The LEGO Batman Movie

Novel Ninja

the_lego_batman_movie_promotionalposter And I now have this as an actual poster, too.

I haven’t posted in over six months, making this my longest stretch of silence yet. The reason is that I have been extremely busy without a lot to blog about. But this is me; if a movie based on the Lego brand can’t get me back here, what could?

You may recall that two years ago, I got to see an advance screening of The LEGO Movie (and then got interviewed about it on TV). Well, I got the same invite to go see The LEGO Batman Movie, and I took Intern #2 with me as she lives and breathes Batman. (I exaggerate, but only slightly.) My expectations were higher than what I had for the original film, but here’s the short review: my expectations were still exceeded.

Don’t worry. This review is spoiler-free.

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Come On, Take It

Without reservation

According To Hoyt

Yesterday, on a private forum a friend of mine who here will go under the name Sam Anderson said the following:

Patriotism is good. Nationalism through a patriotic lens, seeing your country as worthwhile, as having prospects and things to be proud of, is not only acceptable but necessary for the health of any nation. But MOST especially the United States, because it’s one thing for the French to be ashamed of being French, but at the end of the day, they’re still going to be French. France is established on ethnic and historical foundations, and even if the French think they suck, there can still be citizens of France. Just not very long, since self-loathing aligns you, first metaphorically, then inevitably in practice, with enemies who ALSO loathe you.

But an American just CAN’T believe in nothing, CAN’T reject the philosophy underpinning America, and be one. Philosophy IS America…

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The Liturgy Wars: It’s Not About You

Hear, Hear!

The Catholic Geeks

I’ve already talked quite extensively on why the music we hear at Mass is more than a matter of personal taste.  I’ve already explained why the “art for art’s sake” at the Mass is just as much a problem as the former, just in the opposite direction.  I’ve also taken the time to address why the obligatory pre-Mass Rosary can be abused, and why things that clutter up the end of Mass, like announcements, “children’s bulletins,” and so on, are just as dangerous to our souls as bad music.

I gave good reasons for all of those things, and I think I made fairly convincing arguments, but there’s so much more to it than people just not knowing the proper forms.

I may have been addressing the wrong problem all this time, and now it’s well past time to fix that.

I saw this on Fox News’s website…

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On A Far Distant Shore, Complete

A free story of the USAians from Sarah A. Hoyt.

According To Hoyt

UPDATE: Because the post was so late yesterday and because I have a massive outline to read (Larry Correia has outlined Monster Hunter Guardian for our collaboration and sent it to me) as well as a project to finish, I decided to let this hang until tomorrow.  Thanks for understanding.

*It’s unproofed.  Forgive me.  Of course, it’s also free.  I’ll probably clean it and sell it in a tales of the USAians collection, eventually.*


On A Far Distant Shore

Sarah A. Hoyt

It was nothing. Less than nothing. A glimpse out of the corner of the eye, a flash of color. Tell me, is that something to risk life and security on? For a stranger? And one you never liked?

I’m not a fighter. My parents tried to make me one, at least as far as their religion demanded. Weekends of camping rough and weeks of training in survival and…

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Buy a Book, Help People in the US Get Running Water

An author and blogger friend of mine, T. L. Knighton, has posted an article on his blog from author Kenton Kilgore who has promised 100% of the proceeds from the December 2015 sales of Kenton’s book Dragontamer’s Daughters, newly revised and re-released earlier this year, to the non-profit DIGDEEP. Here is the link to Tom’s blog. It has all the links to Kenton’s blog and more about DIGDEEP’s Navajo Water Project. The Kindle book is only $2.99, folks.

Book Review: Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede (Frontier Magic #1)

Thirteenth Child (Frontier Magic, #1)Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At the beginning of the story, the narrator is a five-year-old child and I was impressed at how the author captured the tone and syntax perfectly. I felt as if I were listening to a child relate the tale of being bullied by her uncle and cousins, being called bad blood and cursed. The innocent honesty shone through. As the story progresses and the narrator, our heroine ‘Eff’ (which we eventually find out stands for Francine) matures and so does the tone and style of her narration. The plain honesty and inner dialogue are still there, but the language matures and so does the character’s insight. The people around Eff are well-fleshed and well-written. Some are more simple than others, just as in real life. The assumption of everyone using and having magic (except the Rationalists), incorporating it into daily life and everything around them, is not a fresh idea, but well-done in this story and well blended into the history of the story world. The foreshadowing of further developments in the series looks promising. I am a fan of Wrede’s work anyway. I can’t wait to see what Eff, William, and Lan get up to next.

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Book Review: Silver on the Road by Laura Anne Gilman (Devil’s West #1)

Silver on the RoadSilver on the Road by Laura Anne Gilman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At sundown on her sixteenth birthday, Isobel Lacoyo Tavora, or Izzy, reaches majority and ends her indenture to the devil. She had been Bargained as payment by her parents as a toddler. A day later, she signed her own Bargain with the devil and became Isobel nee Lacoyo Tavora, The Left Hand of the Devil.
Set in an alternate history where the United States ends at the Mudwater (Mississippi River) and the Spanish Protectorate reaches from the west coast to the Sierra Madres, the story of Izzy travels the Devil’s West, which spans all the Territory between. Izzy will be a rider, traveling the Road, seeking out injustice and fulfilling justice, Maleh Mishpat. Her mentoring trip, under the guidance of Gabriel Kusan, is eventful and terrifying, a baptism by fire. A stricken farmstead, an empty outpost, missing silver miners, a mad magician, and a group of monks all point to a greater evil that is cracking the bones of the Territory and Izzy is the only one who can deal with it. Whether she can survive the task is another matter.

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A Blast From The Future

Would the future know elephants?

According To Hoyt

Come closer, children, and spread ears like elephants’.

Let me tell you about the time of the ancestors.  You’ve heard all the stories and I know most of you don’t believe them, but listen to me who am old and remember.

Yes, it is true that men could fly through the air like birds, only faster than birds.  They could go to the other side of the Earth because they wanted to see what was there.

Yes, it is true that the great sorcerers of that time had created a magic that could project your image anywhere.  People saw what was happening on the other side of the world even without going there.

Yes, it is true that people could put their opinions — or their breakfast, or their cat pictures — up in a place where anyone in the world could see them, so that if someone was lying…

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Nightmares #1

I am numbering this one because as often as I have nightmares, I am sure I will be wanting to use this title again.

I have been having a lot of trouble sleeping. The filling of my chest I mentioned yesterday is making it more and more difficult to breathe when I lie down to sleep, especially if I try lying on my left side, which is the side Karis likes to cuddle with me on. It used to be the way I could sleep best, turning my face away from the light seeping in the window around the curtain, nested in among my pillows and snuggled up. Now, I can’t get comfortable at all. Even sleeping at periscope depth is getting worse. I used to be able to better direct the dreams that came through, but now they take turns that I don’t expect and re-dreaming doesn’t seem to work the way it used to.

Let me explain. I dream in abstract movie scenes. I can almost always holler, “Cut!” and re-direct the scene if I don’t like the way it is going, or even back up and shoot the scene before it to make better sense. Last night I was dreaming an action/adventure flick with an actor who was a charming cross between Heath Ledger and Matt Ryan as a thief/conman/ne’er-do-well who had a crew and carried off daring heists. International renown, yada, yada. Anyway, he gets picked up and is expecting a rescue. He is being questioned in an office and discovers that the female of the pair questioning him has made him a special project because, unbeknownst to him, her former partner and probable love interest was killed in one of Charmer’s previous heists. Now this upsets him because he prides himself on no injuries to bystanders, and she mocks him with it. There is an explosion, but instead of the smoke bomb Charmer is expecting to cover his escape, it is expanding foam into the office and the doors are sealed. In his earwig, Charmer hears the voice of one of his crew, a fiery generic tan beauty who is vengeful because her little brother got pinched on a side job for Charmer and is doing a short stint in jail. As he/I suffocate to death, he/I hear her going on about how this is justice coming home to roost. No matter how I try, I cannot redirect the dream. I cannot fall asleep and start another because it is too fresh. Need I mention that being buried alive is my greatest fear. I am more than a little claustrophobic. Even when I had to wear a surgical mask as an X-ray tech, it put me on edge.

So, the nightmare was at 4:00 am. It is now 7:30 am. I’ve played World of Warcraft, Facebooked, and written this blog. I’ve been listening to the Bluegrass Gospel station on Pandora. Hopefully, that has put enough distance between me and the dream that I can get some more sleep. To sleep, perchance to dream….

Sinuses, Migraines, and Hallucinations

Migraines are such a pain in more than the head. I have ended up in the ER twice in a week with them. The first was the “my-brain-is-trying-to-explode-through-my-left-eye-and-take-all-the-muscles-in-my-neck-with-it” type. The ER doc gave me a new protocol of Benadryl, Reglan, and Dexamethadrone. It worked great. It unkinked a few things to the point where I was able to sleep more than 4-5 hours in a 24-hour period. Of course, it was still in 2-3 hour blocks, but there were more than 2 of them in a given day. Progress. The second was the more-usual-for-me-lately “my-eyes-are-going-to-pop-out-like-a-zit-because-there-is-a-vise-wrapped-around-my-skull-and-the-pressure-needs-somewhere-to-go” variety. This time I got shots of Ativan and Toradol, because the first cocktail was designed to provide relief for a month or so.

As I told my psych at my med check yesterday, I think I have an impacted sinus infection. Even with using my Flonase every day, I can’t breathe through my nose. I have fluid crackling in my ears half the time, often draining out of my right ear. I don’t care if the docs never see any redness or inflammation when they look. I can hear the sloshing. SJ thinks that may be the increase of some of my hallucination problems, too. I’m more concerned about the visual ones increasing than about the auditory ones, and I know the olfactory ones are migraine related. They always have been. And now my upper chest is starting to fill up and I am developing a cough. I am not a hypochondriac and I don’t google symptoms, but something is wrong.

Basically, I am waiting for the recall notice from the Manufacturer. “Even so.”