Tuesday, October 13, 2020

32 Signs You're a Star Wars Super Fan

    AKA Signs you're a huge Star Wars nerd.

1. You know the difference between an AT-AT and an AT-ST.

Via Pinterest

2. You will correct anyone who confuses the two.

3. You know who Sy Snootles is.

Via Pinterest

4. You know who Sy Snootle's ex-boyfriend is.

Via Pinterest

5. You really wish you didn't know that Sy Snootles ever had a boyfriend.

6. You know who Maximilian Veers is.

7. You can pick him out in The Empire Strikes Back.

Via Pinterest

8. You know he has a son named Zevulon Veers that joined the Rebels.

9. You know that Jar-Jar Binks has a girlfriend.

Via Pinterest

10. Not only do you know who Mara Jade is, you know what year she was born, the color of her eyes, and the manner of her death. And her employer. And the colors of her various lightsabers.

11. You can trace the path Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber took through its life. In both Star Wars universes.

12. You're afraid to know how many times you've watched Star Wars.

13. You know who Bib Fortuna is the instant you hear his name.

Via Pinterest

14. You've heard of Tatooine, Klatooine, and Dantooine and know the differences between each planet.

15. You know Obi-Wan Kenobi's home planet's name.

16. You know who Porkins is.

Via Pinterest

17. You know the band "Figran Dan and the Modal Nodes." And you enjoy their music.

Via Pinterest

18. You can hear any Star Wars quote and instantly know what movie it's from, who said it, and what's happening in the scene it's in.

19. The Star Wars music from any part of any of the first six (or the only) movies is instantly recognizable to you, even though you don't listen to the soundtrack that often.

20. You know who Yaddle is and where she came from.

Via Pinterest

21. You know every change George Lucas made to every Star Wars movie. And you don't actually hate all of them.

22. You know who Captain Panaka and Captain Typho are, and that Typho is Panaka's nephew.

23. You know what model of freighter the Millennium Falcon is...though of course it's heavily modified.

24. You know the names of the seven different lightsaber forms.

25. You know that while he was a padawan, Obi-Wan favored Ataru, but after Qui-Gon's death, he switched to Soresu.

26. You know that Qui-Gon Jinn wasn't all that great of a master.

27. You know that he only accepted Obi-Wan as his apprentice after Obi-Wan threatened to blow himself up to save Qui-Gon's life.

28. You know what an ysalamiri is and can recognize it in the background of any scene.

Via Pinterest

29. You know that Jan Dodonna and Crix Madine both used to be Imperials.

30. You know that in Legends, Thrawn could not have disappeared into Wild Space with Ezra Bridger before the Battle of Yavin because he was briefly mentioned as Captain Thrawn meeting with the emperor after the Death Star blew up in Rebel Force with Crix Madine.

31. You know that Sebulba bought Anakin's pod when Qui-Gon sold it.

32. You know that Luke Skywalker once podraced.

I can't believe I know all that. What obscure Star Wars facts do you know?

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

How Pride Changed the World



    Pride is the downfall of humanity. It can be found everywhere, in every man. Even those who are humble are often, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, proud of their humility. But the unlikeliest of outcomes can emerge from the pride of a few men. 

   Way back in 1763, life was good in the American colonies. The people had formed militias, marched alongside their British brethren, and defeated the French. A new land was open for settlement and opportunities, and that was all thanks to their British domination. They were proud to be British subjects. They were happy.

   Others were not so happy. Fighting wars is expensive, and the British government had dug themselves into a money hole. No matter, they thought. We'll just raise taxes. The colonists in America will surely be glad to help finance the war we fought and won for them. 

   And they were right. The American colonists would have been perfectly happy to comply and give them everything they asked for. But a simple, ordinary event turned into a world-changing one. Something that should have been easy and barely a mark on the history books turned into the revolution that would rock the world. What happened?

   See, the colonists in America all saw themselves as normal British subjects with the rights of British subjects, just as if they were living in England. They had set up their own governments and legislatures akin to Parliament that were recognized by the crown as the only legitimate government for the colonies. After all, it was impossible because of the distance to ever have Parliament govern the colonies. And those governments were happy to do the crown's bidding just as Parliament was. All the king had to do was ask for a tax, and the governments would levy a tax. They had never denied a request for a tax before and they had no plans to change now.

   However, a certain pride had overtaken many in England, especially in the government. The colonists in America weren't seen anymore as equals, but as second-class, inferior to the people and government in England, unable to govern themselves properly, and bound to obey the government of Great Britain in all things. They didn't see the colonists as deserving of the English rights protected by the Magna Charta and the Glorious Revolution and so valued by all British subjects. They were simply servants, akin to the people living in the Caribbean or India or any other British colony.

   So the British government didn't ask the colonies to levy taxes to help pay for the war. They simply levied a tax themselves. The infamous Stamp Act of 1765 was this tax. And the colonists were furious. They were a people with a rich history of peaceful rebellion and restraint on government. They had certain prized rights that their ancestors had defied kings to ensure. They weren't going to take an incursion on their rights lightly. The colonists formed a congress made up of representatives from their legislatures that wrote up a petition politely telling the king that Parliament had no jurisdiction over them and could he please reign in the excesses and power grab of Parliament? Less politely, the colonists made the lives of Stamp Act collectors so miserable no one wanted the job, and Parliament was forced to repeal the Stamp Act.

   The incident could have ended there. But pride reared its ugly head and set the course of history on a different path. While repealing the Stamp Act, the members of Parliament declared that they did indeed have all authority to do whatever they wanted to the colonists. They told the colonists that they were indeed represented in Parliament, but virtually. In the same way as children, women, criminals, and the mentally insane weren't competent enough to elect their own representatives, but still represented by the members of Parliament, so too were the colonists.

   Naturally, the colonists didn't take such an insult well at all. They didn't appreciate suddenly becoming second-class citizens when they'd been equals to mainland British subjects for so long. So when the Townshend Acts were passed, they were completely ignored. And the path had been set. The British government would not budge in treating the colonists like the second-class citizens they believed them to be, and the colonists would not let themselves be abused without a fight. British pride and superiority had destroyed the amicable relationship of the British and the American colonists.

   And the rest? Well, it's history.



Monday, September 14, 2020

Actorek The Void Cover Reveal

   This is the moment you've all been waiting for! The moment you see the glorious picture advertising my sister's new book! And 
here


it


is!

   What? You mean you didn't come to my post to see a picture of a fife and drum corps in Williamsburg, VA? The horror!


   Perhaps this is what you came to see?

via GIPHY



   All right, all right, I'll stop playing around. Here's the actual cover!



*****Coming October 26!*****

 Which would you choose—save your sister or save the world?

 Emma Edsel’s first priority has always been protecting her blind sister Carla. So when Carla begins to develop science-defying abilities that threaten her life, Emma will stop at nothing to save her. With nowhere else to turn, she seeks help from Mitchell, the new boy at school who seems to know much more about it than he will admit.

 After his last mission went horribly awry, Mitchell Banks is relieved to have a simple task: seal a small, accidental portal between Earth and other worlds in the multiverse. He didn’t count on his growing feelings for Emma—and the dangerous levels of dimension energy contaminating Carla.

 Carla knows the voice in her head is evil. Manipulative. Feeding her with a strange energy she can control. She doesn’t know that she is the key to a coming global catastrophe and Mitchell’s boss will use any means possible to prevent it…including blackmailing him into murdering her.

 

Preorder the book here: https://amzn.to/2F4LyFc

 Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3lNHie2


   I also got the chance to harass interview my sister about the upcoming book. Read the interview down below!

What is your favorite Italian dish? ;)

I know you want me to say spaghetti. ;) Nope. I’m torn between lasagna and chicken parmesan, but I think I’ll go with chicken parmesan. And hey, there’s only one spaghetti meal left in the book.

What character do you most want to wrap in bubble wrap?

Um, I think the answer to that could end up being spoilery. So I’m just going to say one of the three POV characters. And once you get to the end of the book, I bet you will be able to figure it out.

Who’s your favorite sister?

How could you ask such a question? I mean, you proclaimed yourself the favorite sister when you took me to Endgame, but Bekah says if you were really the favorite sister, you wouldn’t have to ask. XD


   I know it's me. 


   Don't miss this awesome new book!

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Poison's Dance Review

 

What are the Tattered Slippers?

The Tattered Slippers are six retellings of The Twelve Dancing Princesses by six different authors, each one fantastic and magical. You don’t want to miss any of them!

View the rest of the blog tour here: https://kendrasgiraffecrafts.blogspot.com/p/tattered-slippers-blog-tour.html



If he falls to the lure of the curse, the dance might trap him forever.

Alex has survived his first year as high king. The new counsel has improved cooperation between the kingdoms, and peace seems achievable. When the Tuckawassee queen sends him an invitation he can’t refuse, Alex must once again face his greatest threat for the sake of peace.

Princess Tamya of Tuckawassee, along with her eleven sisters, has danced from sunset until sunrise every night of her life. It is her gift and her curse. When Queen Valinda wishes to use the power their cursed dance gives them to rule all of Tallahatchia, Tamya must decide if she will do what is right even if it betrays her own sister.

Daemyn Rand has survived a hundred years' worth of battles. All he wants to do now is safely marry his princess. Will he be forced to choose between the love of his life and the high king he has loyally served for years?

They have faced certain death before. This time, they might not make it out alive.

Don’t miss this re-envisioning of the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairy tale.

My Review:

All right. This book clinched it. Alex is basically King Arthur (a la BBC). Not saying why until the end under a spoiler tag, but...yup. He's Arthur.

Alex has friends! Actual friends! I'm so proud of him! He's not lonely anymore! This book is definitely my favorite so far. So much Alex!

Gah! I'm not sure how much I can talk about this book without spoilers. My favorite part was at the end!

Alex is growing so much. He's earning his people's respect and working hard and pulling the nation together...

Daemyn's actually starting to grow pretty close to Alex, which makes me happy. Friendships are give and take, after all.

Was there more to this book than Alex? Yes. Do I care? No.

I really loved the portrayal of love in this book. Not saying much because spoilers, but single lady representation, people. It's super rare in books. I really appreciate that it's here in this book.

SPOILERS

Gah, so the part where Alex drank the hemlock? EPIC. Such an Arthur thing to do. Remember that episode with the unicorn where there's a glass of "poison" and Merlin tries to tell Arthur to let him drink it, but Arthur says, "You know me, Merlin. I never listen to you," and drinks it anyway? Yeah. Basically this. Daemyn's like, "I knew the other shoe would drop, I've died multiple times, it's better that I die anyway, I'm not the High King, just give me the poison," and Alex goes, "Nope," and downs it all. I'm so proud of him and that is definitely my favorite part, but AAA! He came so close to dying, y'all! I once read a Dear America book where a bunch of little kids got poisoned by water hemlock, so I knew the potency of the poison and that there's NO FREAKING ANTIDOTE. NONE. And yet this guy drank the poison. Wow.

END SPOILER

Just read this book. You won't regret it.

Buy the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Poisons-Dance-Dancing-Princesses-Retelling-ebook/dp/B0873YZKZS/

Add Book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53251983-poison-s-dance?

Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn't writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country.
Find her online at: Website ||  Goodreads || Facebook || Twitter || Instagram || Amazon 

 

 




Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The Problem with Having "Christian Leaders"

   We have a tendency as humans to revere and look up to people. Now, that's not necessarily a bad thing. When directed towards our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, that's a wonderful thing. But when we start directing this tendency towards regular people, we start getting into dangerous territory.
   Now, I could take this post a variety of ways, but I specifically want to look at the way the church views big-name theologians, or those sometimes referred to as "Christian leaders". People like John Piper, Francis Chan, Jerry Falwell, Jr., Franklin Graham, even people like Charles Spurgeon, C. S. Lewis, John Calvin, and Martin Luther. Without a doubt, I could go to any church in the country and find a majority of churchgoers who revere one of these people or someone like them.
   So what are the dangers? What's wrong with having revered Christian leaders in the faith community? There's nothing wrong with having a healthy respect for and learning from someone. However, especially in the Christian community, we have to be careful when elevating certain people above the rest, placing them on pedestals, and saying, "Look at that man. He's so wise! He is the perfect example of a Christian in today's world."
   While there are some Christians given the gift and the calling to lead others in worship in a variety of ways, that doesn't mean those called to lead are suddenly now wiser and smarter and holier than the rest of us. So often, though, I see this mindset creeping in. Whenever a Christian is listening to a speech by someone who might not be a Christian, we tend to listen closer and test their statements before believing them. But when it's one of our own, too often we turn off our brains and take everything they say as gospel truth.
   "Take it with a grain of salt." We do this whenever we know somebody is saying something that could very well not be true. But why don't we do this all the time? No matter how wise or intelligent or well-read a person is, they're still just one person with one perspective. We live in a flawed world. Not one of us is right all the time. So why do we treat certain people as if they are the authorities on what the Bible says? Maybe John Piper, Francis Chan, and Franklin Graham know more about the Bible than you, but maybe they don't. I can guarantee they're not right about everything they claim the Bible teaches. No one is.
   This tendency to treat certain people as the leaders, the authorities, and the exemplaries of the Christian faith can get even more dangerous when those leaders fall. I'm not talking about minor mistakes in theology, I'm talking about major mistakes. Sometimes this takes the form of a once-revered leader descending into strange theology and cult-like teachings. Sometimes it's a news story about a beloved pastor secretly engaging in adultery, pornography, rape, or some other kind of sexual deviancy. Sometimes it's a belief about the Jewish people that helps contribute to the mass murder of millions.
   People make mistakes. Sometimes, they make massive mistakes. And when the people making the massive, public mistakes have been practically worshipped by the Christian community, it damages our witness. Just because someone says something smart or even wise about the Christian faith doesn't mean they are smarter, wiser, more knowledgeable, or holier than you. No matter who the person is, we must always always always test what they say. Take everything with a grain of salt. Never become a follower of a person other than Jesus. Never assume that because a person says one wise thing, they're a good Christian leader, or even a good man.


What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?... For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? --1 Corinthians 1:12-13, 19-20  ESV

 

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Fun Facts!

   Because I don't want to talk about current events or any super deep subjects right now, here's a collection of fun facts you might not have known before.

  • Snakes fertilize their eggs before they lay them, so, unlike chicken eggs, you won't ever find a nest of unfertilized snake eggs.
    via GIPHY
  • Once, due to a complicated series of political maneuvers, there was a grand total of three popes at the same time! Each thought they were the only proper pope and declared the others excommunicated from the church and therefore, as they believed, from Heaven.
    via GIPHY
  •  Pedro Lascurain was president of Mexico for less than an hour. He wasn't assassinated, he just resigned due to political pressure from the dude who was next in line.
    Via Pinterest
  • The shortest war in recorded history was the Anglo-Zanzibar War, and it lasted no longer than forty minutes. It was fought by pro-slavery factions trying to regain control of the Sultanate of Zanzibar, which had been taken over by the British some years before and forced to become slave-free.
    via GIPHY
  • The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife Sophia was a disaster from start to finish. A group of Serbian nationalists backed by the Serbian government and by Russia tried to throw a bomb under the archduke's car, but the bomb bounced off the car and blew up a different car instead. The group scattered. While fleeing authorities, one member tried to poison himself, but failed because the poison was expired, then tried to drown himself, but the river he jumped into was only fifteen inches deep. He died sick in prison several years later. Gavrilo Princip fled to a delicatessen after the failed assassination, where he spotted the Archduke and his wife on the road outside after their driver took a wrong turn trying to get to the hospital housing the people injured in the previous assassination attempt. Although Gavrilo Princip was at point-blank range, he missed one of his two targets, taking out the archduke's wife instead of the general he was aiming at. After the investigation revealed the complicity of the Serbian government in the shooting, the Austrian government could have legitimately declared war on Serbia, giving Russia no time to shore up their courage and mobilize and keeping the conflict a regional one between Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Serbia. However, the Austrian government sent Serbia a series of demands, and, after a month, declared war when Serbia refused only a few out of the long list given, thus giving Russia time to mobilize and declare war and starting World War One.
    via GIPHY
  • Once, the Austrian army accidentally attacked themselves and lost ten thousand men.
    via GIPHY
  • Aristotle believed maggots were born from rotten meat and the mud at the bottom of rivers gave birth to eels.
    via GIPHY
  • Cleopatra VII, wife of Marc Antony, was the first in a long line of Ptolemaic pharaohs to actually speak Egyptian. This is due to the fact that the Ptolemaic pharaohs were not Egyptian, but Greek. Thus, most depictions you have seen of Cleopatra are most likely wrong, as she would have resembled Greek populations much closer then she would have resembled Egyptian populations.
    via GIPHY
  • Tutankhamen was possibly murdered for the throne by his advisor by being deliberately run over by a chariot in the middle of battle. He was buried in haste in the tomb that should have been his advisor's. His advisor, who took over after his death, was most likely buried in the tomb meant for Tutankhamen.
    via GIPHY
I'm sorry, I couldn't resist.
  • There are elements of the periodic table named after Einstein, Marie Curie, and America.
    via GIPHY
  • Marie Curie died of radiation poisoning as a result of too many experiments with radioactive substances without proper protection.
    via GIPHY
  • Snakes literally eat dust. Using the Jacob's organ, snakes taste dust when flicking their tongues in and out of their mouth and the electrical signal in the dust tell them where prey is.
    via GIPHY
  • Pandas have no natural predators.
    via GIPHY
  • All the pandas in the world belong to the nation of China. Try to steal a panda, and you just might end up at war!
    via GIPHY
  • Due to a mix of Hindus and Muslims, there is a country in Asia where it is culturally unacceptable to eat both pigs and cows
    via GIPHY
  • The suspected site of the crucifixion and tomb of Jesus was fought over by different Christian denominations. After a series of wars, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, among other sites, was split between six different denominations. No changes to the site are allowed unless all six denominations agree, which has never happened since the treaty was signed. When the treaty was signed, a workman was on a ladder washing a window, and the ladder has stayed there since the 18th century. A few times, a couple of the denominations have tried to move the ladder due to the silliness of the argument, but the other denominations have forced them to put the ladder back, since the ledge the ladder rests on is owned by multiple denominations and no one denomination has the authority to move the ladder.
    Via Pinterest
  • You are more likely to be killed by a cow or a coconut falling on your head than a shark.
    via GIPHY
   I could go on, but I should probably stop here.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

A Story of Rivals

   A couple of months that feel more like years ago, I randomly signed up for a free ancestry site called FamilySearch. I didn't expect much, but thought it couldn't hurt. Now, my mom and I are blown away by the family history that has been uncovered that we never even knew about. Crazy, interesting stories and people we never would have guessed we were related to.
   All this mess that's been going on lately has gotten me thinking about these people in my past. Some of them no one would ever guess we were related to. One interesting thing we've discovered about our family is that, besides a somewhat odd tendency to always go by middle names (call me Marie, why don't you?), our family has an interesting tendency to marry the people our ancestors fought against, possibly with a long history of prejudice.
   Among my ancestors are several memebers of Germanic tribes, including Goths, Visigoths, Franks, Vandals, Saxons, and others. There are several tribal kings, among them several Saxon kings and Frankish kings (who were probably named Louis). The bitter rivals of the Germanic tribes, not counting each other, were the Romans, and I am also very likely descended from a line of Roman senators and consuls which includes one dictator.
   Of my ancestors from the Germanic tribes, some are Britons who were left behind after the Romans abandoned Britain, and some are of the Saxons that invaded. I have ancestors that fought against the Norman invasion and ancestors that were Normans given noble lands and castles as a result of the Norman invasion and one ancestor that led the Norman invasion (William the Conqueror). I am descended from Vikings and the English king that kicked the Vikings out of England. I am descended from Irishmen and from Englishmen, who have a long history of hatred and prejudice towards each other (though it's mostly one way, the English oppressing the Irish) and from Welshmen, who are still being oppressed by the English, and from two of Robert the Bruce's sisters (their kids married each other, and yes, I'm grossed out), who were rivals with, you guessed it, the English. (Can we all agree that the English have a long history of prejudice and rivalry?) I'm descended from English kings and French kings who most definitely fought wars against each other. 
   My French and German ancestors fought each other, and so did my German and Polish ancestors. I have ancestors on both sides of World War One and an ancestor who tried to fight in the war for America and wound up staying home. I have an ancestor who's a Native American and possibly the daughter of Pocahontas and Kocoum, and several not-so-nice ancestors from Jamestown.
   And then we come to my hero, Elizabeth Key Grinstead. She was the daughter of a slave from Africa and Thomas Key, an English slave owner. At the age of six, her father was sued for paternity and forced to provide for his daughter. He made her an indentured servant and died shortly after. He was a jerk, but he did make his friend who held the indenture promise to treat her like his daughter and take her with him if he moved back to England. The friend did move back to England, but instead of taking Elizabeth with him, he sold her indenture to another man to pay off some debts. This other man kept Elizabeth nine years after her indenture was up. Elizabeth could have become bitter and angry. She could have hated the man who enslaved her and any of his nationality. She had no reason not to hate the English.
   When Elizabeth met a young indentured servant from England named William Grinstead, she didn't hate him. Instead, they fell in love. They got married, as much as they were legally allowed as indentured servants. They had a child named John. Then the man that owned her indenture died. Elizabeth and her son were listed as slaves. They were going to be sold off in an estate sale. But William fought for her freedom in court after court, eventually going to the House of Burgesses and convincing the court to free her. She received compensation for the nine years she was enslaved over the terms of her indenture. As soon as William's indenture was up, they were married officially and had another son, who was also named William. This is the man who was my ancestor. They lived happy lives, though short ones, because life expectancy was super short in those days. (Unfortunately, Virginia changed the laws after William's death so no slave could ever win his or her freedom the same way William won Elizabeth's freedom.)
   Some of these rivalries have died away, but some of them are still with us today. Hatred in this world is so common; it's rarer to find freedom from hatred and prejudice than to find someone that is ruled by it. I'm not here to judge who is right and who is wrong in the conflict that is tearing our nation apart these days. The rivalries my ancestors fought and believed in were legitimate rivalries on both sides. Some were more balanced than others in crimes committed against each other, and some were steeped in oppression of one by another (probably by the English, if we're all being honest). But these rivalries and long histories of hatred didn't hold some people back. In the midst of these crimes and rivalries, somewhere along the line, some of these people put aside their differences and their crimes and the crimes of their ancestors and decided to forge a new history, a different history, a history that ended in love and family and new life.
   I am not my ancestors. I cannot be praised for their good deeds or condemned for their mistakes. I cannot change the things I've done in the past, for good or for ill. Neither can anyone else. All we can choose to do is move forward and forge a new future. We can choose to react to horrific crimes in emotion and anger, we can perpetuate rivalries, or we can choose to move above that. We can react with kindness instead of anger, love instead of hate. We can choose to pursue justice without hatred and end corruption without corrupting ourselves. We can make a difference while being the difference.
   This year has been one punch after the other, and who knows if it's going to stop? Hatred is not going to stop. It's been in this world since the Garden of Eden and it's going to be here until Judgement Day comes and the trumpet sounds and Jesus comes back to this world to take us home. Crimes are not going to stop. Evil men are always going to exist. We can choose to live in hatred with them, as some of our ancestors did, or we can choose to live above that, put the past behind us, and forge a new future.
   After all, it's what my ancestors would have wanted.

   Recompense to no man evil for evil: procure things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as in you is, have peace with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine: I will repay, saith the Lord. --Romans 12:17-19

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. --John 15:12