Actor, Writer, Jedi, Singer,

Actor, Writer, Jedi, Singer,
You were my brother, Anakin. I loved you

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Avengers: Age of Ultron review


I finally got around to watching The Avengers: Age of Ultron a few weeks ago. Since I watched it around a week after its release, I sadly heard some spoilers as well as the many complaints. Luckily, I avoided anything too spoilery and managed to go in to the theater without too many preconceived notions. 

It sadly wasn't the strongest Marvel movie to date and it wasn't as good as the first Avengers film, but it was still a great movie and I definitely enjoyed watching it. 

The plot was mostly strong. The villain- Ultron- could have been better (he was no where near as strong as Loki in the first Avengers film), but the character interactions and the climax (and denouement) were all very strong. I especially enjoyed the focus of the Avengers on protecting the people caught in their crossfire. In some stories (which I avoid anyway), it seems like the heroes don't really think about the people around them, so this was nice (especially since most superhero/superhero groups don't do this). The humor was also as perfect as ever and I laughed a LOT in the movie. I especially loved Iron Man going "go to sleep, go to sleep!" and Vision picking up the hammer and everyone being all "WHAT!!??" 
The ending was especially powerful, what with showing of Black Widow and Captain America training the new Avengers team- which awesomely consisted of a very diverse group (a woman, two African-American men, and a human/robot entity). I can't wait to see this new group in action! :D



Characters (I'm going in an order of who was in the movie the most, not in my order of favorites).

Iron Man

Tony Stark had some great moments in this film and I enjoyed how his character continued to develop. Even though he was wrong in creating Ultron without consulting the team (except for Banner, who shouldn't have gone along with it), I can understand WHY he did it- he was scared that the world would get screwed over if a treat came up that they couldn't deal with alone (which, considering how he used to be a selfish jerk, is really quite impressive). He needs to learn that the fate of the world is not solely on him, but I think by film's end he's started learning that lesson. 
I also really liked his relationship with Captain America and it should be interesting to see how their new-found closeness affects them in the upcoming Civil War film (where the two are pitted against each other). 


Captain America
Can I have some of your super strength, Steve? Please!? :) 

Captain America proved even more in this film that he's a good leader and why he's one of the two chosen to train the new group of Avengers. He also did a great job in handling the evacuation of the town. I feel like his good leadership qualities are one of the reasons he was nearly able to lift the hammer. He also had some great humorous moments, like when he says "language" at the beginning of the film and everyone keeps giving him grief about it XD (not sure why language would bother him- he was in the army after all, so he probably heard it all before) Didn't get why he said "if you die, walk it off", since that is logically impossible (I guess it was supposed to be funny? I just don't see the humor. Oh well). 

Black Widow

Black Widow was still awesome as ever! While I had a couple of complaints about things 'involving' her character, her character overall was awesome and it was nice to see an awesome, kick-ass female in a superhero movie again (it's been getting better lately, of course, but still- not where I want to be yet). It was great to get a glimpse at her past (though we got more from Agent Carter), and now I think we really need a Black Widow movie (like, seriously). I did have one issue with the film that was a bit sexist. In one scene where she is talking to Bruce, she pretty much acts like she's a monster because she was sterilized (and was forced to kill people, but the sterilizing seemed to be the part she was most upset about- at least, in my perspective). This in of itself isn't a problem- often times, victims do blame themselves for what happened to them, and this actually would have been a very interesting topic to delve more into with her character. The problem is that Bruce didn't contradict her and say "no, that doesn't make you a monster." Because, being sterile in NO WAY shape or form makes you a monster (seriously, women aren't just their uteruses). For a longer description on why I don't like it, go here (one of my favorite bloggers explained it well). 
Really, that was my only issue in regards to the film's presentation of her. The more important issues with sexism in Marvel and in the industry in general are much more pressing (such as Black Widow and other female characters being left out of merchandising for the movies, the EXTREME lack of female-led works, whitewashing of certain characters, the fact that female characters/characters of color/LGBTQA+ characters- when they appear- always die first -_-). So people, don't blame Joss Whedon, he's at least TRYING (and we've seen that he actually cares about his female characters and gives them agency). The problem is much larger than one person. 


Hawkeye

Hawkeye gets much more screen time in this installment and it's definitely appreciated since we got very little of him in the first Avengers film. We learned a lot more about him, and seeing his family was a very nice touch; he seemed devoted to them, and I'm glad his wife and children knew everything and weren't kept in the dark (in fact, the scenes where the Avengers were at his home were some of my favorite). He definitely had some great moments and I liked how he related to Scarlet Witch (more on that in her section), as well as his funny running gag with Quicksilver (which turned out quite sad). 

The Hulk 

While I really liked his character in the first Avengers movie, I just didn't find him as interesting this time around. He seemed a tad out of character and for some reason more uncontrollable than in the first movie(at least, that's what I took from it). He did have some good moments- and I will always love Mark Ruffalo's performance-, but I felt like some things could have been done better with his character. Though, I did enjoy his friendship with Tony and I liked the idea of his romance with Natasha in theory (just wish it had been implemented into the plot better). As my friend James from JandJ Productions pointed out, it made sense for them to get together (both have something about themselves they don't like and since Natasha is a warrior, she probably needs someone who is unlike her to help her see other sides of the picture; just like Bruce needs someone to control him if he get out of hand). 


Thor


Sadly, my favorite Avenger didn't have as much to do this time around. He did have some funny parts- and I loved seeing how proud he was of his girlfriend (it was so cute and endearing :) ). He had some cool action scenes through out the movie, his interactions with Vision were priceless, and the running gag with his hammer was a lot of fun. 
One thing I didn't get was why Maria Hill made the testosterone comment when Thor and Tony were going on about how cool their girlfriends were. Like, they obviously think a lot about their girlfriends and are bragging about them. Isn't that what everyone wants from their spouse/significant other?(if they have one). For them to be proud of them and their achievements? Aw well, it's her loss if she can't see that she's being silly :p .
Looking forward to seeing more of Thor in his upcoming film :) 

Scarlet Witch


I LOVED HER SO MUCH, YOU HAVE NO IDEA!! 
Like, I think she was one of my favorite parts of the movie. Finally, we have a girl with superhero powers in a major superhero movie. She has a great character arc and I look forward to seeing more of her in the upcoming film (just wish they'd cast actors of the right race- from what I've heard, they weren't; of course, I could be wrong).
One thing about her that really stood out to me was her scene with Hawkeye before she goes out to help (where he says "if you step out of that door, you'll be an Avenger"). Usually, this kind of talk is given man to man, but here it was given to a woman and I just loved that. It takes the stereotype, turns it on its head, and it turns out so very well. I really wish we could see more of this in fiction- more times where women are treated just as competently as men. In most films, Hawkeye would have encouraged her to stay in room and be safe- here, he lets her decide what she wants, giving her the agency to make her own choices. And it pays off- with her becoming the hero he knew she could be. 
And that is beautiful. 

Also loved how she ripped Ultron's heart out. >:)

Quicksilver


Quicksilver isn't in the film too-too much, but what scenes he does have are good ones. His running gag about Hawkeye not seeing him coming was funny and ended in a tragic enough way. I just wish his death had been given more gravity than it was. 

Vision


I hadn't known too much about Vision before this movie, but I really liked him. He was naive, but poised in a way that is relatable. I thought it was cool how he was created, how he could lift Thor's hammer, and I'm interested in seeing if his romance with Scarlet Witch plays out like it does in the comics (from what I've heard). I mean, to be honest, it was Scarlet Witch and Vision who ultimately defeated Ultron so they're MEANT for each other XD. 

Overall, another good installment on Marvel's awesome run of new films. Not as good as The Avengers, Thor, Iron Man 3, or Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but it tells it's story right, is exciting, and is just a, plainly, a whole lot of fun. 
Looking forward to Civil War! It's just going to be awkward, because I'm pretty sure I'll agree with Tony, while we're supposed to be on Steve's side. Oh well. :P


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

My Second Semester of College (and finishing my first year) + Top Ten Favorite Screen Characters


            (since I did English Composition, this picture is me writing papers O_O).

       So I've been back from college for a bit, and I thought I'd talk about my second semester and how everything turned out :). Also, since I've finished my second semester, that means I've finished my first YEAR at college, which is just awesome! :D Can't believe it's already been a complete school year since I went to my first class (to read about my first semester go here)

Overall, this semester was a lot more difficult than last semester. My classes were a bit harder and I had to learn to study for Spanish (which is different than how I studied other things). However, I managed to figure everything out, which I'm very proud of :) I also got straight A's on my finals again- President's Honor Roll TWICE! :D I teachers liked me, which was good, and we did fun projects in all of them :) Also, I GOT CAST in a show! :D It wasn't a main stage show, but it was a LOT of fun (I'll go into more detail later).

Sadly, I had a TERRIBLE roommate this semester (she was a BITCH). She was awful and I hope she goes back to where she came from. She wrote "hoe" on the bottom of one of my drawers and I'm guessing it was because I didn't help her break the rules and hide her against-the-rules light/burner thingy. Like, seriously, she got all pissy-ass at me because I didn't hide it before the RA came to the door (I didn't KNOW it was the RA- I didn't check the door's hole, plus I'm not going to break the rules, especially for someone I don't even like all that much). She was also surly, unfriendly, loud, obnoxious, perpetually-sniffing, and just plain rude (plus, her taste in music was disgusting; seriously, I don't play my music out loud, so she shouldn't either). Hopefully I won't see her ugly mug again (and if I do, I shall be mean to her; also, yes, she was ugly, inside and out). Guess whose name is going on my 'mean people' list? >:D


(it's been decided- he'll be my roommate next semester! XD).

But I did have nice people to talk too- such as people in my major and a girl on my hallway I enjoyed talking to (we both attended the same, nearby, church), as well as some girls in my dorm who were nice as well :). My teachers were also nice, as were other kids/adults in my class :) I even met some former homeschoolers! :) I also worked out a lot this semester (using machines for arms and legs, crunches, stretching, and some cardio), which was great, and I ate even better than I did last semester (for the most part- still had gluten when I shouldn't have had any).

Like I said last semester, I'm an acting major and a creative writing minor.




                                 Got a cool Supernatural calender to hang up in my room :) This was the January pic.



My housing department kinda sucks (the rest of the school is awesome). I had the room to myself for a week and I thought I would for the whole semester. Sadly, the little brat showed up (without warning, I heard the key in the lock, I went to open it, and there she was with her family -_- ). I really wish they'd let me know before hand! Grr.... Tried to be friendly to her, but she obviously didn't like me right off the bat. She only ever talked to me if she needed something (stupid military girl who thinks she's oh so superior -_-). She was also a sexist who said crap like "physical work out/using physical strength is harder for women than men and that their bodies can’t ‘handle’ as much as men." Like, SHUT UP! I'll show YOU! Grrr.... (okay, sorry for the whining/complaining, I won't do much more in this post).




Another shot of my room when I had it to myself.


The wall above my bed


My little snowman :) 


My name card thingy :) I got the same room for next year (but thankfully a different roommate; hopefully this one is nicer like my first one).


The theme for my hall this semester was movies, which- as a movie lover- was awesome! :) Here's "Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark".



                                                                "The Godfather"



"The Karate Kid"


"Jurassic Park"...er...Party. 


great quote.



"Batman"


"Toy Story" 


"Avengers" ! :D


"STAR WARS!!" :D ("The Empire Strikes Back").


Funny LOTR/Mean Girls picture XD 


another funny image


and another one.


On our first month, there was this little thing where we could fill out what we wanted accomplished by the end of this month. Here was my entry (yes, I'm basically Thorin Oakenshield :) XD ;) ). 
I actually did work more on my Spanish and do my work out routine, so there's that :) 




My February image.
The two fandoms I obsessed over this semester was "Supernatural"(which I got through several seasons of; review will be upcoming fairly soon, once I finish the current season) and "The Hobbit trilogy". And Star Wars was still the main one, of course :) Also watched a little Doctor Who and Torchwood for fun and watched Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, Downton Abbey, and Once Upon A Time on TV. 


                                                   



One chilly evening



Some trees and such



Trees


AND MORE TREES! 


                                                  One of the places I had a class.



Valentine's Day decoration in the cafeteria. I spent Valentine's Day with my family, thankfully (otherwise I would have been alone at college! :O :( ). 


One day the weather was nice, and I wanted to eat outside- so I went and grabbed some chick-fil-a and some apple juice and sat by the little pond. 




Nice day. 


Looks like the White Witch has been here. 




Our first project in my costume class was a design project; our goal was make costumes for a superhero Broadway musical. We broke up into groups, drew 3 designs, and picked one. This one is MINE! :D (and the one my group and I picked). It's based on a character I played in superhero games with my sister and my cousin when we were little :) 

 For this class, we also had to go see all of the performances on campus (a play, an opera, a dance performance, and a musical), write reviews for them all (though I klept out of one), and work wardrobe crew for one of them (I did it for the musical, and I'll go more into it later). 



Eating alone at the cafeteria :( 


Our second major project in the costume class was a historical research project. Here are all of the books I checked out from the library. The time period I picked out of the hat was the "Middle Ages". I loved this because this is one of my favorite time periods! :D I had a lot of fun with this project and I learned a lot. Sadly, I was disappointed how western-centric the choices were.  


Working on the project. Here's a good idea of what it looked like (I had to give a presentation, with a slide-show). 



 SNOW DAY! We had a lot of cancellations this semester. Some days they'd cancel classes and then it didn't even snow til later! There was snow EVERYWHERE and they kept cancelling class! At first it was nice, since I got to work longer on my homework and such, but I started realizing that losing so many class days would cut back on our time to learn and do everything O_O.

The snow was kind of nice, of course, and I got some good pictures. Also had a friend throw a snowball at me :)




Some Chinese New Year decorations in the cafeteria. 


Since I'm born in the year of the Boar/Pig. 



More snowy days. I wore my snow boots a LOT, as well as my winter coat, hat, and gloves.



Good quote from Mulan


Some geese. We had a lot of them this spring. There were even some cute, little baby ones :) 




Some friends swimming together




My English classroom. 




My Spanish classroom. 




Costume classroom. 


Painting




One evening, we had a tornado warning nearby so we all went to the library's basement. When we came out, we were greeted by a double rainbow in the clouds :)




So, as I mentioned above, I was cast in a smaller-stage show. It was a compilation of scenes/skits/monologues sent in by students. I even had a cool scene in the show! :D (it was sci-fi and it was the COOLEST of them all!! :D ). I had two large parts and lines/parts in pretty much all of them. I had a LOT of fun on the show and it was great being involved in a show again. I did feel left out at times (and some people were bossy)- and I disagreed with some changes- but overall it was a great experience and I can't wait to do a main stage show (hopefully I'll get cast in one or two next year! :D). 


A candy bar my director (also one of my professors) gave me :) 


Pretty clouds




Spring time in college! :) 










Our last assignment for the costume class was for us to make a shirt. He's me tracing patterns onto the fabric. 



flower in a bathroom. 


Buildings at sunset



March calender pic


April calender pic.




I attended church much more regularly this semester, which was really nice. I especially was glad to attend Holy Week services (I spent Easter with my family). 


Our third project for the costume class was a sample book where we showed how to do various sewing techniques. Here are my various ones. 










This was one SO HARD!!! :O 


Cool painting I saw at an event I went to. 



My patterns for the shirt. 


My collar with interfacing. 



Before sewing all the pieces together, we had to do surging on everything. Here are my surging samples. 




Basting thread.


My POCKET! :D


Back piece with the yoke attached. 


The front piece


Collar. My teacher said I did a very good job on this part! :D



Sleeves



Flower. 

While I liked all of my teachers, I did have one problem and that was some sexist talk I had to hear; plus, I was made to cry in some of my classes (I hid it, though).
Here's one of the things that upset me

Teacher: men thinks about only two things! beer and s-x (or seeing someone naked!) And they think about it ALL THE TIME!
Me: I don’t like that (because it isn't true and is a stupid statement)
Teacher: well, that’s just how it is
Me: Well, I’ll find one who isn't like that.
Teacher: Good luck with that.

I kind of stopped talking in the class that day afterwards, because it really hurt my feelings (and I was trying not to cry). :( Thankfully, one of the guys in my theater production said he was sorry I was sad and my teacher was nice to me too, so then I felt better. The teacher did say more crap later (like, men are shallow and don't feel as much emotions as women, which is bull), but I just rolled my eyes (and wrote an paper on something feminist >:D). 


Some treats I got for working backstage as wardrobe crew for a show (they were quite good). I had to work there everyday for a week (from 5-10ish). It was a good experience, for the most part, and it really drove home for me that acting is definitely what I want to do with my life (along with writing, singing, and Taekwondo...and being a geek/friend/family member of course ;) ). 

I got to help with quick changes, which was fun, and the actors were all quite nice :) One of the guys I helped change would come over to me and talk to me for a bit, which was good. The show itself was a good one and I really liked the costumes for it. I also got to study and do lots of homework and read while waiting for everything, which was also great. :) 

Sadly, the people I was working backstage with (crew and actors) talked about s-x ALL the TIME (like, that was what 80% of their conversations were about). The also kept playing Cards Against Humanity (which I played with them once because they invited me to, and since they were nice enough to acknowledge me, I thought I should; I've played the game before and I HATE IT! I'm gonna do this to it-

Funnily enough, even though they viewed me as childish because I'm a prudish demisexual/asexual person (in fact, most people I'm around view me as immature and childish...it's annoying), I was the one actually doing homework and such while they talked dirty and played the bop it game (which is a little kiddt toy) and played cards. 
Whose the immature one now? >:D 



The back and front of my nearly completed shirt. 



Me wearing it.


Birdie


Clouds




My completed shirt!! :D I worked really hard in it and I'm very proud with how it turned out :) Making the button holes was hard, though :'( 


The Winchesters (Dean and Sam) approve :) 


some flowers around campus. 




Ducky



One finals week, the theater department held a Star Wars themed end of the year party (since it was Star Wars day). I felt left out for a while, but I did get to talk to one of my teachers and I won best costume (lots of people liked it! :) Yay! One of the guys in the show I crewed even saw me and thought it looked cool. The stage in the above and below photo is actually the main stage where a lot of the shows are done! :) Can't wait to perform on it.
Sadly, had to deal with some annoying guys. The first thing was they got all pissy-ass because I said The Empire Strikes Back was my least favorite Star Wars movie (why does he care?! I don't have to follow the crowd, you know!). He got all high and mighty and 'superior' acting, but then I asked him who Siri Tachi was and he was like "who?"; he also didn't know the name of the Jedi Exile.
So dude, stop acting like you are a better fan than me. You obviously know NOTHING.
Also, another dick was all "the books don't count anymore!". ARGH! I'm gonna fight him, later! -_- >:( 



Little chapel I practiced my final monologue in :) (and studied for a test).

Overall, I had another great semester and I also had a very great year! :) I worked hard, did my homework, and it all paid off! :) Can't believe I have finished my first year of college and that when I go back next fall I will be a sophomore. 
So, to my past self on that first day of college, don't worry. You are gonna have a really great year :) 

Now, like I did last semester, I shall do an overview of my classes and say what I thought of them all.

Acting class (a higher level one)
As with last semester, my acting class was probably my favorite class of the semester. We learned a lot of techniques from such acting teachers as Meisner and Hagan. We also learned how to mark scripts for beats and write a character analysis. Besides these and games, we did a scene (which was from "Five Women Wearing the Same Dress"; I played Frances) and a monologue for the final (mine was from "Joan of Lorraine"). We did a lot of coaching for the scenes and for the monologues, which was very helpful, and I feel like I've improved even more in my craft. YAY! :) I also got mostly positive notes after my final, which was great! :) 

Second semester (on three semester course) class on Arthur Lessac
This class is helpful, but still a bit abstract. I think it's one of those things where you take what you can use from the course and ignore the rest. I did very well in this class (I think I have perfect marks :) ). I did well in all of my assignments and I turned in all my journal entries! We also got to have a master teacher of the work come and visit (he taught several well known actors, such as Ty Burrell who is in Modern Family! :) ). I especially enjoyed the Body Project and the structure assignment (where I taught one of my TKD forms). Overall, still enjoyed the class. One semester of this class to go! :) 

Costume class

One of the cool things about the theater department is that, even though our focus is acting, we are still required to take crew-related courses. For this semester I chose a class about stage costumes (I have to do ones about sets/props, lighting, sound, and make up as well; also, directing and other such classes). The class was a lot of fun and I liked all of our projects. I especially liked how visual and hands on the projects were (so that I could take pics). The teacher was quite nice too, which was good :) And it had the easiest final ever XD.

English Composition

Since I'm a book writer and not an essay writer, I was dreading my English class a bit, but I ended up really liking it. The teacher was cool for the most part, and very helpful and available, which I appreciated. We had to write 3 papers (and two short little things), which I actually did quite well on (apparently he thought I had excellent analysis, and that he really liked my writing and having me in his class! :) ). Also really cool was the fact that he was homeschooled, as was another girl in my class! :) :D (another girl who worked in costume shop was also homeschooled, as was a girl in my major). I learned a lot about paper writing and I feel a lot more confident in that area than I did before. Though, the book we had to read and analyze wasn't the greatest (the author was a big jerk). 

Spanish

I had done Spanish a bit in homeschool high school (via Rosetta Stone), but I still didn't know everything (especially the grammar stuff), which is why I'm very glad I took the first class (even though I technically could have done the second one). The class was definitely the most challenging, the main reason being because studying for Spanish is a lot different than studying for my other courses (also, the teacher was very vague about what she wanted on some things). However, I worked very hard and studied and yanked my grade up and I had an A at the end :) I went to the tutor a lot and studied and wrote and spoke in it on my own; in class, we did exams, quizzes, in class paragraphs, an oral exam, written papers about the culture, etc. On the last day we had a party! :) (with a special Spanish dish :) ). 


Now here's a fun post I made - 

In Which Castiel is me in my college adventure! :D
(before I begin this, I DO really like college! :D It’s awesome; there are some issues I have at it, of course, but overall I do enjoy it). 
gifs not mine (and not ALL are of Castiel). 
Castiel is literally me at college sometimes

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Me when I have to go to an event, when I go to student organizations, when people talk to me when I want to be alone, or when I’m ready to be alone but I have to do stuff. 
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How I feel when people are like “let me explain to you how the world works because apparently you are a naive child!" 
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Me(when I work up the courage to talk to someone and I actually feel like talking): Hi! :) *asks about interests)
Person: (talks, but often times acts uninterested) (seems weirded out or annoyed) (sometimes I even get ignored) (it’s partially my fault, of course, I could try harder, but still). (Doesn't ALWAYS happen, but it happens often enough).
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How I feel when I have to pair up or do an activity with a group of people or I flub up and say something awkward that I regret saying later. (I hate the phrase "find a partner” O_O) 
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When people talk about inappropriate stuff, public-school related stuff(I’m homeschooled and I can’t relate to it), or things I don’t know about in pop culture(I know a lot, but there are areas I am unaware of). 
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When I ace a test, when I’m done working out, while I’m working out(and I’m listening to music), when I do something awesome, when someone gets my reference, and when I’m thinking about being an awesome fighter. 
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When someone talks to me and acts interested :) 
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When someone talks over me(or someone repeats what I said and THEY get the credit), or I try to join in a conversation/discussion and get ignored. 
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When I get a bad grade or someone embarrasses me. 
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Me when I am sad about not finding someone to marry, ever(and everyone is talking about their boyfriends/girlfriends)
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Me when I’ve had a bad day.
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HI ONLINE BESTIES, FAMILY, AND FICTIONAL CHARACTERS! :D
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Me when I’m feeling cute and happy :) And I’m skipping around thinking about my book series, singing to myself, and listening to the music stuck in my head. 
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How I inwardly feel when I’m angry(or when I’m pretending to fight- which I love doing- while waiting around). Or when people get me into trouble because they don’t do their job or don’t make things clear to me(also how I feel inwardly). That is also kind of how I look when I fight, to be honest(well, I kick more). 



Instructions: For this quick, fun blog hop, you just name your 10 favorite characters from movies or TV, then tag 10 friends (if you can) to do the same!

Obi-Wan Kenobi/Qui-Gon Jinn/Anakin Skywalker



ATLA cast



Rose Tyler


Buffy Summers



Eowyn


Samwise Gamgee and Frodo Baggins



Thorin Oakenshield and Bilbo Baggins

Kili and Tauriel

Dean Winchester/Castiel/Sam Winchester


The Doctor



Also, soon be looking for my review of Avengers: Age of Ultron and my three-part Supernatural review! :)