lydamorehouse: (Default)
 This week, I read a lot of manga.  I stormed through My Hero Academia / Boku no Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi, reading volumes 2-8 in a matter of days.  That almost catches me up to everything currently out in official tankĊbon, and the library let me know that volume 9 is awaiting me in the hold section. Last I checked this one is being actively scanlated and the pirate sites have up to chapter 158 or so. I have yet to decide if I'm a mega-fan.  I've been very burned by JUMP products (do not speak to me of Bleach or Naruto's endings. Other people blame the creators, but I blame the publishers. It's a writer thing.) 

I also ripped through the available chapters online (1-15) of its spin-off Vigilante My Hero Academia: Illegals / Vigilante Boku no Hero Academia: Illegals by Furuhashi Hideyuki / Beeten Court.  

Speaking of spin-offs, I also read Gangsta: Cursed (vols. 1-2)  by Kohske / Syuhei Kamu, which kind of sucked, but made me remember just how much I LOVED the original by Kohske-sensei.  I've reviewed all of these over at my manga reading blog, MangaKast, if you're interested to know what I thought of them.

I also got a chance to beta-read [personal profile] naomikritzer 's novel, currently titled Everyone Loves Cat Pictures.

Whew, I think that's it. I have one more manga upstairs, Not so Simple by Natsume Ono in my TBR pile, and I also watched the first episode of Elegant Yokai Apartment Life, which I think I'm going to continue as the anime I watch while doing dishes. 

You?  How'd you do this week?


Aug. 9th, 2017 08:43 am
lydamorehouse: (swoon)
 It's Wednesday already again. It was a good week for reading, probably because of our extended stay up at our friends' cabin.  So, stuff I read:

Spells of Blood and Kin by Claire Humphrey. A book I didn't expect to like, but ended up falling into easily.  It's about a Russian-Canadian witch and berserker/werewolf/vampires (?) I'm not quite sure how to explain the Kin, and that's the part I figured that I'd find stupid, but I really didn't.  It's one of those pseudo-literary novels where it's kind of also about families, both blood and made.  I ended up enjoying it.  

Then, I read half of Emmi Itäranta's The Weaver, because I was hoping for a sequel to The Memory of Water, which I really loved. Alas, this is not what I was looking for and so am giving up on it.  It's just a little bit TOO poetic for me.

I also read a graphic novel called Just So Happens by Fumio Obata. It's about a Japanese woman who has moved to London to pursue a career in some kind of design work. She's struggling with settling in, and then gets the call that her father died in a hiking accident.  She returns to Japan to try to figure out if she still belongs there.  It's kind of a non-story, in that nothing is resolved.  Our heroine never entirely feels at home anywhere.  The art is pretty, though.  It's a fast read. 

I got through half of the Pandora Hearts manga volumes that I took out of the library. (I took out six, read three so far). Pandora Hearts by Jun Mochizuki is about... huh, how do I describe this thing? There's a rich/tragic little lordling named Oz, who gets caught up in a supernatural adventure, probably because he's the key to some mystery involving "the Abyss," and ends up in a contract with a devil.  I'm still not sure how I feel about this series. I watched the first 7 episodes of the anime on Hulu and am finding it compelling... enough. I think my problem is with the main character.  His daddy issues really just don't interest me, and my sympathy for royal dukes only goes so far.  I'm kind of the opposite of your average romance reader (at least the ones who seem to get a lot of books targeted at them, at any rate,) in that you really have to work overtime to get me to give ANY f*cks about rich aristocrats and their "tragedies."  Just slapping a title on a character does nothing for me--well, other than infuriate me. Luckily, our poor little rich boy has a companion that I like better. Sadly, it's turning out that he's a lost prince with a tragic backstory, too, so possibly there's no one in this story that will appeal to me. The only thing that's keeping me hanging on ATM is that there's a scene with the character I like (Raven) wherein his overlord accuses him of feeling "abnormally" towards Oz, which is Japanese code for gay, so here's hoping that Raven is queer AF.

Hoping a manga/anime character will turn out to be canonically gay never ends well, so probably this is an exercise in frustration all around.  Ah, well, I have nothing else to watch while doing the dishes currently, so I will keep with this.

lydamorehouse: (Default)
 Like you do.

But apparently, something didn't happen that should have when we donated our last car because we got a tabs renewal notice from the DMV for the old Taurus.  I called the Make-a-Wish people and the woman I talked to was very... helpful/not helpful.  Possibly she could have been MORE helpful if I wasn't half-asleep and had known which questions to ask while talking to her, but all I ended up getting out of our conversation was that maybe there was some part of the sale process that I didn't do.  LUCKILY, Shawn photocopied our original title, so I can bring that and the acknowledgment of sale to the DMV in Roseville (I go there because it tends to be less... soul-dead).  Hopefully, someone there will hand me the right form or be more clear about where I need to go to get the proper form (and/or tell me for sure if anything really needs to be done, because what's especially confusing is that Make-a-Wish has already SOLD my car to someone else. You'd think if I didn't do some part of the transfer of sale, that couldn't happen. But who knows? Hopefully the DMV knows.)

So, yeah, I'm avoiding going there at the moment.

I'm avoiding heading out because it's hard and I don't want to do it, but also I'm  hoping to combine this trip to Roseville with a stop in at the Roseville Library.  A manga volume that I requested has come in and I have a bunch of books that need to go back.  

I'm giving up on ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY.  I feel... badly about this.  I know and like the author, Charlie Jane Anders, and worse, there was nothing inherently wrong with this book.  In fact, I really feel like the old "It's not you, it's me" is applicable here, because what would happen is that I would start reading, enjoy myself for however long, put the book down and then forget about it completely for days at a time.  I've renewed the book once already. I could do it again, but I'm going to take this as a sign that I'm just not in the right mood for it. (Or possibly book reading, in general. As I said in my previous post, sometimes my brain only wants to consume graphic novels/manga.) So, it's not like I'm QUITTING the book. More that I'm setting it aside, for now.

You can see how guilty I feel, right?

I have a bunch of other books that I've been moving around the house rather than reading, too.  I'm hoping one of them will finally hit me at the right time/in the right headspace and I'll jump into it with both feet. I kind of hate these periods when they hit me.  I mean, it's not like I'm not reading at ALL, but some part of me still thinks of all the comic books/graphic novels/manga I read as "not proper books." Which is silly because I'm usually the first to jump up and defend graphic novels as REAL LITERATURE, because they are.  And I KNOW this.

Whelp, first day of glorious sunshine and I'm going to go spend it at the DMV. Wish me luck!

lydamorehouse: (Default)
 I was asked by SF Signals to join another "Mind Meld" to answer the question: "What was your favorite movies, books, video games, television, podcasts and other media that came out in 2014?"  

It will be a surprise to no one that anime and manga dominated my list:  MIND MELD: Favorite Genre Works 2014

I've linked here to my MangaKast reviews of a lot of the manga that I've been reading.  The ones that made the list that were new this year (by which I mean, of course, new in official English translation) were: Hitogatana (which actually isn't yet collected in English, but I liked it enough to want to include it), Gangsta, Deadman Wonderland, and What Did You Eat Yesterday?  

Anime for this year included two brand-new ones: Barakamon and Gekken-Shojo, Nozaki-Kun.

Neither are particularly science fictional, but they're both DEEPLY charming in their own ways.  Barakamon was my all-time favorite this year and it's about absolutely nothing at all.  That's not fair, of course.  There's a very strong story and  even wacky hi jinx but the pace and feel of it is extremely peaceful, which is what I enjoyed about it.  If you want to know more about the plot, check out the article. The short of it is that there's a calligraphy master who needs to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city (and mistakes he's made) to find his inner peace/inner art. Stuff happens, it's f*cking adorable an you should be watching it. (Who had this?  Hulu+ maybe? I don't think Crunchyroll had it, but I might be wrong.)

The other new, new anime I featured in my round-up was Gekken-Shojo, Nozaki-kun (Girl's Monthly, Nozaki-kun) which is wonderfully silly and really, really hard not to love.  Interestingly, this one is also about an artist, though this time our title hero, Nozaki, is a mangaka (writer/artist of manga) who happens to write and draw Girl's/shojo stories. The American analog would be discovering that a high school jock was secretly writing Harlequin Romances (of the super-thin serial kind). You can see the humor potential instantly, of course, but what I loved about this anime is that it could have ended up in the land of gender stereotypes, but instead worked hard to constantly flip expectations, types, etc. while also providing fairly real people that you could actually believe in and root for. (This one Crunchyroll has, for sure.)

The other anime I mentioned in the article were Yowapeda (or Yowamushi Pedal) and Free!, both of which were technically in their second seasons this year (both of which I watched on a pirate site, but I'm sure by now they're up on Crunchyroll).  But the second season of Yowapeda/Yowamushi Pedal only finished up last week, I think, so it's very current.  I love them both for very different reasons.  Free! (second and final season: "Eternal Summer") was bittersweet.  I'm not sure I've seen enough sports manga to know how typical it is to follow Third Year students through their final year of participation and spend much of the anime dealing with the whole idea of "Well, that was high school, so now what are you going to do??"  That made the show... almost heartbreaking in places.  And, of course, the other fun thing about Free! this year was that it was clear that the anime writers were very aware how GAY everyone thought this team was and there was a lot of teasing fan service to the point that I was constantly on Skype asking my friend, "Are they even pretending any more???"  which was actually quite fun.

Yowapeda/Yowamushi Pedal's second season is called "Grande Road' or something similar and it's the second and third days of the Inter-High race.  The entire season has been them racing, so that means there have been a lot of upsets, a lot of 'leave no man behind' moments, and general high tension. The first season has the distinction of actually making me cry.  This season less so, though we've gotten to know a lot more of the characters from the other teams.  It's still one of my favorites because Oonada is possibly the hugest dork in the history of dorks. This year my favorite scene involved Oonada following one of the rival team's captains basically because he thinks he's spotted a fellow otaku and even though this guy is a complete jerk to him Oonada just wants to talk anime.

Brother, I hear ya.

So, yeah, I mention a few other things in my review, but most of those I also discussed here (Guardians of the Galaxy movie and Ms. Marvel the Marvel comic book.)  

What about you?  Read, watch, listen to anything really good this year??

lydamorehouse: (Default)
It was a busy weekend for me, I worked at the North Saint Paul Library for a couple of hours on Saturday, and then, on Sunday, I spent an inordinate amount of time at the Mall of America being "out of the way" while Mason and his lady friend went on a date to the Nickelodeon Universe amusement park.  It was, as you can imagine, all kinds of adorable.  Mason is fond of this young lady because she reads.  She's also in his math club and he has a terrible crush on her, but he has admonished me that they are just doing things together AS FRIENDS, not girlfriend/boyfriend.  

I fully support this.  He's in 6th Grade, there's no hurry for girlfriend/boyfriend stuff, and frankly, the best part of having a relationship (regardless of what sort) is the getting to do things with someone you like.  

He did, however, buy the wristbands for them.  He also took his role as 'host' so seriously that now apparently they have an inside joke between them about Mason being "too" chivalrous.  

To which I say: Parenting For the Win!

I accidentally saw them when they were having lunch (they went Dutch on food) and I noticed that, despite having brought a book along, Mason was chatting with her.  This is serious for Mason, he'd pretty much rather read than to almost anything else (besides LEGOing and video gaming.)  So, even if she's only just a VERY GOOD friend, I would say that this one is important to him. 

It should also be noted that, according to Mason, she was still wearing her wristband today at school.  So, you know, the feeling might be mutual.


Meanwhile, some pictures were posted of the reading I did last Sunday at Acadia Cafe.  These were taken by Terry Faust.

As you can see I was up to my usual dorkiness.  :-)  At some point, with luck, there will also be video evidence of this event, should you be interested in it.  

While I was at the Mall, I bought some candy from the Japanese import store there because tomorrow is my birthday and I thought it might be nice to share some with my Japanese class (it's also our last class together.)  Unfortunately, the store really didn't have the kinds of things that I think really represent the weirdness that is Japan's taste in candies.  There was, for instance, nothing green tea flavored or octopus-flavored or even "ice-cream-flavored" Kit-Kats.  I've had everything but the "taco aisu" (octopus ice cream), and I have to say that green tea flavor should really make a US debut.  And, if I really wanted to, I can get the octopus flavored ice cream locally.  (Because Mpls/St. Paul is really that awesome.)

The other thing I did as a pre-birthday treat was buy the three-pack of the Attack on Titan spin-offs.  As I explained to Mason, this was really the only way I could justify ATTACK ON TITAN JUNIOR HIGH to myself.  Because an officially sanctioned junior high school AU is both incredibly awesome and very, very frightening.  

Today, I also came across what looks to be an official Avengers/Attack on Titan x-over.

Yep.  It's a apparently a real thing. Right-o, I might have to add this one to my purchase list, especially since the mangaka is actually involved personally.  (Honestly, though, could the mangaka spend a little more time making SnK/Attack on Titans itself more awesome?  Last time it was bondage with bondage sauce.  Yeah, I like those things, but could we have story too?)  

Speaking of anime/manga things that kind of bend my mind, here's four words for you: Death Note the Musical.  What is especially intriguing to me is that they seem to have an evil Light and a good Light, played by two different people.  

Okay, well, that's all the news I've got for now.  See you tomorrow!

lydamorehouse: (Default)
In my quest to find a new weekly manga to review for our podcast, I keep stumbling into EVEN MORE monthly manga that I enjoy. The latest one is a futuristic, action-adventure manga called Hitogatana. My review is posted here:

The short of it is that I liked it... A LOT.

There are a couple of really cool female characters and I love the premise of fighting teams with mech, "katana," that they download their consciousness into.

Weirdly, the next one I stumbled into that I seem to be reading? A shojo (girls') manga called Tora to Ookami.  I've only ever read an enjoyed one other shojo before and that was Absolute Boyfriend.  Tora to Ookami has no science fiction going for it, so I'm not sure what the appeal is so far.  There are only 12 chapters and it's complete, but I think part of why I got sucked in is that thing that sometimes hooks me... slice-of-life about food.

If I finish it, I'll let you know what I think of it.  Also, Naomi loaned me the latest Ms. Marvel, so I get to find out how I feel about the introduction of Lockjaw....
lydamorehouse: (Default)
By chance, Mason and I missed the publication of the new Ao no Exorcist/Blue Exorcist by ONE DAY.  So, I wrote up my review of it, which you can read on MangaKast, here:

Yesterday, at our usual women of Wyrdsmiths' gathering, Naomi loaned me the first eight issues of the new Ms. Marvel, which I powered through today while at the laundromat while washing some of our rag rugs. The hero of Ms. Marvel is a teenage girl living in New Jersey named Kamala Khan who happens to be Muslim.  She is the American-born daughter of a fairly recent Pakastani immigrant family.  One day a weird green fog takes over her town and she appears to develop superpowers and the ability to look like Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel.

The things I like:  this is a comic book about a woman, written by a woman.  This is also a comic book about Muslims by someone who has AT LEAST spent some time living in a Muslim country, specifically Egypt.  So, while I can't say whether or not this is a fair portrayal of All the Things, there are some moments that give me hope that this is an honest try...

Read more... slightly spoilerific...  )

The other fun thing about this character is that she's a real teenager, living TODAY.  She writes Avengers fan fic.

Yes, things are that self-referrential now.  Look, I've been telling you, when Marvel decided to place their heroes in real neighborhoods in the Real World, they MEANT IT. That means, if it makes sense for a teenager to have seen the Marvel Movies (or, as it happens, live in the world they occupy) then it means they'd do the things people really do, like write fan fic.

This, however, is why I love Marvel.

This is especially awesome when there's an honest-to-canon scene in which Wolverine is confronted by the fact that the fic she wrote starring him came in second to one featuring Scott Summers/Cyclops and Emma Frost/White Witch (a crack ship if ever there was one)... 

Things I'm not sure of:

Read more... very spoilerific... read only at risk )

But, that's a wait-and-see game.

Even with that caveat, I would have to agree with a lot of the hype.  I'm liking this.  I'm hoping the title continues a long time.

lydamorehouse: (Default)
As I'm sure many of you have heard, Weekly Shounen Jump has changed its publication date. The translations were scheduled to come out Friday, but we managed (like many people who were crashing the various translation sites) to read them on Thursday afternoon. We decided to stick with a Friday AM publication, anyway, because, honestly, I suspect it will settle into that soon enough. Anyway, you can get the link to our podcast here:

In this podcast, I actually spend some time trying to figure out why this last chapter left me feeling unsettled.  Ultimately, I think I decided it was the questions that a certain scene opened... but go listen.  I'm actually fairly articulate for once, which is fairly amazing considering how little coffee I had before we started this.

At Wyrdsmiths last night I was overwhelmed by a desire to doodle and drew this on my paper cup:


I call her "meep" and she seems to be at least partly inspired by Digger (by Ursula Vernon), which Mason has been re-reading.  She also has a very long, dinosaur like tail on the other side of the cup and has probably been recycled by now.... but she made me think that I should try to draw a graphic novel type thing with these kinds of fantasy characters.  Because, you know, if I don't get the bodies just right, WHO WOULD EVEN KNOW??  :-)

Anyway, that's all the news I have that's fit to print today.  We're mostly busy trying to get ready to drive down to LaCrosse for our annual Labor Day hanging out time with my folks.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
If you're curious what Mason and I sound like first thing in the morning, you can feel free to listen to our third MangaKast, which is up on the WordPress site now:


It's a very rambling, sleepy conversation, but, even if no one listens, we're going to keep doing this because WE AMUSE OURSELVES.  :-)  And, who knows, at some point we might have an actual insight or two.

And, if you just can't get enough of my dulcet tones (and you happen to live local to me), you're cordially welcome to stop by Dreamhaven tonight and listen to me read.  I can even promise cookies, because Eric usually brings some.  The details are:

On Wednesday, March 26 from 6:30 to 7:45 pm, I will be the Speculations readers at Dreamhaven Books and Comics. Dreamhaven is located at 2301 E. 38th Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55406. You can get more information about the event by calling 612-823-6161 or visiting:

I'll probably be reading from one of my two works-in-progress, either the Precinct 13 sequel or the book I'm writing for Rachel, which is a YA about a gender queer person whose dreams invade Real Life (tm).

See you there, perhaps!
lydamorehouse: (Default)
After reading BAKUMAN, I've decide that I am going to try to come up with a story idea a day, just like one of the characters in the Manga.  This has been a real challenge, actually, but first I want to talk about the inspiration behind this new project of mine.

I was telling my friend Eleanor about this Manga and why I like it.  I usually hate meta-ficitonal stuff.  Yet I came across BAKUMAN in Shonen Jump, when the storyline involved the two main characters (a writer and and artist of Manga) trying to get serialized in Shonen Jump.  Normally, this sort of thing irritates the crap out of me.  But, the art is phenomenonal (the artist who draws it is the same one who illustrated HIKARU NO GO,) and I find, like HIKARU NO GO, I'm enjoying the story line even though I feel like I really shouldn't, because it's ultimately just about a couple of guys sitting around writing and/or drawing.  There's a romance and rivals and all that stuff, but really the story is about how difficult it is to make it as a writer/artist in the cut-throat business that is Manga in Japan (though there's a super-strong analog to New York publishing)

What I like about the manga is that it doesn't really assume an answer.  The rival is a highly talented kid about the same age as our heroes who has made a success by talent and a weirdly disproportionate amount of dumb luck.  Sort of like that guy who published his novel on his website and a NY publishing house contacted him to publish it commerically (I'm looking at you, Scazli.)  The two heroes, however, clearly represent the model I followed: bang your head until the damn door opens.  They have a very Japanese attitude of indominable spirit coupled with the fantasy that if you go after your dream with everything you've got, you will succeed.

The last bit is a fantasy, IMHO, but in BAKUMAN they address that head-on.  There's a lot of talk about luck and how publishing is a gambler's game, and how, even after you break in, you can still fail.  AND, more to the point, I'm at the moment in the story when it's clear that they're actually serious -- our artist hero decides to take an internship under their rival, because he's actually willing to learn anything he can ANY WAY HE CAN.  That attitude served me well throughout my career.

So, I've been inspired by these very determined fictional characters to try to write down a story idea a day.  I've been looking through anthology calls for submissions to help me find a focus-point.  Otherwise the universe of ideas is awfully wide-open.  But, so far, I've had some fun with it.  I'm not sure any of the ideas will turn into stories, but it's a good excercise to keep me focused on origianl work.

Speaking of my fandom, OMG.  BLEACH is ending this year, and it seems Kubo-sensei has decided that the best way to finish things off is with a humongerous bloodbath of epic proportions.  All I can say is that THANK FATE he has the deus ex machina of Orihime to turn back time, if necessary.  Fingers crossed that dead isn't dead for Manga any more than it is for Marvel.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Last night I was up until 11:00 pm writing. And giggling. Let's just say there's now a scene that involves a well-known Minnesotan/public radio show host and... vampires.

I amuse myself.

Thanks to everyone who gave me thoughts about Mason, especially [ profile] naomikritzer for pointing us in the direction of Leonardo's Basement, which I think Mason will enjoy this August. I also had kind of a break-through moment with Mason at the breakfast table. Another thing that Shawn and I have struggled with is getting Mason to learn to tie his shoes (actually, he's really resistant to anything that requires more than a few minutes effort. Again, I think this is pretty typical for kids like him for whom so much other stuff seems to come so quickly. Plus, it's another fine motor skill thing.) Anyway, Shawn had made up a little practice board and we were showing him the various ways to tie. He tried twice and then screamed about never being able to do anything this difficult.

Often, to be perfectly honest, this is where I lose my patience.

Today, though, something clicked. I realized that Mason was feeling overwhelmed because he wasn't thinking in terms of individual steps. He was frustrated when he tried to do it all. So, I broke things down. Today we just worked on tying a knot. I told him: "Let's not think about anything else right now. Master this, and then we'll move on."

Simple right? It's amazing how this simple stuff doesn't occur to you when you're dealing with a yelling child. :-)

Okay, so the rest of my life. Last Friday, Shawn and I went to HPB, which means I picked up a bunch of used comicbooks. We also stopped into our new favorite independently-owned used bookstore, Sixth Chamber on Grand Avenue in St. Paul. First of all, if you're local, you should know that someone in that neighborhood dumps a lot of new, cutting-edge trade paperback science fiction/fantasy. (If it's you: I love you!) Also, their prices are incredible. Especially on young adult/children's stuff.

So, anyway, one of the things I got at Sixth Chamber was a shojo Manga by Asami Tohjoh called X-KAI- (Volume 2). I may have to see if I can find the first volume, although this is appeared to be a two book story and I've now read to THE END (I haven't yet read the Wikipedia article I linked to above, so perhaps I'm mistaken). This was kind of an intense storyline.

Our hero, Kaito, is a forist by day and teenage assassin kind-of-for-hire, but-more-at-the-mercy-of-some-funky-shadow-organization by night. I guess in keeping with the shojo tropes the story focuses on Kaito's emotional life and has a lot of hurt/comfort, to use a slash term. Kaito is often referred to as a killer with a heart, and, though the killing doesn't seem to bother him per se, the lifestyle is tough on his tender soul. Plus, he's more-or-less forced into doing it for honorable reasons, ie to pay the bills for his comatose older brother who saved his life in a fire (over which, of course, Kaito has LOTS of guilt.) Add to that the young abused boy Kaito takes in, and you've got a boat load of angst.

That might sound a bit snarkier than I intend, because I actually found X-KAI- very moving, perhaps because it taps into a favorite theme of mine -- how does a person stay human in an inhuman world? and/or can a sociopathic killer be sympathetic?

Well, it's about time for me to get working on that novel that's due in a matter of days, so I'll hit the comicbook reviews later.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I'm cold. I'm typing with gloves on. In about ten minutes, I'm going to go back to the bedroom and hide under the blankets until spring or my book is done, whichever comes first (it better be the book, since it's due in 18 days.)

I'm also thinking that I could eat. I could bake six million cookies and eat them all. Then I'd be warm AND fat.

The book is going well, thanks for asking. I'm struggling a bit with the actually sitting down and writing it part, but then, I always do. I wrote a scene that amused me last night, and that always makes this insane part at the end a bit more worth it.

Tonight, I'm going to go to the library to pick up the last HIKARU NO GO. It finally came in. Yay!

Mason is doing well. Yesterday he had his annual urology test and doctor visit. He has hydronephrosis in one kidney, which we actually discovered in an ultrasound before he was born. We've been monitoring it ever since. The doctor seems disappointed that it's not gotten noticably better, but, according to him, it also hasn't gotten noticable worse. Mason thought the ultrasound was pretty cool, but ticklish as hell. He liked getting out of school for a bit (the appointment was at 8:15 am and we got him to school only about 20 minutes tardy), was sort of grumpy that he missed most of "independent reading time." (No surprise, his favorite part of the day.)

Did I mention the cold? I'm seriously considering abandoning this place and going to sit in a warm coffee shop. The only problem with that is that I'm already very distracted from writing and going there could make it much, much worse.

The dishes are here, though.

And it's [bleeping!] cold.
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Shawn and I are in between Netflix shipments, and so we were looking around for something to watch for Friday night movie night. We remembered we still had a stack of discs of Season 4 of BSG that [ profile] naomikritzer's friend TiVOed for us... well, what, years ago now? Anyway, we dug out our episode guide and figured out where last we'd left our intrepid heroes. We ended up watching "Guess What's Coming to Dinner", "Sine Qua Non," and "The Hub".

As you know, I'd been a pretty huge BSG fan since the re-imagined version came out (actually, to be honest, I'm old enough to be a fan of the original series too.) But I've always found the series to be kind of spotty. There were times I swore it off for good, but then, like a puppy, I'd come lopping back when the new season started: "Squirrel!" I finally gave up when Starbuck returned from the dead and started seeing visions about the way to Earth.

I never liked the new Starbuck. She's too... wounded(?) for me. I like crazy on some women, but Starbuck? Not so much.

Plus (and this was the real killer) Shawn got off it. Shawn can watch shows and movies I'm not so keen on, because I'm often off writing on a novel in the other room in the evenings. Me? It's kind of got to be a "family" event for me to sit down and watch something. I *could* watch while Mason is off at school, but that just seems like the height of decedance. I mean, what's next? Day time soaps and bon-bons? No, I need to write or something productive during daylight hours. That's just the deal.

But someone at Shawn's work is just about as far behind as she is, and they started talking about it. Even so, Shawn wasn't quite up for a new episode... until we ran out of Netflix. (part of why we've run out is that Mason has adopted the "Loony Tunes" disc. So we're only sending back two of our three alloted films... and the last two were complete duds. We should learn: films in French are baffling. Even with subtitles. Period.)

It's surprisingly easy to pick up in the middle. I'm not sure that's a compliment, though. As Shawn said at one point during the multiple betrayals and double-crosses, "Haven't we seen this already?" However, for me, it was nice to see Roslin and Adama finally admit they're into each other. How many seasons did THAT take? As Adama says, "About time."

My problem with this series can be summed up pretty simply. I'm not a plot monkey; I'm a character junkie. This is why I never game mastered any of the D&D campaigns I was involved in. This is why there are plot holes in my novels you could drive a truck through. Those details don't concern me unless they affect characters. BSG is character lite. The characters are important, but they're secondary to the plot in most episodies. But I don't really care much about the mystery of the Cylon God (although I did enjoy the scene in "The Hub" when Baltar tries to discuss God with the Centurian) or if they ever fraking get to Earth. I mean, all that stuff can be interesting, which is why I keep coming back, but what I REALLY care about is how it affects the characters. Thus, "The Hub" was my favorite of the three.

Roslin attempts to be less of a cold automaton and more human. In a drug induced haze, Baltar finally confesses to his grandest sin against humanity. Adama gives up his throne for the one he loves. Three wakes up and mocks both Cylon and human for being a bunch of back-stabbing hyopcrites.

Nice. A good turn, indeed.

Friday afternoon, I also narfed down three more graphic novels in the HIKARU NO-GO series (Hotta/Obata). I can *not* explain my attraction to this particular manga. A bunch of Japanese kids try to become professional GO players. There's a ghost and several rivalries, but, wow, talk about "plot lite." Yet I'm totally riveted. In fact, I almost ran back to the library when I finished the last one to get the next bunch. Go figure.

Speaking of the library, Mason was cute yesterday. He has this weird love/hate relationship with the R. L. Stein GOOSEBUMPS series. They're still pretty scary to him, but he loves to look at the covers, read the back copy, and see how long he can read the book before it scares the pants off him. Well, at the library they were de-accesssioning a bunch of "Goosebumps." 5 for a dollar, in fact. By chance I had one dollar bill in my wallet. Mason was giddy at the prospect of buying some from the library and taking them home. I let him do the whole transaction. The librarian, too, I think, got a kick out of how EXCITED he was. Then, with them tucked under his arm, he danced all the way home. Quite literally.

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