Culture Consumption: April 2016

Happy May! Good lord, I don’t know where April went. Actually, I kind of do: training to walk (not run) my very first 5k, and then prepping for a Regional Meeting that I was basically hosting. LOTS of stuff on my plate in April, so in some ways, I’m glad it’s over so I can unwind. I did, however, manage to squeeze SOME fun things in, so without further adieu, here’s the Culture Consumption for April!

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Culture Consumption: October 2015

Hello, November. I should celebrate the month, as it brings good food, the transition from fall to winter and an excuse to start digging sweaters out of my closet, but it’s also adding a lot of stress for my brain to marinate in, so boo! No, I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year (last year gave me a week-long migraine for my trouble), so I guess I’ll have to spend the time reading. But first, let’s see how October turned out on the entertainment front.

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Culture Consumption: February 2015

It’s that time again! I would’ve posted these earlier, but I had a super-busy weekend and would’ve forgotten if I hadn’t seen other friends posting their own month-end reading lists. So, here we go for February!

Books

I know, I know… I did horribly this month. That’s okay though. It happens.

5) The Galaxy Game by Karen Lord

Short Fiction

None in February

Comics

1) Fairest In All The Land by Bill Willingham (graphic novel)

As for individual issues, I read 39 comics and finally caught up on my TBR pile. WOOT! Now let’s keep it that way.

American Vampire: Second Cycle #6
Batgirl #38
Batgirl #39
Black Widow #14
Black Widow #15
Coffin Hill #15
Copperhead #5
Fairest #30
Fairest #31
Fairest #32
Fairest #33
Harley Quinn: Valentine’s Day Special #1
Lazarus #14
Millennium #1
Ms. Marvel #11
Ms. Marvel #12
Nameless #1
S.H.I.E.L.D. #1
S.H.I.E.L.D. #2
Saga #25
Sex Criminals #10
Shadow Show #2
Shadow Show #3
Sleepy Hollow #4
Star Wars #1
Star Wars #2
Star Wars: Darth Vader #1
Supreme Blue Rose #6
The Dying and the Dead #1
The Unwritten: Apocalypse #10
The Unwritten: Apocalypse #11
The Unwritten: Apocalypse #12
The Walking Dead #136
The Walking Dead #137
Thor #2
Thor #3
Thor #4
Thor #5
Wytches #4

Movies

* = repeat viewing

Birdman
Her
Joe
Salinger
The Babadook
The Princess Bride *
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

Television Shows

A note with television: these are the shows I completed in the month of February, not a list of everything on-going that I’m still watching.

A to Z Season 1
Agent Carter Season 1
Constantine Season 1
Parks & Recreation Season 7
Sleepy Hollow Season 2
The Americans Season 2


That’s it from me! Also, feel free to share whatever 2015 stats you’ve got! How many books? How many movies? What were your favorites? Lay them on me!

Cheers!

Con Nooga 2015

This past weekend I attended what I consider my very first convention. If you wanted to me REALLY technical, Con Nooga wasn’t my first: I attended Wizard World Chicago back in 2003, but that was a comic con before comic cons got taken over by television and film. Then in 2006, I attended less than 12 hours of Context in Columbus, Ohio: I wanted to meet Gary Braunbeck and take his workshop, and I also got to meet Catherynne M. Valente and get an autographed copy of Labyrinth.

But in terms of attending a full con and going to panels? Con Nooga was my first. And it was a good, safe con to have as my first: not overwhelming, but more than enough to teach me what I need to do and/or pack for my next convention. I’m already eyeing DragonCon in Atlanta this year. Cherie Priest! Carrie Vaughn! YAY!

So what did I learn? How was Con Nooga? Did I get to meet the magical Seanan McGuire? Talk to the legendary Timothy Zahn? Read on to find out!

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You’re On To Me, I Know

Today, I bring you something slightly different. I’m working on an extensive post about writing and what it means to write for fun, for money, or for both. Because of that, I’m going to keep the daily down to a single song. It looks like it’s a video, but it isn’t, so you can press play and keep reading.

The song in question is “Lost” by Kris Allen. I stuck it in my playlist for the current project, and every night, I put the playlist on shuffle and this song keeps popping up randomly. So now, I’m passing along the earworm to you, in hopes that you enjoy it.

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Currently Writing: Codename: Magic Twins
Last night’s word count: 294 words
Total word count: 5,017 words
I know, last night was crap for production, but that’s okay. I had two LONG days in a row, and I started writing later that I would’ve liked. However, since the goal is one double-spaced page a day, I’m doing quite nicely. Also, it’s hard to concentrate when 1) the cat is being adorable with his toys and 2) the cat wants to be in your lap.

Currently Reading: Jeff VanderMeer’s Acceptance
I was finally able to read on my lunch break today. Yay! The kitty helped by keeping my lap warm.

Next up: busy evening, but nothing like the past few days. Grabbing dinner at Subway with the hubby, then doing a quick run to the grocery store. Then home for… Sleepy Hollow? Watching the hubby play Dragon Age: Inquisition while I blog? Writing? Reading the VanderMeer? All of the above? Only time will tell. I do know that my main goal for the evening and going into tomorrow is not to freeze my ass off. Because seriously, it’s getting cold.

Today’s headline brought to you from Kris Allen’s album, Horizons. You can hear “Lost” by clicking the “video” above.

Look Ma, No Cavities!

So today was my first dentist appointment of the year, and fortunately, it was nothing exciting. It’s not often you hear, “I don’t want to see you again,” and that be a good thing, but I’ll take it. I never developed any cavities until I was 19, when I got a spur of them, and then again when in 2008, when I got another spurt. I’m always glad to leave the dentist’s without a follow-up appointment for dental work of any kind.

Today was another full day, and I hate how late I’m getting to the laptop to settle down and write. I’m hoping the rest of this week will be better, but it’s easy to recognize how easy it would be to look at the late time and decide to go to bed instead of write. Not that I’m staying awake for hours and hours churning out the next Great American Novel, but I am toiling, and writing and blogging are always easy things to put off when it gets too late in the day.

Fortunately, I’m resisting the temptation.

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Currently Writing: Codename: Magic Twins
Last night’s word count: 887 words
Total word count: 4,722 words
Honestly, better production last night than I thought there would be, considering I got such a late start. I can’t say the wordage itself is anything awesome — in fact the words left rather lumpy when they left my fingertips, but writing is writing, and that is good.

Currently Reading: Jeff VanderMeer’s Acceptance
Not enough time to read the past few days, but I did manage to sneak a chapter while at the dentist’s office!

Next up: nothing? I hope? Wednesday looks like a normal day: no appointments, no errands, and no epic things to sit down and watch. We’ll probably watch Monday night’s Sleepy Hollow and then curl up with our various evening activities. I’ll let my hubby kill dragons, while I go to work in the Word Mines, as Chuck Wendig would call them.

Cat Be Nimble, Cat Be Quick

Today was my first physical therapy session of 2015. Somehow and miraculously, I’m getting stronger, which is news to me, since I’ve done a shit job of taking care of myself the past three months. Of course, 2015 is a new year, and I resolve to do better, but I assumed my session today would kick my ass.

But apparently I’m getting stronger. My therapist wanted to try some new exercises with me today, and while he was setting up one of them, I made the smart-ass remark, “Oh great. You’re gonna make me jump those, aren’t you?”

“Oh no,” he said, “But we can do that next!”

And despite my protests, he set up two jumping exercises while I attempted this balance and coordination thing with a four-pound ball that’s apparently supposed to be strength-training.

The jumping exercises: in one case, I had to jump up on a step. “Light as a cat!” he kept telling me, and I told him that was a bad analogy: my cat is a 17lbs cat, and there’s nothing light about the way he jumps. As I practiced the exercise, he kept reminding me, “Light as a cat!” and I decided to think differently: spry as a kitten. Yes, that works. Funny that last night, one of the lines I wrote a few times during my free-writing session involved my heroine thinking she’s weak as a kitten.

There’s some kind of irony in that, me thinking I’d be weak as a kitten before my session, and then being a spry one instead.

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Currently Writing: Codename: Magic Twins
Last night’s word count: 1,217 words
Total word count: 3,833 words
A good session last night, despite writing in bed. Since I’ve got a laptop now, I’m trying to mix up the writing locations a bit, keep myself from getting into a rut or settling into super-bad posture, which is what I think sparked the migraine of DOOM back in October. And after hearing the 12/21/14 episode of Writing Excuses, I think it’s an even better decision: all too often, we forget that writing is supposed to be FUN. I think more thoughts are coalescing about this topic, so they’ll get their own post, but the point is, I’m trying to mix things up this year, writing what I what, when I want, how I want. We’ll see how it goes.

Currently Reading: Jeff VanderMeer’s Acceptance
Enjoyed the Alexie, but now it’s time to start nibbling at my pre-Hugo reading pile. Finishing up VanderMeer’s weird-but-wonderful trilogy is a must.

Next up: tonight we finished up the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises, and I have some THOUGHTS about the re-watch. Those can come later. We’re saving tonight’s new episodes of Gotham and Sleepy Hollow for later this week, but tomorrow, I’m super-excited to be watching the two-hour premiere of Agent Carter live. What’s Agent Carter, you may ask? Just put Marvel, the television show Alias and the year 1946 in a blender, and that’s Agent Carter. I can’t wait. I hope to hell it’s worth it.

Aventures In Traveling

On Friday, I hit the road for a workshop weekend, and I just returned home today. It was, in short, a fantastic trip, and I’ve got some very reflective thoughts to share some day, but today is not that day.

Today is the day where I will amuse, amaze, and bewilder you:

1) My very first pit stop on Friday was at a rest area. I was about an hour and a half into driving when nature called, and I debated pulling off the interstate, thinking I could hold it for another 30-40 miles. I decided not to be cruel to my bladder, and did what I had to do. However, it was while answering nature’s call that I received a VERY IMPORTANT PHONE CALL from work. It was of the good news variety, but I’m also, yanno, indisposed. In the process of trying to figure out a way to keep background noise from leaking through the call, I manage to hang up on this very important person and couldn’t call back because it’s not a direct line. Fortunately, the very important person called back, and at this point, I was in far better shape to receive a call.

2) My second pit stop was at a Subway, and of course, in addition to eating, I also had to use the bathroom (I promise, not all of these are about the bathroom). Before I get up to toss the trash, a group of kids (young men, tall and skinny, probably high school/college-aged soccer players or cross-country runners) come in and line up at the counter. A smaller group of the guys head straight back to the bathroom, and when I went to the ladies room, the door unlocked right before I got there and a guy walked out. I figure, why not? Subway only has one toilet for men, one for women, and when you gotta go, you gotta go. However, my rather relaxed attitude evaporated when I saw the guy hadn’t flushed. I seriously, and honestly, do not understand why people don’t flush toilets, men or women. Is it because they’re the product of helicopter parents who do everything for them? If that’s the case, it’s a wonder this guy knew to wipe.

3) First night in the hotel, I decided to try out the heater, simply because I was alone in the room and I could make it as toasty as I wanted. Based on the burnt-toast smell coming from said heater, it was the first time it’d been turned on for the season. I wasn’t worried, because I knew that would go away, so I crawled back under the covers, just in time to hear the smoke alarm shriek bloody murder. At midnight. It’s a wonder the whole hotel didn’t wake up. The good news is I burned nothing down, got the heater fixed, and slept nice and toasty during my stay.

4) On my way home, I stopped at a Chick-Fil-A for lunch. I’ve yet to have bad customer service at this franchise, and today was above and beyond the call of good customer service. It’d just started to rain when I arrived, but while I was eating, the rain decided to level up to monsoon levels. Lots of wind, lots of hard rain. I wait for it to let up, pull up my hood and prepare myself for the sprint to my car, when one of the employees gestures to a stack of umbrellas by the door and offers to walk me to my car. And after determining the offer was indeed genuine, he did. I still got a bit wet (it’s really hard to stay dry when the wind makes the rain sideways), but I was a lot dyer than I would’ve been otherwise. Thanks, Chick-Fil-A!

And those are my random adventures from traveling this weekend, preserved here in the interwebs in case I ever forget.


Reading: Perdition by Ann Aguirre
Watching: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Gotham, Sleepy Hollow

Culture Consumption: January 2014

It’s a new year, and a new set of lists! I’m going to continue my monthly culture consumption, and I’m adding a bit of commentary to a few of the categories. Not much, nothing like my old reviews, but they’re better than nothing! If you want me to talk further, or if I don’t talk about something you’re really interested in, just comment and let me know.

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