Wrap Up: July 2017

Books Read

I’m pretty sure this list is only substantive because most of these are graphic novels. All the same, I’m playing a bit of catchup on my lack of reading and reviewing, and this is the result.

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier || Skinwalker by Faith Hunter || Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor || The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1 || The Arabian Nights translated by Richard F. Burton || The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 2 || The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 3 || Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge || The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 4

Currently Reading

The List by Patricia Forde || Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor || The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 5 || Monstress, Vol. 2 by Marjorie Liu

Writing

While I didn’t take part in Camp NaNoWriMo, writing has been a major part of July, and will likely be a major part of August as well. I’m probably going to slow down on the writing department come September once more, but for now, I’m taking what I get!

Movies and Television

The Beautician and the Beast – Don’t ask.

Dirty Dancing – It was the summer of ’63 when I started watching–okay, no. I’m not THAT old, but I love this movie.

Independence Day – Totally my July 4 movie tradition. Every single year.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – I’m still torn up about this movie.

The Martian – Totally watched this again because my bestie was missing such a great movie.

Wonder Woman – See, THIS is a girl power superhero movie without all the unsubtle “yay female superheroes all females rock omg this is a message I’m going to keep bringing up over and over again every other sentence” that the Supergirl show has (more below).

Better Call Saul, Season 2 – Ughhhh so good. And Netflix, I’m waiting for Season 3 plsthx!

Inside British Vogue – I like fashion documentaries, but the documentarian annoyed me. Your job is to DOCUMENT, not fucking give input about things you know nothing about. Ugh.

Arrow, Season 3 – Well, damn. I went back to finishing this season and things completely goes down at the end of the season. The happyish ending tho, lmao. Yeah, okay. Not gonna last long in CW, nope.

Flash, Season 1 – I was pretty much going back and forth on my Arrow-Flash binges. But holy hell, Flash got INCREDIBLY good.

Supergirl, Season 1 – I legit just watched the first episode yesterday. Then I had to google “Does Supergirl get better later on” because honestly, that pilot wasn’t so great. I love the idea of female superheroes, but please stop throwing feminist morals at my face every other scene in the episode. ESPECIALLY since the rest of the time seemed dedicated to comparing said female superhero to the more superior male cousin that is Superman. I just…STAHP PLEASE. Just give me action and some sort of plot. But again. This was just my first impression of the pilot. Apparently it does get better around episode 6/7, so I might hang on.

Video Games

Hah. There’s been only one video game that I’ve been preoccupied with all month. And that’s Mass Effect: Andromeda. I actually finished it last week, so of course the next thing I did was boot up a new Mass Effect trilogy playthrough. Yeah. I am obsessive, but I can’t help myself!

I’m still trying to figure out how much I like ME: Andromeda, to be honest. It certainly doesn’t hold a candle to the original trilogy, but at the same time, I’m judging the a game that’s solely an INTRODUCTORY game, so I can’t get angry about it. I am a little disappointed in the romance arcs. None of them seemed very interesting. But then again, I wasn’t gungho on the romance in ME1 either. So yeah. I hope the second installation–if there ever IS one–gets the same treatment as ME2, because that’s when everything gets turned around.

Fooding

It says something about my lack of work when I spend most of my days actually baking. Or eating.

Macarons || Ube birthday cake || Spiced ginger treacle cake || Hummus || Marble and almond brownies || Sushi || Peach upside down cake || Japanese pork combo at Mitsuwa

Miscellany

I’ve mostly been on vacation over the month of July. On top of that, I had a birthday pass me by, which meant I got to splurge on random things, hah!

Managed to get Shakespeare in the Park tickets for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which was FANTASTIC.

I’ve been sufficiently pool-ready the past few weeks, so obviously that’s where I’ve been during my weekends. There was also a summer fair at the Meadowlands, and I couldn’t pass it up because I so wanted to get on a Ferris wheel. I LOVE FERRIS WHEELS.

Other than that, same old, same old.

Nerdy News

Gotham goes Gaslight in a Batman steampunk animated movie. Not gonna lie, I’ve been so waiting for them to do this. I haven’t read the Elseworlds series that this animated movie is going to be based on, but I’ve actually seen a demo of Gotham by Gaslight as a video game, and I’ve been craving steampunk Bats since.

Honestly cannot wait for Good Omens to come out. It’s going to be a blast to see Crowley and Aziraphale on the screen and not just on the page.

Joker as a good guy is like watching Lex Luthor become President of the United States and still being a thorn on Superman’s side. It’s GREAT. Now, once this is released completely, can we have an animated movie based off this series with Mark Hamill reprising his Joker role? CAN WE PLEASE?

Alright, I admit I’m sliding this article in solely for the purpose of being able to mention AIRSHIPS in this post. Because the possibility of rebuilding airships just made my steampunk writing self all excited and giddy.

The next Wonder Woman movie is taking place in the ’80s. Which is pretty cool, though I wonder how they’ll explain WWII, because that’s practically a gigantic war in between her origin movie and the Cold War. [SPOILER] Also, I don’t know why people find it a good idea to bring Chris Pine back. That just lessens the impact of his actions in the previous movie. Just saying. [/SPOILER]

Not sure how I feel having seen the A Wrinkle in Time trailer. On the one hand, it looks pretty cool and action-packed. On the other, AWiT is one of my favorite childhood SFF books, and if they eff this up, I’m going to be INCONSOLABLE.

One of the most exciting trailers that got released at SDCC was definitely Ready Player One. Because holy hell, the stacked buildings looked exactly like the illustration in the book. And omg SO many Easter Eggs in that trailer. I can only imagine how many more are in the actual movie.

And yay more Agatha Christie movies! I always love watching these.

Still not holding my breath, but I suppose this is good news to the G.R.R. Martin and A Song of Ice and Fire fans. I haven’t read the fifth book yet, so…

And the new Doctor is…oh come on. That was practically everywhere when it was finally released. Here’s to Jodie Whittaker for taking the balls by the horn! (Hah!)

I hope you guys had a great July, too!

Wrap Up: May and June 2017

This is going to double up as both a May and June wrap-up post because I completely procrastinated writing up a May 2017 wrap-up. Which is weird, because a lot of things did happen in May and it wasn’t as if I was out of pictures or anything. June was just as busy, from BookCon to Mystery Room to end-of-the-school-year summer shenanigans. Fun stuff!

This will be a little more abridged than usual, and I’ll focus on all the pics! Also because writing is nonexistent, lol!

Books Read

You’d think I’d have double the amount of books read, but that doesn’t seem to be the case! I tried at least!

Beauty by Robin McKinley || A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas || Fables, Vol. 20, Camelot by Bill Willingham || The Jane Austen Handbook: Proper Life Skills from Regency England by Margaret C. Sullivan || Fables, Vol. 19, Snow White by Bill Willingham || Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

Books Reading

Portal of a Thousand Worlds by Dave Duncan || Skinwalker by Faith Hunter || Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

Movies and Television

Glazing over these, but some very good movies I watched in May and June! A Monster Calls was as sad as I expected it to be, though to be honest I hadn’t cried up until the stupid effing end. I highly recommend Big Fish & Begonia, which is a movie created by Studio Mir, also those responsible for animating the latter seasons of The Legend of Korra. You can tell, because the animation is AMAZING. I need not tell you how badass Wonder Woman was. Almost everyone and their mother loved the movie. My mother included.

I finished Into the Badlands and feel just a little bit emptier inside. Which is probably why I started rewatching Death Note (the anime, mmkthanks). Also, started the second season of Better Call Saul. Can’t wait to see what he and Mike are up to!

A Monster Calls || London Has Fallen || Big Fish & Begonia || Lucky Number Slevin || Wonder Woman || American Gods || Into the Badlands || Death Note || Better Call Saul

Video Games

I will admit I didn’t do much video gaming between late May and early June, so I was pretty much stuck with the same one for ages. Then…school was out and I went straight to finishing Final Fantasy XV and finally purchasing myself a copy of Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Final Fantasy XV – The ending was both epic and anger-inducing. I was annoyed at how sad the ending made me feel. Screw you, Square-Enix!

Heavy Rain – Honestly, I started this game because I get a kick out of the beginning. It was really just something to play while I segued to…

Mass Effect: Andromeda – Well, it isn’t the original Mass Effect trilogy, let me tell you. And yes, it has mixed reviews and did badly in light of it all because of the fact that it couldn’t hold a candle to its predecessors. Big whoop. Did people forget how tedious ME1 was?! Honestly, ME: Andromeda feels like ME1, in that there’s a lot of introduction to be had, and so far, the game plot is going slow. I’m also a little annoyed that my Pathfinder is way too nice. Honestly, WHERE ARE THE MEAN CHOICES?! Why can’t I friggin’ punch the reporters?! That said, I am loving that they brought back the Mako–I mean…well, they brought the Nomad in. And um, turians. Yes. I love turians. Vetra is MY GIRL. I may want to romance her if Jaal or Liam fall through…

Fooding

Yes, yes. There was a lot of food involved throughout the past two months. So much food. Most of them weren’t even baked by me. Oh, no. All the baking happened near the end of the month, when I actually had free time to think about what I wanted to bake! All the same, I practically ate my way through New York (and New Jersey) in May and June.

Lychee and raspberry crepe || Fish n’ chips || Hummus || Chicken kebab || Homemade ramen || Bacon poutine || Popbar || Cannoli

Chocolate “spaghetti” || Tsunami at Dallas BBQ || Chocolate chip cookies || Mac n’ cheese || Farmer’s market pizza || Assorted dips || Matcha froyo || French toast with bananas and coffee ice cream

Rose apple tarts || Duck bao || Chocolate cupcake with salted caramel frosting || Twisted potato with cajun and sweet and sour seasoning || Gongjee Village meal || Shepherd’s pie || Pineapple juice with agave || Unicorn taiyaki

Miscellany

Let’s talk about podcasts for a moment here.

My friend Meg @ La Foi Aveugle went into a podcasting venture some months back, and she was kind enough to invite me to two of her episodes (which aired at the end of may, beginning of June) of her first podcast, Judging Book Covers. As part of my being in the episode, I got to choose a book to make the host and a second guest read, and in turn, the second guest will choose a book to make me read. We ended up with Silk by Caitlin Kiernan for one episode and Boneshaker by Cherie Priest in another. Guess which one I’d picked? Hehe.

Speaking of podcasts, the same Meg also came up to me to ask if I’d be interested in doing a fairy tale retelling podcast. OF COURSE I SAID YES. So Fableulous Retellings Podcast was born! Here we will be talking about various retellings of the original versions of fairy tales. Our first fairy tale is “La Belle et la Bete,” or “Beauty and the Beast.” Our website is still a work in progress, but you can like and follow us on Facebook for updates. First episode to come out Tuesday, July 18!

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.

TTT: Fandoms

Hah. Fandoms. I don’t even know how many fandoms I’m in, because I love practically many things. A lot. I suppose I could list a bunch down off the top of my head, and for the most part, they are video-game related. Some book and anime stuff, too!

Top Ten Fandoms I Constantly Squee Over

One Piece – Honestly, it’s still one of my favorite animes to date. I don’t know why that is, because so far there’s been a standstill in really good episodes, but I just can’t stop loving this anime. Also, the Pirate Warriors video games are pretty fun. Repetitive, but fun.

Ouran High School Host Club – BEST SHOUJO EVER. Honestly, it was hard limiting the amount of anime I fangirl over, there’s definitely a lot more out there that I love, but Ouran is the sole representative for shojo type anime.

Fullmetal Alchemist – YAAAAS. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has got to be one of the best things that came out a couple years back. I mean, I did love the original anime as well, but Brotherhood kind of knocked the series out of the ballpark.

Bioware – Yeah, I started this list with just adding a series, then realized I’ve loved every single Bioware game I’ve played so far. So, um, yeah, Bioware just gets a lot of love for its Dragon Age and Mass Effect series. And honestly, the fandom for DA and ME is ridiculously talented. I get jealous from all the artistic work.

Bethesda – Also similar to Bioware in the fact that I loved all of the games I’ve played of theirs. So this includes OblivionSkyrimFallout 3, Fallout 4Dishonored, and Dishonored 2. Yeah. I totally play a ton of video games…

BioShock – This was probably my first entry into the modern Western-created game. Prior to this, I was often an Eastern gamer, and often I gravitated toward Japanese RPGs. When my sister recommended BioShock, I was skeptical, considering I was not very keen on first-person shooters. Hell, once I played it, though, I was absolutely hooked, and I’ve loved all three games in the franchise. Yes, even BioShock 2.

Final Fantasy – I am picky about which FF games I’ve played over and over, but old-school has always been the best. I must have played from Final Fantasy VI to Final Fantasy X with great enjoyment. I did play FFXII and enjoy that, too, though I suppose the appeal kind of stopped from there, up until FFXV came along.

Tortall series – No words can describe how much I love the world Tamora Pierce has created in her Tortallan series. It’s hands down one of my favorite fantasies.

Shades of Magic trilogy – Schwab has an awesome fandom, but there’s still not enough fanfiction dammit! This needs to be remedied.

Avatar: The Last Airbender – One of my favorite TV fandoms ever. EVER. I should have put this up near anime, but it’s a whole cartoon series that deserves to be set apart. I could say I don’t know why I love this series so much, but let’s all face it. I love it because elemental magic, Asian-inspired culture, a cast of fabulous characters, and martial arts bending all around.

Wrap Up: March 2017

Lots of moving around during the month! I’ve been charged with apartment-sitting in the city, so I’m obviously going to take advantage of my current location and attend more NYC-related activities. Which means food and booze and books. Not necessarily in that order. Work hasn’t let up yet, and I may have gotten sick in the middle of last week, but I’m fighting it like a BOSS because I’m traveling in a couple weeks. Urgh, timing, I swear.

Books Read

It’s funny that I have so many book-related pics but I don’t even think I’ve read much in March! At least, nothing super-substantial, save A Conjuring of Light, which took up the majority of the last few weeks. And I mean to review a few others in April, but I’ll put them here because I technically finished them a few days ago.

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda || Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson || A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab || A Life in Parts by Bryan Cranston || The Velocipede Races by Emily June Street

Currently Reading

The Cinderella Murder by Mary Higgins Clark || Portal of a Thousand Worlds by Dave Duncan || Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

Writing

I started a few writing prompts here and there, but nothing substantial. It is a start, but it could still be better.

There is some writing progress on the publishing front, though! I managed to sell a short story I had been writing a couple months back, so that’s always lovely to see. Just got through line edits, too, though that’s as much I can really say about it, since the anthology doesn’t even come out until next year!

Movies and Television

Hah. I think the Academy Awards broke me, because I’ve seen a total of three movies in March. I hadn’t even bothered with putting up an image for it, because they were so meager (Hell or High Water, Miss Sloane, The Lobster, La La Land…again). No television shows, either, because I may have given that up for Lent. Um. Yeah. My Netflix has gotten very little activity on my part.

Video Games

Batman: Arkham Knight – I totally decided not to finish this game. It’s too rage-inducing, especially when one of the effing main quests makes you do a damn BATMOBILE CHASE. And the pace is merciless. So yeah. Not finishing this ever.

Final Fantasy XV – I gots me a chocobo! Clearly that is the important bit. And my gosh, the side quests and open world are much better than what I saw of FFXIII. Honestly, I haven’t played a FF game as fun as FFXV since FFXII, so that’s saying something. That said, I found myself listening to the old, nostalgic soundtracks as opposed to the new ones.

Fooding

Baking galore! There was clearly a lot of food I did in March.

Chocolate Chip Espresso Cookie || Laduree Macaroons || Jacques Torres Cookie and Hot Chocolate || White Russian Cupcakes || Spinach Artichoke Dip || Chocolate Ganache || Homemade Tortilla Pizza

Miscellany

Author signings galore! Amidst my work schedule I managed to squeeze in two Books of Wonder visits at the very end of February and the first week of March to see authors I loved (Schwab and Ahdieh). With them came other authors whose books I’ve been interested in reading for the longest time, so I also yoinked their stuff. All in all, lovely days, these author signings.

And then of course there was Dr. Seuss Day on March 2, and Reading Across America during the week. Because I work with older kids now, I had them dress up as fictional characters as opposed to Dr. Seuss characters. My own attempt at Delilah Bard was kind of conversation-starting, at best.

Nerdy News

I am so stoked for American Gods, I can’t even. So many yesses with the staff, and the pictures! Mr. Nancy looks awesome.

Doctor Who trailer! It’s been a while since DW has been on TV, and there’s some bittersweetness to the fact that this will be Peter Capaldi’s last season.

I mean, I already love Emma Watson so much, but gosh, I friggin’ love Emma Watson.

Video game making summer camp. For girls. I mean…WHERE WAS THIS WHEN I WAS A KID?

This is pretty exciting news, the fact that an African-fantasy got picked up as a TV series. Cannot wait for this, too!