I kind of want to run George R. R. Martin over with my car.

So I don’t usually do the daily prompt, but yesterday’s prompt looked like a nice little goldmine of possible humor, so I decided to go ahead and do it anyway. The prompt is:

Kick It

What’s the 11th item on your bucket list?

 

Of course, in order for my eleventh item to gain any significance, I should probably tell you my first ten, which are the following:

1) To save someone’s life

2) To take someone’s life. (Preferably Jeb Bush, but I’ll settle for his loved ones.)

3) To get thrown in jail for a joke I made on the Internet. (#2 should get this done.)

4) To get a book published.

5) To somehow join the cast of Orange is New Black.

6) To work a night shift as a paramedic. (I have no idea why, but this really appeals to me.)

7) To become old and overweight enough so that I could get a job as Santa Clause at the mall.

8) To Kill a Mockingbird.

9) To become fluent in another language. (Could it be dothraki? I wanna learn dothraki.)

10) To sign up for sky-diving, only to back out at the last moment. 

And number eleven is . . .

. . .

. . .

To meet one of my favorite authors in real life. 

Ha! Didn’t see that coming, did ya? Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever met a famous author in real life. Well, maybe I did and I just didn’t recognize them at the time. I’m reasonably sure that both John Green and Stephen King were within thirty miles of my house at one point, because 1) Stephen King totally name-dropped my hometown in one of his short stories, and 2) A major plot point of John Green’s Paper Towns has to do with the sort-of town of Agloe, New York, which (fun fact!) is also sort of close to where I live.

Unfortunately, both of these stories were written before I became a fan of their work, so if I had bumped into them at one point while their doing research, I don’t think I would’ve known. 

That being said, if I had to pick the author I’d most want to meet, it would be either Maggie Stiefvater or George R. R. Martin. For completely different reasons.

I want to meet Maggie because there’s a whole bunch of questions I’m dying to ask her, mainly:

  1. “The check engine light in my car is back on, and I just got it back from the repair shop yesterday. What’s up with that?”
  2. “Also, my car makes squeaking sounds whenever it’s really cold out. Is that normal?” And:
  3. “How do you pronounce your last name?”
You can’t deny Martin’s sense of fashion.

If I ever met up with George R. R. Martin, I’m not sure what I’d say. I’d ask him about his books, although somehow I don’t think he’d want to talk about it, considering that rather unfortunate case of writer’s block he’s had on and off for the last, oh, fifteen years or so. (The poor guy.)

Instead I’d ask him, “Hey, would you mind if I ran you over with my car? Because Stephen King had a similar problem as you with his Dark Tower series. I don’t know what exactly was his issue with that story, but it was only until after he was hit by a car that he started to write them at a fast pace.”

He’d probably say no, or maybe he’s become so desperate at this point that he’d actually consider it. Either way, I’m running that fucker over. I’ll slam on my gas pedal so hard he won’t even see me coming. Hopefully I’ll get to meet Maggie before I meet him, so she could give me advice on how do this with the least likelihood of killing the guy. 

Please don’t judge me. I love Martin’s books. I’ll just do whatever it takes to get more of them. 

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My Ten Favorite Shows Ever (This List is a Doozy)

I’m pretty sure I’ve done a Top Ten Shows list, but if I did it must’ve been so long ago that I have lost all recollection of it. Plus, my list has probably changed since then, so here we are.

10) Phineas and Ferb

Oh, Phineas and Ferb. Quite possibly the greatest animated show of this decade. Of course, it’s the only animated show I’ve watched in the last year, so perhaps I’m not the best judge of these things.

Anywho, this show is technically a kid’s show, but it’s so smartly-written that people of all ages can enjoy it. Not to mention how rewarding it is to long-term viewers, with the inside jokes it sprinkled into every episode. The show’s basically like a children’s version of Family Guy, except, y’know, funny.

Favorite Character: Heinz Doofenshmirtz, due to his ridiculously tragic backstory.

9) The Leftovers

People like to hate on this show, because it’s written by the guy who wrote Lost. I’m not sure I fully understand why people didn’t like Lost, but I for one loved every moment of it, so when I found out the creator of that show was making a new one I had to check it out. Plus, the trailer piqued my interest.

I mean, look at the trailer. You see people crying, sexual content, more people crying, violence, more violence, more sexual content, all while this dark-yet-groovy song plays in the background. You can tell from the trailer that this is an angry, angsty show.

A lot of people criticize it because it’s too angsty, and depressing, and they do have a point. The show can be accurately summed up as “Sad people being sad.” But I liked it anyway, because of how it portrays grief and the ways characters handle it. (Hint: they handle it badly). Plus, the acting is amazing, from every member of the cast, and not to mention, the soundtrack is glorious. 

Favorite character: Nora.

8) Scrubs

Sure, the show got way too wacky near the end, but the first four or five seasons were a near-perfect blend of comedy and drama, as far as I recall.

A lot of people think of the show as a simple, light-hearted sitcom, but it managed to get pretty damn dark at times. In one episode a main character’s best friend dies and he hallucinates about him for the entire second half. One episode was basically just two main characters sitting in a room with a terminally ill patient, giving him comfort before he died. One episode started off with a voiceover saying “Out of every three patients admitted in the ICU, one of them will die,” as the three interns are introduced to three separate loveable patients. This has the audience wondering, “hmm, I wonder which one of them will die,” up until last few minutes when all three of them die, because fuck you, viewers, statistics don’t always match perfectly with the situations given.

And yet, the show still had times for scenes like this:

Favorite character: Elliot for the first three/four seasons. Then it’s Dr. Cox.

7) Game of Thrones

This would have been in top three a month ago, but after season 5 it’s slid down a bit. Mostly due to the fact that last season was sort of terrible, in most parts. That whole Dorne storyline was a complete disaster, and Sansa in Winterfell was a huge disappointment. (I had such high hopes for that storyline, too.) Also, it’s getting too depressing, and it’s pissing me off how Ramsay is apparently some sort of unstoppable supervillain incapable of making mistakes. Not to mention the unexplained disappearance of Ser Pounce.

But hey, the first season of show was perfect, in my eyes, and the second, third and fourth seasons weren’t too shabby either. So for that it makes the list.

Favorite character: Arya Stark

6) Doctor Who

A ridiculously inconsistent show, in which you’ll have a bad episode followed by an amazing episode followed by a terrible episode followed by an okay episode. When Doctor Who is bad, it’s very, very bad. But when it’s at its best, it’s truly one of the best shows on television.

Also, it’s been around for over fifty years, so I feel like I should give it points for that.

Favorite character: The Doctor, obviously.

5) The Walking Dead

The first episode of this show was brilliant, but I feel like it was all downhill from there. Season 2 was pretty terrible, and season 3 was fun, but it wasn’t particularly well-written and ended with the most anti-climactic finale ever. But then a new showrunner took over, and while season 4 was hardly perfect and the first half of season 5 was a bit of a mess. (Why did that character die again? What was the point of that whole storyline?), by the time we got to Alexandria the show was firing on all cylinders. The story suddenly went into a completely different direction, and the results were brilliant. I love Dark Rick, and Evil Carol, and Badass Glenn, and barely-in-the-show-anymore Tara. The Walking Dead has grown a beard, I’d say. (Don’t click that.)

Favorite character: I have a soft spot in my heart for Tara, who has been my favorite since the moment she was introduced. Though I do wish she’d get more than a few lines every couple episodes. Oh well. Hopefully she isn’t eaten alive next season.

4) Lost

I feel like the reason a lot of people hate on this show was because they were only watching it for the mystery aspect. They took a show with amazing characters, storylines and themes and subtext and they watered it down to a list of questions they wanted answered. And I feel like that’s a terrible way to watch any show, especially this one.

Sure there’s a lot of mysteries, and some of them are never answered and others are answered in unsatisfactory ways, but for me the show was never about the mystery. I just wanted to see what beloved characters like Jack and Sawyer and Desmond and Claire (loved Claire for some reason) were up to, and I just wanted them to have a satisfying ending. And they did.

That’s right, the ending was in fact, a great ending. Flawed, but still great. I said it, and I will stand by that decision for the rest of my life.

Favorite character: Desmond.

Holy shit is Walt terrifying

3) Breaking Bad

The story of a high school chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin, this is one of the rare TV shows where each season was better than the one before it. In terms of writing and cinematography, this show is pretty much flawless. I have only one complaint about the show, but I can’t get into it right now due to spoilers. (Please ask me below, so I can rant accordingly.)

Favorite character: Mike. I’d like to pet his oddly shaped head.

2) Orange is the New Black

While yes, objectively speaking, this show does not deserve a higher rank that Breaking Bad, but I’m going to give it one anyway, if only because I find the show much more enjoyable to watch, even though it gets very dark and emotional at times. BB was great and all, but it was so tense that I found it painful to watch for the majority of the show’s run. Each episode was like having an hour long minor heart attack. OitNB, meanwhile, is significantly less exhausting, while still maintaining a high quality of writing.

Oh, those glorious characters. From the heartbreaking and hilarious Crazy Eyes to the clinically insane yet still lovable Morello*, every one of the many characters on this show, characters you rarely get to see on television, are wonderful in their own way.

Favorite character: Taystee, due to her love of books.

1) The Wire

It’s amazing how a show with no soundtrack, except for that one tune they play in the final five seconds, can be my favorite show. Usually, the show’s soundtrack is the primary factor in how I pick my shows (see: #9), and yet this show has none. But that’s okay. The Wire doesn’t have a score, because it’s too busy keeping things real.

Every heartbreaking tragedy hits hard, because you know that things like this have actually happened to people and are still happening today. This is a show that can make a marker stain on someone’s couch end up being the saddest thing ever, and make a man walking up a staircase a hugely celebratory moment. The show plays with your emotions without even trying.

Other things this show has going for it:

  • Morally ambiguous characters.
  • Subtlety.
  • Ridiculously talented child actors.
  • Ridiculously talented adult actors.
  • Humor!
  • Insights on the human condition.
  • Diversity.
  • More diversity.
  • Realism.
  • Multiple storylines that interweave seamlessly.
  • Social commentary.
  • Themes.
  • Motifs.
  • Parallels.
  • Non-gratuitous violence.
  • Chris Partlow. (The most terrifying male character on television?)
  • Snoop. (The most terrifying female character on television? She shoots people with nail guns, people. Stay away.)
  • Cool camera angles.
  • Badass moments.
  • A critical look at the war on drugs.
  • A critical look on politics
  • A critical look at the education system.
  • A critical look at journalism.
  • A critical look at whatever the hell season 2 was about. (I think it was about boats, or something?)

I admit, readers, season 2 of The Wire was a bit weak compared to the rest of it, but it was still better than 90% of everything else on television.

Basically, if you could go through your life having only watched one TV show, let it be this one. Even if you’re not hooked on the first few episodes, keep watching anyway. You won’t regret it, or I’ll give you your money back.

Favorite character: Rhonda Pearlman. She was chill.

*Is there a specific reason why Morello isn’t in a mental hospital instead of a prison? She should really be getting some sort of psychiatric treatment.

_____

So, that’s my list. What do you think of it? What are your top ten favorite shows? Do you agree? Do you disagree? Are you surprised that Sherlock isn’t there? Because I admit, by this point I’ve forgotten that show’s entire existence. What was it about again? Something about baking, I believe…

A Slightly Belated Valentine’s Day Post

I’m back, bitches!

Sorry for the profanity. I just felt like adding “bitches” to the sentence would add more punch to it, so to speak. Anywho, I was recently nominated for two valentine’s day-themed awards, and while admittedly it’s no longer Valentine’s day, it’s still never too late to talk about the romance. (Ladies?)

So thank you, Engie, for nominating me. Oh, and thank you for that eCard thingy you sent me a few weeks back, which I will not reveal to the readers for sole purpose of being coy. You have no idea how happy that made me.

To start off with the first award, the Be My Valentine Book Tag:

Who is your favorite couple in a book?

Gregor and Luxa from the Underland Chronicles. They were adorable, in a slightly painful-to-watch sort of way.

Which book character would you take to dinner if you could?

As in, a date? Because I ain’t paying no check. And I’d feel bad if she had to pay for the whole thing, so I’d have to pick a character willing to dine and dash. Therefore, I pick Cameron Post, because she’s not likely to be fussy about taking things without paying.

Of course, it’s very, very unlikely that Cam (can I call her Cam?) would be interested in me. (Read the book, people!) So instead I’ll go with Blue Sargent, from The Raven Cycle. I feel like the two of us would get along well. We both similar senses of humor, sort of.

Villains deserve a little love, too. Which villain would you give a box of chocolates to?

Hm, could I pick Fiona from my own story, More Than I Can Chew? Because sure, she sort of ruined everything for everyone, but she still had one hell of a rough day.

No, Matt. You can’t choose your own character, you obnoxious egomaniac.

Fine then. I choose Daenerys Targaryen, who could be considered a villain, depending on who you ask. She’d probably be all, “What’s this?” And I’d say, “It’s chocolate,” and she’d say, “What in the seven hells is chocolate?” And then I’d have to explain the whole concept and manage to convince her it’s not poison. Hopefully she’d find the chocolate so delicious that she decides to stop pursuing the iron throne to start a chocolate milk factory, giving her army and dragons to me instead.

Be a Matchmaker; pick two characters from two different stories and pair them up.

Samantha Black Crow (American Gods) with an adult Cameron Post (Miseducation of Cameron Post). I just figured, they’re both really cool characters, so if they get together they’d be twice as cool.

What book setting would you like to visit while on a date?

Dorne, from A Song of Ice and Fire. As of the latest book, it’s easily the most peaceful and most tolerant of the seven kingdoms. Not to mention, with winter coming, I’d want to be as far south as possible. Those white walkers, am I right?

It’s not all about romance. What’s your favorite non-romantic relationship in a novel?

Paul Sheldon and Annie Wilkes. (I feel like I’m going about this question the wrong way . . .)

Venturing out of the book sphere for a bit: What song makes you feel loved?

“I Got You Babe,” by Etta James. This song wouldn’t be nearly as great if I didn’t connect it with this scene from The Last of Us:

Who is your favorite couple in a movie/TV show?

Frank and Claire Underwood from House of Cards. They’re both terrible people, but as a couple they are very unique, not to mention powerful. And neither of them seem to have any qualms about a spontaneous three-way with their security guard, which is pretty cool.

Now for the most important question of all: What is your favorite shade of red?

Blue. Because fuck you, that’s why.

(Just so you all know, I’ve spent the last few days finishing the final season of The Wire, which may cause an increase in colorful language.)

And now for the second tag:

Favorite couple ever? You want to have their relationship.

Eleanor and Park, because they fit together, like milk and cookies, or handstands and foot rubs.

Relationship that never happened? You wanted them to get together, but they never did.

Two certain characters from The Book Thief. I will not say more for spoilers’ sake, and because after three years I still find it a bit tough to talk about. #brokenheartsstaybroken.

Your bookish crush?

Hmm… I’m a huge fan of post-AGOT Sansa Stark, and am a huge fan of her from ASOS on.

Favorite “feel good” romance?

By this, do you mean a romance book with a happy ending? Because all the love stories I read tend to be tragedies. I guess I’d have to go with Paper Towns, where the romance was probably the least “feel good” part of the novel. Margo was sort of kind of a little bit of a terrible, terrible person, and Quentin was unhealthily obsessed with her. But hey, they were adorable as kids together.

(I think I’m going to write a “In Defense of Paper Towns” post one day, because lately I’ve been seeing a lot of criticisms of that book. And while everyone’s entitled to their opinions and whatnot, I do feel like some people are kind of… missing the point. Will discuss later. Possibly.)

Favorite genre to add romance to?

I don’t know. Urban fantasy? I say this because The Raven Cycle is the only urban fantasy series I think I’ve read, and the romance was great, and no one can say otherwise.

And that is all for questions. I refuse to nominate anyone because Valentine’s Day has come and past. Also, Valentine’s is a pretty stupid holiday anyway, essentially a Scam created by Evil Corporations so we’d Spend Money, or at least that’s I hear from a couple billion or so people each year.

To end this post, here’s a picture of two giraffes in love.

Top Ten Game of Thrones Point of View Characters

This one’s for all you Game of Thrones fans out there. Though you should keep in mind that I’m basing this list off: 1) the characters in the books who get their own point of view chapters, and 2) their book personality, instead of their TV one. Though I will be very careful not to spoil anything that hasn’t already happened on the show.

10) Asha Greyjoy.

Asha is sort of a terrible person. She has no qualms about killing people, she’s a bit rude, and that prank she plays on Theon was a little too mean, even if Theon was a terrible person at the time. But like most, if not all, of the female characters in this series, she gains audience sympathy through all the sexist bullshit she has to put up thanks to Westeros’ rather terrible society. She’s only a minor POV character, and she’s only had one ridiculously over the top sex scene so far, but she’s still made herself a memorable addition to the cast.

9)  Eddard Stark

He was a bit of an idiot, but he was an honorable idiot, and one that we could all get behind. You know someone’s a great character when his death is still causing conflict four books after it happened.

8) Catelyn Stark

Sure, Catelyn has made some huge mistakes, but so does everyone else in the Stark family. And sure, she was mean to Jon, but he’s a tough kid. I’m sure he’ll be fine. Besides, her flaws are what makes her human to begin with. I don’t want to read about an all-knowing mother who knows what’s best for her family and always makes the best decisions.

All the decisions she’s made, however, were made because she loved her children and would do anything for them. Which makes her the most tragic character in the entire series, in my eyes. Her primary motivation throughout everything is to keep her family safe, and she dies thinking she failed to do that. As far as she knows, Bran, Rickon, Robb, Arya and Ned are all dead, and Sansa is trapped in King’s Landing with the Lannisters. She straight up loses her mind in the final paragraph, which also might be the saddest paragraph in the History of Ever:

“It hurts so much, she thought. Our children, Ned, all our sweet babes. Rickon, Bran, Arya, Sansa, Robb . . . Robb . . . please, Ned, please, make it stop, make it stop hurting . . . The white tears and the red ones ran together until her face was torn and tattered, the face that Ned had loved. Catelyn Stark raised her hands and watched the blood run down her long fingers, over her wrists, beneath the sleeves of her gown. Slow red worms crawled along her arms and under her clothes. It tickles. That made her laugh until she screamed. ‘‘Mad,’’ someone said, ‘‘she’s lost her wits,’’ and someone else said, ‘‘Make an end,’’ and a hand grabbed her scalp just as she’d done with Jinglebell, and she thought, No, don’t, don’t cut my hair, Ned loves my hair. Then the steel was at her throat, and its bite was red and cold.”

If that paragraph doesn’t make you pity her at least a little bit, then you’re simply a terrible person.

7) Theon Greyjoy

I think Theon beats out Catelyn as the most tragic character in the entire series, not because he was such an outstanding guy or anything, but because the horrible fate he was given was almost entirely the result of his own terrible decisions.

As much as you all may hate him, you can’t really deny that he was well written. Well, you can, I would be forced to disagree with you. Throughout A Clash of Kings, my feelings for him kept going back and forth between hatred and pity. Sure, he was an arrogant, misogynist tool, but he was so lost and misguided, it was sad. He was kind of like Hamlet, I think. I’ve never actually read Hamlet, but I’ve heard someone compare him to Theon once, so that’s the comparison I’m going to use.

6) Jon Snow

I’m going to be honest, I found Jon Snow kind of boring in the first two books. He wasn’t as charismatic or as witty as the other characters, and he was a bit mopey and all “Boo hoo, I’m a bastard. Feel bad for me!” shtick in the beginning.

Then Ygritte showed up, and things got interesting. Suddenly I found myself invested in his storyline, and actually looking forward to his chapters. In A Storm of Swords, Jon grew from a whiny teenager to a mature adult, having gone through more struggles and dilemmas than most people have to face in their entire life. George R. R. Martin gets a lot of crap for how he treats his characters, but in ASoS he gives Jon a surprisingly uplifting ending, and considering how much hell he went through, it felt earned.

The ending to A Dance with Dragons was slightly less happy, but, well, this is A Song of Ice and Fire, after all.

5) Daenerys Targaryen

Oh, Dany. I feel like she has the most inconsistent storylines in the novel.

In A Game of Thrones, she had what might just be my favorite storyline in the entire book, as she grows from timid child to courageous, slightly violent queen. (with dragons!)

In A Clash of Kings the only interesting she did was go into the House of the Undying. I don’t remember a single thing else of interest to happen to her in that book.

Then A Storm of Swords came, and she started conquering cities, lighting people on fire, and just generally just being a total badass with those dragons of hers.

In A Dance with Dragons, she spends the majority of her time, ruling over Meereen (a doomed cause, as everyone but her can see) and doing everything but preparing to invade Westeros, something the readers have been waiting almost five thousand pages for already.

Despite the inconsistency of her storyline, she’s still one hell of an interesting character.

4) Sansa Stark

Sansa gets a lot of hate, especially in the first book, where she managed to be spoiled and bratty and pretty disillusioned with reality. It’s hard not to dislike her in the beginning.

But you’ve really got to question the empathy of people who still hate on Sansa, even after Ned died. I mean, the fact that the words, “I don’t want to marry you. You chopped off my father’s head!” actually made sense for her to say is just. . . horrible, in so many ways.

But I didn’t rank her so highly simply because of the horrible circumstances she’s forced into. I did so because of how well she managed to survive Joffrey, and the rest of King’s Landing, and not lose her humanity like all the other characters. She may not be stabbing people left and right like her sister, but she’s still easily one of the strongest characters in the wholes series.

3) Jaime Lannister

Keep in mind, I’m only talking about Book Jaime here, not the TV’s version, who is not nearly as complex and roughly twelve and a half times less likable. Being lazy, here’s a quote from myself, during my review of the Game of Thrones episode “Two Swords.”

One of my favorite parts about the show (and the books) is how Jaime Lannister actually ends up being a likeable character. While sure, the jerk-turned-nice guy development has been done to death, you rarely see a character who starts off as big of a jerk as the Kingslayer himself. I believe he’s first introduced having sex with his twin sister, and then, thirty seconds later, pushing a child off a castle.

(Of course, you can argue that his real motive was that he knew how boring Bran’s storyline would become, and so he tried to stop it from happening beforehand. Unfortunately, this backfired, when it turned out that shoving him out the window was the very thing that caused his boring storyline in the first place. If you think about it, Jaime was a hero from the very beginning.)

But then he got his hand cut off, which was a huge traumatic incident. I mean, that was his sword hand; his child-shoving hand! Even though he was jerk, I still felt a little bad for him. And after that moment, he continued to improve as a human being, to the point where he’s actually coming to be one of the more noble characters in the series. (Which isn’t saying much, to be honest.)

2) Arya Stark

Does anyone not like Arya? She has one of the most tragic storyline in the entire series, starting off as a fun, spunky eight year old girl to a cold-blooded murderer. I liked her the best in A Clash of Kings, where I wasn’t yet concerned by her unhealthy bloodthirstiness, because I hated her enemies almost as much as she did. My mixed feelings about the path she goes down aside, she’s the only character (I feel) who’s been consistently interesting to read about throughout the entire series. There was not a moment where I wasn’t excited to read the next of her chapters, which is something I can’t say about the #1 entry for this list.

1) Tyrion Lannister

This may stir some controversy, because depending on who you ask, Tyrion is either a total badass, who is smart and kind and funny and all around a great guy, or he’s an evil, horrible raging misogynist. Who’s right? Both groups. But mostly the first group.

Tyrion is great because he’s the most morally ambiguous character in the entire series. He manages to be loveable in some moments and utterly despicable in others, some of these moments within mere pages of each other. He’ll shoot his father with a crossbow (yeah!) right after strangling a whore to death with the necklace he gave her (uh. . . yeah?).

This guy has done some terrible things in his life, like having a guy cut into pieces and thrown into soup (supposedly) or threatening to rape his eight year old nephew. (Okay, that last part makes it sound worse than it was, seeing as he had no intention of actually going through with it.) He does some pretty terrible things in A Dance with Dragons too, but I can’t talk about that because spoilers.

But he also has the audacity to slap Joffrey in the face, so all is forgiven.

___

What do you think? Do you agree with my list? Do you not agree with my list? Comment below, if you dare.

Books I’ve Thrown Across the Room (TCWT)

(Caution: Spoilers for the listed books. You have been warned.)

I’m not doing the November TCWT blog chain, mostly because I couldn’t think of a decent response, and I’d sort of forgot to apply until it about ten seconds ago. But because I’m a total rebel, I’m going to go back in time and try out one of their old prompts. This one was from all the way back in January 2012, back before I even had a blog:

What are examples of books you’ve thrown across the room? Why did you throw them?

To be honest, I’ve never actually thrown a book across a room, mostly because I have a kindle now, and technology is expensive, and also because I’m not the type of hot-head to actually throw a book full-force at a wall. The most I’d do is put the book down.

Also, books are friends, and we should not harm them in any way.

That being said, here’s a few books that made my throwing arm restless:

1) A Clash of Kings, by George R. R. Martin.

I never threw the book during Ned’s death, or the Red Wedding, because I’d been spoiled beforehand on those moments so it didn’t have as much of an effect on me.

But because Arya’s storyline has mostly been disconnected with the main plot, her future was always a complete mystery. I had no idea where she’d eventually end up or what she’d become; I was just hoping that she would eventually make it back to Winterfell to be with her family. Well, what was left of her family, anyway. Oh, how naive I was back then.

So, going into this book, I was so excited to see the eventual Arya-Bran reunion, and to see the two of them fill each other in on everything’s that happened in the since they’ve been apart. (Bran would be able to summarize all the interesting things he’s done in one sentence: “I met a wildling.”)

But then Yoren died, and my hopes were crushed, sort of like the Viper’s skull. They were briefly lifted when Arya and her friends managed to escape, but then when they were captured by the Mountain’s men, and my hopes were quickly then stabbed in the throat, just like poor Lommy.

On the bright side, this led to what some of the most gripping story arcin the entire series, so I can’t complain much.

2) The Long Walk, by Stephen King.

This was one of those books that I picked up one day, not expecting anything, then by the time I put it down I had read one hundred twenty pages without even realizing it. Seriously, this book was fantastic. Addictive, a tiny bit depressing, and physically painful to read, but I mean that in the best way possible. And all of that was ruined on the final page.

It’s not about what happened at the end of the book, but how sudden, rushed and confusing the whole thing was. It was like the author realized he had thirty seconds left before the deadline, so he just quickly wrote the final page and sent it in.

3) Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson.

When I first read this book, I was in fourth or third grade, and I’d never read a book featuring a major death like this. Or at least, not a major death so random and sudden as Leslie’s was.

Keep in mind, at this age I hadn’t had much experience with this whole “death” thing. I didn’t quite grasp the finality of it all in real life, let alone in a happy-go-lucky children’s book about a wonderful fantasy world.* So I spent the last third of the book expecting Leslie to show up, hopefully by popping out of a cake, and reveal that she wasn’t actually dead at all. When this never happened, I was pretty upset and disappointed.

Looking back at it now, I realize that had my wish been granted, the book would’ve never been so successful to begin with.

*Or at least, that’s what I thought the book was. In my defense, the movie version of the book had just come out and the trailers were so ridiculously misleading that the movie’s marketing team should be sued for false advertisements.

(Also, I apologize for any typos in this post. I’m a tiny bit sleep deprived at the moment, so feel free to point any of them out for me.)

Confession: I Don’t Like Sports

Or more accurately, I am not a fan of watching sports, and I never was, really.

I’ve tried very hard to get into sports, particularly because such a large percentage of my family and friends are obsessed with them, and I was made to feel pretty bad about myself just for not knowing certain (admittedly kind of obvious) facts about the NBA, or the NFL.

Someone would ask me a question like, “Who’s your favorite professional football player?” And I would be thinking Come on come on, think of an NFL player. You have to know at least one. Didn’t Michael Jordan play football once? Not sure if that counts. What about that guy, Ben Roffleburger, I think that’s his name, did he play football? Or was that hockey? Eh, screw it. Roffleburger it is.

“Ben Roffleburger,” I’d say, feigning confidence.

Needless to say, I was made fun of a lot for that mistake. Using the power of hindsight, I decided that for now on, whenever someone asked me who my favorite player was, I’d say J.J. Wilkes. Never heard of him? That’s because he doesn’t exist, or at least, there is no J.J. Wilkes in the NFL, as far as I know.

You see, for whatever reason, sports fans (or at least the ones I know) take an unhealthy amount of pride in their knowledge of the game, so they won’t be willing to admit they don’t know who certain players are. So when I say “J.J. Wilkes,” in an obvious, well-duh-of-course-he’s-my-favorite-player kind of tone, they’ll just go along with it.

To be honest, I think I’ve done a good job at pretending to know what I’m talking about in recent years. In ninth grade, I managed to keep this up for a surprisingly long time with this one guy sitting next to me Geometry. He would always start off by saying something like, “Yooo, did you see the game last night?”

I would read his tone of voice and respond accordingly. “Yeah, I was so pissed.”

“I know right?” He’d then keep talking about the game, while I’d nod and make a bunch of general statements until the class started and we had to be quiet. He eventually figured out I had no idea what I was talking about, but by then it there was only two months left until summer vacation, so I didn’t really care.

Lately though, I’ve been wondering why, exactly, I used to be embarrassed of not liking sports. I guess it’s because of some sort of mental conditioning, in that I’ve been told again and again by the people I grew up with that basically, sports are the greatest thing ever and I’m weird for not loving them. If you were to tell my brother that you preferred to read a book rather than watch a basketball game, he’d look at you in the same way I’d look at someone who just sneezed in my face. It was only a few years ago that I realized 1) my brother is stupid, and 2) you should watch whatever you want, and only if you want to, regardless of what people may think.

Also, sports are really boring to watch. Well, I guess hockey isn’t that bad, but baseball or golf? I’d rather die.

I’d prefer Game of Thrones. Instead of teams we have houses, and instead of ridiculously rich people who throw a ball around for a living, we have a bunch of ridiculously rich people who start wars for a living. It’s better in every single way.

In which I Answer a Couple Questions

yikes!

So the Legendary Miko nominated me for this award, and even said, “You better do this, mister haven’t-posted-that-much-since-summer-hit,” which made me think, “Eh, fair enough.” And here we are. Since I know no one’s really interested in Sunshine Awards (is it bad that the first thing I do is look to see if I got nominated?) I retitled the post and included a picture from Finding Nemo in order to draw y’all in.

So, now to answer the questions:

1) Someone’s hitchhiking on the road. Would you stop and give them a lift or keep driving?

It depends on several factors, such as A: The time, and B: the age of said hitchhiker.

See, if this took place at night (unlikely, since I only have a driver’s permit and am thus unable to drive after sunset), I would not pick any stranger up, because y’know, vampires. And if the hitchhiker was only, say, four years old, then yes I would definitely give him/her a lift, because four year olds should not be walking down roads at night without at least having parental supervision.

2) Would you rather have the ability to heal people or the ability to read minds?

Would I also be able to heal myself? Either way, I choose the former. If I could read minds, I wouldn’t be able to stop reading minds, and then I’ll learn things about certain people that I never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever  wanted to know.

3) In a fighting match between a chinchilla and a turtle, who would win and why?

The chinchilla, because everybody knows that turtles are pacifists. Although I suppose the turtle would have the moral high-ground, so in a way it would be the true winner.

4) Milkshake or Float?

Why not both?

5) Why do you blog?

I started blogging because I liked writing and I thought it would be fun, and I kept blogging because of all the great people I met with the same interests that I had. Do you have any idea how many Game of Thrones fans I talk to regularly in real life? Four. And one of those is me.

Now, time for my question: (Warning, I chose some deep ones.)

  1. Does nature shape our personalities more than nurture?
  2. Who decides what morality is?
  3. When does consciousness begin?
  4. What is time?
  5. What is true happiness?

Good luck answering those questions, nominees. I hereby nominate everyone who reads this blog.

Yes that includes you.

Yes you.

Good luck answering those questions.