What I Was Into in April

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Holy cow you guys – another month has already come and gone; are you kidding me?? The year of 2014 is a third of the way done and so far, as I look back I realize my year has been stuffed with goodness so far. The next few months promise to be packed with even more goodness and so I suppose so far I can count this year as one for the win column…at least at this point. Looking back on some of the things I enjoyed in April….well, that’s what this post is all about!

Books I Read

A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin – I didn’t really intend to read this book again but once Game of Thrones started again the first week of April, I decided I wanted to read the book again to compare it to the show. I have begun to realize that I’m setting myself up for a wee bit of heartbreak because while the show is following along fairly well, it pretty much destroyed a whole character arc in the third episode. Granted, I ramble… I love these books and Martin paints such a vivid story that there is something new every time I read it. It’s the fourth of what will eventually be a seven book series, so the plot is beginning to get fairly thick…and that’s just how I like it; I like to be in the thick of a good book!

And yes – I spent basically the entire month of April reading this book; it’s not exactly a short book.

12 Years A Slave by Solomon Northrup – Does a book on tape count as “reading” a book? I discovered that my Dad had left this in my car about an hour into my seven hour drive home from the mountains and having recently seen the movie adaptation, I decided it was worth listening to as a way to pass the drive. The book was published in 1853, only a year after Solomon Northrup was freed from twelve years of bondage; it gives a recounting of how he was kidnapped and sold into slavery as well as the conditions on the numerous plantations he worked on for the twelve years until he managed to acquire his freedom. The strangest thing about this “book” was that it was written by an African-American man, but the book on CD that I listened to was read by a man that was very much Scottish…and that was…..unique.

Books in the Queue

Okay, the books in the queue are essentially the same books from the month of March because I got side-tracked by A Feast for Crows. Whoops. 🙂 I can’t promise I won’t end up getting distracted reading A Dance with Dragons…because you know, when I start one series of books I feel compelled to finish it. Ha-ha! 

Grace for the Good Girl – I promise, I’ll read it, soon.

The Fault in Our Stars – Which I’ve been tempted to buy several times recently; I might have to purchase this before heading to Colorado near the end of the month. It will be something to read on the flight.

The Next Best Thing – Yep, also still waiting to read this one. Perhaps I should read it before I buy new books? Maybe…

Can’t Miss Television

Game of Thrones – It’s back! It’s back! And absolutely as wonderful as I remember it being, oh happy day! The battle for who will sit on the Iron Throne and rule the seven kingdoms of Westeros continued on with the fourth season on April 6th and I’ve been happily glued to my television set each Sunday night to watch the drama unfold. The show; while still fairly faithful to the books, is starting to diverge onto it’s on path and for the most part that is exciting but there was certainly one instance (hello episode three – sigh) this season that was not exciting. The production value goes up with each subsequent season and it’s so obvious in the detail of the sets, the costumes…just everything. I can’t wait to see how the season continues to unfold; usually you can expect episode nine to be the “major” episode each season but it’s only four episodes in and each episode has been as grand as any other episode nine in previous seasons! I also continue to absolutely love the Lannisters, which is against most popular opinion…but guys, I love Jaime and Tyrion and I love to hate Cersei and Tywin, what can I say? Plus – I look good in crimson and gold! 

Game of Thrones Cast
This (really) has nothing to do with the show – but I think the cast might have too much fun on off days…I want to be able to go to the beach in Croatia on my days off….

Reign – I absolutely am still so pleased that I decided to take a chance on this show because it just gets better and better as the season progresses; granted I think it’s safe to say at this point it has diverged from history almost 100%, but I’m fine with that too. Mary did end up marrying Francis, so they are now trying to navigate the waters of marriage while running two separate countries and their sudden nuptials convinced me that I am much more a fan of Sebastian than I am of Francis, so that broke my heart a little bit. King Henry is literally losing his mind, all of Mary’s ladies-in-waiting are up to nonsense (seriously, one is pregnant with Francis’ illegitimate child, one was wed to Sebastian in a late night, last minute wedding that the crazed king came up with and well…I guess the other is fine, she’s going to marry her spice Lord and what not) and Queen Catherine is easily one of my new favorite villains that I love to hate. I can’t wait to see where this season ends and I’m already looking forward to season two!

Reign won the People’s Choice Award for Best New Drama – also, Team Mash all the way…because as mentioned, I prefer Sebastian (Bash) & Mary.
Fargo – A show that I wasn’t 100% sure about, but since Martin Freeman (aka Watson on Sherlock, the Hobbit of the Hobbit…) is one of the stars, I decided to check it out; everyone has certain actors that they’d watch in almost anything – Freeman is one of mine. The story follows a drifter who comes into Bemidji, Minnesota and influences the whole town; including a put-upon insurance salesman named Lester Nygaard, who goes down a dangerous path. The accents in and of themselves are hilarious to listen to…and people say Southerners have funny accents, hello Minnesota! It’s only two episodes in, but I spent a Saturday morning getting thoroughly drawn in and I can’t wait to see what else unfolds and just how long Lester can keep certain authorities off his trail. I honestly can’t believe how intrigued I am by this show; the third episode premiered last night and I honestly can’t wait to get home to see what happens next! Also, I (as of yet) have no clue why the show is called Fargo when it’s set in Minnesota and Fargo is in North Dakota; the show is based off a movie from years ago…and I’ve never seen that, so maybe that information will come in time.

Mr. Freeman (oops, Lester…) has seen better days…

Movies I Watched

Captain America: The Winter Soldier – I was in the theater to see this one the afternoon it opened; and while that may not be going to a midnight showing, I like to think making a 1:10 showing counts for something. This movie was excellent; I can’t say that enough, it ran over two hours long but I didn’t feel like I’d been sitting in the theater that long at all. The story follows Steve Rogers as he struggles to integrate into a world he doesn’t feel like he belongs in, the world changed a lot from WWII to now, you know and in the midst of trying to adjust to the way things are now, he’s also at the beck and call of SHIELD, trying to navigate the waters of present-day romance and keeps getting attacked by the Winter Soldier…who looks suspiciously like his best friend from 70+ years ago, Bucky Barnes. The movie played out more like a spy/thriller type film than a superhero movie and was absolutely 100% enjoyable – plus, Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan…not hard to stare at. Go see it!

Excellent movie – loved it.

12 Years a Slave – Another movie that was excellent; although in a completely different way from Captain America, I rented this movie via Pay Per View and was engrossed for two hours in the story of Solomon Northrup. I have to say, having watched both this and Dallas Buyers Club, I strongly feel that Chiwetel Ejiofor was robbed at the Oscars; his performance in this movie was completely amazing – and Lupita N’yongo was 100% deserving of her Oscar. This movie was filled to the brim with brilliant performances and incredible cinematography and for the most part, I really enjoyed watching it. There were definitely a few parts of the film that were hard to watch, I don’t think anyone enjoys watching someone be beaten and bloodied. I would strongly recommend this movie, even with some uncomfortable scenes because it is so well acted, well filmed and is all around, just a spectacular movie…and also remarkably similar to the book it is based on, which is also a delight.

Another excellent movie – excellent in a wholly different way from Captain America…

The Other Woman – I have been waiting for this movie to come out since I saw a preview way back in late December; it looked hilarious and let me tell you, it did not disappoint! The story follows Carly, who believes she has met the perfect man in Mark but when he has to go home to take care of important business and she tries to surprise him, she gets a surprise herself when she meets Mark’s wife, Kate. The two form a friendship and along the way discover a third woman that Mark has been leading on and the three team up to take Mark down. Of course, the plans and screwball schemes the three women put into place lead to all kinds of laughter and unfortunate circumstances for Mark, who is utterly deserving of it all. A great way to pass some time on a Saturday afternoon!

As the ultimate womanizer…he just has no clue what’s about to hit him…

Music I Listened To

Nothing just jumps out at me in this section, I suppose because I’ve been listening to a lot of the same things this month as I’ve listened to previously. The Game of Thrones soundtracks are certainly on a pretty steady rotation right now, as well as the occasional listen to a song by Thirty Second to Mars. As I drove to the mountains I had a one-person sing along to the Frozen soundtrack and that was pretty delightful. This month has been a lot of hitting shuffle on the iPhone and listening to what plays!

Yummy in my Tummy

Well, there is the small matter of Easter candy. So much Easter candy guys, it’s really insane. I mean, there are chocolate truffles, coconut cream eggs, raspberry cream eggs, vanilla cream eggs, Cadbury cream eggs, jelly beans, sweet lemonade Peeps, birthday cake Peeps, TWO chocolate rabbits, Godiva truffle eggs, fruit flavored Tootsie rolls, Reese peanut butter eggs…do you see what I mean? I’ve got to take it slow or what little bit of weight I’ve lost will climb right back onto my hips, gut, butt…wherever. I’ll be eating candy for weeks…and weeks.

Oh look – I’d say that’s about twenty pounds right there. Twenty pounds of GOODNESS!

Chicken noodle soup as well, that’s been really good this month too. I managed to catch some kind of late Spring cold (I guess zip-lining in the rain will do that for you) and I scarfed chicken noodle soup for something like three nights in a row. I can assure you, it obviously helped because from Monday to Thursday I made a marked improvement…although medication probably played a small part too. Sometimes a food that isn’t that delicious and splendid all the time is exactly the kind of yummy that you need.

What I’m Looking Forward to in May

My wonderful parents are coming to visit for a long weekend…in just eight short days! I don’t see them for almost five months and then I get lucky enough to see them twice in less than a month! I enjoy their company and I must admit, I’m looking forward to having their help and input with some projects involving my house. Plus – I get to actually spend Mother’s Day with my Mom! 

Another chance to visit with these sweet peeps!

Lindsey’s graduation is in May – I can’t even believe it! She will be graduating and will be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the US Air Force; amazing! There is a whole week of festivities: parades, a show choir performance, a commissioning ceremony, a party (there’s even a wedding thrown in there somewhere) and of course, the graduation itself – complete with a performance from the USAF Thunderbirds at the conclusion! I can’t wait for the trip…plus, it means a whole week away from work! 

Last but not least – I am ready for all these April “showers” (and thunderstorms and lightning and strong winds and hail and tornadoes) to give way to May flowers. I know the crazy weather won’t stop once May arrive but I’ll be pleased when it calms down. I’m much more a fan of those quick Summer afternoon storms.

So – there you have it. All the things I’ve been into during the month of April! I can’t wait to see what May brings: adventures for sure, hopefully some more good books to read, good things to watch, a new song or two to add to the play list and some delicious bites to eat! 

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