Wednesday, November 28, 2012


You may have noticed that my little NaNoWriMo word counter thingie hasn't updated in a few days.  Well, there's a reason for that!  I took a little NaNo break.  I don't feel I need to justify why I took this break to the internet, but I am anyway, simply because I feel like I need to say it "out loud" (vampire) to remember.

First and foremost, November has been my busiest month.  Ever.  Well, ever in 2012.  We went out of town every single weekend, to my in-laws and Charleston and a JMU football game and Thanksgiving in Brooklyn, where we had tons of plans that didn't really allow for me to have any writing time.  I tried to write as much as I could, and I actually had one good night in Charleston where the words flowed pretty well, but mostly, my brain was humming from all the busy times and I couldn't concentrate.

And this is part of my problem.  I tend to get bogged down in details sometimes, and I can't just put in a placeholder word until I know what needs to be there.  I'll fall down a rabbit hole of researching what kind of clothing a certain character would wear, which turns into researching that time period and hairstyles and small towns and bowling alleys and suddenly, I've wasted an hour without writing a single word.  By then, I've lost my train of thought, and it's like swimming through molasses to get back on track.

My other big issue is that I didn't do a ton of plotting on this, instead choosing the method of writing by the seat of my pants, or pantsing.  I've never pantsed before (that's a bizarre phrase...) but I thought I'd give it a shot.  Unfortunately, I think I've pantsed myself into a corner.  Mostly, I don't think I knew the characters well enough when I started, so it's turned into a bit of a cluster....  These characters deserve better than that, better than me shoehorning them into a situation and saying things they wouldn't ever say.  I became focused on the word count rather than the content, so I'm fairly certain I wrote a BUNCH of scenes just to have something to say instead of writing the story forward.  Also, I get trapped in my own head a lot, and that's where the doubt monsters live, and MAN those bastards will not SHUT UP.  When that happens, especially when all of this happens at once, I shut down completely, and I will lie on the sofa staring at episodes of 30 Rock while eating peanut butter by the spoonful and communicating in a series of grunts, moans, and wails.  It's terrifyingly attractive.

Oh, and I have books to read and reviews to write and a job that tends to demand a lot from me and tons of other personal things that I'm not getting into on the internet.

So I decided to take a step back, at least for a week (which started last Friday).  I'm still finishing this draft, absolutely.  I'd like to have it done by the end of the year, in which I will REVISE it to SHREDS.  To shreds, you say, indeed.  I still adore the story and my poor little MC in all his wall-building glory, but I want to do right by him.  I want to feel like he's earned it, when I definitely don't feel like that right now.

So... that's my story.  I know it's a bunch of excuses for what I said is No Excuses November, but I don't really care.  This is what I need to do for myself, my health, and my sanity.  That's the most valid excuse I've ever heard.

Friday, November 16, 2012

[Fantastic Five Fridays] Five Shows You Were Referred To By Other People

It's Friday, I got a job, I got other things I need to write BUT I was in the mood to blog and The Weekly Enthusiast has yet ANOTHER great topic and so here I am again.  Should I really be writing when I'm the creator of sentences like that one?  It's too late now because here I gooooooooo.

Since I am kind of crazy about TV, I usually choose my own shows and make recommendations to others.  That's why it's so fun when people recommend shows to me.  It's like they know me or something!  Here are my top 5 (except it's really 6) shows as recommended by people who get me.

1. Lost and The Office.  Referred by: The Hubs
Yes, I know that's two shows.  No, I don't care.  I decided to lump these two together because they were both recommended by the same person, and they both seem to be following the same course.  That is, they started out strong but haven't kept that same momentum as the years go by.  We've basically stopped watching The Office but I'm sure we'll put in the effort to see the finale.  It's just... not the same.  Though, of course, I do still love Jim and Pam.

As for Lost, well... the first season of that is one of the best ever.  I kept with it much longer than The Hubs did, though I tried to break up with it in the third season and then Jack was all WE HAVE TO GO BACK and so I said OKAY LET'S GO.  
stinking beardy jack and his jears.
2. True Blood. Referred by: my brother and sister-in-law
During the summer of 2009, I took up residence at my brother & sister-in-law's house while Hubs and I looked for a place to live.  This coincided with the second season of True Blood.  Bro & SIL thought it might be up my alley, so they invited me to come watch it them.  My first episode was Episode 2.02 "Keep This Party Going," which begins with a disembodied arm spurting blood and smacking a character in the face. A character who is chained to a pole in a dank, dirty basement somewhere.  I was like, humna?  Oh, it cracked me up.  True Blood is pretty nonsensical, but if you're read the books... well, you knew that was coming.
Cheers, hookas.
3. 30 Rock. Referred by: my OTHER sister-in-law.
Back when this first premiered, Hubs and I gave this a shot.  It just didn't work for us then.  So I ignored it, despite all the Tina Fey references.  So last Thanksgiving, OSIL is like, Jessica, honestly, you need this.  YOU NEED THIS.  And the rest, as they say, is something about night cheese.

4. Doctor Who. Referred by: my aunt, uncle, and cousins
Technically, they didn't refer it to me so much as they watched when I was in their house and I was like, ooh this looks kind of random, and then they kept on watching it every time I was there and then Christopher Eccelston was on Heroes and I sort of adored him and then it was on Netflix so I thought, what the hey?  I still have so many episodes to watch because Hubs decided to take this show over with a vengeance, but I still love it.
Why, hello there.
5. The West Wing. Referred by: pretty much everyone ever
Everyone needs to watch this show.  It's the best.  The cold opens are some of the most exquisite moments that television has ever given us as people.  Watch it.  CJ Cregg, I love you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hermione Effing Granger

This is the quote on my Harry Potter calendar today, and it just hit me in the good way.  Thought I'd share.

"I came here once with my Mum and Dad, years ago.  It's just how I remember it.  The trees.  The river.  Everything.  Like nothing's changed.  Not true, of course.  Everything's changed.  If I brought my parents back here now, they probably wouldn't recognize any of it.  Not the trees.  Not the river.  Not even me."

gif via

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

NaNoWriMo aka No Excuses November

Tomorrow is an important day.  Why?  Well, tomorrow is my 31st birthday (WHAT WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN I AM STILL LIKE 23 RIGHT NO OKAY FINE).  My birthday, however, is the impetus for me to sign up for something I've wanted to do for a long time.  I'm downright terrified by the entire prospect... but I've signed up and I'm officially...



Wait, you don't know what NaNoWriMo is?

That crazy word means that November is National Novel Writing Month.  All over the world, other folks like me who are on the brink of sanity have pledged to write 50,000 words aka about the length of a novel.  That comes out to about 1,600 words/day.  This is a daunting feat, and I'm scared ess-less, but...

No Excuses November.

Again, I said that tomorrow is also my 31st birthday.  It's a new year for me.  I am tired of making excuses for why I don't write.  I'm tired of finding excuses to justify why I'm not writing.  I'm just tired of my own excuses.

There's no reason I can't do this.  I will forge ahead and write and write and write and then on December 1 I'll look at what I've written and say HOLY CRAP THAT'S TERRIBLE and then I'll edit and revise and make myself sound pretty and THEN...

Well... that's a problem for Future Jessica.

If you're doing NaNo, feel free to add me as a buddy.  I'm JessicaBS.  I will accept all the support and pep talks I can get.

Friday, October 5, 2012

[Fantastic Five Friday] Favorite Movies to Watch When Sick

As soon as I saw this week's Fantastic Five Friday topic, I knew I had to post.  Growing up, my mom & I referred to these as "sick movies," which of course doesn't quite sound right, but whatevs.  (In case you're curious, my mom's sick movie is Witness where Harrison Ford hides out with the Amish.  It's 4:30, time for milking!) I've had many of the same sick movies since I was a kid, because I was home kind of a lot because of some crap with my elementary school.  Yay?

The Three Musketeers
This is an amazingly awfsome movie (that's awful plus awesome, JSYK).  Everything about it-- all the terrible  hair extensions, Chris O'Donnell's complete lack of a French accent, the historical inaccuracies and extreme liberties taken with the original source material, Tim mother-effing Curry-- is just the best/worst ever.  This movie was a gift to all of us from the Czarina of Tokyo.

The Princess Bride
An absolute classic, no doubt about it.  Now that I think about it, this is the most meta choice of sick movie ever.  My most favorite line/scene in the whole dang movie is below.  Best burn EVER.  Oh, my sweet Westley.

Adventures in Baby-Sitting
Nowadays, there are all kinds of movies and TV shows geared towards children specifically.  Back in the day, we definitely didn't have as many.  In our house, we tended to watch movies that might have been a little over our heads or that contained some "salty language," but my parents trusted that my brother and I knew not to use that language (at least in front of them).  My two favorite examples of this in my own life are Spaceballs and this movie.  Don't eff with the baby-sitter. Also, Anthony Rapp is the BEST EVER in this flick.  Comedic timing like whoa.  Also also, the first time I went to Chicago, I pointed at that slant-top building and said, "That's where Thor lives!" to my seatmate on the bus.  I was 17.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
And I don't mean the TV show.  Now that I know the whole story behind this and that I've become such a huge fan of the series (and Joss Whedon), I haven't watched this one nearly as much as I used to.  However, I went to see this in the theater because my cousin loved some Luke Perry.  It's so cheesy, but I love it something fierce.  All I want to do is graduate from high school, go to Europe, marry Christian Slater, and die.

The Godfather
What, not what you were expecting?  I tend to watch this on sick days in my adult life because those are the days I can devote the attention entirely to the Corleones.  Plus, watching this usually leads to watching Part II.  Not Part III, though.  Don't be crazy.  It's hard to find a good non-spoilery scene to post here, but I decided to post my favorite part- the horse head in the bed.  The way that guy yells is always hilarious to me. (Warning: this scene includes fake blood, a fake dead horse, and very real but terrible acting.)

What about you?   Got any sick movies to share?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Currently... Blogging!

*clears throat*
*taps mic*
Hello?  This thing still on?
Sorry for my disappearance, but I haven't felt much like blogging lately. And when you can't say anything, you shouldn't say anything at all.  Wait, I don't think that's right...

ANYway, I thought I'd creep back in with the new "Currently..." blog meme that all the cool kids are circulating!  Can I be a cool kid too?  Yeah, I thought so.

These fall-like temperatures!!
Please get colder!
Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year, and for once, it's not swelteringly gross here in VA.  I can only hope this trend continues so I can keep wearing my boots.

Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales
I've read Leila's second book Past Perfect and I pretty much loved the crap out of it.  I'd heard all the good things about this one as well.  I was in the mood to laugh out loud, and this is just what I needed.  Also, I just finished Ten by Gretchen McNeil, and it's perfect for fans of RL Stine, Christopher Pike, and creepy goodness.  It doesn't hurt that I pictured the male love interest as Michael B. Jordan.

This. Over and over and over.

Thinking About...
The two amazing concerts I've seen in the past week.  I'm planning on talking more about them later, but I was lucky enough to see my VERY FIRST EVER Ben Folds Five concert in Central friggin' Park last Friday!
Photo by Dominick Mastrangelo who was apparently way closer than I was.
AND I just saw Florence + the Machine on Wednesday, and it was completely amazing.  Man, I'm awesome, huh?

The Avengers finally on DVD!  Pitch Perfect.  The Perks of Being a Wallflower.  Once Upon a Time's second season premiere.  Les Miserables.

Well... I'm wishing a lot of things right now, but if I'm being honest with you, three people who read this... I don't want to talk about them on the internets.  So, I'll say this: I'm wishing for peace, comfort, time, and patience.

Making Me Happy...
This gifset.
This blog my brother wrote about our grandpa and his nerdy awesomeness.
Maggie Smith, as usual

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Army of Ten

You might have noticed the new button the sidebar over there.  No, not there.  There.  I recently joined the Army... of Ten.

The Army of Ten is a promotional street team to support and (obviously) promote awesome author Gretchen McNeil.  Her latest book, Ten, releases in about 27 days.  We're trying to get the word out to go to your local indie bookstore (or even your favorite online bookseller) and get yourself a copy of September 18!

I read Gretchen's previous book Possess, and I was a big fan!  It's classified as YA horror, which most of you know isn't really my game, but I had heard too many good things to pass it up.  It's engaging and fun and CREEPY as can be.  From all I've heard, Ten sounds like it'll be even creepier, so I can't wait to pick it up.

The other reason I joined The Army of Ten?  Well, even though I've never had the pleasure of meeting Gretchen in person, she's been very sweet to me over the tweets and such, and she's about the third person I've ever met who remembers the 80s classic Misfits of Science.  Therefore, she rules.

SO, on September 18, head on down to your local indie and pick up a copy of Gretchen's creepfest Ten.  If it's not there, then go to the desk and request it.  Then tell your friends to buy it!  One friends tells another tells another, and then it's like a pyramid scheme, only legal and WAY more fun!

Click on the button in the side dooblydoo to find out more.  We are The Army of Ten!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Esther Day 2012: Focusing On Life, Not Death

(As a warning, today's post will be a bit on the stream-of-consciousness side.  I have some feelings; I'd like to get them out.  If you keep reading, I appreciate it.  If not, I still appreciate you.)

This time of year has been weird for a number of years, for a number of reasons.  Mostly it revolves around untimely, tragic, completely unfortunate deaths.  It used to be confined to a week in early September, but circumstances sadly keep appearing which pushes the date back further and further.

However, today is different.  Today is Esther Day.

Esther Day started in 2010, to honor the 16th birthday of celebrated nerdfighter and cancer-fighter Esther Earl.  At that time, she had become a true friend to author John Green, and she'd become somewhat famous in the community due to her friendship with John and her association with The Harry Potter Alliance.  Sadly, she passed away just weeks later, on August 25, 2010.

I never met Esther.  In fact, she had already passed away before I'd even heard of her.  And yet... this girl's life, her words, her presence on this planet means something to me.  In learning more about Esther many moons ago, I stumbled across a vlog she posted during 2009's LeakyCon in Boston.  It was the first time she'd met John Green.  When you hear how excited she was, how she couldn't speak, how she was shaking, how it's clear she's still all amped up from that chance meeting as she retells it in front of the camera... I felt an immediate kindred connection with her.  And it broke my heart that I would never meet the vibrant, hilarious girl in that video.

But Esther Day isn't about focusing on the sadness of death.  Esther Day is about telling the people you love that you love them.  It's about goodness, light, love, family, friendship, hope, LIFE.  The next few weeks are always tough for me, and this weekend especially will be damn near impossible to get through without a potential breakdown.  Instead of concentrating on the sense of loss I feel without these people in my life, I will think of Esther.  I will think of the joy she brought so many people.  I will think of the joy that Mike, Craig, Randy, and Cos brought me.  I will hold onto love and do my damnedest to cast out the darkness that always creeps in.  That's how I'll honor Esther.

Thank you, sweet girl.  Just as you told John years ago, I also believe that the dead live on the memory and the lives of those they have touched.  You still live on in our hearts and in our memories.  Your star will not go out.  I promise.

Happy Esther Day, everyone.  I love you for reading this.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Where on Earth Have I Been?

Sorry, dear readers, if there are any of you left!  I've been on a bit of a hiatus, though it wasn't on purpose.  I've been, like, super busy with a handful of weddings and impromptu trips out of town and la la la a bunch of other excuses that mostly have to do with me not having anything to say.  I KNOW, IT'S WEIRD FOR ME TOO.

And so, to let you know I still love you all, I present you with the song that has been lodged in my brain for the past two days.  So, please enjoy the music while my creativity is reached.

Friday, June 22, 2012

[Fantastic Five Friday] Five Favorite TV Shows From Childhood

If you thought I was a mixed bag of random crazy before, you're definitely in for a treat today.  Thanks to The Weekly Enthusiast for this awesome meme of Fantastic Five Friday so I could take this trip down Memory Lane.  I feel this list will be very revealing into what it's like Growing Up Nerdy.

Starting with the most obvious:
1. My Little Pony/Strawberry Shortcake
Why did I combine 2 into 1?  For purposes of including more than 5 shows (technicalities FTW!) and also because I don't remember watching the TV series for these shows, only their standalone TV specials.  As a child, I referred to them as "movies" anyway.  According to legend, I would line up my Ponies on the sofa and watch their "movie" with them.  Reasons why I love the Internet?  The entire MLP episode is ON YOUTUBE.

As for Ms. Shortcake, here's a clip from "The Baby Without A Name," which I provide for its inclusion of The Peculiar Purple Pieman of Porcupine Peak.

2. Rainbow Brite
Now, there was a movie for Rainbow Brite that I loved, but this one did have a TV series!  And I loved it too!  I always thought that, as a wee Jeskuh, I looked like an IRL version of Rainbow Brite.  Sans yarn hair, of course.  For your enjoyment, here's a kind of awesome video of Rainbow Brite set to "We Are All Made of Stars" by Moby.  (Did I mention already that I love the Internet?)

3. Misfits of Science
AND now begins the random.  Have you heard of this show??  I'm guessing no.  It's cheesy 80s awesome, and it's a must-see for anyone who loves super hero shows.  My dad loved it, and he was apparently one of the only ones, because it never made it past Season 1.  However, he recorded them all (on VHS, natch), so I pretty much wore the tapes out watching them over and over and over.  I wanted to be Gloria when I was a kid.  If I ever get a chance to meet Courteney Cox, I should tell her that.  It'll blow her mind.

4. Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends
I think this show might be the reason I love Spider-Man.  He was sort of a celebrity in our house since he taught my brother to read.  If you thought Misfits of Science was cheesy... man, you don't even know what awaits you in the clip below.  The Hubs can't abide this show because Ice Man and Firestar constantly and consistently cancel each other out.  He thinks Spider-Man is better than that.  Bonus: Stan Lee narrates many of the episodes, and he has the BEST voice!

5. Family Feud (but only with Ray Combs)
Every summer of elementary school, I would wake up to The Feud.  My brother and I would watch the two episodes, then immediately get our pool stuff ready to spend the rest of the afternoon swimming and playing basketball and swinging during Adult Swim (not to be confused with Adult Swim).  We had a FF game on our PC too, and each team had a Father, Mother, Brother, Sister... and Boy.  If you were the visiting family and you got a Strike, the Father put his finger up his nose.  Oh, the 80s.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Reason Eleventy-Billion Why I Think My Hubs Is the Best

I adore my husband for many countless reasons, most of which revolve around the fact that he's not only my hubs but my very best friend in the world who totally and completely gets me.

Below is a direct quote from The Hubs to me sent just a few minutes ago via email:

"Did you know that Glenn Beck plans to create a tv show that's going to be an "anti-Glee"?  He says "it's horrifying some of the things that they're teaching high schoolers."  Then he says, "but it's brilliantly done. It's produced, brilliantly. Its music, brilliant. Its acting, brilliant. Its cinematography, brilliant. All of it!"

I wonder if he's ever actually watched the show...

In response I've decided to start my own anti-Glee.   It will still deal with all the issues in Glee and have all the gayness Beck fears, but will be devoid of plot holes, actually have a driven story, have far less over production on the music, get rid of any mid-western white guy rapping, and do away with the cumbersome theme episodes that cram seven songs into an episode for the sake of itunes sales."

Why do I love this?  
Well, it's hilarious, but also, for someone who claims to dislike Glee so much, he certainly does know a lot about it... I'm guessing someone's paying far more attention than they let on on Tuesday nights.
(Side note: Oh, Glee.  You big steaming pile of hot mess.  I wish I knew how to quit you.)

Monday, June 11, 2012

That Time I Met John Green at BEA aka Why Can't Jessica Shut Her Yapper?

I am a storyteller.  It's one of the major reasons I blog.  I feel I have a lot of good stories, and I enjoy sharing them.  What follows is a story of epic proportions, one that I will not be able to replicate in awesomeness for a long, long time.  Buckle up and prepare for what will forever be known as...

The Star Penis story.

It's been clearly stated on this blog that I am a John Green fangirl, or rather, a nerdfighter.  If you are a nerdfighter, you know that John's son Henry LOVES sing-a-ma-jigs, and they have made their way into the vlogbrothers videos and thus into vlogbrothers lexicon.  On our recent trip to Japan, I found a miniature sing-a-ma-jig, so I bought it to give to John at BEA.  Of course, I didn't snap a picture of it before this happened, but essentially, it looks like this.

It should also be noted that the one I got in Japan had a couple of tags on it, specifically a purple star-shaped tag RIGHT in the sing-a-ma-jig's... nether regions.  Hubs stated to me on multiple occasions that I should make sure to point out what he called the sing-a-ma-jig's Star Penis to John Green.  Then, he would giggle.  A lot.

Fast forward a few weeks, and I'm at BEA, Day 1.  It's a madhouse of books and totes and people and Gandalf for President buttons, and I'm loving every second of it.  At one point, I'm waiting in line to get a book signed, and JOHN GREEN himself walks right past me.  I shout, "OmiGOD it's John Green!" and proceed to stare at him.  Unabashedly.  With my mouth wide open.  Frozen to the spot.


That afternoon, I walk through the Penguin booth, and there he is again.  John Green out in the wild like a normal person who does normal things.  I figure, this is my chance to make up for the silent staring moment, so I wait patiently for John to finish his conversation.  And then this happens:

Printz Award Winning Author: (leaning toward bag on table) I bet you want me to sign that for you.
Me: No, I just want you to have it. (holds sing-a-ma-jig out toward PAWA like a talisman)
PAWA: (slightly shocked) Really?  That's so nice.
Me: (excitedly and without abandon) My husband would like me to point out to you that since it has that star tag on its crotch, it looks like it has a little star penis.

Yes, my friends.  That is a direct quote from my mouth to John Green's ears.  Not, "Hello, it's nice to meet you."  Not, "I am such an ardent admirer of your books."  Not, "The Fault in Our Stars is one of the most amazing novels I've ever read, and it affects me even months after I read it."

Nope.  I said star penis.

Thankfully, he laughs out loud (LOLed, if you will) and agrees with me.  THEN, he TAKES THE VLOGBROTHERS CAMERA out of his bag and RECORDS MY PRESENT.  THEN HE RECORDS MY FACE.  My initial reaction is to half-cover my face and say, "Oh, it's not going to be in the video, is it?"  to which John's editor, the incomparable Julie Strauss-Gabel hilariously replies, "You really brought this on yourself, you know."

I am such a nerdfighter that I fangirl Julie Strauss-Gabel.

My new BFF John and I share a few more laughs involving him being a Jeffrey Eugenides silent starer, the John Green/Chris Colfer fanfic and how nothing is sacred, and the Author Breakfast the next morning, and then I get a picture with him.
Thank you Susan for capturing the moment so perfectly.

When he put his arm around me to pose, I lose the little bit of cool I've been able to maintain up to this moment because I know how much John Green does not like to touch people, and my hands start shaking uncontrollably.  In fact, they're shaking so much so that I've never been so aware of anything except that he must be aware of it.  Because I'm crazy like that.  So, I smile and thank him and then I RUN LIKE THE WIND from that spot.  Why?

Because I don't want him to see me doing this:

So that's my story.  Hopefully, you'll see my nerdy mug on John's video on Tuesday, but if not, I still think I'll be dining out on this one for years to come.

The video has been posted.  And I think the 1:30 mark speaks for itself.

In conclusion, I think I'm dead.  Holy smokes.  French the llama.  

Friday, June 1, 2012

"The darkest clouds seem to be gathering right above my building, so I assume that's where Zuul is."

It's a scary rainy near-apocalypse outside right now.  I tweeted the title of this entry to Sarah Enni once she mentioned the tornado warning(!!!).  She responded WE'RE NOT READY.  I did this at my desk.

I'll be out of town all next week at Book Expo America (more commonly known as BEA).  This is my first time attending this conference, and I am WICKED EXCITED to go!  To entertain you while I am away, I leave you the following videos.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries!  A great web series turning Lizzie Bennet into a video blogger.  I love all version of Pride & Prejudice, but this one is so original and fun.  I love it.

The latest vlogbrothers video!  Which, if you don't find this funny, then a- you shouldn't watch any more vlogbrothers videos and b- we MAY not be able to be friends.  Also, you should click on the Outtakes video link that pops up at the end.

Dan Bern singing Tiger Woods aka the song that's been stuck in my head all day.  This is kind of a silly warning, but some of the words to this song have been deemed "inappropriate for daytime hours" by the former student managers of my college radio station, so... now you know.

The teaser trailer for Les Miserables.  Look, there's a lot of controversy among Les Mis fans about this trailer, mostly surrounding Anne Hathaway's singing.  Personally, I love it.  I have yet to make it through a viewing of this trailer without getting a bit verklempt.  Also, I have yet to look at this picture without loudly singing, "Valjean at laaast we see each other plain..."

The newest trailer for Magic Mike aka the movie that needs no plot.  I mean... honestly.

AND you're welcome.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

[Top Ten Tuesday] Top Ten Blogs That Aren't About Books

It's Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week, the topic is non-book related, which is a little bit different than what they usually post, but it keeps with what I usually post here on my blog o' nonsense.  The topic: ten blogs or sites you read that aren't about books.  I'm going to stick with blogs rather than sites (because I think you guys are aware I like Twitter by now, and I'd like to get more specific than just stating Tumblr, as you're about to see).  I'll give you this warning: the links I'm about to share with you will cause you to chuckle, guffaw, and possibly even cachinnate.  With that, let's begin!

One of my favorites, ever.  I thank my sister-in-law for sharing this one with me.  Kelly Williams Brown lists her steps on "how to become a grown-up in 387 easy(ish) steps."  It's perfectly hysterical in its accuracy on so many accounts.  My favorites are the Flowcharts and Doodles, especially the "How many drinks can you have at a work function?" and the graph depicting Toilet Paper Need Over Time.  Being a grown-up doesn't have to be lame.

Awesome People Hanging Out Together
Brilliant and simple.  Ever wanted to see a picture of Leonard Nimoy and Jimi Hendrix together?  How about David Lee Roth, Sean Penn, and the Beastie Boys?  Or Hunter S. Thompson, John Cusack, Johnny Depp, and a blow-up doll?  Yeah, I thought you might.  They're all available, plus many more combinations that will blow your mind.

Awkward Family Photos
I love this one so much because I TOTALLY understand.  I grew up in a family of photo- and videographers, thus many awkward moments were captured of me over the years.  On the other hand, there are so many pictures here that I do not understand.  Like every topless pregnancy photo.  And there are tons of them.

Created by Jen of Cake Wrecks, this is her girly, geeky, crafty blog.  While I have been known to be girly and geeky, I'm not crafty like Jen, but I do adore her pictures.  The best is when she posts step-by-steps of how to recreate some of her awesome projects.  Geek love!

I Love Charts
Again, brilliant and simple.  It's charts of all kinds, explaining just about anything you could think of plus millions more.  For example, on its first two pages right now, we've got a timeline of the timing of lyrics in Every Song, a graphic to depict which Dickens novel is the most Dickensian, and a line graph about Avenging.

I'm Remembering!
It's pictures of nostalgic things, like Ecto Cooler and Dream Phone and Hostess Pudding Pies.  And you look at them and think to yourself, YES I DO REMEMBER THAT.  And then you feel old.  And crave vanilla pudding pies.

Oh No They Didn't!
My friend often wonder where I find out all my random information or how I tend to know everything about entertainment news before them.  It's because of ONTD.  Sometimes, they tell me TOO MUCH, but I love them far too much to ever dump them due to bugabooing.  AND ALSO, the gifs!  MAN, I love gifs.

R Pattz Talks
Have you ever watched an interview with Rob Pattinson?  Boy's cray.  But hilarious and awkward and cray, which is oddly enough my favorite type of cray.  This blog is gifs of Rob's choiciest phrases.  Most of them are about how much he dislikes Twilight... while doing Twilight press.  One of my favorites is this gif set of his quotes from the commentary of Twilight.  This is a great one for a quick laugh.

Unsuck DC Metro
I'm a Metro commuter, and there are SO MANY THINGS that anger me about the process.  It doesn't anger me enough to drive to work (not yet, anyway) but my irritation level has risen GREATLY since returning from Japan & Korea, where their metro systems had ZERO broken escalators and FAR LESS delays.  It helps to read this after a particularly awful ride in, so I feel like I have at least one person who understands.

The Weekly Enthusiast
I've talked about this one before, since I've participated in her Fantastic Five Fridays.  This is a more recent find for me, and I'm glad I found her, because I was in the mood for something besides book blogs (which... is sort of the point of this list, isn't it?) and I do love my TV.  Special thanks for linking to a sneak peek of the new show Bunheads, because that sort of made my day.

Thanks!  Click away!!

Friday, May 11, 2012

[Fantastic Five Friday] Five Favorite TV Kisses

Blanket spoiler warning, although every kiss I'm about to mention aired in 2007 or earlier.

I love TV.  I love kissing.  I love blogging lists.  I love The Weekly Enthusiast for starting this blog meme.  This one's a no-brainer, people.

Pushing Daisies, S1E3 Aired 10.17.2007, "The Fun in Funeral"
also known as The Cellophane Kiss
Ned and Chuck's relationship is one of my favorites, because it's so damn sweet and so damn heart-breaking.  He cannot touch her because if he does, SHE WILL DIE.  They must find creative ways to show their affection that do not involve actual skin-to-skin contact or else Chuck becomes The Lonely Tourist Dead Charlotte Charles once more.  And, since this is a Bryan Fuller show, it's gotta be quirky as can be.

Veronica Mars, S1E18 Aired 4.12.2005, "Weapons of Class Destruction"
also known as First LoVe
Logan and Veronica had been doing this strange and crazy dance around one another for a few episodes before this, building up the tension as all the best shows will do.  She had been helping him out on a case, and he dropped many of the bitter feelings he had in the past for her.  It all culminates in this awesome sweeping kiss that you don't see coming just as much as you do.  None of the videos would let me embed the actual kiss, so here's what I've found.  THIS VIDEO is the lead-up to the kiss, which you should watch because it includes a mulleted JTT (YES!) and Logan calls him "Jump Street" and it's just good to have back story.  THIS VIDEO is the kiss itself.  It looks like the picture below, but... you know... moving and stuff.
Like this, but with more kissing.
Friends, S2E7 Aired 11.9.1995, "The One Where Ross Finds Out"
also known as That Scene That Always Plays Whenever Anyone Talks About Ross & Rachel
Before they became a veritable punchline, Ross and Rachel's will-they-or-won't-they carried quite the punch.  I'm a big ole Friends fan, still to this day.  I remember watching the build-up to this for weeks (yes, when it aired back in 1995 when I was just barely 14 years old) and my baby-teenage heart was FIT to BURST.  And then, it happened.  Oh my, did it happen.  Watching the video of the kiss still gave me chills, even this many years later.  Again, unable to embed so entire scene can be viewed RIGHT HERE.
Well, hello there, Dr. Geller.
The Office, S2E22 Aired 5.11.2006, "Casino Night"
also known as The Night I Yelled at My Boyfriend For Making Me Love This Show
Y'all.  In doing my research for this entry, I just fell down a serious Jim and Pam rabbithole, and THE FEELS.  THEY ARE OF THE KILLING KIND.  I'm such a Jim and Pam fangirl.  This is another that I remember so SO well.  I remember watching their relationship unfold, breaking my heart piece and piece as it went, because I never thought Jim would be able to get the girl.  They were too tentative, too shy, too good at their little dance that they couldn't see around it.  So it's Casino Night, and something in Jim sees that this is his moment and... Pam says no.  And I cried like a little girl, hands pressed to my mouth, tears streaming down my cheeks.  But fear not, True Believers!  It wasn't over yet!  Actions speak louder than words!  THIS VIDEO is a poor quality version of the kiss itself, but the below video is so so sweet, and it's rocking the Ingrid, and you can see the kiss again starting at about 2:36.

Gilmore Girls, S4E22 Aired 5.18.2004, "Raincoats and Recipes"
also known as That Time I Squeed So Loud I Terrified My Neighbors
No TV list of mine is complete without one GG reference.  And you know it had to be Lorelai.  What I adore about Luke and Lorelai as a pair is that it wasn't so hit-you-over-the-head obvious as TV couples usually are.  Yes, it was established in the pilot that Luke was a dude that gave Lorelai The Feelings, and yes it gets pretty properly hinted at over the course of these 4 seasons, but it didn't take over the plot as a whole.  Not until the end of Season 4, and suddenly Luke Can See Her Face, and that surly, hat-wearing diner owner is DONE.  Love it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Joss Whedon School of Awesome

I saw The Avengers yesterday.  Obviously, I loved it like a love song, baby.  (Don't judge me.)
art by gingerhaze, who is simply a-mah-zing
As I walked back to the car with The Hubs, I couldn't stop proudly babbling over Joss Whedon's latest creation.  As a self-proclaimed Whedonite, I knew my guy would do an amazing job, even on a huge project like this.  In the bluntest terms, Joss is the man.  He can do everything: action, romance, TV, movies, sci-fi, fantasy, westerns, musicals, horror- you name it, he can do it, and he can do it really well. The reason why Whedonites like me are so passionate about his work is because he values his audience and treats them like equals.  Whedon takes an extreme amount of time thinking about each character critically from every angle.  He's got a clear idea in his head about each and every person he writes, and he has an amazing way of displaying those ideas in a manner that relates to everyone.
You little redheaded genius you.
And The Avengers?  No exception there.  This is a huge undertaking, with an even huger (more huge?) cast of characters.  Any one of them could have easily gotten lost in the shuffle or been demoted to an insignificant role.  Instead, it's executed perfectly, and I know I'll be indulging in this movie 100 times over (OR, rather, I'll keep hitting repeat-peat-peat-peat-peat-peat).

So, this got me thinking (not the Selena Gomez; the movie).  Now that Joss Whedon is finally getting the buzz he deserves and becoming a household name, he should branch out into other areas.  And by branch out, I mean he should start his own writing school.  I already have a name for it.

The Joss Whedon School of Awesome.

Think about it, man!  Think of the incredible learning experience this school could offer!  Learning the writing process of Joss Whedon FROM Joss Whedon!  Learning how to write characters from all sides, in all manners!  All those kick-ass ladies!  The captains without a moral compass!  The vampires with souls!  The superheros with brains and hearts and guts and egos!  THESE ARE NOT THE HAMMER!!

...I think I'm getting off topic.

RIGHT.  Joss Whedon School of Awesome.

After a brief mention on Twitter, I had some suggestions for degrees: a Bachelor of Awesome, a PhD in Horribleness (with classes taught by Doctor Horrible himself, if he can pull himself away from the Evil League of Evil).  A Master of Heart-breaking Deaths (*Firefly/Serenity spoiler alert* I'm still not over Wash, yo).  Classes would include gems like Cursing in Chinese, Proper Uses of Slayer Strength, Future History Post-Sino-American War, Quips for the Modern Hero, Quips for the Modern Anti-Hero, Writing Your Own Earworm of a Tune, or New Ways to Break Your Fans' Hearts into Teeny Tiny Unmendable Pieces.  There could be locations all over the verse, from Asgard to Sunnydale.

And so.  Joss.  Buddy.  Let's make this happen.  I'll be there, first row, all bells-y.

Oh, and so much congrats to you, sir.  You deserve every bit of it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


So, I'm checking my blogs this morning, and I find that the illustrious Katy Upperman posted this Alphabet Survey.  I'm still in that "writing prompt" mode (since this is planning/packing week for BIG ASIA TRIP NEXT WEEK!) so I thought I'd oblige and fill this out as well.  And here we go!
A is for age
30.  Though I often feel older than old is old (especially hanging out with the younger contingent of the DC YA Mafia), I wasn't terrified to turn 30.  I've heard the best is yet to come, and so I wait.
B is for breakfast today
Granola bar and that new International Delight Iced Coffee.  So far, it's like sugary goodness tinged with a hint of coffee flavor.  Not perfect but I'll keep on drinkin' it.
C is for currently craving
Right now, nothing as it's early still.  Maybe a doughnut, but that's mostly because I'm always craving a doughnut.  It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single Jessica BS in possession of a brain must be in want of a doughnut.
D is for dinner tonight
I am not the chef in our house, as I've been known to somehow burn and undercook the same dish, so that's up to The Hubs.  My guess is chicken.  Or pasta.
E is for favorite type of exercise
Don't tell, but I actually enjoy jogging on the treadmill while listening to cheesy dance music.  My second favorite is Zumba, even though I feel 50 shades of awkward while I'm in class.  I just channel my inner Liz Lemon and keep on dancing.
F is for an irrational fear
Just one?  Okay, let me pick my least crazy one.  Bees, wasps, and any other stinging insect.  I know they won't bother me unless I bother them, but when I see one, I can't do anything but stare and cower and fear my imminent death.
G is for gross food
Onions.  Ugh, and sweet pickles.  Yuck.  Sweet pickles are THE DEVIL'S FOOD.
H is for hometown
Richmond, VA.  More specifically, the east side.
I is for something important
My husband is important to me.  He's truly the only person who always, always gets me.  
J is for current favorite jam
A- Katy posted her favorite flavor jam before she posted her favorite kind of song.  That is awesome.
B- I still cannot stop listening to From Finner by Of Monsters and Men.
K is for kids
None yet.
L is for current location
In my "office" in Arlington.  I say "office" because I don't have a door or anything, and it's kind of an open area, but no one sits here with me.  I've got a pretty great view, though.
M is for the most recent way you spent money
I think it was for groceries on Sunday?  I'm trying to not buy anything unnecessary so I can buy more unnecessary things on vacation next week.
N is for something you need
I need to find the discipline to stop complaining about things that are within my power to change and actually change them.
O is for occupation
Keeper of Calendars and Wrangler of Wanderers.  My boss calls me the boss because he couldn't function without me.  It's a blessing and a curse.  
P is for pet peeve
I have tons because that's who I am.  Currently, it's people on the Metro who do not understand the concept of GETTING OUT OF THE WAY OF OTHER PASSENGERS.  I know I live in an elitist city where the majority of people believe that their destination is far more important than anything and everything else in the world, including every person standing near them or will stand near them until they reach their destination.  The sad fact is, it isn't.  And the polite thing to do when you're standing in front of an open Metro door when it's not your stop is to MOVE.  Ugh.
Q is for a quote
Frank: You're telling me that I've been putting shampoo on my sandwiches? Charlie: If you're using the mayonnaise, then yeah, probably.
R is for random fact about you
I am really, really, really excited for The Avengers.
S is for favorite healthy snack
What is this "healthy snack" of which you speak?  Uh, I guess an apple?  Or some edamame?
T is for favorite treat
Currently, I'd say Ben & Jerry's Milk & Cookies ice cream.  It's like cookies & cream and chocolate chip cookie dough got together and had a delicious ice cream baby.
U is for something that makes you unique
I think most things about me make me unique.  I'm fairly difficult to duplicate.  And, despite how angry and frustrated I might be with things lately, I usually do like being me.
V is for favorite vegetable
Broccoli or red peppers.
W is for today’s workout
My plan is to go to Zumba tonight.  It'll be my last class before VACATION.  Have I talked about that yet?  Yeah, I'm going on vacation next week.
X is for X-rays you’ve had
I've had teeth x-rays, a chest x-ray once... I think that's it.
Y is for yesterday’s highlight
I'd have to say when Hubs got home from work, and Mutt was like FLIPPING OUT over him walking through the door.  All butt shaking and prancing around and playful bowing.  That was pretty hilarious.
Z is for your time zone
Eastern!  Until Saturday.  When we go.  On vacation.
Well this was ridiculously fun.

Friday, April 13, 2012

[Fantastic Five Friday] Five Characters To Which I’ve Become Too Attached (TV edition)

In looking through my blog reader today, I saw a post that intrigued me about five tv/movie characters to which the author was too attached.  Then I found out it's a weekly blog meme started by The Weekly Enthusiast.  Then I remembered my blog and thought, "Didn't I used to write about TV shows and stuff back in the day?  I should do that again!"

AND SO, without further ado, here are "five" characters from television shows that I wish were real people so we could be super BFFs for all time.  I wanted to get all random and oddball on all of you (which I kind of do as far as show choice) but sadly, the majority of these are main characters instead of side characters.  DEAL WITH IT.

5.  The Piemaker aka Ned, Pushing Daisies
Print by Nan Lawson, which you can buy here!
There were 2 reasons I was dying to watch Pushing Daisies before it aired- Bryan Fuller and Lee Pace.  These two had worked together on a fun, quirky, supa random show I (of course) adored called Wonderfalls. I didn't like Lee's character that much at first, but he slowly grows on you, and I give all the credit to that to Lee's awesomely awesome acting talents.  The more research I did on him, the more he impressed me.  Pushing Daisies was no exception; it only made my love grow stronger.  If I'm awake, I'm missing this show.  It's always in my brain.  In fact, it's affected me so much that I unconsciously wrote one of the boys in a story to  look like Ned without realizing it and then I saw these and was like, "YEP. WHOOPS."  #sorrynotsorry

Favorite Ned quote:
"Everything we do is a choice. Oatmeal or cereal, highway or sidestreets, kiss her or keep her. We make choices, and we live with consequences. If someone gets hurt along the way, we ask for forgiveness, it's the best anyone can do."

4. Seth Cohen, The O.C.
gif found on tumblr, duh
I had such an addiction to this show when it first aired, like... serious.  It made my week.  I would tell people not to call me, bother me, make plans with me while this was on.  Because of Seth Mother-f-ing Cohen.  He was the nerdy dream boy for a whole generation of girls just like me.  Sweet and sensitive and did I mention SO NERDY?  Big ole swoons from me.  Then, the whole show went downhill too fast, and I broke up with it and it wasn't pleasant and I still haven't see the last 2 seasons.  I'm waiting for the Seth Cohen comeback because I know it's coming.

Favorite Seth/Ryan conversation:
Ryan: Sometimes I think you talk just to make sounds.
Seth: Well, sometimes, I do.

3. Cory & Topanga, Boy Meets World
I love Boy Meets World more than anyone should, really.  I know it's cheesy and predictable and very, VERY 90's.  But I don't even care.  I'd like more cheesy, predictable sitcoms if they were written with so much sweetness and honesty and inside jokes and if William Daniels was in them.  Life doesn't have to be all art films and emo things and THIS IS MOST BEAUTIFUL THING I'VE EVER SEEN.

Cory and Topanga are the OG OTP, IMO.  They were endgame back in the sandbox.  And they knew it, and they weren't afraid to show it.  I never doubted that their love was true, or that what they felt didn't feel supremely real to them.  It's the embodiment of first love, and more power to you if you can find something like that.  I also believe all bromances on TV today owe a lot to Cory and Shawn.

Be careful what you wish for, Cornelius Matthews.
"That's just what I want - to be Topanga's boyfriend. And then we can name our children Chewbacca and Plankton."

2. Veronica Mars, Veronica Mars
again, thanks tumblr
I already knew who I wanted in the #1 spot, but this one was tough.  I ended up benching Buffy (I KNOW!) for V. Mars, but I'm not going to apologize.  While I do adore Ms. Summers, I always felt an attachment to Veronica because she's just a normal girl trying to do right by her and her people.  She was a normal goody-two-shoes who managed to bag a bestie like Lilly Kane, score a date with Lilly's brother Duncan... and then her whole life fell apart slowly but surely due to nothing she did.  Instead of falling to Earth in pieces, she picked herself up, dusted herself off, and made sure that crap didn't happen to her again.

What I most love about Veronica is how vulnerable she really is, because she certainly presents herself as ten pounds of badass in a five pound bag, and how terrified she becomes when that vulnerability brings itself to the surface.  She'll let little glimmers of her true self shoot through that intense armor, and it's like magic.  Sadly, that's the reason she and Logan have SUCH A HARD TIME being together.  He wants to protect her; she's not going to stop doing what she does best.  Fight angst fight- them's the breaks when your love story is epic.

"Tragedy blows through your life like a tornado, uprooting everything. Creating chaos. You wait for the dust to settle and then you choose. You can live in the wreckage and pretend it's still the mansion you remember. Or you can crawl from the rubble and slowly rebuild."

1. Lorelai Gilmore, Gilmore Girls

Oy with the poodles, I have such a crush on Lorelai Gilmore (and also on Lauren Graham too).  Lorelai is completely and totally cah-razy, but she wears it so well.  More than any other character I've ever known, I wish Lorelai was real so I could be friends with her.  I think we'd really understand each other.  We could drink coffee and hide out indoors and watch/mock tons of movies and laugh at the same jokes and tease Luke while he fixes things.  I'm legitimately sad that can't be my reality.  OH, TELEVISION.  How you've ruined me.

Much like V.Mars, Lorelai uses her wit and her charm as her mask because she's so very, very vulnerable.  She's been so burned in the past by Christopher, by her parents, by nearly everyone, that she basically trusts no one but Rory.  When she is happy, I cheer with her.  When she is broken, my heart breaks too.  There are certain episodes of Gilmore Girls that are beyond difficult for me to get through because a- Lauren Graham constantly and consistently knocks performances out of the park and b- I identify with Lorelai very very much.  She makes mistakes.  She has flaws.  She knows it, and she knows when she's making a bad choice but she doesn't always stop herself.  She's so complex, I friggin' love it.  I started watching Parenthood because she'd be on it (and Peter Krause too!!), and I'm thankful for her casting all the time.

So... those are mine!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

This is the SOUND of my SOUL.

So yesterday was spent in an excellent way.  I was able to start New Story Idea, which was totally awesome.  I locked myself down in the basement like Sloth (Baby Ruth??) and started typing typing typing.  I'm doing a 30 day trial of Scrivener to see how I feel about it, and so far... I kind of love it to bits.  I know it's definitely a love it/hate it piece between writers, but I'm falling on the Love It side.  I understand the Hate Its, though.

ANYWAY, after a while, Hubs wanted to go run on the nice afternoon, so I took a break to hang out with the Mutt and watch some TV.  While watching TV, this commercial for the Chevy Malibu came on (note: for fans of early seasons of Sex and the City, please see backseat for SKIPPER, YO.)

I love this song, and I also love to belt it out.

After a while, I decide to let Mutt outside for a little run around the backyard.  It should be noted that, since I had been writing all day prior to this, I was wearing my glasses, purple striped capri jammie pants, a Stars Hollow hooded sweatshirt, a Duran Duran t-shirt, and neon blue house slippers I got for a dollar at IKEA.  While unlocking the door, I start singing to the dog, something I often do.  Of course, I'm belting out the lyrics "Why do I find it hard to write the next line?/Oh, I want the truth to be saaaaaaaaid" when I whip the door open and shimmy out onto our porch...

Where I find our next door neighbor doing yard work and looking at me as though I'm wearing my jammies at 4 pm singing "True" by Spandau Ballet at the top of my lungs in broad daylight.

In general, I managed to be Liz Lemon, Lorelai Gilmore, and Jess Day all in one fell swoop.  Who's that girl?  Who's that girl?

It's me.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

30 Day Book Challenge Master Pooooost!

I hope you enjoyed reading this series as much as I enjoyed writing it.  It got me thinking a lot about the books I've been reading and also about the books I'd like to read.  It reminded me that I really need to blog more.  I actually like blogging, and I'd like to keep this sort of thing up.  No more one post a month.  At least, I hope not.

Below is my whole list, with links to the entry.  You know, in case you missed it, or in case you're looking for the 30 Day Book Challenge list.

Day 01- Best book you read last year
The Hunger Games
Day 02- A book that you've read more than 3 times
Anna and the French Kiss
Day 03- Your favorite series
The Infernal Devices
Day 04- Favorite book of your favorite series
Clockwork Prince
Day 05- A book that makes you happy
Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Day 06- A book that makes you sad
If I Stay
Day 07- Most underrated book
Day 08- Most overrated book
Day 09- A book you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving
Across the Universe
Day 10- Favorite classic book
The Secret Garden
Day 11- A book you hated
The Trylle series
Day 12- A book you used to love but don't anymore
Day 13- Your favorite writer
Meg Cabot (plus honorable mentions)
Day 14- Favorite book of your favorite writer
Forever Princess
Day 15- Favorite male character
Cricket Bell from Lola and the Boy Next Door
Day 16- Favorite female character
Hermione Granger
Day 17- Favorite quote (from your favorite book)
"And in that moment, I swear we were infinite."
Day 18- A book that disappointed you
Carrier of the Mark
Day 19- Favorite book turned into a movie
Pride and Prejudice
Day 20- Favorite romance book
The Sky is Everywhere
Day 21- Favorite book from your childhood
Tuck Everlasting
Day 22- Favorite book you own
The Fault in Our Stars
Day 23- A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven't
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Day 24- A book you wish more people would've read
Shatter Me
Day 25- A character who you can relate to the most
Lily from Dash and Lily's Book of Dares
Day 26- A book that changed your opinion about something
Born Wicked
Day 27- The most surprising plot twist or ending
Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Day 28- Favorite title
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Day 29- A book that everyone hated but you liked
Breaking Dawn
Day 30- Your favorite book(s) of all time
Harry Potter and the Awesome Series of Books

Friday, March 30, 2012

Day 30 – Your favorite book(s) of all time

I don't think this should come as a surprise.  I have said all of this before.  There is only one thing left to say.
image from Expecto Patronum
After all this time?

Day 29 – A book everyone hated but you liked

But I (obviously) didn't do it.
Why?  There are a few reasons.  One, I felt turrible, and I couldn't even think about looking at a computer screen for longer than I needed.  I'm actually in the middle of creating what I think is a Great Idea For A Book, and I would have loved to start outlining\drafting it up, but instead, I took a wicked long nap.  Like... wicked long.  As in I went to bed at about 9 pm (and that's being generous with my guess as to what time I really fell asleep).

The other reason I didn't write this yesterday?  There was this article in the NY Times (that I refuse to link to because I don't think it should receive more traffic) that said adults should only read books for adults and stop reading books written for and about teenagers.  It was poorly researched (as in the author panned The Hunger Games while admitting to not reading it nor will he ever read it because it's a "children's book") and openly snobby.

Sadly, though, it kind of worked as in I felt a little ashamed that I was about to defend this book.  BUT, whatever, I dealt with that, I've moved on, and now I'm here to defend myself for actually liking a book that I feel all of my YA Mafia friends will mock me about for a long, long time.

breaking dawn Pictures, Images and Photos

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

First things first: I am not stating that I think this is a particularly great book.  In fact, I think it's the giant sore thumb of the entire Twilight "saga."  The first three novels fit together as a nice little trilogy with just a few strings left unresolved.  Those threads could have been resolved without going into this story, but I do understand it.  I would have left at least one Big Bad besides the Volturri to deal with in this one, but that's just me.

I've started and restarted this paragraph way too many times now, so I'm aware of how much I've overthinking this.  BUT, I'm also realizing that what I like about this book isn't the book itself, but more of the concept of it.  How Bella Swan goes from this wholly awkward weakling to a fully formed awesome vampire who can do awesome things and needs to do said awesome things in order to keep her family from being slaughtered by a group of really, really old guys.  I like the concept of Jacob & Bella being so drawn to one another because of the imprint in her DNA.  I like the concept of the Volturri wanting Edward and Alice and Bella, so they create a reason to come after them before they actually have a reason to come after them.

The problem is in the execution of these concepts.

HOWEVER, I'm here to talk about why I like this book rather than dislike it.  I think I give more credit to the concept than most because, again, this novel really falls short in the execution part of things.  When I first read these, my sister-in-law said that she felt this was the only book of the series that felt like a grown woman speaking rather than a teenager, and I see that, definitely.  Bella may be an "old soul," but she loses all bit of teenager in this story.

Ugh, I'm still not defending this, am I?

Alright, fine.  I can't.  I just like it.  I don't know why.  I like it more now that the movie made me laugh to the point of stomach hurt.  I REALLY like the fact that the second movie will give Lee Pace some work (OMG EYEBROWS).  I so get the reasons why people do not like this.  I'm just not one of those people.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Day 28 – Favorite title

I've apparently been going through something of a mental crisis, where I'm like WAAAAAAAH WHY IS LIFE LIKE THIS one minute and then OMG I KNOW THE FUNNIEST PEOPLE EVER the next.  So my post-challenge blog entries should all be REALLY GREAT... and NOT AT ALL CRAZY.

Just, you know, something to look forward to.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer Pictures, Images and Photos

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

This was a book I was dying to get my hands on for months and month prior to its release.  I read a very small excerpt, and it intrigued me so.  However, before I even read that little excerpt, I knew I wanted to read this just because of the title.

I just love the sound of the words together.  The name Mara Dyer is so... mysterious.  And the use of "unbecoming."  That's not a word that comes up in everyday conversation, and, for me, it brings up such lovely imagery.  I think it works perfectly with the cover (one of my favorites!!) as well as the actual plot.  Sometimes, I think titles reach too much to sound cool rather than be relative to the plot.  This one does both, and that's why I like it!

Only 2 more challenge days left!  I think I'll post a wrap up blog on Saturday, in case you don't feel like clicking through every day.  Though you should.  Because I'm hilarious!  And incredibly modest!