Monday, December 30, 2013

30/12/13

In My Mailbox Today: 3 Items!


Item #1: Postcrossing Postcard from Germany

Isn't the picture on the front gorgeous? Certainly my first winter-themed postcard, although that probably isn't saying much given that this is the 3rd postcard I've ever received from Postcrossing.

I really do love the site, and how easy it is to send and receive cards from all over the world. I actually wrote an article recently for PaperDroids about the art of letter writing and why geeks (geek girls specifically, given the audience of the site) should continue to embrace the wonders of snail mail. If my editor puts it up on the site I'll share a link to it with you guys.


Item #2: Card & Treat from noxy!

Another great Christmas card from one of the lovely girls I vlog with :)

The card actually came with these two things wrapped in green foil. I wasn't sure what they were, but there was a bit of chocolate in the corner of the card and they smelled like mint. They were pretty flat though, after going through the mail machines XD My mom informed me they were peppermint patties, and apparently they're called Thin Mints in the states. Pretty sure the mail machines made them even thinner, but nevertheless I appreciate noxy trying to sneak me something.

It`s funny how small things like treats are different even between Canada and the States, when we're pretty much sitting on top of each other. The US has things like Thin Mints, and we in Canada have Kinder Eggs XDD Kinder Eggs are delicious by the way, for those who haven't had them before. It's funny how they're illegal in the states, something about having a toy inside of food. I'm not sure I'll ever completely get it.


Item #3: Blu-Ray from Amazon.ca

Oh how I love pre-ordering things from Amazon! They're extremely quick. This movie was released today, and that's when I got it in the mail. Not the day after, but today, which is so great. It shipped yesterday, now it's here!

I'm rather intrigued to see this movie. If you want to look at the trailer, here is a link for it. The main reason I became really interested in seeing it wasn't because of Michael Caine, or the fact that he speaks with an American accent in the trailer, which is incomprehensible to be since I've been seeing Caine in movies since I was little and saw him portray Scrooge in A Muppet Christmas Carol

The main reason I wanted to watch this movie is because it stars Clemence Poesy. You may recognize her from when she played Fleur Delacord (or however it's spelled) in a few Harry Potter movies. Clemence Poesy is actually a playby that I use for one of my characters in online roleplaying.

For those of you who have never heard of online roleplaying, the kind when you write as an original character, then I know for a fact it would take me far too long to explain all the ins and outs of it. Nevertheless, it's a lot of fun, it's a great way for a writer to be able to write everyday, and it's also a great way to interact with new people, and to make friends as well. Speaking of making friends . . .


Going Out In My Mailbag Today: 1 Item.

Item #1: A Thank You Card to my roleplay partner Chandler/`zona

One great thing about roleplaying is when you meet somebody online that you plot with, and when your characters get along and you get along and you continue to roleplay with this person for a long time, they end up becoming your roleplay partner.

I met Chandler (who goes my the screen name `zona) at least 2 years ago, although I'm pretty sure that I've lost track by this point. Nevertheless, it's been a long time. I know it can't be too much longer than that because I've only been roleplaying for 6 years now.

Truth be told, it's been a little while since we've actually written anything together; real life got in the way a lot for the both of us this summer, and now that we're both back in school it's been a bit of a muse kill on both our parts. It's unfortunate, when real life and muse get in the way of a good thing, but sometimes these things happen and there's nothing that can really be done about it. That's part of the reason I wanted to send Chandler this card; to thank her for not only being a great roleplay partner this year, but a great friend.

It seems that the New Year has a way of doing that to us; makes us look back and notice the people who impacted us in the past 365 (or 364 days), and makes us want to thank them properly. Truth be told I bought a whole pack of colourful thank you cards that I want to send to all the vlogging iggles. I hope I have time to do so. I also need to find where I put my internation stamps, so I can send out some more Postcrossing cards as well.

That;s it for now. I've got a second date tonight that I'm very much looking forward to :) But I'm thinking I may grace the few who have decided to read this with some sort of New Years post tomorrow. I actually want to film a video tomorrow as well, and I really hope that I'm able to. So I'll keep you guys posted.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

My December Reading List


Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Or, well, whatever holiday you happen to be celebrating - or not celebrating.

I've decided that on top of doing my postal blog posts, I would combine some more personal ones as well - differentiating them by their titles. Since it's the week of Christmas, and there was no post on the 25th or 26th in Canada, I figured that I'd write about something else for you guys.

As anybody that knows me will know, I love to read. The majority of the time, although not all the time, the books I tend to reach for during my free time are Young Adult novels. With having to read longer, heavier books and articles during the school months, I find these sorts of stories which don't take me long to tear through to be fun and refreshing.

Since I work at a bookstore, and I'm no longer a teenager, I sometimes judge myself for being an English Literature major that loves to read these types of books. When I hear of fellow classmates or coworkers that prefer picking up something like Dune or The Birth House, I tend to feel like others are judging me as well. But then I pick myself up by rationalizing that it should not matter which age the book is intended for; a good story is a good story. After all, I'm not the only person 21 or older that enjoys reaching for a John Green novel, am I right?

During November, where I was swamped with school assignments, getting just a glimmer of the light at the end of the tunnel known as the end of the semester, I began to wonder as I daydreamed in class what I was going to do during my winter break. One of the main things I wanted to add to the list of "Ways I Will Spend My Freedom" was by reading. As an English major I read a lot, but last month I could hardly remember the last time I had been able to read for pleasure. I received a good chunk of books for my birthday, but had been unable to touch a single one of them.

So during my 8 AM class, while pretending to take notes, I made a list on a lined page in my day planner of books I wanted to read during my winter break. All of the books I received for my birthday were on there, along with some books that I own and either hadn't finished or wanted to re-read. There were a few books that I didn't yet own on there as well, but those were on the back-burner; I own way too many books already.

Although I still like to believe that there is no such thing as too many books, even as I have books touching the crown molding in my bedroom.

The most recent book that I've finished since finishing this semester of school was The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen.


I'm not going to give a full-fledged review of this book, or any of the others that I've been reading lately, but I will say that for anybody that is a fan of Sarah Dessen's books, her newest story will not disappoint. I'm glad that not all of her stories are cut-and-dry love stories, since it makes it a lot easier for me to recommend her books at the store to parents shopping for their daughters that are not yet big readers and want an easy transition into reading.

The first book I picked up was to re-read Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. As of this year, I have re-read the book 3 times in total. Honestly I love this book, and it might just be my favorite book right now. I received it as a gift from my aunt on Christmas Eve one year. I began reading it right away and was hooked by the first chapter. I actually had to force myself to stop reading it that night because it was so good that I actually wanted to savor it. Does this happen to anybody else?

I also picked up Will Grayson, Will Grayson, also by David Levithan but also by John Green. This book really was an enjoyable read, and just so I can laugh again and remember it, I need to tell you about this moment near the end that cracked me up (and don't worry, this isn't a spoiler). There is this incredibly hot, incredibly gay guy that is standing in a crowded place (won't say where) and after hearing the most loveable character of the book, Tiny (who is huge), speak, he tells him he loves him. Then without any other response, Tiny says his phone number out loud, the hot gay guy says his number aloud, and Tiny proceeds to shout to everybody else observing them, "WOULD SOMEBODY WRITE THAT DOWN FOR ME?!" So yeah - just cracked me up.

Also there was Struck By Lightning by Chris Colfer, who is not only a writer but an actor who plays Kurt Hummel in Glee. I will share, first and foremost, that I wouldn't call myself a "gleek" by any means whatsoever - however, my dearest friends in the whole wide world (one of them being the one who bought me this book for my birthday) love the show, so lately I've been watching more of it as a way of bonding with them. Just to share a few quick words about the book, I really did like it and I enjoyed the way Colfer told his story. However, if I hadn't already seen the movie and therefore knew exactly how the story was going to end, I would've been so pissed! Because while the movie starts with the ending and then jumps backwards, the book gives you no warning about how it ends whatsoever. So if you have no ideas about the plot at all, you're probably going to get blindsided by the ending if you didn't somehow see it coming.

So now I have a few other books on my list - I got a good chunk of books as Christmas gifts, which I am always thankful for, although now I don't think I'm going to have enough time to finish all of them before I go back to school on the 6th. Especially since I already have 1 or 2 books that I've owned since before Christmas that are sitting on my shelf unfinished. Well, one is in my bag, that being a biography called Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch. The 2nd book I really want to finish is my first attempt at science fiction, that being Wake by Canadian author Robert J. Sawyer. That book is, by the way, one I would recommend to anybody that wants to get a foot into the sci-fi genre but is feeling a bit daunted by everything that already exists and that might look confusing and complicated.


I think that's about all I wanted to say for now - maybe later I'll ramble on about something else I want to complete but am never sure I will fully succeed at - maybe New Years Resolutions?


Sunday, December 22, 2013

21/12/13

Going Out In My Mail Bag Today: 1 Item!


One of the Postcrossing cards I had sent out had been received by a lovely lady in the Netherlands, so it came time for me to get another postcard sent out.

I particularly liked the lady from the Netherlands; she suggested that people should include their favorite quotes on the card, since she was keeping up a collection. I decided to share with her two of my favorite quotes:

"The way to know life is
to love many things"
- Vincent Van Gogh

"You're only a secondary
character if you let
yourself be"
- Lydia Bennet,
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

In case you haven't noticed by the second quote, I'm a huge fan of the LBD series, as well as Emma Approved.

Yesterday was also quite the day to be trudging out to the mailbox. It wasn't snowing, as one might expect happens 24/7 in Canada, but it was raining, a lot. The weather channel called for freezing rain, and it wasn't yet freezing, but it was certainly wet, and I, along with my violin case, got soaked on the way there.

Yep, I play violin. I go on a bus from Welland to St. Catharines every Saturday for lessons. I've been taking lessons for a little over a year, and I'm really not any good, but at least I'm learning.

Anyway, sorry for de-railing this post. So I sent out this lovely Postcrossing postcard to a guy in Taiwan. Truth be told, for all of the postcards I've sent out so far, I've used a large supply of Toronto postcards I picked up when I was in the city in October for an Anime North Halloween event. I was intending to send them to the girls I vlog with, but this was before we brought 2 new alternative vloggers into the group and I had only bought 9, one for each girl and one for my pen pal.

Here's a sample of the other cards I've sent out since joining Postcrossing:




I've only got a couple left, truth be told. There aren't too many pretty postcards to be found in Welland, unless your idea of pretty consists of a Caribou or a Beaver.

Luckily, the internet seems to be filled with sites where you can buy tons of gorgeous cards. One site in particular that I love is called RedBubble, where you can purchase original designs on prints, T-shirts, cards and, most amazing, vinyl stickers. I've used this site to pick up some gorgeous stickers for a while now, which decorate items such as my XBOX 360, my door and the side of my bookcase.

And, even if everyone on Postcrossing may not appreciate them as much as I do, I happened to put some specific postcards on my Christmas list this year. They're from CafePress, and they include characters from one of my favorite movies The Princess Bride.


For anybody that both recognizes and appreciates these postcards, kudos; you're automatically awesome!

Also, there's actually a lot of sites where you can pick out - and even design your own - postcards, where you can get a discount through Postcrossing. Here is a link to a post with a list of sites and discount codes for anyone that may be interesting.

I have on more thing to share; yesterday was also my sister-in-law's birthday. We went to dinner at my favorite restaurant in Welland, then a group of us went bowling. Afterwards everyone went back to my brother and sister-in-law's house, but I decided I wasn't up for partying and more drinking, so I headed home on my own. Outside the bowling alley, as we waited for a cab, my sister-in-law did happen to spot something quite funny; and since this post is all about mail, I figured it was relevant.


I put it up on Instagram with the caption "Only in Welland . . ." XDD

That's it for now! I'll keep you posted!

- From the Desk of TWW -

Friday, December 20, 2013

19/12/13

In My Mailbox: 2 Items!

Item #1: Christmas Card from fellow vlogger Ashley

After work I came home with mellieeggo, who was with me in order to film a vlog that I was behind on, and we were expecting another friend of mine as well. My mother (as swell as ever) set both envelopes on the end table in the living room, which I caught sight of as soon as I came into the house. I almost ditched my friend in order to read my mail (especially since one of the items waiting for me was a package!), but I didn't forget my manners and just brought my mail into the dining room as I invited my friend further into the house.

Soon enough, my other friend Morgan arrived. Now, let me tell you quickly, my main group of friends consists of 4 girls. I went to high school with all of them, but I was also in the same kindergarten class as two of them, the two that came over for this video. One of my friends alone is quite energetic usually. When you pair 2 or 3 or all 4 of them up, however, the energy borders on chaotic. They're loud and extremely hyper and typically when I've got my friends at the house my mothers goes to hide in her bedroom to get away from the noise and shenanigans.

So we got to filming a video together. We were planning on doing a Christmas Craft together, a felt lollipop ornament to be exact, ones that my mom has been making for years. I also had each of them tell a holiday story. I talked about a story regarding my mom's Christmas clock, Mel talked about one time she got drunk at a Christmas party, and Morgan talked about when she got the Sweeney Todd movie for Christmas one year.

We happened to be taking a break from filming because I had filled up my SD card (it took SO long to film all 3 stories with how the hyperactivity among the 3 of us kept interrupting things), so I decided to open up the card first. I loved how unique the card is! It's not often you're going to get a card that says "Merry Christmas from Hong Kong", right?

Then I opened it up, and Mel, looking over my shoulder, said "Oh look, it'a a snowflake!" as she picked up the folded, creatively cut white paper that was inside the card. Instead of racing to examine the snowflake more closely, which was what my friends were doing, I decided to read the card.

Inside it said:

Hey Kacie

How are you? Happy Holidays.
I've really enjoyed going back over 
old vlogs and getting to know
everyone. Very excited to be adding 
into the mix. Hope you have a wonderful holiday
season and a very happy new year.

DFTBA

Ashley

PS. It's snowing Who?
If you said the doctor, you are correct :)

I'm very glad Ashley thought of me, and sent me such a nice card. As I was thinking this, I heard Morgan's voice suddenly go loud, making me jump.

"OH MY GOD IT'S A DALEK AND A TARTUS!"

And she wasn't kidding; the snowflake that Ashley sent me was made up of Daleks and Tartuses, which are of course from the TV show (and lifestyle, to a lot of nerds) Doctor Who.


Creative, right? I should mention, this is the girl that for her introduction video wrote and composed her own song and sang it, along with playing guitar.

So my friends freaked out and fawned and we filmed their reaction to unfolding it. If it wasn't made for me I might've let one of them keep it, for how much they seemed to love it.

Truth be told, I'm not really a Doctor Who fan - I've only seen a couple episodes in full. Not that I won't be a fan one day though - I bet if I watched the show from the beginning (the modern beginning at first, the 9th Doctor I believe) I would grow to love it pretty quickly.

I really do love the snowflake - it's such a cool idea! I remember when I tried making paper snowflakes when I was younger; they never really turned out all that well. I couldn't even make paper hearts! I'm going to be saving the snowflake and the card - as I do with all the mail I receive - forever.

Item #2: Christmas Card & Gifts from my Pen Pal Diana

Shortly after getting a full letter from her, here I was receiving an actual gift!

I didn't open the package until after my friends left to go see the new Hobbit movie. Truth be told, because of my SD card filling, I had to transfer the video files to my laptop. And it took 25 minutes! So we ended up making our lollipop ornaments during that time. Since I didn't get to film any shots of the crafts getting made, I'm not actually sure I can use any of the footage that I did get to shoot. I'm not completely positive about that yet - I'll figure it out once I take a look at it.

So first I opened the card from my darling pen pal, and here's what it said:

 

After reading - and smiling :) - at her card, I moved onto the actual gift. The first picture below is what the card envelope and the wrapped gift, and the second one is a picture of the gifts.


Nice, eh? I got a big peach-coloured ring, a fancy own ring, and a braided pink bracelet.

Diana always sends me the coolest stuff! She downright spoiled me for my birthday. I got a Hufflepuff necklace, a pair of black rose earrings and a gold ring that looks like pink sunglasses and a mustache.

I decided to show off some of my gifts right away and took a quick picture to put up on Instagram.


I didn't used to be into Instagram at all. I first got into it when I was doing a blog for school, which I still have up and is called Geeks Run The World!. I tried out Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest in order to get into something new that I hadn't tried before. So far I find Instagram to be pretty interesting, and Pinterest, but I don't fully understand Tumblr just yet.

I suppose that's it for now. Sorry that this post was so long, I'm still getting the hang of this new blog. I'm sure I'll settle into a rhythm soon.

- From the Desk of TWW -

16/12/13

In My Mailbox Today: 2 Items!

Item #1: Christmas Card w/ Tea

So after a long, grueling, 8 hour shift at the bookstore where I work (which I am NOT used to at all), it felt absolutely amazing to come home and be surprised to find two envelopes sitting on the dining room table with my name on them :) 

My mother knows just how much I love getting mail, and she had been sure to set them right where I could see them once I arrived home. Isn't she swell?

The first envelope I opened was from one of the girls I vlog with. She is actually one of 2 girls that joined us fairly recently, and who have been vlogging up a storm since they arrived. It's been great, especially since a bunch of us are either indisposed or without the technology to properly make the videos that we want. They're very enthusiastic girls, and I can't wait to get to know the both of them better in the new year!

So the one that sent me the Christmas card was fellow vlogging iggle Joanna, who was the first of the 2 alt. vloggers that we decided to bring into our close-knit family since Licia is still in China and Aly is without a computer and the rest of us have been super busy. She is a very nice & charming young lady from what I have seen.

I've yet to watch all of the new videos that the alt vloggers have posted, which I feel super guilty about. I'm hoping that when I'm not working so many 8 hour shifts in a row (gotta love the holidays), I'll be able to watch them soon.

I'm actually inviting my friends over on Thursday to film a vlog with, and hopefully it will turn out well once it's all done. There's going to be a lot of us, mellieeggo included, so we shall see how it goes.

Item #2: Letter from my Pen Pal!

Oh how I love letters! I can't reiterate this enough. Truthfully, there are not enough words.

When I was younger, the only letters I used to really send out were to my grandmother when she moved to Aurora. I always had to get my mom to read her letters to me, since my grandmother could only write in cursive. I to this day can't read cursive writing very well (guess that's why they've phased teaching cursive out in schools...).

My grandmother actually passed away this past summer, and I'm sort of hoping that I may be able to come across those letters I received from my grandmother sometime. I'm pretty sure my mother would have saved those. If she has kindergarten drawings saved in her filing cabinet downstairs, I'm hoping she would've thought to save those letters for me.

Anyway, back to my pen pal. When I joined the geekgirlpenpals in March I'm pretty sure I got into the 3rd round of pen pal pairing, although I could be off regarding the number. I entered into a few other rounds after that, but the pen pal I was assigned during the very first round is the one that stuck!

Her name is Diana, and she lives in LA, which I'm very jealous of, especially now that it's winter and I'm stuck in freezing cold southern Ontario. We're into a lot of the same things and we love gushing about stuff to each other in our letters.

And this letter from her proved no different, us chatting about the new Catching Fire movie, the newest episodes of Emma Approved and a bunch of other stuff. 

I promised to send her some pictures of my favorite used bookstore in downtown St. Catharines in the next letter I send her, as well as some pictures of the inside of the place where I go for my violin lessons. I describe Rysons Music Store as "Grandma's house on crack", because the number of random decorations on the walls and the number of knickknacks covering every single possible surface is insane! When I get a chance to take those pictures, I'll probably post them here as well.

I'm hoping for some more items in the mail soon! I'll make sure to keep you guys posted!

- From the Desk of TWW -

Introduction

((I've always wanted to learn this pen trick. I used to stare at boys in class who could do this with their pens so easily, always trying to figure out what their secret is. They'd usually look at me like I was a freak and go back to facing the front.)

Alright, let's give this thing a shot.

I've decided to give blogging another shot. I figure I've got nothing to lose!

So anyway! My name is Kacie, and I'm a Canadian English & Writing student studying at Brock University. My hope is to one day break into the publishing world and to work as an editor, and eventually become a novelist. But that stuff can wait for now; I've got plenty of time to worry about it.

Until the future comes knocking at my door, I've decided that focusing on the present will be so much more fun. Which is why I'm starting up a new blog, and I'm going to center it around something that I've become very passionate about as of late; writing.

Not just the creative writing or the online roleplaying writing that I typically have fun with on a regular basis, as that's been part of my life for 6+ years now. What I've recently been introduced to (or reacquainted with, really) is the art of letter writing.

Thanks to my amazing girlfriends, in March I joined an online group known as the International Geek Girls Pen Pal Club, or the IGGPPC for short. From there I acquired an amazing pen pal that I communicate with on a regular basis, through letters as well as Twitter.

From there, the obsession with "snail mail" has continued to grow. I'm in contact with a lovely lady from the UK who will be embroidering some Bioshock-themed gift for me, which I'm very much looking forward to. And since becoming an "iggle", I've become a vlogger as well, and I've made a great group of friends from there, whom I've been sending things to since the group was first formed.

On top of that, in the past couple of months I have also joined another great online group known as Postcrossing, where you're able to send and receive postcards from all over the world. I've sent out about 6 so far, and I've received two, one from Japan and one from the Czech Republic.


Here is the first Postcrossing card I've ever received :)

I'm hoping that I'll use this blog to document items that I send and receive in the mail, and I will also include any sort of life updates that may relate to what I'm sending out into my mailbox.

As you may have guessed from me being a part of a group with the word "geek" in the title, I am a class-act geek, through and through. So expect that my geekiness will constantly be shining through.

I think that's about all I have to say for now! I`ll keep you posted!

- From the Desk of TWW -

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