About Annie

"This specimen of homo sapiens is of Asian descent; it is also known as “an overwhelmingly excellent student” but perhaps unflatteringly referred to as “nerd” and “geek.” While this humanoid may have black hair and almond-shaped brown eyes, it is often hidden behind a pair of glasses and an anxious, single-minded ambition to outshine other homo sapiens it considers to be racially inferior. Its natural habitat is the academic classroom with other students, but perhaps because of said ambition, it does not get on well with others. Though this species is an academic overachiever, at times it likes to go wild-child on its peers and bust out crazy dance moves." -Anonymous

Book Review: The Fairest of Them All

The Fairest of Them All by Carolyn Turgeon

I am completely at fault for not reviewing this earlier even though I’ve had it on my shelf and received it from the publisher for review. To that extent, I would like to apologize to the publisher and the author. I would also like to say that even though I got this book for free, my opinions are my own and in no way are they influenced by anyone involved in the for-profit ventures of this book.

The preface to this book is great and while the idea is not all the original to smash a few different fairytales together, this is one of the only ones which puts two ‘princesses’ into conflict. There are some crazy jumps in reason, but don’t all fairytales have that? For example, Rapunzel follows Mathena and believes everything that Mathena says until Rapunzel falls in love with the prince and suddenly Rapunzel isn’t the obedient daughter anymore, she will go against all that Mathena says. Mathena gives magical herbs to induce magical amnesia is another one that I couldn’t wrap my head around. Lastly, the utter idiocy of Rapunzel in the first few years of her life is just headache inducing.

Despite all these weird starts, the author does an amazing job growing Rapunzel as a character. You could really tell that Rapunzel struggles after marrying the prince, now king. Subtly the book speaks a lot of how society can ruin even the most pure and innocent of hearts when they’re under enough pressure.

This was not a retelling of Rapunzel and Snow White to the tee. That is good! You can tell that the author put a lot of thought into how these two female characters would mesh into each other lives and each others’ fairytales. It may not be the light fairytale that you were hoping for, but it is certainly an intriguing story and one for the adults who have grown up, but still want to revisit all those stories from when they were young.

Advertisements

Dear TopShop

TLDR; I have zero respect for companies that make you jump through numberous hoops to unsubscribe from their e-mail lists.


What is it so hard to unsubscribe to your e-mails? Please fix your “unsubscribe” webpage (http://x.mail.topshop.com). Your “unsubscribe me from all e-mails” button does NOT work. I like your store, I really do, but now it feels like extortion when I can’t get myself off your list without having to submit a customer service form. Really now? 😦 Don’t earn the ire of your customers.


5 minutes later:

Annnnd now after I tried to access your customer service form through the e-mail it says: “Access Denied
You don’t have permission to access “http://us.topshop.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/WebFormsAddressLookup” on this server.
Reference #18.bf070f17.1441557013.360edacf”

What the heck?! It shouldn’t be this hard to do something so simple. Seriously, this is putting me off shopping at Top Shop.

Emily’s Home Sweet Home – Mouse Locations

Sorry, at this time I do not have earlier levels.

Level 9  Upper left by the lemonade pitcher, starts appearing early in the level

Level 10  On the tree branch next to the swing (appears upside down)

Level 21  Slushie machine

Level 22  At the snow cone dispenser

Level 23 – Sideways at the signpost that is next to the park map (if you bought the park map)

Level 24 – Behind the map on the left

Level 25 – In the box of key-chains/penguins

Level 26 – Left side of the green hedge (may be hidden behind a ferris wheel cart as it goes around)

Level 27 – In the roller coaster loop

Level 28 – To the left of the counter, bottom of that lower left table

Level 29 – Behind the counter, to the left of the drinks (for me it was between my coke and my caramel apple)

Level 30 – Left side of the counter (he pops up sideways)

Level 31 – Behind the front post of the left stall with the wood shavings

Level 32 – To the left of the tent with the ovens

Level 33 – To the left of counter

Level 34 – Wood working station, look around the roof

Level 35 – Beneath paint easel

Level 36 – Soup pot

Level 37 – Top, inside the oven

Stung by Bethany Wiggins

Stung (Stung, #1)Stung by Bethany Wiggins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars on Goodreads

Real rating: 3.5 stars

I started this book on a plane. Even though I landed at midnight after twelve hours of traveling, I knew that I had to finish it. With Thursday looming on the horizon, I stayed up until 4AM anyway and finished the book. I feel accomplished, but incredibly jet lagged and tired. Ha!

Stung is a really interesting concept and it really sits right on par with other great books besides the fact that the beginning is plain confusing. That is partly attributed to the fact that this book has a TON of ‘secrets.’ The plot twists and turns cannot be guessed. That’s great! Fair warning: In the beginning of the book, you will be very confused and none of that confusion is going to resolve itself very soon. The author has enough intelligence not to make everything too revealing. Just when you feel like you’ve decoded the plot… you really haven’t. Trust me.

At the same time it makes me wonder if its kind of cheating, sort of like pulling out half-assed explanations from a black hole with no logic behind it besides the fact that, “it is just the way things are” (it doesn’t read like that, but the thought only comes to mind as I am writing this review and it is because of this that I am taking off half a star). Stung is an interesting concept, if you can get past being left in the dark for more than half the book then it is worth a read.

Warning: The book will allude to the rape of women though it is not explicitly stated. If you have certain triggers or get turned away by the mention of the abuse of women then this book isn’t for you.

This book was provided for me to evaluate by the publisher. I suspect it was to evaluate the success of its instructiveness on underwater basket-weaving. That being said, I am not getting paid for writing this review. Darn.

Sometimes I look in the mirror and hate my body

This is my 100th post on this blog and I wanted to dedicate it to something important. I confess: I struggle with body image issues. Medically I am considered healthy and within the healthy BMI range set by the United States. I really hate sharing my weight and my height, but for the sake of being honest I will share it here. I am about five foot two inches and weigh anywhere from 112 lb to 118 lb. I bloat easily and ‘losing weight’ is an uphill battle. The heaviest I’ve ever been was 125 lb back in high school. I exercise fairly regularly, so I don’t think its a lack of movement that is my problem.

In my head I think most girls around my height should weigh around 105 lb. When comparing reality to my ideal, it is easy to see why I sometimes feel like I’m fat, chubby, heavy, etc. I’m not trying to perpetuate the ideal of super-skinny women, nor am I trying to make people who are actually overweight feel worse about themselves. What I am trying to say is that girls who are at a healthy weight (from a medical standpoint) can also struggle with body image. I think it’s bogus when girls are put down for having body image issues when they are perfectly ‘skinny.’ Those kind of comments are not helpful and they tend to make those who are struggling ignore the fact that they were struggling in the first place. For example, it’s not really ‘kosher’ when I’m talking with my peers to say, “Sometimes I feel really fat,” or, “I really struggle with not nitpicking things about my body that I hate.” Mostly I just get comments like, “Are you serious?” and “You’re so skinny! How can you say that?” I often got rebuked and it is exactly this type of reaction that put me in self-denial and guilt these past few years. While it’s nice to get the confirmation that I am perfectly normal, but it’s not very conducive of a deeper conversation. Sometimes I just want someone to really dig into the problem with me and for someone to understand that perfectly body-normal people can struggle.

Recently, in a New York Times article, it was discussed how outside appearances could perpetuate or exacerbate female aggression toward other females. When a stereotypically scantily clad female walked into a room other females in it quickly turned toward passive-aggressive and plain aggressive behavior. Interestingly, it mentioned that as a gender, we perpetuate the pressure to look beautify, stay thin, and dress desirably. It cited a study that showed that multimedia (such as magazines and TV) did not perpetuate nor pressure girls into perusing society’s definition of beauty. We put pressures one each other to remain competitive for males. It argued that in actuality, the media is a reflection of societies changing values and ideals. Media plays off the idea of what is popular in order to appeal to the masses. If media portrayed unpopular views it would be unsuccessful. Personally, I do not doubt the persuasive power that media has over the masses (there have been plenty of examples of media powerfully swaying public opinion), but the article does put an interesting argument forward.

“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” 1 Peter 3:3-4

There are lots of articles on finding strength in my inner worth. I believe that. The stuff that is on the inside carries a lot more weight than what is purely appearance. A beautiful person is never truly beautiful unless they also have a good heart. Even the Bible advises us to adorn our hearts with beauty, not just the outside. I have experienced the strength that comes from knowing that I am a capable, smart, young woman with plenty of gifts. I believe that as a human being, I have value. If you’re religious, you may also understand that a lot of this value comes from understanding that I am a child of God. I am worthy of beautiful things just like any other creation. But none of this has eliminated my struggle. It took me a long time to admit that I was struggling. For the longest time I had convinced myself that I was above worrying about my body or resorting to fad diets, over exercising, starving myself, and other stereotypical things. I felt disgust for myself when I pinched my ‘fat rolls’ and wished I was bone thin. Every time I looked in the mirror I had to pep-talk myself into being thankful for what I had. Don’t misunderstand me. I am so, SO, thankful for what I have and who I am, but being thankful for the body that I have didn’t come naturally and was often forced and anyone would agree that forced thankfulness is not the same as true, heartfelt, thankfulness. I entered a lot of fad diets and worried about calories all the time. I justified it all by pinning my reasons on other things: counting calories is healthy, this new liquid diet will be a good cleanse, cutting meat out is more humane, etc. I was actually lying to myself to make myself feel better. I got really good at it. Once I realized how much I was lying to myself, I realized how utterly exhausting it was. Body image is a legitimate issue, even for perfectly healthy women. It gets better, but it is slow progress. I trust that thankfulness will eventually come because the guilt over feeling terrible about my body is slowly going away. In the meantime, I encourage those with body image problems to talk about it. Find a good friend, a good counselor, and explain. Stewing in your own problem is not going to make it better. Denial is even worse.