Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What to Say to a Guy that "Fancies" You

Brought to you by 
the indomitable Caroline Forbes

The Vampire Diaries -- Season 3 // Episode 14: "Dangerous Liaisons"

(The next night)

The Vampire Diaries -- Season 3 // Episode 15: "All My Children"

    Background 

     In the beginning of The Vampire Diaries, throughout season 1, Caroline Forbes is a beautiful and kind girl, but because she was "the girl who could never get the guy" she could oftentimes come off as shallow, ditzy and envious. 

     After Caroline is turned into a vampire in season 2 and adapts to a different way of living, she turns from a selfish and misunderstood girl, into a strong, courageous and (forever)young woman who overtime becomes very wise and is willing to fight for the people that she loves dearly...and ends up getting a few male followers.

     In season 2 we meet Klaus Mikaelson; a 1000 year old vampire/werewolf hybrid who is blinded by ambition, revenge and hatred, and believes that love is an abstract weakness only cursed on by lesser mortals. When he meets brave and opinionated Caroline Forbes though, he discovers a vulnerability he hasn't possessed in a long time.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Leprechauns, castles, good luck and laughter
Lullabies, dreams, and love ever after.
Poems and songs with pipes with drums
A thousand welcomes when anyone comes.

~Author unknown

Maewyn Succat (or St. Patrick): A Celebration of Life


Of course I had to have Snoopy and Woodstock!

    St. Patrick's has become more than just a holiday about celebrating Irish heritage, it has become a celebration of life itself. This holiday is celebrated in almost every country in the world, even China! What is the allure behind St. Patrick's Day though? It is the celebration of the life of Ireland's official Saint (or one of them) in the Catholic Church, but this holiday (like Valentine's Day) has been embraced by the secular side as well, especially in America. Its fun, its lively, it comes at an incredibly boring time of the month!

     Now when one thinks of St. Patrick's Day, you think: green, pots of gold, rainbows, shamrocks, parades, leprechauns, and so on. And really, every single one of those has some bearing on the creation of St. Patrick's Day. The greatest thing about St. Patrick's Day though, is the celebration of who you are and remembering where you came from. Heritage is an important matter in life. We're raised to learn about our heritage, to treasure it and eventually pass it on to the next generation.

St. Patrick
     Anyone who knows their Irish history will know that the Irish themselves have a long long history of being unbowed, unbent and unbroken by other cultures, primarily the English. And because of that, for many centuries the English and the Irish had a very diabolical relationship. Of course, in the last fifty to sixty years, England and Ireland's relationship has become much better and they've managed to build intensely strong bonds between their two cultures. So knowing about England and Ireland's tense past with one another I was surprised to find out that Ireland's most beloved Saint was not Irish, but English.

     His name originally wasn't actually Patrick but Maewyn (that is a cool name) Succat and he was born 387 A.D. No one really knows where he was born, but many believe it to be in what is now Banwen, Wales. Maewyn was the son of a wealthy deacon, Calpurnius, his mother's name was Conchessa and he had at least one sister, Darerca. When when he was sixteen he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and was sold into slavery for six years, working in the Irish fields where he trained to be a shepherd.

     Life as a sheep herder was hard and long, and the Irish weather was cold, rainy and relentless In the midst of all of this, Maewyn prayed and spoke to God and believed that God would sometimes speak back to him. Maewyn did escape when he was in his early twenties and manged to make it back home. There he immersed himself in the Christian teachings hoping to one day return to Ireland as a missionary and to free the slaves.

Carlow Cathedral - St. Patrick Preaches to the Kings
     After Maewyn was ordained as bishop by Pope Celestine, he was given the name Patricius or Patrick and returned several years later to the land that once enslaved him. There he spoke to the slaves of God's peace and his eternal freedom and used nature as his tools to physically describe God's love, such as the three leaf clover to describe the Holy Trinity. Life as a missionary was difficult for him though. He successfully ordained many priests and baptized thousands of people, but the Irish upper class were not pleased at how he was bringing hope to the poor and destitute. So they would have Patrick robbed, beaten and even thrown into jail, but he was determine to fulfill his duty to God and to the people of Ireland.

     What I find ironic is that when Maewyn returned home he could have stayed there in Banwen, get married and have a regular life, but he went back to Ireland because he loved the people and wanted to set them free from their physical and spiritual slavery. St. Patrick's devotion to God and to a people and country that weren't his to begin with is part of his undying legacy.

     So, be you Irish or not, whether you celebrate the life of this Saint in church or at home, or just enjoy the merriment of St. Patrick's Day with parades, parties and awesome hats, remember to always celebrate life. Sometimes that can be hard; we go through challenges that seem unbearable, we're made to put up with unbearable people and circumstances, and sometimes it's not even our fault. Yet, to give up on living is a waste; as long your heart is still beating, there is always hope for a better life that is worth celebrating.

"If I have any worth, it is to live my life for God so as to teach these peoples;
even though some of them still look down on me."

~St. Patrick

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Sunflower Blogger Award


     Hamlette at Hamlette's Soliloquy has nominated me for The Sunflower Blogger Award! Thank you so much!

Rules:

1.) Share 11 facts about yourself

2.) Answer the questions set by your nomination blogger.

3.) Nominate 11 3 bloggers

4.) Set questions for the nominated bloggers.


11 facts about me:

1.) My three favorite girl's names are: Guinevere (I'm not kidding), Annelise and Genevieve. 

2.) I love mash potatoes and gravy!

3.) The two places in the world I want to travel to the most are India and Switzerland.

4.) Although I've said that I wouldn't take up writing professionally, if I ever wrote my St.Giles story, I would hope that it would get published. 

5.) My favorite villains are Magneto, Morgan Le Fay, and Lucius Malfoy.

6.) I could never leave Virginia.

7.) I don't particularly care for Shakespeare, but I do love Much Ado About Nothing.

8.) I have a very strange habit of stroking the soft corner of my blanket. I've done it ever since I was a baby.

9.) I prefer winter weather over summer weather.

10.) If I could be any Disney character, it would be Babette the feather duster from Beauty and The Beast.

11.) My favorite Bible story is Moses.


Hamlette's questions and my answers:

Q: If you had to spend the rest of your life in a different century of Earth's past, where would you spend it?

A: Edwardian Era. I love it for the changes in society's culture, women's suffrage, new technology and the ending of social divisions.

Q: What's your favorite salad dressing?

A. Honey mustard

Q: What's the worst movie (that you liked least) you saw in 2013?

A: Wow, that's hard...I didn't get to see a lot last year...my least favorite movie was probably (I hate to say) The Wolverine, because I had a hard time following the storyline and I'm not a fan of martial art fighting.

Q: Do you paint your toenails?

A. Nope

Q: What are your three favorite TV shows?

A: Downton Abbey, The Vampire Diaries and Merlin

Q: Are there any books or movies you own more than one copy of? If so, what are they?

A: No...I don't think so.


Nominee questions:

1.) If you had a chance to live in one country in Europe for one year, what country would it be?

2.) Do you learn from you mistakes or just tend to forget about them?

3.) Would you rather live in Middle-Earth, Narnia, Camelot, Panem, or Hogwarts?

4.) Vampire, werewolf or neither?

5.) What are your favorite children's names?

6.) What do you believe was the worst time period in history?

7.) What is the greatest achievement in society to date?


My nominees:

Heidi

Bella

Amy

Tweeting The Oscars


I just have to say that Ellen DeGeneres is probably one of the best Oscar presenters I have seen in a long time!

And yes, this did become the most Tweeted picture at the Oscars!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Not a Hollywood Christian

Zachary Levi on his faith.
(Click for a higher resolution)
     For Tangled fans, Zachary Levi was the acting and singing voice for Flynn Ryder and for Thor fans he was Lord Fandral in Thor: The Dark World

     Whether he really is a Christian or not is none of my concern (I truly hope he is), it's just that in Hollywood, and really any type of media industry, if you claim or state to be a Christian than it's just a way to get another fan base. At the same time that is exactly what he brought up in that statement; that Christian's can oftentimes be false and fake.

     He actually kind of reminds me of Charlton Heston, just in a more geeky and nerdy way. Charlton Heston (one of my favorite actors as well!) was a Christian, but he wasn't judgmental and he just lived his life the way he believed it should be lived, by his Faith. I mean come on the guy did The Planet of The Apes series. Not exactly a Sunday School watch.

     So, while I'm not jumping up and down and saying, "OH! HE'S AMAZING!" I will say that I admire him for his honesty regarding the secular perception of Christians and his simple devotion to his faith. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Adventures of Merlin: Season 2

"The Adventures of Merlin: Season 2" (2009)
     When I wrote the review for season 1 a year ago, I was the only one in my family that had actually seen Merlin. Now as I write the review for season 2, my family absolutely loves the show! Especially my mom who really wrote it off as a 'children's show' after seeing only one episode. We're finally on season 5 (I bought the first 3 seasons and got seasons 4 and 5 for Christmas) and I really, really, don't want the show to end!

~ ~ ~

Merlin
Duty and Destiny
Colin Morgan as Merlin in
"The Adventures of Merlin: Season 2" (2009)
     A year or so after season 1 left off, Merlin is slowly getting use to life in Camelot. Although he loves living with Gaius and maintains a good friendship with Guinevere (Gwen), he still has to attend every waking moment attending to the endless needs of Prince Arthur. Although his "Destiny" is to ensure that Arthur makes it to the throne, it doesn't make it any easier when he is always saving the prince's life with magic and getting no credit in return or watching less worthier people receive it instead.

     In this season, Merlin has the opportunity of meeting other secret sorcerers who themselves are escaping persecution and are longing (and sometimes plotting) for a better life. It is comforting for Merlin to know that he is not alone, but at the same time, he cannot let his personal beliefs stand in the way and fulfilling his destiny to Prince Arthur...no matter how many times Arthur yells at him, humiliates him, puts him down and overlooks his courageous qualities. Every person that Merlin meets has an impact on his life that helps him to grow as a sorcerer. 

Merlin (Colin Morgan) and Freya (Laura Donnelly) in
"Lady of The Lake" - S2xE9
     One of these people that Merlin finds himself in contact with is the beautiful druid girl Freya who Merlin saves from a slave trader. He hides her in one of passageways of the palace and cares for her when he gets the opportunity to do so. Overtime, Merlin finds himself in love with the lonely girl, but love is cut short when she is found to be a mythical beast and is wounded. As she is dying, Merlin takes her to Avalon Lake to bury her, but not before she tells him that she will repay him one day for his kindness. 

     The best thing about Merlin is that you don't see an immediate change in him. He's still goofy and lovable, but his banter with Arthur gets better and he still manages to get himself into trouble (be it his fault or not). Merlin's duty to his destiny is constantly being challenged whether by evil forces or even by Arthur himself.

~ ~ ~

Prince Arthur
His Father's Son
Bradley James as Prince Arthur in
"The Adventures of Merlin: Season 2"
      Prince Arthur is constantly aware of who is and who he is meant to become, and is always being reminded of it, if not from his subjects than from his own demanding father. Sadly it comes to a point where he becomes so angry and frustrated at his place as future king that he takes it out on his manservant Merlin. In spite of his burdening role as future king, Arthur begins to grow and mature from a arrogant brat to a wise leader. When living in the shadow of a great king such as his father, Arthur breaks free whenever he can to find the freedom of being himself.

     Much of this series deals with family most especially the Pendragon family. In one episode Arthur discovers the truth behind his mysterious birth and finally meets his kind and beautiful mother, Queen Ygraine who died in childbirth. Arthur is told by his own mother that by Uther's decision, he was conceived and born by magic and therefore to keep within the balance of nature, with every life there must be a death.

Prince Arthur (Bradley James) and Queen Ygraine (Alice Patten) in
"The Sins of the Father" - S2xE8
      Arthur's birth brought his mother's death all due magic and his father's arrogance and therefore the doom of all those who practice magic. Arthur, enraged by this information goes home and challenges his father. Merlin intervenes by lying and saying that Arthur was being used and therefore, stops what could have been a bloody end to Uther. One of my favorite and most tear-jerking episodes in the whole season!

     Between learning about his heartbreaking past, Arthur also must deal with his conflicting feelings for Morgana's noble lady-in-waiting Guinevere. He sees her as generous and honest, but also knows that as a servant she would never be considered suitable as a queen. All the more reason for Arthur to break away from his father's rules, his family's traditions and create a future for himself as the next king of a free and powerful Camelot. 

~ ~ ~

Lady Morgana
Noble Lady and Secret Sorceress
Katie McGrath as Lady Morgana in
"The Adventures of Merlin: Season 2" (2009)
     Beautiful and feisty Lady Morgana seems to have the life of a princess. With a loyal lady-in-waiting, a handsome prince who gives her what she wants and a king who never says no, Morgana truly seems to have a perfect life. Her generous nature is still what makes her loved by the people of Camelot and her sense of duty and justice does not go unnoticed; even when it may cause severe disagreements between her and her foster father, King Uther Pendragon.

     Although Morgana has a genuinely happy life during the day, at night she is haunted be horrific dreams that have waking up and screaming. Eventually these dreams have her waking up to something else, magic and sorcery. Morgana wakes up to find that she, not by her own admission, that she has broken a vase, a window or even set the room on fire. Scared by this secret knowledge, Morgana feels she has no one to turn to. That is until a mysterious stranger rides into Camelot and reveals to Morgana the most unexpected of secrets. She is Morgause, the last high priestess of Camelot and Morgana's older half-sister. 

Morgause (Emilia Fox) and Lady Morgana (Katie McGrath) in
"The Adventures of Merlin: Season 2" (2009)
     With this new information, Morgana's life takes a drastic turn as she realizes who she really is. Not a lady of Camelot, but a high priestess. Born to rule, born to dominate and born to practice magic freely. Eventually Morgana begins to resent her former life and joins Morgause to plot to destroy Camelot. Morgana has always harbored resentment toward Uther for his treatment of those who practice magic, but now she has the ability to pay back the man who has made these people suffer.

     Overtime, the once kind and selfless girl becomes vindictive and conniving. It's a dreadful and almost heartbreaking transition to watch. Anyone who is familiar with Authurian legends knows full well that Morgana and Morgause were Arthur and Merlin's greatest adversaries and the beginning of their alliance is the beginning of their war against Uther, his throne and his kingdom.

~ ~ ~

Guinevere "Gwen"
Love is Patient, Love is Kind
Angel Coulby as Guinevere "Gwen" in
"The Adventures of Merlin: Season 2" (2009)
     Courageous and darling Guinevere is truly loved wherever she goes and by whoever she meets. It's simply in her nature to understand and help people, be they wanderers or princes. Her friendship is valued by many in Camelot and her wisdom is becoming more and more valued. Her willingness to help Merlin in the tightest if situations makes her a worthy companion and her loyalty to her mistress Lady Morgana is unmatched by any other servant in Camelot. 

     In spite of all of these good qualities that are found in Gwen her greatest is in the unlikely love she has found in the eyes of handsome prince Arthur, future king of Camelot. Gwen, aware of her social status as a lowly servant, tries to avoid what could be a very dangerous and detrimental situation, but even she cannot deny her feelings for the man she believes will be a great king. Her conflicting feeling for Arthur only become worse when she runs into an old friend (who we met in season 1) that could also be a potential love interest. The worth and honorable commoner, Lancelot Du Lac. 

Prince Arthur (Bradley James, Guinevere (Angel Coulby)
and Lancelot (Santiago Cabrera) in
"The Adventures of Merlin: Season 2" (2009)
     In one episode Gwen is taken hostage by a cruel tyrant under the guise that she is her mistress, Lady Morgana and there she comes face to face with the handsome Lancelot. In season 1, Lancelot came to Camelot to become a knight and he is instantly smitten with Gwen, but she in her own practical nature tries to ignore what she may feel for him. When he leaves (due to the fact that he is found to be a commoner instead of a nobleman), Gwen contemplates on the life she may have had with Lancelot and wonders of she has missed a good opportunity. 

     Now fate throws them back together and Gwen finds herself believing that she has a chance of a more ordinary life with Lancelot instead of a tortuous relationship with the prince. Only Arthur risks life and limb to rescue her and now Gwen is caught between two men and two lives. Two roads lay before her; one is straight and forward and familiar, but the other is mysterious and confusing, and not without sacrifice and pain. In the end, it ends up being Arthur...for now at least.

~ ~ ~
     
"The Adventures of Merlin: Season 2" (2009)
    Just as funny, endearing and as exciting as season 1, this is probably my favorite of all five seasons. There was serious depth and emotion in many of the episodes that was balanced out with charm and humor from other episodes. From the beginnings of Arthur and Gwen's love story, the mystery of Morgana's future and Merlin's continuing pursuit to fulfill his destiny, season 2 transitions effortlessly from season 1 and leaves you excited for the continuing story of Merlin's adventures in Camelot.  

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