Thursday, 31 March 2016

BLOG -- Recap of March

March was a mix of busy, relaxation, and then lots of planning and research. I'm probably gonna be planning and researching almost everyday until I'm in Japan. Hah... I'll probably still be planning and researching things while I'm in Japan as well... but at least by then the upfront planning should be all done!

Outings/Events in March:
- Had a mini-vacation where I went out for one day and then played Final Fantasy XIV for most of the rest of the days.

- Had a gaming day with friends.

- Stayed over at my sister's place x1.

- Went karaoking by myself.

- I've started listening to the radio at work. I usually listen to my own music, but I felt like getting a bit more exposure to English songs.

- Bought my ticket to Japan, woooot!~~~~

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn achievements / news: 
-I got my Machinist to 60. Finally, another 60 War class, lol. Next should be Paladin if I keep on top of things.
-I ran T13 with the FC undersized and we cleared it. Yayyy, lol... it was my first time running T13.
-My subscription's ended, but on my last day, I crafted the Sephirot Tree, yayy!

- (PS4): Broforce -- I tried local 4-player co-op with this game. While I am not a fan of the premise, the game itself is pretty fun -- pretty hectic and crazy with four players. Unfortunately it's a bit buggy, too -- at least at the time of this writing.

- (Food): Tim Horton's Pulled Pork Sandwich -- In short, I like it. It could do with a bit more salt, I think. 

- (Movie): Eddie the Eagle -- I mainly watched this for Taron Egerton. I was really curious how he would be in his second movie. Overall, I enjoyed the movie. I found it light, funny, sweet, and also pretty intense at times. Being based off a real person, I wonder how accurate the events and characters were.

- (Movie): Zootopia -- This was very good. The DMV scene was so funny, hahaha.

- (Movie): Black Swan -- Nicely made movie, but was a little too dark and mind-trippy for my taste. It does make me want to watch Princess Tutu again, though.

- (Movie): Misery -- This was on my to-watch list since over 20 years ago when I saw the trailer on TV for the first time. It was good, but hard to watch. Some of the scenes really make me cringe.

- (Movie): Midnight in Paris -- There was some really lovely scenery. It was really interesting, meeting all the different characters. The main character's fiancee was... ew, in my opinion, lol.

- (Movie): Fantastic Mr. Fox -- So quirky and so fun.

- (Movie): Die Hard -- This was my first time watching the movie. Good action.

- (PS4): Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star -- I still have a couple mini episodes to go through but I've finished the main story. I personally enjoyed the first Hatoful Boyfriend more, but I still took away some things from the second half of the game. I'd say it's worth getting the game during a sale.

- Nothing at this time.

Playing (not all at once):
- (PS4): Dragon Ball Xenoverse
- (PS4): J-Stars Victory Vs+
- (PS4): Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below  
- (PS3): Borderlands 2
- (3DS): Bravely Default 
- (3DS): Fantasy Life
- (3DS): Shantae
- (GBA): The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition   
- (PSP): Persona 
- (PSP): Crush
- (PSP): Corpse Party
- (PSVita): Persona 4 Golden
- (Wii): Fortune Street 
- (PS2): Atelier Iris 2 
- (PC): UnEpic  
- (PC): King's Bounty: The Legend
- (Mobile): Dragon Quest II

- (TV Show): The Walking Dead (Season 5)
- (TV Show): Orphan Black (Season 3)
- (TV Show): Criminal Minds (Season 10)  
- (Anime): Yu Yu Hakusho (don't remember)
- (Anime): Log Horizon (episode 3)
- (Anime): K-On! Season 2 (episode 3)
- (Anime): X TV series (episode 10)

- (Manga) Prophecy by Tetsuya Tsutsui (Volume 2) 

That's it for March. Here are a few pics I took this month plus a song I've been exposed to recently (due to me listening to the radio).

 I got this from Atlus. They had a blog where some of the staff reminisced about the game and asked readers to share their own fond memories in the comments. Then one random comment would be chosen each day to receive this cool keychain. So... thank you Atlus!! :) <3

Something funny I saw. Can you make out the symbol?
Psst... it's the Batman symbol.

A fortune that I got from a fortune cookie. When I got it I was like, "... wth?! How dare it makes the assumption that I've got wounds that need healing!" Well... it's true, but I don't need to be told that from a fortune cookie! >__<

"One Love" by Marianas Trench.
When I first listened to this, I thought it was a positive, gather-together kind of song.
Then I listened to the lyrics... and wow, was I so wrong...
This is kinda hard to listen to sometimes, but I like it a lot. 
I can really feel the singer's emotions in it.
I want to sing this for karaoke one day!

Thanks for reading! As usual, if you have any questions / comments about anything, feel free. :)

Sunday, 27 March 2016

BLOG -- No Blog Today!

Well... my mind's been really pre-occupied this week, so... sorry, no blog from me. There's a good chance that I will probably be pre-occupied from now until I'm off on my trip to Japan, so... sorry, my blogging may get sporadic again. I'll try not to do that, but saying it as a possible heads up.

My subscription to Final Fantasy XIV has ended today as well, and I am pretty bummed about it. I won't renew until I'm back from Japan so it'll be about 2 months. I did the same thing the last time I went to Japan, staying unsubscribed until I came back. It is interesting to think that 2 months away in real life and 2 months away in-game kinda feel different, even though the length is exactly the same.

But, well, I'll need the time to plan. In all honesty I feel a little overwhelmed right now, just thinking of all the things I need to double-check, buy, prepare, confirm, etc. Ahh, will things be okay?? Will the trip go well?? Will I be prepared for most (hopefully all) situations? 

Anyway... haha... I'll set all those thoughts aside... at least for today, and just enjoy the rest of my night. Then tomorrow I'll make a list of everything I'll need to do, and then get started.

If you came by, thanks for reading! :) Happy Easter for those who celebrate Easter.

Take care and see you all again soon.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

BLOG -- Me and Criminal Minds

I've mentioned this before in earlier blogs, but one TV show I really enjoy watching is Criminal Minds. Yesterday I finished watching the last episode of Season 9 (yes, I am two seasons behind... hahaha), and now -- I kinda just want to talk about the series.

This won't follow the typical Review/Thoughts format of my blogs since I'll be talking about things across the seasons. Plus, as mentioned above, I am two seasons behind so... I'm not up-to-date enough to even give any kind of review.

THIS BLOG WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS. Since I'll be talking about the show across seasons, I cannot help but spoil some things. So unless you have watched at least to the end of Season 9, I'd suggest only reading "Personal Standing" and "Overall Premise + Thoughts". Anything past that would be spoiler territory.

My first exposure to this was about seven years ago through my boyfriend's mother (now ex-boyfriend's mother, of course). Often whenever I visited his place (he lived with his mother at the time), she would be by the TV watching the show. 

At first the theme song caught my attention (mysterious and intense with a strong, bold finish). Then the dialogues piqued my interest, like, over 9000. I just thought, This is really stimulating. Since I don't watch TV at home, it was a treat whenever I got to catch an episode or two at my boyfriend's place.

The first episode I watched in full was "Penelope" (season 3, episode 9). That is actually one of my favourite episodes, among many others.

So in a nutshell, Criminal Minds focuses on a team of FBI agents from the Behavioural Analysis Unit (a.k.a BAU) who try to catch suspects via profiling. That pretty much means developing a profile of the likely suspect(s) by observing the crime scenes, analyzing possible patterns and behaviour. 

What I really like about Criminal Minds, over other crime shows I've been exposed to, is that behaviour and psychology of the criminal(s) are more focused instead of the crime. I have a strong interest in behaviour and psychology so watching a show with that kind of focus is, well, it's very riveting to me. Add in likeable characters and I'm invested all the way.

Sometimes it makes me wonder what could be said about me if I was profiled. If I was profiled... would they be able to say what things or who I value most? My overall behaviour / personality? How I would usually act with others? What would they get right about me?

Another thing that I really like about Criminal Minds are the quotes / phrases that are said at the beginning and end of an episode. Sometimes they make me think, or I just like them. Below are a couple quotes / phrases I like:

"Scars remind us where we've been. They don't have to dictate where we're going." -- David Rossi (from Criminal Minds)

"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life." -- Richard Bach

And that's it for my non-spoiler thoughts. If this is where you stop, thanks for reading! :) To get into spoiler territory, just keep scrolling. Also, keep in mind that I've only finished watching Season 9, so there would be no mention of Season 10 nor 11.


Well, I like almost all the characters in the BAU. As mentioned in an earlier blog, my favourites are Emily Prentiss, Spencer Reid, and Penelope Garcia. My absolute #1 favourite character, though, is Emily.

I don't really know why, but I really like Emily. To me she comes off as very professional, but also a bit mysterious, playful, ruthless, and even intimidating. I will always remember that scene from "Seven Seconds" (season 3, episode 5) where Emily gets Susan (the aunt) to give up the whereabouts of Katie Jacobs (missing niece). I thought it was a very strong scene.

I also really enjoyed the episodes focused on her, letting us know more about the character's past. I was very upset when Emily's character left the BAU.

About Spencer Reid, well -- he's a total brainiac and nerd. Already that hits "hot guy" status for me, hahaha. I also love his sense of humour, especially that prank he played on Derek in "Painless" (season 7, episode 4). You can view a clip of it here. When Maeve (Spencer's love) was killed ("Zugzwang -- season 8, episode 12), I was very, very sad. I guess I thought, 'He's so smart, it must be difficult to find somebody he could feel equal to... and now he's alone again...'.  

About Penelope, I think she is really cool. I like that she dresses differently from the rest of the BAU and displays deep care and love for the team and for all life in general. Her story episode ("The Black Queen" -- season 9, episode 12) was very interesting.

Another character I really like is Alex Blake. I like her casual yet sometimes curt demeanor. She gets straight to the point and doesn't hold back. I guess I kinda see her as brutally blunt and honest, and I like that. I also really enjoyed the interactions between her and Reid. I'm really sad to see her go at the end of season 9.

About the rest of the team -- Aaron Hotchner, Jennifer Jareau (JJ), David Rossi, Derek Morgan -- I like them all, too.

One thing that I like about the team overall, is the emphasis that even though they have separate lives outside of work, they are still a family who cares and looks out for each other.

I like many episodes from Criminal Minds, but I really want to talk about the last episode of season 9 ("Demons"). That really had me on the edge of my seat. I was really, really worried for all the characters, especially for Reid. From my sister who's watched season 10 and is currently watching season 11, I learned that a new person joins the team in season 10, meaning that somebody leaves at the end of season 9. And I was thinking, 'Please -- please, don't let Reid go!' I was also really scared that Reid would be killed off, which would be much worse. That episode... I think it placed everybody in difficult situations. Penelope having to shoot for the first time... I can only imagine how anguishing that feeling would be. Even though that episode made me so tense and worried, it was actually really well done, and I'll most likely watch it again.

Other episodes that I really like... there are really too many for me to list. One episode that I do watch a lot, though, is:

"Pleasure is My Business" (season 4, episode 16) -- The subject matter is really interesting and I really enjoy the interactions between Hotchner and Megan Kane (the suspect). Megan's last scene with Hotchner always affects me when she asks him, "Will you stay with me?" and he says, "Yes". Then she asks "Promise?", and he says, "Promise". Then Megan starts shaking as the poison kicks in to kill her, Hotchner staying by her the whole time. I find the scene very sad. Finally she meets a man who doesn't let her down... and it's too late. I always feel that even during the pain of the poison kicking in, there is some feeling of gratitude that at last -- somebody is there for her.

And that's it! Thanks for reading :)

Feel free to comment, but please make sure to note if something is a spoiler.

These last scrolly things are for people who want to comment, but don't want to be spoiled.


Sunday, 13 March 2016

BLOG -- My Awesome Thing

So... I mentioned in my previous blog that something awesome happened to me recently. Now I can share what it is. Some may not view this as awesome, but I certainly do, and I'm very excited. Well... I'm going to Japan again! Wooot!!~~~ 

I've always had plans on going to Japan this year, but I wasn't completely sure if it was happening due to certain circumstances. But a couple weeks ago, one of my co-worker friends linked me to a pretty nice deal for a roundtrip flight to Japan. Hearing that such deals are limited, I took advantage of it right away.

I couldn't really blog about it last week because I was a bit rash and bought the flight tickets before my vacation request was approved... >__>'' I put through the request right after buying the tickets and I even spoke to my boss about it... but it didn't get officially approved until this past week.

I'll be leaving for Japan around late April and returning mid May -- so it's about 18 days. I already have plans to visit two areas (meaning I booked two hotels). Now I just have to figure out exactly what to do while I'm there.

I know for sure that there will be some places / foods I experienced from my last trip that I'll want to experience again (that dango from 7-11... the melon-filled melon bread... the takoyaki... mmmmm... <3). I was hoping to visit the Ghibli Museum this time, but... the admission tickets for those months are already sold out. :(

Of the new things I want to experience, this is what I just HAVE to experience (click on the link to see -- if you aren't too far in the series, DON'T scroll down or you may see a spoiler)! I'm talking about riding the Thousand Sunny. If I can experience that, I'll be so happy ~~~~ <3 Hahaha, I'm such a nerd... :)

Another thing I will try to experience is the cherry blossom-viewing. I am going while some areas are in bloom, though I want to see the petals falling more... hopefully I will be able to see both! ;)

Now, I have to decide on a couple things:

1. Do I want / need to purchase a JR Pass?
2. Do I want / need to rent a pocket WiFi?

A JR Pass is a pass you can buy that allows transit around Japan on most lines at no additional cost. It's worth getting if you plan on travelling to many different areas in a short period of time. The last time I went to Japan, I stayed in Tokyo for the whole time so I didn't need it. For comparison's sake, my total transportation expenses for that last trip ended up being 6,212 yen. A JR Pass, according to Wikipedia, costs 38,880 yen for 7 days. It's... quite pricey, in my opinion. Edit: I was looking at the wrong price. 38,880 yen is the price for the Green car. A standard JR Pass costs 29,110 yen for 7 days, which... actually makes it worth getting for my trip.

I'm only thinking about possibly getting one is because my trip to the first hotel will cost around 10,000-something yen... and then my trip to the second hotel will cost around 10,000-something yen. So already I will be spending over 20,000 yen for two days. I'm just wondering if I will be able to travel enough in between to make the pass worth it.

As for renting a pocket WiFi... well... I won't have my phone get hit with roaming charges again! But... accessing WiFi should still be okay, and it may be good to have that access at all times in case I get lost or I need to look up something... I just have to figure out how much it would cost to rent one and if that cost is worth it. 

And that's it for this blog!

If you have any suggestions of places I should check out or foods to eat in Japan, feel free to let me know. If I can fit it into my schedule (I will totally plan some kind of itinerary), I might check it out.

For anybody curious about my last time in Japan and hasn't read it, here is the first blog entry for it:

Thanks for reading! Take care and have an awesome week :)

Sunday, 6 March 2016

BLOG -- My Upcoming Days

So... this will be a short entry. Something really awesome happened to me recently and I sooo want to talk about it, but I have to keep it secret right now. I have to make doubly sure it's happening before I share it here. In my mind, I'm just thinking, 'It better be happening!!' It's... probably not whatever you may be thinking about (although it does make me curious what you could be thinking of regarding my secret). So, I'll talk a bit about my upcoming days instead.

Well... I have some vacation days coming up, whee!!~~ The last time I had vacation was mid-November last year, and I mainly stayed at home and played video games. I know there will also be some of that this time, but I'm also hoping to get out a bit more since the weather's kinda getting warmer.

Some things I'm hoping to do:
-Go Karaoking (I'm hoping I'll be able to do this the day before my vacation starts -- fingers crossed!)

-Visit J-Town (I kinda always try to do this if I have multiple vacation days. It's a small place, but I like buying stuff from there, especially the pastries and taiyaki if they have them out)

-Go shopping (considering that only 1% of my spending was on clothes for two years in a row... umm... I really need to update my wardrobe, hahaha... hopefully there will be styles I like [I'm very picky!])

-Do another room escape (this has already been kinda planned so hopefully it will happen)

-Try some new food places / foods (maybe I can do this the same day I go out shopping... hmmm... lol)

-Go through more of my media collection (this is kinda a given, but I'll mention it again. I'm especially hoping to go through more of my manga / graphic novel / book collection)

Normally I would also include "watch a movie in theatres", but I'll be trying that before my vacation starts. 

And that's it for this blog. Thanks for reading! If you have any suggestions of what I could do during my vacation, feel free to let me know. No promises if I will do it, though.

Hopefully my thing will be happening so I can talk about it next week, hahahaha.

Take care and have a good rest of the weekend! :)