Author Archives: Annaleigh Josephs, CSS
Everyone’s heard the news. Even if I didn’t listen to sports radio in the morning, I would know about Manti Te’o’s embarrassing situation. “Manti Te’o,” “Manti Te’o hoax,” “Lennay Kekua,” and “Te’oing” are trending like crazy all across the web and even the girls that hate sports are talking about it at my work. And you know what? I fully sympathize with and understand him.
First, I start off with an apology. I’m probably the worst person with consistency in anything, unless I have deadlines. This is a pure confession, but I can offer nothing more.
Now, I’ve been finding myself wanting to reflect about the past year over the past few weeks, but one of the things you shouldn’t do to yourself when you’re sick is make your brain work. While I’m not to 100% capacity, I can’t find myself stalling any longer.
Something about my day has had me thinking of And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. It was one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books growing up (behind Hop on Pop, of course) because it was about the imagination. The thing is, my morning was a lot like it. It started with a call to the boyfriend, “you’re probably not going to believe what I just saw on the Boulevard.”
“The Boulevard” is Southwest Boulevard- a strip of road in Downtown Kansas City that hops both sides of the state line. It starts as 19th street off Baltimore Avenue on the Missouri side and continues southwest to 39th street in Kansas, where it becomes Merriam Lane. It passes through the Crossroads (noted as our arts district), the West Side neighborhood, and Rosedale. It has origins that date back to 1872 and has been in its current incarnation since two property owners provided a link between Kansas City Avenue and Kansas City Boulevard back in 1887.
The Boulevard is home to Boulevard Beer (a Kansas City staple since 1989), The Roasterie (delicious coffee), and some of the most amazing Mexican restaurants and grocery stores (Rosedale and Westside are heavily Hispanic communities) as well as a barbeque joint or two (it is Kansas City, after all). I’ve always had a fondness for this part of town (especially being one with a love for authentic Mexican food and an unnatural love affair with horchata), but this day has been something else.
First thing this morning, I was thinking ahead to the wedding of one of my best friends and I manage to miss my exit. Yeah, I’m glad I figured it out only one exit down. But it’s okay because I had planned for it to take about 45 minutes to get to work…it only really takes me about 20-30 minutes to get here. (What a change from the rest of the week…one day I left an hour early to arrive 10 minutes late.)
Today I’m working off of Rainbow Boulevard, one of the streets that intersects with Southwest and I decided to start my day with a quick run to QuikTrip (yeah, I know, that one was a gimme). As soon as I was parked, I placed that call to the boyfriend. “You’re probably not going to believe what I just saw on the Boulevard.”
His reaction was as simple as mine, “really?!”
Lunch is always a cause for celebration. Whenever I’m around someplace with so many places to discover, I’m usually thrilled. Now, today, I had brought my lunch (a buffalo chicken wrap that was delicious from earlier in the week) and it turned out to have not kept well in the refrigerator. I had to find an alternative. Cue the questing music!
Probably the best thing about the Boulevard is the surreal world you enter. The streets are lined with colorful murals, unique buildings, and odd…decorations. For instance, I learned something new about one of my favorite producers of coffee today: The Roasterie has a plane on top of it. I promise, I’m not smoking something wacky, there’s video evidence of it!
Let me tell you, this was a more eye-boggling experience than the Weinermobile…and THAT one was crazy. Between the plane and the colors, it was as if the artwork of the place was coming alive. I felt transported to a different world altogether and my world shifted into a sense of enlightenment. It was uplifting, joyous, and thrilling.
Finally I settled on a place called “Taqueria Mexico” and popped in. It had a bit of a feel like other Mexican places closer to home…a little too laminated. Things were a little too official, not very home-y or hole-in-the-wall feeling. You know what, though? The food was good. And they had horchata. And it was the size of my head.
And, you know, driving back had a palpable sense of wonder to it, I felt as though I was traveling through a tunnel. Perhaps it was a tunnel of time or a tunnel of existence, but it felt as thought something changed in me. Perhaps something greater was speaking to me in this feeling of words and images, but I know today was an amazing day- even despite the little wrongs. After all, had I not missed my exit or had I packed a lunch worth eating I would have missed half of my day.
And to think that I saw it on Southwest Boulevard…
Yup, I know, long time no write. Life happens and tends to get in the way of plans. But today, I’ve got something on my mind.
You know, they say you should always write about what you know. I’ve been seeking knowledge for years, always pushing myself in one way or another. I have pushed myself into learning about history, mythology, theology, science, health, politics, art, and much more. I’ve studied everything from the stories of faeries to the lives of prolific authors, I know the difference between whiskey and whisky, and I can navigate between point A and B in my hometown with my eyes closed. The hardest part is what I don’t know. By personality and character flaw, I’m loath to admit something I don’t understand or readily have knowledge of- oftentimes I gloss over these moments. But, there is a problem with my lack of a particular subject. No, I’m not troubled that I don’t understand advanced trigonometry or that I am not well-versed in programming languages- it’s something much more troubling:
I don’t know myself.
Perhaps it is the root of my writer’s block or the thing which keeps me just unorganized enough to never finish my stories. Maybe it’s not blocking me at all and is just an excuse. Regardless, it’s troubling.
I’ve been seeking myself for years, but instead often find myself seeking else. I start down one path and end up walking down five others. It is as if I have gone into the woods with a destination in mind, only to find myself diverting to chase after an animal or follow the sound of a stream. Having wandered, confused, I am now curled in the roots of a tree, protecting and sheltering myself from the villains that have come and gone in the night. Those who once walked beside me now hunt me and haunt me, long gone on different paths I might or might not have taken. I feel as though I seek comfort in familiarity, but it’s doing me no good in the big picture of things. I drive myself forward in spurts, frustration getting the better of me and sending me from my so-called safety. My emotions are letting fear get the better of me and I’m done with it.
But, what do I know?
First and foremost I’m going to apologize. I’m an inconsistent, frustrating slacker. I figured I’d mention it in case you didn’t notice already. I get times where I just can’t motivate myself to do anything unless I’m on a deadline. That being said, guess what! I’m on a deadline.
I go on vacation next week and my internet access will be spotty at best. I’m not even sure I’ll have access to a computer. As such, I’m taking my responsibility over on SciFi4Me first and foremost. I’ve got this week’s Geekly to work on, and I have to prepare next week’s Geekly for my editor to publish. As such, no Top Ten Tuesday today. I know, I know. I’m a slacker. But, after all, I haven’t read 10 books since I started this blog! Once I’m caught up, I may have something up over the weekend, but no big promises. I have a lot to do….
In other news, I HAVE finally read something I should have long ago… Game of Thrones. I’m working on the series and A Clash of Kings now between my duties to SciFi4Me and packing. I’ll try to have something fun up about that later, but not right now.
Also, a moment of happy news… a very good friend of mine has finally come back from Afghanistan!
Okay, now, back to the vacation thing…guess where I’m going? I’ll give you a few hints: Indiana Jones, Galaxy Quest, Barsoom, Doctor Who, and Star Trek (the newest film to have been released).
Don’t worry, I’ll bring back souvenirs!
Well, it’s that time again…after my slacking of last week (hey, all I could come up with for “Top Ten Characters I’d Like to Switch Places with for 24 Hours” was “anyone in the Harry Potter world”…Let’s just say I read books where the characters have some serious issues. You know, people trying to kill them, curses worked against them, demons and monsters of all sorts causing problems…the works).
Top Ten Posts On Your Blog That Would Give The BEST Picture of YOU
Well, the nice thing about this is that I’ve been writing for some time. I realize a lot of my posts don’t end up over HERE, per say, but I have a lot of ones that I’m very proud of over at SciFi4Me.com. Jason (my editor) gives me a lot of nice wiggle room to say what I’d like…as long as it pertains to genre, of course.
10. That being said, I have a great post about my writing for SciFi4Me. While the Cat’s Away… was written on a day I had actually managed to do a lot. Speaking of which, I need to probably get to work on another roundup (a somewhat interesting news-format piece over on the site).
9. The Geekly with a Twist It goes without saying…I want everyone to be reading this column I write for SciFi4Me every week! It’s a good mash-up of me: my love of history, my inherent geekiness, my randomness, and my love of a good cocktail! It publishes on Fridays (usually around midday) every week and features a list of geeky events in history that have happened that particular week. Fun side note: I actually created the above image. It’s one of my only successful trips into Photoshop (and my editor helped me a little more by resizing it when WordPress and the featured image started being silly and also by blending the calendar more).
8. My reviews are also a thing of particular pride for me. I can express happiness, like my gushing for Drew Magary’s The Postmortal or my disdain like my review on Blizzard’s Diablo III. I’ve got others, but those two are some of my better ones.
7. I’m also a huge fangirl. Especially when it comes to The Guild and Firefly. While my recent Guild article wasn’t much other than a method of preparation, Can the Signal Be Restarted? Ever? is an article which still makes me happy. While it’s a little bit of a rant, I don’t regret a word of it. And! Bonus…I actually predicted a few things to come along later (such as a little girl in Kaylee overalls and a LEGO Serenity).
6. Speaking of a little girl in Kaylee overalls… Things features not only that, but a bunch of other things that make me alternately happy and sad. It’s a good insight into what sort of stuff I hate, what sort of stuff I love, and what makes me SQUEE!
5. Taking a different turn, I started out on SciFi4Me with a little article called The Lush’s Top 10 Alcoholic Beverages of Science Fiction. It was the first exposure my lushy self got on SciFi4Me and it was a good intro before I started writing the Geekly.
4. Another thing I do, besides drink, is actually quite different. By my real name (yup, Annaleigh Josephs is a nom de plume! Muahahahaha!), I am a makeup artist and mask maker. One of my favorite articles I got to write over at SciFi4Me incorporates my love of SciFi and fantasy, Halloween, and makeup into The Lush Life: Flesh, Blood, and Scales (I’m not sure if my editor took out the Oxford comma or I did, but I’m a firm believer in it).
3. Now, I’ve been a bit of a fangirl all of my life. To put it like Jamie over at The Broke and The Bookish on today’s post, I can end up “fangirling that happened in the times of boy bands like BSB, Hanson & Nsync.” The hardest part is quelling that fangirlism into professionalism. I kind of made that hard realization at my first con and decided to write about the experience in an article entitled Geeks are People, too (in which I meet faces such as Robin Thorsen, Amy Okuda, the cast of Buck Rogers, Edward James Olmos, and Michael Golden).
2. Another one I’m fond of was over here on this blog…and it’s a typical ‘me’ moment. Prosciutto Taste on a Bologna Budget features a lot of how I think, how I write, and how I rant. It’s also a good look at my tastes and just how far I’ll go for a really good pizza.
1. And, of course, last but most certainly not least, my number one blog post that gives the best picture of ME is another one from my The Lush Life series…The Lush GEEKY Life: Why Being a Geek Rocks. One, it’s a very ‘me’ rant. Two, you get to see a little bit into my past. And, three, it’s very geeky. Geekiness is awesomeness.
Speaking of awesome geekiness, I’m putting final ideas into my Halloween costume…it’s getting to be that time. I’ll post more about that maybe later this week…just stay tuned, I guess!
Recently, my editor decided to stop by my day job with a bit of a surprise: a review copy of a book that had not yet been published. That book is Richard A. Knaak’s Legends of the Dragonrealm: Shade and, at the time of my typing this, the novel is still yet to have been printed. While I don’t have the finished copy, let’s just say I’m ready to buy the finished one. This is my kind of book and, after doing my digging, I LOVE what the artist has done for its cover.
This novel makes Mr. Knaak’s 18th in the Dragonrealm series, featuring previous origins publications and PDF releases. It’s another jewel in the crown for a new king of fantasy, having authored a good number of books for Blizzard’s World of Warcraft and Diablo worlds, three works in the Age of Conan series, the Dragonlance series…
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So, I don’t like talking about stuff like this because it really messes with me that I’ve let it get out of hand…but I’m actively attempting to lose weight so I figured I’d turn here for a little more support.
For me it’s been about the little steps. I’ve started eating breakfast by way of buying myself a personal blender and making myself smoothies in the morning with greens, soy milk, and flax-seed. I’ve cut pop out of my diet completely and I’ve restricted my intake of other sugary drinks. I’ve slowed my candy addiction and am working on taming my sweet tooth in general. I’m actually nixing my need for salty and sweet and just focusing on what my body ACTUALLY needs.
I’m not saying it’s been easy or awesome or anything really that extremely glorious. I just don’t like it anymore, I don’t feel healthy and I feel like I’ve gone down a path that I won’t be able to return from if I’m not careful.
My goals are pretty simple: look better in my bridesmaids’ dress for my friend’s wedding in October. Feel better. Be able to keep up hiking at the end of this month. Ideally, I’d love to get back down to where I was in high school…but I’d even go for about 10 lbs heavier than that mark. I’m working on it, regardless.
And I’ve got some tools to do it.
So, no more denial. It’s time to get really serious.
In case you missed it (and the quite obvious title of this particular article), The Guild is preparing for a Season 6! This international hit of a web-series made its announcement out at San Diego Comic-Con (and again on star/writer/producer Felicia Day’s Vlog The Flog) and Season 6 episodes will be starting this fall.
Granted, the wonderful Miss Day still hasn’t written the script, but we here at SciFi4Me have faith in her (and she’s got at least a little less pressure than George R.R. Martin and his race to keep up with Game of Thrones on HBO). And! In a change-up from recent seasons, the newest line of episodes will be premiering on the Geek and Sundry YouTube Channel as opposed to first running on the Zune Marketplace through Microsoft before being placed for viewing on the web.
So! You must prepare yourself for the epic awesomeness to…
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So, quick news before I get down to business…
Friday night was my friend’s first fight (we’ll call her Belle…she kind of looks like Belle from Beauty and the Beast…this is Turtle’s fiancée)…and she kicked butt. Literally. I drove an hour to watch a killer minute and a half round and I’m super proud of her! Yay!
Saturday was the Wine Walk on Delaware. While it didn’t to much for my current diet, I made some good connections and had as much fun as I do any time I get to talk about wine for several hours straight. I had to ice down my voicebox the next day because they had me attempting to talk over a guy playing music in a very echo-y space, so that was rough, but I still had a lot of fun. Next time I’m going to bug my contact to put the musician upstairs or something where I don’t have to strain my voice. (Of course, I’m going to kick my contact’s butt if he puts another scented candle in my tasting area….)
Sunday was the birthday of one of the boyfriend’s cousins and also her last game before State Championships in softball. They won the game the boyfriend and I made it down to, so yay! They ended up losing the championship, but it was to a team that plays competitively for the whole season (her team plays recreational, then “all-stars” are chosen to play in tournaments to get to go to the state level). And! They only lost 2-0 to these girls that looked about 5 years older than the league (seriously, I wonder what’s in the water in that town!).
So, enough rambling, time for the weekly bit of awesome sauce from the folks at The Broke and the Bookish…
Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings in Book
10. Kibou-diani from Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold: More specifically, I LOVE the catacombs beneath the world. The darkness and panic is just simply perfect for the opening of this wonderful book in the Vorkosigan Saga.
9. Barsoom from A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs: I know it’s not scientifically correct, but I LOVE Barsoom (and I can’t wait to visit its real-world location for the John Carter film next month).
8. Goodsmanwood from The Darkest Part of the Woods by Ramsey Campbell: The woods are very dark and deep, so to say…and the book uses its setting to beautiful degree as its main character. [More on my review over at SciFi4Me.com]
7. Westeros from the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin: Duh! Can’t you just fill the winter’s chill creeping up on you from the very beginning of A Game of Thrones? The wolves feel real, as does the snow, and the heights of the Eyrie dizzied me from the first passage.
6. Panem from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: Taking a note from the wonderful Julia from The Broke and Bookish, I have to agree with her choice of Panem. It’s dreary and dreadful in District 12, but it feels so dreary it can’t help but be real. I almost feel like I’ve stepped back to the old coal mines of the 18th century in this wonderful bit of YA fiction.
5. Fortriu from The Dark Mirror by Juliet Marillier: While it is technically based off of a historical place, Juliet Marillier fills in the details of the 6th century Pictish homeland as if she had grown up there herself. Everything from the flora and fauna down to the reasons for various deity worship ring perfect in this first novel of a trilogy.
4. Sevenwaters from Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier: She does it again! Sevenwaters feels so real, I feel like I need to go there on vacation. It’s the perfect escape!
3. Midkemia and Kelewar from the Riftwar Saga by Raymond Feist: Oh my god, can these exist, please? While Midkemia provides the perfect typical fantasy setting, Kelewar provides a beautiful (and colorful) tropical alternative not often seen in the genre.
2. The world of Harry Potter from the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling: Again, a duh. How many of us have waited on our letters from Hogwarts? After all, Quidditch is a sport nowadays.
1. Middle Earth from The Lord of the Rings books by J.R.R. Tolkien: And, lastly, a duh. I would live in Mirkwood in a heartbeat (of course, then again…spiders).