Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year. New Blog, New Me

Hello world! It's been nearly a year since I last blogged, and so much has changed in my life my this blog just doesn't feel like home anymore. So, I've decided to start fresh with the new year! I've made a new blog, which I've titled The Recalcitrant Calvinist, which I plan to launch immediately next year :) I'm working my first full-time job as a first-grade teacher, working on grad school applications, and ready to start a new chapter in my life. I'm hoping that this time next year I'll be getting ready to start my second semester of seminary, and to that end I'd like to start a blog with more of a theological and worldview focus. I hope, if you still look at this little blog, you'll hop on over to my new corner of the blogging world :)

With that said, cheers, and a happy new year!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Back to School

Tomorrow marks the first day of my last semester as a college student!!!! It's weird to look back over the last four years and think, at this point my senior year if high school I had never even heard of the university I ended up attending. And even after I applied, I didn't really want to go here. And here I am, about to start my last semester at an institution I have grown to love immensely, and that has shaped me in ways I couldn't have imagined four years ago. I'm so excited to have made it this far, and I'm super excited for all if the amazing opportunities I'm getting this upcoming semester!

First off, I'd just like to say I've worked so hard and have finally achieved my life's ambition: I'm getting to have a 12 hour semester!!!!!! Yes! You wouldn't think one class either way would make much of a difference, but it does. No more 18 hour course loads for me, thank you very much! Aaaaaand, two of my four classes are relatively easy: Classical Mythology (so fun), Advanced Grammar and Rhetoric (may be jumping the gun on this one)! My Independent Study and Medieval Lit classes won't be easy, but I love the professors who teach them, so I'm really execited! 

I'm also getting to do some amazing non-academic (still kind of academic things). I'm getting to do teaching observation at a private school in the area, I get to be the first ever TA at my university (and I even get to teach two classes!!!), i get to be literarure editor for the school paper, and I still get to do tutoring, which I love. 

In all there's a lot to look forward to in my last semester of undergrad. I've had a wonderful collegiate experience, and I'm grateful for all the people who helped make it that way. I can't wait to finish out this chapter in my life and start on the next one (which will hopefully involve employment and cats). 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Austin Day Two

Today for the first time I explored my very own state capital! I have to say, Austin is one of the most bizarre places I've ever been. Like, the people here really are as strange as the stereotype suggests. At the risk of being cliche, I've just gotta say: Austin is weird.

My friend and I are enjoying the last part of our break/ babysitting for her parents, so we took her little brothers downtown with us. First we stopped off at a Barnes and Noble since the little boys had gift cards. Although I usually don't buy things from B&N I just had to this time. There was an eight dollar collection of penny dreadfuls that includes the Sweeney Todd novel. So basically that book needed to join my library!!!! 
Isn't it glorious? 

Next we ate at a joint called Hut's Hamburgers, which did speciality hamburgers. Mine had sour cream in it, which wasn't dreadful, but I think I prefer ketchup and mustard! 

After that we wandered around the famous South Congress Boulevard. There were some interesting shops around there. There was a neat rare book shop. Sadly, nothing there caught my eye/ was affordable. Next we went to this giant odds and ends store ( I don't remember what it was called but it had a giant cowboy riding a rabbit on the sign. That was an experience. We hadn't even been there thirty seconds when I saved one of the little boys from accidentally picking up a set of very large, very adult, playing cards....... O.0 Thankfully the rest of the store had no objectionable knock knacks, and it was fun to poke around at all of the bizarre things.

Later today my friend and I stopped by the Disney store at the mall because we decides that we just couldn't live with out..... Tsum Tsums!!!!! That's right, I have the taste of an American five year old and also a Japanese school girl. But they're so cute!!!!!!!! I also found this super amazing Maleficent mug/goblet. Look at my prizes:
Look! I got pooh, Mickey, Donald. And Dumbo!!!!!!! And my mug even has the raven diablo on it!!!! 
I think the last of my Christmas money was well spent :)

Anyways, next the two of us are going to watch a Very Potter Sequel, and then, home tomorrow! See you then!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Day in Austin and Tsum Tsums

I'm in Austin right today(having tons of fun applying for jobs, hanging out, and playing board games), so I don't have much of a post, but I thought I'd do a shout/ product placement piece.

Have you guys seen Tsum Tsums? They are the super precious new Disney product that look like pillow pets but aren't.
These things are super adorable. They were kind of on my radar today, but my friend's mom went to Disney and sent us pictures of these things. They are so cute, I don't think you understand. 

I don't really have anything to say other than that. I'm going to downtown Austin tomorrow, so I'll probably post about that. Hope you're all enjoying your Friday!

I'm not obsessed. You're obsessed.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Oxford Trip Pt. 2: Explorations and Revelations

     So, if you'll recall, the last time I left you in jolly old England I was literally dying. I had Jet Lag something fierce. The picture directly above comes from the ill fated first afternoon brunch restaurant, but I can tell you literally nothing about the place. I don't even remember what it was called. But, all that just to say, I did survive my first day in a foreign country (miserable though it was). The next day started with much of the same: obscene tiredness, vomiting, wishing I were anywhere else. But it got better.

Day two I was forced to do things like attend a lecture and a class discussion. I also can't remember much of those. I remember saying things when we were discussing That Hideous Strength, but I don;t remember what I said... it was probably brilliant. We also heard a professor named Michael Ward talk about Lewis, which apparently I thought was super interesting since I bought his book later that day (it's a really good book tbh). My memory starts to come back around lunch time. We went to the famous Eagle and Child pub, frequented by the Inklings! I still wasn't feeling up to much so I only ate a salad (which I still regret b/c pub food is delicious). But the atmosphere was great, and it was nice to be coming out of a jet lagged stupor. 

This is me looking like a vampire, a pale sickly vampire. Also some boys in the pub.

     After lunch we were free to pretty much do what we wanted, and I wasn't keen to shut myself back in my room when I was finally feeling a bit better, so I went exploring with a couple of friends. Let me just say, Oxford is beautiful city. There are so many amazing shops, and the bookstores. Oh my word the bookstores. Let me live and die in a college town. We stopped in at Waterstones (basically British Barnes and Noble) and I was super impressed. They had a cafe where I ordered a quiche. They made me a quiche! Also, the bottled water there comes in a glass bottle. Glass bottles, I tell you. So fancy! I finally ate food, and we explored the books. We found this winner:

It was just as horrific as it looked :p I also picked up a copy of Michael Ward's book Planet Narnia which purports to show that Lewis wrote each Narnia book with a different planet in mind. After wandering the streets of Oxford we found a really pretty spot on a river and we sat there for a bit. We even ran into some cure ducklings! 


So cute :)
   Later on we took an official tour of the city. The architecture is stunning. It's interesting how many layers there are to this place. Centuries are piled on top of one another in ways they aren't here. 

Look at those gates we weren't allowed to walk trough.

     Look at the flowers on these doors. I literally have dozens of pictures of the sides of walls and things, but I won't just dump them here on everyone :p The next day was a museum day. Oxford has a bunch of really neat museums. First we went to the Ashmolean. There was tons f interesting things there. We also went to the Museum of Natural Science, which had a bunch of cool skeletons and minerals, but was super duper hot. It had a glass rood, see, so it was basically like a greenhouse. My friends and I ended up taking refuge in the Pitts River Museum which is underground and attached. It's filled with, like, shrunken heads and stuff.  Somehow we lost one of our friends in there, which is hard to do because both museums are tiny. So we spent like an hour looking for her until we were just like 'eh. whatever.' and left her to fend for herself (she was fine). 

     All of that was fun, but the best parts were really just wandering around. A large group of us found a really eat ice cream shop that had some amazing flavors (they had butterbeer flavored ice cream guys, butterbeer), then we all wandered and ate it outside of a scenic graveyard (where my friend cut her foot and neglected to disinfect the cut, but more on that later). Oxford is an amazing place to be, with some really interesting things to do. It's an amazing experience to be able to go somewhere and live there (however briefly) and then maintain a weird sort of connection to that place. I saw a photo-set recently of pictures of Oxford streets, and it was amazing to be able to say 'Hey, I know where that is! I've been there! I ate there! Oh my gosh, I've lived a part of my life in this place!' And that's really the thing that stuck out to me most these first few days there. 

The Ashmolean

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Book Post

As a self proclaimed bibliophile, I've realized that I haven't actually made that many book posts on this blog. I've done things like book reviews, but I haven't made very many book appreciation posts. Also as a self proclaimed bibliophile I've decided that this cannot continue. I present now to you a masterwork I call crapy iPhone pictures of my books. Enjoy!
Here you can see my Tolkien shelf, which I find to be a perfectly lovely bookshelf. It is filled with rainbow colored paperbacks, and my super fancy editions of his main works. You can also see a tea cup I could find a place for, and an old knife (?) thing from world war 1 that is clearly Sting. 
These are the shelves that hold my classics. They are mostly paper backs, because as if right now that's all I can afford. But I think they're pretty. They're kept company by the Cinderella cross stitch I did, housed in the most ostentatious frame I could find, and my Batman shrine upon which I sacrifice small insects daily.
  Here is a rare view of the top of my desk and the books that (don't really) adorn it. Aren't thy lovely. Oh, what is that? Is that an example of what it looks like when I mark my books with the beautiful ex libris stamp I got for my birthday?
Yes. Yes it is. Isn't it beautiful? It has my name, and a knight, and a lady in a pretty dress, and trees. I love it, and now if anyone borrows my books ever again they will know whose book they stole when they inevitably don't return it. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Fantastic News

I don't know how many of you have read Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn or seen the Rankin Bass movie, but if you haven't done either I highly recommend them. The Last Unicorn tells the story of a unicorn who may or may not be the last one. She goes on a journey to discover the whereabouts of the rest of her kind, befriends a failed magician, a tired renegade, becomes and human and falls in love with a prince. The novel is funny and engaging, and the film is absolutely beautiful.

 I really cannot tell you how beautiful this movie is. And it's even a good movie, unlike some things I've reviewed on here

The great new is, this movie is coming, with the author of the book, to Houston!!! The Last Unicorn has a screening tour! I'm so excited. I have no idea when tickets are going on sale, but you can bet I'll be one of the first in line for them. I adored this book, and I'm super excited to see the movie in an actual theater! Ah! April can't come fast enough! :) Yay!!!!

In other news, I also get to spend the last few days of break in Austin with a friend, so that will be fun! The last time I was in Austin it was on a class field trip to see the capital, which was fun, I guess, But it will be better this time. I'll get to explore downtown with a native. See, sometimes real life can be exciting. Not as exciting as a movie screening and book signing in April, but still :)