Welcome to Night Vale Live Tour

Last summer, I discovered a new (to me) podcast called “Welcome to Night Vale”…and I fell in love instantly. For those of you who’ve never heard of it, my all time favorite description is “It’s like Neil Gaiman and Stephen King started a Sim City and left it running on it’s own for a few years”. Seriously, it’s that awesome.

So imagine my excitement when I found out Night Vale was going to be doing a US tour this spring! And they were coming to DC, which is only a couple hours away from me! I managed to con one of my co-workers (who had never listened to it) into going with me as a Girls’ Night Out and we had a blast!

The Gals
The Gals

I won’t give away the plot of the show, since they will be selling a recording of it after the tour is over and they asked us not to spoil it for our fellow fans, but it was really good! The entire cast was there: Cecil (of course), Carlos, John…you know…the farmer?, Tamika Flynn, Steve Carlsburg (yuck), even Joseph Fink showed up (briefly) as a new intern! 🙂 (Sorry about the horrendous pictures, btw. I finally figured out why everyone takes really bad pictures at concerts. 😦 )

Dessa (aka The Weather)
Dessa (aka The Weather)
Carlos! :D
Carlos & Cecil (with Disparition on hand to set the mood)
"Why? Why did you do it?"
“Why? Why did you do it?”
The Cast
The Cast

If you enjoy the podcast and cannot make it to the tour, I would definitely recommend downloading the recording once it is out. Everyone in the cast did an amazing job, the weather was one of the finest I’ve heard on the show (I need to get Dessa’s CD!), and the story line was really good (creepy and hilarious, as all the best episodes are). And if you ARE going to the show…would you snag me the code for the book preview? They ran out of postcards by the time I made it through the line at the merchandise desk. I figure it can’t hurt to ask, right? 😉

And now, I wish you all…

"Goodnight, Night Vale, Goodnight."
“Goodnight, Night Vale, Goodnight.”

Book Review – Life of Pi

Book: Life of Pi – Author: Yann Martel

Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Philosophical

Description from Amazon:

The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes.

The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them “the truth.” After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional–but is it more true?

My Review:

Well, this one was an odd one. It will be hard to review it without giving too many spoilers…but here goes.

I really enjoyed the beginning of this book. The main character, Pi, was fairly unconventional and I really enjoyed his viewpoint on religion. It was interesting hearing the perception of religion from someone who was so open to learning and experiencing every type he could get his hands on. I also enjoyed his wit. He had a way of tripping people up without being mean and I found myself laughing a lot more than expected.

The middle of the book is where I ran into trouble. I hate to say this about any book…but it was SO BORING. I know, I know, if I was actually stuck on a raft out in the middle of the ocean, I would be bored out of my mind there too. But I really feel like the length of this section was unnecessary. Especially for a book that most kids are given to read in school. I know that at any earlier than college age, I would never have finished this book.

Once past the worst of Pi’s journey, when he “lands” (no spoilers, I swear!), things got more interesting. Like, REALLY interesting. No, seriously, what was this part supposed to represent?!? And by the end of the book, I was completely back into the story. I especially like the extremely vague, extremely thought-provoking ending. (I chose to believe the first story, btw.)

This is a book that I would definitely recommend people read at least once. Though I had high hopes, since the premise of the book sounded so exciting, it will probably NOT become a favorite for me. Nonetheless, it was a very interesting read and one I think is worth a try.

Similar books:

Ishmael – Daniel Quinn

Kon-Tiki – Thor Heyerdahl

The Gobinator

Well, I would be remiss if I didn’t introduce you to one of the most important characters in my life right now: my 1 year old Yorkie, Gobo.

Coming from a childhood of hamsters and parakeets, and moving into an adulthood filled with horrible allergies, I always thought that I would never get to have a substantial pet, like a cat or dog. And being more of a cat person, I’d never really even considered a dog until my sister got her Zoe. She’s a wonderful pup and it made me realize just how great a dog can be. Also, to be honest, living alone was really starting to take it’s toll; I wanted a little friend.

So last spring, when my Mom’s friend’s niece (isn’t that always the connection, lol) announced that her Yorkies had just had babies, I got interested. I did a bit of research and found out that Yorkies are considered one of the most hypo-allergenic dogs; their coat is more like human hair than regular fur and their spit has less of whatever it is that causes most people’s reactions. So I wrote the lady and made an appointment to meet the puppies on the understanding that if I had a bad allergy reaction to them, I wouldn’t be able to adopt one. And miracle of miracles, I didn’t get the slightest of sniffles, even after snuggling up with three of them at once!

Gobo, 1 Month Old
Gobo’s First Day at Home, 2 months old

One month later, I brought home my new baby boy whom I named Gobo, after the lead Fraggle in Fraggle Rock (cuz I am a dork, lol). Let me tell you, the transition from “parakeets and hamsters” to a literal puppy was VERY difficult. There is a true difference between “knowing” and “understanding” how much work a puppy will be and I was NOT on the latter end. Puppy training class was a godsend. It helped Gobo learn a few commands and helped me learn how to give the commands…and it was nice to have an “authority figure” backing up my decisions. Also, thankfully, he’s a good sleeper (he has always slept through the night) and he was housebroken in about a month (which I’ve been told is practically unthinkable for Yorkies). The biting, though…well, we’re still working on that one.

He’s also enormous for Yorkie. The lady warned me that he was one of the biggest in the litter and said he’d probably get about 8 or 9 pounds, which was the size of his daddy. But Gobo has topped out at a whopping 13.5 pounds! Yes, I realize that is still pretty small for a dog in general, but he’s like the Goliath of Yorkies! I’m actually happy he got a little bigger. I’m a decently large gal myself and learning to watch out for a bitty little thing on my seat or underfoot was tricky. Now that he’s a more durable size, I don’t have to worry about it as much. 😉

A Momma and Her Pup, Then and Now
A Momma and Her Pup, Then and Now

Though it took me a while to get used to him, he really is a good dog and he makes a good companion for the days when I just don’t want to be by myself. Looking back, that impulsive decision turned out to be one of the best I’ve ever made.

Book Review – Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

Book: Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch – Authors: Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett

Genre: Fiction, Supernatural, Humorous

Description from Amazon:

According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world’s only completelyaccurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner.

So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture.

And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist . . .

My Review:

As a longtime admirer of Neil Gaiman (and a newbie to Terry Pratchett), I was happy that I ended up really liking this one. The authors’ storytelling techniques meshed very well and the end result was a very humorous, yet thoughtful book. I really liked the way they went about the apocalypse. It was hilarious while still being horrifying. The Antichrist had an interesting take as well. No spoilers, promise, but the individual they used for the character was very well done and, though it normally would seem like an absurd individual to use, the way they are used is done so well that it all comes across as very believable.

Fans of the show Supernatural will be surprised to find a character named Crowley (though after I looked up the true reference, it totally made sense for him to be in the story) who’s attitude greatly resembles the tv persona. Instead of putting me off like it normally would, this coincidence actually made me enjoy the book even more. I love the character of Crowley in both instances, it seems.

My favorites, however, would have to be the Four Horsemen. I loved the re-imagining of these characters. Modern and eternal all at the same time.

My only con for this book was that it was long. Not really in physical length, but in time. There were several places where the story seemed to drag and I was pushing myself to keep going because “things will start to pull together soon”. I’m hoping that this isn’t reminiscent of all of Terry Pratchett’s work for me, since I had the same reaction afterwards to “The Color of Magic”; the story seemed to kind of hop around more than necessary and you weren’t always sure how things tied together.

All in all, though, I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it.

Similar Books:

Hitchikker’s Guide to the Galaxy – by Douglas Adams

Reading Challenge 2015

So this past January, I decided to take part in the PopSugar 2015 Reading Challenge! They came up with a list of 50 categories of books that include a nice, wide range of genres (see the list here). Everyone seems to have their own take on this challenge. Some people are trying to fit as many categories into each book as possible. Some are reading only certain types of books, like all non-fiction or all children’s books. Some are doing a different author for each category.

I decided to keep it simple: a different book for each category. My only rule is that each book has to be new to me, I can’t have read it before. This has made some of the categories a little more tricky, like “a book from your childhood”, but I’m figuring out ways to make it happen.

Since one of the categories is “a trilogy”, finishing the challenge means I have to read 52 book this year. Sounds tricky, right? Well, guess what? I’M ALREADY 23 BOOKS IN! That’s right, I’m kicking this challenge’s butt! 😀

Now that I have a brand-spanking new blog, I have decided that I should review the books I read for the challenge right here. And since I’m already so far in, we will have quite a few to get through in the next few weeks. I will warn you ahead of time: I’m not a professional by any means. I don’t work for the publishing industry, I’m not an author, I won’t be talking about the meaning behind every little word. I’m just going to write a description of each book (honestly, I’ll probably steal that part from Amazon, lol) and my thoughts on it, to give you an idea if you might like to read it too.

So stay tuned! My next post will probably be my first review! 😀

A New Chapter

Well…somehow I’ve managed to accidentally start a blog. Oops. I swear, all I was doing was trying to subscribe to a new book blog I found and ended up creating an entire blog of my very own!

So I’ve decided: why not actually try this out?! It might be fun! 🙂

On this blog, I’m planning to write about books I’ve read, events in my life, and any random thoughts I might be having. There will also most certainly be pictures of my pup, Gobo, and various other awesome things. I hope you enjoy!