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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

BLOG -- Recap of December

December was a really busy month. The holidays went by too quickly. Hopefully January will be less crazy.


Outings/Events in December:
- Celebrated my new boss' birthday with my new team-mates.

- Celebrated a team-mate's birthday.

- Experienced the blackout (darn you, freezing rain!).

- Had a game day with my sister, her fiance, and a friend.

- Had a sleepover at my sister's place x8 (thanks for putting up with me!).

- Had a Christmas gathering with friends.


Exposures:
- (restaurant) Mariachi -- It's a Mexican restaurant. From what I hear, it's really authentic and the guacamole is one of the best.

- (restaurant) Destingo -- It's a slightly upscale Italian place. Food was meh.

- (restaurant) The Gourmet House -- It's just like any other Chinese restaurant, I think.

- (food) Taquitos -- This was yummy.

- (food) Churros -- It's crunchy, but a little tasteless.

- (food) McDonald's Poutine -- I tried McDonald's Poutine back when they had it years ago. I remember the gravy being orange-brown back then. This time, it was a little better, but still sucky for poutine.



Finished...
Watching:
- (Anime): Shigofumi -- It's interesting and some of the episodes are unnerving.

- (Anime): Tari Tari -- Great series. I perceive music a little differently now. I think music loves me somewhat, especially when I sing in my head tone. :P

- (Movie): The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

- (Movie): The Croods -- This was surprisingly really good!

- (Movie): The Host -- Not really what I was expecting. It was okay. 

- (Movie): The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey -- A little slow in the beginning, but got kind of exciting at the end.

- (Movie): The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug -- Pretty fun to watch. Lots of action.

- (Movie): 47 Ronin -- I didn't know what to expect from this. I never thought it would be such an emotional movie. I never thought it could be so romantic either, during those brief romantic moments. Good movie.

Playing:
- (PS3): Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One -- I played this with my sister, her fiance, and a friend. I don't think I would have been able to stand playing this on my own; with friends, though, that that made a really funny and amusing experience.

- (3DS: Streetpass): Mii Force -- I collected all the Plaza Tickets for this game, so I consider it beaten.

Reading:
- (Novel): Test by William Sleator -- I like Sleator's blunt and direct writing style. Now I've read all of William Sleator's novels.

- (Manga): Azumanga Daioh by Kiyohiko Azuma -- Really enjoyable!

- (Manga): Limit by Keiko Suenobu -- I read this really quickly. It was generally engaging, but I think a lot of the cathartic moments were too forced.


Currently... 
Playing (not all at once):
- (PS4): Call of Duty: Ghosts
- (PS4): Resogun
- (PS3): Borderlands 2 
- (DS): Legacy of Ys: Book I & II 
- (3DS): Shin Megami Tensei IV 
- (PSP): Persona 
- (PSP): Crush
- (Wii): Fortune Street 
- (PS2): Atelier Iris 2
- (PS2): Shadow Hearts
- (PC): UnEpic
- (PC): King's Bounty: The Legend


Watching:
- (TV Show): The Walking Dead  
- (Anime): Yu Yu Hakusho 
- (Anime): Shakugan no Shana 
- (Anime): Dragon Ball 
- (Anime): Vampire Princess Miyu
 
Reading:
- (Manga): Judge by Yoshiki Tonogai 


That's it for December. Here's a couple photos from this month:

One of my "Boxing Week" spoils. 
Can you see why I cringe? 
I just created a lot of media backlog for myself. ><''

One of my Christmas gifts.
Handmade coupons for bags of chips! Yum!



Thanks for reading! As always, feel free to comment or ask about any of my experiences / exposures. Have a Happy New Year! :)

Sunday, 29 December 2013

BLOG (PERSONAL) -- Perspectives/Memories in 2013, Top Whatevers, Top Exposures, and New Year's Resolutions

Around this time, there are always a lot of things I could blog about -- Christmas day + Christmas gifts, Boxing week spoils (because passing up sales is very hard for me), reflecting on the current year. Since I cringe every time I think about my Boxing week purchases this year (I didn't buy them during Boxing week, but during their Holiday Sales -- to me they count as Boxing week purchases), I'm going to do my year-in-review blog. But first, I'll revisit my New Year's Resolutions for 2013, and list my resolutions for 2014.


(REVIEW) New Year's Resolutions for 2013
- "Work out" at least once a week (not sure how I will define "work out" right now) -- NOPE

- Save money -- DONE (On top of my regular monthly savings, I was able to save some more)

- Work out a monthly budget -- DONE (I set this up soon after New Year's)

- Sell more of my stuff (I have a lot of stuff on my "to-sell" pile; I need to take the initiative and sell them) -- DROPPED (I did sell a good number of my stuff this year, but I also bought a lot of stuff; I'm not sure how to gauge this)

- Read at least 100 pages of my Python textbook -- NOPE (I read about 20 pages)

- Read at least 50 pages of one of my Japanese textbooks -- DONE (Woot!)

- Create a text-based game -- NOPE (I was planning on creating one for this holiday, but I ran out of time :()

- Watch a play (if something good is on) -- NOPE (Didn't get a chance to check out any listings) 

- Watch a musical (if something good is on) -- NOPE (Didn't get a chance to check out any listings)

- Write a story (short story, play, whatever) -- NOPE (Not completing this bothers me -- I don't want to be a "person who calls themselves a writer, but DOESN'T write" :( )

- Read a book (not manga) -- DONE (Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion)

- Expose myself to at least 12 games that I physically own -- DONE 

- Beat at least 5 games that I physically own -- DONE (Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA 2nd | Samurai Western | Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale | WarioWare D.I.Y. | Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth || + 7 more physical games)

- Beat at least 5 games that I digitally own -- DONE (The Walking Dead | Fable | One Piece: Pirate Warriors | Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble | Sound Shapes || + 3 more digital games)

- Reach Chapter 600 in One Piece manga so I can play One Piece: Pirate Warriors without worry about spoilers. -- DONE (This took a while. But I did it!)

To sum up: Out of my 15 resolutions, I completed 8, dropped 1, and did not do 6. That's... not good, in my opinion. I need to step up my game! Especially with my writing and learning Python / Japanese. I completed my Japanese-related resolution, but I can do so much better than that. I know I can! With that, here are my New Year's Resolutions for 2014:


New Year's Resolutions for 2014
- "Work out" at least once a week (I still want to do this. Even if it's just me stretching every morning or lifting weights while watching Youtube videos -- I want to establish some kind of routine that will keep my joints active)
- Save money
- Spend at least 100 hours on learning Python
- Spend at least 100 hours on learning Japanese
- Finish "scripting" (not sure if that's the right term) my text-based game that I started about 4 years ago
- Create a text-based game
- Create at least 1 story (short story, play, whatever)
- Create at least 1 song with the Hatsune Miku English program
- Watch at least 20 (or ALL) anime series I haven't watched that are in my collection
- Read at least 5 (or ALL) books (not manga) I haven't read that are in my collection
- Listen to at least 10 (or ALL) music CDs I haven't listened to that are in my collection
- Expose myself to at least 20 games that I physically own
- Expose myself to at least 10 games that I digitally own
- Beat at least 5 games that I physically own
- Beat at least 5 games that I digitally own
- Read up to the latest chapter in the One Piece manga -- simply because I want to be all caught up.
- Take that trip to Japan (I'm excited, but am also nervous -- it will be my first time travelling out of the country)


Now... I think this list is very ambitious. It's time-consuming, no doubt. I don't expect to complete them all, but I want to do this. For all my collection-related resolutions -- I'm tired of having so much media backlog. I want my collection more defined and polished so that whenever I move out, I have a clearer idea of what's coming along with me. 

Now, if you wonder: why don't you just throw out some of your collection to reduce your backlog?, my response is that I can't. If I threw something out, and later found out that I loved it, I would regret it. And as small as that may seem, that kind of regret is something I'll always remember, so no. I can't do it. 



2013 in Review
2013 was a year full of changes -- externally and internally. In comparison to last year, there were a lot more staffing changes (people leaving, mainly), and some of those affected me directly this year. The team I've been used to for the past 2 years was dissolved and now I answer to a new boss, and have new team-mates. It's different, that's all I'll say.

Internally, I feel myself slightly changing. My priorities are shifting. Maybe I'm finally "growing up" (My inner voice says, Nooooooooooo!!)? Let's just hope my changing doesn't make me out to be a jerk in the end. If it does, somebody please tell me! 

"My theme song" this year: 1/6 -Out of the Gravity- by Pokariodo-P (AKA Odo-P or Nao). Ever since I found the Youtube video for this song with English translations, I love it. While it's not always the case, knowing a song's meaning can really make a difference sometimes. I haven't memorized the Japanese lyrics, so I can't really sing it, but I hum it a lot. When I do hum it, I feel better about my situation sometimes (during those times when I feel really swamped with / overwhelmed by my never-ending To-dos).

Last year, I did an a cappella version of my theme song. I just tried it now with a karaoke track, and I sound terrible. So no singing from me this time. ^.^'



Notable/Significant Memories/Events in 2013
Cherry Blossom-watching: Despite having such difficulty meeting up with my friends, the cherry blossoms were very pretty, and I enjoyed it.

Attending Anime North 2013: It's been years since I last attended, and it was fun.

Attending Fan Expo 2013: I wanna see that hot guy again! Lol.

Finding out that William Sleator passed away: This shifted my world somewhat. Thinking about it still makes me sad.

Having group gaming days with friends: Fun times. I'm looking forward to the next one. :)

Spending time with my friends: Didn't get much of a chance this year to spend some time with friends, so I was always glad when I could.

Blogging for two years: Woot! I'm still proud of myself.

Getting the PS4: I really didn't need to get one on launch day, but I'm happy to have it.


Top Whatevers in 2013
This is my top list of what was released in 2013 that I experienced. This list will be really short since most of what I experience are released before 2013.

(Movie): Warm Bodies
I love this movie so much. I actually consider it one of my all-time movie favourites.

(Video Game): Shin Megami Tensei IV [PS3]
I love the SMT series. I didn't start playing SMT 4 until months after I got it. But as soon as I did, I fell in love. <3



Top Exposures in 2013
This is my top list of what I was exposed to this year, regardless of what year it really came out in. Any titles with two years indicate the original release date, then the English release date.

(Anime): Tari Tari (2012)
Tari Tari is a really nice series. It's mainly about high school characters chasing their dreams / desires, which definitely appeals to me. There are also tons of singing. If I like the music (which I do here), that's a big plus! It's such a sweet show.

(TV show): Tie between Legend of Korra -- Season 1 (2012) and Dragon's Den (2006-ongoing)
I loved Avatar: The Last Airbender, so I was really glad that Legend of Korra was on par. I wished there was a bit more characterization, though. For Dragon's Den, it's the only TV series that I tend to watch whenever I visit my sister. I've only watched Season 5 and a bit of Season 6 so far, and it is interesting, for the most part.

(Movie): Warm Bodies (2013)
Still the top amongst all my movie exposures this year.

(Video Game): Tie between 999: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors (2009/2010) [DS] and The Walking Dead (Telltale Games) (2012) [PSN]
These two games are really great. They both have strong storytelling, and they have their own plot-altering interactions. It just adds that much weight to your choices. They also have really strong characterizations.

(Song - English): Yamaha by Delta Spirit (2012)
There's this hopeful, determined feeling to this song that I like, even though the lyrics seem a little sad.

(Song - Japanese): 1/6 -Out of the Gravity- by Pokariodo-P (AKA Odo-P or Nao) (2010?)
I've tried searching for an official release of this song (I want to own the CD single or whatever!), but to no avail. So I don't really know for sure what year this song was created / published.

(Book): Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion (2011?)
You may think I chose this because I really loved the movie. That is not the case at all. The hopeful and hopeless atmosphere, the fleshed out characters and universe, the writing style... that is why Warm Bodies the novel is my top book exposure this year.

(Manga): Azumanga Daioh (1999-2002/2003-2004)
It took me long enough to start reading the series, even though I absolutely loved the anime. Reading it makes me very nostalgic -- I want to watch the anime now, lol.

(Celebrity): Nicholas Hoult (as R)
I didn't know who Nicholas Hoult was until I watched Warm Bodies. After that, he was on my radar like you couldn't believe. I even watched another movie just because he was in it (Jack and the Giant Slayer). He did that good a job of playing R. He also looked super-cute as R. :)


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

And that's that for my review of 2013.

Last year, I noted a few things / changes that I anticipated in 2013. Here they are again and what happened with them:
- A better phone (I did get a better phone)
- Possibly signing up for Netflix (This didn't happen)
- Getting a passport? (Done!)
- Something (I did experience a ton of changes this year, so yes, this happened)


 
Now, here are a few things / changes I anticipate in 2014 for me:
- Having less media in my collection (If I can really do all that I listed in my New Year's Resolutions, then I expect this!)
- Possibly subscribing my life away to Final Fantasy XIV (I did buy the game -- it's just a matter of when I create an account and start my free month)
- Possibly preparing to move out (Key word here is "possibly". I don't know -- I guess I am in that phase, desiring to leave "the nest" as they say)
- A completely new experience (I imagine this will happen from going to Japan)
- Bags under my eyes, and tons of it (I hope that this doesn't happen, but, well, I can't be too sure, lol...)



If you've made it this far, thanks for reading! I hope you all have a great 2014. And just for fun (I blame my work for me getting excited over this), here's a % breakdown of my spending in 2013 (excluding necessities like my cell phone plan, transportation expenses, etc.).


I think I need to spend more money on clothes. "Misc" includes stuff like lotto tickets, movie tickets, course registrations, birthday / special occasion gifts, etc. I think I'll want to add a "Movie / Venue Ticket" category in 2014.
 
 
Anywho, thanks again for reading and have a Happy New Year! You will most likely read this same line when I post my end-of-month blog for December. :)

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

BLOG -- Brief Thoughts on the Power Outage + Merry Christmas!

Now... I did not intentionally miss my blogging this past Sunday so I could blog "Merry Christmas" to you today. I was caught in the mass of power outages that happened over the weekend, and just wasn't able to access a working computer with internet connection and blog. 

I was with my sister and her fiance when it happened, and luckily for them, power went back on Sunday night. My other home (where I live with my mother and father) didn't get power until today, so I've been staying at my sister and her fiance's place for the whole weekend, plus yesterday and today (the longest I've ever stayed there!). Even though I could have blogged earlier (possibly Sunday or Monday night), I had such disoriented feelings since the power outage -- I just felt really out-of-whack and couldn't bring myself to do much except for play video games, and a bit of work (booooo to that...).

It's amazing just how dangerous and powerful freezing rain could be. Besides the huge blackout in the Summer all those years ago, I can't remember a time when a power outage lasted for so long and felt so... crippling. Despite fighting it and trying to come up with things to do for the rest of the day, it was a little... scary. There's not much you can do in the dark besides sleep, and I don't want to go to sleep at 6-ish PM (when the day gets dark at this time).

What can I say -- it was an adventure, and I hope I can be better prepared for it in the future (not sure how, though -- portable power generators don't seem to be an option, since that could cause carbon [monoxide? dioxide?] poisoning). One big plus is that I am here at my sister and her fiance's place and we can celebrate Christmas tomorrow, yay!

And on that note, I hope you all get to have a safe and warm Merry Christmas! And a Happy Boxing Day! I am personally over-budget for December, but I still might... do a bit of Boxing Day shopping... ack!


Anywho, thanks for reading! Be safe and Merry Christmas! :)

Sunday, 15 December 2013

BLOG -- My "Christmas" Wishlist

Now this is more of a fun entry for me -- I don't expect anybody reading this to buy me anything. Some of the stuff is kinda rare, so... no. Maybe this would give some of you a better idea of what sort of things I like (besides the usual video games and anime, though there is some of that). Even though I call this a Christmas Wishlist, it isn't good for just Christmas; it's good for any gift-giving occasion! ;)

With that said, here it is:

The Always-Good-for-Me-Gifts
Now these gifts are always appreciated because I use / consume these throughout the year.

Gift cards to:
-Chapters: Sometimes I surprise myself with how much I buy from that place. I don't read that much... but I go there a lot.

-Amazon: Amazon's not my first choice when shopping online, but I can count on it to have decent prices for certain items, like DVDs, video games (though not often), and art books.

-Shoppers Drug Mart: I go here a lot -- often to buy chips and other miscellaneous stuff.

-Right Stuf: My wallet cried a waterfall this year, with all the money I spent on this site. Even I feel sick from it.

-Cineplex: I think we can all agree that I enjoy watching movies. If I could, I would watch movies in theatres more often.

-PSN: As long as the Playstation Network exists, I need this. I like to have some balance in my account all the time.


-Potato Chips: If there was such a profession as a chip connoisseur, I would totally sign up for it! I. love. chips! Now, I do get a sweet craving every now and then, but my salt craving, particularly my chip craving, is so much stronger. My current favourite brands are Ruffles and Old Dutch. Flavours that I especially like are: 
-Ruffles -- Sour Cream & Bacon
-Ruffles -- Sour Cream & Onion
-Old Dutch -- BBQ (it has such a hot kick, but not a spicy kick)
-Lays -- Dill Pickle


-USB Keys / Memory-Storing Devices: I could always use more memory-storing devices.


The Easy-But-Lazy-to-Get
These items I will most likely get myself down the line -- the big question is when. And the problem is if I hold out for too long, these could become rare and hard to get. 

-Video Game Art Books: I enjoy art books. I already have some, but with Udon releasing so many... my gosh, I want a lot! I am especially eyeing:
-Devil Survivor (GOT!)
-Persona 4 (GOT! I accidentally got 2, lol)
-Persona 4 Arena
-Shining Force Feather
-Monster Hunter Illustrations
-Monster Hunter Illustrations 2



-Kingdom Hearts HD Remix 1.5 (PS3): I already have Kingdom Hearts 1, 2, and Chain of Memories on the PS2, so I don't really need this. I think that's why I've been so lazy with getting it. (GOT!)


-Theatrhythm (3DS): I was hesitant to get this when it first came out, but now it's creeping up on my want list. It's pretty hard for me to say no to rhythm games. (GOT! I also have Theatrhythm: Curtain Call)

 
The Easy-to-Find-But-Expensive
So there's not too many items on this list. I often don't find myself wanting big ticketed items -- and if I do, I don't particularly want anybody getting them for me (unless it came from a group of people), or I just plan to get it myself. The most expensive gift anybody has ever given me... is the computer I'm typing on (thank you!).

-Good, warm gloves: So I have a problem with wearing gloves -- they don't seem to keep my hands warm. The wind just blows right through and my fingers freeze. I often find it warmer to not wear anything at all and shove my hands into my coat sleeves. But I know there are gloves out there that can keep me warm! Gloves that are constructed just to deal with super cold weather. I also know those gloves are expensive, so...



-Wii U: Well, I'm getting this eventually anyway. Once Smash Brothers comes out or Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem (come on, release!), I'm getting it.

-A good microphone: I love singing. Sometimes I like to record myself singing on the computer. My problem is that my current microphone pretty much sucks. It seems to only pick up certain ranges and anything higher becomes static-like. Any "p" or "s" pronunciations (unless I'm far away) becomes static-like, too. I think I need a better microphone... Or do I need something else (like a soundboard)?



-Black Lagoon soundtrack: This isn't really that expensive... but $30 US for one CD is pretty steep. This price is normal for Japanese soundtracks, but at the same time, you gotta be really sure you want it. $30 could buy 2-3+ CDs here (in Canada).

 
The Hard-to-Find
I think I'm just listing these to show you some items that I really, really want. Hopefully I will be able to find these whenever I take my trip to Japan (please let me find them!).

-Mushi-shi Soundtracks Volumes 1 & 2: I absolutely loved the music to Mushishi. It sounds so sombre, unearthly, calm, sorrowful, intense, beautiful. Unfortunately, the CDs are long out-of-print. I do see listings for these on Amazon at eye-gouging prices, but... it's hard. For Japanese soundtracks / CDs / media, I have to order from a site I trust, or I run the risk of ordering a pirated CD. I have enough of those, back when I didn't know any better. Seriously, I don't need any more. (GOT! They did a re-print around late 2014, and I was lucky to see it still in-stock. I am sooooooo happy... <3)



-Kazuma Kaneko Works III Art Book: It was really unfortunate for me that this came out when I was unemployed. It was affordable then. Now you'd lucky to find it for $100. I want this book so bad -- and in ultra-good condition!


Last, but not least, Time is still the best gift of all for me. There's nothing I enjoy more than a wonderful memory. Unfortunately, it's not something I can accept at this time (being so crazy busy myself ><'')


Thanks for reading. What sort of things are on your wishlist? Feel free to comment about anything, and have a great week! :)

Sunday, 8 December 2013

REVIEW/THOUGHTS [Movie] -- The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Format Watched: In theatres (December 3rd, 2013)
Approx. Runtime: 146 minutes (2 hours, 26 minutes)
Language Watched: English
Type of Movie: Drama, Action, Game-like
Overall Impression: This was better than the first movie -- a must-see!


SPOILER ALERT WARNING!!
This review will contain some spoilers -- or rather, there will be a "Spoilers" section at the end of the review to go into further detail about certain things. There may still be slight spoilers throughout the review, but I've tried my best to keep them at a minimum.


PERSONAL STANDING (Pre-exposures, thoughts, etc.)
I will keep this section brief. I watched The Hunger Games last year. I read the books. I enjoyed the series. Now I'm with it to the bloody end.

JUST A NOTE: If you haven't watched the first Hunger Games movie, you might want to before reading this review.

STORY
I'm going to pull much of this from my Hunger Games trilogy book review, since I think I summed things up nicely there:

Katniss is now living in the Victor's Village (reserved for Hunger Games victors) in District 12 with her family. About a week before the Victory Tour through the Districts (something that Hunger Games victors have to go through), Katniss gets a visit from President Snow (ruler of the Capitol). He brings up that when Katniss brought out the poison berries (nightlock) during last The Hunger Games, some of the Districts interpreted the gesture as a form of rebellion instead of a desperate act from somebody hopelessly in love. He threatens that unless she successfully conveys herself as Peeta's lover during the Victory Tour (to diminish the growing desire to rebel), then her loved ones will die.

Then comes the Quarter Quell, a special Hunger Games that happens every 25 years with a different set of rules. 

PACING
Just like in the first movie, the pacing here is good, but you do feel like you've been sitting in the theatre for a good chunk of time. With so much happening, I don't think anybody's mind could think this is a short movie. The beginning of the movie did feel a little slow for me, but I expected that, having read the novel.

CATCHING FIRE MOVIE VS. CATCHING FIRE NOVEL
The movie and the novel are very similar, which is good. But like every movie adaptation, some moments from the novel were lost while some moments were added to the movie. I'll mention some moments / scenes that I was hoping to see and the additions I liked in the "Spoilers" section.

ACTING/CHARACTERS
Again, the acting was very well done. No complaints here.

CHARACTERS
Catching Fire introduced a lot of new characters during the Quarter Quell. Some of them were introduced a little too quickly and were never re-introduced, so I don't remember all of their names. From the ones I remembered, I like Finnick (though I pictured Finnick differently when I read the novel), Beetee, and Mags. Joanna is cool, but a bit too blunt and fiesty.

Other characters I like (still) are Haymitch and Cinna.

PEETA MALLARK
Of course, I can't forget about Peeta -- ahhh, my dream guy. I love his character so much! I love the way he loves Katniss. I love the way he thinks. And loving him so much, I enjoy it whenever I see Katniss reciprocating Peeta's affections.

After watching the movie, I re-read bits of Catching Fire and Mockingjay to re-experience the exchanges between him and Katniss. It makes me feel all warm and giddy. *sigh* I am such a geek...

MUSIC
The music is atmospheric and nice. It fits really well with the movie.

CLOSING THOUGHTS
If you have watched The Hunger Games or have read the books and enjoyed it / them, go watch Catching Fire. It is good!  

Mockingjay, the movie to the last book, will be split into two parts (what is up with that these days?). I'll give my prediction on where Mockingjay - Part 1 would end off in the "Spoilers" section. If you haven't read Mockingjay, DON'T read that prediction. It will contain spoilers!

Right now, I am just itching to re-watch Catching Fire -- just to see those moments between Katniss and Peeta (Ahhhh...). :)

Thanks for reading! If you want some more input about something I didn't cover, feel free to ask. :)

Now I'll do the scrolly thing so you don't see the "Spoilers" section right away. Then I'll add some more scrolly things after the "Spoilers" section in case anybody wants to comment, but not see the spoilers.

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SPOILERS

"I'll mention some moments / scenes that I was hoping to see 
and the additions I liked"

Now, I'm sure that I'm going to miss something, but here were some moments / scenes from the novel that I was looking forward to in the movie. I'll add more when I think of more. Some moments are really, really specific, but whatever.

- Katniss meeting the two wandering characters who were set on finding District 13. Their line of thought and evidence of District 13's existence was neat.

- When Peeta shows Katniss his paintings on the train.

- When Peeta says to Katniss: "My nightmares are usually about losing you. I'm okay once I realize you're here." Goodness, he's so sweet and romantic. If this happened in the movie, I completely missed it.

- Getting confirmation from Beetee that the voices from the Jabberjays could be rigged / altered. With that said, also the moment when Peeta is comforting Katniss about the Jabberjay and that Prim is really not in danger.

- All the sponsor bread that came from the various districts. I wanted to see the designs. Why hasn't anybody marketed and created "District-inspired bread"? I want to eat some!

- When Katniss kisses Peeta after saying that she needs him. That did happen in the movie, but I liked the scene a bit more as it was laid out in the novel.

- The revelation that Haymitch did choose to keep Katniss alive in last The Hunger Games.

- I'm not sure, but I'm so certain that this happened in Catching Fire and not in the other novels: Katniss was either lying on a field of grass or on Peeta's lap. Peeta was playing with Katniss' braid. Then Peeta said something along these lines, "I could stay like this forever." After a while, Katniss said, "Okay." I'll probably have to scour the book to find this scene (I think it's only 5-6 lines of text). Once I do, I'll fix up this dialogue. I don't know why. That's a scene that really stuck with me. It felt so peaceful and nice.

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"I'll mention some moments / scenes that I was hoping to see 
and the additions I liked"

There was only one addition that I noticed I liked, and it's really minor (I will add more if I remember more):

Katniss hugging Peeta as seen by 
the viewers in the Capitol and the Districts. So sweet.

- When Peeta comes back to life from getting shocked from the force field, Katniss hugs him so tightly. That wasn't in the novel, and I really liked that moment. I could feel Katniss' relief, fear, worry, sincerity. It was really nice.

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"I'll give my prediction on where Mockingjay - Part 1 would end off"

Since this is a spoiler, but is not related to Catching Fire, I'll add a few scrolly things just in case. If you haven't read Mockingjay, don't read the spoiler below! And thanks for reading my review! :)

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I predict Mockingjay - Part 1 will end with Katniss reuniting with Peeta -- and Peeta putting his hands around her neck, about to strangle her. If that's not a cliffhanger that would drive you to buy the book and read the rest, I don't know what is!

If you read my spoilers, thank for reading! Now to finish with more scrolly things. If you disagree with anything or just want to say something, feel free to comment :D


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Sunday, 1 December 2013

BLOG -- One of a Kind Show (Christmas -- Toronto)

Since my first exposure to the One of a Kind Show, I've been attending every Toronto show with my sister. When we go, we always go with our "plan of attack", which is starting at one end of the room (farthest away from the food section), snaking through all the booths, and then back-tracking to purchase what we want. 

This year we changed our "plan of attack" a little -- snake through some booths, and then back-track if there was something we wanted. The downside to this is that we don't get to see everything before deciding whether or not to purchase something. The upside is the distance to back-track, which sometimes stopped us from actually back-tracking in the past. Walking from Row A to Row X could feel like a 10-minute trip, considering the large number of attendees. It is near impossible to speed-walk.

We got to the show around 1-ish PM and finished around 5-ish PM. Even though this is my 4th year of attendance, I still get fascinated with what's there. And I always love visiting the food section. Mmmm...!


THE FAMILIAR BOOTHS
I was glad to see familiar favourites at the show, like Mad Batter Bakers and Monkey Butter. When I like the stuff, I'm happy to see them again. I never get the chance to buy everything I want (I'm not made of money, haha). So seeing them again gives me that chance. Sometimes seeing them at the One of a Kind show is the best way for me to buy their stuff. 

Other booths I was glad to see were Sweet Truth Candy, The Bean Ladies, Oladesign, and another booth (I forgot the name -- they sold cute octopus-designed mugs and tableware). The booth selling musical spoons wasn't there this time, which was a bit upsetting.

A booth selling sock monkey-fashioned clothing. 
I don't know how or why this trend became so big. 
The tent is unique, though.


THE NEW DISCOVERIES
After checking the show guide, two of these booths weren't new to the Winter show, but they were new to me.

Creepy Christine -- Her stuff appeals to my cynical side.

Handmades -- I like the geeky nature of many of her greeting cards.

Him Creations -- She makes felt creations and they are sooooooo cute!! Here's a Youtube video featuring her briefly and some of her products:




THE PURCHASES
Compared to the Spring show last year, I spent more money this time. *sigh* My wallet cries, but I know that I'm supporting people, and that feels good.

Here were my purchases (I did not take any photos of what my sister got):

Monkey Butter! They had 3 new flavours this year: 
Chocolate Mint, Cranberry Orange, and Oatmeal Raisin Cookie. 
I really like the Cranberry Orange!

Cookies from the Mad Batter Bakers. Delicious!

Geeky cards from Handmades. I love the Pi cards.

Some inappropriate gift tags and buttons from Creepy Christine.

Sweet marshmallows from La Nougaterie.


A cute seagull and vase from Him Creations.


Total spendings:
Mine:
Monkey Butter -- $70
Mad Batter cookies  -- 3 for $20
Geeky cards -- 4 for $22.60
Gift Tags and Buttons -- $13
Marshmallows -- $10
Seagull and Vase -- $50
TOTAL: $185.60

My sister:
Mad Batter cookies -- $8
Garlic Speads -- $35
Hot Sauce for her fiance -- $20
TOTAL: $63

TOTAL TOTAL: $248.60

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS
Overall, I enjoyed my time at the One of a Kind Show. It's fun to see all the different things, new and familiar. I've already purchased my ticket for the Spring show. Hopefully I can set aside more money and support more people.


Thanks for reading! I hope you all have a good week! :)

Saturday, 30 November 2013

BLOG -- Recap of November

It seems that every month is busy these days and November was no exception. I don't even want to think about how busy December will be, with Christmas celebrations and all.


Outings/Events in November:
- Had a week-long vacation.

- Attended Ripley's Aquarium of Canada.

- Checked out the Gardiner Museum.

- Had a game day with my sister, her fiance, and a friend.

- Had a sleepover at my sister's place x2.

- Had a karaoke gathering with former co-workers.

- Hung out with friends x1.

- Attended the One of a Kind Show.



Exposures:
- (restaurant) Su & Shi Noodle Bar -- The sushi here is NOT up to my standards. I would not eat from there again.

- (person) Jenna Marbles -- Jenna Marbles is a Youtubber. Often when I'm watching Ryan Higa's videos, her videos show up as suggestions on the right side of the page. Seeing that most of her videos have over 10 million videos, I decided to try her out. She's funny, weird, and unique, and I like it! It's also nice to see that she has some similar thoughts as me for certain issues (like being yourself, and marriage).



Finished...
Watching:
- (Anime): Ouran High School Host Club -- I've watched this years ago, but decided to watch it again, but this time in English dubbing. It's good! The anime itself is very charming and pretty deep sometimes. I love it.

- (Anime): Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai -- I'm happy I finally got myself to watch it. It gave a lot of closure to many of the questions I had for the first series.

- (Anime Movie): Patlabor WXIII -- It's pretty solid, but a bit slow-paced.

- (Movie): Ender's Game -- This was nicely done. It makes me want to read the novel.

- (Movie): Gravity (3D) -- Very intense.

- (Movie): Premium Rush -- I watched this mainly 'cuz Joseph Gordon-Levitt was in it. Some scenes were neat.

- (Movie): Pirates! Band of Misfits -- This was okay.

- (Movie): Batman -- I finally got around to watching this fully. It has some charm. 

- (Movie): Batman Returns -- Ditto for this one.

- (Movie): Batman Forever -- Ditto for this one, 'cept that this was ridiculous.

- (Movie): Batman & Robin -- Ditto for this one, 'cept that this was more ridiculous.


Playing:
- (PS3): Folklore -- Finally! Even though this was a PS3 launch title, it was totally worth playing. I'm glad they kept the Japanese credit song.

Reading:
- Nothing this time.


Currently... 
Playing (not all at once):
- (PS4): Call of Duty: Ghosts
- (PS4): Resogun
- (PS3): Borderlands 2 
- (DS): Legacy of Ys: Book I & II 
- (3DS): Shin Megami Tensei IV 
- (PSP): Persona 
- (PSP): Crush
- (Wii): Fortune Street 
- (PS2): Atelier Iris 2
- (PS2): Shadow Hearts
- (PC): UnEpic
- (PC): King's Bounty: The Legend


Watching:
- (TV Show): The Walking Dead  
- (Anime): Yu Yu Hakusho 
- (Anime): Shakugan no Shana 
- (Anime): Dragon Ball
 
Reading:
- (Manga): Judge by Yoshiki Tonogai 
- (Manga): Azumanga Daioh by Kiyohiko Azuma


That's it for November. Here's a few photos from the Ripley's Aquarium of Canada and a video from this month:

One of the first exhibits you see at Ripley's Aquarium of Canada. 
This was actually one of my favourite exhibits.

Leafy seahorse!

 Can you see the fish in here?


One of Jenna Marbles' videos. It's pretty old,
but I like her commentary. I find it funny as well.


Thanks for reading! As always, feel free to comment or ask about any of my experiences / exposures :)