My First Ever “Pop in a Box” Unboxing and Review

Okay, so there’s this awesome service called “Pop in a Box”; I’ve known about it for a while because some of my fellow YouTubers subscribe to it, but when I discovered it the service was only based out of the UK, which meant that shipping and currency exchange made it just plain not worth it at all. But recently the service expanded, and they are now shipping out of the US as well. This is big news.

What “Pop in a Box” is, is a service in which you get Funko Pop vinyl figures in the mail every month. You can get between 1 and 12 Pops each month, depending on the subscription you choose, and that right off the bat is awesome. But it gets better. When you first sign up you build your collection to show “Pop in a Box” exactly what you already have so that they never send you anything you’ve already gotten. Then you go through their list again, and you can assign a ‘thumbs up’ or a ‘thumbs down’ to any Pops you wish. Pops that receive a ‘thumbs up’ are added to your ‘Wishlist’, which the “Pop in a Box” people refer to when deciding which Pops will go in your box. Anything that receives a ‘thumbs down’ is added to a ‘Graveyard’; everything in there is basically blacklisted from your subscription and will never be sent to you in any of your boxes. Any Pops that haven’t gotten a ‘thumbs up’ or a ‘thumbs down’ are basically up for grabs…you’re saying, “I don’t specifically want these, but I wouldn’t mind if you sent them to me”. If, on any given month, “Pop in a Box” isn’t able to find any Pops that suit your specifications, they simply won’t send you any and you won’t be charged for that month.

I thought it sounded like an awesome service the first time I saw it, but the shipping and conversion from the UK were just too outrageous to justify it, especially since you’re mostly going to be getting common Pops. But when my husband pointed out that they were shipping out of the US now I did some math and discovered that if we went with the 12-Pop-a-Month option we’d be paying basically the same price as buying them in store, but with the possibility of getting Pops that aren’t available around here, or even occasionally something rare or exclusive. I thought that sounded like an awesome deal (especially since, if the Canadian dollar goes up, we’ll actually paying less than retail on the Pops), and my hubby decided to get me the subscription as a Christmas present.

The first box took a while to get here – we’re assuming there are some growing pains with the US service, not to mention the holidays and border patrol – but I just recently got the first box and was super-excited to open it up. Want to have a look? Here it is!

I won’t go through each individual Pop in this post because there’s nothing specific to talk about, as all the Pops I received were common ones. However, I will say that I am quite satisfied with the service so far. I had a ton of fun opening up the first box and seeing which 12 Pops were curated for me, and I was more than happy with the results as well. Though each of the Pops were common (which you have to expect, because obviously they aren’t going to be sending exclusives out all over the place), every one of them was a Pop that I’d given a ‘thumbs up’ too, so that just goes to prove that the curators do actually look at that information when deciding what to send you. I also got Pops from some of my absolute favorite things – Star Wars, Disney, Supernatural, and Doctor Who – so that really makes it a fun and exciting experience.

If there was one thing I’d complain about at all (and honestly, it’s hardly a complaint) it’s that there was too much Star Wars in this box! I’m not really complaining because I love Star Wars, and of course I’m always looking to expand that collection, but it definitely would have been nice if my box had a bit more variety. I was certainly not expecting half of the first box to be nothing but Star Wars!

But that said, thus far I LOVE this service, and I definitely can’t wait for the next one. It’s the subscription that was designed for me, for sure, and I had to share it with you guys! In fact, if you’re interested in giving it a try yourself (remember, you can subscribe for only 1 Pop a month if you want!), I’ve got a link right here that will give you 5% off your first order:

So if you’re interested, definitely check it out, because for every four people who use that link to sign up I get an extra free Pop in my next box, and that’s just awesome. XD

What do you think of “Pop in a Box”? Would you consider signing up? What does your Pop collection look like so far? Please share!

Loot Crate Unboxing and Review for September 2015

Well, it’s October, so that means it’s time for the subscription boxes that should have been here in September. It’s not my fault, I tell you! But you guys already know that, so let’s get right down to business.

The first unboxing of the month is Loot Crate, which had an interesting-sounding theme for September: “Summon”. I had high hopes, especially since I saw a silhouette of Castiel from “Supernatural” in the bumper images of the monthly emails, but what was my final impression? Eeeehhhh…how about you take a look at the unboxing video first?

I’m sure you could probably tell that I was less than enthused with the box, overall, but just for arguments’ sake let’s go ahead and continue the post with a breakdown of the box.

“Pikachu” toque:
Right out of the gates we have this lovely little hat designed after everyone’s favorite electric rat Pokemon. I gave this item a hard time in the video, mostly because the majority of nerds I know would never actually wear something like this out in public. My husband argued that there are definitely tons of nerds who would wear a Pikachu hat in public, and I guess he is actually right, but it still struck me as an extremely childish kind of item to include in a subscription box that’s aimed at adults. That’s just my opinion, sorry! That said, my daughter actually does like Pikachu, and she seemed to be perfectly happy with the idea of getting to wear this hat, so I guess we’re okay on that front. This item retails for about $17.

“Homer Buddha” figure from Kidrobot:
This is a cute, weird little collectible that will only really appeal to “The Simpsons” fans, of a smiling Homer posed like as Buddha sitting on a donut. What’s really, truly amazing about this item is that the original it was based off of was a 6″ colored version, and it retails for FIFTY-FREAKIN’ DOLLARS. I mean, seriously, what the hell, people? And, believe it or not, this 3″ version actually goes for $20. Honestly guys, it’s like, this squishy plastic material, like what a chew-toy might be made out of. Who the heck would pay $20 for this? Okay, okay, that’s all I can say about that.

“Hearthstone” stress ball:
Just throwing this out there right off the get-go: I’m pretty sure I have infinitely more stress balls than I will ever need thanks to subscription boxes. That said, this particular stress ball is based off the “Hearthstone” mobile game, of which I know next to nothing. So, I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t like this item. It’s cheap box-filler. It’s technically a Loot Crate exclusive, and crazy people are trying to sell it online for outrageous amounts of money, but I figure it’s worth…$2, tops.

’67 Chevy Impala die cast car from “Supernatural”:
This is my item, right here…this little Hot Wheels-style die cast car of Dean’s Impala from “Supernatural”. This is literally the one item in this box that is truly for me, and it’s an itty bitty toy car. There’s only so much I can say about that. I do like it, I really do, because I love the Impala and wish I had a real one, but it’s also a bit depressing that the only item in the entire Loot Crate that I truly enjoy for myself is a toy car. Rawr. Okay, enough about that. This teeny-weeny “model” can be purchased online for $10.

“Summon” button:
As always, we have the collectible Loot Crate button, this one stating the theme of “Summon” and sporting a strange little design that incorporates Pikachus. This is just a cheap little pin, but for the sake of keeping the numbers even I’ll allow it a $1 value.

“Hearthstone” card pack download code:
Again, I don’t play this game, so this code doesn’t really mean much to me at all. I might try it sometime just for the hell of it, but if it’s the kind of “freemium” game that damn-well requires you to spend money in order to play it properly, then just no. And it probably is, so just no. Anyway, I couldn’t find anything on the Hearthstone website that indicated what a download code for a card pack might be worth, so ya’ll can correct me if you know but I’m going to go ahead and take a wild guess that it would probably be something along the lines of $3.

“Master Summoner” game:
I’m including this in the list simply because it’s a game that was made by Loot Crate specifically for use with the “Summon” box and the rip-out cards from the magazine, so it’s kind of an “exclusive” in that sense, but I can’t really put a value on it because technically it’s free. Also, from the few reviews I saw of it, you can finish the entire game in about an hour, so…just throwing that out there.

Loot Crate mini-magazine:
I don’t usually include the mini-mag in my breakdowns, but I’m actually stretching a bit because this box was so tiny. This is the basic little 20-ish page magazine that is in every Loot Crate; it’s main purpose is to describe the items within the box, but it also sometimes has little interviews and such. It’s probably only worth about $1.

Total approximate value of box: $54
Total cost to me: $40

So, I’ve been saying this a LOT lately, but with the Canadian dollar down the way it is right now the value of my subscription boxes is really affected. $54 actually isn’t that bad for a box value (although it’s on the lower end of what it has been in the past), but when what you’re paying is about $40 it makes it feel like a heck of a lot less of a value. When I first started getting Loot Crate I was only paying about $31, so what I’m paying now is about a 25% increase, while the contents have not improved in any way, so we’ve got to keep that in mind.

Secondly, I just have to say that this particular box was all kinds of disappointing. I’ve come to terms with the Pikachu hat simply because my daughter actually does like it, but with it being a large part of the value of the box and not actually being something for me, that’s pretty annoying. Then add in that the most “valuable” item in the box is the Simpsons item (which, seriously, feels like a frikkin’ chew toy), and the Hearthstone junk, and it’s just lots of thumbs down. I love the little Impala car, but it’s tiny and not exactly high in value, so it hardly makes the box worth it.

All in all I really have to give this box two thumbs down because it did not impress me at all, and I really hope Loot Crate steps it up in October because I’ve loved it so much in the past!

So what did you think? Was it a “yay” or a “nay” for September’s “Summon” Loot Crate? What did you think of the Pikachu hat? Which item did you think was the junkiest? Please share!

Why “SuperWhoLock”?

I’m a fangirl. Nobody who knows me personally, reads this blog, or follows my YouTube channel should be surprised by this fact. Even my coworkers know that I’m an unapologetic nerd. I scarcely get through a day on the job without making some kind of geeky reference that makes my coworkers look at each other in that, “Oh, our Tracey” kind of way.

I’m also a fangirl of equal opportunity. I love all kinds of fandoms, from the ‘Avengers’ to the ‘Green Arrow’, from ‘Star Wars’ to ‘Star Trek’, and from ‘Harry Potter’ to ‘Game of Thrones’. I’m a nerd of many colors, a geek who loves many fandoms equally.

And among those many fandoms that I do so hold dear, there are three particular television shows that have sparked a strange, combined fandom that has taken over the internet. I did not come across this multi-fandom myself. It was my husband who introduced it to me one day after stumbling across the word and looking it up in his confusion: ‘SuperWhoLock’.

124833aa7492375fcb7266aad36bd841When confronted with this odd amalgamation of fandoms I had to admit that I do, in fact, fall into the category of a “SuperWhoLockian”; that is, one who has a great love for the three shows, ‘Supernatural’, ‘Doctor Who’, and ‘Sherlock’. But despite my sudden inclusion into this vast community of squealing fangirls (and boys, presumably) who are quite fun-loving and amusing, my first real question was, “Why?”

Why these three shows? How and why did the internet come together and decide that these three particular shows deserve to be grouped together into some kind of mecha-fandom?

Many others have asked the same question, and no one seems to really be able to pull a real answer together. This is a curious conglomeration that just seems to have sprung out of the ether and entrenched itself in the waiting minds of the many. No one can explain the reasoning. There is no real answer.

The shows have almost nothing in common. ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Sherlock’ are both British programs, but ‘Supernatural’ is American. ‘Doctor Who’ is a very old show that has gained new success in recent years, while ‘Supernatural’ is only a decade old, and ‘Sherlock’ started as a famous series of mystery books. ‘Doctor Who’ is science-fiction/fantasy, while ‘Supernatural’ is occult/fantasy, and ‘Sherlock’ is more firmly entrenched in the realm of actual possibility (i.e. solving crimes). ‘Supernatural’ follows two young adult brothers trying to save the world from monsters and demons, ‘Doctor Who’ follows a centuries-old alien time lord traveling the Universe and trying to save everyone and everything he possibly can, and ‘Sherlock’ follows two middle-aged men matching wits against some of the world’s most notorious criminals.

There are very few ways in which you can group the three shows together. One way I’ve seen people try to explain the connection is by bringing up the intensity of the relationships. In ‘Supernatural’ we have two Winchester brothers who have literally gone to hell and back for each other and always follow each other into the fire. In ‘Doctor Who’ we find that the Doctor is so in love with the human race (and his companions therein) that he’s been willing to die for them on numerous occasions. In ‘Sherlock’, the titular character and his companion Watson become such close friends that the nigh-emotionless Sherlock risks his life for Watson multiple times.

But that can’t just be it, can it?

I’ve also heard the idea that it’s all about the light and dark of humanity. ‘Supernatural’ shows the horrible side of things, the way monsters and demons use the human emotions of anger, lust, envy, and greed to feed and further their gains, while also showing that redemption is always possible. ‘Doctor Who’ shows how, even though humanity does horrifying things, it’s a powerful race with powerful emotions and has done (and will do) amazing things as well. ‘Sherlock’ has constant comparisons of love and hate, courage and fear, terrible evil and self-sacrificing good.

But I still don’t think that’s quite it.

There are always the simple, obvious, completely meaningless points, such as the fact that all three shows feature drop-dead gorgeous actors. (For my part, my husband has added many of the characters from these shows to a mental list he refers to as “Tracey’s Boyfriends”.)

But I’d hate to think that that’s the only reason for the grouping.

Me, personally, I don’t know what the answer is, and I’m actually quite confident that there really is no answer. However, there is a connection between the three shows that binds them together for me.

I’ve written before that I’ve often been moved to tears by an excellent story, especially if that story is brought to life by excellent actors. And while there are certainly other shows and movies that I can put on the list, the three shows that make up the “SuperWhoLock” fandom are three that I have absolutely sobbed like a little baby to in more recent years.

!!!!!!SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!!

Throughout the seasons of ‘Supernatural’ there have occasionally been deaths of important characters, because you can’t have that many episodes of a show about demons and nightmare creatures without someone eventually dying. A few of those deaths have almost killed me in turn. The most recent one was Bobby Singer, who was always one of my favorite characters and a huge father figure to the Winchesters; during that episode I had to struggle to bite back the tears so that my husband wouldn’t torture me relentlessly. Call me crazy, call me a total sob-queen, but whenever Jensen Ackles gets super-sad it makes me want to burst into tears and hug him to pieces.

Most people probably wouldn’t consider ‘Doctor Who’ an inherently sad show, but there’s at least one episode that weaseled its way into my heart and squeezed, and that is the episode in which the Doctor lost Rose to an alternate universe and used a one-time method to speak to her and explain that they would never be able to see each other again. That tore away at my insides because it seemed so much more horrible than if one of them died…to know that the other was out there, but to never be able to see or touch them again no matter what you were willing to do. It was a brilliant way to end the Rose saga, but it was also a hateful, horrible ending that made me want to curl up into a little ball and cry forever.

‘Sherlock’ also isn’t a show that many people would think is likely to be very sad, but there’s a lot of emotion involved, especially between Sherlock and Watson as they slowly become extremely important to one another. The actors did such an amazing job of bringing the relationship between the two characters to life, which made it all that much more heart-wrenching when Sherlock leaped to his death with Watson watching. Of course, having already known that this was a storyline that played out in the books and that Sherlock was going to turn out to have faked his death, you’d think this scene wouldn’t have that much of a punch, but it really did. In particular Watson’s reaction to the whole thing had me weeping like a little baby.

So maybe it’s a combination of things. Perhaps these are just three awesome shows with great (good-looking) actors, interesting takes on good and evil and humanity in general, and they also happen to evoke an amazingly emotional response in those who enjoy them. But then again, that combination of things could probably quite easily describe a great many different trios of TV shows.

Honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever really understand why legions of fans suddenly started grouping these three shows together, but in the end I guess it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that we “SuperWhoLockians” love them, hold them dear, and wish to never let them go.



each has an episode that made me bawl like a little bitch

BIG Funko Haul! <3

I have an unhealthy obsession with Funko Pop vinyl collectibles. There’s just no way to spin that in any way that makes me sound less crazy. The little critters are adorable and I love them, and though I’m not ambitious enough to try and collect them all (why would I even want the ones of characters I don’t even know?) I definitely love gathering up the lines that I most enjoy.

In January I shared a video of my ENORMOUS Funko haul, courtesy of one hell of a Christmas gift from my husband. Today I’m sharing a much smaller one, but it’s still pretty sizable considering that it’s only been a few months since that enormous one!

Check it out!

What did you think? Aren’t they just ADORABLE?! Do you have any Funko vinyls? Do you collect them? Which ones are your favorites? What about other kinds of collectibles? I’d love to hear about them! Please share!

Terrifying Television

The time of spooks and specters is almost upon us. Halloween was always a favorite of mine, not only because I always loved dressing up and going Trick-or-Treating, but because even during the time of my life when I was a godawful wuss, it was always a little bit fun to be scared.

In honor of our favorite frightful holiday, this week I’m going to be talking about my favorite moments of horror…in the form of various kinds of media.

To start off, today I’m going to talk about TV shows of the spooky variety.

Let’s start off with some shows of the past. When I was a kid I was a lot easier to frighten, but even considering that, some of the shows I used to watch late on Friday nights were pretty creepy, in my opinion. Are You Afraid of the Dark? was one of my very favorites, something I watched every weekend without fail. It’s pretty damn tame by today’s standards, and the special effects leave something to be desired when compared with what television can do these days, but at the time it was an amazing show that gave me no end of shivers.

Oh yeah. Spooky as hell. >.>
Oh yeah. Spooky as hell. >.>

The show centered around a group of youngsters who called themselves the “Midnight Society” and would take turns telling each other scary stories around a campfire. Each episode was one scary story brought to life. Most of the stories were based on common folk tales and urban legends, with the majority of them designed specifically to be frightening to children. I recall the episode that freaked me out the most was one in which a girl gets sucked into a mystical dollhouse and begins to turn into a doll herself. There was just something about watching the girl’s limbs become porcelain that creeped me right the hell out!

As I got a little older, I began to get into the “reality” ghost shows. I couldn’t name one in particular, but you know the type: a group of people with cameras and really crappy flashlights venture into a haunted house, or an old asylum, or a creepy abandoned graveyard, and records the results. The funny thing is that I never really believed in ghosts myself, but when one of these shows was actually done well…yeah, it could really give me a spook! Even to this day, if the show is well-done (which is asking a little much, apparently) I can still get a chill from the antics that are experienced in the world’s creepiest places.

These days I don’t find there are a lot of TV shows out there that are able to genuinely frighten me. Maybe it’s because there aren’t many TV shows that have the budgets of big Hollywood horrors, or maybe there’s just not a lot of genuinely scary stuff out there on TV right now. Or maybe it’s just me. I don’t know. But that doesn’t stop me from loving shows that are meant to be scary. Supernatural has been one of my favorite shows for ages (even though recent seasons haven’t been that great) because I love all the different monsters, creatures, and beings that regularly popped up on the show. It was never really all that scary of a show, because that’s just not the kind of show it is, but all the paranormal stuff, monsters eating people, and super-strange occurrences gave me that good tingly feeling; the kind you get when snuggled up in bed with a good ghost story.

There, uh...may be a few other reasons I enjoy the show too.
There, uh…may be a few other reasons I enjoy the show too.

American Horror Story (the first season) raised the bar a bit, throwing all manner of weird, crazy, and creepy at you all at once. The show about a family living in a(n extremely) haunted house focused mostly on the mental insanity and anguish, but there were definitely moments when I got the shivers because of a creepy side-plot or two.

But I can’t finish this post off without giving a shout-out to some of the classics. Not your weekly kind of TV show, but the TV specials that are made specifically for Halloween. Some are old, some are newer, and lots of them are tons of fun. Every year my family and I are sure to watch Garfield’s Halloween special, and my daughter is a big fan of the spooky Spongebob episodes. Want to bump up your enjoyment of the holiday? You should totally go on the hunt for some Halloween specials. They’re fun for the whole family and a great way to get into the Halloween-y mood. ^_~

And that mood is "Eep!"
And that mood is “Eep!”


I love monsters. It’s one of my (many) things, and one of my favorite monsters is the werewolf. These creatures have been romanticized in recent years, and I won’t say that I haven’t leaned over to that way myself from time to time, but I prefer the scary, hairy, rip-out-your-throat-style werewolf, and one of my favorite things about this particular brand of monster is the transformation. The movies, TV shows, and books about werewolves that I love the most are the ones that show the transformation as being a horrible, painful, frightening thing. Does that make me a little creepy? Bah.

So today I want to share a scene from a short werewolf story that I wrote. It’s not something that is ever likely to be published, but I had fun writing the transformation of the female character. Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

Minutes passed while Aya waited to die. She’d managed to turn her body over so that she was laying on her back, looking up at the moon peeking through the trees. The rain poured into her wounds, but she didn’t care because she couldn’t feel them anymore. She couldn’t feel anything except the ache in her heart, knowing she’d found and lost love all at once, and was about to lose her life as well.

She lay for over an hour, just staring at the moon.

Then, strangely, her wounds began to sting again. She wondered at this. Did people get one last shot of physical pain before passing on? That seemed cruel and unnecessary.

As she thought this the pain came stronger. Suddenly she found herself hissing from the agony of the rain dropping onto her open flesh. A moment later she found the energy to roll over, and soon after she had pushed herself into a kneeling position with her fingers clenching at the ground for support.

She only had a few seconds to reflect on this strange end-of-life burst of energy when her entire body was thrown into violent spasms. At first she couldn’t even scream, the pain was so intense, but soon enough she found her voice and her shrieks sent night birds flying off through the trees.

Every inch of her skin was burning and freezing at the same time, every muscle twitching, every bone stretching as though it was about to crack in two. She had an almost uncontrollable urge to tear her skin from her body. It felt like there were bugs crawling beneath it, like it was shuddering of its own volition. Could this possibly be what it felt like to die? No, no, it couldn’t be. This was something entirely different.

When her jaw cracked and she felt her canine teeth suddenly jabbing into her lower lip, all at once she understood.

Kaleb’s last kiss. He’d bitten his lip a moment before. She hadn’t even registered the coppery taste of his mouth.

Blood. Werewolf blood.

She couldn’t keep track of all the thoughts rushing through her mind at once. She wasn’t dying! She was going to live! She was going to be a werewolf, but she’d still be alive! And she could be in Kaleb’s life, if she could rescue him somehow… She had to find a way to save him! If only she could get past this excruciating pain!

The flow of thoughts was cut off, as was her breath as she began to choke from the agony. She felt as though she was being stabbed by a hundred flaming swords, like her bones were trying to escape her body. Was it like this every time a werewolf transformed? It couldn’t be; it looked so flawless when the others did it! Was it just her? Was she broken somehow? Rejecting the change?

She couldn’t scream, couldn’t move. She simply fell to the ground and trembled, twitched, gasped in horror.

A long time later, when the pain finally subsided, Aya was no longer Aya. She was something more, something different, something wild. She didn’t think about who she was, where she was, or how she’d gotten there. She simply rose her nose to the wind and took a long, deep sniff. Her mind was muddled, confused, feral, but one thing was clear: she could smell them on the wind, the ones who had hurt her and taken her mate away from her.

She let out a long, loud howl toward the high moon and burst off into the woods as fast as her four legs could take her.

More Random Things You Might Not Know About Me

I can totally rock a Space Invaders t-shirt.
I can totally rock a Space Invaders t-shirt.
  • Most of my favorite shows are fictional stories like Supernatural, Doctor Who, and Game of Thrones, but I also enjoy a variety of different things, and one show I love is Penn and Teller’s Bullshit. I don’t agree with 100% of the things that they’ve said on the show, but I do agree with quite a lot of it, and I admire the way that they’re willing to talk about the unpopular opinions when they truly believe in that opinion.
  • I can sing at least one song, without forgetting any words, to every Disney Princess movie except Brave and Frozen, and only because I haven’t watched those particular ones enough to have the songs memorized. I regularly sing said songs at the top of my lungs when I know no one can hear me.
  • Moths and similar winged bugs freak me the hell out. I don’t mind them as long as they’re nowhere near me, but if they come close enough to touch me I lose my bloody mind.
  • When I was a little kid I had a Cricket talking doll that I loved to death. My mom’s coworker and friend used to call me on the phone and talk to me in Cricket’s voice and for years I really believed that it was the real Cricket who was talking to me.
  • I play a bit of guitar (although not that often anymore) but I am straight up phobia-level terrified of tuning the instrument. When I was young and taking lessons, my teacher had a string snap while he was retuning his guitar – a little surprising, but nothing too terrible there. Then a couple of years later I snapped a string because I hadn’t realized that particular string had somehow been wound up an octave too high. Again, it surprised me but was nothing too horrifying. But then I saw a horror movie in which a character broke a string on another instrument (I think it was a piano, but I can’t quite remember), and the string struck the character in the eye. A great deal of blood ensued. Ever since watching that scene, I can’t help but imagine myself getting hit in the eye by a flying broken string every time I have to tune my guitar. The only way I can get myself through it is to make sure the guitar strings are pointed as far away from my face as possible through the entire ordeal, and to wear a pair of safety glasses. I look like a total lunatic, but it’s the only way it’s going to happen.
  • I have a major pet peeve…about actual pets. I’ve always loved cats, but I have two and it absolutely enrages me how they run after me and wind around my legs and stand in the way of my feet as I walk whenever I get anywhere within ten feet of their food bowls. I might have just filled the bowls literally five minutes previous, but if I walk too close they’re on top of me again, tripping me while I try to carry laundry down the stairs or pawing at my feet when I turn toward the bathroom instead. And it makes me genuinely MAD. Maybe it’s a bit of an anger management thing, I dunno. All I know is that it makes me want to punt them down the stairs. 😛
  • I have a thing about certain scents. Some are reasonable, like the smell of sugar cookies, and some are weird, like the smell of Play Doh, and some send me straight into a nostalgia spiral back into my childhood. To this day certain smells immediately make me think about playing certain old video games or scribbling out stories in a notebook in the back of my mom’s car.
  • I am not, nor will I ever be, the kind of person who worries a ton about cleaning, but I absolutely wig out when I step on stuff (little crumbs or what-have-you) with bare feet. My entire house is hardwood and laminate flooring, so I wear socks 90% of the time to avoid stepping on little bits of things that didn’t get vacuumed up.
  • As a writer, I cringe when reading something that is poorly written, but – counter-intuitively – I have thoroughly enjoyed some books that were horribly written but had a fun plot.
  • For the first 27 years of my life I swore you would never get me on a plane because I figured I’d either have a panic attack from the height, or get violently ill because I occasionally have motion sickness. When I finally got on a plane for the first time in order to go away for work, I experienced either. My ears popped pretty bad during the first flight, but that was it. Color me surprised.
  • Once, at a wedding when I was about twelve years old, there was a big platter of nanaimo bars on the buffet table, and no one was really eating them. By the time the reception was over I had eaten a good dozen of those squares. And they weren’t small either.
  • When I’m working out West I tend to eat better because all the food is provided for me and it’s pretty easy to just grab some salad fixins and a chicken breast. But once a week or so I skip supper all together, buy a huge bag of chips and some cream soda from the convenience store, and spend the night gorging and watching shows on my tablet.
  • I get a strange enjoyment out of writing these “random things” posts because they force me to really think about myself and pick out the information that I didn’t even realize I was keeping to myself. 😀

A to Z Challenge: A Review

First, I want to give a bit shout-out to all those who are involved in the running of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. It’s got to take a lot of time and dedication to keep track of so many participants, making sure that non-participants are removed from the list, and ensuring that participants get the attention they deserve. Kudos!

Second, a double-huge shout-out to all my fellow participants who made it (sometimes kicking and screaming) to the end of the challenge. Some of those letters were pretty difficult, but you did it! You rock! 😀

Third, a triple-huge shout-out to all those who stopped by my blog during April and commented on my posts. I had some great conversations this month, met some cool new friends, and gained a number of new followers. I hope you all stick close by, because it’s been a blast, and I’ve been truly happy to meet you all. 🙂

The challenge has been a great deal of fun, and I got a lot of great comments on my 26 posts, so as part of this review I present a list of links to each of my posts in case anyone missed anything or is just dropping by now and would like to check a couple of them out.

Day 1: Ariel (the Little Mermaid)Day 2: Buffy Summers (the Vampire Slayer)
Day 3: Castiel (the Monster-Fighting Angel)
Day 4: Deadpool (the Lunatic Assassin)
Day 5: Eric Northman (the Viking Vampire)
Day 6: Freddy Krueger (the Nightmare Demon)
Day 7: Gau (the Wild Orphan)
Day 8: Han Solo (the Cocky Starpilot)
Day 9: Iron Man (the Smarmiest Avenger)
Day 10: James T. Kirk (the Star Fleet Captain)
Day 11: Kefka Palazzo (the Magitek Monster)
Day 12: Lisse (the Child of the Dystopian Future)
Day 13: Magus (the Lost Wizard)
Day 14: Neville Longbottom (the Heart of Gryffindor)
Day 15: Other-Mother (the Other World Evil)
Day 16: Peter Parker (the Spider-Man)
Day 17: Qui-Gon Jinn (the Jedi Knight)
Day 18: Ryuk (the Shinigami)
Day 19: Sherlock Holmes (the High-Functioning Sociopath)
Day 20: Tyrion Lannister (the Exceptionally Clever Imp)
Day 21: Usagi Tsukino (the Sailor Senshi)
Day 22: Victoria MacKinnon (the Lost Princess)
Day 23: Winchester Brothers (the Monster Hunters)
Day 24: Xander Harris (the Lovable Sidekick)
Day 25: Yuki Miaka (the Girl from Other World)
Day 26: Zelda (the Hyrulian Princess)

In case you somehow missed it, my theme for the challenge was “Fictional Characters”. Each one of these characters, even the ones chosen out of duress of very difficult letters, holds a special place in my heart for one reason or another. The TV shows, movies, comics, cartoons, and video games mentioned were overwhelmingly a great part of my childhood, and in some cases an incredible part of my adulthood. If you’ve got the time, check some of them out. You totally won’t be disappointed.

And finally, before I sign off, I wanted to share with you a couple of the blogs that I’ve come across during this particular challenge. I came into contact with so many awesome fellow bloggers this past month that it’s impossible to mention them all, but these are a couple of the ones I fully plan to keep tabs on even now that the challenge is over.

A Scenic Route – Kirsten is a fellow writer who blogs about her “journey into noveldom”. This month she wrote a wonderful series of posts with the theme “Backstage at the Blog”, in which she gave some wonderful tips, hints, and ideas for fellow bloggers, in addition to sharing info about her own blogging journey.

Sophie’s Thoughts and Fumbles – Sophie is a writer of many genres who uses her blog as a place to talk about reading, writing, all the topics in between, and whatever else she so desires. She is also the brains behind the mini-challenge that a few of us participated in in addition to the A to Z challenge: the Supernatural A to Z Challenge. She wrote about ghosts and ghoulies this month, and while I didn’t often comment on her posts because my WordPress reader doesn’t make it easy for me to deal with other blogging websites, I still thoroughly enjoyed reading about all the creepy creatures that she posted.

Alex Hurst – Alex is one of my favorite new people because she is fun, bubbly, and friendly, and we apparently have a great deal in common. The fantasy writer spent the month talking about different aspects of writing and being a writer. Her post “J for Jargon” cracked me up because so many of the definitions she came up with were SO TRUE.

I would love to share some more blogs, and perhaps I will in the future, but this has been such a busy month that I simply do not have the time it would take to go through all the wonderful blogs I’ve found during this challenge. However, if you’re really, truly interested in finding some great new people to follow, check out the A to Z sign-up list and just start clicking. There are literally hundreds of wonderful blogs amongst that list.

And now, with all that aside, I must say adieu, and take a much-deserved nap. Cheers everyone! ❤