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Black Friday and Cyber Monday were never really a big thing in England until this year. There was loads of footage on the news of people fighting over big screen TVs, little old ladies hitting people with their handbags (I’m making this up, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was true!) and general chaos in every supermarket and electronic goods stores nationwide for a few days. However, it’s not just Black Friday; Boxing Day sales are the worst. One of the more upmarket fashion and homeware shops opens at 6AM (with workers having to be in at 5AM, those poor souls) on Boxing Day for their sales, which is little short of madness.

I don’t usually go out to the sales (Boxing Day or otherwise!) and I prefer to wait, or get stuff online. Call it a combination of laziness and unwillingness to go outside… Or straight up laziness. However, there are some things I would DEFINITELY sacrifice a night of sleep and maybe a broken nose for. Us Brits get feisty when there’s sales on!

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1.) A big TV

Currently, Daryl, Iain and I have a tiny, 19 inch TV in our living room. It’s not great for playing multiplayer, unless you’re sat right up to the screen. It’s really not great for watching films or TV shows on, especially ones with subtitles. It’s the TV I used to have at home in my room, and it was great for that. In a big living room, for three video game nerds? Less good. Especially when one of those nerds has bad eyesight. So I would absolutely sacrifice a night of sleep to get a decent TV for us all, ideally at about 32 inches, so no-one has to squint when playing video games, and we don’t have to sit right in front of the screen to see things.

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2.) A PS4

I know, I know. I already have an Xbox One. Well, Iain has an Xbox One, and I buy the games. However, Sony have a few exclusive titles which I really, really want to play! Stuff like the Kingdom Hearts remakes, Kingdom Hearts 3, The Last Of Us (although this may require a PS3, as I’m not certain on backwards compatability or the PS Store) and most importantly, Silent Hills. I love a) creepy games, and especially b) Silent Hill games. I picked up Silent Hill 2 way back when I was 16, and fell in love. I’ve fallen out of love a little bit in recent times (I don’t think that action horror works well for SH) but Silent Hills looks like a return to Survival Horror. Plus, who wouldn’t want both of the current-gen consoles?!

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Some of my geek fashion wants at the minute!

 

3.) Some sweet geek gear

Because I don’t live in the US, a lot of the best geek fashion options cost a small fortune in shipping to the UK, and I’d have to wait for ages too! However, if I get some rad deals on shirts, jumpers and dresses, the wait would be well worth it.

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4.) A decent backpack

Don’t get me wrong, I have a backpack… But it’s getting on a bit. It’s ripped. There’s holes in it. It’s seen much, much better days. Buying a new rucksack has never been high up on my list though. When my satchel bust, I mourned its loss, and when I got paid, I replaced it straight away. I need a good strong backpack for conventions, class and travelling! I’ve been looking at loads of different ones online, and Black Friday would be one of the perfect times to pick up a new one. I really love this galaxy-themed one from Debenham’s.

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5.) Boxsets

Boxsets. Sweet, sweet boxsets. Bored one evening? Stick a boxset on and enjoy your brain turning to mush. They can be quite pricy at other times of the year, so Black Friday/Boxing Day is the ideal time to pick up Star Wars and Indiana Jones boxsets.

What items would you sacrifice sleep for in the sales?

My classes have finally started again! As usual, I have a ridiculous timetable (Mondays and Fridays, full days) but I’m glad to be back in class, even though I know I’m gonna end up procrastinating my work or my reading. Oh well!

My Monday class is British Contemporary Cinema, which so far, has taught me that I don’t watch that many British films. In fact, I struggled to remember the last British film I even watched! Not even looking through my history on IMDB offers any help. I think it might have been Dead Man’s Shoes, which was at least a year ago, or a mega-cheesy Hammer Horror I watched with Lawrence at Halloween. I tend to stick to American films, with the odd Japanese animation here and there. As someone who wants to work in the film industry, it’s probably not a good thing! However, in class, we discussed what makes a British film, and some of the more popular ones. I’ve got my screening list for the semester, and I’ve seen two films out of the entire selection! For a film student, I’m really not good at having seen films. However, on Monday, we watched The Wicker Man (original, theatrical cut) and Don’t Look Now. I hadn’t seen either of the films before, and I was really looking forward to The Wicker Man. It was just as creepy and weird as I expected, and I quite enjoyed it! As for Don’t Look Now? I really didn’t like it. It never seemed to end, and it didn’t make particularly much sense- and what was up with that ending?! If Don’t Look Now made more sense to you than it did to me, leave a comment explaining. I feel like I missed something big!

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My downtime this week has mostly been taken up with World of Warcraft, blogging, and a bit of cooking. I got a voucher for money off a subscription box from HelloFresh, and finally got around to using it. They send you a big box of food with recipes to make really, really yummy stuff, and it’s all healthy and fresh. I ordered the three meals for two people box, and Iain and I ate amazingly this week. We made Mexican spiced fish and veg (which was amazing!), chicken with lentils and veg (which was less nice) and finally, the piece de la resistance: steak with a spicy garnish, baby spinach leaves and chips. It’s a great service, but a bit on the expensive side I found. I also bought myself some shiny new things: American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (because I loved the film) and Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls for Xbox One, because I love that game. I’ve lost hours to it before, and in the summer, Iain, Daryl and I played it for 19 hours uninterrupted. Because we’re big nerds. Also, my housing situation is finally looking up! We had the builder/DIY guy employed by my estate agent come round and look at what needs to be fixed. Based on his reaction, it should be sorted soon! Huzzah!

On Friday, I had my Epic, Spectacles and Blockbusters class, which is going to prove to be interesting. A lot of the films I’m watching are extremely, extremely long (Lawrence of Arabia clocks in at 227 minutes) and I will be losing a lot of afternoons to incredibly long films. It’s no big deal for me (I marathon films in threes) but it’s gonna be tricky keeping concentration on the film. Also, I have to watch Avatar, James Cameron’s blue version of Pocahontas. Kill me now.

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This weekend saw my grand adventure! I’m generally too poor to travel, or don’t have anyone to go with me, so imagine my surprise when my boss at my internship asked me to come down to an ICO Screen Day at New Brighton with him and a few people from my office! I’ve never been to Liverpool, let alone New Brighton, so it’s been a big adventure for me! On Saturday night I got the train over to New Brighton with my boss, and once we got there and checked into our hotel we met up with the other people in our office for dinner and drinks. We went to a really nice Italian restaurant near the seafront, and I had the best mozzarella balls of my life. After the meal, we went back to our hotel, which is a converted Victorian house. The most annoying thing about it is that there was a wedding party in the function room of the hotel, and boy, were they loud! The music carried on until quite late into the night, but luckily, my room was right at the top so pretty far away from it! The room itself was nice, but super old-fashioned, and the bathroom was teeny-tiny. I was only staying there one night though, so it was no big deal.

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On Sunday morning, I was up bright and early (8AM, a time which should be illegal) to go down to the venue and set up my company’s banners and the registration table. I didn’t get to see too many films at the event, but what I did see was superb. However, because of an NDA, I can’t say anything about them! What I will say is that there are some films which got really shafted in the Awards, and I still can’t believe it. 2015 is gonna be a great year for film.

It was getting home on the Sunday night which was the worst. It took two and half hours to get there on the Saturday night, but almost four hours to get back on the Sunday night. Don’t trust Sunday trains, as they will screw you over. All in all, the event was incredible, and I hope that my company keep me on as an intern so I can go to more events like this and keeping working in the industry I love and getting to meet more people who are passionate about film.

Today, I’m relaxing at home, as I’m still tired from the weekend!

How’s your week been?

 

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I’m finally starting the process of catching up on 5 Fandom Friday prompts! I had to tweak this one a little bit as the initial prompt was 5 characters you’d invite over for a Thanksgiving Feast, and obviously, Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated in England! So instead, I opted for 5 guests for a dinner party. If all the guests came round at the same time, it’d make for an interesting evening!

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1.) Marceline and/or Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time

My love for Adventure Time is well known by pretty much everyone, and the two leading ladies of Ooo are my favourite characters, so how could I not invite them round for dinner? I love Marceline’s recklessness and her sense of humour, and I love how Peebers combines mad science with extreme cuteness!

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2.) Daenarys from Game of Thrones

Daenarys Targaryan, mother of dragons! I would have written her full title and claims, but I would have been here forever. She’s one of the strongest characters in Westeros and Essos, and while the decisions she makes aren’t always the best, her heart is always in the right place. I’d love to talk to her about what it’s like being queen, and what the dragons are like. I feel like they’re big, angrier cats.

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3.) Chell from Portal

Poor Chell really deserves a break! Not only has she had to go through Aperture’s experiments twice, she’s had to put up with GlaDOS and a crazed Wheatley, neither of which have been particularly pleasant to her. I’d like to treat Chell to some time away from all the madness at Aperture’s labs, or at least go back with a full stomach. Plus, I’d love to play around with the portal guns. Zap!

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4.) Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings

Aren’t hobbits the best? They have the best way of life. Second breakfast. Seven meals a day. Mirth and merriment. It’s a dream life, isn’t it? As well as the warmth and joie de vivre that Bilbo would bring, I’d love to hear all his adventures, especially with Thorin’s Company. It’d be even better if he did the cooking because you just know it’d be the best food you ever had.

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5.) Princess Leia from Star Wars

Princess Leia is the original bad-ass princess. She kicks ass, tries to be democratic, and ends up with the Han Solo. What’s not to love? I’d love to talk to her about her adventures in space aboard the Millennium Falcon

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I’m so glad to be back doing these posts! Thank you to The Nerdy Girlie (Megan) and Super Space Chick (Kristen) for putting it together and writing such awesome prompts.

This week’s prompt is an interesting one for me. Music has been a big part of my life for a very long time. If I’ve been sad, angry, or happy, I’ve found a song or an album to go along with it. My Dad’s music collection and epic hi-fi set-up have always been a constant, so I’ve never been far away from it. He has more CDs than anyone I know, and I wish he still had his amazing record collection. As I’m older, I feel I would have really appreciated it. As well as my love for comics, film, art and generally weird stuff, my love for music  stems from my Pops.

Back in the 80s, he was a punk (not that he’d ever admit it though) so music was always a big thing to him, and it’s something he’s passed down to me. We like some of the same bands, we both can (just about) play the guitar and it’s always been something we’ve shared. For my 10th birthday he got me my own CD player and 2 CDs (Independent Woman by Destiny’s Child, and No Angel by Dido) and pretty much kickstarted the music collector and lover in me. Since then, he upgraded me to a CD Player, amplifier and speaker separates, which made me listen to even more music! Since then, I’ve got about 100 CDs (and look to buy more!) which are hidden away in his attic, and I’m looking to collect records, once I buy a record player!

Even though I’ve moved away from home and don’t have my Dad’s awesome CD collection to inspire me to listen to something different, I still listen to loads of music. I never go anywhere without my phone and headphones for music, and I circulate the albums on there fairly regularly. YouTube is one of my favourite places to go to find new music, as well as getting recommendations from friends. My music taste has changed quite a lot through the years, and is pretty varied even now. One day I’ll be listening to Panic at the Disco and the best of emo/pop-punk, and the next I’ll be listening to Passenger and Frank Turner. It’s a bit of a mishmash really!

Anyway, without further ado; here’s a selection of some of the albums that made me fall in love with music.

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One of the Boys by Katy Perry

I absolutely adore Katy Perry, and I loved when she first broke the music industry. I loved the pin-up, girl next door, bubblegum pop vibes she gave off, and One of the Boys is one of the albums I listened to on repeat, for weeks. My best friend Lawrence loves her just as much as I do, and we saw her live last year, and it was basically the best thing that ever happened.

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From Under the Cork Tree by Fall Out Boy

I’m a huge Fall Out Boy nerd. When Dance, Dance came out, I was 14, often listened to Kerrang, wore black a lot, and was generally a bit of an emo (I wish I had pictures of that time!) but I fell completely and utterly in love with Dance, Dance. It was the perfect combination of thrashing guitars, sensual lyrics, and Patrick Stump’s perfect voice. Since then, I have an almost encylopaedic knowledge of their works, and will forever be in love with Patrick Stump. He’s so cute.

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More Adventurous by Rilo Kiley

Rilo Kiley is one of the bands my Dad got me into, and I have a lot of memories of us driving around and singing the songs off More Adventurous and The Execution of All Things. It was Jenny Lewis’ band before she went solo, and her voice and songwriting is just beautiful. Rilo Kiley make superb indie pop-rock which is impossible not to tap your foot to.

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Grace by Jeff Buckley

Ahh, Jeff Buckley. If only he hadn’t tragically died at 30. I have never known of a man to make more beautiful and mournful songs than Buckley. His voice just about brings me to tears, especially his rendition of Hallelujah, which he’s most famous for. That said, it’s not Hallelujah which is my favourite song of his; it’s the B-Side, Forget Her, which I love. Another musician that my Dad got me into, I listened to this album when I was a bit older (read: the last few years) and fell in love with it. Lilac Wine, anyone?

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Born to Die/Ultraviolence by Lana Del Rey

Technically I’m cheating by including both of these, but I don’t care. I have an unquestionable love for Lizzy Grant. Even though I know that, for the most part, Lana Del Rey is just a persona, I adore her music. It has a strong aesthetic, and the way her voice soulfully purrs through songs is superb. I started listening to her last year, and am anxiously awaiting her to go on tour.

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Love, Ire and Song by Frank Turner

Frank Turner is the quintessential English folk-rock singer. His early albums are phenomenal, but especially Love, Ire and Song. It holds a special place in my heart, as between the ages of 17-19, Long Live the Queen is all what my friends and I would drunkenly sing at parties. Frank Turner is another one of those musicians who can dabble in all kinds of music and still do a pretty good job, but angry folk music is his best.

What are your favourite albums? Let me know in the comments below!

It’s no big secret around here that I’m a big fan of ol’ Joe Dredd. The no-nonsense judge-jury-and-executor has been a staple of British comics since 1977, and is a core part of British comic books, and even saw his own film back in 2012. Judge Dredd comics are often hailed as offering some downright fantastic storytelling from the very best British talent. There are hundreds and hundreds of Dredd stories (with even more ongoing in the weekly 2000AD comic) which you can collect in graphic novel form (Take a look at some of my favourites on Amazon).

However, this is where Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection from Hatchette Publishing comes in. They’re offering a fortnightly selection of some of Dredd’s greatest moments, as selected by 2000AD’s editor. The first issue came out today at £1.99, and includes some fab supplementary material, and the holy grail for any Judge Dredd/2000AD collector: an absolutely gorgeous hardback graphic novel collecting the epic storyline America.

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I was sent first four graphic novels by Hatchette, and they are absolutely gorgeous. The hardbacks feel weighty and solid, and have beautiful illustrations on the covers. The cover art is predominantly white, with black and red accents, but they looks absolutely gorgeous. The paper is of thick stock and good quality as well. Each of the books features a short introduction and then dives straight into the story- and this is my only niggle with the books. I wish there was a contents page, so if I wanted to skip part of a story, I could do so easily, rather than flicking through it.

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The spines of the books are just as cool as the rest of them; when the entire series is collected, they make up a huge design which chronicles Dredd’s stories and who he interacts with, as seen on the Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection site.

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At a first week price of £1.99, which then increases to £9.99 fortnightly, it’s a bit expensive, but you pay for quality. Quality storytelling and quality books. I’ll have these books standing proud of place on my bookshelf, and plan on lending them out to everyone I know who’s interested in Judge Dredd. There’s an absolutely amazing subscription offer available online, where in the first four weeks, you can get your hands on a replica badge, a travel mug, coasters, a free issue and metal bookends (be still my heart!) If I could afford it, it’s absolutely something I would sign up for, as it’s damn good quality and the books are superb.

You can find out more about Judge Dredd: The Mega Colletion on the official website here.

Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection is out today (22/01/2015) and you can pick it up from all good comic shops or places where magazines are stocked. You can also order online.

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I recently got introduced to a really cool company called Man Crates. They are a monthly subscription and send a themed box to the discerning man or woman. Unlike Loot Crate or those types of services, these boxes require a crowbar to get into. A freaking crowbar! I’d never be able to get into it because I have noodle arms and I’m not that strong. If you don’t want it packaged in a wooden crate, that’s cool, because they offer a duct tape cocoon packaging, which you’d probably require a combat knife to break through. I think it’s a damn cool idea, and from the looks of the boxes on their site, they look packed full of awesome stuff. They’ve recently released a retro gaming inspired box, and reached out to me and asked me to talk about nostalgic gaming memories… But where do I even begin?

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Playing Pokémon Blue on my GameBoy Colour for hours on end as a child, with my trusty dog Ruudie keeping my feet warm? That time I played Diablo 3 on Xbox 360 for 19 hours straight with my boyfriend and our housemate? Staying up all night trying to get Vincent Valentine on Final Fantasy Seven with my childhood friend Robin? Or watching my Dad play Doom when I was a kid? Kicking (most) people’s asses on Tekken, playing as Nina Williams? Endlessly playing Resident Evil 4 with Lawrence, weekend after weekend? The list goes on and on.

As many of you know, I love my video games. Heck, my last published blog was about how I’ve been playing games with my week off and looking for advice on getting a headset. When I’ve finished my blogging for the day, there’s a good chance I’ll be firing up World of Warcraft, or delving into Steam to find something to play. Gaming has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I can’t imagine not doing it.

I have tons of nostalgic gaming moments, but what makes them even better is that I have these shared experiences with a lot of my friends. Despite the fact that Gina and I didn’t meet until college when we were 18, we both played a lot of the same games in our childhood: Spyro the Dragon, Crash Bandicoot, Tekken 3… she still has her PS1, and we fired it up a few months ago and relived our childhoods. It was pretty amazing. The graphics are blocky, the controls clunky, but we didn’t care. We were back to childhood, and the games were just as good, and a hell of a lot harder.

He was a Tauren. She was a blood elf. Can I make it any more obvious?

He was a Tauren. She was a blood elf. Can I make it any more obvious?

Not only do I share these gaming moments with Gina, but also with my boyfriend. He and I have known each other since we were kids, so gaming has always been a shared experience. Recently, we play World of Warcraft together, and in the past, we’ve played Halo, Gears of War, and (ugh) Aliens: Colonial Marines. We buy each other gaming related gifts; he got me a Kingdom Hearts necklace, and I got him Halo action figures for his desk. Gaming means a lot to us, and it’s an important thing in our lives.

However, where the main nostalgia in games lies is in RPGs, especially Final Fantasy. I exclusively played RPGs (with the odd platformer) when I was younger, and the constant grind to level, to beat the boss, or to get that last collectible is what cemented my status. I used to watch my Dad play Final Fantasy 7 (and do the chocobo races!) so I was pretty familiar with the series. One day, he got Final Fantasy 8. He played it loads for a good couple of months, but he got stuck, so he left it. On one weekend, when none of my friends were coming out to play, or it was raining, and I was sick of my platformers, I started FF8, and began a long journey, and eventually got further than my Dad was.

Oh the memories are coming back... This fight was such a pain.

Oh the memories are coming back… This fight was such a pain.

At over ten years later, I still haven’t finished that darn game. Not only did I have a ton of technical problems (with scratched discs and temperamental PS1s) I got very, very stuck on the last boss, Ultimecia, and her many forms. I came close, many times, but the disc always crashed and I never saw that last cinematic.

I had a lot of gaming marathons on that game, and I remember it very fondly. I would usually stock up on sweets (Haribo and cheap chocolate were perfect) and get Kick (the UK’s discount brand of energy drinks, which tastes absolutely disgusting) and settle in for a day. I didn’t usually listen to music, because I always liked the in-game music (the music when you’re flying in the Ragnorok  is permanently ingrained in my brain). Now, my gaming marathons are a bit different. I’ll go to my local supermarket, grab a few microwave meals (or just order takeaway- margherita pizza for the win!) and stock up on sweets! Usually Haribo Tangfastics, or some Crunchie bars. As far as drinks go, it’s tea all the way.

The Man Crates are an awesome idea with a really unique twist. Sadly, they don’t ship to the UK and they’re a bit pricy, but it’s such a cool idea.

So, what are your moments of gaming nostalgia? I’d love to hear them!

I don’t start class until Monday (tomorrow) so I’ve made the most of having this week free- apart from feeling like crap on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I’ve mostly been playing video games, wishing I had more video games, and I finally saw my best friend Gina at the weekend.

Now that all my assignments (for the mean time) are done and dusted, I haven’t had to shut myself off to analyse the subtext in Diary of the Dead anymore, so I’ve jumped back on World of Warcraft with a vengeance. I’ve been going through dungeons with the Boyfriend-Wonder and gearing up. In one night alone I went from item level 611 to 620. Not bad for a night’s work!

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Other than World of Warcraft, my housemate convinced me to download Steam so he could get me to play Magicite with him. I’m looking out for more games to get, so I’m after a few recommendations! The only ones I know for sure I want to get are Octodad, Five Nights at Freddy’s, Don’t Starve, Gone Home and the original Fallouts, if they’re on Steam. I feel like I’ll be saying goodbye to a lot of my free time if I get into Steam! I’m also looking to get a decent headset for my laptop, so I’ve been doing some online shopping. If anyone knows any good brands or deals, please let me know. I’m a bit of a noob with these things!

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I felt myself falling into a minor film addiction this week, as I finally watched Studio Ghibli’s Kiki’s Delivery Service. I’ve been a fan of Studio Ghibli films for YEARS, but have only seen an embarrassingly small selection of the back-catalogue. So after reblogging a third gifset from the film on Tumblr, I decided to watch it, Boy, did I fall in love. Ghibli films are always cute and charming, but Kiki’s Delivery Service had it in spades. The voice acting was great. The animation was stunning. I loved the story (and I’ve been looking into cosplaying Kiki for a convention too!) so I’m tempted to watch the whole Ghibli back-catalogue in my down-time. I at least plan on rewatching Howl’s Moving Castle!

As well as cute animated films, I also watched something which surprised me. On Saturday night, my housemate put the Maisie Williams drama Cyber Bully on, and we were engrossed for an hour. I don’t usually watch TV films, but after a while, I couldn’t stop myself from watching. The first ten minutes are a bit shaky (questionable acting and writing) but from there, it sucked you in and didn’t let you go. I plan on doing a full review on it soon (as I have a whole lot to say about it) so keep your eye for it! In the meantime, if you get chance to watch it, do. It’s a great modern horror story which is extremely relevant.

Cutest gifts ever!

Cutest gifts ever!

I finally got to see my bestie Gina over the weekend! Due to a lack of funds and busy schedules, we hadn’t had chance to see each other since… Well, it’d been that long we didn’t even know ourselves! So I hopped on the train on Friday, went over to Lincoln and spent an awesome day and night with my bestie. We swapped gifts, and she got me amazing things! A Cake from the gender-bent Adventure Time episode plushie, an amazing Game of Thrones mug (my collection of nerdy mugs is getting crazy!) and a really cool Marvel notebook. A girl can never have too many notebooks! We spent out evening eating pizza, ice-cream, and drinking copious amounts of tea while playing Tekken Tag Tournament 2. I had such a great time catching up, and we’ve been discussing cosplay plans for MCM in London in October. We have grand, grand plans!

I also took lots of photos of Gina's cat.

I also took lots of photos of Gina’s cat.

In the meantime, I’m preparing for class to start again tomorrow, and I’m rushing to get a few bits done. Nothing quite like the horror of deadlines, right?

This week I started writing for Rhymes With Geek. Check out my article and their page here.

 

Some time ago on Tumblr, pit of my procrastination, I came across a poster for a really great reading challenge. 50 books. 50 different prompts. One year to do it. I’m quite the bookworm, so it sounds perfect for me! Given I do most of my reading either in the bath or on the train, I’m not sure if I’ll actually complete in a year, but I’ll give it a damn good go! Below I’ve outlined what books I’ve selected for each prompt, and at the start of every month, I’ll do an update with how many books I’ve read, and what I think to them. Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of the books on my list, or if you’re joining the challenge too!

Here’s more information on the challenge: http://www.popsugar.com/love/Reading-Challenge-2015-36071458

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A book with more than 500 pages: A Dance With Dragons: Part two, After the Feast by George R R Martin. The Boyfriend-Wonder got me this for my birthday, so I just had to read it first!

A classic romance: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

A book that became a movie: American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis.

A book published this year: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman. I’m kind of cheating because this came out at the tail end of last year.

A book with a number in the title: The 10 Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How it Changed America by David Hajdu. Been on my Amazon Wishlist for well over a year, and I’ve been dying to read it for ages!

A book written by someone under 30: I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

A book with non-human characters: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris. I know I’m being sneaky with this one, but really, how many human characters are there in the True Blood books?

A funny book: Yes Please by Amy Poehler. Everyone I know is reading this and Amy is the queen of comedy!

A book by a female author: Not that Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

A mystery or thriller: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

A book with a one word title: You by Austin Grossman

A book of short stories: Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman

A book set in a different country: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

A popular author’s first book: Carrie by Stephen King. I’ve not read any of King’s books all the way through (I got halfway through Needful Things a while back but stopped because nothing happened) but I’m determined to finish at least one!

A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I’ve read a few Pratchett books and really enjoyed them, so I imagine a book where he’s writing with Neil Gaiman, one of my favourite authors would be awesome.

A book a friend recommended: Wasp Factory by Iain Banks. The Boyfriend-Wonder, who isn’t much of a reader recommended this to me recently and it sounds pretty interesting.

A Pulitzer-Prize winning book: For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. Having been introduced to Hemingway’s writing in my Adaptations class last year, I’m excited to read more of his work.

A book based on a true story: Black Dahlia by James Ellroy.

A book at the bottom of your to-read list: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. This was recommended to me by my housemate, but we have very different tastes in books, so I’ve put this one off a lot.

A book your Mum loves: It by Stephen King.

A book that scares you: Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill. I read the description for this on Amazon and it sounded pretty spooky! Not only that, but Hill is the writer behind Locke & Key, a fantastic comic series from IDW.

A book more than one hundred years old: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Another from my list of shame!

A book based entirely on its cover: Landline by Rainbow Rowell.

A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t: Screenplay by Syd Field. At secondary school and college, I was really good reading all books assigned to me. At university, I’ve been less good, hence this writing guide!

A memoir: Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman. I absolutely love the show and had no idea it was based on a book, so I’ve got to read it!

A book you can finish in a day: Animal Farm by George Orwell.

A book with an antonym in the title: Angels and Demons by Dan Brown.

A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit: Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. Not what it sounds like; it’s actually about a travelling circus who use radioactivity and drugs to create a freak show in Portland, Oregon.

A book with bad reviews: Twilight by Stephanie Meyers. I’ve read Twilight once. My options here were Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey, two of the most notoriously bad books out there. I’m putting myself through enough suffering when I go to see 50 Shades of Grey this year (expect a very angry, ranty review), so I thought I’d settle with Twilight. At least I can say it’s original.

A trilogy: Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien.

A book from your childhood: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J K Rowling. I’ve read this book probably 10+ times, so what’s another time?

A book with a love triangle: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

A book set in the future: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

A book set in high school: The Virgin Suicides by Jeffery Eugenides

A book with colour in the title: A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

A book that made you cry: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

A book with magic in it: The Magicians by Lev Grossman

A graphic novel: Black Hole by Charles Burns. I read a lot of graphic novels in a year, but this is one I’ve been wanting to read for a long time.

A book by an author you’ve never read: Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

A book you own but have never read: The Secret of Abdu El Yezdi by Mark Hodder. Picked up at a convention back in September, and been sat on my shelf ever since. Whoops!

A book that came out the year you were born: Nightshade by Mark Gatiss. I had no idea Gatiss had written novels, so this was a pleasant surprise!

A book that takes place in your hometown: The Clipper Girls by Margaret Dickinson. I’m definitely cheating with this one! My hometown is extremely small and not all that many authors or such have written books set there. However, Dickinson was born there and this book is set in Sheffield, so I get my hometown and where I’m living in one! Kind of…

A book originally written in a different language: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

A book set during Christmas: Let it Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson.

A book written by an author with your initials: Rendezvous with Rama By Arthur C Clarke.

A play: A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare.

A banned book: Ulysses by James Joyce.

A book turned into a TV show: Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell. You may know this as the TV show Wallander.

A book you started but never finished: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

Wow guys, I’m finally back! It’s good to be back blogging again. I really needed the break over Christmas and New Year’s, especially as I had a LOT of classwork to do then. I’m back in Sheffield, and ready to start reviewing things and pretty excited to.

As you may have seen on my Twitter, I now have an internship! I work at a film company in Sheffield who give funds to small festivals, cinemas and film societies in the North of England, and I absolutely love it. Sure, the work’s a bit dull (endless data input!) but I love working with film and I love working with people. I’m going with them to a screening day in New Brighton as part of the Independent Cinema Office’s semi-annual screening weekend. I’m very excited as it’s my first big adventure of the year!

I’ve got some great blogs and stuff planned for you this year! I’m participating in a book challenge, start writing at a website soon, and plan on getting back into comics and getting through my graphic novel backlog. Hopefully this will be the year of awesomeness! I plan on covering comics, films and games more this year, with a slight focus in lifestyle. We’ll see how it goes. I’m happy to be sharing 2015 with you all!

 

I got a great haul this Christmas! My Dad was kind enough to buy me Blankets by Craig Thompson, which I’d wanted to read for a very, very long time, chocolates, and fancy tea-bags. I went out a few times with my best friend Lawrence while I was back in town, and had dinner out and swapped gifts. It was so lovely being back!

I took some pretty fab pictures while I was home:

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The Boyfriend-Wonder isn’t keen on selfies, but I managed to take some nice ones!

The most awesome mug I have ever seen!

The most awesome mug I have ever seen!

My cat was her usual cute self~

My cat was her usual cute self~

I had some great reading material over Christmas.

I had some great reading material over Christmas.

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Adorable home-made card!

 

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My hometown got all snazzed up for Christmas

 

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Christmas gifts from Lawrence! I am totally in love with the Princess Bubblegum Pop Vinyl

 

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Apparently, I’m the comfiest seat in the house.

 

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My brother Jorah looked pretty cozy for an outing.

 

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Boba Fett onesie!

 

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My cat is eternally grumpy.

 

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She looks pretty awesome on my bookshelf!

 

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I took a lot more selfies than I thought I would.

 

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My housemate got me an awesome Adventure Time mug for Christmas

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End of the Year Slump

I’ve been quiet here on my blog recently. After I went to the effort of giving it a makeover, and adding to the 5 Fandom Fridays posts, starting my Confessions of a WoW Noob series and doing a few other posts, I’ve come to a standstill.

Blame the time of year. It’s almost Christmas, and I’m super excited to go home and spend time with my friends and family, eat some good food and get lovely gifts, so my mind is preoccupied. Not just that, but I have two assignments coming up for university, and I’m having issues with my house. I also have an internship now, which takes up a day a week. All of this has just been draining me recently. I spend most nights watching Bones with the Boyfriend Wonder until I fall asleep, and I’ve been lacking motivation in just about everything. I’m blaming the cold weather, which is making me want to burrow under all my blankets and hibernate. My sleeping pattern is completely out of the window (going to sleep at 6AM because I’ve been up all night and getting up at 1 is not healthy at all) and I’ve been focussing on tonnes of other stuff, so my blog has fallen by the wayside.

I’ve decided that the break from blogging will continue until mid-January, at which point I’ll be on my Christmas break from university, and I’ll have no assignments due in. I always get way more energised every time the New Year rolls around, so I plan on channeling it into the blog and getting some great material out. I plan on doing a big catch up of the 5 Fandom Friday posts that I’ve missed (the topics are just too much fun for me to leave alone!) and get back to promoting indie comics, artists and friends.

In the meantime, you can still find me on Twitter under the username @ariellalphabet, where I tweet about random stuff (ranging from mermaid cannibalism to NSFW pop-ups at inopportune work times) and on Instagram, also under ariellalphabet, where I post nerdy things throughout my day. I’ll still be picking up comics and graphic novels (I treated myself to Volume One of the Wicked and the Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie the other day as a pre-birthday gift to myself) regularly, and will no doubt share my opinions on my various social medias.

Until next year!

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