The Sims 3 – Mac Survival Guide

The Sims 3. 2008 was the first time it arrived on the scene, and it has now become a classic. EA, its producer had Windows and Mac available from the launch. How did they manage this? Sandboxing. Sandboxing involves takes a Windows game and putting it into a Mac wrapper. Unfortunately, the Sims 3 has what we call an open world set-up. On Windows, this led to many bugs and performance issues. If the Windows version had these issues, well then, the Mac version has it in spades. Here is how to have a much better experience on Mac OS.

The Sims 3 came out at a time when the video games were still on discs with product codes. EA now have Origin. EA also have a product redemption scheme. This means you input your product code from your discs and then you are eligible for the digital version. It may be a nightmare to download them one by one, but it’s worth it. EA Origin on Mac runs a lot better than the original sandbox Mac version for Mac, it compiles the expansions for you. There is also the reality that most Macs no longer have Optical disc drives.

The second thing you must do to enable the smoothest performance is to update. On Windows, this process is automatic, on Mac, it is best if you do it yourself. The best way is to use the Sims 3 super patcher which you can find online. The file starts with the name ‘Tor-‘. You can find the step-by-step instruction on https://help.ea.com/en/help/the-sims/the-sims-3/the-sims-3-super-patcher/. Once you have done this, the version number of the Sims 3 launcher, should now display Version 1.67. If you have the latest version of the Sims 3, that is one of the crucial things that you can fix.

The third thing is to set up a mods folder. Occasional gamers tend bulk at mods. The Sims 3 though, would not have survived had the mod creators not stepped in. First, access your Sims 3 folder in your Documents. Create a ‘Mods’ folder. In the ‘Mods’ folder create ‘Overrides’ and ‘Packages’ folders. Now if you leave the folder like this, the game will not recognise that it exists. The simplest solution is to download the latest ‘The Sims 3 resource configuration file’. The Sims 3 is still very popular despite its age, so finding the file online should be straightforward.

The best mod creator for the Sims 3 must be none other than Nraas. Here is his website: https://www.nraas.net/community/home. Unlike most mods, Nraas has made his website set up very clear. You will find that there are many mods here that can enhance your game. The most important mods remain ‘ErrorTrap’ and ‘Saver’. The Sims 3 is notorious for its bugs. ‘ErrorTrap’ quashes these bugs before they can cause your game to lag or outright crash. ‘Saver’ is an automatic saver. With this, you can be sure that you will not lose hours of gameplay if the worst does happen.

The Sims 3. It had a grand idea which ended up having a poor execution. The Sims 3 though, developed a major gaming community. It was thanks to this community that the Sims 3 could function. The Sims 3 was when mod creators thrived. Once upon a time game developer spent time testing their products. Now, games are often pushed out before they are ready. It was the mod creators that saved the Sims 3. They were the ones that fixed things that developers often overlooked. And without them, Mac users may have given up with the Sims 3.

Scrivener for iOS – Microsoft Word 2.0

The iPad. Who knew that it would one day come to rival the computer itself? Then again, with some of the latest MacBook models, you would not be mistaken to think they are competing with the iPad instead. The iPad provides something that even a laptop cannot provide, complete portability. For writers, this feature is often very important, and this is when Scrivener for iOS comes in. Lo and behold, the developers did it once again, bringing the Writer’s best friend straight to iOS. And the best thing is, Scrivener on the iPad is very much like its Mac counterpart. 

Scrivener for iOS’s shining glory is no doubt it’s syncing feature. After all, it proves that Scrivener has played wonderfully into ecosystem already developed by Apple. Unlike most applications, Scrivener relies on the tried and tested Dropbox to make this happen. Dropbox is a freemium application available on both iOS and Mac OS. Once you set up an account with Dropbox, all you must do is tap on the sync icon, input your Dropbox account details and voila, you are all set to go. Just be aware not to have Scrivener open on more than one device as that can cause major syncing headaches!

Scrivener for iOS much like Scrivener, retains full text editing and composition features. What does this mean? Simple. Have you got an iPad with a keyboard? Well then you can whip it out anywhere, and viola, it will be as if you are back home working on your magnum opus from your primary machine. Of course, this process can be made even easier if say you sync your work in progress. That way you can take what you have been doing on your personal computer and continue it on your iPad. Stuck for inspiration? Why not take Scrivener with you on your next journey?

All writers do research in one form or another. Staying true to its multiple documents in one file feature present on Scrivener for personal computer, you can place PDF’s right into your work-in-progress. You can do this right in Safari by tapping on the share icon, create PDF and then copy right into Scrivener. Heads up. Make sure you have a Scrivener project open in the Scrivener app, otherwise you will get an error message. However, this is also where the Scrivener app falls short. You can add the PDFs on your iPad. Once done, you may want to rearrange some things the next time you sync back to your personal computer. 

There is one thing that Scrivener for iOS may do better than Scrivener on the personal computer, and that is the full ability to outline and plan. Why could this be better on an iPad? Simple. It is all down to the iPad multi-touch capacity. Sick of the clicking and dragging? On the iPad, you can tap on the flashcard and input the information either on your portable key or directly with the touch keyboard itself. And as these flashcards also double up as scenes, you can tap and drag them into the optimum order to best organise your work-in-progress. 

Scrivener once revolutionised writing for writers on the personal computers. The developers went onto achieve the same success when it came to the iPad. Now your iPad can be your portable writing. You can take your digital binder, access, and create your corkboard, and of course, access the Inspector. The syncing feature is no doubt the best part of this app, as you can sync and go and take your work-in-progress with you anywhere. Writer. Get ready for your iPad to be your best friend. After all, now it is no longer simply a media consumption device, but something upon which you can create your next masterpiece.

Scrivener for Mac – Microsoft Word 2.0.

Macs. Solid devices, with operating systems built to be wholly compatible with its hardware. A bonus is the in-built virus protection crucial especially when online. Macs remain the device you can use to just get things done. This is especially important if you are a creative, yes, and even writers can benefit a great deal from this. How? First move away from the default Microsoft option. To what? Well, the native application to the Mac operating system, Scrivener.

Scrivener. Michael Marshall Smith, a bestselling author, once called this “The biggest software advance for writers since the word processor.” The first piece of software a writer relies on to hone their craft is usually Microsoft Word. You could consider Scrivener, however, as Microsoft Word 2.0. Why is this important? Simple. Microsoft Word was never a native application to Mac but to Windows. When you try and use adapted Windows software for Mac, compatibility issues tend to arise. With Scrivener, you would not have those worries, it was once a Mac only application after all. 

Writers. You have a lot to say. You have a lot to plan. You also likely have many word documents open at one time in the attempts to accommodate all this. Often, it can cause a major headache. After all, a writer has figure out which document holds which piece of information. On top of that, a writer also must grapple with where best to store all these documents. This is where Scrivener binder comes into play. This digital binder makes the impossible possible. It allows you to create files and place them into many folders. This way you can organise stories, chapters, and research all in one file. Goodbye documents scattered everywhere, hello organisation. 

As a writer, you must bend Microsoft Word to fit your needs rather than the application doing it for you. Scrivener though, provides all that Microsoft Word does not for a writer. These include everything from word count target trackers to character templates already ready to go. Scrivener is a writer’s dream. After all, other than document templates, it also has whole slew of project templates too. These include a Fiction section for: Novel, Novel (with Parts) and Short Story. They also contain a Non-Fiction section for academia. Scriptwriting and other miscellaneous titbits are also available.

The Mac operating system can prize itself on being hands-on, Scrivener has honed-in on this. The Corkboard and the Inspector is how they have achieved this aim. Have you ever wished with Word that you could reorganise your scenes in a more logical fashion? With Corkboard, you can, by clicking and dragging scenes to earlier or later positions. With Word, you cannot set up things like draft status and scene/chapter synopsis, with the Inspector tool, you can. An organised workspace usually reflects an organised mind. This is no doubt crucial for a writer to increase their productivity. 

Scrivener. The tool to use when you write, the tool to use when you wish to present and go onto publish your work. This is where the guidelines come into force. With Word though, following these guidelines can be more misses then hits. With Scrivener, even the end stage has is an in-built mechanism available via the Compile function. This function can automatically save your chapters in a variety of formats. These include industry standard manuscripts, paper books on demand and even e-books. 

Impressed yet? I should hope so. Macs are creatives best friends, especially writers. Everyone starts with Word when they are writers. But why settle with Word when Scrivener gives you a streamline experience? Scrivener adds to the it-just-works feeling most get when working on a Mac. Scrivener is also a tool that takes care of all the nitty gritty things to do with functionality and formatting. This means that as a writer, you can get back to what is important, writing.

Online gaming as a new medium to satisfy the human need for social contact

Humans society is made up of introverts and extroverts and even those in between. We all share one thing in common, the need for social contact. In the past, this consisted of spending time with our friends and family or just feeling a part of a larger crowd. We relied on casual conversations. We relied on private ones too. Support of our peers has always proven to be the most important. Now that we live in these unprecedented times, the notion of social contact has had to change. After all, loneliness can be a terrible thing if you do not know how you can combat it.

Pamler Qualter is a professor of psychology for education at the University of Manchester. She ‘defines loneliness as “not necessarily about being on your own, but about feeling a disconnect with other people – a sense that the relationships you have aren’t satisfying your emotional needs,”’. But when surrounded by fear and restrictions, what can we do? We can turn to the internet. Social media is all well and good, but online gaming can end up being more rewarding. We are not only exploring new worlds, but we are doing it together.

Online gaming is now becoming synonymous with online communities. Video games used to be a solo experience. You would install it on your computer and work through the game. Two major things have transpired within the gaming industry. First was the improvement of the graphics. Second, was faster internet becoming available for the public. The internet came into existence to send information across the world fast. Now the internet is in every home. Is it any wonder why many games now have online elements? This way players can share their gaming experiences. When they do this with like-minded individuals, it inevitably creates a community. 

The Final Fantasy video game series is the strongest example of a gaming community. Hironobu Sakaguchi created Final Fantasy. It is a game that has remained true to its role-playing genre, its rich ever-expanding world and story lore. Is it any wonder why it has translated so well to an online gaming platform? Final Fantasy XIV as it is now called permits you to create a character. The game now has an ever-growing game map. Quests were once only solo experiences. Now we have Guildhests and dungeon quests where we can meet and work together with players from all over the world. We may not be able to meet and make friends in person as we used to. Final Fantasy XIV is a fully online game. You can log in from anywhere and meet on the platform no matter your time zones. We can even go one step further to create Free Companies. With this feature, we can work together on quests, share resources and even build a house that can be our home base. In the past, we discussed things face to face. Now we can recreate the experience with dialogue boxes and succeed in overcoming the isolation caused by Covid.

SimCity also has a significant fanbase and an ever-developing gaming community. Created by Maxis in 1989, SimCity is a simulation game which permits players to build up a city from an empty plot. In these cities, the players can establish a tax rate, a budget and social policy. SimCity 2013 brought the city building experience to a whole new level. SimCity went from a single-player experience to a multiplayer experience.

In the past SimCity games, our cities were for ourselves. In SimCity 2013, our cities became city-states which flourish even better with other players’ cities interacting with ours. SimCity 2013 made interactions between players a must by making non-renewable resources limited. With the same mechanism, we could share and sell our services such as electricity and oil between friends. The idea of sharing resources and services culminates in Great Works projects. Human civilisation has evolved through the human need to better our communities. The current climate means that our need for social contact and community has had to adapt to an online environment. SimCity is a long-standing game, which has integrated both the idea of community and the satisfaction of working together. 

Fortnite Battle Royale is an example of a new online game going viral. As per its genre, this game is a player versus player which takes place over an expanded game map. These game maps can depend on each simulated scenario from out in the woods to the inside of castles. Players compete with each other to be the last man standing. This can be a battle between two players up to one hundred of them. As with all online games, players can connect in from any part of the world. We can enter as a group of players against another group of players and here the in-group chat function is vital. Fortnite Battle Royale records not only your text in real-time but your voice and face as well. This can make things like virtual in-person strategizing that much more engaging. Many international tournaments have spawned from this game, with real-life prizes. I am sure that some of us may be feeling a little out the depth in this increasingly isolated world. But have you considered teaming up with other players to fulfil your need for social contact instead?

Once upon a time, online gaming may have only been from the fringe few who preferred to isolate themselves from society. This new world means we have to change our habits. We have to look at other ways to maintain social contact despite restrictions. The internet has played a fundamental part in keeping us all connected. Online gaming serves as an extension of that. So, are you going to be the next one to join the online gaming community? I hear that even grandmothers are finding their way around an online poker game.

How ‘Community’ became a part of Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy. It’s a game most could not imagine because of a part of the gaming industry. You may not have played the game yourself, but you have definitely heard of it. Final Fantasy first came out in Japan. Its popularity saved its production company from extinction. It’s the first attempt at coming to the West failed. The same happened with its first launch of its online revamp Final Fantasy XIV failed in 2010. However, by 2013, Final Fantasy XVI had a new development team. They worked to fix all the bugs and launched a successful online game. 

A common interest is what forms the foundations of an online community. Participants can get together online and pursue a common interest. Using these mechanisms, online gaming is like another form of an online community. Usual online communities take place through websites, discussion boards and instant messaging. Online gaming can give you all this. It can also give you a world in which you can interact and work with other players. Chat groups and sharing resources assist in completing various tasks. Now it is difficult to come together in communities. Online gaming, however, has become a viable alternative. 

Final Fantasy is a video game series that has been through many sequels and spinoffs. Final Fantasy has a story that with each of iterations being even better. The initial Final Fantasy online game was rife with performance issues. However, its creators turned things around a few years later. They ironed out bugs and brought in a slew of features to encourage group play. Many players are now returning to Final Fantasy XIV. They do this through generous trial offerings and an established online community. 

Guildhests were the first time I experienced the multiplayer aspect of Final Fantasy XIV. Guildhests become available from level 10. These instanced battles rely on two offensive players, one defensive player and one healer. This is the ideal set up to complete the group task we are on. Guildhests usually have a thirty-minute time limit. Raids have ninety. Raids rely on the same four-man squad initiative. Raids though take longer. Thus, there are more opportunities to strategise and connect with other players. Group events are broadcast to all worlds. So, I may be on the Phoenix server, but I can meet someone from Odin. Trials work on the basis of Guildhests and Dungeon raids. Yet trials, in essence, are hyperintense boss battles. These boss battles usually involve enemies who are a lot more powerful named primals in game. Yet by using teamwork, success is a guarantee. Teamwork. It has been the foundation of many human communities and civilizations for millennia. Humans are by nature, very social creatures forming communities. Final Fantasy XIV has worked based on this. Thus, tapping into our inherent desire to work together to achieve something great. 

Social contact forms the basis of communities. Final Fantasy XIV has done this through a slew of opportunity. The main way of doing this is through the dialogue box. I can do this by clicking on the other logged-in players and typing them a message. The game also has its own version of Facebook private group chats. These consist of Linkshells and cross-world linkshells. The developers of Final Fantasy XIV hosts its game from many different servers. I had not realised I could communicate let alone play side by side with players from other servers. This is where cross-world linkshells are crucial to keeping in contact. When I was in primary school, I remember belonging to a friend group where we would do everything together. Final Fantasy XIV has adapted this into what they call Free Companies. If I become a part of a Free Company, I become part of a player-run guild. Together we can fight monsters, gather high-quality items, craft high-quality items and more. Humans thrive when working in groups to achieve goals. So, it any wonder why Final Fantasy XIV’s Free Companies are so appealing?

Non-player guilds each have their own headquarters. So, it is no surprise that Free Companies would also seek to have a base. There are four housing districts across the game. These serve as housing communities in of themselves. The best real-life example of this, are student halls which are very much like small communities. Final Fantasy XIV has many chances for us to become a part of its community. This can be done through gameplay where our combined resources to buy a plot and build a house. By doing this, we fulfil our inherent human need to be a part of something bigger. 

Final Fantasy is a game which has launched and launched again. Each time its story has grown larger, more detailed, more engrossing for its ever-increasing audience. Most dedicated players have played or at least have heard of this game. Final Fantasy started in Japan and has gone through many failures and revamps. It has gone from 2D graphics to 3D graphics. Now the graphics are so advanced, my avatar can be almost life-like. Final Fantasy is a story and a game continued to adapt over the years. Through trial and error, it has even managed to be a success as an online game.

Final Fantasy XIV may have initially failed to launch. Much like its past iterations, it relaunched stronger than before. So Final Fantasy might now be an old game, but it is a solid game. This is what is bringing more and more people into the world of online gaming. Gaming was once overlooked; online gaming also received the same treatment. Now though, Final Fantasy XIV has breached the mainstream with its ever-growing community. My desire to connect with others is what propelled me to explore online gaming. 

Fanwork Art Goes Mainstream or WEBTOON: Lore Olympus

Originally I came across WEBTOON solely for my iPad. I had a look into it, how could I not? After all I am sure that you have all been at one point or another blitzed by adverts all thanks to YouTube. (It’s kind of nice that YouTube does those kind of things sometimes. Giving the boost to independent content creators that is!) Incidentally I only downloaded WEBTOON for one comic, Lore Olympus. It is a story revolving around the well known couple, Hades and Persephone. Intrigue soon reigned. My own writing also relies on the same source material, Greek Mythology.
 
When I had a spot of time to actually learn what all the fuss was about. It was also the time I noticed that support for the iPad version had ceased. The iPhone version had few kinks before being compatible with the bigger screen of an iPad. It came in real handy to take all my summer holiday photos, my last holiday ever with my grandfather. Today when I downloaded it, WEBTOON ran the way it did on the iPad (sigh of relief). I then proceeded to search for Lore Olympus.
 
Looking at this webcomic now, it appears to have amassed as many as 73. I have only managed to get through the first nine episodes. The artwork style is very unique to say the least. Vibrant and varying colours are what accentuate the pantheon of the Greek gods. All very fitting for their reintroduction in this modern piece. The colours naturally add to the personality of the characters in question. Of course Hades is the first character who we see on the screen. For those who have no idea who he is, they might already be able to guess his personality from the melancholy blue. The colour comes second. The close ups of the forlorn expressions on his face only adds to his position in the city of Olympus, the god of death.
 
Ah yes the city of Olympus. It was only a matter of time before the home of the Greek gods received such a massive update. It is a city where things like flowing Greek dresses have given way to tuxedos and tiny dresses. Dionysus parties have become the simple task of drinking wine from glasses. It is only natural that the item of our day should also make a show, the smartphone. To avoid any copyright infringements issues, the pear logo is the one used.
 
The other main character of this webcomic is Persephone. Greek mythology has known her as the naive and a little struck in her own world. Artemis exemplifies this perfectly with the comment on Persephone’s clothes. “You can’t wear that. You look like a relic.” Hades might have been a depressing blue, Persephone is an innocent pink. She is even dressed in something akin to a wedding dress. This is a true foreshadowing of the serious relationship to develop in her not so distant future. A relationship that not even the ever jealous Aphrodite could have devised.
 
Hades and Persephone might be the main characters. The artist has given us the treat of seeing everyone from Hades’s brothers. Zeus, who apparently has only child syndrome to Aphrodite and her lackey Eros. Each characters in their own colours and their own personalities harkening back to their source material.
 
There are still so many more episodes to read and likely more to come. Art keeps developing in so many new and interesting ways. Thus it is delight that the stories of old continue to live on in our increasingly technological world.

Book Review: Spencer

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. Nonetheless I am very pleased at having had the opportunity to read and review this novel. It’s influence was very positive especially during the earlier stages of my mourning. The story is intense. Yet it provides many invaluable insights on the consequences of following darkness rather than the light.

‘There is nothing more terrifying than man himself – his power, his imagination, his deeds. What do these words suggest? A writer trying to enthral their readers. A physiologist attempting to decipher human nature. Or a human vampire reflecting on the words which lead him down in the world of the abyss. A human vampire? Now that is something which would no doubt cause a lot of head scratching. A moonchild? Well that leads us straight into a world of pagan rituals and blood sacrifices. A world which could only exist in nightmares or horror fiction. A story which entertains and educates. As it underlines the depravities which could even be lurking around in our world.

Spencer is the main character, the reader experiences his journey through his eyes. There are supporting characters which vary from part to part. Some characters return, such as Quentin and Lenny. Whilst other characters stay on for more than one part. These are Roger Martin, Selene and Professor Talbot. Most were not as fleshed out as Spencer. Yet they each had an important part to play in Spencer’s journey. Some of them put on an act only to portray their true distain for Spencer. Whilst others wanted nothing more than to help Spencer to heal. My preferred character was actually Spencer’s girlfriend Elise. Most in her situation would have turned Spencer away for his dark past. She instead saw beyond the ugly, and instead looked to the source of it all. The time when Spencer stood witness to his father’s death at the age of seven. She would been the dose of medicine Spencer would have needed to move on from his past. Yet Spencer’s demons haunted him, thus he did not even permit himself such an opportunity.

Then again, there is no doubt that many of us could relate to Spencer. We would not go so deep into the darkness. But we would understand the huge sense of guilt that Spencer felt over his actions. Actions which were often committed by Spencer through manipulation or social pressure. Most readers who delve into Spencer’s tale would most likely never go to the extreme that he did. Many of us may suffer depression from experiencing the death of a loved one. And this tale would serve as the perfect warning to accept the pain rather than suppress it and suffer as a result.

My first impression of the book was distain, horror, too gory for me to handle. I even contemplated on giving up on the story all together. Yet by my second reading, my viewpoint changed. I came to appreciate the moral lessons behind the story. I became moved with Spencer’s attempt at redemption. And a part of me understands why Spencer’s guilt was so overwhelming. I myself went through a period of mourning. So I also experienced a difficult patch in my life. Reading Spencer’s story gave me a reason to overcome my pain, rather then let it control me. Many no doubt find themselves in similar situations. Thus Spencer’s story serves as a perfect example to chose the path of light than of dark. Spencer choses darkness, but in the end, he seemed to be on the path of redemption. And with the ending of the book, there were no longer dark forces which may have impeded his efforts to do so.

Redemption and forgiveness is something which is intricate to human nature. We are not infallible creatures. We are rough around the edges. Most times we fall of the right path and many times we realise this, and seek the light. This book is not for the faint of heart, there is no doubt about that. Yet I would recommend it to for the mortal lessons it contains. It teaches above all else, that even if humans are capable of terrible acts. Deep down, they are capable to change for the better, if given the chance.

Disney California: Part Two

Many posts back I described my experience with the Haunted Mansion ride. Now I realise that it was actually a ride paying homage to A Nightmare Before Christmas. It may have seemed an innocent film to most. But it was quite creepy. Creepy enough to be a Halloween themed ride rather than a Christmas one. No matter, it’s counterpart in Disney California, one based of the Little Mermaid. Well that ride most definitely had a more upbeat feel about it. Sure the original story of a Little Mermaid was a lot darker. But seeing as it was the Disney adaptation, the ride too was a lot more upbeat than the Haunted Mansion ride.
 
Yet it was my last ride of my Disneyland experience which served as a throwback to my early childhood. Why you ask? Because I went up on none other then a carousel. I am sure that many of you can remember back to the fairs which came to your towns when you were young. Many of you were no doubt more interested in Bumper cars. Yet there were always a special place in your heart for the classic carousel ride. The only difference between the traditional carousel and the one in Disney California was that I sat upon a dolphin not a horse. This was due to it’s King Triton theme.
 
There was definitely an water theme going on in Disney California. Especially when it came to visiting Crush, the talking turtle. And whether it was him in the fish tank, or we the spectators. Well that was something that both we the audience and Crush had a good laugh about. Crush was a massive 3D animation who interacted with us through the screen. Some of the the younger children may have thought that screen was actually glass. Yet I knew that it was all brought to life through the power of the computer.
 
The last water themed show was quite literally portrayed with water. It was the World of Color show. A show where standing too close got you soaked from head to toe. Now that was something of a dilemma for me. Why you ask? Because I wanted both to film but not to get my iPad wet. I ended up not to close or far away. It was a sight to behold seeing all those classic Disney songs reflected within the water itself. Indeed it was the perfect wrap up to my time in Disneyland Resort.
 
From a young age, I had always been curious about America. I mean who would not be, seeing as many still say that it is the best country in the world. I was fortunate enough to achieve that desire of mine whilst also allowing my heart to rest and to heal. Some say that you travel to escape or you travel to find something new. Indeed, I did find something new. I found myself, and the strength to live on and live a life that would make my grandfather proud.

Disney California: Part One

What most people do not realise about Disneyland, is that it is actually as resort. And the unique feature about Disneyland resort is that it contains two theme parks. Most are familiar with Disneyland park. That is where all the parades tend to go on. That is where most of those well known rides such as It’s a Small World are. Thus it is no surprise that the first park often ends up dwarfing the second less known park. This park is Disney California, which contrary to popular belief, is worth visiting. It too has it’s own charm about it.
 
For a while, I wondered through the park, taking photos as a passerby. Yes it was a lot more mellow experience. But then again, that could have been because school was once again in session. And soon I came across my first ride of the day, the one that seemed worth it. Some may call it childish, I say it was fun. After all, Monsters Inc has built a brand for itself now. Disney Films are generally started and finished on the computer. So this ride almost succeeded in make you feel as if you were right in the movie itself.
 
Others described Disney California as the more mature version of Disneyland. This was true, after all, I did venture along to see the performance of a local school orchestra. I myself do not play an instrument, singing was my thing back in the day. Now it has morphed into straight on writing. Most visitors seem to shy away from things like classical music. I embraced it, and filmed it. After all, it was not Mozart that those students performed. I am sure that they throw in a couple of acclaimed Disney classics in there too. It was Disney who created their own classical soundtracks to build their brand after all.
 
Disneyland is a place for children before anything else. So whilst more avoided the orchestra performance. They seemed fully entertained by the Disney Junior spectacle. I went in to get shelter from the grey clouds. It was quite amusing how much it rained in California when I visited. Especially when that state had been experiencing severe droughts beforehand. Disney Junior was more of an interim thing I did whilst waiting for the real McCoy. Though it did bring back memories of me binge watching the Disney channel years ago. Yet it was the performance I snuck out of Disney Junior for which really puts Disney California on the map. What it is you may ask? Why the theatre production of Frozen of course.
 
To be honest, when I sat down in the audience I did not actually put two and two together until the show began. Yeah I know I was a little lost, but imagine my surprise when I realised. I suppose the theatre in Disney California is it’s major selling point. Much like Disney’s Frozen centred itself on the lead song of Let It Go. Thus making it an international sensation. And yes that song also made it’s debut in the stage-play. Though snapping photos with the lead actresses later on was the true icing on the cake.

Hollywood Tours: Part Three (The Walk of Fame)

How can I talk about Hollywood without bringing up the famous Walk of Fame? When I imagined it before, I saw it as a long stretch of road. I had thought that I could snap a photo of each star. Yet when I got there, I realised that doing that across fifteen blocks was near impossible. A star for all actors, comedians, celebrities etc is a double edged sword. It can both acknowledge good actors. Yet it can also be a show of hubris. After all, celebrities can always buy a star. But if they had to do that, then it could be that they are not the best of actors.

The Walk of Fame has a global reputation, a prime destination for tourists no matter what time of year. December/ January was when I was there. And let me tell you that even then it was sprawling with hundreds of people. It is also the place for the crazies to prowl and ask for money. Who are these people? They are the ones who dress up like fandom characters. Thank goodness I had a pre-warning about them. After all, I hear they can get quite pushy when people refuse to cough up some dough.

The stars are important, though once there, one cannot help but find themselves in at least one shop. The one I choose was what I considered to be the most important. La La Land is it’s name. What singles out this shop from the others, well it is because of a certain famous car. What’s is so special about this car? It belongs to none other then Elvis Presley. His legacy even lives on today. Thus it is no wonder that tourists flock there to stock up on photo after photo. I was one of them!

Whilst I did not binge in The World of Harry Potter, I let my guard down in Sweet! Hollywood. The best way to describe it is like a sweet factory but in a dazzling Hollywood style. But there were a lot more things in the shop then sweets. For on one side you would see fine art and high fashion. On the other side there were Popeye and Geisha women paintings and Gothic attire. If there was ever a one stop destination, this would be the shop I would recommend. I went on a photo marathon and thinking about it now, I was not the only one to do so.

Hollywood is the epicentre for tourists all over the world. There are shops and entertainment venues for all flights of fancy. Yet out of all the places to eat, there is one that stands above the rest. This is none other then the Farmer’s Market. In the beginning, it may have been a place for dairy farmers. Yet now it has become a place filled with food stands filled with delicious cuisine. Yet out of all the fancy food I could have eaten, the sandwich I got my hands was the best. So if you are ever in Los Angeles, visiting the Farmers’ Market should definitely be on your list.