Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Beach Blanket Babylon Bachelorette Party

Try saying that title five times fast!

Hello internet! I am now a married woman :)

I know I made my hatred of wedding planning no secret - but it ended up being the best day ever. I guess I would say it was all worth it ;) I can't wait to tell and show you everything; but I'm still waiting to get the photos back so we'll have to save that story for another day! In the meantime I wanted to share some photos from my bachelorette party!

My three bridesmaids planned a night out for me in San Francisco! A few months before they asked if there was anything specific I wanted to do, and I had absolutely no idea. A lot of people kept telling me to look into Beach Blanket Babylon - "the world's longest-running musical revue." It looked like a lot of fun, so I told the girls we should go see it! Everything else they planned on their own.

In the afternoon I rode into the city with Maria and Alyssa, so we could meet Katie. Katie lives in Seattle, and was flying into San Francisco just to see us! The girls said they had planned one surprise, then we would get dinner, and finally we would see the show. I just followed behind the girls, until I realized we had walked into a psychic's studio!!?? I was both confused and amused, hahah. Disclaimer - psychics and that sort of stuff is not something I personally believe in. BUT I have to admit I was impressed. She went around the room talking to each of us, and a lot of what she had to say was pretty spot on (for some of us more than others). It was a really fun and crazy experience! I didn't take any pictures inside because I wasn't sure if that would be disrespectful D:

After our enlightening affair, we started walking towards our dinner destination. On the way was City Lights Bookstore, so obviously I had to step in there for a minute. One of the girls didn't know where we were right away, and this guy in the store peers down from his magazine to tell her, "You're ONLY in the most famous bookstore in the WORLD..." Thanks dude, hahah.

We ate dinner at a restaurant called Tacolicious. Because everyone loves tacos and margaritas! Our timing was perfect - happy hour was starting! I'd never seen so many tacos on one menu. I'm not normally very adventurous with my food, but the deal lets you pick 4 tacos so I decided to have fun with it. I loved all but one; and even then the flavor was good, but it was too spicy for me to handle! While we sipped our margaritas I gave the girls their bridesmaid gifts. I had picked out silver chrysanthemum pendent necklaces that I hoped they would love...and they did!! They even wore them to the wedding. Thank you, Etsy!

Katie is in the bottom corner of all the pictures because she took all of them!! Hahah.

After dinner we walked a block to Club Fugazi, the home of Beach Blanket Babylon! Beach Blanket Babylon is a constantly changing musical, but the main storyline stays the same. It follows Snow White, who lives in San Francisco and is looking for her Prince Charming. Glinda the Good Witch convinces her that her Prince Charming may not be in San Francisco, so Snow White goes on a journey all over the world. Along the way she encounters a large group of figures you'll probably recognize, who each have their own satirical song. Figures on the chopping block include politicians, film and TV stars, singers and athletes, and pretty much anyone you've seen on the news lately. I said "constantly changing" before because they often update the characters/references to coincide with current events. What really sets this show apart are their costumes. Their "thing" is for all their characters to have really, really huge and ridiculous hats. Some of them were so big that the actors can't even walk while they're wearing them!! Check out this pic to see what I mean. The woman in the middle with the huge SF cityscape hat stands on a moving panel that slides her forward, so she doesn't have to walk!

By the time the show got out, we had to head back to BART to get a ride home before the trains stopped running for the night. But before that we stepped inside the candy store across the street. I bought a package of Beanboozled that I planned on putting to good use later 😈

When we got back to town it was late and we were starving. So we went to the only place you go when it's late and you're starving - Denny's. I remember seeing one of those Tumblr meme things that said, "You don't go to Denny's, you end up at Denny's." It's true!! While we waited for our food and milkshakes I convinced the girls to play Beanboozled with me. I would probably categorize it in "things I'll never do again," yet we did it up until our food came so I guess it was that magical time of night where literally everything is fun and hilarious.

Finally, we ended our evening. I went home and had the best sleep I'd had in a long time. I'm so thankful to have amazing friends like these :)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Robin Sloan at Copperfield's Books

I LOVE going to book and author events. After reading and loving a book, meeting the author is one of the coolest things you can do. In this case, I read a book I loved and met the author in the same month :)

Last month, my friend Meg asked me if I'd like to join her in going to see Robin Sloan at Copperfield's Books in Petaluma (my fav bookstore). She said he wrote Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, a book I had heard of but hadn't read yet. The author was on tour for his new book, Sourdough. Even though I hadn't read the book I told her I wanted to go; like I said, I love author events! I ordered the book from the library, hoping it'd arrive in time for me to read it before going (I'm a slow reader). I literally finished it an hour before leaving the house. Phew. But I loved it! It was a fun adventure story centered around one of my favorite things - books! It also takes place in San Francisco (that's near me!). I think reading books that take place in your location is fun. Like "hey, I've been there!"

At the event Robin Sloan told stories about how he came up with some of the ideas for his books. It was so much fun! He seems like a really funny and chill person. It made me really excited to read Sourdough...even though I still haven't started it!! I promise I will soon. When I'm really stressed about something (right now - WEDDING) I find it hard to focus when I read. So I put the book on hold for a bit. I plan on bringing it with me on my honeymoon!

Not my most flattering photo - but hey! I got a picture with Robin Sloan!

At the end of the night he signed everyone's books. Those numbers at the bottom of the page are from a stamp he brings with him to all his events. They're the coordinates of the bookstore we were at that night! I thought it was a fun little touch :)

Since I haven't read it yet, I grabbed a bio to share with you on what Sourdough, is about:

Lois Clary, a software engineer at a San Francisco robotics company, codes all day and collapses at night. When her favourite sandwich shop closes up, the owners leave her with the starter for their mouthwatering sourdough bread.
Lois becomes the unlikely hero tasked to care for it, bake with it and keep this needy colony of microorganisms alive.  Soon she is baking loaves daily and taking them to the farmer's market, where an exclusive close-knit club runs the show. When Lois discovers another, more secret market, aiming to fuse food and technology, a whole other world opens up. But who are these people, exactly?

What was the last author event you went to?

P.S. - I really want to start blogging more regularly again. But it's hard. Between work and feeling stressed out literally every minute of the day (that's for another post) I find it hard to simply sit down and WRITE. I just took a look at my blog and saw I haven't since July. That really bums me out. This post is getting published a month after the actual event because I kept opening the draft and could only manage to write a few sentences, or I would just open the draft, stare at it for awhile, and then just close it again. Sigh. But, I'm working on it. In the meantime, if you're still reading this blog; know that I really appreciate you <3

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Bay Area Book Festival!

So I realized I titled this post basically the same as last years post. But like. What else am I supposed to call it? I'll have to think about it. Also I'm writing about this over a month late lol sorryyyyy.

Last month I took another trip to the Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley! It was a great day. My mom and brother came too, so it was a bit of a family outing :) The Bay Area Book Festival happens every June in Berkeley, CA. It has author panels and other bookish activities, along with vendor tents featuring both larger publishing companies and independent authors.

RIP Fitbit Alta

After picking up my wristband (you don't have to buy one, but you can't get into the panels if you don't) I went to go find my first panel that was starting soon - Feminist Activism through Popular Fiction. It was a great panel, and I met some really interesting female authors that I'll definitely be reading soon! I wanted to buy a copy of Dietland to have Sarai Walker (who was on the panel) sign, but they ran out. That's ok, that just means that other people were just as excited for her as I was, which is awesome! I'm still glad I got to see her :) I couldn't help but laugh at the fact that I was at a feminist panel and the venue was playing Alanis Morissette before and after. Like, seriously??? Hahah.

After the panel I met back up with my fam for lunch. We ate over in the grassy area where The Lacuna library was last year - I was sad it wasn't there this year! But I imagine it was something that took forever to set up, hahah. When we were done eating I had an hour to kill before the next panel on my schedule; Science Fiction and the Resistance. So we checked out some of the author/publisher booths. I was trying not to buy many books that day (instead I just wrote down titles/authors, in hope that I could order from the library) but I did end up buying Lights Camera Booze from the Ulysses Press booth! I think I'll have a lot of fun with it ;) And it was only $5! Yay.

Then it was time to head to the Science Fiction and the Resistance location. It was being held at a Freight & Salvage stage so I had a bit of walking to do. Naturally, I got lost. And naturally, by the time I found it there was a looong line to get in. Luckily my brother had gotten in line earlier and was going to save me a seat. Unfortunately the panel was like, 5% about science fiction, and 95% about politics. Most of which were things I agreed with, but I didn't go to that panel in hopes of talking about politics.

Me trying not to murder the people cutting in line. Only took this pic because my brother texted and was like "where are you???"
Back of the line, that's where I am.

Once that panel wrapped up, I used the rest of my time checking out the other booths and things I wasn't able to see earlier. Found some more books I needed to look for at the library. Like this middle grade book that I'm reading right now (don't judge me on my middle grade books and I won't judge you on your YA books). The only other thing I bought that day was this pin from PapaLlama!

My nails aren't even that long anymore [cries]

It's perfect for me :P I'm tempted to order the matching tote bag!! But for now just the pin will do. I don't really consider myself a "pin collector," but there are so many great ones out there and before you know it you have a bunch, which just turns it into a collection whether you mean for it to be one or not, doesn't it?! Yeeeesh. Anyway, the pin's on my denim jacket right now, and I've already received many compliments on it 😎

Overall I had a great time. There were some aspects from last years festival that I missed, but just the fact that I got to spend my day surrounded by books and other book loving people was good enough for me :)

Saturday, July 22, 2017

July Small Goals + June

I am writing this post soooo late!! But I wanted to go ahead and write it anyway so I could fill you in on how last months goals went! :)

June Goals

1. Finally start looking for wedding dresses. I did! And I actually got one! Yay!!! I was so relieved. I only went to two different stores, but after my experience at first store (David's Bridal) I honestly wasn't feeling great about getting a dress at all. But I sucked it up and made an appointment at Sparkle Bridal Couture, where I had a much better experience. I highly recommend them for plus size brides, but be warned that they don't do alterations, for that part you're kinda on your own!

After getting my dress!

2. Have a meet and greet with all my bridesmaids. We did! I meant to take a picture, but I forgot :( But everyone got along great. I was so happy!

3. Go to PRIDE! Yup! I'm glad I had the experience of going, but honestly it was not as fun as I was made to believe. Maybe I was in the wrong area? But even my friend (who has gone many times) said the vibe wasn't the same as in the past. I still had fun, but it wasn't this big-huge-amazing thing.

Pride selfie! My friend bought the glitter from Uniglitter, who had a booth there. It stayed on really well, and it's 100% vegan! 

4. Finish fine-tuning the wedding guest list. I think so??! But I'm hesitant to say yes. This shit is hard.

...and even though the month is already almost over, I'm going to make some goals for July too!

July Goals

1. Finish designing/printing wedding invites. THIS NEEDS TO GET DONE @_@

2. Find seamstress to take in my wedding dress. The store we bought it from doesn't have their own seamstresses. We did check out one place, which we won't be going back to. In fact, I should add "leave bad Yelp review for seamstress" to my July goals. She told me to lose weight!!! And it's not like we bought my dress a size too small. I need the dress taken in, like, 3 sizes. She asked me to try on the dress so she could see the fit; so I'm standing there with this huge dress on, holding it up so my titties don't fall out, and she leans in and whispers "you need to lose weight before coming back." BITCH BYYYE.

3. Turn 26 with as much grace as possible. I hate getting older D': My birthday is on the 23rd - tomorrow!!!

Feel free to send me links to your goals posts too! I love cheering you on :)

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

June Small Goals + Things I Did in May

Yeah, soooooooo...goals didn't go that great last month. I got a lot of other stuff done, though?! Here's how it all went down.

May Goals

1. Start working on wedding invitations.
SORT OF. I know what I want them to look like (in theory), which require a photographer and a few props. A friend has already agreed to help with the photos, and I've already ordered the props. Now I'm just waiting for them to arrive!

2. Go try on wedding dresses. I didn't do this. I didn't do anything related to this ;_; I MUST DO IT THIS MONTH.

3. Write a post about Geekerella and Geekerella: The Box! I didn't do this either :'( I was too lazy to take photos of the items. I'm sorry!!!

Other things I did in May:
- Worked a 2 week run of The Little Mermaid
- Free Comic Book Day!
- The food tasting for my wedding!!!
- Saw Guardians of the Galaxy. Loved it!
- Took 2 weeks of yoga classes at a legit yoga studio. I learned so much!

June Goals


2. Have a meet and greet with all my bridesmaids. Two of them know each other, and the other two know each other, but all four of them haven't met each other, hahah.

3. Go to PRIDE! I've never been before, and I'm really excited!

4. Finish fine-tuning the wedding guest list. Since I'm going to work on the invites this month, I want to have the guest list ready.

Lots of wedding goals this month! Hopefully I get some of them done, hahah.

What are your goals this month?

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Geeky Girl Tag

Happy Sunday! I haven't done a tag post in a long time (I haven't done any sort of post in a long time), but I got tagged by Ashlee (Her Geekery) and I thought this one looked like fun! A lot of my bloggy friends have already done it, and I've loved reading their answers. So here's mine :)

1) What is your must-have tech gadget?
Does my computer count? I think that would kind of be a no-brainer :P Otherwise I guess my phone? Sounds basic, I know...but it does go with me everywhere...

2) Which House do you belong to in Hogwarts?
Well, Pottermore sorted me into Gryffindor; however I am not daring, brave, or chivalrous. I am short tempered, though. Personally I think I'm more of a Hufflepuff.

EDIT: Ok so I decided to take the quiz again just now, and I got RAVENCLAW! I still stand by my previous statement, but I do think Ravenclaw is more fitting than Gryffindor.

3) Who is your favorite Doctor?
Not a Whovian, sorry :P I've started the series two different times and just couldn't get into it.

4) If you could have dinner with any fictional character, who would it be?

Johnny Gat, bitches

5) What is your gaming system of choice?
PC all the way. I mean, how else would I play WoW and HotS? Even with games that are both PC and console I tend to go PC; for the most part I just enjoy playing with mouse and keyboard compared to game controllers.

6) If you had a superpower, what would it be?
I don't drive, so flying would be really convenient! And think of how much money you would save.

7) What is your favorite fantasy world?
Pandaria. My brother says that makes me a weeb, hahah. But I mean it's AN ISLAND ON TOP OF A GIANT TURTLE.

8) If you could be any fictional race, what would you be?
(See above)

9) Star Trek or Star Wars?
Star Wars! I don't have anything against Star Trek...but I haven't actually seen it aside from the newer movies. A lot of people I know that are into Star Trek have that nostalgia thing because their parents used to watch it, but my parents weren't into that sort of thing!

10) List your top 5 geektastic movies or TV shows.
The X-Files, Gotham, Star Wars, Futurama, Stranger Things (also I don't know if this qualifies as "geektastic" but just wanted to say I'm really into Crazy Ex Girlfriend right now).

11) List your top 5 video games.
Saints Row (just...all of them, #cheater), Heroes of the Storm, Dynasty Warriors, Telltale's The Walking Dead (again, all of them), WoW and Overwatch. Yeah that's more than 5, WHAT OF IT.

Now I'm going to tag Cuteek! But no pressure if you're not into tags!!

Monday, May 8, 2017

International Tabletop Day

One of my favorite unofficial "holidays" is International Tabletop Day! This year it fell on April 29th. It's all about getting together with your friends, family, or even a bunch of random people at the game store, to play games together! The last few years I had to work on ITTD, but this year I actually had the day off! Wahoo!

International Tabletop Day

My brother and I started the day by going to our local tabletop store, Outflank Games. They're a fairly new store, and I'm so glad to finally have a game store in town. We used to have one in the next town over, but they closed! So we lived without for awhile, getting games at Barnes and Noble instead (and nothing against B&N, I love it there, but it's not the same as a tabletop store and we all know it). Anyway! We went to the store. They were hosting game tutorials all day, but we only went to go check out all the games they had on sale. I decided to pick up the game Dead Fellas! We didn't get a chance to play it that day, we ended up playing other games, but I'm excited to try it out soon!

After the game store we went to my fam's house, and the first game we played was Archer: Once You Go Blackmail... which is a spin off of the game Love Letter. Before getting this game I had never played Love Letter, although it had been on my mental "to play" list. When I found an Archer version of the game (I LOVE THAT SHOW) I knew it was a sign for me to finally learn how to play it. Except I had bought it...last year...and played it for the first time...last Saturday. Oops. But! We had a lot of fun! It took me a few rounds to get the hang of it, but once I did I really enjoyed it :) I loved that the point counters were Pam's dolphin puppet!!

Archer: Once You Go Blackmail Love Letter

Later that evening we played Munchkin! There are lots of different themed Munchkin games, but the one we played was Munchkin Fu (which is China/martial arts themed). Andrew gave it to my older brother for Christmas a few years ago because he's heavily involved in martial arts :P If you've never played these games I'd recommend starting with the original set. After that, pick up whichever set you think sounds the coolest. My favorite is Star Munchkin!

Munchkin Fu

What are your favorite games? Did you play anything on Tabletop Day?

Monday, May 1, 2017

May Small Goals

I skipped this in April, but I'm back and feeling good for May! It's going to be a BUSY month, but things need to get done and I need to get my shit together hahah. To recap here were my most recent monthly goals and how I did :)

1. Give bridesmaids their color swatches. Yes! All four girls have their color swatches now :)

2. Work out 4 times a week. Mostly, so I'm counting it as yes! I've also started taking the cycle class at the gym; I'm really enjoying it! I even ordered these fancy cycling shorts so my butt stops hurting. They are awkward AF but I do it for the sport.

3. Make crock-pot freezer meals. Yum! I made spaghetti and meatballs, and chicken chili. Both turned out great!

4. Schedule an eye appointment. Done! And I already got my new glasses! I think I like them even more than my last pair (I was scared that I wouldn't, I'm so picky). Seeeeeee look at them! (And my glamorous makeup that I didn't leave the house in.)

Now for May!

1. Start working on wedding invitations. I have a bit of an idea of what I want to do, I just need to put it into action. I'm not necessarily aiming to have them entirely finished this month, but I really really need to at least get started. Like...going to go look at paper options or something.

2. Go try on wedding dresses. AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH (I'm not really looking forward to this, but I'm trying to stay positive).

3. Write a post about Geekerella and Geekerella: The Box! So last month I got this awesome box from FanMail ("The Mystery Box For Lady Geeks!") that included the book Geekerella and a bunch of items that tie in with the book! I didn't write about it sooner because while the items were nice, they didn't make a lot of sense if you hadn't read the book yet (which I hadn't, at the time). But now that I've read it we're good to go!

That's it! E-z-p-z.

Be sure to check out Nicole’s goals and the linkup at Writes Like a Girl!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Tales from the Bookshelf: Comics, Comics, Comics

This month has been all about reading comics on Hoopla. I've known about this service for months now, but didn't bother downloading it until recently. Don't be like me - get it now! If you're a comic reader and not using the Hoopla app, you're really missing out. They also have ebooks, audio books, movies, music, and shows - however I've found their comic selection is the most impressive. Hoopla is not run through your library (meaning they don't just carry the same stuff your library carries), but you will need a library card to sign up. The only downside is that they limit the amount of materials you can borrow each month; but it's all free so can I really complain? My account allows me to borrow 6 titles per month, but this number will vary depending on which library your card is from. Here are the titles I read this month!

Jughead, Vol. 1
👽👽👽👽 (4 stars - err, aliens)

Riverdale High provides a quality education and quality hot lunches, but when one of those is tampered with, JUGHEAD JONES swears vengeance! Well, I mean, he doesn't "swear." This is still Archie Comics after all.

This is a volume I wanted to get the last two times I was at the comic book store, but ended up being persuaded to get other volumes instead (those being Archie vol. 1 (review on that here!) and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina vol. 1, both very good). I figured the library was more likely to get this one in at some point so I could wait for that, but they never did. Luckily Hoopla had it, and lots of other Archie comics, if that's your thing.

If you're a Jughead fangirl (like meee) then you will love this series. If you're not, I'd say it will be enjoyable for you, but not quite so much. I say this because the storytelling has some faults, but if you're enjoying the other aspects of the story enough then those faults aren't as prevalent. It was a little hard to follow at times. There was a bunch of mini stories hidden within one big story arc, and the main story often got lost in the shuffle. If you used to read the original Archie Digests then you'll recognize this format. So it isn't bad, seeing as I read those digests for years and years, but I was kind of hoping it'd be a bit different, and similar to the treatment everyone got in the new Archie series, but less Betty/Veronica drama. In a way this felt like the Jughead Digests, but with an updated look and not $3 in the grocery store checkout line. I don't feel the need to own this volume, but I'll definitely be reading volume 2!

Alex + Ada, Vol. 2 & 3
👽👽 (2 aliens)

Tensions rise between humans and robots in this sci-fi/drama set in the near future. Alex took a huge risk to unlock Ada and it seems to have paid off - Ada can now think for herself and explore life as a sentient android. As Alex and Ada spend more time together, they become closer. But as restrictions tighten on androids, Ada feels unsure about her place in Alex's life and the world.

I started this series last year, when I found vol. 1 at the library. For whatever reason they never decided to get the rest of the series, even though there was only two more volumes and they had already been out for awhile by then. So when vol. 2 showed up on my recommended reading on Hoopla, I was surprised! I had forgotten I needed to finish this series.

Unfortunately, the rest of the series wasn't very good. In vol. 1 Alex goes back and forth on if he should "unlock" his android, Ada. But now that she's unlocked it gets kind of boring. She has to sit around the house all day so no one suspects she's sentient. Then they go through the typical "I have feelings for you - but I can't - your a robot!" spiel. Later in vol. 3 there's some robo-politics involved, but that's boring too. Maybe because I'm just getting tired of reading about politics >_>

The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 3: Commercial Suicide
👽 (1 sad alien)

After the detonation of FANDEMONIUM the gods-as-pop-stars of THE WICKED + THE DIVINE try living in the long dark shadow. Team WicDiv are joined by a stellar cast of guest artists to put the spotlight on each of the gods. The multiple Eisner Award nominated series continues in the only way it knows how: darker, weirder, faster. Don't worry. It's going to be okay.

I need someone to tell me why they like this series, because I know a lot of you do. I read volume 1 and 2 and was like, "these are ok, but I don't love them" (I really like the character designs, though). So I started vol. 3 and now I'm not sure if I even want to continue this series. I understand it was sort of a weird time for the series, with all the guest artists and everything, but I dunno guys. Learning more about what happened to Lucy was cool, but that's about it. All the different art styles was so distracting - I couldn't focus on what was going on. Plus one of the few reasons I kept reading this series was to see what happens to our girl Laura - who isn't even in this volume. It's mostly just filler to give you a little backstory on the Gods - and even then they don't actually do a whole lot.

What I'll probably read next:
- Jughead vol. 2
- Paper Girls vol. 1
- Sex Criminals vol. 3

(All on Hoopla, naturally.)

What have you been reading lately? What are your favorite resources for comic book reading?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

March Small Goals

I'm just gonna ignore the fact that I haven't done one of these posts since November.

Even though we're already almost 2 weeks into the month, I sill wanted to take a few and address some things I'm hoping to accomplish this month. Sometimes it helps writing them all down to keep myself accountable ;)

1. Give bridesmaids their color swatches. So I haven't talked about wedding stuff in forever - but I finally have a wedding date! Yay! I also asked all my bridesmaids, and they said yes. Another yay! I picked out some color swatches for their dresses, but I keep forgetting to give them out - boo! And that is about all of the wedding related things I have done so far hahah.

2. Work out 4 times a week. So recently my mom gifted me a gym membership until my wedding! Super yay! We already decided to go 3 days a week, but now that we're getting into that habit I also want to incorporate a 4th workout day into my week, but I would probably do that one at home. So I'd probably put on an exercise video, or lift my weight thingies or something. If you'd like to learn more about my trials and tribulations of a new gym-goer, join us on Powerpuff Bloggers for all the whining you can handle!

3. Make crock-pot freezer meals. My mom helped me prep the meals, we used some recipes she likes and portioned them out into freezer baggies. Tomorrow I'm going to try one out! My goal was to still be able to eat home cooked meals even on the days that I'm at work all day and don't feel like cooking when I come home (which is most days tbh). So in the morning I'll dump one of the baggies in my crock-pot and when I come home - ta-dah! Food is ready. Such a new and novel concept, I know.

4. Schedule an eye appointment. I've been seriously putting this one off. The eye appointment itself isn't terrible...but after eye appointments you have to deal with (and spend too much money) on getting new frames or lenses (or both) which I don't want to do. Getting new frames is always fun, but this time I'm going to look into just getting the lenses updated in my current pair. I like my current frames more than any other pair I've had, and they're still in great condition, so why change them?

What are your goals this month?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Valentine Swapping!

Two posts in two weeks! Yeah!

Last month I set up a Valentines Day card swap for the lovely girls in the Geek Girls x Bloggers group on Facebook! A little back story...

Late in January I found these Parks & Rec valentines on Etsy. I love them! Galentines Day is the best, and I wanted an excuse to get the cards and send them out. Well, last year, a couple of other girls hosted a valentine card swap (lots of fun, you can read about it here). So I went to the group and asked if anyone was planning on hosting another swap this year. No one said they were (and I was secretly fishing for someone to offer, but we're all busy, I get it). Instead there was a lot of "that sounds fun!" and "sign me up!" So I was like, ok, I guess I'm the one doing it this year. Hahah! I need to learn to take matters into my own hands when I want something, and I guess this is a good representation of that. I'm so glad I did, though! I had so much fun, and it seems like everyone else did too.

I loved getting little surprises in the mail sprinkled throughout the month! Each card is unique! Some are handmade (I admire your dedication!), some are from store bought kits (which never lose their charm, no matter how old you are), and some even had stickers and tattoos falling out of the envelopes! I wish I could have made my Valentines by hand, but I'm not as talented as some of the other girls hahah. Oh and yes, two girls sent the same card! What are the chances of that?! So funny! That just shows that we all have great taste ;)

Thank you everyone for playing along with me! I loved sending little bits of love to you all <3

I'm adding a list of everyone else's posts below, so if also wrote a post about our swap and I haven't added you here yet, leave me a comment with your link! I'd love to have all of our valentine posts collected in one place!

The Fangirl Crafter
Usagi in Wonderland
Her Geekery
The Vivacious Hobo

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Oakland Women's March

*Wow, I meant to post this a really, really long time ago. Like when it was still January, when the march had just happened? Whoops. Anyway, hi friends! I'm back! <3 For now anyway hahah.*

Oakland Women's March, Pussyhat

In the beginning of January, my co-worker, Meg, told me about The Pussyhat Project because she was knitting some hats to send to DC for the Women's March. I loved the idea behind the movement (+ they are so cute; the subtle-yet-inappropriate name, the cat ears), but I don't know how to knit. I think learning how to knot would be cool, but I'm not great at teaching myself those kind of skills so we'll see if that ever happens, hahah. Learning how would probably make my mom happy, because instead of learning how to make my own pussyhat, I asked her to make me one :P

Anyway, talking about the Pussyhat Project made me think a lot about the Women's March itself. I was in full support of it, but the idea of me, actually going to one, just hadn't popped into my head for some reason. I'm a passive person. I have a lot opinions but I don't always do a lot about it :( I've decided I want to start doing more to help, instead of just being sad about it. At the very least I want to work on being more informed. I read some of the news online, but I could be doing more. The following week, Meg told me her and a friend decided to go to the march in Oakland, and asked if I wanted to go. Yes, of course I wanted to go!

Our journey started the second we got to the BART station. I was complimented on my hat (thanks mom!!!), and when I asked which stop we were getting off at and how much money to put on my BART pass, five different women in line shouted the answer because it was obvious we were all going to the same place. I've ridden BART a handful of times in the past, but no other ride was even a fraction as packed as our ride to Oakland that day. When we got on the train there were some seats, but plenty of standing room so we just grabbed a handle and hung on tight. By the time we made it to our stop at the Lake Merritt BART station, there was hardly room to breath, let alone move. So many women! Also some men, but mostly women! Half of them wearing pink pussyhats just like mine. Lots of jokes about us all being "nasty women." (I now have a pin to wear on my hat that says "nasty woman" but no one else seems to get it and instead find it inappropriate, so I got embarrassed and took it off my hat, very sad.) When we got off the train there was quite a traffic jam getting out of the BART station. They eventually turned off the down escalator so more people could get out instead.

Pussyhat, nasty woman,
Sorry, Nasty Women Pin; no one here in town understands us.
But don't worry, there's still at least 4.2 million people that do.
(Pin from Made Au Gold)

We eventually made it to the march starting point and waited for things to begin. Not sure exactly what happened, but the march started over an hour late. That was ok though, it was fun just taking in the scene and energy of everyone around us. We were also given some sweet bumper stickers (where should I put them? don't say my car.) and my friend gave out the extra pussyhats she had made and brought with her. People loved them! It was really cool seeing all the signs people brought with them. I didn't bring one because I didn't want to carry a big sign on the BART >_>

Finally we started moving. It started off slow, as there was so many of us and maybe the people up front didn't know exactly which way we were going? Or they felt timid? I don't know. Either way a bit later they all found their footing and it felt like an actual march, rather than just inching down the street at a snails pace. People started chanting and singing songs to the beat of the drums playing in the front of the lines (courtesy of Sistah Boom). As an introvert it's not really in my nature to shout and chant along, so while I was definitely a bit quieter than many of the other marchers, I felt really inspired, empowered, and just excited to be a part of it.

On the BART ride home, Meg and I talked about how we wanted to find ways to show support for all the things we were marching for, like finding places to volunteer and stuff. So a few days later I contacted Planned Parenthood to see if they needed some volunteers. They didn't. On one hand I was bummed, like "I'm trying to do good things! Let me do good things with you." But on the other hand I thought it was great that they have so much help that they don't even know what to do with it all. They told me to sign up for their mailing list, where they post about volunteer opportunities when they need more help for bigger projects (like for events and things). So who knows, maybe I'll be able to volunteer with them later on. What organizations do you volunteer with? Let me know in the comments so I can see if they are in my area as well :) Now that I'm in wedding planning mode I'm not sure how much time I can contribute, but I'm still looking to do something.

While searching for more volunteer opportunities, I saw someone share the link for 10 Actions / 100 Days, which was put together by the great minds behind the Women's March on Washington. "Every 10 days we will take action on an issue we all care about." Basically it's targeted towards people just like me. You just got back from the march and thought, "what else can I do?" I really like it because it's about ways you can help without sacrificing a lot of time  and resources (not that the cause isn't worth it, but when you work it can be hard to fit all those things in; even though I wanted to volunteer at Planned Parenthood, I knew it was not something I could afford to do ALL THE TIME). Or for some people, even if they have the time, they don't have the resources to go places to volunteer, or the money to donate to causes. Even though 10 Actions / 100 Days just started, I feel like they're doing their best to make sure the tasks are things that anyone can accomplish. The first action was to send postcards to your Senators about what matters most to you, and how you're going to fight for it in the days/weeks/months ahead. They even provided printable postcards for you to use, and a nifty tool for you to type in your zip code and it will provide the names and addresses of your senators. All you have to do is print, fill it out, and mail. I already mailed mine ;)

Here's a few other resources I like:
- What You Can Do to Stand with Planned Parenthood
- 7 Real Actions You Can Take After the Women's March, and 1 Thing You Shouldn't
- Poster! Maybe print it out and hang somewhere for the Pussyhat Global Virtual March on March 8th???

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events & Why You Should Watch It

Last week, like just about everyone else, I watched A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix. I was eagerly awaiting the show, but considering how the movie turned out, I wasn't getting my hopes up too much (although just from the previews it already looked a million times better). But I watched all eight episodes in the span of two days, and I can honestly say I am SO happy with this series. I feel like it finally got the screen adaption it always deserved, and is really unlike anything on TV right now (well, Netflix...you know what I mean). I'll definitely be watching it again before season two comes out! Below I'm going in depth on certain parts of the show, and things I liked! Everything is spoiler-free, aside from one part very clearly marked SPOILER! :P

The casting in this series is excellent. The children fit perfectly. The casting for all their guardians was on point (with lots of diversity too, yay). Neil Patrick Harris makes a great Count Olaf; which I think is a tricky thing to do, and probably the biggest downfall of the movie. Count Olaf may wear laughable costumes and not always have the most common sense, but at the of the day he's a villain and a murderer who will stop at nothing to kidnap these children. Jim Carrey turned this into more of a comedic role, while NPH was able to pull off all sides of the character. However my favorite casting choice is Patrick Warburton as Lemony Snicket. His little narration tidbits were my favorite.

Another thing I was worried about was how the  format and pacing of the show would work. Would they cram one book into each episode? How long would the episodes be? How much of the content were they skimping on? Well, each episode is about hour long (some more, some less), and they cover one book in the span of two episodes. There's eight episodes, so season one covers the first four books. Did they skimp on content? Well...yes, but that's to be expected with any book to screen adaptation. It's just an unavoidable thing, IMO. The good news is that they still cover enough ground for you to feel satisfied. I think the two episodes per book format worked out really well, considering books 1 through 8 are pretty short anyway. However at book 9 they start to get longer (and longer...they just keep getting bigger until the final book hahah) and there's a lot more important plot points. If they end up making the shows for the entire series I hope they consider stretching the later books into three episodes.

Covering new territory
The movie covered the first three books. And while the series is very different, it was hard not to compare their adaptation of those first three books to the movies adaption of them. It sort of felt like you were watching a remake (a much, much better one, but a remake none the less). The series goes into book four, The Miserable Mill, and it was a lot of fun to see a part of the story that had never been on the screen before. For that reason I'm even more excited for season two! Plus it will include one of my favorite books in the series, The Hostile Hospital.

The parents
(SPOILERS) Ok, so a big thing this series does where you're like WOAH THIS IS VERY DIFFERENT FROM THE BOOKS, is the addition of the set of parents that show up at the end of episode 1 (and more throughout the season). They've been kidnapped and are trying to find a way out because "our children need us!" So at first it's like, wait, are these the Baudelaire parents (who in the books are thought dead)? Uhh ok. But then at the end of the season you learn that they are actually the parents of the Quagmire triplets. Whaaaaat. If you haven't read the books then you'll learn more about them in the next season, when they cover book 5 - The Austere Academy. But no matter whose parents they are, none of that was in the books, so it's a new addition, and I'm actually kind of curious on where it's going. (END OF SPOILERS) I'm not always a huge stickler, not in the NO THEY CAN'T DO THAT, THAT'S NOT WHAT HAPPENED IN THE BOOK kind of way. If the change is done tastefully and is not for some stupid reason (like changing friend-relationships into romantic-relationships, why?) then I don't really mind. Daniel Handler wrote most of the episodes and is also a producer for the show, so I trust his judgement. I read an interview he did, and when asked "Has the mystery itself significantly changed from the books?" he replied "I would say that the destination is the same, but the route is different." I'm ok with that...and it's kind of fun not knowing what's going to happen next!

Theme song
I just like it :) It's sung by Neil Patrick Harris, and parts of the lyrics change depending on which book you're on, giving you a little recap and sometimes little clues on what might happen next. So there are 4 different songs! Watch and listen to the first song here!

So yeah...watch this show! Even if you haven't read the books, watch it! Or if you've already seen it, tell me what you thought! I've read all the books and loved it. Andrew and my friend did not read the books, and they loved it just as much (well, maybe a little less, I admit I'm obsessed and maybe a little biased...but they loved it, really!).

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

My Year in Books - 2016

So I didn't finish my 2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge. I'm a little disappointed, but it is what it is. I know I didn't spend as much time reading as I could have, but it's hard juggling so many solo hobbies while also trying not to be a recluse ;) My goal was to read 55 books, and I read 49. That's not too bad I suppose. Anyway, I love these reading charts that Goodreads makes at the end of each year. To get yours go to this blog post and click on "see your year in books!" Now I'm going to break mine down!

Goodreads Year in Books

- The 49 books I read amounted to 9,611 pages! Woohoo! That's almost like reading Mission Earth two and a half times.

- The shortest book I read was Home Alone: The Classic Illustrated Storybook. Which was to be expected, because it's a children's book hahah. It was the only Christmas book I have and 'tis the season and all that. Unfortunately the book didn't have the same charm as the movies. I gave it two stars!

- The longest book I read was Funny Girl, by Nick Hornby. I had really been looking forward to this one because I love Nick Hornby books. I liked it, but not one of my favorites from his collection. I gave it three stars! This is one of those times where I wish Goodreads had half stars, because I think I'd give it 3 and a half.

- The most popular book I read was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Considering that it was already a popular book and the movie came out last year, that's not surprising! This was actually a re-read. I first read the book shortly after it was published in 2009, but with the movie coming out I decided it was time for a refresher. Full review on that here!

- The least popular book I read was When Life Hands You a Lemon. It was a book I won in an Armchair BEA giveaway. Even though I gave it a low score (one star, yikes) I should mention that all the other reviews are great, and the only reason it's "least popular" is because it hasn't been read by many people.

You can see the rest of the books I read in 2016 on my Goodreads page, or by checking out the books tag here on my blog! What did you read in 2016?