Saturday, January 31, 2015

For All Us Nerds That Couldn't Care Less About the Super Bowl

Happy Sunday! I just wanted to take a minute and share something I thought many of you would find useful - The Book-Lover's Guide to Covertly Reading During a Super Bowl Party, originally published on the Quirk Books blog last January. Although even if you can't manage to get some reading in, at least there's always good food and drinks. And usually lots of beer if you're having that rough of a time.

However if a snack-adium is present then yes, I would love to come to your party. (source)

The article covers some very important tips and tactics, such as...

3. Occasionally make noise: Just like reading in the middle of a forest known for higher-than-average Grizzly activity, sharp listening is the key to survival here. Keep your ears pricked for changes in ambient noise, and vocalize accordingly: groan, sigh, cheer, or laugh (commercials only). If your pages are particularly noisy, try to turn them at clinch moments.

If you're not a big reader (*cry*), the guide also still works if you want to, say...play Pokemon on your DS. Or whatever other non-football related things you're into. Just don't sit on the couch texting other people the whole time, cuz that shit's rude.

As for what I'll be doing tomorrow? I'll start the day at work, and head over to my families house after. Andrew and my brothers aren't huge on football either, so we'll probably just chill and maybe play a couple tabletop games. Luckily my family aren't huge super bowl party people. Watching it is a big deal for my dad, but he always likes to watch it in the comfort of his own home. They still require awesome snacks though! I've been to we're so excited this is a huge deal super bowl parties before, and they're just not my thing...which is why I found the article funny, awesome, and super useful!

Now go forth, and pray you're not asked to stop at Wal-Mart for extra tortilla chips on the way over.

Friday, January 30, 2015

5 Fandom Friday - A Peek In My Closet (Favorite Fandom Clothes & Accessories)

5 Fandom Friday

Hi friends! Today's theme is all about our favorite fandom themed clothes and accessories that we already own. For a second I honestly thought that this would be the easiest Fandom Friday post EVER. I went into my bedroom, ready to take some pictures of my things like, "I have awesome nerdy accessories, this will be so fun!" Until I started pulling things out that I would photograph. I've grown quite a collection over the years and each piece makes me so happy! The terrible part was having to choose only five. Even though I did eventually choose five, I'm still not sure if these are the ones or not, because like I said it was hard to choose. Also, if you were following during my #Nerdvember posts, then you might already be familiar with some of these. Sooo here's what I came up with!

Lego Messenger Bag

1. One of my favorite things is my Lego messenger bag! I spent more than I care to admit on it during my last trip to Legoland a couple years ago. I use this bag 95% of the time and it receives many random comments from 10 yr old boys. It's a little worn down now, but I still love it. Last week someone actually asked me if it was "vintage." Nope, just old and ratty, sorry! The inside is lined with Lego brick print, too!

Stormtrooper Starry Night

2. The next piece is my new-ish tank top that my mom got me for Christmas! I love Star Wars and I LOVE Van Gogh paintings! I've noticed Starry Night became kind of a thing in pop culture right now (CoughDoctorWhoCough), but I'm ok with that because it just means I see the painting more often, and sometimes even with my other favorite things! When I was still homeschooled my mom used to teach us a LOT about art and we often went to art museums, so this is more than just a cool design for me :)


3. I love my Fullmetal Alchemist pins! FMA is my all time favorite anime. I remember watching it back before I convinced my parents to get DVR, and I had to make sure I was home every Saturday night to watch Fullmetal Alchemist at 10pm. I've been asked a few times where I got them, and I always feel like a jerk when I tell people that I found them at a yard sale! I was so excited when I saw these, and the seller told me he'd bought them on his last trip to Japan. He also had the little Alphonse plush shown in the background, which he threw in for free!  I picked up a Final Fantasy and a Ranma 1/2 pin at the same sale, too...it was a sweet yard sale...

4. Next up is my Aquaman garb! I actually took this picture earlier in the month when I wore this to go do laundry, hahahah. The shirt is printed with scales and Aquaman's belt :) I sometimes wear the pieces separate, but when I'm feeling particularly dorky I'll wear them together. I originally bought these pieces for my Aquaman cosplay I wore on Halloween. Prior to that I had been wanting to make an Aquaman outfit for a long time, but I never did because I knew people would call it stupid (because "all he does is talk to fish"...not true, btw) and I was scared about how I'd look in the leggings (my legs aren't conventionally legging appropriate). Last year I finally decided to make the costume after seeing a video of Cazz from Nerd Burger wearing her Aquaman costume at Supernova Melbourne, and she looked incredibly awesome and happy! So glad I did. I was still nervous about the leggings, but I felt better about it throughout the night. This year I'm doing this crazy thing and wearing whatever I want even though I'm fat. So yeah. Slightly off topic, but this week I watched Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, and it was awesome! Yay, Aquaman!

5. Finally, I chose my Les Miserables charm bracelet. I bought this bracelet at the San Francisco Orpheum, when my mom and I went to see Les Miserables! We are both huge Les Mis fans, and since both of our birthdays are in July we decided to buy each other a ticket for our birthday gifts. It was an awesome night. Our trip home was a little sketch though, when the show got out a little later than we planned and we missed our BART train. There was a later train coming, but by then it was past 11pm. Waiting in a BART station late at night isn't the business. At least it makes a good memory, hahah.

So that's it for this week! If you want to see some of my past Fandom Friday posts, you can see them in my archive right here! Next Friday we'll be talking about Funko Pop figures, which I don't actually collect but love to look at :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Currently...


January was an alright month for me. I got to have a break from working at the theatre, so I was able to catch up on a few things I'd been missing out on! I've already started my New Year's resolution to read more - so far I've finished two books + I'm working on two more right now, which I don't think is too bad. I started a new job. I went to a museum. I did a bit of creative writing (Or did I? Ooooh~). AND, so far I've had a new blog post up every day that I'd hoped/planned to. So yeah, my year started off pretty good. I hope you're all having a great year so far, too! :) I usually do one of these "currently" posts and another post the following week with photos I took that month, but this month I'm shoving them both together since I didn't take as many pictures!

Favorite January photos!
1) Causal Aquaman day (because why not). 2) Badass sunset seen from my front door. 3) Library haul + one of the books I'm currently reading. 4) More books! From a contest I won; and one of them is autographed! 5) Hello Kitty cocoa.
6) Me and Charlie Brown at the Charles Schulz Museum!

Reading

I'm in between a few things right now. I'm reading Doomed, by Chuck Palahniuk, which is alright but not my favorite of his. I'm not sure if I'm going to do a full review of it here once I'm done because some of it makes me feel icky. I'm also, very slowly, reading the third book in The Gemma Doyle Trilogy - The Sweet Far Thing. Back in November I wrote about rereading the first in the series, A Great and Terrible Beauty, because I didn't remember how the series ended. Well it turns out I couldn't remember how the series ended because I DIDN'T EVEN READ THEM ALL. It was so long ago and since I already had all three books, I just assumed I'd read them all. What's wrong with me? Anyway, in December I finished the second book, Rebel Angels, and now I'm working my way through the final book which of course is the longest of the bunch.

Watching
Currently I'm watching The X-Files! Until this month I'd never seen a single episode before. In a Secret Santa Christmas swap I got a box set of the first season, along with some other geeky goodies! When I discovered my Secret Santa and told him I'd never seen X-Files, he along with everyone else in the room couldn't believe it. So far I like it well enough. It's not my favorite, but it's a fun way to pass the time. I'm still on the first season, but I feel like every episode starts with Mulder being like, "It's aliens, Scully!" and then Scully's like, "IT'S NOT OUR CASE, MULDER."

Listening
Right now I'm really into the new Taylor Swift album, 1989. When she first came on the scene I was pretty "meh" about her music, but as the years went on I started liking her more and more. The new Taylor Swift album is probably the only thing I know about popular music right now. Andrew keeps making fun of me when I have it playing, because it's so different compared the Kanye West and Outkast albums I'm usually jammin' to.


Playing
This month I'm plying the crap out of Don't Starve and Don't Starve Together. I already wrote about it right here and here though, so I won't bore you with any more of it, hahah.

Loving
Lately I'm a little obsessed with french braiding! You know, because I catch on to all the trends at least  a year late. For years I've been trying to french braid my own hair, and since I'm the worst with anything hair related, it took me 23 years to figure out how (so embarrassing). And now I can FINALLY say that last week I finally got a freakin' french braid in my hair. Hah! +5 dexterity points to Natalie. So now I'm revisiting all those hair tutorials I had to pass on because I couldn't braid before.

Working On
Something I'm kind of working on right now is decluttering my space a little bit. It wasn't originally a resolution or anything, but it seems like it was for everyone else, and I guess I felt inspired...or bad about myself, either one. I'm not tackling anything huge, but for example one night (after reading this post on Kimi Who) I went through my nail polish and got rid of a bunch of bottles. The box was overflowing, and when I laid them all out I realized many of the bottles were old and goopy anyway, so into the trash they went. Earlier in the month I gave some of my clothes to a friend for her daughter, because as much as I liked the clothes I hadn't fit into them for years (cry). I'm very slightly considering on weeding down my book collection, but let's not get too crazy.


So that's me lately! What have you been up to this month?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A New Job (A Story in Gifs)

I started a new job this week.

It was a tough decision. Obviously I didn't want to get a new job, but I wanted a different job to switch with the other job I didn't like, but also since I was pretty thrifty last year I kind of felt like I didn't even need to get a new job right away (this isn't true, but it is true that I tried to reason this with myself)...but that's never a smart choice, so a new job I got. To prepare, I went shopping to get a new pair of shoes and pants according to their dress code. I really like the shoes I bought and was excited that I got a pair of ballin' Reebok's for $25.00. As I shopped, the realization of my new job starting that week was setting in, and I was trying to get myself excited to try something new. It worked a little bit; I was getting excited to try something new, and extra dough is always a plus. I was feeling pretty good.

Parks and Rec Gif

Until the night before, when I was scheduled to go meet the manager for the first time the following morning. I tried going to sleep early, but instead I just laid in bed for awhile like

Spongebob Squarepants Crying Gif

Because what if they didn't like me?! What if it's the worst job ever?! What if my clothes look stupid and I stick out even MORE like a sore thumb (because the new person always sticks out, even when their clothes don't look stupid)?! These are all pretty stupid thoughts, but I overreact and start crying over most things, so it only made sense for me to do the same for this. Anyway, the next morning I got dressed in my new pants, my new shoes, and the only shirt I had of the appropriate color. I have a friend that works there and said I should dress ready to work just in case, since that happens occasionally. If you had asked me at the time, I would have said I looked pretty on point.

Snoop Dogg Gif

So I'm there, waiting to meet with the manager. My friend was already there and told me they were unusually busy for the morning. When the manager came to say hi I already felt a little more relieved, because she seemed really nice. We went back to her office and she asked me some general questions so she could add me into the system. She was super chill and I immediately liked her. Yay! We talked about scheduling, and how my schedule would be pretty consistent with the days and times, which isn't something I'm used to so I thought was pretty badass. She was also totally ok about my needing weekends off (I need them off because of the shows I work at the theatre). Things were going good.

Tim Gunn Gif

She also said since I wasn't in the system yet, I couldn't start training that day. Instead, she asked me to come back the next morning, and I said I would. She said to wear a shirt of appropriate color again, because she wouldn't have any of the company shirts to give me until next month. As I started leaving her office I gestured to what I was wearing and asked if I already had the right idea, and she said yes, except for the shoes. You know, the ones I had bought just for this. But it's ok, I'm not even mad because I needed a new pair of Reebok's anyway and I can wear them to the theatre. Another bummer was when I quickly realized that I didn't have any more shirts like that to wear the next day. So internally I was kinda like

Trapped in the Closet Oh Shit
P.S. If you're a Trapped in the Closet fan hit me up, because I don't have anyone to play this drinking game with me.

 When I went shopping for the pants and shoes I hadn't bothered to buy any new shirts, since my friend said they provide them. Now, I was already wearing the only shirt I had that was ok to wear until she ordered more company shirts. As soon as I got home I took the shirt off and hung it up so I could wear it again the next day. Luckily I'd only been wearing it for maybe an hour, so it seemed fine to wear again (I won't use the washer/dryer at my apartment complex, but that's another story).

And that's all I've got for now. Tomorrow (except not really because I have this post in a queue) I'll show up bright and early and see how everything goes. I'm still excited to be trying something new, but inside I'm still kinda like

Big Bang Theory Sheldon Gif

Happy Monday, everyone!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Peanuts in Wonderland Exhibit at the Charles M. Schulz Museum!


Peanuts in Wonderland

On Monday I went to the Charles M. Schulz Museum to see one of their more recent exhibits, Peanuts in Wonderland! The theme was about how Alice in Wonderland has been inspiring cartoonists and artists of all kinds for nearly 150 years. Charles Schulz was a huge fan of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and referenced it in his Peanuts strips many times. I went with my mom and brother, and we all had a great time! I also took some pictures, so I thought it might be fun to share a few of them here. There was no flash allowed in the museum, so unfortunately the picture quality isn't too great...but you get the idea! ;) Photo-heavy post ahead!

Schulz Museum

One of the first things you'll notice as you get to the museum is the cute Charlie Brown waiting outside to greet you! In his hands are tickets to the museum! I know it's hard to tell, but the tattoo looking thing on his head is a drawing of the building. Interesting choice, but alright, hahah.


I had my brother take my picture in front of the exhibit because I like their sign thingy. That day I also learned that you shouldn't wear your chambray shirt dress if you'll be in the car for an hour and a half, or it's just wrinkle city. Boo.

Schulz Museum Peanuts in Wonderland

A little introduction as you walk in (I darkened the letters a bit in this picture, hoping it'd make it a little easier to read some of it).

They showcased a handful of Peanuts strips with Wonderland themes, particularly ones with Snoopy's "cheshire beagle" trick.

Schulz Museum Peanuts in Wonderland

On the topic of the chesire beagle, they had this awesome display on the wall with Snoopy sitting in a tree. Every few minutes Snoopy would do his cheshire beagle trick and fade away, leaving only his smile behind!

Schulz Museum Peanuts in Wonderland

They also had some non-Peanuts comics on display that were inspired by Wonderland, like Archie in Wonderland! I'm a big Archie fan, so I thought this was really cool to see.

Schulz Museum Peanuts in Wonderland Archie

Here's a couple of the cels from Disney's Alice in Wonderland. Cel animation is a traditional form of animation used in the production of cartoons or animated movies (so all the old school Disney cartoons), where each frame of the scene is drawn by hand. A full-length feature film made in cel animation would usually require a million or more drawings to complete.

Schulz Museum Peanuts in Wonderland

After seeing everything in the Wonderland exhibit, we explored the rest of the museum. There was a lot of other cool stuff to see, and just the building itself has some cool features, like their giant Peanuts comic strip mosaic wall!

Schulz Museum

The wall's really tall and goes all the way up with comic strips to the second floor (there's a closer look below). Even the bathroom was lined with some comic strip tiles. They're placed so they're about eye level when you're sitting on the toilet! Hahahah.

Schulz Museum

After the museum we went to the gift shop. There's a small one inside the museum, and a bigger one across the street where they also have a cafe and an ice skating rink! On the second floor of the gift shop there was a tiny mini-museum with random Peanuts things to see. My favorite was this model of the museum made out of Lego's!

Schulz Museum Lego

At the gift shop I picked up this super badass Charlie Brown shirt! I've ALWAYS wanted one, but for some reason it took me twenty three years to find one in a store. I wore it the next day and of course had to share it with the masses, so this showed up on my Instagram later that evening.



So in a nutshell that was our day! The Schulz Museum is located in Santa Rosa, CA, and if you're around or feel like making the trip I definitely recommend it!


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Wilson's Journal, Days 1 - 6

There has been a scientific discovery regarding a recently found journal by a scientist under the name of Wilson. We have published these journal entries for the betterment of scientific discovery, and a more wide range of understanding in this newly discovered world. Be advised the content of these journals is not completely intelligible. 

We have been able to recreate images based upon the crude drawings found within the journal, therefore these are simply renderings of the content provided. If you have any information on the current whereabouts of Wilson please contact the authorities immediately.

Day 1

It isn't easy being a scientist. Not because of the obvious scientific aspects of it, although that's true as well, but because of how others will try to use you. You don't have friends, not really; only people that exchange pleasantries with you until they no longer have use for you. I've been fooled into aiding Maxwell, and as my punishment he's left me here. Where "here" is I can't rightly say. Many of the surroundings are that of earth; there's grass, dirt, trees and water. On the other hand, this world is filled with creatures and fauna beyond my scientific (and albeit small) imagination. What a fool I've been.

Don't Starve Wilson Maxwell

It was already near dark when I woke, and as I was unfamiliar with this lands surroundings I decided to hold off on exploring and prepare for the night. I was fortunate enough to find some flint close by and started a fire to keep me from the darkness, as I have no intentions to let my guard down tonight. To keep myself occupied I picked some (seemingly safe) flowers to fashion myself a crown. It eases my nerves, somehow.

Don't Starve

Day 2

Today I ventured off into the land. I found a paved path, which led me to believe that there must be other people here, somewhere. As I followed the path I found a strange setup of what looked to be a giant spider egg. It was near a small shack, which appeared to be the home of what I can only describe as a pig man that was able to walk on two legs. Another spider came out from a tree, and seemed very displeased with the pig for being so close to her (?) egg. I wanted to help the pig man, but there was nothing I could have done.

Don't Starve

As I continued upon the path and dreamed of civilization, I was quickly disappointed to see that it didn't lead to humans at all, only more pig men. There were a few more of the shacks, same as the one I saw in the woods with the spider. Apprehensive at first, I tried to communicate. It was getting dark again and I wouldn't have time to get much further before total darkness hit, could I safely set up camp near this strange species? Thankfully, yes! The pig men even allowed me to stay in their small town, and eat the berries from their bushes close by. I am forever grateful for their kindness.

Don't Starve

Day 3

At the beginning of my journey, the road I had followed to the town of Pig Men forked in two directions. When I woke this morning I decided that since this direction didn't lead me to human civilization, I would go back and try the other direction. I followed the road for hours, never straying from the path, and yet it didn't look like the same road I walked before. Could the environment have changed so drastically in one nights time? As the sun started to fade, I encountered a strange circle made of various flowers that I've never seen before in any of my studies. In the middle laid a golden object. I was curious to learn more, but with the fading light I decided it'd be safer to further examine them tomorrow, and have made camp close by.

Don't Starve

Day 5

All is not well. I feel my sanity slowly dropping, and I'm no longer certain of what's real and what's simply made up out of my fears. Last night I heard noises around me in the darkness, and saw the shadows making shapes of creatures straight out of a nightmare. As I've been alone these days I chalked it up to my fears of this land, but now I'm wondering if it's more than that. Tonight I feel as if I'm being watched. I call out into the darkness and hear no reply, but every time I turn my head down to write, I'm certain I see their eyes watching me, waiting for me to sleep.

Don't Starve

I'm camped outside of yet another shack of one of the pig men, in the middle of nowhere. They all seem fairly kind, but on nights like these I do wish they'd invite me inside. Before he went inside I pointed towards where I saw the eyes in the darkness. I know they don't speak English, but I hoped for just a sign if it was something I should worry about, or something that was at least "normal." He shook his head and closed the door to his shack.

As for an update on the flower circle from the other day, aside from a strange odor it seemed like they would do no harm. In the middle of the circle laid a golden ring. It has no inscription or any other markings to indicate what it's from or who it belongs to, so I stashed it in my bag, should I need it later.

Day 6

I didn't sleep last night. When the sun rose I found a mysterious slab of meat laying on the ground. It wasn't too far, but was just far enough that whatever it came from wasn't illuminated by my fire last night. It was purpleish in color and questionable in smell. When the pig man came out from his hut he motioned towards it, as if asking permission to take it. I motioned it towards him, and he seemed very excited. He seems to have taken a liking to me, and has accompanied me on today's journey. I'm still following the path in hopes of civilization at the other end, but the cobblestones seem endless.

Don't Starve

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

P.S. These are all screenshots I took from my most recent game of Don't Starve, along with a story I just made up because I felt like it. Technically Don't Starve doesn't really have much of a story line, and the atmosphere for you to explore in is entirely different every time to start a new game. So basically - these shots and what happened to me isn't necessarily what will happen to you. At all. I mean your game might not even have pig men. Hahah.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Tales from the Bookshelf - Horrorstor

Good morning! Earlier this month I finished the book Horrorstor, by Grady Hendrix, and had such a blast reading it. It's a fun thriller that keeps you turning pages until you've reached the end. I'm a slow reader and it only took me about two days, during the holidays, to finish. So obviously I knew I had to write about it.

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix

Horrorstor first caught my eye back in September. I'm in a group on Goodreads, and the leader of the group was contacted by Quirk Books (bless them) and was asked if we'd want to all vote on and receive a book to read together. We put together a poll from the options Quirk sent, and before voting I took a closer look at the titles - one of which being Horrorstor! In my mind I thought, "Is that an Ikea catalog...?" and after reading the bio I knew this was the book I was voting for. It didn't win, and we instead read The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black, which I thoroughly enjoyed and wrote about, but I still knew I needed to read Horrorstor. Now I finally have and am so glad! Huzzah! Anyway, enough about me, let's talk about the book.

Horrorstor Grady Hendrix
The back of the book clearly states that some serious shit's about to go down.

Here's the bio from Quirk Books to set the mood: Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Columbus, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring wardrobes, shattered Brooka glassware, and vandalized Liripip sofa beds—clearly, someone or something is up to no good. To unravel the mystery, five young employees volunteer for a long dusk-till-dawn shift—and they encounter horrors that defy imagination. Along the way, author Grady Hendrix infuses sly social commentary on the nature of work in the new twenty-first century economy. A traditional haunted house story in a contemporary setting (and full of current fears), Horrorstör comes conveniently packaged in the form of a retail catalog, complete with illustrations of ready-to-assemble furniture and other, more sinister accessories. We promise you’ve never seen anything quite like it!

...and they're right, I've never read anything quite like it. The entire story takes place in the span of one night inside Orsk, a store that makes its money by selling cheaper, low quality Ikea knockoffs. I have to admit, I have a weird obsession with books and movies of people trapped in one place. Such as Buried (Ryan Reynolds stuck in a box), 127 Hours (James Franco stuck in a cave), Phone Booth (Colin Farrell stuck in a phone booth), Moon (Sam Rockwell stuck on the moon)...I could list these for hours. Point being, when I read that this book was about a group of people stuck inside a haunted superstore, I knew it was going to be great (and was actually better than most of those movies I listed).

Horrorstor Grady Hendrix
Convenient showroom map in the front of the book, lest you get lost on your journey.

Our protagonist hero is Amy, a retail associate at Orsk, who hates her job. If you've ever had a crappy retail job then I'm sure you already know the drill when I say that Amy's kinda lazy and isn't exactly employee of the month. Amy longs for a better job, and gives a pretty on point inner monologue about wanting a "sit down job," because when you have a job where you get to sit you're paid a salary, rather than being stuck in a "stand up job," meaning you get paid hourly. Having worked a few retail stand up jobs myself, I found Amy pretty likable and easy to relate to.

After a few weeks of one strange thing after another happening in Orsk while the store's supposedly empty, Amy and another worker  (I know the bio says five, but just trust me on this) are asked by their boss to stay at the store with him for an overnight shift so they can get to the bottom of things. The story quickly progresses from being slightly strange, to a little creepy, to an all out "this is terrifying and disgusting."

Horrorstor Grady Hendrix
It all started with a soiled Brooka...

While the story is fun and awesome, what really sets this book apart is the form it comes in. The cover doesn't just look like an Ikea catalog, the whole book does! From the Orsk map in the front flap, to the Orsk catalog pages in between each chapter. Even if you're in a committed relationship with your Kindle, this is a book you'll really want a hard copy of to get the full experience.

Since I hate spoilers, I'm going to leave it at that. Does this sound like a book you'd read? Or maybe you've already it, in which case I'd love to hear your thoughts! And finally, have you ever been stuck in a store in complete darkness? One time when I was still working at Target, I had an overnight shift and the power went out. I handled it pretty ok, but after reading Horrorstor I feel like there might have been something more than bad weather going on that night.

Friday, January 16, 2015

5 Fandom Friday: Conventions I've been to and Wish to Attend


Happy Friday! I hope no one minds that I skipped last weeks Fandom Friday post :( The topic was things we love about winter, and honestly I am just HATING winter this year. I don't even know why, because most years I'm like, "%$#@ Summer, bring on the cold!" I don't know. Maybe I'm just turning into my mom. She hates the Winter, too.

ANYWAY, this weeks theme is Conventions I've Been to and Wish to Attend. I wasn't sure how I wanted to divide this up, so I decided to list two conventions I've been to and three that I'd love to attend someday. Let's go!

Conventions I've been to:

1. Anime Expo

I don't get to go to many conventions, but the biggest one I've been to is Anime Expo! It's an anime lovers paradise and I'd love to go again soon. So far I've gone twice, and each time came home with bags full of Fullmetal Alchemist merch that I didn't need but do not regret buying at all. The first year I went there was a CLAMP panel which was pretty badass. I also got to meet Kogo-Donbo, who wrote one of my favorite mangas, Pita-Ten! The second year I got to meet Shinichi Watanabe (genius behind the anime adaption of Excel Saga and Puni Puni Poemy), and he signed my badge by drawing a doodle of me with an afro.


2. Bricks by the Bay

While I'm happy to talk about various anime conventions all day, I wanted to add some diversity to this list; so my #2 pick is a fun-sized LEGO convention called Bricks by the Bay! Like I said, it's a small convention, but if you're a LEGO fan it's a great way to spend your Saturday. Most of the vendors sold either their own handmade LEGO items (think custom minifigs, LEGO jewelry, things like that), or old hard to find LEGO sets. It was really cool! They also host a building competition, and the entries sit in the dealers hall all weekend so everyone can vote on a winner. An entry I remember the most was a MASSIVE group display of the March of the Ents scene from Lord of the Rings, standing at least 6 feet tall. Random fun fact - over a year later I was talking to an actor I was working with at the time; he mentioned he liked LEGOs so I told him about Bricks by the Bay - and it turned out he was on the team that built the Lord of the Rings display! Small world.


Conventions I Want to Attend:

3. Blizzcon

After spending a good chunk of 2014 playing Diablo III, World of Warcraft and Hearthstone (in that order), I really, REALLY want to go to Blizzcon! Last year Andrew and I had some extra credits and considered getting a virtual pass, but we decided not to. It's just not the same!


4. Book Expo America

Book Expo America (or BEA) is another one I've been dreaming to go to for awhile. All the best authors and publishers are always there, and walking through a giant exhibit hall full of books just sounds so nice. I wonder if the whole building smells like new books during BEA? Unfortunately I won't be finding out anytime soon, as I learned that this year BEA decided to stop allowing consumers in and keep it only for people working in the book industry (cries).


5. Comic-Con

This one's a no brainer. I'm pretty sure most people that aren't even in the geek community want to go to Comic-Con. However I also feel like Comic-Con would be a bit too hectic for me, and at some point during the weekend would end up crying while curled up in a ball at a Starbucks down the street or something (#SpecialSnowflake). Sigh.


So there you have it. Some runner ups for this post were Fanime, PAX, and Gen-Con. What are your favorite conventions?


Past 5 Fandom Friday posts:

New Years Fandom Resolutions
A Christmas List to Defy All OddsApps I Cannot Live WithoutComfort Foods That Always Make Me Feel BetterCandy!My Must See List of Halloween Movies
Geeky Clothing I Need in My Closet Immediately

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Read Play Blog - 2015 Games I'm Excited About

Read Play Blog is a meme about video games and books, posted every 16th of the month. Bloggers are encouraged to answer a discussion question, recommend a video game that they like, and share what they're currently playing. Hosted by Happy Indulgence Books & Read Me Away!

It's Read Play Blog time again! It's one of my favorite bloggy things to do every month - I love reading about what all the cool gamer girls are playing. I hope no one minds, but I'm posting this two days early because this months 16th fell on the same day as 5 Fandom Friday, hahah. So let's get to it :)

What games are you looking forward to in 2015?

Evolve! I think this game sounds like SO much fun. Because destroying your friends as a giant kraken is always fun. Evolve comes out next month, but unfortunately I already know I won't be getting it right away, hahah. I'm also looking forward to Dungeon Defenders II and Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell - but you already knew that.


Game Recommendation: Dungeon Defenders

Mentioning Dungeon Defenders II made me realize that I've never written about Dungeon Defenders here at all, which is weird because it's an awesome game. It's kind of a tower defense/RPG, where one to four players work together to protect the Eternia Crystals from being destroyed by waves of enemies! I guess it sounds boring, but I promise it's fun.

After a few waves it gets a little hectic.

Currently Playing: Don't Starve Together


Sometime last year Andrew gave me a copy of Don't Starve on Steam. It's an interesting game. You play as Wilson, a little funny haired scientist dude, who has been trapped by a demon and transported to a mysterious wilderness world. The goal is simple - don't starve! Or die by any other means, really Hahah. You'll need to learn how to exploit the environment and the mysterious creatures in it if you want to live longer than a few days. I played it for a little while and thought it was fun enough, but playing it alone can get a little dull. But then!!! They announced an expansion, Don't Starve Together would be coming out, where you can play with friends. Well it recently came out in beta, and Andrew, my brother and I have been playing it together a lot lately. It's SO much more fun now, and we're having a great time. We're still not too great at staying alive too long, though. Here's a screenshot I took when things got a little hairy -

Don't Starve Together, Beefalo, Wilson, Wendy, WX-78

I'm playing as Wilson (with the funny hair), and I'm being chased by that giant tree on fire. It was disguised as a REGULAR tree and I tried to chop it down to get fire wood. Big mistake. The little girl is my brother, who I called to come help me with the tree, but on his way over he angered a Beefalo (who are usually quite friendly) which then started to chase him. Andrew played as the robot on the right, who came to help us both and thought lighting the tree on fire would kill it. Unfortunately, it did not and we all died, one by one, shortly after. I took a lot more screenshots of this game just because I like the art style and silly looking characters, so I might make a separate post another day just to share more! :)

So there's another months worth of gaming shenanigans from me. What have you been playing lately? What games are you looking forward to this year? Have you angered any Beefalo lately?

Past Read Play Blog posts:

- My Gaming Wishlist & and Christmas Recommendations

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Adventures in Apartment Therapy with Minted

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Minted.com, who are friendly and super cool. The links below are NOT affiliate links, I just genuinely want to share cool things with you.

Lately I've been feeling not so great with how my apartment looks. (If you were following my moving adventures from last summer please note that I'm not unhappy with the apartment itself, I just wish I could make the inside look cooler, hahah!) None of the furniture matches, it's full of brown shag carpet, and the walls are bare aside from my outdated 2014 panda wall calender (too cute to take down) and the badass pineapple bunting my mom made me last year. I have some sweet geek posters, but I don't really want thumb tacked corners on my walls and well...I've been meaning to buy posters frames for ages. It kind of looks like two broke, young, twenty-somethings moved in and had no idea how to create an attractive apartment...because that's exactly what happened. It's a little overwhelming to think about.

Tim Gunn gif
Tim Gunn would be really disappointed :(

So ANYWAY, I thought a quick and easy way to start would be finding a nice framed piece or two for the walls. Very conveniently timed, I was introduced to the online shop Minted, where my search began. They have some really fun prints and (!!!) you can have them sent in frames and ready to hang. Every print also available in a nice variety of sizes, big and small. Since my apartment isn't huge I don't really want a giant piece taking up the entire wall, just big enough to make a statement. Here's a few of the pieces that stood out to me!

Minted
1) Bits (this one reminds me of the ocean!) 2) Landscape of Triangles and Dots
3) Field of Waves (I love the tiny boat and plane! Aaaahhh!)

Something that I really liked about Minted was that all their art pieces come from independent artists all over the world! They call it the design marketplace, where artists submit their work, people get to vote on the different pieces, and the winning designs are produced and sold on Minted, giving the designers a commission on every sale. You can read more about this process on their about page!

I also found a collection of watercolor astrology prints I really liked. The gold is foil stamped and I think they would look so pretty in the living room when the sun comes in! I was thinking of getting two to hang next to each other; one with my sign and one with Andrew's.

Minted Astrology Signs
Andrew's a Pisces and I'm a Leo, which is apparently one of the worst relationship combos but what can ya do.
1) Pisces
2) Leo

Aside from artwork, Minted's save the date cards, stationery, party decor and notebooks are gorgeous and can be personalized to be uniquely yours! They make beautiful cards and stationary, and as I was looking through them I imagined myself very classy and sophisticated at a desk, drinking tea and writing letters. Except I don't have a desk, and I don't often write letters. But either way, if simply looking at a set of stationary makes me day dream then you know there's something to them, right...?!

Minted

With all the different styles, designs and colors it's hard to pick a favorite. Someday when I have a house, I'll cover the walls with all the things I want, hahah! Until then, I think a nice print or two for my living room would be nice :)