Tuesday, June 2, 2015

May Wrap-Up + A Day in the Life #36

 It must be some sort of rule that the month of May = hiatus.  Seriously, since the history of starting this blog, even back when I was just mucking around and randomly posting things, I don't think I've ever written more than two posts in May haha.  (Scratch that, apparently when I first made this blog I posted like every Goodreads review I'd ever written hahahaha).  In other blog news, it turns out that:

A. In April I had my two-year blogoversary and didn't even realize it!
B. I am worse at math than I thought I was.

For some reason I thought I'd already been blogging for two years (Note: I count April 2013 as when I actually started blogging instead of the random floundering I'd done before haha).  Because...I don't know? I counted the year I started instead of realizing that you start at zero not one?  I honestly don't know. It feels a bit like I'm repeating a year and my brain is confused about it all.  Unless I'm still doing math wrong and I was right the first time... How did I even graduate high school?  

This month was as per usual, pretty busy for me.  I drove my mom across the country, which was fairly eventful, (Fun fact: the narrator of Harry Potter was so boring that he put her to sleep. At the wheel.  That's right, Jim Dale almost killed me) and my brother graduated (at USC the release A FLOCK OF DOVES.  Clearly my graduations needed to take a lesson here) so both of those things were exciting! 

My Month in Pictures:

1. One of the prettiest rest stops I've been to. I believe this one was in Texas?
2. Graduation was FREEZING. And raining. That's not supposed to happen in Southern California in May!!
3. That's Posy (the dog) and Murphy (the cat). Murphy actually spent most of the trip at my feet. He's such a trooper - he's 19!! and was fairly chill about the whole thing.  A five day cross country trip is no small feat for a cat, let alone a respectable elder like him.  Toby, our Yorkie, rode in the truck with our family friend since Murphy usurped the other dog carrier/our laps.
4. I've moved on from purple, and am now a pretty dark teal color!
5. A highly entertaining restaurant.  We pulled over here solely because of the name haha
6. It finally warmed up after graduation was over. My brother is pretty ecstatic at the thought of never being in school ever again and we were all glad the like 8 hour long graduation was over and the sun came out haha!  Just kidding (sort of). We're all really, really proud of him!

Other than that, I've been busy doing lots of gigging so that was exciting for me! I'm about to hit a dry spell, but hopefully that won't last long. It's definitely good that I'm getting asked to play more frequently, so that was definitely great news.  I'm actually going to be on a recording of Amit Peled playing Schumann's Cello Concerto!  I'm playing second oboe, so no one will be able to hear me, but it's really exciting anyway!  It's also an absolutely stunning piece - the "second movement" (the piece is played in one go, but it definitely has three distinct sections) is one of my favourite things to listen to, but I definitely recommend the whole piece. 

And on to the bookish part of my month! (You know, the part that's actually applicable to this blog haha). Reading wise, it was a pretty standard month. Feel free to see my rating breakdown of what I read this month here.

Good Enough

If you want a realistic portrayal of what it's like to be a classical musician, you need to read this book.  If you know someone who will be applying for colleges (or even applying for...anything), hand them this book.  If you know someone who is growing up as a second generation American (particularly an non-white one), hand them this book.  (As a white girl, I cannot confirm that this is how it goes, but considering the author IS a Korean American and that it rings true with what I've seen with my friends, it gets my vote).  This book is just so...god I LOVED it.  It's so real!  It's funny and bittersweet and there's romantic relationship in here that is...trust me it's not what you think. And it surprised me. Also there are Korean recipes in here so there's that too.  Just...I think this will be one of the best books I've read all year. I cannot possibly endorse it more. So if you like funny and sweet mixed in with a good dose of bittersweet, if you like music of any kind, just...I don't care what you like read this!!!

Herman and Rosie

THERE'S AN ALLIGATOR PLAYING AN OBOE!!!!!  He's a jazz oboist, which trust me doesn't really exist, but still.  And the artwork has a lot of layering with newspaper cut outs and it was whimsical and trust me, it hit REAL feelings (depression after life isn't working out so well) and I toooootally loved it basically.  But I might be a little biased because...did I mention it featured an oboe playing alligator?

Best Manga

電撃デイジー 11

Ahhh, Dengeki Daisy is finally over :(  Kyosouke Motome writes some really fun manga, and Dengeki Daisy is my favourite of the lot.  It's part thriller part shoujo love story and it's basically just a fun time all around.  Even at it's darkest, it frequently interrupts itself with a funny moment.  I definitely recommend this one to anyone interested in reading a manga!

Bookish Discussions

Jamie talks about Books That Change Your Life.
Fahima asks some very thought provoking questions about AUTHORIAL INTENT & RESPONSIBILITY.
Asti is Starting to Dread Series. (I totally understand - I do much better when I can binge read, but the pressure to read it because everyone is freaking out about it NOW is real)
Gaby had an epiphany about The Little Moments.
Cait asks Are You Ever Blindly Protective Over Certain Books? (Answer: Umm YES. Horridly so. I just try not to say anything when someone disagrees with me. My brain just goes LALALALA I'M NOT LISTENING TO YOU, YOU BLASPHEMER)
Jess wonders if she has forgotten how to free her speech?
Mel feels like she's leaving characters behind as she grows older.
Faye writes a letter to fantasy novels: DEAR GENERIC FANTASY BOOKS, ORCS/DWARVES/ELVES HAVE STORIES, TOO! (I couldn't agree more. I want all the stories!!)

Specific Books and Authors

Janet had the opportunity to hear Jacqueline Woodson speak about her stories.
Cait wrote a gif filled review of A Game of Thrones that is just spot on.
Ellie literally 100% gets my undying love for Sabriel.
Jamie interviewed Sarah Dessen and is also doing a giveaway! (...that may be over by the time this posts, sorry!)
GlaizaAnne, and Carolyn all wrote a beautiful tributes celebrating Tanith Lee.
N.K. Jemisin on her dislike of putting books in the African American section of libraries and bookstores.

Bookish Fun Stuff

Cait cautions us with 10 Occupational Hazards Of Being a Bookworm.
Epic Reads created The Hardest Game of ‘Would You Rather’ for Book Nerds
William (hilariously) lists the Top 10 ways to be evil in children’s books.
Cait, I too have these 10 Problems of Being An Adult Reading YA.  (I maaaay also just age everyone up and forget they're actually whatever age.  At some point I'm going to get too old for this to work at all with any sense though.)
Natalie plays a game of Would You Rather with debut Tor authors.

Nonbookish Stuff

A Contributor on The Mary Sue wrote an article about Coping With Anxiety and Depression Through Fiction or, “How Rocket Raccoon Fixed My Mental Illness”
Shae has categorized and sorted EVERY character on The 100 into social constructs.  It's awesome. You should check it out.


  1. Better late than never, happy blogversary~! <3 Your hair color is love. I wish I can rock some color on my hair but alas my too Asian feature unable it; plus my hair grow so fast that in few weeks I can visibly see the roots. LOL

    Oh my, Dengeki Daisy is over I think I read the last chapter the other week (was it?). Teru and her onigiri in a very crucial time LMAO. But like you, it’s one of my absolute favorite shoujo manga. Hey Motomi-sensei has a new series called QQ Sweeper. I have yet to check it out but I heard good things about it. <3

  2. Thank you! Yeah, you'd have to do a ton of bleach which..ick :-/. Also that's crazy fast! I'm too scared to deal with roots on top, hence only the bottom being dyed haha.

    I know I was cracking up when I realized that's why she fainted lol!! Oooh I didn't know she had a new series out already! I suppose I am having to wait for scanlations which is why it feels like that's a fast turn around. I'll have to check it out, thanks for letting me know! You're like my #1 source for manga just so you know haha. My backlist of mangas to start is crazy long because of all your posts lol! I'm trying to catch up on all the chapters I've missed because I haven't really read any manga since October (I'm WAY behind in Skip Beat and Koi dano ai dano!) but I'm probably going to pick one of your recommended mangas to read once I'm caught up on everything I'm following!

  3. Your hair looks awesome! My hair is just too dark and hates hair dye. I am going to be trying henna dye eventually - hopefully it'll at least add some red highlights. I don't have time to read all the links that sound good, but I have so got to read the one titled 'DEAR GENERIC FANTASY BOOKS, ORCS/DWARVES/ELVES HAVE STORIES, TOO!' because I seriously want to read those books. Also, there's a couple more I want to read so hopefully I won't forget this post tomorrow when I'm not in a hurry.

    Happy belated blogoversary! Mine was back in January - which I totally knew but also completely forgot when it got close. *shrugs* I don't know what I would have done for it anyway.

  4. Ha, ha, ha again your wrap-up post has my head spinning! I am happy you had some one on on time with your mother. I love the name that cafe. The picture of the cat made me think about your cat troubles. Was Murphy the cat you were trying to assimilate into your home (I didn't mean for that to sound like the Borg), or was that another kitty? I am also happy you have been gigging! I had an interesting month from finding out the person I was supposed to room with at BEA, that ditched me, was telling people a lie about why I couldn't attend, to an author sending me a snarky Facebook PM because I said I was deducting .5 from a five star Goodreads review when I reviewed it on my blog, and the blogger who insulted me by saying "don't worry" that she was going to correct my grammar on the guest review I gave her and then changed things that were correct to incorrect! But I did get two pretty nice book hauls, so, okay, it wasn't all bad. Lol. Congratulations to you brother!

  5. What a crazy eventful month! I can't believe your traveled cross country with an ancient cat and what looks to be an adorable Papillon? That deserves a book written about it - especially with the near death by Dale.

    So many awesome links! I am especially commiserating with the one about series. I like all of her points but also would add that my memory has gotten so poor that I almost HAVE to binge read in order to have any idea what's going on. It sucks. Also the fact that I have recently been running into series that aren't popular enough (though I love them) and get discontinued. Definitely leads to series anxiety!

  6. First of all that Cello Concerto was gorgeous. Thanks for sharing! I recently went to the Seattle Philharmonic and they did Vaugh William's Variations on a Theme by Thomas Tallis and Holst's Planets. My heart exploded in happiness.

    1. Author intent. This raises some really good points...especially when you consider our favorite "slut shaming".
    2. Mirroring real life - YES! This is exactly how I feel. And why I generally lean towards YA because I find them more hopeful in general. Adult literature mirrors real life just a tad too much sometimes for me.
    3. Sabriel!!!
    4. Would You Rather for Book Nerds - Hmm...I voted almost always opposite of the majority. But I feel like if my book is going to get ruined, it should go out epically, say via wood chipper or conflagration.

    And welcome back! I missed you!!

  7. Whhaat?? That is some crazy things happening!

  8. Vaugh William's Variations on a Theme by Thomas Tallis! I knew I liked you. :D

  9. I know! I even hot a "breather" call on Saturday night with Film Noir-ish music playing in the background. Very creepy. It was a baaaaaadddddd month for me.

  10. It is probably my favorite piece of all time. It almost makes me weep. :)

  11. YIKES! Here's wishing you an uneventful June. O.o

  12. Thank you! Yeah I'm really thankful my hair is light because it is much easier to have fun with hair dye when you don't have to use bleach haha! Oooh henna dye sounds like it'll be fun/pretty!

    And yes! I always have this problem when I read super traditional fantasy novels - like...why are orcs evil? Is it that they are just culturally opposed to us? What if there's an orc who wants to become a bard instead? Does he become an outcast? What happens? WHY AREN'T THERE ORCS STORIES DAMN IT??

    Yeah, I don't know what I would have done if I'd remembered either hahahah. Probably nothing? I'm too broke for giveaways (and the last time I did one I got a few fake entries which was a total downer and made me lose faith in humanity)

  13. Holy crap that's terrifying! TERRIFYING. (And I've been there so I would know). Has it happened again/were you able to block them?

  14. Yeah we literally pulled off the highway and went two miles searching for this place haha! (Sadly the coffee was kind of terrible) And Murphy is the cat that moved with my mom - he's the one that my "new" cat used to live with. They were best buds and kind of inseparable so we were worried it might effect Murphy badly (they spent the first two weeks meowing around our respective homes and searching for each other), but he's such a chill dude haha!

    Holy crap! That's crazy!! Like...I don't even know why ANY of those people would have done what they did! Man, I feel like you get the worst mojo from fellow bloggers/authors haha! It makes you want to lose faith in bookish people :-/ (Luckily there's loads of awesome people like you and Shannon to counterbalance that!)

  15. She is an adorable Papillon - until she barks. THE. MOST. PIERCING. SOUND. EVER. The dogs love traveling, they think it means they're going camping/they aren't being left behind haha! (I feel like all my family trips end up being hilarious/near death experiences lol!)

    Yeah my brain is like cheese! I can't remember ANYTHING. It makes me sad because unless I've read a book a bunch of times, even if I would consider it a favourite, I won't remember a lot of details haha! God I can't even imagine what I would do if a series I was reading got discontinued! I've been really lucky bookwise - I've definitely run into that with manga and tv shows though. I have meltdowns. It isn't pretty. I now only watch British tv shows that are complete, Doctor Who, or Sherlock Holmes. I've been burned way too many times!

  16. OH MY GOD THAT CONCERT!!!! Seattle Philharmonic seems to have a lot of really great programs (my friend whose wedding was the reason I was out there last summer is an oboist so I hear about them a lot haha)

    1. Definitely! That's actually exactly what I was thinking about when I read the article haha!
    2. Yeah I need some hope! I get into a big funk if everything I'm reading is bleak haha
    3. I am both cringing and think you are right? Books are fairly dramatic I suppose they should get dramatic endings hahah

  17. kirstymariejonesstudioreadsJune 9, 2015 at 7:48 PM

    Ha! But blogoversaries go so quick, it's hard to keep track. AND HAPPY BELATED BLOGOVERSARY! Haha! I do that sometimes too, so I have to be like 2013-2014 1 year. (I passed my Math GCSE, barely *cough*)

    Haha! OKay, I shouldn't be laughing, because it isn't funny, but ohmygod, that is, uhm, yeah. (P.S. Sorry he almost killed you, but it is pretty funny he put her to sleep.)

    CONGRATS TO YOUR BROTHER! :D And love the teal colour. And Posy and Murphy <3, look at all the cuteness.

    Dude that is awesome and it is exciting, don't down play it!:)

    Haha, an oboe playing alligator, that's new.

    No, The Hardest Game of 'Would you Rather' is evil. Very, very evil. I don't want to think about dropping a book in a lake or accidentally set it on fire, poor books.

  18. I feel so dumb having to do it! I even bring the finger counting out *facepalm*

    Yeah Jim Dale is on MY LIST. He does have a lovely speaking voice though, so I'm willing to give him another shot. Just DEFINITELY NOT HARRY POTTER. (It's all Hermione taaaalking like thiiIIIIs aaAAAll the tiiiiiiiiime in a man's falsetto)

    Yeah I'm super proud of him :) He's used college for the reason he went to it - networking, and he's done some pretty impressive things. (And right now he's in THAILAND where he's going to live for a month and I am SO. FREAKING. JEALOUS.) And thank you! I really want to cut my hair short again...but...it's not so easy to have fun hair dye things with really short hair so I'm torn :-/

    I liked Shannon's take on it - make the book go out in the most epic way ever haha

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