Sunday Suggestions: 7/12/2020

It’s that time of the week. Welcome to another installment of Sunday Suggestions! This week, we’ll be covering the following suggestions:

Movie: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Book: Codex Alera Series
Video Game: Lichdom: Battlemage
Homemade Recipe: Pork Chop Rub

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Starring Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, Dan Stevens, Pierce Brosnan, Melissanthi Mahut
Rated PG-13
Released in 2020
Found on Netflix

Eurovision Song Contest is perhaps one of the duller movies that Will Ferrell has made in recent memory. Please don’t mistake my use of the word “duller” to mean that I disliked the movie. In fact, my fiancee and I enjoyed the movie much more than we originally thought we would. When I was younger, I wasn’t a fan of Will Ferrell’s style of comedy, but as I grew older, I started to enjoy it more and more. Eurovision Song Contest tells the story of Lars Erickssong and Sigrit Ericksdottir and their journey to win the Eurovision Song Contest. They are from Iceland, and to be honest, they’re not very good. Much like Stepbrothers, Elf, and the Other Guys, the movie is a satirical look at the world behind the topic of the movie. It takes the universe of singing in Eurovision and elevates everything to disproportionate events and situations. We got a really good chuckle out of the movie and even enjoyed the catchy, yet cheesy tunes throughout. Is it Will Ferrell in his prime? No, but the movie is still a good mix of witty and slapstick humor. It does feel like it runs a little longer than it should, but we never actually got bored while watching it.


Codex Alera Series
Written by Jim Butcher
Published by Ace Publishing
Six Part Anthology
Genre: Fantasy

The Codex Alera series has been a huge point of inspiration for my book ideas. The six part series is interesting because the concept and idea for the book stemmed from an unlikely source.

The issue at hand was central story concepts. One side of the argument claimed that a good enough central premise would make a great book, even if you were a lousy writer. The other side contended that the central concept was far less important than the execution of the story, and that the most overused central concept in the world could have life breathed into by a skilled writer.

It raged back and forth in an ALL CAPITAL LETTERS FLAMEWAR between a bunch of unpublished writers, and finally some guy dared me to put my money where my mouth was, by letting him give me a cheesy central story concept, which I would then use in an original novel.

Me being an arrogant kid, I wrote him back saying, “Why don’t you give me TWO terrible ideas for a story, and I’ll use them BOTH.”

The core ideas he gave me were Lost Roman Legion and Pokemon… Thus was Alera formed.

Interview with Jim Butcher

The series follows a young man named Tavi. Throughout the world of Alera, most people gain a fury, or an elemental entity, that ties itself to the people and lets them use and manipulate some aspects of the element to which the fury belongs. Unfortunately, Tavi does not have a fury, and he has to learn how to survive and adapt without one. The world basically becomes at war and different kingdoms struggle for survival. It’s an amazing book series, one that I often re-read again. It’s a ton of fun and fulfills all of the fantasy, magic wielding, sword fighting, mythical creature needs of a good fantasy book.

Read More/Buy Codex Alera

Video Game
Lichdom: Battlemage
Starring Clancy Brown, Gina Torres, Jaime Murray, Troy Baker, Jennifer Hale, David Lodge, Oliver Vaquer, Yuri Lowenthal,
Developed by Xaviant Games
Published by Xaviant Games
Rated M (Mature) by ESRB
Platforms: PC, Playsation, XBOX

Lichdom: Battlemage is one of those games that contains highly contested ratings and reviews. Many game reviewers believe the game has too many flaws. A majority of the reviews praise the voicework and graphics for the time period the game was made, but too many other problems persist throughout. The game plays out like one long battle sequence…and it does. The combat is relatively clunky and doesn’t have the smoothness to justify having the entire game be an elongated fight. The upgrade system is actually overly complicated which causes even more problems because the bonuses and combat abilities you get from those upgrades don’t really affect your combat enough to be worth the cost. They have fixed a lot of the graphical issues the game first showed when it released back in 2014. I am on the opposite end of the spectrum from the negative reviews. While the combat does feel clunky at times, and the upgrade system is aggravating more often than it’s not, I have a ton of fun playing the game. There is something deeply satisfying about having an Ice spell in my left hand, cast it to freeze a bad guy, then blast it with a Fire spell in my right hand, obliterating him. The use of magic can be extremely fun in the hands of your character, and that’s the redeeming quality that keeps me going back to the game from time to time.

Homemade Recipe
Pork Chop Rub

1tsp Garlic Powder
1tsp Onion Powder
1/2tsp Ground Mustard
2tbsp Brown Sugar
Smoked Paprika – to be honest, I’ve never measured it. I always shake a lot into the rest of the rub. Then I taste it. If it needs more, I add more. I should honestly measure it one of these days.
Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix all of the spices together in a bowl
Grab some of the rub and add it to one side of the pork chop
Rub vigorously until the entire pork chop (front, back, sides) is coated
Let pork chops sit for 5-10 minutes before cooking


*As a sidenote, I sometimes add in other spices like Oregano, Marjoram, Sage, Cumin, or otherwise if we’re feeling different flavors. Just put the same amount in as the Garlic or Onion Powder!

Until next Sunday!

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