Games · Life

Animal Crossing: Where is the Hatch?!

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Accolades Trailer - Nintendo Switch ...

A couple of weeks ago I bit the bullet and purchased Animal Crossing for my Switch so I could see what the big fuss has been about. (Because why wouldn’t I want to watch another human, albeit a pretend one, mull about doing nothing all day and having little social interaction?) Now that I’m a seasoned islander allow me to share some of my thoughts on the game.

  • My initial response to the game was “Aw, this is cute. It’s like the Sims, but you have to actually work for stuff and it’s on an island…I bet this will get boring after a few days.”
  • After a few days I was pretty excited to see my character’s progress on catching fish and bugs to donate to the alleged museum that was said to be opening. If this had been real life I would have had diabetes already from all the peaches I had to eat. Why didn’t the Nooklings stock food on the island for residents to purchase? My poor character just wants some damned peanut butter.
  • Tom Nook is a shady dude. He’s either one of two things: a) A cult leader and I am probably helping him to create a compound for his future followers, or b) Just a useless, money-hungry tycoon. Either way, I don’t like this guy…er, raccoon.
  • I am enjoying the daily routine that my character has gotten into and the new goals that pop up every day. It makes me feel somewhat accomplished. Within a week I already paid off my debt, got my own house, and helped start up a museum! I’m doing so much with my free time! (Even though in reality I’m just sitting on my ass at home eating Hippeas and chocolate.)
  • I’m crafty AF! Look at all the cool DIY projects I’ve completed and all the cool stuff I built out of sticks and grass. Someone give me my own YouTube channel.
  • I have yet to dig up a secret hatch in the ground, inhabited by a slightly off-kilter, socially deprived Australian man. I confess that I am very disappointed by this. (I’m pretty sure he would have peanut butter.)

Ryan Leston on Twitter: "Quarantine Tip: Put on some music! I ...

Books · Life · Television

The latest in nerdy COVID fashion

In my last couple of posts I mentioned some of the things I’ve been doing to help pass the time during quarantine. Since then I have found another new hobby: making masks. It’s practically impossible to find disposable masks anywhere unless you’re a healthcare or food service worker so I made a couple of my own for those times where I am forced to be in public. Luckily I already had lots of fun fabrics on hand for this project!

Check out my Avengers and Explodng TARDIS masks!

In addition to creating masks, I’ve been working my way through a couple of books. I just finished Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows last week. (Yes, I read it again. Stop judging me!) This week I’m reading Empire of Sand, which has been fantastic so far.

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I also finished binge-watching Marvel’s Runaways. Even though the last season wasn’t quite as good as the first two, I still really enjoyed this show. I wish it hadn’t been cancelled already. I guess I’ll have to go re-read some of the comics to hold me over.

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Did you watch Runaways yet (It’s available on Disney +)? Let me know what you thought!

 

Life · mental health

Life in the Time of COVID: A Timeline

7:30 a.m: Wakes up and makes oatmeal and tea for breakfast.

8:00 a.m: Makes a half-assed attempt to feel like a person. Puts on clean-ish clothing. Sorta does hair and makeup, in case I have any Zoom meetings.

8:30 a.m: Signs on to computer to check in with work. Notes that it’s going to be a long fucking day.

9:30 a.m: Has a cupcake for second breakfast. Is this a good or bad start to the day? Does it even matter?

10:00 a.m: Joins conference call. Pretends life is going swimmingly and that I am not ready to tear my hair out. Already thinking about what to have for lunch.

11:00 a.m: Prepares/heats up lunch. Does a mini photo shoot of lunch for Instagram. Spends 10 minutes editing photos to post on Instagram while eating.

11:30 a.m: Tries to get more work done. Cries in frustration because it’s only 11:30.

12:00 p.m: Takes a short walk outside to stretch legs. Contemplates running away but there is nowhere to fucking go.

12:30 p.m: Watches the cat stare out the window for 5 minutes. Cat eventually realizes I’m creeping on him and leaves.

12:35 p.m: Makes work phone calls. Explains for the umpteenth time how remote access works and how to download the Zoom app to multiple people.

1:15 p.m: Pounds head on wall.

1:30 p.m: Makes tea and a snack even though I’m not hungry.

3:30 p.m: Cat farts on the forms I brought home, signaling that it is time to give up on working for the day.

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4:00 p.m: Does a yoga video because it’s one of the few things keeping me sane.

5:00 p.m: Makes dinner.

6:00 p.m: Takes walk with Boyfriend around the neighborhood. Laments over the fact that there are a lot of dogs outside, but I can’t pet them because I need to stay away from their owners. Life is not fair. 😦

6:30 p.m: Tries to coax the rabbit in the yard to play with me. Rabbit runs away, so I give up and go inside to play Zelda.

8:00 p.m: Reminds Boyfriend for the 300th time that I’m bored. Eats more food.

8:30 p.m: Showers and gets ready for bed.

8:45 p.m: Reads and/or stares at phone in bed, wishing that sleep would just come already because I’m fucking bored and don’t want to be awake anymore.

*Tosses and turns all night*

 

That’s it in a nutshell. There’s been a lot of cooking/baking, video games, and frustration at our house. I imagine things aren’t terribly different for the rest of you. It’s a rough time for everyone in general, especially people who struggle with mental health issues, like depression and anxiety. I came across an article earlier that I found pretty helpful, so I’m going to link it here for anyone who might want to check it out.

What have you guys been doing to keep yourselves busy? Whatever it is, I hope you’re all safe and healthy. ❤

 

Life

Isolation Update

Yesterday I sprained my toe and today I accidentally dyed my hands purple. How’s your self-isolation going?

I’ve been thinking of something to post for days, but with all that’s going on in the world right now it’s hard to even know what to say. So I’m not going to. You’re all aware of COVID-19 already and are being affected by it without another reminder from me.

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I hope you’ve all been finding ways to stay sane and healthy during this crazy time. I’m hanging in there, although I confess that I’m getting a tad cranky about being stuck in the house so much. I’m a really weird introvert. I don’t necessarily like interacting with people and being social, but I can’t stand being cooped up either. (Hence the reason most of my out-of-the-house activities involve going to bookstores or drinking coffee somewhere. By myself.)

When I’m not working I’m trying to keep myself occupied with books, yoga, taking walks outside, and cooking up a storm. I also touched up the purple in my hair since I won’t be able to get it done for like another month. I wish I could say that I’ve been doing more writing and work on my book, but things have been at a standstill for a while now. *sigh* More on that later.

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For now, I’m just checking in. I just finished re-reading a couple of favorites to give me some comfort. Now that I’m done with those I’ll be starting on something new and will hopefully have some book reviews to share.

What are you guys reading at the moment? What other things are you doing while you’re stuck at home? 

Book Reviews · Books · Fantasy · Favorites

Book Review: Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire

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My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

When Jack left Eleanor West’s School for Wayward Children she was carrying the body of her deliciously deranged sister–whom she had recently murdered in a fit of righteous justice–back to their home on the Moors.

But death in their adopted world isn’t always as permanent as it is here, and when Jack is herself carried back into the school, it becomes clear that something has happened to her. Something terrible. Something of which only the maddest of scientists could conceive. Something only her friends are equipped to help her overcome.

Eleanor West’s “No Quests” rule is about to be broken. Again.

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I was pretty excited when I heard this book was coming out and that we would be returning to the Moors – the setting we had been first introduced to in Down Among Sticks and BonesWhile I have immensely enjoyed all of the books in the Wayward Children series, I felt like the Moors was the one world that was still shrouded in the most mystery. Getting to go back and discover a little more of it was an absolute treat.

The tables have turned and Jack is no longer trying to save her sister, Jill. The complicated and strained relationship they already share is further explored in this book in a way that will make you question who you’re supposed to be rooting for. In addition to Jack, some familiar faces from Miss West’s school make a reappearance. Christopher, Sumi, Cora, and Kade once again jump into the role of playing the fearless heroes, even though it’s not their own worlds they are trying to save.

As always, McGuire does a spectacular job at immersing the reader in a world that is both beautiful and terrible. The concept of death is fleeting. Love knows no boundaries. And there is nothing that a little bit of lightening can’t fix. By the end, you’ll wonder if everything you thought you knew about “monsters” has been wrong.

 

 

Life · travel

Wizarding World of Harry Potter weekend!

I did it. I finally got my letter to Hogwarts. And by “got my letter” I mean I paid a bunch of money for tickets to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. I’ve been a fan of the series for 20 years now and have been dying to visit the theme park ever since it opened. Let me just tell you, after years and years of waiting, it was everything I hoped it would be.

For my first day I got park-to-park passes, which allowed me to ride the Hogwarts express between the two theme parks. Walking thorough the brick wall and stumbling onto Diagon Alley was exactly like I always imagined it was in the books. It felt just like Harry’s first visit where he was simply in awe of everything and didn’t know where to look next. Standing there, looking at all the shops around me, with the sounds of the workers inside the Daily Prophet spilling out of the door next to me, children wearing their house robes and waving their wands, and seeing the dragon perched atop Gringotts in the distance, my eyes honestly got a little teary. The only thing missing was Hagrid.

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I spent my morning walking around Diagon Alley, checking out all the shops and amazing window displays. I heard the bird chirping from inside the vanishing cabinet at Borgin & Burkes, where I went to look at dark and dangerous artifacts. I chuckled at the U-No-Poo and Puking Pastilles display at Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes and watched a toy version of Delores Umbridge wheel overhead on a unicycle, shouting “I will have order.” I watched the wand ceremony at Ollivanders, spotted a Crumble-Horned Snorkack in the Magical Menagerie, and had an enchanted mirror tell me how lovely I was in Madame Malkin’s. I had my very first butterbeer (and butterbeer mustache) and ate lunch at The Leaky Cauldron. I also rode the Escape from Gringotts ride inside the bank, which was super cool! Every detail in the park was so spot on and true to the books that I was simply blown away.

Outside Diagon Alley were some other familiar sights. I caught a glimpse of Kreacher in the window at number 12 Grimmauld Place and took a look inside the Knight Bus before making my way over to Platform 9 3/4 in King’s Cross Station. The short train ride was a fun, mini ride (although the voice they used for Hermione sounded nothing like her), which brought us right into Hogsmeade station.

To be honest, I was slightly less impressed with Hogsmeade overall. It was cool to check out, but there was less to do there and less stuff to look at. I did pay a visit to Honeydukes while I was there though to buy some fun sweet treats to bring back to my hotel room. (I tried the exploding bon bons and peppermint toads.) Of course, the piece de resistance was a visit to Hogwarts castle. *squeeee* The ride inside Hogwarts was awesome (despite the fact that I got slightly motion sick, lol). I wish I could have gotten a video or some photos of the Quidditch pitch, the whomping willow, or the dementors for you guys. Just trust me that it was a fantastic ride. You’ll need to ride it yourselves some day if you can stomach it.

I went back to Diagon Alley my second day and revisited some of my favorite spots. I also decided to give butterbeer softserve a try…at 9 in the morning…because I can do whatever I want on vacation. 🙂 Honestly, I liked the butterbeer ice cream even more than the liquid version, which was a little too sweet for me.

I checked out a little bit of the rest of the Universal parks while I was there, but none of it was as special to me as the Wizarding World parts of the parks. I was exhausted and a little tired of people and lines by the time I went home Monday morning, but I loved every minute of my visit and can’t wait to go back someday.

Books · Fantasy · Favorites · Fiction

Favorite Books of 2019

Hello, friends! I hope you’re all surviving this holiday season. I know I’ve been on the quiet side lately, in terms of blogging, but I hope to get back in the swing of it next year. I guess I just haven’t had much to talk about lately. This time of year usually stresses me out quite a bit, so I tend to be a little more reserved. I don’t even have any new book reviews to share at the moment, as I’ve been rereading a few of the Harry Potter books in preparation for my upcoming trip to Wizarding World. (Omg, I can’t wait!)

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Since we’re about to start a new year, how about a little recap of my favorite books from 2019? As of right now, I’ve read 53 books out of my Goodreads  goal of 47 books. I’m hoping to finish up Half Blood Prince over the next couple of days and bring that number up to 54.

I read some fun books this year, but not too many of them blew me away. (Was I just being picky or did I just miss out on some good ones? I’m not sure.) In no particular order, here were a few at the top of the list:

 

What were your top books in 2019? Anything great that I missed out on and need to check out next year?