November 5, 2017
When I was in High School, the boy I had a wicked crush on was reading this particular series of books. The Series is called "The Belgariad". Gurl, it may start a little slow at first, but if you can muster through the first few chapters, I promise the rest of the book and the 4 novels after WILL reward you for your valiant efforts! I, myself, only opted to read this series because my crush would not tear himself away from them to even acknowledge my presence. *still winces at the thought* but he did acknowledge me enough to recommend these books to me as well.
So how to start this recommendation? Let's start with this:
Mentally Check off which of these Titles you have ever liked in some form or another...
*Lord of the Rings
*Avatar: The Last Air-Bender (not including the movie which shall not be named)
*The Never Ending Story
If you have said yes to any of these, then I HIGHLY suggest you read this incredible series. Not a big fan on Mid-Evil Fantasy? Neither am I. That's how badly I want you to get into this amazing saga!
So on to the spoiler-free Summary:
The Belgariad is about a scullary boy named Garion from the modest region called "Sendaria". He was raised on a farming commune called "Faldor's Farm" by his Aunt Pol. She, herself, is a no-nonsense woman who works as the farm cook and control's the kitchen with a mighty fist. Things get weird when the older, worldly traveling story-teller, whom Pol refer's to as "Old Wolf" comes by and tells Aunt Pol to gather up Garion and head out of Faldor's Farm. Upon his insistence, the Farm Black-Smith, named Durnik invites himself along as well.
As this epic adventure begins, The party of 4 picks up a few more "Party Members" along the way, including a Cherek Warrior named Barak, a Drasnian Spy called "Silk", among others. During this quest (something has been stolen by someone evil and it is unknown how, but it is known what for...none of it holy), Garion & crew come across some very interesting people, get into very crazy events, and you here the word "Prophecy" quite a bit!
This series is VERY story driven and rarely does it ever stagnate or dawdle. Never once have I ever wondered "Did David Eddings forget or lose where he's going with this?" This series of books is definitely WELL thought out and planned. As a matter of fact, if this series leaves you wanting to know more about what happened to these characters in the aftermath of what happens, there is a WHOLE SERIES OF BOOKS FOLLOWING THAT!
If this series has mad a fangirl (or fanboy) out of you, then there are 3 companion books that go into some of the secondary (or side-stories if you will/history of this particular universe).
Seriously you guys. I'm re-reading this series right now at work and it's reminding me why I LOVE this series so much! It's like playing a REALLY good RPG but without the eye-strain or frustration of random encounters, wondering if you messed up, wasting hours of your day looking for rare items, or even the stress of your wi-fi connection suddenly dropping!
So click below to get the first set of books for yourself and get yourself lost in it!
The Belgariad by David Eddings
October 20, 2017
POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD!
I am making a conscience effort not to spoil, but leaks happen.
Welcome to a new feature I think I'm going to start doing. I'm calling it "Grown-Up Book Reports". It's been FOREVER since I've last posted on this blog. Like a lady's age, I'm not saying how long it's been. Just know I've had Blogger's Block due to a lot of reasons. Having said that, here's a quick update on our family sitch...
I've had to rejoin the full-time work force. We are at a point in our lives where me not working is no longer something we can afford. Since this past March, I am on my 4th job. This one is temp-to-hire so here's hoping come December, they will see me worthy enough to keep! I am doing Data Entry with a GREAT company here in Spokane. I was lucky enough to win the team lottery (not a literal one) and was pulled into an amazing team that is small and still new, department wise, to the company. I love my coworkers, my supervisor is kind, and despite the early hours I have to wake-up, it's a job worth waking-up this early for.
Having said this, it is a tedious job so having quality listening material is key. I have learned to appreciate audio books. As it is, I have listened to 6-7 books now. Just this morning, I have finished one suggested by Stephen King of all people! There was an article where he was asked about the X amount books he's read that scared the bejebus out of him! I looked all of them up on Hoopla Digital, a library app the Spokane Public Library System utilizes, and a small handful had them in audio form. The above pictured book is one of them.
This story is called "A Head Full of Ghosts" by Paul Tremblay. This book was something else. It hits along the vein of "The Exorcist", "The Exorcism of Emily Rose", and other cliche exorcism stories. As a matter of fact, the narrator of this story is very much aware of this fact. But because this book was endorsed by "The King" of Horror himself (pun intended), I stayed the course. I promise you, it pays off. Even the ending made me said "wait a minute...NO...I SAID WAIT A MINUTE!!!".
The book essentially is told by the main protagonist, Merry. She is 23 years old and is being interviewed by a journalist about the experience that happened to her family when she was only 8. The "affected" person in the story is her 14 year-old sister, Marjorie. Marjorie was diagnosed with Schizo-Effective Disorder (formerly known as Schizophrenia). Schizo-Effective Disorder (SED) is a mental disability in which you have chronic auditory and/or visual hallucinations. It can manifest as disembodies voices, seeing things that aren't there, and so on. Other symptoms include Paranoia, Anxiety, Depression, and so on. I encourage you to Google it. I had a friend with this affliction and it can be absolutely debilitating. Eventually, the family become desperate due to their familial circumstances that include, but wasn't limited to the eldest daughter's mentality that they agree to turn their lives into a reality television show that centered around her illness.
"But wait? Didn't you say this story was about exorcisms?" I did. The father of the story eventually goes behind his wife's back and takes the Marjorie to a priest and has him declare the girl possessed by A DEMON! It was never made 100% clear, but I'm certain it was the dad's idea to bring in the TV people to made a reality show to focus on the daughter, but on the platform that she is possessed and NOT on her having a mental illness.
I'm going to stop the book description here so as to not spoil much more of the book. Just know that in the end, things end in ways that you may not expect. Not only is there the physical aspects that will creep you out, but there is PLENTY of the psychological going on here, too. Many times have I been left wondering things like "Is she really?" or "Nooo...that wouldn't happen unless..." and even "HOLD-UP! WHAT?!"
Again, this story does start like a lot like classic and now cliche exorcism stories & movies of cinema & literature past, but the narrator is VERY aware of this. Merry alludes to this herself and even calls each title by specific name. But unlike those stories, there are elements that do keep you reading BECAUSE once you start thinking "Where does it get different", it gets different.
If you're a fan of horror, thrill, and psychological, I highly recommend this story.
April 21, 2017
|Keep Spokane Weird|
Fast forward 8+ years. I've since remarried, started a family, at one point was forced back to the Tri-Cities (a really dark period in my life), and have come back to Spokane with nothing left to lose except my family...in which the second we stepped foot back in Spo-town, our lives got EXPONENTIALLY BETTER! It seems like when we're here, our lives make sense and we have purpose. If that doesn't tell you that we're meant to be here, I don't know what does.
So now that we are here...WHY IS IT THAT THE CRAZIES ARE MAKING HEADLINES IN NATIONAL NEWS PAPERS AND MAKING OUR CITY LOOK LIKE A BOX OF MIXED NUTS?! Let me illustrate...
Now, in 2017, she is currently unemployed, had adopted a (darker skinned baby), and is struggling to make ends meet. She has since decided that the best way to find employment was to change her name to make her more employable. What did she change her name to, you ask? Please be sitting down. Nkichi Amare Diallo. Wow. Just. Wow. I've heard of people of Ethnic Heiratage changing their names to something more "White" (on behalf of my race, I'm sorry to any of you who feel you need to do this.), but really? This is what she's convinced will trick people in to even interviewing her? But this isn't the only thing she's done this year. Oh no. She's been busy. SHE WROTE AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY ABOUT HOW HARD IT IS BEING A BLACK WHITE WOMAN!
Some folks are reading this book just to see how messed up this woman is. Others are reading it just because they want to give her a chance to explain her side of the whole situation. According to one interviewer, she's saying this woman's issues are deeper, and more about white privledge than anything else. If you're morbidly curious about what this latest interviewer has to say on the subject, click the link ~~> The Heart of Whiteness: Ijeoma Oluo Interviews Rachel Dolezal, the White Woman Who Identifies as Black
The Spokane Spanker
I'm so sorry I have to include this. This is just embarrassing. So a few weeks ago, some random dude was going around...oh dear lord...spanking random women on walking trails. If this were still the 20th Century, this wouldn't be such big news. But this is the 10's. We are in a time in the United States where anything that happens against a person's will is considered assault, abuse, or sexual harassment. I know it seems like I'm making light of the situation and not taking it seriously, but I promise you, I'm actually pretty outraged to the point where I've looped around and just am done with life *note: this isn't me saying "I want to die." More like "I don't want to live on this planet anymore".*
The reason why this should be such a big deal is because what if one of the random women he spanked was a rape victim? What if she has PTSD? What if she was the product of an abusive home? Hell, what if she was a Special Needs person? There are so many factors that could have made this so much worse not only for him, but for anyone who was or could have been one of his Spanking Receivers? I'm sure to this man it was all just a harmless prank, but pranks should not harm people to be funny. This is not the 1960's where a good smack on a woman's but was a simple "cheeky" gesture of endearment (I'm so sorry for going there.)
As it is, this is just one more example as to why "Rape Culture" still exists. The man has come forward and admitted his wrong doings. My problem is that the local is making this out to be "Well, he said he's sorry so he won't do it again. So lets just forgive & forget, shall we?" No. This was assault. It must be treated as such and I feel he needs proper jail time, if even a month worth. He needs to be made an example of. Sadly, he won't and we may not hear much about this after a week. I mean, if a rich male college swimmer can get off with little more than a slap on the wrist for raping a passed-out drunk girl in an ally way, I would venture to guess this guy is just going to get a small fine and a pat on the butt with the judge saying "now don't do it again, okay?"
Spokane is Where "Father's Day" was Created
Yup. You learn about this on the "Train Tour" at River Front Park
Riverfront Park is home to the 1970's World Fair
Sadly, as of this year, the remnants of that will be no more since they broke ground on the renovation of Riverfront Park. As a matter of fact, they have been discussing getting rid of the carnaval area and even the IMAX. Booooo!
Our "Sister Cities" include Tokyo, Japan & Dublin, Ireland
I don't know how. They are both in different countries and both are entirely different cultures & ways of life than Spokane.
The Metal Band "GWAR" calls gave us the nick-name "Not Seattle".
If you have any other "Keep Spokane Weird" news or facts, feel free to post them in the comments below. If the town you live in has any weird facts or news, share those as well!!
December 27, 2016
Love "Slice of Life" romantic manga/anime but tired of how they all more or less follow the same formula? THEN PREPARE FOR THE GREATEST LOVE STORY EVER!
This story is about a big, burly, ogre-esque Freshman named Takeo Goda. He falls in love at least once every year he has been in school, but each girl he crushes on falls for his ultra-handsome and cool best friend Makoto Sunakawa. One day on the train home from school, Goda sees a pervert groping a small, sweet, and adorable high school girl. Being the good guy and champion of justice he is, Goda takes action and puts a physical stop to it, thus saving the girl! Goda then falls in love at first sight. From there, his feelings for the girl (whom we find out is named Rinko Yamato) grows as she keeps making contact with him. From here, things happen, but I don't want to spoil it because...YOU JUST HAVE TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS FROM THERE! I promise, you won't be disappointed.
The reason for this recommendation is because this isn't your typical Girly Romance story. Not only is there some GREAT comedy, but it's the fact that it's the "non-typically good looking character" the romance revolves around! Doubly amazing since in Japan, well Asia in general, is a culture that values aesthetics above most else. Having a *i really hate to put it this way* ugly character be the central protagonist in this story really makes it real for me. If anything, it proves that anyone can find happiness and that true beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Well, that and we all have a type.
But really, the best part of this whole story is Goda himself. He is what makes this whole experience! Yeah, he's a big, strong dude who is as intimidating as a free roaming gorilla (not a Harambe reference), but his demeanor is that of a big cuddly teddy bear. When he sees people in need of even a little help, he puts 100% of himself into helping out...asked or not! He doesn't think about doing the right thing because he just does it! It's all the more hilarious because when he does these good deed, he does it so seriously that he comes off with a mad mug! Luckily, Sunakawa is always there to buffer the help by informing those being helped by Goda that "He's just a big helper. I promise you he's not a thug." In the end, everyone is always grateful, even though they give the misguided appreciation to Sunakawa...who always reminds the folks "...thanks, but Goda did the work."
I wish I can divulge more information and story about this great Manga/Anime, but I really want you all to watch it for yourselves! It's available on Hulu subbed, though if you're like me, you can find it dubbed through your choice Anime Mirror sites. It's a great break from the other cookie cutter "Slice of Life" school romance stories you're used to because to main character is not only male, but a big "unattractive" dude who is a total love-bug. Honestly, even I could fall for Takeo Goda! Anyone would be lucky to have a man like that in their lives, in love or in friendship!
December 3, 2016
Last weekend, my son & I went and saw The Trolls movie. To be honest, I thought this was going to be a huge letdown. If you're an 80's kid and older, you know about the original Trolls. With the ugly cute faces, little potbellies (some bejeweled), and THAT HAIR!
|oh, and that they're nekkid. Don't forget nekkid!|
|Effing RUINED IT!|
Luke, on the other hand, has never been introduced to the original troll dolls so his discovery of Trolls WAS the movie, thanks to the McDonald's toys based on the movie.
Because of these (Luke has Poppy & DJ), Luke now wanted to see the movie. It was at this point, I sucked it up and took him for doing good that week of school.
BOY was I PLEASANTLY SURPRISED! I went into this movie with no great expectations and came out slightly nerding out! The story revolves around Princess Poppy & Branch on a rescue mission to save their friends from the unhappy Bergans. When they reach the castle, the come across a forlorn Scullery made named Bridget. They decide to help her and everything goes from there!
This movie isn't fun just because of the story-line. Oh no. This movie is fun because of the MUSIC! The music incorporates music from quite a few eras revamped into something fun to sing along with. This also incorporates a few original tunes just for the movie. For me, the greatest part about this whole movie is Justin Timberlake as the Male Lead Protagonist, Branch. I had no IDEA he was in this movie but his voice was one I just kept saying to myself "I KNOW that voice? Who is that?" Even when he did let his voice loose in the movie, I kept saying "Where do I KNOW this guy?!" It wasn't until the credits rolled and announced Good Ol' JT, I was finally like "NO FREAKING WAY!" As a matter of fact, this whole PRODUCTION was a "Who's Who?" of celebrities!
If you want to see the full cast list, click the IMDB page here... The Cast of Trolls
I HIGHLY recommend this movie not necessarily for the story, but for the music and vocal who's who. This was visually entertaining in how the characters were developed, humor, and above all else, THE MUSIC! I've already downloaded the Soundtrack, I now await the movie release to Blu-Ray!
I'm starting this story with a different story. A few days ago, on my way to Walmart, I stopped at the Dutch Bros. to get some coffee. While waiting in line in my nice warm car, I popped up "Pokemon Go" on my phone. Sure enough, I found and promptly wasted about 7 Master Balls to capture a NIDOQUEEN! I finally got the little beast when it was time for me to roll up to the stand window!
|Now is a good time to say "DON'T TEXT AND DRIVE!" As a matter of fact, put the phone down. If it's that important, PARK FIRST THEN RESPOND!! Thank you.|
Back to the story. So I was TOTALLY stoked getting this Nidoqueen, who was also the last piece to our Female Nido collection, that I totally told the male barista at the window! He thought it was awesome because he, himself didn't know that Nidoqueens where something that could be caught! During our chitchat, he made comment that Stay at Home (Parents) are Super Heroes! I told him there wasn't evidence that said we weren't *wink*.
Onto the main story...
So earlier this week, Luke had crafted this plan to tell as many kids in his class that the teachers were going to eat their grandmas! He was promptly busted by his main teacher. When asked why he did this, he said it was in an attempt to get his teachers fired for making him do math! He told us later that he was hoping they would get fired so that they would hire NEW teachers who WOULDN'T make him do math. Yup. His teacher told me in a later phone conversation that she was trying to hold it in (laughing) because the tone in his voice was just so certain this was a solid and infallible plan! Oh good lord! Well, he was promptly grounded as soon as we heard about this "Dastardly Deed"!
Friday came around and I had to call his teacher back to make sure his week finally turned around. I wanted to release him from his grounding for the weekend so I wanted legitimate knowledge that Kiddo turned it around. She confirmed. Before I fully released him from being grounded, he and I had a SERIOUS talk about this carefully crafted plan. Here's how this went down...
Me: *Explains how his plan could have really hurt people* "...You know how even though you like bad guys, their plans always fail in the end?"
Me: "Well, that's what happened here. Your plan was an evil one and that's NOT okay Kid! I know we live in a time where we tell you kids you can be anything you put your mind to. What I'm going to tell you is that you can be MOST anything you want to be. You JUST CAN'T GROW-UP TO BE AN EVIL OVERLORD! YOU DON'T GET TO HAVE THAT OPTION!!"
Kid (after thinking about this): "*sigh* Okay."
Kid again after a brief pause: "You know what Mom? I was on the path to evil, and you put me back onto the path of good!"
I'm no Time-Lord, but I think I just saved the distant future from one less Evil Force in this world. The Barista was right! I AM A SUPERHERO!
November 22, 2016
So a few months ago, I introduced my 8 year old gamer to Roblox. Let me tell you what, this game is so simple it's awesome! It's not like any other MMO I've ever seen and NOT because it has amazing graphics, not because game play is comprehensive & intuitive, and DEFINITELY not because all my friends are playing it. Nope. This game is is remarkable because it's the COMPLETE OPPOSITE OF THOSE 3 REASONS!
Let me start with the most obvious: The graphics in this game are simple as a stick. Essentially, your character is nothing more than a Lego Guy. I take that back...they look like Mega Blocks guys! You know, poor kid Lego Figures. They have no joints, save for the points where legs, arms, & head connects. They move just as shoddily. You would almost say this was some indie-game made by someone who learned game development in their Mother's Basement. For some reason...THIS WORKS!! You can upgrade & buy outfits/accessories for your character, sure, but character design is just incredibly basic. Having said that, there are some games in the Roblox universe that let you transform your character into special ones. Some even let you change just your face or your whole outfit when you approach just the right platform! If anything, the simplicity of the characters just make it so you can appreciate game play more!
As far as game play, there is only 3 controls you ever really need: Move, jump, attack. Yeah, there is a control for the camera, but I lump that in with movement. Just like the characters, game play is EXTREMELY simple. This is WHY this MMO is great for kids because it's not so complex that they get overwhelmed with trying to figure out controls, which button does what, and even having to remember to assign "new powers" to different hot bar keys! It brings me back to the days of the Original Nintendo when all you needed was a D-Pad, A, & B to save the Princess! As a matter of fact, you don't even need to use your keyboard to play! If you have an X-Box controller (or other USB connectable controller), you can use that to play with! It's both mine & my son's preferred way to play, though sometimes Luke like's to switch it up and use keyboard controls...WHICH YOU CAN DO!! This game has become so popular, you don't even need a computer even! This game is available as an app game via Windows, some tablets, and apparently XBox! I'm still unsure if it's available via PS4, but it might. Check it out if it does.
Finally, unlike other MMO's, this game isn't just set in one world where people take on missions, level up, or form teams to achieve common goals. Far from it. What really sets Roblox apart from the rest is that you're actually playing MINI GAMES! Not only that, but the majority of these mini-games were created BY players themselves! There are Obbys (obstacle style games), Tycoons (build a factory), Escapes (running spirally upwards away from doom), and even some created specifically to be social or to battle! I know just those few categories doesn't seem like it's much for options, but you'd be pleasantly surprised as to how many people just "went" with it! You can search for specific things and themes. If you like Anime, do a search for your favorite anime! Like color? Search for Rainbow games! Like Pokemon Go but hate leaving the house? Search POKEMON GO and search created grounds! The possibilities are ENDLESS!!
So click on this link ~> www.roblox.com, start a free account, and check it out for yourself! Here is a video of some game play to whet your interest and try for yourself! No, I was not payed by Roblox to say any of this, but if they want to give me (or my son) some Robux for the mention...I won't say no. *wink wink*