Friday, April 25, 2014

7% Complete

Yesterday I went from awkwardly trying to explain a comical situation, to defending nerd culture, to posting google stock pictures of yams.

I don't even know.

Ignoring my fear of being redundant, I am touching on the nerd culture part here briefly one more time.

So I'm reading "Way of Kings" by Brandon Sanderson and now I'm a full three chapters and like, maybe ninety pages in but guys I can't even tell you how much I love this book already.
Alright, so I guess in all honesty I'm not really touching on nerd culture rather than spewing how much I love Brandon Sanderson and basically everything he writes.
My first experience with his writing was the standalone novel "Elantris" back in high school (a recommendation from my first boyfriend, I have him to thank for a handful of my introductions to sci-fi/fantasy literature, so thanks for all the fish!) (but he doesn't get credit for Hitchhiker's, sorry). It was love at first read. I wanted everybody to read it and I wanted to have study groups and talk about the details, the ingenuity, the creative originality. But I didn't get any of that until earlier this year when I trapped my husband on a cross country road trip from New York to Arizona and we listened to it on audiobook. I hate audiobooks, I have problems paying attention enough to catch what's going on when all I'm required to do is listen. It's probably why I do better now in college with online classes rather than lecture.
Anyway. "Elantris". Two thumbs up.
My senior year (I think?), the name "Mistborn" was being passed through a [granted, small] group of my peers. Then I heard it was by Brandon Sanderson. I promptly scoured the library's and probably mooched copies off a couple friends to read it.
Again I was struck with the details and originality. The female protagonist and general lack of mushy-gushy lovey-dovey fluff immediately earned the series a steady spot in my Top Favorite Series of All Time Ever. Like, Harry Potter level favorite guys. Dis is srsbsns.
Oh, and did I mention that "Elantris" sports a rockin' female lead as well? And she's witty, smart, featured as more than just a romantic interest, and only merges with the main protagonist's storyline after halfway through the book.
Then he came out with "Warbreaker" a year or two after I had graduated. I no longer had access to a school library and I was far too lazy to get my own public library card but I was not too lazy to drive myself to the [now closed /sadpanda] Borders at the mall and spend three or four different 2 hour sessions reading the book on the floor. I'm still surprised I wasn't caught and kicked out...or jailed. Or something. That can't be legal.
And what's this? Another female lead? I like this pattern muchly.

Fast forward a couple years and I've done my very bestest to shove my recommendations down the gullets of anyone ever asking for book suggestions as well as nearly commanding my husband to read the books  (he's caught up on Elantris and Mistborn, when my pick for reading comes next it will be Warbreaker). In my last post I mentioned that Mark brought home one of Sanderson's newest publishings, the beginning of The Stormlight Archive titled "Way of Kings".
As of yet, I've only experienced his standalones and trilogies and for some reason in my mind I just saw "book one" and assumed, "Oh yay another trilogy!"
According to wikipedia it's supposedly gonna be a 10 book series. And only the first two are out. He's had this idea stewing in his brain for over a decade. I foresee a lot of angsty waiting for the next publishing. This mixed with Sherlock may be the death of my fragile fandom feels.

Until the third chapter I had only been introduced to male characters, which is so not even a problem, that's not what I'm getting at.
But then the first girl character was introduced and, I kid you not, I was dancing around in my car as I read during my lunch hour, cuz she's so fun and great and I can't wait to see where this storyline goes because my faith in Sanderson is securely founded.
She's an artist, but also very politically involved and dedicated to her obligations but she's also awkward and cute and witty and smart, not to mention ginger and freckled.
I kissed the book.
90 pages in and I'm kissing the book.
This is both a good and the worst sign.
The last time a young person "with potential" was featured as the point-of-view character in a chapter they ended up dead. Let me reiterate, there have only been three chapters.
(I can't believe I'm literally only 7% through the book and I'm already basically reviewing it for you guys. I'm so sorry, haha. Kudos to you for actually reading through this. You deserve a cookie.)
I'm already to this point with my feels.


Granted, I didn't "love" the kid who died. He's no Washburne, but still. I could have!

Onward with my point!
I've been having a really...rough couple of months. Especially since I started actually going to doctor's to try and just feel better but all I've gotten so far are weird looks and referrals to other doctors and appointments set way in the distance with no fix in sight. It's been a little frustrating/discouraging.
But I had a /happydance moment in my car multiple times because of a really good book and the thought that tomorrow I get to go chill lakeside with my hubby and puppy furbeast and read to my little heart's content, soaking in the warm sun. I went back to work with a slightly lighter heart. I put on Pandora and a beautiful selection from the How to Train your Dragon soundtrack began playing and then "When Can I See You Again?" from Wreck-It Ralph followed and it was like my brain had been hoarding all the endorphins and suddenly vomited them all over my emotions.
I thought about books and dragons and video games and Disney and instrumental performing and I was filled with a comforting pride in the things that I love. The things that I'm a nerd about. The things I'm glad are part of me. Things I can be proud of myself for liking. I feel like being a fan of these things has made me a better person. I could be a fan of illegal drugs but instead I get high off of expanding my mind in the fantastical universe of literature or squealing like a little kid at a wonderfully put together animated movie. I'm a full-grown adult at 5'8" but I am heading to Disneyland this fall and it's just for me. I have no children. My husband isn't coming. I'm going with my mom and sister and a couple of my friends will be there with their families and I couldn't be more grateful for the people in my life that share in that kind of excitement.

It's been crummy not being able to enjoy the things that usually make me happy. It doesn't feel like me. It's weird to not recognize yourself. But so far this year I reread the Harry Potter series and we've listened to both "Elantris" and "Ender's Game" on audiobook and now I've got this epic treasure to gobble up and finally I'm bouncing back. If only just for today.
Next on my list is everything John Green as well as completing his "Wreck This Journal" and then back to devouring Brandon Sanderson again because I haven't read "Alloy of Law" yet or any of his Mistborn extensions.
I guess burying myself in books is also my 'reset' button. And it's glorious.

So all in all, prepare for instagrams of the lake and my dog and definitely book sightings. And of course selfies. Come on now, this is social media we're talking about. #yolo

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Books then Rants then Yams

Sooooooooooo...that one awesome time your husband came home randomly and sheepishly held up the bag from Barnes & Noble but you weren't even mad because, c'mon, nobody's mad when you buy more books.
And that following ironic time when you and your husband started reading said books and his starts out with an angsty elvish princess with a forbidden love and a plan to run away with said forbidden love and he has to read through the resulting "diary" entries, but comparatively your book starts out in the aftermath of a battle scene with corpses and gore strewn everywhere and mysterious sword legends and assassins and freaking awesome "magical" abilities.
And then that awkward moment when you blog about it because you think it's funny that he got the "girl" book and you got the "boy" book and consequently realize how completely immature you sound.

But anyway. Here's to unintentionally blasting gender norms in the face.

Sorry guys. I go beyond Harry Potter level nerdy. I'm a Brandon Sanderson kinda girl and I really, really love it. Sci-fi fantasy is my mug o' butterbeer. And like, when I say "sorry" I mean "deal".

Here, I'll let John Barrowman tell my thoughts better. Take it away Cap'n.

I edited out the end there because I am sensitive to the fact that I claim to be a generally "family friendly" blog. Also name-calling is never okay.
But even missing his intended naughty word, the point still stands. No one should feel like they have to apologize for who they are or the things they like. Except maybe if you're a murderer...then you should probably apologize because that's just plain rude. Sorry Hannibal.
You be you and don't let anybody else determine how you feel about it.
If you're into a lot of words, I'll give you another famous internet speech by none other than Wesley Crusher (of Star Trek: Next Gen) himself because this cannot be shared enough times. And in my mind, it's not just applicable to nerds. If you have a passion for anything, this belongs to you as well.
But if you want to skip the totally inspiring words (tsk tsk) I kind of sum it up at the end anyway so just scroll on...

"You find the things that you love and you love them the most that you can."

We of the blogging community are really good at this. Whether it be cooking, crafting, photographing, parenting, or just living, we really like to share that passion. It's the whole point of a blog. Sharing the moments that bring us the most joy, the most pain, the most opportunity to learn.
I'm so glad to live in an era when being enthusiastic is celebrated and the realm of acceptable enthusiasm is expanding rapidly.

Also, how adorable are those superhero tutu costumes? I die.

This got super deep and weird and I didn't mean to, but I yam what I yam and I yam a rambling rambler.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Take me to Sylvia Beach

So many fabulous things exist in this world. They're like special secrets you have to either be told about or just chance to trip over.
I was just introduced to one of these such things by happenstance on Facebook this morning and am now severely geeking out.


There is a hotel on the coast of Oregon that is so beautifully quaint and cozy and wonderful but there is one little fact that has me weak in the knees and fluttery in the tummy.
It is catered to book lovers.
The rooms are all named after famous authors and designed to quietly exude that writer's style (or quite loudly in some cases).
There is an upper floor Library with sofas and chairs and cushions and lamps and puzzles and board games with an abundance of wide, clear windows to let in the light and view the ocean.
They do family style dinner with seating similar to cruiselines where you make reservations and are seated with strangers, a perfect "getting-to-know-you" opportunity with fellow bookworms. Imagine the stories! I've taken a glance at their menu and the food is so decadent and fancy.
They're within walking distance of a few neighborhood parks, the Oregon Coast Aquarium is just down the road, the beach practically washes right to the hotel doors....
There's a house cat for crying out loud. She sometimes visits the rooms or frequents the library and may pick your lap to snooze in and I really just can't.
I cannot even.
I need to be there.
I need to live there.
I am having quite near an existential crisis trying to decide between the Mark Twain and Jane Austen rooms.

Oh, oh, or F. Scott Fitzgerald!


They have old vintage books just set out waiting for you to pick 'em up and dive right in, and it's nearly constantly rainy and oh, my heart is fit to burst.

"The library/reading area takes up the whole west side of the 3rd floor of the hotel. The temperment [sic] of the area depends on how it is being used at the time....quiet for reading, napping and writing [...]
It is a great place to hang out when the weather gets stormy or to watch a sunset or look for whale spouts."

Everything about that sounds like the best thing ever.

There are no TV's, radios, landlines, or wi-fi. No elevator. No pets. No smoking. Young children discouraged. (I am all for children, gaiz, don't get upset. There's a time and a place. Time and place.)

And plus, it's priced for double occupancy so you can even feel like you're getting a good deal by going alone. Which isn't sad at all, it's awesome.

I may just make this a yearly retreat.
That's normal, right?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Life of Wife

I work an hourly job and Mark is blessed with a fabulous salaried position. My company doesn't offer a ton of paid time-off and I'm getting near my year mark (vacation renews at hire date anniversary) so I'm all out of vacation days. But Mark has loads.
He took the day off to go out boating on Saguaro Lake with his dad and I declined attending because what with all this sickness and surgeries on my plate, I need every bit of hours I can manage.

And so, it is with deepest guilt that I laugh because the sky is loaded with dense clouds and a 20% chance of rain on the one day my husband decides to take off and go chill at the lake.

trololol karma.

Although in truth, it's a pretty perfect day for fishing, so for that I am jealous.

And the fact that he's out floating on water enjoying the view of Usury Pass and the beautiful desert before July and August have dried it out completely.

Actually, no this still stinks.


Wife (n.); one capable of both feeling glad and angry for the joy of their espoused. As well as woe and mirth for their slight misfortunes.

I made that up, don't go looking in a dictionary to correct me, mkay? This is my blog, where everything's made up and the rules don't matter.
Also we steal funny things from other people and change it to fit our needs.

Also, maybe I'm a bad wife.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

In which I have thoughts about Captain America 2

Also prepare for continuity issues. In my own writing, not about the movie. Cuz I'm super-pro like that. I drafted this on a Monday, I refer to Tuesday in the future, but now it's Wednesday and I haven't published it yet. Wibbly wobbly timey-wimey things are happening.
I am about to make a statement. It's a bold statement and I may retract it later when I've slept on it, or after Tuesday night (wah wah continuity), or once I've had some chocolate milk.
Chocolate milk is good for clarity.
I think Captain America: the Winter Soldier is my favorite solo superhero Marvel movie. I won't say favorite Marvel movie because, I dunno, these individual hero movies are very different than the assembled Avenger's movies (or at least the one that's come out so far). They're different in my book! And this blog is the closest thing to a book I've ever written so...meh. (or at least the closest thing to a book that I'm willing to admit to writing...ssshhhh.)

Also, like, don't even try reading this if you don't wish to hear spoilers.
Seriously, I'mma get all kinds of detailed.
Don't say I didn't warn you.
Also also, it's a really good movie don't ruin it for yourself if you haven't seen it yet.

Iron Man 3 was really close to being my favorite but then I watched it again and it fell a little flat because I already knew all the punch lines. Which is the reason for my Tuesday statement because I'm going to see CA:tWS (that's pretty much just as obnoxious to type as the whole thing) again with friends. Luckily they aren't imaginary. I don't think.
But I am so...proud of the choices the writers/directors/producers made with CA:tWS. (I copied and pasted it. Woot technology.)
--Wrapping up the storyline between Cap and Peggy was very considerate for fans like me that wanted to throw popcorn at the screen when he wakes up in modern day New York and is all bummed cuz he "had a date".  [angst]
--The Stan Lee appearance is definitely my favorite one so far. No spoilers here ;)
--Every bit of the relationship between Cap and Black Widow, oh my gosh so wonderful. There was obviously sexual tension because HELLO attractive humans, but like not even? I don't know how they got it so perfect. They were friends. There was playful banter that wasn't oozing innuendo. Flirtatious jabs made in friendship rather than with bedroom eyes. The last thing the movie needed was another romantic subplot weighing it down. It's already a movie over two hours long. I honestly believed that Natasha and Steve were influencing and bettering (is that really a word?) each other merely because they cared about each other. It's one of the problems with the Thor/Jane combo. (But I still ship it so hardcore and I don't even know why.)
--The Winter Soldier. All of it. I knew who he was because I obsess over the actor so that didn't surprise me. But I was miffed for a minute when the first words he spoke after shouting one order in a foreign language was, "Who the * is Bucky?!"
Like, wut??
He's been this silent, stoic, but deadly type and now just because Cap says something to him he's like, "Oh I'm gonna talk now"?
But then they give the scene later with the bad old dude (Redford, what happened?! Oh, right. Age.) and Bucky's like, super messed up confused and his memories are trying to come back so hearing the name "Bucky" would be a trigger so like, I geddit now. It's all good. And I like that just "Bucky" doesn't work the second time around and I like that they aren't back to buddy-buddy, hug it out at the end of the movie going out for drinks and picking up a "21st century for dummies" guidebook. I understand that it's necessary to keep Bucky as the bad guy for them to make a third movie and it's all just a money grab but they're making good movies so I'm okay with them employing money grab tactics. Cuz it's working.
--Granted, I was a little confused by the leadership ladder as far as SHIELD goes and who works for who and who's in charge of what and motive and all that. But that's probably mostly because I am so terrible with paying attention to detail in that regard.
--I'm also baffled by the logistics of the killer hover homicide guns but /shrug. Movie magic, whatevs.
--I never for a second believed that Fury was dead. Nope.
Although Coulson's death traumatized me and I am super depressed that zombie Coulson is about to lose all faith in everything and GAIZ, what is even gunna happen on Agents of SHIELD I don't know.
--Loki's death stick looked tiny in the credits clip. Just me? I swear it looked "fun-sized". Like something you'd pull out of the cereal box. But that's not a complaint against the movie itself, just an observation.
--I'm back to Natasha fangirling. After the incredible success of her character in this movie and the success of the movie itself I would hope that puts a movie solely for Black Widow on the horizon. I am a Marvel fan but I have never read a comic book in my life. So I don't know her backstory or whether there's anything there to use for a film. But ScarJo is so effing good at playing Natasha and she's so freaking hardcore and just the kind of woman hero the media needs nowadays...
Except, one absolutely silly and vapid complaint here, there's a scene where Cap and Natasha crash at Falcon's place (before they know he's Falcon) and get cleaned up. They have a moment [friend moment] and it looks like Natasha just showered, as her hair is damp and slightly curly. Which is admirable enough in and of itself because that's exactly what my hair does when I get out of the shower. Brownie points for realism.
And then it's ruined by the next scene where they're pow-wowing in the kitchen and her hair is back to being pin straight and silky smooth.
I mean, she's a ninja but I'm pretty sure a straight iron wouldn't fit in her cleavage, not even ScarJo's. And Falcon doesn't seem like the type to keep those kind of beauty products on hand.

Movie magic!

[I've officially changed my mind. 
I'm waiting until after I've watched the movie a second time to post this.]

But like in the grand scheme of things that obviously doesn't mean anything and I still love the movie. 
I just really need to read all the comic books ever. Which is a super realistic goal. And helpful considering these movies are not shy about deviating from the original comics.

Annnnd I'm screwing up the continuity agaaaaain. It's Wednesday now. Saw the movie again last night like I said I would. It did not pull an Iron Man 3. Was just as good as the first time. Still geeking out about it.

Noteworthy Moments:

--"On your left"

--"Couldn't forget my best girl..."

--Fury's escape from the flipped SUV through the roof into the ground. So SHIELD has lightsabers now?

--When Fury got shot through the wall in Rogers' apartment.

I legitimately yelped in the theatre. 

--When cute nurse from the hall comes in like a hardcore bada** aiming a gun in her adorable pink scrubs...

--The whole elevator scene....bring it.

*Also applicable, Fury's "death" scene.

--"You're standing in my brain."

--Natasha fighting like a BAMF and kicking everyone's trash.

* ;)

--Weird, musical motif linked with the Winter Soldier whenever he's onscreen. Most notably at the part where he leaps onscreen after shooting Natasha in the shoulder.

It sounds exactly the same as the Hassansin motif from Prince of Persia but it's appropriate in that movie because, well, Persia. (yaaaay racism)

--Maria Hill also being a BAMF

-- #notdeadb*tches

--Natasha bamf'ing it up another level

--Cap has 3 seconds to put the chip in the slot and he makes it after they say "One."

--It's raining helicarriers.

--"I'm with you until the end of the line..."

There you have it folks. You basically just watched the movie with me. Congratulations. Also, I'm really obnoxious to watch movies with. I acknowledge it. It's my curse and I've learned to curb it....slightly. 

It's a good movie, mkay?! 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Them Phone Types

That moment when you have a perfectly fine phone interaction--

Me: Company blah blah blah, this is Hope, how can I help you?
Customer: Morning Hope, how are you?
Me: Oh, doing well, thank you, and yourself?
Customer: Living the dream.

But I swear to you if our tones had faces it would be that of Grumpy Cat. There was a glorious unspoken connection between our polite exchange of uninhibited "I hate my life".

I couldn't help chuckling morosely as he went on to explain what he needed and I transferred the call. No more than a minutes worth of interaction.

It's amazing how much you can tell/infer about a person from a phone call. From the minute they begin speaking you can usually tell how the rest of the conversation will end up going. The telemarketers will always sound overly chipper and excited, asking how your day has been and how you are doing like the sun shines out their happy bum and there is nothing else in this world they care about more than hearing what your absolutely mundane and trivial life is like. Actually, them and the Canadians. It's a toss-up.
It used to cheer me up when I'd get a phone call and the person on the other line did not sound like they automatically wanted to murder me but then I realized that 80% of the time (that's a real actual statistic that I calculated with my cleverness) (I am currently lying to you) they only wanted to sell me or the company something generally useless.
I exercise an inordinate amount of patience and compassion with telemarketers and solicitors because that job must suck. Talk about automatically wanting to murder someone over the phone, that is basically their life's work. So usually I try to be really nice and entertain their spiel and then I realize I'm just leading them on and getting their hopes up only to dash them to bits so really maybe I'm a maniacal sadist.

Then there are the angry ones that hardly even bother with the formalities and just want to get right to complaining. The best coping mechanism I've come up with for this is to just let them rant and rave and fume and engage in all kinds of wailing and gnashing of teeth and then diplomatically tell them that I am sorry for the trouble they've been through. Which is totally true. I'm sorry that you got the bad end of customer service because now I have to deal with it, too. Also that's just never fun. So I can empathize.
But seriously, don't shoot the messenger. I have zero power to make anything happen, yelling at me isn't going to change anything about the situation, it only makes me sad and turns you into a bit of a bully.

There are the optimistic ones, who call pretty much always usually in the mornings before everything has gone to crap and just want some information. They make the day go faster. Bless them.

There are the jokesters. Unfortunately, they are all identical.  "I hope you can help me out with eh? <chuckles self indulgently>" It's been almost a year guys. I am allowed to be bitter at this joke by now.

There are the slightly sexist ones, "Oh! I wasn't expecting a girl to answer...uh, should I ask you about the tools or is there someone else better..." and the accompanying quip when I related the experience (in a comic light, mind you) from my coworker, "Rude? or funny cuz it's true?"
It's only true because it's not my job to know. Not because I have boobs and a baby portal. So shutup.

There are also the talkative ones, who seem to want to give me their entire life story before getting a chance to ask what they're calling about. I always listen because they're generally more interesting than emails. And often elderly, which makes them just cute and fun to listen to.

It's funny what you can tell about a person without ever meeting them. It's even crazier what you can't tell about a person having never met them.

People are crazy.

For the record, I do not actually "hate my life" as stated above. I am merely using the colloquial phrase generally hyperbolized in internet meme-ing. Also I think I just made up a word. Which probably means I'm using it improperly. #yolo

Friday, April 4, 2014

Because Bloglovin' Told Me To....

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

I don't have anything to talk about really, but I'm trying to "claim my blog" on bloglovin and it's making me do things that I don't understand. I think this is gunna end up making me look like I'm advertising myself, which is a little conceited. I don't mean to be, I promise!
I guess I could make this a quick health update and probably more than confuse everyone who reads this because I really haven't talked about it much. I've instagrammed plenty though. #addicted
I had my follow-up with the ENT on wednesday (the 2nd) and nothing was better so the doc told me to continue spraying incredibly counter-productively headache inducing Flonase up my nose and also put me on "prednizone" (?) or "steroids" for us who don't medical-speek. I didn't get them till late wednesday night and the physician suggested I wait till the next day to start the pack because they can cause "nervousness" and I definitely don't need anymore of that in my life, especially not before sleep.
So I started steroids yesterday.
So far they've only made my legs ache something fierce. Driving to choir was surprisingly painful. I also feel really restless and moody. But the emotional effects were listed under usual side-effects, woohoo. Not sure where my psychological phantom shingles are coming from, however.
But now ya'll are forewarned and if I go all hulk-smash you can rest assured it's because I'm just a druggie. No big deal.
Anyway. That's enough rambling/complaining.
Pointless post over!
Now enjoy a short gif of me versus this illness. (I hope.)

Update: I fixed it!
Got the html to work as a link in the sidebar.
Except it's hard to see because small font and poor color choices.
I fixed it.