Monday, 1 September 2014

Entertainment Monday: Nicki Minaj (1 September 2014)


I confess, I only know about five of Nicki Minaj’s songs. I don’t really follow music but I listen to new songs on YouTube when they come up. My favourite Nicki Minaj song is Super Bass because of the catchy lyrics and quirky and cute video clip. I have so many favourite covers of the song too. 


I recently found a Japanese version of Super Bass by Cream. Cream are a Japanese duo who wrote a lot of songs for JPop artists but are now branching out to do their own music. They have translated a few other western songs as well such as Taylor Swift’s ‘We are never getting back together’ and Ariana Grande’s ‘ The Way’.


I also like a cover sung by Youtuber uuuuuuuukewithme whose ukulele version of Super Bass is sweet and gentle makes Super Bass sound like a breezy song. (However, she does include the swear words into the song)


 Another cover that I like is from band Karmin. It’s really simple with just a piano accompaniment.

Finally, the last cover I want to feature is by Tyler Ward & Crew (Alex G & Eppic) which is laid back and they cleaned up the lyrics.



Another song Nicki Minaj song that I am crazy about is Pills and Potions. I love it because Nicki is a bit more toned down in her costuming and the focus is on the emotion of the song. 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

New Moon by Stephanie Meyer- Review by Carlyn

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I now have a better understanding about Team Edward and Team Jacob after reading New Moon. The second installment of the Twilight series introduces a rival for Bella’s affection. Edward breaks up with Bella when an accident almost caused her to become a vampire’s dinner. He reasons that it’s too dangerous for her to be associated with vampires and he vanishes from her life. Bella is heartbroken to the point that her father fears that he has to hospitalize her. It is only when her father suggests that Bella live with her mother that Bella starts to begin to participate in life again. She cannot bear to leave Forks, the place where her romance with Edward started.
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Bella’s father insists that she spend time with friends and forget about Edward. Bella goes through the motions of everyday life to please her father but remains apathetic for the most part.  A dangerous situation sparks a hallucination of Edward which compels Bella to seek more risky situations just so that she can see Edward again.
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Bella motivated by her desire to see Edward again (at least in her mind), decides to fix up some motorbikes, hoping that a thrilling ride might bring about the hallucinations. She asks an acquaintance, Jacob Black to help her restore the bikes and during their time together their relationship grows. Jacob falls in love with Bella but Bella can’t forget Edward. To further complicate matters, Jacob discovers he is a werewolf and as such is a sworn enemy of vampires.


I liked New Moon as I learnt more about the Twilight universe. I liked reading the first few chapters that detailed Bella’s grief as I know what it’s like to be in funk. I admired how Bella knew that Edward was her true love and couldn't forget him even though six months or so had past. She reminded me of damsels in fairy-tales and myths who weep all day for their lost love.  Although, there were times where I thought Bella needed to pull herself together because she frequently needed to be comforted. I also liked Jacob who was very different from Edward. Jacob was a warm and upbeat person who could joke around with Bella., Jacob and Bella didn't have to be as careful around each other as Bella had to be with Edward. Edward had to try hard to resist Bella’s blood and Jacob didn't have a blood-lust for humans.
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What I really liked about New Moon was learning more about Jacob. Personally, I would have liked Bella to end up with Jacob because the love between Bella and Edward is too intense. Remember this is a guy who before they were dating, would sneak into Bella’s bedroom without her permission to watch her sleep. Edward is very protective of Bella which leads to them always having some inane argument. The argument always ends with Edward trying to persuade Bella with a loving glance and murmur which is enough to set Bella’s heart racing and lose her focus.
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I can see that Bella would have been happy with either of the boys. They both are smitten with her and would do anything for her.  There’s always fan fiction if I ever want to see more of Jacob Black. I wonder how I would react if I were in a love triangle. I’ve always found the situation when I have seen in books or movies to be an unfair situation especially when the person that everyone else is fighting over takes too long to decide. Although, I know that soap operas are meant to draw out the most drama. It’s a pity that because of the hype of the movies, I know the gist of what happens in the Twilight books. I think it would have been very thrilling to find out that Jacob was a werewolf. 

Monday, 25 August 2014

Entertainment Monday 8/25/2014: The Giver‏


* Jon Bear is having computer trouble so occasionally, I had to upload this post- Carlyn

A little over a week ago I visited my mom. One thing I often take advantage of when visiting her is the chance to hit her up for a free movie. One of these days I'm thinking Jon Bear should probably offer to treat.>.<
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So during my visit with mom this time we went to see the movie The Giver. The film has several big name stars like Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges and Katie Holmes. I try not to pass up the opportunity to see a Katie Holmes movie if I can see one. The real feature rolls though are the characters Jonas played by Alexander Skarsgard and Fiona played by Odeya Rush, both who are very attractive young actors whom would seem to have the potential for good acting careers ahead.

The story centers on a community of people who have collectively had their history erased in order to live in an ideal world that is not complicated by emotions or choices. Their world is formed and their rules predicated in response to the fall out of world war and total annihilation. One of the rules surrounding the community is that no one can tell a lie. Obedience is ensured by the administration of daily drugs or medications. Everyone gets selected for a job they show a proclivity towards and they must serve that position faithfully for their entire lives. Everything from your family to your job to your spouse is assigned to you. One person gets selected to be "The Receiver", every few generations. After the last receiver failed Jonas gets selected to the privileged position of the receiver. The receiver gets to receive the worlds history and knowledge from the "Giver" played by Jeff Bridges.

The Receiver is allowed to lie and allowed to learn about emotions, about fear, about hatred, about love and about a "real family", as well as the history of the world prior to the formation of the community. Jonas must face difficult decisions when his eyes are opened by the Giver and he realizes that the community that he has grown up in and known all is life is essentially a farce and the idealistic vision that has taken shape in the wake of war and destruction is roughly the equivalent of putting lipstick on a pig, for lack of a better term.

With this realization Jonas must decide if he wants to live in the world he knows or change the world he knows.

I liked the story line a lot and think it had and has tremendous potential. The movie was good and the acting particularly from the two featured young actors was very good, but I think a lot probably got left out of the movie, which was based off the novel by Lois Lowrey. It could have been done as a series, but it might have been tough to generate the kind of fan support behind it that other recent books turned into movies had, like Harry Potter or The Hunger Games. The movie reminded me a lot of books like George Orwell's, 1984 and Aldous Huxley's, Brave New World. I don't know if it qualifies as a dystopian novel, but I think it could probably be considered such given what I'm going off of having seen the movie adaptation.

I would love to read the book now. I think the movie was way too short and moved through a lot of important details quickly. Several of the characters including the Giver were way underdeveloped in the movie.   That was definitely by biggest qualm with the film. I would recommend people see it, but I don't think it's a must see that you need to spend your movie night out budget on. The Giver is the kind of movie that's good for a mid week night Red Box rental.

I had a feeling watching it that it was based off a novel and as I said earlier I think the story line has a lot of potential. I don't know if I'll like the novel but it could be very good and that's why I want to read it now.  If you choose to see it at home or in the theatre it's not a film I'd consider a waste of time or money, but I did not come away from it feeling like it was one of the best movies I'd seen either. 

--- Jon Bear

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Blogs of the Month: August 2014

Jon Bears Blog of the Month:


My blog of the month for August is Diabetics Rejoice!

I think that it's great when people turn a personal health issue into an opportunity to not only improve their own health but also educate and improve the lives and health of others.

At Diabetics Rejoice, the "Diabetic Cook of Maine" posts recipes for every meal that provide healthy and tasty food options for people who must restrict their diets because they suffer from diabetes.  Good food is good food though and people do not have to be diabetic to enjoy foods on a healthy food blog.  I know for me it's hard to know how I can eat healthier, feel fuller and get not just nourishment but enjoyment and satisfaction from my meal.

As someone who has a sweet tooth I like that the Diabetic Cook of Maine does not ignore that aspect of eating.  I'm someone who subscribes to the idea that healthy eating should not be about "making sacrifices" but more about making "smart choices".  At a sight like Diabetics Rejoice! there are such a variety of food options that there is something for everyone.  The fact that diabetes effects so many lives and so many families too makes this a valuable place to not just improve health and energy but also improve meal time enjoyment.

Decadence and Indulgence CAN be healthy!  Who says you can't have your cake AND eat it too? =)

Carlyn Girl's Blog of the Month :

The blog I want to highlight for this month is Liberty or Death by Bethany Carson. Bethany’s blogs is one of my favourite blogs which I always look forward to reading. On Liberty or Death, Bethany writes about her life in Iowa, her love of God, her family and hobbies. I like her appreciation for the small things in life and how her religion guides her life in a positive way.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Liebster Award


Thank you very much to Ellie B. at thoughts of a fashion lover  for her nomination of our blog for the Liebster Award.  The Liebster Award is a kind of chain award given out to bloggers with under 200 followers in an effort to help people to discover new blogs.

The rules for the Liebster Award are as follows:

1. Must link back to the person that nominated you.
2. Nominate 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers.
3. Cannot nominate the person who nominated you.
4. Provide nominees with 11 questions of your choice.
5. Must inform nominees of your nomination.
6. Provide nominees with a link to your post for more info.

Here are the questions that I answered from Ellie B.!

1. What got you into blogging?

I began blogging around a year from the time I met my friend Carlyn, whom I met on an online fan site for Emma Watson, when she asked if I would be interested in sharing a blog with her.

2. Which blogs/bloggers inspire you most?

I don't like to single out any one blog/blogger as "more inspirational" than another.  I think as an individual each blogger/blog has something important, something of interest and something inspirational to offer their readers.  I'm inspired by any one who takes that leap of faith and shares what is important to them on a blog.

3. Are there things you are scared/shy to blog about?

Definitely!  Some of my blog posts cover very personal topics.  I've even discussed my fears and failings.  There is some anonymity available through blogging that makes sharing those things a little less scary, but my friends and family know where and how to find my blog, so opening myself up like that is not always easy.

4. What do you find to be the most difficult about blogging?

Even though I've been blogging for a while now, I'd say: the time.  Sometimes it's hard to find the time to blog and I don't want the blog to suffer by giving only a halfhearted effort.  So the discipline to give the blog the time it needs and deserves is a challenge that pops up now and then.

5. Is there anything you would like to change about your blog?

I think there are always ways to improve.  I think to increase our readership and audience interaction would be the main thing.  That is one of the nice things I appreciate about this Liebster Award.  It's an opportunity to reach out to others and have others discover our blog as well.

6. What do your friends think of your blog?

My friends have always been very supportive of me and what I choose to do.  I have not really asked for feed back on my blog.  I know some of them read it and sometimes I get a question or a comment related to the blog, and it's always a positive interaction.

7. Describe yourself in 3 words!

a. Positive
b. Faithful
c. Learning

8. How would other people describe you?

Haha!  This is always a tough one to answer.  Well I asked and I was told I'm sensitive, honest, giving (wow this is turning out better than I expected) but I can procrastinate and lack some initiative at times on a more critical note.  I also over-think some things resulting in needless worry.  >.<  --- *Jon Bear editorial comment: why do you think it took me so long to make my Liebster Award post?

9. Are you a glass half-full or half-empty person?

I try to be a glass is half full person.  I think I am successfully so most of the time.  I have my faults like anyone though and sometimes I can let the negativity creep in.

10. What is one country that you want to visit?

Australia and my friend Carlyn Girl hopefully one day! =) *she's promised me a pet possum*

11. Favorite thing to do?

Spend time with family and friends, tell stories and laugh!

Here are the Blogs I have nominated for the Liebster Award:

http://everydayingrace.blogspot.com.au/
http://sleepyheaddesignsstudio.com
http://operaobsession.blogspot.com
http://curlinghistory.blogspot.com
http://legendsofamerica.blogspot.com 


My Questions for my Liebster Nominees!

1. What message/feeling do you want others to take away from your blog when they read it?

2. Do you have any favorite blog communities where you like to discover other blogs of interest?

3. Do you have a personal favorite blog post you've made?  If so which is it?

4. Share 3 hobbies or interests you have unrelated to your blog?

5. In general what are the things that appeal to you in a blog design?

6. Favorite band(s)/singer(s)/performing artist(s)?

7. What are the goals and expectations you have for your blog over the next year?

8. What would be your favorite ride at the amusement park/town fair?

9. Have you influenced/inspired (or been influenced/ inspired by) any friends or family members to blog?

10. What is your favorite travel destination?

11. Favorite place to dine out?

Thanks again to Ellie B. for the honor of her nomination.  Carlyn and I wish Ellie and all our chosen Liebster bloggers the best in discovering blogs of interest and being discovered.  I know the Liebster Award has helped me to find new blogs I hope to frequent and enjoy.  Hopefully it will do so for those bloggers I nominated as well.  =)

Monday, 18 August 2014

Entertainment Monday: Sheppard (18 August, 2014)


I no longer follow bands like I use to when I was younger. I don’t watch the music video shows and I’m usually the last to know when it comes to the music industry. I first learnt about Sheppard when they were interviewed on a few Australian breakfast television shows and heard them on the radio.

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 Sheppard is an Australian Indie pop band whose song Geronimo has launched them to success. They are the first indie band to make it to number one in the Australian charts. The band is from Brisbane and comprises of six members. It originally started with two siblings Amy and George Sheppard who then included their musically talented friends and their sister Emma.
                                     (International music video of Geronimo ) 
I like their quirky video clips and I love singing the chorus of Geronimo.  I think it’s the chorus that really sells the song as it’s so catchy. I think the song is about two lovers who have been separated after a misunderstanding and the guy wants to get the girl back.


Personally, I like the Australian video clip because it has a story and it's so creative. They make a monster out of cardboard boxes. 

I also wanted to share the cover that Sheppard did of Say something by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera. I think it’s just as good as the original. 



Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Reading

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Jon and I decided that we’ll try our hardest to finish read more book this August. We often start books but fail to read them to the end. I am a very slow reader where I read one or two chapters then not return to the book for days or months. Sometimes I can be riveted by a story and spend hours reading.

So we’re going to be dedicated readers who read at least a chapter a day. I'm also going to bring my books around for slow points in the day like when I'm waiting for something. Hopefully, it means we’ll finish a few books on our book list too.


Currently I’m reading Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer, Kevin and I in India by Frank Kusy and Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey.