Thursday, February 26, 2015

Tales from the Bookshelf - How to Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written

How to Archer

So far my goal of reading 50 books this year hasn't started off too great. According to my Goodreads counter I'm already "3 books behind schedule." Wah! Luckily there's still plenty of time to fix that. Anyway, recently I finished reading How to Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written, written by none other than Sterling Archer himself (well not really, since he's a cartoon character, but you get it). If you've never heard of the TV show Archer, it's an adult animated comedy that follows a spy agency where things always go wrong. Sort of like a 007 parody, but not really? I don't know. The main character in the show is named Sterling Archer, and it's really great.

How to Archer is written in the form of a guide book, except you don't actually learn a whole lot. In the preface, Archer explains how when publishing company Harper Collins contacted him he was under the impression that they wanted him to write his memoirs, which he really wanted to do. In an attempt to seal the deal, he takes the book editor home for some mind blowing sex, where he proceeds to get drunk and signs the contract without noticing that it's a contract to write a guide book, and NOT his memoirs. For the rest of the book he begrudgingly attempts to teach us his ways until he finally reaches the contracted 30,000 word count (which isn't that long, so this is a relatively short book).

The book is divided into six sections, all on different topics: How to Spy, How to Drink, How to Style, How to Dine, How to Women, and How to Pay for It. For the most part, none of these chapters teach you much about the subject, and instead go on tangents of Archer's opinions and adventures. How to Drink was slightly helpful though, if you're not much of a drink mixer ;)

Bottom line: This is a fun, quick read if you're a fan of the TV show. Otherwise, many of the jokes and references will fly over your head.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Currently... (February in Review)

Now that we're almost three months into 2015 I guess I have to stop talking about it being a "new year" and all that. But geeze! It all just goes by so fast. February was a pretty interesting month for me. I hope yours was good too (or even better)! Here's what I've been up to.

Favorite February photos

1) At Ocean Beach with my better half. / 2) I got to meet Daniel Handler, and he signed my 13th Series of Unfortunate Events book! / 3) GIRL SCOUT COOKE SEASON! / 4) View from the lighting grid, gearing up to work the Carlos Reyes concert. My job is alright :) / 5) My sweet new Hello Kitty kicks.

Reading - Lately I've been between a few things (I said that last month too, so I guess it's just becoming a normal thing). I finished How to Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written (pretty good, and based on the TV show Archer). Last night I also finished Why We Broke Up, by Daniel Handler. I started and finished it in the same night, and have kinda mixed feelings about it. Right NOW I'm reading Adverbs, also by Daniel Handler, and am STILL trying to finish Doomed, by Chuck Palahniuk. Doomed isn't very big, but I'm having trouble sticking with it because I don't really like it.

Watching - Last month I wrote that I was currently watching The X-Files for the first time and was interested but overall pretty "meh" about it. This month I'm still watching The X-Files and totally obsessed with it. Still slowly working my way through, though. I just started season four. Another thing I watched this month was Horns, starring Daniel Radcliffe and his American accent. Such a weird movie.

Listening - Something pretty exciting happened for me on the music front. In the beginning of last year someone punched my car window out and I thought my ipod had been stolen. Last week Andrew was cleaning our car and found a hidden pile of broken glass we hadn't cleaned up from the accident, and under it was...da da da ipod! I was so excited. I also feel stupid for thinking it was stolen now, but what can you do. Anyway, the ipod has a bunch of my musical sundtracks that I thought I'd lost, so I've been jamming out to those lately.

Playing - Nothing too interesting to report here. I'm still playing a lot of WoW and Don't Starve, hahah.

Loving - Right now I'm IN LOVE with the new Aquaman poster. LOVE. Speaking as one of those pretentious "I loved Aquaman BEFORE Jason Mamoa" type people, I'm way excited to see Aquamoa in a movie. I'm also way excited that everyone ELSE is excited to see Aquamoa in a movie, even if it's just because they saw a poster and think he's sexy. Because when I saw the poster my heart stopped and now we all finally have something Aquaman related we can agree on: Aquamoa is super sexy.

Confession: I love playing as a Pandaren. They're awesome. #Haters

So that's me :) I admit I've been a pretty crappy blogger lately. I do have a couple posts I'm currently working on, so I hope to have those out soon! How was your month?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My Favorite Hate-Watch - TLC's "Sister Wives"

Something you might not know about me (or maybe you do, I'm not sure how transparrent I am here...) is that I really love watching terrible shows, terrible movies, and reading terrible books. As in, things I already KNOW will be awful, but waste spend my time on because I like having things to snark about. That's why I watch every un-anticipated movie sequel, read 50 Shades of Grey, and am an avid lurker on Get Off My Internets. Most importantly, that's why I watch the reality show Sister Wives on TLC. It's actually kind of embarrassing how much I know about this show, but since I don't have any real life friends that watch it, you guys are stuck with me talking about it here. Hah!

Sister Wives is about the Brown's, who are a polygamist family. It mostly revolves around the husband, Kody, and his four wives, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn. You also get to learn about their total of 17 children, but not as much. As far as the kids go, you get a better insight on the teenage children which can be interesting, but for the most part you hear from Kody and his wives. I think the show was supposed to be this, "polygamists, they're just like us!" sort of thing.

Before we go any further, I want to point out that I'm not against people being in a polygamist family if they're happy and that's what they want. I just can't get behind THIS polygamist family. Let's dissect our leading characters.

Kody - I'll start with their "leader." I don't really like calling him that, but that's what his wives call him and that's how he likes to be seen, so there you go. Kody did not grow up in a polygamist family, but after meeting Meri (who goes on to be his first wife) he converts to her religion and decided that he wanted to live the polygamist lifestyle, too. Kody's a pretty stupid dude and honestly, kind of an asshole. His wives like to talk about how before they got married he was "such a catch" and "all the women wanted him," but I don't see it, all? Last season he gave his teenage daughter and her new boyfriend a sex talk by telling them they shouldn't kiss because, "when you kiss, the person that you kiss, their hormones go into your mouth and it registers certain things that will stimulate both the heart and the body for other reasons." So there's that. He also has really terrible hair.

Meri - Meri is Kody's first wife, and they got married pretty young. Meri grew up in a polygamist family, and knew from the very beginning that's what she wanted. Which is whatever, except for the fact when Kody finally got a second wife like Meri always wanted (Janelle), Meri treated her like demon spawn. Because of this Meri and Janelle still don't really get along, even though that was maybe like twenty years ago. Meri is the only wife with only one child (Mariah), which she secretly resents all the other wives for. She wanted to have lots of babies, but that just wasn't in the cards for her uterus. Meri is super entitled and thinks she deserves all the same things the other wives get, even though they all have multiple children to pay for/take care of and she only has one. Spoiler: When they bought new houses for each wife, Meri insisted she needed a large house even though she only had one child who'd soon be moving out for college. Why? Because the other wives were getting bigger houses to accommodate their children, and if Meri had it her way she'd have ALL THE BABIES to accommodate, too. So now Meri lives in a giant house all ALONE. Meanwhile Janelle, who has six kids, has the smallest house because she likes to live practically and didn't see the need to spend family money on a larger house. Meri's my least favorite wife.


Janelle - Janelle is Kody's second wife. I kind of feel like Janelle was never head-over-heels for Kody, but she also grew up in the polygamist lifestyle and knew that's what she wanted for her life. Like I mentioned above, after she married Kody, Meri treated her very poorly and even now they're not close. Like, she goes to therapy for this shit. Which is weird because Meri and Janelle were actually friends before either of them even MET Kody, and Meri practically set Janelle and Kody up in the first place. I just don't know. Janelle has six kids, and is very no-nonsense and practical. When the family wants to go on vacation, Janelle is the only one to stop and think about if they actually have the money to go on vacation. I feel bad for Janelle because she's definitely the odd one out. The rest of the family kind of think she's a stick in the mud. Kody makes it pretty obvious that he's not really attracted to her (sexually or otherwise), and whenever she tries to talk about something that's upsetting her he kinda blows her off. A lot of the time it seems like she's incredibly unhappy with their lifestyle. If any of the wives were to divorce Kody and run away, I think it'd be Janelle. In the past (pre-TV show, but post kids) she actually did leave the family for TWO YEARS, but eventually came back. Not sure why. Free Janelle!

Christine - Christine is the third wife. She also married Kody when she was pretty young, but again, she knew for a long time what she wanted. Even more specific, she always knew she wanted to be a third wife, because the first and second wife tend to argue (guess she was right on that one). She has six kids, too. I think Christine is the most cheerful of the bunch, but she's also really emotional and sometimes starts a whole big ordeal because someone hurt her feelings (usually I don't blame her, sometimes it just gets out of hand, though). Kody tends to brush off her feelings when she tries to confront him about it. It also feels like he doesn't care for her very much, similar to Janelle. She also knows a lot about sharks.

And she's scared of toasters.

Robyn - Robyn is Kody's newest wife. In the first season he wasn't married to her yet, but they get married around the end of the season one I think...or early in season two? Something like that. She's the youngest, thinnest and often called the prettiest (though I don't think so) of the wives, and it's very obvious that she's the new favorite. Prior to Kody she'd been married before and already had three kids. Kody struggled with this, and wasn't sure if he should marry someone that wasn't "pure." Because when you're wife hunting in your 40's you should definitely expect your new beau to be a virgin. They spent almost a whole episode talking about this, and Kody talked about it like he was doing her a favor by marrying her anyway. SO AWKWARD. Robyn's my second least favorite of the bunch, but even I can agree that that's a crappy thing to say/think. Robyn seems to enjoy being the "cool new wife" and is often seen smiling in the background when the other wives are having a hard time in their relationship with Kody. SKETCHY.

The kids - I feel bad about disliking specific kids, so I'm putting them all in one category. For the most part they're all pretty ok, though. Meri's daughter kinda takes after her, which is really annoying. Robyn's kids from her previous marriage we don't see much. I'm wondering if it's because they're with their actual dad part of the time, but if that's true it's never been mentioned and we've never seen their dad. I find Janelle's oldest daughter (Madison) particularly interesting, because she's the only one that has said from the very first episode that she would never be in a polygamist marriage of her own. Most of the kids aren't really sure if they want to be polygamists when they get married. Except Meri's daughter, who wants like five sister wives someday.

So. Many. Kids.

So now you have a little run down of my favorite show I love to hate. Annnd now that I've written this whole thing out I'm not even sure if I should post it, simply because I shouldn't know all this CRAP! The only part I had to fact-check it the exact number of kids Janelle and Christine have. Awkward.

So make me feel better. What's your favorite hate watch?

Monday, February 16, 2015

My Top 5 Favorite Manga Series

As much as I love a good anime series, my heart really lies with manga. I figure it's just because I've always been more of a reader. The only downside to manga vs. anime is that manga books are so expensive :'( Anyway, here's my top 5 favorite!

Ranma 1/2 - This is the first series I read! At the time I didn't even know it was considered manga, or even what manga was - I just liked reading comic books! It's sort of a martial arts comedy, with a little fantasy thrown in. All the characters are so fun and wacky, it's hard to ever get bored of it. My favorite character is Ryoga. He has a terrible sense of direction (like me), and transforms into an adorable little pig :) I also like how you don't necessarily have to read the books in order, and they're all just little story arcs here and there.

Ranma 1/2 manga

Fruits Basket - This was the first series I read once I finally figured out that manga was a thing. A friend of mine already had the first 4 volumes, so I borrowed them from her and devoured them in a day. After that I read them religiously as they were released until the end of the series. Fruits Basket is a drama/comedy/fantasy that revolves around the story of the Chinese zodiac. I'm definitely Team Kyo <3 I also like the anime of this series, but not nearly as much. Everything is in a different order, I wasn't feeling the voice actors, and everything was just kinda wonky.

Fruits Basket manga arisa

Nana - Even though I love it so much, I can't help getting sad whenever I think about Nana. In 2010 the author (or manga-ka if we want to be technical about it) got sick and stopped writing the series. Since the hiatus was unanticipated, the last chapter ended on SUCH a cliff hanger, and now I fear we'll never know what happens. She's reportedly said that she does plan to finish the series, but after almost five years and no real concrete news it's hard to stay positive. Anyway, I first read Nana in Shojo Beat magazine, which isn't a published magazine anymore, but was exactly like Shonen Jump with shojo manga instead. It was really great. The series is very dramatic and not normally the type of thing I read, but all the characters are so unique while still feeling very realistic which reeled me in. They all make stupid mistakes, but it's hard to hate them for it because it all just feels so human. Growing up is hard, and we all make mistakes sometimes!

Nana manga

Pita-Ten - This is a really short series (8 volumes) but manages to pack a lot of story into them. It's about a boy who befriends an angel named Misha and a demon named Shia...except he doesn't realize what they are right away. It's weird and cute. I got to see the author, Koge-Donbo, at Anime Expo one year. It was awesome!

Pita-Ten manga shia

Fullmetal Alchemist - Because obviously. I've already talked about this one a million times so I'll save you the trouble, hahah.

Fullmetal Alchemist manga

A few runner ups are Yotsuba&!, Hellsing, Girl Got Game, and One Piece! Maybe I'll write about those some other time. Do you have a favorite manga series?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Adventures of Noble & Pond Feature and Giveaway!

Hey friends! I just wanted to pop in and share some of the awesomness that's happening on The Adventures of Noble & Pond right now! Mastermind behind the blog, Megan, is celebrating her 1 year blogiversary and hosting an awesome giveaway, with some participation from yours truly ;) Go check it out and look for the yo-yo headband! My mom and I make and sell them at craft fairs and on Etsy. The headband I sent Megan for the giveaway is made with green and reddish pink floral and leaf printed fabric. I was watching Batman and Robin that day, and it reminded me of Poison Ivy, hahah. Megan also sells on Etsy, so in addition she's also giving away a clutch, coaster set and microwavable rice heating pad! And FINALLY, you can also win a giant Yankee candle. Who doesn't love new candles?!

She also featured me in a post yesterday! We had a little mini interview, and you can check that out on her blog right here! I tried to be entertaining and witty, but I guess you can be the judge of that. Megan said wonderful things about me, and if I could blush I definitely would have been as I read her post.

So go! Go visit her blog, say hi, and be sure to enter to win some goodies! :)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Justice League: Throne of Atlantis!

Recently I watched one of the new DC animated movies, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis! I don't normally watch the animated movies, but after seeing the trailer for this I knew I had to find a copy. As the title hints at, this movie is all about my favorite hero, AQUAMAN! Even though Justice League is in the title, ultimately this is definitely more of an Aquaman movie; and if you're an Aquaman fan like me, then it's a fun 72 minutes spent.

Justice League: Throne of Atlantis

The movie opens somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, when the U.S.S. California submarine picks up incoming human-like threats approaching. The sub is attacked, leaving the entire crew dead by the mysterious underwater enemy. Over at the Justice League headquarters, Cyborg receives news of the submarine and decides to go check it out on his own...only to arrive and get attacked himself. As he returns to HQ he sends out a call for the rest of the Justice League so they can get to the bottom of it.

Scene shift over to Arthur Curry (soon-to-be-Aquaman), who's broody and drunk and having a deep conversation with some lobsters that are swimming in a bar fish tank. Like you do. He's just this regular dude who happens to be super strong and have impenetrable skin with no idea why. After he gets into a bar fight we see Mera watching him in the distance, who was sent by Queen Atlanna to bring Arthur to Atlantis so he can learn his true calling.

Meanwhile over (or under, heheh) in Atlantis, we're introduced to Orm (his half brother), Black Manta, and Queen Atlanna (his mom), who are arguing over whether they should declare war on the "surface world." Queen Atlanna has no interest in war, and is waiting for Arthur to find his way to Atlantis and he can bring both worlds together in peace. Secretly, Orm is already planning the attack and forming his own army - which turns out were also the culprits behind the submarine attack in the beginning. OooOooooh!

I know it sounds kinda all over the place right now, but I don't want to give too much away. Although I will give you this awesome screenshot Andrew helped me take (because I still don't know how to computer).

Justice League: Throne of Atlantis

Yeah! So that's about it for today. What do you think? Have you seen, or would you watch, this movie? Aquaman gets a pretty bad rap, but I like that in this movie they show off a lot of the other cool things he can do. I really hate it when people say, "He only talks to fish, he's useless out of water." Because that's 100% FALSE! If people want to spew Aquaman hate, that's fine, we all have our own favorites and least favorites. But if they want to use an excuse like that, all I'm convinced of is that they couldn't even look at Aquaman's Wikipedia page.

Oh, and one more thing! Just for funsies, here's this:

Aquaman Comic
Had to bleep that last bit out because I try really hard to keep things PG-13 around here.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Fandom Friday: My Favorite Funko Pop Figures!

Hosted by The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick :)

Happy Friday! This weeks theme is about Funko Pop vinyls! I know collecting these is really huge in the geeky scene, but I personally don't collect them. I just don't have the extra space (or $$$) to collect things for a shelf :'( I don't judge anyone that does collect them though because they're freakin' ADORABLE and I make a point to check out the new ones every time I'm at Barnes and Noble. They're a look-but-don't-buy thing for me :) All photos (except one) are from These ones have been my favorite over the years...

1. Walter White, Breaking Bad - Ok, I lied a little. I do have ONE of these. My friend bought it for me as a birthday gift! So obviously he had to be a favorite. Sure he's wearing his meth-cooking hazmat suit, but isn't he cute?! I love Breaking Bad :)

Walther White Breaking Bad Funko

2. The Beast, Beauty and the Beast - Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie, and one of my all-time favorite movies, too. He looks so handsome in his little suit, hahah.

Beauty and the Beast Funko Pop

3. Aquaman Domo - I don't think this is technically a Funko Pop, but he's in the same family. He's in the "Mystery Minis" series.

Aquaman Domo Mystery Minis

4. Diablo (from Diablo, hah) - I think I enjoy playing Diablo III even more than WoW, but I find Diablo more fun when others play it with me. I love that the evil treacherous Diablo has morphed into this adorable chibi-esque figure, hahah!

Diablo Funko Pop

5. Tobias Funke, Arrested Development - Both Tobias and Gob are my favorite characters in Arrested Development, but the Tobias figure is much more cute. He comes in two different versions and I can't decide which one I like more!

Tobias Funke Arrested Development Funko Pop

A close runner-up was this Munchkin figure! I wish they had some for more of the Munchkin classes, but maybe they will someday. Do you collect Pop vinyls? Tell me about your favorite ones!

Some other recent Fandom Friday posts: My Favorite Fandom Clothes & Accessories in my Closet, and Conventions I've Been to & Wish to Attend!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

My Top 5 Favorite Anime Series

Happy Wednesday! I didn't have a post in the queue for today, but I was in an anime list making mood so I had some fun whipping this up really quick. I also just like having an excuse to post more gifs, hahah. Enjoy! Starting with #5, we have...

5. Excel Saga

Excel Saga is probably one of the weirdest shows I'm into. I recently re-watched it and noticed a lot of things that flew over my head the first time around, like, "this isn't just kinda weird, this is really freakin' weird." It's sort of a sci-fi comedy/parody. Also the characters die and come back constantly, but it's alright because it's a parody.

Excel Saga Puchuu
It also has a lot of these guys.

4. Paranoia Agent

Making a complete 180, another favorite is Paranoia Agent, which isn't a comedy and is actually a super terrifying psychological thriller. For some reason I really enjoy watching those type of things even though I always regret it later that same night.

Paranoia Agent Maromi
Maromi's really cute if you give him a chance, though.

3. Trigun

A classic. Overall it's very action oriented, but our hero Vash the Stampede is very kindhearted (while still being a badass) and brings some comedic elements to the table. Also he loves donuts.

Trigun donut gig

2. Samurai Champloo

Samurai Champloo is fun, and follows the Edo period of Japan while mixing in a bunch of hip hop beats and culture. Even though there IS a general story line, they only follow it maybe half the time, so you can just chill and laugh at the jokes and not really worry about it. I actually think all the filler episodes were the best ones, but I might be in the minority there. Also the music is on point.

Samurai Champloo
I have this picture as a wall scroll hanging in my living room, so you know I'm serious.

1. Fullmetal Alchemist

Obviously this is #1! If I had to pick one anime series to bring on a desert island, this would be it. I consider myself pretty dedicated. I've watched all the shows, movies, read the manga and even played the two very sub-par PS2 games (if the other games are ever released here I'd play them too, but at this point I doubt they will be). Eventually I hope to have a collection of all the DVD's and manga's, but since all that's expensive I'm very slowly expanding my collection when I get lucky and find one for a great deal. Sometimes I find the manga at library sales, which is very exciting :)

Fullmetal Alchemist

What's your favorite anime? Next week I'll list my top 5 favorite manga. I promise they're not all the same as this list!