Wakanda Forever

Wakanda Forever trailer

I finally got around to watching Wakanda Forever on Disney Plus. I’d been meaning to for quite some time now – I’d actually planned to watch it in theaters but ran out of time.

Some spoilers ahead

I have to say, though, that I was kind of disappointed by the film. To me, it felt like I was watching a runner going from a nice jog to a wild sprint – a nice jog through the action scenes, then a wild sprint through story and dialogue. I thought back to Patton Oswalt’s interview about how too many times people making action movies will cut out parts of the story or condense it just so there’s more time for action scenes.

Giving Shuri’s character more room to breathe on screen would’ve really made this story a masterpiece. Instead, the film had so much plot to move along and so many required action sequences, that it felt like the heart of the story was pushed off to the side.

Instead of a movie, I really think this would’ve made for a fantastic series, like WandaVision. A series format would’ve given Shuri more time to develop as a character. Given how condensed the film felt and how they just shoved Shuri’s character development in between action scenes, it felt like the only reason I was fine with her wanting revenge so much was because it just seemed like the logical thing everyone in her position would want. Rather than that, I would’ve loved to have hung out with Shuri for four or five episodes so I could really better understand her thought process and how she was handling how she felt.

I couldn’t help but think of how much of a climactic end to an episode it would’ve been if we see her in the ancestral plane heading to the throne only to find Killmonger there instead of her mother.

I would’ve loved more time with Namor and his city, too, so I could better understand his way of thinking and feel that much more heartbreak at the idea iof Wakanda and Talokan being at war. It all just felt so rushed in the film.

I’m starting to think more and more that Marvel should consider creating more series and having fewer movies. The movie format doesn’t seem to be doing justice to the stories anymore.

Gardening updates

My nectarine tree is starting to bloom

I know I wrote last year about obtaining and attempting to grow Asian pear trees in my little terrace. Unfortunately, about a month after writing that, both trees got fire blight and swiftly died.

The whole experience has made me sad but undeterred, though I’ve decided I’m actually going to wait to buy any pear trees until I find dwarf ones for sale that won’t try to take over the terrace. So far, no luck.

I do, however, have a nice nectarine tree growing in its second year. I also have three blueberry bushes, about ten strawberry plants, three mikan trees, two lemon trees and two olive trees. I’m also trying to coax a grape vine to live, but so far it seems wholly unwilling to cooperate.

As I’ve probably written before, I adore fruit but live in a country that slaps exhorbitant prices on any of them. Thus, I’ve taken to trying to grow my own fruit, knowing full well this will probably end in disaster.

My mikan tree before I pruned it in the winter

In the world of gardening, I feel like winter is the time to take stock – repot, clean up your gardening stuff, prune, check the roots. In the spring, I’m enjoying watching my garden slowly wake up as the air warms. It’s made spring much more fun for me even as hay fever sets in.

To me, spring also feels like I took a test in winter with all the repotting and pruning, and spring is when the results came back of whether or not all my meddling killed the plant or not. So far, the results have been pretty good.

My mikan tree now


Most people who venture to Asakusa Station are there for the shrine.

Probably the main reason anyone goes to Asakusa Station is to see this shrine.

While it really is a beautiful shrine, it is absolutely soaked through with tourists on weekends, complete with tourist traps lining the streets leading up to the shrine.

Thus, I recommend to anyone visiting the area to venture just a bit off the beaten path until they come across streets lined with stores that sell anything and everything you need to open your own restaurant or bakery.

A wagashi Japanese sweets store near Kappabashi


It’s a haven for anyone who adores cooking or baking, with shop after shop lining the street offering everything from ladles as big as your head to uniforms for anyone hoping to run their own restaurant or bakery.

One baking store has aisles just of piping tips and cake pans ranging in any size you can think of. Another store is ingredients I can’t normally find in grocery stores here (though no butterscotch chips, alas).

It’s hard to tell, but the ladles at the top are as big as a massive bowl.

Even if you have zero interest in cooking or baking, the novelty of what they’re selling alone is, I think, worth the trip. Where else will you see Japanese restaurant signs for sale or a massive popcorn machine?

There are also a couple of stores selling the fake plastic food you can often find in display cases outside of restsaurants here so you know exactly what they offer. The plastic food models are extremely lifelike, meaning be prepared to pay a lot of money for them, but I think they make for a great souvenir from Japan.