Another Shameless Gaming Promotion!

*** Disclaimer: I receive no compensation, monetary or otherwise, from these personal gaming promotions. I enjoy The Elder Scrolls Online and will talk about it on my blog from time to time. I have done so since I began playing it in 2014; I’ve been blogging and writing much longer than that!

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Guess what – it’s time for another shameless gaming promotion! The latest seasonal in-game event, the Witches’ Festival, begins this coming Friday and runs until 1 November. This festival was the very first seasonal event, which I acknowledged in a post that can be found here. There will be a chance to earn special gear, recipes, and costumes which might have been missed out on the first time, and there will be new costumes and a special polymorph to wear for those massive zerg-raids!

A limited-edition abode of sorts will also be available for purchase during the event – if you earn the right to own it, that is. If you’ve ever wanted your own private, haunted hovel shrouded in mist at the edge of the moors, now’s the time to get it! I have a few creepy pets which would feel right at home…

Last but not least, the latest addition to the in-game world drops on Monday, 23 October. This chapter re-introduces a very popular part of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, and is loads of fun for the Steampunker which resides in many of us die-hard geeks, freaks, and nerds! If you’ve wanted to explore the lands on your very own clockwork mount, with a fabricated replica dragonfly hovering behind you, then this downloadable content (DLC) can be yours for free if you subscribe to the game. If you don’t subscribe, you can get the DLC for in-game crowns, which is a good option – the package gives you a special mount, non-combat pet, and a few extra trinkets to get your character off to a quick start.

I will be broadcasting my gaming sessions this weekend in order to share the fun and festivities, just click the link here to go directly to my Twitch channel. Enjoy the show!

For All of the Comic-Con Fans… ***UPDATED*** (Re-blogged)

San Diego Comic-Con International will be wrapping up this year’s event by Monday. I would have liked to attend, but the budget didn’t allow for any major excursions. I’ll just start saving up funds, get my cosplay gear ready, and do a convention-related tour in 2020!

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Random Ramblings; Myriad Musings

Credit: http://www.blogto.com

…if you’re lucky enough to have attended Comic-Con in Toronto recently, or are currently in San Diego enjoying the madness, this is for you! Enjoy…

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http://teamcoco.com/video/conan-comic-con-mad-max?playlist=x;eyJ0eXBlIjoicG9wdWxhciIsImlkIjpudWxsfQ

http://teamcoco.com/video/anime-conan-andy?playlist=x;eyJ0eXBlIjoidGFnIiwiaWQiOjJ9

Credit: http://www.washingtonpost.com

***UPDATED SUNDAY, 12 JULY 2015***

Credit: comicsalliance.com

Last, but certainly not least, honourable mention to Congressman John Lewis, who was at SDCC promoting his graphic novel trilogy, March. From Tech Times:

In 1956, a comic book changed John Lewis’s life. It was a ten cent, 14-page floppy that told the story of Martin Luther King’s march on Montgomery. 

“The Martin Luther King story inspired me,” explains the congressman, telling a story he’s no doubt recounted countless times over the past few years. “It told me what happened and how it happened in Montgomery, the involvement of Rosa Parks and hundreds of people. This little book, 14 pages, sold for ten cents and became the blueprint…

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Singer Luedji Luna earns three nominations at the Caymmi Music Awards recognizing the best of Bahian musicians

This post illustrates why most reviews are meaningless to me: the people who write them are only interested in maintaining the boring, insular status quo. They could care less about putting the spotlight on talented up-and-comers who could use a little boost! Sad to say, that is a common reality amongst the creative arts – the deck is stacked against most.

Black Women of Brazil

1 Photo: Nti Uirá

Note from BW of Brazil: I learned many years ago that some of the best artists in music are those whose names are not plastered on the covers of every magazine, constantly featured on talk shows, sell out huge revues or get hundreds of millions of views on YouTube. On the one hand, it’s a shame because so many of us won’t even know of the existence of some great artists. But on the other hand, when you discover such artists you sometimes feel that the artist’s music is your own little secret for your own little world. Once upon a time I remember only listening to those artists whose music made it onto the Top 10 list of some music chart. But in the past few decades, I have found myself becoming more and more distant from what is usually defined as Top 40 music…

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5 On Friday: Anime Edition!

For today’s installment of “5 on Friday,” I decided to list my five favourite anime series of all time. These are shows which have been long-lived, well-written, have even featured a non-white character, and not been tainted with pornographic images of children. I’m always mystified as to why people feel the need to ruin perfectly harmless forms of entertainment, such as animated television shows / movies or video games, with graphic porn! Sheer, mindless insanity is all it seems to boil down to.

I listed the various series in the order I began watching them in, as that was the easiest route. Most of them began as a manga series, which are usually more detailed and in-depth than the visual version – that seems to be common with any adaptation of a written series. With that disclaimer out of the way, here we go – on with the show!

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Robotech: Just like Monty Python, Doctor Who, and Red Dwarf, Robotech was introduced to me by my older brothers and their friends. Other anime shows soon followed – Robotech was my initial foray into that world. From Wikipedia:

Robotech is a science fiction franchise that began with an 85-episode science fiction anime television series cartoon adaptation produced by Harmony Gold USA in association with Tatsunoko Production and first released in the United States in 1985. It was adapted from three original and unrelated – though visually similar – Japanese anime television series (Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross, and Genesis Climber Mospeada) to make a series suitable for syndication.

In the series, Robotechnology refers to the scientific advances discovered in an alien starship that crashed on a South Pacific island. With this technology, Earth developed robotic technologies, such as transformable mecha, to fight three successive extraterrestrial invasions.

Prior to the release of the TV series, the name Robotech was used by model kit manufacturer Revell on their Robotech Defenders line in the mid-1980s. The line consisted of mecha model kits imported from Japan and featured in anime titles such as The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (1982), Super Dimension Century Orguss (1983) and Fang of the Sun Dougram (1981). The kits were originally intended to be a marketing tie-in to a similarly named comic book series by DC Comics, which was cancelled after only two issues.

At the same time, Harmony Gold licensed the Macross TV series for direct-to-video distribution in 1984, but their merchandising plans were compromised by Revell’s prior distribution of the Macross kits. In the end, both parties signed a co-licensing agreement and the Robotech name was adopted for the TV syndication of Macross combined with Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross (1984) and Genesis Climber MOSPEADA (1983).

I liked the animation style of Robotech, and was impressed with the fact that the sole Black character, Chief Communications Officer Claudia Grant, wasn’t drawn with exaggerated features typical of the racist stereotypes portrayed in other anime like One Piece. Robotech is still going strong, after all of these years – it stands the test of time!

Dragon Ball Z: I found Dragon Ball Z purely by accident one day. It was originally on the Nick at Nite lineup, back when Nickelodeon still had shows worth watching with your kids. At any rate, the cable network I subscribed to at the time had a channel called “I,” short for the International Channel. That channel had television shows and movies broadcast from all over the world, so I was able to get my fill of foreign films (with subtitles, of course) – and, of course, a decent helping of untranslated, uncensored anime. Dragon Ball Z was actually watchable even in its unadulterated, unsanitized originality, so I grew attached to it over time. I still get to see it on [adult swim] on Saturday nights, and am glad for it!

Bleach: I think that I was idly flipping channels late one night when I happened upon the series Bleach, and got involved in the storyline pretty quickly! I enjoyed the characters and their unique personalities and backstories, and the side story-arcs are worth enduring for the main storyline. From Wikipedia:

“…in terms of demographics, Bleach appeals to a narrower international audience than Naruto due to the higher complexity of its plot as well as due to the religious aspects of the story.”

The anime has been featured various times in the top ten from the Japanese TV Ranking. DVDs have also had good sales having commonly appeared in the Japanese DVD Ranking. The anime was nominated in the 2007 America Anime Awards in the fields of “best manga”, “best actor”, “best DVD package design”, and “best theme”, but failed to win any awards. In a 2006 Internet poll by TV Asahi, Bleach was ranked as Japan’s seventh-favorite anime program. The previous year, it was ranked as the twenty-seventh favorite program. During February 2009, Bleach ranked as the 9th most viewed animated show from Hulu.

Anime News Network’s Carlo Santos praised the anime adaptation, describing it as “…one incredibly entertaining anime that will grab you and refuse to let go.” Animefringe’s Maria Lin liked the varied and distinct characters, and how well they handle the responsibilities increasing powers give them. She also complimented the series for its attention to details, well paced script, and balance of seriousness and comedy. In summary, she notes “Bleach the anime deserves its popularity. It has something for everyone: the supernatural, comedy, action and a little bit of romance, all tied together with excellent animation and a very enthusiastic sounding bunch of voice actors.” Adam Arseneau of DVD Verdict, felt Bleach was a “show that only gets better with age” and was “surprisingly well-rounded and appealing” with well-developed characters and pacing. Active Anime’s Holly Ellingwood praising the anime for perfectly capturing “the excitement, the caustic humour and supernatural intrigue” of the original manga. She felt that the series “does a wonderful job of building on its continuity to provide increasingly tense and layered episodes involving not only Ichigo and Rukia, but the secondary characters as well”. She also praised the series for its striking visual effects, intriguing plot and its “brilliant blend of action, off the wall comedy.” In reviewing the series for DVD Talk, Don Houston felt the characters surpassed the usual shōnen anime stereotypes and liked “the mixture of darker material with the comedic”. Another Fellow reviewer John Sinnott felt series starts out as a boring “monster-of-the-week program” that becomes more epic as the stories build and the characters are fleshed out. Otaku USA’s Joseph Luster wrote that “the storylines are consistently dramatic without hammering it home too heavily, the characters manage comic relief that’s not as eye rolling as one would expect, and the action (in classic fighting series form) has only gotten more ridiculous over the years; in a good way, of course”. Mania.com’s Bryce Coulter praised the series for its plot twists and “the quirky and amusing characters”. In comparing the series with Naruto, Mania.com’s Chris Beveridge felt Bleach was less childish and “simply comes together surprisingly well in its style and execution of what is fairly standard material”.”

I have the first four seasons of Bleach on DVD, and am still in the process of slowly filling out that collection. It is one that I can enjoy, even years from now!

Death Note: This is the shortest-running series of this list, but it made a major impact during the two seasons that it ran. I have the DVD set (of course), and am overdue for dusting it off and watching it anew! There aren’t many shows currently running that have grabbed my attention, so Death Note is always a good one to return to while waiting for something worthy. Here’s a little background, from Wikipedia:

Death Note (デスノート) is a Japanese manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. The story follows Light Yagami, a high school student who discovers a supernatural notebook from a Shinigami named Ryuk that grants its user the ability to kill anyone whose name and face he knows. The series centers around Light’s attempts to create and rule a world “cleansed of evil” as “God” using the notebook, and the efforts of a detective known as L to stop him.

Death Note was first serialized in Shueisha’s manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump from December 2003 to May 2006. The 108 chapters were collected and published into 12 tankōbon volumes between May 2004 and October 2006. An anime television adaptation aired in Japan from October 3, 2006 to June 26, 2007. Composed of 37 episodes, the anime was developed by Madhouse and directed by Tetsuro Araki. A light novel based on the series, written by Nisio Isin, was also released in 2006. Additionally, various video games have been published by Konami for the Nintendo DS. The series was adapted into three live-action films released in Japan on June 17, 2006, November 3, 2006, and February 2, 2008, and a television drama in 2015. A miniseries entitled “Death Note: New Generation” and a fourth film were released in 2016. An upcoming American film is scheduled to be released on Netflix on August 25, 2017.

Death Note media is licensed and released in North America by Viz Media, with the exception of the video games and soundtracks. The episodes from the anime first appeared in North America as downloadable from IGN, before Viz Media licensed it and it aired on YTV’s Bionix anime block in Canada and on Adult Swim in the United States with a DVD release following. The live-action films briefly played in certain North American theaters in 2008, before receiving home video releases. In 2015, the collected volumes of the Death Note manga had over 30 million copies in circulation.

Death Note, for all of its brutality and graphic violence, was also an interesting take on morality and people thinking that they have the right to be judge, jury, and executioner – but not applying those rules and morals upon themselves.

Attack On Titan: Last but certainly not least, Attack on Titan. This show is amazing on all levels: storyline, characters, backstories, moral lessons, and thought-provoking questions about how humanity is and what it could strive for or sink to, depending on the circumstances. From Wikipedia:

Attack on Titan (進撃の巨人; Shingeki no Kyojin, lit. “Advancing Giant”) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama. The series began in Kodansha’s Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine on September 9, 2009, and has been collected into 22 tankōbon volumes as of April 2017. It is set in a world where humanity lives in cities surrounded by enormous walls; a defense against the Titans, gigantic humanoids that eat humans seemingly without reason. The story initially centers on Eren Yeager, his adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman and childhood friend Armin Arlert, who join the military to fight the Titans after their home town is invaded and Eren’s mother is eaten. However, as the story progresses and the truths about the Titans are slowly revealed to the reader, the narrative shifts to encompass Historia Reiss, squad leader Levi, Eren’s father Grisha, and other supporting characters.

The spin-off light novel series Before the Fall began in December 2011 and has received a manga adaptation. Two additional light novel series and four additional spin-off manga series have also been created. An anime television adaptation is being produced by Wit Studio and Production I.G, aired in Japan on MBS. The first season aired between April and September 2013, the second season aired between April and June 2017,[4] and a third season is scheduled to be released in April 2018.[5][6] Four video game adaptations developed by Nitroplus staffers in collaboration with Production I.G were announced to be released as bonus content for the third and sixth volumes of the Blu-ray Disc release of the anime, with another game developed by Spike Chunsoft for the Nintendo 3DS. A two-part live-action film adaptation, Attack on Titan and Attack on Titan: End of the World, and a live-action web-series were released in 2015. An anime adaptation of the Junior High spin-off manga, produced by Production I.G, began airing in October 2015. Attack on Titan and all five spin-off manga are published in North America by Kodansha Comics USA, while the three novel series are published by Vertical. The anime has been licensed by Funimation for North America, by Manga Entertainment for the UK, and by Madman Entertainment for Australasia.

Attack on Titan has become a commercial success. As of April 2017, the manga has 66 million copies in print.[7] The release of the anime also saw a boost in the series’ popularity, with it having received widespread critical acclaim for its atmosphere and story. Although it also gained fame in neighboring Asian countries, the series’ themes have been a subject of controversy.

This list was one of the most difficult to compile, as there are a number of short-lived shows that I also enjoyed, as well as other animated shows such as Samurai Jack or Avatar: The Last Airbender which don’t quite fall under the genre of anime. Still, putting it together was enjoyable! I hope that you enjoyed reading it.

5 For Friday: American Comedy Shows!

Happy Friday, everyone! For today’s installment of “My Five Favourites / 5 Fun Facts” post, I decided to list my five favourite American comedy shows. I was inspired in part by my own post back in May of this year, which listed my five favourite British comedy shows; and partly because the second season of one of the shows listed in today’s post, recently commenced. I listed these shows in the order in which I began watching them, since trying to decide which one I like the best would be an exercise in futility, LOL!

The Simpsons: This show has been a long-running mainstay in my small viewing library. It began as an animated short on the short-lived “Tracy Ullman Show” back in the late ’80s, and has since evolved into one of the most popular, longest-running animated comedy series and longest-running sitcoms on television. I began watching when it became a series in its own right shortly after I left home; when my son was born, I watched it with him regularly and he still watches it to this day – as do I! It’s always been well-written, funny, and surprisingly poignant at times. The Simpsons is watched worldwide and has a steady line of merchandise including video games, books, posters, t-shirts, and even spawned one full-length movie. My favourite Simpsons episode is the one in which Krusty the Klown, the local kiddie-show celebrity and mascot for KrustyBurger, has his show cancelled in favour of a ventriloquist with a dummy named Gabbo. Little bit of trivia: Conan O’Brien used to write for the Simpsons; I think that some of the funniest episodes have his name attached to them!

South Park: This show’s humour, while a bit crude a juvenile, is still the type that will have me crying with laughter! I’ve always had a slightly warped, twisted, and demented streak when it comes to the things that make me laugh, and South Park fits the bill in every which way. I forget when I started watching it; I think it was during the middle or end of its second season, but I was hooked the minute I saw poor little Kenny McCormick suffer one of his (many) horrible, graphic deaths! If you’re easily offended, this is definitely NOT the show for you, LOL! There are many episodes which have me dying in convulsions of laughter, but one of my faves has to be the “Shake Weight / Crème Fraiche” one – it is beyond description; suffice it to say, you have to see it to appreciate it, ROFLMAO!

Family Guy: This probably surprises some of my readers, that I list both this show and American Dad, created by Seth MacFarlane, in my top five comedies! Being critical of Seth MacFarlane doesn’t mean that I can’t, or don’t, enjoy some of the things that have his name on it. For the record, I know exactly what satire is, and criticizing someone’s racism isn’t indicative of how well one understands the concept of satire. Someone asked that ignorant, irrelevant question on a post I did years ago pointing out the casual racism and misogyny of MacFarlane. It was such a ridiculous assertion that it didn’t get a response from me! At any rate, I think that my favourite Family Guy episode is an hour-long one where the Griffins meet the Simpsons!

American Dad: All I can do is echo here what I said about Family Guy above, with the exception of which episode is my favourite – I don’t know that there is a “best” American Dad episode, yet! Still, I enjoy the show in spite of MacFarlane’s obvious biases.

Wrecked: This is the newest show in my personal lineup, and it had me hooked from the third commercial aired before the show did! It is now three episodes into its second season, and I’m laughing just as hard as I did during the first season. The premise of the show is what might really happen if a group of complete strangers found themselves marooned on an island following an unfortunate accident involving a small “puddle-jumper” aircraft, in modern times. The first commercial I saw had me going, “WTF?!?” The second one had me going, “Oh, no…” Finally, the third one had me grabbing my husband and dragging him into the room to see what I was seeing! If you’re looking for something new and funny to watch, I highly recommend Wrecked!

With that, please enjoy this “Best Of” montage, featuring the 10 funniest moments from Season One of Wrecked! I’m off for a nice, long weekend of gaming – tune in to watch the action, if you’re of a mind to do so! Later…

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5 for Friday: Why I Love the Multiverse of The Elder Scrolls Online! (Re-blogged)

It’s a Full Moon Friday, and Morrowind is live on all platforms of The Elder Scrolls Online, so I figured this post of mine was worthy of a re-blog.

Also, here is the official launch trailer which details the actual in-game graphics and action…enjoy!

Random Ramblings; Myriad Musings

On Tuesday, 6 June, The Elder Scrolls Online (TESO) is launching the next chapter in the series, on all platforms that the game is played on: PC/Mac, Xbox, and whichever version of the PlayStation is being used now. That chapter is a resurrected, updated version of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. I’ve had early access to this new, online version of Morrowind since 22 May, as I pre-ordered the collector’s edition as soon as I was able to! I’ve been playing TESO itself since it came out three years ago, and figured I’d give the top five reasons why I’m still enjoying it after all this time. I was also inspired to do this post because I happened to see a TV commercial for Morrowind during a Torchwood marathon that I was binge-watching on BBC America over the weekend. With that, here we go!

1. User-friendly: I love…

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5 for Friday: Why I Love the Multiverse of The Elder Scrolls Online!

On Tuesday, 6 June, The Elder Scrolls Online (TESO) is launching the next chapter in the series, on all platforms that the game is played on: PC/Mac, Xbox, and whichever version of the PlayStation is being used now. That chapter is a resurrected, updated version of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. I’ve had early access to this new, online version of Morrowind since 22 May, as I pre-ordered the collector’s edition as soon as I was able to! I’ve been playing TESO itself since it came out three years ago, and figured I’d give the top five reasons why I’m still enjoying it after all this time. I was also inspired to do this post because I happened to see a TV commercial for Morrowind during a Torchwood marathon that I was binge-watching on BBC America over the weekend. With that, here we go!

1. User-friendly: I love the fact that, like with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, one doesn’t need to have played the entire series to know what is going on or how to play – you can just jump right in and run anywhere you wish. In many ways, starting the game as a newbie is easier now than it was when TESO first came out! For example, there are now in-game tutorials when there initially weren’t. Also, a subscription isn’t required; I personally subscribe due to the benefits and bonus perks of doing so.

2. Diverse, endless variety, and multi-layered gameplay: I love the fact that designing and customizing your avatar is available, as many games have very limited “cookie-cutter” options so your character looks pretty much the same as any other person’s who might be playing that specific character class. I love going into a bank in-game and seeing all of the different appearances and costumes of other players! One can create a short, stout Orc, or a thin, lanky Dark Elf. In TESO there are 10 playable races, each with their own unique passive abilities. There are five character classes, each one with a unique set of offensive and defensive fighting skills. The ranges of weapons and armour-sets that can be used are countless! I enjoy playing around with different combinations to see which ones complement each other the best.

3. Puzzles: In your travels you come across many different dungeons, or quests which may have you delving underground to locate specific items. Some of these quests require you to solve a puzzle of some sort in order to advance, and I find those to be loads of fun! They could be picture tiles, riddles, or light-shifting pedestals, just to name a few. Some are easy to solve, while others are real brain-teasers! They definitely provide a perfectly valid excuse for reading the lore-books you run across, which brings me to the next item on my list.

4. History and lore: Just as with the real world, the virtual world of TESO has a varied and rich history, as well as lore unique to the specific races. There are countless books which can be found almost everywhere you go, and reading them can teach you newer skills, raise your character level, or mark locations on your map for future exploration. Some give you clues to a quest you might be undertaking, and some are just good entertainment! The people who created and developed this series get high praise from me and all of the other gamers who enjoy and appreciate the historic depth put into this game.

5. Last, but certainly not least, the graphics and details. I can’t say enough about how awesome the graphics in this game are, and the various little details which make it stand head and shoulders above other games which are more popular with others. For example, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, just as in real-life. When the day is clear and the sun is out, the shadows cast are incredibly sharp and match the form of the object casting the shadow. Sound-effects are top-notch as well: when you’re riding your horse, for instance, the hoof-beats make a different sound depending on what terrain you happen to be crossing at the time. Water splashes around your feet if you’re jogging through a swamp, or you can hear the rustling of grass if you’re taking a short-cut across a farmer’s meadow. Birdsong and animal noises are also noticeable when you happen to be in the proper areas; everywhere you go, there is something to see and do!
There are a dozen more reasons I could list and I could go on and on, but that would interfere with important gaming time. Also, I have to update my guild-recruitment script by Monday, and need to change the in-game guild message of the day. I’m hosting an in-game house-warming party to celebrate the opening of our grand, spacious new guild-hall – and no, the celebration will not be broadcast on my Twitch channel! Private party, by invitation only…

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5 Friday Faves: “Author! Author!” Edition

LOL – see what I did, there? I used a movie title just to draw attention to this post, which is really about my five favourite writers of fiction! I read quite a bit, and have a long list of writers whom I admire and always look forward to their latest writings. They’re also great in that their older works are worth re-reading from time to time; like a nice, classic outfit, they never really go out of style.

I had to think long and hard about these writers, but was finally able to come up with why these specific five are awesome! I’m not doing a numbered list this time; instead, I have listed them in order by their last names. I’m listing past and present writers, as two people on this list are deceased. With that disclaimer, here we go!

Octavia Butler (22 June 1947 – 24 February 2006): Octavia Butler is still one of my favourite authors, even years after her untimely death. She was a science fiction writer, earning multiple Hugo and Nebula awards for her many excellent books. She was also the first science fiction writer to earn the MacArthur Fellowship, which is nicknamed the “Genius Grant.” I have all of her books, and I think it is time to pull them off of the shelf and give them a re-read! I usually go five years between re-readings, so that the stories are somewhat fresh. One can never have too many books, I think.

Harlan Coben: I happened upon this author when I was browsing the shelves of a bookstore that sold or traded used books. I was looking for some Jonathan Kellerman and Patricia Cornwell books, and since books were listed by genre and alphabetical order (by last name, of course), I saw Coben’s name just ahead of Cornwell’s. The title of one book caught my eye, so I took it along with the other selections that I’d already made – very glad that I did! I love a good mystery / psych-thriller, and his writings are perfect. He sprinkles funny lines in his tales, similar to Stephen King, and does quite well at throwing in unexpected twists that might keep most people guessing until the last page. I don’t think that I have all of his books yet, but I’m certainly working on it!

David Gemmel (1 August 1948 – 28 July 2006): David Gemmell was a phenomenal writer, and I enjoyed his books immensely. His untimely death in 2006 almost spelled the death of a series he was in the middle of working on; fortunately, his wife was able to do it justice and complete the works under a joint authorship. She did quite well, I have to say! I have all of David’s books, and again, must pull them off the shelves and give them another go – starting with Legend, of course.

Stephen King: Stephen King is the author whom I’ve been reading for most of my life. I think that the first short-story of his that I read was the one about the little toy soldiers that come to life and kill the head of a company. I was eight when I read it, then was re-introduced to his writings in 6th grade. He slowly overtook Piers Anthony and V.C. Andrews during my junior high years, and then firmly established himself as my favourite author for close to seven years. It was around that time that I was introduced to this next author’s writings by a close friend.

Dan Simmons: I had finished reading Octavia Butler’s Kindred and was talking with a friend about good sci-fi novels. He had just finished reading Hyperion and was starting on The Fall of Hyperion, so he lent me the first book – I was hooked from the first page! When I went to the local bookstore to look up what else he had written, I was pleased to see that he wrote horror and mystery novels as well. In fact, he has won multiple awards, including the Hugo, the Bram Stoker, and the Locus, to name a few. I have most of his books, if not all of them…and, I have a tattoo of the Shrike. It’s just fitting, for me!

Fun Friday Facts: My 5 Favourite…

This “5 on Friday” post is about my five favourite British comedies, inspired in part by the “Whovian” post I did a few weeks ago. They are listed in reverse, from fifth to first…so, let’s get to it!

5. Red Dwarf. This sci-fi-based comedy was accidentally introduced to me by my two older brothers during a Friday Dungeons & Dragons game-night. We had the TV on when there was a break in the action and were dealing with the minutiae of experience points, levels, and divvying up of treasures. One outburst of “Oi, you smeg-head, get me a smeggin’ curry!” from the television speakers made me whip my head around to see what the hell was going on, and I was promptly hooked! That show was hilarious, and I wish it would get the re-airings that it deserves. It just might, now that I think of it!

4. One Foot in the Grave. This sitcom was about an elderly gent who was forced into retirement. Curmudgeonly Victor Meldrew drives his wife, Margaret, to distraction as he wanders about the house and tries to stay busy while she goes to work and keeps up the bills. He’s a decent enough sort, but never seems to get on well with others – try as he might! An Aussie friend of mine introduced me to this show about 15 years ago and I’m quite glad that he did. I have the whole series on DVD so I can watch it at my leisure, and enjoy it just as much now as I did when I first watched it. It’s funny, poignant, and deliciously dry – in short, it’sgreat!

3. Absolutely Fabulous (AbFab). Most people here in the States only know of the show because of the movie which came out last year, but I first saw AbFab on Comedy Central just before Y2K. Blame my Aussie buddy for turning me on to this hilarious sitcom about two boozing, drugging, party-hearty broads who hate the idea of getting old! Patsy and Edina act as if they’re high-schoolers getting up to all sorts of antics, driving Edina’s straight-laced daughter, Saffron, mad with their shenanigans. That series will be the next one purchased on DVD, as soon as I’m able!

2. Blackadder. I had been a fan of Mr. Bean, but knew nothing of the conniving and cunning Edmund Blackadder until a co-worker at one of the radio stations I worked at introduced me to that series. He lent me the first two seasons to take home and watch – they were still on VHS at the time – and I howled with laughter! That show was only aired on PBS during their annual fund-raisers, so didn’t get to watch it as much as I wanted to back then, so I bought the entire series on DVD to view whenever I wish!

Finally, the number one spot on my list goes to The League of Gentlemen. This show shouldn’t be confused with the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, as they are completely different animals! It aired on Comedy Central not long after AbFab was taken off; again, my Aussie buddy encouraged me to give it a chance, and I’m glad that he did! The little town of Royston Vasey has a unique population, to say the least. The only answer to the question “Are you local?” is “Yes!” This show was warped,dark, demented, and insanely hilarious – emphasis on “insanely,” LMAO! Of course, I simply had to get the series on DVD, and I even recorded one of my favourite lines from it on my phone so that people hear it if they call me and get my voice mail. One of my sisters had called the other day, and all I could hear was hysterical laughter on the voice message! She wasn’t expecting to hear what she heard, and it definitely took her off guard. My sense of humour isn’t compatible with most others, for sure!

This post wouldn’t be complete without at least one clip from each of these shows. A bit of laughter is perfect for this fun Friday, and the best way to start the weekend off with a smile. Enjoy!

Monday Musings: Review of an Interview

I re-read this, and decided to repost it for my “Mid-week Musings!”
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I still maintain that the best way to ensure a good blogger-to-blogger interview, is to ACTUALLY READ THE BLOG of the person that you plan on interviewing. It’s obvious, yes?
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Random Ramblings; Myriad Musings

Ah, interviews! Pretty much anyone of job-seeking age has gone through an interview of some sort, whether it’s a job interview, a pre-application review for a school or college, interviewing for a club membership, or interviewing with a military recruiter after taking the ASVAB. Those are mainly formal and/or professional interviews, which always have a certain format and tone, and certain expectations are of higher demand from the interviewer and the interviewee. The resume is what the interviewer uses to glean information about the applicant, while also having a formulaic list of pre-written questions. The interviewee has the added expectation of researching the company or organization he or she is applying to, and is questioned on the applicant’s knowledge of same. This is usually to determine if the applicant is truly interested in being an employee or member.

Another type of interview is the casual, informal one generally seen on…

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