Memorial Day 2016

Celebrating Memorial Day in 2016!

Celebrating Memorial Day in 2016!

What is Memorial Day? It is a day of remembrance. We as patriot citizens of the United States of America take this day to remember all of our fallen heroes. We remember the brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that America is the home of the free and home of the brave. 

Here is how to properly observe:

  • Raise an American flag to the top of the flag pole
  • Lower to half staff
  • At Noon, raise to full staff

Please remember to observe this patriotic holiday!

Music Review- Owl City: My Everything

Owl City My Everything

I know this music review is a little late, but I could not resist. Adam Young aka Owl City brings us an incredible song about being close to God in My Everything from his hit album Mobile Orchestra.

Adam Young is unafraid to share his faith. He always proclaims that He believes in God and accepts Jesus Christ as his Savior. This song is one of those declarations. With his unique blend of techno and classic lyrics, he brings this song together in an incredible way. 

Check it out on Owl City’s official YouTube Vevo YouTube by clicking on the link above and be sure to subscribe! 

9 Movies With Troubled Histories

9 movies with troubled histories

When a film comes out, we sometimes do not think of the process that goes into it. While some films can get to the editing floor with only a little bit of drama, some films have trouble just getting the cameras rolling. There are a lot more than you think. As a film history amateur, I found some of these movies interesting. Here are 9 Movies With Troubled Histories.

Lawrence of Arabia- The epic biopic was directed by Sir David Lean who had just come off his success of The Bridge on the River Kwai. He attempted to reunite much of the cast of the film for Lawrence of Arabia, the problem, no one wanted to work with him. Lean was reportedly a dictator during filming of the former film. This led to recasting, which led to more negotiations, and when they finally got a cast settled, the screenplay was not. To make matters worse, some of the actors that did get signed on where behaving badly including Peter O’Toole whose constant drinking caused set problems. Additionally, they intended to film in Arabia, but it was too expensive so they had to move to Spain and Morocco. I guess it was worth it because it is considered one of the best films of all time. 

The Thief and the Cobbler- This animated feature took 31 years, yes 31 YEARS to produce. It currently holds the record for longest film production. What was the problem? The original filmmaker Richard Williams lost financial backing at one point, but Warner Bros. saw the potential until their impatience at the production caused them to remove backing.  A rough cut of the film came out in 1992 thanks to the efforts of Fred Caulvert. Miramax bought the rights and re-edited it as Arabian Knights. A “Recobbled Cut” restored most of the original production and was released in 2006. 

Heaven’s Gate- Based on the story of The Johnson County War, this story makes so many historical errors that many consider it “alternate history” film. It’s production was prolonged by such things as a tyrannical director, set construction, cast rebellion, budget problems, basically everything that could go wrong did. In the end, the film ran almost four hours. To make matters worse, it went over budget which it did not recoup at the box office. Many “cuts” have been released in an attempt to save the film’s “legacy.”

Alien 3- David Fincher was promised a sizable budget, but the studio cut it just before production, forcing Fincher to do an almost total rewrite. To make matters worse, when he sent the studio the rough cut, they butchered it so much, it was almost completely unrecognizable. Fincher gets most of the blame, but this was a clear case of studio meddling with a franchise.

Terminator Salvation- Poor Christian Bale gets so much flack and blame for what went wrong with the film. The truth is, tension had been brewing on set for awhile before his outburst. The film had so many executive and associate producers, their egos got in the way of filming. Director McG had to extend filming scenes sometimes for weeks. The cast and crew began to get to tense with each other which is what led to the infamous Bale meltdown on the set of the film. To make matters worse, the film that was suppose to restart the Terminator franchise failed in its mission. 

License To Kill- Ever wonder why this James Bond film did not have a single scene in England? EON was facing tax issues, forcing them to move production to Mexico. That forced the plot to revolve around a Latin American drug lord despite lacking any detail from the Ian Fleming books and short stories. Meanwhile, the heat was almost unbearable for the cast. To make matters worse, there was a writer’s strike that delayed production. The finished product was considered inferior to other Bond films, but I guess they missed the original Casino Royal with David Niven.

The Notebook- Adapted from a Nicholas Sparks novel, it’s title is almost a cliché for romantic couples. However, the production was hampered by two things, actually, two people. Co-stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams hated each other. They constantly yelled at each other. Things got so heated, Gosling asked director Nick Cassavettes if they could shoot scenes (even their scenes where the characters were together) separately. However, the two managed to reach a truce so production would not suffer.  

The Magnificent Seven- Despite being one of the best Western films of all time, the film was plagued with constant delays. It went through three screenwriters and barely got the cast signed on before a pending Actor’s Guild strike. Mexican censors had to be on set to be sure that the farmers were not shown in a negative light. The most outrageous thing was that the seven actors constantly let their egos get in the way of acting. Steve McQueen and Yul Brynner were constantly trying to one up each other while shooting. Director John Sturges was afraid the film would suffer because of their bickering.

47 Ronin- I personally enjoyed this film, but it did not fair well at the box office. Carl Erik Rinsch was a rookie director who had never done a feature film before. He clashed with Universal Studios constantly over the direction of the film. He wanted the film to be a straight up historical drama, but Universal wanted a fantasy film to compete with The Hobbit and Avatar. There are even rumors that Rinsch was fired at one point, but Universal denies this. 

Those are nine films I know of with troubled histories. Do you know any? Comment below and you might see it in a future list. Don’t forget to subscribe for more articles like this one. 

Music Review- Charlie Pluth and Whiz Khalifa: See You Again (Madilyn Bailey Cover)

See You Again Wiz Khalifa & Charlie Puth Madilyn Bailey (Acoustic Version)

Charlie Pluth and Whiz Khalifa brought a tear to every hardened guy who went to see Furious 7 as “For Paul” appeared at the end of the film commemorating the death of Paul Walker with the song See You Again. Madilyn Bailey covers it very well. 

Bring us an acoustic cover, Madilyn Bailey sings us a beautiful and heartfelt version of the hit song. It is truly brilliant how she captures the essence of the lyrics and sound. I’m not a huge fan of acoustic covers for other genres, but I think that this one is one of the best.

Be sure to subscribe for more music reviews and click on the picture above to hear it on Madilyn Bailey’s official YouTube Channel. 

#ThrowbackThursday – Favorite Slang Part 1

June is Throwback Thursday month! I'm exploring things of my childhood including the 90s and early 2000s.

May is Throwback Thursday month! I’m exploring things of my childhood including the 90s and early 2000s.

Nothing defines a generation more than their slang. As a Millennial, I am ashamed at some of the slang that I used in the early 90s. Here is a list of favorite words and phrases that I remember from back in the day. 

  • Boo Ya- A way to exclaim “Take that!” 
  • …with- Example: “Just take it with or I’m with.” It was a way to shorten what we had to say. 
  • LOL- Yes, we started the acronym for “Lots of Laughs” and/or “Laughing Out Loud.”
  • Aiight- This is a shortened version of “Alright.”
  • Dope- It could mean: neat!
  • As if- Our version of “yeah right.” This one made it into television and movies.
  • Trippin’- Another way to say, “You’re insane!”
  • You go!- Example: You go, girl!
  • Bangin’/Slammin’- Another way to say “cool.” Has a totally different meaning today.
  • Sup- A shortened version of “Wassup” which is a shortened version of Wazzzz Uppp which is a urbanized version of “What’s up?”
  • Bling-Bling- Example: “What’s with all the bling-bling?” In reference to someone wearing a lot jewelry.
  • The Bomb- Example: “Whoa, that was the bomb!” Another way to say, “Awesome!” Immortalized with thanks to FoxKids.

I still cannot believe that I spoke like that. I must’ve sounded so ignorant. Anyway, those are some of my favorite 90s slang. Did I miss any of yours? Comment below and subscribe because you might see them in a future list. 

 

 

 

Movie Review- Spectre

007 James Bond Spectre

Daniel Craig returns as James Bond aka 007 in Spectre, directed by Sam Mendes, who also directed Skyfall. It features an all-star cast including Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott, Monica Bellucci, and a whole host of others.

James Bond is on the trail of the mysterious Pale King with the help of Moneypenny after getting a message from the former M. However, the current M, director of MI6, is being released from duty and the 00 program is being decommissioned. Why? MI6 is being merged with MI5, whose director, C, wants the UN security council to approve a vast network of intelligence and data gathering on normal citizens.

After some spy craft, James Bond discovers that the Pale King is Mr. White, the villain from Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. Mr. White gives him information in exchange for Bond protecting his daughter Dr. Swan. Bond saves Swan and connects with Q, who tells him that there is a vast network of criminal organizations known as Spectre. Dr. Swan reveals that her father helped establish the organization, but it went too far.

The leader is also an old foe of James Bond who also has a family connection. He is the one behind the new global intelligence apparatus where he also intends to control all the crime on the planet. Spectre is the most dangerous organization MI6 has ever faced and it will take Bond and all his allies to destroy them.

This is the first film in this series to feel like a Bond film, minus the camp. While I greatly enjoyed the previous films, I never really felt like I was watching 007 until this one. It had the witty banter, the gadgets, the flirtation with Moneypenny, and some of the classic lines were back. It was good to see because Daniel Craig is such a good actor, I am glad he is finally given the opportunity to pull it off. I do hope he returns for the next film.

On a side note, this whole business of whether they should change James Bond’s race or gender after Craig retires, I think that is a stupid idea. It is no different than DC Comics changing Wally West aka The Kid Flash’s race. It is only meant to please social justice warriors (whatever the heck that is). My solution, do a spin-off series. Make a woman or whoever their own successful original character as a secret agent. That makes way more sense.

FAVORITE QUOTE: You’re a kite dancing in a hurricane, Mr. Bond.

PARENTAL CONCERNS: Sexual innuendo, intense violence

Be sure to click subscribe for more upcoming movie reviews.

Top 50 Batman Villains Part 4

Batman logo

Villains come and go, but Batman’s rogues seem to live on forever. From the inmates of Blackgate to the patients in Arkham Asylum, the Dark Knight always has a challenge with these folks. I have my favorites and I wanted to share them with you. Here is Part 4 of my Top 50 favorite Batman villains. 

Dr. Hugo Strange- He is a corrupted psychiatrist who is obsessed with unmasking Batman. Yet, Batman always seems to have the edge on him. 

Killer Croc- Waylon Jones has a rare genetic disease that caused his skin to harden. He later became one of Batman’s worst enemies and a strong enemy. 

Man-Bat- Kirk Langstrom was exposed to a chemical that mutated him into a human/bat hybrid. He has been an ally to Batman, but many times, he has been an enemy. 

Bane- He is one villain who has done the impossible. He broke Batman. Using skill, strength, and the drug Venom, he did what was considered impossible. 

Talon- William Cobb is the leader of the Court of the Owls army of Talon clones. He lead a full on assault on Gotham City where he almost defeated Batman. 

Harley Quinn- She is the sometime girlfriend of the Joker. At one time, she was a prominent psychiatrist, but has since became a criminal, but recently an anti-hero.

Mad Hatter- Jervis Tetch is a brilliant scientific mind that uses mind control and Alice in Wonderland as inspirations for his crimes. He has plagued Gotham City for years.  

Mr. Freeze- Originally called Mr. Zero, Victor Fries was a scientist who only loved his wife, but after her death, he became a frozen villain that is coldhearted. 

Black Mask- Roman Sionis is a vicious crime leader of the False Society. He, at one time, took the mantle of being the largest criminal boss in Gotham City. 

Talia Head- She is the daughter of Ra’s al Ghul and the mother of Damian Wayne, Bruce’s son. She went from reluctant opponent to full on enemy at one point. 

I hope you enjoyed this list. Be sure to subscribe because next week is Top 10 of the Top 50 Batman Villains list. 

Author Resource- Sara Ella YouTube Vlog

sarah-ella-vlog.png.png

I try to provide great resources for my fellow authors who are writing novels, novellas, short stories, poems, dramas, science fiction, fantasy, romance… I could go on and on. I love posting informational graphs and sharing craft books that I enjoy, but today I am bringing you a YouTube Channel by author Sara Ella.

I find it hard to find a good YouTube Channel on being an author. A lot of these YouTube vloggers do not talk about the writing, they just pontificate or complain, but with Sara Ella, you get a great deal of wisdom and some pretty cool industry tidbits. She also provides some great insights into the writers craft. If you want to see if she is on the up and up, head to her website first.

Sara Ella recently published a romantic fantasy novel Unblemished. I have yet to read it, but it is included in my Amazon wish list. 

Be sure to subscribe for more author resources!

Music Review- Hillary Scott and The Scott Family: Thy Will

Hillary Scott & The Scott Family - Thy Will

Thy Will is a new single from Hillary Scott, lead singer of Country music band Lady Antebellum, along with her the whole Scott Family. It precedes their faith based album Love Remains

The song starts off about questions. It asks about believing in God’s plan, but also going through trials and tribulations. The chorus then acknowledges God’s power and that His will is better. The second verse then changes gears and talks about how, even through heartache, God is there. 

Check it out on Hillary Scott’s official YouTube Vevo Channel and be sure to subscribe for more music reviews like this one.

Music Review- Raely Elle: Peacemaker

Raely Elle - Peacemaker

Have you wondered what Reggae, Pop music, and a dash of R&B would sound like? Just ask Raely Elle. I recently listened to her song Peacemaker and checked out her music video. 

The song was a great tribute to God and how He bring us peace. The lyrics were sincere and full of heart. Her sound is incredible. Raely has a great voice. I listened to Peacemaker live to see if she really has a voice and she does. The music video was pretty cool. It had a great mix of fantasy and real life in the sequence. 

Check the video out on Never Fade Records official YouTube Channel and be sure to subscribe for more music reviews like this one. 

Great Drama Read- Through A Glass Darkly by Gilbert Morris

Through A Glass Darkly gilbert morris

Gilbert Morris is a premier Christian author who has brought us some amazing historical novels as well as fantasy/science fiction, but he also writes standalone faith based dramas like Through A Glass Darkly.

Adam Smith woke up from a coma with no memory of who he or where he came from. All he knows is he keeps having a recurring nightmare of a fire.

With the efforts of a new friend named Perry, a tenacious lawyer named DK, and a persistent police detective, they narrow his identity down to wealthy man named Dan Majors. The problems is, after Majors disappeared it was suspected that he had murdered his best friend and left with a bag of cash.

Adam goes in search of answers to find out if he really is this Dan Majors and if he really committed the murder.

I love Morris as an author. He has a way of bringing things full circle like he does with this novel. However, there is a little twist at the end that feels more like a slap in the face to the reader than a surprise. Despite that, it is a great novel by a great writer.

For more reading recommendations, be sure to subscribe!

#ThrowbackThursday – 14 Christian Songs We Will Not Forget

 

 

June is Throwback Thursday month! I'm exploring things of my childhood including the 90s and early 2000s. Check out this new article.

May is Throwback Thursday month! I’m exploring things of my childhood including the 90s and early 2000s. Check out this new article.

Remember classic contemporary Christian music? The early 90s were not a good time for any Christian band. There was so much turmoil and many bands and musicians tried to either copy boy bands or go the easy listening route. We did manage to pull through. However, during that time, there were some pretty good songs. Check out some of the links. Here are 14 Christians songs we will not forget.

Jesus Freak- dc Talk was one of the most popular Christian bands. They broke the mold by mixing rock, pop music, rap, R&B, and a bunch of different styles. Their opus was Jesus Freak, a song about being bold with your faith. 

Baby, Bay- Christian music superstar Amy Grant wrote this song for her first child. It is a sweet, enduring song that definitely defined this time period. She recently did a new version with Tori Kelly. 

Flood- Jars of Clay performed this song so often that it even became a hit in the secular market by the amount of times it played on air. They even did a “MTV” music video for it. 

Witch’s Invitation- Carmen defined not one, but two generations of Christian music and he is still going strong. This song is one of his greatest hits. 

History Maker- A lot of people think this is a Hillsong song, but this worship song is actually from the hit band Delirious? The songwriter, Martin Smith, wrote many worship songs we sing today including Shout to the North and The Happy Song.

The Great Adventure- “Saddle up your horses!” The opening line to this song by Steven Curtis Chapman is one that most fans of contemporary Christian music know pretty well. 

Shine- Not Ashamed may have put the newsboys on the map, but Shine pushed them into stardom. Despite many setbacks, the band is still going strong. 

Redeemer- This song came out at the tail end, but this song sung by Nicole C. Mullen is amazing. She has such a great musical presence and an amazing voice to match.

I’ll Be Fine- Critical Mass was a Catholic rock band that sang about the love of Jesus and being a real Christian. They had some pretty cool songs including this one. 

In The Light- Another classic hit from dc Talk. This song talks about living in the light of Jesus. It is actually a cover of song by Christian Jazz singer/songwriter Charlie Peacock. 

Every Heartbeat- Another Amy Grant song that included a popular music video starring actress of Musetta Vanvder. This is another song co-written by Charlie Peacock. 

Revival in the Land- This is more of a play than a song, but it’s music video shows the devil panicking as Christian all over the globe praying for revival. 

Some Kind Of Zombie- This was really a brave song for Audio Adrenaline. Before Zombies were a thing, they were kind of taboo for Christians. It’s a weird song with a really weird music video, but one we won’t forget.

Creed- From their album Beyond Belief, this Petra hit was even featured on their Farewell album. This song is a declaration of their faith, taking inspiration from the Apostle’s Creed. 

That is my list of Christian songs from the 90s I will never forget. Did I leave out any of yours? Comment below and be sure to subscribe for more upcoming Throwback Thursday articles and lists. 

 

 

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Season 3 Review

Agents_of_SHIELD_logo

Warning: Spoilers

At the conclusion of Season Two, I honestly did not know where the series was going. While I enjoyed Brett Dalton’s character, the traitorous Grant Ward, his plot line of being the leader of Hydra was getting kind of old. I honestly was ready for our favorite SHIELD Team: Director Phil Coulson, Agent Mai, Daisy Johnson, Mack, Fitz/Simmons, Bobbi, and Lance to put him down for good.

While that did not happen exactly, they put a brilliant spin on Ward, having him possessed by the villainous HIVE. This new origin for the character introduced him as an Inhuman who was banished thousands of years ago because he was too powerful. 

The main plot of Season 3 is the introduction of the Inhumans and how the humans fear them. SHIELD gets absorbed into the ACTU, forcing Director Coulson to work with their friendly nemesis General Talbot. It also introduces some new characters including Yo-Yo, an Inhuman with super speed. 

As SHIELD tries to handle the Inhumans, HIVE slowly begins to take over Hydra and has a unique ability to “sway” Inhumans into siding with him. A fact that soon puts Coulson up against one of his own.

This season had so many twists and turns, it was unreal. I had no idea what to expect next. They would introduce something that seemed important, only to have it fade away or solved quickly. I was on the edge of my seat constantly, not knowing what to think next.

It was, so far, the best season of the show and with the cancellation of Agent Carter, I cannot wait to see what is next.

I rarely do TV show review, but I do a ton of other entertainment articles, so be sure to subscribe for more upcoming pop culture items like music review, Throwback Thursdays, and of course, movie reviews.

The Quiet, Lovable Soul

The Quiet Lovable Soul

 

Today we have a special treat. My super cute wife, Rachel, has written us a very special guest post for us. I will not attempt to describe it, but it is a beautiful post.

The people who know me best know that I am naturally a quieter person. I always have been and it is just part of my introverted personality.

Quiet is not a synonym for shy or anxious. However while I am shy and do have severe anxiety, I will not be focusing as much on those two here. That is completely separate topic with a thousand questions to explore. I will be focusing mainly on the misunderstood quietness that I, and many others seem to naturally have.

I will admit this right away, I hate small talk. It is uncomfortable and feels like an artificial roadblock to a deeper conversation of which I am very fond. However it is seen as a social necessity most of the time. If you try to small talk with me you will find out I am bad at it within the first fifteen seconds.

If you put me in a room full of people and they are all talking about this or that, I am usually just sitting back, listening or probably daydreaming. I have been mistaken for being rude when really I am just uncomfortable or preferring to stay quiet! (I think RBF is a big contributor to that one though.) But if someone mentions something that is close to my heart, something I am passionate about, most of the time I will willingly join the conversation. (Little girls who watch My Little Pony often tell me I am “just like Fluttershy.”) My husband knows this about me, and is always kind and accepting. He lets me sit next to him quietly, and gives me his full attention if I happen to have something to say.

When you are a quiet, introverted person, you are familiar with being told many things that you eventually learn to just roll your eyes at. “Get out of your shell” “Why are you so quiet?” “You need to try to be more outgoing” “You aren’t trying hard enough.” And if you are like me, you have also been told one that stuck the most “No one will want to be with you because you are too quiet. You need to change or you will never get married.” Ouch. Yes, well meaning, but misguided people have actually said this to me, and I am sure to others.

I am here to tell you this is not true.

I remember being 18 at school in Nor Cal, and someone telling me that my prince wasn’t going to find me hiding in a castle reading a book. I needed to present myself and change my quiet ways or he wouldn’t find me. While I agreed that I would have been hard to find while hiding in a princess tower under covers reading a book with a flashlight, I also didn’t want to compromise myself. I was always asked to go to college night clubs with friends, and it just wasn’t my thing. I hate parties and loud noises. If I do go to one, my whole body screams from sensory overload. I have lost a few friends because they felt I wasn’t “Trying hard enough” by not going enjoying myself as much in social settings. While I still avoided parties, I decided that I would try to be open to going out just a little bit more, while also respecting my own personal space and sensory limits. Doing this is okay!

As Susan Cain puts it in her book Quiet.. “Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured…Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to.”

As I stated above, quiet introversion is not a synonym for shy or types of anxiety. People can benefit from seeking help for social anxiety or other issues. We were not meant to live in fear. If natural, quiet introversion is who you were created to be, then there is nothing wrong with that and it does NOT make you unlovable. In fact, you probably have the most love to give! You carry incredible depth, you are intriguing, you have insight, you are lovable.

I wasn’t searching for a boyfriend or a husband. I would pray for whoever it was I God had for me to marry, but I wasn’t seeking him out. I mainly spent my time alone, enjoying it. Solitude helps me think and process and is where I truly feel at peace and like myself. I’m not bored or hiding, I honestly enjoy it!

That same year I was 18, I went to school one day after battling whether I should go or not. My main carpool was on a missions trip, and my one friend I sat with every day was also absent. I fought the “Flight and hide” feeling and asked for a ride from an acquaintance at the last minute. I walked in and took a seat in the only empty row. I noticed a guy sitting in front of me who kept glancing back at me. Later on he talked with me, and a few days later he asked me out.

Previously every time a guy would ask me out, I would immediately say no without even thinking. Just no. A friend in high school actually told me that guys stopped asking me out because word got around I would just say no! It was embarrassing then, but it’s pretty funny to me now. I paused and thought about it, and realized I genuinely wanted to. So I said yes for the first time. He was a complete gentleman, and wasn’t the least bit phased by my quietness. If I would gaze down not knowing what to say he would kindly bring my attention forward and gently ask me questions without putting pressure on me. I was cold so he offered me his jacket. I felt very comfortable around him, and like I could be myself! There wasn’t any pressure to come up with small talk or pretend to be more extroverted, he was interested in me. We found quickly we had a lot of common interests, and we talked for a long time about them. I later asked him if my quietness and shyness deterred him, and he simply said “No, I just knew you were a little more quiet and shy. I knew it would take a little more time and effort to get to know you, but I was willing to take that challenge and it was worth it.

Tell me that doesn’t melt you heart. It melted mine! We dated for a year, were engaged when I was 19 and married when I was 20. We fell in love, and it is a love that I can be myself in!

I don’t have to pretend to be more outgoing, he accepts me for who I am. My husband is an ambivert (a combination of Extrovert and Introvert), he enjoys solitude as I do, but also has no problem being in crowds or with public speaking. He is a risk taker and I love him for it. He compliments me and I compliment him. I actually am most outgoing and talkative with him. When we are home alone I get bouts of hyperness and can be very talkative to the point where he has to pause the television because I have so much to say. We laugh and get into tickle fights.

I feel 100% comfortable around him and he is one of the only people that sees the whole me. He does push me to be the best me, so if I am saying no to something out of fear, he will talk me through it. But he respects my likes and dislikes, and knows when I am ready to leave a party and excuses us so I won’t get overwhelmed. He knows I like quiet coffee dates and little adventures to rose gardens. He will hold my hand as I walk around smelling each flower enjoying the quiet, peaceful beauty even though he would rather be at the comic book store. He accepts me for me, while also seeing my potential and gently pushing me to take some risks. My art wouldn’t be hanging up in a coffee shop right not if it wasn’t for him seeing my potential and helping me step out. You will also find the one who compliments you, no matter what level of quietness you carry.

What I am trying to convey through all of this is if you are quiet, if you are naturally more introverted, you are also lovable. You are not too difficult to get to know. You are not unworthy of the time it takes to build a relationship with you. God has the right person for you, and will shine the light on them when the time is right. They will love you for who you are and you will blossom into your best self with them. Do not listen to the lies of those who would tell you that you will not find love because of your quietness. The western world definitely favors more outgoing, extroverted personalities, but there will be that one person out there who favors you.

 

Be sure to click subscribe for more upcoming guest contributors and articles.

Top 50 Batman Villains Part 3

Batman logo 1

Batman protects Gotham City, but sometimes, the villains prove a challenge for him. From the patients in Arkham Asylum to the inmates of Blackgate, he has always has to come up with new ways to combat them. I have my favorites and I wanted to share them with you. Here is Part 3 of my Top 50 favorite Batman villains. 

Sal Maroni- In the original Batman continuity, he was second only to Carmine “The Roman” Falcone as Gotham’s crime boss. Later, he was the one who threw acid on Harvey Dent, creating the villain known as Two-Face. 

Nocturna- Natalia Knight was the victim of a horrible laser accident that drained the pigmentation from her skin, turning her into a vampire. 

Calendar Man- Julian Day is a criminal who operates based on calendar holidays. He is very clever and intelligent. He was prominent in Batman: The Long Halloween

Dr. Dedalus- Otto Netz founded the criminal organization known as Leviathan. Later, it was shown that he is the father of Kathy Kane, the original Batwoman. 

Rupert Thorne- He is a criminal mob boss. He originally had political ambitions, but after Batman exposed his criminal activities, he was forced into hiding. 

Dr. Phosphorus- Alexander Sartorius is a vicious criminal that can burn flesh. Often, he gives off radiation that become deadly to many. 

Blockbuster- Mark and Roland Desmond are mutated crime bosses that ran things in Gotham City. After Mark’s death, Roland moved to Blüdhaven to torment Nightwing. 

Ultimate Clayface- Basil Karlo was originally an actor turned murder, but after meeting the other Clayface group, he stole their powers to become even more powerful. 

Dr. Death- Karl Hellfern deserves a place on any Batman villain list. Why is that? He was Batman’s very first supervillain and first recurring foe. 

Carmine Falcone- He is a criminal mob boss who is nicknamed The Roman. He is cunning and devious and he is extremely deadly. No other crime family has come close. 

I hope you enjoyed this list. Be sure to subscribe to see the rest of the Top 50 Batman Villains list. 

So Excited To Be Joining Red Millennial!

Red Millennial

Hey everyone! I got a really cool announcement. I have officially joined the contributor team for Red Millennial, a news blog that targets my generation in a fun way. They have a great team of writers and I am so excited to be joining them.

You can check out the first article I wrote for them here. Sunday, it was the headlining story. I don’t mind saying, I got a little bit of rush seeing it there.

For my faithful readers, do not despair, I will still be posting here regularly. Be sure to describe here on this blog for articles on faith, politics, entertainment, and more, then head over to Red Millennial for some great news articles.

Pentcost Sunday 2016

01 Pentecost Sunday

A very brief history of the Christian holiday: Pentecost Sunday.

Right before, Jesus Christ’s ascension, when He went into Heaven, He told His disciples to wait for Holy Spirit, who would give the disciples an incredible anointing to do the things of God.

On Pentecost (where the holiday gets its name), is a shared Jewish holiday taking place fifty days after Passover, many Jews from all over the world were visiting Jerusalem. Because the city was so congested, the disciples decided to lay low since they were still wanted men. They were all gathered in one place. The Bible describes it as the Upper Room. They were praying and fasting waiting as Jesus had told them. 

As they were waiting, the presence of God came upon them so strong it sounded like a mighty wind. The atmosphere was so thick with God, it appeared that tongues of fire rested on the heads on all of the disciples. They started speaking in other languages. 

At first, the people around the house started making fun of the Christians. However, the Apostle Peter came outside and delivered one of the most epic sermons of all time, ending with a call to accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior.

As a result, over 3,000 people came to know Jesus. 

May we, today, have that kind of anointing and power. 

You can find this incredible, true story in the Bible, Book of Acts, chapter 2. For more Christian inspirations articles, be sure to click subscribe. 

Interview with singer Raely Elle

Raely Elle headshot
Today, I have another fantastic guest, singer Raely Elle of Never Fade Records. She’s got some fantastic music. Yesterday, I reviewed one of her songs and so I was so excited when she agreed to an interview. She is one of the sweetest, most humble, but very talented people I have interviewed. Check it out below. Her answers are in bold.

 

Where do you call your hometown?
Klamath Falls, OR

Is that where you started to sing?
Yes

How young were you when you started to sing?
I was very little when I first started singing but I only started doing it professionally when I was 14.

Where and when was your first performance?
I was 5 and it was a tap dance recital at the Ross Ragland Theater in Klamath Falls, OR. Does that count? Lol

When you first started singing, did anyone say, “your voice will take you places?”
Yes. But my dad always pushed me to perfect all the little nooks and crannies in my voice. Ha!

What kind of music do you listen to you?
All kinds. I love reggae, hip hop, r&b, classical, African music, pop, soul music, french cafe music, traditional Chinese music, worship, Jazz. I love really unique movie Soundtracks that get my imagination running. More recently I’ve been getting into opera.
It’s a mood thing. Whatever mood I’m in I will fit the music to that.

 

As a follow-up, any particular musician, singer, or band that inspires you?
Bob Marley. Easy listening with a message of peace and oneness.

 

I am curious, how did you become a Christian?
My mother raised me teaching me about Jesus. I loved the Lord since I was a little girl but it wasn’t until about 19 years old that I really decided to stop having a luke-warm relationship with Him. Long story short, my life was going down a very dark hole due to my bad decision making. After a lot of pain, I finally surrendered and realized I couldn’t do it without a Mighty King at my side.

 

I know for me, I’ll hang onto a scripture that is relevant to my season. Do you have a “life scripture” that you hang onto?
My favorite is,
“For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-control.”
2 Timothy 1:7

That’s like medicine to my soul.

 
Your boldness in being unashamed of your faith is refreshing. How does your faith interact with your life?
It gives me hope when I feel like giving up. It gives me peace in the midst of chaos, and literally teaches me how to love daily.

 

I saw an interview with you where you praised your team. They do seem like a pretty awesome bunch. Tell us a little bit about how your team works together. 
Well we started out with a a few other artists, but now it’s narrowed down to just my husband and I.
He’s the master mind behind all the music. He creates all of the beats, does a lot of the production and mixes all the music. We edit all the music videos together, but he’s much better with the special effects. I really enjoy directing the videos and putting the vision together.
We are just a two man team, but we make it work!

 
How did you get connected with Never Fade Records? 
James Julius, a former rapper with Never Fade, introduced me to his producer M.I.C. because he wanted to collaborate with me.
M.I.C. and I ended up getting married and the rest was history.

 
What genre of music generally gets produced at Never Fade Records?
It used to be all Hip Hop. Now it’s more R&B, Reggae, and Hip Hop.

 
Two of my favorite songs are Peacemaker and Rainbow. What is it the creative process for writing and composing songs?
Thank you! I have a stockpile of beats, mostly from my husband. Sometimes I start writing and get stumped. It can take weeks to spit the words out.
Other times the words come all at once. I love those moments!
I usually start with the melody unless I have some poetry I wrote previously that I think would fit well with the song. My songs may come from a past experience or the present, but they always come from a real place.

 
The companion music videos are incredible. Take us through the process of producing those music videos.
I appreciate that! I put out a story board for Peacemaker and gathered pictures to color coordinate the costumes and scenes. I wanted it to be kind of a time lapse feel, where in the beginning we were planting seeds from the medieval times. All of that kindness spread to this day and age. It shows how a single seed of kindness can be passed on through generations.
We grabbed some people we knew to be in the video, but the people we gave flowers to were strangers off the street. M.I.C. filmed the whole thing and I had a great time directing it. We later edited the video together.

Rainbow was totally different. It was actually kind of last minute. We thought it was such a beautiful snowy day we couldn’t help but film. We saw it as a good opportunity to create our first lyric video. We got some awesome drone footage and played in the snow. After filming, we went sledding in it. ha! The editing took the longest out of all the videos. M.I.C. really put in a lot of work on all those special effects.

 
Any song or songs there you are especially proud of?
Hmmm I would have to say “Peacemaker” and “It’s All Okay.”
Peacemaker was one of those songs that the lyrics just came all at once.
It’s All Okay was written at a time of struggle and reminded us there’s hope. It brought a lot of joy to not only us, but also others that have been going through it as well. It’s a feel-good healing song!

 
Where do you go to find inspiration for your music?
Just living life really. I get really inspired by nature. There’s no greater place then frolicking in God’s creations.

 

I found a video of you singing live, and I have to say, you sound just as good in person as on a recording. How do you keep your voice strong?
That’s is very kind. Thank you. Vocal warm ups and some throat coat lemon tea. That’s my secret weapon!

 

When preparing for a live show, does your team have a pre-show ritual that you all do together?
There is always a prayer that the Spirit is with us as we go.

 

One final question, got any advice for young Christian music artists who want to break into the industry?
Be you. You don’t always have to take everyone else’s advice. Listen to what’s inside YOUR soul. Let the Lord guide you. Remember why you’re doing it.

 

That concluded our interview. To hear her music go to NFR’s official YouTube and then head to their website and Facebook. Find Raely Elle on Twitter @RaelyElle. You will not be disappointed!

Be sure to subscribe for more upcoming interviews!

 

Music Review- Raely Elle: Rainbow

Raely Elle - Rainbow

I know I reviewed a song for Christian singer Raely Elle song yesterday, but I could not help it. I enjoy her music a whole lot. This song, Rainbows, is really great! It is about doing what you are called to do. 

The song is about accepting our gifts, being who we are called to be, and coming together in God’s love. It is a great message, especially in these turbulent times. The song is written very well with an excellent Reggae and Pop music beat. On a side note, the scenery in the music video is pretty good too. 

Check it out on Never Fade Records official YouTube Channel by clicking on the link in the picture and be sure to subscribe for more music reviews like this one. 

#ThrowbackThursday – 17 Voices We Will Never Forget

June is Throwback Thursday month! I'm exploring things of my childhood including the 90s and early 2000s.

May is Throwback Thursday month! I’m exploring things of my childhood including the 90s and early 2000s.

Yo, yo, what up my homies? We got another article that’s all that! We’re going retro with a list of voice actors that those of us raised in the early 90s. We heard these tight guys and gals on Toonami, ABC’s One Saturday Morning, Fox Kids, DiC, Disney Afternoons, Kid’s WB, and so many more. So check out my list of 17 Voices We Will Never Forget.

Ed Gilbert- Known for playing Baloo in TaleSpin, he was also featured in Transformers as Blitzwing, GI Joe: A Real American Hero as General Hawk, and of course, The Mandarin on Iron Man: The Animated Series

Phil LaMarr- Yes, he was Green Lantern in Justice League Unlimited, but that is not the only series he was in. He had the starring role in Samurai Jack and had other appearances in Young Justice, Spectacular Spider-Man, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and so much more.

Elizabeth Daily- Tommy Pickles in Rugrats and Buttercup in The Powerpuff Girls are just a few of her amazing credits. Eek! The Cat, Quack Pack, Jungle Cubs, all of these are just a drop in the bucket. 

Sean Schemmel- He has been in several Anime roles like Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, Samurai 7, One Piece, but you probably know him best as Goku from Dragon Ball Z the Funimation dub. 

Jim Cummings- This man has a ton of amazing roles. Taz-Mania, Timon & Pumba, Wild West COW Boys of Moo Mesa, Sonic The Hedgehog (SatAM), The Legend of Tarzan, but we’ll always remember him as Winnie the Pooh and Darkwing Duck.

Tara Strong- Aside from voicing Batgirl in Batman: The Animated Series and Bubbles in The Powerpuff Girls, she has been in Babar, Little Bear, Detention, Xiaolin Showdown, and is currently Twilight Sparkle in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. This lady is one talented voice actress. 

Scott McNeil- Not only is this guy an American voice actor, he is also a frequent anime English dub voice. He was Duo Maxwell in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Wolverine in X-Men Evolution, Jet-Fire in Transformers Armada, just check out his Wikipedia page. 

Arleen Sorkin- Though she has many amazing credits, including being featured in the soap opera Days of Our Lives, but we all know and love her as Harley Quinn from Batman: The Animated Series

Khary Payton- He has appeared in live action roles, but he also voiced Cyborg in the original Teen Titans, he also was in Loonatics Unleashed, Street Sharks, Ben 10, etc. He is one talented guy with a ton of movie credits as well. 

Jeff Bennett- If you listen closely, you can hear him in almost everything. He was Dad in Dexter’s Laboratory, Duke L’Orange in Mighty Ducks, Johnny Bravo as Johnny Bravo, and he is still going strong, appearing in Sofia The First as Merlin. 

Diane Pershing- She has voiced the villianess Poison Ivy in Batman: The Animated Series and its subsequent series and even in a crossover with Static Shock, but she has also appeared several Flash Gordon animated shows as Dale Arden. 

Peter Cullen- We all and know him as Optimus Prime on Transformers. That is his most famous role, but he was also Red Skull in Spider and His Amazing Friends, Eeyore on the New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and of course, Monterey Jack on Chip N’ Dale: Rescue Rangers

Mark Hamill- Yes, Luke Skywalker, but to us growing up in 90s, he was the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series. Aside from being the Clown Prince of Crime, he was also The Hobgoblin in Spider-Man: The Animated Series and Gargoyle in The Incredible Hulk.

Frank Welker- He’s another one you’ve heard everywhere. He was Megatron in The Transformers and Cobra Commander in GI Joe: A Real American Hero. He was also Klaw in Inspector Gadget, Fred in Scooby-Doo, and has also been several animals including Abu in Disney’s Aladdin

Jason Marsden- He has been in several animated shows including Jungle Cubs, Adventures of the Gummi Bears, A Goofy Movie, and has continued to voice act down through the years. He was also worked as the host of The Disney Channel.

Venus Terzo- I first heard her in Beast Wars: Transformers and Beast Machines as Blackarachnia, but she was also Jean Grey in X-Men Evolution and Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes as Lucia Von Bardas. 

Kevin Conroy- Of course, how could I leave out the man who defined Batman for a whole generation. He will reprise his role for the upcoming animated series Justice League Action

That is my list of famous voice from my childhood. Do you have one? Comment below and be sure to subscribe for more upcoming Throwback Thursday articles. 

 

 

Classic Film Review- Big Jake

Big jake movie poster

Legendary film director George Sherman ended his career in 1971 with this John Wayne Western action film Big Jake. It is also one of eight films that Wayne and Sherman collaborated on. 

Everyone seems to think that John McCandles is dead. He abandoned his family ten years ago, thus he is estranged from his wife and kids. 

However, after a gang of ruthless outlaws led by John Fain kidnap his grandson, demanding a million dollar ransom. After the Texas Rangers fail to rescue the boy, Jake sets out with his sons and his friend Sam Sharpnose, an Apache associate to find the boy and bring him home by paying the ransom money. However, other outlaws here about the money and try to trap Jake and his sons. 

It is a long dangerous road and John Fain may be one step ahead of them. 

Originally titled The Million Dollar Kidnapping, the screenplay was written by original Dirty Harry screenwriters, Harry Julian Fink and Rita M. Fink. Though this is a great film, truly one of John Wayne’s best, it was not well received at the box office, but still managed to make a big profit. It has many frequent John Wayne collaborators including Richard Boone and Maureen O’Hara. 

It is one of the most well made Western films. It has great acting, scenery, and is well written. One thing I particularly enjoyed was the main character needing to accept that the West was declining. New technology and innovations are changing the world. It was an interesting undercurrent in the film. 

FAVORITE QUOTE: Not hardly.

PARENTAL CONCERNS: Minor Language, Violence

CAST:

  • John Wayne as Jacob McCandles
  • Richard Boone as John Fain 
  • Maureen O’Hara as Martha McCandles
  • Patrick Wayne as James McCandles
  • Christopher Mitchum as Michael McCandles
  • Bruce Cabot as Sam Sharpnose
  • Bobby Vinton as Jeff McCandles
  • Glenn Corbett as gang member O’Brien, aka Breed 
  • John Doucette as Texas Ranger Capt. Buck Duggan
  • John Agar as Bert Ryan
  • Harry Carey, Jr. as gang member Pop Dawson
  • Gregg Palmer as gang member John Goodfellow 
  • Jim Burk as gang member Trooper 
  • Dean Smith as gang member James William “Kid” Duffy
  • Robert Warner as gang member Will Fain 
  • Jeff Wingfield as gang member Billy Devries 
  • Everett Creach as gang member Walt Devries 
  • Ethan Wayne as Little Jake McCandles
  • George Fenneman as Narrator
  • Tom Hennesy as Mr. Sweet

Be sure to comment if you liked this review and be sure to subscribe for more classic film reviews like this one. 

What Would A Conservative Third Party Look Like?

american-flag-wallpaper

Conservative Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse has been an outspoken critic of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Sasse has gone after Trump, saying that he not only refuses to show up to the GOP Convention in Cleveland, but has floated the possibility of running as a Conservative alternative third party candidate. 

2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney has suggested a similar premise, though I doubt his run will sit well with grassroots Conservatives, he may pull votes from the establishment Republicans who support John Boehner. 

Now, as many pundits have pointed out, a third party candidate not affiliated with either the Republicans or Democrats or with third parties like the Libertarian Party or Green Party will have a tough time getting on state ballots. Many states close their election filings at the end of June or July, in fact, Texas has already closed. 

However, I do think a Conservative alternative to Trump is needed. He is already pivoting to the left, declaring on Fox News, “This is the Republican Party, not the Conservative Party.” Trump and his surrogates do not realize he cannot have it both ways. He cannot say he is pro-life, for religious liberty, friend of Israel, gun rights supporter, while simultaneously burning bridges with American citizens who align with the Conservative movement.  

The establishment Republicans created Donald Trump by constantly shoving John McCains, Mitt Romneys, and the Bush family down our throats. Trump brought in independents to the open primaries who are tired of the Democrats shoving the Clintons down their throats and that swung the nomination in his favor. The trouble is, the GOP’s bread is buttered by the Conservatives and we are angry. 

Some are throwing their weight behind the Libertarian Party and others are choosing not to vote at all. Those, like me, are holding out for a third party candidate who is Conservative to rise. Whether that is Ben Sasse, or Libertarian candidate Austin Petersen, or someone else, remains to be seen. 

Others have said that they will support Democrat frontrunner Hillary Clinton and then float out until 2020, reshaping the GOP then. I do disagree with that tactic. Let’s remember, until the Reagan Revolution, there was not much difference between the Republicans and Democrats outside of fiscal responsibility and foreign policy. The Republican Party was not necessarily founded on what Conservatives think of when they think liberty. A new party that is founded on values that Conservatives share would be an ideal switch. 

What would that look like? There is a Conservative Party of New York that was founded by Conservative icon William F. Buckley, Jr, as well as a few other minor state parties. Should we start there or with another Conservative party like the Constitution Party or from scratch? Again, I say we start from scratch. That idea could surge as I am sure that those in the grassroots movements like Dana Loesch, Bill Kristol, Tara Setmayer, Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin, and others could feed true Conservatism into the party’s platform. Maybe politicians like Texas Senator and former Trump rival Ted Cruz could get on board. 

From the beginning, founded on the values that really matter, the establishment GOP could float over and bother the Democrats like the late Senator Arlen Specter did in 2009. There could be greater control over the party platform and on the candidates.  

Now, I am not saying this will happen in 2016, but unless the Republican Party learns its lesson from this election cycle, there could be a reckoning with the electorate. 

For more political insights, be sure to click subscribe. 

Music Review- Tyler Ward: The Hardest Thing

Tyler Ward the hardest thing

Tyler Ward has brought us some acoustic covers of songs like Can You Feel The Love Tonight and Piece By Piece, as well as original songs like Yellow Boxes. Now he brings us a new original song The Hardest Thing.

It is a song about living without the one you love. He strums along on his guitar brilliant and the accompanying background music compliment the lyrics so well. What really drives it is Tyler Ward’s voice. He’s got a good set of pipes on him and he sings this song so well. 

Check it out on his official YouTube Channel and be sure to click subscribe. 

Top 50 Batman Villains Part 2

Batman emblem 1

Batman has gone to war with many villains and rogues in Gotham City. From the patients in Arkham Asylum to the inmates of Blackgate, he has always been challenged by these arch foes. I have my favorites and I wanted to share them with you. Here is Part 2 of my Top 50 favorite Batman villains. 

NKDemon- Gregor Dosynski was a protege of KGBeast and he later attempted to create a coup in Russia, but Batman put a stop to that. 

Anarky- Sorry, Arrow fans, Lonnie Manchin is a villain that has plagued Batman in the pages of Batman: Anarky and later in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight. 

Victor Zsasz- He is a vicious hitman who has worked for mafia, but also as a serial killer who keeps tally marks on his body of all of his kills. 

Catman- Thomas Blake is a gentleman thief who has worked with the Cult of the Cat. He is a skilled thief and Martial Artist who briefly worked with the Secret Six. 

KGBeast- Anatoli Knyazev is a brutal assassin who cut off his own hand rather than be captured. Batman found this foe to almost be an evil mirror image. 

David Cain- He is a talented assassin who once worked and even trained Bruce Wayne briefly, but he later became a vicious enemy of Batman. His daughter, Cassandra Cain, later became Batgirl. 

King Snake- Sir Edmund Dorrance is the leader of the Kobra Cult, a rival to the League of Assassins. For a time, he wanted to kill Tim Drake, the third Robin.  

Deadshot- Floyd Lawton is a deadly sniper who started out as a minor villain, but soon graduated to bing time after he became a part of the Suicide Squad. 

Tony Zucco- He is a plan clothes blackmailer who is responsible for the murder of Dick Grayson’s parents, leading to the creation of the first Robin. 

The Terrible Trio- The only group on this list: Warren Lawford (Fox), Armand Lydecker (Shark), and Gunther Hardwicke (Vulture) were a trio of thugs who became thieves. 

I hope you enjoyed this list. Be sure to subscribe to see the rest of the Top 50 Batman Villains list. 

Music Review- The Piano Guys: The Jungle Book / Sarabande (Mayan Style)

The Jungle Book : Sarabande (Mayan Style) - ThePianoGuys

The Piano Guys do not just give us piano. No, don’t be fooled by that. They give us pianos, cellos, and even epic drums in the epic Mayan style cover of The Jungle Book/Sarabande song. 

Disney’s The Jungle Book use to be one of my favorite animated films and I cannot wait for the live action remake. The Piano Guys put an amazing Mesoamerican spin on it. The music video is full of amazing scenery from South America that really bring the song home. 

Check it out on The Piano Guys official YouTube Channel and click on subscribe for more music reviews like this one.