I’ve been gone forever WHATEVER LOOK: CHEESE OLIVES.


Guys. GUYS. This is literally the most amazing recipe I’ve ever made. I know, it’s not super exciting. But it’s SO GOOD. Do you like olives? Do you like salty things? GIRLS. FUCKING MERRY CHRISTMAS. This recipe will blow your fucking pants off.


The first time I made it, specifically by the recipe, it was just ok. So here are the adjustments I made:

1) Cayenne is hard to measure. Instead, I added Sriracha to the mix. Basically just about as much as I thought “whoops, that may be too much”, which was about 1.5 tablespoons. I could have added much, much more. Because there are no harmful raw ingredients in the dough, I definitely suggest taste testing.  Tabasco or other hot sauces are also totally cool– anything that will pair well with olives and bread/ the basic flavor of “salt.”

2) The cheese flavor is not crazy. It’s really not. It really bakes into the dough, which gives it a full, savory flavor, but isn’t particular “cheesy,” at least to me. The saltiness/ olivey-ness of it definitely overpowers the cheese.

3) I add a little salt to the dough. I knowwww, dear god weatherly, why? Just the barest amount, like two or three shakes of the shaker. This is because I have a real salt addiction that I will probably pay for with a heart attack around the age of 30. It is what it is. But they do taste magical.

4) I make mine in a toaster oven–  because I live in South Korea in a school-funded apartment and therefore don’t have a real oven. (I JUST got a pan for my toaster oven– which was donated by a friend– today, so I’m really pumped.) I just cooked them on the highest setting (250 degrees for me, I assumed Fahrenheit at the time of cooking… but it’s only just occurring to me at this moment as I type this that it’s a Korean-made oven and therefore actually Celsius. America has prepared me so badly for living abroad it’s actually insulting.)

5) Make a dipping sauce/ enjyo with wine. This is a super salty recipe, even without my heart-melting salt additions (it isn’t that much, I swear), so I suggest either adding a light, fresh dipping sauce (something with dill or like… I dunno… sour cream or something) come to mind. Sour cream is not light. I come from the South (of the United States), my culinary tastes are obviously skewed towards causing heart failure at the earliest possible age. Either that, or do as I do: embrace the saltiness, skip an actual meal, and enjoy wine mixed with cola to balance it out.

7) Completely unrelated but sort of related DRINK note: if you’ve left your wine a day or two, like me, without a cork and it has gone a bit sour: pour in some cola. Not a ton, Ms. Eager McBeaverton, we’re not trying to fund the Coca Cola Corporation here, just a little bit (I’d say, for every (regular mug-sized) glass of shit wine, pour in a good inch of cola. It cuts the sourness, it combats that icky ‘oh shit my wine has gone bad feeling’ and who knows, maybe the caffeine will give you some sort of boost so you can drink even more wine! Probably not. But one can hope.

And that’s all folks! Yep, that’s my idea of a recipe post– take an unhealthy recipe I didn’t make up and make it just that much more unhealthy, plus eat it for dinner! You’ve been a great audience. Tip your waiters.

Man, I’m kind of tipsy with this wine-coke. Someone feed me these cheese olives while I watch Pretty Little Liars and try to remember where exactly I stopped caring who A was.


Korean Surprise! (Or, I’m too overwhelmed to blog, but I finished my first day of teaching.)

Hey, hello. I know I said I’d be blogging every day. I am a liar. I lie. Get used to it.

I *have* been journaling every day, which is easier for me than blogging because I don’t have to worry about other people reading it. (Not that I edit my blog posts, that would be professional, and we all know I don’t strive for anything close to that…)

I’ve been in Korea for *checks calendar* 13 days now.

Wow. It seems both soooo much less than that (I told someone yesterday it was 7 days. Ahh, well. They probably didn’t understand me anyways.) and also seems like I’ve been here a long, long time.

The first day I got to Geumsan, the city I’m living and teaching in, I went and met some of the administrators, and my co-teacher. Then, my co-teacher helped me open a bank account, took me to the grocery store, and dropped me at my apartment, saying ‘ask your neighbors how to set up the wifi.’

I knocked on my neighbor’s door, but of course, she only spoke Korean. Cue me gesturing and miming ‘ethernet’ and ‘wireless’ while looking like I’m planning to either stab her or do a rain dance. It was unsuccessful. I went back to my apartment, looked around at the bare walls, the sheet-less bed, the uncomfortable couch…

And then, I had a nervous breakdown.

Ok, that’s not exactly true. I’ve had major emotional I’ve-lost-it-and-I-will-not-recover moments before, and this wasn’t exactly that. But there was a moment of pure, absurd, unadulterated panic so real and so deep to the core that I found myself sobbing and gasping on the (still sheet-less) bed, hating the decision to move here, the utter ridiculousness of my plans, the complete impossibility of me staying one more moment. When they dropped me off, my parents said “tell us if you’re ready to come home, and we’ll get you home, no matter what.” And in that moment, I wanted to call them and beg for a plane ticket, I would leave all of my belongings at this apartment and walk to the airport if I had to, I couldn’t stay here.

But here I am.

A lot of things kept me from bailing immediately. One, and probably the most influential, was the fact that my pride is fragile, and could not handle the hit that would come from ditching a country I’d just spent months talking about moving to. This was a plan, and goddammit it was a plan I was going to stick to, no matter what.

Another is that I found a PC Bong. This is not an internet-connected smoking device, (finding that would have gotten me thrown in a Korean prison…) it’s an internet cafe where, for 1,000 won an hour ($1/hr), you can soak up the wifi and game to your heart’s content. Or, if you’re me, you can take your macbook and get on Facebook and read about the news and iMessage your dad. Priorities, people. The gaming computers in a PC Bong are in Korean, and though I consider myself very computer-savvy, especially when it comes to MMORPGs, I have so far been able to avoid this particularly hobby due to the learning curve of logging on. Also, because the only people who regularly attend my local PC Bong are preteen boys, and I’m not looking to make a friend list full of those.

Having wifi was more helpful to my happiness than I could ever have thought possible. Call me an addict, but without the easy connection to the outside world I’ve been so used to, I felt so isolated I wouldn’t even entertain the possibility of staying. I didn’t want to explore, I didn’t want to immerse myself in the culture, I wanted to run away and go back to my super boring office job and my easy-to-understand road signs. As soon as I connected to wifi and said hello to my friends and family, things became 1000% times easier.

Fast forward a few days, and I got wifi in my apartment (this is cutting out some things that seemed big at the time, like how long a day is when you can’t waste it on the computer, and how the manager at the PC Bong let me use the wifi for free after the first day, provided I sit at a special table to the side and not take up a gaming station.)

With wifi in my apartment, my life seems almost normal. Well, despite the fact that I can’t understand anything that’s said around me, unless the person is speaking directly to me in English, and besides the fact that I take a bus to school that I just happened to find the stop to on accident. Besides the fact that I do not have any teaching experience whatsoever, but today I taught four classes with only the barest hint of a lesson plan. (Protip: First graders will play bingo for a full hour, if it means winning stickers.) Besides the fact that I still do not understand where the hell to buy garbage bags, (special garbage bags are essential to trash pickup here. As I gleaned from context clues, not from being told specifically.)

I am a little homesick, but not terribly. The food is amazing. (Even the cafeteria food is amazing. My English Coordinator, a guiding light of fluency in the sphere of non-speakers, laughed at me when I said this, but I don’t think he really understands that American cafeteria food is just squares of cardboard with melted cheese on top, plus tater tots.) My apartment is slowly but surely taking the shape of somewhere I like, though I have yet to do laundry. I don’t know. Sometimes I feel like I’m way, way out of my league. Like I’ve walked into the least helpful school in the least prepared district in the least connected network possible, like I have no idea what I’m doing and nobody to ask about it.

But today when I got home, I was in a great mood. I cooked myself a sweet potato (they’re yellow here. What? What is that about?) I’m eating boiled eggs as a dessert, and drinking soju, and thinking about writing lesson plans. I’m doing okay. And I think that’s okay, for now. I am proud of myself for not leaving (again, not that my pride would have allowed me to get on a plane.) I’m also proud of myself for scrapping together something that resembles a life out of a few suitcases, no experience, and just the barest hint of a plan. I’m sure I’ll be upset in the future, and things will go wrong, and I will be worried and confused and wishing the life I’d chosen was easier. But for now, I’m glad I chose the challenge. Because at least in the future I can look back and say, “remember when I did that? Good job me.”

Wow. I should be a motivational speaker, I swear.

I’ll try to blog more. This weekend will hopefully be fairly relaxed, I may go to Daejeon and see the sights (translation: try not to get lost on the bus to Daejeon.)

I have a few book tube videos I want to film, but I’ve been so busy after work that I haven’t done any of them! Tomorrow Tomorrow this is a promise Tomorrow!



My trip so far:

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 11.48.11 AMHad to leave my ukulele (who I’ve recently named Eulah) at home because of a stuffed backpack and the fear of it being crushed. It was a tearful goodbye :( But hopefully my mom will send it along when I get my address. I have to learn to sing more 4-chord songs off-key somehow!

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 11.48.23 AM

This is the ceiling at the Hartsfield-Jackson waiting area that my goodbye crew dawdled under while wondering when exactly to say goodbye. I really expected to cry, but I think I was too tired/too focused on the whole Airporting thing to get choked up. I felt a little bit of a sob coming up when I finally walked away but I am an ADULT and I REPRESSED IT like ADULTS DO. SO THERE.

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 11.48.44 AM

I can’t help but take tons of airport window pictures. This flight was actually air conditioned, unlike my flight to DC, so I didn’t feel like I was going to pass out and die at every bump. It’s the little things.

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 11.48.57 AM

Farewell, Atlanta. I’ve been in you for six years and you’re gonna miss me.

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 11.49.07 AM

One reason this flight was so bomb is the complete lack of people. Like, everyone had their own bench. EVERYONE. Also one of those muscular dudes right there helped me lift my ungodly heavy carryon, so I think this nap was his karmic reward.

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 11.49.18 AM

And nooowwwwww I’m in New York. My ears hurt like HELL on the descent, but I just fought through like the survivor I am. One day they’ll write a biography about me and mention this pain as something heroic I braved. People will quote from it on Tumblr, and you can say ‘I knew her when that was happening.’ You’re welcome.

Chilling at my gate now, cannot WAIT to sleep on this plane. CAN’T WAIT I SAY. I hope they have chargers and a tv, too. And delicious food. And some servants to bring high tea. You know, just the basic amenities would be nice.

Ok, next time I write here I’ll be in Korea, unless something goes horribly wrong. Then, for the love of god, destroy this website and say it was really beautiful and inspirational.


Things People Assume About Korea (and Me, for Moving There)

Pre-Move Thoughts. (I’m on the plane RIGHT NOW as this publishes, by the way. Maybe I’m flying over your head right now, drooling or giving you the finger. Ahh, the magic of modern technology.)

So since announcing that I’m moving to Korea, I have encountered a lot of… preconceived notions about what it will be like. Some of these notions are sourced from people who have first-hand experience, and are trying to share their views (I have a surprisingly large amount of friends who have either lived there in the past or are still currently living there. Moving to Korea, it seems, is a thing.) However, many are sourced from people who… do not have a lot of experience in the subject. Or any experience at all. Perhaps they have never heard of Korea, but believe it to be a vaguely Asian country, and therefore feel bound to discuss it.

This is fine with me. In fact, this is perfectly hilarious to me. As someone who has never visited the Asian continent, much less the tiny country of Korea, I am 100% open to any advice being thrown my way on the subject. So I’m going to record some of the advice and expectations that have been voiced on my move abroad here, for posterity. Also so I can look back and be like “nahhhhhhh” or “yahhhhhhhhh” with the same amount of fervor and confidence the advice givers seem to exude. Future Weatherly, you’re quite welcome.

Expectation #1: South Korea is “Asian” with a capital A.

Most people I’ve talked to seem to view Asia as this sort of… huge mass of slightly different variations on a theme. Whether it’s Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, China, Malaysia– it will be exactly the same as South Korea, according to the advice giver. This got really weird once when someone who spent their summer in Vietnam told me to “watch out for the communist third world black markets” only to find out that South Korea is a democracy with a first-world economy. Pity really. I do love a good politically questionable failing economy. Sigh.

Expectation #2: They eat dog. I will eat dog. Everyone eats dog. Dog is like chicken but cuter, and eaten more often. 

If I had a nickel for every time someone warned me to check and make sure what I was eating wasn’t dog, I’d have the money to buy an education in ‘how to spot dog meat’ and also to fund my own dog nugget factory, as a side gig.

Expectation #3: People will stare at my red hair.

Actually, this one happens in Atlanta, and probably in most other parts of the world. 2% of the world’s population babyyyyyyyyy awwwwww yeahhhhhhhhhhhhh #gingerpower

Expectation #4: I will come back married.

This came from an eager-to-share Korean taxi driver who took my friend Ify around the other day and warned her that some Korean cutie was gonna put a ring on it because the dating culture is outRAGEOUS over there. I mean, I don’t want to tempt fate, but if I’m married after one year abroad, someone better be coming over to test me for head injuries or massive financial debt because something has gone horribly wrong.

Expectation #5: If I go to the DMZ, I will be snatched and kept as a POW in an underground Jong-Un related bunker. 

Because nothing says international politics strategy like the kidnapping of a non-political civilian on American-allied soil! For real though, I can’t lie, of all of these expectations for my big move, this would be my number one choice because hello. I may be kept in an underground bunker, but living in the real life equivalent of a cliche YA dystopian novel under the rule of a crazy dictator would be so banana bonkers that I don’t even think I’d be mad. Impressed, maybe, at my severe lack of any sort of common sense, but prolly not mad. Good job, Hypothetical Future Weatherly, for causing an international incident and being the world’s biggest plonk-for-brains.

Well, that’s just some of the things people have warned me about for my trip to Korea. Comment below if you too have some helpful advice, and I will try to be a sarcastic shit about it in future posts. It’s this sort of give and take relationship that makes life really worthwhile.


T-Minus 9 Hours.

“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place, like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and place because you’ll never be this way ever again.” -Azar Nafisi

Well internet, this is it. It’s actually happening. I’ve stressed (and cried) over transcripts, I’ve stressed (and cried) over classes and degrees, I’ve stressed (and cried) over visas, postponed flights, interviews, last minute mixups, money problems, scheduling conflicts, look, what I’m saying is I’ve stressed (and cried and cried and cried, ok I cry a lot when I’m stressed it’s just what I do, ok, get over it, because I obviously cannot.)

But finally, it’s actually happening. 9 Hours from now I’ll be getting on a flight headed to JFK, then to Korea. I’ve put everything I will own for the next year into three suitcases and a jam-packed backpack (excepting the abundance of Korean kitsch I will no doubt be powerless to acquiring…) I’ve got a passport and a visa, two plane tickets, and about 15 tiny pictures of my face to hand out to various government offices and passing admirers. I’ve got my Ned beside me for the last time for a year. It’s just. It’s totally real.

Boy howdy.

I’ve noticed in times of stress and anticipation that my head voice starts speaking like maybe Pixar is thinking about making a film adaptation of my life. Boy howdy. Buckaroo. Yippee kay yay, mothernufflers. Etc.

Anyways, because it’s my last full day in the states and with my family and in this life I’ve been living for the last xxx number of years, I figured I’d update the old bloggaroo (see? I literally can’t stop with the voice, I may be having an excitement-induced stroke, please don’t call the paramedics though because I have a pretty important plane to catch in 9 (8:45) hours.) My goals I put up in a recent post went… ok. I didn’t start my book tube channel. I think we all saw that coming, so we can move right along…

I did, however, finish my 52 books goal so PARTY OVER HERE, PARTY OVER THERE etc. I slid into finish by completing several issues of the Bravest Warriors comic series, and though at first I thought that was kind of cheating (since they’re both short and hecka adorable, quick reads), I don’t honestly care anymore. As I was explaining the cheating idea to my dad I realized that I’m worried about cheating in a contest with myself over how many books I can read. So. Imma dial back the nerd a little bit and call that a resounding win. I think I’m going to shoot for 75 by the end of the year, because that’s a nice round number and I can’t just read for fun without it being some fight to the death. Competition is in my bones, matey. Argghhhh books. I don’t know where I’m going with this, I told you, my inner monologue really honestly may need to seek medical attention after all this is through.

I’m going to put up a post tomorrow that I’m writing tonight about things I’m expecting, and things other people are expecting, about Korea. Because I feel like there are a lot of confused ideas about me moving there. Like, you know, what my motivation is, and whether I mean I’m moving to South Korea, or I’m looking into a happy residence in North Korea, an authoritarian state that is almost 100% cut off from the outside world and allows no passive entrance of U.S. citizens. Things like that are such a pickle for people.

Ok. That’s enough of that.

Goodnight. I’ll be up and at ’em at my 4 AM WAKEUP CALL FROM HELL. The joys.


June/July Book Haul

I figured I would document all the books I acquired this month and last month. You know, for posterity or history, or brotherhood or something. Most of these books for June and July are bought with my Audible credits or on Kindle Unlimited. This is a fascinating blog post already, I can understand why you can’t get enough of this. Really. It’s impressive. Prepare for a wild ride.

The Bees by Laline Paull

Recommended by: the podcast All the Books by Book Riot, which is my new favorite books-related podcast.

The story follows Flora 717, a bee living in a hive during a time of change. That’s about all I know about it, to be honest. I bought the audiobook with one of my Audible credits, and the narrator has a beautiful voice, but I have very little idea of where the story is going at the moment, (I’m about 15 minutes in). I’ve heard it compared to The Handmaid’s Tale, so I’m assuming dystopian themes abound, and the descriptions of bee life are really interesting so far. I’m having trouble keeping super invested, because they’re… you know… bees. But I am excited for any twists and turns that come up. Who knows, maybe one of them is a wasp in disguise! The stakes, they are high.

Off to be the Wizard by Scott Meyer

Recommended by: Kristina Horner on YouTube.

I’ve been watching Kristina for a while, and I really like her favorites videos, she is very into nerd culture, especially video games, so when she said she adored this series, I put it on my list to-buy. Then, suddenly, it appeared on my Kindle? Maybe it was available for Kindle Unlimited, or maybe I saw the cheap price and thought ‘what the hell, let’s do it,’ but either way, it’s mine now. The book is about a guy who discovers that the whole world is a computer program, and he has the power to manipulate it? I think? So he uses the power to take him and his friends back to the middle ages and they start living as wizards? I think? Yeah, I don’t remember a whole lot about it what she said, only that she liked it. And living in a computer program is something I’ve been interested in reading about since I saw .Hack Quantum. I LOVED THAT, by the way. It’s about these three rad girl friends who play this WoW-type mmorpg where they use virtual reality to go into the world. But then they get trapped in the world and, well, kick ass and stuff. It’s one of my favorite animes. Anyway, right, the book… should be alright.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller 

Recommended by: I found it while researching the Bailey’s prize for fiction, as my current read (The Bees by Laline Paul) is nominated for that.

I got to the Orange Prize and a bunch of others, and found this one, which is apparently about a romantic relationship between Achilles and Patroclus. I’m all for Ancient Greece as a theme in fiction, it has a solid 4 stars on Amazon, and it happened to be $0.99 on Kindle edition so I went ahead and bought it. I’m excited to check it out!

Update: Finished recently, a review coming soon. My heart, it’s broken.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee 

Recommended by: Literally. everyone. ever.

I preordered this a long time ago, and it was delivered to my Kindle on July 14th, so I will definitely be reading this soon! I’ll be honest, although I really liked To Kill a Mockingbird, it’s been AGES since I read it, and it wasn’t an ALL TIME FAVORITE or anything like that, so my motivation to read this one is purely so I can ride the literary excitement wave with everyone else.

This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz

Recommended by: A previous read.

I read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao earlier this year, and although I liked it I wasn’t IN LOVE with it. I did really really love Diaz’s writing, though, and when I saw this one I picked it up (Clicked it up? You know I’m only buying on my Kindle recently, so… yeah.) I’m excited to read this, but I know it’s going to be challenging, because Oscar almost broke my heart.

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes 

Recommeded by: This is, if I’m not mistaken, one of my aunt’s favorite books, so it’s been on my classics-to-read list for a while, but I never knew what it was about.

I clicked it up, and I’ve started the first few pages and so far it’s… good? It’s a weird halting structure at the moment, with the diary entries and the dialectic language, but if the voice is going to change slowly as the main character’s IQ raises, bit by bit, I think I’m really going to enjoy that.

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews 

Recommended by: A… blogger? I think? I don’t even remember buying this one, honestly. It must have been on Kindle Unlimited, those are hard to keep track of because they’re FREE (for all intents and purposes).

I have zero idea what this book is about, but the cover is nice. The way I choose my books is quickly becoming all too apparent.

Getting There: A Book of Mentors by Gillian Zoe Segal 

Recommended by: mhmmm… not sure. Maybe Sanne from Booksandquills on Youtube. Maybe not.

It’s about what it sounds like, a collection of essays from successful-in-their-field people about what it took to become successful. After each essay, there’s a bite size “Words of Wisdom” type section that summarizes the points, and after reading 5 or 6 I realized that for some of them, (like the investment banker… yawn) I would just rather read the boilerplate. I wish there were more writers featured, but then I guess it would be like every other writing advice book out there.

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan – I bought this book for a friend’s birthday, then realized I should *probably* read a book before giving it as a gift. You know, just to make sure it isn’t total shit. You’ve probably heard of this one because of its immediate publication and rise to fame after the untimely death of its young author, just a week after she graduated from Yale. I haven’t gotten very far into this yet, it’s a collection of essays written during writing classes and alone, but so far it’s… not really my thing. I agree with the intro that the writer has an obvious talent, but it’s not a talent so immense that it knocks me over with the power of it, and the stories are not really amazing so far. Definitely intend to finish it, though, especially as I have still not given the gift yet. *Oops sorry Chelsea*

So that’s the book haul for June/July! I anticipate basically zero books bought in the next month or so, because my Kindle is backlogged and Scribd has an AMAZING SELECTION. Seriously, if you’re looking for ebooks or audiobooks with a pretty cheap monthly fee, this is the one for you. Also Kindle Unlimited. Basically, give me a subscription service for books and I’m all over it.

Ok baaaaiiiiiiii


July 2015 In Review (Movies, TV, Games)

July held the end of everyday work schedules and the beginning of my days of lounging at my sister’s house in a wifi- and waiting-induced coma. I’ve watched stuff, I’ve read stuff, I’ve played stuff. I’ve rediscovered my love of going to the movies (and then re-rediscovered the fact that even though I love going to the movies, it’s really really hard to get through a terrible movie. *Cough Insurgent cough*.

Anyways. Here’s the wrap-up.

Movies I watched this month:

Divergent– Ok, I just want to get one thing straight: I’m not a movie snob. Let’s get another thing straight: that sentence was a lie, but not a complete one. The thing is, it really doesn’t take much for me to ‘like’ a movie. Attractive people? Interesting-ish story? Dialogue that could pass for human speech? We’re in business. So when I say I ‘liked’ Divergent, to the movie snobs out there *cough Xander cough* it doesn’t mean I thought it was a good movie. It wasn’t. The book? Even worse. When you start off by sectioning the people into world into Categories and then making the main character part of the Category that is Unique, with the name as a literal synonym for different (*whispers Divergent*), you know you’re not in store for any good literature here. Have you read The Giver? Have you read The Hunger Games? Have you read Uglies? Have you read The Maze Runner? Have you read Insert YA Dystopian Here? Then you’ve read Divergent. There’s really no surprise here, it’s all the same, you can move on without losing a big part of your life. Hell, if I tell you the main characters names here (Four and Katniss-no-I-mean-Triss) you can probably hold lengthy conversations with Divergent fans without them noticing.

That being said, the movie was alright. I liked it. It had action sequences, it had CGI that wasn’t terrible, it had Kate Winslet being a BAMF in a businesswoman suit. It had a forgettable main character who was, let’s be real, less angsty than Jennifer Lawrence in the Hunger Games. It was nice. See it if you want, don’t see it if you don’t want. You’re not missing anything, but your eyes won’t be gouged out by the Gods of Movies Quality if you happen to catch it on HBO Now.

(I also saw Insurgent this month at the Dollar Theater in order to escape the oppressive heat of my non-A/C car, but decided to not include its picture or full review because I almost walked out in the middle of it. It was truly terrible, and there is no other way to approach it.)

(By the way, I can no longer read YA Dystopian because of this SNL skit, which is as close to a perfect representation of my thoughts as any I have ever seen:)

Jurassic World– Walker and I saw this in theaters earlier this month, and I don’t have much to say about it. I liked it, I don’t remember a whole lot of the original series (I may have only seen the first one? And I think that was in sixth grade in Tech Lab class when we weren’t allowed to go into the Tech Lab?) This one was cute. Yes, I’m using that adjective to talk about vicious escaped enemy dinosaurs killing and wreaking havoc on an unsuspecting population. Super cute, even. I liked Chris Pratt, even though he was about as one dimensional of a character as could be. I liked Bryce Dallas Howard, even though she ran around in heels for the entirety of the movie. I actually liked that she was a businesswoman at first and “turned into a family woman” at the end, as some reviews were saying. So often in action movies, it’s the man who gets a character arc and the lady who is the same helpless pile of Gucci suit that she was at the beginning. Yes, she looked to Chris Pratt to save her. He’s a dinosaur trainer, guys. She works in, what, the marketing/tech department at a theme park? I’d be getting him to save my ass too. That’s what he does. It’s refreshing (ish?) to see the man be the one with zero growth, who’s just as durhhh manly guy durrhhh as he started off at the beginning of

Inside Out – 5 stars. Three thumbs way up. I laughed, I cried, I cried, I cried, I mostly cried… I’ve seen almost nothing but positive reviews for this, so let me just add to the pile: I loved this movie. I’ve never seen a more emotionally honest children’s film. And ok, maybe that’s cheating, because it’s literally about emotions anthropomorphized into quirky Pixar adorableness, but it’s just. It’s so good. The way they talk about depression, and happiness, and the need for emotional balance, and the way emotions can be both good and bad, and family and etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. I just loved it. Watch it. You’ll love it. Or you’re a heartless heathen with no soul. Then you’ll at least think it’s pretty.

Tomorrowland- saw this at the Dollar Theater with Walker on our movie day (we saw this first, then Max Max. Thankfully that was the exact right order to see them in…) Walker thought it was just ok, and I agree somewhat– it’s nothing special as far as movies go. Some of the writing is clunky, the acting, while cute, is sometimes hokey, the moral hits you over the head about a dozen times before being actually said out loud by one of the characters… And yet, I liked it. Quite a lot. It was

Mad Max Fury Road- This was, and I want to be very clear about this, the most. stressful. cinema. experience. of. my. life. This includes that time in middle school where I walked into Saw IV on accident right as someone was falling into a pit of needles for no apparent reason other than, oh I don’t know, to make the audience projectile vomit more money at the franchise. Having not seen the other Mad Max films, I had no idea what to expect, but this movie was just gore+action+gore+grit+gore+gross stuff+ a little bit of heart. Like a Disney film, but take away everything happy about it and put the rest of it into a blender with a few rusty cars.

See? It was so stressful I can’t even write about it. That being said, I did… enjoy it? I guess? I did, by the end I was definitely invested in the characters and I was satisfied at the triumphant ending. But the journey there? Never again. Never again I say.

Let’s Be Cops- This was… a movie. That I watched. Walker and I watched it together, after having already seen Tomorrowland and Mad Max and drinking. Maybe it was the drink, but I liked it. I wasn’t in love with it, obviously. It was at times slow as hell (which is weird, considering the whole time I was just waiting for them to get thrown into a federal prison for impersonating police officers and generally being big dumb morons…) But it was cute. I would suggest it for: people who can’t handle anything else stressful because their brains are too filled with cortisol after seeing Mad Max, but also don’t want to see Adventure Time for the tenth time because what babies do that? And also they wouldn’t load. I mean. What.

TV I watched this month:


-Over the Garden Wall– This show is bonkersssssss. BONKERS I SAY. The basic premise is two brothers get lost in the woods, and while trying to find their way back they meet a host of weird and possibly-magical characters. (For example, a talking bluebird that used to be a human girl, a town of pumpkin-headed people, and a creepy as hell woodsman who may or may not be murdering people.) Sounds pretty fairy tale standard, right? WRONG-O. Everything in this show is a non-sequitur, every character has quirks that come out of nowhere that you weren’t expecting, and you can really never tell when someone will break into song. (My favorite so far is Potatoes and Molasses. No, it doesn’t make much more sense in context.)

Suggested for: Steven Universe fans

-Bravest Warriors– Made by some of the Adventure Time creative team, Bravest Warriors is Adventure Time for adults. (Well, at least not-for-kids, since I know more adult AT fans than kid ones. Ok. You get it.) The Bravest Warriors are a team of crime fighting bffs that inherited their parents’ jobs of defending the universe from all kinds of space crazies. It’s adorable, it’s beautifully animated, it’s weird as hell. It’s FIVE STARS ALL AROUND.


Monument Valley– this iPad game is so beautiful. I finished it right before I watched Inside Out, actually, sitting in a Applebee’s by myself and solving the final puzzle was probably the most gratifying, relaxing, zen-like experience that has ever been had in an Applebee’s. This game is a series of M.C. Escher-inspired logic puzzles presented to the main character Ada on her quest to… achieve enlightenment? The actual endgame is a little confusing, though the end sequence tells a very interesting and beautiful visual story that wraps up the game in a fairly satisfying package. Recommended for: Dad. And anybody else that likes Escher, or logic, or beautiful graphics, or zen-like gameplay. Just play it.

Candy Crush -I know, I hate myself too. Sometimes when I have tired myself out but can’t fall asleep, or when I’m listening to an audiobook but don’t have anything else to occupy my hands, or when I’m… ok look, I just like these games. They’re stress relieving. And no, I don’t send invites or pay for extra lives. That’s just embarrassing.

Book wrap-up coming soon! I know you’re on pins and needles waiting for it.