Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Well ...

So, obviously I have not been keeping up with this blog. A lot has gone on over the past year, and I can't say that the majority of it has been good. Then again, this has been a year that has seen the deaths of some of my heroes, the latest being the irreplaceable Carrie Fisher, and the election of a sociopathic Cheeto to our highest office, so maybe my life during 2016 is just a microcosmic representation of the greater shitstorm.

Now, my plan is to take up production again here - catch up on my challenges, write about my experiences over the past twelve months, start my new blog (more on that later), etc. - but first? Updates!

First, I'm going back to school this spring. It's just the prerequisites, though, which isn't necessarily exciting, but hey, I'm fucking thrilled. Well, not necessarily about the statistics class I have to take, but the other stuff - anatomy and physiology, developmental psychology, microbiology - is what I'm really looking forward to taking. Then, in May 2018? I will be starting nursing school.

Second, for those of you who don't follow me on Facebook, Three and I are getting divorced. It's been a long road that started well over a year ago but only truly began when I came back up to Louisville. I'll delve into it more deeply next year (NEXT YEAR OMG), but it does lead me into my third point.

I'm currently writing a screenplay for the first episode of a web series that is loosely based (at least factually - emotionally, it's spot on) on my life after I left my husband in April. I've been very blessed with the people I've met in the last eight or so months I've been in Louisville, and I actually have an infrastructure here that will actually enable me to get this for-real accomplished. It's bizarre, like I was meant to go through what I did and meet the people I have so I could do this. I even have a friend (hi, Mel!) who is going to help me market it around town. So again, be sure to check on my Facebook for updates about that. It'll have its own Facebook page (currently, it's not visible because it literally has nothing on it) and eventually its own website.

Fourth, I probably won't be doing any more Life with Pets, which kind of pains me. Zola is living with my parents permanently, and only Mushroom and Ramses are left. Even though that merely mentioning it vaguely causes me to feel a pit of sadness in my stomach, I know I'll have to write a post about it soon.

Well, that's it for now. I probably won't be putting anything on here other than back-posts until after the first of the year. So Happy New Year to everyone, and let's kick 2016 on its ass!

Friday, July 29, 2016

31 Day Sailor Moon Challenge

Via Chiksolo's Nerd Cave
I usually reserve my anime challenges for February, since anime series tend to be one "season" long, as opposed to many series, both animated and live action, made in the U.S., but Sailor Moon is just a bit different. It's more of a collection of sagas than anything else, usually with no ties - other than the characters and the basic plot of "Usagi is the reincarnated Queen Serenity and must defend Earth from all sorts of baddies" - to the other arcs. I could be wrong, but I don't recall that they even mention previous stories, unlike series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Battlestar Galactica. As I go through and watch the entire thing again, I may amend that statement, but I'm pretty sure it's accurate.

But here's what is coming at you next month!

Day 1: How I Was Introduced to Sailor Moon
Day 2: Favorite Inner Senshi
Day 3: Favorite Outer Senshi
Day 4: Favorite Companion Cat
Day 4: Least Favorite Senshi
Day 5: Favorite Villain
Day 6: Least Favorite Villain
Day 7: Favorite Secondary Character
Day 8: Least Favorite Secondary Character
Day 9: Favorite "Season"
Day 10: Least Favorite "Season"
Day 11: Favorite Sailor Moon Episode
Day 12: Favorite Sailor Moon R Episode
Day 13: Favorite Sailor Moon S Episode
Day 14: Favorite Sailor Moon Super S Episode
Day 15: Favorite Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Episode
Day 16: Favorite Sailor Moon Movie
Day 17: Favorite Episode
Day 18: Least Favorite Episode
Day 19: Dub or Sub?
Day 20: Favorite Opening Theme
Day 21: Favorite Senshi Attack
Day 22: Anime vs. Manga
Day 23: Original vs. Reboot Anime
Day 24: Best Friendship
Day 25: Best Canon Couple
Day 26: Best Manga Art
Day 27: Best Fan Art
Day 28: Something I Wish Happened That Didn't
Day 29: Something That Didn't Happen I Wish Did
Day 30: How Sailor Moon Inspires Me
Day 31: What I Would Like to See Next

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

31 Day Xena: Warrior Princess Challenge, Day 24: Favorite Gabrielle Outfit

More outfits! Except this time, it's definitely a tie for my favorite Gabrielle outfit. Xena changed costumes pretty regularly, but Gabby transitioned a lot more than her pal, especially during that first season.

Monday, May 23, 2016

31 Day Xena: Warrior Princess Challenge, Day 23: Favorite Xena Outfit

You know, I am kind of glad I planned my challenge this way so many months ago, because I could really use a bit of a breather right now. So yay for picture answers to challenges!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

31 Day Xena: Warrior Princess Challenge, Day 10: Favorite Episode

I cannot tell you how many times I have watched my favorite episode of Xena: Warrior Princess. Seriously. And I'm not even going to hide it behind the break. "Hooves and Harlots" from Season One is amazing. You've got Amazons, a dude with a swirly beard (think even weirder than Wes Bentley's manscaped facial hair in The Hunger Games), war profiteering, centaurs, horse poop (I'm not kidding), and fights to the death. And Gabrielle is only kind of annoying!
Can you help me find this image's owner?
There is nothing about this episode that I do not love. Well, except for Lucy Lawless' makeup. They were going to natural, but that lipstick just looked terrible on her.

Ahem. Moving on.

Friday, May 6, 2016

31 Day Xena: Warrior Princess Challenge, Day 6: Favorite Season Three Episode

Okay, so Season Three's entire storyline almost put it in my least favorite season, because ugh, magical demon pregnancy and drama between Xena and Gabrielle and ... I really could go on, because parts of it were really bad. And to be honest, my favorite Season Three episode has a lot of the parts that were awful, including some uncharacteristically bad acting from Lucy Lawless, but once you get past the opening - which I'll admit was one of the worst things I've ever seen - it gets incredible.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

31 Day Xena: Warrior Princess Challenge, Day 5: Favorite Season Two Episode

Via Wikipedia
Oh, Salmoneus, you are equal parts one of the best and worst aspects of the Kiwi productions of Greek non-history. Every time you pop up, I am both delighted and annoyed because, to be honest, the character is borderline racist but also amusing, so ... toss up here, really. But then again, he appears in so many of my favorite episodes of both Xena and Hercules that I am almost ready to forgive him for existing.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

31 Day Xena: Warrior Princess Challenge, Day 4: Favorite Season One Episode

Happy May the Fourth, my lovelies!

Today brings me to the portion of the challenge in which I annoy you with my favorite episodes! The reasons why they are so close to my heart vary - they're fun, emotional, well-done, etc. - but don't necessarily have to be the best (although they sometimes are perfect examples of what makes the show great). So without further ado, here's my pick for the first season.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

31 Day Xena: Warrior Princess Challenge, Day 3: Least Favorite Season

Now, this? This one's a little harder than yesterday's challenge. Why? Because, for all its flubs and silliness and awful CGI, Xena was an amazing series with mostly well-done episodes and a real heart at the center. But I gotta pick one, I suppose.

Also, spoilers ahead, if that matters to you, although this aired nearly twenty years ago, so ...

Monday, May 2, 2016

31 Day Xena: Warrior Princess Challenge, Day 2: Favorite Season

Whenever I do this particular challenge post, it's usually a lot of hemming and hawing, reading back through plot summaries and watching various episodes, and while I do like to be a little dramatic and make it seem like it's the equivalent to Sophie's Choice, I can't say that making the choice is really that difficult. Season One isn't the best season* but it most definitely is my favorite.
Via Wikipedia

Sunday, May 1, 2016

31 Day Xena: Warrior Princess Challenge, Day 1: How I Was Introduced to Xena: Warrior Princess

I'm going to be incredibly honest here: I was *thisclose* to postponing this challenge. Considering what's going on in my life right now, it really did feel impossible that I would be able to complete the challenge - especially since I haven't finished my Cowboy Bebop challenge from February yet - and I went back and forth for a bit. God, it just sounds so childish, even now as I am thinking about just deleting this post and replacing it with, "Hey, guys, this is gonna come later," but that's kind of how it is right now. Every little decision I make is difficult, even simple ones like "do I write blog posts" or "what do I eat right now because I'm not even really hungry but I haven't had a meal all day and it's 7:30 PM."

But then, I thought, "What would Xena do?" She would roundhouse kick the shit out of things and do what she needed to do. So, I'm going to tackle this challenge with the same gusto of the warrior princess herself.

Friday, April 29, 2016

31 Day Xena: Warrior Princess Challenge

Via Schmoes Know
Last year, when I decided I was going to do a Xena challenge, I was a wee bit overwhelmed because I knew I was going to have to watch the entire series again. Thankfully, it was on Netflix, which makes it easier (I only have had the opportunity to buy the first two seasons on DVD), but that's still six seasons to go through and take notes. It was hard enough when I rewatched 4.5 seasons of Battlestar Galactica and 5 seasons of Miami Vice. But I knew what I was in for with Xena: being from the mid-90s, there was a lot of bad acting and even worse SFX, and I needed to be prepared to sit through it.

But here's the thing. I loved every single minute of it, and over the course of the month of May, I'm going to share it with you.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Hello, darkness, my old friend ...

(Ed. Note: God, what a pretentious title ...)

So you know how it feels when your entire life basically goes tits up? That's pretty much where I am. Quite frankly, things are still a bit too raw to discuss in depth, especially on the internet, so you'll have to excuse my vagueness for the time being. But I will say that, at the end of this month, I'm moving back up to Louisville.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review

Via Comic Book Movie
SPOILER WARNING: I'm going to be referencing quite a bit of the plot from this movie, so if you haven't seen it and care to be spoiler free before going in, I don't recommend you reading much past the break.

Full disclosure: I went and saw this movie after reading bad review after bad review, so I was set to dislike it from the get-go. Yay, another Batman origin story retelling! Henry Cavill looks like a douche-bro! Wonder Woman is barely seen! The story is nonsensical! Zack Snyder is getting "paid millions of dollars to pretend not to be Michael Bay!" Jesse Eisenberg was woefully miscast! I'm sure you've read all of these, too. The internet was inundated with negative criticism, so much that you could barely find anything positive to say about the movie.

Now, usually, I try to be open-minded whenever I've read reviews of movies I'm going to see because, hey, I'm an individual and I like to make my own decision as to whether or not a movie is a piece of crap, but when it comes to DC, there's always this little skeptical devil on my shoulder, reminding me of how many times the publisher and WB have royally fucked up some of my favorite characters (*cough* the Finches' Wonder Woman run *cough*).

So imagine my surprise when I realized, "Hey, I don't hate this movie."

Thursday, February 25, 2016

29 Day Cowboy Bebop Challenge, Day 25: Favorite Cosplay

I was going to have this be a part of the fan art challenge day, but there is so much awesome cosplay of Cowboy Bebop that I felt it was only right to give it its own day. I mean, is this not amazing??
Via Craig Lotter

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

29 Day Cowboy Bebop Challenge, Day 24: Favorite Fan Art

Oooooh, fan art! When it's good, it's GOOOOOOD. And I won't be showing any bad, so feast your eyes on these, my lovelies!

Monday, February 22, 2016

29 Day Cowboy Bebop Challenge, Day 22: Storyline I Wish Went Longer

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Cowboy Bebop is damned near perfection when it comes to plot. Not only are episodes dedicated solely to character development, but everything is tied together in the end, even if it is bittersweet. So I can't really say that there is any storyline I wish was extended, which kind of seems like a cop out, but I'm okay with that.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

29 Day Cowboy Bebop Challenge, Day 21: Something That Didn't Happen I Wish Did

To be honest, there's not a lot about Cowboy Bebop that I would change, as evidenced by yesterday's post, so today is going to be short and sweet: I wish we could have seen how Jet handled the finale. His entire life was wrapped up in the crew - especially Spike - and now, all he has left is Faye. I understand that Bebop is ultimately Spike's story, but they spent so much time building up the rest of the main cast that I feel a bit cheated without knowing what Jet's reaction to the events was. Oh, well. I can write fanfic, I guess.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

29 Day Cowboy Bebop Challenge, Day 20: Something That Happened I Wish Didn't

Cowboy Bebop is one of those shows that I feel is nearly flawless in its execution. Sure, it has its problems - "Gateway Shuffle," for example - but every detail was so exhaustively planned that to change anything would make that puzzle just sort of fall apart.

Friday, February 19, 2016

29 Cowboy Bebop Challenge, Day 19: Dubbed or Subbed?

When it comes to foreign cinema, in most cases, I would rather read the subtitles than hear completely retooled dialogue that is devoid of the cultural context of the original language. Watching martial arts movies from the 70s and 80s, it's painful to see English voice actors try their damnedest to fit English words to the lips of the on-screen actors, and it's actually a little worse with anime. The first Akira dub was awful, mispronouncing names and acting like they were in a kids' movie*, and Bubblegum Crisis' voice actors sounded both over-the-top and monotone (sometimes simultaneously, which I didn't think was possible) that I nearly refused to watch the rest of the series after the first few minutes of the first episode. Then there's the whole Sailor Moon thing, which I will be discussing in a future challenge.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

29 Day Cowboy Bebop Challenge, Day 18: Favorite Ein Moment

Okay, so ... "Mushroom Samba" is one of my guilty pleasure episodes. It's so silly, even more so than "Toys in the Attic." But it features both Ed and Ein as the focal characters, and that makes it A+ in my book. Plus, it features my absolute favorite Ein moment of the entire series:
Via Nerdist
Basically, Ein eats shrooms and he gets high. It's not a huge moment, but it cracks me up every single time.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

29 Day Cowboy Bebop Challenge, Day 17: Favorite Songs Off the Soundtracks

Yoko Kanno is a musical genius. Seriously. This woman has done so much musically (including one of my favorite ever soundtracks, Macross Plus) that it's a shame she hasn't gotten more popular in the U.S. This was originally supposed to be a single song, but as I've proven before when it comes to music, I just couldn't do it. Instead, you get eleven tracks. YOU ARE WELCOME.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

29 Day Cowboy Bebop Challenge, Day 16: Favorite Location

Yay, a short answer one! The universe we see in Cowboy Bebop has some amazing scenery, from the Martian landscape to the endlessness of open space, but my favorite location we see in the series is Venus, especially because of the last scene in "Waltz for Venus." It's just so pretty, and you know what, I'd brave the possibility of getting Venus Sickness just to see this:
Via Gary's "Cowboy Bebop" Page
Floating cities! It's like Bespin but cooler! Now, I can't find a picture to show you - I'm side-eyeing the internet really hard right now - but one of my favorite images from the episode is when the spores are floating in the sky, and OMG, it's so beautiful. It just gives you an excuse to watch the episode, I guess!

Monday, February 15, 2016

29 Day Cowboy Bebop Challenge, Day 15: Favorite Fight Scene

Before I start, I just want to send a shout out to three lovelies who are one year older today: my father, my friend Karolina, and Zola! It is truly a great day in human history.

Anyway, onto today's challenge. Believe me when I say that, oh my God, are there so many fights to choose from, but that doesn't mean that it took me forever to narrow it down. You might think I'd pick the final showdown between Vicious and Spike, and while I do agree that it's epic, I just can't place it above my actual favorite.

Friday, February 12, 2016

29 Day Cowboy Bebop Challenge, Day 12: Favorite Pop Culture Reference

Pop culture references aren't necessarily as noticeable in Cowboy Bebop or other anime series as they are in American media because, well, obvs, it's a completely different culture. However, there were a lot of Western references that made their way into episodes of Bebop: Kareem Abdul Jabbar (Hakim) vs. Bruce Lee (Spike) in "Stray Dog Strut" or the Penguin (from Batman) - esque Pierrot from "Pierrot Le Fou," for example.
Via Overthinking It
But my absolute favorite? The entire episode of "Toys in the Attic," which is essentially one giant homage to Alien. It has a very silly ending, and isn't even really in the top ten episodes of the series, but it's a lot of fun to watch just to see Spike run around all Ripley-like, trying to kill the lunch he forgot about for a year. Um, spoiler alert there, by the way. Shit, the show is almost 20 years old; I don't feel bad at all.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

29 Day Cowboy Bebop Challenge, Day 11: Least Favorite Secondary or One-Shot Character

Remember back on Day 5, and I was like, "God, I hate 'Gateway Shuffle?'" Or I was at least pretty clear that it's an episode that I can do without. Well, then you already know who is the star of today's challenge!
Via Wikipedia
There's not a lot to say about the above Twinkle Maria Murdock, the leader of an eco-terrorist group who is the cause of her own demise - the virus she intended to release on Ganymede instead infected her and the rest of her minions - and is generally just kind of annoying.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

29 Day Cowboy Bebop Challenge, Day 10: Favorite Secondary or One-Shot Character

I know that I said my favorite episode was "Stray Dog Strut," but "Heavy Metal Queen" is a close second. It has one of my absolute favorite opening sequences, and I really like Spike in the episode. One of the funniest scenes in the entire series is when Spike joins a bar brawl because another bounty hunter bumps into him and makes him drop an egg in his lap (it doesn't sound like it would be that humorous, but OMG, it is - I've been that hungover before).

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

29 Day Cowboy Bebop Challenge, Day 9: Least Favorite Villain

Honestly, Twinkle Marie could fit into this day's challenge because she was just so blah, but since I already used her, I'm going to be a tad bit controversial. Why? Because I'm tired and feeling a bit contrary.

Monday, February 8, 2016

29 Day Cowboy Bebop Challenge, Day 8: Favorite Villain

Now, I'm fairly certain that everyone has an expectation that the main villain of the series - Vicious - is going to a top pick for today's challenge, but I'm here to say, "Nay, thou art mistaken." Don't worry; I'll get to that guy later on in the month, but for today, I'm going to surprise you a little bit. Maybe.

29 Day Cowboy Bebop Challenge, Day 7: Least Favorite Main Character

Picking my least favorite character on shows with large main casts - like Battlestar Galactica (damn, I link back to that post a lot), for example - is a fairly easy task, but on shows like Bebop, it's a bit more difficult. Not only are there only five main characters, but I care about them almost equally. I suppose the easiest way to do this is to narrow it down to two and then pick which one just doesn't do as much for me.
  1. Faye Valentine
  2. Jet Black

29 Day Cowboy Bebop Challenge, Day 6: Favorite Main Character

Yeah, so I already revealed that my favorite character is Ed back on Day 3, but now I actually get to talk about her! Huzzah!
Via FanPop

Sunday, February 7, 2016

29 Day Cowboy Bebop Challenge, Day 5: Least Favorite Episode

You know when you really can't stand something but you don't really know why? Like, okay, so "Gateway Shuffle" is my absolute least favorite episode of Cowboy Bebop, and for years, I could not figure out exactly why I loathed it so. Was it the goofy premise - eco-terrorists turning humans into monkeys - or the over-the-top voice acting (which is weird because the voice actors are usually top notch) or ... something? Character designs?

29 Day Cowboy Bebop Challenge, Day 4: Favorite Episode

I know I said yesterday that my favorite character on Bebop is Ed, but a close second would have to be Ein, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi mascot/smartest being aboard the ship. Granted, I love corgis (who doesn't???*). Unlike Ed, though, Ein's introduction to the crew makes a lot more sense, and that's my segue into today's challenge! Not only does "Stray Dog Strut" bring Ein into the series, it is also one of those episodes that I will watch as often as possible.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

29 Day Cowboy Bebop Challenge, Day 3: Worst Episode

Normally, I really do love doing the "worst episode" days because there's always That Episode that just makes me cringe and want to throw my controller at my TV (I'm looking at you, "Black Market"), but with Cowboy Bebop, there are only episodes that I'm more "meh" about. They're not actually bad, I guess, but they just don't meet my expectations. And with Bebop, my expectations are exceptionally high.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

29 Day Cowboy Bebop Challenge, Day 2: Best Episode

I know I'm a day behind, but with work, sleep, and trying to get my house looking like it's not a part of a shantytown, things have been a little on the crazy side. Excuses aside, here's Day 2:

It's always a little tough to narrow a series down to the best episode, especially one as consistently amazing as Cowboy Bebop, and I've been going back and forth for a bit now as to which one I think is the king of the mountain. I was able to narrow it down to what I believe is one of the best character-building episodes of all time: "Speak Like a Child."

Monday, February 1, 2016

29 Day Cowboy Bebop Challenge, Day 1: How I Was Introduced to Cowboy Bebop

Via Online Anime Store
I have to thank Toonami for so many things: The Big O, Tenchi Muyo, Reboot, Sailor Moon (coming soon to a challenge near you!), Space Dandy (I am not ashamed of this in the least), Gundam Wing, and of course, Cowboy Bebop.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

29 Day Cowboy Bebop Challenge

Cowboy Bebop
Well, kids, it's time for another! Like last February, this challenge is a little shorter because of the number of days in the month, and I figured I'd go with another anime. Cowboy Bebop is, like most anime, a single season, but it does not disappoint in terms of great animation, plot, action, and character development. For a lot of people, it was the gateway into the medium of Japanese animation, myself included. Behold what is in store!

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