What a pleasant surprise! My great pal and podcast co-host Bryan of The Gay Gamer has nominated me for a Liebster Award, an act of kindness designed to spread warm fuzzies around the blogging community. Part of the award requires you to answer 11 questions about yourself and share 11 interesting facts before nominating a few other bloggers to do the same (kind of like a nice chain letter!). Since I don’t get too personal very often on Chic Pixel, I thought it’d be a great opportunity for you all to learn a little more about me! Here we go…
1. Can you tell something typical about the country you live in? Though I was born and raised in the U.S., this is my 5th year living in Australia. You’d think after five years I’d generally be used to everything, but there’s a very weird kind of culture shock that comes with living in a country that speaks your native language. At first glance, you feel like nothing’s changed, and then all of a sudden you’re whacked on the head with a proverbial didgeridoo!
In Australia, it’s very typical to shorten just about every word it’s possible to shorten. You’ve probably heard of “barbie” (barbecue), but how about “mozzie” (mosquito), or “hot chockee” (hot chocolate)? I’m still learning new slang all the time!
2. Why did you take up blogging? Chic Pixel was really just a way for me to write about my interests during a period where I didn’t have many other outlets for my creativity. I was in a brand new country, not working or going to school, and it was driving me mad! I’ve always loved to write, and blogging is a great way to write about the things I’m passionate about.
3. Do you set yourself a goal of number of blogs per week or month? I always have goals in mind, but I don’t think I ever really meet them! I try to do 2-3 posts per week, but my ultimate goal is 5 or even 6!
4. Where do you get your inspiration to write? As I mentioned earlier, I only write about the things I care about, so it’s actually pretty easy. If I’m not sharing a new game or manga I’m fawning over, I’m relaying news I’m excited about, or Japanese themed cafés I wish I could go to. The only themes I try to stick to are “Japan,” “nerdy,” and “cute,” and as you can imagine, there’s always plenty to talk about! But if there’s something I’m really into that doesn’t necessarily fit my blog’s “theme,” I don’t mind making an exception once in a while.
5. Do you own more then one gaming device, and which ones? Of course! I own two PS2s (Japanese and North American), a PS3, two Wiis (Australian and North American, it’s a long story), a Wii U, along with a myriad of handhelds: a PSP, DS lite, GameBoy, GameBoy micro, PS Vita, and far too many 3DS’s.
6. What are your favorite kind of games? I think my gaming tastes have changed slightly over time – up through high school, RPGs (particularly those of the J variety) were by far my go-to genre, but I’ve slowly switched to less time-intensive genres such as visual novels/dating sims. I mention visual novels because I’d probably have to say they’re my favorite type of game at the moment purely for the amount of time I spend talking about and playing them, but I also love rhythm games (though I’m horrible at them). RPGs are still one of my favorite genres in theory, but it’s been forever since I actually played one more than a few hours!
7. What are your three favorite movies? Oh, this is tough! Kiki’s Delivery Service is definitely one of my all-time favorites, as I can watch it at least once a year and never get sick of it. While My Neighbor Totoro used to be my favorite Studio Ghibli film, I’ve gravitated toward Kiki as I’ve gotten older.
Another animated favorite is Megamind, which is highly underrated, if you ask me! Funnily enough, one of my earliest posts on this blog before I’d decided on a theme was about Megamind. Though it’s difficult to narrow it down to just one more, I’m going to have to go with the 1995 version of Sense and Sensibility featuring Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman. Swoon!
8. What is your go-to music when you feel sad? I’m not one for wallowing in my sadness, so I pretty much only listen to upbeat tracks, whether or not I’m in a bad mood. “Niji” by Aqua Timez is pretty memorable for being a song I listened to a lot when I was going through a tough period of my life, though.
9. Does your work or study match your blogging topics? Surprisingly, yes! I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m currently doing a PhD on boys’ love manga, which also happens to be a hobby of mine. I honestly can’t imagine not having a career that didn’t connect with my hobbies in some way.
10. If you have a partner, is he or she into gaming? My husband is very much into gaming, but in a very different way. While I love to flit from one game to the next, he’ll play one title obsessively for hundreds of hours… Since we married five years ago, I think I can count the number of games he’s played on two hands! We’re also generally into different genres, but we’ve found common ground with Monster Hunter.
11. What kind of pet do you have? Unfortunately, none that are with me at the moment. My cat Lucy lives with my parents back in Vermont, but I’m currently dreaming of getting a lovebird, while my husband is pushing for a dog.
Phew! I hope you’re not bored yet, because now it’s time for 11 random facts about myself (I can’t guarantee they’ll be very interesting):
1. I love bargain shopping! I hate buying things at full price, and love nothing more than finding something cool at the bottom of a bargain bin.
2. When it comes to food, I’ll try anything once. The list of oddities I’ve consumed includes: horse sashimi, turtle soup, chicken feet, and pufferfish (fugu).
3. I actually don’t read very much boys’ love manga in my free time anymore, so I’m not very up to date with recent titles outside of my (relatively narrow) field of interests! I guess that’s what happens when you spend three years writing a thesis on it.
4. My most memorable anime crushes from when I was younger are all villains: Xellos (Slayers), Legato Bluesummers (Trigun), and Dilandau (Escaflowne).
5. I have yet to watch every single episode of the original Sailor Moon anime. How embarrassing!
6. I hated broccoli so much as child that I wrote an essay about it for school. In it, one of my stated reasons for disliking the vegetable was that it looked like a miniature tree. My parents still have it somewhere.
7. I was 13 when I first went to Japan in my freshman year of high school.
8. My worst habit is chewing my nails! I can’t believe I still do it. Painting them helps, though (for a while).
9. My first major part time job was working at a small independent book store while I was in high school. I also volunteered for my local library. I’ve always loved books!
10. I like a lot of Japanese food, but I don’t actually enjoy sushi very much! Everyone is always shocked when I decline a visit to a sushi restaurant. Don’t get me wrong, though – I’ll never turn down a fresh plate of seared salmon sushi topped with cheese and/or mayo. Maybe my online nickname, apricotsushi, was a bit of a misstep!
11. I don’t wear it very often, but I’m a huge fan of lolita fashion. I have two Baby the Stars Shine Bright dresses that I put on when I want to feel really fancy, but part of me wishes I could afford to dress in the style all the time. I wouldn’t mind if it were a little more comfortable, too…
And there you have it! More than you ever wanted to know about the woman behind Chic Pixel. I’d like to nominate my lovely pals Sarah (of For Fox Sake) and Sami (of Sami★Spoon) for the Liebster Award, if they wish to accept it. I’ll keep the questions the same, for sanity’s sake.
Since I’m feeling in an open mood, feel free to ask any more questions you have in the comments! I’ll try my best to answer them, as long as they’re not too personal.