Friday, May 29, 2015

5 Fandom Friday: Fictional Characters I Most Identify With

TGIFandom Friday.
TheNerdyGirlie, SuperSpaceChick and @SoMelificent have offered up an interesting prompt this week. 5 fictional characters that you most identify with. This took some thought.

1. Alice
If you have read this blog before I think you will have notice my slight obsession with Alice. I think I reference it in every other 5 Fandom Friday post. I identify with her because of her curious nature and imagination. She is also a bit prim and proper which I have a tendency to be too.

2. Peter Pan
I think I have the female version of Peter Pan Syndrome. I just do not want to be an adult. Sure I am capable of taking care of myself and such but a major part of me just wants to play. I think this is because I lost a greater part of my twenties taking on responsibilities for the good of my family. Old people be crazy.
I want a redo of my twenties and I will find a way, oh yes I will.  

3. Peggy Carter
I identify with her because I want to be like her. She kick ass, takes names and does it all with a refined dignity. She doesn't care what anyone thinks because she "knows her value". Finally a role model for women of all ages. When I grow up I want to be Peggy Carter.

4. Arthur Dent
Unfortunately I identify with Arthur Dent a lot. Some days it just feels like I have no control over anything in my life and the best action I can take is to go with whatever is happening. Of course, like Arthur, I moan about it the entire time ; )

5. Donna Noble
I feel like I could be Donna Noble. That I went on epic adventures, change lives, saw the Universe past and present and then had it all taken away. That would be my luck. So maybe it happened. Maybe I have traveled with the Doctor to places unknown. I just can't remember it. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Drenched: A Garden/Weather Update

I had high hopes of making a nice little garden this year but the weather and my bad luck just won't let this happen.

I can't get my backyard cleared up enough to make a place to plant my hoard of plants so they are starting to die in their restrictive pots. Only the Basil and Mint plants seem okay. My backyard looks like a jungle. I'm in suburbia so how can nature reclaim it?! 
The biggest obstacle right now is Oklahoma Weather.
It is either raining or to wet to attempt any kind of yard work and with all the flooding I have a new fear of my backyard...snakes. I have seen on social media people near where I live having snakes come into their houses. Not cool. I'm hoping where I live is out of their range but with the wilderness sprouting up I'm not so sure.

This year Oklahoma weather has been exceptionally wild. There has not been a week where we are not under a Tornado or Flood watch. Until recently I have never heard a Flash Flood siren.
I just hate Tornado season so very much. How the day can start out perfectly fine and then you spend the whole evening into the night watching the news wondering if the tornado is going to hit or miss. I can name most towns in Northeast Oklahoma now. 

Please allow me this small rant: Emergency Broadcast System
Dear EBS, you suck. While I am watching the news, knowing full well that there is a Tornado somewhere in my viewing area, please stop changing the channel for me. You are not informative in your painfully slow robotic voice. Then I have to wait a few minutes after you "inform" me of the situation for me to be able to get back to the channel that is actually giving HELPFUL information. 
This is Tornado Alley in the Spring, we are aware that the weather is trying to kill us like a M. Night Shyamalan film.
End rant.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Literary Fixation: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

At the beginning of this year I signed up for Goodreads to join the International Geek Girls Pen Pal Club's book club; Iggle BookWorms. This has been a great way for me to read books I would never have known about. 
I've talked about books before on this blog, in fact earlier this month I wrote a short post about Wuthering Heights. I think I want to try and incorporate the occasional book review into this eclectic creature I call my own.

An Iggle BookWorms Review of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan.

First off, I will now refer to the Sun as the "Daystar".
  In this novel we follow protagonist Clay on his adventure to discover the secrets of this strange bookstore and its owner, Mr. Penumbra. There are many characters that become involved on this quest. Fortunately the author fleshes most of these people out so that they do not become just names that you forget by the end of the book. 
Once the book hits it stride it feels like a true adventure novel. There are robed figures, dungeon like areas and a riddle (code) that our questing heroes must figure out.
One night I was halfway through the book, at the point where the robed figures and the Reading Room dungeon occurred, when I put the book on the nightstand and turned off the light to go to sleep. Just as I was about to fall asleep I rolled over and the book was glowing. Yes, I jumped out of bed and turned the light on. The book cover glows in the dark. Appropriate for this novel.

Throughout the book there is an informal duel between traditional methods and new technology. In the quest to break the code, the ultimate goal of the characters in the book,  the members of the "Unbroken Spine" have been using traditional methods for hundreds of years without yielding results. So does that mean that the answer is in the newer technology? Are the Googlers the better option?
While the new technology offers quick information at the touch of a key (who hasn't googled something as simple as "How to boil an egg?") is it worth the loss of actually discovery? 
The adventure is in the search not the findings.
The technology we use now will be obsolete in no time. Remember Xanga and Myspace? So technology is like any civilization. It will rise and fall before being replace by something new.
Only what is fundamentally true, what is the purest thoughts and ideals will prove to be immortal. That is what both the Unbroken Spine members and the Googlers learn from the broken code.
Something I really appreciated with this book is the epilogue. I like having some idea of what will happen to the characters after the events of the book are over. This epilogue does not fail. Even some minor passing characters make an appearance in the epilogue. 
I would recommend this book. The pacing is good. The characters are strange but relatable. All in all a fun book.
(this was written at 3am so forgive any bad grammar or strange stream of consciousness lines)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May Birchbox and Ipsy

This month's Birchbox and Ipsy subscription boxes are here. Each subscription costs $10 shipped in the US. I share this with my mother so anything she took will be in GREEN. These monthly bag of beauty goodies are a great way to try out new makeup and skincare that you may not have even known about. 

  • Naobay Oxygenating Cream Moisturizer- A pretty good moisturizer for using under makeup. It has a clean citrus scent. 
  • W3LL PEOPLE Expressionist Bio Extreme Mascara- She hasn't used it yet but it seems like a small sample of an expensive mascara
  • amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo- I am a dry shampoo convert. I have yet to find one I don't like. This one has a nice berry scent. 
  • Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional- I was so excited to see this in the Birchbox. I have always wanted to try this product but the price is kind of steep. Benefit Cosmetics seems to have some great products. The downside to this sample is how small it is. I only used it once and I liked it.
  • Marchelle Clay Mask- What seems like a decent sized sample of a clay mask. 
  • Pixi by Petra Beauty Bronzer- Truthfully neither my mom or I use bronzers. I am fair and she is darker. Our Native American roots only show up in my high cheek bones. Alas we didn't want this.
  • Peter Lamas Detoxifying Citrus C Facial Cleanser- Another one that mom picked out. I think she forgets about these as soon as she gets home. Because I can never get her to tell me what she thinks.
  • Alterna Haircare Caviar CC Cream- This looks like an interesting product. A leave in hair treatment that is supposed to be a 10-1 product
  • BellaPierre Cosmetics Waterproof Mineral Gel Eyeliner Pencil- a full sized eyeliner that goes on really smooth. The color is a good dark black. I'm liking the gel eyeliners.
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Lip Pencil + High Color Lipgloss- I have wanted to try Urban Decay's eyeliners for awhile so I was excited to get this until I realized it was a lip pencil. It is a white pencil that goes on mostly clear and provides a base for lip gloss or lipsticks. This sample also included two blister packs of lip gloss. These are heavily pigmented and go on really well. Not sure how effective the lip pencil really is though.
In all this month was pretty good. Samples from some brands I have been wanting to try. Favorites this month; Birchbox- Benefit POREfessional and Ipsy- BellaPierre Gel Eyeliner. 
I really must start making my mother try the ones she picks out. Maybe next month.

Friday, May 15, 2015

5 Fandom Friday: 5 Most Binge Worthy Shows

This week's prompt from TheNerdyGirlie, SuperSpaceChick and @SoMelificent is a tough one. I binge watch tv shows constantly. Choosing just five shows is an Herculean task. So I basically just pick the first 5 that popped into my head. I know I will regret this later because there are too many binge worthy shows. Ahhh! 
And now for my clever use of Youtube trailers

1. Outrageous Fortune

I was really lucky to binge watch this entire show before it went off Netflix. It is a comedy-drama from New Zealand and almost impossible to watch in the US. It is about a family on the other side of the law trying to go straight after the patriarch goes to jail. Also if you watch Banshee on Cinemax, Antony Starr plays twin brothers in this.

2. Shameless (The UK version)
(Video above a bit PG)
I absolutely love this show. It is gross, gritty, dark and funny as hell. It starts off centered around the Gallagher family but as the series progress it encompasses many members of the "Chatsworth Estate" which is apparently full of the weirdest people alive. I wish I lived there. In the first 2 seasons James McAvoy (As in X-Men) plays a large role as the boyfriend to the eldest Gallagher, Fiona.
I am actually currently binge watching this show because they finally added the last season on Netflix which means I have to watch the whole thing over again...loving it.

3. Battlestar Galactica

Again I had two weeks to watch this entire show before it expired from Netflix. Why must you toy with us Netflix?! I had started watching this when it premiered years ago but then school work and writers' strikes got in the way. Finally getting the see this entire series from beginning to end was great. There was a lull towards the middle but the final few episodes just worked so well. Yes I have many unanswered questions but overall I was pretty happy with how it turned out. I would love to watch it all over again though, come on Netflix!

4. Pushing Daisies

I've mentioned Pushing Daisies many times on this blog. This was just a great show that I wish had continued. I had never seen anything like it and have yet to watch anything that I can really compare it to. This show was just special. And it introduced Lee Pace to the masses. Oh Ned, how I adore you. 

5. Farscape

One of my absolute favorite science fiction space shows. Imagine your just going for a little ride in a space ship for a science experiment and then BAM your on an alien ship, which is alive, and you are surrounded by a variety of alien species that are also fugitives. That is what happens to John Crichton. Add Crichtonisms, farting Helium puppets, witty banter and characters that you can't help caring for and you have the masterpiece that is Farscape. 

Okay, now I am sitting here after completing this list with at least ten other shows bouncing around my brain. I will refrain for editing this...I hope. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Some Lesser Known Musicals Films

I was going through my dvds looking for something fun to watch since the weather has been messing up my cable and internet (No Netflix?!?). While perusing my offbeat collection I realized I have some weird and wonderful gems that I would like to share. Here are three Musical films that you may want to check out.

A musical spoof on the anti-drug film from the 1930's. This film has an amazing cast, including Kristen Bell long before Frozen. It is funny, over the top and the cast can actually sing. Take all that and add Alan Cummings as a druggie goat man seducing Christian Campbell's fresh faced Jimmy in an "orgy" musical number. 

Don't let Paris Hilton being in this film turn you away. She is actually well cast, even if it pains me to admit it. I think if you like Rocky Horror you will like this musical. It has a pretty good cast including the legendary Sarah Brightman and Buffy's Anthony Stewart Head. My favorite character has to be the Grave Robber who acts as a de facto narrator. Best song: 21st Century Cure.

Not Kenneth Branagh's best interpretation of Shakespeare (that honor goes to Much Ado About Nothing...or maybe Hamlet). This musical uses old standards by Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Ira Gershwin, etc, to tell Shakespeare's story set in the late 1930's. The idea is interesting but the execution just doesn't work for it. With that said the music is great and the cast gives it everything they got. No phoning it in here. It is still worth watching if you like songs from The Great American Songbook and/or Shakespeare. Plus it has Nathan Lane, which doesn't hurt.

I do love my eclectic dvd collection.

Friday, May 8, 2015

5 Fandom Friday: Favorite Fictional Moms

Fandom Friday is back!!! The lovely ladies from The Nerdy Girlie and SuperSpaceChick have come up with more prompts for us Geek Girl Bloggers. This week's prompt is about our favorite fictional moms, after all Mother's Day is this weekend.

1. Sarah Conner
Let's just start off with the most bad ass mother of them all. Every mom thinks their kid is something special, Sarah KNOWS it. Terminator 2 gives the first glimpse of the kick ass mama bear in action. As much as I connect Linda Hamilton with the role of Sarah, I really liked Lena Headey's version in the TV series too. 

2. Shirley Partridge
Mother Partridge doesn't just support her children's dreams and aspirations, she joins them. I have a guilty love for The Partridge Family TV show since it come on Nick at Night around the same time as The Monkees (LOVE the Monkees). The music was catchy and bubble gum-ish. The plot lines were usually cringe worthy. But David Cassidy was cute, so all else is forgiven. 

3. Molly Weasley
Not only is she the kind, caring and protective mother to the Weasley brood, she is also a great surrogate mum to Harry and Hermione. Plus in the movies she took out Bellatrix in the greatest way ever "Not my daughter, you Bitch". Go get her Mrs. Weasley!

4. Mrs. Cooper
I know the Big Bang Theory is a love it or hate it show. Personally I enjoy it. And one of my favorite recurring characters is Sheldon's mom. Coming from the "South" myself I know mothers just like her. A little odd but charming. In fact the way she is always trying to cook up something for everyone reminds me of my great-grandmother who would always head straight for the kitchen to whip something up even if we were not going to be there for more than a few minutes.

5. Diana Goodman

Next To Normal is a musical that I have wanted to see for a few years but have had to content myself with just listening to the soundtrack. It is a rock musical that deals with some serious issues including mental illness, which the mother is struggling with. Diana is not a good mom, but she is a favorite of mine anyway. The final song between her and her daughter is beautiful, sad and yet hopeful.  

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Literary Fixation: Wuthering Heights

I haven't written a book post in awhile. I feel like I must remedy it and how better to do that than to discuss a novel I have a love/hate relationship with: Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights
For some strange reason Heathcliff and Cathy 1 are considered by many to be part of an epic romance. I've never seen it that way. They are both selfish, cruel and manipulative characters and they got better than they deserved.
In fact a majority of the characters in this book are pretty awful. Hindley, Joseph and Linton Heathcliff are all rather mean. Even the Linton siblings and Nelly have their moments of being selfish characters. 
So why do I continue to reread this book every few year?
Hareton and Cathy 2
These two characters are not perfect. Hareton is very rough around the edges and Cathy 2 has been spoiled by her doting father. Yet there is something intrinsically good in these two that is lacking in most of the other characters. Even being brought down to the lowest points in their lives by Heathcliff he cannot break what is pure within them.
Hareton and Cathy 2's story is the epic romance that is falsely attributed to Cathy 1 and Heathcliff. Hareton and Cathy 2 have a bumpy start to their love story but because they are good people they want to better themselves for each other. Hareton learns to be less rough and begins the education that Heathcliff denied him. Cathy 2 stops being so spoiled and thinks about how her actions can hurt or help the ones she cares about (Hareton and Nelly). By the end of the book these two have a bright future ahead of them and all the rest of the main villains have died. It is all wrapped up nicely and sometimes that is the kind of ending that you want to read.

I know this post seems a bit random and short. I have gotten out of my literature writing groove. If you would be interesting in reading more blog posts about books (not necessarily classics even though I do love them) please tell me in the comments. 

And now for you listening pleasure Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights

Friday, May 1, 2015

April Wrap Up

April has had some ups and downs. My house keeps breaking just when I think I have finally finished fixing it. Just when I am feeling annoyed and defeated something nice happens.

Phantom of the Opera
Out of the blue I received an invite from my friend Regan to see Phantom of the Opera with her and her family. I haven't seen this musical in a few years, actually, I haven't been to see a musical live in quite awhile.
I don't know if the production has changed since the last time I saw it, but it was a lot funnier than I remember. Carlotta and Ubaldo were hilarious. And for once I really liked Raoul, oddly enough the actor playing him at the performance we went to was the understudy. He was really good.
The only thing I was disappointed with was the chandelier. Last time I saw it at the Tulsa PAC I swear it swung out over the audience instead of just lifting up and falling down.

Besides the Marvel Collectors Corps subscription box and the mini haul of flowers I got this month, I managed to get some LUSH and Dr. Who goodies.
My mom and I have wanted to try the LUSH golden egg bath bomb melts and they actually were not sold out right away this year. We each got one. She has used hers already and was a little disappointed. She said it loses it scent in the tub. When my house is back up and running fully I will try mine out.
I was at Hot Topic getting buttons for this month's Iggle Swap and I grabbed a Doctor Who mystery mini. I got "Monster Doctor". Why can I not get Rory and Amy?! They are the ones out of this set I really, really want. Boo! At least it wasn't a double.

Netflix Binges

The Crazy Ones
This month on Netflix the entire one season series of Robin Williams' The Crazy Ones was added. I really liked this show when it aired originally. It was supposed to be a tad bit over the top. Even with all of the playfulness and absurdities in this show there were some moments of true talent and feeling. Watch the funeral episode and tell me that Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar did not have a perfect father/daughter connection. It was funny, it was weird and yet it had great acting and just enough warm fuzziness. 
I feel that if this show had had a chance it would have become something beautiful and silly (Parks and Rec!). And maybe, just maybe, Mr. Williams would stay with us. Still, a sweet swan song for a brilliant man. I would recommend watching this, the more episodes you watch the more the characters grow on you.

Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D.
On a less melancholy theme, I am in full Marvel mode people. I finally watched the first season of Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. I love Fitz/Simmons so much. As the show progress and intertwined with Winter Soldier it got good. Unfortunately I will have to wait for who know how long before Netflix adds season two because I started this way too late. 

So that basically sums up the better parts of this month. Now I am going to go listen to my Phantom of the Opera soundtrack and start coming up with ideas for a Tony Awards menu.

Faux Foodie- Eton Mess

Since life is strange right now, I have nothing relevant to post right now... so instead a re-post/edit of one of my favorite desserts ...