Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Wednesday Wish Lists #36

Happy Hump Day, folks!

.... yeah, I don't care how old the expression is, that felt weird to type πŸ˜–

Hope everyone's enjoying their week so far. I'm working on keeping my word about maintaining a regular blogging schedule, and I thought I'd make up a new Wednesday Wish List given how long its been since the last one. Been doing my best to pinch pennies lately, so finding anything that I want really badly is almost dangerous for my wallet 😝 But my willpower remains strong, and I've come up with a list of a few things that I wish I currently had in my life.
#1: Our Super Adventure & Other Graphic Novels by Sarah Graley! I can't remember when exactly I first came across one of Sarah Graley's comics about her life at home with her boyfriend and her clowder of cats, but from the get-go I related to the comics because the characters reminded me so much of my boyfriend and myself, and I'm sure that's the reason her comics are so popular on the internet. She's published a few different collections of this series that she calls Our Super Adventure and I would love to own at least one of these collections as a physical book.

Last year I planned on checking out Toronto Comic Arts Festival for the first time, but at the last minute decided not to go - which was a huge mistake, because Sarah Graley was there last year and I could've both met her and gotten my own copy of each of her graphic novels AND gotten them all signed!!!! 😭 She hails from the UK, so her being in Toronto was an unexpected and rare occurrence, and unfortunately she and Stef (who is now her fiance - congrats you guys!) are too busy to come to Canada for TCAF this year, since it's very close to the pub date of her newest graphic novel. Hopefully I'll get to meet her & maybe even Stef & get autographs & pictures next year. But I'm still gonna try and make it to TCAF this year tho! I've never been and I'm excited to check it out!

#2: Young Sheldon Season 1 on DVD or Blu-Ray! My mother and I have been fans of The Big Bang Theory for years now - not since the very beginning, mind you, but it's still been quite some time since we fell in love with the show and its characters. We were both excited as well as nervous when we learned that there would be a spin-off show featuring a younger Sheldon Cooper during his early years of high school at 8 years-old, but we both quickly fell in love with Young Sheldon when it started airing in 2017.

We own - and regularly binge watch - all 11 released seasons of BBT on DVD, and I'm impatient to add the first season of Young Sheldon to our collection. I absolutely love the actors and the writing for this new show, although it also makes me nervous. I'll elaborate; I've been hoping for quite a while now, despite how much I love this show, that it would not continue beyond these two seasons, and the reason for that is because canonically, Sheldon's childhood wasn't all peaches and cream - things get sad and dark and tragic, and with how upbeat and optimistically the show is currently being presented, I feel like it would break my heart to witness a lot of the things that Sheldon went through as a child first-hand rather than just being told about his childhood when he reflects on it as an adult. Right now the show depicts a happy - slightly dysfunctional - family dynamic, and I'd like to keep it that way, rather than watch the family fall apart as the years go by πŸ˜₯

Monday, April 15, 2019

My Insta Love #10

What's up, awesome people?!

Been a while since I've done one of these, and I like the idea of decorating my blog on a Monday with a bunch of pretty pictures; It seems like a great way to start off the week! I haven't been as active on Instagram since moving to the new apartment, but I'm working on fixing that. Mostly it's been because I've been cooped up at home and haven't been anywhere too exciting, which makes for zero opportunities for taking pictures, except maybe when my dog is doing something adorable.

With all the new ways Instagram has changed since I last did one of these posts - like including the ability to post more than 1 photo in a single post - these posts are going to look a little different than they used to. Instead of featuring 6 single photos, I'll be doing my best to feature 5 single photos AND 1 collection of photos, with each photo featured & the caption typed out so it's easier to read. So not only will you be getting some nice pictures to start your week, but you'll be getting a lil' big of real-life story time as well!πŸ“œπŸ˜

Don't forget to click on the pictures to be re-directed to that user's Instagram account, please feel free to add these awesome people to your Insta feeds 😊


Thursday, April 11, 2019

Currently - March & April 2019

Helloooooo my favourite friends!

Given that I took an unscheduled hiatus to move into a new apartment, I figured it would be a good idea to catch you all up on what I've been up to since you last heard from me (not counting my recent post reflecting on the 6 year anniversary of the VlogIggles, which you should go check out btw!). Let's get started with my favourite category - GAMES!

 I'm not gonna lie, the game (and overall thing) that has taken up a large percentage of my life over the past while has been playing World of Warcraft. And no, I'm pretty sure I'm not addicted XD But since the new expansion came out last August, I've been logging into WoW as often as possible, and it's been especially fun because my boyfriend recently re-joined WoW, and he became a member of the same guild as me!
My WoW character AllaΓ©da and my boyfriend's WoW character Grunn during Love Is In The Air 2019
Mostly when the two of us play together it's during a guild activity like raid nights or other things like dungeon runs. But Kurt has been really awesome in helping me improve as a player, because I want to become a better raider and make my guild proud! I'll tell you guys a secret - just don't tell anyone in my guild XD - but for years I played WoW as what you would call a "clicker" - aka using the mouse more often than the keyboard for attacks and spells. I've been working really hard to overcome this habit and re-train myself to play with the keyboard. Kurt has been patient with me as he's helped me create key binds and macros to make raiding a whole lot easier.
Group shots of the raiders in my guild, Safe Word, on the Kilrogg US server. The left picture was taken on the boat that took us to the fight with Jaina (each of us seated on the rarest mount we own), and the second picture was taken after we finally defeated Jaina on Heroic difficulty.
Originally I was part of a guild called Storm, but a big chunk of the members of that guild decided to start a whole new guild, which is called Safe Word (I didn't get a vote in the name, I swear 😝). Since Battle for Azeroth has released, we've been enjoying playing together through Mythic+ dungeons as well as progressing through Normal & Heroic raiding. We've been dipping our toes into Mythic raiding a little bit but our guild doesn't currently have enough members playing at a Mythic level in order to progress past the 2nd boss in Battle for Dazar'alor. That being said, raiding with these guys has been a lot of fun! I used to main a Blood Elf Rogue but was asked to change my spec for BfD, so now I play as a Nightborne Warlock.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Always Be Thankful - Remembering the VlogIggles

Yes, I'm back from another blogging hiatus! 😝

In my defence this time, I actually have a fairly good reason for why I've been so busy and away from my blog lately, and that is because I moved into a new place! I'm in a new apartment now - still living out of boxes tbh - but it's a work in progress and I finally got my desktop set up last week, so now I'm back! Here's hoping I can make a more regular habit of sharing posts with you guys, because I've missed this place & all of you while I've been away.

Those of you who have been with me since TWW(s) first began, you may remember that I've been a member of an amazing online community, the International Geek Girl Pen Pals Club (IGGPPC) since Spring 2013. Shortly after discovering the site and becoming an iggle, a handful of us decided to create a YouTube channel made up entirely of fellow iggles where we could make vlogs and chat about our fandoms, our geek loves, and all of the amazing things that brought us together as members of the IGGPPC. There was 1 of us to post a video each day of the week, as well as a handful of alternative collaborators for the channel. We called ourselves the VlogIggles!

Recently I discovered that this month (specifically April 20th) will be the 6 year anniversary of the very first video we ever posted to the VlogIggles channel! Being a part of that collaborate channel was one of the most memorable experiences of my life, and I knew I couldn't let this occasion go by without doing something special πŸ’– So sit back & relax as we take a stroll down memory lane while I tell you some of my favourite parts of being a Vlogging Iggle πŸ’»πŸ“Ή
The Ladies!
Obviously one of the best parts of being a Vlogging Iggle were my fellow Vlogging Iggles! This group of awesome ladies were among the first online friends I made after joining the IGGPPC, and getting to chat with them as we talked about our videos and the channel was always something I looked forward to. The lot of us enjoyed chatting about things outside of the channel as well, and we even enjoyed a few Google Hangouts together (where we spent most of the time adding animated hats and moustaches to our faces and laughing at how they made us look 😜).

Given our mutual love for snail mail, we sent each other a lot of things in the mail too! My main inspiration for writing this post came from when I was going through my boxes and sorting all of the letters and cards I've received over the years (I've kept basically every greeting card and letter I've ever received since I was 11 y/o!), and I found so many things that came from the vlogging iggles! Note cards and letters and little gifts as well - everything from SillyBandz to fuzzy Tribble key-chains to mini plushies of anime characters! We did our best to keep track of everybody's birthdays so that we could both send them something in the mail and give them a birthday shout-out in one of our videos.

I distinctly remember the lot of us secretly conspiring to send gifts to Beth after she told us she was expecting her second baby. I had a lot of fun hunting down a baby gift for her, and given how weird I am I of course chose a gift that matched my weird tastes XD For the baby-to-be I send Beth a moustache pacifier πŸ˜‚ Even after learning that she was expecting a girl, I had zero regrets with this choice of gift 😝 I remember also sending her a children's book - an illustrated hardcover edition of The Wind in the Willows - which was meant for her older daughter so that she wouldn't feel left out with her future sibling getting so many gifts. After the baby was born, Beth made sure to send me a picture of her new daughter with the moustache pacifier; It was priceless 😁

Monday, February 11, 2019

Review: Nova in New York

An advance reading copy of the book was
provided to me by Orca Book
Publishers & NetGalley in exchange
for an honest review.
(This review was originally intended to be posted before the publishing date of this book, and I'd like to apologize to my readers as well as the amazing people at Orca Book Publishers for the delay.)

Have I mentioned before how much I love books about dancers?πŸ’ƒ Or how about how much I love books that are set in New York City?🏦🏩🏒 Well, this title has both, and a super pretty cover!

Not only that, but this novel has a Canadian author, a Canadian publisher, and a Canadian protagonist! I've started off my newest year of reading in the right directions - those directions being 1) Canadian🍁 and 2) Awesome 😎

Apologies for the emoji overkill - now on to the actual review!

Nova is a Canadian teenager who has been studying ballet for 10 years and has been accepted to a prestigious summer dance program in NYC. It's her first time out on her own in a big city and her first time living farther than a few steps from her dad and farther than a bike ride from her aunt Ivy. Along with the anxieties that come with being in a big, unfamiliar city and being on her own for the first time, Nova also has to work hard in her program's classes under the unrelenting scrutiny of the instructors, all of whom have high expectations for these students who have earned a spot in this professional and highly competitive program. She struggles during the lessons and can't help but compare herself and her skills to the other dancers, and Nova even begins to question whether or not she wants to dance professionally at all.

One thing I need to mention right away is that this book is intended for a younger age group than other books I typically read, with this novel being less than 130 pages and directed towards readers ages 9-12. While this is still definitely a teen/YA read, the novel's pacing is directed by its size and the story may seem rushed for those who are used to reading larger to average-sized books. Even though this will be a quick read for avid bookworms, it is still highly enjoyable; this novel has a way of reminding its readers of their own dreams and passions, and it gets them thinking about what exactly caused them to fall in love with those dreams in the first place.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

10 Exciting Book Releases in 2019

Happy 2nd week of 2019, my friends! Sorry that this post is a little later than I intended it to be; I've had this same cold since before Christmas and its been kicking my butt XP But I was finally able to finish researching and ranking books being released in 2019 that I am the most excited for, and I can't wait to share my top 10 list with all of you 😊
#1: I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn!
Pub Date: 28/05/19. Genre: YA Fiction
Any book taking place - fully or in-part - in modern-day Japan will always rank high on my TBR list πŸ’ If the title alone didn't already sell me (I'll be honest, I love the title, it's both punny and adorable!), then the premise certainly did: Kimi Nakamura loves designing clothes for her and her friends, but her mother is upset that Kimi is spending her time on "distractions" instead of working on her fine arts portfolio for college. She gets the chance to escape from her life and her mother's expectations when her grandparents invite her to stay with them in Kyoto for Spring Break. And the guy that she meets in Japan and ultimately falls for is a med student who works as a mascot who wears a mochi costume πŸ˜† What's not to love?
#2: Normal People by Sally Rooney!
Pub Date: 16/04/19. Genre: Adult Fiction/New Adult Fiction
I already reeeeeeally wish that this book was out now, because I'm really anxious to read it! I immediately fell in love with the title, but I really liked the idea about a book surrounding two people that are polar opposites, both regarding their personalities and their in-school popularity, but who are friends behind the scenes that reunite a year later when they're both away at a college in Dublin, where their social statuses are reversed from where they were in high school.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

MewnBase - From The Gaming Enthusiast

It's strange that with all the time I spent playing video games in 2018, it's been longer than a hot minute since I've written any video game-centric posts. Luckily I've been kicking off this next year of video games right with this early-access title that is enjoyable, easy to play, and incredibly adorable. Ladies and iggles, may I introduce to you, MewnBase!
I came across this game while browsing on the Steam store recently, looking for games that were still fairly-priced despite the Winter Steam Sale being over. This game has been in development since 2016 and has recently become available on Steam Early Access, whereas it was originally available exclusively on Itch.io. It's being developed by a single developer named Steve Ford, aka Cairn4. He's also the solo developer on the game Pombie Zong and has worked on other titles such as Glitch's Trip and Zombie Scrapper.

So, back to the awesomeness that is MewnBase: It's described by Cairn4 as "A Space-Cat Survival and Base-Building Game" and it fits right into my wheelhouse of favourite games; simulation, crafting, base-building, indie, resource collecting & management, casual gameplay, and also there's the obvious adorbs factor πŸ˜ΈπŸ’•
These pictures are from an earlier stage in this game's development; the graphics are still the same, aka equally adorable, but the UI has been updated to be more functional and easier to read & understand at a glance
The game has a great tutorial to teach players about the basic controls and mechanics of the game, although I did find there was a small period of time between the end of the tutorial and when I figured out exactly what I was supposed to do in order to progress with the game's technology tree. So while I feel the tutorial could possibly be a bit longer, perhaps lasting up until the moment that a player finishes analysing their first artifact, which earns technology points, but otherwise this game is very easy to grasp even for the most casual of players.

There isn't currently much in the way of a story arc for this game, but quite frankly at this point it doesn't need one in order to enjoy the game; you play as a space-cat who works to survive on a deserted planet by building a base that will provide your space suit with power and oxygen, you collect resources out in the world while finding and analysing various artifacts (which turn out to be super-cute cat-related items) which gives you tech points, which give the player access to other buildings that improve your base as well as other areas of gameplay.

Aside from the tutorial (which you can continue playing for up to a total of 15 in-game days), there are two play-modes available at this time - a basic mission mode which require you to survive on the planet for a set number of days, which increases each time you complete a mission, as well as an endless mode where you can take your time and work on unlocking every node on the technology tree.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

10 Exciting TV & Anime Releases in 2019

Happy New Year, Folks!

Typically I would try to make my 1st post of the year have something to do with my goals and resolutions for the coming year, or at least the coming month, but I've decided to instead jump-start a new series of posts that I'm calling Listers Gotta List. This series won't be scheduled for a certain day each week, and will instead pop up whenever the opportunity arises. For my first series of list-style posts, I'm going to be focusing on some new releases due in 2019 that I'm anticipating the most. It's been far too long since I've had the chance to gush about some of my favourite fandoms, and I can't remember the last time I was able to discuss upcoming fandoms that I'm sure I'll be on the band wagon for.

This first post will be focusing on TV shows and anime that will be gracing us this year. I'd like to note here that I am also including pre-existing shows that are releasing a new season this year, not just TV or anime premiers. This list was really fun to make, and I'm actually surprised just how many animes made it onto the list! Suppose I have A Geeky Gal and her 30 Days of Anime challenge to thank for that  Without further ado, let's get into the list!


#1: All-New Fruits Basket Anime!!!!!!!!
Can you tell just how excited I am for this?! 😍

I was first alerted to the fact that the original company behind the first Fruits Basket anime, Funimation, was doing a new anime series more closely based on the manga series by one of my BFF's Melissa, who posted an article about it onto my FB page. A couple months later, she sent me a link to this video on Twitter, and I basically screamed with delight - yep, out loud and everything, my boyfriend gave me quite the strange look πŸ˜…

Fruits Basket was one of the first manga series that I ever became invested in. A friend of mine from grade school had first told me about it, and on my first day of high school when I didn't feel like venturing into the cafeteria for lunch I decided to check out the library, and right across from the entrance was the manga section! I picked up the first volume of Fruits Basket, finished it over lunch, and then proceeded to check out volumes 2-4 from the library (I was only allowed to take out 3 books at a time), and that evening after school I ended up watching the majority of the English dub anime on YouTube.

The creation of this new anime series is basically all I could ever want in life. Sure, I always treasured the original anime series, but it was only 13 episodes long and basically only covered volumes 1-6 of the manga, with a few episodes taken from chapters in the 7th and 8th volumes. There was so much more happening in the manga, and I continued to hope that one day we might get a second season or some form of continuation of the story on the silver screen. Of course, with the way they changed details about Akito in the original anime, it would have been impossible to follow the manga series exactly.

But they'll be re-doing the entire anime from scratch, with an even better quality of animation than what was available when the original was produced, and it is a dream come true for me. I sincerely hope that once the English dub gets made that they'll try and cast as many of the original voice actors as possible (Tohro Honda's voice is just so perfect in my mind), or at least find voice actors that come as close to the original as possible.

#2: Game of Thrones Final Season!
Yes yes yes, it's finally happening!!! The fans have waited a long time for the conclusion to our favourite high-fantasy HBO series, and the 8th and final season will be airing sometime in April 2019 if I'm not mistaken. I couldn't resist using this image of the remaining Stark children smiling together and looking like a happy family - since it will probably be the only example of smiling or happiness we'll see from them once the show starts πŸ˜‚ (Minor spoilers below, for those who haven't seen the 7th season of GoT, or who haven't watched any of the show at all and don't want even the tiniest spoilers)

Of course I love the action and adventure and excitement that every Game of Thrones episode has to offer, but if I had to pick 1 single thing that I am the most excited about, it would have to be the hopes of seeing a happy, smile-filled reunion when John returns to Winterfel and sees Arya and Bran alive and well. Arya and John were very close before John left for The Wall, and I really hope that we'll get to see some of that in the final season, even if it's only for a brief moment. I know that one of my favourite moments last season was when Sansa made it to The Wall and John ran right over to hug his half-sister πŸ’“ I really love the family feels in this show! And yes, believe it or not, I am more excited about potentially getting that reunion scene than I am to see what the future holds for John and Dani, which I'm sure will surprise all of you.
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