Wrap Up: October 2017

Bogged. Down. So. Much.

There’s something about the last three months of the year that makes them the busiest months for most people. I’m definitely one of those people, what with work, birthday and holiday bakes, and other overall antics I get up to in the upcoming months. Busyness is not necessarily a bad thing, but mahgoh, can I just sit down for a day and binge-watch Stranger Things or something? (Answer: NOPE).

Books Read

Yeaaah. I’ve more or less taken a ton of pictures of books, but did I really read much this month? Nope. I might have gotten through two audiobooks and one graphic novel, that’s just about it. Maybe it’s a reading funk, or lack of time, maybe both.

Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott || Wonder Woman: Who Is Wonder Woman? by Allan Heinberg || Catch Me If You Can by Frank W. Abagnale

Currently Reading

*snort* On top of a reading funk, I’ve clearly also got reading ADD, because I’ve picked up a couple books and audiobooks and switched to a different one altogether. I find that even audiobooks haven’t been as riveting lately, which is probably why I’ve been ping-ponging between Empress and Burning.

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch || Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza || The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas || Asylum by Madeleine Roux

Writing

Whoever thought it was a good idea for me to join up NaNoWriMo… *shudders*

And yet here we are.

Movies and TV

Most of these are pretty much rewatches. Other than a random episode of The Office and quite possibly It (not pictured), I haven’t seen anything new besides the most recent season of Stranger Things.

Today’s Special || No Reservations || Miss Congeniality || Much Ado About Nothing || iZombie Season 2 || Leverage || The Office Season 1 || Stranger Things Season 2

Video Games

Hahahahaha–what’s that?! *sobs inwardly*

I miss playing video games…

Fooding

October was a baking month for me, largely because both my siblings are October babies and there were a lot of apples to bake away. There are still a lot of apples to bake, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

I’ll probably write about a few of these at some point. Or not.

Meat pie || Dark chocolate and matcha cake shaped like an Oreo || Texas Roadhouse nummyness || Bibimbap in a hot stone bowl || Sliced mango (for mango puree) || Unicorn-themed mango mirror glaze cake || Apple bread || Apple Danish

Miscellany

Paint Night #2 came off rather well! That said, I thought drawing the dragon was much harder than having to create a scenery. Mostly because it’s so specific, and outlining was kind of a bitch to do. That said, I had fun!

My sister ended up getting a surprise party during the month, and with my bestie in tow, we ended up throwing her a unicorn-themed party. Balloons and cake and unicorn horns in all. Needless to say she was definitely surprised.

My friend and I met Tamora Pierce!!!!!!! Yes. Extra exclamation points considering how exciting this is because um, Pierce is ONLY my favorite author EVER. So. Yeah. I MET TAMORA PIERCE!!!!!!!

Nerdy News

I’m so behind on The Walking Dead at this point, but I’ll so read this new series by Robert Kirkman. Looks like another post-apocalyptic piece, though.

Honestly, I’m not sure how well it’ll translate to the stage when a lot of the beauty of Pushing Daisies was through quirky art direction and fantastic use of a film editing room. Buuuuut…I’d so watch the eff out of a possible musical. Caveat: Kristin Chenoweth STILL has to play Olive.

Life is like a hurricane… *hums* Oh, uh, I just like that Doctor-Donna are back together again! XD

Err…I don’t understand what their purpose is in rebooting a Nancy Drew series when it’s…not really about Nancy Drew but the author of the series?

I’m still a little upset that one of the most interesting subplots of Mass Effect: Andromeda is being turned into a tie-in novel. I mean, yeah, I like reading books, but dammit, I want to SEE the drells and quarians in action, not read about them! Friggin’…okay, let me not go there again with an ME:A rant.

With Game of Thrones ending next year, I cannot wait to drop myself into the Kingkiller Chronicles universe. That said, whyyyyy do these people insist on working on series that aren’t finished?!

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Wrap Up: September 2017

What? September where’d you go?! Seriously, though, one minute I was gallivanting across Pennsylvania with a couple of friends and suddenly it’s the end of the first month of school and I’m wondering where it all went. Can’t say I’m sad to see September go. One month down, 9 more to go, school-wise, amiright?

Sigh.

Books Read

It was a very Fable-ulous (hah!) month, and one where I actually finished the series itself! I’m of two minds on that still, but anyway, playing book catch-up has its pros and cons.

Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall by Bill Willingham || Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel || Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman || The Storyteller’s Daughter: A Retelling of the Arabian Nights by Cameron Dokey || Fables 21: Happily Ever After by Bill Willingham || Fables 22: Farewell by Bill Willingham || The Last American Vampire by Seth Grahame-Smith

Currently Reading

Not doing a good job actually reading, since I’ve mostly been listening to audiobooks, but there it is. I really should catch up on some Netgalley ARCS as well as books on my TBR.

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch || Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America by Karen Abbott

Writing

Yeah, yeah, it’s going. I’m actually determined to do some writing during my creative writing class. At least I’ll do it alongside my students to get back into actual practice. Sigh again.

Movies

The good thing about school being back is that I end up watching a ton of movies on the side while I grade. I watched old favorites as well as new stuff, though not all necessarily good. I regret even pulling up the Netflix version of Death Note, by the way…

But. I’m also now singing along to Newsies so that’s pretty cool.

Gaga: Five Foot Two || Me Before You || Sing || Whiskey Tango Foxtrot || Newsies: The Musical || Casablanca || Death Note (Netflix) || Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Television

Handmaid’s Tale – Had a month of Hulu and I totally binged this show. Big. Mistake. It’s a pretty heavy show, and I definitely wouldn’t recommend bingeing it. It was really good, though.

iZombie – Working slowly through season 2! I think it’s mostly my attention span, but I still like this show, so I’ll get to it all eventually.

Supergirl – Still not sure what to make of this show. I’m slowly trudging through it when I feel like putting something campy and not brain-heavy.

Strike – I am liking this so far! My friend and I are finally up to The Silkworm, which is the book I liked the best of the three Cormoran Strike books I’ve read.

Video Games

I don’t know if I should even include the games/apps I play on my phone on top of Mass Effect 3

But er, yeah, started my umpteenth playthrough of ME3 and already loving the additional quips I get from characters after having played through DLCs in previous games. I can’t wait to rip into the Omega DLC, because Aria T’Loak was definitely one of my favorite NPCs of ME2.

I also have been playing something called The Arcana on my Android, which has beautiful artwork (kind of reminds me of my favorite fanart of the Shades of Magic trilogy) and I’m hoping a really good story!

Fooding

Not much personal cooking in September. I think it’s due to the fact I’ve been coming home late because of school. October is going to be filled with food, though, considering I have at least two birthdays to get through…alive.

Chicken Tapaka || Cajun chicken alfredo pasta || Wildberry gimlet || Rabbit braised in white wine with kasha || Chicken and spiced pecan waffles || Chicken teriyaki bento box || Banana ice cream || Ent draught

Miscellany

Started a knitting project that’s probably going to take up quite a bit of time. I’ll probably talk more about it come December, mostly because talking about it now might spoil a few things.

I’ve already filled up half this wall with student work…

So my classroom is pretty awesome. On a small budget, I managed to Harry Potterize my room somewhat, which is great. My seventh graders certainly appreciated it…when they’re not being terrors, hah!

Nerdy News

Here comes the Magic School Bus! Part deux. DEFINITELY brings back memories. Nerdy, sciencey memories.

If I hadn’t already visited the Warner Bros studio up at the United Kingdom, I’d be all over the news that Harry Potter artifacts are headed down my neighborhood. All the same, pretty cool!

I’m mostly over Peter Jackson at this point, but I am SO watching the eff out of this Phillip Reeve adaptation. Only because steampunk and um, yeah.

The Doctor is finally ginger! Well, David Tennant is anyway. Yaaaaas. This is mostly due to the fact that he’s playing the devilish Crowley in the Gaiman-Pratchett adaptation of Good Omens.

How was your September?

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?

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!