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NaNoWriMo: What is it?

Put the ice queens, princesses, witches, monsters, pirates, Doctors, and whatever other costume the kids wore away.  Halloween is almost ove...

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sports Anime??

This week I started watching Kuroko no Basuke(Korosuke's Basketball or KnB.)  For a sports anime, it's actually fairly realistic.  Yes, there are some thing's that may seem as though they can't occur in reality, and for their ages, they are highly unlikely; however, the truth is that for the amount of the series I've seen so far, it's very likely.  No, there aren't going to be auras that are visible around the players or to discern the path of the basketball and which player caused the change, but yes there are people out there who, if they practice enough, can shoot from anywhere on the court.  They could pull off agility-based moves if they play the sport in their every spare moment and as for the passing that Kuroko manages...I wish I'd seen this show when I was much younger, but I don't think it was even in manga form yet when I was a kid.  If I had seen it, however, I can tell you I'd have tried to be more like Kuroko rather than trying make myself seen. 

Of course there are a few things that are unrealistic at least for games in America, but we who watch animes are already aware that there are many differences between our school sports competitions and theirs.  Hell, there are innumerable differences between Japan's culture and America's, but that doesn't stop us from trying to emulate things we see that are rather awesome.  Perhaps, in the very far future, some of the things we see portrayed will be put to successful use by children?

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Pokemon GO Disappointment

I've been playing Pokemon GO since about one week after its release.  There have been things that seemed disappointing or were, in fact, disappointing (the lack of being able to get gold in a particular badge - Ace Trainor - being removed but the badge is still in the list...), but overall, most of my complaints are taken with a grain of salt.  The game is available but incomplete.  It was still incomplete when it was released.  Because of all this, I've been a fairly relaxed player and avoided airing my complaints for the most part.  I think a few may have snuck through in some previous posts.

Why am I disappointed with this game now and blogging about it?  I'm one of those who remembers when the show and original games came to the States.  I kept trying to play an uninterrupted game and remember playing the TCG (Trading Card Game) with my younger brother.  Now being in a family that was borderline poverty, we didn't get the newest systems when they came out or the most up-to-date popular games/movies/toys/etc.  We did, however, have friends who sometimes did and loaned them to us.  Here's the thing.  Pokemon has now seven "generations" (gen) or sets of pokemon and corresponding games.  I won't list them in their individual sets, but Red, Yellow, and Blue were the first gen and are the original 151 (Mew and Mewtwo are included in this.) As more games came out, more pokemon were discovered.  I was hoping Pokemon GO would be similar, but with seventh gen, the games introduced not just new pokemon, but also alternate, such as an elongated exeggutor and an ice vulpix, they have apparently decided to release a few of these in Pokemon GO

This wouldn't be so bad, I mean we're constantly wanting access to being able to catch more and more pokemon, but only three gens are available in the game.  Players were waiting impatiently for legendaries to be added, but they understood that legendaries have to be handled differently from regular or even regional pokemon.  They were introduced but with a few still not available or with further rarity than the other legendaries.  Mew can only be caught by performing the special request quest line (I don't feel like looking the name of it up right now) while Mewtwo is by invite to an EX raid only.  Another reason why I'm upset by this decision?  In game trading and player against player battling are unavailable.  What this means is that unless you travel all over the world or were lucky enough to get a 10k (10 kilometer) egg in the early days that hatched a regional pokemon, the collection part of the game (which just so happens to be the bulk of it) is almost pointless to keep on with.

Like I said, for the most part I take my criticisms with a grain of salt, but this just really annoyed both myself and my husband.  They added from the most recent gen while there are three other gens that we have yet to see in the game.  It's upsetting because we happen to want to play through the gens as we did the original games, not skip from one gen to a different one.  We got over the staggered release of third gen mostly because they did release the full gen before moving on.  They also sort of themed the start of gen 3's release.  The first Hoenn pokemon were released in October during Halloween season.  They focused on ghost and dark pokemon with only the ghost pokemon of third gen being released.  A few weeks to months later and after adding the weather feature, gen 3 was fully in the game.  This Alolan addition from gen 7 is disappointing.  It should have waited to be added until they reached seventh gen despite them not being new pokemon, but rather alternates. 

Have some thoughts?  Leave a comment!  Weigh in on whether you think it was too early for the alternates to be released in Pokemon GO.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Competition Vs Inclusion

So the last couple of weeks have been crazy busy - we moved and I managed to get an abscessed tooth.  Not fun.  Then on Tuesday, I hear about a school in New Jersey changing their sports policy to allow basically any student who wants on a team to be on said team.  I need to admit here and now, before putting down the rest of my thoughts, that I don't know anything more than a few very vague details.  Apparently, a student got so upset at not making the team, their parents complained to get them on causing the school to change its policy.  Again, I do not know the specifics.  I could have any number of things wrong with the story I heard.

As for what I wanted to say about this "more inclusive" policy, I am in two minds about it.  On one hand, I am glad that kids who are serious about a sport but perhaps aren't as talented as others get to join their sports team, however, I am also upset at the even less realistic competitive environment this school seems to be promoting.  To explain what I mean:  When these same students attempt to get a job, will this make them think they should be hired despite possibly not being qualified because they were allowed to join a competitive team in high school but did not necessarily have the talent to back up the position received.  On the other hand, those who have focused and truly want to go on to become professionals in said sport may not get the chance because of the lack of ability to show how good they truly are to scouts for both college teams/scholarships and the professional teams.

What it comes down to is it could be good depending on how this new policy is implemented.  If, for example, they have a tiered system where all those who try-out automatically make a team but the team made is dependant on skill and talent.  Those who are dedicated and constantly practice make the higher competitive teams and those who thought they were able to get by without putting in the effort would be on the least competitive team.  Thinking about it, it would be similar to that of how most bands and academic teams function.   Those who are willing to put in the time and effort, get to be in the most wanted positions, but those who aren't willing to work hard to keep that position could end up basically being an equipment manager or last chance alternate.

If, however, they just let them join with no extra plan to ensure that those who are dedicated to what happens to be their passion can both pursue and be recognized for it, then it could truly be a detriment for everyone in that school.  Of course, I don't know what is involved in the actual plans for this particular school's new policy, but there will be those who are not willing to even give it a chance.  Because of this, there could be a lot of good from the policy that gets diminished.  At the same time, there are going to be those who can see no problems with the new policy.  The issue with that would be no making the policy better by looking at the problems and finding a way to fix them.

Again, I don't know specifics with this, but these were my thoughts based on the small amount of information I had regarding them.

I'm posting this a day late mostly because of the move and then Mother's Day (which I hope all mothers had a wonderfully relaxing day!)  Also, my computer still hasn't been put back together after the move, so I had to borrow my husband's.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Next Top Model; America v. Australia

I’ll admit it – I’m not a huge fan of fashion or modeling.  I never truly poured over magazines envying what I saw and trying to find ways to make myself look like the women I saw in them.  I looked through catalogs and found items I wanted - toe socks, crackling nail polish, that cute swimsuit, etc.  I didn’t care about what brands were high class (probably because a lot of what I wore was secondhand, either hand-me-downs or bought at thrift stores and yard sales.)  I didn’t care about who took the photographs or what the models’ names were.  I only paid enough attention to the picture to see if the items were something I wanted or if the guys were hot…but what girl interested in guys doesn’t?  I probably made mental comments about the women too, but I was always trying not to really look at the people unless they looked similar to me.  It wasn’t often.  It didn’t help that I felt like I was underweight (I know, it shocked people when I said I thought I needed to gain weight and didn’t care what I ate.)  I never saw what the big deal of modeling was. 

Now that I’m older, I understand better the draw that modeling has.  It seems to be a validation of a person’s gorgeousness.  But beyond that, I’ve always known being a subject for photographers is not easy.  I’ve always gotten lucky with my pictures.  Hell, I got most photogenic in a local pageant with my mother as the photographer against girls who used professional photographers for theirs.  It’s not easy.  I never saw the point of make-up and spending so much time and money on something that, to me, didn’t matter.  Of course, I was a huge tomboy and spent a lot of time outside being a very active and messy girl.  The said draw of modeling and an increased interest in reality competition shows (i.e. Survivor, The Fear Factor, Dancing with the Stars, etc.) gave rise to a new show – America’s Next Top Model.

A quick search on IMDB for “next top model” showed that a large number of countries had picked up on the success of America’s Next Top Model and did their own version.  Australia’s Next Top Model and America’s Next Top Model were both available on Hulu.  I’ve recently decided to watch Australia’s Next Top Model.  Almost immediately there were differences I could notice between what I was watching/listening to and what I could remember from America’s Next Top Model.  One of the biggest differences I’ve noticed in the first two seasons compared to the majority of America’s Next Top Model’s early seasons, Australia’s Next Top Model has shown a marked interest in being healthy, not skinny.  What I can remember of the early seasons of America’s Next Top Model was a preference for skinny as opposed to plus size models so long as the skinny wasn’t sickly looking.  That’s not to say that there weren’t plus sized models competing.  It’s just that it was more obvious in America’s Next Top Model that bigger girls at the beginning of the show were going to have a harder time making it in the modeling world even with the aid of Tyra Banks and her ever-changing judging panel.

That brings me to the next point – the judging panel.  In America’s Next Top Model, the girls are judged by Tyra, a few regular judges for that season and a guest judge until it makes it to the final two.  For Australia’s Next Top Model, the judging panel is made of a few regular judges each season and a guest judge.  I actually was glad that Tyra was available throughout the season to mentor the girls, help them through their challenges (both professional and personal!) and was the one to dispense advice and let them know who made it through each week as well as who was eliminated.  After all, she was the host of America’s Next Top Model.  She stood in front of the applicants with only their photos and looked at the girls in their eyes as she let them know where they needed to improve.  In Australia’s Next Top Model, the host didn’t necessarily mentor the girls she would later be giving the final critiques to.  Also, the host held a binder with small poster-sized photos versus the more portfolio-sized photos used in America’s Next Top Model.  For all the viewers knew, with how often the host would look at the binder, she had a script sitting opposite as to what she was to say for each girl.  Mind you, I haven’t yet watched all the available episodes of Australia’s Next Top Model, but there’ve been two hosts so far and both have had some kind of binder or clipboard to hold the photos in. 

Something else I’ve noticed is that age is a huge factor in the modeling industry.  Once the young women (and later men America’s Next Top Model) reach a certain age, they tend to be less marketable in a wide range of markets because a younger crowd do not wish to be buying things that are marketed by someone that reminds them of their parents - or worse their grandparents!  However, the few seasons I’ve watched of Australia’s Next Top Model, I don’t remember a single girl over the age of 21 competing, however, 26 has been considered among the oldest on America’s Next Top Model.  While Australia’s Next Top Model has girls as young as 16, if I remember the seasons of America’s Next Top Model, the youngest was 18.  I could be wrong though.  Perhaps I’ll go through and re-watch all the seasons I can of each version of Next Top Model and do episode reviews.  I’m already planning on doing so eventually for Charmed and a few other series…

One of the best things about America’s Next Top Model is the challenges done each week before the event the contestants get judged on.  Typically they have something to do with each other.  The challenge winner may still end up getting eliminated – unless the prize happens to be immunity.  Australia’s Next Top Model is the same.  The best thing about these competitions is that even if the girls don’t win the big competition, there is a huge possibility that they’ve won or been chosen as a friend by a winner of one of the challenges.  The prizes for these smaller competitions within the huge one could be anything from a shopping spree to free clothes to a photo shoot to guest appearances in movies, television shows, and even music videos.  These prizes can and will help the contestants with their modeling careers, or acting if that’s what they change their minds to. 

One of the most annoying things I’ve found in most reality shows is in the parts regarding their lives within the house.  While America’s Next Top Model rarely even referenced it except for during the times that they addressed someone breaking the rules or lying to the judges, possibly even telling the judges some of the thoughts of another contestant due to a want to win by any means possible,  Australia’s Next Top Model did tend to address the behavior that occurred in the house.  They addressed fitness, rule-breaking, healthy and smart habits (admonishing girls for stupid stunts before shoots –blueberries anyone?), bullying and even a few more subtle admonishments about sabotaging the other girls.

Overall, I think I preferred Australia’s Next Top Model over America’s Next Top Model, but I tend to try to skip through the drama based scenes, no matter what else may be occurring during the scene.   I love seeing the behind the scenes on the photoshoots and even hearing the critiques and tips for not only the models in the competition but also the aspiring models likely watching the show.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

New Year, Late Beginnings

I know, it's been a really long time since I posted.  I'm not explaining myself this time.  There is really no excuse for the extreme wait, and I'm even worse with my posted fanfictions and various other pieces of work.  In fact, with this to be a new year, it's giving me a new chance.  After all, isn't there something to learn from every previous experience one has ever had?

So, with these thoughts and knowing I'm typing this in the second month of the year, I am once again determined to attempt to keep up with a weekly blog.  Some weeks may have more than one post, most will be lucky to have just the one, but the point is not to determine if I failed to post.  No, the point is to keep my determination and attempt a post each week, even if they are typed up early and get a scheduled post time.  I have other goals as well, which brings me in all seriousness, to what has been irritating me lately.

New Year's Resolutions.  These are the goals a person sets for themselves at the end of the year to do by the end of the next year.  Typically they involve losing weight, saving money, or working out more.  The problem is that people tend to think they need to be met immediately.  They don't.  No, when you set a resolution, it's a goal to be met by the end of the year.  It's going to be hard to get started, but that shouldn't stop a person from continuing their attempts.  It's like this, you can't lose weight overnight without it being a surgery, but at the same time, you aren't going to give up trying to lose that weight just because you failed at one diet, no if you are truly determined, anyway.

With resolutions, I've heard so many reports of people claiming "Oh, I've failed my resolution.  Guess I should just give up now."  This, however, should not be our thought processes.  We need to figure out ways to inspire the changes we thought we wanted in ourselves.  I rarely commit to my resolutions more because I'm not as determined to meet most of these more society-based resolutions than because I've failed.  Yeah, I blamed society.  I won't take it back either.  Society tends to claim that what being healthy is means to lose weight or meet some sort of scientifically set standard.  While these are probably true, most of the time, it's become an increasing issue that has lead to various people believing, mistakenly, that they are not skinny enough or that something is wrong with them.

A few coworkers claimed to wish to stop using certain curse words, but as soon as they used one, they didn't think of  way to avoid it or try to make a new habit, they just claimed they had immediately failed.  It's the instant gratification we've become accustomed  to with online shopping that has allowed us to expect instant results.

With that said, I just want to remind everyone: Just because you don't manage to keep to your resolutions immediately, it doesn't mean you've failed.  Attempt to meet it again with a new strategy put into place.  A new diet or penalty for cheating could do wonders for making a person follow through with their goals, but remember, too, the goal needs to be something the person feels strongly for, not something others think would be a good goal for them.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sports and Games and Writing

First, let's just all admit it's been a long and tiring year.  To be completely honest, I'm typing this as I listen to an anime I decided to finally try to watch: Haikyu! after having gone out with my husband to watch Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.  While watching this I started to compare volleyball and basketball.  They almost mirror each other in a strange way.  This is going to severely simplify things. 

See volleyball has six players per team on the court at any time.  There's an out of bounds area, but the biggest thing to remember is to keep the ball in the air - to hit it across the net in the center of the court.  For basketball, there are five players on the court and an out of bounds area, but that's about it for the similarities other than taller people tend to have a better time playing the sports or at least they tend to get more recognition.  Instead of keeping the ball in the air and from hitting the ground, a player has to dribble the ball.  This means it has to keep hitting the ground.  The only time to have the ball in the air is to either pass or shoot for a basket.  Basketball keeps track of points during a specified amount of time.  Volleyball takes its time to reach the points to win a game.  So as I said - they mirror each other oddly.

The other reason I started to type this particular post?  The new Jumanji movie got me thinking.  I think I want to write a story with a similar concept, but more like really throwing the stereotypes on their heads.  We've seen instances where guys and girls switch bodies and people either age or get de-aged, we've seen general change-ups in stereotypes: mostly the exact opposite.  Some examples would include the jock whose actually a brain, the "ugly duckling", and my personal favorite (note the sarcasm in this bit) the gamer girl.  Obviously, there are a lot more, but for this story, it would be a take on the gamer girl.

Well, that's it for this year's rants.  Hopefully next year I'll be better at my weekly aimed posts.   Have a Happy New Year for 2018, everyone!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Skillshare: a First Foray

I've been seeing a lot of things about ways to learn about things for free.  I mentioned MOOCs back in Super Bowl and FutureLearn, but I've found other programs since then.  Recently I decided to actually look into something both recommended by various acquaintances and advertised regularly on Facebook: Skillshare.

There's a lot to know about this site and eventually, I will post a review about the overall site, but I wanted to highlight something about one of the free courses I signed up for.  The course is called Blogging Basics and I chose it hoping to learn more to make me a better blogger.  The first assignment is basically to figure out what your blog will be about, and that is where I'm having a hard time.

When I finally decided to actually start a blog, I knew I didn't have much to offer.  I don't currently have any degrees in anything except the school of life where experience is the degree.  I never truly got into any of the fandoms that I found fleeting fulfillment in.  In fact, everything about my life is more of spontaneous decisions, going with the flow, and finding ways and excuses to keep from trying too hard.  So why did I start a blog?

I was feeling unheard on topics that my husband is not a fan of.  Then I realized just how hard it is to find reviews about certain things, so I set up two blogs.  One is a review blog.  I'm not a critic or professional reviewer, but a review is basically someone's opinion.  Some of them have more merit than others for various reasons, but all a review boils down to is that it's an opinion littered with facts about the reviewed topic(i.e. specific book, movie, event, item, etc.)  Sadly, I've yet to truly start on this blog though I have a list of things to review and post.

My second blog is this one.  It's not regularly posted to and I haven't done guest blogs or interviews for it, yet.  Maybe as I figure out where my niche is, I'll get some.  For now, however, I'm still exploring my options is the best way to put this blog.  Well, that and a way to air out what I think about various things.  It basically is my way to vent when I feel unable to truly unleash my thoughts because I'll be countered or agreed with before I get a chance to explain my thoughts.  Don't get me wrong, I love hearing counterarguments and various viewpoints of the same subject.  That would be why I follow so many different subjects.  The issue is that sometimes I feel as though my particular viewpoint isn't heard.

My husband is bad about trying to argue his point without truly taking in what I've said.  I'll try to understand what he's getting at with his point, but it doesn't feel like he wants to do anything but hammer home his particular opinion and ignore any new information in regards to the subject.  We actually spent over an hour once arguing over the wording used to say basically the same thing.  I had stated it originally, then he tried to claim to disagree but kept repeating what he was saying, not even trying to figure out if there was a different way to say it to get me to understand what he had said.  I, on the other hand, had tried to figure out what he meant and how exactly it was different from what I was saying.  When he finally did change what he said, it was the same thing I'd said.  Don't get me wrong, I can dig my heels in and be stubborn as well.  It's just I never seem to be listened to and, apparently, he almost always has to be correct.

That's not to say he isn't correct about a third to half of the time.  It just means that I got tired of trying to get him to hear what I was saying and found a different place to say it.  I don't typically air out issues he and I have more because I feel it's private and not necessary to share with the world than anything else.  This is an issue that makes me wonder if I'm actually speaking clearly or not since it happens with more than just my husband.  Once upon a time, I loved trying to argue my point, but now it feels like the more I try to argue it the less I'm willing to defend it because it feels as though I'm not going to be understood anyway.

It doesn't stop me from wanting to get information about things and what I feel about them out there.  So I found another way and that's where the blogging comes in.  I doubt this is what the teacher meant by building a platform for your blog, but I've never been able to focus on a specific subject for a long period of time before changing subjects.  After a while, I'll return to a previous subject.  I have many interests and decided I didn't want to keep myself forced to follow only one thing, especially when there are so many things that I'll be looking forward to remarking about, just check out some of my past posts.  There are reactionary posts as well as a small variety of random information.

Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2017: The Start

So, two weeks ago, I could have sworn I had typed up about five or six posts, only to realize on Monday morning that I hadn't completed and posted or even scheduled to post even one of them.  Then last week, I swear I had meant to type up a post, but I got seriously side-tracked by the Pokemon Go water event and work, again.

Now, I know yesterday was April 1st, and you are likely expecting some kind of prank or joke, but I don't want to do that when there are so many other pranks being performed out there (Collinsville ketchup bottle, anyone?) so I've decided to start on my Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2017 posts with this one.  The title indicates that there will only be 5 posts, and that is because there are five Sundays this month, but the fifth also happens to be the final day of April.  I'll be focusing this month on two main works of fanfiction, but I've chosen one for my Camp main project, but everything typed is accepted.  My goal is 25,000 words for the month.  Since there are discussion boards for a couple of my courses and there are these blogs that'll likely be used at the last minute to up my count, I might actually win!

So, to give you a bit of information on the two projects that I plan to work on.  The first is a crossover between Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter and League stories.  I can't help but think about Styxx being taken in by Thraix and Dagger before Artemis sends him to live through Acheron's memories.  There's also the reaction to the Andarion fangs by both Daimons and Hunters.  Even the fact that they don't rely on the same deities.  I know the first meeting would be when Fang and Vane are trying to protect their sister's pups, and that they would be meeting Styxx when he's been coerced by Dionysus.  There are some other things I'm aware of including a major slash element and some instances of male pregnancy, but not completely sure yet of an end game which is slightly annoying to me.  There are some changes to the source materials for my fic and it will definitely not be everyone's cup of tea, but then, what is, right?

The second project is a multiverse crossover based on the Assassination Classroom anime.  The first one that I'll be focusing on in what will be a series, is Nagisa attending the boarding school in Princess Princess.  So far I seem to be focusing on crossovers with other animes, but that's because the Assassination Classroom is set in Japan and it's kind of hard to find things that use Japanese schools that aren't based in either anime or manga.  I plan on crossovers with Bleach, Ouran High School Host Club(OHSHC), Fruits Basket, and Eyeshield, though more are planned.  It's definitely starting with their high school years, but it's likely to follow them until a future reunion, Not the one used in the anime, but one even later.  Some years after Nagisa has been teaching [and likely gets hired in future years at Namimori of Katekyo Hitman Reborn!(KHR!)] to get the most from my ideas in one series.  There is one pairing in KHR! that I really can't see splitting, even if they aren't cannon.  That pair is Karma and Nagisa.  I don't know why I see them together, but I do.  Can I read others where they aren't a pair? Yes, however, I doubt I could ever write one.  After the high school years, I do want to go into various after school stories.  If Nagisa isn't hired in Namimori, then either he or another of the Assassination Classroom would have been drafted into the mafia and called in to aid Reborn.  Obviously, there are going to be timeline alterations throughout the series just because of the combinations that I want to explore.  I've got a few of the high schools chosen, such as Karma remaining at Kunugigaoka and Itona and the human version of Ritsu attending Ouran.  The Ouran line will be fun, but currently, only Nagisa is willing to inform me of their antics, though some of them include some of the others...Oh, and Karma is grinning evilly about the Namimori part, so there's that.

As of this posting, I have 200 words towards my goal.

How about you?  Will you be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo April 2017 and if so, what are your goals and projects?  Have suggestions for either project I'm working on?  Leave a comment, I promise you won't be bitten...unless you have Hibari nearby, then who knows, lol!

1May 2017 Edit: Instead of doing a post every Sunday, I'll do this one and one about the month's journey after the month is over (this upcoming Sunday.)  Apparently, I had an exceedingly busy month outside of writing, but more on that in the end of the Camp post!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Dancing With The Stars Season 24: a New Set for New Complaints

Recently, I saw an article (I can't remember where it was nor am I willing to hunt it down so I can link it to you) that claims Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) is no longer full of "has-beens" and "never-going-to-bes."  The reason for this according to that particular writer is one particular star on the recently announced casting list.

Now, before I fully read the article or even knew who had been included in Season 24's star list and whom they'd be paired with, I thought maybe they got Johnny Depp, Katy Perry, Anne Hathaway, or some other celebrity that is so much in the limelight that it would draw in viewers of all ages, castes, and occupations.  I was confused when the star they wrote of was Charo.  The article claimed this artist as the most popular in a list of stars that includes Mr. T, Chris Kattan, Heather Morris, Erika Jayne, and Normani Kordei.  Do I recognize all of their names?  Of course not, but that doesn't mean I don't recognize their picture or the role they played in a show.  Then there's Mr. T.  I'm sorry but I think of him as more well-known than most of the others.

Then I thought back to previous seasons, and while yes the first few seasons weren't nearly as star-studded, they've had some popular celebrities in the past.  I still don't really recognize the names of season 1's contestants, but season 2 held Drew Lachey and Stacy Kiebler not too mention Jerry Rice.  Season 3 held Vivica A. Fox, Sara Evans, Jerry Springer, and Emmitt Smith.  Season 4 included Joey Fatone and Billy Ray Cyrus while season 5 contained the very popular Sabrina Bryan, well-known for her part as Dorinda in The Cheetah Girls.  I'll admit that season 6 seemed to be more "has-beens" and "little-knowns", but then season 7 came back with Kim Kardashian.  Season 8 had Lil' Kim and Season 9 brought Melissa Joan Hart.  Season 10 brought Kate Gosselin and Season 11 was Bristol Palin and Kyle Massey though they placed 3rd and 2nd respectively.  They were beaten by "has-been" Jennifer Grey.  Season 12 contained Chris Jericho and Kendra Wilkinson.  Rob Kardashian and Rikki Lake competed in Season 13.  The only name I recognized from season 14 was admittedly "has-been" Jaleel White, a common occurrence for many of the names I recognized.  Season 15 brought back past competitors.  Season 16 however, held another huge star at the time, though it was through Disney - Zendaya.  Kellie Pickler was apparently making waves in the country music world as well.  Season 17 had members of the hit musicals High School Musical and Glee - Corbin Bleu and Amber Riley, respectively.  I really don't feel like continuing to list names that were big at the time they were on DWTS, even if there are only a few more to get caught up on.

It just annoyed me that someone claimed that DWTS has never had celebrities that were popular in the year they competed like how they managed to get this Charo for season 24.  According to ABC.com, season 24 will start with the 400th episode on Monday, March 20.  Recently, they celebrated 10 years on the air, now it's on episode 400 which is great.  Sadly, I miss the days where they had a results show that went over what they expected for the dances and various skits, like Len Goodman's judging scale (You get 1 point just for showing up; a two for actually moving on the dance floor.)

Anyway, here's to hoping you can enjoy another wonderful season of DWTS.  Oh, and don't forget to wear green on Friday, March 17!

Sunday, March 5, 2017


Okay, so last week I actually had the intention of typing up a post about some thoughts I'd been having about Pokemon GO and the buddy system, then I had thoughts about Charmed that I thought of making into a post (and I still plan on doing each of these eventually) but as Sunday got closer and closer, I felt myself losing interest in writing much of anything.  Finally, on Sunday, I ended up just lazing about.

What I mean is that I spent the day, a day I should have been cleaning, doing schoolwork and finalizing my weekly blog post just laying in bed, reading.  And I wasn't reading regular books either.  Confession time: I was reading fanfiction.  I know, it's not much of a confession when I look at previous posts.  If I write them, I have to read at least a few, right?  But here's the kicker: I was reading fanfiction as a way to detach myself from a world I've found myself increasingly losing interest in.  It's hard finding stories that don't piss me off in some way - and fanfictions are the worst for it.

It's not like I can justify disappearing to the library for hours of reading anymore.  I also can't just go out and buy every book that interests me and read as quickly as I used to.  Part of it is because the few people I deal with seem to delight in distracting me from whatever I might be working on.  It truly does annoy me when I'm reading to be drawn from a well-crafted world just to answer a question about something like dinner or a new game or going out that night for a walk...It shouldn't though.  I just have always found reading the best way to escape from a world I don't understand and, more importantly, don't wish to understand.

So, I spent last Sunday just reading, or at least trying to when a friend of ours shows up just as I was starting to get the energy to actually get up and do some much-needed housework done.  Suddenly I felt sapped.  All the energy I had gained from the enjoyable day before and the reading I'd done that morning was gone.  I didn't want to think or work or write, so I returned to finding fanfics to read.  I didn't go outside for Pokemon GO - lost that week's seventh-day rewards.  I didn't eat much.  I didn't even log on to my e-mail or Facebook...not that I check my Facebook that often anyway...  I just felt completely drained again.  Between my husband wishing to go out all the time and friends popping over to borrow our internet, I don't think I've had more than an hour to myself in the last three weeks, if not longer.  It grates on my nerves and makes me unwilling to do things I may once have loved doing.

Hell, I can't look at my stories because I know I have ideas, but there's no time for me to get all the proper research done, like rewatching a show to ensure things get written properly, but I can't seem to get ideas for the stories out of my head unless I hunt down fanfics and then I get annoyed because the stories that may actually fit the ideas in my head are either with pairings that I can't stand to read about (Harry/Hermione in anything HP related, for just one example) or use gender-bending, not as a part of the story as such that it had to occur or that the person truly felt that wy in their story, no, they use the gender-bending because they wanted to rename the character with a different name, or they will give them another sibling for that sole reason.  It doesn't matter what it was, most gender-bending stories I can't stand.  I'd rather read a story with male pregnancy than read one where this guy was actually born a girl and raised to believe they were a boy complete with all the bits.  That's not to say anything against Haku's story in Naruto.  That one is actually one I'm still unsure of their gender...

Anyway, I just needed to get a few things out of my head, and while it annoys me to no end that I feel a need to constantly strive for some time that is strictly for me and constantly failing, I love my husband who is always trying to get out and go places or spend time with me, and I love my dog who is curently sleeping after a late night in the city.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Valentiny Pokemon

I know, I know.  It's been three weeks since I last posted, but please allow me to defend myself...again.  I work two jobs and have school.  I have a husband and dog and we have friends that I'm expected to socialize with.  In fact, if I don't take the time to spend time with others either online or in real life, my husband starts to bug me about it, which must have happened.  On top of having to socialize, one of my jobs asked me to work an extra day each weekend - two weekends in a row.  I had made plans to actually have the articles done and take advantage of the scheduling ability, but, as I mentioned, I also have school.  Then there's the housework and my own pieces of work.  I deeply apologize for the long wait.

I've been thinking a lot lately about energy levels.  Most people have their daily reserve, the main reserve and a reserve reservoir of energy.  Not everyone operates using only the daily, nor is everyone able to get their daily reserve refreshed as often as they should.  Personally, lately, I feel so deeply drained that I can't seem to find the reserve reservoirs at even half full.  It worries me because sleep, reading, writing, listening to music, and watching a show I find interesting with others who can comment on said show without completely negating the want to watch it (it's been years since I've watched a show that I truly liked without hearing something negative about the show causing my love of said show to diminish) used to help revive my energy, but it feels as though nothing will help.

For those who celebrated Valentine's Day, I hope you had a happy one.  Also, there's a bunch more Pokemon available in Pokemon Go!.  I spent a bit of time catching a few, but not as much as my husband who has caught at least 20 of the 80 newly available Pokemon.  Good luck hunting them to all my Pokemon players!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Popcorn Day?

Apparently, this past Thursday (January 19) was National Popcorn Day.  While someday in the future this will be a part of my articles about holidays, that's not why I'm remarking on it.  At one of my jobs, we get free popcorn on Thursdays.  So this past Thursday, I find out it's National Popcorn Day and get a bit excited thinking we'll be getting free popcorn.  Ironic, huh?  Well, if you think the reason I'm typing about it is because it didn't happen, you'd be right.

Apparently, according to the guy in charge of making the popcorn on Thursdays, the popcorn machine really did not want to make popcorn.  He got it going and before the first batch has gotten started popping, the agitator stopped working.  If you've ever worked a popcorn machine, even at home, you know that the popcorn cannot just sit still in the oil as it's get heated because the kernels closest to the bottom (furthest from being able to pop out of the heat) will burn, if not the entire batch.  So, he immediately stops making the popcorn and calls maintenance to hopefully get it fixed.  Maintenance believes it's fixed and the guy managed to make a few batches of popcorn.

When he goes to make more, the agitator is once again not working.  This time he hasn't even added the kernels or oil so it doesn't need to be cleaned out from the only partially used popcorn and oil as he'd had to do previously.  So maintenance gets called again.  After the supervisor takes a look at it, they realize they have to order a new motor for the machine which means no more popcorn.  The popcorn that was previously made was gone before noon with an "Out Of Order" sign on the machine.  Go figure, right?

Did you get any free popcorn on National Popcorn Day?  What about other funny anecdotes about things going wrong?  Feel free to leave a comment about it!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Reboot Charmed?

Sorry, about last week's skip.  Between birthday celebrations and house cleaning that needed to be done, I kind of put my blog on a back burner.  But I am typing and I promise to attempt to release a blog post each week, preferably on Sundays.

Now, for the thoughts running through my head recently.  First, I only recently read about the Charmed reboot.  I saw it posted on Facebook and haven't really looked into it other than to learn that it's supposed to be set in the 1970's.  While I have great hopes for anything that is remotely related to Charmed, this post is not going to be based around the reboot and my hopes for it.  Saying that, I should most emphatically admit that there are likely to be things that I hope or have thought of being added to the Charmed series.  Sometimes I'll be writing about something or thinking of something and it'll be another thing I'll be like "Ooh, I wonder how this would translate in the actual universe," or "You know, I really wish they would expand on this..." such as the Prudence Halliwell and Andy Trudeau friendship.  Some other things would be various events that are referenced but never truly explained or explored during the series, including Phoebe's rebellious phase and how that may have been changed because of going into the past and changing Grams' personality.  I should also admit to doing my best to stick with the television series since I haven't been able to read the comics continuation and only a few of the books that were written.  I don't have easy access to said books, however.

Thinking on Charmed and all of the things they did in a period of eight years, there were things that annoyed me, like how the sisters made a pact to never give up their magic in season 1, and then, at the end of season 4, Phoebe and Piper consider it once again, seeming to have forgotten the pact they made with Prue.  Speaking of Prue, it always annoyed me that they never brought her back.  They referenced her a number of times, but in the final season, she's hardly ever even alluded to and the iconic picture of Prue, Piper, and Phoebe is conspicuously absent.  If it weren't for the marriage counseling episode, I wonder if Prue would have ever been mentioned or in the series again.  I always thought we were dealt a bit of a disservice to her character in that respect.

So one of the things that keeps popping up in my head is how in All Halliwell's Eve when the sisters are transported on Halloween to colonial America to aid in the birth of one of their ancestors, Phoebe plays along with one of the practices to find a person's true love.  This practice is to breathe on an apple peel with only thoughts of love before dropping it in water.  For Phoebe, the letter that is first in her true love's name is "C".  At the time she believed it to mean Cole and throughout the seasons he did pop up numerous times.  There were also other lovers for Phoebe that didn't always begin with "C" like Jason and Drake.  Despite hints toward her living with them, such as her premonition of marriage, her true love ends up being a cupid named Cupid or Coop for short.

It was nice that this return to an old occurrence became fact before the series ended even if others did not ( the premonition of Prue owning her own company with blonde hair ring a bell?).  It was something that sometimes annoyed me since some of their travels could and would affect their future.  It was also aggravating that the sisters, while considered the strongest witches of the Warren line, were never given the understanding or respect from certain others that they probably should have had.  I mean, they saved the world from magical creatures and when Piper is at death's door, Leo is not supposed to try to heal her, despite the fact that her death would ruin her sisters.  In fact, the saving of Piper and Phoebe but not Prue always upsets me when I think about it, but perhaps that was because Prue's true love had already died.  It's a thought that has always plagued me about Charmed.

Think about it for just a moment.  Prue and Andy Trudeau were best friends in their childhood.  Such best friends that Grams was willing to risk him learning their secret to allow the girls to play with him.  This is proven in the episode they travel back to the seventies to save themselves from an enchanted ring that would kill them.  Grams unfreezes a young Andy after the older Piper and Prue manage to "kidnap" their younger selves.  After Andy's death at the end of season 1, it felt as though Prue had lost herself.  In fact, to me at least, it seemed as though she had lost the one thing that mattered most to her.  After his death, she quits her job and just seems to be unsure of what she wants anymore.  By the time Piper is infected with a fatal disease contracted by smuggling in tropical fruits, it seemed as though the only reason Prue had stayed was for her sisters' sakes and she would otherwise have gone to the "dark side".

This leads me to believe that even if Grams claimed that Prue hadn't taken her own death well, it was likely not for the reasons so many others would have thought.  No, it wasn't that she hadn't wanted to die, but rather that she felt her sisters still needed her, especially Piper.  After all, it was Piper, Phoebe, and Prue who were "summoned" to colonial America as the "most powerful good witches of all time" (Eva, All Halliwell's Eve), not Paige.  It's Prue who managed to handle an empath's power that was never meant for her and Prue who managed to counter the sins.  It was also Prue who managed to channel enough hate to destroy a dark lighter so as to save their white lighter and his charge while they were power-switching in one episode.  You know, Piper and Leo have switched powers/bodies numerous times.  I wonder if there were many side effects as Chris and Wyatt were growing up hearing about their parents' misadventures?  I digress, though.  Everything indicates that Prue was the most powerful witch of the three, even if when it becomes Piper, Phoebe, and Paige, they are still powerful as the Charmed Ones.

On that point, I seriously have to disagree.  In fact, there are any number of hints that Piper is actually the strongest of the Charmed Ones.  It's not a bad thing, it's just something that when it seems as though Phoebe is being portrayed as strong or that Paige has an inferiority complex in regards to her taking Prue's place in the sisterhood, I can't help but think about.  Piper has during the course of the eight season series died a decent number of times, fallen in love with warlocks, ghosts, and white lighters, been turned into a veritable zoo of magical beings and still puts up with being a witch even if most of the time, she hates it.  But these aren't why I think she's the strongest of the trio - I mean quartet.

No, it's something much different than an overview of what has happened to her or how she's reacted.  It doesn't even have anything to do with being the Lady of the Lake to Wyatt's King Arthur.  It's the fact that when she thinks of Grams - the matriarch of the modern day Halliwell's - she is taken to her future self.  There's a lot more to it than just that, and I'll put it in its own post.  But something else to think of: Piper has had to fight to control her power, often at awkward times.  She's had to fight even harder than any of the others for her true love, and yet she's always been the most motherly of the sisters.  How could she be relegated to almost a side-note in so much of the series?  Even when they tried to focus on her journey, it felt almost more focused on Leo or Phoebe or Paige or Prue; even Cole had his own journey of "This is me, deal with it.  I'm the one who's got a story to tell!"

Charmed was largely about the sisterly bond between the three but in the monkey episode (Sense and Sense Ability) the trio found that they had an innate bond that when they focused on each other they could use it to utilize each other's abilities and heighten them.  As far as I can remember, at the time of typing this, they never again show the capability to do so.  In fact, family was such a big thing that it only made sense that the final acts of the series would be for another bond very similar to the Charmed Ones be turned to use against them.  In that case, meet Billie and Christie.  Don't worry too much.  The Ultimate Power was separated at a young age and the kidnapped one turned against anything that we would typically perceive as good.  The other had to hunt for her sister alone while also learning to use her own powers which didn't really manifest until she was older.

Despite everything, I hope that reboot doesn't focus too much on the actual Charmed Ones even if they are born in the 1970's.  It feels like almost a cop out.  References to them and spotlights with guest stars would be wonderful.  So would the truth of Patty and Victor and Sam's love triangle, but I think it would be much better if they focused on a different branch of the Halliwell tree...maybe that drunk cousin they mentioned in the pilot episode?  Well, whatever they do, I hope they keep in mind the reason the original Charmed was as well-liked as it was.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year 2017

Welcome to my first post of 2017, done on the first of the year.  Corny, I know, but I couldn't help it.  Anyway, Happy New Year's to all and hopefully I can get back to typing up these once a week.  I know, I still haven't carved a niche for myself and these are still somewhat sporadic, but I promise I am trying.

I thought about starting my Holidays series today, only to realize that I'll have to probably start it later this month.  I'm really late on typing up this post, but I am determined that something other than my Pokemon GO journey in 2017 is going to start out correctly.  I am determined to get this Holidays series started, though.  When I get it started in its first post, I will explain more about it.  Yes, my first post is hopefully going to include information (probably only a paragraph or two) about New Year's Eve and Day.  Eventually, (most likely at the end of this year) they will receive their own post.

Other posts I plan on writing out include my DCOM 100 article referenced first in Catch Up and NaNoWriMo, a Six Flags post (this will include a link to a review based on the short amount of time my husband and I spent there), and something about some of my writing and fanfiction thoughts.  When it comes to fanfiction, if a reader reads one of my ideas and wishes to write their own version, they are more than welcome to.  I will not be offended and will more than likely be proud that someone else actually liked my idea.  If a person is impatient enough on currently being worked on stories, hopefully, they will try to help me find the muse for said stories again.  Just a heads up, some start as dreams and others I've been stonewalled because of the loss of progress that I had already completed.  I also do plan to get those D&D series going soon, but it's getting a bit hard for me to keep track of everything I want to post on.

Even my cooking series has had to take a backseat to any number of other things, but hopefully, with this fairly decent start, things will keep in a generally good direction.  I promise I haven't stopped writing or posting, it's just that real life tends to avoid allowing me to just take a few days to be generally worry-free.

I mentioned that my Pokemon GO journey for 2017 has started out correctly, and I guess I had better explain this so that it can be understood a little better by those who actually play the game.  My husband and I decided to spend the time after we got up this morning hunting for pokemon that we just don't have.  With the current event, we weren't that worried about the original starter Pokemon, nor were we worried about pikachu.  In fact, the first pokemon we decided to go for was seel.  Seel was reported to have a nest on about a 45-minute drive from where we live, approximately, so we decided to check the spot out.  We were there for an hour and managed to see ten seel, two magikarp, and a bulbasaur.  I also hatched a pichu, smoochum, magikarp, and voltorb.  After that hour, we decided to go to a known water-type nest, where we caught enough magicarp that my husband finally got his first gyarados and to top that off we caught two dratini! We also caught a couple of ditto, a bulbasaur, and saw/caught numerous other pokemon, but I really don't feel like looking them all up again.

Here's to hoping your New Year's Eve was fun (we played a horror-based D&D campaign) and that your first day of 2017 has at least been good, so Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016: 4/4

This was supposed to be up the first Sunday of December, but apparently, I just couldn't make myself sit down and type it up.  There are numerous reasons for the two week hiatus, but there's no reason for me to get into those.  This is meant to let you know how my NaNoWriMo 2016 experience ended.

Sadly, I did not "win" at the overall goal.  I fell severely short of the 50K.  Part of it may have been a misjudging of how much I actually wrote by hand and a lack of every word I typed during the month of November.  I only managed 9300 words.

Still, that's 9300 more words than I'd had before the month, and most of that was on one of two stories - my Librarians Leverage crossover and a Harry Potter Katekyo Hitman Reborn! crossover.  My Librarians Leverage crossover is causing me a headache since I somehow lost the complete first chapter that I'd typed up last year.  I still have chapter 2 and the beginning of chapter 3, but considering each chapter is based on each episode of The Librarians, it'll be very time-consuming working on that chapter again.

Anyway, while I didn't complete the 50K word goal, I'm certain others did, and I wish to congratulate those who managed that lofty goal that I have yet to meet.  Maybe next year?

Sunday, November 27, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016: 3/4

Only one more week (well, three days) of NaNoWriMo 2016, then it'll be revise or continue writing if the story isn't done until, well, until I feel a need to stop.  The problem?  I've only recently hit the 5k marker.  So, NaNoWriMo is almost done and I've only managed about 1/10 of the necessary words to complete my task.

Don't worry, though.  Even if I don't hit that 50k word count goal, I managed to work on my story, and I think I even came up with a title for this particular fanfic: The Librarian's Hitter.  It may still change, but currently, it's a work in progress and sometimes I like what I'm working on.  Then I'll hit a rough patch and try to work on some other section only to realize that rough patch is almost integral to how this next section is going to play out.

This is particularly true because the fanfiction I'm working on will eventually deviate from the actual canon.  Currently, it's very similar.  The biggest differences are some background information and some of the events that occur "off screen", like when they're researching in the third episode or the trip from Oklahoma in the pilot.  I've taken liberties that mean some of the information about the on-screen events will be changed.  By the end of the first season, there's going to hopefully be a lot more maneuverability for me, though, having seen season two, finally, it does mean a huge number of changes to a few of those episodes.  The one I'm going to have the most fun with will be the episode involving Holknolote (did I get that right?)

Anyway, keep writing out there and don't be worried about that deadline.  Even if you fail on the grand finale, you managed something which better than not even trying.  Besides, maybe you learned something new or made some new friends?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016: 2/4

So, here's a quick update, what with Thanksgiving coming up and a busy week baking and possibly doing some other cooking, I'm going to seriously try to catch up to where I need to be...marathoning write-ins will be occurring likely tomorrow.  Thank goodness I took some much needed time off for this week!  I have yet to reach 5k.

Okay, truthfully, I may have hit the 5k, but between working on other projects that catch my attention, school work, two jobs, housework, and making certain that we have actual food at least once a week, not everything has been accurately counted.  I think the official current word count is still below 4k, but above 3k.  This is likely to change after this post, but I'm just trying to focus and am having a hard time keeping to one thing at a time.  If you have any suggestions, I'll gladly read them, but be warned, I don't take well to time management tips.  Very few work out and, yes, I'm a severe procrastinator, as evidenced by inability to keep to my own schedule in check when it comes simply to a blog.

I am trying, though, so I'll let myself have a piece of strawberry cake with s'mores icing, maybe.  Those watermelon pop tarts sound even more intriguing than cake does, though.  I wonder if Ezekiel would try to eat them?  Maybe I'll have that as a little excerpt for my crossover....

Anyway, for those who are actually attempting NaNoWriMo, keep writing, and have fun.  For those who are about to have a fun-filled week getting ready for Thanksgiving and then the winter holiday fun immediately after  -  good luck, we're all going to need it this year.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016: 1/4

So, here's my NaNo information.  It's the first post in my journey and instead of linking you to previous posts or the NaNo website, I'll just direct you to read any previous NaNo related post for the link.  I'll likely add the links in next Sunday's post.

This time I'll be working on continuing the Librarians/Leverage crossover I started in a previous NaNo event.  Have I stuck with just my LLXer?  NO.  I have worked on a Reading the books story regarding Harry Potter and Supernatural and a Harry Potter and Katekyo Hitman! Reborn Crossover where Harry and Skull are the same person.  I've also a few other things floating around to work on which promises to keep me very occupied whenever I sit to write.  In a way I'm dreading all the revision I'll start on next month, but that's alright.  My Eerie Estates series will sometimes call to me as well.  However, I have not abandoned anything, just severely neglected it all.  Perhaps this will return me to days of churning out numerous pages of seemingly random slices of life in seemingly random worlds?

Anyway, I've only 786 words as I type this on my official word count, though I know it's more.  I'll be getting a proper word count update after I post this.  Type you all next week.  If you're participating, good luck.  If not, it's not too late to join or even start planning for next year!  Anyway, have fun folks and be safe!

Catch Up and NaNoWriMo

Okay, so I know it's been several months since I've typed a post, but I swear I was thinking about and I didn't stop writing.  No, I last wrote in June, after skipping the week immediately after Memorial Day weekend.  This was not done on purpose.  As a matter of fact, my husband and I both got Pokemon Go on our phones.

I had tried to plan out a few posts, but between Pokemon Go, a dog, two jobs, school, and a husband, I barely remember anything that occurred for the rest of June.  Then the first weekend of July we managed to get my computer back online.  I also had learned by this time that Disney Channel had 100 Original Movies (DCOMs).  I'll try to type up more about my plans regarding these, including a list of DCOMs according to Disney Channel at the time they were promoting their 100th DCOM - Adventures in Babysitting in a future post.

Anyway, after getting my computer back up and running, It took most of the week to get all of the necessary updates, including drivers, while avoiding anything to do with Windows 10.  I refuse to get it on this particular computer.  As it is, I've somehow lost several works that I had on the old hard drive.  Yes, the fix for the revolving blue screen cycle was to get a new hard drive and reinstall Windows 8.  This meant that it was necessary to reinstall numerous updates as previously mentioned.

By the time my computer was back to working condition, I was barely keeping up with numerous other projects and my husband was asking to do something every single weekend.  Time for me to do almost anything?  I didn't know what it was.  I wasn't even able to watch and comment on the season premieres of The Voice, Dancing With The Stars, Once Upon A Time, or Hell's Kitchen.  In fact, there are numerous things that I've been trying to catch up on and just haven't been able to because of house cleaning as well.  Don't even ask about cooking, although I've got a recipe for Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies that I had to refind for the holiday season.  It truly is liked and I had to promise to make one of my coworkers an entire batch just for him.  My husband sat with the cookies while I was at work before our employee party regarding one of my jobs and let's just say he told me he had to forget they even existed in order to not eat all of them.  So that was yesterday morning and evening...

Anyway, I started to think I could start working on blogs again about two weeks ago, but I just couldn't seem to sit at my desk - cluttered beyond belief - to type a blog.  I even contemplated typing something regarding the election seeing as I'm an American.  I realized rather quickly that to be completely honest I had no idea where any of the candidates stood regarding anything I felt was important.  Everything we were presented with was biased or seemed incomplete.  I didn't post on the eve of Halloween because of things that I had to finish that day for school (I spent two hours on one project for the least amount of time and I think it was five for the longest) and a party that evening.

On a final note, am I doing NaNoWriMo again this year?  Yes.  I'll post my first update of four, since I missed the first Sunday of this month as well, shortly.

Any questions about the hectic last few months or ideas for future posts?  Questions in regards to anything posted here?  Just leave a comment!  Also, if you want to know what I voted or if I voted, no, I did not.  I felt underinformed.  Otherwise, I think I'll wrap this up for now.  Look forward to the next post and type you later!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Memorial Getaway

After a number of paragraphs explaining why I had missed posts in Memorial Day, I spoke about a Memorial Day getaway with my husband.  We stayed within approximately an hour's drive, but it was still a wonderful weekend.

For most, the weekend likely began Friday evening.  My husband's began on Thursday night since he managed to get Friday off.  Mine, however, did not begin until late Friday night.  So while my lucky bastard of a husband (though, really, I do love the guy!) had the day off, he decided to get the car mostly ready for our trip.  We woke up and left later than we wished, but it was still kind of early for a trip up the Mississippi River.

 So, after loading the car with a freshly packed cooler and some fruit for the trip, we pulled up Google Maps on my phone and headed off for Grafton, IL.  On the way we stopped at an Edwardsville located Starbucks.  While my husband ordered their S'mores Frappuccino® Blended Coffee and Sausage & Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich, I had a Very Berry Hibiscus Starbucks Refreshers™ Beverage and a Cheese Danish.  Thankfully, they are known for their beverages and not their food because the food was, for us at least, just above average to average.  Typically I can't stand items with coffee in them.  Coffee flavored candy? Give it away.  Tiramisu? Spit it out the first time I tried it, could have killed my husband the second - when he tricked me into it.  So while I'm willing to try them, usually the bitter aftertaste of coffee is so bad I just can't bring myself to do more.  My husband was lucky I can restrain myself so well around coffees...I could have drank his.  The refresher was half gone when he finally got to try it as well.  So after enjoying a quick bite to eat we continued on to Grafton.

On the way, we followed the river and happened to see a statue on the other side.  Using Google Maps, we managed to determine that it was in Portage des Sioux, a small town rich with history.  Deciding that if we had time we would go to see it, we continued the north drive to reach Grafton and it's flea market.  Once parked, we walked to the building that housed the vendors.  Once we started looking, we enjoyed walking through the crowded building finding Christmas gifts and personal likes (he found a great deal on a fishing pole!)  After making our second trip to the car, we decided to have a small picnic, though the heat meant we ate in the car instead of in chairs beside it.  Well, more the intense sun than the heat.  I felt it was more of a gorgeous day, but he has always preferred a cooler clime than I.

After enjoying a couple of sandwiches, we decided to try to find our way to Portage des Sioux.  We managed to and the way to the statue was very pleasant.  Once there, we learned various tidbits of history regarding the statue which was Our Lady of the Rivers.  While there, I managed to take a few pictures of the statue.

So, it may have been more than a few, but there are a few great pictures of it.  As we walked up we noticed the information on the posts.  Little tidbits of history, such as that the location had once been the first port of white settlers in the west and that it had been the site of the signing of a Native American treaty.  Within those tidbits included was that of a church.

We were lucky enough to be allowed inside to see the beauty within the church.  While inside we learned more about the church as well.

Besides the gorgeous stained glass windows, murals resided in the front of the church, as pictured above.  Below are some statues that were painted and hard to believe were wooden.

One of the things we learned was in regards to the church's history.  There were these plaques that had been painted over with white paint.  In the flooding of the Mississippi that occurred in 1993, some of the color bled through, revealing the German heritage of the town even in the church.

Even more amazing is the church's organ.  Built in 1905,it is most likely an imported organ.  It is a gorgeous instrument no matter the origin.

Disappointingly, we could not stay long since we had a cruise we wished to make.  In fact on the cruise, we managed to see several marvels, including more pictures of Our Lady of the Rivers.  I won't put more of them up here, but it was magical, no matter how trite that may seem.

Hopefully, I'll manage to type up a Father's Day post, but if not, for all the father's who may read this, I hope you have a Happy Father's Day...now to get my husband something...this is gonna be hard!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Day

So I know I haven't posted anything in a couple of weeks and that's because of RL events.  Between Mother's Day, housing inspections (required in the apartments I reside in), work, and school, I've almost run myself ragged.  So, first, a very late Happy Mother's Day to my mother readers, whether they are biological, lawfully adopted, claimed, feathered, two-legged or more, mothers have helped shape the very creatures they've raised.  My husband got me a yellow iris to celebrate it seeing as we have our almost six year old dog.  Such a good girl, usually.

So, this past week were season finales of both The Voice and DWTS (Dancing with the Stars).  I meant to put up reviews and my personal views seeing as there were numerous members in the cast that I had hoped would make it through very far (only one did), but it was fun to watch.  On The Voice I wasn't drawn to any voices like in some of the past seasons since Gwen Stefani was first on in Season 7.  As I mentioned there were a few notables since then in my opinion.  Taylor John Williams, Mia Z, and YouTuber Kota Wade are only a few.  Season 10, however, was a let down.  At least, originally, it was.  But as I listened to the episodes, two became stand-outs in my mind.  I thought they chose the perfect coaches to drag the potential out of them.  Laith Al-Saadi and Hannah Huston have admirable voices, once they let them shine.  Neither one won.  Instead, finally a female coach had one of her team members.  Congratulations, Christina, on having an admirably chosen contestant.

DWTS Season 22, on the other hand, hosted Kim Fields, who I loved in Facts of Life, but my favorite wasn't Tootie (I could never decide between Blair and Jo); Jodie Sweetin, who played Stephanie Tanner in Full House (DJ was on a previous season, so now I'm wondering when Kim Gibbler is going to join the DWTS contestant family...makes an interesting parallel, doesn't it?); and Nyle DiMarco, who won Season 22 of America's Next Top Model (and he's deaf, if you hadn't learned). I was rooting for all three of these contestants, only Nyle made it to the finale.  To be completely honest, I thought it would be awesome and a bit ironic, though I may not be using that word appropriately, if he won another season 22 reality show.  Nyle did win. It let's me have a wonderful weekend coming up,

Speaking of the weekend, this weekend is extended in the United States to include Monday.  The reason?  It's Memorial Day Weekend.  Even though my husband and I will be taking a short, well-deserved vacation this weekend, he is a veteran (disabled before ever seeing beyond BCT) and every generation in my family tree that I've managed to trace including myself (though I had an other than honorable discharge...really don't wish to go into that.  It should be a general discharge now) has had military personnel somewhere.  I've managed to trace one line back to the Revolutionary War, which they managed to move inland, (over the mountains) before the war officially started by a few years, I think....I'm not looking at the information currently, so I could be wrong about the dates.  We'll take the time to honor those who fought for what they believed in or joined up to avoid war but managed to change themselves around, or really any military personnel who died in battle.  Some were mothers or fathers, brothers or sisters, but every single soldier, sailor, marine or airman was someone's child.  Some lives were cut short.  Others survived so damaged they couldn't reintegrate (One of my great-uncles died in the hospital believing he was still at war.).  No matter what they were or how they died specifically, Memorial Day is a day to honor and remember their sacrifices.  We take a few moments to honor them before truly honoring them by living life as I know they wanted future generations to do.

These people gave their lives so we could all live.  They didn't want their deaths seen as something bad.  The original soldiers remembered on this particular holiday were Union Soldiers, who died for what they believed in: a life of freedom for men no matter the color of their skin.  Obviously, and very much thankfully, humanity has changed to a more equal footing for all people, but not without a lot of hardship and lost lives.  It is sad.  I will not allow myself to disregard their sacrifices.  I will honor them in every way I know and for those who think that the parties and family get-togethers are not celebrating the fallen military personnel appropriately, I can only ask: How do you honor those who gave their lives so you could live free to make your own choices?

Sunday, May 1, 2016

April 2016 Poetry A Day: Week 5/5

It's the final week of the Poetry A Day Challenge!  My thoughts on the challenge will be given after this weeks prompts.  Speaking of prompts, 2016 April PAD Challenge: Day 25 prompted for us to write a poem about exercise.  My first thought was the emphasis on health and exercising for that, but there are so many types of exercise, that suddenly I was trying to figure out which type I wanted to write about.


enveloping so much
from drills to runs to writing
each has its own type

The military uses exercise
to help get the recruits in shape
Known as drills or just trying to be killed

There are writing exercises
like following prompts
or mapping out a story

Exercising rights
is another concept
that has come under fire

Of course, Tuesday is double-prompt day.  This time we received the prompt to write a love or anti-love poem.  I had to double check, and yes, it's 2016 April PAD Challenge: Day 26.  If you remember in my Future of April 2016 post, we did a similar one as a warm-up for the PAD challenge.

Against most anything
Not caring for emotion
Telling themselves it's not real
Intelligence is more than heart

Loyalty reigns supreme
Ongoing even when their being a bastard
Veering thanks to their heart
Ever willing for some emotion.

I know it's a bit of a strange acrostic poem, but it works for me.  I'm just not sure on how to title it.

So the 27th was Administrative Assistant Day.  I think this was a more PC (politically correct) term for National Secretary's Day, but I'm just as likely wrong.  So for all the administrative assistants out there, thank you for the jobs that you do.  The prompt for the day was not exactly based around it being Administrative Assistants Day.  No, the prompt for 2016 April PAD Challenge: Day 27 was to write a take off poem.


I wished to live off grid
to be as independent as I could
Life just wasn't willing
and Fate agreed with her

I tried to distance myself
to cut off ties of old
but Life just wasn't willing
and Fate agreed with her

So I let them carry me
with Destiny's aid
to where they wished me to be
and not where I truly yearned

For I wished to take off
disappear in the distance
Fate and Life and Destiny
they had different plans

They chose to inundate me
with friends and family
who could freely leave
while I stayed stationary

I think he really likes those poems where there's a blank for a person to finish the title because the prompt for 2016 April PAD Challenge: Day 28 was "Important ___________".  So here's my attempt at it.


there comes a time
in every life
when a decision
must be made

it may be big
it may be small
but to be made
must be done.

They are important
no matter the size
decisions to be made
in every life

Two more days, two more poems.  I don't know why, but it's a bit bittersweet.  Will I keep writing poems after this?  Sure, but only as the muse strikes me.  I'm very much a spontaneous writer.  I tend to be a pantser in NaNoWriMo events.  That's why the prompt for 2016 April PAD Challenge: Day 29 made me smile.  The prompt was to write a haphazard poem.


For most
planning takes precedence
For me however
it's just too much

Too take things away
and when i wish
this is my plan
for every event

i write as i wish
i play, eat or work
it's makes no difference
it just seems right

so take your outlines
calendars and lists
and burn them in bonfire
of failed plot bunnies and trysts

i'll write as i see fit and
enjoy the results
if someone else likes them, great
if not that's not why i write anyway

This brought us to the final day of the PAD challenge.  It's nice to know that even if I didn't write each one on the day they were posted, I've written thirty different poems in a month.  2016 April PAD Challenge: Day 30 gave us our final prompt.  As is fitting for the end of a poeming event,  the day's prompt was to write a dead end poem.


they said it was easy.
they claimed it would flow
if you just sit  down and write
the words would make themselves known

it didn't work the way they said
it refused to flow as they claimed
i tried to sit down and write
the words refused to reveal themselves

Then suddenly it changed
the words, they came
the poem flowed
even if it wasn't in a poetic form

the words stopped as suddenly as they came
the poem isn't never ending
whether it's good or bad
it hit its own dead end

So there's the last of my PAD poems.  Hope you enjoyed at least one or two out of the thirty I managed to write out.  Was it easy?  I personally don't think any kind of writing is easy, but it was fun.  I wasn't sure I could do the poems daily, but I tried.  I didn't write a poem a day, but I did write thirty poems which would have been a poem a day.  I enjoyed writing them even if they didn't always flow.

How about you?  Did you enjoy one of my poems?  Did you have suggestions for untitled poems?  How about going through the links to read other poets works?  Did you do so, and if so did you find one you liked?  Did you participate?  If so, did you enjoy writing them?  Leave your answers in the comments.