Monday, January 01, 2018

Another Double Feature /// Monthly HapPENings: December + Music Monday #14

Well, folks . . . we lived through another year. Another 12 months. Another 52 weeks. Another 365 days. Another 8,760 hours. Another--well, you get the point by now. So happy New Year! 2018 is going to be a great year.


I decided to combine the two posts today because . . . why not? Gotta start off the year right! You guys don't mind long posts, do you? I thought not!

December was a mixed bag of emotions for me. I celebrated my birthday on the 1st, which was a lot of fun. Then the following week, I lost one of my closest online friends. It was really hard, and even writing about it now isn't easy. But God, in His good timing, reconnected me with two of my other close friends. I've had so much fun chatting with them, and it's helped get me back on my feet, emotionally speaking.

As always, the Christmas season was an enjoyable time for me. I love being able to hang out with my family and have some solid time with them. I got some great Christmas presents, such as a pair of headphones, The Temple of the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon (a set from The LEGO Ninjago Movie theme), NF's Mansion album, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, and other stuff. I also loved seeing my sisters react to the gifts I had given them.

Boxing Day is generally a day where I sit down and start building my LEGO, but that wasn't the case this year as I was working in the middle of the day. Unfortunately, my car battery died due to the extreme plummet in temperature, but fortunately, my dad was able to get me out of the fix. I was so thankful it happened on a shift that ended at 4, rather than one of my closing shifts where I leave after 9.

I hope you guys all had an amazing Christmas! Tell me what presents you got in the comments. I'd love to hear!

Bookish HapPENings

Guess what? I didn't finish any books this month. Shocking, isn't it? I did get some good writing in, so I'll blame it on that. But I hope to read at least a couple of books by the time I do a Monthly HapPENings post for January. I think that's easily doable.

HapPENings on the Screen

I definitely have to say that Season 3 of Once is my favorite so far. It's taken a serious turn, almost as if they put two mini-seasons into one . . . but I don't mind. I'm looking forward to seeing where this all goes, and I loving adding my own commentary to the episodes. Though I don't know if my sisters love it or are annoyed by it.

Why, oh why, do I only have eight episodes left? What am I supposed to do to tie me over until Season 4 is released on DVD?! (I'll probably rewatch the first three seasons.) Things are heating up, situations are looking EXTREMELY bad for the characters, and at this point, the villain seems unbeatable. It's hard to contain myself to one episode a week . . .


The first three Pirates movies all required me to watch them a second viewing in order for me to fully grasp the plot and the characters' motivations. The fourth movie felt a lot more straightforward. I had seen the majority of it before, but I hadn't been able to finish it at the time. I don't remember my comprehension of the story at the time, but whatever the case, I had no difficulty following along this time around. While it wasn't my favorite installment in the series (At World's End still holds that place for me), it was very enjoyable. The mermaids could've been worse, but I still would have appreciated a bit more clothing, especially when Syrena lost her tail. I still highly recommend not only this movie, but the franchise as a whole! Just make sure you watch them at least twice.


I wasn't sure what to expect from this movie. I loved Cars, a heartwarming story of a guy who learned to actually care about other people. Cars 2 was an action-packed flick about one of my favorite characters, Mater. Planes felt a little too similar to Cars, but in the end, I still really enjoyed it. Planes: Fire and Rescue was disappointing, and I started to wonder if the franchise was dragging on too long. But Cars 3 proved me wrong. It paid just enough homage to the first film while throwing in some twists and great new characters. If you haven't seen it yet because you too are unsure of it, I suggest giving it a try. It just might surprise you.

Gaming HapPENings


I played a lot New Leaf - Welcome amiibo this month. It's such a relaxing game; it's really easy to blow an hour on it and not even realize it. If you've never played an Animal Crossing game before, you should really pick one up.

The highlight for me this month was Toy Day (our Christmas Eve). As mayor of my town, which I have named Kakariko, I have the honor of figuring out what everyone wants from Jingle the black-nosed reindeer. If I give everyone the right presents, I get a special prize! I couldn't pass that up, so I began making a list on my phone. I was serious about this . . . but not serious enough, it seems.

A very important detail I forgot was that I have to dress up as Santa. The clothes shop sold this costume, with one piece a day (from my understanding). But I didn't remember this until the day before Toy Day. And when I went on the next day in hopes of being able to buy the outfit, the clothing store was already closed. So my list was all for nothing.

Good thing there's always next year!


In case you haven't heard, Spiral Knights is a free-to-play MMOG on Steam. Trust me when I say I would happily pay for this game. In the same vein as one of my all-time favorite games, LEGO Universe, this game offers everything from an appealing design to cool electronic/retro-ish music to a variety of monsters to an ever-changing battlefield.

I rediscovered this game when I suggested it to one of my abovementioned friends. We've played it together a few times, and I've had a blast each time. If you have a Steam account, you have no reason to not download this. If you don't have an account, make one and then get the game! It's a lot of fun, and I will happily play with you if you so desire.


So my youngest two sisters and I bought The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for our Wii U. I have played six hours of it over the past five days, and I do not regret the $90 we paid for it. THIS GAME IS SO BRICKING UNBELIEVABLE! Not only have I never played a game like this before, but it's such a unique Zelda game. I have to contain myself, or we'll be here all day with me just blabbering about this game. Instead, let me share with you an experience I had yesterday . . . a battle with a giant rock monster known as a Stone Talus.

There I was, wandering through the ruins of a town, which was submerged in a low layer of water. I see a big ol' rock, and I was like, "Ooh, look, a big ol' rock!" Naturally, I gravitate toward these types of things. But as I approach it, the rock suddenly starts lifting off the ground. I beat a hasty retreat, because this bad boy was equipped with limbs! It threw one of its arms and killed me instantly.

"Well, now it won't catch me off-guard!" It had a weak point on its back: a giant lump of ore. I used all five of my bomb arrows and dealt quite a bit of damage to Rocky McMuffin. But now I had to finish it off, and regular arrows are no good. So I start chucking bombs at it. I'm slowly dwindling its health down while (mostly) avoiding its attacks and eating food to heal up.

But then, it got me with a blow that almost killed me. My logic dictated that, since I had just saved, I should run into the guy and let it finish me off so I could start afresh. Before my sisters could protest, I died. And what happened next? Wanna guess?

The battle reset, with the Stone Talus having full health and me having less food and no bomb arrows. I swore to exact my revenge on the monster in the future and ran off. Good thing I didn't kill it, because soon after there was a Blood Moon, which revives all enemies that you've defeated.

But all that time, I never realized that in this game, Link can climb anything. I was fighting a rock monster. I could've climbed it when it was down and dealt more damage! Guess I'll just do better next time I encounter another Rocky McMuffin.

Writerly HapPENings

Yes, it happened. By some miracle, it happened. On Friday, December 30th, at 1:34 in the afternoon, I submitted Digital Pulse to Rooglewood. Hallelujah! My word count for the month totalled . . .

12,998 words! In one month! I can't recall the last time I did so good. The story ended up being 81 pages, or 18,129 words long. I'm actually proud of the way it turned out. But I won't talk about it too much now. You can expect a post in the future chronicling my writing journey with this retelling.

Today's song is . . .

"Snowy Fields" from Kirby's Epic Yarn
Composed by Tomoya Tomita

Not only is this game one of my favorite Kirby installments of all time because of its quaint atmosphere and uniqueness, but it also has got some great tunes! This track is one of my favorites from the game.

It sounds very festive and wintery, and evokes images of snowy walks, hot chocolate, and family time. The cheerful tone of it all puts a smile on your face--well, at least it put one on mine. And honestly, when I have a girlfriend one day, I want to take a walk with her while this song plays in the background.

. . . I have no idea why I just said that, but I'll keep it in here.

Well, we've rung in the New Year fantastically on my blog, methinks. I hope you all enjoy the rest of the day and the rest of the year. I've got some great stuff planned this month, including the Music Monday 2017 Awards, which kicks off next Monday. You won't want to miss it.

Once again, happy New Year! What'd you get for Christmas? How was your December? Did you stay up until midnight? Did you enjoy today's track? Would you listen to it while walking with your significant other? (Don't pretend that you wouldn't! I'll know that you're lying.)


  1. 525,600 minutes . . . we'll just pretend I didn't look that up last night. Happy New Year! Do you make it till midnight?

    Glad you had a great Christmas! Oh, dead car batteries are awful - I'm so glad it wasn't late at night!

    I totally agree with you on the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Although I can typically track the plotlines of movies pretty well, I have a very hard time with the first and second ones. Confusion is unacceptable. :D

    How have I not heard this music before??! It's so wintry and happy! Thanks for constantly improving my music selection. :) Well, since I don't have a significant other, I'll say I would for sure! My only question: how are you going to manage to play it in the background if you're outside? Or will you share earbuds or something?

    Brianna |

    1. That's a lot of minutes! :O I'm very good at playing pretend. :P Thanks; same to you! I did, but not because I was ringing in the New Year. XD You?

      How was yours? I was very grateful for that too. :)

      Watch them again. They will probably make more sense the second or third time around. At least, they did for me. "Inconceivable!" "You keep using that word. I don't think you know what that means." (Sorry, your sentence about confusion just made me think of that exchange.)

      Well, I don't know if you listen to Nintendo music much, so I can't answer that question. You're welcome! I'm glad these posts are being enjoyed by others. They didn't seem very popular at first, so knowing that there are those who love hearing the music makes me happy. I haven't figured out that little detail yet, but my determination will find a way! XD

    2. It is. A little frightening, to think how quickly they go by. Me too! I can pretend to be normal and sane quite well. XD I stayed up because I was too wide awake to go to sleep, but partially because of New Year's.

      Cold. VERY cold. But good!

      Ah, good advice. Of course, I was also the only one picking up enough of the storyline to know what was going on, so the pauses where I explained it to everyone else probably didn't help. :P The Princess Bride!! That is one of my favorite quotes from that movie. XD (Don't apologize - you made me laugh!)

      I don't, but I may have to start now. :) Honestly, these are some of my favorite posts, because I listen to a lot of music and I can't listen to the same thing for too long. Glad to hear you're determined, but you may want to figure out that little detail. It just might be important. XD

      So, this is random, but have you ever listened to any of Approaching Nirvana's music? They do mostly instrumentals in an electronic style, and I think you might enjoy their stuff (if, of course, you can disregard the name. XD ) Alright, random tangent over. :D


    3. Yeah, no kidding! Then you are an expert actor, because you seem very sane most of the time. XD Oh, I see. I think I was playing a computer game. :P

      That's good to hear! Not that it was cold, that is. XD

      Everyone was that confused? How many people were you watching it with? Odds are that at least one of them would've understood the plot. :P Yeah, it's pretty hilarious. XD (Yes! My life goals has been achieved. XD)

      I can definitely recommend some Nintendo soundtracks to you. :) Really? You don't know how happy that makes me. ^_^ Sharing earbuds would be the only thing that would work. XD

      I've never heard of them before! I'll have to give them a listen. (Hey, you're telling this to a guy who listens to Two Steps From Hell. XD) Thanks for the recommendation! :D

  2. HAPPY NEW YEAR! Can you believe it's already 2018? It's craziness!

    Sounds like December was definitely quite the month for you! I'm so glad to hear you reconnected with some friends. That's wonderful! And I had a nice Christmas too! I got lots of books, nothing new there. That's basically all I ever ask for. XD

    OKAY BUT BREATH OF THE WILD. I don't think I realize you've never played it before??? I AM OBSESSED WITH THAT GAME. It's like my faaaavorite Zelda game now. It's so DIFFERENT from Zelda games, but in a wonderful way! It's basically like an Elder Scrolls game (which is one of my favorite franchises) turned into Zelda. So...the best thing EVER pretty much! Isn't it so WEIRD being able to jump and climb on anything??? But I love it. There are like no limitations! And the Talus monsters are a blast to fight! And yeah, you can climb on top of them and beat them really fast that way. So you'll get another chance to defeat one. *nods* There are just so many surprises in that game. I'M OBSESSED. Except I haven't actually beaten it yet and...I started it back in March. O_O Yeeeah. There is just SO much to do and explore. And, in my defense, I went a lot of months without playing it because 2017 was just insane. So I've just been taking my time making my way through it. BUT I LOVE IT!

    Okay, sorry. I just had to fangirl for a minute. XD Except you also hit on ANOTHER one of my favorite games. Kirby's Epic Yarn is the bessst! My sister and I have played through that game together 3 times now. It's just so fun! And oh my goodness, I listen to the music ALL. THE. TIME. It's kinda of my happy, relaxing music. I love it! One of the best video game soundtracks out there!

    All right. I'm done geeking out now. For reals this time. XD

    I hope you have the most amazing 2018!

    1. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU TOO! I know, right? 2017 flew by really fast.

      Yeah, it had a lot of ups and downs, but it turned out pretty good in the end. :) How many books did you get? And is that really all you received for Christmas? XD

      It took a long time for me to finally buy it, but I knew it was a purchase I couldn't not make. XD It also brings to mind the Assassin's Creed franchise, what with the parkour side of things and sneakery and all that. It is! Playing other Zelda games after this one might be a little weird. :P I beat one the other day, but more on that in my next Monthly HapPENings post. XD I'm glad I've gotten very few spoilers for this game, because I usually get a ton of spoilers for most games. Wow . . . that's a long time. But taking your time isn't necessarily a bad thing. ME TOO! ^_^

      All fangirling over video games is perfectly acceptable on this blog. It's one of my favorite Kirby games, but I'd have to say Return to Dream Land is still the best. Oh, that must've been a blast. The whole game in general can be very relaxing. Unless you're trying to collect enough beads to get a gold medal. XD Indeed!

      #GeeksForLife XD

      And that goes for you too! :)

  3. YAY for submitting your story to Rooglewood!! So excited for you!! I wish you the best of luck!! ^_^

    1. Thanks, Madeline! I appreciate all the well-wishes. :D I don't remember: did you enter the contest this year?

    2. I was going to, but I realized I didn't have enough time to finish before the deadline. I still want to finish the story though! :)

    3. That's unfortunate. What kind of story is it? :)