Saturday, 27 December 2014

A Turtle-tastic Christmas

Just in case you're an older sibling and thinking you have the awesomest little sister ever: you don't. I do.

I knew I would be getting something self-made from my sister this year. That's all I knew about it though. She managed to keep me in the dark til the very end, even though she'd actually given me two hints: 1, she would need my dad's chair for the presentation and 2, I needed to bring sun glasses.

So on Christmas Eve (which, since we're Austrian, is when we celebrate) I got to my family's with no clue as what to expect (even with a carelessly revealed third hint: that my dad didn't know what it was .. which narrowed it down a bit if it was a fandom thing). I opened all my other presents first, so hers would get a big reveal. My mom got me a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles backpack, which obviously I put on immediately.

(For the record: I'm a grownup. And not in the "I'm 18 now, so I'm an adult" way. If I were a Hobbit I would almost be of age.)

This got me my final hint: the backpack fit the occasion perfectly and I should don my sunglasses.
I panicked a little bit there, because I could not think of anything Turtles related that was so bright I needed sunglasses! What if I didn't recognize it and my sis (who for the first time ever I think liked what she made herself) would be disappointed?

Well ...

This is the face of someone who absolutely loves what they got!

An underling from Nick's TMNT Pizza Face episode
My sister had already made me an actual pizza looking like this before, but this one is permanent.

Re-gagging the prisoner after the interrogation.

Funnily enough the pizza is exactly the right size for my backpack so we took it along to our grandma's later in the evening as well .. where it unfortunately escaped.

Happy belated Christmas everyone! :)

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Tea Day 2014

Apparently today was Tea Day. I'd never heard of it before, but of course there's a day for everything.
I love tea, so I'll try and remember this one >w<

Demmers Teehaus offered free tea from their adorable and tiny tea mobile.

I got myself a cup of delicious apricot tea.

In addition to being given a free hot cup of tea by nice people, what I liked best was that you were encouraged to take extra tea bags home with you so you could taste all the different flavours.

Ta to Demmers.
And a Happy Tea Day 2014 to you guys :)

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Long Night of the Museums 2013

[This has been stuck in my drafts for a year and while I don't feel like finishing it I also don't want to delete the post, so here it is anyway:]

Saturday, October 5th, saw the 14th Long Night of the Museums in Austria, with over 700 museums participating country-wide.

We managed four museums this year.

Vienna Technical Museum | Technisches Museum Wien

My favourite robot was (obviously) food related. I present to you the pancake bot:

Austrian Military Museum | Heeresgeschichtliches Museum

Schlumberger Sparkling Cellars | Schlumberger Kellerwelten

The only alcohol I drink is Baileys (and that's usually in my hot chocolate), so the free glass of bubbly was somewhat wasted on me. But I do love old vaults and wine cellars.

Imperial & Royal Wine Treasure Vaults + Emperor Franz Joseph Hat Museum | K.u.K. Weinschatzkammer + Kaiser Franz Joseph Hutmuseum

Both the Treasure Vaults and the Hat Museum (plus a restaurant) are located in a 300 year old monastery cellar.

Visitors were invited to put on a fancy hat before starting the tour.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Star Wars Rebels Cinema Tour

The new animated Star Wars show - Star Wars Rebels - recently premiered and will continue on October 13th.
Star Wars Rebels, set five years before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, tells the story of the Rebellion’s beginnings while the Empire spreads tyranny through the galaxy.
Disney XD (presented by sky) held a Star Wars Rebels Cinema Tour, bringing with them games, shows, and characters and showing the pilot episode in eight cinemas across Germany plus one in Vienna, Austria.
Fans were invited to book up to four tickets for their preferred city for free on a first come first served basis.

I forgot that the screening would be German or I might not have gotten my dad and myself tickets. I'm not a big fan of dubs anyway and Star Wars Episode II is on my list of main offenders. I'm quite certain the people who translated the dialogue never ever watched a single Star Wars movie in their entire lives. Fortunately I must say that whoever's in charge of translations this time did a much better job, and the only "problem" I had was one word sounding too German German for my Austrian ears.

The bounty:
Each bag held a Star Wars Rebels info sheet, a double sided Rebels poster, Rebels character post cards, a Rebels sticker, a random Mickey Mouse magazine, and a LEGO Han Solo mini fig magnet. A pretty good haul I'd say.

The verdict - the tour:
Watching something Star Wars related at the cinema for free, with Stormtroopers and Jedi running around, games and toys, surprise goodie bags for kids going in, different goodie bags for everyone coming out, what's not to like?
The only minor complaint I have is one missing word.
If you write "the first 50 little guests will receive a surprise" I'll probably be a little bit jealous but otherwise okay. It's a kids show after all.
If you write "the first 50 guests will receive a surprise" and I see there's still goodie bags left when I'm nearing the check-in I'll think "ooh, yay, I wasn't as far back in the queue as I thought", happily anticipate my getting one, be disappointed, and complain the rest of the day to anyone who'll listen that growing up sucks.

The verdict - the show:
I wasn't really looking forward much to Rebels until recently, probably because I never really got into the previous show. But watching a preview a few weeks back I thought it looked like a good mix of Disney adventure and classic Star Wars charm, which apparently is right up my alley.
Having watched a full episode now I'd say I was right and I'll definitely keep watching.
So far it reminds me of Firefly a bit, which in turn I quite liked because it felt somewhat like "The Young Han Solo Adventures".
Design-wise I'm happy with Rebels too, only some hair/fur choices seemed a little odd to me.
There were some nice non in-your-face nods and tributes like Seb, who is based on an early design of Chewbacca by Ralph McQuarrie, trying to pass as a hairless Wookiee.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Journey to the End of the Night Vienna 2014

Last Saturday I almost entirely willingly participated in this year's Journey to the End of the Night. I had not heard of it before which is weird because it had already been held 6 times in Vienna alone. Anyways, a friend of mine wanted to go and the game premise sounded interesting enough: get through a series of checkpoints across Vienna without getting caught.
Before the game begins participants receive a blue ribbon, a red ribbon, and a map. The blue ribbon, which has to be visibly worn at all times, marks you as a runner. The red ribbon you pocket until you get caught by a chaser and become one yourself. In that case you have to hand over your runner ribbon as a trophy and don your chaser ribbon.


Now isn't that pretty?
(Should you ever play be sure to check your ribbon every now and then, mine was already down at my wrist at some point without me noticing.)
While waiting for everyone to get their game gear we took a first look at the map.


(I'm going grey D: I'm not old enough to be that grey ._. )
Photo nicked from Christian Leitner's flickr, be sure to check out the rest of the gallery.


Starting point was in the right upper corner. Checkpoints were numbered 1 through 5, the grey areas around them were the safe zones. The only other places to be safe from chasers were on public transports and subway platforms.
So when the game finally started most people sprinted for the closest public transport. In our case it was a bus but once on board we checked the map again and realized it wouldn't help us at all so we got off again and made a bit of a detour to the tram we actually needed. You do get a bit paranoid in a game like this. We kept checking our backs every few meters. But we made it safely onto the tram and it had a station right inside the first safe zone.
At the check point we were informed that a zombie virus had broken out and the best way to get past zombies without getting mauled was to act like them. So to get a signature for the first check point and a hint for the second we had to show the nice people in hazmat suits our best zombie impressions.
Rather than taking a direct path to the next checkpoint and risking having to run from chasers we again went with the detour option. We did not see a single chaser but were still quite paranoid. Though I did not jump at every sound like my friend, I do admit that when we passed a parking car on an otherwise very quiet road and heard Always on my mind playing from within it felt creepy.
We made it safely to the first part of checkpoint 2 - an administrative office - which, trying to live up to its real life counterpart no doubt, took way to fudging long to get through. (This is my only complaint of the night. They didn't think this one through properly.)


You had to get to the front of the queue to get a ticket so you could go back to the queue and ... well ... queue. Once you made it to the front again you were let thought to take a course on how many police officers certain situations (like demonstrations, squatting, or zombies) would call for. To pass and get the next hint the correct number of police officers in a certain case had to be calculated.
We didn't see any chasers on our way to checkpoint 3, though this time it wasn't due to our clever detours (we didn't bother) but rather our unfortunately very late departure from 2. But we did see some fireworks.
We found the "survivors" from 2's hint camping out on the Donauinsel. They tasked us with getting rid of the few remaining zombies in their backyard. We each got a flashlight, green to kill the green zombies, red to kill the red ones.


X marks the survivor of a zombie fight.
On we went to try and "save a soul".
Checkpoint 4 was manned by the Illuminated, who found out that lights and bright colours help against zombies. They had also started a magic circle to protect the runners, to which we had to add. Once the priest found our additions sufficient, we were blessed and painted and on our way again.


It was getting quite late (game-wise) so we decided to go by tram. Since we hadn't seen any chasers in ages (plus headache + running for the tram + bright(ish) lights + moving vehicle weren't the best mix) I got out at our stop without checking the surroundings at all and got captured while my friend made a run for it.


I decided not to go after him and try and catch him (but more due to my headache than anything else) and made my way to the end zone. He told me later on I really would have enjoyed checkpoint 5, they had to do an autopsy.


All in all it was a very fun night and I'm looking forward to next time.
[I just copied and pasted this post from my tumblr >w<]