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Halloween in Austin is one of the best times of the year – whether you’re the extroverted Life of the Party or the Observant Wallflower – Halloween in Austin is equal parts partying (i.e. a heightened probability of alcoholically influenced poor decision-making) and amusing people-watching (oftentimes, people-judging). On a typical week day in Austin, it is not at all uncommon to see sleeves full of tattoos or florescent hair pigments that cannot be found in nature – so imagine the opportunity Halloween presents for this pool of already weird, colorful and creative residents.

I enjoy dressing up and experimenting with makeup, hairstyles and accessories that fall outside the parameters of my everyday wardrobe, but every year, I personally face a series of internal struggles with Halloween. For instance, I’m pretty lazy and cheap when it comes to costume assembly – I don’t like the idea of spending exorbitant amounts of money on elaborate wigs or craft materials intended for one-time use nor do I want to spend a few hours painting scales on my face or creating a structural masterpiece out of cardboard and zip ties. However in spite of this seemingly apathetic view on costume creation, I’m actually pretty picky about ideas. I just hate generic, store-bought ideas that don’t require an ounce of thought, originality or taste, and I hate going downtown and seeing a sea of uninspired pirates, sailors, bumblebees and cats.
I know I sound pretty judgmental right now, but it’s just a matter of personal preference. On the one day a year that I can literally wear anything and embody anyone, I don’t want to grab a pair of ears and a tail and call it a day. I don’t want to buy one of those gross, ill-fitting, polyester monstrosities that they sell in creepy zip-lock bags. By no means am I insinuating that others are wrong for going to Party City and buying the first thing that fits and mildly strikes their fancy, but I always try to avoid  defaulting on the road most taken.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve read a variety of opinions and perspectives about dressing up for Halloween. I thought I’d share two that particularly entertained me and made pretty compelling arguments. The first comes from the male perspective on why you (a dude) should not pick up the girl in the slutty Halloween costume. Askmen.com echoes a few of my aforementioned opinions about how people who choose these generic costumes lack taste and imagination, but the author also points out that these revealing ensembles leave little to the imagination. What’s the fun in undressing a girl who’s barely wearing anything anyway? But I think the most interesting argument this guy makes is that these slutty costumes are oftentimes misleading. Since dressing overly sexy on Halloween is considered female normalcy nowadays – shy girls, uptight girls, prude girls and just plain not-slutty girls kind of appear… slutty. On Halloween, these chicks may seem like choice options for a drunken makeout or a one-night stand, but in reality, they’re probably not.
Ironically, the second article comes from the female perspective in defense of the slutty costume. Sure, it’s more of a memoir, but the intelligent, fashionable and funny founder of ManRepeller.com recounts her 17-year-old experience of making the out-of-character, peer-influenced decision to don a sexy flight attendant costume for a house party where she ended up attracting the attention of an older college-aged male who she eventually started dating and ultimately marrying down the road. I suppose her article is less about dressing provocatively to meet members of the opposite sex, and more about being comfortable in your own skin, having fun and owning whatever character you decide to embody on Halloween. But this author also demonstrates that not every girl in a leather catsuit is an easy, idiotic bimbo. In fact, she could very well be a smart, funny individual with substance who simply didn’t have anything to wear.
It’s hard to believe I’ve been dressing up and celebrating Halloween for more than two decades now. And in my adult life I’ve dabbled with temporary tattoos, clip-on hair extensions and dangerously short hemlines that severely restricted the ability to bend over. However, more recently I’ve also found dressing up as dudes remarkably fun and liberating. I’ve gone as Bret Michaels, Tim Lincecum and my former boss over the past few years – and I don’t know what it is about wearing facial hair or perhaps, simply comfier clothes that makes Halloween the ridiculous, lighthearted and goofy occasion that I think it should be.
I guess I don’t care if you choose to take the sexy route or the humorous one, as long as there’s some thought or meaning behind whatever you choose. Like most women, I think dressing up and looking good is fun and empowering – there are plenty of costumes that show skin that look great – perhaps because they befit the character being portrayed or showed originality. I will always be impressed by the babelicious Chun-Lis, Princess Leias and Lady Gagas I see, but I will always roll my eyes at every sexy police woman, sexy nurse or sexy race car driver. In fact, some options are downright inexplicable like the sexy hamburger or the sexy Bert and Ernie. Our favorite Italian plumbers are supposed to be plump, mustachioed and hairy – so why sexualize our favorite SNES icons? I think it’s fine if you’re a Gryffindor, but since when did Hermione expose her cleavage and belly button?
Once again, I digress. After all, Halloween is tomorrow and it’s not like there’s much time for you to throw something together anyway. I just hope I see all of you Austinites in your Thursday best ready to party tomorrow night. We live in an awesome place and we should keep Austin spunky and weird on one of the funnest days of the year.
So I came across this in Thought Catalog and Cupcakes and Cashmere – two blogs I regularly follow that share next to nothing in common. I don’t necessarily agree with this list, but still thought it’d be a good exercise to attempt to answer these criteria to womanhood. So here goes:
1. A go-to drink: This particular criterion must signify maturity because five years ago, though I was of legal drinking age, I didn’t have a go-to drink and it was kind of embarrassing. Seriously, think back to the first time you legally went to a bar and had to decide what you wanted with a line of loud co-eds behind you and an impatient bartender fighting with every fiber of his being not to roll his eyes into the back of his head. Or when a waitress approaches you a mere minute after you’re seated and immediately demands a drink of you. Having the freedom to decide on what you want to drink is so liberating, yet foreign when you start legally drinking – no longer are you limited to whatever you’ve been able to get your hands on and happened to tolerate; you can literally choose from an unlimited selection of bottles and taps and drink anything. Whatever ends up being your go-to drink could define you for the rest of your days – especially if you become an alcoholic.
Determining your go-to drink is a rite of passage and it takes a period of trial and error to settle on something you like and are proud of liking. I definitely judge people on what their go-to drinks are – for instance, if tequila is your poison of choice – I might tag you as a party animal who’s keen on sugary margaritas and taking body shots like Vanessa Hudgens in Spring Breakers. If you drink rum and you’re not a pirate – what the fuck is wrong with you? I’m pleased to say after a few years of testing the waters, I have definitive answers for my go-to drink in almost all main categories of alcohol:
  • Spirits: Whiskey – preferably mixed with 7-Up, ginger ale, water or occasionally, on the rocks. Vodka is the widely assumed go-to liquor choice because it’s clear and tasteless and therefore, mixes with virtually anything. But for starters, I don’t necessarily want my alcohol to taste like nothing. I think that makes it obsolete, frivolous almost. Even if I mix or dilute it, I still want my liquor to have some character. Secondly, vodka is cliche – almost every chick I know says vodka Sprite, vodka soda with lime or vodka tonic with lime is their go-to drink, and I can’t think of a more boring way to get wasted than essentially paying $6 for a loaded Topochico with a squeeze of citrus in it. Finally, whiskey mixes well with an abundance of substances – when you get creative, you’d be surprised by how many delicious concoctions you can come up with. For instance, whiskey coffee is delicious. Whiskey with iced tea is delicious; whiskey with lemonade is delicious and whiskey with tea AND lemonade is even more delicious. For you seasonal folks, whiskey-spiked apple cider and egg nog are some of the best ways to endure obnoxious family members and stay contently, yet discreetly buzzed during the holidays. Whiskey my friends, is the way to go.
  • Beer (Good): I’m fortunate that Austin is brimming with local breweries, but it took me a while to nail down a signature beer, or at least a signature type of beer. It’s not uncommon for bars to feature 20, 50, 100+ drafts making the selection process a little overwhelming, but I usually fall back on Live Oak Hefeweizen – a light, medium-bodied brew that’s creamy enough to be smooth, but fruity and carbonated enough to be tart and refreshing.  
  • Beer (Trashy): When I’m feeling the urge to drink like a plebeian, I usually defer to something of the commercialized domestic variety that comes in cases of 24 or the 16-oz. Tall Boy form factor – ideal for bringing to the pool or for spilling on things. In college, I was a dedicated Coors Light drinker – I just thought those temperature-sensitive blue Rocky Mountains were so delightfully clever! Oddly enough, I usually prefer Bud Light and Miller Lite now – not sure why. For some reason, none of my friends seem to like the Silver Bullet much. I’m also a fan of Lone Star, the National Beer of Texas, which often is available at the $1 – $2 price point at several establishments.  
  • Wine: This is the only alcoholic substance I wish I was more knowledgeable about – I don’t want to be some snobby sommelier, but I do wish I wasn’t so clueless about wine. I do know I prefer red, I drink a glass or two almost every weeknight and usually buy reasonably priced bottles of Cab or Shiraz at the grocery store. I admittedly still have a lot to learn, and taste for wine is the biggest opportunity for growth for my alcoholic palate. I’m assuming it’s something to be accumulated as I grow older – after all, adults drink wine and one day I’ll be rich and classy enough to sniff and swirl and make sound choices.
 2. A go-to karaoke song: I don’t karaoke as much as I used to, but when I do, I like to display my expertise without being boring or serious. However, I hate when people sing Top 40 pop songs or “Don’t Stop Believing,” so it took a while to pinpoint the right song. A few years ago, I tried out Kylie Minogue’s upbeat rendition of “The Locomotion” and it was very well-received. It’s catchy, fun, easy-to-learn and lends itself to simple dance moves like swinging your hips and making human trains.
3. A uniform: This is tough because I like a lot of different clothes – but lately, I’ve been wearing casual button downs and skinny jeans the most regularly. I do like the occasional dress or skirt, but the former option doesn’t require me to shave my legs or wear specific undergarments. I usually wear my hair down in whatever unkempt tangle it molds itself into after a night of fitful sleep and my only makeup must-have is black eyeliner, which has rimmed my eyes virtually every day since I was 15.
4. A hairstylist they love: This is something I do not have – there is no singular individual that I return to for my haircuts, but I’m fortunate enough to have have pretty manageable, hard-to-fuck-up hair. I do return to the same establishment the 2 or 3 times a year I remember to cut it, but I have a different stylist every time. I certainly like talking to some more than others, but the end product is never reason enough to remember the stylist’s name and schedule an appointment 6 months later.
5. An exercise routine: For the past few years, I would just regularly go to the gym. I don’t particularly like it, but I also don’t mind it. Plus, I’d prefer using simple strength training and cardio machines to paying for and scheduling my day around a yoga or kickboxing class. A few months ago, I surprisingly developed an inclination for running and even entertained the idea of training for a half marathon, but I have trouble finding the time to run outside because it’s kind of dependent on the weather and time of day. Treadmills suffice, but running in place while watching the minutes and miles slowly tick by is equal parts boring and soul-crushing so I never do more than 3-4 miles on the treadmill. Very recently, I joined a competitive indoor volleyball league – a sport I’ve loved playing since junior high – not only do I get regular, non-boring exercise through this, but I’ve also met a lot of great people. Gives me something to look forward to every week.
6. A hobby: Okay – I hate hobbies. I think the idea of them is stupid and I’d argue that virtually no one really has a hobby. Sure, I like shopping, reading and listening to music, but so does a significant portion of the population. In fact, almost everyone I know likes those things. There’s really nothing unique or characteristic about those things. Unless your favorite pastime is something super rare like collecting model cars, knitting blankets, bird watching or brewing your own beer – I don’t think you really have a hobby. Think of the weird shit they sell at Hobby Lobby – it’s all crocheting, scrapbooking, quilting or toy airplane painting-related stuff. I don’t know anyone who does any of that shit in real life. I hate when people ask what my hobbies are because I feel stupid and unoriginal when I honestly admit that I don’t have any. Fuck hobbies.
7. A best friend: I actually have a few of these; if you held a gun to my head and attached me to a polygraph machine and asked me who my best friend was, I really wouldn’t know how to answer truthfully to save my life (or the life of said best friend). I also think the concept of having a best friend is kind of exclusionary by design, which isn’t very kind considering your second best friend and third best friend are probably pretty decent people too. I have one that I talk to every day and consider my closest friend, but we’ve never even lived in the same city. I have one that I’ve known since childhood and lived with in college. I can show up at her parents’ doorstep any day of the week and we’ll be in eachothers’ weddings no question – however, we have next to nothing in common and our taste in everything from shoes to men is completely different. My roommate might be the most plausible answer to this question because I spend the most time with him, we do have a lot in common and ultimately, we just get along really well. Though he’s my best companion for all of those reasons, we don’t confide secrets or personal info very often. Not that the other isn’t trustworthy or reliable; we just don’t do it much. Weird, huh?
8. A healthy sense of self – Not sure what this means, so probably don’t have it.

 

As some of you may remember, a few weeks ago I read a powerful book about the atrocities of factory farming and the benefits of a vegetarian diet and decided to abstain from eating meat for a while. This isn’t necessarily a permanent change and I’m not labeling myself as a full-fledged vegetarian – I just simply made a personal decision to be more mindful about where my food comes from. I’m super proud of myself for trying to be a more conscientious and responsible citizen of the world, but I also chose the worst possible time to inact this lifestyle change!

Why, you say? Well, dear friends, this past weekend was Weekend 1 of Austin City Limits Music Festival – three fun-filled days of live music, sunshine and debauchery, and easily one of my favorite weekends of the year. Every year, my ACL weekend consists of enjoying live music, incurring credit card debt from $9 Bud Lite Tall Boys and without fail, gorging on delicious, decadent FOOD.

It’s common knowledge that music festivals spend a lot of time (and money) curating lineups of diverse talent to play their stages, but one of the greatest features of ACL is Austin Eats – a showcase of some of Austin’s best restaurants, eateries and food trucks that are a vast departure from the corny dogs and funnel cakes you’d normally find at a concert of sporting event concession stand. Every year, each Austin Eats vendor creates a small menu of tasty, reasonably priced dishes that are quick and easy for festival patrons to eat on-the-go, and since attendees spend 8 or 9 hours at ACL each day, it’s not uncommon to grab meals or snacks 2 or 3 times a day from this Holy Grail of an outdoor food court.

This was my first time experiencing a meat-free ACL and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but Austin has always been a vegetarian-friendly, health-conscious city, so I knew there would probably be plenty of options for me to choose from. Since Weekend 2 of the festival starts tomorrow, I thought I’d share some of my favorite vegetarian menu items for anyone interested. (Of note, I also included some meals I enjoyed outside of the festival this weekend in case you’re visiting Austin for the first time and wanted some additional recommendations.

And lest we forget, always stay hydrated. I’m proud to say, no animals were harmed in the production of the copious amounts of alcohol I drank this past weekend.

DAY 1

For starters, ACL could not have kicked off at a more opportune time because coincidentally – the first day of ACL just happened to be National Taco Day! What better way to celebrate than with some of Austin’s best breakfast tacos? My friends and I stopped by Tamale House East, a friendly neighborhood haunt that specializes in super cheap, but flavorful breakfast tacos among other tasty Mexican fare. Hidden behind some warehouses and train tracks east of I-35, Tamale House is a diamond in the rough – even Anthony Bourdain stopped by a few months ago!

Potato, egg and cheese breakfast taco and mimosa from Tamale House

I decided on two, no frills potato, egg and cheese breakfast tacos with tomato topped with smoky Tamale House salsa. Of course, the tacos were accompanied by a refreshing mimosa to cleanse the palate. A breakfast of champions if I’ve ever seen one.

BONUS: While at Tamale House, we spotted the infamous Taco Cannon! For those of you living under rocks, the Taco Cannon made its debut at Fun Fun Fun Fest last year – a hydraulic, multi-chamber t-shirt cannon like apparatus that propels tacos into crowds of rowdy festival-goers. The Taco Cannon was a smash hit at last year’s Fun Fun Fun Fest –  but for whatever reason, last year’s taco vendor Torchy’s Tacos decided to opt out and create their own device for their own promotional purposes. According to the Austin Business Journal, in light of this treason, Transmission Events decided to take their business elsewhere for this year’s Fun Fun Fun and I’m glad Tamale House agreed to supply the ammunition. This taco arms race is getting out of control!

Magic Shroom from Torchy’s Tacos

After enjoying our lunch-time breakfast, we headed to Day 1 of the festival. After reliving some high school memories during Jimmy Eat World’s set and crushing on Houndmouth’s female keyboard player, we decided to refuel. The second meal of National Taco Day was coincidentally, another taco. Ironically, said taco was from the treacherous Torchy’s Tacos. Though I’d choose Tamale House in a Taco Cannon shoot out any day, Torchy’s is still an Austin mainstay that turns out pretty decent tacos. I decided on the Magic Shroom – a loaded, portabello taco on a flour tortilla that filled me up in time for Vampire Weekend.

DAY 2

On Day 2, I decided to branch out of my taco comfort zone and try some different delicacies. We started the day off with spirited chick rockers HAIM and laidback Swedish trio Junip, and my first meal of the day was of the Mediterranean persuasion. Tino’s Greek Cafe is known for their mouthwatering gyros, tabouli and falafel – so for meal one, I went with a hearty falafel wrap on warm pita with lettuce, tomato and tangy tzatziki sauce. Saturday afternoon featured some of my favorite musical acts – Grimes, Portugal. The Man, Passion Pit and Kendrick Lamar and as you can imagine, one works up quite an appetite after an electrifying Kendrick Lamar set – so my late night snack was an avocado and black bean torta from hip, modern Mexican restaurant La Condesa.

Falafel Wrap from Tino’s Greek Cafe

Avocado Torta from La Condesea

DAY 3

You don’t have to attend a three-day musical festival to feel the familiar Sunday hangover slash excuse to go to brunch and drink more, and just because the government shut down, it doesn’t mean that Sunday Funday has to stop. The weather was gorgeous on Sunday, probably the most beautiful we’ve had this year – so my friends and I unanimously decided on an outdoor patio to pre-game our final day of ACL. Hands down one of my favorite new spots in Austin is Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden – complete with 105 taps and an unbelievable selection of exotic sausage, bratwurst and meats, this place is a must for newbies. Plus, Banger’s resides in the heart of Rainey street, an adorable neighborhood of local bars outside of downtown. On nice days, families bring their dogs, polka bands grace the outdoor stage and friends eat, drink and be merry – for the super devoted, Banger’s will even pay for your tattoo if you agree to permanently mark your person with their logo that combines a beer stein, sausage and cowboy boot. I had my understandable misgivings about the brunch selection since the Banger’s menu is known for its pig roasts, venison and sausage. But to my pleasant surprise – there were great vegetarian options to choose from as well. Per my waitress’ recommendation, I went with the Veggie Benny – a poached egg on an English muffin topped with avocado, fresh tomato and crunchy chipotle-dusted shoestring potatoes.

BONUS: Though popular for their selection of beer, Banger’s features one of the best brunch cocktails in Austin – The Manmosa – one liter of bubbly orange juice goodness that guarantees the haziest day drunken delirium and/or restful afternoon nap. Naturally, my party of five decided to end the weekend like Grown Men – So cheers to the Manmosa and Cheers to Men! (They were so heavy, I could barely hold up my stein glass)

Veggie Benny from Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden

The Manmosa from Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden

Grown Men

Not gonna lie, heading to the festival after that feast was pretty rough – we were all uncomfortably full, but also blissfully content and filled with champagne-induced day dreams. But we all rallied like the Grown Men we are and embarked on the final day of ACL. Some of the best music was on Sunday – reliving high school again through Chris Carrabba’s new band, Twin Forks and chilling through folk songwriters The Lone Bellow – it turned into quite a beautiful afternoon. Later that afternoon, Divine Fits, The National and Tame Impala melted our faces off and before finishing off the night with Phoenix and super group Atoms for Peace, I decided on Indian cuisine for my ACL Last Supper. I went with a spicy Chana Masala wrap from Lambas Royal Indian Food, which was packed with tender chickpeas and flavor. I know this photo looks kinda gross, but the Chana Masala wrap was one of my favorite eats of the weekend.

Chana Masala Wrap from Lambas Royal Indian Foods

EPILOGUE

Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention booze. After all, you can’t spell alcohol without ACL – so I’d be negligent if I didn’t talk about how to stay (de)hydrated during ACL. The aforementioned $9 Bud Lite Tall Boys were certainly a daily staple, but there were certainly other ways to add variety to your alcohol intake. ACL is pretty strict about what you can and can’t bring into the park, so pocket shots are a godsend. These miniature packets of whiskey, rum and vodka can be easily concealed in a purse, backpack or cargo short, so my friends and I stocked up on them for the weekend. You can buy them from most local liquor stores and they mix super smoothly with refreshing Sweet Leaf Tea.

Also, if your taste in beer is a little more refined than Bud Lite or Budweiser – right next to the Austin Eats food court, ACL housed a shaded oasis flowing with craft beer and huge projection screens that were showing the weekend football games. The Barton Springs Beer Hall had eight brews on tap for the same price as the canned Tall Boys sold around the park, so my crew alternated between craft and domestic. The craft beer obviously tasted better and the Beer Hall provided a welcome break from the relentless UV rays, but the Tall Boys were also easier to carry, harder to spill and more accessible since they were sold at multiple booths around the festival grounds. At some points, the Beer Hall was almost as popular as some of the ACL stages – especially during that soul-crushing Cowboys Broncos 99-point game on Sunday afternoon. *Shudders*

Pocket shot and Sweet Leaf Mint and Honey Green Tea

Barton Springs Beer Hall at Austin City Limits

Well, I hope that preview was sufficient for anyone planning on attending Round 2 of ACL this upcoming weekend. I’m still detoxing from last week’s shenanigans, so I’m planning on staying in – but it is only Thursday. Looking ahead, I’m not sure if meat will be in my future or not. But I can confidently say that this past weekend’s experiment showed me that I can still partake in delicious cuisine and destroy my liver without diluting my overall ACL experience.

For you Weekend 2 Attendees – Have fun and be safe. And most importantly, eat, drink and be merry!

Over the past two weeks or so, I embarked on a fantastic adventure that doubled as an action-packed science-fiction exploit and a heartwarming coming-of-age (again) journey with some smart, funny and heroic young children. Ironically, a mere day after closing the covers to these terrific stories about alien invasions and battle command in null gravity, I dejectedly returned to the real world only to find out that the government shut down, thereby limiting NASA funding and pumping the breaks on space exploration and discovery of unknown worlds.

Hopefully, operations will eventually pick back up and the U.S. can continue interplanetary expeditions, and as a respite, an escape from reality if you will, I’d recommend reading Orson Scott Card’s cult sci-fi novel, Ender’s Game before the film releases in exactly a month from the day the government shut down.
Like Hunger Games and The Percy Jackson series, Ender’s Game is a popular young adult fiction with powerful (yet self-deprecating) protagonists, elements of fantasy and not-so-subtle anti-establishment undertones. But unlike the former two series, Ender’s Game rarely resides in the Young Adult sections of bookstores, and wasn’t even written in this Millenium. Published in 1985, the award-winning Ender’s Game usually lives in the sci-fi section among the rest of Card’s impressive catalog of work and appears on several required reading lists for prepubescent teenagers and military soldiers alike.
My biggest disappointment about reading Ender’s Game was that I didn’t discover it when I was a kid. Though this novel is perfectly entertaining from an objective, adult, point-of-view, I know I would have deeply connected to Ender, his friends and his challenges if I read this while I was facing the day-to-day atrocities of middle school adolescence. Sure, Ender’s Game takes place on a space station where young, gifted children are groomed to command potential battles against alien invaders – not quite relevant to my preteen years. But no matter what age group, nation or universe you’re from, you will encounter bullies, cliques, unfair authority figures, competitiveness, stress and most importantly, loyal friends.
Without divulging too much for those of you who want to read the book or watch the film, I will say that Ender’s Game is a timeless heroic narrative with likable characters, plot points and dialogue. Even as an adult, I was pleasantly surprised by how captivating the story became after a few chapters.
After I finished Ender’s Game too soon, I wanted more. More science fiction, more space, more armies, more battles – so fortunately, on one of my routine visits to Half-Price Books, I stumbled upon the parallel semi-sequel, Ender’s Shadow. 
 Written over a decade later, Ender’s Shadow doesn’t “follow” Ender’s Game in the traditional sense. Rather, Ender’s Shadow retells the same narrative of Ender’s Game from the point of view of Bean, one of Ender’s Battle School classmates, fellow soldiers and best friends. Remarkably bright, funny and little, Bean is super clever and likable, and I honestly think I enjoyed this book better than the first. Rather than discovering new places, meeting new characters or learning how the Battle School society operates, we’re reacquainted with familiar faces, we relive exciting battles and we already know the impending result of some major events and turning points.
Bean’s point of view is fresh, young, inquisitive and a welcome twist to the somber tone of the first novel. Plus, Bean’s back story and journey to and through Battle School add depth and a twinge of tragedy to the one-dimensional coming-of-age experience we lived through with Ender on the first go around. Upon finishing Ender’s Shadow (and re-reading the final passage three or four times) I shamelessly shed a few tears and let out a dramatic, cathartic sigh – a familiar ritual whenever I finish any good book that I never want to stop reading.
Now, I’m left wishfully (and pathetically) counting the days until the movie comes out. And for the government to come back.
Until then, I leave you with a smattering of Ender’s Game inspired fan art and Battle School propaganda. Harrison Ford Needs You!:

“Game On” by Drew Brockington

Concept Art by Alan Atwood