4.11.2014

Randomosity on Fridays: Happy Mail Day!

Short post as a dear friend is visiting us this weekend!

But this was a special mail week!



Yes, Loki! What did we get this week? The much anticipated conclusion to one of my favorite recent series...



I am so excited to see how this series all ends! I adore Laini Taylor's writing and world-building, and it is so cool that the B&N edition comes with a signed art print!

The little Captain American shield is a cute crochet pin from the Geeky Hooker, whose geeky critters I have adored. So cute!

Anyway, the LA Times Book Festival is this weekend as well. I might be going. Let me know if you are! Happy weekend!

4.09.2014

The Winter What Now?

So I like totally agree with Krispy that Captain America: The Winter Soldier might be my favorite Marvel movie now, or at least on equal footing with other top contenders such as Iron Man and The Avengers.  And this!  This despite the fact that I found the first Captain America movie to be so utterly unmemorable that I literally do not remember 75% of the movie, to the point that I did not remember that Cap's BFF was a dude named Bucky.  When Krispy was talking about the first movie and how much she loved Bucky, I was like, "Who's Bucky?"

At any rate, the new movie is all kinds of ridiculous funtimes, so here's one of the titular characters (the subtitular character?):


Ahem.  Anyway, after Captain America on Thursday, there was then Game of Thrones on Sunday.  And thinking of those two things, and the fact that Krispy asked me to blog today, and it being late and my brain capacity at approximately 28.5%, I doodled this:

And then I thought: What would the Winter Soldier look like as a direwolf?


And then a further thought persisted: HOW ABOUT A MANATEE AHAHAHAHAHA.


And, had it not been quite late at night (or technically morning), I might have pursued further thoughts.  We shall have to see if further thoughts occur in the future.  They may well might.

Q4U: What's your favorite superhero movie, Marvel, DC, or otherwise?

4.04.2014

Randomosity on Fridays: Random Photos!

Short blog post before the weekend and also it's late as I type this because I just got back from seeing Captain America: The Winter Soldier!! So onwards!

1) Captain America: The Winter Soldier may very well be my new favorite Marvel movie, which is kind of crazy considering how much I love Loki and all the weird fantasy-ish mythology-bending hijinks of the THOR franchise. And also considering that I thought the 1st Captain movie was just okay / a long prologue/trailer to The Avengers, it kind of says a lot about how much I liked this movie.

If you like action-y movies more in the flavor of a political thriller but with the added awesomeness of having ridiculous superhero powers (i.e. the action sequences are way more over the top than what you'd see in like a Bourne film...and considering that Captain America is like stronger & faster than your average badass), you'll probably like this movie.

Also, BLACK WIDOW. She needs and deserves a movie ASAP. Marvel, make it happen. Scarlett Johansson has said The Winter Soldier is partly a Black Widow movie, and it's true. The character goes through a lot and I loved the bonding time she has with Cap. (And the other ladies of the movie are badass too. So yay!)

Basically, Marvel has another hit on their hands here, and I'm looking forward to the far weirder Guardians of the Galaxy out later this year.

2) Happy book mail for me this week!

Won this beautiful Penguin Drop Caps collection book from Penguin Classics!
Received this signed copy of the gorgeous Nightingale's Nest!
3) We went to a gallery reception for the picture book Sparky! by Jenny Offill and illustrated by Chris Appelhans. Chris was there to sign, and he drew us a cute sloth!!


4) The Sister went on a Lego binge and we now have much to build.

[Photo: Sister]
The Sister's completed X-Wing Lego Microfighter.    [Photo: Sis]
5) The Sister visited her friend, who has a really cute, really fluffy dog!

[Photo: Sis]


HAPPY WEEKEND! If you see the movie, tell us what you think!

4.02.2014

What's Up Wednesday (31)


What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, so we can check in with each other. To join, just check out Jaime Morrow or Erin Funk's blogs for the link widget and sign up!


WHAT I'M READING

It's getting a little ridiculous that I say ALLEGIANT in this section every week, but it's true! I'm making more progress in my TV watching front than I am in reading. But more on that later. I did also start THE WINNER'S CURSE. I'm having an informal read-along with April.


WHAT I'M WRITING

I wrote what may be a new opening sentence for my NaNo from last November, and I think the voice is better and the tone is right. So fingers crossed this will get me going on this project again. The surprising thing is that it's in 1st person! And that's not really my thing, but we'll see where this goes.

Speaking of NaNo, it is the first month of CAMP NANOWRIMO! I'm not participating, but good luck to everyone who is! I am cheering you on (and stealing your s'mores)! ;)

April is also National Poetry Month. The @aaww has been featuring poetry by Asian American poets every Tuesday, and it looks like they'll be posting some prompts throughout the month. So I look forward to hopefully writing some poetry as well (especially since I am still pondering that original Twitter poem project).


WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW

The TV show HANNIBAL actually! It continues to be top notch. The last 2 episodes have been the best they've ever done - so darkly beautiful, poetic, and moving while also horrific. The whole show is gory, gorgeous, so well-written, and thematically rich (even the elaborate meals touch on the themes of the episode). I haven't so deeply loved a show in a long time. I think it's one of the best things on TV right now, and that's including all the fancy cable shows. :)

Season 2 has been a continuous escalation of tension and stakes. Each episode leaves me craving the next (pun intended). If you're not too squeamish and at all curious, I strongly encourage you to give this show a go. It deserves it, and it needs the viewership so that it won't get canned!


WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO

I missed What's Up Wednesday last week, so I'm pulling some double duty here.

We saw Divergent and had mixed-but-generally positive feelings. I'll be honest: I didn't have very high expectations, but I ended up enjoying it quite a lot. It's a mostly faithful adaptation of the book with some great soundtrack moment. And not gonna lie, I was mostly in it for Theo James and in that aspect the movie delivered. He was so hot. :)

Also, lots of important date anniversaries happened at the end of March...

Loki's Birthday

[Photo: Sis]
Eva's birthday picnic with magical rainbow cake! (I've only seen this on pinterest!)
Incredible Rainbow cake made by Gennia & Scott! [Photo: Gennia]
Gennia & Scott's wedding anniversary: I can't believe it's been a year!

Such a great time!    [Photo: Gennia]
(This also marks the 1 year anniversary of Cake Club.)

In a bunch of random news things, the Sister and I will be headed to San Diego Comic Con again! Yaaaay! After 2 stressful badge sales, where basically the luck of other people saved us, we successfully bought 4 day passes! Woohoo!

My Blackmilk Cheshire Cat leggings arrived and I have already worn them twice. LOVE THEM.


In TV, the Sister and I have finally started watching ORPHAN BLACK and it is as good as we've heard. It is twisty and interesting, and seriously, Tatiana Maslany is freaking amazing! We've seen her play 6 different characters in the show so far, and every single one has been distinct.

THE WALKING DEAD finale this past weekend had us screaming about a certain attack/move that one of the characters uses that I've only ever seen done on 24 by the incomparable Jack Bauer. The cliffhanger hit hard because I want to know what's going to happen next! But at least GAME OF THRONES is back!

This is Toothless and my new friend Drogon.

What's up with you?

3.28.2014

Life of a Blogger

Happy Friday, friends new and old! I feel like you guys already know a lot about me, but there have been more of you since I started consistently participating in Jaime and Erin's What's Up Wednesday updates.

So, when I saw the Life of a Blogger feature post by Kelly on the book blog Effortlessly Reading, I thought it'd be fun to do a post too. I'm taking a page from Kelly's book though and covering topics from the past month or so. (I'm also posting on a Friday since we don't usually blog on Thursdays.)


Life Of A Blogger was conceived by and hosted by Jessi from Novel Heartbeat. It's a feature to let people know more about our lives outside of blogging. The list of topics can be found at Novel Heartbeat.

Introvert or extrovert?
While the lines on this can be blurred, I am definitely more of an introvert, though I hear I present like an extrovert. I'm friendly! I just am not all that comfortable in social situations and find it can be draining. Quiet time is happy time for me. :)

Guilty pleasures
1) Time-wasting online games. Right now? 2048 and its many spin-offs like...the Dr. Who version or the Tom Hiddleston version

2) Crime dramas. I love Criminal Minds and the Law & Order (SVU is the last one standing) shows, and I particularly love Elementary right now. (Then there's the other not-strictly crime dramas like Sherlock and Hannibal, but I'm leaving those off.) But these aside, I will pretty much watch / find entertainment in any crime drama. The only one I couldn't really get into was NCIS (sorry fans).

3) Cartoons. Sort of in that I actually don't watch these all that often, but I do get into them every once in a while. Like that one time in college when I basically binge-watched all of Batman Beyond, Teen Titans, and The Justice League series. I was also quite enjoying the more recent Young Justice, and of course, I found myself loving Star Wars: The Clone Wars because it's actually good storytelling and way more fun than the prequels were. So, it should be no surprise I'm excited about the upcoming Star Wars: Rebels. Other than that, I also ocassionally watch Adventure Time and Teen Titans Go.

Camping
Nope. Never been. Not even in my back yard. I have some curiosity but I dislike bugs. Like a lot.

What’s your favorite place?
I can't pick just one. I love lots of places. At home, I like this one corner of the couch because that's my reading spot.

Travel
Get ready because I've been a lot of places. My mom used to be a travel agent and loves to travel, so family trips were a staple of my childhood. My family also does the Chinese tour bus kind of vacations, which is essentially a whirlwind of tourist efficiency. You do stuff like go to 7 countries in 10 days. So keep that in mind when you see this list.

STATES

  • California (various places as this is my home state)
  • Washington (Seattle & my relative's place)
  • Oregon (Cape Sebastian, Portland)
  • Arizona (Grand Canyon, Sedona)
  • Las Vegas, Nevada

  • Utah, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota (part of a Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain, Mt. Rushmore bus tour)
  • Chicago, Illinois (for work!)
The Bean at Millennium Park
  • New York City, New York
  • NorthEast: NYC; Boston, Massachusetts; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Washington DC (part of a Niagara Falls, US NE bus tour)

NORTH AMERICA
  • Canada: Vancouver, Montreal, Lake Louise, Niagara Falls (included in various bus tours)
  • Ensenada- Baja California, Mexico

EUROPE
  • London, UK
  • Paris, France
Harry Potter Studio Tour: Hogwarts model [Photo: Sis]
Carousel by Eiffel Tower [Photo: Sis]
  • Brussels, Belgium
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Germany: kind of all over the place, mostly thanks to the 2 weeks I spent there on my high school Germany trip + 2 family vacations that stopped in a few cities.
  • Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria
    East Side Gallery, Berlin Wall
  • Austria: Salzburg, Vienna
  • Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
  • Budapest, Hungary
  • Prague, Czech Republic
Sunset over Prague

EAST ASIA
  • China: also a number of places because we were on a bus tour - Beijing, the Great Wall, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou...
  • Hong Kong skyline
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Taiwan: all over because of visiting relatives + my summer internship - in particular, Taipei, Tainan, Kenting, & briefly Kaohsiung and Taichung

Chikan Towers, Tainan

Favorite animals
Tigers, wolves, dogs, bunnies, horses, pandas, crows
Magical: dragons, unicorns

Of course, Loki is my #1 favorite animal.

So tell me about you! Happy weekend!

3.25.2014

Waiting on Wednesday (5)

It's been a while since we've had one of these, but there are plenty of books I'm waiting on...

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


1. DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3) by Laini Taylor



Not gonna include the book blurb in case any of you are new to the series, but I AM SO EXCITED about getting to see how this ones turns out. I'll be honest, I wish I loved the main characters more, but the world building and writing are just incredible - enough to make up for my lack of great fondness for the MCs. Laini Taylor is probably my #1 current writer crush.


2. CLARIEL (Abhorsen #4) by Garth Nix



The blurb is safe to post here because this book is like a prequel that takes place hundreds of years before the rest of the Old Kingdom/Abhorsen books.

Book blurb from Goodreads: Clariel is the daughter of the one of the most notable families in the Old Kingdom, with blood relations to the Abhorsen and, most importantly, to the King. When her family moves to the city of Belisaere, there are rumors that her mother is next in line for the throne. However, Clariel wants no part of it—a natural hunter, all she ever thinks about is escaping the city’s confining walls and journeying back to the quiet, green world of the Great Forest.

But many forces conspire against Clariel’s dream. A dangerous Free Magic creature is loose in the city, her parents want to marry her off to a killer, and there is a plot brewing against the old and withdrawn King Orrikan. When Clariel is drawn into the efforts to find and capture the creature, she discovers hidden sorcery within herself, yet it is magic that carries great dangers. Can she rise above the temptation of power, escape the unwanted marriage, and save the King?

Guys, you don't know how THRILLED I am that this book is finally coming out! I adore Garth Nix's Old Kingdom/Abhorsen books! They remain some of the best YA fantasy books ever to me, and I fell in love with SABRIEL (Book 1) back when I was actually a young adult myself. I discovered the books in high school and remember coming to the cliffhanger at the end of LIRAEL and having to wait for ABHORSEN to come out like 2 years later!

Anyway, for a long time now, there were rumors that a 4th book about Clariel was in the works, but it didn't happen. It has been years and years! And now, WE WILL FINALLY HAVE A BOOK. SO EXCITE!!!


Of course, there are plenty of other books I am eager to read, but you know listing all of them would be an exercise in futility. So, what are you waiting on?


P.S. Here's a picture from Loki's birthday!

3.21.2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LOKI!

Today is Loki's birthday!  He's two years old!  TWO YEARS.


Two years ago, he was born into this world and made it his place, his space to rule!


And rule he has.  Loki is a king!


He's so handsome.  Look at that noble visage.


He can let loose and relax though, everybody needs a good scratch now and then.  Having a rawhide helps too.


Sometimes Loki isn't impressed.



But he still has the best smile.


Accompanied by huge teeth.


Happy birthday, Loki!  You're fourteen now in dog years and you're also two--so you're a tween in the terrible twos.  May the powers that be have mercy upon us as you certainly won't.