Tuesday, December 27, 2016

To quote Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes: Check out my "Loot"!

I had a really lovely Christmas, and a lot of kind people gave me some really great gifts! I'm going to post pictures of the more nerdy ones here on my blog, and I'll also be posting a lot of thank you's. So, if you'd like to see what I got, click the "read more"

I'll start with the gifts that my parents got for me. The first thing I'll list is this giant Pokémon Ball serving bowl. I filled it with all of my stocking candy as soon as I opened it. I do really, really love chocolate oranges. They might be my favorite candy, and you can see it on the bottom image. I'm currently living at my parent's house, so this serving bowl probably won't see much action, but if I manage to snag an apartment when I go off to do my PhD work, I'll certainly be bringing this with me.

This next thing is a Legend of Zelda journal. I LOVE the design on it. It is actually one of the coolest journals I own, and I'm really thankful for it. I'm pretty excited to start using it, and hopefully I will actually post all the sketches I do in it on this blog. I plan to make it a sort of "Comprehensive Guide to Dragons... along with any other cool/nerdy thing that is worth drawing" I want to draw and document all the different cool dragons and their unique designs from all the fandoms I am into (HTTYD, Legend of Zelda, Fire Emblem, Harry Potter, LotR, Pokemon and so forth). Hopefully by the end this journal will actually be really interesting and filled with a lot of detailed sketches. It is a high quality little book, too. The pages are sewn, and the sides guided. The cover is firm and the large metal emblem on the front feels really awesome to touch. Overall, this gift surprised me, and I'm chomping at the bit to use it!

I mentioned Fire Emblem as one of the fandoms that I am into, and this year's Christmas gifts prove that! I got "The Art of: Fire Emblem Awakening" book, and it was much bigger than I expected it to be! This book is simply massive! It has tons of concept art, along with glossy, beautiful character images, and every possible fact you could ever want to know about Fire Emblem: Awakening. This game is one of my favorite in the franchise... but to be honest I like Fire Emblem: Fates even more! Fates is also a much bigger game (it has like 30 more characters as well as three different potential stories), so if they ever made an art book for it with the same detail that was put into this one, I'd buy it in a heartbeat (and the book itself would be HUGE). The back of this book contains a log of every conversations the characters in the game can have with one another... and it is about an in and a half thick, four column, and small print. The game writers literally craft a BOOK's worth of material just so that these characters can have unique and interesting conversations with one another. It's a great book for a great game from a GREAT franchise, so I really do love this gift.

I also was given the Marth and Lucina amiibos. These are cool little figures that can be used to activate new content in a variety of nintendo games. The funnest thing about them for me is that the figures allow you to import Marth and Lucina into Fire Emblem: Fates. So, I've been running around and kicking tail with Lucina as she has now joined Corrin's army and is fighting to save the world along side the rest of my reeeeeaaaaallllyyy cool army. Yeah, so that's been fun. She is normally from Fire Emblem: Awakening, but now she is in both games. Pretty neat :)

The last of the nerdy gifts from my parents was this Sue mug from the Field Museum of Natural History. I love dinosaurs... pretty much always have, so this is a very welcome addition to my growing collection of super cool mugs! My parents also kindly gave me some Christmas money (which I have used already to order some neat stuff) and a great biography of Samuel Rutherford. I'm looking forward to reading that (my little brother also got the biography, so I'm hoping we can read it together). Thanks a TON to both my parents for being so kind and generous! I love them both very much.

My little brother also got me a gift! He gave me these swanky Legend of Zelda pajamas. It's actually really fun because I bought him some Pokémon house slippers. Now we both walk around in nerdy sleeping gear. His shoes are the Pokémon Gengar, and you may all remember that I have some Toothless night slippers myself. Thanks very much fun gift, bro!

I honestly expected to not get any HTTYD gifts this year. That isn't because I'm less into dragons... it's actually because I've pretty much bought all the tasteful merchandise that I've seen! That leaves very little for other people to get for me unless they make it for themselves (which is hard and time consuming) or go online and find custom stuff (which is always sort of a mixed bag when it comes to price and quality). So... I was kind of quietly expecting not to get my main fandom represented this year, when this lovely picture popped up in my email! Inhonoredglory and Toothlesslove had made this for me! I was really surprised and very pleased! We don't usually exchange Christmas gifts, just birthdays, so I did not see this coming. The starlight effect is really very cool, and this is probably one of the few times I've seen Toothless look really good in purple XD Thanks so much you two! You are both just fantastic :)

Just when I thought I'd only get one HTTYD gift, I wound up with two! My awesome friend and amazing 3 year roommate made my a small art piece using some art markers (an art style I am personally terrible at). The name Kowalski on the top of the paper is because he, I, my sister, and one of my sister's best friends have been a pretty constant foursome on our college campus. We called ourselves "The Penguins", and we've always done a Penguin Christmas. My roommate went by the title "Skipper", my sister went by the name "Rico", her friend went by "Private", and I was the "Kowalski" of the group. We had a great three years together. We made sure to meet together every week for a prayer meeting, and we often wound up doing other fun trips and things as a group. 

My roommate also gave me a rather bizarre, but very entertaining and surprisingly back-stabby sort of card game! It's called Exploding Kittens, and we all played it together at the Penguin Party! I lost, both times. Those kittens blew me to bits, but I had a lot of fun with it! My roommate has also ordered me a Raven Claw scarf, but it didn't come in on time. Thanks a ton to you, oh great friend and roommate o' mine! I couldn't have asked for a better college buddy, and your gifts are very appreciated! 

I also received several other very nice presents. Both my grandparents gave me money (which I sorely need... haha, college is not cheep... nor is living as an adult!), my sister gave me a Taco Bell gift card, and my Penguin friend "Private" gave me a nice, warm dress shirt. 

It's been a lovely Christmas and a wonderful year! I'm thankful for all the kind gifts I've been given, but I'm much more thankful for the friends and family who take time and effort to show so much kindness to me. You all mean the world to me, so thank you all very much.

How was everyone else's Christmas holidays? Did you get anything nerdy or do anything fun? Feel free to let us all know in the comments.

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