osaraba: (laby sarah inabook)
Which is what I did all weekend, for the most part.

Saw Pirate Radio which was more fluff than I thought it would be, so a bit disappointed even though it was amusing and entertaining. At the very least, it had good music. =D

Picked up Jim Butcher's latest installment of the Codex Alera series: First Lord's Fury. NO SPOILERS: Enjoyed this installment, and although I finished it in 2 days, I didn't find it to be a page-turner. Didn't get super excited over anything. Enjoyed the natural progression of the story. I was kind of surprised at something that I feel was kind of a cop-out, but still nicely executed.

Butcher's stories are very engaging, yet somewhat simplistic. I think this probably wasn't the best time for me to read this particular book as I think I'm actually craving something full of complexity and intrigue. Something with layer upon layer of literary fugue.

SPOILERS )

Caught up on all kinds of shows, and re-watched Initial D. Also, caught up on the Ini-D manga! Argh, it comes out way too slowly! There are around 38 or so volumes out so far -- do you know that the manga started in 1995?! It's been ongoing for 14 years now! And poor Takumi is still 19! I wonder if they will continue to create additional seasons of the anime... though I think it would be another couple of years, since Fourth Stage covers up to volume 30-something.

Set Saiunkoku Monogatari (Season 2) to download last night. The first 20 episodes finished downloading this morning; I expect the rest of the season will have finished downloading by the time I get home tonight. I can't wait to watch it -- I've been meaning to get back to it for a long time!
osaraba: (laby jareth bah!)
My curiosity got the better of me and I checked out [livejournal.com profile] jimbutcher's website, jim-butcher.com... and discovered that the next book in the Codex Alera series, First Lord's Fury is to be released November 24, 2009! ARGH! It's both too soon and too far away! If it was like January or February, I'd think it was too far to really think about. And if it was sooner, like a month from now, I'd just be excited to read it soon.

And, OMG.

He's on twitter too.

http://twitter.com/longshotauthor
osaraba: (sdk genius at work)
I just realized that in a previous post I neglected to mention that Carrie got me three volumes from the Samurai Deeper Kyo manga series which I'm in the middle of, but haven't kept up-to-date with in a while. I'm actually quite pleased to have received those so that I can read several volumes at once, for a more satisfying experience! =D Thanks Carrie!

books! )

In other news, the Rangers suck.

That is all.
osaraba: (dn L figure)
There were a few book and movie reviews I've been meaning to post for the last several months. And it's unfortunate, because I don't remember so much about them anymore. Not to mention, there's probably something I've forgotten that I wanted to post about.

reviews within )

As for last weekend -- Johncon was pretty darn awesome! =D It was actually the perfect weekend to be out there. It must have been 5-10 degrees cooler out there than in the city AND (more importantly) there was a pool! =D Lots of pool-related fun occurred, including noodles and swords... and other foam phalluses? (Is "phalluses" the plural of phallus?)

In any case, extreme fun was had! Thanks so much, John, for hosting us (and for inviting me)!

Also? Various barbecued meats were YUMMY!!!

In addition, the rental car I got was a Ford Fusion. It had a sunroof. Which was pretty cool. AND a 6-CD CHANGER! That could READ MP3 CDs! So the playlist was awesome.

Joe and I made a music exchange -- he lent me his 311 Best-Of CD and I gave him a copy of Warp 11's Red Alert. Joe and/or Morgan -- you should let me know what you think!

The only bad thing is that Sunday I woke up with the beginnings of a cold that totally hit me by the time I got home Sunday evening. Went to work Monday but stayed home from work Tuesday. I started to feel better some time after lunch yesterday. And today I've felt pretty consistently well. I still have a cough and congestion, and I'm still a bit more tired/achy than usual, but I'm definitely on the mend. ^^
osaraba: (slightly blonde)
NYCC 2008 was quite a bit more fun than NYCC 2007. And not just because I knew more people that attended, either.

nycc details -- loooong recap )

Judy and I took a few turns around the artist alley, and then were done for the weekend. Went to eat and shop and then left the city at 7pm (amazingly early for me!) to hang out with Liz at home. I watched the last 3 episodes of Supernatural, so I'm now completely up-to-date (and I've heard that the next one airs this Thursday?).

Next post I'll have to do updates on JoCo, Supernatural and Dresden Files, I think.
osaraba: (minako hand it over)
I could have sworn someone said that Dabel Brothers was bought by Marvel -- is that right? Because there's something on their website about them signing a distribution deal with Del Rey. So now I'm confused because I know nothing of these comic things. Not that it makes much difference to me.

I just found out that Jim Butcher is writing Dresden Files comics now!!11!oneone!!!

The first four issues will be a prequel to the first book, Storm Front. I'm really excited about all this since it's actually written by Butcher, unlike the TV show that I tend to block out forget even exists.

Issue #1 of "Welcome to the Jungle" is due out in April, which of course, coincides with the next Dresden Files book, Small Favor.

I've wanted a copy of the audiobook of some of the Dresden Files books since I found out that James Marsters (Spike) is the narrator for them, but they're more than I can justify spending ($30-50). Also, I've only seen that there are audiobooks available for books 1-4 (of which I think I would only really want book 3). But now they're returning with Small Favor (book 10). I'd really love to hear books 7-9 recorded as well. Those were probably my favorites.

April is so far away! =(

[edit: Just watched an interview of Butcher from a year or two ago where he names Lois McMaster Bujold, John Ringo, and David Weber among his top authors to read. It makes me happy to know that one of my favorite writers also reads some of my other favorite writers. *squee~!*]
osaraba: (bioshock BDLS)
First of all, this weather is freaking crazy.

So there was Rock Band on Friday night until the wee hours of Saturday morning. It was loads of fun. Drums are HARD. But only if you insist on playing the base pedal yourself. LOL, if you have someone else playing the base pedal while you do the drums part, it isn't so bad. ^^; Also, I really prefer the RB guitar over the GH guitar. I like the fret buttons a lot more. I think. I did the usual drive-everyone-home thing, which I don't mind. However, I think I made my cold worse by not having enough rest. I think I went to sleep at around 5:30am. =/

Saturday and Sunday I stayed home re-watching season 3 of House with Maryann. I intended to go to Anna's photoshoot on Sunday, but I was really not feeling well enough to go anywhere. I don't think I stepped foot out of the house almost all weekend. more about House season 3 )

Angelica oh-so-kindly gifted me with two books I was dying to read; one of which I read over Sunday and Monday (when I stayed home from work and basically slept and read all day). Captain's Fury by Jim Butcher. Book 4 in the Codex Alera series. Finally, the big secret revealed! To whom, you ask. Well, I'm not going to spoil it for anyone who happens to be reading the series. It was very enjoyable, though maybe not quite as good as the third book in some respects. I enjoyed the plot developments. I think my only disappointment was that there was just not enough of Tavi (the protagonist) in this book. Which is odd, because there was quite a bit from his POV, but I was really left feeling the lack. What we did get of him was very, very good. But it wasn't enough to be satisfying. On the upside, the parts that are other characters' POVs where much more interesting than they have been previously. I may have to just wait a while and then re-read it. I do enjoy where the series is going, and I also love all the secondary and tertiary characters, which continues to prove that Butcher is only getting better.

The other book I read once I was done with Captain's Fury was Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. more about Ender's Game )

Still reading: Watchmen. Also, Ender's Game has gotten me into a sci-fi mood, so I'm re-reading David Weber's Honor Harrington series (book #1: On Basilisk Station). My original copy is seriously falling apart from how much I've re-read this book. I bought another copy last year, but I think I may have lent it to Will... I wonder if he still has it. Hmm.

Oh! Jim Butcher's next Dresden Files book, Small Favor will be out in April. Can't wait!! =D
osaraba: (house wins at life)
Last night I finished re-reading book 2 of the Codex Alera series. That one was even better than the first one. I noticed that unlike many authors whose first book is awesome and it seems to go downhill from there, Jim Butcher works the other way -- the first book is pretty good, but each successive book just gets better and better. This is much more pleasing, since things will only get better that way. There are a couple of books early in the Dresden Files series wherein I was a little bored, but I really enjoy his character development, so I can take a bit of occasional plot-boredom. Also, it helped a lot to re-read these books; I can now see exactly what plot points developed and carried over into the next book. I think I may just re-read book 3 even though I just read it. I cannot wait to read the fourth book! I'm holding off from buying it since it's on my wishlist, but if no one gets it for me, I'm running over to B&N to buy it asap! =D

After finishing the book around 10pm I decided to start catching up on season 4 of House. I watched the first five episodes and forced myself to stop from going onto episode 6 at 2:30am. Oh man, it's SO GOOD! I'm so relieved that at least House's writers generally don't write episodes badly.

SLIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD! That first episode wasn't my favorite, but it was really funny seeing him trying to bounce ideas off anyone and everyone.

The way they brought the ducklings back without actually putting them back into their same roles was pretty cool, I have to say. Unfortunately, if anyone was to come back into their old role, I wish it could have been Chase; I really miss seeing him in a more prominent role. Then again, I love the new attitude he has -- I just want to see more of it. =D I wonder what's going to happen with Foreman, being back with House, and now with new potential ducklings. Really, I wish that Cameron had died in a freak accident or a 15-car pile-up or something. Even more so now that she's gone blonde. I mean, now at least, the outward presentation is a more accurate depiction of her idiocy, but it just gives me another thing to dislike about her. I liked it better when she and Chase were just screwing. Jeez Chase, what's wrong with you?!

Unfortunately, I spoiled myself on who the next 3 ducklings will be. Or, at least, for 2 out of the 3 of them. One of them I'm very pleased about; the other I'm willing to wait and see how it goes. I did enjoy the classroom/competition setup, reminiscent of the episode "Three Stories" in the first season. Unfortunately, I have to agree with one reviewer who said that some of those scenes were kind of all over the place. They felt a bit... shallow, I guess is the word. Even so, it's been entertaining to see who stays and who goes. I really enjoyed House's rapport with the older guy. And even though it was a bit disappointing, it was very much in-character that House should fire him because, as the old guy put it, "you don't need someone to tell you what you're already thinking." I thought that was a really great way to write off that character. <3

Oh! LOL, I think my favorite part from the episodes I've seen so far has been the Wilson-as-kidnapper/terrorist subplot. Oh man, that was just excellent! I am really looking forward to more House-Wilson interaction. And I love how they tease the viewer by showing a clip where it seems like House is somehow being significantly challenged on his atheist beliefs, but then in the episode they acutally don't completely ruin it by indicating that his atheism is shaken. If that ever happens, I may just get so disgusted with it that I have to stop watching. Because that'll be so out of character that it may not be worth it anymore.

As far as I understand, all the episodes that have been written and filmed have aired, so there won't be any new House episodes until after the writers' strike ends. I hope episode 9 doesn't leave off on a cliffhanger of sorts. Because I think that I'm going to watch more tonight, and probably catch up to episode 9 soon.
osaraba: (sdk genius at work)
Judy came over today and we studied, with Liz's help, for most of the day. I'm not going into this knowing 100% of all I have to know, but I figured it's worth it to take the test anyway. $40 isn't a waste for an official assessment. And hopefully it will motivate me to actually study more intently before my next session of classes starts. I was having a lot of fun studying with Judy and Liz, actually, and the more I learn the easier it'll be to study with Yoshi, I think. ^^;

After I drove Liz and Judy back to their respective places I came home and walked over to the 24hr Dunkin' Donuts near here and finished re-reading Jim Butcher's The Furies of Calderon, which was very enjoyable. It was pretty darn cold outside, but since I stayed home all day studying, it was very refreshing.

I never have gotten "a good night's rest" before any tests anyway. ^_~

...is it shameful of me to admit that I like that new Britney Spears song, Piece of Me? >_<;

TBD

Nov. 27th, 2007 12:58 pm
osaraba: (dead inside)
I finished Jim Butcher's Cursor's Fury and, of course, I did like the ending. It was satisfying, though I still say that this particular installment is still more set-up for the next book than anything else. I'm pretty sure book 4 takes place directly after this one, whereas there was quite some time between books 2 and 3. Again, there's some more predictable plot "twists", but they're the ones you're rooting for anyway, so it isn't exactly boring, you know? I guess I have to commend Butcher for being able to make the predictable fun in spite of itself. =D

After Japanese class yesterday I stopped in at Barnes & Noble to pick up the first 2 books in the Codex Alera series, in order to refresh my memory of the story. I meant to finish up book 3 and then start on book 1, but I was apparently insanely tired (possibly because I only had 2.5 hours of sleep on Sunday night?), so I fell asleep before I'd read more than 5 pages.

While I was in B&N, I spotted a new Nora Roberts book, called Blood Brothers. She's really getting on the urban fantasy bandwagon. Never let it be said that Nora doesn't know what's good for her career. After years and years of saying how she'd never write a vampire story (because she doesn't see how vampires are sexy or romantic), she went and wrote a vamp-centric trilogy. Hah, never say never. She's always been into Irish legendary; ghosts and the Sidhe, etc., but now she's pulling out her inner Buffy fangirl, no holds barred. I was tempted, but I restrained myself. I'm not in the mood for Nora's take on urban fantasy/romance right now.

Speaking of Japanese class, my last class for this session is on December 5th, so from then I shall have Monday and Wednesday nights free once again... at least, until January 28th, when the next level classes start. For which I signed up yesterday. ^^;

I really have to kick my ass to get studying. Ugh.
osaraba: (plez die)
I finished reading Terry Goodkind's Confessor on Thursday. In many ways, it was the best possible conclusion to the series. Of course, we all know that the protagonist triumphs. That isn't exactly a surprise. I very much enjoyed the struggle to the end, and-- huh, come to think of it, I don't remember what the last Wizard's rule was. Did Goodkind not say at all, or did I just forget because I was reading quickly, wrapped up in the flow of the story? I'll have to go and re-read the end, I think.

As I was saying, I did enjoy the struggle to the final conclusion. Despite that, though, it was vaguely dissatisfying. I'm not sure if I had grander expectations for the big end, or what. I thought it was fitting that many things came full-circle. Certain characters we thought we would not see again in the story had cameos, and that was nice. It was also quite appropriate that the end of the last book should somewhat parallel the end of the first. And, as with most things in this series, Richard's wit stands above all. I do enjoy that Richard's keen ability to figure things out is a driving force in the story. Have I mentioned how much I adore a smarty-pants?

Even so. It was slightly disappointing that the series ended with a sigh rather than a bang.

On Friday I took advantage of an opportunity to run to Barnes & Noble and pick up the third book in the Codex Alera series, Cursor's Fury by Jim Butcher. It's been quite a good read. Unfortunately, I wish I had re-read the first two in the series as it's been a long time and I'm not as familiar with all the political machinations as I had been. I'm almost done with the book, and though there are elements of it that are slightly predictable, I'm really enjoying the characters (Butcher always writes great characters) and I'm enjoying the direction in which the plot is moving. Though there has been a whole lot of action, nothing of great magnitude with far-reaching consequences has happened -- for the protagonist, that is. Things of great significance have certainly happened for the kingdom in general.

I think I won't be satisfied with the end of this book -- it seems more like set-up for the next one than anything else. Luckily, I waited just long enough to read this installment, because book 4 (Captain's Fury) will be coming out on December 4th. Even though I don't really want to wait to read it, I'm going to put it on my gift list since it's in hardcover. In the meantime, I think I may just go and buy the previous two books since they're out in paperback and re-read them in preparation.

Yesterday I vegged out at home, watched a couple of movies, actually. Which is the way it happens with me. Finally saw Snatch again; I've had the urge to watch it for a few weeks. It was quite entertaining. I really enjoy its style. ^^ I also saw Curse of the Golden Flower (minus the first 30 minutes), which was gorgeously done. The set, props and costumes were intricate and stunning; the colors were rich and beautiful. The story was a tragedy and maybe because I hadn't seen the beginning, I wasn't sure whether it would turn out the way it did or not. Having said that, the ending wasn't exactly surprising either. I was hooked by the stylistic execution more than the story itself. I keep wanting to compare it to Hero, but personally I'd call Hero delightful and touching and something I could watch over several times, whereas CotGF was captivating, but only because I knew it was going to end in 2 hours.

After those I saw Stranger Than Fiction, which I started out thoroughly enjoying. SPOILERS AHEAD! I absolutely loved the setup and the beginning of the story. I really adored the character of Harold Crick. Will Ferrell was really convincing and I enjoyed his portrayal. Unfortunately, even though I really like Maggie Gyllenhaal, her character (Harold's love interest) was sadly two-dimensional. Though there's some appropriate irony in that, considering Harold and by default, his love interest was a character in Eiffel's book. I really enjoyed the link between Harold and Eiffel and thought it was probably wise of the writers not to try and explain how this was even happening and whether Harold came to be because of Eiffel, or if he existed before she thought of him. That kind of explanation, I believe, is best left up to the viewer's imagination (though in a book I'd have the opposite opinion for the most part).

I have to say, though, that I really disliked the ending. I really liked that Harold read the book in one sitting and was so moved by the ending that he though Eiffel should go ahead and write his death. I think they succeeded in portraying how emotionally attached one can become to characters in a book, and obviously the idea they were going for is whether authors (and/or readers) come to think of characters as real people -- and how one's reaction is changed if you really think of them as real people. In light of that, I suppose I can't argue with how they chose to end it -- with Eiffel rewriting the ending so that Harold was able to live instead of die. But considering that it is just a story, I thought it would have been more interesting had Harold died. I was really hoping that he would. After they revealed that, though he was hurt very seriously, he would still live and that his love interest was going to be there for him -- the implication being for the rest of their lives -- well, it was just another trite happy ending.

I do enjoy happy endings. But it takes more than 2 hours' worth of story, when you've barely gotten into a character's head or actual emotions, to make me feel satisfied with a happy ending. Otherwise, a happy ending after a story that failed to touch me was just a waste of time. Because, let's face it people, a story is a story. When I get into a book, where I really get into a character's head, where I feel their emotions and have cried in sympathy or bitten my nails with worry, that's when a happy ending means something.

You might ask, aren't you taking all of this too seriously? *shrugs* That's what mindless action movies are for. Or movies that are more plot-driven than character-driven.

Wow, I seem to be turning my posts into essays a lot lately. Sorry? A little? >_<;
osaraba: (sdk pouty kyo & hotaru)
This comic is so accurate in describing what it's like to get hooked on those goddamn Dresden books.

http://www.reallifecomics.com/archive/070927.html

I want the next book now. It's not fair! AJ's lucky; he still has at least 4 more to read.

Dammit!
osaraba: (howl smile)
It's been a long time since I made any sort of updates on stuff I've read recently.

So here goes. )

Since I have some extra time nowadays, I went to the library and picked up the latest Amanda Quick novel, Carol O'Connell's latest in the Kathy Mallory series (which came out last year and I hadn't even known!), and a Paul Auster novel called Travels in the Scriptorium. I've never read anything by Auster before, but I read an exerpt from this novel and it was captivating. I really look forward to reading it fully.

Have I mentioned lately how I really like Christian Bale? Especially in Batman Begins? <3

Oh woe.

Jan. 22nd, 2007 03:10 pm
osaraba: (wanker!)
The Dresden Files was pretty darn bad.

There were things that were very different from the series, and I could understand why they might have changed those things. But there was also the fact that the story sucked. Predictable, formulaic, stupid, boring. And, oh yes, BAD ACTING. I'll give it another chance or two, but if it doesn't get better I'll have to drop it. I don't have the patience for bad TV.

My biggest problem? They killed Bob. How they killed him. Oh, Bob. Your distinctly unique personality, your charm and wit -- you were not meant to be Dresden's moral conscience.

I wonder how [livejournal.com profile] jimbutcher feels about it.
osaraba: (reading porn?!|ushitora_icons)
And I turned my head just in time to see the loading screen, which is just black. Heh.

Nothing new in the past few days. Lene's thingy was fun (although I was tired out at around midnight). It was cool to see Callan and Indira, Wendy, [livejournal.com profile] mikomishiranai! Saturday night I met up with Maryann and Angelica, who were hanging out at the premiere of the latest movie from the fandom that shall remain nameless, trying to catch glimpses and autographs of certain actors. I think I stood on line with them for about an hour and a half before the crowd dispersed because the important people had left in the first car.

After, Maryann and I went to eat at Go Sushi on St. Mark's, which I really enjoy. It's sooo very yummy! We went to Starbucks after that, and I kind of wondered if I'd bump into Dave. Not that I really thought I would, but apparently he hangs out there when he wants to do work uninterrupted.

Oh! I finished Academ's Fury, the second in the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher. Ooooh, it was sooo goood. I need more, neeeeed mooooore. The problem with reading books as they come out in hardcover is because you usually have to wait another damn year before the next one in the series comes out. Bleh.

I started reading Holly Lisle's Talyn, which seemed really interesting. That was before I started to read it. Unfortunately, it is quite boring in the beginning. I know that I read at least 40 pages in, possibly more. I don't know what point I got up to, but I couldn't stand it anymore. I started skimming the next pages to see if anything popped out as being interesting. I did not find a thing. At which point, I started skipping groups of pages and found something interesting somewhere in the upper 100s or so. I am not the type to do this sort of thing. But I knew that if I didn't totally skip ahead and find something interesting, I'd have just put the book down and screw the story. It's really unfortunate because I think the plot sounds like something I'd enjoy, but -- and I hate to say it -- but I think the writer's voice is just too boring? dry? for me. =(

So I picked up the other book I have, The Dark Mirror by Juliet Marillier, an author I've not read before. It's actually quite interesting, although it isn't as page-turning as I'd wish. But the plot is interesting, and her characters are well-developed and intriguing as well! Hopefully I will finish this book and look forward to its sequel(s).

I'm really looking forward to Mercedes Lackey's new book, which I believe is called The Wizard of London, from her elementals series, and the third book in Sara Douglass' Troy Game series, called Darkwitch Rising.
osaraba: (give my heart)
OMG, I think I had the best discussions tonight about gender biases in life and fandom tonight because of the link that [livejournal.com profile] windsorblue posted in her LJ recently. I do so love it when people write INTELLIGENT! essays about things like this. It was very inspiring to read.

In other news, I am almost done reading the second book from Simon R. Green's Nightside series. The world is interesting, as are the characters. I just wish the plots were a little more complex than they are. I'm really reading the series for its umbrella/background story rather than the immediate plot. It took me a few times as long to read this one, called Agents of Light and Darkness (I love the title, btw), because the plot was too simple (and some of the characters as well), and somewhat losing my interest.

However. I now have three (3) books from the library that I am very interested in reading. The first being Academ's Fury by Jim Butcher, book 2 of the Codex Alera series. I'm very looking forward to going through this book as the first was excellent!

Sleep now; more later.
osaraba: (twice the fun|inuvampy)
Last night I read (in one sitting, no less!) Dead Beat by Jim Butcher, the latest installment of the Harry Dresden series. Oooh, it was good. One thing that is always consistent with Butcher is his sense of humor; his dry wit is irrisistible and delightful. And I love that he makes grammar jokes within the story. OMG, yes I do; yes, I am a nerd. Sometimes he'll have a story that is less than captivating; his humor -- shot straight into your veins via the main character -- always pulls me through those trouble patches. Luckily, Dead Beat was not one of those less than captivating. The plot held up, as did the humor. And I think that this one was just a bit darker than usual, Dresden was a bit darker, and I loved it. I hope Butcher continues in this vein (no pun intended, I assure you).

Yesterday, I saw [livejournal.com profile] ponderosa121's post of commissioned original fanart for [livejournal.com profile] maderr's original fiction story, Treasure. For background information, you must understand that there haven't been many works of (fan)art that will make me go out and read a fic or start a series because of it. One exception is Pond's pic of Duo and Hilde that I love so much (and I'm not a 2xH fan) -- it really, really makes me want to write a fic for it! The other exception being the fanart linked above. I loved that it is two parts, not just one pic; I feel like you get to know the characters a bit better just because you can see them in two different ways -- the night/kiss scene is that much more powerful because you see them not kissing (but obviously sharing some kind of communication) in the day scene. And the dynamics and emotion in her art really leaps out of these pics!

I don't think Maderr could get any better advertising for her fiction than Pond's pics; I just don't think I can gush enough about them. It's really odd, but even without knowing the characters, I was really effected by their personalities -- that's how you know it's good art. =D

Well, I went to go read the original fiction, and by god, it's some of the best fiction I've read in a long time! Her characters and interesting and well-developed, and sensible! (Oh, the rarity of sensible characters ~ it pains me!) Her plot is also interesting and well-developed! I am highly impressed and feel the need to make everyone who hasn't read her stuff, go read it!

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