ricksilvawriting: Halong Bay, Vietnam. April 2017 (Default)
This was the week of movies for me. I don't go to the movies that often, so three in one week is pretty unusual. I saw How To Train Your Dragon 3, The Wandering Earth, and Captain Marvel. I'll try to do a separate post with my thoughts.

Also getting a separate post, but I wanted to mention it here. the summer travel plans that I keep being vague about have finally been booked, now that the Kiddo got his new passport and we got some financial things settled.

We will be off on a major adventure in June. First stop is Taipei, Taiwan for a three-day whirlwind tour, and from there, two weeks in Koror, Republic of Palau! I'll post more on travel plans as we get closer!

In the meantime, I've been doing pretty well on the comic and book reading fronts.

Comic Reviews on Comic A Day

Static Shock #6 by Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens of DC Comics.

Bored Angel by Aya Rothwell.

Tall Tails: Tears of the Mother #2 by Jose Calderon and Daphne Lage of Dreamweaver Press.

Space: 1999 #7 by Mike Pellowski and Pat Boyette of Charlton Comics.

Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman by Dav Pilkey.

Farlight Saga Ethos #2 by Jared Koon and Sarah Hebblethwaite of Nemonet Studios.

Bongo Comics Free-For-All 2008 from Bongo Comics.

Sonic the Hedgehog: Free Comic Book Day Edition 2007 by Ian Flynn, Tracey Yardley, and Jim Amash of Archie Comics/Sega.

Tall Tails: Tears of the Mother #3 by Jose Calderon and Daphne Lage of Dreamweaver Press.

Astonishing X-Men #1 by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday of Marvel Comics.

The Realm #2 by Brent Truax, Donald Marquez, Brian Michael Bendis, and Patrick Zircher of Caliber Comics.

Star Wars: Jedi Academy: The Phantom Bully by Jeffrey Brown.

Daredevil Saga by Ed Brubaker, Anthony Flamini, and Michael Lark of Marvel Comics.

Astonishing X-Men #2 by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday of Marvel Comics.

Book Reviews on Goodreads

Seven Spells To Sunday by Andre Norton and Phyllis Miller.

Seaworthy: A Swordboat Captain Returns to the Sea by Linda Greenlaw.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson.

Upcoming

WWE Fastlane airs tomorrow here, then it's on to the road to Wrestlemania. I'm also following NXT's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic with interest.

No specific plans, but I'm hoping to get in some Magic: The Gathering and/or D&D with some of the local players in the coming weeks.

After seeing three movies in a week, I'm expecting Avengers: Endgame and Godzilla: King of the Monsters will be my next two trips to the cinema.

Our local mall just installed a big Ultraman exhibit, which should be fun to check out. Hoping to head there with the camera on a non-busy day this week.

Things will be very busy at my day job, with grades due next week and parent conferences this week. I am also getting more hours at my weekend side gig lately. Our next school break is the first week of April, and we'll be staying here in Shanghai for that. There is a possibility that I may be going on a school trip to Xi'An in May, which should be fun if it happens.

And, of course, as mentioned above, huge travel plans for June/July as we head to Taiwan and Palau!

Connect/Follow

@dandelionstudio on Twitter
@dandelionstudios on Instagram and @dailycomicreview on Instagram
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rsilva on Facebook
ricksilvawriting on Dreamwidth and Blogger.
Rick Silva on Goodreads

Movies

Feb. 26th, 2019 04:07 pm
ricksilvawriting: Halong Bay, Vietnam. April 2017 (Default)
We don't get all the movie releases here in China, but this is what I'm looking forward to seeing in the coming weeks if I get a chance.

Currently released in China:

The Wandering Earth

(This is apparently available with English subtitles for at least some showings here. One of my coworkers saw it and liked it, comparing it to Armageddon.).

To be released in China:

How To Train Your Dragaon 3 (To be released this coming weekend; not sure if I'm going to see it, or use it as a chance to get some work done alone at home while Gynn takes the Kiddo to see it. I liked the first one in the series and skipped the second.).

Captain Marvel (Released the second weekend of March, same as in the US).

No China Release Scheduled Yet:

Fighting With My Family

Avengers: Endgame

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Spider-Man: Far From Home

(Endgame should get released around its US date. Spider-Man may wait until the end of summer, as China usually only allows Chinese films to be released in July and August. No idea about Godzilla, but I expect it will get released here at some point. Fighting With My Family may not get a theatrical release here, although I would expect that WWE would be pushing hard for it, and Dwayne Johnson has a lot of fans over here, so it is possible).
ricksilvawriting: Halong Bay, Vietnam. April 2017 (Default)
One thing I have wanted to do for a while is take some time to think about long-term goals. I've generally had fairly good success in the past with long-term goal setting. Gynn and I talked through plans to buy a house, to adopt a child, and to move overseas, and those things came to fruition generally within the timeframes we had imagined.

So during the Chinese New Year break, I set aside some time to think about things that I would like to make happen in the next five years or so. Some of these are personal, some are for the whole family. I wrote these down in my paper journal, and the versions there are more specific in terms of timeframe and money. I'm also leaving a few items out of this post because they are personal/health related. And finally there are some things that I am working on long-term that are hard to quantify at this point (example: I would like to improve at speaking/reading Chinese, but I don't yet have a good enough sense of the pace of my progress to set really measurable goals at that).

So here is what I have to share.

Before the end of 2019 I will:

Have zero credit card debt.
Have written a complete second draft of my current work-in-progress novel, The Lady of Three Faces.
Have some additional money in savings.
Have some sort of writing-based online income stream.

Before the end of 2020 I will:

Have a novel ready for submission to agents/publishers.
Have done the necessary research for agent submission.
Have a self-published book or serial available for purchase or on an income-generating site.
Continue to have manageable credit card debt/savings.

Before the end of 2021 I will:

Have a novel accepted for publication or self-published.
Have been to my top choices for travel destinations in China, and some of my other top "bucket-list" destinations.
Have plans underway for employment in the 2021/2022 school year.
Continue to have manageable credit card debt/savings.

By the summer of 2024 I will:

Be living in the USA or have a job secured for in the USA for the 2024/2025 school year, unless we have decided to remain overseas through the Kiddo's high school graduation.
Have plans/finances in place to buy a house within two years.

I have never been too into self-help guru writing/advice, but I do think of a meaningful, if a bit silly example of such. During a WWE Hall of Fame induction speech, Diamond Dallas Page once talked about a moment when his career was stagnant, and he wrote down the words "I will be world champion within five years." He was. His advice, in the best possible self-help silliness: "Don't think it. Ink it." So I've done that this time, and now I've shared it.

I'll keep you posted on how it goes.
ricksilvawriting: Halong Bay, Vietnam. April 2017 (Default)
Looking forward to making some of the summer travel plans official once my next paycheck comes in and we get a few bits of paperwork squared away.
ricksilvawriting: Halong Bay, Vietnam. April 2017 (Default)
School is back in session after a low-ley New Years break. We visited the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum and saw the New Years lantern display at Yuyuan Garden. I got to play some Magic and some D&D (nonbinary dwarf ranger with a sage background!!!). Other than that, it was mostly relaxing and reorganizing.

The Kiddo's passport is up for renewal. We've got a consulate appointment next week to get the ball rolling on that. Once we've got that taken care of, we can start making our summer travel plans.

One other thing I did during the break was to write down a set of long-range personal goals in my paper journal. I may share some of those here at some point.

In the meantime, I have been making progress on reading and reviewing.

Comic Reviews on Comic A Day

Star Wars: Han Solo: Imperial Cadet #1 by Robbie Thompson, Leonard Kirk, and Marvel Comics.

Rival Angels: Damsels of Destruction: Wrestling Maneuvers And Techniques Volume 2 by Alan Evans and Justin Riley.

Tall Tails: Tears of the Mother #1 by Jose Calderon and Daphne Lage.

Knights of the Dinner Table Illustrated #31 by Mark Plemmons, Brendon Fraim, Brian Fraim, and Kenzer & Company.

Hot Tea, Cold Water #2, edited by Leann Leake.

Swamp Thing #68 by Rick Veitch, Alfredo Alcala, and DC Comics.

Batman #700 by Grant Morrison and DC Comics.

Alethia Chapter 1 by Kristina Stipetic.

Sleepless #7 by Sarah Vaughn, Leila Del Duca, and Image Comics.

We Won't Be Erased by Sophie LaBelle.

Spectra #6 by Rebecca Thompson, Kerry G. Johnson and the American Physical Society.

The Amazing Cynicalman #23 by Matt Feazell.

Book Reviews on Goodreads

The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill.

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck.

I've been making a lot of progress on the Random Stack of Unread Comics. My new Comic A Day Instagram has been a good source of motivation.

Supporting

Austin Cushing's fundraiser seeking support for medical and financial difficulties.

Jennifer Dugan's Kickstarter for the final issue of her comic, Circadia.

Upcoming

We're getting into another busy time at the day job as we approach the end of the third quarter. We had a short week this week, and we've now got six solid weeks of school until our Spring Break week at the beginning of April. March will hopefully bring an end to the cold and wet Shanghai winter weather, and we have the Kiddo's birthday toward the end of March. We're also into Wrestlemania season, and I'm following the rise of AEW with interest.

No trips planned for Spring Break at this point. We have some major travel plans for the summer, but those are still in the vague planning stages for the next few weeks.

Connect/Follow

@dandelionstudio on Twitter
@dandelionstudios on Instagram and @dailycomicreview on Instagram
rsilva on Boardgamegeek
rsilva on Facebook
ricksilvawriting on Dreamwidth and Blogger.
Rick Silva on Goodreads
ricksilvawriting: Halong Bay, Vietnam. April 2017 (Default)
Xīn Nián Kuài Lè! Happy New Year!
ricksilvawriting: Halong Bay, Vietnam. April 2017 (Default)
Managed to watch the whole show, including pre-show matches after work last night. Overall, a really fun show, highlighted by Becky Lynch's awesome storyline. I also liked that there was a lot more emphasis placed on new talent as surprise entries rather than returning legends.
ricksilvawriting: Halong Bay, Vietnam. April 2017 (Default)

I haven't done a recap of review since early December, so I'm going to mostly stick to just reviews in this post.

We had an amazing trip to the USA over the holidays, and we've had a busy month back in China. One week to go until we get another break over the Chinese New Year holiday. That one will be a staycation for us (as will out Spring break, but we are working on some big travel plans for the summer). We're looking forward to exploring more of Shanghai over the New Year break.

I've been doing a lot of comic reviews. I got some more unread comics out of storage to add to the Random Stack of Unread Comics, along with some new purchases. I've also got a new Instagram account specifically for my comics reviews. Check out @dailycomicreview.

This is part of a general overhaul of my social media accounts that I'm in the midst of. More on that in a future post.

On the prose reading front, I'm off to a good start on my 2019 reading goals.

Here are my reviews since my last update.

Comic Reviews on Comic A Day

The Blokes of Ball Point by Suzanne Baumann.

Dawn's Dictionary Drama #1 by John Bintz.

Knights of the Dinner Table Illustrated #30 by Kenzer and Company.

Ex Machina Volume 1: The First Hundred Days by Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris, Tom Feister, J.D. Mettler, and DC/Wildstorm Comics.

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang.

Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova.

Shuri #1 by Nnedi Okorafor, Leonardo Romero, and Marvel Comics.

Doom Patrol #44 by Grant Morrison, Richard Case, Mark McKenna, and DC Comics.

Circadia #1 by Jennifer Dugan, Keezy Young, MJ Erickson, and 36 Plums.

Everest / Love Fights #1 FCBD 2004 by Andi Watson, Greg Rucka, Scott Morse, and Oni Press.

Circadia #2 by Jennifer Dugan, MJ Erickson, and 36 Plums.

Swamp Thing Halloween Horror Giant #1 by DC Comics.

Red Sonja #15 by Gail Simone, Walter Geovani, and Dynamite Entertainment.

Star Wars Forces of Destiny: Rose & Paige by Delilah S. Dawson, Nicoletta Baldari, and IDW.

Star Wars: Jedi Academy: Return of the Padawan by Jeffrey Brown.

Hot Tea, Cold Water #1 edited by Leann Leake.

Circadia #3 by Jennifer Dugan, Jey Pawlik, and 36 Plums.

The Walking Dead #175 by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Stefano Gaudiano, and Image Comics.

Hermann Shepherd in "Gitmo Goofs" by Ian Harker, Randy Sinsel, John Carr, Ron Hoffman, and High Treason Comics.

Circadia #4 by Jennifer Dugan, Sarah Simes, and 36 Plums.

Steven Universe #14 by Grace Craft, Rii Abrego, Whitney Cogar, and Missy Pena.

Dog Man: Brawl of the Wild by Dav Pilkey.

Ultimate Spider-Man #42 by Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Bagley, Art Thibert, and Marvel Comics.

Book Reviews on Goodreads

Walking by Henry David Thoreau.

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Who Was Betsy Ross? by James Buckley Jr.

Zero History by William Gibson.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jeminsin.

Junie B. Jones is a Beauty Shop Guy by Barbara Park.

Lady Knight by Tamora Pierce.

That catches me up on reviews! Hope to be back to these update posts on a weekly basis from here on. I've also got a last few 2018-in-review type posts on the way.

Connect/Follow

ricksilvawriting on Google+
@dandelionstudio on Twitter
@dandelionstudios on Instagram
Rsilva444 on Flickr
rsilva on Boardgamegeek
rsilva on Facebook
ricksilvawriting on Dreamwidth and Blogger.
Rick Silva on Goodreads
ricksilvawriting: Halong Bay, Vietnam. April 2017 (Default)
Here we go with our Royal Rumble Predictions!

Men's Royal Rumble Match

My assumptions: Daniel Bryan retains his title. Either outcome for the Universal Title match is okay (I'm picking Finn as Demon to win, but that may be wishful thinking on my part), Miz and Shane lose with Miz turning on Shane and going full-heel.

My Order of Entry


1. Seth Rollins
2. Dean Ambrose
3. Pete Dunne
4. Chad Gable
5. Scott Dawson
6. Jeff Hardy
7. Dash Wilder
8. Mustafa Ali
9. Bobby Roode
10. Tye Dillinger
11. Braun Strowman
12. Big Show
13. Curtis Hawkins
14. Xavier Woods
15. Kofi Kingston
16. Adam Cole
17. Randy Orton
18. Rey Mysterio
19. Andrade Cien Almas
20. Kevin Owens
21. Kalisto
22. Sami Zayn
23. Bray Wyatt
24. The Miz
25. Samoa Joe
26. John Cena
27. Velveteen Dream
28. Big E
29. Drew McIntyre
30. R. Truth

Final Four: The Miz, Drew McIntyre, Seth Rollins, Samoa Joe

Winner: The Miz


Kiddo's assumptions: Kiddo is assuming that Finn Balor defeats Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title. He's also assuming that for some highly unlikely reason, Paul Heyman decides he's going to enter the Royal Rumble match himself.

Kiddo's Order of Entry

1. John Cena
2. Lars Sullivan
3. James Ellsworth
4. Dean Ambrose
5. Seth Rollins
6. Curtis Hawkins
7. Elias
8. Samoa Joe
9. The Miz
10. Tye Dillinger
11. Otis Dozovic
12. Velveteen Dream
13. Ricochet
14. Johnny Gargano
15. Kevin Owens
16. Baron Corbin
17. Triple H
18. Kurt Angle
19. Jinder Mahal
20. Jimmy Uso
21. Big E
22. Kofi Kingston
23. Xavier Woods
24. Randy Orton
25. Drew McIntyre
26. Shinsuke Nakamura
27. Paul Heyman
28. Brock Lesnar
29. Roman Reigns
30. R. Truth

Final Four: Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns, Shinsuke Nakamura, John Cena

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura


Women's Royal Rumble Match

My assumptions: I am assuming that Asuka retains her title against Becky Lynch. The Raw Championship doesn't figure into this match, but I'm picking Ronda Rousey to retain against Sasha Banks.

My Order of Entry

1. Naomi
2. Mandy Rose
3. Charlotte Flair
4. Sonya Deville
5. Lana
6. Tamina
7. Natalya
8. Nikki Cross
9. Billy Kaye
10. Liv Morgan
11. Trish Stratus
12. Sarah Logan
13. Peyton Royce
14. Ember Moon
15. Mickie James
16. Candice Leray
17. Lita
18. Nia Jax
19. Bayley
20. Zelina Vega
21.Bianca Belair
22. Kairi Sane
23. Mercedes Martinez
24. Kacy Catanzaro
25. Toni Storm
26. Alicia Fox
27. Meiko Satomura
28. Ruby Riott
29. Alexa Bliss
30. Becky Lynch (after beating Carmella senseless and taking her spot)

Final Four: Charlotte Flair, Meiko Satomura, Alexa Bliss, Becky Lynch

Winner: Becky Lynch

Kiddo's assumptions: Kiddo is assuming that Sasha Banks wins the Raw Title from Ronda Rousey, and that Asuka retains her title against Becky Lynch.

Kiddo's Order of Entry


1. Becky Lynch
2. Bayley
3. Shayna Baszler
4. Kairi Sane
5. Io Shirai
6. Kacy Catanzaro
7. Lana
8. Alicia Fox
9. Ember Moon
10. Charlotte Flair
11. Naomi
12. Vanessa Borne
13. Alexa Bliss
14. Lacey Evans
15. Nia Jax
16. Xia Brookside
17. Tamina
18. Sonya Deville
19. Ronda Rousey
20. Jessamyn Duke
21. Mandy Rose
22. Marina Shafir
23. Sarah Logan
24. Liv Morgan
25. Ruby Riott
26. Trish Stratus
27. Lita
28. Bianca Belair
29. Nikki Cross
30. Carmella

Final Four: Ember Moon, Ronda Rousey, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch

Winner: Ember Moon

My Annual Unlikely Royal Rumble Scenario


The night before the rumble, Tomaso Ciampa cheats to retain his NXT Championship. He then proceeds to enter the Royal Rumble at #23. Almost immediately, Aliester Black (not entered in the Rumble) comes out of the crowd and knocks Ciampa out with his Black Mass kick. Seth Rollins, in since #1, eliminates Samoa Joe and Drew McIntyre, leaving him in the ring with Ciampa's limp carcass. Rollins goes to throw him out, when Johnny Gargano comes in out of the crowd and superkicks Rollins. Rollins goes after Gargano only to have Ciampa thrown him out. The Greatest Sports Entertainer of All Time is on his way to Wrestlemania!

Reviews

Jan. 22nd, 2019 04:26 pm
ricksilvawriting: Halong Bay, Vietnam. April 2017 (Default)
I've been doing well with the comic reviews so far in 2019. I have an Instagram for my review blog now, which, if nothing else, helps with my motivation to do more reviews.

Review blog: dailycomicreview.blogspot.com
Instagram: @dailycomicreview

Hoping to resume the recap posts and get back to more writing and blogging soon!
ricksilvawriting: Halong Bay, Vietnam. April 2017 (Default)

I'm going to do a year of reading only books by women in 2019. I've got some amazing-looking books lined up, and I'm looking forward to this as an opportunity to hear some different voices and to read some things I might not have otherwise chosen.

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Here is the list of works by female authors that I've got on my shelf right now:

Finished Reading:

Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

Currently Reading:

So You Want To Be A Wizard by Diane Duane
The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin
Hack College Like An Entrepreneur by Antonia Liu

To Be Read:

Shut Up Shakespeare and Other Poems by Ellen Beener
A Book Without Dragons by Olivia Berrier
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis
The Distant Land of my Father by Bo Caldwell
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper
The Vengeful Half by Jackie Dolamore
Moonlight Sonata by Elizabeth Donald
Deep Wizardry by Diane Duane
Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
China Homecoming by Jean Fritz
Seaworthy by Linda Greenlaw
The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
A Thousand Miles to Freedom by Eunsun Kim
Mambo in Chinatown by Jean Kwok
Dragon Magic by Andre Norton
Seven Spells To Sunday by Andre Norton
Lady Knight by Tamora Pierce
Lumberjanes Vol. 4 by Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters, and Brooke Allen
The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan
Spectra by Rebecca Thompson and Kerry G. Johnson
Space Opera by Catherynne Valente
The Flutter Collection by Jennie Wood
Wizard's Hall by Jane Yolen

That accounts for just under half of the goal of 75, although I will pick up some of the remaining ones from the Kiddo's to-be-read pile. Open to suggestions of any genre. I am somewhat limited in terms of what is available at easily accessible bookstores in Shanghai (I prefer not to read ebooks, which limits things a bit further, but I expect to have some opportunities over the course of the year to do a bit of book shopping).

Exceptions:

With any absolute statement, there are usually some exceptions attached.

I have three books by male authors that I am in the process of reading, and one I'm reading with the Kiddo and the other two are books that I've been reading in really slow bits at a time.

I do a comic review blog, and individual issue comics in my Random Stack of Unread Comics are, well, random, so I'm not including them in this exercise.

I sometimes have required professional development books for my job that I don't get to choose.

For the books that I read for bedtime reading with the Kiddo, I do have a really nice selection of books by women authors lined up, and I plan to try to stick with those and let him read other books on his own, but some of this is his choice.

I got a huge list of ideas to add to my wishlist from Facebook friends, but I am always happy to take other suggestions! Looking forward to some great reading in 2019!

ricksilvawriting: Halong Bay, Vietnam. April 2017 (Default)
It's been cold and wet since we got back to Shanghai. Today was my first day back at school with students. Lots of paperwork this week, but today was a good start to the second semester.
ricksilvawriting: Halong Bay, Vietnam. April 2017 (Default)
I ended the year having read 84 books, which beat my reading goal of 70! I also beat last year's record for most books read in a year since I started counting. My recap on Goodreads can be found here.

Here is my set of top-five lists for myself and the Kiddo:

My Top 5 Books Read In 2018

5. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.
4. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.
3. The Thief of Always by Clive Barker.
2. I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly and J.M. Ken Niimura.
1. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien.

My Top 5 Books That I Read With The Kiddo In 2018

5. Dog Man and Cat Kid by Dav Pilkey.
4. Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan.
3. Amulet Book Seven: Firelight by Kazu Kibuishi.
2. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger.
1. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Kiddo's Top 5 Books Read In 2018

5. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger.
4. Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from Outer Space and the Subsequent Assault of the Equally Evil Lunchroom Zombie Nerds by Dav Pilkey.
3. Alvin Ho: Allergic to the Great Wall, the Forbidden Palace, and Other Tourist Attractions by Lenore Look.
2. Dog Man and Cat Kid by Dav Pilkey.
1. Amulet Book Six: Escape From Lucien by Kazu Kibuishi.
ricksilvawriting: Halong Bay, Vietnam. April 2017 (Default)
The first semester is winding down at the day job. Midterms are next week. Today was our Saturday makeup day, upper school holiday concert, and staff Christmas party. Work on a Saturday is always a bit exhausting, but the holiday concert and the party were fun. We also saw our first snow of the year yesterday and today!

Tomorrow, we're off on a day trip to Suzhou for Christmas shopping and sightseeing, then one more week of school before vacation!

It's been a busy week, but I have gotten some reviews done.

Comic Reviews on Comic A Day

Amulet Book Seven: Firelight by Kazu Kibuishi.

Tall Tails: Thieves' Quest #5 by Jose Calderon and Daphne Lage of Dreamweaver Press.

Book Reviews on Goodreads

Valiant Imperial Warriors 2200 Years Ago by Wu Xiaocong.

Supporting

My cousin does a toy drive every year for the Ronald McDonald House in Maryland. I contributed to the toy drive, which is finishing up for the year, but you can contribute directly here.

Upcoming

Suzhou day trip tomorrow. Leaving for the USA a week from Wednesday. I'll probably also be doing some exploring around Shanghai this coming weekend once vacation starts. And we've got WWE TLC coming up (in our timezone) a week from Monday morning.

Connect/Follow

ricksilvawriting on Google+
@dandelionstudio on Twitter
@dandelionstudios on Instagram
Rsilva444 on Flickr
rsilva on Boardgamegeek
rsilva on Facebook
ricksilvawriting on Dreamwidth and Blogger.
Rick Silva on Goodreads
ricksilvawriting: Halong Bay, Vietnam. April 2017 (Default)

Two big bits of news!

First of all, the Kiddo won first place for his grade in the science fair!

No automatic alt text available.

 

The other news is that I signed my contract renewal at the day job. That means that we will be here in Shanghai through the 2020-2021 school year! I really appreciate the vote of confidence from my school, and while it was not an easy decision from our point of view, we are excited for the chance to continue our experience living in China.

The rest of that week was devoted to Thanksgiving. School festivities included a potluck feast on Wednesday for the lower school, and then turkey and pumpkin pie in the Cafeteria on Thursday for everyone. That night was our family Thanksgiving celebration with roast chicken and veggies, followed by Christmas music and decorating the Christmas tree. 

Image may contain: 1 person, sky and outdoor


On Friday (the school's official Thanksgiving holiday) I took the Kiddo to Shanghai Disneyland to meet up with some classmates. We had a great time, and relatively short lines for rides.

We have also done some various Christmas shopping expeditions in town, and the Kiddo and I played in two Magic: The Gathering drafts over the past few days. I went 6-0 in games in an Unstable draft!

We started yesterday with Breakfast With Santa at the Geneva restaurant, which was lovely, even if it did cause me to lose "Whamageddon" on the first day of December (in China! It wasn't even December in much of the USA at that time!).

Speaking of losing, I fell well short on Nanowrimo, as I figured I probably would with everything else going on.

And I have been doing some reading and reviewing.

Comic Reviews on Comic A Day

Satisfactory Comics #8 by Isaac Cates and Mike Wenthe.

Amulet Book Six: Escape From Lucien by Kazu Kibuishi.

Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas by Dav Pilkey.

Ultimate Spider-Man #52 from Marvel Comics.


Book Reviews on Goodreads

The Adventures of Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra.

The Story of Mount Desert Island by Samuel Eliot Morison.

Supporting

Supporting Massachusetts Audubon Society for Giving Tuesday. I gave to the sanctuary (Ashumet Holly) where Gynn used to do fieldwork on spadefoot toads.

Upcoming

It looks like we're doing our day trip to Suzhou next Sunday. On Saturday we have a makeup school day followed by the upper school's holiday concert and then the staff Christmas party. So this will be a busy week. Kiddo's lower school concert is on Wednesday.

The following week is exams, and then we're on break. We'll watch WWE TLC here in Shanghai, and I may do one more shopping day in Qibao or elsewhere in the city before we depart for the USA on Wednesday December 19.

Connect/Follow

ricksilvawriting on Google+
@dandelionstudio on Twitter
@dandelionstudios on Instagram
Rsilva444 on Flickr
rsilva on Boardgamegeek
rsilva on Facebook
ricksilvawriting on Dreamwidth and Blogger.
Rick Silva on Goodreads

ricksilvawriting: Halong Bay, Vietnam. April 2017 (Default)
We're still a few days out from Thanksgiving, but after a day of typical Shanghai winter rain, it was totally the kind of night to put on some Christmas music and cook up a pot of chili. Tree is getting decorated Thursday night.
ricksilvawriting: Halong Bay, Vietnam. April 2017 (Default)
We're halfway through the science fair at my school. We did the high school and middle school version yesterday. The elementary school kids get their turn this week, including our Kiddo, who finished his project on salinity of local rivers on Friday.

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Also this week are a bunch of Thanksgiving festivities: An "Authors Tea" where the elementary school kids read their creative writing, a potluck Thanksgiving on Wednesday for lower school kids and parents, and then turkey and pumpkin pie for school lunch on Thursday. We get a day off on Friday, and we'll have a simple Thanksgiving dinner at home Thursday night and put up the Christmas tree.

I headed back to Qibao today for a bit of exploring and some Christmas shopping. I found this in a souvenir shop and had to buy it:

Image may contain: text

 I've got in between all of that, I've continued to make my way through the Random Stack of Unread Comics.

Comic Reviews on Comic A Day

Tall Tails: Thieves' Quest #4 by Jose Calderon and Daphne Lage of Vision Comics.

Star Wars Adventures #1 from IDW.

Amulet Book Five: Prince of the Elves by Kazu Kibuishi.

Supporting

I'm supporting comic book writer Mark Waid's legal defense against Comicsgate trolls.

Upcoming

Looking forward to watching NXT Takeover Wargames tomorrow, and then Survivor Series.

Possibly playing in a Magic: The Gathering Unstable draft next weekend.

Four weeks to go until Christmas break, with exams and holiday concerts on the horizon.

We've also got a day trip to Suzhou planned in early December.

Then it's off to the USA for two weeks around the holidays!

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ricksilvawriting: Halong Bay, Vietnam. April 2017 (Default)

When I think of Stan Lee, I hear his voice from the pages of Marvel's original "best of" compilations, produced in the 1970s, long before I'd ever heard the words "Graphic Novel" or "Trade Paperback". My brother and I had the whole set: Origins of Marvel Comics, Son of Origins, The Superhero Women, Bring on the Bad Guys, and our favorite: Marvel's Greatest Superhero Battles.
 

Image result for marvels greatest superhero battles

 

We got a great introduction to the classic superhero stories of the 1960s in the pages of those books, but for me, there was more than just the comics. I would read all of Stan Lee's introductory essays, discussing the behind-the-scenes origins of the characters. How it seemed obvious that the team-name for a team of mutants should be "The Mutants", until his editors worried that kids wouldn't know what that word meant, leading to a session of brainstorming that resulted in the X-Men. How when thinking about how every superhero had a list of special abilities and one weakness, he thought of the idea of putting the focus on the weakness, and came up with the concept of a blind superhero. How superhero characters were becoming so powerful that you may as well make God a superhero. But if you couldn't get away with that, then how about a superhero who is a god?

There was a lot of history there, admittedly clouded by Stan's ego, as I would see later in life that he enjoyed being the voice of Marvel, and that he wasn't always about sharing the credit.

 

But what his words between the comic pages in those books meant most to me was that here was a man who was creating stories, writing fantastic adventures, and he was making a living doing it, and having fun making a living.

Thank you for all of the stories. The stories within the comics, and the stories between.

 

Rest in peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ricksilvawriting: Halong Bay, Vietnam. April 2017 (Default)
Appreciative of the military service of my Dad and both of my Grandfathers on Veterans Day.

We just finished a short week at school, and today is the first of two makeup days after the unexpected school closure due to the China International Imports Expo and President Xi Jinping's visit to my neighborhood. The closest I got to the expo was seeing some of the attendees heading to dinner at Paradise Walk Mall, and walking through a display on international businesses in China that was set up on the mall's ground floor. Today is a work-from-home makeup day for students and teachers, and it has gone smoothly so far. We do a Saturday school day in early December to make up the other missed day.

It was also progress reports time at the day job, so things were busy during the three-day week. And next week is another busy week, with science fair happening.

I was generally happy with the election results in the US, especially Question #3 passing in Boston to reaffirm transgender civil rights. Frustrated that this was even put to a vote, but relieved at the results.

We went back to Minhang Sports Park yesterday for a nice walk, and then had a quick stroll through Qibao Old Street. I also headed in to Pudong for a bit of exploring and picture-taking, although the park really supplied the best photo opportunities of the day.

I've seen the first few store Christmas decorations of the season. China does decorate for Christmas a bit, but they mostly wait until December. Which I really like better anyway.

One thing I forgot to mention last week: The book Jedi Academy, which I finished and reviewed the week before last, was the 70th book I read in 2018, which was my reading goal for the year. You can see the full list here. I'm going to push for more. Still have about 150 pages to go on 900+ pages of Don Quixote!

I've got some words written on Nanowrimo, but I'm nowhere near quota, which is okay. I'm not pushing it this year.

And I've also managed to do some comic reviews.

Comic Reviews on Comic A Day

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story #6 from Marvel Comics.

Tall Tails: Thieves' Quest #1 by Jose Calderon and Daphne Lage of Vision Comics.

Amulet Book 4: The Last Council by Kazu Kibuishi.

Happy Valentines Day #1, edited by Jim Main of Main Enterprises.

Swamp Thing #43 from DC Comics.

Laird MacGuffin's Treasury by E.J. Barnes.

Supporting

I'm supporting comic book writer Mark Waid's legal defense against Comicsgate trolls.

Upcoming

Science fair next week at the day job.

It's looking like I'll be heading to Shanghai Disneyland with the Kiddo on our Thanksgiving Friday holiday in two weeks. There's also a possible Magic tourney happening that weekend that I might be playing in.

Looking forward to WWE Survivor Series coming up in a couple weeks, and then TLC in December before things quiet down somewhat until Royal Rumble.

We're looking at a day trip to Suzhou at the beginning of December and maybe some other touristy stuff in the Shanghai area between now and the holidays.

Then we're heading to the USA (staying in New Hampshire and Massachusetts) from December 19 to January 2. Looking forward to coming home for the holidays!

Connect/Follow

ricksilvawriting on Google+
@dandelionstudio on Twitter
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November 6

Nov. 6th, 2018 10:14 am
ricksilvawriting: Halong Bay, Vietnam. April 2017 (Default)
My American friends: Please vote! My Massachusetts friends: Please vote yes on Question 3!

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