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Good Tidings and Great Joy by Sarah Palin – Book Review

23 Nov

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First off, Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas isn’t about politics. It’s solidly and solely about keeping Christ in Christmas, protecting our rights as Christians and asserting our freedom of religion. It’s a book by a Christian, for a Christian.

Sarah Palin’s basic message is, “If you don’t want to celebrate Christmas, don’t. We respect that. But don’t try to impose your beliefs on me and my family and don’t infringe on our right to celebrate our religious holiday the way we choose.” Really. That’s pretty much it. A live and let live message. One of tolerance – that elusive concept that liberals claim to so admire.

Normally, if someone were to write a Christian book about a Christian holiday, with a little American constitutional law thrown in, non-Christians wouldn’t really give a rip – unless, of course, they were exceptionally sad and bitter with nothing better to do with their time than attack a peaceful religion during a joyous time of the year.

But this isn’t just ANY book on Christianity. It’s a book on Christianity written by SARAH PALIN. Bum bum bum BUMMMM!!

So, of course, if you plan on reading it in public, or posting on your Twitter or Facebook page that you’ve read it, expect some liberals with a hard on for hating Sarah that have never even so much as cracked open a book by Palin to come out of the woodwork and roll their eyes, scoff, or say ignorant things that they think make them sound “cool”. Yeah, cuz saying misogynistic and sexist things about a woman makes you such a strong manly man. (Or for the women, proves that you’re a real lady.)

I’ve long come to terms with the fact that nothing angers an insecure liberal man or an unconfident morally confused liberal girl more than a strong , intelligent, beautiful conservative woman.

Liberals go into a veritable frenzy when it comes to Palin. They attack her children, say grotesquely sexist things about her, embrace wacky conspiracy theories about her life, take comedians exaggerated “quotes” and ignorantly believe they came straight from her mouth, and insult every woman in America when they suggest that Palin can’t be a good mother and a politician, too. As John Hawkins of Townhall News says, it would be understandable if Sarah Palin were President and produced this type of reaction, but the former governor of Alaska? Most people couldn’t even name half a dozen governors, much less obsess over what they’re doing.

Sarah Palin represents a totally different style of woman: the conservative feminist. She’s had a successful career, raised a big family, and has done it all without aborting an “inconvenient” child or carping about men keeping her down. A true enemy to the liberal feminist ideal. But I digress!

More on this book! It is extremely short. It’s not overly profound or ground breaking in its observations and facts. For the news and current event savvy conservative it’s just old news polished and repackaged with a shiny new Christmas bow on top. So really, it’s either a good Christmas 101 for new believers or a good casual read for the Palin fans. Nothing more or less.

Not to diminish the topic at all, because the information is relevant and vital. The fact is, our environment is increasingly becoming hostile to Christians and Christmas. That’s no joke. And Palin gives some basic tips on how to keep the Christmas spirit, and how to keep it well.

Plus, it’s fun when read in Palin’s voice. She’s cute, she’s witty, she puts her opposition down in that adorably innocent way you’d expect a soccer mom to when having a dispute in front of the kids.

If not written by Palin, I’d say it’s simply a good short read for a Christian seeking to focus on the reason for the season. But because it’s written by Palin, I’d say it’s a MUST READ…. What? So, I have a crush on her, what of it?

Best part of this book? GETTING TO MEET SARAH PALIN ON HER BOOK SIGNING TOUR, WHEEEEEE!!!!!!!! *runs around in circles* Check out the photo that got posted to Sarah Palin’s Facebook wall of my handsome hubby and gorgeous baby girl getting Palin’s autograph… awwwww, yeah!

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MERRY CHRISTMAS, YA’LL!

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15 Thought Provoking Quotes From C.S. Lewis

22 Nov

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I was just finishing reading The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis this morning, when my Twitter feed lit up with the nation stumbling over itself to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of President John F. Kennedy.

Then, a lone tweet from @winstoncoolidge stood out in my timeline. “So today we hear about old people reminiscing about where they were when C.S. Lewis died.” Huh?! What? By Aslan’s mane, it’s the 50th anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis, too! I literally discovered this with a C.S. Lewis book in my hand. (If that’s any indication of how much of a fan I am…)

Now I’m no soul-reader, but I think it’s fairly safe to say that the death of C.S. Lewis, just a few days shy of his 65th birthday, isn’t one to be too heavily mourned. I mean, I think we’re all fairly sure where he’s ended up.

A modern day literary saint meeting his maker isn’t something to mourn. It’s something to celebrate! So celebrate I shall.

C.S. Lewis is BY FAR one of my all time favorite authors.  An intellectual and an apologist, he used fairy tales, mythology, poetry, science fiction, children’s stories and scholarly essays to communicate the depths of truth. What’s not to love? He’s worth reading and rereading and then reading again.

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So without further ado! Here are some literary morsels to chew on in celebration of the life of C.S. Lewis. (Oh, yeah, and sorry you died too JFK…)

1. I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.

2. Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.

3. A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.

C.S._Lewis4. There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, ‘All right, then, have it your way.’

5. Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.

6. Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.

7. We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.

8. The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.

9. The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.

10. Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.

11. Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.

cs-lewis (2)12. The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only – and that is to support the ultimate career.

13. You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

14. The magic is not in the medicine but in the patients body. What the doctor does is stimulate Nature’s functions in the body, or to remove hinderances. In a sense, though we speak of healing a cut, every cut heals itself; no dressing will make skin grow over a cut on a corpse.

15. No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good.

Sarah Palin Book Tour in Pensacola, Florida

19 Nov

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Guess who has two thumbs and got Sarah Palin’s autograph… IN PERSON?!?! Yeeeeah, that’s right. THIS GIRL!

The gorgeous Governor of Alaska was in Pensacola, Florida yesterday on her book tour for her newest work, “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas”. I finished reading it just in time for the autograph signing event. I don’t think you guys understand the importance of that. One of my biggest, biggest and I mean BIGGEST pet peeves is getting into the Christmas spirit before Thanksgiving. DON’T YOU ENCROACH ON MY FALL TIME SANTA.

So reading a book that is just chock full of warm and fuzzies for the holidays shows just how much I adore Sarah Palin.

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My husband had duty on the base and it looked like he wasn’t going to be able to make it.. buuuut! He asked for permission to ditch out long enough to get the book signed, and against all odds the big wigs on the base said okay! So I picked him up from work at the very last minute, we ran to Books a Million, and we joined the 1000+ people crowding the building to meet the lovely lady herself (along with her family – Todd, Piper and Bristol).

I’m told she signed 894 books last night! And we’re but one itty bitty stop on her massive tour. Poor lady better have a hot bath and a masseuse on hand, amiright?!

So. There we were, a young mother, a young man in military uniform and a tiny newborn baby in a tiny little sailor suit, mingling among a crowd of what I’m willing to bet were 99.9% Christian conservatives. Jonathan was stopped and thanked for his service countless times. And the reaction to a Navy man with a tiny baby in his arms? PRICELESS. It was like a constant surround sound track of oooohhhs and ahhhhhs and “how old?” and “whats her name?” and “she’s so precious!”

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They made us leave our phones and cameras outside of the autograph area, but Palin had her own photography crew there taking pictures. When Jonathan approached the table with tiny Tessa in tow, we just KNEW we’d be seeing that image again soon. And lo and behold, the very next morning, what do we find on Sarah Palin’s personal Facebook page:

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Awwww yeah. That’s my sexy family. I am such a proud mommy and wife. I wasn’t in the picture because they were pushing us along single file and after my book was signed, they ushered me away. I turned around to see Jonathan chatting it up with Palin. I tried to walk back to the table but the Books a Million gal stopped me like I was some crazed wacko trying to go back to lick the pretty lady. (In her defense, the thought had crossed my mind. I’VE GOT SUCH A CRUSH ON HER!)

Anyhoo, I’ll follow up with a book review soon enough. MERRY CHRISTMAS YA’LL!!

Our Cosplay Photoshoot Showcase

17 Oct

Last Friday Jonathan and I attended a meeting with the Pensacola Costumers Guild at the local Books a Million.  While indulging in some nerdy “you show me yours I’ll show you mine” with some of the other costumers, we realized our cosplays are scattered all over the interwebs and not easily accessible for show and tell.

I mean, I have them all loaded here on my blog, but when you click on the “Cosplay” category on my blog sidebar, you have to scroll for a small eternity to look through my posts. Then there’s our cosplay group on Facebook, which is annoying and awkward to navigate through on a smart phone. We also have our photoshoots on cosplay.com, but that site has gone crazy downhill with the website administrators going AWOL. And finally we also have photos on acparadise.com, but the site is super anal about having profiles featuring ONLY photos of the cosplayer the page is for. So basically, Jonathans page features only pictures of him, and my page features only pictures of me. Which makes showing off full shoots nigh impossible.

So! I wanted to post a blog with links to all of our costumes and photoshoots for ready reference and bragging sessions. ^_^ So here is the full list of our cosplays as a couple, in chronological order, starting with the summer of 2009!

CLICK ON THE SERIES TITLE TO SEE THE FULL COSPLAY PHOTOSHOOT.

The X-Files

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

The Dresden Files

Avatar: The Last Airbender

The Princess Bride

Firefly

Alice in Wonderland

Tank Girl

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

TRON

Dance Dance Revolution 4th Mix

X-Men

Cowboy Bebop

Pirates of the Caribbean

Trigun

Spiderman

Vocaloid

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Spaceballs

101 Dalmations

Absolute Boyfriend

Aladdin

Sherlock Holmes

Interview With The Vampire

Fruits Basket

Thor

Rurouni Kenshin

Final Fantasy X-2

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Twilight

American Dad

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The Dresden Files: Cold Days Book Review

8 Oct

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Anyone that knows me, knows that I consume books like I eat food – quickly, mercilessly and without any restraint. I am a glutton for mind candy. As a result, I breeze through novels in a matter of days. I forego sleep if a book really strikes my fancy. I tune out all distractions and go into a book bubble, where it’s only me, my coffee, and my imagination.

On our first date, as Jonathan and I both started the traditional nerd mating ritual of preening and parading the fantasy novels and geek literature we enjoy and have in common, Jonathan insisted that I read the Dresden Files books. I’d never even heard of them, New York Times best seller though they be.

But read it I did, and have found that I really do enjoy the series. Jonathan and I have been following the books as they release, and breathlessly awaiting the follow up novels. The Dresden Files was actually the third cosplay we ever did together. We love this series. It’s become one of “our” things.

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So I really don’t know why it took me four whole freaking months to finish this book. (It could be because I was busy growing a peoples, packing up for my cross country move, moving into my new home, being put on bed rest, and then shoving a human out my nether regions, followed by 24/7 care of and attention to said human. Maybe.)

Anyway, this is the 14th book in the Dresden Files series. I’m not going to even BEGIN to touch on the story intricacies. I’m just going to assume everyone is up to speed on the plot and story development. So to be honest, this book didn’t do anything for me. It was an enjoyable read but it just kind of… meandered. I guess I’m still just reeling from Butcher destroying every iconic and recognizable icon in the Dresden-verse with the book Changes.

After unraveling everything that had been built up over the course of 10 novels, this book just felt like reading a giant filler episode. Yes, things happened. Things were explained. Some major characters got killed, and recruited to new roles and la la la. But the way it all unfolded just felt so… flat. Maybe it’s because I read the whole book in tiny snatches over a course of four months. But I didn’t experience the breathless page turning, edge-of-my-seat excitement that I normally get while reading a Jim Butcher novel.

And the whole struggling to maintain his identity and quell his darker nature and internal power struggle thing just doesn’t float my boat. It’s like reading the memoirs of an angsty teen with raging hormones. It was more a one man show of Dresden off on his lonesome, and less personal interaction between characters. And it’s the character interaction and snarky dialogue that I really enjoy in the Dresden books.

Plus, Harry and Karrin STILL haven’t bow-chicka-bow-wowed. That’s just unacceptable.

For the first time since starting the book series, I’m not overly excited for the next release. I don’t NOT want to read it, I’m just okay with waiting. And for the life of me, I can’t see how this series is going to continue for another six to nine novels. It’s already reaching a serious “winding down” quality to me.

Anyway, Jonathan thinks I’m crazy for not being in love with this book. He was apparently enthralled. Which means the whole machismo, internal struggle theme must be bigger with the guys. I, personally, need more cheesy romance and nonsensical fantasy to keep me captivated for 14+ books. ^_^

Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Movie Review

1 Oct

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Jonathan and I were excited to hear that the Mortal Instruments books would be turned into a movie, since it’s a series we’ve both discovered and read together. Basically, I snagged it out of the discard pile of our local library back when I was working there as a Librarian Assistant back in 2011. I was surprised that such a new book series was being tossed aside. So out of curiosity and boredom I read through it, and tossed it Jonathan’s way so we could make fun of it together. Then we accidentally, kinda sorta found ourselves wondering what happens next and ordering the rest of the books.

So we were all geared up to watch this movie and lend our fangirly support. Buuut, come opening night for the movie, we were busy with all the hubbub of moving into our new home in Pensacola. So we haven’t had a chance to watch this flick till just yesterday.

And! It was Tessa’s first time watching a movie in a movie theater! And by watching, I mean sleeping peacefully on my chest, which she did the ENTIRE length of the movie. (Well, she did get a bit fussy during an excruciatingly painful cheesy love scene. But that’s okay. Because I was getting fussy at that point myself.)

Jonathan pointed out that it’s strangely fitting that this is Tessa’s first movie, considering we stumbled upon the name Tessa in the Infernal  Devices book series, which is the extended story and precursor to Mortal Instruments. Speaking of, I have NO IDEA how Mortal Instruments was made into a movie first, what with the current steampunk and industrial era craze sweeping our nations. Not only is the book series far superior and riveting, but the imagery and storyline is far more compelling than more Twlight-esque gothic wanna be drivel that Mortal Instruments offers. But I digress.

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So let me go on the record as saying that I love the Mortal Instruments book series. Well, let me rephrase that: I’m captivated by the first few books, then the series kind of dwindles down. There’s just waaaay too much Jace / Clary / Sebastian drama going on for my tastes by City of Fallen Angels and City of Lost Souls. I actually found myself exhausted after reading the last book that was released. REALLY Cassandra Clare? We gotta go through another round of lovers separated and reunited? AGAIN?! But nevertheless, I was excited to see what the movie would churn out.

And I was surprised. The movie is not as bad as I had expected. I think it’s definitely much more entertaining and action packed than Twilight. (I know, I know, that’s not saying much.) But that said, there were so many things just WRONG with this movie.

As far as story goes, it did a great job sticking to the books storyline and plot. But so many characters were so OFF. Like Alec, the 17 year old in the closet Shadowhunter… Being played by a guy who looks like he’s old enough to be my father. Are you serious?! Not only does this dude not remotely pass for a teenager by any standard, but he doesn’t look or act anything like Alec in the books.

But the worst miscast? Magnus Bane. Where did they find this guy? His acting level is barely on par with a first semester drama student at a community college. Seriously, every single line he delivers sounds like it was a cold reading at an audition… that he should have failed for his wooden delivery and inability to grasp inflection and cadence. Not only was his acting awful, but he didn’t even attempt to portray the flamboyant character of Bane in the books. And he was one of my FAVORITE characters. So that is a mighty fine grievance in my book. You fail movie. You fail.

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And this movie was all cheese. Don’t get me wrong. I eat up that pre-teen, forbidden romance garbage like candy. Especially the almost but not quite incest WINcest. It’s my secret obvious guilty pleasure. But there were so many moments where it was just a bit too much for me. (This isn’t entirely a bad thing. I to this day cannot watch Twilight or High School Musical without being intoxicated or listening to Rifftrax, but I still proudly display those bad boys on my DVD shelf and pull them out whenever Aunt Flo comes to visit.)

I just found myself trying to sink into my seat and squirm away from the awkward at certain parts. Like, the moment when everyone is being chased by vampires, and suddenly Clary trips and falls onto Jace. The sun filters down through her hair, and their lips get closer and closer and… meanwhile, Isabelle is still below the landing, getting freaking MAULED by vampires.

And then the whole rooftop birthday scene, when the cheesy romance music comes on full force, and then kissing and then fireflies and then WATER STARTS FALLING FROM THE SKY. Cuz no cheesy makeout scene is complete without our hero and heroine drenched in the sweet waters of their forbidden passion. Or something like that. (I will say, this scene was greatly improved by being surrounded by the burly giggles of active duty marines in their uniforms watching the movie on the military base alongside us.)

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Despite my harsh critique, I like the movie. For the most part. And I hope it gets a sequel. Or better yet, I hope some producer gets wise to the fact that Infernal Devices is far better movie material. (As of my writing this it appears that the follow up film, City of Ashes, has been delayed due to the flop of City of Bones. Looks like it only grossed $37 million off a $60 million budget. Ouch.)

BUT ANYWAY! The action was awesome, the costumes were hot, the comedy and banter was entertaining (though a bit awkward and stilted at times), the storyline was true to the books, and it did a great job weaving in aspects and clues for the follow up books / movies. If there’s a follow up movie, I’ll most likely be in line on opening day wearing leather and fake rune tattoos showing my support along with all the other 13 year olds…

The Joy of Hate by Greg Gutfeld – Book Review

21 Jul

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I just finished reading The Joy of Hate: How to Triumph Over Whiners in the Age of Phony Outrage by Greg Gutfeld. Before I’d even ordered this book, I was hearing some left-leaning friends on Twitter expressing their outrage that a conservative wrote a book about taking joy in hate. I’d made the (correct) assumption that the book was sporting an intentionally misleading title in an effort to better highlight through observational humor just that kind of reaction among the left, and I just knew I needed to purchase this book for a good belly laugh or two.

Because Red Eye and The Five talk show host Greg Gutfeld is a really really really freaking funny guy. I’d never read his books before this one, but I practically pee my pants in breathless laughter every time I catch his Greg-alogues during Red Eye on Fox.

So I ordered this book and read it cover to cover while sewing Star Wars themed burp cloths in a bout of pregnancy induced insomnia. And I have to say, I loved this book. A lot. I kept laughing out loud and fighting the urge to tweet every other sentence that tickled my funny bone.

This really isn’t an educational read, it’s just sheer humor and common sense. Most political satirists are so drenched in extremism or passion that they are easy to dismiss. But Greg is just so delightfully middle of the road in his politics, that he garners fans from the far right AND the honest left in his observations.

In short, Gutfeld uses his brain. As he puts it in the book: “People ask me what I am politically and I’ve previously offered this equation: I became a conservative by being around liberals. And I became a libertarian after being around conservatives.”

I think my favorite thing about the book? It doesn’t really try to prove a point. Without delving into politics, it just points out the humor and hypocrisy of the “tolerant liberal” in regards to topics such as – Occupy Wall Street, feminism, Hollywood, the mainstream media, racism, terrorism, Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, Sandra Fluke and other hot political topics.

There’s a lot of hilarious “imagine if” moments he uses to convey the double standards most liberals expect conservatives to be held to. Imagine if conservative comic Nick DiPaolo had tweeted that President Obama’s face belonged on a pancake box as D.L. Hughley did regarding Herman Cain. What kind of outcry and Trayvon Martin-esque riot would THAT have invoked? And why is it considered acceptable for sexual predator Mike Tyson to make degrading sexual references to Sarah Palin on an ESPN outlet, but when Hank Williams Jr. speaks negatively of Obama on the exact same sports channel, he gets booted from the airwaves?

I think this book should be required reading for all college students getting suckered into the “liberals are the free thinkers” crowd. The clear and concise examples of everyday liberal hypocrisy and outcries of phony outrage over issues they don’t understand are priceless.

For an example, and on a personal note: As I was reading the book, Twitter was lighting up with my pro-choice friends screaming about womens rights, and womens health, and we must protect women and blah blah blah. They were OUTRAGED over a bill that, it turns out, none of them had actually read. Let alone understood. The bill actually required that women be seen by an abortionist doctor during late term abortion procedures, not by a nurse or untrained staff member. It also required that all abortion clinics have access to emergency medical equipment and have admitting privileges to the nearest ER. It required that clinics be held to the same standards as dental offices and health centers in regards to cleanliness and professionalism. This bill was brought up because of a recent slew of women being killed through malpractice and shoddy work conditions in abortion clinics nationwide. If my liberal friends truly cared about womens rights, and womens health… wouldn’t they be FOR this bill that raises the standards of healthcare for women? Wouldn’t they be outraged at the needless deaths of the women who died during their abortions? Of course they would be! But it wasn’t about womens health or rights. It was about making a stand. It was about being outraged, because everyone else on their political spectrum was. Who cares about annoying things like facts? When you get right down to, it’s often not about the actual issue – the left just often finds a whole lot of joy in hate. And it’s all phony.

So this book is ridiculously relevant to understanding the mindset behind the outrage of the left. Greg does a hilarious job dissecting and analyzing the average liberals desire to be politically active: “When one becomes a liberal, he or she pretends to advocate tolerance, equality and peace, but hilariously, they’re doing so for purely selfish reasons. It’s the human equivalent of a puppy dog’s face: an evolutionary tool designed to enhance survival, reproductive value and status. In short, liberalism is based on one central desire: to look cool in front of others in order to get love. Liberalism is the one-way ticket to backslapping approval among the cool kids, which makes it about as rebellious as a divorced dad getting an earring from the local mall’s Piercing Pagoda.”

Being “tolerant” and “outraged” and standing up for the ever undefined “change” is far easier than, say, thinking, keeping an open-mind, and rejecting stupid ideas, notions and people. It’s far easier to follow the shrieking crowd and use the mantle of “tolerance” as a guise for intolerance while browbeating someone you disagree with. Every kid on a college campus knows that it’s no problem if you’re a bigot, as long as you’re politically correct about it.

Again, to quote Greg: “Liberals tolerate everything! Well, almost everything. They don’t tolerate what they don’t like. Or what they don’t understand.”

Anyhoo. Would I recommend this book? Hell-freaking-yes. I’m pretty sure I’ll be rereading it when I’m a little less sleep deprived. It’s a shame that most of my liberal pals are too scared to accept my reading recommendations, because this book is gold. 😉