A Girl’s Confession

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A lot of people have asked me why I wanted to become a game designer (even before my studies) and I wanted to talk about it here on my blog.

Why did I want to become a game designer? It all started with my obsession with The Legend of Zelda – A Link to the Past. My dad got me a Super Nintendo when I was about three years old and I fell in love with the console. I was a noob at playing games (obviously, because I was three) but I kept playing and playing until I would somehow solve the puzzles in the game (it was not skilled based though, it was all luck.) Some of the games that I played didn’t even have any English subtitles, they were all in Japanese. Not that my English were on point at that age, I could barely speak any Swedish. I would play Megaman-X, Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario World and last but not least, The Legend of Zelda – A Link to The Past. I am not gonna lie, I was obsessed with that game. I wouldn’t let my little brother play that game because I was worried that he would save over my file or break the game. We would always get into fights because of that. My mum would end up taking the power supply of the Super Nintendo and we wouldn’t be able to play anything for days due to our silly fights. Good times (Sorry brother)

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This might sound ridiculous but it actually took me about seven years to beat The Legend of Zelda – a Link to the Past. Why? Well I could barely hold a controller at the age of three and how the hell would I be able to complete a game that involved puzzles and understanding English? It was too hard for me. I completed the game at the age of 10 and I was still a noob when it came to English. I had to ask my mum for help to understand some of the clues but she stopped helping me at one point. She was too busy with her exams anyways. I even asked the neighbor for help, he was a few years older than me. He also got tired of helping eventually. So I had to figure this game out without understanding the clues in the game. It was tricky but I made it in the end. After I actually completed the game, I was lost. All these years of struggling and fighting was now over. I started  to feel empty inside, it was a weird feeling indeed. The fact that I spent so much time playing that game and completed it in the end made me feel like I wanted more. I started to look up to Shigeru Miyamoto later on, he was like a hero to me then, still is today.

The older I got, the more Zelda games got released. I ended up playing Ocarina of Time. I compared the game with A Link to the Past and I was so amazed how the 3D environment looked compared to the over top down 2D. & the music was just beautiful. The composers did such a good job back then.

When they announced Twilight Princess I got super excited but at the same time a bit worried if they would make a lot of changes or not. When I finally got the game, I locked myself in my room and started playing it non stop. It took me 3-4 days to complete it. Which is a bit sad compared to the seven years of struggling with A Link to the Past. I am not gonna lie, Twilight Princess is one of my favorite Zelda games. That game was very dark and different compared to the other games but they made it work so well and I was amazed with the design. I was so emotionally attached to the characters in the game that I started crying at the end. I was so amazed how a game made me feel this way, how connected I felt in their world and emotionally attached. This made me release that I also want to create and make people smile, laugh and cry while playing a game. I wanted to make people happy and to be emotionally attached to the characters and the gameplay.

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The conclusion? I blame my dad for buying me a Super Nintendo. So I would say it’s thanks to my dad that I am a Game Designer today. Perhaps I should buy him a cake, or maybe some chocolate? Hmm.

Thanks dad, you’re awesome.

 

– Siara

 

Visiting Lido di Venezie

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Today was a wonderful day like yesterday.

We ended up waking up early and once again…eating breakfast on the bus (typical us). Today we headed to Lido di Venezia. This is an island that can be reached by boat. The boat ride costs €8 each (one way) and is about 45 minute long (really depends where you take the boat but that’s the time it took for us) we were lucky to find seats because it gets pretty packed and the boat comes every 20 minutes so you better catch your seat before anyone else!

img_051545 minutes later we ended up on the island and I must say, I fell in love. It wasn’t a lot of tourists around here, it was mostly locals and it wasn’t packed like the other places. We ended up strolling around and somehow found the beach lol. We were following people that seem to head to the beach and we ended up there luckily. It was so funny. We ended up being there for three hours. I got fried, literally. I had applied sunscreen on my whole body and redid it a couple of times and I still got burned : ( it was not fun. The sun there is way closer than California. I was actually surprised. I ended up going into the ocean a couple of times to cool off though!

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We ended up having lunch in this random restaurant that we chose. Got my Spaghetti Bolognese and Josh got a Pizza. There were so many things I wanted to order in the menu but I was scared of eating too much cheese once again so I skipped it. The Bolognese was alright. The first one we got in Venice was way better though.

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Later on we started strolling around the area and taking photos. Then we decided to head back. We had a 45 minute boat ride then a 20 minute bus ride to take and the time was close to 6 PM.

About 1 hour later we were finally back! We ended up going to the flat to quickly drop our things and then we ended up heading out once again  to grab some dinner.

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I am not sure if this was a mistake or not but…I ended up ordering a pizza with their homemade cheese from that particular town…very stupid of me. It was so good though : ( but it made me once again sick. It was one of the best pizzas I’ve ever tasted though.

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Josh ordered a burger once again. It did not come with a bun “lid” and it looked like it was on a bread toast rather than a hamburger bun lol.

It’s sad to say that tonight is our last night in Italy. I am actually not looking forward to tomorrow. This trip has been the most amazing trip ever and the fact that I got to travel here with someone special makes it even more special.

Would I visit Italy again? Definitely.

– Siara

Riding a Gondola in Venice

I don’t know where to start with this blog post. First of all, today was a magical day and also painful. Never wear uncomfortable high heels in Venice, actually, never wear heels in Venice in general, period.

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We took the bus to Venice early in the morning and ended up eating our breakfast on the bus so that we would avoid a lot of crowds in Venice. As soon as I arrived, I got amazed by the water canals and started taking photo of every single thing I found fascinating, like a real tourist lol. I was so amazed of this town and how it was “designed”. No cars, just boats. Venice is quite bigger than I thought it would be. Perhaps that’s because we were walking a lot today. We ended up heading to St Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco) and went up to the St Mark’s Tower to watch the view. Of course it was a long queue when we arrived (boo) but it only lasted for 30 minutes then we were good to go. The cost of going up the tower was €8 each.

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We headed back down and that’s when my feet were killing me. The heels I was wearing were new and I hadn’t really walked with them a lot so I wasn’t sure if they were comfortable or not. I had to buy new shoes right away. We walked around a bit but no shoe places anywhere. We passed so many before we arrived to the square but now…nothing. After some while I ended up finding a few shops. Found a pair of shoes in my size (I didn’t care how they looked like, that’s how desperate I was) bought them and wore them right away. They looked alright but after like 1 hour of walking the insoles were sliding off somehow and when I took out my foot I noticed that the glue had melted off due to the heat. Cheap ass shoes indeed. Nothing I could’ve done I just had to deal with it the rest of the day (ended up throwing them when I got back).

Josh’s friend recommended a restaurant to eat in Venice and apparently they had meatballs in their menu! We got lost a few times but it took us a good hour to find it. When we finally arrived we saw a notice outside the door saying that the restaurant wont be open from mid July till end of August. I was really sad because I wanted my meatballs (sob) we ended up going into a random restaurant nearby and had some spaghetti bolognese and it was amazing.

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After that we ended up strolling around the area and enjoying the weather and the view. I always wanted to ride a Gondola ever since I was a little girl but the pricing of the 20 minute ride was ridiculous. The charge was €80 (daytime) to ride one. I am not sure if you need to pay more if there are more people than two on it though. We ended up going on one in the end and I must say it was worth it to me. Not because of my childhood dream coming through but the view and the canals were just so fascinating. All these buildings have a history and it was amazing to see all of that from the Gondola. I am happy that we went on one in the end.

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After that we decided to walk around the area once again, eat ice cream and take more photos. After some time, we decided to go back to the flat and have dinner around here instead. We had been walking since early in the morning and it was 6 PM when we decided to go back. My feet are still hurting from today and I just wanted to throw those shoes away and clean my feet from the glue of the shoes I got on me.

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I changed my outfit for the evening to feel a bit more fresh (lol) all that walking earlier made me uncomfortable in that dress. So we decided to take more photos and then find a place to eat. We went to a different place this time and they had some interesting things on their menu. I decided to get a eggplant pizza (I told  them to add dried beef on top of it to make it my own version) it was really good. I enjoyed it a lot. Josh ordered a funny looking hamburger that looked like a sandwich somehow. He enjoyed it regardless. After that we decided to head back and here I am writing this. It was a long day indeed but it was a memorable one.

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Can’t wait to head to Lido di Venezia tomorrow!

– Siara

My first gelato ice cream in Milano

fountain Today we decided to go to this park that I had never heard of. It was huge. Along the way (we actually got lost) we found a castle, well we actually found the castle first lol, clever right. And there were so many stray cats around the castle. They were everywhere! Taking naps and just strolling around. They were so cute and adorable. I bet the caste was theirs and they were just protecting it from evil, I am sure that’s the case *nods*

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Anyways, we finally found the park and then I saw that they were selling Gelato ice cream. I was curious about the taste because it was highly recommended to eat when traveling to Italy. I bought my Vanilla Gelato (I forgot to take a photo…) and it tasted alright. I was actually quite disappointed. Josh mentioned  that this isn’t “real” Gelato and that we need to find a better place to try it once again.
After strolling around the park and enjoying the view we decided to head back to check out the Air BnB. We were going to head to Venice from the station and I was looking forward to it a lot. The train ride wasn’t that long (2h 25min) we ended up eating lunch, snacks and watching a movie on the laptop. The view was nice and before I knew it, I had arrived to beautiful Venice.

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Link enjoying the train ride
We headed to our new Air BnB and then strolled around  the area. We aren’t located in the heart of Venice though, it’s about 20 minutes away. Because we arrived quite late today we decided to not go there and just explore the area instead which was nice. It was late in the evening and people were just around spending time together, it was very warm and cozy around the area and I loved it.

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We found a restaurant around the area and I ordered some Spaghetti Cabonara. It was so good but once again…I couldn’t handle the cheese. I don’t know what they put in their cheese but this one made me full and ill once again too. It wasn’t as severe as the previous dish though but I managed  to eat half of it at least. It was really good, I am not gonna deny that though.

On our way back, Josh got himself a Gelato icecream and he said that it tasted so much better than the one we had at the park. I didn’t get any because I didn’t want to get more sick (I really wanted some though)

I am looking forward to tomorrow. My dream is gonna come true!

 

– Siara

Milano, Italy

We arrived quite late on Friday and I was so exhausted. The weather was so warm in the evening though and I was loving it. We didn’t go out until the next day because the time was 10 pm and I wanted to sleep. We woke up quite early today and headed out for breakfast (there were no breakfast places close to the Air BnB though -_- so we ate at Burger King instead lol so lame) but then we took the tube and headed to see Duomo di Milano. Unfortunately…it was raining the whole day today. So I had  to carry around my umbrella. It was going to thunder too and we wanted  to go up the Cathedral but the combination of that didn’t sound good to my ears. Rain, thunder and being on top of a church, no thanks. So we ended up strolling around the area and taking photos.

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I had my first pasta in Italy today. I ordered a creamy chicken pasta with mushrooms (note that it was barely any chicken in my pasta, apparently they don’t put a lot of meat in their food) it was good but then I started to feel sick. I am not sure if it was the cheese in the pasta or not but I just didn’t feel good. I started to feel better after a nap when we got back to the flat.

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This was the pasta that I had (it looks good though. I would eat it again lol)

We went out for dinner around the area and found a really good place and I ordered my first Italian pizza, asparagus pizza.  I ordered it and it tasted pretty good. Although, it was a Margherita pizza with some asparagus on the top lol. Regardless, I was satisfied. I noticed that their pizza is even thinner than Swedish pizza which is insane! Yet I got full eating that.

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So much food, so little time.

– Siara

Italy, Venice

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Currently in Italy strolling around Venice. It’s a beautiful place here and I feel so comfortable around here. People are happy, enjoying themselves in the sun. Eating Gelato, food and laughing out loud. I’ve always wanted to visit Italy and I finally did. It was on my to-do list for years and I was never able to go until recently. I came down here with someone special to me which made the whole trip even better. I don’t want to go back.

– Siara

Best Music Between 2000-2006

Wanted to dedicate today’s post to nostalgic music that I grew up listening to. Thought it would be a fun post to do and hopefully make other feel the nostalgic too.

Black Eyed Peas – Shut Up (Released: 2003)

This one is a classic of my early teenage years. I used to listen to this song none stop.  I fell in love with it. I really enjoyed listening to the Black Eyes Peas back then. Fergie looks bomb.

Hey Ya! (Released: 2003)
This music…I listened to this song over and over again and this was the time when I was living in the UK. This is one of the best songs of OutKast in my opinion (Roses is the second) If you haven’t heard  this one then you’ve been living under a rock.

Britney Spears – Oops!… I Did It Again (Released: 2000)

My favorite female artist when I was a kid was Britney Spears. I thought she was the coolest chick ever and I wanted to be just like her haha I even learned the whole dance of this music video. I bought the same style of shoes she would wear in her music videos and try to have the same hair styles like her. Good times.

*Nsync – Bye Bye Bye (Released: 2000)
If you haven’t listened  to this one before then I must say you’ve been missing out. Shame on you. Make sure to watch it now instead and I’ll forgive you. This one is a classic.

Nelly Furtado – Promiscuous (Released: 2006)

Anyone remembers Nelly Furtado? This one is a good one with Timbaland. I loved it back then. It was catchy as fudge, still is. Need more music like this one. I feel like the music has died today. Another goodie is “Say it Right” and “Maneater”.

The Pussycat Dolls – Stickwitu (Released: 2005)

This brings me a lot of memories of my first love (Looool joking) but seriously this was really good back in the day (still good) So much Nokia branding in their music videos though lol it screams promotion.

JoJo – Leave  (Get Out) – (Released: 2004)

Last but not least JoJo. This one is a huge classic to me. I played this none stop in the UK all the time. She was on the radio none stop too. Never got tired of her voice. She is still bomb today and I am looking forward to her journey.

– Siara

A Little act of Kindness

How often do you to get on a bus? Everyday? Once a week? How many of those times have you greeted the bus driver? Do you even smile when entering? Or do you just walk in without lifting your head up?

You pass by strangers all the time and you probably don’t even think about showing some act of kindness to some of these people. I have a habit of saying hi to the bus driver every time. Some get surprised because nobody usually greet them. When I listen to music I tend to just smile instead but at times I take my headphones off just so I can say hi.

Complementing strangers. Yes that sounds weird doesn’t it? But why wouldn’t you? You’ve been checking out that girls outfit for a while and been wondering where she got that skirt. Why not go forward, compliment and ask her? She would be flattered.

Years ago I stumbled on a guy at a electronic store. He was helping me out with some wires. I just could’t stop staring at his eyes. One of his eyes were brown and the other was blue. I thought that was the coolest thing ever. I told him he had beautiful eyes. He thanked me and smiled. He probably had heard that one before though, I am sure of it.

In America I was waiting in a queue in the bank and this girl was standing in front of me and I kept looking at her hair. She had her whole hair braided in a cool way. I kept thinking how long it must’ve taken to braid all of that (my friends do it all the time at a specialist and it takes HOURS) she thought I was looking weirdly at her but it was the opposite. I complimented her hair and she immediately smiled and thanked me.

Over a year ago in Santa Monica, I was waiting for my Uber ride to arrive to pick me up. Out of nowhere this random guy just walked towards me, excusing himself and said that I looked beautiful. I smiled and thanked him. Then he wished me having a wonderful day and walked back to the restaurant. I still remember that compliment because it was random and he just came out to me just to say that. Usually when that happens to me, guys always asks for my number in return (never gave my number out to strangers) so for someone to come and just give me a compliment without anything in return was a bit unusual for me, but those few seconds made my whole day.

A little act of kindness can make someones bad day turn into their best. That’s why I think complimenting strangers isn’t something weird. You can turn someones day to be their best highlight of the week and you know what? It doesn’t cost anything, it’s free : )

– Siara

The most underrated singer of all time: JoJo (Joanna Levesque)

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The most underrated singer of all time, JoJo (Joanna Levesque)

this chick is absolutely amazing. I became a huge fan since she released her first single (2003) and it sucks that she doesn’t have a lot of followers because she deserves so much more. I blame her previous record label for not letting this wonderful human being grow. Holding her like a hostage for about 7 years is just sad (it’s a very long story but she wasn’t allowed to release any albums after her second one) I want to dedicate today’s blog post to her because she’s bomb.

If you haven’t heard her music then I won’t judge. A lot of people don’t know who she is but she is slowly blooming out to the media once again which is nice to see. I am a bit bummed  that I wasn’t able to see her in LA when she had shows. She would sing around the country even when she was still stuck with her old label. It would’ve been nice to hear her live.

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One of my favorite songs of her is André. This song was released in Dec 2012 (remember this clearly because I was living in LA at the time)  Make sure to give a listen here. The song was released along with the Agâpé Mixtape ( Agâpé is the name of her dog ; ) )

Damn I used to workout with this song at the time. It’s so damn catchy. Another fave on that came with the mixtape was Can’t Handle the Truth. She made another song called Thinkin out Loud but it was sample which left us fans greedy and wanting more. So, 3 years later she finally released a full version on Soundcloud. Finally! This song reminds me of LA a lot. Brings me back good memories. So I don’t mind the 3 year waiting, I finally got it.
I have a bunch of favorites from her “High Road” album that was released in 2006. “High Road” was one of the songs I played none stop on repeat back in the days. This song was just perfect in every way for my teenage year. I feel like her music suited my life situation perfectly. We are about a year apart with the age gap so that’s probably why, teenage hormones haha. Another song of that album that was awesome was Like That. Catchy Catchy.
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And of course, I have to mention her official (NOT EP) three singles that she released 11 months ago with her new label. When Love Hurts, Save My Soul and Say Love. Damn it Jo, stop being on fire. Love these singles.
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A few days ago she released a new single, F*** Apologies ft Wiz Khalifa and boy, this singles is on fire. Been playing it none stop these passed days.  You can have a listen to that song here. I really hope that they play this song on the radio everywhere, it’s really good and catchy. The music they play on the radio nowadays aren’t the best.

She also announced that she’s released her new album “Mad Love” in October 14th 2016. I can’t wait to hold that album. #PhysicalCopy4Life

I am happy that she’s finally free and I can’t wait for her to release her new album.

#FreeJoJo —- #JoJoIsFinallyFree
– Siara