Saturday, December 15, 2012

Geek Media: kili has - sadly - made me succumb to my inner fangirl

There are any number of things I can and will eventually talk about when it comes to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Or as I call it, Hobbit Pt. 1).

But the first that I write with some immediacy, mostly because I give fandom about a 48 hour turnover rate before FFN and many many MANY other fanfiction websites becomes overloaded, overrun even, with Kili/Mary Sue tale.

Yes... Kili/OC. That will be explained... eventually.

And before I go much further... let it be known that any and ALL Hobbit-related tales, critiques, analysis and stories... WILL include all manner of spoilers from both the Book-verse and the Movie-verse.

And I can't even say you're safe from LOTR spoilers here... because you won't be. Frankly speaking.

Okay... so Gimli from The Lord of the Rings was (and in some ways still is) how I mostly envisioned dwarves to look like as a general principle. That is to say, they're stocky, thick, round-faced and all forms of battered and beat up.

So when they announced that they were doing The Hobbit, I had essentially envisioned the 13 dwarves in the movie... to look like this in some form or fashion.

(Please note this was me randomly colouring the dwarves hair for the most part outside of Gloin, Balin and Thorin as it relates to the movies. Otherwise, no form of canon was consulted in the making of this)

 Boy... was I ever wrong about that...

Now, Thorin Oakenshield will have his discussion both in terms of appearance and personality in a comparable "how does he differ book to movie" for me... but let's get back to the crux of the situation here.

So this past summer, they released all of the above character portraits of the 13 dwarves of Erebor. And one in particular caught my eye.

Oh, what? Who's this? was my precise reaction. I mean, no way this guy is a dwarf, much less one of the 13. 

Firstly, he carries bows and arrows. BOWS AND ARROWS. Like some pretty little elf this side of the Misty Mountains for heaven's sakes.

What self respecting dwarf doesn't go for face to face combat? 

Not this one apparently.

Also... none of the chubby cheeks and sturdy build for this dude, nor ugly, stringy hair. No he's slim, he's sexy and he has that angry, don't-give-a-damn look of his down pat. Oh and the hair... very pet-able. XD

Basically, he looks less like a dwarf and more like some other dude I know all too well from the LOTR-verse that follows the events of the Hobbit, and that I have spent many a day obsessing over as a teenager and even now.

Yeaaaaaah... I definitely get more the ranger-y feel from this dwarf.

But I digress. The question here is "who is he?"

To speak in the grandiose nature of Gandalf the Grey, why he is Kili, brother to Fili and nephew of Thorin Oakenshield, bourne of Thorin's own sister. He and his brother are the youngest to take part in the expedition to take back Erebor and is perhaps part of the reason why they both look... well, less like dwarves, more like young men perhaps.

Or in Kili's case, stands as a reasonable excuse as to why his "dwarf beard" amounts to little more than the length of ass-hairs. Seriously, dwarves have beards. What Kili had was too many days without his razor.

Also, the fact that movie!Thorin himself is rather human-like - and good looking to boot - in appearance (although if as much was ever said to the book-canon Thorin he would have strangled you with his bare hands) and the whole family relation thing probably justifies it.

Actually, now that I think of it, Thorin himself has a beard that amounts to little more than nothing in dwarf terms. That stubble ain't a true dwarf beard...

Jesus the things P.J. does to canon - presumed canon anyway - to keep these dwarf men attractive...

Here's the thing though: Kili (and Fili) are about as insignificant a dwarf character as they came in The Hobbit. They rarely spoke, and they didn't really do much of note for the company besides just... was there.

No that's a lie. Their most notable feat was that THEY DIED during the Battle of the Five Armies.

So it is for that reason that I sat their and said, "Well he's cute, but I'm not going to crush on him, he has no real character background, he's insignificant... no no no no no no..."

All summer it was like that.

Little did I know, Peter Jackson gave him the "Legolas" treatment.

That is to say, raised the profile of the pretty faced, minor character to give someone (other than Figwit - who yes, WAS in the movie) for fangirls to swoon over and pine for. He was front and centre for so many major events... most prominently the Trollshaws and then the reindeer bunnies part (don't ask).

And as much as I hate to admit it... I swooned. Hard.

I tried, I really did. But I couldn't help it, my eyes betrayed me, drawn to the nice looking dwarf that reminds me so much of my beloved Aragorn in appearance (in character nature he was far closer to a Merry or Pippin though)

Part of me just didn't want to fall for him for his looks. The other part is that I wanted a character with meaning too, like in the case of Aragorn over Legolas in the original trilogy.

And yet another part of me just simply didn't want to end up in tears after the end of the Battle of Five Armies. (Although to be frank, I will be in tears at the end of Five Armies. Because unlike in The Lord of the Rings... major, important and much loved characters WILL DIE... and not just Kili)

But while watching the film, a character appeared that I adored: a mischievous, playful but tough little dwarf who grew up as bit of an idealistic adventure-lover in the Blue Mountains. He's rash though, a bit careless and somewhat silly but a loyal dwarf unlike any other who will risk life and limb for those he cares for, like Bilbo. He loves to smile and laugh, but in the midst of battle he can take on a bit of a battle rage not unlike his uncle... though certainly not as intense.

What really separates him from the others is that he of all of them truly expressed the fact that he was eager to live, and has yet to feed from the same bitter trough that had hardened and hurt the heart of his uncle Thorin.

Look at that grin. HOW CAN YOU NOT ADORE THAT???

Crap. I think writing this has led to me being bitten by a plot-bunny. Something to do with Fili. And Kili. And origins.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Bookworm: fifty shades in public

When you consider the fact that this series originated as an R-rated piece of Twilight fanfiction, it goes without saying that the quality, style and substance of these books are, for lack of a better term and without using stronger language, incredibly juvenile.

But I will readily admit that as a mentally stimulate and voyeuristic pursuit, it does its job and more effectively than I expected given the rather insipid narration. It inflames the mind of possibilities, fantasies and feeds into the dark corners of a people's mind that is unwilling to admit the more shameful sides of their sexuality.

Basically, what I am trying to say is that this book is little more than pornography in written form.

Yes, pornography. You know that dirty little secret that nearly every male (and enough females) hide on their hard drives, when they are not discreetly seeking for it on an internet that is probably 90% financed by said industry for?

Which is why it baffles me and even amuses me when I see women reading a Fifty Shades book on public transit, or really anywhere in public. 

For me, it's the equivalent to a guy pulling out his iPad/iPhone/Laptop and watching porn on the train. And if  a guy were to do that, what does it tell you about him?

He's horny, he's aroused and he needs some attention and will probably take it from the first decent looking chick that will give some to him. Right?

Now, I understand that a book is not something people immediately associate with sexual arousal or desire, but the Fifty Shades series have generated enough pop buzz in 2012 that enough people know enough of the context of the story to get a pretty good idea of just what the girl is thinking or feeling physically while biting her lip reading this book.

Basically, she is sexually aroused and will take it from any decent looking male who happens to give it to her.

Yes, this book is vapid, meaningless and totally unrealistic. It lends no artistic or thought to the human race. It is badly written, with bad dialogue and filled with cheap thrills.

But then again, so is porn!

So to judge the book on its intellectual and value to the human race would be like trying to sell Deep Throat to the Academy. And admittedly, there is a place for these kind of useless fantasies in this world.

But for God's sakes, leave the fantasies within the privacy of one's home! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Geek Looks: julep october nail polishes

classic with a twist
sierra with a frosty finish

3 out of 5 stars

The picture here makes the polish come out way redder than it is, thanks largely to that flash. The colour on my nails is really much closer to the colour as it appears in the bottle, a rich and sparkly brown that gives it a touch of shock and awe to the style.

It does a great amount of justice to the changing foliage of the season and as it is much closer to being a neutral than anything else, it really does go with anything I have in my closet (well, almost)

In short, I love it. It applied fairly smooth and easily and dried very fast, even when I put on a thicker layer in order to bring out a stronger punch of the colour.

So why only 3 stars?

The applicator brush that came with the bottle of polish the company sent me was defective. The bristles are bent and do not lie straight and really did a good job of impeding and preventing a truly clean application of the polish on my nails. It was hard to judge how smooth it applied as a result and also required a fair amount of clean up using nail polish remover on my cuticles after application, which given the polish itself, I should have no problems.

So regardless of how much I like the colour and the polish itself, it loses two stars for the time wasted because of the brush alone.

classic with a twist
pink with a sheer finish

1 out of 5 stars

I'm not even going to take a picture of the polish with my nails, because it is essentially a clear polish that looks like... I did nothing to my nails. I mean, it does give my nails a nice shiny sheen to it, but it doesn't even look like I have polish on.

I get that there is a time and place and reason to have clear nail polish... and for that it works fine. But when I wear polish, I wear polish, which means I like for my nails to look like it has polish on it.

So it really didn't impress me.

And this ruling is as much a personal preference than anything else.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Geek Style: understanding studs

For me, nothing ruins a good piece like studs.

And I'm not just talking about the huge, gaudy, pyramid studs that hearkens back to the days of 80s punk rock that covered so much of the shirt or the jacket that it was more studs than fabric, nor am I just talking about the five inch spike that looks like it could kill someone.

I'm talking about even the small "stylish" and "classy" studs that are and have been cropping up everywhere.

Why? Because they snag and they tear when you launder it and they can quickly become the most annoying part of the outfit depending on how it's assembled. Also it is dated and is an embellishment that can go from classy to tacky in mere seconds.

Why buy something if you only get to wear it a few times before it's no longer in style and "uncool"?

What also may help is the fact that I'm more attracted to the classy-chic looks that sticks with basics for the most part and studs just doesn't jive with that sense of style.

Unfortunately, one of this Fall's biggest fashion trend is studs. On bags, in shoes, on sweaters and on shirts. There are few pieces this fall that has escaped this now seemingly necessary addition.

And it is making shopping for clothes online and otherwise a headache sometimes.

This is particularly true for the website DailyLook.

This website is designed to give its free subscribers two to three outfits that reflects styles that are popular. The pieces used are all chic and affordable, and that - despite them not coming off the shelves of a name brand or designer store - is well constructed and made.

I love some of the styles and outfits that are produced on the website as they appeal to my broader sense of fashion. Some of the pieces too are even things I've been looking for when seeking out different solutions.

(If only their minimum shoe size wasn't 5.5 however! Oh the pains of being a size 5...)


Everything that was somewhat cute and something I would buy... had studs somewhere on it. Studs on the collar, studs on the pockets.

And I can't stand it.

There are a number of Fall trends this year that I enjoy (Oxblood being my favourite) and would definitely try if not completely buy into, but studs are a HUGE miss for me and an actual deterrent in purchasing an item. Which as you can imagine, is why I'm waiting with great anticipation for this trend to be over with.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Geek Style: how to wear a contrast layered collar shirt

 Last week I found this ADORABLE button up blouse on Forever21's website and I had to purchase it.

It's called a Contrast Layered Collar Shirt.

It has a relaxed, loose fit, enough that a size small doesn't pull at the seams around my chest which is actually a considerable concern for me. (Which is kinda ridiculous in my mind) And it's incredibly soft and light against my skin and sits well on my body.

It has shirred shoulders, giving it a puffed look that Anne Shirley spent years begging for, but not so much that it looks like you're wearing padded shoulders.

But what did it for me was the black pipping along the edges that really made the shirt stand out and separate itself from the plain white blouses you often see. And of course, there's the cute Peter Pan collar around the neck that adds a level of innocence to the style that I love.

It has an incredibly whimsical and innocent style to it that in my eyes, is very Asian. It is also a look that is very easy to style up and style down depending on your inclination, style or needs for the day and night.

Here are some outfit ideas (using similar contrast button-up tops) that can take a shirt like this from fun and flirty, to cute and clean, to posh and pretty.

WORKING 9 to 5
top, black pencil skirt, sheer stockings, heels

Tucking in the top beneath a simple black pencil skirt can really make this top appear office and work appropriate for any day you're at a job or even a job interview.

Leave the top button undone to dampen the youthfulness of the Peter Pan collar and to allow for you to accessorize.

Also, because the fabric is semi-sheer, be sure to pair it with a demure white camisole so not to provide a less than appropriate peep show.

Sheer stockings (it's fall out there!) sharp, pointed toe classic black heels and a small purse or clutch finishes the look.

top, short skater skirt, flats/low heels

All it takes is one change in style of clothing to make this kind of shirt go from work-chic to date-night perfection. Instead of a pencil skirt, use a flirty and fun thigh-long skater shirt of any colour to make it easy to move and twirl into your night. And of course, the brighter and more vibrant the colour, the more fun this outfit can look.

Want to keep it cute? Keep the outfit simple by minimizing the accessories, keeping the hair loose and natural and pairing it with a demure pair of flats.

But it you want to vamp it up, go for a pair of killer heels, some sexy nail polish, eye-popping accessories like bracelets, statement necklaces and earrings and a solid clutch. Upscale it with some evening wear make-up to make you and the shirt stand out in a crowd.


top, pair of jeans, converses
top, pair of black skinnies, combat boots

Not a fan of skirts? No worries. Because this shirt can look clean and comfortable in pants too.

Give this shirt a sexy style by pairing it with some low-rise dark wash skinny jeans. You can either tuck it in, leave it loose or tuck in the front but leave the back loose for a relaxed but stylish statement to the look.

Give it a weekend feel by wearing some combat boots to add some spice. Or you can relax it right back down using a pair of converses instead.

top, layered sweater, bowler hat, black skinnies, doc martens

This outfit pays homage to the fact that it's fall time where I am, and as any good Canadian can tell you, this is a time to layer your clothes not just as a fashion statement but for practical, cold weather reasons too.

You can use a thin, loose fitting shirt like seen here, or you can use a big bulky sweater to increase the warmth and layering involved, which is especially useful when winter comes.

The bowler hat adds a touch of classic glamour to the outfit, something that keeps it cute but also in touch with fashion.

Too cold for docs? try the outfit with boots to add some sex appeal and to make for easier travel in snowy weather.

The best thing about this shirt is simply its flexibility, its classic style and its stylish simplicity. You don't need a ton of accessories to give it character, the character is already built in with the contrast seaming style, but it does also go well with accessories to give it some more oomph.

It is a piece that can transition with any other outfit or piece and a style that won't quickly transition out of style with the right kind of pieces to complement it.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Experiment: unt aqua therapy vita-botanic hydrating gel masque

hydrating gel masque
rated 3 and a half out of 5 stars

I bought this tube of Aqua Therapy on discount with my purchase of C*Clarity from UNT earlier last month.

It was a bit of a splurge purchase. It was being discounted for purchasing C*Clarity and at its lowered price (under $20) basically pulled my spending urges far enough where I bit. And bought it.

A few days ago, the end of my nose was a bit irritated. It was very dry, rough and kinda flaky. Not a sexy feeling by any stretch of the word.

I decided to use of the masque to see how well it'd work on this dry patch of skin to re-hydrate my face.


It applied smooth and light and cool, I expect due to those ingredients that are supposed to provide cooling sensation is supposed to relax and calm skin irritations caused by dehydration. I also rubbed it gently, which was not instructed nor do I know if it was prescribed and will be something I will do differently the next time I use it.

Then I sat back and allowed it to do its work.

The gel advertises itself as being able to restore suppleness from the deepest layer of the skin, therefore being the ultimate solution to quench your dry skin's thirst. With it's mix of natural and rather unnatural ingredients, it supposedly is supposed to provide high soothing relief to water deprived skin and seals off moisture in the bottom layers.

I understand where it gets its claims that it provides a soothing relief. It was like I had a water masque on it. But it wasn't unpleasant or uncomfortable, just cool.

As for the ingredients, it involves two kinds of acid (NASHA-grad hyluronic and aspartic) as well as cogongrass extract and spiraea ulmaria extract. But that's not what stood out for me.

Another "hydrating" ingredient used in it (and part of its "complex") is urea. For those who haven't gone through a thorough biology education, urea is the main ingredient in urine. That isn't to say that one is applying actual urine on your face, but it definitely made me blink for a moment.

After 15 minutes, I was starting to feel a tightening on my face. The product was beginning to dry out, leaving a tacky feeling on my face, like I had left a thin layer of glue. But since you are only supposed to have the masque on for only 15 minutes, I did not think much of it.


Despite what is advertised it certainly isn't a quick fix for "hydrating" skin. My nose felt a little smoother, but not by much. Even after carefully patting the skin dry to prevent the towel from possibly creating friction on my face, it still felt noticeably rough that only a healthy smattering of night cream before bed was able to generally fix.

It may have long term benefits, but certainly not short-term.

I can see the benefits in helping your face and neck when they are itchy and irritated for when your skin is dry. Which means it'll be perfect for when winter comes and that is legitimately a fairly significant issue with me and my skin.

But it is not the miracle cream it seemed to advertise itself to be, and for that it lost stars. But ultimately, it still has a use and does work for something.

This post was written by me without sponsorship or endorsements.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Geek'd: a commentary on the story of amanda todd

A nine-minute video has made Amanda Todd a poster child for the physical and emotional abuse that comes from being bullied.

The suicide of the 15-year-old, in addition to the video she posted a month before her passing has made her personal story and the issues surrounding her decisions to eventually end her life last Wednesday is one of the most talked about this week in Canada and quite possibly around the world.

I won't recount her story. Enough people have. And in so many ways, it is better if you learned the story from the primary source, the video Todd posted on YouTube in early September chronicling her tale.

I'm just here to talk about the aftermath as well as my own thoughts after thinking about it.

Last night I sat in for few hours on one of the more frequently traffic'd Amanda Todd memorial pages on Facebook, stretching out my investigative journalism skills while watching the posts come in.

Now, I've seen and know enough of the Internets to know that people will always mock, or belittle or outright incite anger as a means to draw a reaction from people over even the most serious of issues. So the fact that it was happening and happened on the Amanda Todd memorials didn't surprise me in the slightest.

But the issues inter-twined within the negative and frankly sometimes vicious reactions - people copy-catting the taunts she endured regarding bleach to actually re-distributing the photo of her flashing her breasts - goes way beyond the "blanket issues" of bullying, or the more extreme and carelessly tossed around "pedophilia" (at least with regards to people posting her "biggest mistake")

A lot of people were dwelling on the fact that this girl had "chosen" (this being the key word) to flash her chest on a webcam to a relative stranger. That she chose to sleep with a guy who had a girlfriend. That she did this to herself and therefore somehow "deserved" to get scorned or called names or whatever else for basically "being stupid".

Someone who obviously knows far more about what went on yesterday posted on 4chan (for me, that created more than a few red alerts) went so far as to add that she slept around with multiple guys and flirted with every guy in her school.

Basically, they were painting her as an attention-demanding whore and therefore deserving scorn and disrespect.

When I read this, inside, I understood why these guys felt no pity for her, my mind was somehow able to take their disregard for her situation in stride. But it bothered me. Why did I understand and accept this behaviour?

It took an inquisitive and well written article on the Vancouver Observer for me to realize why.

This kind of behaviour - and women are often worse than men are in this regard - is deeply ingrained in our society against women who either is or is reputed to prostitute or frequently sleep with numerous men.

It's the Scarlet Letter. It is the very notion of shaming an individual for going against what people feel is "normal" and "accepted". We're talking about a first-world substitution for a third-world punishment that's still seen in places like Iran in its laws of stoning a woman for adultery or prostitution.

Except it's not sticks and stones. Those break bones. But words can never hurt, right?

And in so many ways, it's an indication of the gender inequality that still persists in today's world, even in a place supposedly as progressive and forward-thinking as Canada.

Think about it, if Amanda Todd was male, her frequent "whorings" wouldn't even be an issue. In fact, people would have congratulated her for being so smooth and capable of attracting numerous women. If she was a boy that had 'hooked up' with a girl that had a boyfriend, she wouldn't have been at fault, as far as society is concerned, the girl that slept with her would have been for not breaking up with her boyfriend if she was attracted to this other guy.

That's one of the things that really baffles me. The guy invited her over (according to her story), he was the one that encouraged her to visit him while his girlfriend was away. She didn't initiate the sequence, she didn't invite him over, he did. (Again, according to evidence she presented).

Why is she the one that is so monstrously at fault for going over there and "choosing to let it happen"? How is it always the girl that has to hold the better judgment?

Meanwhile guys are basically exonerated because, "oh well she let him, and you know boys. They'll take anything that's given to them on a silver platter, even if it's forbidden."

Really guys (and I DO mean this in the broadest sense possible) are you so base, so lacking in judgment, brains and self-control that you'd let yourself get used by any attractive woman who smiles, compliments and innocently and even naively crushes on you?

To even think such is basically an insult against men. To men who think this, this is your excuse for when you make a lapse in judgment. This is your way of passing the blame to another (women). This is your way of avoiding a damning judgment against you by pretending that you lack the common sense of a common Canadian beaver or bloody swan.

In your need for control and superiority, you make yourself out as idiots.

It is a piss poor excuse. You are not animals, you are not stupid. You are humans. And you're guilty of being equally as stupid as women are when it comes to these things.

And another thing...

People who are saying that she killed herself because she couldn't accept and live by her "mistakes" which makes her selfish, stupid and even childish for "not being above the taunting" ... are missing the most serious incident at issue and what really is the catalyst of everything that happened to her since.

I'm talking about the child predator that attempted to blackmailed her before passing her photo on to her friends, family and even her teachers.

Yes, child predator. How else can someone describe a full grown adult that would blackmail a young, impressionable teenage girl to "give him a show" or else he will steal her dignity and self-respect by sending her compromising image to all her friends, family, teachers and classmates?

No, not peer. Full grown adult. Because how many young males between the age of 13-16 would go out of their way to track down a girl's friends, family, classmates and school administration not once, but twice? And then be able to mask their IP from authorities, Facebook, etc. past a point when they haven't been able to track him past the fact that he's based in the USA?

Yes there are exceptions, kids who are capable of these things, but it's much too intricate and complex for me to believe it possible in this case. This had serious markings of an experienced and knowledgeable child predator that has previously victimized people like her.

And what he did was paramount to an individual holding a child hostage unless they'll provide a form of sexual favours. The difference being physical torment to the torment of people's hatred, disgust and scorn. Rather than locking her up physically, have those around her lock her up for him.

This is not a case of regular schoolyard antics, tactics or "life". Frankly, if the situation she was in is "normal", regular life, online or in school, parents would have thrown out every electronic communication device and home-schooled their kids by now.

What sparked everything that began the slow ruin of her dignity and self-worth was a criminal act. It was the act of a malicious stalker that decided to basically steal her identity through her self-respect if she failed to provide him with sexual fulfillment, and therefore coersive, unwanted, and unsolicited sexual abuse. With an image that was probably on a dare or what she thought was harmless schoolgirl fun, he essentially objectified her.

I don't care if a child is walking around with a shirt on that basically says "Make me your sex toy" - I will still find it criminal to hold them hostage online or otherwise for someone else's own sexual desires.

Now the guy in the above post from 4chan claimed that she flashed her chest at the age of 15 (not 12-13, which is the age group of children in Grade 7 in Canada, or 13-14, as implied by Todd when she said she did her flashing "one year later", later being after Grade 7), and that she chose to do it.

Neither she nor they made any reference to whether or not this was in a public setting or a private setting. But (and I'm giving Todd the benefit of the doubt here) if it was in a private setting with only people she "trusts" (if naively so) then the whole question of whether she chose to flash her breasts is far less of a "act of choice" to a public audience.

Either way, the issue of choice is moot. The fact is, 15 is still under the age of consent in Canada (and in the majority of the United States too) so the distribution of such images/videos still constitutes as being in possession and distributing child pornography.

The note from 4chan also claimed that "the guy" (the predator) contacted her 6-8 months after she flashed her breasts at the age of 15 and only contacted her once.

Let us break this down. She committed suicide a month before her 16th birthday. It's pretty confirmed that she had to change schools twice (her original school to Westview Secondary School in Maple Ridge, BC before having to move to CABE the months before her death.)

So if we were to say that she flashed her breasts right around when she turned 15 (November), and the predator didn't contact her until 6-8 months later, it wouldn't be until June at the earliest, this past August at the latest. How did she change schools twice, get beaten up by kids in the schoolyard etc. in that small time frame, given that school is only in session from September - June in Canada?

Somehow the math doesn't add up.

So in conclusion, for all of those who brushed off Amanda Todd as being undeserving of pity or mourning because she allegedly is a "whore" or that she was whiny, selfish and was weak and unable to hold up against "normal" human stresses that comes with living in today's world, open your mind and add what I said up.

A predator blackmailed her, banking on the fact that if she refused, society will enforce the medieval values and subsequent punishment that is given to women who purportedly acts against societal expectations of how they should be, irregardless of the source. A world where every perceived sexual transgression is the fault of the female's.

In a twisted way and because of us - all of us - he won. 

So you can say the people and children who are dying or being brutally killed by war, famine, disease and poverty are of far greater importance and more deserving of pity than Amanda Todd, but in the end, they are all victims rooted from the same seed.

And that, my friends, is the real tragedy of this girl's sad story.

Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868

Friday, October 12, 2012

Geek Toys: flip fold clothing board

In another post of "awesome things I found while watching Big Bang Theory" I bring you the flip folding  clothing board used by Sheldon Cooper in Season 2 episode 2's Bad Fish Paradigm.

As soon as I saw it, I said I wanted it.

See, I live on my own and had my share of having to endure the often tedious and painful task of carefully folding my clothes after having to launder them. And after three full years working in retail, frankly, it's a massive pain in my ass.

I'm sure it's a pain similar to those that everyone who lives on their own - whether it be in a dorm room or otherwise - knows about. It makes you fondly reminisce of the days when mom would do it for you and you only need to go home to clean and folded socks and pants.

Something tells me this was one of the parting gifts that Sheldon got from his mother when he left for college at the age of 11 in order to keep her having to visit him every week to launder and fold his clothing for him.

So where did Cooper get this ingenious device that we all never seen or heard about until we saw that most brilliant episode?

Amazon of course.

Officially, it is called the "Banggood Magic Easy Fast Speed Folder Clothes Shirts Pants Towel Folding Flip Fold Board" (small wonder this thing doesn't appear in the search engine that easily) and it appears to be very similar in style or model as that one that Sheldon Cooper uses. And it comes in an array of colours to suit your tastes (so you don't have to settle on the "classic blue" of Sheldon's).

And it's cheap. It retails as low as $12.99 (CDN) or if you get it from the actual manufacturer you can also get it for $17.90.

Shipping is excluded of course, though the seller claims to includes free shipping if you purchase this item.

This would be the perfect gift fold the folding clothes impaired or the newly minted university student. Or the neurotic individual that needs their clothing folded the same way every single time!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Geek Looks: the quest against sun spots

It's been roughly two months since I first got the tools in which I felt I needed to really get rid of the sun spots on my face that has plagued me for years.

In those two months, I learned a couple of things from my face and my skin.

First, my face has stood up rather well all those years of me not fussing with it or doing anything really at all to it outside of the occasional foundation and using your typical drugstore cleanser. It is not oily, or dry or a combination of either. I had about the best kind of skin you could imagine and I didn't realize then how fortunate I was.

But as soon as I began a multi-step treatment routine on my face, the case wasn't so true. My skin was unhappy with the excessive amount of chemicals being used on it (and keep in mind, this was a four-step process, with the final step being BB cream) but thankfully didn't break out into hives or acne.

But it did dry out further than I ever expected. And because it was drying out, it was rough to the touch and felt tight and lacked elasticity.

So I scaled back my usage. Now I only apply the three step whitening serum products before I leave home for work or school as opposed to the prescribed day and night application. I also take "days off" where once a week or so, I don't apply either, normally a day when I don't go out.

 Because I cut back on my use to these products to days only, leaving a gap in my whitening regime, I found and purchased while it was on a half-price special through UNT a night care serum for whitening called C*Clarity.

I also purchased an Aqua Therapy masque treatment to help hydrate skin while also decided to add a light night cream by Neutrogena as part of my daily night routine.

I'm still tinkering with the finer parts of my skin care routine. I've been looking into and debating on the quality and care of facial moisturizers for day use, as I'm finding that the moisturizing aspect of my BB cream, that I've been hoping to bank on somewhat has been sub-par in dealing with the dryness of my skin.

I'm also casually looking into perhaps purchasing a new facial cleaner that is a little less harsh on my skin.

Currently I use two different brands, one in the shower and one for the sink when I'm not taking a full blown shower. I've been using both brands interchangeably for years with no issues, but these days, especially after use I'm finding my skin especially tight and dry after usage.

But that isn't even the important question. The real question here is is any of this working? 



No lie, the difference in lighting (natural vs. fluorescent) makes it hard to tell in the pictures. Plus, I'm wearing BB cream in the images from today.

But shockingly in a sense, all of this work and effort is actually having an effect on my skin. I realized this a few days ago while applying C*Clarity to my face. My sun spots were looking smaller and less prominent. The other day, I put on a concealer that for awhile has been too light for my skin tone and it blended perfectly

Despite having to scale back recommended use, it's still fixing my sun spot and darker skin pigment.

I'm not out of the woods yet. I'm still working on those freckles and sun spots and plus, they said it'll take at least 3 months to really notice significant results. But overall I'm still relatively pleased.

If only it'd work faster though...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Geek Looks: julep maven october box

So I didn't cancel this month's package from Julep as part of its prescription promotions.

I had planned to, as nail polishes aren't a big time need for me and for 20 bucks, I could spend that on a good meal.

But no, I let myself get it. In fact, I allowed it.

It wasn't because of the colours they were offering. To be frank, I wasn't crazy about much of the colours they had available in any of the packages they were giving out, or if I liked any, it was only one in a package of two or three polishes.

It's not even the dark brown glitter or the randomly boxed candy corn that was also sent with my package. (That, honestly, was the oddest part of opening this month's package.

No that's not the reason why I accepted getting the package.

This was.

It is the Julep Quick Dry Polish Drops, a product that they claimed can dry your polish with as little as two or three drops in an instant.

Too good to be true? I don't know, I haven't tried it yet, but if what is says is true (and I most unequivocally hope it is) it is the be-all-end-all godsend of my nail polish reality.

Listen, I'm not a patient person nor do I have a lot of time on my hands. As a blogger and a semi-professional writer (or as close as they come in some respects) I'm constantly multi-tasking the many things I do to keep my head above water in this world. When I treat myself to a masque treatment to deal with rough, dry skin on my face, I'm also always writing, or researching or reading.

 There are always dishes to clean, papers to organize and clothes to hang and put away.

So to sit still and do my nails and wait what sometimes seem like ages for the polish to dry is excruciating. I can't generally type on my computer, I can't do dishes, I can't pick things up... I basically can't do anything but bloody well watch the telly and hope something interests me for more than 5 minutes... which doesn't often happen.

So this would be wonderful. This would solve a lot of my polish problems.

And that's why I spent $20 dollars on this month's box.

You can get Julep boxes for 1 cent if you're interested. Just go to and fill out the survey to figure out what kind of maven you are. Then use the promo code COLOR2012 (that's the one I used and it should still work) and that's it! If you only want that one time offer, don't forget to call soon after you get your first package to cancel!

Geek'd: The end of a chase for an upgraded laptop

After a month of chasing, begging, pleading and pain, I finally got my new laptop! An ASUS with a 15.6 inch screen, AMD Dual Core and 320GB HDD.

So awhile ago, I dealt with the saga of not getting a tracking number sent to my email and therefore having my purchase shipped and then returned for a refund.

I ran into the problem of not being sent a tracking number. Again. And that was with a different shipping method (I expressed the shipping).

But this time I was aware and prepared of that inevitability. So I called NewEgg and got my shipping number handed to me so that I could keep track of it via Purolator and have at the whole terrible experience.

But I was wrong. Oh I was very wrong.

I called Purolator the next day as soon as I saw that they were having difficulty sending to my address, as usual. I needed to know why (it was the buzz code problem as it always is) and where the package is being left to be picked up, because for whatever reason they couldn't even leave a note stating they tried to send me something and failed for whatever reason and here's where I can find it. In this case, was on the other side of town a good two-and-a-half public transit ride to the location.

Normally, these issues are easily fixed. I call  Purolator and get them to relocate my shipment from that god-awful spot to a commercial Purolator centre close to me.

But... it's not the case this time.

See, the wholesale company that got the order from NewEgg and shipped it out had apparently placed a special designation on it that said, even if the customer requests the relocation of the shipped item to a convenient location, it cannot be relocated without the expressed permission of the company that shipped it.

So I got the number of the company and called them. The customer guy goes on to tell me that because they have no access to personal accounts sent by NewEgg and that I'd have to talk to them.

So I did. And I got a "We will contact you in a few hours to tell you the results of our investigation."

24 hours later, nothing.

So I called them again and got a, "We can't actually do anything for you, once it's shipped it's out of our hands."

Basically saying, we can only relocate the package ONCE YOU REORDER YOUR PURCHASE.

To summarize, they have created a system where if there is a problem with delivering the item to your home, THERE IS NO REASONABLE SOLUTION TO FIX IT SHORT OF PERSONALLY PICKING IT UP AT THE HIGHLY OUT-OF-THE-WAY SHIPPING CENTRE.

At this point, I had enough.

First I extended the hold date on the laptop. Then I called in a massive favour to get a ride to the location to pick up the package within operating hours.

And now it is finally home, and just in the nick of time. Over this weekend, the left hinge finally gave way on my old laptop, leaving the plasma screen hanging loose on that side. And with the wiring of the laptop to the plasma screen largely situated on said side, it now requires extra special care.

It definitely is no longer easily transportable in any case.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Geek'd: the rant of the obnoxious odyssey of having to get a new laptop

So... as of this past month, I had decided to get a new laptop.

Over the summer, my computer has really begun to show its age. And I don't mean in the software, or even the hardware that runs this 4-year-old Toshiba model. Of course that also is contribution to the decision to upgrade.

No. The issue is the construction of the laptop itself.

The frame that holds the plasma screen together has cracked and is being held together by hockey tape. Because it is cracked, the computer doesn't close properly over the keyboard and actually, closing it causes further damage. The corner of the bottom has fallen apart, the CD drive doesn't close properly and the whole thing is about a few bumps and bruises from becoming scrap plastic.

Basically the only thing that isn't falling apart is the keyboard in which to type my rants.

Ever since my first laptop purchase bombed like you wouldn't believe in 2004, I've bought my laptop at your usual big box stores like Best Buy or Future Shop.

Which is all fine and dandy except that it's often a lot of money. My current broken baby was easily close to $1000 four years ago.

So on a friend's very very very strong recommendation, I decided to go ahead and try buying a new laptop online for the first time ever from a website called NewEgg.Ca. He raved about the site, telling me how it's so much more cheaper than your regular store because it cuts out the middle man by selling straight from the warehouse and that the speed in which it sent your electronics was very very fast.

So I ordered a $535 dollar laptop.

And then waited. And waited. And waited.

Sept. 17, it informed me via email that my package was shipped and the order was processed. I wanted to see when the package would arrive, so I looked up my account to see if I could find a way to track it.

They had a spot on the site to track it but you needed a tracking number. I couldn't find mine.

I haven't ever shipped from here before. And because I had picked the cheapest option to ship for, I thought maybe they sent it through Canada Post.

Also, I've had packages that took up to 2-3 weeks to ship something as well. So I took it in stride.

Until Oct. 1st, when I had had enough of waiting and was seriously beginning to wonder what the heck was tacking so long. I called Newegg's customer service to figure it out.

That was when I found out that a massive fuck up had occurred.

So my package was shipped on Sept. 17. By Purolator.
That was the first problem.

Purolator and I have a hate-filled relationship: I have always had problems with them shipping me stuff, from not having phones with their drivers to call me to problems with establishing my address because I live in a bloody apartment complex. It's not a nice combination. One time, they left a package of mine to be picked up in bloody West Etobicoke a good two-and-a-half hour bus ride from my home!

In this case, they got to my apartment but couldn't get to me because I didn't have a buzz code, despite the fact I was actually at home at the time. So without even leaving a bloody slip to inform me that a package arrived for me from them, they sauntered back to the bloody warehouse with the rule to call me.

EXCEPT THEY DIDN'T. Their justification: the package didn't have a phone number attached to it so they couldn't call.

I checked my account: my phone number was right there. Why didn't they bloody well call Newegg and ask for the number attached to my account???

You may be sitting here now and asking: "Wait a minute, why didn't you just use the tracking number to see that you could pick it up?"

Well... BECAUSE I DIDN'T HAVE ONE. Basically, NewEgg's system fucked up on me and failed to send me a tracking number when they shipped it. And the best they could do was put in an error report to figure out why that was happening.

So not only did Purolator not call me OR leave a notice to tell me that I had a package with them, I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THAT I HAD A PACKAGE WAITING PERIOD.

I trust this friend enough that I was willing to re-order the laptop from there. But I'm a rather unhappy person about the whole issue.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Geek Media: the new hobbit trailer

Have you seen the newest and latest Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey trailer yet?

If your answer to that is "No"... WATCH IT. NOW.

The shiny, new Hobbit trailer has a whole boatload more action and excitement than its predecessor as fans really get a chance for more than a Gandalf soliloquy to tell us what happened.

It opens with some great lines from Bilbo, played by the fabulous Martin Freeman, the best of course being as he runs past a fellow hobbit in pursuit of his company, "I'm going on an adventure!"

Fans of the books have a chance to see many scenes they're familiar with in the story, such as the start of the Riddle game with Gollum, and the Trolls in the Trollshaw. And if you look carefully, you'll even see the characters perched on top of the trees that the goblins set on fire. (Which by looks may also be the final scene or even in this first of three movies)

It also throws in a few unexpected loops in as well - scenes involving events that never happened or were never even hinted at in the book itself. Such as the scene with the flying rocks and disintegrating cliffs... no it is not in the book! Whatmore, I cannot even fathom where this scene would take place, before or after they go inside the Misty Mountains and battle the Goblin King.

You can already tell the dialogue is epic, and the scenes are going to look amazing in 3D.

The whole thing makes me excited for December 14th to come already!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Geek Looks: julep maven september polishs

So a few weeks ago, I wrote about how I got the Julep Maven pack for September for 1 cent! And I said that I will write up a full review on the products once I get a chance to try them.

Well today I finally got a chance to try the white polish, so now I think I can give a fair review on the two products.

classic with a twist
juicy watermelon red creme

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I really liked this polish a lot. The colour was a beautiful shade that looked sweet and sexy all at once, and it really stood out when I was wearing it. I actually liked it so much that I kept it on for a whole week!

I was also impressed with how smoothly the polish went onto my nails. No weird clumps, even application and it dried SO FAST. 

The quick dry was what impressed me the most in fact, as I'm a generally impatient person (and generally don't have much time to myself to treat my body) and hate it when a polish can take up to 10 minutes to dry.

So the fact I was able to apply it and soon after was able to wash my dishes without any damage to my nails was a huge plus in my eyes.

So why only 4 stars? I liked the colour but I wasn't crazy about it. And my wardrobe really doesn't have much to match that vibrant red in any kind of classy way.

classic with a twist
soft, white pearl

Rating: 1 out of 5

This one was a disappointment in my eyes.

I understand how difficult it is to wear a white nail polish but it went on so streaky and so grossly thick that in the end, I felt like I was putting White-Out on my fingernails rather than nail polish!

It was to the point that in order to get a flat and even finish on my nails I had a thick layer of nail polish on my nails, which I very much disliked.

The colour itself was meh. It didn't really match my skin colour and actually looked quite awful against my skin. So much so that right after I took the picture, I took it off my hand as fast as possible. I just did not like it at all.

Therefore, the rating. The colour wasn't any good, the application sucked and it felt bad. The only good thing to come out of the polish is that it dried fast, which I took as a small blessing.

I wouldn't wear this alone, maybe as a base or an accent in the future. But not as a stand-alone polish.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Geek Living: the path to vanity solutions

So it has been awhile. My excuse being is that writing 600-word sports articles every day and then working on top of it has exhausted me past a point that I care to talk about in great detail.

Anyway... after days and weeks of fiddling around, reorganizing and moving stuff in out and around I have finally mostly finished the layout and look of the vanity block in the corner of my room!

I wanted something a bit girly, chic, blue and classic. There are no real drawers to this set up, mostly cups and everything there is set in a place that makes it generally easy to get the items.

Now the block that my vanity sits atop of is kind of weird in that it's about chest high, sits in a corner of my room by the windows and doesn't seem to do anything. Well I at least managed to make the best of it in the end.

The necklaces are hung on a nail from the wall, and the black wall art is from Dollarama. Actually, quite a lot of the items used as storage here are from Dollarama.

Let's go for the close-up.

The bottles on the tray there are stuff that I generally use daily - the whitening serums from UNT, BB cream I bought at Sephora, foundation and moisturizing night cream from Neutrogena.

The blue jeweled clips are being used as decoration.

The antique-y plate is from Goodwill and is covered with rings, stud earrings and other assorted jewelry.

All of this is sitting on a "tray" that is really a fancy little frame I also got at Goodwill for a small price. I backed that with a piece of fancy letter paper and set it down to separate my vanity up a bit and enable me to maintain some set of organization.

The idea to set the frame down as a tray was actually a lovely idea I found on The Lovely Undergrad.

Other ideas I drew from this lovely image was obviously the mirror picture frame in the background, and the little candle cups from Dollarama which I used to store my Q-tips and the shorter brushes and utensils like nail clippers and tweezers.

Here's another look at how I used the candle cups in another close-up

As you can see, I have a larger, blue candle holder for my larger make-up tools and  brushes.

All this was piled in front of the shelf, which I used to store my hair-ties and then my larger bottles like my nail-polish remover, my pedi-creme from Julep (I'll write about that later) and regular lotion for when I don't want to use my nutty body butter from the Body Shop (which I love using)

Along the top, you can see where I hang my collection of hanging earrings. For lack of a better spot to put them, I store them there. It works for the time being, but I would like to eventually give it its own storage space.

However, my favourite part of this (and my other image) is the jars I used to store both my make-up (the stuff that is less frequently used) and my large collection of nail polish. It's fancy, looks nice and because the nail polish and that make-up is less likely to be used regularly, the difficulty that exists in digging for some products isn't a huge deal. And really, it's only an inconvenience of less than a minute.

That idea was actually found when I went looking for different ways to decorate my bookshelf when I found this on GeekyPosh.

I circled it for your convenience, but as you can see, I thought it was brilliant and so chic looking. Also, storing my nail polish has been such an issue for me for such a long while that to find this was like a god-send. I loved it!

Again, sorry for the delays in posting! But I'm still here and still poking and prodding my stories along about living and learning a geek-filled life while pursuing a dream in sports. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Geek Media: arrow

There was a panel and screening that took place at this year's FANeXpo that I missed and kind of wish I didn't. And yet I don't quite regret it either, for the sake of having to wait hours and hours in line to attend both.

CTV was promoting The CW's new show Arrow by bringing in the cast of the show. It is a show that the channel's secondary CTV2 will simulcast when it premiers on Wednesday October 10, 2012 at 8PM ET and is a series loosely based on DC Comic's Green Arrow. And I say loosely, because it really has been modernized and re-imagined in order to create the necessary realism and story-telling for the show.

Here is the trailer.

I readily admit I don't really have the patience or the funds to be a really big comic book fan, so I can't really tell you what changed from the DC Universe to the one they're presenting here. But based mostly on the trailer, it looks like a cross between an action thriller and a dark mystery of sorts. It revolves around how the title character Oliver Queen, portrayed by Canadian actor and former Rent-a-Goalie actor Stephen Amell,  had changed after being stranded on an island for five years. No one knows what went on on that island or why, simply that the wealthy heir had come back... different.

Kinda like what happened with Tony Stark in Iron Man, but different.

Suddenly, it has become his personal mission to "destroy evil." But why? Why has he taken on this monument task, and by himself? What happened that made him decide that that is his life's work?

It looks great from the trailer, but everything seems great from a trailer. The question is really how do they plan to build the character and the story. How well will or can Amell capture the torment and yet still try to exude as if "nothing had happened or changed" with this rich boy? I haven't much doubts with the casting either way (I think Amell looks brilliant) but there are certainly a lot of questions.

I look forward to see where they take this and how this will develop. Though if you ask me, it looks like something that can be brilliant for one season before it crashes and slides into oblivion.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Geek Looks: the julep maven

So about two weeks ago, I discovered this subscription nail polish deal called Julep Maven

The premise is that every month for $20 dollars, you get a package sent to you of various product items relating to nail polish and care valued at $40 dollars.

Normally that wouldn't thrill me or interest me. What made me go ahead with it in the end however was that with a coupon/promo code (I used the code COLOR2012, but there are others that you can find and likely use online), you can get the first box for ONE CENT.

The one cent charge, from what I gather though is really to ensure that you have a valid and working credit card.

So I bit.

I did their quiz. They classified my style as "Classic with a twist" and recommended a certain set as my first kit.

And yesterday, my package from this month's set arrived.

As you can see, I got two nail polish colours and a pedi-creme (which I thought was a weird selection given that it's September and so sandal season is pretty much over until next May... but oh well).

Interested? Click here to join!

Now here's the important part. Once you sign up and they deliver this box, you become a member of their subscription group, meaning that every month from here-in, they will send you a new box, but charge you $20 dollars on your credit card for it.

They do however, send an email informing of when your next box is coming and with what products, and then give you the option to opt out for the month. If you opt out for whatever reason, you won't get charged $20 dollars and they don't send you a gift box.

But you really have to stay on top of this because they only give you roughly 5 days to opt out of the process before they proceed with the transaction.

They also make it challenging to cancel your prescription as well, at least, compared to how easy it is to cancel online subscriptions in general. As I read it, there is no way for you to email them to cancel it. You have to actually dial in a phone number and call them to cancel your plan.

My thoughts are to give it 3 months. If I don't like any of the packages they send me in that time, I'll cancel. So I'm taking it on a 3 month at a time service. Plus, 20 dollars isn't bad for two or three polishes, though the honest truth is I don't really need them more often than not.

But we shall see how this goes.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Geek Toys: star trek tri-dimensional chess

The more I research into the toys that Sheldon and the gang owns and enjoys in The Big Bang Theory, the more I think that their occasional implications that they are poor/have a limited amount of funds is really a load of hogwash.

In season 1, episode 11, also known as The Pancake Batter Anomaly, the show opens up with Leonard and Sheldon going through a battle of tri-dimensional chess on a very elaborate and visually complicated board, with Sheldon ending the game with his hilarious line: "Must be humbling to suck on so many different levels."

The game itself dates back to in 1907, then called Raumschach (German for Space Chess), by Dr. Ferdinand Maack.

But it faded after World War II.

It made a real comeback and popped back into the minds of nerds everywhere when Spock was seen playing it in the original Star Trek. The game actually played a pretty pivotal role in the actual show in fact.

That chess set is the version that Sheldon and Leonard is seen playing on in the show.

This set of Star Trek Tri-dimensional chess is a Franklin Mint exclusive, meaning that they're the only makers of this set. And it is beautifully assembled with actual 24 karat gold and sterling silver plated chess pieces, truly demonstrating the art and the beauty of the game as a whole.

But as you can guess, it is anything but cheap.

In fact, if Amazon is any indication, it retails for at least $315.00 CDN dollars!!! And that's without taking shipping into consideration.

Still, how beautiful would this look on atop a book shelf, awaiting for your next attempt at conquering a three-dimensional battlefield?

Only reason why I looked it up.

Though if you ask me, as far as games are concerned, I think I'll be sticking to the regular 2-D versions. They're not as fancy looking... but they're cheaper.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

FANeXpo 2012: a final look

Another FANeXpo has come and gone, and a week later, as I look back, I realized a couple of things.

The first thing I realized is that I enjoyed it way less than probably wanted to.

And this was despite me actually getting more actual convention-related activities as far as my normal attended-as-a-fan conventions go. I went to a panel, I attended a screening among the usual "hanging around on the dealer's room and convention floor" deal.

But overall, it was a frustrating event for me. The lines were long, the crowds were too big and the planning felt shot and unprepared for what the days brought. This was particularly evident and true on Day 3, which is supposed to be the marquee day of the entire convention - the one day that is perhaps the most "worthwhile" day in which to attend the event.

And it basically works into my number one criticism and suggestion for this convention: the floor they use is too small a space for the number of people that are there. The very fact that they ran out of tickets on Saturday at 1PM and had to hold people outside in line for up to and over an hour because of capacity issues.

And even when they're "under capacity" the place still feels too crowded and jammed of people to really enjoy what is going on.

I'm familiar with the Metro Toronto Convention Centre downtown, and I know renting the space costs a lot of money. Like through the nose money compared to other locations across town. That's the price you pay for using a space in the heart of the downtown core that's both accessible and large.

But I also know Hobbystar - the company that creates and plans this entire convention - they rake in huge amounts of money at these events.

Therefore it is not difficult for me to imagine them being able to rent other spaces (particularly spaces in the north building) in order to bloody well spread out covention goers and provide more space for the convention in general.

Right now, everything is situated on two (albeit huge) floors of the south building. But it created huge crowding issues as lines merged or scattered and the people walking past them had to slow because of it.

And because everything that is going on is going on in these two floors, it basically forces more people than it can handle into the space causing the "sardines in a can" metaphor to come to light.

If they plan to continue to improve this convention, they need to move some of those events - namely "big name" panels and screenings - into another part of the building (I'm thinking some of the bigger rooms in the north building) so that the lines for those events interfere less with traffic of regular convention attendees that are just there to take pictures, view costumes and buy stuff in the dealer's room.

The "lower traffic panels" can stay in the south building's north side in order to make use of the rooms available there.

Of course, the additional problem this would cause is that "so and so panel was too far away from so and so panel". My answer? The ones that need the bigger rooms are all bunched together. The ones that don't and is back in the south building are no more than 5 minutes away. Deal with it.

The other good thing that does is that it also extends and expands traffic and gives additional places for people to meet up and chill without leaving the convention.

Yes, additional traffic means additional resources to manage and maintain traffic like security and volunteers.   But that can be made up by simply adding 100 more convention goers at the price they charge for tickets!

So what should happen to some of those bigger panel rooms in the south building then though? Move the food courts into them. Why? Because working past the food court (which were both situated at entrances to the convention) during lunch and dinner hours were a nightmare to deal with and you move the patrons who simply intend to eat away from people who only want to - what else - enjoy the convention floor.

AND it creates a space that booths can move into on the dealer's room floor and maybe widen the existing hallways of the convention so that traffic moves more smoothly right?

This convention has had to deal with a tonne of problems and drama as it grew up in the last decade I've been attending. From having an weapons retailer selling weapons illegally to underaged kids (not to mention selling illegal weapons itself) to the fiasco of 2010, it can't say it was a smooth process.

But even so, the convention grew. And now, the convention outgrew the south building space two years ago. It needs to move past it and move up if it in any way plans to seriously compete with the likes of Comi-con going forward.

The crowding was a real pain and without enough areas to loiter and hang out, it made the place feel like it lacked the easy-going personality of a real genre convention and was just filled with the stresses of real life all bottled into two seemingly tiny floors of a convention centre.

The point of a convention is to create a shared space for people with similar interests to get to know each other and engage in their interests. It's to escape the sometimes cruel and judgmental realities of the modern world.

This year, FANeXpo failed mightily in my mind to do that.

It had its moments, but overall, not impressed.

Geek'd: sheldon's ocd calendar

I was sick this past week. And had to go to work.

And it sucked.

Now I really really love my current (and soon to be ending for the season) job in sports, and I'm really proud I have it and can execute it.

But when you're sick as a dog with the common cold, it can be very very difficult to enjoy being at work, as it was this past week.

And don't get me wrong; normally, I can handle the common cold without issue. Because normally, my worst enemy is congestion. So I pop a few pills, wait a half hour, throw in a bag of Halls and I'm good to go.

But this one was different, in that it gave me the world's worst runny nose ever. And sneeze a lot And nothing, not even a bag of Halls, can keep that from getting annoying when you're doing a job that generally requires you to use both hands.

And before you ask, it is next to impossible to call in sick to this job. And I'm not saying you can't - you can technically - but you put everyone in a bind because it means in a limited amount of time they have to track down a replacement for you. And because of that, doing so bodes very very ill for you going forward.

So short of death or dying, you're expected to show up to work.

Anyway, one of the things that pulled me through and tided me over during the whole ordeal was, of course, the Big Bang Theory. Largely for its whimsy, but also because the Comedy channel here in Canada had a "Labour Day Weekend Marathon" this weekend where they played The Big Bang Theory.

And only the Big Bang Theory.

All three days nonstop.

It was awesome.

And I dunno if it was the fact I fell asleep to it or anything, but I woke up wanting to chart out Sheldon's Calendar of daily monotonous routine.

So I looked it up and apparently the writer's for the show made a version based on what we have seen so far from the show for its fans on Google Calendar.

There are obviously a few holes (though I'm pretty sure Tuesday night is Klingon Boggle night), such as the evening's activities for Thursday, breakfast for all the mornings but Monday and Saturday among other things but it's pretty complete as far as what the episodes have revealed.

And yet another way for me to revel in my nerdism of this show.