Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s Thanksgiving!!!!!! The food day of all food days. Today should be pretty fun – the parade, food, family, friends, good times. I’m definitely thankful for everyone in my life. Now you probably thought I would include a video from Snoopy’s Thanksgiving. But I’m not! (It’s not really my favorite Snoopy movie anyways – too much Peppermint Patty) But I am including a video from one of the classic “Friends” Thanksgiving episodes.

This is one of the best Thanksgiving episodes of “Friends.” (But let’s be honest, all the Thanksgiving episodes are fantastic. I particularly like the one with a guest appearance by Brad Pitt)

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. I’m not really sure why. I mean, yes, I love all the food, but I don’t think that’s it (I mean, I didn’t even like stuffing until middle school!). Every year when I was younger we would have Thanksgiving at my house (now we alternate with another family member) and I always loved the preparation the day before, especially since my Grandma would come over to help. Thanksgiving is all about togetherness and that is something that is definitely emphasized at our Thanksgiving. It’s that last peaceful moment of fall before the craziness of the holiday season (officially) begins. I hope you’re all with someone you love this Thanksgiving, and I hope you eat just enough turkey and trimmings to fill you up. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday Afternoon

Happy end of Daylight Saving Time! Hopefully everyone turned their clocks back so that they didn’t miss anything important this morning. I love when Daylight Saving Time ends because it means we get an extra hour of sleep…for a couple of days, until we’re used to it.  Of course, it also means that I am now ready for dinner and it is just past 5:00. Maybe I can hold out for another half hour, but we’ll see.

Anyways, not much going on today. But tonight Once Upon a Time is on and it is the premiere of Ariel, aka the Little Mermaid! When I was a kid, The Little Mermaid was not my favorite Disney princess movie because of this scene:

I mean, he destroys all her stuff!! Every time I watched it, I was so angry at Triton and sad about Ariel.  Anyways, rewatching that scene now, I realize how much the movie is about racial tensions between the merpeople and humans.  I guess I haven’t seen that movie in so long, that I kind of forgot about that aspect. Now I definitely have to rewatch the whole movie. But first, dinner, and then Ariel’s debut on Once Upon a Time! So excited!

About Me: Snoopy

Happy day after Halloween! I made this special pumpkin last night and I thought I’d use it as inspiration for my blog post!

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I’ve mentioned the Peanuts gang several times throughout my posts and that’s because I have always been a huge fan of Snoopy and all his friends.  My mom has always loved the Peanuts and she definitely transferred that love to me and my siblings.  The Peanuts are always full of wisdom and frankly, they’re just really cute!  The comics are always really clever and I always love watching the holiday specials.  I remember there also used to be a TV show that was on really early in the morning when I was a kid.  When I liked getting up super early, I would go downstairs (And usually everyone else was still asleep) and watch the show.  So many of my childhood memories involve Snoopy and I’m glad they do.  The comics taught me a lot about life and made me very grateful that I never got a rock in my Halloween candy bag.

About Me: TV Shows

I’ve said again and again, but I really love TV.  And right now, there are so many fantastic shows on television.  I watch way too much TV, but I enjoy spending some time everyday escaping into a reality that can be completely different from mine.  Some of my favorite shows right now are Once Upon a Time (Which I’ve already mentioned), Castle, NashvilleModern Family, Elementary, Psych, and Grimm.  As you can maybe tell from these shows, I really like mysteries, slightly ridiculous comedy, and fairy tales.

There are also so many shows from my childhood that I still love.  Shows like Friends, Frasier, and Will & Grace are all shows I can remember watching at different points in my life and I still like to watch reruns of them when I get the chance.  I know that it’s supposedly bad to watch a lot of TV, but I really enjoy watching all “my shows.” It’s a way for me to experience what it’s like to be a detective, or a singer, or a fake psychic, all while sitting in my living room.  Most importantly, I think all these shows are really good at dissecting human relationships and reflecting to the viewers some of the truths of the human condition.  That’s what good television can do – it can immerse you in something fantastical, but it also remains grounded in reality through the power of human relationships.

About Me: Music

I didn’t mention it in my last post, but I am actually a huge music fan.  I’ve been playing the piano since I was 6 or 7 and I’ve been playing the guitar since I was 14 (I also played the clarinet in elementary school and middle school, but I haven’t really picked it up in a while).  Music has always been a huge part of my life.  My parents always made music important in our house, and I’m really grateful for it.  It can bring so much joy and really be a companion during any part of your life.

My music tastes have changed some over the years, but I like to think that I have very eclectic taste in music.  I love most all types of music (Sometimes I even like rap, although it’s not my favorite).  I really like Taylor Swift, Sara Bareilles, Ed Sheeran, Hunter Hayes, The Civil Wars, Mumford & Sons…all types.  One of my favorite lesser known artists is Alexz Johnson. Alexz Johnson was on one of my favorite television shows when I was a kid, So Weird, and then later she was on Instant Star.  In both of these shows she sang and I was always amazed by her voice.  She has put out a few solo albums and will hopefully be putting one out in the near future. I just recently discovered this song on YouTube that I’m hoping will be on her new album.  Her voice is just fantastic.

As I’ve said multiple times, I really like television too.  So when television and music combine, I generally really like it (Except maybe reality competitions).  One of my favorite shows now is Nashville.  It has really good, soapy storylines, and the music is generally fantastic.  Just this past week, two characters sang a song called “This Town.” It was kind of creepy, but really just hauntingly beautiful. (For some reason, it’s not letting my embed this video, but trust me, clicking on the link is worth it.)

http://abc.go.com/music-lounge/video/Nashville-Extended-Performances/_m_VDKA0_k8awz4ou 

These are some of my favorite songs/artists right now.  I’ll leave you with another one of my favorite songs from Sara Bareilles’ most recent album, The Blessed Unrest.  It’s called “Satellite Call,” and it’s really beautiful.

Me!

This is technically my eighth blog post, but I don’t count the first post as having much substance, so I’ll say that since this is my seventh post, I should probably tell you a little about me (As much as I’m willing to put on the Internet, that is)!

My name is Colleen (If you couldn’t tell from the URL).  I’m an English major.  I like movies, television, and books way too much.  I am constantly quoting movies and television shows that rarely anyone understands but me.  Seriously, on my list of “superlatives” one of my housemates in Bath made for all of us at the end of the program was that I made the most references out of anyone. Ever.  I don’t necessarily consider this a bad thing, because I believe all the movies, and television shows I have watched have defined me in some way and given me insight into something I may not have known much about before.

I also love books, like I said.  And I’ll give you this quote from You’ve Got Mail (a movie!) that pretty much sums up my feelings about books:

Kathleen Kelly: When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.

(Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0128853/trivia?tab=qt&ref_=tt_trv_qu)

Honestly, I would also like Kathleen Kelly’s life – I mean she owns a children’s bookstore (For most of the movie anyways)!  But the fact that I chose that movie is significant, not only because it is probably my favorite movie, but also because it shows how much I love the 90s.  I admit it, I’m a child of the 90s and I will probably argue about how fantastic that time was for movies, television, everything (Except fashion. That is where the 90s kind of went a little crazy).  I mean, everyone probably loves the time they grew up in and thinks it’s the best, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten much more nostalgic about it.  I think it probably has something to do with the kind of world we live in post-9/11.  This is a little more serious than I wanted to go, so I’ll just leave it at this: kids who were born in the last thirteen years or so will never know what it was like before 9/11 – simpler, easier, not so scary.

Anyways, I think I’ll spend the next week of serious blogging telling you tidbits about myself.  I’m not sure what they’ll be yet, but I’m thinking along the lines of favorite movies, television shows, books, who knows! I just want to give you all a little picture of who I am:

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Ha get it? A little picture of myself!

It’s Fall!

I have always loved the Fall.  Changing leaves, Halloween, cooler weather, my birthday, Thanksgiving – all of which are some of my favorite things.  Mary Washington is beautiful all year round, but it is especially beautiful during the Fall.  All the trees on campus change to vibrant colors that match the colors of the brick buildings and walks perfectly.

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Some of the beautiful trees on campus

It really is a fantastic time of year.  It’s even better since I don’t have to help rake leaves! Honestly, though, raking leaves and jumping in leaf piles are some of my favorite memories from childhood.  As I got older, however, the idea that any kind of creepy crawly could be hiding in that pile made it a little less fun.  Of course, I learned some leave-jumping wisdom from the classic television special It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

As always, the Peanuts leave us with undeniable wisdom and humor.  This special is another one of my favorite childhood memories - It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! is one of my favorite holiday specials (the Snoopy Christmas special, however, is number one) about a holiday that was never exactly my favorite.  Halloween is great when you’re a kid and get bucketfuls of candy, but as you get older, it gets a little less exciting.  In college, however, I’ve rediscovered my love of Halloween.  I’ve dressed up (to an extent) every year, and watched silly Halloween specials.  I’m not into scary Halloween shows, but I have always loved the slightly scary, but fairly silly, Disney Halloween shows.  In particular, the movie Hocus Pocus is a classic that used to scare me as a kid, but I now love.  And the Disney channel original movies of the late 90s - the Halloweentown series, and Don’t Look Under the Bed are some of my other favorites.  Last year I re-watched Don’t Look Under the Bed, a movie about the boogeyman, and it is actually pretty scary for a children’s movie.  It deals with serious issues too – growing up, childhood cancer, and the idea that imagination is more powerful than reality.  It’s not surprising that it scared me so much as a kid.

Even with all the mildly scary shows and movies, Halloween is still fun.  Even if I don’t get buckets of candy anymore – now I just have to buy them.

Words as Art

I’m an English major, so I obviously find words fascinating.  Lately, I have been interested in the ways words are used as visual art.  In some instances, this can be a picture with writing accompanying it, the increasingly popular gif, or just words themselves.  One of my favorite word art I have seen is inspired by the television show, Psych.  In this show, one of the main characters, Shawn, is always giving his best friend, Gus, strange and interesting nicknames.  A particular shop on etsy.com, a craft selling website, has this for sale as a downloadable file:

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This picture has most of Gus’ nicknames from the show.  It’s a really cool representation of the show as well as a visually appealing piece of art.  Check out the Etsy shop, FabricsAndFonts here.

What I really want to talk about, however, is the new website I have recently discovered called litographs.com

This website hosts different artists who take classic books and make designs with the actual text from the book.  It’s a really cool way to interpret the text and use it as a way to make a new piece of art.  You can buy a shirt, bag, poster, or canvas print with the design and Litograph gives a portion of its’ poster sales to the charity, International Book Bank.  One of my favorite designs is based on the novel Persuasion by Jane Austen.

Here’s a picture of the print I found on the Internet:

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I also took a screen shot of the zoom effect on their webpage that gives a better idea of the way the words are used to create an image.

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Here’s the link to the Persuasion t-shirt on the Litographs website. I’m definitely considering purchasing it! This website is a really excellent example of a way to not only interpret texts, but to make art of words in a visual sense.  After all, these novels are already a piece of art, but there’s something about the visual of these designs that really help to enhance the understanding of a text.

Fairytales

Last night my roommate and I watched Ever After.  She had never seen it, and I realized that this classic Drew Barrymore, late-90′s, chick flick was an essential part of any woman’s film repertoire.  (Those reading this may not agree, but this is my blog after all, so it’s just my opinion) It makes me think about re-imagined fairytales.  This movie is obviously not drastically different from the source material, Cinderella, but it still offers a different interpretation.  In the end, Danielle, (Cinderella in this version) saves herself from a terrible fate – sure she marries the prince right after, but still, she does take control over her fate.  While fairytales have always focused on the damsel in distress instead of the daring damsel, modern re-imagined fairytales are much better at giving female characters a little more depth. I’m a big fan of ABC’s television show, Once Upon a Time, which features at its’ center Snow White, played by Ginnifer Goodwin.  This Snow White, however, is not like the Disney character most everyone is familiar with.  She’s independent, fierce, powerful, and just trying to take her kingdom back from the evil stepmother that stole it.  She does have a Prince Charming, but in many ways he doesn’t save her, so much as they save each other.  They have an equal partnership, something definitely missing from classic fairytales.  Most importantly, Snow White is flawed – and I don’t mean that she is flawed in the sense that she is a flat character.  Snow is flawed because she makes mistakes like most humans do.  But she learns from these mistakes, and always comes back fighting in the end.  The show is still going on, so we don’t know yet if Snow and her prince will get their happy ending.  However, Ginnifer Goodwin and the actor who plays the prince, Josh Dallas, are engaged, so at least their real life counterparts will hopefully have a happy ending!