Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Genesis 9:18-25

During my Bible reading today, I came across the passage referenced in the title of this post. For those of you who don't recognize the reference, here is the story:

After the great flood, Noah and his family leave the ark. Noah grows a vineyard, makes some wine, and gets himself drunk, and naked. His sons find out, and cover him. Then, Noah gets sober, and starts yelling at Ham, father of Canaan, whose name he curses, for "what his youngest son had done to him,"

My first reaction: definitely not a side of the story that is taught in Sunday School. Why was it that the sole man who God spared, and whose family He spared in the great flood, right after he gets back on dry land... does something completely opposite of what a supposed man of God would do.

Can someone explain this to me? And what did Ham do that made Noah curse his own grandson? All I see that Ham did, in this passage at least, was tell his older brothers that their father was drunk and naked. Is there some faux pas from Old Testament times that I am missing here?

Explanations in the comments section would be much appreciated!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

United We Spy

I recently read the last Gallagher Girls book, and you can read my review on AAB. What I want to talk about here is questions that came up for me which weren't addressed in the book. Spoilers!

1. When did Townsend get together with Catherine, and why? He's been hunting the Circle since probably before Zach was born...

2. Why did Catherine hate the Gallagher Girls? Did she get bullied when she went to the school? Or was she just excluded? Did she not feel like she belonged there?

3. Wouldn't Rachel and Catherine have been in the same class at the Gallagher Academy? I wonder if they knew each other and ever talked, if they were.

4. Are Grant and Jonas for Blackthorne's new objective, or its old? Are they members of the Circle? Do they even still go to Blackthorne?

5. How was Zach able to see that what his mother did was evil, when he grew up learning the Circle's proverbs?

6. How/when was Zach able to accept who his father was, and start forging a relationship with him?

7. What will the underclassmen do while the Gallagher Mansion is being rebuilt? Will they hold classes elsewhere, or will they attend public school for the duration of re-construction?

8. Why did  they call Amirah "queen" of Caspia when Liz said she was second in line for the throne? Wouldn't that mean that there is someone else who would be king/queen before Amirah could claim her crown?

9. Why was Liz given the tests with the abstract questions to begin with? If they hadn't asked her how she would start World War III, then none of this would have happened! I don't accept that something as big as that would just be a result of the fact that she was not a spy kid.

10. WHO IS CARL? That name might not ring any bells, but it's from the first book, when Anna was in the drugstore in Roseville and was ambushed by Dillon. Freaked out, she blurts that she has a boyfriend, whose name is Carl, and Cammie notes that she didn't look like she was lying. So who was/is Carl, and how did Anna know him?

So that's all. if you can answer any of them, feel free!

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Hey! I got inspired to get a U-Stream account for my blogs, as well as my YouTube Channel. Would anyone be interested in having a live chat? Unfortunately, I would have to limit it to audio-only for personal reasons. Comment below, and if enough people respond, I'll announce a time later!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Mane 2/3 Dance Party

I have five close friends at school. We call ourselves the Mane Six, since we're all bronies. Last night, four of us were all over here at my house for a dance party (hence the title. Four out of six equals two thirds). Me, and three friends whom I will refer to as M, S, and B.

B arrived first, bringing some magazines, which we flipped through and laughed over for a while. S came second, bringing more games for the Kinect, Just Dance 3, and Disneyland Adventures. She also brought along her plush Fluttershy <3 M came along last, and we goofed off for a little, gave my dad our pizza order, then started dancing.

We had a sort of championship on Dance Central 3, using the party mode. I don't like most of the new mini games, except maybe Strike a Pose. I think M ended up being the champion... then we played for fun until the pizza arrived. We ate, then hung out in my bedroom for a while.

Before we started dancing again, S tried to get either me or M to keep her Fluttershy plush. She claimed she had brought it intending to give it to one of us, but I couldn't take it from her, no matter how much I love Fluttershy! It's HERS!  M agreed, and after we insisted, she relented, and we danced more.

None of us can dance all that well, and some of the moves on Just Dance (which we switched to after a while) are silly, so we laughed probably more than we actually danced. Though, not to brag, I won most of the time ;)

We played Disneyland Adventures for a short time after B left, but not for long, because soon S and M's respective parents came by. Exhausted, I collapsed on my bed and watched Wreck it Ralph

I am so blessed to have epic friends like these, whom I can laugh and have fun with, who are always so kind and supportive. I hope I know them even when I pass through those pearly gates of Heaven :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Dance Central 3

The first real video game series I ever really started following is Harmonix's Kinect game series, Dance Central. I got the original for my birthday about...three years ago? I'm not sure. Anyway, I LOVED it, and have been getting the sequels ever since. Well, there's only been two other games, but still!

Anyway, I received Dance Central 3 for Christmas. I had heard that this would be the first game in this series (and the first in general, I think) to actually have a plot. It is featured in it's unique "Story Mode". Dr. Tan, the mysterious villain that has been hinted at since the original but only seen in DC2, is trying again to regulate all dancing under his command by taking down all the "crews" in Dance Central, where dancing is everything to its residents.

The DCI (Dance Central Intelligence) invites you to a "party", and after proving your skills by dancing "Bass Down Low" (which I did, earning five stars the very first time without practicing beforehand, thank you very much) and reveals that they are looking for an agent to go through time and stop Tan, who has set up HQ in the future, since the original agents they sent (the D-Coy crew) have become MIA. You are then sent to the 70's, after being told that the only way to defeat Tan in the future is to learn the popular moves of the past, called Crazes. Each craze consists of four "power moves", which are scattered within the songs of each decade.

However, not every song has a power move. And, (I think Harmonix added this just to annoy people and force them to dance to more songs than necessary) even if you find the power moves, you need to gain enough "star energy" (aka, stars you earn from each song, added up) before you can decode the craze and travel back to the present.

I found this a bit complicated at first, but got into it after a while. I love time travel plots, and dancing, so put together? YES! But, since this is a dance game and not a plot adventure game or anything, there aren't any paradoxes, or really interesting plot points. *spoiler* Well, except maybe the fact that Tan put his own son under the power of his mind control helmets!

I didn't like how the first and last song of every decade was spontaneous, and you had no idea what to expect, so you are almost set up for failure unless you just rock. I like rehearsing well before I actually preform a song!

One thing I LOVED was the 8-Bit animation for the credits. Too cute! Speaking of the credits, it looks as if the Glitteratti is planning mischief. Sequel-inference much?

I have been expecting the announcement for DC4 for a while now, since it is practically inevitable that there is going to be a DC4, but instead a different spin on the series was announced. The next game in the series is going to be called Dance Central: Blackout. The title comes from the fact that, in game, the screen is completely dark, except for occasional move judgments, such as "good". You aren't shown any moves, you have to use your (sold separately >.<) headset and listen for directions. The Harmonix people think that this will help us really connect with the music.

What?!? That sounds hard, and so not fun! How are you supposed to even hear the music, if commands are being said over your headset, and the music is coming from your TV speakers?! I don't think I'll be immediately begging for this, like the other games. I'll watch videos of others playing it first, to see their opinion and the total gameplay experience. 

In other words, I will wait for DC4/5 (based on if they consider Blackout DC4 or not). In fact, I have some suggestions for a possible DC4/5:

  • Option of changing difficulty level between songs in a playlist (some songs I can perform on Medium or Hard, but others only on Easy)
  • Option to use your XBOX Live avatar as your in-game dancer
  • Improved voice commands- you know, so you don't ask for one song and the game brings up a completely different song. I don't know if that's so much of a problem with DC's software as much as it is the lower quality of the Kinect microphone, though, so Harmonix might not be able to do anything about that.
  • LESS commentary from Boombox! He gets annoying after a while (especially on playlists), and sometimes he suggests something right as you are trying to say a command during Rehearsal, and the XBOX misunderstands you.
  • Less songs with sexually suggestive or foul lyrics.
  • A fully freestyle mode: I know that they tried to have a freestyle move with "Make Your Move", but that is more of a Simon Says game. Plus, it is only multiplayer (not a lot of people I know enjoy dancing, so I can't put this mode into any use!) Can't there be a mode where you make  your own moves through the entire song, in single player?
  • Player lines that in-game characters can react to (for example, if I said a yo mamma joke out loud, as if to Taye, then she would understand, and respond with "Oh no.You did not just go there.")
That's about it. I hope some of these are implemented in DC4/5!

Sunday, March 31, 2013


OK! After that philosophical, spiritual post, I think it's time for a more light hearted post to ease some of the weight off this blog.

Recently, my mother has been giving me cooking lessons. It's been over basic stuff, like pasta, chicken, and salad. The other day was her birthday, so I planned to surprise her by putting her lessons to work.

I let my dad in on the plan, so I would have a little bit of support, since my memory was a bit sketchy over the chicken part, but he made me realize that it wouldn't work out logistically anyway: our church was observing the Lord's Supper that night, so it would have to at least wait until after the service.

It still could be done, though, and if crafty enough, I could have kept it a surprise, if only my dad, tired after a meeting, hadn't come home the night before and started discussing it with me in front of my mom. My mom thought the thought was still sweet, so she would still let me do it, if I still wanted to. And of COURSE I still wanted to. I love doing nice things for my mom.

So, the next night, after the Lord's Supper service, I came home, defrosted some chicken breasts, seasoned them, then started on a salad while they marinated. I looked in the refrigerator and took out what I thought was lettuce, and some cherry tomatoes, and began making a salad. Cutting the lettuce, though, I thought that its texture was a bit... off.

"Hey, Dad," I called. "Is lettuce supposed to be rubbery?"

"It can be," He replied, so I thought nothing else of it. But, in the back of my mind, I thought, What if this is something completely non-lettuce, like cabbage? 

Anyway, after I made the salad and put it in the fridge to chill, I put the chicken in the oven and put on a pot of water to boil for pasta and began preparing the sauce for it. I didn't heat it, because I wanted to wait until the pasta was done so I didn't risk burning it or something from waiting to pour it over the pasta.

Speaking of the pasta, I thought that the water was taking a long time to boil. I looked over it, and it barely had some tiny bubbles on the bottom of the pan. Dad came over, and he said that the amount of water in a pot as big as the one I was using would take a longer time to boil, since I was making enough water to cook pasta for four people, instead of just enough so I could make Ramen when I am by myself for lunch.

So, I was pacing at that point, because the chicken was almost done, and I was nowhere near close to having pasta for my side. I lowered the heat as soon as they were done, and put in the pasta as soon as the water was finally boiling, and was able to put everything together, with Mutt setting the table, even though the chicken was a bit more golden brown than my family usually has it, and it was way later than we usually eat dinner.

Sitting down, I dished out the chicken and passed around the pasta and the salad. Mutt looked at the salad weird.

"What?" I asked.

"What's wrong with the salad? It's pale," He replied.

"I don't know."

"Let me see," My dad looked at the salad for a little bit. "I think that's cabbage!"

Everyone laughed at my accidental coleslaw. In my defense, it was green, and it was leafy, just like lettuce. It tasted almost the same, anyway, albeit a bit chewier. The rest of the meal was fine (the chicken was my favorite part, but everyone else loved the pesto angel hair pasta!)

So, my first time cooking a whole dinner was about an eight on a scale of one to ten. Hey, at least now I know to put water on to boil earlier, and the difference between lettuce and cabbage. The most important thing was, I did something nice for my mom, and she really appreciated it, which always makes me feel great :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Christianity is Not Slavery

Lately, I am seeing more and more atheists, agnostics, and supposed Christians that don't act like they are. This has come as a shock to me, because I had never seen any of those in my entire life. Either I knew that the people around me were all Christians, or I didn't know anything about their faith at all and, in my ignorance, assumed that they were Christian because I didn't see them do anything bad. But now that I have seen reality, I feel it is my duty to do something about it.

One of the things I have seen recently is as obtuse as you can get. In my computer class, we have been using  this touch-typing website disguised as a game site. If you get a good score on one of the games on the site, they offer to put your score on the leaderboard. It prompts you to create a username to identify you with. One of the usernames I saw on the leaderboard of my favorite game was "IAmNotASlaveToAGodThatDoesntExist".

Yeah, I have some problems with that. I have a theory about who this was, because I have overheard the conversation between a girl in my class, and a boy who argues with her over all her claims of her faith. I can't be sure though, since it's on a public website.

My first argument: God does exist. If God didn't exist, then how are we here? You might come back with the "Big Bang Theory", but something had to have caused that explosion, too. Plus, how could all of the beauty of this world occur by chance? For this point, I'll use a illustration from a devotion book I read: try writing each letter of the alphabet on its own slip of paper. Put the slips of paper into a bucket, shake it up, and then dump the contents onto the floor. Do the slips of paper come out in the exact order of the alphabet? No.

If what we know as the alphabet, in its exact order, can't be created again by complete chance, then how can what we know as the world and the way it works be created by chance?

Another point: go outside on a fall day. You feel something on your cheek. It also seems to be moving through the trees. You know this to be wind. How? You can't see wind. How do you know it exists? If you know that wind exists without seeing it, then why can't you believe that God exists even though He is invisible?

My last point: Christianity is not slavery. Slavery implies being forced to do physical labor or something for one person, without getting anything in return. This was believed as unfair and was abolished in our country. But Christianity isn't forced lifestyle. People often see Christianity as having a list of do's and don't's to follow, and that's why they're often turned off, but that's not what Christianity is about at all! Christianity is coming to realize that a man, Jesus, gave up His life to save your own, loving Him for it, and you give up certain things and take on others because you feel you need to repay Him, or make Him pleased with you. 

On another hand, Christianity isn't without reward. If we follow Christ, believe in Him and love Him with all our hearts, one day when we die, we get to go to a beautiful kingdom where God has built a mansion for you to live in for eternity, and he lives in a castle, where He is King on the throne, with Jesus at His right hand. There is no sadness, sickness, or worry.

When you take all of this into account, what do you think of Christianity now?

Edited to add: Check the comments section for further discussion.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Why Bronies Love Ponies

Remember my conundrum from a few weeks ago? I finally know what to do. I am not going to hide anymore, and I'm going to try to help my fellow fandom members.

The show? My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I love it. It's what I look forward to all week.

Only, let me explain something: FiM is considered Hasbro's most successful failure. Hasbro needed something so they could create a new line of toys and re-new appeal to children. As is the way nowadays, instead of creating something completely new, they re-booted an old franchise: in this case, My Little Pony. It had appealed to girls for years before, so why not now?

Their target audience was young girls, 5 through 10. They premiered their first season, which was almost an instant hit. Only, the "dart" didn't meet its target: instead of making new fans of little girls, they brought back an old audience, and bronies were born.

Bronies include teenage to adult women and men. They enjoy the show, and follow it with a passion. Some write fan fictions and create fan art. Others simply enjoy the show. But with the creative side, there is a dark side, and then a perverted side... But that's the minority! I still don't understand the dark side...

Because the fans are older than they'd like, and the way the show was represented in some fan fictions and art, Hasbro hates bronies. They have long tried other ways of either attracting their target audience, or destroy the brony fandom. Yet, they did.t back down. They grew stronger.

At first, I didn't understand the bronies, which included one of my best friends. The show was for kids! It's silly! Then that friend forced me to watch it. I instantly fell in love with the colorful, round, kind, playful characters in Ponyville.

I understand why people think the worst of us, but THEY don't understand just what this show is.

This show isn't kid-oriented in the least. The theme song is the silliest part of the show, and then it's great. None of the characters speak with a kid-geared voice, like Diego or Dora. They speak as if they were everyday people, having everyday conversations. They never break the fourth wall, except for comedic effect, so anyone can enjoy it if they keep an open mind.

The plots of the episodes reflect realistic situations: jealousy between siblings, stress over school, bullying, arguments between friends over differences. These episodes have amazing morals, and you become attached and relate to one or more of the "Mane Six": Twilight, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, and Apple Jack.

With FiM, you don't have to worry about the heroine cussing. You don't have to worry about lying or deception, as is popular in today's popular shows such as Pretty Little Liars or The Lying Game. It's a refreshing spin on today's dark media.

All of this, and more, is why bronies exist. We relate to the characters, patronizing is nowhere in sight, and don't see any darkness. It's easy to fall in love with what is among the only light in a dark world.

I hope this helps you see bronies differently. We aren't being childish by watching it, we are trying to be childlike. There is a difference. Childish is being bratty and not understanding that we can't have everything we want. Childlike is not understanding hate, or evil, and strive for good, and happiness. Even Jesus describes how if one does not become childlike, they'll never see the kingdom of  Heaven.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying if you don't watch FiM you don't get into Heaven. I'm saying that it wouldn't be terrible if we tried to be more kind, honest, loyal, generous, and laugh more. Then we could find something magical: friendship, and love. That's the whole theme of the show.

This is to try get people to understand and stop making fun of bronies. I am not going to hide from mockery anymore, but try to stop it. I can do more by acting than hiding. So here's where I'll start. By saying this:

I am Miss Cellaneous. And I am a brony

Monday, January 21, 2013

Les Miserables

I just saw probably the most beautiful movie in all of history: Les Mis. I loved it the music, and the theme.

This movie has no one story: it is many stories, woven together. It is the story of a criminal who had nothing, and because of a generous, godly man he gained a lot and came to Christ.

It is the story of an employee of this former criminal, who had it all, but lost it when the father of her daughter took it, and was just trying to get by, when she was cast aside because of her past, the former criminal not even batting an eye.

When this woman is on her deathbed, the former criminal realizes what he had indirectly done to her, and promises to find and raise her daughter, who is working for a cruel, conniving innkeeper and his wife in exchange for board and care. Once this man finds the girl, his heart is filled with hope and love for the first time in this life.

This is also the story of a young boy who dreams of revolution, but falls in love with this girl the moment he sees her.

The way these stories weave together is what makes this story beautiful. Almost every line in the movie was sung, which added to the musicality. What I loved the most was the theme that the grace of God is the only way to live, and leads us to those we love.

Granted, this story has it's REALLY sad points, too. I'll let you watch them for yourself and find out what they are, but I'm just warning you.

This movie is accurately rated- there are some gorey scenes, and some... suggestive elements at times.... so don't take kids to the movie. But don't miss out on this beautiful story of redemption and love!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Darkness in Entertainment Media

I have recently discovered something that troubles me. It has to do with the favor of society when it comes to  entertainment.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have posted two stories on fanfiction.net, both taking place in the same setting. One was a full story that I thought was one of my best works, which began and ended  happily. Over the next few weeks after I posted it, it received a few hits here and there, but no reviews at all.

Soon after, I posted a single chapter of another story which I didn't think was as good, but wanted to get an opinion on it: this one went straight into the conflict, which was, in a way, dark. Almost immediately after posting it, I received a rave review, saying nothing bad about the story itself (they did, however, correct me on my grammar).

Why is it that a really good story, with a happy ending, doesn't get any response after several days, when a relatively bad story, with a dark plot, gets a positive review after mere minutes? Why do people enjoy dark plots more than happy plots?

Is it that society today is so accustomed to sad endings, that they are surprised at something that actually ends happily? I can't say that I understand this in the least. My bad story wasn't even finished! And, looking over it, I realize that the plot is so dark that I don't feel comfortable going through with the project any further.

Truth be told, the dark story also hasn't gotten any reviews since that first day, but still- it got more response than what I consider the better story: I posted that story two weeks ago, with no reviews, and I posted the bad story ONE week ago, and it got two reviews on the first day it was posted. (granted, one of those was from my best friend, so I don't count that)

WHY does a dark plot get a better response over a happy one?!?