24. London, Canada. All-round nerd culture enthusiast with a great love for video games, musicals, and my girlfriend.

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Super Smash Burlesque - Underground Peepshow - Toronto

I didn’t take any pictures last night, so if you’re here for that… no dice lol.

Mother and I left home around 8:20 to go to the subway. On the way, some dickhead almost clips the front of my car because he doesn’t check his blindspot… lots of honking ensues. We almost get lost, but get to our seats JUUST as the show starts. Follows is a setlist and some thoughts on each of the performances. I didn’t realize that burlesque was so structured and had become a strip show that always ended with popping out your boobs and showing you could spin them? Which means, aside from differences in set pieces and themes, the acts were pretty much all the same… I’ve always thought burlesque was singing, dancing, stripping, extravagant stages and production value… or maybe I shouldn’t have expected too much from a small scale production company. 

Fox McCloud - pretty funny opening act, she had her own starship and there were some “Do a barrel roll” references, she also had toy laser guns and defeated a boss

Wario - basic dance and strip…

Lucca - basic dance and strip…

Cooking Mama - played around with kitchen appliances, gratuitous ass shaking while she used the oven.. followed by stripping

Gary Oak vs. Ash Ketchum - duo act, kinda like a competition to see who could strip better? Kinda funny

Yoshi - pretty good act actually, set piece involved a giant kart and full yoshi costume

Kirby - the first male act of the evening. He wore a giant kirby outfit and walked down the isle from the back of the theatre. He spat out giant balloons before opening up the cardboard costume revealing himself. He had various marshmallows hidden throughout his outfit that he ate as he stripped. 

intermission - mother says she is just taking the experience in, not disapproving, says it’s a “respectable” show.. kinda.. remind me never to do this with my mom or sober again… I feel like I would’ve enjoyed it much more with lots of alcohol and friends with me. 

Mario - basic dance and strip.. it was her first ever performance too, so I guess that was interesting?

Kazooie - basic dance and strip.. really boring this one, actually

Shiek/Zelda - second male act of the evening. really, really good hahaha he danced well and the audience was totally into it. His set piece involved a giant, golden Triforce which at the end, he stood behind and shook his bare ass for the audience

Dry Bones - An Asian girl… also pretty boring

Pikachu - Also Asian and wife of one of the hosts, this one was more interesting than the other Asian

Samus - she was actually really hot… 

Link - a good finale…

Throughout the show there were some raffle draws (I really wanted to win the Silver Snail prize pack.. but I didn’t want to buy tickets lol) and some trivia question. They were really hard actually. 1. When was Nintendo founded? a: 1889 2. Name 3 games that were out for the Virtual Boy. 3. What was Mario’s original name and what game did he first show up in? a: Jump Man, Donkey Kong (I knew this one!)

In conclusion, I think for $15, it was a pretty good show, definitely opened up my eyes to the underground Toronto scene. I’m not sure if this is something I would go to again unless my friends were really interested. Though the next show’s theme is a night inspired by Tim Burton, so I could see how that’ll be awesome.. 


Adventuring with mom

Here’s the rundown on what I did today.

So I’ve been planning to go to St. Lawrence Market with my mom for about a month now and we finally decided to go today since it was the first free Sunday I’ve had in a really long time. We woke up early (for me) and were downtown by 11. It took us a little longer than usual because of all the construction happening with the TTC. When we got there, we discovered that it’s closed Sundays and Mondays -_-” No worries though! Off we went in search of brunch because at this point we were starving. I was really looking forward to some caffeine by now.

We walked by a very classy looking little place named Origin. Very classy. Mother ordered a latte and the french toast: buffala mozzarella + poached pear + warm walnut brittle

and I ordered a cappuccino and grilled calabrese bread from the mozzarella bar topped with fior di latte + mushrooms + truffle oil + spinach. OOOoooOOO how fancy sounding.

When the food got here, it looked so cute! But it didn’t smell too cute.. I’m not sure what it was though. When I ate it, it tasted great, so I still don’t really understand, but the entire time I was eating it, I expected it to taste foul. So that ruined the moment a little bit for me.

After that, we went to a couple of my mom’s favourite stores on Queen, wasn’t too productive though, since neither of us bought anything. Theeeeen we arrived at Silver Snail. I was itching so bad for some of the graphic novels in there. I almost bought Persepolis: the Complete Edition, Kiss & Tell, Azumanga Daioh - complete, Archie Comics’ Kevin Keller hardcover - complete, the 3 Torchwood novels that precede Miracle Day, Doctor Who action figures, Death Note’s Ryuk bookends, and I could go on and on… instead, I created a list on my ipod along with their prices so that I could shop around and compare.
Two hours later, I emerged with these along with some free flyers (anyone interested in going to a Nintendo themed burlesque show with me on June 2? I’m serious.)

I read the first handful of pages of Runaways for free on my Comics app and got hooked. I was SO stoked to see it today I had to have it. The Legolas action figure actually shoots arrows! Kinetic energy provided by me, of course.

After this, we walked up Younge Street since those stores are a lot more interesting to me than the ones on Queen. Across from Dundas Square, were the usual street speakers talking about doomsday, salvation, freeing the Middle East, today there was also a queer group there with some sidewalk chalk promoting queer awareness/acceptance and hopscotch. =] I would’ve stayed and looked around longer but I was with my mom so I sneaked a couple peaks and we continued our way. Not that she would’ve minded if I said I wanted to stay and check it out, but I didn’t want to talk to her about it.

Then we went to visit Sunrise where I almost bought a Tardis USB hub, Portal bookends and a vinyl player. I know better though… never buy anything at Sunrise unless you have a membership card carrying Williams with you.

Had lunch at Tea Shop 168 and then we made our way back home. By this time it was 6 and I wanted to stay home and enjoy my goodies, but we had to go out for dinner. Now I am home. Yes.

EDIT: Wow… thank goodness I didn’t get the novels at Silver Snail. They’re already loads cheaper just on Indigo. Also, it looks like I have a lot of reading to do for Runaways.
uh oh… it’s less than two months into me earning money again and I’m already itching to buy a shitload of books. Soon, it’ll be video games, a tv and a PS3… restraint I say, restraint!

If only I had a Mario Star

I was driving along the 401 earlier today and the car two cars in front of me braked really suddenly. (I still don’t know why they did that.. nothing was in front of them) We were on the express, in the left lane, so we were going at least 120. Most of the time, I assume that if you’re able to get yourself across 7 lanes of traffic, at a good speed and not impede flow, you’re not an idiot. Anyway, the car in front of me braked, but not soon enough, or the brakes couldn’t do it in time and he smashed into the back of that car. Meanwhile, there’s me like 10 feet behind, slamming on my brakes as debris flies over my car and onto the highway.

In less than a second, I realized that I wasn’t going to brake in time and that if I didn’t do something, I was going to smash into that second car. The ABS was kicking in hard and I learned that it takes my car more than 10 feet to go from 120 to 0 haha So I had to decide whether to hit that car, or swerve right into traffic coming up from behind.. do I suck it up and hit that car or have the potential of avoiding it all/cause an even bigger accident, like a 6-car pileup? (The left shoulder was out of the question since the first car started to pull over) The entire time, my foot’s pushing on the break, I looked into the rear-view mirror and saw that cars were swerving right behind me to evade it all so I was like, “Excellent, they’re paying attention, no time to think, SWERVE!” Then I stomped on the gas and away I went. 

I arrived at the chiropractor’s 20 minutes later and said, “You almost had to treat me for whiplash too…”

My experience volunteering for Video Games Live - Toronto

I still remember the moment when I saw the ad on tumblr about VGL looking for volunteers. I thought, “whoever gets this opportunity will be a lucky SOB… I’m gonna go for it.” I bookmarked that page and started a draft application in my email so that I’d be reminded every day that I needed to get it done. The application was due on Feb. 15 and we were told that we’d know no latter than Feb. 28 whether we’d be volunteering now. So I spent a week on that email and fired it out to VGL on Feb. 14. March rolled around and I still hadn’t heard anything from anyone so I figured I didn’t get it, which I was cool with. Instead, I’d pick up some tickets with my brother or some friends and go see it.

A week and a half before the event, I get an email from Mike Tallarico, brother of Tommy Tallarico and Merchandise Manager for VGL, requesting an email from me if I still wanted to volunteer for the event. You know me, online 24/7, so I answered that email within 5 minutes of receiving it. Unfortunately there was a grammar mistake so I’m afraid I didn’t make a very good first impression >_>

So, about half a week before the day (May 2, 2011) I get another email from Mike with instructions on when to be at the venue. 3 if I want to watch the rehearsal, but no later than 5:15.

Monday, I wake up early to get some errands done before getting my brother to drive me to the bus stop. I get there around 2:30, so I decided to walk around Eaton Center before heading to Massey Hall. When I get there, I call Mike, and he comes to grab me from the stage door to introduce me to Cesar Solorio, his friend who also does merchandise. Outside the venue, I meet Kendrew Heriveaux and his buddy Walter, the two singers who would perform Civilization IV’s Baba Yetu later that night.

After introductions, Cesar hands me an All Access Pass and I’m told to go up to the hall, grab a seat and watch rehearsals because they’re about to start.

I make it in time to see them set up lights!

One shining ball of light!

Two shining balls of light!

Three shining balls of light!

Four shining balls of light! Ah ah ah.

And they spin too! ooooooo~

I thought this was really sick

Then they started rehearsal! Here are some of the videos I took:

Chrono Trigger - This one’s for you, Eryn!
Civilization IV - Unfortunately I only caught the end of this one…
One Winged Angel
Flute Link
God of War III
Retro Gaming
Still Alive
Street Fighter II

I only got the end of Civ IV because I was too busy taking pictures >_> In hindsight, I wish I took a video of this.

And finally, this is what spectators would walk into the hall to:

By now, it was 4:45 and no one had come to get me yet, so I had half of my sandwich and then whipped out my DS to play Mario Kart for a couple of minutes. After I completed to Cups and no one still came to get me, I went downstairs to see what was happening.

Here, I met Evan! He was the other volunteer who’d be working alongside me. I was wondering where our team was… Anyway, he’s playing Halo: Reach, and we exchange our hellos, and he tells me that the other two people on our team were no shows, so we’d have to make-do with just the two of us later that night. Did I mention the room we were in was totally kick ass?

The windows booth, they had a bunch of people here handing out fliers for some kind of prize.

Hahaha! I finally got my hands on one of these babies. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find one of those 3D sim cards that I could play with, I did make a mii and stuff though. My verdict? It’s heavier than my DS lite, the buttons are really nice, not really a fan of the colour scheme and the 3D is pretty cool, though not mind-shattering. I also moved it around to see what all the fuss was about having to hold it in front of your face at this “sweet-spot”… yea… I can see how that’d be a pain after a while.

Dance Central and the Kinect! You can also see Halo: Reach to the right.

Sony PS3, Socom 4 and Mortal Kombat!

Evan was in charge of the ballot box station where people would fill out little sheets of paper and then Tommy Tallarico would draw their names out of the box on stage. They’d win a Kinect, 3DS, PSP or PS3… people got pretty intense, luckily no one got violent and there was a lot of security around.

Since we were shorthanded, I was in charge of the cosplay Contest as well as the Guitar Hero Contest. I was pretty bummed I didn’t any pictures of the cosplayers. There was a totally decked out Master Chief, two Links, a Ganondorf, a Luigi, a Toad, some Splinter Cell dudes as well as other character I can’t recall at the moment.

At the Guitar Hero station, people lined up to play Van Halen’s Jump on expert. They’d write their names down and then I’d record their score… if they finished. I believe out of the 15 or so people who tried the contest, only 6 completed the song. Bryon won with 228k points! Yea, no one else really came close to touching him. People started to funnel into the seating area and I took the sheet to Mike and Cesar. Cesar showed me how to get back stage, since I’d be waiting for Bryon at intermission to take him back there. There I met Tommy! Cesar then thanked me for my help and told me to go find a seat on floor level and enjoy the show.

I took one video before my battery crapped out! I didn’t even get the end of it -_-“
Civilization IV - Baba Yetu

Here are more pictures though!

Tommy during Megaman!

Martin Leung. aka Video Game/Blindfolded Pianist~! aka my gaming pianist idol. I had no idea he was going to be there! He played a Final Fantasy medley as well as his blindfolded Super Mario medley as well as a separate Super Mario Medley. Made me so happy.

Laura Intravia - Amazing classically trained vocalist and flautist. Also a music arranger! She was the female vocalist for several of the pieces that night. She also performed her famous Flute Link act for us on stage!

Master Chief also ran on stage at the end of Halo.

Tommy with his badass Steam Punk guitar with built-in sniper rifle! Bad. Ass.

Tommy also called a guy and a girl on stage and he proposed to her in front of all of us! It was pretty amazing haha. Tommy and the guy had been talking for a month prior to the event and had her pretty tricked =b

There was also an on-stage Frogger competition between a 30 year-old guy and 21 year-old girl. The guy did not know what Frogger was when he signed up and was promptly booed by everyone in the room lol. The girl demolished him and Tommy says, “Let it be known that on this stage, in Toronto, a girl beat a guy at video games!” lol

Intermission came and I waited by the Guitar Hero booth for Bryon so that I could take him backstage and show him what to do. Backstage was pretty hectic. Lots of the musicians were late showing up to the stage after intermission so people were being ushered. Bryon and I kinda stood there for a while, and then Tommy came by to give him instructions. I took that opportunity to take this:

I went downstairs and waited for the cue and when it came, lead Bryon center of the floor level and he got called up and rocked out with Tommy =]

I found my seat from earlier in the show and just watched the rest of a really awesome show.

We ended off with the promise of cake. Instead, we got group singing and a DS, PSP and cell phone party.

After the show, Evan and I hung out downstairs by the merch table and when the line for the meet and greet died down, we lined up for our chance to meet the performers, get our pictures taken with them and get some stuff signed.

Martin Leung and I ^^

Tommy Tallarico and I - too bad it’s a little blurry

Emmanuel Fratianni’s signature - conductor

Clockwise from top left: Walter (Tenor voice for Baba Yetu), Kendrew Heriveaux, Laura Intravia, Martin Leung and Tommy Tallarico

After we said our goodbyes to the team, Evan and I hopped onto the subway and made our ways home. I don’t think I ended up getting in bed until like 2, but man. What an epic day.