It's a bit of a vicious cycle really - work, eat sleep, repeat, meet friends on the weekend, do errands, worry about the newest monthly crisis.
The good news is that my sister's wedding was a success (he corset was wonderful and I was able to focus on my sis instead of feeling self conscious XD 10 out of 10, would recommend). PHOTOS HERE :D :D :)
Also, I passed my citizenship test \o/ finished the MCQ test in 5 minutes and was the first one out to the waiting room - it was kind of ridiculous how much I studied and stressed for 48 hours prior but it all worked out in the end. I'll be attending my Canadian citizenship ceremony in a month or two, woot!
I not only caught up with Welcome to Night Vale, but I attended the Crossover show with The Thrilling Adventure Hour in Seattle and the newest tour when they performed in Vancouver. Photos on my tumblr posts here and here. I also made a shirt based on this design I whipped up :)
My current fandom focus is Teen Wolf (but not so much the show anymore) and Captain America, after the joy that was Winter Soldier :D My Steve/Bucky recs are here and Sterek recs are here
I'm watching just 2 anime titles religiously: Aldnoah Zero which is just AWESOME and Haikyuu!! (the manga only makes my love more obsessive). Growing up with Robotech/Macross and then Gundam Seed and all the other mecha anime, Aldnoah Zero just feels superbly done.Each episode hits just the right notes and I'm just <3
Haikyuu!! was a surprise discovery this past year and I'm surprised by how quickly its built up momentum and managed to avoid some of the pitfalls that plague so many sports titles. The art is especially brilliant in regards to the plays on the court and I'm suprised by how into the whole team I've become - as well as characters in rival schools too! Definite squeeing involved :D
Favorite movies of the year are: Captain America; The Winter Soldier, Edge of Tomorrow, Guardians of the Galaxy, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and X-Men: Days of Future Past. Anyone watched anything that made you go <3?
While I reblog posts of interest on tumblr now, I wanted to mention blamebrampton's lj post on mental illness in the wake of Robin Williams death.
On the RL front, my parents moved to Vancouver last summer and my dad relocated to Edmonton for his new job in Jan. My mom is joining him next month and I'm moving to a new place (still in BC!)then too. My sister got engaged within 10 weeks of meeting her fiance and the wedding is at the end of April.
Initially I had been stressing about losing some weight for the wedding but finally decided to invest in a corset - gave it a trial run for the annual company party and it was a definite success.
Lately it feels like I didn't actually do much this past year but then I think about the adjustment period stuff with my parents migrating to Canada and oh lord, yeah, no, it was busy.
On the TV front, been following very few titles: Teen Wolf, Game of Thrones, Modern Family, Sherlock and Community.
Got my parents hooked onto The Good Wife and spent a lot of time last year marathoning episodes with them (bought the whole series off ebay after I realized I'd marathoned the show half a dozen times already). Have yet to watch the latest season though since it's so very crazy and I want to wait for the season to end before binge watching it.
I got a free Galaxy Tab last year and it helped feed into my manga reading (the app Manga Rock is to blame). Manga+ and MangaCloud work better on my smartphone though.
Favorite manga of the year is Haikyuu, a volleyball title with lovely art - there's an anime coming out soon too! I also love the korean webtoon manwha The Gamer :) Oh and Tetsugaku Letra which isn't updated nearly as fast as I would like. Have caught up with Natsume Yuujinchou and am trying to get into Until Death Do Us Part but keep getting distracted.
For shounan ai/yaoi, there is Koi Nante Shinai, Mayonaka No Oyatsu, Koibitogokoro (the full series), Katekyo!, Love Stage and Kureko Kareshi no series. Free! is the swimming anime that was super fun too :D
My reading habits have switched to Sterek mainly, which I use Ao3 to keep up with. Blacktofade wrote me Knot the Average Alpha which I read half a dozen times and is LOVE. My favorite fics of last year can be found listed here on good reads.
Have achieved my goal hair length which is boob level \o/ However the next pics I take will probably be for the wedding lol.
Am trying to get into Welcome to Night Vale but I keep getting distracted while listening to it - have reached episode nine or ten I think?
What's happening with y'all? Any new fandoms or RL stuff or HP stuff of note? As additive as the commentary on tumblr is, it doesn't have the communication of lj - which just feeds into my lurker tendencies, argh.
Note: I make no excuses for any recs marked PWP since my kinks have kinda...grown and mutated (coughcoughknottingcoughcough, finger fucking, porn!stars, autofellatio, oral fixations, they're cats/dogs/wolves/foxes, etc.) *hides under rock* OMG this is the first fandom where I've actually not been too averse to the mpreg warning t (at least until I've consumed most of the other fic available) - I don't think I've actually recced any yet though...
I'm glad I signed up for an account on AO3 since the subscriptions feature makes it so much easier to track fics and authors.
Now that I've gone through most of the ficcage, am probably going to return to published fantasy novels for a bit - though I admit my goodread 2013 Reading Challenge is entirely Sterek at the moment *facepalm*
( 96 Recs - Derek/StilesCollapse )
This totally leads to crack, Not!fic, fandom fusions (and seriously, Teen Wolf in the Harry Potter world is so good, its kinda ridiculous) and fic that really helps me develop a new appreciation for the characters in canon. SO MUCH LOVE.
Can I just say there needs to be more Not!fic, like NOW? So so good *whimpers*
I've developed new kinks thanks to all the ficcage - including a pretty tame one for the word 'wrecked' *keyboard smash*. There are others that have me covering my face with embarassment 'cause OMG D: I did not think fandom could rewire me quite this way, ack. I should have known better, really.
Anyway, I've caught up with TW fanfic (well Derek/Stiles at least) and here are 30 fics between 2k and 10k words and 3 AWESOME fics that are over 15k:
( 33 good reads under the cut :DCollapse )
So, uh, I can safely say that if not for AO3's download option, the MoonReader app and hour long transits to and from work, I'd never have read this much fanfic in a month >_> Not to mention a surprising number of them were written in the past few weeks too, so there's definitely some *new* shiny stuff here :D
Also, thank you USB extension cord for making it possible to read fic in bed so I can roll around, laughing and flailing at the same time XD
Updates on my end:
 Dad's determined to visit Europe this year and since my sis really enjoyed her Christmas cruise in the Caribbean, we're doing a 7 Night Eastern Mediterranean Cruise in April/May with a few days in Italy beforehand to see the shiny in Vatican city.
Apart from a weekend in Seattle last year, half a week in Banff in 2011 and a day in Mexico in 2010 (so I could do my Canadian PR landing), I haven't gone on an actual vacation abroad since 2009. OH MY GOD CAN'T WAIT.
No idea yet WHERE and what to see while in Italy but...will research XD Anyone been there before?
And as soon as I return, I can put in my papers towards applying for Canadian Citizenship in June! It figures that I'll have to wait 21 months before the government finalizes everything though >_>
 My contract with Rogers ended and I switched to Mobilicity. It's $31 for everything including unlimited data and calls across the whole of North America (50% off holiday savings). Can't describe how awesome it is not to have to think about how much data/minutes I'm using anymore!
To top it all off, while I had to buy a phone for Mobilicity (since my Dell Streak from Rogers wouldn't work) I was able to get the Galaxy Nexus for $250 (Boxing week sale) and I'd upgraded it to the latest Android OS (Jelly Bean 2.2) - can I just say that Project Butter is like...butter? Super smooth and I switch from app to app and multi-task almost like on my laptop. I now download fanfic off AO3 and read it on Moon+ Reader while in transit or in bed :D :D So BRILLIANT.
I completely understand why this Iphone user switched to Nexus 4 *nods*
 While in transit to and from work I'm usually reading news on Pulse and Google Currents and while its mainly Tech (and Android OS) news and shiny stuff like wallpapers from 500px and recipes and stuff - its just a shiny way to start the day and unwind from work when I'm not reading fic.
 Dine Out Vancouver starts soon! I want steak! And seafood! And braised ribs! Oh god, all that's going through my head is "meat-meat-meat-crab-cheese-meat-meat-me
 Reading trend since switching to ebook reading:
Then there was all this outpouring of love for a character with the horrifying name of 'Stiles' who I could actually vaguely recall as being somewhat fun and interesting. I then marathoned the show and rewatched it this month and realized, OMG, I LOVE STILES. So. This led to a binge of Stiles!fics which were really just him with Derek since that's where all the awesomesauce seems to be located in the fandom.
I've now rewatched TW again and developed a new appreciation for Derek. Also, FIC ♥
I kinda want to see certain crossover fics now where maybe Stiles gets addicted to Adderall and talks to Annie Edison from Community XD Also, AUs ARE TOTAL LOVE. Especially the kind featuring supernatural towns, characters as porn stars or masseurs or y'know, just Star Trek.
Couldn't hekp comparing the addiction to Stiles with my love for certain other character: Caroline from TVD (friends being her #1 priority), Chloe from Smallville (sidekicks FTW) and Toph from A:TLAB (the smart mouth XD) - not to mention looking like complete jailbait reminiscent of a young Jensen Ackles (particularly as Alec in Dark Angel). I can totally see elements of Xander from Buffy (the funny!guy) which ISN'T a usual love of mine but OMG, its gold in fanfic. I don't think I normally ever laugh this much in regards to dialogue.
WHY ARE MY SHOWS ON HIATUS, WHY?
( Actual fic recs and descriptions under the cut :DCollapse )
...which is why I'm downloading the VMWare Player now - I'll install both as virtual machines and give them a test run. I probably don't really need more than one OS but I'm curious about the two - it might just end up with me developing a new appreciation for Windows 7 lol XD
Anyone tried virtual machine installations? Or linux mint? Or windows 8? Going in blind except for help via my google-fu...*fingers crossed*
I got Emilie de Ravin's autograph! She's dyed her hair brown so I wasn't quite sure if it was her initially but \o/ Yaay, Vancouver!
 I want chikoos D: Or in other words, Sapodilla fruit. Not sure if anyone on the flist has even tried these. I'm hoping I can find them in BC, maybe T&T or Fruiticana? I should be in fruit heaven already between white peaches and ataulfo mangos and cherries and cantaulaupe but...I want my chikoos!
 I've followed the kpop group T-ARA off and on for the past year (initially for Eunjung during Dream High but then also for Hyomin and Jiyeon) and the current PR disaster has been srsly painful to watch. I posted about it on tumblr but I've come to realize that I need to take a time out and check back in a week or two or I'll just feel increasingly angsty.
TBH. even if Hwayoung rejoins the group, I don't know if the members can recover from the scandal and public fallout :(
 Y'know, I think I'm really weird in that I don't miss sunny summer days. After a lifetime of hot muggy scorching heat in Dubai and sun in Austin, I find I like the cloudy/rainy days in Vancouver. My favorite season is definitely fall, which starts in September so it feels like a birthday gift from the city.
Maybe its 'cause I'd be cheering when it would drizzle in Dubai but in Austin I had to deal with T-storms and hail (broke windows in my apt and my car) so regular mild, cloudy, rainy days are fabulous. Dubai was a city in a sauna while Vancouver is an air-conditioner!city XD
 Planning on moving pretty soon! I've already booked the car rental for labor day weekend, now I just need to find a place. My parents are moving to Vancouver mid next year so I'm hoping to do a sublet or a roommate situation for now so I can save up funds for when they arrive. Why is BC so expensive, whyyyy.
 Still haven't seen Batman, probably will next week. It might be a good thing my expectations are kinda low 'cause maybe it'll be that much more impressive? IDK, despite all the hype and hoopla I've never been too crazy about Bale's batman and while I loved Michelle Pfeiffer's catwoman, not so crazy about Anne Hathaway yet or Bane as the main villain.
I gotta admit, as epic and huge as Avengers was (it had me cheering and then going "NOOOO!" immediately after), The Amazing Spider-man had me near tears a few times - it has heart.
Andrew sold it as Peter and Emma had me loving Gwen - I don't OTP anyone with Spider-man really (more of a One True Character gal in this fandom, so I'm willing to ship Peter with anyone) but Emma was wonderful and not only was the chemistry between the two mesmerizing but god, brilliant acting.
And above all, beyond the superhero side to it, the focus was on the people and the relationships and that was just...perfect. It's exactly what I love about the comics.
Now, a bit of a dilemma- do I marathon the Spectacular Spider-man, re-read the Ultimate Spider-man or read Straczynski's fantastic run of the Amazing Spider-man prior to Brand New Day? Aaah, my life, its so hard.
When is the sequel?
 Over the year I've focussed on improving my skincare regimen and makeup. Recent purchases I'm super happy with:
- Conair: Spin Brush - Getting gorgeous volume and styling like the ones following a haircut at a salon but at home and with a single tool - so much love <3
- Nature's Gate: Oh what a Night -its a nightcream that's moisturing but has an almost velvet matte finish - over the past 2 weeks my skin is firmer, clearer and smoother so I'm kinda crazy about this.
- Arbonne Makeup Primer - picked this up off ebay and used it only once so I have to see its effect in the long run, but oh my god! Makeup just glided on and my face felt so smooth to touch. I tend to worry about clogged pores and breakouts so I'll be extra careful when washing it off at the end of the day.
- ELF: 11 Piece Brush Collection - okay, I admit I haven't used this yet, but picked it up for$3 instead of $30! And I could pick up a few other items like the ELF concealor pen which I have used and is pretty awesome.
- Back in Winter/Spring, I subscribed to luxebox and glymm which got me some really nice samples for a while - it also led to me picking up Vasanti Brighten Up Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator off well.ca for 50% off since I finished the whole premium sample and it worked well in conjunction with the Olay Pro-X system
The only purchases left in regards to makeup are ( blush, peach nude lipstick and a lipstain.Collapse )
 I'm using the summer to focus on fitness, mainly for zumba, yoga, and some weekly things (total fitness, hi-lo and westcoast fitness) depending on how the first classes go. Thank god for group buy sites (bought 2 gym passes for 20 classes for $20) and community centers all over the place.
 Marathoned Game of Thrones a few weeks ago (it's my sister's fault!) and I adore Arya Stark (and ship her with Gendry to be quite honest) - TBH there are a few parallels I can draw between this OTP and my Zuko/Toph love. Also, Jon Snow :D But, really: ARYA \o/
 Don't know if anyone follows Fringe (or remembers Faramir's father in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers) but I got John Noble's autograph in Whole Foods! A colleague pointed him out during lunch and asked if he seemed familiar and a light bulb went off. He was super nice to sign the one sheet of paper I had on me ^^ I was bouncing a foot up in the air after XD I think my colleagues were laughing at me by then >_>
 Failed to pimp it out when I read it but hereticalvision's The Secretary’s Sensational Seduction combines my high-school love of harlequin!romances and my next-gen OTP (James/Scorp) :D
 I keep playing Madeon's Pop Culture - I blame this Community promo , which kinda made me want to marathon the show for the umpteenth time.
Following 50 people on tumblr: 700+ posts today
Luckily its all pretty pics but so. much. scrolling. GAH.
QUESTION TO DESIGN FOLK: Am revamping my portfolio over the next few weeks and really, really would like to get some feedback - at least once its almost done - from those in the industry, or with exposure and/or experience in it. Any volunteers? I promise your eyes won't bleed *fingers crossed behind back* Just PM me or comment if interested :D