Automatic updates enabled. If only.

Hey all,

Don’t you wish you had an update hub so everyone can just be filled in with what’s going on with your life instead of you having to repeatedly tell people or different groups individually? But then again, I guess that wouldn’t make for much conversation or seeing each other I suppose.

Not being in school this term was a big change for me. Never have I ever missed a term of school and done something else, but here I am doing co-op while I see pictures of everyone back at UBC. Do I miss it? Yes. But at the same time, it’s a nice change. Plus, work is letting me get a glimpse of the real world— it’s not the most exciting and makes me wish I can stay in school forever, but it’s manageable. Or maybe I’m still waiting to find something I’m uber passionate about.

Working also means that I’m no longer just seeing my friends randomly around classes or on campus, and I realize it meant that I had to reach out in order to see people. I’m glad I realized this sooner rather than later, because I’ve got many dear friends that I would hate to lose contact with! The past few weeks have been me filling my schedule up so that we could check in on each other’s lives and also just talk in general! It also meant that I got to try out lots of new food places :) It’s Vancouver and it’s currently fall/winter time. If you’re not at the movies or in a restaurant, where else would you be?

I finally tried Gyoza Bar with my friend Amy. Heard about it over the summer when it first opened, but never got a chance to go! I must say, their ramen broth really is something else! It’s thick and really flavourful! The egg isn’t as good at Marutama Ramen’s, but everything else was quite nice! We also ordered their special which was a chickpea karaage. It was very interesting since the chickpea was soft and warm on the inside, with its crispy karaage exterior.

Carmen showed me this dessert place near where I used to live in Marpole. It’s relatively new and it’s called Doolami Dessert. The mango pomelo sago was delicious and my friend got the durian one. It’s not easy finding Chinese dessert places in Vancouver, especially in the Vancouver West area, so this was great to know about! This place also makes their own pints of ice-cream (I know it’s winter, but hey, ice cream) with interesting flavours. Carmen got a pint of durian ice cream and I was contemplating the blueberry lavender. But apparently, the blueberry overpowers the lavender and I’m more for the lavender.

I also met up with my ex-supervisors from work (they had both moved on to pursue other opportunities!), and we went to Bella Gelateria’s new location in Yaletown! I ordered a meat-filled pizza (I remember salami on it, but don’t remember its fancy name), and one of the other girls ordered one with eggplant. I never liked eggplant, but thinly sliced then stone oven baked made it delicious. This may be a turning point between me and eggplant’s relationship. Overall, the place is kind of expensive, but you can get away with sharing 2 pizzas between 3 people.

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Doesn’t this look super artsy? A shot from the interior of The Greedy Pig. My hand shook when I took the photo and it blurred. So pro.

Last but not least, I met up with C, a fellow blogger here! Well, technically no longer on WordPress since he actually has his own domain now and blogs from there, but it was through WordPress that we had met. Talking to him made me realize that we had actually known each other for three years. I had first started my blog when we came across each others’. He had also moved away from Vancouver for a while, but now that he’s back we managed to meet up and chill. He had suggested this place called The Greedy Pig. Sadly, my appetite was crappy that day, but their mushroom soup was still good! C chowed down his mac and cheese fairly quickly, so I’m going to assume it was good. I’ve been by that place before, and was even going to eat dinner there once, but the line up was so ridiculous my friends and I ended up going elsewhere.

Of course, there’s other updates in my life. Another first for me was updating my Facebook relationship status. Never done that with a boyfriend before, so he’s something special :) But that’s probably another story for another time.

- Karen

The FEAR Lootcrate!

Hello everyone,

So we all know about monthly subscription boxes. In the past I’ve gotten them for makeup as well as nail polish but I soon came to realize that I don’t actually wear much makeup so all of it goes to waste, and I was over my nail polish phase pretty quickly.

Recently I got a half-year subscription to Lootcrate. How is it? Well, today I got my Halloween themed FEAR crate and it’s AMAZING! Also, it came exactly on Halloween, so that’s pretty amazing too.

Lookie at the cool stuff in it!

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  • A kitty shirt arranged to form a skull. (The shirt is super soft and fits really well!)

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  • Dead Rising… wpid-20141031_100256-1.jpg
    wait for it—
    Yes, that’s a pen!

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  • How to Survive a Sharknado book (haha because we all need to be prepared for those random natural disasters..)
  • The Walking Dead Lootcrate alternate cover.
  • A Smite skin and god!
  • Tattoos that I have no idea when I’ll wear since it doesn’t exactly go with my halloween costume this year.
  • And a SuperEmoFriends art print!!!!

As always, there’s also candy in the box <3

I was a little meh with last month’s box since it was Galactic themed, and while I did enjoy my Han Solo poster and Tribble plush, I hadn’t watch Firefly yet (gasp!) so half the box was lost to me.

In Canada, Lootcrate is a little more expensive than if our neighbours in the US were to get the same box. They pay $13.37, when we pay almost $30 a month (YOU KNOW. JUST A LITTLE MORE EXPENSIVE. JUST A LITTLE). Wish I could pay the US price :( I’m excited to see what else my future crates will contain.. and it’s awesome that Lootcrate crates our loot, so we get to loot our crate :)

You can also check out Nerd Block for an alternate nerdy subscription box, but I’ve never used them so can’t comment! They also ship to Canada too!

- Karen

This is Hong Kong

Hello all,

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Seeing the happenings in Hong Kong is giving me such mixed feelings. On one hand, I’m disgusted by how China is invading Hong Kong’s democratic rights. On the other hand, it moves me to see everyone joining hands in protest.

This isn’t what we were promised when Britain handed us over to China in 1997. “One Country, Two Systems” was the belief that we had stood by, understanding that while we were a part of China, our rules of capitalism were to remain untouched while they practiced socialism. The head of Hong Kong (the Chief Executive) is selected by the people, and we choose who we would like to represent us.

It’s amazing how years of Hong Kong social studies and history schooling rushes back as I watch the events in my other home unfold. It’s unfair, and I’m glad we’re taking a stand, like we have done before throughout history. I desperately wish I was in Hong Kong so I can join the protests, and stand alongside fellow citizens who want our freedoms. I feel as if I’m helpless to fight for my own cause, and others are doing the battle for me. But in the end, I’m thankful for everyone who has been rallying to protest.

The student uprising is commendable. These people are young, yet they’re organizing in order to fight for their future. Everyone’s using what skills they have to help the cause. I’m moved to see the adults join in as well as the protests started to include other demographics. People are taking days off work to support the crowds, choosing to volunteer and give out water or medical supplies.

While there are people who fear the instability brought about by these protests to Hong Kong’s economic front, I really do hope they see that in the long run, it’s worth it. This is our freedom on the line. This is our fight. This is Hong Kong.

- Karen

ArcheAge: A review

Hello everyone,

Screenshot my friend took from that one time I managed to log in. My face is about as ecstatic as my female character's face in game as I wait in the queue.

Screenshot my friend took from that one time I managed to log in. My face is about as ecstatic as my female character’s face in-game as I wait in the queue.

Here’s where I’d put my ArcheAge review. If I had one.

But I can tell you that being in queue is pretty sweet. There’s just something about being 3,782 in queue and knowing you’ve got “>1 hour” wait time left!

- Karen

San Fran Fam Jam!

Hello all,

This is definitely a late post, but three weeks ago I went to San Francisco with my family! Although San Fran is quite close to Vancouver (well. comparatively.), it was my first time there.

The sun was out during our whole trip, which was nice when we got to San Fran, but not so nice as we road tripped by California. I had forgotten how hot it can get out there.

We did a bunch of touristy things such as visit Fisherman’s Wharf, including having a bread bowl of chowder. Apparently it’s considered a tourist trap, but I still went for it and it was good. The seagulls there must be pretty happy with all the people who throw unwanted pieces of bread to them after they’re down with their chowder!

I had wanted to go to Alcatraz too, but the tour was all sold out for the weekend that we were going. Instead we decided it was only right if we visited a museum or something to properly play the part of a tourist so we went to Ripley’s! Ripley’s Believe it or Not books were such a big part of my childhood it was cool to see their displays in person.

I must say that one of my favourite parts of San Fan was Chinatown. We came back three times over the course of three days for food. Something I found special was their dim sum. They sold them in stores and unlike everywhere else I’ve been in most parts of the world, you didn’t sit down in a restaurant to enjoy them. They’re packed up in a takeaway box and you eat it wherever you please. The dim sum places didn’t even have tables or chairs for you to sit, so that option was non existent.

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Chinatown was so authentic in San Francisco. If I don’t think about it too hard, it almost made me feel like I was back in Hong Kong. The mannerisms of people there, the language, the things they sold. Of course, there’s a lot of western influence intertwined but it didn’t make it any less authentic.

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My sister got me really hyped up for Ghirardelli’s factory, but when we ordered an ice-cream sundae there, it tasted like poop. Well, that’s a little harsh, but it definitely wasn’t worth the $11. I’ve had better chocolate (literally anywhere else).

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Our trip to Union Square was not eventful. It looked like a typical downtown region of any city, but the weather was really nice while we were there.

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ALSO, I never knew Japan towns existed. Chinatowns? Sure, everywhere. But San Francisco’s Japan Town was quite cool. They had so many geek wares there that I was trying not to freak out.

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10613079_10152440934504748_5513272189264340628_nWe lived a little ways outside of San Francisco, since we wanted a nice hotel that wasn’t overly expensive. I’d highly recommend everyone do the same since all the nice hotels cost a pretty penny inside the city. In the end we chose a hotel in San Mateo, which was close enough. We’d drive for about 20 minutes to get back to the city each morning, but that was no hassle with a car.

I wonder when I’ll have another family trip. This trip reminded so much of what it was like to be on holiday with my family, especially since it was a road trip. The past few family vacations always lacked a member or two — my parents and sister went to Vegas without me; my mom, sister and I went to Hong Kong/Japan sans my dad. You get the story. But family time really is the best :)

- Karen

Game of Thrones Exhibit at the PNE

Hello all,

Yesterday I visited the Game of Thrones Exhibit at the PNE! It comes free with your park admission, and it’s right by the Renfew and Hastings entrance. 

My friends and I arrived at 10AM and waited for the gates to open at 10:30AM. We were 2nd in line outside the exhibit, since although the park opens at 10:30AM for its soft opening, everything else actually opens at 11AM. Once they let us in, I made my friends rush to the Oculus Rift bit of the exhibit. I tried the Oculus out at the Evolution of Gaming exhibit a few weeks ago, but this was a different experience altogether. They incorporated 4D aspects such as the floor rumbling below you, as well as wind blowing at your face. 

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The Ascend the Wall “ride” lets you take the creaky elevator up the wall. It’s windy up there, and you get a sense of unease as the elevator isn’t the sturdiest of things. Not going the spoil the ending for you, but they do warn you to maybe sit out the ride if you have a fear of heights. 

Seeing the costumes in real life was so surreal. They’re even more beautiful up close. For example, I never noticed that Margery’s wedding dress had small barbs amongst her roses, or that her train was completely covered in roses. 

Of course, everyone lined up for the throne. 

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Since it was the first day, Sibel Kekilli was there for a Q&A. For those of you who watch the show, you may know her better as Shae. My friends and I also managed to catch her before she left for a selfie :) She’s really nice and bypassed her security guards in order to sign stuff for fans and such. 

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No trip to the PNE is complete for me without checking out the BBQ section. I usually refuse to fill myself up on other fair food until I’ve had a pulled pork sandwich there. This year I got a ribs + meat combo. 


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Followed by a visit to the Safeway Farm Country. That probably wasn’t the best idea when you’ve stuffed your face with meat. 

If any of you guys are going, I highly recommend you also check out the Get Animated! exhibit! You can play some old school arcade games, look at the production process of several cartoons, and there are lots of interactive bits for you to explore. They also had some neat photo areas! 

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Leaving PNE at the end of the day reminded me as to why I am hesitant to visit every year. The transit home truly is the worst :( 

- Karen

“Guardians of the Galaxy”: A Movie Review

Hello all,

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Went to an advanced screening of Guardians of the Galaxy yesterday! Everyone was really excited, and I was told it was one of the most sought after movie screenings of the year! Luckily, my friends and I still managed to snag great seats!

Guardians revolves around a kid called Peter Quill, who had been separated from his family on Earth when he was young. He got abducted to another planet. He becomes a ravager (think space pirate), but amongst one of his missions to steal a mysterious metal sphere, he decides to sell it off to make a profit instead. Turns out there’s a lot more to the sphere than we all though. In order to save the universe from destruction, a group of unlikely heroes work together and form the Guardians of the Galaxy.

I had hopes for not crying in this film. Judging from the trailer and what I’ve heard about it, I expected it to be all laughs, but there were quite a few moments where it was (very) touching. In regards to this movie as opposed to the other recent ones set in the Marvel universe, be prepared to not have our own planet earth to ground yourself to the story. Very little of this movie happens on Terra, but instead we get introduced to different planets and zoom around space for a good part of it.

I thought this movie was quite good– looked really expensive to make! (Just googled out of curiosity. The budget was $170M.) Currently it has a 91% on Rottentomatoes and a 9/10 on IMDB. It opens tomorrow! A kid friendly movie, but also enjoyable for older audiences too :)

- Karen