Wednesday, 30 November 2016

BLOG -- Recap of November

November was a busy time for me. It's quite rare, but I had outings every weekend. Haha, not much time to rest. It's not bad though. I enjoyed all my outings, except for maybe my dentist appointments, hahh... the people are good, but *sniffle* so painful, lol.

I can't believe it -- one more month to finish up my New Year's Resolutions. The pressure's on!! >_<'''

Outings/Events in November:
- Helped my sister at a Japanese bazaar.

- Celebrated a friend's birthday x2 (two different friends, lol).

- Visited a friend's place and watched Swiss Army Man and played video games xD 

- Dentist appointment x2 (so painful, lol).

- Visited Ottawa for one weekend.

- Had a really nice dream ^_^ (nothing lewd!)

- Attended Marianas Trench concert in Ottawa

- Got new desks at work. I feel so exposed now >_<!

- Went karaoking by myself.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn achievements / news: 
-My subscription expired halfway through the month.
-I'm one pony away from getting the Kirin mount!

- (Food place): Banh Mi Boys -- Nicely priced and decent food. The kimchi fries were too spicy for me, though :(

- (Food place): Real Thailand -- It was okay, but I don't think I'd go back.

- (TV show): Kim's Convenience -- I've only watched the first three episodes so far and it's not bad. There's a part of it that feels very real and uneasy, which is interesting. I don't think many shows do that.

- (Movie): Doctor Strange -- Not bad... but he's no Iron Man, lolol. I like some of the ideas explored and the humour.

- (Anime): Black Butler II -- It was pretty good up until the end. Just like with the first season, the end just left a bad taste for me.

- (Anime): Black Butler II OVA -- I liked the last episode and some of the second-last episode. Everything else was just... ewww, lol.

- (Anime): Trigun -- I think the manga is way better. Way more serious and thought-provoking. The opening theme is very catchy, though. 

- (Anime): Ghost Hound -- Very slow-paced and creepy, but lost some umph in the second half. *sigh* It had so much potential. 

- (Anime): Phantom the Animation OVA -- It's okay. Pretty good music, though.

- (Anime): Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo -- This is worth at least one watching. It is very good, but also dark. I tip my hat to... *insert spoiler* T_T

- (3DS): Style Savvy: Fashion Forward -- I'm still playing it, but I saw the credits so I'm counting it as game finished.

- Nothing 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
- (PS4): iDOLM@STER: Platinum Stars 
- (PS4): Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X 
- (PS3): Borderlands 2
- (3DS): Story of Seasons
- (3DS): Fantasy Life
- (3DS): Shantae
- (GBA): The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition   
- (PSP): Persona
- (PSP): Patapon 
- (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 6)
- (TV Show): Orphan Black (Season 3)
- (TV Show): Criminal Minds (Season 10)
- (TV Show): Six Feet Under (Season 1 - Episode 3)
- (Anime): Yu Yu Hakusho (don't remember)
- (Anime): Log Horizon (episode 3)
- (Anime): K-On! Season 2 (episode 3)
- (Anime): Get Backers (episode 3)

- (Manga): Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori (Volume 9)

That's it for November. Here are some pics I took this month plus a YouTube video.

 This was a funny day. For some reason, my friends and I spotted 
so many people walking around with cameras. I took this shot, 'cuz a 
few people took pictures in that direction. I really wonder what they saw, lol

Kimchi fries. It was good but too spicy :(

Donut from Krispy Kreme. This was okay until I got to the middle. There was 
too much chocolate filling and it made it too sweet, blahhh, lol.

A live clip of Marianas Trench performing "Sing Sing", 
one of my favourite songs so far. There is a drum solo at the beginning.
Really funny tidbits are at 2:48 and 5:02.
Also: Josh's (main vocalist) outfit here is hottttt, hahaha <3

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

Have a good rest of the week! :)

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

BLOG -- Marianas Trench and The Last Crusades Concert @ TD Place Arena (November 18, 2016)

Well... this last Friday, I did something that I normally don't do: I got on a 5-hour bus ride to Ottawa -- just to attend a concert! I know, I know. To some this is nothing crazy, but for me, who is such a noob to travelling, who often feels anxious towards travelling to new places, and especially by myself... well, it's kinda major.

Most times I just wait for the concert to come to Toronto, and Marianas Trench did come way back in March. But I wasn't so exposed to their music at the time and dismissed it. The amusing thing (at least to me) was that I consciously decided not to look into the band, while wondering in the back of my head if I would later regret it. *sigh* I really need to stop second-guessing myself!

Do I regret it? Yes and no. Yes, because I missed their March concert. No, because due to missing that concert in March, I ended up having my own little adventure -- just to see them.

This popped up at the end of concert. I'm just posting it here so when 
I share this entry on Facebook, this pic will be used instead of the next one, lol...

Me and Marianas Trench
**This section is a little bit long and probably not that interesting for you so feel free to skip it to the actual concert if you want.**

My first exposure to Marianas Trench was months ago when I decided to listen to the radio during work (back in early March, before their Toronto concert. I don't listen to the radio at work anymore). Two of their songs were often played on the radio: "This Means War" and "One Love". While the former didn't do anything for me back then, the latter left a lasting impression and a flicker of interest to delve deeper into the band's discography... which I didn't do. Not delving deeper caused me to not attend their Toronto concert. *siiigh*

Then fast-forward to months later where I found myself in a really sad state. When I am in such a state and can still think kinda properly, I try my best to be careful of my actions. I don't want to end up associating something I enjoy to a sad time. That meant I couldn't play video games. Or watch movies or anime. In the end I went with singing / listening to music (which makes a lot of sense. It's one of my main emotional outlets), but it can't be music I already know. It has to be new so if I don't like the music I won't have to listen to it again, and then nothing I enjoy listening to normally will remind me of that sad time. Marianas Trench suddenly came to mind. They can take that fall, I thought. I'll give them my sadness, and I won't have to listen to them again. Little did I know...

I went onto YouTube and watched their lyric video to "Who Do You Love?". After crying through the song a few times, I proceeded to buy their latest album (Astoria) on iTunes and what I got was a surprise: a mix of upbeat 80s-like poppy tunes and heartfelt ballads. Where there was a song to draw out my sadness, there was another to lift my spirits and get me in a dancing mood.

When I got to "Dearly Departed", it affected me strongly. For a week or so, I cried like crazy every time I listened it. And then when I found out that the song made reference to Josh's (main vocalist) own experience and his own called off engagement, I cried more. Then and there I thought, I want to listen to this song performed live... so I checked Marianas Trench's site for tour dates... cursed that I missed the Toronto concert... and bought tickets for the Ottawa concert.

And that's my story with Marianas Trench. First they were a one-hit song band with "One Love". Then an intended "scapegoat" for my sadness. Now they are more -- a small light that can lift me; a healing darkness for my sorrow (twisted as this may be, it makes me feel a little bit less alone when I listen to their sad songs and can sympathize/empathize with them); energy that makes me want to move; and more.

Aside from "One Love", "Who Do You Love?", and "Dearly Departed", my favourite song on the Astoria album is "Shut Up and Kiss Me". I love the upbeat-ness and the lyrics. I also really like "Yesterday", "When We Were Young", and "Forget Me Not." My heart totally goes out to Josh for "Forget Me Not".

P.S. If you actually read this long, long section... thank you and you're awesome!! :)

The Little Details
Date of Concert: November 18, 2016
Venue: TD Place Arena (Ottawa, Ontario)
Time: 7:00 PM (Doors open 6:00 PM)
Ticket Price Total: $82.85
Seating: Section 21, Row C, Seat 14

Before 6:00 PM -- Concert Jitters
Well... I am in Ottawa for the first time and by myself. Of course a travelling noob like me would be getting jitters, especially since TD Place seems far from my hotel. More than worrying about getting to the venue, I was worried about getting back to the hotel. I did not want to think about possibly missing the last bus and then having to walk back to the hotel late at night.

One neat thing about buying event tickets for TD Place is that the ticket will allow you to use Ottawa's bus system (OC Transpo) for free three hours before and after the event. You just show your ticket to the bus driver when you get on. I'm not really sure if this allows free transit for all buses, but definitely for bus 1 and bus 7, which would take you to TD Place.

I got on the bus at Bank St. and Slater St. and the whole ride took me about 10 minutes.

6:00 PM-ish -- @ TD Place Arena
Once inside the TD Place, I headed straight to the merchandise shop, where a small crowd was already forming. The shop was selling various T-shirts and shirts, a necklace, wristbands, buttons, their Astoria album, and other things. The "hot" item was a drumstick signed by each Marianas Trench member. It was selling for $25 and I could have gotten one, but didn't want to think about where I'd put it during the concert. It was too long to fit in my purse, lol. The drumsticks sold out before the end of the concert. I regret not getting it just a little bit.

After buying some items, I went to my seat and waited patiently for the pre-show.

The merchandise shop! It was quite crowded.

View of the stage from my seat.
Before the pre-show, there was a DJ on stage playing a bunch of 80s tunes.

7:00-ish PM -- Pre-show 1 (Repartee)


So Repartee wasn't bad. They did some catchy numbers and the vocalist had a pretty voice. I also thought they were very fitting with the concert overall, having a kind of old school, 80s electronic feel. Unfortunately none of their songs except for maybe the last one ("Dukes") clicked with me.

7:22 PM-ish -- Intermission
Nothing happened here. I stayed in my seat and listened to the 80s music that was playing. I was smart this time and did not bring my 3DS. My shoulder would get too achy if I had it -- assuming that I'd be standing up and moving about later on.

7:40-ish PM -- Pre-show 2 (Shawn Hook)

Shawn Hook

I guess Shawn Hook is well known-ish? A huge chunk of the audience cheered for him when he appeared. And I must admit: his opening number was very well done, though I don't know what it was called. Just like with Repartee, I thought he was a good fit for the concert, his music also having an 80s feel to it.

8:20 PM -- Intermission
Same thing as the earlier intermission. I just stayed in my seat and daydreamed while listening to the 80s music. When the lights started dimming, the audience started cheering wildly and began getting off their seats, myself included.

8:45-ish PM -- Marianas Trench

Marianas Trench! <3 <3 <3

They opened the concert with "Astoria", which did a really great job of building excitement. I personally enjoyed seeing the neon palm trees getting outlined. Here, take a look at this short clip below. You might need to click the "Play" button a few times.

Short clip of Astoria and some of the palm trees getting outlined.
My phone is crap for taking videos... or I just haven't 
figured out how to use it properly, lol.

I wish I could give a full setlist, but I went into this concert only being familiar with songs from their latest album. And they played a mix of old and new tunes. Whatever they played, though, the audience responded with wild cheers and strong enthusiasm!

After about three to four tunes, Josh (main vocalist) said something along the lines of, "This next song will be a bit cheeky..." Then the music to "Shut Up and Kiss Me" began. As Josh started to sing, he walked to the far left of the stage (the same edge where I was sitting)... and stepped down into the crowd!!!!!!! Then he continued walking through the crowd while singing, getting closer to my seat -- k-kyaaaa!!~~~ Of course he continued walking past, but I was standing so close to him for that brief moment... Hahaha... xD *doki doki doki!*... ^_______________________________^ <3

I found it very amusing that the audience was doing their best to sing along, but then fangirly screams would suddenly explode from whichever area Josh was wading through. For once, I was thankful to be sitting close to the edge seats instead of being in the center.

A clip of "Shut Up and Kiss Me". You can see how close Josh was to my seat. 
I could have tried reaching out to him, but... I don't know. I'd feel weird about that, lol.

After "Shut Up and Kiss Me", Josh ended up in front of a piano that was located in the middle of the lower audience area. How come I did not notice this before?! Lol. He then began to play a slow, sorrowful melody. When he started singing "One Love" over the sad melody, the audience slowly joined in, myself included. I could feel Josh's pain, and I wanted to give my "support" through my singing. Kinda like, 'Please don't be so sad. Here is my voice. Please take some comfort in knowing that you're not singing alone.' Lol... well, you know I'm weird. Though... I'm sure I'm not the only one who sung along, feeling that way.

One thing I really enjoyed about the concert was Josh making small conversations and intros to songs every now and then. One thing he talked about briefly were concert goers who don't know how to dance well. He then demonstrated a couple dance moves he saw, one involving swinging finger-guns while shaking the pelvis. He then followed it up with saying, "Don't stop -- I love your energy." :)

Another thing I really enjoyed was the audience overall. They were really passionate, singing along to everything. Every now and then Josh would stop singing and you could hear the audience supplying the lyrics and hitting the notes well.

One paranoid thing is that I could swear Josh was giving me the "evil eye" whenever I crappily recorded clips of his performance on my phone. I'm sure he wasn't looking at me specifically, but he did look at my general area with a slightly disapproving look. Lol -- it's probably just me feeling a little bad about recording and not moving as much like I wanted to. I did lose myself a couple times, though! Waving my arms around, singing along to whatever songs I knew, and "dancing".

Josh singing "Celebrity Status". I like the backdrop design, lol.

Josh while singing "Pop 101". Do you see his Triforce tattoo? xD

Another pic. This is currently my phone's lock screen, lol. xD

Josh while doing "Who Do You Love?". I like that they 
played their music video during this number.

10:00-ish PM -- Encore
The encore was great! Three songs were played. I didn't recognize the first two, but the last -- whoa! It was like a wave, splashing my body with sheer awe. I really was just standing there, my core deeply shaken. It was haunting, exciting, and moving all at the same time. A very great sendoff. The show ended around 10:22 PM.

The first encore song. A clip of Josh and the audience singing "Good to You".

The second encore song. A clip of "Haven't Had Enough". Next time 
I'll be singing along, too!

A clip of their last encore number, "End of an Era". The video starts right side up 
and then gets turned sideways. I tried fixing it in Windows Movie Maker, 
but no dice. I'm sorry. :( There's something really haunting 
but moving about this. And of course I stop recording 
right in the middle before the buildup, mwa hahaha. ;)

Overall Experience
Well -- I will say: it was totally worth travelling to Ottawa to see Marianas Trench. They were sooooooooo awesome! I have even more respect (or is it major concern?) for Josh after finding out that he did the concert while still recovering from a throat infection. *bows head deeply* Thank you so much! I hope you make a full recovery!

In the end they didn't perform "Dearly Departed", the song that drove me to attend their concert, but it is okay. I believe they performed many of the songs "Dearly Departed" referenced, which was something I also really wanted to hear.

As of this writing I have bought the rest of Marianas Trench's discography off iTunes. Next time I want to be singing along to every song and getting super excited! :)

Congratulations! You've made a Marianas Trencher out of me, lol. <3

The trip back to the hotel was okay. I caught a bus and got back to my room around 10:46 PM.

Items I bought from the merchandise shop.
Tour T-shirt: $35
String bag: $20
Button set: $5
Guitar pick necklace: $10
Total spent: $70
I normally don't buy tour T-shirts or any T-shirts with logos or anything, 
but I made an exception today. That T-shirt became part of my pajama wear 
during my stay in Ottawa -- I enjoyed the concert that much. <3

If you've made it this far, thank you so much for reading! :)
My next blog will be covering my brief stay in Ottawa. It should be up either this coming Sunday or the next one -- depending on how much rest I still need, lol.

Anywho, thank you again and have a great week! :)

Sunday, 13 November 2016

BLOG (PERSONAL) -- A Few Random Things About Me

I originally was planning to blog about something heavier, since Remembrance Day was a couple days ago. But... *sigh* so many thoughts have been swirling in my head that I wanted to touch on something lighter. So... here are some random things about me. 

If you know me well, you may already know some of these things, though I imagine most wouldn't since I don't really talk much about any of these. I think these things are generally weird or unpopular views so I don't share them unless the topic comes up or I feel like sharing something random.

I do not like Scott in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Now, I have to say: I enjoy everything else in the movie -- the side characters, music, cinematography, effects, directing, everything. The comic series is also quite decent. But... I just can't get behind Scott. He just doesn't really make his own decisions... And because of that, I don't know if I would ever own a copy of the movie, despite enjoying everything else in it. 

I don't perceive Romeo & Juliet as a tragic love story. Yeah... I just don't see it this way. Sometimes I think this would be surprising to others since I am very much a hopeless romantic and Romeo & Juliet is supposedly the most tragic love story of all time... but nope. It's not that to me at all. I mean -- they could have been happy! They were so close! If I was a voice inside Romeo's mind I would have said to him, 'Mourn longer! Mourn by her side for a day!'. Then Juliet would have eventually woken up and Romeo would still alive, lol... =___= 

Every now and then I need to be "wireless". By "wireless" I mean being offline -- from social media, PSN, etc. I don't have Facebook Messenger installed on my phone for that reason -- I would feel too "wired" if I had it. I do appreciate being connected to / being able to connect with those I care about, but I still need that time -- to just be alone. This could probably end up being another blog if I really went into it, so I'll stop here.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment on anything.

Here's a random music track I've been listening to for the past couple of weeks.

Odin Sphere's Theme (Sanachie version) from Odin Sphere.
I love this track so much. I just wanna lie on my bed and 
let the notes seep into my soul, lol.

Have a good rest of the weekend. If things are well, I may blog next week *fingers crossed!*. Till the next time! :)