Portable Charger

I have a couple of these already but they were cheap and started falling out of their plastic casing. Probably not worth it to take chances even if they do still function. I definitely won’t be using the one for my iPhone 4 anymore since the upgrade anyway. Oh well, we had a good run.

I was actually going to buy this for myself, but my mother decided to throw it in with her purchases before I had the chance. It came pre-charged (though not fully) which was a nice surprise.

Yuri On Ice!

[SPOILER ALERT: This mentions characters seen in later episodes!]

I’ve been anxiously following this show (alongside RWBY and Sailor Moon Crystal, the latter of which seems to be on hiatus again—assuming there are plans to continue the show into the dream arc) and there’s so much I love about it!

Figure Skating

As someone who already enjoys watching figure skating when it comes on, I was pretty happy to see an anime about it. I’m not a very good skater myself (limited to school trips only, unfortunately), but I’ve been wanting to pick up a new pair of skates and drag some friends to the rink for a while! I don’t even skate so much as walk until I get up enough speed to glide, but it’s really fun and relaxing!

Before I forget: are there any other fans of Patrick Chan in the audience? I don’t think I’ve ever been able to see him skate live, but I have seen groups like Black Ice quite a bit. I also used to live relatively close to the Elvis Stojko arena, where my school used to take us for field trips. Oh, and if you have an old pair of skates and live in that area, you should visit Play it Again Sports. They let you trade in your old pair which is great if you need a different size.

Soundtrack

It feels like there’s something for everybody in this soundtrack. Aside from the regular background tracks, 70-80% of the music they actually skate to is really dramatic and memorable. For example, JJ’s theme song sounds like something that might have been written by Coldplay, and Phichit’s main theme is a nod to The King and I. Oh and let’s not forget that epic opening theme!

Seriously, listen to this and tell me to my face you’re not inspired!

Love

Yuri on Ice is all about different kinds of love. As the story goes on, viewers are introduced to many different characters—each with their own love story. We see examples of romantic love (of course!) but also familial love—such as the bond between siblings, appreciation for supportive fans, intense dedication to and passion for skating itself, and even more abstract forms like Yuri’s love for pork cutlet bowls (which I really want to try now, if it’s as hearty and delicious as schnitzel then I know I’ll be hooked!). I think we can all agree, though, that the major selling point is the strong bond between Yuri and Viktor.

Coaches and athletes really do connect on deep levels, and it’s not uncommon at all to see them hugging—both in celebration and consolation. What makes this pair really exciting is that Yuri practically idolizes Viktor, and is initially shocked when Viktor is so moved by a video of Yuri’s skating performance that he books it to Japan to become his personal coach. That’s basically the equivalent of your favourite celebrity flying out to your hometown because they love your work so much and have, ironically, become YOUR fan!

As of episode eleven, I was in a bit of a funk and the big question presented was this:

“What kind of love sustains you?”

Honestly? That one hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s such a profound thing to think about because it straight up asks you—who or what is it that you live for? What gives you strength and keeps you moving forward?

I applaud the writers and animators for gifting us with this gem. I really do! There is some tension (so far), but they don’t drag it out and hop from competition to competition. My only complaint is that every skater seems to perform to two songs at the most. This isn’t as noticeable for characters that fall off the leaderboard early on, but Yuri so far has only skated to On Love: Eros, and Yuri on Ice. Yurio only ever seemed to skate to On Love: Agape. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in episode 12—and especially what happens after that! A second season seems like a logical place to introduce a new song for Yuri, though it may also mean that he picks a new theme.

The next episode airs on Wednesday, so we’ll have to wait and see!

~Niki

 

Walking

I’ve gone back to walking on a regular basis again, and coupled with my return to Karate thee times a week I’ve started to see some weight loss happening. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t go out of my way for such goals (my height is an advantage in that weight distribution is less of an issue compared to others), but an achievement is an achievement, I guess. Some of my friends are health nuts so I know they’re going to shower praise.

Since there has been snow on the ground for the past few days (packing snow even) I’m going to have to look at getting myself a new pair of winter boots this year. I didn’t last year because honestly I don’t even think we had snow until into January; There were squirrels out on Christmas Day still looking for nuts.

Another thing I’ll have to do soon is to slip my FiiO MP3 player into the protective silicon case/skin it came with. It’s more troublesome to take the MicroSD card out and put it in a reader than it is to just plug in the whole unit via USB so the case won’t be much of an obstruction in that regard. Also it stops the card from falling out or getting wet. Always better to be safe!

~Niki

Tea, Pens, and Showers

I found out today that there is such a thing as a tea advent calendar.

Replacing chocolate in advent calendars is nothing new (because parents today are more health-conscious than my parents ever were), but using teabags is something new for me. It’s basically Russian roulette because you have no idea what flavour you’re getting and there’s a chance you won’t enjoy the one you pull out that day. 

I was watching the new YouTube channel I just subscribed to called “Pens and Tea”. That’s how I found out about the advent calendar. I’m a little surprised at myself to have watched the whole thing (nearly 30 minutes worth of the host answering questions from commenters) but I had it on while sketching and it was good background noise. 

The host also recommended a specialty pen store in Toronto called “Wonderpens” during a previous video that carries beautiful glass pens! Until I watched that video I’d never heard of a glass pen but since Wonderpens has one available (or they did when I looked on their site) that looks like cobalt-blue (I collect jars, vases, bowls, and bottles because I’m mystified by the colour) I’d love to venture downtown and buy one! There’s also a 3D printing place about a block away and around the corner that interests me.

Lastly, I did something uncommon and took a shower. I know what you’re thinking, “gross”, but I normally prefer baths. Soaking is relaxing and gives me time to think. Then again, I felt cleaner when I showered and used a different conditioner (which kind of smells nice) so that put me in a really good mood and boosted my confidence a little. If I like my own smell, maybe someone else would as well? Ah! Can’t believe I made that rhyme! Oh well, I guess I’ll just leave it in – like that lovely smelling conditioner.

Until next time!

~Niki

 

Re: Lost Items & iPhone Boomboxing

 

Good news, I found my MP3 player!

Until my iPod classic died in the summer, I had been using that every day when I went out walking. I managed that every day for about a year, though because I wasn’t wearing appropriate footwear (flip flops, albeit with better arch support than most) I had to take a short break due to plantar fasciitis. It wasn’t as painful as people have made it sound, though it did cause my heel to swell a little after prolonged walking on hard floors.

To avoid that happening again, I should be using a show with a low heel—vs the comfortable sandals I usually love. Oh well, the treads are gone on my favourite pair anyway, so it’s probably time to get rid of them for the season. C’est la vie!

Honestly though, I would recommend getting in the habit of going on daily walks (weather permitting) to anyone who feels claustrophobic or even just restless in their own apartment. Bring a pair of headphones if you must, but I was out one day and discovered not one, but TWO people blasting music from their phones! One of them was enjoying a particularly uplifting German song as he was getting onto the elevator with me. It would be interesting to see if I can run into him again. I’d be interested in getting more music recommendations.

~Niki

Lost Items

Doesn’t everybody have that one friend who is forever misplacing their stuff? Yeah, I’m that person.

I guess I’ve been pretty lucky in that most of my stuff did turn up eventually—sometimes six months after I needed it. Not the end of the world when it’s something like a pencil case, but your phone, keys, and wallet are all likely to cause problems in the immediate future. So is your USB with work or school documents on it that you’re going to need that day.

Of the things that I never found were a USB I accidentally left plugged in at school (and yes, I did try the lost and found), a stuffed animal that was more than likely left behind when I moved into this apartment, and a Sailor Moon ring from my best friend that fell off at recess. Again, none of those things were the end of the world, but it really sucks when you lose something with sentimental value—or a drive that contains all of your working files for that semester.

Lately, things keep sliding under my bed or end table and it drives me crazy because I want to listen to music or charge my phone, and those things aren’t where I expected them to be. Yeah, I know, “re-trace your steps”. That’s actually how I stepped on a pair of headphones I was looking for and broke them. Also, sometimes people will pick up and move the thing you just sat down, or accidentally mistake your Science binder for theirs and return it days after the test—thanks for that, locker buddy!

Anyway, losing things sucks. I’m actually surprised I haven’t lost my glasses yet.

 

Now, where did I leave that MP3 player…

~Niki

Um… Hi?

To summarize: I did have a blog going before, but I wasn’t happy with the direction it was going in. My portfolio/gallery, however, is still up and available for consumption.

I don’t want to quit blogging altogether, so I’m going to try something different and do a standard journal where I record mundane things like thoughts, life events, and interesting dreams (if I have any). I was also hoping that blogging would help me with writing (somehow? I keep hearing that it’s good when you’ve got a block) so I could get back on track with the novel I’ve been trying to finish for several years (and a few fanfictions).

And while I’m at it, maybe I’ll finally learn to stop rambling!

~Niki