Fan Art Friday: May the Force Be With You

Welcome back to our Star Wars coloring book club, where Kiri at Star Wars Anonymous and I color the same image every month to compare and contrast.

I hope you all had a good Star Wars Day yesterday! ¬†I wore R2-D2 socks at work ūüôā

20170502_151516

For this pattern, I was going to do my normal three- or four-color palette, but I got bored partway through and kept adding more colors. ¬†I was originally going to do all the X-wings in blue, but after I did one, I changed my mind. ¬†I remembered that many of the Rebels’ and Resistance’s fighter squads are named after colors, so I went with a rainbow theme to showcase all the different squads that helped take down the Death Stars (and Starkiller Base).

Some of the well-known squadrons include:

  • Blue Squadron (present at the Battle of Scarif)
  • Black Squadron (Poe Dameron’s group present at Starkiller Base)
  • Red Squadron (Luke Skywalker’s group present at the first Death Star)
  • Gold Squadron (actually a Y-wing group, but also present at the Battle of Scarif and the first Death Star)

I’m sure there are more in Legends, also!

I also started doing the swirly parts as gold and green, but got bored partway through and switched to blue and green. ¬†Hence, this month’s picture is very colorful! ¬†Kiri’s is also very colorful; check hers out here!

You can also see a red pencil mark at the bottom of the page; that’s from when I was coloring the picture on the opposite page! ¬†Oops. ¬†Hilariously, I accidentally made a mark on the other page while I was coloring this one…

For next month, I used Kiri’s trick of opening the book to a random page. ¬†But this one looks pretty interesting:

20170510_090126

Sunshine Blogger Award

Thanks to Ellie at Blogging for Dopamine for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award!  Ellie is another nerdy girl who blogs about books, gaming, and science.

sunshine-award

For this award, the rules are:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions set by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and then write 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger award logo in a post/on your site

My award images are kind of taking over the whole side of my blog now, so I’m thinking of moving them to my About page.

Aaaand the questions from Ellie:

  1. Are you hooked on any particular TV show at the moment? What is it?

The only two current shows I’m really watching right now are The Expanse (great space sci-fi) on SyFy and Into the Badlands (martial arts epic) on AMC. ¬†I’d definitely recommend both.

I’m also always watching Asian dramas on Netflix; my recent favorites are Hello, My Twenties and Descendants of the Sun, the latter of which I would recommend to anyone. ¬†It’s probably the best Kdrama I’ve ever seen.

2. What was the last book you read? How did you find it?

The last complete book I read was Eligible, a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, by Curtis Sittenfeld.  I read it all in one day, and it was an entertaining read; I liked the characters and some concepts, but it lacks the wit and depth of the original.

I am currently in the middle of The Princess Bride by William Goldman, which is wonderful, just like the movie.

3. Battle of the entertainment mediums! Which is your favourite ‚Äď books, TV, films, comic books, video games, tabletop games etc.?

Books!  I could not live without books.  (And 99% of the time, the book is better than the movie anyways.)  But I also greatly enjoy all those other media, especially comics/manga and games.

4. Is there any fictional character you have always wanted to be? Who?

Hmmm, I’m not really sure. I guess my fake namesake, Meiling Li from Cardcaptor Sakura. ¬†Also, I would love to be Belle from Masque,¬†one of my favorite Beauty and the Beast retellings. ¬†She just seems to be so full of life and on top of things.

5. Science or technology?

Well, I am “science” and my husband is “technology,” so I get plenty of both in my daily life. ūüôā

6. Have you ever read a book that you felt was written just for you? What was it?

I have read many books where I felt it was just the right time for me to be reading it. ¬†But I’m not sure I’ve ever felt a book was written just for me.

7. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would you choose?

Pasta!  I love to eat plain noodles with a little butter and parmesan cheese.  It would take me a really, really long time to get sick of it.

8. Can an adaptation ever be better than the original?

Sure!  Some stories and some visions are just well-suited for a certain medium.  Even movie adaptations of books can improve on them, giving needed editing and streamlining while adding visual interest.  Some movies I think were better than the book: The Jane Austen Book Club and The Help.  I could make an argument for Catching Fire and The Princess Bride, too.

9. Who is the most famous person you’ve met?

Probably Marissa Meyer, whom I met on a tour for her book Heartless.

10. What’s your favourite season?

Probably summer, because I love warm weather best. ¬†But I will say that Ohio’s best season is unquestionably fall.

11. Share one of your favourite quotes!

“Fear cuts deeper than swords.”

This is a line from A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin. ¬†I’m going to embroider it on a pillow or something someday. ¬†Like Arya, I repeat it like a mantra for strength.

No nominations from me this time because I’m just too busy, but feel free to consider yourself tagged if you’d like to answer these questions, too!

 

Movie Review: Your Name (Kimi no Na wa)

Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) was the biggest movie in Japan last year—it is now the fourth-highest grossing film of all time in that country. ¬†It was technically released for one week in LA last year, in order qualify for Oscar consideration…an then it wasn’t even nominated. ¬†Luckily, it was brought back to US theaters this weekend, where I was able to see it.

A synopsis of the story from Google:

The day the stars fell, two lives changed forever. High schoolers Mitsuha and Taki are complete strangers living separate lives. But one night, they suddenly switch places. Mitsuha wakes up in Taki’s body, and he in hers. This bizarre occurrence continues to happen randomly, and the two must adjust their lives around each other. Yet, somehow, it works. They build a connection and communicate by leaving notes, messages, and more importantly, an imprint. When a dazzling comet lights up the night’s sky, something shifts, and they seek each other out wanting something more – a chance to finally meet.

And here’s the English trailer (you can find the Japanese one here):

It’s easy to see why this movie was so popular last year. ¬†The animation is gorgeous, and the story is a great mix of genres, with a feeling I would call bittersweet, tinged with hope. ¬†I think even people that don’t normally like “anime” would like this movie.

I’m not sure how long Your Name will be in theaters, but I’d definitely recommend seeing it while you can. ¬†I was able to find a theater only 30 minutes away from me showing it in both dubbed English and Japanese with subtitles. ¬†(I’m sure it will be out on DVD soon, too.)

I saw it with subtitles and loved it. As always, there are some things that just won’t translate well. There’s actually a really funny scene where Mitsuha has switched into Taki’s body and speaks to his friends using “watashi,” and when they give her a weird look for using such a feminine form, she starts cycling through pronouns until she arrives at “ore,” which they finally accept as normal.

There’s plenty of other humor, too, which is a nice balance for the pathos of the story. No spoilers, but it ends up being way more complex than a simple teenage body-switching story.

The last thing I want to mention is the music! ¬†As you can hear from the trailer, the music is done by a J-rock group named RADWIMPS, and it is amazing. ¬†You can stream the soundtrack several places, including Spotify. ¬†There are even English versions of the songs from the movie. ¬†Definitely check out the opening song “Yumetourou,” the ending song “Nandemonaiya,” and the theme heard in the trailer “Zenzenzense.”

You can also check out the MV for “Sparkle” here¬†with clips from the movie.

Hope you all enjoy this one as much as I did!

Fan Art Friday: Judge me by my size, do you?

Welcome back to our Star Wars coloring book club, where Kiri at Star Wars Anonymous and I color the same image every month to compare and contrast.  This month we are featuring Yoda, looking young and spry.

wp-1490566989201.jpg

I like this one much better than last month’s! ¬†I started with a color scheme of yellow (for the flowers), green (for Yoda), and brown (for his robes), and then added some blue to the background for interest.

Above Yoda’s head is the symbol of the Jedi Order. ¬†That, plus the lightsaber in hand, makes me think this is Prequel Yoda (as I said, he also looks pretty spry). ¬†I remember being really awed in the theater when Yoda busted out his lightsaber and started jumping around. ¬†As a shorter-than-average person, Yoda is such an inspiration!

I didn’t quite get the “glowing” effect I wanted on the lightsaber, so I tried to make the Jedi Order symbol glow, and I really like the way it turned out.

Here’s a step-by-step of my progress:

 

Parental Trolling, lvl 50

This is a story of how my parents trolled me…on my birthday, no less!

You may remember that one of my pet peeves is cute holiday imagery of penguins and polar bears living together in harmony, because as a biologist I know that penguins and polar bears do not overlap in the wild.  Penguins live in the south pole (only Galápagos penguins live near the equator), and polar bears live in the Arctic.  Never the twain shall meet.

My mom also makes me a creative birthday cake every year. ¬†She’s done Jane Austen books, a Skellig Michael landscape, and even jungle animals. After I analyzed the species of the jungle animals, I think she assumed I’ll always be blogging about her cakes.

So here’s what I got this year:

wp-1491058047215.jpg

Yes, she spent hours making these intricate cupcakes, just for the sake of irritating me by putting polar bears and penguins together. ¬†She has whole books full of cupcake designs, so I imagine that once she saw these two animals she couldn’t resist.

To be fair, they were really cute, and also tasty.