Hello there! I'm Meghan. Thanks for checking out my blog!
Although I'm almost 30, I haven't lost my sense of child-like wonder for the world around me. I've been making up stories my whole life: My imaginative play with toys as a child has grown up with me, maturing into my imaginative wordplay with fantasy and sci-fi novels, as well as free-verse poetry. I thrive on creating something with my hands and with my mind, using my pen or my keyboard.
When I'm not working, I'm reading, writing, or knitting, I'm sleeping. I also enjoy watching Netflix, occasionally playing open-world video games, or hanging out with my family, my two golden girl retrievers Bentley and Charlie, my friends, or my boyfriend Rory.
When we picked you up, you were long and tiny. You were so cute as a puppy! You’d flown all the way from New York to Minnesota, in a light pink kennel. Mom and Dad cried in the car, because you reminded them of the day they picked up Liesel–our previous dachshund–and surprised my grandparents. We’d gone a year without a dog, and now we were getting a new furry friend.
My boyfriend Rory and I are watching a really cool Japanese anime at the moment. It’s about young superheroes. Awesome, right?!
My Hero Academia is a show about young hopeful superheroes. It blends high school drama with the action and training involved in becoming a real pro-hero at UA High. It feels fresh, not just because of the unique superpowers–but also because it looks at the hero’s journey from the perspective of our main protagonist, Izuku Midoriya, a plucky teenager. He wants to develop a quirk so he can be just like his idol All Might, the number one hero in Japan. All Might is not only very strong, but also incredibly brave. He’s good at saving people in need.
In this anime universe, about 80% of the human population possesses what’s called a quirk, which is just a fancy word for “a special, superhuman ability” (from the anime’s wikapage).
Midoriya originally doesn’t start out with a quirk, just like other superhero plots. But unlike other superhero films, the goal in this world is to develop a quirk–a process as normalized as losing your baby teeth or going through puberty. Midoriya’s devastated when he realizes he is quirkless. When he meets All Might, Midoriya is thrilled. When he does receive All Might’s power, One for All, he is so overcome with emotion that he ends up sobbing with joy. One for All, which can be passed down from one person to another, is Izuku’ inheritance.
What I love about My Hero Academia are all the little emotions that enhance the fight scenes, the training, and intimate scenes like the one above. The emotions–earning people’s approval, passing a test–makes this show about wanna-be superheroes far more superior to the run-of-the-mill superhero shows. Adding the emotional component to the characters motives helps you become more invested in these kids, which is exactly what you need when you’re rooting for the underdogs.
Watching Midoriya succeed as he takes steps towards becoming a certified hero is fun and rewarding, especially when you get to see him do cool moves like this:
I don’t want to spoil anything, because this is truly a must-see show. It’s funny, clever, and heartfelt.
What are you still doing here? Go watch it already!
This is the quote that I live by. It’s also very true for me as an avid reader.
BOOKSHELF PROJECT STARTED
BOOKS READ SO FAR
BOOKS ON MY BOOKSHELVES & KINDLE
Hello there! Welcome to a project I’ve been working towards my entire life: reading everything on my bookshelves. I say this in a one-sentence-breath because it’s true, and it’s actually a little overwhelming. My book collection goes back as far as elementary school, back when there were discard book piles in the library. (You might remember seeing the DISCARD stickers or words written on the inside of books.) *Sighs* And then, there are the books on my Kindle, which I use regularly.
To further encourage myself to read more–especially during a busy work schedule– I started using Audible in 2015. While I love reading, my pesky ADD can get in the way of me doing what I love. With the help of a narrator–or in some cases, narrators–I’m able to finish a book in less than a month.
There was a time when I used to feel embarrassed about my Audible use, like it was a bad thing. I was used to reading relying on my own gumption to get myself reading. (But this process often took months with longer books, making it impossible to even remember why I wanted to read such a long book in the first place.) Now, I love using Audible whenever it’s possible, because it really helps me stay present and focused when reading. The audiobooks also help me read faster, and I really enjoy hearing various narrators bring characters to life.
Notes: You can see what I’m currently reading by looking at my Goodreads widget. All of my completed book reviews are highlighted in red. The category “years read” are also included for your reading pleasure.
So, come and follow me on this exciting (and if I’m honest with myself possibly never-ending) journey! I’m proud of myself for reading a total of 16,308 pages across 47 books in 2019. I hope you’re as excited as I am to watch my reading list grow.
I love the freedom I have on the web. We all do. Oh, excuse me, I should say had.
Recently in the U.S., we’ve lost net neutrality. I was at work when I saw the news alert. I’m enraged and devastated that the Internet is going to be commercialized like television. It’s disgusted and nauseating. I was fearful that this would happen. Now, I worry that the rights as we know them for the Internet won’t be restored.
Here’s a good video about net neutrality from the YouTube show “Extra Credits.” This is from 2014. Sadly, it’s relevant.
But, as my sister told me, “This too shall pass.” I can only hope.
I went to the movie theater last night with my Mom and sister. We had so much fun: The Book Club was a sweet, funny movie about four older women reconnecting with the men in their lives–with a little help from the naughty (and let’s face it, horribly written and very ill-informed) sensation 50 Shades of Grey. I laughed so much that Mom thought I was gonna have to leave the theater to compose myself. I got myself under control. We also saw Ocean’s 8, which featured an all-female cast of smart and savvy crooks. The heist? Stealing a diamond necklace. It was tense, funny, and fun. I recommend both movies!
But the real reason I’m writing this post is because of an amazing teaser trailer for Bohemian Rhapsody. Queen is one of my favorite rock groups–and by the looks of the teaser, they chose well. I know a little about the amazing Freddie Mercury–like his bisexuality, his battle with AIDS, and that he could sing like nobody’s business. I know that Queen had to fight to get “Bohemian Rhapsody” played in full on the air because it was considered too long.
Happy Tuesday morning! I had a fantastic weekend–my sister is home now from college, so we’ve been hanging out a ton. We’re currently watching Planet Earth II on Netflix. It’s so good!
I just wanted to show you guys the new trailer for Christopher Robin. I’m a huge fan of A.A. Milne’s work. Growing up, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was a massive part of my childhood. I’m still in love with Pooh and the gang. Jim Cummings is my favorite voice actor–I’m a child of the 90s. To me, he isn’t just the voice of Pooh, he is Pooh.
Get your Kleenex handy, it’s a good one. Oh, and the amazing Ewen McGregor, Peter Capaldi (known for his role as the 12th Doctor) are in it!
My first-ever concert was at the U.S. Bank Stadium. The wickedly talented and very badass heavy metal rock band Metallica was playing. It was incredible.
We were excited. Once I got off work that day, it was go time.
Dad, Abbie (my sister) and I got in the car, playing the Boneyard–Dad’s favorite rock ‘n roll station–all the way down to the U.S. Bank Stadium. We were ready: Dad was driving. He knew where we were heading (obviously). We had supper already waiting for us in our respective seats: Jimmy John’s sandwiches.
We were easily a couple of hours early getting to Minneapolis. When we got to the stadium, the place was packed with rockers. The music could be heard easily from the street as we joined the steady throng of men, women, and even kids . My dad–who loves the band–lead the way to the rows of metal detectors. We passed through without any incident. We had printed our tickets, gave them to the guys manning the door, and we were in!
Dad wore a red shirt, or something like it. In any case, I was glad, because he was easy to spot amid the sea of black t-shirts. Hard-core fans were sporting their Metallica pride, while others had some cool rock shirts. Dad got in line and, after patiently waiting, got all three of us t-shirts. Abbie and I picked shirts that had the Minnesota Viking logo, and the date printed underneath. We took our seats shortly afterwards.
Although we were far from the stage itself, there were several large screens set up so everyone in the audience–there were about 50,000 fans, according to the StarTribune–could see James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, and Robert Trujillo rock out.
When the house lights went down, all 50,000 of us cheered. It was a roar. Phones lit up the mosh pit, and some of the best two and a half hours of our lives happened. I screamed, whooped, and took tons of photos and videos.
I’d always dreamed of going to a concert some day–my dream concert was to see Blue October–and now I could happily say I had been to one. I watched in awe of the lighting, the talented drumming and the fancy finger-work on the guitar frets. I felt drawn to James, held captivated by his voice and his music. The theatrics were wonderful: We had a display of fireworks, jets of flame, balloons, and even a laser show during the song “One”, which acted as a conduit for the line of sight, like you were being trained on by a solider boy who just as scared and determined as you.
I was so glad I saw Metallica live. They opened my eyes to an entirely new interest: going to concerts. From Metallica, I learned that live performances not only showcase the band’s talents, but fulfilled a personal and realness that James, Lars, Kirk, and Robert possess as people.
Mother’s Day has already come and gone. This year, I went all out. I bought a dark blue Yankee candle and a card. Instead of writing a poem–which I’ve done for each of my parents over the years–I made a list of humorous inside jokes and heartfelt messages.
My mom has taught me so much about manners, caring about other people, caring for dogs, and engaging genuinely with children. She embodies her late mom, my grandma Lucy (Lucille) Bullard in her passion for Kindergarten, the importance of playtime and understanding child development in schools, her mesmerizing way with babies and young children, and her love of dogs. My grandma had a presence about her, even after her untimely stroke when I was around six years old: She was charismatic and loving. (One of my favorite stories about Grandma Lucy is how one of the nurses introduced her fianće to my grandma. She was in Bethany Home at the time. She was paralyzed on one side and couldn’t speak. Well, actually she still spoke, believe me–she spoke with her caring, loving eyes.)
In my life, I’ve been blessed to have such a fantastic mother, someone who goes above and beyond to make sure I am the best person. When I act like a teenager–like staying up a little too late on days I work, not being a morning person–that’s a skill, right?–her scolding (yes, I realize I need a I Can’t Adult Today t-shirt, ‘cus it’s hilarious that at 27 my mom needs to nag me like I’m 13) is her way of reminding that I’m too old to act irresponsibly.
In my defense, this is my way of squeaking in what was supposed to be a time for teen rebellion and laziness. (Ha ha!)
But seriously, I cannot thank my mom enough for her love and friendship.
If we were having coffee, I’d be sporting my metal flower water bottle. For the past few days, I’ve been having a pretty wicked cold. (I mean wicked as in ugly, not cool.)
If we were having coffee, I would probably be trying to not fall asleep. I only worked for six hours today–I cashier at Target in my hometown–but I think the cold is getting to me again. Without the much-needed help of DayQuil, I wouldn’t be feeling nearly as peppy as I am with the cold medicine in my system.
I prefer to drink coffee (with cream if I’m at home, something a little fancier if I’m getting something from Starbucks–like a caramel macchiato) in the morning. It helps me wake up and stay focused. I’ll have it with my breakfast, which is usually cereal.
It’s finally snowing here in my part of Minnesota. I thought that we maybe weren’t gonna get anything, even though my sister texted pictures of the crazy amounts they are getting at Gustavus. When the weather’s bad like this, it makes me so glad that I live in town! I can’t imagine trying to go anywhere if I were in the cities–i.e. Minneapolis. I’d probably just stay home, only going out for work or an emergency food run.
I’m a little jealous that my boyfriend (his name is Rory) might get to stay home from work tomorrow if the weather is still really bad. (It’s nice that his bosses are cool with their workers staying at home when it’s bad weather. That’s a plus at any rate.) Cross your fingers!
Lately, I’ve been working on redecorating my farm in Stardew Valley. I once again realized that I had planted way too many trees, so I’m chopping them down and placing the new trees by the paths I’ve made around the standard farm. I also took out some of the fenced-in areas that I wasn’t using for crops. I got rid of the gate for my barn, so that my pig–who I named Peppa, who is not in any way related to the children’s show–can roam the farm. Now a horse owner, Gavin can take me anywhere I need to go! I’m in my fifth year and just got a horse. Silly me! I won’t make this mistake of waiting so long in future play-throughs. I love how much thought and effort went into Stardew Valley. It’s easily one of the most relaxing and charming games I’ve ever played. I know I’ve raved about this game before, but it’s truly wonderful.
I’m curious to see how much snow we get overnight, especially since it began snowing around 8 o’clock. It’s almost midnight now.
It’s time for me to wind down for bed. Time to break out my colored pencils and my coloring book and my Kindle.
P.S. A huge thank you to everyone who recently followed me! You guys are awesome!
Some days, my mood is really good. Some days, I have “down” days, or more specifically, “down” moments.
I say down moments because my mood will shift, even if I suddenly feel sad. Some days, I’m worried about stupid stuff, like letting myself fret over the future–which I know will turn out just fine, but my brain will lie to me and tell me that I should worry about something that is yet to come.
Note: the book cover is an alternative one. the original features “the orgasmic man”
This 724-paged novel captivated me, chewed me up with its rawness, spit me back out, and came back swinging with fresh emotions and intense feels. Hanya Yanagihara’s work is akin to an MMA fighter: Once you’re in the cage, her characters punch, kick, and grab you in a merciless headlock and refuse to let go. It’s the saddest, most visceral book I’ve ever read as an adult–and yet there’s bright rays of humor, friendship, love, and hope.
[The projector’s film crackles & big band music springs to life. The announcer’s voice is jolly.] Joining us this evening is a young woman all the way from the land of ten thousand lakes! She’s traveled far, and has much to say about this particular picture, Revolutionary Road.
Grab your popcorn and pull up a chair. It’s going to be a doozy! [Music draws to a close as per the horns and the drums.]
Trigger warning: discussions about abortion
April: Do you want to know the worst part? Our whole existence here is based on this great premise that we’re special and superior to the whole thing. But we’re not. We’re just like everyone else! Look at us. We’ve bought into the same ridiculous delusion: This idea that you have to resign from life and settle down the moment you have children. And we’ve been punishing each other for it.
April and her husband Frank are struggling to appear perfect. They have achieved the American dream: a lovely home, a stable income, and two beautiful children. On the outside, the young couple are a well-to-do sort, who have no troubles at all. Naturally, this is a lie. Underneath the dresses and the neatly tied ties, there’s a lack of satisfaction.
Frank is dissatisfied with his line of work, having taken after his old man at the same company. His wife April notices this. She suggests one night that their family move to Paris, a place where a younger Frank longed to revisit. While April gets everything ready for their trip, I can’t help but feel a sense of foreboding. What if something comes up and the family is unable to make their voyage across the sea? Even if the Wheeler’s go to Paris, what if its not as wonderful as they dreamed?
The main problem for the couple seems to be a sense of boredom. Frank sleeps with a young secretary from the office, then promptly leaves her sitting on her bed, smoking a cigarette. I took this scene, as well as their conversation in a restaurant, to be revealing. Frank confided in this woman his fear that he has become his father, working for the same company, stuck in the same dead-end job. Perhaps his sleeping with her also means that he’s beginning to feel that he’s stuck in a similar dead-end in his marriage?
When April admits, a little perturbed that her husband didn’t notice any change in her emotional state, that she is pregnant, Frank is visibly upset. They have a heated argument, in which April asks, “Do you really want another child?” after he discovers the brown tube in a papter bag.
While Frank dodges the question of wanting a third child, he also cannot comprehend the alternative: a secret (and in his eyes taboo) abortion.
The tension between the Wheeler’s grows. Frank nearly hits his wife in anger and moral frustration. The young man who struggles with mental illness and recieved electro shock therapy insults Frank and his wife, which causes him to be shown the door–his poor parents coaxing him hastily out of the house.
April must confess to her children that, unfortunately, they won’t be going to Paris. As she explains this to her young son and daughter in the front yard, Frank watches from the living room window.
Frank and April have another fierce row, which results in April threatening to scream–and runs off into the woods just across the road from their faux-perfect life, their perfect home. The mind-boggling part about this scene is that Frank isn’t willing to listen to his wife, he’s unable to bring himself to hear her out. (If I remember correctly, their fight is about her wanting to have the abortion. At one point, during one of their many fights, Frank threatens to have his wife committed to an institution, where she would undergo the same electro shock therapy “treatment” as John did.)
Frank retreats to the house, unable to convince his wife to come back inside. He sits in the dark, drinking straight liquor, anxious and unable to control the situation.
Eventually, he passes out on the bed. When he awakes, its morning. April is dressed, having made a big, beautiful breakfast. In fact, it’s a big day for Frank: he’s starting a new position at work, where he’ll work with computers. April is the perfect housewife: she asks him about his work, and takes interest in what he’s going to be working on. Frank, who I believe to be in a bit of a shock, looks on with tears glistening in his eyes. It’s also another big day for April: she must choose whether or not she wants to have her abortion.
Frank leaves for work, April wishing him a good day. Then, she retrieves the materials to perform–terrifyingly–her own abortion. She is seen going to the bathroom, laying down a towel, and closes the door, a basin of water in her hands, as well as a gruesome rubber tube.
Frank is called away from the office to the hospital. He learns that his wife and unborn child are dead, for April had complications, in which she began bleeding profusely. He leaves the hospital, in shock, clearly grief-stricken. He runs, sprinting, down the street, heedless of anything else.
Frank moves, with his children, away from Revolutionary Road. A new couple, probably much like the Wheeler’s, move in. Frank’s old co-worker and neighbor volunteer to their guests one evening that he moved to the city, and dotes upon his two children, whom he loves dearly.
In the end, Revolutionary Road is a cautionary tale. Ambitions and dreams do not always come so easily; reality quickly sets in. As for April’s unfortunate death, I find this a symbol of the loss of the Wheeler’s nuclear family, and the death of their outlandish, and probably unrealistic, fantasy of going to live in Paris.
What’s more, Paris also represents a chunk of obtaining (and maintaining) the American Dream. The chance to have a white picket fence is knocked down in the windstorm of April’s death. Paris is an ode to the couple’s youth, their days of opportunity, and can possibly seen as their naïveté–a nice, but wild and irrational, idea.
For me, Frank’s newly renewed devotion to his children is a new beginning, a rebuilding of the fallen picket fence. It’s a subtle sign of hope, despite the bleak circumstances.
I’ve finally read J.R.R. Tolkien’s prelude to his famous Lord of the Rings trilogy. Of course, I’ve seen most of the films, but reading this classic was a treat. The world that Tolkien gives us is enchanting, and feels very much like a fairy tale to me–but one with a happy ending. (Looking at you, Brothers Grimm.)
It took a while for me to adjust to the way in which Tolkien writes–think of children’s books where the prose goes onto the next page, Yertle the Turtle, style–but as soon as I did, I was enjoying all the insights into Bilbo’s journey.
One thing I enjoyed the most was the humor. Personally, I liked how often Bilbo wished that he was back in his hobbit hole. The funny thing about Bilbo’s longing is that, even while he’s wishing dearly that he was home, he is still having a grand time being out in the wide world. Despite the danger he’s facing, he’s still keeping his feet firmly on solid ground. If he had refused the dwarves and remained in Hobbiton, he wouldn’t have made solid friends with lads like Fili and Kili.
I guess, like a fairy tale, Tolkien is teaching us that in order to fully enjoy–and embrace–life, we must step outside our front doors, stepping onto the Road, not exacting knowing where it will take us.
My last family vacation felt like stepping into the Road. While we knew where we were headed every day, I still felt awe at the sights. I still felt elation knowing that every day would be a new adventure, an uncharted path. Like all good family vacations, I bonded even more deeply with my parents and my sister. (We missed our two dogs, Bogan and Bentley, a lot!) We developed some great memories, and had some pretty funny inside jokes along the way.
Just like Bilbo, I would never have discovered the unfathomable beauty of the Grand Canyon, if I had stayed home. In a way, I am a homebody; when the moment strikes me, I too long for adventure. If I’d stayed home–which was out of the question, of course I wanted to go–I would have never fully grasped the vastness of the Grand Canyon. It’s hard to capture in photographs, no matter how good a camera you have on you. The beauty is inspiring and breathtaking. Because I left the comfort of my home, I have fantastic memories of visiting various national parks, and spending quality time with my family.
Here’s to Bilbo, for leaving his comfy hobbit hole in Bag End:
These past few months, I’ve become obsessed with a little farming game called Stardew Valley. I never played Harvest Moon as a child, but I did watch a friend of mine play it for a bit.
Stardew is about a guy or girl, possibly in their twenties, inheriting their grandfather’s farm. One of the last things your grandfather says to you is that the fast-paced world will become too much for you. When this happens, you are able to go to the farm and live among the residents of Pelican Town.
One thing that I love deeply about this game is the relaxing atmosphere. The pixelated artwork is full of lush trees, bushes, and berries. There is very little violence, which only takes place when you’re in the mines searching for rocks or precious minerals. Even as the game has become busier for me–taking care of chickens and cows and watering my crops–I still feel calm while playing.
The longer I’ve played, the more invested I feel in this imaginary world. I can tell that Concerned Ape–the game developer–and Chucklefish did a really good job, because I find the animals utterly adorable. They also act like real animals, too: the cows moo, and my dog will wag his tail furiously when he’s by me.
I’m excited to expand upon my knowledge of this wonderful world, a place where I feel closer to nature.