Saturday, February 27, 2016

Bookish (and Not-So Bookish) Thoughts #18

(I had half of this written and totally meant to have it up on Wednesday.)

1. I'm really upset about The X-Files finale.


But here's a collection of all the alien selfies I took during the five week run. It was fun while it lasted (even if that last episode.../sobs). In every picture except the second I'm wearing a fancy new X-Files pin handmade by me, a printer, and the laminator at work. The Smoking Man "Trust No One" pin (bottom left) and the one of Mulder's "I Want to Believe" poster (bottom right) are just images I pulled from X-Files promotional stuff online. The little black and white spacecraft (top right) and the heart shaped "Mulder & Scully" (bottom middle) images are from this printable X-Files planner sticker set from At Home With Jen! I just realized I'm wearing the same denim vest in 4 of the 6 pictures, because I guess I REALLY like pinning shit to my vest.

3. I saw Pride and Prejudice and Zombies last week. Maybe I saw it too soon, seeing as I just finished re-reading the book, but I found myself being incredibly critical. It wasn't a terrible movie, but having just read the book, the changes in the story were just too huge (HUGE) to ignore. It's as if the director was like, "People already know the story of Pride and Prejudice, and it's boring, so let's just go ahead and rewrite it." If the book didn't exist then I'd say the movie was fun in a weird senseless kind of way. But when you're making a movie based off a book, I don't see why people think it's a good idea to just take the movie in an entirely different direction. As for the actors, Darcy (Sam Riley) really bothered me! What they did with Lena Headey's character was such a missed opportunity. Matt Smith and Lily James were really good, though.

4. I started watching Gotham and it's SO BADASS. I can't believe I waited so long. So far it's my favorite of all the DC/Marvel shows I've seen (although I haven't started Jessica Jones or Agent Carter yet). I just finished season one, and now I'm trying to figure out where I can start watching season two.

5. I apologize to everyone I teased about their washi tape addictions because they're unnecessary and overpriced. I mean, they ARE unnecessary and they ARE overpriced, but at least I buy them on sale. The three on the left were 13 cents each. The other rolls were all between 75 to 25 cents. Score! What do I use them for? EVERYTHING. Last week Andrew asked me for some clear tape and I was like, "Um, no, but you can choose a washi tape color?" I should probably get some clear tape, though.

washi tape

6. I read a piece on Buzzfeed called "22 Photos That Won’t Make Sense To People With Perfect Nails," which bothered me with its stupid title. People with perfect nails have achieved them because they already learned how to deal with all the shit listed there, and because they take their time to do their nails right! I'm not saying my nails are always perfect (although let's be real, they usually are, huhuhu), but half of those are stupid mistakes. Also (ffs) DON'T PEEL OFF YOUR SHELLAC. The type of people that peel off their shellac polish (because it's "sooo satisfying") are the same people that complain that their nails are brittle and peeling. YOU DID THIS TO YOURSELF. #NailRantOver

7. I just picked up the first four volumes of the new(ish) Ms. Marvel, so I'll be reading that for a bit. I really like it so far!

Bookish (and Not-So Bookish) Thoughts is hosted every Wednesday (even though I'm doing it on a Saturday) on Bookishly Boisterous!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Pura Vida Bracelet Haul!

Pretty Pura Vida stack by carakuulei <3
Bracelets from left to right: Flat Braided Salmon, 1% for the Planet, Gold Infinity, Neon Pink, Seafoam Braided

Hi friends!! I hope your week has been awesome so far. Personally, I'm ready for it to be Friday already, but life goes on. Anyway! As many of you know, I really love to support companies that give back. I recently got a fun surprise from one of my favorite companies, Pura Vida Bracelets, and I thought it'd be fun to show you what's inside and what they're all about! I also wrote about them back in 2014, if you want to read about my first experience with them!

Pura Vida Bracelets

"Here at Pura Vida Bracelets we dream to do more. That was our inspiration behind the Charity Collection. This collection was created to give back to different causes all over the world. We are partnered with over 190 charities and have donated more than $666,721 to date. We are also a member of 1% for the Planet, meaning we donate 1% of our annual net revenue to environmental organizations worldwide. We’re constantly looking to expand our charity line and we try to support as many causes as possible." Pura Vida | Our Story

These five bracelets are all from the original line, but there's also lots of bracelets that donate to specific charities. If there's a charity you're really passionate about you should see if there's a bracelet for it! A couple of my favorites are the bracelets for the Joyful Heart Foundation and Unlock Hope. So here's the ones I got! (If you decide you need a few of your own, be sure to read to the bottom for my discount code!)

Pura Vida Bracelets Wave Catcher

Wave Catcher - This one's my favorite of the bunch, I love the fun, bold colors! I've been finding a way to match it with everything I wear, which is kind of odd since the bracelet colors aren't exact neutral, hahah.

Pura Vida Bracelets Midnight Waves

Midnight Waves - When I first pulled this bracelet out of the pack, I wasn't sure if the colors were for me. I don't wear a lot of lighter colors or pastels. Once I slipped it on I really liked the way it looked paired with some of my darker bracelets!

Pura Vida Bracelets Deep Blue Sea

Deep Blue Sea - The photos on the website do NOT do this bracelet justice! In person the different shades of blue are more pronounced. You can see them a little better in my photo at the top of this post (bracelet on the far right), but really it looks best in person. I love this one! The colors in this bracelet are the most neutral of the bunch, so it's easy to match it with anything :)

Pura Vida Bracelets Solar Power

Solar Power - Aaaahhhh, the brightness, it burns!! Hahah. Again, these aren't really my colors, but I really like it paired with something not so crazy and bold.

Pura Vida Bracelets Arctic Chiller

Arctic Chiller - This one also looks a lot prettier in person!! The darker shades of blue are closer to a cobalt blue. This one is probably my second favorite of the bunch!

What's with all the beach names? Every Pura Vida (which translates into "Pure Life," btw) bracelet is handmade in Costa Rica, providing 100+ jobs to local artisans! Sweet deal. The quality of these bracelets are also awesome! Some of my older bracelets are almost two years old and are still holding up perfectly fine. Each bracelet is wax coated, making them 100% waterproof. Even if you leave it on for three months straight they're not going to get that mysterious stink that our beloved friendship bracelets get. Now, as a little "thank you" for reading this far, here's a little discount in case you want some of your own!

pura vida, pura vida rep, pura vida discount, pura vida coupon

The code never expires and you can use it as often as you want! FYI - using this code brings me in a small commission. You get a discount, I get a couple bucks, you and all your loved ones get cool bracelets; everyone's a winner!

Do you have any Pura Vida Bracelets? What are your favorites, or which organizations would you like to see them partner with next?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Bookish (and not-so Bookish) Thoughts #17

I Want to Believe Again X-Files
Art by xoGeek (who is awesome)

1. I really like February. It's still early in the year, but late enough that people aren't shoving their "2016 goalsss!!!!1!!1!!" down your throat anymore and making you feel lazy and unmotivated.

2. On the topic of goals, I didn't make any. Except for a reading goal which so far isn't going great, because according to my Goodreads page I'm already four books behind schedule. Stop rushing me, Goodreads, I haven't found a new comic series to binge read yet! I'm open to recommendations, as long as they have at least a few volumes out already. Tired of getting addicted to a series and then having to wait almost a YEAR for the next issue. A long wait for the next volume? Whatever. For the next issue?! Come ON. That was a jab at the Afterlife with Archie series, because issue 8 was released back in May. Spend less time making new variant covers and more time working on your comic! Oh - and I'm currently reading Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography, if you were wondering :P

Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography
I'm really into the new cover they made for the paperback edition. 

3. I'm not normally a have-to-see-all-the-movies-in-theater person, but this month is going to be a problem. I still need to see Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (then I'll probably write about it just because Kokoba hates Jane Austen and she's crazy), and of course there's Deadpool, and I'm not even embarrassed by how much I need want to see Zoolander 2. Thank goodness for $5 Tuesday. I was originally excited for Hail, Caesar! but I've read a lot of negative reviews so I might wait on that one.

4. "Natalie, why haven't you blogged about the new season of The X-Files?" Awe, thanks for asking. I've decided to wait until all six episodes have aired before really delving into it. But I've been posting a lot of alien selfies on Instagram and other X-Files nonsense on Facebook, in the meantime :P

This weeks alien selfie was extra special because I also bought GIRL SCOUT COOKIES that day! #Blessed

I should be getting my engagement ring back from the jeweler this week! Yayyy! I've also been working on a post about ring shopping that I've been adding to bit by bit, every times someone asks why I didn't want to go to Tiffany & Co or tries to recommend a store in the mall -__-

6. I really wanted to make this post longer, but it's late and I have work in the morning (by the time you read this I'll already be at work, aaahh!). So goodnight/good morning, friends!

Bookish (and not-so Bookish) Thoughts is hosted every Wednesday by Bookishly Boisterous!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The "Totally Should've" Book Tag

Yay book tags! I don't do very many of them, but I thought this one looked like a lot of fun. I first saw it on the blog Unlucky Primes. Onward!

Totally Should've Book Tag

1. Totally should've gotten a sequel
Horrorstor, by Grady Hendrix! Because you know some serious shit went down during the Planet Baby 24 hour sale (um, that sounds really weird out of context).

2. Totally should've had a spin off series
The first title that came to mind was A Series of Unfortunate Events; but that already had a spin off series - All the Wrong Questions. What I had in mind was something that delves into the mysteries of V.F.D., but the more I thought about it, I wasn't sure if I wanted to know those things. So much of the story is built around this mystery, and knowing too much might ruin it. Anyway, I thought of another series that could have an interesting spin off - The Gemma Doyle Trilogy! It could be told from Kartik's point of view, and he'd teach us about the Rakshana. Or it could be from the perspective of Gemma's mother, Virginia, when she was attending Spence Academy.

3. An author who totally should write more books
Dear Ai Yazawa,

Can you please finish writing "Nana?" You don't even have to illustrate it. I just need to know what happens. And can you kill off Takumi while you're at it?


4. A character who totally should've ended up with someone else
Ok, so, I'm definitely not a huge Twilight fan...but Bella totally should have ended up with Jacob. #SorryNotSorry.

5. Totally should've ended differently
Tess of the D'urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy. This one was hard, because it's a classic and on one hand I love this book and feel like you shouldn't mess with major plot points, but on the other hand, how badass would it have been if Tess was like F**K IT I DON'T NEED NO MAN, and runs off to build a clubhouse on a secluded island for strong independent woman or something like that.

6. Totally should've had a movie franchise
Shanghai Girls and Dreams of Joy, by Lisa See. I wonder if I'm attracted to books about sisters because I don't have one. I bet they're a lot more annoying in real life, hahah. Fun fact - I don't have any female cousins, either :(

7. Totally should've had a TV show
Last year I read The Night Circus, and there were parts of it I really enjoyed, but the book as a whole was such a chore to read. Between all the different time periods and ten thousand different points of view, keeping up with the story was exhausting. I think it might be a lot more entertaining as a mini-series type thing, where you can actually see the circus (which is the most interesting part of the book). They could clump some of the chapters together to make one episode (like, an hour long episode from Celia's PoV would take place for 5 super short chapters from her PoV in the book), and then each episode would be told from a different POV. Too much? I dunno.

8. Totally should've had only one point of view
I was going to say The Night Circus (because all the PoV's are confusing), but then I had my genius TV show idea.

9. Totally should have a cover change
Night Over Water is my favorite Ken Follett book (if you take out a couple cringey sex scenes), but the cover is incredibly boring. I've seen maybe six different covers for it, ALL boring!

10. Totally should've kept the original covers
The original Cloud Atlas cover is sooo much prettier than the second edition cover (which I have, boooo). Although they're both better than the movie cover edition (which I always hate), so there's that. Here is the original, and here is the second edition.

11. Totally should've stopped at book one
When I first read Damned I thought it was a lot of fun with an entertaining, dark twist. With the type of ending it had I knew I was going to be reading the sequel, Doomed, which unfortunately sucked and I couldn't even finish it :( The scene in the rest stop bathroom was too much and I stopped right there. You could say that every Chuck Palahniuk book is "too much," but I find this even more so with his newer books. In his older books he'd cross many lines, but they still usually MEANT something, or at least played a contributing factor to the story. Now I feel like he's just trying to hammer out more shocking and gross stories because that's his "thing," even if an actual good story is sacrificed.

If this book tag is something you're interested in doing then I'm officially tagging you right here and now!! Be sure to send me a link so I can see how awesome you are :)

Friday, February 5, 2016

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Re-Read + Movie Talk!

zombie books

Chapter 1 

IT IS A TRUTH universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains. Never was this truth more plain than during the recent attacks at Netherfield Park, in which a household of eighteen was slaughtered and consumed by a horde of the living dead. 

...and so begins the novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. I first read this book shortly after it was published in 2009. When I first heard it was going to be made into a movie I was excited; but as soon as I saw the trailer, I knew it was time for a re-read. If you haven't seen the trailer check it out now, because this movie's going to be badass.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is written in the exact same style as the original Pride and Prejudice. In fact, half of the book is written word for word from Pride and Prejudice. This isn't something that bothered me; I haven't read the original in over five years, so it was fun to get a refresher on the story but with a creepy twist.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies features the original text of Jane Austen’s beloved novel with all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie action. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton-and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers-and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. - Quirk Books

Before I read this book I wasn't sure if using the original text was a good idea. Why not try something new? Do your own thing, dude. The new movie tie-in version of the book includes an afterword that touches on this subject, which gave me a laugh and made me appreciate it more. In 1817 Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey was published, and in the book she spends a lot of time poking fun at the eighteenth century gothic novels that were all the rage at the time. Basically, if anything had a hint of being gothic people would eat it up because it was supposed to be omgGOTHIC and GOTHIC novels were cool. Even the title of the novel was a joke - at the time many novels had titles implying that the story was set in an abbey. Monster Abbey, Grasville Abbey, Children of the get it. When in reality Northanger Abbey isn't a gothic novel at all, it's only about a girl that reads them. Anyway, they used a similar method with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The story is nothing new, but it has zombies and was released around the time zombies became super popular, and guess how many people read it simply because omgZOMBIES were in the title? Yup. Luckily it's really good, and not just another thing with zombies when we don't actually need more zombie stuff right now :P

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies movie poster
I really love this movie poster, because it actually matches with the original book cover!

Something that I found really amusing in the book is that even though zombies (or "unmentionables" as they call them) keep rising out of the ground, everyone is pretty chill about it. They're not packing up their families and hitting the rode in search of a "safe place." They're not scrounging abandoned shops looking for a stale loaf of bread. Their roles and way of life are literally the same as in any other Austen novel - the only difference is that they learn how to fight. While this might not be the most exciting plan of action, it separated it from almost every other zombie story I can think of. If I were to be in the middle of a zombie apocalypse I hope I could be even half as chill as they are.

I'm not usually interested movie editions of books, but for my re-read I was excited to get my hands on this new edition of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It has all new illustrations (not that the old ones were bad, but it was fun to see a different illustrators portrayal of characters), in addition to eight pages of color images from the movie. In the back is an appendix with the afterword I mentioned earlier, along with a list of very sarcastic discussion questions to get you and your friends talking (because you must make them read it, too).

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies movie poster
This is also the image they picked for the cover of the new book edition!

So I've made it pretty clear that I'm dying (heheh) to see this movie. Judging by the trailer it's going to have a lot more gore and action than the book which I think is going to be super fun! One of my favorite parts in the book (spoiler here, duh) is when Elizabeth is visiting Charlotte shortly after she gets married. Charlotte was bitten by a zombie just a few days before she gets engaged to Mr. Collins, only telling Elizabeth but swearing her to secrecy. When Elizabeth goes to visit them she sees that Charlotte is somewhat slowly, but very surely, turning into a zombie. Except no one else but her seems to notice, even though Charlotte spends more time groaning than speaking and is covered in gross sores. Charlotte's transformation was incredibly drawn out in the book, so I hope they keep it that way in the movie. I'd love to see all the characters reactions as Charlotte is literally falling apart, hahah.

"As dinner continued in this manner, Elizabeth’s eye was continuously drawn to Charlotte, who hovered over her plate, using a spoon to shovel goose meat and gravy in the general direction of her mouth, with limited success. As she did, one of the sores beneath her eye burst, sending a trickle of bloody pus down her cheek and into her mouth. Apparently, she found the added flavor agreeable, for it only increased the frequency of her spoonfuls." - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, chapter 28

If you, like me as I type this, are sick in bed or for whatever reason can't go see the movie this weekend, here's some other activities to get into; all courtesy of the Quirk Books blog! Seriously - if you're not following their blog then add them to your feed ASAP. They have the most fun bookish posts and always have sweet activities and freebies. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies valentines, The Ultimate Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Playlist, and a hipster cat coloring page all await you there. The hipster cat has nothing to do with our theme, but I printed one today annnd it's hella cute :)

I received a copy of the new "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" and flattery from Quirk Books in exchange for this post. All thoughts, opinions and zombie Lego mini-figures are my own.