Wrap Up: August 2017

Okay, seriously, the summer came by way too quickly this year. I already have only a few days left before I have to actually get back to work, and I’m shaking my fists at you, Summer!

That said, at least the weather will cool up (I absolutely love sweater weather), and I’m ahead of my Goodreads goal, so huzzah!

Books Read

Still got a number of reviews I want to get done in September, but for the most part, these were the books I’d finished during the month.

I DNFed one book in August, which isn’t too bad, though I do note that my list of DNFs have grown a big higher than previous years. I think it’s tolerance level, maybe. Mostly I just decided that I have way too many books I want to read that spending time on one I don’t really care about is a waste.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr || Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman || Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor || Battlestar Galactica Vol. 1 || Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland || The List by Patricia Forde || Xena, Warrior Princess, Vol. 1 ||  Injustice: Gods Among Us Year One || The Moth and the Flame by Renee Ahdieh || The Crown and the Arrow by Renee Ahdieh || Monstress, Vol. 2 by Marjorie M. Liu || The Wicked + The Divine, vols. 4 and 5.

Currently Reading

So far so good!

Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel || Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Writing

I’ve been on and off with the writing this summer, which is probably the only thing I’m disappointed in, though, again, largely my fault. I did manage to do a huge deal of edits to my novel, and I wrote down what I can discern are notes of a future short story.

Movies and Television

Lordy, Game of Thrones. I don’t think I can last that long to want to see the last season. I really want it happening sooner than later.

I’ve also pretty much binged iZombie on Netflix and NO REGRETS.

As for movies: the most entertained I got was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which is saying something. I absolutely hated how stupid Civil War was, and likely put me off of watching any other Marvel Avengers movie that’s to come in the foreseeable future. I also don’t know why I watched Schindler’s List for practically the umpteenth time, but it IS a fantastic one, albeit the topping is super depressiong.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies || Million Dollar Baby || Captain America: Civil War || The Craft || Schindler’s List || Armageddon || Game of Thrones || iZombie

Video Games

Besides the apps I play on my phone (which have started taking up more time in general), I started Mass Effect 1 all over again and beat that in a week. I’m halfway through my playthrough of Mass Effect 2 but it’s taking longer because of all the DLCs that are now included into my copy. Also, I LOVE Kasumi. I don’t know how I never got through a playthrough with her, especially when I’ve played ME multiple times already.

Gonna have to put some of ME playing on hold, though, now that school is back soon. Sigh.

Fooding

Part of the reason this month went by quickly for me was because I totally baked or cooked double-time. It was hard picking pictures out of really stellar ones, but I’ll narrow things down to food I’ve either made the first time or foods I’ve tried the first time.

Peach crumb cupcakes || Korean-flavored ground beef || Parsnip cakes || Triforce blueberry pie || Pan de bono || Poke bowl || Spicy ramen with poached eggs || Chicken with saffron sauce

Miscellany

Took advantage of the pool and the beach this summer, and went on family and friend trips in surrounding areas (loved the glass museum!). Didn’t travel too far, though, which is somewhat of a bummer, since I’ve made my list of places to visit outside of the U.S. but I’ll have to hit those another time.

My friend and my podcast (Fableulous Retellings) has ended its first season run, and we’re gearing up for season 2, which should be exciting, because it’s all about 1001 Nights, which is a collection of some of my favorite stories ever!

I started a knitting project that could quite possibly take me over a year to finish, because it’s massive. The idea isn’t mine, though it certainly came about when I was making a Christmas present that I wanted for myself as well…

Nerdy News

I mean, how much more epic a saga can Dragon Age be? A super-epic one, if Laidlaw has anything to say about it. And, honestly, I cannot wait for the next installment. After Trespasser, things look like they’re going to get super exciting!

Good Omens is happening, but what’s more, it’s happening with the two perfect actors to take on the roles of Aziraphale and Crowley! Honestly, you can even interchange the roles and I’m sure Tennant and Sheen can still hit the ball out of the park.

A modern Dracula, a la Sherlock? Well, with Sherlock pretty much wrapped up (as far as I can see), I wouldn’t mind seeing what its former creators have in store for another iconic Victorian creation.

A Cuckoo’s Calling has premiered, but I haven’t seen it yet. This was the trailer I watched a while back. I love Holliday Grainger, and this looks pretty good!

“Neo-Victorian fantasy noir.” You mean detective steampunk?! I’m down. So down.

I’m so happy for Victoria Schwab right now. Mostly because now I have MORE Shades of Magic books to look forward to. But, I mean, wow. Just wow. Good for you, Schwab. I can somewhat live vicariously through her, haha.

That’s it. How was your August?

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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: 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!

November Wrap-Up

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So. Much. Holiday. Stress. I don’t think I’ve been this busy before the holidays until this year, what with trying to get writing down in November and finishing my reading list and shopping, all that. darn. shopping. It could drive a woman bonkers. In fact, I’ve been walking around telling people to call me the ULTIMATE BUNNY, so maybe I have already gone insane.

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Courtesy of my sister at Vida Land Comics for this rendering of me as the Ultimate Bunny.

This past week I’ve barely responded to comments and made any comments myself. For my fellow blogger friends, I sincerely apologize. I have been reading your posts, but lots of transition on the past few weeks meant little time to do anything else. That said, while I have been doing the other regular stuff, I just haven’t done much this past week to talk about the books I’ve read or the things I’ve written.

I guess it’s good that I have a monthly wrapup to do this!

Books Read

I started a number of books over the month, but while I loved a bunch of them, and do plan on finishing them, my attention span kept going to different things. Hence the lack of finished books and written reviews.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery || The Diviners by Libba Bray || The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde || Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

Currently Reading

I started the first three, and I intend to finish them before the end of the year! We’ll see how that goes, hahaha.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir || Fate of Flames by Sarah Raughley || Plaid and Plagiarism by Molly MacRae || The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon || Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Writing

  • I didn’t exactly win NaNoWriMo this year. My count has been stuck on 30,000+ words which, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t actually bad, considering I’ve had other stuff on my plate.
  • I’ve also managed to edit at least 15 scenes for my novel, which is a feat.
  • That pretty much meant writing everywhere I could find the time. Whether it be in the kitchen as I snacked, in front of my favorite view, or at school just as the after-school little voldies are busy watching a movie.
  • I’ve hit a dead end with my current short story. I will need to regroup at some point to write something before the end of the year.

Movies

My friend and I took a break on our usual movie-watching spree, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t go ahead and watch movies on my own volition. It definitely helped that I’ve been knitting quite a bit on top of my other hobbies.

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The Pagemaster || Big Eyes || Glory Road || True Memoirs of an International Assassin || Spectre || Mockingjay: Part 2 || 10 Things I Hate About You

Television

Daredevil Season 1 – Finished the first season! I will admit that after the first few episodes, the show kicked in for me, and I actually liked it. The episode with Stick may have been the defining moment between my indifference and my partiality. All the same, I might wait a bit longer to watch season 2, since I thought the first season ended on a swell note.

The Crown Season 1 – Why is there only one season?! Darn you, Netflix!

Roman Empire – Part documentary, part drama, and lots of Roman Empire-ness. I wasn’t much of a fan of the documentary part, so I didn’t really get past the first episode. Instead, I ended up settling for Spartacus.

Spartacus Season 1 – I’m still halfway into this show but OMG the spectacular gladiator…silhouettes. Yeah. Yep. Only silhouettes. Um. Oh, and Xena the Warrior Princess looks absolutely amazing.

Empire of the Tsars – The time period and history is fascinating, but the documentary is rather dry. I wasn’t digging it.

Good Girls Revolt – YES AMAZON THANK YOU FOR THIS.

Westworld – One more episode! Ford cannot be tamed.

Video Games

My gaming was limited over November, but that didn’t stop me from starting a few things anyway, even if it was just to fiddle around with a few things. That said, much of my gaming might be at a standstill, since at the moment, I cannot get my TV working. Sigh.

Dishonored – I got Dishonored 2! But that also brought about all of the first Dishonored so I ended up playing that instead.

Dragon Age Inquisition – I finally got Dorian to sleep with my male-Inquisitor! YAAAAS.

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate – I’m keeping that zipline! And Evie Frye’s assassin outfits. And I climbed Big Ben and Wesminster!

Ultimate Chicken Horse – They call me the ULTIMATE BUNNY. We can all blame this game for giving me an over-inflated ego due to my winning skillz (though honestly, some of that can be attributed to luck and the propensity to screw other people over).

Fooding and Drinking

Lawd, if I listed down all the foods and drinks I’ve had over November, I would need a separate post. So I’ll just simply throw these pictures here…

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Okinawa Hot Dog Crepe || Pecan Pie || Ice Cream with Ube Wafer Sticks || Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing || Lemon Cookies with Vodka Icing || Homemade Mojitos

Miscellany

  • November was quite eventful as far as socializing went. Maybe I might have to tone down the socializing in the future. It gets quite expensive hanging out with friends! No regrets, though, my lovely friends and family are a hoot and a half and I wouldn’t say no to playing games with them.
  • Especially if games include weird ones like Exploding Kittens and One Night Ultimate Werewolf. Just saying.
  • I decided to try out Owl Crate! I had planned on going to see Marissa Meyer at the local B&N for a signing of her new book, Heartless, but honestly, it seemed more like a hassle doing it versus to the Books of Wonder way. So I opted out. Fortunately, the Owl Crate website was doing a Wonderland theme, and I KNEW the content would include a hardcover of Heartless. I was not disappointed. I’ve signed up for December’s as well, but only because the theme is YA Epic Fantasy.
  • My sticker system is under way! Though lately I’ve been using the pink stickers more often considering I’ve spent the last couple weeks doing non-work activities and little else. Hopefully I’ll get back into the swing of editing and reading and writing. Hopefully.

Nerdy News

Some Star Wars News, including a KOTOR trailer that looks PHENOMENAL. Oh, and the Mother of Dragons may be joining a young Han Solo in an upcoming Star Wars movie. Yeah, that’s totally happening.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is not just one movie, but five! This sounds mighty fantastic, if I do say so myself. Honestly, I loved the first one as is (minus the little Graves reveal at the end, I mean, ugh, NOT who I pictured as Mr. G. to be honest), but I’m biased in that A) it’s Queen Rowling‘s HP franchise coming back to enchant the world anew and B) the mothereffing ’20s, man.

When Mass Effect Andromeda was announced, the biggest question on my mind was always “ARE THERE GOING TO BE TURIANS?!” That question is answered and I am all the more stoked for this game. Then, of course, the gameplay trailer got released and I just…I want this game so much.

New A Series of Unfortunate Events trailer! Ugh. WHY do I have to wait until January?!

A frabjous day! Miyazaki is out of his retirement for the umpteenth time to do another Studio Ghibli film. YAAAAAAAS.

Fullmetal Alchemist finally has its live-action trailer. The effects look really cool, mind, though I’m going to reserve my judgments on this matter until I actually see the movie. The live action Rurouni Kenshin didn’t exactly leave me impressed on that note.

Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicles gains a fan and a producer in Lin-Manuel Miranda. That is beyond epically cool.