polychrome_pen: (Sokka rainbows)
 I have to admit, I never thought I would admit to unabashedly enjoying a Scooby Doo show.  Prior to now, my only experience with Scooby-Doo as a franchise was catching old episodes on my Grandparents' cable when I was sick as a kid and stayed home from school.

But Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated isn't just good for a Scooby Doo show.  It might be the best thing I've watched so far this year.  I can hear the cries of shock, I know.  You say, "But Ry, Scooby Doo is a weird 70s relic about mystery-solvin' teens and their hungry great dane - not good television."  And before finishing Mystery Incorporated, I would have agreed with you!  Such is the power of this show.

You see, for the first time in 40+ years, the characters actually have character.  Sure, Fred is all about traps, Shaggy and Scooby eat a lot, Daphne gets captured, and Velma is the genius who looses her glasses and says "Jinkies!".  But this go around, the creators were actually allowed to create interpersonal relationships and conflcts.  The show starts out with Shaggy and Velma dating, and progresses to add Fred and Daphne into the mix.  The interpersonal relationships between the characters are never static, and it always takes into account material from the preceeding episodes.  The gang are given parents for the first time, too, and live in a town called Crystal Cove that bills itself "The Most Haunted Place on Earth" and depends on monster tourism.  So when they unmask criminals who could be potential tourist draws, they really are "meddling kids!"  Genius.

This is without even mentioning all the delicious backstory. It starts with another group calling themselves Mystery Incorporated who disappeared in the caves beneath the town twenty years ago, and goes all the way back to ancient Mayan prophecy.  Every episode has a more or less self-contained mystery, but the writers deftly weave the central mystery in and out through most of the episodes.  Suffice to say the climax of S2 is epic and an incredible payoff.  I mean, Velma brings up string theory in the final few episodes.  How is that not amazing?

The show is full of hilarious sci-fi and horror references and great voice acting too.  Fred and Scooby are voiced by the one-of-a-kind Frank Welker, who is an animation voice-acting legend and has been portraying these characters for something like 40 years.  For the Monster High/Ever After High crowd, Kate Higgins (Frenkie Stein/Briar Beauty) voices the mayor in the second season, which was a fun treat.  Patrick Warburton turns in a great performance as the Sheriff.

So yeah, apparently I totally fell in love with a Scooby-Doo show.  I'm actually afraid to go and check out any of the other material produced for this franchise, though, because I know it won't be as good as what I've just finished.  And ye gods, I totally want to get a little bit of merchandise for my toy collection now. >_<
polychrome_pen: (Brandon of Winx Club)
Gah, I haven't posted anything here since January 1st!  One of my yearly goals was to blog at least twice a month, and so far I'm doing kind of miserably at it. Heh.

January passed by in a super blur, but one highlight was going down to Southern California for my brother's birthday.  I got us tickets to see Wicked with some friends (first time for him, third time for me...XD).  The show was a Sunday evening, and I flew down the Thursday night before.  I had plans to get together with an old friend on Friday and take my brother to Disneyland on Saturday.  Well, you know what they say about the best-laid plans...after my plane landed Thursday night, I promptly got stomach flu. >_<  It was horrible, and I was up most of the night.  Thankfully, everything seemed to calm down by Friday night, so we made the decision around noon on Saturday to attempt Disneyland.  It was so crowded...and raining.  Raindrops became daggers to poke you in the eyes on outside rides.  Still, it was good to get out of the apartment and away from my illness for a few hours.  Wicked on Sunday was great; I think it was the same cast who I saw last May when they came through Sacramento.

After seeing that Netflix was possibly taking down My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, I burned through Season Four (and then ended up rewatching a bunch of other random episodes!).  S4 reminded me why I love that series.  Great character moments, more nods to bits of continuity, and the most kickass fight EVER in MLP anything.  I was worried a bit when Twilight became a princess at the end of S3, but the writers really handled how her character would deal with a life-changing event like that perfectly.  Also, I listened to the "Filli Vanilli" song for like a week straight.  Sooo good.  (Actually, the series has always had really strong music.)  I need to get my comics out and catch up with what's happening there now.

Writing-wise, I've been slowly poking away at Theodore and Tippetarius in Oz, my genderbent Wizard of Oz retelling.  While I'm enjoying it immensely, I'm still unsure of what to do with the final product.  It will need serious editing, and possible rewriting (with more of a plan and world guidelines/timeline in firm place) if I ever plan on publishing it.  I do want to eventually share it.  I may start by posting it online somewhere just to get feedback.

Speaking of writing, this is the year I want to launch my official author website and start publishing some flash fiction collections and short stories.  I've set a personal goal to put the first collection out by end of March/April.  However, I'm being hampered by not having settled on a pen name yet.  I've thought long and hard about whether or not to have a pen name, and eventually I decided that having a professional license attached to my real name was just too great a risk for using it on my books.  i've narrowed the surname field down to two or three possible finalists.  Maybe I can post a poll to see everyone's opinion?
polychrome_pen: (EAH Hunter & Daring)
Greetings all!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and accomplished everything they hoped to this year!  The tail-end of 2013 has felt ridiculous fast to me.  Perhaps because I spent November in a NaNo-induced haze and a late Thanksgiving shortened the Christmas season?  IDK, but I somehow feel flabbergasted that New Year's Eve is already here.

I guess the only place to start with a true review of 2013 would be to go back and review the goals and plans I made for the year at the end of 2012:

Cut for long ramblings! )

Whew!  That was super long!  Anyway, onto goals and generic year-long plans.

January: Finish posting Heart Stone, finish and post Queen Kale.  Start Paleo eating.
February-August:  Work through How to Think Sideways.  Self-publish a flash fiction collection.  Take a bloody vacation somewhere (Anime Expo?)
September-December: NaNoWriMo prep for original story.  Start revisions from first novel.  Self-publish second flash fiction collection or short story collection.

Big goals: Follow paleo eating plan for three months, then evaluate.  Shift original fiction writing into gear.  Spend way, way less money on toys.
polychrome_pen: (Default)
So before January 2011 is over, I thought it might actually be nice to take a look back at 2010. XD Yes, yes, I know I am very behind on the whole "recap 2010" post, but I thought the last year just brought so many changes that I couldn't go without being revisited a little.

When I think back to January, I was just starting the second half of my clinical rotations to finish up school. It almost feels like another life by this point. My first rotation of that semester was Internal Medicine. I often felt it was an exercise in speed - how much information could I gather and tie together about the patients before having to present in the afternoon? I learned a great deal during those six weeks. It was also my first rotation where there was another student from school with me, and having someone to gripe with was a huge comfort.

The second six-week period saw me going to a community pharmacy attached to the hospital. This was probably my second-favorite rotation (after the Psych rotation I took in 2009). If all community pharmacy work was as rewarding and fulfilling as the time I spent there, the choice between hospital and community would have been much harder. But I also discovered just how tired standing for 8-10 hours a day can be.

For my final rotation, I returned to the hospital where I had done Internal Medicine. However, this time around, it was definitely not a good learning experience. Aside from just wanting to be done with rotations at that point, I found the work to be of little value to my learning. The preceptor was a strange, strange lady who issued the vaguest instructions I've ever heard. Then she had the nerve to call me "needy" during my final evaluation because I asked for further clarification. Is wanting to do something right the first time wrong? NO. Haha...looks like I still have issues regarding that final rotation! Again, I had a student with me who had been with this preceptor before, and she thankfully helped to clarify things for me a great deal. Anyway, I'm seriously glad I didn't get a residency at this facility, because this preceptor was also the residency program director. I'm not sure I could have handled a year of vague instructions and general weirdness.
But in all fairness...this was the rotation where I got to watch open-heart surgery, which was totally rad.

I should also note that all three of my second semester rotations were at a hospital that had off-site parking and a shuttle service - something my fellow students and I absolutely loathed by the end. I can't tell you how many times I had to stand in the cold rain because the shuttle would be driving away as I came out of the parking structure.

After finishing up rotations came review week at school - basically one last chance to sit in our lecture halls again and listen to speakers while everyone chatted and surfed the internet. XD

Of course, after that came Graduation on May 15th, 2010. I officially got my doctorate and finished school. Still, even now - eight months later - it feel weird writing that. School has been my life for...well...my life. Coming out of something so structured into the rather nebulous "real life" has been strange. I miss the comforting solidity and framework of working toward something greater with a purpose. After getting a job (even one that I enjoy) I'm kind of wondering...what next?

So summer was spent studying for my boards from the time I finished graduated until around mid July. I even snuck in a nice vacation to Seattle and the islands in there (visiting the cousin and relaxing with the family). But those interminable days days studying really felt endless. To help keep me sane, I would reward every two hours of studying with an episode of She-Ra (which I completed over the summer), Fantastic Four World's Greatest Heroes, Iron Man Armored Adventures, or Star Trek DS9. It felt like a weird combination of long past summer vacations and taking self-study summer school. XD

Thankfully, I passed both tests on the first go. I've been debating taking the tests to be able to practice in another state, which if I decide to go forward with should be something I undertake sooner rather than later. The further I go on, the harder it will be to force myself back into reviewing the material and going through the rigmarole of taking another test/forms/fees/etc.

Summer also saw an explosion in my toy collecting hobby. Something I attribute to lots of time at home to hunt stores, eBay, and read internet reviews. Also may have had something to do with getting money for graduation. :D Likely pent-up retail therapy after having no income since February after leaving CVS.

I got my license on August 5th, 2010. At that point, I gave myself until the end of August to look exclusively for hospital jobs. After thirty-odd applications, by the end of the month I had an interview set up for a not-quite-hospital job (the only non-hospital job I applied for). After that interview, I had set another one up with a hospital (the place I work now). But in the meantime, pharmacy 1 offered me a job (part-time for up to six months, then full time). I asked for an extension to think it over and was up front that I had the second interview. After being offered the job where I am now, I accepted and had to call back pharmacy 1 to decline their offer. That was an incredible weird experience. I've always had to fight for part-time jobs...so having to turn someone down was something I'd never done before.

The time between taking the job offer (early September) and starting the job (October 4th) was another strange period. During that month I looked for apartments (and finally found a decent townhouse!), hunted for furniture, signed tons of papers, packed up my toys/books/life, and watched some more shows. It was a frenetic month to try and get everything ready for the move, and yet I didn't really feel all that stressed. Maybe because I knew I had at least gotten a job, I was able to savor a few of my final days of freedom.

Anyway, work is where I've been ever since October. I still visit home at least once a month (heh...if not more often!). It's hard to leave a place you've lived since second grade, after all.

So I hope that 2011 brings good things. I have plans to do some writing (namely, finish my Jewel Riders fic, writing an original novella, and hopefully doing some Dragon Flyz writing). I also want to really take the time now to develop healthy eating habits and lose some weight. Since I make most all of my food, it should be easier to implement healthier choices more often. And of course, 2011 will see me continue the growth of my toy collection! :D
polychrome_pen: (Default)
That I only have three weeks until finals. Eep. @_@ It feels like I'm still trying to recover from midterms, and suddenly finals are just around the corner. I've been incredibly tired as of late, and find it really hard to concentrate on my work (or anything else - I've got a drawing that's been languishing to be finished for a couple of weeks now too). So maybe I'll try to get more sleep or drink more coffee (or both), because I really need to do well on these finals.

Last week, the external hard drive containing all of my cartoons decided to go on the fritz after a weird power surge in our house. At first, I thought I had lost everything, and almost had a little aneurysm. I mean, it's several years worth of collecting suddenly gone. And for the most part its stuff that is a.) unavailable on DVD, or b.) out of print/incredibly expensive for a poor college student to get on DVD. So I wrangled with it for awhile, and with dad's help was finally able to access it, only to discover that some of the stuff, while retrievable, contains a few episodes per series that are unable to be copied off of the hard drive. T_T Nick took some of the stuff off with him to school, so I know I can get those few series back, and a few of the series are undamaged, but I'm definitely going to have to engage in some serious re-getting. -_- Suffice to say I am not amused (and have learned my lesson about backing things up on a hard copy!).

Almost two weeks ago (on October 27) I had the opportunity to perform with my church choir for the first time in over three years. Now, for those of you who don't know, I was a member of a choir from Kindergarten though my senior year of high school. For some of those years, I was a member of our school's Chamber Singers ensemble, concert band, and church choir at the same time. Suffice to say that I love music - it's one of those great passions of my life that isn't indulged as often as I would like. So in a sense, coming together with many of the same faces (and some wonderful new ones to boot!) after a lengthy absence gives me a sense of...coming home. Of finding a place that I love and enjoying it fully. So I was very excited when our director decided to keep us together for at least one more performance for the Sabbath before Thanksgiving. And wonder of all wonders, we're also singing my most hated song: Harvest Canticle...XD It seriously brings up images of satyrs with pan pipes dancing around a cornucopia or some such thing. :3

Also, I finally finished Tamora Pierce's "Protector of the Small" quartet! I started them back in August/September, so you can see that my reading time has been significantly reduced from over the summer. They're probably my favorite Pierce series now (surpassing Song of the Lioness, though in truth that deserves a reread) because the characters are just so darn likeable and real. The author really understands human nature. And yes, the drawing (mentioned above) languishing in Photoshop is of Kel and friends. If you've never read a Tamora Pierce series you've been living under a rock you really ought to give her books a try. There's sometimes a little feminist bent, but she's not one of the most well-loved YA fantasy authors for nothing!

And a shout out to [livejournal.com profile] tanz_fanatika: I got the package! Thank you for the awesome pin! I'm still working on your package, but it should go out within the next week.
Cheers!

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