Friday, February 20, 2015

February Reading

Ah, the month of love. Or the month where people in love go out of their way to make single people feel like crap. However you want to look at it.
I got a new cell phone for Valentine's Day (Yay!) and my husband and I went out to eat at Cheddar's, where I'd never eaten before. The food was good, I love my new toy, and all in all it was a decent Valentine's Day. (I gave my husband a PS4 and two games to go with it. He just about shit bricks when he saw it. He even did a little happy dance.)
I bought myself a box of Whitman's Samplers too and didn't hesitate to wolf those delicious morsels of nirvana-reaching bliss down in a matter of days. Let's just say, I like chocolate.

I've been reading a lot of books this month. No really, a lot. I started off by finishing a manga, Death Note Volume 1. I'd been meaning to read this series for years and finally got around to it. I hope to read the rest pretty soon, there are eleven more volumes and I know I'll enjoy them as much as the first. Next, I finished reading the September/October 2014 volume of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction that my brother subscribed me to as a birthday present last year (thanks Kyle!). It always takes me longer to read a compendium of short stories than it does a full length novel because I like to sit back and dwell on each one for a while before moving on to the next. As with most fantasy and science fiction magazines, I found these short stories to be well written and often containing better plots than full length novels I've read. 

I stayed up an entire night earlier this month to read Shadow's Claim by Kresley Cole. It was a great read but honestly, not one of her best. It was hot and steamy, to be sure, but it felt a bit rushed compared to her other works. Her original Immortals After Dark series is better, methinks. On Valentine's Day I finished reading The Walking Dead Compendium 2. Oh, how I love those comics! The drama! The gore! Awesome stuff that I can't get enough of.

And then on the 19th, I read two books in one day. They were pretty short so it was no biggie. I had ordered Kaichou Wa Maid-Sama Volume 6 and it finally came in the mail. This is a manga series I started years ago and adored. I don't often watch shoujo anime but I will read the crap out of a shoujo manga. And as expected, it was wonderful. Funny, cute and heartwarming, just as I expected. The other book I read that day was called Curses and Kisses by Channing Harris. Another sweet, humorous story about Valentine's Day and the poor chick who's cursed to have a horrible one every year. It was pretty short but packed full of steamy fun. 

So yeah, lots of reading and the month isn't even over yet. I plan on completing at least two more books before February draws to a close. The shortest month of the year just might be my most productive when it comes to checking books off my to-read list. That says a lot considering I'm also beta reading for someone and editing my own novels pretty much every day. Not to mention those four kids running around raising hell and stealing my heart. I like to keep myself busy!

By the way, I'd recommend every book in this blog to you guys. Check them out!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I'm An Otaku, Are You?

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiit's anime time!
That's right folks! I took a hiatus from anime for a while there but then in December I decided it was time to start watching some new shows. Well, maybe not new but new to me. I'd watched the original Fullmetal Alchemist years ago and I was excited to watch the next series that was kind of a remake: Brotherhood. It had been on my Netflix list for quite some time and once I started watching it, my kids started watching it with me. 

We got half way into season two when Netflix decided to take it off streaming. The day I was scrolling through my list over and over, growing more and more anxious as I just couldn't find it, yes, I think my neighbors may have heard my howls of rage once the truth finally washed over me like a stinky wave full of seaweed and crabs. It was gone. Who knows when, or if, they'll ever slap it back on there.

Feeling dejected, I thought, "Hey, if the kids want to watch with me, we can watch another series a bit more age appropriate." So I went to my anime shelf and pulled out Inuyasha. Now, the only real anime my kids have watched religiously are Hayao Miyazaki movies cause, let's face it, Studio Ghibli is like the Disney of anime. (Probably why Disney bought the rights to their English dubbed movies. They knew it was worth gold.) So when I brought out Inuyasha, my oldest only having vague memories of me watching it when she was a baby, they seemed interested enough.

You may not know this but Inuyasha is a super long series full of filler and almost as many flashbacks as Naruto. Yeah, that many. 167 episodes in the original series, 4 movies and another 26 episode ending series. That's a lot of Inuyasha! I figured a few episodes in and they'd be bored and ready to move on to something else, especially my six year old who has a short attention span.
I couldn't have been more wrong.

Every day after school it's "Can we watch Inuyasha tonight?" and "Is it time to watch it yet?" and "When do we get to the movies?"
We've watched two seasons and the first movie together so far and I couldn't be happier. You have no idea of the joy I feel to have my kids share one of my "nerdy" hobbies. I could never watch anime with my parents or siblings cause it was "too weird" and "stupid foreign crap". Now here I am watching it with my own kids and loving every minute of it. I love seeing the surprise and joy on their faces with every plot twist. I take pride in explaining any small details the youngest may not have caught. Thanks Inuyasha (and Rumiko Takahashi of course), for bringing me that much closer to my kids.

My old email for years was otakuqueen and I used that handle a lot back in the day when I watched several hours of anime a week. The watching may have slowed down now but I still love my Japanese animation. I'm still an otaku and proud of it.
And maybe I'll teach my kids what that word means. If things continue on this track, I may have to.