Friday, June 29, 2012

Next Up, News from Fabletown

So I missed yesterday’s post, breaking my streak however I must admit that I missed it because I was hanging out with friends I haven’t seen in a while. That should count as a legitimate reason for missing a post. Anyway, I’m going to make up for it today by uploading 2 posts. I already had an idea for a subject of yesterday’s post; I just never had the opportunity to write it. That idea was Fables. While you may immediately think of Aesop and his fables, this is not what I’m talking about at all. Nope, I’m talking about one of my favorite graphic novel series in existence. Fables is up there with Sandman by Neil Gaiman. 

Bill Willingham is the mastermind behind the great collection of comics known as Fables. The main idea of the series is that all the fairy tale people have been exiled from their homelands because of The Adversary. To escape his tyrannous reign, they fled to America where they set up a colony, Fabletown, in what is present day New York City. The main story takes place in the present time and discusses how the fairy tales live during modern times surrounded by us “mundies” (short for Mundane). The major plot from the beginning deals how the people of Fabletown fight off The Adversary who has finally decided to pursue the fairy tale people to the mundy world. 

Many popular fairy tale people make an appearance as well as many lesser known fairy tales. Some major characters include:

Snow White, Bigby Wolf, and Boy Blue
 Bigby is the reformed Big Bad Wolf who is now sheriff of Fabletown. Other familiar characters include Ole King Cole, Beauty and the Beast, and Pinnochio. Oh, and let's not forget my favorite character! 

Flycatcher! I love him so much! He's so adorable and probably the sweetest character in the whole series! :) Can you guess who he is? Yup, the Frog Prince!

Honestly, there are so many great characters I couldn’t help but name as many of them as I could. Many more make an appearance as the series goes on. Bill Willingham does a fantastic job of bringing the fairy tales of Hans Christian Anderson, the Brothers Grimm, Aesop, Peroult, etc. to life in a modern setting. Some characters he takes down routes that never really occur to prior to the series while many familiar occurrences from the original fairy tales pervade his graphic novels as well.

I am a huge fan of fairy tales. From the original works to revised fairy tales of modern authors, you can’t go wrong with a fairy tale. I love them in whatever form they decide to come in whether musical, tv show, mini-series or comic book. The imagination of today’s fairy tales really only seem to add to the magic of past stories. 

So if you looking for new graphic novels to sink your teeth into or enjoy a good fairy tale, definitely try Bill Willingham's Fables series. You won't regret it! :) 

Happy readings!

PS I got the images from Google Images. They don't belong to me.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"As Long As You're Mine"

I recently acquired another book for my collection. I know! Here I am complaining about having so many books and hoping to get rid of some of them, so what do I do? Get another book! :) But this book is special! Then again aren't they all. Okay this one is special in a different way. It's a signed copy! Yes, signed as in by the author. And you want to know what I have a signed copy of?

WICKED! BWHAHAHAHAHA! Yes, I have a Gregory Maguire signed copy of Wicked! :) See here's proof!

Yeah that's his signature. I can see Maguire better than the Gregory but it's his name he can sign it however he wants to. Now how did I get an autographed book you might ask? Well, my Children's Literature professor was presenting at a conference and she asked me to read to give my opinion on it, any suggestions, etc. I was more than happy to do it! I love English and I was missing my English classes anyway. It was a great read and she liked my suggestions. Gregory Maguire was at the same conference and she got me this as a thank you present. It's even personalized! It says "To Heather" at the top. IT'S SO AWESOME! I've already decided that it's going next to my copies of The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone that I got from Blackwell Bookstore during my trip to Oxford, England last year. Books are the perfect gift to me. You can't really go wrong. Okay, you can go wrong but if you know what I like, you can't go wrong. :)

If you haven't guessed yet, I love Wicked. I was first introduced to it at the end of 9th grade to the soundtrack of the Broadway. I picked up the book soon after that. I enjoy Gregory Maguire a lot. He has an interesting take on The Wizard of Oz. I'll be honest I find it more entertaining than Baum's original version. While I own three of his Oz series, I've only read the first two books. I've yet to read A Lion Among Men.

I enjoyed them but my favorite Maguire book is Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister.

It takes place in Holland and it's a Cinderella story from the Ugly Stepsister's point of view. It reminded me a lot of the movie Girl with a Pearl Earring. The stepsister is interested in painting and you have a lot of reverences to popular Dutch painters. Definitely my favorite Gregory Maguire book, at least of the ones I've read.

It goes without saying that I love the Broadway musical. It's fantastic! I've had the opportunity to see it twice now and it never gets old. The soundtrack is definitely a part of my favorite high school summer. It was the summer after 10th grade. My friend and I would go to the dollar theater in town almost every week and on the drive over we'd belt out the soundtrack of Wicked the whole way. I think that was the same year I sent my friend a birthday email that included all the song titles from the Wicked soundtrack. It was pretty awesome!

Next time the musical Wicked is showing near you, definitely go see it! It's wonderful! Despite blaring differences between the book and musical, you should give the book a read until the musical makes it to you! :)

Happy readings!

PS All but the pictures of my signed Wicked came from Google Images.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

White Coat Anxiety

I'll be attending graduate school in the fall for mathematics. While I am very excited, there are some down points and I'm about to let you in on a little secret about graduate school. There's a punishment for those who desire a higher education and it looks like this!

AHHHHHH! Look at that guy all smiling and stuff. There's a sadistic glint to that eye I tell you... Okay. Maybe I'm exaggerating (no not really), but to be completely honest I really don't like going to the doctor. I'm not exactly sure why either. I don't mind getting shots but doctor's offices just make me nervous. All right, I admit it. Doctor's visits are probably only seen as a punishment by me. But honestly, colleges always need you to go to the doctor and I find that torturous. Torture! Oh and FYI, I got that picture from Google Images. This is nothing against the pictured doctor or any doctor. I felt the image  encompassed the typical "doctor" persona that I needed to convey my point. I'm sure he's a wonderful doctor.

But back to my fear, if you haven't figured it out already, I had to go to the doctor today. Yes. I had to undergo torture. Let me tell you that sitting in a waiting room for over an hour when your anxiety levels walking into the building, nay further back than that: getting into the car to drive to the doctor's, have already reached monumental proportions, waiting an hour is enough to nearly give you a heart attack. Ugh, and the waiting back in the room for over an hour as nurses and the doctor come and go and the sudden desire to give you a bazillion shots that aren't necessary for the purposes of having your graduate student health evaluation form filled out, I've just got one word: ARGH! The only good thing to come from that last part was that I got so angry at being kept waiting for so long that I forgot my anxiety over being in the doctor's office in the first place. Ridiculous!

That's over now thankfully and I get to rant about it in my post for all you lovely readers to read. My awesome sister who went with me bought me a peach milkshake afterwards to make me fill better. :) Best sister ever! Unfortunately, I have to go back with her when she gets her physical for school done. I can't even handle that. Doctor's offices freak me out! But she did promise me another milkshake and trust me I'm going to hold her to it!

Until next time, happy readings!

P.S. My fear and dislike of doctors is only directed toward the profession and not the individual people. I'm sure they are very nice people despite their scary career choice.

Monday, June 25, 2012


You are probably wondering what "HISHE" means. First of all, it is not some strange word pronounced "his-he." Nope, it is an acronym for some pretty great laughs: How It Should Have Ended. This is a group who post videos on YouTube about how they think some movies should have ended. They also have their own website which I've created a link to below:

These individuals have a great sense of humor and do an incredible job of creating conceivable endings for many movies and games as well as shows. A lot of the time I'm definitely thinking "so true" by the end of video. Here are some of my favorites.

How Lord of the Rings Should Have Ended:
Probably one of my favorites. I could watch this one over and over again. While I love Tolkien, HISHE
creates a fabulous ending for one of my favorite stories.

How Harry Potter Should Have Ended:
This one is brilliant! Especially for its portrayal of Snape. I <3 Snape. Not to mention, my favorite wizard Gandalf makes an appearance. Hint: watch until the very end of the clip.

How Captain America Should Have Ended:
Sometimes HISHE hits the nail on the head. When I first saw Captain America, I laughed through the entire ending. It was honestly the funniest thing I'd ever seen. At the time, I couldn't exactly explain why I found it so funny but HISHE definitely helped me figure out why I couldn't stop laughing at the ending. :)

How Indiana Jones 4 Should Have Ended:
HISHE's portrayal of George Lucas in this video is AMAZING. Every time I discuss George Lucas and how he has lost his mind lately, I always think of this video and I often mimic it. One of my teachers I told about it actually requests that I do my George Lucas impression from this video. It gets laughs every time!

How Star Trek Should Have Ended: 
This is amazing! While I love Star Trek, this is hysterical and another one I could watch over and over again. Maybe I didn't need to end this way but it would have been hilarious if it had. Watch all the way to the end!

How to Survive an Alien Attack: 
I can't believe I almost forgot this video. I think it was probably the first video that got me into HISHE. It is great! And so true! Let me know if you comment on the ended. I definitely did and HISHE called me out for it. Watch the video and you'll see what I mean. ;)

I could go on and on and on honestly. There are so many great videos and if you're in need of a laugh, HISHE will definitely provide one!

Happy readings! (and watchings!)

P.S. Not my videos. All be long to HISHE! Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A New Goal

This post is my seventh consecutive post! Yay! I think I've done pretty well if I do say so myself. I'll be honest it wasn't exactly the easiest thing to do. Do you know how hard it is to come up with new ideas every day? Let me tell you it is NOT easy. There were some days that I just wanted to give up. I think it started after "How I Met Your Mother." Then again that was only Friday. I think... Thankfully I spent all day at the movies yesterday and had new fuel for the never-ending posts. 

Now I’ve figured out an idea that will help me with future posts. It will also help me get rid of some of my books hopefully. I recently finished college and as I prepare to go to graduate school I’ve been packing up my room. That includes all of my books. And let me tell you, I have a lot of books. I think right now I’m up to fifteen boxes and they’re decent size boxes.

In all, the last book count was 458 books and there are definitely some I haven’t packed yet nor cataloged for my records. After packing all those boxes, I decided that I need to get rid of some books. Since there are several books I’m only keeping because I haven’t read them yet, I’ve set myself another goal for the summer: I’m going to read as many of my books that I haven’t read yet. Then I can get give some of them away, the ones I don’t want. It’ll probably be all my books that aren’t fantasy, children’s literature, or mythology. There are also some classics that I’d like to keep, but some of those books are not staying. That’s for sure! Who knows I might have a giveaway or two. Wouldn’t that be exciting? Well, maybe not since I just ranted about how I didn’t want the books I’ll be giving away, but it’s not like they’re in bad condition. These are just the books I don’t want to reread. So maybe that makes it a little more exciting? No guarantees though.

Now the question is do I want to start at the top of the list or with books that don’t fit my criteria. I think that starting with non-fantasy/children’s lit/mythology will be the best course of action. I wonder how many books I’ll finish before the end of the summer…Well, let the second goal begin!

Until next time, happy readings!

P.S. All pictures taken from Google Images. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Day Spent in Silver

Someone once told me that the two hardest things to do by yourself are to dine in a restaurant and to go to the movies. I’ve eaten by myself in a restaurant before. That really isn’t so bad. Admittedly, it was a Chick-fil-a and I had a book with me. It was really crowed though and all the parents with their loud, rambunctious kids were just looking at me in envy of my solitary table. A book and red carnation, my sole company. Crunching chicken nuggets and waffle fries without interruption… maybe I’m exaggerating but it honestly wasn’t difficult. It was a little weird but honestly the break from driving was great.

Today I had the opportunity to do the second hardest thing: go to the movies by myself.  My sister had her college orientation today and my mom was doing the parent thing so instead of following them around campus all day, likely bored out of my mind, I kidnapped the car and spent the day at the movies. Let me tell you, I forgot how cheap matinees are! Or at least they are cheap here and the theater was really nice. I saw two movies today for $11. Not bad for 4 hours of entertainment.  Anyway, I chose to see Seeking a Friend for the End of the World and Men in Black 3. Originally I was going to see Madagascar 3 instead of Men in Black 3 but the times didn’t work out. 

All right, it’s time for a confession. I am a closet Steve Carell fan. Yes. I think I’ve been a fan of his since I first started watching “The Office.” Unfortunately, I haven’t seen a lot of his movies because I can never find anyone to go with me. That’s where being comfortable going by yourself comes in handy. So today I indulged myself and saw Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

Before I go any further, let me give you an idea of the story. Think Armageddon but every attempt to destroy the asteroid fails and it’s going to hit Earth. This movie is what happens in such a scenario. Steve Carell plays a character who is trying to find the love of his life before the end of the world and Keira Knightley is a girl that just wants to get home to her family. They team up to help each other accomplish their respective goals. It’s considered a comedy, drama, and romance all wrapped into one movie. Let me tell you I really enjoyed this film. I found it to be really funny, but I have a weird sense of humor. I think I was the only one that laughed sometimes. At times, it was somewhat predictable but it was a good kind of predictable.

I found it to be very similar to romantic movies like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and the French film Love Me If You Dare. So if you like those kind of romantic comedies, you should definitely see Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. If not, tread carefully.

I also saw Men in Black 3. I enjoyed this one as well. Honestly, it’d been a while since I saw the first two films and let me tell you I forgot how gross it could be sometimes. Other than the random exploding aliens and those were mostly toward the beginning, the movie was great! I really enjoyed it and it seemed to tie the series together. It was very funny and Josh Brolin did a great job as a young Kay. The only problem I could find with the film was that Tommy Lee Jones wasn’t in it enough. 

One other thing I found amusing was the bad guy.  Here’s a picture of him below.

 Scary, right? Now here’s a picture of Jerome from “Flight of the Conchords”, a really funny TV show from a few years ago. 

Can you believe that those two characters are in fact the same actor? I could NOT! I was really surprised when I found out. He’s plays a rather awkward character in “Flight of the Conchords” but he pulled off scary bad guy really well! I was very impressed!

Today was a great day for movies. The next time you’re looking for a movie to see either of these would be great choices!

Happy readings!

P.S. Here is a video from “Flight of the Conchords.” Yes, it’s meant to be funny! :)

P.P.S. I don't own any of the images or videos. They were found on Google Images and YouTube.