My Favorites from 2016

I did this last year and I really wanna do it for last year too, even though it’s already mid-Feb. XD What were your favorites this year? These are mine!

Favorite Movie

My favorite movie from the whole year was Captain America: Civil War. It’s probably been the biggest payoff movie to a film franchise that I’ve followed or watched in my life. All those superheroes all coming together like that, for one of biggest most enjoyable fight scenes ever…plus all the emotional punches and clashes…it was perfect. As a Marvel fan who’s invested money and time to follow this series, I felt very much rewarded!

Runners Up: Deadpool, Passengers, Finding Dory, Arrival, Doctor Strange, Zootopia.

Favorite Music

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Susumu Hirasawa, Sia, Lindsey Stirling, Odesza just scratch the surface of all the music that became my new favorite this year; I introduced myself to Madonna too, and select pop songs throughout the year.

In the playlist below, I compiled 30 songs that I keenly remember listening to this past year,or that remind me of something that was going on when I discovered it. There’s a strong memory imprinted on each of them. You can read about them on the playlist on YouTube if you’d like. Feel free to scroll through it and help yourself to maybe some new music (there’s soundtracks and all sorts of songs sprinkled in there!)

Favorite Anime

I began watching JoJo way back at the beginning of the year. I watched three full seasons by April to watch the new season weekly with James (it was one of his favorite stories and I said as a Christmas present I would catch up and watch with him.) Wow, was it worth it. I watched this show weekly from April alllllll the way to December and it was flipping awesome. Brilliant genre twists, creativity out of this world, with truly lovable, quirky characters who sneaked into my heart: it was anime of the year for me and James for sure!

Runners Up: Mob Psycho 100, KonoSuba, Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinju, The Diasterous Life of Saiki K., Flip Flappers, Sweetness and Lightning, Orange, ReLife.

FAVORITES FROM MY SOCIAL MEDIA:

TWITTER:

INSTAGRAM

Tink's surgery went well. Praying the tumor doesn't return. 💞🐾

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Dramatic black lighting made this photo actually awesome. XD #nofilter

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Last night's finale!

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Cozy cozy.

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Fastest blanket I've ever crocheted. 😊👍🏻💞

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These are some of my favorite Instagram posts; they capture some big moments, as well as some small ones that I’d nearly forgotten!

PINTEREST

I love my “Me” Pinterest board; I’ve been art, quotes, and images that I feel truly capture an esences of who I am. It’s been wonderful for self-exploration and identifying with my core personality and how I process or think of things! ❤

I made this to collect all the reasons why distance doesn’t matter when it comes to love. ❤

This is of a story I want to write one day; scraps of the plot are scrapping together, and I have magazine clippings from ages ago that have the same vibe for the same story. I decided to make a board for it. ❤

Final Thoughts

This year I did so much! I’ll be recapping some of the things I accomplished in an upcoming post soon in that regard. But looking back over this post, I already really appreciate all the little memories social media saved for me. Plus, I discovered some of the best music ever this past year, and CIVIL WAR WAS JUST AMAZING. xD So, what were your favorite things this year?

~Jamie

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Where Blogging Brought Me

This was written last week, but its long overdue to be documented on my blog because it’s thanks to blogging that I got to find my very best friend and confident.


Right now, I’m blogging with my very best friend, at the same time! Some of you will recognize him as James from J and J Productions. We’re elbow to elbow at the moment on the couch, both typing up our posts and looking at each other’s screens. XD We’ve been blogging friends for years and even closer best friends for over two and half years, but this is the first time where we’ve actually gotten to simultaneously write blog posts together in the same room in real time, and it’s quite fun. XD

What I’ve decided to blog about is just about us and how we ended up here, because what else should I be writing about? 😉

Once upon a time, five years and seven months ago, 16-year-old me watched a movie called A New Hope and I fell in love with Star Wars. Earlier that same day, I’d literally started this blog. And after watching A New Hope, I wanted blog friends who liked Star Wars too. In that quest, I stumbled over a young blog like mine, run by a boy my age named James, and he loved movies enough to attempt reviewing them. I commented, then he commented back; we followed each other’s blogs. We both loved Star Wars. Tonight, we’re going to watch A New Hope together for the first time, and the last half a decade of our lives will come full circle for me.

Blogging and Star Wars brought us together, but Marvel made us real friends. About four years ago, I saw Captain America: The First Avenger in theaters–it was my first superhero movie–and James wrote to me saying, “hey, glad you liked it! There are more movies you should see before The Avengers comes out!” He wrote blog post after blog post, mostly for me, mentoring me in characters and films and our friendship really solidified. After the Avengers came out, we skyped every time a new Marvel film was released just to rave and hype about them.

Last week, we saw Captain America: Civil War together in 3D. THAT was surreal. That movie was like the climax of a very grand adventure that for the two of us had shared for years. We clutched hands in gasps and jumped in unison, and spazzed in hype at character introductions. I cried over a certain funeral scene and he squeezed my fingers to let me know he felt it too. We both shrieked with laughter. It was the first new Marvel movie that we did not have to message each other to say, “I’VE SEEN IT. TELL ME WHEN YOU DO SO WE CAN TALK SPOILERS.” We finally saw a Marvel movie right. XD

Marvel made us real friends, but anime made us pretty much inseparable in 2014. We skyped every week to discuss new anime episodes and that was the platform that helped us become the best of friends. Anime, which so rich in life and emotion and fantastic storytelling, gave us so many avenues to connect and discuss ethics and beliefs and our own lives. We built trust and solid communication skills as we spent time together goofing off and enjoying conversation. Over the last two years, we were especially able to be there for each other when life got rough on the other. And finally about seven months ago we decided enough was enough, and began to plan how we could meet in person.

This past week, after five years of blog comments, movie and anime rants, and 10,000 skype calls, I’ve flown to Georgia so I can see my very best friend in person instead off of a screen. After an early morning rise, a three hour flight and turbulence, we met in the Atlanta airport and it was incredibly surreal. We were both in Star Wars shirts and I almost knocked him over hugging him the moment I saw him. 😀

I think we felt like us by the time we were dragging my 49 pound suitcase to the car. I pushed it on its rollers up the ramp while insisting I was as strong as Thor and could handle it, through huffs and giggles. He scrambled behind me pointing me in the direction we needed to go and freaking out that I was going to trip and tumble over the suitcase. I got to the car and exclaimed, “It’s humid” and he grinned, rolled his eyes and said, “Yep!” It was hysterical. XD

The trip so far has been amazing and I’ve felt so at home. I was made welcome by his family immediately too. When we reached his home, his grandmother was standing there with open arms almost as soon as I was out of the car, and everyone is all smiles and making sure I’m comfortable. By day two, everyone said it felt I’d always been there. It feels amazing to fit in so well! ❤

I love being here with my best friend. We hug a lot; we can’t believe the other is real. I’ve never been so grateful to be with someone in the flesh. We spent the first days marveling how the other looked in 3D instead of 2D on a screen. XD And awesomely, we get along better than we’d hoped in person! He’s less smug XD and apparently, I’m more sweet in person. XD We’ve already watched a lot of anime in person, and of course seeing a Marvel movie together just put us on cloud nine.

I’d singing his praises, but this post is already incredibly long, so I’ll save that for another day. ❤

I can’t wait to spend the next few days with this guy. I’ll blog more when I come home, but for now I best enjoy where it’s brought me so far. 😉 ❤

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my favorite picture of us, taken directly after the end of watching Star Wars: A New Hope.

~~~~

I’m home now and I’m getting ready to publish this. I will write more about my visit another day, but for now, this is where blogging for the past five years has brought me. It blows my mind at the opportunities that God has allowed me to have. I’m incredibly thankful to be able to visit my best friend at all, all the way from Arizona to Georgia. And we just had to blog at least once together, because hey, so much can happen just from blogging. 😉

~Jamie

Currently: (it’s a leap day!)

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Currently listening: “Remember The Time” by the king of pop.

Currently sitting: NOT in a magical swing-set at the top of a pirate ship or a throne of ice cream cones and fudge, so that sucks. 😛 😉 No, I’m in my room at the moment. XD

Currently liking: that MAD MAX: FURY ROAD WON SIX OSCARS LAST NIGHT. YEEEAAAAS, IT TOTALLY DESERVED ALL THE WINS. *climbs on roof and sprays fire from electric guitar.* 😉

Currently drinking: nothing, but what I SHOULD be drinking is water because I didn’t drink enough yesterday.

Currently reading: shame on me, nothing at the moment. I have two books and a manga from the library sitting beside my bed. But I’ve started none of them.

Currently writing: blog posts (specifically a post about The Force Awakens.) I fell out of the habit of blogging and I’m trying to begin more drafts now. I’m revisiting some old novel drafts as well but I haven’t actually written more for them.

Currently watching: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. After putting it on hold for basically a year, I’m going to finish that show soon! I’m also following the Winter seasonal anime shows too, like ErasedShouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu, KonoSuba, Grimgar of Fantasy and AshMyriad Colors Phantom World, Gate, and Osomatsu-san. And all the shorts. XD

"Grimgar: Fantasy and Ash"
“Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash”

Currently obsessed with: music…but more specifically, learning about Michael Jackson.  ‘Cause I knew crap about his music. XD After accidentally becoming obsessed with Smooth Criminal last week, I started exploring for more. In turn that led me to reading Wikipedia and watching interviews and his super bowl performance.
I do this every so often: I enjoy learning about parts of pop culture I was completely ignorant about before. It’s fun, especially for musicians who create music I actually like. 😀

Currently tired: from painting the downstairs guest bathroom. While I always like painting, I forget how heavy the paint rollers get after a while. XD  But the bathroom is now a sunshine-y yellow instead of the previous deep blackish-blue! ❤

Currently excited: that I bought my plane ticket for my trip to Georgia this summer! That was actually last week, but I’m still excited! Although the reality of the visit has honestly not quite sunk in yet for me or my best friend. XD

Currently failing: well, actually, I feel pretty good about myself today. I’m not majorly sucking at anything for now. XD I’m still doing good biking to school, I’m keeping on top of my laundry piles and my room, and getting math homework done on time. So yay for me!

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Currently scaring myself with: the idea of using the bus to get myself down to the big mall. XD I still haven’t gone on any big trips that’s off my normal school bus route yet. The idea is scary, but I totally need to visit the mall for errands and to try to see Deadpool if I can. Maybe I’ll do that this month. XD

Currently wishing: that I could rearrange my room. But alas, I don’t want to spare the extra time or energy. So for now I’m just wishing. LOL XD

Currently praying: for my sister to continue to do be excellent in the military. So proud of her! ❤

So, what’s up with you?! And today’s a leap day, isn’t that awesome! ❤ I want to watch the Modern Family leap day episode today. XD

~Jamie

The Happy Tag!

My blogging pal SW tagged me to do the happy tag (and do check out her blog A Free Mind, it’s one of my favorites! <3) So I complied just a few things below that make me happy!

BOOKS:

“The Night Circus” ( ’cause magic) // Sherlock Holmes original novels and short stories  // “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (THE NOSTALGIA.) // Treasure Island” (pirates, hello?! XD) // Dracula”  //

WORDS

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Twitterpated (“Love-struck.”) // Serendipity (“Finding something good without looking for it.”) // Wanderlust (“a great desire to travel or rove about.”) // Collywobbles (“butterflies in stomach.” // Kawaii (“something super stupid cute.” pst, my own definition. XD ) //

MOVIES/TV:

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Movies/TV:

The Ellen DeGeneres Show (because Ellen equals happy LOL) // Clue (my fave! XD ) // The Office US (I credit it as saving my life with joy.) // Frasier (my life was not complete before I saw Frasier.) // Murder by Death (mystery parodies FTW) // Erased (tears. so many tears, but most of them happy.) // Harry Potter (#ObviousReasons) // KonoSuba (happy feels happy feels happy feels.) //

SCENTS:

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the air before it rains // pizza // pool water // freshly baked brownies // white citrus Bath and Body foam soap // hotel rooms// the smell of mint when you open the floss container // and that speCIAL SMELL NEWBORNS HAVE ON THEIR HEADS THAT YOU JUST WANT KEEP YOUR NOSE BURIED IN FOREVER, BECAUSE SWEET MAMACITA.

SONGS:

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“Sh-Boom”  by The Chords // “Clean” by Taylor Swift // “Sing” by Pentatonix // “Rise” by Selena Gomez // “Female President” by Girl’s Day // “Spy” by Super Junior // “Fireflies” by Owl City // “Walk Like An Egyptian” by The Bangles // “Sleigh Ride”  by Leroy Anderson //

MISC:

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balloons // aquarium trips // Hercule Poirot // fairy tales // CASUAL CAPSLOCK CONVERSATIONS XD // Encyclopedia Brown // jellyfish // candles // anime marathons // bubble baths //  Mickey Mouse // color // bubble gum chewing //


 

I tag anyone who hasn’t ALREADY been tagged to do this…is there anyone left who hasn’t? Everyone in my circles seems to have done it. XD But if you want to do it, I’ll come comment on your post if you leave me the link! ❤ Because comments and commenting also make me happy! ❤

~Jamie

My Favorites from 2015

As a follow-up post to my personal rundown of my 2015, I’m going to document a few things that represents my favorite things from 2015. Like music, to what I did on social media, to movies. Well, speaking of movies, let’s start with that!

Favorite Movie

No doubt about, no competition in the ring, Fury Road was the best and most fun movie I saw in 2015 and it is one my favorite movies of all time. Bizarre and grimy, it followed women on the run to find hope in a hopeless world, in a post-apocalyptic, breakneck-speed feature-length car chase. For me, Fury Road succeeded where most action movies fail, in that while it was all mostly action, it didn’t lack a bit of heart from beginning to end.

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I went and watched Fury Road at the theater alone. It only took a few minutes to completely pull me into the savage terror that was Immortan Joe’s world, where deformities and thirst plagued the people while he sat atop a great water reserve. I was quickly invested in the flight of his five wives and their driver, Furiousa, as the six took off find the Green Place where they would not be slaves. The film didn’t have to spell any of this out for me to understand, which I absolutely loved, and my attention was stolen in an instant.

While I loved the epic chase and suspense and brilliant action, Fury Road, though touched with a wacky bizarreness, had as much humanity and heart as it did its action. I was blown away; I walked out of that theater chilled by the ending. I didn’t get another movie experience like that out of 2015, not by a long shot!

Runners up of movies that I loved both from this year, and just seeing for the first time in 2015, include Creed, Redline, Inside Out, Mission Impossible, and The Sixth Sense.

Favorite Soundtracks

8c5480d74c81f7997b17fdc09d1b808b_Fotor_Collage1Left to right, top to bottom: 
Gangsta, Assassination Classroom, Parasyte, Noragami, Death Parade, and Blood Blockade Battlefront.

I’m a huge original soundtrack fan and in 2015 I listened to almost exclusively anime soundtracks. Both as a writer who needs music to write to and as a music enthusiast, I was so happy that by discovering anime, I discovered the rich wealth of their OSTs as well.

I included some that didn’t actually release last year, like Gatchaman Crowds and Redline’s (and Berserk’s has been out for over twenty years) but they were still huge musical highlights of my year!

8c5480d74c81f7997b17fdc09d1b808b_Fotor_Collage2Left to right, top to bottom: 
Redline, Gatchaman Crowds, Wolf Children, Beserk, Food Wars, and Magic Kaito 1412

Favorite Books Read

DarkerShadeofMagic_Fotor_CollageI wanted to read more than I did last year, but the two fictional books I did read entirely were absolutely amazing. In fact, I had to buy The Night Circus for my book shelf. A Darker Shade of Magic and its coming sequel really do deserve future shelf space too.

The Night Circus was phenomenal. It was full of rich descriptions that could have rubbed me the wrong way but instead just soaked me into the world of black and white magic. I couldn’t get enough. And A Darker Shade of Magic was just fantastic and such a joy to read–if magic being smuggled between alternate universes of London doesn’t sound awesome, then I don’t know what does. XD

Favorite Pop Music

homepage_large_Fotor_CollageI built a brand new appreciate for the treasures hidden in today’s pop music this year. Actually, my appreciate for music in general grew mountains this year alone. SPOILER ALERT: I LISTENED TO A LOT OF KPOP. But there was other pop music too. XD

Justin Beiber actually put out decent music last year and I was startled to actually like some of it (please please please listen to I’ll Show You; it humanizes him in a really nice way.) Pentatonix blew me out of the water with their latest album of a capella songs. Selena Gomez’s newest electropop has fueled my writing BIG TIME. And I was so excited to get more music from Melanie Martinez. Her dark quirky music just really appeals to the disturbed part of me. *inserts innocent-looking heart-eyes emoji* 😉

But I mostly listened to Kpop. And it’ll just be easier if I just leave this little playlist right here instead of rambling about it. XD But this was the soundtrack of 2015 for me, right here. ❤ (especially that first song: listened to that one on repeat for about three days straight while painting a room. XD)

I’m not a band fan, never really have been, but I can rally behind Super Junior and EXO and B.A.P any day. They’re actually really rad and HAVE YOU SEEN THAT CHOREOGRAPHY!?!?!? ❤

Favorites From My Social Media,

This is more for me than for any of you, but enjoy nonetheless! ❤ 😉

Twitter:

Its silly, but I’m thankful for Twitter. Its preserved some interesting things that have run through my head over the last year. XD That’s really nice.

Instagram

I’m actually also really thankful for Instagram, too, I almost forgot how much work I put into repainting my mom’s workroom, or standing beneath a lightning storm to film the flashes, or that I had to replace my nine-year old MP3 player. Just, little memories are safely preserved. ❤ 🙂

LOVING my new TV set up!! Any Disney film suggestions for a live tweet tonight??

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No more painting after today!!!

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This is my mortal enemy. #hateyou

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Christmas as a grown-up. XD 😊👍🏻😂

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Pinterest

I used Pinterest on and off over the year, but I enjoyed the month and a half that I posted everyday to a challenge board to chronicle my feelings for Studio Ghibli movies. My Words board was also a huge place for encouragement and inspiration for me at different points.

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WeHeartIt

These were the collections I was most addicted to filling during 2015, from the cutie patooties with morbid twists, to breathtaking anime-styled artwork, and lots of jellyfish. I’ve always loved WeHeartIt, but this past year it was an especially nice escape for visual beauty. ❤

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Final Thoughts

2015 was a crazy year personally, and I did a lot exploring and embracing of things that I’d considered weird *cough-Kpop-cough* or too scary (like being afraid of being myself on my own social media sites.) I hope I can keep exploring and embracing new things into my life in 2016 too!

So, what were your favorite things of the year?

~Jamie