Book Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

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Ready Player One is my first read of the New Year, and it also crosses ‘A Book You Meant To Read In 2018’ off of my list from Pop Sugars reading challenge.

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In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

I don’t know what I love more about this book: the fact there’s so much 80’s jam packed into this, or the geeky goodness. I’m an 80’s girl. I love the movies, music and the decade as a whole. Growing up in it made me the nerd I am today. So I loved reading a book that took me down memory lane.

The book is pretty freakin good, in my opinion.

Wade is a believable character, and I found myself feeling for him and rooting for him from the beginning. From living in poverty, to trying to escape reality and escape what his life is by winning the big contest, he has a lot on his plate. The futuristic setting is also very realistic. I often wonder what living will be like in the future, with an every growing population. The stacks described a scary view of what living may look like. Technology keeps progressing and the OASIS sounds like something that could very well come to pass.

The OASIS is an intriguing thing, but shows the dangers of technology.  People spend most of their time hooked up in a virtual reality world. Some to escape their crapping real life, or for other reasons, like making money or friends.

I also loved the supporting characters. I’m a sucker for any type of ragtag group, even if they weren’t working together.

When Wade is searching for the first clue to the key and passing the gate, I felt like I was playing the game with him. At one point and let out a “Yes!” as his points on the big scoreboard increased. Maybe it is the gamer in me, but I loved reading about every point he earned and every time he unlocked a clue and found a key.

Of coarse every story, especially in a world where fortune is involved, has to have a Big Bad. In this case a corrupt and evil corporation that wants to win so they can own the OASIS and do whatever they please with it.

I did find the novel to be too wordy. Long descriptions were used in places I (personally) didn’t think necessary. Aside from that though, I pretty much loved every aspect of this book. It was a really fun read.

 

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My Newest Geek Obsession

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I have many collections. From autographs and buttons, to books, bookmarks and artwork, many a thing grabs my attention.

And when something new takes hold, look out. When I discovered Smashbooks, I was at the craft store every chance I had buying Smashbooks and various supplies.

Recently Mr. C was talking to someone, and he learned about wardrobe cards. I had heard of them before but didn’t really pay attention. Kind of in one ear and out the other. But now things have changed.

What are wardrobe cards?

Well, I will show you!

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Sons Of Anarchy wardrobe card, featuring Charlie Hunnam as Jax Teller.

Wardrobe cards have a small piece of fabric from something an actor wore. In this case, my card has a piece of hoodie that Charlie wore in S.O.A. On the back of the card, it states which episode he wore it in. (For you sports fans, you can also get cards with jersey’s as well as game used bats).

A couple of weeks ago I was having a bit of a rough patch. Mr. C wanted to cheer me up. So he bought me this as well as two other cards.

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Thor. *heart eyes emoji*

He also got me this card, featuring a piece of shirt that Chris Hemsworth wore in Thor. And my third card to start my collection is something John Schneider wore in Smallville.

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Gotta love the flannel 😉

So this is a start to my newest addiction. No, I won’t be buying a ton of them in the next little while. (If only!) But I will be buying the odd one and adding some to my Christmas wish list. 🙂

Mr. C has been lucky. He found some sports ones for cheap and a guy he talks to online about cards is giving him about 10 baseball ones. While they are not my thing I think they are very cool and it is nice of this guy to share some of his collection.

So, what about you? Any of you discover a new geeky love?

Incoming: Geek Mail!

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One thing I love about penpalling, is making some great connections with people. I especially love creating new geeky friendships, like the one I have with Shannon! 🙂

Awhile back, we decided to do a mail swap. Since we have been writing to each other for awhile, I knew quickly that she’s good people, and I could trust her. And since she trusted me, we knew we wouldn’t get burned.

We are both big geeks and went with a fandom themed swap, and set the limit at $25. Which was hard since I wanted to buy her ALL THE THINGS.

Missing from the picture is a leather bracelet stamped with the phrase ''Bow ties are cool''. Guess which fandom? :P

This is most of what I sent Shannon for her swap. 🙂 (Not in pic is a Doctor Who themed bracelet).

She loved what I sent, and today I received her swap! Which made me squeeeeeee! I am very pumped and love all that she sent! 🙂

The first thing I opened were these lil beauties.

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Superman stickers and an Avengers projector pen!

And like the kid that I am, it didn’t take long for me to put on a light show.

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Avengers! I have a feeling I won’t get much writing done when using this pen! 😛

I pretty much mini freaked when I opened the next bit.

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I have loved Superman since I was itty bitty.

It’s a bit hard to tell in this pic, but those are Batman and Superman earrings. (Which might just end up being the earrings I wear next year for our big fat geek wedding!!! 😀 ) Also, Superman deco tape, which will be put to use this weekend when I sit to write some letters.

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Game of Thrones goodies.

And the spoiling continues. I am in love with these bookmarks and necklace from GoT. I am thinking Khal Drogo needs to go in my next book.

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Thor keychain and Lord of The Rings inspired earrings.

Thor’s hammer is about to go onto my key chain, next to my mini Jon Snow. And I giggled when I opened these earrings. I have been eyeing them up for awhile!! 😛

I am beyond happy with my swap and thrilled she loved hers as well. I also got a lovely letter as well, which I plan to reply to on the weekend. (As well as a couple of other letters I need to get to! Don’t worry peeps, I didn’t for get you! ^_^ )

After a very long day and a couple of more ahead of me, coming home to this package on my table was a great pick me up. 🙂 Thank you again, Shannon!!!!! xoxoxo

Mail Call From Across The Globe

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Imagine my surprise when I dropped into my post office this afternoon to find this waiting for me.

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A massive package from Australia and a fab letter from Quebec.

I have been pen pals with my girl Jess for….longer than I can remember.

And whenever we are able, we send each other Christmas and birthday gifts. Sometimes, like this year, we are late with our exchange. But nothing like getting a nice surprise in June!

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This right here means the world to me. These words say it all. My best friend is on the other side of the world but that doesn’t matter to us. (Sucks sometimes though!)

Even though we live far apart, we have a fantastic friendship. It is amazing how close you can become with someone when distance is a factor.

We have gotten to know each other very well. And she knows all my loves and obsessions, including my massive and unnatural love for Halloween. 😉

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Halloween cupcake tray, candles, and a wooden sign.

I also received a fab letter from a Canadian pal of mine. 🙂 I love the mail art and as a bonus she sent me geeky business cards for my collection!

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Letter and business cards.

I love getting mail and this was more then I ever expected! Very grateful for the friendships I have. 🙂

This Winter Is Killing Me

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Okay so not literally, but it fecking feels like it.

So far 2015 has been a cruel mistress, and the winter has been just as bitchy. (I’d like to use a harsher word, but my swearing is bad enough. No need to take it up a notch. At least not publicly 😉 )

Just when I thought Spring has finally arrived with sunshine and grass and mud, we get more snow. And the melting landscape is once again a winter wonderland.

Blah.

On Sunday I got home from taking care of my mom for close to two weeks. Hence my absence. (She’s fine, btw. Just post op recovery 🙂 )

I had hoped to come back with a peppy update and book review. (I’m currently reading ‘Doctor Sleep’ by Stephen King). I thought I’d finish it at my mom’s but I didn’t even crack it open.

But I honestly feel very tired and run down. In a couple of days I plan to catch up on reading some of my fave blogs. And, if I can summon the energy, write a Fandom Friday post! I need to get the geek up and running in this place again! 😉

I did get a couple of fantastic geeky letters and managed to send one out as well. Oh, and ‘The Walking Dead’ finale. HOLY. HELL.

I certainly hope you have all been well. Thanks for sticking around. 🙂

What geeky things have you been up to? DID YOU WATCH TWD??? I NEED to know your thoughts!! 😉

Fan Mail: How To Get Your Very Own Celeb (autograph!)

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In a recent post I mentioned autographs I got through the mail, which sparked some conversation in the comments as well as out and about in my real life with some friends.

It wasn’t until last year when I got into it seriously. (Although not as hardcore as Mr. C, who has had waaaaay more luck then I have. But that is because he has sent many more letters.)

When I was a teenager, I wrote to celebs. I got their addresses in the back of magazines like Teen Beat and Tiger Beat. I only ever had one success, and that was an autograph from Rider Strong. (Which was a pre-print postcard. More on pre-prints shortly.)

Mr. C wrote to many as well, getting addresses from the internet. He has quite the collection. (It makes me green with envy. Shhh, don’t tell him I said that. 😉 )

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Micheal Rosenbaum. One of my first successes last year.

There are three things I send each time I write to a celeb. The letter (duh!), a SASE, and a photo. Here’s a few tips to up your chances at success!

1- The Letter. Make sure it is neatly hand written. Or type it. I tend to type mine, as sometimes (depending on my mood) my writing/printing is a tad sloppy. Plus, it is quicker for me to type.

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Greyston Holt from ‘Bitten’. On the back he wrote “Thanks for the lovely letter.” It is an added thrill and a bonus when they take an extra moment to write a little something. It is rare, but it happens.

2-SASE. (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope). It is what it sounds like. Enclose the proper envelope with your address and postage. We always write “DO NOT BEND” on the back and front of the envelope. This makes things much more convenient and really helps your chances. Once your photo is signed, they can pop it in the envelope and put it in the outbox. Now, since I am Canadian, and IRC’s (International Reply Coupons) are expensive, I save those for international mail. (*Note. Some countries don’t use these anymore. We are still looking into it but I think England is one of them. Sometimes, however, a celeb will add the postage them self.) For American, we order the Forever stamps online on Ebay. (We use the large manila envelopes so two of those  do the trick.)

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Caity Lotz from “Arrow”. On one feed back website, one guy had sent her actual cash for postage, and she returned it to him. Nice, huh?

3-The Photo. We usually get 8×10’s, and the odd time 4×6’s. For our fave actors, we get the large ones. Mr. C has also made us custom cards. Pic of person on one side, logo or whatnot on the other.  We use Artscow.com for our photos. Cheap and most often great quality (The odd time an edge gets cut off.) You can also go to Walmart, Shoppers, or any other printing area, but Artscow has the best prices. ($1 for an 8×10, compared to $5 at Wal-Mart. And easier then us buying photo paper and loads of ink.) Of coarse, you can print off your own if that’s what you want. Some people send in DVD covers and the like.

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Jennifer Lawrence. I squeeeed the day this arrived!!!

4- The Celeb Address. So, there are a variety of websites you can use. Mr. C and I use Startiger.com. Now, there is a small monthly fee, but we find it worth it. (I THINK $5, but please don’t quote me. He is asleep and I dare not wake the sleeping bear to ask. But when we joined, I do remember him saying it was $4.99.) The site is worth it, though. There’s stats on your incoming/outgoing mail. And they keep as up-to-date as possible on addresses. You record your success (each day you can view the newest successes people have had.) You search a celeb and they show what address(es) are available, and what the stats are for them. (The more green you see, the better. Red is a failure and yellow means ‘pending’.) We upload a pic of our newest autograph and post it to the site. I know there are more benefits to this site, but he is our record keeper and I don’t go on there often. Another site we’ve used for addresses (which is FREE!) is Fanmail.biz. They also post successes, the dates of them, etc…

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Jason Momoa. “Game of Thrones”. (Pretty sure my drool didn’t hit the photo.)

5- The Autograph. There is the odd time a celeb sends out a pre-print. Which means he/she signed a photo, had it copied a bunch of times, and sends it out. (Especially if they are super busy and don’t have the time to personally sign photos. But hey, you still got an autograph.)  Sometimes, like with my Jason Momoa, he signed the pic BUT not the one I sent. (I am not complaining, though. 😉 )  And if you wonder if the signature is real or if the assistant did it, you can always compare to what other people got. (This is another feature we love about Startiger. We’ve-LUCKILY-had no issues like that so far).

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Oh Dexter, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Micheal C. Hall. Extra pumped to get this one!

6- Be Patient. Sometimes it can take a long time to get a response. We have gotten them as quickly as three weeks. And as long as five months. One person Mr. C talked to waited TWO YEARS before they got an autograph. But hey, least they got it! If you don’t join a site where you can keep track, write down your incoming/outgoing dates and info in a journal or on a device.

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Kurt Russell!

7-Have Fun. This is a hobby, one that you should relax and have fun with. Sitting down to write the letter is fun, but when you go to your mailbox to see an envelope with your writing on it: priceless! More then once I have called Mr. C from my car, giddy and screaming “Guess WHO I just got in the mail?!” We each have our own scrapbooks in which we keep our collection. And we enjoy hauling it out to show other geeks and fangirls and boys. It is a hobby that isn’t for everyone, but we sure love and enjoy it.

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Tim. Freaking. Burton. Need I say more?

So, if you decide to give fan mail a shot, let me know how it goes for you!!! I would love to hear about it! 🙂 Are you someone who already writes fan mail? What are your fave successes? And who would you like to write to??? If I missed anything, feel free to ask a question!

Have Yourself a Merry Geeky Christmas

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It has been a very busy month and I haven’t had much time to focus/think about regular day to day things let alone my blog and other fun stuff.

I wanted to take a moment to say Merry Christmas and thank you to all my followers for hanging in there 🙂 And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope your holidays (or at the very least the rest of December) goes swimmingly well for you.

In my home, Santa’s elves have been at play. Of coarse, it wouldn’t be a geeky holiday here without some of my fave things about. Even Yoda is in on the Christmas action.

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Chewie was a little shy for the camera, but he’s around here too 😉

One thing that has been part of my Christmas since I was little has been stockings. (Imagine my surprise when I found out Mr.C had NONE until I came around! I had to fix that situation.)  Honestly, if all he did was take five bucks and get me a couple little things for my sock, I’d be happy. My dad, who grew up during the depression and had nothing for Christmas until he met mom, loved to open his socks the most. And I think that’s why I love it too. I think of him and his happiness. My sock is already lookin a bit full

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When I was about sixteen, we started a new tradition, thanks to Mom being overtired. At about 3 am on Christmas morning, she was exhausted and still wrapping gifts. She got tired of writing ‘From Santa’ over and over, (yes, I still get gifts from the ol’ jolly man 😉 ), so she wrote ‘From Harry Potter’, which set her tired brain into a fit of giggles. Ever since, I never know what special elves are at work each year. And I was pretty stoked when I found out Mr.C does the same thing for me and his best friend. As you can see, some elves must drive a motorbike 😉

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For the last few years, I buy something geeky for my tree. It’s not big or expensive, but I love seeing my collection grow each year. Tonight when I put on my new pj’s, sit with some Bailey’s, and open a gift with the future hubby, I will relax in front of the tree. My fave additions to the tree this year are my Ninja Turtles!!

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I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas and holidays 🙂 I would love to hear how you celebrate! Do you add some geek to the holidays?