Trees

With quiet dignity

Standing as a refuge

For those who flock to you.

You are shelter,

Security,

A place for us to

Grow.

Rooted in reality and

Reaching to the sky,

You remind me that

An acorn has to

Die

Before it can

Thrive.

Hey, guys! It’s been a busy summer at Camp Gilead, so this is a poem I wrote in April on the prompt “A Tree.” I look forward to reconnecting with you all after the end of this last week of camp!!

-Squid

I’m Gonna Miss My Lil Bro

Giggles, squeals
And smol smiles galore,
Adam and I
Rough house-ing on the floor

He pushes me over
And I roll on my back
He jumps into my arms
And I hug him right back

With his face right near mine
His volume down to a 2,
He rubs our noses together, and says
Ugga mugga“;
I love you too.

I barely have time
To appreciate his love
Before he gets right back up
And gives me a shove!

I throw up my hands
And chase him around.
It’s a lovely way to spend
One of my last nights in town.


I’m leaving for the FPEA homeschool convention on tomorrow, and then I’m going straight to Camp Gilead for the summer, only coming back on Saturdays (basically). 

So, I’m trying to soak up all the Adam-ness I can before I leave.  Monday night, I played with him after dinner for a bit.  He gets a bit riled up, but his sweet, quick love inbetween all of his little boyish yelling and tumbling almost made me cry because I know how much I’ll miss him.  D: 

He just turned four on Saturday, and I can’t believe I’m gonna be gone all summer and miss his amazing adorableness!  I’m storing up all his affection in my heart so that I won’t feel like I should have spent more time with him, should have let him play racetrack on my bed one more time, etc. 

Shoutout to my lil bro! ❤

-Squid

 

P.S. I guess I did manage to fit in one more blog post before I left! 🙂

Tri-Mystery Area!

Disclaimer: This will be my last post for a while, as I’ll be working at Camp Gilead again from the end of May until mid-July. 

Hey guys!

I was nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award by three lovely blogger-friends in less than a month, so I suppose that I should actually do it, haha.
But first, the rules:

    • Use the logo (I made my own in Snapseed)
    • List the rules (in process!)
    • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog (I’m gonna do that below)
    • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself (see below)
    • Answer the questions you were asked (see belower)
    • Nominate other blogs and notify them (see belowerer)
    • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice, with one weird or funny question (SEE EVEN BELOWERER)

Acknowledgements:

First to nominate me was my new friend Hannah over at Cactus Honey, and then peckapalooza, and then Mr. Mitch Teemley gave me both a nomination and the “(belower)” idea for the rules, haha.  Interestingly, both peckapalooza and Hannah were nominated by Paul.  So, thank you to all of you! (including Paul? XD)

So, three things about me. Hmmmm

  1. If something doesn’t work well, I want to analyze it to death and make sure I know exactly why it isn’t working so that I can fix it.  This is why I want to go into economics, haha.
  2. I think it’s rather smart to never fully agree with someone. However, you should try to learn as much as you can from their viewpoint.
  3. I get annoyed by inconsistency.  I tried to make this post’s font all black (#000000), but then I realized that the default was gray, so I gave up and edited all the HTML code to put it back (TOO MANY <SPAN> CODES).

Now, the questions…

From Hannah:

  1. What book/poetry/blog are you currently reading and/or absolutely obsessed with?
    • Ender’s Game!!!!  I watched the movie soon after it came out, and I loved it.  I mean seriously loved it.  Then, I was assigned the book for school, and I loved it even more than I loved the movie, but for the same reasons.  Like, Orson Scott Card is amazing.  I only found a few good memes about it though, and that made me sad, haha.
    • QuickMemo+_2018-05-10-18-35-30.png
  2. What is your secret obsession? (ex. Kardashians)
    • Ummmmm movie soundtracks? Yup super embarrassing and secret. 🙂 I remember listening to How to Train Your Dragon’s, and then HTTYD2’s, and then I got into Owl City’s Adam Young’s soundtracks and I never looked back.
  3. What movie do you make all your friends watch? You know the one where you stare at their face to see how they react to your favorite parts, yeah that one.
    • It would be TV shows for me, I think, and it would be either Leverage or The Librarians.
  4. What is your favorite writing utensil? (Mine is Pilot Precise V5 RT pen)
    • AHHH I’M SO GLAD YOU ASKED!  It’s a Pentel Side FX 0.7mm mechanical pencil.  It’s super ergonomic and it side clicks you you don’t have to stop writing to hit the top of the pencil.  It loads super easy and holds multiple pieces of lead, and has a really great eraser that twists up.  I love everything about it. 🙂
  5. What’s one word everyone makes fun of you for saying funny?
    • I say towards (which is British) instead of the American toward… the same with backwards.  My mom has given up trying to change my mind…

Now peckapalooza‘s:

  1. What is the greatest movie ever made? (You’ll be forgiven if you do not say Back to the Future.)
    • The Princess Bride, of course!  I haven’t actually seen Back to the Future, haha.
  2. Of all the different types of pie in the world, what would you say is the tastiest?
    • Ahhhhhh my sister makes this amazing banana cream pie that I #cantstopwontstop raving about.
  3. Describe in words the first image you posted to your personal Instagram feed.
    • I don’t have an Instagram account, so I’m gonna substitute my first public Flickr pic I ever posted.
    • It’s a close-up vertical picture of green and pink decorative grasses.  I focused on a clump of stalks close to me, and the rest blur very featherly and pleasingly in the immediate background.
  4. What is your go-to song for karaoke night?
    • Chicago’s “Hard to Say I’m Sorry”.
  5. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? What did you end up doing?
    • I never made any plans when I was really little, but I can say I’m a kid for a few more months, so I don’t think I’m quite qualified to answer this in the past tense, haha.  My plans right now are to go to a small Christian college on a mountain and double major in Community Development and Economics with a minor in maybe Music or Psychology.  That way, I have a great path to serving God and others in the inner city. That’s what want to do, but we’ll see what God actually has happen.

And, lastly, Mr. Mitch’s questions:

    1. What moment or choice in your past do you wish you could undo?
      • That’s a hard question. There are things I did that caused me and those around me a lot of pain, but God worked in my heart through them, and good came from them, so can’t honestly say that I would not do them.  However, there are things that I wish I had done, like complimenting people and overcoming my shyness.
    2. Funniest movie/s you ever saw?
      • The Stupids starring Tom Arnold.  Starring really cheesy aliens, stereotypical evil guys, and a naive suburban family, this movie makes me and my family watch it over and over and over again, each time enjoying it just as much.  It was also on Comcast Demand or whatever, so that helped the watch-ability. XD
      • stupids
    3. Greatest song/s you’ve ever heard?
      • It Is Well by David Dunn (worship/Christian living)
      • Holding On To You by Twenty Øne Pilots (prayer/introspection/surrender)
      • What Makes You Beautiful – The Piano Guys (instrumentation/musicality)
    4. Greatest truth you’ve ever learned?
      • Wow, this is a harder question than I thought it would be.
      • Everybody will let me down, believe something I disagree with, etc., so the only person I should put my faith and love in is God, because He will never let me down or disappoint me.  It was a painful lesson to learn, but I’m learning the wisdom in it.
    5. What are the last words you want to hear before dying, and/or the first words you want to hear after dying?
      • Last words before dying: “You showed me how to live out God’s love”
      • First words after dying: “Well done, my good and faithful servant!”

-Squid

P.S. If anyone got the Phineas and Ferb reference…

https://giphy.com/embed/PCAvB5GYY5oTSvia GIPHY 

d6bf1f37b2a64e6398425b704d1da83a

 

I’m, like, musically-minded or something

I like music, but I do not like tags… Usually.

BUT THIS ONE LOOKS FUN.

Rebekah Elle recently posted this fine fine music tag cough 4K&C fangirls, where are you where you talk about your music and ask others too because we all like each other and music, right? 🙂  She nominated anyone who wanted to do it, and, since I’m 74.39% music, I thought I might as well.

Thankfully, I have tons (84 currently?) of playlists to help me out with categories, but there are some categories that just don’t fit (like, I don’t really listen to music from video games) and ones I want to add, so I’m making it my own. 🙂

Click on the category links for my Spotify playlists that probably fit or have the song(s) on them… there are too many songs to do YouTube links, sorry!

3 songs that:

  1. Come up when I put my phone on shuffle:
    1. Lazarus – Bellarive
    2. It’s My Life – Bon Jovi
    3. Only Human – MisterWives
  2. Make me cry or just want to cry:
    1. Six (Waiting for Love) – David Dunn
    2. Walking Her Home – Mark Schultz
    3. Just a Dream – Kurt Hugo Schneider, Christina Grimmie, Sam Tsui
  3. I was recently obsessed with:
    1. Vehi Sheamda – Yossi Azulay
    2. Christmas Canon Rock – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
    3. What About Us – P!nk
  4. I know thanks to my parents:
    1. Mamma Mia – ABBA (Mom)
    2. Desert Rose – Whiteheart (Dad)
    3. Hashem Melech – Y-Studs (Step-dad) [it’s a cover because I love the Y-Studs, haha]
  5. I didn’t expect to like but eventually loved:
    1. Hymn For the Weekend – Coldplay
    2. Perfect – Ed Sheeran
    3. Meant To Be – Kurt Hugo Schneider, Kirsten Collins, Will Champlin
  6. Get me in the Christmas mood:
    1. The First Noel – Owl City & Tobymac
    2. How Many Kings – Downhere
    3. Christmas Eve / Sarajevo – Trans-Siberian Orchestra [we played this in band and I still love it a lot :)]
  7. Are my guilty pleasures:
    1. Steal My Girl – One Direction
    2. Hate (I Really Don’t Like You) – Plain White T’s
    3. Treat You Better – Shawn Mendes
  8. That resonate with me:
    1. Car Radio – Twenty One Pilots
    2. Tuesdays – Jake Scott
    3. Edge of Eden – Jake Scott [previously Tossing Coppers…]
  9. I want at my funeral:
    1. When I Say Farewell – Acappella
    2. Life Is a Celebration – Rhythm & News
    3. It Is Not Death To Die – Sovereign Grace Music
  10. I want at my wedding:
    1. Marie’s Wedding – The High Kings
    2. Co-Pilot – Andy Grammar
    3. It Was You – MY RED + BLUE
  11. I want to dance with my love to:
    1. I Love You Will Still Sound the Same – Oh Honey
    2. 1, 2, 3, 4 – Plain White T’s
    3. When I Look Into Your Eyes – Firehouse
  12. Songs I have to sing along to:
    1. Heads/tails – Hotspur
    2. Don’t You Worry Child – Swedish House Mafia, John Martin
    3. Jesus Freak – DC Talk

Remind me of:

  1. Summer (camp) and vacation:
    1. Sweatshirt [ironically]– Jacob Satorius
    2. Theme From Summer – All-Star United
    3. Nice Piece of Art – FM Static
  2. My family & friends:
    1. Swing, Swing and Move Along – The All-American Rejects
    2. Hard To Say I’M Sorry / Get Away – Chicago
    3. Fading – Vallis Alps | Emotional Crank – Tomppabeats
  3. Fictional characters:
    1. Numb – David Archuleta {Vin – Mistborn}
    2. I Refuse – Josh Wilson {Kaladin – The Stormlight Archives}
    3. Nightmare – eleventyseven {Sydney to Vaughn – Alias}
  4. Of my childhood: (in addition to Rebekah’s, which I totally would list here too!)

    1. No Weapon Formed Against You Shall Prosper – Joel Chernoff
    2. In the Light – dc Talk
    3. Best Day of My Life – American Authors
  5. Never fail to get me pumped up:
    1. ADHD – Truslow
    2. Heart Attack – Cmd/Ctrl
    3. Death of a Bachelor – Panic! at the Disco
  6. I keep quoting:
    1. Existence – Kevin Max
    2. New Rock Bottom – eleventyseven
    3. Sunlight on Her Face – Remedy Drive

Favorite:

  1. Old songs:
    1. Lean on Me – dc Talk
    2. Beyond Belief – Petra
    3. Awesome God – Rich Mullins
  2. Songs of 2017 (ones I liked or that defined my year, not necessarily ones that came out then):
    1. Adonai Ahuvi (The Lord, My First Love) 
    2. Beautiful Soul – Jesse McCartney [but the Boyce Avenue cover is amazing too]
    3. Live Like You Were Dying – Tim McGraw
  3. Non-English songs:
    1. Modeh Ani – Yonina
    2. Ya’alili – 8th Day
    3. Malchei Hamelachim – Maccabeats
  4. Songs to drive to:
    1. Ride – Twenty One Pilots
    2. June: Good Days Start Here – Tim Myers
    3. We’re a Band – Audio A(drenaline)
  5. Songs from a movie or TV series soundtrack:
    1. Dragon Racing – John Powell (How to Train Your Dragon)
    2. Rockin’ the Suburbs – ‘Over the Hedge’ Version –  Ben Folds, William Shatner (Over the Hedge)
    3. Sticks and Stones and Where No One Goes – Jónsi (The How to Train Your Dragon movies)
  6. Funny songs:
    1. Dramatic Song – Toby Turner & Tobuscus [comedic gold]
    2. The Houseplant Song – Audio Adrenaline [has a great message too]
    3. Particle Man – They Might Be Giants [just awesome]
  7. Worship songs:
    1. Dear Ex, You Don’t Own Me – Disciple (rock)
    2. In Awe – Hollyn (atmospheric worship)
    3. Startling Mystery (feat. Quinten Coblentz) – Shai Linne, Quinten Coblentz (rap)
  8. Parodies:
    1. Chozen – Six13 (Passover remake/mashup of songs from Frozen)
    2. A Hamilton Chanukah – Six13 (I don’t like the story of Hamilton, but I love the sound of it when put to the story of the Maccabees!)
    3. Uptown Passover – Six13
  9. Study songs:
    1. Shackleton – Adam Young
    2. When Elephants Fly – Marcus Warner
    3. Generator ^ First Floor – Freelance Whales

Songs I really want my followers to know (for reasons other than all those above):

  1. Holding On To You – Twenty One Pilots
  2. Rugs From Me to You – Owl City
  3. Coldfront Heatstroke – Capital Lights

Guys, I’m gonna be honest… I spent tons of time on this.  Like, every moment I could work on it or if I was listening to a song that I thought could fit one of the categories…….. it was insane.  It was also really fun and thought-provoking.

Hope you guys enjoy, and if you want to do even a few of the categories, leave your answers in the comments or do your own post and link back here.

-Squidtea 🙂

This Review Has ARRIVED

The following has been adapted from a media review essay I wrote last month on the recent movie Arrival.  After realizing that I spent way more time on it than a normal blog post, I thought I might as well share it. 🙂 — All images are from Google Photos.

I like thought-provoking science fiction movies — the ones that require you to wrestle with the plot lines, premises, and conclusions for hours after the movie ends. Tom Cruise’s Oblivion and Edge of Tomorrow exemplify this genre, as do Ender’s Game, Deja Vu, and Interstellar.

However, Arrival stands out to me as one of the best I’ve ever seen.

arrival-1600x900-amy-adams-jeremy-renner-hd-4k-2649

From the poster, I thought it would be just another alien movie. I happen to like alien movies, so I still wanted to watch it, but I never thought it would be so much more than I imagined.

The movie centers around Amy Adam’s character, Louise Banks, a linguist who is recruited by the United States Army when 12 identical alien ships land in 12 of the most powerful countries in the world.  The arrival of the ships ignites a frantic race of countries to be the first to communicate with the ships.  Banks leads a team of the most innovative scientists and researchers in America as they try to crack the language of the visitors.

Because this all takes place in modern day America, the viewer resonates strongly with the mindsets and motivations of the characters and the tense political relations with Russia and China. These factors intensify the movie much more than most sci-fi movies because the audience can easily picture this happening to themselves tomorrow and they start thinking like the protagonists: How would you respond to non-aggressive invaders who threaten to tear the socio-political landscape of your world apart simply by existing?

How would you respond to non-aggressive invaders who threaten to tear the socio-political landscape of your world apart simply by existing?

amyadams_arrival

Like most science fiction movies, Arrival doesn’t tell you much in the beginning, and you learn things only from Banks’ first person limited perspective. Of course, you start drawing your own conclusions about her life and about the motivations of the aliens, but these keep being shaken and refuted by cut scenes interspersed into Banks’ consciousness. Eventually, you’re forced to re-evaluate everything you thought you knew, and the pieces fit together.

Despite the high-stake pressure the researchers are under, you get to see them react as humans. Banks gets nauseous and overwhelmed on her first visit to the alien ship and struggles with discouragement over the huge task in front of her, yet she continues her research because she’s encouraged by the team’s head scientist, Ian Donnelly. Their emotional development takes precedence over even the world-shattering politics of alien technology, as you see Donnelly actively look out for Banks when no one else cares enough to, and she leans on him reluctantly. Their love story develops naturally, despite the chaos around them, and it brings the far-fetched technology into focus as simply a problem they have to solve together.

arrival-set-design_02

Sometimes science fiction loses the human element of its characters by focusing too much on the cool, mind-bending science, but Arrival avoids this masterfully. The science piques your interest by being both seamlessly complicated but also somehow accessible, but it only seems important because of its effects on the characters’ lives and futures. Arrival raises the bar for the science fiction genre by being a perfect fusion of storytelling and theoretical physics.

Arrival raises the bar for the science fiction genre by being a perfect fusion of storytelling and theoretical physics.

arrival-cried

-Squid

The Joys of Femininity

I read an interesting post about being a woman yesterday (International Women’s Day too, lol). It was written from a perspective I don’t usually read (seemed kinda feminist empowerment-y… it was suggested by WP, lol), but I thought the author had an interesting point: being female is hard, but there’s also great things about it and good stories we can tell, not just the horrible things coming to light in the #metoo movement.

What even makes femininity desirable, anyway? It’s a position of vulnerability, in all honesty. Women can’t walk home in the dark without feeling at least a slight threat (which is why we buy handguns and Dobermans, haha). Men might worry about being mugged once in a while (esp in big cities), but it’s nothing close to the risk to women when they’re alone. We’re vulnerable and easily preyed upon, and that’s no secret.

So the author of the post bemoans the lack of publicity for the good sides to being a woman. People don’t talk about the great sides to it: men killing spiders and cockroaches for us and opening doors when it’s perfectly unnecessary but they just want to be nice, etc.

Personally, I can cheerfully say that there is something empowering about being a woman. We’re great organizers of things, events, and people, can smile at random babies in stores without totally creeping out the moms usually, and we can bring forth life from our own bodies. God chose us to continue the human race, for crying out loud! That’s amazing!! (there are more benefits of womanhood, but it’s kinda hard coming up with them on the spot, so please remind me of some in the comments!)

Yeah, some aspects of life are harder as a woman; no one is denying that. But God specifically planned gender out this way, and I’m inclined to trust Him.

Thoughts? Leave a comment and start a discussion! (but you guys do that even without that reminder #shoutouttoamazingfollowers 😎👉👉)

-Mizqyd (Ms. Squid, hehe)

EDIT: for another interesting Jewish feminist perspective, check out this link.

Giving vs Getting

It always feels good to receive good things, doesn’t it?  Help with some hard things, hugs, money, wise counsel, birthday presents, etc. are all exciting things to get.

But have you ever experienced the joy of giving those things?

Giving someone money isn’t always the easiest thing financially, but seeing their joy when they are able to buy something they need or maybe just want is priceless.

Giving (and receiving) wise counsel bonds you with the person on the other end.  I received some amazing advice this summer from a friend I trusted, and I gave some good (I hope) advice to a couple different campers.  When you have serious talks about serious things that directly relate to someone’s life, you get to learn more about the person’s heart and thought process, bonding you with them in a very unique way.

When I need help, I don’t struggle with letting people help me because I think I’ll look stupid.  Instead, I freely accept their assistance and thank them profusely for their help while smiling hugely because I did need the help!  I often want to become better friends with those who go out of their way to help me, especially if I don’t know them very well.

But giving help is something I’m not very good at, simply because I don’t see the opportunities around me easily.  Some people have a gift of sensitivity to the needs of others around them, but I really have to work at it.  So, usually, by the time I realize someone needed help, someone else has already taken care of it.  But, the few times that I’ve been able to help someone by carrying something for them, opening a door, explaining a math problem to them, etc., it has been extremely rewarding to hear them thank me or see them smile.  Doing or saying something that brightens at least one person’s day a day is a goal I read somewhere that I really try to strive for.  Being the light, you know?

I hope this inspires you to get out of your comfort zone and give something to someone, whether it be your time, effort, money, or kind words. 🙂

-Sydney