Category Archives: Pop Culture Shenanigans

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What I’ve Been Reading

Picture 2I started and almost finished Beauty Queens on my trip home from Denver last week. I had been told by dozens of people that I needed to read it, which is probably why I had been putting it off. I always get nervous when more than one person recommends a book to me because I feel like it raises my expectations too high.

But it didn’t happen this time. No one really gave me any details about what it was about so I was blown away by how much I enjoyed it. It’s hysterical. I don’t even know how to describe it, other than to tell you it’s about a bunch of teen beauty queens whose plane crashed on a deserted island. I’d love to give you tidbits to lure you in, but I think I’m glad I read it kinda blind. So, if you think you’d be entertained by a campy satire mixed with a social commentary on beauty and strength…then read it!


Picture 3I can’t remember why I picked up Where Things Come Back but I’m glad I did. It was unlike any other Young Adult fiction I’ve ever read. Very real and dark in tone, so it was a nice change. And while it didn’t devastate me or anything, I wasn’t happy reading it. It kept me quite gray while I finished it. I’m glad I read it, but if you’re look for light fare that’s going to leave you seeing rainbows and petting unicorns? This is not it.

But if you’re looking for something that will be a bit introspective and serious and maybe leaving you thinking about life and loss a little longer than you normally like, then it’s a good read. It’s well written and a bit different from what I’m used to.



If you’ll recall, I have put a moratorium on series books. I was getting frustrated with a few factors:

1) Having to re-read a book to refresh my memory once the next one came out. I only have limited time to read, I don’t want to waste it reading books I’ve already read once.

2) Being disappointed after what could be years of time put into a series.

So – my new rule is that I won’t read a series until it’s done and someone I trust assures me the entire thing is worthwhile. I won’t get to the end and regret having read it.

I read Matched when it first came out a million years ago, but didn’t continue with the series after I put my moratorium into place. Now that the final book has come out, and John Green said it was good, I decided to pick up the first one again. I started reading them on my trip to Denver.

I’m not done with the final book yet, but I’m almost done. But here’s the thing, I’m kinda having trouble sticking with it. I mean, it’s good, but I’ve hit a bit of a lull. I don’t want to give anything away, but I was kinda hoping someone who has read the series could maybe encourage me in the comments to finish it. I’ll just say that there’s some sick people and other people are trying to cure them and I feel like I’ve been reading about sick people for YEARS now. Just when I think the story is leading elsewhere, we’re right back to the sickness again.

So, it’s good, but I’m just struggling. A book has to really pull me in to keep my attention in my crazy life and this lull seems to be waning my interest a bit and I’m worried I won’t finish it.

Have you read it? Can you give me some words of encouragement to stick with it? BLAH.


That’s what I’ve been reading, what about you? Anything good? What Libba Bray book should I read next if I ever finish the Matched Trilogy?


Things Making Me Happy This Holiday Season…

…that have nothing to do with the actual holidays.

Behold! The first trailer for the new Star Trek movie!

Where Benedict Cumberbatch might be playing Khan! (For some reason no one will officially announce who he is playing but we are going to go with the popular thought and just go ahead and get excited about him being Khan.) I think Wrath of Khan may have been my favorite Star Trek creation as a child. I watched the scene below probably about 25+ years after I last saw it and remembered it EXACTLY.


And then, the one grown-up drama I watch on TV returns in January.

Oh, Raylan Givens, how I’ve missed you! And Boyd Crowder? You will always hold a spot in my heart no matter how evil you may or may not be (depending on the season). I don’t really know what the story arc for this season will be but I don’t really care because…well, Timothy Olyphant in a Cowboy hat. Need I say more?

Next? Chris Colfer’s Struck by Lightning gets released On Demand on 12/19.

It’s an independent film with a “limited” theatrical release January 11th. But – since I’m almost certain it won’t come here, I’ll catch it On Demand hopefully. He wrote/directed/produced/and starred in this film and I’m just excited to see him play something other than Kurt Hummel.

And last…BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST…Pitch Perfect comes out on DVD December 18th! I WILL OWN IT AND WATCH IT 100 MILLION TIMES! Check out the Fat Amy featurette.


“Grown-Up” TV That I Actually Enjoy

I do not watch what I call “Grown-Up” TV. Shows like Game of Thrones or Walking Dead. Shows that no one who’s not at least high school aged would be allowed to watch. But I do watch Dramas! Just shows that wouldn’t require an R-rating.

But it’s not about the explicit material, although I don’t like that stuff. It’s about a note of light-heartedness. I need to have something to counterbalance the seriousness. Some levity to negate the crime.

Which is why Castle is one of my favorite television shows. Every episode is about a murder, but they never try to convince the viewer that it’s a real crime drama. It pokes fun at itself and keeps things light, even when dead bodies are involved. It’s the only drama that also makes me smile.

I gave up on the C.S.I.s and the Law and Orders a long time ago. Not only were they picking more and more disturbing cases involving sex and kids, but they were trying to convince the audience that they represented real crime-solving teams. And…COME ON. Seriously?

Bones would be a good candidate too except that it’s just so DAMN GORY. Why? WHY? Do they make it so gross? The rest of the show has plenty of silly to go with the serious, but the GRODY factor almost cancels it all out. I actually fast-forward through EVERY scene that involves a body. Sometimes this confuses me a bit in the plot-line, but never enough to actually watch the scenes. Last week? Grody gooey skeleton hanging from the dumpster? With bits falling from above? REALLY?

Here’s the thing…is there anyone that says, “I’d watch that show Bones if they just had more gore.” NO! They have to know that people will still watch it even if there’s just a mild amount of gore. But no…they go overboard. If I couldn’t fast-forward through that stuff? I wouldn’t watch the show. BLECH.

But the rest of it? Silly! Even if the Bones/Booth chemistry is kinda lame.

NCIS: L.A. is the other show that I like most of the time. It’s much more light-hearted than the original NCIS, even though that show is kinda silly at times. I still record both of the them, but I watch the L.A. version more regularly than the original. I love Deeks the best, he is rarely EVER serious about ANYTHING so that even when G and Sam are all up in the drama, Deeks comes along and totally lightens things up. GUARANTEED.

So you all can keep your zombies and murderous kings and I’ll keep my buddy-cops.

What about you? Can you handle the hard-core Grown-Up TV or do you need a little silly to balance out your serious?


New Stuff

TV? Music? Books? Running Fuel? Lots of new things I’d like to share my opinions about. And as you know – THIS IS ALL VERY IMPORTANT IN THE GRAND SCHEME OF LIFE.

(Let’s face it. We’re all freakin’ sick of the election right now. Let’s just entertain ourselves with stupid crap for the next 24 hours until we all finally vote and get this damn thing OVER WITH.)

I think my new “favorite” show right now is Arrow on the CW. It fulfills my crime-fighting genre interest without filling my life with unnecessary gore. (Hello Bones, Criminal Minds, and C.S.I.) It’s a superhero drama – so I love it – but my only complaint is sometimes I feel like it takes itself too seriously. If you take yourself too seriously in a TV show about a rich boy turned archer vigilante, it can become comical. But so far? I like it! It may be the only new show besides The New Normal that I’m still with after 2 episodes.


I just read The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. (HATE THE NAME OF THIS BOOK.) I have very mixed feelings about it. One one hand? SO well-written and once I got about 100 pages in it was SO hard to put down. But – I’m not sure I really enjoyed the character development. You always want to know more about a character at the end of the story than at the beginning, either because they’ve changed or because you’ve learned new information. However, I’m not sure I liked what I learned. Some characters turned out less good than I hoped they’d be. Some turned out just as bad as their first impressions. (And I don’t mean “bad” like “evil” – just irritating.) And some I didn’t really learn as much about as I’d liked. So…I’m torn. Supposedly this author is great though, have you read anything else by E. Lockhart? What do you recommend next?


These are my new faves for running nutrition…the Honey flavored honey stinger waffle. Now – I still prefer real food if I have access to a cooler or my car along the course, but if I have to carry my own aid on me? These things are what I’m grabbing. They are so yummy I’m tempted to serve them as a dessert at family dinner some night. Except – you know – they’re expensive. BUT YUMMY. You should totally try one some day if you’re out buying gus or gels for your next run.


I’m totally in love with the Pitch Perfect soundtrack. I adored the movie but some of the songs on the soundtrack are beefed up a bit and are SO AWESOME. There’s some extra accompaniment in some places where it didn’t make sense in the movie, and extra vocals in other places. It’s GREAT. And I dance around to it like a damn maniac. It’s the first full soundtrack/album I’ve bought since Twilight. (SHUT. UP.) If you loved the movie as much as I did, you should totally get the soundtrack.


Tumblr Is Both A Blessing And A Curse For Fangirls

I avoided the internet entirely last night. Why? Because of the debate? No! Actually not!

(It was a well-welcomed bonus, however.)

I avoided it because Glee is tonight and y’all – KLAINE MIGHT BREAK UP. I mean, the episode is call “The Breakup” and it looks like they breakup and I stumbled upon some spoilers – some pointing to a big YES and some pointing to a big NO and I decided I needed to GET OFF THE INTERNET sometime early last night.

Are you a Fanboy/Fangirl of anything? I mean – do you have a show you obsess over and read upcoming episode titles and obsess over cast interviews? Do you have a band who you watch YouTube performances of after every live show they do? Do you have a celebrity you stalk on Twitter? Do you have an author whose release dates you write on your calendar?

Then Tumblr is a blessing and a curse for you.

You can find tons of Tumblr pages devoted to the things you love. And they will introduce you to hysterical GIFs and Text Art and Manips that will totally make your day. They’ll find things in books or in episodes you might have glanced over on your own. (My fave are the Glee Tumblrs that post the numerous screen grabs of the kids looking out the bandroom windown. WHAT IS OUT THERE?)

All you have to do is search Tags related to your favorite fandoms and BAM! Fans like you! Making wonderful things on the internet that you will love! But also? Don’t look at Tumblr at work or around your kids. Because it is the sneakiest pr0n machine out there. You’ll be like, Klaine GIF, Doctor Who manip, Nerdfighteria text art, NAKED BODIES! It doesn’t happen often if you keep your settings to turn NSFW blogs off, but sometimes? BAM! pr0n! BE YE WARNED.

But other than that periodic shocker? TUMBLR ROCKS.

But then…THEN…if there’s drama in your fandom community? Tumblr is AWFUL. When I sat down after dinner to check things out my Tumblr dashboard was ALL GLEE. Which, on a normal day? It’s only about 1/10th Glee. It’s tons of Doctor Who and Harry Potter and Avengers and Nerdfighteria etc. But on high-drama Glee days? IT IS ALL GLEE. And these Gleeks know how to OVERREACT. I found myself totally panicking all night like, “WHAT AM I GOING TO DO IF THEY BREAK UP? I MIGHT DIE.”

And then I remembered I’m a 37-year old adult and this is a show about FAKE PEOPLE. Kurt and Blaine are NOT REAL. JEEZUS, WOMAN. CALM THE HELL DOWN.

So I backed away from the internet. But not before I found this:

(Language NSFW.)