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I know, I know. Unfortunately, all month I've found it really difficult to post anything anywhere. But I suppose I can go ahead and get these out of the way:
Er, that's going to have to do for this month which only has fifteen minutes left in it.

I'm back... again

I have, indeed, returned to the States. As I said on That Other Site, I'm still not used to waking up in my own bed again, and when I do I still wonder what sights I'll be seeing that day.

In any case, while I will be posting pictures and writing all about my recent journeys abroad, that it was varying amounts of cold and windy every single day of the trip and it's been rather cold at home has me wanting to think about somewhere warmer. On that note, yes, I will get back to documenting last year's big adventure, then will immediately start on this year's, then write the also-earlier promised convention stories, and post the fandom rants last. Somewhere in all that I will get the sister blog I mentioned a while back going.

Until then, rather than write up another recap post, I'll just leave this link to the one I already posted recently.

Cheerio and bon voyage

It appears I again overestimated how much time I really had in the month and before my next big adventure, so despite being all set to write the second half of my trip report from last year (or at least the first "chapter" thereof- all or part of the first cruise day depending on how image-heavy it ended up), I'm going to announce the aforementioned next big adventure (don't worry, I'll still finish writing up last year's big trip, pics and all, when I come back).

Those who follow me on That Other Site likely know of my habit of changing my profile pic depending on the time of year/upcoming events and noticed I did not use a Thanksgiving icon. Thing is, this year I'm not really celebrating Thanksgiving at all, and for reasons that have nothing to do with any sociopolitical anything. I won't even be in the country.

I'm going on a week-long trip to England, Scotland and France with my dad, stepmom, and little sister (a.k.a. my travel companions from my first Disney cruise back in 2006, though my brother won't be with us this time).

No, this wasn't suddenly sprung on me, it's been planned for months and I knew all about it; I just kept quiet. Anyways...

  • We will be doing basic tours/trying to at least hit all the main highlights in London and Paris like Westminister Abbey, the Eiffel Tower, and all that.

  • We will also be spending one night in a Scottish castle-turned-hotel (staying in regular hotels the rest of the time)

  • On Thanksgiving Day we will be doing the Harry Potter Studio Tour (frankly that's better than just doing "The Wizard World of Harry Potter" at Universal Studios)

  • Okay, one of the two days in Paris (in fact the last day of the whole trip; we're flying out the next day) we will be spending at EuroDisney- sorry, Disneyland Paris/Parc Disneyland

  • On a somewhat less bright note, I'll be flying for the first time since 2009, something I'm really nervous about both because of TSA rule changes since then and because I never particularly liked flying anyway. But it's not like I really have a choice- no time for a trans-Atlantic cruise. At least we're going from London to Paris by train.

  • Internet access will be minimal if at all, but I'm still bringing my laptop (tempermental as it's been lately) so I can at least take notes and such

So, yeah, in the event I don't get anything else posted this month... well, not only might this serve as this month's post, it would also explain why. No, the irony of traveling to/being in England (the week of) Thanksgiving is not lost on me.
Thanks to That Other Site's "memories" feature, I was reminded that this is the anniversary week (more or less) of my big Disney trip. With that in mind, I've decided to finish writing about that first and then write about the conventions I attended this year and post my next (and final?) "What's on my mind about 'Criminal Minds'". (Though photos from all my conventions will be uploaded to That Other Site before I upload more Disney ones- the subjects of those photos have waited long enough, especially the Katsucon ones.)

As promised, here's a recap (with links to the posts in question) of the "land" portion of the trip:

  1. The journey to Florida

  2. The hotel we were staying in

  3. First day in the Magic Kingdom

  4. Nighttime of the first day in the Magic Kingdom

  5. Morning of the second day in the Magic Kingdom

  6. Second day in the Magic Kingdom

  7. Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

  8. Visiting DisneyQuest/last day in Walt Disney World Resort

Also a reminder that the events documented and photos taken are from October 23 to October 30, 2015, so some of the shows, characters, etc. may not be around anymore (though what do you know, DisneyQuest, which I had fretted over missing out on before it closed, remains open as of this post). In any case, again I figured I should give an opportunity to get caught up before I got back into it, especially given that the first one picks up right where the last one left off.

Of short months and short-tempered laptops

I wanted to write what I promised, I really, truly, absolutely swear-to-gods did. My darling laptop, however, had other ideas. It's not dead but all month has decided to remind me that I don't just call it "Vanellope" out of love for the character. It (she?) seems to be fully functioning again now, but the time lost to the screen going dark and not coming back on, the screen remaining very dim if not completely dark while the rest of the machine was clearly working, not shutting down or going into "sleep" mode when it was supposed to, the touchpad acting up, the optical USB mouse I'd bought for just such a situation as that last one dying completely (though it has been replaced), and never knowing when or if any or a combination of all those things would happen is, well, lost. I will still write that combined con report for Katsucon and Otakon, though, along with (you knew it was coming) the fifth and hopefully final installment of "What's On My Mind About 'Criminal Minds'", and not necessarily in that order. (Incidentally, for those who follow me on That Other Site, that was the show whose reruns (from season four to be exact) I chose to watch over what everyone else likely was at the time- or as I referred to it, "two of the worst people on the planet blow[ing] smoke at each other"- deciding I'd rather be overcome with nostalgia than rage.)

As for DragonCon, well. to be honest I really don't have a full report for this year. Don't get me wrong, I didn't have a bad time, I'm glad I went, I just... well, I don't write reports for every event I attend regardless of how I feel about them and in all honesty am not sure how DragonCon reports on here got to be an "annual tradition" anyway. Though suffice it to say that DragonCon, and various other points in this whole month, seemed to be all about reminding why I even liked certain things I once loved but seem to at best have a love-hate relationship with these days in the first place.

Oh yes, and I'm considering starting up a "sister" blog, and when/if i do so will make a preview post here as well as a link.

Pre-DragonCon notes

Just a few little... well, pre-DragonCon notes.

  • My very next entry (which I may end up writing from DragonCon- hey, a few years ago I found time there to write my thoughts on a certain TV show's developments at the time, you never know) will be a combined report for both Katsucon and Otakon. Yes, I'm just now writing about Katsucon, which was in February. I had my reasons, though the pun in the title I came up with for a combined Katsu/Otakon report (likely to be split in two with one immediately following the other) was actually not one of them. But my experiences at each con were such that the pun was just too good to pass up.

  • Whether or not I elaborate on any of these later, in the interest of fending off a potential barrage of "did you hear about this" and "did you hear about that" (or "didyahears" for short), yes, I know all about the new "Harry Potter" book/play, prequel movie, forthcoming additional books about other characters in the series, etc. I know all about the latest cast brouhaha regarding (the sadly being dragged out for yet another beyond superfluous season renewed) "Criminal Minds" both as of recent events and towards the end of last season. I know "Wreck-it Ralph" is getting a sequel. I know about the Disney animated movie that came out this past spring and what everyone and their [insert relative here] has been saying about it. And until/unless I do elaborate on these things in later (read: after DragonCon if at all) entries, I do not wish to talk about them; let's just leave it at that.

  • If the "memories" feature on That Other Site has taught me anything in recent weeks/days, I really need to update my "future costumes" gallery- and the "existing costumes" one for that matter. A couple need to be moved from the former to the latter, I'm no longer interested in some that haven't come to fruition, and I'm permanently retiring some existing ones.

  • Speaking of That Other Site, after hearing about the aforementioned new HP book for the umpteenth too many time I made a post stating "For everyone's information, the teenage(?) magic user who currently has my heart has *brown* eyes, his messy hair is *silvery-white* instead of black, and his name ain't Harry." I was referring to Robin, of course, but deleted the post when I remembered that somewhere on somebody's playthough of "Fire Emblem: Awakening", "Robin" probably does have black hair and is named "Harry" (odds of that only increasing if someone's a Potterhead (don't look at me, I didn't come up with that name!) and has a copy of the game). (The brown eyes are the one thing about Robin that absolutely cannot be changed, though.) Not to mention one of Robin's palette swaps in "Smash 4" has black hair (and this one's still the male version, too).

  • Also on That Other Site, I made a post about going on a shopping trip and forgetting my phone. Well, as I said there things turned out okay as far as that, but during said shopping trip I found that one of the GameStops in that strip mall (there are two; one used to be and still has signage for EB Games, but GameStop bought out EB yet both stores in that strip are still operational, go figure) had a copy of "Fire Emblem: Awakening". That I bought it goes without saying, thus my downward spiral into the FE:A abyss continues. Don't think actually playing the game will change how I feel about Robin (male or female) and probably not Lucina either, but my opinions on other characters based solely on research may very well change.

  • If anyone has any concerns about any pairing (or "shipping") preferences for whatever reason, keep in mind that I ship a teenage girl with a greedy, unattractive dude much older than her- and I actually ship two such pairings, the other being Wario/Mona from the "WarioWare" series (and, yes, worth noting that in both cases the teenage girl canonically has a crush on the greedy unattractive older man). Also, for what this may be worth there's been a sudden and major increase in Chrobin- sorry, Robin/Chrom- fan art, fanfics, and music videos in my browser's bookmarks though I only very recently (see above) acquired the game they're from and started shipping it based solely on my research of both characters (especially Chrom).

So... yeah. This is my "annual pre-DragonCon quick post" for 2016.

A new "Awakening"

Okay, got "Smash 4" (and FYI ended up getting both versions), found I can still use Peach quite well but a major change in Zelda's play mechanics (again, due solely to technical issues stemming from the decision to make both a 3DS and Wii U version of the game) cost her her position as my second main, as a result began seeking a successor among the new guys, and I ended up disappointed in the ones I thought I'd really like while three I never expected to love as much I do have reached "main" status.

"Three? You only mentioned two!" Yes, I can count. Thing is, much as Shulk and Duck Hunt/Duck Hunt Duo surprised me and I do love them, neither of them were the biggest surprise for me among the "Smash 4" roster and as far as becoming mains only achieved #3 and #4 status respectively (for me personally, remember I'm not into that "tier" nonsense). The true successor to Zelda's #2 position (#1 still belonging to Peach) merited a separate write-up. This person, like Shulk, was someone I'd had no prior knowledge let alone experience with and whose announcement I had missed (also whose presence in "Smash" wasn't talked about much, at least not where I could hear/see it or as much as some others).

Read more...Collapse )

However, not only have I found my new second main, but through my aforementioned research have become inexplicably obsessed with "Fire Emblem Awakening" itself, which I don't own and have never played (a situation I do plan to rectify, of course). I'll have to see whether that's really a good thing or a bad thing (especially since as of right now this only extends to "Awakening" itself). Between that, wanting to buy "Xenoblade Chronicles" as mentioned earlier, and me breaking down and buying the 3DS version of "Smash 4" itself- well played, Nintendo. Well. Played.

Meeting the new guys

As mentioned earlier, when I got "Smash 4" I pretty much went in (mostly) blind. Of course I played as Princess Peach first thing; she's been one of my so-called "mains" ever since "Melee", and I trusted her. She didn't let me down, happy to say. However, one of the developments I'd heard about was that Princess Zelda, my other main, could no longer transform into Sheik; rather they were now separate characters (solely because the 3DS couldn't handle it and those in charge not wanting any playable characters to be exclusive to one version or the other; it's for that exact same reason that Samus and Zero Suit Samus were likewise separated, the Pokemon Trainer was removed though Charizard remains, and the Ice Climbers were cut). Others may actually appreciate that for whatever reasons, but for me a major part of how I tended to play Zelda (and this proved more major than I anticpated) was more or less knowing when to take which form. I tried to get used to them being separate characters and the resulting changes in play style but eventually I gave up and now only play either Zelda or Sheik every once in a while.

The search for a second mainCollapse )

A couple pleasant surprisesCollapse )

( And then I discovered... )

That's just smashing!

So I got a Wii U for Christmas.

I'd been hesitant to get/ask for one even with Nintendo discontinuing support for the Wii, but while I was visiting my grandparents between DragonCon and Anime Weekend Atlanta last year, my aunt invited us over for some first anniversary cake. It was there that my (then) nine year old cousin showed me "Super Mario Maker" on his Wii U. Next thing I knew I was adding a Wii U, specifically one with "Mario Maker" pre-installed, to my Amazon Wishlist. Come Christmas Day, I recieve that very thing from my dad- game pre-installed and everything.

That said, while I certainly have spent a lot of time playing around with and in "Mario Maker", well, it's a distraction but not the major distraction I've been babbling about. But it is what won me over towards the Wii U, and ownership of said console is essential to the "major distraction".

Now, as is likely common knowledge, it's pretty much become tradition that starting with the Gamecube every time Nintendo releases a new home console they release a new "Super Smash Brothers" (often shortened to "Smash Bros." or even just "Smash") game for it. (Yes, I know the first "Smash" was on the Nintendo 64, but there it was one of the last big releases for that machine.) The Wii U was to be no exception. Since at that point I was still wavering on wanting a Wii U, I didn't follow the trailers, announcements, and such all that closely (not even on That Other Site, where despite "liking" the official "Smash" and "Nintendo" pages the posts didn't always make it onto my newsfeed). At best, what I did hear was met with little more than a "that's nice" from me. Those not met with that reaction were met with disbelief and disapproval. Of course I heard about there being a 3DS version as well (thus the oh-so-creative title "Super Smash Bros. for Wii U" and "Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS", though most people simply refer to either or both versions as "Smash 4", "SSB4", or "Sm4sh") and thought that maybe I'd get that. Eventually. Unless one of the few announcements I caught really wowed me. (The announcement of the "Smash Ballot"- which I actually heard about via a "Wreck-It Ralph" fangroup of all places- did get my attention, but my thoughts and feelings on that are a whole 'nother entry.)

In the end, once I had indeed acquired a Wii U, I thought, "oh, what the heck" and added it to my birthday wishlist. And again, guess what I recieved (and from the same person at that). I should have known from past experience with "Melee" (the Gamecube "Smash") and "Brawl" (the Wii "Smash") that this would lead to (pardon my use of the word) addiction even despite my aforementioned mere quasi-interest. But it did, though just so everyone knows I don't play online very often (too many bad experiences). Also, in general I hold the same view towards playing this game as I do towards cosplay: I just do it for fun, I don't have to "prove" anything to anybody.

( That said... )

Okay, here's the deal...

That entry I was working on? One of the two other planned entries and a third unplanned one brought on by recent events? They are/were all varying degrees of negative in subject, tone, nature, etc.; the full plan was to write and post those ones, then post the one on my recent "major distraction", get back to documenting my big Disney trip (I've actually only shared half of it, you know), and share a few other events from this year so as to have a string of positives after all the negative. But for whatever reason, I just couldn't bring myself to write the negative posts. The words just wouldn't come no matter how I tried. Maybe it's because I'm dealing with combined pre-Otakon and pre-DragonCon stress again? (I know I skipped the last two Otakons, but I'd already planned to be there for its last Baltimore hurrah and honestly didn't realize the dates when I bought my badge within their "first 5000" or whatever it was window.)

In any case, there are a few things one might think I'm excited for/about, but I'm not, and it's actually not so simple as that, hence the would-be (negative) posts. They are not scrapped entirely, but it will be a while (if ever) before I can bring myself to write them. Also, you know how I feel about most major socio-political discussion and I don't care that it is an election year. And I like my plain ol' texting phone that does little else and my four-year-old 3DS, not to mention have had minimal interest in a certain franchise since about the time its first heyday back in the late '90s/early 2000s ended, so you won't be hearing about a certain suddenly popular mobile game here except for this acknowledgement of its existence.

Instead, I'm going to cut to the chase. My next entry (or entires as the case may be, depending on if the first one ends up being long enough to need breaking up into smaller ones) will indeed be about the "major distraction" because really I'd rather talk about that than anything. After that? Probably finish up my Disney trip report however many more entries that ends up being. Anything else, postive or negative, I'll just see what happens with time, motivation, and whatnot.