Ch-Ch-Changes

So.  2019 really sucked, didn’t it?  If you were one of the fortunate few to breeze through 2019 with a minimum of fuss, I tip my toque to you.  Please teach me your wisdom, adorable Baby Yoda!

Baby Yoda

Because seemingly everyone I know had a 2019 fraught, if not with outright peril, then with unhappiness, and endless little obstacles to that elusive happiness – present company very much included.  Small things that, much like the snow that is currently sifting down outside, repeatedly coalesced into a giant ball of grief that threatened to roll me up and sweep me straight on off the mountain of life.  Wow, did I ever struggle this year.

To get into a forensic analysis of the bad would take all day, so I won’t.  I find dwelling excessively on the past to be counterproductive, and besides, it’s New Year’s Day, and I’ve got crap to do!  But I also always attempt to learn from my stupid mistakes, and it’s safe to say there really wasn’t an area of our lives this year that wasn’t touched by stupidity.

Our cat, Weegie, died at the end of 2018.  Hating ourselves for what we could not control, we carried our overwhelming heartbreak into 2019 and beyond.  We missed – MISS – that cat terribly.

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Toward the end of the winter we hired a contractor to carry out what we knew were going to be disruptive renovations to our two-bedroom, one-bathroom condo apartment.  The work was supposed to take two weeks.  Instead it took two-plus months, a ludicrously stressful time during which we essentially camped in our apartment.  There was no flooring, no kitchen and no bathroom.  Also occasionally no hope.  I’ve no idea how we struggled through that ordeal.

Diningroom Collage

In the spring we experienced some professional hardships, which, in addition to the kick to the ol’ self esteem, seriously impacted our finances.  We cancelled a planned trip to Disney World, slashed our family operating budget, and cut way back on anything not deemed a necessity.  We went nowhere, bought nothing, did nothing.

Then in the early fall, just as we were beginning to get back on our feet, issues that had been percolating at the condo – board mismanagement, doubled condo fees, ongoing, make-work construction projects, disgusting neighbours banging in the women’s change room sauna – came to a head when our pleasantly odd (but quiet) across-the-hall neighbour moved out and a couple with a very young child moved in.  And they were NOT quiet.  Not ever.

Before we embarked on the renovations, Mr. Finger Candy and I discussed our hopes for what would come after.  Specifically, we were hoping that we’d start to feel a little more positively about our apartment, and once again regard it as a home instead of, as I wrote in a letter to our property management firm, a place we were merely trying to survive.

Spoiler alert!  Our hopes did not come to pass.  The situation at the condo was suddenly unbearable, and when the board began executing some wildly unpopular bylaws over the rights and democratic objections of the owners, it could not be more clear that it was time to move on.

That weekend I attended my first series of open houses with my mom.  That was a sobering look at the sorry state of Ottawa’s current real estate market, a wildly overpriced free-for-all of (mostly) junky mid-century bungalows in need of an electrician, a plumber, and maybe even an exorcist.

But it was during one of those open houses that I actually met the woman who would go on, just a week later, to become our agent.  She listed our condo on October 31st – yup, Halloween, and our wedding anniversary – for what I thought was perhaps a smidge too high.  I was cautiously optimistic that we’d get such an amount, but also girding myself for weeks, if not a month, of active showings and other acts of real estate unpleasantness.

Turns out I needn’t have worried.  We had a request for a showing about four hours after the listing went live.  The following morning the showing took place, and about three hours after that we received an offer for our asking price, which we accepted, the end.  And that’s how our condo sold in under 24 hours!  That one still boggles.

Then came the hard part, the packing up of nearly 15 years of life, and then, of course, deciding where to move it all to.  Oh yeah, and we also had a deadline, the buyer’s possession date of December 2nd, so no pressure there!

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After attending quite a few showings, we were growing a bit dispirited.  There seemed to be only 12 houses for sale in our price range and desired neighbourhoods, and all of them needed major work and/or a spiritual cleansing.  Especially the one with the power lines draped over the pool.

Then this house came up for sale.  It was cute, had a fantastic updated kitchen with a cozy adjacent family room, tons of built-in storage, a private backyard, four bedrooms, a finished basement, and just that vibe about it that we had found home.  It was also in a great neighbourhood close to tons of amenities, and a quick drive to Mr. Finger Candy’s office.

Our Home 1

So of course we ignored it and went back to looking at the same 12 junky bungalows and splits we had been looking at before.  That’s S-M-R-T Smart right there, kids!

You’ll be glad to know that we came to our senses some days later upon realizing that the cute house with the great kitchen in the good neighbourhood that was close to Mr. Finger Candy’s job was precisely the house that we wanted, and needed.  We had just come through a year of unending hell, on the condo front and in just about all other respects as well, and we deserved to reclaim our happiness in a place that we could call home.  Now we just needed to win the damn bid!

Following a flurry of what felt like very high stakes real estatery (our agent, a truly lovely, British accent’d beast, had an actual strategy in place for presenting our offer, which was one of 13!) the homeowners accepted our offer!  We were now the owners of the home!  It was thrilling and wonderful and oh holy crap, that’s a really big house.  The enormity of it all was, well, enormous.

The end of November and pretty well the entirety of December were a non-stop goat rodeo of meetings with lawyers, agents, movers and anyone else who could assist in transplanting us from one place to another.  And packing.  So. Much. Packing.  It all would have been MUCH easier had we been able to book an elevator at the condo for our actual move-out date, as opposed to three days earlier, necessitating a complicated and expensive double-move that had us shuffling all of our possessions into my parents’ garage for a week, but when was anything at the condo ever easy?  It’s precisely why we moved.  I almost would have been disappointed had the condo not fucked us over, just one last time. 🙂

The week we spent in limbo at my parents’ house – Mr. Finger Candy called it the beginning of our “urban nomadic lifestyle” – was rather fun, though.  Camped out on our mattress on my parents’ livingroom floor, it gave us a lot of weird, but welcome, family time.  We helped my parents put up their Charlie Brown Christmas tree, we watched a lot of episodes of Austin City Limits with my dad and Hallmark Christmas specials with both, and we helped them cut the ribbon on their new lighted Christmas village featuring the Griswold family homestead and Cousin Eddie’s RV.  Like their daughter, my parents clearly have non-traditional taste in holiday decorations.

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We took possession of our new home December 4th and immediately set about to tending to the priorities – white Christmas tree, and a bit of exterior holiday illumination, front and back.

Decorating Collage

To say we’re pleased with our new home would be a wild understatement.  We are positively delighted with the place, and it took next to no time for it to feel like ours.  Behold the cozy and comforting power of holiday decorations!

More Decorations Collage

Most importantly, though, moving here had what I was hoping would be the desired effect – a reset on our lives, and a reset on a truly terrible year.  We’re different people today than we were even a month ago – better people, people of action, even – and I credit the awesome – and kind of awesomely fun – responsibility of homeownership for that.  For pity’s sake, Mr. Finger Candy’s already turned into one of those freaks about his snowy driveway, I’m swapping cookies with the neighbours and we’re both buying so many peanuts for the backyard squirrels, they’re all going to keel over from excessive oil intake.  We sort our garbage.  We do our laundry during non-peak hours.  We shovel the driveway after the plow comes by!  Well, I don’t shovel the driveway – that’s my husband’s weird new quirk. 😉

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Heading into the new year, I feel so very fortunate to be here, in this beautiful home at this time.  A wise friend commented some months back that perhaps this whole move situation would jump start my new destiny, and she was right.  To drag ourselves out of our mutually reinforced funks and confront who we really wanted to be, instead of who we were just pretending to be, we needed to take the leap out of our comfort zones, while simultaneously finding a comforting home base to call our own.  Tall order, but I think we’ve managed pretty well.

To 2020.  May we all continue to chase, and capture, that elusive mistress Happiness.  We deserve it.

Shh, Listen!…Do You Smell That?

VCS 1

Hello, friends!  First, a quick “Where the Eff You Been?” update.  So, we sold our condo apartment, we purchased a single family home, and now we’re neck-deep in a Really Big Move!  You know, little life things that can totally be summarized in a single sentence. 😉  I promise I’ll have so much more to say when we take possession of our new home next month – might even get back to that nail art thing if I can stop breaking my nails – but for right now, I’m laser focused on putting our condo lives to bed.  Onward, upward and outward, as it were.

But yeah, my life involves a lot of packing these days.  SO. MUCH. PACKING.  Why and how do we have so much media?  I’ve packed up about two dozen boxes, all of them filled to the shoulder-separating brim with books, cookbooks, RPG manuals and game guides, to say nothing of the DVDs, the CDs, the video games and the special editions (that embossed velveteen box containing artwork by My Chemical Romance and The Black Parade album ain’t gonna pack itself.)

So it totally makes sense that, having already packed up my wax stores, I’d add to my moving burden by placing my first ever order with Vintage Chic Scents, a pop culture-minded vendor I’ve wanted to shop with forever, but for that pesky little thing that they really only just recently started offering shipping to Canada – a welcome policy change I took happy advantage of with this order of delicious-smelling goodies I purchased just a bit before Halloween (hence all the Halloweenie-type scents, although you’d be forgiven for thinking that that’s just business as usual around here; I can get a bit weird about October 31st.) 😉  Let’s take a look at what I nabbed, shall we?

First up, the money shot!  What adorable little shapes!  The ice scream scoops are of course my favourites, but those chunky unicorns might be running a close second.

VCS 2

The themed collection on offer for Halloween was R.L. Stein’s Goosebumps.  I was never a fan of the series (never been a Stein stan – Pike for Life, yo – and it also came along just as I was transitioning from YA novels to more adult books) but I like the scents from which they’re inspired very much.  Also, three cheers for the horror comic font on the labels – it’s the perfect cute and creepy touch.

VCS 3

Starting at the top, we have a little baggie of The Horror at Camp Jellyjam, a light, mild combination of Strawberry Jam, Campfire Marshmallow and Birthday Cake.  I was expecting a big bang from this blend, because all three of those scent notes tend to be STRONG, but the only horror here is how wussy this scent is.  Shame, as I was expecting it to be major – hence the larger (if not large) bag.

Heading clockwise, we next have a plump little ghostie in Night of the Living Dummy, a Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew scent.  I purchased this for Mr. Finger Candy on a whim, as he loves coffee in all its many and varied iterations, and it’s GOOD.  Night of the Living Dummy smells exactly like a steaming Pumpkin Spice Latte – bracing espresso, touch of cream, nose-tingling pumpkin pie spices.  Delightful!  I wish I had more of this and less of The Horror at Camp Jellyjam.

Continuing on, we have a sparkly leaf in Calling All Creeps, another coffee blend described as “Sweet Vanilla Maple Custard with a cup of Hot Coffee.”  Solid.  Not quite the slam dunk of Night of the Living Dummy, but super as a more traditional, drip coffee-type of scent.

Down at the bottom we have an ice cream scoop in my preferred pick of the Goosebumps collection, Say Cheese and Die!, a “Hamburger cookies” scent – Peppermint Patty, Vanilla Wafer, Shredded Coconut and Red Frosting.  This is a crowd-pleasing peppermint that smells like the very best bits of After Eights and the candy coating on mint Tic Tacs.  I wish I had a very large sack of the stuff. 🙂

Finally, we’ve got a strong contender for Best of the Entire Order, another shimmer-dusted leaf in A Night at Tower Terror, a scrumptious fall-to-winter blend of Apple Clove Butter and Campfire Marshmallow that I really hope my friend Julie picked up, because it is SO her jam.  Mmm, this is delicious – juicy and lightly spiced, like pot of cider simmering away on the stove.  I think this is the first scent I’m going to melt in our new home.

VCS 5

Next up, we have…the rest!  This is a mix of old scents, new scents, Halloween scents and just-whatever-the-heck scents.  A nice mixed bag.

VCS 4

Starting at the far left, we have the sample that was included in my order, a glittery scent shot in Regan’s Exorcism, a sweet Cranberry Apple Cider blend.  Not bad, beats pea soup. 😉

To the right of Regan we have an ice cream scoop in Sweet Caramel Jackie O, a classic VCS blend described as “Rich vanilla bean cake topped with sweet caramel and whipped marshmallows.”  Ooh, this is decadent!  Rich, buttery and caramel-y, but somehow not cloying.  Scrumptious!

Next up we have another scoop in Purple Haze, a blast of berry bakery containing Jelly Glazed Donuts, Gooey Marshmallows and Zucchini Bread.  Lots of folks shy away from zucchini bread scents because they can err unpleasantly bready (or corn chippy, to many noses) but this one is sweet quick bread goodness, zero snack foods.  Yuh-um!

To the right of one music-inspired scent we have another, this time Strawberry Fields Forever, a sweet berry confection of Strawberries and Cream Zucchini Bread.  Smells like a strawberry turnover drizzled with vanilla glaze, and I mean that in the best way possible.  As in the way that wants a strawberry turnover RIGHT NOW!

Down from the strawberry pink unicorn, we have another member of the VCS scoops troop, this time Drew’s Favourite Scary Movie, an awesome Scream-and-Firestarter-inspired scent featuring Candy Corn, Cotton Candy, Sugar Cookies, Buttercream Frosting and Firestarter Embers.  Smells like a delicious bag of mixed Halloween candies left beside the campfire.  Can’t wait to melt it while working on some nails to go along with Stephen King’s Firestarter, which I read back in the summer.

Beside Drew we have another chunky ghostie, this time in Wendy Torrance, a Shining-inspired Apple Butter Zucchini Bread scent.  I like this apple butter scent ever so slightly less than A Night at Tower Terror, which smells like hot apple juice spiked with delight. 😉  Wendy Torrance is a more traditional baked apple goods scent – nice, but nothing too groundbreaking.

Finally, we have the colourful outlier of this order, a cake-hued unicorn in Pugsley, which is Fruit Loops (not Froot Loops?) Birthday Cake topped with Gooey Marshmallows.  This was another pick for Mr. Finger Candy, who flips his lid over crunchy cereal scents.  I’m fine with them, although Pugsley is a better-than-usual specimen – no lemon cleaner here, just yummy, Saturday morning breakfast goodness.

VCS 6

So there we have it, what’s going to be scenting my new home in the (hopefully better, less FRAUGHT) new year.  Until then, I promise to keep in touch, friends, and not flake off on you too hard.  Thanks for sticking around; you’s good people. 🙂

Hallowversary 15: This Time It’s Boring

Two years ago, for our 13th Halloween wedding anniversary, we went to Disney World on a super spontaneous, ultra last minute trip and rode the Haunted Mansion 13 times in one day.  Last year, for our 14th, we dressed up like Tyler Joseph, the lead singer of twenty one pilots, and bombed around the Magic Kingdom during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party.

This year we listed our condo for sale.  And it rained.  A lot.

Okay, wait, back to the condo part.  “But hey, wait,” you may be saying to yourself.  “Didn’t you just renovate your condo?  And wasn’t it kind of hell?”  And the answer would be yes to all of those queries – we did just finish it, and it was its own very special kind of hell, but it was time to move on.  Onwards and upwards and outwards!  In fact, here’s the tour video our agency shot; hope you like the place. 🙂

Anyhow, in light of that bit of major adulting (lord, how I HATE that term) we’re having a pretty low key anniversary – regrettably no Disneying this year. 😦  Instead we went to the lumber yard for some last minute “I’m selling my house” items and ate sausages and veggie dogs, standing up in the end-of-October drizzle, in the parking lot.  It actually wasn’t terrible – this guy certainly looks pleased with himself!

But because I can’t ever let the opportunity pass to look backwards in fondness at my life, I created this little video for our YouTube channel, Park or Perish!, about the year we rode the Mansion 13 times in one day.  Two years on, it remains pretty well the coolest thing we’ve ever done, and I wish with all my blackened heart and soul we were there today.  This fun little video will have to suffice for now.  Happy Halloween, friends, and happy 15th to us.

Llama Love

Llama Love 1

When I was a kid, I lived in a small, rural town.  Actually, “town” is too grand a word for North Gower, Ontario in the 1980s.  Today, with its subdivisions and farmers markets and actual, sit-down restaurants, North Gower is a bona fide village, but in the ’80s when I was a kid, it was a main street with a few shops and a pizza joint, perched on the steps of which you could always find these two old dudes who were collectively known as The Delmers.  I loved growing up there, but bustling metropolis, it was – and still is – not.

Anyhow, the next small, rural town over – a slightly bigger place that had a longer main street, more shops and fewer Delmers – there was a family with a gigantic pet llama that actually lived right on Main Street, and they’d let him out in the front yard to just wander about and scare the crap out of anyone passing on the sidewalk, because suddenly, you know, LLAMA!!!  Small town country life – it’s weird, don’t know what to tell you. 😉

These are fuzzy pink sprinkled llama nails.  Why sprinkles?  Why not sprinkles?!  Isn’t everything better with sprinkles?  A sentiment that’s also a bit weird, and hey look, I still don’t know what to tell you!  Sometimes you’re just in the mood to sport a candy pink llama mani, I guess.

Llama Love 2

Llama Love 3

Of Spikes and Socks

Sunday Spikes 1

So here’s a great example of a manicure that wound up in a very different place than it began.  Initially, I was going to cover that candy sweet pink gradient with a dainty rose print, something very English garden.  Then I got out my black and white polishes and my dotting tool, and next thing you know, I’ve got the colour and design of a pair of knee high socks I owned in high school (in grade 13 when I was living somewhere near the fashion junction of Clueless and your local patchouli-scented skate shop.  Wow, I loved those socks.  Funny thing to say about polka dotted hosiery that was actually fairly unflattering, but I did.) 😉  Then I added some silver spike charms up by my cuticles for maximum snagability (no way I’d wear these charms around my precious socks, bitchin’ – oh hey, El! – though they are.)

Sunday Spikes 2

How to Be a Canadian at Disney

Can Mickey Collage

Happy (nearly completed) Canada Day, peeps!  Can’t stand the day myself – that’s what you get for a young lifetime of stupid Can Day celebrations that soured you on the entirety of the holiday (loved starting to drink terrible beer in my best red-and-white duds at eight in the morning with my friends, hated the inevitable skirmish I’d get into with my boyfriends or friends as we desperately tried to find each other 10 minutes before the fireworks in a sea of drunk(er) revelers on Parliament Hill.  Did anybody check the giant lemon?!)

Although I’ve really no reason to continue hating the holiday, since in the intervening years, I’ve had moderately alright to even not-so-terrible Canada Days and…*tails off remembering somewhat recent year grandmother tricked her into visiting relative at very remote Cabin in the Woods (actually, it’s quite a lovely cabin in the woods, totally free of elaborate death mechanisms designed to appease the pagan gods.)*

It’s basically just a day ending in Y for me, albeit one where I’m infinitely more inclined to sport a fly red-and-white mani in honour of July the 1st.  And this year I gave it a Disney twist to go along with the Canada Day video I made for our YouTube channel, Park or Perish!, which is all about being Canadian at Disney.  Which pretty much amounts to having good manners, having good manners whilst drinking, using words like “whilst” and screwing around at the Canada Pavilion at Epcot.  See for yourself below, eh?, and happiest of Canada Days to you all, my Canuck friends, all two remaining hours of it. 😉

Small last minute edit: Just as I was about to click the Publish button on this post, I heard a smattering of fireworks going off, looked out my livingroom window and was treated to a lovely, impromptu, 10 minute-long fireworks display just across the river.  So maybe not ALL of my Canada Days have been horrid. 🙂

Literary Inspiration: Ready Player One

Ready Player One Collage

Fun fact: I’m a bit of a gamer.  Always have been, actually.  As a kid, I loved playing Q-Bert, Frogger and OG Donkey Kong on my family’s Texas Instruments rig whilst waiting for our gigantic claw-footed bathtub to fill.  Naked (and yes, there is a completely mortifying photo to that effect – a Polaroid, no less – and no, you will never see it!)

As a slightly older kid, I owned every generation of Nintendo and squared off with my friends every chance I could get – the Super Mario Bros. games were favourites, though I’d dabble in Sega titles from time to time.

Super Mario 1

In high school I fell in love with the Donkey Kong Country games to such an extent, I was able to parlay my mad skills into a first place finish in a Kong-centric drinking game during a big, multi-school party.  Yup, I was definitely the “winner” that evening. 😦  And I know I used to drive my best friend absolutely bonkers because I’d play while we were on the phone together, and she totally knew.  Sorry, Sandra!

Then one Saturday morning right toward the end of high school, my dad came home from a local garage sale and tossed me an open NES cartridge, saying, “Here, you like this zombie crap, don’t you?”  The game?  Zombies Ate My Neighbors, a super rare cult classic from Konami that went on to occupy my off-hours attention for the remainder of high school and most of university.  Trust my dad to just wander into purchasing one of the rarest and most beloved zombie games ever released for a buck at a garage sale. 😉

Between the end of university and the beginning of my Life As An Adult (still waiting for that to take hold, by the way) my gaming fields went fallow – access is key, and I didn’t have either of the big consoles at the time, or a PC.  Then I met Mr. Finger Candy and we got so serious so quickly, he MOVED HIS PLAYSTATION INTO MY APARTMENT.  This really warrants all caps, because at the time, this was basically the equivalent of him leaving his penis at my apartment all day long – that’s how important that PS2 was to him (also one of the ways I knew how very serious he was about our relationship, because he was willing to entrust his most beloved possession to his new girlfriend and her roommate, who played the CRAP out of it – particularly the badass snowboarding game, SSX – every chance they could get.)

PS Nails

Then a couple of years after we got married, Mr. Finger Candy introduced me to the Sims.  And the next four months are largely unaccounted for (beyond knowing that I spent nearly every second of them in the guest bedroom crafting a glorious desert trailer park filled with pirates and carnies and ill-tempered ex-celebrities.)  I haven’t played with that level of intensity since (and that’s probably a good thing; the Sims is, shall we say, demanding of one’s time) but I’ll still dabble from time to time.

The Sims

I was for a time also completely obsessed with this totally messed up American McGee game called Alice: Madness Returns.  It was an utterly beautiful game, and the visuals were just incredible, but yeesh, what a mindf**k.  I adored it, and indeed, I launched this very blog with some of those working-way-beyond-my-comfort-level designs.

alice-butterflies

And my husband is a pretty hardcore gamer, clanning up online with a bunch of buddies to run around and kill virtual things every weekend, be they rogue military factions, zombies or rogue military zombie factions.

The Division Hand

So still lots of gaming in my life, then, now and probably always, so it’s a no brainer that I was drawn to 2018’s Ready Player One, a Spielberg-directed Amblin throwback of gigantic nerd proportions inspired by the 2011 novel of the same name by Ernest Cline.  I adored the movie – spunky kids saving the world from fantasy-based destruction! a giant melee fight scene scored to Twisted Sister’s We’re Not Gonna Take It! and an incredible mash-up of about 200 competing video game, movie and TV titles, including The Iron Giant, Halo, Pikachu, DC Comics, Overwatch, Back to the Future, Gundam, Jurassic Park, Hello freakin’ Kitty, and an absolutely incredible scene set within the world of The Shining that’s worth the price of admission alone.  I loved it.

I loved the novel, which I read in service of my friends’ reading challenge for the second theme of “You saw the movie but didn’t read the book…now read the book,” ever so slightly less, simply because it was so intensely detailed and relentless in its references to tech and nerd culture, I found it hard to map the overall story.  It was a really enjoyable read – fun, lively, and with so many delightful little nods to the games and movies that have shaped my life – but I could also never quite shake the feeling that I was sitting an exam on 400-level nerd culture for which I had not studied, and I was about to fail HARD.  This is one of those books that probably requires a second read-through just to pick up the smaller details you may have missed the first time around.

Ready Player One 2

Barring one or two deviations, the movie and the novel tell the same story: It’s the year 2044, and everything sucks.  Humanity’s just given up on trying to solve its unsolvable problems and has retreated into an online mecca known as the OASIS, an unending virtual playground where you can do or be anything you wish.  In Columbus, Ohio, a poor young man by the name of Wade Watts has spent the past five years trying to solve a puzzle left in the OASIS by its late creator, James Halliday.  And Watts is far from the only Gunter (egg hunter) hard at work on cracking the puzzle, because the player who finds Halliday’s easter egg will assume total operational and financial control of the OASIS, a property estimated to be worth nearly two trillion dollars.  With that amount of money and power on the line, the hunt for Halliday’s easter egg lures in more than just the Gunters, with the world’s less morality-minded organizations lining up to lay their claim to the egg.  IOI, or Innovative Online Industries, an outfit that sells medically questionable allotments of ad space AND correctional services, is at the head of those companies, devoting nearly the entirety of their significant operational budget to the search for the egg through any means necessary.

When both the book and the movie open, Wade and a few friends have cracked the first clue, with IOI nipping close at their heels.  And the rest of the book follows this back-and-forth between the independent and corporate forces as they try to assume control of the OASIS for their own ends, peppered with about nine bajillion references to popular culture, technology and hardcore geekery.  There’s also a bit of romance in there.

Where the book and the movie really deviate is in tone, with the movie striking that perfect Spielbergian note of sassy childlike wonder – bad guys are trying to trying to take something good and make it bad, let’s stop them! – while the book went for something much darker.  In the movie, Wade’s parents are dead, victims, he insinuates, of a harsh world ill-suited for good people.  But in the book, you find out that Wade’s parents, paying no heed to their duties as caretakers, destroyed their family and died badly, Wade’s mom overdosing and his father dying during a failed looting attempt.  In the same vein, the IOI of the movie is almost quaint in its forgotten era bad guy tactics, with the book IOI just straight up throwing people off balconies.  But apart from the darker content, the book is just missing that sense of innocent wonder that made the movie such an appealing adaptation in the first place.

Ready Player One 1

But I really liked Ready Player One, sped through it like a beast in about three days, nitpicky little details notwithstanding.  I like these nails I did, inspired by DOS lettering, a lot less.  This is what happens when you refuse to use nail art stuff like striping tape that might make a design that needs to look precise look a lot more precise than it does.  Which is not one bit!  Egads, would you look at that S?!  On second thought, don’t look too closely at it – that thing is atrocious.  This is definitely one for the redo pile, perhaps the next time I reread Ready Player One.