“Iron Man 2” (2010) Film Review | MCU Review #3 (Apr. & Dec. 2021; Feb. 2022)


MCU Timeline by:

Chronological order of Release Date


Chosen Film/Year:

Iron Man 2 (2010)


Movie Rating:

PG-13


Movie Length:

2 hours and 5 minutes


End credit scene:

One.


Directors/Screenplay Writers:

Jon Favreau

Justin Theroux


Genre:

Science-fiction, action, adventure.


Trigger Warnings:

Self-destructive tendencies, dying, tying affairs in order, substance use (alcohol), smoking tobacco, self-sacrifice, reckless behavior, dysfunctional family dynamics.


Themes:

Hurt/comfort, illness, sickness, health, telling people vs. hiding it, SHIELD infiltration, you are not alone, superheroes, friendships, romantic interests, people outside of you challenging your cognitive distortions, family secrets, assassins, lies, facing adversity, very smart people, friendships are tested, adversaries, militarization.


Where I watched it from:

Disney+


Plot Summary:

As with all of my other MCU reviews, I will be linking to some places on the Interwebs where people were better able to summarize these amazing movies because if you leave it up to me, it’ll take forever lmao. Here’s who I recommend this time:

  1. Roger Ebert’s Review
  2. Sandie Angulo Chen from Common Sense Media
  3. Jim Vejvoda from IGN

Memorable Quotes or Scenes:

  1. (Rhodey to Tony) “You want to do this whole lone gun slinger act and it’s unnecessary. You don’t have to do this alone”

    Wiser words have never been spoken. Try me.

  2. (Nick Fury to Tony) “I remember you do everything yourself; how’s that working out for you?”

It’s ruthless but yet so very, very true. I can recall in AoU Fury being this poignant. Seems to be the staple for Tony’s and Fury’s relationship haha

3. (Howard to the camera via old footage, speaking to Tony directly) “One day you will figure this out. And when you do, you will change the world. What is and always will be my greatest creation, is you.”

No shit, their relationship was complicated (and we are shown that later on too) but just to hear this gutting phrase from your old man years and years ago? Damn. That hits, right in the feels. A little memorial in a sense, maybe a twisted sense, not knowing what was to come and yet saying it anyways in case it did. Such is life and thus, such is death. πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€


Emotional Intensity:

Okay, I’ll be honest for a second: I’m writing, editing and finishing this review many, many, many months after I watched the movie for sure myself. While I am likely to watch it again with my partner, Vaness, that’s still a long time from now sooooo I can’t really say I remember a whole lot from this movie. I was even going to take out this part itself to begin with (for the sake of the rest of the review) but decided against it. I CAN say this movie has a great re-watchability rate compared to TIH. I also never rated it before but I think the mark I gave it is accurate. This movie definitely provides a whole heap of fan fiction inspirations and spin-offs, even just for me, so that’s really awesome and fantastic, I’d say!!! There’s definitely a lot to work with and what can I say? I’m biased. I love Tony Stark. Hahahha.

If you’d like to get lost in smart people attacking each other, on two opposing sides, with some self destructive habits sprinkled in and thinking you have to go through things alone (but really, you don’t) than this is the superhero movie out there for you!!! It’s so spell binding and amusing at points, heartbreaking in others and really gets you to understand the evil man’s perspective while still rooting for Tony. It’s also a good movie to be able to split up into parts–like I didn’t watch it all in one go but even a few days later I could get right back into it like nothing happened. I also didn’t write down A LOT of notes (unlike for Thor, next up movie!!) but I think what I did manage was helpful. Okay, now, onto the next sections!!! Overall emotional intensity: Yes.


Fan Fiction Ideas/Themes to Explore in My Fics:

    • Betrayal
    • Substance use
    • Reckless behavior, suicidality warning signs
    • Ill, health, dying etc.
    • Hero vs villain
    • Family secrets
    • Boarding school
    • Self sacrifice
    • Alone vs together (especially when facing problems; definitely draw on this in my fics)
    • Secrets
    • Lies
    • Adversity (especially overcoming it)
    • Burdens on one shoulder versus across many
    • Poor family dynamics
    • Senses of abandonment
    • Self destructive tendencies
    • Humanization

Estimated Timeline of When I First Watched this Movie:

Gosh, I don’t know. It was definitely out of order many years after it truly came out. Maybe in like 2014 summer or so? That’s probably when I watched it. I know I watched IM3 thinking it was the plot for Avengers like three separate times because I kept catching it on TV at different points hahah And then I think I watched this one and then I figured out it was The Avengers so yeah. Definitely probably 2014, I’d say. Do I remember anything from it–from when I first watched it? Nooooope. It’s a good movie though!!


Subtle or Overt Preparation for Future (or past) Films:

We definitely start getting more of a taste for what will later become The Avengers. And the end credit scene shows us in New Mexico from Thor’s hammer landing there so we’re getting the teases lining up all right. We get more information on Natasha and Fury and the organization they’re about and from. So things are lining up pretty well!! (huuurrrr, that’s all I remember, lmao)


Recommendation Score:

8.5/10


Upcoming Movie:

…Thor (2011)…


Technical information regarding this post:

Β Working on the review: Dec. 26th 2021, Feb. 9th 2022, Feb. 23rd 2022.

Completed and Published: Feb. 23rd 2022.

Viewing Handwritten notes: April 6th-7th 2021, April 16th 2021


Thank youuuuu!! Thanks so much for staying tuned and reading this mini review of sorts!! I know mine can get, uh, pretty lengthy so, almost sorry about that but not really. Hahaha If you read it, you read it; if you don’t, you don’t. BUT for anyone who is out there and does enjoy these, I will keep them coming… As if I had a choice myself buahahhaha. Next up within the next month will be the Thor review. For now, I have to watch CA:TFA! Probs in March though hahaha I like to stay about one review ahead. And then one day I’ll be back on top of everything and current!!!! YAY! xxx

PS Not gonna lie, I’m mega proud I got this review out in Feb!!! It might be like 8 months later but I did it!! I didn’t have to extend the review date in the title hahha. Little wins are the best!

“Almost Everything” (2018) | BES (Oct., Nov., Dec. 2021)


CHOSEN BOOK:

“Almost Everything” (2018) by Anne Lamott

Notes on Hope; ((nonfic))


TRIGGER WARNINGS:

Suicide, specific suicide methods, suicidality, OCD, depression, mental health conditions, addiction/substance use disorders, perfectionism, eating disorders, topic of weights/ED behaviors (specific weights), dysfunctional/otherwise unhealthy families, stigma, secrets, “behind closed doors”, intrusive thoughts, romanticizing EDs/active substance use, casual engagement of self-harm/”picking up cutting”, suicide pact, toxic relationships.


THEMES:

Philosophy, life, death, suffering, struggling, hope, memoir, life lessons, spirituality, paradoxes, dialectics, retail therapy, health, recovery, creativity, storytelling, existentialism.


SUMMARY:

Hi, so it’s been a while again since I worked on this blog post of a Book Exploration Station. That said, and the roughness of this post and how imperfect it is, I’m going to try my hardest to pull together all the last stitches and details and make this something I can finally post and then, finally, lastly, be done with it all and wipe my hands clean so I can move forward to the next thing (the next books, the next words, the next stories).

So this particular book is non-fiction and begins with a poem that I wish I was more understanding of its significance for the way the author relates to it and the story she later goes on to tell. Like, it was featured but I don’t know why. What did it mean to Lamott? What sparked something in her soul for it and why wasn’t or couldn’t that be explored within her text later on? It didn’t seem all that relevant. I definitely picked up that I was supposed to pick up something from it but I have no idea what.

It’s a tad frustrating and a let down, I’m afraid. Which, I suppose is a good way to summarize how I felt reading this story. I’ll get into that a lot more later. Hmmm, now that I’ve reread it, I suppose it makes sense:

I think Lamott’s entire book here is meant to show the paradox of a dialectic and that two opposing things can exist in the same space and that this small poem is also an example of that. It sets up what she tries to propose as her life and the way she’s viewed life. So, I guess just, on the surface it seems distant and unexplained and later it’s still unexplained and also very fitting. Poetic, even.

A good and simplistic way to sum up this book, I think, is this:

“This is a very profound book. A little nutty, but very profound” — Me, p. 34

I know this description isn’t going in the way I want it to, and that’s a frustrating process. But I’ve spent too much time on this piece and I’ve spent too much time putting off dealing with this post because of all that anxiety, stress and avoidance so I have to just see this through. I CAN say the rest of this review goes pretty well with some really great gems in it, so please keep reading when you have the time! I’d say this book overall was okay. It wasn’t super remarkable or something I’d carry along with me consciously upon the rest of my life’s journey but it was a nice blip and something to think about for a time. Like, I’ll carry a piece of it, it just won’t be on my entire world’s radar. Something faded and in the background works though. It’s definitely a very philosophical book if you like that kind of thing! And it also brings forth a lot of sharp points that are sometimes hard to digest–the types of truths you don’t want to hear but that you need to hear all the same, like from the mouth of a good friend who refuses to only tell you what you want to hear, instead they’ll tell you what you don’t want to be true and you’ll thank them for it later because you didn’t realize how MUCH you did in fact need to hear that. If you’re looking for a book to make you think this would definitely be it. Just be careful if you’re in recovery though because there’s a lot of inflammatory words and depictions in this. It doesn’t shy away from hard topics but it also doesn’t warn you about them either, which I think would have been better if it had.

Personally, I like trigger warnings because it hands back the power into my own hands where I can then decide for myself with all the information given if I wish to proceed or not. I didn’t appreciate or like that a book seemingly on hope and light and positivity, was immediately throwing me into the deep end because of the language it used and specific methods of suicide it gave ideas to. I almost tossed aside the entire book but we know how I am about reading. Still, it was super unexpected and threw me around for a bit. I just would have liked a head’s up. But yes, onward to the next bit!


BOOK LENGTH:

189 pages


MY RECOMMENDATION SCORE:

2/5


OUTSTANDING QUOTES AND IDEAS:

Let us note: Thoughts are just thoughts. Feelings are temporary. Actions are a whole other beast. And let’s work to continue to dispel the myth that suicide is ever a permanent “solution” to a temporary problem. Another, better, way of phrasing that would be “suicide is a permanent action to a temporary crisis.”

Let us also note and ponder this: At what point does being specific about methods of self harm or self induced death in a fashion such as a book or web post, when does that become too detrimental and dangerous for anyone else out there reading it? I know I’m not much of one to talk, I distinctly recall some of this factoring into my time online over the years, while I was struggling in recovery (that’s probs the most dirt you’d find on me, let’s be real) but yes, at what point is that information more suitable for a therapy session rather than a publishable material? It’s a wonder. A thought. I think we really can run into trouble when it’s more and more specific. I get generally defining a self harm mode, but things to do with what is used specifically or the gore and romanticization of it, that’s tricky territory.

For this book, I really felt at first that I wasn’t walking into a minefield of methods and diagnoses. It was a book on hope but it tackled really heavy things that I nearly walked away from it entirely. Also, there were no trigger warnings. So it could have been super hopeful or super triggering. It landed somewhere in the middle but damn. A warning would have been nice, I think. Hence why I do these reviews for the mental health conditions person out there who may be wandering about looking for some books to read or care to read my thoughts on the ones I choose for myself, haha. Best for me to read it first and then offer one perspective about it later, especially when there are warnings that should have been stated but never would (or is that too harsh a judgment?) be.

As for this particular book, it read to me that the author suffers more from OCD intrusive thoughts than genuine suicidal ideation. And that actually confessing it to those she’s with or in a book could actually be a compulsion stringing her along (which is what happened to me, too). I think because it seems more OCD in nature, it’s not something to be too worried about (easier said than done), because it won’t lead into other complicated territories (like what happened to me, damn you co-morbid diagnoses!).

Β 

“Parents are blown away by something this catastrophic [death of their children] and their roots barely stay in the shifting soil. But life holds on. Little by little, nature pulls us back, back to growing. This is life. We are life” — Lamott, 2018, p. 12

I really just love and enjoy this sentiment and statement a lot. Thought it was particularly moving and I’ve always enjoyed the little sapling/tree roots into the ground to stay within the premises of life. What do you think?

“And that seed pushes up through, no matter what, because this is how life is constructed–to live” — Lamott, 2018, p. 13

I find this to just be beautifully said. A gem within the darkness.

Β 

“I have felt ectoplasmic flickers of my father and best friends, life forces that have been snuffed out in the human realm but exist, like candles in another room” — Lamott, 2018, p.16

This is pretty much the best indicator of how this author writes in this book. Very philosophical and educated and with a depth that most others don’t possess or don’t quite wield in the same manner. It’s refreshing, albeit confusing at times, but still, refreshing. xx

Is it normal to question your perception of reality? Of your sanity?

Or is it more abnormal not to?

Descartes would have a field day with this. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜…πŸ˜Š

Β 

On p. 22, I highlight how this book is very philosophical but also question why I should take her statements and experiences of life as fact? It made me feel suspicious.

“Every day we’re in the grip of the impossible conundrum: the truth that it’s over in a blink, and we may be near the end, and that we have to live as if it’s going to be okay, no matter what” — Lamott, 2018, p. 25

The accuracy of this is off the charts!! It’s beautifully crafted, once again and what is the true alternative? We can have moments sitting at the kitchen table where we realize, one day I’m going to die and my life will be over and whatever good (or bad) I did will be what’s left and I’ll just be a memory to those around me. That one day, the story will end, in a final bow, and whatever comes next will come to be, though how aware of it we are is up in the air. And then after having that realization: well, time to get back to the present moment where I’m just drinking my milk with my cookies all over again, like I haven’t just thought of this big mega brain thing of how little things matter before that final fall, and somehow I have to transition back into my present day life and push aside this big moment that I can do very little to prepare for! It’s absurd to have these moments, what I call existential awareness. It’s not truly a crisis but it’s a weird moment where I realize this and then am aware that I’m realizing it and then I go back to whatever I was doing to cope with that realization (most probably a Youtube video, let’s be real haha). But yeah, just, so much truth is in this statement above. We have to believe everything’s going to be okay and we’ll be alive to experience it, even though our experiences of things is time sensitive, we just don’t know when or how or why. Life is a very, very strange mystery.

A hard truth, yet necessary:

“Peace of mind is an inside job, unrelated to fame, fortune, or whether your partner loves you. Horribly, what this means is that it is also an inside job for the few people you love most desperately in the world. We cannot arrange lasting safety or happiness for our most beloved people. They have to find their own ways, their own answers” — Lamott, 2018, p. 35

You cannot force another person to live or love or be in recovery, no matter how much we wish we could, lasting recovery and getting help has to begin and end with them, themselves. You cannot make someone do something they don’t want to do. You support them, you offer advice (if they’ve asked for it, and sometimes even when they haven’t, depending on how well you know them and especially when it’s hard to hear), you be there for them, you accept them and you hope to god that they find it along the way on their own, but you’re never really super sure on it. Lasting recovery and getting help starts with them. Unfortunately, you can try forcing recovery but it probably won’t stick. You can’t help someone unless they want to be helped. It’s a horrible affair, clearly. It’s just how life draws the hand at times. I wish it weren’t true. But it’s not up to you to rescue them. They have to find a way to rescue themselves. (Which is possible, by the way!!)

Β 

[about rescuing your kids/friends/partner] “What’s the harm in that? The harm is in the unwanted help or helping them when they need to figure things out for themselves” — Lamott, 2018, p. 45

I found this to be a particularly hard truth. It seems very unnatural to my senses, as a helper and fixer. But it’s necessary and needed. It just hurts to learn and know. πŸ€”πŸ˜•

“You can raise and care for your nearest and dearest the best you can, put them in the best schools, rehab, or condo, and never, ever give up on their having the best possible life available. But if you do so thinking you can rescue them with your good ideas and your checkbook, or get them to choose a healthy, realistic way of life, that mistake will make both of you much worse than you already are” — Lamott, 2018, p. 47

Well, damn, isn’t that some tough shit news to learn of. Not the type of information I’d seek out myself but very necessary as a reminder!! It’s hard to think it’s your responsibility to save someone or think you have to rescue them when really there’s little we can do to fix or help here on the outside of them. Of course, one can try and help with validation and good faith and words, but thinking it’s up to you to save them? No, that’s up to them. They have to save themselves. Which is really tough, of course, and necessary to be reminded of. Sometimes just shedding that layer of ‘rescue them’ like a cloak can uplift the burden we carry when we fail or it doesn’t work out. So, lift up this layer and carry on a little lighter for the next moment. πŸ–€πŸ–€

Hearing the journey it took the author (and mother) of an ill son with substance use disorder to reach the point of removing her help (that was really enabling) from her son by keeping him in jail and how the parents of unlike kids asked, how did you do that, jail is so cold and dangerous, for Lamott to be like ‘Wow, bummer’ is just SUCH a glimpse of strength, power and inspiration. She still thinks keeping her son in jail and not bailing him out, helped him more than bailing him out would have, and that had she bailed him out, he would have wound up dead. Because helping him and enabling him wasn’t helping him at all, maybe just helping her own psyche, but when she removed this notion that she could rescue him and accepted that only HE could do that, she found freedom and she found the ability to let go for him to take up the reigns of holding on himself. Genuinely inspiring (p. 51) I found this so captivating, engrossing and true. xxx

Β 

Next, at the end of this chapter, Lamott also explains how she had to accept that her son wasn’t going to ask her for help as his mother and would instead look towards others in his meetings and how he would one day tell others the same thing they told him, etc. There was a sense of community that helped him most. I guess, my point is, that this makes me wonder how do I maintain my own sanity with my loved one Fai in a similar self-destructive cycle and where I fit in. Also, I miss a sense of community. I keep searching for that online. So far, results are mixed. πŸ’”

Β 

“We see this toward the end of many people’s lives, when everything in their wasted bodies fights to stay alive, for a few more kisses or bites of ice cream, one more hour with you. Life is still flowing through them: life IS them” — Lamott, 2018, p. 63

A beautiful and captivating description of the fragility of life amongst all of its beauty and its meaning to hold on for one more second, knowing it’s too good to waste, too good to do anything but pause for a moment, recognize the absurdity that is life and what it contains, appreciate it and let it go to pass, so that other lives and souls and bodies can come to be and to experience similar states that is this thing called life.

“No one can take this hatred off me. I have to surrender it every time I become aware of it. But I don’t want my life’s ending to be that I was toxic and self-righteous, and I don’t know if my last day here will be next Thursday or in twenty years. Whenever that day comes, I want to be living, insofar as possible in “joy though you’ve considered all the facts”” — Lamott, 2018, p. 83

I felt at the time I read this book and at the point of writing and editing this review that this line hits like a sack of bricks onto my bare feet. It just rocks so much and radiates so much power to it. Which I wholly believe in. Some great, great words and larger even sentiments. Do you feel the same?

Β 

“My friends’ novels are taking years, because they have to dig deep, and insist on being true to the story, to the story they are called, assigned or moved to tell, and on being honest about what they found, instead of telling the story they thought or wished they’d found. Writing that carries truth uplifts us, teaches empathy, purpose, dignity” — Lamott, 2018, p. 93

I feel like this is such a true and deep running canal for story telling and writing. I know it’s something I always try and remember in my own fan fiction and even with my other more original based creative projects: be true to the story. Sometimes what I write about, especially in fics, is really dark and there’s a large weight in carrying that, but I also do refuse to dampen the blow of what I feel in my soul is the ‘right’ thing for that character or chapter or situation, that there’s some reason I feel compelled in that direction and that I have enough faith in myself and my characters that they can survive it and grapple with it and overcome it. Of course, I give proper warnings and such if it IS heavier material in the chapter or story itself but yeah I don’t really shy away from hard stuff and it reminds me to make sure I also take in and explore all the brighter spots that come thereafter too. To highlight all the hope and all the joy and all the purpose and meaning that comes with life, because life isn’t just pain. I think that’s important; to highlight the dichotomy of both: life is pain and life is beauty.

It always mind boggled me when I’d read a good fanfic and the writer would promise a follow-up to the story or a new chapter if it ONLY got a certain amount of comments or likes. I’m very much a ride or die kind of person, so for me, delaying something because of what other people think is just absurd. At least, in the sense that if you don’t comment X things I won’t continue the story. Like, for me, the story will always be continued. It might be literal YEARS until I continue it. I guess on a related note, these days I’m frozen sometimes in the fact that I’m worried that a couple of my stories with larger followings will be disappointing in some way or that it won’t be as good and “perfect” as I want it to be or that I have to be in the “right headspace” to write for it or what if people don’t like it…

But I always strive to be as true to the story and myself—all these issues NOW are a part of my process (and wasn’t before 2016 when I began most of my current present day ongoing fanfic stories) but like I wouldn’t just rely on other people on whether or not I continue something. Like, if I started it, I’m going to finish it. I’m not swayed by ‘Oh, I’ll only continue this story if I get 30 likes/reviews’ To me, it’s like, ‘No, I’ve started this story, I’m going to finish it. Whether people like it or not, I will write it how I see it happening and be true to what I think the story desires and calls for.’ I hope that makes sense!!!!

I have gotten more aware of how people might like or dislike something, and that that is okay, and I do appreciate feedback of course too, I just also can’t see myself downgrading a story to only if other people want it a certain way if I don’t myself believe that that’s the true way for the story. I’m probably rambling now ahaha. Sorry!! I guess my point is just: Be true to the story. No matter how dark or how bright it gets, be true to it. If you are truthful to how the story wants to be told and you’re pulled along for the ride and it’s authentic, that’s all that matters. Of course, you’ll want readers, but if no one read it at the end of the day and you were true to it and yourself then there will be satisfaction there and maybe if no one sees it today, maybe three years from now so many will and maybe it’ll give them some flicker of comfort or fear or wonder or awe. You have that power as the writer. Wield it wisely. πŸ¦„πŸ’œπŸ’™πŸ€πŸ’š

“The universe is usually telling us the same story, that our lives are rich and fluid and infinitely mysterious; that we only thought we were stuck, that nothing stays the same for long” — Lamott, 2018, p. 95

I find this to be so refreshing and brilliant. A beautiful sentiment to share with others who may be struggling–particularly in my life, Fai and Vanessa (my partner). πŸ”†πŸ’šπŸ’œπŸ’™

“Gratitude is seeing how someone changed your heart and quality of life, helped you become the good parts of the person you are” — Lamott, 2018, p. 117

I love this. Isn’t this just about everything? One could say….almost everything? πŸ˜πŸ™‚πŸ˜…

“Of course, when certain people die, there is anguish. We will never get over their deaths, and we’re not supposed to” — Lamott, 2018, p. 117

Grief is a journey, not a phase by phase destination. It’s fluid and murky and yucky and necessary. It’s the cost to have loved and be loved. It is everything, almost, and ever present. But because you carry it doesn’t mean it has to consume you. Be aware of the journey you have with your grief and allow it space to hurt and be felt, that’s all any emotion really wants: an awareness of it, a letting the shitty-ness be felt and then, gradually taken up by other emotions and other life experiences and more that goes on, because life, life does go on and so we have to decide how we’re going to go along with it: are we stuck in the past and those damning past hurts or have we moved through and onward, over the next hill, the wolves only a distant howl to an otherwise bright sky? That choice, that is truly the only one, maybe the most important one, up to us. πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€

“You can’t force people to be willing to face their pain and anger, to own the ugliness that is in all of us. You can’t. I’ve tried so hard” — Lamott, 2018, p. 142

A horribly true fact. This arises at the point of the book where two people in substance use disorders make a suicide pact so if that is something that could trigger you I’d miss over this book. It is still a horribly true fact though, you can’t force people to get better and that’s exhausting and draining and horrible. You can offer what you can and help support them and encourage. But it’s not your place to fight their battles. Only they can do that. And they have to want it, too, in order to do it. Phew.


flight-of-ideas-bes-thumb-2.19.21

THOUGHTS AND IDEAS I HAD WHILE READING:

  • I really liked the style of the opening page for the book, with the gold dots on the top and bottom borders. That was really sweet. Plus I also enjoyed the symbols under the chapter headers for each one as well. Just a fancy nice touch
  • There are some great cardiophile moments in this book, huzzah! πŸ’šπŸ’™πŸ’›β€
  • p. 41’s ending reminded me and made me think of Loki in my D&D fanfic. It made me think of adolescence and Loki and his family in that setting, a sense of belonging through new friends and how that will eventually grow and revitalize him and such. πŸ˜ŠπŸ™‚ At least, I think that’s what I liked about it hahaha It’s been a while again (12/11)
  • (of shoving food into your maw) “Maybe you do [have to shove it all down]. Sometimes one just does and there is nothing wrong with this” — Lamott, 2018, p. 44

    • I enjoyed and appreciated this small validation. It’s nice! πŸ˜‹
  • “Life just damages people. There is no way around this. Not all the glitter and concealer in the world can cover it up” — Lamott, 2018, p. 59

    • Maybe it’s just me but I LOVE this line. The glitter and concealer… Maybe because I’m slowly getting into makeup myself but yeah I don’t know I just thought it really stood out to me. It’s fancy. And true. Life is hard and bleak sometimes (and also hope and light). Sometimes it’s really hard to sparkle up a dark picture. And sometimes such efforts are futile to begin with. Life is hard and unforgiving for whatever reason (and maybe not knowing why contributes to this pain) and in the efforts of paradox, it is also bright and opaque and beautiful. We haven’t quite gotten to this latter part for this chapter it’s from yet but the overall arching theme is there.
  • “We do get a taste of the spheres in birdsong (how nature is beautiful and restorative to the human soul), eclipses, the surf, tangerines. In the dark, we see the stars. In the aftermath of the devastating fire, the sun rose red” — Lamott, 2018, p. 62

    • I LOVE how this was said. It’s just so fruitful and amazing, I find. That, while life is so hard, it’s also so, so beautiful and gives back.
  • So there’s this interesting concept that got the gears turning in my head during this book: This notion that as the Reader reading the work of a Writer, you get taken out of your element either because you can relate or because you can’t and it reminded me of this realization I had in my early twenties (when I was far more creative than I am these days), where I realized that some of the life experiences I gave to my characters, particularly if they were set earlier than my chronological age, were experiences I had “missed” out on living but that I could live through them instead. I don’t know if that makes sense but like I remember I was sitting in the old science building of my university working on my laptop and maybe taking photos and I was just like “Damn, when I write about Susie in a mosh pit, I’ve never done that myself but I can live it viscerally through her” or just generally realizing that maybe the Craft doesn’t always reflect the Experience (like my recent creativity discussion post). It was just like a sudden dawning epiphany that I could write about Susie in a mosh pit all I wanted to but because she did that at nineteen, and I never had at twenty-one, I was never going to be able to go back to experience that or have that as a part of my own life. Like, I guess, it was just this notion that one day I will cease to exist but all these characters and things I’ve done will (hopefully) live on. Like, even if I was one person via body, I was made up of many more in soul because I was creative. Does that make sense? I could probs do a whole post on that separately if anyone is interested. Maybe I’ll start a Creativity Discussion series for this blog…. I don’t know, that was just something on my own mind. I just remember it as a sudden epiphany and existential awareness that was pretty wild at the time. It’s interesting to have a creative mind!! I think that creativity and the characters and plots and scenarios (our imagination, shortly put) we create in our minds is such an incredible talent and to craft that into something so believable that other people buy (physically and metaphorically) it is just such a wondrous thing. It’s wild if you think about it too long. But it’s cool. Art is nice, isn’t it? What do you get out of your craft? What keeps you going when maybe the audience for you is mute? I’d love to know and learn your perspective!!! I definitely will toy with this ‘creativity discussion’ thing too. I think that has some great potential….
  • Β 
  • (I can’t tell if I highlighted this enough so here’s another short verbiage on it: It was that strange notion that my characters would get to experience things that I no longer could because of time passing and experiences and life happening that happens for them differently than it did for me. But that even if I couldn’t have experienced it myself based on how time fell for me, didn’t mean they couldn’t or I couldn’t live vicariously through them. It was that daunting realization that even if my characters were false, they felt very real to me. And they had their own hopes and dreams and stories to tell that I was just the messenger to. I don’t know, it’s… very interesting. I can almost feel them shaking about in my skull and coming out from under the cobwebs… I should do some reading soon about imagination and creativity and all of that. I’d love to re-access all that they have and had to offer. I miss that… A lot.)
  • I also liked the notion on p. 79 about those who have been nearly destroyed may explain why they also destroy. Reminds me of Loki a lot and was something I particularly liked and wanted to highlight here. 😊😊
  • p. 89’s got me questioning myself as to why I want to write and publish books. Is it for creative release? To add my voice to the many others out there? To create? To make a career out of it? To earn money? To do it like those who garden? Interesting question with interesting answers….
  • Any time I see the word “unmasked” it makes me think of my FFN and AO3 account’s name (Unmasked Potential). Same for when I hear “Lighthouse” by GRL the song. Reminds me to do videos, that and my BANNERS outro hahaha. Love it. But yeah, this book mentioned unmasked at one point and so I was thinking, oh! I should write some fanfic soon. Still in progress with that idea currently hooray!!
  • Trees are fucking awesome and we should have more of them (not less! Never less!) πŸŒ³πŸŽ„πŸŒ²πŸŒ΄
  • By the end of the book, when Lamott is commenting on school shootings, she raises the idea that instead of focusing on all that’s wrong with the world, what if instead we focused on what comes after–the humanity and goodness in that that arrives or the new land that still breathes and grows after a fire, etc. She suggests where placing our focus and attention could bring forth another perspective or incidence of thought (so instead of just focusing in on the tragedies themselves, where else could we turn for an uplifting narrative? Even if it’s one we’re just creating for ourselves). I bring that up because it reminded me of an interview story I watched (and was the original inspiration for miscellaneous reviews for this blog, though I never fully wrote it back then, although doesn’t mean I can’t next year!) about the Nice terror attacks a few years back and how the girl the storytelling focused on wanted to give more power to the man who was there to hold her hand after the blast than the guy who perpetrated the evil acts. That always really stuck with me. And it’s such a fantastic strength and spin on what would otherwise be a horribly terrible bad after taste for humanity but is instead a celebration that love always wins. It’s beautiful, honestly.
  • I loved this notion: “The characters in your story are real people to you and include you but they aren’t yet real people to your audience” — Lamott, 2018, p. 96-97
    • I just loved that this is so true for fiction. It’s so true and makes it such a wonder how imagination works and how storytelling is so powerful and so useful and so artistic. As the Writer, you know your Characters so well, but the audience doesn’t yet, and how you go about showing them that and pulling them along to witness whatever story you wish and are destined to show, that’s so remarkable. It also reminded me once again to do more writing soon which I have been able to do so far with my mental health fanfic! It’s actually the first time I’ve EVER written scenes out of order and am then pulling them together to form a cohesive chapter that I plan to update before the end of the year! Huzzah!!! More updates on that in the future (and I’m planning to get this post out by the weekend before Christmas, so, hooray). That’s the pull and the drive I have for today (12/16) at least! [[**Oops, got this out after Christmas, but the intention was there and this is still something (just one day late!)!!]]
  • “More than any other sentence I have come across, I love Ram Dass’s line that when all is said and done, we are all just walking each other home” — (Lamott, 2018, p. 109

  • What I love about the above quote is that it has such a touching significance that I really adore. A beautiful soliloquy, a timeless tale. πŸ’™πŸ€πŸ’™
  • “Get out of yourself and become a person for others, while simultaneously practicing radical self-care: maybe have a bite to eat, check in with the sky twice, buy some cute socks, take a nap” — Lamott, 2018, p. 131
    • This was cute and genuinely a sentiment that made me smile. I enjoyed it and wanted to share it, here, too with you. XX
  • “It’s another inside job: if you are not okay with yourself at ___ pounds, you may not be okay at ten less or even thirty less. The self-respect and peace of mind you long for is not in your weight. It’s within you” — Lamott, 2018, p. 157

    • Weight specifics aside, this is super duper accurate and so super duper important, for anyone out there suffering with an ED or on the disordered spectrum. A worthy component to keep in mind. Whenever you’d hit that next “goal weight” you won’t be satisfied, it will take more and more (or less and less) to bring you some kind of satisfaction and it honestly won’t be worth it. You deserve to take up space as you are. You don’t need to be “ill enough” or too ‘wide’ or ‘small’ in order to have help and seek support and be worthy of recovery. You are worthy, as you are right now. I don’t know, I thought this was important to also highlight in this review itself. And it will help to add to my fanfic D&D too.

book-prints-thumb-2.19.21

MY EXPERIENCE: WHAT KEPT ME READING & THE BOOK’S IMPACT ON ME:

Something that I really loved about this book occurs at the very end of p. 64 onto p. 65, where the author Lamott takes us through what it’s like for her to experience reading books and the imaginations of others’ minds she plays in for a time to forget her own struggles or just to feel something or feel inspired or learn wisdom and to have that accompaniment of humanity with her in her darkest (or brightest) hour. Personally, I loved that depiction so much. I absolutely adore and love books (and plan and dream of publishing my own!!) and they’re just SO transformative and wondrous. I just want to become a life reincarnated again as a whole ass library. That would be SO sweet. Maybe in my RecoveryHome I’ll have a room just designated for books (but let’s be honest, there’s so many I own (let alone borrow!) that I’d probs need a room and a half for all of them). Hahhahaha. Physical hard copies of books are just so… magical. Which, reminds me!!

There’s a book I took out from a further away library that I had to return because it was so overdue and it was a whole thing but it was REALLY hard to let it go so I did order it on Amazon for my own personal copy and though I haven’t read it whatsoever I’m SOOOO enthralled and greedy for the aesthetic of it and what it captures, I think it was… yes, the “The Little Paris Bookshop” by Nina George and oh my gooooodddddd. I’m just craving other things like it by other authors/similar themes and it’s totes a thing for me now. Which, I think George has a few similar to that anyways (those little coffee shops/bistros and there’s some Christmas related one that recently came out by a separate author) and I’m just LIVING for it. I love it. It has piqued my interest ahaha SO, if you know any others out there like that, let me know in the comments what you’d recommend!!! And also, what type of genre would that be? It might make my search a little easier. I guess it’s like a hygge kind of thing, isn’t it? I love it. It’s like getting into Bath & Body Works sprays and lotions–I never knew I’d want to smell like a pastry but now that I can, I LOVE IT. I’m all in, 100%. Hahaha

Something that recently came up for this BES was this conversation I held in previous sections, particularly regarding more of a series from the creativity discussion panels and also from being true to the story that wants to be told, whether it’s what we set out to do at first or how it evolves as is. These are two really distinct moments I had writing this review again today (12/15) and they were really, really nice. I think a good part of me could see the bright spots of creativity from the writing in this book and relate it to other things like the MCU and Loki in particular (and all my fanfics as a whole). I just also loved this section on p. 94 where Lamott talks about her favorite stories being the shifts in points of view, from point B to point A, where something changed and hope unfurls its wings from a previous setting of pain and doom. The paragraph in Lamott’s story details how the details are so important in such changing tides of stories that move us and inspire us and let us see something funny or something remarkable. I guess, the overall framework is this: telling stories matter and how they are told matters and what they leave behind, that matters too. You could genuinely change someone with a story that you tell, so what are you going to tell?

To be fair, when I read the eating disorder heavy chapter, I was pretttttty confused as to what I should have taken away from it. It was a tad unnecessary in how triggering it could be for someone who struggles with that type of thing (and of course there are no warnings for such content) so it just left me perplexed and bothered. It was odd.

Something else I really took away from this book is that notion of how writing and creative writers and writers as a whole really hold a powerful light against the darkness that can crowd out the stars: this symbolism of characters who have gone through hell but came out the other side, this powerful attestation to hope and faith and belief in one’s self (even if for a time, it’s only because of the faith and light we find solace in from others holding it out FOR US until we can one day take it into our own palms). The way a story can be told to inspire and get other people moving…. it’s magical, writing is, and art in general and of itself, and that is so, so beautiful, so precious and so kind. Humans lighting the way for other humans is probably the best of humanity as a whole. (Theme from Lamott, 2018, p. 98).

This book holds a beautiful wrap-up that if this review has done anything for, is worthy of reading again. It’s a beautiful tight bow to everything that was covered. Maybe that’s enough of a tease for you to get it out at your local library or maybe the entirety of this review has made you say “Nah, I’ll pass.” That’s okay. Both can be true, just for different people.

Thank you so much for reading all my rambles here and my interaction with the chosen text for this BES. It was a wild ride. It took a long time to get to the point where I’m able to fully immerse myself and set aside all the time and all the page flags and jotted down notes, to fill in all the empty spaces, read it over again one final time for the editing process and then, finally, finally submitting and publishing it into The Void. It took a long time, it usually does, but after procrastinating on it again and again (and again!), I can finally say it’s done and I can let it go and move on from it to my next few books. Thank goodness. It took long enough!!! Ahahha. Here’s to cheer towards the next books to come!! Rejoice! You’ve made it. Thank you so much for reading and supporting. Sending light and love to all who made it this far. XXX πŸŒ»πŸ”†πŸŒˆπŸ₯‚ I still have so much in store!!! For you, for me, for everyone reading. 🀍😊


THINGS I’D LIKE TO CHECK OUT:

Other works by the author:

  1. Stitches: A handbook on meaning, hope and repair
  2. Crooked little heart
  3. Blue Shoe
  4. Imperfect Birds

Book reference:

  1. The Magnificent Defeat

Quote reference and following book it arises from:

***”You must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on” by Samuel Beckett from “The Unnamable” (ref. p. 180, Lamott, 2018). This seems particularly profound and interesting, powerful and everything. Even the search results on Google were interesting so I want to check out this book some time for sure!! Very cool.


Next up….

Fiction books: “Shut Your Eyes Tight” by John Verdon

Nonfiction books: “A Teen’s Guide to Getting Stuff Done” by Jennifer Shannon LMFT

((Now, if I can actually read these today, that would be an entire miracle!!!!)


TRACKING DATES AND TIMES I READ THIS BOOK:

10/12/2021 (super late evening), 11/5 (evening), 11/6 (brief, early evening), 11/7 (morning), 11/8 (evening), 11/9 (noon), 11/11 (early evening, evening), 11/13 (early morning, morning), 11/14 (early evening to evening).

TRACKING DATES AND TIMES I WROTE THIS REVIEW:

11/14/2021 (late evening), 11/17 (evening at the library), 12/1 (afternoon in the library,) 12/11 (3am), 12/15 (evening, late evening), 12/16 (evening), 12/26 (late afternoon, early evening).

“The Incredible Hulk” (2008) Film Review | MCU Review #2 (Apr. & Nov. 2021)


Β 

MCU Timeline By:

Chronological order of Release Date


Chosen Film/Year:

“The Incredible Hulk” (2008)


Movie Rating:

PG-13


Movie Length:

1 hour and 52 minutes


End Credit Scene:

One.


Directors/Screenplay Writers:

Louis Leterrier

Zak Penn


Genre:

Action, science fiction, adventure, superhero, thriller


Trigger Warnings:

Violence, drug use, sexual content, language, PTSD, trauma, paranoia, death.


Themes:

Weapons of mass destruction, militarization, superheroes, villains, romance, imprisonment, caged, heart monitors, running, avoidance, power hungry, antidotes, getting rid of unwanted characteristics vs controlling it (in this case, being Hulk), saving the day, anger, love, hate, on the run, escapism, supersoldier, safety/unsafe, flashbacks, scientists, lies, “[Banner’s whole body is considered] government property”, emotional, rescue, gamma poisoning, traveling.


Where I watched it from:

Amazon Prime Video


Plot Summary:

As previously done in my “Iron Man” review, I will not be writing my own version of “The Incredible Hulk’s” plot summary, rather instead listing some other accounts of people who’ve done it far better than I ever could. πŸ’šπŸ–€

  1. Link 1 from Roger Ebert
  2. Link 2 from James Berardinelli at ReelViewsΒ 
  3. Link 3 from Wulff Den on Youtube

**If you happen to write MCU reviews and would like me to shout you out in the future with the corresponding movie, just let me know in a comment or email via by Contact page or my other social media. Thanks for contributing!!


Memorable Quotes or Scenes:

  • When the army leader told Tim Roth’s character about the Hulk and Roth was confused but the guy just said, “It was Banner.” That just really struck me and really stood out to me. I think it highlights the fact that everyone (or almost everyone, at least the big people in charge) were treating Banner and the Hulk and the situation like an object and a weapon of mass destruction rather than seeing and believing in his human side and that he’s not just some menace out to rule the streets. I don’t know, I thought that that was important. (Especially with the contrast we get and see with Roth’s character, hot damn. Banner was just out here living his best life (or trying to) and he wanted few things but the simplest and most basic of those needs just weren’t met. Sad.)
  • This movie overall to me is just very saddening and maddening.
  • The thematic concept of cures vs getting rid of things vs controlling things vs acceptance
  • The “[we] gotta try” sacrifice. Always a classic
  • Concept piece of: “you’re not a monster” or you’re not a murderer
  • “What if I told you we were building a team together?” I forget who said this but dun dun dunnnnn. Foreshadowing haha
  • I suppose it is a good thing to also wonder what the aftermath was like for Banner after he ran away at the end of this movie and the strain of the relationship he has with authority and how that is brought back into play in later films (Looking at you, Civil War–even though, yeah, Hulk wasn’t in that but if he had been, what side would he have been on?)

Emotional Intensity:

Anger, very well done but super heartbreaking, unsatisfactory and doesn’t allow me to repeatedly watch the movie over and over again (limited viewership)


Fan Fiction Ideas/Themes to Explore in My Fics:

  1. Insecurity
  2. Sacrifice
  3. Cures vs acceptance (the golden apple vs acceptance)
  4. Sadness
  5. Anger
  6. Not deserving happy things or romance
  7. Paranoia
  8. Distrust
  9. Being controlled or manipulated by others
  10. Power
  11. Struggle
  12. US military
  13. Weapons
  14. “Monsters” (what makes someone a monster? Could definitely overlap well with Loki!)
  15. Worth
  16. Running
  17. Danger
  18. “Home” (what is a home? What makes it a home?)
  19. Safety/lack of safety
  20. Stopping from killing
  21. Romantic interest’s love and understanding
  22. Being suspicious of others’ intentions
  23. PTSD
  24. How the military attacked Hulk rather than approached carefully, diplomatically and delicately
  25. Family life (or lack thereof; not allowing one’s self a family life, goes back into deserving and worth and paranoia)
  26. Strength
  27. Resiliency
  28. Eventual understanding instead of an us vs them
  29. Science
  30. Hope
  31. Death

Estimated Timeline of When I First Watched this Movie:

Phhhhewww, what a GOOD question. I mean, besides this rewatch for the review… definitely a few years ago. Probably after I watched the Avengers. I think it bothered me just as much then as it did this year hahaha. This isn’t a super memorable film for me and not something I’d watch over and over but I know at some point I did watch it, maybe just on regular TV or eventually a DVD. Probs took it out at least once from the library itself (which I’ll be doing again soon with my partner, yay (as such it’s a big push and pull to get this review finally published while it’s still 2021 hah)).


Subtle or Overt Preparation for Future (or past) Films:

Definitely the introduction to the Avengers and putting together a team. That’s for sure. I think also that contemplation of which side Banner would have been on if he had been in Civil War is a good question and potential wonderful fan fiction idea someone should write about (if they haven’t already). Of course this film drew on the first film’s full on original backstory of Banner but like that one I can’t stand to rewatch it too much. It’s a good movie, this one, it’s just so frustrating. And really sad because I love this science bro and that’s tough to see him struggle so much. But I do think I have a lot more ground in store for my own Loki centered Avengers fanfics based on having rewatched this movie (regardless of all the avoidance, stress, procrastination and more that went on in the months after I fully sat down to watch it. Let’s just hope Thor doesn’t take quite as long.) I also liked that concept of being “a monster” because that’s heavily in play with characters upcoming like Loki. Also it’s great to see more of the mental health representation in these MCU movies too. So, yeah! Good job!! Thanks for reading ahaha


Recommendation Score:

6/10


Upcoming Movie:

….”Iron Man 2″ (May 2010)….


Technical information regarding this post:

This post began with the showing of the film April 5th 2021 at 
4pm with some notes in progress, Apr. 5th for outline of review
online and then working on the review itself Apr. 6th around 7p.
Worked on again Apr. 7th at 12:30p - 1:30p.
Worked on again Apr. 29th at 9p, 10p.
Worked on last: April 30th 2021.
Revised, edited, completed, finished now on Nov. 17th 2021.
Can't believe it's been that long. Le sigh.


Thank youuuuu!!!

Thank you so much for sticking by me and reading!! If you got this far, leave a green heart emoticon down in the comments! πŸ’šπŸ’š I’m sooooo sorry this review took as long as it did. Ooof. Also I apologize for my most random of disappearances. Not just on here, but also on Twitter. New job, my partner, Fai (who my last post was about), friends, trainings for a new job and reading some books or not reading books and then reading books and now being stuck trying to publish some backlogged posts (like for books) as well as with this series and then actually finally finish watching Thor so I can get even FURTHER along in the MCU… plus the countless hours of procrastination, avoidance, anxiety, stress and poor time management. Yeah, it all led to here. How exhausting. But, we’re here now and that’s what counts. More to come very soon. See you all then!! XXX

Rereading Fanfics & Can I Just Nuke My Phone?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com ((Picture my phone in the fire pit, and I’ll complain about WHY REAL quick))

So, first off:

UGHHHHHHH, GRRRRRR, WHHHHYYYY.

Now, onto the post:

IIIIIIII am hating my phone right now. I keep–

No, so I have a 7 year old BlackBerry smart phone with an actual keyboard (it’ll have its birthday, actually if not this month then next I believe) and it’s been PISSING ME OFF lately like, SO much because:

  1. I cannot receive a text message at the SAME TIME that I am sending one. Because if it happens, and it HAPPENS, my phone REFUSES to load for at least 10 – 15 mins (I should clarify, I cannot access those in question text messages from the person I’m having difficulties loading with or CREATE any other NEW ones to ANYBODY else. I’m pretty much locked out of my phone unless I email or call). And that has to be 10 – 15 mins of active involvement trying to have it load, so if it goes to sleep during that time, it just adds MORE time to the recovery phase of things. This is particularly annoying and I’ll get to that later.
  2. 85% of the websites when I do go on Google, most often, save for Youtube and my blog, don’t load. The funky new text interaction and ads just doesn’t work on my phone. When I try and click on them I get an error message. This also applies if I try to enlarge an image via a Google search, it just doesn’t work.
  3. Even with Youtube, I cannot stop or change the location of the video–it has to play all the way through, I cannot, especially now, I cannot change where I put it because the window for it is so small (it wasn’t always this way)
  4. I can’t load Twitter whatsoever. (And we all know how much I use and like Twitter, even when it’s The Void)
  5. I can’t even load most images via emails like if the email is of a company and sample images for promotional purposes it refuses to load or show up at all
  6. When I do have the loading issues like with a “locked” text message (so to speak), my phone starts overheating and I’ve had instances in the past couple of months where it kills literally HALF of my battery power or more. Soooo that’s annoying too!!

Honestly? I think that’s about it. I think I complained and vented enough.

It’s just been proving to be far more of a hindrance than a help lately and I’ve been really getting sick of it. I just want to hurl my phone–OH RIGHT:

8. I believe my keys at work nudged into the bottom center of the screen where the letters ‘T’ and ‘Y’ are (so just above of the keyboard, on the glass screen) while they were in my pocket, maybe back in Feb, and it cracked a (at the time, small) section of the screen. I literally had glass come out and now it’s gotten a bigger scratch expanding from the injured area and more of the glass falling off each day with the glue-like substance beneath it. I did have a screen protector which probably minimized the damage but yeah, that sucks. When I realized what happened (at first, I was eating a bag of pretzels so I thought it was a piece of salt until I found out what happened) my first thought legitimately was “Welp, I guess it’s time for a new phone.”

So I knew the end was coming soon.

Especially given the fact that, oh right:

9. I can’t use most of the main stream apps on my phone because it is neither an iPhone or an Android. It’s…. a BlackBerry.

10. I can’t access things like my accounts on Netflix or Disney+ (which would be helpful at work)

…that I’ve now had an iPod Touch since about Jan. 2020 so I’ve been able to experience the fact, when I’m in a place of WiFi (library, home) where I CAN go on all these websites, I can be on Youtube maneuvering the time stamps to wherever, I can be on app games and such, I can be on TWITTER, I can be on my blog, I can be looking at the Weather app given each town I’m in (to plan my outfits, of course) and so on and so forth.

Of course, while at Amaryllis, because there’s no free WiFi/open WiFi, I can’t access these things— OH YEAH

11. I can no longer go on FFN on my BlackBerry. It doesn’t support it at all. I was fine up until this year when things on the site changed, apparently. Ugh.

—like the Internet and such on my iPod, and I can’t use it as a phone so I can’t send texts or calls but the idea that I one day, with a new phone, will be able to is soooo brightening.

And I’ve been looking at new phones on and off over the last 3 months. I found one that I liked and really attached to but there were some problems with it so that got abandoned and now it’s been over a month since I looked at a phone again. I may still stick with BlackBerry because it DID serve me a long time (I wouldn’t go iPhone, Android only) and it is partnered with Android nowadays or with the models I have briefly looked at so that should be fine. There’s a couple pricey ones and maybe decently priced ones (if we operate on my faulty memory) that do still have a physical keyboard as well. Then there’s things like size of the phone versus pocket to consider and such. Let’s hope that I can start this month again the process of looking at phones. It would be nice, you know?


Now, here’s why I REALLY wanted to blog:

But before that–

Can we just take a moment to celebrate the fact that apparently Mental Health Awareness Month treated me so kindly, and that my iPod was acting up this evening so I couldn’t be on Twitter, for me to bring together the MASS EFFECT of a whirlpool to ACTUALLY be blogging and dealing with my thoughts and feelings IN A BLOG POST like we’re back in 2016 or some shit?

Like, can we just celebrate and take a moment to have a chef’s kiss for everything to have collided right in the universe for me to have my gut reaction to a problem be that I blog (not blob) about it which hasn’t happened in literal YEARS?

Okay?

Okay.

Thanks.

Glad that we had that discussion. I’m amazed, I’m in the feels and it feels REALLY good. It’s been so long. And something about being more active on here when I’ve literally craved it after the last couple of years and to see that AHA Twitter took me away from this a little bit (I mean, there were other factors too of course), I don’t know, it just feels magical to discover at the moment. So, one more gif because I’m happy to find that I can use them and thought of them in the first place for the first time (or what feels like forever) here:

I want to talk a little bit about fan fiction. Particularly, MY fan fiction.

If you don’t know:

Hi, hello, it’s Raquel again and I write mainly Loki centered Avengers fan fiction on topics including physical health and mental health, overcoming adversity, hurt/comfort, trauma, suicidality, growth, recovery, adjusting to life’s difficulties, hope, passion, romance (FrostIron, I’m really big on FrostIron; READ: Loki Laufeyson x Tony Stark relationships), medical mysteries, resilience and probably more, let’s be honest.

I have both an FFN account (I made it back in summer 2014, but only started posting my own fics in 2016) under the name: Unmasked Potential and an AO3 account that I made back in 2018 after someone on FFN suggested it for either D&D or ALU, my two most popular stories, because they thought the fics would do very well there too, and my username on AO3 is UnmaskedPotential. πŸ™‚

So yeah, I’ve been writing Loki centered Avengers fan fiction stories since 2016. I, actually someone that I was emailing with just asked me this so I can say it here too, am more of a planster kind of writer: I outline chapters when I go to write them but I also keep adding new projects when I haven’t finished my old ones lmao So I have a LOT of stories in progress, really none that I’ve finished (besides one shots) and even a few others that were drafted or started but not finished or put together (mostly one shots, I’ll be honest). BUT some still as only ideas.

I would say… over the last 5 years I’ve been dabbling in other forms of creative writing, for instance:

While I was in college: research papers, essays for academic purposes as well.

What you guys have seen the most of on my blog since the start (and no I never fully finished it, gwah) my newspaper articles for the paper at uni where I spoke of my mental health on a public sphere and also outlines my recovery etc

And then, of course, within the mix of time (I started college in 2012) things like original short stories, multiple chapter stories and poetry.

I ended college in fall 2018, so I’d say, alongside also doing blog posts for writing within all the years, in 2019 to 2021 I’ve discovered something particularly interesting since I’ve just started in 2020-2021 to write NON fanfic work, so like more original stories or looser fanfic that’s not Avengers/Loki based: (like at work, with kids, etc)

While I can write Loki-styled things really well…

I’ve kinda gotten stuck writing Loki-styled things really well.

Me 2021

Like, I cannot UNDO the Loki!!

Like, okay, maybe my novel is a little different, maybe, I’m not sure.

BUT like other short stories or non related Avengers stuff?

It all sounds like Loki.

IT ALL SOUNDS LIKE IT COULD BE LOKI.

I HAVE BEEN LOKI’D.

I cannot NOT write like I’m writing a Loki centered Avengers fan fiction.

It’s a problem. I SWEAR it is.

I also swear I’m crying laughing at the absurdity of this. Never thought I’d be in this situation ahaha. And the fact that the Loki’d jab references are too good is amazing too (but I’m sad there’s no gif of that)

However, my problem STILL stands.

The way I write that angsty, depressing, unworthiness and stylistic pull and churn of Loki in my fics, just, bleeds through in all other avenues as well, it seems.

I mean, I guess there are worse things.

Maybe I just need more practice to relocate my author’s voice, so to speak. Probably some awareness, cracking down out of it, editing through it and reading new content will help with that. It’s probably not forever broken and maybe I’ll just keep writing free fan fiction until I’m in my forties lmao I can dream, can’t I? (Let’s hope I’ll have some original work published by then, though!!!) [[PS If you happen to have any published work, I’d love to read them and review them onto this blog too!!! Hit me up in the comments or an email. <3]]

But here’s the real meat of what this post was inspired by:

I’m in the process of re-reading my most popular fanfic called A Little Unsteady (ALU) and… I ALWAYS forget how good it is until I go back and reread it. Like, it’s SO GOOD. THE FEELS. The questions. The existential awareness/crises. I always fall back in love with it and I am reminded each time, ‘Aaaa, yes, this is why it’s my No. 1 most popular fic’ Of course, I don’t exactly do this process super often given the fact it’s been a year and 3 months since I last updated it but even so, little things come back to my mind to look forward to (I’m particularly currently excited and fangirling for the scene where Tony and Loki hug!!) OH!!!!!! I JUST remembered how that happens. Ahahahhhaa Loki initiated it, yep. Then he threatened Tony about it, ahaha. By the way, my fics all pretty much take place in an AU where the Avengers movie only recently took place, I go and avoid most of what the MCU covers while still making light references here and there. It’s just the OG team for the majority of them though.

But yeah. Just little things and little reminders and ways that the writing flows. I mean, I’m definitely NOT without typos “pale white streaks” not “pale white steaks” or without a catch all plot formation (I make it up as I go, a lot of the time) but it’s my writing so it’s there. I’m there for it. It’ll grow and change and transform, probably with the more I read and maybe even, oooo, take some creative writing classes again.

But yeah, I’ve just been fangirling after a long day at work, reading from 4:30p this story until about 9p. When I got up to fix the streaks/steaks on AO3 and then had the run in with my phone. It’s been nice. I’m glad it was on my mind again today and I look forward to reading the rest tonight and over the next couple of days.

And hey, maybe it turns out that I had writing vibes in me today after all. πŸ™‚

Welp, that’s the end of this post. How many words? Probably too many. 2,250, eh, not bad, I’ll take it.

I hope that you managed to enjoy this post!!! And check out my fanfic if you have the time and see how Loki things are and maybe I’ll post up some more OG stuff soon so you can let me know if it is really leaked into my every day writing or if it’s a fallacy my mind is creating in and of itself.

I’ve gotta go, but it’s been real.

See you all soon.

XXX

Song in background for the last hour: “Dancing with the Devil” by Demi Lovato; I also tried changing the song I listened to each chapter for ALU so that was nice. This is my first time properly online all day! Besides rereading where I did. (On AO3) Links in my About Me page for the fanfic stuff! PPS I’m reading on Chp 5. Post written at the earliest, 8:30p – 10p

When the Writing Vibes Strike | Fanfic Work

Hi hi,

Short post!!

I am:

  • In the process of finishing watching the Thor movie, I have about 55 mins left and it already took me about 2 hours because I kept pausing every few seconds to write down notes on Loki for later regurgitation in my review ahaha
  • I watched Station 19 & Grey’s Anatomy last night, hooray!! Emotional but hooray. πŸ™‚
  • I have continued the rereading process of my fanfic CeC but today I decided to reread and print TAaBBT and then I started on the next (the second) chapter for that soooo I’m pretty happy
  • I made some additional progress notes for D&D’s sequel so that is fun
  • My Mom and I went shopping a bit today so that was nice. Note: I really, really want to get Urban Decay’s “goldmine” lip gloss one day, it’s legit $20 but it’s soooo bold and pretty and shiny. I’d love to save up some money for that next
  • I still want to get closer and closer to dyeing my hair and I think besides a phone, some bills and other payments, that I may be entering that avenue within the next two months or so!! I haven’t really let anyone know about it, yet, though. Haha Baby steps!
  • I spoke to my dating friend yesterday! They are doing as okay as can be and they let me know something I found really, really funny in a tragically absurd kind of way and that was interesting. I can’t wait until they’re out again, but have to wait for sure for a while still
  • I have to go to bed very soon because I have work tomorrow and Sun but I’m actually looking forward to it a bit!! I’m hoping to do one of the art based activities with the kids tomorrow, if I’m in the right cottage. It’s supposed to be gloriously wonderful and hot on Sun, yay! Tomorrow, mainly cloudy but still warm. I have to pick out my clothing for this very soon actually

So yeah, that’s a little bit of what’s been up and going on today!

I will need to edit another video to get done for next week but maybe I’ll do that tomorrow evening or Sun. I’d like to be a couple of videos ahead and I can probably start doing two videos a week for an upload schedule, which would be SO nice!!!

Yeah, that’s all I got for now ahaha

I’m feeling a bit tired so maybe that’s good news as well.

Welp, I’ll see you either tomorrow, Sun or on Mon.

Stay safe!!

XXX

“Grief Is A Journey” (2016) | Book Analysis (Mar-June 2020)

Book Analysis - THUMB - 7.3.19

Edit: Aug 31, 2020; I changed this post from a “book review” to a “book analysis” so the thumb is now different and the rest of the post should reflect this change. This is a LONG post, I had a lot to say and I’ve been procrastinating on it for months. Bleh. It’ll be so satisfactory to end this analysis, publish the post and return the book to the library**. Happy reading!! ❀ xxx
**As it were, I finished all the quotes section and the wandering thoughts section on a time crunch because I wanted to return this book and 4 others (that I never read, yes, I know) to the library today, Sep. 10th 2020 so technically the rest of this analysis is being written without the book in my possession. But it’s still going to feel so GREAT publishing and finishing this after so, so long. πŸ˜€

Chosen Book:

“Grief Is A Journey” (2016) by Dr. Kenneth J. Doka


Trigger Warnings:

Emaciation, skeletal reference; grief; loss; disenfranchised grief; death.


Themes:

Losing and repairing relationships, legacies, anecdotal scenarios, grief, definitions, checklist, myths vs facts, finding meaning, adversity, triumph, grief is a process, changing relationships, inspiration in some aspects for me reading it at least, reminding the Reader that they are not alone, comfort, informational, a bit dull and boring at times.


General layout/Information Delivery:

I didn’t like at first the way the myths were spoken of and then the later descriptions as to why they were instead false. It seemed a bit redundant to me and didn’t always hold my attention well. To emphasize the myths and how they came about made me see how they seemed rational but then only paragraphs later Doka was dismissing them and that just rubbed me the wrong way and made it confusing. Like I think if the myth was stated and then the focus was emphasized on WHY it was inaccurate and like have it be like: Myth X; Reality Y would have been better, like right from the get-go have it be disproved, would have made more sense to me and would have improved my experience of the book, especially so early on. (For instance, in the way the book is styled itself it shows a Myth, explains all about it, THEN it says the reality and explains all about that at length too. It’s just a little wonky to me.)

Sometimes the general sentence structures would confuse me, too and I found that to be taking me out of the immersion of the story being told and made it really frustrating, too. It wasn’t exactly the cleanest read through I’ve ever had and it really seemed to draaaaag on and on for me and I’d get annoyed with myself multiple times so that I had to read it in little exposures here and there over the course of a few months.

It was a little overwhelming at times however once I did get into it, it wasn’t so bad. It gave me a bunch of inspiration for my fan fics, novel and other things. For that, I am grateful. It is a pretty dull and boring and at times, ironically, lifeless read and I did learn quite a bit from it either way. These factors will come into play in my final recommendation score. Also, it was pretty gender non-inclusive too, only ever referring to people with “he” or “she” so I think it could have been better in that aspect too (“they” is a good option).

The chapters were split up by general myths and facts on grief, what type/style of grieving the Reader may be, each type of loss from: adult siblings, parents, child, then into disenfranchised grief and each topic underneath that. I would have liked for it to go into more detail regarding homicide/suicide and what changes would have been explored in the case of abusive parents passing on, etc. but it never really goes into it. Also, celebrity deaths, it mentions it, but never really dives into it, which is what my expectation was of it, so if you’re looking through in from that lens, this probably isn’t the book for you.

But, before I say anything more, onto the rest of the analysis….


Summary:

This book carries with it a caring and delicate deliverance of realities and news regarding grief, grieving styles and grieving processes per individuals, circumstances and the relationships involved. Grief is not in stages, as is popularly referred to, rather death and dying is. Grief is more of: a continuum spectrum, where the loss of life or loss of the relationship isn’t the end of the story–instead, grief and loss is about having an unbroken bond with that relationship because the relationship is forever and it remains intact even when death or other circumstances (moving, divorce, separation, ending relations) take away the physical aspects. The loss itself is felt and shared throughout loved ones (family and friends) and even death cannot sever this enormous tie. So thinking otherwise or thinking that grief has an end date is particularly damaging and simplifying the large and intense complexity of the matter to a minor or dismissive state, which helps no one and can disenfranchise some people’s experiences with grief even more than society may already be doing so (suicides, homicides, AIDS deaths etc).

If you’re looking for a book to provide you with examples and information in the form of unrelated, pseudonym based characters, this may be the book for you! This book is rich in information and the necessary replications of repetition that go into handling these emotionally difficult matters. It also has a great source of resources and opening the door towards understanding more about this phenomenon than what I’m used to. I definitely read this book as an insight into grieving, to relate, to understand what I’ll have to deal with at some point in my life and it did get me thinking a lot and even was the reason I signed up for a Disney+ account! :O

While meticulous in some spots, this is a good informational book and a starting point to the topic of grief. Grief and loss will happen to each of us at some point in our lives–objects, people, pets, etc. It’s helpful to know what style of grieving you possess and how to manage that.

If nothing else, it was helpful for me to read about how reading books especially means I can control how much I expose myself to and I definitely used that for this book because it was just heavy and felt like a lot at times. I found that taking those breaks really helped me to come back at the book and attack it. It definitely has its faults and it also has its wins. I’m pretty stickler about finishing a book once it’s started so that definitely came into play here, however, I’m still glad I stuck it out and finished reading. πŸ˜‰


Book Length:

261 pages


Recommendation Score:

2.8/5 losses


Unforgettable Quotes and Comments I’d like to add:

1. “[Grieving] takes you as long as it takes. There are no rules that make one person’s response normal and another’s abnormal” — p. 5

I particularly think this is a nice quote and a fundamental part of the book as a whole. This book explains how there’s no true stages to grief as what is often misconstrued as existing (those are the stages of dying rather than grief), and it really drives home the point that grief and reactions to loss will be different for each person depending on how their relationship was, how the loss or death occurred, how that person has dealt with loss in the past and more. There’s no right or wrong way to deal with grief necessarily, and each process and each loss is different and unique to the individual. There can be circumstances that make it more difficult or engage the person into self-destructive behaviors which Doka encourages seeking professional counseling or group support for as adequately as possible, while reiterating the normalization of grief and that it’s a process we will ALL go through at one point or often multiple points in our life’s journey. Yeah, those are probably the biggest take-aways from this book that I received, which is great.

2. “There is no closure to grief. Grief is not about letting go of past relationships or closing yourself off from them. Even in bereavement, you continue your bond–albeit in a different way” — p. 6

Again, this helps to further reiterate the biggest take-aways from this particular nonfiction book. There is no real getting over part of grief, it can come and go and the emotional reactions can be caused by reminders or certain memories and while there do exist parts of it that can become unhealthy or disordered, it is an ongoing journey that you embark upon differently for each case and each death and there are ways to grow and learn from them as you continue onwards in your own life’s journey. You will find ways to grow in strength, to make peace with what was lost and what never was and so on. You will be able to survive it and you may be able to even thrive despite the nasty repercussions of that painful, painful bereavement. It’s not about moving on but moving through.

3. Be specific in what you can do to help (p. 9) i.e. instead of just saying “I’m here if you need me” or “Let me know if you need anything” mention specific ways you can help, like “If you want, I can pick up someone from the airport; I can bake you a cake; I can call you at X time” etc. Platitudes of generality are nice but if not followed up on or through they’re more like empty words. Plus these nice intentions when not followed through on can be lacking perceived care when it comes to the grieving individual, potentially accruing more pain onto them and their isolation, if they are doing so. It helps to name specifically what you can offer as they try and understand for themselves what they need during this difficult time. This is true as well for those struggling with their mental health conditions and wanting to best support them. Follow-through is HUGE. πŸ™‚

4. “The bad days will come less often, will become less intense, and will not last as long” — p. 13

As we move through grief and the grieving process it will become more manageable and if it doesn’t or the pain spikes again, then there may be other underlying issues beneath the surface that require professional help and support to identify, uncover and manage. This will take time. And again, there’s no real closure in grief, you carry on with the relationship in ways that the other person isn’t physically present to interact with you on but the relationship is still there. That cannot be severed and you have your memories and your feelings and your thoughts to sift through, as well as rituals to remember them by or legacies to unfold or other meaning making ways to celebrate them and grow from the experience.

5. “People we love become part of our own biographies. We cannot really separate ourselves from them. They have left an indelible mark on who we are and how we see ourselves” — p. 15

Again, this is the part of the chapter where Doka goes into labeling myths and then asserting their true realities. The idea that loss is about letting go of people or things or pets is inaccurate as really we still have a connection and a past relationship with them that is just now challenged by the metaphysical world and what our brains can imagine and see. The people we encounter in our lives all have a special place and we are so intrinsically interconnected that leaving them “behind” as you “move on” isn’t really true. You still have them even as you move through the pain of loss. It’s just in a different way. ❀

6. “One task of mourning is deciding how to carry those memories and feelings with you in ways that still allow you to reengage fully in life” — p. 16

Once again, the point driven home is the ongoing relationship regardless if the person is still on this physical plane or not. Part of the grieving process is finding ways to live with it and through it and memorialize the person or perform rituals in their honor or compact your feelings into a visual and significant process that makes the most sense to YOU and what you need, not necessarily what you think other people think you should be doing or acting or behaving. Your process is your process and you have to own it. How you choose to remember this loved one is up to you. Allow people to grieve as they will, unless it’s detrimental or harming themselves or others, of course!

7. “Even in grief, you are not without resources or devoid of any power. In acknowledging your grief and in recognizing that your emotions are normal and natural responses to loss, you can begin to cope with your feelings” — p. 31

I feel, as I’m now returning to this review turned analysis (although arguably it was always going to be an analysis) in August 2020, this particularly hits strongly now with the recent news of Chadwick Boseman’s (Black Panther/MCU) passing. It may actually do me some good to finish commentating on the content of this book not only for you guys who may still be grieving whatever you happen to be losing and for myself as well to come to some terms and baseline with it. It’s sad news indeed. I’m not sure how this year will get worse, but I’m prettttty sure it’s gonna find a way to do so. :/ Maybe it’ll help someone else out there too, if they’re able to read long and hard at my thoughts, ideas and that of this book itself. So, thank youuuu!! ❀

8. “Rituals of affirmation celebrate the life of the person who died and recognize his or her legacy or accomplishments” — p. 33

Relevant for today’s end of August truths. </3 As well as being potentially just as helpful while people are still alive, to appreciate and say that you love them more and more. We never know what someone else is going through by just looking at them, like how we can’t tell their story by their face today, yet we can learn. We can try to grow and get better. It matters to be as kind as possible, and critique constructively where needed. Overall, being kind is worth it. It is.

9. “‘I have come to terms with the death of my daughter… I have not yet come to terms with the loss of everything I believed'” — p. 43

Hot damn. That’s powerful and says a lot!!

10. “Our different ways of grieving may create conflict. Some grieving individuals avoid reminders of their loss, while others seek them. One person may want the home full of photos while another wants to put away all these painful photographs” — p. 46

Grief, however it is felt, thought of and expressed, is never either “right” or “wrong.” Grief just is. Allow yourself as much as you can to feel your emotions and express them towards those you trust. And if you’re still struggling much time later, get help from a professional. It’s okay. The grief will subside somewhat, at least in its frequency and intensity, even though the relationship will always remain intact, just in another way. Sometimes it comes back in smacking waves, sometimes it’s quiet, sometimes it is loud and painfully felt, it all depends on the relationship, when you heard the news, how you heard the news, if it was a singular death or multiple at the same time, what else was going on, if you’ve dealt with other losses before this one, and so forth. Additionally, if it’s been unclear from before this point: Grief/Loss can happen with any one or any object. Loss is still loss. ❀

11. “You are having these [grief] reactions because you lost someone–or something–you loved. You are grieving” — 50.

So be kind to yourself!!! ❀

12. “The intense pain of grief will not be forever, but grief is not something you get over. It is a process that becomes part of a new, meaningful life. Certainly the pangs of pain will continue. But you need to mindful that, over time, it is not helpful to the deceased for you to live in a state of chronic loss” — p. 65

And promises you made to the deceased prior to their dying don’t necessarily have to be something you’re locked into for life. Like, if you swear you’ll never love again, your significant other probably never wants that misery of loneliness for you. If it would make you happy to love again, they’ll be glad that you’re enjoying your life and moving along as steadily as possible even when–and especially when–it hurts.

ALSO: This reminded me of Thor in Endgame and Tony Stark. And my avoidance of all of that. And how fics work. XD I keep wanting to rewatch the MCU movies but I’m getting bogged down in the perfectionistic bubble that I should watch them in order and review them all. Gwah. I do have Disney+ now so that’s a start. I don’t know, I’ll have to work on it and challenge myself. Maybe I’ll watch one or two out of order to just get into it again, you know? We’ll see. I am listening, at the time of writing this part on Aug 31st, to an MCU soundtrack/instrumental music video that’s about an hour long, so I mean, progress! Baby steps, ahaha.

13. “The good memories or life lessons that a person left us create a legacy that lives with–and within–us” — p. 72

A true point. This also reminded me of Luna but in general to other grieving relationships as well. Sometimes, as is mentioned after this quote, the memories of the illness can become more prominent however it is possible to work on bringing the lighter moments back into the forefront. They will always be with us, some even standing the passage of time like through photos or videos. ❀

14. “After all, the greatest legacy your loved one can offer are the memories and life lessons you can take from them as you learn to live without their physical presence” — p. 74

An emotional roller coaster of a quote. </3

15. “Sometimes you may feel you are not getting support when, really, you are asking people for support they cannot offer. It is good to remember that some people are good listeners; others are doers, while still others offer respite–or time off from your grief. Use your support system wisely” — p. 96

I feel that this quote is ESPECIALLY important and critical to keep in mind and is a fabulous take-away from this book if nothing else is. Or at least with newly frame grief experiences alongside it. ❀ I also think it applies well to even physical health and mental health conditions. xxx

16. “You may be giving mixed messages–saying you are all right when you really can use support. You cannot expect people to read your mind and guess your intentions. If you need others’ support, you have to ask for it. Only then can you know if it is available or not….. Sometimes people may offer help so generically–for instance, saying ‘Call me if I can help’–that you really do not know that they are willing to follow through with their offers. If someone offers to help, ask them for something [specific/] tangible” — p. 96

So this is actually two quotes I wanted to get through. For the first: advocate, advocate and advocate. You have to advocate for yourself in your treatment, relationships and life in general. People can’t know how to help you if you don’t ask for what you need. So yeah, that’s HUGE. For the latter: it’s so, so, so important to follow-up after the initial message is sent. I know we get busy and everything and that’s okay and if we really want to be a part of the solution for that person we’re trying to help help themselves, we HAVE to follow-up. If you say you will, follow through! And be specific too. Like the previous quote, ask for what you need and if you’re not sure, try and do some soul searching to come up with some idea, or try out what you think you need and depending on how you feel about receiving it, adjust your expectations from there. Good luck!! ❀

17. “Book services such as the Centering Corporation (centering.org) and Compassion Books (compassionbooks.com) [may be helpful resources]” — p. 97

Just spreading the word on a couple of the good amount of resources mentioned in this book. ❀

18. “While there is an inherent loneliness in your journey with grief, you do not have to journey alone” — p. 101

Just a nice reminder. ❀ There is help, there is support and you have to do a lot of work to manage it. It’s a process. Never-ending, always there. That doesn’t have to always be a bad thing. :3

19. “In other cases, you may overwhelm your support system. Sometimes neediness can drive away other people…You may be expecting too much from those around you” — p. 114

Oops, can relate to what all went down in 2017, my codependency and a friend I tried to reconnect with this summer who wanted nothing to do with me. Whoops. :/

20.Β  “You may never have the opportunity to respond [to an invalidating comment on your grief] but just thinking about what you could have said reaffirms a sense of control and empowers you not to be a victim again” — p. 118

I thought and think this is an important and nice comment to refer to. Sometimes doing role play for the future or the past can be really therapeutic and prevent future issues or at least prepare you in case they happen again and you have a template on how to deal with them. :3 ❀

21. “Acknowledge to yourself that some days may be more difficult than others. Flexibility is important. When you have a rough day, you may not be able to accomplish all that you wished. Other days will be more productive. Be gentle with yourself” — p. 119

This is relatable not just towards grief but to mental health conditions and life itself in general, too. I think this is a very important and critical lesson to be reminded of. We all have bad days, with or without health issues. And it matters to self-validate and remind ourselves (and our loved ones) that sometimes days are off and it’s okay and we can work towards making tomorrow a better one. ❀ πŸ™‚

22. “It is important to remember that there is no single, right way to experience grief. Nor does grief have a timetable. Your experience of grief is what it is and comes from who you are. You cannot compare your loss to the losses of others, or your reactions or responses to those of others. Differing experiences of grief have little to do with how much you loved or cared about your loved one (or thing)” — p. 132

Just a really important thing I wanted to highlight, have you focus on and remind myself of, too. I think lately with my mental health conditions I’ve been struggling with this notion, the whole comparing myself to others and it’s important to notate for myself even in an analysis that those types of depictions aren’t reality and aren’t comparable. It’s also nice to be reminded what grief really is and how it takes its course is how it takes its course. ❀ :3

23. “You do have choices within your grief. You could choose to live your life in perpetual mourning for your child. Or, as difficult it is and may seem right now, you can choose to live a now different life–but to live it fully, keeping alive the memories of your child and lessons that, however long or short your child’s life was, you gleaned from them” — p. 149

Honestly, this is just beautifully stated, worded and conceptualized. ❀ xxx

24. “Family holidays offer an opportunity to name the elephant in the room and to acknowledge that someone who was so much a part of your life and other lives is now missing. It can be as simple as a toast that allows the name to be spoken, stories to be shared, and the cloud of silence to be lifted” — p. 181

I think this is so beautifully and poetically stated. ❀ πŸ™‚

25. “Sometimes you have to have the courage to share with others what you are feeling and to ask for the support you need. This may mean that you educate your community about the meaning of your loss. Sometimes you can be your own best advocate” — p. 195

Vulnerability is a strength. ❀ Advocacy is crucial, even when, and especially when, it’s hard and exhausting and you’re tired of it. You have to tend to your reserves until they’re recharged and use your support network appropriately and as healthily as possible and then go from there! ❀

26. “A loss of functionality tests your sense of self. Your identity is challenged when you lose the ability to do things that were once important to you” — p. 208

I think this can relate especially towards disability as a broad term and also with the cognitive impairment of mental health conditions and also apparently I’ve severely limited my capacity and ability to read books as effectively as I was once able to do. Grrr. Each page and paragraph and book done is a test to the amount of concentration and mental gymnastics I had to uphold to remember what happened, who was involved and all the information I feel abounding my soul because of all the commentary I have to say about it and the experience of reading it as a whole. Phew. That was a lot. πŸ˜›

27. “‘Anything that you have, you can lose; anything you are attached to, you can be separated from; anything you love can be taken away from you. Yet, if you really have nothing to lose, you have nothing‘” — Quote by Richard Kalish p. 211

I thought this was particularly interesting and worthy of being mentioned in this analysis. :3 Blap!

28. “You may even find that your loss generated significant changes that in some way made the world better–creating new laws, or something more local such as a safety rail or traffic light where none had been before. However significant such changes are–in yourself or in society–they do not bring the person back. Yet that is not the choice. The choice is how you deal with the loss you experienced” — p. 254

This important quote is something I referred back to and referenced in my #SummerComer poem entry #4 HERE.

29. “Grief, too, takes time. Sometimes you want to get over it so rapidly that you lack the patience to let the process unfold. You expect to wake up one day and be “better”. You need to give yourself time to grieve, but like watering a plant, you can sometimes test how far along you are in the process. You can experiment by testing yourself as to what you can do” — p. 259

So this final quote is a testament to the idea that we take grief as a moment by moment kind of thing, a process, and some days the thought of doing one little action can feel too insurmountable and so when that happens we know to back off and try again another day. Then, each day we find ourselves getting closer and closer to actually and actively acting on the thought. Like, for me, I’ve been getting closer and closer to watching various MCU movies or working on a journal entry in a guided journal or things like that. Each day and moment I’m getting closer and I’m warming up more and more to the idea, it just hasn’t quite fully happened yet. But I know it will. I know it will. ❀ πŸ™‚


Wandering Thoughts or Ideas I had while reading:

  • p. 7: I used to be really stickler about keeping my artwork and dating it properly and having trouble letting go of it. Nowadays, I still date religiously but I’m also able to give things away and let go of other things that at one point were mine but no longer need to be. I found this a fascinating thing to come into awareness of as I read this book myself. And the way that I related to other parts of the book itself, seeing how I could incorporate certain concepts into my creative writing, how I’ve dealt with loss in the past, what techniques I can try in the future, etc. I still struggle letting go of physical things (pieces of clothing, lists, tracking things) but it is becoming more of a natural pace for me to save some things and share others elsewhere with the world or with those I come into contact with. πŸ™‚
  • p. 24: Here I had the idea that I could incorporate the ideas that whatever we grow attachments to and love can be lost and when those ties are severed we will grieve. I think this could be especially relevant to some of my fanfic stories, including “Severed,” as there is a loss of health in that fic (and honestly most of my stories) where Loki has to come to grips with things he’s unable to do now and grieve that loss, while also building ways he can soothe himself and still carry on forwards. Just a thought I had. πŸ™‚
  • p. 27: Doka explains the physical symptoms that grief can ignite in the human body and this made me think of my fiction novel I wish to write and how I can incorporate some of these symptoms into my story’s main character and sibling relationship. πŸ˜€
  • p. 31: “[Causation guilt, something we did or didn’t do caused the death] We may be fixated that if only we had taken the person to a doctor or recognized a symptom, death could have been avoided” — This is a great inclusion I’d like to make in my fanfic “A Little Unsteady.” ❀
  • p. 34: I really want to focus in on a “Distorted and Disordered” alternate universe spin-off where Loki actually does die from his suicide attempt and how that impacts his family and tears them apart, really. It would be multi-chaptered, focusing on each family member. Thor would be like how he is in Endgame and develop a difficult and harrowing drinking problem. Odin would leave and grieve to himself, pushing everyone away and Frigga would be trying to find meaning and purpose through her life’s work in the nonprofit and probably dedicate something within it to her son. I think I could even explore the side characters/the other Avengers as they react to the death. It’d probably be each character as a chapter, I think. But yeah, this page here discussing anger in grief made me think of this at the time.
  • p. 35: On the topic of constructive ways of channeling anger, it reminded me of how I got started writing in my uni’s newspaper on mental health and my recovery journey. :3
  • p. 35: “Fantasies can be an effective way to cope with anger” — This made me think of my own travels with art and fanfics/writing in general. It makes me think of how I transform my grief. I wonder how many T’Challa related fics there are out on FFN and AO3 right now. Maybe I will look into this. I feel like I don’t know his character well enough to write about him but it would be cool to see like Black Panther and Chadwick meeting on the other side. I know FFN doesn’t allow you to write about real people though, I guess maybe Black Panther leaving behind his family instead? Like his ghost seeing each of his family members one last time as he moves from this plane to the next? I don’t know, it’s an idea, at least. ❀ [AIwFF: 8/31/20]
  • p. 42: Reminded me of the movie “White Noise” (2005) that I watched a summer ago and am still in the middle of a film review notes section on. πŸ˜› I’d have to take it back out again though too. (Which won’t happen until I bring more books back…. Like this one. Sep 20: Now I’ve brought it back but haven’t got out any movies. :3)
  • p. 75: There’s no option within the talk of spirituality for what to use religion/prayer with grief when you happen to be an atheist. D: It’s never explored in the book, either.
  • p. 87: What style out of four is Thor through my fic D&D? (Head grievers are impacted most by the cognitive impairments that arrive from loss) In D&D he’d be fixing Loki’s bed sheets etc. What about in “Lead Me Home, Brother”? Or in Endgame?
  • p. 88: “[Reading books about grief] may appeal to your mind and allow you to “dose” your grief. A book after all can always be put down for a while…. John Gunther’s book Death Be Not Proud
  • So for the above statement: I’m pretty sure I read that book in high school and absolutely LOVED it. Also just in general, I feel the former is very true. When I get frustrated or upset by a book I can take space away from it for a while unlike some other things. I did that a few times with this book (it’s just lengthy, informational and boring. Deathly boring, ironically enough). But yeah this just reminded me of what I was doing with this book itself and researching for my fanfics even. πŸ™‚
  • p. 93: I would like to rewatch “Being Human” (US) version, find “Saving Hope” and watch that too as well as get Disney+ and watch MCU movies. Which, I have had the account for for the past few months (D+) and it was actually reading this book that brought that into existence, so, thank youuuu, book! ❀ I have seen a couple MCU movies on TV at least, so that’s some re-watching. πŸ˜›
  • p. 117: Estate and yard sales are pretty cool. I got a few books and a couple paintings and such from an estate sale my Mom and I went to a couple years back. So that’s nice. :3 (About re-purposing items left behind from loved ones for other people to cherish and enjoy. πŸ™‚ )
  • p. 130: In my AU spinoff from D&D where Loki does die in his suicide attempt, Frigga would find some relief in the notion that he wouldn’t be in pain anymore and that even though that painlessness meant he was taken from her too soon, it would also comfort her in the smallest of ways. Odin would leave them and Thor would, as I mentioned earlier, would dabble into alcoholism to bury his own pain. 😦
  • p. 132: [Parents having lost a child can sometimes reach a state of renewal where…] “They choose to move forward, to live a meaningful life despite the loss. They find a meaning that makes their lives a tribute to their child”
  • Commentary on this quote: I really liked this and again I think it conveys a sense of pain and rebirth to a very tragic and unfortunate situation.
  • p. 132: Yes, your memories of your child (or any other loved one) will always be with you…unless you die or you get dementia of some kind. :S
  • p. 144: I was raised in a Christian household but in my teens I turned more towards atheism. I don’t know exactly what I believe now, maybe agnostic, but I do like to think of “god” as the Universe. That is comforting to me. Also, ironically, for someone who didn’t believe in an afterlife, I wrote and still write a LOT about it ahaha. This ‘rebuilding faith’ section made me think of this and reminded me of my plot for my fiction novel. ❀
  • p. 144 cont: For that novel, I’ll list out a couple of themes mainly for myself to remember and jot down into the future (and which probably will make no sense to you ahaha) – RxR, breakdown, remembers decisions to stay after 1/2 through, afterlife. ❀
  • p. 147: Again for that D&D AU of which I don’t yet have a title for: Focusing each chapter on the immediate family, then to the Avengers as would have been friends and then other characters as the people Loki had yet to meet and how his absence impacted and changed them. ❀ :3
  • p. 148: “Your child’s death will affect not only your spouse and children but also other relatives and friends. Your parents have lost a grandchild, your siblings grieve the death of a niece or nephew. Neighbors, coaches, teachers and friends all experience that loss. Their own ways of dealing with that loss may influence their own abilities to offer support” –> This is exactly why I want to do that additional AU fanfic where this is explored properly and fully. I hadn’t even thought of the further ramifications and how plenty of other people would be impacted by Loki’s suicide. So, yeah, super important! If only I could actually do some D&D writing for what’s happening now and then come up with a title and start working on it. I have a title for the AU where he gets help instead of attempting first, too (“Failure to Pass A Psychiatric Evaluation”.)
  • p. 168: “As parents age, we realize that they are not the awesome or awful powerful figures we once imagined them to be” –> This also, once again, reminded me of the relationship between Loki and Odin (both in D&D and in general). 😦
  • “(Your parents’ deaths reminds you…) of a central truth. Your parents left their mark on you–left you legacies and perhaps liabilities–not only in their lives but also in their deaths” — p. 169 I thought this was particularly poignant and necessary to be brought into the discussion of this book analysis. :B
  • p. 176: The name isn’t said here but I do like for one of my future characters somewhere to be named “Nardia”.
  • p. 205: “Experts recommend open and ongoing communication between adoptees and adoptive parents to allow information, thoughts, and feelings to be acknowledged and processed. This is unlikely to be a “one time tell all” but rather an ongoing process” –> This reminds me of the Thor movies where Odin pretty much did a one time tell all and how it’s referenced in the movies thereafter. Also makes me think of my sequel for D&D. :3 BUAHAHAH
  • QUESTION: p. 207: (How visiting within the prison system can be humiliating for the search of property and person) Can psych hospital admissions be grief provoking? And related, can you grieve what no longer is (like for me it’s been 2.5 years hospital free, can I grieve times I was in the hospital or times I’m not in it now? Like, mainly for “free” meals or meeting friends etc. I don’t know, it’s an interesting thought. :3
  • QUESTION: p. 218: Does a positivity bias [“in those with intellectual disabilities they may have positive bias where they have a sunny disposition that masks their deep sense of loss”] exist in other realms and contexts too? Because I think I can be like that sometimes too because of my optimism and positivity and kindness whereas it’s there because I’ve been through pain, you know? I thought this was interesting and I was curious about it. :3
  • p. 257: Exercise on life imprints by asking how a person we’ve lost affected our mannerisms, way of communicating/speaking, hobbies and pastimes, basic personality and values/beliefs can be like sea shells making indents in the sand–we can have imprints from people’s legacies placed on us, liabilities from them, and just imprints in general. This could be a good group activity for my work at Amaryllis. I may need to flesh it out more or research a bit more but it could be excellent. ❀
  • p. 258: Strengths group for work as an art activity. What strengths have gotten me through hard times before and what can they do for me now etc.

What Kept Me Reading, How I Read it & The Impact of It All on Me:

There are sweet moments within this book that made me cry, smile and laugh. Ahaha. Also I have rules for myself and while I can change them, I just don’t yet. (Like if I start a book I have to finish it. If I read or consume something (books/movies), I have to review them, etc.)

Overall, what kept me going was that I was closer and closer to finishing it. I knew that I had to get through it to get to all the other books I really, really do want to read so that helped. I found that putting on perfume or lotion helped too, ambient music like train sounds on Alexa and Calm app scenes like the mystic water fountain, sunset on the ocean, gleaming sunshine, etc. Even just reading on my bed or curled up on the floor. Definitely having a view of the stack of books helped, too.

So yeah, once I was reading it I wanted and knew I’d be in it for the long haul. I’m so glad and relieved I’m almost completely finishing off this post and everything about it. I’m excited for my next review or analysis. I think this book overall served a great purpose for me and that’s reflected in its score as well as the fact that I made this review and stuck with it, regardless of all the procrastination involved and finally it is done and I can wipe my hands clean.

I’d say it made an impact on me and definitely got me thinking and trying to find ways to relate it to my stories and everything, so that was really nice!

Lastly, thank you so, so, soooo much for reading!!! Leave me your thoughts down below and if you have a post you’d like me to read and review, leave it down there, too! ❀ ❀ ❀

As always: stay safe, take care and be well. Much love and light to you. xxx


Dates I read this book:

3/23/2020, 4/8, 4/23, 4/24, 4/26, 5/16, 5/18, 5/19, 5/27, 5/29, 6/11, 6/12, 6/15.

Dates I wrote this review:

6/15/2020, 8/31/20, 9/1, 9/10/2020.


–#SummerComer #PoetryChallenge Entry #9 DOES NOT EXIST– Ft. Life Update


Hi there!

So, it’s been a VERY, VERY long time since I last posted anything onto this blog. I ran into a lengthy writer’s block for the last month and a half (July most significantly) and while I’ve worked on a few blog posts behind the scenes (stalling with two book reviews however and one music based one, as a follow-up post to my first music and my recovery entry back last year in the fall) I really just haven’t written or blogged in a long time.

So, sorry about that!

I’ve wanted to do a few posts but they just never happened and then time went on and I’m a Master Avoider so I hightailed my avoidance behaviors to an almost fantastical degree, it’s actually kind of impressive.

However, I just received Writing Vibes again this past weekend so I’m running on that now. I actually just uploaded a NEW fanfic story to my fanfic accounts (fanfiction.net & AO3) called “Torn Apart and Bound Back Together” which I’m really happy with and very excited to explore going forwards.

Besides missing this poem’s entry I’ve been able to write for the week’s since. I haven’t started for this week but I may do one referencing the new fanfic story. I haven’t completely figured it out yet though. :3

But yeah, in general I was also doing a lot of filming and video editing and uploading but I fell off this past week, almost two weeks. I’ve also been working a few shifts at Amaryllis so that’s taken up some time. I have work all this weekend, one second shift and one first so I’m not entirely sure how that’s going to go exhaustion-wise, so I’ll probably be out of commission for most of next week. I’ve been sleeping a lot during the week and that’s been cutting down on my productivity level as well.

I’m hoping to film a small unboxing today and I’ve just ordered myself a daily pill container because I’ve been having trouble remembering if I’m taking my night meds.

I also got MAP certified for work so that’s fancy. I’m still anxious and avoiding actually doing the medication administration but one of these days I’ll probably go in and have to hold the med key. That makes me nervous for sure.

I’ve been pulling and picking lately and trying to get on top of that.

Mother Redbird just arrived late last night and I made the mistake of sitting on the floor for six hours watching MCU movies on Sunday so each night at bedtime for the last three night’s has been very painful at my back. I’ve had to sleep the opposite direction to get some relief because the angle of my pillows was not allowing me to have a good time.

I have a lot of videos I can edit but with my sleeping lately I just haven’t been able to do them. I’m hoping and planning to do a small unboxing today though so that would be cool.

I’ve been doing some baking lately, in the last two weeks. They’ve come out great.

I had a heavy and daunting and very painful OCD experience last Thursday. Luckily I’ve re-stabilized since.

I am almost finished with a book “YAWI” that I started a couple of weeks ago and haven’t completely finished (or made the time for to finish) since. I’m hoping I can today.

I’ve been itching to watch either Netflix or a Disney+ movie so I’m hoping I can make that happen today.

I’ve been listening to music and getting coffees and I started a new coloring page this weekend which is fun. My Mom and I have been hanging out and we stopped by the “beach” over the weekend and will probably return after my first shift on Sun. πŸ™‚

Any who, besides some hauls and some other things I want to get out for you guys, that’s been what I’ve been up to lately. I started watching clips of “Impractical Jokers” in the last week and that was very entertaining (and then very procrastination worthy) and made me laugh a lot so that’s something. I’ve been getting into movies and TV shows that I’ve never seen before or haven’t seen in a long time by finding clips on Youtube, ahaha. It’s been fun.

But, I’m gonna try and get my other poem posts ready and here’s hoping I’ll be back on track soon.

Thank you so much for reading and I’ll definitely try and put back in the effort to read and comment on your posts as well! So, if you have anything in particular you’d like me to read and share my thoughts on, feel free to leave them down below and I’ll do my best!

Thanks. πŸ˜€

xxx ❀ ❀ ❀

As always: stay safe, take care and be well. Much love and light to you.

πŸ™‚

SUMMER COMER ENTRY #10 TO BE POSTED MOMENTARILY. ❀

PS I have a new presentation to be done tomorrow for NAMI so I’ll be working on that later today as well. I did my first virtual presentation back in July, it went well! Tomorrow’s is in the afternoon so that should be nice. I really have to reorganize my room and tidy up soon so that I can do some other videos going forwards. I will probably soon be adding some videos from my Youtube channel to here as well to keep bumping them and highlighting some important stuff.

PPS I joined another website to help with the trichotillomania so I’ve been kind of blogging there a few times too, so there’s that. :3

Entry information: Music: “1800 273 8255” by Logic ft. Alessia Cara and Khalid; Written: 8/12/2020

PPPS I had to back-up a bunch of my computer/art files because my computer finally ran out of space. So, that happened too. And there’s probably a couple other things that’s happened since I last blogged that is slipping past my mind now, ahaha. Okay, that’s it for now though.