New planner review: Pipsticks®+Workman® Gift Line

Pipsticks+Workman Planner

Pipsticks®+Workman® Gift Line

A month ago I was approached to do a review of a new planner line created by Workman Publishing and Pipsticks. I was given an option to choose one of three themed packages, and my choice was “for the Dreamer…”. This set was quoted to be perfect for the creative spirit.

I was intrigued. I love stationery and planners. I am proud to admit that at any given time I use at least two, sometimes three, planners. I have also tried different planner systems: Happy Planner, Filofax, Erin Condren, Bullet Journal, etc. I was excited to try out something new, especially since I was promised tons of stickers. And anyone who knows me knows that I collect stickers like there is no tomorrow.

I did an unboxing video on my YouTube channel, in which I open the package and I give my first impressions of Pipsticks+Workman planner. In the package that was sent to me, I received a planner, a notekeeper, and a sticker book.

*Please note that all photos in the review were edited and the colours you see might be slightly different from a real-life product. However, the pen test photos were left as.


Pipsticks Planner
Pipsticks Planner

My first impression was relatively positive: everything was bright and cute. The sticker book does have a lot of stickers. Moreso, stickers can also be found in the planner (it has sheets with seasonal stickers) and even the notebook (which is called the notekeeper).

However, once I started using them, I found out that some of those stickers are very thin, can’t be repositioned without ripping paper - but some can be, you only have to be very careful - and many are very similar. Indeed, the set has over 800 stickers, but many of them are repetitive. For example, there are 3 sheets with different food stickers, but not enough word stickers for events.

Pipsticks planner sticker pad
Pipsticks planner sticker pad

There is, however, a whole community of Pipsticks stickers lovers on Instagram and there is a subscription to Pipsticks Printables Library, where you can get lots of lists, meal planners, goal trackers, and more. I did not explore this option at the time of the review, but it is something to keep in mind for those who are into printables!

Pipsticks sticker book and notepad
Pipsticks sticker book and notepad

I like the notebook. It is called “a creativity pad for dreamers”, and it has 2 pages with stickers, but other pages are just notepaper with lots of different designs. I think it will be cool to use those pages for writing letters and notes to people.

Pipsticks notepad
Pipsticks notepad

The Pipsticks+Workman planner itself is bright and colourful. It has a sturdy cover, but the coil is not very flexible, and the cover gets stuck a bit at times. The planner opens up with a small pocket.

Pipsticks planner
Pipsticks planner inside view

There are a card and sticky tab notes/flags inside. Then there are 6 pages of seasonal stickers, the calendar view for 2019 and 2020 (which makes my crazy planner soul very happy), the list of all holidays (including Canadian ones, yay!), the goals tab, and then 17 months of monthly and weekly spreads, and at the very end - a couple of notes pages. There is also a pocket at the back.

Pipsticks planner sticker sheets
Pipsticks planner sticker sheets

Pipstick planner goals page
Pipstick planner goals page

Pipsticks planner holidays
Pipsticks planner holidays

Pipsticks planner back pocket
Pipsticks planner back pocket

The planner has 2 elastics: one, the gold one, to keep the planner closed and the other, the pink one, to mark the page. I have never had a planner like that with an elastic as a bookmark.

Pipsticks planner monthly
Pipsticks planner monthly

I found the layout of weekly spreads a bit confusing. It is horizontal, but each day is also split into 3 vertical boxes. I initially thought that they are supposed to divide the day into morning/afternoon/evening, like in an Erin Condren vertical planner, but one box per day has “YAY” written in it, which I found a bit random. Not sure what I am supposed to write in there. Plus, as you can see in my pictures, some of the stickers did not fit the boxes, so I am not sure why the days were split into 3 sections anyway.

Pipsticks planner weekly spread
Pipsticks planner weekly spread

There is also a quiz question on each spread. I find that cute. The bottom of the page, though, has a wide strip with days of the week and stars on the side. It seems like it is supposed to be a space for a weekly to-do list, but I found it awkward to use.

Pipsticks planner month cover page

I like monthly spreads way more. The spreads are clean, simple, and the boxes for each day are big enough for my handwriting. Each month has a little creative challenge in the corner, which I am not really liking for some reason, but some might find interesting.

Pipsticks planner monthly
Pipsticks planner monthly

My biggest concern, once I unboxed the Pipsticks+Workman planner, was the paper. It felt really thin, and I worried that it wouldn’t hold against my pens. I used one of the note pages to do a pen test. And I was a bit surprised by the result.

Pipsticks planner pen test
Pipsticks planner pen test (image is unedited; click for a bigger view)

You can see in the pictures that even though there is a bit of bleed through (especially, with the Tombow calligraphy pen and alcohol based markers), but not so much with other pens. You can see the ink and outline still, but that is because I tend to press on paper really hard.

Pipsticks planner pen test (image is unedited; click for a bigger view)
Pipsticks planner pen test

Overall, I liked the idea behind the Pipsticks+Workman Planner. My biggest problem is with weekly spreads, however, as I struggle to figure out how to use those 3 sections. I do not always use morning/afternoon/evening to plan my day. The stickers are adorable and good quality, but I have seen similar stickers at Michaels stores, so the designs aren’t very original.

If I had to give the rating to the planner, I would say it is somewhere around 3.5 stars out of 5. I liked it, but some things are not well suitable for me as a planner. Since it is a 17-month planner, I will try to use it till the end of 2018 to see if I will get used to it or if I will have to get another planner for 2019.

Rating: 3.5

Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of the planner for review.


More of my stationery blogs

More of my book reviews

Blog: "Fancy a cuppa?" (Adagio teas review)

If somebody asked me about five years ago, whether I prefer coffee or tea, the answer would have been wholeheartedly tea. I did develop a certain addiction to coffee, and even invested in some of the coffee making paraphernalia.  

But my love for tea has stayed strong. It got someone dampened by the fact that I struggle to find a good quality tea in Toronto. Especially, loose leaf. I tried grocery stores, Homesense stories, and speciality tea stores. I am yet to find what I like.


One of the online stores that I like is Whittard of Chelsea, but, sadly, they are a UK company, so shipping to Canada can be a bit pricey. Although the quality is great.


I have heard of fandom teas before. I spent at least 6 years being very active in several fandoms on tumblr, so I was familiar with the concept. I was, however, always wary of self-made blends as I thought that it was difficult to guess the correct (or tasty) blend of ingredients, although I have several online friends who enjoy creating custom blends.

And, of course, I have heard of Adagio teas before.


I was approached by Adagio with an offer to review some of their teas, in particular Fandom Blends. I was very intrigued and jumped at this opportunity, as it had been awhile since I had any good teas.


Adagio fandom teas


Here is the list of all the samples that I ordered and the review for each will follow. I went through all of my favourite fandoms but eventually ended up going with Sherlock Holmes and Harry Potter fandoms.




Adagio Sherlock fandom blend
Shot In the Dark [His Last Vow]

created by Bran Mydwynter

Fandom: Sherlock



Blended With Black Tea, Pu Erh Dante, Lapsang Souchong, Natural Caramel Flavor, Cocoa Nibs, Natural Chocolate Flavor, Natural Vanilla Flavor

Teas: Tiger Eye, Pu Erh Dante, Lapsang Souchong

Accented With Cocoa Nibs, Cocoa Nibs And Red Peppercorn

Rating: 2 (of 5) stars

Comment: I liked the description of the tea ingredients (and the title - let's be honest), but I didn’t take into account peppercorn, which was way too strong for me in this tea. If you are ok with peppercorn - then you will enjoy this tea way more than I did.


Adagio Sherlock Fandom blend


Earl Greg [Greg Lestrade]

created by Bran Mydwynter

Fandom: Sherlock



Blended With Black Tea, Rose Hips, Hibiscus, Apple Pieces, Natural Blueberry Flavor, Orange Peels, Blueberries, Natural Bergamot Flavor, Blue Cornflowers,

Teas: Earl Grey Bravo, Berry Blues

Accented With Cornflowers

Rating: 4 (of 5) stars

Comment: This tea works great, but I love everything with bergamot. The flavour of berries and flowers only adds to it. Will definitely order again.


Adagio Sherlock fandom blend



created by Katy B

Fandom: Sherlock


Ingredients Blended With Green Tea, Gunpowder, Orange Peels, Rose Hips, Hibiscus, Natural Spice Flavor, Cinnamon Bark, Ginger Root, Natural Orange Flavor   Teas: Spiced Green, Gunpowder, Blood Orange

Rating: 3 (of 5) stars

Comment: I am a bit on the fence with this tea. I like Gunpowder, and ginger, and hibiscus, but added blood orange was just not for me. I felt as if it dominated the flavour too much.


Adagio Sherlock Holmes fandom blend


Worth A Wound [johnlock]

created by Bran Mydwynter

Fandom: Sherlock



Blended With Green Tea, Black Tea, Orange Peels, Rose Hips, Hibiscus, Natural Orange Flavor, Ginger Root, Natural Ginger Flavor, Marigold Flowers, Natural Lemon Flavor  

Teas: Blood Orange, Citron Green, Ginger

Accented With Hibiscus, Orange Peels And Ginger

Rating: 5 (of 5) stars

Comments: I loved this tea! I was so disheartened by some other samples, that I was taken by surprise after tasting this one. It has the same blood orange that I didn’t like in another sample, but it works perfectly well in this one! Will definitely order more.


Adagio Harry Potter fandom blend


House of the Loyal

created by Mallory Walker

Fandom: Harry Potter



Blended With Oolong Tea, Chamomile, Black Tea, Natural Peach Flavor, Apple Pieces, Natural Forest Berries Flavor, Marigold Flowers, Raspberry Leaves, Apricots, Raspberries, Strawberries

Teas: Forest Berries, Peach Oolong, Chamomile

Accented With Marigold Flowers And Orange Peels

Rating: 3 (of 5) stars

Comment: I felt really ‘meh’ about this tea. I think chamomile didn’t really go well for me with other berries. Although I liked the tones of other fruit in it.


Adagio Zodiac sign blend


created by Kali Levon

Fandom: Zodiac signs



Blended With Black Tea, Assam Melody Tea, Ceylon Sonata Tea, Orange Peels, Natural Coconut Flavor, Blue Cornflowers, Dried Coconut, Natural Vanilla Flavor, Natural Bergamot Flavor, Natural Creme Flavor  

Teas: Earl Grey Moonlight, Irish Breakfast, Coconut

Accented With Cinnamon, Coconut And Lavender

Rating: 3.5 (of 5) stars

Comment: I found this tea rather pleasant - fruity and nice. However, it reminded me of many other teas I had in the past. I might order it again, if I am in the mood.


Adagio Zodiac sign blend


I also got a free Sagittarius sample based on my birthday month. Not sure if they changed the size of a sample or something, but it is not the same as the one I got sent (same blend though).

Link :


Blended With Black Tea, Raspberries, Natural Vanilla Flavor, Natural Creme Flavor, Safflower, Natural Raspberry Flavor And Natural Bergamot Flavor

Rating: 2 (of 5) stars

Comment: This tea was too bland. It tasted like English Breakfast tea and I barely tasted any particular flavour. Might do well with milk, but I drank it black and was disappointed.


I also got 2 other freebies with my order.

Adagio tea blends samples


Cherry (a sachet)



Blended With Black Tea, Natural Wild Cherry Flavor, Rose Petals And Dried Cherries

Rating: 2 (of 5) stars

Comments: Very disappointed with this tea. Mostly because the flavour of cherry (that I love) wasn’t that strong and I am not a huge fan of black teas in the first place. This blend is too caffeinated for me. Might be okay with milk, but I definitely oversteeped it when I made it for the first time. I will try it again, but I was not impressed by overall flavour.


Cocomint green (a sachet)



Blended With Green Tea, Cocoa Nibs, Natural Chocolate Mint Flavor And Peppermint Leaves

Rating: 1 (of 5) stars

Comments: I tried two sips of this tea and had to pour it down the drain. No, just no. I am okay with peppermint chocolate but not in my tea, apparently. This was a huge mistake. I want to forget I have ever tried it.




I deeply thankful to Adagio for providing me with a coupon to taste their teas. However, I found that I am a rather picky tea drinker and I need an option of smelling a tea before purchasing it. Some of the blends sounded very good in description but turned unpalatable for my taste. Which is absolutely fair as tastes differ.


There is also a small matter of shipping. Since I live in Canada, the shipping costed me almost $15 CAD, which is a bit steep for a couple of tea samplers.


Still, I consider my experience with fandom teas a success as I did find some that I liked. I heard of Sherlock blends by Bran Mydwynter for awhile and always wanted to try them. Even though I didn’t love all of them, I feel like I might return to Adagio to sample some more.


My book reviews

Musical review: Falsettos (Broadway Revival) - Live from Lincoln Center


I am so used to going to special events and broadcasts at Cineplex on Thursdays, that I almost completely missed a broadcast of "Falsettos" on Wednesday, July 12 (yes, I am a bit behind on reviews - thanks for noticing ?).


"Falsettos" was one of those classic ‘know nothing about but it sounds gay, so I am going to watch it’ moments for me. I got a ticket almost last minute - which for me means a day or two ahead - and spent a lovely evening laughing my heart out.





James Lapine



Christian Borle, Stephanie J. Block, Andrew Rannells, Brandon Uranowitz, Anthony Rosenthal, Tracie Thoms, Betsy Wolfe



Live From Lincoln Center & Lincoln Center Theater present “Falsettos” Nominated for five 2017 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, Falsettos is a hilarious and poignant look at a modern family revolving around the life of a gay man Marvin, his wife, his lover, his soon-to-be-bar-mitzvahed son, their psychiatrist, and the lesbians next door. Originally created under the specter of the AIDS crisis, this timely musical about middle-class family dynamics manages to remain buoyant and satirically perceptive even as it moves towards its heartbreaking conclusion. Lincoln Center Theater’s production stars Christian Borle, Stephanie J. Block, Andrew Rannells, and Brandon Uranowitz, all of whom received Tony nominations for their respective performances.


"Falsettos" is absolutely hilarious. There are lots of middle-age crisis jokes, lots of Jewish jokes, lots of ‘my husband is gay and I don’t know how to deal with it because I kind of support him and also want to stab him’ jokes. The time flew by as I watched it.


Since I did not know that one of the plotlines of "Falsettos" would touch upon AIDS or I would have mentally braced myself. Earlier in July, I watched the brilliant production of “Angels in America” that I loved to the very bottom of my heart, and was not ready to revisit the subject matter.


The musical went from extremely funny and happy to sad by the end of the story. Someone in the audience behind me was crying hysterically at the very end. And believe me, it was indeed really hard not to do the same.


Jason, the young son of Marvi, is torn between his drifting apart parents. He is confused by the appearance of a boyfriend in his father’s life, as well as the crazy obsession of both parents to celebrate Bar Mitzvah in the way they want. Jason definitely steals the show at times, but my heart is firmly with Marvin and his relationship with Whizzer.


Marvin tries to be both true to himself and also keep his tight-knit family. It is both funny and heartbreaking to watch as he goes between his wife and son, and his lover. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone but even when things seem to be getting better - they actually aren’t.


I liked the music, and jokes, and the acting, but I would not call "Falsettos" the best musical I have ever seen. The plot is somewhat predictable at times, and as it was set in a certain time period, the ending is sad but unsurprising. I wish it had ended differently, though.


Acting deserves at least 4 stars, but the plot is about 3 stars.


Overall rating: 3.5 stars





More of my play reviews

Book/Play review: Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen + National Theatre Live

This is going to be the review for both the script and National Theatre Live production, as there are some certain differences to Hedda’s character, which I found really interesting. Beware of plot spoilers ahead.

“Hedda Gabler” is a four act play written by the norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen in 1890. The edition that I read was translated by Jens Arup and the introduction written by James McFarlane (Oxford World’s Classics). The introduction gives us a brief synopsis of Ibsen’s life and work.


The play starts on the morning after Hedda and her husband, Jorgen Tesman, arrived from their six months long honeymoon. Tesman holds a University Fellowship in cultural history and used the opportunity of their honeymoon to do his research, which Hedda finds incredibly boring and ridiculous. They are visited by Tesman’s aunt, who lives nearby and takes care of her seriously ill sister. The next visitor is Mrs. Elvested who brings the rumour of Ejlert Lovborg being back in town. There is also a rumour, brought by Tesman’s friend, a judge named Mr. Black, that Lovborg is going to apply for the same position in University as Tesman and that his latest book was very successful. All of this prompts a series of events that snowball to a climatic ending.


“Hedda Gabler” is a very interesting play with multiple layers. Written in the 19th century, it shows us a character of Hedda who is quite obviously ahead of her time. Ibsen even intentionally titled the play with Hedda’s maiden name as if to show that she was not just her husband’s wife. Hedda is smart and strong-willed, she is hungry for knowledge and dominance - things that were only available to men in that time. She was brought up by her father, the general, and is said to have learnt to ride a horse and fire a gun - as a matter of fact, she owns a pair of pistols that play a prominent role in the play. She despises any sign of weakness, expressed by either a man or a woman. There are mentions of her pregnancy throughout the play, but she ignores or diverts the attention whenever the subject is brought up, which made me think that she viewed her pregnancy as yet another boundary of the marriage and the weakness.


Hedda can be quite cruel and unsympathetic towards people in her quest to overpower them, and Ibsen even said that the play is “the study in demonic”, which made me think at the very beginning that Hedda exhibits signs of psychopathy. It is, obviously, almost impossible to prove, and I think it would be safe to assume that Hedda was suffering from some sort of mental illness, as a result of her life.


Hedda is trapped by the society norms and expectations. She married Tesman because it was expected of her. She doesn’t love him, she doesn’t care about his research, but she does care about appearances and social status. She has high expectations for his potential promotion at University, as that would bring money and status, and that is why the moment that promotion is threatened, she springs into action. Hedda does all she can to protect herself and her status, however, it still leads to her downfall, as she is unable to break away from the society’s rules. She can’t leave her husband, she has no way of making money or supporting herself. In a way, she even envies Mrs. Elvested her simple courage to leave her husband for Lovborg. At the end, she takes her own life as her only way of escape.


I found the way Hedda manipulates people incredibly fascinating. She is a true mastermind in this play, although she does fall prey to Mr. Black. In many ways, “Hedda Gabler” is a feminist play as it shows a woman struggling to be on the same level as men. Since it was set in the 19th century, it is obvious, that the root of all her troubles is the time and society itself. That is why I was incredibly excited to learn that National Theatre production moved the time of the play to contemporary age.





If we take Hedda out of the 19th century and the boundaries that existed there, would she still exhibit the same internal conflict? Would she be still trapped? How different would she be? Those were the questions that kept running through my head.


This new version of the play was written by Patrick Marber. He quite masterfully adapted the script, changing some of the settings and dialogues to fit the modern time. Hedda is played by Ruth Wilson, who brings both fierceness and vulnerability to her character.


Why did modern Hedda marry Tesman? She didn’t have to. But she did because she felt that she was getting old. Was she really as trapped as she thought she was? Because she could have left her husband, she could have divorced him, she could have started a new life. So, why?


I think, that the difference between Ibsen’s and Marber’s Hedda lies in the fact that while the former is trapped by society - something that she unable to change, the latter is trapped in her own mind. Modern Hedda is brilliant and beautiful but she is also lost and unable to find her way out. Why? It is hard to say as we don’t get any glimpses into her childhood. However, it is clear that there are certain, probably self-imposed, rules, that Hedda has to abide by. And that makes me believe that Hedda is plagued by mental illness more so in the modern version than the original play. I found both the script and the NT production to be equally fascinating, but for me those were two different Heddas: one trapped by society and another by herself.


Was Hedda a demon, who gave a recovering alcoholic a drink and then a gun to “do it beautifully”? Or was she a coward with “no talent for life”, who couldn’t break the chains of marriage and society? I believe that she can be viewed as both and none at the same time. Hedda Gabler is a unique character, who defies all expectations.




  • Ibsen, Henrik. Four Major Plays. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
  • Hedda Gabler - National Theatre Live. March 26, 2017.

Play review: My Night with Reg by Kevin Elyot (Mirvish)

My Night with Reg I watched "My Night with Reg" on February 24, almost by the end of the play’s run, which is unfortunate as I would have loved to see it again. This was one of those plays which I had on my list as something that I would like to see but it was nowhere near at the top. More so, I bought the ticket only because it was on sale on Boxing Day, since I am not too fond of Panasonic Theatre as a venue.

I also knew next to nothing about the play as I have never heard of it before but I did have an inkling that it might have something to do with LGBTQ+ community (I still have no idea how I guessed but here you go!). But then the show started its run, three actors of the main cast did a short interview during Morning Show on Global (which I watch faithfully every day), so it gave me a better understanding of what I was going to see. And I got excited.

It is a rather short, only one hour and a half long, chamber play. There is no intermission, however, there are three distinctive parts that span across several years. The transition is so quick that the audience is often left to wonder how much time has actually passed.


It is a play written by British playwright Kevin Elyot. The events take place within gay community in London in 1980s, when the threat of HIV/AIDS is on the rise. The story is about a group of close friends who go through love, heartbreak, betrayal, and death, somehow still maintaining their friendship. The central figure in the majority of conversations is a mysterious Reg, who never makes an appearance, but whose existence affects most of the characters in one way or another. In spite of a looming threat of terminal disease and occasional bouts of depression, the play is surprisingly funny and racy (plus, it includes full frontal nudity on stage - just saying!). There are a lot of tongue in cheek jokes, as well as jokes that might fly over the heads of those who are not part of LGBTQ+ community (I was sitting next to a couple who seemed to be confused throughout of the play), however, the problems that those guys face are universal and relatable.


I, personally, found the play both heartwarming and heartbreaking. All of the characters have their own secrets and troubles. The threat of HIV/AIDS is never discussed or mentioned explicitly, although it is being referred to more than once. There is also a mention of rape, which is sort of glossed over as well. I had a feeling as if the Guy’s apartment was some sort of a bubble in which they all encompassed themselves, trying to hide from the realities of death, disease and reality. This bubble, unfortunately, starts to crack as the play progresses and the friend face the deaths of their loved ones.


I think all the actors did an amazing job at playing their characters. If I had to pick my favourite, I would say that Daniel was probably my favourite. I stayed for a bit of Q&A at the end of the play, which provided a bit of more insight into the characters of Bernie and Benny.


I wish I had read the play before watching it but I am going to rectify it soon. This was the first time it was performed in Canada, but hopefully not the last time.


Personal rating: 4 stars




More of my theatre reviews

Book review: Welcome to Night Vale (a novel)


Let me start with saying that I am a fan of the podcast (even though I keep getting behind with episodes all the time). I have been to 2 live shows (The Librarian and The Investigators). I had a WTNV iPhone case designed for me by my talented friend. I even made a fan art once.

So, naturally, I got really excited about the book. I pre-ordered it and set on reading it before going to the book signing in November. Sadly, I got sick and couldn't go to the book signing, so I set the book away for some time.

When I started reading it, I was a bit confused by the narrative, which read exactly like a script of a podcast episode. The chapters were too short. I couldn't get into the reading mood, and after a couple of pages I put it back on the shelf, horrified at the fact that I am on my way to disliking the novel.

And then I read on Twitter (or, maybe, it was the podcast website) that there was an audiobook coming out.

This news confused me both by the fact that there is an audiobook of a novel based on a podcast (a weird recursion) AND that I didn't think there would be one (which in retrospect seems pretty obvious). So, of course I immediately purchased it on Audible.

I started reading the audiobook in bits - on the way to and from work, which is not really much of a commute. It was not until I went on a trip to QC when I really got into the book. Listening to WTNV novel read masterfully by Cecil on a train was the best thing possible. It allowed me to really get into the novel. I also listened to it while walking around QC and in my hotel.

I finished listening to it on my way back (I listened straight through the remaining 5 hours).  And I loved it.

I gave the plot 4 solid stars and 5 stars to Cecil for performance.

According to Audible website, the book is unabridged and narrated by Cecil Baldwin, Dylan Marron, Retta, Therese Plummer and Dan Bittner. But it is not exactly true. If you look at the audiobook cover, it states that Cecil is the narrator and others are guest stars. It is actually a big difference, as it is not a full cast audiobook. It is narrated only by Cecil.

And here is the fun part. The novel is written in third point of view, except for the chapters that are titled "The Voice of Night Vale" and are basically transcripts of the radio show (as part of the novel). Those chapters are read by Cecil Baldwin as Cecil and not the narrator (and he does a great job at this distinction) and only ONE of those chapters includes other characters and thus guest stars.

I just wanted to point it out because I expected the audiobook to be the full cast but it was not.

The plot itself involves both old and new characters with the focus on the characters that we knew nothing or very little about. It has all the wonderfully obscene and ridiculous aspects of the show. (I think Joseph Fink said on Twitter that someone "complained" about the book having only or mostly queer characters, and it is both wonderful and absolutely true! I couldn't find the exact comment, so I am citing by memory.)

Describing the plot is not an easy endeavour. It involves a 19 year old antique shop owner (who has been 19 for many years now), her estranged mother; another woman who is trying to reconnect with her teenaged son (who takes any shape he wants or likes); and a mysterious King City.

I don't think this book can be appreciated by someone who knows nothing about WTNV. You really don't need to know anything per se, but if you are not used to the style of the podcast, the book might shock or disappoint you. (My problem getting into the style of a written book was exactly that - I am too used to listening to it being narrated.) Otherwise, give it a go. Once I got the hang of the plot, which develops rather slowly and in too many directions at once, it seems, it all started working out for me.

Highly recommended for fans. I feel like listening to it again soon.

Review: The Importance of being Earnest

As you know, I am a huge fan of theatre. Especially, National Theatre in London and its broadcasts. I probably should blog about it more, but I always forget to write reviews. Last night I went to see "The Importance of being Earnest" by Oscar Wilde. It was staged by West End, I believe, which I mistakingly took for NT as 99% of broadcasts I go to are done by them. I even tweeted about it, confused as why there was no NT live introduction.

I love Oscar Wilde, although I admit that I know more about his life than I ever read his books. I heard of this play, but I don't think I ever watched it on stage until yesterday. My main fascination with this production was due to the fact that David Suchet, whom I love and adore, plays Lady Bracknell in it.

I love Suchet as Hercule Poirot and I also got a chance to see him on stage live in The Last Confession a year ago (I think I got really teary eyed about it), so of course I had to see him again.

He was terrific! Incredibly funny! It was more about his face and his eyes than even about the words, although he did deliver all punch lines perfectly ("The bag!"). The whole cast was just stellar! Not so many familiar faces to me, I am afraid. But all of them were so, so funny! (David Suchet stayed in role even at the curtain call, which was cool.)

The play had 3 acts and 2 intermissions.


Vaudeville Theatre London Dress Rehearsals April 2015 The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde Directed by Adrian Noble David Suchet as Lady Bracknell Designer Peter McKintosh Lighting Howard Harrison Emily Barber/Gwendolen Fairfax Imogen Doel/Cecily Cardew Michael Benz/Jack Worthington Michele Doctrice/Miss Prism Philip Cumbus/Algernon Moncrieff David Killick/Lane Richard O'Callaghan/Rev Canon Chasuble Brendan Hooper/Merriman ©NOBBY CLARK +44(0)7941-515770 +44(0)20-7274-2105

Vaudeville Theatre London Dress Rehearsals April 2015 The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde Directed by Adrian Noble David Suchet as Lady Bracknell Designer Peter McKintosh Lighting Howard Harrison Emily Barber/Gwendolen Fairfax Imogen Doel/Cecily Cardew Michael Benz/Jack Worthington Michele Doctrice/Miss Prism Philip Cumbus/Algernon Moncrieff David Killick/Lane Richard O'Callaghan/Rev Canon Chasuble Brendan Hooper/Merriman ©NOBBY CLARK +44(0)7941-515770 +44(0)20-7274-2105

Vaudeville Theatre London Dress Rehearsals April 2015 The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde Directed by Adrian Noble David Suchet as Lady Bracknell Designer Peter McKintosh Lighting Howard Harrison Emily Barber/Gwendolen Fairfax Imogen Doel/Cecily Cardew Michael Benz/Jack Worthington Michele Doctrice/Miss Prism Philip Cumbus/Algernon Moncrieff David Killick/Lane Richard O'Callaghan/Rev Canon Chasuble Brendan Hooper/Merriman ©NOBBY CLARK +44(0)7941-515770 +44(0)20-7274-2105

The play is screening in several countries across the globe, so I implore you to go and see it. It is quite wonderful! It definitely lifted my spirits. (David Suchet as Lady Bracknell looks a lot like my maternal grandmother, down to a stern look and bushy eyebrows. I kept getting chills during the performance!)

Watch the official trailer here:

It was a classic theatre staging, nothing moving and no water or fire or other special effects that are so common for National Theatre productions, but I really liked it. It let the audience focus on the acting which was superb.

If I had to rate it, I'd give it 5/5 stars.

p.s. While in the audience, I was surprised that some people didn't know David Suchet from his Hercule Poirot role. Gosh, I felt like such a fangirl.

Event: Welcome To Night Vale Live Episode "The Investigation" // October 26, 2015

IMG_1100 Even though I was horribly jetlagged, I couldn't miss this! The live episode of WTNV called "The Investigation" was even funnier than "The Librarian" that I went to a year ago. Eliza Rickman was once again a special guest of the show. She did a great job, and was very funny, although she had a cold. (She did the show as part of her album tour, which is very exciting. I did support her on Kickstarter, but I haven't got her album yet - which reminds me that I probably should log in and see what's going on there.)

Disparition provided the live music during the show.

(Two of the funniest things that Eliza said were about how thanks to the sound engineer she was singing notes that do not exist during the soundcheck and that the picture of Cecil wearing one of her dresses during the last tour was one with the most popular pictures she posted on social media - and that they might do it again. XD)

Cecil was even better doing live show this time. (Also so handsome!) His little dialogue with Carlos was adorable. Especially, the FACES he was making during it. I swear, I love the podcast, but I wouldn't mind watching Cecil read it either! ;D

I really enjoyed myself. There were quite a few people in the crowd who came in full cosplay - so cool! I also scored a seat quite close to the stage which gave me an opportunity to take this photo!

Book Review: Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol

IMG_8995 I usually do not read graphic novels. It is hard for me to find a book with graphics that I really like, and I in general prefer books with more text. The only graphic/comic series that I have ever read, and loved, and am still reading is ElfQuest.

I saw this book recommended on BookTube and I was sort of intrigued. I picked it up from the library, as I didn't want to buy something that I was not going to read again. I decided to read it this morning while having a coffee and it was the quickest and the easiest read ever. I read in about an hour. I think it can be either classified as a middle grade or YA.

I enjoyed the graphics (they are sort of grey-blue, which I like) and the story is very curious. It is about a girl Anya, who struggles with her appearance, the fact that she is not popular at school, that she was not born in America (she is Russian and the book is peppered with some cultural differences/references/Russian words), that she has a crush on a popular guy; she smokes because she thinks it is cool, she tries really hard to fit in, etc. One day she falls into a hole in the ground. There, she meets a ghost of a girl named Emily. The ghost follows her home and wants to be her friend. Anya is excited, because Emily is really helpful, but soon it is starting to become overwhelming.

I found Anya to be a very likeable character, and it was very easy to relate to her, especially for me personally. I think it is a great and easy read and I highly recommend it. I hope that the author will release more books like that.

Rating: 5/5 stars.