Organizing Basement: Week Two

Okay! I finally separated all of the boxes/tubs in to their respective categories. Now the long, tedious part begins…. going through everything and getting rid of stuff, condensing, putting everything together, etc. I’ll be spending many a night down in that basement for the next couple weeks.

Before:
http://i.imgur.com/uxThHlk.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/gtQQoGB.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/FvjL0o3.jpg

After:
http://i.imgur.com/dDjs4c9.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/JlzNkkq.jpg
(Doesn’t look much better haha)
http://i.imgur.com/gCH4xvO.jpg

This is just a before and after of the categorizing stage. Some parts look better but the real result will be happening in the next two weeks. I’m excited!!

Organizing Basement: Week One

I did make a smell dent in the basement this week, only a very small dent, but a dent nevertheless ;) I concentrated on the laundry room. I made small changes and cleaned up all the dirt and loose clothes littering the floor. I organized it but have yet to clean the clothes and the mess on top of my dryer.

Here are my before pictures:

And my after pictures:

Don’t judge the mismatched washer and dryer :) As long as it washes and dries I’m okay with it, :D

Next week I will have more done (hopefully much more!). I’m going to leave the laundry room alone for now until I’m finished categorizing and sifting through all the junk on the other half of the basement.

Thanks for reading. Take care!

Jae

March 2014 Challenge

I’ve decided on what my March main challenge and sub challenges shall be.

For my main challenge, I will be: Organizing Basement. It is quite an undertaking considering 85% of the basement is covered in junk and storage. It also doubles as the laundry room and that place is already getting out of hand. I’ll be posting before & after pictures in my updates.

For my sub-challenges, I plan to finish reading Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind, and The Magicians by Lev Grossman.

If you are somebody who is a member on goodreads, you can find me at this link https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5385359-janee

If you are not a member of goodreads, and enjoy books like me, check out the website! You may like it. It has helped me find books through their recommendations feature on the website.

I’ll be posting updates every Monday. Take care!

February Challenge Week Four (Finally!)

Cranking out the last number of movies proved more difficult than I thought it would be. I watched six movies out of the last eight. The Wind Rises and The Tale of Princess Kaguya were unavailable to me, despite my best efforts at trying to find them. I was so upset that I couldn’t find those movies. I especially wanted to see The Wind Rises, which is supposed to be the last of Hayao Miyazaki’s work since he is retiring. This past week I watched Pom Poko, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbors the Yamadas, Ponyo, From Up On Poppy Hill, and Tales from Earthsea.

Don’t read if you don’t want spoilers! :)

Castle in the Sky
Grave of the Fireflies
My Neighbor Totoro
Kiki’s Delivery Service
Only Yesterday
Porco Rosso
Pom Poko
Whisper of the Heart
Princess Mononoke
My Neighbors the Yamadas
Spirited Away
The Cat Returns
Howl’s Moving Castle
Tales from Earthsea
Ponyo
The Secret World of Arrietty
From Up On Poppy Hill
The Wind Rises (x) unavailable
The Tale of Princess Kaguya (x) unavailable

Pom Poko (1994)
Rating: 5/10
This movie was… odd, to say the least. Something about it just seemed… off. While the premise of the story was a positive one (exercising your right to defend your home) and an interesting one, I didn’t really enjoy the movie. Most of the Ghibli movies run around the same time, but with this movie… it just seemed to draaaaag. The 110+ minutes seemed as if they were never going to end. It’s about shape-shifting raccoons who try to scare off humans so that they may save their forest land from developers. Like I said, the story is a positive one, but I never connected emotionally.

Princess Mononoke (1997)
Rating: 10/10
My God this movie was incredible. An epic story of about… well, nearly everything! Hatred, love, grief, bloodlust, war, etc. The story follows a young man named Ashitaka, afflicted with a curse and in search for a cure. He ends up getting caught in a war between forest gods and humans. One of the things I enjoyed most was the fact Ashitaka took no sides. He remained neutral while still being as helpful, selfless, and thoughtful as possible. The viewers, like me, probably rooted for the forest gods, and the fierce, beautiful Princess Mononoke (a human girl that was raised by the Wolf God). However, Ashitaka did not take a side (even though he felt something for Mononoke). The movie also brought me sadness as I watched the other forest gods became fueled by hatred. The hatred changed them in to demons, giving light to the fact that if you allow yourself to hold grudges, it can eat away at you. Loved this movie.

My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)
Rating: 7/10
I actually quite liked this movie! The animation style was COMPLETELY different than usual, but I honestly enjoyed it. The style was in form of cartoon strips, which added a unique perspective on the story. The movie is about the family of the Yamadas and the various adventures and mishaps they go through. For me, I can’t say very much, other than I enjoyed just watching this family interact with each other. I was happy to see something different from Ghibli.

Ponyo (2008)
Rating: 8.5/10
I thought this was a cute movie, as well as a masterpiece when it came to the animation. I don’t even know where to begin. A lot of times during the movie I would catch myself getting goosebumps from the animation. It was just… spectacular. The story is about a little boy that befriends a girl goldfish that possesses magical powers that she ends up using to turn human. I loved the story, but couldn’t get past the fact that a lot of people probably DIED from the huge flood that was unleashed =P Yet the movie had a happy tone to it. I found it kind of morbid, lol. All in all though, I would definitely recommend this movie. Go see it for the animation alone.

From Up On Poppy Hill (2011)
Rating: 6/10This movie is about a group of school students working diligently to save a historic building that serves as a home for them to be free to study whatever subject they want. It also focuses on two teenagers that fall in love and the mystery behind the teenage boy’s identity of his real father. I thought the movie was okay, just okay. Since the movie is new(er), the animation was more clean and crisp which I thought made the movie more beautiful. My favorite part had to be when all of the students piled in to that house and cleaned/repaired it. They worked so hard, and made me think about how hard I’m working for what I love in my life.

Tales from Earthsea (2006)
Rating: 6.5/10
This film showed a young man struggling with the light and the dark inside him. It was fascinating to me to see the dark side (haha) take over Arren. I thought this was a beautiful movie. Also, who can dislike dragons? While I thought this was a good movie, it didn’t wow me. I’m always comparing these to other Ghibli films like Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away. and seeing what worked. It seemed like not much was put in to the pace of the story. I often felt bored. However, I can’t deny the fact the animation was incredible. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Studio Ghibli will never cease to amaze me.

That concludes my February Main Challenge! While I am upset that I was unable to watch the last two films, I’m still very happy that I watched a lot of new movies this past month, and found ones I like!

My sub challenges were to read Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind (and to also lose 10 pounds, buuuut I decided to postpone that until I knew what the hell to do). Unfortunately, I didn’t complete my sub-challenge, I did finish 50% of it. I should’ve known that a slow reader like me would take forever reading an 800+ page book. However, I plan to make it up to you all (and myself). I know I can complete it quicker, and I will.

Overall, my thoughts on the February challenge are this: it was a rocky start, but I thoroughly enjoyed educating myself.

Since March is finally here, tomorrow I will post my main challenge plus my sub challenges. I promise to work harder for myself, and to obtain my goals. Thank you to whoever enjoyed my posts. I hope my future ones don’t disappoint.

February Challenge Week Three

Apparently… I am an idiot. In my last post I said I had 9 more movies to watch, when I actually had 11! This week I completed 3, which leaves me 8 movies to try and squeeze in before this Friday :) The movies were Grave of the Fireflies, Whisper of the Heart, and Porco Rosso. So far, I’ve been having a great time getting to experience all that Studio Ghibli has to offer.

Don’t read my reviews if you don’t want spoilers! :)

Castle in the Sky

Grave of the Fireflies
My Neighbor Totoro
Kiki’s Delivery Service
Only Yesterday
Porco Rosso
Pom Poko
Whisper of the Heart
Princess Mononoke
My Neighbors the Yamadas
Spirited Away
The Cat Returns
Howl’s Moving Castle
Tales from Earthsea
Ponyo
The Secret World of Arrietty
From Up On Poppy Hill
The Wind Rises
The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
Rating: 10/10
I didn’t want to, but I knew I had to watch this movie. I had only watched it once before and that was enough for me. I cried the first time I watched it, and I cried even more the second time. This story is set during World War II and it follows a boy and his young sister as they try to survive after air raids bomb their home and subsequently kill their mother. It is absolutely heartbreaking watching the children struggle to survive. Eventually, the little sister dies from malnutrition and the brother is left with the overwhelming feeling of guilt that ends up consuming him. It gives an honest portrayal of the impact of war.The story is so raw and honest, and it makes you thankful for the family you have. It was such an emotionally-impacting movie that I just had to give it 10/10.

Porco Rosso (1992)
Rating: 7.5/10
I thought this was a fantastic movie. I initially didn’t want to watch it because it seemed interesting, but keeping to my goal I sat down and watched it. The animation was incredible, especially when it came to the flight scenes. I enjoyed Porco Rosso and Fio’s character (especially Fio :D). It was a wonderful story of believing in yourself and your abilities. However, my favorite detail of this movie is the rich history behind the movie. It’s filled with many references to famous pilots and real locations. The movie was made with tremendous care and attention to detail. I admire Hayao Miyazaki’s hard work in to his movies. He truly pours his soul in to it.

Whisper of the Heart (1995)
Rating: 10/10
This is the movie that started it all. I fell in love with Studio Ghibli productions after I watched this movie. This is the film that I tell people is my favorite of all time, and it’s the only movie that makes me cry happy tears. When I first watched this movie, I felt a connection to Shizuku and her quest for finding her dream. I was also a big reader and wanted to write the stories that played in my head. I also had a huge imagination like hers. This movie holds a huge place in my heart. It is also one of my favorite love stories ever. I enjoy Studio Ghibli’s depiction of love, especially young love. It’s so innocent and pure. And in this movie, the love that develops between Shizuku and Seiji is a love somebody can only hope for. They are so devoted to each other, but also devoted to their dreams. And it has the best ending ever!

February Challenge Week Two

Sorry for the late post folks!. It doesn’t look too good on me when it is only the second week and I’m posting late. Good news though, I’ve watched 3 more movies! It wasn’t as much as last week, but I’m still happy with the amount. 3 down, 9 more to go!

Castle in the Sky
Grave of the Fireflies
My Neighbor Totoro
Kiki’s Delivery Service
Only Yesterday
Porco Rosso
Pom Poko
Whisper of the Heart
Princess Mononoke
My Neighbors the Yamadas
Spirited Away
The Cat Returns
Howl’s Moving Castle
Tales from Earthsea
Ponyo
The Secret World of Arrietty
From Up On Poppy Hill
The Wind Rises
The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Spirited Away (2001)
Rating: 9/10
I thoroughly enjoyed Chihiro’s quest to save her parents. At times she acted stubborn and reluctant when it came to completing tasks that assured her parent’s safety, but ceded knowing she would have to work hard in order to save her parents. I can’t stand it when characters are portrayed as perfect, without flaws. It’s neither realistic or interesting. A big part that I loved was the young love and loyal friendship that blossomed between Chihiro and Haku. They sacrificed in order to save each other. How many people can say they have a loyal friend such as that?

The Cat Returns (2002)
Rating: 8/10
As a cat person, I nearly had a heart attack from all the cat-related themes in this movie. I felt like I died and went to crazy cat lady (or man) heaven. Muta had to be my favorite character. He was a reluctant hero, with an insatiable appetite, and a heart of gold. I loved his character more when I learned that the great Peter Boyle was voicing him in the English dubbed version. Overall, I enjoyed this movie. I was happy from the beginning to the end. Once again, this Studio Ghibli movie taught you the meaning of friendship.

Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
Rating: 10/10
The fact that this movie tackled insecurities and vanity intrigued me. Sophie found the personal strength that was in her all along through Howl and the other characters within in the movie. I REALLY enjoyed the fact Sophie’s curse seemed to lift whenever she wasn’t absorbed with how she looked. The more insecure you feel, the more insecure you’ll look. It was shown both physically and emotionally in the movie, which I absolutely loved. This movie has a good lesson about self-acceptance and also, forgiveness. You can waste your time hating somebody for what they did to you, or you can forgive them and move on. You can spend countless amounts of time and money on your visage, but unless you really feel beautiful, then you won’t appear that way. Also, I was happy to finally see some romance between two adults!

February Challenge Week One

Hello! Week one was… tough to say the least. You’d figure it would be an easy challenge just to watch some movies, but I kept falling asleep! As a result I had to re-watch some movies. However, I am happy to say that I’ve watched a total of 5 movies. 5 down, 14 to go!

Castle in the Sky
Grave of the Fireflies
My Neighbor Totoro
Kiki’s Delivery Service
Only Yesterday
Porco Rosso
Pom Poko
Whisper of the Heart
Princess Mononoke
My Neighbors the Yamadas
Spirited Away
The Cat Returns
Howl’s Moving Castle
Tales from Earthsea
Ponyo
The Secret World of Arrietty
From Up On Poppy Hill
The Wind Rises
The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Castle in the Sky (1986)
Rating: 9/10
I was absolutely in love with this movie. How can I describe the scenery? Breathtaking! What I most enjoyed was the friendship that formed between Sheeta, Pazu, Dola, and Dola’s family. I also appreciated the tiny details I noticed throughout the movie, details like Pazu’s reaction to hot tea, and Sheeta flipping her hair to better concentrate on working a knot. I liked the tiny human details that are often removed in animation movies.

The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)
Rating: 6/10
Once again, the scenery was incredibly beautiful. All that lush foliage and the brilliant colors. I felt a lot lacking in the story though. Something was just missing… like the connection between Arrietty and Shawn wasn’t as deep as some characters in the past Studio Ghibli movies. I really liked Arrietty and her fearlessness. The fact she was excited to venture out in to an unknown, dangerous territory made me like her courage (and naivete). I enjoyed the message I got from the movie, to never give up hope. Keep on living. Life is beautiful.

My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
Rating: 10/10
Oh my God this movie! I can see why it is a much-loved favorite in the Studio Ghibli world. What a heart-warming story of the bond between this family, and also the bond with the forest spirits. I wanted to cuddle Totoro so bad! I teared up watching this movie. They were happy tears, because the movie was executed in such a way that you could feel the love radiating from the two sisters as well as the care that the forest spirits felt for them.

Only Yesterday (1991)
Rating: 7.5/10
I really enjoyed how different this movie was. It was more realistic and plucked at everybody’s nostalgia for their childhood. It makes you question, am I really making the right choices for me? Or am I making the right choices for somebody else? I couldn’t really relate to Taeko’s childhood, but I could relate to Taeko’s reminiscing of being a young girl once. I thought it was a wonderful coming-of-age story. Normally you see these types of stories featuring a girl just leaving high school or entering her early twenties. In this one you are following a woman in her late twenties, still trying to figure her life out. It’s a good message saying, “It’s not too late.”

Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
Rating: 10/10
Love, love, loved this movie. It spurred my old desire to be able to fly. As a kid I used to run around on broomsticks pretending to fly, and frequently I would dress up as a witch for Halloween (my favorite holiday). The incredibly beautiful city featured in the movie made me want to desperately believe it was a real place that I could move, live, and die in. The animators and artists at Studio Ghibli will never cease to amaze me with the depth and the detail to their work. I loved the story. Kiki was a hard worker, and an all-around kind individual who didn’t hesitate to help others in need. The characters in the movie were kind too, representing what all humans should be like in their relationships with other humans.