NaBloWriMo :: My November Goals

It’s November 1st. The festivies of Halloween are over and the days grow colder and darker. We have to somehow fill the next four weeks until we can start playing Christmas music and getting into the holiday season. November is a somewhat bleak month, and that’s why it must be filled with creativity, writing, and art!

Now we’ve all heard of NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, and although I signed up this year, I doubt I have the hours in the day to possibly make a dent in it. But I won’t let my creativity waver because of this. Therefore, I’ve devided to make November my National Blog Writing Month! Even though NaBloWriMo isn’t nearly as catchy…

My goals for this month include:

  • A weekly update for what I’m reading, watching, loving, etc.
  • 5 Fandom Fridays, of course.
  • An additional post every week (this is going to be the hardest for me).
  • Try to promote my blog more. Who knows, maybe even become more savvy at social media.

I hope November leads to some fun, inspiring posts. Let’s see where this takes us!

5 Fandom Friday :: Surviving the Apocalypse

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Welcome back to 5 Fandom Friday!! Since it’s October, and danger and creepiness is in the air, this week’s topic is 5 People I’d Want By My Side During the Apocalypse. In an age of zombie movies and apocalyptic fiction, it’s hard not to think of how I’d survive after civilized society falls; is it more strategic to live in a city or the country? Would I stay true to my morals? What would be my weapon of choice? I’m not going to lie, I probably wouldn’t survive very long. But with this squad by my side, maybe I’d have a chance!

Daryl Dixon ((The Walking Dead))

It isn’t clear whether this is a zombie apocalypse or not, but either way, Daryl is a fighter you’d want as part of your alliance. His skills with a crossbow are lethal and perfect to keep any danger from getting too close. Yes, he’s a bit moody, but his rugged good looks would boost morale.

Katniss Everdeen ((The Hunger Games))

Katniss is a true survivor. Not only is she deadly with a bow, but she has crucial knowledge of what plants are safe to eat and what herbs can heal wounds. I’d most likely off myself in a way completely unrelated to the apocalypse — eating too many poisonous berries or something — so having Katniss around would probably save me. She’s also cool,clever, and funny; someone who’d make the end of the world more bearable.

Buffy Summers ((Buffy the Vampire Slayer))

Buffy’s already dealed with the end of the world once, a second time would be nothing. In addition to being a complete badass, she’s loyal to her friends until the very end. She’d never leave me behind if I contracted the plague. And if the end of times happened to be caused by something supernatural, I’m sure Buffy would be able to solve it.

Ron Swanson ((Parks and Rec))

Ron’s been prepping for the apocalypse even before he had his first taste of bacon. Since he’s already so accustomed to living off the grid, he’d build us the most secure safehouse ever and use his wilderness skills to keep us alive. Even though he’s tough as nails, he’s a big softie on the inside and would be a great companion to have when all else is lost.

The Traveling Symphony ((Station Eleven))

Ok, the Traveling Symphony is more than one person, but as any good nerd knows, “survival is insufficient.” I may have this crew that could fight away zombies, hunt for food, and keep us alive, but what is the point of surviving without art? The Traveling Symphony would provide something to stay alive for, I’d probably even contribute my own musical talents and join them!

And the cheat…

The Doctor ((Doctor Who))

And when things get too rough, I’d just call the Doctor to get us the hell out of here.


As always, 5 Fandom Friday is brought to you by The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick. Follow them to participate!

5 Reasons Why Autumn Should Be All Year Long

5fandomfridayFall is here, hear the yell
back to school, ring the bell
brand new shoes, walking blues
climb the fence, books and pens
I can tell that we are gonna be friends
I can tell that we are gonna be friends

Fall is here! Technically, of course. Here in New England, it still feels like the middle of August. Nevertheless, I can smell the turning of the seasons in the air and see it in the longer shadows. Autumn is absolutely, without a doubt my favorite season; everything about it warms my soul — except that it means winter is around the corner. And I’m so lucky to live somewhere that does fall right. If Mother Nature asked me, I would make it Autumn all year! There are hundreds of reasons why, but here are my favorites.

Fall Fashion

Scarves, sweaters, and boots! Oh my!

I’m pretty sure clothes were invented for Autumn. It’s cool enough that you can layer up with adorable scarves and cozy sweaters, but still warm enough that you can wear cute dresses and skirts. Then there are the fall colors. Earth tones and deep dark hues are perfect for me! And leather! How can you forget about leather? Boots, messenger bags, light jackets. I’m getting excited just thinking about it!

Ahh! I absolutely can’t wait for the weather to finally turn and I can bust out my fall wardrobe!

Apples

Usually as soon as the calendar turns to September, people think it’s pumpkin spice this and pumpkin spice that.

STOP!

I have a very important life rule: October is pumpkin spice month, but September is apple season! You cannot skip apple season.

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It starts with apple picking at lovely, quaint orchards, and soon spirals to warm apple cider, warm spiked apple cider, apple pie, apple crisp, caramel apples, and apple donuts… oh god, apple donuts. To deny yourself apple is to deny yourself life.

Pumpkins

Now we can get to pumpkins. Pumpkins epitomize fall in everything from food to decoration! As even the most basic biddy knows, pumpkin spice is freakin delicious. I don’t mean to be stereotypical, but have you tasted pumpkin spice? It tastes like a warm hug.

But that’s not where the pumpkin ends. During Autumn, pumpkin should be EVERYWHERE! I demand that each house should have at least three pumpkins on their stoop and one as the centerpiece of every table. If you don’t have much time, you can keep your pumpkin as is, but you’re depriving yourself of the joy of jack o’lanterns.  Carving pumpkins is so much fun! You get to go elbow deep in goop and create a masterpiece. Then roast up the seeds with yummy spices! I always spend weeks thinking of how I will design my pumpkins. I don’t mean to brag, but I usually beast it.

And by far my favorite pumpkin activity is the Jack o’lantern Spectacular, a scenic walk through a park lined with themed carvings by super talented artists. Not going to lie, I’m pretty sure I want my future husband to propose to me here.

Halloween

While we’re on the subject of jack o’lanterns, let’s talk about Halloween. It’s my favorite holiday. Christmas is overrated, but Halloween is the real deal. I don’t think I’ve ever tried to hide my love for “spooky shit;” as much as pains me in the end, I love scaring the pants off myself. And as October rolls around, scary stories are told, scary movies are released, and there’s just a tangible darkness in the air. I LOVE IT!

You’re also never too old to dress up, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. On Halloween, you can be whoever or whatever you damn well please. Then throw a fabulous Halloween party with themed liquid refreshments. THE BEST!

Nature

Last, but not least, the world gets more beautiful during Fall. The air is cleaner, the sky is brighter, and the leaves turn brilliant colors. I have been so fortunate to live in an area that is perfect for this. People may travel to New England to see the leaves change, but I get to see it everyday. Not only see it, but feel the crunch of the fallen leaves under my shoes. Fall is my favorite time to go for hikes and take it all in. It makes you want to capture the moment forever.


As always, 5 Fandom Friday is brought to you by The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick. Follow them to participate!

Broadway! Broadway! 5 Broadway Roles I’d Love to Play

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OMG! OMG! OMG! What a wonderful Fandom Friday post! I’d be lying if I said I never thought of Broadway roles I’d love to play. Despite being very musically talented my whole life, I can’t sing for the life of me, and although I loved being involved in Drama, I won’t be getting any leading rolls soon. But that doesn’t stop me from loving musicals! Without further ado, here are the 5 Roles I’d Love to Play if I was a triple-threat.

Eponine ((Les Mis))

When I was a wee Middle Schooler, I was in my town’s high school production of Les Mis. As a complete rookie, I only played townspeople, factory workers, and the occasional whore, but I dreamed of someday playing Eponine. Her character is so tragically beautiful, not to mention she was way smarter and fiercer than dumb Cosette. She was destined to be with Marius! I mean come on, have you ever wondered why Cosette and Marius never completely have a duet (it’s always interjected with Eponine), but Eponine and Marius do? Destiny, man.

Gypsy Rose Lee ((Gypsy))

I always enjoy stories of people who shed their inhibitions (or in this case, their clothes) and confidentally step into their true selves. In Gypsy, Louise was shoved around by her mom and sister all her life, but finally shows them her inner strength by transforming into burlesque superstar Gypsy Rose Lee. I’d love a chance to put aside my own timidness to play this sexy role. Plus, it’s a part without much singing!

Elphaba ((Wicked))

I was never a fan of the novel, but Wicked is one of my favorite musicals! What makes it particularly special to me is how it bonded my college roommates and I; “For Good” especially. Although Glinda is much more fun, I’d want to play Elphana because of the underlying darkness in her voice and songs.

Liesl ((The Sound of Music))

Two words: Gazebo Dance. That is all.

Petra ((A Little Night Music))

Although a small part, Petra from A Little Night Music has a big personality. This is another saucy role, which I guess I’m so attracted to because I wish I could only have such brazen confidence. Like typical Sondheim, the lyrics are fast, clever tongue twisters, and I love that her song is all about living life to the fullest.


As always, 5 Fandom Friday is brought to you by The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick. Follow them to participate!

Magicians at Hogwarts :: A Crossover Post

In my last Fandom Friday, while thinking of the perfect crossover, I became obsessed with the idea of the studets of Brakebills, the magical academy of Lev Grossman’s Magicians Trilogy, attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Before reading The Magicians, I had often heard it referred to as Harry Potter for grownups. There are two things wrong with that statement; 1) Uhh, what do you mean? Harry Potter is totally for grownups, 2) A school for magic is about the only thing they have in common. Regardless, wouldn’t it be great if the two mixed and mingled? If so, our favorite British witches and wizards would be cussing like sailors and having heated, sexy affairs, and the American magicians would probably just be puzzled that they have to use wands for all their magic, but would have a blast playing Quidditch!

This little fantasy had me sorting Grossman’s characters into houses (as I do with everyone I meet) and speculating what their years at Hogwarts would be like.

 

Quentin // Ravenclaw

Quentin_Coldwater

Illustration by Cecilia Bohlin courtesy of levgrossman.com

Quentin had the Sorting Hat in a dizzy. Great potential surged through him. Incredible power and immense self-worth for sure, but with little respect for how his actions affected others. Would it be Sytherin? It was clear to the hat that this boy was among the smartest in the room and he was well aware of it. He had excelled in all his previous studies and would have been on his way to the Ivy League. Would it be Ravenclaw? Minutes seemed like an eternity as the hat bounced between its final decision, and the Great Hall held its breath. It then became clear that Quentin Coldwater was the laziest son of a b—- who had ever walked through these halls, and had the ambition of a housefly. Certainly not Slytherin material.

“RAVENCLAW” It shouted.

 

Alice // Ravenclaw

Olivia_Taylor_Dudley

Alice wanted to disappear on the spot. Having everyone’s eyes upon her was her worst nightmare. “Make this quick,” she thought, and it was. The sorting hat could sense that she had a natural talent for magic, just like her parents, who it had sorted years ago. It would come as easy to her as breathing and she would be one of the greatest Hogwarts had ever see. “Ravenclaw!”

Alice gave a huge sigh of relief, not out fear of where she would be placed, but because she was finally out of the spotlight. She made her way to the Ravenclaw table and sat as close to the end as she could. Her excited housemates laughed around her, but she kept her head down. It was only when she felt the presence of someone’s eyes on her that she looked up. That Coldwater boy was staring at her. She shot him daggers, her expression screaming “What are you looking at?!” It seemed to work.

During the first few weeks, she flew through her classes with flying colors, but always on her heel was Quentin. What was his deal anyways?

 

Eliot // Gryffindor

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A buzz rang in Eliot’s ear as he walked up to the hat. He probably shouldn’t have had that third glass or wine, or was it the fourth? Or that bottle of butterbeer… or that shot of fire whiskey he downed in the secrecy of the bathroom stall. It didn’t matter, he wasn’t nervous. In fact he was loving the throngs of people waiting on the edge of their seats to see where he ended up. The first thing the Sorting Hat picked up was that Eliot was a natural born leader, but quick to throw himself into risky situations. The obvious choice was… “Gryffindor!”

He smirked to himself as he went to find a seat at his house’s table. A rakish blond wizard caught his eye and gave him a wink. “This is going to be a good year,” Eliot thought as he unloaded a flask of vodka into his pumpkin juice.

 

Julia // Slytherin

Magicians_Blog_Stella_Maeve

At last. After all the anguish she had gone through, Julia was finally here at Hogwarts. How could she have lived in the Muggle world while all her friends had gone on to learn magic, their true calling? Julia would have done anything, even kill, to earn her spot here. Luckily it never came to that. Instead, she had ventured down Knockturn Alley to gain as much knowledge as she could, eventually proving that she had magic in her blood. There was only a slight side effect to that; she now was a bit too familiar with the dark arts.

“Sytherin!” the house announced without even touching her head.

 

Janet // Hufflepuff

Janet confidently strode up to the hat, but inside her mind was racing with insecurity. Eliot was her best friend and he had already been placed in Gryffindor. What if they didn’t end up together? What if she was all alone? What if she didn’t make any friends? They had already planned to throw wild parties in the Common Room with butterbeer flowing like a river, boys on both their arms. Within an instant, the Sorting Hat could tell that she was fiercely loyal to her friends and shouted “Hufflepuff!” Janet’s face fell and she glanced longingly over at Eliot.

However, the first night at Hogwarts, Janet broke into the kitchen’s store of mead, conveniently placed by the Hufflepuff common room, and gave her fellow house a night that would go down in history.

 

Penny // Slytherin

“This is another tough case,” the Sorting Hat thought, and it wasn’t just trying to fit over Penny’s mohawk. Now here was a young man who really knew how magic worked. So much so, that he would be able to create his own spells. Ravenclaw would truly help him tap into this skill. But he was also a loose cannon; a student who wouldn’t play well with others. He would strive to prove himself no matter what the cost, whether it be the feelings of others or their lives. There was only one place for someone as ambitious as him, “Sytherin!”

Penny turned as if he were walking back to his designated table, but instead went right past and straight out of the Great Hall. He had no time for this kumbaya shit.

Within no time, Penny find the Room of Requirements and spend much of his time locked away in there, his powers growing stronger and stronger.

 

Josh // Hufflepuff

Illustration by Trevor John Polcyn courtesy of Lev Grossman’s Pinterest page.

Josh had already made so many new friends that he didn’t even hear the Headmaster call his name. By the second time it was announced, he made a joke to excuse himself and walked confidently up to the hat. Would it be possible to charm the pants off the Sorting Hat? If so, Josh was determined to do it. The hat instantly sensed his good nature and the value he placed on friendship. It also could feel uncontrollable bursts of power surging beneath the boys skin. “Hufflepuff!”

He gave a touchdown dance, and quickly made his way back to the table to rejoin the conversation.

When Quidditch tryouts came around, Josh would earn his spot as one of the Hufflepuff team’s beaters. But no hard feelings when he knocked you off your broom.

5 Fandom Friday :: Crossovers That Would Make My Heart EXPLODE

5fandomfridayLong weekends are sure good for catching up on Fandom Fridays! This is probably the first timely post I’ve written in months, which was amazing because this was a TOUGH topic. I was stumped thinking of 5 crossovers that would make my poor heart explode. I’m a fan of a lot of things, but appreciate them for their own universe and characters. I tried to come up with crossovers that share common motifs and would make somewhat sense if they happened to cross paths. Here’s what I came up with.

Thursday Next x Dr. Who

dr. thursday

The Doctor can travel through time and space; Thursday Next can travel through fiction. Together, they’d go on the most amazing adventures ever! Thursday probably wouldn’t settle to be a Companion, but they’d have a blast working together.

Game of Thrones x Lord of the Rings

Far far away, there are two magical continents: Middle Earth and Westeros (and many more if you count Essos, Sothoryos… etc). Both are steeped in Medieval culture and inhabited by myths and magic. Imagine if those worlds crossed. Daenerys’s reign would probably go a bit differently if Smaug was one of her dragons, and HBO would give the Fellowship the grittier, sexier reboot it deserves.

The Magicians x Harry Potter

magicians cave

How would our favorite witches and wizards survive in the cynical magic realm of Fillory? Did Harry, Ron, and Hermione go to college at Brakebills? Would Quentin and his magician friends thing Hogwarts teaches parlor tricks? Only a crossover could tell!

harry potter cave

Disney Crossovers Galore!

Since Disney broke news about Frozen’s Anna and Elsa being Tarzan’s sisters (a link I frankly don’t really buy), I’ve decided that more Disney movies need to be linked. Particularly the Disney princesses hanging out. We’ve seen Rapunzel at Arendelle, but I’m sure she could totally bond with Jasmine over helicopter-parents. And Mulan and Merida would have a blast turning down suitors to kick ass instead. When can we get a movie of them hanging out?

Buffy x Twilight

bella the vampire slayer

Hoooooooboy! Shit would go down! I would love to see Buffy tell Bella that dating Vampires can funk with your heart, and Willow telling Jacob that he might have a chance; werewolves can make decent boyfriends.


As always, 5 Fandom Friday is brought to you by The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick. Follow them to participate!

5 More Podcasts That YOU Should Be Listening To

The podcasting is still strong with this one.

You may remember my first post about podcasts; you know, the one where I obsess about how these audio delights are basically my life’s blood. Since that post, my schedule has been totally flipped on its head with a full time job and a 45 minute commute and all. But despite being much busier, I’m listening to podcasts even more than ever–if that’s even possible! Something needs to get me through entering spreadsheet data and standing on the train. The best part is, I’m now sharing my podcast obsessions with coworkers, and they’re sharing theirs right back.

That being said, I now have a bunch of new shows that I tune into. Some I love even more than those on my original list! Here are 5 More Podcasts that I strongly recommend.

 

Gilmore Guys

Who’d like this? Anyone who has a soul. I mean, Gilmore Girls fans; new and old.

Let’s sum it up: two dudes sit around and analyze every single episode of Gilmore Girls. That was enough to get me to listen to it, but in case you need more convincing, a longtime gilly (Gilmore Girls fan), Kevin T. Porter, got his friend, Demi Adejuyigbe (“did you ebay?”) to watch the show for the first time and they meet up to talk, critique, joke, and obsess about it. If you grew up with the GGs, this podcast is a must! And even if you’re watching it for the first time, this is a perfect companion. As someone who’s seen each season numerous times, these bros provide a fresh, funny new perspective. Everyone I know is Team Jess, but Kevin and Demi certainly do not “say yes to the Jess.” Now in the fourth season, the Gilmore Guys have brought this project into the spotlight and have managed to gab with the stars, like Scott Patterson, and showrunners. Even if you’re not a huge gilly, Demi and Kevin are absolutely delightful and I could (and have) listen to them talk, do bits, argue, pun, and sing all day.

The best taste: “Gilmore Gabs – Scott Patterson,” “322 – Those Are Strings Pinocchio (with Jessica St. Clair),” but you should really just start from the beginning.


Lore

Who’d like this? Those who like the thrill of feeling like something is hiding under their bed.

Everyone loves a good ghost story, but there’s nothing as terrifying as a true scary story. Thriller author, Aaron Mahnke, gives you chills down your spine by exposing the truth behind urban legends and the stuff that fuels our nightmares. Although only 20 minutes an episode, this podcast is a work of art. Each episode is meticulously researched and beautifully told. Seriously, Mahnke’s voice is enough to haunt you in itself. These stories will stay with you long after you hear them. Especially “The Castle;” I’ve never stared at my iphone muttering “uh, what?!” so much in my life.

The best taste: Episode 8: The Castle,” “Episode 6: Echoes,” “Episode 2: The Bloody Pit


#Millenial

Who’d like this? The twenty-something year old who wants to change the world.

#Millenial (the hashtag is silent) is more than just a podcast; they strive to be a community. A crazy, brazen, outspoken community. On the surface level, #Millenial is a current events podcast hosted by four friends in their mid-20s, covering everything from pop culture to politics through the eyes of today’s young adults (I just sounded very “get off my lawn” saying that). But if you like what you hear, you can go down the #Millenial rabbit hole by joining their Patreon account to get bonus “afterdark” episodes, exclusive content, blog access, host challenges, and lots of other perks. Being a #Millenial is like being part of an exclusive club! Even if you don’t want to be part of the Patreon community, the podcast itself is worth your while. Each hosts brings a different background to the table, educating each other and the audience about what you should know in the world. One commenter even went as far as describing it as filling the void of the Colbert Report. Those are some pretty heavy words.

The best taste: Episode #19: Taboo” (Trigger Warning), “Episode #23: =,” “Episode #13: The Floval Office


Mystery Show

Who’d like this? Those who ponder the great questions of the world, like how come melted frozen yogurt is not regular yogurt?

If there’s something wrong in the neighborhood, who you gonna call? Starlee Kine, of course! There is literally nothing too small for her to investigate. No really, the mysteries she sets out to solve are those that are so small that you can’t even google the answer. Mysteries such as “when and why did that video store close?,” “whose belt is this?,” “what does that license plate mean?,” or “how tall is Jake Gyllenhall really?”Starlee goes to great, sometimes extreme lengths to find a satisfying answer because she knows that these questions mean a lot to the person asking them. On her quests, Starlee’s ingrained curiosity and sunny disposition also touches the lives of those she interacts with. This podcast will brighten your day and open your eyes to the everyday world around you.

 

The best taste: Case #5 Source Code,” “Case #2 Britney,” “Case #3 Belt Buckle


Mortified

Who’d like this? Those who are freaks, those who are fragile, and those who survived.

This podcast makes me deeply regret that I didn’t document my bizzare antics better while growing up. You may have heard of the Mortified Movement, a project in which adults reflect on their adolescent selves. This is a continuation of that sweet, sweet schadenfreude. Each episode, someone shares their hilarious childhood writings in front of a live audience. This may be super embarrassing, but you come to realize that EVERYONE was their own special brand of weird loser when they were younger. Instead this podcast helps you appreciate how your childhood made you who you are today.

The best taste: “15 Tynan: Peace! One Luv!,” “20 Lizzy: My Semester in South Africa,” “16 Brooke: I Was a Teenage Witch”


Enjoy this new round of fabulous podcasts and hopefully you’ll find your next favorite among them!