First to Read: Results May Vary

Results May Vary by Bethany Chase

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ebook, 336 pages
Expected publication: August 9th 2016 by Ballantine Books

Book Teaser

She never saw it coming. Without even a shiver of suspicion to warn her, Caroline Hammond discovers that her husband is having an affair with a man—a revelation that forces her to question their entire history together, from their early days as high school sweethearts through their ten years as a happily married couple. In her now upside-down world, Caroline begins envisioning her life without the relationship that has defined it: the loneliness of being an “I” instead of a “we”; the rekindled yet tenuous closeness with her younger sister; and the unexpected—and potentially disastrous—attraction she can’t get off her mind. Caroline always thought she knew her own love story, but as her husband’s other secrets emerge, she must decide whether that story’s ending will mean forgiving the man she’s loved for half her life, or facing her future without him.

My Review (Spoiler Free)

I wanted to select a book that perhaps wasn’t the kind I would normally read. I was initially attracted to the title of the book, and my curiosity got the best of me. The book was flowed naturally (good pacing) and kept my attention from the well-dressed personalities of the characters to the charming backdrop of New York and Massachusetts. Sadly, they are two states I have not been to, but I feel through the writer’s canonrous wording that I was meandering between both places like I had been there before. I feel the dialogue between characters was natural and stayed true throughout the novel. It was not difficult to relate to any one character. Though the novel does not achieve a deepness like that of more venerable works such by John Steinbeck or Alice Walker, it makes up for it’s logical arrangement and entertaining narration. To simplify and reiterate – events make sense and the actions of each character, again, are natural. It is a slice-of-life novel that explores ideas in common but appealing vernacular. It is a familiar tale that we can relate to and it draws us in.

This book is definitely a good take to the beach novel or if you want a quick, nice read, perfect for completing over a weekend.

Disclaimer:

I was not paid to read this book. I participated in the Penguin First to Read program and was chosen to be one of the first to read and review this book.

Farewell Anton and Be Brave

We all die – one day, some random time, some random place. Sometimes we get a small heads up that death is imminent and sometimes we don’t. In the case of actor Anton Yelchin,  it was a freakish car accident and wholly unexpected. Dead at the age of 27, the headlines say before launching into how he died. Anton may have only been 27, but he was able to make his mark on the world through his abilities as an entertainer. Praised for his kindness and charm, Anton lives on in the memories of others and his work. Memories are where we all live. We are never alone. We are always here.

A youthful death makes us take longer pause than say the death of someone in their 80s or 90s. It’s not to say that someone older doesn’t have a fascinating back story or presence in the world but youth turned asunder by death makes us sense our mortality. It makes us recoil. It makes us think of the time we have spent on this earth and reflect if we have we made the right and best investments in ourselves and it. Life gives and it takes. It’s a consuming process that sometimes leads people down dark alleys filled with potential terror or down sunny, joyfully-tilted days. It can feel all a bit random.

Death doesn’t take a break. There have been many deaths from David Bowie to countless number of victims of ISIS’s insatiable insanity. As you age, you feel the cloak of invincibility slip away to a nakedness. It’s a nakedness that gives rise to either of two things 1) immobility or 2) freedom. The immobility grows when a person feeds themselves with fear and fear of change. It is up to us to fight our fear and live and live well. It’s ok to think about the future but live well and live for today. Living in the present connects us to all things. It’s mindfulness.

As each life is significant, each death is significant. We can learn from both, and we can become a better person. Anton’s death reminds us that life is fleeting. As Anton put much effort into his career as an entertainer, we too have a duty to ourselves which even in the face of fear, we must do it: live.  “Because,’ she said, ‘when you’re scared but you still do it anyway, that’s brave. (Neil Gaiman, Coraline)”

 

The Joy of Cosplay

13267918_798175490283269_5856146470781067457_nI am quite aware that some convention attendees do not have a favorable view of cosplay. Remember back in 2014, Nerdist reported,

“[..] some comic book artists who seem to be of the “get off my convention lawn, everyone who’s not spending money,” variety think that cosplayers are impeding sales. Known Star Wars artist Dave Dorman’s wife Denise Dorman recently wrote about how they’re losing sales and indirectly tied that to cosplay culture, and now former Batman artist Pat Broderick states cosplayers bring nothing of value to the shows.”

However, cosplay allows fan to celebrate what they love and allows them to create something too. Sure, there are going to be some people there that are just looking to hang out and not buy anything. However, this isn’t just indicative of cosplayers. I think it is a negative stereotype.

I had never dressed up for a comics convention as I always attend horror cons. However, my good friend wanted me to dress up as Sadness from Inside Out to accompany her Joy and her son. My costumes for my horror cons have been original ideas, not a specific character. However, Sadness is a character from Pixar’s Inside Out. I spent time and money crafting an image to do Sadness justice.

Roaming around the convention center was tiring, but I never got tired of hearing and seeing little kids light up and gravitate to us. Between the two days of the con, we took so many pictures. It was a little bit exhausting, but it felt rewarding sharing in everyone’s joy and fun. I visited many booths and bought what I could afford. I enjoy spending money with artists and vendors. In fact, I have bought more art than my walls can hold. I think some artists are unfair to treat cosplayers like their a nuisance or distraction to making money. To me, it shows me that caring for your fans are the least of your concerns and you care only to take their money. If you are that kind of person, I really don’t want to give you any of my money.

I feel if you want to be respected and valued, you need to return the sentiment in kind. Realize that even if people don’t buy something, your attitude can dictate if that person comes back to another convention and buys something from you on that occassion. I know it’s important to make a livelihood, and I don’t blame you for having concerns. However, selling something means interaction and if you come to a convention and can’t interact with people then you probably will have a harder time making money.

Anyways, Tidewater Comicon was filled with neat costumes, happy people, lots of vendors, artists, and a few celebs. It had a great vibe. It didn’t feel corporate like Wizard’s conventions. I would definitely come again. I spent a decent amount of money with vendors at this convention. It was fun! I can’t wait to go again.

 

Battle of the Etude House Lip Tints

I recently did a little shopping with YesStyle. I was interested in lip makeup. I decided to try out two Etude House products: Snowy Dessert Pudding Lip Tint in Apricot and Fresh Cherry Tint in Cherry Peach.

What I like about both products:

  • They both have a lovely fragrance to them.
  • They apply fairly smoothly.

What did I discover using them:

I found that the Fresh Cherry Tint was very subtle. It didn’t stand out. It looked nice in a selfie but when I looked at myself in the mirror, the color seemed barely there.

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The Snowy Dessert Pudding Lip Tint in Apricot upon opening is a very vivid, neon-tinged color. It’s darker. However, when I applied it, it look like a rich, warm apricot color. It applied thick, evenly unlike the cherry tint that seemed diluted.

The packaging is simple for the Fresh Cherry Tint. The packaging for the Snowy Dessert Pudding Lip Tint line colorful, minimalist but cute. In terms of portability, it is the less convenient of the two. The Fresh Cherry Tint is one piece that unscrews to reveal a wand for picking up the tint for application. The Pudding Lip Tint comes in a small unscrew glass jar with a inner plastic top. The application wand is separate. You will either have to leave the tint in the packaging or keep it in a make up back being careful not to lose the application wand. One saving grace of the wand is that is rubber making it safely reusable and hygienic (i.e. washable).

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If I had to purchase either product again, I would recommend the Snowy Dessert Pudding Lip Tint in Apricot.

Blog Update

This blog has been inactive since November 2015. It isn’t because I didn’t enjoy updating it. Life got busy and hectic. I found myself less willing to update because this is a hobby and not a job for me. I was being pulled in too many directions. I am sorry for any of my readers for kind of disappearing.

I am going to start blogging again, maybe even today. 😉 The blog isn’t going to deviate too much from past content other than you might see some not pop culture pop up like tech news, science news, etc. This blog is sieved by my noggin and I hope you like what you see.

Warmest Regards,

Lynn @ RobotxRobot

Preacher – Premiere Trailer

If you have ever read the comics, the live action version should be a wild ride on the weird and twisted side. The preview is inviting. Hopefully, it won’t disappoint.

Halloween: A Brief History

There is a debate between secular scholars and religious scholars regarding the origins of Halloween. The first recorded date for the use of the term Halloween was 1745. Secular scholars believed that Halloween sprung forth from the Celtic harvest festival, Samhain (S-ow-in). Religious scholars said that it came from a purely Christian origin. Today’s Halloween customs are thought to have been influenced by folk customs and beliefs from the Celtic-speaking countries, some of which are believed to have pagan roots.

Jack Santino, a folklorist, writes that “there was throughout Ireland an uneasy truce existing between customs and beliefs associated with Christianity and those associated with religions that were Irish before Christianity arrived”. Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while “some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia (Wikipedia).

A 'coven of witches' line up for a Halloween portrait dressed in festive witch's hats and improvised costumes, ca.1910, United States. (Photo by Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images)
A ‘coven of witches’ line up for a Halloween portrait dressed in festive witch’s hats and improvised costumes, ca.1910, United States. (Photo by Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images)

Trick or Treat: Origins

Trick or Treat has roots in the 16th Century custom (in Ireland, Scotland, Isle of Man and Wales) of mumming and guising. This involved people going house-to-house in costume or a disguise, usually performing for food. It may have come from the custom of souling, or it may have been a way of imitating, and disguising themselves from spirits.

“It is suggested that the mummers and guisers “personify the old spirits of the winter, who demanded reward in exchange for good fortune“. In parts of southern Ireland, the guisers included a hobby horse. A man dressed as a Láir Bhán (white mare) led youths house-to-house reciting verses—some of which had pagan overtones—in exchange for food. If the household donated food it could expect good fortune from the ‘Muck Olla’; not doing so would bring misfortune (Wikipedia).”

Christian Appropriation & Modern Halloween

In the 8th century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day, incorporated some of the pagan traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween turned into a secular, community-based activity characterized by child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating and adult activities like Halloween Balls, etc. In a number of countries around the world, people continue to usher in the winter season with gatherings, costumes and sweet treats.

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How did Modern Halloween come to be in America?

The celebration of Halloween in America was not a common activity due rigid Protestant belief systems. While colonial England was tougher on these kind of activities (i.e. Remember the Salem Witch Trials?), it was something that was celebrated in Maryland and southern colonies.Things really started to change over the years as colonists mingled with indian tribes and especially when immigrants began to flood the shores of the United States. These immigrants brought new ideas, new beliefs, and different practices. In particular, Ireland’s potato famine of 1846 caused a flurry of Irish immigrants fled to the States. They brought their traditions and so traditions began to infuse themselves with existing ones. Around this time, Americans began to disguise themselves and go from house to house asking for food or money, a practice that spawned today’s “trick-or-treat” tradition. “Young women believed that on Halloween they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings or mirrors (History.com).”

Over time, the celebration of Halloween became less about ghosts, witches, and demons and more about community and neighborly get-togethers. Trick or treating was less common. Halloween’s reputation began to be tarnished by vandalism around the 1920s and 1930s.

By the 1950s, due to the high numbers of young children during the fifties rush to have babies and more babies, parties were centered around the classroom or home. Halloween became a celebration of youth and what kid didn’t like to get candy. Trick or treat was revived and vandalism was successfully curtailed by community leaders. According to History.com, Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday.861683a7759cd275a5b162456e6a1f5d3736287f

How has Halloween changed over the years?

I am an adult now and so Halloween is a different experience. However, I have watched less trick or treating happening in neighborhoods and more in “safe zones” or well-to-do neighborhoods. The American Mall became the place to take children to safely receive candy. Some churches (some are less fussy about Halloween) became a safe haven for children to enjoy picking out pumpkins and receiving candy. When I grew up there was lots more Halloween marketing directed at kids from toys to candy to food. Halloween episodes still happen on various TV shows, but it has diminished over the years. Maybe I feel less of a Halloween Spirit as an adult because I see it differently but I am truly a big kid and not just a big kid but a big Monster kid. This generation of kids doesn’t even have Saturday Morning Cartoons anymore.

Everything goes through changes and Halloween will hopefully be even more popular again as time progresses. However, today, it is definitely overshadowed by Generation Outrage and other societal issues.

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Let’s Talk Halloween: A Tiny Rant

Halloween is my favorite holiday. Depending on where you live, it might be difficult to celebrate it. Halloween has been a holiday that has been under attack over the years and this year seems no exception, given the current “everything is offensive” let’s get rid of it attitude. I think the nature of people’s reaction is analogous to the when the body’s own immune system turns against itself and starts to attack itself. Halloween got banned in a town in Connecticut.The town, which previously held an annual Halloween parade, feared that children whose religious/cultural beliefs prevent them from celebrating the holiday would feel excluded by the festivities, leading them to cancel the parade this year. Costumes have also been outlawed. Our country claims to want everyone to be endowed with liberty and right to happiness but you choose to take away this for the sake of another. As role reversal,  what if I am not of one of those religions and I cannot participate in one of their events – how am I not excluded? Why don’t we prevent them from having the event? If you don’t like Halloween then don’t participate in it. I think it’s that simple. How beneficial or creative is a homongenous society?