Wrap Up: April 2017

This is probably not the last thing you’ll hear from me with regards to what I did in April, but I figure I might as well try to put this monthly wrap-up together anyway. Which was hard, by the way. I had way too many pictures to filter through, and it was crazily tempting to put everything on my vacation up as a slideshow. But that’s hundreds of pics, and so to save space and time, I had to limit the pics I used. That said, vacation wasn’t the only thing I did in April, which could also explain why I’ve been scarce in the blogoverse lately.

Books Read

Yeah, I read a meager two books over the month of April…which means I’m pretty behind. Considering BookCon is around the corner, I really should get through my books, since I’m anticipating I’ll be getting more in the beginning of June. Urghhh frustrationz.

Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs || Silk by Caitlin Kiernan

Currently Reading

Portal of a Thousand Worlds by Dave Duncan || The Jane Austen Handbook by Margaret C. Sullivan || Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Writing

Other than minor edits for a few writing pieces, not much on this front. I’ve been focusing on putting my writing voldies’ anthology together for the school, so I haven’t actually managed to gain the time to go back to my own stories. This whole time management thing is really kicking me in the rear.

Movies and Television

I was just as bad with movies over April like I was in March, so not much on my front.

London Has Fallen || Your Name || La La Land (yes, again, I don’t know why) || Assassin’s Creed

And TV wasn’t any better, though I am making my way back to watching Arrow and Flash. I’ll probably be adding Supergirl into that list at some point, but it’s practically a low priority. I may end up bingeing most things once the summer hits, because then I’ll finally be out of work for several weeks!

Video Games

Final Fantasy XV – I’ve been playing this game for way too long. And there are way too many feels in it. TOO MANY FEELS. I’m probably halfway into the playthrough, but I keep getting distracted with all those damn side quests. I must have spent a good 3-4 hours just gambling away at the monster arena alone… *twitches*

Fooding, Drinking, and Desserting

This is going to be a food-heavy post. Surprisingly, I didn’t really eat so much during my week in Europe, so the food pics were not as numerous as I’d thought. Same thing with the drinks. I kind of had a bit of a stomach ache in the middle of my vacation, so that might have curtailed my appetite a bit (and it’s still a bummer about not being able to have butterbeer!).

With the exception of the lamb, everything else I’d had abroad.

Fish n’ Chips || Lamb Curry || Chicken Meat Pie || Fettuccine Bolognese || Croquettes || Pork Roast || Smoked Salmon on Seaweed and Rice || Hummus and Tabbouleh

And, of course, the drinks! Not all alcoholic, mind…

Whittard’s mango tea || Phileas Fogg’s Trans-Siberian Express (vodka base) || Fuller’s London Pride (pale ale) || Cappuccino Americano || Phileas Fogg’s Oriental Journey (gin base) || Earl Grey tea with apple and blackberry butter biscuit || Rose wine rainbow float || Thai iced tea

And, of course, vacation days wouldn’t be complete without dessert! I went to Brussels as well, so two-thirds of these pics came from there.

Belgian Waffles (banana and Nutella) || Snickers ice cream || Haagen-Dazs Limoncello ice cream || Tiramisu || Chocolate parfait || Assorted Belgian chocolates and macarons

Miscellany

Spring break happened! Honestly, I thought spending a week in the UK was not enough, especially when I had packed my vacation days with so much to do. I visited quaint English villages, countrysides, castles, and traipsed the city for hours, and I found that I still hadn’t seen everything that London and much of England had to offer. I guess that means having to book another trip at some point over there, amiright?

I also took a day trip to Brussels, which was pretty cool, though honestly, I was a little underwhelmed by the city itself. Much of the center and the touristy areas were pretty, and it was worth the day trip. The most I got out of the city, though, were the numerous amount of artisanal chocolateries that lined the streets. While the city itself underwhelmed me, I was certainly overwhelmed by all the chocolate shopping I did!

I’m not even going to discuss the fact that I’d gone to the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio. Because that’s just a whole other post waiting to happen.

Nerdy News

Here be vampires. Now all I need scientists to do is uncover skeletal evidence of were-creatures and I’m set. I mean…um, a lot of things are possible these days, right?

With all the complaints people had of Mass Effect: Andromeda, it was a matter of time that a patch came through. Though, honestly, people, do you remember how it was like playing ME1? Because I do, and from the looks of things, ME:A shouldn’t really have been getting so much Hater-ade. But maybe that’s just my rational side talking.

I mean, between G.R.R. Martin and Patrick Rothfuss, I’m wondering if there’s a betting pool somewhere for who gets their next book published first. Not that I should complain, I’m horrible at reading series, and I haven’t read either of their latest series installments. Well, in the case of Rothfuss, this will be remedied at some point!

Here comes the General! Word is that the late Carrie Fisher will at least have footage added into the next two Star Wars movies. Which is great, because giving her an off-screen mention would have been really sad.

Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about Bioware’s MMO IP, because I’m not a big MMO player, but I’d totally try this game out for when it ever gets released.

Meet young Albus Dumbledore. Though, really, how “young” is young anyway? In any case, I thought this was a much better casting call than the silly thing they did with Grindelwald (ugh, Depp, seriously? I still don’t see it).

I can tell why Star Wars fans would lose their collective shits over this trailer. Honestly, I didn’t know which I loved more, the fact that Rey is doing Jedi training or the fact that the legendary Luke Skywalker finally has some speaking roles in this movie. Probably both, because I was squeeing by the end of the trailer.

Yaaaaas Carmen San Diego yaaaaaaaaaaas. She was seriously my version of James Bond growing up, and I’m SO happy they’re going to reboot this over in Netflix. SO HAPPY.

I’ve read only the first book, and a couple volumes of the graphic novel adaptation, but I could totally get into watching The Wheel of Time series. I am a little wary about what studio is going to do this, though, because I thought The Shannara Chronicles weren’t as well-done as I’d hoped, and that was also based off a fantasy series.

I find them adapting Fahrenheit 451 into a series kind of amusing, considering Bradbury’s commentary on media itself. But, hey, y’know what, I’D STILL WATCH IT.

I’m not caught up with Marvel’s superhero movies (in fact, I’m not caught up with any of the superhero movie franchises), but this particular X-Men arc is near and dear to my heart. The Dark Phoenix storyline was always my favorite of the X-Men franchise, and I thought it had been poorly handled in the original movie trilogy.

Wrap-Up: February 2017

february2017-monthlyFirst off: Happy Dr. Seuss Day!

Teaching the bigger voldies has given me quite the perspective on time management. Where “time management” equates to “no time at all” for the most part. Seriously, how do fellow teachers deal all the time?! I swear I’ve only managed to rack in a couple hours of video game this weekend, and then it was back to grading, lesson planning, and browsing other math and science resources. Not to mention the fact that I’m also trying to keep regular schedule with reading and blogging…

Sigh. At best, it’s going to be an interesting next few months. At worst, I’ll not have done any writing or editing at all.

But it’s not all fatigue and sadness! Lots of good stuff this month, too!

Books Read

I was in a bit of a slump over the month, to a point where I’ve even gotten bored with audiobooks to a point where I just DNF it after the first few chapters. Hopefully I’ll find a balance of being able to read AND get other work done in the coming weeks.

Avatar: The Last Airbender, Smoke and Shadow, Vols. 1-3 by Gene Luen Yang || An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir || Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure by Bill Willingham || Gilded Cage by Vic James

Currently Reading

Let’s be honest here. I’ve probably pushed all books back in light of Schwab’s A Conjuring of Light being out. Sorry not sorry.

Portal of a Thousand Worlds by Dave Duncan || Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson || Truthwitch by Susan Dennard || A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

Writing

Unless I’m counting blog posts and lesson plans, writing has pretty much been nonexistent. Not a good thing, but I don’t think that’s going to change until I’ve got a decent system in place to get through my regular workdays without being utterly drained of any motivation whatsoever, lol.

Movies

February is always my busiest month for movies, and for good reason! Now that the Oscars are over, I can finally take it easy with watching the other movies I wanted to get to this year. That said, there were some very good movies on the list that I watched this month. And, uh, I totally watched more than 8 movies, I just didn’t have room to add the rest…

february2017-movies

Moana || Hacksaw Ridge || Lion || Kubo and the Two Strings || Florence Foster Jenkins || Fences || Jackie || Hell or High Water || Nocturnal Animals (not pictured) || The Red Turtle (not pictured) || Captain Fantastic (not pictured)

Television

The Magicians, Season 1 – Honestly, this had something going for it, up until the characters kept doing stupid things, and I was just so over it.

Arrow, Season 3 – Yeah, still on this season, but I’m getting to the point where I had stopped a long way back!

Flash, Season 1 – Ditto.

Outlander, Season 2 – So I subscribed to a free week of Starz, which meant I totally binged a majority of the second Outlander season. I may have to resort to other streaming services to get to the rest of the episodes, though…

The Great British Bake Off, Season 3 – NETFLIX FINALLY HAS MORE SEASONS UP. Naturally, I just had to watch it.

Video Games

Dishonored 2 – Took me much longer to finish a stealthy, non-lethal run with Corvo, but that’s mostly because I haven’t been binge-playing video games in a while. I plan to do a couple more runs on this game, but I might wait another time.

Batman: Arkham Knight – A ways back, I totally rage-quit this game and stopped playing it for a while because the effing Batmobile Riddler challenges DROVE ME NUTS. I just went back into the swing of things, though. Might as well try to finish the game…before I contemplate heading back to Dragon Age

Fooding and Drinking

Last month there was a severe lack of food and drink pictures gracing my blog. This month, I needed to separate food AND drink apart, because there was a lot of both happening due to Valentine’s Day and it being my mother’s birthday among other things.

february2017-fooding

Thin Mint Oreo and Kit Kat Brownies || Tutti Frutti Waffles || Apple Pirozhki || Pineapple BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizza || Tiramisu || Waffle Fries || Marinated Prime Rib BBQ || Harvey Wallbanger Cake

I’d also visited The Way Station, which was the dorkiest bar I’d ever seen. And this is a good thing! I ended up ordering a few Doctor Who-inspired drinks, and they were LOVELY.

february2017-drinks

Galliano || 4th Doctor || 10th Doctor || River’s Red Mark || Barefoot Moscato || Mocha Madness || Moroccan Mint Tea || Vodka (for baking!)

Miscellany

Valentine’s Day was a pretty good day, considering. My bestie and I ended up just reserving a table at Max Brenners and fed on food and chocolate for the rest of the day. Soooo delicious.

I did do another Food and Fandom post, which means I’m good for the month. But now the cycle begins again and I probably need to start thinking about another F&F project to do in order to stay on top of my own Reading Challenge…

Nerdy News

I honestly don’t know why I insist on following up on the Mass Effect hype, because every single time I see an article, like character profiles (YES FEMALE TURIAN COMPANION RAAAAAAH), voice actor announcements (Margery Tyrell joins The Tempest crew as an asari, WHAAAT), and the fact that you can still actually decide which Commander Shepard is YOUR Shepard in ME: Andromeda (FemShep all the way!) only gets me overexcited about this game. And it’s not like I’m even planning to get it in March! I’m going to have to wait much longer than that, otherwise NO work is getting done…

On another space-related note: I am so eagerly awaiting for our First Contact with turians. NASA, make this happen. You’ve found the planets, so find the aliens. Just don’t try to wage war, please. XD

WHAT IS THIS NEVERWHERE SEQUEL, GAIMAN YOU ARE KILLING ME HERE I MUST HAVE IT.

You know what, I’d actually be interested in the Ford, Bernard, and Maeve Westworld Funkos. I wouldn’t mind if they suddenly came up with a Hector Funko. Rodrigo Santoro is a beautiful man.

Hayao Miyazaki getting bored of retirement and coming back to make more movies is really not surprising. He’s pretty much a workaholic, which is a good thing, because YAY MORE MIYAZAKI MOVIES!

My first reaction to there being a possible A Darker Shade of Magic movie was practically, “OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG EEEEEEEEEEEEE.” My second one is, quite naturally, “OH GOD PLEASE DON’T EFF THIS UP I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH.” So yeah. Excited and REALLY hoping for the best. And super happy for Schwab, who must be super-stoked about this news.

Wrap-Up: January 2017

january2017-monthly

I went from being utterly busy in December to practically winging it in January, haha. Honestly, unless you counted all the pics I took of my lil voldies, I really didn’t take much last month, which may explain why several of the pics I have up are random things from my Taylor Swift experience (more below, haha!). Anyway, January brought with it a bit of hecticness, including some news about my writing and work-life (which I’ll also touch on below).

Books Read

Plaid and Plagiarism by Molly MacRae || Fables: The Wolf Among Us, Vol. 1 || Fables: The Wolf Among Us, Vol. 2 || Q&A by Vikas Swarup || The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon || The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald || The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Currently Reading

Totally going to finish the final straggler of 2016! And after that, I’ll probably catch up on a couple NetGalley ARCs before I hunker down and start re-reading some Schwab goodness to prepare myself for A Conjuring of Light. Yaaaaas.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir || Armada by Ernest Cline || Gilded Cage by Vic James

Writing

Lawd, it only took me a gazillion years to write another short story that I was relatively happy with. I managed to send it to the querying circuit in any case, before my life got busy again, hah.

I’m also quite pleased at how the 2017 Young Explorer’s Adventure Anthology came out. It looks so pretty!

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Movies

Oscar-season has started! So that meant my movie-watching spree has completely skyrocketed and will continue to do so well into February. That said, I also watched a few other movies for shits and giggles (and WHY ROGUE ONE WHY). And yes, this is probably the umpteenth time I’ve watched Zootopia.

january2017-movies

Hidden Figures || Arrival || La La Land || Moonlight || Manchester by the Sea || Star Wars: Rogue One || Slumdog Millionaire || Zootopia || Tarzan (not pictured) || The Avengers: Age of Ultron (not pictured)

Television

Arrow, Season 3 – Alright, this is going to take longer to watch now, considering I’m slowly going the Arrow-Flash-Legends-Supergirl chronology route, which means “longer” equals “FOREVER.”

The Flash, Season 1 – I forgot how amusing this show could be at times. What I haven’t forgotten is how awesome Felicity Smoak is in both shows, hah.

A Series of Unfortunate Events, Season 1 – I binge-watched this the weekend it came out so hard. Now I feel a little bit emptier inside. Curse you, Lemony Snicket! CURSE YOU!

Galavant, Season 1 – Uh…yeah, I don’t think I could watch another episode, considering epi1 was just too much crack to begin with.

Video Games

The Wolf Among Us – Was definitely compelled to play this game in light of me having read the graphic novels. Maybe I’ll do another playthrough, this time with Bigby being a bona fide A-hole. Yep. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Dishonored 2 – Oh goodness. This game. Just…ugh. SO GOOD. I finished my stone-cold Emily run, so I’ve started a new game plus file with my nicer, sneakier Corvo. I missed Corvo’s powers, even though Emily’s are pretty awesome, too. And I swear, there are so many ways to complete a level that I don’t think playing them over and over again gets too tiring.

Fooding and Drinking

There was a severe lack of fooding and drinking this month. I need to remedy this. No, really, I do.

january2017-food

Sweet Chick || Marrakesh Mint Tea || Coffeeeeeeee || Roasted Brussel Sprouts || Roasted Cinnamon Chestnuts

Miscellany

So the Taylor Swift Experience happened down at the Seaport in NYC, and my bestie–being the biggest T-Swizzle fan out there (well, I’m a fan, too, I suppose XD)–decided to take me and my sister there. Needless to say we had a BLAST.

On another note, I might be busier, dying, or dead in the next few months, depending. I’ve been moved from my regular little voldie job to one with bigger voldies. Like…actually teaching math to bigger voldies. I suppose that degree was good for something. Seriously, though, pretty excited. And hella nervous, considering this’d be a really quick transition time and I have legit a week to take a crash course on curriculuming. Lawd why’d I say yes again?!

Nerdy News

Ride on the Magic School Bus! This was such a great childhood show that I’m actually looking forward to this reboot. And maybe more science, yay!

Mass Effect: Andromeda finally gets a release date, and ever since the announcement, there’ve been several lovely teasers, trailers, and promos about the game. Am I so excited for this game? YES. YES I AM. Am I going to get this game on March 23? Nonononono. Because if I do, NOTHING will get done and I will probably get fired for not doing any work.

Where there’s a nerd, there’s always going to be some Harry Potter-themed somethings. Like HP-themed restaurants. And crabs. Um. Yeah, even a newly-discovered species of crab get HP-themed names.

This Legend of Zelda game is looking breathlessly wild on the Switch. UGH. Another console I’m going to want sometime soon.

Look, I’m not gonna lie, ANY Gaiman and/or Pratchett media adaptation is going to be something for me to look forward to. Their stories are fantastic. And the both of them together in Good Omens? GOLD. And NOW it’s being adapted into an Amazon series? Yaaaaas.

I’m not surprised about Peter Capaldi leaving Doctor Who after the next season closes, though I am a little sad. I wasn’t a big fan of the first season he’d been as a Doctor, mostly because I hated his companion, but I thought he was his own character anyway. And these last two specials were just so lovely. It’s okay. Hayley Atwell for the next Doctor? PLS?!

I was actually a big fan of the Ocean’s movies, so this new one–which is apparently Ocean’s 8–stars a female cast of thieves and con artists, and it looks STACKED. It could be a disaster, but hell, I’ll watch it anyway.

New Final Fantasy VII remake pic! I’m still not as pumped about this as I should be, but only because WHO KNOWS when this game is ever being released…