Catching Up

The last few months have been a whirlwind. Event after event has taken place, and I have just had so much going on I haven’t found the time to sit down and chronicle it all. That is the case, yes, but I also made the conscious decision to be as present as I could possibly be for it all. There were happy and fun moments, frustrating moments, stressful moments… I experienced it all through the eyes of someone who was actually there for it all and not worrying about something like writing a blog post about it just to stick to a schedule I created for myself in my head. Things have slowed down, and now I am finally back to enjoy the summer and get back to some of the little things I do really enjoy like blogging. It’s time to catch up now! And catching up takes us back to the end of April…

On April 30, an event took place in London called the London Game Crawl. It took place on International Table Top Day and it was all quite fitting. It was my first event with a new friend: Jen, a coworker at my new job whom I discovered is a) super awesome and b) a fellow nerd. Since then we have done tons of things and had lots of fun together… But back to the Game Crawl now. Several local shops participated and we played lots of games and even collected a free London Game Crawl edition of the game Love Letter for attending. It was a lot of fun.

On Friday May 6, I met several more new people as I went to see Captain America: Civil War with Jen and her husband and daughter and several of their friends. GREAT MOVIE and great company as well. The next day was Free Comic Book Day and I met up with Jen and a few others bright and early in the morning for the festivities. I pulled out the TARDIS dress and my light-up headband and didn’t feel the tiniest bit out-of-place. We managed to make it to every comic book shop that was participating in FCBD, while also avoiding the rain, and discovering a great local restaurant. I even ran into another friend from my old job who was dressed up as well! It was a great day all around.

Next up was my first game night with my new friends. We played a game we had discovered at the game crawl called Camel Up. Basically, you’re betting on a camel race and you win money based on how well you bet. It is a ton of fun with the right people, and I was definitely playing with the right people! I ended up live-tweeting the game because it was so hilarious. You can find those tweets looking back in my twitter feed to the right of this post.

Things just kept getting busier from this point on. I think June of 2016 was one of the busiest months I have ever had in my life. I wrote a midterm for my CIP class at the beginning of the month which I did very well on. I attended the Gathering on the Green in Wortley Village, I went to my first Paint Nite event with my friend Ash, I went to a couple more game nights, I went to see a live band on the beach in Port Stanley, I planned and executed a surprise birthday party for my Mom’s 50th with the help of my sister and my stepdad, I took my dad to a baseball game and then my sister and I took him out for dinner afterward for Fathers’ Day, I attended the Ingersoll Relay for Life for the first time as a member of my niece’s team, I went to my first Staff Appreciation Day with my new employer, attended the London International Food Festival and a cookout at a friend’s place, and all the while I was studying for my final for my CIP course which took place just two days ago. Oh, and I donated blood somewhere in there too. I have been a very busy girl! But it was all a ton of fun and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

The reasons for my long absence…in a nutshell. I’m nervous about my final, but I won’t find out how I did for probably a month or so. Since I have to wait so long, there is really no point in working myself up over it. I have a life to live, though hopefully not so crazy a one as I have been living up to this point this summer.

I have also been trying to focus on my second attempt at a life reboot. As you can probably imagine, I have been doing well with some things but not with others. I am attributing much of it to the stress I was putting myself through while trying to study and prepare for my exam. Turns out that after a seven-year break from writing them, I get some massive test anxiety when they come back around! That stress made a number of other things harder as well.I am hoping though, that now I know what to expect, the next one won’t be so bad.

I’ve been crocheting a bit, but I haven’t made much progress on my blanket for quite a long time. Most recently I have been working on dish cloths: a set for my mom for her birthday, and a set for my sister as a housewarming gift since she moved recently.

Work has been going well; I am transitioning a bit as the way things work was changed just this week. Tobi is doing well too! She is as snuggly and adorable as ever. We have had a great time just chilling out together over the past couple of days.

Oh! And I can’t forget the latest little bit of geek that has joined my collection! Here they are:

Here’s to the rest summer of exciting weekends and being busy, but not TOO busy.

What’s Up on the Gaming Front

I’ve been gaming on my Xbox 360 a lot more lately, and I’ve been enjoying it quite a lot. I have been splitting my time between two games for the most part. The games are: Shadow of Mordor and The Witcher 2. Neither game is particularly new; The Witcher 2 was released in 2012, and Shadow of Mordor was released in late 2014. I’ve been buying my games used due to budgetary limitations, something I love about the 360. $20.00 per game is A LOT nicer than $60.00 or more! I’ve been focusing on console gaming because my laptop is getting on in years (purchased in October of 2009), and though it still works great, it no longer meets the minimum requirements for the PC games I want to play. In that past, I’ve preferred PC gaming, and gamed solely on PC up until my laptop was unable to do the job. These days the console gaming is really growing on me. I’m really loving my Xbox 360 and am now planning to upgrade as soon as  I am able, as I am also planning to do with my PC. THEN I will have the best of both worlds!

In terms of console gaming, Action RPG games seem to be my jam. I have a lot of trouble with first-person shooters because playing them makes me nauseous… Motion sickness or something. The gameplay in The Witcher 2 and Shadow of Mordor is very pleasant in comparison. For a long time, I was afraid I would never be able to play console games! It’s a bit of relief for me that isn’t the case.

I was thinking of reviewing these games and sharing my experiences, but I think I am going to wait until I am finished playing them. I guess I mostly just wanted to share the direction my video gaming has gone lately.


I haven’t been solely playing video games, by the way. In tabletop gaming, I’ve been a lot less busy than I have in the past, but things are starting to pick up again. I’ve introduced some more friends to Cards Against Humanity. Yay! They, of course, knew of the game but had never played it before. It was a great time. I have since bought the first expansion, so the next time I play the game (with whichever friends I end up playing with) things are sure to get interesting. I’m excited that there are blank cards in the expansion so we will be able to add our own if we have some awesome ideas, which WILL happen! I think the regular game nights will be picking up as well. Last weekend I was back at Magic: The Gathering at my friend at her place, involving lots of wine. It felt great to be playing again after what felt like ages. The typical little weird things happened, including her kicking my ass for the first time! img_3086But that wasn’t the really interesting weird thing: We each use a D20 as a life counter, and we roll them to see who goes first when we start our first game of the night. Whoever rolls the highest goes first. This time, we both rolled and on the first we each rolled a 16, so we went again. THIS TIME, we both rolled a 12. It was super strange. Finally, we both rolled a third time and I rolled and 5 and she rolled a 4. Even the third roll was only one number off. It was just strange. It ended up being a great game though, so I really won’t complain about it. I can only hope things are this interesting the next time we get together to play again.

I’ve been talking to some friends and it sounds like game nights will be happening more often overall. I’m looking forward to it. I love having people to play my tabletop games with. I especially love having reasons to expand my collection of games!

 

So You Want to Win My Heart?

Today’s prompt: Five ways to win your heart.

Winning my heart can be easy or hard depending on how you approach it. The following list is all or nothing:

1. Liking similar things is helpful, or at least accepting me for the geeky person I am and respecting that these things I love will always be a part of my life.
2. Don’t try to change me. Like everyone else I have flaws and personal issues I have to deal with. Accept that those things are a part of me. Please please PLEASE don’t try to change them. They are a part of who I am. Also, do not tell me how to live my life, or who I can associate with.
3. Be understanding and supportive of my mental illness. It is a part of me that I don’t much like, and it is hard to deal with at times, especially on bad days. My anxiety and depression aren’t going anywhere, however unfortunate that clearly is.
4. Fall in love/become attached to my cat. Or at least make a concerted effort. We are a package deal.
5. My family is important to me. Do not disrespect them. Do not give me a hard time for wanting to spend time with them. They aren’t perfect. And no one is. But I love them and they are an important part of my life.

Inspiration

Today’s prompt: Write about someone who inspires you.

There is one person in particular who inspires me in several aspects of my life. Her name is Felicia Day. For those of you who don’t know, Felicia is an actress, entrepreneur, and all around very talented geek. She plays video games and streams on Twitch when she can. She also created Geek and Sundry, which you should check out if you haven’t already.

So why does she inspire me? Well, for one, she is a fellow woman who loves many of the same things I do. A lot of the things  I enjoy are not necessarily typical things a woman would like, comics and video games being among them. I guess in that regard she affirms that it is okay to like the things I like and there is no reason I shouldn’t, regardless of society and its stereotypes. Having someone like her to look up to as a role model is actually quite empowering. She’s also an author, and her book is an inspiration in itself. I learned that she struggles with anxiety which I do as well. Knowing that she has accomplished everything she has while living with anxiety helps me to realize I can accomplish the goals I set out for myself. Because of Felicia, I have more confidence in my abilities, even if my anxiety sometimes makes it not feel that way.

It was also through Felicia that I discovered Team Hooman. Team Hooman is a group of like-minded people who are quite possibly the kindest, most accepting people in the world. Being a part of Team Hooman reminds me that there are quite a few good people still out there in the world. That in itself is an inspiration.

I met Felicia back in August when she did a book signing at the Indigo store at the Eaton Centre in Toronto. I wrote a blog post about it if you’re inclined to browse my blog archives. Felicia was so nice and down-to-earth and so fun and adorable. She even tried to crack a joke with me, but we both dropped the ball with the punch line. She even personalized my book, even though I didn’t go through the proper process (mostly because I wasn’t aware there was a process…). It was a pretty amazing two minutes, and I am SO glad I have some pictures to remember the experience by.

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I don’t know if you will ever read this, but Felicia, THANK YOU for being you and doing all of the amazing things you do.

Eventful.

It was just a week this week aside from a milestone or two, but my weekend was quite pleasant and social. I think I am finally starting to get the hang of this whole being single and living alone thing! It hasn’t been easy, but I think I am finally starting to get it.

I mentioned a couple of milestones I accomplished. The first of these as that I have officially been discharged from my therapist. No more weekly appointments with my psychiatrist, because she thinks I’ve made enough progress that I can now tackle the world on my own. It’s quite a feeling, knowing that someone has the confidence in you that you don’t really have in yourself. In itself, it is quite a confidence-building experience. I’m very proud of myself, even though it was very hard to listen to her tell me all of the things she had noted that I have accomplished during our eighteen months working together. I had some tears in my eyes; I will admit. This week, the second milestone was that I finally wrote something. I WROTE SOMETHING. It was (only) a short piece of poetry, but I freaking WROTE SOMETHING. It makes me so happy. I’ve wanted to write something for so long and I have finally done it. It sure took me long enough! I’m not sure I feel comfortable enough to publish it here, but if you are interested in reading it, you are welcome to contact me be it via email, Facebook, Twitter or otherwise. There are many ways to contact me. I just can’t believe I have finally accomplished what I have wanted so badly. It made me a happy girl this week.

This weekend was a great weekend, very enjoyable. I spent Saturday afternoon with a dear friend gallivanting about the city and then just relaxing here at my place. We went for  fantastic lunch at the Covent Garden Market – fish and chips, and a pot of tea from The Tea Haus, which is a fantastic little local shop, by the way! I love it even more every time I go. We wandered about and visited a few different vendors before we visited Bijan’s, THE local art supply store. It has an amazing selection at very reasonable prices, and the owner is such a kind person who simply wants to make art supplies as accessible and as affordable as possible. After that we visited Michael’s, a craft store chain that seems to be pretty much everywhere, and then we went to Chapters to browse for books and colouring books, where I found the tiniest weird thing I found to be absolutely hilarious.

img_2267 We then we checked out Mary Maxim to see what they have for yarn selection. Jess found some skin toned yarn for a doll she plans to make, and I didn’t buy anything, because yarns stores are just dangerous. After we were done spending money we didn’t have, we headed back to my house where we just hung out and relaxed, while watching Jessica Jones on Netflix as she hasn’t seen it yet. I also did my laundry and a bit of cleaning while she was here, as she’s been in my life for so long I don’t feel the need to entertain her as a guest while she is here, which is great because otherwise nothing would have gotten done this weekend. I cooked dinner for us, and then she headed home later in the evening. img_2276I spent the rest of the evening colouring and watching Vikings while drinking a nice cuppa tea. I even had a random idea that I instantly fell in love with and decided to keep. It was the simplest thing, img_2281I just used one of my tea towels as a tablecloth of sorts on my night stand. It looks so great. It was a very good day.

 

I had plans for Sunday to go to some friends’ house for dinner. Ashley picked me up around 1:30 this afternoon, and we went and ran a bunch of errands before heading back to her house. We had a great visit and I got to spend tons of time with their baby girl, who is completely adorable, especially when she’s happy! img_2296And she was so happy today. We had a great meal, and some wine, and watched some Avengers while the kids played. I even got a few rows of my new scarf done, which is going to be gorgeous when it’s finally done. I left there with a full stomach, leftovers, and a few awesome little geeky items to add to my collection. A great way to wrap up a weekend!

After this week past, I am hopeful that the week to come will bring good things. I have no real plans yet, but I am optimistic that this week and the rest of this month, even this year will bring many great things for me. My, how my attitude has changed!

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Lastly, I leave you with a photo of the scarf I am currently working on. I am SO in love with the yarn AND the pattern. I can’t wait to finish it!

Nerd Block!

This past weekend I subscribed to Nerd Block. I signed up for a 3-month subscription to try it out, as I have been seeing it all over the interwebs. Nerd Block is a monthly subscription box containing collectibles with various themes ranging from the classic Nerd Block: “comic con in a box”, to a gaming-themed box, and even one for kids. I subscribed to the Nerd Block Classic.

With your first subscription you automatically receive a free “Welcome Block.” I received mine on Tuesday. It was super exciting to find it sitting outside my door when I returned from grocery shopping that afternoon. I was very impressed with what I received in it, considering it was free. I received: a Groot magnet, a 10th Doctor vinyl figure, a joystick keychain, a nifty little clicky toy (which I wore as a bracelet and played with all day on Wednesday…), and another little packaged toy.  

 It has me even more excited for my first actual Nerd Block which ships later this month. I can’t wait! 

LIFE = MADE

Yesterday was an amazing day. It happened so fast that it feels like it didn’t really happen. I have photos to prove that it happened, but it doesn’t feel like it was real. I spent the day in Toronto with a good friend who was kind of enough to be my ride there.

Yes. It happened. I MET FELICIA DAY. She had a book signing at the Indigo store in at the Toronto Eaton Centre for her new book: You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost).

I met my hero. And it was amazing. It will be hard to top this day.

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Signing my book. She still personalized it, even though I didn’t have the sticky with my name on it I was supposed to have!
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Making a joke that kind of fell flat… Neither of us could think of the word she was trying to come up with!
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A hug and a pose with my newly signed book!

I spent most of the day fangirling and freaking out about the whole thing. We arrived in Toronto around noon, and I got myself into one of the earlier groups which was awesome. She talked to me, I talked to her, I hugged her… She was so nice and so down to earth… She’s so great. It was over way too fast. I still can’t believe it really happened!

IMG_0380LIFE=MADE!!!!!!

 

Free Comic Book Day 2015

Saturday was Free Comic Book Day. Jay and I got up bright and early to join in the festivities. Below is a collection of photos from the day. Forgive the poor quality as they were taken with our phones.

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In line bright and early!
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Waiting with my Tim Horton’s coffee in hand.
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Entry into the shop is in sight; the beginning of the sales!
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This is what we have after only two shops!
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The Dalek returns!
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Storm trooper.
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Second stop: LA Mood
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In the line at stop 5: The Comic Book Collector
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London’s very own Batmobile. Along with my usual mode of transportation, and our mode of choice for the day.
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Finally inside The Comic Book Collector!
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Last stop: Neo Tokyo
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Very talented local artist.
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The day’s haul! I’d call it a success!
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Our haul even included some temporary tattoos!

We made excellent time and we were home by 2pm, even after waiting in all of the lines. It was truly a great day and I can’t wait for its return next year!

A Birthday Fangirl Moment

I’ve been 29 for almost a month now, and my birthday this year just keeps on giving. Around two years ago I wrote a blog post about some very specific things on my Doctor Who wish list. You can read it here. A few weeks after my birthday something showed up on my desk:

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TARDIS!

We found a single TARDIS teapot in our wanderings around the local downtown shops. Little did we know that it would be the only one we would encounter; possibly ever again. We originally saw the teapots on ThinkGeek, and recently we discovered that they were no longer available. Jay remembered that we saw one at a downtown shop called Über Cool Stuff. He went out and got it for me so I didn’t lose a chance of actually getting one. I’m super happy that I finally have a TARDIS teapot! I love it. I really love it. It looks as though it has always belonged on my bookshelf. I love that it goes with my coffee mug! My bookshelf is now complete. 🙂

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