Batman Eternal 21-25

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Two posts today! Because even opening up about my influences isn’t going to keep me from checking in with our weekly dose of Bat-Family flat our crazy shenanigans. Seriously, how long before Dick shows up and everyone freaks the fuck out because he’s alive? It feels deeply inevitable and that it will cause Jason to spiral down into crazy town and try murder everyone again.

Haha, just kidding. But I do see some serious Batfamily relationship shenanigans on the horizon, and I really couldn’t be happier about it.

Anyway, Vicki Vale and Jason Bard and sleeping together, which is so uninteresting I can barely stand it. Also, some stuff with Falcone in Blackgate happens, and Batman agrees to work with Bard, although he makes it absolutely clear that he doesn’t trust him, and as it turns out, he probably shouldn’t.

Meanwhile, both Hush and The Architect are on the loose, and Hush puts Alfred in the hospital which leaves Julia on in charge of the Batcave, and she’s quickly christened “Penny-Two” which is frankly adorable. Also, it’s Bard that releases Kyle Gates, did I not mention that he’s working for The Roman? Well he is.

Batman puts the hurt on The Architecht, but not before he blows some crap up and Bard uses this as an excuses to Martial Law declared in Gotham, and that always goes well.

Selina is acutally a Calabrese, which is a fun little twist and explains some of how she gets the clout to take over the entire Gotham Underworld. And while normally I’d be all about an entire story recounting Selina’s daddy issues, I couldn’t bring myself to care much about this one. But the moment where she tries to save a snow leopard from Tiger Shark is pretty stinking cool. As is the fact that Tiger Shark is in this book.

Hallelujah! Steph is Spoiler and she’s kicking ass and taking names and it’s beautiful. She messes up her father’s plans over and over again and then comes face to face with him. Also Batman stops a spontaneous combustion at an art gallery which proves that Julia and Bruce make a really good team.

And now the good stuff. A lot of things happened in issue 25, but I think that Harper is now basically Tim’s partner is a pretty important development, although seriously, how long before she gets to take on her name, but that’s not what I’m talking about at all. I’m talking about Tim and Jason standing next to Alfred’s hospital bed talking about Harper and Barbara and how they’re both in way over their heads with the ladies. Also Barbara is avoiding Jason, probably because she’s super perceptive and realizes that him having a crush on her is very super weird.

But I would also like to see what would happen if they did get together and then Dick comes back and Jason has to be all, “but you were dead and also, never officially a couple, and also, I once boned Kori in the ocean, and did we ever talk about that? I mean, she barely remembered you. Were you guys even a couple in this continuity? It’s kind of unclear.”

And also obviously Tim and Harper have to get together. I did not think I could ship anything harder than Tim/Cassie (over in Teen Titans) but wow. 

So, that’s where we are with Eternal this month. There’s a lot of fun stuff with Bats coming up. Gotham Academy starts tomorrow and I badly, badly can’t wait for that.

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Snoochie Boochies

Continuing with this weeks theme of “gateways,” I’m going to talk about one of the biggest ones for me.

And no, that wasn’t a joke about Kevin Smith’s weight.

But let’s talk about Kevin Smith, the View Askewniverse, and the glory of Jay and Silent Bob.

I first came upon this Universe the way a lot people do. I saw Mallrats on TBS some rainy Saturday. I was maybe 11. I thought it was the funniest movie I had ever seen. A few years later, I found Dogma, and oh my God, did I love that movie. There are a lot of things about that movie that really speak to a fifteen year old liberal Catholic who still really, really loves the Church. It encourages questioning, but doesn’t dismiss faith and belief (or ideas as Smith would prefer you refer to them) as stupid.

Also, it had my all time top of the line Celebrity Crush Matt Damon in it as a sarcastic exiled angel of death who deconstructs the Walrus and The Carpenter as an indictment of organized religion.

Which is just objectively amazing on any and all levels.

When my dumb teenage brain finally put together that, “Hey, those Jay and Silent Bob guys are in both those movies,” and Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back, came out, well, that changed everything. Also, I watched a Clerks: The Animated Series marathon on Comedy Central one weekend. I eventually, like many artsy teenagers went through a phase where I thought that Chasing Amy was the deepest and most sensitive movie of all time. I tried to watch it again recently, and oof, it’s tough to get through. Although Jason Lee is pretty dope and the “Chasing Amy” speech that Silent Bob gives might be Smith’s best non joke based monologue. Clerks remains one of my favorite movies ever, because there’s just something really, really magical about it, and if you’ve ever worked retail, I just, it’s just amazing.

Clerks II doesn’t really hold up. I mean, I own the DVD. I’ve watched it more than once, but it’s just a tough watch, despite Jeff Anderson being completely wonderful.

Over time I’ve kind of outgrown Smith’s work. It just doesn’t really fit into my life and point of view anymore. I still haven’t seen Red State, and I probably won’t see Tusk. (Though I might carve out space for Yoga Hosers…) But it holds a special place for me, especially because Kevin’s personal story showed me that this was something that someone like me, who thought like me and had a background like mine could really do this. There’s a place in the world for characters to sit in a room and talk about pop culture in crazy minute detail.

That’s been an incredible gift to me.

Also, I’ve been spending the past ten years trying to curb the potty mouth I gained by watching all of Kevin’s movies as many times as I did in high school. Seriously. So much cursing.

Note: After I finished writing this post yesterday, Kevin announced that he has the funding together for Clerks 3, and it’s hard to not be a little bit underwhelmed by this. I don’t know if it’s a sign of maturity or what, but there was a time that this news would have sent me reeling for weeks on end. As it is, I’m kind of interested in seeing what Dante and Randal are up to, but mostly just, kind of over it. But still I mean, The View Askiewnaverse was a really big part of my life for a while, so I’ll definitely be checking out the movie.

When The Clock Reads 21:13

When you’re into a fandom, there are often things that you can point to and say, “That! That’s the thing that best explains this thing.” I experienced one of those moments on Thursday night as I stood sweaty and beaten from a mosh pit at Coheed & Cambria’s In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth 3 Neverender concert.

Things had slowed down, the lights had gone down and come back up and Claudio came out and said, “Mr. Light Bright, can I get the numbers please?” And the lit screens behind him lit up with the number “2113” and he started playing “21:13.”

Of course, we all went nuts! Crazy, all over the place nuts.

So this week, I’m exploring my “gateways,” the things that before I identified as a full on fangirl and nerd got me thinking, “there’s something to this,” things that lead me down paths and rabbit holes that have gotten me to where I am now.

I started listening to Coheed & Cambria when I was 15. I’ve never looked like the kind of person that would be into their music and often got very defensive. Showing up at an emo and punk show in a polo dress always kind of got me some weird looks. And I certainly didn’t do it on purpose to be an asshole. I mean, what kind of a teenager would do that?

But the first comic book I ever read was Amory Wars #1, my friend Aley had bought it and we were both reading it. It sparked something in me. It was so weird and cool and interesting. I should note that I didn’t keep reading though. I can’t even begin to explain how insecure I was about my nerdy stuff in high school. I was terrified that someone would find out and I don’t know what I thought would happen, exactly.

This was years before Batman Begins and my friends were only interested in X-Men in so far as one of our Broadway Idols Hugh Jackman was involved.

But Coheed was different. Before The Amory Wars came out, all any of us could do was guess what the hell the story of this album was, based on the songs themselves. And while the music is great context for the story, it doesn’t exactly fill you in on what’s actually going on.

We totally got that there was child murder going on though. That was always pretty obvious.

But it wasn’t until I started going to live shows my senior year of high school that I started to understand how fandom works. See, theatre fandom is a weird little niche. It has some internet and real world cross over, but for the most part you share it just with your friends that you do theater with. But waiting on line to go to a Coheed show you talk about which shows you’ve seen, favorite songs, what you think is next for the story.

Coheed is special to me for a lot of reasons, but mainly because it was one of my first fandoms and because it continues to be a really meaningful bond with my siblings and Joe. And I always have fun at these shows, which is why I keep going.

So how does this link the moment I described before?

Aside from the fact that Coheed fans are some of the most awesome people in the entire world, it’s a really, really, fun positive group of people who’ve all grown up together. We were teenagers when this music started, and now we’re in our twenties. We all remember when the “A Favor House Atlantic” video was actually on MTV2 on a regular basis. But I had a moment on Thursday, where I looked around and thought, “Who are all these grown ups at the Coheed show?” Then I realized, we’re the grown ups at the Coheed show. We’re not drinking warm plastic bottle vodka in the bathroom anymore, we’re ordering beers in the back. We’re still moshing and crowd surfing. (Not me personally, I mosh a little, but I’d have a nervous breakdown if I tried to crowd surf.) And a lot fewer people are being thrown out.

But these fans aren’t just awesome, they feed in a big way off of Claudio’s silliness and positivity. The music itself is pretty angry and violent, but Claudio radiates joy and light from his side of things and the crowd absorbs it.

And that’s a pretty cool thing.

Marvel Comics Wrap Up: 9/24/2014

OK, so look, I think we can all agree that next week is going to be the best comics week in the world. (Gotham Academy Bitches!) but we’re still in this week, and Marvel, so I’m really glad to be there. I’m definitely not just waiting to read Gotham Academy or the week after for Batgirl.

No, now we’re talking about Marvel, and all that good stuff.

So time to dive in.

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New Avengers #24: “The Cabal”

Supervillains are terrorizing alternate earths and torturing alternate Professor Xaviers. Which is kind of obvious. What’s less obvious and way more awesome, is Namor and Doctor Doom sitting at a banquet table talking about the nature of aristocracy and leadership. I know  that’s not what most people want from their comic books, but I’m not most people. Also, Black Panther is back in Wakanda, at least for a minute to diffuse a bomb.

Guardians of The Galaxy #19:

Turns out you can’t die in the cancerverse, but you can be naked Star-Lord. Hooray! Also, there’s an evil Avengers team known as The Revengers and they’re going to beat the crap out of Star-Lord, Drax and Richer Ryder. Also, probably Thanos.

Deadpool #35:

Deadpool and Ellie are bonding, and he goes to see her grandmother. Also she’s starting to ask questions, and he’s shutting her down. Also, he fights Dracula in a mecha suit and goes to The Xavier School and tells everyone that Wolverine is going to die. Yay Deadpool!

Amazing X-Men #11: World War Wendigo Part 4

The Avengers and Alpha Flight push the Wendigos across the US border where they turn back into people. It’s a temporary solution while everyone else goes to figure out how to end the curse. Also they fight Wolverine/Wendigo. I have to be honest, I like this book because of the jokes, and the art. The story, I could take or leave.

The Amazing Spider-Man 1.: “Learning to Crawl Part 5”

So, Peter has embraced being Spider-Man, everyone at school hates him and he beat Clash. Yay! Go Spidey Go! Really, while I get why someone would read Learning To Crawl, I just really cannot deal with another version of Spider-Man’s origin. I know it too well and have seen it too many times.

Anyway, that’s Marvel! See you next week!

DC Comics Wrap Up: 9/24/2014

There are a lot of things to really, really like about Future’s End, I mean it. I think that it’s a pretty fun event. But Jesus Christ am I glad that the crossover month is over. While, of course, given the nature of this week’s books they were a good deal more fun than the past couple, it’s been a really dark and depressing month.

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Let’s dive in!

Batman Beyond Universe #14: “Mark of The Phantasm Part 2”

Well, that was anticlimactic. Barbara lost the baby, and everyone stopped talking to each other. The end. I know that’s what eventually happened, but I was kind of hoping for some kind of big, Batarang throwing showdown. Such a bummer. Anyway, Andrea kills Vigilante, but not before trying to convince Bruce to get back together with her. Those two. If only her father hadn’t forced her to move to Paris thus breaking his heart and causing him to believe that the only way he could live his life is by seeking justice, none of this would have happened. Also, Terry has been going back and forth to the Justice Lords timeline to train the other Terry with the other Dick and hang out with his alternate universe dad.

Catwoman Future’s End #1

If anyone’s Future’s End book was going to actually be a fun, action packed, suspense adventure it was going to be Selina’s. Basically, as she ran the Falcone crime family, she was also stashing away a lot of money and keeping the streets relatively clean, but it turns out it was all a long con and she retires to an island and dies her hair blond and The Riddler figures it out. And basically, Selina wins. Selina wins the future.

The Flash Future’s End #1:

Since The Flash has been dealing with his future self for a while now, this was probably the easiest tie in. Basically, Future Flash, finally killed Reverse Flash, to save Wally and Iris, but then Wally and Iris were kinda pissed at him about it. Also, the fight gave Wally his speed powers! Hooray! KF! Off to New York with you sir! It’s time for you to meet your destiny. Anyway, when Future Flash and Present Flash meet, and Future Flash tries to kill him, then Wally shows up, and Three Flashes! Hooray!

Superman Future’s End #1

Billy tells Lois about why he made the decision to become Superman, because it turns out Superman saved him from Black Adam during the war. He decides to just be Shazam again because being yourself and helping others is what Superman is all about.

Best Superman story ever.

Future’s End #21

Guys! Roy isn’t our Roy! Which explains why he tried to kill Jason. I feel much better about it now. He’s the Roy from Earth 2. Anyway, he and Oliver are leading an army to Cadmus Island because of immigration metaphor! Hooray!

Superman Doomed #2

Ah, Doomed is officially over. Let’s all be really glad about that. Sure there’s going to be aftermath, but I think we can all be happy, that Superman and Doomsday stopped Brainiac from destroying and remaking Earth in his own image and that Kara isn’t going to become a cyborg after all. (Even if Cyborg Superman is Zor-El, that’s going to be hard…) Anyway, yay! No more Doomed! Woo!

So that was this week’s DC, see you tomorrow for Marvel!

I’m Gonna Follow

Gilmore Girls

So I celebrated with the rest of the internet when it was announced that Gilmore Girls was finally, finally going to be available to stream on Netflix on October 1. I have subscriptions to all 3 of the major streaming services, Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus, and the complete lack of Gilmore Girls was always a major flaw in this system.

Here’s something that’s weird when I think about it. Gilmore Girls was really the first show I ever binged watched. Now, I’d been watching it since day 1. I loved Lauren Graham already from her failed sitcom MYOB (which was incidentally about a young quirky woman who reconnects with an estranged teenage family member. It’s the proto Gilmore, and if I could find it anywhere I would love to watch it again.) but when I was a freshman in college, the show’s last season, my friends and I rewatched the whole series up to the final season, just for fun. Pro Tip: this is an excellent way to see how truly awful the final season was. It’s like a completely different show.

I’m going to try resisting a rewatch binge this time around, mostly because I’m trying not to do that anymore, but I’m definitely going to check in on my favorite episodes, which means I’ve still got a good little marathon waiting for me next weekend. What are those favorite episodes you ask?

Season 1

The Pilot:

The opening moments alone, when that guy at Luke’s hits on Lorelai and then on Rory is beyond great. But then you meet Sookie and see her and Jackson’s budding romance for the first time. Go to the Gilmore house for the first time. The “Friday Night Dinner” arrangement is made. You meet just about everyone.

Rory’s Birthday Parties:

This is the first time where you really see how little Emily and Richard understand their daughter, granddaughter and their lives. But it’s also the first time you see Emily really, really try to bridge that gap. Also, Lorelai makes the most delightfully early 00’s dresses for the big Sweet 16 at the Gilmore House.

Rory’s Dance

Another stunning fashion moment for Alexis Bledel, she gets many. But mainly this is another strong Emily, Lorelai, Rory relationship episode, when Rory stays out all night and they all yell at each other.

Christopher Returns

I love Christopher. Pretty much any episode he’s in is going to be a favorite of mine, except for the last season. Which ruined him. But this is the first time he came back, he and Lorelai hooked up, he asked her to marry him and she said no, as would become their pattern. Also really sweet Rory and Richard moment where he assures her that while everyone has many regrets about how Christopher and Lorelai handled things in their youth, her existence is not one of those regrets.

Season 2

Nick & Nora/Sid & Nancy

We meet Jess! Also Rory joins the school paper and there’s some kind of drama with Tristan. Who I sort of always forget about.

Presenting Lorelai Gilmore

Rory has her cotillion. Christopher comes back and we learn about Sherry, his new girlfriend, and Richard finds out that his company is pushing him towards retirement. This episode also shows us the flashbacks to Lorelai’s pregnancy and her running away with baby Rory.

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Rory joins The Puffs, and Paris freaks out at her. She gets kidnapped in her PJ’s and yells at the headmaster. Also, I learn my own personal lunch move, “headphones and a book.” Doesn’t always work for me though. Also this is the one with the Chilton Mother’s fashion show, and we get the line, “Oh my God! You look like Nancy Reagan!”

The Bracebridge Dinner

Just pure Stars Hollow quirkiness on display. But also Rory/Jess stuff galore, as Dean spends the evening distracted by his little sister, and Jess gets Rory (mostly) to himself for the night.

A Tisket, A Tasket

The definitive Rory/Jess episode. Also a good Lorelai/Luke one. Also good Stars Hollow. Just a good one.

I Can’t Get Started

First tear jerker I listed I think. But it’s a good one. Christopher and Lorelai are on the verge of together and then they find out that Sherry is pregnant. Sookie’s wedding is also this episode and it’s all just lovely.

Season 3

Application Anxiety

Lane joins the band! We meet Dave! Also, some freaking out about Harvard, but I care a little bit less about that.

They Shoot Gilmores Don’t They?

Dance marathon! Rory/Dean breakup! 40’s clothes. So much goodness in 45 minutes.

A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving

The 4 Thanksgivings test even the Gilmore Girls’s eating prowess and this one is straight up giddy fun.

Swan Song

Look, if you don’t like the episode where Jess gets a black eye from a swan and is embarrassed to tell Rory and its the first time he really meets Emily and Richard and then he and Luke go after the swan with a ladle I think you might be watching the wrong show. Don’t watch Gilmore Girls, watch something else. Because everything about this episode is everything good about Gilmore Girls.

Say Goodnight, Gracie

So much Jess. I know, I know. But this is the one where he runs away. Not the stupid backdoor pilot with his father’s family, just the like, running off one. A really good Luke and Jess fight. It’s all just, really super awesome good.

Season 4

Ted Koppel’s Big Night Out

The Harvard-Yale game was a great way to show what Yale means to Emily and Richard. Also this is when Lorelai starts dating Jason, who is one of my favorite disposable Lorelai Gilmore boyfriend. (Basically, other than Christopher or Luke).

The Incredible Sinking Lorelais

Jess returns. Also we meet Liz, Jess’s mother. And Trix is around at this point? I think.

Luke Can See Her Face

Luke realizes he’s in love with Lorelai, thanks to Liz, and we embark on the best part of the series for Lorelai. (Rory’s best storyline days are pretty much behind her at this point)

Last Week’s Fight/This Year’s Tights

Liz’s renaissance wedding, whole episode is worth Luke, Lorelai and Jess unable to stop giggling during the ceremony. Seriously, it might be the best scene in the entire show.

Season 5

Written In The Stars

Luke and Lorelai’s first date and also we meet Logan, who I’m still convinced would have been Tristan had One Tree Hill not existed. And the world would be a much less fanfictiony place…

The Party’s Over

Rory and Dean break up again. For good this time, and we start seeing that Logan is still a dick, but also sort of the best?

Wedding Bell Blues

Emily and Richard’s vow renewal, which has an epic Luke and Christopher fight, and epic Lorelai and Emily fight and the first time we see Kelly Bishop dance on the show also has another stellar Rory clothing moment. (Her best man tux is totes adorbs.)

But I’m A Gilmore

Rory meets Logan’s awful family for the first time. She wears a great dress though.

A House Is Not A Home

Rory stole a yacht, drops out of Yale and moves in with Emily and Richard in what is the worst and still kind of the best fight between Lorelai and her parents ever. Lorelai proposes to Luke after he buys a house for them and they’re just the freaking best.

Season 6

We’ve Got Magic To Do

OMG, when Emily goes all awesome bitch on Logan’s mom. God, it’s so freaking good. Also, it’s nice to see the beginnings of the family coming back together here.

Twenty One Is The Loneliest Number

Pretty much anytime The Gilmores try to integrate Luke into their life is hilarious. But Rory’s 21st birthday party is a winner.

Let Me Hear Your Balalaikas Ringing Out

“You dropped out of Yale? WHY DID YOU DROP OUT OF YALE?” Also, Jess calls Logan a dick to his face and it’s great.

You’ve Been Gilmored

Again, Luke trying to fit in with The Gilmores, and it’s fantastically great. This is also the episode where Logan saves the Yale Daily News and for some reason this gets Rory the job of editor. I’ve never been sure how that worked, like why Logan didn’t then become the editor?

The Real Paul Anka

Luke takes April to Philadelphia and they visit Jess. Also Rory shows up, upset about Logan sleeping with other women while they were broken up and they kiss and then she leaves to go back to Logan, and my ship sinks forever.

Season 7

Yeah, I’m not watching any of those episodes. They just make me sad. Maybe the episode where Rory and Paris graduate and the finale. I mean, maybe.

So I definitely watch these episodes, and maybe some others. But I won’t watch the whole show again. At least not right now.

Sailor Moon Check In: It’s Time To Make Up

Sailor Moon

Look, I’m sorry Sailor Moon, I know I haven’t been around much. I still love you. I totally still want to hang out, it’s just, I mean, look, have you met Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra? They’re like so cool!

So, if I haven’t been around for the past few weeks, that’s why. But can we be friends again? Because I mean, Team Avatar and Team Avatar 2.0 are great and cool and all, but after yesterday, I remember why we started hanging out. Seriously, I mean it. I’m really sorry for the neglect.

(By the way if being a week or so behind on Sailor Moon renders a need for an apology, I owe some of my fandoms big ones…)

But I’m here now. I did a little mini binge the other day. I’m caught up. I swear, after next week, Korra will go into regular schedule, and we’ll be all cool again, I promise!

So let’s check in step by step.

Manga

Nothing new.  Seriously, there simply hasn’t been time. It’s TV premier time, and did I mention the whole Avatar thing? Also, SO MANY COMICS!

Sailor Moon Crystal

According to the internet this was a bad episode. Seriously. The internet DID NOT LIKE IT. According to me personally? It was kind of fun. There was a neat conversation between Usagi and Mamoru where they straight up dispensed with secret identities, without dispensing with secret identities, which was very Batman/Wonder Woman of them. (The more distance I get from JLU the less I hate them…) Beryl met the Sailor Scouts but didn’t really do anything which was cool? Kind of strange? Definitely confusing. We got a teaser of Sailor Venus in her Sailor V get up. Which is, um, great, but also, Oof, that costume is. I mean, wow. Also Artemis. A name I still have trouble with for a male character since it’s a female name…Ugh. There’s a cool fight between The Senshi and Nephrite and then we see Moon Healing Escalation for the first time.

Also lots of shirtless Tuxedo Mask.

If you’re into that.

I’m not really.

Sailor Moon

OK, look, I get it, not everything can contribute to the big huge arcs, but the filler episodes are getting pretty tedious, which is why I wasn’t terribly upset to take a break last week and just watch Avatar and Korra instead. (Where at least in filler episodes, Sokka or Bolin generally do something awesome.) Tuxedo Mask is currently brainwashed. Rei has a new boyfriend. Mina is there. Also, Kunzite is really, really bad at indentifying The Sailor Senshi. I mean, he’s had that trapped in like seven traps by now, and he’s always like, “hmm, I know that Sailor Moon is clumsy. Thus I will throw a cotillion!” WHAT? “Princess Serenity was a wonderful ice skater, (again WHAT?) I shall corrupt some Gold Medal winners and find her.” These plans make no sense, none at all. Meanwhile, Tuxedo Mask keeps showing up and being like, “I don’t think this plan will work, but I will disrupt it and then also not capture Sailor Moon.” And then she gets all upset, because “Tuxedo Mask, why don’t you remember our love?” And I’m sort of over it.

I’m just saying that Nephrite was ineffective a lot on the time, but Kunzite is just like a big dummy.

I also checked out a couple episodes of the new English Dub. It’s good. I’m into it. I really like Mamoru’s voice. I think it suits him really well. Luna is another favorite. And just a quick reminder that I have not real nostalgia for the original dub, so this is all new for me and I have no real affection for it. But I did remember really liking Serena’s voice, so the new one for Usagi is a weird thing to adjust to.

So that’s where we are. I’m going to do an actually post about my new obsessions, once I’m all caught up with Legend of Korra, which should be after this weekend. Seriously, I’m obsessed. Weird spiritualism. Fun jokes. SO MUCH FEMINISM! Shipping, shipping everywhere!

So that’s where I am! Yay!