Casey Jones !!

Earlier this season, Casey Jones joined the cast of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon on Nickelodeon. Up until now, he’s mostly been cramping Donatello’s style, flirting with April and being generally charming but he had not officially met the turtles or joined the team. But in the episode I watched today (it aired Feb 2 but Hulu Plus just got it!) we finally get to meet the Casey Jones we know and love:

Casey Jones

I have been a Ninja Turtles fan since I was a kid, like when they FIRST came out in the late 1980s. I had a couple of the comics, but I was more of a Saturday Morning Cartoon watcher at that age than a comic book fan. Somewhere in my parents’ basement there is a box full of action figures of all my favorite characters and little pizzas that I cut out from each box (so they would have something to eat on break). Casey Jones is in that mix.

I guess he has always been a popular character since he was featured in the cartoon AND in the first movie (though maybe they felt they needed a human love interest for April? How species-ist!). I remember drawing a picture of Casey after seeing the movie and putting a little speech bubble next to him that had the direct quote from the movie “That was a crime, you purse grabbing pukes!” It seemed harmless to me, but for some reason my Mom was really upset! She did not want me **writing** or saying such things. I knew better than to SAY them, of course, I was merely documenting the film so I had to write the exact line! LOL. I was pretty traumatized, as you can tell, and I was careful not to **write** anything like that on my drawings from then on.

ANYWAY – When Casey finally appeared earlier this season, I was smitten. I love that they have knocked out his two front teeth. I love how his hoodie and jeans are always covered in some kind of grime – either spray paint residue or just straight up dirt. And he is just the right amount of cocky and sweet for April to be a little bit attracted to him. He’s definitely dangerous and I like that his relationship with Raphael is already off to a hilarious start, the two of them more alike than I ever realized.

I also loved that Casey painted his face UNDER the mask! Actually a brilliant move, even the turtles were surprised.

Casey Jones

And I was highly amused that, when April introduced Casey to the four turtles by name his first question was “So the turtles are all Italian?” ❤

Oh and the animators were VERY careful to make sure EVERYONE saw the "East Man" on Casey's hockey stick, a shout out to the creator of the Ninja Turtles.

Love Casey Jones on the new TMNT cartoon and also love the Eastman shoutout for old school fans of the comic #ninjaturtles #cartoons #screenshot

Seriously, you may think this is just a kids show since it airs on Sunday mornings on Nickelodeon, but it really captures the spirit of the turtles, and while kids will enjoy it, it’s smart enough for adult fans to watch. Lots of action, humor, and, especially in this episode, I felt the fight sequences were really well choreographed! If you’ve ever been a Ninja Turtles fan, check it out.

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Books read in January

The Black Cauldron (The Chronicles of Prydain, #2)The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow, Disney really did butcher this series, didn’t they? I’m glad that Tim made me read them and I am looking forward to the next 3 in the Pyrdain Chronicles. I was surprised by how INTENSE the last few chapters were, with actual threats to our heroes lives and one character going off the deep end in a big way. Wow. Great for fans of the LotR movies who might not be ready to read those books, but want a good fantasy series.

Star Wars: Jedi AcademyStar Wars: Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a cute idea but it never quite pulled me in the way that “Origami Yoda” did. Both of them want to be a Star Wars Wimpy Kid but Roan’s story was missing…something. I’m wondering if it is because this was the first in the series and so many introductions had to happen and setting up the whole Jedi Academy plot line. I might pick up book 2 and see if it has a little more to it.

I did REALLY like that Brown has, as the final page in the book, instructions for how readers can start their own journal like Roan’s. He encourages them to draw and paste in newspaper articles etc.

I would recommend this to late elementary school aged Star Wars fans. I think anyone older would probably enjoy the The Strange Case of Origami Yoda series more, but this could tide them over while waiting for Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue: An Origami Yoda Book to be released.

A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic NovelA Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel by Hope Larson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve never read the original book but I thought this graphic novel was very accessible and it did make me want to read the other books in the series. I have been a fan of Hope Larson’s art style since I happened to pick up ‘Mercury’ randomly one day. I really like the whole feel of it. The blue-gray-black color scheme worked well too.

I think reading this as a graphic worked best when it came to explaining all the mathematical theories behind the tesseract and time travel.

Would definitely recommend this to someone who is a fan of Doctor Who and other science fiction/fantasy stories with lots of weird but also lots of heart.

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Boxers (Boxers & Saints, #1)Boxers by Gene Luen Yang
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I know absolutely nothing about the Boxer Rebellion so Yang’s “Boxers & Saints” is really the introduction to this part of history for me. I haven’t read “Saints” yet though, so I’m not quite sure how fair it is to review this book alone. But I loved “Boxers”. Beautifully drawn and easy to understand. I will post more once I have read “Saints”.

Saints (Boxers & Saints, #2)Saints by Gene Luen Yang
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I finished this in one sitting. It really is the companion to “Boxers”, you shouldn’t try to read it on it’s own because there will be several parts that don’t quite make sense. The ending, particularly, won’t pack as much punch if you haven’t read “Boxers”.

This book wasn’t exactly what I was expecting but I still enjoyed it. While “Boxers” focused on one boy but ultimately gave you a view on why a group of Chinese wanted to rebel against the “foreign devils” and their religion, “Saints” is all about Four-Girl/Vibiana and I don’t know if it really explains why so many other Chinese converted to Christianity during this time, which by the end of “Boxers” I was really curious about.

I liked the story though and it was an interesting look at the other side of this conflict.

Year of the JungleYear of the Jungle by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

I’m not sure what to do about this book. I’m not sure who to give it to. But it was an interesting peek into Collins’ childhood. I really liked the art style too. It would be a good conversation starter for kids who are becoming aware of the news going on around them.

…but I’m still not sure who I would actually give this book to…

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I got paid to blog!

Reblogging from my Librarian blog because I’m just so HAPPY about it. Giddy even. 😀

Why a librarian?

I had my first official blog post published on the library’s website last week. It’s all about The Beatles and the library and, of course, me! LOL. 😀

And, bonus, it was picked up by our local newspapers and reposted on their websites. I feel so famous. It’s the little things in life you gotta grab on to, ya know.

And the post begins to answer the question that is the name of this blog so you should probably read it and know me better.

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accidentally live-blogged while watching Beatles tribute – I regret nothing!

[warning: lots of rambling ahead, The Beatles are known for making me do that]

Watching the “Grammy’s Salute to The Beatles”. The banter is pretty damn painful but I am enjoying the music. And holy shit Eric Idle looks so old. But I guess he is.

Dhani is the spitting image of George and it’s so wonderful and weird at the same time. He sounds a lot like him too, when he speaks and sings. and I actually saw him play a few years ago with Joseph Arthur and Ben Harper as part of the group Fistful of Mercy, which was fantastic. Intimate setting, in a synagogue actually, but it felt like a full on rock concert by the end, everyone up and dancing in the aisles/pews. I hope they make another album together.

Fistful of Mercy

Ed Sheeran is singing now and this would be my favorite song so far. I love hearing Beatles stuff stripped down and I think he is pulling it off.

Holy shit, Keith Urban is SHORT LOL! Well, John Mayer is also kinda tall. At least, I remember him being tall though maybe he was just doing that on purpose. Quit being taller than me! (so many mixed emotions about that man, not going to go into it now…bastard knows how to play guitar though). “Don’t Let Me Down” is such a great song, something so raw about it, so pure yet at the same time kinda dirty…but the honesty of it all makes it less dirty? I dunno, love that song.

Katy Perry’s Yesterday was okay, she didn’t really do much to make it her own. Right now I’m gonna say Ed Sheeran wins this show.

oh damn, this is a fun version of “Revolution” – nice job Imagine Dragons!

OMG Dave Grohl, why are you so great? I wish more rock stars were like him. And “Hey Bulldog”??? SO RANDOM! But I have no problem with that because it really captures that weird middle sound when the Beatles were trying to figure out what was next. (OMG could his daughter be any cuter LOL)

ANY song Annie Lennox sings sounds amazing, period. Her voice. HER VOICE. I would be happy listen to her sing every single Beatles song. (her dress kinda looks like it was made out of duct tape though…). I wonder if the artists got to pick which songs they would perform or if CBS was like “you play THIS! NOW!” I love “Fool on the Hill” but I know most of the Magical Mystery Tour album is low on people’s favorites list. If Annie picked it, it makes me love her more. (LOL okay Ringo just gave Paul a look, I wonder if Paul is singing along sorta loudly…you know, the way you would expect your 70 year old grandpa to sing along) (he’s such a clean old man).

Alicia Keys has more style then EVERYONE IN THE THEATER. That hat. Awwwww yeah. Also, omg was John Legend a little bit nervous there? He was shaking. Aaaaw. Oooh I am digging Let It Be with two voices like this.

Just did a search on Amazon and I don’t see any sort of collection of these songs available yet. Really, CBS? Actually didn’t even see a DVD up or anything either. I’m surprised.

Aw, let Anna Kendrick sing! TEASES! Brad Paisley and Pharell Williams? Hm, okay.

My friend took me to Vegas for my birthday several years ago and I got to see LOVE. It was amazing and, I won’t lie, I was crying by the end. So beautiful. If you ever get a chance, go see it. The album is fantastic, but the visuals of the show are just a crazy journey through the Beatles entire career.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps — oh when I was a kid, I just didn’t get this song, it freaked me out, the rhythm, the lyrics. They seem so simple but they are really so clever and complex. I love this song now.

Ringo’s turn. He sounds pretty good considering his age and, ya know, the smoking etc. Boys seems a little slower but then again, so is he. 🙂 Love ya Ringo.

OMG there was Sean…looks just like John.

LOL looks like Paul is already bouncing behind Sean Penn, ready to play. What a goof. I’ve seen him live twice and he was a lot of fun.

Sgt. Pepper – had to be played. And, yeah, Paulie it IS weird to tribute yourself. But that never stopped you before LOL. ❤ Ringo does seem a bit out of breath. But this is awesome. I'm a sucker for a huge Hey Jude sing-along, I won't lie.

Aw, it's over? Well, it was fun while it lasted. I hope they release a few of the covers as mp3s or something. Wouldn't mind having them in the mix.

rewatch: X-Men (animated series)

Friend and I were discussing the upcoming “Days of Future Past” and talking about the X-Men movies series and which comics we had read and inevitably this made me think of my first exposure to these characters – the 1990s Saturday Morning cartoon!

Time to go back to the classics. #xmen #90s #nostalgia

I must have been aware of the X-Men and the general idea behind the show. I can’t remember how or why I started watching. Probably to fill time between when one show ended and MST3K would start up on Comedy Central (which would stretch my “Saturday Morning” viewing well into the afternoon unless Mom yelled at me). I do remember really enjoying the show and knowing that it was far more mature than the other Saturday morning shows (Garfield and Friends, Tiny Toons, even TMNT were not quite this level).

On a whim this week I did a search in the library catalog and we actually owned the DVDs! I checked them out and this morning I started my rewatch.

Night of the Sentinels just STARTS. I was really surprised by the lack of introductions. We are just dropped into Jubilee’s house as her foster father confesses to her mother that he has registered her as a mutant. Then the Sentinels drop by to grab her (as the giant robot chases Jubilee to the mall we hear as mall child scream “MOMMY! BUY ME THAT!” LOL). Jubilee is hiding in an arcade, which is hilarious to be because I’m pretty sure by the mid-90s, most arcades were gone. But maybe not. Also, Storm and Rogue are shopping in the mall in PLAIN CLOTHES which just weird to see. Gambit, on the other hand, is wearing his Gambit outfit but he is a smoooooooth BAMF and he is flirting with the girl at the game store.

Anyway, the Sentinel chases Jubilee through the mall. Storm uses her powers, no only to cause some weather in the mall, but to also change her shopping outfit into her X-Men uniform. Rogue, sadly, does not have these powers and must fight in her little pink red dress. I’m sorta hoping this never happens again because it just looked weird. Also, Rogue should not wear pink, it did not work with her hair or anything, I dunno.

So, they save Jubilee and take her back to the school and they do a really quick bit of exposition. It was amazing how much this paralleled the start of the first X-Men movie, though you would need to switch out Jubilee with Wolverine.

Jubilee eventually gets away again and heads back to her home. There is a hilarious moment when she is running through the city and we can CLEARLY see the GIANT Sentinel foot next to the building she runs past. This cracked me up and really gave it that “kid show” feel for a moment, but considering she was running to find her family to save them from these giant monsters, maybe it was good to throw in a light moment.

Of course, she gets captured for reals this time and dragged off to the HQ of the Mutant registration people. The X-Men just happen to head that way to try to destroy the registration center. Storm and Morph (a female version of Mystique minus blue skin) BURN the physical files while Beast goes into the computer to delete them. When the door looks like it is going to break down, Storm ZAPS THE MONITOR and says they don’t have enough time. I’m pretty sure destroying the monitor would do nothing to the files within. Great job Storm.

Most of the team manages to get away but Beast is captured and Morph is apparently KILLED! WOW! Did not expect that in a kids cartoon. They don’t show up, they just show all the characters saying his name, bowing their heads, and tearing up about 3 different times. Wolverine, who tries to be a badass, is really broken up about it all. After having a fight with Cyclops about leaving them behind, Cyclops decides to try to find the Sentinel warehouse and blow it up so Wolverine comes along. They lure the Sentinels out and one attacks Cyclops and it’s a pure 90s showdown with the Sentinel saying “Surrender Mutant!” and Cyclops says “Of course…NOT!!!!!!” and zaps him with his laser eyes…Yep. He says “NOT!” Only thing that would have made that moment better would been if he had said “SYKE!!!!!!!”

Then we see the President – OMG THIS MUST BE THE FUTURE BECAUSE THE PRESIDENT IS A WOMAN! — the President cancels the Mutant Registration because of how the X-Men reacted to it, saying that the men in charge must of given them a reason to be afraid. Wow. Wish all politicians were so in tune.

I feel like the animation probably didn’t age as well as it could have. I’m wondering how much of it was still hand drawn vs computerized at this point. I felt like Cyclops’ body proportions kept shifting from He-Man to slender. It might be that blue spandex is not flattering no matter how you wear it. I think Wolverine’s mask’s “ears” also varied in size from scene to scene. Though I suppose this might be faithful to how the old comics looked.

I’ve ordered “Days of Future Past” as a trade to read before the movie comes out, but now I’m also curious to compare how it translates from comic to cartoon since that is episode 11/12 of this disc.

game thoughts: Hearthstone

Playing Hearthstone beta with my bro #hearthstone

When I first heard about Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Blizzard’s new online collectible card game, I rolled my eyes. I had never played any CCGs in real life and I couldn’t imagine myself playing one virtually.

Then my brother texted me about the open beta and asked if I was going to try it. So I found my old Battle.net account, logged in and downloaded the game to just give it a try. And now I’m sucked into it.

I’m sure veteran card gamers will probably feel the same way about Hearthstone as most hard-core MMORPG players feel about WoW – it is very accessible, easy for casual players to pick up. That’s why I love it. You can launch this game and start playing through the tutorial and you’ll have the basics down in minutes. You can stay in the “Practice” zone for as long as you like to work on strategy and earn cards for your main deck, but the real fun begins when you start to challenge actual players. Since it is all linked to your Battle.net account, all your WoW friends automatically populate your player list so it would be easy to suck friends into card battles, maybe while waiting for the rest of your guild to log online for game night.

The cards all have that great WoW art look and the sound effects and sayings from your favorite in-game characters are played with each card.

I gave up on WoW itself a long time ago, I couldn’t justify the cost vs actual time I spent gaming. It was fun but my Xbox was gathering dust and it felt silly to keep paying for the same game over and over when I had brand new games to try. But Hearthstone is free! As far as I can tell, it’s going to be free.

Now, you can **pay** to get extra special cards, and I haven’t really experienced a game against someone of that level yet. Already you can give Blizzard real money and earn a limited edition card for when the game officially launches. I’ve only played the Casual matches and they have been lots of fun but I am thinking that the Ranked matches in the Arena will be a lot rougher and you will find the people willing to pay real money for virtual cards playing in that section.

But right now I’m having a hella lot of fun trying to complete my rogue deck and playing against random opponents. If you’re looking for a fun way to kill 30 minutes, download the demo and play a few games (nice feature: there is a clock in the game so you can see what time it is).

Have you tried Hearthstone yet? What do you think?

Veronica Mars fans RULE TEH INTERNETZ!

I really would never have bothered to vote in MTV’s Movie Brawl, wouldn’t have shown up on my radar, had it not been for Rob Thomas putting the call out on Kickstarter to vote for my favorite snarky detective as “Most Anticipated Movie of 2014”. I think I logged in twice, when it was up against “Maze Runner” and again when it was up against “Vampire Academy”.

Marshmallows be crazy. We kicked butt.

And so Ryan and Jason rewarded us with a video.

I am so excited about being a part of this crazy fandom right now. I can’t wait until March 14.