Friday, October 31, 2014

Reign Review: Season 2 Episode 5: "Blood for Blood"

A lot happened in this episode. I don't even know where to begin. Do I say that every week? I feel like I do, but it's only because it's true every week.

Let's start with Catherine, and my weekly gushing over how awesome she is. It felt like she was just sweeping around the castle in this episode appearing to characters, saying her perfectly delivered lines, and then immediately sweeping off again in a way that showed she had some very important business to get back to. She didn't really do much in terms of the plot this week (unless I'm forgetting something), but she was definitely as amazing as always.

I tweeted about this during the episode, but this whole Catholic-Protestant conflict has developed fast. Last season made it seem like all of the peasants were pagans or something, and now there are suddenly no pagans but Protestants are secretly everywhere. Protestants are way more realistic of course, but storywise it's a bit of whiplash. It's interesting that they're going to route of Mary and Francis not wanting to do much at all about the Protestants. It's as if they want to give people religious freedom and are just hoping it won't develop into a political conflict that endangers their reign. I don't know the specifics of the real Mary and Francis's treatment of religion, but I'm not sure that any monarch at the time would have been very keen to take that outlook. Maybe I'm wrong. It definitely says good things about the Mary and Francis characters on the show though, and clearly, that's what they're more worried about.

Turns out the servant lady wasn't really possessed with Henry's ghost, and I have to say that I'm glad they went the realistic route with that. Although Francis kind of looks like an idiot now. I can forgive him considering his mother believes Nostradamus can really see the future. (I just realized that Nostradamus's visions were such a large part of season one, and we haven't had that at all in season two. Huh.)

I also have to say that that servant woman is a good actor. I can understand why Francis wouldn't think a random servant could act so well. I didn't see Narcisse being behind it coming at all, but wow, he's turning out to be quite the villain. He's definitely infuriating.

Also, him lying to Mary at the end has me so angry. He may be trying to protect her and everything, but I'm pretty sure the lie hurt her far worse. I get what he's doing, but I don't agree at all. I'm also worried about what this means for the state of their relationship in coming episodes.

I'm very amused by the fact that Kenna reads about some random guy whose name she doesn't know and just suddenly decides that Lola should be with him. It feels very middle school-y, and I'm not sure what the point is. I guess the point is that the guy turned out to be Narcisse, but I saw that coming honestly. I don't know why that would be a big deal. It's not like she was emotionally attached to this guy, and finding out it's Narcisse should theoretically just end any interest. Instead we're almost for sure going to get something between them I bet, and I can't say whether I'm intrigued or uninterested in that. I guess I'll just wait and see.

Greer and Castleroy are now officially married. I'm very upset about this as a Leith/Greer shipper. Leith was amazing in this episode too. Helping Sebastian in his new job and then trying to help Castleroy but also wanting Greer to know. I love him.

I suspect Castleroy being Protestant will cause a lot of problems in the future for him and, by extension, Greer. I don't think the end of the love triangle is over because they're married either. I could definitely see religion playing some sort of role in ending their marriage. (I'm predicting Castleroy's death because of his faith.) And then I'd assume that we'd be back to Greer and Leith. Maybe that's wishful thinking because I'm a shipper, but I just don't think that's over.

As for next week, I think I'm most interested in seeing how this Narcisse/Lola thing plays out. I could see it being a good story line, but I could also see it being one I hate. I guess we'll find out.

Life Post: Scheduling Problems Never End Apparently

I keep thinking that I'm done with schedule problems and then something else pops up. I had everything set, and then I got an email from one of my advisors that there was a mix up and one of the classes I signed up for wouldn't be offered next semester. Now, she was so nice about it and so helpful figuring out what to do, but after the mess it took to figure out my schedule the first time, I was significantly stressed out over the news. I practically ran to her office the second I got her email. She couldn't believe I'd gotten there so fast, but I wanted it out of the way. We figured out a solution in no time at all and had it all worked out. Everything should be fine now.

I'd just been to see her the day before and then to the registrar's office to adjust my schedule because I needed special permission from both of my advisors to sign up for two of the classes I'm taking, so this week ended up being a bit more stressful on the schedule front than I had been hoping. I'm signed up now though, and I feel like changing my schedule twice after having registered is enough. There's no way that can happen again, right? I'd like to think not.

That's all in the past now though, and this week was actually really nice. Not even the schedule stuff was that bad, since it was all worked out so soon after the problem was developed. The problems only feel bigger because of the mess I went through the week before. Generally speaking I had a really nice week. Last night was trick or treating for the alumni's and staff's kids around our dorm buildings, so there were cute kids in costume running around campus. That's always fun.

I hope everyone enjoys their Halloween. I'm not dressing up or anything like that. The idea of putting together a Halloween costume has become more appealing to me in recent years (I haven't dressed up since I was about eleven), but I just can never be bothered to put together a costume because I always seem to be so consumed with school at this point in the year. NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow, and that's another thing I want to do every year but don't because school's taken over my life. One year they'll both happen. Maybe...

Anyway, as I said, I hope you all enjoy your Halloween. My biggest celebration is going to be watching the new Korra episode a bit later. What more could I ask for?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A College Diet

One of the things I dislike the most about college is living on a meal plan. I'm not sure what it's like at larger colleges where there's more options, but here our only options on campus were the dining hall or Subway until this year when we got a Papa Johns, Starbucks, and this grill place. I definitely enjoy having more options, but you don't want to eat at a fast food restaurant all the time.

And our dining hall food is not the greatest. Actually, I'm being kind here. It's probably the biggest complaint most current students have about the food. The only time it's decent is when "important" people are on campus, and as a warning for any high schoolers making college plans, "important" people includes potential students. Just keep that in mind when you visit a school and they feed you at the dining hall because it's probably not what you'd be getting regularly. The food is either bland or bland and spicy. Bland and spicy may not make sense to some people, but I promise you that's what half the food in our dining hall is. It's like they just packed heat into it to disguise the fact that there's no other flavor, and they choose to do this with the strangest foods that you don't expect to be hot at all until you bite into them.

Needless to say, I don't eat in the dining hall all that often, which I feel sort of guilty for. Living on campus, having a meal plan is required, and this year they changed it so the only meal plan available involves unlimited meals in the dining hall. (They also upped the money on our accounts to spend in the restaurants, so that's a bonus.) Because I paid for this unlimited amount of meals, I feel like I should take advantage of it much more than I do. This almost always results with me feeling determined to start eating there almost every meal, and then it stops after several meal times once I realize that I just cannot stomach that food that often.

I don't know what college students did before microwaves because I'd be in a mess if it weren't for mine, although I'd also love to not have to spend money on groceries when I already bought a meal plan. Still, I know that I have access to food, and that's more than a lot of people, which I'm thankful for. I just really wish the dining hall would stop it with the strange hot foods. It's a tad bit weird.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Naruto Shippuden Review: Episodes 201-205

I'm really loving the episodes of Naruto that I've been watching lately. I feel like the story is actually getting somewhere after ages and ages of filler. I'm really into the political sorts of stuff going on with the different hidden villages and the summit and all of that. I love this kind of stuff.

These episodes talked more about Naruto's and Sakura's feelings for each other than I think has been discussed for a very long time. I don't really ship Naruto and Sakura together, but I'm not horribly opposed to it either. I think I'm going to hold off discussing this at depth for now because I've already watched episode 206, and I'm definitely going to talk more about it in that review. I do think it's a good idea to address all of this since Naruto had a crush on Sakura forever, but I would prefer them staying friends for the entire rest of the story just because I enjoy their friendship more than anything. I'll talk more about this in my next review.

I also love where Sai's character development seems to be going. I love watching him discover how to make friends and exploring having those sorts of relationships which he's never gotten before. Since Danzo seems to have gotten a bigger role at the moment and currently has people spying on Sai, I'm wondering if that's going to come to the forefront of the story soon. I'm always excited to see Sai's character more.

We also get quite a bit of Gaara in these episodes, which I love. He hasn't been around for quite a while I don't think. Gaara's one of my favorite characters, but it's one of those things where I forget just how much I love his character when he disappears from the story for long lengths of time. I really love how loyal you can see he is to Naruto in these episodes though. It's nice to see their friendship. If you can't tell by now, I'm a sucker for well developed friendships, and Gaara and Naruto's is probably one of my favorites in Naruto.

Naruto, Kakashi, and Yamato have a bit of a talk with Madara, and I loved the emotion of Naruto hearing all of that about Sasuke, although I really don't think I have much to say about it at this point. I can really only think of one other comment, but it has to do with episode 206.

I really enjoyed these episodes, and I'm insanely excited to see what happens in the next few. Hopefully it won't take me long to watch them so I can get another review up!

Life Post: Positive Start to the Week

It's still early, but I have to say that this week is going far better than the last so far. Monday went pretty great as far as Mondays go. I realized that I have almost all of my in class assignment points for sociology, which means I'll get to finish out the semester without worrying about doing anymore of those assignments, and it was just all around a pretty good day.

Today is shaping up to be pretty good as well, although it's still early. We took a quiz in Spanish today, and she just gave us all full points for it instead of grading it. Then I had a meeting with my advisor, and I now have my schedule absolutely set for next semester. That's a weight off of my back. As long as I can get into all of the classes tonight when I register (and I don't foresee there being any problems), then I'll be good. That's a lot of stress that I no longer have to worry about.

I also just realized recently that we have less than a month now before Mockingjay Part 1 is released! It's snuck up on me, and I'm so excited for this movie. As much as a lot of people hate Mockingay, it was my favorite of the series, and since they did an amazing job on Catching Fire, I'm hopeful that they'll do just as good if not better on Mockingjay.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Life Post: Calming Weekend

This weekend has been amazing for the simple fact that I have done basically nothing. After last week, I needed this so much. It's been nice to not really worry about anything for a couple of days. I had some homework, but it was hardly anything in comparison to what I usually have. I also managed to write for the first time in a while. I'm so close to the end that I'm itching to finish up this first draft. I have such a clear idea of exactly how I'm going to tie things up.

Other than that, I've had a lot of time to read, which is another thing I haven't gotten to do much lately. I just wish I had more time. Tomorrow feels like it's coming too soon. Hopefully I don't get stressed all over again once tomorrow comes. There's no way this week can be as bad as last week was. I hope not at least. I do register for classes this week, but since the schedule is set now, that will only go wrong if a class is full (which I don't see being a problem but who knows).

I'm determined not to let anything get to me this week like it did last week though. I can't handle that again. Besides, it doesn't look like any bugs have decided to crawl into my room today (watch me just have jinxed myself), and that's the first time that's happened in at least a week. I take that as a good sign.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Reign Review: Season 2 Episode 4: "The Lamb and the Slaughter"

This episode was fantastic as far as I'm concerned. Catherine is always great, but she was particularly so in this episode. Almost every single line out of her mouth seemed to be hilarious. From the beginning when she just walked in on Mary and Francis not caring at all, I could tell it was going to be good. That scene was probably my favorite in the episode, but she managed to have some really great moments throughout the episode.

I was really enjoying the fact that Mary and Lola have managed to stay friends, so I was a bit worried about them. I'm glad they made up though, and it's so nice that Mary became the godmother of the baby. I love that they're remaining friends and able to forgive each other. I think that sends a great message (although I also think Mary has a right to get angry and they both have the right to feel awkward).

Narcisse just gets worse and worse each episode. I feel so terrible for Estelle. That was such a sad story line.

As soon as we found out Mary was pregnant, I saw a miscarriage coming. That was a heartbreaking story line as well. I loved the scene where she told Francis though. I thought that was very well done. I wasn't expecting it to happen in the very same episode really, so that was kind of a surprise. I'm interested in seeing how that affects things in the future. So many people knew she was pregnant and there's been so much pressure for her to produce an heir. I'm sure this will create even more pressure.

I was not expecting Greer to go back to Lord Castleroy, and I'll admit that I'm not all that happy about it. I love Greer and Leith together, so obviously I'm a bit biased. I like Lord Castleroy for the most part, but I haven't quite as much this season, which also makes it hard to get behind them being together.

It also looks like we're going to be getting some more ghost stuff in the future, which should be interesting. I wonder if it'll be real ghosts this time or something more along the lines of the whole Clarissa thing. The bit with those two little girls and Catherine was definitely interesting.

I'm really looking forward to next week's episode!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Life Post: Adjusting Life Plans

I've tweeted about this several times at this point, but it's not really getting easier to actually admit. I'm going to be staying an extra semester at college. There's just no way I can get my remaining credit hours in without killing myself in the process and paying a ton more money (since each credit hour over a certain limit is a ton of extra money at my school). I'm pretty torn up about it, although today is better than yesterday. I suspected it might happen, even mentioned it in pasting in a previous post, but I was really hoping it wouldn't come to it.

I think the biggest thing I knowing how stressed out about it my parents are too. That makes things harder to get over. And I'll admit that I'm a bit bummed about graduating in December instead of in May when I would have graduated. If I actually want to walk, I'll have to come back the following May for it, and since I have to find a job obviously, I'm not sure if that would even be possible. I know actually having a graduation ceremony is just about the least important part of getting a college degree, but it might be the second biggest thing upsetting me about this. As unimportant as it may be, I kind of feel like I'll have earned a graduation ceremony, and now I don't know if I'll get it.

Anyway, I'm trying to put it all behind me and just accept that it's happening. I have a set schedule for each of the remaining semesters, and because I was so upset, I seriously sat down and created a ten year plan last night. It's not the first time I've done that, but it was the first time in a long time, and it looks completely different now. It makes me feel much better just having that, but it was also a reminder that it's all hinging on the fact that I actually get hired after college. Not something I particularly enjoy contemplating.

At least my schedule for next semester is set now. I just have to meet with one of my advisors one more time to confirm that everything looks right, and then I'll officially register for classes next week. Rationally speaking, everything is actually going perfectly fine. Lots of other people are in my same position, so my advisors don't even see it as a big deal, although they were very aware that I probably would and acted sensitively about it. I'm sure I'll feel fine about it once I adjust and get used to the idea that that's the plan now. My biggest issues are just moving past my parents' feelings and the graduation ceremony stuff. It will all be good.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Life Post: Scheduling Troubles Part II

I'm about halfway or so through my day, and I'm just trying not to fixate on everything that's going on. I met with my English advisor earlier today over next semester's schedule, and I'm almost certainly going to be in one class this summer. I may also be paying a lot more for tuition in a coming semester because I'll have to go over the credit hour limit my school has. I'll find out for sure on that one when I meet with my education advisor later today, so let's hope for the best. It all depends on some education credits I may or may not need (with everything having been switched around, my English advisor thinks I may have been grandfathered out of the requirement but I have to check for sure with my education advisor).

Right now is the only break today where I actually have time to get things done, so I've been studying for a test I have tomorrow and doing some reading for another class. I still have some reading to do, but I'm getting more done than I would have expected. Hopefully I can have everything more or less done by my next class because I have two meetings back to back almost immediately after my next class. Any homework I don't get done will have to be done somewhat late tonight, and I get incredibly distracted once it's dark outside.

In order to actually get it done though, I should probably go actually work on it. It's also getting around lunchtime, so I need to get some food. Here's to hoping I get my schedule set down later today. I can deal with taking a summer class or two, but I just want to know for absolute sure what exactly I need to take and when. I'll feel a lot better once I have that down.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Life Post: Scheduling Troubles

Wow, I'm exhausted. The most exhausted I've been in quite a while. I was up late last night. I didn't even realize how late until right before I went to bed, and I already knew I would regret it today. It's been difficult staying awake during all of my classes, and I'm not sure if this is connected or not but my allergies went crazy today. They're more like a cold than allergies. They've even made my throat scratchy and difficult to talk at times. I'm hoping this is just a one day thing. I also really hope this isn't an actual cold coming on.

I wish I could say that I'll be more awake tomorrow, but I have meetings galore tomorrow, which means no time for my usual weekday nap. I'm just preparing myself for a long week at this point. I'm happy that I'll be getting my schedule for next semester down tomorrow though. However, I'm not thrilled about the idea that I'm probably going to be taking two summer classes because I can't fit all my needed credits in the remaining three semesters. That's the curse of being a double major, I suppose. I've taken full course loads every single semester (next semester it looks like I'm even set to take more credit hours than I'm supposed to, which means extra tuition money that I'm just thrilled to pay), and I still can't fit two classes in. It's crazy. I completely understand why some secondary education/English double majors go the extra semester route, but summer classes through a community college is the cheaper option, which means it's the option I'm going with. That shouldn't be too difficult right? Just two classes to deal with during the summer? If I can just forget that one of them will be a science class (and probably a hard science class since I already took a biology, the science I'm best at, class for my first science credit) then I don't feel too bad about it.

That's all this summer though. It feels too early to worry about that quite yet. I should at least get registered for next semester first. (Although I don't have any clue how to go about getting registered at a community college and make sure the credits get transferred, so that's definitely something I need to ask my professor about tomorrow. What's the deadline for registering with a community college for the summer? I need to find these things out sooner rather than later I guess.)

As you can tell, scheduling has taken over for me right now, even though it feels far too early in the semester for it. I always get a little uptight about scheduling because I've always known about the coming summer classes, and it's always frustrated me that I can't make them fit in the four year plan like they're supposed to. (The education and English departments created a four year plan together that us double majors are supposed to follow, but we only because double majors, as opposed to secondary education minors, in the middle of my freshmen year which means everyone my year and above us got a little screwed with making the classes fit because our credits were off with at least freshmen year if that makes sense. One thing I've learned in the last two plus years is that education law is a very tricky thing that changes as soon as you get it down, and it starts affecting you the second you declare yourself an education major or minor, as I was originally.)

This little rant needs to end though. I can't do anything about it, and it's really not all that bad. Just overwhelming a little. I have to go start a new novel for my American literature class, and I'm pretty excited about it because it's an author I've always wanted to read. Here's to hoping that I enjoy it.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Book Review: The Holder of the World by Bharati Mukherjee

Published: August 9th, 1994
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Read from October 7th to 19th, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:
"An amazing literary feat and a masterpiece of storytelling. Once again, Bharati Mukherjee prove
she is one of our foremost writers, with the literary muscles to weave both the future and the past into a tale that is singularly intelligent and provocative."
This is the remarkable story of Hannah Easton, a unique woman born in the American colonies in 1670, "a person undreamed of in Puritan society." Inquisitive, vital and awake to her own possibilities, Hannah travels to Mughal, India, with her husband, and English trader. There, she sets her own course, "translating" herself into the Salem Bibi, the white lover of a Hindu raja.
It is also the story of Beigh Masters, born in New England in the mid-twentieth century, an "asset hunter" who stumbles on the scattered record of her distant relative's life while tracking a legendary diamond. As Beigh pieces together details of Hannah's journeys, she finds herself drawn into the most intimate and spellbinding fabric of that remote life, confirming her belief that with "sufficient passion and intelligence, we can decontrsuct the barriers of time and geography...."


We read this book for my American literature class, and I really enjoyed it. It's such a unique story. I've never read anything quite like it before. The contrast between all of the many different cultures that are present in the book and interact with each other was so interesting and something I've never encountered before. Hannah's story and the wide variety of people she meets was just so unexpected and fun to read about.

Beigh's story seemed to take the backseat to Hannah's for the most part, but I did enjoy that aspect of the novel together. I loved the way the two women's stories were weaved together and how Hannah's story affected Beigh. Hannah's story could have been told without Beigh, but I feel like Beigh's story managed to add something special to the story.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who's interested in historical fiction, especially if you're interested in any of the many cultures present in the book.

Life Post: Scheduling Again

This week started off rather slow, and I thought it would be a mostly slow week. Then I had to schedule advisor meetings, and now I suddenly have three meetings and they're all on Wednesday. One of those is a club meeting that I already had, and then one advisor could only meet with me on that day (because of when our schedules lined up) and I had to get the other advisor in before that one yet couldn't meet with her on Tuesday. Long story short, I'm not looking forward to Wednesday. I haven't even looked at the course catalog for next semester yet either, so I need to sit down and do that sometime before Wednesday.

All things considered, it's been a good Monday. My workload is starting off relatively light in comparison to what it has been, and that's always good. I'm just looking forward to getting scheduling done for the most part. It always stresses me out because it forces me to think about the future (always scary), and I also have this irrational fear of not getting into the classes I need. That's especially ridiculous now considering I'm a junior (and therefore one of the first to sign up) and signing up for major classes that don't usually fill up anyway.

Anyway, I have a paper to finish up today, so I'm going to get back to my homework.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Life Post: The "Massive" First Draft

My allergies started acting up in full force this weekend. Other than that though, it's been a pretty good weekend. My workload wasn't too bad, so I've had time to actually relax, especially today. The biggest thing I had to do was write a paper, but it ended up being a lot easier to write than I had expected it would be.

I also got time to write the story I've been working on, which has become the longest thing I've ever written. I thought it was taking so long because I have such little time to write these days, but while that's definitely a factor, it's definitely partially because of its length too. It's really surprising to me actually. I wasn't expecting this at all because it's only the first draft, and my first drafts tend to be way to brief. This is also the fourth in a series, and it's way longer than the first three. The first three all still need to be expanded though, and I think this one will have less of that. It's more likely to end up being cut down. I'm not sure if this is a sign of a shift in my overall writing habits or not (longer first drafts, I mean), but I guess I'll see in the future.

Anyway, I'm going to get back to reading my book that I haven't actually picked up all weekend until now. That's so unusual for me since I usually read (for fun and not school books) every single night, but I didn't Friday or Saturday night. I'm going to make up for that with the remaining weekend I have left.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Legend of Korra Review: Book 4 Episode 3: "The Coronation"

I just have to say how weird it is that this week's episode is called "The Coronation" when this week's episode of Reign was called "Coronation." That's such a weird coincidence, and I can't get over it. Anyway, on with the episode...

I think I'm starting to adjust to the time jump. It's still a little weird knowing all of the characters are three years older and so much has changed, but overall, I'd say I've gotten used to it by now.

Prince Wu is actually growing on me too, and I wasn't expecting that. I think his little moment with Mako where he becomes more serious and acknowledges that he doesn't really have the experience to be king really helped me warm up to him. I hope he stays a humorous character, but I also hope that a bit of that reality check carries over for him in the future. At the very least, he's better than his aunt. I just hope he continues to become more likeable.

Tenzin and Raiko are so rightfully worried about Kuvira not giving up power that I'm kind of wondering how she got it in the first place. Who gave her the authority to go about uniting the Earth Kingdom or whatever it is that she's been trying? I'm not sure we're ever told. If I were them I would have been worried about that a lot sooner too.

Speaking of Kuvira, I'm pretty sure all she wants is power and nothing more. No matter what she tells Bolin and the others, I don't think she is trying to accomplish anything good. That's just how she's getting people behind her. While I have a soft spot for villains that are more gray and not just power hungry, Korra has done that multiple times in the past, so I'm not against a villain that's merely out for power. In fact, it might be an interesting change.

However, I think Batar really thinks Kuvira's doing some sort of good, so I don't see their engagement lasting through the season. I think he'll realize she's terrible and start working against her. Probably with Bolin.

I love Bolin and Mako being reunited. That was such a sweet scene.

Now to talk about Toph! She was amazing in this episode. So amazing. I loved her "I'm the original Beifong" line and her line about her daughter's never quite grasping metal bending. I'm also fascinated by the idea that she can see all over the world in the swamp. How closely has she been watching everyone, especially her daughters? I wonder if that will give her some insight into something later on.

We also got a great fight scene with Toph and Korra, and Toph makes a remark about how, if she can beat Korra like that now as an "old lady," then just imagine her in her "prime." That was another one of my favorite lines. It was such a Toph thing to say. Everything Toph said was a Toph thing to say. I'm still just so happy that she's there. It makes me happy every time I think about it. I want her to continue sticking around for the rest of the season.

We get a glimpse of Zuko and his daughter during the coronation, and of course I'm always excited to see Zuko. I was really hoping to hear his daughter speak though, and all the two of them do is sit there. I really hope we get to see Zuko, at the very least, again before the season's over. I'm still hoping for a scene with Katara, Zuko, and Toph all together and interacting, but I'm not betting on it. I'd still love to actually meet Zuko's daughter too and know something more about her.

The final scene of the episode where Tenzin tells Jinora, Ikki, and Meelo that he's sending them to find Korra was pure perfection. I love that he's sending them. I love that we get the airbender kids together (minus Rohan) and get to hopefully see more of them. Plus, Meelo's line was awesome. And they all look so awesome in their new airbender outfits. I'm just beyond excited to see what comes out of that in the next episode. I'm so looking forward to the three of them going to find Korra. They haven't been in the first three episodes that much. It should be awesome!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Book Review: Impossible by C.A. Gray

Published: October 15th, 2014
Publisher: Wanderlust Publishing
Read from September 21st to October 1st, 2014
IMPOSSIBLE is the final installment in the Piercing the Veil trilogy.
The Shadow Lord has the Philosopher’s Stone, and therefore an army of invincible penumbra. He also possesses the fragments of Excalibur, the legendary sword prophesied to be the instrument of either his own destruction, or that of the Child of the Prophecy. The sword, he knows, requires blood to be reforged… and he knows exactly whose blood he wants. 
Meanwhile, the Watchers are desperate to steal back the fragments of Excalibur and find out how to reforge them before the Shadow Lord does. Isdemus places Peter and Lily in Carlion’s sister cities for safe-keeping until the war begins. But Peter and Lily have an idea that might enable the Watchers to steal back the fragments, in spite of the Shadow Lord’s invincible army. Their plan requires them to travel halfway across the world, to an island largely believed to exist only in Greek mythology. Along the way, however, the Shadow Lord uses a pawn to convince Peter and Lily that they are powerless. Without their gifts of the Ancient Tongue, will either one of them stand a chance?
In this gripping conclusion of the Piercing the Veil trilogy, the Watchers and the Shadow Lord both amass their ranks, the battle begins, and the true identity of the Child of the Prophecy is revealed—to the shock of all.


I received a copy of Impossible in exchange for a review. I also took part in the release day blitz for Impossible two days ago, and I have reviewed the first two books in the series: Intangible and Invincible.

Impossible is the conclusion of a middle grade fantasy trilogy, and like many conclusions, it was definitely more fast paced than the last three books. The stakes felt far higher, and the story just felt all around more intense. I tend to love conclusions, so I love the feeling they give in comparison to earlier books in series. Impossible was no exception to that.

I've said before that the Piercing the Veil trilogy really reminds me of Harry Potter. There's the obvious reasons for that, such as there being a young male protagonist who discovers that magic exists. However, the Piercing the Veil trilogy is very different from Harry Potter. You may find similarities here and there, but it's a very different and unique story. Even so, there's just some sort of feel to it that automatically makes me think of Harry Potter, and considering I've spent more than half of my life in love with Harry Potter, that's a huge compliment coming from me. If you enjoy Harry Potter too than I highly recommend checking this series out.

The story is a really cool blend of Arthurian legend and magic, and this one even brought in Greek myths, which was surprising to me in a really great way. I really enjoyed how it was all brought together. I've never read anything with a similar sort of world, and that made it really unique and fun. I've thought that from the beginning, but it was even more apparent in this one. This last book really has the feel that I feel is rather common for middle grade fantasy series where things seem to get darker each book. That was very apparent in this final book. Without going into specifics in order to avoid spoilers, I'll just say that you definitely feel like the characters are in far more danger in this one than in the first two books. Or at least I did.

I also wasn't expecting the series to end the way it did, and I also mean that in a positive way. The story was never too predictable, and I didn't see everything coming. It managed to surprise me even without anything absolutely majorly shocking. I like those kinds of endings.

If you're a fan of middle grade or young adult fantasy, especially series like Harry Potter, then I highly recommend checking this series out. It's a lot of fun, and it has one of those worlds that you'll become enamored with. Now that I've read the whole series, I can say that I also love how the characters and story develop over time, and I think many other people would too.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Life Post: Did We Have a Break?

I really don't think fall break was all that great of a stress reliever. It feels like it didn't even happen. It was like one second I was at school and one second I was back at school. It doesn't feel like I was ever home at all, and it definitely doesn't feel like I ever got a break. My workload is a bit lighter now that midterms are over, but it's not by much. I guess this is to be expected now that I'm a junior. I don't even want to think about senior year at this point.

Anyway, I have to get back to homework. At this point I don't think I'll be done by the time Reign comes on. I may end up watching it tomorrow when the CW puts it up on their website. We'll see how much I can get done in the next hour and a half or so.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Release Day Blitz: Impossible by C.A. Gray

Today's the release day of Impossible, the third and final book in the Piercing the Veil trilogy by C.A. Gray! I've reviewed Intangible and Invincible, and I highly recommend checking the series out. You can come back to the blog this Friday to read my review of Impossible, but until then, here's some information about the book.

Also, the first book Intangible and the second book Invincible are both going to be free in honor of the release!


IMPOSSIBLE is the final installment in the Piercing the Veil trilogy.

The Shadow Lord has the Philosopher’s Stone, and therefore an army of invincible penumbra. He also possesses the fragments of Excalibur, the legendary sword prophesied to be the instrument of either his own destruction, or that of the Child of the Prophecy. The sword, he knows, requires blood to be reforged… and he knows exactly whose blood he wants. 

Meanwhile, the Watchers are desperate to steal back the fragments of Excalibur and find out how to reforge them before the Shadow Lord does. Isdemus places Peter and Lily in Carlion’s sister cities for safe-keeping until the war begins. But Peter and Lily have an idea that might enable the Watchers to steal back the fragments, in spite of the Shadow Lord’s invincible army. Their plan requires them to travel halfway across the world, to an island largely believed to exist only in Greek mythology. Along the way, however, the Shadow Lord uses a pawn to convince Peter and Lily that they are powerless. Without their gifts of the Ancient Tongue, will either one of them stand a chance?

In this gripping conclusion of the Piercing the Veil trilogy, the Watchers and the Shadow Lord both amass their ranks, the battle begins, and the true identity of the Child of the Prophecy is revealed—to the shock of all.


Impossible (Piercing The Veil #3) Book Excerpt
Sargon stood on the edge of a precipice. He was somewhere in the Andes mountains, thick fir trees at his back and sheer rock descending to a ravine below. He could not even see the bottom.
In one hand, Sargon held the Philosopher’s Stone. It was blood-red, and cut in a spherical shape. In the other, he held the fragments of a golden sword: Excalibur. He closed his eyes, a blissful smile curling his cruel lips, creasing the jagged scar across Kane’s right cheek.
You’re going to lose, Kane snarled. Peter will destroy you.
You know that is a lie, Kane, Sargon replied calmly. I have the Philosopher’s Stone, and the fragments of Excalibur. I am invincible.
But you don’t know how to reforge Excalibur. As long as they are fragments, you have no hope of fulfilling the prophecy!
Sargon shook his head, still smiling. Kane was right, of course: he did not know how to reforge the sword. Yet. But he knew how to find out.
In a ringing voice, Sargon cried out, “An sprioc, inis dom do speisialta!” 
Instantly the Andes disappeared, and the world became silent and luminous. Kane felt himself locked in a rigid lattice structure of purest, deepest red, the light of the sun bouncing all around and through him.
A thousand flashes of the Stone’s memory bombarded Kane at once: the impossible, dizzying, unimaginable heat from the inside of a volcano; the crushing pressure; the explosive force, propelling him down the edges of a mountain amidst running lava.
Excalibur must be reforged, Sargon told the Stone. How can this be accomplished?
Kane felt, rather than heard, the Stone’s answer. He watched without eyes as men slaughtered one another, their blood running like the lava had done seconds before. It was both a memory and a reply.
Blood, thought Sargon with satisfaction. Of course. It is so simple. Had not the Stone required him to spill his own blood in exchange for his immortality?
The red luminescent world disappeared, and Sargon blinked, again standing on the edge of the precipice. Of course, he thought again. He consulted Kane’s memory of the prophecy with a flash: Both shall fall, but the One who holds the blade that was broken shall emerge victorious. 
In order to reforge Excalibur, someone must die.
There are three candidates, Sargon thought. I have already taken the body of one; only two yet remain. One will serve the blood sacrifice. Then, with Excalibur restored, I shall kill the other.
Sargon felt Kane’s quiet despair. A cruel smile curled his lips once more.
It is a beautiful symmetry, Kane. Is it not? 


C.A. Gray is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor (NMD), with a primary care practice in Tucson, Arizona. She has always been captivated by the power of a good story, fictional or otherwise, which is probably why she loves holistic medicine: a patient’s physical health is invariably intertwined with his or her life story, and she believes that the one can only be understood in context with the other.

She still wants to be everything when she grows up. She moonlights as a college chemistry teacher (she has a degree in biochemistry, with minors in Spanish and Creative Writing), does theater when she gets the chance, sings, plays piano, was once a personal trainer and in coffee shop management. She is blessed with exceptionally supportive family and friends, and thanks God for them every single day!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Life Post: The Only "Real" Day of Break

Since I go back to school tomorrow, today is probably going to be the only day of break I have that actually feels like a break. That being said, I've already spent most of it writing, and I plan to do even more of that before the day's over. It feels great to actually have time for it, even if it's only one day.

I'm also kind of babysitting as my little cousin is over, but he's old enough that he's really not causing much trouble, especially since he's stuck to my brother's side (the entire reason he's here in the first place). I'm not really doing all that much.

It would be nice if break was a little longer. I would especially like to have more time to write because even though I have a good amount of homework considering the fact that's break, I know I'll only get more as soon as we get back. I'm going to enjoy this for the short time I have.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

On Friendship

I'm a bit hesitant to write this post because it could get a little too cheesy and probably a little too personal, but I'm going to go for it and just see what happens. This'll probably be rambly, and it'll probably also be quite vague.

Anyway, I've been thinking about friendship a lot lately. Mostly just what it means to be friends and what being a good friend and all of that requires. What's the real difference between a friend and an acquaintance? When do you know that you're close enough to someone to tell them to really important stuff? Things like that.

This has always been a topic that preoccupied me a lot. I've hinted before that eighth grade was basically the worst year of my life, and I'm pretty sure I've gotten a little bit specific with the details before. The one place I can find where I hinted the most at the source (as opposed to just saying it sucked which I've done several times) is a post about past friendships from last year. I pretty much talked around the toxic friendships I had then in the post because I didn't want to write about it, but I don't think saying that what made eighth grade so terrible was friendships I had at the time would be all that shocking. That's probably not even a big shock as far as middle school is concerned. Lots of middle schoolers deal with friendship drama. I'm not trying to say that what I went through was all that bad from an outside perspective (including now that I'm out of the situation), but I can say that that whole thing messed me up in a lot of ways for a good few years afterwards.

I had such a hard time trusting anyone right after that, and it completely killed any sense of self-worth I had (but that's a topic for another time and one I'm even less ready to talk about). For about two years, I had a grand total of one person I could actually call a friend, and I had trouble trusting the fact that she was actually there for me. I doubted our friendship so much that looking back on it I realize I tried to sabotage it multiple times, and it really is amazing that we're still friends today.

Today, I've mostly gotten past it. The majority of the time, I'm very confident about my friendships. I have some great friends, and I trust them. I try my best to be a great friend too. But sometimes the shadows of eighth grade come back, and suddenly I start thinking that all of my friends have to secretly hate me. There's no way I'm actually that important to them. I should just close myself off and stop telling them anything. And then I do that, and I go into this terrible state where it's not just about friends anymore. Because I'm not trusting anyone, I start getting upset about everything, probably because I'm holding everything in.

I always come out of it, and as time goes on, those periods of questioning it all seem to be fading. They're not as bad as they used to be. I want them to keep going away though, and maybe writing this will help. Maybe writing this will help me sort through what I think friendship actually means in a way that's actually accurate to the better friendships I have today. I'm not entirely sure, but I definitely want to say that I'm continuing to put the past behind me.

Life Post: Fall Break Isn't Much Like a Break So Far

I'm oddly exhausted right now. Probably because I was driving around for a good part of the day. My permit expires early next year, and I really do need to finally get my license. This is the first time I've been able to get driving hours in for a couple of months, but I still really hate driving. I really don't enjoy driving around for most of the day.

We went shopping as well, which is never my favorite thing to do. All of that combined with the fact that we had to drive all the way from school to home yesterday, and I'm just really worn out.

It's nice being home though, and I'm looking forward to the next couple of days. I was hoping to write a lot over fall break, but I'm so tired that I think I'm just going to relax today. Tuesday will be full of driving back too, but I'm still hoping I can write quite a bit tomorrow at least.

Regina and I went to go see the Where We Are concert film yesterday, and that was a lot of fun. I'm smiled through the entire thing. It was just one of those "One Direction makes me happy" moments. I really loved the interview at the very beginning. It was a lot of fun. Louis especially is hilarious, and wow, Niall looked so good the entire movie. I loved it.

Anyway, I do have some school work to do over the break, and I need to get some of that done today as well (another reason why I decided against writing today). The sooner I get that done the sooner I can actually relax and enjoy the rest of the day.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Legend of Korra Review: Book 4 Episode 2: "Korra Alone"

This episode was amazing! I've seen things on Tumblr with parallels between this episode and "Zuko Alone," which I absolutely love, but even putting that aside, this episode was just amazing. I love the story we're getting this season and how it's more personal to Korra. So far she's not struggling against any huge villain. She's just trying to find herself again. That's such a different story than what we've gotten from Korra in the past, and I'm really enjoying it.

The letters were such a fun part of the episode yet so sad. I love how each of the letters were so much from the characters who were writing them. I got really sad over the idea of Korra never writing back though except to Asami two years later. I hate seeing friendships fall apart. I kind of think it's one of my big things that make me more emotional than anything else, so hearing those kinds of things is really hard for me. I think back to how excited Mako and Asami both were to see her again though, and that was after hardly (or at all in Mako's case) speaking to her for three years. It makes me an emotional mess basically.

Korra definitely as PTSD which is such a realistic thing, and I love that they're dealing with it. The apparition of herself is amazing, and it seems like a real spirit thing as the other spirit could see it. That's such an amazing metaphor with having her fight against herself. I love it. Speaking of that other spirit though, those little spirits were the cutest ever! That one even climbed up to Korra's lap and then he cared enough to go find her again and lead her to the forest. You have no idea how in love I am with some spirits that were in the episode so briefly. I need them to make plushies of those spirits because that is some merchandise I would buy.

I'm getting ahead of myself though because I have yet to talk about Katara. I'm so happy we got to see her again! I love her helping Korra heal. I don't even know what else to say about that other than the fact that I'm just really happy, and she talked to Korra about Aang which made me even more happy. Seeing Katara just made me so happy. That might have been the biggest thing at the beginning that pointed out that this would be an amazing episode.

The time skips in this episode got me a little confused at first, but it wasn't bad after a little bit. Also, I find it interesting that we're dealing with Korra not being able to enter the Avatar State again when that was a struggle she's already overcome once.

Korra decides to sail off towards Republic City all by herself, which is one of the bravest things in the world as far as I'm concerned. Thinking about being out on the ocean entirely alone just makes me want to freak out, especially when I think about the fact that she's still not entirely healed. I think you'd have to be a brave person to do that when you're perfectly healthy.

Back to the adorable little spirit helping Korra though, as soon as he lead her to the swamp, I knew Toph was showing up in this episode, and in a really surprising moment, I started crying as soon as Toph was on the screen. I seriously had to pause the episode and calm down enough to be able to see the screen as soon as she said, "Nice to see you again, Twinkle Toes." I lost it. I didn't even react that way when Zuko appeared again, and Zuko is my favorite character! I put it down to the fact that I thought Toph was dead for so long, and it's still been relatively recently that we found out she might be alive and even more recently that we found out she was alive and would be in the show. I hadn't prepared myself for it yet. Whereas with Zuko I was going on and on about how he better show up from the very beginning of season one. I was prepared for that.

I want Toph to stick around for the rest of the season! I want to see her with Katara and Zuko! Do you have any idea how amazing a scene with all three of them would be!? We haven't even gotten to see Katara and Zuko interact yet, but if it was all three of them I don't know if I could handle it.

I love how Toph has been living alone in the swamp though. For some reason it just seems like a Toph thing to do once she reached a certain age. And she doesn't even seem surprised that Korra just happened to stumble upon her, and she makes freaking jokes about having been close friends in Korra's past life. Wow, guys. I'm starting to cry again. I really love Toph. And references to Toph and Aang's friendship. Those were so sweet in the only way Toph can be sweet.

One funny thing to me though is how much of a witch Toph kind of seemed like. Just her mannerisms and her look and her voice and the fact that she had a cauldron-like thing going. I almost immediately thought about witches. That being said, she was also so Toph that now it feels funny to me to think of that connection.

This episode was just incredible in so many ways. It's quite possibly my favorite Korra episode in a while, which is saying a lot and I'm not sure if I can say that in comparison to Zuko's scenes. I just really hope Toph sticks around. We know for sure that Zuko's showing up again at least with his daughter, and I need Toph, Zuko, and Katara interaction! I seriously need that to happen before the show ends. (I just wish Aang and Sokka could also be there in order to have the whole Gaang (unless you're someone who counts Suki and the Gaang, which I'm not against but don't really do), but I'll just have to continue being sad about that...) I'm so beyond excited to see what happens next week.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Reign Review: Season 2 Episode 2

In an attempt to actually post at least some of my videos here from time to time, here's the video I just posted that's a review of this week's episode of Reign. I'm going to try and keep this up whenever I do video reviews of Reign or Korra instead of written reviews here, but we'll see if I actually remember.

Life Post: Midterms Are Officially Done!

Midterms are over! I took my last test today, and it went really well. I feel pretty good about it. Now I get some time to relax. I do have homework over break, but I'm pushing most of it off until Monday or Tuesday. I want a few days to not actually have to do all that much. I'm taking a lot of time to write today, which is awesome. I've already written quite a bit, and I plan on writing some more. I'm getting really anxious to get this draft of the story done, and I'm starting to feel like I'm actually getting there. Hopefully I can write quite a bit over break.

I've also started this week's episode of Korra, but I'll admit that I'm not finished yet. Like I said, I really want to get some writing done. I'm doing my kind of usual thing where I let myself watch a few minutes of Korra in between getting things done (writing in this case but homework other times). I've already freaked out about the first five minutes, so I'm really excited to get more done and watch the rest of the episode.

Book Review: Conscience and the Catholic Faith by Anthony J. Marinelli

Published: November 1st, 1991
Publisher: Paulist Press
Read from October 8th to 9th, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:
This is a critical reflection on the role of Catholic teaching for the individual conscience. It includes chapters on a theological perspective of conscience, a psychological overview, special themes related to conscience, and the teaching of Jesus and the role of the church.


This is one of the two textbooks that we had for my theology class freshmen year of college, and I kept it around for some reason after the class was over. I decided to go ahead and read it since it was relatively short anyway.

I'd say the book was okay. It was difficult to get through even with its short length. Of the two textbooks we had for theology, this one felt far less accessible to people who aren't actually theologians, which is a bit odd as it seems to be geared towards those people. It's not a bad book, and it will definitely give you the information you want if you want to read about conscience and Catholic teaching. I just wouldn't recommend the book unless you are incredibly interested in that.

My favorite part of the book was probably that they discussed psychology as well and incorporated that in. I thought that was interesting even though that was all stuff I pretty much already knew from past psychology classes.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Book Review: Christian Foundations by Kathleen R. Fischer and Thomas N. Hart

Published: November 1st, 1995 (first published January 1st, 1986)
Publisher: Paulist Press
Read from October 2nd to 7th, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:
An overview of the major issues in the Christian life that explains their basic and essential elements while trying to relate the Christian message to the conditions of modern life.


I'd had this book sitting around since the first semester of my freshmen year of college when it was a textbook for my intro to theology class. I kept it for the same reason I keep textbooks every so often (and more so back then), which is that I usually think I may read them for whatever reason. I don't remember why exactly I decided to keep this one at the time, but I thought that since I still had it, I'd read it.

This book was a lot easier to get through than I expected. My theology class was one of the most boring classes I ever took, and because of that, I'm not sure how much of this book I actually read at the time. I was honestly expecting the same from the book now, but it was an easy read all things considered. It's definitely written in order to be followed by people with little or no knowledge of theology, and it does an excellent job of explaining some basic theological ideas. If you're interested in learning more about Christian theology, I'd definitely recommend this book. The authors are Catholic, so that's worth noting, although the book is written in a way that is trying to appeal to all Christians I think.

Life Post: Fall Break is So Close I Can Almost Feel It

I'm so thankful that I can now say that midterm week is almost over. At this point I only have one final tomorrow morning, and then I get four days off of classes. I'm looking forward to those four days so much. First though, I need to focus on tomorrow's sociology final, which I have yet to actually study for today. I think I'm getting a bit ahead of myself. I was really productive this morning, but since getting out of my last class for the day I've done nothing. Mostly because I can tell how close fall break is I think. It's not helping my want to study.

All things considered, I'm not that worried about this midterm. I'm still going to study to make sure I remember everything, but there's nothing about it that has me stressing out other than just the idea of sitting in a classroom (which at this point has me pretty stressed out, I'll admit). I feel like I've gotten all the difficult and most time consuming midterms out of the way now, and that almost makes this one feel more difficult to get through actually. I'm just ready for fall break.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Life Post: When Are Midterms Over?

Midterm week has pretty much killed me at this point. I've finished all of my papers as of today, so at least there's that. Now I just have to study and do all of my reading and homework that doesn't pertain to actual midterms (which, honestly, why is that a thing now of all times). I'm still swamped with work, but at least less of it is directly midterm stuff. I'm already done with more than half of it and it's one five thirty. That's pretty good compared to how I have been lately.

Unfortunately my sister also asked me to edit a paper for her tonight, so that's not helping matters. I'm trying to get through homework as fast as possible in order to look at that, but I really needed  break. Hence this post. All this is really doing is making me anxious to get back to working though as I feel like I need to get it done. I guess I'm going to get back to my work.

Book Review: Thorny by Lelia Eye

Published: September 1st, 2014
Publisher: One Good Sonnet Publishing
Read from September 22nd to October 5th, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:
"You're nothing but an ugly old witch. I wish I could leave this flock and go back to hunting and being surrounded by pretty things and attended upon, as is my right. I hate the life of a shepherd."
"You would prefer, then, to be the wolf?" she asked, waving her hand about in the air. "Very well. You can have what you want . . . and your outward appearance shall reflect your inner heart. As you wished it to be, so it shall be."
An Apt Punishment for the Boy Who Cried Wolf . . .
When a spoiled boy is forced to watch over a flock of sheep, he finds himself more interested in catching the eye of a girl with lovely ground-trailing tresses than he is in protecting his boring charges. But after he cries "wolf" twice, a determined fairy decides to teach him a lesson once and for all. She will give him what he desires, and perhaps he shall learn that some things are worth more than simply getting what he wants; some things are worth making sacrifices for.


I received this book from Story Cartel in exchange for a review.

Thorny is a Beauty and the Beast story with quite a few other fairy tales thrown in. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale, but I often feel like it can be really hit or miss with adaptations. It seems pretty easy of a story to just not work, and I can understand why. For that reason, I'm always really hesitant when I begin reading a Beauty and the Beast adaptation.

I'm really happy to say that Thorny was probably one of the best Beauty and the Beast retellings that I've ever read. I started off skeptical, but I really did fall in love with this story quickly. In many retellings, the beast character is so obnoxious that I just never seem to be able to like him. I didn't have that problem here. He's dislikable at first, but it never seems too unbearable, and by the end I really liked him. (Also, I realized very early on that the author was purposefully concealing his real name, and I liked that bit of the story.) I also enjoyed Elle's character. She wasn't annoyingly good, which is something I think happens a lot with the beauty character. She had flaws just like the beast, and I'm pretty sure they were actually about equal in that regard. I liked that bit.

Another part of the story I really enjoyed were the books and how reading tied in, and the invis (what they call the invisible servants of the castle) and fairies were a fun part of the story as well.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fairy tale retellings, especially retellings of Beauty and the Beast. This is also the first in a series, and I look forward to seeing how the story is continued in the second one. All of the Beauty and the Beast story seems to be wrapped up, and I wonder if it's going to continue on with another fairy tale, especially with all of the allusions to other stories in this first one. I'm excited to find out.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Life Post: Midterm Week Begins

Midterms weeks has officially started. Technically at least. In reality my first test isn't until tomorrow, and then I have either a test or a paper due every single day for the rest of the week. I'm finishing up my papers though, so I'm really starting to feel the stress of knowing I'll hand them in soon. I'm slightly less worried about the tests, which is a bit ironic, but it's easy for push them aside because, even though I have to study, it's not the same as working on the paper that's going to be my grade.

I'm mostly done studying and working on the papers for today though. I still want to edit one of the papers a bit, but I've mostly done everything else. I even got some non-school writing done today, and I think I'm going to write some more in a bit. That's nice considering how little I've been doing of that lately. By the look of things, that won't be happening for the rest of the week either.

Anyway, it's about dinner time, so I'm probably going to go eat something before I get back to homework and writing and all of that.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Supernatural Review: Season 3 Second Half

I can't believe it's been a month since my last Supernatural review. I actually finished watching season three a couple of weeks ago, but that was also around the time things started getting crazy thanks to midterms, which means it took a bit for me to get around to this review.

Anyway, I think this is going to be one of the reviews where I basically just go episode by episode starting with episode nine of the season. That episode is about a coven of witches, and I have to say that I enjoyed the episode. That was something that I don't think had really been in the earlier episodes, and the idea of one of them being a demon playing with the others was an interesting one.

The next episode involved getting stuck in dreams, and that episode had me really freaked out. In fact, I'd forgotten about it, and now I kind of wish I hadn't remembered. I'm really glad I'm writing this during the day at any rate because the idea of getting stuck in your dreams is a terrifying one for me.

The episode after that was about Sam living the same day over and over. I wasn't sure about this episode at first because I tend to hate any stories that involve reliving the same period of time over and over. Usually they feel really repetitive to me, and I get bored. I did feel a bit of the repetitiveness of it, but nothing was ever that boring. Things changed enough that I would say I liked the episode even if it wasn't my favorite. I definitely wasn't expecting it to be the trickster again, so that was a nice plot twist.

The episode where Henriksen shows up again and Sam and Dean get arrested might have been one of my favorites. I really enjoyed seeing Henriksen realize the truth and start working with them. The ending was also really sad, and we got the first glimpse of Lilith.

After that we get a kind of faux documentary with the same ghost hunter guys we've seen before. This one was really light compared to the episode before it, and I thought it was hilarious. The previous episode was one of my favorites from a dramatic perspective, but this was definitely one of my favorites as far as comedy goes. I thought it was great.

Also really liked the episode with all of the people around town getting phone calls from dead people, although that was another episode that had me really freaked out. The scene with the girl on her computer and her "mom" starts IMing her and then appears in the webcam really got to me, especially since I watch Supernatural on my computer. These types of things make me thankful I keep my webcam covered when I'm not using it (although I swear that's for more realistic reasons like people hacking the webcam, which really happens, as opposed to ghosts).

Then we have the doctor who found immortality by practicing alchemy. I thought it was interesting to bring alchemy up. Mostly because alchemy will always remind me of Harry Potter. Mostly though, I enjoyed this episode for the storyline with Bela. We found out just a little bit about her past and then she dies. I'm actually really sad about that. I really enjoyed her character. I will say though. The idea of the doctor guy just being locked up underground bothers me because too much of me is paranoid he'd break out again.

The last episode includes New Harmony, Indiana, and Evansville is even shown on the map when they're looking at it. It's so nice to watch demons terrorizing a town that I once went to on a school field trip. It's even weirder to me when I think about how New Harmony was originally established as an attempt at a utopia, but anyway, that doesn't have much to do with this episode at all. This episode was really intense because of the nearness to Dean's death, and I was intrigued by the idea of him beginning to see demon's real faces.

Overall, I really liked these episodes. I'm only one episode into season four so far, but I really hope I like it just as much.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Legend of Korra Review: Book 4 Episode 1: "After All These Years"

I ended up reviewing the season finale of Book 3 over on Youtube and ranting on an on for over twenty minutes, so I figured I should do the season premiere of Book 4 here in order to try and not go on for quite as long. Believe me though, I definitely could.

I guess I need to start off addressing the time skip since that is such a huge thing throughout the episode. Most of the episode does seem to be exposition more than anything else. Since we haven't seen any of the characters for three years now, it makes sense that we'd a lot of information about what exactly they're up to now. I thought this was all done really well, and the stage for this season's story was also set really well even while we got to catch up with the character's lives.

The most striking thing for me is that a lot of things are not the way I expected they would be. I never thought that the majority of the main characters would have spent those three years apart. Looking back on it now, I guess Korra recovering in the Southern Water Tribe makes a lot of sense. I get it. I just hadn't seen it coming. I don't think we ever got a clear answer on just how distant she's been those three years either. It seemed like she hadn't seen anyone else back in Republic City for the entirety of those three years, and I just find it weird that no one ever went to visit her or something. I'm curious to see if we get more information about all of that as the season progresses.

Aside from that, everyone looks older. I was anticipating the kids' growth so much that I never thought about the teenage characters aging as well. Asami and Maki struck me the most. Funnily enough, even though everyone was freaking out about Korra's haircut before the premiere, she looks the most like her old self to me. Asami looks the most different I think, and I actually had a moment where I had to make sure Asami and Mako were both Asami and Mako even though we'd had the trailer. It will probably take some getting used to, but I'm sure I'll adjust.

Now, relationships. We learn that Bolin and Opal are still together as well as Kai and Jinora. I'm overwhelmingly happy about that. After Bolin's awkwardness around girls in the past, it's nice to see him finally have a relationship that's lasted for an entire three years. This episode alone just made me ship Bolin and Opal so much, and I already considered myself a Bolin/Opal shipper last season. Of course they had a little tension this episode that I foresee becoming even more of a problem during the season, but I get that there has to be drama. I can handle that. I'm pretty confident that they'll stay together. I just can't see them breaking Bolin up with another girl. It would feel pretty repetitive to me at this point.

Also in the whole relationship department, we have Kai and Jinora who don't even interact in this episode. I was so excited about all of the Bolin/Opal stuff, but I was on the edge of my seat for something about Kai and Jinora the entire time, especially since Kai was with Opal. Sure enough, Opal ends up asking him about his relationship with Jinora to let us all know that there is, in fact, a relationship. I'm so, so happy. I can't wait to see them interact at some point. I'm really hoping their relationship will stay drama free. We already have Bolin and Opal as a feuding couple, and I'm assuming there will be something on the romance front for the currently single characters (this is me stating how much I want Korra and Mako to get back together before the end of the show without me really saying it). I don't think Kai and Jinora need to have any drama between them.

In other news, Republic City now seems to be getting along with the spirits just fine, so now I'm going to feel angry whenever I go back and watch about how much crap Korra got for that last season. That's definitely a signal that the story is moving on to focus on something else though, and that has me excited.

Mako's the prince's bodyguard, although I'm not entirely sure how he got wrapped into that one. I do enjoy how he and the prince play off of each other even though the prince infuriates me. I'm assuming this prince guy is sticking around for a bit and we'll get to know him. I'm really hoping Mako doesn't wind up back in Ba Sing Se, especially if none of the other characters will be there. I'll I want is for their reunion and then for them to stick together the rest of the season if I'm being honest. Although I do wonder if Mako and Bolin's family is now back in Ba Sing Se, and then maybe going back would show them again. Who knows.

Kuvira seems like she's going to be an interesting character. I'm not sure if I like her yet or now. I do find it interesting that she's marrying Opal's brother/Suyin's son/Toph's grandson. I can't entirely tell what her intentions are yet (as in is she trying to do good or just out for power). I really love how the politics of this season are shaping up though. I don't think we're going to have all of the "good" characters on one side. It looks like they're going to be arguing with on another (such as with Bolin and Opal), and I love that. So far we don't seem to be getting a black and white/good vs. evil sort of storyline. This all seems to be going to shades of grey route, and I think that's going to make this season amazing.

I was surprised to only see Korra at the very end of the episode, although I'm not really surprised that she's doing what she's doing. What I wonder the most is when she's going to finally go see the other characters. Will she go willingly? Will they go find her? It'll be interesting to see. I'm loving her character development so far though, and I think she's going to have a lot of learning about herself to do this season. It really strikes me the most that she was left until the end of the episode because with everyone else we learned what they've been up to, but Korra clearly feels like she's lost herself. She doesn't even know what she's been up to the past three years. I think that's what got me more than anything about this episode. I look forward to her finding herself this season.