2000 pages in 2 months

Honestly, I shouldn’t watch television.  I shouldn’t eat.  I shouldn’t sleep.  I should NOT be reading.  I have less than two months before my dissertation defense.

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But… I can’t put this series down.  Maybe you’ve heard of it… maybe you’ve seen it… maybe you’ve read it…  I’m talking about The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss.  That’s right, I’m talking about The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear.

The first quarter of this series is quite sad.  I’m not afraid to admit that I cried… just slightly embarrassed.  The second quarter was a bit addicting.. at least to me.  The third quarter was a change of pace compared to the others… then, I got to a slowing point.  And the last quarter is almost as good as the other parts.

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The story is autobiography-ish, so it is primarily character development.  How did this character get to the current person?  What are his defining moments?  What about him has not changed?  etc. etc.  The primary problem with understanding the development of Kvothe… it’s the fact that he is telling the story to a scribe.. so he is relaying what he wants the people in his world to know about him.  We learn what he deems are his defining moments.  We learn what he believes are his bad characteristics.  etc. etc.  Despite the narrow view of his person, we are being given the first glimpse into the “legends” story.  So, as readers, we are supposed to feel honored with this position.

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I have been completely enraptured with this story.  Except… well… the story is GREAT.  Then, about maybe 3 fourths of the way through the second book, Rothfuss ruined it.  It was going to be a great story.  Then, he went and made it a typical male-hero-gets-the-girl-sex-goddess story.  COME ON.  WHY do Jim Levensteins end up in bedrooms alone with Nadias?

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I just don’t understand.  I was reading this epic series, and then suddenly I’m bored.  Reading about this wild, sex Fae who Kvothe has “tamed” enough to return home.  The entire entry!  She’s naked.  He’s naked.  He was a virgin.  She teaches him the Kama Sutra. They spend one Fae month together. End of story.  SEE HOW EASY THAT WAS?!  I shortened about 10-20 chapters into 6 sentences.  I understand certain things in those chapters are important to our understanding of his character development.  But it really feels as though Kvothe is calling claims on bragging rights.. since HE is telling the story with the intent of informing the world of the truth.. and.. of course, this is the truth he must share…

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I’m not quite done with the second book yet.. because I hit some rough terrain (see above).. but, I do recommend the story despite this.

Camp, women, and girls

WARNING: There may or may not be spoilers in this blog.

I’m guilty of spending hours on Youtube when I’m lonely. In those hours, I’m trying to get rid of that feeling. Only one thing does the trick, of course. GIRL ON GIRL SCENES.

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No. Not porno. What do I look like? A straight man? Obviously I mean movies like Kyss Mig/Kiss Me or Elena Undone. Clearly I mean shows like Faking it or Orphan Black or The L Word. You know I mean web-series like Starting From Now, Kiss Me I’m Famous, or recent explosion Carmilla. THOSE were the girl on girl scenes you thought of, right?

ANYWAY. Last night I stumbled across a trailer for a short movie called Camp Belvidere. The title basically tells you the location is at a camp. It’s like Dana and her not-named-because-famous counselor at Tennis Camp. Except, the camp isn’t specifically tennis, and it’s a counselor-nurse relationship.

The trailer already gave away that the story’s setting is… some time before these shorts

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were out of style so long that they’re now coming back into style… side note: why would you ever bring these shorts back into style?

I, of course, enjoyed the kissing in the trailer.. because I am like a 13 year old boy, as we established with my Pokemon blog… although the age may vary. However, I am wary about stories based on these older-woman-younger-woman relationships. Especially since Loving Annabelle and Bloomington were so BAD. I mean… a lot of people like the movies (which you can watch both on Hulu for free btdubs)… but I just can’t get into them. Why? 1) They’re super slow. 2) As a future professor, I cannot condone teacher-student relations.. no matter how hott a student might be. 3) Not enough sex, obviously.

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Back to Camp Belvidere. After reading some of the comments, I thought: “everyone keeps saying this movie is great, despite that it’s like 38 minutes long. It must be the best 38 minutes of their lives.”

I wanted to have the best 38 minutes of my life too.

So I went to Vimeo to rent the movie. I highly recommend you do the same. If you want more movies with Lesbian-centric story lines… well, you should support the directors and writers who make them, duh.

And…

it wasn’t THE best 38 minutes of my life.. but.. let’s just say.. I didn’t want the movie to be over. You’re already pulled into the primary story within minutes of the opening. Let’s also say that the pulling begins with lots of sexual tension.. and a little bit a canoodling.

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What also becomes clear is Nurse Gin is in a lot of pain from past experiences, and possibly.. hopefully.. the ethics of relations with someone who you have authority over. But… as is often portrayed in movies with a similar story, Rose is youthful and persistent because she hasn’t quite experienced the number of blows life deals you over time.

The major difference I learned between this movie and others like it is that Gin and Rose both work at the camp.. Gin isn’t exactly in a position of authority over Rose. So, I quickly got on the #Rosin ship (clever, right? I came up with that all by my lonesome).

Not only that.. but.. I hope Astrid Ovalles never sees this.. that woman is one the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen.. despite the silly nurse outfit she wore in the movie. I COMPLETELY understand why Rose went nuts.  I’m much more awkward than Rose. I wouldn’t even be able to look that woman in the eyes. If I had a nurse as pretty as Gin… I probably would’ve tried to find a new nurse.

DON’T JUDGE ME.

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Anyway.  It’s not just that first 6 minutes we need to talk about.. there’s also the use of the camera.  We get up close and personal with facial expressions the whole way through.  If there is ever a best way to express the emotions within a person, it’s to study their face.  That was the best decision by the director.  We even see the know-it-all, pass-judgement-on-you face of Ms. Turner, and the excited-she-spoke-about-me-there’s-hope-yet face of Bobby.  I don’t even need to mention the clear internal torment of Gin, and the sadness of Rose.

That was all the in-between stuff that you hopefully watched.  And.. the ending was perfect too.  Typically, a happily-ever-after ending always leaves me cynical.  For example, in Imagine Me and You, we know that Luce and and Rachel are finally together and probably finally have sexy times later that night.  But, I roll my eyes and remember that beginning a new relationship is not all the bliss movies try to sell.

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The other extreme is a lesbian movie trope for some reason: someone dies, or goes back to men, etc.  This doesn’t leave me cynical… it leaves me super depressed… like, wtf just happened?… for example, Piper Perabo’s other movie Lost and Delirious where Tori is trying to date boys again and, as a result, Paulie kills herself.

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Camp Belvidere did the most perfect thing ever.. and I’m not talking about Astrid Ovalles being forever engraved in our minds through our eyes… I’m talking about the very last scene where Rose and Gin are laying in bed after sexy times, and Rose basically asks “what now?” and Gin basically answers “I don’t know.”

YES.

They have just opened a new chapter, and they don’t know what comes next because it hasn’t been written yet.  It could be that happily-ever-after, although unlikely.. or it could be Hell on Earth.  They could stay together forever, or they could break up after camp is over.  NO ONE KNOWS.  THAT IS THE POINT.  The future is this big, dubious thing-a-ma-bob that you tackle.  Hopefully, #Rosin …. 😉 … tackles it together.

QUICK!  Someone make this into a fan video!

Watch Camp Belvidere.  Let me know what you thought about the movie.  Let me know if my blog led you to watch the movie.  Go rent it. NAO.

Pokemon! oooooooh you’re my best friend

When I was a kid, I was really into Pokemon.  I think it’s like a right of passage for children.. at least it was for little boys.. and I was basically a little boy, despite what my amazing body tells everyone.  I watched the show, the movies.  I sang the theme song like it was my last day on Earth.  I played the regular Pokemon games: red, blue, gold.  I played the unique ones: stadium, snap.  My favorite one, however, was The Pokemon Trading Card Game.

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How do I remember it was my favorite?  Well… recently, I found my Game Boy Color game, The Pokemon Trading Card Game.  And… well, I’ve been playing it.  Correction.  I beat it.  DON’T JUDGE ME.  I’m surprised by how much fun I had.  maybe it’s the strategy.. maybe it’s the nostalgia.. “whatever it is, she’s got”…

don’t mind me.  I was just singing.

Back to how much I enjoyed the game.  OH YEAH.  I bought actual cards, and I am now a member of the Trading Card Game online.  Do I feel silly playing a game my 9 year old brother plays?  YES.  Do I feel pedophile-ish when I am chatting with children on how to get this damn system to work?  NO.  But I feel silly again.  It’s okay though.  Because

I’m BUILDING MY ONLINE COLLECTION FOR WHAT WILL BE THE BEST DECK EVER.

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Will I feel silly when I crush all the children in a match?  NO.  I will feel superior, as does any grown ass adult who puts the smack down on some children.. who may or may not have equivalent skill.

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The Legend of Korra.. Last Season EVAR

Much like Korra getting her shiiiiii-taki mushrooms together, it’s taking me three years to FINALLY write about this season.  I came a little too late for recaps, considering Friday is THE END.  So.  I summarize.

THE LEGEND OF KORRA

We begin the new season 3 years into the future (from the season 3 finale).  Everyone is doing their own thing… because… you know… friends drift apart no matter how “close” your group had been.  Korra is missing, Asami has invented her buttox off for her dad’s company, Bolin is working for who turns out to be a female Hitler, and Makko… poor Makko… is stuck with the most annoying character this season.  Of course, these are the only characters we care about, right?!  Guess not.  The Airbenders have been bad-asses.  I’d have to say… they made airbending cool when no one thought airbending could be cool..

Anyways.  The group gets back together finally.  They bond over Kuvira’s evil-nature (after Korra’s romp through the jungle with the ONE THE ONLY.. waitforit.. Toph.. BEST PART OF THIS SEASON).  Korra eventually removes the poison in her system with the help of both Toph and Zaheer.  They are all ready to face Kuvira… a woman who keeps managing to fight off the most “powerful” benders in all of Avatar nation.  And this is where the season finale will begin.

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There is a bunch of in between stuff.  I won’t spoil it though.  New stories are the fun of watching new seasons.

This season, though fast-paced as usual for LoK, it does not feel as though Korra will be teetering on the edge.  I hope I’m not speaking too soon.  I’ve really enjoyed this season.. well written, funny, decent-paced character development, and reminds me of The Last Airbender in a lot of ways.

I hope the Avatar series is not over, even if LoK might be.  The story is great, and it stinks that Nickelodeon put the show online.  That really screwed the ratings.  Regardless, great run.  I can’t wait until Friday 🙂

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Binge-watching TV.. there’s a medicine for that, right?

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!  

Don’t you hate it when you’ve just binge-watched a show because it’s so good and then it ends because you don’t know how to control the amount you’re watching?!?!

Well, I just did that.  I literally just finished watching The Legend of Korra and Avatar The Last Airbender (not in one day of course… that would be impossible).  I should be ashamed of watching a cartoon at my age.  But I’m not.  They are both excellent cartoons.  Quite surprising since Nickelodeon really hasn’t had anything worth watching since they took Doug and the Rugrats off the air.

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The purpose of this blog is to both praise ALA and defend LoK.  

While both series share history and art and setting, they are quite different in terms of plot.  And from what I’ve heard, people hold that against LoK.  We’ll never get over our first love.  

obsessed

At least that’s how the saying goes.  But I’ve had the advantage of watching LoK first.  While I really enjoyed ALA, I enjoyed it for different reasons than I enjoy LoK, and that says a lot about how different they are.

First, let’s not forget that ALA is centered around a pre-teen male.  

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This significantly changes the mood of the story when we head into Korra’s world, where she is in the midst of her teenage years as a female.  

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My roommates have expressed favoritism toward ALA because it was more upbeat and fun.  That’s one of the reasons I like ALA as well, but LoK is not without humor.  It’s a different kind of humor, seemingly more serious, but just as fun.  The biggest problem in mood I think is the fact that Korra is a teenage girl.  Can we all sit back and remember Zuko for a second?  Imagine a show that is centered around him.  OMG, that would be horrible.  Ten times worse than Korra.  

Teenagers, amiright?

 Everything is tragic.  No ifs, ands, or buts about it.  Since the most important people in Korra’s life for most of the first 3 books are teenagers themselves… obviously there is more seriousness going on, son.

Now if we ignore this.  The other issue I’ve heard about is the relationship business.  I don’t think there was too much of it.. in fact, the relationships between Mako and Korra and between Mako and Asami really didn’t last very long, maybe an episode or two.  The awkwardness that happens afterward adds to the funny, I think.  In ALA, there are relationships that last much longer, like Sokka and Suki or Zuko and Mai.

I just don’t understand this unfounded dislike.  Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinions.  But you can’t hold an old flame next to a new one.  You’ll never see the greatness of the new one that way.

I loved ALA.  It was funny.  There were strong, powerful females.  

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The underdog wins.  Each episodes fit just enough of a subplot, and the three seasons carried the bigger story line perfectly.  I was super sad ten minutes ago when I started writing this.

But I also love LoK.  It’s good to see a strong, powerful female as a lead character.  It’s even more interesting to see a teenage girl handle the responsibilities.  I really enjoy the more subtle humor, and it’s great to see how people are interacting with each other after the Fire Nation has been knocked off their mantle.

My issue with LoK is with the planned trouble.  I feel like Korra has had to deal with more issues on a larger magnitude than Aang did.  Aman, her Uncle, and the Red Lotus.  All bad guys of superior knowledge and skill.  Not only does she have to deal with these situations, but she also has to do so with a limited amount of experience in the world.  I think the “universe” has unfairly thrown these blows at her.  In the season 3 finale, we see how they’ve caught up to her.  But viewers need to think about this.  While Aang has several challenges, most of them were not as difficult.  Aang kept running away from Zuko;  he wasn’t able to defend Bo Sing Se, so he had to run;  The only way to defend the Northern Water tribe was to go Avatar mode. etc. etc.  Most of the time, Aang did as airbenders do, and he ran to live and fight another day.  Korra… while she may be hard-headed, stood her ground and fought the bad guys, despite how much more skilled they are.  

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But my thing is… there’s only been ten episodes in each season.  It feels like too short amount of time for Korra to already have bested these bad guys… or maybe she doesn’t have a choice because the writers need to conclude the story before the end of a season.. who knows.

What I do know is… Season 4 of LoK needs to be out now so I have something to fill my Avatar void.

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iiiiiiiiitsokay!

SPOILERS:  I will be talking about the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.  If you haven’t read any of the books before Changes (Book 12), then you should not continue.

The summer is basically over, and I have not posted anything about books.  WHAT IS GOING ON?

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That does not mean I haven’t been reading.  I just finished book 11 of the Dresden Files.

And I have some beef with Butcher.  What I want to know is what world does Dresden even live in?!

Each book has a good pace so that you get sucked right in and you can’t put the book down until 1000 chapters later.  I love how the characters interact with teasing sarcasm.. mostly because I do that all the time.  I also think Dresden can be funny… although that is rare.  But one thing has become very clear…

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Dresden lives in a world where EVARY woman is attractive.  And I mean EVARY woman.  From the women of the Fae world to the women of the mortal world to his effing 17 year old apprentice.  Dresden describes the women, and parts of the women, as hott or super attractive or some other synonymous phrase.

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Unless, of course, you are about to die.  Then you are allowed to be ugly.

What I mean is… the only female character actually described as ugly, thus far, is killed off.  I DON’T EVEN REMEMBER HER NAME.  But she was one of the important minor characters in Summer’s Knight.  She was part ghoul or gremlin or something.  I want to call her Gertrude or Meryl.. but that’s probably wrong.

Every other woman is not ugly.  They are either homely or fuck-able.  Neither of which are ugly.  Now don’t me wrong.  I love to look at attractive women, and reading about them isn’t any different.  I talk ALL day about how my celebrity crushes are going to walk into me one day and fall in love 😉

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But as a woman myself, I know that the world that Dresden lives in isn’t realistic…. No shit.  There’s magic.

But ignoring the fantastical elements, the relationships between living beings is one of the few things that people can make a complete connection with when it comes to any type of fiction.  The lack of realism of Butcher’s women makes it hard for me NOT to roll my eyes every time we meet a new one.  I mean, damn.  The only OLD woman in Dresden’s life gets body-switched into a younger attractive one so that Dresden can be intimate with her.  WHAT THE HECK.  It reminds me a little of Freaky Friday…

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This is the only issue I have.  And I’m not the only one I know who has this issue.  Let me know if you’ve noticed this as well and whether it has bothered you a little bit as well.

Guacamelee: A Mexican Hero comes to Life

This is a review of the indie video game Guacamelee, based on my own experiences as a limitedly skilled gamer.

This has to be the best game I’ve played all year.  Of course, it is quite different.  Typically I play puzzle-like games… ones that don’t require me to play and deal with adrenaline at the same time 😄  Guacamelee is definitely a great starter action game.  It’s mostly a button-masher, like Castle Crashers, so it doesn’t require much.  However, there is much more to this game that makes it so great.

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First, let’s take a minute to appreciate the music.  I personally feel as though it is hard to screw up Mexican music.  It’s just like Polka music, with a few “ondelay!” or “ayayay!”… I mean… that’s all I hear outside.  But, the game not only captures this real-life element in the music, it also includes an element which captures the environment of the game as well.  The game is light-hearted with funny characters and relationships, and yet it is dark because of the impending doom.  I feel as though the music gets this across in a catchy tune.  I usually mute game music and play my own.  For this game, I didn’t.

Now, let’s appreciate the art.  The more I draw and the more I learn about programming, the more I appreciate all the hard work that goes into a video game.  That SH** is hard.  Especially when you’ve got to consider all the different variables involved in a game.  In other words, I am not as hard of a critic as most.  The game perfectly captured the idea we all have of Mexico: bright and rural.  The art pieces of the towns even capture, more so, the Mexican culture: chickens, mariachi band, farms, beautiful señoritas, rounded señoras, and the namesake guacamole.  I’m not sure what the style of art is… but when I google “Mexican art”, I feel like this is where the game’s style is based.  And that makes sense.

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That brings up the next aspect of the game.  The plot.  Obviously, both music and art capture the concept of Mexican culture.  But without the plot, none of that would be necessary.  The plot is just wonderful.  The setting is in Mexico, which is clear by now.  But the story line involves Mexican myth/legend/lore/etc, that of Calaca.  Wikipedia states:

A calaca  is a figure of a skull or skeleton (usually human) commonly used for decoration during the Mexican Day of the Dead festival. Calacas are generally depicted as joyous rather than mournful figures.  This draws on the Mexican belief that no dead soul likes to be thought of sadly, and that death should be a joyous occasion.

Those of you that don’t know anything about Mexicans should know that the Day of the Dead is a BIG celebration.  You can think of it as the Mexican version of the American Halloween.  The creators of the story have taken a symbol of death in Mexico, and have used it in a more negative manner than in real-life.  That’s okay.  Because a calaca is as much a symbol for death as the Grim Reaper.  If Scrooge can shake in his slippers when the third Ghost of Christmas to Come (who looks an awful lot like the Grim Reaper) shows up, then why can’t Mexicans shake their maracas when a walking, talking Calaca walks into the room.

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This is something about the story that I enjoyed.  The fact that the hero of the story must fight Calaca, who is trying to take over both the world of the dead and the land of the living.

I haven’t completed the game yet, because it is just challenging enough that I need to take breaks.  I’ve played up until I actually fight Calaca, but I’ve seen enough of all of this.  I give it a 5 out of 5.  You should go check it out.  Or at least let me know what you thought.

   guac3