song, I’ve chosen one that is a little more similar to “Play With Fire”, as it is more upbeat than “Heart of the Darkness”. It is called “Legends Are Made”, and I really like the lyrics in this one. I can see this one being played in the background of a movie during a pre-battle scene.

For the fourth song, I chose “Bloody City”. If you liked the dark edge in “Play With Fire”, you will love how ominous and creepy this one is. The occasional spooky sound in the background mixed with the rhythmic music is seriously awesome and somewhat chilling. The lyrics don’t flow amazingly well, which is why this is number four on the list.

Okay, last one! For the fifth and final piece, I chose something that sounds completely different from the other four. The tone of this one is so much softer, slower, and has almost none of the same elements as the previous four. This one is called “Hold On For Your Life”. I find this one to be somewhat depressing sounding, it honestly made me tear up a little bit because I imagined it being put to a heartfelt death scene in a movie. The main instrument in “Hold On For Your Life” is a piano, which differs greatly from most of his other songs. It is very beautiful and emotion-inducing, in my opinion, but also has that same issue of being slightly too repetitive.

So, there you have it! Those are my top five picks from Sam Tinnesz. If you enjoy any of these or find other songs by him you like, leave a comment! Hope you enjoyed listening to these and also hope you have a great day!

Watermelon Salsa!

Hey guys! To kick off day two of writing on Whatever, I have decided to post a recipe. There were a surprising number of people in the comments of yesterday’s post that said they were looking forward to seeing what I make in the kitchen, and I was planning to make something today anyways, so I figured I might as well post it!

This past winter was, like, the longest winter I’ve ever lived through. I forgot for a second what in-season fruit tasted like. But now that summer is finally here, I bought a watermelon! I have never bought one before now, so that was an enthralling experience.

There a ton of recipes online for watermelon salsa, and while they are all unique in their own ways, they are all basically composed of the same few ingredients, which is watermelon, cucumber, red onion, and mango. Using my collective knowledge of these recipes, I just went for it and threw it together in a bowl.

Here’s what I used:

3 cups watermelon, diced

1 cucumber, peeled and diced

1/3 of a regular sized sweet red onion, diced

Juice of one lime

1 tbsp of sugar

Sprinkle of garlic salt (optional)

A very inexact amount of cayenne pepper (also optional)

Salt and pepper

So yeah, just throw all that together in a bowl and mix! Originally, I also had a mango I was going to use, but I had never bought a mango before today and apparently the one I bought was very very not ripe. So instead I added a little bit of mango flavored white balsamic vinegar, but I really wish there were actual chunks of mango in this bad boy. I think the sweetness of the mango would’ve been a great addition, as well as added some awesome color.

As for the cayenne pepper, just add as much as you want! Originally, I wasn’t even going to put any in because I’m a weakling in the ways of spice, but it seems like most other people in this household likes a kick to their food, so I just sprinkled a good amount in and hoped I wouldn’t die later.

Okay, so, about cost. From the store, I bought a watermelon, a mango, two limes (you only need one, though), a red onion, and a cucumber. I already had the garlic salt and cayenne pepper at home. All together, the produce cost $8.86 (this is including the mango I ended up not using). The most expensive thing was the watermelon, which was five bucks for a whole seedless one. Cost is very important to me. Food prices add up quickly, especially in recipes where you have none of the ingredients at home and have to go out and buy literally everything on the list.

If you end up making this, send me a picture on Twitter (@ascalzi98)! I would love to see if y’all end up adding anything, like the mango, or whatever else you think would be good in it! Hope you enjoy this summery and fresh salsa!

Hello, Whatever World!

Howdy, y’all. Today is my first day as my dad’s intern, and this is my first Whatever post! My dad is off writing some silly book or something along those lines, and because he is busy he tends to neglect this website a little bit, so I am here to ensure that posts are posted and readers are reading (and, of course, enjoying).

If you’d like to know a little about me, in case you have never seen anything on here regarding me, my name is Athena Scalzi. I am nineteen years old, an only child, a Capricorn, left-handed, and I love reading, writing, photography, baking/cooking, and looking at the stars. My favorite color is purple, my favorite animal is a tiger or a snow leopard (they’re both equally adorable and fluffy and could murder you), and my favorite movie is The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Generally I think I will be posting movie reviews, anime reviews, book reviews, things like that, along with some of my photography and my daily adventures in this oh so exciting life. I’m sure I’ll also post some pictures or recipes every once in a while of things I whip up in the kitchen. In regards to this, there has been some speculation as to whether or not I am as monstrous as my father when it comes to burritos, and I can finally assure you all, I am no heathen. I am a Burrito-Purist and my father’s inventions horrify and appall me.

Overall, I am very excited to be here and look forward to writing for this blog. I sincerely hope you all enjoy what I have to offer and that I give thoughtful contributions to this site, or “whatever”!