On A Tangent

The ultimate site for a generation sidetracked by the fandom life


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2017: The Year of Recognition

The other day on Facebook, my work friend Sara tagged me in this fun little activity where a bunch of words fly through a video, you take a screenshot, and the word you land on is what you will “manifest” in 2017. I’m SO not an astrology kind of girl, but I admit, I love finding the deeper meaning in fun things like that, so I took a screenshot.

According to “Astrology and Angel Mediums,” I will manifest “Recognition” in 2017.

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My first thought was “how the heck do you ‘manifest recognition’?!” It sounds like some New Age mantra that you’d chant at a sweat lodge. (Which would actually probably be right up my INFJ alley… but I digress.)

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5 Things by the Time I’m 30

The countdown is officially on. I’m nearing the big 3-0. It’s an exciting and fun time of life. My husband and I are happily secure enough to get to do some travel. We live close enough to 90% of our family to see them on a weekly or monthly basis. We have a fabulous group of friends who, although they live literally across the globe, make it a point to stay close utilizing technology.

True, we’ve been handed some really rough lemons over the years, but we have always chosen to turn them into SourPatch Kids. The 30s are going to be our best decade.

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Jay Gatsby agrees. His 20s sucked too.

To be fair, I would seriously contemplate bodily harm on anyone who tried to send me back to the start of my 20s. People say they’d “give anything to be 20 again.” I don’t think they know what this term means.

What is fun about being poor, lonely and uncertain about your direction in life, feeling like the whole world must understand this better than you? (It’s possible that this is not everyone’s 20s experience. I hear there was parties and drinking for some.)

That being said, transitioning from your third decade of life into your fourth should be met with a certain pizazz. So I queried the world. What should I do while I was still “living it up” in my 20s? Continue reading


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Laney Reviews: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

So like many Harry Potter fans, I went out and bought my copy on Sunday and read through it all day yesterday. (I’ve specifically dropped in the “Read More” tag and hidden any spoilers so that if you haven’t read it, you get that magical first-time experience. If you have read it, I would LOVE to see a discussion in the comments! What did you think?)

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Harry Potter, #8)Like so many Harry Potter fans, I was in middle school (the same age as Harry) when my English teacher first recommended the Harry Potter series to me. The first three books had been published in the previous years, and the fourth was about to come out. My best friend and I devoured them and analyzed them, lovingly, but critically. (I still think of The Goblet of Fire in a completely different way that I do the others.) The Harry Potter books are not, in my opinion, great works of fiction, but they ARE a delightfully fresh world the likes of which others have tried to duplicate and none have arguably succeeded.I am not blinded to their faults by my love of what they represent.

What made/makes Harry Potter such a global phenomenon is that it tells a very human story in a setting that is equal parts fantastic and horrifying. We empathize with Harry and revile Voldemort. We feel the bonds of friendship that are set against the bonds of self-interest.

The other important thing to remember about the original 7 Harry Potter stories is that they are entirely told on the perspective of Harry Potter, a boy who knows nothing of the wizarding world and to whom (like his innocent reader) everything is a new delight. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child turns that original narrative structure completely on its head to create something entirely new.

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Laney’s Top Ten Must Reads

When you come from a family of bibliophiles, deciding upon your top ten favorite books feels a little bit like Solomon’s Dilemma. I’ve read over 1300 books in my lifetime (at least that’s what I can remember and put on Goodreads…), so I had to put a lot of thought into my top ten list. I LOVE beautiful, rich, deep, complex language. If there’s one thing that threads throughout all of my top ten, it’s the beauty of language and the art of a story well-told.

As Leah mentioned in her Top 10 List, we decided to focus on the books that in some way shaped or transformed our lives. Ranking these ten books amongst themselves would be even more impossible than choosing them in the first place, so they are arranged in chronological order. They are all worth-while reads, even the ones that require tapping into your inner child (a practice which I heartily support doing on a regular basis!). Continue reading


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Fandom Friday: Forming, Storming and Performing with The Avengers

AvengersFor our Marvel Monday column for the next two months, we will be reviewing all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies to prepare for our big review of The Avengers: Age of Ultron  on May 1. (This Marvel Monday is particularly special, because it falls on a Friday. Don’t get confused. It’s just a preview of what to expect on Friday May 1.)

Of all the Marvel movies of recent years, The Avengers (2012) is DEFINITELY my favorite. First of all, it was written and directed by Joss Whedon. What can you expect but a well-paced, deeply character-driven plotline from the king of Buffy, Angel and Firefly? Ensemble cast movies can go incredibly, horribly wrong in a variety of ways, especially big-budget super hero action flicks. It’s so easy to lose one or multiple members of the cast to formulaic or missing plot points in these types of film, but everyone has a believable (but succinct) plot device to drive themselves into the group. It’s a beautifully nuanced work of art. (Remember when I said that ultimately Thor was setting everything up for something else? Well, this is it!)

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Marvel Monday: Thor, Full of Sound and Fury

AvengersFor our Marvel Monday column for the next two months, we will be reviewing all of the Marvel canon movies to prepare for our big review of The Avengers: Age of Ultron  on May 1. Today, we get philosophical about the nature of heroes and aliens with Laney’s review of Thor (2011).

When it first came out in theaters, despite starring another of my all-time favorite leading ladies Natalie Portman, Thor just didn’t hold up to how much I enjoyed Iron Man and Iron Man 2. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely! Was it the best written plotline in the world? Well… to me, it felt a little rushed and a little contrived.

Rewatching it for our blog, however, and in light of the films that come after Thor, places the film in an entirely different light. Like a lightbulb going off, I have realized it is the pivotal plotline of the current Marvel continuity. Continue reading