Game of Thrones: Book of the Stranger

another redhead? really?The 4th episode of the season is named after one of the Seven. The Stranger represents death and we can infer that the show runners are calling this episode the Book of Death. Honestly I thought it should have been named “Sister Power” after all the motivational talks they did for their brothers. I can’t spoil too much new information because most of the characters’ storylines have progressed further than their book counterparts. There will be spoilers for this episode though, duh.

Jon plans on heading south to, presumably, retire. He’s seen enough of the North for one life time. Jon Beach Resort has a better ring to it than Jon Snow.
Edd – “I was with you at Hardhome, we saw what’s out there. How can you leave us now?”
Winter is coming, better head south to warmer shores.
Jon – “I did everything I could and they killed me.”
And now he’s given a second chance!
“You want me to stay here after they killed me?”
I mean…he did kill those guys right? So what’s the problem? Too many bad memories?
Before he can leave, Sansa arrives at the Wall and Jon has yet another touching hug. Edd must be thinking, really? Another redhead? Deep down, I bet a small part of Jon wishes she was Arya.

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Game of Thrones Recap: Oathbreaker

ghost was not expecting this

I’m not entirely sure why this episode is called Oathbreaker. It’s the name of Brienne’s sword, but she wasn’t in this episode and I can’t place a single scene where an oath was broken or someone uttered the phrase. Brienne’s sword is Oathkeeper. Is Jon leaving the Night’s Watch what this refers to? Because technically he didn’t break his oath. I can’t spoil too much new information because most of the characters’ storylines have progressed further than their book counterparts. There will be spoilers for this episode though, duh.

Ghost looks like he’s seen a ghost! Jon Snow White awoke without needing his Prince Charming, apparently he’s his own prince. His stab wounds aren’t bleeding, so I’m not entirely sure if he’s a zombie.
Davos – “What do you remember?”
Pain? A sexy redhead giving him a haircut?
Jon – “They stabbed me… Olly, he put a knife in my heart.”
Both figuratively and literally.
“I shouldn’t be here.”
What are things surprisingly said by Jon and not Davos.
Melisandre – “After you died, where did you go? What did you see?”
Is her perception of heaven our perception of hell? Probably.
Jon – “Nothing. There was nothing at all.”
He knew nothing, and his afterlife reflected this.
“I did what I thought was right…and I got murdered for it.”
He truly has Ned Stark’s blood.
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Game of Thrones Recap: Home

ned and caitlin used to watch Bran like this
I think this is the shortest name for an episode yet. I can’t spoil too much new information because most of the characters’ storylines have progressed further than their book counterparts. There will be spoilers for this episode though, duh.

The three eyed raven two eyed old man and Bran watch past Winterfell. Young Ned and Benjen are dueling, and Rodrik Cassel started growing his mutton chops early it appears.
Bran – “They were all so happy.”
Our chances of seeing Sean Bean again via flashback are pretty decent.
Bloodraven – “So were you once.”
When Bran could walk and talk with his family.
Lyanna makes her appearance, as well as a young Hodor, but Old Nan doesn’t let Hodor practice fighting because he’s a stable boy. Because stable boys can’t ever become knights? I don’t hear of any stable men, am I right ladies?!
Bloodraven – “Time to go.”
They go back to the future? In their minds, but technically they never left.
Bran – “You finally show me something I care about, and then you drag me away!”
He’s speaking directly for the book readers here.
Bran – “Willis, I saw you as a boy. You could talk, what happened?”
Hodor – “Hodor.”
I’m not sure what Bran was expecting.
Bran – “…where’s Meera?”
Hodor – “Hodor.”
Whatcha talking about Willis?! I didn’t shoehorn that in at all!
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Game of Thrones Recap: The Red Woman

not grenn and pyp mourn
Season 6 is no book 6, but it’s good enough. I’ve read the books, but I can’t spoil too much new information because most of the characters’ storylines have progressed further than their book counterparts, but I will try to make references to the book. There will be spoilers for this episode though, duh.

Jon Snow lays in a pool of his own blood in the snow, Ghost howls in the background. There’s a chance he’s only sleeping with his eyes open and Ghost is trying to wake him up.
Davos, not even a member of the Night’s Watch, is the first to find him. They then bring Jon’s dead body inside because they don’t want him to get stabbed again.
Edd – “Thorne did this.”
There’s a chance Jon tripped and fell on a dozen invisible knives.
Davos – “How many brothers do you think you can trust?”
Well there’s Sam, Maester Aemon, Grenn, Pyp…so zero.
Ed – “The men in this room.”
There’s no one else? Maybe a brother who slept in?
“Is the wolf not here?”
Mel – “But I saw Jon fighting in Winterfell…”
Maybe some elaborate Weekend at Winterfell scenario? She still sees Stannis as king, so maybe she should stop looking at the flames, it’s causing her to lose her vision.
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Top of the MLB: 2016

12. Los Angeles Angels – The team with a once in a generation talent doesn’t really have too many supporting players around him to make a dominant team. They have the worst farm system in the MLB and I can’t see them making anymore trades; so no reinforcements are coming, this is the team they’ll have all season. After Trout the two best hitters on this team are Albert Pujols, a first ballot hall of fame career but with his best years behind him, and Kole Calhoun, only an above average hitter and a name spelling nightmare. This team doesn’t have any depth and I have trouble seeing anyone on the current lineup breaking out or improving too much on their previous year, but the rotation is where I see the most room for growth. Garrett Richards wasn’t 100% percent last year and he was worth double the WAR just the year prior, I still see ace potential in him. Andrew Heaney has the pedigree  and showed enough promise last year that it wouldn’t surprise me to see him as a top of the rotation starter soon. Jumble together the rest of the potential starters the Angels have available and I see something resembling a strong rotation. It should help that they have one of the best defensive shortstops now in Simmons. Mike Trout hasn’t been talented enough to carry this team to the playoffs every year, but he should be good enough to carry them within shooting distance, again. If he ever got injured this team would be in hell.

angels in the infield

That Scioscia player sure looks out of shape…he’s surprisingly tall

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Middle of the MLB: 2016

21.Minnesota Twins – Well this team came out of nowhere last year and I think we can thank skipper Paul Molitor for that, but with the improvements that the Tigers and White Sox made I think this team got pushed back to the bottom of a tough division. Phil Hughes actually matched his record setting low walks issued with 16, but his K rate fell off in a Hughe way… hopefully he can rekindle some of his 2014 efficiency again. Joe Mauer hasn’t been good since he lost his bromantic partner Justin Morneau, but clearly it’s all his fault the Twins suck now because of his big contract and it has nothing to do with his concussion like symptoms. In the year of the rookie Twin fans have to be a little disappointed and cautiously optimistic about Byron Buxton, who couldn’t figure out major league pitching at all and struck out in almost a 3rd of his at bats. I know Mike Trout struggled initially, but Buxton struggled with a 31% K rate and his stats look much worse than Trouts ever did. Maybe I’m setting the bar too high, but I expect great things from Buxton. Speaking of rookie studs, Miguel Sano smashed 18 HRs during his rookie year yet still somehow managed a K rate worse than Buxton’s at a whopping 35%. Those HRs though, real sexy, and he had some of the best hard contact in the majors. The Twins still have a ton of talent waiting to be called up, but for now they’re in an awkward phase of having veteran players fading out of their prime and young guys not quite ready to pick up that mantle. And they’ve lost ace Mike Pelfry, they have no chance this year.

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Bottom of the MLB: 2016

30: Milwaukee Brewers– They’re a rebuilding team in a tough division, outside of their “Watch the Game with Your Dog and Eat a Free Dog” promotion and their mascot Hank,  they don’t have much to look forward to in the immediate future. They have two established stars in Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy, one with a tarnished reputation and one already packing his bags, and basically no one else. This team looks like the discarded extras of the Astros, when they were bottom of the league. It worked out for Detroit, but for every JD Martinez there’s Nameless Player A we don’t hear of ever again. The pitching staff is lead by Matt Garza, not a good thing to say about a rotation in 2016. Wily Peralta clocks in as one of the hardest throwing hurlers in baseball, but he’s still pretty terrible. It’s not all bad, Scooter Gennet is still one of the coolest names in baseball and their logo is still the best as well; but Miller is a bad beer and so is this team.

ryan braun

The lovable Hank juxtaposed with the hatable Braun. Cuteness > Brains> Braun

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Don’t Settle for Just Settlers of Catan

CatanCitiesKnightsINSettlers of Catan is one of the most complicated and addicting board games I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. The in-depth rulebook can be a little intimidating initially, and it’s almost impossible to explain the rules to an inexperienced person without giving them a mild panic attack, but once you play the game everything becomes clear.

Winning this game is so rewarding because it feels more like a game of strategy than a game of luck. When I finally won it felt more rewarding than, sadly?, most things I’ve accomplished in my life. Winning in Catan > my 6th place high school hurdles medal. The popular board game has spawned countless expansion packs that enhance the original. Settlers of Catan acted as a gateway drug to the Cities and Knights expansion pack, which in my opinion, is superior and enhances gameplay in every way. I can’t go back now, I can’t settle for just Settlers of Catan anymore as it’s boring compared to the expansion. Continue reading

Uber: Driver Beware


I hate driving and if you don’t use your signals, I hate you too. I get lost all the time despite having GPS and traffic is the most maddening thing to me. So I’m not quite sure why I signed up to be an Uber driver, but it was incredibly easy. Actually I do know why- I had a car, I had spare time, gas is dirt cheap, and I was under the impression I could make a lot of money. It seemed like a great idea to make extra cash, but after actually doing it a few times it wasn’t really for me. Driving was the last thing I wanted to do and the pay wasn’t worth it. If you have a car that’s at least a 2006 model or newer and a driver’s license, you can basically become an Uber driver.

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Done with Dune


Dune is one of the most ubiquitous fantasy novels ever written and maybe because of this reason, I found the book incredibly boring. Undoubtably author Frank Herbert created an expansive and unique universe; however, when the central themes revolve around the intricacies and political bodies of space spice-mining operations, well, it isn’t particularly captivating. The giant sandworms are a fascinating concept and were my favorite part of the novel, but these creatures didn’t feel too original. In the science fiction world if there’s sand, chances are high there’s also something massive below the surface. Dune came out in the 60s and it had such an impact on people that there are still references to it even today, even if younger generations don’t realize it. This was the first book to have giant sandworms, but today it feels like everyone has used these creatures.  Heck, there’s even an episode of Spongebob referencing giant sandworms. The universe crafted by author Frank Herbert doesn’t feel original because it’s been emulated in the science fiction genre so often.
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