Game of Thrones season 6 dinner party

Most other premieres, my friends and I end up going to Storm Crow to snag a spot and watch the episode with local Vancouverites. But this one, we decided to do it at my friend’s house since it’d be her house-cooling party (is that actually a thing? Either way, she’s moving houses).  Continue reading

Game of Thrones Exhibit at the PNE

Hello all,

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

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

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

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

Of course, everyone lined up for the throne. 

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

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


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

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

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

– Karen

Game of Thrones night at Storm Crow

Hey guys!

So tonight I went to Storm Crow Tavern for a Game of Thrones season 2 premiere thingy they were doing! I did a post about Storm Crow a while back, but I haven’t been back for quite a while. They’ve upped their game in terms of decor, and the board game selection tripled/quadrupled in size! If you’re into geeky stuff, definitely go check them out. They’ve probably got something on the wall catering to any fandom (I know there’s a Doctor Who wall, Game of Thrones stuff scattered throughout, Star Wars, and today I saw a Minecraft pickaxe). Even if you’re not particularly into a certain game or TV show, it’s still great to admire the effort they’ve put into curating and decorating their walls! Also, they’ve got the best selection of board games in Vancouver (there are about five sets of Cards Against Humanity, and plenty of Settlers of Catan amongst many others). Beware that certain games are missing parts to them such as their instruction booklet or game pieces.

Their menu also grew quite a bit. I remember when it was just a one page piece of paper, and you had a choice between four main dishes. Now you’ve got pages of food to cater to all your cravings. Their drinks menu has seen a similar growth.

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The Romulan Ale we ordered.

Now on to Game of Thrones night. They will be hosting a Game of Thrones episode showing every Sunday for the next while. Today, we had some games such as trivia, and a quick contest. Prizes such as tickets to a Game of Thrones improv show and $25 gift cards to Storm Crow were given out.

Season two!

Season two!

Here’s some tips on what you should do in order to actually get seats at the pub. My friend and I met at 5:00PM and then got to Storm Crow at 5:30PM. They put out a sign saying that the 6:00PM showing was full and that we could put down our name to see that 8:00PM showing. So we did that. We were told to come back at around 7, but it took a good half hour for the first showing’s patrons to exit the establishment. People tried to wait in line outside, but soon realized that they were only letting in people who were on the reservation list. Keep in mind that they did not take reservations before their first showing filled up, so I’m not sure how the future Game of Thrones showings will be like! As we were part of the later 8:00PM show, we were allowed to stay afterwards. The earlier people had to clear out as soon as their showing was done. Nonetheless, it was fun to watch the premiere with a group of other people who were into the show! The first episode did a great job to re-establish the character’s stories after our break from them!

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CAH with friendly strangers 🙂

After the episode ended, we moved on to playing board games. We ended up asking two other groups of people to play with us. We settled on Cards Against Humanity! All in all, it was a fun night! It’s quite a bit of hassle to secure a spot at the pub, but I’d definitely do it again some time in the future. Hopefully for the season finale?

– Karen

What was I doing in Langley!?

Hey all!

Last week, I did something crazy. I went to Langley.

Okay, it isn’t that crazy and I’m sorry I disappointed you, but it was a 4 hour bus ride back and forth. So most of my friends and family thought I was crazy.

I managed to drag a friend with me down to Langley (I was actually really surprised anyone would agree to a 2 hour bus ride, so I love you M). Why did I want to go to Langley? There was a toy store I wanted to visit. Yup, I am twenty years old and I will spend 4 hours on transit for a toy store.

During the Vancouver Fan Expo, I was at one of the many retail booths and the guy behind the counter told me that they actually had a physical store in Langley. I was surprised since I knew many of convention booths that sold items either travelled from convention to convention, or was a local artist selling their crafts. In Vancouver, we have Golden Age Collectables, and I have been there way too many times. So I wanted to go to Toy Traders to check them out!

Toy Traders was a fairly big toy store. Their front section had much of what you would expect in a regular toy store, as they sold some boardgames and toys for little girls and boys. So you would find your typical Lego, Barbies, and plushies over here.

If you stepped in a bit further, you would get to their more adult section. No, not their XXX section. This was where you would find action figures and collectables. They also carried official merchandise from certain TV shows, such as Game of Thrones and Doctor Who. Of course, Star Wars took up a sizeable portion of the store. They also had Marvel merchandise, licensed T-shirts and other good stuff. My Little Pony comics too if that’s your thing.

What was really cool about the store was the decor. Lining this section of the store, they had displays set up all around their walls, depicting scenes of sci-fi struggles. You could see spaceships attacking a base, soldiers fighting off a giant robot, and more. I feel like it would have been fun to play a game of I Spy with the dioramas.

A horrible pic of a bit of their diorama

A horrible pic of a bit of their diorama

I spoke to one of the employees (actually, he was the same guy who told me about this place back at the Vancouver Fan Expo’s booth), and he told me that they were opened every single day of the year except for one day on Christmas. On this day, they would get a carpenter to come in to add to their dioramas. So this amazingness was only going to grow!

They also had a Star War display in a glass box that had C-3PO and R2-D2. Towards the back of the store, there was a Terminator display. My friend and I kept joking about how it will come to life and kill everyone, and then I started to get wary of the robot behind the cage.

They have a signed picture from David Prowse in there!

They have a signed picture from David Prowse in there!

I decided to make the most obnoxious girly poses with the displays, just to annoy anyone who was watching.

If you were judging me before, how about now?? :P

Obnoxious asian pose

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The emperor’s face says it all.

So what else can you do in Langley?

My friend and I decided to eat at Olive Garden, since it was the only one in British Columbia. They have a million Olive Gardens in the US, but we have to go to the one in Langley in order to have some of their addictive free breadsticks.

One of the dishes we ordered to share was mussels. Looks good right?

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But then we opened up the last one, and found this inside.

A tiny starfish!

A tiny starfish!

At first we were pretty grossed out. But then I removed the starfish from the shell and started playing with it. Our waitress caught eye of what I was doing and asked me what that was. I then explained how we found a stray starfish in our mussels. She got queasy (she explained that she was pregnant), and asked if she should get the manager. I told her it was fine and understandable, since we were having seafood and this was probably bound to happen at some point in time. In the end, she talked to the manager herself and after we paid, she chased us down in the washroom and handed us a gift card as an apology. I thought that was excellent customer service, so props to them! (Then my friend and I realized that we will have to go back to Langley one day to spend the card… more transit fun for us.)

You can also go to Planet Lazer or The Great Escape in Langley. Planet Lazer boasts that they have the largest floor for laser tag in North America, and we were planning on playing a few games. But we walked into their establishment and walked straight back out. It was stuffy and very hot. My friend and I were both wearing jeans and boots, and we probably would have fainted if we were in there much longer. Planet Lazer’s Langley branch had Yelp reviews saying that their service was horrible. We can add to this, since when we called to make our inquiries, they were quite rude. But I guess you are not going to Planet Lazer for excellent customer service anyway…thought it would make the visit more enjoyable.

The Great Escape is more targeted towards younger kids from what we observed. They had a small arcade area (with around 6 machines), and a huge jungle gym for kids. They also had a 2-level laser tag area, and I think I would want to try their place out next time– mostly because I have been to Planet Lazer’s Richmond branch, and also the staff at The Great Escape were really nice. However, I have a feeling the whole place may be flooded with little kids, and I’m not sure I want to shoot at kids.

So that’s a summary of my day at Langley. We walked a lot, since Langley blocks were very different from Vancouver blocks. Walking three Langley blocks to cross the street was actually quite a workout. You can also forget about jaywalking, because if you think you can wait for a gap to cross on the Langley bypass, you’ll be roadkill before you know it. So if you can drive, I would definitely recommending going around Langley by car. But, if not, I guess I am living proof that walking and public transit is possible. Just wear shoes you can walk in and clothes that won’t make you sweat buckets.

If you know any other hidden gems in or near Vancouver, let me know! I’m glad I discovered the toy store, and it did make me go to Langley for the first time, so it was a rewarding trip!

Until next time!

– Karen

My First Award!! What Do I Do!?!?

I logged on to WordPress today and saw that little notifications alert was orange. I pressed on it and saw that Ash nominated me for the Sunshine Award! I am super excited so I am going to do the post now! (Despite being neck deep in assignments and final exam woes–but hey, this is a good distraction). Thank you Ash! I must say– I am probably just as surprised as her when she found out someone nominated her. The first thought that popped into my head was “Wow, someone’s actually reading my blog!!” So thank you for that Ash! 🙂 You brightened up what otherwise was a wet and dreary month, that bogged me down with midterm exams and projects! I would recommend checking her blog out, especially if you want to learn (or if you already do) how to appreciate manga and Japanese culture. She may not be Japanese, but she knows her stuff! 😀

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This award has two parts to it. I first answer ten questions about myself, and then pass the award on and nominate my favourite bloggers! So without further ado, here are my responses!

1. Who is your favourite philosopher?

It would have to be Confucius (unless if I am allowed to choose John Green. Then I choose YA author John Green. Go watch his videos on Youtube, you will see why.) Have you heard the amazing things this guy says? He is not only a philosopher, but he is so encouraging. I also find it amazing that a Chinese scholar’s influence can be found so significantly in Western culture.

“Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.”

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.”

-Confucius

2. What is your favourite number?

I actually do not have one. Here is a funny story though. When I was young, I thought you had to have a favourite number, and that it would bring you luck as long as you try to incorporate it into as many things of the things you do as possible. I chose the number 3. I would try to line up as the third person in line, take the third box of cereal in the supermarket, and would sleep with three stuffed animals. Glad I did not choose the number 97 or something. I would have suffocated from all the stuffed teddies.

3. What is your favourite animal?

My favourite animal…would have to be dogs. I love how loyal they are to their owners, and I also find a lot of them adorable. I have recently really taken a liking to pit bulls. They are the cutest thing ever. Sadly, I am allergic to most dogs, and I doubt I can persuade my family to allow me to keep a dog in the house.

NOPE, I am changing my answer. I love direwolves from Game of Thrones. They are huge, which will probably scare me in real life, but does not take away from the fact that I love them. The few direwolves that the reader encounters in the books show that they are very loyal to their owners. They also look pretty badass. I guess I liked regular wolves before I was introduced to direwolves, but once I found out about these larger and stronger wolves, I became a bit obsessed.

So that would account for my favourite type of animal. But I must say that if I had to pick one particular animal, it would have to be my late hamster. She was the only pet I have ever had (if you do not count the poor insects I trapped in plastic containers when I was young, foolishly claiming that they were my pets), and it is starting to look like she will be the last. This is mostly because my heart broke when she passed away. The worst part was not her actual death, but the days leading up to it. I cannot deal with loss, so I probably should stay away from pets.

4. What are your Facebook and Twitter?

My Twitter is fairly easy to find. I use the same username as my WordPress account: Kalyrical. I am not comfortable with sharing my Facebook, so this is all you guys get. 😛

5. What is your favourite time of day?

My favourite time of day is when the sun starts setting, and the world is right between being bathed in darkness and flooded with light. It feels like I am watching the world restart itself. Of course, this only rings true when we can actually see the sun in Vancouver. Otherwise, the whole day just feels like a lump of cloudy and grey sadness, and you really cannot differentiate between different times of the day.

6. What is your favourite holiday?

Definitely Christmas. Sure, my family may not be Christian or Catholic, but I see it as more than a religious holiday. The atmosphere around Christmas time is amazing. I wish it was like that everyday. People are packed in malls, and everything is decorated beautifully. Families come together and everyone has a reason to catch up. There are also presents. Yes, presents are nice.

7. What is your favourite physical activity?

I like cycling. I hate that feeling you get when you get off your bike and start wondering why everything is moving past you so slowly, and then you have to adjust to the fact that you are no longer on a speedy bike. I like feeling the wind on my face as I race by the world on a warm summer’s day.

But other than cycling, I hate physical activity. I cannot run for more than a block or two before I start wheezing. Of course, that is probably due to my lack of regular physical activity, but still.

8. What is your favourite non-alcoholic drink?

Either chocolate milk or Coca Cola (not Pepsi). I love chocolate milk–usually accompanied with a good novel. Of course, I like its hot counterpart equally, so depending on whether its hot or cold outside, I would either drink hot chocolate or chocolate milk.

Coca Cola is my go to drink when I am not sure what I want. Not Coke Zero. Or diet Coke. Or Coke light. And definitely not Pepsi. I like my regular Coca Cola thank you very much.

9. What is your favourite flower?

Classic red roses. I think that the world has reached perfection in flowers when it created the rose. All roses look nice, but I really love those deep red velvety petals on a classic red rose. I am pretty sure the roses I am referring to has a name, but I am not sure what they are actually called. You know which kind I am talking about. The ones that the guy always gets the girl when he tries to win her heart in movies?

10. What is your passion?

I have struggled in finding my passion for quite some time. I have always thought it would magically appear to me, and I would just know. Then came the first year of university when I had to start making decisions on what I wanted to do with my life. I started panicking because I did not know what my passion was, and had no idea which road I wanted to take on my academic journey. I believe I have found my passion in creative writing. I love writing fiction– always have, always will. I just did not think it would be an appropriate career choice. It seems so ambiguous and lacking in security to declare “I am going to be a writer.” I started taking Creative Writing courses this year at UBC and will be doing my minor in it.

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Now for the second part of my duties, I will now nominate several other blogs I want to pass this award on to! These are in no particular order.

1. http://nhanfiction.com
He frequently makes posts on one of my addictions: League of Legends. He also posts interesting pictures of quotes and bits of wisdom, most of which are motivating and just wonderful to see on your reader! Check him out!

2. http://nosajnawk.wordpress.com
I love the way he writes. It can be pretty sarcastic, but he hits the message home. This is a journal blog, and he explores topics that you can probably relate to, but was never brave enough to put it down in words. I say follow him, because he has interesting things to say 🙂

3. http://quieterelephant.wordpress.com
You never know what you’ll find on his blog. Some days, he may touch on serious topics, but a lot of the times he’s got some lighthearted reads that are pretty informative and fun to read! A lot of his posts also spark my imagination and gives me a boost of creativity.

4. http://dragoneystory.wordpress.com
He takes so really great pictures, and along with them, he will add a line or two of thoughts that we can take away. He is also super nice. Frequently, he reblogs interesting posts on other blogs, so he also provides a great hub for you to discover other bloggers!

5. http://itsthecookiemonster.wordpress.com
This girl is my real life friend, and her blog is filled with all these amazing pictures of baked goods that you can never have. But still, I would definitely recommend going to her page and drool all over your keyboard. Then you can attempt to recreate her cakes/cupcakes/cookies, fail miserably and cry.

I hope you guys accept the nomination! I found the questions fun to answer, and hopefully you guys will too!

-Karen