7 Photos from Mah Phone for This Week’s Squees

Fire She-Ra Avatar

This week’s squees are dedicated to my phone. Because when Twitpic dies, you better believe I’m going to upload phone pictures to my compy.

This earring is brought to you courtesy of an Unkamen Supplies kit. The spider chainmaille eearings are part of my Halloween costume.

2014-10-20 11.59.32

THOR FLASK! THOR! (Part of my anniversary present. And yes, that is a skull cookie jar. Because skulls.)

2014-10-13 14.41.12

Because onesie design contests are fun when it’s for friends. Also: fabric crayons are teh suck. TEH SUCK! (But Star Wars is cool.)

2014-07-20 15.00.25

This is Rimmon, my black cat. I don’t know if you know this, but black cats are the least adopted because of their color. Often, there are no adoptions allowed of black cats either during the month of October. NOT COOL! BUT I LOVE RIMMON!

2013-09-20 08.04.09

The coolest effing thing I’ve ever seen at a comic book convention. A fantastic Munny. (My bad on losing said business card for fabulous artist.)

2014-04-27 15.31.55

My last Pandemic game. (GREAT GAME, by the way!)

2014-03-14 21.28.32

OSCAR WILDE WAS SAVED! We rescued Oscar this summer, and he was adopted! Huzzah!

2014-05-21 20.36.10

52/365 through 59/365

    Mood: Stress? WHAT STRESS?!?!
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: I had a lot.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Yoga
    In My Ears: On the phone. What? I can do two different things at once.
    Game Last Played: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
    Book Last Read: Work-related.
    Movie Last Viewed: Little Witches WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!?!
    Latest Artistic Project: An origami bookmark. FAILED! FAILED!
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Last Man Zombie Standing.
    Latest Game Release: Things Don’t Go Smooth
    What I’m Working On: Primarily tie-in games work, original comics, and novels.


7-Link Salad for This Week’s Squees

Black and Tan Cats

Good morning! Well, I suppose it might not be morning where you are, but the sentiment is there. As you may recall I started the 365 Days of Squee over a month ago, and I have to admit that some days are more challenging than others–especially when reading the news. News poisoning is especially problematic, in my mind, to writers like myself who take inspiration from words that come into our brains. If it’s all tonally negative? Yeah, it can get depressing super-quick.

Though it initially took a concerted amount of effort for me to focus on what’s positive, I feel that I’m starting to train myself to look for those things now. That doesn’t mean I prefer every topic or work to be sanitized; I do feel that we should need to address problematic issues. It’s just that there’s so many problems–humans are very good at bitching about everything, even the small stuff–that I want to focus and pick my battles more carefully. When I don’t “battle” persay, I would rather be on the ground and doing what I believe instead of simply saying it (if that makes any sense).

On to the squees!

1) Applewood Books recently made over their website. I was poking around a bit when I saw a book written by the Stowe sisters called American Woman’s Home Or, Principles Of Domestic Science: Being A Guide To the Formation and Maintenance Of Economical, Healthful, Beautiful, and Christian Homes. If you’re into history, being able to read books written by people from the time period is a great way to get a hands on feel for what went on. This is pretty cool!

2) Unbelievably talented, I love the figurines designed by Virginie Ropars. Her dolls are fantastic! Be sure to check out her website!

3) If you’re looking for women writers to read in science fiction, I found a monthly column by A.C. Wise called “Women to Read on SF Signal.” It’s a great way to build a list and find new writers you haven’t heard of before.

4) Mouthwatering recipe for apple crisp in the crockpot. Need I say more?

5) Cartoonist Roman Jones is offering a printable version of the insightful How to Live with Introverts comic. It’s spot on!

6) 30 Second Films with Bunnies is a site that basically sums up films with… erm… bunnies. In 30 seconds. Anyway, it makes me giggle and they’ve got a huge variety of movies on there, like The Cabin in the Woods (With Bunnies) and The Princess Bride (With Bunnies).

7) These pumpkin earrings from Beadaholique are really cute! The wirework at the top really nails it for me. They have a ton of other instructional videos on their website, too.

44/365 through 51/365

    Mood: I think I’m finding my zen.
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Lower than normal.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Yesterday was my day off.
    In My Ears: Dance with Wolves by Inca
    Game Last Played: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
    Book Last Read: Work-related.
    Movie Last Viewed: Constantine
    Latest Artistic Project: An origami crane
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Last Man Zombie Standing.
    Latest Game Release: Things Don’t Go Smooth
    What I’m Working On: Primarily tie-in games work, original comics, and novels.


Ni No Kuni PS3 Review

Ni No Kuni Cover

I don’t even know where to start with this review of Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, because I haven’t written one for some time and I have a deep, profound love for this game, its artistry, and its story. One of the first RPGs I played was Final Fantasy IX, and I was really fond of the way you could travel on the world and find little easter eggs scattered throughout. And, as you know, I am a huge fan of Miyazaki’s storytelling because it’s often challenging (From Up on Poppy Hill) without being dumbed down. Not to mention, the more traditional style of animation is something I prefer given the feel of painted landscapes, etc.

The story is about Oliver, a young boy who’s lost his mother. To rescue her, he travels to another world with the guidance of a fairy named Drippy, to battle alongside his wizard’s familiars. The game mechanics are easy enough to learn and there’s an incentive for leveling, for your familiars grow in power and might alongside you.

NNK Battle

Since you have the option of switching out familiars, you can alter how challenging the game is when you explore the world and change your battle style on-the-fly. Learning spells and alchemical formulas, finishing sidequests, and advancing the story is evenly spaced so you don’t “forget” where you are in the story. The animation and world exploration is, by far, one of my favorite parts of this game because playing it is like being immersed into a Studio Ghibli film that lingers on…and it’s quite delicious.

I don’t want to give too many spoilers on this, partly because I’m only a third of the way in, but if you like Studio Ghibli, Kingdom Hearts, or Final Fantasy IX and older games in that franchise I really think you’ll dig this game and enjoy the experience. It just hit a “Greatest Hits” status, too, so the price has dropped considerably.

Level thee well!

This Week’s Folded Squees

Fizgig Avatar

What’s not to love about Fall? Before I get to today’s list, I want to say “Thank You” to those of you who’ve commented and enjoyed my Letter to Humans Regarding Halloween that I wound up writing and cross-posting. I had a blast writing it!

Okay, on to this week’s squees!

1) Seriously, Pinterest. How many cool things are on this corkboard? WOW!

2) I’m trying to learn origami. The book of papers I picked up is for beginner’s, so it’s stiffer and holds its shape differently. Ah well, gotta start somewhere!

3) Kind of cheating here, but because origami is my New Thing To Learn, I found out that toilet paper origami is a “thing.” Amazing!

4) Discovered Room on the Broom via Hulu.com. Turns out it’s a book, game, app, and has loads of activities for kids. Neat-o!

5) Sephora.com has a photo gallery and they’ve started to upload pictures of Halloween-inspired makeup and nails. This Halloween manicure is pretty cool!

6) Assembled (hopefully) the last of our replacement furniture. We’ll probably have to get another bookshelf though. Joy of joys… Still? It did NOT sit in the box and for a few hours I was an expert mechanical engineer!

7) And last but not least? Elsa and Anna have made their way into the land of Storybrooke on Once Upon a Time. I have to say, character-wise? Anna is a breathe of fresh, heroic air!

37/365 through 43/365

    Mood: I will conquer Monday.
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: I deny nothing!
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Darkness fell and I went to bed early.
    In My Ears: A lawnmower. (This is a good thing.)
    Game Last Played: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
    Book Last Read: Some book about the fall harvest and corn kings.
    Movie Last Viewed: Merlin
    Latest Artistic Project: I made an origami heart-shaped bookmark.
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Last Man Zombie Standing.
    Latest Game Release: Echoes of War: Thrillin’ Heroics
    What I’m Working On: Primarily tie-in games work, original comics, and novels.


Dear Humans…

As we understand it, you humans have now changed your Julian calendars to mark the tenth month in your year. Though it is apparent you eagerly anticipate the end of your annual cycle by buying gifts, flocking to mercantile centers, and hanging confusing decorations to acknowledge this passage (e.g. we have yet to understand the point of adorning plastic shrubbery with glass baubles), we do appreciate the fact that you still acknowledge October 31st as All Hallows’ Eve and attempt to celebrate the holiday to varying degrees.

However…

We would now like to take this opportunity to speak about our contemporary involvement in your society and address our concerns for this date. After which, we will be making a small request we hope you will consider fulfilling.

First, please understand that we do acknowledge that some of you are more superstitious than others–and for this we are grateful. Our initial intent when we emerged from our millennia-old hiding places in the natural world was not to eradicate your magical thinking completely, but we see now that we were a little too effective in our efforts to convince you that either we did not exist or we did and we were simply not as scary as you first thought. To us, the great pendulum of belief, as it were, has swung too far in the other direction. Instead of hunting us, the undersigned creatures of the supernatural kingdom, the vast majority of you are either no longer afraid of the dark or you accuse other humans of taking our guise and committing the acts we traditionally do. This is, in a word, disappointing.

In our defense, we felt we had no choice but to rethink our relationship with you humans and our role with respect to this holiday in the modern era. You see, as humans continued to rely on technology to advance your cityscapes we–the undersigned Creatures of the Supernatural–realized that our very lives, eggs, and broods were threatened on a global scale. No longer could we hide in the shadows or creep under the stairs; your inventions (namely the “street lamp”, “gunpowder”, and the “telephone”) allowed you to peek into the darkness and coordinate your efforts to hunt us more effectively than ever before. While torches and pitchforks were, in fact, understandable given that you obviously also wished to keep your children safe, we felt that modern inventions that harness the power of lightning (e.g. what you call “electricity”), earth-blood (“gasoline” and “oil”), and the atom (“nuclear energy”) have taken monster-hunting a bit too far. Do you not know that there is no end to this madness? The more terrible the weapons you make, the more frightening we, the undersigned, can and shall become.

Truthfully, however, it wasn’t until the nineteenth century that we creatures began to organize and form a strategy for the future. We became anxious, you see, for the atrocities you committed against one another concerned us, the undersigned. If you were so willing to murder your own kind–for power, land, yellow metal, and bits of paper, mostly–what would you do when you found out a litter of werewolves made their home nearby in a forest? Or that the mayor’s wife in your small town was a vampire? Thus, we opted to take the matters of survival into our own hands by hiding among you so we might act on our own behalf when the time was right.

We felt that violence was not the best option in an age where communication is more effective than ever before. Instead, we chose to slowly immerse ourselves in your human world both politically and legally by acting on your behalf so that we might sneak in a few (what you might recognize to be ambitious or problematic) laws that benefited our true aims. This tactic was engineered so that you might trust our representatives as they attempted to blend in. To date, not one of our agents has been identified and we did achieve some moderate levels of success in the twentieth century, namely through the protection of historic places and national parks. Sadly, our overall mission failed due to one key area: human rights.

The modern era has given us the opportunity to study you like never before with shocking results. Our attempts to procure legal protections for various members of your species were either laughed off or viciously thwarted. It seems, much to our collective surprise, that you humans cannot agree on anything–not even where the treatment of other humans are concerned. Mind you, we do have our differences within the supernatural community, but we are less concerned about the color of our scales or how long our fangs are than you are about certain innate biological traits you humans possess. Baffling though this dichotomy may be, you must understand that it never once occurred to us–not since the dawn of human civilization–that our food source would care about such pithy and insignificant attributes. And, while we always suspected you humans were illogical beings, we learned this hard lesson at great cost during your World Wars. Thus, we shifted the bulk of our efforts to a different field to exercise our pro-monster goals in a more direct way: through advertising.

The fascinating world of advertising has allowed our agents to create, share, and distribute pro-monster propaganda. Some of our attempts to focus solely on human-centric products have proven to be misguided, like Exhibit A. In our defense, however, the minotaur assigned to create this advertisement did not understand the cycle of hair growth for your young males.

Baby With a Razor

Thankfully, Halloween proved not only to be a way of sharing our pro-monster propaganda, we were also able to encourage some of your humans to join our ranks as well. Exhibit B is a shining example of what our community members have accomplished while working alongside you. Not only did we attract more of your females to our ranks, primarily around the area of Brooklyn, this advertisement is also the origin of the phrase “truth in advertising.”

Drink Blood and Be a Vampire

Admittedly, not all of our campaigns were deemed a success. We did get some pushback from your authority figures, which we have come to understand are primarily middle-aged, moderately-wealthy, white males who answer to later-aged, extremely-wealthy, white males. (It should be noted that we do perform monster-to-human outreach by educating some of these males on the subject of empathy for others through a rehabilitation program designed by the fae.) Exhibit C is the result of a failed attempt to recruit more demon-worshippers. Instead of cultist robes, our minions were forced to re-draw the headpieces and alter them to resemble scholarly caps instead. The addition of a jack-o-lantern is also a last minute change, for originally the women were holding the blood-filled skulls necessary to summon the appropriate demon at the proper moment—which, in short, was the entire point of the ad in the first place.

Lady Graduates with Pumpkins

We are confident that history will show Halloween became a more popular holiday in the United States due to advertising. Everything that can be produced has been promoted for the holiday, even your mind-altering substances like Budweiser beer. (Many of us still imbibe this delightful fizzy beverage and would like to note we are thrilled with the addition of lime.) See Exhibit D.

Budweiser Halloween Ad

Eventually, we entrusted the holiday to you and assumed you’d take it over with gusto—which you did do for a time—for a pro-monster stance helps us all. For you humans, fear is an ancient mechanism that not only keeps you safe but also reminds you of your mortality. (Which is often where we come in.) The truth of the matter is that when you forget how precious life is, that is when you take it for granted and commit atrocious acts against yourselves and others. Halloween not only allows you to feel fear in a much safer way than centuries past, but it is also a holiday about this truth: it is perfectly natural that everyone (that is, every mortal) dies. (We shall spare you the specifics regarding this day’s history, but we do encourage you to learn more about it in a factual, non-superstitious manner.)

As we stated in the above paragraph, we did experience a slight reprieve from our own fears about our future. The marketing onslaught of everyday household items to be consumed or used for Halloween, combined with several of your moving pictures from the 1970s and 80s (namely “Gremlins”, “The Exorcist”, and “Puff the Magic Dragon”) allowed us to breathe a sigh of relief and not worry about your ever-expanding foothold into our homes. For a short time, we were able to withdraw back into the shadows and feel safer than we ever had before. But, as they say, all savory morsels must eventually be swallowed.

Fast forward to today. What happened, humans? Have our pro-monster campaigns worked a little too well? Now, you are obscuring the meaning of Halloween by turning a specific portion of your females into… Well, not even our mummies can figure that one out. But, more to the point: since when did Halloween become a holiday to promote mating rituals as opposed to recognizing that this night is the only time during the year when the veil between worlds is the thinnest? Why are you no longer honoring the dead or fearing–to be perfectly blunt–us? See Exhibit E.

Bert Ernie and WTF

Worse, it seems your obsession with a specific female body type has now begun to impact us on a grander scale, too. You have subverted the one, last holiday where we, the undersigned Creatures of the Supernatural, have traditionally had the license to chase, frighten, warn, prophesy, and prey upon you. It fascinates us that the costumes you once wore were meant to scare others, but now? They seem to be less about fear and more about the right to get drunk and take the costume off. (Several of us would like to know the point of buying a garment if you plan to remove it quickly.) Worse, we’ve even heard that some of you humans have taken our pro-monster propaganda into the bedroom, for you now wish to “fall in love” and “get married” to our various species, thus producing cross-bred offspring in unprecedented and shameful numbers. This is not only ludicrous it is also dangerous—for our species are not compatible and these relationships typically end in the human’s untimely demise.

At this point in our letter we must now pause, ask you to reflect upon all that we have said, and whisper our request in your ear. For all the aforementioned reasons, put an end to your insatiable lust and debauchery for this one October night. Honor us by acknowledging the symbiotic relationship we’ve had for thousands of years. Bring back the spirit of Halloween, undo this extreme and unnatural form of pro-monsterism, and help us restore the natural cycle of death, life, and rebirth.

Or else.

Signed,

The Creatures of the Supernatural
Planet Earth

(Please see attached list of signatures. Each signature, scrawl, claw/bite mark, blood stain, and paw print reflects a representative of one of our 20,000+ species. Of the 67,566 who did not sign, approximately 999 are unaccounted for.)

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