Tag Archives: reading

The Biblio Files: Harry Potter Year 1 & 2

I’ve been wanting to re-read the Harry Potter series for quite awhile now. I purchased a box set of the complete series three years ago with the intent of starting it then, but I kept getting distracted whenever I picked up The Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone. I’ve mentioned it on here before, but I find myself having a hard time focusing whenever I try to dive into a book. It’s really annoying! Finding audiobooks to listen to while reading along has helped a lot, and I’m so happy I finally found the hard drive I had all my Harry Potter audiobooks on!

What finally made me get back into the series, aside from finding my audiobook files, is most likely the hype surrounding all the Harry Potter related things happening this year — the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is FINALLY opening up on the west side very soon, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the eighth story in the series, is coming out in July along with the stage play in London, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them comes out in November. Plus Pottermore’s come out with brand new information on witchcraft and wizardry in North America and articles about other wizarding schools around the world. It’s just a really amazing time to be a Potterhead right now!

I knocked out the first and second books in a little over a week and I’m nearly done with The Prisoner of Azkaban (my favorite of the series). It’s been really interesting revisiting these books as I have only read the series once through back when I was a sophomore in high school. It was around the same time the first Harry Potter movie came out, so the first four books were out already, and then I had to wait patiently for books 5-7 to come out! Knowing what’s going to happen with each story, I can see the subtle clues J.K. leaves and it’s just mind blowing. Oh, and I’ve been listening to the readings done by Stephen Fry and I’m seeing that my copies have been (understandably) super Americanized, so I’ve taken the liberty to make corrections because I want to read it the way J.K. intended! Plus when it referred to football as soccer, I was like, “This is based in the UK. They don’t call it soccer there. America is like the only country that says that. STOP INSULTING MY INTELLIGENCE!” Raaaawwwrrr!

How many times have you read the series? Do you plan on reading them again soon? Have you read them at all?! Let’s talk about it in the comments section!

cheers le fancy geek fashion blogger

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5 Fandom Friday (or Tuesday): New Years Fandom Resolutions

5 fandom 2

It’s obviously not Friday, but I wasn’t able to do the last 5 Fandom Friday post since I was galavanting around Disneyland. Weeee! Since I’m stuck at home with a case of the sniffles (booo) and a noggin that won’t stop pounding (more booing!), it’s the perfect time for me to catch up. The prompt from last week was to share “fandom” resolutions for 2015. I was a little stumped on coming up with 5 different resolutions relating to the fandom world, but I managed to figure out a few!

So without further ado here are my fandom resolutions for this year:

1. Re-read the Harry Potter series/read more in general

I’ve been meaning to re-read the Harry Potter series for quite some time, and I definitely want to buckle down and get it done this year! If only I knew where the hell I put my copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. RUGH. I feel like I read a lot more in 2014 than I did in 2013, but at the same time I don’t think it was enough. This year I’m going to follow this reading challenge guide by Pop Sugar that my sister sent me on Pinterest. I’m going to kick things off with Steve Brezenoff’s Guy in Real Life.

2. Cosplay at a convention

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I stepped out in a femme Han Solo cosplay at SDCC last year for about, what? 3 hours? My friends Megan and Jen worked sooo hard helping me realize the design I had in my head, but when it all came together I didn’t feel completely comfortable or confidant with how I looked (it had absolutely nothing to do with the holster Megan made, or the skirt and vest Jen sewed because all those things turned out rad as hell!). My hair flattened in the humid San Diego weather and the bra I wore (the only neutral colored one I had that wouldn’t show underneath my white top) made my boobs look odd. I don’t even have a picture of me wearing the cosplay, so here’s my Mabel Pines Halloween costume! This year I’d like to revisit the femme Han Solo cosplay or maybe do a retro Snow White or Wonder Woman.

3. Go to more conventions

This might be tricky since conventions can be pricey. Sure, some may have a decent fee to buy a badge, but once you hit the floor and see all the booths with all the amazing geeky knick-knacks, all bets are off! I mean, budget? What budget? No, I’m kidding. I always tend to [barely] stick under my budget.

I have a Sunday badge for SDCC and a pass for Anime Expo (not sure how that’s going to work out travel + money wise since SDCC decided to bump their festivities a week after Anime Expo this year (Tina Belcher groan), but I’d definitely like to check out some cons that are closer to me to cut on some expenses like Big Wow ComicFest in San Jose or Wizard World in Sacramento/San Jose. I would love, love, LOVE to go to the Star Wars Celebration in April and Disney’s D23 Expo in August, but I have a feeling that’s probably not going to happen. wha- wha-whaaaa 

4. Look into shows people keep telling me to watch

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I don’t remember what show I had just finished binge watching a year or two ago, but I remember lamenting on Twitter about how I didn’t know what to do with my life since there weren’t any new seasons of whatever to look forward to, and Amanda of Prim and Propah suggested that I watch Arrow…. which I have still not gotten around to watching. Sorry, Amanda! Fast forward to last month, my sister kept telling me I needed to watch Arrow ASAP. And apparently our cousin Nicole watches it too, so because of that they’re both telling me I have to get on it. My sister even showed me a montage of gratuitous workout scenes featuring Stephen Amell to encourage me and oh-mah-gawd… fans self.  You can watch it here if you’re curious.

I can’t think of any of the other shows that have pretty huge fandoms that have been suggested to me by friends because I feel like Arrow keeps getting shoved down my metaphorical throat. I’ll get to Arrow eventually. It’s on Netflix, so I have no excuse!

5. Get back into toy photography

8 years ago I was really into taking “artistic” pictures of my toys, particularly my Blythe doll Tigerlily — many have said she’s my little doppelgänger. 🙂

I used to be OBSESSED with Blythe dolls, but then I realized that the money I was spending on doll clothes and accessories could’ve been used to buy clothes and accessories for myself! They’re also a bitch to lug around. Anyhow, by no means did I/do I consider myself a great photographer, but I used to have so much fun taking my toys out while I went on little excursions with my family or friends despite the random weird looks I’d get as I’d shoot away. And I thought I took some pretty cool pictures if I do say so myself! I still take pictures of my toys every now and then and tend to have a couple in my purse at all times, but it’s usually just a quick thing to put on Instagram. I want to actually take the time and do photos the way I used to.

Do you have any fandom resolutions for this year? Let me know in the comments section!

cheers


To find out the origins of 5 Fandom Friday, go here. And check out The Nerdy Girlie and SuperSpaceChick to catch up with the latest prompts! 

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The Second Happiest Place on Earth

Powell’s City of Books is one of the most magical places I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. It is without a doubt the second happiest place on earth — the first being Disneyland (duh), but it definitely gives Disneyland a run for its money. If only they had Dole Whips. *le sigh* Upon entering Powell’s, Caitlin and I were both bright eyed and bushy tailed and extremely overwhelmed. Books upon books upon books and MORE BOOKS! We spent a good two and a half hours in there (Jen joined us a bit later since she had a late start that morning), and I could’ve easily spent the entire day there if my stomach wasn’t telling me to put some food in it. I’ll talk more about food on the blog later, because OMG. *salivating*

Anyhow, I had no idea where to even start as all the literary categories were split into different rooms on various floors (Gold, Rose, Purple, Pearl, etc). At the front of the store there’s a bookshelf featuring their best sellers, and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman was in their top 30! This made me quite happy since that’s my “100 item” at my job. Caitlin and I went into the Rare Book room where many books that were printed around the 1800s were beautifully displayed in all their worn-out leather bound glory. We must’ve looked really strange as we opened books and held them close to our faces to inhale the old book smell. I sniffed a book from 1884. It smelled spectacular.

I kept straying away from everything I had on my original booklist, then found myself with at least 10 books. One included a gorgeous copy of Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote that was in fact Tiffany blue. It’s one of my all-time favorite books, but I couldn’t justify buying a book I already had two copies of (I think I mentioned in one of my previous posts that I got a copy that looks like a first edition, but I can’t tell if it actually is or isn’t). Ugh! It was very difficult, but I managed to trim the fat off of my shopping basket.

I walked away with…

  • Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg
  • A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell
  • I Don’t Care About Your Band by Julie Klausner
  • The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
  • Spirit Animals by Stefanie Iris Weiss
  • Van Gogh quote card
  • Unicorn postcard (most beautiful postcard EVER!)
  • Downton Abbey tea (not pictured, and it was a last minute find at the register)
  • Powell’s tote

I gave myself a budget of $50, but then I said eff it. BUY ALL THE BOOKS! Carpe diem! Next time I go to Powell’s I’m going to bring some books from my personal library to sell for store credit, that way my bank account won’t be pissed at me. The only problem is that I have a hard time letting go of books. I’ll figure it out when the time comes.

I’m not even close to being done about sharing all my fun adventures in Portland, so stay tuned for more posts!

Cheers,
Nina

PS: In case you’re wondering about the group picture, Jen said I could only share it so long as I Photoshopped a horse head over her face.

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How I Met My Phantom Lover & Other Disney Delusions

Before Tim and I got together, I constantly thought of different scenarios of how I’d meet my future boyfriend. I remember a few years ago, while walking through Golden Gate Park with my friend Monica, our conversation on our love lives (or lack thereof) led us to this subject.

Scenario number one for me was always this: We’d meet at a used bookstore. While browsing the fiction section, we both reach for the same one – Pale Fire by Vladmir Nabokov. He’d insist that I go ahead and take it, and I would insist he do the same. This would go back and forth while I felt my face grow warm and scarlet. And then I’d tell him that I actually already own a copy. He would ask me if it was any good, and then I’d tell him I don’t really know, because I bought it when I was a freshman in high school hoping to look smart by owning that book, but grew a bit bored while reading it, and that I want to eventually give it another chance. And he’d loff, not laugh, because he’d be British! Then he would ask me if I wanted to grab a cup of coffee and pastries at a nearby bakery, to which I would agree upon. Rather than coffee, I would drink tea because coffee, though delicious, gives me migraines, and I would struggle between getting a cookie, a morning bun, or macaroon (chocolate chip cookie always wins, BTW). And then we’d date for hella years, and then get married, and have dogs.

Scenario number two involved dogs as well. It’s quite simple: We’d both be walking in opposite directions at a park and our dogs would see one another from across the way and go ape shit, thus making each of us attempt to hold them back, but lose control and our dogs would collide, their leashes coiling around our legs tightly, and we’d tumble onto a soft patch of grass. Both of us would utter Oh my Gods! and I’m so sorrys! to one another and we’d scold our dogs to no avail. Obviously, after that we’d get married and he would write musical ditties and I would write stories, and then my schoolmate would come over and want to make a coat out of the puppies they were going to have. When telling Monica this, she said I watch way too many Disney movies. Also, I didn’t have a dog when I conjured this scenario, but once I got Rory, I thought, “OH MY GOD! My 101 Dalmatians fantasy can become a reality!”

So, yeah. I do watch a ridiculous amount of Disney movies. And I think those films may have played an integral role on the way I wanted things to play out in my own love life (which has been entirely fictional for the better half of my somewhat young life as I dated celebrities in my head).

For my first kiss, I wanted so badly for it to be just like the  “Kiss The Girl” scene in The Little Mermaid, minus the cock-blocking eel henchmen. But what guy could possibly recreate a boat ride with coordinated fish spitting water (that’s doesn’t sound romantic) while swimming in a circle around our little vessel, while a musically inclined crustacean orchestrates a beautiful number urging him to smoosh his lips onto my lips in a romantical fashion? A Disney Imagineer, perhaps. But where am I going to meet one of those? And aren’t most of them way older than me (10 years was always my cutoff)? The closest thing I ever thought of getting to date someone who worked for Disney in a creative aspect was if I moved to Emeryville and met a Pixar animator at a coffee shop near the studio. However, I never moved to Emeryville and my first kiss happened in my ex boyfriend’s car, in front of my parents’ house while holding a box of tiramisu and he asked, “Do you wanna try?” I had no idea what he was talking about. It was terrible. D:<

And when I was still a wee lass, I assumed that if I lost a shoe, a handsome boy would find it and he’d bring it to me immediately and we’d fall in love and live happily ever after. I recall going to a wedding when I was about 5 or so, and I ran around the dance floor and pretended to lose my shoe. I one shoe’d it for a bit, but Prince Charming never came my way. Defeated, I  retrieved my shoe on the dance floor and ate some cake.

Other things I thought when I was a kid was that my Soul Mate would come out of nowhere if I just sang to myself while alone (with the exception of animals) a la Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. Or if I just sang in general (Prince Eric loved him a siren). I never attempted this one. I thought it was something to do when I got older, I thought maybe my singing would get better. Once I got older I realized it was a stupid idea (and I can’t sing for shit — I fail as a Filipino and a Disney Princess). It’s scary if you think about it though, because in both movies, these girls are out by their lonesome, and then some guy they don’t know comes along and startles them. But it’s okay since they’re hot. I thought [still think] Prince Philip was the dreamiest of all the princes, but after watching the “Once Upon a Dream” scene again, I’m disturbed by how Aurora is genuinely freaked out by his sudden appearance and tries to get out of his grip, but he just grabs her hand again ’cause he thinks she’s smokin’. Creeper Prince Philip is a creeper!

If Quasimodo came out of his bell tower because he was drawn to your lovely singing, you’d be scared shitless. Don’t feel bad though, because I’d totally be scared too. Poor Quasi.

I’ve lived through more situations like those in Sara Bareilles songs (which are really effing sad, in case you’re not familiar) and the film (500) Days of Summer rather than having magical Disney moments where my love life is concerned, and though Tim and I just met through a mutual friend and were friends for 3 years, I feel that the evolution of our friendship is a damn fine story. I ended up with a pretty handsome, thoughtful, and hilarious dude (who is musically inclined like Roger Radcliffe from 101 Dalmatians minus the pipe habit, so suck it Phantom Lovers and Disney Princes!). 😀

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Sweat & The City

All SF trips must begin at Dynamo Donut.

Yesterday Tim and I celebrated our 5 month anniversary exploring the Mission district of San Francisco and catching Monty Python’s Spamalot at the Orpheum Theatre. But holy crap, was it HOT. We got stuck in traffic at the Alta Mont just before Livermore on our way there, and once we finally reached the Mission there was a Cesar Chavez festival thing going on, which meant that parking was impossible to find. After 45 minutes of driving in non-stop circles, we found a spot on 20th street and proceeded to walk 4 blocks in beneath the sweltering sun to get our delicious Dynamo Donuts.

Vanilla Bean and Candied Orange Blossom donuts.

By the time we got there, my face felt like it was literally about to melt off. Despite the rare summer heat in the city that day, we had a really great time. 🙂

Tim and I went into a couple of the Dog Eared Books locations that are scattered about in the Mission and found some pretty cool things. Well, Tim did anyway. He bought TONS of books, including a copy of Brief Interviews With Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace for me. I got a bit too overwhelmed with the selection and didn’t have my booklist with me. RUGH! I didn’t leave empty handed though. I keep adding onto the pile of books I need to read. There isn’t enough time in the world to read them all. *cries*

There were soooo many beautiful copies of books from the Wizard of Oz series.

My finds. Tim recommended ‘Demian’ to me since I was frustrated from the lack of books I was holding.

Tim’s finds!

And due to the fact that we were stuck in traffic and couldn’t find parking right away, our exploring time got cut short and we also didn’t have enough time to check out Ike’s Place (a sandwich place all my classmates at SFSU could not stop talking about). *sigh* We definitely want to go back again in the nearby future so we can do more exploring and do all the things we originally planned to do.

My atheist boyfriend.

Dia de los muertos Giants gear.

Holly Golightly!

We headed downtown around 6:30ish to make sure we wouldn’t be late to Spamalot and I got to eat my Cheddar Bacon Buck from Buckhorn Grill. It is a cheesy and meaty delight. If it had eggs, I’m sure Ron Swanson would approve. And even though it was dark out by then, I could NOT STOP SWEATING. Seriously San Francisco, I don’t think you were ever this hot when I lived in the Bay.

I’ve seen a lot of musicals at The Orpheum. This was my first time going without a family member.

I watched Spamalot a few years ago in Las Vegas (even though I hadn’t seen the movie first… I know, that’s weird), and I found it just as funny the second time around. And yes, I watched the movie immediately after watching the musical the first time around (in case you were wondering).

And that was my day. 😀

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B i b l i o p h i l e

When I was in school I was soooo frustrated with the amount of reading I had to do for all of my classes. I studied Creative Writing, so of course I knew what I was getting into. And like all my professors say, you can’t write unless you read. ‘Tis very true. And I liked a lot of the short stories and a handful of books that were assigned to me — I was just frustrated by the fact that I never had time to read the books that I wanted to read. Actually, that’s a lie. All the time I spent on Tumblr, Facebook, and Netflix (and sometimes I did all three at once), I could’ve been reading a book that I wanted to read for funsies. But… um… I didn’t. :/

Now that I’ve graduated and have more free time than I’d actually like to have, I DON’T READ OFTEN. What the hell is up with that? Starting from this month on, I’m challenging myself to read at least one book each week and  write more. I finished reading The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin last week, and am starting The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger again. I started it a couple years ago and didn’t finish it, so I’m attempting it once more. I liked it, but for whatever reason I got distracted and never got around to finishing it. A lot of people have read this in high school; none of the English classes I took in high school had this book on the lesson plan, so I feel extremely deprived.

Other books I was deprived of in high school:

  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxly
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • 1984 by George Orwell

Those are the only ones I can think of at the moment, but I know there’s more.

I’ve been told that The Catcher In The Rye is a book you either love or hate because the protagonist, Holden Caulfield, is a bit of a prick. One time on Facebook I took a quiz to see what literary character I am and my result was Holden. My sister said it fit because we’re both angsty. I’m glad she didn’t say because we’re both pricks. 🙂

Here are some other books I plan on starting/re-starting/re-reading this month:

I got 'An Abundance of Katherines' over the weekend with my 15% off coupon! Tim just picked a random book off the shelf to take a picture with.

  • Looking For Alaska by John Green
  • An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
  • How To Be Good by Nick Hornby (started this earlier this year and got distracted)
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • Stardust by Neil Gaiman (was in the middle of this years ago and had to put it away because of school)
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • Peep Show by Joshua Braff
  • Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Breakfast At Tiffany’s by Truman Capote (my favorite book of all evers)

Enough blogging about reading books. It’s SSR time!

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Meep.

Today was exhausting and I feel like I didn’t even really do anything. Is that weird?

This afternoon I went to have my picture taken in my cap and gown at a photography studio. It was a bit awkward, and the photographer was not a fan of my no-tooth-smile. Other than that, he was a pretty silly dude. I’ve had my picture taken by him many moons ago when I was in high school. Remember when it was cool to get professional photos done with your friends (or in my case my sister and cousins)? Yep. That’s what we did. We didn’t take the proofs home, so I can’t show y’all how they turned out. I ended up only really like one out of 14  or so poses I did.

Once I got home my boss called and asked me to take care of something if I could (I’ve been telecommuting), and I said sure. I actually tried doing the task last night, but it was one of those things that seem simple, but the steps in doing it were actually quite complicated. I ended up working from 2:30 to 6:40. Oi! It had to do with setting up autoresponders on Kick Start Cart. I’ll eventually get it.

Somehow I managed to slip reading back into my life. The last book I read was One Day by Harvy Nicholls and I think that was in March. If you haven’t read it yet, run like your ass is on fire to the nearest bookstore. That book broke my heart and haunted me for days after reading it — in a good way. It even made me want to start writing fiction again! I have a story idea that was inspired from One Day, I just need to sit down and tweak with it a bit more. All I have are notes so far.  As of late I’m juggling between Tina Fey’s memoir Bossypants and Barbara Comyns’ novel Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead. Comyn’s book is a lot darker than I originally thought it would be — it’s about the Willoweed family and the English village they live in. The story starts off in the middle of a flood and ducks are swimming around the Willoweed house, dead animals are strewn about, Grandmother Willoweed is concerned about her rose bed, and a slew of unfortunate deaths occur with the village folk. AH! Good stuff so far though.

outfit details:

  • cardigan: H&M
  • brooch: from the flea market
  • ring: from a vendor at SFSU
  • top: I don’t know, but it’s from Ross
  • pants: some off brand from TJ Maxx
  • shoes: Bearpaw
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