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Guru's Recommendations

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31 August 2012

Shop at Second Hand Stores?

For this week's Era Fey Experiences, we'll be looking at second hand stores and their products. I'm sure they are a few in your local area (unless you are super rich and dandy then no). Just go check them out sometimes. They might have some good things. Remember the saying "One person's trash is another person's treasure".

Many of you (especially if you live in North America) have visited second hand stores like Value Village, Renaissance...etc, so you know more or less how it looks like. Rows and rows of worn clothing, shelves after shelves of used tableware, a cluster of furniture and many other junks with dirt cheap price.

My family rarely buys anything from secondhand stores because my mom is full of pride and we aren't financially struggling. On rare occasions, my dad bought a shoe rack for like $5 and a gorgeous atmospheric lamp for $10. My mom would throw a fit when she realized where the furniture came from. Anyhow, I love to go to secondhand store for one purpose (one that my mom allows me to have concerning secondhand stores)... Curious? Here's why.

I'm sure every one of us go there for a reason. Some buy secondhand goods because they want good bargain while others are collectors of antique. I'm going to tell you why I am always excited to go to secondhand stores. When I walk through their front door, my eyes scanned the place very quickly until I see a huge pile of books. You can see my eyes sparkle BLING! BLING! Yup! I am a book scavenger! I absolutely love book hunting. The secondhand stores satisfy that weird hobby of mine perfectly. Sometimes you find goodies, sometimes you don't. Your failures added up and turn into sweet happiness when you got what you like. To me, finding a good book at thrift stores is a fun challenge that I'm always ready for! So when I see a bookshelf, it has my 200% attention. I don't even bother to look at anything else. I'm going to show you one of my proudest collection of books I bought from thrift shops... behold and be jealous... well not really unless you are huge Harry Potter fans like me!

My beautiful collection (I just realize my OFTP is soft cover... must go hunting again) I bought them all from secondhand stores (trip after trip) Of course I have some I bought new from the stores but if I show them, it will beat the purpose of this post. Anyway, just see how beautiful they are. *Tears*


My favorite prices! See below for price comparison...


(See how new they are? It's like I just bought them straight from the bookstore!)

If I estimate correctly, I spent $21 on the whole series! OMG! Mother of sweet prices... Let's see how much this would have cost me if I had bought them at a retail store... (note: hardcover price)

Harry Potter and:
The Philosopher's Stone: $19.95 ($1.99)
The Chamber of Secrets: $19.95 ($1.99)
The Prisoner of Azkaban: $19.95 ($1.99)
The Goblet of Fire: $35 ($3.99)
The Order of Phoenix (Soft cover): $18.95 ($2.99)
The Half Blood Prince: $41 ($2.99)
The Deathly Hallows: $45 ($4.99)

That's a total of $199.80!!!! Holy Guacamole! I thought they would be expensive but I didn't know it would be that much! WOOHOOOO! I feel like a winner for buying $200 worth of books for $21! That's 10% of the original price!

I have never been that proud. The books are all in brand new conditions. If fact, I like them so much I bought a double for some (because of their cover). I'm that crazy for Harry Potter books. Let's see I have 3 Book 1, 2 Book 3, 2 Book 4, 2 Book 6 & 2 Book 7... crazy!

Of course I bought other books too! They are obviously cheap and worthy! LOVE BOOK HUNTING!

My advise (f you are buying books) is to scoop around your local thrift stores. If you can't find it then go ahead and buy it at retail/online stores. You just can't win at everything. I'm lucky enough that I found these books on my visits. Let's say if I had gone to the stores a day late, the book might not be there anymore. So yeah... it's like my calling to buy those books.

Hmmm for the other products, I'm not an expert. I do know you can find branded clothing if you are lucky. I would recommend you to buy non-branded clothing in retails unless you are in love with those you saw in the secondhand stores. I don't remember the exact price for a shirt... somewhere around the range of $3.99. I mean it's still cheap but it's not worthy when there's a retail clothing store next door that was selling fancy shirts on promotion for $5-$10. It's just $1 difference. Might as well get it new.

You should only buy things that you feel really happy on getting. Don't just buy it because it's cheap otherwise it will just end up as junk at your place. My motto for shopping is "You must be in love with the product. It's a 'If-I-don't-have-it-I-might-faint' disease." Trust me, it works like magic once you get a hang of it. You will be a happier and richer person.

For more Era Fey Experiences, click on the Like the Facebook and Join This Site button on the sidebar and then click on Follow This Blog. If you have any cool experience with secondhand shopping that you want to share, leave it at the comment section below. See you next week!

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29 August 2012

One Piece Shikibukai

For this week's One Piece discussion, we will talk about the Shikibukai! It's going to be super exciting for all One Piece fans.
Just look at them! Let's give these awesome characters an exuberant applause! They just look so bad-ass and prepared for the grand battle. Donquixote and Moria look wayyy too excited while Boa and Mihawk are posing like top models!

Shikibukai (Royal Seven Warlord of the Sea) are 7 notorious pirates who collaborate with the World Government. While other pirates scorned them as Government Dogs, they fear the Shikibukai for their badass reputation.

Each shikibukai has their own unique personality and their own level of awesomeness...

Trafalgar Law is my favorite Shikubukai. Heck, I like him back at Shabondy when he appeared for like 3 chapters. I was already his hardcore fangirl. When he appeared on Punk Hazard, I happened to read that chapter in class. My excitement tolerance was tested. I fought so hard not to squeal and giggle in class. Oh lord. What a painful memory.

Anyhow, Law is one punk-ish character when he first appeared in his skinny jeans, hoodie shirt and goatee. His power is quite strong as he was about to take out Smoker's heart when the guy is a logia user (does it mean his power has Haki in it?). Law is also quite honorable despite his nasty reputation. He helped Luffy out at Marinford even though they are both rookie Supernova competing for One Piece. Currently together with Luffy, they formed an epic alliance (nearly as epic as Kid-Apoo-Hawkin Alliance)



Boa Hancock (Pirate Empress) who is appears to be a very rude and self-centered woman is actually a maiden at heart. She was terribly in love with Luffy and will go any length to help him out (Impel Down, Marine Fort Battle, Healing at Amazon...etc). I like her a lot and I believe her to be the prettiest woman in One Piece (I am not fond of Shirahoshi at all. Her character is too bleak to my liking.) Boa fighto!
Sir Crocodile has the lowest former bounty among the shikubukai. Yes, he got defeated by Luffy but he is still one of my favorite characters. He dares to challenge anybody who gets in his way.



Heck, he even went after Whitebeard! Then he went to fight other Shikibukai, then he went to troll the Marine and Admirals... He is such a troll at Marineford war. Haha! This man has so much BOSS in him. Seriously, Crocodile... Y U SO COOL? Even though he is former Shikibukai and has the lowest former bounty, he still kicks so many bigshots' ass. Still glad he sliced Akainu in half! Ha! Take that!

Donquixote Doflamingo (Joker) is one flamboyantly dressed person in One Piece. But you know that if you even dare to laugh at him, you will be one very sorry human being. When he first appeared in the comic, I knew he is going to be super cool. I'm not wrong. He is one of the mysterious Shikibukai who has secret connections here and there. He apparently collaborates with people higher than Sengoku. He is also the only Shikibukai that Luffy had never met. Before Ace's lineage was announced, he had the highest bounty shown.

Dracule Mihawk (Hawk-Eyes & Greatest Swordsman in the World) is Zoro's biggest rival. Whenever I look at Mihawk, I just can't help but think he looks very Spanish and I expect him to hold a Spanish sword and go around leaving his initial everywhere. Like... The Mask of Zorro (the movie)... Imagine Oda named Mihawk Zorro... it will be so damn confusing! Zoro fights Zorro! Which Zor(r)o are you talking about? What! Yeah, awkward much?

Anyway, I will always remember the first time we are introduced a Shikibukai at Baratie. It was just so shocking and illogical when he sliced Don Kreig's ship in halves. I was like ... what just happened? lol Then he fought Zoro with his puny knife. It was pretty funny watching that fight.

In short, Mihawk is one of the most poker-face characters in One Piece. He rarely shows any emotion. He is in good term with Shanks and trained Zoro to kill him one day. Joy!

Bartholomew Kuma was once part of Revolutionary Dragon's crew. He is the only one who seems to obey the World Government's orders quietly while the other Shikibukai troll around. Apparently, he used to hate WG but after turning into a Pacifista, he lost his free will. He helped the Straw Hats twice: Thriller Bark and Shabondy. I have nothing more to say about him other than he was secretly a good guy. I wish the manga talks more about his past and his relationship with Luffy's dad.
 Totally agree with Franky and Robin. XP


Gekko Moriah has the largest ship in the world known as Thriller Bark. He is a gigantic man, winning Kuma by 3cm. He seems very bitter about the New World as his old crew was crushed by yonko Kaido. 

An interesting fact I read from One Piece wiki is quoted as following: "In Oscar Wilde's short story the fisherman and his soul, the fisherman had to remove his soul by cutting off his shadow with a pair of scissors in order to live with the mermaids. Ironically the Straw Hats were on their way to Fishman Island before their shadows were cut off by Moriah.

Isn't that a cool trivia info? I think so!

Jinbe (Knight of the Sea) is an honorable pirate who helped Luffy to rescue Ace. He also became a Shikibukai for the sake of the Fishman Island. Despite being a pirate, the Ryugu royal family welcomes him as a friend and the citizens on Fishman Island respect him greatly. If I notice correctly, I believe Jinbe is the only Shikibukai who doesn't have Devil Fruit ability. 
Marshall D. Teach (Blackbeard) is the only Devil Fruit user who is capable of having 2 abilities because of his body structure or something around the line. Luffy and Blackbeard met at Mock Town, fighting over food. Like Luffy, he also has D in his name. Perhaps he knows about the Will of D? Anyhow, before he took Crocodile's place as Shikibukai, he had ZERO bounty. His time as Shikibukai was relatively short as he abandoned the title after killing Whitebeard. While he is all powerful, he is aware of his own strength and fled when Akainu comes after him. 











I absolutely love this saying by Blackbeard. I think he is an interesting character and I can't wait to see him in New World. 


So for more One Piece discussions next week, don't forget to click on Join This Site button on the sidebar and press Follow This Blog. Don't forget to leave a comment below and tell me what you want me to discuss. Thank you and see you next week! 

27 August 2012

Do You Know...Y Girls Like Douchebags?

This week's Do You Know is going to be about... Y Girls Like Douchebags?

I came upon this question far too many times on the Internet (especially 9gag) and it seems like many young men are wondering WHY would girls do that? It seems so illogical and masochistic.

As a woman, I believe at one point in our life, we experienced such crazy attraction to bad boys. It's like ... inevitable. Of course, there will be women who disagree, I totally understand from their POV as well. What I am saying might just apply to some women. You shouldn't take my words too seriously. I'm just offering my own understanding on this topic.

So why would girls be attracted to bad boys?


1) Of course, let's talk about the handsome bad boys. They may look retarded but at least they aren't too ugly. No. Young teenage girls won't go for ugly bad boys. So good looks matters. Generally, around 12-18, teenagers are not very mature yet. They do silly things that get them in troubles. They still think it's cool to do it. The more they do it, the more girls they get... Whyyyyy? Let's not forget that some bad boys used to be good looking good boys who turned bad when they got too much attention and girls started to throw themselves at them. Like villains in movies, they started off normal and when they got too much power, they fell into darkness. Same story. But I'm not saying bad boys are like Darth Vader.

2) Girls Love Glory
For some girls, dating a bad boy can be seen as a challenge. Why would the school's #1 sexy hotshot wants to date you? You gotta have something the guy wants. So what's it is? People will start gossiping and create lots of noise. Some girls like to be in the spotlight. You can't blame them. Everyone wants to be famous. Some just do it differently. Also, girls like to flirt with danger. They think they can be the special one who can save the bad boys from their secret darkness. It's like... a fantasy girls develop. "He treats everyone like crap but not me. I am his special person." That's probably why Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey are popular among the female population. The main heroine is the only one the handsome protagonist ever wants. Bella (and whatever-her-name-is... Anastasia?) eventually helps Edward (or Christian) out of his misery. Big whoop! Girls go gaga over that. I myself am not easily moved by such cheesy plot and cliche characters but many girls are. They lack exposure to literature. Sadly. Anyway. Next!

3) Seduction
One of the main features bad boys have is that they are very good at charming people. They whisper sweet-nothing to your ears and turn you into goo. They are the Don Juan. Once they get what they want, they dump the girls. It's obvious. Bad boys have their reputation to upkeep. They don't want people to think they are "attached". No, that would sound horrible. Almost too horrible. That's why they move constantly from girls to girls like changing clothes. So from a good boy's perspective, bad boys are the ultimate douchebags. They get the girls but they don't give a damn.

You may ask me: 'I'm a good guy, I treat the girls fairly, why won't they want me?'

Answer: Some girls like good guys but most girls will be like "but you are soooo booooring. I'm young and I want to have fun! You are not fun at all! Why would I date you when I can date Don Juan who is so interesting?" Now, I am not saying you must all turn into bad boys the next day. From experience, I know plenty of good guys who are super interesting. They get their girls later on... why later on? Why not when they are in high school or something. Why later? Next point says it all.

4) Natural Selection
Girls like capable men. It's instinct. Even in animals, females only mate with powerful males. If a male lion loses to another male lion, the winner lion kills all the cubs. That sucks. Imagine you must witness some douchebags kill your kids  because your useless husband can't put on a fight. Same goes for humans. In prehistoric period, you need to have an independent man to survive. The guys had to go build a hut, hunt wild animals (Can you imagine a fat bum chasing after a deer?) and go to fight rival clans. They want men who have the highest survival rate. Who wants to mate with a loser who fails in everything and leave you all the burdens? The same apply for men about women. You want to date sexy women who you subconsciously relate to: She can birth me good children. The bigger their boobs or wider their curves are, the more you lust after them. Now that you kind of understand, back to bad boys. You probably realize that in school, bad boys are pretty popular. Why? Natural selection. Nowadays, men don't have to prove themselves as much as before so...? So for young girls, they associate bad boys as someone independent and worthy. Bad boys just seem so wild, strong and confident that girls just can't help but go weak in their knees.


Girls are just attracted to men who they deem worthy. Once they mature, they realize swag and bad boy stunts won't get them good reputation. Bad boys won't give them big cash. Bad boys can't provide them the ideal life they wanted so badly. What now? The answer is they turn to the good boys who used to be very nerdy and boring. Good boys studied a lot and so they become successful. Being successful, it means lots of cash inflow. You hear it so often. Women (not girls anymore) love money. They do anything to have money. Why? Because now that we don't need to go chase deer and build our own huts. Money does all that for us. So obviously, women want money. It sort of compensates for the lack of manliness in men these days. Before: strong husband = high survival rate. Now, having lots of money = better survival rate. The need for capable men suddenly didn't sound so necessary anymore (now that women too work).


So what are you supposed to do as a man?
If you really want to get the girls... be assertive. Don't be a pushover. It's not attractive at all. My advice is: be good boys. Eventually, women will come to you. They will realize they want men who treat them fairly (something bad boys might lack). In the end, people just want to be loved. Even bad boys. Even your grandma, your dogs and hamsters.

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25 August 2012

Let's Hang Out Montreal!

For those who wonder what is there in Canada, buckle your seatbelt for one amazing ride around town! Today, I will be talking about Montreal! And ....No. We do not live in igloos and have polar bears as rides. 

Let's start with Halloween! October 31 is every kid's favorite (next to Christmas). It's the time of the year for kids to dress up as vampires, werewolves, Spiderman and other monsters/superheroes. What's more? You get FREE candies by knocking on people's door and go "Trick or Treat"! How great is that? I used to be so excited about Halloween but then I grew up. *Cry* I guess I can always pretend to be a little girl who time traveled into the future. Anyhow. Scroll down for more wonderful things Montreal has!


Bring my baby brother to his first Treat or Trick. Finally, he is old enough to go! Woohoo! *Proud big sister grin*
The trick with Trick-or-Treat is to go to the most wealthy neighborhood. They give you the biggest chunk of candy EVER. Like one big bar of KitKat, not some cheap candy you can see at the dollar stores. Their decorations are also very, very impressive.


Sometimes, you just want to sit in a nice coffee shop and relax... Sometimes, have some friends along and act wild. Really. We were hobo-ing on the floor on beansacs. Life is good.




How to celebrate birthday student-style. Yep, my good friend bought me a Premiere Moison cake. Uber cool. We celebrated it in the college school's cafeteria then we partied at McDonald's with virtual candles. Haha. Love my friends. 


Montreal is fun. You can play giant chess on the Saint-Catherine street. 



Then you can have fun at McGill's Eaton Center. They have all sorts of stores there, not just in the building but along the main road. My favorites are the Candy Factory store (I have sweet tooth!) and Kernels (Love popcorns)! And I also have immature moment such as trying to make the figurines mate... yay maturity!


You can also buy epic sushi from Sushi Shop. They are more expensive for a reason. It's GOOD. High quality ingredients. Just awesome. If you are wondering what I am having, I will tell you. On the top left, wrapped in salmon is called Twin Salmons. Then we have the Karai on the right. At the bottom is one of the best called Volcano with seared salmon and red masago (fish eggs) on the top. 



Winter. Snow. Pretty. COLD. But no amount of cold can prevent us from hanging out and be stupid... I mean have fun!




Next, we went to Les Glacieurs. The  expensive and yummy cupcakes. They are very very cute. The toppings are the cutest I have seen. Little, detail star shaped candies...etc. We can also enjoy the atmosphere by reading wedding magazines. 





YOU ARE JEALOUS RIGHT? So am I! Of my past-self! Mother of Sweet Meal! Look at that gorgeous pizza-pancake! Summer time, perfect to sit next to open window where bypassers stare at you as you eat. Well, I bet I made lots of people jealous of this awesome lunch! For those living in Montreal and wonder which Heaven I was in, this is Cacao 70 on Saint-Catherine. The meal costs about $14. It comes with all sorts of chocolate. Dark chocolate, hazy nuts and other heavenly variations. I just couldn't help but be mesmerized by this beautiful meal.


Of course, you cannot enjoy summer without the Beaver Lake. It's a gorgeous lake at Mont Royal. In winter, the lake freezes and people can skate on it. Very neat. For now, it's all green and beautiful. Little fish swimming between the water plants, people going there to jog, get cozy, picnic...etc. A lot of fun things to do there!


So I went there with my friends for an epic BBQ. We had some trouble starting the fire and we were all pre-historic about it. Hurr Hurr. Fire. Start. Hurr Hurr!
In the end, all went well and we had a full stomach. 


Since we are all immature old brats, we brought bubbles, cards and kites to fool around. It was all worthy. We made a lot of noises though. Haha. The ice cream man must had felt awkward standing next to us as we partied hard. After awhile he ran away. 


Next we head to Old Port Montreal. It's the one of the hype-est places. Thousands of people go there everyday. There are always street performances, horse carriages, painters, fancy restaurant and other attractions. We are lucky to go there when you see the Cercle du Soleil! It's a really, really popular circus that toured around Canada and maybe international. You must be wondering why all those boats? Well, Montreal is in the middle of a gigantic river (Saint Laurent River) so of course there will be boats. 

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24 August 2012

Otakuthon (Anime Convention)

So I attended an anime convention (Otakuthon) on August 4 2012. It was an amazing experience. Many of the cosplays were magnificent. We saw all sorts of characters there. Blue mascot Happy from Fairy Tail, Dante from Devil May Cry, Kurono from Gantz, baby Goku, lolitas, Avengers gang...etc. Quite eye-opening. The energy in there was just explosive. People rushing here and there, taking pictures of other characters while other people taking their pictures. It was chaotic in a fun way!
Here we are at Palais de Congres, Place-d'armes (Chinatown) Montreal

Quick background information... Otakuthon has been going on for many years now. It's usually on August. The price is fair when you buy your ticket early. I bought mine on April for $40 (for 3 days). Otherwise it would cost you Friday ($30), Saturday ($40), Sunday ($30). Saturday is usually the busiest with a lot of attractions: Exhibition Hall, Market Place (where you go crazy on spending spree), Contest, Maid Cafe, Gaming Hall, Work Shop, Yurithon, Yaoithon...etc

 
           A beautiful Korra from Legend of Korra                                              Two adorable lolita girls
      This cosplayer captures Korra's feisty atttitude!

 If you dress up properly, you get to have paparazzi for 3 days. For sure. The camera goes off, blinding you with flashes. You get to enjoy the attention just like a celebrity would. Otakus will approach you shyly with their phone/camera and ask you for a photo. Girls drool after sexy male cosplayers who oozed manliness! Trust me. It's really fun. You don't have to be an anime fanatic to enjoy an anime convention. Just go there and enjoy all the bursting energy!







                           Assassin Creed Ezio?                                                                        Fem!Thor & Fem!Loki


Now we enter the market place where artists sell their merchandises. Posters, keychains, pins, toys, figurines and anime pillow cases are very popular. I was surprised to see many otakus walking around, very satisfied, hugging their anime girl pillow(s). However this pillow fetish isn't just exclusive for guys. I have seen girls buying Hetalia boys' pillow cases.


This is Miss Hamlet from Starfighter, Hamlet Machine. She is the yaoi artist.

This is one priceless poster my friend got. It's sooo adorable!


                     Here we see Happy. Very cute.                                         Well, what a surprise! Crossdressing nuns with                                                                                                                                     a machine gun!

 

We got some Takoyaki squidballs (4 for $4)
 Here is a video on how Takoyaki are made. It's quite impressive. It reminds me of a spider making its web.


Pretty girls. Those boobs...
They just froze there in the middle of the room, letting people take their picture.


                     Final Fantasy (Gabranth)                                                            Alphonso from Full Metal Alchemist.                                       


You can see a Newtwo and a Menos Grandes. Impressive costumes!


After one exhausting day (I just went for the Saturday) I spent much less than I expected. I was scared I will enter a spending spree so I limited my cash before hand. Turn out, it wasn't necessary.  There are a lot of stuff I wanted to buy but I didn't. Why! I saw the Squall Action Figure for $40! I  was sooo tempted to buy him. Then I get home and searched for him online. That's when I discovered TFAW selling him for $29.99! Woohooo~ (see Final Fantasy Dissidia Squall that I uploaded on August 2012)

Let's go through quickly what I got...

A poster by Hamlet with her autograph $8
A notepad (From Poppy Hill) $3
A keychain of Natsume (Gave it to my mom) $2
A Eustass 'Captain' Kid figurine $4.75
A Trafalgar Law's crew flag $3

It's a great deal!
They are so ridiculously cheap and worthy. 
No regret!

If anyone is going to Otakuthon next year, tell me (comment below). I am looking forward in meeting new people!
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See you guys next time.

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