Sunday, June 29, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (6/30/14)

This meme is hosted by Sheila of BookJourney. :)

This Week: Puke Fest
TMI warning. If I could sum up this week into a phrase, it'd be "puke fest." After scarfing down two large slices of anchovy pizza, I started feeling extremely bloated and nauseous. Then that nausea gave way to an awful "sleep" in which I kept waking up every two hours from the discomfort. The next day, I started puking. 

Turns out, the whole family got sick too, but it seems like I got some of the worst symptoms, from dehydration to fatigue.

The odd thing about the nausea was that I had trouble focusing on books, so I stopped reading my current book and started rereading a book that I'd put down while I was still in school. My productivity was like, nothing, but now I'm getting back up. 

Books I Finished Reading:

Friday, June 27, 2014

Movie Review: How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

One thing that I noticed was that despite all the kiddie trailers and marketing to children, a lot of the kids in the theater were actually pretty restless during the movie, particularly during some of the more poignant scenes.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Movie Review: 22 Jump Street (2014)

22 Jump Street (2014)

We're all probably familiar with the way that a concept that starts out novel and fresh can be milked into oblivion, like the Paranormal Activity series and any other action/horror/comedy movie that becomes a surprise hit. 

22 Jump Street is extremely conscious of the fact that it is a sequel movie stretching the premise of the first one, and so it makes fun of itself throughout the entire movie. Do Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill look like they could pass as college students? Heck no, and here, no one at the college buys their disguise for a moment except for maybe Maya. The movie makes fun of itself and its older-looking actors, and this self-referential attitude makes the sequel status somewhat more acceptable due to the extra layer of "funny" even though I know it's still a sequel. If that makes sense.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Movie Review: The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

If I weren't such an uptight grape, I would have cried. Despite this being the third week that the movie has been out (and on a weekday!), the whole theater room was filled with teenagers, from families and groups to young couples enjoying their summer vacation.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Movie Review: Maleficent (2014)

Maleficent (2014)

I'm attracted to anti-heroes and certain spin-offs, so when I saw the trailer for this movie, I was instantly hooked. Maleficent is a Disney, live-action retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story (and its 1959 Disney animation) from the perspective of the villain.

The Joy of Six-Dollar Evening Tickets at the Local AMC Theater

(Photo Credit: Disability Rights Galaxy)

Evening movie tickets at the local AMC theater (Palm Promenade 24) are going at six bucks, so the hubster and I have been making up for lost time at the movies since I was swamped with finals during early June. I took notes for what I thought about the movies, but I haven't been able to write them until this week.

With the low prices, we're seeing a lot of large families lining up to buy tickets, from older clans to groups with demon spawns figuratively crawling all over the carpet. The place is a lot more crowded than it has been for a really long time. In the evenings, teens cluster together by the potted plants in front of the building like birds. I'm guessing that despite the cheap movie tickets (most of the film cash goes back to the studios anyway), they're hoping to make money on concessions. Luckily for them, Poly likes his ICEEs, and I like to eat.

I don't think I've seen this pricing for any other AMC theater, especially not for matinee tickets. I think Palm Promenade has lost some business to the one in Plaza Bonita because the other theater is within a nicer mall with a lot of shops, while this one is sort of an island, with a so-so strip mall and Walmart store nearby. It's the closest one to my house, the customer service is amazing (this guy at the concessions counter waited for me--with the patience of a guru--to turn my phone back on so that I could save $2 on some nachos), and now the tickets are priced well, so it's my favorite theater.

Upcoming movie reviews: The Fault in Our Stars, Maleficent, 22 Jump Street, and How to Train Your Dragon 2.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (6/23/14)

This meme is hosted by Sheila of BookJourney. :)

Week 1 of summer vacation. :) Recently acquired Instagram on my phone so I've been playing around with it. It's been a good week.

Review: THE DEEP by Jen Minkman (The Island #3)

Note: I received a copy of this novella from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This is the third installment in Jen Minkman's The Island novella series, which takes place in a post-apocalyptic world in which the inhabitants of an island are descendants of children who were spared from the plague. The first two novellas in the series were The Island and The Waves. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Movie Review: X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST (2014)

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

Overall, I found the movie entertaining but uninspired, mostly due to the plot of someone going back in time to prevent the awful future from ever happening. As the only one who can survive the trip, Wolverine goes to the past to stop Mystique from killing Bolivar Trask and getting captured and her DNA taken to develop the ultimate weapon against mutants. My biggest issue with the plot is that I knew that at some point it would become a race between the future and past for survival, especially towards the end, to "increase the stakes" or suspense. Some people aren't too concerned with the plot because they're more interested in the dynamics between these characters, but for me, knowing what was going to happen made me a lot less invested in the suspense.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 6/15/2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by the wonderful Sheila of BookJourney.

This week has been a big one: I graduated from UCSD! These past six years have been one giant circle back to what I wanted to do when I first graduated from high school--major in English/literature and work with literature/texts. I've explored other career paths such as pre-med and pre-optometry, and despite my half-hearted attempts to ignore the call of my first passion, these forays ultimately reminded me of what I really enjoyed. We'll see where this next phase of my life takes me.

While I was working on my thesis project, I missed participating in this meme. I can't wait to see what you're reading this week.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Review: WORLD OF WARCRAFT: WAR CRIMES by Christie Golden

I meant to read this slowly, I really did. I had a final exam the next day, and like it happens every quarter, I always crack up a "fun book" right before an exam. Not that it hurt me so much in the end--this brief vacation into Azeroth may have preserved my sanity for the following day. I savored it the night before the exam in between reviewing flashcards, and then right after I finished the exam early, I went to the college cafe and read through the novel. IT FELT SO GOOD.

Anyway, my procrastination aside, War Crimes is the thirteenth book in the World of Warcraft novel franchise, transitioning us from the Mists of Pandaria expansion to Warlords of Draenor. Lore-wise, this takes place after the the Siege of Orgrimmar, after the Alliance, Horde, and Pandaren have united to defeat Garrosh after he has poisoned the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, a place that was not even open to the world until recently. 

Before and After: Vale of Eternal Blossoms
(Credit: Tenton Hammer)
...And this is why the Horde can't have nice things.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Drop Dead Diva: Therapy for Pessimism and Finals Week Blues

This week finds me on the cusp of finals week. As you might have noticed, I took a break from the blog this quarter to work on my thesis project, in which I wrote and rewrote, and finally pushed out a memoir of about 50 or so pages. The process transformed me into a pure night owl, sleeping during the afternoon if possible, typing like a demon into the night, and going to bed after the sky becomes blue and gray. If that's not enough to convince you of that I have become a creature of the night, the sunrise has become a cue for my brain to go to sleep. I'll let you know when I start sparkling.

Overworked student, or vampire?
(Photo Credit: UCSD Snaps)