Tuesday, 30 June 2015

BLOG -- Recap of June

Now... I have no idea how June came and went so fast. I thought June would be a slow-ish month for me, knowing that I wouldn't be hanging out much with my friends. I'm thinking "What the heck did I do this month??". I didn't even get to check out any of the conference videos from E3! :(

Outings/Events in June:
- Stayed over at my sister's place x2. 

- Hung out with friends x1. 

- Took a half vacation day just to catch an early movie with my sister.

- Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn achievements / news: 
-I cleared T9 for the first time on my main character. Wooot!
-I turned one of my alts into an Au Ra, the new race in FFXIV's expansion.
-Another of my alts reached 50, and now that alt is married, too, lol. It was a favour to a friend 'cuz he really wanted the chocobo mount. It was a pain to level up this alt to 50, so I'm probably done with creating alts for the next long while.

- (Food) Funnel Cakes -- It's a bit unbelievable but I don't remember ever eating funnel cakes. I gotta say that they're kinda deceptive, hahaha. Just from the look of it, I was expecting a soft and chewy dessert.

- (Movie): Avengers: Age of Ultron -- I finally got to watch it. I personally enjoyed the first movie more, but this one was pretty good, too. I didn't like how some of the characters were treated, though (and no, I am not talking about Black Widow here).

- (Movie): Mad Max: Fury Road -- This is a really good action movie, though I didn't like Max as much as I did in the older movies. Whenever I hear Giuseppe Verdi's "Dies Irae", I think of the movie Battle Royale.

- (Movie): Alone in the Dark -- I wanted to watch this just because it's based off a video game. I don't know why -- I just want to try watching all video game movie adaptations. I was able to rent this for free from Bay Street Video, and, well -- I'm glad I rented it for free, hahaha... It was... uhhh... pretty cheesy and not very enjoyable for me. 

- (Movie): A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors -- This is kinda cheesy, though kinda creepy.

- (Movie): Save the Last Dance -- This movie has been on my "to-watch" list ever since the first time I watched K-Ci & JoJo's Crazy music video (ahem -- that was many, many years ago!). I enjoyed parts of it. It's a bit sad to say, but I think I would have enjoyed this much more if I watched it back then, when I was much, much younger, haha.

- (Movie): The Advocate -- I watched this for Colin Firth, and it was pretty interesting. I'd say it's good for at least one watching -- just to see the last 30 minutes of the movie.

- (Movie): Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason -- I kinda enjoyed this more than the first movie, but just by a bit.

- (Anime): Colorful: The Motion Picture -- I have to stress that I watched Colorful: The Motion Picture, NOT Colorful the anime series (I guess I should also mention that I've never watched Colorful the anime series, and I probably never will). Anywho, Colorful: The Motion Picture was... not that interesting for me. I personally would not recommend it.

- (Anime): Flowers of Evil -- Now... this series. Wow. It totally drained me after watching it. I have to mention that this is not an aesthetically pleasing anime. But -- I also think that it suits the overall tone and atmosphere. It is also very slow paced, but I didn't mind it. It felt very engaging to me. The voice-acting was really awesome. It didn't even feel like I was watching an anime; more like a live-action show that is animated.

I gotta say, though: the last 10-ish minutes of the last episode just killed it for me. I'm not sure if I could recommend it or not, just because of that last episode. Though... I do agree with this quote from Nick Creamer's review on the show: "The Flowers of Evil is one of the best shows you will never want to watch again". I'll probably try reading the manga now, hahaha.

- (PC): Papers, Please! -- As mentioned in my last blog, this is a fun and addictive game. There are times, though, where playing this feels kinda like work. I find it pretty funny.

- (3DS): Disney Magical World -- Well, I unlocked the credits, so I'm going to consider this done. I've also run through every stage I know of at least once so all that's left is item-grinding. In other words, it's going back on my shelf. Overall, it was an addictive game. I mean, how could one go wrong with a game that's part Animal Crossing, part dungeon crawling? :D

- Nothing this time.

Playing (not all at once):
- (PS3): Borderlands 2   
- (3DS): Bravely Default
- (3DS): Liberation Maiden 
- (3DS): Fantasy Life
- (3DS): Senran Kagura Burst
- (3DS): Pokemon Rumble
- (GBA): The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition   
- (PSP): Persona 
- (PSP): Crush
- (PSVita): Persona 4 Golden  
- (Wii): Fortune Street 
- (PS2): Atelier Iris 2 
- (PC): UnEpic  
- (PC): King's Bounty: The Legend

- (TV Show): The Walking Dead (Season 5)
- (TV Show): Orphan Black (Season 3)  
- (Anime): Yu Yu Hakusho (don't remember)
- (Anime): Shakugan no Shana (Season 1 -- Episode 19)
- (Anime): Log Horizon (episode 3)
- (Anime): K-On! Season 2 (episode 3)

- Nothing at the time.

That's it for June. I only took one real pic in June, so I'll share that.

 A pic of the funnel cake. I didn't like it in the end.
I was hoping it would be soft and chewy, haha.

Have a good rest of the week and thanks for reading! :) To those who'll be celebrating Canada's Day tomorrow, Happy Canada's Day! To those who'll be celebrating Independence Day in a few days, Happy Independence Day!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

BLOG (PERSONAL) -- What I've Been Doing These Past Months

So... I kinda just wanted to write this blog... just for the sake of blogging. I haven't really written any in the past couple months (my last real blog being my review on Pitch Perfect 2), and I feel this itch to write. But -- since I feel so behind on the things I wanna write about, I'll start with an "update" on what I've been doing these last couple months. I know -- I've mentioned some of these briefly in my monthly recap blogs. I just want to write a bit more about them. Some of the things will probably also show up in my upcoming recap blog.

So I'll just say that this entry may not be interesting for you. I just really wanted to write something -- and hope that I can eventually get back to my old routine of blogging weekly.

Watching Movies
As mentioned before, I've been watching a lot of movies these past months -- in theatres and at home. I partly "blame" my home movie-watching on Bay Street Video, the DVD rental place I mentioned a while ago. There are two reasons for this:

1. See... ever since Kingsman: The Secret Service, I've been trying my best to watch at least one movie with Colin Firth in it every week. That guy -- he is totally my kind of guy, hahaha (at least from the interviews I've seen with him). Anywho, instead of blindly buying all of his DVDs / Blu-Rays (something I would have done years ago), I figured it would be best to rent them first -- and then buy the DVD / Blu-Ray if I really liked it.

2. Bay Street Video has this promotion / service that a part of their collection is free to rent, usually falling under a certain theme. Every couple of months or so the theme changes, so another part of their collection becomes free to rent.

So... most times when I'm there to rent a movie with Colin Firth in it, I also rent two movies from that free promotion / service. And I am totally grateful that they do it!

Now... from the movies I've watched so far with Colin Firth in it (I still have a lot to go through), Kingsman: The Secret Service still stands out. And then King's Speech (oh my, that is such a good movie! And I'm not that big on history). Disappointing to me were the Bridget Jones's Diary movies. The humour didn't really click with me, and I tend to remember a number of close-up shots of Colin with this kind of deer-in-headlights face. I can only imagine that that was the director's desire.

Watching Anime
The only anime series I've watched in the past couple of months was The Book of Bantorra. Frankly, I really enjoyed the idea of the show. I think I would enjoy living in that world. But -- gee... the series can be so brutal to its characters. It's almost like it's screaming for a fanfiction to "right" its "wrongs". Even now I still think of the series and its characters. My favourite characters are Enlike, Noloty, Colio, Ireia Kitty, Mattalast, and Hamutz.

I just started watching an anime series today called Flowers of Evil. The first episode is pretty slow paced and the artwork isn't really like a standard anime (though it suits the series well). So far I am uneasy and unnerved... and intrigued. Here, take a listen to the creepy (yet oddly catchy) ending theme (if you so dare):

"Hana -a last flower" by ASA-CHANG & Junray.

Watching Criminal Minds
I think I mentioned this once in a blog, but I am kinda a big fan of Criminal Minds. I love the psychological angle of the show, and I love the characters in the BAU. For the longest time I had only watched up to the end of Season 5. I recently bought the DVDs for Season 6 and 7 and blasted through them, taking breaks every now and then.

While I love every character on the BAU, my absolute favourites are Emily, Reid, and Penelope.

Trying Out More Video Games
To stick to my New Year's Resolution, I've been trying to expose myself to more video games. This is to see if I want them in my collection or not, especially for my physical games. Of what I tried, I was intrigued by:

-Papers, Please! -- This is a PC game where you play an admissions officer and each day you determine who goes through the gate after sorting through each character's documentations. It doesn't exactly sound like fun, but there's just something about it that is kind of addictive. There are also multiple endings. I already got two, one of them being I didn't make enough money to support myself and gamed over after the 5th day. Never again! Hahaha.

-Fallout -- I have still never played Fallout 3, and I really want to experience the Fallout series from the beginning. I don't know when I would actually start playing this, but I did enjoy trying to create a character -- and then realizing I went to an area I shouldn't have and then running away from all the mobs.

-Senran Kagura Burst -- This is a 3DS game where its main selling "features" are chesty female characters and "clothes shredding". I just find it kinda funny for me to own it, since I'm probably not the game's target demographic. I gotta say though: from what little I've played of it, I do enjoy the gameplay mechanics. The game also retains its Japanese voicing which is a big plus for me.

My Sister's Bridal Shower
So last month was my sister's bridal shower / bachelorette and it was so much fun! We watched Mulan, a movie my sister wanted to watch for a long while now. We also had some bridal shower game going on where each person would take a turn writing a sentence for a story. The story was about how my sister and her fiance first met. The end product was quite funny!

Then we played my and my sister's rendition of Cards Against Humanity, this card game where players take turns reading out question / situation cards and everybody else submits an answer. The best answer gets a point. The player with the most points wins. A week before, my sister and I came up with questions and responses and we got it printed up. It was much tamer than the original Cards Against Humanity, but was more fun and personal to us.

All in all, it was a very fun time.

Playing Final Fantasy XIV's Expansion: Heavensward
Yes, Heavensward came out this month, but I spent the last couple months preparing for it. My main character still had to finish the main story quests. And a couple weeks before Heavensward's early access, I started queuing to clear Turn 9. I wanted to at least beat that before Heavensward came out. I know I could have cleared it wayyy back in December when I was trying on the old JP server, but after switching servers to Masamune, that drive kinda went dormant until recently.

As for Heavensward, I am totally overwhelmed by it, hahaha. Even so, I'm not in a rush to go through it all. If you saw how I played when I first started Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, I took my time leveling my Bard to 50, trying to level my crafting and gathering classes at the same time. I even had my crafting or gathering classes hand in some of the main quests so my Bard wouldn't get the experience from it, hahaha. I wonder if I could do that for Heavensward's main quests... hmmm...

Anywho, it's no different this time. I'm trying to level my crafting and gathering classes more than my Bard, while also trying to get my other classes to 50.

And that's it for this blog. Ahh, I feel so much better now. My writing bug has been satiated (for now). If you read to the end, thanks for reading! As always feel free to comment on anything or ask me any questions or anything.

Take care and have yourself a good upcoming week! :)