Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Wow, it's been a long time. Yes, it's me: Hannah. Let's take a couple minutes to wipe of all the dust that has accumulated in the last four months here!

Now that that has been taken care of, let's catch up. How have you been? I must admit that I am shocked at the amount of page views that we get per day, even still..after all this time.. you all are amazing!! And me? Well, I've been a bit busy to say the least. I am happy to announce that I will be attending Grace College and Theological Seminary in the fall - whoohoo!! Now, I know what you all are really hoping I will talk about..what has God showed me in the past six months? Okay, if you insist. 

He has been tugging at my heart, teaching me the beauty of a life completely abandoned to the glory of God. He has taught me the beauty of a life that is wasted in the eyes of this world, but wholly complete in the eyes of Jesus. What does it mean to life fully?

It means to notice the beauty is the small things in life....

It means choosing joy when death seems to be all around....

It means that it is okay to let go....

It means that living life purely for oneself and one's own pleasure truly is a WASTED life....

It means sacrificing daily....

It means standing up for those who are broken....

It means choosing to stand between life and death....

.......until the battle is won.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Esther Teaches How to Draw Still Life

Hello everybody!

As you all know, I am an accomplished arter. My arting skills are the top of the chain.

Just look at that ... thing.

Why, for example, Leonardo da Vinci just complimented me on my marvelous fruit fly picture the other day. Anyway, Blogger isn't letting me upload any of my great pictures to show you from my computer .... so I guess I can't give you an example. It's a shame that my arting skills will remain undiscovered.


*Rushes to grab a pencil*

I can show you my mad arting skills via video! (For some reason, and I kid you not, Blogger will let me do that.)

Let's see. Since you are all novices, I need to think of something easy to show you how to draw. Ah, I know! Still life! I'll show you how to draw a flower or something. Do you like flowers? Good! In  this video, I'll show you how to draw a flower vase.

Link to video here!

I hope that you found my video most informative. Until next time!


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Stream of Consciousness -- Once More!

Hello everyone! I just realized that it would be such a terrible shame if this blog lost momentum again. That would be so nasty. Kind of like what you'd imagine Godzilla's dirty laundry to smell like. Anywho, I can't think of anything to post, so I just thought I would make this up as I go along. You know, write whatever's on my mind.

While the first thing that popped into my mind was a brain floating in a pickle jar, the image quickly changed to two ballerinas dancing over the Alaskan tundra. Neither of those are particularly interesting converstation starters, I guess. I've never been good with conversation. Because of this, I generally let people approach me first. I will only approach someone first for a conversation if

1) Said someone is family
2) Said someone is a friend
3) Said someone is a talking lizard
4) Said someone is a very attractive member of the opposite sex.

Of course, 4 can only go so far. There is a certain threshold of cuteness, you see. If a boy is too cute, my brain shuts down and all I can do is giggle and gargle in his general direction. Like, I took my siblings out to Hardees for lunch, and I saw this really hunky army guy. Dang, was he a catch. We like totally made eye contact while I was getting lemonade from the fountain drink machine. But I couldn't say anything. He could have been my soul mate, darn it. Alas, it wasn't meant to be. So I drove off into the sunset, cursing my misfortune.

Speaking of cursing, apparently I can't drive without cursing at least once. I need to fix that. My issue will probably dwindle as my driving skills increase, and I therefore collide into less objects.

When I said "objects", I thought of a wind-up music box. What do you think when you hear the word "object"? It's interesting how the human mind works. Everyone thinks  differently. Scratch that. Most people think the same. For example, when I mentioned that there was a cute army guy earlier you probably imagined a tall, muscular lad with blond hair wearing camouflage fatigues. Not that it's bad that people think the same. It would be nice if we were all on the same page.

Speaking of pages, if I had a green tiger that would be really cool. I would be like, "Dude, I have a green tiger." And everyone would be jealous and wish that their tigers were green. But even better, I want an armadillo lizard. I mean, look at them!

I would name my lizard Amontillado. Everyone will be jealous that their exotic armadillo lizards aren't named Amontillado. I think that Amontillado should be our resident animal mascot.

SLOSHY THE KAPPA: Hey! What about me?

Sloshy, you're our resident mythical being mascot.

ALMONDO: What about me? I thought

Almondo, you're our resident fan-service mascot.

ALMONDO: I don't like Amontillado. His name is hard to say, but it's suspiciously similar to mine.

I grow bored of this. I need to talk about something else --

OMG SOCKS!!!!!!!! I <3 Socks!

I love cute socks almost as much as I love Batman-themed underwear. Woo! Go socks! Go! What do you think, Amontillado?


You know, I think you and another silent fellow would get along! Say hello, Potato!



POTATO: ....



We should have a wedding, yo! A totally awesome wedding!

Hmm, I don't remember eating this second ice cream sandwich. Did somebody put an empty wrapper on my desk when I wasn't looking?

It doesn't matter. I LOVE ice cream! Huzzah!

I'm going to tell you something very personal. It has to do with noses. And fear. It's a fear involving noses. You see, I'm afraid of standing above anyone because there is a chance that they will look up my nose. Good heavens, the things that could be in there. I mean, I have a clean nose. But I've seen some gross noses -- ew.

But I like ears. I have a thing for ears. Just look at ears. I could marry an ear. Don't judge me, okay? Everybody has a favorite body part, and I find ears to be absolutely adorable. I discovered this from a young age.

Feet make me mad, though. They are ugly, ugly things.  I have collapsed arches, a botched foot-surgery, and a couple other things that make it hard for me to walk every now and then. I would gladly trade my traitorous feet for a black man's. People would walk up to me and say,

"Child, are those black man feet?"

And I would say,

"Yes, yes they are."

Good times.

Imagine, me jogging across the beach with my new black man feet, smiling and laughing and tossing my hair. I would cast a flirtacious look at hunky military dude, and we would hold hands and run off together and I would finally have one of them "boyfriends" I always hear about. We would watch The Lord of the Rings and eat popcorn, and have a Nerf war afterwards. Hunk would let me win, though, because I suck at shooting things.

Good times, indeed.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Esther Plays: Dishonored

Usually around the scheduled school breaks, I find a video game to occupy my time. This is because by the time breaks come along, I find that I desire nothing else than to sprawl myself out on a couch with a three-foot long Twizzler in one hand and a game controller in the other. I had been interested in playing Dishonored for a while, after I saw the intriguing trailer. (Ages 16+)

I'm a big fan of steam-punk style games. I'm also a big fan of the stealth genre, ever since Beyond Good and Evil. I have just recently finished the game. So, how good was it?


This is the tale of Corvo Attano, the silent and unsurprisingly handsome bodyguard of the Empress of a fictional land.

Don't you want to hug him?

The empire is in chaos. A deadly plague is sweeping the city and turning everyone into angry jerks. (This is probably because they are vomiting blood and their brains are turning into mush, but manners are still important.) Just as Corvo gets home from a long trip, the Empress he is supposed to be protecting is killed in front of his eyes. In other words, he's terrible at his job. He is framed by the government for his boss's murder, and is sentenced to be executed. With the help of some allies, he escapes and sets out to take revenge against those who wronged him. Apparently Corvo is bad at protecting people because he's really, really good at knocking people out.

The plot is streamlined and easy to follow, with just enough intrigue to keep you interested. There are very few plot twists, however, and all are predictable. As fantastic as the setting is, with its brooding skies, strange machines, and dilapidated buildings, there isn't a lot of story here. As you traverse the surroundings, it would be nice to have larger snippets of the history of the city you're trying to change. It would allow for an immersing experience. However, the main plot is pleasing and has a tight narrative, so getting bored shouldn't be an issue.

If you chose to kill everyone who has wronged you, the story acts out differently. The more you kill, the more the plague spreads, the more plague victims you see, and more rats try to rip the flesh off your bones. You also  get a different ending.

If you chose to be a saint, then you get a happier ending and less things trying to kill you at the end of the story. You can get through the game without killing anyone, a plot which I chose to follow.

The variations for the story are very nice, however each of the endings are unsatisfying. For all the work you put into not killing people, which can be very hard, you get a rather short and non-immersing ending. If you chose to join the dark side, surprise, you get a rather short and non-immersing ending. I would have rather had one really good ending than have several slapped-together ones.


Gameplay is the best part of Dishonored. Because the way you act affects the story, you may want to play through again just to see how your actions affected the world around you. It feels great to successfully get through a level without being detected by anyone, or to jump from a high building directly onto the person you're targeting.

The stealth aspect of the game is made stronger with the presence of magic. A magical spirit has taken interest in you, and has blessed you with the power of being awesome. These powers include teleportation, seeing through walls, controlling people's minds, summoning swarms of rats, and turning your enemies into ash. In order to get these powers, you buy them with runes, magical objects that you find throughout the game. You will probably find yourself searching everywhere for these runes, and it is a lot of fun to collect them all.

However, you don't need any powers to beat the game, really. And only two powers are actually incredibly useful. The other powers, while flashy, only offer different solutions to the problems you can solve in a more straight-forward way. Most of the powers are offensively based, which doesn't offer a lot for the players who are trying to get through the game without killing anyone. In the end, I had a ton of runes to spend because there were no powers left that I hadn't maxed out that weren't used to slaughter rooms of people.

If you do use the powers to kill people, you will find the game ridiculously easy. People really don't stand a chance against Corvo when he is a demi-god of insane proportions.

They turned to ash a few seconds after this was taken.
This imbalance is a little infuriating, but then it's also cool to blast your way through your enemies in a flashy, dramatic blur. It's kind of like you're a ballerina dancing through the city with strobe lights sewn onto your tutu, except the strobe lights happen to be lasers.

The combat is fleshed out and stealth is really good, so you'll have fun however you play. It's a shame that the game isn't fleshed out in many other areas, however. Your enemies are all clones of each other, just with different faces. There are a lot of cases of unique dialogue, but you'll also hear the same pieces of dialogue repeated every level. If I took a shot every time I heard someone say, "Stupid rats, stupid plague, stupid god****", I would die of alcohol poisoning. It's also strange how sometimes your enemies are blissfully unaware of you at times, but a few moments later have superhuman hearing.

It's also a shame that everyone in the city is basically evil. Since there are so many soldiers, you would think one of them was at least a moral sort of person. However, everyone is corrupt. The lack of variation makes it very easy for all your enemies to blur together, and make you question if the city is even worth saving.

You can also collect bone charms, which offer superficial bonuses to your character. For example, one lets your breathe underwater longer. Some of them are very useful, but for some reason I never felt inclined to hunt for them.

Fighting, sneaking, and infiltrating are great fun. It's also fun to find no-kill solutions to your enemies. The city is built in such a way that you'll find there are half a dozen ways to get into any building, and it's fun to test them out.


The art direction is very good, and the buildings are clean-cut and clear. I especially like the lighting, which seems perfectly placed. I found that the faces of most characters were rather ugly and less detailed compared to the rest of the surroundings, which is a shame. Still, a very pretty game. It runs very slow if your computer doesn't have a good graphics card.


The voice acting of this game is awesome. Corvo never speaks, which is something I find kind of stupid, but all of the other characters do. The villains are especially well done, which isn't saying much because everyone is basically evil. However, I found the delivery of all the lines very well-done, even though the lines are often repeated a lot. There isn't much in the way of a soundtrack, which is all and good. It would be kind of hard to get in the stealthy mood with To Glory playing in the background. Sometimes I found sounds to miss their cue, like when a bottle drops and the sound of broken glass comes too slowly.


Dishonored is a good game, but something holds it from greatness. While the gameplay is fleshed out and there are a lot of things to collect, plot is lacking and character interactions are shallow. The only way to humanely deal with enemies is to sneak by them or to choke them out, which gets rather repetitive. The characters represented are usually only on the darker side of the personality spectrum, and it would be nice to have enemies who weren't so obviously bad. It would have added depth to the game. All three of the endings are unsatisfying. Still, it's a great game and should not be missed just because it misses a few places.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Wonderful World of ... Potatoes

Hello everyone!

It's nine o'clock on a ... *checks calendar* Wendesday. I just ran up and down the stairs for fifteen minutes in an effort to stay in shape. I am very tired. But if Hannah can post, then so can I.

So I began thinking of thinks to write about. There is an ocean of ideas to write about, but when I stick my hand in the ocean, I lift my hand and see that it's dry. It's like I'm wearing an idea-proof rubber glove. But I can't take the glove off! Even when I so desperately wish to challenge that scumwad who flipped me off today to a gentlemanly duel by slapping him with my glove. Alas.

Anyway, I was thinking and realized that a lot of things go unnapreciated. For example, even though I am incredibly talented, I remain undiscovered by show-business. But there are other things too! We live our lives without realizing the things that make such a difference in our lives! So I'm going to write about something amazing, incredible, and influential.
The potato.

It turns out that the potato is one of the most awesome things ever. Like, look at it. It's like, totally glowing.

Here are some interesting facts about the potato.

It's the fourth most cultivated food in the world.

In 1536, Spanish Conquistadors discovered the potato and brought it to Europe.

Idaho, which is now the largest producer of potatoes, did not grow potatoes until 1836. Missionaries moved to the state to help the native tribes grow crops instead of relying on hunting and gathering. Isn't that nice?

In 1995, the potato was the first food grown in outerspace.

The world's largest potato weighed 18 pounds.

Marie Antoinette was known to wear potato blossoms with her outfits to make herself look snazzy.

The potato was actually more valuable than gold during the Klondike Gold Rush. While gold was everywhere, food was scarce. Since the potato was nutrient rich, it was expensive as gold, but only between 1897 and 1898.

Americans eat more potatoes than any other vegatable. On Super Bowl Sunday alone approximately 28 million pounds, or 12,700 tonnes, of potato chips are eaten in the states.

Now, isn't that interesting? The potato truly is glorious. Here is a haiku written in the potato's honor.

Potatoes are gold
metaphorically though
since they are just plants

That's great. Just great.

Anyway, I'll see you some other time with wonderful, underrated things. Until then! Say goodbye!

SLOSHY: Goodbye--

I was talking to the potato.

SLOSHY: Sorry....

POTATO: ....

Go on, potato.

POTATO: ....