Friday, February 27, 2015

Concert Memories

Thanks to Youtube, I've put moments from some concerts I went to up on Youtube over the years. Here are some of my favorite concert (or signing in one case) moments over the years that I have on Youtube. (Because I want to blog, but it's late and I'm tired.) The only downside is I have nothing from the Birthday Bash in 2013, which was amazing. I filmed some stuff on my phone, but it's not up on Youtube (or that much).

Life Post: Nothing Much

It's been ten days since my last life post, but there's not really much to say. Everything is pretty much exactly the same as it was in my last post. I'm still consumed with school, writing, and not much else. There's one more week until spring break, and I am so excited for it.

There's also some stuff happening next week that has me nervous, but I'm trying to push all of that out of my mind for the weekend. It would be pointless to spend all weekend worrying about it, and I need a break. Worrying is definitely not a break.

I posted a video a day after my last life post that was basically just me rambling, and I've posted two character interviews over on my writing blog: one for Miles and one for Layton.

Now, I have way more homework than I would like to still have to do for a Friday night, so I'm going to get back to that.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge - Thoughts Two Months In

I'm not sure if I ever mentioned my Goodreads reading challenge goal for 2015 here on the blog or not, but it's 70 books this year. Last year it was 60, and I stayed ahead basically the entire year. This year, I haven't even been on track since about the first week.

I have just had such little time for reading that it's unreal. It's been years since I've had this many problems reading. That's probably not surprising to anyone who follows me anywhere on the Internet. I've hardly been anywhere for the entirety of 2015 so far. I hardly even tweet, and I'm used to have a good tweet session at least once a day. Even my Tumblr can get neglected for days at a time. I haven't posted a video in more than a week.

It's crazy, but I've focused on that plenty in the recent weeks. All the free time (not devoted to school or writing) has been about what websites I'm neglecting, and that's only pushing reading even further on the back burner. Like right now. I'm writing this instead of reading.

I did read three chapters of my current book earlier today, but that was the first time I'd picked it up in three days. That's crazy for me, but what's even crazier is that's starting to become my new normal. And I don't want it to be my new normal.

Sure, I still read plenty more than a lot of other people, but I'm worried it's going to keep tapering off, which I don't want to happen. I'm going to try to work really hard from now on to get more reading time in. We'll see if I'm successful or not. I'd really like to catch up on my reading challenge sometime soon. Hopefully at least over spring break. We'll see.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Fandom Moments

The best part of being in fandoms is definitely when you're acutely aware of the community you're a part of. I think that comes out in conventions more than anything else for most fans. I know the one year I was able to go to LeakyCon (maybe, hopefully, there will be a future time) was one of the best times of my life for that very reason. I had never felt as much a part of the Harry Potter fandom as I did that weekend while in one giant ballroom-wide group hug at the end of a Harry and the Potters set. That moment is one I will never forget even though it was hectic and crazy and one of those moments where you're just so amazed that it's happening to you that you're having trouble even taking it in.

I haven't had many moments like that. The only thing close to that for me with other fandoms are concerts. Concerts are a lot different due to the atmosphere though. Typically they're more about the people on stage than the people around you, which definitely sets conventions apart. It's a shame really because I think concerts could be a great time to bond with people around you due to having at least one interest in common. (Although, I fully acknowledge that different concerts have very different atmospheres, and my big moment above even happened at a wizard rock concert that just happened to be at a convention. It all depends.)

Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of moments with fandoms that happen online that make me feel all warm and fuzzy and like I'm just in a great community too. (And bad times, but I'm not focusing on that at the moment.) There's something really great about in person moments though.

I'm definitely having one of those times where I get really sentimental about LeakyCon 2011. Most of the time I forget I even went because the entire thing feels like a dream to me. If I do get to go to another convention, it won't be soon, but I guess I'm at least lucky enough to have those memories now.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Reign Review: Season 2 Episode 15: "Forbidden"

I don't even know where to begin with this episode. I really liked parts of it, but other aspects of it frustrated me so much that I don't know what to say other than to complain. Part of that is probably the fact that this week has exhausted me and I'm just not in all that bright of a mood as I write this, but I honestly think the decision for how to end this episode was a stupid one. Let me try to cover some other stuff before I get to that though.

Mary's mother is back, and that was one of the aspects of the episode I liked. I liked that it was established that she was trying to protect Mary in her own way, and I enjoyed the confrontation between her and Lola.

Lola accidentally on the drugs was also amusing, although I feel bad saying that considering. It made for some great comedy though. I really loved her comment about how scary Mary's mom was and what she said about the baby. It was hilarious.

What really threw me was Narcisse. I fully expected him to give in, and I was cringing because obviously Lola was really high and it's not right to take advantage of people like that and all of that. But then he pushed her away, which was surprising enough for me, but he actually looked fond of her when she left. This is really throwing me off because I pretty much think the absolute worst of Narcisse, and while sometimes terrible people/characters have exceptions and people they care about, I hadn't really picked up on any hints that Narcisse genuinely cared for Lola even a little bit before that happened. I'm not all that sure about where that's going to go.

I feel sad about Kenna and Bash, but we've reached the point where I really feel like something needs to explode with them if they're going to make it past this. The story's gone too far with this for whatever's going on to just be dropped. I honestly don't think Kenna and Bash's marriage will fall apart. Her marrying Antoine would pretty much set her up to leave court, and I don't see that happening. That doesn't necessarily mean she stays married to Bash, but I'm honestly not really worried about them working things out.

Greer didn't really have much to do this episode, but I'm just glad that she's still around that I can be okay with her having one episode of doing very little (as long as it doesn't become a thing).

And then we have the Francis/Mary/Conde triangle. I've said a million times that I hate this, and nothing has changed. I just don't like anything about that love triangle. And Lola is increasingly becoming a part of it too. The thing is, I get Lola. She's the mother of Francis's child, so I get why that would pull him towards her. However, I can't get the Mary/Conde thing, and I think that's where my biggest problem is.

I do want to say that I love Mary's speech about taking what's hers and not just being a vessel for an heir and all of that. I entirely support that, and I applaud her for a decision like that when she lived during a time when women were often treated like little more than property. To be a sole queen back then would take a tremendous amount of strength. (Well, let's be real. Being a ruler at any point in history takes a lot of strength, but you get the point.)

I just wish that her new found strength didn't involve Conde because I just can't figure out why she has feelings for him. While we've known he's had feelings for her for a while, I didn't see Mary's feelings for him as anything more than friendship until maybe the last episode, and that makes her announcing her feelings feel extremely abrupt to me. Of course, I fully acknowledge that I want Mary and Francis together, and maybe that's clouding how I view it. I just never saw anything from Mary that I would consider romantic until about last episode. Plus, I'm not that huge of a fan of love triangles, so that's working against me as well here. I just hate this storyline.

As for if Mary will actually wind up back in Scotland in the show, I think it would be cool, but I'm not betting on it. The entire show has centered around France, and it would be strange to me if they changed it. I think it would be nice for Mary, and I could see them doing it for a short time (maybe a few episodes?). However, I definitely don't think Mary would be there long if she wound up back there at all. We'll see what happens in the coming episodes though.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Book Review: Roseblood by Lelia Eye

ISBN: 0993797741
Published: September 2nd, 2014
Publisher: One Good Sonnet Publishing
Read from February 1st to 18th, 2015
Synopsis from Goodreads:
"I hate dancing. I don't want to attend all those balls, exchanging fake smiles and watching nobles preen over every compliment like slavering lapdogs."
"Birds and cats preen, Thorny."
"Whatever. I don't care. I hate the whole thing. It's all a pile of worthless sheep dung!"
"Need I remind you that sheep dung isn't entirely worthless? Besides, you don't hate dancing. You just hate the idea of dancing with women who aren't Rapunzel.”
Estrangement and Reconciliation . . .
Though Thorny has estranged himself from Elle, he would do anything to keep her safe, even if it means risking his life. When a series of balls necessitates Elle's attendance, Thorny would much rather she remain in Airland, where she will be safe from her stepmother's curse. But Elle is determined to reconcile with him, and Queen Rose has every intention of assisting her in doing so. Unfortunately, there is more happening than meets the eye, and the magical properties of the rapunzel lettuce could end up destroying everything Thorny holds dear. 


This is the third book in the Smothered Rose Trilogy. I've reviewed both Thorny and Unsoiled over the past several months.

I feel like much of what I have to say about this book is what I said about the first to, since going into much detail would include spoiling those two books. This story continues to weave together different fairy tales, and it was fun to pick out which aspects of the story were coming from which fairy tale. I thought they were all woven together very well, and it was such a fun story.

When I was maybe a fourth of the way through the story, I wondered how things would be wrapped up in this one book, but everything came together very nicely in the end. I really liked the ending. It definitely felt like a fairy tale ending, and I thought it was very fitting for the story.

I would recommend this series to anyone who likes fairy tale re-tellings. They're entertaining and fun to read.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Life Post: The Same Craziness as Always

Woah. It's been nearly two weeks since my last life post. I think it's been months since I actually felt like I was doing a good job at keeping up with the blog. It doesn't help that I have another blog to keep up with now either. I still have to edit and post something up there today as well.

I don't really have much to add because all that's been happening is school. Everything is just about school, and maybe a little bit about writing. Anytime not spent focusing on one of those two things is spent on trying to actually relax. I'm going to Chicago this weekend though, so I guess that's something to look forward to, although not the waking up insanely early to get there part.

Speaking of my other blog, I've posted there twice since my last life post. One was a follow up to an earlier post and was about writing characters that are a lot like me. The other was an interview with my character Emily. It was the last interview post I needed to get up to round out my main character's group of best friends. I've only posted one Youtube video since my last life post, and it actually happened to be on the day of my last life post (so I'm doing an even worse job of keeping up with that). That video was my TBR and wrap-up for the month.

Like usual, I still have some homework to finish up and it's getting late, so I'm going to get back to that work. I'm hoping it won't take me that much longer to get done with all of it.

Miss A

I've had a bit of exposure to both Jpop and Kpop in the past five or so years, but I've never listened to much of it at all. I've heard maybe a couple of songs by different people, and the only songs I ever remember are ones that go along with memorable openings or closings to anime. (There are two in particular that I think of with Naruto.)

I'm currently studying Japanese, and I plan to learn Korean in the future, so it was always on my mind that beginning to listen to music would be a good way to help that. Theoretically, the means I should be getting into Japanese music since I've started learning it, and although I do know some specific songs I like in Japanese, I kind of got really into a Kpop girl group this past week.

I've watched so many of their videos, guys, and I think I can definitely consider myself a fan. It was a surprise. I wasn't planning on it when I randomly decided to watch one of their videos, but now here we are. I guess I need to seriously focus on my Japanese so I can then move onto Korean.

The group is Miss A, in case you're wondering. I'm going to leave you with one of their videos which I've watched far too many times since last week.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Naruto Shippuden Review: Episodes 231-235

I got into a long streak of posting Naruto reviews over on Youtube instead of here. You can go watch them there, but with the amount of filler I've just been wading through lately, I'm honestly not sure if you should be bothered. I haven't been overly thrilled with the latest episodes I've watched, and that basically continued with these five episodes. This ship ride is taking forever, and while the filler has definitely portrayed how monotonous sailing on a ship is (not that that's happening purposefully), I'm ready for it to be over so we can move on to the truly interesting stuff.

One thing that keeps bothering me about these episodes (and only exacerbates the fact that I hate how long this trip is taking) is that Naruto and company keep running into people from Konoha at all these random places. These people left way after Naruto but still manage to get somewhere ahead of them easily and then are shown back in Konoha while Naruto and them are still sailing away. What is with that? It's driving me crazy. It's reached the point where I roll my eyes every time it happens again.

That being said, I like that they show up because they help spice things up a bit. I think I'd be even more bored with these episodes otherwise. Still, I want them off that ship, and I'm tired of watching people just pop in and out in no time at all.

My favorite thing to come out of episode 231 was Shikamaru's line about being happy he met Naruto. It was cute. I love friendship-y stuff, especially with Naruto considering the past, and Shikamaru is one of my favorite characters. Basically there was a lot of different stuff that went into making me freak out a little over that one line.

While nothing all that much happened in it, I did enjoy the episode where the girls and boys each get together. It's nice to see them all hanging out. Like I said, I like friendship stuff. I also loved the "Why do we all hang out together?" bit. I like moments like that a lot because it kind of takes you outside the story a bit and makes you think "You hang out a lot because you're the cast of an anime."

Sai was noticeably (for me at least) missing from the guys' get together. I get that, but it also would have been nice to see him there because he's one of my favorites, and I want so badly for him to have close friendships and all of that.

The episode with the Naruto imposter was mostly just boring for me. The two guys just annoyed me more than anything, and I really don't think I have much to say about it.

I really liked the episode where Konohamaru challenged Temari. I was excited before I even started the episode just because I knew both Shikamaru and Temari would be in it. (I ship them so much. It's ridiculous.) So, I might have freaked out a bit over the very small bit of interaction they had, but I liked it for other reasons too. I liked Konohamaru's realization about what he needs to do. We don't see him all that much, and I thought it was nice.

Episode 235 was definitely interesting in a strange way. I don't have much to say about it other than the fact that I freaked out a bit about Naruto's little speech about Sakura and then Sasuke. I ship Naruhina (and in case you're wondering I'm completely aware how the manga ends), but I actually quite liked that speech. It was strangely wise with Naruto's comment that he wouldn't force Sakura to be with him and all that. Plus his awareness of Sakura's feelings for Sasuke. He could do with being a bit more aware of Hinata's feelings for him, but still, I really did like that scene. (Knowing the end of the manga also made it more amusing than it probably would have been otherwise.)

I have no idea when this filler ends as I haven't bothered to look into it and find out. I'm hoping it's soon, but the pessimist in me feels like I'll be watching this forever. I guess I'll let myself wait it out and be surprised.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Reign Review: Season 2 Episode 14: "The End of Mourning"

I quite liked this episode. I think that can come down to two main things: 1. Catherine is definitely herself again, and it's wonderful. 2. Greer is back! And I loved her in this episode.

The one thing that definitely annoyed me with this episode is the love triangle steadily getting worse. I can't stand this whole thing going on between Conde and Mary. Obviously there's the fact that Mary is married, but I'm pretty sure that even if she wasn't I would get whatever it is going on between them. It just doesn't really make sense to me, and I see it as only being there to create drama with Francis and Mary, which I don't like.

I don't have any hope about it just going away though. It's definitely going to build up to something big, and I'm not at all excited about it. I would be perfectly fine with every scene with Mary and Conde just being cut because I can't stand watching them. If they want drama with Mary and Francis then they can surely come up with more creative ways than just doing one love triangle per season (because we've definitely already done this with Bash).

Conde's brother is infuriating to me, and I think it's making me hate Conde more. Or maybe I just hate Conde because of the love triangle. Maybe I just hate Conde. I don't know. I don't like either of them. Honestly, I didn't like Conde much from the second he appeared, but he did grow on me just a little bit at one point. That went away when the love triangle started becoming more and more of a thing, but I don't imagine I ever would have liked him much anyway.

The only positive thing I can think of with Conde is that the few moments he was shown with Lola was cute, but I'm still not so sure I want them together. I think a friendship between them would be nice, but I don't know about anything beyond that. Mainly I just want Lola to be happy. And have it not be with Francis. They might be going that way. I don't even want to think about it.

Catherine threw a family meeting, and she let Bash come. She also basically defended Bash to Antoine. Did anyone else notice that? Because I got kind of excited.

Catherine was just fantastic this entire episode. I love it that she's back after her hallucinations. I'm looking forward to some awesome stuff with her in the future, just like I always am.

I'm not at all surprised that Narcisse is up to something. Have I ever mentioned how much he reminds me of Lucius Malfoy? Because he really does. The fact that Narcisse is close to Narcissa isn't helping the Malfoy connections in my mind. The way Narcisse goes about getting power is just so similar to me. The big difference, of course, is that Narcisse pictures himself at the top whereas Lucius was always subservient to Voldemort. Back to the episode though, I actually think this drama is my favorite drama in the show currently. I like the idea of doing more political sorts of scandals rather than repeatedly going after all of the relationships.

I think the only other thing that I really want to talk about is Greer. We didn't get to see her last episode, and I was incredibly excited when we saw her again. She got some nice comedy out of her having to drink stout for her meals (which sounds so terrible), and I loved her lines about how she's learning so much. I was really worried when she got declared a traitor, but now I'm starting to think that this may actually become a really great storyline. I really hope it does at least.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Drawing and Music

There are several things I wish I was better at, and most of those things are towards the artistic side of things. Mostly I just wish I could draw and do something music oriented better. I'll admit my drawings could be worse when I seriously try and work on something for months, and just sketching and whatnot I'm absolutely terrible. When it comes to music, I had at least two (maybe it was three?) years of piano, a semester of keyboard (in school), a year of clarinet, and a year and (I think) half a semester of choir. I quit all of that though. Piano and clarinet because I could stand my teachers. Keyboard because that was just a required class, and choir because I no longer had room in my school schedule for it.

As for drawing, I took a year of art. Half of that was drawing and the other half was various 2D arts. (This was in high school. Before that, I had scattered art and music, in addition to music in church since it was a Catholic school, but art and music stuff only happened on occasion.)

I do think I could get good at either if I set my mind to it. I just haven't. That's mostly because I know writing would always be the most important to me, and I've made the decision to just focus on that instead of trying to do all of them and having less time for writing.

I'm starting to rethink that though. I still want to focus on writing far more than anything, but I'm becoming surer that I really start wanting to try and improve my drawing and/or music (not sure what instrument or anything though) skills. I don't plan to ever be amazing or anything, but I may start playing around soon. Just letting myself have fun should lead to me being at least somewhat better, right?

With my hectic schedule lately I don't know when I'd actually get around to doing all of this, but it's definitely something I'm thinking about for whenever my schedule calms down a bit. I think I would feel pretty satisfied with myself if I managed it.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

On "Knowing" Celebrities and Online Relationships

Sometimes I stop to think about how strange of a world we live in with technology. It's strange in a lot of ways, but the one that occupies my thoughts the most is how we can communicate so easily with people that we have never met face-to-face.

That is also interesting in a number of ways, and I think about it a lot. One aspect of it that is really interesting to me is how easy it makes to connect with celebrities. Now, obviously it's not actually all that easy to carry on a conversation with a celebrity online. It's basically impossible. But in comparison to your chances before the Internet, I'd say you actually have pretty good odds these days. And even if you don't get to be that lucky person (I've gotten extremely lucky and had some form of contact with a couple of my favorite celebrities. It was glorious.), you're still probably going to be seeing some form of communication with them and the world that is far more personal than it ever has been in the past.

I'm not being original when I say that I think this tends to make people feel like they know celebrities in a way that was never possible in the past. I think a lot of people (possibly a group that consists more of people who have lived shorter percentages of their lives with the Internet and social media) are skeptical of this and like to stress that these fans don't really know these celebrities. They're under false impressions.

While I get that point, I also don't entirely agree with it. It's not that I think fans truly know celebrities in a personal sort of way that you would know someone you're actually friends with. However, I do think they know celebrities in a way now that they didn't then. I think of Youtubers, as well. They're not traditional celebrities, but they can have large fanbases. I think a lot of the appeal is how normal they seem, and the Youtube format tends to be more personal. Again, it's not the same as being friends with a person, but I do think it can lead to fans knowing the people they're a fan of. It's not the same as personally knowing them, but it's something entirely new.

And I think that's the biggest thing for me when it comes to things like this. It's entirely new. The Internet has so drastically changed the world in so many ways, including when it comes to relationships. I think there's so much pressure to compare online relationships with "IRL" relationships, and I'm not entirely convinced that it's the best course of action. It's an entirely new way of knowing people and interacting with them. Maybe we should just accept it as a new form of communication without worrying about trying to make sense of it in more traditional terms.

The biggest point of this though is that I really don't know. It's too new, and on top of that, it keeps changing. I do know that I think that's a good thing, and I think online relationships have just as much potential to be good or bad as offline relationships. I think most of their less than stellar reputation is unwarranted. But beyond that I think I'm still kind of trying to figure out how it all works just like the rest of the world.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My Favorite Music Video Ever

I keep having great plans to blog, and then it's almost midnight and I'm still trying to get everything on my to do list done for the day. I just finished my homework about five minutes ago. I don't even know how it took that long to accomplish everything I had to do today. This isn't a life post though. I wanted to do a legitimate post, but it's late. I guess we're going to do something a lot like two days ago. I swear I'm going to try and do a legitimate post tomorrow. Fingers crossed it happens.

I am going to make this a little bit different though. I'm going to share with you my favorite music video ever. This masterpiece:

Is that not one of your favorite things ever? It's mine.

What made that video even better is that we got not one but two videos on with the dance routine along with it.

I love all of Little Mix's music videos not to mention all of the music videos by other artists, but these three videos are all just flat out amazing.

Now, I absolutely need to finish up some editing for the night so I can go to bed. The week may be ending, but these last two days are the ones where I have to be up the earliest. I need my sleep.

Monday, February 9, 2015

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things...

This isn't going to be much of a post. I have such an urge to write something, but I just finished my homework a few minutes ago. It's already pretty late, and I don't have a good idea about what to write. Instead, I'm going to share three videos with you. I don't think know what they are as of right now.

Okay. The first is my video from seeing Little Mix over the summer. I was watching this just the other night as a stress reliever. I still can't believe this happened.

I could also post my video of meeting them the summer before last, but I'll refrain.

Instead, the next video is this:

I don't know if I've ever talked about my love for Alyson Stoner here, but I love her. She deserves a lot more recognition. She has a lot of really great covers that she's been a part of. This is just my favorite one at the moment.

I'm having a bit of a hard time deciding on a third and final video. Let's see...

Have you guys seen the video of Taylor Swift lip syncing to Blank Space for BBC Radio 1?

I have such a love hate relationship with Taylor Swift. When she first got big I was pretty neutral towards her, and then I gradually became a fan. I listened to all of her music but was never a huge fan. Then I started disliking her over time for various reasons. About two years ago now I really didn't like her at all. Then about six months to a year ago she started growing on me again. I still get a bit annoyed about certain things surrounding her, but overall I'd say I'm a fan again. Plus, 1989 is amazing, so there's that.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Reign Review: Season 2 Episode 13: "Sins of the Past"

I really don't want Catherine to go crazy. I've said that multiple times so far this season, but it keeps coming back up as the show goes on. I definitely don't want her to go the same way Henry did. I'm thankful they seem to have figured out what was causing her madness, and I hope that it means all the strangeness surrounding her lately is going to be over soon.

That being said, I find it really odd that Narcisse is the one who helped her figure it out. I don't know if I even remember them actually interacting before this. And after they figured out it was the book, I want to know how the sores got in her mouth too. Was it because her hands touched her food? And what was put on that book because I didn't know things like that were possible (not surprising since I know nothing about poisons)? Then there's the obvious questions of who did it and why. This has opened up a lot of questions for me, so maybe something good will come out of this Catherine storyline. I definitely hope so considering I haven't been the biggest fan of it so far.

Bash and Kenna are still having some difficulties, but I'm not too worried about them since not much happened this episode and Bash sounded so confident that they would be alright in the long run. I don't imagine much more happening to keep them apart of anything like that.

Marcus continues to make me hate him. He's one of those people that you talk to for about five seconds and already know that you can't stand them.

Lola and Conde continued to be adorable in this episode, and I feel like I almost shouldn't ship them after they were kind of forced on each other (my same initial misgivings about Kenna and Bash funnily enough) and with Conde supposedly spying on anyone. A relationship between them doesn't seem like all that great of an idea. At least not at the moment. But I definitely think they would make pretty great friends at the very least.

Continuing along the lines of couples I've never talked much about, I feel like I'm kind of on the fence with Claude and Narcisse. I hate Narcisse, but I'm trying so hard to like Claude. That alone makes me kind of not want them together. I think Narcisse is bad news. I don't know if he's capable of a relationship that's actually healthy. Yet at the same time I kind of feel like they're the only two characters that I could see the other one with, so there's that. I just don't know how I feel about it yet.

I can say that, while I'm on the fence with the other Lola and Narcisse potential couples, Narcisse needs to leave Lola alone. No. Just no. I can't get behind it at all, and I thought we were finally done with that. Why did it have to come back? And to be quite honest, I don't get Kenna's line to Lola about how if Narcisse's advances annoy Lola then they must mean something to her. Because if I were in Lola's situation, I would be very annoyed, and it most definitely would not be because he meant anything to me.

My heart broke for Mary in this episode, especially at the end when she let Francis sleep in the bed with her. I think the show is continuing to do a good job with the aftermath for her.

I thought this was a pretty good episode overall. I do hope Greer comes up again sometime soon. I don't want her to be forgotten about, and that kind of seemed to happen in this episode.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Life Post: What Is with This Semester?

Remember how five days ago I wrote that I thought the crazy part of the semester was over? I was so wrong. I don't know what it has been about this past week, but it's driven me absolutely crazy. Saturday can't come quick enough, although I don't know how much of a break it will be with homework.

It's so strange because my workload this semester isn't really like last semester, but something about it just has me at my wit's end. I don't know if it's the work or something is just going on with me. I just hope it feels calmer eventually. I'm getting so tired of this, and I kind of feel like I'm losing my mind if I'm entirely honest. I should not be this stressed this early in the semester. Is this something about junior year or is something else going on? I legitimately cannot figure it out.

Anyway, that's almost the only thing I've been worrying about lately. I've done almost nothing that isn't school related other than write. I have a story written for Avatar's tenth anniversary. I have a little editing to do, but it's basically done. That's going up on the exact anniversary, and I'm excited.

I believe in last life post I mentioned that I was posting on my writing blog later that day (or maybe I already had). I posted an interview with my character Greta, and then today I posted one with Devon as well. (They're both from The Society.) I haven't managed to post any Youtube videos since my last post.

Now it's time to get back to everything else, namely homework. I'm hoping to get it done a bit earlier today than the past few days.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Book Review: The Perfect Outcast by Melissa Ott Hansen

Published: November 4th, 2014
Publisher: self-published
Read from January 10th to February 1st, 2015
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Pria is a world so perfect, its people have never known hunger, illness, physical pain, or even death. They comprehend these things only through the chilling reminders of Father Sampson, their beloved Creator, who experienced them himself in a more savage world. Beauty is the privilege of every person, both to have and to see—that is, until Alina is born.
As she grows up and endures the isolation of being different, Alina observes a paradox around her. Women are stunning, yet always trying to look better; men constantly gratified, but never fulfilled; Father Sampson is worshipped, yet feared by all—except Jade, Alina’s guardian and the only person she loves in the world.
Alina then learns there is more to the history of Pria than what she's taught in school, and to Carthem, the terrifying place where the disruptive are sent. As the mystery surrounding her birth is revealed, Alina finds herself in the heart of a dangerous conspiracy, with the fate of both Pria and Carthem in her hands.


I'm always so intrigued by dystopian books. I love how they force me to think about ways the future could go wrong. Maybe that's a bit morbid, but it's true. This book was the same way from the moment I read the synopsis. I've read quite a few dystopian books by now, but I still get really swept up in the idea of them.

And I really did like the world in this book. It was very interesting and different enough from other worlds I have read that it seemed like something new. There were a few points here or there where something reminded me so strongly of something I had read in another dystopian book that it took me out of things for a bit, but that wasn't a problem for the majority of the book. I think I've reached the point where that's going to happen for pretty much any dystopian book.

I couldn't entirely get behind the romance just because it seemed like a case of instalove to me. I know that doesn't bother a lot of people, but I'm someone who can't really like a couple together unless I see their relationship actually developing. That doesn't really happen here. They know each so little and Alina is already saying she loves him. Luckily, that was such a small aspect of the book that it didn't bother me too much.

I've read about worlds where everyone is pretty and other things similar to the world in this book, but it was different enough that it separated itself from those well in my opinion. It held my attention and had me wondering what would come next. I would definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy dystopian.

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Reign Review: Season 2 Episode 12: "Banished"

I reviewed last week's episode of Reign over on Youtube if you're curious what I thought about it.

Let's talk about Catherine first since she's my favorite character. I'm just not a fan at all of this story line with her seeing ghosts, and I'm beginning to hate it more and more as it goes on. With the way this episode ended it looks like it could be the end of the ghosts though, and I'm really hoping it is.

As for the way she killed Diana, I couldn't even watch that. That was quite an... intense (I guess) way to kill someone. I had to cover my eyes for it because I just couldn't take it.

That being said, I really couldn't stand Diana. Not in a "I'm so glad Catherine killer her" sort of way, but I'm also not all that upset that she won't be on the show anymore (although maybe she'll return as a ghost, who knows). What I am really upset about is how Diana drove a wedge between Kenna and Bash as if they needed something else. I love them together a lot, so I'm not happy about it. To be fair, I understand why Bash is upset, but I also don't really fault Kenna for not bringing it up. I'd actually forgotten she even did that until Diana brought it up. And Kenna's actions are easier to see along the lines of wanting someone to face the law than Diana who just cruelly killed two babies. I'm not saying Kenna's actions were saint-like or anything, but I just can't see them as on the level of what Diana did.

In BuddyTV's recap (which is what I use to help me remember what all I need to talk about) they talked about feminism in Reign and how much it was shown in this particular episode, and I just want to throw out my agreement with that. I don't really have much to add to that because I think they covered absolutely everything I would have said completely perfectly.

Reign does seem aware of the lack of power that women had during that time period, and they haven't seemed afraid to make that incredibly obvious at many points in time. I always love when they deal with that, and it was definitely a huge part of this episode for all of the female characters. It's made incredibly obvious that the only way any of them can hope to achieve respect or any sort of power is by having some sort of connection to a man. They've dealt with that throughout the show, but it was a huge part of this episode for everyone.

I'm happy to know that Claude didn't kill the twins. It makes it so much easier to like her. She's more sympathetic now than before, although I did already find her sympathetic. It has to really suck to have your mother act cold to you for most of your life and then to find out that it's because she thinks you murdered her sisters, which you didn't. It's just terrible. I really hope she gets a good story line in the future. I really want to like her, but I still find her quite annoying in many ways.

And then we have the love triangle with Mary, Francis, and Conde still going on. I hate it as much as ever. With Mary still dealing with the aftermath of her rape, she really doesn't deserve any of this. It's just terrible. I want it to be over with.

I did love the cute scene with Mary and Francis towards the end when she lets Francis sleep in her room though. That was cute, and I have hopes that they'll make it out of this just fine.

Mary's solution to the problem though is to try and set up Conde with Lola. I'm a bit torn on this. On one hand, I kind of hate that Mary's just like, "Conde won't leave me alone, Lola. You're single. How about you just take care of that problem for me by, you know, marrying him and having to deal with him for the rest of your life." On the other hand, I also get it. Lola has expressed interest in wanting a husband in the past, and she always seems to be paired off with creepy guys. At least part of Mary's motivation could have very well come from wanting Lola to be happy. However, she's also completely unaware about Conde's brother and how Conde is supposed to be a spy, which means she could just be setting Lola up with another "relationship" that will come to a terrible end.

All of that being said, their conversation was actually really adorable. Much more so than I expected. It made me want them as good friends at the very least. It's also the first thing that has made me really want Conde to be loyal to them in the end because I didn't really care before. (I don't hate Conde, but he's not my favorite. Actually, I might hate him a little bit.)

I was close to tears as Greer learned that she had to be sent away. I'm so, so upset, especially since she had no control over that money. I absolutely hate it that she's being punished for something her husband did, and something that he didn't realize he was doing at that.

I'm assuming she'll still be in the show. It didn't feel like she was leaving in that way. She could possibly be going to meet with Castleroy. I don't know. I don't feel like the situation with Leith is over either, and I have a feeling he'll factor into this somehow.

I really wonder what is going to happen next week. I'm hoping we see Greer, and she's not just gone. I think that's my biggest wish right now. I definitely don't want her to be gone for good.