Friday, May 24, 2013

On A Game

Earlier (On Purpose) I proposed seven purposes to strive for during the year.  Those are long term goals that are in various stages of completion (some doomed to fail, but that's besides the point).  For this, I want to keep track of what is capturing my interest.  Consider it an advertisement (maybe an endorsement as that sounds less promoting and more publicizing) for the components of the daily grind that I find worthy of distinguished discussion.

Seven seals of approval (and some speculation):

Do you want to play a game?


Reading:
If you have been looking over this collection of thoughts/comments/reviews you will have seen by now that I am currently reading The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks.  This is book two of The Lightbringer series, and still not having finished the second book, I fully recommend picking these up.  Book one (The Black Prism) is the first book mentioned on this list of good fantasy books with horrible covers.  

As an aside, there are several other books on this list I would recommend:
The Lies of Locke Lamora - Scott Lynch
The Warded Man - Peter V. Brett
The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss (cannot recommend this enough.  If you haven't read it, ignore everything else I've typed up to this point and pick this up)

Overview:
Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world.  He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace.  Yet Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live.

When Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he's willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.

Review:
That is a terrible representation of this book, which contains political and religious intrigue, a unique magic system (seriously, "Chromaturgy is going to blow your mind" - Brent Weeks (ok, so the author may be biased, but it is certainly the most interesting magic I have read)), and numerous twists and turns that will leave you both frustrated (in a good way) and exhilarated.  This is the best book I've read this year, and book two is keeping pace.  

Writing:
Other than work-related memos, you're reading the extent of my recreational writing.  Land & Sea may be dead in the water (no pun intended), at least for now.

Picture quasi-related
Watching:
Currently Mega Piranha is on TV - but I wouldn't recommend this to anyone but LE (she loves this giant sea creature stuff - Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus starring Deborah Gibson; sign her up!).  Instead, I will go backwards a few months and mention a show LE and I binge-watched.  Sherlock - the far superior BBC modern take on Sherlock Holmes compared to our Elementary.  

You may recognize the two stars at this point.  Benedict Cumberbatch (who plays Sherlock) is getting quite a few gigs now-a-days being in the currently in theaters Star Trek movie, and voicing Smaug in the coming Hobbit sequel.  Speaking of The Hobbit, Watson (played by Martin Freeman) is Bilbo Baggins in the new Hobbit trilogy.

Storyline:
In this modernized version of the Conan Doyle characters, using his detective plots, Sherlock Holmes lives in early 21st century London and acts more cocky towards Scotland Yard's detective inspector Lestrade because he's actually less confident.  Doctor Watson is now a fairly young veteran of the Afghan war, less adoring and more active.

Note: The each TV season is three two-hour episodes.  

Review:
Again, a terrible synopsis.  Who writes these things?  Sherlock is sharp, sarcastic, and fully averse and yet subject to ennui until cases worthy of his talents arise.  Picture young Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark as Sherlock Holmes.  No, not quite right.  Review:  Watch me.  

Drinking:
Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy.  

I first noticed this existed when dining at a chain restaurant (TGI Friday's, Chili's, Applebee's...  I honestly don't remember which).  I happened to be on a work lunch, and therefore couldn't indulge, but I kept the idea in the back of mind knowing that barbecue season was around the corner and there's nothing like a cold one with grilled meat.  After a rough week, LE requested an alcoholic escape from reality, so upon obliging and delivering a bottle of Kraken Rum for her, I picked up a six pack of this Lemonade Beer for myself.

Overview:
A Shandy is a beer brewed with a little something extra.  Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy is crisp wheat beer brewed with natural lemonade flavor which makes it a perfect summertime refresher for those sun-splashed summer days.

Review:
Not caring overly much for the bitterness of most beers, the mixture with lemonade makes this easy to drink for us "tasters" (something about tasters tend to be picky eaters/drinkers because tastes are stronger for them).  The company also makes a Lemon Berry Shandy - must remember to pick this up for a test drink.

Waiting:
Oh, Tom Petty, you know exactly what to say.  The Waiting is the hardest part.  

Here's my watch list:
Books:
Joyland - Stephen King (June 4th)
Abaddon's Gate - James S.A. Corey (June 4th)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman (June 18th)
Codex Born - Jim C. Hines (August 6th)
The Republic of Thieves - Scott Lynch (September 3rd)
Steelheart - Brandon Sanderson (September 24th)
The Winds of Winter - George R.R. Martin (hopefully before he dies)
The Doors of Stone - Patrick Rothfuss (not anytime soon)

Movies:
Iron Man 3 (Quiet, you!)
Star Trek: Into Darkness (Again, silence!)
Man of Steel (June 14th)
Monsters University (June 21st...  for Crabcakes, really)
Pacific Rim (July 12)
Wolverine (July 26)
Thor: The Dark World (November)

TV:
Game of Thrones (no episode for Memorial Day weekend)
Under the Dome (June 24th on CBS)
Sherlock season 3 (tbd)
Downton Abbey (tbd)

Music:
Tool (maybe before the end of 2013?)

Playing:
Running with Friends

Overview:
Running with Friends has you partaking in the famous Running of the Bulls and as you run away from the pack of charging bulls you'll also need to avoid other obstacles which include fruit carts, other players running for their lives, trains and more.  Along the way, there's your usual star and letter bonus pickups.  Your runs are graded both by distance and the number of stars you pick up, and completing words by picking up all of the letters earns you gems.  Combined, this will give you experience points to level up and gems which can be used to resurrect yourself or buy new avatars.  

Review:
Like Temple Run only touch-based instead of tilting.  A fun quick game if you have a few spare minutes to kill.  The downfall is that there is no single player mode.  You are limited to either challenging your Facebook friends (assuming any are playing) or picking up loads of random matches so that you have games available to play when you are looking to jump in.

Thinking:
It's nearly lunch time.


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