Thoughts on Bayonetta

I only just picked up Bayonetta 2 for the Switch today so I haven’t had a chance to play any of it yet… but here is Carney’s review for you to check out!

CarneyVorous

After a very intense Splatfest that resulted in a heartbreaking loss for Team Money💸👼🏻, I was ready to dive into something new. On Friday, Nintendo released Bayonetta 2 for Switch. The physical copy comes with a code for the first Bayonetta game so I figured this was a good time to give the series a go. Ryan sweetly picked me up a copy and my long weekend disappeared into Vigrid.

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First of all, this is not the kind of game I’m used to seeing on a Nintendo console. I wrote emails to Nintendo for MONTHS begging them to bring The Binding of Issac to 3DS. I always got the response that due to the religious themes and overtones of the game, they weren’t allowing it. That game is now out on both 3DS and Switch. In Bayonetta, you are literally a bad-as-fuck dark witch whose main goal is…

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Book Report: Fire and Fury

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Custom Book Cover by gluxbox

Book Title: Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House

Author: Michael Wolff

About the Author: This American author is also a journalist and contributor to USA Today, The Hollywood Report and GQ (UK). He has written several books with political themes. It is said that he wrote this book while on a couch in the White House, providing a supposed “fly on the wall” perspective of the daily activities.

Main Characters: There are too many people (I suppose they truly are characters) in this book to list them all. Some of the ones I can remember of note include:

Donald Trump – obvi. He is presented in a very non-presidential, yet very Trumpish way. The quotes are likely to be real but there is no way to know for sure with a lot of them. Tweets referenced are of course direct quotes and I sadly remember when each of them were posted.

Steve Bannon – He seemed more like the central character of the book. Most of the quotes were by him, and there were two chapters dedicated to his shenanigans. Again, no way of knowing if any of his quotes are legitimate. Fly on the wall indeed. I think it’s more likely that Wolff was an invited guest into Bannon’s office. It was probably like Mean Girls when they got together after work and laughed at all the stupid things Trump said earlier in the day.

Jarvanka – The combo name for Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. They were the apparent opposition to the Bannon side of things in the White House. These two factions of advisors in the White House (Jarvanka vs Bannon) giving conflicting advice and were at odds the entire time. Guess we all know who won out in the end. Big surprise. Does that mean they are the good guys? No. Pretty sure there was no protagonist of this book.

Everyone else – There’s just so many names. Hope Hicks. Kellyann Conway. Nikki Haley. Sean Spicer. Reince Priebus. Dina Powell. The other Trump kids. The list goes on with the revolving cast of characters as people lose their jobs, get new jobs, switch jobs, who knows.

Plot Summary: Fire and Fury seemed to be a chronological recount of the first year in the White House under Trump’s presidency. A lot of the book was focused on Bannon’s opinion and approach to advising the POTUS. The rest of the book was about the well documented issues surrounding the unexpected Executive Disorders and meetings with world leaders that were covered in the news, as well as the ongoing animosity between Trump’s family/staff, people like Bannon, and regular career politicians in Washington. The Russian investigation was mentioned many times but no new information or insight was really there.

Lessons Learned: There is very likely a lot of chaos in that White House. I don’t doubt at all that the people working there have very little grasp of what they are doing, as the book explains the background of several people and they are frankly inexperienced at best… incompetent at worst. (That may not even be the worst.) Also, one way to get into the White House staff is to be a pretty woman and make friends with Ivanka. That seems to be the fast track.

Personal Opinions: It’s probably clear how I feel about the people in this book. But I did read it without taking it seriously. I didn’t believe half of what I read. The author uses overly complicated SAT words so he seems intelligent. But it’s just a waste of time. I ended up skimming a lot of it – it reads very slowly and has lots of run on sentences. The fact that we already know that Bannon is out of the White House and abandoned by his news channel made a lot of content in the book pointless.

I bought the book due to the hype. There wasn’t much bombshell insight and I don’t think it was really worth the money. It was a rough read and I am ready to read something more uplifting next!!

Craft Jam Hand Lettering Workshop

When’s the last time you did some crafting? For me, it had been a while. Since I started up with my planner and bullet journaling earlier this year, my need to create has increased. Carney and I decided to take a Hand Lettering workshop at Craft Jam earlier this week and it was really awesome!

Our teacher first reviewed some basic information about typography, and then explained how to draw out some of the more simple – yet extremely popular – hand lettering techniques, such as faux-calligraphy and drop shadows. The workshop provided all of the tools that we would need to complete our project, which was a greeting card. Technically the theme was supposed to be about self love, but as usual… I did my own thing. Check out my photos from the event!

First we practiced some techniques using pencil and paper, then transferred a design to tracing paper to work on shading and drop shadows.

Once the concept is finalized, we used light boards to trace the design onto cardstock, and then used markers to color in the finished product!

We had a blast at the event. Craft Jam is BYOB friendly as well, so we split a six pack and got our art groove on. I highly recommend the workshop. I highly recommend doing art projects for yourself, just for fun. It’s a very freeing experience. I plan to continue finding ways to create art, even if it’s silly or doesn’t look perfect. For me, it’s more about the experience and less about the outcome.

But hey if you totally love my artwork and would like to commission me to create a custom greeting card for you, hit me up! lol

AC Pocket Camp Updates

Mayor Gluxie doesn’t want her fans to forget about her! She has been hard at work maintaining and updating her AC: Pocket Camp campsite, and there are plenty of updates to discuss! She was very proud to announce that after months of searching, she finally caught the elusive Tuna!

Mayor Gluxie caught a tuna!

But that was something that was more of a personal achievement. There have been tons of updates in the Animal Crossing Pocket Camp mobile game in the past few weeks and things are not showing any signs of stopping! If this is a sneak peek at the potential we could have in daily activities in future AC games, I think the future looks very bright.

Gardening has become a much more interesting activity, for starters. Not only have new hybrid flowers been sprouting up, but the game creators have started rolling out in-game gardening collection events! Using limited-time-only seasonal seeds, you can grow new flowers that can attract rare creatures. So far we have seen special butterflies and even bejeweled bats in the most recent Gothic Rose event! As you collect these rare creatures, you are able to share them with your friends, or trade them in for brand new furniture series items and clothing! It’s a really fun way to encourage visiting your friends, and to introduce new series themes to the franchise. I am very excited to see what new furniture the game will come out with next!

 

More updates have been rolling out, seemingly on a weekly basis!

When there isn’t a gardening event, the game is adding new animal characters to the game, or introducing a new furniture series via rare material collection events. Currently there is an Crystal Collection event going on, and players collect rare crystal shards by completing requests for animals around the campsites, which will unlock new Crystal furniture series items.

Another fun feature that has been added to Pocket Camp is the ability to change the outfits of your favorite animal friends! Once you reach a certain friendship level with an animal, you have the option to change their look. You can give them a new shirt, a hat or even glasses! Not all clothing items are compatible with all animals of course, but it’s really funny to change their looks!

If you haven’t played Animal Crossing Pocket Camp in a while, it’s definitely worth an update and a second chance! Get to collecting!!

PS – I have a long weekend and a LOT of things to blog about. Sorry in advance for filling up your inbox in the coming days lol!

Hermione at Wizard U

Last weekend I had tickets for an event called Wizard U. It was advertised as a Harry Potter wizarding experience for adults aged 21+ and would include fun activities, classes, potions, etc! Cosplay encouraged! Sounds awesome, right?

Years ago I had put together a ‘sexy Hermione’ costume for Halloween and I’ve been very excited to wear it out again! I made some photoshop comps of the costume when I took pics before I left… check em out!

All of my friends said they loved the costume! Which is great. I wish I could say I loved the Wizard U event, but that’s another story.

They said the doors would open at 1pm and that the Orientation would begin at 2pm. We got to Irving Plaza (the venue) around 1pm and there was a HUGE LINE to get in. Once we finally got inside, it was a bit chaotic, and there weren’t many signs to figure out what the different ‘stations’ were that had been set up around the venue. There was no decor either! The main events were set up on the stage, where the House Heads and the Professors would improvise skits or magical lessons with volunteers picked from the crowd. Unfortunately when random people were picked to go on stage, they were doing improv games… and when random awkward untrained people are subject to improv… it’s usually boring and not funny. For example, a Professor put students under the Cruciatus Curse and it was essentially a bunch of adults playing Simon Says on stage.

There was also wand-making in the upstairs area, but the line was so long that I didn’t even bother. I should also mention that there was almost nobody else in full cosplay, except for a Dumbledoor that I saw, and maybe one or two others. 😨

I wanted to have some Butterbeer. That was a priority for me. It was a cocktail made up of butterscotch vodka (or vanilla vodka? Both? I forget exactly what it said lol), cream soda and topped with whipped cream. As someone who has an extreme sweet tooth, I really liked it. But it was $11 for a small cup. I did not get seconds.

There was one area of Wizard U that I did enjoy, and the line wasn’t too crazy long. Probably because the signage was tiny and it’s likely that few people knew it was even happening because it was tucked away down a hall. It was Divination. There was a Professor who would tell your fortune!

The Professor did a hand reading. She said that my love line had a lot of activity, but specifically at the END of the line… so I should keep up with yoga classes because I was going to be very popular in the nursing home! LOL I loved it! It’s also probably true… 😅

Anyway, the event was supposed to last until at least 6… but I left after about two hours. It was an event that COULD have been cool but just wasn’t executed well. I wish I had the resources to try and host an event of this scale. It’s probably really hard. There’s really only one logical next step here. I must go to the Harry Potter World at Universal Studios someday!!

Crate Crazed!

Now for a rare blog post that isn’t about video games. This is more on the general  gamer girl theme… I’m here to talk about CRATES. Basically everyone has heard of some kind of monthly crate subscriptions that you can purchase to get a surprise of goodies curated to meet a certain theme or topic sent to you. I think it’s time to start talking about the good, the bad and the ugly of these subscription crates… because let’s face it, they are not all created equal. Plus, I’d love to hear your suggestions for your favorite crates too!

My first subscription crate was Japan Crate. I was a Premium Box subscriber, which was the biggest box they had on offer, and was always packed with stuff! It is definitely a good quality subscription crate, you got plenty of stuff for your money. For a while I was pretty happy with Japan Crate, since I’m a total weeb and I had always heard about crazy Kit Kat flavors in Japan, and things like that. However, after many months of being a member, I realized that half of my snacks were going uneaten. I’m a picky eater and I am not really into eating mysterious corn puffs covered with powdered artificial shrimp dust. One time I did get a dark chocolate Kit Kat, and occasionally there would be a Pokemon themed candy, but overall I wasn’t loving the snacks. Then finally, the last straw came. The company was based in San Francisco, and then they moved to Japan. I’m sure for them it was an important business move that helped them in the long run. In the short term, it meant that my shipments were late. I wasn’t thrilled and I ended up canceling the subscription. But I still go on their website from time to time, because you can order some of the popular snacks directly from them. If you’re a more adventurous eater than I am, this may be a good crate for you!

The second crate I ever tried was the Gamer Girl Monthly crate. I just looked up the website for the first time since I ended the subscription (over a year ago) and it seems they have restructured their subscriptions and now you can personalize what items you want to get. So I can’t really comment on how GGM works now. But I can say that it is more expensive that it used to be – I believe I was paying $13 a month when I was a member. However, the downside was definitely that I was getting items that were not from fandoms that I was into. I would also get a lot of earrings and… I don’t have pierced ears. So eventually I decided to cut the cord. I will say that I did get some SUPER cute items, like the Kirby plush coin purse, Zelda necklaces, and some cosplay quality accessories. If you like girly gamer stuff and can afford the new price point, it might be worth a shot for you!

For a little while, I was on a subscription crate hiatus. I’ve joined other monthly services, like JustFab and Adore Me. However, I’m about ready to stop those services because I often forget to tell them not to charge me, and then I end up with credits that I’m obligated to spend… it’s just a hassle. I hate having to send stuff back when it doesn’t fit. Just ugh. I need to shop in stores more lol. If anything, maybe some day I’ll get Stitch Fix instead.

Anyway, when the calendar turned to 2018, my amazing friend Carney (check out her blog!) and I decided to go hard with planners, bullet journals, self love books, and overall life organization and wellness. We each purchased the planner that we thought was best for us, and went to work organizing our lives. It’s actually a lot of fun and helps me stay on task and work toward my goals. However, as we have been sharing photos of these beautifully designed bullet journals (#bujo on Insta, check it out!!) with expertly drawn hand lettering… I felt a little inadequate. I can’t draw, and that’s ok. I got colored gel pens and started writing in bubble letters. Not QUITE as cute as I wanted it to be though. So what did I do? I went to Cratejoy.

I wanted to find a sticker subscription to help take my planner to the next level. And oh boy do they have sticker subscriptions! There are tons of sticker and stationery crates to choose from. I opted to try out the Stickii Club crate and after only one month, I am so happy that I did! I love it so much that I am considering adding an additional theme to my current subscription, since they are only $10 a month. You can choose from Cute, Retro or Pop stickers. I went with Cute… and it was f’ing CUTE!! They sent me several sheets of stickers with a cute bunny theme, featuring stickers representing different emotions and foods and lots of other fun stuff. They also sent a “Stickii Storage” which is a translucent folder sized for an A5 6-ring Filofax style binder, and it neatly organized all of the cute stickers for the month. So what did I do? I went on Amazon, ordered an A5 6-ring binder, an extra folder to hold more stickers… and I ordered some cat stickers while I was at it. I’m clearly out of control with stickers already, and I’m reliving the joys of my 10 year old self by creating this new sticker book to use with my planner. Whew. Stickers never go out of style!! I totally recommend this club to anyone who ever loved sticker collecting. Your love will be renewed!!

Now that my planner is helping me organize my life, and my sticker collection motivating me to continue to use said planner, things are definitely moving in the right direction! But Carney and I also enjoy reading and thought it would be fun to start a book club for ourselves. (Wanna join? Comment or PM me!) We both had picked up the crazy political exposé “Fire and Fury”, so we figured we’d start with that. (Brace yourselves, I’m going to post a book report about it here on the blog when I’m done!) But what about next month? We figured we’d try out a book crate subscription.

The Inspired Book Club crate is a monthly subscription featuring a book and some items that are on theme with the book. After some drama of waiting much longer than expected to receive tracking info, I finally received my first crate yesterday. Now, I haven’t read the book yet – saving it for next month’s book club book – but it’s not as long as I expected. But it does say New York Times best seller. I don’t want to post the contents b/c Carney didn’t get her box yet (compounding on the shipping drama!!), but the items that came along seem very nice, good quality… but I have no idea what they have to do with the book. They seem like completely unrelated self-pampering products. Which I’m fine with, but it wasn’t exactly what I expected.

So that’s really the bottom line – these crates often do not deliver what you expect. Sometimes you are surprised and delighted, sometimes you are disappointed or feel like you wasted money. It’s important to read the reviews (Inspired Book Club also does not have good reviews) and remember that some of these crates are shipped out by an individual to hundreds or thousands of subscribers. Other times, the crates are shipped from overseas and have kinks to be worked out, like what happened with Japan Crate. But that is what makes these subscription crates fun – you never know what you might get!

Do you subscribe to any monthly crates? Have you had a great experience, or maybe a terrible one? Please share it in the comments, I’m very curious!!