Category Archives: April Blogger Challenge 2013

April Blogger Challenge: Something New I Learned this Month

This is the last post for the April Blogger Challenge. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go trivial or philosophical with this one, so I decided to use it as a segue into a new challenge instead!

From my last post, An Event You Would Like to Blog About, I discovered some cool blogs about Jane Austen. What new thing did I learn that I didn’t already know? Well, due to the anniversary of Pride and Prejudice‘s publication, there is a Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge! Who needs more excuses to watch P&P adaptations? Not me! But, I’ll take ’em anyway.

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April Blogger Challenge: An Event You Would Like to Blog About

Today’s challenge is to choose an event we would like to attend and write what we would say about it. There are plenty of events that interest me: music festivals like Lollapolooza, film festivals like Sundance, sporting events like the Olympics, and the list goes on. I could have chosen any of those events to write about, but no, I dare to dream. Thus, I choose to reveal my geek card and tell you that the event I could only hope to be invited to as a blogger (and then write about) is “a week of Regency related revelry” at the Jane Austen Festival in Bath, UK.

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Yes, this is a real event. And, actually, there are many Austen festivals that happen worldwide. But, I want the most authentic experience possible, so I’m gonna go with the UK on this one. No, it’s not like Lost in Austen or Austenland (all flirting is real here!). The event takes place in September and (I’m just going to throw this out there) if anyone involved with the festival wishes to hook me up with some free passes and what not, I’d be most obliged!

What would I have to write about if I went? I think if I followed in the footsteps of Austen’s characters, it might look something like this…

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April Blogger Challenge: Who’s Your Favorite Blogger?

Well, for me this is the easiest blog post of this month’s challenge. I didn’t have to think hard (woot!) or look far for the answer to this one. Who is my favorite blogger? Dana at The Dragyn’s Lair wins this award!

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She has inspired all of us here at The Miserables with her blog and has encouraged us in our endeavor to start our own. She even came up with this month’s challenges to help keep us writing!

Dana’s blog, The Dragyn’s Lair, is unique and varied. From trips to Disneyland to product reviews, there’s always something new and interesting going on there. She also does giveaways which are a lot of fun. So far, I’ve won twice! And no, I didn’t get special treatment for being a friend (it was a raffle people!).

She is also a great supporter of other bloggers and blogging in general. She is dedicated, passionate, professional, as well as full of information and SO helpful! I think she does so well with her blog because she genuinely wants to connect with her audience to make their lives better, whether that’s through entertaining posts, informative reviews of products, or giveaways.  You can go visit her blog here: The Dragyn’s Lair. And if you stop by, let her know that we sent you!

– Fallon

Who’s your favorite blogger? Anyone we should know about? Share with us below!

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April Blogger Challenge: A Review of Something Andrew Uses Daily

For my second entry in this month’s blogger challenge, I felt it was necessary to review something that is near and dear to my heart. Something that I honestly believe I can not live without. I partake in them everyday and will never regret it. When I am in need of something salty, no alternative will do. There is only one snack food that will forever have a place in my heart, and it just so happens that place is orange and square-sized. Yes, everyday I eat…

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My love affair with cheez-itz (the ‘z’ is hip, see) began long ago and although I can not remember the exact date, I like to imagine that it was a dark and stormy night. I was sitting on a pier down by the beach. It was pouring. I had nothing. And then I turned around and there they were, just sitting on top of that trash can. A vibrantly red box full of my new love. A portrait of them inscribed on it, their orangeness emanating into the atmosphere. The rain ceased. The clouds dissipated. Pure bliss.

Now I can see how you may think that is an awfully extreme picture I’ve painted, but I assure you, that that was me holding back. Writing a review of a box of Cheez-itz is nearly impossible for me. How can one truly express that feeling they get when they open a new box, rip the plastic open, and smell that cheesy goodness? You jam your hand in and come out with a fist full of orange crackers, sprinkled with salt, and as you choose one to toss into your mouth first, you know that whatever your choice may be, it will be the right one.

Cheez-itz are the greatest snack food because they represent a lifestyle (a lifestyle that may lead to a heart attack, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take). You can just sit back on your couch, watch some television, and cuddle up next to something that won’t talk during your favorite programs. The box is made of a cardboard sturdy enough to protect its contents, but also soft enough to prevent an unnecessary paper-cut.

So the next time you walk down the snack aisle in your local supermarket, I must make only one recommendation: Buy a box of Cheez-itz. But beware: if you’re not looking for a long-term relationship, you can take your commitment-phobe ass to the saltines. I’m sure you’ll be okay……..maybe……..probably not…….nah.

– Andrew

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April Blogger Challenge: Find a Picture and Write About It

I’ve been looking through my Facebook albums for the past three days, trying
to find one picture that stood out to me. And then I finally did. This particular
photograph made me remember how good life can be sometimes. The picture I’m
referring to is one I took in L.A. about four years ago. It’s Jim
Carrey’s square in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater. hillaripic1

Carrey has always been interesting to me. While he has
made a sufficient amount of money for his over-the-top comedic
performances, he also possesses a refreshing depth that occasionally
filters into his characters. Okay, so I’ve never actually met the guy,
but I did watch his E True Hollywood Story.

Anyways, my point is, sometimes even the world’s goofiest folks get it
right. In his square, Carrey wrote, “Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily…”
I couldn’t help but think, whether you’re sinking your hand  into the
Hollywood strip, or the fresh cement behind Papaw’s tool shed, there
are moments in your life that really do seem like a dream. And it is in
these moments, like Carrey’s, that you get it too, and you fully realize
how totally blessed you are.

-Hillari

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April Blogger Challenge: The Person that Inspires Me Most and Why…

First off, I hate questions like this, but in keeping with the spirit of teamwork (shout out to my fellow bloggers), I will try to answer it to the best of my ability, or lack there of.

I guess I could go with many different/typical answers for a question like this. I mean, I could talk about C.S. Lewis, or Mother Teresa, or Sam J. Porcello (the man who invented the cream filling inside Oreos). All of these people have certainly inspired me throughout my life, but C.S. and I are never going to share a pint at the local pub and doodle Narnia. And sadly, Momma T will not be cross-stitching with me anytime soon.

I chose, instead, to focus on someone I’ve spent some actual time with. I’ve known her forever, but I didn’t actually “know” her until about three years ago. I was a first-year teacher and also (this part is extremely important) a complete idiot. I thought everything was going to be all perfect die cuts and unbreakable crayons. Then I made it to lunch, and I realized that maybe I should’ve stuck with Political Science. Oh my goodness, people think the things you learn in kindergarten are so life-changing… Try the things you learn while teaching kindergarten. Oops… I’m talking too much about myself. Sorry. That might happen occasionally — still doing it.

Moving on. So, the one thing this fellow teacher taught me (among a million other things — like how to get a Sharpie stain out of your bra) was to be present. And I’m not talking about showing up for work, which is also significant to your own personal success and finances. I’m talking about being present in your life. Really having your eyes open to whatever your situation is and being an active participant in it. And sometimes that’s really challenging, because your situation may suck toenails. Regardless, I just think that’s something relevant to consider in the world we live in. Everyone is just looking for an escape… AKA: Facebook, The Real Housewives of The Enchanted Forest, or Fifty Shades of Grey (yeah, that was a pretty fun place to be at times). However, I think that if I read my own life story more, I would probably get to a better chapter eventually.

It’s like this, my friend was an excellent teacher, but that wasn’t her ideal job. Those are about as easy to find as a Horcrux. But she put her all into every M&M addition lesson, Field Day, and Fall Festival that came around. And now that she’s a mom (her ideal job — and she’s fantastic at it), she puts every part of herself into that. She looks at life and says: How can I take hold of this? How can a make this mine? No matter what may be going down, this is where I want to be… because this is where I am.

Maybe I don’t hate this question so much after all.

 

-Hillari

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April Blogger Challenge: A Dream Andrew Would Like To Accomplish

As a part of this month’s blogger challenge, it is now my turn to take part. My first entry revolves around the challenge to discuss a goal or dream that I would one day hope to accomplish.

Now, I could go many ways with this topic. I could discuss how my career aspirations are to become a screenwriter in Hollywood, how I hope to win an Oscar someday, or if that falls by the wayside that I even hope to teach Film and Screenwriting on the collegiate level. But no, I’ve decided to go down another path with this challenge. For the dream I one day hope to accomplish is to become…

SPIDER-MAN!

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Now I know what you’re thinking: this is coming from the self-professed fan of many a pretentious art-house cinema flick? You’re damn straight. But truly, honestly, and deeply, if you are able to search my soul there is one great love that clings to my heart like a web (yeah, that took a lot of effort): my love of Peter Parker AKA Spider-Man.

Yes. This is an extremely lofty dream that may seem impossible, but I would argue that it is no more impossible than realizing a career as a writer in Los Angeles.

You see, Peter Parker is my all-time favorite fictional character, and if you think about it, I’m already half-way to accomplishing my dream. I essentially already am Peter Parker, minus those pesky spidey powers. I have girl issues, money issues, I have an aunt who is highly influential on my life, and I’m an optimist (or a miserable optimist, so as not to betray this blog’s very title). I believe in the good of mankind, no matter how many times it may wrong me or those around me.

Disclaimer: I do not have a flair for science. Please ignore this tiny inconvenience.

Peter Parker as Spider-Man has been so highly influential in our culture since the 1960s because he’s the everyman. He’s the one super-hero who is like us. That is not to say there are not others, but he’s the true original. Look at Superman: an alien whose one weakness is a shiny green crystal. And then there’s Batman: a playboy billionaire who has no actual super-powers, but has the income to essentially buy any tool or weapon he needs.

Further Disclaimer: I am a fan of Batman. Superman can go hug a piece of Kryptonite in a Kansas field for the rest of his life for all I care.

Now back to the point. How exactly would I be able to accomplish this dream you ask? Science. Yes, my very own Kryptonite. But see, I wouldn’t be the one doing said science. I’d leave that to better men, ya know, scientists! I’d just have to find my very own Dr. Connors and bribe him with my secrets of his infidelity to his wife. Or maybe just ask nicely. Either or.

I mean, if a teenager in the 1960s can figure out how to make a device that can shoot webs out of his wrists surely a scientist in the year 2013 can! In the words of Breaking Bad’s Jesse Pinkman, “Yeah Science!”

And then there’s that pesky deal with the spidey sense and the radioactive spider. Well, if the advances in scientific engineering have taught us anything (aptly used in Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)) then that really shouldn’t be a problem. Dr. Connors will be able to whip me up something in no time! And by no time, I mean a decade. But hey, I’m a pretty patient person.

So yes. I have used my first blogger challenge entry to try and fulfill a life-long dream of becoming everyone’s favorite wall-crawling arachnid. I’m sure some of you may scoff at the very idea. But as for me, I say let the people scoff. If you want to live in a world where optimistic bloggers aren’t able to dream, well go ahead, cause I’m not going to insult you. You see. This blog is that desperate for readers.

You’re welcome.

– Andrew  

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April Blogger Challenge: Favorite Color

For my third and final reveal in this month’s blogger challenge, I will confess that my favorite color is green.

Wow, I feel better now that I have gotten that off my chest!

Now, as to why it is my preference I had to reach way back to my earliest of memories. The only thing I could think of was how my oldest sister, Stephanie, used to wear a retainer. She housed her retainer in a neon green plastic case. It reminded me of the same case that Julia Roberts’s character in Pretty Woman hid her rent money in at the beginning of the movie. Crazy, I know, but I think that just may be where my fascination with the color green began.

I now pass the torch to Andrew and Hillari for the next part of our April Blogger Challenge!

-Ashley

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April Blogger Challenge: 10 Words that Describe Our Blog

Our next response in the blogger challenge is to describe our blog in ten words. Because we are new to the neighborhood, I felt this would be the perfect opportunity for us to establish what our blog really is.

Although we all have different perspectives and voices, we each hope that our readers will find our blog to be: fun, smart, hopeful, hilarious, real, creative, current, and of course, 75% female (poor Andrew)!

-Ashley

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April Blogger Challenge: 10 Things You Don’t Know About Ashley

Dear Readers,

        This month we are taking part in a blogger challenge set up by our friend, Dana, at The Dragyn’s Lair. Throughout April we will be answering a series of questions that will reveal more and more about us miserable people! I volunteered to be the lead-off batter so here goes…

10 Things You Don’t Know about Ashley:

  1. As a freshman in college, I started out as a biology major. For a short time I thought I wanted to be a Physical Therapist. Let me point out that you cannot get accepted into ANY P.T. school with a C in Biology 101 and a D in the lab.

  2. Hillari and I pledged Alpha Omicron Pi sorority in fall 2004.

  3. I love Italian food and long to visit Italy before I die.

  4. I’m not really an animal lover. I like them okay, but I’m not crazy about their smells or their hair on my clothes.

  5. I saw Kevin Bacon on Hollywood Blvd. in 2008 when his wife, Kyra Sedgwick, got her star on the Walk of Fame.

  6. I have two older sisters.

  7. I can still perform most of N’Sync’s “Bye, Bye, Bye” dance. Completely sober I might add.

  8. I am allergic to shell fish.

  9. I have matching scars on my knees. Both injuries were sustained during adulthood. I blame one fall on a new pair of Jessica Simpson heels and the other on Whitney Houston’s song, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”

  10. I am absolutely petrified of clowns. I feel that if you have to paint a smile on your face, you’re hiding something.-Ashley
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