Friday, July 06, 2018

Monthly HapPENings: June

Guess what, everybody? We're halfway through the year! I'd dance with happiness, except I'm not happy that 2018 is half over. It felt like it just started! (I know, I say that all the time, but it doesn't make it any less true.) I've discovered that the older I get, the faster time seems to fly by. Kinda weird how it works, right?

June was a busy, busy month for me. For starters, Chloe graduated high school, and I had the privilege of being her emcee. While I personally felt that I was a little rough in my public speaking skills, I was only complimented by others for a job well-done. So perhaps I was my own worst critic. Preparing my notes and just the thought of the grad made me feel busier than it should've.

I also filmed my blogoversary vlog, answering all 71 questions that were submitted, which took a couple hours to shoot. When I tried uploading the videos onto my computer, I was worried for a while, because I encountered some issues. Thankfully, I was able to work my way around the finicky relationship between my phone and my laptop. Then I had to edit and upload those suckers before writing posts for all of them (believe it or not, penning those ten posts took around two hours). That ate up two weeks of June.

Finally, in the last week, my family took a vacation together. You probably didn't even notice that I was gone, considering how I had posts scheduled for every day. It was a much-needed breather, and I really enjoyed it. It differed from our previous vacations in the fact that we did a minimum amount of shopping, and also only a little swimming at the beach. It was more of a relaxing time to watch movies, read books, play games (electronic and Phase 10, to be precise) . . . stuff like that. We just hung out.

One of my highlights in every vacation is when we have a campfire on one evening and say something we appreciate about each family member. We've never had a time where no tears were shed, and it's moments like those where you really grasp the value of a strong family. This tradition is definitely one I'm going to pass on to my own family in the future.

Bookish HapPENings

Wonder of wonders, I actually read four books this month! All of which were on my holiday, because I didn't have (or make) much time for reading before that, since the vlog was my priority. Even better was the fact that the three of the four were really good! So which stories did I read?


I'd picked this book up at a local book fair a while back, because it seemed interesting enough. But it was only a decent story. The plot is that the main character, eleven-year-old Alex has a life-threatening sickness (one that doctors conveniently can't figure out so that it can do whatever the author needs it to). In fact, he dies from it. But his mother, an Egyptologist, uses the Lost Spells from the Book of the Dead to bring her son back from the afterlife--and in doing so, she unleashes five Death Walkers and mysteriously vanishes, along with the spells. Now Alex and his best friend, Ren, need to find her and stop the Walkers at all costs.

I'll probably continue the series to see how it ends, but there's no other reason for me to finish. No emotional connection, witty dialogue, or captivating voice. Just a storyline that's barely interesting enough to keep me hooked. I'm also one of those readers who, once they've started a series that's only okay, needs to finish just for closure's sake.


I'm gonna wait to give my full thoughts on this book until next week, when I properly review it. Suffice it to say that if someone were to ask me what the best book I've read this year was, I'd say it's a toss-up between Moonblood and this one. I loved it to bits, and I'm looking forward to sharing it with you guys!


I'm getting close to finishing this series, and it's been an interesting one. I enjoyed the new stakes and challenges the book added to the overall plot; it also finished very differently from any of the other installments. I'll definitely be picking up the final book very soon.


This another novel where I want to share my full thoughts in a review. Suffice it to say I wholeheartedly enjoyed this book. I've got a hankering for more comical detective stories, and this one fit the bill. I adored it from the first sentence. It's one of my favorite Eoin Colfer books to date.

HapPENings on the Screen

My sisters and I have been progressing through S4 of Once at a very slow pace, but it's pretty good so far. I am, however, finding the villainess extremely annoying, as much as the one in the last half of S3. One big reason for that is because the costume designers thought her dress should be very low-cut. So that's both frustrating and disappointing . . . but the show has never been the epitome of modesty.

I'm also taking a while to rewatch S1 with Chloe and Kaitlyn, but it's been fun to see how far the show has come since then. We're definitely getting close to the midway point of the season, where things are really kicked up a notch. If you somehow haven't watched this show yet, I won't spoil it for you. Suffice it to say that your mind will probably be blown.

Even though I now notice the occasional flaw or plot hole, I still absolutely love this show. To think that it's on the ninth season is kind of mind-blowing, especially when they were originally going to stop at two seasons. The episode I watched last month had some really funny moments, one of which I have to include in my next quotes post.


This movie was just as "ugh"-inducing as the last two. While I do think it's the best of the trilogy, by no means does that mean it was a great film. Everything was so laughable; mocking these movies is not hard. (One of the worst scenes was when two police were going after Sandman, who had hidden a truck. It was one continuous shot with a shaky cameraman. It went on so long my head started hurting just by looking at the screen.) I'll never figure out why some people think Tobey Maguire is the best Spider-Man. His lack of facial expression, or any emotion at all . . . Kirsten Dunst was also one of the whiniest, unlikable girlfriend characters I've ever seen. The fact that she hated on both Garfield's and Holland's movies makes me like her even less. Just don't bother watching this trilogy, unless you want something you and your friends or siblings can mock.


So, uh . . . I watched this movie. And it was a . . . hyped one. A hyped musical, to be precise. *clears throat*

Okay, I won't beat around the bush: I didn't like The Greatest Showman. I didn't dislike it, either. It was simply "meh" to me. One of those movies where you watch it once and you're perfectly content with never seeing it again. First off, I'm not a big musical fan to begin with. I've seen a number of them, but most don't ring with me. Some exceptions are Disney's most recent princess ventures (Tangled, Frozen, and Moana). The reason I love them so much more is because they don't focus on the singing aspect; that's just a side dish. They've got interesting plots and well-developed characters. Heck, Moana has a scene that pays homage to Fury Road! You can't really go wrong with that.

And even if The Greatest Showman has the same amount of time between songs as the abovementioned princess films, it feels shorter. Like, they're singing every five minutes (not literally, but you get my drift). As for the songs themselves, they're decent enough. But you won't find me looking them up to listen to on my own accord.

I even predicted some of the plot at the very beginning. SPOILER ALERT! I thought to myself, "I bet Barnum and his wife are gonna have marital problems, but everything will be fixed with a song." And what do you know, that's what happened. I get that different genres have their tropes, but I just can't get behind those in the musical genre.

One thing I did appreciate was the theme. It starts off as a whole "follow your dreams" thing, but then it twists and says that sometimes you have to give up on those dreams because family is more important. I thought that was a good message to give, but other than that, the movie didn't have much appeal for me. Oh yeah, and I never picked up on the regular soundtrack, so it's struck me as (potentially) bland. I feel like composers for a musical are overshadowed by the songs, generally speaking.

This is my fifth or sixth rewatch of Cap's debut, and I still love it. Do I think Marvel movies have improved since then? Of course; if they weren't improving, they'd be stagnant. And no one likes a stagnant franchise. But I was picking up on things that are either referenced or built upon in the future, and it was just cool to see Steve's origin again.


Another rewatch for me, and it was still very emotional for me. One of those films where it feels disrespectful to get up before the credits are over. If you haven't seen this yet, you need to. It's hard to watch because of its brutal honesty, but it's a good reminder for all of us. Don't forget to have several tissues on hand.


I came into it with no expectations, and thus, I wasn't disappointed. I don't have any desire to read the Harry Potter novels, but I decided to watch the movie series. The first one was . . . all right. My biggest complaint was the lack of an overarching plot. It did hint at stuff, but not much actually happened until the end. I might be hypocritical for complaining, though, because I absolutely adore Knightley Academy and The Secret Prince. Those books, however often they may be compared to Harry Potter, were much more enjoyable and charming for me. My favorite things about the movie were the humor, Hagrid, and Snape (whose voice I can imitate very accurately).


I've got say, Coco is now one of my top favorite Pixar movies of all time. Not only does it have an intriguing plot, dynamic characters, an unique score, and surprising twists, but I also was just appreciating the high quality animation. Seriously, pay attention to the details, like the peach fuzz on Miguel's face or the close-up intricacy of Hector's hands, and you'll be wowed. While this movie had some songs, there weren't enough to classify it as a musical (but I liked them more than The Greatest Showman's).

I also wasn't expecting it, but this movie got emotional. I suppose I should've seen it coming, because Pixar's really good at that stuff. But I had tears running down my face at one point; the movie's theme just struck a chord with me (pun intended). SPOILER ALERT! The theme is very similar to TGS's, but I just loved how it was portrayed in Coco more.

Watch this movie. You won't regret it.

Gaming HapPENings


I did it. I finally beat Ganondorf and saved Hyrule from eternal darkness. Now I'd rather not visit the bland world of Twilight Princess for a long, long time. I just . . . I can't even with this game. You wouldn't believe how eager I was to finish. And while the final confrontation with the Demon Lord was one of my favorite parts of the game (it doesn't take much), the tension was undercut by me using the fishing rod to distract him. It was like he'd never seen one before!

Ganondorf: "I'm big and scary, and I'm gonna kill you!"

Link: *silently whips out fishing rod and whips it past Ganondorf's head*

Ganondorf: "Ooh, would ya look at that? It's so shiny." *gets distracted and is instantly attacked by Link* "Ouchie! Foul play!"

*repeat sequence*

I won't rant more, since this post is becoming monstrous as it is. You'll just have to wait to hear my thoughts until my "Skyward Sword Versus Twilight Princess HD" post.

I've mentioned before how this game turns fantasy tropes on their head, and it continues to do so. When the princess (who, in my game, was Toon Zelda) gets captured, you expect that saving her is the end goal. Nope! You save her at the end of the first world. In fact, I'm in the fourth world right now, and I suspect I'll be having a showdown with the Dark Lord (who's Gaster from Undertale for my playthrough) to prevent him from stealing any more faces. But I also have a feeling that the game is gonna surprise me again. (Unfortunately, I might know a twist, which would've genuinely caught me off-guard. Now I'm just waiting for it to happen.)

Writerly HapPENings

I was completely occupied with working on my vlog last month, so I didn't make any progress in The Tournament of Convicts. July shall be a different story!

And I'm done! I apologize for the late and absolutely massive post. What did you guys do in June? Have you read, watched, or played any of the titles that I did? Got any goals for July?


  1. GASPPPPPTHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH?!!!!!!!!!!?? *sputters and flails around* YOU SAID HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE WAS “ALL RIGHT?” HOWWWWWW, IT WAS SO FUN AND CHARMING AND BEAUTIFUL AND AND AND AND AND AND..... actually, I saw it coming with you not liking it a lot. XD But wait until the last few movies? I’m sure they kick up the suspense. *whispers* But how could you not find it charmingggg? I’d say read the books cuz they are the picture of charm but uh, you’re not interested so NOPE. XD

    ALSO. HAHAHAAA. That fight with Ganondorf was so hilarious with the fishing rod. He just twists his head this way and that, trying to watch the fishing rod. LIKE, WHY. XD Ah, man, I felt sooooooo happy when you finished that game. GOOD RIDDANCE. I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever play that game. It looks so bad. It sounds like the controls suck. And it looks like an absolute rage game. Like with those two Darknuts? Or the music?! Or the characters hard to read dialogue? Or.... Midnaaaaa?!!!! *spats*

    I wanna rant more. But I shall not. :)

    Great post! Sorry for only ranting about HP and TP. XD

  2. Wow! Definitely looks like it was a full month! But your vacation sounds so relaxing. How fun you guys got to do that!

    I watched Coco just the other day for the first time, too! :O AND I LOVED IT! I honestly didn't have high expectations for this one, but I should have had more faith in Pixar. 'Cause it was SO. GOOD. And gorgeous and precious and just YES. Loved it!

    I'm very looking forward to your book reviews. I'm muchly intrigued by both of those books!

    Hope your July is an awesome one! :D