April & May Round Up: TableTop Day, Podcasts, and ComicCon

I enjoyed a lot of bike rides and chill time outdoors.
Movies
Much Ado About Nothing (Live at Wyndham's Theatre, London in September 2011) - Before we recorded our Much Ado About Nothing & Shakespeare episode of In the Movies, Juliana and I watched our faves David Tennant and Catherine Tate in Much Ado on stage. It is hilarious. I highly recommend finding a copy of the recording (Don't ask me how I got one *cough*imapirate*cough*). I love Whedon's Much Ado movie, but I think I might like this version even more. For its comedy, at least.
Wolf Children & A Letter to Momo - I recommend these to any Studio Ghilbli fans, as they have a similar story structure and animation style. Both beautiful to look at and beautiful stories.
The Inbetweeners 2 - Full of horrible, raunchy comedy that isn't really my style, but I loved the show and the first movie, so I was looking forward to the second movie. Not as good, but provided some laughs.
Avengers: Age of Ultron - Duh, I'm a Marvel movie fan, so of course I splurged and saw this in theatres. Duh, it's amazing. There's a lot going on in it, though, I was wishing it could just be like 5 hours long so I could get more complete stories of all the plots and new characters.
Pitch Perfect 2 - I was lucky enough to get advance screening tickets for this, and while not as great as the first, it has all the same elements that you loved from the first (Anna Kendrick's awkward comedy, girl power, and tons of epic mash-ups).
Rewatched: Pitch Perfect, Twilight Saga 1-5, Neverwas, The Secret of Moonacre, The Golden Compass, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, 9, The Fountain, Maleficent, Oz the Great and Powerful, Malice in Wonderland

TV 
The Grace Helbig Show - So exciting that my favorite YouTuber/personal hero/role model/inspiration got her own late night talk show! It is so different from anything I've seen on TV. It perfectly blends TV format with interactive Internet format and big celebrities with Internet personalities. Grace truly is the awkward big sister we all need in our lives, and I hope you will all check out her show!


Caught Up On: Parks & Recreation, Parenthood, Grey’s Anatomy, Elementary, Castle, The Mindy Project, Lost Girl, Girls, New Girl

YouTube 
Just Between Us - Comedians and nest friends, Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin, who you may recognize from BuzzFeed videos, created a hilarious relationships advice show. I love their clashing personalities and their individual styles of comedy. 
HeyUSA - Season 2! This season, Mamrie travelled around the country with a bunch of different YouTubers. I could watch Mamrie do literally anything and be completely amused.
Good Mythical Morning - I knew the names Rhett & Link for a long time without actually seeing what they do. I had no idea they've been doing this daily show for so long. 
BuzzFeed Violet - BuzzFeed has so many different YouTube channels for all their videos, for some reason. I'm still not sure what the defining characteristics are of each channel, but after watching videos on just about all of them, I only subscribed to Violet, because it seemed to have the most that I enjoyed.
Drunk Driving with Brad Gage - Before you get mad- He's not driving drunk, he's driving drunk people home. He picks up drunk comedian friends and has hilarious conversations as he drives them home.
The Hey Hey Show - Rhett & Link created a second show, similar to their format, hosted by two female comedians. They recently changed their format to do sketches and vlogs and I really love it.

Books 
The Twilight Saga - I haven't read the books since I first read them right after I saw the first movie. I didn't love them as much this time, but it was also nice to go back into that world after so long. I got a little annoyed at the long conversations Bella and Edward have about who loves each other more, but I love reading the vampires individual histories and what it's like when Bella becomes a vampire. I bought the beautiful "White Collection" and it included The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: And Eclipse Novella, which I have yet to read.

Music 
Kat Dahlia (My Garden)
Sia - California Dreamin'
Walk Off the Earth - Sing It All Away, Home We Go, Boomerang (Sing It All Away)
Meghan Trainor (Title)
Fall Out Boy (American Beauty/American Psycho)
Alabama Shakes (Sound and Color)
Violents (Absentee, Red Lights, Two Animals)
Futuresoul - Oblivion
Chloe Howl - Bad Dream
Panic! At the Disco - Hallelujah
Sam and the Womp - Bom Bom

Games 
The past two months were full of opportunities to play new games! On International TableTop Day, we played Tokaido, Takenoko, and Carcassonne. In our TableTop Day promo kit, we got Dead Man's Draw and Batman Love Letter. Because we got TableTop promo cards for Fluxx, a game I've been wanting, I got Fluxx and another quick game, Zombie Dice. We got out some oldies but goodies like Rummy-O, MasterMind, and Global Pursuit. At Kelsey's birthday party at The Loft, a board game bar, we played Wits & Wagers, Ugg-tect, and Superfight! I went with my friend to a game night at our hometown game store and played DungeonQuest, Jaipur, and Vampires of the Night, which is a kids game, but we're in love with it because it uses magnets!

Videos 



Podcasts 
Both of my podcasts finally launched in April! We've been having so much fun doing them. It's so fun just sitting down with friends and talking about stuff we're so excited about. It's been a learning process including technical difficulties and changes to the formats. I've been enjoying making my notes and doing research. I even love doing all the organizing and formatting to keep things running smoothly. I think we're starting to hit our sweet spot with both of them, but I love that it will always being something new and different each time we sit down to record.

Fun Times 
International TableTop Day
Our TableTop Day contest video won second place!!! I was sooooo excited to win and soooo excited to receive our prize- a TableTop Day promo kit full of games and exclusive TableTop promo pieces for games.
TableTop Day itself wasn't quite so exciting. Two of our group of five couldn't make it, so it was just three of us there, but we dressed up in our TableTop Day outfits, and went to the event. We played three new games, and even played one with some other people at the event. I even made Cookies of Catan to put out for everyone to enjoy.

After the event, I watched the rest of the TableTop Day live event on Geek & Sundry's Twitch channel. I got really excited when they played some of the contest videos during a break. I didn't see ours, so I wondered if they had played it earlier in the day. Thankfully, they rebroadcast it all the next day, and I sat on the edge of my bed with my phone ready to record, waiting for our video to be played... And it did! I was shaking with excitement at the idea of my face being on Geek & Sundry! I just wish I had been home to see it live, to see what people said in the chat. I did get to see what the people watching the rebroadcast said, and answered them back. So exciting.

Not so exciting was a few days later when FedEx showed up with our prize, and I saw that not only was the box way too small to fit all the games I thought we were getting, but I had to pay $50 for customs/taxes/duty/whatever! I was so disappointed that I had to pay for something I won, and that the promo kit was not all I thought it would be. We did get a few small games that we've played and love, but we decided I should list most of the other stuff on eBay to make back my $50, since they are pieces for games none of us have. (So, if you want any exclusive TableTop Day promo pieces, let me know!)

Ottawa ComicCon 
My (and Kim's and Juliana's) very first ComicCon was great! I had been planning on doing a really good Ariel cosplay of her blue dress outfit, but the date just really snuck up on me and with only a couple weeks to go I realized I did not have the time or money to get everything I would need. So, I decided to go with something easier- the outfit I made for my Cupcakes & Cocktails Ariel costume. 

It was a long day but we had so much fun. We got there just in time for the Wil Wheaton Q&A, then walked around the floor to check things out and found The Doctor Who Society of Canada booth where we got a bunch of pictures with the TARDIS, character cut-outs, and some Daleks. We went to a panel about making short films and one about podcasting. We all agreed they were useless, the men leading them told me nothing I didn't already know about how to make films on the cheap and how to promote your internet stuff with social media. We also went to the Sean Maher Q&A, and just walked the floor a lot and also took some breaks outside and in the halls while waiting for our next thing. Seeing amazing cosplays walk by was a highlight as well. Overall, it was just a fun, exciting day. Definitely a great first ComicCon experience. I think it will depend who the guests are next year, if I want to spend that much money again, though.

Kelsey's Birthday
Lately, my best friend Kelsey has been really into taxidermy and collecting bones. She lets me surprise her with her birthday cake every year because I always make something she loves, so this year I wanted to give her a skull and some bones. The cake was surprisingly easy to make, which is good for me because I don't like making elaborate cakes at home (so much clean up). However, I think it makes a big impact. Kelsey loved it and said I did a good job making it fairly accurate to a real bird skull.

Dandelion Festival
I love going back to my hometown (which I don't live far from, and a couple of my friends still live in) for events like the Dandelion Festival and Canada Day. There's not much to the festival, but we had a nice day walking around seeing the street performers, vendor booths, and then got some food and had a picnic in the park and played ladder ball. Just a good small town spring day.

Links & Likes
Amy Schumer - I've loved seeing her sketches being all over the Internet. She's so funny because she just throws the truth in your face, unapologetically. I particularly loved Last Fuckable Day and Girl, You Don't Need Make-Up.

Felicia Day's Where I Write - I love Felicia, and seeing her office definitely inspired me to create a workspace I love and get some shit done. My favorite part, though, was seeing what she had set up for making videos. I'm definitely going to make those sound-absorbing room dividers someday.

Shit People Say to Women Directors - The posts are so infuriating to read, why do I love it so much? I guess because despite all the horrible things men have done and said to these women, they are no less determined to get shit done and conquer their industry!
Tish