My Top 10 Steven Universe Songs

It’s been over a week since the last episode aired, and there’s only so many times I can re-watch old episodes til the show comes out of hiatus in August, so I thought I’d share my favourite songs from Steven Universe. ❤

Edited to include Soundcloud links instead of YouTube because the videos I embedded were getting taken down. 😐

Spoilery if you haven’t watched everything, I guess? You have been warned.

10. Strong In the Real Way (Episode 20: Coach Steven)

https://soundcloud.com/aivisura/steven-universe-strong-in-the-real-way-rebecca-sugar

And can’t you see that she’s out of control / And overzealous? / I’m telling you for your own good / And not because I’m- .

Starting off with a bit of downer, but I feel for Pearl here. </3

9. Tower of Mistakes (Episode 62: Cry for Help)

I see a tower built out of my mistakes / And it all comes crashing down

Another downer, sorry, but Amethyst’s vulnerable moments are always amazingly done.

8. What Can I Do (Episode 60: We Need To Talk)

https://soundcloud.com/aivisura/steven-universe-what-can-i-do-for-you-rebecca-sugar-jeff-liu-ben-levin

What can I do / for you? / What can I do / That no one else can do?

I like this song mostly because I love Rose Quartz’s voice. She was voiced by Susan Egan, who also voiced my favourite Disney lady, Megara. ❤

7. Be Wherever You Are (Episode 30: Island Adventure)

https://soundcloud.com/aivisura/steven-universe-be-wherever

Isn’t this such a beautiful night / Whoa, we’re underneath the thousand shining stars / Isn’t it nice to find yourself somewhere different / Whoa, why don’t you let yourself just be wherever you are

It’s just such a feel good song. Also a pretty good reminder to live in the moment.

6. The Jam Song (Episode 57: Sworn to the Sword)

The sun is bright / our shirts are clean / we’re sitting up above the sea / Come on and share this jam with me!

This is such a fun, cute little ditty between Steven and Connie.

5. Comet (Episode 48: Story for Steven)

This life I chose isn’t easy / but sure is one heck of a ride / At the moment that I hit the stage /
I hear the universe calling my name

I always like flashback episodes that show rockstar-Greg. Also because it means more of the Gems pre-Steven. I NEED MORE BACKSTORY OF EVERYTHING.

4. Love Like You (Ending Theme)

If I could begin to be, / Half of what you think of me, / I could do about anything, / I could even learn how to love

Really soothing. Not in the video, but the various instrumental parts are good too.

3. We Are The Crystal Gems (Opening Theme)

Cause we’re good and evil never beats us / We’ll win the fight and then go out for pizzas

Using the clip from the pilot because I like the pizza line haha! I would have linked to the extended opening they debuted at this year’s SDCC, but there isn’t a  non-cam version up yet.

2. Giant Woman (Episode 12: Giant Woman)

But if it were me, I’d really wanna be a giant woman, / A giant woman! / All I wanna do is see you turn into a giant woman~

Since I first watched Steven Universe out of order, Giant Woman was the first episode I saw. The song is so catchy, I had it stuck in my head for two weeks.

1. Stronger Than You (Episode 52: Jail Break)

https://soundcloud.com/aivisura/steven-universe-stronger-than-you-feat-estelle

And you’re not gonna stop what we made together / We are gonna stay like this forever / If you break us apart, we’ll just come back newer / And we’ll always be twice the gem that you are./ I am made / Of / Love

Okay, I am Garnet trash. #SORRYNOTSORRY. Even if I weren’t, this would still be my favourite. Maybe because it’s the longest so far, it feels more complete? Really powerful lyrics though. Gives me goosebumps and everything.

What are your favourite songs from the series? Let me know! The reason I came up with my own list was because I disagreed with most of the top song lists I’ve come across on YouTube. 😛

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Gab, Currently:

Big-Hero-6-Baymax-pain

Feeling Lousy.

In between my annual allergy cough, and on-again-off-again fever, everything’s just bleh. The last couple of times I actually left the house to go to the gym and a friend’s exhibit opening, I’ve needed a full day to recover. Bleh. Bleh. Bleh. My body needs to get it together asap.

wip

(Still) Working on exhibit pieces.

It is taking every ounce of my discipline and patience to keep myself working on paintings when I’m not working my actual job that pays the bills. Only two more to go and one month to finish them in. Yay, me?

stevenuniverse-watching

Binging Steven Universe.

I’ve been watching this on cable for a while now, but they keep airing it out of order, or the same few episodes over and over so my brother and I have been binge-watching it.

If you aren’t watching Steven Universe yet, you totally should. I haven’t been this into a cartoon series since my Ben10 phase. It’s wonderfully written and animated. I especially enjoy the score and the music, which I never really did with the other shows on Cartoon Network’s current line-up. It’s smart, and really subversive, but it reminds me I have a heart and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

http://greenwithenby.tumblr.com/post/109531312213

I love the moms equally, but I have a special place in my heart for Square Mom’s tender moments with Steven.

Tearbending from The Legend of Korra – Book Three

This was originally just going to be just an FB status update, but it quickly developed into something too long for that haha!

bookthree

I just finished watching the two-part finale to the series and that was the first time I’ve been moved to tears by an Avatar episode since the Legend of Aang. I’m so happy the creators finally found their stride with “Legend of Korra”.

Book One: Air was good, save for the last few episodes. I thought the twist behind Amon’s true power was a bit of a cop-out, and the ending was a weak resolution to how intense the beginning of the series was. Book Two: Spirits was forgettable. I enjoyed moments of it. Mostly when the episode involves Eska and Desna. Or Bumi. I guess the best thing out of it were the origin episodes of the first Avatar.

But Book Three, man. FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC. It was well-paced, with just the right balance between intensity and its light-hearted moments, and most importantly, familiar.

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I don’t know if it’s the roadtrip theme, or the return to Ba Sing Se, but LoK has finally started to feel like a continuation of A:TLA and living up to what made it so wonderful. In a way, I guess Nickelodeon’s decision to remove A:TLOK from TV and release it online was a good thing, because the creators didn’t have to tone down the darker direction the show is taking.

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This season also had the best villains ever.

So on to more spoilery thoughts (If you haven’t watched any of Book Three yet, especially the finale, consider this your warning):

  • I disagree with Bumi getting air bending. My headcanon has always been Bumi, as the only non-bender, being Sokka’s heir: Bumi getting special treatment from Uncle Sokka; Learning tactics and strategy from him, which was a huge part in him becoming a commander in the United Forces. Bumi getting bending doesn’t really significantly add anything to the story other than wish fulfilment.
  • TOPH IS ALIVE AND SHE WAS A PLAYAH~! I thought it was just awesome that Toph’s daughters had different dads. I look forward to her making an appearance in the next season. I hope she does because otherwise, what’s the point in revealing she’s still alive?
  • I need to know where Zuko got his dragon. I thought Ran and Shaw were the last dragons left? Unless Zuko’s is one of the two? Idek
  • Tenzin’s torture scene omg my heart
  • BOLIN GETTING LAVA BENDING \m/
  • P’Li’s death OMFG
  • Zaheer flying wtf hahaha. But I was excited to finally see advanced airbending techniques. It’s unfair for the other elements to have all the fun.
  • Like Zaheer sucking out the air in the Earth Queen’s lungs like whoa
  • It sucks that P’Li, Ming Hua, and Ghazan are dead because I wanted to see more of them. Back story pls.
  • For a moment there, I thought Korra was going to sacrifice herself to keep out of the avatar state and the season would end with the birth of the next Avatar. But I suppose that’s too dark, even for web release hahaha!
  • I was holding back tears during the start of Jinora’s anointment and then legit bawling when she revealed her shaved head and tattoos omg

Even though Bryan Konietzko has confirmed a fourth season on tumblr, I hope the series’ shift to web release isn’t a sign that the franchise might get cancelled. I need Book Four like air!

Waiting For Agent Carter

agentcarter

If you’re like me, you spent all SDCC weekend glued to the internet for streams of Agent Carter interviews and the Marvel TV panel. (Ugly sobbing may or may not have occurred.) There are also only so many times a person can watch Captain America: The First Avenger and the Agent Carter short and still be considered sane, so what’s an overly excited Peggy fan to do?

To help tide you over until the mini-series premiers in January 2015, here are a couple of shows I love that highlight the women of World War II.

Bomb Girls

Bombgirls

Bomb Girls starts out in 1941, featuring four women who work in a munitions factory in Canada: Gladys, the rebellious society girl; Kate, the preacher’s daughter; Lorna, the shift matron; and Betty, the tough-as-balls tomboy.

It’s a great look into the lives of the people away from the front lines. It explores the misogyny, racism, and society’s views on homosexuality at that time, as well as touches on the PTSD of the soldiers who survived the Great War. There’s a little espionage near the end that I felt wasn’t fleshed out as well, but I suppose we can blame that on the series’ cancellation.

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Bomb Girls ran for two seasons before it was cancelled. A TV movie, “Bomb Girls – Facing the Enemy”, was aired a year later to serve as the show’s finale.

The Bletchley Circle

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Set in 1952, The Bletchley Circle centres on the post-war lives of a group of women who worked as code breakers during World War II. When they find a pattern in a series of murders that Scotland Yard has missed, they start investigating it themselves, in the hopes of stopping the killer before he strikes again.

While I love a good detective drama, my favourite parts were the flashbacks of what these women did during the war. Bletchley Park was the actual central site for the Government Code and Cypher School in the UK, intercepting and deciphering Axis communications. It reportedly had over 12,000 personnel, 80% of which, were women!

bletchelycircle2

The series ran for just two seasons. Season 1 had three episodes, Season two had four.

If you have any other women-getting-shit-done-during-and-post-WWII recommendations, let me know! I need distraction until January too!

Sailor Moon Miracle Romance Eyeliners OMG!

Y’all know I don’t really do make-up posts, but a friend just came home from a few months in Japan and got me a couple of eyeliners from the Sailor Moon Miracle Romance Make-up Line as omiyage and I just *had* to squee over it.

These were part of the line that Bandai released, along with pressed powder and nail polish, in celebration of the Sailor Moon franchise’s 20th Anniversary. Because Bandai can read the minds of every woman who’s grown up with this show.

Star Power Prism Liquid Liner – Brown

Packaging
Inside flap
Inside flap

It wouldn’t be Sailor Moon without a super fancy ridiculous name and gorgeous packaging. Just look at it! ♥

From what I understand with my limited Japanese, the packaging says it’s waterproof but it also says you use warm water to remove it. I don’t really understand how that goes, but I spritzed the swatch on my hand with water then rubbed on it, and it didn’t smudge, but also didn’t take a lot of effort to remove it with a wet wipe. /kanye shurg

This liquid liner also comes in black.

Brush tip

The formula glides on smoothly, and it’s got a fine 0.1mm brush tip that’s really flexible. If you’re not super comfortable with liquid liner yet, this brush tip might be a little more difficult to work with.

Star Power Prism Lamé Liner – Blue

Sailor Mercury-themed glittery blue liner. Also removable with warm water, but not water proof.

Packaging
Inside Flap
Inside Flap

This formula is thicker, and creamier in consistency and also glides on smoothly. Colour’s really bright and shows up nicely on my tanned skin (which is rare) and it’s glittery without being gaudy.

Brush Tip

The bottom twists to squeeze formula out on the brush. I think you can tell by the state that tip is in that I squeezed a little too much for my swatch hahaha.

It has a red, Sailor Mars-themed variant too.

Swatches + extra product photo:

I actually did my face for more photos, but hooded eyes really  just aren’t the best at showcasing eyeliner in photos so yay, hand!

photo

I can now legit yell, “Moon Prism Power Make-up” when I put my face on everyday.

 

On Finding One’s Senshi Spirit Animal

You’ll have to forgive how juvenile this post is, but I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately because I’m reading the Sailor Moon manga again. I was so ridiculously obsessed with this as a child, and it brings a lot of fond memories back because it was something that my cousin Cielo and I bonded over letters when we were still living in different continents (well, this and Saint Seiya ha-ha!)

I think we all latch on to fictional characters whose personalities are similar to our own and I can name my token character in any of my fandoms, except Sailor Moon. And yes, it bothers me greatly. Hahaha!

ami

Ami was my initial favourite — something a lot of friends have laughed at, but I was lot more proper and reserved when we moved back here from Nepal. As a bookworm, I gravitated towards her, but the longer I lived in Manila, the louder and the more obnoxious I became, and the less I related to her.

michiru

After a while, I moved on to Michiru, who was still prim and proper,  but kind of a bitch and kicks ass in battle. Plus she paints, and swims, and 11-year-old me  just found her so pretty

haruka

According to this Sailor Moon MBTI Personality character chart, I am Haruka. Which really, should be the be-all end-all, but I guess if you don’t latch on to someone early on, you never really will.

rei

Stupid internet quizzes tend to give me Rei, which I don’t mind. I relate to her bitchiness and hot-temper, but she’s always been kind of off-limits in my mind, because she was Ate Cielo‘s favourite.

But, after re-reading the manga, I realised that I really do love Rei best.

rei-manga

Manga-Rei though, not Anime-Rei. Because there is a bit of a difference there. So who’s your Sailor Senshi, and has it changed over the years? 🙂

I Solemnly Swear That I Am Up To No Good

I spent the last week or so re-reading the Harry Potter series and I’m so full of feelings, I don’t know what to do with myself. This isn’t the first time I’ve re-read the books but this is the first time I’ve re-read everything in order.

I’ve probably read  Goblet of Fire the most times, not because it’s my favourite, but because it’s the least stressful and the first time we see Rowling’s universe expand to include other countries. On the other hand, this only the second time I’ve read Order of the Phoenix, and I was reminded why. Not only does Umbridge still make me so angry, it’s also the book where Sirius dies.

Up until Chamber of Secrets, my favourites were the Weasley twins. Then Prisoner of Azkaban happened, and Sirius bumped them down to the number two spot.

I finished The Deathly Hallows early this afternoon (or yesterday afternoon by the time I publish this), and I’m re-mourning the deaths of characters I’d gotten over years ago. I’ve been reading Marauder-era fanfiction to drown my sorrows, but it’s not really cheering me up.

In the meantime, I thought I’d fill out The Ultimate Harry Potter tag:

1) Favourite book?
Prisoner of Azkaban.

2) Least favourite book?
Order of the Phoenix, for two reasons: One, is admittedly pretty shallow; It’s the book where Sirius dies. Two, fucking Umbridge, so stressful.

3) Favourite movie?
Prisoner of Azkaban. I think to expect a movie of a book to be 100% accurate to the source material is to be disappointed. I thought Alfonso Cuaron made intelligent decisions in his adaptation, and the cinematography was fantastic. The freeze-frame ending was stupid, but still the best made movie of the series.

4) Least favourite movie?
Half-Blood Prince. It was all over the place.

5) Favourite quote?
“What’s life without a little risk?” – Sirius Black

I don’t even remember if this is in the books, or if it’s just from the movies.

6) Favourite Weasley?
Gred and Forge. Although I feel like I’d like Charlie too, if we got more of him.

7) Favourite female character?
Minerva Mcgonagall, in all her tartan glory.

8) Favourite villain?
Draco Malfoy. He is my son. I love the Malfoys, actually. Do the Malfoys even count, considering they were redeemed in the end?

9) Favourite male character?
Sirius Black. Because I’m sure you didn’t see that coming at all.

10) Favourite professor?
Again, McGonagall. She reminds me of my favorite teachers. The kind who’s no nonsense, doesn’t give out easy grades, but you learn so much from.

11) Would you rather A) wash Snape’s hair or B) spend a day listening to Lockhart rant about himself?
A. Washing Snape’s hair, however difficult he’d make it, will over quickly.

12) Would you rather duel A) an elated Bellatrix or B) and angry Molly?
A. If there’s anything we learned from the Harry Potter series, it’s don’t mess with the mothers.

13) Would you rather travel to Hogwarts via A) Hogwarts Express or B) Flying Car?
A. For comfort.

14) Would you rather A) Kiss Voldemort or B) give Umbridge a bubble bath?
A. I think we all agree on hating Umbridge.

15) Would you rather A) ride a Hippogriff or B) ride a Firebolt?
Ohhh, this is tough. Hippogriff, if I really had to choose.

16) Is there a character you felt differently about in the movies?
Ginny. She was so badly written in the movies. Ginny deserved better.

17) Is there a movie you preferred to the book?
The movies made a valiant effort, but I’ll always prefer the books.

18) Richard Harris or Michael Gambon as Dumbledore?
I kinda like them both? Harris only did two movies, so it’s an unfair choice.

19) Your top thing (person or event) that wasn’t in the movies that you wanted there the most?
Co-ed Beauxbatons and Durmstrang! I absolutely hated how they made Them all-girl and all-boys schools.

20) If you could remake any of the Harry Potter movies which would it be?
I guess Half-Blood Prince.

21) Which house was your first gut feeling you’d be a part of?
Slytherin.

22) What house did you get sorted into on Pottermore?
Slytherin!

23) Which class would be your favourite?
Defense Against the Dark Arts or Potions.

24) Which spell do you think would be most useful to learn?
Accio. Because I am a lazy ass.

25) Which character do you think you’d instantly become friends with?
Luna or Ginny. Most of my friends kind of fit their trope.

26) If you could own one of the three Hallows, which would it be?
The Invisibility Cloak. For all those I-hate-the-world days.

27) Is there any aspect of the books you’d want to change?
The epilogue. It was so unnecessary.

28) Favourite Marauder?
Obvs, Padfoot.

29) If you could bring one character back to life, which would it be?
It’s a toss up between Sirius or Fred. I can’t stand the idea of George losing his twin so young. I also hate that Sirius and Harry didn’t get to be the family they wanted.

30) Hallows or Horcruxes?
Hallows. Who wants to live forever?

Mischief Managed. 

Awesome Comics You Should Be Reading

Or not. Whatever. I aincho mommah.

I recently gave up on the New52. The titles I used to pull started out strong, but they’ve just gotten so bleh. I tried to stick with Wonder Woman, but  I could only justify buying it solely for Cliff Chiang’s art for so long.

On to awesome non-superhero comics I absolutely love and I think you should be reading so I have more people to talk to them about. I will try not to overuse the words, “love”, “awesome”, “amazing”, etc, because we’ve pretty much already established that.

saga_comic_book_cover_a_p1. Saga – Star-crossed lovers. IN SPACE.

If you didn’t read, “IN SPACE” the same way the narrator does in the Muppet Show’s Pigs in Space, then you’re no fun.

Alana and Marko, who come from two warring planets, and their daughter Hazel, who the whole universe wants to off, are trying to stay alive, travelling through the galaxy, hiding from bounty hunters and TV-headed royalty. (That was a really long sentence.) It’s written by Brian K. Vaughan, who also wrote one of my favourite titles of all time, “Y the Last Man.” It’s got magic and science, it’s witty, the characters multi-dimensional and well fleshed out and almost impossible to dislike. And the art! Fiona Staples rocks.

Latest issue: #14

thewake12. The Wake – Scott Snyder and Horror-SciFi Mermaids

merman
I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Lee Archer, a cetologist who specialises in the vocalisation of marine mammals, is approached by Homeland Security for help in understanding an underwater threat. She and a *merry band* of specialists are brought to a *super secret* base deep off the coast of Alaska to study and investigate.

AND CREEPY MERMAIDS! UNDERWATER SUPER SECRET LABS! COME ON!

It’s got that retro-horror vibe to it. Even the way it’s coloured is reminiscent of the way comics were coloured in the 90’s. The last two issues had me holding my breath in certain pages. (That last page in issue 3 omg)

Latest issue: #4 (of 10) 

1375911946_cvr3. Trillium – Love, Botany, and Time Travel. IN SPACE. Just kidding. Well, 50% of it so far is in space. IN SPAAAAACE!

Nika Temsmith is in search of the Trillium flower, which is needed for a vaccine to the epidemic that has all but wiped out the human race. William Pike is a World War 1 veteran who has found that going on expeditions to find lost Incan temples in Peru helps him cope with his PTSD. The first issue ends with two of them meeting. Of course, Nika’s a botanist on an outer rim space colony in the year 3797, and William is in 1921.

Part of what makes this so much fun to read are the parts where you need to flip the comic around. It adds to the storytelling, as well as adding a sense of distance between the two time periods and planets/space station/colonies.

Lastest issue: #3 (of 8)

Favourite Ghibli Films

The last typhoon found me doing what I usually do on stormy days: curled up under the blankets, re-watching Ghibli/Miyazaki films. While I think their more serious films like Nausicaä, Laputa, and Princess Mononoke are amazing and My Neighbour Totoro’s a fucking classic, the ones I watch over and over again are Ghibli’s more poignant , all-my-feels, right-in-the-kokoroones.

Which made realise, that deep down inside, I’m just  a sentimental old fool.

1.Kiki’s Delivery Service 

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I like Kiki’s… for a good number of reasons but mostly because this conversation between Kiki and Ursula makes it my go-to film whenever I hit a painting block.

2. Porco Rosso 

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I love the Ghibli fascination with the Old World and how it translates in their films. I like the vague-ness of the ending. And the battalion of women mechanics. And Air Pirates!

3. Whisper of the Heart 

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The plot for Whisper… isn’t anything new, or particularly exciting. It’s basically teenage existentialism and romance, but done so wonderfully by Ghibli. Also, you will have “Country Roads” stuck in your head the rest of the day.

4. Spirited Away 

spiritedaway

I’m a sucker for down-the-rabbit hole-type stories. Add Japanese folklore, and I am sold.

Chihiro sulking in the beginning of the film, is how I sulk and generally behave like a brat around people whenever they drag me somewhere I don’t want to be. Or at least I used to. Or pretend not to, because you know, adulthood.

5. From Up On Poppy Hill 

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The whole-we-might-be-siblings plotline is a little too daytime soap for me but warm and fuzzy feels anyway.

BONUS: Howl’s Moving Castle 

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I’m on the fence with Howl’s Moving Castle. You see, I love the book.

Love, love, love the book.

Like, you don’t even understand how much I love this book.

I’m not a fan of how the story was adapted for film but it’s just so visually stunning, I watch it often regardless of how I feel about its adaptation. Plot deviations aside,  Ghibli’s portrayal of Howl, is so book-accurate, it’s scary. Also, he’s voiced by KimuTaku. ♥

What are your favourite Ghibli films? 🙂

The Death of My Social Life.

…or how I discovered Animal Crossing: New Leaf. 

Not that I had much of one left since I started working from home, but you get the picture.

I haven’t played any of the other Animal Crossing games, but I did spend an unhealthy amount of time on the London Life mini-game that came with Professor Layton and the Last Spectre, which is kind of similar. And when you’re as inept as I am with most video games, familiarity is a big plus.

ACNL’s something of a life sim game. You start the game as you move into a town and get appointed Mayor. Then you plant trees & harvest fruit, catch bugs, dig up fossils, and go fishing for monies to buy a house, clothes, and happiness. Charaught. It’s fun and adorable though. As Mayor, there’s also the option to start town development projects, but I just got my 100% approval rating this morning, so I’ll get my development permit soon.

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Even in the virtual world, my nose gets made fun of. Hahaha!

HNI_0024

At least Kapp’n thinks I’m cute.

My not-cousin Irwyn let me use the salon in his town so I could get rid of the pink pigtails the default avatar came with. 8D I’m almost afraid for a salon to move into mine because I might just change my avatar’s hair everytime I change mine. I’m already changing my TPC photo with every outfit change. Hashtag Maarte Problems.

In related news, the English releases for Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy and Professor Layton VS Phoenix Wright are both slated for release next year! I’m especially excited for Layton VS Wright. The main reason I bought a 3DS was in anticipation of that game, and they had me worried when they still hadn’t announced an English version more than a year after the Japanese release.

I’M SO EXCITED ASFDKSGKJFHDDL:FGJDFKGHSLJ

Tomorrow, in real life, I join the exodus of fellow city folk to the beach for the long weekend which will be the first time I will be separated from my 3DS since I bought ACNL. A few days off the grid and in the sunshine will be good for me, right?

Right?