polychrome_pen: (Brandon and Sky Phantoblades)
Almost by accident (fate?) I happened to walk into Target on Force Friday. And was forcibly reminded by a million displays that (if I wasn’t already aware from the news articles that seem to come out minute-by-minute) there is a new Star Wars movie coming out this December.

So I think I’m gonna party like it’s 1999. Because that was definitely the last time Star Wars was given such a huge push in our collective cultural consciousness. I remember seeing products for The Phantom Menace everywhere from Taco Bell to Pepsi cans (only a few years ago we unearthed the character-specific cans from Episode I at my parents’ house and finally got rid of them. Heh.)

I feel lucky to have come to the Star Wars franchise at a point in time where it had ebbed in popularity. I first saw Episode IV in the early 90s when my Mom bought it on VHS as a gag gift for my Dad. Well, suffice to say my brother and I were hooked from the moment the Star Destroyer came onscreen. This gag gift led to many years of renting (over and over again, as Mom is quick to remind us) The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi from our local Star Video.

The only thing at that time for Star Wars fans outside of dusty VHS copies was the excellent Timothy Zahn trilogy: Heir of the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command. (I actually only read those books all the way through a few years ago.)

Then came the now-reviled Special Editions, which really kicked off the modern era of Star Wars as a franchise, eventually birthing the Prequels, comic books from Dark Horse, tons of novels, and action figures galore.

Star Wars is pretty much knitted into the fabric of who I am as a person. I think it was really the first story that I fell in love with, and certainly the first story where I absolutely wanted to know what happened next.

Yet somehow, I never got deeply into the Star Wars EU, and truthfully, by the time Disney bought the franchise and decided to nuke the EU to make continuity less of a pain, I could totally understand their reasoning. Truthfully, I was actually kind of excited. Much like DC Comics and their New 52 reset, rebooting the Star Wars EU meant that I would finally have a good jump-in point to start enjoying Star Wars expanded universe material again.

And of course, I was tickled by the idea that the new material is now considered “canon.” Yes, there are things I wish they had kept like Shadows of the Empire and several of the Prequel-era stuff like the Jedi Apprentice children’s book series, but reading through the five books pictured above made me realize how great it was to read material that was informed by the Prequels, The Clone Wars series, Rebels, and even hints at the new trilogy. Little throwaway comments like the age of a beat-up old ship being “Clone Wars era” instantly helps you date things now. It adds a beautiful cohesiveness to the universe that simply wasn’t there before.



I’m trying to not let myself get completely swept away with Star Wars mania again this time around (unlike 1999, haha). But boy, is my inner kid practically quivering with excitement to find out what Luke, Leia, Han and all their friends have been up to for the last 30 years in a galaxy far, far away.

And after reading those books, I think it’s going to be a fun ride.

I LIVE.

Aug. 27th, 2015 11:47 pm
polychrome_pen: (Brandon of Winx Club)


My apologies for being particularly absent recently. After three days sans computer, I now fully realize just how much I use/love it.

My poor computer got a root key/malware/bloatware/general ickiness, and none of my programs or applications could connect to the internet. I took it into a local repair shop, and $180 later, my baby appears to be back to good working order. I was seriously having flashbacks to all the terrible problems I used to have with my old laptop during pharmacy school. Burn forever, Gateway.

It couldn't have come at a worse time, however, as I was hoping to use my last few days off to work on the Jewel Riders website and really hammer down a few things.

Oh well. Forced non-computer time meant I got out of the house to see Mad Max: Fury Road finally, and it was awesome. I initially thought it wasn't going to really be my cup of tea, but it was really fun! I also had the chance to finally pull out my blu-ray of Akira and get around to watching a seminal anime classic (and one of the most gorgeously animated things I've ever seen to boot!)

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.
polychrome_pen: (Aladdin and Jasmine - my OTP!)
Woof, it's been awhile since I posted anything here!  I've actually made several posts over at [livejournal.com profile] jewel_power regarding some treasures that have come up on Ebay, so if you're interested in Jewel Riders be sure to check that out. :)

In other news, this past weekend was my ten-year high school reunion.  I batted back and forth mentally for a while whether or not I was going to go originally.  My class was forty-four people total, some of which I had been in school with since Kindergarten.  It was a small private school system.  Suffice to say, I was ready for some space and separation from the vast majority of those people by the end of high school.  I've stayed in fairly close contact with the people who I was true friends with, and that always felt like enough for me.

I didn't go to the five year reunion, because I honestly felt like I had nothing to show for myself yet (also, I was still in pharmacy school and had like zero time to spare).  But by now I (and most others in the class) have been working for a few years and I was interested to see where many of them had found themselves a decade on.  Sure, there's Facebook stalking to keep up with some people, but there's nothing quite like actually seeing them.  And even among my closest friends from HS, we hadn't all been together in person since one of our number got married five years ago!

Saturday morning started with a church service at the school (including a fun bit of singing with the Lodian Singers again!), followed by a lunch at my parents' house (close friends invited only), and then the main class reunion at a brew pub restaurant on Saturday night.  The morning event wasn't as well-attended, but it was nice (I hadn't been back to the school in quite some time either).  The lunch was super fun, and we were pretty much roaring with laughter all afternoon.  The evening event...I had some anxiety about.  I thought I had put those feelings behind me a long time ago, that I didn't care what these people thought of me, but the surprising truth was that I still did (at least for those few hours that we were together).  That was a slightly bitter pill to swallow.

Still, the evening went well, and as it progressed (despite the complete loudness of the restaurant and my hoarse voice from yelling to be heard over the din) I found that I've still made peace in that area.  I wanted them to have a good opinion of me, but it truly didn't matter if they actually did.  Which makes sense - why should people I haven't seen for almost a decade occupy any of my limited mental space?

Part of it just felt awkward, though.  With some, it was like no time had passed at all, but others I struggled to simply find anything to say after "Hi, how are you?"  If there was never a connection there before, I guess nothing's going to come out of two hours together again. XD  But seeing all those people together again was a strange experience.  Part of me went straight back to HS, but always with this cognitive dissonance there that some people now have kids or look way different.  Even now, I'm not sure I'm describing it well.  This feeling never happened when I've seen people individually or in small groups, but something about having the whole group together made it feel like some sort of strange field trip, only a decade transposed.

Sunday was a nice, relaxed day though!  A few friends and I went to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which is kind of like "Marvel does Tom Clancy."  I loved the banter and sibling-like relationship between Cap and Black Widow.  It was adorable!  (I'm a sucker for friendship ships, what can I say?)

I'm also in the middle of rewatching X-men: The Animated Series from the 90s, which has been a total blast.  Expect thoughts on that soonish. :)
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: (Drake of Jewel Riders)
*throws confetti*

I made the 50,000 word goal this year!  Gah, I wish I had remembered to update here right away, but the last couple of weeks have been a bit of a blur for me.  NaNo was a great experience this year - I made it to several write-ins, and was able to connect with some really nice writers in my area.  I even formally registered and everything on the NaNo board.

Unfortunately, Heart Stone still isn't finished.  Even after 50K additional words, I have the remaining portion of the final chapter, and an epilogue to be written.  I'm hoping to update FF.net soon with the rest of the story.  The part written during NaNo will need some serious editing, but my tentative goal is to get the rest of the story up before the end of the year.  I want to get back to an original project I left off at the end of October, but to do that Heart Stone has to be finished.

Also, I have been binge-buying movies and books online ever since Black Friday.  Seriously, someone send an intervention.  I'm going to have to put myself on a buying moratorium again come January, I think.

I've seen some great movies since last update: Ender's Game, Thor: The Dark World, Catching Fire, and Frozen (twice!).  Frozen is definitely shaping up to be my favorite movie of the year, unless it gets toppled by Hobbit Pt. 2.  Frozen is definitely my favorite animated outing since Tangled (though I enjoyed Wreck-It-Ralph).  Gah, I want to see it again!

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] wickedbish's recommendation, I finally read Robin McKinley's Beauty.  In like two days.  It totally sucked me in, and I didn't do too much the last couple of days as I devoured that book.  Definitely recommended for anyone who loves fairy tale retellings!  (I'm apparently kind of on a fairy tale kick after Frozen?  I also deboxed my Ever After High dolls, which are all kinds of awesome.)
polychrome_pen: (Default)
First off, reading this article makes me incredibly sad. I think it speaks something about our culture when something like Delgo can fail so miserably and something like Beverly Hills Chihuahua does well, and the only thing separating them is marketing.

For my money, Delgo was a richly imaginative and entertaining film. I love animated movies, and to find one from a *gasp* independent studio that was making something they believed in really touched me, and probably made me think better of the movie than it really was. :D

Visually, the movie is quite beautiful. It is very colorful, and even though the animation looks a little dated, the imaginative character and world designs more than make up for it.

Granted though, there are problems. The sidekick characters are all pretty annoying, and don't tend to add anything good to the movie. Also, it shows that this movie was made during the period that had the biggest rush for celebrity voices in animation; when it was believed that the movie was somehow made better by having well-known folks provide the voices for your characters. I think that line of thought is slowly (SLOWLY) dying off (NOT FAST ENOUGH), but it definitely was in full force when they cast the characters.

They story was good, if not incredibly original. But then again, most movies aren't particularly original; doesn't mean they're not enjoyable. But still, the story was pretty typical RPG fare.

Overall, definitely worth the $6.50 I paid to see it. If you want to go see it, I'd recommend trying to go before Friday. I don't think this movie will get a second week in theaters. I mean, I was the ONLY PERSON in my showing, which was a very odd experience indeed.
polychrome_pen: (Default)
So yeah, I haven't posted anything here for quite awhile. That tends to happen on my breaks - I barely open my laptop. In fact, I barely even use the computer period.

This break has been strange. The first week and a half (roughly) was nerve wracking as I awaited my grade from the hardest class. We were supposed to know our grade by the Friday of the first week of break, but ended up not finding out until the following Tuesday. This led to some very vivid dreams. YES, I HAD MULTIPLE NIGHTS OF DREAMS ABOUT MY TEST. I swear my subconscious was trying to run through every scenario that could possibly happen (whether it involved passing the class or not). Thankfully, however, I passed the class and will be moving on to Second Year. I also had the best grades this semester of any so far in graduate school, which was kind of exciting. :D

So aside from work I've basically been a bum/hermit over this break. And work had an interesting shocker this week when we found out that Longs was bought out by CVS. I'm not sure what this means for my job however, and am a little anxious to find out. Otherwise, I find the work fairly interesting and enjoyable (except when people are real dicks because they want you to solve their insurance problems) and of course I love actually having some spending money again after a year of being broke.

Actually, I've been a little stir-crazy and ended up taking a trip to Barnes and Noble to buy books last Friday, which was lovely. Also, today I saw the new Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie. When I looked up reviews, I was surprised how much people hated it. Granted, it's not like it broke any new ground or anything, but it was fun nonetheless. The animation (while rather stylized, which I actually liked) seemed rather stiff for being associated with the company that owns Industrial Light and Magic. The character's movements and a bit of poor dialogue were the movie's only real problems to me, though. Especially when you remember that it's basically a pilot for the upcoming TV series.

So this break has been full of movies and books, basically. I'll give a mini-review of each.
Books read this break include:
1. Shadow of the Flame by Chris Pierson. I was glad to finally finish this Dragonlance trilogy, possibly the last I'll read for a very long time. I used to love the Dragonlance world, but lately it feels strange. However, this was an excellent trilogy that you could probably read without having read almost any other Dragonlance books.
2. The City of Ember by Jean DuPrau. I've had this book sitting around for awhile, but was compelled to read it once I found out the movie adaptation is coming out this Fall. Nice and very imaginative first novel, even if the writing could have possibly used a little more polish.
3. Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox by Eoin Colfer. It's no secret that I love the Artemis Fowl books - this is no exception. Fun, FUN book with witty writing and totally engaging characters. This series probably beats out Harry Potter even in my book. I really need to re-read this series from the very beginning too.
4. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Yeah. So I finally broke down and read the damn book. And you know what? I secretly enjoyed it. It's nothing ground-breaking, but at least Meyer thinks outside the box a little when dealing with her vampires. I'll probably have to read the rest of the series now...>_<;
5. Fawn and the Mysterious Trickster. Another fairly standard Disney Fairies entry, which, while enjoyable, seemed like it didn't really add anything to the world.
5. The Host by Meyer and Esther: A Story of Courage by Trudy J. Morgan-Cole are also both in progress.

Things watched this break:
1. Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo. I've loved this story ever since I saw the movie a couple of years ago, and this futuristic anime adaptation didn't disappoint. Very highly recommended.
2. My Fair Lady. I haven't watched this in years, but Mom wanted to see it (since she's reading the Jule Andrews biography and she starred in the stage version). It's still very enjoyable, and full of very interesting art direction (not to mention the lovely Audrey Hepburn and hilarious Rex Harrison).
3. Batman and Batman Returns. It preparation for seeing The Dark Knight (which I have yet to actually go see), I wanted to see the previous film incarnation of the Joker. This lead to wanting to see the other Burton Batman (which is much darker than I remembered).
4. Star Trek I-VI. I've had this box set of DVDs for probably 2 years now, and finally had the time to sit down and watch them all. I was surprised by the amount of continuity between the films, which showed up in little ways. The Original Crew films are always a pleasure to watch.
5. The Infinite World of H.G. Wells. A fun Hallmark mini-series where a fictionalized H.G. Wells (yes, the writer) experiences various scientific phenomenon with his scientist friends and gets inspired to write his stories. Much better than I'm making it sound.
6. Nim's Island. I generally enjoy "family" movies, and this didn't disappoint. Jodie Foster was especially wonderful as the adventure writer who happens to be afraid of leaving the house. :)
7. Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. I LOVED this movie - it's heartwarming and imaginative and terribly sad and nostalgic all at the same time. All four of the main character had very touching storylines which I could relate to. The whole thing ended up coming out like a modern fairy tale. I really want to buy this movie.

So anyway, after that exhaustive list, I'll mention that I'm leaving on vacation tomorrow for five days. Yay for renting a house by the coast at Sea Ranch (no actual horses or cows). :D Hopefully I'll be able to finish Chapter 3 for my Jewel Riders fic while I'm there (I'll have the laptop but no internets!).
polychrome_pen: (Default)
I feel like I was run over by that last test. It was was 3.5 hours and 25 pages. 25 PAGES!

So I'm (finally) going to see Indy tomorrow after my last midterm, and have been looking forward to it for over two weeks now.

I am also coveting an iPhone right now for some strange reason. Probably because it is shiny.

So I'll stop avoiding my Disease Processes notes now and actually get back to work. Blah. I am so ready to be done with this round of tests.
polychrome_pen: (Default)
Well, Midterms are over again for another year, and Finals lay ahead in another month-and-a-half. Overall, the tests went alright, though Friday's was a real killer (especially coming right on the tail of the double-test day on Thursday).

I basically lived on coffee/energy drinks and snacks for the whole week. SO unhealthy for me, but it was the only way I could stay awake with only 5-6 hours of sleep per night (I generally need around 7-8 to function "normally").

I promised myself I wouldn't do much work over this weekend, and I've stuck to that directive pretty well. :D Friday I came home and basically crashed out after treating myself to the newest He-Man series (2002) on DVD at Target. I've wanted to watch this series for some time. After finding the original series a little hard to get into, I'm hoping this one can help me fall in love with the Masters of the Universe world. After I finish it, I'll probably t

Ahh, I do so love my retail therapy; there's not much it can't cure. XD

Dad, Mom, and I also took a trip to Fresno on Saturday to visit Grandma as sort of a late Valentines visit, and took her to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory (far and away my favorite restaurant - love the Crispy Chicken Costoletta!). On the way home I watched There's Something About Mary, which I've heard so much about, but never actually got around to watching. It was amusing, if not exactly my thing. And when we got home, my parents wanted to watch The Pursuit of Happyness which was a great movie - definitely worth watching. It really makes you think about how much you'd be willing to give up to accomplish your dream, and if what you're doing at the current time in your life is truly your dream. Gave me lots to ponder.

This morning, I was finally able to sleep in (10 hours - woot!) and felt almost human after waking up. I've been dying to see Spiderwick Chronicles (gotta support the fantasy movies!) since it came out, and drug Mom along with me (for lack of anyone else around here interested in going). Having not read the books - despite almost checking them out several times at the library - I wasn't really sure what to expect going into the film. So I was pleasantly surprised (by the PG-13 rating, among other things) that I really enjoyed the movie. Freddie Highmore is always a pleasure to watch (he was great in both Finding Neverland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and having seen him finally mature in last year's August Rush really made me interested in seeing where his career goes). It was extra fun because he played twins too! All of the supporting actors were great as well. This means that I have to buy the books now though, if only to see how the two differ. I'm having deja vu from back when I watched A Series of Unfortunate Events and ended up reading the whole series. XD And just to tack this on a the end, but the music was awesome - James Horner, I believe. There's another soundtrack to add to my Amazon Wishlist.

And we got a preview for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as well! I'll say here is: AWESOME. I'm definitely excited for May 22!
However, our theater raised the prices (again!), was full of kids and smell a little like rancid butter, which was definitely NOT a plus. Oh well, the fun and charm of the movie made up for it!

Now back to the reality of Pharmacy School!

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