Talk To Me, Goose. ♥

The musings of a girl who's a bit too eager to talk about anything and everything.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Read Books

2:38 PM Posted by Allie Wood , , , , 1 comment
Hey there!
Long time, no post.

I know, I know. I'm sorry. I've just been fairly busy recently because I love stressing myself out over stupid things. I've been totally slacking. But, I'm back and I bet you're just dying to read another one of my posts. Just kidding. I'm not that full of myself. Most of the time.

Today, I'm just going to be talking about why everyone should read books. I get so many people asking me why I read so much or what could possibly be so good about staring at pages with words on them all the time. I'm here to answer that question with one of my favorite things aside from books (and cats): A LIST. I know I normally do top 10, but I felt like mixing it up and doing a top 5. Here we go!

  • YOU CAN GAIN NEW KNOWLEDGE!
    • Every novel has new characters and new types of people, places, and experiences laced through the pages. You might read about a character that has a different religion, race, or gender than you do. It can open your eyes to that group of human's world view and you could find yourself learning a fact about a lifestyle you never even considered. This helps humanize groups of people you aren't around constantly or hear distant information about. Understanding other cultures, traditions, beliefs, etc., is becoming more and more important in today's day and age, where misinformation is thrown around like a football being used by a bunch of drunk buddies on Thanksgiving.
  • IT HELPS YOU TO ESCAPE!
    • Sometimes, there are things out there in the world or in your life you just want to get away from for a while. Novels are an amazing way to do that. They get you out of your own head and into a different world for a while. Maybe you'll get distracted by an unexpected dragon attack or you'll get super into the mystery of a "whodunnit" and you just can't stop until you find out who the culprit is. Every plot twist and every turn is a new way to let yourself be free of any worries that are surrounding you.
  • YOU CAN IMAGINE CHARACTERS EXACTLY HOW YOU WANT THEM!
    • Have you ever seen a character on a television show or movie and just thought to yourself, "That's not how the character should look," or "Her character is supposed to be Irish. Why is she talking in a British accent?" These questions don't arise very often when you're reading. The author usually gives a basic description of the character, but you are free to use your imagination in any fashion you want. Maybe the character is a war veteran and you just feel like he has a wicked scar on his chin. You can imagine him that way! Maybe you think the main character has a cute little pixie cut because you think it fits her personality. There is nothing stopping you from imagining them that way! Imagine to your heart's content!
  • IT CAN HELP YOU GAIN PERSPECTIVE!
    • Maybe you're like me and you have anxiety or you're really caught up in a problem and want some outside perspective in looking at your issues. Novels can help! I've read novels where the characters are going through a super tough time and it made me feel better about my slightly insignificant problem and look at it in a better way. I've seen characters complaining about very trivial things and it has helped me to realize that my problems, no matter how big or small, are valid. Try it out and see if it helps you, too!
  • THERE'S A GENRE OUT THERE FOR EVERYONE!
    • I've had so many people tell me they don't read because they're worried they won't find anything that they're interested in. HOW WRONG YOU ARE. I will admit, sometimes, you might have to do a little research to find a book that's up your alley, but I promise, you'll be able to find something that will entertain you. There's book about car racing, military operations, or biographies of your favorite celebrities and historical figures. There's book about dragons and elves, or risque romances, or nonfiction about events like wars or Woodstock. There's just about anything you could possibly think of out there. Go find it!


To wrap up, here's a picture of my bookshelf. I'm quite proud.
(Also, because these are all books that I bought, I want to say, you don't have to buy books! There are public libraries everywhere. Use them! Plus, the staff at libraries are super helpful and can help you find the types of books you want to read!)


“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” 
― George R.R. MartinA Dance with Dragons

Sunday, May 28, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Purgatory Road

11:51 AM Posted by Allie Wood , , , No comments
Well, hello there.

I'm currently extremely bored on watch and just finished a book the other day that I really didn't care for and just wanted to talk about it. So, I guess this will be my first book review on here. Maybe I'll make it a habit. Who knows? Either way, let's get started.


So, I read Purgatory Road by Samuel Parker a couple days ago.


It definitely was not my favorite.

Now, don't get me wrong. He's not a bad author. This book has a 3.80 average rating on Goodreads, which means a lot of people like him and his writing. I'm just not a huge fan of this particular book. This is his debut novel, so I'm not going to be judging him too much. Writing a novel is hard. I haven't even finished any of mine and he's been published, so obviously, he's definitely doing something right. I'm just going to be talking about why I wasn't a huge fan of this particular novel.

All of this is personal opinion. It's not meant to chastise the author in any fashion and it's also not meant to reflect anyone else's view on the novel aside from my own.

As an introduction to the book, I'll just put the blurb here to give a little insight into the novel. Also, I WILL be posting some spoilers, so if you actually want to read this novel, I would recommend not reading past the blurb below. (I'll put some asterisks below it so you know when to hit the little X button on your tab. I will also put some more asterisks at the end, after all my spoilers, if you want to read my conclusion.)


"When a day trip out of Las Vegas with his wife takes a turn for the worse, Jack is sure he has the ability to get them home. But he has driven into something far beyond reason.

Rescue comes in the form of a desert hermit, but hope fades as the couple comes to realize that the nomad has no intention of letting them leave. A chance encounter with a kidnapped runaway and her crazed abductor leads them all farther into the wilderness--and closer to the cold brutality that isolation brings.

At the edge of his sanity, Jack begins to learn that playing by another's rules may be the only way to survive.

In a voice that is as hypnotizing as a desert mirage, debut novelist Samuel Parker entices you down a treacherous road, where the forces of good and evil are as crushing as the Mojave heat."


* * * * * * * * * * * * 

Okay, to start out, looking back at this blurb that first got me really interested in reading this book, it honestly makes it seem like the story is going to be so much different. It makes it seem like the desert hermit is evil (not true) and that the kidnapped runaway is more pertinent to the story than she actually is. (She's honestly kind of just there in the story. She's considered a main character, but almost isn't treated as one. Her story becomes a mere side note.)

As for the story overall, I've got a few things to say.

The story itself starts of fairly interesting, then it just becomes slow and absolutely drags on. Most of the novel is just Jack, Laura, and Boots sitting around in Boots' trailer. There's only so many times I can read about someone getting themselves a glass of cold water from the pump before my eyes start drooping.  It was very lack luster for adventure. Sure, Jack almost dies from dehydration twice, and there's the fight scene at the end between Boots and Seth (which makes absolutely no sense,) and then there's a bunch of scenes with a spider than Seth apparently controls (also with no explanation) so there's adventure, I guess, but it all seems quite forced. There's absolutely no backstory for any of the characters. (Backstories make or break characters for me, and this broke it.)

The whole thing is honestly more confusing than it should be. You're supposed to end the book with less questions than when you started, not with more. I'm so full of questions that I desperately wanted answers for. It's really extremely frustrating.

Also, apparently, by reading other reviews of this book, I learned that Boots and Seth are supposed to be a sort of metaphor for God and the Devil, but ultimately, I think that area of their characters fell pretty short. Due to the fact that nothing was explained about them or their feud, or their motivations behind anything, the religious comparison just wasn't there. I can sort of where Boots could be considered being reminiscent of being God where he helps out these people in trouble as much as he can, but ultimately they have to save themselves, but again, it just falls flat. Seth has almost no comparison to Satan at all. Yeah, sure, he's evil and apparently has corrupted people into his evil ways in the past, but he doesn't have anything truly relating him to the concept of the Devil. Anyone who is evil can get into others' lives and teach them their ideology. Seth just seems to lack the true version of evil that the Devil is typically written to reflect. He almost seems like a bored criminal on house arrest, stuck in the desert outside of Las Vegas, doing whatever he can to pass the time than an omnipotent being keen on destroying the world. Also, Seth and Boots seem to have some sort of "deal" where Seth can do whatever he wants until Boots feels like he's overstepped his bounds. That doesn't seem like a good God/Satan comparison to me, because in almost every religion, God doesn't make deals with the Devil. But, that's just me. I could be wrong.



Anyway, I guess the next thing I would like to do is to talk about the characters. I haven't read a ton of book reviews with character breakdowns, but I'm going to do it anyway. These characters just seem so typical to me. It's like they've all been written before, just with different names, and slightly different settings. They're all just too two-dimensional to me.


LAURA

Laura is one of the main characters. She's Jack's wife. She spends most of the novel in a mental battle with herself over if she doesn't care what happens to her husband who never considers anyone other than himself or if she should be overly emotional and caring for him. She spends so much time complaining about the distance in their marriage, and how she has had to put aside her aspirations for him, and how Jack cares about no one but himself. She complains some more that she has been the passive wife for all these years, yet, only stands up for herself (if sarcastic comments even count as attempting to stand up foe herself) maybe two or three times at most. She talks about how she wants the "old Jack" back and how she naively thought the vacation to Las Vegas would somehow miraculously bring them closer together and fix their dying relationship. But, despite all her reservations with the relationship, she continuously runs back to him anytime he shows her any ounce of attention, and stays with him throughout the end of the book. It was honestly pretty boring to see and be able to tell that no matter what happened, she was going to stay with him.


JACK

I hate Jack, honestly. I normally don't flat out hate characters. I can usually find some ounce of a redeeming quality to change my view of a character from hatred to mere dislike, but Jack was ridiculous. He is so self-righteous. He yells at, gets annoyed by, and hates the person who SAVED HIM FROM DYING even though it was all Jack's fault that he drove them off into the desert and almost killed them both due to heat stroke and dehydration. He then becomes bitter, claiming Laura was going to hold the fact that he almost killed both of them for the rest of their lives. Um, that's the least you would deserve for almost being the cause of your wife's death, but yeah, go ahead and blame her for being a little upset about the fact that she ALMOST DIED BECAUSE OF YOU. He only thinks about what's best for him, never considering how his actions affect others. He literally leaves his wife in a trailer house with the "desert nomad," secretly in the middle of the night. because he thinks he knows best. I mean, he crawled out a window to do it, for heavens sake. He only goes back to save his wife that he claims to "love" only because Boots, the desert nomad, practically forces him to. There's nothing honorable or sweet about that. Of course, afterwards, he realizes the error of his ways and blah blah blah. He's just a terrible person.


BOOTS


Boots is probably the only character I like and that's honestly because he doesn't put up with Jack's bull crap attitude. I honestly cheered a little bit when Boots kicks Jack in the stomach for being an idiot. Boots is a mysterious old desert hermit that has an affinity for chewing tobacco. He lives in a trailer in the middle of nowhere, that also happens to be next to a small cemetery. (Ooooh, so mysterious and weird.) He also apparently only owns shirts with pearl buttons because it's mentioned probably about twenty separate times. You don't really find out anything about Boots other than that he moved out into the desert because he didn't care for society very much. Boots always seems to show up at just the right time to save someone, which is just a bit too cliché for me. Sometimes, I like to see the hero of the story not being right on time to be the hero of the hour. It gets old when you know that the person struggling is inevitably going to get rescued. You lose the suspense.

COLTEN

Colten is probably one of the least thought out villains I've ever read. He's greasy and has a temper. That's really all you get to know about him. You don't know why he likes killing. You don't know how many people he has killed. You don't know how he met the apparent overall villain named Seth. Nothing. He only officially kills two people in the novel. One is a random biker passing through the outskirts of Las Vegas, simply because he's pissed of that the runaway girl got away. The other is the cheery little police girl because she put together the pieces of who killed the random biker because she pulled him over for speeding. He's super impulsive and gets mad at everything. He didn't scare me or add to the intensity factor of the book at all. To me, he was just kind of an annoying fly that keeps buzzing around everything with no true purpose.

MOLLY

The story starts out talking about Molly. She's a seventeen-year-old, running away from overbearing parents, just like almost every other seventeen-year-old runaway, it seems. She's on her way to good old Los Angeles, also like every other teenage runaway does. She gets coerced by Colten in a diner, thinking he's going to drive her to a bus stop, (yeah, right, sure he is.) There's a couple scenes in the cave where she's being kept that she has a realization that she just wants to go home. Boots ends up getting her out of the cave and to his trailer with Laura and Jack. She talks to Laura once about her home and why she ran away. She ends up captured in the cave again later and reverts to being in a catatonic state immediately even though an hour before, she seemed super keen on fighting off Colten with Laura, but whatever. She ends up going back home to her parents, having a big come-to-Jesus moment, and all is well

SETH

Seth is just a really confusing character. I don't know what his point is. He's also odd because sometimes he's visible to all the characters, other times, only Colten can see and talk to him. Again, the fact that there was no explanation for who Seth was, what his powers even were, why he had them, and why he had Colten under his wing, really grated on my nerves. I'm a person who prefers having information, even if it's unnecessary, than having none at all. There's a certain point where attempting to leave out details for the mystery of the story just turns into confusion as to just what in the heck is going on, and unfortunately, this book had too much of the latter. Seth pops up at the most random times in the book, for no other reason than that he simply feels like it. Then, all of the sudden, he's got these major powers that control the "shadows" mentioned a few times throughout the book, and he has that fight scene with Boots that, again, has absolutely no explanation as to why it's happening.

RED

Red is the epitome of a small outskirt town sheriff. He is perfectly content sitting at the police station all day, doing nothing since nothing ever happens. His wife passed away ten years before the time the novel takes place. She's only mentioned once, I'm pretty sure. He apparently used to be an alcoholic and stopped shortly after his wife died. He almost ends up drinking again due to a death of one of his employees, just like any other recovered alcoholic seems to do in entertainment media. This alcoholism is also only mentioned once, even though it seems to be such a big deal because James, the other police officer Red works with, stares ominously at a bottle of whiskey that Red pulled out, indicating James knows alcohol used to be a huge issue for Red even though it had never been mentioned before.

PJ

PJ is the little female police officer, stationed on the outskirts of Las Vegas. She works with Red and James. It's mentioned that, although they both don't say it, she brightens the days of the two other police officers from the drab days that stretch on at the police station. You learn that her parents didn't want her to be a police officer, and she didn't graduate top of her class at the police academy, but that's pretty much all you ever get to know about her. She picks up on clues quickly, taking only about forty-five seconds to realize Colten was the one who killed the out-of-towner by dragging him with chains from his truck. (But he also handed her the driver's license of the missing man, so it wasn't terribly hard to fit the puzzle pieces together.) She gets killed immediately after figuring Colten out, which causes Red to almost fall back into his drinking rut. Personally, PJ was not in the book nearly enough and too little information was given about her to make her death a big deal to me. Red takes her death super hard, but I couldn't figure that out, either, simply because the friendly relationship between the two of them wasn't explored at all, so it felt awkward that he was so revenge-driven after her killing because there was no background.

JAMES

I'm honestly not sure if James even needs a mention. He's only in about three scenes for roughly thirty seconds max each time. It feels like he was only thrown in for about four sentences of dialogue that really had nothing to do with anything at all. The whole book could've done without him, really. The longest scene he's in is mostly just full of him staring apprehensively at a bottle of alcohol Red has put out on a table, apparently being wary of Red's previous alcohol problem that's apparently a huge deal but is only mentioned once in the entire novel.


* * * * * * * * * * * *


Overall, if you're looking for a solid suspense novel, I wouldn't bother reading this. There's too little information to keep up the suspense and the pace moves far too slowly for anything to really jump put at you. It's one of those books where you can guess what happens next which is the exact opposite of the point of suspense/thriller novels. Definitely read it if you just want something to pass the time or read if it you want to see what I'm talking about.

If you read it, let me know so we can compare our feelings towards the book. Maybe you'll find something I didn't pick up on that explains one of my qualms with the novel or something. I'd love to hear what you think!

I would also love to hear some constructive criticism on this book review. Like I said, it's my first one, so I'm expecting it to be rough and not-all-that great, so let me know what I could do better on next time or anything that I did well. Thanks in advance!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Top Ten: Podcasts. (#TryPod.)

7:43 PM Posted by Allie Wood , , No comments
So, all of the podcasts I listen to have been asking people to tweet their favorite podcasts with the hashtag TryPod for the month of March. This is to get the word out that podcasts are actually still a thing and a super viable source for entertainment. I love podcasts so much, so I figured I'd do one better than just tweet the name of a podcast and make a list of my top ten podcasts because I haven't done a top ten post in WAY too long. It's a March thing, and March is about to roll over into April in literally a few hours, so I figured I should probably do this before I forget. (I tried to write it yesterday, but Blogger failed me and neither saved nor published it when I clicked on those buttons, so this is a rewrite. I'm sorry this one isn't as good as the original because I couldn't remember everything I wrote.) Here we go, then. This starts with 10 and goes down to 1. (One being my ABSOLUTE favorite.)

  • STUFF YOU MISSED IN HISTORY CLASS.
What more can I say? I LOVE learning new stuff and this one is perfect for that. Maybe you want to learn about the day back in 1789 when multitudes of women in France marched on Versaille to get the king to address the food shortage. Or maybe you want to learn about witch trials in Norway got WAY out of hand and ended up being much worse than Salem ever was. Or perhaps you want to learn about the good old Whiskey Rebellion in the 1790's here in the U.S. that caused violence and destruction when tax on alcohol was raised. (Man, those crazy early Americans that destroyed things over taxes on drinks. Boston Tea Party, anyone?) Anyway, I love this podcast because I love learning about new things and I also like to have an armada of random facts to use to help lulls in coversations or if I just want to make everyone look at me oddly and think, "How the heck does she even know that?" You, too, can be like me. (Just kidding. Be you. Not me. I'm me.)


  • STUFF THEY DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW
Honestly, this one can be kind of trippy sometimes. They have episodes talking about secret military bases and what their purposes are, such as when the base for Project Iceworm was discovered. They talk about the "Red Market," which is the black market for human organs. You could learn about why and how the placebo affect has been getting stronger and stronger for years and still continuous to baffle scientists as to why more people full under the effect today than they did a few years ago. Or maybe you want to learn about how ISIS and other organizations recruit through social media and how it works so well. One of my favorites was the episode called "Cults (You've Never Heard Of) because I like learning about weird groups of people that do odd stuff, because why not?

  • SERIAL
Okay, this is the podcast that originally got me (and a lot of other people) into Podcasts in the first place. It's great. There are currently two seasons out. (A third in the works, so don't get upset if you end up binge-listening and get the end and scream "I NEED MORE" like I did. Just thought I'd let you know.) The first season, and still my favorite out of the current two, was so interesting. The hostess, Sarah Koenig, takes you back to the case of Adnan Syed who was convicted at the age of 17 for murdering his ex-girlfriend and was sentenced to life in prison. Serial covers the background, the case, and tests out some theories of this case. She also points out a few discrepancies in the state's case from the original trial and her podcast actually convinced a witness that didn't speak in the first trial to reappear and vouch for Adnan. This led to Adnan getting the possibilty of a retrial in case they convicted the wrong person for the murder. It's so interesting and had me hooked from episode one. You'll wonder "Is Adnan really guilty or not?" forever. Season two is about the Bergdahl case and what happened with that whole situation. Why he left his post and abandoned his troops, how he got kidnapped by Al Qaeda, theories on if that actually happened or not, and what was going to be done about it. Give it a listen, trust me. You'll like it.


  • STAR TALK
Star Talk is hosted by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Neil. DeGrasse. Tyson. Need I really say more? No. But I will. Just fot you all. This is a podcast about everything science and it is wonderful. Neil DeGrasse Tyson is the world's current leading astrophysicist. He's one of the smartest people roaming the earth today and it truly shows in this podcast. He is so passionate about science. If you've ever been interested in science, but couldn't really see yourself getting into it because your science teacher was monotone, didn't truly care about the subject, and didn't instill that love for all things science into your soul like they should have, give this podcast a listen. It'll open up your eyes and mind to some amazing things and make you fall in love with science. Like you were before your boring eighth grade science teacher more or less ruined it for you. (I'm still bitter, if you can't tell.) Learn about the physics or hockey or listen to some interviews with Bill Nye. (Bill and Neil are best friends, by the way, which makes it even better.) Learn about some of the amazing women in science that society tends to brush under the carpet. Take a trip down the mulitverse theory and watch yourself constantly think about what you're doing in one of the parallel universes at any given time. Learn about how climate change REALLY needs to be focused on. (Hmm, maybe the entire GOP needs to listen to this...) Hear interviews with anyone from the late Alan Rickman (Rest in peace, you lovely, talented man) to Whoopi Goldberg. You'll have fun and find something that interests you, I guarantee it or you can get your money back after 30 days. (Just kidding. You don't have to pay for it. I just wanted to sound like a Saturday morning Ninja Blender commercial for a second.)

  • CRIMETOWN
Crimetown is by far one of my favorites. It's about the mob's hold on the town of Providence, Rhode Island. "The mob? In Rhode Island? Nah," is probably what you're thinking right now. That's what I thought when I first heard about it, too. But, man, was I wrong. Providence has a long and complicated history with the mob. It goes from low-level burglaries all the way up to corrupt politicians in the mob's pocket. You get everything from interviews with "wise guys" (old time mobsters), to the mob leader's doctor, loving nicknamed "The Doctor Broad" by the mob members, to policemen who spent their whole careers trying to nab just one wise guy. This podcast takes you into a world that not a lot of people know about and it's awesome. Plus, those great typical mob accents are definitely a real thing and it makes the interviews a million times better. Give it a listen!

  • UNSOLVED MURDERS: TRUE CRIME STORIES
This one is definitely a fun one. Well, if you think pretending to be deep in a murder investigation while just driving is fun, like I do. Unsolved Murders: True Crime Stories, covers just that: unsolved murders. Most of these aren't recent unsolved murders, due to the fact that there is a much higher chance of catching killers into today's day and age, but it's interesting all the same. There's some high-profile cases and people, such as the Black Dahlia murder, or Edgar Allen Poe's suspected murder, or Mary Pinchot Meyer's murder (that is most likely somehow connected to JFK's assassination, since the two had a long-going affair that only ended when Kennedy was killed.) There's episodes about the Zodiac Killer and theories on those. There's also lesser known cases, such as the murder of Guilelma Sands in 1799, the first transcribed murder case in America, and the court case led by none other than Alexander Hamilton. There is some great voice acting that really helps bring the story to life and helps you visualize a lot of things. Although we might never find out who actually committed the murders in these cases, it's fun to listen to all the information, the host and hostess' guesses, and make up your own mind as to what happened and why.



  • CRIMINAL
I LOVE LOVE LOVE Criminal so much. It's not the typical true crime podcast that you'd normally think of. The topics each week range all over. It holds stories about things you wouldn't normally label as crimes and it also holds stories about some pretty obvious crimes that should have been found out earlier. There's an episode about a corporate-owned youth correctional facility whose downfalls and crimes started to be revealed when a father simply called to schedule visitation with his son. There's an episode about the street game that panders to tourists call "The Shell Game" that's used to hustle people out of their money. There's an epsiode interveiwing the woman called San Francisco's "Original Brownie Lady" who sold pot brownies for years and was massively popular among the locals. There's an episode about one of the most notorious female serial killers, "Jolly Jane," who used her qualifications as a nurse to poison many, many people to death. There's also a funny episode about how people steal petrified wood from the Petrified Forest National Park and send what they stole back because they think it's been giving them "terrible luck." This podcast is a really good listen. Never once have I been born while following along with the stories. 


  • MY DAD WROTE A PORNO

This one is a doozy. If you need a laugh that might have to cause you to pull over to the side of the road if you're listening to it in the car because you have to collect yourself again, this is the podcast for you! (If you're okay with getting a terribly embarrassing ""erotic" novel read to you. The host, Jamie's, dad decided one day that he wanted to write an erotic novel series. Jamie found out and he brings his two best friends over every week and reads them a terrible chapter each epsiode. The friends critiquing and being disgusted by "Rocky Flinststone" (Jamie's dad's pen name) gets funnier and funnier each episode. I haven't laughed so hard in my life until I started listening to this. And this is the perfect time to binge watch! Season three (which is book three of the series) is going to be starting in May, so you've got a little time to catch up on all the terrible shenanigans!

  • SWORD AND SCALE
This podcast is NOT for the faint of heart. Their tagline is literally "to prove that the worst monsters are real." This podcast covers murder cases, like the murder of Lauren Giddings, by her creepy neighbor. You can hear audio recordings of a man through his home security system saying evil, messed up things after he planned and shot two teenagers and then hear his slight faked sympathy for what he did while talking during a police interveiw. The most haunting one to me so far was the episode that featured an interview with Roger Kiser, the author of The White House Boys, about the absolute horrors that he and many, many other young boys went through at The Florida School for Boys. This one made me sick to my stomach that something so terrible could happen for so long or could even exist or how so many evil people could work at one place. These stories sit wrong with you and make you worry about the track humanity is headed down. But, not all of the epsiodes are so dark. Sometimes, to eleviate tensions for their listeners, they do episodes focusing on weird and funny stories in the news from the recent past for some laughs. I'm not terribly far into this podcast because I just discovered it recently, and I've only listened to 17 out of 86 episodes so far, (each being about an hour and fifteen minutes long) but it's already one of the most interesting things I have ever listened to and I recommend it 100% if you can handle brutal flesh-and-bone true crime stories. 

  • NO SUCH THING AS A FISH
Okay. This one here is my favorite. It's hosted by four really awesome, nerdy people. They all work at QI in Great Britain. Every episode is just FULL of random facts you never knew you wanted to know until you here them. My personal recent favorite is learning that Winston Churchhill used to throw his dentures at walls and break them when he got angry. You learn so much interesting stuff and it's hilarious. Whether it's Anne's sarcastic comments, Dan's and Andrew's horrible puns, or James comparing his wife to a coral, there's always something to laugh at.  They each start with one main favorite fact they've found throughout the week and then branch off to many other related facts. I have never, ever been bored listening to this group and their facts! It's fun, light-hearted, and quite educational. Give it a listen because it's worth it. I've listened to every episode (of which, they currently have 158 of them.) So, if that doesn't tell you how entertaining it is, I don't know what will.


Alright!
There's my top ten podcasts.

I really hope some of you decide to give podcasts a try. Even if there's nothing that really interests you on my list, because we're all different and no one always likes the exact same thing, there's definitely a bunch of podcasts out there for you. They're easy to find, too. 

For my podcast listening, I use an app called Pocket Casts. It's available on Android and Apple app stores. It's completely free and super great. It makes finding and listening to podcasts an absolutely breeze. It even has an "up next" feature so you can make your own queue and you don't have to touch the screen at all for your next episode to play, which is SUPER useful for me, since I do my podcast listening in the car. (Don't use your phone when you drive, crazies.) This eliminates the need for me to even look at my phone in the car to get my podcast fix. Safe and fun. Nothing better. Here's a screenshot of Pocket Casts so you can see what your home page will look like. (Also, it;s got a fancy little page that tells you how much time you've spent listening to podcasts, and I'm currently at 4 days and 4 hours of podcast listening, and I'm going to listen A LOT more. It also gives you a little fact with your listening time. During my four days and four hours of listening, lightning has struck the earth 2,163,378 times. Boom.)


Anyway, I hope you TryPod and happy listening!

I also hope you had a good month of March!
I'm out.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Pets Are Not Presents.

6:09 AM Posted by Allie Wood , , No comments
It seems like every major holiday, I feel like I have to mention this. I always do it in the form of a Facebook post, but I think it's time for a blog post so I don't have to keep rewriting all my arguments and I can just direct you here instead.  What set me off today was a picture relating to Valentine's Day. Here it is for reference:



Annnnndddd informative rant starts in 3... 2... 1...

PETS. ARE. NOT. PRESENTS. TO. BE. GIVEN. OUT.

LET ME TELL YOU WHY.



  • THEY AREN'T ALWAYS GOING TO BE LITTLE.
    • Everyone wants a puppy or a kitten. Many people don't want the grown dog/cat because they're not "cute" anymore. The animal "lost its magic" as it grew. THAT'S WHAT LIVING THINGS DO. THEY GROW UP.  Nothing remains little forever. You were once tiny and adorable. What if the people you loved and depended on one day said, "Man, they're not little and cute anymore. I  don't want it anymore," and took you to a terrible orphanage where you have to live in a tiny cage and the very real possibilty of LITERALLY DYING was always looming over you?! Where you wished to go home with every family that walked in just so you could have something to hold onto again? I bet you wouldn't like that at all, would you? So, why on earth would you do that to a precious animal companion?

  • ANIMALS TAKE TIME AND EFFORT TO CARE FOR.
    • Believe it or not, most living creatures have to be taken care of in some way, shape, or form. Pets have to get fed. They have to get walked. They have to be groomed. They have to get taken regularly to the vet to make sure their health is on the right track. They have to be shown affection. It's not a succulent plant that can just sit there on your windowseal and get checked on twice a month. It's a living, breathing creature. Many parents forget this and buy their child a pet and make the child promise to take care of it. "Oh, yes, thank you for the puppy, mommy! I promise I'll feed him and pick up his poop!" A week later, it's the parent picking up the popp and making sure the dog gets fed because these kids don't understand the concept of caring for something living yet. Don't get the animal if you aren't willing to take the brunt of having to care for one.

  • PEOPLE HAVE ALLERGIES. 
    • I'm not saying everyone has pet allergies. That's extremely far from the truth. What I AM saying is that many times, people buy pets as a gift and give them to someone who doesn't know they have a pet allergy. They usually don't know because, first, they haven't had any allergy testing, and second, because they haven't been around that type of pet often enough to correlate they allergy symptoms with being near specific animals. An animal should not have to suffer and get taken back to a shelter or breeder simply because YOU made a rash (pun intended) decision to buy someone a pet.

  • THEY COST MONEY.
    • Pets are VERY, VERY far from being free. They are extremely expensive. You have to buy them food. You have to buy them toys to help keep them entertained and in shape. Veterinarian trips are expensive, even if you do have pet insurance that covers them and they HAVE to be taken to the vet regularly, as previously mentioned. You need to buy grooming tools to help keep them healthy. If you have a cat, there's litter to worry about, as well. Or scratchers to keep them from destroying the furniture. These are also just the basics. Believe me, this stuff is expensive. One large bag of my cat's food is around $35 bucks. This stuff adds up and it adds up quick.

  • THEY WILL DESTROY THINGS.
    • Dogs and cats have a knack for destorying things. It's not because they try to or they hate to. It just happens. If you or the person you are giving a pet to cares more about material objects, like their furniture, or clothes, or literally anything else the own, more than the LIFE of an animal, they don't need to be around animals. If you care about a piece of furniture so much or have a favorite scarf that would cause you to FREAK OUT if an animal scratched it, chewed it, or threw up on it, don't you dare get a pet.

  • PETS ARE NOT TOYS.
    • Pets should not be used to distract people from things. This point is mainly focused on parents getting their kids animals to basically be used as a way to take a break from your kids and have them have something new and interesting to play and mess with. Also, fun fact, sometimes, if an animal is given to a child on a birthday or for a holiday, they actually have a tendency to become jealous that the new pet is getting the family's attention instead of them, which could lead to many things, even a child harming an animal. (This is NOT me sayign your kid is going to try to hurt an animal because they're jealous, but it does happen more often than you think.) Kids don't quite understand attention shifts and the reasons behind them like adults do. They haven't grapsed the concept yet.

  • ANIMALS HAVE FEELINGS.
    • These creatures don't exist simply for your pleasure. They're not a video game, or a good book, or a television show. They do not exist as entertainment. These animals feel love, pain, happiness, and sadness. Just like you and me. They live. They breathe. They can get hurt physically and emotionally. They form meaninful bonds with humans and other animals. They're not little fuzzy robots who have no true concept of emotion.

  • PETS REQUIRE COMMITMENT.
    • Pets live for quite a long time. It's a short life compared to most human lives, but it's still quite a long time. Throwing a ten to twenty year commitment at someone because you want to be "cute" is the exact opposite of a good idea. What if this person has to move for a job and can't find a place to live that accepts pets? What if this person gets extremely sick, (God forbid) and can no longer care for an animal? What if this person is a bit impulsive and gets distracted easily and doesn't want the pet anymore because it's "boring" or "too much work?"

  • THESE "IMPULSE" BUYS KEEP PUPPY MILLS IN BUSINESS.
    • These type of "companies" that abuse dogs, and cats, making them have litter after litter, with no time in between for recovery, all while living in terrible conditions, THRIVE during holiday seasons for this exact reason: buying pets as gifts. They know they have a demand that they can supply, so they rev up and make sure they have a TON of cute, new, adorable puppies (which will probably end up having quite bad health problems due to what their parents went through for the breeding process) ready to go for the influx of new customers. Meanwhile, these pets get sent to already crowded shelters because of the problems mentioned above where people either can't give the time or don't want to put in the effort. Do you really want to actually be supporting this type of animal abuse and line the pockets of those sick souls (if they even have souls) that run these mills? I'm guessing that's probably a no.



Pets should never, ever be an impulse buy to please your children, or to get a "unique" Christmas present, or because you want to get laid on a stupid holiday that was made to support the card, chocolate, and floral industries. Because, let's be honest, that's all the Valentine's day truly is. Lives should not hang in the balance of you just wanting to "look good" to someone else. Sure, it's cute. Sure, the person recieving the animal is going to get excited. Sure, sure, whatever. JUST DON'T. There are so many variables that don't go into these type of impulse buys that people just don't think about. A pet deserves better than that. A pet deserves being more than a present. They are companions. They feel and love and will adore you for all of their short lives, so, please, if you can't be their whole world for ALL of their lives, don't be their whole world in the first place.

If you have carefully planned and are willing to take everything that comes with an animal, financially, energy-wise, etc., then, BY ALL MEANS, go get a pet. But if any of these give you a pause, (also pun intended. get it? like paws?) please reconsider and reevaluate. This has been a public service announcement. Thank you for your time.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Why The Trump Tape Is Absolutely Disgusting.

11:57 AM Posted by Allie Wood , No comments
     Okay, as you guys probably know, I usually don't blog about anything like this. I like blogging about happy stuff or things that don't make me feel like throwing up, but I cannot stay silent about this. This blatant act of rape culture is too disgusting to NOT talk about this. As someone who knows so many people who have been sexually assaulted and have had their lives flipped upside down because of it, I cannot let this pass.

Also, before we continue, if hearing about sexual assault is not healthy for your mental health because of your past experiences, discretion in continuing is advised. 

Here's a list of reasons why what Trump said is absolutely not okay coming from anyone, let alone a presidential candidate:

  • "Grab her by the pu**y," is such a disgusting phrase. 
    • There are so many women around the world that get forcibly touched like this ALL THE TIME. That is not a laughing matter. One woman getting touched like that is one too many, yet, it happens all the time

  • "I need a tic tac just in case I start kissing her," or "I just start kissing them. I don't even ask."
    • Let's just blatantly talk about how you want to force her into physical contact that isn't welcome or wanted. That's sexual assault, and Trump and Billy were casually laughing about it. Also, in these comments, not only were you advocating an act of sexual assault, you were also advocating being an adulterer because you had just got married to your current wife a handful of months before this talk was recorded. Seriously? As a presidential candidate who tries to talk about Bill Clinton's affair and make it into a monster of a bad thing, Trump really seem to like the idea of cheating on his own wife.

  • "It was just locker room talk."
    • No. That is not locker room talk. I've heard locker room talk. I've heard guys talk about who they've had sex with or all these crazy stories about how they picked up a hot woman at a bar. I have NEVER overheard a guy say anything along those lines. Yes, I know there are people out there that DO talk like this, but to casually put that out there and try to make it seem that every male has talks like that with their buddies is disrespectful to the large group of men who actually have respect for women.

  • This is literal proof that our country is regressing in progress.
    • Yesterday, the same day that this video of Trump's hot mic talk came out, President Obama passed a bill that not only gives but GUARANTEES, rights to victims of sexual assault. President Obama has seen and realized that this country's rape culture is a problem. We have seen that in the limelight throughout this year, i.e. the Brock Turner case. President Obama stood up and said, (Not an exact quote coming next. Just my own personal summary,) "enough of rape victims being treated as if they're not human. Enough of evidence getting thrown out. Enough of making rape victims who already feel humiliated and violated PAY for a rape kit for a sexual encounter they NEVER asked for." That is more of the stuff that we need to battle the epidemic of sexual assault. We do not need a man in office that is literally laughing about sexual assault and acting like it's normal behavior. People are trying to vote this heinous man into office.

  • "These comments don't reflect who I am."
    • Um, excuse me. Yes, they actually do. That video was ten years ago. You were sixty years old ten years ago. SIXTY. And you were joking about sexual assault. That's common behavior for pre-teen and young teenagers who don't quite understand that concept of sexual assualt and definitely AREN'T saying the horrible phrases that came out of your mouth. You are, and were, at an age where that behavior should have never been acceptable. You are depraved. The fact that you found that behavior acceptable at the age of sixty is ridiculous.

  • Your public apology is absolute crap.
    • We all know you only apologized because the tape got leaked and you got caught. If that tape never got released, you would have never "apologized" for your terrible behavior. You honestly probably didn't even remember talking about it because you say that type of stuff all the time. You have no respect for women. Your apology means nothing. You are against women's rights. You talk about women like they're chattel. If you don't find a woman attractive, you attack her publicly. You've terrorize women you've worked with. You told a woman on your show that it would be a "pretty sight" to see her on her knees. You said your actions here were "wrong." All of your actions towards women are wrong, but this one especially. You're only apologizing because other big republican names are pulling their support and disinviting you to rally with them. YOU'RE UPSET THAT YOU GOT CAUGHT. Plain and simple. You're not sorry. Your constant actions towards the female gender say that you're not, and have never been sorry. You're angry that the RNC is holding an emergency meeting to try to see if they can get rid of you as their candidate this late in the running.

  • Trump is every male that thinks he has a right to someone else's body.
    • Billy Bush is every buddy that laughs at his friends when they talk about sexual conquests or mention wanting to force sexual contact on someone. This is behaivor that is still seen too often. People like you are why our society doesn't take sexual assault seriously. People like you are the problem.

  • Imagine for a moment if he was talking about your mother, sister, daughter, girlfriend, fiancee, wife, or any other woman in your life that you care about.
    • Would you want anyone looking at the women you love and saying, "You can do anything. Grab her by the pu**y." Hopefully, you would feel disgusted and angry and a bit nauseous that anyone would be advocated for themselves to sexually assault a woman because they find her attractive and think that the world owes them sex because they're "famous" or "just feel like it." 

Honestly, I could go on and on, but I feel so sick typing all of this out. I can't even find words to say just EXACTLY how grossed out and upset about this that I am, and that's saying a lot because I can usually find the right words to convey how I'm feeling. This post isn't advocating to vote for any other candidate, but I am advocating to not vote this piece of trash into office. Do not vote for the man in the picture below looking at a woman he talks to normally after he just had a conversation about how he wants to sexually assault her. Do not support someone like that.




Thank you for reading and have a nice day.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Why Pokemon Go Is A Great Thing.

4:14 PM Posted by Allie Wood , , , No comments
Okay, wow, I haven't done a blog post for a quite a while. I'm totally slacking. But, I guess this was important enough for me to hop back in the blog saddle for, so here we go.



DISCLAIMER:

This is not me telling you to play Pokemon Go or anything. I respect if you don't want to play or you don't like Pokemon. Trust me. There's things I don't like that I would never download and play. I get that. I'm just trying to get people to see that it's really not as bad and obnoxious as people are making it out to be.

Here are a lot of reasons I see that makes Pokemon Go a great thing for those of you who keep making fun of it or saying you're sick of it or you think it's stupid:


  • It's getting people outside.
    • I have heard "gamers," and just people who stay inside in general, get called lazy or irresponsible, or a multitude of many other names because they don't go outside. They get teased. "Oh, you're a gamer. What's it like living out of your mother's basement?" and other quotes like that.
    • HELLO, PEOPLE ARE GOING OUTSIDE. People are getting exercise because of this. Walking is healthy for you, and if people are walking to hatch Pokemon eggs, who are you to stop them? Honestly? Think about how rude you're being.
  • It's helping children that are on the Autism spectrum.
    • I've seen a handful of screenshots from mothers on Facebook saying thank you to Nintendo because it is helping their autistic children become more sociable and want to go outside. These mothers have cried tears of joy because they have seen their children happier than they have in a while. Click on this picture and read it and tell me that Pokemon is not helping.

  • People stuck in the four walls of a hospital can see a bit of joy at having one of their favorite Pokemon pop up right on their bed.
    • Come on, are you that heartless to think that Pokemon is a "plague for stupid people" as I've seen called? There are children AND adults in hospitals that have something exciting to do. They have something they can play that can let them interact with their world, even if they can't get out of their bed. They can see Pokemon in the otherwise drab hospital. Is that a bad thing? No? I didn't think so.
  • It's bringing communities together.
    • I've seen so any people making friends and talking to people they otherwise wouldn't' because of this game. Our country and our world are so divided right now that it is nice to have something that is bringing people from all walks of life together. People are making friends. People have something in common with someone sitting next to them on the bus. People with social anxiety who struggle to come up with a way to talk to people around them, that they so desperately want to talk to, have a conversation starter. People are giving others tips on how to play. They're pointing out places that have some cool Pokemon to each other. PEOPLE ARE BEING NICE. If you can't see that good in that, I guess I can't help you.
  • It's helping people with PTSD and other mental illnesses.
    • This goes back to the "getting people out of the house" thing. I saw a post from a veteran with almost crippling PTSD that causes it to be a huge struggle for him to get out of the house. Pokemon Go gave him a reason to want to get out of the house. It gave him a figurative crutch to be able to go outside. THAT IS A BIG DEAL. It's helping people constantly in bed with depression get out of bed and get some fresh air. It's giving people with bad anxiety (like me) something to focus their energy on. I haven't been so constantly worried about everything because I can focus on trying to catch a freaking Rapidash. It's quite helpful. Truly.
  • It's helping raise money for charities.
    • Many Pokemon Go players, myself included, have downloaded apps like "Woof Trax" to help raise money for charities. These apps translate the distance you walk into money donated to charities of your choice. I am currently raising money for a no-kill animal rescue in my immediate area, just by using my time playing Pokemon Go. 
  • Speaking of animal shelters...
    • I've seen multiple posts of Pokemon Go players going to local shelters and walking dogs in need of some attention. Many shelters don't have enough employees available to walk the dogs as often as dogs need to be walked. These players are taking the time out of their day and helping out shelters and animals in need for this game. When was the last time you walked shelter dogs? (If you've done that recently, and don't play, disregard that question, because it wasn't aimed at you.)

  • People are reliving their childhood.
    • Oh, wow, you don't play Pokemon because you're not ten years old and have responsibilities? You're soooo cool, I can't even handle it. News flash: I, myself, am an adult. I'm IN THE MILITARY. (Oh, look, a job with responsibilities.) I have pets to take care of. (More responsibilities.) I'm in college. (Even more responsibilities!) I'm writing a novel. (MORE RESPONSIBILITIES.) I am able to do all of this and still be a person who plays Pokemon Go. I love Pokemon. I always have. I played it when I was little. I played it on my phone through a Gameboy emulator. I've played it for years on my Nintendo DS and 3DS. This is fun for me. It makes me feel like a kid again, and heaven knows this world needs a little more happiness in it.

  • Businesses are making more money.
    • Whether a business is a PokeStop, a gym, or just giving out little discounts to Pokemon Go players, or simply just exsisting, they are making more money. Local businesses are thriving because more people are out on the streets and walking by. Walking makes people hungry, or thirsty. Oh, look, a shop right here where I'm walking! I was out catching Pokemon and hitting up PokeStops just yesterday and I ended up stopping at a little cafe I've never been to before simply because it was on my Pokemon hunting path, and this place was great. I probably wouldn't have ever tried it if I hadn't been out catching 'em all.

Oh, also, here's a word for some of the Pokemon Go players I have seen telling people they shouldn't be playing Pokemon Go because they didn't play the originals when they were younger:

STOP THAT.
STOP THAT RIGHT THIS SECOND.

YOU ARE NOT BETTER THAN ANYONE BECAUSE YOU PLAYED POKEMON ON A GAMEBOY.
I REPEAT:
YOU. ARE. NOT. BETTER. THAN. ANYONE. BECAUSE. YOU. PLAYED. POKEMON. ON. A. GAMEBOY.

Really, though. Do you not understand that some people's parents couldn't afford to get their children a gaming system? That perhaps they couldn't afford little things like Pokemon card packs? Not everyone was as lucky as you. Not everyone could play Pokemon non-stop like you or like me. I had the opportunity to be able to play Pokemon and get Pokemon cards my whole life and I'm very lucky for that. I had friends that wanted to play Pokemon but couldn't. I had friends that saved and saved their allowance to be able to buy themselves a Gameboy and a Pokemon game. You're not special because you had that opportunity as a child. Quit acting like you're above the people who didn't. Let them have this opportunity, because it is the first Pokemon game that's FREE and available to people. Let them feel that same jolt of joy you do whenever you catch a Pokemon. Stop trying to deny that to people. All these "like this post if you played Pokemon before Pokemon Go" are so stupid. "If you didn't play Pokemon on this *insert picture of Gameboy here*, then don't play it on this. *insert picture of phone.*" You're rude and your childish, and not in the good way of being "childish." It's obnoxious, really. So, if you could stop that, it would be pretty grand. Pokemon is helping people come together and you are hindering that by claiming you're "above" those who didn't get to play as a child. I hate to use this phrase when talking about Pokemon, but GROW UP.

PLEASE, LET'S JUST LET THIS BE A GOOD THING, FOR EVERYONE.


On an end note, honestly, this is what you look like if you're trying to make people feel bad about liking Pokemon Go:



Have a great day, and be the very best, like no one ever was.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

A Thank You To My Mom.

10:36 AM Posted by Allie Wood , , , , No comments
So, as I'm sure you're all well aware, today is mother's day, and I just wanted to take a little time to talk about the wonderful woman that I am so lucky to be able to call my mother.

This is my beautiful mother.
She's the most beautiful woman in the world.




This is the woman who has raised me and has been there for me every step of the way through my life. She's the one who has taken care of me when I'm sick or when I was heartbroken and thought all was lost in the world. She's been there through all my victories, and more importantly, through all my losses. She's supported me whole-heartedly in everything I've wanted to do, anywhere from my Tae Kwon Do classes and tournaments, me joining the military, and me beginning university classes. She's been on the other end of the line every time I've called home because I was homesick or just needed someone to talk to. She's been there for everything.

And this is my thank you.

Thank you for holding me every time I skinned my knees.
Thank you for forcing me to put jackets on to go outside when it was cold.
Thank you for getting onto me when I didn't do my homework.
Thank you for cheering for me after every tae kwon do match whether I won or not.
Thank you for making me eat my vegetables and drink emergen-C even though I hated it.
Thank you for showing me what a strong woman looks like and who I should aspire to be.
Thank you for being so kind to me even when I acted like an absolute brat.
Thank you for letting me cry on your shoulder every time a friend stabbed me in the back.
Thank you for telling me I deserved better when I got my heart broken by dumb boys.
Thank you for teaching me how to lighten up when I started taking things too seriously.
Thank you for going dress shopping with me for every single school dance, even though I didn't really need any new dresses.
Thank you for making me get my first job even though I was perfectly content staying at home and being lazy.
Thank you for the spur-of-the-moment outings with just me and you that allowed us to talk and bond.
Thank you for never judging me for making stupid decisions. 
Thank you for teaching me how to be kind to those that I don't like, because everyone deserves respect.
Thank you for letting me see you cry so that I knew it was okay to be upset over things and not bottle them in.
Thank you for forcing me to come out of my room sometimes.
Thank you for taking care of me every single time I was sick, whether it was that time I had mono or if it was just a cold.
Thank you for picking me up from school the first day I had a period cramp and convinced me that I wasn't dying like I thought I was.
Thank you for always having my back.
Thank you for all the books you bought me because you knew how much reading meant to me.
Thank you for listening to me when I'd ramble on and on about stuff I'm sure you didn't really care about, like all the dinosaur facts in the world. (They're not bones, they're fossils.) Or all the facts about aircraft when I was in my aviation class, like my rants about how the SR-71 shouldn't have been retired and how the Wright Brothers weren't actually the first ones to fly or make an aircraft.
Thank you for the times you let me help you with your college math homework and made me feel needed.
Thank you for simply accepting me and my decisions, even if you didn't agree with them.
Thank you for telling me how beautiful I am all the time, especially on days where I didn't believe it.
Thank you for all the times you sat down and straightened my hair because I was so insecure about my natural mess of hair.
Thank you for taking time out of your day to take me to see people I looked up to, like that time you took me to Barnes & Noble to talk to Obert Skye to get him to sign the rest of my Leven Thumps books even though he'd already signed two of them at my school earlier that day.
Thank you for sacrificing a Saturday to take me to that Train concert because none of my friends wanted to go with me and you saw how badly I wanted to go.
Thank you for always asking if I need anything at all.
Thank you for letting me use your car during my teenage years to go hang out with my friends or go on dates.
Thank you for always making sure I had everything I needed.
Thank you for letting me know I was important when I felt like it would be better if I just faded into the background.

Thank you for all of the things that I can't remember while I'm writing this.
Thank you for absolutely everything.
Thank you for loving me unconditionally.

And lastly,
thank you for being my mother.

I hope you have a wonderful mother's day. I wish I could be there to celebrate with you and I wish I could get a hug from you today.

Happy Mother's Day to the best mother I could have ever asked for.
I love you so much.


Here's a quote I love about mothers:

“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” 

~ Washington Irving

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Allie's Guide To Why You Should Vote

8:30 AM Posted by Allie Wood , No comments
Okay, this post isn't going to be me telling you who to vote for. Most of you already know who I'm voting for, and most of you already know who you're voting for. You already know who I don't like and why. But, telling you WHO to vote for is not what this is about. Telling you WHY to vote is.

As you know, this year, good ol' 2016, is an election year. We get to figure out who's going to run this fantastic and lovely (I'm being sarcastic, kind of) country of ours. That's pretty cool, in my opinion. So, here are my reasons as to why we should all be voting this time around.


  • You are an adult.
Everyone was so ready to "grow up" and be an adult. Yeah, that means stuff like bills, responsibilities, THE ABILITY TO VOTE. IF you wanted to be an adult so bad, take advantage of the fact that you are an adult who can do that. Come on. Prove that you can adult and do adult things because why wouldn't you?

  • It is your RIGHT to vote.
Come on, people. That is a BIG deal. We don't live in a country where it's the same family running the country for years and years on end. (Disregard the Bush eras for this argument, but at least that wasn't a monarchy. Honestly, there are people all over the world that would give everything if it meant they could actually pick their next leader instead of it being a "next in line" for a dictatorship or ruling. We get to pick (for the most part. The electoral college is still outdated and actually ridiculous, but that is beside the point right now.) The founding fathers thought ahead for the people of this country to let them choose their leaders. Your right to vote is a not a new occurrence. It's been around for a very long time. I'm going to sound like a broken record, but TAKE ADVANTAGE of this. Feel lucky that you don't have to know about the experience and fear of not being able to have a semblance say in who leads your country. Also, I refuse to listen to people whine and moan about who's running the country if they just straight up didn't vote for anyone. You don't get to whine about something you chose to do absolutely nothing about.

  • Your vote actually DOES matter, even though you've been taught that it doesn't.
"I'm not going to vote because my vote doesn't matter." I hear this so often that I just want to scream. You think it doesn't matter because you've been taught that it doesn't matter by people who are bitter that the person they voted for at one time in one election didn't get the presidency. You've been taught that by the media, by your parents, friends, coworkers, some random dude walking down the street complaining about how this country is going to hell, practically anyone. People will also tell you that to discourage you from voting so that their chosen candidate gets a better chance. But, when it comes down to it, your vote can be the one vote that gets a candidate to win a certain area. I actually have an example from this week, actually. 



What does that picture say? Senator Sanders won that area by literally one vote. ONE vote. Your candidate could win an area to help them further their stance with the help of YOUR vote. You just have to vote. Don't think that you can't be that one person. If you support someone, go show it. Vote for them because it does matter.

  • You can literally get time off of work/school to go vote.
They make it so easy. If you notify your employer/instructors beforehand, (at least give them a couple days notice so they can figure out manning) they can give you three hours off strictly for you vote. Because, again, as I mentioned before, it's your right as a citizen of the grand ol' United States of America. Also, most polls are open from early in the morning to around 7-8 PM. That's plenty of time to go vote. Plenty. Go and grab some food and coffee or just whatever as a treat after you vote. Most polling places are going to be near your home and work. They do that on purpose. So you can vote and not have to go completely out of your way. They're at local schools, offices, a bunch of places. Some states are even doing some elections online. So, some of you won't even have to get out of your bed. IT'S LITERALLY SO SIMPLE. COME ON, PEOPLE.

  • It's the future of your country that you hold so dear.
Really, why wouldn't you vote for who you think you be a good choice for the country? After all, it's your future. Your family's future. Your friend's future. Your friendly neighbor's future. You should be concerned with that fact. You should be willing to stand up and say, "Hey. This affects me. This affects everyone. I should put my voice out there." Again, most people will refuse to tolerate hearing you complain about any president we get if you didn't vote for anyone. 

  • You get a cool sticker.
Those "I Voted" stickers are like, my fave. They should be your fave, too. And guess how you can snag one up? You can *gasp* VOTE.





OKAY.
Now that that's said:
All in all, you really should just go vote. It's a good thing to do. You can register to vote, right here with this link, actually, if you haven't yet: Register To Vote. It's super easy and straight forward. It takes about five minutes. Seriously. Fun fact: If you're not sure what party you align with, or if you don't want to align with one, go independent and request the party ballots your chosen candidate is on. But, really, vote. Be a good citizen and take advantage of your given rights. Thank you and have a fantastic day!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

A Thank You To My Ex's.

5:10 PM Posted by Allie Wood , , No comments
Lately, I've seen a lot of post and pictures about hating your ex-whatevers, ragging on them, wanting to enact some sort of revenge, etc. It kind of bugs me. So, I'm here to say "thank you" to all of mine.

Thank you for showing me the type of behavior I didn't want in a relationship.

Thank you for allowing myself to learn than I'm worth more than ignored text messages and missed calls.

Thank you for calling me rude names so I could learn that I was NOT what you called me.

Thank you for bringing me down so I could teach myself to have the self-confidence I needed to get back from that.

Thank you for trying to convince me to not follow my goals so I could get the drive I need to succeed in the eyes of people who want me to fail.

Thank you for criticizing my body and mind so I had the chance to work on loving myself instead of needing your approval.

Thank you for teaching me that selfishness is not a good attribute in someone.

Thank you for letting me see that someone who silences me when I talk about my aspirations or give my opinion is not someone I needed in my life.

Thank you for showing me that I needed to be in a relationship with someone that treated me as their equal, instead of an inferior person.

Thank you for letting me teach myself that I was better than having to be scared that you wouldn't think I'm pretty anymore if I didn't wear makeup or put on a super cute complicated outfit.

Thank you for showing me that it was your fault you cheated on me, not mine.

Thank you for teaching me that I should be in a loving relationship where I'm acting as your other half, not acting like your mother.

Thank you for being horrible to me so I knew what being treated correctly felt like when I finally found it.

Thank you for getting angry with me when I said I wouldn't have sex with you because it let me figure out I need to be respected as a person in a relationship and shouldn't be treated as a toy and that I wasn't there for your own pleasure.

Thank you for trying to tell me what I was and was not allowed to do so I could see what an emotionally abusive  relationship looked like.

Thank you for teaching me that relationships I had to keep secret were not the type of relationships I should be in. 

Thank you for threatening me with breaking up or talking to someone else so I learned I was above that kind of treatment. 

Thank you for ignoring me every chance you had so I taught myself to know better than to let myself get dragged around by someone who didn't need me at all.

And finally, thank you for letting me go so I can be where I am now.


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Why It's Okay To Say "Happy Whatever."

10:25 AM Posted by Allie Wood , , , No comments
I've seen a lot of people complaining about people saying "Happy Holidays," instead of "Merry Christmas. I really just don't understand why this is a problem. AT ALL. Are you people serious?

DISCLAIMER:
This is not to rag on Christians. My family is Christian. It's a great thing. I also know that most Christians aren't offended by this. If you're one of the ones who isn't taking offense about the "Happy Holiday" thing, this is not about you. I promise. This is just the predominant group causing this issue.




Okay, you people who are probably the ones who were offended by the Starbucks cup even though you denied it:

  • There's more than one holiday in December:
    • Ashura
      • Dec. 5th. 
      • Islamic
    • Bodhi Day
      • Dec. 6th.
      • Buddhist
    • The Feast Of Our Lady Guadalupe:
      • Dec. 12th.
      • Catholic.
    • Hanukkah
      • Dec. 20th. (Beginning.)
      • Judaism
    • Christmas:
      • Dec. 25th.
      • Christian.
    • Kwanzaa:
      • Dec. 26th. (Beginning.)
      • African-American culture celebration.

  • Your "Christmas" was originally a Pagan holiday.
    • *gasp* OH MY GOSH WHAT? No, but really. Christian were basically just like, "Oh, there's already a holiday being celebrated right now? Well, this is mine now. Away with your Pagan ways. This is so totally our holiday now." Also, I'm sure you know, but Jesus was not born on Christmas Day. If you want to know more about this, because I really, really just don't feel like explaining the whole thing right now because it's complicated, go here: http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/Christmas_TheRealStory.htm

  • Let's talk about Freedom of Speech for a quick second.
    • Someone saying "Happy Holidays" is NOT infringing on your freedom of speech. Is it illegal to say "Merry Christmas?" Are you getting a gun pointed at your head and being forced to say "Happy Holidays" against your will? No? Never? Then, there you go. NO FREEDOM OF SPEECH ISSUES HERE.  Also, Freedom of Speech goes both ways. You are still allowed to say "Merry Christmas," if that is what your heart desires. But, that also means people are allowed to say "Happy Holidays." What an insane piece of information, right?

  • This. Country. Is. Not. A. Christian. Based. Country.
    • How long is it going to take you guys to realize that? The founding fathers, (you know, all those people you respect and who wrote that Constitution you love so much) have SO many quotes saying it is not a Christian country. They came over here for religious freedom for all, not to create a country that was one single religion. (That was literally exactly what they were running away from.) So, for those of you saying that people who don't say "Merry Christmas," should leave the country? You are so rude and messed up and not a decent human being. There. I said it. That's also illegal, by the way. Sending someone out of the country due to religion. You're bigoted and biased if you think for a second that that is an okay thing to do, or say, or threaten, no matter what the reason.

  • TAKE SOMEONE SAYING "HAPPY HOLIDAYS" AS A COMPLIMENT.
    • Okay, okay, okay. If someone says "Happy Holidays," to you, THEY ARE TRYING TO BE NICE. Believe it or not, not everyone is Christian, and not everyone celebrates Christmas. At least someone is taking a couple seconds out of their day to wish you happiness during the holiday season, regardless of what you celebrate and believe. Why would you get mad at that? WHY? Seriously? How immature are you? "Oh, they don't believe what I believe, so they obviously hate my lifestyle and hate Christians." No. That's not how any of this works. GROW UP.

  • Companies say "Happy Holidays" for the same reasons I've stated in the previous bullet.
    • People are trying to be nice to EVERYONE. Christians are not the only people who deserve love and respect during this holiday season. (Crazy idea, right?) Also, I don't see many people protesting stores because they aren't saying "Happy Hanukkah" or anything. Again, Christians are not the only people who shop at any given store.


Also, P.S.
I  love all of you and I support you in whatever holiday you are celebrating this season. All I ask of you is to be kind and respectful towards your fellow human beings. This is supposed to be a season of love and giving. Not hate and intolerance. Please be kind. (Yes, I know, some of the things I said in here are not considered kind, and I know I'm being a hypocrite. I'm sorry. I apologize. But, I needed to get this off my chest because it was really bugging me.)

So, Happy Holidays, everyone. 
You're rad.