Friday, December 30, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

As always courtesy of the little things we do.
1.   New Years is    kind of a bland holiday for me    .

2.   One of my New Year's resolutions will be  read more.  I haven't made much time for reading in a while       .

3.  A New Year's resolution I've made in the past was to   I don't make resolutions on New Years, generally.    .

4. The most time consuming resolution I ever made was    to cut back on my soda consumption.  It is a constant battle    .

5.  This year I will be spending New Year's Eve    probably home.  Not a great night to be on the road. . . But Mike Awesome and I do have dinner plans earlier in the evening .

6.  If I could wish one thing for my new year it would be   I have a wish or two, but I can't share them until they come true do to their nature   .

7.  2012 is going to be    a good year, I hope  .

Monday, December 26, 2011

My Little Monday: Secret Santa

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season so far.  Just one more biggie until 2012 is upon us.  I am pretty sure I have mentioned this before, but /r/mylittlepony put together a Secret Santa event that I decided to participate in. I had a truly wonderful experience and hope to do it again next year.  My package arrived on Christmas Eve with this lovely card inclosed:

The gift was wrapped, which added to the wonderful anticipation.  When I exclaimed to Mike Awesome just how happy I was that they took the time to wrap the gift, he decided to respond with, "Great.  Put it with the rest of the gifts.  You can wait a few hours for it to be Christmas."  Excuse me?  For some reason, though, I listened.  The next morning it was one of the first gifts I opened!

I have to say that this is exactly what I wanted.  The best response was Mike Awesome, "Wow.  They actually look right."  That is right, no wrong colored Princess Celestia in MY home.  But seriously, Sir_Rainbowdash and KimashiZ812 of /r/mylittlepony did a wonderful job and I am very grateful and happy.  Thank you, Bronies.  In fact, I want to say thank you to all the Bronies who made this possible. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

Courtesy of the little things we do

1.   The best way to spread Christmas cheer is   Christmas cards and a smile     .

2.   The thing I love most about Christmas is   the warm feeling.  The atmosphere this time of year is amazing.  And the food.  I love all the baked goodies around the holidays      .

3.  The holiday season is a time for  family, friends, and charity     .

4. My favorite thing to eat at the holidays is   sour cream pound cake, Christmas cookies from my MIL, and ham.  There is more, but I am trying to keep it short     .

5.  I will be spending Christmas    hosting my mother, stepdad, and anyone who wants to stop by.  This is my mom's first Christmas out of Florida and her first Christmas away from her granddaughter.  I hope to make it super special for her. .

6.  Tis better to (give or receive?)   give!!!  .

7.  I'm dreaming of a   white      Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

You're a Mean One, Abominable Greench!

Winter's Veil has received a well needed facelift from Blizzard this year.  Funny thing is, I was just telling Mike Awesome how I wished there was a Christmas dungeon since so many of the holidays in WoW have special bosses.  What is nice about the new Abominable Greench is that his quest, appearance, and difficulty have all been upgraded.  The Greench used to look like every other yeti in the area, but with a slightly different hue.  He had a couple different spawn points and everyone was after him.  This was a recipe for disaster because you would have to circle around, constantly waiting, hoping to find him before someone else.  Now the Smokey Pasture Goblins give out a daily quest to hunt down the Greench and retrieve the stolen gifts.

At first I was a little worried when Tulips reached the green monster.  He is just below raid worthy, definitely not something you can do alone.  The upside is that attacking him does not flag him as yours only.  (Thank you, Blizzard.)  This means anyone can come along and help at any point in the fight and still get credit, including the opposite faction.  What better time to have the Horde and Alliance unite over killing giant, green, furry monsters than the Feast of Winter Veil?

I love the redesign of the Greench.  The green tint of the fur and the wrapped presents hanging from his giant horns.  I don't know if you can tell, but he also has leper gnomes dressed in Santa costumes standing on his horns.  The quest dialog makes it seem like the gnomes do his bidding, but the way they ride him makes me think otherwise.  Just look at those glowing green eyes.  They also added a cave full of swag that he guards.

I am a little surprised the Greench hasn't eaten that little dog.

This quest actually has two goals, but they both are accomplished when the Greench dies.  Metzen the Reindeer is kidnapped around this time every year.  In the past, you would find him in Tanaris captured by pirates.  For some reason this year the Abominable Greench has decided to take Metzen for himself. . . I bet to eat.  It probably has a lot to do with the change in the balance of power since the Cataclysm.  The Bloodsail Buccaneers and other enemies just don't have the terrain advantages they used to.  I am happy because it is a lot less traveling back and forth.  The only down side is that I really can't complete the Metzen/Greench daily on any character who isn't level 80+.

Is it just me, or does it look like Metzen could trample those Rotten Little Helpers?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Neighborly Cheer

A new family moved across the hall recently.  On Black Friday, to be exact.  I remember because I was coming home from a 4 a.m. retail shift, completely exhausted, only to find my parking space blocked by their move.  Twice within the first month I had issues with my parking space and them.  I have nothing against them, but I just want to paint to picture that the few times I have seem to come in contact with them haven't been under great circumstances.  Between you and me, I was a bit worried they would think me a grouch.  I would much prefer a good relationship with neighbors, and I know the parking incidents were all just bad timing.  It happens with a lot of the neighbors because of where my parking space is. 

Well, last week something pretty magical happened.  I was entering my apartment one afternoon when I noticed the grandmother was teaching the two little girls in the family hop scotch.  At first I just quietly let myself in, but then I got to thinking that this was the opportunity I had been waiting for.  I grabbed a Christmas Tupperware and filled it with the pumpkin spice cookies I made, and then I grabbed three candy canes.  When I got outside I handed the cookies to the grandmother and then crouched down to the girls' eye level.  "You have an older brother, right?," I asked.  They nodded and confirmed.  "Well, then," I continued, "here is one for each of you.  Can you make sure he gets one?"  They said thank you and I talked with the grandmother for a moment.  You see, they have a little Yorkie who gets just as jumpy with noise at my Tokidoki does.  The grandmother wanted to make sure the noise wasn't bothering us, and I eased her fears.  The walls are actually pretty think in our bedroom.  The two little girls were so adorable during the conversation, as they explained how protective their guard dog was.

Now that isn't the magical part of the story.  Later I opened the door to find three items outside my door.  The first was a holiday door knob ornament.  The next were these:

Such a cute picture.  I could use some translation, though.

"Thank you for the cookies and candy canes.  Merry Christmas.  Gabriella"
My heart melted.  Of course, the picture went on the fridge instantly.  Leave it to the spirit of the Holidays to give me the opening I needed to start what I hope to be a very pleasant relationship with my neighbors.

Monday, December 19, 2011

My Little Monday: Hearth's Warming Eve

I see you, Derpy!

Sorry for this going up so late, but it has been a busy weekend.  The newest episode of Friendship is Magic really didn't meet my expectations.  Instead of celebrating Christmas or Chanukah, the ponies celebrate Hearth Warming.  This holiday is a remembrance of the founding of Equestria.  A lot of fans have been patiently awaiting the history of Equestria, and I was one of them.  Unfortunately there seem to be more questions than answers.

The leaders of the 3 tribes are frozen like their hearts.
The short version of the founding of Equestria for those who missed it-  Before Equestria, the three tribes of ponies were racist and full of mistrust.  The Pegasus were ruled by military, the Unicorns were ruled by monarchy, and the Earth Ponies were ruled by Pudding Head.  Unbeknownst to the three tribes, the creatures known as Windigos had settled in to feast on their hatred.  An unfortunate by product of these knew creatures are blizzards.  Soon all the tribes were facing famine, forcing the leaders to each set out and look for a new home.  All three happen upon what is now Equestria and try to claim it for themselves.  The bickering once again lures the Windigos and another blizzard threatens what would be their new home.  In the end, the three assistants defeat the Windigos with their compassion and friendship.  They even thaw the hearts of their leaders, much like Whoville did with the Grinch.

Way to get into festive spirit, Rarity.
There is still a huge gap between the founding of Equestria and what we see today.  It between we have the rule of Discord, followed by the rule of Celestia and Luna.  Then Luna transforms into Nightmare Moon, is imprisoned on the moon by here sister, and set free 1,000 years later (present day).  I was personally hoping for a little more on the in between.  How did Discord happen to find Equestria?  Just when did Celestia and Luna enter the scene.  According to Hearth's Warming, the Unicorns used to raise the sun and the moon.  That means you don't have to be an Alicorn  to do it, but also explains why the palace is still among the Unicorns.  I would love an episode that goes more into Celestia's history.

Oh, Pinky Pie!  You so hungry!
The Christmas decorations really have no purpose other than to let the audience know that this is the "Christmas" episode.  They seem to have no real tie-in to Hearth's Warming, in which case they could have easily done with out.  The over all message of friendship and love were very obvious, which is understandable considering the target audience.  At the same time, I found this to be one of the dullest episodes this season.  I am sorry, but I had to say it.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

Courtesy of the little things we do.  Great blog.
1.   My most favorite "little thing" is   my husband's smile     .

2.   I give anything to  have a tall Caramel Apple Spice from Starbucks.  That is one of my favorite drinks      .

3.  I can't believe    it is almost Christmas.  Time really flies    .

4. The one thing I'd like to achieve today is    making it through the day    .

5.  The last thing I want to do today is   the chores I need to get done   .

6.  If I were writing my own blank today, it would say:  "My New Years resolution is. . . "    .

7.  My favorite candle scent is   apple cinnamon   .

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Isle of the Darkmoon Faire

Portal to the Darkmoon Faire on the grounds the fair once occupied.
 One of the new things that has been added to the World of Warcraft is a new and improved Darkmoon Faire.  Previously the Darkmoon Faire was your typical traveling fair.  The neutral NPC faction would set for an entire week starting the Sunday before the first Monday of every month.  Confusing, isn't it.  The fair would rotate between Elwynn Forest, Mulgore, and Terokkar Forest; and was always neutral regardless of location.  Now the fair has an entire island to itself, though the schedule is still the same.

An achievement for going to the fair.

Over the river and through the woods, to the Darkmoon Faire I go!
 The Darkmoon Fair has grown considerably now that it has a bigger space to call home.  The repeatable quests one used to complete were, honestly, not that great.  They were essentially shopping lists for items that were pretty hard to come by if you were able to craft it yourself.  Now the colorful carnival has a set of daily quests that are based off actual carny games.  My favorite is the Whack-A-Gnoll.

A young Draenei playing in the sandbox.

Your character is supposed to look entirely too big to ride the Sandbox Tiger.  Unfortunately for Tulips, her gnome size gives the appearance she is a child who belongs on such a toy.

Tonk Commander

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gift Ideas for the Geek Who has Everything: Part 2

Harry Potter:

Dog Costume from Gypsy Eyes Clothing
Spice Rack from Lost Realm
Lipstick- Philosopher's Stone from Monsieur Trevor

Star Wars:

Boba Fett hat from BeeBeeKins

AT-AT Vinyl Record Clock from Not By Laser
Custom Hand Painted Heels from East Bay California


Star Trek Dress from Bonga Chop Shop
Magic the Gathering Shot Glass Set from Fanboy Glass
Pokemon Dress from Ivy Frozen Productions
Chocolate Batman Lollipops from Candy's Candies

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Little Monday: Secret of My Excess

Birthday Sapphire!
 In the previous episode we got to celebrate the birthday of our heroine, Twilight Sparkles.  In the Secret of My Excess we celebrate Spike's birthday, and once again Rarity is somehow more than just a background character.  The lesson this past week was greed, as we learned that age is not a factor in dragons physically maturing.  Poor Spike is doomed to be a baby dragon forever, it seems.  I also suspect he won't be relieving anymore birthday gifts.  I honestly feel bad for Spike and the situation life has put him in.  (Feel free to substitute the word life with the phrase Princess Trollestia.)

"Just don't tell Tom, my little Spikey-Wikey!"

I can actually forgive Rarity's importance to an episode about Spike's birthday.  It is well known by even the youngest of fans at this point that Spike has it bad for Rarity.  At first I wasn't too pleased with Rarity when she entered the episode.  Spike was displaying his prized birthday meal, a rare ruby he had been aging, to Twilight Sparkles.  Rarity looks absolutely horrified at the idea of the gem being eaten, so she starts batting her eyes and just gushing over the jewel.  Naturally, Spike takes the hint and offers his delicacy to his crush.  I really thought Rarity's actions were in poor taste.  The whole scene gave off the vibe that she was taking advantage of his feelings for her.  How is that an example of generosity?  Rarity, the element of manipulation.  By the end of the episode she was able to turn it around, though.  The lecture she gave the grown, evil Spike (not knowing it was Spike) about how sentimentally precious the gem was to her helped snap Spike back to himself.  In that moment we got to see a part of Rarity we rarely see.  Also, we he tried to confess his crush as they were falling to certain doom, and she just hushes him with a smile and tears in her eyes. 

Evil Spike

The main focus of the episode was, as I stated earlier, greed.  Spike had apparently never experience full greed before.  If he had, then Twilight Sparkles would have been better prepared and probably insisted there be no gifts.  What I don't understand is how Twilight and Spike both had no idea that a dragon's maturity and growth are linked to greed.  Also, how could neither Princess Celestia nor Twilight's teachers ever mention the issue?  Hatching the dragon egg was Twilight's test to get into school, so one would assume she is not the only unicorn in Canterlot who had to raise a baby dragon.  Then to let Twilight take this potential disaster with her to a place like Ponyville without confirming whether or not she realizes the situation properly just seems beyond irresponsible.  At least the grandson of the owner of the antique shop in Chinatown had the decency to warn Randall Peltzer of the risks when he sold the Mogwai.  I know some of the blame should be placed on Spike, but can you really hold him accountable for following his natural instincts.  I am with Rarity when she tells him how proud she is at the end of the episode. 

Grown Spike
In the end, Spike is destined to live a stunted life because reaching maturity means becoming a greedy and destructive monster.  It was definitely not that path I saw the show taking.  I actually find myself wondering if the writers fully grasped the implications of this episode.  Then again, I am probably just over analyzing.  What do you think about Spike's predicament?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Gift Ideas for the Geek Who has Everything: Part 1

With the holidays fast approaching, everyone is busy scouring for that perfect gift.  If you are like me, then you sometimes get stuck.  I love giving gifts, but it isn't always find it easy picking out the right one.  The great thing about shopping on a site like Etsy is that you can find some pretty unique gift ideas.  Here are some items that have caught my eye.

World of Warcraft:

World of Warcraft inspired Alliance Decorative Pillow from Milady Creations
Hearthstone Earrings from Sapphire's Designs
Bronze Horde Necklace from Peace of Shine


Cthulhu Scarf from RosaleenDhu Designs
Cthulhu Ski Mask from American Yarncore

Doctor Who:

Chibi 11th Doctor Necklace from Cat Bear Express
11th Doctor Sonic Screwdriver- Sonic Tangy Citrus Fudge from Atomic Fudge
Pink Dalek Earrings from Hokey Donut