Thursday, March 8, 2018

Supernatural 13x15 "A Most Holy Man"

Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester and Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester in Supernatural 13x15 "A Most Holy Man"Oh man, guys, I don't know about you, but that was one of the more boring episodes of the show, ever. When the end of the season comes around and I start thinking about my favorite episodes of the season, I'll be like "wtf even was that episode?" and will have to go back to the recap just to figure it out.

I mean, not much happened that really mattered. I'll just be honest here, I was only half paying attention. Basically, the guys are out to find the blood of a most holy man for the spell to get the portal open. Sam finds some online deals going around for religious relics, they make a shady deal with some people to steal a stolen skull in order to trade for the blood of a saint, blah blah.

A whole lot of yada yada happens where there are, like, mobsters, and a lot of the word chicanery thrown about. They run into a priest who is also looking for the skull, but he wants it because it was stolen from his church or whatever in Spain or something. Sam wants to help him out because he feels all the feels for his plight and his ideals, so their plan is to get the skull for him or some such. It works out for them, though, because he just happens to have a lot of money, which is really what these skull brokers are looking for in the grand scheme.

Leanne Lapp as Margaret Astor and Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester in Supernatural 13x15 "A Most Holy Man"As one would expect, a shootout happens at the big meet at the end, where the two different parties the guys were supposedly working for are all trying to vie for the skull. The priest guy gets shot, but only grazed, thanks I guess to all of the praying he was doing during that rather silly musical montage of the fight scene. I suppose it was an homage to some mobster movie, maybe? Sure, we'll go with that. Otherwise it's just plain cheesy mccheese.

It turns out that the dude they were going to trade the skull for the blood was lying about the blood. Yep, no saint's blood around these parts. But my goodness, what's this? The priest you happened to meet just happened to be, like, blessed by the Pope or something, and the title essentially means a most holy man? Well, I never! That's just what you boys need!

They get some of the dude's blood and send him back off to Spain or wherever, and have a heartfelt chat there at the end of the episode. You know, the patented bro chat that happens almost always at this point each week. The gist of this chat is basically that last quote down there. And...scene.

Random Thoughts:

- There are a couple weeks off, then the show is back on 3/29 with the animated Scooby Doo episode that has been much the talk of things for some time now. Finally some levity in this rather dark season.

- Lots of familiar faces on tonight's episode, a guy who's been on The Flash a couple times, and a girl who was on iZombie for a while. Keeping it in the CW family, I see. Now those are two shows I am actually still enjoying in comparison.


Dean: Ah, the internet. Not just for porn anymore.

Dean: I know that Disney princess hair gives you some padding.

Sam: If someone stole the Impala, what would you do?
Dean: Murder. I'd murder them all.
Sam: Right.
Dean: If I can't have it, nobody can.

Sam: You think we could ever change things, really change things? Stop all the monsters, all the bad.
Dean: That'd be nice.

Previous Episode

Monday, March 5, 2018

Book Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Published: February 28, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Hardcover Pages: 464

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Thoughts: This book is important. It deals with racially charged issues such as police violence against innocent people, as well as gang violence within poor neighborhoods. I wouldn't be surprised if this book is soon taught in schools around the country.

With all of that being said, it took me much longer than it should have to finish it. It's a bit on the long side for what the book is, and moves at a rather slow pace, despite what you may think from the official synopsis above. I felt like I should like it more than I actually did like it, if that makes any sense.

If I had to pinpoint what about it made it harder than normal for me to get through, I guess it may boil down to the main character, Starr, not having a lot of agency within her own story. Yes, part of the story is about her coming into her own and deciding for herself that she wants to speak up about what happened to her friend. But it does take her a long time to get there, and before that happens, she isn't necessarily the pilot of her own story. What does she want? What are her goals? I'm not entirely sure, and that's what bothered me.

What's interesting, though, is that I could see this somehow being more effective as a film. And I believe it is already being developed. That sounds super strange, I know. I guess what it all boils down to is that it was missing something for me. Certainly it's an important story, and very of the moment, but just because it is all of those things doesn't mean it gripped me and took me into it like other books have.

Rating: 3.5/5

What I'm Reading Next: Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Supernatural 13x14 "Good Intentions"

The Winter Olympics are over, which means regular season TV is back in full force this week, including our Supernatural. Last we left things, Mary and Jack were in apocalypse world, Lucifer is now up in Heaven ruling things, and Sam, Dean and Castiel have the prophet Donatello working on translating the angel tablet, as it can tell them what they need to open a portal to the other dimension. Got it? Okay!

Alexander Calvert as Jack Kline, Samantha Smith as Mary Winchester in Supernatural 13x14 "Good Intentions"
After many weeks, we finally get to see what Jack and Mary have been up to in the other world, so I'll just recap their side of things first. Michael has Zachariah working mind games on Jack to try to get him to open a rift, but it's not working. So, they stick him in with Mary. She rightly assesses that they're only done this so they can then kill her in front of him, thus getting him to do what they want. Now we're all wondering, why can't Jack just get them out of there with all of his mighty powers? There's some kind of massive warding that's dampening his powers and giving everyone headaches. But hey, wouldn't you know that there just happens to be a special spot in Mary's cell where there's a hole in the dampening field thingamajig?! How nice!

Thus, Jack gets them out of there, and they run into their world's Bobby, who takes them back to his human camp. He and Mary reminisce a little, and she finds out that because she didn't take that demon deal on this world, Sam and Dean were never born, so they weren't able to stop the end of the world. So, you know, she doesn't have to feel as guilty over that anymore. But, once Bobby finds out that Jack is a nephilim, he wants none of it. Of course, before Jack can leave, the angels find them, but duh, Jack's back at full power now, and he incinerates a bunch of angels as if they're nothing. His next goal? Kill Michael, because that's what Sam and Dean would do.

Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester, Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester, Keith Szarabajka as Donatello Redfield in Supernatural 13x14 "Good Intentions"But what are Sam and Dean actually up to? Well, they are trying to encourage Donny to translate the angel tablet. But Donny boy is starting to act a bit strange. Is it just because Asmodeus put some kind of spell on him? It's unclear in the beginning, but it soon becomes clear. After he tells them he's translated the tablet and given them some stuff they need to find, Dean and Castiel go off to get the hearts of Gog and Magog. All you really need to know is that these dudes don't have any hearts, so Donny was lying to them.

Indeed, he tries to kill Sam back at the bunker, but even though he manages to bang Sam on the head a couple times, Sam does manage to get him locked up before Dean and Castiel get back. They figure out that because Donatello doesn't have a soul, he isn't able to withstand the corruption of the tablets. There's not much they can do, as he won't cooperate and is just downright dangerous. But Cas has had enough, and decides to take things into his own hands. He uses some angel powers to basically take the information from Donny's brain, which leaves him braindead in the process, which honestly may be better for him in the end since he's not himself anymore.

Sam and Dean aren't too happy with Castiel, but they can't argue with his results. And I guess we know what some goals are now for some more of the season. Just, you know, get some fruit from the tree of life, find the seal of Solomon, get some blood from a most holy man, and oh yes the part we already knew, get the blood of an archangel, of which right now they only know Lucifer is around, though we know better.

Random Thoughts:

- On my way home today, I saw a car with a sticker of the tattoos the boys have, you know the anti-possession tattoo, and I was like oh hey a fellow Supernatural fan!

- They lay it on pretty thick that Jack will eventually go bad because he has no choice, but I'm not sure I believe that give just how thick it's been laid on. He may very well sacrifice himself to save everyone, which seems more in line with how the show does things.


Dean: If bacon's what kills me, then I win.

Donatello: Now, where do you keep your virgin lambs blood?

Castiel: This is serious.
Dean: I know, but... they're wearing loinclothes.

Magog: I will kill the pretty one.
Gog: They are equally pretty.
Magog: The small one, then.

Alt-Bobby: I thought you were a damn ghost, but turns out you're just from a whole different world. Which is... weirder, when you think about it.

Previous Episode -- Next Episode

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Traditional Rice Pudding

Rice pudding is weird, you guys. I'm not even that big of a fan of it, but I have to say I enjoyed eating this version nonetheless. Also? It's incredibly simple to make. Just a lot of letting it simmer and waiting for it to cool going on.

I apologize for the not amazingly great photos. I ended up taking pictures of this at night because my boyfriend kept devouring it so fast I didn't know if I'd be able to get a picture of it in the morning! I've made this a few times now, and all three times it turned out tasting just the same. You can definitely mess with the consistency a little depending on how long you simmer it for, or how much milk you put in during the last step, so that is entirely up to you based on what you like, really.

I also haven't tried adding any other stuff to it yet, but I'm sure it would be perfectly adaptable to adding some dried fruit or even just another flavor to it like lemon or coconut or something along those lines. But if I had to choose, I'd probably just stick to this basic vanilla-y flavor. You can never go wrong with something that tastes like vanilla!

Write recipe photo description here

Simple, with the perfect amount of sweet, traditional rice pudding.

  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup long grain white rice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. In a large saucepan, bring 5 1/2 cups milk, sugar, and salt to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Stir in rice and reduce heat to low. Adjust heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook for 50-60 minutes. Stir the rice occasionally so it doesn't get stuck to the bottom of the pan. When it looks like the consistency of yogurt, you know it's done. Then, stir in the vanilla.
  3. Pour into a large bowl and let cool completely, about two hours. Just before serving, stir in the remaining 1/2 cup milk.
Recipe thanks to Cook's Country

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Book Review: Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #2) by Neal Shusterman

Book Review of Thunderhead, the second in the Arc of a Sythe series by Neal Shusterman.
Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

Published: January 9, 2018

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Hardcover Pages: 504

Synopsis: Rowan and Citra take opposite stances on the morality of the Scythedom, putting them at odds, in the second novel of the chilling New York Times bestselling series from Neal Shusterman, author of the Unwind dystology.

Rowan has gone rogue, and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. In the year since Winter Conclave, he has gone off-grid, and has been striking out against corrupt scythes—not only in MidMerica, but across the entire continent. He is a dark folk hero now—“Scythe Lucifer”—a vigilante taking down corrupt scythes in flames.

Citra, now a junior scythe under Scythe Curie, sees the corruption and wants to help change it from the inside out, but is thwarted at every turn, and threatened by the “new order” scythes. Realizing she cannot do this alone—or even with the help of Scythe Curie and Faraday, she does the unthinkable, and risks being “deadish” so she can communicate with the Thunderhead—the only being on earth wise enough to solve the dire problems of a perfect world. But will it help solve those problems, or simply watch as perfection goes into decline?


It's not often that a second book in a series enraptures me more than a first, but that's what has happened with Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman. I liked Scythe well enough, it was well-written with a really interesting concept, and some great twists and turns. But this sequel takes it to another level. Just a quick anecdote... I frequently read in my car on my lunch breaks, and more often than not, I'll end up falling asleep for a little mid-day nap. But this book got me in such a grip, that I stopped falling asleep!

Thunderhead moves at a much quicker pace than Scythe, which is a good thing. I mean have you ever complained about a book moving at a quick pace? Yeah yeah, sometimes people can talk about how they enjoyed a book's slow pace with its flowery words and all that, but that type of book makes me fall asleep. Here, I wanted to know what was going to happen next. Shusterman does a great job of setting up a lot of different, seemingly unconnected plots, only to have them all come back and snap together like the pieces of a puzzle.

What's most interesting, and perhaps most disturbing as well, about this sequel is in the between chapter interludes. In the first book, these interludes were excerpts from Scythe journals, but here they are all what the Thunderhead itself is thinking. And feeling? Good question, that, because one of the main things this book is dealing with is what it means to have an artificial intelligence run the world while also contemplating its own existence, which is very much something that feels on the horizon in the real world.

It was also nice to see a book not so focused on romance. Don't get me wrong, I love me a romance just like the next person, but it wasn't needed here. There's enough other drama going on that really focusing on a romance between Citra and Rowan wouldn't have felt right for the tone. Some readers may miss their interactions, because they are fewer even than in Scythe, but for me it just made the moments when they are near each other that much more meaningful.

This book also does something that can be super annoying, but really worked here - it introduced a new main character that wasn't even mentioned nor hinted at in the first book. I was ready to really dislike this new character, but he grew on me quickly, and because he is connected to what's going on with the Thunderhead, it was also super intriguing. I also was really worried that too much focus was going to be on him at a certain point in his story, but instead the author knew to pull back on his story at that point.

The ending is such a cliffhanger, and I can't wait to read the next one. Not sure if it's purely a trilogy or what, but I'm here for it either way.

Rating: 5/5

What I'm Reading Next: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas