Top Four Books of the Winter

When I wrote my list of top five books last summer, I got the idea in my head that I was going to do this twice a year. School has me busy, but I get winters and summers off, so during that time I was going to read a lot and then choose the best five books from that particular vacation and run with it. Seems foolproof, no?

Yet here I am, barely getting started, and I have to break tradition. I read plenty of books this winter, but as luck would have it, I just didn’t enjoy very many of them at all. So here we have my top four books of the winter, and you can blame school for that for starting so early. (It’s actually starting at a perfectly reasonable time, but I’m sad break is over, and I personally feel like my school did not put forth its best effort to alter the space-time continuum, or whatever would make this break last longer.) Continue reading “Top Four Books of the Winter”

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Top Five Books of the Summer

I spent a lot of time reading this summer, and even though I did a lot of cover judging and reading based purely on recommendation, most of them were pretty great. There were only a few that were bad enough that I won’t be keeping my copies. But a few do deserve some honorable mentions because I loved them that much.

Kat, Incorrigible, by Stephanie Burgis. This was a really cute book with good characterization and development, a fun story, and a satisfying ending. It wasn’t particularly deep or intense, but it had its surprises. I also like a character who is constantly pushed down but ends up coming out on top. It’s definitely one that has guaranteed a read for its sequel. Continue reading “Top Five Books of the Summer”

I’ve Been Sucked Into Pokemon Go

2016-07-16 04.21.33In retrospect it’s not surprising that I’ve been sucked into a video game, because that happens all the time. But this one is something special. Not just because of what I take from it, but because of what I’ve seen it do to and for the people around me. It was also inevitable. As a long-time Pokemon player (it was my very first game for my very first handheld console), the dream to catch Pokemon in real life was always there, and now we have this — far, far sooner than I ever expected.

I’ve had it for about a week now, and I love it for a number of reasons. On the surface it’s pretty simple, and it’s a lot like Ingress, which I also enjoyed. But last night I went downtown where a bunch of people decided to get together and throw a Pokemon Go event. By “a bunch,” of course, I mean “about five thousand at least.” Every parking structure in the area was full, and there were so many people it was hard to get around. Bands were playing, people were handing out badges and water bottles, grouping up to help each other find Pokemon, etc. And everyone was so friendly. My friends and I met up with a couple hunting a Bulbasaur and we walked together for hours. And there were so many PokeStops I almost couldn’t get to them all before the first ones were refreshing again. Not to mention everyone had a lure. Continue reading “I’ve Been Sucked Into Pokemon Go”

Escape In An Hour, Or You Die

Yay, we died! Time to celebrate anyway.

Tonight I tried my first escape room. Myself and eight others were kidnapped, and then we woke up in a room where a girl on a TV said that we had one hour to figure out how to escape or the poison in our watches would kill us all. This particular escape room was in Los Angeles, and though they apparently do multiple kinds, this one was based off a game series I hadn’t heard of called Zero Escape, though now I kind of need to look it up.

I only just recently found out about the escape room thing. I’ve known about the games for ages; start in a room, click on everything, find keys, solve puzzles, figure out how to progress, that sort of thing. It turns out you can do it in real life, too, and I thought that was the coolest idea ever. It took nine of us, which was a lot more than I thought, but it was done really well. Continue reading “Escape In An Hour, Or You Die”

Hello, I’m Still Writing

If you judge my productivity based on how often I update my blog, and by its content, you might think I gave up writing long ago for no real reason. And while that’s not quite true, I have been dealing with a long list of setbacks combined with a general lack of time for writing. That’s one thing that being a full-time student will do to you. I’d love to be productive on the writing front, but I’m currently learning two years of math that I will never use again in my life. But my bitter ramblings on general education would result in a blog post so long that people would rightfully point out that word count could just have gone in a book instead.

But I’ve still been making progress on the creative front all the same. Unfortunately, for anyone interested in the progress of the Dream Sanctum trilogy, that seems to be on an indefinite hiatus. All three books are written to completion, but cover art and editing are another story. I hope to figure those out in the near future, but for now I’ve decided to focus on things that are more under my control. Continue reading “Hello, I’m Still Writing”

Let Me Die Already

I recently asked some friends and followers what they thought about the concept of physician-assisted suicide when it came to the terminally ill and those suffering from incurable, severe pain. Most of the results were in favor of it, which reflects the growing support across the United States.

But when I asked whether it should also be the case for certain instances of mental illness, like depression, the answers changed a little. Suddenly people weren’t so sure. There were too many grey areas and things to consider. It’s harder to diagnose these invisible illnesses than it is something like cancer. Some rightly pointed out that in many instances, suicidal tendencies are fleeting and often regretted later. At least one other pointed out that depression doesn’t cause actual pain, so it was unclear if mental suffering alone was enough to justify such a thing. There’s also the question of whether mental illness in itself disqualifies someone from being mentally sound enough to make a decision that involves ending their own life. Continue reading “Let Me Die Already”

Do We Have To Be Afraid Of “Coddling Culture”?

To hear some say it, society has gone soft. People are too offended by too many things, there are content and trigger warnings on everything and there’s a growing movement telling people with all sorts of mental illnesses that they aren’t at fault for anything and don’t have to take responsibility for their actions. People are afraid of everything, but they want society as a whole to change so they don’t have to change themselves. If you listen to these arguments long enough you might start feeling afraid for the future of our country (but don’t admit to that fear publicly, you wuss).

I’ve long held that if you really want to find the most offended people in society, look no further than those who can’t seem to stop complaining that people are too offended by everything. No matter who complains about what, they’ll be there to get angry about how everyone else should be like them and not get so angry about things. Don’t think about it too hard. Continue reading “Do We Have To Be Afraid Of “Coddling Culture”?”