International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day. I have two thoughts on this.

One of my thoughts is this: we shouldn’t have only one day a year where we recognize women. There are so many amazing women in this world, order in our present and our past. I think that we should appreciate these women every day, not just on a day like this: Elizabeth Stanton, Susan B Anthony, Marie Curie, Harriet Tubman, Hilary Clinton, J.K. Rowling, Oprah Winfrey. Your mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters. Yourself, if you’re a woman. There is so much we have accomplished and so much we are capable of accomplishing. And we should be aware of this every day, both men and women. Women should be aware because this is their legacy and they should believe in themselves and be proud of their gender. Men should be aware because they need to recognize women as their equals and realize how much we are capable of and realizing how much we already have done.

But it also makes me very aware of the strong female characters that I am surrounded by every single day. Hermione Granger. Ginny Weasley. Minerva McGonagall. Molly Weasley. Lily Potter. Clary Fray. Tessa Gray. Isabelle Lightwood. Lady Alanna the Lioness. Lady Keladry. Daine the Wildmage. Alianne of Pirates Swoop. Annabeth Chase. Katniss Everdeeb. Princess Leia. Susan and Lucy Pevensie. Tris Pryor. Eowyn. Arwen. Arya Stark. Catelyn Stark. Emma Swan. Buffy. Inara. Kaelie. Zoe. Rose Tyler. Martha Jones. Donna Noble. Amy Pond. Clara Oswald. Anne of Green Gables. Elizabeth Bennett. Jane Eyre. Scarlett O Hara.

I could literally go on and on and on. And I was quite tempted to do so. But I think you get my point.

The point is I am amazed and yet so happy at the amount of strong female characters that we are constantly surrounded with. The strength of all these characters, though they are all fictional, inspires us the same way that a real person does. As a reader, these characters are real to us and the amazing things they do, the obstacles they face and conquer, the decisions they make and the accomplishments they take…it makes me very proud to be a woman.

So, it’s International Women’s Day…so celebrate it. Embrace being a woman. There are so many amazing things about being a woman. This isn’t about men versus women or what sex is better. This is about equality and bringing proud of who are you and what your gender has accomplished and will accomplish. It’s a reminder that we will do what we have to do, we will fight for our rights and for that equality and we will stand up and be proud because we’ve proved ourselves, both in fiction and in life.

You know, and I’d say the same for International Men’s Day. Men should be proud as well, for the good men that are out there. For the men who have fought and accomplished and who have changed the world. For the men who recognize women as equals. Those men deserve that pride too.

So soak in the pride and remember all the amazing women that we have been privileged to have in our past and present and that we will continue into our future.

Who are some of your most inspirational women? Are they your family members, or women of our past? Are they some of the successful women of our times or fictional characters? As always, share below. :)

And you men out there, you share too :) I know you have some inspirational women in mind too!

Tuesday Top Ten-Favorite TV Shows

Hello, this all. I hope that you had a wonderful weekend. Mine started off on a sour note but turned out to be okay :) I kept myself busy spending time with my boyfriend, my friends and a few books!

But now its that time again, time for the Tuesday Top Ten.

I’ve always told myself that I’m not a big TV watcher, that I’d rather read books. And while that is definitely true; I would rather pick up a novel and read it than turn on the TV and watch, that doesn’t change the fact that there are some seriously awesome TV shows out there. So today’s Tuesday Top Ten is

My Ten Favorite TV Shows

Honorable Mention: Glee

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The reason that Glee gets an honorable mention on this list is this reason: I adored the first two seasons. I own the first two seasons. The first season had a bunch of awesome songs and a fantastic quirkiness to it. Lea Michelle is just plain BRILLIANT in the first season as awkward but talented Rachel Berry. I like season two as well because it retains that quirkiness, and my old celebrity crush, Darren Criss, before fame got to his head and he broke my heart. Now, the show lost its quirkiness, the songs aren’t good (I mean, seriously, they did Rebecca Black’s Friday!) and Darren Criss just isn’t the Starkid that I used to know…Alas, this show just ended way too soon for me. Moving on…

10. Switched at Birth

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Okay, so this show is seriously cheesy as hell and all that. For the most, ABC Family does have its share of cheesy shows. But I really like this one. Bae Kennish, dark haired and dark eyed, convinces her family to undergo genetic testing with her very light haired, light eyed parents and POOF! She learns she doesn’t actually belong to her parents. Instead, she was switched at birth and her birth mother, Regina, took home the Kennish baby, named Daphne Vasquez. Daphne, of course, looks JUST like the Kennish parents and doesn’t fit her Latina name in the slightest. To shake things up a bit, Daphne is deaf, due to illness when she was a toddler. Regina, her mother and Daphne all move into the Kennish’s pool house and drama breaks out as the two families learn to live with each other and live with the mistake that was made. Its juicy and drama filled and completely addicting.

9. Pokemon-Season One

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When I was twelve years old, this was the coolest thing in the world…to every kid out there. Not only was this a exploding hit show but it came paired with a card game AND a video game…not to mention a few movies that hit the actual theater, instead of just straight to DVD…or was it still VHS back then….Anyway, the story falls Ash Ketchum as he journeys away from home (at ten years old!) to become the greatest Pokemon master there ever was! He has to catch them all, all 150 Pokemon and train them the best he can, to fight in battles (which seems a little cruel…) so he can win all the badges he can in the Indigo League. Now, if you’ve played the game, you want to curse the show…how is it possible that Ash has a Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Squirtle AND a Charmanader? Ridiculous haha. But it still remains one of my absolute favorite shows, one that I actually own on DVD, and I continue to enjoy watching it, even if it isn’t the best show in the world.

8. The Vampire Diaries

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This is a VERY recent development in my TV love but it already is included in one of my favorites of all time. Its unbelievably cheesy and of course it has my least favorite plot device ever: the love triangle. But its sort of guilty pleasure, you know? Elena Gilbert leaves the ordinary life in her town, before vampires Stefan and Damien reappear after decades of traveling and it doesn’t take long before she falls in love with Stefan. Of course, falling in love with a vampire doesn’t mean things are going to be easy. Combine that with the fact that Elena is special on her own; she is a doppelganger and her blood holds special powers, and you have a TV show just chock full of very attractive people and a ton of drama. I’m not one for vampire stories but this one is seriously addicting, and its much easier to stomach when you consider that Elena is a much better female character than Bella Swan.

7. Madoka Magica

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Another recent addition in the past six months, thanks to my brother and an extremely fun trip to Anime Expo to meet the voice actors of the English dub version. So far, its only the one series, where young Madoka goes to school with her friends Sayaka and Hitomi until she meets the strange creature, Kyubey. Kyubey comes from another world, and he can grant any wish you desire, ANY wish, and the trade is that you become a Magical Girl, a girl capable of defeating the witches of the world. Sounds like fun, right? Sounds like a great trade…you get a great wish and you basically become a super hero in the meantime. But, of course, this isn’t how it ends up. Kyubey is sharing secrets from the Magical Girls, and Madoka begins to learn of them through Sayaka, and other Girls like Kyoko, Homura, and Mami. What looks like a sweet and bubbly anime turns out to be a heart wrenching, action packed, dramatic anime that leaves you floored. I just recently went and saw it on the big screen, in its movie version and it was announced that a second installment, a second season/movie will be coming sometime this year. Excitement!

6. The Walking Dead 

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Okay, I’m sure there aren’t a lot of people out there who actually DON’T watch this show and there’s a reason for it. We’ve all seen the zombie movies; there’s only about a thousand of them in there. And the thing about this show is that it really isn’t that different from the others. The basic premise is still the same. But there are small things here and there that make it different; the fact that everyone has the zombie virus, that Lori gets pregnant, that Shane basically goes insane. Its more than just a zombie show. Its a character study. Sure, the world is overrun by zombies and you need to survive and everything is simply just going to hell. But its the characters that get you in, its the characters that keep you watching because you watch them as they make decisions and screw up, and go insane or stay calm and then go insane. Sometimes the best stories are told in the characters in themselves and The Walking Dead is proof of that, and that is what keeps me watching.

5. Sherlock

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I started to watch Sherlock because I had just finished watching Doctor Who and I was ready to watch a ton of British television. That combined with the fact that Steven Moffat was the writing brains behind it, was enough to get me to watch it. And I LOVED it. It only has two seasons so far, and each season is only three episodes, though they are long episodes. For those of you who have no idea what this is, its an updated, modern version of the stories of Sherlock Holmes. And no, I’m not talking about the completely uncomparable US version, Elementary. Forget that show even exists. Sherlock. Sherlock Holmes is extremely smart, extremely lacking of any kind of tact and extremely obsessed with solving crimes and riddles that others can’t. Paired with his trusty sidekick, John Watson, they solve crimes and have a blast. And get into a TON of trouble, of course. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have a great chemistry together and you completely believe in their partnership and friendship. Its been AGES since season two has premiered and we probably won’t get season three until 2014. Sad. Face.

4. Firefly

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Is there anything that Joss Whedon does that isn’t instant magic? I highly doubt it, and if there is, I don’t want to know about it. Think about it; this TV show aired a decade ago, and people still love, the Browncoats are still out there in large numbers and their numbers are constantly growing. The show never gets old. There’s something about the hodge podge crew of the ship Serenity that can keep you watching. There is someone for everyone on that ship. Captain Mal. Zoe. Wash. Inara. Jayne. River. Kaylee. And on and and on. I think Joss really had something going with this show and that maybe the time wasn’t right for it. Science fiction has always had its fan base but in the last few years, fantasy and science fiction has grown immensely in popularity and it contributes to Firefly’s surge in followers. Its a fantastic show; it has politics and human interest and love and action and drama and humor. So much humor. It is one of my favorite shows because of how quickly you are able to become attached to this rag tag crew and how sad you are when you realize that all you have are those fourteen episodes and a movie.

3. Arrested Development

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I would like to thank my boyfriend for this one. I had never even HEARD of this show when we started watching it together five years ago. I didn’t watch a lot of TV five years ago, mostly because I didn’t realize what was out there amongst all the crap that is on TV. My boyfriend, who was not my boyfriend at the time, and I were hanging out, had nothing to do and so we started watching Arrested Development because it’s his favorite show and he insisted I watch it. It’s about the Bluth family, living in Orange County, California (where I’m from!), going from a rich family to a poor family and the hilarity that ensues. When I first watched it, I didn’t get it. I mean, sure it had its moments where it was funny but I just didn’t get it. But then we started watching it more and thats when it really started to be funny. The hilarity of the show is in the characters and the “inside jokes” if you will. Once you know these characters, the jokes about them become 100 times more funny adn the show is just pure comic brilliance. It is so very sad that this show only lasted three seasons (how is this possible when crap like Jersey Shore lasts for YEARS?) but happily, the show will return to Netflix in a new season this spring. I definitely am counting down the days.

2. Once Upon a Time

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Finally, a show I found on my own, with no help from anyone and that I’ve been watching since the beginning. I remember seeing a commercial for the show and wondering what the hell is this and wow it looks so awesome! It tells the story of Emma Swan, the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, though she’s unaware of this. She’s living in our world as a bailbondsperson, until the son she gave up for adoption comes looking for her and brings her back to his hometown, Storybrooke. Storybrooke is the home of all the fairy tale charcters that you’ve grown up with: Snow White, Prince Charming, Jiminy Cricket, Red Riding Hood, Belle, Rumplestiltskin, Cinderella, and on and on. But the bad thing is, they don’t know who they are because the Evil Queen is there and she brought them there as punishment. Its brilliant. The best part of it is the alternative fairy tale that comes along with this; its so different from those Disney classics that we all grew up with. But it also brings in a lot of themes and story points from the original stories that were passed on down through oral traditions, in folk and myth tales, before they were ever thought of as children’s stories. Its fairy tales for grown ups and it rocks.

1. Doctor Who

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LONGEST RUNNING SCIENCE FICTION TELEVISION SHOW EVER. 2013 will be the 50th year of this amazing, amazing show. And while I have yet to go back and enjoy the awesomeness of the original series, I am so in love with the 9th, 10th and 11th Doctors and I can’t get enough of this television show. It took me years to sit down and watch it, even though people were telling me for years that I would enjoy it. I finally sat down, queued it up on Netflix and literally watched six seasons of Doctor Who in about a month. It was amazing. And its because its so addicting and so much fun. The Doctor is an alien from the planet of Gallifrey, and he is a Time Lord, with a blue police box called the Tardis, that can travel anywhere in space and time. And where the Doctor goes in the Tardis, there is bound to be some universal catastrophe going on and the only person who can ever save the day is The Doctor. He’s serious and he’s brilliant and brave and hilarious and still very, very flawed as well. And he always has a band of companions that both help him and keep him from being lonely. Even though I’ve only been a Whovian for about a year, I can’t imagine what my life would be like without the Doctor.

So, that’s my list of favorite TV shows. I hope that the list changes over the years as I discover more shows and more shows hit the TV. There’s so many awesome ones out there that I love that I didn’t put on this list, like Game of Thrones and Gossip Girl, and my newer shows like Suburgatory and Arrow. There are great stories out there and I can’t wait to see more of them.

What is YOUR favorite TV show?

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