Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Joy of Foam Swords

Hello everyone! Today I'll be talking about my experience with LARPing. More specifically with Amtgard.

 Before we get into the thick of things, firstly, yes, I am a nerd and happily refer to myself as such. Secondly, all of what I'm talking about is based on my personal experience with one group. Depending on the system and group you choose to play with, there will likely be differences between my experience and yours.

 So what exactly is LARPing, you may ask. LARPing is essencially a bunch of nerds getting together and pretending to be characters from medieval, Sci fi, or other eras, similar to games such as Dungeons and Dragons, Traveller, Pathfinder, or Monster! Monsters! and typically involves some sort of rule system and weapons. While I am sure there are groups out there that are more into the roleplaying aspect of LARPing, my Amtgard group focuses more on the fighting aspect of the game. There's a rules set thet defines legal striking areas, classes, spells, and weapons. As an example, I played as a scout (there are races, but me being an elf mostly just adds to my stabbing random people out of boredom because they aren't elves). As a scout (Level 3ish?) I have a healing spell, a tracking spell, and a recharging spell to regain my spells without having to die and respawn (get hit in a "kill" area or sustain enough hits to be considered dead, then count to a certain number before going back to play in the game). Each of these spells has it's own little chant/rymie thing that as a player you have to memorize and say out loud to use the spell (cheat sheets are allowed, so you don't have to memorize the spells). For example, the spell for tracking is just saying the word "tracking" three times, whereas the healing spell is longer with 7 fairly short lines (Sword cut, spear jab....The white light of healing hath healed thee!). In addition to spells, my class determines which weapons I can use, such as bow and arrow, daggers, and short sword, as well as armor. Armor is based on a points system: essencially each type of armor has a certain number of hits that it can take before it is "destroyed" and the body part it's covering can be hit. An example would be a set of bracers I own. They are made with a thick leather and have metal accoutrements affixed to it, totalling three points of armor (also the max my class can wear in any one piece). If someone hits one of my forearms, that piece of armor becomes damaged, losing a point of armor. If it's hit three more times, then I wall lose the two remaining points on it as well as use of that arm. Also, with armor, you can wear a piece of armor that has more points than your class, but it still only counts for your class's maximum number of points. So if you were wearing heavy platemail that counted as 5 points of armor, but your class only allowed a maximum of three, the armor would only count as a 3 point piece of armor.

 Now that I've talked your ears off explaining some of the rules for LARPing, more specifically Amtgard, let me tell you why it's so much fun for me.

 The first and foremost reason I love LARPing is because of the people there. We're all just a bunch of dorks in costumes, and we all tend to have similar interests. I've even met fellow Lolitas at our events (not in Lolita at the time though)! Another reason I enjoy it is because of the exercise. I like to play as an archer and even when I'm not, my fighting skills aren't always the best since I can't attend very often anymore. This means lots of running away from people so I don't die. LOTS of running away. Plus the sword fighting is good exercise too, especially if you're fighting people one on one since you only have one opponent to worry about. But when it all comes down to it, it's just having fun with similarly minded people beating each other up with foam swords.

Let me know if you've ever experience LARPing and if so what type of group you were with!

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

First Impressions: Ergo Proxy

Hello everyone! So a while ago I was browsing through Imgur (no, I don't have an account) and came across one of the many "These shows/animes/movies are AWESOME!" posts. Among the animes listed was one I'd seen gifs and images for previously, so I decided to try watching Ergo Proxy!

 As of writing this article, I'd only watched the first episode, so there's certainly a chance that the show will develop more than what I've seen. I've been watching quite a few animes set in a darker tone, so I ended up switching back to Pretty Cure (Precure) after the first episode, otherwise I probably would have watched more episodes. First off, I have to say the art style is simply gorgeous in this anime. I'd seen pictures of the main character (at least I presume she is) with her vivid blue eye makeup in a world thet's mostly black, grey, and muted colors before, but I'd never figured out the anime's name until recently. However, I was slightly disappointed with how the first episode was layed out. Too many characters were introduced at once, making it difficult to tell who exactly is the main character as well as what is going on. While I expect animes to have a full cast as well as some mystery to the story, I feel Erogo Proxy's first episode could have maybe been divided to show one character's point of view at a time, similar to how Soul Eater introduces each of the initial teams in their own episode, then procedes to introduce more characters over the course of the show. Despite this, I'd be willing to give Ergo Proxy a second chance to see if it gets more congruent in later episodes.

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Organization Powers: Activate!

Hello everyone! So I've been recently re-evaluating a lot of things in my life and decided it was time to reorganize and clean up my room again. I say again because I moved all the furniture in my room late last year (accidentally creating a zombie barricade and effectively trapping myself in my room as well) and have been somewhat unsatisfied with the layout since. For various reasons (lazy, stupid old browser, etc.) I'm not going to be posting pictures of my room layout or anything.

 So, let's start with some reasons for the (currently ongoing) organization going on in my room. As afore mentioned, I'm getting a little tired with its current layout. I don't have a lot of room and have a lot of stuff in my room right now and last time I kinda messed up and ended up shoving some furniture into odd corners where it's somewhat inconvenient. So, while I have yet to move any yet, I'm planning on rearranging my furniture to make it easier for me to avoid going straight to my computer and instead do important stuff (lke work on new shop products...). Second main reason is I just have way too much stuff right now compared to what I want to have and need to go through it all and decide what I want to keep and what it's time to get rid of. This is currently making my room more of a mess (boxes everywhere...), but I'm making progress in the direction I want to go: an ultimately less cluttered room.

 So now we know generally why, let's go over some of my organization tips and suggestions.

Tip #1: One thing at a time

 Alright, so when organizing, rather than focus on one area at a time, I find it helps a lot more to focus on one set of items at a time. For example, I pretty much just dumped my whole wardrobe on my bed to go through. Rather than work through my whole closet (which I have some non-clothing items in as well, like a toaster I can't use) I just focused on my clothing. Same thing goes for shoes, bags, makeup, jewelry, decorations, etc: Go through them one at a time instead of all at once so you aren't trying to organize five different things at once. It's a lot easier having a "Keep, "Get rid of, and "Undecided" pile of just shoes rather than having one pile for shoes, one for monsters, and one for.... wait, was I keeping these shoes or are these going to the thrift store with the monsters?

 You get the idea.

Tip #2: Keep Sentimentalism at bay

 One of the hardest parts of organizing for me is getting over sentimentalities associated with various items. "This shirt is so cute! I'm going to keep it!" With said shirt being too small, unflattering, or too worn for me to want to actually wear it. If it's something really special, like a class T-shirt, band shirt, present from a close friend, etc. Find a way to reuse it. One of my friends has a quilt made out of T-shirts hanging in her room and there are plenty of tutorials online if you decide to make your own. This can be harder with knickknacks and the like, so if you can, try to decide which actually have a sentimental value and which are just little gifts well meaning people gave to you that you never use or look at. If you can, try to make a photo album with pictures of the sentimentalities associated with something (like the birthday party where Aunt Patricia gave you that set of china deer you never liked) and then donate the items or give them to someone who would appreciate them more. Or if it's some dorky gag gift or accessory you never use that you got (I've been guilty of saving throwaway party hats) take pictures of the item(s) being used and get rid of them. I am rather guilty of taking pictures of presents from relatives to upload for their viewing pleasure and proceeding to never use said item again until I decide to donate it.

Tip #3: If it doesn't sell, donate it

 This is more for if you, like me, try to keep expenses slightly more minimal by selling clothing you don't use online. I made a post a while back about my experience with some selling apps. So, since I'm also rebuilding my wardrobe right now, I'm getting rid of a lot of clothing and am attempting to sell a lot of it. Sadly, this is not working especially well, so I've decided that anything up for more than a month will be donated so my floor isn't overflowing with boxes and bags of unwanted clothing. While I could just donate all of it now, I spend most of my spending budget on clothing and would like to make some of it back so I can save up a bit more (my money from selling doesn't just go straight into buying more clothes). While there are multiple ways to accomplish this, a lot of them seem to be failing me, so I've given up and set a deadline for myself that I have to sell items in before I donate them to a thrift store. And if you're procrastinating on taking donations to a thrift store, look up donation acceptance hours for the store you're planning on donating to and set an appointment for yourself when your free time and donation times overlap. No more procrastination!

Tip #4: Make use of vertical space

 Since I have fairly constricted living arrangements right now, I have to come up with creative ways of storing stuff. If you can, take advantage of walls and ceilings to store or display things. Get some shelves, paint them to match your style, and cram all of those trinkets you can't get rid of on them so you can use bookshelf space for books (or dolls... *shifty eyes*). I've recently been moving as much of my stuff to my walls as possible without having it look tacky so it's easier to store the rest of my stuff. I have a wall organizer for jewelry that currently has a lot of my smaller hair accessories and the majority of my non-pallet makeup in it hanging by my sink. It's not the prettiest, but it does the job. I also put all of my scarves on a closet hanger organizer that's displayed on the front of my armoire right now. If you have any dressers or armoires, I highly recommend using them as flat display surfaces. I have my ramune bottle collection happily displayed on top of my armoire as well as a toy dinosaur with a wire armature I made ages ago who is fascinated by my lamp.

Tip#5: Clear out clutter!

 This may well be one of the most important tips I have: Don't keep trash lying around your room! Throw out any wrappers, plastic bags, monster-eating dust bunnies, and general trash that you have laying around your room. And try to prevent trash buildup in your room by having a small trash you regularly empty to throw your trash into. If you can I would recommend not even eating in your room so you're less likely to have crumbs, mold, and ants in your room because of being a messy eater or crumbly food.

 Well everyone, that's all I have to say on room organization for now. Let me know if there's anything you'd like me to talk about in the future and I will do my best to fulfill those requests!

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Saturday, May 9, 2015

Common White Girl Tag

"Why the heck are you doing the white girl tag? Isn't that, like, super old?" Because why the heck not. I was originally going to do this in a video format, but I have more time for typing than I do video editing at this point in time. Don't want to go throwing horribly long, unedited videos up when I could take less time to type up a blog article. n_n Onwards to the tag!

  •  Favorite Starbucks drink? 
That strawberry thingie. With the wipped cream on top.
  • How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? 
Depends on the day. 30-45 minutes on a work day 15 minutes to 3 hours on an off day. Because sometimes I just want to sit wrapped in a blanket watching YouTube instead of changing. ^^;;
  • How many selfies do you take on a daily basis? 
When I'm dressed up, four to five to get a good one. Work days, pretty much never unless I dress up after.
  • How many IG followers and pics do you have? 
What is this IG you speak of? (Iiiii kinda don't have any pictures up on mine, and I kinda forgot the password...)
  • Do you ever say “LOL” or “OMG” out loud? 
How else am I supposed to say "LOLibrary" and "OMG! AP's new print is out!!!" ;)
  • Do you wear the same clothing item more than once? 
Nooooo... *totally wears the same t-shirt and jeans all the time*
  • Are you racist? 
Of course I am. Elves are the superior race. Much better than those hairy dwarves or furry little halflings. ;)
  • How many tweets do you have? 
Uhhh, twelve point two eight? And a half.
  • Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr? 
  • What do you spend most of your time doing? 
Watching Castle and bemoaning the rate I'm buring through episodes...
  • Who are your favorite YouTubers? 
NigaHiga, tadleesmith, and Lovely Lor.
  • How often do you do your nails? 
Constantly. I keep a file and a clear coat in my bag. (Seriously, I never know when I need them.)
  • Are you a shopaholic? 
*Hides last night's shopping bags* No. Not at all. *five boxes arrive in mail* I swear, I'm not a shopaholic.
  • How many times have you watched Mean Girls? 
Only once. But it keeps calling out for me to watch it again. And again. And again...
  • Do you own a lot of clothes? 
Do I have space in my room for any more clothes would probably be the better question...
  • Do you take pictures of your food before you eat it? 
You mean before I devour it while it's still warm? Not really.
  • Do you wear makeup everyday? 
It's the only hobby I'm regular about. ^^;;
  • What are your average grades in school? 
What is this school of which you speak?
  • How do you usually style your hair? 
*wakes up* Meh. *applies fiber gum* Hrm. *attacks with comb* Mrrrr. Today is a good day for a wig.
  • Do you always look presentable? 
Does zombie count as presentable? Because then yes, yes I am always a presentable zombie.

Alrighty. So I have no idea if any of you made it all the way to the end here, but if you did, congrazzles! You get absolutely nothing! Feel free to comment down below if you've ever done this tag or want to see me do another tag.

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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Three Lolita Trends I Could Never Get Into

Hello everyone! Today I'm going to be using an older Lolita Blog Carnival topic: Three Lolita trends I could never get into. I originally read this on F Yeah Lolita' blog (Links to other blogs are on there too). So without further ado...

#1: Bonnets
 I've never been much of a fan of bonnets in general and Lolita is not much different for me. While they can look cute in certain coords, I just really don't like the shape. I much prefer the head eating bows and rectangle headresses. Granted, I'm not much of a hat person in general, so I might be slightly biased...

#2: Scepters
 While they can look cute and are certainly a fun decoration, I've never really gotten into scepters. Despite being Brand in a lot of cases, they look kinda like something you'd pick up at a party store for a little kid's costume to me. I can kinda see using them in a very OTT Hime Coord, I don't really like how they look in most Lolita coords as they come across as costume-y to me.

#3: Chocolate Prints
 While most people absolutely adore chocolate, I am cursed with tastebuds that do not like chocolate. So in a way, chocolate prints are a bit of a smack in the face for me of deliciousness I can never enjoy. I can see why they're considered cute by many, but I personally just don't much care for the browns and tans (like with chocolate cookie prints) that are frequent in these styles.

So there you have it! Three Lolita trends I'm just not that in to.

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