Wrap Up: November 2017

We’re almost halfway through December but this wrap-up still totally counts, right?

I’m making it count.

You’d think it being November that the main reason I disappeared was because I participated in NaNoWriMo. While that was the case, frankly, I didn’t even finish that. Too much baking had to get done over the month, and clearly there was also the matter of report cards to deal with. Sigh. Is it July yet?

This will be a pretty short wrap-up, looks like.

Books Read

Been on a rut lately, and I’ve yet to get out of it. I am reading something that might possibly get me out, though finding the time to read is another matter entirely.

Asylum by Madeleine Roux || Unnatural Issue by Mercedes Lackey || Superman: The High-Flying History of the Man of Steel by Larry Tye

Currently Reading

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling || The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden || Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza || Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Writing

No. Go away.

Movies and TV

I’ve done a TV binge for the most part. Mostly of baking and sweets stuff. Don’t think I’ll continue on with Zumbo’s Just Desserts though. It’s a little over the top and my mouth aches from all the overly-sweet pastries I’m staring at. Finished the second season of Stranger Things, and omgaaaaah. So. GOOD.

Also watched a lovely French film called Peau d’Ane (1970). I totally recommend it. And you can actually listen to a podcast review of the movie in Meg and my Fableulous Retellings blog.

Titan A.E. || The Prince of Egypt || Peau d’Ane || Monty Python and the Holy Grail || iZombie season 3 || Stranger Things season 2 || Zumbo’s Just Desserts season 1 || The Great British Baking Show season 3

Video Games

The Wolf Among Us – Because for research purposes. Um. No, really, though, I played this for the Fableulous Retellings Podcast, and no regrets!

Miss Fisher and the Deathly Maze – Totally found this gem on my Android and already finished the first two episodes. When’s the next one being released?! Seriously, love everything Miss Fisher. So long as the series also has a Jack Robinson. And a Dot. And a Mac. Yep.

I’ve also been playing random apps on my phone, but I won’t go crazy describing which. Suffice to say I tend to get sidetracked a lot…

Fooding

As I said, a lot of baking happened. I baked for my school voldies, I baked for two sets of Thanksgiving dinners, I baked for school staff. I also ate random foods and cooked random foods. Too much, I tell ya. Too much.

Sliced fruits over a sugar cookie || Cheese ravioli with homemade marinara sauce || Lychee mochi and lychee-infused gelatin || Apple cupcakes || Apple scones || Assorted Japanese cookies || Mashed potatoes || Pecan pie

I really need to get back to book-inspired baking at some point.

Okay, now I’m hungry. Running off!

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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.

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: February 2017

february2017-monthlyFirst off: Happy Dr. Seuss Day!

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

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

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

Books Read

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

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

Currently Reading

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

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

Writing

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

Movies

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

february2017-movies

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

Television

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

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

Flash, Season 1 – Ditto.

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

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

Video Games

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

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

Fooding and Drinking

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

february2017-fooding

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

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

february2017-drinks

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

Miscellany

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

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

Nerdy News

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

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

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

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

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

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