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?

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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?

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!

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…