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Been playing Pokemon Go...like everyone else on the planet, haha! It's a nostalgia trip for sure since I started on Pokemon Red back in the 90's. I really have to hand it to this little app though, the things it's accomplishing are kind of impressive. I mean people (myself included!) are going out more, getting exercise, meeting people, and visiting places they never even knew were so close by! I know the news likes to jump on the worst stories (I get it, they're a business, they have to get readers, no shade from me) but from my personal, anecdotal evidence, the positives far outweigh these relatively few incidents. Museums are reporting more visitors. Small business are seeing more customers. And people are getting out and interacting!
This past weekend, my sister and I went out to a small lake near where she works because she'd seen that there were a lot of stops there. It had a lovely walking trail around the water lined with shops and restaurants and things for the kids like a merry-go-round and a neat set of statues that were inscribed with a game. It wasn't exactly a local secret, but I never would've gone there were it not for the game, and were it not for the game I probably wouldn't have even noticed the art installations as I walked by or paid attention to the statues. It was crowded and almost everyone else was playing Pokemon Go as well. It was such a fun feeling! All different types of people, old to young, all had common ground in this goofy phone app.
...it was nice to have something that brought so much joy in the face of so much bad news these days...

Speaking of escapism, I've been reading a couple of book series in the past year that I wanted to mention because I really enjoyed them. It should be noted, that due to my personal tastes, they're both fantasy, so take that as you will...

The first is the Eli Monpress series by Rachel Aaron. It's all about a roguish wizard thief. I'm not sure I need to go further than that. :XD: It was honestly a lot of fun, though, Right up my alley. The really interesting idea in the world building is how magic works. (Turn away now if you don't want the spoiler, but as it's shown in the opening few pages, I'm not sure it counts.) In the world of these books, everything has a spirit. Everything. Wizards are the few people who can actually hear when the spirits speak. Some wizards form pacts with individual spirits - a power for service type thing. Others force the spirits to do their bidding. Eli? He sweet-talks them. Seriously, he compliments them, and does favors for them, and then asks super nicely. He's actually a pretty talented thief, but that he can get through a locked door simply by asking? That is hilarious. Obviously there's a bit more to the story/world than that, but I don't want to give too much away. But it's a fun series, I really enjoyed it.
The series is five books long, but is also available in two omnibuses, the first of which is what I linked above.

The second series was the Dragon Princess books by S. Andrew Swann. These books are very fun. They are also very weird. :XD: I have a high tolerance for weird myself, but I know it's not for everyone, so I thought I'd throw in that warning. Anyway, I picked up the first book of this series based on the promise of a princess turning into a dragon. Imagine my disappointment when I open the book up to discover it's written in first person (not a deal-breaker, but I'm not a fan) and that it's from the point of view of a dude. I almost shut the book and left it right then and there. It's a good thing I persevered though, because it turns out that Frank is a pretty great protagonist. He's well-developed, thoughtful, self-deprecating enough to be a character flaw but not enough to be annoying, and mature about many of these odd situations. He's not overly good - like Eli Monpress he's a thief, thus roguish - but he's really likable and easy to follow and root for. Now I LOVE well-developed characters. It's pretty much my favorite thing ever. So for this reason alone, the book is worth the price of admission for me, but it's got some great supporting characters and a pretty interesting story to go with it. It is a silly premise, but for such a silly premise you might be surprised at what you walk away with. ...also silly is fun and I like it.
This series is probably finished at three books. It has a pretty satisfying conclusion, but the author left the door open to continue and if we were to get some more stories with these characters, well I wouldn't complain. :XD:

After reading these, I found another book by S. Andrew Swann and having enjoyed Dragon Princess, I decided to give it a try: The Moreau Quartet Vol 1. I can't say too much about this one yet as I'm only a few chapters in so far. I will say it's not grabbing me like Dragon Princess did, but that's likely due to the content rather than the quality of the books. Dragon Princess is a character driven-fantasy and The Moreau books seem to be five-minutes-into-the-future noir, and though I do like noir, I simply happen to like character-driven fantasy better. But as I said, I'm not far in yet and thus don't feel too qualified to judge. Instead I'll point to the real reason I brought it up: the cover. I mean look at it! It's like pure 90's cheese! :rofl: This cover is amazing, every time I pick up the book I can't help but laugh a bit. I mean, yes, the main character is a tiger man, but we're told he dresses in button down shirts and trench coats. And yes he does carry weapons, but this looks more like a space barbarian setup than a noir thriller. It doesn't much put me in mind of the character I'm reading in the book is what I'm saying. Then you take that and paste it on top of a photo of a city and add in...are those flying saucers?! Man, I can't wait to find out if aliens show up in this! :D I'd imagine it did the job well enough at the time, but you know what the actual story puts me in mind of? The comic Elephantmen, which has a very similar setting, backstory, and style. (I'd like to point out that I don't think Elephantmen ripped this off at all, the conclusions are logical enough that I could believe they were arrived at independently...but I likewise wouldn't be surprised if this was an inspiration. Either way.) Even though the art is all using the wrong animals, this is much closer to the feel I get reading this book. Maybe if the publisher does a re-release of this sometime they should contact the Elephantmen artists...just sayin'.
Anyway, I was thinking that if I get the time, I might try my hand at doing my own version of a cover. Not in a "I can do it better" kind of way. My art is shit and I know it. Just as kind of an exercise, you know? See what comes out.

Lastly, I went and saw Ghostbusters this past weekend. Putting it all the way at the end of this ponderous post because I don't need a gang of internet idiots raging at me because I dared to go watch a movie. My verdict? It was fun! I really enjoyed it! It was funny, the characters were likable, the story made sense, and the ghosts were cool. I did have some problems with it - there were a couple of gross-out jokes and those are never my fav, and I wasn't fond of any of the scenes between Erin and Kevin...but if we can tolerate skeevy Venkman, then we can tolerate skeevy Gilbert too. But yeah, I had fun. I can't do a full recommendation just because it's a comedy and humor is highly subjective, but I liked it. I'd say it's not quite as good as the first movie, but is much better than Ghostbusters 2. Take that how you will.
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:iconra-ooo:
Ra-ooo Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Heeeyy. Boy what a long overdue comment. But I just wanted to say I'm glad to see you've gotten some joy out of little things during all this trouble you've been having for so many months.
I too have been having a ton of fun with Pokemon Go. A whole month later I'm still playing it almost daily, and I don't see that stopping any time soon haha. I hope it's still getting you out and about to take little walks and have some fun time for yourself.

And I like the book reviews, none of the genres are especially my cup of tea but at the same time I do find what you've written a bit intriguing! If I ever come across any of these books in person I'll probably pick them up now.

And, I saw Ghostbusters after you posted this journal. I loved it... XD I loved the visuals, the look of it was awesome. It had so much of the originals' aesthetic style which nowadays is really unique, and just always looks super cool. And the characters were so much better written and had so much more personality than the original four guys.. XD in my opinion anyway. I loved it~
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:icondragonsong12:
dragonsong12 Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh Gosh, I know.! Still playing it religiously myself! And we've gone to that lake again since I posted this as well - everyone there is still playing it too! :D ...and yet, after ALL this playing, I only managed to get my first charmander a couple of days ago. Haha, I'll be stuck playing for a while because I must have Charizard. It's important. Because reasons.

Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed Ghostbusters too! I seriously don't understand what all the angst was about with that movie, it was so much fun! I'm really crossing my fingers for a sequel because I enjoyed the heck out of these characters. ...probably won't get it, but oh well a girl can dream.
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:iconra-ooo:
Ra-ooo Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yessss! Oh dude I haven't even seen a charmander in the wild yet, the closest I've seen is charizards in gyms. Currently working toward getting exeggutor and vileplume myself haha. I want grass types yet for some reason those are one of the least common types around here! It's terrible XD

And yeah it was excellent~ Ah but yeah, I've seen how it's kinda floundering as far as making back its production budget. And apparently was banned in China...?? Criminy. They certainly set up with the intent to have a sequel though, with the after-credits scene. I really hope they can follow through :,D
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:icondragonsong12:
dragonsong12 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Aw, now I feel a bit guilty because exeggutor is currently my strongest 'mon! ^^; Water and grass types are pretty common around me, but I've only been able to get rock and ground types by hatching them. Fire is somewhere in the middle and charmander's definitely been the rarest of the starters for me.
On the plus side, it keeps the quest going longer while we wait for updates! I really hope they expand the pokedex in the future. I've got eevees saved and ready for future eeveelutions! :XD:
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:iconra-ooo:
Ra-ooo Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ahhhh! When trading becomes a thing I might hit you up to trade me a billion exeggcutes.. XD
There's definitely a lot of water types around here, but mostly at the river that goes through the middle of the city. Which is cool, that's a good touch haha
I'm pretty sure they have something planned to go along with the release of Sun and Moon, which is exciting..! As of E3 they hinted at that anyway. I have a feeling it would be Alola plus gen two pokemon, but who knows!
And yes hahaa I have a bunch of eevees too set aside to evolve into specific ones XD The eeveelutions I currently have are among my strongest pokemon too.
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:icondragonsong12:
dragonsong12 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm totally up for that, though even better would be if I could send some exeggcute candy your way, since that'd help a lot more in the long run. At any rate, I'll catch and hold onto a few on the off chance we can do it since it doesn't cost me anything to do so. XD

My sister and I preordered Sun and Moon over the weekend, so everything's coming up pokemon lately. XD I really hope they expand the pokedex, though, I'm having so much fun hunting for them, I don't wanna stop!
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:iconra-ooo:
Ra-ooo Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ahhh shucks you're too kind haha! And since trading requires both people to send pokemon, is there anything you want? I'll see if it exists over here. There's lots of poliwags, clefairies and horseas, that I can think of off the top of my head.

AGHHH I gotta get another 3DS so bad, aaaaaaa! I might preorder the games as well before I even have the platform to play them on XD;;; Maybe there'll be a Sun/Moon 3DS released with them.
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:icondragonsong12:
dragonsong12 Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Man, I'd take any of those three if you've got extras.
I hope trading gets implemented soon. (If only because what's a pokemon game without trading? :XD: )
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