Loot Crate

Hey look! Something that’s not about my upcoming trip (which we leave for next week – WOAH!). Instead this is about Loot Crate. It’s one of those things where you pay a certain amount of money each month and they send you a box of stuff – in this case it’s a box of awesome, geeky stuff.

I signed up for it last month after seeing reviews of it from some of my favorite YouTubers (particularly Jason Munday and Alex Carpenter – both of whom I had the pleasure of meeting in person at Wrockstock a couple years back). So, basically, this post is going to be pictures of the awesome stuff I got.

June: Theme = Mash Up

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The Loot Crate Itself

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Alohamora!

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I think you can put these on your wall or something…

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Stylus & Pen, 2-in-1. I should really actually try this thing.

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8 Bit Sunglasses – Possibly my new favorite thing!

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Warheads – because CANDY

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Dead Pool shirt – a mash up of the Kool Aid guy and something called Dead Pool (even though I don’t know what that is it’s still awesome)

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Stickers!

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Not all that clear on what this is, but it looks cool

July: Theme = Varsity

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I actually forgot all about this until it showed up!

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Join the Dark Side, We Have Music

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Pez – that’s really bringing back my childhood.

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What does Sonic smell like? No idea – it’s still in the package.

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Buttons from something called Video Game High School

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According to the info card these are the people who made the aforementioned Video Game High School

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Stormtroopers, always awesome.

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I haven’t used a non mechanical pencil in years, but I might make an exception for this ‘Emergency Wireless Keyboard’

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Oh hey! Video Game High School – I guess I’ll have watch this soon.

I’m glad I signed up and I’m excited to get next months Loot Crate. You should sign up too, they’re a glimmer of fun in an otherwise mundane existence. I especially look forward to getting them after my trip when I don’t have that to look forward to!

This time next week we’ll be in Baltimare!

– Kali

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Baking, its joys and pains.

Hello! (think PinkiePie, all excitement and energy and high pitched.)

I have always loved baking, but recently I’ve been trying to do more. The only problem with this is I have no one to eat it. I have never been all that big into eating sweets, and I definitely prefer baking and making them to eating them. Except gummy worms, those are a weakness of mine. I don’t have an abundance of people in my life who enjoy eating massive amounts of sweet baked goods, so I tend to not bake for the sole reason that we still have some left from the last time I baked.

Recently I baked a batch of about 20 white vanilla cupcakes, and they taste delicious, but we still have about 10 left sitting on the counter. I want to do more baking, but it would just be a waste at this point. You can see my conundrum. I want to do some baking with cinnamon hearts in it, cookies, cupcakes, etc. but I hate to see my baked goods go to waste, and if I bake new treats now the white vanilla cupcakes will definitely remain untouched until they go stale.

Our oven is broken, but so broken that we can’t use it and then gets fixed. Oh, no, the oven is broken just enough to be annoying while cooking and baking but to not be a priority on the ‘To Do List’. The bottom element (which is the one that is mainly responsible for baking and cooking) is malfunctioning and not turning on. We only have the top broil element, so in order for me to even bake the white vanilla cupcakes, I had to turn the temperature up to 450°F and put the rack at the very bottom of the oven. At least we have a temperature gauge in the oven, so I was able to know what temperature I was actually baking the cupcakes at.

I’m always looking for new recipes to try and make, so if anyone has any they are willing to share, I would really appreciate it. You can email them to live_life_to_the_fullest@live.ca.

On another note that’s completely unrelated to baking, I’m thinking about creating an email address just for the questions I’m planning on asking about feminism. When I do, I will post it here so that anyone who wants can contribute.

Another completely different topic, I loved getting dressed today. I have most of my favourite fandoms represented, and days like that always make me happy.

Thank you and have an amazing day!
Rachel

What is feminism, to you?

Hi All,

Sorry I haven’t posted for a while, life has been stealing my potential blogging time. I will try to do better.

Recently I’ve been reading “Full Frontal Feminism” by Jessica Valenti, founder of feministing.com, and I highly recommend it. Its an easy to read book that has thus far broken down feminism and its many various facets and faces, the pretty and the ugly. I have found it to be immensely helpful. This post is NOT a book review, but it does play a part in the reason behind this post.

It was while I was reading “Full Frontal Feminism” that I became intrigued about what other people thought feminism was, how much they knew about it, and what they thought of it. This, of course, lead to me thinking of a way to find out. The obvious answer was to simply and plainly ask people. I know that some people I will ask wont be comfortable answering these questions, but that isn’t going to stop me from asking, I’m just not going to pressure anyone into answering. No one has to ask any question asked, a choice will always be involved.

I want honest and candid answers, not long thought out answers with lots of research involved. That’s not what I’m interested in learning, that’s an essay. I want to know what people really think and know about feminism, and I mean those that don’t identify as feminists. Though, that said, I will be wanting to ask everyone I can, no matter what ones political views are about the subject. The answers can be anything about feminism, everything is interesting to me. There can be no wrong or right answers, since every answer (I’m going to assume while doing this) is exactly what it is supposed to be. Honest.

Now, this post is not meant to get people answering just yet, its really just to get some feedback about what people think about this idea and if anyone who reads this blog (which is way more then I ever thought would read it, I always thought we’d just have one or two readers that were friends we’d told about the blog and they were just following it to be polite) would be willing to answer one or more of the three questions above (and below). All opinions are welcome.

The Questions:
1) What do you think feminism is?
2) What do you think about feminism?
3) How much do you know about it (feminism)?

This is only meant to be for my own personal knowledge and interest, but it may become more if it really catches on (which I am highly doubting).

On another note; if anyone has any job or career advice, a list of choices, or any kind of related information really, I would be more then grateful. I have found myself at a time in my thus far short life where I’m not sure what I’m doing or what I even could be doing. The possibilities are endless and I find myself feeling lost. Some advice would be helpful and appreciated.

Thank you and I hope that life is treating you kindly,
Rachel

It must be the end of term: I need chocolate.

This blog is happier than my last one. I swear.

I just had my last Women’s Studies course and we spent the 50 minutes reflecting with each other. We sat in a circle and talked about our feelings. Well, mostly we talked about how we have changed because of this course. There were a lot of similar answers from the class and one of those was this: we were more critical about what we were being exposed to. TV shows, music videos, advertisements, they were all being analyzed and called out for their sexist, racist, classist, and subversive messages.

Before this course (Women’s Studies 104) I knew that things weren’t right with media portrayal of women, but I didn’t really have an understanding of what the issues were. I couldn’t identify them or tell anyone else what it was that was damaging, I just knew it was there. This didn’t prevent me from ignoring things that I knew were sexist or some other -ist. It was like, because I didn’t really know a lot about the issues I felt I was capable of pushing it aside and ignoring it. This class has given me the knowledge to know exactly what that ad is doing, and what I can do to stop that effect. The most effective and easiest way to stop the influence, is to talk about it. If you’re watching TV with your roommates (or whoever you live with, if you live with someone) and something happens that others you and you know it’s, say, sexist, call it out. Say something about the issue and have a discussion or small talk about it with whoever else is there. If no one is ever made aware of the issues, they will continue to happen and the message will continue to be received.

This isn’t to say that you have to consider yourself a feminist, or charge out to save the world from the numerous issues that plague it. The little things do just as much as the big things, if not more. Awareness is crucial. If no one is aware, no one can think.

Enough of my feminist rant, I only hope that my words have made someone a little more aware and that they are now challenging the status-quo. For a really good resource book to read, check out Jessica Valenti’s “Full Frontal Feminism.”

~.*.~

On November 30th at 8:35 pm, I passed 50,000 words on my nano novel and officially won Nanowrimo. By the end of the night, I had reached 51,744 words. What must have been the most enjoyable part of the evening, though, was being able to sit in McDonalds with fellow novelists who were also racing towards the Nanowrimo finish line. When the clock struck twelve, all of us commenced in a group hug and jumped up and down while squealing our joy that this intimidating obstacle had been defeated. The people I have met through nano, and the friendships that have developed because of it, have done nothing but enrich my life; and that is something that I am truly grateful for. I may have met Kali, the other author of this blog, in Sign Language Class, but it was Nanowrimo that created our friendship, and that is something I would never give up.

This year I am determined to finish my novel, and not just reach 50,000 words and stop. My first nano, last year, I started with only the knowledge that my FMC was an orphan and healer. That story will one day be a four book series that I hope to see sold on bookstore shelves around the world. My next nano endeavour was Camp Nano this past August. Once again my story reached 50,000 words, but isn’t complete. This one, at least, will not be a series. That leaves this year’s novel. My hopes for this novel is that it will just be this one book, and that the total word count won’t be any more than 100,000. I also want to have it finished by the start of my third year of university. I would like to have both my Camp Nano novel and this year’s novel finished by 11:59 on August 31st 2012. It doesn’t have to be the final draft, just a full first draft manuscript for both.

Since the end of November, 2 days ago, I have managed to write a couple hundred words on this year’s nano titled “What Will Florence Do?”

P.S. I broke my promise to not read any new fanfictions, but I only read a couple and kept them to short one shot stories. I am trying really really hard not to read any more, at least until after a couple hours of studying for my exams.

~Rachel

Week Two’d

Week two is infamous in november and it officially ends tomorrow. When someone is week two’d, it means they have hit a writing block. This term started out being just applied to week two, but now it is used by regular nanoers to express all kinds of writer’s block on any date (sometimes not even during nano). This term is something I quickly picked up and use quite frequently in any kind of writing that I do, be it for school, pleasure, or nano. I am very fond of the versatility of this term.

With that said, I have something to confess; I have been week two’d. And not just in Nanowrimo, but school as well. There is an annotated bibliography that I have to email to my professor by midnight tonight, and I have no idea how to start it. This being said, I am still reading the three articles I am going use for it, but that doesn’t change the loss of words I find myself in.

The reason I claim to be week two’d with my Nano novel is the apparent lack of words I have been able to produce every time I sit down to write. The past three or so days I have maybe averaged a word count of 400 words. If this is compared to my previous average of about 2,000 words a day, I feel the right to claim being week two’d. I don’t have writer’s block per say, but I am at a loss for words and what to do next. At this point I have to kill several hours of the character’s time before they can leave for the journey to the capital (which my main character is still not sure she’ll go to, which could potentially end my novel right then and there). The next couple of scenes also have a huge potential to be very awkward, which I have discovered I do not enjoy writing. This may be because I have found I feel the awkwardness with my character (which I guess is a good thing if you’re the reader, but not so good from my point of view). I am forced to trudge awkwardly through these couple of scenes until I am past them and can move on to more exciting parts of the novel, like dragons and finding her little sister. (There is no guarantee of the presence of dragons in this novel.)

On a happier and much less awkward note, I have received my last shipment of ThinkGeek products and am very happy with them. I now have no more money to spend on merchandise that makes me happy until possibly my next pay check (but I do still have to get groceries…)

I also have a fun fact today: blankets make good mug holders and they keep your beverage at a warmer temperature longer.

Have a very happy day and I hope you enjoyed reading my mini rant on being week two’d,

~Rachel