Why I Keep “Volunteering” to Marry Tom Hiddleston

It happened again. Someone pointed out that Tom Hiddleston would be a really good husband and dad-except for the fact that he’s not married. My immediate response was “I volunteer as tribute!” It wasn’t the first time that I’ve done that. It probably won’t be the last. It’s a thing that I do sometimes. I find Tom Hiddleston attractive, and that’s just a fact of my life these days.

Every now and then, I say that I should write a post explaining my Hiddleston crush. Why is it that I like this tall, skinny English dude? I first started considering this post this a few years back when I read a post somewhere on the interwebs written by some dude who was whinging about how girls keep falling for Hiddles and he couldn’t figure out why. I can’t find the post anymore, and to be honest, there are multiple such posts. But why?

Is it his hair? His smile? His eyes? His accent? His personality? His brain?

Yes, yes to all.

One of the most attractive things to me about any person is their personality. I like good, kind people who are genuine, people who love others, people who give of themselves. I want to see people who treat others (regardless of gender or any other qualifications) with respect. For that reason, Tom Hiddleston is attractive to me. In everything that I have ever seen of him, he respects others. He respects the women in his life-costars, his sisters, his mother etc. He respects his fans. He respects his male coworkers. He respects the people to whom he ought to look up, and he respects people who he is not required to respect-fans, children etc. He smiles at people, which is huge for me. I try to smile at people regardless of whether or not I know them because I think that it’s a small but important gesture. I really like the quote below because it’s simple and true. I don’t expect you to be happy all the time, but I do appreciate when people are joyful and try to share that joy with others.

Hiddleston is also quite intelligent. He has a degree from Cambridge University in Classics. That’s nothing to sneeze at. A few years ago, one of my students looked at me and said, “I just figured you out! You like smart men.” Exactly, I like smart men. And, as my roommate once told her brother, I’m more attracted to his brain than I am to his body. The man loves good literature. He loves Shakespeare. He claims that Shakespeare is the reason that he became an actor.

He always seems like he loves what he’s doing. It’s hard to find an interview where he isn’t smiling. Even when he’s being teased, he seems to be enjoying it. I’ve never heard him complain about his work or his costars. I’ve never heard him bash the work that he did when he was younger and perhaps more desperate for work. I’ve seen him laughing with his costars. I’ve heard him talking about enjoying his costars as people. He talks about hanging out with them.

I don’t think that Tom and I have exactly the same morals. He’s advocating more male nudity in film. Now, I don’t have a problem with his argument’s base in gender equality; I’d just rather see no on-screen nudity. I don’t know that we could have a happy marriage because we don’t have the same moral compass, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t dream about him or watch his movies.

So why do I like Tom Hidldeston? Honestly, it’s because he seems to exude joy. He seems to be a content human being AND he seems intelligent. And that is incredibly attractive to me.

Also, he has lovely blue eyes, and I’m kind of a sucker for lovely blue eyes. But things won’t work out for Tommy H and me unless he becomes Catholic. (Hey, T-Hiddles, the Eastern Catholic Church is awesome. Want to come hang out with the cool kids? We’re the real happy few.) But if that doesn’t happen, that’s okay. I’ll just watch his movies and enjoy his talent.

The Questions You Ask On Watching The Emperor’s New Groove as an Adult

Last night, my roommate (henceforth to be known as JCS and part of the Egotist’s Club) and I watched The Emperor’s New Groove together. We compiled a few MANY questions that we’d like the answers to, and we’re sharing them

– Why has Kuzco never fired Yzma before now?
– Where did Kuzco’s guards learn to Riverdance?
– Was Pacha democratically elected to be leader of his village? Or did he get his job from a random lady passing out swords in a lake?
– Why doesn’t Pacha’s wife have pregnant-lady boobs?
– Does saying “We’re just going to sit up all night saying how much we love each other” convince children to go to bed in real life?
– Where did all the purple animals come from?
– How did no one kill Kuzco before now?  He’s so annoying.

– What were Kuzco’s parents like?
– Where did Kuzco get that mouthwash from?
– Why do all these people have mullets?  This movie is not set in the 1980s, these people are not Canadian, this movie is not about hockey.  What’s with the mullets?
– Why is Pacha wearing a skirt?
– If Yzma’s signature color is purple, why did she wear a pink dress to Kuzco’s fake funeral?
– How old IS Yzma?
– Demon alpaca?

JCS: Why is this one conversation like an awkward morning-after discussion?  Like, walk-of-shame awkward?
JCS: How does Pacha know anything about blood-sugar levels?

Why are there Jews in the Incan empire?
Are there really sombreros in the Incan empire?

JCS: I don’t understand why he left the blanket.

Why does Kronk have a tent that only covers his knees?
Why are his pajamas more modest than his uniform?
Why does his teddy bear not have pajamas?
Is Yzma half-mosquito?
Is Yzma a ninja?
First of all, how did the children move so fast, and second of all, why do they need to Zamboni their floors in the middle of the jungle?
Why is there a mariachi band?
Why do the alligators barf?
Why doesn’t Kronk just kill her?
What does she have against spinach puffs?

JCS:  Why are all her potions and poisons pink?

How’s the octopus supposed to do anything?  Like, octopi are not supposed to be able to function on dry land.

How does this guy keep getting thrown out of windows?

Why does Kuzco wear dinner plates as earrings?
Where did they get the spinach for spinach puffs?
Why do these men not have hair on their chests?
Is it really that important to know squirrel?

The Ten Best Things that Netflix has Brought into My Life

If you know me well, you know that I love movies. I’m fond of TV at times, but I don’t tend to watch much current TV. I watch Castle. I watch Downton Abbey when it’s in season. And I watch The Mindy Project. I used to watch 30 Rock and How I Met Your Mother when they were on. But by and large…yeah, I’m more of a movie girl.

However, I’m a big fan of Netflix because it provides me with background noise while I’m grading or doing schoolwork or knitting. I’ve had a Netflix account on and off since the spring of 2010, and it’s brought many good movies into my life. So I thought I’d compile a list of what I like and recommend to others.

  1. Old movies: I was interested in old movies long before I ever heard of Netflix. I love Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart, and Netflix lets me see more of their movies than I can borrow from the library at any given time. The selection isn’t always consistent, but there are always a few new selections for my amusement and edification.

9. Psych: I’m not a huge fan of the later seasons, but I love this show. As a college student without cable, Netflix was the only way that I could watch Shawn Spencer torment Ghee Buttersnaps or whatever he had chosen to call Gus that week. And Pierre Despereaux is only an added bonus. Basically, it’s a hilarious buddy cop comedy, and I love it.

  1. Possession: The first time that I saw this movie, I was entranced. From the story line to the costumes to the acting…it was all amazing. I went on to read the book, and I loved it as well. It’s a brilliant, compelling story, and it was deeply moving to me both on the page and on the screen.

  1. Parks and Recreation: Everyone said that I’d love it, but I never got into it while it was on the air. A few weeks after it went off the air, I started watching it. And oh my lord do I ever love it! It’s quirky and ridiculous and charmingly flawed. Also, I like bacon. Please give me all of the bacon.

  1. The Grand Seduction: I’ve learned from my relationship with Netflix that I like quirky movies about people who feel real and who do things that have logical motivations that I can relate to. This movie about a small fishing village in Newfoundland that is struggling to adapt to the 21st century struck a chord with me. The characters felt real, and while their lives weren’t easy, I liked them and felt they were the sort of people I’d like to know.

  1. House of Cards: It’s not as good as The West Wing, but it fills a whole that TWW left in my life. I do love me some fictional political intrigue. I can’t watch it before bed because it gets me too amped up emotionally, and I can’t sleep. But while I don’t always like the characters, I want to know what’s going to happen to them and how it’s going to happen.
  1. Doctor Who: I’m a self-professed nerd, and I wouldn’t be half as happy as I am without Doctor Who. It’s smart (usually) and funny and all-around good fun. (If you’re wondering, David Tennant is my doctor.)

  1. Not Another Happy Ending: This movie was made for me. It’s smart and funny and entertaining. It’s a little dark, and it’s better if you don’t overthink it. It tells the story of an author and her complicated relationship with her publisher. It also sorts through the complexities of her (moderately dysfunctional) relationship with her father. Overall, it can be frustrating at times, but the end is so worth the watch.

  1. The West Wing: I started watching this show in September and finished it in January. It’s intelligent. It’s entertaining. It’s witty. It’s the best thing that I’ve ever seen. I love the dialogue and the character development. Overall, the show makes me wish for better things for my country. I wish that our country were led by the politicians on this show and not our current leaders-either side of the aisle. (Also, picking a video clip to accompany this was one of the hardest things that I’ve done today. I chose two and an image with one of my favorite quotes because y’all need to love and appreciate them.)

  1. The Decoy Bride: This might be my favorite movie. I relate to Katie so much. I jokingly call my church the Isle of Hegg because the two are not that dissimilar. The movie speaks to me. I wish I could go “man-vegan.” And I swear I am a “whole lot hotter than I look.” Now I just need my own personal David Tennant…

What movies or TV shows has Netflix introduced you to? What movies do I need to see?

Gilbert Blythe

True Confessions: I spent far too much of my young life wanting to be a redhead. Because I (like many girls, I think) wanted to be this girl…

I first encountered Anne Shirley and all of Avonlea when I was nine. And I fell head over heels in love with that whimsical, overly dramatic redhead and the whole eccentric town. I often tell people the first guy I ever fell for was Christian Bale when he played Laurie in Little Women, and that’s true. But my first real literary crush was this gentleman.

Gilbert Blythe, ladies and gents, Gilbert Blythe…I was that nerdy girl who wanted to marry Gilbert Blythe. He was smart, he was handsome, he was sweet, and he was good. He was unbelievably good, and I loved that. He rescued Anne from her ridiculous Lady of Shalott escapade. And he told Charlie Sloane (in front of Josie Pye!) that being smart was better than being good-looking. He also told Charlie that Anne was the smartest girl in the class. Gilbert was a good man.

(I also named a car after him once. It was a good car, a noble car.)

And for me, Jonathan Crombie perfectly captured my literary crush on the screen. He was impish and handsome and sweet and…he was Gil.

Jonathan Crombie died this past Wednesday. And I’m gutted. I never met the man. All I know of him is that he was in three movies that I loved, and apparently he loved those movies and being associated with them. But it’s so sad to me. He was young. And he’s gone…so suddenly. I feel like he’s taken a part of my childhood with him.

And at 26, I’m not okay with that. I’ve accepted that I’m an adult. But this somehow hurts in a way that I hadn’t expected. I know that he wasn’t Gilbert, but it somehow feels like Gilbert has died. I know that Gilbert is a fictional character and all, but I still feel this bizarre sense of loss.

Now, I suppose I’ll have to reread those books. And maybe I’ll rewatch those movies. And I’ll remember that while Jonathan is gone, Gilbert will always be with us in those books. Jonathan may have (beautifully) given him life on screen, but Gilbert can always be found in the pages of those beautiful books.

So rest in peace, Jonathan. Thank you for sharing your gift with us and for giving Gilbert life. You will never be forgotten.

Why “The Prince of Egypt” is an Easter Movie

From Christian Film Database

I love the movie,The Prince of Egypt. It came out when I was about ten, and I fell in love with the move. It was a story that I knew well, the story of Moses, the Passover, and God delivering his chosen people from slavery in Egypt. It was a story of God’s love for humanity and his desperate desire to draw his people to himself. But something about that movie resonated first with my ten-year-old self and then on into adulthood in a dramatic way.

Several years ago, I tried to convince a friend of mine that it is an Easter movie, and he disagreed with me. I don’t really remember his premise, but thinking it over, I think that I’m right.

On the surface, it is the story of God using Moses to lead the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt and into the Promised Land of Canaan. Well, okay, the movie only takes them just past the Red Sea, but the ultimate goal for them was the Promised Land. And it is clear from the movie that they will get there. It is the story of the first Passover. (Exodus 1-14)

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, and from there Christians move through Holy Week towards Holy/Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and ultimately Easter Sunday, Pascha. In those days, we celebrate Christ’s Passover. Just as God led his chosen people, the Israelites, out of physical slavery and into a physical Promised Land in the Exodus, so too in his Passion, Christ led his people out of a slavery to sin and death and into a the Promised Land of the Kingdom of God.

Jesus’ death and Resurrection took place at the time of the Jewish Passover, and that is no coincidence. He wanted to make it clear who and what he was. As the Paschal Canon of St. John Damascene says, “It is the day of Resurrection, * O People, let us be enlightened by it. * The Passover is the Lord’s Passover, * since Christ our God, has brought us from death to life * and from earth to heaven. * We therefore sing the hymn of victory.”

Christ is the Passover that comes once and for all. The lambs who were sacrificed and the first-born sons who died were for the liberation of those particular slaves, for that particular group of people’s freedom. They were but a foreshadowing of what was to come. They prefigured the Firstborn Son who would come into the world and become the Lamb of God, the Lamb who was “slain, and purchased for God with [his] blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” (Rev. 5:9)

That is the story prefigured by The Prince of Egypt. The story that began in the Garden of Eden, continued with Noah, with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and with Jacob’s sons continues with Moses and the enslaved Israelites. It is the story of a God who tells Moses that “I have seen the affliction of my people in Egypt and have heard their cry…for I know their sorrow.” (Exodus 3:7). That is the same God who will send his only Son into the world because he continues to see the affliction of his people and heard their cries. And in the appointed time, he sends Jesus to live as a man, to suffer and die, and to rise from the dead to save his people from their slavery to sin and death.

To me, that means that The Prince of Egypt is absolutely an Easter movie. It tells a story of God’s relentless desire for his people, his tireless love for a people who continually turn their backs on him. He is a God who hears his people crying out for him. He loves them, and while his plans may not always make sense to us humans, he will never fail us.

And that is also the story of Easter, the story of a God who so loved the world that he sent his only Son into the world to give life and freedom to all people.

I May Never Get Married

I may never get married. That might seem like an odd thing to say, but it’s more than possible that I’ll never get married. I’m something of an odd duck. Dudes aren’t lining up to date me. And while I believe that I’m called to marriage, that call isn’t a guarantee that I’ll ever get married. That idea doesn’t make me jump up and down with happiness, but it is something that I’m trying to accept in my life. And I’m trying to live my life in my current circumstances and to make the most of my life as it is. I want my life to be valuable and useful. I don’t want to sit around waiting for a husband to come to me, but instead I want to grow and become someone interesting and worth knowing.

With that in mind, I decided to write “The Idiot’s Guide to Surviving Singledom.” I have devised five fairly simple steps for this.

Step One: Buy and read really good books. Don’t waste your time with bad books or mediocre books. Read the really good ones. Read the books that make you think and help you to become a better person. For example, I have become a devotee of my beloved Evelyn Waugh because he both entertains and inspires me.

Step Two: Get a Netflix account. Watch movies/TV shows you like. Watch ones that challenge you or intrigue you. I’ve seen so many movies that I never would have seen if I didn’t have a Netflix account, and I think I’m better off for it. (Remind me to write a post about my ten favorite things I’ve only found because of Netflix.)

Step Three: Find some uber-awesome girlfriends and read books/watch movies/drink fancy and delicious beverages with them while discussing these books and movies. Have a single ladies’ book club. I’m not saying that you should exclude your married friends, but make sure that you’re supporting and encouraging your fellow single ladies. Talk about your hopes and dreams. Talk about work.

Talk about what you’re reading. (I have a good friend who asks me what I’m reading every time we hang out one-on-one. Someone remind me to recommend Evelyn Waugh to her.)

Talk about the movies that you’ve seen. I recently watched this great movie about this writer (who was played by the girl who played Amy on Doctor Who) who can only write when she’s unhappy so her publisher (who is French and a pretty hairy dude and kind of looks like Henry Cavill and he’s handsome and he’s really hairy) tries to make her unhappy so she can write more. And I loved it. So I’m telling everyone I can about it. Here’s the IMDB page for it. And it’s on Netflix. You’re welcome.

Talk about your fears. My greatest fear in life is that I’m going to be alone in a nursing home someday with no one to take care of me. And there is NOTHING I can do about this. But I’m afraid of it. I’ve talked to people about it. I don’t know what I’m going to do about it, but at least I’m acknowledging my fears.

Just talk. Laugh. Cry. Share recipes. Scream. Build friendships. Build relationships. You’ll need your girl friends if you get married. You’ll need them if you don’t. Build and maintain relationships.

Step Four: Listen to GOOD music. Don’t waste your time listening to crappy music. Listen to music that inspires you and helps you to become more you. I don’t know what that means for you, but I know what it means for me. And sometimes, I think my music taste is developing more in this single season of my life than it would if I were in a relationship. I define good music as music that inspires you, motivates you, supports you, and speaks to you.

Step Five: Learn to cook really well. This isn’t to make you a better wife. This is just because it’s a useful skill. You’ve got to eat right? Life is too short to waste on bad food. Experiment. Try new foods and new recipes. In the past year or so, I’ve learned that I love making (and eating) lentil soup. I have so much fun playing with quinoa and split peas. Orecchiette tastes better when you cook it in chicken broth than when you cook it in water. I think that a little garlic and some olive oil make everything better. Eat adventurously.
Above all, just live your life. Don’t sit around and wait for life to come to you. Pursue and engage life. Find what matters to you. Do things that scare you. Take adventures. Become someone interesting.

Five Things that Make Me Happy

It is currently zero degrees Fahrenheit outside. And I’m vaguely crabby about this. So lest people think that I’m a perpetual grump, I’ve compiled a list of five things that are making me happy on this first Friday of Lent.

1. This video. There has never been a time when this hasn’t made me happy.

2. Last night, the Tigers’ coaching staff serenaded Justin Verlander at dinner, and he posted a recording on his Instagram account.

3. This recipe. I adore it. I mean, okay, I tamper with it, but I love it.

4. I might be doing this today.

(From Dumpaday.com)

5. I have a mug of tea sitting next to me.