Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween 2016!

Hello and a Happy Halloween!

Personally when I think Halloween, I think fun. Silly, playful, magic in cool fall breeze kind of fun! Not horror, blood, guts, and trying to scare people. I find that unpleasant. None of that mess for me thanks.

With Halloween all in the air an upon us, what are some of your favourite Halloween things?

I personally love watching movie marathons. Who hasn't heard of 13 Nights of Halloween? Seriously, who doesn't think that's the siznit?
I am however, without cable. For about the 5th year in a row. (Thank you internet streaming services!) But some of those films may be on your movie shelf or available on Netflix, whatever your fancy I'm sure you can find something to entertain you.

Some of my personal favourite movies to watch around this time of the year, the Gingersnaps series. I'd consider them to be cult films, but there are 3 if you're interesting in watching them. (smile)
There are some pretty classic things, Hocus Pocus, Practical Magic, ParaNorman, Addams Family, Goosbumps, I'd say the 2015 film was okay.
The partner loves watching The Nightmare Before Christmas, on both Halloween AND Christmas.
Last but not least, the Halloweentown movies! One that doesn't pop up often but I enjoy, The Initiation of Sarah (2006). There's of course lots of witchy things like The Craft.

There's a few items still on my watch list, primarily Frankenweenie, another that comes to mind is Hotel Transylvania.

As I previously stated, not that into slasher films. That said, I was pretty big into watching the original version of horror movies in the early 2000s. Two that always come to mind are Ju-On: The Grudge (2002 Japanese) and Dark Water (2002 Japanese).

Growing up I was big into horror movies, but now I either their their too stupid or too dark and gory. There's some really twisted sick things out there that I'm don't think need to be made [for everyone to see].

Putting films aside, what else is Halloween known for? Trick-or-Treating? Maybe. But you can't do that without a costume.

We did a couples costume this year as...

Wayne's Word
Wayne Campbell & Garth Algar

I'm dressed as Wayne, the partner is Garth. We found most of our outfits at thrift stores or under $5 a piece.
The most we spent was on my Wayne's World hat, which was $10 with shipping.I'd also like to take the time to note my awesome thrift store find of a Paper Jamz guitar for 99¢!
We weren't sure of our evening plans, so we're dressed up all day walking around.
Being an adult is fun like that sometimes! 

I'm also super excited for the day AFTER Halloween. Just like Easter, Valentine's Day, and Christmas.
"Hello cheap candy, you're coming home with me."

Did you dress up this year? What was your costume?! Party on readers, party on.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Book Review: The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata, Julia Kuo


Author: Cynthia Kadohata
Illustrator: Julia Kuo
Published on: January 4th 2013
by: Atheneum Books for Young Reader
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Children's
Literary Awards: National Book Award for Young People’s Literature (2013), Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award Nominee (2015)

Summer knows that kouun means "good luck" in Japanese, and this year her family has had none. Just when Summer thinks nothing else can possibly go wrong, an emergency whisks her parents away to Japan, right before harvest season leaving Summer and her little brother, Jaz, in the care of their elderly grandparents, Obaachan and Jiichan.

Obaachan and Jiichan are old fashioned, very demanding, and easily disappointed. Between helping Obaachan cook for the workers and with all the other chores, and worrying about her little brother, who can't seem to make any friends, Summer has her hands full. But when a welcome distraction turns into a big mess, causing further disappointment, Summer realises she must try and make her own luck as it might be the only way to save her family. (Source)

This book caters to one of my favourite things to read, coming of age. Summer is pretty lost in her world as a young girl trying to understand the aspects of becoming a young adult. With her parents off to Japan, meaning their major source of income is disrupted, Summer and her brother Jaz find themselves in their strict grandparent's hands for the summer.
Meaning, they're have to work hard to  help make ends meet or as the adults say, "save the mortgage" which Summer doesn't fully understand.

There's a few topics I feel should be addressed in regards to my likes and dislikes of this book.

It was interesting how bit of Japanese culture and language play a part in this story and the lives of the characters, which I liked. I even learned a few terms and their meanings I hadn't before.

"In Japan, things that don't last called tsukanoma. Tsukanoma very beautiful, like cherry blossom." - Jiichan
tsukanoma - for a moment or brief time (Source)
Which is basically the understand that not all things last. There are somethings that are only able to withstand or exist for a moment. It's interesting there's not only a word for it, but the concept is pretty widely accepted and relatable.

Wabi-sabi; represents Japanese aesthetics and a Japanese world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete". It is a concept derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence, specifically impermanence, suffering and emptiness or absence of self-nature. (Source)
Whereas wabi-sabi is more about imperfections and accepting them. I considering it pretty interesting stuff.

The negative side of this review.. the books pace was irritatingly slow. I easily made it over 1/3 of the book feelings as if no story has developed. Half way, still wondering when the plot is going to pick up and grab my attention. As well as wondering how this was going to pull a thoughtful story or lesson together. Sadly, it never happened.

I ended up forcing myself to finish the last 100 pages of this book (it was only 270 pages total) in order to finish, telling myself I'd invested enough to deserve to know what happened.
Then the last few chapters set in, BAM action, pace starts moving along. Then the story... ends. Right in the middle of what I felt was an interesting twist and when development in the plot.

You're left hanging with how everything works out, both for their summer, their parents (and family), as well as Summer's possible change in behaviour and views on friendships and romantic relationships.

I also did not enjoy the writing or story telling style, largely due to feeling the style occasionally jumping. Summer goes on these, tangents. That are very loosely related to what prompted them, as well as usually unrelated to where they end.
She has a fear of mosquitoes. Which we're reminded about, once, twice, twenty times. It's what most of her rambling revolves around.

There's also the issue, and question, of her brother Jaz. From what I picked up on, I can only assume he's autistic. But outside of outbursts, obsessive details, and being particular about things in his life, it's never directly addressed. They just refer to him as "different". Something about that, bothered me. Because they view him as lonely, irrational at times, and very misunderstood without trying to really understand it farther.

My low review for this may also be part of my own hang up, as much as I'm into inner development and progression, I also like problems being tackled. Storytelling to "physically" move forward and changing.

Recommend: Not. Sorry, I can't recommend this book.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Follow Friday: Creepy Covers

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read, to help gain new followers and make new friends!
Please see here for rules and more details if you're interesting in joining in!

Q: What are some of your favorite creepy/twisted/dark covers? via Brooke Banks

I'm not much of horror reader or a fan of gore. However they are covers I think are creepy.
Most of these I haven't read, some are on my 'to read' list, but all in all.. these covers have left a lasting impression.

What book do you think have the creepiest, scariest, or just all around your favourite dark covers?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

FTW: Finds This Week

This is my own version of a "Books/movies/things I've recently acquired" meme. It's not expected to be a regularly scheduled blog entry, only when it's relevant. Please enjoy my play on FTW, "For the win!"

"Deals FTW!"

In the last few days, week months... a few regular trips to  Half Price Books have been made.
Along with that, a rather large purge was done over the shelves of our household. Not only do I do Spring cleaning, I also do Fall cleaning (post Winter). Because you're locked in the house, things get forgotten, etc.

In those trips I've scooped up some great book deals, as stated in a previous post. What with Christmas shopping in full swing, I am hunting and searching for those deals!
While most of this post are not items that will stay in my position, Christmas presents to be given, they're still Finds! (And right now honestly my blog is in dire need of some content.)

Please ignore my ugly carpet!
First we've got...
The Complete Guide to Drawing Manga by Marc Powell & David Neal ($7.99)
The Little Prince Coloring Book: Beautiful images for you to color and enjoy... by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry ($6.46)

Each of them easily half price of their usually shelves price.

I'd been lightly browsing for a "How to draw manga" book as a present, then find this one pretty under the usual prices I've seen, usually about $12-20. I wasn't sold on the art style of the cover, the inside is much better.
As well, I'd been looking for an adult colouring book for a gift for someone, then stumbled across The Little Prince. Which will have more sentimental meaning than silly adult colouring. It's usually $10+.

Next, top of the image, we've got Vampire Knight Volumes 1-3 by Matsuri Hino
mangas Volume 1-3. I found two of the Vampire Knight mangas on a 'final clearance' shelf.
(Volume 2 was $2, Volume 3 was $1. Two mangas for $3 sounds like a win to me!) I completed the set by purchasing Volume 1 from an Amazon seller. ( 01¢ + $3.99 shipping = $4 book!)

Then there's two books for me off the clearance shelf.
The second is Amanda Hocking's Watersong series, which I just purchased the first one on sale as well in a previous post here. Then another book I saw had good reviews on Goodreads, Once We Were, it's sadly the second book in it's series, I'll be searching to find the first book. Both books were $2 each.

Lullaby (Watersong, #2) by Amanda Hocking
Once We Were (The Hybrid Chronicles #2) by Kat Zhang

Have you found anything good or interesting recently? Please comment and share!
Hope you all find some great deals out there!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Movie Review: Swiss Army Man

Swiss Army Man (2016)

Director: Daniel Scheinert, Daniel Kwan
Producer: Eval Rimmon, Lauren Mann, Lawrence Inglee, Jonathan Wang, Miranda Bailey, Amanda Marshall
Distributor: A24
Release Date(s): January 22, 2016 (Sundance Film Festival), June 24, 2016 (United States)
Running Time: 97 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Rating: R

Official Site | Trailer

Hank (Paul Dano), a man who is attempting suicide after being lost on an island, when he sees a corpse wash ashore, Manny (Daniel Radcliffe). He develops a type of friendship with the dead body and discovers that he can manipulate the cadaver like a Swiss Army knife and ends up slowly reanimating him from the dead. (Source)

Movie Tags: Comedy, Emotional, Goofy, Sentimental

Note: Please note R rating.

"If you hide farts from those you care about, what else are you hiding?" - Manny

Before I start, this is what I believe the underlining message of this story is. We're all kind of gross, we all do things, like fart, why hid it?
Everyone poops. While it's great to 'keep the mystery alive', don't feel shame for it.

Going into this, I wasn't sure what to expect. I'd seen the trailers online, thinking they were silly yet curious as to what the film would actually be about. "Light hearted and hopefully silly to watch", I hit the nail on the head.

While is film does carry very heavy subtext, starting with a man ready to take his life, as well as the main protagonist questioning almost every aspect of his life, almost obsessively, it's very well hidden under a layer of utter silliness. I'm practically fond of movies that address very serious issues, in a very non-serious sort of way. I personally think life is about laughing, even if it's not all the time.
You should be able to view yourself, your issues, and see some of your hang ups as silly, while still being able to embrace them. Which I felt was the main theme of Swiss Army Man.

The entire premise of a man that's dead, but is he really dead? Is rather interesting. It may lead you to assuming you'll show concern, of the bad kind, for the leading man Hank. The catch is, there are other things to be more concerned about.
Not once did I really find the idea of a friendship with a "dead but not quite dead man" concerning, which in retrospect makes me wonder about myself a bit.. Let's chalk that up to the flow of the story being so smooth.
You simply go with the flow of the current and get swept away by this odd movie.

One thing I am somewhat unsatisfied with, which is why this only received four stars, that's is the ending. It felt almost, uncomfortable. The journey, is what catches you, then reality sets in, and you're left trying to salvage what you took from the experience.
While it, once again, indirectly addresses the primary concerns of the movie. Too many "what ifs" "what's next?" were left open.
However the point is, does that all really matter as much as you think it does?

As a disclaimer I should comment, quirkiness is almost always a plus in my book. Even more so if it's quirky without being weird. Which is movie flirted with that line, I choose to give it an overall good rating.

Recommend: Emotional drama, adult humour, quirkiness, and comedy.

Monday, October 10, 2016


Holy cow! So I've found my way back here. It's been almost 3.. years?!

Can we talk about those pages views doe! IT'S OVER 9,000!
*cough* Now that that jokes out of out of the way.

Quick Personal Rundown:
I'm now on the edge of my 27th birthday. I've moved from Florida, which is where I was most of the time this blog was active, to Oklahoma. I am currently living in Oklahoma City and looking to move back to the Jacksonville area early 2017. (I miss Florida too much!)
I have a long term committed partner, after being single for almost 6 years. (YAY!)
I'm currently a homemaker.
Both of my lovely kitty cats are still doing well.

Mind you I have done some cleaning of le house, or should I say 'le blog", and removing some old outdated posts, mostly personal things that I now feel are cluttering up the place!

While I'm still on the same level of reading. AKA Not as often as I should be but at least one a month if I'm good.
I am still hoping to bring a decent mixture of movie, TV, and book reviews.

I've never been much of a 'current' reader, and that hasn't changed. I'm more of a "Hey look at this book I found, it sounded interesting!" while at a thrift store of browsing a clearance shelf.

Speaking of which, have you hear of Hasting? Well there's one near me and they're going out of business. This sale has been going on for at least two months, slowly working down how marked off everything is. I made my final trip to our local one and picked over everything one section at a time.

Official started on Christmas shopping for the kids! As well as a load of books for myself.

That said, I ended up with 8 books total and spent $4 on most of them, and two for $.70 and $.17!

I snatched up Wake by Amanada Hocking
The Last Apprentice/Wardstone Chronicles by Joseph Delaney, Book 3, Book 4, Book 6, and Book 8. I already have the first one and bought the second one used off Amazon ($4 book!)
The Golden Specifice by S.E. Grove
This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata, Julia Kuo  (Currently reading)

To the future and onward!