Monday, December 29, 2014

Braid


So over the Christmas weekend, my boyfriend introduced me to an incredible game! It's called Braid, and it's a puzzle game that deals with turning back time...

I don't even know how to describe it, it's simply an enjoyable experience to play! The puzzles are challenging, but rewarding. The art style of the game seems entirely done in soft, colorful water-colors, and how each level seems to represent another season. It's just beautiful!

 It actually reminded me a lot of the game Limbo. (I've never personally played it, but have watched Pewdiepie's play-through.) They're both excellent puzzle games, only the color pallette is obviously richer...

Another thing I like is that Braid makes lots of funny references to the Mario games!
Even down to the enemies the main character, Tim, has to jump on to defeat.


The best thing I like about the game is the in-game text, which appears before you have to play each level. It really makes a great story. One that I'd really like to share with you.

SPOILERS!!! If you'd rather play the game and see the text yourself, then you don't have to read any of this.

(Yes, it starts off with Chapter 2. Apparantly the first chapter comes last, for some reason...)



"Chapter 2: Time and Forgiveness"
"Tim is off on a search to rescue the Princess. She has been snatched by a
horrible and evil monster. This happened because Tim made a mistake."
"Not just one. He made many mistakes during the time they spent together, all those years ago. Memories of their relationship have become muddled, replaced wholesale, but one remains clear: the princess turning sharply away, her braid lashing at him with contempt." "He knows she tried to be forgiving, but who can just shrug away a guilty lie, a stab in the back? Such a mistake will change a relationship irreversibly, even if we have learned from the mistake and would never repeat it. The princess's eyes grew narrower. She became more distant." "Our world, with its rules of causality, has trained us to be miserly with forgiveness. By forgiving them too readily, we can be badly hurt. But if we've learned from a mistake and became better for it, shouldn't we be rewarded for the learning, rather than punished for the mistake?" "What if our world worked differently? Suppose we could tell her: 'I didn't mean what I just said,' and she would say: 'It's okay, I understand,' and she would not turn away, and life would really proceed as though we had never said that thing? We could remove the damage but still be wiser for the experience." "Tim and the Princess lounge in the castle garden, laughing together, giving names to the colorful birds. Their mistakes are hidden from each other, tucked away between the folds of time, safe."
"Chapter 3: Time and Mystery"
"All those years ago, Time had left the Princess behind. He had kissed her on 
the neck, picked up his travel bag, and walked out the door. He regrets this, 
to a degree. Now he's journeying to find her again, to show her knows how sad 
it was, but also to tell her how good it was."

"For a long time, he thought they had been cultivating the perfect 
relationship. He had been fiercely protective, reversing all his mistakes so 
they would not touch her. Likewise, keeping a tight rein on her own mistakes, 
she always pleased him."

"But to be fully couched within the comfort of a friend is a mode of existence 
with severe implications. To please you perfectly, she must understand you 
perfectly. Thus you cannot defy her expectations or escape her reach. Her 
benevolence has circumscribed you, and your life's achievements will not reach 
beyond the map she has drawn."
 
"Tim needed to be non-manipulable. He needed a hope of transcendence. He 
needed, sometimes, to be immune to the Princess's caring touch."

"Off in the distance, Tim saw a castle where the flags flutter even when the 
wind has expired, and the bread in the kitchen is always warm. A little bit of 
magic."

"Chapter 4: Time and Place"
"Visiting his home for a holiday meal, Tim felt as though he had regressed to 
those long-ago years when he lived under their roof, oppressed by their 
insistence on upholding strange values which, to him, were meaningless. Back 
then, bickering would erupt over drops of gravy spilt onto the tablecloth."

"Escaping, Tim walked in the cool air toward the university he'd attended after 
moving out of his parent's home. As he distanced himself from that troubling 
house, he felt the embarrassment of childhood fading into the past. But now he 
stepped into all the insecurities he'd felt at the university, all the panic of 
walking a social tightrope."

"Tim only felt relieved after the whole visit was over, sitting back home in 
the present, steeped in contrast he saw how he'd improved so much from those 
old days. This improvement, day by day, takes him ever-closer to finding the 
Princess. If she exists - she must! - she will transform him, and everyone."

"He felt on his trip that every place stirs up an emotion, and every emotion 
invokes a memory: a time and location. So couldn't he find the Princess now, 
tonight, just by wandering from place to place and noticing how he feels? A 
trail of feelings, of awe and inspiration, should lead him to that castle in 
the future her arms enclosing him, her scent fills him with excitement, creates 
a moment so strong he can remember it in the past."

"Immediately Tim walked out his door, the next morning, toward whatever the new 
day held. He felt something like optimism."

"Chapter 5: Time and Decision"
"She never understood the impulses that drove him, never quite felt the 
intensity that, over time, chiseled lines into his face. She never quite felt 
close enough to him - but he held her as though she were, whispered into her 
ear words that only a soul mate should receive."

"Over the remnants of dinner, they both knew the time had come. He would have 
said: 'I have to go find the Princess,' but he didn't need to. Giving a final 
kiss, hoisting a travel bag to his shoulder, he walked out the door. Through 
all the nights that followed, she still loved him as though he stayed, to 
comfort her and protect her, Princess be damned."

That's as far as I've gotten in the game. I still have Chapter 6, Chapter 1 and Epilogue to go. When I finish the game, I'll reveal what happens in the end and what I think of the whole experience.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Feeling like a baby

You know I love you, I always have.
But I have to say,
The other day,
I felt a feeling I've never had.

I know you love me from your every touch.
Now I can see,
you've proved it to me!
I never thought you loved me this much.

That night, it was different, in a sense.
A little more slow and a little more intense.
It was simply indescribable.
My words may be unreliable...

We've reached the end,
I feel incredibly spent.
I can barely move,
But why would I even want to?

I'm experiencing a joy I've never felt.
Underneath some overpowering spell.
I feel your arms embrace me tight.
Feelings bubble up and spill out as I cry.

I'm crying... Like a baby.
Small... Naked... Helpless.
You don't have to worry.
My tears are full of pure happiness.

My mind is reeling in the dark, like I'm lost in deep space.
All I can do is cling, almost blindly, in my vulnerable state, 
To my single source of warmth and protection.
I can feel the love pouring out of your skin.

You care for me like I'm your child.
I know I'm not, but for a while
You stroke my hair and hold me close,
And in that precious moment, I know.

You're the only person I want to see me this way.
With a choked up voice, you hear me say:
I love you, I love you, I love you...
This poem is littered with half-rhymes, I know, but I don't think that matters very much here.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Star vs The Forces of Evil

Don't ask me how I came across this little gem, but I've just discovered a new reason to look forward to 2015! It's called "Star vs The Forces of Evil". It's a cartoon show that will be on Disney Channel, which is amazing in itself, that I'm getting excited about a Disney Channel cartoon! But seriously, give this intro a watch and tell me you're not at least a little curious to see what this show is about!


Lyrics:
It's gonna get a little weird, gonna get a little wild
I ain't from 'round here, I'm from another dimension
Gonna get a little weird, gonna have a good time!
I ain't from 'round here, I'm from another... Whoo-hoo!
Yeh-Heah!
I'm talkin' rainbows, I'm talkin' puppies
Puh-puh-puh-puh-puh-puh-puh
Whooooooooo!
It's gonna get a little weird, gonna get a little wild
I ain't from 'round here, I'm from another dimension!

See what I mean? The music alone gets you super pumped up! But the animation style as well looks really good and fluid and awesome. It's like a mix of Gravity Falls, Adventure Time and Steven Universe, with a little Sailor Moon thrown in for good measure.

I love that it tells the entire story in its opening sequence, but still leaves a lot of questions open. Since I'll have to wait until January to see the first episode, but I'm still yearning for answers, I thought I'd examine this sequence to see what I can hope to expect. Excuse me as I become extremely analytical about this...

The intro starts by showing this wand with a star, butterfly, wings and a crown all integrated into the design. It must be a precious and very special magical object.

As you can see, the weilder of this important wand is a crazy/cool teenage princess named Star Butterfly (according to Wikipedia). She lives in a kooky kingdom that's obviously a different dimension from Earth.

In her kingdom, Star enjoys fighting monsters and villains with her rainbow-spewing wand. She is a badass.

Her parents (the king and queen, I'm guessing, from their crowns) don't seem to approve of their teenage daughter battling trolls and the like. Perhaps that's not how a princess is supposed to act? So like any good parents, they forcibly send her off through a tear in their universe to a different dimension, Earth, so she'll be protected from the forces of evil (or so they'd hope).

In this world, she meets a boy her age named Marco Diaz. It seems he's a green belt in karate, which means he's not the best possible fighter, but he should be able to hold his own in self-defense, should the opportunity arise. By the way they look at each other, Star and Marco become friends really quickly, despite their coming from different dimensions.

According to Wikipedia, Star comes to live with Marco and his family, who by the character and house designs are quite Hispanic. I also really like Star's new Earth clothes, with her dragon boots and her horned headband.

Even with Star far away from her home, she still runs into scary beasts that seem to come from another world, like this crazy, drooling pink bug thing. Their school is called Echo Creek, and they seem to be in a place on Earth that has palm trees and all the houses are set on hills. I suppose this is California, judging from the star and bear flag outside the school.

Ah, turns out the bug isn't so scary after all. He just wants to party! Maybe not all monsters are as bad as they appear to be.

I know this sequence happens really quickly, but here are a couple of kids that go to their school who may or may not be actual characters on the show. I just thought the fat kid with a face on his tummy was funny. He's gotta have some role in an episode or two, maybe as comic relief? Can't tell much from his friend.
This also happens so quick you'd almost miss it. I suppose Star gets her monster-fighting missions from the floating head of a unicorn? Also here's another person who might be an important character, a sporty chick who enjoys skateboarding. I think it's wonderful that cartoons these days are fully demonstrating what bad-asses girls can be, like Legend of Korra and Steven Universe! Anyway, I could be totally wrong on this, but I'll bet there will be a story that involves Marco being attracted to this girl and Star being a tad jealous.
So I suppose Star's wand or the unicorn (or maybe the scissors in the unicorn's mouth?) creates these rifts in the universe that allow her to go to all sorts of places and bring Marco on wild and weird adventures! Places like...
A spacey cloud world!
The underground lair of a villain guarded by laser-shooting robots!
An ocean terrorized by ruthless bunny-pirates! (See their long ears?)
A hellish fire world inhabited by a handsome demon with horns and 3 eyes, who seems to have a thing for Star, since he's holding a rose out to her, no doubt comparing his own heart to the burning flower. Ooh, a little competition for Marco!
There are many monsters and general forces of evil who have it in for the magical princess of bad-ass.
But I have a feeling that Star and Marco are equal to the task. ^_^
In a show with a cast this colorful, I have no doubt that this cartoon is going to be FREAKING AWESOME!

Apparently Star vs The Forces of Evil was created by Daron Nefcy, who is the first woman to create an animated series for Disney Channel, and also the first woman to create a Disney XD series. That's incredible!






To finish this, I'll leave you with the outro, which is equally cute and shows what a great show this could potentially be. ^_^



I think Earth is a pretty great place
That's saying something, cause I've been through outer space
I think it suits me, it's just my style
I think I'm gonna stay a little while
I think that strangers are just friends you haven't met
I've blasted monsters and I never break a sweat
I really think that I could call this place home

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Cuckoo's Calling - review + character descriptions

So the other day I finished reading a book called The Cuckoo's Calling, a mystery novel by Robert Galbraith (which is actually just a pseudonym for J. K. Rowling. I guess she wanted to see if she could write a book that was judged on its own merits, not by the fact that the author of a best-selling series wrote it).

Basically the mystery is that a famous model is seen falling out of her 3rd story apartment and everyone thinks she committed suicide. A few months later, her brother decides to hire a private investigator, because he suspects that someone must have pushed her, because she couldn't have been suicidal. It's a long journey and takes lots of interviews with the people who knew her best, but it has such a twist ending that I never could've predicted.

It took me about 3 weeks to get through the book, mostly because while I was reading, I was doing a kind of writing exercise I made up, where I copy down in my own notebook the descriptions used for all the characters in the story. I figure that if I want to become a better writer myself, I would learn from the experts. Who better of an expert to learn from than the person who created Harry Potter? ^_^

I'm really glad I started doing this exercise with this book that I might even do it for every book I read from now on! Rowling's descriptions are so... Well, descriptive. :P I mean, you can picture the character clearly in your head. Like, if they were real people, you would instantly recognize them if they were standing in a lineup. If I could write anything like that and make characters come to life, I would be so happy.

Here are a few selections of my favorite characters and the words used to describe them when the reader is introduced to them:

Our main character, Detective Cormoran Strike
The reflection staring back at him was not handsome. Strike had the high, bulging forehead, broad nose and thick brows of a young Beethoven who had taken to boxing, an impression only heightened by the swelling of a blackening eye... His height, his general hairiness, coupled with a gently expanding belly, suggested a grizzly bear... His thick curly hair, springy as carpet, had ensured that his many youthful nicknames had included "Pube-head".

This guy Strike was a great lead character. He's not any Harry Potter, but he's a good guy. Anyway, you could picture him clearly, couldn't you? A huge, tough, misunderstood Beethoven-like character who solves mysteries.

Some other characters I just loved the descriptions of:

Detective Roy Carver
A paunchy man with a face the color of corned beef, whose shirts were usually ringed with sweat around the armpits, his short supply of patience had been exhausted hours ago.

This guy sounds just like Uncle Vernon Dursley! Lol

Tansy and Ursula May
The sisters subjected Strike to the kind of brazenly critical stares that only people of a certain class feel entitled to give. They were both as pristine and polished as life-size dolls recently removed from their cellophane boxes; rich-girl thin, almost hipless in their tight jeans, with tanned faces that had a waxy sheen especially noticeable on their foreheads, their long, gleaming dark manes with center partings, the ends trimmed with spirit-level exactitude.

I loved the image of these rich girls who are just like fake, plastic, life-size dolls.

Tony Landry
A tall, well-made, expensively suited man with foxy coloring stopped beside Strike's table... In his late fifties, with a full head of hair, a firm jaw and pronounced cheekbones, he looked like an almost famous actor hired to play a rich businessman in a miniseries.

Freddie Bestugui
Bestigui was built like a bull, with short legs, a broad barrel chest and a thick neck. His hair was gray and brush-cut; his face a crumpled mass of folds, bags and moles, out of which his fleshy nose protruded like a tumor.

Deeby Macc
A large black man wearing some kind of hooded top with a fist picked out in studs on the chest sat in a black leather chair, facing an unseen interviewer. His hair was closely shaven and he wore sunglasses... His voice was soft, deep and hoarse, with the very faintest trace of a lisp.

Then there are some shorter descriptions for characters who don't exactly have names. They're more like one-off characters you never see or hear from again. Still, they have memorable looks:

Detective Eric Wardle ~ Boyishly good-looking, with thick, wavy brown hair.
Waitress ~ The squat middle-aged waitress had short straightened hair and dangling orange plastic earrings.
Hostel receptionist ~ A gum-chewing woman behind the desk was reading a newspaper. She seemed suspicious and ill-disposed.
Receptionist Trudie ~ A jingling and clacking noise preceded the entrance of a girl with tomato-red hair, dressed in head-to-toe black and wearing many silver bangles.
Bouncer ~ The door was guarded by a bald bouncer who grinned at them, revealing two gold teeth.
Rochelle's Aunt Winifred ~ An obese black woman wearing thick-lenses glasses and a knitted hat, who projected an aura of eccentricity that bordered on instability.

I've learned so much from this exercise, and hope to apply it to my own writing someday. Maybe one of these days I'll take a look back at my own writing, just to see how my character descriptions compare to these people

Saturday, December 6, 2014

My review of "Earth To Echo"







Usually I'm not home during a weekend, so this is new for me. Normally I'd be visiting my boyfriend and having fun with him, but he's got some end-of-the-semester studying and essay writing to do. I'd hoped to at least see Jerome today... I guess we'll just have to wait to see each other at the beach tomorrow. ~_~ Well, it will make seeing him all the more sweeter. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and all that.

Still, I was feeling pretty disappointed and down tonight... Until I watched this movie with my sister Annette...

So a while ago, Annette and I found this website where we could see entire movies online, even movies that have only come out this year! Movies like How To Train Your Dragon 2 (so awesome!!!) and Maleficent (uhhhhh... I wouldn't watch it if I were you. XP) Tonight we decided to see Earth To Echo, which apparently came out in theaters this past summer. AND IT WAS FREAKING INCREDIBLE!!!

Seriously, now I'm sad that I didn't see this in the theater. It was one of those insanely amazing movies that had me on the edge of my seat, caring about the characters, and laughing out loud. I remember someone saying that if a movie or a show or any kind of story is able to make you gasp, it's doing something right, and this movie absolutely did that.

Basically, these 3 preteen boys come across this little alien trying to rebuild his spaceship and go back to his home planet. This may sound like a story that's been done to death, but this felt like it was done right! The alien Echo was just cute! ^,^ And those special effects!!! Oh my god, when they were driving the car and they were about to crash into the truck, and somehow Echo made all the truck's parts fly apart (including the driver!) and come back together again behind them... I just about lost it right there!!!

I wish I could put it in words what makes the movie was so good... I'm afraid I would just come out incoherent. Plus I don't want to give away any spoilers. :P All I know is that there were moments in the movie that just filled me with a sense of real wonder, and I loved it. It was one of those films that make me wish I'd never seen it, so I could watch it for the first time again. Well, I know one thing. The next opportunity I get, I am totally seeing this with Jerome. ^_^

The movie was filmed in the "found footage" format, like the Paranormal Activity series and that super hero movie Chronicle. Here is the link so you can see Earth To Echo for yourself.
www.putlocker2.me/watch-earth-to-echo-2014-online-free-megashare.html

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thanksgiving Adventure: Sunday

I woke up first at around 8. I let Jerome sleep in as I made myself busy. I called my dad to make sure I could come home when I wanted. I packed away all my clothes that were scattered around our messy tent, I started preparing breakfast, dicing the rest of the onion and the mushrooms.

Funny short story: there was this can of leftover cranberry sauce that never got put away. I don't know why, but it just sat there on the table for no reason. But anyway, while I was chopping, I heard a bee buzzing around in the can. He couldn't get out! So I lifted the lid a little bit and he flew free. A few minutes later though, the bee started hovering around the can and crawled back through the little gap in the lid, and once again he couldn't figure his way out. XD Such a silly bee.

Finally Jerome awoke, and he made us another omelette with the ingredients I'd prepared. It was very tasty. After breakfast, we got a start on packing everything else away. We were too lazy to do the dishes, and decided Jerome could do them when he got back to his house.

Slowly but surely, everything got put away and secured on the trailer or inside the Jeep's trunk. The extra tent that Jerome's dad had used finally fell apart, so we threw it out. I folded and packed away Jerome's clothes for him. We cleared away the picnic table that had been our makeshift kitchen and folded our tent away. For a break we each ate a bit of leftover apple pie, but for the next couple of hours all we did was pack.

At last we'd put away every last item of camp gear, leaving no trace that we'd been camping there for the last few days. We left at around 1:30, and I'll admit that I was sad to go. I know my own family would have enjoyed camping out there, it's so beautiful. Maybe in the future I'll convince them to come along. Anyway, if I have anything to say about it, I'm definitely going to camp there with Jerome for next thanksgiving. ^,^

We stopped in Clewiston for gas, and since we were hungry and we saw that the Walmart had a Subway inside, I ran in and bought us 2 Veggie Delite footlong sandwiches. Plus they were selling soft pretzels, which I haven't had in a long time, so I got one for us to share. I fed Jerome little bites of his half of the pretzel as he drove us along, and then we had our sandwiches.

A couple of hours later, we arrived at my house. The rest of my family were away at the beach, so we didn't have anyone to greet us. I didn't mind, though. We took my things out of the trunk and I hugged my boyfriend goodbye, thanking him for the most fantastic Thanksgiving weekend ever. ^_^

I remember liking my hour or 2 of alone time as I waited for my parents and sibs to return. I unpacked my clothes, took a shower, uploaded all my pictures and videos from my camera to the computer, got all caught up on the social media. :P Finally my family returned and I was able to show them all the footage I'd taken and tell the stories of my Thanksgiving Adventure.
~~~~~~~~~~
With that, I am finally done telling all my stories from the last weekend. Hope you enjoyed reading about my exploits as much as I did writing about them. ^_^ I'm not sure if I'll be able to manage a daily post all the time as I have been doing, but I promise, I won't leave my blog unattended for as long as last time. ^_~

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Thanksgiving Adventure: Saturday

We woke up really early in the morning, because we knew Julian had to leave by 7:30 and drive back to Gainesville. It took some effort to get Jerome up (it usually does. Lol), but we were able to hang out with Julian for a little while before saying goodbye to him.

Maybe half an hour later, it was also time for Jerome's mom and dad to leave too. We'd made the plan ahead of time that they would all leave on Saturday, so that Jerome and I could have at least one day of camping on our own. That's actually what this weekend was originally going to be in the first place, just me and my boyfriend camping by ourselves, but then the whole family wanted to come along. :P (And why not? It's they're holiday tradition.) Still, I'd enjoyed myself plenty among all the Ginori's. ^,^

By 8:30, Jerome and I were all on our own! We were pretty excited! We made ourselves a kickass breakfast of hot chocolate and omelette with chopped tomatos and mushrooms. Then Jerome got things ready for our day of canoeing while I prepared sandwiches for us containing the last of the tasty bean loaf from my mom. Great teamwork!

Finally we set off for the creek. A stranger helped us get the canoe off the trailer and we set off in the same direction as Friday, which was upstream. It was so beautiful, peaceful, quiet and warm. My arm felt loads better, and it was cool for just Jerome and me to experience the creek without the other Ginoris. We saw some people already on the beach, so we pushed forward to explore more of the creek. I remember seeing a alligator that looked as big as Jerome, almost!

When we'd been rowing for about an hour, we turned around to see if those people were on the beach anymore. Thankfully it was empty, so we parked our canoe there and relaxed on the beach, just the two of us. We ate the sandwiches I'd made and Jerome complimented me highly on them, saying they were delicious and perfect. ^,^ When we were done with them we also snacked on chips and salsa. There was still a bit of both leftover, so I put the little pieces and crumbs of the chips in the jar to mix with the last of the salsa for later. (Remember this, because it's important later).

We lay in the sun a lot and tanned ourselves, explored the woods near the beach, took small naps, watched other rowers passing us by. For the most part, it was just the two of us on our little beach. It was so romantic. Eventually, maybe an hour or so later, we decided to row back. Another kind stranger helped us get the canoe back on the trailer and we headed back to camp. After a little walk and a little nap, we readied ourselves for the task of making ourselves dinner.

Jerome started the campfire up again, since it had gone out while we were away, and I chopped up a bunch of vegetables that he fried up later on the little cooker. Onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini. While he was frying them up, Jerome suggested we throw in that chip mixture, which was a totally genius idea! While that was going on, we also cooked up a bunch of ramen noodle packages I'd brought along, and we still had an apple pie that had gone uneaten from Thanksgiving. We were going to have a feast!

We had just finished cooking everything when we suddenly realized: we didn't have any bowls to put the ramen in! XP Luckily we improvised by using the mugs we'd drank our hot chocolate in that morning, which was actually nice because all the broth went down to the bottom, so when you finished with the noodles you just sipped the salty liquid like a regular drink.

Everything was delicious, and we were so proud of the meal we'd created together. (Well, ALL our meals that day were something to be proud of, in my opinion)

We sat by the fire for some time, staring into the flames, recounting our long and exciting day, kissing and clutching each other for warmth. That day had really shown us that we make the best team, that we work super well together. I didn't think I could love my boyfriend any more than I already did, but I was happy to be wrong. ^_^

It was dark by that point, but not really that cold. We were really full, but still were eager to have s'mores again that night. We just had to digest and keep ourselves awake. I called home to see how everyone was, since I hadn't talked to them all week, and we spoke to my sister on speaker phone for several minutes. Then Jerome showed me an episode from a podcast he enjoys, called Hardcore History with Dan Carlin. His voice to me is like a mix between George Carlin and Patton Oswald (Remy the rat in Rattatouille). It was fun to listen to.

After about 20 minutes, we found ourselves getting really tired, me especially. So we went to the tent to rest a little. Jerome showed me a book on his kindle, which he'd brought along, and he read the first few pages to me aloud. I'm not sure, but I believe that was the first time he'd read to me. He has such a nice, expressive reading voice. It was like he was telling me a bedtime story. Well, it just about put me to sleep...

Who knows how long later, we both awoke to see that the fire had burned itself out, so s'mores were out of the question. Well, we were too tired to eat anyway. Too tired even to brush our teeth! I didn't mind though, and just went back to sleep curled up in my sweet boyfriend's arms. There was no place I'd rather be.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thanksgiving Adventure: Friday

Jerome and I must have slept a good 12 hours, since we'd gone to bed so early the night before. It was a lot colder than I was used to! I liked it, though. Maybe it sounds strange to say, but it was the kind of cold that made me feel glad to be alive. Well, glad to have a big yellow sweater, a warm hat and gloves and a good campfire to keep warm by, anyway. =P

Sometime after breakfast, Jerome and I went to help Alan and Julian find firewood while Chantal stayed behind and made everyone sandwiches for a picnic on our next kayaking adventure. She made mine with some leftover bean loaf from my family's dinner, which my mom had packed for me. ^,^ We left Fish Eating Creek and went pretty much across the street, to find wood in the wild. What I didn't know is that we were also going to do a little off-roading along the way.

Now, I've gone off-roading with Jerome lots of times on ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles), but I'd never done it in their big yellow Jeep before. I kind of think I prefer it, actually. It was like being on a roller coaster, bumping along and seeing mud splash all around us without getting dirty yourself. So much fun! I remember hearing ACDC on the radio, singing "It's a Long Way to the Top If You Want to Rock and Roll" the whole time, and it was the perfect soundtrack! Funny enough, as soon as we quit off-roading, that's when the song ended.

Anyway, we collected a good deal of firewood, plus Julian spotted a couple of grapefruit trees as we drove through the woods, so he climbed up and threw down several yellow grapefruits. I think they weren't quite ripe, but it was still cool. Picking fruit fresh from the trees is the best.

We got back to the camp and it was basically the same deal as the previous day, where we went to the creek to go rowing, except we went in the opposite direction, upstream. We knew it would be tough rowing initially, but the way back downstream would be so much easier. Actually, I didn't even row that much upstream, because one of my shoulders was aching a bit. Must have overworked it, or slept funny the previous night. So Chantal did the rowing in the front of the canoe and I got to be the passenger in the middle, nibbling on a bag of grapes I'd brought along for the trip and enjoying the view.



Such as this view of Jerome, with Dad Alan in the back. ^,^


Not to say that I didn't do any rowing that day. I did. We took a break in the middle and switched things around, so Chantal could get a chance in one of the kayaks and Alan was the passenger. He's kind of a big guy, and we also were lugging the cooler, so it was a little tiring. :P


In the end though, we made it to one of the Ginori's favorite beaches, we ate our sandwiches and we played with the Frisbee I'd brought.

There was this one time where I threw it and the wind made the frisbee land in the water by accident. It was still kind of cold, and it was quite far out in the middle. I was worried the water was too cold for anyone to go in and get it, but my sweet bofriend Jerome got to be the hero and swam to rescue it, braving the freezing water for me. ^,^

We had a lot of fun on our little private beach until it felt like time to head back.  Julian went in the front of the canoe and rowed super fast, especially since we were going downstream! That guy sure is full of energy.

Chantal riding in Julian's kayak. I was so excited to get this shot! Look at the water splashing like that! It's looks like it's frozen! ^_^ (Well, it kinda is frozen, since it's a picture... Lol)

When we got back to the shore, Jerome and I took another walk with his brother, who teased us that he felt like a third wheel. Jules said he understood now how Jerome must have felt when he'd had a girlfriend in high school years ago. 

We tried to see across to a field of  horses by climbing a tree, but we didn't see anything. Got good pics, though.


Hmm, what else? Well, while waiting for dinner to be ready, we taught Julian how to play Cards Against Humanity, which he'd never played before and he found it pretty funny. It's not that fun with only 3 people, but I'm glad he liked it. Oh, I remember he showed us the new Star Wars trailer on his phone. MAN, I can't believe how much the Internet has blown up about that in just a few days. XD

Dinner was basically leftovers of Thanksgiving food, plus a nice  potato+tomatoe+onion+mushroom dish wrapped in foil and heated over the fire. Jerome and I did the dishes again, plus while we were at it we went to the store to get some eggs and a jug of water, since we were running out. Close by the store, we saw there was a karaoke event going on. I thought that was so cool, because I love doing karaoke. I asked Jerome if we could go later, and he said sure.

We came back to camp and Julian threw in this interesting powder that he'd bought at the store earlier that makes the campfire burn different colored flames. It made such an awesome display, glowing green and blue! It's like how I imagine the magical flames Hermione's makes in the Harry Potter books.

We all realized too late that we should have made s'mores before coloring the fire. :P... Ah, but we made s'mores anyway, just trying our best to avoid the colorful flames, since we were paranoid. Jerome and I invited the others to join us for karaoke, but no one else seemed interested. I signed myself up for a song, but it took f   o   r   e   v   e   r for it to be my turn, like over an hour and a half, maybe even 2 hours! At last I sang I'm a believer, Smash Mouth version. I imagined myself singing like Donkey from Shrek.
We heard someone sing Bohemian Rhapsody afterwards, and then left the karaoke place. I found a flashlight in the process, so I guess that was cool. When we came back, the rest of Jerome's family was asleep. It must have been well past 10 when Jerome and I went to bed ourselves. (Haha, looks like we stayed up a lot later than them that time.)

Wow, halfway through this epic now. Sorry for this post coming a tad late. Today was pretty busy. I also saw the South Park episode tonight that was supposed to have Pewdiepie in it, but he was really in it the first few minutes, so that was kinda disappointing. Plus it's a two-parter story...

Well, good night then. Look forward to my next post, about last Saturday. That was my absolute favorite day, and you'll soon discover way!

Bro fist to Pewds!

So it's super late right now, but I just had to make another post here.

One of my all-time favorite YouTubers is the famous Pewdiepie, who by now has over 32.5 million subscribers. I'm not much of a gamer myself, but ever since Annette and I discovered him, I've loved watching him play scary and interesting and funny games, all the while being really silly in the process and entertaining to watch. He's also always been humble and sincere, a guy I can really respect, and he's someone I would just love to meet in real life someday.

Anyway, I just sat through the longest video he's ever put out, which is the full game play of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. It was almost 2 and a half hours, but it was just like watching a movie for me. The game was fantastically epic and suspenseful, with superbly beautiful graphics!!! The story is a little sad and dark, but it's a story you can really appreciate. It reminded me a little of the game Journey. ^_~

One of my favorite parts of the game was the little Griffen. It was so cute! I loved the noises it made. It was like a mix between a cat and an owl. I want to write a story where someone has a kitten Griffen as a pet!


Anyway, here's the link if you'd care to watch it yourself. I enjoyed watching Pewds play it, but if you feel like playing the game yourself, that's fine by me. But yeah, you MUST either see this, or actually play the game, because it is AWESOME! http://youtu.be/mHg0nrjSHYs

Also, Pewdiepie made a video saying he's gonna be on South Park tomorrow! I am totally going to see him do that. ^_^

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving Adventure: Thursday

So, my magical weekend really started on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. That was when my boyfriend Jerome came over to have a pre-holiday dinner with my family. Actually, not only did he come, but my sister's boyfriend and my brother's girlfriend came over too. It was a great big party, and my mom made the most delicious vegetarian foods! Salad and steamed veggies, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, lots of dishes. One of my favorites was the bean meatloaf, which was our main course in place of a turkey. ^,^

After dinner, my parents, siblings and all our significant others went on a walk around the neighborhood, which was a little bit chilly, but nice. (I can't complain about cold though, not when it's snowing where some of my good friends are. ^,~) Later Annette and her boyfriend Aaron left to go to his place, and Jerome got to spend the night with me, which was good because we'd be doing a lot of traveling in the morning... We were spending the weekend with Jerome and his family at Fish Eating Creek, which is a cool campground just couple of hours from my home in Weston. I was so excited to check it out! His mom, Chantal, had already gone there that very day and set up the tents and everything for us. His dad, brother and we would all meet up with her by noon on Thursday

Thanksgiving morning we woke up at 8 and were out of there by 9 with everything packed. Clothes, shoes, toothbrush, and plenty of food. (I was sure Chantal had brought enough food, but just in case there weren't many vegetarian options... It's best to come prepared).

It was a great, easy drive. Jerome and I stopped at a nearby Walmart and got ingredients for s'mores (graham crackers, chocolate, marshmallows), just in case no one had thought to bring them. We arrived at the campsite around 11 and were very surprised to see his father Alan and younger brother Julian (or Jules) were already there. Jules works at Uhaul and had driven down from Gainesville in a discounted truck, which he also slept in that weekend. Alan had set off from Miami at about 5:30 in the morning, so he got there long before us. XD

The first thing we did upon arriving at Fish Eating Creek (after Jerome and I put our stuff away in our tent and settled down), was go kayaking / canoeing with the family. Alan and Jules got the 2 kayaks and I rowed with Jerome, with his mom in the middle. Rowing on the creek was so beautiful!

Here's a pic of Jerome when we took a break.

Here's his brother Julian


Jerome took this for me.


Julian took this picture of Jerome and me together


We stopped at a couple of beaches, climbed trees, waded in the cold water. We even saw a cool little floating island of red ants! (I wish I'd gotten a picture of that!) The only downsides of the boating trip was that we hadn't brought any sandwiches or snacks with us, so we were really hungry. Also we'd been rowing downstream before, so we had to row upstream going back, and the wind was blowing against us! As you can imagine, it was quite tiring. But hey, great opportunity for exercise. ^,^

We got back to the campsite around 2 or 3, and Jerome and Julian's parents got the turkey started cooking, along with the other foods too. Meanwhile, I went with the 2 brothers on a long walk on one of the trails they'd explored countless times as kids. We were back well before dark.

Thanksgiving with the Ginori family was a lot tastier than I'd expected it to be. Mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, green beans, cornbread. I was quite satisfied with the meal, as a vegetarian. I had a teensy bite of turkey from Jerome's plate, because I've never tasted it before. It was really chewy. I couldn't imagine eating any more.

Jerome and I washed the pans and utensils at one of facilities, and it got dark and cold quickly. After sitting around the fire for a while, we all decided to go on another walk in the night, this time including mother Chantal. Alan stayed behind to guard the fire. We saw so many stars as we walked! It was so beautiful. We came back and had key lime pie for dessert.

Jerome and I were really tired from our long and exciting day, so we announced that we were going to bed. The others teased us, since it was barely 8 o'clock. That's a lot earlier than I normally sleep, but hey, your sleeping schedules changes drastically when you go camping! It's a lot easier to get tired when it's been dark for a while.

Day 1 of camping complete! I'll post my stories about the next day tomorrow. ^_~

I'm back! *shy wave*

It's kinda funny that the first day I come back to blogging I wrote a whole bunch of posts, and then directly after that I stopped posting for nearly a whole week! Hahaha... ^_^

Well, I was quite busy this weekend, with it being Thanksgiving and all. I spent the last few days camping with my boyfriend and his family at a truly magical place called Fish Eating Creek, and over the next few future posts I'm going to be sharing lots of stories about my time there! Still just getting used to being back, that's all. (I also did a lot of work today.)

Wow, hard to believe it's December 1st! It's the beginning of the end for 2014...

I'll write more tomorrow, I promise!