Distant Worlds

Last weekend Aaron and I went to the orchestra. We totally traveled to Berkeley California just for it. But it wasn't just any concert. No no no. It was a 10th anniversary concert for Final Fantasy XI, which we have been playing for years and years. We even dressed up a bit for it. *^_^*

We had EXCELLENT seats! Were about 10 rows back and there wasn't anyone sitting in front of my so my short self was able to see the entire stage! The orchestra performed all our favorite songs in their own unique way which made it even more special. They performed a medley of the four main Nations in the game which was the best version of these songs I've ever heard! Two of the game's composers, Naoshi Mizuta and Kumi Tanioka flew in from Japan for the concert which was very cool.

Kumi Tanioka, Arnie Roth, and Naoshi Mizuta.

Aaron purchased us VIP tickets so we were able to meet the conductor and composers. They autographed posters and we chitchatted a bit in Japanese. Talking with the people who are the creators of music that is close to our hearts was very special.

I was able to tell Kumi Tanioka that her how much I loved her piano performance, and thanked her in Japanese for coming to America to perform. We had a moment. *^_^* Arnie Roth talked to me a bit about the challenges they faced with the music and that they weren't sure how well the music would be received since it was performed slightly different than in game. I reassured him that the performance was nothing short of amazing. Aaron told Naoshi Mizuta about our store (in Japanese) and he thought it was really neat and wished us luck. I told him I loved his music and thanked him for being at the concert. The night was just incredible!!!

Not only did we get to see the orchestra, but Aaron got us tickets to see a San Francisco Giants game! So we made the trek to San Fran on the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), which was pretty darn quick and easy, and spent the day in the city by the bay.

While we were in San Francisco, we visited Pier 39, Fisherman's Warf, Musee Mechanique, and USS Jeremiah O'Brian! We walked all this by the way. xD I'm going to save talking about these places for another post because I have so much to say about them. I can't wait to show you all!

In the mean time, I hope everyone has a wonderful Saturday! [waves]

PAX Prime 2012

Tickets in hand: check
Hotel booked for five days: check.
Store covered for five days: check (thanks again my super-awesome-amazing family!)
Friend picked up from the airport two days early: check
Full car of buddies ready for a long weekend of games and shenanigans: double check!

PAX Prime was just as much fun as we knew it would be. So much happened that we didn't plan, but isn't the unexpected part of the fun?

We were able to catch up with our friend Cody who drew us this SUPER adorable picture:

We also met up with our peeps from Press Pause Radio:

From left to right is: Sean, Ser (who composed the store's theme song~ he's soo super talented!!), George (who we picked up from SeaTac two days early so PAX weekend really started on Tuesday for us, lol!), Sean-dood (we had an adventure finding him at the train station~ a statue of Anubis ended up being the key to success), Cody, and me. Aaron was quite the photographer that weekend. Sadly, I didn't get to meet up with Eve~ hopefully next year!!

Another friend who we unexpectedly ran into was Darth Vader!!!

Seriously though, I know this dude. His name is Manny and he comes and shops at my store. At first, I wasn't sure it was him, but as soon as I saw him talking to one of his buddy's I know I ran and glomped him (hence the blurry picture). Now, I'm not one who normally "glomps" someone, but I was so excited to see Vader! xD Also the dude dressed up as Darth Revan in the back is one of my customers too, who sadly I don't know his name (sorry!). If you follow me on Instagram, you might remember this picture of me posing with both these dudes.

While we're on the subject of Star Wars, I ran into a SHADOW TROOPER! Out of all the various Star Wars characters I've ran into at PAX and at the store, I haven't seen a Shadow Trooper. I was psyched!

Look at that! I think he was just as excited for the picture as I was! ;D

Games were actually played in case you were wondering. Lots more than the previous two years in fact! Here are just a few of the many many we played (and remembered to take pictures of, lol).

Natural Selection 2. In high school my friends and I had a server for the first NS game. Back in the day it was a Half-Life 2 mod, but now it has grown into it's own deal. The game was playable and it was perfect! (Minus the overheating computers which would crash the games... poor computers).

I will be 100% honest with you here, so don't disown me as a blogging friend when I make this statement: I do not like the new Mario games. At all! I find the controls loose, the animation floaty, and the new game mechanics just aren't fun. That being said, I played the NEW new Mario game for WiiU. I'm not impressed.

The two games that I was MOST excited for, I didn't get pictures of. The first was an iOS game called Jack Lumber. You play as Jack and he's getting revenge on trees as one killed his Granny. You have to use your finger to move the magic axe and cut up the trees into pieces. It's only $1.99 but I would EASILY pay $4.99 for it! I had the opportunity to talk with one of the developers who was so nice and eager to talk to us about the game. We probably talked for about 15-20 minutes about his game, various outlets to release games, and our store. It was super great!

The second game is Go Home Dinosaurs. Think of it as Plants vs Zombies and Tetris. Totally a different concept but it works. And is a ton of fun! This is a free Chrome download and I have spent a lot of free time at the store playing *cough* I mean, researching games *cough*. ;D

ALSO! We met the guys at Gaijin Games, the awesome dudes behind the Bit Trip games. I cannot begin to explain how awesome Alex was when we talked with him. He took the time to talk to us about his company's game's, game production, and we were able to buy his games from the store there at the booth! Not to mention we rock their stickers and tiny pins here at the store. d*^__^*b

Sadly, Sega didn't throw a party this year at GameWorks so we threw our own there. It was super crowded there so we made friends with a couple who was super nice enough to share their table with us. After some games and a few drinks, we all took turns to see who could get the highest score on Aaron's Shooting Watch. The point is to see how many times you can press a button in 10 seconds. Silly? Not one bit! My previous score was 81. Then by a stroke of luck, I hit this:

It's all in the technique! Out of 10 of us, only a few were able to get above 100. While I haven't been able to replicate this personal victory, I'm pretty happy I set it. :D

Lastly, SquareEnix threw a neat little get together complete with every Final Fantasy game they've released complete with a family room set up from that era:

It was pretty darn neat. THEN! SquEnix had a photo area:

Look! It's like we're in the game! ♥ How fun!

I look forward to making so many more memories next year at PAX. It's going to be a four day event instead of the normal three, so I have high hopes for it's awesomeness!

Enough of my nerdiness! Have a great day everyone! *^_^*v

Awkward and Awesome v3

- A guy at the Giants game starting talking to me souly on the basis that I was wearing a beanie. I guess people in San Fran don't wear beanies?
- Being told by traffic cops in San Fran that we would be mugged by seals if we walked back to the BART instead of taking the trolley.
- Feeling like my face looks puffy in all my photos.
- Not having posted about my PAX experience yet... it was, you know, only a month ago!

- Traveling to Berkeley and San Fran for our anniversary.
- Going to a Giants game
- Taking pictures of Google Map directions on my ipod since we don't have 3G so we can figure out where we were going while walking around Berkeley.
- AT&T Field HAS FREE WIFI! How cool is that?!
- Aaron upgrading our tickets to the orchestra to VIP so we were able to meet and talk to Kumi Tanioka, Naoshi Mizuta, and Arnie Roth. *^_____^*
- Wondering around the U.S.S. Jeremiah O'Brian battleship.

Fried Rice and Onigiri

Aaron and I aren't huge rice eaters. It's so plain tasting and filling. That's why I'm constantly on the lookout for fun ways to eat more rice. Onigiri (or rice balls) is something I'll make every once in a while for bentos and last night I think I found a winner of a recipe! It's pan fried, or grilled, onigiri. Weird sounding, I know, but once I tried it, I loved it! Now I want to share the wonders with you!

The tools you will need:
A pot and lid (or a rice cooker if you have one)
Rice mold (JustBento has a great tutorial for making onigiri if you don't have a mold)
a pan for grilling

The foods you will need:
1 cup of uncooked rice (not Minute Rice)
1 1/4 cup water
Oil for frying
1 can of tuna (for optional filling)

Personally, I like to add mayo, chopped green onions, chopped pickles, ground garlic, and salt & pepper to my tuna. Mmm!

To make sticky rice without a rice cooker:
1. This part is very very very important for the "sticky" in the sticky rice. Pour uncooked rice into colander and rinse until the water runs clear, for about 5 minutes. This is tedious but believe me it's necessary!
2. Add rice and water to pot. Let sit for 30 minutes.
3. After the 30 minutes, turn heat to high and once it starts to boil stir and cover.
4. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
5. Now turn off heat and let the rice steam for about 15 minutes. DON'T take off lid yet!
6. After it has steamed, toss the rice lightly. Now it's ready to go into the mold!

1. Fill mold 1/3 full with rice. Pack it well.
2. Next add tuna filling
3. Add another layer of rice. Really pack it in there.
4. Put on cover and press down. Let it sit there a minute or so it stick together well.

5. Flip it over and pop out the onigiri.
6. So pretty and yummy looking!
7. Now heat a little oil in a pan and fry the onigiri until it's golden brown. Flip and brown the other side.
8. Wala! Nice crispy onigiri!

I had enough tuna for three onigiri, but didn't fry the third one. Actually, I had so much rice left over from my one cup of cooked rice I made all these onigiri:

With some extra chopped green onions I had, I mixed them with some rice and then molded them. Also I've read on a few bento blogs about adding ketchup to the onigiri when you fry it. I had only a little rice left so I made some small onigiri and then tried it. Aaron and I were both pleasantly surprised at joy how AWESOME it was! If you are feeling frisky at all, I dare you to try it!

Have you ever made rice balls before? Do you have a favorite pairing for rice?

Vegan and Not So Vegan Bentos

I have to say, it wasn't as hard as it could have been. Eating a vegan diet I mean. Mostly it was just inconvenient when we ate out.

After a few months of eating vegan, we've decided to move to vegetarian (with moments of pescatarian for me - I really have a hankering for a tuna sandwich!!) We both learned a lot about food and our bodies while doing this and in all honesty, I'm glad we did it. My sinus problem has drastically stopped bothering me so I'm curious to learn what could have triggered it as I start adding various food back into my diet.

I took going on this diet as a challenge, mostly. I wanted to prove that I could eat "normally" (normal for me anyways) with little effort~ meaning I could still have lots of yummy dishes even though I had to change some ingredients. For the most part, I feel I succeeded. Here's a few bento's that were my favorites:

1) Noodles and homemade red sauce, with tons of olives, and a spinach salad.
2) Vegan chocolate/banana dumplings with fruit (based off of Joy's dumplings), and miso soup (not so vegan I know but oh-so-good while sick).

Today's bento is more pasta and greens. Green beans and ketchup because that's the only way to eat green beans. xD

There have been more bentos but these were only ones that made the cut for picture taking. Are there any special foods you particularly like to pack for lunches?

Happy Monday Friends!

Ha ha Moustache!

So I'm going to be honest. When I get home and the ac is blasting (or if I'm just cold in general) the hoodie comes out~ zipped up and secured. I have no shame in this. Anyone who has spend an evening at my house and seen the following:


Totally hot, I know. :3 That's just how it goes since my favorite mustard beanie was banned to the closet, never to be seen again by my friends. (It's a long and very embarrassing story~ I may/may not ever share it...) Anyways! As if I couldn't get any hotter in my getup, in comes Ha ha Mustaches! It's a game where you hold a card of a famous moustache up to your face and other people guess who it belongs to. We picked it up while we were in Seattle for PAX.

Quick! Who am I!?

Sorry that's a trick question... the card is upside down. xD Aaron just thought this was the funniest thing and had to have the moment captured for all time. Silly guy!

There are three different sets of moustache's to play with "living people", "dead people", and "bad people". It was ridiculously fun! Although once you play through all the cards, you know all the answers so it's kinda a one time thing. Each set was $7 though so it was well worth it, even if just for the laughs. Who do you think work the moustache best? *^^*

Instagram Fun

1) Knitting :O 2) Omaha! xD
3) Curry soba. Enough said. ♥ 4) Rinoa (and my) wake up faces
5) Getting cuddly on the couch 6) Joy The Baker's Onion & Mushroom biscuits
7) 6th Wedding Anniversary gifts 8) Getting bored at work and playing with My Little Ponies
9) Joy the Baker's dumplings 10) Homemade spicy red sauce & noodles bento.

Sick Day

The Winners Are...

Alrighty everyone! Who's ready for the winner's of my knitting kit giveaway?!

GRAND PRIZE ~ Beth Retro!!

Congratulation Beth! I'm super excited to send you this package, I'm sure you will enjoy it!!

First Runner Up ~ Hannah Kay!

Second Runner Up ~ Chandra!!

Winners, please email me your addresses so I can get your prizes shipped out asap.

Thank you EVERYONE for entering my giveaway. You are so awesome! I had so much fun with this, I would like to do another one in the near future. It probably won't be knitting related but it will be pretty cool. d^____^b

Have a great Wednesday friends! ♥♥♥

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