|Posted on October 15, 2017 at 11:30 AM||comments (0)|
Art Work by Paul Kidby who does all sorts of justice to the characters of Terry Pratchett
I have this uncanny ability to just forget I have a blog. I’ll scold myself over neglecting this, but I’ve been light on ideas lately since not going back to Dragon Age yet. For this I blame the Sims, which has pulled me in again, and Discworld, which is actually the topic of today’s post. I was looking to read another book of my 2017 read list, but then Going Postal just sounded like the right book. That led to Night Watch, which led to Guards, Guards, which I am now halfway done with and I’m eyeing Men at Arms, because I need my Angua fix or maybe even The Fifth Elephant. In any case, reading through Discworld just feels right and I’m reflecting on my own introduction to Sir Terry Pratchett.
My original introduction was not great. His books were recommended as a good fantasy read, but I didn’t know how Discworld books were structured (no chapters, lots of seemingly random things and characters who’ve been introduced elsewhere, etc). I picked Thud! as my first book. I do not recommend this as anyone’s first Discworld book. Technically you can read any of them as standalones, but I feel if you’re going to read a watch book, you should start with Guards, Guards because it’s important to meet Sam Vimes and Lady Sybil as they meet each other. Their relationship makes up a huge part of Vimes’s character and by starting with Thud! I had missed the foundation of what makes them so great and never really connected with Vimes because of it and hated the book. I’ve learned since then and obviously love Discworld now. In honor of my recent reread I present Katie’s Guide to Reading on the Disc.
Obviously this is just my opinion on how to be introduced to Sir Terry Pratchett, since you can’t start reading Discworld with books one (Colour of Magic) and two (The Light Fantastic). The rules of how the Disc worked changed after these two books into a more cohesive world. Even Sir Terry suggests not starting here.
I suggest starting with Wee Free Men or Going Postal because I feel they’re easiest to get into Discworld with. They don’t rely on already established characters and introduce you to new heroes and if you like these, then both have sequels (four in the case of Wee Free Men) that you can jump into immediately.
Deciding between these two comes down to what you’re looking for. If you want a more magical book, go with Wee Free Men. Tiffany wants to be a witch and travels to the land of Fae to rescue her brother and another boy who have been kidnapped. It features an intelligent girl who uses her wit to survive and it shows Sir Terry writes women better than most male authors and better than some female authors. A note on witches on the Disc. These aren’t like Harry Potter witches or Oz witches or the witches on Charmed. They’re more like village wisewomen. They have magic, they can use it, but generally do normal things instead. Like help birth cows and babies, mend the sick, offer advice, visit shut ins with meals, everyday things that need doing by someone. The biggest thing with a witch’s magic is knowing when to use it to as not to abuse it. I love the whole series and think anyone reading Discworld should read them at some point, even if not starting with them.
If you want a more average hero, with less magic on their side, I suggest Going Postal. Moist is a conman who was mostly executed, but is given the opportunity to do better and use his skills toward the civic good. Or as I view, an opportunity to take down an even bigger con artist by running the post office. I love this book, it’s the reason I kept reading Terry Pratchett. It takes place in my favorite location, Ankh-Morpork, and features some truly great characters, such as Adora Belle Dearheart. I think it’s a good one to start with because character-wise, you’re not thrown a lot of characters from previous books, except Vetanari, but having no background on him doesn’t hinder reading. Moist is interesting enough on his own because he still wants to be a conman, but he uses it toward a more useful purpose that just swindling people. The only downside of reading this first, is it does take for granted the reader knows all about Ankh-Morpork. It doesn’t necessarily take away from reading, but there are the occasional passages that don’t make sense on how the citizens act. Bonus, this has a made for TV movie available from Sky One.
Once you’ve finished these, I feel it’s best to either jump on a guard or witches book as your next Disc experience. If Wee Free Men and subsequent Tiffany Aching books held your attention, check out the Wryd Sisters or Witches Abroad. The witches are great. They’re so different, yet similar, and as a trio, they complement each other really well. I’ve noticed most people are all over Granny Weatherwax and promote her books as a first read. Personally, I like the witches and think they’re great for those who want magical heroines, but I fall more into the Going Postal read, with an everyday guy acting as protagonist. If you are more like that, Guards, Guards is the best next choice. It introduces readers to the Night Watch, which are among my favorite books. This is the base for all other watch books and honestly, I think it needs to be read first of those (see above for Vimes/Sybil relationship). But it’s also a good book all on its own. Take one part youthful idealist, one part “destiny”, one part grizzled policeman, and one part dragon, mix and serve on a cold day. The watch books are my favorite, so I cannot recommend these enough. And I believe Night Watch is Sir Terry’s best book. The only reason I don’t recommend it first, is because I feel readers should know Sam Vimes a little bit before witnessing him time travel to his youth.
Once you’ve gotten this taste and if you like Discworld, it’s wide open. These books set a good foundation on how life operates and introduces most of the main characters you see over and over again. There’s 41 novels to choose from and they don’t need to be read in any order. That’s the joy of Discworld. Everyone continues to live their lives between books, but you’re still welcomed back like an old friend.
Katie’s List of Must Reads from the Disc
-Wee Free Men
-I Shall Wear Midnight
|Posted on September 12, 2017 at 5:40 PM||comments (0)|
BoJack Horseman is a pretty ridiculous concept. Anthropomorphic animals living in Hollywood (or Hollywoo if you watch). It’s full of sight gags and nonsense characters like Vincent Adultman who is three kids in a trench coat standing on each other’s shoulders. The characters have names you imagine old ladies give to their pets (IE Officer Meow Meow Fuzzyface, Captain Peanutbutter, Butterscotch Horseman) It’s surreal, goofy, and somewhat ludicrous premise, but it is also one of the most emotionally charged, brilliant shows I have ever watched.
Season four just premiered and I spent most of my weekend watching it. I’ve already rewatched several episodes because this season is hands down the best. The narrative isn’t as tight or interwoven as past seasons since BoJack has essentially burned all the bridges with the people who care about him. And while their stories don’t all come together, we see Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter, Princess Caroline, and Todd all growing as people (or animals) separate of their connection to BoJack. It’s heartbreaking, but uplifting, because they’re all finding their places in the world. We meet teenage Hollyhock, BoJack’s long-lost relative, a young woman who is searching for answers and foolishly comes to BoJack for them. But what truly prompted me to write a review was the second and eleventh episodes, The Old Sugarman Place and Time’s Arrow, which are easily the most gut wrenching episodes of a cartoon, or arguably any show, I’ve watched.
For those not familiar, season two includes an episode where BoJack’s mother tells him he was born broken. It is his legacy and in these two episodes we finally understand what exactly she meant. In a beautifully animated and written story we see where BoJack’s mother, Beatrice, is coming from and how BoJack’s life mirrors the same depressive brokenness that caused his grandmother to be lobotomized and his mother to become so verbally abusive. In a series of shots that overlap past and present we see a family so hurt, there is no fixing it now.
Time’s Arrow is especially heartbreaking because as Beatrice’s dementia advances in the present, we see her memories filled entirely with faceless people, her once vivacious mother is a literal shadow of herself with a lobotomy scar, and her father burns her memories showing that her disease will take everything (technically he’s burning everything due to scarlet fever, but I mean…come on… ) It’s a horrifying look at dementia, not to mention an upsetting look at where BoJack comes from as his parents’ marriage crumbles because it was built on a mutual need to rebel, rather than love. The episodes pull no punches as they take you through a broken horse’s life, past and present. And as we see BoJack drive past a damaged gas station his grandmother had crashed into in the ‘40s, we see things touched by this family are doomed to stay broken (there’s a great review that points this out in eloquent terms, but damned if I can find the link now among all the other reviews of the last few days). And when it is all over, BoJack, who has wanted to tell his mother off, does something unexpected by softening the blow.
After three seasons of talking about how he hated her, three seasons of his depression and alcoholism destroying everything good, he sits down with his barely lucid, woefully confused mother and provides her with an image of a happier time that never truly existed, but one they both wish had. It’s a complete lie and I’ve read one review (www.vulture.com/2017/09/bojack-horseman-recap-season-4-episode-11.html) saying how cruel and wrong it is given what we know of both Beatrice and BoJack, but I’ve chosen not to view it in those terms. It is a lie, and it can be seen as a cruel one given what we know, but at the same time it’s a lie BoJack and Beatrice need right then. They’ve never been happy with each other. Their whole lives have been a descent into darkness. They’ve had abuse heaped on them, they’ve heaped abuse on others, they’re part of a never-ending cycle. Now Beatrice is slipping away and they can never truly make things right between themselves, but in one moment things are right. It’s a lie about a happy time that never existed, but it’s one BoJack at least needs to move forward. A lie about what could be so he can break the cycle for the good of Hollyhock who is already showing she is falling into the same trappings as BoJack did. I see it as BoJack finally letting the anger go, allowing himself to smile as the last scene of the whole season, smile because things could be better for a change, because family is what could potentially make him happy.
BoJack is a hard sell, I feel. It’s about talking animals in Hollywood, but of all the shows I watch, it is by far the most human in its depictions of raw emotions. It handles very real issues in a very surreal way. And while it tackles the dark side of life by making the titular character a manic depressive alcoholic, it also provides excellent points of levity with its clever sight gags and commentary on certain aspects of everyday life. It can be hard to get into, but it is worth the time, if for nothing else, it tells a story worth listening to
|Posted on August 18, 2017 at 9:10 AM||comments (0)|
I have unintentionally fallen behind on my Dragon Aging. Things got busy the last few weeks, so while I adult all day long, at night I mournfully look towards my desktop, asking when I can go back to saving Thedas. But this unplanned break from #KatieReplaysDAO isn’t all bad. I finished a manuscript, which is the first of a series. That’s exciting. I’m trying to get my final edits on Fearless as the Dawn started, which if I actually buckle down and finish said editing, I would like to release in January.
I think this is the first time I’ve been able to produce new content more easily than editing. I enjoy editing, but I can write on breaks at work in a notebook, so it has become easier to get new content down because by the time I get home, I’ve had all I can handle of computer screens. But starting next week (once the craziness of being in a friend’s wedding has passed) I’m going to try to set aside some computer time at home to get this editing done. Because I have been at it for too long this time, when normally, I’ve given it three or four reads, instead of two. This is the plan and if I want to get more than one book out in 2018, I know I need to stick with it.
|Posted on July 12, 2017 at 9:00 PM||comments (0)|
So a quick rundown of this origin. I decided to play as an elf mage named Dorothy (yes, after the Golden Girl). You start by doing your Harrowing to prove you can be a competent mage, trusted with your abilities, and able to withstand the temptation of a demon. Once you pass, because of course you pass, you’re a full fledge mage. Then you’re crappy friend, who can’t be trusted with his magical abilities, asks you to do him a crappy favor so he can escape. At this point you have the option to help like a good friend or report this to the grand enchanter. I reported it because after all the training, the years of showing you can be trusted, you friend, Jowan, decides he’s in love with a chantry sister and wants you to break in, destroy his phylactery (magical tracking device) so he can run away.
And this is why I think Jowan is a crappy friend because he wants you to throw everything away so he can run off into the night. He never considers what he’s asking of you and doesn’t look beyond his own desires. Because you’re a full mage and he’s not he and his lady, Lily, need your ability to break into the magical store room. I reported him to the Enchanter Irving and let Jowan think I was helping him. He then proves he doesn’t deserve his mage robes by turning to blood magic once we’re caught breaking in by the Templars. Because the game can’t end with you being executed or going to mage prison, Duncan of the Grey Wardens recruits you to join their ranks instead.
This quick recap won’t make sense to those unfamiliar with the game, but here’s some background. Mages in Thedas are feared and locked into Circles where they can’t endanger the general populous. If a magically gifted person doesn’t go into the Circle, they are hunted by Templars as an apostate. The whole thing is those with magic are susceptible to demon possession and through that or blood magic can cause untold amounts of damage. Which is why the Rite of Tranquility exists. Those who are too weak or don’t want to submit to their Harrowing to become a full mage are cut off from the Fade and all emotions and magical abilities. Obviously there are those who fight this oppression and those who agree within the ranks of the mages. It creates an interesting backdrop and provides plenty of shades of gray on the role of the Circle and of the Chantry, the religious organization that has a hand in it.
For my own part, I think the Circle is needed, but in an altered form than what we see in game. Because education of magic is key. Let’s take two non-Circle mages that appear in DAO to highlight education’s importance. Connor and Morrigan.
Connor’s mother wants him to be kept out of the Circle and hires Jowan (ironically) to be his tutor at Redcliffe. Since Jowan is terrible at magic Connor is left open for demon possession and creates all sorts of havoc at Redcliffe because he has no training and doesn’t know how to protect himself from temptation.
Morrigan on the other hand has Flemeth teaching her. And even though Flemeth is shady in her motivations, she has impeccable control and teaches her daughter how to resist demons and blood magic. Morrigan’s education makes her stuck-up at times, but extremely powerful and in control of her abilities.
And despite not being in a Circle, Morrigan reinforces to me the need for Circles as a place of education. Because if all mages could be trained like her, the threat of magic would go down. The Circle needs to train its mages and the chantry needs to educate everyone else. And then once the Harrowing is done, let the mages go out into the world as free people. This argument is central to Dragon Age II and Inquisition. After playing through multiple times, this is where I stand. Education first and foremost.
As far as the origin itself, as I said, it’s pretty middle ground for me. It lacks the action and violent betrayal of the human and dwarf noble stories that I love so much, but leaves a better impressions than dwarf common, Dalish or city elf. I do like the history lesson it awards for the Circle of Magi. You pretty much get a crash course in blood magic, demon possession, the Rite of Tranquility, and the Rite of Annulment and I’m always for in depth world building and history. Overall it’s a B- storyline in my book.
|Posted on June 30, 2017 at 9:05 PM||comments (0)|
I had fun with tweeting and blogging a Star Wars marathon. I had fun rereading and doing the same with LOTR. So I'm at it again. This time it'll be #KatieReplaysDAO and God help us all.
Dragon Age is my favorite game series, by a lot. I love Legend of Zelda, but it doesn't even come close. I came to the first game by accident. I had been searching iTunes for new writing music and stumbled onto the Dragon Age soundtrack. I loved it and a few months after listening to the soundtrack a lot, I finally got the game. It's been a while, but I'm pretty sure I missed work a few days to play this during that first playthrough. I couldn't get enough of the story, the characters, the gameplay, pretty much everything. Once I finished it I immediately got Dragon Age II.
Going into both these games with no idea what it was about proved to be an asset. I got to experience an entirely new world and learn about it through my character. It was nothing short of magical. So, it's time to replay, but this time I won't be doing what I always do in the game.
List of Katie Always Do's:
-Romance Alistar. I can't not do it! I try, but he's my imaginary boyfriend. This time I will not romance him. Period. No matter how much I like his character.
-Play as Cousland Rogue/Warrior. I've played all the origins, but only beat the game as a Cousland. I love the opening the most. I love rogue because I can get into everything and I like warrior, because I like to hit stuff. So, I'll be a mage this go around to avoid the temptation of Teryn Cousland. I haven't decided on human or elf, but mage for sure.
-Play nice with others. I always play nice and choose diplomacy and not outright murder when I can. I try to broker peace between werewolves and elves. I try to save Redcliff even though I am busy trying to save the world. I even save that that punk-ass Isolde live when she's the reason Redcliff is a mess. All in the effort to be nice to NPCs. Not this time. I'd like to see the dynamics and interactions in game when I stop trying to please everyone and make tough decisions that will piss off my party.
-Name my Mabari Bruce. Who am I kidding? That dog is still going to be named Bruce.
There are a number of others, but I'll get more in-depth as I play through the game. These are just general things I tend to do.
So join me for an exciting romp through Thedas, through the base game and all nine DLCs.
|Posted on June 24, 2017 at 6:25 PM||comments (0)|
I adopted a puppy! She is a 56lbs Great Pyrnesse mix (we think lab based on build, coat, and temperament, but we really don't know for sure). She is exactly the opposite of what my boyfriend and I were looking to adopt. Since Nate and I work all day we wanted an older dog, small to medium size who had a chill attitude and could adapt to being home for a several hours between when we left for work, when the dog walker came, and then when we got home. So obviously with these requirements in mind we went to the adoption event and picked out a huge puppy of six months. She's big and still a puppy, but she's very calm (most of the time) and amazingly enough already knows when to play and when to relax. When we first met her, I assumed she was two given how relaxed she was even though the street was crowded with other dogs, people, children, and a million things were going on, plus she was lovable from the first moment. And that's why we knew she was for us. On 06/17 we welcomed Juno into our home and though we're only a few days in, it is the best life decision made recently. It is wonderful to have a dog again. It has been almost three years since my Molly passed away and I have bounced around from apartment to apartment since then, so it hasn't been the right time to get a dog. But now is the time and I'm happy to have Juno my life for her to drool and shed all over my clothes, drip water from her jowls, incessantly chew her squeaky toy, chase neighborhood squirrels, cuddle on the couch, give me dog hugs when I get home from work, and maybe serve as inspiration for my next story project.
|Posted on June 14, 2017 at 8:00 PM||comments (0)|
Dear Mr. Kellan,
We haven’t talked in years, but it’s important for you to know the influence you had in my life. You taught me to play the tuba, an instrument I stuck with for eight years until I graduated college. You helped teach me the bassoon, because I was interested, even though a career in music and music education was not in my future. But more importantly you were a teacher I could look up to.
You taught us with compassion and kindness, treating us like professionals even though we were teens in a high school band. You encouraged us to be the best we could be. And we took for granted there would come a day when you wouldn’t be in the band office drinking a cup of coffee. When you caught me crying in a practice room because I couldn’t grasp Algebra and was in danger of failing, you took me into the office and reminded me it would all work out because I was smart and all I had to do was put my best effort forth. That it was ok I was weak in math because with hard work I could succeed even though I didn’t feel like I could, that my future wouldn’t be defined by one class. And when I finally was accepted to my first choice college you were the first teacher I came to with the good news.
I was hardly the strongest or best tuba player, but you still asked me to step in and play with concert band II when they needed someone for a performance. I don’t know why you thought me when there were at least five better players ahead of me, but you did and it meant the world to me. You taught me I didn’t have to be the best, only that I had to try to my best. It was a privelege to be in your band. You were an inspiration to so many and so it should come as no surprise many tears were shed on June 4th.
I had many teachers I admired in different ways, but you inspired me more than I could ever express. You will be missed now and forever.
Katie – Class of ‘05
|Posted on May 21, 2017 at 8:05 PM||comments (0)|
Breath of the Wild, am I right? I beat it earlier this week must to my glee and sadness. Once I got that last Divine Beast out in the Gerudo Desert I couldn’t wait and grind anymore. I picked up the master sword and Hylian shield and went to meet my fate.
Plot: 3 stars –
It’s a Zelda game. While the base plot is almost always the same, each game offers a new dynamic to Zelda and Hyrule. Link is just generally his usual cardboard self (Windwaker being the exception). Wake up, dungeon crawl, get the master sword, save the princess, kill Ganon, repeat as needed. BotW does not deviate too far from this formula, but having Link awake 100 years after a crushing defeat is a nice touch. You’ve tried once to kill Ganon and failed miserably, causing your fellow champions to die and Zelda to face Ganon alone only to be imprisoned. It makes for an interesting interaction with people and no one will let you forget a hundred years ago you screwed the pooch and had the nerve to die (almost) before Ganon. Though, for a country under siege from a dark lord, Hyrule’s citizens seem to live with no fear and simply don’t give a hoot Calamity Ganon is a dark cloud of hate and evil floating around a castle. Maybe show a little fear? No? Ok.
Main Boss: 2 Stars –
The main boss in any game is what you’ve been fighting for. So, I’m of a mind the final boss should be difficult and should take your time. Calamity Ganon looks terrifying, like Shelob and the Eye of Sauron had a fiery, murder spider-baby, but he’s surprisingly easy. At first he killed me super easily. But once my abilities were charged he was the easiest boss for the first half of the fight. Sure he hits for a lot, but if you have the Hylian shield and the abilities from the other Champions, he’s easy to stun and beat to death. And the second half of the fight? The part that should have been more difficult? He knocked me from my horse and that was about all the damage he dealt. It was frustratingly easy to take him down, almost disappointingly so. There were enough challenges within the rest of the game that this isn’t a big deal, but I was geared up for a long fight with multiple stages. Something along the lines of the Twilight Princess fight with like three to four different stages. Alas, not this time.
Game Play: 4 stars –
This includes weapons, targeting, travel, etc. This game is built around survival, so your weapons break from overuse. You can’t just kill a moblin and get rupees and the only arrows you’re getting don’t come from cutting down tall grass. You have to find that shit or buy it. Inconceivable! But that’s what makes this good. In the other games there’s an almost limitless supply of rupees, arrows, bombs, hearts, and magic potion. Your weapons last forever no matter how you abuse them. Here if you bring a wooden weapon up Death Mountain, it is going to burn into ash. That wooden spear you found? It’s going to break when you smash the face of an especially armored moblin. It’s cool. It forces you to drop weapons when you run out of space and without all the special gear, like the boomerang, hookshot, or megahammer, you’re forced to learn what weapon works best for what monster based on its power vs your enemy’s. Let’s not forget dressing for the wild climate changes in Hyrule. Sure there was the Zora tunic and the Goron tunic in Ocarina, but this is entirely different. Too cold? Better have the right armor. Want to sneak around? Get it together and change. As far as gameplay is concerned, this is the best Zelda game I have ever played. I take some issue with the targeting system. It felt superfluous and you usually had to rely more on your own judgment then it to target the things you wanted to hit. But otherwise the open world + the survival aspect = a damn good time. And cooking. Let’s not forget the best addition ever.
Dungeons: 5 stars –
Dungeons take forever. And generally on my first play through I need a guide to help solve some of the puzzles. What door to go through and when without screwing up is not my strong suit. I have nightmares about Ocarina’s Water Temple and my first disastrous play through. Dungeons usually take an hour and if you have to stop in the middle, you are transported back to the start when you come back. And the rest of the game is pretty much set dressing until the next dungeon. The shrines in BotW take maybe five minutes, depending on the puzzle you have to solve. The Divine Beasts can take twenty minutes, unless you’re me, then they take thirty and a lot of swearing as you continually fall to your death. And they’re optional! If you want to, you can just run to face Ganon right away after getting off the plateau. Instead of Hyrule being just space to get from dungeon to dungeon, the shrines are extra places you find as you explore Hyrule. For the love of God, Nintendo, do this again!
Graphics: 4 stars –
It’s a Zelda game, there’s always a certain cartoony aspect to the graphics in comparison to other current games on the market. But there are some truly magnificent views of Hyrule if you climb high enough. And the cut scenes with the Divine Beasts are pretty fun to watch. It’s a shame not more was done to Zelda and Link, the blond, blue eyed Hylians are familiar, but stale. I am super happy to see the Gerudos again and was glad to see they were differentiated from the Hylians. Taller, more muscled, and striking, I would have loved if Zelda was actually a Gerudo in this game, but that would have messed with the formula. Maybe someday. Not likely, but I can dream.
Overall: 4 stars (I know this is not how math works, but the overall game is worth more than 3.6 stars)
It was a spectacular game. I beat the main story, but I have tons of exploring and side quests to do still. I was skeptical about this game. Nintendo does not always do well deviating from their formula. An open world, voice acted Zelda, with no real dungeons? I figured this would go to one extreme or the other. Windwaker was an amazing game even though I saw plenty of skepticism about the animation when it was first released. Why couldn’t Breath of the Wild be the same? But I also know myself and know I’m not into open world games and part of my love of Zelda stems from the game driving you to complete the plot and not waste all your time taking pictures or collecting heart pieces. In the end the open world and change to game mechanics was BotW’s biggest asset. The plot was much the same, yet it was still a fresh, but familiar world that is totally worth wandering around in.
|Posted on April 30, 2017 at 5:00 PM||comments (0)|
May is a month of giveaways! Each week I will be running a giveaway for the Death Dealer books on Goodreads. Then from June 1-15th the entire series will up for giveaway. So bounce on over to Goodreads and check it out!
|Posted on April 28, 2017 at 2:45 PM||comments (0)|
Objection: To make it another 60 years on earth, at least
University of South Dakota
• Major: in Beer and Broken Dreams aka History
Occasional Screw Up: 1987-Present
• Making poor life decisions
• Eating Taco Bell
• Driving a Buick Century (2009-2014)
• Watching the entire series of Desperate Housewives twice from start to finish
• Being bad at math
• Being the only person to think Rogue One was shitty
• Writing really bad, non-canonical fan fiction
• Publishing 6 books to date
• Having a pointlessly large vocabulary
• Buying pretty journals that only get partially used before buying a new one
Sassy Commentator: 1988-Present
• Never shutting up
• Making inappropriate comments at inappropriate times
• Loving and crafting puns
• Making bomb ass pancakes
• Marathoning Golden Girls
• Playing the tuba poorly
• Rocking a ponytail
• Once ran two miles without stopping
• My ex-roommate, Brittany, who ate all the baked goods
• Childhood friend, Erin, who got mailed pancakes more than once
• Childhood friend, Natty, who had an equal hand in some of those non-canonical fan fictions
• My mom, who can attest to the fact she actually gave birth to me and I didn’t burst out Alien style