Top 5s

Recent qurantine boredom produced a lot of get-to-know-you games on Facebook. One of them that I found fun was ‘Ask me my ‘Top 5′ anything!’ My friends went to town, and so did I. And I’d like to present you with some that we came up with:

From Jessica: Top 5 Disney movies (stuck with strict Disney, not Marvel, Pixar, etc.)
5. Atlantis: The Lost Empire
4. Mulan
3. Tie: Hunchback of Notre Dame and Emperor’s New Groove
2. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
1. Beauty and the Beast

From Alyssa: Top 5 movie villains
5. Heath Ledger’s Joker
4. Alan Rickman’s Sheriff of Nottingham
3. Loki
2. Hans Gruber
1. The Evil Queen

Also from Jessica: Top 5 animals
5. Elephants
4. Foxes
3. Penguins
2. Otters
1. Cats. All cats. Big cats, small cats, all cats.

From Elta: Top 5 celebrity crushes
5. Flying Circus Michael Palin
4. Mamoru Miyano
3. Michael Sheen (baking) and David Tennent (reciting Shakespeare)
2. Mark Fischbach (don’t judge)
1. Aishwarya Rai, Buchchan

Misunderstood from Kirsten: Top 5 bad movies according to critics that I like
5. Bloodshot
4. Mistress of Spices
3. Law Abiding Citizen
2. The DaVinci Code
1. Willow

Actually from Kirsten: Top 5 movies so bad they’re hilarious
5. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers the Movie
4. Batman and Robin
3. Kung Pow: Enter the Fist (technically)
2. Spice World (technically)
1. Drop Dead Gorgeous
* The ‘technically’s are because they are pretty bad movies but I really like to watch them *
* I would’ve added Wild Wild West, but I don’t consider it a bad movie even if everyone else does *

From Mairi: Top 5 plays
5. Arsenic and Old Lace
4. Macbeth
3. Dr. Faustus
2. Five Kinds of Silence
1. Pillowman

From Logan: Top 5 fiction book series
5. Five People You Meet in Heaven (yes, it’s a series now)
4. Charlie Bone
3. Sherlock Holmes
2. Poirot (though I prefer Christie’s non-detective work)
1. Robert Langdon

Also from Elta: Top 5 fictional characters
5. Willow
4. Aziraphale and Crowley
3. Hawkeye
2. Sherlock Holmes
1. Robert Langdon

From Sarah: Top 5 places you want to travel to
5. Netherlands
4. Ireland
3. All 50 states (I have like 10 left)
2. Finland
1. Japan

I had a fun type even typing this back up.

Let me know what you think, what your top 5s are from these prompts, and if I should do more get-to-know-you games.


Alexandra TG


I Don’t Celebrate ‘People’ Days

*edit: how incredibly rude of past me to not publish this properly. Here it is, albeit it a day late. Reminder, future self: double check publishing*

I hear you, “What are people days?” They are holidays that celebrate a specific person, like Washington, Lincoln, King Jr., or today (yesterday), Columbus.

It seems wrong to me to celebrate one person. “We don’t celebrate the person, we celebrate what they’ve done.” Then, why can’t it be Civil Rights Day instead of Martin Luther King Jr. Day? “If you do that then you’re disrespecting the people behind it.” Okay, then where’s federal Rosa Parks Day? Where’s Magellan Day? Where’s JFK Day?

There’s a flawed logic behind these people days, especially with Columbus Day. The man got lost ad opened the Americas to a European takeover. And that warrants a holiday in the US? A holiday Vladimir gets out of school for?!

It makes no sense to me.

That’s why I don’t celebrate ‘people’ days. I’d rather celebrate causes and movements.

I Opened a Shop!

Recently, I started making jewelry again. I’ve made posts about this (here and here), and decided to make some more. In addition, I have been given the opportunity to sell some at a Harvest Fest coming up. Because I decided to make more for the Fest and I enjoy making them, I thought I might as well pursue it.

And thus, my Etsy shop was born.

Yes, I only have one item…

After the Fest, I’ll be making more and putting more up on the shop, including other kinds of jewelry besides my witchy potions.

I’m trying this out, guys. I’m scared as hell to do it, but we’re here to learn and try new things.

I’ll also let you guys know how it goes selling at the Fest, since that’ll be my first time doing it.

If you want to check out the shop, I’ve put it on the social media menu on the home page or you can follow this link:

Let’s start this new journey!



Quotes part 3 – Creator Extraordinaire Edition

I have more. A lot more.

Recap: I collect quotes and quote books. I like to share them with people and I use them in journaling, decor, writing, everything. For this part, the creator extraordinaires are people who’ve done incredible work for good purposes. So, let’s start with…

Mr. Rogers

  • Discovering the truth about ourselves is a lifetime’s work, but it’s worth the effort.
  • Who you are inside is what helps you make and do everything in life.
  • Music is the one art we all have inside.
  • Real strength is neither male nor female.
  • Understanding love is one of the hardest things in the world.
  • One of the most important gifts a parent can give a child is the gift of accepting that child’s uniqueness.

Bob Ross

  • We don’t make mistakes, we just have happy accidents.
  • Friends are the most important commodity in the world.
  • You have to have dark in order to show light.
  • Sometimes you learn more from your mistakes than you do from your masterpieces.
  • The secret to doing anything is believing that you can do it.
  • It’s the imperfections that make something beautiful. That’s what makes it different and unique from everything else.

Dr. Seuss

  • Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!
  • The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.
  • There are so many things you can learn about. But…you’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.
  • There’s no end to the things you might know
  • I am lucky to be what I am! I am what I am! That’s a great thing to be!
  • Of all the shapes we might have been, I day, “Hooray for the shapes we’re in!”

Hayao Miyazaki (of course)

  • Any woman is just as capable of being a hero as any man.
  • Reality if for the people that lack imagination.
  • You must see with eyes unclouded by hate.
  • The creation of a single world comes from a huge number of fragments and chaos.
  • We depict hatred, but it is to depict that there are more important things. We depict a curse, to depict the joy of liberation.
  • Always believe in yourself. Do this and no matter where you are, you will have nothing to fear.

Until next time with even MORE quotes.



Do I Undersell?

I’ve started selling jewelry.

One of my biggest hiccups with selling wares is what to charge people. How much is it worth to me and worth to others to sell? That kind of math is beyond me, because even now as I’ve settled on a price, I’m told it’s too much or too cheap. Mostly that it’s too cheap.

So I ask myself, do I undersell?

And this question goes beyond my wares. Do I undersell myself?

I’m a young woman who’s endured a lot, traveled a little, working on her second Masters, reads (a lot), and does her taxes every year. Do I believe I’m worthwhile? No. Do I think I’m ‘allowed’ to seek what I deserve? No. Do I even think I deserve stuff? No. It’s sad but true. I actually don’t see myself ad an accomplished person.

Have I done a lot in my time? Oh, sure. But I don’t see it as amazing or ‘worth it’. As I inch closer to the end of my Masters program, I think about my future, and it’s a pessimistic viewing. From not being able to find a job to not being able to pay my bills, etc.

Now here’s where it all ties in, friends: it’s time to do math.

When you make and sell jewelry you have to math out every piece to understand that ware’s worth. From the bottle to the glitter to the hardware to the time.

We need to do the same for ourselves. Math out our moments, successes, accomplishments. From the Masters degree to living alone in Scotland to the writing to the time. And you’ll find you’re worthwhile.

Even if your accomplishments are small. You’re still worthwhile. Don’t undersell who you are as a person.

Now, to teach by example, I understand how often I undersell myself. But I’m making a concerted effort to understand my worth as a trained expert.

Also, my witchy potion earrings are priced at 15 dollars after doing some math.



Creating Earrings and Bullet Journals

After a madhouse of a time, we’re still creating.

It’s October, meaning it’s spooky season. It’s also a new month, so that means a new bujo spread. This month, I went for a witchy vibe, since I’m looking into and starting to practice witchcraft. I’m really enjoying this look and this theme.

As well, I’ve been making little witchy potion earrings.

These little creative moments have been keeping me sane as I handle trying to catch up on missed grad school work, work problems, and home issues.

Don’t be afraid to show off your work, either, if you’re proud of it. Remember to be creative in hard times, if that’s how you find peace.

Enjoy my work, I hope you do. And I hope you enjoy your own creativity whatever kind it may be.



Rating Miyazaki’s Ghibli Work

Recently I talked about some Studio Ghibli when I wrote about Isao Takahata (read it here). This inspired me to complete something on my bucket list: watch Hayao Miyazaki’s Ghibli filmography. I had been forgetting about watching one for a long while and I finally got to it. So, I completed that goal, and now I can officially rate the movies. This was hard, because I actually love all the movies, and I mean all the movies. But I think I did it.

Just remember, please, this is personal opinion. Everyone is different, and you don’t have to agree. But this is how I rate Miyazaki’s movies:

13. Ponyo. Yeah, Ponyo is last place. It’s adorable, and I love Fujimoto and Lisa as characters. But the other movies are just better.

12. Arrietty, the US version. Unlike other Ghibli movies, this one got two English versions, the US and the UK, both with different actors and different scripts. The US one is not as good, sorry about it.

11. Princess Mononoke. Is Ashitaka my favorite male hero? Yes. Are there still better movies than this one? Also yes.

10. The Wind Rises. I swoon for the animation.

9. My Neighbor Totoro. I’m gonna get shit for this one. Again, I love this movie, but I think there are better movies. Sorry, Mom.

8. Arrietty, the UK version. Better script and better actors. It works better with the UK script, I believe.

7. From Up on Poppy Hill. This movie speaks to me more than people know, and even if it’s the least-liked according to critics and stuff, there’s something special about it to me.

6. Porco Rosso. This movie is so friggin’ funny. I was non-stop laughing, and there was a point the laugh got so ugly Vladimir got concerned.

5. Kiki’s Delivery Service. This, I believe, was my first Ghibli movie, and it holds a special place in my heart.

4. Whisper of the Heart. This was my most recent watch, and it touched my heart and soul. I saw myself at ages 11, 15, 21, and even now. Super special.

3. Spirited Away. I mean…this is just a masterpiece.

2. Castle in the Sky. Characters, story, animation, this movie gives it all to me.

1. Howl’s Moving Castle. Everything about this movie is magical to me, absolutely everything. I cannot fault it, nor do I want to. It’s definitely my favorite Miyazaki movie, and one of my favorite movies ever.

Well, darn, this was tough. I reiterate, I love every Mitazaki movie. He is one of my favorite creators. So know that, even if it’s at the bottom of the list, I recommend it.

Thanks, Hayao-sama, for transforming my life through your art.



School Started, and Here’s What’s Up

I’m in my third semester of my grad program. It’s getting tougher and tougher, not that I expected it to get easier. However, I am in a science program now after having been a fine arts person my whole schooling career. It’s all new to me and I have to really readjust my thinking quite often.

Classes started a month ago, and I’m just doing my best because that’s all that can be asked of us. I don’t care what Yoda says, there is a try.

It’s gonna continue to be a rough semester, rough year, rough rough rough.

Man, am I getting beyond mental workouts.

While I continue, posts may come and go, be mentally fried-sounding (like that phrasing), and be simple, like myself. Just know I’m doing my best and that’s all we can ask of each other.

Good luck with all your endeavors.



Miyazaki vs Takahata

I have a profound love for Studio Ghibli. I adore the work that has come out of it. What people don’t seem to understand, though, is that the studio is not synonymous with a single creator. Hayao Miyazaki is a legendary film maker, and when people think Studio Ghibli they think Miyazaki.

However, there is someone else who deserves love as well:

Isao Takahata.

I’ll be the first to admit I love Miyazaki. I prefer Miyazaki to other work by Studio Ghibli. But I still think Takahata deserves as much recognition and love. Here’s why:

1. He co-created Studio Ghibli with Hayao Miyazaki. Takahata and Miyazaki have been in the animation industry for years before they founded this studio in 1985. The difference is that Miyazaki was an animator and Takahata was a writer/director. He led production for many works before he and his long-time collaborator started their own studio.

2. According to Rotten Tomatoes (as of writing this), there are three Ghibli movies with a 100% rating…and all three were Takahata films: Grave of the Fireflies, Only Yesterday, and The Tale of Princess Kaguya. He created amazing works of art.

3. His film Grave of the Fireflies was partially inspired by his own experiences from the bombing of Okayama City. And if you’ve seen Grave of the Fireflies, you’ll share my sentiment when I say: oof.

4. Takahata was also the music director for Kiki’s Delivery Service. Yep.

5. Unlike Miyazaki, he changed up styles. Again, I adore Miyazaki and his style; he is everything I love. But he’s also very stagnant. Takahata’s films range in animation from Only Yesterday to Princess Kaguya to My Neighbors the Yamadas, and more. It varies.

Now, am I saying ‘don’t have a favorite’? No. Sorry, Isao-sama, but Miyazaki’s films are my life (and favorite). What I’m saying is that we give credit to another great man behind Studio Ghibli that doesn’t get enough recognition. He helped start something amazing and he’s created so much in his lifetime.

Thank you, sir.



P.S. I am also well aware of other people, especially Toshio Suzuki, with a HUGE hand in Studio Ghibli and its works. Maybe I’ll talk about them in the future.

A Message from All of Us

Everyone has a message for you…

From Assistant Edgar:

I am taking a break. Miss TG has been busy with various things including school, work, volunteering, and family issues, so I have been stretched thin. As you can imagine, so has Miss TG.

However, things can only get better when you’re feeling down. Miss TG will be working hard, and I’ll be taking a vacation.

Have a good week, and a good quarter.


Assistant Edgar

From Caregiver Willow:

Hey, friends! ^_^

As you a-see, I had boo-boo. T.T

But I a-better now, mostly!

I still have a-boo-boo, but I out of cone of shame!

I be okay. And so will you! ❤

I a-believe in you!

For now, I a-heal. Miss Alexandra take care of you! ^_^



From Daughter Sophie:

I haven’t talked to you guys at all, and you haven’t seen me since I was adopted.

But Mama has been in, out, and everywhere else. She hasn’t been as attentive to me. Rude T.T

I just want you to know that even if she doesn’t seem to be taking care, she’s got you guys on her mind. Mama just feels bad about letting you guys down.

I’ll help out when I can, lol. Can’t do much, but I can try and I certainly do.

Be good to yourself and accept help when you need it.



From Certified Black Cat Toothless (and brothers Bram and Ash):

I just want you guys to be aware that Halloween season is coming up.

Be aware of black cats around this time.

We are adopted and abandoned, abused, and killed.

Please be good.



Is that good, Alexandra? Yeah? Cool.

From Alexandra:

Hey, friends.

Yes, I had a birthday. Yes, I dyed my hair blue. Yes, I’ve been gone for a few weeks.

Balance doesn’t exist right now, but we’re trying our best.

The reason I wanted everyone to give a message is because they won’t be giving messages anymore. I’m not happy with them (the messages, not the cats) and I wanted to move on, now that I’m trying newer things in life.

I’ve got some plans for the next few weeks of posts, but if I drop the ball again just know I either had a huge essay to write or I had some volunteering/shadowing going on.

Thanks for being you, and I hope we can all learn more together.