Book Rec: The Mists of Avalon GO READ IT DON’T EVEN READ THIS POST JUST READ IT

GO BUY IT ON AMAZON HERE THIS WHOLE SENTENCE IS A LINK.

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Okay, maybe you want to know more. And that’s understandable. Please read on.

This book. Ermahgerd this book. Okay, so it’s a retelling of the Arthurian Legend from the point of view of the females. And it’s beautiful. It’s female empowerment meets legend and kickassery all at the same damn time. The book also discusses mythology and the conflicts between Christianity and Paganism/Druidism and I would recommend it to everyone. If you’re Pagan/earth-based, Christian, anything. It’s so, so interesting. I lean more toward the earth-based religion side of the spectrum myself, as did Marion Zimmer Bradley when she wrote it, but the book acknowledges the truths in both religions and that all divine beings are One, even if those who worship them are not.

And it is so, so long, but I promise it’s worth it. In almost 900 pages we follow the ENTIRE lives of a BUNCH of characters through the ups and downs (a lot of downs, this is not generally a happy go lucky book but again don’t let that stop you!), and it’s such an experience. Characters are well rounded and complex, and it’s so incredible. I read it slowly over the course of six months (lots of schoolwork. lots.) and never felt like if I went a month without reading, I forgot something. It was like I was just casually living a bunch of lives.
Personally, I’m an Arthurian legend nerd, and of course I enjoy Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail (the Grail is mentioned in this book!), and I enjoy feminism and learning about early religions, so for me, this book was just everything.

And the best part is that if you want to read more, there are two other books in this trilogy, and then four more books co-written by Bradley and her friend, who continued her work after she died. I haven’t gotten to those yet, but you will, of course, be updated when I do.

Okay, now go click on that link.

Happy reading!!

Morgan

Just Posted: Lollipopped

Aloha frands…in an effort to get myself back into photography which is something I love but never give myself time for, I’m trying to upload a new photo to Flickr every other day, and also to share it here. Sooo today’s photo is Lollipopped, and is literally me behind a lollipop on vacation. As one does. On vacation. I used pixlr for editing with a soft canvas overlay and muted vibrancy. Whee!

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Check it out (and a bunch of other ones) here!
Also give me links to your photos so I can say hi!!

Gravitational Blog Shift

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Okay, yeah, that was a little dramatic. I’ve been reevaluating my blog and setting goals for the way I want to continue blogging, and I’ve reached a few conclusions I wanted y’all to know about. The cat picture was just a ploy.

I haven’t blogged since last summer, so, as is expected, I’ve changed a little bit. I’ve also been reading a lot of posts about blogging that mention that you should blog in a way that really reflects you or else you’ll get bored with it, and your readers will, too.

I never want you guys to get bored, and I want you to read, you know,  *~*~the real me*~*~*~, so I’m going to start to try writing in a way, and about more topics, that are more accurately me. Do not fret, this isn’t a big change, and will not by any means leave out books, crafts, cats, or any of my blog staples.

It merely means I’m going to be blogging about college things more, and using more language than I have in previous posts because it’s more of a reflection of who I am and the fact that I speak like a classy sailor. It’s not going to be excessive and terrible like a bad rap song, but it’s a pretty integral part of my life/humor in real life, so I’d like to let it show in the blog world, too. Of course I don’t want to lose any of you guys as followers, but I also don’t want to surprise you with sudden offensive language, so I thought I’d give you a heads up.

I have spent a long time thinking blogging means doing the cookie cutter brightly colored DIY maven lifestyle blog, and while it is true that those are the bomb, it’s not realistic for me. Especially not as I’m going into college. There is a reason I get really frustrated and berating every time I try to match that. Yeah, I do occasional crafty stuff, but I do a lot of other things, too. Sometimes very unrelated to that. I’m going to want to blog about my experiences and actual thoughts so that this blog doesn’t turn into something artificial.

Sure, I’m not totally comfortable being 100% me all the time in the real world, but I think expressing myself in the blogosphere is a nice baby step. And hopefully it can encourage others to do the same? I don’t know. Let’s all just love each other.

AND other small updates include:
Note you can see my “Read” Goodreads shelf! Let’s be friends!

A new header that includes the words “no shame” because, well, that’s the last thing we want around here.

And actually it’s just those two things. Carry on!
Thanks for all the support so far, and I’ll be seeing you soon with MOAR POSTSZZZ!!

Morgan

YAAASSSSSSSSSSSSS LOVE IS WINNING

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HIIIIII!

I am so excited because, as you may know, as of today SAME SEX MARRIAGE IS LEGAL IN EVERY STATE IN THE USA!!! Today I really am actually proud to be an American despite our flaws, and so happy about the direction we are moving, not only in this country, but in the whole freakin’ world. Things are looking up and it is so, so AWESOME. Today is a day that was basically unfathomable even ten years ago, and now it’s happening. IT IS HAPPENING. Sure, there will still be people who disagree, but the law is on the LGBTQA+ side, regardless of their opinion. AND I LOVE IT. Congrats to the many beautiful couples that can now tie the knot wherever the heck they feel like it!!!

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<3,

Morgan

Motivation vs. Momentum Because Things are Hard to Do and Maybe This Will Help

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Yes friends, as I’m sure we’ve all figured out, life consists of doing a lot of things we don’t really want to do. Bills, cleaning, getting up before two p.m (just me?), exercising, trying to spell exercising right…the list is infinite. Recently, I stumbled across this article that talked about Motivation vs. Momentum with regards to getting things done. It has changed my life a little bit, so I thought I’d share it with you guys because who doesn’t need motivation? Let us make a list:

Who Does Not Need Motivation:

Beyonce.
Oprah.
The Indominus Rex dinosaur hybrid.

Donald Trump (but please, dear God, someone take it from him).

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Sorry…can’t resist a pun.

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Mere mortals are not on that list.

Basically, what I got out of the article is that you don’t need motivation to get something done, you need momentum. That is, you don’t need to feel like doing something to begin doing it, you need to take the first small action towards doing that something and usually motivation will follow. At first I was like “Yeah, okay, internet. Last time I took advice from you I melted hot crayons onto my fingers while trying to make art. And it SUCKED.”

And then I remembered this poster on the wall of the locker room at my school, and the only thing I ever got out of the athletic department. It read (something like this because I didn’t spend a lot of time in the locker room): “If you only do things on the days you feel like doing them, you will get nothing done.” Also this quote is over my bed:

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So I tried it. With college approaching and crazy weird financial crap hitting the proverbial fan and a job…there are a lot of things that need doing that I don’t want to do. Even writing this post has been on my to-do list for a week and I just sat down to write it (after looking at a Buzzfeed article about potato emojis–they are a real life thing! Why did no one tell me sooner?!). I do not claim to be good at this. Only getting better.

Anyway, there I sat with my stupid to do list that I hate/love because it actually does keep me on track but fills me with anxiety, and I picked an item.  Move.

Move is what I call exercise on my to-do list, not only because I really, really hate spelling that word, but because move elicits a more positive response for me. And then I sat there and was all “Noooo, whyyyy, nooooo.” And then I sucked it up and took the first step towards my goal. I put on my exercising (how is that word possibly worse?!) clothes. Still no great wind of inspiration coming to me. And I felt like this little guy.

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So I took another little baby step and grabbed my weights. It worked. Of course I was not suddenly thrilled to move, but I was less pouty about it. I already had my clothes on, already had the weights, let’s put on some dirty rap and DO THIS. And then I really did enjoy myself. But this may be because dirty rap genuinely improves most tasks for me. More on that later.

But I’ve been doing it with other little things on my to do list, too, like sending emails to intimidating people which really scares me (just type the subject and the first sentence) and cleaning (set a timer for five minutes and you probably will not stop after five minutes), and it’s helped a lot. This is sometimes no longer my day!

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I find this also works with things I want to do, but don’t always give myself time for. For example, I’ve had little to no time for reading books I wanted to read this year, and so now when I want to read my mind goes NO! Think of all these other productive things you could be doing! You don’t deserve to read yet! GO CURE HUNGER AND THEN MAYBE YOU CAN READ. So I tell my brain to kindly STFU, sit down and read five pages. Just five pages. And usually it turns into 50.

So next time you really don’t want to do something, try easing into it with baby steps and see if motivation comes to you. But also remember that there are days when you really won’t feel like doing anything/Gandalf is messing with you again. Even the baby steps won’t help. And that’s okay. You have a ton of stuff going on, and sometimes people need a day off! Burnout is a real thing, people. Take care of yoself.

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Pro tip: Always blame a wizard when you can.

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Welp, I hope this post has helped you accomplish some goal at some point in the near future! If not, I do hope you enjoyed the pictures.

Love,

Morgan

DIY Watermelon Fruit Salad Basket

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As Graduation party and BBQ season is upon us, I thought this would be a fitting DIY. All you need are sharp things and a lot of fruit (one of the fruits being, obviously, a watermelon).

Think of the admiring oohs and ahhs you will receive as your guests marvel at your craftsmanship, your creativity, your prowess with fruit. The respect you will earn will be well worth the few times you almost cut your fingers off (Just kidding. This is not that dangerous if you are careful AND DO NOT let your children do this. Please don’t sue me.)

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What you’ll need:

Watermelon, oval shaped and preferably with a kind of flat side (if there isn’t a flat side, cut one with a knife)

Knives: I used an Xacto Knife, a steak knife, and a really big knife (technical term)

Ribbon or string

Pencil (I used a sharpie, but would recommend something less visible/more washable)

Scooping tools: I used a couple cookie dough scoops, a ladle, and a spatula thing we use for cleaning out pumpkins on Halloween

A bunch of your favorite fruit for the salad inside

Safety precautions before we loose fingers and limbs: This project involves knives and the slipperiest fruit ever. It’s very easy to let your knife slip while you’re cutting, and as I’m sure you know, that would suck. Always cut away from you, and keep the surface that you’re cutting as dry as you can by periodically wiping it down with a washcloth or paper towels.

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Step One: 

Mark the center of your watermelon with your pencil or marker. Draw your basket handles about half an inch on either side of that point down the the middle of the melon. Be as precise about this as you want, no judgement for laser precision or rustic elegance.

DSCN1367Step Two: 

Take the string or ribbon, and wrap it around the watermelon to get an even line around the middle. For this step, it’s helpful to have a second person, but you can also use tape to hold the string or ribbon in place. You could also do this step first so that you know exactly where your handle will end, but again, either way works. Trace the top of the string.

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Step Three:

Use your Xacto knife to cut on the lines you’ve traced (both the handle and the middle). I found this made it easier to hack into it with a bigger knife later. Once that’s done, take out your giant knife (or really whichever size you’re comfortable with), and cut on either side of your handle all the way down to your middle side.

I found it was much easier to cut either half into quarter chunks and pull those out. Be careful when cutting along the middle…it’s hard to keep it level.

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Scarab beetle watermelon! Egyptian nerds, amirite?

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Step Four:

Scoop out the watermelon, leaving about 1/4 inch of flesh. You can cube the pieces you just pulled out to add to your fruit salad, and you can ball the rest of the melon if you’re skilled in that area. We had very little success melon-balling, so we just hollowed it out and turned the melon into smoothies, instead.

DSCN1380As you can see, we could still see the Sharpie marks, so I sort of peeled them off with the Xacto knife. Of course, if you learn from my mistakes, you won’t have to do this and your basket will have nice clean edges. And BAM, fill it with your favorite fruit salad and impress your family, friends, and strange acquaintances you’re not entirely sure that you invited.

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Happy basket carving!

Morgan