What You Should Be Watching: The Hollow

Hey, guys! Welcome to another edition of “What You Should Be Watching”. Today I’m going to be talking about another Netflix original cartoon, The Hollow. This show is so easy to binge, with only ten episodes and each one being twenty-two minutes, I’ll be surprised if you don’t fly through it (I know I sure did).

Basically, these three kids, Adam, Mira, and Kai, wake up in an unknown place with no memory at all, and have to find a way out of this spooky, topsy-turvy world they’ve wound up in, all while avoiding monsters and death.

This show was one of the wildest I’ve seen in a while. It doesn’t mess around, it jumps straight into action and mystery and continues with it through every single episode. Each one more action packed than the one before, each one presenting new theories and ideas as to what the heck is going on in this crazy world the characters find themselves in.

The Hollow is one of those shows where you won’t know what’s going on until they want you to know, and suddenly it all makes sense. There’s minotaurs, sirens, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, demon monks, a talking tree, spider-centaur people, an ice monster, and so many other obstacles these three have to fight just to survive.

Though the show might be a tad spooky for young viewers (it is a kids’ show after all), it has plenty of humor and fun moments in it. The voice acting is pretty great, however I do find the animation a bit odd, but I got used to it pretty quickly.

Overall, this is a really fun show with a lot of cool elements in it. I recommend checking it out, I bet you’ll be hooked right away. Also, if Kai annoys the frick frack out of you, don’t worry, he gets better… mildly better, anyways.

If you’ve already seen this show, did you like it? Who was your favorite character or the coolest monster? Try not to spoil too much though, for those that haven’t seen it yet. And have a great day!

Kings Island: What to See, What to Ride

Ohio is known for its theme parks, Cedar Point and Kings Island. We’re kind of the king of roller coasters around these parts, to be honest. So if you love coasters and various smaller, but still fun, rides, I would recommend going to Kings Island or Cedar Point, however I have never been to Cedar Point (a tragedy, really), but I can vouch for Kings Island, which is what this post is all about! So buckle up and get ready for an exciting ride (get it?)!

In my opinion, the key to riding roller coasters is to start out small, and work your way up to the big ones. So, upon entering the park, you should start with Adventure Express, or The Bat. Adventure Express has a sort of Indiana Jones theme to it, and has some awesome dark tunnel moments. However, it does not have any big drops, and certainly no loops. It does go pretty fast, though, so I think it’s the perfect way to start off the day of coaster-riding. Alternatively, you could try The Bat, which starts off with a medium sized drop. It’s one of those hanging ones, but still has carts, so your feet aren’t dangling. It doesn’t go upside down, but it goes severely sideways, so it really feels like you’re flying for a minute.

After your starter coaster, I recommend either the Backlot Stunt Coaster, or Mystic Timbers. The Backlot Stunt Coaster is another themed coaster. It’s based on The Italian Job, and the carts are little mini coopers. This one has some awesome elements, like cool props and actual fire, and has a mild drop in a dark tunnel. Mystic Timbers, on the other hand, is a little more intense. It’s their newest addition to the coaster family; a wooden coaster that goes over 50 mph, though it has no major drops or anything, it’s a great way to get some wind in your hair. Smooth ups and downs, nothing too crazy.

Alright, now we’re getting to the big ones! Next on your itinerary should be Flight of Fear. This is an indoor coaster that launches you from 0 to 55 mph in four seconds, sending you into pitch black chaos. It’s got loops, twists, turns, and a corkscrew, all fit into an awesome Area 51 style building with alien and spaceship props. CAUTION: this ride does have a strobe effect. It may trigger an epileptic attack.

If you want to take a break from a coaster but still want a thrill, try Delirium.

This spinning wheel goes 137 feet in the air, so be sure not to ride this bad boy after eating. No surprises here, what you see is what you get. If you’re feeling more of a coaster vibe, no worries, there’s plenty more to come.

Next, I’d go to the best ride in the whole park. The Diamondback. Fly through ten acres worth of coaster at 80 mph and plummet down the biggest drop of any coaster in the park. This thing is as smooth as butter. I cannot recommend this coaster enough, you will want to ride it again and again and again. Diamondback is the one in the photo at the top.

Right after that one, you should check out the Banshee. It is the world’s longest inverted steel coaster, with seven inversions. It also has an excellent drop and goes almost 70 mph. This one is one of the few hanging coasters, so if you don’t like your feet hanging, don’t ride this one.

Taking another break from coasters, the Drop Tower is an enthralling experience, worthy of any thrill seeker’s attention. It is the tallest Gyro drop in the world, making you fall 315 feet at over 60 mph. The view from the top is really amazing, and the fall is even better. DO NOT WEAR FLIP FLOPS, YOU WILL LOSE THEM.

Alright, so, you’ve had a fun day of coaster riding, maybe had some Dippin’ Dots, and you’re ready to go. But before you leave, you should go on Invertigo. This is a coaster that gets right down to business. This is the only coaster that goes forwards and backwards in the same ride (The Racer has one cart that goes forward and one that goes backwards, but not both at the same time). You drop, you do two loops, and you drop again, and do another two loops. It’s a pretty short ride but still a lot of fun. And right after you’re done, you can leave with ease, because it’s right next to the exit!

There are a couple coasters I would not recommend, those being The Vortex, The Racer, and The Beast. These are all extremely jerky and not at all worth it, you will end up with bruises for sure. As for the only one I have not mentioned, Firehawk, I have never ridden that one in all my years of coaster riding, so I cannot speak for it, though I have heard that that one is jerky, as well.

There you have it! My rundown/guide of coasters at Kings Island. If you have kids, they have so many cool kids’ rides that I didn’t mention here, and some pretty good food places, too. Do you have a favorite ride from Kings Island? Or a favorite theme park in general? Let me know, and have a great day!

The Greatest Soundtrack You Will Ever Hear

This is the best hour and one minute of music you will ever hear (not guaranteed, do not sue if this is not the best 61 and a half minutes of music ever). It’s intense, it’s dramatic, it’s got everything you could want from a score of music. If you’ve seen Attack On Titan, you know that it has some intense moments that have killer music, and it is all collected right here.

Personally, I listen to this whenever I’m doing schoolwork, because it’s mostly instrumental, and good background music. If you end up listening to it, let me know which one is your favorite (the times each one starts at is in the description box). Also, if you’ve seen Attack On Titan, who is your favorite character (try not to give spoilers to whether they die or not). Have a great day!

Childhood Candy

Nothing is sweeter than your favorite childhood candy. Mary Janes, candy cigarettes, Necco Wafers, Bottle Caps, Abba-Zabas, or those horrific wax bottles than I cannot fathom why anyone would enjoy. Candies from the past that aren’t really around anymore are a true treasure. So when you see them randomly somewhere, like in a tiny little gas station you just happened to pop by, of course you’re going to get excited, hold it incredulously in your hand, and then buy it. This can go one of two ways. You try it, and it’s everything your seven year old brain remembers it to be, and you’re filled with joy, or it’s terrible, and you wonder how you ever enjoyed it as a kid.

Today I found one of my favorite candies from childhood, Toxic Waste. This was a candy I only ever saw whenever we went on field trips to museums in elementary school. It was always in the gift shop, so I’d have to wait to the end of the trip to get it. But today I found it on a shelf in Claire’s. I walked past it and then did a double take, shocked to see the familiar plastic yellow barrel.

I totally flipped out, bought it, and immediately tried it, not listening to the voice in my head telling me it might not even taste good to me anymore. And guess what! It was great! Kind of painful, though, as most sour candies are, but it was exactly how I remembered it.

If you ever feel sad you can’t find your favorite candy, remember Amazon exists. What are some of your favorite candies? Do you despise sweets? Let me know in the comments, and have a great day!

The Language of Memes: A Brief Explanation

Do you have any idea what this picture means just by looking at it? Yes, it’s some guy claiming there is free real estate to be had, but what does it all mean? This is something that can only be understood by someone well-versed in the language of memes.

There are many memes that can be easily understood by someone who is not a meme-lord, like many of the memes from 2012, back when everyone was just being introduced to them. Example A:

Memes from 2012 were just funny pictures with blocky white text over them, designed to make people smile. They’re easily understandable, oftentimes relatable, and were easy to create. Memes in 2018 are strange. If you didn’t jump on the bandwagon at the beginning stages of a meme, you’ll more than likely not be able to understand the same meme at a later stage of its evolution. For example:

Here we have a beginning stage “Despacito 2” meme.

Here we have the same meme, but it has evolved into something undecipherable unless you have already seen the “Markiplier E/Lord Farquaad” meme. This is also an example of what I refer to as “cross memes”. It is where two memes or more are mashed together to make an image that doesn’t make sense unless you are familiar with all memes involved.

2012 memes were very self-sustaining. They only relied on the picture and the text that went with the picture. Memes that are popular today are usually dependent on people already knowing what something is before seeing it incorporated into the meme. Like this one:

To understand this, you have to know what Дpyг is, and beyond that you have to know that it’s actually a Deathclaw from Fallout. This particular meme is also “deep fried”, which is why the actual image of Дpyг looks so messed up and its eyes are glowing (all deep fried memes people’s eyes glow).

Taking a step back from deep fried memes and cross memes, let’s talk about how there are some phrases from the 80s that many people today would not understand, like, “gag me with a spoon”, or “bag your face”. This can be compared to the recent trend of “oh, worm?”. When I read that, I know exactly what it means, but I had to Google what “bag your face” meant. We are two sides of the same coin, you non-memers and us meme-lords.

There are actually college classes over the art of memes, which may sound kind of silly (it really kind of is), but if you think about it, the language of memes is complex. It has been carefully curated over the years while also adapting to the world around us, both constantly changing. Memes are a reflection of society, and the memes that you as an individual enjoy or laugh at are a reflection of you, as well. So, be careful which memes you find funny. Don’t end up like me, because I literally laugh at things like this every single day:

This is my life now. I’ve accepted it.

Do any of you have a favorite meme? Do you despise memes with a burning passion? Let me know in the comments! And as always, have a great day!

What You Should Be Watching: YouTube Edition: Movies With Mikey

Hello, everybody and welcome to another YouTube edition of “What You Should Be Watching”! Today I’ll be talking about this awesome thing called “Movies With Mikey”. It is not a channel, rather a set of videos on a channel called FilmJoy.

If you like movie reviews, “Movies With Mikey” is the perfect thing for you to check out. Mikey’s reviews are more than just a review, they’re like an analysis, they make you question things about the movie that you didn’t think of before, and ultimately make you have a deeper appreciation for the movie overall. The videos are intriguing, hilarious, insightful, sometimes even emotional. Mikey is a really awesome dude and super cool to follow on Twitter, even if you don’t watch his videos. You can check out all his videos here, and his Patreon here.

I haven’t seen all the videos, but if I’ve seen the movie the video is about, I’ve definitely seen the video because they are seriously awesome. Hope you enjoy, and as always, have a great day!

Where I’ve Been the Past Ten Days

Okay, so, you may or may not have noticed I haven’t posted lately. This is due to laziness and to me managing my time poorly, both of which I got from my father. I have no excuse for the first couple days, but for the last week I’ve been busy in San Diego! So today I’m going to tell you about my trip and make a promise to try and be better at posting!

On the first night in San Diego, my parents and I went with some family members to this awesome Italian restaurant that I can’t remember the name of. I got gnocchi, which is one of my favorite Italian dishes, but it was pink! Interestingly enough, it didn’t taste pink. Rather, I couldn’t taste whatever made it pink, it just tasted like good gnocchi.

We went to San Diego for a wedding, which my dad posted about the other day. On Saturday night, all the ladies went to an Indian restaurant and the guys went to a bar. I forget the name of the Indian restaurant too, but I just have to say, their mango lassis and chai were amazing. I also got to try gulab jamun, which is deep fried dough balls in sugar syrup, and it was great. Indian food is really awesome, probably one of my favorite cuisines.

The next day I got to go to La Jolla and have brunch with my parents and some friends (they actually cooked for us and it was super good), and we went to the beach afterwards. This beach was so pretty, the sand was practically completely made of little seashells, and there were seals flubbing around! It was so beautiful, I really love the ocean. I kind of hate sand, though.

I also got to go to Seaport Village and got some bomb ass henna done.

The wedding itself was awesome. The two people getting married are awesome, the people in attendance are awesome, the food was awesome (as was the cake), even the flowers were awesome. It was a truly beautiful ceremony and I’m very glad I got to be in attendance.

Besides that, I have nothing much to report, except that I got to sit first class from San Diego to Minneapolis for free! The plane was arranged in rows of three seats, and the seat next to the lady I was sitting next to was empty, so she had her husband come from first class to sit with her, and they wanted me to have the first class seat! It was my first time flying first class; I got the free meal and a hot towel and everything. They were very nice people and I’m glad I got to have such an awesome random experience!

So now I’m back home, finishing up the last couple days of my mythology class and playing with the new kitten, and from now on I promise to try and not go on ten day hiatus.

Have y’all ever been to San Diego? If so, what are some of your favorite places there? And as always, have a great day!

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!


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:

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I can’t think of a caption so.. yeet.

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The clouds have been seriously crazy lately, example 1:

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Torrential downpour.

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And example 2:

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

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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!